Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday, my first edition

I thought I would play this week and answer 10 (well, in this case there were eleven) questions. Hopefully I can add this to my weekly repertoire.

1. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Gosh, it sure is hard to choose. I've enjoyed the home made ice creams I've made. Especially the "Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cracker Sandwiches" - yeah... probably need to think of a shorter title for that one.
2. What is your earliest memory?
I remember laying on the couch with my mom when she was pregnant with my brother. I was 2.5-3 years old. As the months progressed, pretty soon there wasn't room for me along side her and I got bumped down by her feet. That was my spot for a long time after that, but I loved it!!
3. What is your earliest memory of a dessert?
I remember getting to help my mom bake when I was younger. I'd pull up a chair, stand on it and help her out. I also remember making Christmas cookies (she makes terrific spritz cookies) and decorating Valentine sugar cookies. Yum!
4. Do you have any recurring dreams?
Yes, though not consistently - and oddly enough, I can't recall any specifics.
5. Have you ever dreamed about dessert?
Probably. Though again, nothing specific comes to mind.
6. What is one thing (aside from a cell phone or computer) that you cannot go the entire day without?
Clothes. I would prefer to be clothed.
7. What is one dessert you could go your entire life without ever having again?
I could live without chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream or brownies. Don't get me wrong, if you put one of those three things in front of me, I will eat them. Also, I will make them.
8. If you could go on vacation tomorrow, where would you go? (Assume someone else is footing the bill, but within reason…so “the moon” won’t work)
I would love to travel Europe with my husband, including a long stay in Italy along the Amalfi coast.
9. If you could have any dessert tomorrow, what would you have (assume someone else is buying it for you. Within reason though, no “gold sprinkled ice cream cones.”)
With all this talk about ice cream, I would love a large scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with really thick hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry.
10. What was your first impression of your significant other? If you’re single, what was your first impression of your best friend?
Quiet, but sweet.
11. What is your first impression of dessert pizza? (Personally, I think it’s weird. I love dessert but I don’t want any on my pizza.)
I've had both fruit pizza and dessert pizza and find both delightful. It's not something I traditionally go out of my way to make or purchase, but I will eat it and have been known to enjoy it. So I probably liked it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


it's what's for dinner.My mom has stovetop-popcorn-making skillz. I haven't mastered her abilities in the least. In fact, I couldn't even say I'm close. But I love that popcorn.

Growing up we had it every Friday night. As I got older, it sometimes appeared more frequently. Sometimes my Dad would even make it, and then smother it in delicious melted butter. {Both renditions are outstanding.}

I have, and always will, loved popcorn. Rich, however, doesn't really care for it.
Well... he wasn't home for dinner tonight, which meant: I made myself a meal of popcorn. No protein. No greens. P-O-P-C-O-R-N!

Simply lovely.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shrimp + Coconut Milk

Make this recipe. Tonight. It is seriously delicious.

Some dinners I make are just okay, some are good enough to eat and then there are the few that I simply cannot wait to make again. The dinner I made last night fits into that last category.

We had leftover coconut milk from when Rich made us Poisson Cru I wanted to use. Coincidentally, my mom sent me a recipe last week that called for coconut milk and shrimp, among other things. Before I committed to a recipe, I intended to do a comparison. However, after I reviewed the first result of my coconut milk and shrimp recipe query, I called Rich for an inventory of what we had at home and hit print. I did tweak the recipe to my own preferences; my changes are listed in full below.

Shrimp + Coconut Milk
{adapted from Food and Wine}
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 can Red Gold diced tomatoes, drained
2 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk (from two 15-ounce cans)
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
Lime wedges, for serving
Bed of cooked basmati rice (optional)
{ingredients in photo form}

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately high heat.
Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

{onions+garlic+ginger+spices, mingling}
Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
Add the coconut milk, water, and salt and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil, stirring frequently, until thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the shrimp to the pan. Reduce the heat to low and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just done, 3 to 5 minutes.
{scrumptious sauce+shrimp}
Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
{ready for plates}
Serve with the lime wedges over a bed of rice.
{dinner time!}
For fun, I assembled nutritional information for this recipe. As far as I am concerned the numbers are pretty good. Though the stats exclude the optional rice; if you use 3/4 c. cooked basmati rice, add an additional 150 calories to the total number. Oh. I forgot to mention, this recipe is fast and flavorful, too!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Weekend 2010, briefly

Friday we watched the Olympics' opening ceremony. I love the Olympics! I adore the patriotism that oozes from spectators rooting for their country's athletes. Frankly, I love cheering on the athletes representing the US!
{For the first time in my life, I have actually visited an Olympic host city!}

Saturday we woke to trees coated in frost and fresh snowflakes; it was beautiful and lasted nearly all day. We watched Dexter {Season 1} and the first games of the Olympics before getting ready for our dinner date downtown. Dinner was outstanding and my date was delightful.
{winter beauty}
{date night}
{the house specialty - my fave}
Sunday I woke up, made some breakfast and continued to watch Olympic coverage before getting ready for our family celebration. My mom invited us along with my brother and his wife for an early dinner (or late lunch, depending on how you look at it). Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures, outside of the dessert. But the meal was wonderful - potato dumplings, ribs, asparagus - and the company outstanding. Yum. Dessert was a meringue cupcake filled with raspberry curd, whipped cream and fresh raspberries. Double-yum. Seriously. Makes sense why I took a picture, no?
{valentine's breakfast}{dessert}
♥ a weekend inspired by love; doesn't get much better than that
image sources:
*Vancouver Olympic Rings - Tim Wang's elearning blog
*Fogo - Shea
*House specialty - Gusto

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I just called to say...

