1So how was your weekend?  What did you do?  Something exciting no doubt.  Do tell!

It was a quiet two days on my home front.  I finished reading three books, started watching the second season of Boardwalk Empire, worked on the new pilot outline, almost sold my car, attended a French bulldog meet-up, and added some unique bottles to my weird liquor collection, among them –

Absinthe.  I'm going to need to pick up those sugar cubes.
Absinthe. I’m going to need to pick up some sugar cubes!
Nikka Japanese whisky which, I've been told, is crazy-good.
Nikka Japanese whisky which, I’ve been told, is crazy-good.
Root - inspired by an 19th century medicinal - whose ingredients include birch bark, black tea, and sassafras.
Root – inspired by an 19th century medicinal – whose ingredients include birch bark, black tea, and sassafras.

So, who’s up for a sampling?

Oh – and, of course, no weekend would be complete without a visit to the Baker’s Market…


This weekend’s haul from the local Baker’s Market includes: four kinds of brownies, chocolate waffles bites, butter tarts, peanut butter whoopie pie, flourless chocolate cake, and salted caramels.  Oh, and macarons from our old friends at J’Adore les Macarons…



Yep, should time me over ’til Tuesday.

To ensure the dogs didn’t feel left out, Akemi did some baking of her own…

Dog cookies: peanut butter animal-themed and sweet potato and yogurt.
Peanut butter dog cookies in a variety of shapes: tomatoes, edamame, eggs, broccoli, monster octopi and, of course, shrimp tempura.

Tomorrow: More work on the pilot, a date with my accountant, a Lawren comes over for the third round of American Horror Story, season 2.  Also, Akemi’s birthday plans continue to come together. Suggestions?  A big floppy sun hat?  Tap lessons?  A new dog?

24 thoughts on “April 14, 2013: Weekend highlights!

  1. To add to your collection of drinkey poos.
    Kinky liquor – a fruity fusion vodka – it’s pink, and nice wiht an assortment of potential mixers like iced tea, sprite/7-up, etc.
    X Rated fusion liquor – Pink and fruity with passion fruit, nice mixed like above.
    Cool bottles too.

    Discovered at Costco – brownie bark. Thin squares of brownie, crispie…these were quite, quite, yummy…Did I say quite yummy?

    The chocs look gooood, loving salted caramel and even dark choc with sea salt.
    just a nice sweet and salty.

    Akemi’s cookie treats are just cool.
    Akemi – you are co creative and have so much patience to make the little figures and designs.

    Joe – hopeing you are able to include some pampering for Akemi – perhaps spa day with massage and nails etc., then the chef cooked meal.

    Or, something like the weekend in Victoria on Vancouver Island – Buchart Garden visit etc. And Wine and dine her at some high end restaurants.

    Some GREAT plans for her movie nite with good refreshments.

    IF… traffic wise, it is relatively safe in your neighborhood…a moped to get around while you are working. Well, that is assuming there are places that she could and would want to go to on her own.

  2. Can’t click on your bakery haul to make the picture bigger. That’s just cruel.

    Yes! A new dog!

  3. Love the picture of Akemi’s fresh, still on the pan, baked cookies, and that sweet little face in the background patiently waiting!

  4. For Akemi; a ride along the coast on a (white) horse, followed by a seaside cookout involving the freshest fish, lobster, crab, or other products of the briny deep that you prefer. Or a day at a spa, with a head to toe pampering lasting for several hours, and to include or be followed with a home cooked meal. And no making her clean the dishes after… Of course I am always for people allowing themselves to be adopted by a dog.
    As for the sampling, I raise you a bottle of un-aged whiskey, brewed at Mount Vernon this year, using George Washington’s original recipe. I have one bottle I could donate to your tasting, with another bottle on the shelves for a couple of years. Waiting to see if they will brew another batch next year or not…
    food pics look good as always. especially after a wretched meal at a local eatery(someone else chose it) that would have had Gordon Ramsay in full bash mode.). Thanks for sharing, now off to prep for Cookie Monster’s movie review….

