Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cousins

I had family visiting from Taiwan this past summer and it was glorious.

My aunt, her sons, and one of their friends came.

We had a really full house in our teeny tiny home.

And I enjoyed every minute of it.

My cousins, whom I've diapered and bathed and burped, were born when I was in junior high.

They are now teenagers.

TEENAGERS.

I can't believe it.

I FEEL OLD.

The older one, let's call him Jessica, because it amuses me, moved here last summer to start his first year of college.

EEK!

This is Jessica. He looks like an exact replica of his father.

He's just a baby, how is he going to college?


My younger cousin, whom I dub Coralina, is a couple of grades behind.


Pretty soon, he'll be going to college too.


I'm not going to think about that.

Jessica and Coralina's friend came along to spend the summer in New York City too.


They insisted I call him Joanna.

So Joanna it is.

Have you ever had a house full of teenage boys?

Let me tell you what these teenage boys were like.

"I'm going to work on my muscles."


I thought Jessica meant he wanted biceps or a six pack.


"I don't want a six pack."



"I want an eight pack."



"I already have 7 pieces right now, I'm working on the 8th.
Want to see?"

NO.

I do not want to see.

I do not want to see the abs of babies I've wiped poop from.

On another occasion, I picked up Jessica from an outing with his friends to see Man of Steel.

I asked him how the movie was and this was his review:

"It was okay, but the male protagonist was so hot even I had a crush."

Ah, Jessica, one thing we have in common: Henry Cavill is hot.

Coralina, on the other hand, was a different sort of teenage boy:










Can you see why I enjoyed my summer?

Who wouldn't want this in their lives?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor + Giveaway

Dreams of Gods and Monsters releases today and I am ecstatic!

ECSTATIC.

The wait for the final installment of this trilogy has been an eternity and it's finally over.

Look at the pretty cover.


Isn't it beautiful?

Doesn't it scream Read Me?!

I cannot wait to devour it.


If it's anything like the first two books in the series, it's going to leave me bereft when it's all over.

But, I'm looking forward to sitting down and revisiting:
  • the writing in these books. Laini Taylor's writing is beautifully specific and full of feeling.
  • the world that Karou and Brimstone and Akiva inhabit. It's achingly vivid and feels so real that it's palpable in my mouth.
  • Karou and Zuzana's friendship. They are really the best friends that every girl should have. They treat each other with love, loyalty, and understanding. I wish they were real people!
  • the humor in these books. It's my kind of humor: one part cheese, one part audacity, and one part nerd, with a little sprinkling of smirk thrown in here and there.
  • the epic love story. Gah, the love story! And hate story. And love story. There are many love stories in these books.

I love this trilogy so much that I want other people to fall in love with it too. So, in celebration of DOGAM's release day, I'm giving away one copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It's the first book in the series and maybe it'll incite the trilogy-love in someone else too.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Green Tea Yogurt with Toasted Oats


I've been making green tea yogurt like nobody's business.

And I can't stop eating it!

Or is it because I can't stop eating it that I'm making green tea yogurt like nobody's business?

It's so divine.

And luscious.

And yummy.

I can't believe I didn't think up the idea myself.

I've made green tea cake and green tea cookies before, and have been meaning to make green tea truffles, but green tea yogurt? Never occurred to me until a few weeks ago when I went to an Argo Tea and tried their Green Tea Strawberry Yogurt. It came with a tiny serving of toasted oats and it was just the right combination of flavors. But, I could've done without the strawberries, they were interfering with my yogurt a little bit, and I wanted the green tea flavor to be more pronounced. So, I made my own.

Who wants some decadence?

Here we go!

First, you'll need some plain whole milk yogurt.


Some maple syrup.


And some matcha = Japanese green tea powder.


Mix the maple syrup into the matcha:


Make sure it's well-combined to prevent lumps later. I'm not doing such a good job in this photo because I just want my yogurt!


Add the yogurt:
Isn't it pretty? I love the green streaks against the white.

And when you're done, you get this:
If you're doing it right.

I was so excited to eat the yogurt, I forgot to take a picture.

If you can wait, make some toasted oats to go with the green tea yogurt. It's delicious without it but seriously divine with some of this crunch.

Here are your toasted oats ingredients:
Rolled oats, maple syrup, dark brown sugar, vanilla, and ground cinnamon.

Combine it all in a bowl and mix. Then stop to take a pretty picture:


Spread it on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. You'll want to take it out after 9 minutes to stir it up so that it doesn't get burned or toasted on just one side.


After making toasted oats for awhile, you'll start to trust your nose on when to take the oats out of the oven. My first few batches were actually too toasted and tasted a little burnt. I ate them anyway.


Cause these little suckers are addictive on their own! Especially when you get it right and take them out at just the right time. YUM!

Hope some of you try this green tea yogurt with toasted oats! I've been eating it for the past few weeks and haven't gotten sick of it yet. That's a good sign, right?

Green Tea Yogurt with Toasted Oats

Ingredients
For the yogurt:
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3/4 teaspoon matcha (green tea powder)
For the toasted oats, which is really just granola without any nuts or additions:
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • scant 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions
1. In a small bowl, combine matcha and maple syrup. Mix in yogurt. Makes 1 serving. Eat plain or top with some toasted oats.
2. For the toasted oats, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until everything is evenly distributed. Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes, stirring after 9 minutes.