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.


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)
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
+ 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
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