Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brie N' Apple Pie

OK, Val, you beat me to the apple pie recipe. But here's one I developed today in my test kitchen. Quite delish.
You will need:
6 or 7 Granny Smith Apples
1/2 cup golden raisins (if you're really brave you can soak em in whiskey like I did...yum?)
1 round brie cheese (cut off all that nasty papery rind it comes in too, cause that's just gross)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tspn nutmeg
1/2 lemon or just a few dashes from the bottle, if that's what floats your boat
1 egg white
1 pie crust

For the pie crust, you can buy a premade pie crust. Or, if you're a sadist around the holidays like me, you can make your own. I don't know what it is. All year long I'm perfectly content to make do with the absolutely satisfactory taste of a pre-made pie crust (if I make a pie at all; this year I had to unbury my pie pan from where it had been hiding since, you guessed it, last Thanksgiving). Around the holidays I start feeling June Cleaverish and the need to torture myself asserts itself. But, I will say that, though it may not look as neat and pre-ordained as a store bought one, a homemade crust is a thing to be enjoyed above all other things. So flaky. So buttery (even though I use the recipe on the Crisco can). Enough about that though.

Peel and core and cut up the apples. Exactly how you cut your apples up depends on your philosophy of apple pie of course. I cut mine into slices, about 8 per apple, and then cut the slices halfway down. I like the apples to still look like apple inside the pie. Throw the apples into a bowl and add the raisins, lemon juice, sugar and nutmeg. I don't care for cinnamon in my apple pie because its just so, obvious. Try a little subtlety people. There's probably a lot of Republicans out there who would criticize me for omitting the cinnamon, but I don't really care much for Republicans anyway. So haha.

Now, take your bottom crust and put the wheel of brie smack dab in the middle of it. Oh, I forgot to tell you to pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Now pour the filling in. Add the top crust and glaze it with egg whites. And take a butter knife and make a little slit in the very top to vent. Put in the oven and bake for 50 minutes or so. You'll know when its done. It will be crying out to be eaten by the time its done. Due to the inclusion of the brie (and as per my general apple pie philosophy as well, believe it or not) you must eat it warm. The brie will be all soft and warm and, brie-ey. If you hate brie, you're probably a Republican, so go away and don't come back. But, in the interest of open-mindedness, if you happen to be a brie-hatin' Democrat, go ahead and substitute a little tub of mascarpone for the brie. Its much milder and sweeter than brie. Either way, this is definitely an adult apple pie. Especially if you made it with the whiskey soaked raisins, as I strongly suggest that you do. Thanks to the Pioneer Woman for that great tip. And to think that I always thought I didn't like raisins.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I don't know if its the stress of working nights, having a 6 month old (germ incubator) in the house or the strain of being a lactating mom with a VERY hungry baby (eating and germ-killing for two is hard work), but I am sick for the second time this season. This is very unusual for me (I have gone years without throwing up; though not recently). I might also add that I make a much better nurse than patient. I do not take to being sick very kindly. When I'm sick, the drama queen in me comes out. I make every nose blow into a broadway-inspired theatrical performance. I wallow in my misery. I am capable of doing absolutely nothing. I mean, in the grand scheme of things, a yucky cold virus is not that big of a deal. I know this. Yet it doesn't seem to stop me from making a trip to the urgent care center, taking Sofia to the pediatrician even though she seems to be taking this like much more of a champ then me, and making Hugo call in to work so he can stay home and tend to my needs. After all, if he goes to work, who will brew tea for me, fetch me more tissue, remind me to take my cold medicine and take care of the baby?

This is how the conversation went at Dr. Mas' office (the pediatrician):

So, has Sofia been running a temp? (as Sofia lays on the table, butt-ass naked and giggles to herself).

No, but I have.

Is her nose running? (as Sofia pees all over herself and the table, because I left her diaper off after the girl weighed her and took her temp).

No, but mine is.

Does she have a cough?

No, but I do... you get the picture. Dr Mas was, understandably, mystified as to why I felt that Sofia was sick just because I am. Well, I don't see how she could NOT be sick. She is in my face all the time. I drool all over her, giving her a million kisses a day. She feeds off my tit for God's sake (sorry). It doesn't make any sense! It seems like maybe all MY immunological defenses are being diverted for her use, leaving me to suffer the consequences. What's up with that?

Oh, well, how could I hold it against her? Just look at her. Did you ever see such an adorable little pointy tongue?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Snappy Hugo

We have a computer filled with thousands of photos that we've never done anything with. Everyone thought we were so much better off when digital photography came into vogue. No more mystery rolls of undeveloped film. No more paying for prints of junk that you don't want. However, as in most things, progress brings its own set of new problems and dilemmas. Now, people can gratuitously shoot photo after photo, all of which end up getting uploaded onto the laptop and sitting there for years. The really good photos tend to end up buried if you aren't careful. So here are some of my favorite pictures that have heretofore sat un-enjoyed and un-displayed.

Here is a picture of me (Hugo's favorite subject before a certain small interloper came along and upstaged me). I'm standing in the ballroom of the Casa Monica Hotel in St. Augustine, the site of Josh and Lisa's wedding. Don't I look fabulous?

This is so wrong. I just had to include it...

My parents dogs, Penny and Brassy.

This is a picture of some really strange clouds we saw on our way from San Diego to Las Vegas. Wierd...

Yes, that is me. In my wedding dress. In the pool.

Hugo took this picture of Giana. I think its really cool. How you can see my sister Val setting up a pose in the background of Rene' and Alex on the tractor (repeat after me...If you have to ask, you don't want to know). Giana, oblivious to the wierdness that is her parents and her aunt Val, is playing with the bubbles, and one second before Hugo snapped the picture, she spilled them all over her leg. Her expression, surprise, mixed with a certain amount of delight, is absolutely priceless. The combination of pose and candid is part of what makes it so appealing, I think. I don't care who you are, that Hugo certainly does take a nice picture...

