Saturday, January 26, 2008

Onigiris, please

I've been feeling like I'm just eeking through the work week but not quite getting anywhere. Sadly I haven't had a ton of energy for cooking...until NOW.

This morning I started off my day trying to replicate the Onigiris that Trevor & I enjoyed during our time in Japan. They're literally considered rice balls, but the ones we liked were formed into a triangle shape, filled with something typically salty, and wrapped on the outside with nori. We got them at convenience stores, much like one would find donuts at your local 7-11 but significantly less unhealthy for you. Apparently they are a staple of typical Japanese Bento Box-lunches because they are portable and self contained, much like how we view sandwiches. The ones we got were typically wrapped all the way around with seaweed, but they aren't quite as pretty as a result. I was partial to the ones with teriyaki seaweed on the inside, and Trevor to the ones with tuna fish. We ate them in the mornings as our breakfast along with Apple Tea.

Of course, the art of onigiri making is one I'm not familiar with seeing as how I'm not Japanese and apart from the time I spent in Japan I've never had onigiris ever before. But, Trevor so has his heart set on those little guys that I searched around and with some help from Just Hungry, figured out the gist of what it took to make them and dug in.

Trevor hates umeboshi (a pickled plum that is VERY popular in Japan) so I filled my onigiris with a mixture of canned tuna with mayo and hot sauce. The hardest part for me was trying to keep the innards from coming outside. Otherwise, keeping your hands wet kept everything from sticking. Oh, and hot rice can be difficult for tender hands, but I'm pretty used to handling heat. I've burned myself more times than I'd like to admit. lol

I think they came out pretty well. Trevor was a tad more critical since he deems himself a Japanese food professional, but every recipe needs a few batches before it's perfected. I wouldn't mind procuring some seaweed though since that was my favorite :)

In sort of wedding news, I've been back and forth about the length of veil I want. My mom's been advocating the fingertip length. Considering that I started off not wanting one at all, I've gone to the complete opposite spectrum now and I want a long chapel length one. Actually I saw a picture of someone in full bride regalia in a dress quite similarly cut to mine and decided "THAT is the look I'm going for." Because it's hard to see it in your head, but I believe that once you see it you know exactly if it's meant for you. I didn't exactly break the bank on the elbow length one I already bought so I'll either pass it along to a friend getting married (should they want for something "borrowed") or I'll swap out veils for the reception because I might step on the long one if I kept it on

Kim got me my much belated Christmas gift recently. She got me a pair of earrings when she was in DC for work. I'm actually a bit surprised because I've been looking for earrings. I don't know if the ones she got are quite my taste for my wedding day, but they are simple enough that I could see myself wearing them in general. I'm tentative about wedding earrings because I don't want to over do it with huge chandelier earrings that steal the thunder of my veil and hair and that's what I'm currently finding myself drawn to. I think it's a phase though. It's a little too...trendy. Like how one shouldered dresses were popular a few years back but you wouldn't be caught dead in one now.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Viki's 27th Birthday

I'm a pretty decent homebody. I'm more apt to neurotically bother my fiance about getting the laundry out of the drier than I am to dress up in cheap but flashy top and go out on the town, however this past weekend Viki & crew were out on the town celebrating her 27th Birthday so I really felt as though it would be special to go out with them.

I'm not proud of being a homebody, it's just a result of having a lot of chores, work, fiance and family obligations. And I know I need to appreciate the friends that I do have, so it was decided that I should come out. I was not prepared to go out, but I was hanging out with Kim anyway and she mentioned in passing that I should come out, if only briefly. I thought I'd just meet them at the local bar and then go home when they decided to go into Springfield. As it turned out I was having a lot of fun and didn't really want to go home yet since things were only starting to get good.

I made fast friends with Viki's friend Heather and of course I'm already friends with Kim and Viki. A bunch of other people came as part of "Diana's crew" and Viki's friend Christy and her boyfriend Dave came along just to the local bar. So it was really a very large group once everyone settled in.

I'll say that things got a lot more chaotic once we got into Springfield. In particular Kim was having a TON of fun. Like, I had fun dancing and hanging out with the girls, but I don't think I quite lived it up as much as Kim did. She danced, she flirted, she somehow made money off of her flirting with boys...it was a very full night for her. lol I don't approach going out the same way I did when I was 21 because I don't want to meet anyone at all.

