Monday, February 27, 2012

Introducing Cooper

A true story.

My friend Cooper
by Elli Mulkey, age 10

On February 5th,  2012 I got Cooper. He's fun, fast, and awesome.  He is the color of chocolate. He has two black stripes running down his back.

He is a Mini Cooper.

I got Cooper because me and my mom got in a car crash on the way to school. Someone hit our car and jacked the control of the steering wheel. So we called a tow truck.

The tow truck came and I got to sit in the best seat. When we got to G&C Auto Body everyone was nice to me. A couple minutes later the G&C Auto Body people said my mom was leaving to get a rental car and I could stay there. I said "okay." After she left I got kind of bored. So I did my homework. My mom came back with the rental car, then we rode to school. It was a Chevy!

When we got to school first recess bell was ringing Ding Dong.....Ding Dong. Everyone came in the classroom.

They all asked "Where were you???"

I said, "I got in a car crash."

They all had a shocked face.

"Are you okay?"

I said, "yeah."

The day went by pretty fast. When school was over I went to dance.

Two weeks later we went to the Mini Cooper dealership and met Michael and Adam. They are really nice. Michael is a really good salesman. He got me the best car ever.

I named him Cooper.

Cooper seems really small on the outside, but he's actually big and awesome on the inside.

Just like me!!!

the end.

Yes, even with the money we got from the insurance company for the SAAB we now have car payments for the next 72 MONTHS. But isn't it cute and awesome!

It will be paid off just in time for Elli to drive it when she's 16.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Work Life Balance

Life has been just a tad hectic since I started the new job.

There are days when I feel like I'm drowning in "to do's."

I know it will get better as I get acclimated, and get programs in place that I'm responsible for. But right now, wow, it's crazy and a tad overwhelming.

Oh, in case you haven't heard - I got a job. FINALLY!! I'm the new Director of PR, Influencer Marketing and Events for BevMo! (my old client) I'm also responsible for all the Grand Openings. And I'm the office party planner.

I planned a little Oscars party for the office yesterday. I even set up a red carpet. You can check out all my Oscar party cocktail ideas and party tips on Skinny Scoop.

This job is amazing and right up my alley. It's also nice that I know so many people at BevMo! It makes transitioning so much easier.

The best part is I've taken my little hobby of social media and blogging and turned it into a real job. How awesome is that?!

I do need to work on my schedule. We've been eating dinner at 8pm every night. No one is complaining. But I'm not sure how long the grace period is.

I'm on my computer, or phone, or both ALL THE TIME. Don and Elli are giving me major eye roll about that and have told me to get off the computer and both iphones on more than one occasion.

I need to shut everything down and just relax every once in a while - which is really hard for me to do.

I know they're right.

I'm aware that I'm obsessed with tweeting. I'm well aware that the world will not stop if I don't tweet a comment about Top Chef.

Let's not even talk about Pinterest. My latest obsession.

I'll figure out the right balance.

And then there's the Blog! I need to find time to update my baby here. I have ideas flash through my brain all the time. It would be great if there was some sort of Telepathic App that would just grab all my thoughts and organize it into a post.

I'll work on that patent. Anyone know a good psychic/scientist I can consult? I'm all about delegating. Wait, did I just give myself one more thing to do? What is wrong with me?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Easy Chicken Curry with Vegetables

Life has been a little crazy here the past few weeks.

I'm used to being busy. But now I'm uber busy. Amazingly, we've been eating better than usual because I've had to shop and plan ahead. If I didn't do this we'd probably be eating cereal for dinner. Not really, I'm not a huge cereal fan. We'd probably be eating cheese and crackers. That's more my style.

I haven't quite figured out timing yet. We seem to be eating dinner at 8pm every night, which is a little late for poor little Elli. But I'll get that figured out. No one is complaining. Yet.

Trader Joe's has been my savior. They have amazing pre-made sauces which can be added to meat and vegetables for a tasty dinner. We like making it with chicken. But I'm sure it would taste good with other proteins.

I'm stocking the pantry with all their sauces so I can quickly pull together a meal. When I say quickly I mean get it on the table in under an hour. I have no idea how Rachel Ray does those 30 minute meals. I have yet to get one of those meals prepped, cooked and on the table in 30 minutes.

I don't really have a recipe for you. I'll just tell you what I do. You can adjust it to your liking. Oh, one more thing. The sauce is a tad spicy, and so is the Bangkok Blend.

