Saturday, October 31, 2009

Photo 116/365 Too Pooped to Spook

Miss E on Halloween. (Yes, I did get a layout out of Halloween, even if the kids didn't go trick or treating.)

Friday, October 30, 2009


Staying stable, for now.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

More evidence America is out of control

At least at the hips and waist. Why else would it be impossible for me to find non-control top pantyhose and tights? Arrrgghhh! I hate control top hose!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Water dogs

After the big shopping trip at the Asian market, I made a batch of dumplings. I decided to wrap these a different way and used round wrappers instead of square wrappers. This shape is a little easier than won tons and thus the wrapping goes faster. I froze the dumplings as soon as I made them; that's why they're in the pie tin. I don't have a lot of room in my freezer, but I can usually find just enough room to squeeze in a few tins.
These are called shui jiao in Mandarin and sui gao in Cantonese. Depending on how good (or bad) your Mandarin pronunciation is, you could be saying water dumpling or sleep. And depending on how good (or bad) your Cantonese pronunciation is, you could be saying water dumplings or water dogs.

After freezing the dumplings (it takes around 45 minutes to an hour), I transferred the them to a freezer bag to store and use sometime in the future. Much cheaper (but more time consuming) than purchasing them. Plus I like being able to control what I put in them, or not put in them, for example, no MSG.As it turns out, they didn't stay in the freezer for long. I made a couple quick dinners last week with them. One night, I pan fried the dumplings, like potstickers, stir-fried some veggies, and added some marinated soy/wheat gluten from the Chinese deli. Another night, I cooked the dumplings and added them to soup, along with some noodles and veggies. Mr. Fix-it was pretty happy with the dinner menus.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I'm living dangerously

At least that's what my coworkers think. And that's what you think of when you think of me right? That wild woman living close to the edge? Yeah right. Perhaps an explanation of why they think I'm living dangerously is in order.

Reason 1. I don't keep my lunch in the refrigerator at work and (gasp!) it may contain meat or other ingredients that can spoil.

Hmmmm, first of all, 99% of the time, my lunch consists of leftovers that have been refrigerated overnight. Leftovers means cooked food people! My lunch goes from the fridge at home into my insulated lunch bag and then sits on my desk for a few hours until I heat it in the microwave at lunchtime. I don't think I need to worry about bacterial growth in that amount of time. Beside, the office is so d@mn cold, it is almost as good as a fridge.

Reason 2. When I go out to lunch and bring back leftovers, I don't put them in the fridge.

What? More bacterial growth?? I don't worry about it, obviously. Anyway, I'm more grossed out by the shared fridge than a little bacterial growth. Since there's a problem with people sampling other people's food without asking permission, I think the work fridge offers even more opportunity for a bacterial cesspool.

Reason 3. I use plastic when microwaving my lunch.

The manufacturer says the containers are microwave safe and they wouldn't lie, would they? Okay, okay, maybe they would lie, but somehow, I think the BPA hoopla is the hoopla du jour and next month, I will have something else to worry about.

Reason 4. I eat leftovers that are more than two days old.

I grew up eating leftovers. In fact, we used to fight over the leftovers (Mom was a great cook). And I don't know how to cook in small quantities (and who wants to cook every night anyways?). I usually cook a couple times on the weekend and then once during the week. So that means leftovers for a couple of days or (gasp!) even longer! Interestingly, my tolerance for leftovers has gone down. I used to be able to eat the same thing 8 meals in a week (4 lunches, 4 dinners). Now I'm down to around 5.

Reason 5. I don't use paper towels.

Sorry, that's an exaggeration. I do use paper towels, just not as many as some people. In the bathroom (sorry), I don't get a paper towel to turn on the faucet, then several more to dry my hands, then another one to turn off the faucet (all while the water is running...very eco unfriendly), and finally another to open the bathroom door. I don't do that at work and I certainly don't do that at home.

And at home, we go through a roll of paper towels every 5-6 weeks (and we used to be better, it used to take us two months to use up a roll). How in the heck does a family use a roll every day or two?

So whaddya think? Is it safe to be around me? Don't worry, if you come over for dinner, the house will the thoroughly cleaned (but it still might be messy), you don't be eating my leftovers, and there will be a fresh roll of paper towels in the kitchen, and fresh hand towels in the bathroom.

Update on the pumpkin muffins

Guess they really are a hit since Mr. Fix-it wouldn't let me take any when we went visiting family this weekend. He told me he'd polish off the muffins in a couple of days...we'll see.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin raisin muffins

I was feeling domestic again so I made another batch of pumpkin muffins. The first batch I made was based on the Pioneer Woman's recipe. Since I'm not a muffin fan, I'm not the best judge. I wasn't thrilled with them, but Mr. Fix-it thought they were okay.

I tried a different recipe today (with modifications, of course, included below) and they're a hit! Well, I thought they were a bit dry, but Mr. Fix-it thought they were moister than the previous batch. Since he's the one eating them, I'd say his opinion counts for more. On the plus side, they're healthier than the Pioneer Woman's version (I think).

Notice the Christmas liners? No, I'm not trying to start the holidays early. They're the only liners I have in the house. I need to buy some more, but of course, I'm too cheap to buy more when I've still got usable ones, even if they are out of season.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix (or 1 cup canned pumpkin + 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line cupcake pan w/liners.
2. Sift dry ingredients together.
3. Beat eggs and sugar together. Add pumpkin, apple sauce, and oil, and mix well.
4. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins.
5. Fill muffins 3/4 full.
6. Bake for 19-21 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 18 muffins.

Notes: I thought they were a little too sweet, probably because of the apple sauce and raisins so next time I will decrease the sugar slightly.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photo 115/365 Mien, mi fun, you bing, ho yau, choy

We went grocery shopping at the Asian market today. I showed the sale flyer to Mr. Fix-it and asked if he saw anything he wanted. He handed it back and told me he didn't recognize anything, lol. (Sorry to mix Mandarin and Cantonese in the title, but that's how I know the names.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Less than a week

It took less than a week to get back to my pre-cruise weight. Woo hoo! Guess my normal eating habits aren't so bad after all. On the other hand, Mr. Fix-it thinks he didn't gain any weight on vacation. Yeah right.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


We're still much higher than the rest of the country.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It was a good week

Did you miss me? We actually took a vacation! For a whole week! We took a week-long cruise to the Mexican Riviera, which sounds much more exciting than it was in some ways. After all, we spent more time at sea than on land, lol. But wow, I see why some people really like the cruising life. Lounging on pool chairs, a spa, a gym, your choice of a 24-hour buffet or a sit-down meal (or both, lol). It sure was fun to order an appetizer and soup/salad and an entree and dessert (or maybe two). My favorite was ordering a double serving of papaya at breakfast and then more papaya for dessert after lunch. One day, I ordered two lunches (hey, I wasn't the only one at the table to do that) and once Mr. Fix-it ordered two desserts. With all that, we really didn't gain any weight. Maybe because our cabin was at one of the ship and the dining rooms were at the other...had to walk, walk, walk to get our food, lol.

Anyway, I'm back. I asked a coworker if I missed anything at work and she said it was pretty quiet, that I picked a good week to go on vacation. I said, no, it was a bad week because I'd rather all the emergencies take place while I'm gone. Let's hope it is another quiet week.