Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yeah I know...

Just call me "AmandaSlacksalotwithherblog". Things have been crazy at work due to some structural changes, the holidays came and went before I could even so much as send out cards, and well...I had some major slackass moments in general. Anyexcuses, I did manage to bake a little on Christmas morning and spent some time with my family. I will post all of that in a bit...just a little update for now!

Friday, September 12, 2008


This is a rant so yes, expect some baking to follow shortly! My day started out pretty decent. It's Friday so naturally I'm pretty stoked about the weekend. I have a new cleaning lady and she started today so again, looking forward to going home to a clean, fresh house. I have gym time with John tonight and this is more of a love/hate situation but whatever, he's kicking my tush into shape and for that, I am UBER thankful. Anydrama, my day and somewhat of a positive chi instantly takes a turn for the toilet because of some news that I received from a friend. And honestly, all of this could have been avoided had things been handled differently but it wasn't and that is where I was...annoyed, driving in circles and not heading to my meeting as I should have been.

So I get back to the office and I have a few e-mails waiting for me. One in particular is from my former Ops Mgr. and it's a forward but I read it anyway. It was one of those e-mails that changed my perspective on the day and I am thankful that Andria sent it. Here...I'll share it with you...

In April, Maya Angelou was interviewed by Oprah on her 70+ birthday.
Oprah asked her what she thought of growing older.

And, there on television, she said it was 'exciting.' Regarding body changes, she said there were many, occurring every day...like her breasts. They seem to be in a race to see which will reach her waist, first.

The audience laughed so hard they cried. She is such a simple and honest woman, with so much wisdom in her words!

Maya Angelou said this:
'I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.'
'I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.'
'I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.'
'I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life.'
'I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.'
'I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back.'
'I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.'
'I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.'
'I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.
People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.'
'I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.'
'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'

So there it is...and I'm not a huge Maya fan but sometimes the old girl catches my eye. I am humbled and calmed down and too old to deal with those shenanigans. Ok, back to my peppy, positive Friday!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jet-lag at its best...

You'll have to excuse any sort of rambling that may take place from this point on because I have just returned from Vegas, ok so I got back on Wednesday night, and I have yet to adjust to the time difference. And yes, I am also aware that my "lag" should have taken place on my trip out there and not so much on my way home but I am going against science on this one...I'm flippin' tired! My boss walked into my office this morning, took one look at me and walked back out laughing. He has yet to let up on the nap jokes and "just how pretty" I look.

Can't you just see my amusement?!!? Argh...so I'm not a spring chicken anymore...bite me!

Anydrama...Vegas was fun! I lost a lot of money, made some money back, had loads of family time, saw some celebrities (and yes, I gawked), bought a new coach clutch, bought new make-up, got the most expensive eyebrow waxing of my life (she did a rocking job though) and rode the NY NY roller coaster (AWESOME!). The celebrity sightings are as follows:
  • James Woods: I smiled and he nodded back. (Bellagio)
  • Leonardo DiCarpio: He was in the high roller room and I saw him as he flashed past me. (Bellagio)
  • Chris Angell: I was that girl for this one. My sister-in-law and I were standing in the casino at MGM and I saw this giant man charging towards me so I moved a little to the right. I noticed a shorter, smaller guy following him with a hat pulled way down and his head hanging even lower. Much to my dismay it was Chris, and of course I said, "Is that Chris Angell?" to my SIL. He looked at us but kept trucking through the casino. We looked on as people recognized him and then he was lost in the mob that was chasing him through the casino. (MGM Grand)
  • Katy Perry: She was sitting at a bar and cheering with others sitting at the bar. (NY NY)
  • That guy from Psych...I don't know his name but I recognized him and he shook his head and smiled as if to confirm my thoughts. (Bellagio)

There were some others involved in the weekend because apparently Diddy's annual White Party was a bust and most of the people the occupy my time on celebrity blogs were in Vegas to celebrate Laboring. Those were the highlights and of course there were hookers, loads of random incidents with my fellow travellers, and lots of laughter. I didn't take very many picture because my camera battery died, sorry Kelli, so I am hoping my SIL comes through and send some my way. We shall see...

Other than that...I am back at work and back to the gym with John John! I miss my dog but she will be home tomorrow. I am thankful that football is back on and I am OVER THE MOON excited that the boys of UCLA shut down the good Ole Rocky Top in overtime...thank you :-) I am sending off my creations for the boys from Operations BakingGALS and will update on that info later. That's all for now...sorry it was so all over the place. Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Doing it for the troops...

