Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Married to a Retiree?

Apparently, marketers are a bit confused about where Andrew and I fall in terms of target markets.

He keeps getting AARP solicitations in the mail. As in, the type of letter that comes complete with a real AARP card bearing your name. And not just once, multiple times.

And for some reason, I've started emails like this from the Princeton Review, despite hitting every unsuscribe button they have on their emails:

Um, no thanks to adding another school loan to our bills, Andrew and I already have four degrees between us.  And as tempting as retirement sounds to working stiffs like us (especially this early on the week when we know there are three days to get through to reach the weekend), we are still getting used being in our thirties. To be fair, Andrew actually doesn't turn 30 until October but according to the way his family measures time, he's already in his thirtieth year...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Get Your Word On

I just discovered wordle.net, which creates word clouds from text that you provide, in this case, my blog!

I had to laugh when I saw how prominently the words "cookie" and "cookies"showed up in the wordle I made, because the more prominent the word, the more often it was used on the blog. In my defense, I think the wordle is only based on my last four posts (I just plugged in bostonchomper.blogspot.com and this is what popped up) and I did blog about cookies twice in the past week! Plus, anyone will tell you, I do love cookies, haha.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Earlier this week, I wrote about how the lingering winter weather inspired me to make Ginger Hermits, a spicy cookie meant to be eaten with a good cup of tea (cranberry green tea for me).

Well, now I'm thumbing my nose at the latest forecast of snow with a cookie that is just meant to celebrate spring - Italian Sprinkle Cookies!

I've literally dreaming about these cookies for years, after tasting my first a work bake sale.  I wasn't quite sure what they were called but ended up finding a recipe for Italian Anise Cookies that seemed to fit the bill for the soft cookies I wanted to make, with a sweet icing on top.

First, a name change was in order. The recipe suggested either anise or almond extract could be used for flavoring. I chose almond - while I love both flavors, Andrew doesn't like anise so that made the decision for me.

One of the best purchases I made last year? A large bottle of almond extract purchased at Marshalls, of all places, for $7.99.  That may sound pricey but any baker will tell you that a tiny bottle of extract purchased at a typical grocery store usually costs $3-4. So for double the price, I probably got 10x the amount of extract. And it came in handy for this recipe.

  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons anise extract (or almond extract) I upped this to 1 Tablespoon for a strong almond flavor and I highly recommend this, I don't think there would've been enough flavor with only 2 teaspoons
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons milk 
  • 2 cups of confectioner's sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk (I used 4 tablespoons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon anise extract (1 teaspoon of almond extract)
  • food coloring (optional - I kept the icing white to show off the sprinkles)
  • decorative candy sprinkles (I went with the classic and colorful nonpareils)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (I used my Silpat liners).
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add almond extract.
  3. Blend flour and baking powder. Start by adding about 1/3 of dry ingredients, to the butter/sugar mixture, add 1 tablespoon of milk, and repeat until dough resembles brownie batter (personally, I thought it looked more like biscuit batter - warning, it is very sticky!)
4.  Use tablespoon-sized cookie scooper to make simple round drop cookies - NOTE: This dough is extremely hard to work with/shape without a cookie scooper. And I found the tablespoon size scoops to be too big, I ended up switching to my teaspoon-sized scooper. Use wet fingers to smooth any rough edges

5.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes - cookies will not be brown but the insides will be soft and cake-like. I used a toothpick to make sure the center was cooked through.

They look like biscuits, no? I'm not going to lie. I was a little worried about how these were going to turn out at this point. They looked craggy and ugly. The one on the left was made with the tablespoon scoop and right with a teaspoon scoop.  Teaspoon scoop was definitely the way to go and still gave you a decent sized cookie.
Now for the fun part - sprinkles! Just looking at all these colors made me feel happy and put me in the mood for bright and happy things, like spring weather.

To make the icing, simply mix the sugar, milk and extract in a bowl. You may need to add a little extra milk to get the right glaze consistency. I simply mixed with a rubber spatula and didn't need to microwave the icing at all. After your cookies have had a chance to cool, commence dipping activity:

Sprinkle some nonpareils on top - don't make the mistake of dipping the cookies into nonpareils, that puts way too much on top as I discovered. I guess it makes sense that something called sprinkles would work better sprinkled!
Look how pretty these look arranged on a plate - no one would be able to say no to one of these pretties!

As for my worries on the appearance/flavor/texture? Put to rest the minute I bit into one of these. They are an irresistible combination of soft cake-like texture with just the right amount of drizzle on top. Almond flavor bursting from every corner.  Surprisingly not as sweet as you would think, the cookie itself is not that sweet which is why it balanced out the pure sugar on top. 

