Tuesday, November 22, 2005

BBM3 package from Malaysia

My BBM3 package came from the lovely Twink---all the way from Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA!!! How exciting is that? International mail, shipped to me (who barely leaves Ohio)! I love, love, love it! Thanks soooo much Twink for a great package!!!!

So, I am obviously excited to tell you what all was in my box of goodies. Of course I am not including a picture because I am the ONLY person on this earth with a blog and no digital camera...so lets just move on to the treats and borrowed images.

Twink included a really nice note telling me that she was just about to celebrate Hari Raya. She wrote that since she lives in a very mulit-cultural society most people are able to enjoy all different kinds of holidays.

A bunch of newspaper clippings with recipes and tons of cool info and pictures.

Boh Tea - lychee & rose flavored - from a local tea plantation.

A bag of murukku, which she described as a snack in India, kinda like we eat pretzels. It is made out of spicy dough that's deep fried. Maybe more like a cheeto? I'm saving these to share with my friend who visited South India on a college trip.

Kinder Bueno Chocolate
The first thing I ate...

Brahim's Kuah Masak Merah - Spicy Tomato Sauce
Quick curry dinner

Mildura Layer Cake with Cashewnut
I'm taking this to Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Salmon Patties

I try to have a few cans of salmon and tuna on hand at all times. That way when we have "nothing" to eat, there could be tuna sandwiches or salmon patties in our dining future. I loosely followed a recipe from allrecipes.com This is my interpretation:

Salmon Patties

2 6oz cans of skinless & boneless salmon (I used Trader Joe's)
2 eggs, beaten
12 saltines (give or take a few)
some onion powder
squirt of Gulden's mustard (I didn't have any mustard powder)

some chopped fresh parsely
olive oil

1. Drain salmon and flake the meat into a bowl.
2. Add eggs, saltines, onion powder, mustard and parsely. Mix well to combine. Add additional crackers if too wet.
3. Form salmon mixture into 6 patties.
4. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook patties until brown and then carefully flip over and brown on other side.

Serve hot with tatar sauce for dipping

Johnny & Harry

My husband HATES to go to the movies. He has various issues with it. Over the past 9 years together, I think we've seen a total of about 5 movies in a theater. So when we do go, it's a big deal. For example, he was supposed to take me to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on our 1st wedding anniversary but they were sold out!

This past Saturday we saw Walk the Line. He likes Cash and said he'd be my date. I thought it was a very good movie. Although, I agree with the Free Times review that Ray was better.

I also went with a group of friends on Sunday to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. My friend Jen wore the HP scarf I knitted her. No picture because I had to run it to her house the minute it was finished, but everyone knows what it looks like anyways!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Friday night we went to Halite for dinner. I had never been there before, but visited the other 2 "cool places to eat" Lava Lounge (frequently) and Fat Cats before. The only thing I really still order from Lava is the calamari. It seems that the food hasn't been that great since they did their last menu change. We were big fans of the old rib-eye sandwich and miss it!

Anyways, Halite was awesome! The decision to go there was made last minute so we didn't have a reservation. The bar was our only seating option, there were lots of lingering diners that were not moving anytime soon. I had a glass of wine, my friend a cosmo and husband chivas on the rocks (he was trying to act grown-up). The barmaid brought us bread and olive tapenade to munch on while we waited. Everything on the menu looked good, of course we had a hard time making a decision. My friend ordered the porkchop special and my husband had the walley special. They both enjoyed the dinners and totally CLEANED their plates off. I decided on the fettucini con frutti di mare - it included little neck clams, salmon, muscles, calamari and shrimp. I have never had calamari that was sooo tender. It was almost the same texture as the fettucini! We were very pleased with Halite and we will be back, with a reservation.

Lamb Stew

I totally agree with Tina about the West Side Market being one of the greatest things about living in Cleveland. She graciously posted her recipe for West Side Market Stew (make sure to check out the picture slideshow!) and I am going to make it today!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Baltimore Misadventures - Sunday, Day 3

On our last day we had only one destination - The American Dime Museum. Of course we had to walk a bit to get there and arrived before they opened. We ended up sitting in Baltimore's Penn Station to waste some time because there was no place to get a coffe or anything. BTW, nothing in Baltimore opens before 11am, they didn't open till noon. This station is actually where you would take a train to D.C. or other destinations. The museum was funny. The owner gave us his little introduction to the museum and a history of dime shows. I think he lived upstairs. I wonder if this guy just decided to open a musuem so he could show off his weird stuff. I put my gum on the amazing growing gum lady. Gross but damn funny. The FUNNIEST thing that I heard on our entire trip was from a dad who had brought his son and daughter thru the museum while we were there. The kids were probably about 8-10 years old.