  5. Those look like awesome bottles; I would gladly try the Absinthe! I ate breakfast at a great diner, dinner at a wonderfully frenetic Cantonese place, spring-cleaned some closets, mainlined S1 of Person of Interest, napped to the Masters, watched the very bad Mavericks movie. Yep, quiet.

    I think you should bring Akemi to San Francisco for her b-day!

  6. ..I could do Floppy sun Hat.. Better yet, a Fringy-Floppy Sun-Hat! Tho, I don’t know if I could get it mailed out in time..?

    Sold the Hot-Wheels, huh? Get your Price?

    As to the “Weekend-*Excitement*” — was Mom& Dad’s 57th Anni today [Sun]!
    No big “do” going on — They’re just surprised that They’ve managed to last THIS long! #FartyOldFolks

  7. Absinthe is on my Bucket List even though I know I’ll hate it, not a huge anise fan, so here’s what I plan on doing with the rest of the bottle…


    (don’t forget the fancy spoon)

    I’d also like to try mead, which I think I’d like. I could bring the Saskatoon Berry wine…

    I’m seconding the spa day, also breakfast in bed and a nice dinner out. One birthday you could fly her parents over as a surprise…

    My Mom makes the best butter tarts ever!!


  8. oops… I missed the “almost”… So I guess, you *DIDN’T* get your price?

  9. LOL my birthday suggestion? DRIVING LESSONS so she can get independent in traveling. 🙂

    I quite like absinthe. Enjoy.

    I don’t understand people who read more than one book at once. I get INTO a book, I don’t like to interrupt the flow with another one.

  10. It feels like I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen.

    On Saturday I baked a banana-nut loaf, a lasagne for dinner and prepared the ferment dough for bagels.

    On Sunday I got up early to watch the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix, baked the bagels and coated chicken breasts in breadcrumbs for the Chicken Schnitzel we had for dinner.

  11. Ideas for Akemi? How’s about a day off where you wait on her hand and foot for a change. 🙂 Also…a nice walk in a garden would be nice…you know the one. 😉

    My weekend: Friday night, we went out to dinner at the local watering hole and stumbled into a beef n’ beer benefit for a local gal suffering from kidney failure. Ended up hanging out for a bit and chatting with several folks we knew who were attending the benefit, a nice change on a Friday night instead of our usual old people ‘eat, go home, and fall asleep watching tv’ routine. 😛

    Saturday, as I mentioned yesterday, was very busy. It was a beautiful day! Sun with some fluffy white clouds (*sings “The Simpsons…”), warm with a gentle breeze. The sort of day that just begged you to come outside and play. Visited some people in the morning, then I rushed up to the AC area to catch a couple rugby matches (Jersey Shore Rugby Club – http://www.jerseyshorerugby.com/ ). Jersey Shore was hosting Monmouth at home, and though they didn’t win they never gave up and fought hard right to the end. I missed the U19 game, but was able to catch both the A and the B sides’ matches. Also, I got sunburned. Note to self: Use sunscreen, even on partly cloudy days. 😛

    Afterwards I stopped in to see my in-laws, and then came home and enjoyed dinner at the neighbors’ and a night sitting around the fire pit telling stories. Believe it or not, we also had a little absinthe (speaking of the devil 😉 ), complete with sugar cubes. The guys had never tried it before and so I did the whole routine with the sugar cube and water (not the more modern fire gimmick), and for a moment I managed to turn a couple rednecks into bohemians. 🙂

    Today after services we had a boy we’re mentoring over for lunch, and then I did some flower shopping after we took him home. Planted the flowers in a couple containers in the front of the house, and then spruced up my Japanese garden a bit…it really needed it. I need to replace the bamboo fencing, but probably will try to get by with it for one more year. I still need to clean out the fountain, but that’s a real chore because I have to remove all the stones and grate, then clean out all the muck and dead worms and stuff from the water reserve underneath. It’s gross. 😛 So I’ll do that another day when I have the time…and rubber gloves.

