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Showing posts from August, 2010

On Family, Sisters, and Growing Up

We don't talk about family much on the blog - Shawn comes from a relatively small family and most of my extended family still resides over seas in France, so neither one of us has much family to speak of. Both of our immediate families live just one state over and we make a point to visit on a fairly regular basis, but otherwise, it's just the two of us. So I'm going to dedicate this post to my lovely younger sister who left home on Friday for her first year of college!

sisters being crazy, circa 2005

I am the oldest of three children - five years older than my sister, six years older than my brother. Growing up, I definitely felt the differences in age; the two of them were always very close, but I was always slightly too old to relate to them. They grew up and into their personalities while I was away at college, so I feel like I missed out on that transition from child to mini-adult, the crucial time to be an older sister. When I moved back home after college, they were n…

The only cookie recipe you need!

Today I'm going to share one of the best recipes in the world with you! Ok, perhaps that's a bit of a stretch, but chocolate chip cookies are pretty damn appreciated in this world and I cherish this recipe greatly. It took years of recipe tweaking but I finally found THE chocolate chip cookie recipe. This dough makes a fantastic base for other types of cookies too - it's easily tweak-able! I've made coconut cookies, peanut butter cookies, and oatmeal cookies from this same base. But the chocolate chip cookie is still my favorite.

But before I show you how to make cookies - I'm going to talk up some chocolate!

When it comes to chocolate, Trader Joe's Pound Plus bars are my favorite! They're only $4.99 for 17.6 oz of Belgian chocolate goodness! The semi-sweet bars are perfect for brownies or recipes where chocolate is the prominent ingredient, and the dark chocolate bars are what I chop up for cookies. Personally, I prefer fresh chocolate chunks over bagged wax…

Around the globe at dinner time

Yet another "dinners you've missed" post; we should just start a tag for that already...

Quesadillas for dinner! Red and green pepper and onion triple cheese quesadillas, to be exact. So tasty, and so simple!

Chips and salsa and homemade guacamole. Making your own guacamole is so easy! All you do is mash up three ripe avocados, add a little salt and a good amount of lime juice, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and a little fresh cilantro. Let it sit in your fridge for a bit too, it helps all the flavors meld together. There you have it!

Chinese takeout from Auspicious on an earlier evening when we didn't feel up for cooking. Shawn got some General Tso's and I got Pad Thai - overall, pretty tasty (but it's no Thai Kitchen :( !) and for the quantity of food they gave us, definitely worth the price. This is the first time we've gotten a 'microwave safe' rice container though! Very sturdy and a great idea, if only we had a microwave!

Our fortunes from sa…

Chocolate, it's what's for Breakfast

I took our usual pancake recipe and added some cocoa powder to it; BAM! New and improved pancakesters.

Chocolate pancakes, with chocolate chips, topped with more chocolate chips. Oh. My. Chocolate.

A little pancake mushroom!

To add glory to glory, maple syrup tops off these little beauties; because what are pancakes without maple syrup?

Shawn seems to think pancakes are finger food. I disagree, but making messes is his specialty.

And now you can go enjoy your chocolate-less morning while being jealous of ours.


I have been working in the service industry for as long as I can remember. I've served people coffee, waited on tables, made food behind the scenes, and I've even worked a little retail. I've seen the better ends of customer service, and some of the worse ends too. What I've learned over the years is that it's easy to teach an employee how to deal with customers in an appropriate matter, but some customers still need a little refresher course on how to handle themselves in public too. What I'd like to share with you today is my take on customer etiquette.

What customer etiquette boils down to is respect. As a customer, when you walk into an establishment you expect decent customer service. What is considered decent customer service? Attention to detail, knowledge of product, eagerness, and above all, respect. We strive to give you these things and all we ask of you, the customer, is a little respect in return. So today, I strive to teach all of us (because we…