Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pancake Secrets

Ok everyone, so I've been a little busy, let's take it easy. Before I was pregnant, and perhaps always, I have had this love for pancakes. It comes and goes but sometimes all I want to eat is pancakes. And not just quick out-of-the-box pancakes, but real homemade pancakes. Last winter I seriously made homemade pancakes twice a week. Working at the St. Regis has made me love breakfast food since I'm always around it and their pancakes are to die for (I got the recipe once, but my conversion from grams to regular measuring didn't work out so well, so I'm not posting the recipe quite yet).

Whenever it's slow at work I try to hang out with the chefs in the exhibition kitchen. They're all pretty cool guys and are willing to answer all of my silly questions, or just chat. One day the question came up: What's the secret to good pancakes?

And here it is:

Cook them 75% on one side then 25% on the other side instead of the usual 50/50. This helps the pancakes to rise better and become more fluffy than if you had cooked them evenly on both sides. Genius, who knew?!

Use room temperature eggs and buttermilk. I never would have thought of this, but when you're adding butter to homemade pancakes you don't want it to ball up because the eggs and buttermilk are too cold.

And don't overmix the batter (heard that a million times).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Baby Cole

Here it is. I feel bad calling my baby an "it" but I don't know what it is yet. Boy or girl I mean. The picture isn't super clear because my baby is a mover and a shaker. It wouldn't sit still for the pictures, but on the screen I could see it moving its arms and legs and rolling around like a little monkey. I have a monkey child, probably like Brenan. With that kind of action, I think its a boy. Next month I'll get to find out what it is for sure, so we'll keep everyone posted.

The green arrow is pointing to the head, they yellow it's bum, the red it's face, and the blue it's arm. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

Who the pug do you think you are?!

My pugs. Oh my pugs. You've all seen them. These dogs, to say the least, keep me on my toes. These dogs also like to cause chaos. Here are the things they've done (lately):

  1. Annie came around the corner with a cotton ball in her mouth. That she got from her bed. Yes, the dogs have decided it's time to eat their bed. Now the laundry room is full of little cotton balls. What is wrong with you? You have treats and toys! 
  2. Annie figured out how to squeeze through the dog fence and sneak downstairs. Pugs are not allowed downstairs. They leave little "surprises" that we all hate to clean up. 
  3. Annie (seems to be a lot about Annie...) sneaks up on the sofa behind pillows so we don't see her laying there. Pugs are not allowed on the nice sofas. They get their choice of my sofa, the leather sofa, or 2 wicker chairs; all that clean easy. 
  4. Walter hides the dog bowls. Yesterday we found Dozer's bowl under a sofa (it had been missing for 3 days). He will take any bowl, carry it around, and leave it for later. Except there is no later. We never know where he hides them. Last week he took Annie's bowl and hid it under my bed, under the sofa, and under the kitchen table. 
  5. Walter has become a food scam artist. Walter has a round metal bowl and Annie has a square plastic bowl. This helps them to know whose is whose and helps me to hear who is eating out of whose bowl. Annie was sitting at my feet and I heard the sound of plastic. That's right, Walt finished off his food and then ate all of Annie's while she was away.
  6. Annie and Walter both take things like socks, food, underwear, DVD's, shoes, etc... and hide them under the bed in their little fortress. 
  7. One of them, and I don't know whom, ate their wrinkle medicine. That's expensive and I'm a little frustrated. And yes, they have wrinkle medicine for when their wrinkles get infected. Grrrr...
  8. To get in the Christmas spirit, Walter ate a candy cane. 
  9. They collaborated in knocking down the large bag of dog food and eating it. Then they moved on to the trash. This was after we fed them dinner, so clearly they were hungry for more.
  10. They bark and growl at the tv, mainly Jar Jar Binks (really, most of Star Wars), sirens, door bells, dogs, music, crying babies etc...
But aren't they cute?! 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

Dear World,

Yesterday was Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. I don't know if that's the "official" title, but that's what I call it. For me, it all started on December 7, 2001, the 60th anniversary of the attacks. My then best friend Valena and I watched it together for the first time. We balled. A lot. My dad thought we were such freaks for crying during the movie. Every year since then I have decided that I would always watch the movie Pearl Harbor to remember the attacks of that day. For some reason, I hold this tradition really close to my heart. It's not like I was there, but my grandma and great uncle were alive when it happened. Plus, I have this ridiculous secret obsession with the 40's and 50's and WWII. Trust me, I have no idea where it all came from. Moral of the story is that I hope everyone took a minute to think about all of the lives that were lost that day and to think of the poor men and women that are still trapped in the harbor. It is my dream to go there some day to personally pay my respects. As President Roosevelt said, it is "a date which will live in infamy."


Monday, December 6, 2010

Selling Secrets

Alright everyone, here it is, the launch of my new segment Selling Secrets. Lately I've (and by "I" I really mean that people have been giving me great advice lately) come up with all of these great "secrets" that have come incredibly handy and I thought I should share. To me Selling Secrets sounds catchy, even though technically I'm not selling anything. So buckle up because here we go!

Selling Secrets volume 1

Brenan and I have a very interesting living arrangement. Our sofa was too big to fit into our "office" (which has really become a storage room/ pre-nursery area) for an office/living room area. Since it doesn't fit we had to move our TV elsewhere. This is a slight debacle when you consider the size of our room. Our 4-poster bed is in the middle of the room, nightstands on each side, with a dresser in one corner and a book shelf in the other. To top it all off  we have a large dresser at the end of our bed, giving us only about 3 1/2 feet clearance to the wall. We're crammed. So naturally, the TV went on the end of the bed on top of the huge dresser, with the Playstation and cable box. Super crammed. One night, out of no genius to me, we had a candle lit at the end of the bed as well (yes, though Brenan won't admit it, we both LOVE Bath & Body Works candles). As Brenan rounded the corner to the small little walk way, he bumped the TV which then bumped the candle and it did a flip onto our bed. Luckily it didn't catch fire, but it did leave wax all over my new coverlet. The thing about these candles is that they have a lot more scented oil in the wax than most candles, so naturally, it is a lot harder to peel off because the wax becomes mushy instead of waxy hard. After hours, yes hours, of scraping waxy gunk off of my new blanket with a spoon (suggested by a Google search) I was ready to wash it. 

Here's the secret:
When trying to get wax out of fabric wash it with a can of Coke and powdered Tide. 
Don't want to buy a full box of powdered Tide? Go to your local laundromat and buy a single serve box for $1.

Who knew.