These cookies have definitely made their way onto my top ten favorite cookie list. They're easy to make, easy to decorate (and easily adaptable for any holiday/occasion with the right sprinkles) and taste fabulous. As in, I ate three when I was packing them up for my coworkers. And when I brought them into work, it was no surprise to see a coworker take one, and return for a second (even a third) within minutes.

It may be gray and yucky outside but that doesn't mean your desserts need to be gloomy too!

PS - I think you could get between 4 - 5 dozen teaspoon-size cookies easy.  I ended up with a dozen gigantic cookies and 2.5 dozen regular size cookies.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ginger Hermits

I never thought I liked gingerbread cookies or anything with a really spicy flavor. To tell you the truth, I really dislike ginger as a flavor overall, even though it's used a lot in the Korean cooking I grew up with.

Which is why it was a surprise when I liked these cookies so much. A coworker brought in a batch of Ginger Hermits to a work potluck and I was in love. Moist and flavorful, they are the perfect cookie to have with a cup of tea which is why I thought it would be a good recipe to share on a day like today - kind of a consolation prize to have when the first day of Spring is marked with cold weather and an inch accumulation of snow.

This is Sue's mom's original recipe. Of course, I couldn't resist tinkering with it a little bit - I did my usual swap of cranberries for raisins and I made these as drop cookies rolled in sugar. I must say that either way of making the cookies (rolling into logs and slicing into biscotti shapes or drop cookies).  The biscotti shapes come out almost gooey soft while the drop cookies have a perfectly crisp exterior with a chewy center.  I made these as a part of my annual cookie swap, and when one of my friends brought these into her workplace, one of her coworkers begged for the recipes, describing them as "perfectly balanced in flavor and texture".  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

So while we're "enjoying" the remnants of winter weather, make these cookies, grab a cup of tea, and sit down and enjoy!

Ginger Hermits

3/4c. shortening
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. raisins (or Craisins)
3/4 c. white sugar (plus another 1/4 - 1/2 cup for rolling)
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 eggs
3/4 c. brown sugar
1tsp. ground cloves
1/4 c. molasses
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbl. water
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Mix shortening and sugars. Blend in eggs. Add dry ingredients and spices.
2. Mix water into the molasses add to dry mix. Add (c)raisins.
3. Make 4 long strips on lightly greased ( use Pam) cookie sheet. (I used my large tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to form uniform cookies and used my Silpat to line the cookie sheets)
4. Sprinkle top lightly with sugar. (I rolled the top of each in the extra white sugar)
5. Bake at 350F for 15 to 20 min. they will be soft as they come out of the oven but they will harden as they cool - stay on the 15 minute side for softer cookies!!
6. Slice into cookies.

Ready to go into the oven:

Yummy goodness waiting to be enjoyed!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quick Zama Update

For those of you who aren't as familiar with Japan, here's a map that shows where the earthquake occurred, the location of Tokyo and the military installations in relation to it.

My parents are on that little dot that that is labeled "Naval Air Facility Atsugi/Camp Zama". The bases are within a 15 minute drive of each other and we shared a high school (my alma mater ZAHS).

I talked to my parents and they're still doing fine and hanging in there. They've experienced sporadic shortages of power and water on base, as well as running out of gas (but more was supposed to be delivered today).  There have been minor food shortages in the commissary (water keeps flying off the shelves) but my parents have enough food squirreled away to last at least a year. Maybe two. And I swear my mom bought all of it BEFORE they even experienced the earthquake, just due to her inability to resist a good sale and coupons.

Radiation levels are being monitored on a regular basis and right now, are equivalent to a chest x-ray and safe to be exposed to.

I'm not going to lie, fallout from the Fukushima nuclear plant is my biggest concern for my parenets right now.

Perhaps this is the nudge needed for an early retirement in Hawaii?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Joining the Bandwagon

It's official - Apple is starting to own more of my soul.
I am now the proud owner of an iPhone 3GS.  My sister broke my 3.5 year phone right after I had proclaimed to her that it had lasted through everything (talk about fate laughing at you). I went from an old slider phone to a touchscreen smart phone. As I told the woman at the AT&T store, I'm like an old lady with a phone (I barely use minutes or text) so I have a feeling this new phone is going to irritate me more rather please me as I figure out all its little quirks. And, I need to figure out a way to get everyone's phone numbers on it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Another Zama Birthday

With everything that's been happening lately, it feels like it's more important than ever to celebrate the good things in life. Like friendships and although I know this sounds a little dramatic, birthdays that signify that not only that you have survived another year, that you have another year to look forward to.