Chicken Curry with Vegetables
Serves four  

What you'll need:
1. Thai Curry Red Sauce @ Trader Joe's
2. Bangkok Blend spice and/or Curry
3. Four Chicken Breasts cut up into bite sized chunks, season with Bangkok spice
4. 1/2 Bag of Shredded Carrots
5. 1/2 Bag of Fresh Green Beans, cut into one inch bites
6. 2 Shallots diced
7. Olive oil
8. 1 1/2 cups uncooked Rice - white or brown

Cut the chicken breasts into bite sized chunks season with Bangkok blend spice and set aside. Don't make the chunks too small. Start the rice.

Lightly oil a large saute pan. You'll need this to stir fry the veggies, saute the chicken and simmer the sauce in.

Stir fry the veggies in a little EVOO until just al dente. Remove veggies and set aside on a plate. Add a little more EVOO to the pan and saute chicken until browned on all sides. Don't worry if it's not cooked through, it will simmer with the veggies and sauce.

Add veggies and sauce to the pan and simmer covered for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through. It's okay to add a little water to the sauce so it doesn't reduce too much. And that's it!

Serve over rice.

Want to know what to pair with your curry dish? How about Champagne? Read this!

Okay, it's not really that practical for a Tuesday night. So I recommend a Zinfandel, Merlot, Viognier, Rose or Sparkling Shiraz as suggested by Kimberley with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kimberley's picks:

Viognier: Low in acidity. Has the body to stand up to strong flavours but works better with a mildly-spiced curry, like a korma.

Zinfandel: Juicy and packed with fruit, with a little bit of spice of its own. A powerful wine is particularly useful with a vinegary curry, such as a vindaloo.

Merlot: They're soft and fruity without too many tannins which would interfere with the chillies and spices in an Indian meal.

A rosé would also be a hit for the same reasons - the tannins are light enough but they give a fruity mouthful with low acidity.

Her ultimate curry wine is a sparkling Shiraz - it has the sweetness to stand up to the spices and virtually no acids. The sparkle cuts through richer curry sauces; it almost 'resets' the palate between mouthfuls.

Full article here.

What do you think? Are you ready to make some chicken curry?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's Day Dinner

Valentine's day is Tuesday. 


It should always be on a Saturday if you ask me. I think I'll petition to have the date changed so it's always the second Saturday in February. That way everyone can celebrate in a really fun way, even make a weekend out of it.

I have no idea how to do something like that. Or if it's even possible......

Do you call your congressman? "Hello, I would like to change the date of Valentine's day! I think it should be......" and here's where they will hang up on me.

I'm too tired to worry about it. We'll just go with the 14th, a Tuesday.

I made something recently that was delicious, and easy to prepare for a weeknight dinner.  Plus it will pair beautifully with Champagne or Sparkling wine, which is my favorite part of a special dinner.

Gouda and crackers
Crab Cakes with mixed greens and Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette

Let's start with the bubbly.

Schramsberg Blanc de Blanc
The Blanc de Blanc is made from Chardonnay grapes. It's dry and crisp. Serve with aged Gouda, or other hard cheeses. It also pairs beautifully with shellfish, crab cakes, sea bass, lemon chicken, Thai food. ($27 at BevMo!)

Crab Cake Salad
Crab Cake Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette Dressing
dinner for two

Two pre-made Crab Cakes from the Whole Foods fish counter
Spring Mix and Spinach Greens
Roasted Baby carrots
Cherry tomatoes 

makes one cup 
2 cloves of roasted garlic
3/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 T Dijon Mustard
Salt and Pepper

Turn oven, or toaster oven, to 425 degrees.

1. Take each jumbo sized crab cake and divide it into two patties. Set aside.
2. Roast your carrots and garlic in your oven, or a toaster oven. Drizzle the carrots with olive oil. Let roast for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Wrap two cloves of garlic lightly coated with olive oil in foil and roast with the carrots.
3. Crab Cakes: Add a drizzle of olive oil to a medium sized frying pan, turn to med-high heat. Add crab cakes and cook until browned on each side, and heated through. ~8-10 minutes.

Prepare the salad dressing while the crab cakes are cooking.

Salad Dressing
1. In a small bowl, jar, mini Cuisinart, or blender combine the vinegar, mustard, roasted garlic, 1/4 t. salt, 1/8 t. pepper and a pinch of sugar.
2. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking until emulsified.
Makes one cup. Store in a jar and refrigerate for up to two weeks. Shake before using.

