Say Aaah!

11 May

The topic of food used to dominate this blog, now all I seemingly talk about is my pregnancy and writer’s block, sorry about that.  Well, my good friend Kristina gave me the idea to start these recurring posts about the different kinds of food that Mr. Mondoo and I make.  It’s really a great idea.  We like to cook, try different kinds of foods, and then brag about how awesome they turn out.  Sounds like a blog post to me!

So, let’s get started on this first “Say Aaah!” post, shall we?  I know that these posts won’t hold the same amount of sarcasm and wit but some of you may enjoy the recipes and the “food porn” pictures.  Oh and I don’t promise that any of these recipes will be healthy or easy to make.  They may be, but more often than not, they are just going to be simply delicious.  So, try ’em out!

This past weekend, the Mondoo’s celebrated both Mother’s Day and my birthday.  At nine months pregnant, all I really wanted for these special days was good food, and by George, that’s what I got!  Baby brain prevented me from taking pictures of all of the wonderful food that was made in our house this past weekend so I’ll just focus on the dessert (which we still have plenty of, fortunately for me!)

Tres Leche Cake

According to Wikipedia, tres leche cake is a “sponge cake—in some recipes, a butter cake—soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream. When butter is not used, the tres leches is a very light cake, with many air bubbles. This distinct texture is why it does not have a soggy consistency, despite being soaked in a mixture of three types of milk.”

Mr. Mondoo and I were introduced to tres leche cake by Alton Brown via The Food Network on his  Good Eats episode “Milk Made.”  Sure, Alton Brown is a little fussy when it comes to exact measurements (he uses weight, kind of a pain) but the man makes a great cake.  Don’t believe me?   Try it out for yourself!

A couple of notes:

– Although it needs to be made a day in advance so that the cake has time to absorb the milk, it’s worth the wait.

– This is also a perfect cake for the upcoming summer months as it is kept and served cold.

– Some of you may be reluctant to make this cake because of an intolerance to lactose.  My advice?   Take a Lactaid and get to eating.

– Although I’ve made this cake a few times before, it is important to note that Mr.  Mondoo made it this time.  One helluva guy!

– If you decide to take my advice and make this fabulous cake (or any recipes that appear in future “Say Aaah!” posts), please leave a comment and let me know how they turned out!

Tres Leche Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

For the cake:

Vegetable oil

6 3/4 ounces cake flour, plus extra for pan

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature

8 ounces sugar

5 whole eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the glaze:

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

1 cup half-and-half

For the topping:

2 cups heavy cream

8 ounces sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

The cake:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour a 13 by 9-inch metal pan and set aside.

Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl and set aside.

Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until fluffy, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the speed to low and with the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar over 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix to thoroughly combine. Add the vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the batter in 3 batches and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. This will appear to be a very small amount of batter. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden and reaches an internal temperature of 200 degrees F.

Remove the cake pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Poke the top of the cake all over with a skewer or fork. Allow the cake to cool completely and then prepare the glaze.

The glaze:

Whisk together the evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and the half-and-half in a 1-quart measuring cup. Once combined, pour the glaze over the cake. Refrigerate the cake overnight.

The topping:

Place the heavy cream, sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whisk together on high until stiff peaks are formed. Change to medium speed and whisk until thick. Spread the topping over the cake and allow to chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

(Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/tres-leche-cake-recipe/index.html)

Go Viral: Part Two- Cleveland Edition

10 May

Well, Baby STILL isn’t here so I have more videos to keep us all entertained.  Today’s videos are brought to you by the City of Cleveland where Mondoo lived for a couple years.  I still think these videos are funny even if you haven’t lived in or visited Cleveland, so enjoy!

“Sports?  Pornography?  Stuff like that?”

“Come and look at both of our buildings!”

“This train is carrying jobs out of Cleveland!”

“Our economy is based on LeBron James!”

“The Flats look like a Scooby Doo ghost town!”