Son: Dad, what is that?

Dad: Well (some hesitation) that's supposed to be President Lincoln's doody.

After all that museum fun, we were starving. We walked back to Penn Station and saw that the train we needed to get on was leaving. We hopped on without getting our tickets and took the train to the harbor to get some lunch. Well of course we got busted for NOT having a ticket. The conductor was really mean and we couldn't wait to get off that train. We ate at a REALLY touristy place called Tir Na Nog Irish Bar and Grill . Being a little tired of doing stuff "off the beaten track" we liked the idea of sitting out on their patio and enjoying the sun, while have a beer of course! I actually got a club and colcannon (instead of fries) which was quite tasty! They were REAL mashed potatoes, creamy and just a bit lumpy. I could go for some right now!

Our last adventure was to walk to the only part of Baltimore we had not seen yet - Federal Hill. It was Sunday afternoon and there was nothing going on. We had a beer at some empty bar. Tricia wanted to have another but I said no because it was getting late. Back on the train (with tickets) to our dumpy hotel, pick up our luggage, back on the train towards the airport. Wow. We didn't leave enough time for the trip to the airport. I was very nervous. The boarding time was 5:40pm. We got to the gate at 5:45pm. But, no worries! Our plane was late!

To wrap up the trip: I had a good time hanging out with my friend. Totally wished we would have had a car and some other destinations planned. The weather was absolutely beautiful the entire weekend and we really enjoyed it! Would I go back? No. Would I suggest other people to visit? I doubt it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Baltimore Misadventures - Saturday, Day 2

Saturday - Due to problems with train transfers we took a cab to the area known as Hampden Village. One of the, well, maybe the only reason I suggested vacationing in Baltimore was to go to Atomic Books. Let's just say I have a "thing" for John Waters and he has his fan mail sent there. Lots of zines and comic books. I could have spent all day browsing. My other favorite store was Ma Petite Shop - all they sold were chocolates and shoes!!! Very yummy! Oh, I also bought myself a pair of sparrow earrings from the CUTEST store called Oh! Said Rose.

I researched for our trip extensively. I tried to find cool places to visit and good places to eat. Well, numerous resources said if you wanted to eat a crab cake, it should come from Faidley's found at the Lexington Market. This is where the "misadventures" begin. As I mentioned before, we needed a car. To be honest, the area around the market was pretty scary. I just want to say that the crab cake was absolutely the best I have ever eaten and was worth the trip but at the same time I didn't feel safe walking around. I am usually not worried about things like that but I was in an unfamiliar setting. Also in their market area they sold oysters on the half shell. These were the biggest oysters I have ever seen or eaten! I made Tricia try one and she gagged on it. Damn it, she wasted a really good oyster!

After lunch we pretty much ran back to our hotel and took a little rest, changed clothes and got ready for the evening. Our first stop was a 100th Anniversary Greek Festival. Not so much fun. We left and stopped for a drink at a local dive bar to rethink our plans. We had play tickets and needed to kill 3 hours. Things started to get boring. Conversation slowed down. We were starting to get tired and cranky. The tv was all consuming. Should we leave this area and try to find someplace better to hang out? Should we hop on a train and go to D.C.? Eating Indian food killed our 3 hours. After dinner we attended a play at the Theatre Project, checked out Brewer's Art and ended up finishing the evening off with potato skins at a gay bar.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Baltimore Misadventures - Friday, Day 1

My friend Tricia and I went on a little weekend vacation to Baltimore last Friday. We got home on Sunday but I couldn't post because I was still recovering from the trip. What a trip it was. We knew there was a light rail in Baltimore so thought that we wouldn't need a car. That was probably the worst decision we made. Baltimore, like Cleveland, is not a walking city. The train only ran on one north/south track. Everything we wanted to see was east or west of the track. Most places were in walking distance but we spent A LOT of time walking and riding the train. Time that we could have used see more stuff. I wish we would have had a car. We wanted to leave a few places but were afraid that we'd spend so much time getting to another place - and that it might not be any better than where we were when we got there. Make sense? Well, here's the run down of what we did.

Friday - Safely arrived, took the train from the airport to our hotel and missed our stop. Walked to the Mount Vernon Hotel. Now, this hotel got mixed reviews online. We thought that since it was a hospitality management school's hotel, we would be supporting the school and that it could be interesting. Well, the place was a dump. There was no air conditioning. We had to have someone come and prop open the window (that had no screen) so that we could breath. There was no fan in the bathroom so the ceiling was moldy! The continental breakfast options were white toast, english muffins, brown bananas and cereal. The train stop was only a few blocks away but it was blocks of abandoned buidings. The Art Museum was only a few blocks away too, but in the opposite direction.

