Archive for May, 2014

Anniversary Weekend: Part I

May 31 2014

At our wedding, we had two AMAZING cakes.  Unfortunately, the only cake that we actually ate was the cake that we shoved in each other’s faces.  And, we never had a proper cake tasting where we could try different types of cakes.  So, for our anniversary, I fixed that.


eyes closed ... ready for the surprise

eyes closed … ready for the surprise

I didn’t tell Dave where we were going, but I made sure that he would have coffee with him to go along with the cakes.  When we got close, I had him close his eyes until I parked then walked with him (eyes closed) to the Swiss Confectionery storefront.   I told him to open his eyes and he immediately started to jump up and down.  The owner was super nice to us, allowing us to sample the cakes even though we were married one year ago.  Of course, we bought some cupcakes, petit fours, and cookies on our way out as well.  The cakes were absolutely delicious.  Our favorite was the secret family recipe with a pineapple filling.  Delicious.

sampling the flavors

sampling the flavors

After we got home, we both did a little bit of work: me finishing up my presentation for Japan next week and him watching an online lecture that he wanted to see.  Then, we made lunch: homemade veggie burgers from the freezer topped with bacon and avocado. We paired that with mimosas in our fancy Waterford goblets!

mimosas in fancy glasses

mimosas in fancy glasses


Veggie Burgers

May 11 2014

This weekend, I decided to do a little cooking in order to stock up my freezer. One of Dave’s favorite fast meals is to microwave veggie burgers. Unfortunately, most of the veggie burgers now have some form of corn in them, and Dave is allergic to corn (a rather inconvenient allergy). So, I decided to make some veggie burgers, and I think they turned out all right.

veggie burgers

Mushrooms going through the grinder.


  1. 1 Eggplant
  2. 1 large box of baby bella mushrooms (from Sam’s club)
  3. 1 large white onion, diced
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 3 stalks celery, diced
  6. 1 can chickpeas
  7. 1 cup pearled barley
  8. Panko bread crumbs
  9. 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  10. 3 cups water
  11. 2 bay leaves
  12. Coriander
  13. Salt
  14. Pepper
  15. Coconut oil.

And the instructions:

  1. Put oven on 350.  After washing the Eggplant and the mushrooms, place them on a cookie sheet and put into the oven, towards the top of the oven.  They should be in there for about one hour.  I found it was enough time to take them out after everything else was ready.
  2. Put barley, bay leaves, and water in a pot on the stove over low heat.  Stir occasionally until water is completely absorbed / evaporated (this will take some time).
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a pan, then add the garlic, onion, and celery.  Season with coriander, salt, and pepper to taste.
  4. Split the chickpeas in half.  Chop half of them and put in a large bowl.  Reserve the second half.
  5. After steps 1-3 are completed, let the ingredients cool.  One at a time use the Kitchenaid grinder attachment to grind the barley, mushrooms, eggplant, onion mixture, and reserve chickpeas into the big bowl.  Mix well with a big spoon.
  6. Mix in the flax seeds and panko bread crumbs and mix well.
  7. Heat coconut oil in a pan.  Form mixture into patties and place in the pan.  Cook on both sides, then enjoy or freeze!  (Well, I’m hoping that freezing will work).
veggie burgers

Before being pattied.

Veggie Burger!

Final Product

Note: This recipe was inspired by a Vegan (Cheese) Burger recipe that I found with the help of Google.

Bidding War

May 9 2014

Tonight, I went to an art auction with Carola, Joe, & Yusu.  We were invited from the previous owner of Carola and Joe’s house (so, we didn’t have to pay for the $50 tickets, but we were told that we needed to bid on something).

After tasting all of the delicious food from various restaurants and cocktails from Casa Borrega, Yusu and I picked out a $3,000 acrylic painting for Carola and Joe, but they thought it was a bit too expensive.  We settled for eyeing up the items valued under $200, which was jewelry for the most part.

The first item in the live auction was a pair: a 1933 Carnival / Mardi Gras throw (a hand mirror) and Design by Dawn Tortoise Earrings.   I feel to liking the earrings, and Carola the earrings.  So, we thought it could be something to bid on.  When the auction started with no one taking up the opening bid of $40, I looked at Carola and asked “should I take it?” and she said “yes, of course!”  Then, the next bid was made quickly after that.  Carola asks “did the bidding start?”  And I replied, “yes, should I bid again?”  And, of course, I did.  Half way through the bidding, we switched from me bidding to her bidding.  With each bid, we deliberated.  We really did not discuss a maximum bid before going into this event, so we were a bit confused and made each bid just before the auctioneer would have said “sold”.  Finally, once we had doubled the value of the items we were bidding on, we agreed to stop.  Luckily (or maybe unluckily), the person bidding against us also stopped bidding.  And, we won!   Joe turned to me and said “thanks for starting the bidding and letting my wife finish it.”   We were laughing so hard about how fast it went, that I completely missed the next two items being sold.

Next time I go to an auction, I need to have a game plan.  Also, I need not to bid on the first item.  Perhaps then, I will get an item UNDER the appraised value.  I like my time-shared mirror and earrings though, so no complaints about our “winnings.”


hand mirror and earrings (and who is that in the mirror?)


Lesson Learned

May 8 2014

Make a link.  This is how you need to lock your bike.

I have a bike rack on my car which locks.  Up until tonight, it has worked just fine for me.  There is a bar that hooks over the frame of the bike and you can lock it in place.  Some clever thief on Frenchman street opened the buckles on the wheels and somehow shimmied the bike off of the rack.  Most upsetting is the fact that I JUST put a new tire on the bike (at least I didn’t get both of them) AND I left my fancy light on the bike.  😦

Lesson learned: always make a link.

I don’t even have a photo with me and my still-unnamed bicycle.  However, I found one of her on Bicycle Michael‘s Google page, as they let you explore the inside of the store:


My Awesome Gold and Black Retrospec bicycle