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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Coffee Run

Yeah, so I took a screenshot of my Instagram feed. But I hit up Fairway Market, my go-to coffee shop. They must have roasted recently because man oh man... ever so fragrant. I have been living on Trader Joe's coffee, which is fine. It just isn't the same. Look at their layout. All those beans!

The guy who ground my coffee thought I bought too much, but he doesn't know just how important coffee is to me. Tell me what you think, was this too much?

All were ground at setting 13 (percolator/urn/French press)

1 pound Mocha Java (M's favorite, medium body)
1 pound Brooklyn (my favorite, low acidity)
0.5 pound French Roast (because why not)

There were a few others I wanted to try, but I am supposed to be back next weekend. So I can wait. I didn't even buy cheese... what is wrong with me?!?

Friday, January 02, 2015

Late Morning/Early Afternoon Musings

Sick day today. Probably for the best, because I don't want to be the person my co-workers blame when they get sick. It's going around the hospital... completely out of my hands. I'm on my fourth day of this sickness and I am totally over it. I have been taking DayQuil and NyQuil around the clock, which helps temporarily but does not kick it to the curb. I admit I should drink more fluids other than coffee, but because of the congestion whatever I drink quickly evaporates because of the mouth breathing.

Yeah, you probably didn't want to hear about that. 

Back to the Future Part II is playing on ABC Family. And of course it is on, I love that trilogy. And I cannot wait for those fashions this year. And the Cubs winning the World Series. I'm putting my money on the Cubbies, baby!

Leftover New Years Day ham and freshly cooked rice. Can't beat that.

Some other gifts I received yesterday - a bracelet from my aunt, and my dad's Canon 7D. The last one I was surprised about. We were taking family photos when my dad asked me to get the camera from his room. I had to dig around, but I found it. By the time I got back downstairs, the picture taking was over.

"You know what, I'm just going to give that to you."
"Yes. Just buy a good lens for it, okay?"
"Are you sure about this?"

That was pretty awesome of him to do that, but immediately worst case scenarios popped into my head - the giving away of possessions - had me thinking red flags. Which of course made go down the list of signs to look out for. I talked to M about it.

"Well, he hasn't used it in a long time."
"Yeah, but he was just talking to me last week about buying a new lens for it."
"Well maybe he gave you the camera because you were talking about buying a new one."
"It just seems weird."

Maybe his ultimate plan is to get a newer, lighter camera. Or maybe he knows it will more likely be used by me. Still, I am looking out for red flags.


My dad asked for food from Tropical Grille. Food combo with soup and fried fish. Unfortunately they were closed today, so we got fried Whiting from Patnmark. I uses it's his backup fried fish option. I also scored a bunch of quick sale produce that looked completely fine. Four packages of fresh herbs for less than a dollar? Hell yes. Baby zucchini, limes, plum tomatoes, and plantains for great prices.

Bought the family combo pack from McDo. And the only one in the family who really ate it was me. I regret that purchase. I think I need to just stick to their coffee and fries.

The day has flown by and now it's time for me to go back. Until next time.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Thanks Santa!

I really don't want to push the whole resolution thing, because of the inevitable breaking of my proposed resolutions. Goals sounds safer. So one of my goals is to write more. But not write for writing's sake. So many things quickly become forgotten and I really don't want to let anything pass me by this year.

I also want to try and save more, spend less. Unclutter. Be nicer. Things. I'll let you know how those things go.

Today the family got together to celebrate Christmas and New Years. After the death of my grandfather, I would have thought we would get together more often - especially during the holidays. We did at Thanksgiving, but life got in the way for Christmas. And New Years Eve... everyone did their thing separately. I was upstate sick and baking. I still am feeling sick and tried my best not to pass it on.

