Sunday, December 30, 2012

Yeah... Just saying

Hungry For Change

I happened on a new food documentary today called "Hungry For Change"... I was watching it while soaking in the tub... a new favorite pastime of mine.

I found it amazing. As I do with most of these food documentaries that I have watched.  I was so pumped up after watching it that a) I ran, (not walked) ... err, I actually drove) to my nearest Organic Food joint and got a superfood smoothie b) couldn't wait to tell you all 3 readers about it!

Before doing that though, I read the reviews from various Netflix subscribers and just had to shake my head.  So many non-believers that white sugar and processed foods are the devil... and that a upstanding company like Coca Cola and General Mills would never put anything in their products that are bad for us.

After 2 years not eating refined sugar and flours, barely being sick, not to mention losing a bunch of weight, I am a true believer in what these people are talking about.

I think what ultimately make my heart race while watching this documentary, is that its what I've been practicing for 2 years, the "diet" the visualizations and the self love.

Give it all a try!


You can also watch the whole film on youtube too!

Just saying...

me and george Clooney ... i mean my husband

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Morning 2012

As much as I long for Christmas mornings when I see the excitement in my children's eyes over the latest and greatest visits from Santa (I know, I know, 'when the time is right'), I really do enjoy the quite serenity of a grown up Christmas morning.

29 out of my 32 Christmas mornings have been filled with a mixture of a supercharged energy and well... chaos to get everything moving along to the next phase of the day. Either Church, or a 2 hour drive up to my extended family.

For the last few years, Christmas morning has been quite peaceful when I wake up to just my husband and the still blinking Christmas tree.

This Christmas morning, the husband got up and made some "weekend coffee" and got under his blanket, first grabbing his Yankees Christmas hat and I joined him on the couch snuggling until the coffee was ready.

He was the first one to say "Do you wanna see what Santa brought us?" and I jumped up with the anticipation of the 5 year old self.

I love to give first, so here is B.


DEWALT20-Volt Max (1.5Ah) Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver / Impact Driver 2-Tool Combo Kit

DSCN1345 DSCN1348

I'm telling you... 5 year old's excitement!


And after 8 years, I finally got a trunk cover for my CR-V!


Happy Christmas US!

Friday, December 28, 2012

My Pernil

Here is my "Roast Beast" after 2 days of marinating and 5 hours of cooking. This little piggy did NOT die in vain.


And if you listen closely... you can hear the crackling!

That's What Christmas is All About...

And all I really wanted for Christmas Eve, is to share a meal that I created with some loved ones!

I got my wish.  


From left to right... I made some brown rice and added some pimentos and diced green onions. The rice is in my Emile Henry Pasta Bowl that I got for my wedding.

Next was "Nuna's Beans".  It has been years and years since I've eaten Nuna's beans, ever since moving to California.  I was very excited to attempt them, and even more thrilled when they tasted just like I remember.  This will for sure be a new staple at Xmas Eve dinner! The beans were cooked in my Emile Henry Risotto Pot (which... I've never made risotto in, note to self) that my friend Shannon got me for my Bridal shower.

Next is a thrown together creamed spinach with some Panko bread crumbs and parm cheese served in a pyrex that I got for my shower as well. 

Back to the front... My pernil, roasted pork shoulder.  Marinated for 2 days with garlic, oregano and salt and pepper.  Slow roasted for 5 hours and fall off the bone tender! It is served in the newest addition to my kitchen collection, a Bennington Pottery Oval Baker.

My roasted cauliflower which too, was marinating for 2 days, was served in my Emile Henry Pie Dish (another gift for my wedding)

And the sour dough bread that the husband picked up at the market is laid out on my acacia serving plate from Crate and Barrel (YET ANOTHER WEDDING GIFT) along with the butter crock in the back from Le Crueset.

I love love love all of these pieces that I mentioned.  I get a very big thrill out of each piece in my kitchen and I love any opportunity to use them to entertain.

Candy Cane Kisses

Its been a while since I've posted!  God knows, I have a folder on my desktop with things that are "burning a hole on my laptop" to post... god help you all!

But this... just makes me happy.

Mom made me this planter probably 7 years ago.  I brought it indoors this year because we have what I like to call "gang squirrels" that terrorize the trees, the herbs and my patio.  Rather than risk them knocking my planter over, I brought it indoors.

