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Archive for December, 2008

Another year has gone by closing yet another chapter for me. There are many things that I am thankful for. There were also many wonderful and memorable events that happened this past year. In a chronological order:

  1. Visiting Death Valley with J and Indi
  2. Visiting June Lake a couple of times
  3. Being credited back $150 by Amex for a bogus damage charge by the lodge
  4. Nosh Cafe
  5. Canoing down Colorado River and camping half way
  6. Meeting Mr. Ocifer and Charlie
  7. Passing the dreaded Comprehensive Exam
  8. Making it through Pedagogical Grammar
  9. All that I learned from Dr. P
  10. Completing my MA in English
  11. Not being kicked out of the graduation ceremony for decorating my cap
  12. The perplexed look on our school’s president’s face when she looked at my cap as she handed me my diploma
  13. Indi’s First birthday
  14. Celebrating my graduation and J’s birthday with a gathering of family and friends
  15. A sauced professor, who shall remain nameless, hugging and grabbing J’s butt
  16. Meeting Donna, Cowboy, & Tess
  17. HM’s birthday *surprise guest* who never belly danced for us and his subsequent participation in our gatherings
  18. A few trips to Idyllwild
  19. Hyper Blue
  20. New awesome windows
  21. The wonderful students that I taught ESL to in El Segundo for 10 weeks
  22. Walks and chats with Barb
  23. Day trips to Matilija Creek including Charlie’s suicide attempt
  24. 2 night backpacking trip to Matilija Creek
  25. Indi the swimmer
  26. Finally receiving my diploma in the mail after administrative issues
  27. Awesome nights spent at the Hollywood Bowl
  28. Yearly camping trip to Catalina Island
  29. Volunteer work
  30. Being allowed to do Independent Study for the two classes that were canceled
  31. Povich’s Pizzeria
  32. Basic photography class at EC
  33. Editing An Experienced Resolution
  34. Almost getting kicked out of the Republican rally for wearing Obama pins and taking notes
  35. Indi Day
  36. Stuffed peppers and Jalapeños with cream cheese
  37. NaNoWriMo
  38. President Obama
  39. November 07, 2008
  40. Barb’s delicious sweets
  41. Nikon D60
  42. The failed jewelry sale
  43. All the comedy shows that we went to
  44. My ipod so I can watch all the cooking podcasts
  45. This American Life
  46. The Story
  47. All HM gatherings
  48. The fabulous Ms. CS
  49. Bread & Tulips
  50. Olive Oil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, and Broth
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Funny Stuff

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I love funny stuff!

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Indi Friday

dsc_0007-medium-copyBelieve it or not, this is yours truly and Indi during one of our regular “I got your toy, na na na na na”  games. She is THAT tall! All stretched out she is as tall as moi! Well not that I am that tall but she is that long!

Today’s featured toy is a Baguette given to Indi for her birthday by Mixed Bag! We have already gone through Woofgang Pup Pizza and Brad Pittbull. We gave the ipaw phone to Tucker because we love him and also because his dad has the real thing… we thought they can stay connected with their iphones!  😉

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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I love experimenting with food. There is a part of me that is very traditional about certain aspects of cooking and remaining true to the traditional Persian and Italian recipes. Yet, there is the rebellious side of me who likes to experiment. I am slightly schizophrenic when it comes to this though because you never know which recipes I am not willing to deviate from in any shape, way, or form.  One thing is sure though, it is mostly the traditional Persian recipes that I can’t deal with changing.

I had a rebellious thought a couple of weeks ago and decided to act on it. I was craving rice and didn’t have anything around for a traditional dish. But truth be told I needed to be creative in order to refocus from my writing projects. I had some mushrooms in the fridge so I decided to seriously experiment. What I mean by seriously is using my rice cooker in ways that I had not before.  I thought the results were good and most definitely worthy sharing.

If you are Persian, you will likely be horrified because that’s not how we are taught to use our rice cookers. But please trust me, it worked.

