Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pie Success!

At least, we're almost there. The Chocolate Caramel Cream pie is in the fridge waiting for its caramel cream topping, that'll go on tomorrow. Lemon Meringue is cooling on the counter and looks muy bonito. Who knows how any of them will taste, but they will at least be edible, and at the very worst, if the cream topping doesn't come together (I've never made caramel, and tomorrow I'm attempting it right before work. Smart.) I've got a delicious chocolate cream pie.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Garfield Would Be Delighted

My favorite TV chef is Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa. She is this funny little lady who lives in a big mansion in the Hamptons and has a snobby laugh, and terrible pants that are intentionally 5 inches too short, like she is trying to irritate me through the TV. And yet, I love her. She seems so genuine about her passion for delicious food and cooking for people she loves. Plus, she has a charming wee husband named Jeffrey, who according to the dedication of her Family Style cookbook, "makes all her dreams come true." Awww.

She whips up delicious menus of always-recognizable meals, but she does them so well, and usually with real butter and heavy cream. I tried her Turkey Sausage Lasagna tonight, and it was just scrumptious. I couldn't find turkey sausage, so I used sweet Italian pork sausage from Siesel's--mmmmm. Also, it calls for a layer of fresh mozzarella, followed by a layer of a mixture of ricotta, parmesan, and goat cheese. Cheesy wonderfulness!

Tomorrow night, I'm making two pies: lemon meringue & chocolate caramel cream. What now? It sounded like a good idea when I volunteered to bring dessert to an office potluck. Fingers crossed!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Comic Con!

I was lucky enough to get to go to Comic Con this past Saturday (despite a cold and terrible skin issues--more on that later), and I even had a Press Pass for Shindy TV! It really gave us only one big perk, in that we got to stand in the press section right next to the stage for both the "Heroes" and "Lost" panels. We still had to wait in line with everyone else, and I am not exaggerating when I say the line stretched from one end of the Convention Center, all the way along the backside of the building, PAST the Marriott, and almost to Seaport Village. We walked for 10 minutes before we got to the end of it. This was the line just to get into the big Hall where all the cool TV panels would be. Insane.

The Heroes panel was very fun, the Q&A consisted of 3 nerds totally screwing up their chances to ask the creator any decent questions. Nerds booing other nerds equals hilarity. Then they showed us the season premiere for next season in its entirety. GOOD STUFF. That is, if you like Heroes. Following Heroes was the Lost panel, also known as, my moment to completely geek out. The two exec producers, Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof, are so into the fandom behind this show, and they are both very funny and engaging with the audience, so it made the whole experience very entertaining. Oh yeah, and Matthew Fox walked out on stage and was like 10 feet from me looking super hunky and dreamy.

The rest of the day we cruised around the exhibit hall, which was so crowded it got kind of tiring, but the people watching opportunities were delightful. My highlight was getting to play the "I went to college with Kumar" card, and getting to interview Kal Penn and John Chen from the Harold & Kumar movies (among many other things). That was very fun, and an exciting moment for little old Shindy. I also got to talk to Wonder Woman AND Batman, who both stayed completely in character. Good times.

Now I'm trying to recover from some sort of horrible rash that has spread from my torso to my arms and legs, which is just awesome. I went to the doctor this morning, and as predicted I was told they don't know what it is, and then I was prescribed something that won't make it go away. With all due respect to any doctors that may be reading this blog (ahem), what the heck is it with SKIN that baffles the medical community? It's really frustrating, and extra fun when helpful people suggest that maybe it's "measles" or "smallpox". Thanks?

Now I'm off to read about Lost and scratch my belly.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tap Water in Florida is Gross

So I just got back from Orlando, where I thoroughly enjoyed (as always) my public radio conference. Besides the stinky, sulfur-tasting water (seriously, Florida, how do you deal with that stuff?), it was a delightful 4 days in a really nice hotel.

Highlights included the opening night party, which was very tame, and very fun, particularly when Erica and I had half the dance floor doing the Electric Slide. I do believe the evening's band, The Landsharks, appreciated all the nerdy enthusiasm.

Well, that's all I got, so let's go to the videotape:


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Kiki Von Triki!

I remember the day so well, when they brought my sister home from the hospital. I knew we would be best friends forever! Wait. No. I wasn't born yet. Whatever. Today is my sister's birthday, and I'm so proud of her! Since her birthday last year, she has figured out how to juggle two hilarious little boys, feed them, entertain them, and educate them, all while furnishing, decorating, and organizing a 3 story house from top to bottom, entertaining a never-ending parade of guests who are there to "help with the twins," and remembering that even though it's been really hard, it's also been a really fun year. (Right, Kelly? Lots of fun?) Now go grab life by the lapels, you strong, dignified sister-mother-dancer.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Odds and Ends

So my plan to "just write" kept getting foiled by me. I just haven't felt particularly inspired or interesting enough to click the "new post" button. But, there have still been some fun tidbits that I did want to share.

Well, first, ahem, the latest Shindy episode is up, this time featuring the delightful Whisknladle in La Jolla. M&J first mentioned this place to me, and I was so glad I got to check it out. I had a really fun time interviewing their pastry chef, including a solid 10 minutes off camera grilling him about why my buttercream hasn't been working lately. The owner and staff couldn't have been nicer, and the food and cocktails are exceptional. Their whole philosophy of locally grown quality food is easy to support too. Oh, and if you haven't yet seen me thwacked with leaves, here it is.

Other fun things:
  • Upper Left Trio at work's Jazz Live series. Nicest guys, pretty progressive jazz, but so fantastic live.
  • Samuel knows where his feet and his nose are.
  • Benjamin can meow like a cat, but only when he feels like it, because he's not your monkey.
  • Claudia Russell, continuing her reign as a most-exceptional lady broadcasting LIVE LIVE LIVE from the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. She even made Bobby McFerrin say "wow". Then he made a bunch of popping noises and slapped his chest a whole bunch.
  • I JUST finished watching the end of last season's Prison Break. Man, that show is so terrible, and I love it. They almost buried Sucre alive! And now he's in Sona, what?? And Michael, revenging Sarah getting her head chopped off?!? Good stuff.

Wednesday morning I'm off to Orlando for the big nerdfest public radio conference. Yippee!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Experimental Pie

Chocolate covered strawberries are delicious. How could you go wrong dipping a tart, juicy, sweet little berry of goodness into scrumptiousness. However, I'm partial to a less traditional way of eating strawberries. First, dip the berry in sour cream, then in brown sugar, then eat it. Beyond fantastic.
But let's back up a bit. Many Fun Times ago, I was in charge of dessert. Lately, I've been into making puddings. Easy and comforty. I found a recipe for Brown Sugar Pudding on Epicurious and knew I had to try it. It was also yummy. Why not make it into a pie, I ask you?

So I made the pudding, thickened it up with some extra cornstarch, then spread it around the bottom of a baked pie shell. Then, I layered some sliced strawberries all over it, and topped the whole shebang with a sour cream whipped cream. It was....a big shrug. Everything tasted fine, and it held together so-so, but it was just kind of a let down. Keep in mind, I was already trying to figure out how to enter the Pillsbury Bakeoff, and thinking about what I would do with the winnings.
Oh, Experimental Pie, you were a letdown, but your ingredients are so delicious.