Monthly Archives: May 2010

Matrimonial bliss



A little over two weeks ago I headed out to Oklahoma for Jack’s sister’s wedding. We threw her a bridal shower, helped out with the wedding preparations, partied with family and friends and of course, attended the wedding. I’m happy to report that all went swimmingly. The happy couple were indeed married and are currently basking in matrimonial bliss on the beaches of St Thomas.

While they are basking the rest of us are recovering.

More photos shortly.

Sorting … sorting … sorting.

Need more beer.


I wanna, wanna, wanna …



I love beets.

Like, I really love beets. Almost in a weird way.

As a kid I didn’t like them that much. But that was when they came out of a can and looked like molded jello. Once I had fresh beets, it was all over. I was in love. And uh, I think it’s unrequited.

Several months ago I read about the scrumptiousness of beet raviolis and ever since I’ve been dying to make them. There’s a Mario Batali recipe on Food Network that looks like it might just fit the bill.

Is it beet season yet?


Is it?

Huh, huh, huh?

What am I, twelve? I know, pretty silly. But if you feel the way I do about beets you’d totally understand. It’s the same way I feel about Jean Luc Picard from Star Treak Next Generation. There’s just a special silly place in my heart that can’t contain the giddiness.

Ariane and Bob



With Jack’s sister getting married in a little over a week I’ve got weddings on the brain. It reminded me of a stack photos that I’ve been meaning to sort through since … uh, last year. Gulp. It’s shameful, I know. What kind of photo-taking friend am I?

Last October my best friend Ariane married her beloved Bob (and his five kids) in Vermont.

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Let’s have a party



Right now I’m packing up the final details for Jack’s sister’s bridal shower occurring in Oklahoma this Saturday. Planning this shindig from California means that I need to be on top of my game. As I make up the shopping lists and action plans for the 72-hours leading up to party time I’m reminded of another fete that we threw in Vietnam leading up to the celebration of Tet, Vietnamese New Year, this past February.

Our home in Saigon has a terrific riverfront location. Right across the street from us and running adjacent to the river are large cafe patios that fill up every night with cheerful people laughing, drinking coffee or beer and noshing popular Viet cafe snacks. The atmosphere was relaxed and convivial. The location was beyond convenient. So that’s where we had our little party for fifty folks to happily ring in the New Year.

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Sunday Soup: Bust out your slow cooker!



There’s something about making a big pot of soup that just hits the comfort zone on the weekends. The savory smells that waft through the house … the ease (read: laziness) with which it can be put together and enjoyed … the warm healthy goodness. It all works for me.

Plus, it’s a good way to clean out the fridge. That really works for me.

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Happy Mum’s Day



We love flowers in this house. Love, love, love ’em. Despite being uber-budget conscious we’ll spend $4 a week on fresh cut flowers for the kitchen. I always have a sprig of something in a cute little vase in the bathroom, in our bedroom and on my desk. It’s the best $4 a week that we spend.

We also love giving flowers to friends and family. For mum’s day Jack wanted to give my mom a corsage. He was pretty insistent about it and made sure that we made time in our day to get her one. (Just another reason I love this dude.)

Instead of paying $20 for a corsage we decided to make her one. I knew she’d love it so much more if she knew that we were thrifty about it. And it’s ridiculously easy.

Step 1. Get floral tape at local hobby store. $1.39

Step 2. Cut some flowers from your garden. We cut two baby cala lilies, a cala lily leaf and two sprigs of asparagus fern.

Step 3. Tape ’em together. Trim ends. Get a stick pin (I pulled one from my sewing box) and you’re done.

Happy Mum’s Day!

Small Bites: Bruschetta and spicy shrimp



Because Jack’s uber-long commute has us eating dinner fairly late in the evening he has requested small bites versus a full coursed dinner.

Eating too much too late gives him heart burn. That’s not good; we definitely want to avoid that. But he still wants to eat something together and he wanted it to feel special the way sitting down to dinner might feel special. He wanted it to feel like a reward, a mini-event when he got home. He wanted a little culinary happiness at the end of his day. That commute sucks! When he got home he wanted to celebrate and totally relax.

I get ya, sweetie.

He wanted a gourmet snack: a crab cake and chilled glass of white wine. Maybe two scrumptious fish tacos. Or how about a fresh and flavorful ceviche with a spoonful of mango salsa?

As the weeknight cook this request works out perfectly for me. It’s small, light and relatively easy to prepare one small dish versus a main meal, which usually has a protein, veggie and a starch equalling three small dishes. With a small bite I still get to flex my creative culinary impulses, but it’s faster and heck, it’s economical. Plus, appetizers are simply more fun to make and to eat.

Tonight I went with bruschetta and spicy shrimp.

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