Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thai recipe

Coconut Rice Shrimp Balls:

Soak some rice in water for a few hours, or overnight if you like... I didn't know what kind of rice to use, so although these are Thai Rice balls, I used some japanese rice. Figure about 1/3 cup rice per person. If you have a steamer, steam the rice over water for about half an hour or until it's done... you should know. If you don't have a steamer, you can put a colander over a pot as long as it fits inside, and that will work too.

Meanwhile, peel and prepare some shrimp. Sautee in a pan with some olive oil, lime juice and chopped garlic until fully cooked. Let cool a bit, and cut the shrimpies in half, lengthwise (you don't have to do this if you don't want to, but the shrimp sits nicer on the ball, plus it means you don't have to buy as much shrimp). Don't cut them in half before cooking them, because then they curl up and won't sit on the rice balls.

When the rice is done, transfer to a bowl and stir in a cup of coconut milk, a pinch (or more) of salt and some lime zest. When cool enough to handle (seriously, let this cool a bit since it will be a little too soupy at first anyway), form into little flat balls (maybe 2/3 the size of a golf ball?), dip in a combo of light and dark sesame seeds to coat the bottom and top with cilantro leaf and a piece of your cooked (halved) shrimp.
Enjoy!

Check out my recipe on
Coconut Rice Shrimp Balls on Foodista

Monday, October 27, 2008

Matt got married!


Here's the fam!
My brother got married a few weeks ago! 

It was a wonderful day and a wonderful trip! More pictures on my flickr.

Also, I bought a new-used car.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

He cleans so I don't have to!


It's been a couple weeks since Zorro, our very own vacuum-cleaning robot joined our family. He arrived while I was gone, so Johnny plugged him in and let him charge up for the entire day. When I got home, we gave him a whirl.



Inside the package was Zorro (a ROOMBA 550), a docking station, two virtual walls/lighthouses, some extra filters, and a cleaning brush. All I had to do was press the center "CLEAN" button, and he sang a quick little song and off he went! For the first try, we quarantined him to just our living room. He slid right under our sofa and went crazy. His little blue "SPOT" light lit up every couple of feet and he would spin around and clean that spot even better.


I had read a ton of reviews of the iRobot Roomba before I made the purchase, so I knew to keep a close eye on him for the first few cleanings. Even though I used to make every effort to vacuum on a semi-regular basis, Zorro's dirt tray filled up quickly, and we had to empty him at least 5x on the first night (oh the horror and embarrassment I am sharing...). The hardest part of cleaning him is getting all the hair out. Who knew I shed so much? It is pretty fun to clean out though because you get the satisfaction of knowing just how gross your floors are without a good cleaning. Seriously made me reconsider the "5 second rule"...


Zorro cleaned up underneath our bed, which had tons of dust and feathers that he was able to eat up with no problem! He's picked up change, bobby pins, and other fairly large items that get misplaced from day to day.


The best thing about Zorro is that I can schedule him to clean whenever I want, even if we're not home. He can clean every day if I want him to, so he has less and less to pick up as time goes on. When we went to Vegas a few weeks ago, he cleaned up while we were gone. He did, however, get stuck on a stray cord and sucked it up around his brushes. The cord was fine, I just needed to pop out the brush and unwind it. Zorro is so smart that when he senses a problem, he'll make some noises to alert you, and if you don't come to help within 30 seconds or so, he'll just shut off and wait patiently, even while we're 300 miles away for a couple of days. Sometimes this will require a system reset, which is done in a cinch by simply holding down the DOCK and SCHEDULE buttons until you hear a beep.


John was skeptical about this until he saw him in action. Now he's impressed and so am I!



** Note on video: Zorro is not actually as loud as he sounds in this video, we actually let him zoom around while we watch TV sometimes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

You're making me live!!!

Here's a photo of my new best friend!

My ROOMBA should be arriving sometime this weekend or on Monday.  I can't wait to take my housecleaning laziness to a new level!

I'll post a review ASAP!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Summer in Review

I know I haven't posted in a while.  Here are some things:
  • Big Brother is back!  
  • Due to recent developments, I'm no longer enchanted by Jon & Kate + 8, but I continue to watch the new episodes.
  • I'm still dieting, but finding way too many excuses to cheat/celebrate.
  • My brother's wedding is in less than 2 months! I am the best man.
  • Summer is moving way too fast, not that it really matters when you have a full-time job and live in sunny California.
Because I love this picture so much, I'm posting it everywhere on the internet.  

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dancing Prisoners

Sister Act - "I Will Follow Him"

John showed me all these videos of people in a Filipino prison doing amazing choreographed dances. They do Thriller, MC Hammer, and bunch of other ones. I thought the Sister Act one was amazing and that Sara in particular might enjoy it.

Prison looks so much fun!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Super Yummy Pasta Dish

We've been making dinner at home all week in order to save money. I got this recipes from a 30 minute meals type book (NOT RACHEL RAY), but I modified it a little. The following recipe will feed 2 people.

