a week in the life :: day 1 | monday

to kick-start my creative scrapbooking juices i'm participating in ali edwards's a week in the life project. she used to teach this class at cku, and i would've taken it had i attended again. so i'm really glad she's taking us through the project.

pictures from this week

day 1 monday ::
  • 5:15am :: got up before the alarm went off. surprisingly, rupert did too. groggily got ready to go to the gym. ian wakes up and i send him back to bed, "it's waaaay too early." microwave my current favorite hot cereal, tj's oats + flaxseed. read the second-to-last chapter of "tunnels" while i eat.
  • remember to take my calcium and fish oil supplements.
  • get to pattie's at 6am, wait around for a few minutes while listening to npr. realize i should've texted her last night to see if she was going to the gym. after five minutes i decide to go without her.
  • do a 40-minute workout listening to the "rock band" playlist on my ipod. come to the realization that my arms are weak and my cardio endurance is low. must get back into shape.
  • come home to find ian working out on wii fit. get a turn in doing the hulahoop. don't quite make it to 300 spins.
  • pack ian's lunch and cut up a nectarine to eat as an early morning snack. finish reading "tunnels" (it's due back at the library tomorrow).
  • rupert leaves for work/school. feed maya some cereal while we watch tv. send ian off to his room to read while i shower. get maya ready and leave for school at 9:10.
  • after ian lines up maya + i slowly make our way around the block towards ian's old school so maya can play with her friend J.
  • make it home by 10am. we're both hungry and, therefore, cranky. i make fun of rupert all the time that he gets nasty when he's hungry, but i'm finding that i act the same way. it doesn't help that i eat breakfast at 5:45; my blood sugar drops by the time 10 o'clock rolls around. we snack on my favorite japanese rice crackers. maya watches franny's feet.
  • send some email (mostly pta and sleepyhead related), catch up on my blogroll at bloglines, read craft zine and serious eats, check flickr, and look at some new food blogs (noodle whore seems right up my alley).
  • must get to the market before it gets too late. but first, off to costco to fill up on gas. spend $43.62 to fill 3/4 of a tank -- thank goodness i only get gas every 3 weeks or so. afterwards, hop on the 405 and go to freshia, the korean market i've been meaning to check out. it's cold inside and maya complains. try to placate her by taking her to the fish section. she asks to buy nori. good idea. besides groceries we buy some pastries at the bakery. maya is enamored with the pretty cakes; maybe we'll get one for her birthday. on the drive home chow down on a sweet potato pastry. maya enjoys most of her red bean-filled rice pastry.
  • make it home an hour later. eat lunch (korean nori wrapped around rice, bean sprout pajun, and (spicy) soon dubu). so full i feel like barfing. take a short nap on the couch before it's time to pick up ian at 3pm. maya was kind enough to have an unchi diaper before we head out. she puts a sticker on her unchi calendar.
  • on the walk to school join up with our neighbor M, who is also going to pick up her kid. maya is delighted that M has one of her pet rats with her; she always asks, "where mouse?" when we see M. pick up ian and R (ian's classmate) and head home. R hops into his mom's car and i chat with his mom about playing tennis tomorrow morning.
  • when we get home i'm exhausted and nursing a tension headache. plead with yell at maya to take her nap. she's getting tired too so she fights it, but i know she needs it. at 3:30 read her "a color of his own" (actually, i do a half-ass translating job and describe the pictures to her in japanese). tell ian to do his homework and crawl into bed.
  • i hear maya babbling for awhile but i can't get up. ian comes into my room after he finishes his homework but i tell him i'll check it later (which i neglect to do). he wanders off to play video games. i dose off again until i hear rupert get home.
  • finally get out of bed around 5:30; rupert brings me headache medicine. hang out on the couch and catch up with rupert about our respective days. play with his new laptop and check my email. deb (my step-sis) signs in to chat. we complain about how stupid boys are. rupert helps me start getting dinner ready by boiling some eggs. then he takes ian to soccer practice and shoots hoops at the basketball courts for awhile.
  • i chat a bit more with deb until she has to go to yoga. maya wakes up in a bad mood. only castella and a spongebob dvd makes the tears stop. after rupert comes back maya + i head out to go get ian (good thing practice is just across the street). maya takes this opportunity to run around and blow off some steam.
  • after getting home i start making dinner :: korean naengmyon noodles with korean bbq, kimchi, bean sprout namul, sliced pear, and a hard-boiled egg. it's pretty good until about half-way through, when the meat starts to cool and the fat congeals. the inside of my mouth gets a bit waxy.
  • nothing good on tv so we decide to play rock band :: ian's on guitar (as always), rupert starts off on mic and i play drums. after a couple of songs ian relinquishes the guitar to rupert and i sing. get 95% on hard singing "dirty little secret." stink at "are you gonna be my girl" (on hard) but get "most gutsy" anyway.
  • rupert gets the kids ready for bed while i hop back on the laptop to work on this project.
  • it's 11pm now and i'm almost ready to go to bed ...