Assembly: Grab two large handfuls of greens for each person. Toss into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with about a 1/4 cup of salad dressing. Toss. Divide onto plates. Add roasted carrots, cherry tomatoes and a nice, crisp, crab cake.

Serve with warm focaccia bread and Schramsberg Sparkling wine.

For dessert, serve fudgy, chocolate brownies and homemade caramel sauce. 

*If you don't like crab cakes you can substitute thinly sliced steak, chicken or grilled shrimp on the salad.

Enjoy! And Happy Valentine's Day.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 Marin Designers Showcase

Volunteering isn't something any of us have to do. But it's something all of us should do, to support all the amazing non-profit organizations where we live.

I'm doing my part every weekend by volunteering in the 41st Marin Designers Showcase house every Saturday in February.

It's a rough job I've signed up for.  


The guy on Dirty Jobs wouldn't know what to do.

I get to hang out in a $45 million dollar home in Belvedere, guiding people as they meander around this most amazing home. Every room is stunning. The views take your breathe away.

Oh, and did I mention it's for sale? Yes, it is. The nice folks at Sotheby's would love to talk to you if you're in the market.

I would be happy to be your personal chef or wine caretaker. I don't clean. So don't ask me to do that. You might have to give my parents a "job" too. They're going to want to move in. My dad makes excellent martini's, and my mom is a master snack maker.

Stop by and visit me between 12:30 and 3:30!

All the funds from the tour go to the Center For Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership.

You can purchase tickets on line, or at the door.


February 1-26
Monday - Saturday 10am - 3pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm
$30 general
$25 seniors 62+ 

Evening wine tasting and tours.
Featuring great wines like Duckhorn, Paradise View, Wente, Thirty-Seven.
February 2, 9, 16, 23
5pm - 8pm

Click here to see the list of 2012 Designers

I snuck a few pictures on my iphone. I couldn't resist. The place is so amazing!

The pool and cabana.

Guest suite that I thought Elli would love.

The view. aaaah.....
Wondering how I got involved??

Well, Don and I got to help Kimberly Rider with some of the pieces in the Showcase house from 2010. Our space was the Game Room. Kimberly took this totally ho-hum space and turned it into a room kids and adults would want to hang out in. It was really cool.



I hope to see a bunch of you this weekend!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

BevMo Spring 5c Wine Sale is ON!

YAY! This is my kind of wine sale. Seriously, who doesn't like a bottle of 90+ wine for a nickle?


That's what I thought.

Here are some picks from my friends at BevMo! 

California and Arizona have slightly different wines in the sale so I have two lists so everyone will be happy. Well almost everyone. BevMo! can't ship to NY and various other states so they're not happy. Neither are people in Japan. Can't ship to them either - darn shipping laws. 

CA and AZ peeps? You are golden.

Gen 5 Cabernet Sauvignon – 92 PTS Wilfred Wong
Buccaneer Cabernet Sauvignon – 93 PTS Wilfred Wong
Kuleto Cabernet Sauvignon – 89 PTS Wine Enthusiast
Zolo Gaucho Select Malbec – 92 PTS Wilfred Wong
Main and Geary Petite Sirah – 92 PTS Wilfred Wong
Schug Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir  89 PTS Wilfred Wong

Coppola Director’s Carneros Chardonnay – 90 PTS Wilfred Wong
Sonoma Hills Russian River Chardonnay – 93 PTS Wilfred Wong
Dahlia Chardonnay - 90 PTS Wilfred Wong
Arca Maggiore Pinot Grigio – 90 PTS Wilfred Wong
Frog Haven Sauvignon Blanc – 90 PTS Wilfred Wong
Campo Viejo Brut – 88 Wilfred Wong

Montgras Cabernet Franc- 92 PTS Wilfred Wong
Zolo Gaucho Select Malbec – 92 PTS Wilfred Wong
Gen 5 Cabernet Sauvignon – 92 PTS Wilfred Wong
Ranch 32 Cabernet Sauvignon
Haywood Zinfandel – 91 PTS Wine & Spirits
Buccaneer Cabernet Sauvignon – 93 PTS Wilfred Wong

Dahlia Chardonnay – 90 PTS Wilfred Wong
Fratelli Pinot Grigio – 88 PTS Wilfred Wong
Vigilance Sauvignon Blanc 91 PTS Wilfred Wong
Coppola Pavilion Chardonnay – 89 PTS Wilfred Wong
Tapiz Chardonnay – 91 PTS Wilfred Wong
Cupcake Brut Rose – 88 PTS Wilfred Wong

The best thing to do is fill up two cases. Because for every bottle you buy, you get the second bottle for 5¢. So that means the second case is just 60¢!  Ka-ching!

