It might be a lot like yours (or not at all)

Archive for October, 2007|Monthly archive page

My Favorite Blackberry Features

In teckie on October 31, 2007 at 1:35 pm

 1. Camera

the camera works quite well. how many resolution pixels is it? that i do not know. but what i do know is that it has a flash, and that it takes pix as good as my new fuji camera…big step up from my crappy sidekick camera. btw–i’m wearing a black straight wig and bunny ears…it’s Halloween…

 

2. Agenda/Calendar 

i can now see why the BlackBerry is so great for business folks. Not only are there several different viewing options, and the ability to include both “tasks” and agenda dates on the agenda page, and the option to set a version of your agenda as your mainscreen…but the typing of the actual dates is so simple! this is the main reason i never used calendars on phones previously, you always have to click and fill stuff out and select dates and times and all kinds of stuff. here…you just go to the “day view” scroll to the time and start typing…push “enter” and you’re done! awesome.

 3. Maps

this feature is incredible. you can get maps and directions. in this incident, i had to drop off URB Mags at a venue for a party we were doing that night, and i had the addr but didn’t know where exactly on Santa Monica Blvd it is…which i needed to know to best snake my way around the congested traffic. so i figure, i’ll try out this map thingamabobber. and to my surprise, it was so easy to enter the address and then clicked to find my location…about 30sec later (tops), the map above came up! so i made the executive decision to take Fairfax north and turn right, worked perfectly! love that feature.

 

those Asian Meatballs…

In Apartment Cooking on October 29, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Asian Meatballs w/ Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce

and now we have these adorable, trying-to-be-round, meatballs…these are the meatballs i intended to make for my party but ran out of time to make. so i had to make them last night and take a pic because i had 2.5lbs of ground sirloin and a burning desire to try this recipe.

so what i did was, i made the meatballs and the dipping sauce…dipped a few, was pleased, then turned it into a dinner. to do this…i simply cooked some egg noodles, flipped em with some butter, then added the Spicy Dipping Sauce, and let it soak into the noodles. added some Parmesan and the meatballs and now i had a really delicious dinner! i still have ground sirloin leftover so i’ll be doing something with it tonight…

the recipe, thanks Rachel Ray!

Asian Meatballs w/ Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce

4 scallions, green and white parts, coarsely chopped
One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 serrano or jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup dark soy sauce, such as tamari
2 to 3 tablespoons cilantro leaves(a handful)
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 pound ground sirloin
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oi

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the scallions, half of
the ginger, the bell pepper, half of the chile pepper, the garlic,
the 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, the cilantro leaves and the lime
zest. Pulse for 30 seconds, scrape down the bowl and process 1 minute
more, or until finely ground. Add the meat and process until well
combined, about 30 seconds more. Roll the meat into 24 balls the size
of walnuts.

2. Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the
vegetable oil. Add the meatballs and don’t move them until they are
brown on 1 side, about 2 minutes. Turn the meatballs and continue to
cook, browning them on all sides, until cooked through, 2 to 3
minutes more.

3. While the meatballs cook, make the dipping sauce. In a bowl,
combine the remaining ginger and chile pepper, the 1/3 cup of soy
sauce, the lime juice, the sesame oil, the honey and a splash of
water. Taste and adjust the seasoning; if it’s too salty, add another
drizzle of honey.

4. Place the finished meatballs on a serving platter, with toothpicks
on the side. Serve with the spicy lime dipping sauce.

Lanaberry versus Poultry Seasoning

In Apartment Cooking on October 29, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Turkey Burger w/ Cheese and Gilled Onions

i will tell ya something…this is only my second time making a burger. my first attempt was these mini-cheese burgers which i call Baja Baby Burgers, a la White Castle…which were good. but had a little too much of something. that something is Poultry Seasoning. it pretty much ruined my cute little burgers.

so i got back in the saddle, this time with a turkey burger. i threw together a mouthwatering concoction of spices, meat, egg, and Parmesan…and then i felt something staring at me…you know when you just have that sense? well i looked at my spice rack…and sure enough, it was that Poultry Seasoning. it said to me…”Lana…you’re working with Poultry…why don’t you add me?”

previously, i had never even used Poultry Seasoning, and i never have a problem seasoning on my own, without a recipe. but ever since i bought that little McCormick’s, i just insist on trying it every time i work with ground turkey! so i put a little in. then i thought, ehhh i should probably add more.

so i did and cooked em up…and to my horror that nasty Poultry Seasoning flavor made it’s way thru as the dominate taste of any seasonings. i just despise that flavor and smell. i’m not using this anymore, i can season just fine without a pre-mixed combo thankyouverymuch.

still, the burger was quite good otherwise…NF didn’t even taste any problem with it and devoured them. and i still really enjoyed mine. other than that hint of the poultry seasoning, yeck!

lanaberry = 0

poultry seasoning = 2

game over!

