Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake Roll

We celebrated Don's birthday this week. I made him a cake for his birthday because Don loves sweets. And I love baking. And everyone should have a cake for their birthday - in my opinion.

Don loves whipped cream and strawberries so I made Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake Roll. It is yum-my. You can make this on the fly in less than an hour. Which is exactly what I did in a complete flurry in the kitchen. I believe I even broke a sweat. Who knew cooking could be considered exercise?

Don and Elli kept sneaking in the kitchen trying to steal the whipped cream. I wouldn't mind if the kitchen was bigger. But it's the size of a 1/2 bath, so it's kind of annoying. Plus while they are in there they usually decide to do something else like fill the dogs water bowl or just about anything that gets in my way. Anyhow, it was his birthday so I let him slide without my usual scary face/eyes bugging out "get out of my kitchen" look. It's not pretty. Trust me.

Don told Elli he loves this cake because you can have it for dessert AND breakfast. She looked at him like he was crazy.

I guarantee you the two of them will be giggling at breakfast eating cake together. Ok, Elli will giggle. Don doesn't really giggle. But he'll be happy.

Day One - creamy and delish

Day Two - cake is super moist and it's still creamy and delish.

I'm pretty sure there won't be a day three.

The end.

Strawberries and Cream Sponge Cake Roll

recipe from "Sweets to the Sweet" cookbook, by Susan Branch

3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Whole strawberries for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ยบ
Place large bowl in freezer (for making the whipped cream.)

1. Grease bottom and sides of a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jellyroll pan with vegetable oil; line with wax paper, and grease wax paper with oil. Set pan aside.
2. Beat egg yolks in a large bowl at high speed of an electric mixer until thick and lemon colored; stir in vanilla, and set aside.
3. Beat egg whites until foamy; add cream of tartar and salt, beating until whites are stiff but not dry.
4. Fold in 3/4 cup powdered sugar.
5. Fold whites into yolk mixture.
6. Gradually fold flour into egg mixture.
7. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.
8. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes.
9. Sift 1 to 2 tablespoon powdered sugar in a 15 x 10 inch rectangle on a cloth towel.
10. When cake is done, immediately loosen from sides of pan, and turn out onto sugared towel.
Peel off wax paper.
11. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together; let cool completely on a wire rack, seam side down.
12. Combine sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar; set aside.
13. Use chilled bowl and beat whipping cream until foamy; gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar, beating until soft peaks form and sugar is dissolved in cream.
14. Unroll cake.
15. Spread cake with sliced strawberries and half of whipped cream; reroll cake, without towel.
16. Place on serving plate, seam side down; spread remaining whipped cream on all sides.
17. Garnish with whole strawberries, if desired.
18. Chill until serving time.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Learning how to play golf

Elli had her first golf lesson while we were in Tahoe last week. Ok, maybe it wasn't an "official" golf lesson. But she did get some great tips on how to hit her new driver from my brother Bill who is quite the excellent golfer.

He can hit the ball really far and with great accuracy with any club. His own clubs got wet and then rusty in his garage and he can still smack the ball three times as far as I do.

He picked up Elli's little driver called the Launcher and hit the ball 225 yards! Yowzer. So he was the obvious choice to give her a lesson.

Elli is super excited to learn how to play which makes me really happy. It's something we can all do as a family. Plus, knowing how to play golf is an excellent skill to have. She is going to be an excellent business woman someday and taking clients golfing is perfect. And trust me she will have a job in sales. She can pretty much convince anyone to do or buy anything. Just ask Don.

Last week the boys (Don, Dad and Bill) went golfing at Tahoe Donner Golf Course and took Elli along. She played one hole, the short par 3, and actually landed on the green, which is better than I did! The day I played I overshot the green and landed in the woods in a pile of wood chips. Boo hoo. 

Tahoe Donner, Hole #18

Next up is getting her to swim in the ocean so she can snorkel and scuba dive with me and Don. She knows how to swim and has a really nice stroke and great lung capacity. Just one teeny problem. She's afraid of getting eaten by sharks. She wouldn't even go in the lake because of sharks. I don't know how many times we discussed the fact that there ARE NO SHARKS IN A LAKE. She wouldn't listen. Very stubborn. She'll swim like a fish in the pool. But will not swim in the ocean which is a major bummer.

I wish we lived closer to Florida where the water is warm and clear. Anyone have any tips?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Kids and their blankies.

