Chocolate Croissants.

Yesterday, Boyfriend and I were at Trader Joe's doing our annual "fancy shopping" run. Midway through the trip I caught him staring intensely and making "i love you" eyeballs at a box of chocolate croissants. I didn't pay much attention because I don't really like chocolate and the last thing we need is more junk food in the house.

And then two minutes later, I went back and sneakily threw them in the cart.

Last night, we decided to have them for breakfast this morning. Thank God I decided to read the instructions last night because they involve 9 hours of "sitting out" before you can even bake them.

So that's exactly what I did. I set them out. And all night long, my mouth watered in anticipation.

Here's the play-by-play with these French delights:

1. Place frozen pastries, seam side down 4-5 inches apart on either a lightly buttered or paper lined baking sheet.
(I forgot to take a before picture, which is unfortunate because you don't get to see the massive change in size that takes place. For now, just imagine the width of a large taquito.)

2. Allow uncovered croissants to sit at room temperature for 9 hours.

(Be amazed when you wake up to these mondo puffs.)

3. Preheat oven to 350.

4. If you want a shinier finish, beat one egg with a fork and use a pastry brush to lightly glaze the tops of the croissants.

5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until crisp and quite brown. Light golden croissants will not be thoroughly baked.

6. Cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Chocolate croissant and Earl Grey is a great way to start the day.

-I used parchment paper instead of "lightly butter"ing a baking sheet. As it turns out, these little guys have PLENTY of butter already incorporated into their dough and they actually don't need any more (which says a lot coming from me).
-I didn't read the last line of the instructions about "Light golden croissants will not be thoroughly baked" and we took them out at 20 minutes. They seemed on the "lighter" side, but they were totally cooked throughout. Because oven settings vary, the cooking time may differ. But for us, 20 minutes was perfect.

At $1 per croissant ($3.99 for 4), this purchase is a no brainer. They come out super flaky and crispy on the outside, and soft and bready on the inside. And making them at home means you get them fresh out of the oven and you do't even have to get human-looking to trek down to the local coffee shop.


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Video: 4th Graders Flash Mob.

My nephews class did a flash mob and it is too cute to not share.

I guess you have to know him to know that he's usually a pretty shy kid. So it's really funny to see him dancing around like he's on America's Best Dance Crew.

(He's the little guy in black shorts and black shoes standing in front of the blue door (second to last in line).

Everyday he's shufflin'.

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A Guest Post at "So... What Else?"

Just a quick one today-

I did a guest post at "So... What else?" yesterday!!

I use the words "guest post" loosely. It was actually just a blog survey that Sarah came up with and encouraged fellow bloggers to participate in. She's still accepting answers, so if you're interested in playing along, send them in!

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Recipe: Soy Sauce Edamame

What do you think of Blogger's new layout? I hate it. Which makes me think I'm like those old farts who complain about every little change that Facebook makes. So with that said, this is the last you'll hear from me about Blogger's new stupid layout.


Late last year, my company had a dinner party at a Japanese restaurant in downtown LA called Takami. One of the appetizers ordered was edamame and it was super savory and flavorful and delicious. Since edamame is tiny and light, I'm pretty sure I ate about five hundred of them before the first round of sushi even came out.

Takami's version.

Since the flavors seemed pretty basic, Boyfriend and I decided to attempt the recipe on our own. This is what we came up with.

-Frozen edamame beans
-1 large clove fresh garlic per serving of edamame
-1.5 tbsp butter per serving of edamame
-1/4 cup soy sauce

1. Boil edamame beans in lightly salted water according to package instructions.

2. Once beans are done boiling and have been drained, transfer them to a frying pan. Saute with butter, garlic, and soy sauce. Since the beans are already cooked, you just need to toss them around with the other stuff until it's well coated and heated throughout.

3. Serve and eat while hot!

DISCLAIMER: We've made this recipe a few times and I've actually never measured the ingredients. I kind of just wing it. But the measurements above seem pretty close to what I think I've used. And by "pretty close", I mean I've probably used more butter and garlic.

 My version.

As you can tell from the picture, this time I went a little light on the soy sauce. But take it from me, you'd rather go light than heavy with it. Because once you've added too much soy sauce, this dish pretty much tastes like rock salt.

