Friday, October 29, 2010

Free Reusable Tote from Rubio's Mexican Grill

Rubio's Mexican Grill is giving away a free reusable tote until 11-1-10, no purchase necessary! Hurry up and get your free reusable tote from Rubio's--this offer is only while supplies last! Limit one free item per person. Happy Halloween from Rubio's!

Print your coupon for a Free Reusable Tote from Rubio's Mexican Grill.

Find a Rubio's near you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pink's "Glitter in the Air"

Every time Pink's "Glitter in the Air" play on the radio, I am just swept away into the music. It's just such a beautiful song and her voice is so raspy and raw.  "Glitter in the Air" is just such a lovely series of imagistic musings that just linger in my head long after the song ends.

Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don't care?

It's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg, the sun before the burn
The thunder before lightning, the breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?

Have you ever hated yourself for staring at the phone?
Your whole life waiting on the ring to prove you're not alone
Have you ever been touched so gently you had to cry?
Have you ever invited a stranger to come inside?

It's only half past the point of oblivion
The hourglass on the table, the walk before the run
The breath before the kiss and the fear before the flames
Have you ever felt this way?

La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la

There you are, sitting in the garden
Clutching my coffee, calling me sugar
You called me sugar

Have you ever wished for an endless night?
Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight
Have you ever held your breath and asked yourself
Will it ever get better than tonight? Tonight

Songwriters: Billy Mann and Alecia Moore

FREE Coffee or Tea at Borders Coupon Valid until 11/11/10

Here's a super cool freebie for a Free Coffee or Tea at Borders, valid until 11/11/10. What a great chance to take a nice break and enjoy some coffee or tea with a friend! I got my free coffee today, no purchase necessary. What a nice treat!

Go to Borders and enjoy a free small coffee or tea!

Find a Borders near you.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Wilco, "Muzzle of Bees"

I love Wilco's "Muzzle of Bees." The guitar in the background is so pretty and brilliant the way it "flutters" and almost makes a "musical onomatopoeia" of buzzing bees.

Leslie Mendelson: "Be My Baby"

This is a great cover of "Be My Baby" sung by Leslie Mendleson. I love how she slowed it down and let the song breathe with a softer, almost breathless quality.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yubuchobap (Korean seasoned tofu pockets stuffed with rice recipe)

My Korean culinary exploration has been heavily guided by YouTube and all the generous "how-to" videos that people post. As I learn more about Korean food, I get more and more excited about going to various Korean markets and buying Korean products to try out.

This is my latest video discovery featuring Yubuchobap, which is similar to Japanese inari, but has a Korean spin on it. Unlike the Japanese inari that you can buy at Asian Markets, you don't need to boil these Korean tofu pockets before using them.  I never would have known that if I hadn't seen this video! I make inari all the time, but now that I know about Yubuchobap, I want to try to make them.  I saw them in the Korean market next to the inari last week and since I wasn't familiar with how to prepare the Korean version, I just bought the Japanese inari tofu pockets instead.

This video is so great and even has a Halloween theme. I want blue hair and blue eyelashes like this woman! I love how she uses every bit of rice that she cooks, including the burnt rice (nooroongji) and the last rice remnants to make a burnt rice tea. She's so resourceful. Hope you enjoy this video demo as much as I did. Thank you Maangchi for sharing this video!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Another Reason Why Le Crueset and Sur La Table are the BEST!

This weekend we had a horrible mishap with our Le Crueset enamel stoneware rectangular baking dish. As our salmon was baking away at 450 degrees F, the Le Crueset dish cracked into two pieces! It was the strangest thing ever! The manufacturer's instructions indicate that the dish may be used in the freezer, microwave, oven and broiler, so this was not a temperature issue. Le Crueset enamel stoneware dishes are supposed to withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F, plus it's not supposed to shatter, even if it's under the broiler. Our salmon was dripping on the bottom of the oven causing it to smoke up. We tried to lift the baking dish out of the oven, but we couldn't because the baking dish had split in two! Luckily, we salvaged the salmon by lifting it out of the oven with some spatulas.