Planning a Halloween Party

In Party Planning / Entertaining on October 27, 2007 at 9:45 am

This post will rise to the top of my post-list each time I update it. You will be taken along the ride of planning a party, something I love doing. LOVE IT! So as I move forward, you will see how it’s done. Because I live in an apt…a studio apt (lol)…the party cannot be huge. but ‘not huge’ doesn’t by any means mean ‘not fun’. i plan on having full decor, great food, great drinks, costumes on everyone, and lots of laughs and pics! Most everyone knows I can be a wild-child and place a high importance on having fun…so that’s what they should expect on the night of Oct 27th!

1) set date – i hit up a few of my friends who MUST be there to be sure they can save the date. this is because of a few reasons. one is that my apt is tiny, so my invite-list is tiny…therefore, i want to make sure the people i truly want to be there, are there. the response was good…so Saturday, Oct 27th it is as long as one specific group can confirm. the other reason is because they are great party guests and i want to have fun, so i want them there.

2) pick a theme or vibe – this is definitely going to be something halloweenish. possibly the “devil’s lair”…hmm…yes, i like that. i definitely like a dark and morbid theme. the devil’s lair would be fun cuz everything would be red. and red is sexy. or i may to “go to hell” and have two separate rooms–one black and one red. hmm. i will have to think of decor, but i like having two rooms with two distinct colors. and i love the theme. but at the same time, i don’t really like the kind of light black lights give off (not flattering). i will have to think about this. i think it will def be “go to hell” and then i can figure out decor later. it’s a catchy name for a party.

3) create invite – i dislike evite so i don’t use it. had NF create a flier and i love it!!! check it out:

4) envision decoration contest, purchase accessories – i definitely already have a vision in my head of what i want my apt to turn into. the colors on the flyer accurately depict that. i don’t want to give away TOO many details in case people who are coming read this and won’t be surprised. but basically…i will decorate the living room, kitchen, hallway and bathroom, and the outside door. i like my decor to be more consistent and edgy than super cheesy and “too much”. i will be sure to take pix the Saturday of the party, before the party-goers come

5) Create menu for munchies and specialty cocktail – of course, this is my fav part. It’s completely planned out, now i’m making my grocery shopping list and heading to my fav stores for delicious, fresh, ingredients. will be cooking all day, i’m sure.

6) Cleaning and decorating – last night i cleaned my entire apt, put away random clutter (hidden in the closet, wish it could stay there), and then decorated, i love the way at looks! pix to come in the next few days. i may slip a note under the doors of my neighbors telling them to call me if we’re being too loud.

7) Entertaining – i’m excited to have people over, i like to drink and get wild so that’s the kinds party people should expect. i enjoy this part immensely; talking to everyone and mingling. my last parties included more single guys and single girls…this time theres more couples and single girls…but i don’t know any single guys anymore haha! oh well. time to get busy!

Wrap Up –  all in all, i had a great time and i think everyone else did too. there were people outside and around in the back and my neighbors or property manager didn’t say a word, so that was great!

The Menu –  silly me, didn’t take any pix of the beautiful spread of food! darnit! the menu included: Thai Guacamole (really good), my Roasted Red Bell Pepper & French Onion Dip (the hit of the party), and then i decided to order Eggrolls from Favorite Thai delivery/take-out of all-time (TG Express) because that was easiest and i ran out of time to make the Asian Meatballs i intended too. i also bought Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcake Rolls, and cut them into bitesize pieces…another “i ran out of time”move that worked quite well and i’d probably do it again.

now this is the part that saddens me. i planned to make California Rolls, which i’ve done before, super easy. but since i wanted to make a large quantity, about 40-60 pieces…i decided to follow this recipe for a cookbook i have that took the same roll but it was made as “sushi for a crowd”, where you lay out an entire baking sheet of of nori, rice, avocado/crab/cucumber, more nori, rice, and more nori. all is fine and dandy…till you try to cut it. and of course, that’s what i was doing last minute before my guests arrived. and guess what? that damn thing didn’t cut well at all. tasted great, but i just couldn’t bring myself to put it out. not with so much perfection already on the table. i was highly disturbed and shook up, especially since this was a main part of my feast. still, that party must go on…i went in…put on my wig and greeted my friends with a smile and LOTS of drinks. everyone enjoyed the food, can’t wait till next time!

photos of the decor will come shortly.

