Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Initial Food Post: Cookies, of course

I never used to like the chocolate peanut butter combination, but this past year it's been one of my favorites. These cookies are a lot better than I thought they would be, and way better than the ratings on Epicurious led me to believe. I only modified them slightly, mainly to decrease the chip-to-cookie ratio that has been bugging me lately. So I decreased the amounts of chips and used baking powder, which I almost always prefer over baking soda in a cookie. I also skipped the ingredient-sifting step. I hate that part.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then beat in egg and vanilla until combined well. Beat in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined and stir in chips.

Drop dough by tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets and bake in batches in middle of oven until cookies are just set and begin to crack on top, about 12 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets on racks 1 minute and with a spatula transfer to racks to cool completely.

A new life for this blog!

So, after (minimal) discussion, Mir and I have decided to correspond through a (mostly) food blog, and I'm so excited about it!
Now that school is done, I have been cooking lots more and just generally have more time for everything. I hope you'll join us for this fun new journey!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ah, the good life.

Funny you should ask if Oillie thinks they're chicken nuggets, Phil...
We've had quite a rocky couple of weeks here at the chicken house. First, on Saturday my friend Debbie came over and we took the chicks out and played with them and got them used to being handled. I totally bonded to them and starting giving them names, and was so excited. Then, I got home last Saturday night and found that my little Barred Rock chick was looking terrible. She was laying on her side, looking damp and breathing heavily. I picked her up and she looked like she was not going to make it. Now, before I go on I need to back up and tell you that there is a forum called Backyard Chickens. People post ALL KINDS of things about their chickens and can answer any question a backyard chicken owner may have. I had been reading it and there is a whole section on chicken emergencies. As I stood by the cage holding the chick and deciding where I ould put her while I went to look up what to do, she died in my hand. It was so much sadder than I was expecting... I took her outside and it was late so I didn't do a great job urying her, but I thought it would do until I could get out there and dig a better hole.
The next morning I went to the feed shop and got a replacement. I was feeling kind of rattled, but I was ok. That evening, I let Ollie out and when he ccame back in he had something he was playing with. It didn't take me too long to realize that he had dug up the baby chick. I fucking lost it. I screamed, freaked out and finally convinced him to "leave it". I put him on the leash and went to get my crazy neigbor lady to see if she could help me, and she wasn't home. So, I pulled myself together, tied Ollie up outside and went back in. I took the sweet baby chick and reburied her. The worst part was, I was so mad at Ollie and could't quite figure out why. I mean, she was already dead, and he's a dog, and I eat chicken too, etc. But I was still pissed. It took me until the next day to really get over it.

Anyway: after a few days it appeared that the new Barred Rock chick was not thriving. She was smaller than the others, wasn't really trying to fly, and just general seemed kind of runty. because of that I went and got ANOTHER chick on Thursday, this time a Black Australorp. Of course, because of the way things go, they both seem to be thriving now.

The chickens have all been named and have very distinct personalities. Pictures, names, and descriptions to follow, hopefully tomorrow.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Peep PEEP!

I got the baby chickens! They're even more cute than I ever could have imagined.
Yesterday, I went to the feed store and picked them up. There is a whole wide world of chicken breeds out there that I knew NOTHING about, but those of you who know me well know that I have now totally obsessed and know a whole lot more about chickens than I ever thought possible. I definitely wanted to get an Ameracauna chick because they lay blue or green eggs. I also wanted a Rhode Island Red, usually prolific layers, and a Buff Orpington, who are supposed to be quite docile and friendly. All the chickens but the Buff Orpingtons were arriving this week and after conferring with friends-with-chickens, I decided it was better to get all four at the same time than try to introduce a baby chick to a few older chicks. Apparently, Buff Orpingtons can get picked on quite a bit and introducing a younger baby would just make that situation worse. So, I got: two Ameraucanas, one Rhode Island Red, and one Barred Rock.

I've had them for a little over 24 hours now and thre personalities are already starting to emerge. The Barred Rock seems to be the bossy one in the group. She shoves the others out of her way when necessary and will sometimes stand on the feed bowl and block the others from eating. The Rhode Island Red is super sweet and I can't quite tell the other two apart yet.

Here's a group photo:

The Rhode Island Red is in front, the bossy Barred Rock is the black one in back, and the two in the middle are the Ameraucanas.

Here's a close up of the RIR:

They already look different than yesterday, and I'll get some more close-ups of the others tomorrow. There little wing feathers seem to be changing quickly. They make lots of noise and just peep away, and when I walk over to them (they're in the dining room) they all stop peeping and look up at me. I'm trying to handle them a bunch, though they don't want too much to do with me at this point. It feels a little awkward to refer to them by their breed names, but I'm not ready to name them quite yet. Two of these babies will technically belong to my friend Kim, so I want her help in naming them. I also want to make sure that a: they're not roosters and b: they make it, before I get too attached.

The coop is almost completed, but they won't be able to go out there for at least a couple of months.

Here is the framing:

The roof is up and the floors are going in:

A view of the inside:

Little chicken staircase:

More pictures and info this weekend. Wish me luck, especially in regards to the small furry poodle who has suddenly found his mission in life is to get as close to the chicks as possible. And cry about it the rest of the time.

Monday, February 04, 2008


I'm reviving this blog!
A lot of things have happened in my life since the last time I posted, and I thought it might be fun to get this going again.
The main excitement in my life right now is that I've done a total overhaul of the backyard, which now includes a chicken coop. Portland allows you to have up to three hens in your backyard, and I'll be getting the first chicks this week. I can't wait!
I've also been going to lots of births (21 out of the 50 I need to graduate) and knitting up a storm. More stories and pictures to follow.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

News, news, and more news.