Today, I went to Sur La Table and explained what happened to our Le Crueset baking dish and since it was a gift, I did not have a receipt for it (specifically, a Le Crueset 9" x 12" enamel stoneware baking dish). The lady working there was so nice and went to get me a new baking dish right away. She asked me if I used it under the broiler and I said no. I told her that the instructions indicate that this dish may be used under the broiler, though, so even if I did use the broiler, this should not have happened.

I'm so glad Le Crueset honors its warranty without hassling the customer for a receipt at Sur La Table. This is yet another reason why I love Sur La Table and Le Crueset!

Find a Sur La Table near you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Top Ten Toy Story 3 Toys: Ideas for Early Christmas Shopping

I can't believe it's mid-October already! What's more, I can't believe I'm about to say this, but it's almost time to start early Christmas shopping! (I know, Halloween hasn't even passed yet! How can I be thinking about Christmas?) I don't like to wait until the last minute to Christmas shop, so I slowly start shopping in November. That way I'm not overwhelmed in December with a ton of gifts to buy in the last two weeks before Christmas.

My son enjoyed all the Toy Story movies and since he loves trains and Legos, I am contemplating whether or not to get him the Toy Story Lego Western Train Chase, which was listed as one of the top 10 Toy Story 3 toys to get on It's the best of all three worlds: trains, Legos, and Toy Story 3! What's not to love?!

Check out this link for more Christmas present ideas: Best Toy Story 3 Toys.

Friday, October 15, 2010

FREE Handmade White Slippers

Cloud 9 Spa Salon is giving away an amazing freebie, a free pair of handmade white slippers! Sign up now because I don't know how long this promotion is going to last! I already signed up for mine and they should be coming in the mail soon! I can't wait!

Happy Friday!

Sign up here for a FREE pair of handmade white slippers at Cloud 9 Spa Salon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sticky Rice Recipe Results

Since I do not have a Sticky Rice Steamer pot and basket, I had to use a makeshift, homemade steamer. I took a big pot and used the biggest strainer I had and added 1.5 cups of sticky rice (soaked overnight and rinsed).  I filled the pot with water (about 2 inches up the side) and brought it to a boil on high heat. When it started to boil, I placed the strainer over the simmering water to steam the sticky rice for 10 minutes. I checked the sticky rice at 10 minutes and flipped it over and steamed it some more for another 10 minutes.

As luck would have it, 20 minutes was the perfect amount of time to steam the sticky rice!

I made my very first sticky rice ball yesterday and I was giddy with excitement, gobbling down my perfectly cooked sticky rice ball! The brand I used was Sun Lee Sweet Rice from Thailand. I can't wait to make coconut sticky rice next!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Social Distortion: "Ring of Fire" (Johnny Cash cover)

I love Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" song, so when I came across this cover by Social Distortion, I had to pass it on. It's a fun, modern interpretation of Johnny Cash's song. Just crank it up and start your cleaning for the day! It sure makes doing dishes a lot more "fun," if there is such a thing!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sticky Rice

I am officially obsessed with sticky rice, so I'm determined to learn how to make it at home. I usually buy sticky rice at Asian delis or markets whenever my craving for sticky rice strikes. However, since I love it so much, I decided it's time that I learned how to make it myself. So, I went on an adventure today and bought my first bag of sticky/glutinous rice at Koreana Market in Oakland. I love that market now--it's my new favorite market for Korean food products and other Asian goodies!

While I've read different recipes for how to make sticky rice, I've discovered that YouTube has informative food demos for culinary questions I have for new recipes. I found this cool video demonstrating how to make sticky rice at home. I am soaking my sticky rice tonight, so I can try to make it tomorrow!

I love this video and just had to pass it on:

Sticky Rice video is courtesy of

Friday, October 1, 2010

Aarti Sequiera's AMAZING Bombay Sloppy Joe's

Bombay Sloppy Joe's recipe is courtesy of Aarti Sequeira. 