Who knew that if you stuck a Christmas hat over his years and filled his little pot full of Candy Cane Hershey Kisses... it could bring me as much happiness as he did!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Festive Library

Festive Library by Petunia21
Festive Library, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

I snapped this cute display the other day before Christmas at a bunch of my library. I thought it was really cute. If you don't see that the books are wrapped with a string or two of Christmas lights... look harder!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Xmas Tree Mice

Xmas Tree Mice by Petunia21
Xmas Tree Mice, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

These are the ONLY holiday mice I will be glad to see this Christmas!

I found this cute little tree in the Goodwill Store. I wonder how it got here. I wonder if some nice lady named... Lorraine made it years ago for a friend or loved one, and now, someone donated it with their junk or clutter. I should have brought it home with me!

Lettuce Jumpstart

Lettuce Jumpstart by Petunia21
Lettuce Jumpstart, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

This was my first lunch back at work... trying desperately to get back on track. If not now, then the whole holiday season will be pretty terrible!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Dr. Who" um... I mean "Dr. No"

Our quest has begun to watch all 23 James Bond movies!

We checked Netflix Streaming, but no movies were available.  Then, we checked with our On Demand Cable system.  This was a good avenue since Skyfall is still in theaters, and I'm sure they figure that others like us would wanna catch up on old 007s too.  

"What IS the first James Bond movie?" I asked.  B had no idea either.  We looked it up... and thankfully, Time Warner On Demand had it.  "Dr. No"... which I kept referring to accidentally as "Dr. Who"... yeah, I'm that girl.

And wow... this movie was........ so low budget! (300k sterling pounds I learned tonight!) It was kind of amazing.  The "car chases" and yes, I had to use the "quotes" and the "gadgets".  It still kills me how James sleeps with both the good women and the bad ones.  This one took place is what looked like Cuba... which I got really excited about cause we had ordered Puerto Rican food, and I thought it was perfect. But I soon found out that it took place in Jamaica.  Now, I have never been to Jamaica (unless you are talking about Jamaica, Queens, cause that one I HAVE been too) But the tropical Isle of Jamaica, not so much.  So maybe I'm basing this ALL on stereotypes, but the movie had only a few black people in it, and NO ONE HAD A JAMAICAN ACCENT!

But it was still entertaining, nonetheless. And good old Sean Connery! So young! My earliest memory of Sean Connery in a film was playing King Richard in Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. And he was 61!  And here, he was 30 years younger (almost my entire lifetime! ... just saying)

It has also been decided that from now on and as long as it is applicable, we will have to eat the cuisine of the location that each movie takes place.

Next on the list is From Russia With Love. There IS a Russian place I've been meaning to check out!

Here is the Official James Bond Film list:

  1. Dr. No (1962-Sean Connery)
  2. From Russia With Love (1963-Sean Connery)
  3. Goldfinger (1964-Sean Connery)
  4. Thunderball (1965-Sean Connery)
  5. You Only Live Twice (1967-Sean Connery)
  6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969-George Lazenby)
  7. Diamonds Are Forever (1971-Sean Connery)
  8. Live and Let Die (1973-Roger Moore)
  9. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974-Roger Moore)
  10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977-Roger Moore)
  11. Moonraker (1979-Roger Moore)
  12. For Your Eyes Only (1981-Roger Moore)
  13. Octopussy (1983-Roger Moore)
  14. A View to a Kill (1985-Roger Moore)
  15. The Living Daylights (1987-Timothy Dalton)
  16. Licence to Kill (1989-Timothy Dalton)
  17. GoldenEye (1995-Pierce Brosnan)
  18. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997-Pierce Brosnan)
  19. The World is Not Enough (1999-Pierce Brosnan)
  20. Die Another Day (2002-Pierce Brosnan)
  21. Casino Royale (2006-Daniel Craig)
  22. Quantum of Solace (2008-Daniel Craig)
  23. Skyfall (November 2012-Daniel Craig)

Our Adventures in Bonding

The husband and I went to see Skyfall last weekend for our weekly date night.

A bond film, is usually a sure thing when it comes to big screen entertainment.  I enjoy romantic comedies and he's more of a thriller seeker... so a BOND movie can usually bring us together where no one is "doing the other one a favor" by accompanying the other.

And as always, a good time  was had by both.  We even were able to NOT order popcorn. Double score for me!