Things You Should Never Say to a Nine-Month Pregnant Woman

7 May

Just when I thought that I had covered all the inappropriate things that the clueless say to pregnant women, I hit Month Nine and people turned the ignorance up a notch.  Again, Mr. Mondoo says that I’m the sweetest pregnant lady that he’s ever met.  I think that he was right… until a couple weeks ago.  Admittedly, I’ve started to get cranky.  I just want to meet my baby and not feel so uncomfortable, is that too much to ask?  Baby, come out!  The only thing that bothers me more than Month Nine is, again, the ignorance of the non-pregnant population.  I know that I’ve mentioned this in Love/Hate:  Being Pregnant, but the biggest offenders of these phrases:  MOMS!  I don’t understand it!  As soon as that baby pops out, do the majority of you forget about the agony (definition:  being uncomfortable with a side of anticipation of when/how Baby will arrive) of Month Nine?!  You must or you would never commit such an act of discord.  At this moment, I make it my solemn vow to ALWAYS commiserate with the feelings of pregnant women that I may encounter in the future.  In the meantime, let me, once again, educate the masses.  You’re welcome.

“Sleep while you can.” I don’t know about other pregnant women but at nine months, I can’t sleep through the night to save my life.  Between trying to find a comfortable position, heading to the bathroom every five minutes (not to mention that it takes me five minutes to get out of bed), and not being able to breathe without a humidifier and a Breathe-Right Strip (and apparently snoring like a trucker, right Mr. Mondoo?), I may actually get more sleep after the baby gets here, but thanks for the advice.

“She’ll come when she’s ready!” Listen, the baby is full-term at this point.  She’s ready.  And more importantly, I’M READY.  C’mon Baby!  Alright, alright, I know that the longer she’s in their on her own terms, the healthier she’ll be.  I get it.  But saying this to a pregnant lady with two weeks left is like reminding her that her body will be forever changed.  We know that it’s a possibility but we don’t want to hear it.  Instead try saying, “Man, I wish that she would come out, too!  I bet you’re uncomfortable!”  Yes!  I am!  Thank you!

“You’re not dilated at all.” I’ve heard from my doctor twice already and each time, I want to cry.  I know that it’s her job to inform me of this but is it too much to ask her to lie?  It would make me feel better.  I know that I still have two weeks left and that “she’ll come when she’s ready” but some sign of progress would be nice.  I mean, really.  At this point, I honestly feel like she’s never coming out.  And I’m sick of looking and feeling like a beached whale.  Plus, Mr. Mondoo was insanely large when he was born tipping the scale at over 9 pounds.  As of my ultrasound last week, Baby was clocking in at 6 pounds, 8 ounces ALREADY.  Fun fact:  Did you know that at this point, babies gain a half pound each week?  At this rate, she’ll near 9 pounds if we make it to the due date.  I know that this blog is semi-anonymous but I’m a tiny lady.  There’s no way a 9-pounder is coming out of me.  Physically impossible.  And terrifying.

“I feel so thin today!” OK, only one person—Mr. Mondoo, God love him— has said to this me but when he said it, I was so horrified and felt so betrayed.  He didn’t mean to be hurtful and he felt horrible once I gave him The Stare.  Now, I don’t begrudge him feeling thin.  I hope to feel thin again someday but wow, add that comment to other recent Mr. Mondoo gems like “I was looking at old photos, and I can’t believe how small you used to be!” and “I think that the high school girls I’m tutoring in mock trial are flirting with me,” and it’s become apparent that after eight months, Mr. Mondoo’s judgment has disappeared along with my pregnancy pleasantness.  Clueless and cranky, we’re quite a pair.  Hopefully we get it together before Baby arrives!  Good thing we have (at least!) two more weeks!

