Saturday, September 30, 2006

WCB 69

Sigh. Kittens, just like children, grow up too fast. Tiggy is becoming a young lady of a cat. She still retains the very kittenish behaviour, being very playful and sucking on the blankets as she falls alseep next to me. But she is also in the 'teenager' phase of cat life and she tries to push our limits daily. She plays in the courtyard every day, and it ranges from 1 hour outside to 3 depending on my schedule. She used to always come back in when I would call her. However, yesterday she was inside sitting in her chair, and I got up to close the door, and she shot up out of her seat and bolted outside. Sassy, isn't she?

But I have an even greater concern today. I'm concerned because Tiggy... well... she's easily led. I don't know how exactly how to say this, but really there is only one phrase to describe it: Kitty Porn. Here are some pictures I found on my camera:

"Hey Sailor.... looking for a date?"

"I see you looking at my legs."

"C'mon.... I'm not a kitten still.... not yet a cat."

I blame MTV.

Go and visit the House of (mostly) Black Cats for this week's round up!

Here is the updated schedule for WCB:
October 7- D at The Hidden Paw
October 14- Rosa from Rosa's Yummy yums
October 21- Jelly from I Got 2 Shoes.
October 28- Linda from Kayak Soup.
November 4- Lali from Lali et Cie.
November 11- Skeezix at Skeezix the Cat
November 18- Amar at Catsynth.
November 25- up for grabs
December 2 – D at The Hidden Paw
December 9 – Miz D and the Angry Cat at Belly timber
December 16- Kitchen Mage
December 23-back here at chefsarahjane
December 30- Lisa at Champaign Taste

Drop me a comment if you want to be included! I'm trying to figure out how to permalink this schedule into my sidebar, so hopefully it'll be there soon....

Friday, September 29, 2006

Mmmm.... Waffles

I have been making great use of my new Belgium waffle maker. I have wanted one of these for years, ever since eating them for breakfast in a Marriott hotel in 2003. I love it, because after you add the batter, you close the lid and turn it 180 degrees around so the batter evenly fills both sections with deep crispy pockets for butter and maple syrup. I tried 3 recipes, and so far the winner is from the box of "Whole Wheat Baking Mix" I picked up at Trader Joe's.

They really knew what I wanted- I want a cripsy, tasty waffle that isn't mearly empty calories. I love that it is made with whole wheat and oats, but it is also versatile, quick, and tasty. The box also has recipes for pancakes, biscuits and coffee cake. It only takes a few minutes to make, which is great, because I hate waiting for my breakfast!

2 cups Trader Joe's whole wheat baking mix
1 cup milk
2 egg whites
3 tb oil
(I used walnut oil and also added 4 tb chopped walnuts)

1. Mix all ingredients together. Allow to sit for 4 minutes.
2. Pour onto waffle iron.
3. Enjoy!

This recipe will make 4, 8-inch waffles, or a lot more on a regular waffle iron. I cut the recipe in half, to make two waffles, perfect for me and hubby.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

One more cake...

I found one more pic. This was the most recent wedding cake I've made, it was last September. The beautiful bride in the background is a family friend, Angela.

It was 2 flavors: vanilla pound cake with Lindt milk chocolate ganache filling, and double chocolate cake with Lindt milk chocolate ganache. This was probably the tastiest cake I've ever made.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Since my birthday cake was so well recieved last week, I decided to post some pictures of cakes I've made in the past... Unfortunetly I can't post pictures of ALL of them, because many photos were taken before I had a digi cam! Anyway, here they are:
This one was made for a huge birthday party last year:

This one is my wedding cake:

Which I made to look like my dress:

This a another wedding cake, I really struggled with this one but it turned out ok:

The next three are pictures of cakes I made in the cake decorating class I took:

These are gum paste flowers-made from entirely edible products, but look just like real flowers:

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Lentil Soup and Ramadan Mubarak

Yesterday was the beginning of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims. The imporatance of this holiday cannot be overstated- it is to spend time with family, reflect on life, and understand the pain of the less fortunate. Fatour (the breaking of the fast in the evening) is an event every day, when dinner tables are filled with soups, salads, meats, bread, olives, labne, and fruit drinks. Everyone is welcome and the family always eats together. Needless to say, it doesn't feel much like Ramadan when I am so far from our family. Also, my husband is on a buisness trip, so I suppose Ramadan will actually "begin" for us when he returns next week. I promise to have lots of pictures of the foods that are necessary to this yearly occassion. But for now, since I abhor cooking when there is no one to feed, I am back on my "soup diet." I am still craving a taste of Ramadan, and so I decided to make a soup that we always eat this time of year.