This year is the 50th Anniversary of the bond movie franchise (based on a series of books by Ian Fleming), and since B and I have only see a handful of the films ... ok, anything POST the late 1980s when I/he were old enough to watch.  My First Bond, was Timmy Dalton.  But soon after that, Pierce Bronson was the Bond I knew to be 007.  I was pretty shocked when Daniel Craig took the keys the Aston Martin.  I have found in the last 20 years of MY Bondage life, that each Bond seemed to have BOUND himself to the role.  Ok, enough with the puns. 

When we got we got in the car after watching Skyfall, I told B "hey, lets watch ALL the Bond movies!" I'm a type of person that likes to check things off a list.  And as B and I are usually looking for things to do together (and usually need the aid of a guidance system and a flashlight) I thought this would be a fun, inexpensive winter date night agenda.  Take out + Couch = woo hoo!

Here is the Official James Bond Film list:

  1. Dr. No (1962-Sean Connery)
  2. From Russia With Love (1963-Sean Connery)
  3. Goldfinger (1964-Sean Connery)
  4. Thunderball (1965-Sean Connery)
  5. You Only Live Twice (1967-Sean Connery)
  6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969-George Lazenby)
  7. Diamonds Are Forever (1971-Sean Connery)
  8. Live and Let Die (1973-Roger Moore)
  9. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974-Roger Moore)
  10. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977-Roger Moore)
  11. Moonraker (1979-Roger Moore)
  12. For Your Eyes Only (1981-Roger Moore)
  13. Octopussy (1983-Roger Moore)
  14. A View to a Kill (1985-Roger Moore)
  15. The Living Daylights (1987-Timothy Dalton)
  16. Licence to Kill (1989-Timothy Dalton)
  17. GoldenEye (1995-Pierce Brosnan)
  18. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997-Pierce Brosnan)
  19. The World is Not Enough (1999-Pierce Brosnan)
  20. Die Another Day (2002-Pierce Brosnan)
  21. Casino Royale (2006-Daniel Craig)
  22. Quantum of Solace (2008-Daniel Craig)
  23. Skyfall (November 2012-Daniel Craig)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Strawberry & Cottage Cheese Breakfast

This is by far, my most favorite-st breakfast to date. I also think that it looks lovely in this glass jar, but not everyone feels that way :)

From bottom to top:

Almond Meal
Strawberry Preserves
Cottage Cheese
Chia Seed

I'm pretty sure this would taste equally as fantastic with Raspberry preserves, cause I'm quite fond of raspberry and almond together.

The chia seeds make a really nice crunch too :)

Let the Layering begone!

Thus far, I still have not ventured into my cave of a storage until to swap out my "summer clothes" with my "winter clothes"

I have very few long sleeve shirts in my "summer clothes" wardrobe so my work attire has been a sequence of layering and re-layering clothes.  My Hooded Sweater Coat has been pretty much on my body since November started.

I've been checking almost religiously, daily, to see if/when my "multi tunic" would go on sale from THIS post.

Well Hallelujah! It finally happened.  The darn thing finally went on sale. Mom rarely bought anything without a sale or a coupon going on.  I chose the Wisteria Woods color... I know. Purple.  Its so hard for me to stay away from purple.  I had a boss who would comment on it.  I actually became self conscious of my purple picking while shopping.  But oh well, I don't work for her anymore!

And in the spirit of picking up some other sale items, I got some V neck thermals.  Something that I can dress up for work, and down for when I'm at home.  A nice in between outfit change since going from "Work Clothes" (9am-5pm) and Pjs (5:30 pm - 8am) was no longer acceptable in my house.



And an extra bonus when I bought these shirts, was that I got a free scarf!  I chose "winter white".

I'm pretty pleased.  Now if only my package would come already! I'm ready to shed some layers!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Coming Home to Corn Bread and Soup

I've been dying for corn bread, cause you know, its that time of the year!  So the first place I look for ANY baking recipe is My New Roots.  Sarah has been my salvation after giving up the white flour and sugar.  She had a recipe for Black Quinoa Corn Muffins which sounded right up my alley.  I mean, it wasn't exactly what I was going for, but I still have to remind myself that the old corn bread ways of life do not serve me now.

I headed over to Whole Foods for black quinoa (but couldn't find any) so I had to resort to my plain old white quinoa.  They did have RED... but it wasn't organic, so oh well.


They are not colorful as Sarah's looked, but I mean... check out that HEART! (That was a birthday gift a few years back from Cousin) There were 2 hearts full of corn bread, but um... that other heart... disappeared.

Sarah also said in her blog when she developed these babies, that she developed them to go hand in hand with her Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup.  She claims they were best friends, and we should let them play with each other!... Who was I to break up a friendship? So I made the soup.