It's only fitting that amongst March babies in my circle of friends, two are friends that I met in Japan and that I've known the longest. You already know about Camie but my birthday wishes today are for my friend Breena (all the way on the right):

The last time we were all together as "Zama Mamas" (phrase coined by Camie) was in December, at a Cuban restaurant in Brooklyn (From L to R, that's me, Breena, Amy, Joselyn (Breena's sister) and Camie):

Happy Birthday Breena!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Not Just Another Earthquake...

It's been kind of a crazy weekend.  Life has been pretty quiet and normal for me here in Boston. However, my thoughts have been with my parents, who readers will remember live in Japan.

Thankfully, I woke up on Friday morning not to newspaper headlines or disturbing footage on TV. My first inkling that something was wrong was when Andrew happened to check his email on his iPhone at 5:30 a.m. and mentioned that my dad had emailed about an earthquake. Japan has earthquakes literally all the time, so it's usually not that big of a deal. In fact, I remember many a time when I was living in Japan during high school, and waking up to a light swaying in bed, recognizing it as a minor earthquake and promptly falling back asleep. In school, we were trained on the proper way to respond to a strong earthquake (things like standing in the doorway is one of the safest places to be) but we never had to use that knowledge.

So this is why I didn't think anything out of the normal had happened. I went ahead and showered, and then logged onto my computer to read my dad's email.

What I read next both reassured me and worried me:
"Just had the worst earthquake I've ever experienced here.  Our whole building was rattling and it went on much longer than normal for 2-3 minutes."

Clearly a stronger than usual earthquake (most we only feel for a few seconds) but the fact that 1) my dad was assuring us that they were fine and 2) had access to email made me feel better. However, he did mention:
"The Japanese TV is broadcasting tsunami warnings and saying the quake was centered way up in the Northeast.  If it was that far away and felt this bad, it must have been awful in Hokkaido."

Zama is located inland and away from water, so I wasn't worried about the tsunamis impacting them but it was an indication of how bad things were in Japan.

However, I still didn't have a clear magnitude of the impact of the earthquake since turning on the TV is not a part of my usual morning routine. I was in a hurry to get into work so my only thought was to call my parents and hear first hand how they were doing. My parents had just switched over to a phone service in the fall that eliminates the need to dial an international number. Calling them now is just dialing a local MA number (they got to pick the area code), which is something that I think worked in my favor since news reports were reporting that cell phone network was down and lines were understandbly jammed with family members trying to contact loved ones in Japan. After three tries, I actually got through to my parents, was able to hear about their experiences with the earthquake and really feel that they were fine and would continue to be fine in terms of how safe their apartment was (it's on the third floor of a high rise building) and access to any supplies.

It was only after I talked to them that I saw the headlines on sites like Boston.com and CNN, and even more disturbingly, the video footage of the tsunamis. If I had seen all of that first rather than hearing about the earthquake first from my parents, it would've been a decidedly different (and much less calm) morning.

I was also relieved when I checked out the Stars & Stripes (the military newspaper that covers all our service areas) and saw this headline.

As I explained to everyone that reached out to me on Friday (feeling truly blessed and touched by all the friends, family and coworkers that thought about me and Amy), there is no better place for my parents to be than on a millitary installation during a crisis like this. Everything they need is within walking distance, they have ample supplies (Amy pointed out that my mom always stockpiles non-perishable food like she's feeding a family of twelve, due to her love of coupons) and basic necessities. Plus, I have faith that the Army would start evacuating servicemembers, civilians like my parents and families if they were in danger.

Also, it's times like these that social networking tools like Facebook came in handy. I was able to learn right away from friends who live in Japan that they were fine and their families were fine.

However, watching all this news coverage this weekend has been surreal. I just have such a hard time picturing the Japan of my memories as the disaster zone I see on TV. And my heart goes out to the Japanese people who are still dealing with things like aftershocks, nuclear plant meltdowns, and access to supplies, not to mention the rescue teams who are still searching survivors.

And I'm still praying for my parents' continued safety in this situation. A little part of me is still in disbelief that they're living in a disaster site. I don't know when life will return to "normal" for them but all in all, so thankful that they are all right!

Please keep the people of Japan in your prayers, and if you can afford it, consider making a donation to the American Red Cross to help with relief efforts.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Camie!