Elli has two blankies. We gave her both blankies the minute we adopted her when we were in China. She immediately decided that the blue blanket would be her security blanket. And it quickly became known as Blue Blankie. The other blanket is made by a company called Baby Lulu. So we call that one Lulu.

She loves these blankets almost as much as us. They are there for her when she's sad, lonely, happy, scared, stressed out, and tired. They are not allowed out of the house. So they are always there for her when she gets home. Otherwise, she would look like Linus dragging them around everywhere. Mr. Blue has had many surgeries over the years. But now he is beyond repair and she is much more gentle with him. She still finds comfort in him - especially when we're in a strange place. And yes, I'm still talking about a blanket.

And even now at 8 years old, she's not big on sharing him with anyone. Even her Mimi and Papa. And yes, all those ratty strings are the ends of poor blue blankie.

Did your kids have a favorite stuffed animal or blankie?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I love brunch.

Last Sunday we took Don out for brunch on Father's Day. It was sooooo good! We rarely go out for breakfast or brunch. I think we need to change that. The food was so good. It was a fantastic way to celebrate Father's Day.

Ottimista Enotica Cafe on Union Street in San Francisco. Yum

Don had THE BEST Bloody Mary ever. I couldn't have one because we were driving to Tahoe. It was peppery with a bit of tang. Perfect.

Ell had hot chocolate that was Yum-my and big.

And then she had chocolate chip pancakes with strawberries. She was in heaven.

Don had Huevos Rancheros. His favorite.

I had Eggs Benedict with Meyer Lemon Hollandaise. Oh-so-good! I'm going to try to re-create the hollaindaise sauce. I loved the lemon zing.

Elli and her daddy. He's not a fan of getting his picture taken. Especially in restaurants. Sorry honey!

Later in the day we met up with MY dad in Tahoe. Here is Elli with Papa, and me.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I hope everyone has a fabulous day with their families today. We'll be taking Don to brunch and then spending dinner with my mom and dad. It will be a fabulous day of yummy food and great company!

My brother Bill, Elli and her dad, Don.

We're starting it off with Blue Bottle Coffee and lemon bread - then it's on to brunch.

It's not to late to bake this yourself (hint, hint.) Read on for the recipe.

Lemon Bread (Cake)
(from Simply recipes)

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup minus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 T. honey
2 eggs (room temp)
1 T. lemon zest
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t. ground cardamom
1 t. baking powder

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.

1. Beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and honey, continue to beat until creamy, a few minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate. On low speed, slowly beat the milk in. Do not worry if the mixture looks a little curdled. Mix in lemon zest.
2. Sift together the flour, salt, cardamom, baking powder. Add to the wet ingredients, beating until smooth.
3. Place batter in prepared pan and bake for 1 hour at 350°F.
4. While the lemon bread is baking, prepare the glaze. Heat the glaze ingredients - lemon juice, sugar, honey - in a small saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved.
5. Once you have removed the bread from the oven, poke holes all over the top with a thin skewer (this will help the glaze penetrate). Spoon the glaze over it while the bread is still in the pan and is still hot. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing to serve.

Makes one loaf.

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Stressed out? Bake something.

Baking is really relaxing to me. So when I'm totally stressed and need a diversion from life I bake. Today is one of those days. It's Saturday and I shouldn't be stressed. But we had another little financial fiasco this morning and it has my stomach doing flip flops and me in the kitchen baking trying to burn away all my troubles in a 350 degree oven.

Since I have a bowl full of lemons and limes I chose to bake Lemon Bread. It's 90 degrees outside and I'm baking. I got a little eye roll from Don. But he knew better than to mess with me today. So all is well.

There's something about being in the kitchen, all by myself, measuring ingredients, mixing them up and pouring the batter in the pan that I find very relaxing and soothing. It takes your mind off of things - or at least calms you down for a few minutes.

The recipe for the Lemon Bread is from Simply Recipes. I don't make any alterations to the recipe. I like it exactly as Elise Bauer created it. Except that my crappy oven bakes it a lot faster. It only takes about 42 minutes (instead of 60 minutes as the recipe says.) So watch your baking time! You can get the recipe here: Lemon Bread.

It's the perfect recipe for one of "those days." It's easy to make and I always have the ingredients on hand. We're going to a friend's house for dinner tonight so this will be perfect to take for dessert. It's really more of a cake than a bread. I can smell the lemon and butter right now. Mmmmmm.mmmmm. And here it is. I just poured the glaze on. It's perfect. And I feel so much better already.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Letting go of stuff

I have a terrible time letting go of stuff. And it's really starting to bug me.