Go Viral: Part One

5 May

I have two and a half weeks (gah, I hope that’s all!) left in my pregnancy and Mondoo is BORED!  Mr. Mondoo and I have successfully completed all of the baby education classes that I forced us to take (we can birth, diaper, and CPR our baby with the best of ’em and have the certificate to prove it!), the nursery is complete, and the house is clean.  What else is a nine-month pregnant lady supposed to do?  Well, lately, I’ve been so bored that I’ve been re-watching classic viral videos.  Guess what?  They’re still funny!  I thought that I’d share some of my favorites with you.  Today, I share Part One (oh yes, the first of many):

“I can’t breathe!”

“That’s only in the mornin’ you ‘posed to be up cookin’ breakfast or something by then!'”

“Where da gold at?”

“You got a Daytime Emmy, you ain’t supposed to be doing this!”

“Whay y’at?!”

Strange Love

4 May

I love Love.  I love being in love.  I love the above picture.  I love coffee.  And the thing with love is that all people are free to love whomever (or is it whoever?  Honestly, I never know.  If you do know for sure and have a neat little trick to remember it, let me know.  But if you’re going to let me know the correct answer via ridicule, keep it to yourself.  I don’t love a smug grammar know-it-all.  No one does, actually.  It’s annoying.) OR whatever they want.  I’m not here to judge.  But I am here to share and laugh/cringe my ass off.   Feel the love, everyone!

Love in 2-D (The New York Times Magazine)

German Man Marries His Cat (Perez Hilton)

Woman and Grandson Become Lovers (Perez Hilton)

Chef Dies from Eel up his Butt (Perez Hilton)

Ok, this last one isn’t really about love but it was just too strange not to share!

Mondoo’s Mailbag

3 May

This week’s only mailbag question comes from Vitamin G who is obviously feeling guilty for leaving me high and dry with baby brain and a blog to write so she graciously threw me this mailbag bone.  She’s the best—thanks G! (Kristina, I’m aware that you also submitted a couple questions but I’m currently using them as fodder for another blog post… if I can focus long enough to write it).

“This is a follow-up to your Usher update.  Just as you predicted, Usher resurfaced with “Daddy’s Home” and probably some other things that are not on VH1 every morning.  What do you think of “Daddy’s Home”?  I have two issues with it.  One is that the video features sexy women dancing around in leotards.  If music video features could be patented, Beyonce would have all rights to ladies dancing in leotards, and Usher would be in Chinatown peddling his cheap leotard dancing on sidewalks.  Another issue I have with this song transcends Usher’s repertoire.  I think it is SO creepy and gross when men are called “daddy” by women who are not their young children (or at least when children or pets are not referred to in the conversation).  And here Usher is, all handsome and suave, ready to spend some quality time with his honey and makes it clear that he wants to be thought of as her daddy.  I get it, Usher.  You have a lot of money.  You can provide for a woman. You are the man.  But nothing would make me less romantically interested in a man than him comparing himself to my father.  Mondoo, what do you think about both Usher’s new song/video and the whole “daddy” thing?”

(Note to readers: I added some links to Vitamin G’s question in case you live under a rock and didn’t know what songs she was referring to, you’re welcome).

OMG, I’m with you.  I’ve been totally creeped out by the term “daddy” used in this context ever since I heard Twista’s “Wetter.”  Well, to be honest, at first I thought she was asking Twista to be her diddy, as in Diddy.  But then I realized that she was saying “daddy” and then I got creeped out.  I, too, do not understand why this term is utilized.  I have one Daddy and he took me on hikes, read me stories, threatened to shoot my boyfriends with guns, and walked me down the aisle to Mr. Mondoo, who is not my new Daddy.  He’s Baby’s Daddy, not mine.  Although, now that I think of it, I wouldn’t mind if he taught himself to dance like Ur-sher.

(Note to Vitamin G:  This is where I totally veer off from answering your question and start writing a post about rap music.   Baby brain makes it incredibly hard to focus… on anything… even answering mailbag questions).

Speaking of creepy, have you heard Ur-sher’s other new jame “Lil’ Freak?”  The video is kinda scary and the lyrics are dirty, but the beat is siiiick!  Check it out!