Just a little birthday shout-out to my friend Camie.

We're both pretty nerdy (and have been since high school) so I'd like to say we were both primp and proper all the time:
But really, it's more like us having long chats and cracking ourselves up. Camie is the best storyteller and has the most expressive range of faces:

Happy Birthday Camie! Sorry to be missing out on the NY fesitivities this year but I think it would've been too hard to top your theme from last year anyway. Have a gin and tonic on me!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 Day You Challenge: Eight Fears

1. Losing my job - Although it would be great to have a job closer to where we live (shorter commute, yes please!) I think my real fear is not having a second salary to help with the mortgage. When I think worst case scenarios where one of us loses our job, I picture our savings in terms of how many mortgage payments we could make. The weighty responsibility of being a homeowner!

2. Getting into a car accident. I've had one very minor fender bender in my past (which is about to drop off my driving record, woohoo) but I've had a series of near misses lately on 95. Close enough where the adrenaline gets pumping and I'm slightly freaked for the rest of the day. This means my driving has been very conservative in the past couple of months, for the better in some ways (enforcing a safe following distance) but slightly annoying in other ways (hitting the brakes compulsively at any hint of red).

3. Ghosts - Not going to lie, they're not something I actively think about but I have to admit a little part of me believes in haunted places. But I'm not tempted to test out this theory!

4. Aliens - Ditto on them. I know this makes me sound like a crackpot, but seriously people, our planet is a mere blip in the wide expanse of the universe and to me, it sounds arrogant to assume we're the only game in town. This doesn't necessarily mean I think they're "among us" but yes, I'll admit that I think they are somewhere out there. I think this is why I like watching alien movies of all types, because to me, they are truly scary because a part of me believes in them.

5. Cockroaches - Even their name sounds gross. I don't like how big they get, the way they move, the way they crunch when you step on them, the way they look, the way they get into everything! Knock on wood, but I haven't seen one in years. However, the couple of years we lived in Hawaii, monster-sized roaches would get into everything. Each night, if I had to get something from the kitchen, I would flip on the light and start clapping my hands to scare the suckers away. This isn't a knock on my mom's housecleaning skills, because they're in every house in Hawaii. There's also the time that I got out of the shower, grabbed my towel, and had a roach fall from it - true story and I think I'm scarred from the experience to this day.

6. Having surgery. This is another knock on wood moment, but I've never had surgery of any type (not including dental surgery). The worst injury that ever happened to me as a kid (or adult) was a sprained ankle. I can respect the field of medicine but just can't picture how I would handle lying in a hospital bed. Shudder.

7. Cooking a nutritious dinner every night for our future family. Seriously folks, it's a miracle some nights that Andrew and I eat a normal dinner that's not take-out. How is this going to work with little ones in the picture? I hope they like pizza as much as Andrew does. Or better yet, I train them young to cook and they end up making all the meals for Andrew and me. This could be turning into a "want" instead.

8. That I'm addicted to caffeine. Seriously.  I have a daily routine down on weekdays. One mug of cranberry green tea in the morning and one diet soda with lunch.  I started getting some fierce (migraine-like) headaches on the weekends that were always centered on the same part of my head. I started comparing differences between my weekdays and weekends, and realized that I don't drink caffeine some days on the weekends (especially since I'm not a coffee drinker).  So the relatively minor (in my opinion) amounts of caffeine I'm ingesting during the week are enough to cause severe withdrawal symptoms on the weekend - yikes! But I haven't been convinced to go cold turkey - yet. I need caffeine to survive mornings (and stay awake) in work!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Crumb Muffins

You know how sometimes, you're inspired to make something because of beautiful produce? I mean, look at how luscious this pear and apple look in the picture - yum!

But this time, it was the complete opposite case. I had bought a bunch of dried fruit intending to eat it as a healthy snack. Turns out, dehydrated apples are weird. I'm talking spongy, greasy, and they even smelled a litle weird. I couldn't give these away at work, so my coworkers and I agreed that perhaps they could be salvaged (rather than thrown out) if they were disguised in a baked good.

Here's a side by side comparison of fresh apple chopped alongside the dried apple:

Where is the pear, you may ask? I ended up having such a large pile of apple, that I decided to leave out the pear, in fear that I would have way too much fruit versus muffin batter.  I did end up using pear yogurt (one of my favorites, which is sadly out of season now) so these could be called Apple and Pear Cinnamon Crumb Muffins (which I had intended to make) but I think really are more just apple muffins.

The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen's Whole Wheat Apple Muffins recipe, with a few modifications to suit my tastes and/or pantry.

