Monthly Archives: December 2010

Restaurant Eats & Travel Deets!

Hey hey heyyyy! TGIAF!

In addition to working (but only a minimal 2-day schedule this week) I have been taking full advantage of being home, and hanging out with my sisters and friends! (and taking full advantage of my fully stocked kitchen! ;)… and lots and lots of sweets)

It has been great being home for a few days over this break – my little sis and big sis are BOTH IN TOWN.. my older sister leaves tomorrow though, (she is biking from San Diego to Santa Barbara!) so we have had to make the MOST of our time together!

We have been doing lots of fun things :), in addition to lots of fun meals out (and in!), and lots of fun cooking and baking experiments!

Sunday night, we took a family mini-vacation to a nearby falls, then to dinner and spent the night in a small town near the base of a ski mountain, where we had a full day skiing Monday. It had been years since I have skiied, so I was a little worried, but it ended up being really fun — and I did well, too!

Snoqualmie Falls

It was coooooooooooold up there! We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant that night (shrimp fajita salad - yum) and saw Little Fockers. It was okay, nothing special. My Dad said he read a review that was saying you just keep waiting for a good laugh... and it doesn't come. Pretty much sums it up.Monday we skied!Snowed almost the entire day - but the conditions were great and we had fun!

Lunch on the mountain of greek salad... in addition to the communal french fries. Why do french fries taste SOOOOOOOOO good when you are cold and tired from skiing?! 🙂

 

In the lodge, at lunch

On a run

 

 

We were wiped after skiing a long day. Had dinner that night at Applebee’s and I had came home, crashed and worked all day Tuesday.

Tuesday,  after work & hot power yoga, I came home and we went out to a fun German pub the next town over,

Key lime margaritas and sharing a salty german pretzel with spicy mustard were necessary components of the evening 😉

Backing up a little bit, a few days before Christmas, we (the fam) went to a Jazz dinner concert to see David Lanz. This was so much fun – good food, good music, good drinks!

David Lanz concertMy sisters and I with David, after the show!

Amazing after dinner coffee drink w/ kahlua 🙂

Also amazing were these desserts: chocolate lava bundt cake and red velvet, shared table style!!

One too many of those 😉

Ferry ride home

 

 

 

All in all, an amazing night ❤

Well, I have a few more hours of work today, but may go to see another movie with my little sister tonight. My older sister left this morning, so it will be a little lonely :/

Also off to pick up my NEW UGGS after work! My mom Santa got them for me, but they were out of stock, so today is the day *fingers crossed*!!

 



UGGS!

 

Musing: MOVIES! I saw Black Swan yesterday again with both sisters, and two of our friends. However, I left and watched a little of How Do you Know during the movie.. I had already seen it and wasn’t really feeling in the ‘Black Swan’ mood yesterday. I tend to see a LOT of movies over winter breaks – more so than usual. But, when you have little nothing to do and lots of free time on your hands, and when it’s cold outside… why not?! I tend to love watching TV –food network?– too! So, so far this break, I have seen: Black Swan (x2), Fair Game, Little Fockers and a bit of How Do You Know. What movies have you seen? Do you watch more when you are on work / school breaks? How do you feel about leaving movies part-way through to ‘check out’ another one? <–This is something I don’t feel is ‘bad’ since I’m in the theatre for the same ~2 hours, and sometimes I just get bored in a movie and want to see what else is out there!

Best memories of this Christmas / holiday season / winter break? Favorite thing(S) you have done and ate with family and friend?!

Skiing and the David Lanz concert were both great… and bar crawl with my older sister.. veryyyy fun! Lots of great meals have been had by me, too: lots of baked goods, as I mentioned, plus sushi dinners, family dinners, my baking experiments… 😉

Christmas 2010.

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!!

 

I hope your day has been filled with the Christmas spirit,

Presents,

Friends and family,

Sisters ❤

Pox!

 

And of course….good food,

Bfast scones 😀

Mama Pea’s Come and Nog on our Door Scones!….

Appetizers: Goat brie, crackers, humus, veg, tofu dip, cheese, artichokes stuffed with baba ganoush!

The Traditional Spread.

 

Christmas Dessert

 

Wishing you and your family a very, Merry Christmas 2010!

Lots of love,

Jaclyn ❤

 

Sush and Sake

Two of my faves! Tonight included a lot of this with the fam…

Sush and Sake!!

..and it was great 😉

 

What are some of your faves??!

I (present) you Cookie Dough Balls and Vegan Soup!

