the gregarious homebody

Monday, March 29, 2010

Reading blogs is a real personal pleasure for me.  I've always been something of a voyeur....I even considered becoming a real estate agent because I love to see into people's lives, to be inside their homes and see how they live.  Reading blogs, especially the ones I have categorized in my bookmarks in a folder called "Home," has satisfied that voyeuristic need while also making me feel like I know those bloggers a little bit. I've even become friends with some of them.

It was with great sadness that I read on The Women's Room about the death of a blogger who I've enjoyed for sometime now.  Elspeth Thompson wrote about life in a renovated train car, about sustainability, her family, and her dogs.  So simple, so beautifully done.  However, that small glimpse into her life didn't reveal the deep sadness she suffered from.  My heart goes out to her family and especially her child.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Ended a verrrrrrry busy week with a trip to DC as a chaperone for KU (Yes, a chaperone. For college students.  Adults. was free).  The Girl and I went since {Mr. Romance} (aka The Boy) has been there before.  What we found there was lots and lots of this:

And this:
It was a SEA of humanity.  Wow.  Now I know it was 70+ degrees and beautiful for the first time in a long time but sheesh.  At one point, on the subway, we were so packed in that I had to tuck my butt in so the doors would close.  I of course made the obligatory fat-ass joke about myself and then the door kept reopeningSo THEN I had to say out loud that my ass wasn't  

The Girl was thrilled with me at this point.  See?

Just kidding.  She was actually thinking I was funny (priceless! doesn't happen much anymore!!) at that point. This picture is from the end of our trip.  When the blisters were huge and juicy and painful.

So anyway, we didn't really get to see much of Washington because (who knew?) six hours is not enough to see anything.  Here's what we did see:

 A pretty decent Lebanese restaurant with Mezze for two.  FYI: french fries are delicious dipped in baba ganouj or {lebne}.

At the National Zoo, we saw either a giant stuffed animal...or a man in a Panda suit.

The weirdest animal was not what you would expect.  It's called a Maned Wolf and this shitty picture does not properly illustrate its weirdness:

The Girl and I have cleverly renamed it The Wox because it looks like a cross between a wolf and...wait for it...a fox (so clever!). Its legs are LONG and its head is small and fox-like.  Sort of the {Beetlejuice} of the wild canine world.  Check {this picture} to see a better likeness.

After that we climbed onto the subway again.  Again, crowded, but really really clean and pretty friendly. We headed toward the American History museum.  All I wanted to see was Julia Child's kitchen (I'm a woman of simple needs).  All The Girl wanted to do was rip off her sneakers and find a couch somewhere with a tivo.  But we soldiered on and saw this sculpture on the way there: 

I want it for my 40th birthday for my back yard.  I'm not kidding.  I'll even make a deal with HH: he can have the Easter Island heads if I can have this.
So we finally got to the American History museum and saw Julia's kitchen (see masthead), a very cool exhibit of First Ladies' gowns (I appreciate Barbara Bush more now that I see she was the only woman who was built anywhere near like a grown-up), and a whole room about Abraham Lincoln.  THAT was neat.  The older I get the more I appreciate archival stuff.  I could've hung out in this room for an hour or more, just reading.  But The Girl was 
Blisters had made their appearance known.  And that was totally okay with me.  I think I enjoyed just being with her somewhere other than at home as much as I enjoyed touring DC.
Pictures not taken:
  • Guy with health reform protest sign that read "Comrad Pelosi"...blahblahblahDude, if you're going to take the time to come down to Washington and protest, make sure you know how to spell what you're so passionate about.
  • Pedicab guy peddling his skinny legs off with me in the back.  I paid him $20 to go 10 blocks and to never speak of it again.
  • Me, sleeping almost all the way down and back, occasionally waking myself up by either a) snoring, b) farting or c) making the HUH! sound I make when I'm falling asleep.  Thanks, M, for not taking pictures.  And I'm deeply sorry.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Proof...

...that something as dangerous as cleaning 
should be left to professionals.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I think I'm on a green tea kick.  Not drinking it---eating it.  I've never liked green tea for drinking. Maybe it was the weirdo authentic Japanese stuff my friend Shusei had that turned me off.  We shared an apartment when I was in college and every day I cleaned out the tea pot that looked like it was filled with popcorn and grass.  YUM.

 Shusei and me
(long ago....*sigh*...look how young I look.  
The killer is he doesn't look a day older.  Just grayer.)

But ever since I had green tea ice cream in a Japanese restaurant back in the early 90's, I've been intrigued by its use as a dessert ingredient.  I've made {the ice cream} a couple times and have fine-tuned the perfect recipe to suit the strength of the matcha powder I have.  Matcha powder can be really strong and mine definitely seems to be.

Today I'm trying out a recipe for Green Tea Biscotti from a great blog {Laura} discovered called {Sprinkle Bakes.}  Beautiful food porn, interesting-sounding recipes. Sprinkles blogger Heather's recipe for green tea biscotti called for something I don't have, however.  It's called {Matcha Milk} and she describes it as "a gently sweetened green tea latte."  It sounds like something I might even drink!  It contains, in addition to {matcha powder,} sugar and nondairy creamer.  I checked all over the internet but I couldn't find a store that sells it.  Luckily I have Wegmans who will often order weirdo ingredients for me.

But I couldn't wait until I had Matcha Milk to bake these so I tried it with my plain old matcha.  I didn't add any additional sugar and I certainly didn't add any nondairy creamer (ew).  The dough was a litttle stiff but tasted sweet enough.  I also didn't divide it in half but instead baked one mammoth log (read recipes first people.  Learn from my mistakes).

 almost all the ingredients 
(missing: eggs and vanilla)
love the pale green of the matcha-y flour

little tip: use kitchen scissors to cut small pieces of {ginger}
it's extremely sticky

dough pressed into a log before baking


sliced before baking again

and they're done (baked a tad too long)!

The results?  I really liked them--they're slightly smokey, although that sounds gross.  Green tea's flavor is so distinct it's hard to describe.  They're not too sweet and although it seems that as I get older, I like things less sweet, I think I would add maybe a 1/2 cup more sugar next time.  

The Matcha Milk used in the original recipe has that nondairy creamer in it which contains sugar.  Sugar while obviously providing sweetness also provides a bit of moisture, both of which I think these cookies need.  And I think I would add more ginger.  The Girl didn't like the ginger but I think it's delicious and a good counterpoint to the matcha.

 Another difference to the original recipe was that I used sliced almonds instead of slivered.  It seems like a slight difference, but it made for easier slicing.  Slicing can be a major pain in the ass sometimes with biscotti and the thinner nuts (heehee...thin nuts) made slicing easier. I would also follow the recipe and divide the dough in half, making two logs (heehee...logs).  That would've made slicing even easier.

So, fine the original recipe {here} and give them a try!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I'm FAMOUS! (well...not really....just in my own mind)

Jessie from {Cakespy} posted my comments about {Laura's} fabulous business.  I love the internet!!  When I "talk" to people who have blogs that I admire, it's like I'm "meeting" someone famous.  I'm a dork.

But you knew that.


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