1 cup diced onions
1 tb minced garlic
1 tb minced ginger
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tb chaat masala or garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 bay leaf
1 cup red lentils
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 cups cold water or stock
1 8 oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

1. Saute onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, and celery until translucent. Stir in spices and saute for 1 more mintue.
2. Add bay leaf, lentils, chick peas, water, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, and reduce to a simmer.
3. Simmer for 1 hour, replenishing water as needed. Remove the bay leaf and process the soup in a blender until smooth. Pass through a sieve and into another pot. Return to the boil* and taste for seasoning.

Serve with yogurt, chopped parsley and green onion. Serves about 6.

*This step is very important. If you've ever made a pureed soup, but found it didn't taste as it does in a restaurant, it's probably because a good restaurant will always strain this sort of soup through a fine mesh sieve to remove any bits that weren't pureed. In this case, the lentil's skin will be left behind. The strained soup will have a much smoother texture. It is also imperative to re-boil the soup after pureeing, to ensure the soup is free from any microbacteria is may have come into contact with in the blender, or the strainer.

Friday, September 22, 2006

WCB 68

Hello all and welcome to Weekend Cat Blogging 68! Clare is still MIA, so Bonnie and I have been trying to hold it all together, but we need your help! The lovely Sanjee and Robyn from The House of (Mostly) Black cats are hosting next week, so we need volunteers for the WCB's during the month of October.

Who out there is feline enough to step up to the plate and round up, up, up, and out of the park?!?!?

Let's get some volunteers!

Meanwhile, in OTHER news, Today is my 27th birthday! Or, as I prefer to put it, It's the third anniversary of my 24th birthday! Hubby is taking me out to a LA hotspot called KOI for some food and hopefully celebrity watching. Tiggy helped me celebrate by waking me up with a kitty-back massage. Really, she kneaded me all over my sore back, which was totally appreciated. Hubby came home early from work with a beautiful floral arrangement, which of course I had to share with Tiggy:

She nearly singed her whiskers there!

And I made a cake for myself:

It's vanilla sponge cake with almond buttercream filling and raspberry jam. YUM!
I also got a new camera and a kick-butt beligum waffle maker (more on that later).
BUT the best present of all was a phone call from my best friend from Grade 8, Nikkel Carrera. We haven't talked in about 14 years, so it was great to catch up and an amazing birthday surprise. Hi Nikkel!

Enough about ME- let's get the round-up happening.

Pay a visit to The House of Mostly Black c Cats to check out how Beeyootiful Sanjee's sisters are!

A great big fluffy thanks to The House of Mostly Black Cats and The Cat Blogosphere for helping us get the word out!

Drop by Jelly Pizza to voice your support for a feline representative in the United Nations. STAND UP AND PURR!!!!!

Bustopher and Harmon 'help' Kate in the kitchen.

Rosa has a soft spot in her heart for lonely kitty Felix.

D shows off Boot's and Tess' baby pictures at The Hidden Paw.

Check out FarmGirl's page to see a great portrait of Patchy Cat.

KuDin shows us a few great pics of the neighborhood Kitties.

is very daring to try to sling a cat....

Upsie gets a new toy and a heavy-duty brushin' over at what did you eat.

Boo checks in with adopted beauty Ginny at masak-masak.

Ike and Abe are only interested in FILTERED water, thank you very much.

of Aggie at kayaksoup.

Kamakaze has become very protective of his veggies at igot2shoes.

Boo knows exactly what her owner needs at Tales from Pixie Wood.

Visit Chilli, Amber, Scarlett and Sally at Miss Ellie's Page.

More beautiful street cats at catsynth!

gets a "Glamour Shots" makeover at Anne's food. She is so pretty!

Check out adoptable Rocky Road at Scamperdude.

Visit Lali at Lali et Cie for a portrait of her beautiful black cat.

Ramona at Kross-eyed Kitty has a close-up or Mr. Mao to share.

Visit Haley and Maggie at Ang's little blog spot and welcome them to WCB!

