Tag Archive | food

On the Second Day of Christmas…

So, the Christmas report.


Here’s my Christmas Tree, with Mom’s present under it. I sort of love that it looks like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree. We also had an Advent wreath this year:


Sweet, right? Only yesterday I realized I didn’t have a candle holder for the white candle in the middle, the one you light for Christmas Day. So I improvised:


Yes, that’s a jigger from my drinks cabinet. I am an Ecclesiastical Maguyver.

We’ve had a very Dutch Christmas. Been enjoying ontbijkoek for breakfast (and tea and more), but Mom bought this special pastry for Christmas morning: basically marzipan wrapped in pastry. OMG two of my favorite holiday things.


Only when I went to bake it, I discovered the instructions were in Dutch:


I do not read much Dutch (and I speak even less). But there were enough similar words and context that I could work out I was supposed to warm it up in the oven for about ten minutes. But most important: NIET VERWARMEN IN DER MAGNETRON!!


Oh my God, I didn’t even know I HAD a magnetron. How awesome is that. From not on, I’m not calling my microwave anything else.

Here’s what else I had: A hot dog in a blanket:


So, new house, new traditions, and I’ve bored you with my holiday snaps. My holiday is now complete.

Friday Faves – The Twisted, The Pretty, and the Yummy

Here’s what’s floating my boat this week. Why? Because “Friday Faves” sounds cool.

1. Gillian Flynn. This is not a YA author. (Not by any stretch of the imagination.) Banner for Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnShe writes books about grisly murders and really twisted up characters. Her book Gone Girl is a best seller, and deservedly so. Her books keep me riveted, not just with the plot twist, but because she’s got this astounding facility with voice.

Also, it is really hard to knock me to a place where I’m staring at the book going “Holy $%^&! I did NOT see that coming.”

[YA disclaimer: I’d rate her books almost an R, not for any graphic sex but for disturbing psychology… in both the killers and the protagonists.]

2. The Immaculate Baking Company.  Oh my GAWD these chocolate rolls are so good.  I literally reward myself for getting up early and going to mass by baking them when I get home. (Appropriate, given the name, I guess.)  Only today is Friday and I’m eating one just because. (They also promote Folk Artists and they have a blog with delicious start-with-our-products-and-make-them-even-more-awesome recipes.)



3. The cheerfulness of Vera Bradley’s Ribbons pattern… and their Pinterest board full of inspiration.


4. These floats, covered entirely in flowers (like the Tournament of Roses parade), from Holland’s Bloemencorso.

Look at that little guy on the bottom, helping out with the grooming. So. Cute.

Look at that little guy on the bottom, helping out with the grooming. So. Cute.

What a cutie.

Speaking of cute. This is. 


5. Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper. First off, I LOVED that movie. JGL did an incredible job playing young Bruce Willis. His mannerisms and line delivery were dead on.  But I feel like I just discovered this guy. I know he was in Inception (and really great in that, too). But when did he go from being “Wow, that kid from Third Rock From The Sun can really act!” to “Wow, he’s kinda hot as well. A little skinny, but… day-um.”


That’s it for this Friday. I guess I’ll have to pull my head out of my book long enough to find new things to be obsessed with next week. Please make suggestions in the comments. Seriously.

Tea and Crumpets

Americans are missing something, not having the concept of "tea time." I said to someone this morning, "I’ll be there around tea time" and got a blank look. I’m not saying we need an extra meal. (I mean, the last thing American’s need is to eat MORE.) But the chronological concept of tea time is very useful. We say all the time "I’ll be there by dinner. I’ll stop by at lunchtime." It’s just useful to express a non-specific but generally socially agreed upon time of day.

Mr. RCM get’s irritated with me when I say "Americans need to this…" or "American’s don’t that." He’s like, "You’re American. You were BORN here." Yes, and when I say "Americans" I totally include myself in that. As it happens, however, I was raised by my eccentric Dutch family, I don’t even have an extended American family (I have an uncle and cousins on my Dad’s side, but they lived far away), and my dad adapted much more to my mom’s European habits than vice versa. Mostly where culinary matters are concerned.

So I grew up with some eating idiosyncrasies that might have blended in better in other parts of the country, where there’s more Dutch and German influence, or a more diverse cultural melting pot. But in Texas, you get looked at a little weird when you put jam on your pancakes instead of syrup. Or eat your pizza with a knife and fork. (Though I actually stopped doing that pretty quick, because the mocking was intense.) Oh, and here’s a shocker: I don’t believe you need to eat meat at every meal. Heck, I don’t even think you need to eat meat every DAY. And that was before I went vegetarian. I really do not understand the American obsession with meat.

Heh. My inner 12 year old snickers.

ANYWAY. By "tea time," I’m not talking about high tea, with scones and jam and Royal Doulton. (At least, not as a general rule, because I do love my scones and jam. And my Royal Doulton.)  I know a lot of people who stop mid day to have a cup of coffee or tea and a snack, to have a break, or tide them over for dinner. This is not a unique concept. But there’s no name or agreed upon time for this mini-meal. But I think we need one.

I wouldn’t mind adding Elevenses to the American lexicon, either. Though I’d be willing to go with what we call it in my house, which is "second breakfast."