Apartment Cooking – Highlights from the past…

In Apartment Cooking on October 25, 2007 at 2:28 pm

these pictures were all taken with my previous camera, which isn’t as good as my current camera, which is NO WHERE near as good as most of you taking pix of your plates and posting them online. still…bare with me, i wanted to share some of my most notable, memorable meals from past cooking (dating back 3yrs ago), and why…

 

Spicy Tuna Rolls, Philly Rolls, and Yellow Tail Rolls

w/ Spicy Beef Salad and Miso Soup

(Winter 2005)

This is my second attempt at rolling my own sushi. I experimented, successfully with my local Asian Market and really captured what I love most about eating Sushi…a variety of rolls, spice, new flavors, loving preparation. It took me hours to prepare and roll everything. My ex was beyond impressed, it rekindled things…for the moment.

 

Steak & Andouille Sausage Jambalaya

(Winter 2005)

The first time I made Jambalaya I totally nailed it…the second time, I got impatient with the temerature and wasn’t able to fully cook my rice, which sucked. The pictured dish, however, was amazing…so spicy and hearty. I think it’s time to try Jambalya again…best 2 outta 3!

 

Cheryl’s Ground Beef Enchiladas

(Winter 2006)

These are my favorite enchiladas of all time. I could go anywhere, including Mexico, and still prefer Cheryl’s. They are not healthy…and they’re not tryna be…they are just GOOD! Cheryl is the mother of my ex…she would make these for some holidays instead of the traditional ham or turkey dishes. After devouring these time and time again (over the course of 6yrs!), I finally asked her to teach me, and I watched her step by step, putting love into each and every enchilada.

 

Seared Albacore Tuna Steak with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes

and Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms & Broccoli Rabe

(Fall 2004)

This marks the first dish I truly experimented with. Might seem basic, but this was my first creation made from my own head to my hands to my mouth…minus someone else’s recipe for ideas, methodology, nothing. I just listened, smelled, watched, and tasted to get everything right. It worked, and created a monster! (me)

 

 

 

 

What Successful People Do:

In beauty and the biz on October 22, 2007 at 1:47 pm

successful people work hard. is this obvious? i’m not sure that it is.

the inspiration for this post came from observations of people who are successful and those who aren’t quite there yet. and by successful, i mean doing what they want, on their way to success, achieving their dreams, etc. and please note, this isn’t a judgment of what is or isn’t successful…because that is totally personal and unique to each individual.

i notice people wishing they had a certain career or dream but not really understanding what it takes to get there. it’s not going to just fall into your lap if it hasn’t already. you need to be proactive and make that shyt happen!

here is what successful people do…

1. they work hard…probably about two or three times harder than a normal 9-5 worker works as far as the amount of work done in that time and the amount of focus and dedication.

2. they set realistic goals and work toward them, then set news goals. so get out your pen and paper…or your word document…or your blog or livejournal…and put it in writing!

3. they work long hours…on nights after working all day and on the weekends while other friends of theirs are watching tv all night or shopping all day on the weekends.

4. they educate themselves, learn and master your craft. research online, read books, practice, take out a loan and go to school, or just do. you need to be able to converse and understand your industry using it’s language and knowing the main players both historical and current.

5. be at that point in your life where you are comfortable with sacrificing for this kind of focus, if you’re not…you’re really just wasting your time and spinning your wheels. yet another project you start but don’t finish. A+ for effort…but you have to be ready to dedicate yourself.

6. don’t expect everything to happen right away. you need to build, set small goals and keep working persistently until it happens for you. be patient and realistic. if it’s a business you want to start, remember it takes months to get the paperwork and tax requirements settled.

7. remember, learn not to only wait for the happiness you will find when you reach your destination…but to enjoy the beauty of the journey.

so if you have something you want to make happen, map out your goals and prepare to work…don’t just talk about it or dream about it…do it! and good luck.

What I learned from a Chef…

In Apartment Cooking, beauty and the biz on October 17, 2007 at 7:17 pm

 

my dear friend Sarah told me one night, while we were screaming in conversation over live hip hop performers, that i should meet her aunt…her “cool aunt”, Chef Andrea. i didn’t hesitate one day to set that up! Andrea and i planned a brunch at Cafe Laurent in Culver City (sinful French brunch food) last weekend to get to know each other more. Andrea is a Compton native with a great love and appreciation for her culinary career and expertise. a warm woman, standing tall, with pretty dark brown skin, and honest dark blue eyes…nice to talk about the industry with someone who looks a little more like me! and boy did she have stories to tell.

