Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Today!

I'm off to the orthodontist. Good-bye braces!


Yup, it's even better than I thought it would be. Look at my naked teeth!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

5 Long Days

Today was my last Ortho visit before the braces come off. So naturally, they made it as annoying and inconvenient as possible.

My mouth is banded shut again - just like it was post-surgery. What this is supposed to accomplish in the next 5 days, I'm not sure. I think it's an inside practical joke. "Sure! What the hell!" I said. After all, when you've suffered through parts of your jaw being cut and re-attached to your skull, this is a walk in the park.

Also, my new computer arrived. The boy put it together last night, periodically asking me to check out how "awesome" the motherboard was and how "sexy" the RAM looked. Ummm.. Okay. I don't think he was pleased with my reactions.

All that's left is to load the operating system (and a million drivers and all the software). He suggested I take a stab at it... and I was game until he said, "If you hear a sharp, high-pitched noise when you turn it on, it's the fan so you might want to---." I cut him off.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Heart Broken

So, no one I know echoes my obsession with Tokidoki but I think my husband understands the rationale behind it - cute, small, cute, colorful, cute and cartoony.

I missed my window a year ago on an amazing collaboration Tokidoki did with Lesportsac. I wanted that L'amore design soooooo sooooo much. *sigh* And while the other designs were cute, they just didn't measure up until...

The Tokidoki for Hello Kitty limited collection. Sold out in a matter of days worldwide. Sold out. And even on eBay, they're just too expensive to consider. I weep.

But James. Umm... I did find something else on eBay.

[ed. And remember, it could always be worse.]

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Portland Chinese Garden

It's been chilly here for the last few weeks (mid to low 50sºF) but I refuse to turn the heat on - come on, it's JUNE! Naturally, I caught a cold.

But the sun was out today and I was feeling a bit better, so off we went to the Portland Chinese Garden. Hidden behind tall white walls, it's hard to believe this place exists right smack in the middle of downtown. The garden meanders over a large pool, connected by bridges and walkways ... you can hear the faint, lilting sounds of traditional chinese music.

This place is a haven for would-be photographers. Everyone had a huge DSLR. I'm still struggling with the concept of light - what's too much, what's too little. The afternoon sun is definitely too much. Oh well. It was still pretty.

Then we got donuts.

Friday, June 06, 2008

National Donut Day?

Did you know such a day existed? I didn't either. Until my husband called me earlier with the "great news".

It's real alright. After wandering the hallways at his work, he finally suckered someone into going to Voodoo... where they had just run out of donuts.

How do you run out of donuts?!

Poor guy.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Can You Smell?

Still on my Thai cooking binge, the other day the boy and I bought a wok. Throughout the store and in the checkout line, I was subjected to horrible "Wok/Rock" puns. "That's wok hard" and "You wok my world". And just as he was running out of steam, I waved the wok, notched an eyebrow and said, "Can you smell what the wok is cooking?"

Ooh snap. Ultimate victory. I out-punned my silly husband - it woked sooooo well on so many levels. The aftermath wasn't pretty. He stewed in a mélange of awe, disbelief and inevitably...supreme bitterness for wasting what was arguably the best setup in the world.

Sometimes, I catch him looking out into the distance with a wistful look on his face. What if. What if. Luckily, I was able to appease him with some Thai red curry. I've tried a bunch of recipes so far and this is the one I like the best. But there's still something missing. Maybe peanuts.

Oh well, it's still pretty good.


Do you sometimes get the feeling that someone upstairs might be pissed off at you? Dents in the car, impossible bosses, video games that require your husband to buy a new computer and horrific dental surgery?

And then... on a sunny day, there it is. Undeniable proof that you're getting flipped off.

[Updated: Recipes from the internet]

Thai Red Curry

1 lb boneless chicken breast
1 can bamboo shoots, sliced
3 tbsp red curry paste (you can make your own but I cheated and bought some in the store)
2 cups coconut milk
2 fresh red chili, sliced diagonally (I put in 5 but we like it spicy)
1/2 cup Thai sweet basil leaves (HAS to be Thai basil)
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp palm sugar (I substituted brown sugar)
1 cup of green peppers (optional)
1 cup of broccoli (optional)
1 cup of straw mushrooms (optional)
Thai sweet basil leaves for garnish

Wash the chicken, slice diagonally into 1/2 cm thick, 3 cm wide and 3 cm long pieces. Thinly slice the bamboo shoots (if not already sliced).
Pour 1 cup of coconut milk into a wok. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly.
Add the curry paste, stir until red oil comes to the surface. Add the chicken and saute until it turns white and is cooked through.
Add the remaining coconut milk, follow with the bamboo shoots. Season with fish sauce, sugar, chili peppers and salt and bring back to a boil. Add the Thai sweet basil leaves. Turn off the heat. Arrange on a serving dish and garnish with sweet basil leaves before serving.

Serves 5.

Notes: Per my husband's request, I also added in multiple vegetables, such as a cup of sliced peppers, a cup of broccoli and cauliflower. But you can use/omit whatever veggies you like. I'd also suggest putting maybe a handful of whole peanuts in this curry.
For a bit more sauce, I'd add an extra 1/2 cup of coconut milk.

Thai Basil Chicken

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
3-5 chopped Thai chili pepper (5 is spicy)
8 ounces sliced chicken breast
1/2 cup baby corn
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce (I used just 1 tbsp)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (optional)
1/3 cup chicken stock (I skipped this step)
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper (optional)
1/2 cup Thai sweet basil (or Thai holy basil)

Steamed rice

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok at high heat. Stir in the chopped garlic and cook until it is golden brown (at this point, I lowered the heat to prevent the garlic from burning). Add the Thai chili pepper and stir well.
Add the chicken and cook it just halfway done. Reduce the heat to medium and add the baby corn, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sweet soy sauce, and chicken stock. Mix well. When all the ingredients are cooked, add the red bell pepper and the Thai basil. Mix well and season to taste with salt. Serve over steamed jasmine rice.

Notes: I also mixed in more vegetables to beef up the dish. Also, the fish sauce is really stinky and the whole thing smells somewhat questionable until you add in the Thai sweet basil. And then it's awesome.