KitchenMage is growing pots of Gray Fluffballs and Snakes on the walkway!

Kimberley tells us Sasha's nicknames at Music and Cats. Tiggy's are: Tigs, Tiggy-Tig, Tiger cat, and Prow (for the sound of her 'meow').

UPDATE: That seems to be it all for WCB this week, but if I get any more entires I will of course post them up. Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes, I had a lot of fun spending time with my husband who I can't get enough of.

As for the upcoming WCB's, I have compiled a schedule of all the people who were so kind to volunteer. Let me know if there is any problems with it:

September 30- Sanjee and Robyn at House of mostly Black Cats.
October 7- D at The Hidden Paw
October 14- Rosa from Rosa's Yummy yums
October 21- Jelly from I Got 2 Shoes.
October 28- Linda from Kayak Soup.
November 4- Lali from Lali et Cie.
November 11- Up for Grabs
November 18- Amar at Catsynth.

Thanks again to everyone who volunteered.

Friday, September 15, 2006

WCB 67

Hello all!
Please note that cat synth has volunteered to host this weekend! So go pay a visit to see all this week's kitties. Thanks so much! Are there are other volunteers to host in the upcoming weeks? The Cat Blogosphere had offered to help out, are you still interested? Let's try to organize a host in advance.

This week Tiggy insisted on taking over the WCB duties. She really wanted to show you all her toys (you know how children can be!). SO HERE SHE GOES:

This was my first fun toy. It's a Cat Dancer, and when I was a kitten I had so much fun trying to catch the end of it. It's just like chasing a bug! But I'm a little sick of it right now.

Here I am sleeping with my green fuzzy. I used to carry it around all the time when I was a little kitten. I carried it off somewhere and hid it so well that even I can't find it! I haven't seen it in months!

After I lost my green fuzzy, mommy made me some red fuzzys to play with from stuff she bought at the craft store. They have a small bell on them which drove me crazy!

My favorite toy of all time is my giraffe. I love to bite him on the neck and kick him furiously with my legs. Usually if someone is playing with my giraffe, I attack it, kill it, and then carry it away in my teeth and hide it somewhere.

This is my new toy! It is so much fun to hit it with my paw because it makes a chirping noise just like a real bird! It also has feathers that I love to pull out of the fabric. Mommy is going to have to fix them , I guess.

I hope you enjoyed seeing my toys!
With love,

Friday, September 08, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging 66 ROUND UP!

Here is the round-up so far of all the kitty action happening this weekend!
After volunteering myself for WCB Round-up duty, hubby reminded me of our camping trip booked for Sunday night thru Tuesday morning. So I will post it all up Sunday morning before leaving for Malibu Creek State Park. Here's hoping everyone sends in the pics early!

Tiggy might be jealous of the "other" kitties in my life.

Check out the pretty Diva at Miss Ellie's Page.

This pretty little fluffball named L.C. (Little Cutie) is up for adoption over at Scamperdude.

Help T Bird on a Wire to find a snappy caption for Harley's latest picture!

D over at The Hidden Paw trys to get Boots and Tess to exercise, since one is a Chubby Kitty! Is there a Jenny Craig for felines?

Watch the gorgeous Taboo protecting his prize at Jelly Pizza.

Harmon snoozes rather than scratches and Bustopher falls asleep latch-hooking over at Kate's page.

Visit Spike, the beautiful people-loving Manx at Watermark.

Visit Maruschka at Rosa's Yummy Yums and go for a virtual belly rub!

*singing* "One of these things is exactly like the other..." Which one is the kitten? Only KitchenMage knows for sure...

Fluffy Upsie has given up his house-and his grooming to a bunch of baby squirrels atWhat did you eat?

Anne has a lovely picture of Hamlet on his 6th birthday! Happy birthday Hamlet!

Mr. Mao
cuddles himself up in the bed at Kross-Eyed Kitty.

The Cat Blogosphere
has all the current kitty-net news here!

S'kat gives us an update on the super-cute Sirius at S'kat and the food.

Billy Lee
lays down the law at the Food Pornographer. Update!! Billy Lee learns to share!

Aria at passionateonchalance updates us on all the kitty happenings, including a cute pic of Max the Hammer.

Help out The Restaurant Widow find a home for this cutie!