Ingredients:
6 oz. pasta (I use bow ties ><)
4 oz. bacon (Do not use turkey bacon, that was my biggest mistake)
3/4 cup. FRESH grated parmesan cheese
1 T. FRESH chopped parsley
2 Eggs

Boil the pasta until it's cooked how you like it. Before draining all the water, save about 1/4-1/3 c. of the water you used to boil it. Meanwhile, cook the bacon on your stove top in a large skillet pan or wok. Reserve a couple tablespoons of grease (this is the main problem with using turkey bacon - no grease for the sauce). In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with half of the grated cheese (save your other half). As soon as the pasta is done, add to the wok and toss until it's well mixed with the bacon. Then add the egg/cheese mixture and stir slowly until all combined. The egg will set pretty quickly. Throw into a large bowl and toss with the remaining grated cheese and parsley.
Eat immediately.

I still liked it with the turkey bacon, but it definitely would have been tastier with regular bacon. I forgot to take a picture of my version, so the one pictured is a similar one I found on the web, minus the bow ties. It actually looks really good with the angel hair, maybe I should try it that way.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sara & Enrique's Visit/Being Fat?

John has been visiting his family/helping out for the last week, so I have been pretty lonely!  Luckily, I had some friends visit this past weekend (see picture).  We did some fun things including:
The Zoo
Santa Monica
PinkBerry (2x)
Amoeba
Toi
Los Feliz Village
etc etc...

I guess most of those things involve food -- which is delicious, but detrimental to my health... or at least my weight.   Speaking of...
I want to get this: 
... however,  I have some issues with how it calculates your "fit"ness level.  BMI is an outdated system developed by some Belgian dude in 1840!  According to the BMI scale, Brad Pitt & Michael Jordan are overweight!  George Clooney is obese!*

I am definitely in need of losing some LBs... but I don't know if I'd want to base my healthiness on some arbitrary scale.  Needless to say, Wii Fit looks awesome.  It's sold out everywhere though, so we'll have to wait and see how long it takes me to snag one and get "fit."

*BMI Facts courtesy of Penn & Teller: BULLSHIT!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Przasnyski Home Movies



I've started uploading some of my home movies to YouTube. I try to pick only the really entertaining portions... but I find it all funny so I guess I'm not a good judge. Above is a video featuring me and my brother (I'm the one freaking out in the beginning), and some kids I don't remember. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kristen's Cool Down Tips

It's been in the 90's and up for the past few days here in LA, which is pretty unbearable.  Here are some of my hot weather coping tips:
  • Go grocery shopping (Sara and I used to do this at Iseminger all the time) because the frozen food aisles are like Antarctica!  Or go anywhere with free A/C.  Movie theaters are an option, but at $12 a ticket, that's hardly a bargain.  
  • Eat ice pops!  When I was little they were called Mr. Freezies or whatever, but out here they are called Otter Pops.  I grab about 5 at a time and go at 'em... they're about 15 calories a piece, which can add up quick.  But if you turn your A/C off you'll probably sweat it out anyway.  
  • Freeze your pillowcases.  This feels great but only has an effect for 3-5 minutes.  
  • Aloe.  Even if you're not sunburned, if you slather aloe on your skin and lay in front of a fan, it instantly cools you down. 
  • Drink cold H2O... sometimes I drink so much ice water that it hurts my head a little, but it will definitely bring your core temperature down.  I've heard that cold water can actually heat up your body because your body works harder to heat it up... or something like that?  But I think it works pretty well!
  • Cool/cold showers.  
  • Try not to move at all.
If you do use an A/C, try to maximize its effects by containing the cool air in the room you're in.  John and I turn ours on and then aim a fan back at it from the other end of the room, so that is circles the cool air around you. 

I bought 4 lbs of strawberries the other day (for $3!), so I wanted to make sure to use them before they go bad.  Now that we have a blender, I love making smoothies!  

Here is the concoction I put together last night:
In a blender, add about 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries.  Add a bunch of ice (I think I added about 12 cubes) and 3/4 cup of Orange Juice.  Blend until all the ice is crushed.  This made a giant smoothie for me and a regular sized one for Johnny.  You can mess around with the ingredients and proportions.  Try different fruit.  Some people add yogurt, but I like mine more on the icy side and less creamy.   Oh, I also added a tablespoon of sugar, but that's totally optional.  It just balances the acidity a little bit.

Enjoy!  

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Carmen Sandiego

Do you remember this game: "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" ? We used to play it in 5th grade. We'd have to partner up and go to the computer labs to play it. They gave us an almanac to figure out the case.

I have gotten into this game again because Johnny downloaded it for me. 1 more case and I get another promotion (that picture is outdated). I'm not sure what my next rank is because I don't think I ever got through this many cases before. The game is much easier now that I'm older (too old?) and don't have to work alongside some idiot from my 5th grade class. Some of the information is outdated though, which makes for some interesting guesswork.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Disneyland: April 12, 2008

Disneyland was fun!  We had one day left on the five two-day park hoppers that John's family bought when they were here, so we took some friends (Sorry Sara, we realized we had to use them within 30 days of first use): Sue, Scott and Jenn.  

I thought going on a Saturday was going to be chaotic, but we got to ride a lot of rides!
The updated Space Mountain is my favorite I think.  I
 also love, love, LOVE that Buzz Lightyear ride where you basically just play lasertag.  I still think I prefer Disneyworld over Disneyland... but I was definitely pleasantly surprised.