And then invite me over so we can drink wine together.
Sounds fun, right?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wipe Out!

This is not me, but she could play me in this story.

No, I'm not going on that ridiculous show. I'm not that crazy.

But this WAS me on Saturday morning. Minus the large boxing glove.

Don and I were walking down the hill to the dog park when all of a sudden my feet slipped out from under me and I went down.


The fall literally stunned me.

My glasses and hat flew off. The poop bag I was carrying flew out of my hand and landed five feet away. I scraped my hand, knee, and shoulder.

It hurt!

Don was walking right behind me and practically tripped over me as I landed splat all over the sidewalk.

"Are you ok? Do you want to go home? he asked.


I just sat there.

And then I looked behind me where I had just been STANDING.

"No, I'm okay. Just give me a second." My knee was bleeding. My hand hurt. The pavement, gravel and dirt, had made little dents in my palm.

What the hell?

"I guess I didn't see that dip in the sidewalk where the driveway is." I said.

Don shook his head, "No, you were talking and didn't see the dirt. You were looking the other direction and slipped."


Damn dirt. They really need to sweep that up.

I finally got up and we started walking again. I was going to be really sore the next day. I could tell already.

"At least I didn't laugh at you." he snickered. "It's karma paying you back."

Really? Come on. It was a million years ago that I laughed at you trip over the tree root. I saw it walking behind you, you didn't, and your foot got caught under the gnarly thing causing you to faceplant into the dirt. I'm SURE I asked if you were okay before I laughed.

I'm positive about that.

Plus, hello, it was 1997. Karma acts way faster than that. I must have done something else more recently.

Let's not go there.

Fortunately, I wasn't really hurt. No broken bones. Just scrapes and soon-to-be bruises.

"This is EXACTLY why I don't ski!" I declared.

If I can't walk down a hill without hurting myself, there is no way I'm getting on skis.

End of story.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

5 Delicious Super Bowl Cocktail Recipes

Margarita on the rocks. The only way to drink a margarita.
Just because our team didn't make it to the Super Bowl, doesn't mean we won't be watching the commercials and Madonna like everyone else. And the game too, of course.

Who's playing again?  

kidding.........don't go all crazy on me.

Here are some great cocktail recipes from BevMo! that I thought you might like. I kinda wish I had a margarita right now - with chips and homemade queso. mmm, mmm

Toast your favorite player with the official MVP Cocktail:
  • 1/2 oz. Malibu Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Vodka
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Shake Malibu Rum, Vodka and pineapple juice over ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and decorate with a cherry.
Highlight all the hottest plays with a CIROC Red Zone:
  • 1.5 oz CIROC Red Berry
  • 1 oz sour mix
  • ¼ oz Chambord liqueur
  • Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Sack that QB with The Blitz Cocktail:
  • 1 1/2 oz Patrón Añejo tequila
  • 1 oz Lillet Rouge
  • 1 oz orange curacao liqueur
  • Splash of orange bitters
  • In an ice filled cocktail shaker, add ingredients. Shake until well blended. Strain over ice.
4th Quarter with 4 seconds left Hail Mary Shooter:
  • 1 1/4 oz. Pepper Vodka
  • 5 dashes Tabasco Sauce
  • Splash Tomato Juice
  • Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, strain into shot glass.
Perfect Post Game Margarita:
  • 1 part Espolon Tequila
  • 3 parts Cuervo Margarita Mix
  • ½ cup or more of crushed ice
  • Rim a Margarita glass with BevMo! Lime Salt.  Add mix, tequila, ice, and a slice of lime.

Go Giants!

See? I know who's playing. And who's singing at half time. 'Cause I'm a material girl you know.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Tiny Dancer

Elli in the Main Studio at Roco Dance, Mill Valley

This is one of my favorite pictures.

It just screams - JOY.  Pure, innocent, happiness.

Elli's dance studio posted it on Facebook yesterday and it immediately brought a smile to my face.

I hope it does the same for you today.

Photo credit: Roco Dance, Mill Valley, CA