Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bloomingdale's One Day Sale Today

I love this store! It only happens a few times per year, so get out there and shop. Or go online and check out the Bloomingdale's one day home sale. Save 20% to 75%! My first home dept. purchase a couple of years ago was my KitchenAid Heavy Duty mixer, and I could not believe this sale price---$199 plus shipping! WOW! This is the very same mixer we use in culinary school. And I have never seen it this cheap anywhere. I love mine, and as long as I keep the setting at #2 when kneading dough, it works just fine. Other great buys are the sheets, towels, the Cuisinart food processor, and the Le Creuset Dutch ovens. But this being the Summer of Shadow, I have to wait till the next Bloomingdale's home sale, which usually comes around Christmas time. Ah, the things we do for love.
(No home items at the Beverly Center)
Sale ends Sat. July 29th. Call Bloomingdale's toll-free at 800/555-SHOP
Open a Bloomingdale's account and get an extra 15% off!

Friday, July 28, 2006


My first job was working at Mexicatessen in Monterey Park. The original location was taken over by the construction of the 60 Pomona Freeway (gee that sounds like a Douglas Adams book!) along with the tiniest library in the world, and the oddest place, a trampoline park. It was essentially a series of deep pits dug into the ground, then somehow trampolines were set up over them. You could rent time jumping on the trampolines, but it got boring. Good thing the freeway took over the space. My older sister worked there at the original Mexicatessen, a small restaurant run by a husband and wife. While in junior high, I started working at the new location and worked there until college. Starting pay was $1.25 per hour and I thought I was rich.

Everything but the flour tortillas was made on-site. Corn tortillas, tamales, two kinds of refried beans, chile colorado, chile verde (the hottest stuff on earth!) all of it like homemade, not quite your grandma's but pretty close. It was fun to get the corn tortilla maker running, the husband was in charge of that task. Those were the best tasting tortillas, fresh and hot, white corn only. I loved watching the owner as she made the chile rellenos by hand. She eventually let me make them a few times. Beef and bean burritos were 35 cents. Tacos were 25 cents, same as the taquitos. If you wanted, you could buy the ingredients to make burritos at home, pints and quarts of beans and meat, rice and the big monster tortillas. You could even buy grated cheese by the pound. It was my entrance into the food industry, and I am glad for that experience. My only complaint was the days when I had to clean the walls. She gave me a bottle of ammonia and a rag, that's all. Yuck!

The Mexicatessen was eventually sold to another couple, and they have added new menu items. I stopped by this week and picked up something for Michael and me. I couldn't believe it, $3.95 for a chile relleno burrito. It still tasted good, but wow, the prices sure have changed since my school days.
830 S. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park CA 91754

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Summer of Shadow

Shadow is our adopted kitty, or rather, he adopted us last year. A tiny little black fluff of fur, he was screaming at me when I picked him up and he purred his way into our hearts. Oh heck, what's another one to add along with Nikk the old Pomeranian (who has gone away, we hope to Dog Heaven), Needles the iguana, and Penny Lane the Siamese kitty who allows us live here with her. Gramps even liked him, and he often slept at Gramps' feet, purring and hogging all the covers. (All the animals loved Gramps!) Shadow has a way about him, he's kind of a doofus but a very charming one. I have never seen a cat play fetch or play with kids the way he does. We all just love this guy.

He was getting over a cat fight injury when a couple of nights ago he slipped out the front door and into the street. I heard the horrible thump and saw him scurry into the neighbors' yard. It was dark and I couldn't find him under the bushes. I went in to get a flashlight, but when I got back outside he was gone. Michael and I looked everywhere, but after a couple of hours we finally went inside. I couldn't sleep. The next morning, there he was on the back patio, in Nikk's old dog bed, bleeding but moving around. We couldn't believe he was still alive. Michael caught him, wrapped him in a towel and we put him into the pet carrier. The vet's office was open early, and they took him in right away. No broken bones, no internal injuries, just his tail. It was at that point I lost it, and cried like an idiot.

I am happy to say Shadow is alive and well, minus his fluffy tail, and with a couple of stitches on his cat fight wound. Thank goodness we took him in, it was really much worse than a simple scratch, requiring two drains. And pink bubble gum baby medicine. His appetite is good, and last night I gave him some diced up pieces of Juan Pollo, which he gobbled it right down, even with the conehead strapped onto his cat face. Penny Lane won't go near him, but she never tolerated him anyway. This morning he's moving around much better, and eating like the munch monster he really is.

He's going to be fine, but our Shadow will NEVER be allowed to go outside again. With everything he needed done, it came to a small fortune. Like there went my Vegas vacation, a new blender, a new food processor, and a new bathing suit from Omar the Tentmaker. Oh well, that can wait. It's the Summer of Shadow, and like George on Seinfeld, he's starting his summer recuperating. Thank God the vet takes payments.
How Vida Dulce is that!

Tag, You're It!

I got tagged! It's a list of five things in the freezer, closet, purse and car. Here goes:
Freezer - mango/watermelon ice pops, frozen pizza dough, heart shaped ube cake, fresh frozen raspberries, and buttercream icing

Closet - Dodger cap signed by McCourt, Scarlett O'Hara Barbie, dwindling collection of Christmas decorations, old Nikes, and a beloved official Green Bay Packers Cheesehead given by my son-in-law (he really knows how to impress!)

Car - small change in the cup holder, tissues in the console, parking stubs from the Olympic lot, torn window shade (sorry Michael), and a discount coupon for Chinese buffet in Alhambra

Purse - lipstick (you never know!), Vet bill (more on this later), two lottery tickets, Pilot G-2 gel pens blue & black, and Listerine Pocket Plus fresh citrus flavor (all that garlic takes a toll on my love life)

TAG! --- now Froggie is up next!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Happy Birfcake to Monica and Mango Lime Bars

Happy birfcake to you! She is such an awesome lady and I am very proud to be related to her. It has been too hot to bake, even early in the morning, the kitchen never gets cooled off. But in her honor and in honor of the island paradise she calls home, we have today a refreshing no-bake treat, cool and sweet, just like Monica!

NO-BAKE MANGO LIME BARS (adapted from Kraft)
1 1/2 cups dried Sunsweet Mangos (available at Costco and Super A)
1 cup water
12 Marias galletas OR 6 graham crackers, finely crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 packages 8 oz size cream cheese, softened
1 7 oz. jar marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon lime zest, finely grated
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

In a bowl, separate the pieces of dried mango, add water. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until all pieces are re-hydrated and softened, about 4 hours.

Mix cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press firmly into the bottom of an 8-inch square pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Beat the softened cream cheese, marshmallow creme, lime zest and juice till fluffy. Drain the softened mangos, reserve liquid. Carefully cut into pieces and then fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread over crust and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Cut into 16 bars, place on plate and drizzle a teaspoon of the reserved mango liquid over the top. Keep in refrigerator tightly covered with plastic wrap. Serves 16