Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum

Ahhh, I wish I had a fish eye lens......... huh, what? Oh, I'm back. These photos of the Historic Coleman Theater are from and, if you happen to be doing so this weekend, you can check out the latest play from Miami Little Theater, "A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum." The play itself is pretty funny, telling the tale of this one dude that wants his freedom and this other guy that wants some girl and this other guy who wants money and this other guy who.... .oh just come see it. However, the grand event for me is a chance to enjoy this great theater, built in the 1920s as a vaudeville locale, featuring like likes of such no-names as Will Rogers, Bob Hope, and Bing Crosby. It's also the home of the Mighty Wurliztzer organ and I just love to say that.

The show opens tonight at 7:30 with shows on Friday at 7:30, Saturday at 7:30 and a matinee on Sunday at 2:30. The theater is smack dab in the middle of Main Street. You can't miss it.

If you happen to notice the smooth flow of the curtain close or the impeccable timing of cast placement, give me a shout-out....I'm back stage support! (well, don't really shout, we frown on that sort of thing in theater.) I'll be looking for you! (Dun, DUN, Duuunnnn.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Busy Time

I've been SO busy lately.... sorry for the lack of new recipes!
Here's a snippit of what's been goin' on:

Dad's birthday. It was a smash! We played pool at 11 in the morning and threw out our backs at the batting cages.

Then, fairy godson turned the big 1. Weirdness. He's already walking!
Then, it was my Mother-in-law's birthday. We went out to dinner and I bought her tupperware. Man, I'm good.

So, now you know!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Our German Buddy!

This is Sindy. She's way cool and not just 'cause she married our crazy friend, Kevin. You see, Kevin was my hubby's roommate through most of college which means he was practically my roommate, too. We got in frequent quarrels over creative control in the kitchen. He usually won by sneaking in black pepper, but I still consider myself the undefeated champ since I never actually paid rent. Just when I thought we'd have to send the dude off to 'Love Connection' he shows up with this hot-talkin, German goddess. AND, get this....she moves from her gorgeous home in Dresden to Tulsa, OK to grace us with her cute German self. Now we can actually take Kevin out in public... =)

We love us some Sindy and it's not just because she's generous with her frequent care packages from home. Check out her interview at Tasha Does Tulsa and see how a true world traveler gets down in Oklahoma.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cheese Review

I realize this isn't the "tomorrow" I had planned on for the cheese tasting review, but, hey, I was tired. I had to get up early on V-Day to beat my present out of a heart shaped pinata! It was my first pinata so I took the task very seriously, as you can see. It birthed several Dove dark chocolate candies, a gift card to Itunes, some measuring spoons so I can quit ruining everything I bake, 3 cans of catfood, and a fishing lure. The fishing lure was actually for Aubrey. Oh, and the cat food wasn't mine either, though Aubrey did once try to pass off vienna sausages as a gift basket stuffer.

I suppose I did give Aubrey a basket full of cheese this year and I got him a fungus infested log to grow mushrooms for our first anniversary....ahhh, we're full of romance.
Anyway, back to the cheese. Our super technical review is sure to impress:
Mushroom Brie
Me- "Pungent...grody."
Aubrey- "MMM, mushroomy. I like this one the best."
Aubrey- "Like nothing I've ever tasted. Good!"
Drunken Goat
Me- "My new favorite!"
Aubrey- "Mellow and sharp"
Raw Bleu D'Avergne
Me- *coughing* *spitting*
Aubrey- "Awesome. It doesn't go with my beer, though."
Me-"Tastes like the goat cheese...except it's sheep cheese."
Aubrey- "Good"
Me- "eh"
Aubrey-"freakin good..."
Well, there you have it. It was super fun to try new stuff and all these cheeses (and more) can be found at your local Whole Foods Market.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Many years ago I asked my husband (then boyfriend) what I'd be if I was a type of food and why... this was my super cool way to spark a romantic conversation. I fully expected an answer like, "A strawberry because you're juicy and luscious," or "An orange because your full of zest and you remind of sunshiny days." You see, I expected this because I was 100% slow on the uptake that real love is nothing like Nicholas Sparks would have us believe. So, I waited in anticipation for his glorious answer...Then, Aubrey reminded me at once why I love him yet still enjoy kicking him in his sleep. He said I'd be broccoli. Broccoli??? Why? Because it's good with cheese on it... yeah, that's actually what he said. Gents, take note! The king of lady pleasing just gave a free lesson right there.
Well, if I'm stuck being broccoli, he's certainly my hunk of cheese. Though he's incapable of taking a hint, he's still a keeper.
I made him this basket of the good stuff with some chocolate bars thrown in for good measure. ( He's kind of a dark chocolate fanatic....)
From left to right: Mushroom Brie, Porter, Drunken Goat, Raw Bleu D'Avergne, Brigante, and Cotswald. I'll report back on the official tasting tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kansas City Weekend: Part 1

As huge fans of spontaneity, Aubrey, Tasha (complete with family), and I decided at noon last Friday to have a weekend getaway to occur within 6 hours time. This was a lot of headway as far as acting RIGHT NOW goes, but, hey, we live nearly 2 hours from each other and there's a baby involved. The Balls came down and we had a sleepover for the night. We didn't actually decide where we were going until Saturday morning when a slow start and potential bad weather made us choose K.C., two hours closer in proximity than the other option, St. Louis. And, we set off!

FACT: Traveling with a near one year old is no simple feat. I have unwittingly insulted parents of the world by making statements such as, "I don't understand why things have to change when you have children. We can still travel, you just have to be committed." HA! I need to be commmitted for saying that. See those dudes up there? We got an inside preview to life with a child this weekend and stand in awe at the fact that they are somewhat sane. (They do, however, require lots of coffee to function.... I'm such a crappy hostess they finally bought their own coffee press for our house so they don't have to run to the gas station every morning they stay over...sorry!) This was the first long trip with a baby for all of us. Well, needless to say, it was full of adventure!

Here are some highlights:

Though speeding is nothing new for me, getting matching couples warnings with 3 days of each other is! Aubrey was feeling left out and Kansas cops wanted in on some of the love I gave to the Oklahoma P.D. We actually passed the the right lane, no less. Aubrey just confessed to not having recognized his car. Yay, honesty! Yay, couple resolutions to quit speeding! (Hey, before you freak out about the fact that we had a baby with us, just know the offense was extremely minor, unlike my incident. Either way, I hang my head in shame.)

Window shopping at one of my fave stores, Anthropologie, was super fun. Seriously, Kansas City has some amazing shopping, paricularly at the Country Club Plaza. I was so overwhelmed with fashion unseen in Miami, OK that I had shopping paralysis. Tasha and I decided we need my fashion forward friend, Jennifer, to give us guidance.

I FINALLY had a willing subject (other than Aubrey-he's a little too willing) to let me practice my photography skillz...

AND, I learned that babies can totally project puke as far away as two feet from their body. Here's the calm before the storm at lunch on Saturday... more details to come...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Travelin' Blues

Trips to and from Tulsa are a happy time for me. They mean I'm about to see my family and even get real groceries. However, on my way to photography class yesterday ( see last assignment above), all joy was stripped from this well worn road.

You see, I sorta have a little problem with speeding....

Okay, it's a big problem. I'm just so good all the time and I follow every rule for everything... traffic violations are my one vice. My way to stick it to the man. Stop signs? I roll them. 75 mph? I laugh in your face. Sadly, I had a run in with the law and discovered that I'm a total little pansy in the face of authority.

After cutting off traffic to pull over and about 30 seconds of trying to get my window down ( count that out! That's a long time!), I had already soaked my shirt in sweat. Hands shaking. Mind's how it all went down:

Officer: Maam, I clocked you going @#*%!^%@# back there (the speed was obscene. You can't handle it. Let's just call it instant court date and drivers lessons.)

Me: Yeah, I sorta have a heavy foot and my cruise control is broken. Sorry about that. ( WHAT? STOP TALKING, Amanda!! Play dumb, Play DUMB!)
Officer: Okay, well, I'm gonna need your license and proof of insurance.

So, I nervously shuffle through my purse and wallet and proceed to hand the guy my CREDIT CARD! Dumb accomplished.
The cop was really nice, saying to calm down and take my time. He gets my license and leaves to run it. At this time, I'm searching frantically for my proof of insurance, registration, spine....nothing. I have pepper spray, a spare toothbrush, and three different brands of napkins but no proper documentation of anything.
Me: I'm sorry sir, I don't have proof of anything. I am covered though, you want me to call them?

Officer: No, that's okay, I'm gonna let you off with warning but you watch your speed.
WHAT? Policeman...I LOVE YOU!!! I was picturing certain jail time and he let me go. I signed that paper with the shaky hand of a 90 year old woman and fled.
This was my third time to be pulled over and sent free. The first time was a case of mistaken identity, but before the cop could leave, I stopped him and confessed to underpaying the turnpike toll by a dime. He totally laughed at me. The second time, I was stopped going 50 in a 35 and said, " I'm sorry, I haven't made the mental transition yet from getting off the highway." Guess what? That cop laughed at me, too.

I've got a sinking feeling that my luck won't hold out much longer. So, to the happy policeman of Oklahoma, I thank you. I've decided to head your warnings at last and play by your rules, too. Why? Well, I'm just a lousy rebel. Oh, and I don't think I can handle the stress of those lights in the rearview again. I almost had a flippin' heart attack. I guess I'll just have to find some other way to get my thrills....
Hey, mattress tag.... you better watch your back.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Worst Mexican Ever Cooks!: Carnitas

I've been called many things in my life but the funniest has to be when someone proclaimed, "You're the worst mexican ever!" upon learning that, YES, I'm mexican...and, NO, I can't speak spanish. Sure, two years of spanish in high school and four semesters in college should help, but it doesn't. I'm so lousy, I can't even learn it...