    After the yard work we went out for dinner, and took along the bottle of wine our neighbor gave us for alerting him to his yard fire and helping him put it out. It was a 2010 Ty Caton cab, and very delicious! I’m writing this one down for future reference. 🙂 Dinner was delicious, too – I had grilled chicken topped with spinach, roasted red peppers, and provolone cheese. Eating gluten free is very hard when dining out, and so I usually can’t have the sauces and things that really make a meal special. But even without it (this was supposed to have a demi glaze of some sort), my meal was very tasty.

    Afterwards we came home and I attempted to read a bit, but then about 10:30 decided I’d rather go to bed.

    And I did go to bed…only to wake up bright-tailed and bushy-eyed at 2:30 am 😛 . It’s 3:30 now, and I’m not one bit sleepy, but will try reading again and see if that doesn’t do the trick. It usually does. 🙂


  12. @ Kymm – When drinking absinthe, traditionally the ratio of water to absinthe is something like 3:1 (though the amount of water used is up to the individual). If you don’t like anise you will probably hate it straight (I like anise so I don’t mind it straight in small amounts), but watered down the flavor isn’t as strong. And mead is yummy! (Gosh, I sound like a lush! Though I do drink, I don’t drink a lot at one time. Honest! I do, however, enjoy sampling. 🙂 I am the queen of ‘can I have a sip?’ )

    @ NA – I, too, can’t imagine reading more than one book at a time. Now, I can read a comic, perhaps, while I’m also reading a novel, but never two novels at one time. I need to fully digest one literary meal before starting another. I even have trouble watching too many tv shows. If I don’t have enough time between shows to process what I’ve watched I really don’t enjoy any of it. It’s probably why I don’t watch many tv series, and prefer movies instead (can’t watch too many of those, either – even one major movie a week can be too much for me). I can, however, watch half a dozen rugby matches in a weekend, so I think my ‘problem’ has more to do with keeping characters and plots straight in my head so that I can care about what’s happening in the story and not so much about any sort of input overload. I guess like you I need to be fully absorbed in a story, too, and don’t like it prematurely interrupted by something else.

    Okay, it’s now after 4 am and I think I was supposed to be reading, or sleeping, or something. 😛


  13. @Joe:

    ‘Root’ looks interesting to me. I grew up with birch beer (which is almost impossible to find in the mid-west), so I have a fondness for drinks made from roots. I may have to look this one up.

    On Akemi’s birthday present, maybe a cooking or sewing class? She seems to enjoy those (at least the ones where she has done them with you and you then wrote about it). That might bring down a charge of ‘sexism’ on you, but you can weather that, right?

    On other news, I made it to the UK safely and I’m now on a National Express bus to Gatwick to catch my flight to Naples. I’ll be back in the UK on Friday (spending the weekend in Bristol).

    If I come across any new and interesting Napolese pizzas, I’ll take pictures and pass them on.



  14. You’re brave man Joe! I like having a nice drink but other than the whiskey I’m not sure I would try that haul of liquor! Now the bakery treats are something else! It’s been too long since my last macaroon and need to take care of that!

    What has my weekend been like? Well CRAZY Saturday was nice and quite and Sunday…not so much! I’m pretty sure I tore a muscle in my neck and that hurt like nothing else I have felt before! And I was featured on CNN’s website and will be on CTV national news tonight (Monday)… It’s been a crazy surreal day with more of the same expected today!

    Because of neck only managed a few hours of sleep so I should look GREAT for the camera!

  15. I love the floppy sun hat idea. I think it would look cute on Akemi.

    We had a conference at our church this weekend. A great time was had by all. Also, younger son had a double header so hubby took him to that on Saturday afternoon. They lost the first game, but won the second due to some outstanding play by said son. 🙂 Caught a fly ball in the outfield and got his first hit of the season!!

    Have a great week!