I finally mustered up the courage to make Aarti Sequiera's Bombay Sloppy Joe's recipe from her premiere episode of Aarti Party on Food Network TV. I have been thoroughly enjoying Aarti Sequiera's new program on Food Network ever since she won The Next Food Network Star competition. In order to make these Bombay Sloppy Joe's, I had to buy the garam masala, whole cumin seeds, raisins, cilantro and serano chile. Everything else, I had on hand in my pantry or refrigerator. I already love making sloppy joe's from scratch with ground turkey meat, so Aarti's recipe was particularly intriguing to me. I wasn't sure how I would like the raisins and pistachios in this, but low and behold, they were absolutely DELICIOUS! I have to say that I have never cooked with raisins or pistachios, let alone in the same recipe! (I have baked with these ingredients, but that's different!) What struck me the most was cooking the raisins and pistachios in oil and watching them plump up and tasting them after they cooled a bit. The flavors are so radically different than when they are just raw. I am hooked on that flavor combination now! It's so fantastic in a surprising way! I'm glad I took the plunge and just tried out Aarti's recipe head on! Bombay Sloppy Joe's looked so good when Aarti made it on Aarti Party that I knew I just had to make it so I could see how it tasted.

Anyway, I am here to say that Aarti's Bombay Sloppy Joe's recipe is practically full proof! The only thing you need to do is taste it for seasoning and adjust it to how you like it. I like a lot of salt and pepper, so I added quite a bit during the cooking process. I was so determined to make this recipe that I shelled my pistachios by hand (I couldn't find any at the store that were pre-shelled!). The only other suggestion I can make is that if you like your sloppy joe's a little sweeter, then add more honey. The 1/2 teaspoon in this recipe didn't seem to make a difference to me and I couldn't really taste it behind all the other seasonings. 

I am so excited about Bombay Sloppy Joe's and I am thrilled it came out tasting wonderfully yummy!! Bombay Sloppy Joe's were a hit in my house and I must say that this is going to be a new staple on our monthly menu! I know I'm going to crave this at least once a month because the flavors are insanely tasty and the smells that come out of the kitchen when preparing this are just divine! 

My husband made a great suggestion and thought this would taste good over rice! I agree. I think if you had leftovers, you could serve it over rice the next day or the day after to change it up a bit. Or, if you're like me, you can freeze the leftovers and use it the next week for a quick fix meal on one of those nights you just don't feel like cooking!

This recipe took me about 45 minutes to make because of all the chopping and because it was the first time I made it. I had to read the directions very carefully and make sure I did things in the correct order. I'm sure the total cooking and prep time will go down later when I get better at making this. But for now, I totally recommend making this if you love new and exciting food. You can't buy Bombay Sloppy Joe's anywhere! And it's special enough that you can invite your friends over and have a casual dinner in the middle of the week together!




  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 serrano chile, seeded and finely minced (save the other half for the turkey)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water


  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Small handful shelled pistachios, about 1/4 cup
  • Small handful raisins, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 large white onion, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced
  • 1/2 serrano chile, seeds intact (don't chop it up unless you like things spicy!)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • Small handful chopped fresh cilantro (soft stems included)
  • 4 to 6 hamburger buns


Begin by making the sauce: Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, until it shimmers. Add the ginger, garlic and serrano pepper. Saute until the ginger and garlic brown a little. Add the garam masala and paprika and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile for the turkey, in large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of oil. When shimmering, add the pistachios and raisins. Cook until the raisins swell up and the pistachios toast slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Return the pan to medium heat, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of oil, and warm until shimmering. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for about 10 seconds, or until some of the sizzling subsides. Stir in the onions and bell pepper; saute until softened and starting to brown. Add the serrano pepper. Saute for another couple of minutes, seasoning with a little salt. Stir in the turkey, breaking up the big lumps. Cook until opaque, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, your sauce should be ready. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the turkey. Stir and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Once the turkey is cooked and the sauce has thickened a little, remove the serrano pepper (unless you want to eat it whole, like my Dad does!). Add the honey, half-and-half, pistachios and raisins. Stir through and taste for seasoning. Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro.
Toast the buns, fill with the turkey mixture and serve. Eat (with your hands!) and enjoy!