Boo at Masak-Masak gives us a pic of a cute street stray beggin' for a pettin'.

Lisa at Champaign Taste watches as Georgie pulls himself up.

Check out the Luna play-by-play at Cat

Raspberry Baby
needs a home! Visit ScamperDude and check out her head shots.

Sinda drinks with drippy paws at Tina's site, A Blip on the Radar.

Bookcases are for more than just just books for beautiful tiger cat at Lali et Cie.

Dora and Mingo
read, sleep, and grow up (sniff!) here!

Lucky models the newest in kitty couture at These Days in French Life.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The "New" Maki

As a child, I was not a fish-lover. The only fish I enjoyed eating was either fried smelt or fish sticks. Although my mother is from Newfoundland, we didn't really eat much fish. I think it was due to us (the kid's) firm refusals. Once I got older and began my career in food, I realized that I needed to expand my palate and appreciate many different foods. Fish began to grow on me. It has been about 7 years since I began to eat fish and I have finally grown to love it. Red Snapper, Bass, and Orange roughy are near the top of my list. However, I doubt that any other fish will ever knock Salmon off it's number 1 spot.

My favorite way to eat salmon is cold and raw. It took a bit of growing, but I have turned into a sushi lover. Recently my friend Paul visited us and lent some sushi expertise. Now that I know how to prepare the rice, we are eating sushi and sashimi twice a week. And in the best, low-effort way-- the New Maki.

Paul showed us this easy method of eating sushi in hand rolls. The fish is sliced into sticks about two inches long. Nori is cut into four pieces. The "condiments" are sliced into sticks (cucumber, avocado, green onion or whatever your heart desires!). Complement the condiments with spicy mayo, tempura crunchies, wasabi and pickled ginger. Arrange all the ingredients on a platter, and let each diner assemble their own hand roll!

I am usually against food that arrives unprepared. When we go out for Korean barbecue, we always ask the chef to cook everything inside the kitchen. The novelty of preparing the food does not turn me on. If I wanted to cook, I'd be at home. However, I love assembling my own hand roll, since I am in total control of the amount of wasabi, and the combinations of ingredients are endless.

Weekend Cat Blogging 66

UPDATE: Are you looking for the ROUNDUP? Click here!

I'm hosting Weekend Cat Blogging this weekend, since Clare and Kiri have taken a holiday! Check back with them at eatstuff later for more kitty goodness. Drop me your links in the comment section and I'll round it all up on Sunday. For now, here is my entry featuring the "other" kitties in my life:

This huge cat is Barry, my Nana's cat, who LOVES to be petted and brushed. He is super gentle and gives the best kitty-hugs you can imagine. Here he is getting a drink from the sink!

Here is Kitty, getting her required 23 hours of sleep per day. Really, she only wakes up to eat and then find another warm spot to sleep away the day.

Pesto belongs to my sister Mary, but is currently living with my Dad. She is a feral kitty, so not too cuddley, but she is so happy to be able to go outside in the garden! This is her favorite spot, where she can bask in the sun and watch the street.

Finally, here a pic of my Mom's pomeranian, Brandy. I know, she's not a cat, but she thinks she is. She even plays with yarn! She is a sucky baby and the fluffiest thing I've ever seen!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Weekend Cat Blogging 65

Hello Cat Bloggers!

It has been an eventful week. After returning from my trip to Toronto, I had to clean the entire house because apparently G has the housekeeping skills of the average 13 year old boy. Or an orangutan. Wait- would an orangutan wash a dish? And on top of the housekeeping chores I had another issue to deal with: the arrival of a literal Chupbacabra- an unknown spooky animal sneaking into my courtyard late at night and laying waste to my strawberry plants!

The other night we actually caught it in action- read about it here- and after combing the internet for pictures of hairy, long-nosed, rat-like creatures I finally found out what IT was: THIS!
So part of the weekend has been spent modifying the courtyard door to prevent return visits.

As for Tiggy, she has become a furry alarm clock which nuzzles me, purring and kneading sometime between 7 and 8 in the morning. However, I think she knew it was the weekend since we both slept in until 9:30.

I am still without a camera, but here is an older video of Tiggy playing with her red fluffy on the couch. Sorry for the TV noise in the background!

For more kitties, go see Bonnie and Miss Ellie at Miss Ellie's page.

And drop in on Clare at eatstuff!