Archive for May, 2009

What I Learned This Week

 

What a great idea from Musings of a Housewife!

1.  Employed or not, it is impractical to cook gourmet meals for dinner on a regular basis.  I started off with 4-course meals: soup/salad, entree, side, dessert.  Too many ingredients required, too much prep work, and way too much post-cooking cleaning!  There is a reason why chefs need sous chefs and station chefs and food prep assistants!  Maybe I’ll try again when I have a bigger and better kitchen… 

2.  Kitchen electrics are so much cheaper at Costco!  The same Cuisinart Popcorn Maker that sells at Williams-Sonoma for $69.95 and at Amazon for $64.99 sells at Costco for ~$40!  The KitchenAid 5-Quart Pro 5 Plus Stand Mixer sells for $279 at Costco (and Amazon), compared to the $419.99 (or even $319.99 on sale) at Macy’s.  I picked up a Cuisinart Griddler/Panini Press at Costco for $69.99 (Costco price plus a coupon!); same griddler being sold on Amazon for $108.99.   What a deal!

3. Superfoods are amazing!  According to Dr. Oz, anyway.  Did you know that eating tomatoes can help protect your skin from sun damage?  That if you have a high-calcium diet you can double your body’s fat loss?  Or that drinking water 8 cups of water a day does not improve the appearance of your skin?  Or that detox diets really aren’t able to cleanse your body in such a short time period, but can give you a kick start to a healthier lifestyle?  Eating raw fruits, vegetables and nuts can decrease your cholesterol, blood pressure and help you lose weight?  Fascinating!  Makes me want to eat healthier.  Reminds me of a fantastic diet/lifestyle book I followed once: The Raw Food Detox Diet (Natalia Rose).  Review on this to come!

4. Real estate disclosure packages are LONG and BORING.  Buying a house is a very daunting process!  Wish us luck!  Once its all over, I’ll think about posting a How To on buy a house…

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How To: Delightful Ice Cream Sandwiches

I made these ice cream sandwiches and brought them to a dinner yesterday, and they were a hit.  They are very easy to make, and make a big impact!  I normally make them with these special Tovolo Ice Cream Sandwich Molds (which I love!  I have a cow, a pig and a star), but they are currently packed away in my storage space (aka my parents’ house!) as we prepare for our move.  So, I decided to try it out with cookie cutters (a heart and a star).  Although not quite as easy as with the molds, and you don’t get the cute imprint on top of the sandwich, the cookie cutters seemed to work just fine.  I’m still working on my photography skills, so bear with me!

Cookie Cutters Tovolo Ice Cream Sandwich Molds 

DELIGHTFUL ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

  • Difficulty: easy 
  • Time: about 15 minutes (not including baking time)
  • Ingredients: brownie, ice cream
  • Tools: Cookie Cutter(s)
  • Calories: who cares??

Step 1: Make the brownie.  You can make your own from scratch, or use a box.  Either way, use a slightly larger pan than the recipe calls for so that the brownie will be thinner than usual (about 1/2 inch thick), and decrease the baking time by a few minutes.  Let the brownie cool before using the cookie cutters.  (Do not cut the brownie into squares!)  Once cooled, proceed to Step

Step 2: Time to whip out the cookie cutters!  Start cutting out your shapes in pairs, and placing them aside.  Once you have sufficient pairs of each shape, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Ice cream, ice cream!  We all scream for ice cream!  Take the ice cream out of the freezer.  Place your cookie cutter on a small plate, and spoon the ice cream into the center of the cutter.  Use the back of the spoon to pack the ice cream into the cutter.  Add more ice cream as necessary so that the entire cutter is filled with ice cream, and the top is flat and smooth.  Next, on to assembly!

Step 4: Time to assemble!  To assemble the sandwich, take one set of your brownie shapes and set it onto a flat work surface.  Place one of the shapes down, and then place your ice-cream-filled cookie cutter directly on top of the brownie, so that the shape lines up perfectly.  Take your other brownie shape, and place it on top of the ice-cream-filled cookie cutter so that the shape lines up perfectly.  Use your fingers of one hand to gently press down on the top brownie layer, while using your other hand to slide the cookie cutter up and out over the sandwich.  You may need to wiggle the cutter over the top brownie layer to make sure it slides through the cutter. 

Step 5: Voila!  You have your sandwich!  Place the sandwich immediately into the freezer.  I like to adjust the freezer setting to the coldest to ensure that they will harden and freeze perfectly.

Step 6: Keep Going!  Continue repeating Steps 3-5 above.

