I had been invited to Google+ a few days ago, but sadly am unable to join it because Google isn’t allowing anyone to do so. That’s definitely unfortunate since I really looked forward to doing some beta-testing and help to point out any bugs I would have encountered. I am hoping that in the future, they will allow desktop notifications via Google Desktop and include some kind of chat that can be accessed via Pidgin.

Edit: It seems that the Gods have answered my prayers because all of a sudden I am able to create a Google+ account!

And here are a few treats I prepared recently including cinnamon buns with crunchy toffee (toffee prepared by my boyfriend’s sister), hand made chocolate ice-cream with the same toffee prepared with a hand blender and a bowl of ice cubes, and some tortillas I prepared with the pasta roller.

Notable blogs of the month!

Posted: July 2, 2011 in Beta

If you’re a techie that wants to keep up to date with the latest news, Karthik’s blog is the place to go.

If you’re going crazy for a Google+ invite, then you’d better keep an eye out for spam!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that my boyfriend had come home with the cinnamon candy I had asked for, and even more glad to see that there was a bit of novelty to these specific Hot Tamales.

As I examined the box I noticed the little description of each color from hot to hottest. This is sort of reminiscent of the Taco Bell hot sauce package colors which indicate how hot they are. I popped a yellow one in my mouth and it actually tasted a bit like what you’d expect something yellow to taste like. It was hot, but not painfully so. Definitely had that nice artificial cinnamon flavor that I’ve come to love. Next, I tried the orange-red one which looks just like the regular Hot Tamales, and unsurprisingly, it tasted just like a regular Hot Tamale. Next, I popped the dark red into my mouth and as soon as I began to chew I actually felt my mouth burn as if I had just chewed on a Jalapeño. I definitely experienced a pleasant burn which lingered a bit afterward.

Before trying these I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to tell the difference, but the level of hotness was pretty obvious. And just to make sure it wasn’t just all in my head, I did a blindfold test. I had my boyfriend give me one of each while I had my eyes closed and I have to say that even without looking at them it was very obvious which one was which. As soon as I started chewing on the first one I immediately suspected it was the orange-red one, but to make sure, I asked for a second one. As soon as I had the second one, which was milder, I was sure that the first one was the orange-red one and thus the second one was yellow. And finally he gave me the dark red one which was again, very obvious.

As I was looking inside the box I notice that a good majority of the candy pieces were dark red which luckily was my favorite color, but it would have been nicer to have something closer to an even amount of each just so you can keep it varied a bit. I am hoping though that other boxes are different. Either way, I definitely enjoyed these candies and hope that they continue producing this variety of Hot Tamales, or at the very least, release a box variety of just the dark red ones.

One of the main reasons I truly enjoyed these is because I like to buy cheap bags of cinnamon imperials where each candy seems to vary in its spiciness. I would really recommend these to anyone who loves cinnamon-flavored candy.

smokin

While reading my daily news I noticed that there was an article posted on abcnews.com about a blog that featured humorous, satirical and opinionated little articles with pictures of the most ridiculous crap found at this store chain — and what really disturbed me was to see that Forever21 was threatening her with a lawsuit (an affront to free speech anyone?). There are already plenty of blogs that point out how terrible the quality of the products are such as a blog at the Huffington Post and there are even a few Facebook groups pointing out that ‘Forever 21’ sucks, so why would they be suddenly offended that a regular customer who actually purchases much of the stuff she writes about and would chose to share her impressions of these items with an addictive sense of humor? I for one will definitely be dropping by to read her blog just because she has such a unique sense of humor. Kudos to her and I am glad to see so many people supporting her in her ability to exercise her constitutional right. It is truly sad when big corporations attempt to bully and use scare tactics against bloggers who don’t even get paid to do what they do. Luckily, this is the age of the internet where this kind of behavior does not go unnoticed. Schools can’t even get away with unfairly punishing a student anymore.

I’ve been busy working on some signature dishes so I really haven’t had time to post on my blog. Here are a few things I’ve come up with including steamed buns prepared with pancake mix.  I’m also working on a quinoa dough to make pizza of my own invention which is a modified recipe from the usual recipes you find online. Please contact me if you’re interested in specific recipes.

I’m a big fan of Cornish hens because they’re more flavorful than a chicken, fit in my slow cooker, and kids really enjoy the fact that it’s like a small chicken. I really love the combination of foul, tomato sauce, vinegar, herbs, capers and parmesan cheese which really makes this one of my favorite dishes to make – and it’s really easy too.

CIMG1674 

Ingredients:

  • A Cornish hen (or a chicken if you have a big enough slow cooker)
  • Either a can of tomato puree or about 4 large tomatoes plus enough water to cover the hen
  • Capers and caper vinegar to taste, or in my case, about half a cup of pepperoncini vinegar
  • Thyme, rosemary, basil and whatever favorite herbs you would like to add
  • Garlic (In my case, instead of using garlic, I mixed in about half a cup of a cilantro garlic cream I had prepared a few days before)
  • Onion
  • About a teaspoon of salt (I usually eye it so I cannot be certain of the amount)

 

CIMG1651

How to prepare:

  1. Make sure to fully defrost the hen before cooking it
  2. If you’d like, you can stuff it with a bit of rosemary and garlic
  3. Place the hen in the slow cooker
  4. Add the can of tomato sauce or the fresh tomatoes and water
  5. Add herbs and the rest of the ingredients, except for the parmesan cheese
  6. Slow cook for at least three hours, twenty minutes on high and the rest on the low setting
  7. Flip it over after about an hour and a half so that it cooks evenly – if the juices coming out of the hen are pink or red the hen is not ready. You can’t really cook it for too long since the longer it stays in the slow cooker, the more tender and flavorful it becomes.
  8. Place your favorite part of the hen on a dish, then drench it in the tomato sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. The tomato sauce is excellent with any kind of pasta or rice as well.
  9. Enjoy!

I will begin by saying that there is a lot of information out there about diets and what you should and shouldn’t eat, and because of this, it seems that doctors and the media have succeeded in making people skeptical about anything. Heck, every time I see the new diet trend posted all over the front page of whatever news website, I end up just scrolling down and ignoring it. I’m not a doctor, or a nutritionist or anything of the sort, but I do know what my body tells me and it has been telling me I was doing something wrong for a very long time. I always thought that I ate a relatively balanced and healthy diet, heck, at times people thought I was a vegetarian because I couldn’t simply afford to buy meat. It didn’t matter how much tofu (an unfortunate source of estrogen) and rice and whatever else I ate – I always ended up feeling tired and fatigued throughout the day, especially in the mornings.

Edit: Right before I posted this, I had a feeling I would be seeing more about gluten on the news, but didn’t realize they would be saying pretty much what I’ve been saying for the past two months!

I honestly thought that being tired, along with having digestion issues (many of which I look back on and realize how severe they were), and kidney infections, asthma, and headaches, and having incredibly painful abdominal cramps was normal. I otherwise felt… fine, if you could call it that. I was pretty much raised to believe that if I wasn’t dead, I wasn’t sick. Well, that isn’t exactly what I was taught, but it is the end result of years of being sent to school because my headache wasn’t something that should keep me at home. So I guess I ended up ignoring a lot of health problems throughout my life and pretended like nothing was wrong. And just the numerous times I had to run to the bathroom my freshman year in high school (could it have been that nasty pseudo-pizza I kept wanting to punish myself with?), I ignored the signs that something wasn’t right with what I was eating.

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