from high-end stints at Beverly Hills Chocolatiers, Cafe Roma, head pasty chef at the old flagship Aculpulco that used to be on LaCienega&Melrose, travels to Asian and Sweden with an award-winning pastry chef, catering for Wolfgang Puck, working her own catering business, working with Someone’s in the Kitchen Catering (Grammy’s, Oscars, Madonna, MGM, Sony, etc etc etc), and finally working as head Pastry Chef for the 800+ banquet hall at the Hilton in the LBC…her career was diverse and challenging the entire way. this wonderful woman dropped so many chef/owner names that i realized i have a lot of our local history to learn.

the entire experience was moving, to say the least, and i will share with you what i absorbed from her as she took me through the many stages of her career:

  • go to the best culinary school you can afford and have time for. you will learn more there than simply “how to cook” and in an industry based around practice and prestige, the best education you can get is essential. she took plethora of classes until she committed to the program that UCLA offered at that time. despite her many successes, she wishes she could have gone to the prestigious Johnson & Wales.
  • get the most out of your education, volunteer to do anything anywhere you can. build a variety of experiences and contacts.
  • be assertive to get your foot in the door…if someone says no or they don’t know you, make sure they know you will take trash out or do dishes for free, you just want to be there. starting at this level, as opposed to turning away at hearing “no” opened several doors for her.
  • in the culinary world, schooling included, you are always on show and your skill and ability is always being judged. in this industry, apprenticeships are still common. however, you don’t find your mentor…they find you. handle that pressure.
  • one thing that is learned and highly respected in this industry is perfection. to be a good chef or executive chef or anyone in the kitchen you have to be a perfectionist to the point that you are able to listen, understand, and execute exactly what the chef wants. if you cannot do this, then you will have a big problem…but it is a very important part of the art.
  • travel to different countries and take culinary classes from real chefs or from real schools. but watch out for any classes or education that are geared for the house-wife…they will not get you as involved with the cooking and the culture as you would be with a real chef.
  • if you start a catering company, be prepared to get worked! be real about it and what you’re getting into, most of the prep can only be done up to a few days prior to an events, which means you have to handle the crunch time. check and quadruple check your list on the day-of and know where to get things locally in case they are left behind. enlist help if you need it so you don’t burn out.
  • if your plan is to start a catering, events, personal chef, or restaurant business…remember, it is a business! if your passion lies in the actual cooking aspect of the culinary industry, but you don’t have passion or ability on the business side, you will struggle more than necessary. play to your strengths and if creating in the kitchen is yours, then work for someone or work with a partner who knows business.
  • and the final message, the one that stuck with me most was her encouragement and excitement for my beginnings and her obvious passion and love for the industry and the experiences she has had. we will be meeting again to go through her Art Culinaire collection!

as you can see, i learned a lot. mentors are fabulous. she would be the second mentor i’ve had the pleasure of connecting with. my first being the beautiful Ms. Jen Reitman of DAME Magazine. the best advice i can offer for having a mentor is to have one…more than one if possible. form a relationship with them and stay in touch. soak up what you can from them and help them however you can. remember to keep your own perspective, values, and goals in mind, and then one day give back to newbies by being their mentor!

Saucy Jalapeño Meatloaf – National Meatloaf Appreciation Day

In Apartment Cooking on October 16, 2007 at 8:47 pm

 

On the day of the deadline, I FINALLY paid attention to discovered SeriousEats.com. This is a great site that I will need to investigate more very soon, I can tell I will love it! I came across this foodie fact-site and blog because a few of my favorite food blogs had posts about their meatloaf recipe for this supposed “National Meatloaf Appreciation Day” on SeriousEats.com. Well the deadline is today…and I felt I just had to participate because 1) i love meatloaf, 2) i wanted to be a part of National Meatloaf Appreciation Day, where everyone involved submits their meatloaf recipes and pix to go up on an appreciation blog. Look for it on Thurs Oct 18th! (I’ll remind you.)

My favorite cuisine to play with is Mexican…so I decided to spice things up with some chipotle adobo, sauteed starter veggies, a sweet and saucy topping, and roasted jalapeños on top. I chose to combine ground beef and turkey to get the best of both worlds (”healthy” and “good”). I enjoyed the entire process, as I usually do…but something about crafting this comfort-food favorite as part of this appreciation “movement” made it even more satisfying. As far as the taste…let me tell ya, this loaf of meat was GOOD! Better than I’ve ever had, and more appealing to me than any recipe I’d come across. Flavorful, moist, firm, and packed an enjoyable amount of heat!

