Sunday, December 27, 2009

We have cake!

A few weeks ago, we discovered a mouse living in the back of our laundry room. No real damage but a box of instant mash potato powder was chewed into. We completely forgotten that box was there. The real casualty was an electronic rice cooker that was a present from my mom a few Christmases ago. There were a few droppings along the top of the cooker and inside the vent. Even if I could clean it up, I would never ever feel comfortable using it went in the garbage.

We have several rice cookers and the one we use daily is in the kitchen. It's nice small one that makes enough for the three of us. The one the mouse contaminated was a bigger one that makes congee (mushy rice). We don't use it often but it's so handy to have. I can cook congee on the stove top but it's so handy with the cooker. You throw in the ingredients, press a button, and go away until it's done. I was bemoaning about how I would miss that cooker. One of the boxes under our tree this year was a replacement rice cooker from hubby. The box said it cooks white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, sticky rice, congee, soup, and cake. Yes, cake.

I was intrigued by the cake function and had to try it out.

The instruction booklet suggested using a boxed cake mix but I used a simple cake recipe I found online. The recipe made more than what was recommended so I had to hit the cake setting twice in order for it to bake properly. The result was a tasty cake, a little on the dense side - that's my fault...I should have separated the batter into two batches.

So, yes, you can bake a cake in a rice cooker. Who knew.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas is coming!

It's Monday morning and I'm home. I have two days off. Normally, this would make me very happy but this is the first year that I am not taking time off between Christmas and New Year. To coin a phrase from a's cuckoo banana heads at work right now. I'm not denying that I'm not excited with all the Olympic stuff happening around me but it just doesn't feel like Christmas is 4 days away. Presents are ready & waiting to be wrapped, tree is up and decorated. A new Christmas puzzle sitting in the box. Same as every other year but this time it feels different. The 2010 Olympics have overshadowed Christmas for me. :(

In order to get that Christmas-y feeling back, we made a trip to Granville Island on Saturday afternoon before heading over to the Festival of Lights at Vandusen Gardens later. I love that place! They did a fantastic job on the lights. Despite the large crowds, it was still a lot of fun!

A dark and ugly picture but unless you're planning on bringing a tripod & such, pictures will turn out dark and ugly. These were the most amazing lights! They're the plastic top part of water bottles cut into flower and star shapes! There must have been bazillion of these all over the garden. In the dark, with the lights, they look like coloured ice flowers!

And here's another picture that turned out without a lot of effort.

Happy Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's cold outside

Last summer, during that long heat wave, I said I wasn't going to complain when it got cold in the winter. But that was before I knew how cold it was going to get! It's FREAKIN' COLD here!!!

The up side is that I got to wear all my hand knitted hats, scarves, mittens. I just didn't expect to have to wear everything all at the same time.

It's in the forecast to snow tomorrow and all through the weekend. I have mixed feelings about wanting a white Christmas. This is the first year in a long time that we're not shutting down for the holidays.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mini Santa

The perfect accessory for any computer desk. I'm going to bring this in to work for my desk...on Wednesday.

ETA: Did I mentioned I have two days off? Wheeee!!!