"Thank you."

I received the following phone call from our alma mater, thanking me for a donation supporting the athletic department. The call came from a member of the men's gymnastic team.

I thought that was pretty cool. As soon as I heard it was the U, I started thinking up excuses on why I didn't want to donate at this time. But here he was just calling to say thank you. Not asking for a thing.

I loved that. Like really, really appreciated he had called to simply say thank you. What an uncommon act. Well done, U of M, well done!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy Birthday!

One of my biggest blog fans turns 49 today!
Happy Birthday, Uncle Rollie!!!
{He says he checks 3x daily to see if I've made any updates. He's even commented once or twice!!}

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Polar Plunge: Mission Accomplished

Today I jumped in a frozen lake. On purpose. For a good cause. And because I thought it would be a "life experience."

Today, I was "freezin' for a reason" for the Maple Grove edition of the Polar Plunge. From their website: "The Polar Bear Plunge (presented by Minnesota Law Enforcement to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota and part of the year-round fundraising of the Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota) is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into frigid Minnesota waters. January through March, 13 plunges across the state give you the chance to be Freezin' for a Reason!"

I raised $265.00 for Special Olympics Minnesota. Pretty rad. Thanks for your donations! They meant a lot to many, especially me.

So, without further adieu. My Polar Plunge Photo montage:
Special thanks to my photographer: my husband, my cheerleader: my mom, my supporters: many friends and family.
{images with the word "Proof" across them are courtesy of CL!X Portrait Studios: Sports & Event Photography}

*For the record, I would totally do this again.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mystery Meal à la Rich

Earlier this week Rich and I celebrated five years together. I've mentioned it here before - but I've been working a lot of hours. So on the day itself, when I got home at 6:30p Rich asked who I was, because his wife is usually at work until 9p. (An exaggeration, yes, but not terribly far from the truth.)

He mentioned he had wanted to make a special dinner, but wasn't sure when I would come home so he hadn't picked up the ingredients. Right then and there I promised that on Friday I would leave work no later than 5:30p and from then on referred to the dinner he was going to make as his "mystery meal."

Man, this guy does not disappoint! I arrived home to him chopping, slicing and dicing in the kitchen. And everything was a surprise. I had no idea what we were having. I asked prodding questions that led nowhere.

Until... our Appetizer:
{fresh coconut}
The coconut was a huge clue - we were revisiting our honeymoon!! (I told you Rich is good!) He made our favorite Tahitian entree, Poisson Cru!

Poisson cru is similar to cevice in that it consists of raw fish, quickly marinated in lime juice to "cook" the fish. Coconut milk is added, along with diced and seeded cucumber, tomatoes, chopped scallions, salt and pepper. Interested in the recipe? Check out this link.
{Rich taking a picture of our meal for his Project 365}
The dish itself was terrific. It was a first attempt and I must hand it to Rich, it was a fantastic replica of our initial poisson cru experiences!
{that's me in the background, chowing down}
To go with our French Polynesian meal, we also opened one of the bottles of rum we bought during our visit. {I guess we'd been saving the rum for a special occasion too, because this was the first time we'd opened a bottle.}
{ice, liquer banane, oj}
What a fun way to celebrate love and bring the tropics to us. Great work, babe!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Yesterday my mom tried to check this blog while at work and the site came back as prohibited. The reason? Content in this website is "suspicious."

I think my mom put it best when she said, "I wonder what did it...the bundt cake, the ice cream recipes, boy it is tough to know!!!!"

Good thing I don't usually update my blog at work!
{Apparently this only applies to my site; other blogspot locations are unaffected...}
Edited to add: I'm unblocked now!! That sure was short-lived - yea!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This weekend, briefly

Our agenda this weekend was solely that we had no agenda and we welcomed these plans whole-heartedly.

::Enjoyed early mornings of leisure.
{Mrs. C + Sunrise}
::Caught up on 24.
::I spent time with my mom - erranding.
{5-8 Lucy}
::Caught up on Grey's
[I am finally up to date after being more than several episodes behind. For whatever reason, I feel like capturing my opinions on the current couplings (yes. they cheat. a lot. I do not support that, but... this is TV and they are fake relationships.)
Izzie + Karev = Yuck. Love Izzie... dislike Karev. And for the record, I do not think he is a good man. BUT if they are not together, I want that to be Izzie's choice and no one elses.
Sloan + Little Grey = Like. Mark's throwing a bit of a double-standard right now, don't you think? Get back together!
Cristina + Owen = Eh. When they start kissing do you think they get hurt? They sure are forceful.
Arizona + Callie = Fine by me. Not too much to say about this one, other than: times have changed. A few years ago it would have been a HUGE deal to have two women kissing or taking showers together on Primetime. Now... well... I haven't heard anyone talking about it.
Derek + Meredith = love them! Still do. So glad they are married and the back and forth ceased.]

{craft component}