Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Easy Meal

There's not much that I really feel like doing when I'm on vacation and not traveling. Usually, I just end up cooking, or watching endless T.V. (thank goodness for reruns and marathons). So I usually experiment with whatever is in the house, coupled with the thought out meals, sometimes some happy coupling occur.

As was the case today with my meatloaf and salad:

So I had all the trappings for a super simple meatloaf, beef, crackers, a can of diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and garlic powder. I decided to throw in an extra ingredient with some mushrooms. Didn't really do anything to change the flavor, but it's just nice to know I got a veggie in there somehow. But it's a warm day and I didn't think the meatloaf was the "cooling" food that I needed. So in came the cucumber and carrot, the latter of which was going to be roasted, but like I said, I'm sweating, a plate of steaming roasted veggies would not help my temperature.

So look up carrots and cucumbers on and there's a nice cucumber and carrot salad recipe, which I couldn't make mostly because I didn't have the requisite lemon juice.

So rather than toss the whole idea together, I went for it, sans lemons:

I think it's rather pretty don't you?

Cucumber Carrot Salad
1 carrot - shaved with a veggie peeler
1 cucumber - shaved with a veggie peeler, toss the core once you reach it

2 sliced shallots
1 tsp. chopped capers
2 tsp. Dijon or Stoneground mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Pepper to taste
3 Tbsp. Olive oil

  1. Mix all dressing ingredients except for olive oil, whisk together and slowly pour in olive oil until well incorporated
  2. Mix in cucumber and carrot until both are covered in dressing
  3. Put in fridge until cool
Oddly enough, the salad tastes like coleslaw, except without the gross mayonnaise. I just haven't felt the same about mayo since I had that elote many months ago. *Shudder*

Saturday, August 25, 2007


I guess it's time to admit it.

I'm obsessed with with Ina Garten, Food Network's Barefoot Contessa. Not in a "I can't stop thinking about her, I want to stalk her" sort of obsession, more the type of, I'm going to watch this episode even though I've already watched it five times, just so I can see her beautiful kitchen and garden one more time.

I mean, she's not really my type romantically, but it seems like her life is so perfect (I know, I know, grass greener blah blah blah), I mean, she married her high school sweetheart, who is dean at Yale, they live in EAST HAMPTON for fuck's sake, with this huge garden, a billion gas burners in her kitchen a huge pantry and she can make up her own recipes. Honestly, it wasn't until I saw her gorgeous garden that I realised that I want a patch of green that I can look out on and be happy, or walk through and pick flowers to arrange in the bouquet. I mean, she hardly buys flowers! She just walks out there and picks a vase-full of hydrangeas and then (being the wonderfully creative person she is) uses the leaves on her platter to add that "bit of color".

So my goal is to make enough money so W and I can have a cute house with a garden full of flowers and happiness and I can bake and have my house smell like yummy food and live happily ever after.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I will admit, I have tried making icing from scratch, which only resulted in failure, but this time, it was different, this time, the only thing I was making from scratch was the icing, the cupcake was boxed french vanilla, three eggs, oil and water type deal. But the icing is an accomplishment because I do not own a mixer. Not even a hand mixer. Which makes the requisite creaming of butter a little bit hard.

So this time I found a boiling icing recipe, where the thickening agent is flour and milk, and although it still required some extended periods of whipping, it took considerably less effort than a butter cream recipe and also allowed me to use regular sugar instead of powdered sugar, which I did not have in the apartment and was not jazzed about the effort needed to get said ingredient. Although, even with this recipe, I still cheated a little. Let me explain with the recipe:

1 cup milk
4 tbsp. flour
3/4 (1 1/2 sticks) butter - cubed and at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Let me make note that after I typed above ingredients out, I realized that I forgot to add the vanilla, oh well, it tastes just fine without it.

1. Heat up milk and flour in saucepan, whisking continuously to avoid flour lumps. Turn off heat when mixture thickens just the little bit. (The residual heat will thicken the mixture further, you don't want a solid mass, it should be creamy.) Allow to cool.

2. Mix butter and sugar, use a whisk and try to incorporate sugar into butter as much as possible.

3. Slowly start adding the flour mixture.
This is where I cheated.
I did not leave the flour to cool for very long, I put it in a shallow ceramic bowl to take off some excess heat and to stop the cooking process. But what I found out was that by adding the mixture to the butter before cooling, I actually melted my (frozen) butter enough that it whisked very well, and it also melted the sugar down so I didn't have sugar granules. Great for when you're working with butter straight from the freezer and don't have any mechanical mixers. The only downside is that it takes a little longer to make the icing because you need to put it in the fridge to get the right consistency, otherwise all you have is white slush.

4. Whisk together until fully incorporated, add vanilla and apply to the cupcakes.


Of course now I can't eat of the cupcakes because I'm so sick of the taste of the icing, I was testing it every few minutes while I was making it to make sure the bland flour mixture didn't overpower the sugar. I actually only used 1/2 cup of sugar, since the cupcakes were already really sweet. Strange, this icing tastes exactly like the icing my mother used to make, I haven't tasted it on any cakes in years.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If You're Wondering About The New Pink Color....

