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Sunday, November 30, 2003

Last day of geeky freedom...

I know I will be having a busy week coming up, so I decided instead of getting a jump start in my work, I would just play more video games, nap, and read up on some web blogs.

I started playing Monster Rancher 4. It's definitely different from the other versions. One big thing is that you can raise multiple monsters simultaneously, where in the previous versions, you can only do one at a time. You can also set up the monster's training schedule up to 8 weeks at a time. Training gadgets are a new thing in that it helps the monsters develop their attributes faster.

After playing for about 6 hours, I decided to get in about 1/2 hour of Final Fantasy X. Well, 1/2 hour turned into 2 hours...

Hey, I mentioned that I have to work tomorrow, didn't I????

11:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 29, 2003

Another day of geeky indulgence...

Ever since I restarted playing Final Fantasy X, I've been pretty hooked. In fact, I played for 8 hours today...heh! I had just finished acquiring Ixion as my aeon. I know that I have such a long way to go, but at least I'm doing things differently right now.

We watched The Two Towers again. I thought I had gotten my fix last weekend when we had the extended DVD marathon with both movies. But when we were in Walmart on Tuesday night, they were playing the movie on one of their larger, widescreen tv's on the floor. Ever since then, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Sigh...

I can't wait for December 17th.

11:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 28, 2003

Grins and gripes...

Let's start with the gripe...

We were at Costco and was waiting for our pizza pie to be ready. We sat near the soda fountain dispensers as we were waiting for our number to be called. We saw a woman pushing a cart with an open cooler getting ice from one of the dispensers. She was actually filling up a shoebox with the ice and then transferring it into the cooler. I coudln't believe my eyes. How much is a bag of ice from 7-11? $2 or $3 max? One thing that totally get's to me is inconsiderate people. From what I saw, she didn't have any Costco purchases in her cart. She merely used one of the store's carts to put her cooler in, and thought that it was perfectly alright to clear out the ice from ALL the dispensers, leaving NO ICE for any of the PAYING customers all for the sake of saving a few dollars! I noticed a man trying to get ice and after failed attempts to do it from the available dispensers, he made a remark to her. I couldn't make out whether she said anything to him or not, but she left pretty quick after that in her minivan.

Some grins...

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I went to Kinko's today to get something scanned in. I had to scan in some pretty hi-res images. Instead of carrying multiple zip disks, I used my iPod as an external hard drive. I saved all of my images on it. It's a good thing I brought my own firewire cable, since it looked like Kinko's doesn't have them on supply.

We tried the Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese filling today. It turned out AWESOME!!! The recipe and photo are courtesy of Nestlé's Very Best Baking website.


LIBBY'S® PUMPKIN ROLL

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Ingredients:

RECIPE FOR CAKE:
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts (optional), chopped

RECIPE FOR FILLING:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine (we recommend LAND O LAKES® Butter), softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:

FOR CAKE:
PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

FOR FILLING:
BEAT cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Notes:

Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

07:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Turkey Day

I finished up the Pumpkin Eggnog Cheesecake at around 3am. I got up early and made the Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling.

We went to Erin's for dinner and the cheesecake turned out really good.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of iVillage:

PUMPKIN EGGNOG CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:

20 gingersnaps
1/2 cup walnuts
Sugar
2 tablespoons margarine or butter (1/4 stick), melted
4 large eggs, separated
1 16-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin (not pumpkin-pie mix)
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Ground nutmeg
1 cup prepared eggnog
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Walnuts for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9" by 3" springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In food processor with knife blade attached, blend gingersnaps, walnuts, and 1/4 cup sugar until finely ground; stir in margarine or butter. Press mixture onto bottom and 2 1/2 inches up side of springform pan; set aside.

3. In small bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form; set aside.

4. In large bowl, with same beaters and with mixer at medium speed, beat egg yolks, pumpkin, cream cheese, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg until well blended. Fold egg-white mixture into cream-cheese mixture; pour into springform pan. Bake 1 hour or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge of cheesecake comes out clean. Cool cheesecake in pan on wire rack.

5. In small saucepan, mix eggnog, cornstarch, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Over medium heat, heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly. Remove side of springform pan from cheesecake; spread eggnog mixture over cheesecake. Garnish with walnuts. Refrigerate cheesecake at least 4 hours or until well chilled.

10:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Starbuck's bliss...

Right before we started our grocery shopping last night, we stopped by Starbucks to pick up some of the holiday collectibles that I blogged about. I ended up getting the Island of the Misfit Toys finger puppets in the holiday tin, the small bearista bear, and the matching reindeer bearista magnet. I was told by one of the guys behind the counter that the jumbo one was snatched up right away.

We had a freebie latte. Walt had ordered an Eggnog Latte and I, the Peppermint Mocha. I guess the guy misheard me and made up a Gingerbread Latte instead of the Peppermint. Anyway, they told us to keep the Gingerbread one while he made me up the Peppermint one. We've never had the Gingerbread one before, but it was a great way to try it. It was certainly yummers. I think it'll be one that I will order in the future. I can always make the peppermint mochas at home, since I have the flavoring syrups.

I am making Pumpkin-Eggnog Cheesecake right now. I guess I'll be up late tonight waiting for it to cool so that I can make the eggnog topping and let it refrigerate overnight.

Perhaps in the morning, I can make a pumpkin cake roll with cream cheese filling.

10:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

My night of shopping hell...

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As I had blogged earlier on...I needed to go grocery shopping to get the ingredients for my pumpkin themed desserts I plan to make for Turkey Day.

There is a major strike with Vons/Safeway, Ralphs, and Albertsons supermarket chains in Southern California since early October. I've been really good about not going to the stores, because I do respect their reasoning for striking (health benefits and change in pension plans). Instead, I've been going to Costco (which I totally love) for the bulk items and Food 4 Less, which is a dump compared to the other 3, for smaller items.

I had thought that my grocery shopping tonight would be easy, since I only need ingredients to make pumpkin cheesecake and cake rolls. Cripes, was I wrong...

When we got to Food 4 Less, it was a zoo. The parking lot was full and the store was wall to wall people with shopping carts filled to the brim with Thanksgiving food. I guess with the strike going on, mostly everyone else is going to Food 4 Less. Mind you, I don't do too well in super crowded stores. It's not that I'm claustraphobic, but am more impatient. I guess it's my NY'er coming out of me whenever I'm in that kind of situation. I got everything I needed, except for canned pumpkin and graham cracker crumbs. I never thought I would do this, but I decided to go to Ralphs because the picketers have stopped at that store and had gone to the other 2 chains. The store had considerably less people in it, but no pumpkin nor graham cracker crumbs. So, I decided to just purchase the crackers and grind them up myself.

pb_cp.gif After that, we passed by a Long's Drugs and decided to take a stab at seeing if they had the pumpkin there, since Long's carries food in there too. No such luck! But, I manage to get a few bags of my favorite potato chips by Poore Brothers in the Salt & Cracked Pepper flavor. Now, this makes it the third place we went to for pumpkin.

We went to Walmart after that to pick up some memory cards for our Playstation. I decided to check out the food section to see if they got any pumpkin. Nope...nadda... When we left Walmart, Vons was right next door. The picketers were outside, but I needed my pumpkin, dammit! Yes, we went through the picketers into the supermarket. It was really empty in there, but there were some shoppers. I was soooo happy to see that there were plenty of cans of pumpkin there AND graham cracker crumbs. I snagged 4 large cans and a box of the crumbs. I was happy, relieved, and guilty at the same time.

So...all in all, we went to 5 different places just to find pumpkin. And the only way to do it was to go through picketers, which I kind of feel badly about. But at least I made many attempts in the other stores before I got desperate.

Now I can do my baking tomorrow...

11:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Do they ever look?

picture8.jpg

Check out the title of this DVD. I guess they really didn't think of how the words are gonna read once they put the price sticker on. Hah! Courtesy of Walmart.

By the way, this was supposed to be a moblog from earlier this evening. But AT&T Wireless has been totally sucking with it's GSM service. I was sending this from Walt's phone, which is the Sony Ericsson T616 camera phone. It has all the bells & whistles and can be set up for moblogging. I must've attempted to send this at least 6 times and the service keeps crapping out. I still have my Nokia 8260 which is TDMA. The calls don't drop as much as the Ericsson phone, but it doesn't have the features of moblogging, email, etc.

10:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A day of geeky indulgence...

I'm actually feeling a lot better than yesterday. So, since I wanted to take care of my body and not push it, I gave myself the day off today. I was going to start on an ad layout, but since I didn't receive the photo that was supposed to go in it, I figure I can wait till it get's here before I start.

I spent the day playing Final Fantasy X. Yes, Walt had got me X-2, but in a way, I feel kinda guilty starting a sequel to a game that I haven't even completed yet. But because I want to start, that means I need to hurry up a finish the first one. But because I realize that there were things I could've done better in the first one...guess what...I started all over again. Yep...I've already logged in over 150 hours originally. Now I'm starting anew. I've logged in 5 hours today.

Now...if I would've gotten my Divine Lacy Cardigan kit in the mail, I think I would've been knitting today.

Whelp...since we won't be going to Vegas this year for Thanksgiving and being invited to a Turkey Day dinner, I don't have to cook! Besides, my kitchen is so small that I really don't feel too motivated on making a big meal. But, I will be making Pumpkin-Eggnog Cheesecake tomorrow night or perhaps a Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese filling to bring over for our dinner at Erin's for Thursday. So, that means when Walt get's home, we're going shopping for ingredients, since I don't want to do it tomorrow night. This would probably mean that we'll be eating out as well.

Do I feel guilty? Ummm....nahhhhhh...

05:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 24, 2003

Wings & things...

I'm actually feeling a lot better. After having my fair share of ginger peppermint tea and getting some more rest, my sore throat is basically gone. I made the combo wings again tonight, which of course, totally kicked ass!

I designed a flyer for my home show that's going to be hosted over at Erika's. I need to keep my ears peeled for the doorbell tomorrow. I'm expecting a delivery for 36 pounds of soap base. I'll totally need it for my holiday orders.

I suppose I should place an order for lotion and shower gel base too.

11:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feeling sick again...

I hate this. It hasn't even been a month when I was last sick. I guess standing in the damn cold for 3 hours yesterday didn't exactly help either. My throat's sore and my muscles are aching. It's back to the Alvita's Ginger Peppermint tea again. I'm so glad Walt got me 3 boxes the last time. I'm almost done with one of them.

Well, I got more work in. I got another ad to design and possibly more bath & body orders for the holidays.

12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)