The closet in our guest room, where I stash the stuff I don't know what to do with, is busting at the seams. So is the hall closet, and my closet, and the dresser, and my nightstand. And then there's the 48' storage unit we have in Richmond.

I just can't seem to let go of this junk. I get really attached to things for some reason and it's really annoying. I want to live in a clutter-free home. I don't want to feel guilty for giving things away that I don't use anymore. And I want to enjoy things given to me - and not feel like I need to save them.

The other day I found a three-pack of gourmet mustard in the pantry. I had received it as a gift and was saving it. I finally pulled it out to open it up - and it had expired back in January! What is wrong with me? Why was I waiting for the absolute perfect moment to eat mustard?

Last week we got a gift of gourmet olive oil from Sterling Vineyards. Don immediately opened it up and poured some to eat with some crusty bread. My first reaction was GASP! he opened the olive oil. What is he doing? Then I realized that this conversation in my head is unhealthy and duh, the olive oil was given to us to be eaten. Let's not have another mustard incident. So I ate some too, and it was delish.

Lucky for me Elli doesn't have this issue. In fact, I find myself getting my feelings hurt when she so casually says I can throw away the stuffed animals I picked out for her long before she was born. She doesn't connect herself to things (except her blankies) and she lives a much healthier life.

Elli is at work with me today. I gave her a pack of stickers to play with. She immediately ripped open the package and stuck every sticker on a picture she was working on. Right on! I would never have done that myself.  I would have saved those stickers until I was too old to have fun with them. I can learn a lot from her.

See this picture here? It's a stash of stuff under my desk. I moved offices recently and wanted to unload my junk drawer. Well I did. Right into this box. And here it sits. I think I'll toss this stuff today. Elli's with me. She'll help me through it. Plus, I can see right now that the brown box is garbage! Oh my gosh, I'm turning into my grandmother. Holy schnikes.

I know it's all mental. But I'm finally ready to let things go. It's cluttering my mind and stressing me out. I don't want to become that woman (like my grandmother) that collects paper towel tubes and newspapers because I can't throw anything away. My parents have a garage full of stuff, too. Most of it from my grandmother's house. It's in my genes.

Is it just me? Am I the only one with this issue? How do you purge your things? If you have a garage sale in Connecticut watch out for gypsies. They'll rob you blind. Seriously, they will.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

School's out for summer!

Today is Elli's last day of school.

She's really excited for the summer break. I'm less excited. Summer is great as a kid. But as a working parent it's not so much fun. Figuring out the whole camp thing is a royal pain. And figuring out how to pay for it is even more painful. We need about $x,xxx to pay for full-time summer camp. Unfortunately, we don't have that much this year. So we're going to have to be creative. Try explaining to your child why they can't go to camp all summer. It's a tough reality to deal with. But Elli is a trooper.

I have three out of the ten weeks planned out. We are going on a family vacation to Tahoe for one week and I have her booked for two weeks of Circus Camp in July. School starts up again August 25th. I have a feeling it's going to be a very long summer unless I win the lottery, get a bonus or find a buried treasure.

Elli is trying Circus Camp for the first time. It's in San Francisco and it sounds like a really fun camp. The kids get to learn acrobatics, clowning, juggling, stilt walking, rolling globe, tight wire, rolla bolla, trampoline, flying trapeeze, aerial arts, music and more. We may be able to extend her weeks if she likes it. I don't think they are totally booked. And it's much easier to pay as you go versus paying all up front.

Elli is quite the little acrobat. So I'm sure she'll be doing stuff like this in no time!

I think she's ready!!!

After that, she'll be hanging out at our store with Don and I'll take as many days off this summer as I can so we can hit the pool. We'll probably coordinate some play dates with other kids that are not doing many camps this summer. We're not the only ones that have been hit hard financially this year. Just about everyone we know has.

What are you (and your kids) doing this summer?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Meeting other bloggers and some very clever girls!

Happy Monday! Guess what I did yesterday? I went to a blogging mixer in San Francisco where I got to meet a bunch of nice ladies, ate yummy food, and drank some nice Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

The mixer was organized by two groups that work with bloggers - Blogalicious and Clever Girls Collective. Here are the beautiful, and oh-so-clever, girls! I follow all of these girls on Twitter so it was fun meeting them in person.

Pictured left to right, Cat, Sheila, Kristy and Stefania

The mixer was held at Le Colonial Restaurant in San Francisco. There were about sixty bloggers in all. Lots of yummy food and drinks. I only dropped two appetizers on the floor. Yes, two. One was the lobster wonton. It slipped right off my napkin and BAM! right on the floor.

