It's obvious by now that I love food, right?

Posted on | Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | 2 Comments

Because, you know, I do.

Most specifically I love Good Food. This isn't to be confused with oil-drenched fries and cafeteria food. Good Food is when you bite into something and are so dumbfounded by the deliciousness unfolding in your mouth that there are no words that compare. I've lived in Oklahoma for three years and I still have a hard time finding Good Food, it's like finding a unicorn. A very expensive unicorn. Most of the menus I see for restaurants involve drowning food in butter and cheese, or over seasoning which means all you end up tasting is the powdered onion and paprika. Not all restaurants are like this of course (we do have chain restaurants like Cheddar's and Olive Garden), but they tend to be generic and lack that local feeling which makes Good Food good.

I'm weird, I know.

My friend Katy said she "knew a place" and we decided to have a semi-impromptu lunch date. After work we drove a few miles to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant called The Mediterranean Grill. It was the best thing ever. EVER. On the outside it looks like nothing. Absolutely boring. And then you try the food and it's like Ode to Joy suddenly begins to play in your mouth. Katy kept giggling at me because every couple of bites I would exclaim, "Oh my God! Oh God! This is incredible!" I was in HEAVEN.

There is definitely enough food for two people to share if you get an appetizer and one plate of food. We ordered falafel with tabouli for an appetizer and a beef shish kabob with grilled vegetables and dill rice (although you can also order saffron rice).

While we were waiting they brought us fresh warm pita bread with a side of tzadziki (the dish to the left) that I could have eaten all day. It was so delicious. The dish to the right is hummus, which was also wonderfully scrumptious. But the tzadziki was... it was perfect, I wanted to eat it out of the bowl. I am learning how to make tzadziki, it is going into the queue of recipes I must master along side sopapillas and boeuf bourguignon.

See that? Toe-curling delectability.

Save the Ta-Ta's!

Posted on | Monday, September 27, 2010 | No Comments

I feel horrible, I had no idea that the local Race For The Cure was in two weeks. Dropping the ball much?

October 9th is the Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure run here in the Oklahoma City metro area. I might be late registering, but I'll be doing the 5k untimed with a group of friends (and Kael!) as we walk to help beat breast cancer, raise money, and raise awareness. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, and I have lost family and friends alike to cancer in its various forms. Raising awareness and helping those who are fighting this disease is something that hits home for me. From the website -

For more than 25 years, Komen for the Cure has played a critical role in every major advance in the fight against breast cancer – transforming how the world talks about and treats this disease, and helping to turn millions of breast cancer patients into breast cancer survivors.

Over the next 25 years, an estimated 25 million women around the world will be diagnosed with breast cancer if we don't find a cure. Komen will not stop until we discover and deliver the cures. That’s our promise.

Next week starts Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wear pink (or lightish red). Donate; be it time, money, or simply sharing your experiences. For the longest time cancer was something we didn't talk about. There was little that could be done, but slowly research and foundations such as Komen are working to change that. It's baby steps, but maybe within my lifetime they'll be a cure for cancer.

My goal is to raise $125 for the walk. Two weeks isn't much time but I think I can do it. Here is a link to my donation page, if anyone is interested.

Polenta and the Baby Shower

Posted on | Sunday, September 26, 2010 | 2 Comments

When I lived in Hungary I was introduced to polenta (there it's called puliszka). If pasta is the staple dish of southern Italy, polenta is the staple of northern Italy; it's popular all across Europe. One of my school friends was half Italian and I would go to her house every Saturday and make dishes along side her family with this versatile ingredient. It's a tradition I miss.

Some people around here have said polenta is just "fancy grits" but that's not even touching the surface. Polenta can be used to make breads, parfaits, chilled and fried, turned into a pseudo-casserole, puddings, sweet and savory dishes... I'm making myself hungry writing this.

I hadn't been able to stop thinking about polenta for the past week. I had to have it. It took going to over six different stores to find it but at last I was victorious! Well, kind of. Bob's Red Mill polenta/corn grits isn't exactly what I was going for, but after spending 2+ driving all across town I wasn't about to snub my nose. If this was the closest I could get, I'd take it.

