Sunday, June 28, 2009


Firsts are fun. I like firsts.

My trip to Cancun deserves about 7 blog posts, it was that amazing. However, life is crazy & I’m a bit lazy, soooo… here’s a list of things I tried for the first time while I was in Mexico.

1-Riding in a “car” smaller than a golf cart.
2-Speaking Spanish with “real natives” & asking for directions at 1 AM.
3-Caviar (I’m actually not a fan)
4-Smoked Salmon – that’s good.
5-Tuna, the fruit – it comes from a cactus, is a wild pinkish color, & is wonderfully sour.
6-Guayaba – aka Guava – almost as good as the juice I am so addicted to.
8-Mexican Mango – much better than the kind you find in the markets in the US.
9-Swimming in the Caribbean – it’s WARM & it kinda freaks me out. But gorgeous.
10-Staying at a five star hotel. swoon
11-Going to a spa double swoon
12-Getting a real massage.
13- Clorofil water… kinda tastes like minty alfalfa-flavored water.
14- Seeing Tulum & Chichen Itza in person & climbing to the top of the temple at Xbalan.
15- Haggling over the price of gas IN SPANISH.
16- Avocado rice – yummmmmm
17- Goat milk caramels – I NEED to find a source for these in the US.
18- Listening to classical music while watching the sunset from a plane.
19- Saffron marmalade – crazy delicious, especially on ham.
20- Prawns, with their heads still attached. They watched me eat them. It was slightly disturbing.
21- Simultaneous translation - HARD!
22- Plain yogurt topped with honey – I’m hooked.
23- Celery & something else green juice
24- Seeing stars I’ve never seen before.
25- Facebook ads in Spanish.
26- Hearing little tiny kids speak Spanish – possibly the cutest accent ever
27- Swimming in a Cenote.

And about a million other things... but that's another post.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Some Old Favorites

I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, as my family just got back from a trip to Cancun, which was possibly the most awesome vacation of my life to date. As I'm the only member of my family that speaks more Spanish than is required to order at Taco Bell, it was up to me to be the interpreter, haggle over gas prices, read road signs, & translate at church. It was AWESOME. But now it's almost 2 AM, so let me just give you a bit of info on the newest additions to my blog playlist.

The Sun & The Moon by MAE makes the list of my favorite mellow songs, probably top 5. I love the slow piano & the lyrics rank among the best. Painted skies & ocean eyes? I'm a fan.

You're the World to Me & Babylon by David Gray - I love David Gray. Yet again, the lyrics are what really get me hooked. "The One I Love" has been on this playlist for a long time & holds a special place in my heart, but David Gray has written some of my favorite rainy day/late night driving music & it's high time he got a bit more recognition.

Sorry to "Generator" by The Holloways - it's been demoted for a bit of over-excessive peppiness/catchiness.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Song

"Generator" is not only obnoxiously catchy, it is also by a band called "The Holloways." That's just cool.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Waffles

*Author’s Note: I don’t really cook by recipes. In my mind, recipes are more like… guidelines than actual rules. So, when making things like the strawberry topping for these waffles, I measure rarely and taste often. These are rough estimates – you’re just gonna have to be a bit adventurous and go for it, then see if it’s yummy. :) Also, these pictures are pretty awful, but you work with what you've got, & right now all I have is my built-in on my BabyMac.

Strawberry Topping

2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, sliced
½ cup sugar (maybe a little more or less, depends on how ripe your berries are)
1 tblsp. light Karo syrup
1 fresh lemon

Slice your strawberries into a medium sized bowl and add sugar. Add the lemon juice slowly, starting with the juice of half the lemon – you should add about 1/3 cup of juice. Stir in Karo and set the strawberry mixture aside and let it’s work it’s magic – you’ll have strawberries and a lovely syrup in no time.

Whipped Cream

1 half-pint carton whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla (the good stuff, like Molina Mexican Vanilla)
1 tblsp. sugar

With hand beaters or very strong arms, whisk cream in a medium bowl until the cream thickens – it should hold the swirls of your whisk. Add sugar and vanilla and whisk until peaks form. (When you lift your whisk out of the bowl, it should pull the cream up into a little wave.)

Waffle Batter

1 Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow cake mix ( it is essential that you get the butter recipe)
1 ¼ cup water
2 eggs
1 stick butter
non-stick spray

I experimented a bit with the ingredients in the cake mix and found that leaving one egg out of the cake mix directions yielded a batter that was thick but fluffy and very delicious. Although I made mine in a stand mixer, I would suggest mixing the batter by hand – mine was perhaps a bit too fluffy. Grease your waffle iron liberally before making each waffle. It took about a ½ cup of batter to fill my Belgium waffle maker. Because this batter is much more delicate than a traditional waffle, the waffles are a bit tricky to remove from the waffle maker; I had to take mine out one section at a time, but it’s worth the effort. ☺

Top warm waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and ENJOY!