The other was this. The rice cracker snapped in two and immediately fell right on the floor. Nice. You'll be happy to know I did not spill my drink once.

Lucky for me I clicked with two ladies right away. Lizzie and Rachael both live in my hood - San Francisco and Mill Valley. Lizzie B is an ex-news anchor that is now a stay-at-home mom and has a videoblog LizzieBTV. She is very outgoing and funny. I helped her film an interview with Kim Coles for her blog.

Rachael writes a blog called HappyMommyBlog. She lives in Mill Valley and her oldest daughter will be attending Elli's elementary school in the fall. And now I know another blogger in Mill Valley that I can carpool with to events. YEAH!!

Kim Coles, the comedian, actress and blogger was there too. She's really nice, quite funny, really pretty and quite tall! I have to admit I had NO IDEA who she was when I got the invite to the party. But now I know her, and I'll definitely keep my eyes open for stuff she's in.

It was a fun afternoon. This party was much better for me than the first blogger thing I went to.  I'm getting the hang of talking to a bunch of strangers. I don't know why I get so nervous and giggly. My ability to make small talk with some people is really lacking. There are just certain people that I meet for which I have absolutely nothing to say beyond the usual weather, traffic, nice place, kind of commentary. So once we get through those topics it's REALLY awkward. And this is exactly why I'm not in sales.

Here's the swag bag we got at the end. It had lots of goodies from the event sponsors. Elli is pretty excited about the free ice cream coupon and was really bummed that the big chocolate bar is actually a wax magnet. But I think it will give her hours of enjoyment tricking all her friends.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wilfred's Top 10 Picks for the BevMo 5c Wine Sale

It's here! The 5c wine sale is back. We can all breath a sigh of relief. We no longer have to worry about how in the world we would stock up on wine for the summer. Don't tell me you weren't worried. Don't give me eye roll. I know you better than you know yourself. It may not have been a conscious worry. But it was there in the back of your mind. Right behind figuring out a way to pay for summer camp.

So here are Wilfred's top picks for the current 5c wine sale. (For those of you that don't remember, Wilfred is BevMo's Cellarmaster and my friend.) There is a strong showing for white wines this time around. But that makes sense. It is summer after all.

Here's a link to his blog post where he talks about each one. And here's the list if you want to start shopping. My advice is to take advantage of the great service on their website. You can place your order on-line and they will have it boxed up and ready for you in 1 hour. You can shop now and everyone will think you're working. They'll see you concentrating and will think you're working on a complicated spreadsheet or something. Then you can pick up your wine on your way home. No one will ever know.  bwaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

'07 Gnarly Head Chardonnay
'07 Michael Pozzan Napa Valley Chardonnay
'07 Martin Codax Albarino
'08 Blue Fish Sweet Riesling
'08 Aresti Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
'09 Tapiz Chardonnay
'09 Gaucho Select Torrontes

'08 Powder Keg Zinfandel
'06 Norton Barrel Select Malbec
'07 McManis Syrah

Of course I would NEVER shop during office hours. Well, maybe on my lunch break. But isn't that what lunch breaks are for? Eating crappy food at your desk and surfing the internet?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Remember the Mill Valley Song by Rita Abrams?

Just when we thought we were on the home stretch, sliding into summer we get zinged with one more project. All the third grade students were asked to do a project on something important in Marin County. Elli wasn't wigged out by this at all. She knew that we would make sure it got done. Which of course we did.

The teachers gave the students a list of ideas. There are amazing things and people to write about here. There is a lot of history in this area because of our location. We are just north of the Golden Gate bridge. Our county is surrounded by water (The San Francisco Bay and Pacific ocean) there are all kinds of things related to water and nature to write about. There are all the amazing sea animals, and world renowned research facilities, Mount Tamalpais, the San Francisco Bay, historical events like the 1906 earthquake, the Miwok indians, and some of the original settlers whom many things are named after in our town, John Muir (Muir Woods), etc. There are endless things to research and write about. So what did Elli choose?

She chose to tell the kids about Rita Abrams, the kindergarten teacher who wrote the Mill Valley song back in 1969 which became a top 5 hit on the billboard charts. She was super excited to interview Rita, put together a dvd and write a report about her. It just so happens that Rita is our neighbor - which is how Elli got the idea.