A big reason that I made this soup was because I had a head(?) of celery root in the fridge... and I had never before eaten or cooked with celery root, so I was a perfect opportunity!  The cool think about this soup, is that because of the sweet potato, and the maple syrup, it kinda screamed FALL/THANKSGIVING yumminess.

I had made the muffins in the morning, and the soup in the afternoon. Come dinner time, I heated up the soup and popped a few of the muffins in the toaster oven... kind of amazing.  They crisped up on the top and the crunchiness was a great compliment to the rich heartiness of the soup.

Oh, you wanna know B's stance on the muffins?  He LOVED them.


And Sarah was right... best friends 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Cottage Cheese Part Deux

You asked for it! 


(Ok, actually, no one asked for it, but I remembered to take a photo of it this morning!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Perfect in a Pinch Halloweeny Cottage Cheesy Breakfast!

This time of year, I stick pumpkin in almost everything! It's festive, fun and full of fiber!

Fresh Pumpkin Puree - Homemade

Today, I decided to try it in some cottage cheese.

My 1/2 pint mason jar looked as follows:

1/2 cup of lowfat organic cottage cheese
5 shakes of my cinnamon jar
1 pinch of ground ginger
2 "pumpkin cubes" of pureed pumpkin (I froze 2 ice trays full of pumpkin puree)
1 squirt of agave nectar

I brought this to work with me, but I have to be sat on my desk until I became so hungry, that I HAD to eat it.  I mean, cottage cheese ... pumpkin???

Well, my instincts were RIGHT ON!  This stuff tasted GREAT!

I can't believe it took me this long to try this.

Getting back to basics, I truly am enjoying how having a few staples in the fridge, freezer and pantry can produce such a plethora of bountifulness!


Kind of Ironic

Kind of Ironic by Petunia21
Kind of Ironic, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

I am Halloween Ready!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! by Petunia21
Happy Halloween!, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

May our true princesses shine today!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Crumbs

Halloween Crumbs by Petunia21
Halloween Crumbs, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

I don't eat these puppies, but I love getting them from Vendors! Look how AWESOME they are decorated!

Chillin... get it?

Chillin... get it? by Petunia21
Chillin... get it?, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

With 80 degree late October days... I did NOT wanna take the chance of these guys not making it til Wed!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweet Ideas

When I saw this email from William Sonoma in my inbox, I was transfixed on the colors and on the corks of these cute bottles... These might be plastic, but I thought, I'd love my SPA Bathroom to be adorned with little containers like this, filled with colorful and sweet smelling salts and scrubs and soaps all around the spacious haven! 

Fashion and function? Yes PLEASE!

Got Beans?

I was told that the law of the vacuum is "if you make space for something, it has to be filled". I was also told "get rid of things that no longer serve you, to make room for things that do"... On Sunday, I weeded through about 15 cook books that I have collected over the years. Since my diet is pretty restrictive now (for mainstream standards) I found maybe 1 or 2 recipes per cook book to keep.

I busted out my scanner, and grabbed the few relevant future meals, and set aside most of the cook books to be donated or sold in an upcoming yard sale.

When I got home on Tuesday night... there was a huge container/box on the counter (the mail collection box).  For the life of me, I couldn't remember what I ordered THIS time, but as I tore it open, my Bean By Bean cookbook (talked about in THIS post) was staring at me in the the face!

I gasped! Why? Cause the Universe will provide. You don't have to know how, or when or why... I am learning just to trust and enjoy.

And just like I KNEW it would... the above picture is EXACTLY how I envisioned my new addition to the family... right next to my herbs and spices cookbook and right next to the Flavor Bible.

My cookbook staples are really exciting me! I wanna run home and cook some more!

Thank you my fairy kitchen Mother J... you're simply the best!

Pinky update... I know, you were dying to know!

Man, I'm was glad to see that when I took my boots off yesterday, yeah, I still work semi-heals to work... it was a shoot day... that my toe's swelling went down a bit. I think my toe looks a little straighter too!  I'm happy to be able to bend all 5 toes (not tight, but something).

My friend's mom (who is a nurse) took a look at yesterday's post and said it looked like my toe was broken and that I should wrap it with the next toe in command.  Since I was at work, I did this with some handy dandy scotch tape.

 When I got home, I showed it to the Husband and then put some some more medicinal tape.  It kinda has the shape of the Penguin's hand in 2nd Batman with Danny DaVito.  That shape of his claw? Pincher? Really seems to have stood out in my mind.

