I baked my mom a pie, but her love for strawberry rhubarb doesn’t run as deep as mine. Good thing we got her sold-out Adele tickets as a back-up!
The highlight of my weekend was seeing my mom jump up and down and scream like a fangirl when she opened her gift. A very close second would have to be getting carded at the casino. Apparently, I look like I’m under 18 (#stillgotit). I was with my parents and Pammie who was not carded. And highly offended.
I spent my holiday vacation back home in San Diego making memories with family and old friends.
Just after Christmas, my cousin and her family were involved in a devastating house fire that took the life of her daughter and everything they owned. It has been a difficult year for my family in general, and this tragedy solidified 2015 as the worst year ever! Hopefully 2016 is kinder to us all. A friend of the family set up a GoFundMe account if you would like to make a donation to help.
My dear friend, Jay, also lost his mom over the holidays, and I met up with him and friends I haven’t seen in forever at her memorial. I love seeing these guys, because no matter how much time has passed, we can all still pick up right where we left off. The highlight of my day was when Pammie and I walked into the chapel and Jay’s brother greeted us with arms wide open and a simple, “Bitches.” Classic Rome. Jay trying to give me dating advice was a very close second. The lowlight of my day had to be when my ex-boyfriend brought his fiancé and his parents to the memorial, and all I brought was my extra holiday weight. LOL. Just kidding. (I brought my sister, too.)
My resolution this year is to be better about staying in touch with family and friends. I have a tendency to close myself off, and I’m trying to work on that. You really never know when you’re going to lose your loved ones…
FOR THE COOKIES:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dried cranberries
FOR THE FROSTING:
1 (8 oz.) bar cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted in the microwave or double-boiler
2 tsp. orange extract
3 cups powdered sugar
FOR THE TOPPING:
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted in the microwave or double-boiler
TO MAKE THE COOKIES:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt until well-blended. Set aside.
Using an an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and the eggs one at a time, beating in between to incorporate. Then reduce the speed to low, and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Increase the speed to medium, and continue beating until well-combined. Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries, and mix until just-combined. (Do not overmix.)
Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Then place dough by rounded tablespoon-fulls onto a baking sheet that has been prepared with parchment paper, at least 2.5-inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges. Remove pan, and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack until cool. Repeat with remaining dough until all cookies are baked. Wait until cookies reach room temperature before adding frosting and toppings.
TO MAKE THE FROSTING:
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and melted white chocolate until combined. (**Be sure that your cream cheese REALLY is at room temperature before adding the white chocolate. Otherwise the chocolate could seize up.) Add in the orange extract and mix until combined. Then reduce speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Mix until incorporated. Then use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat once more for 1 minute on medium speed until the frosting is smooth. You can add more powdered sugar for a thicker frosting.
Spread the frosting on the cooled cookies. Then immediately sprinkle the frosted cookies with the chopped dried cranberries. And use a fork to drizzle on the frosting, swishing it back and forth over the cookies.
For Friendsgiving this year, I made an oxtail ragu that would bring you to your knees. It took me five hours to cook, and I didn’t finish until three in the morning! It was worth it, but I’ll probably never make it again (just like the chocolate babka I made in 2012). I hope you enjoyed my tender meat, because that’s the last time you’re ever gonna eat it! Ha.
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 can (13.6 oz.) dulce de leche (you can find this at Target or most grocery stores next to the condensed milk in the baking aisle)
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 tbsp chocolate liqueur or heavy cream
Make the crust. Position an oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 325F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Spray parchment paper with non-stick spray.
Mix the graham crackers, sugar and butter. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then place on a cooling rack to cool for 5 minutes.
Make the filling. Spread the dulce de leche evenly over the graham crust, then place pan in refrigerator while you prepare the cream cheese layer.
Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to beat on medium-high for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.
Pour the cream cheese mixture over the dulce de leche layer and spread evenly, and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely-about 2 hours.
Glaze the cake. Heat the chocolate, butter, liqueur and light corn syrup in a double boiler or in a microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Cool for about 10 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cheesecake, tilting the pan to ensure the top is coated evenly. Chill for several hours-or at least 30 minutes before serving.
Lift the cheesecake from the pan using the parchment handles and slice into squares using a sharp knife, wiping it clean after each cut. Let the pan sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before you lift the bars out and cut them. The chocolate glaze will crack if you cut them while they are still very cold.
Our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of enough chinese food to feed a small village plus a turkey (which a chinese restaurant deep fried for us for $25). Ha. Is it weird that I’ve never had stuffing before?
Bingo, bitches! Now I know where I get my competitiveness and foul mouth from… I’ve never heard my grandma curse so much in my life!