We met Rita last fall by accident. Elli had to raise $160 for her school walkathon. Since that's a lot of dough, I asked Elli go to door-to-door asking for support from our neighbors. One of the doors we knocked on belonged to Rita Abrams. We got to chatting and we've been friendly ever since.

So when Elli got the end of year assignment - she immediately thought of Rita.

A little history about Rita.....

Rita had just moved to Mill Valley and was really impressed with the sense of community that everyone had. She decided to write a song that her kindergarten students could sing. So she sat down at a popular spot in the middle of our little downtown and wrote the song in 15 minutes. Before she knew it the song was produced, on the radio, in Rolling Stone magazine and had become a Top 5 hit across the nation.

Elli interviewed Rita and even got to sit down at her grand piano with her and sing the song. We recorded everything. Don edited the movie and Elli made a fantastic poster with photos, a written report and a copy of the dvd for her project.

Here she is in 1970 in the photo that was taken by Annie Leibovitz for Rolling Stone magazine. It was Annie's first year at Rolling Stone.

a little more history....
The record was produced by Eric Jacobsen. And even more amazing, the video of the kids singing was shot by up and coming director Frances Ford Coppola. He was in San Francisco then because he had just formed a company with George Lucas. Then in 1971 the Godfather was released. It went on to become one of the highest grossing films of all time. He got an Oscar for the screenplay and the film won the Best Picture award at the Academy Awards that year. Crazy, huh?

Take a listen. Were you around in 1970? You might remember the song!

WARNING: This catchy little tune may get stuck in your head. I find myself humming it all the time. 

Some images from 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roco Dance Show in Mill Valley - Amazing

Elli's dance recital was on Saturday night. She has been taking classes at Roco for four years. This year she participated in a more advanced modern/jazz class that meets twice a week, vs. the other classes that meet once a week. What a difference double the practice makes!

Elli's 3rd grade class performed with a 4th/5th grade class for the recital - 27 performers total. The dance was called Arabian Nights. The music was "Marco Polo" by Loreena McKennitt.

They had their dance perfectly synchronized to the music, and each other. Elli performed her best leap ever. She did splits in the air - even she was amazed at how great it was. "I felt like I was flying!!" she said. Of course my little show-off added a little flying leap as she was exiting the stage, and going behind the curtain, which made the entire audience laugh.

The Roco recital takes place on stage at the Civic Center in Marin. It's a big stage. The auditorium seats 1,960 people and it's always just about sold out. So it's a pretty big deal. This is not like performing in the elementary school gymnasium or at your local community center.

Last year Roco produced an amazing adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, called Alice. It was very modern, a bit surreal, but totally entertaining and something you would see in a professional theatre. Elli's class was in the performance - it was really cool to see the little girls perform with the teenagers. Here's a short clip I found on You Tube. Rumor has it that they will be performing Alice again next year. I hope so. I can't wait for Elli to be in it again.

I overheard a woman at dinner talking about the show. She took her two young girls and was shocked at how "out there" it was. She takes her girls to ballet at the rec center, where the girls learn simple steps and wear big tutu's. She couldn't believe that there were teenagers in the show in contemporary costumes dancing to a Led Zeppelin music montage.

It made me laugh listening to her. I can just imagine what she's used to and how she must have been expecting one thing - and saw something totally different. This is not Miss Priss's dance school with all the children dancing to classical music. Roco Dance school is really incredible choreography, and creative dancing, to great music. It's amazing. We love it. And most important, the kids love it.

It makes me a little sad that the school year is over and Elli won't be dancing every week. Roco does offer summer camp and classes for adults, too.  But it's not a full-day program so she'll take the summer off and pick it up again in the fall. (And yes, that is my little monkey featured on the schedule page.)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Love this dress from Three Dots

Woo hoo! I'm a winner! (Insert happy dance here.) I won a $100 gift card at ThreeDots about a month ago.

It's a little complicated explaining how I won it. Let's just say that it involved Project Runway Finale + Clever Girls Collective + Twitter + Quizzes + Sponsors who donated fabulous prizes = Three Dots + me winning a QUIZ! Phew.

I had my $100 give card less than 24 hours. It was BURNING a hole in my cyberspace pocket.

I bought this really cute blue dress. I've already worn it to a cocktail party. I just love it. I wish I had a pic from the party. I've been waiting for the party pics to get posted - but the folks at Marin Designers Showcase are apparently in no hurry to publish the hundreds of pics the photographer was snapping all night. So, I'll have to show you the model from the Three Dots website. The dress pretty much looks just like this when you have it on. Except I wasn't striking a pose all night and I had to suck in my gut most of the evening. But that's ok. Us girls are used to that kind of torture. (I refuse to wear Spanx. They are nasty. IMHO)

The dress fits like a dream. It's really flattering and I know this will sound lame, but you don't have to worry about your bra straps slipping and showing. It's cut just right. Which is so nice!!!