Here are the rides we went on:
Tower of Terror (3x)
Soarin'
Space Mountain
California Screamin (lame)
Orange Stinger (made me sick)
Indiana Jones
Pirates of the Caribbean 
Buzz Lightyear
Jungle Cruise
Star Tours
Big Thunder Mountain
Haunted Mansion
Matterhorn
+ that Disney Railroad thing

... I think that's everything!  I definitely want to go back someday (but not for a long time!) and also do Universal sometime in the future.  


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lemon Bars

Here is a recipe for the most delicious Lemon Bars you will ever taste:

1 pkg. lemon cake mix
1 egg
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. sugar
1 (8 oz.) pkg of cream cheese
1 T. lemon juice

Mix the cake mix, egg and oil together. It will be a dough-like consistency. Set aside 1 cup of the dough and spread the rest into an ungreased 9" x 13" pan. You'll probably have to use your hands to get it even. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Mix the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice together until smooth (use medium speed on hand mixer). Spread this mixture evenly over the baked crust (be careful, this is not really easy).
Crumble the set aside dough on top. Bake for another 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
After baking, put in broiler for a couple minutes to brown the top (A good tip from Grandma)

Cool, cut and enjoy! Refrigerate leftovers.



Sunday, April 6, 2008

Rice Pudding & Sunburn

Hello, there. This weekend was nice, but is over too quickly, as always.
On Saturday I made a delicious rice pudding. John ate a bite and smiled politely, but I loved it. So here is the recipe, although you'll see I did make some changes.

Rice Pudding with Raisins:
2 eggs, beaten
4 c. milk (I added an additionaly 1/2 c. or so of heavy whipping cream since I was using mostly skim milk)
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. raisins (You can make this without raisins if you prefer)
1/2 c. uncooked rice (I had no idea if I was supposed to use regular slow rice or instant. I used instant because it's all we had and it seemed to work out okay.)
1 T. butter (I used margarine)
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg (I really like nutmeg so I just sprinkled till it felt right).

Basically just mix all these ingredients together. Pour into a 2 qt dish. I used the square glass kind that is probably about 8"x8". Bake at 300 degrees for 2 and 1/2 hrs. The raisins all sunk to the bottom and the rice made a nice crispy top. Enjoy!

We also used our new BBQ set his parent's got us and grilled some steaks and shish kabobs. What is shish? They had chicken and Sara's least favorite vegetables: peppers and onions!
----
Today John and I went hiking with our friend Jenn who just moved here. We walked all the way up to the Griffith Observatory, which John and I have done before. John and Jenn decided that wasn't enough, and we continued up to the top of Mt. Hollywood (which actually isnt the mountain with the Hollywood sign, that is the next mountain over). I was dying by the time we got to the top. My feet hurt going up, and on the way down my knees felt like jello. And pain. I pretty much whined the entire way. I guess I'm supposed to be proud that we did that, but I am so sunburnt and sore right now that it sort of took the fun away from it. I didn't bring any sunblock and neither did my fellow fair-skinned friend. I am really paying for it now. Ouch.


Here's a picture of Jenn at the top of Mt. Hollywood (I hope she doesn't mind me posting it!). I hope it looks as high as it really was.

Check out my recipe on
Rice Pudding With Raisins on FoodistaRice Pudding With Raisins

Friday, March 28, 2008

Chigurh Cookies

It's a little late... but here are the famous "Chigurh" cookies that I made for Nick's Oscar Food Party. My inspiration was Javier Bardem's character in No Country For Old Men. I did not take home the prize for best tasting OR most creative (I know!! I'm shocked too!), but I had fun making them.
The sugar cookie recipe I used will be one half of my ongoing attempt to duplicate the Lofthouse Sugar Cookies. Now that our house guests have left, I plan to try the "Wedding Cake Icing" recipe (see below) some time soon. We shall see.

Jenn H. (a friend moving out to LA) had a KitchenAid mixer shipped to my house for safekeeping until she gets here. This thing looks amazing! I don't really have the counter space (or cash) for one right now... but one day maybe I'll get one.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Delicious Icing...?

I've been trying to duplicate those Lofthouse Sugar Cookies (store bought) at home. I've almost figured out the cookie part, but the icing has been more elusive.

Amanda gave me this recipe for delicious icing. She said it's called "Wedding Cake Icing," but that she used them on cupcakes. I am going to try it on my cookies. Apparently it makes a shit-ton of icing, so the recipe can be reduced.

Wedding Cake Icing:
1 lb Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 sticks Butter (unsalted?) at room tempurature (not melted)
1/2 t. Vanilla

Mix (using a hand mixer) the butter with the powdered sugar. It will take a while to be incorporated but it will eventually get nice and smooth. Don't be tempted to add milk or anything! Towards the end of the mixing, add the vanilla.

It might not be wise to post a recipe before I have tried it, but I will definitely post my response to this as soon as I've fooled around with it. We've been having guests the past couple weeks so I haven't had much time to bake. I'll try to post some pictures, too!
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