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Copyright: Jenn Olivier 2005

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You Win This Time Rachel Ray

Sun, 17 Oct 2010 16:46:56 GMT

I have to admit, this turned out totally "yummo".

A lot of ingredients and prep but this was so satisfying on a cold day. And from now on every time I make mashed potatoes I'm adding parsnips, horseradish and extra sharp white cheddar. DAMN. Glad there are leftovers!!







Our 5th Anniversary

Sun, 26 Sep 2010 13:51:14 GMT

Our 5th Anniversary

Ira started with serving me breakfast in bed. It was a little burnt but he did his best to give me a nice English Fry-up with coffee and juice on a tray. I had heard him get up and poking about in the kitchen but I stayed in bed to keep the surprise.

Then later we took the motorbike to the International District in Seattle. I was listening to my iPod under the helmet which kept me calm on 405 and 90 over the water. That was pretty nerve wracking for me. We parked and walked around looking at all the weird, cool little shops. Ira took me into one and picked out for me a santoku knife! It was beautiful! I also got a Bagua Mirror for our door and a little red Chinese lantern that dangles from a suction cup.

We walked around for a while and got a bubble tea for a snack since our breakfast was alread hours past and wearing off. We walked back to the motorbike and I was getting cranky because it was "hot" (for Seattle) and I was getting sweaty. We hopped on the motorbike without our jackets and rode around all over the city. It was PERFECT. We went around the waterfront, Pike Place Market, Belltown, Union Square, Sodo and over to West Seattle and took a break by Alki Beach. A few hours on the bike and my ass was getting sore but it was FUN.

We went back over to Yesler and went to Saba. It was my first time having Ethiopian food and it was so amazingly delicious. We shared the green chicken and Shero Wat. With so much injera bread it was incredibly filling but I couldn't stop putting those tastes in my mouth. We were the only non Ethiopians in the place and everyone was very sweet. The price was very affordable for so much food. I can't wait to take more people here.

By the time we got out and back to the bike it was dusk. Time to ride back in the twillight. I had my music on again. It's tricky getting earbuds to stay in while putting on a full face helmet.

By the time we got home we were very sore. We had a nice scrubbins and I gave bebe a special surprise since his other present hadn't arrived yet. Then we watched a crappy ninja movie and had some dessert before falling into bed with the little kitty cuddled at our feet. It was a very festive and fun five year day. Can't wait for the next one!!! :)

Butternut Squash Soup

Fri, 27 Aug 2010 14:25:54 GMT

Not really a recipe since like usual, I don't use measurements and it changes a little every time. More like a guideline I suppose.

1 Really big butternut squash

An onion roughly chopped
a bunch of baby carrots left whole
perhaps a couple stalks of celery roughly chopped
maybe some yukon gold or new potatoes, peeled and chunked
chicken stock

can of evaporated milk
maybe some more milk on hand just in case

salt, pepper, clove, nutmeg, olive oil

a blender

Quarter your butternut and scoop out the seeds. Rub with olive oil and dust slightly with clove, nutmeg or maybe some cinnamon. Not too much. Roast in a hot oven (350° at least) for 30-40 minutes or until fork tender and nicely browned. 

When your squash is done roasting, let it cool a little unless you think you can scoop molten mush out of skins without burning the crap out of your hands.

Next boil in a pot of chicken stock your mirepoix and peeled taters until nice and tender. Put it all in the blender and blend until smooth and then put it back in the pan. 

Put your roasted butternut flesh into the blender and blend with full can of evap milk. If it's still not running smooth add a little more milk but you want to keep it thick as possible.

Pour this also into the pan and mix your yummies together over low heat. Add salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Try not to eat the entire pot in one sitting with a loaf of fresh baked french bread and a nice green salad.

Jenn's Beet Hummus

Sun, 08 Aug 2010 10:53:20 GMT


I've been making hummus so long I don't know the exact measurements to anything. I just eyeball it. I will make close estimates to how much I think I'm using but really it's just a guess and you'll have to experiment yourself. I always keep a few cans of chickpeas/garbanzos around and some lemons or lemon juice in a pinch. I'm never out of garlic or the basic spices. If I'm having company or there's a party coming up, I know I can whip up some hummus in a few minutes. Mom just gave me her old Cuisinart food processor and my hummus has never looked smoother. Mmmmm.....