The Debutante @ The Haven. Good beer and good pizza with good friends.
I haven’t been home in a while, and Rocky clearly misses me! I found this cuddle bug in my old bed every night I was in town.
We had more dessert than actual food on Thanksgiving, and this chocolate croissant bread pudding I made tasted like a slice of heaven! I’m pretty sure I saw the face of Jesus while eating it. This will probably happen again for Christmas.
3 extra-large whole eggs
8 extra-large egg yolks
5 cups half-and-half
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
10 chocolate croissants (I used a box of 10 from the Vons bakery)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg yolks, half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Set the custard mixture aside.
Slice the croissants into 1-inch cubes. In a 10 by 15 by 2 1/2-inch oval baking dish, distribute the cubed croissants evenly. Pour the custard over the croissants and allow to soak for 10 minutes, pressing down gently.
Place the pan in a larger one filled with 1-inch of hot water. Cover the larger pan with aluminum foil, tenting the foil so it doesn’t touch the pudding. Cut a few holes in the foil to allow steam to escape. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for 40 to 45 more minutes or until the pudding puffs up and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Oh hey, I’m just blogging from my new Macbook Pro with retina display. No bigs!
I bought it with two credit cards and the promise of my firstborn, but I don’t have to use my old macbook held together by binder clips anymore, so I’m just going to focus on that.
I never thought I’d be shopping on Black Friday or eating Hot Dog on a Stick at two in the morning (or at any time really), yet there I was at Parkway Plaza with my sister and my preggo bestie doing both of those things…
St. Paddy’s Day doesn’t usually register as a blip on my radar, so I intended on having a low key movie night instead… which turned into beers with Shi and Anthony at Tiger! Tiger!… followed by house margaritas at my house… followed by me waking up on my bathroom floor (not pictured). So… just another Saturday.
I was doing everything short of bending time and space to get these damn flans out of my supposedly nonstick brioche pans when my aunt turned to me and said, “It’s so hard being Martha Stewart, isn’t it?”
Not only did I receive a reminder from Anthropologie that I’m turning thirty next month, but I also got stuck with a “family” frame (for the husband and kids I don’t have) at the white elephant gift exchange at my office today.
If only I had picked the booze that Jesse brought so I could drown my sorrows.
Jesse: so im going to the home depot parking lot in 15 minutes to buy nye tickets from dude off craigslist
me:i hope you have your gat strapped
Jesse: if im not back in 30 minutes, call the police cuz ive likely been stabbed and robbed
me: can i have your white elephant gift if you don’t come back?
True story. I’m not sure why I have a Google+ account. Most of the gmail contacts they suggest to me are people that I know, but deliberately choose not to be friends with, and the rest of them are craigslisters I’ve risked my life meeting for casual encounters concert tickets. And so I’m left with 7 friends in my circle. I’d ask them what they’re doing for Halloween, but I really have no idea how to use this thing.
Arlene’s 7-year-old daughter, Gisella, made me a Valentine’s Day card at school because she knew I didn’t have a Valentine this year. Thanks for the reminder, kid! Haha. I love that little munchkin. I would pin her card up in my cube at work, but it’d be overshadowed by Belle’s gaggle of heart-shaped balloons!
Last week, I won tickets for Day 10 of The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s 12 Days of Giveaways! Pammie was the one who signed me up in the first place, so I took her with me to the taping in LA. It was one of the best days of my life, and I’m not lying like I usually am when I say that.
We laughed at Ellen’s jokes, drooled over Mark Wahlberg, listened to Olivia Wilde talk about Tron, danced with Ciara as she performed her new single, and screamed as Ellen unveiled all the Amazon.com gifts we were going home with:
The Town DVD from Amazon, $17.99
Ben Affleck grows a fierce beard (and does some other stuff, too) in this movie.
Apron (any style) from Anthropologie, $28.00-$38.00
I love to bake, and I’m pretty sure my treats would taste even better if I made them while wearing this fabulous apron.
Laptop Desk (Walnut with Chocolate Cushion) from Brookstone, $29.95
I like to browse the interwebs how I like to do most other things—in bed with no pants on.
Madison Op Art Sateen Large Wristlet (Black/Silver) from Coach, $98.00
I once left my whole purse inside Macy’s. And lost my wallet in Vegas. And found my ATM card in the freezer. Clearly, I need a purse that attaches to my wrist.
External Hard Drive (1TB) from Amazon, $78.99
Jay’s folder labeled "NOT PORN" is taking up too much space on my desktop. There really isn’t any porn in there, but it does have R. Kelly’s entire discography (which might actually be worse, I think).