When I say family, it also includes the extended family. And there are a lot of us, making gifts difficult. So we have resorted to Secret Santa/Kris Kringle. The names of all those participating are thrown into a hat and the name you draw is the person you get a gift for. At first it was just the adults, and us kids still received presents. But we're now adults so we're having a Secret Santa of our own, with a few differences. The parents set their limit to $50; we settled on the $20-$50 range. We have a group on Facebook where we list some ideas of things we would like (call it selfish/materialistic/not in the spirit of the holiday all you want, but I appreciate the suggestions... and knowing sizes!); the parents take a wild guess.

I got my cousin J some makeup thing from MAC, M got my cousin R an Otter Box. R's girl K got me what you see above. They didn't have to get me both, and I was not expecting it at all. But it was a bit of a thank you for my baking cakes and little treats for their son. His birthday was on Thanksgiving and I made him a chocolate cake with chocolate fudge buttercream. On an uncle's birthday I made a banana cake with cream cheese frosting and he absolutely loved it. He has an allergy to peanuts and a handful of nuts so I have been trying to be very careful in my baking and take it into consideration when choosing recipes. 

Have you ever seen the documentary "Kings of Pastry?" It follows pastry chefs compete in the Meilleur Ouvrier de France competition for a chance to be awarded the title of MOF. Those French and their titles... Anyways, one of the pastry chefs in the documentary is Jacquy Pfeiffer. He also wrote the book, "The Art of French Pastry" which I got as my Secret Santa gift. I flipped through it quickly and ohmygoodness I will have a lot of fun trying these recipes out. The page I opened up to was a recipe for Anise Macarons. It lists metric measurements which since my baking class, is the only way I do my baking. 

Helping me perfect those macarons will be the silicone baking mats I also got. But it also has other uses... not just for macarons. Incan make uniform meringues and meringue clouds. And Nila Wafers. Not that I'm craving them, but I can make them and make them uniform. 

Now I just need to find a good nut-free recipe.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

And Thus Ends 2014

It's been real uneventful on the blog, but that's life.

I'll try better next year.

For those going out to celebrate: be safe. Don't drive drunk. Stay warm.

For those staying in (like myself), quiet nights are just as good. No makeup or fancy clothes necessary.

No matter how you celebrate, have a Happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

My "What I Want for Christmas, But Will Wait Until After the New Year When it Goes on Sale" List

As the gift giving day rapidly approaches (three more days!), I figured I should make up a list of things that would be nice to have. Do I need these? Not really, but they would be nice to have. In my family we do Secret Santa and many of these popped up on my wish list.

1. Macaron Baking Sheets - No more having to draw circles on parchment paper! And an excuse to bake even more egg white based cookies!

2. Silicone Baking Mats - No, they aren't silpat, but these can take a beating. Not to mention it saves my parchment paper for other things (mostly cakes).

3. Gel Paste Food Color - I have Wilton gel colors at the moment, and they are perfectly fine. Except they are in those itty bitty pots. Squeeze bottles are easier, and (I'm sure it isn't but go with it) more uniform portions if I ever have to repeat creating a color hue.

4. Kitchenaid 5-Qt Stainless Steel Bowl - It's part of the Pringles curse - you can't have just one. It makes sense really, having another bowl to help make baking more efficient. Having another set of hands to help makes things efficient as well, but that isn't on the list.

5. Pouring Shield for Kitchenaid Mixer - It's inevitable that flour/powdered sugar will spill out of the bowl. Should be just a bit. With me, it seems at times like it's a lot. Enough to have me screaming and cursing the baking gods for giving me such bad luck. So I've resorted to slowly stirring by hand. Won't have to do that anymore with this.

6. 7000 Islands: A Food Portait of the Philippines - I'm Filipina and I like cookbooks. That's enough reason.

7. Stainless Steel 6-Wheel Pastry Cutter - Shortcuts. And straight lines. And time saver.

8. Capresso Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder - Years ago I found a Cuisinart coffee grinder on clearance but passed it up because M was making a fuss. To this day I regret leaving the store without it. I want my beans freshly ground. Is that too much to ask? Is it?!?

9. Cards Against Humanity - Come on... it's a fun game. And all the expansion packs!