what i made for dinner :: cheesy baked penne with cauliflower and creme fraiche

what i made for dinner :: cheesy baked penne with cauliflower and creme fraiche

i was a tad disappointed with last month's bon appetit but this month's issue looks really promising. we're on the cusp of summer and autumn so i'm looking forward to using the remainder of summer produce in heartier recipes.

tonight we're going meatless :: cheesy baked penne with cauliflower and creme fraiche. meatless but not necessarily healthy. this dish is heavy on the dairy products, so i'm sure it's chock-full of calories and fat. while i made the sauce i had to blot the grease with a paper towel because there was a pocket of cheese/butter fat.

some notes ::
  • active time (for me) was 45 minutes (plus 35 minutes baking time). i suggest grating the cheese and measuring the ingredients before the actual preparation of the dish. (and, no, i don't need reminding that prepping all the ingredients first is standard procedure.)
  • i used broccoflower, which was tasty. whether you use cauliflower or broccoflower, be sure not to overcook it during the sauting stage; it's good to have the bite in the final dish.
  • the recipe calls for 10oz of the penne. i used the whole bag (16oz) and i still had plenty of sauce to coat everything, and it baked up nice and cheesy.
  • be liberal with the ground pepper; pepper gives it a nice contrasting flavor so you don't overload on the cheese.
  • i skipped the breadcrumb crust on top because i was being lazy. in its place, to get a little bit of crunch, i sprinkled finely grated parmesan on top and after baking for 35 minutes i finished it off with a couple minutes under the broiler.
  • definitely not a cheap dinner :: all the dairy ingredients begin to add up. but they're not hard to find ingredients. i was able to get everything at tj's.
  • rupert and i had the leftovers for lunch the next day, and after microwaving the food we noticed a pool of grease. best to sop it up with a paper towel before digging in.

what i made for dinner :: zucchini frittata

what i made for dinner :: zucchini frittata

many garden-blessed families usually encounter a problem during the summer :: what to do with the dearth of zucchini. thankfully (?) we are not one of those families. honestly, i'm not a fan of zucchini for the most part. i never request that my husband plant it in our garden, and if anyone tries to give us unload some on us, i politely decline.

but, on occasion, i get the urge to cook zucchini ... okay, okay, i admit it, i actually want to use my hand-me-down julienne slicer.

i picked up a few zucchini at the farmers market this week with the notion of whipping up an easy and quick frittata. i scanned a few recipes online and then got to work.

ingredients ::
  • 3 medium zucchini, julienned (you can definitely use more)
  • 1 small onion (we felt like more onion would've been good --> maybe bump it up to a medium onion? even a large one?)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • basil chiffonade (i used about 8 medium leaves, but use as much, or as little, as you like)
  • 5 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 8 eggs (if you like it egg-y :: ian liked it the way it was, rupert thought it could've used fewer eggs)
  • 1.5 tablespoons butter
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper

directions ::

  1. julienne the zucchini into a bowl. sprinkle salt on it and gently toss; leave for 10 minutes to draw out the liquid.
  2. in the meantime chop the onion and mince the garlic. in a separate bowl whisk the eggs with salt + pepper, the basil, and 4 tablespoons of the parmesan.
  3. start sauteing the onion and garlic on medium high heat. here's the most important part :: take handfuls of the zucchini and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. i just dropped the zucchini directly into the pan after i squeezed it, and did that a few times until i got through all of the zucchini. turn the heat up to high and saute until just before caramelization begins but there's no liquid coming out of the vegetables. transfer the vegetables into the bowl you used for the zucchini. cool for a bit. add the egg mixture to the vegetables and combine well.
  4. in the same pan, heat the butter until it bubbles. pour in the egg mixture and cook over low heat, uncovered, for 18~20 minutes. the middle will still be slightly runny but the edges should be cooked and browned.
  5. sprinkle the rest of the parmesan on the frittata and put it under a hot broiler (mine was set on high) for a minute. when i checked on it half of it was browned nicely but the other side wasn't, so i turned it and left it in for another 45 seconds.
  6. cool slightly before serving.