The Weekly Rose Report

So, I’ve managed to get myself to the Y all week for exercise, but oh my God, y’all would laugh if you could have seen me. Monday I did pilates, and I was a tad… overconfident. I actually survived the core stuff pretty well, but the class focused on the hips a lot. A LOT. So half the week I was walking around like Yosemite Sam. It was sad, very sad.

I finally spent my Christmas/Birthday money. This is also sad, I realize, but I’ve been supplementing my stash until I had enough to buy a Kindle. So I did. And I freaking love it. I can read much faster and I don’t have to wear my computer glasses to use it. Of course, I’m going through the Kindle store, looking at what they have, and I keep coming across things that I already own in hard copy and having read yet. *guilt* The only thing is, there’s not a huge saving off the paperback price, though there’s a substantial difference if something’s in hardcover. (FYI, you can buy my books in both Kindle format, and for other e-readers, like the Sony.) I’m all for saving trees, though, so price wasn’t my main consideration. Being able to carry a library around in my purse was, though.

Discovered the new Mediterranean restaurant around the corner from me makes a scrumptious falafel. I’m ridiculously excited about this.

I watched Valkyrie. I’d wanted to see it in the movie theater, but I missed it. I was leery, because (a) I know it doesn’t exactly have a happy ending and (b) I’m not a huge Tom Cruise. Both were non-issues, though. The movie did a great job of keeping the tension really high, even though I knew how it ended, I was all in knots. And Cruise disappeared into his character in a way I haven’t seen him do since… Since he became Tom Cruise, I think.

(Okay, I just have to get this off my chest. I don’t know what to think of the guy personally, but he’s just damned handsome. I didn’t used to think so, because I don’t love that cheeky Risky Business grin. And if anyone mentions Tropic Thunder to me I will smack you. Possibly it was the uniform (why are the ranking minions of evil empires always such snappy dressers?), or his doomed but noble enterprise, but SeriousActor!Tom made me forget Crazy!Tom in this movie.)

Anyway. Valkyrie gets a recommend from me. It was taut, moved a a nice clip, and really fascinating.

That’s my week. How was yours?

Let Them Eat Cake

Here’s another field trip for you guys: www.cakewrecks.com. I just discovered this site, which is apparently pretty popular. Late to the party as usual, I guess. (It was a winner of the 2008 Bloggies.)

Since I love the Cake decorating challenges on the Food Network so much (not to mention Ace of Cakes), finding a whole blog full of wonderful and awful (but mostly awful, which is the fun part) cake decorating disasters was a whole MORNING wasted. Howeve, I did learn there’s a name for the kind of cake that I like. A topsy turvy cake.

I’ve always thought they look like something out of a Dr. Seuss illustration, which makes this one just about perfect.

Dr. Seuss Cake (made by The People's Cake for a contest.

(The caption at cakewrecks says this was made by The People’s Cake for a contest. A contest of COOL.

I was getting married again, I would TOTALLY have one, as topsy and turvy as they could make it.

Maybe not this much, though:

But my favorite cake themed discovery on Cake Wrecks has got to be this Lego person re-enactment of Eddie Izzard’s "Cake or Death" bit. Funny as heck anyway, but somehow even more so with Lego People.

So here’s your questions of the day:

Your perfect Event cake: Traditional or Whimsical?

Chocolate or Vanilla (Or other)?

Cake or Death?

(I’ve made myself very hungry… for cake.)

On Pomegranates and Pomeranians

I had the weirdest craving yesterday– for pomegranate of all things. (Heh. I misspelled that, and it autocorrected to “Pomeranian” which would have been an entirely different post.) Which is weird, because I don’t like pomegranate juice, or any kind of flavoring. But the real thing? Had. To. Have. Some.

Maybe it’s because I don’t eat them often, because they’re kind of messy. Pomegranates are one of those foods where the ratio of work to edible payoff isn’t really in it’s favor. Sort of like oysters and Cornish hen. I’m sure that in cultures where you have to work for all your food (i.e., can’t just run down to the grocery store for the easy open package) then no one would complain. For that matter, I’m not complaining. Because while I was sitting here pulling open the sections of fruit yesterday–Well, not sitting HERE because this is a new laptop, and as I’ve said, eating a pomegranate is messy business–I was thinking how satisfying the actual act of eating was, picking out the seeds one by one. It serves that hand to mouth motion that makes me eat bad for me things, like chips and dip, and Smarties.

(I love Smarties. I open the packs, and sort them by color, then reward myself while I writing. Write a paragraph, eat a smartie. OR sometimes, when it’s not going so well, write a sentence/word/letter, eat a smartie.)

Fresh coconut is another one of those foods I love but rarely eat because it’s too much trouble. I won’t touch dried, toasted, canned, packaged or otherwise processed coconut, but ohmygod, it’s so good when you pry it right out of the shell, a hard won trophy.

But it does make me wonder who first ate these things. Someone really hungry, I’ll bet. It makes me think of that Johnathan Swift quote: “It was a brave man who first ate an oyster.”

What about you guys? Do you have something you love to eat, but save for special occasions/deep cravings because it’s a lot of trouble?