Yesterday was my first full day home and I wasted no time in getting to work on some baking and cooking projects. I wanted to make Christmas treats for people in my life (supervisor, boss, yoga instructors, friends..) but not just any cookies, Mama Pea’s Dough Balls. After all the fuss in Blog land over the past few months, how could I not give ’em a try?!

I woke up early, braved the stores to collect my ingredz and got to work!

Peanut Buttery Chocolatey Dough Ball Success!

Success!

I made a double batch, which turned out to produce three whole sheets of dough balls! I think I made them  a little smaller than recommended, but it was a good mistake, because it ended up making more gifts, and I still have a tupperware of dough in the freezer for late-night snacking/dipping to make for round two of gifts next week!

This double batch made all these gifts, with extra still left to bake!

The goods!

I wrapped some up in glass jars, and some in small plastic containers, as you can see. They made great supplements to little care/gift packages I made up, which also included holiday cards and beauty products, like burt’s bees and aveda mini bottles/creams. I gave two of them out last night, to instructors at the yoga studio where I practice/volunteer and clean, and they were warmly recieved. It felt really nice to do something nice for those people in my life. Glad they liked them! Today, I gave another batch to some coworkers and my supervisor.

This baking (along with a cake my mom asked me to make her for her company holiday party today) took me a long time though, and was no easy task! I did enjoy it, but a lot of blood, sweat and tears hard work goes into baking! Gives me a new appreciation for some of you who do it so often/well! Me, I prefer cooking. Cooking is simple. Fun. Can’t be messed up, just throw it all in a pot…

...and make soup!

The weather was blah and rainy yesterday and I felt on it, after the baking, so I got out the big guns pot and got to work on some homemade soup. I made soup last month when I was home and loved it so much. I also had a really good vegan coconut milk ginger carrot soup from the Oregon farmer’s market a few months ago. I decided to recreate a fusion of the two recipes.

Enter…

Coconut Ginger Sweet Potato, Squash and Vegetable Soup

Vegan too!

Coconut Ginger Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup

  • med sweet potato
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • ~cup of carrots, chopped
  • ~cup of mushrooms – I used baby shitakes
  • 1 small zuchinni, chopped
  • 1/2 a med eggplant, chopped
  • 1×1 ” piece of fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 cups vegetable broth & water
  • ~cup of light coconut milk
  • seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, crushed red pepper flakes, Montreal steak seasoning, ground ginger and earth balance
  • optional: top with cheese or greek yogurt

Over medium-high heat, spray a large pan with OO spray and add a tsp of earth balance. Heat onion and garlic a few minutes. Slowly add vegetables, (I add the ones like sweet potato/carrot first, that take longer to cook). Add minced fresh ginger at this time. Cook to desired consistancy – I like my veggies cooked so ~10 min and drop down heat. Season with salt, pepper, (lots of) crushed red pepper flakes, a little steak seasoning (has paprika), garlic powder, (hefty shakes of) ground ginger and stir to combine. Add vegetable stock, and water if needed *mine was a little salty so I just added a little water*, add coconut milk to desired richness, you can add more if you want. Reduce heat to low and let simmer. Serve with your favorite (non-dairy) cheese and enjoy! 

Of course, even better with a little melted chez on top 😉

Rice or soy cheese would be even better though – if I had some on hand that’s what I would have used!

I only enjoyed a small bowl of this though. Caitlin has been posting her roasted veggie meals so much lately and it reminds me that I used to make them all the time but never do anymore *I don’t have access to an oven*, so I used the leftover veg to roast up and eat for lunch with some bbq sauce,

Roasted sweet taters, carrots, brussels, broc, and 'shrooms!

Ah, I love roasted veg.

 
 

With squash too! Before the bbq sauce!

 

The rest of the afternoon was spent at the movies. Before I went back across the water to take hot yoga and clean the studio, I went with my Dad and sisters to see this,

Fair Game.

Honestly, I hadn’t heard much about this movie, hadn’t even seen a preview, but Fair Game was amazing. It told the (true) story of a woman who worked for the CIA and was outed when her husband stood up to the US (hoaxed) claims that Niger was selling bomb-making materials to Iraq. The story was powerful, heart-wrenching and a unique glimpse into a part of our political world you don’t often see. I would definitely recommend seeing it!

 

I’m off to get back to work! Tonight I think I will take a power yoga class (and give away another goodie bag 🙂 ) and then enjoy a cocktail with my sister when I get home! 😀

 

Hope your Tuesday is off to a good start!