The people at Three Dots are super nice. I was just a tad excited about winning my prize. So much so that I messed up my mailing address (combined work/home) and they called me to straighten it out.

The dress isn't fancy, but I feel like I need to be on a date or going somewhere fun to wear it. Most of our outings lately have been to places like High Tech Burrito. And that is not exactly a "put on the blue dress and heals kind of evening." I think I'll book a dinner reservation on OpenTable for when we're in Tahoe on vacation . It's our anniversary (#19. Gulp.) and my parents will be there too. Which means free babysitter!!

There is another dress on Three Dots that I really want. I believe I've been good lately, so maybe I'll treat myself. I can wear this one to the office - if I tone down the sassy and leave the 4" pumps at home. ha. As I was on the site looking for this picture I found a few other things that I like. Decisions, decisions, decisions....

Guess what! The folks at Three Dots are giving my readers a 15% discount on anything you buy between now and June 30, 2010. Just type in the code THANKSKRIS. How cool is that? I have my own coupon code. THAT rocks. So get shopping my friends. Woo hoo!

Every time I look at this model I think of Madonna's song Vogue!

This is my favorite part of the song. Feel free to sing along to yourself. (No one is watching.) Hand gestures are optional. You know what I'm talking about. 

Greta Garbo, and Monroe
Dietrich and DiMaggio
Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean
On the cover of a magazine

Grace Kelly; Harlow, Jean
Picture of a beauty queen
Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire
Ginger Rogers, dance on air

They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face
Lauren, Katherine, Lana too
Bette Davis, we love you

Ladies with an attitude
Fella's that were in the mood
Don't just stand there, let's get to it
Strike a pose, there's nothing to it
Vogue, vogue, vogue, vogue....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sparkling wine is great anytime.

I don't know about you, but whomever determined that sparkling wine should only be consumed for special occasions should be - - - spanked (lightly.) Because there is nothing tastier than a glass of bubbly. Try it with chinese take out and you'll see what I mean.

Plus, it's such a nice thing to bring to a friend's house when visiting. Everyone brings bottles of wine. How fun is it to bring a bottle of bubbly? Trust me, it's a good thing. We always have it on hand. Because you just never know when you'll need it.

The June issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine recently had a big feature called "30 Sparkling Wines for summer entertaining." It's a great article. It has great tips on which bubbly to serve with which course. It has pairing suggestions, too.
Like this:

After reading that I really want linguine and scallops. Anyone want to join me?

You're in luck if you live in California. You can pick up some bottles on sale at BevMo this week. They have a $1 off coupon good on a bunch of sparklers. (AZ stores, too.) You can save a buck on EVERY bottle. If you don't live here, that's a major bummer. I say it's worth a road trip to Cali. But that's just me. Here's a sample of what you can save on.

I have four bottles chilling in the fridge in my office. Oops. Probably shouldn't promote that. Oh well. Anyone want to visit me and have a "meeting??"  hee hee

Go to to see all the deets (what's on sale, coupon code, etc, etc.) And you too can have a tasty dinner that looks like this. mmmm mmmm mmmm. California Sparkling Rose by Roederer Estate. Deeeeelish. (L'Ermitage Brut Rose ~70 bucks. But worth it. And probably not on sale at BevMo.)

*Photo courtesy of Wine

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My birthday plants

Each year Don and Elli give me a plant for my birthday.

I love plants. But I don't know how to keep them alive. Don knows this. I guess he's hoping that I'll figure it out one of these days. Because I know he doesn't buy them hoping I will kill them. He takes care of our plants and flowers at home. I kind of forget. Even when I walk past them everyday. Or they sit on my desk 12" from my face. I don't see them, or think about them. Until they look all sad and it's past the point of no return.

So this year he gave me this beautiful orchid to take to work. I haven't brought it to my office yet because my office is so dark, and dark. I know it will die. So it's sitting on the kitchen counter, right in front of the sink where I can see it every morning and every night. And look! Some of the buds are starting to open.

I think it likes this spot. I better leave it right here.

It also helps that I have Elli there to remind me to water it every Wednesday.

This year's plant.

Last year's plant. uh oh. It's a bonsai. Anyone have any ideas on how to save it?