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

I kept going back to the VS website to see... if my new coat went on sale so that I could get a price adjustment. I think you have between 1-3 months for this. But soon after buying the coat, it had disappeared from their website... ENTIRELY. I could not search it out with words. I couldn't even look it up from its Item number! This morning, I decided to do a Google search on it, cause i mean, really... does stuff just disappear? Well... I guess I was not the only one that just took 4 minutes to buy the coat.

Victoria s Secret coat

Victoria s Secret coat (see more sweater coats)

Victoria's Secret Hooded Sweater Coat

In a sleek, extra-long silhouette, this sweater coat is stitched with marled yarn for a textured look. A flattering tie waist and hood ensure this knit gets maximum style mileage, season after season. Hooded. Ties at waist. Front pockets. Machine wash. Tumble dry. Imported acrylic/wool.

Monday, October 15, 2012

...And THIS little Piggie scream WHAHHHHHHH

What do you get when you add 1 fresh, little clean super soft heat treated post shower foot PLUS the edge of 1 door with a trajectory and force of an Irish step dancer...

A broken toe? Perhaps! Swollen? For SURE. Painful? Dreadfully! Bla. I hope my toe isn't permanantly messed up looking. From this angle, it looks like it was dislocated.

and yes... I need a pedicure. Just saying

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Elegant Elephants

These elephants know how to rock out some amazing colors!  These bright pinks and purples are what I would beg my mom to let me paint my room in my tender teen years... I'm glad she said no.

But I'm pretty sure that these elephants could do wonders with this dress from NY & Company.

I'm trying to steer clear of even MORE purple to my wardrobe, cause its a bit ridiculous, but I think those Elephants would be ready for a night on the town!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Complimentary Coffee"

downsized_1004021205.jpg by Petunia21
downsized_1004021205.jpg, a photo by Petunia21 on Flickr.

I find this sign in the lobby of our building quite... tacky! You either offer coffee, or you do not. What are we? Trying to use a coupon at Michael's or something?

God, if you must put something, put a donation canister or something...

just saying.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Beans Beans Are Good for Your Heart...

This past weekend, when I was at my WS braising demonstration, the lady cooked with these sort of Heirloom beans that are grown up in Nor Cal.  They were so plump and delicious.  After we sampled them, she directed her arm to the corner where there was THIS book on a shelf.

I've been getting to know these little legume more and more as I try to steer away from a diet rich in animal protein.  Not to mention, the dried beans look amazing in my glass mason jars.

I've been making (soaking, cooking, and then adding) a lot of lentils and chick peas for the last few weeks. Last night, I even successfully made chick peas where they were NOT al dente tasting... I started to wonder if al dente was the way beans that do not come out of a can taste like!   But if turns out... if you soak for 10-12 hours in COLD water, it works much better than if you let them soak in boiling hot water! (I don't know where I just came up with that instruction!)... but, I digress.

I was thinking that this beautiful book would go beautifully with my other two STAPLE books on my cabinets:

Are you listening Santa?

Just saying...

My Wearable Pumpkin Spice Lattes

As I flip through the pages of the catalogs that arrive daily, I can't help stopping on uber cozy thick sweaters. 

As I type this, I'm freezing my bum off at work, 77 degrees outside and about 31 degrees inside. I am literally wearing a long sleeve cardigan and sitting under my electric blanket, which is engaged.

Much to my own surprise, after see this Hooded Sweater Coat sold by Victoria Secret for only a few seconds, had found myself clicking "Click to confirm purchase" on their website.  Normally, I would ponder and assess and debate my purchases.  This one took 3 minutes.

I think it had me at "hood."  It has arrived, and I love it.

This morning, while watching some TV and again, flipping through the latest catalog (VS catalogs seem to come 2 times a week) I found this and immediately thought "I WANT THAT TOOOOO!" Its called a Multi-way Tunic Sweater

Again, I think what first drew me to this was the hood.  And then the color(s).

While this piece has not been added to any shopping cart (just yet),

I love how it is a multi-tasker...

  • You can wear with this hood

  • You can wear it with the cowl neck  

***Have you checked out the POCKETS!*** 

  • You can off just 1 shoulder

  • You can wear it without the cowl neck  

I also love these two colors.  Wisteria Woods & Plum Tart.  Other colors available are Heather Grey, Feather Grey Heather and Black.

I think I've been craving clothing that feel like they are... hugging me back!  Welcome to Fall!