Ur-sher also just released this jam “OMG:”

I dunno if it’s the baby brain or what but each time I hear it, I have a different feeling.  At first, I was like “this song is super lame, he’s overusing auto-tune like Kayne, and hey, aren’t those the strobe lights from ‘Yeah?'”  But then I just listened to it and was like “OK, it’s not that bad.  Baby and I could dance to that.”  I’m obviously conflicted.  141characters readers, what are your thoughts?

Here are my two major thoughts on Ur-sher’s comeback (Yes, Ur-sher, it’s a comeback because where the hell have you been since Confessions?  I mean, really):

1) It’s painfully obvious that he’s never going to create an album that touches the greatness of Confessions.  I mean, it was so universally popular that my 57 year-old mother loved and still loves listening to “Yeah.”

2) If you want a successful jam, you have to include Ludacris.  Why you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you because that’s how Mondoo do (when she actually writes blog posts):

-Luda is ALL OVER THE PLACE lately!  And I couldn’t be happier.  Not only does he have his own music out (“How Low” and “My Chick Bad“) but he’s also featured on nearly everyone’s tracks these days, even the Biebs!  By far my favorite Luda collaboration is DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” feat. Ludacris, Rick Ross, T-Pain & Snoop Dogg (all-star team right there!)

-Luda is a chameleon.  Or should I say Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is a chameleon.  The man can rap, the man can act, and the man can appear on C-SPAN addressing the National Press Club luncheon on taking an active role in community philanthropy.  Wha???

His rhymes are insanely clever.  Albeit a little dirty, but clever nonetheless.  Here’s a clever little snippet from “My Chick Bad:”

“She comin’ out swingin’ like Tiger Woods’ wife
Yeah, she can get a lil’ hasty
Chicks better cover up their chests like pasties
Couple girlfriends and they all a lil’ crazy
Comin’ down the street like a parade, Macy’s
I fill her up, balloons!”

I love using his name in describing situations.  Seriously, I just used it the other day:  “If this baby isn’t here by her due date, that would just be Ludacris!”  Sometimes when I’m not in mixed company (like when I used that phrase at the doctor’s office) I actually like to say “That’s Chris Bridges!”  But I think Mr. Mondoo would be the only one quick enough to understand that play on words so most times, it’s not worth the comical effort.

In other news, I’m totally jealous of Nicki Minaj.  Her rhymes are also clever AND she gets to hang with the likes of Luda and Ur-sher.  And she makes money.  I currently don’t get to do any of those things.  Life is unfair.  Maybe after this baby comes, I’ll pursue a career as Nicki Minaj.  Baby will be so proud of her female rapper mom.  As she should be.

If you’d like to help with my blog block, submit a question to Mondoo’s Mailbag by leaving one in the comment section or by emailing 141characters@gmail.com.  Happy Monday!

In the Center of the Ring…

26 Apr

Just like a circus!  Yes, that’s right, Mondoo and friends (Vitamin G included!) went to the circus this past weekend.  Jealous?  You should be!  I saw elephants, tigers, zebras, horses, doggies that did all sorts of tricks, and lots of people in spandex.

Aside from thinking about how fun it will be to take Baby to the circus someday, I couldn’t help but think about one of my favorite childhood television events:  Circus of the Stars.  Anyone out there that still follows my dwindling blog remember this show?  OMG, I loved it!  CBS plucked celebrities from many different genres, assigned them a circus act, they practiced, and then performed for the circus audience.  Notable (at least to me) celebrity appearances:  Kristen Alfonso (Hope from Days of Our Lives), Jennie Garth of Beverly Hills 90210-fame, Hulk Hogan (that’s right, Big Beefer!), Mario Lopez (we all know that he looks good in spandex, hello Spandex Twins!), Weird Al Yankovic, and various cast members from Just the Ten of Us (another late 80s/early 90s favorite of young Mondoo).