Remember to just keep swimming!

 

 

Have you made dough balls yet? Last culinary/baking attempt or success??

Are you “home for the holidays?” Any movies you have seen or want to see out right now? I have seen some TV movies lately while house sitting, saw Love and Other Drugs, Black Swan and now this one and I have to say, Fair Game wins!!

 

 

Now if only I had some one of these left…

Balls.

 

Home Sweet Home.

Tonight I am going home to the island, home to my parent’s house for Christmas. This means going home to see my sisters -one of which I haven’t seen in over a month, in Philly – home to my big, comfy bed, my full kitchen, getting to cook and bake, take walks with my mom, practice yoga at my old gym, see high school friends, hangout, decorate the Christmas tree, wrap presents, see my horse, and see my doggie and kitty…

Cindy.

Roxie Poxie.

I am excited.

 

What are you excited for? Where will you be for the holidays?

It’s a House Sitting, Sushi and Food Network kind of a Saturday ;)

Hey Hey Happy Saturday night! Doing anything fun? This whole “Winter Break” thing is catching on!!

 

Tonight I had the pleasure of going to one of my favorites, Sushiland with the girl I am watching this weekend! This wasn’t the typical Sushiland I go to, this one in her town was a little smaller but totally packed when we got there around 6:30 – quite a wait!! We had  a great sushi feast, what fun to hang out with a thirteen year old ;)!

 

She had never tried eel tempura roll, my favorite, now her fav too!

So much good sushi was had! ;D

 

Sushi Domination!!

Besides feasting on sushi, we have been doing much of this today: Food Network Lovin!!

Starting with some Matthew Mcconaughey lovin on Guy’s Big Bite..

Matthew and Guy. Made some yum looking drinks including margaritas!! And of course, some guy food lol, v. meat heavy!

Followed by more Guy..

Times... A bunch! This show never ends, lol!

**Insert Sushiland break here,** LOL!

Now, back on the couch, hanging out and watching Iron Chef.

Challenge pork fat - yuck!!

Yes, a tough life 😉

When is the last time you have watched Food Network?? Do you find it as addictive as me?

Best thing you ate and did today? Sushi for sure, for me! I  also finished my Christmas shopping almost completely – yes! Also made a Whole Foods errand coffee run this morning, always a must 😉 on a weekend, must have my coffee! Got my coffee and picked up one for the girl, and bfast for her and her brother, bagels and muffins!

Fully Stocked Kitchen!! …and more Christmas Shopping Done!

I am sitting on a big, comfy couch, watching Food Network on a huge screen TV right now, with a fully stocked kitchen, yummy gingerbread cookies and a gorgeous decorated tree around me.

Where am I?

Housesitting for the weekend. Actually, I guess technically I am babysitting but the kids are 13 and 16, so my “sitting” pretty much just constitutes driving the 13 year old girl to and from her dance performances. This afternoon, after dropping her off, I ran some errands and got a bunch more Christmas shopping done. It was crazy out there today. Traffic traffic traffic!!!!!! But glad I got some more done!

I left this morning when it was still dark out – where I am adds on to my commute..

Left not so bright but early! At least it was Friday!

 

And from work, I came straight back here, picked up the girl, dropped her off, went shopping, stopped by Whole Foods for a light dinner, but came home and was faced with this fully stocked kitchen,

Fully stocked! Trader Joe's products galore, mixed nuts, sweets, cookies, dried bloobs, veggies, tons of holiday baked goods, etc!!

Suffice it to say, I kind of failed with my whole “cutting back on sweets” thing…

But, I don’t know, shopping makes me hungry?? Yeah, the mom also is a huge baker/candy maker with a garage refrigerator full of sweets.. so I had to try a lil 😉 Gabriela said it best, light dinner makes good late-night snackin’!

Gingerbread Men.

Alrighty, gotta get back to my TV watchin and blog readin!! Have a great night everyone, Happy Friday!!

Watchin and Readin!

❤ Jac

Musing: Today at work, we had a holiday gift wrapping party to wrap presents we have been collecting over the last month, for a family affected by HIV/AIDS. It was really cool to see all the things that were donated, to be a part of being able to help them in some way.. toys, gift cards, towels and blankets.. so many things were donated. I kept thinking about how this family with eight kids would feel waking up on Christmas with so many toys to open. Obviously, their life is not going to be changed by a few more toys, but being able to provide them with grocery money, new warm clothes and things they may be really needing, it felt good to help in some small ways.