Friday, February 21, 2014

Gordon Ramsey's How to Chop an Onion

My nemesis: The Onion.  

If you are going to cut yourself with a newly sharpened knife, it will most likely be when dicing an onion.  They are slippery, evil creatures of the night who laugh at you as you cry helplessly while trying in vain to dice even tasty morsels of oniony goodness.

Cry no more, my fellow chefs!  Presenting, Gordon Ramsey's How to Chop an Onion:

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Small Pet Select Hay

I clearly have a love of all things food.  Well, I have met my match!  Apparently, guinea pigs will do anything for most things leafy green (or carrots, carrots are god).  They will wheek as loud as can be, they will look pleadingly at you like they are starved, even if they *just* finished their last bite of tasty fresh cilantro as they are pleading.  If their hay holder runs out of hay before you awaken, expect to hear cries of desperation from my beloved furbabies. 

Meet Oreo and Reeses

These two guinea pigs, also called cavies, are boys, also called boars, who are only 1 year old.  They grew up in the same litter, and are now pair bonded, but are still brothers.  In other words, they drive each other insane at times.  I should clarify- Reeses, Mr. Special Snowflake, loves to wheek, climb on, talk incessantly to and in general just irritate the dickens out of dear, quiet Oreo.  They are quite the pair to watch, and each interaction is funnier than the last.

Piggies love food.

Hence, this is their "kitchen":

The hay rack you see is filled at least once a day.  I run through 8 lbs of hay every 30 days or so.  I used to run through a LOT less hay, until I read about this awesome company who ships boxes of fresh, moist hay for our beloved furbabies.

Whenever I open the box of Small Pet Select hay, the wheeks of joy are heard apartment-wide. It is a joyous sound that fills my heart with warm fuzzies.

If you would like your piggy to look at you like this in the morning, then go order a Small Pet Select hay box for your furbaby immediately! (They deliver quite fast too!  Use coupon code GUINEAPIG for FREE SHIPPING & A FREE STICKER! )

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Check Out My New Etsy Shop!

I have opened a new Etsy shop!  My photography images will be available for sale as prints of all sizes as well as screen prints on items such as cards, mugs, key chains, puzzles, reusable totes and more!  Check out SunshineStudioPDX and see what all the hubbub is about!
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze and Cross-Country Move

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze
(Recipe to follow my long story about my cross-country trip)

Sorry all, for the lack of blog posting lately.  Dear hubby and I decided we had enough of the great Northeast and 'twas time to move to the Pacific Northwest!  So into the car went the Fam, yes including two very confused and slightly grumpy guinea pigs.  After a two week sojourn across the amazing US through the South and up the West Coast, we arrived at our new home in Portland, Oregon.

For those of you who feel an inability to be yourself where you currently reside, I highly suggest taking a trip to Portland.  You might never return home again.  Along with the beer and coffee brewing obsession, you can't fly your freak flag high enough here.  NYC has nothing on Portland's weird.  I mean weird in a good way of course.  In Portland, even the H addicts are polite to one another.  All I can say is, I am now home.  Even Oreo and Reeses are finding happiness in their new home.

Coffee in Portland is the BEST I've ever had.  Even the crap coffee in Portland is better than the best Starbucks.  I'm giving a shout-out to my fav coffee spot just a few blocks walk from my spiffy new apartment:

At Barista, coffee is anywhere from a mocha cappuccino with the most amazing Valrhona chocolate, to  their syphon coffee which amounts to a science experiment with pretty LED lights and everything!

Some awesome places I've discovered while walking nowhere specific in the Pearl District in Portland:

Comic book shops with awesomely classic books like 70's Dr. Who books: 

This one speaks for itself:

Sur La Table is only a short walk away from home!  (Me making my own chicken crepes)

Bonnet- a wonderful haberdasher who makes their own hats and also sells local artists' goods on consignment:

The food cart scene here is phenomenal.  Now all the food that I've had here has been amazing, but hands down, the best food in Portland is found at these carts. With meals at $5 a pop, you can't go wrong.

Rogue- good times!

Stumptown Coffee- my second favorite coffee spot in Portland.

Hubby and I on our second visit to Portland at my all-time fav ice cream joint:  Salt & Straw (a MUST when in the area)

The trip getting here was both wonderful and extremely stressful for all of us, but it was worth it.  We stopped and hung with some good friends along the way, and had some of the most intense fights and beautiful moments ever.

I got to see California from stem to stern, starting with LA:

Wouldn't be LA without a shootout in the street

 then up the PCH:

with some amazing views along the way:

Mugu Rock, California

and the obligatory stop at Whole Foods:

then through San Francisco:

Bay Bridge

Fisherman's Wharf

The most AMAZING sundae at Ghirardelli Square

Hubby got me a ginormous heart pillow there (such a romantic!!)

Haight-Ashbury- the start of the 60's movement began here.

Nick's Lighthouse at the Fisherman's Wharf 
Z&Y Restaurant in Chinatown, San Francisco

then a detour to Yosemite:

Sunset at Yosemite National Park

Turnout at Yosemite

We stayed in a cabin in Yosemite for two nights.  We cooked tacos and sat by the fire with a good movie.  The guinea pigs sang like a bird!!!  That's a rarity for them!  It was so beautiful to listen to.

