Our now traditional 4th of July version of the Eton Mess, recipe (Red, White and Blue Dessert) from Maki of Just Hungry. It is amazing in taste and prettiness, and can be assembled on arrival to prevent over-sogginess of the ginger snaps and meringues.
Our version of Maki’s fabulous recipe (with home made star biscuits and meringues!) is the lazy person’s way to pot luck the 4th of July, although I usually make up for it by hand whipping the cream. Triple ginger snaps and vanilla meringues from Trader Joe’s. Strawberries marinated overnight in vinegar (usually rice since that’s all what we stock in our cupboards) and a spoon of sugar. Blueberries and everything else just folded in after the cream is whipped (use heavy cream if in US; that "whipping cream" is false advertising…).
It’s Super Bowl Sunday in the US, and hence Kirin’s unofficial birthday. We first met her on our way to our friends’ annual Super Bowl party, and 2 days later, she came to us as her forever parents. We don’t know her real birthday, why she was abandoned not just once, but twice, or why she’s so scared of fireworks. But she’s our favourite dog and it’s her birthday today, so Happy Birthday KiKi!
I have to confess to a certain Trader Joe’s Winter addiction. No, it’s not the peppermint Joe-Joes, although they are so good that I had to ban their purchase this year. Nor is it the countless varieties of salted caramel sweeties.
It is, in fact, their Gingerbread coffee.
P and I love the stuff! It has just enough of a hint of spice to make it festive, and amuse la bouche. The coffee itself is probably not their best, and the fact that it’s pre-ground means that the clock is ticking as soon as we crack open the foil top.
But it is tasty! Just a spot of milk makes it the perfect start to even dull mornings1 The only problem with the Gingerbread coffee is that it’s only available around the Christmas season. I’m sure that’s a good thing, marketing-wise. After all, if we had it all year round, then there wouldn’t be a rush to grab as many cans off the shelf come the season.
But sometimes, on crappy days, you just want some spiced coffee to make the morning go by faster. And sprinkling on a variety of spices into the coffee doesn’t seem to do the trick, or at least we haven’t found the right mix yet.
Not to worry! I serendipitously found the solution to my Gingerbread coffee craving when I cooled my morning coffee with last night’s leftover ruby chai tea. Ratio: 2/3 coffee to 1/3 chai. Splash of milk, and good to go!
1 Yes, even sunny LA gets the occasional dull gray day in winter. And every single day in May, June and July.
Random Photo Tuesday, reinstated as my 2013 lunar new year resolution.
Penguins by framboise, on Flickr
Fin, P and a bunch of penguins watched each other for a good 10 min one Sunday afternoon. Apart from playing with water, cloud dough and watching Pocoyo, I’ve never seen Fin so enthralled by something for so long.
Then he went a blew that record by watching a bunch of sharks for 15 min!
Incidentally, he’s in that ridiculous* one-piece suit because that’s his emergency change of clothes. Fin christened his car seat with his first ever double chunder shortly after arriving in Long Beach, just after getting off the windy, bumpy 710 freeway.
* Ridiculous because it was like 30C (90+F) in the shade that weekend due to the regular “freak” Santa Ana winds that turn LA into Death Valley.
Not being organised enough to send out a family photo for Christmas, we decided that the New Year was an equally good reason to send out greetings. So we choreographed a mini video and photo shoot largely in the following fashion:
[Estimated transcript, circa Boxing Day 2012]
D: Let’s take a photo to send out in an New Year greeting email since we didn’t send out a photo of Fin for Christmas.
[Morning of intended photo shoot, with 1 day to go before the end of 2012]
D: Let’s go to the airport park and make a jumping video.
D: Wake up! Let’s go to the park!
P: [rolled over in bed]
[Several hours into the day, nearly noon]
D: We can get a bento from Marukai if you wake up now and drive us to the airport park. And Fin can take his new dump truck.
F: Arrrrgh! [manic screams, cooped up for too long in the apartment]
P: [stirs from bed, grumbles his way to bathroom]
D+F: [playing to stave off meltdown]
And some time after, with many more distractions and false starts, we end up at the park and make various stabs at taking videos and photos without the aid of a tripod. Fortunately, that dump truck came in handy. :D
Happy New Year!
Our cardboard tree for christmas / winter festival 2012. Cut in one night, assembled on another.
Cardboard boxes salvaged from the hospital’s IT dept, who were obviously upgrading the entire department, judging by the boxes they were throwing out.
Festive coloured binder clips from Staples. Holds 2 pieces of cardboard together to make up for the fold in each piece.
2 circular cardboard struts provide further stability.
Snowflake lights from IKEA (2011).
Yet to be done: cover the free advertising for HP using paper snowflakes, and attempt to hang ornaments from binder clips.