  16. Spa sounds nice for Akemi – in an especially nice location, mountain views, etc., maybe around hot springs. A couple’s package would make it extra special, followed by an outstanding dinner and roses (and chocolates)…

    Given that we were expecting a major snow storm on Friday, I thought it might be a good idea to take Friday off. Turns out it was a stellar idea. When I got home on Thursday night the house was cold…. furnace not firing. Too late to do anything, I dressed in warm jammies and went to bed. After consultation with hubby on Friday who was away, I tried starting the furnace but to no avail. Dressed in warm clothes and socks (temp was 47 F) and decided to make chicken soup and roast chicken. Hubby dropped his load and drove home, arriving around midnight Fri night. After a couple of bowls of soup, he fiddled around with the airlock that was preventing the fuel from getting to the furnace, got it going and by Saturday morning, the house was warm again.

    On a side note, I had always thought that orchids were delicate creatures that would wither and die from lack of heat or anyone sneezing on them, etc. Turns out it’s not so. In fact, the orchids that I rec’d last year had gone through a blooming cycle and were now blooming again, throwing out new shoots and buds. So if anyone likes them but is hesitating because they might be too delicate, I would say to go ahead and get some. They come in some beautiful colours and they seem to be quite hardy. Mine are in a south window in a room with a few windows and the house is not particularly warm in the winter as a rule.

    And then I made butter chicken with the roast chicken, pickled cukes with sliced onions and rice topped with toasted almonds, chopped corriander and green onion. Not a bad weekend for what could have been a nightmare but wasn’t.

  17. You have the BEST life! All those food pictures are so yummy looking. Even the dog cookies look very appealing. Did you try one of the dog cookies for quality control? You did, didn’t you? 😀 Little Jelly waiting for them to cool is so precious too! Love that picture!

    A present idea? I seem to remember Akemi loving that trip to Vegas. Didn’t she say something like “I never thought I would ever see places like this”? (or something to that effect) Anyways, what about another trip? New York, L.A. or maybe even go down South. I wouldn’t recommend Memphis, unless you bring a gun but what about New Orleans or Savannah, GA? I heard the food rocks in those places. It’s getting warmer though, might want to afford the South in the summer.

    Our weekend was good. The temperature is still very mild here (still light jacket weather), so I planted flowers and did some yard work. Hubby and son built me a little swing for the back patio. I’m trying to get a lot of my yard set up for this summer. Summer time heat brings on more of the auto-immune symptoms for me. I don’t know why but it does.

    My son is going on a school trip Wed-Saturday. Hubby and I have waited until this week to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. The actual date was the 10th but we’ve never been able to celebrate on the exact day. Anyways, we are going to a nice restaurant for dinner and maybe a movie afterwards Friday night. I’m looking forward to it.

    Have a good day all!

  18. Our weekend was long, what with driving to Savannah to pick up the dog and little Michael having meldown after meltdown. 🙁 I think he hates the new car seat in my car. It’s supposed to be the very best on the market, but I did notice he has a hard time looking out the sides (if he can at all). He’ll get used to it, but I’m sure he likes the one in his mother’s car much more!

    Today is actually the weekend for Mr. Deni and me, so we were planning to go out to lunch and do a little shopping. Michael had other ideas and is napping, so we’re getting takeout and hopefully we’ll still go out later. This grandparenting business is hard!

    I agree with Tammy about taking Akemi on another trip for her birthday. She’d LOVE New York. Otherwise, a puppy would be cool, too!

  19. Did you ever take Akemi up to Whistler yet? You should take her out to a nice dinner or even a weekend up there!

    The dog cookies look awesome and Jelly (?) in the background waiting is perfect.

    Every time the word “Absinthe” is used, I think of the show of the same name we just went to see in Vegas which I… did not like. The acrobatic stuff was cool, but the emcee commentary in between was beyond vulgar. I’ve never really thought of that sort of thing as entertaining because it’s the cheapest form of humour – anyone can elicit uncomfortable laughter by being over-the-top vulgar. It doesn’t really take any talent. Anyway, avoid if you’re easily offended. Or like me, even if you’re not.

    @JeffW: Do you ever stop traveling? Take a rest, man!

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