At first, I thought it might be fun to develop the ideal Circus of the Stars cast but then I got to thinking about today’s “celebrities” (I use quotation marks because most of today’s celebrities aren’t celebrities at all) and decided it would be more fun to develop a list of “celebrities” who I would like to see eaten by tigers.   Oh there were so many!  But I’ve ridiculed so many celebrities on this blog since its inception that I decided to explore some new faces to mock

Circus Tiger Menu:

Nicole Scherzinger

So until recently, Nicole Scherzinger to me was just some moderately talented pop singer who served as the face of the Pussycat Dolls.  And then I started watching this season of Dancing with the Stars and I developed an intolerance for her cheesy personality, her garish facial expressions, and THE FACT THAT SHE IS TOTALLY CHEATING!  How do you put a dancer/pop singer in a ballroom dancing competition and expect it to be fair?  It’s not fair!  SHE’S A DANCER!  Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater, Nicole.  I hope that you get voted off because bitter housewives like me watch the show and hate you.

Jillian Michaels

Oh Jillian Michaels, the villainess of The Biggest Loser… the tigers might even be afraid of you.  You are evil.  I dunno about the rest of you but having someone scream in my face and demanding that I puke or cry doesn’t really inspire me to work hard and lose weight.  And why does this woman insist that everyone has some deep emotional issue that causes them to be obese.  Maybe they just like food.  I do.  That’s why I eat.  Food is amazing.  I don’t eat because I’m sad, alone, or can’t think of blog topics.  I eat because I love food.  Why is that so hard to believe?  At least we don’t have to worry about her procreating a demon spawn.  Thank all of the Gods for that.

The people on Pretty Wild

Ok, I’ll be honest.  I’ve never actually watched this show.  I just see the beginning minutes as a search for a new show after Kendra airs and occasionally see clips of the ridiculousness on The Soup.  But this post on Gawker gives you a pretty good rundown about what makes it so horrible.  As far as why these people have a show and what makes them “famous,” I’m still trying to figure it out.  The only one that I’m remotely familiar with is the middle child who was part of a celebrity burglary ring.  That’s right.  Her plan to get famous:  steal stuff from celebrities.  Well, apparently it worked because she has a reality show on E!.  Honestly, the people that we really need to feed to the tigers are the creators of this show.  E!, you are one more ridiculous reality show away from being VH1, I’d watch out if I were you.

Baby Daddys on 16 and Pregnant

Ok, so I guess I watch a lot of reality shows but 16 and Pregnant is just one train wreck that I cannot stop myself from watching.  I think it has something to do with being pregnant.  Although excited, I’m pretty nervous about the idea of being Mommy Mondoo and caring for a child but then I watch this show and if these immature young women can do it, then surely I can.  But wow, these Baby Daddys.  They are something.  From fighting with the baby momma while she’s in labor, to leaving the labor room to get some Chinese food, to calling your baby momma a fat, stretch-marked bitch and asking where to sign the papers over for your mistake, well, let’s just say, some classy dudes.  It’s bad enough that most of them don’t physically or financially care for their children but then they have to ridicule the young moms?  Granted, some of the moms are clueless and keep taking these deadbeats back.  Hopefully Dr. Drew can talk some sense into them at the reunion show. And hopefully tigers love the taste of whiney, immature Baby Daddys because there is apparently a surplus out there according to this MTV show.  Enjoy, tigers!

Ke$ha

Oh wow, did you see this thing on SNL?

Eek.  Someone needs to tell this poor man’s Lady Gaga that she blows, big time.  She’s tone deaf and obviously trying too hard with her wardrobe.  Nothing bothers me more when people try too hard to be unique with their outfits and really it just comes off as stupid rather than avant garde.  (I learned that term from Project Runway.  I think it means:  this would look really stupid on normal people but on models or celebrities, it works).  And honestly, if I hear “Tik Tok” one more time on the radio, I’m throwing myself at the mercy of the circus tigers.  Oh and don’t even get me started on the dollar sign.  Ke$ha $uck$.