It's actually not hard to not meet people, the key is avoiding eye contact with guys so they don't think you're interested and to always drink from my left hand so my engagement ring is easily seen. Also, guys never dance on the stage so if you spend your night up on an elevated surface they simply won't have the opportunity to hit on you. Considering that I was out all night long and I only got hit on once is pretty good. And even when I do get hit on the moment I say the word "fiance" it's pretty much over. You can see it in their face that they just want to run away from me like I told them I have leprosy. I try not to take it too personally. After all, if I were a single young stud out on the town I wouldn't want to waste my time on almost married girls.

We were at The Salty Dog for a while and then went to Fat Cats to dance and for some unknown reason everyone decided to go back to The Salty Dog for the remainder of our evening. As far as I know everyone got home safe and sound back in their own respective beds.

The next day was devoted to football. Not that I even watch football because I'll admit I'm totally lost. I'm more apt to want to watch soccer because at least then there's the chance of seeing David Beckham shirtless. But Trevor had a few boys over our apartment and I decided to make some potato salad and guacamole for them. Because whether I have any interest in what they are doing or not I always like to be a nice hostess and make a little something for them to nosh on.

I spent the night in the bedroom on my laptop trying to figure how to get ringtones onto my new phone. lol I know, I know, I'm the life of the party. But I think you have to admit that $2 for a 20 second ringtone is pretty ridiculous. With my old Razr, it had a voice recorder and you could record sounds and save them to use as ringtones. So if you were cautious you could place your phone next to a speaker and blast a song so it could record as a ringtone. Ghetto as that might sound it was very effective. But now that I have a new phone I had to go back to an old method I used over 2 years back when I had an LG phone.

Since this might be helpful to nerds like myself who have time enough to mess around with files, I shall share my method. You can send yourself sound-messages. Your phone will register these as "picture messages" even though there's no picture there and from your options menu you can turn around and save your sound message as a ringtone. Now, how do I send myself a sound-picture message? I was able to use Tone This with great success and it seems it is compatible with most phones and most providers. I'm a Verizon user and it worked just fine. You can also email your phone with a small music attachment and achieve the same results.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Overworked

I'm a lazy lazy lady.

To be honest I'm too burned out from work to do anything, even motivate myself to make dinner more than 3 nights a week. For me that's a big deal and I'm already feeling guilty about not putting more nutritious homemade fare on my table. You can't be Superwoman, after all.

In semi-wedding news, I received a Save The Date magnet in the mail from my pal Jenny's mom. :) I think that's a very cute idea, and Trevor ever so briefly also wanted magnets but has seemingly forgotten all about that. I personally don't care all that much because it's not a necessity of wedding planning. I think it's a lovely idea, but I'm not organized enough right now to get that all done, buy stamps, get addresses to send them out to...etc. I love my mom but she's only good for pointing out everything she doesn't agree with, which in certain situations is helpful, but not for this.

I love her, but my mom is...unique. I think a lot of people think the same thing about their own moms. I ended up swapping out my mom's Samsung freebie phone for another, albeit newer model of the Razr phone. 1.) She knows how to use it and won't bug me to teach her how to save numbers. 2.) She already has a bazillion Razr accessories and then she won't have to buy new ones. 3.) She clearly has nothing against that phone so I knew I wouldn't have to turn around and re-replace this phone with another one. Circuit City was really nice about swapping the phones out and they had reasonable prices. When I went to an actual Verizon store all the phones listed a higher price than the website's prices so I walked in and then walked right out.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yay, new phone

7 months until the wedding!

I'm partially excited and partially freaked out that I haven't done anywhere near enough. First and foremost though...we've got to get skinny.

Not like I've been eating deep fried twinkies or anything, but after a decadent holiday period I'm ready to start going back to my usual routine of fruit as snacks and cereal for lunch.

I got a new cell phone to replace my horrible Razr, which was my first Motorola phone ever and I have to say that I was totally let down by it and I'll probably never buy another one again. The battery just couldn't hold a charge and if your phone is dead 80% of the time you just won't be able to use it regardless of how many bells and whistles it comes with. This time I got the new Samsung Juke, mp3 phone.

I have to say that I'm surprisingly happy with it so far. The overall shape is odd, with the switchblade like mechanism it takes a good amount of getting used to because you have to turn it upside down to see the screen when it's closed; it doesn't automatically readjust itself as you flip it open and it only opens clockwise. You can't open it counterclockwise. So it's overall design had something to be desired, but it functions much better than what I used to use and for that I'm happy.