Making polenta is easy enough. I normally follow a 4:1 ratio, four cups of water per cup of polenta. Trust me, this will make PLENTY, I only used half a cup of of polenta and still had leftovers for dinner. Bring the water to a boil and add the polenta, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Keep an eye on it, polenta comes together quickly. You'll have to add some liquid since it'll start to get too thick or dry out. I used cream since I wanted it to be sweet rather than savory, but you can use water or broth depending on the dish. After about 20 minutes you have a blank canvas! I added brown sugar, dried blueberries, pecans, and cream to mine. Kael had brown sugar and blueberries in his. Delicious and incredibly filling.

After our breakfast we went to a baby shower.


Posted on | Thursday, September 23, 2010 | 1 Comment

Alright, I have spent the past few days angry and whining and made of fail. You know what that means..


1. Autumn. I love it. It's slowly creeping in, and it's so wonderful. The days are getting noticeably cooler and I've noticed leaves beginning to change. I can't wait for the array of red gold and bronze. This morning driving to work the clouds were incredible. The sun caught them and it turned into a million colors streaking across the sky. It seems these sunrises only happen during autumn and I cherish them all the more because of it. The weather is perfect for going outside and now that Kael is feeling better(ish) we may finally have an opportunity to enjoy a day that is not sweltering beyond reason.

2. Food. I have been making delicious meals for the first time in a long while. I don't know what tipped me back into this urge to cook - fall, perhaps? I am happy to be back in the mindset of creating my own food again, I'd become so engrossed with boxed and frozen food I'd almost forgotten how rewarding it is to make things with my own two hands. The only thing that could make this better is if I had people to share this goodness with. Then I remind myself that soon enough we'll be a family of three and in the next few months I'll have plenty of events to cook for - Kael's fourth birthday, Thanksgiving, and New Years come to mind.

3. Christmas. It is official - we are going to Las Vegas for Christmas break! Me, Alex, Kael, my parents, and my Uncle and his children will be visiting with my Grandparents to celebrate their 50th anniversary. We will only be spending a day and a half in Las Vegas itself, but I am so incredibly excited. Neither I nor Kael has seen my Grandparents in three years and this will be the first time they meet Alex. What a wonderful way to spend the season!

4. Clutter. I'm getting rid of it and it feels great. Kael's school is having this huge Yard Sale to raise money for the school and I'm taking that as an opportunity to get rid of things around the house that are no longer needed, or never have been needed. I've gon through Kael's and my closets and donated our clothes to Goodwill and gave half of his unneeded clothing to his daycare. My mind feels so much calmer now that my house isn't swarming with stuff, clutter always makes me antsy and it's relaxing to be rid of it.

5. Coffee. I finally caved in and bought a coffee press. I've been using a stove top peculator since I moved into my own apartment, and now coffee from a regular carafe seems watered down to me. Sadly my peculator was on its last leg three months ago and I had been enduring metallic tasting coffee with a grimace. Now? I remember why I love coffee so much. It's the small things.

6. Kael. Even when this kid drives me nuts, he is the cutest, most loving and happy guy ever. I catch myself sometimes watching him, because I'm seeing the Man He Will Be. Little things he does, a strong stance with hands on his hips as he stares out the window. He serious expression as he helps to stir in the ingredients for dinner. He is growing, that soft center of infancy is hardening into the person he will be and it's incredible.

7. Alex. This is a big one. I don't think I spend enough time really understanding how lucky I am that serendipitous happenstances caused us to meet. He's made me laugh when I'm sad, called me when I am spitting fire and profanity, and reads me to sleep every night because it means I won't have another nightmare. He laughs at my childishness and joins me when I am being silly, yet we can sit for hours and talk about anything and everything. I love car rides with him because we never have to turn on the radio. I take for granted how great we have it, even with the ridiculous distance.