After putting our bags in the room we went to the harbor area and walked over to the American Visionary Art Museum. We were very hungry by then and first ate lunch at the Joy America Cafe. I had a beef fig quesadilla with a side of soggy fries and a Red Stripe - the Red Stripe was the best part. The museum had a very interesting exhibit about race, class and gender and beautiful mirror mosaics everywhere. Lots of inspiration! We bought some souveniers from the museum shop. One noticable thing was their lack of artists' merch. Although I was hoping to get a Ku Shu Lan (Chinese paper crafter) poster, I was like....duh, this woman cut up paper to decorate the mud walls in her Western China cave home. Um, maybe that's not something that should be reproduced for a tourist to hang up in her downstairs apartment in Northeast Ohio. Anyways, their sculpture buiding was kick ass and included a braball.

After the museum we took a Water Taxi to Fells Point for dinner and drinks. First we stopped at an Irish place called Kooper's Tavern. We then ate a dozen steamed crabs with mallets at Obrycki's and spent the rest of the evening at the Full Moon Saloon listening to bands, including one called Cowboy Amnesia.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Quinoa Salad

I checked out The Real Food Revival from the library a long, long time ago. It's way over due but I wanted to make this recipe before I returned it. Why didn't I just write it down or make a photo copy? I have no answer for that question.

I only got one bite of the salad so I can't really give a good review. I made it yesterday afternoon so that my husband would have something to eat when he got home from work. I had to work until 10pm and there was nothing left for me when I got home...geeze, thanks a lot! He seemed perplexed by the quinoa, although it didn't stop him from eating it all. I told him it was a grain and good for him and to just be quiet. Further investigation today, led me to the fact that it IS NOT REALLY a grain but "the seed of a leafy plant that's distantly related to spinach." Huh. I'm glad I found out the truth!

I used a little less salt and olive oil and cooked the onions with the peppers.

Quinoa Salad

1 1/4 C. quinoa, washed and drained at least 4 times, until the water runs clear
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 red peppers, cored, seeded, and julienned
1 jalepeno chile, seeded and julienned
juice from 1 lime
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. chopped fresh cilantro
1 small red onion, finely diced

Toast the quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant. Add 2 cups boiling water and the salt, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the red peppers and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Ina large bowl, whisk together the reaming Tbs. oil, the lime juice, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir int eh peppers, cilantro, onion, and quinoa. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

I think people DO notice!

Your Hair Should Be Orange

Expressive, deep, and one of a kind.
You pull off "weird" well - hardly anyone notices.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Kolachki, Kolacky, Kolachy, Kolace, Kolachi, Kolache, Kolachke

I am not sure which is the correct spelling but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about here - lovely, little Christmas cookies with tasty fillings. I used to make these with my grandma when I was little. She was a good Polish grandma...big and fun and generous and loud and kind. I do miss her a lot.

I made these last night for my BBM3 partner! I filled some with the Raspberry Jam I made in September and some with apricot or nut filling from the store! I cheated not having the time or energy to make all the fillings from scratch. Grandma never did either!

I had a few problems with my cookies "opening up" in the oven. They unfolded themselves. I believe the problem was that they were too small. One recipe I found used egg whites to glue the flaps together. I don't think this is necessary, but an option if you need it. Also, don't forget that the cookies are IN THE OVEN! While innocently checking my email, I did just that. One batch in the trash.

My grandma's original recipe used margerine!!! I followed these instructions:

Kolachki (about 2-3 dozen)

1/2 C. butter
3 oz cream cheese
1 C. flour
jam or preserves for filling

1. Preheat oven to 350. Allow cream cheese and butter to soften to room temperature Mix till well until fluffy.
2. Add Flour a little at a time and mix in till well blended.
3. Make dough into a ball, you can chill it in the fridge for easier rolling.
4. Roll dough out into a square shape 1/8 inch thick on board sprinkled with flour or confectioners sugar or a combination.
5. Cut the dough into 2 inch squares and place about ½ tsp of filling in the middle; draw up sides of dough around filling & pinch FIRMLY to seal.
6. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
7. Cool for a couple of minutes then place on wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Mustard Bread Crumbs

I love the idea of using an entire head of cabbage in a dish. Something that's more creative than boiled/steamed cabbage and something other than Cha Cha Chicken Salad. I think I'm going to start a cabbage trend this winter - Holly brings a new cabbage dish to every family event! They're going to love me...heh, heh.

Luisa kindly posted about Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Mustard Bread Crumbs on The Wednesday Chef. This is the recipe I used for for Halloween dinner! Turned out real well too!