2 small beets steamed or boiled till soft and then peeled
2 cans of garbanzo beans (I've been told using dried is ideal. I've yet to have the patience to try)
the juice of 1 whole lemon
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1TB tahini give or take (this is the only harder ingredient to find. look for unsalted sesame butter in the hippie section of your market. one jar will last you a while and you can make many many batches of hummus.)
a little more kosher salt than you think you'll need
a few good cranks from the pepper grinder
a skosh of coriander
not too much red pepper flakes
maybe around a quarter cup of olive oil, probably less

Puree the beets in the food processor with some of the lemon juice until smooth. scrape down the sides
add your garbanzos, drained
start adding all of your other ingredients except the olive oil
pulse the food processor a few times and then turn it on while slowing adding the olive oil through the feeder shoot
don't over oil but add just enough until its nice and smooth and thick
taste it and see if it needs a little more salt. when using kosher salt, add a little and wait a bit until it all melts and gets incorporated or you'll oversalt
If you need to, scrape down the sides and keep processing until it's all mixed and smooth
you want a nice thick paste

uhhh.... put in a bowl. make a little moat with your finger or the back of a fork and pour a little olive oil in there. garnish with some chopped herbs and a little diced garlic or something that looks pretty. can keep in the fridge for about a week. this is more or less the same recipe I use when I make plain hummus. just without the beets and half the ingredients. good with crusty bread or warm pitas.

Top Chef Season 7; Washington DC

Fri, 30 Jul 2010 16:07:17 GMT

I'm not enjoying this season of Top Chef as much as I have the others. The chefs aren't really making amazing cutting edge food. Most of it just seems sort of safe and dull. I usually love watching this show to get amazing ideas and see where chefs are trending in the next hot food fad. It's where I learned about sous vide, making foams, agar-agar and other molecular gastronomy techniques. It's how I learned to sear a scallop and french a lambchop. There's also usually an interesting food trend such as the ubiquitous "honey glaze" everyone was using one year or the fad fruit, fish or flavor. Key phrases like "fresh and simple" are les mots de jour. I'm seeing nothing new or exciting. Though I am tempted to try a pea puree.... I need an immersion blender I think. Also there are no real fun competitors to watch. The lack of gays this year is surprising. We had Arnold but he got cut fairly early on. The only real drama in the kitchen (or in the house) is Ed and Tiffany are very friendly with each other and Angelo and Kenny are butting heads. Just about everyone has personalities as bland as their food. In the past we've had people that were fun to watch and root for, no matter what they were cooking. I was rooting or Kenny for a while but his food has begun to look overcomplicated and he's not making it to the top picks in either the quickfires or elimination challenges anymore. Angelo is a dick but he looks like he's making decent food. I'm rooting for Tiffany now. I don't really know if she'll win but she's a strong chef cooking uncomplicated food consistently well and has a sweet personality. I don't mind that she's flirting a little with Ed even though she has a fiancee back home. They haven't done anything improprietous as far as the cameras have shown. The Quick Fire challenges are unimaginative. The one where they had to pair up in a two person apron was kind of cool. The toothpick challenge was just an amuse bouche on a stick. Exotic protiens? *YAWN* Make a pie? Seriously? The babyfood challenge was sort of interesting but I don't have kids so it was easily forgettable to me. They don't really seem to be incorporating the culture of the city into the challenges as much as they did with the seasons set in NY, Miami, LA and Las Vegas. There've been a couple of challenges where they had to serve at a historical building or serve interns and last week they had the "Power Lunch" but I feel like they could be doing so much more to highlight the history and culture and are missing opportunities. The school cafeteria challenge with the limited budget was creative and interesting but the rest have been snoozers. The guest judges haven't really WOWed me. It was great when they had Chef Ripert for the first few episodes but he's been absent for the past few weeks. There was one judge who was obviously familiar with one of the contestants and not in a positive way. That was unpleasant. C'mon Bravo! With this show in it's 7th season, you have to be able to find some celebrities or politicians people have actually heard of, right?That's all the time I have now to bitch about how one of my favorite shows is just not really doing it for me this year and I'm a lil' disappointed. It's not over yet, maybe the show will get it together but I'm seriously doubting it. The Next Food Network Star has been fun even though those folks don't have the same cooking chops, they're fun to watch. I really hope Aarti wins it. I would love to watch her show. The Food Network is lacking in Asian cooks and an Indian show would be fabulous! And Aarti is fun and cute to boot. She just needs to get a little more self confidence. I just found she has a ton of videos on youtube under "Aarti Paarti"! [...]

Saturday Night

Mon, 19 Jul 2010 13:11:16 GMT

Saturday Night was lovely. I got done grocery shopping and set myself up in the backyard with a very French snack and posted the picture on Facebook. Lemon and Cracked Pepper Sardines, Brie, Mixed berries, Rosemary bread and my favorite wine; 7 Deadly Zins.


Friends started commenting on the picture immediately. A few minutes after that, my friend Beebs came over to join me. I love living in the future...

We had a great time drinking wine and hanging out. I ended up smoking though, like I tend to do when drinking wine. I had at least 4 cigarettes in one night. That's a LOT for someone who had pretty much quit.

