Thursday, May 19, 2011

Three Cheers for Chai!

In the early morning it's coffee and coffee alone that will awaken me from my zombified swagger into work. I don't know what I'd do without it. Plus I love the taste.

However in the afternoon especially around 2 o'clock I just need a simple pick me up but I don't want to visit any coffee shops because their brew is overpriced and typically burned anytime after 12pm. This is where I turn to chai. Also because it's a lesser amount of caffeine.

One day on a trip up to NYC to visit Mark's university friends Pallavi (Pallu) and Sham, (an extremely entertaining couple because of their sarcastic humor) my whole life was changed. Especially for the 2 o'clock sleepies that is. Pallu gave me some tips on Indian spices and told me a good recipe to use for making a dry powder masala (mix) for chai. When living in Austria a friend of mine, Ginni, gave me a great recipe for chai over the stove but I can't really bring together all the spices like that at work so to hear that I can pinch this powder into some tea, milk and sugar was just the cat's meow! She inspired me to find a spice market and I picked up a jar of chai masala. I have had it for over a year now and I use it at least once a week but it looks like I never touched it. It's SO delicious! But the small container in this picture is actually the masala that Pallu's sister had made. I haven't used it for a long while because it's the best ever so I'm trying to save it. I forgot one thing though. The pepper in her blend has such a kick. I pinched one too many pinches of that stuff and WOW was I in for it!

 Now maybe some folks won't enjoy chai with earl grey as it may be too perfumed for some but I love it as the base for my chai. Just a simple black tea of any kind works. I hope I can dig up that chai recipe from Ginni... I THINK I know where it is.

What do other folks do with they get the afternoon sleepies?

Coin Machines are fantastic!

(Posted one day late because of technical difficulties)

Last night (Monday night) it was time to take the pennies in for a spin so we walked down to the neighborhood grocery store in Shirlington and dropped 816 pennies into the Coinstar and screamed Hallelujah!

Now what is the best thing to buy with these pennies turned into dollars?


So there we were perusing the ice cream isle which is really a place that I avoid at all costs becuase ice cream is my ultimate weakness.  Cake, Cookies, Candy... y'all got nothing compared to the creamy frozen deliciousness that surfaces the streets and picnic tables in the spring and summer.  If it's in the house I tend to want to eat it everyday, anyday, anytime, so we tried to get something that was more or less in individual servings but seeing that we were at one of the most expensive chain grocery stores, Harris Teeter, their selection for individually wrapped ice cream sandwiches and bars where TOO expensive ($7 for a box of 5 bars)... Silly DC prices....

After spending 10 minutes in the ice cream isle alone we settled on the Blue Bunny brand ice cream which had a 2/$5 sale. We went from a pretty standard rule of no ice cream in the house to 2 boxes of ice cream sitting in my freezer just to taunt and tease me.

Now you're probably thinking why are you telling me about your ice cream purchase. Well there is a story. This was the first time I test spooned this famous Blue Bunny ice cream where everytime there's a sighting in the store Mark shouts excitedly "Blue Bunny ice cream is from Texas!"  Even one time he suggested it to a lady at Walmart saying "Yeah, that ice cream is great because it's from Texas!"
We took our time walking back home and a mile later the ice cream was halfway melted. I dished it out fast and sampled it slowly thinking gosh this is good ice cream! Go Texas!

Later this morning I looked online to find out that this tasty ice cream is made in Le Mars, Iowa. The fact is Mark was thinking of Blue Bell ice cream which is from Brenham, Texas. 


Tah Dah! I finally caught him doing a false claim to fame for Texas! I'm only excited about this because he's always bragging about how things from Texas are godsent (which they are actually) AND he's always catching ME in action for making false claims of fame for Illinois. (There are a number of things that I thought began in Illinois or even in Decatur and I'm ususally wrong...)

Well anyways Good work Iowa! Blue Bunny is on the top of the list for ice cream and a good price. Now we'll see if that list changes once I actually get a real taste of Blue Bell ice cream.
Turns out today at work our building is giving out a free scoop of ice cream in exchange for a survey. Ice cream is EVERYWHERE!!!!! YAY!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

To Blog or Not to Blog?

How to begin blogging once again..... ….. …… ……………………………. Ah Hah!

As I took a hiatus for oh... let's see .... a few years, I have this notion that I should really start keeping a blog trail of my mappings so that family and friends might know my whereabouts and musings. Since we’re so far from my home in central Illinois (where my immediate fam is), I feel like this might be a way to reach you guys aside from cell phones and e-mails.

To catch other readers up Mark and I surrendered our plans to move to Taiwan and we’ve now settled in the Land of the Free’s capital. Moving over here without a job led us to send an amazing 1 million resume’s out to explode into the black hole of cyber space before we finally landed jobs. Now we are living life to the fullest. Friends and family keep visiting and we go visit them as much as we can. We saved up time and money to make a trip to Europe where Mark put a rock on my finger that’s so heavy I can hardly raise my hand above my head. Now let’s override the nitty-gritty of catching up and just begin with this weekend for right now. (Speaking of “nitty” makes me think of Aunt Anne and her knitting. I wonder if there’s anything gritty about knitting? his is also a great cue for Grandpa to make a knitty joke.)

On Saturday Mark and I went with a bunch of friends to King’s Dominion, a theme park that is owned by the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company which also owns King’s Island in Cincinnati, OH, where my family always frequented when we were kids. (Thank you Aunt Betty and Uncle Tim for discovering such an awesome place!)

 Everyone met at our place early in the morning and we packed a picnic to be devoured for lunch. Some of the roller coasters looked daunting but Mark and most of the gang went on EVERYTHING. We had a fantastic time and we felt EXHAUSTED by the end of the day. The whole group walked into Chick-fil-A like zombies decidedly thinking that man we’re not as young as those teenagers we saw at the park.

Back: Susmita, Emily, Megan
Front: Mark, Me and Adam

Sunday morning Mark and I went to see the movie Rio in Old Town Alexandria. Now you’re probably thinking, who sees a movie on a Sunday morning… Well we do it to save $$. AMC Theaters around the nation offer cheaper priced tickets ($6 where we are as opposed to the usual $11) everyday of the week. We were planning to go this Sunday morning because it was suppose to rain. It ended up being a really sunny morning but we went anyways and laughed our heads off at the amazing film. If anyone knows of any nation-wide deals please share!

In the mean time on Sunday Grandma and Mom were in Valparaiso, IN watching my cousin Emily graduate from university! GO EM!!!! I’m so proud of you!

Aunt Betty and Emily
Mi Madre and Emily