I'm feeling girly. I'm a girl. This is a blog about girly stuff that goes through my girly mind. And watching Sex and the City has girlified my brain. I was feeling very "pinky" and had a picture of some flower pods, so this scheme was created. Will be tinkering with it over the next few days, trying to move away from the pepto bismal look...

Blogger in the city...again...

Here we are again...

I just finished watching the second disc of the last season of Sex and the City, and as usual, I'm in a melancholy state. Especially after all that 'wrapping up' emotional stuff in the last few scenes, honestly, it's heart-wrenching to see people so happy after so much turmoil, even if it isn't real. Like Miss Potter? Cried my eyes out. The whole movie, just cried and cried and cried. And even though I was so happy for her in the end I kept thinking OH NORMAN! WHYYYYY!

I guess the melancholy state comes from my lack of that "core" group of friends that I can see and hang out with regularly, everyone's just so spread out all over this big world, it's obviously so hard to keep in touch with everyone, much less tell them everything that's going on with your life, since they're probably bored to death with your tails of how emotional you get from watching a show.

Well, if that's how you feel about what I'm talking about, you probably stopped reading after the first couple of lines.

Well, this isn't real melancholy anyway, just a distant sense of longing, it's hard to find friends like the ones I had in high school, I've just known them for so long, and they know me and all my flaws and it's gotten to the point where my long list of flaws are past annoying and more funny. Like my tendency to ignore whoever I'm with if there's any alternative stimuli, like a television, radio or shiny object. With my mouth wide open of course.

I guess my headache isn't really helping matters, I've had a head cold for the past few days, and I'm just getting over it, but I've got this headache that feels like dehydration, but I can pretty much down so much water before I start feeling sick, but the headache remains, throbbing lightly, just enough to make me want to squash my head in.

In other news I have made the switch from IE to Firefox. I suggest you do the same because it's just so much faster, and even though it's a little different in the look of the toolbars, it's generally the same and it hasn't once frozen or slowed or crashed on me.

So the lessons of this post? I'm a headachey, slightly sad Carrie Bradshaw addict that is telling you, download Firefox. Now.

Friday, August 17, 2007

You know, I was ready to come home, log on to blogger to bitch and moan about horrendous traffic and getting lost. But since I have calmed down and lost quite a bit of steam, I will simply post a picture from my new uploads on flickr and tell you to go check it out.
Love, Asha

Monday, August 06, 2007

New pictures on the flickr from the new camera.

Camera and Other Things...

Like I said in the last post, I have work to do, yet I'm not doing it. I have two finals due, one is two drawings from photos in charcoal, and the other is rendering (2D coloring) a perspective in photoshop. Yet instead of doing either one of these, I'm listening to Pandora and puttering around with blogger and flickr and occasionally taking my new camera out of its protective sleeve and looking at it.
And of course taking pictures of it with the old Nikon Coolpix 3100. I feel like I'm cheating on my dumpy old camera with the new sexy and sleek one. I mean, look at that sweet, clean case and the totally retro black circle? I know it's giving you chills just thinking about it. Give in and admit it. I mean, the Canon's newer, smaller, and definitely less bulky than it's predecessor. It also got 7.1 megapixels and 3x optical zoom, the 3100 has 3.2 MP and the same 3x optical, as well as numerous scratches and dings from yours truely. The main reason for buying a new snapper is that the Nikon doesn't use a rechargable lithium ion battery and so I'm spending alot of money on those batteries. Hell, I could have probably bought a new camera with all the money I've spent on batteries over the last few years. I should have invested sooner, and I almost did, in a Casio 7.2MP Exilim, but ended up not keeping it for a number of reasons, mainly that it was a very bad camera.

Oh and the decision was bumped up in priority when my sister exclaimed "Your camera is shit, get a new one." after borrowing it for a day. Of course she was comparing it to her Sony Cybershot whose battery hadn't finished charging that day.

The image above compares the Canon to a business card, the business card belonging to a friend of Bryant's, Dave Crossland. See how small it is? The Nikon is a little taller in comparison and WAY thicker. Eek. Now I can live in fear of the day I scratch this brand new sucker. I'll need to buy a hard case pronto. I still recall the day I caused the biggest scratch on the Nikon. At the zoo in the Seattle, it was of course not in its case because it would have been too big to fit in my purse and so when I dropped said purse, a couple of nice scratches on the screen and a nice paint-lifting ding on the body appeared.

I have hardly any discipline now that it's the last week of school, I need to eat, and then just sit down and draw. Let me turn on some classical music to inspire me. Oh yeah, I only have Bach and Tschaicovsky still. Ugh.


As usual, school consumes my life, until I actually have homework to do, then I'm puttering around on the computer avoiding schoolwork as much as possible. Here are some nudies for you to look at:

Four hour study with special attention to composition and cropping. I hate drawing the face, the need for the detail puts so much importance up there when I'm most interested in the torso. Solution? Cut off half her face.

Two minute gestures with special attention to light and shadow and minimal use of line.

Two minute gestures.

Two minute gestures.

One minute gesture.

These are actually some of the last pictures you'll see taken by the good ol' Nikon Coolpix 3100. I recently bought a Canon SD1000 that I just recieved by UPS today, the battery's charging and then I'll go crazy taking pictures for your viewing pleasure.