1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour (I used just all-purpose flour)

1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed, divided (I only used 1/4 cup of brown sugar since I made a separate crumb topping)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt (Light & Fit's pear yogurt for me)
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (1 apple replaced by chopped dehydrated apple)

Crumb Topping (I added this part)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside.

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk (or yogurt) gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.

To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar (or crumb topping) on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

And boy did these turn out awesome (in most ways).  Mois and extremely flavorful, with a nice sugary crust on top:

Apologies on the crap pictures, I forgot to take some at home after I baked so these were hastily taken at work on a oh-so fancy paper plate:
Did it make the dehydrated apples palatable? Definitely. They still had a slightly spongy texture but it worked with the muffin. The only mistake I made was mixing in fresh chunks of apple with the dried. Having both side by side in the muffin clearly pointed out the shortcomings in the dried apple. I can only imagine how awesome these muffins will be the next time I make them with fresh ingredients - pear, I'm coming for you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

10 Day You Challenge: Nine Loves

I'm feeling inspired today to share some love so it's time for another 10 Day You Challenge post.

Other than loving the obvious (my family and friends), here are nine loves that come to mind:

  1. Frozen yogurt or what I commonly call it, froyo.  You can read about how Amy and I grew up eating it here. In early 2009, there were only a few options for so-so frozen yogurt. Since then, Boston now hosts a wide variety of froyo places, including Chill, Berry Freeze, Berryline (our favorite so it appears in a ton of posts, including here), Red Mango (the worst of the bunch - they are stingy with their toppings) and Pinkberry, my one regret is that I didn't open a froyo place myself! :)  My all-time favorite? Original yogurt with strawberries, blueberries and almonds. Heaven.
  2. A kind of typical but oh-so true response from a newlywed? I love my wedding dress. And like all brides, it's a shame that you only get to wear the dress for one day. I have to admit, when I saw my dress on the hanger, it didn't fit the picture in my head of what my dream dress was going to look like. But on me, it just fit perfectly. I loved the sheen of the raw silk, the lace at the bodice and hem, and the ruching at the neckline. It wasn't too heavy and was pretty comfortable. And I felt like a rockstar wearing it. This is a picture from the final dress fitting: 

and a close-up of the back and bustle:

3.  The color green. Anyone that knows me knows that it's my favorite color and that I own a lot of it. I actually met my friend Kelli for lunch last week and she told me she didn't recognize me right away in Fresh City because I wasn't wearing any green. What she didn't realize was that I had shed my outer green peacoat earlier in the day! 
4.  Letterpress anything. Our wedding invitations definitely reflected this love - there's just something about a nice, thick quality paper reflecting rich colors and an imprinted design. It instantly conveys a sense of elegance. I used letter press cards for my wedding shower thank you notes and just received the sweetest letterpress thank you note the other day in the mail from my wonderful friend Z (whose wedding invitations were also letterpress, we share this love).

5. Our Roomba Geoffrey. He's like a pet except he requires no food or care, and he cleans on command. Often times, I'm making a mess in the kitchen while he's zooming around our living room cleaning in preparation for guests. I think we've convinced three sets of friends to buy one for themselves, and it's because Andrew and I like demonstrating his abilities in the middle of gatherings at our place. 
6. Andrew's foot rubs. And I'm lucky enough to have a husband who gives them freely (on a daily basis!)
7. Traveling. I love the excitement of planning and packing for a trip, and obviously, seeing new places, experiencing new things, tasting new foods! We really don't do enough of it, and once things settle down at work for me, I'm hoping Andrew and I can plan some new pins to add to our Newlywed Map.
8. French ranunculus - yet another thing that made an appearance at our wedding. I think any type of ranunculus has become my new favorite flower but I love the fact that french ranunculus are such a pretty combo of soft red and bright green (can you spot it in my bouquet?) I had spotted them in a Martha Stewart ad and while Petalena couldn't guarantee that they would be able to locate them the week of the wedding (different flowers being in season, what would be available in the flower market and through their contacts, etc.), they were able to pull off a miracle and locate a few for my bouquet. Love, love, LOVE my bouquet and the french ranunculus:

9. Reading. In all forms, whether it's reading a Harry Potter hardcover, a trashy romance paperback or an e-book on my Kindle. I have a deep love for libraries - the quiet, the little reading nooks, wandering down the aisles, the smell of books in the air.  I would prefer a day of reading on my own to hanging out with a group of people. Sounds a little anti-social, but to me, spending a day in my pajamas and reading a good series of books is just perfect. What started me on my love of reading? Honest to God, a Burger King meal. My third grade teacher used a BK meal as an incentive in our class; the person who read the most books got the meal.  I started reading because of food but got hooked by what I read. :) 