Another amazing vista in Yosemite National Park

El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

Half Dome and El Capitan, Yosemite National Park

Bridalveil Falls, Yosemite National Park

Amazing wildlife in Yosemite National Park

Then straight through to Portland.  What a great ride!!

When we arrived, the first thing we did in our layover spot (we moved to our new apartment a week later when our furniture arrived,) was COOK of course!  And.... what you all have been waiting (extremely) patiently for...

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze

Serving Size: 4 


- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 
- 2 tablespoons shiro miso paste (sweet white miso paste) 
- 2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese rice wine) 
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari 
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger 
- A few drops hot pepper sauce 
- 1 1/4 lbs. center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 porti 
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions 
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley  - 4 slices blood orange

1. Position oven rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Line a small baking pan with foil. Lightly oil foil or coat it with nonstick spray.

2. In a small dry skillet, toast sesame seeds over low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside in a small bowl.

3. In another small bowl, whisk miso, mirin, soy sauce (or tamari), ginger and hot pepper sauce until smooth.

4. Place salmon fillets, skin-side down, in prepared pan. Brush generously with miso mixture. Broil salmon, 3 to 4 inches from the heat source, until opaque in the center, 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Transfer salmon to warmed plates and garnish with reserved sesame seeds, chopped scallions and cilantro (or parsley).

6. Shopping Tip: Miso paste, mirin and tamari are available in health-food stores and Asian markets.

7. Nutrition Tip: Other good fish sources of omega-3s are albacore tuna, mackerel, sardines, lake trout and cod.

8. Nutritional Information: 250 calories 11 total fat (2 g sat) 84 mg cholesterol 3 g carbohydrate 32 g protein 0 g fiber 460 mg sodium

'Til next time!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Weight Loss While Eating Yummy

You may have noticed some additions on my sidebar and bottom bars today.  I have added a weight loss ticker to the bottom of my page and also a weight loss updater on the right side (to keep me honest this holiday season.)  So I've officially lost 40 lbs in one year.  Not bad considering all the stress this year!  I lost the weight eating all the yummy foods listed on this blog- but in moderation.  Portion control seems to be key for my weight loss this year.

For those of you who have read my post about the Bodybugg weight loss management system, I have changed my opinion.  The Bodybugg device is devine.  However, I HATE their software.  The food database has nothing useful in it, the phone app does not sync well, and the software does NOT work well on the Mac at all!  SO frustrating when you are trying to keep yourself motivated to log everything you eat everyday, which is hard enough.

So hubby got the Bodymedia Fit Link which allows you to sync with MyFitnessPal.  Now MyFitnessPal has THE BEST food database EVAR.  I have not yet seen such an inclusive database.  I found the rarest items in their database, such as Costco's weirdly named mini frozen eggrolls and these chocolate covered pomegranate chews that I bought (zomg so nommy).  This makes uploading food intake so simple it's almost sad if you find yourself not uploading daily.  Also, MyFitnessPal will reward you when you do well, and give gentle reminders and suggestions when you are off track.

The fact that the BodyMedia Fit armband syncs with MyFitnessPal makes this so much more worth the money.  Also, the BodyMediaFit tracks your sleep patterns, which is useful for me because I sleep terribly.

So up onto Ebay goes my Bodybugg.  You can "buy it now" for $50 or start your bids at $40.  Now that you have all the info, go put the BodyMedia Fit on your wishlist!

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Best Pumpkin Spice Muffins

In honor of Obama's win, here is the best Pumpkin Spice Muffins EVAR!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Makes 24 muffins
237 calories each

1 Tablespoon Olivio
4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
4.5 cups pumpkin puree (approx 2.75-15oz cans if using)
2/3 cup oil
2/3 cup apple sauce
6 large eggs
6 teaspoons + 3 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice*
1.5 cup sugar
1.5 cup Splenda + 3 Tablespoon Splenda
1.5 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1.5 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional garnish)
*equal parts ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove

  1. Put oven in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. 
  2. Wipe a thin layer of Olivio all over muffin tray cups.
  3. Whisk together pumpkin, oil, applesauce, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, 1.5 cups sugar, 1.5 cups Splenda, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla bean paste and salt in a large bowl until smooth, then whisk in flour mixture until just combined. (Don't overmix!)
  4. Gently stir in raisins. 
  5. Stir together remaining 3 tsp pumpkin-pie spice and remaining 3 tablespoon Splenda in another bowl.
  6. Divide batter among muffin cups,filling to the top of cups, and then sprinkle tops with  a pinch or two of pumpkin spice-sugar mixture and an optional pinch of chopped walnuts per muffin top. 
  7. Bake until puffed and golden brown and wooden pick or skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
Bake muffins, heat pot of tea, savor with a good book and then sleep well world, for we can rest easy for 4 more years.

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OBAMA 2012!!

Thank you Americans for saving us from a religious NUTBAG!  Obama 2012!!!  

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