Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bella's Banana Bites

Say hello to Bella!  She is a 7-month-old female purebred boxer with a gorgeous brindle coat, adorable little white paws, and eyes that make your heart melt.  She is a Cancer (born 7/21/09), and she enjoys snuggling in bed, long walks and runs at Garden of the Gods, and not-so-ferociously tearing apart chew toys.  My sister and her boyfriend got little Bella when she was only 3 months old, and I met her for the first time when I went out to Colorado Springs for a visit.  What can I say? It was love at first sight.  Bella has amazing muscle tone and looks so strong, but yet she is still tiny and cute in a way that I suppose only a large-breed puppy can appear.  She is amazingly well-behaved (aside from the appearance of her alter ego, which I refer to endearingly as "Bella Pooper"), and any owners of chronic barkers take note: I never heard her bark once while I was visiting!  Even on one occasion when we were wrestling over a chew toy, I happened to growl at her, and she immediately backed away, and looked at me as if to say, "Now was that really necessary?"  

Though she is usually a little angel, even Bella apparently has a mischievous streak.  In the three days that I was visiting, Bella managed to chew a pair of tevas, scratch the top of the kitchen table, poop in the house 4 times, eat a hand lotion, and then puke it up.  Quite a busy schedule for a little pup!  Even though this was completely out of character for her, my sister and her boyfriend scolded Bella each time she misbehaved.  Aww, just looking at her, you could tell the poor thing felt badly about what she had done.  She turned those apologetic puppy eyes on us and despite the poop and puke we just wanted to love her and hug her and... bake her puppy treats!  Because really, could you say no to this face?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Almond Amaretto Cookies

For at about the last year, I have been drinking coffee every morning at work.  That jolt of caffeine gets my engines revving and makes me feel so much more productive.  Most of the time I set our espresso machine for a ‘mild’ Americano; unless I am desperate I won’t stoop to drinking drip coffee from the break room since it tastes like old tires and has waaaay to much caffeine for me to handle.  Even still, there are times when I overdose on my drug of choice and it feels like my little heart is just racing away. 

On the weekends, however, I have a very different experience with coffee and caffeine.  To get my fix, I often make myself some tea at home, where I can put my feet up and languish over my breakfast.  Or, later in the day I might stop at Starbucks to relax with some java (don’t hate me, I am a loyal patron).  I thoroughly enjoy savoring the coffee, and it is time for me to be alone with my thoughts, to people watch, or to read a book.  A coffeehouse is also one of my favorite places to meet up with friends.  It is like a home away from home where we can gripe about work, laugh over embarrassing moments, and recount our daily adventures.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pork Char Siu Men

I don't know about you, but sometimes I find ethnic cooking daunting.  To be precise, I am referring to recipes for traditional Asian or Indian foods.  You know, the ones where the ingredient list is a mile long and usually features exotic spices, special sauces and possibly strange creatures?  I really love these foods though, so when I see one of these recipes, my tummy starts rumbling, I can feel myself salivating... and then I am usually stopped dead in my tracks when I look at the ingredients and the preparation.  This seems to be what goes through my head:  "Lets see, do I have any of these ingredients in my pantry?  Hmm, negative.  Oh wow, it looks like it might take a whole week and/or all the dishes in my kitchen to prepare this!  Ah, but I want it so bad!!!  I better call one of my friends and see if she wants to meet me at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant."