Jennifer in Wonderland

August 30, 2009

Mmm Mmm Mush

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennifer @ 7:09 PM

My love of crunchy foods is well documented, but I just realized that I also seem to have an affinity for mushy foods. Whether it’s good old American mashed potatoes, Chinese jook/congee, Japanese okayu or Italian polenta.

Yesterday I had the weirdest craving for grits and today they were indulged. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever even had grits before and I’m not exactly clear on how it differs from polenta. A quick google led me to an easy recipe.

Cheese Grits (Recipe courtesy Alton Brown)


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded


Place the milk, water, and salt into a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Once the milk mixture comes to a boil, gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once all of the cornmeal has been incorporated, decrease the heat to low and cover. Remove lid and whisk frequently, every 3 to 4 minutes, to prevent grits from sticking or forming lumps; make sure to get into corners of pot when whisking. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is creamy.

Remove from the heat, add the pepper and butter, and whisk to combine. Once the butter is melted, gradually whisk in the cheese a little at a time. Serve immediately.

Of course, I made a few substitutions and a few mistakes. First, I thought it would be a good idea to use 1 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of skim milk. Well, the buttermilk curdled and came out looking like cottage cheese so I had to strain it and throw the curds away. Then I only used about 2 tablespoons of butter. I also didn’t have any Cheddar, so I subbed in about half a cup of parmesan and 3 slices of “cheddar” Kraft singles. I know, super ghetto.

Have you ever seen grits/polenta cooking? It’s pretty crazy, it’s all thick and bubbling like a volcano. Take a looksee


I really should have made  a video instead of a picture, because you can’t really tell there.

Anyhoo, after that was all done, I chopped and cooked up 1 large red bell pepper, 2 medium zucchinis, 1 package of sliced crimini mushrooms and about a pound of shrimp. Season with S&P, red pepper flakes, paprika and garlic powder. I served it over the grits and voila.



August 23, 2009

Do Birds Get Diarrhea?

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennifer @ 10:27 AM

I sure think they do. How could anyone think otherwise if they noticed this on their balcony window


It might not look like that big of a deal from this angle, but trust me it is. Let’s go in for a blurry bird shit close up


Ugh, disgusting! And this comes only a few short weeks after Garry so kindly cleaned up loads more bird poop off my balcony. How does a bird even poop on the window?? I have a good 4 feet of balcony space, plus there is another balcony above me! Are they shooting their poop at an angle?? Or maybe the wind is blowing it? What’s up with the splatterage?? Diarrhea that’s what. In any case I hate it. I think there might be a nest or something higher up. I’m going to have to camp  out on the balcony with a bb gun like a hillbilly…

August 12, 2009

Dumpster Diving

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennifer @ 12:25 PM

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where George gets busted eating that eclair that was in the trash? If I remember correctly, someone had taken like 1 bite out of the eclair and it was sitting on a wrapper on the top of the trash.

That just got me thinking… have you or would you eat something out of the trash?? Personally, I wouldn’t eat that particular eclair because 1) someone took a bite out of it, 2) it wasn’t fully wrapped and 3) it was at the home of someone he barely knew.

Now, I have a confession to make. I was making myself a turkey wrap for lunch today and thought “wow this would be awesome with those salt & pepper chips that I threw away yesterday.” And there those chips were… on top of the trash, in a bag, looking at me. I threw them away just because I didn’t want the temptation of eating them, but now it was tempting me again. So, yes, I fished them out of the trash and had an excellent lunch. Please don’t judge 🙂

August 1, 2009

I Want to Be…

Filed under: Uncategorized — jennifer @ 6:22 PM


One of Those People Who Shop at Goodwill and Make it Look Awesome:

You know who you are. I’ve seen your blogs. You can mix a Commes des Garcon jacket with H&M shoes and a dress you picked up at Goodwill for $2 and make it all look fabulous. I can do designer duds and I loves me some Zara and Banana Republic, but thrift stores are so not me.

In fact, my trip to Goodwill today inspired this whole post. I went there today to drop off some old clothes and decided to check out the store. Where to begin? The uh, “musty” odor? The racks of clothing that were probably dumped in the trash by Stacy & Clinton? The overall depressing atmosphere? I don’t think I’m creative… or patient enough to shop here.

My idea of digging for a bargain is Nordstrom’s Rack. My idea of a vintage store is Decades or Resurrection. Call me a snob and I will most likely have to agree on this one!


One of Those People Who Actually Enjoy Running and Working Out:

I’ve hated running ever since I was a kid. Seriously. Yeah, I liked to play tag, but god forbid that I was ever “it” because I could never catch anyone. One time I actually came in first in a race in Japanese school! There was a twist though – the race involved putting a t-shirt on in the middle and everyone knows that trying on clothes quickly is one of the things that I do best. Those other kids never even had a chance.

My point is, I’m not athletic, but I have some sporty aspirations. I’d love to be a person who runs marathons or does triathlons. I “run” sometimes. I put run in quotation marks because apparently I’m not running very fast. I’ve run and walked the same course and sadly, the difference in time was negligible.

You all heard about my tennis lesson in an earlier post as well. I noticed that each week my Coach uses people in our class as examples saying things about their natural athleticism and putting their natural athletic ability to work for them blah blah blah. Well, he’s basically used everyone as an example EXCEPT FOR ME!! God, is it that obvious that I suck at sports? I get told that I have good technique, good form, but what about my athletic ability?? It’s non-existent that’s what. I did get a “nice outfit” though. I suppose that counts for something.

Scouts Camping

One of Those People Who Like to Go Camping (also People Who Backpack):

I’ve never actually been camping so I can’t truly say that I don’t like it. I did attempt it on one occasion and it went terribly to say the least. I’ve been to a campsite several times and I was hardly impressed. My reaction went something like this… “THIS IS IT?? WHERE DO YOU PEE??”

But I admire these people. I wish I had an interest in doing stuff outdoors and sleeping in tents. I wish I had camping equipment and even an RV. I wish I could tell people that I would be camping in Yosemite or the Grand Canyon this weekend.

But when it comes down to it, I don’t get why it’s all that to sleep in a sleeping bag. Isn’t a room at the Four Seasons complete with Infinity pool and cabana boy more fun?

That brings me to backpacking. How I envy those people who go backpacking in Europe, South America or South East Asia. The idea really just terrifies me. Hostels, meeting people, and carrying that giant backpack?? Not to mention all the walking! I’m all for doing non-touristy things, but can’t I do that while spending my nights at the Raffles nursing a Singapore Sling?


One of Those People Who Can Dance Hip Hop and Wear Hip Hop Clothes Without Looking Stupid:

It’s so unfair that I can’t dance. I have no rhythm and no soul. I can’t even blame it on my Asian genes because I’ve seen plenty of Asian hip hop dancers on So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew. Maybe it’s specifically by Japanese-ness.

Again, this was a problem that was discovered early on and continues today, well into my twenties. During one of my hip hop dance classes, I moved over just far in enough that I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and was horrified. My timing was off, my movements were robotic and it was just generally nauseating.

I also wish I could wear hip hop clothes. Like baggy pants. God could you imagine? I just keep picturing that guy from the Pretty Fly For a White Guy video. That would be me. I might give up on hip hop and take up Samba or Cha Cha or some other dance that involves sequined, feathered costumes and heels. Yeah, that is so much more me 🙂

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