Step 7: Freezer to Table =)  Once you have assembled all of your sandwiches and placed them in the freezer, you can start individually wrapping them, or placing them on serving plates. 

Try it out and let me know what you think!

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How To Be a Yuppie Housewife: The Series

Despite what my previous posts may indicate, I love to cook, bake and craft.  (I also love the satisfaction I get after cleaning, but cannot go as far as to say I love cleaning itself!)  I would love to share with you my various experiments and projects! 

I call it the “How to be a Yuppie Housewife” series mainly because that is the theme of my blog, but also because a lot of these projects may stem from both the yuppie and the housewife world.  I am not an expert, but only hoping to share my successes and failures as I go along.  Hope ya’ll learn something, and I would love if you would share your tips with me, too!

First up: Delightful Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Well, I work, too!

Probably the thing I hate most about being a housewife is the loss of leverage in fighting with Yuppie Husband.  I am new housewife, and a sometimes lazy one, so no, the house is not always clean and the dishes sometimes wait in the sink for Yuppie Husband to come home.  When I was working, I always had “Well, I work, too!” to fall back on.  These days, I really don’t have much of an excuse. 

However, I hate it, absolutely despise it, when Yuppie Husband pulls out “I work all week, make money for us and all you do is sleep in and do nothing all day.”  It just simply isn’t true.  I do a lot during the day.  I might not always be doing the chores of a typical “housewife”, but I certainly am occupying my time somehow.  I can see his point, but still…I resent it.  I am not a live-in maid, I am not a hired chef, I am not a laundromat.  Plus, our current living situation is temporary, as we search for a suitable house to move in to.  What is the point of cooking, cleaning, maintaining this temporary apartment???  In any case, yes, I suppose I need to step up and become a better housewife. 

But, why does society so dramatically discount the role of a housewife?  Why does being the breadwinner earn so much respect, but a housewife is “just a housewife”?  Isn’t cooking, cleaning, laundry, scheduling just as, if not more, difficult?  What about gift-buying and card-sending for birthdays and holidays?  Home decoration, closet organization, photo storage and archival?  The list goes on!  There are so many random little things that need to be done around the house, and half the time husbands don’t seem to know or care where anything is or should be!  Running a household seems very much like running a small office.  Not a small undertaking!

Again, maybe I should go back to work…

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Grass is Greener Girl

Dear Readers,

Welcome to my blog and first post!  I hope you enjoy my random musings and adventures as I explore my new life as a yuppie housewife. 

How did I get here?  Being the good little Asian girl that I am, I pleased my parents, studied hard and got good grades, went to college and on to grad school, and instead of choosing the fun life of being a professional student, found a high-paying job in an infamous skyscraper in an infamous city skyline.  While I did enjoy the professional satisfaction corporate America had to offer, I spent my days dreaming of my true career aspiration: being a housewife. Lazy days at home, cooking, cleaning, watching Oprah and Martha Stewart, home decorating…what a great life!

When I met my now-husband, that dream started to realize.  Husband was fine with me not having a “career”, and encouraged me to find something I loved instead.  So, we got married, I left my job, and I now spend my time keeping house and cultivating my hobbies.  I’m one of the lucky ones – a loving, supportive husband, and the freedom to flit and float about until I find my true calling.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not against women having professional careers, and I certainly don’t plan to spend all day every day sitting at home cooking and cleaning.  I do plan to have a “career” of some sort, though likely not in the corporate world.  A life as a Lady of Leisure would be nice, but that unfortunately requires other Ladies of Leisure friends! =P

Thus far, being a “housewife” has been wonderful.  There really aren’t that many house chores each day, so I mostly spend my time researching, scrapbooking, bugging Yuppie Husband at work… =P  Yesterday, though, I experienced my first bout of crazed boredom.  I was busy all day with laundry and much-needed spring cleaning.  Yuppie Husband came home early and brought work with him to do while watching the Lakers game.  There he was, sitting on the couch, half-watching and half-working, and there I was, sitting on the couch, checking my e-mail AGAIN, reading various design and wedding blogs AGAIN, checking my facebook AGAIN.  0 new e-mails, 0 new posts, 0 new fb updates.  It dawned on me: I was BORED.  I literally had nothing to do, and that can be a very maddening state of being. 

So, maybe the yuppie in me will always be there, nudging me to pursue corporate America success.   Maybe housewife life really isn’t for me.  Maybe eventually my boredom and society’s concept of success will push me back into the office.  Maybe once I get there, I will long for housewife days gone by. 

In the end, I’m just a grass-is-greener girl, exploring the crossover territory of yuppie to housewife.

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