I welcome, and encourage,  you to leave a comment if you choose to make this recipe or have done something similar. I would love to know how others experiment.

Ingredients

4 cups of rice

12 oz package of crimini mushrooms sliced

1 onion diced

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 tbls of advieh

canola oil

salt & pepper

A Persian rice cooker (this will not work in a regular rice cooker)

Sauté onion and garlic until onion is golden. Add 1/2 tbls of advieh.

Wash rice and place in the rice cooker with 4 cups of water. Add a generous amount of oil (1 1/2 tbls)  and salt (2 tsp) and give it a little stir.  Add the sliced mushrooms on top. Turn on rice cooker. Trust me….

In about 15-20 minutes or so the water will start absorbing. When you noticed that most of the water has been absorbed, and all you can see is bubbles, take out  the mushrooms and place them in a bowl. Then scoop out the rice as well only leaving a thin layer at the bottom of the rice cooker. I know…you don’t take the rice out of the rice cooker, but hang on to your panties, it works, I promise!

In the bowl mix rice, mushrooms, onion mix, and the remaining advieh. Taste for seasoning and if needed add more salt, pepper, or advieh.

Place rice mixture back in the rice cooker.  Place a kitchen towel around the lid and cover.  You say: “but you are not supposed to cover the rice cooker’s lid with a towel.” I say: “I have experimented enough to know that it works better this way!”

Now, all this new found method is likely to mess up the timing on the rice cooker.  So cook for about 45-50 minutes and then turn off the rice cooker.

Flip the rice onto a dish and the results should, hopefully, look just like the picture above!

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Bean Soup

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The weather has been rather cold in LA so I have been making soups a lot in the past few weeks. I tried something new recently: bean soup.  I made soup with both cannellini and black beans. Both results were delicious and here is the recipe for you all to try.

Ingredients:

2 cups of beans (cannellini or black) soaked overnight

1 diced onion

4 cloves of garlic

1 diced carrot

1 diced celery stem

1 tbls of olive oil

1 jalapeño (seeds removed if you don’t like it too hot)

1 tsp of cumin

1/2 cup of dry  sherry wine

2 bay leaves

salt & pepper

Optional

1 avocado cut into wedges

Cilantro for garnish

In a Dutch oven sauté onion, garlic, carrots, and celery with olive oil for about 10 minutes or until onion becomes translucent.  Add cumin and give it a stir allowing for the flavor to release.  Now stick your nose in there because it should totally smell good!

Add wine and let reduce for a couple of minutes. Add beans, 6 cups of water, the jalapeño (with or without seeds, totally up to you)  bay leaves and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Season to taste and let cook for another 1/2 hour.

Use a hand blender to blend the ingredients inside the Dutch oven. Ladle in a soup bowl and garnish with avocado wedges and cilantro.

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This morning the orginal post that I published last night was met with a somewhat sarcastic “Nice post.” I was told that my “tone analysis” was way off base and it was not at all accurate. Well, that’s why I came up with the genius TONE analysis.  So I encouraged J to write his own version of how things took place to post along with mine.

So below is J’s version:

Standing in the dairy aisle at Costco:

Woman: “They don’t have mozzarella. We can just use the other cheese we have at home.”

Man: “Yeah we can go through the ones we have and get it next time we are here. We have plenty of cheese at home anyway. Is that OK?”

Woman: “Sounds good. Yeah we do have enough at home.”

Half hour later at TJ’s while checking out:

Woman: “You got Mozzarella.”

Man: “Yeah, I’ve got it covered. I remembered.” Said with great pride with much emphasis on the “I” parts while pointing to self. Actual thoughts: ‘See I pay attention to what you say and try to remember what we are shopping for.’

Woman: “I just thought we were gonna go through the ones we had at home.”

Man: “Oh.” Pause.  “That’s right.” Actual thought: ‘DOH!!  It looks like I don’t pay attention or remember what we are shopping for. ‘

Woman: “I am so glad YOU had it all covered!” Chuckles. Giggles.

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