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Recipe: Shepherd's Pie

If you've never tried Shepherd's Pie, it's basically just ground beef and mashed potatoes. Nothing fancy. No weird animal parts. Just good old meat and potatoes.

It's delicious.

I first tried this recipe when my coworker Sarah whipped it up for our office St. Patrick's Day potluck.

Not only was the dish impressive, Sarah said it was a recipe she found online and had never made before. And she said it was super easy.

I was sold.

Boyfriend and I have made this meal twice and it seems to be a pretty fail proof recipe. One of those times, I invited my teenage niece and nephew over and even THEY gave it the stamp of approval. That says a lot because kids (of any age) can be real assholes.


1.5 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1-2 cups vegetables (carrots, corn, peas)
1.5-2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
1 stick of butter
-1/2 cup beef broth
-1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
-salt, pepper, seasonings to taste

1. Peel and quarter potatoes. Boil until tender enough for mashing.

2. While potatoes are boiling, melt 1/2 stick of butter in a large frying pan. Saute onions and carrots over medium heat until tender (10 min).

3. Add ground beef and saute until no longer pink. Add salt/ pepper/ or any other seasonings to taste.

4. Add carrots and peas.

5. Add Worcestershire sauce.

5. Add beef broth and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add more broth as necessary to keep it moist.

6. Mash potatoes with remaining butter.

7. Place beef mixture into a casserole dish. Distribute mashed potatoes evenly on top. Rough up with a fork so the peaks will brown nicely.

8. Cook at 400 until bubbling and brown (about 30 min). Broil for the last few minutes if necessary to brown.

Yield: Serves 4

-The more veggies, the better. Especially carrots and corn because they add texture.
-The first time we made it, we learned that the suggested amount of 1/2 cup of broth was way too much liquid. So the second time we made it, we added the full amount (so it wouldn't dry out), but then drained most of it before moving the beef mixture into the baking dish.
-I make the mashed potatoes according to my own recipe. More than 1/2 stick of butter was used. As well as salt, pepper, and milk.
-To add a little color, we sprinkled paprika over the top of the casserole before cooking.
-Both times, this recipe yielded 6 servings (not 4).

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A Recap of My 32nd Birthday.

Remember that time I turned 32?

I do because I was having a totally rotten morning and all I wanted to do was complain that my birthday was RUINNNNED.

Things went downhill when southern California got its one and only day of rain the day before my birthday. Which totally ruined my plans to have an outdoor picnic at a winery because nobody likes to eat lunch sitting in a pile of mud, pigpen style.

(Boyfriend's creative talent)

So the morning of my party, I made the executive decision to change the location. I knew this *might* be a risky move because I *may* lose some guests.

I lost half of my party.

After I spent some time spitting hate on everyone, Boyfriend and I headed over to the new party destination, The Greek at the Harbor. I knew the Greek would be a great location for my birthday because 1) I used to work there waaaaaay back when I was young and cute enough to be hired as a hostess, 2) it's overlooking the harbor, 3) it was featured on Kitchen Nightmares (not because of gross kitchen stuff), and 4) The Greek is always a fun time.

Once we got there and I started throwing back mimosas and hanging out with friends, I had a GREAT time.

In fact, the time flew by and I was sad my birthday party was coming to an end...

Until I got home and took a two hour nap.

Then I remembered I'm 32 and too old for this partying business.

Here are some photos from my birthday. Enjoy!


Birthday danishes. (only $5 for 6 GIANT danishes at Costco. Go get them. they're delicious.)

Saganaki right before I devoured it.



Greek salad

Birthday cakes: lemon and chocolate mousse. (Both from Costco!)



Beautiful flowers from Boyfriend.

My Kenny Rogers clock gift.

I cried like a PMSing woman when the band sang happy birthday to me. This is probably the only time I'll ever be caught on tape crying. (Also, my bangs look like cotton candy.)

Happy Birthday...

...to me!

Birthday cards

Oh yeah, my coworkers had this stuff waiting for me when I came into the office on the Friday before my birthday... Which made life much more bearable because I love when people think I'm cool and special.

Oh yeah, and Boyfriend's family got me one of these when we went up to visit the week before.

Oh yeah, and I still have my family "birthday dinner" this weekend.

Have I mentioned I like to celebrate my birthday all month long...?

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