the omnivore's hundred

around the foodie blogosphere very good taste's omnivore's hundred meme is all the rage. now that i've seen it several times i figured i should see how many of the hundred i've had before.

here's what you do ::

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at http://www.verygoodtaste.co.uk/ linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (i had morcilla in argentina)
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (you'd think that i would've had one since i lived in nyc once)
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (i'm not sure what the point of eating a scotch bonnet on its own is)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (although i prefer the mango version)
34. Sauerkraut (not a fan)
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea (seeing as i love cream tea, i think i would really like clotted cream tea; i must find this and try it)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (yes, even i have had a vodka jell-o shot; you can thank my friend MZ, mit frat boy)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk [updated 2009] (we gave maya goat's milk while we transitioned from formula to cow's milk, but i never tried it myself)
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (i would never eat one now, but i'm sure i had one in high school)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (i just learned about poutine recently while watching anthony bourdain's no reservations. i was kinda grossed out by it but intrigued too)
60. Carob chips (in a cookie)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (this is basically dirt, so i don't see the reason to eat this either since i'm pretty sure i have all the minerals i need)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets [updated 2009], churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis (this is actually on my "to eat" list)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette (i like offal so this is something i'm ashamed to admit i haven't had yet)
71. Gazpacho (i like tomatoes but i don't really like gazpacho for some reason)
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (unless i'm starving i think i will stay away from roadkill)
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (some day, when i go to europe, i will make myself a reservation at a three-star restaurant)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

sixty-five out of 100 is not so good; i thought i would do better. since i don't drink alcohol a few of the items i haven't even thought of trying. but of the food items i haven't tried i am willing to eat most of them (scotch bonnet pepper, kaolin, and roadkill are the only things i wouldn't try; cigars are not food <-- doesn't count!). i think a trip to europe will help me check more items off this list. ;) let's see if i do better with just hungry's 100 japanese foods to try meme ::

  1. Properly washed and cooked, top quality new harvest white rice
  2. Freshly made tofu, as hiyayakko or yudofu
  3. Properly made misoshiru and osumashi
  4. Properly made homemade nukazuke (not a real fan of nukazuke, but i try it everytime my mom makes it)
  5. Very fresh sanma (saury), sizzling hot from the grill, eaten with a
    drizzle of soy sauce and a mound of grated daikon radish
  6. Homemade umeboshi
  7. Freshly made, piping hot crispy tempura
  8. A whole grilled wild matsutake
  9. Freshly made sobagaki with sobayu
  10. Mentaiko from Fukuoka, or tarako
  11. Onigiri with the three classic fillings: umeboshi, okaka, shiozake
  12. Assorted fresh-as-possible sashimi
  13. Saba oshizushi
  14. Mugicha
  15. Kakifurai
  16. Morinaga High-Chew candy, grape flavor
  17. Karasumi
  18. A pot of oden, preferably with homemade components especially
    ganmodoki, boiled eggs and daikon radish
  19. Ika no shiokara
  20. Calpis
  21. Ankou nabe
  22. Unadon
  23. Komochi kombu or kazunoko
  24. Yamakake, grated yamaimo with maguro (red tuna) cubes (or just with a raw egg)
  25. Properly made gyokuro shincha
  26. Milky Candy
  27. Wanko soba
  28. Omuraisu with demi-glace sauce
  29. Handmade katayaki senbei
  30. Yohkan (yokan) from Toraya (i'm not sure i've had it from toraya)
  31. Ishi yakiimo - sweet potatoes cooked in hot stones, available from street vendor carts
  32. Natto (definitely not a fan, but i can muster eating sauted natto with ground pork)
  33. Fresh seaweed sunomono (can also have some tako in it)
  34. Ikura or sujiko
  35. Tonkatsu
  36. Goma dofu
  37. Chawan mushi or tamago dofu - the same dish either piping hot or ice cold
  38. Freshly made mochi, with kinako and sugar, grated daikon and soy
    or natto
  39. Gindara no kasuzuke
  40. Hoshigaki
  41. Inarizushi
  42. Chikuzen-ni
  43. Surume
  44. Yakinasu with grated ginger
  45. Tamago kake gohan
  46. Kabuki-age
  47. Nikujaga
  48. Spinach gomaae
  49. Fuki no tou
  50. Okonomiyaki
  51. Yakitori
  52. Ohagi
  53. Japanese style curry, with rakkyo and fukujinzuke as condiments
  54. Kenchinjiru
  55. Yakult
  56. Kakipea
  57. Takoyaki
  58. Sakura mochi
  59. Buta no kakuni
  60. Daigaku imo
  61. Kappa Ebisen
  62. Chicken tsukune
  63. Hakusaizuke
  64. Hayashi rice
  65. Goya champuruu
  66. Dorayaki
  67. Ochazuke
  68. Sakuma Drops
  69. Stewed kiriboshi daikon
  70. Takenoko gohan (or in fall, kuri gohan)
  71. Cream or potato korokke
  72. Fresh yuba
  73. Real ramen
  74. Monaka
  75. Ekiben of all kinds
  76. Edamame
  77. Chicken karaage
  78. Kuzumochi
  79. Mitarashi dango
  80. Konnyaku no dengaku
  81. Yukimi Daifuku
  82. Sukiyaki
  83. Nama yatsuhashi
  84. Panfried hanpen (i'm not sure i've had it panfried)
  85. Nozawanazuke or Takanazuke
  86. Kiritanpo
  87. Amanatto
  88. Narazuke
  89. Aji no himono
  90. Baby Ramen
  91. Kobucha
  92. Kasutera
  93. Tazukuri
  94. Karintou
  95. Sauce Yakisoba
  96. Kamaboko
  97. Oyako donburi
  98. Atsuyaki tamago
  99. Kuri kinton
  100. Japanese potato salad
much better! i guess that's not surprising since i grew up with this food and spent so much time in japan. there were four i hadn't had out right, and four that i have had, but not exactly as maki-san explained. (i think she's going to update the list with explanations and english names, in case you don't know what most of these foods are.)