RECIPE – SAUCY JALAPENO MEATLOAF

by Lana

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground turkey, 1 lb ground beef, 4 eggs, 3/4 cups plain bread crumbs

3 tbs ounce olive oil, 1 tbs butter, 1 red bell pepper (chopped), 1 cup white mushrooms (chopped), 2 cloves garlic (minced), 1/2 medium red onion (diced)

1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt, 1/3 tsp poultry seasoning, Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tbs adobe sauce from canned chipotles, 2 tbs brown sugar, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbs honey

2 jalapeños, sliced into thin rings

serves 5-6

PREPARATION:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine the turkey, beff, eggs and breadcrumbs and fold ingredients until evenly combined.

3. In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and heat. Add the onions and mushrooms, and peppers and saute until translucent. Add butter and melt. Add garlic and cook until soft.

4. Remove from heat and allow to completely cool. Once cooled, add to meat mixture along with garlic powder, Lawry’s, poulty seasoning, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste, and combine.

5. In another small bowl, combine the ketchup, soy sauce, honey, adobo sauce and brown sugar and smooth and slather onto meat mixture, reserving some for basting. Add a few tablespoons of sauce to meat mixture and combine.

6. Stuff meat into a 9″x5″ loaf baking pan, brush about half the sauce over the top of the meatloaf, cover with foil. Cook for 35min.

7. At 35min take meatloaf out and brush the remaining sauce on top. Place slices of jalapeños evenly over the top. Bake again for 20min, uncovered.

8. Remove from oven and let stand for 15-20min. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

and here is the round up of the National Meatloaf Appreciation Day submissions on SeriousEats.com, below is the pic they used for their article…there’s my baby on the bottom left! my friend melissa aka Alosha’s Kitchen is on the bottom right, cool!

i got a Blackberry instead…

In teckie on October 16, 2007 at 4:50 pm

okay for everyone who has come here in search of more info about the Sidekick LX…and read my post about it. i have finally come to a conclusion. i got the Blackberry Curve and i love it. given, i feel like an 78yr old gramma tryna figure this thing out after using Sidekicks for two years…but i’ll get there (very) soon.

my decision was based on three four things:

1) i hate my Sidekick, and don’t even want to deal with another model (i’ve had the 2 and the 3)

2) i wanted one NOW without waiting for about a week till the Sidekick LX comes out

3) i feel the Blackberry is a device that is more suited for my professional womanhood. i’m not 22 anymore…time to have a device that doesn’t look like a Gameboy reflects that.

4) it’s gold!!! super cute.

here she is:

i'll take you to the islands…with this salsa!

In Apartment Cooking on October 16, 2007 at 12:39 pm

what we have here is a Caribbean Salsa w/ Shrimp…i was told this is the best thing i’ve ever made. and this is because i apparently took my victim to the islands last night…i guess i really captured the vibe of the tropics cuz we were still in my living room in Los Angeles.

being the perfectionist that i am, i know this will be better with all fresh ingredients and better quality shrimp. and that fresh dish will definitely be included in my future catering menu…

To make 3-4 cups of salsa:

1) In a food processor, combine: 1 can tomatoes with chiles, 1 can peaches, 1 small can pineapples, 1 anaheim chile, 1 clove garlic, juice of 1 lime, salt & pepper, cilantro…blend!

2) Pout the salsa into a bowl, then chop up 1 cucumber and add to the salsa. Add two cups of tiny Bay Shrimp, combine.

3) Serve with chips!

To accompany this, I also made my first wrap. I’m practicing this because I may make some for my upcoming Halloween Party. Here is my Roasted Veggie & Goat Cheese Chicken Wrap. it was damn good…better than any other wrap i’ve had the displeasure of eating.

To Make 6-7 servings:

1) Cook three boneless, skinless chicken breasts in pan, (trying to make them turn out as flavorful as mine turned out…the key here is in the seasoning so experiment until you find one that takes your breath away i will reveal mine in the form of a branded spice bottle on the shelves one day). When they are finished you will let them rest for 5min. And then slice them into thin strips, shredding is also an option.

2) Under the broiler, slice then roast 2 red bell peppers, and slice, de-seed, then roast 5 tomatoes (drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt&pepper beforehand).

3) Slice 1 avacado

4) Lay out one large 8-12″ tortilla (warm first in oven or microwave) on a work surface. Spread goat cheese over the tortilla, layer roasted veggies, the avocado, sliced chicken, and spring mix lettuce on top. Use ingredients in a way that you can disperse them for the rest of your tortillas to create additional wraps, you don’t want to over-stuff your wraps.

5) Tightly roll the wrap like a burrito and then wrap with plastic wrap tightly, let it chill in the fridge for a 10minutes or so to let it take it’s shape.

P.S. it’s even better after 4-12 or more hours in the fridge, just eating it for lunch now! MMMMMM!