Beebs spent the night in the spare room and then slipped out the next morning. I was pinned down in bed with the cat and a raging headache from smoking. Stupid cigarettes. I had planned on doing yardwork on Sunday but spent the day instead napping with the cat, talking on the phone and watching 8 episodes of Mad Men. Just 3 more to go and I'll be caught up for the beginning of Season 4.

Some other shows I've been watching pretty religiously are; Top Chef:DC, Next Food Network Star, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, Chefs Vs. City, Locked Up Abroad, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Occasionally I've been watching No Reservations, 30 Days, Penn & Teller's Bullshit, Hoarders and Intervention. Can't wait for the next season of Dexter, 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara and Obsessed (the show about people with OCD). Oh and it looks like there's going to be a new season of The Colony soon. Ira and I both liked that show. Haven't even watched that many movies lately because I've been watching so much TV. Next show I've got coming in on Netflix is Big Love. Hopefully that one's good.

Any other TV suggestions??

this weekend's decisions

Sat, 17 Jul 2010 11:57:48 GMT

Aww... this morning I saw little kitty had left his favorite mousy toy by my feet at the edge of the bed and he was curled up next to me purring. That's what having a cat is about.

Trying to decide what to do today. I think there will be shopping, cleaning and grilling involved plus a trip to the library. Probably some more Mad Men as well. Doesn't look like I'll make it to the Bit of Seattle again this year. One of these years I'll go, really.

Tomorrow there will be mowing probably and rehearsing songs is very likely. Maybe any other chores around the house that have been neglected lately.

But before any real decisions are made, there needs to be coffee.

Twicker Tweet

Fri, 25 Jun 2010 00:00:34 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 12:13 Top Chef - Season 7 I'm rooting for chef Kenny Gilbert but Angelo Sosa is tearing the kitchen up!! #
Yup, I swear.

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Twicker Tweet

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 00:07:57 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 12:02 Thought about creating a twitter account for my cat but I don't even update my own enough. #
Yup, I swear.

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Paul the Kitty!

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 18:20:57 GMT


Finally successful in my search for a kitty. Paul will be 1 year old on June 20th. Maybe we'll have a little birthday celebration for him. His former people came today to drop off the last of his toys and say goodbye. Poor kids. They are a very very nice young couple but can't have a cat right now. I tried to assure them that I will take extremely good care of their little buddy. Him and I are already getting along well. He's still a little skittish but is getting more comfortable having the run of the house. He's a little crazy and reminds me of King Julian from the Madagascar movies with that ringed tail.

Now our house is cozy and full of life. He already has his shots and is neutered. He is well behaved. Uses the litter box and doesn't scratch up the furniture. I have been training him to keep off of the kitchen counters and that's going OK. He still tests me from time to time. I've been trying to get him used to wearing a collar so I can hear his bell when he's tearing about the house. He's got more toys than he could possibly play with. He likes to sit by the sliding glass door and watch the birds in the back yard.

Welp. I've got to get ready to go to band practice. I'm not really feeling it tonight. I'm tired and could totally use a nap on the couch. Been spending too much time there this week, it'll be good for me to get out and sing.

Twicker Tweet

Thu, 17 Jun 2010 00:05:53 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 14:37 Greg's Japanese Auto on #Yelp: My Toyota 4Runner broke down on 405 on a Thursday evening with a failed water pump. G... #
  • 15:24 Plum Delicious Family Restaurant on #Yelp: I thought that kind of food poisoning was an exaggeration until I got to ... #
Yup, I swear.

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"... I scream at the top of my lungs what's going on?"

Fri, 11 Jun 2010 20:11:17 GMT

The 4Runner finally crapped out on me. I'm trying to not be too stressed out... but I hate car problems. $1,000 to get the water pump, timing belt and front seals replaced. Plus they tacked on the price of the tow from 405 in Bellevue down to Renton and then they can test the head gasket to see if I really fucked it up. Luckily Ira had some money saved up in his savings account and mom was able to spare me some dough. Crappity crap. Car troubles and spending more money than I have always makes me really pissy.

Aside from that, I got the guys song lists last night at rehearsal and they all picked some great songs! It's going to be hard to narrow it down to 5 from their list but I think I have it.

What's Up - 4 Non Blonds
Barracuda - Heart
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
Blue Alert - Madeleine Peyroux (I need ONE song where I'm not belting)
Mercy - Duffy

There were some great suggestions that I think I'll put on the back burner and see if I can bring them up again later. Going to rehearsal after dealing with car problems was a great way to vent and just relax for a little bit.

So I've got my website finally looking like I think I want it to look My hands are seriously cramping up though, I need to stop for dinner and get away from the computer for a few hours.

Ummm... so. I guess that's it for now. Might get a cat this weekend. I have some people bringing over "Paul" the cat. We've been trying to get a kitten but that's actually a lot harder than it sounds. Paul is still only about a year old so we'll just have to see how friendly he is and if he likes the house and wants to stay.