Okay, okay, I understand more than I let on and, for some reason, I can sing in Spanish. But, at the end of the day, the only thing to visibly validate my hispanic hertiage is my ability to make some kick-ass mexican food. Is it always authentic? No, but then again, I have to keep up appearances with the Polish, Irish, and Cherokee, as well (somehow, with all of that going on, most people think I'm from the Phillipines.) Added bonus: Aubrey totally can't tell the difference...between authentic mexican food or not! Now that I think about it, the Phillipino thing totally worked in my favor, too. What is it with white guys and asian girls?

So, here's to kicking off a new series of "The Worst Mexican Ever, Cooks!" where I'll share with you my favorite Mexican meals with a dash of identity crisis.

Up first, Carnitas:

Carnitas means "little meat" and the cool thing is, when you make up a batch, there's nothing little about it. It will last you for days. I have no clue where I learned how to make this but here ya go:

1 Pork butt roast...yum ( about 2-3 pounds)
1 yellow onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
Lawry's season salt
1 c. water

Double the following measurements for the whole roast. I use 1/2 the roast from this point worries, I'll explain.

2 Tbsp. dark chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
Water to make paste
1. Okay, when you get up in the morning, slice up the onion and put it in a crock pot with the roast, garlic, and sprinkle generously with the season salt. YES, lawry's season salt. It's yum.
2. Add cup of water and cover. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours.
3. When you get home from work, put your keys where you can fnd them in the morning so you aren't late to work again. Preheat oven to 425 F. Then, in a large bowl, remove the roast from the crock pot. Leave most of the onion behind. This might be tough to do because the roast will be so moist and tender, it's just gonna fall apart. DON'T get rid of the juice yet!
4. With two forks, pull the pork apart until you have it all shredded. At this point, I save up half of it because I usually end up craving pulled pork bbq sandwiches and this is a great leftover.

5. Mix chili powder and cumin in a dish, adding water until it makes a paste a bit on the runny side. Set aside. ( Double these measurements if you're using the whole roast...)

6. In an oven safe skillet, add the shredded pork and mix with the spice paste. Heat over medium heat for about couple of minutes adding the reserved juice if it seems to dry.

*Note: You can add these seasonings into the crock-pot to cook all day, but, like I said, I like bbq sandwiches out of this pork, too. It doesn't really affect the flavor. Carnitas is all about the texture!

7. Pop the skillet into the oven you preheated at 425 F. This is crucial. It gives the carnitas characteristic moisture with crispy edges. Heat for about 5 minutes. If you do more, it will get dry.

8. Serve with corn tortillas, green chiles, and cilantro. Go crazy and add tomato, guacamole, and sour cream.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Yakitori is literally translated from Japanese as "Grilled bird." Appetizing, no? Seriously, I could eat this bird any day of the week. It's sweet and nutty with a spicy aftertaste that provides just enough complexity to make me forget that I'm eating something remotely healthy.

I found this when I was looking for anything BUT nutritious meal ideas...I was searching through recipes from P-Dub! ( If you're willing to contribute a substantial amount of your income to Land-O-Lakes, check out The Pioneer Woman Cooks. It is so choice.)

Lucky for me, I found Kay, a guest blogger for P-Dub. She's from The Netherlands! Since my experience in the Netherlands has always been, umm, nutritious, I figured she could hook me up.

Here's Aubrey having a healthy snack in Amsterdam...

It's probably pretty lame that I got my first Japanese cooking lesson from Dutch Girl Cooking » but, I've got to start somewhere....

Yakitori ( adapted from "Dutch Girl Cooking" at

1 pound chicken fillets- cut up in skewer sized pieced...about 1 inch

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup mirin (don’t panic: you can substitue 1/2 white cooking wine and 3 tbsp extra sugar)

1 tsp grated ginger (Sorry, I used ground)

2 garlic cloves

Drop of sesame oil (Seriously, just one drop!)

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Optional- Green have many decorative options here...

1. Add everything but the onion and the chicken into a small sauce pan and bring to a low boil. Simmer until it thickens up like a syrup.

2. Assemble chicken pieces and onion on your skewer in whatever pattern strikes your fancy. I used three cut pieces in between each hunk of chicken. Kay made double skewers with whole green onions joining the two together. You have the option to go as far as your creativity will take you but just get those bird chunks on the stick.

3. Baste the skewers with the syrup marinade and place on a heated grill. If at all possible, use a different grill than the one you see used up there. Once it touches food, it doesn't like to give it up. It's like Aubrey in grill version. Apply more marinade as desired. Cook through.

Serve with rice. That's it! Enjoy!