Neon Trees – Wish List
[audio:http://www.mayanrocks.com/blog/Neon Trees – Wish List.mp3]
The girls and I are doing a gift exchange via Elfster this year. Gifts in our collective wish list include: red tights (not footless), San Diego Chargers hipster panties, an Aveda gift card, and Kid Rainen from the Jabbawockeez.
(I’m pretty sure the latter exceeds our previously agreed upon $30 limit, Chris!)
Last Halloween, I woke up face down in a hotel bathroom and endured the walk of shame (and by shame I mean glory) downtown in my costume the next morning. This year, I decided to keep a low profile and skip Halloween altogether. Instead, I spent the weekend moving all my extra furniture out of my overpriced storage unit. All I have left in there is my lovesac and dining table, so make sure to check out my listings while you’re perusing the casual encounters section of Craigslist if you’re interested.
I spent most of Saturday afternoon loading everything into the U-haul with the help of my mom and sister. Moving furniture ruins relationships, and I’m surprised we’re all still speaking after this weekend! I thanked them with Phil’s, so I’m pretty sure I’m forgiven for those three painful hours of labor. Sunday, though? Not so much…
While I was grateful that Jessie took my sectional off my hands, I was less enthused about the fact that she lives on the fifth floor of her building. Three girls moving two couches down a busy street in Little Italy was truly a sight to behold. We tried to get some boys to help us beforehand, but we were 0 for 3. One of my friends said he had to go to work on his day off to show his Halloween costume, another had to help his mom with her political campaign, and the maintenance guy at her building did not seem at all interested in lending a hand. Whatever happened to chivalry? My entire body’s sore now, jerks.
We did everything short of bending time and space to get those couches into Jessie’s condo. She rewarded us with some chocolate cupcakes with pumpkin cream cheese frosting that she whipped up in her KitchenAid stand mixer. Not only does she now have my beloved microsuede sectional, but she also has the appliance of my dreams. At least she’s allowing me visitation rights! Afterward, we still had to go up to the OC to drop off the U-haul at Pammie’s. While we were putting together her bed, we heard the doorbell ring and thought it was the takeout we ordered, but it was a bunch of kids in costumes! In all this furniture hoopla, we had completely forgotten about Halloween.
Halloween is just around the corner, and I’ve decided to sell my old costumes on eBay since I’m never going to wear them again (unless you’re into that sort of thing). Perusing my collection, I’ve realized that I’m (A) too old to be dressing up for Halloween and (B) a slut.
I was really dreading this past weekend, but it actually wasn’t half bad 🙂 On Friday, Shi, Ella, Sha and I did what any other masochistic group of single girls would do on Valentine’s Day weekend—we watched Dear John (aka Sobfest 2010). Christine gave it half a thumb, but I actually liked it! I cried throughout the entire movie. It definitely didn’t touch The Notebook, but I’d recommend at least renting it when it’s released (if only to see Channing Tatum running around half naked).
I drowned my sorrows at The Local with the girls and Antonio Saturday night. Fifty dollars, six cranberry vodkas, two slices of New York pizza, and one drunken text to the ex later (yikes), I called it a night at four in the morning.
I woke up on Sunday with a hangover and a text back from Il Postino. I didn’t get back to him—he drunk messaged me three times the weekend before, so I thought I didn’t have to explain myself. The girls all texted me to make sure that I wasn’t going to throw myself off a bridge before spending the day with their significant others, and I even got a V-Day greeting from the Cake Boss (which I also ignored). Shi invited me to brunch, but I felt too sick to eat anything at that ungodly hour. I spent the majority of my day designing Chel’s wedding invitation while watching Lifetime’s Lovers Lane Movie Marathon (don’t judge me). Sitting through all 120 minutes of Flirting with Forty was worth discovering Robert Buckley. Hot damn. I don’t usually like blondes, but I’ll make an exception for this one.
Il Postino texted me after midnight—and after he had gotten home from his Valentine’s date, I’m sure—saying thanks for (not) returning the drunken text and he hoped I had a great Valentine’s Day. Number one… how dare you? And number two… don’t call me past 11pm. It was late, and I didn’t think it was a good idea to respond, so I didn’t. I like how we only talk to each other when we’re intoxicated and/or at an indecent hour. Don’t make me that girl that you only call after midnight—especially not on Valentine’s Day. And especially not when I used to be that girl you’d take roller skating on a random Tuesday before the street lights came on.
I would just like to be involved with someone who values me enough to call me at a respectable hour… someone who would maybe take me to Birch Aquarium to look at moon jellies, grab some dinner afterwards (nothing fancy), and maybe share a Churros Con Chocolate cupcake from Cups. Or even a churro from Costco would be fine by me. You know, I don’t ask for much (and I also don’t get much, either… go figure).