So there it is - the nine things that came to mind today as things that I love. I was a little embarrassed at first that so many things were connected to our wedding but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. If your wedding is going to reflect you, it will naturally include elements of things that you love. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

10 Day You Challenge: Ten Secrets

I noticed this challenge popping up on some of the blogs I follow and decided it would be a good way to jump start my post writing again and for you, dear reader, to get to know me better. To tell you the truth, I have the biggest backload of post material but some days, I just give up wrangling with photos in the posts (Blogger has got to figure out a better way to make blogging easier.)

So I present to you, the:

This doesn't mean I will be blogging every day or avoiding unrelated posts in between, but I do intend on covering each of these ten challenges, in order, in the following weeks. So let's begin! In no particular order, I present my ten secrets:
  1. I have never been able to do a cartwheel. Or do a proper dive for that matter.
  2. My eyes are two different colors - one is more brown and one is more green. For simplicity's sake, I list hazel on most of my identification.  Most people don't notice it.
  3. I think I'm in the wrong job. The older I get, the more I'm convinced that the perfect job for me is to work as a children's librarian. Despite my love of reading growing up, I still don't know why I didn't consider Library Science as a major. One, I don't think it was offered as a major at BC but two, I think I was seduced by the "glamour" of business and advertising.
  4. Most of my readers know that I am a baker at heart, and only cook occasionally. After cooking a successful and delicious meal, I look at the dishes, the mess left behind and how much time I spent on the meal and I confess to thinking that it wasn't worth the effort! Which is probably why I don't cook very often. Yet, I'll spend HOURS decorating cupcakes and think it was worthwhile. Go figure.
  5. I have never smoked a cigarette in my life. I've never had the desire to, I think because of memories from growing up with neighborhood friends in Korea whose parents were heavy chain smokers.
  6. I grind my teeth every night when I sleep. Loud enough that Andrew can hear it. It runs in my family because my mom does it too! Just like my profile says, it was part of the inspiration for my blog's name of Boston Chomper.
  7. I don't eat most of what I bake - I probably taste around 20 percent of what I bake. I think it's partly because I'm baking stuff that I think others will like (which means heavy on chocolate) and partly because I get tired of something by the time I'm done making it. Also, I do make a conscious effort to not to bake things that I know I like a lot, just because I have no self control with snacking! Which is why my coworkers end up getting most of my baking leftovers.
  8. I hate talking on the phone. I'll blame this on growing up on an Army base (Andrew says he hears this way too often) but I really think this is true. We lived in a very small base, so you were stuck seeing the same people every day. I'm talking more than your normal town. So I never really ended up making lots of calls as a teenager just because you knew you'd see the person the next day. To this day, I'm fine making calls at work but horrible with calling friends and family. I find phone calls to be awkward and in fact, I think I warned Andrew about this the first time we talked on the phone, yet he still asked me out on a date. :) 
  9. My wedding ring is slightly too big but I refuse to get it resized, since I'm convinced that between having kids and life in general, it will eventually fit perfectly (in less delicate terms, my finger will get fatter). I don't see the point in having metal removed from it (very expensive metal) and then having to get it resized sometime in the future. This has never been a problem except for the time I washed my hands while at Amy's Halloween party last year and both of my rings flew off my wet fingers into a garbage can filled with empty syringes of jello shots. Andrew and I hauled the garbage can into the bathroom and had to dig through the whole thing to find my rings.  As a result, I've developed a habit of compulsively drying my ring finger and rings with a paper towel after I've washed my hands. Which can be pretty amusing on the rare days when I forget to wear my rings and I realize I'm drying off an empty finger. Note to self: find a store that sells some sort of rubber slip on thing to make my wedding ring fit better.
  10. I'll confess that I have yet to apply for a library card in my new town, which is unheard of. I've lived here almost a year and never made it to the library.  I used to live next door to the Newton library (literally, the property I lived on touched part of the land belonging to the library) and I LOVE to read but between wedding planning and this sucky winter weather, I've relied strictly on my Kindle and Amazon e-books. This will need to be fixed soon!
Hope you've enjoyed this, I actually found it very hard to think of ten different secrets. I know these aren't exactly earth-shattering revelations but maybe you've learned something new about me today. I think the "nine loves" list is going to be much easier to develop!