i have to go through the 100 chinese foods to try meme next.

and i think i have a lot of eating to do ...


34 months.

little miss bossy
maya @ 34 months :: september 4, 2008

  • finally realized the piano can be played. she actually plays quite well and smoothly considering her pretty short fingers.
  • calls herself "superman" ... she also calls spiderman "superman."
  • took her to the body worlds 3 exhibit at the california sciencenter. when we stepped in and she saw the first skeleton she said, rather unconvincingly, "i scared!" she showed great interest in the plastinized digestive tract; i showed her where her food goes and how her unchi was stuck in her intenstine. since then she talks about gummy bears going through her tummy bones (she doesn't quite grasp the idea of organs) back and forth and coming out as unchi with a plop. she was also intrigued by the lecture i gave on how jiji's lungs are black like the cancer-infested lungs on display and hers were more white/pink. jiji's lungs are now bacchi (dirty).
  • while we were watching who framed roger rabbit she kept referring to jessica rabbit as "little mermaid."
  • the thing she says most often may quite possibly be, "sowwy [sorry] mama."
  • fun at legoland with mama and ian. she really liked captain cranky's challenge, which swung us around all over the place, and the big lego elephant that shoots water out of its trunk.
  • a few days in palm springs with my side of the family. we spent a lot of time in the pool. she also confirmed that she is a complete flirt; she was after my sister's boyfriend the whole time we were in palm springs.
  • likes to eat korean nori (seaweed), wrapped around rice or all by itself.
  • playing with D's iphone ... she knows how to access the photos, zooms in and out, and plays games. in fact, she was so into popping bubbles that she didn't notice D tickling her feet.
  • although we decided to forget potty-training while she's dealing with her unchi issues, she's been pretty good about going potty on the toilet before bed.
  • can pick things up (like puzzle pieces) with her toes ... just like her mama.
  • she is getting into the bad, lazy habit of saying, "can't do it" without really trying. gee, i wonder where she got that defeatist attitude from?
  • now that football season has started, maya is watching games with rupert and ian. for almost every play she yells, "touchdown!"
  • says, "sure!" for answering in the affirmative.
  • i went to get her from her nap and she had torn apart and completely obliterated her diaper, as well as peed in her crib. lovely.
  • she loves having "shake shake" for dessert (vanilla ice cream with milk).
  • she is turning into a girly-girl :: at our friend's house she was all about their daughter's princess crown and dress-up clothes (i.e., ariel costume and tutu).