Yesterday I stumbled across the coolest site...not sure how I ended up there but there was a reason for it. So I start reading and realize it is a site where people have joined together to send yummy home baked goodness to our troops that are stationed far, far away from their homes, friends, and families. I send an email saying I want to be a part of this without even giving it a second thought and now I am planning on what I am going to bake. My team leader sent me an email this morning telling me about what I am supposed to do and who I am sending my creations to...aren't those soldiers lucky?!?!? Anywho, check out what wonderful things the members of Operation Baking GALS are up to and JOIN! You know you want to...DO IT!

Monday, August 25, 2008


You will have to pardon the interruption...It's been too long since my last post. A lot has happened but that is still no excuse. Rest your pretty little heads though because I am back and my little fingers are ready to tell the world what has been going on. A few updates as of now...
  1. I am leaving for Vegas on Thursday.
  2. I haven't baked anything in over 2 months...argh! It is not because I haven't been stressed but due to lack of time.
  3. I am now seeing a trainer 4 times a week and John loves to make it hurt...argh again!

OK, that is all for now. I will be baking before I leave this week for some of my cousins. There is a story behind that and I will get into that later. Until next time...

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

this is probably not ok...

I'm sitting at my desk and working on the mounds of paperwork I have in front of me but I am distracted by this not so enticing smell...it's actually making me nauseous! The culprit you may ask...the afternoon cookies we bake for our guests they receive at check-in. I know...I must be crazy, right?!?!? Most people love the smell of fresh baked goods but apparently I am not most people today or yesterday...this started yesterday and I really just thought it was a random thing.

Excuse me....

Ok, reasoning behind the rancid smell...they changed cookie type and apparently pb chocolate chip cookies smell like butt to me! Note to self...do not make these!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Birthday Cupcakes at their best...

I promised Jen I would make her German chocolate cupcakes and by God...I did it! Ha! She gets off work really late because she works at an afterhours pediatric clinic. I knew she was a little bummed about not being with her family and friend from BR so I was doing my best to make her day exciting! Anyway...I waited till she got home and then we baked them together.

The German Chocolate Cupcake adventure....

I got rave reviews from all ends and I really surprised myself. My boss ate 4 while we were at work and Jenny said her co-workers were all over them. Yay!

Anyway, I used this recipe...and don't worry if you "forgot" the evaporated milk like I did, you can use half and half...it turned out just as well!

German Chocolate Cake w/Coconut Pecan Filling
(*Recipe from Cooking Illustrated)

Cake (for 2 - 9" rounds):
4oz semisweet chocolate chopped fine
1/4c Dutch-processed cocoa, sifted
1/2c boiling water
2c (10oz) unbleached AP flour
3/4tsp baking soda
12T (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1c (7oz) granulated sugar
2/3c (4 3/4oz)packed light brown sugar
3/4tsp table salt4 large eggs, room temperature
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4c sour cream, room temperature

4 large egg yolks
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
1 cup (7oz) granulated sugar
1/4 c (1 3/4oz) packed lt. brown sugar
6T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into6 pieces
1/8tsp table salt
2tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3c sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2c finely chopped pecans, toasted (350 degrees for about 8 mins)

For the filling: Whisk yolks in med. saucepan, gradually whisk in evap. milk. Add sugars, butter & salt. Cook over med. high heat whisking constantly until boiling, frothy and slightly thickened. Transfer to a bowl, whisk in vanilla. Stir in coconut. Cool until just warm then cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate until cold, at least 2hrs but up to 3 days. Pecans are stirred in just before cake assembly so they do not get soggy.

FOR THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350*. Grease & flour 2 - 9" round pans. combine chocolate & cocoa in sm. bowl. Add boiling water and let stand 2 mins. whisk until smooth and let cool to room temp. Sift flour & baking soda into med. bowl. Beat butter, sugars & salt until light & fluffy (about 4mins). Scraping down bowl 1/2 way through. Beat in eggs one at a time combining well after each. Beat in vanilla, then beat on high 45sec until light and fluffy. With beater running add in chocolate, beat 30 more sec. Batter may appear broken. On low speed add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, beating until barely combined. After final addition of flour stir with spatula. Batter will be thick.

Bake about 30mins until tookpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10mins on wire rack. Turn out of pans and cool completely before filling!

I recommend this recipce hands down!