8. My life in general. I am so blessed. My life is amazing and rich and I couldn't be happier. ...Okay, I could be. If I magically was transported to Alabama with two big bags of cash and my besties moved in down the street I would probably explode with joy. But that would be messy.

Lucy and the Pony

Posted on | Sunday, September 19, 2010 | 2 Comments

Yesterday evening when Kael and I got home I got a brilliant idea -- foam curlers! I grabbed a pack of them and twisted my hair up into twenty-four foam curlers. The next morning my head was a mess of curls that would have made Shirley Temple proud.

This isn't an everyday occurrence for me, but I have an explanation. Lucy Ricardo. Halloween is still a month away but I want to practice her iconic poodle 'do so that I'm not bamboozled by sub-par hair. Not to mention I'd rather not dye my hair bright red without there being a payoff.

Lucy Ricardo version 1.0 turned out something like this --

Five combs and about thirteen bobby pins later and I had a decent looking 1950's hairstyle! I like how it turned out, although there is still room for improvement. The curls didn't really come out how I wanted (my fault, but three cheers for learning experiences). It was a nice change to have happy bounce curls all day long, even after I took my hair down. A girl could get used to this!


Posted on | Saturday, September 18, 2010 | No Comments

Although my birthday was on Thursday my family and I celebrated today by going to Ted's Cafe Escondido. If you've never visited or lived in Oklahoma you probably have never heard of this place. It's one of those things that you have to live here to experience.

There's an interesting phenomenon with Ted's. It horribly popular even though there is nothing truly extraordinary about the restaurant. It's casual dining, you will look out of place in anything fancier than a nice shirt and jeans. Although I have to admit the tortillas and salsa would be a daily staple in my diet if I could get away with it. Some people say the restaurant is mostly hype, although regular patrons will disagree with this mentality. I can only assume such anti-patrons came expecting high cuisine, or traditional South-American dishes.

I'm not one of those people. I like my fajitas and margaritas. Blame it on my being a quarter Mexican.

Birthday baking!

Posted on | Thursday, September 16, 2010 | 2 Comments

I love to cook and bake. When I find a new recipe online I bookmark it, or I tear it out of the magazine I am reading and stash it in my file that is stock piled with breakfasts, appetizers, soups, and dinners.

There are two problems though. One, I lack most of the necessary tools needed to cook anything (with the exception of three Pyrex pans, some hand-me-down pots and skillets, and a Chefmate 51 piece Kitchen Gadget Set) And two, I lack a dishwasher. I absolutely loathe washing cumbersome pots and pans by hand. My sink is small and I tend to have the entire counter and floor covered in suds and water by the time I finish cleaning the various odds and ends needed to make a home cooked meal.

But I still do it anyway. What can I say; I'm a glutton for punishment. And delicious food.

Today, being my birthday, I wanted to bake a cake. However, all the recipes I found required things I don't have, such as a mixer (shush, I don't bake often). And I'm not crafty enough to think I could mix things with a large fork or a wooden spoon without it coming out as a clumpy, gross, not-delicious mess. I needed something easier. Then it came to me. Lemon bars! Win!


Posted on | Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | No Comments

It's so weird working at a college. All of my time is split into half-semesters, semesters, vacations... It makes time fly by. This is a good thing, but also shocking when all of a sudden I realize that the year is nearly over, like I did this morning. My birthday is tomorrow and in a month and some change my son will be four years old. Then right on the heels of our birthdays is Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can hardly believe it!

I should probably address the usage of this blog. There are so many big life changes coming up and I want to document them. I have had a livejournal account (under various names) for seven years so I figure it is time to start something new. I will still post in my private journal, but that is more for personal stuff. Here I am hoping to share inspiration, photos, experiments in cooking, things that make me happy, and commentary on the various happenings of life.

Here's to the new!


Photobucket I was born and raised in California. I have also lived in Hungary, Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, and I will be moving again this summer. Kael is my incredibly awesome kiddo who is growing up far too quickly, and Alex is my fiance who makes me happier than should be legally allowed. I write about them a lot. I'm mildly obsessed with cooking and photography. I write about those things, too.