Well, it seems like everything is coming together. I have a place to live in Portland! As of March 1st, my official address is:

7924 SE 17th Ave
Portland, OR 97202

I'll still be in LA at the beginning of the month, and then in NYC after March 5th, but still! I have a place to live! With a dishwasher! Life is amazing!

I also have two great new housemates: one is starting school with me and the other is applying to naturopathic school. Here's a picture of the house:

The technology of doing this all online astounds me (and even thinking that makes me feel like a grandma).

But anyway: I've got my classes picked out and a place to live and cool people to live with. I still need to find a car and a job.

Oh! And for those of you who followed the shortbutsweet puppy saga a few months ago, now we're getting a puppy for real. He's only two weeks old now, and will be ready to go to his new home in April. Here he is:

Please suggest names. Please.


In Hawaii news, still workin', still beachin'. I put tanning oil on my skin the other day and fell asleep at the beach. I woke up to my first burn here, which is localized on my lower abdomen and upper thighs. Which basically means that everytime I take my pants on or off, it kills me.

Also: Raquel and Soren are in town! I took them on a wild goose chase yesterday, and we tried to go to the beach but the wind was so insane that they were shutting the beaches down. So instead we went to a few different places to poach some fruit, which is one of my favorite things to do here. We got: coconuts, papayas, and star fruit. There were lots more papayas and bananas that we couldn't get to, and the guavas weren't ripe.

I love it here. Leaving two weeks from today.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


two step

Three and a half weeks left here! I've been trying to get all kinds of shit done before I leave. All the stuff I thought I'd have plenty of time to buy. The places I thought I had time to see...

Anyway. After work yestersay, a group of us headed down to Captain Cook. It's supposed to be the best snorkeling on the island, and once you get there (about a two hour drive from here) you have to kayak to where the Captain Cook monument is and then snorkel around there. It's quite a situation, and since we had to work and weren't very organized, we didn't get down there until 4. At which point we couldn't really rent a kayak because the places close at 5, plus they said it was a four hour trip, minimum. So instead they directed us to go snorkeling at this place known as "Two-Step" (photo above). It's this cool beach with a pretty rocky entrance, and as usual, we had to figure out how to get in with minimal cuts and scrapes. The snorkeling was incredible, with clear blue water, tons of friendly fish, and sea turtles. On the way out we found the spot where you're supposed to go in, a rocky place that looks like two steps right into the ocean. Because it was late, we got pretty cold and only stayed in the water for about an hour. It was so beautiful though, and the sun was getting low on the ocean. I wish it wasn't so far so we could do it again.

So: back to work today. I've been working outside, mulching, and using these big loppers to cut up hibiscus trees. I think I'll also be staining the new office today, which should be fun.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Time flies when you're getting dirty...

There's so much going on, and I've totally fallen behind on the reporting of it. I don't really know where to start, so here are a few random things:

I learned how to drive a stick shift! Or I'm trying to learn, anyway. I practiced this weekend on acar that this guy was going to give me for free, but it turned out to be a little bit too much of a situation for me. First of all, the car hadn't been driven in a couple months. So every time I stalled, the car died. Also, this was in the JUNGLE, basically, so when the car died, the guy whose car it was had to go hike back to where his other car was so that we could jump it. The back seat couldn't stay up, so I had to either sit up really straight or Jessie had to hold up the chair with her knees from behind. All this while trying to figure out the shifting. Which brings me to a question: how many of you know how to drive manual? Just curious...

What else. Beach, snorkeling, blah blah blah. The water's so rough this time of year that I'm still getting pretty banged up on the way in and out of the water. When I got home from swimming on Sunday I had a couple bad cuts and a cartoon-ish bump on my knee. It's weird because when you get past the shorebreak, as the water gets deeper, its great: warm, calm, and clear. Anyway.

I saw an acupuncturist who performed Chinese Bone-setting on me. I was not pleased. They basically massage you and relax you as much as possible and then procede to crack every joint in your body. It hurt, and I screamed. I even had to bite down on a towel for some of it because there's a danger of biting down on your tongue. Hopefully, I won't have to do it again. It was interesting because it turned out that my sacrum is twisted, probably from the time I was hit by a car in high school, and I've had some sciatica-type pain on and off since then. About a week after the bone-setting, you can see that I seem to be re-aligned. We'll see what it does about the back pain.

Still reading a lot, but I got a new cell phone so playing with that has entertained me for the past few days. If any of you remember my "bitch-ass-rat-fink-phone" held together with tape, you'll know why I'm pleased.

I named the calf Mahe'alani, which means beautiful full moon, because she was born around the full moon and has a crescent shaped white mark on her forehead. She's very sweet, and Berneice is being a great mom. I'll post a new picture soon.

Liu Zhi is teaching me how to make Chinese dumplings. They're SO good and we're having them for dinner tonight.


So, I've been here almost two months now, and am about a week away from when I would have come back to NYC if I hadn't changed my ticket. Time has really flown, and I'm so glad I'm here. I know I can be impulsive and make wild decisions, but this was a good one. I still have those moments every now and then where I'm like, "how is this my life?" but it's not always bad. Sometimes when I'm working hard and sweaty and sore I think about how I could be cruisin' at the JCC, checking my email all day and talking on the phone and I wish I was. But then other times, when I'm under water looking a fish in the eye or when I'm laying on the beach drinking pina coladas I think about all the times I would fantasize about doing just that (remember Iesha??) in the dead of a NYC winter. And those are the times I'm glad I'm a little crazy.