Possible Songs to Learn

Thu, 10 Jun 2010 14:04:52 GMT

The guys were each supposed to suggest to me 5 songs this week and I was supposed to pick 5 from the 25 to learn. Not a single one emailed me! Those guys... Not a problem though. I nabbed a couple that they mentioned in conversation and put together my own list of songs to learn. HA! Take that!! :)

Mercy - Duffy
Blue Alert - Madeleine Peyroux
Money Maker - Rilo Kiley
Me & Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin
Lady Marmalade - Patti LaBell
She Ain't a Child No More - Sharon Jones
One Way or Another - Blondie
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper
All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow
Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
Walking On Sunshine - Katrina and the Waves
Barracuda - Heart
These Boots Are Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra
I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) - Aretha Franklin
Sinnerman - Nina Simone
House of the Rising Sun - The Animals
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing - Chris Isaacs
You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC

Any other suggestions are welcome.

Since no one is reading this anymore, might as well post

Fri, 04 Jun 2010 19:14:43 GMT

Today I finally broke down and bought a brand new lawn mower with a warranty from Lowe's! The lawn was looking mighty shaggy again and I didn't want to have to borrow someone's mower again, nor did I want to spend the money on another crap used lawn mower from the pawn shop, just to have it break after a few tries and be hard as hell to start.

I put it together myself and once I got all of the fluids in, I was so amazed to see it start on the first pull!! Wooo-hoo!! I manged to come away with a nasty bruise on my arm from getting it out of the back of the truck but otherwise, it's all good. Tomorrow, I will mow the CRAP outta that lawn.

Also got 8 cubic feet of soil and a small wheel barrow to move it around in. My seedlings are finally looking about ready to stick in the dirt. I'm going to take pictures first of my green house and all of the darling little sprouts in there to mark my effort in case once they all get planted they proceed to die. There's bush beans, two kinds of tomatoes, three kinds of lettuce, butternut squash, brussel sprouts, hearts of gold melon, zucchini, winter squash, cucumbers, beets, endive, bok choi, eggplant, walla walla onions and a bunch of flowers and herbs. What should make this fairly easy is I started most of the seedlings in compostable pots that are just about falling apart now. I'll be able to separate them and plunge them right into the earth. The hardest part is the garden area where they're going to go is massively grown over and unorganized. I have to dig it up first and plan where I'm going to place everything. The garden veggie soil will mix with what I dig up to make a nice loamy home for my veggies. I'd like to get some more compostable pots so I can start another batch of seedlings for continuous planting and in case these all end up dying on me.

I also went to PetSmart today and got a litter box, some litter, a scoop, food, and a kitten sized collar. I've been stopping at the Humane Society after work and checking on the new cats they have in. I'm looking for a little male kitten to bring home and I figured one of the reasons why I wasn't finding the one I wanted is because I didn't have all the stuff at home to be prepared for a new baby cat. Now that I've got the bare essentials, I can bring a kitten home and then worry about getting the toys and the scratcher and all of that other jazz. I already have dishes, treats and a brush from when Ira and I had Buddy cat coming to visit us. I miss that cat, he was amazing. Hopefully our next little friend will turn out just as fun and adorable.

Twicker Tweet

Thu, 03 Jun 2010 00:02:42 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 14:45 My band UC7 Seattle is already booking gigs. Let us get your party rocking! #
Yup, I swear.

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Twicker Tweet

Tue, 25 May 2010 00:03:54 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 22:42 This Monday evening went a little longer than planned but still having fun. #
Yup, I swear.

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Twicker Tweet

Mon, 17 May 2010 00:02:54 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 00:44 Might start using Twitter more since the new Droid update includes an easy to use widget. #
  • 09:29 @gilcreque Droid Eris and I love it. New update also includes better integration with Facebook to help feed my addiction! #
Yup, I swear.

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Twicker Tweet

Sun, 16 May 2010 00:02:53 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 12:37 Blerg. It's that time of the month.... time to pay bills!! #
Yup, I swear.

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Nyk (Mike) Tate

Fri, 14 May 2010 23:43:20 GMT

Chance Tedium

I'm curious but will remain at my requested distance.

Twicker Tweet

Tue, 20 Apr 2010 00:02:35 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 10:43 I hate it when my favorite morning news show gets hijacked by NASCAR :P #
Yup, I swear.

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Twicker Tweet

Tue, 13 Apr 2010 00:04:26 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 13:15 Love Seattle, Hate this time of year. Allergies got me down. #
Yup, I swear.

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Twicker Tweet

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 00:00:14 GMT

Le passé composé

  • 12:25 Listening to "Under Great White Northern Lights" on ♫ #
Yup, I swear.

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