On Monday, Chel, Shi and I had a three hour sesh at Tap Ex. We always find time for each other. These girls are my heart. They make me realize that I’m better off without these jerkoffs I keep involving myself with. And they completely understand when I blow them off to watch meteor showers with the same jerkoffs ♥
SpongeBob SquarePants – “Don’t be a Jerk (It’s Christmas)”
Don’t be a jerk, it’s Christmas!
When others are talking, never interrupt
Don’t put people down or leave the toilet seat up
It’s the time for family and holly and turkey
‘Tis the season to be jolly, not jerky
I woke up this morning face down in a hotel bathroom still wearing my Halloween costume. I also had bruises on my legs from falling down the stairs last night and eight missed calls, six text messages, two voicemails and one Facebook message alert from Il Postino. Sooo not the evening I had planned.
Clockwise from top left:
Me and Liz in the only picture I took that night
Pammie in her awesome shark hoodie. I broke my mom’s sewing machine making this, but it was worth it.
Save a horse, ride a cowgirl! Jay becomes a woman every Halloween.
Shirtle the Turtle… She sewed this herself, too.
My favorite kindergartener, Lia, in the Hot Dog On A Stick costume I made her. Love this kid!
Chel as Max from Where the Wild Things Are. She made this, too! I mean, how cool are we???
I had such a good time last night. I wasn’t expecting to celebrate Halloween, but Il Postino wanted to take me out. Yes—he’s back in my life. Again. I spent the whole summer without him, just focusing on myself for once. I mean, I lost forty pounds! By losing all that weight, I thought I would somehow gain a better life. But I still thought about him. I guess he still thought about me, too.
Seeing Muse headline KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas in LA. The balloons are always my favorite part. More Muse vids from the show here and my own vids of the rest of the bands here.
Getting the best Christmas presents EVER. Pammie bought us both a cooking class with Sam the Cooking Guy (pre-Cinco de Drinko with margaritas, of course!). Alicia bought me a ton of things I love: a Jamba Juice card loaded with enough credit to get me a week’s supply of original sized White Gummi Bears, crushed red pepper in a portable seasoning shaker to carry in my purse because I like it spicy, moisturizing gel gloves from Bath & Body Works that I’ve been eyeballing for years and mint-infused lip balm because I’m all about moist lips and fresh breath. Shi got me a gift certificate for Yogurt World (I profess my love of froyo to anyone who will listen). Chel and Jay both got me cupcake recipe books (though I’m convinced it was more for Jay’s benefit than my own). My WISH LIST is still up for my birthday in two weeks!
Snagging an internship at Emitations where I browse celebrity gossip sites and magazines to see what jewelry the stars are wearing. I’m basically getting paid for something I already do on my own time! Like this. And this.
Getting our Rockband on at Errol’s house.
Gerald coming home for the holidays.
My mom having an unexpected surgery and me having to put up her Christmas tree by myself. I’m insanely obsessive-compulsive at times… I had to make sure that all the ornaments were evenly spaced out and that all the colors were balanced around the tree and that no like colors were touching. This went on for HOURS, and I was so sick with myself throughout the entire decorating process. I clearly need help.
Working two jobs and having no time to do much else.
Going downtown and getting so piss drunk that everyone in the car was vomiting (except for the driver, of course… poor Gerald! This was only the second time I’ve heard him yell in ten years—the first time being the day he taught me how to drive a stick shift in his beloved truck… his clutch has since been replaced). We walked ten blocks from Landlord Jim’s to the car and I ended up with a skinned knee and a bleeding puncture wound about the diameter of a stiletto heel in my foot—I was wearing flats, so it wasn’t self-inflicted. But I don’t remember anyone stepping on my foot, either. It could’ve happened during one of the multiple times I slipped and fell on the walk back to the car. Yeah, it was one of those nights.
Getting smoked salmon as a white elephant gift at my family Christmas party. My relatives are pretty vicious when it comes to this game, but I had it all planned out. I formed an alliance with Chel and Pammie so that if anyone stole the gifts we wanted, another one of us could steal it back. I ended up picking the last number and by the time it was my turn, every gift I wanted was locked and couldn’t be stolen. I ended up taking the last unopened gift, and it’s been rightfully submitted to the Bad Gift Emporium.
Dooney and Bourke Hayden Bag
Because everytime I buy a bag I ask myself, "Will my polaroid camera fit in here?"
And I might have a tiny girl crush on Hayden Panettiere. Price: $500.00
Available at dooney.com.