There are surprisingly few just-phones now. People are really into texting, PDA, Smartphones and I personally don't quite get it yet, so I can't legitimize buying a $300 IPhone if I can't use all the features. Plus I hate big phones. I'm much more fond of phones that flip and where all the buttons are hidden on the inside so I can't accidentally call someone. Regardless of there being lock keys I've somehow managed to sit on my old phone in such a way that the unlock code was pressed and I still called people.

The MP3 part of the phone is nice, but I already have an MP3 player so I find it's more of a novelty right now, but that it'll end up being like...the Vice President. If my actual MP3 player is somewhere else then I can use my phone, which is a nice option and I don't have to buy memory to use it; 2 GB is built right in. My mom on the other hand is being a phone snob and doesn't like the freebie phone I got her even though it's more efficient than her Razr because it doesn't "look right." Which means she doesn't think it's cute. So now I have to return her freebie phone and get her a replacement which is a hassle and a half since I already activated the freebie phone.

Today, I'm being lazy because yesterday I went out to sushi lunch, went looking at surround sound systems with Trevor, washed my car, got a haircut, went shopping with my parents and had dinner with m parents. It actually felt like a really long day of driving around. I woke up and made some "cabin chicken" for Trevor, which is a dish he made me earlier on in our relationship. It's really "throw everything in your fridge into it" dish. I seared chicken legs and thighs and covered it in beer, salsa, tomato sauce, carrots, mushrooms, green bell pepper, onion and whatever seasonings met my fancy and let it simmer until cooked through and the sauce reduces down. I guess his dad used to make this dish for him and I thought it'd be nice to have with some nice crusty rolls I got yesterday while out shopping.

So even though I ate like 3 hours ago I'm still totally stuffed. It's definitely comfort food. But on the bright side, nothing was fried, it had tons of veggies and the flavor really came from letting the food simmer on medium heat for at least an hour so it all developed.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hello, 2008

Ah, the first post of the New Year.

Where have I been? Well, we went to Boston for New Years and to make a long story short I wasn't able to sleep more than 2 hours and I've spent the past week slowly catching up on my lost zzzz's. And considering how much work I have this time of year I haven't had an awful lot of down time. It's...not terribly exciting material to write about and I'm sure I've been a ridiculous grump due to lack of sleep and too many carbs this holiday season.

Of course, the boys had fun together, as they often do. Ali & Maggie were there as well of course and while the end of the night ended on a somewhat dramatic and not terribly ideal note, the early part of our evening was fun. I think after the keg-stands were done that things started to take a downward turn. Ali somehow got covered in many drinks and Maggie was very upset that one of the other guests stole into the fridge and chugged from her champagne bottle.

In semi-exciting news, my wedding is edging ever closer. I know this because the reception hall demanded their 2nd down payment. And while I don't entirely want to spend money on something I don't even get to enjoy for 8 months it's nice to think that I'm that much closer to the big day.

In any case, I think that we've been able to narrow down the entrees for our wedding day. For the sake of surprise I won't bother discussing them at great length but every decision is a big sigh of relief when you've antagonized over them. And the food is a HUGE deal. Everyone's got different taste and you want to please people, but at the same time you want to please yourself. I don't want to cater to the most picky eaters because we'd all be eating boiled chicken and rice.

Aunt Peggy is at the forefront of our wedding cake needs. She already concocted white russian cupcakes for Trevor & I try as a tester. I say this not because I'm kissing up in any way, but she makes fantastically moist cake. I'm not really a cake maker. I like baking, but I'm really more of a box cake mix kinda girl. I know, I know...that's not really gourmet of me, but it's never fail and it's cheap.

Trevor's really excited about the prospect of white russian mousse filling. I could take it or leave it but I'll say it's much tastier than any other wedding cake I've had. I'm really not much of a cake fan, mostly because I don't like frosting. Frosting from the can is just too sweet, but Aunt Peggy makes a fantastic cake (from scratch) and frosting and filling (also from scratch) that you just can't pass. We're still working on an ideal combination of cake flavor, filling and frosting flavors. Thankfully Aunt Peggy seems to be the most excited about or wedding cake because otherwise I don't think Trevor and I would feel too motivated to think about it yet. I'm not the greatest fan of cake and frosting, but I certainly am a huge fan of food and desserts in general so the decision is a hard one. It's like picking your favorite dessert and making it cake-friendly.