This is a West Virginia Trash the Dress shot. If you have to ask what trashing the dress is, you should google it. Definitely.
Here are Nicholas and Giana happily watching some toons together. Adorable.

Here is a picture of the farm in West Virginia. The place might well be overrun with hicks, but there are some real purrty views.


Me and Hugo. Such an attractive couple...

This is me, with some serious bedhead, teaching Giana how to play some Mozart. She also learned to walk that weekend, so I guess it turned out to be a very fruitful trip.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Little House on the Prairie and other stuff...

Sofia has taken to saying "MAAAAA" whenever she is crying. She hasn't said it any other time but it has become quite unmistakable that she blames me for every unpleasant thing that happens to her over the course of the day. And when all that pent-up suffering finally finds its outlet in tears, wailing, and gnashing of teeth (if she had any to gnash, which she does not), she let's it all out in a "MAAAAAAAAAA". Is she talking? Is this to be her first word? Her first utterance of my name? I had invisioned it so differently... Also, I had planned on her calling me something cute and adorable like mama or mommy. Apparently, she likes the easy functionality of the mono-syllabic "Ma". Just call me Ma Ingalls or something (Little House on the Prairie joke). Where's my apron? And my abnormally long single braid?
One time when I was in high school I was over at my sister Val's house and we were watching Little House on The Prairie reruns (even at that time they were, like, well over 10 years old). She swore she had never seen that one. Then, at the end, she predicted all the women of the church were going to get up and march across the bridge singing a rousing rendition of Onward Christian Soldiers as the closing credits rolled. Was she psychic? Did she lie and had she really seen that one before? Or, did she really just know the format of the show so well that she was able to predict with astonishing clarity what the writers would make those poor pioneer women do? This is one of the great questions that has bugged me for all these years.
When I was really young, Little House was one of the only shows we were allowed to watch. We used to go upstairs to Gram and Beeb's in our pajamas and watch the rest of Jeapardy! (I love how it always has the exclamation mark) and then Little House would come on. There was one episode that scared the living daylights out of me, when Laura and Mary were running a girl's boarding school (an interesting departure from the facts since I read the whole series and they never did any such thing) and one night, while all the menfolk were away, there was a crazed lunatic on the loose and poor Mary couldn't even see and she was terrified and so was I. Were the girls at the school blind too? Maybe. I don't remember exactly how the drama unfolded, but it was the scariest thing I ever saw. Up to that point. Of course.
I'm definitely going to read the whole series to Sofia when she gets a little older (ok, I confess, I already started trying to read it to her and she just wasn't interested so I gave up for now). I'm going to be heartbroken if my child turns out to be a reading enthusiast and starts reading on her own too soon. I have about 2 dozen books already lined up that I want to read to her. Anne of Green Gables, the entire series, of course. Emily of New Moon, another series by the same author, naturally. Those will be later. Until then we will certainly make our way through Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Borrowers, and Cheaper by the Dozen. Am I missing any? Help?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Most Popular

Thanks to the magic of "the internets" and feedjit, the nifty little thing that keeps track of the traffic to my blog and where it came from (geographically as well as from what site), I can now pinpoint my most popular blogs with those who are not related to me and do not know me. In other words, actual traffic; people who aren't just signing on to see if I've posted any new pictures of my little upstaging daughter Sofia.
See, since this blog is run by Google, my blog entries actually pop up in search engines if people are searching for specific terms or phrases included in my entries. So what are the most popular blog entries? In 3 odd months, which a total of 27 blog entries, my most popular ones are my ode to the nose sucker (, my description of one of the most horrifying events I've ever experienced
(, and finally, my expose' on the sneaky, palate-addicting gastronomical creations of the evil Starbucks corporation
( The first one is the one I find most amusing. People all over the world have actually been stumbling upon my blog after searching for such things as "infant nose sucker" "adult nose sucker" (?@#!), and "how to get booger out of baby's nose". Well, glad to have been of service, world. Is that going to be my legacy of public service? Hope not. Anyway, people are also interested in hearing about my close encounter with a creature of the cockroach variety. Finally, I have accidentally discovered that, in order to increase traffic to my blog, it cannot but help my endeavor to include the names of prominant national brands like Starbucks. Is this legal? Am I breakin' the law? I didn't say anything bad about the stuff. Au contraire. I was highly complimentary.
So, in the future, you can expect to see blogs entitled, "My triumphant victory dance on election night which included consumption of an inordinantly large slice of week-old birthday cake from Publix Bakery," "The long road ahead of Obama in which he will no doubt require copious servings of Stuffed Crust pizza from Pizza Hut", and last but not least, "Sour grapes and plenty of comforting Velveeta brand shells and cheese for McCain/Palin following crushing defeat on election night'. Think of the traffic I will entice to my site. Tee hee.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I don't know if it was the post pregnancy impulse to get back in shape or a last minute fear that a Coach purse (what I originally thought I'd ask for) was too "old" and would brand me as a 30-something before my time (29, ok? I'm 29. I got a whole nother year to be in my twenties!) but I decided to ask for a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit for my birthday this year. Hugo was thrilled. It brought him right back to his childhood in Colombia when his parents bought him and his brothers and sister a Nintendo for Christmas and they got to stay up all night playing it for the first time ever. He and I have been having a blast with the thing. My favorite thing to do on the Wii is Hula Hoop. Actually, let me be honest. My favorite thing to do is watch Hugo do the hula hoop. You haven't lived if you haven't seen a 6'2'' Colombian twirling an imaginary hula hoop in his underwear.