Tag Archives: baby brain

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)

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!

Love/Hate: Being Pregnant

23 Apr

Oh hey!  Remember me?  I used to write a blog and then I got really pregnant and apparently developed an even more severe case of baby brain (for more on baby brain, see below) and didn’t post at all this week?  So, what better week to actually write a Love/Hate post… no wait… I mean, what better week to write about how much I love and hate being pregnant.  Oh and guess what?  I don’t really hate being pregnant.  I’m very blessed and thankful to have had such a wonderful pregnancy and I’m so looking forward to meeting my daughter sometime within the next four weeks.  But cereally, I’m not one of those women who just LOVES being pregnant.  It has its magical moments but it’s not completely magical, trust me, or rather, just read.

Love:

1)  Baby kicks.  Remember when I said pregnancy has its magical moments?  Me neither.  Baby brain.  But yes, baby kicks are magical.  Super creepy, yes.  I mean, there is a certain creep-factor to a living thing moving inside of you, all Alien-style.  BUT, really, feeling your baby grow and move inside of you is a powerful thing.  The kicks don’t bother me either, even at night when I’m trying to get some sleep because I know if she’s moving, she’s happy and healthy and just trying to get comfortable.   Sorry things are so cramped in there, Baby.  But honestly, you’re not making things too comfortable for me either so we’ll just both have to deal for a few more weeks.

2)  Presents.  Ok, the presents aren’t really for me.  But they come addressed to me.  And I get to open them.  So, they’re kinda like presents for me.  I love presents.  I also love that so many people bought/are still buying (Thanks Grandmas and Aunts!) Baby clothes that I will never have to buy her clothes, like, ever.  Mr.  Mondoo, now, he actually buys ME presents.  And they are all edible.  He’s the best.  I’ve mentioned the Valentine’s Day potato chips, but since he has also treated me to a bag of Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos and chocolate covered strawberries.  I’m totally in love with that man.

3)  Things get bigger.  I’ve never been well-endowed in the chest area.  Buttocks, oh yes, but unfortunately, no chesticles to speak of.  Without being too graphic, let me illustrate my flat-chestedness by relating a traumatic story from my middle school years.  In seventh grade, the high school musical needed youngin’s to portray the little boys band in their production of The Music Man.  I, along with my trumpet (yes, I played the trumpet) tried out and I made it!  SCORE!  Little ol’ me in the high school musical!  I was so jazzed.  Until a mean boy in Band told me that the only reason I was chosen was because I was so flat-chested and could easily portray a boy as long as I was wearing a hat.  Well, mean band boy, I have boobs now, sucka!  I hope they decide to stick around.

4)  The food.  I love the cravings.  I love eating what I want.  I love that being pregnant gives me an excuse to eat all day long.  If you love food, get pregnant, I’m telling you.   One thing that disappointed me (and Mr. Mondoo) was my lack of crazy cravings.  Sure, I have cravings but they are all things that I liked to eat prior to the pregnancy.  Now I just can’t get enough of them.  Some examples:  fruit, veggies, pickles, French fries (with TONS of ketchup), Asian food, donuts, ice cream, to name a few.  At least I’m not one of those crazy pregnant women who crave things like dirt or soap.

5)  Oh yeah, Baby!  How can I talk about being pregnant and not talk about Baby?!  In four (or less!) weeks, I will have a daughter.  And she will be adorable.  Mr. Mondoo and I have already fallen in love with her.  I can’t even imagine what it will be like to actually meet her!  But really, if you asked me the thing that I loved MOST about being pregnant, it’s that at the end, after all the pain, discomfort, and everything listed below, I get the best present of all.  Baby, in the flesh.

Hate:

1)  Things are uncomfortable.  Sitting, standing, the process of going from sitting to standing and vice versa, bending over (is it even possible anymore?!), rolling over in bed, sleeping, carrying… anything, things are uncomfortable.  “Weebles may wobble but they don’t fall down.”  I don’t think the same is true with pregnant ladies.

2)  Moms.  Aside from my girl Kristina (Holla!) and my two, young mom cousins (who all are realistic yet positive and really encouraging), encountering other moms while you’re pregnant is the absolute worst.  First of all, they love to tell you their (or others) horrible birthing stories.  Oh yes, that’s exactly what I want to hear, how horrible labor will be.  That’s helpful.  As if TV and the movies haven’t done a good enough job scaring me.  Second, they also love to tell you how horrible motherhood is—the lack of sleep, the million wardrobe changes you need to make daily (for both you and baby), the crying, how I’ll want to turn her over to her dad the moment he walks in the door, the lack of time with your spouse, etc.—you name it.  No matter how excited or happy you are about impending motherhood, they love nothing more than bringing you down, Debbie Downer-style. Well, the jig is up, Moms!  The instructor at my childbirth class said that Moms love to do this because Moms are the ultimate martyr.  Their labor was horrible, raising their children was horrible, and no matter your experience, theirs will always trump yours.  They call it pride, I call it mean.  Keep it to yourself, Debbie.

3)  Things get bigger.  Yeah, my boobs are bigger but so is my ass.  And that was big to begin with.  Pregnancy FAIL.   I know what you’re thinking:  “Mondoo, if you’re concerned about getting bigger, maybe you shouldn’t eat so many donuts or Doritos.”  Who are you?  My doctor who hates carbs?  Well,  to date, I’ve only gained 28 pounds.  That’s not too bad and actually completely normal and healthy (you hear that, Doc?!)   Unfortunately, aside from my giant baby belly, the other pounds have decided to reside on my ass.

4)  Seeing other pregnant women.  Man, there are so many pregnant women out there and each time I see one, I get upset.  Why, you ask?  Well, first of all, I’m selfish.  As far as I’m concerned, I’m the only woman in the world who has been pregnant.  This condition is special only to me.  But when I see another pregnant woman, it reminds me that I’m not special.  No.  Hahaha.  But really, the reason that I hate seeing pregnant ladies out and about is that it constantly reminds me that May is a big delivery month and space will be limited at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at which I’ll be delivering.  That means that I’m destined to share a room with someone.  I’m a millennialWe don’t like to share.

5)  Baby brainBaby brain affects me so much that I almost forgot to include it in this list.  I’m serious.  AHHH!  I used to be so on-the-ball with things and now I’m lucky if I can see a project through to the end.  But then again, Baby is an awesome excuse not to do things that I don’t want to do.  Clean the house?  Pregnant, too tired.  Travel home for Easter?  Too much for the pregnant lady.  Leave a boring community event?  Pregnant, been on my feet too long.  Write this blog?  Pregnant, baby brain.  Oh wait, that last one is true, I swear!

Baby Brain

12 Apr

Last week started off strong with two solid posts and then where did I go?  Wow.  I wish I knew.  Baby is fully consuming my mind and my life at this point.  (Creativity and spare time, be damned!)  And as my husband so sensitively pointed out last night, she’s consuming my body as well.  I believe his exact words were:  “Honey, don’t take this the wrong way but you’re a house.”  I’m sure some pregnant women would cry, hit, stomp off, etc., not me.  I just laughed.  At 34 weeks pregnant, I AM a house!  What else can I do at this point?  Besides birth a baby.  Oh!  Apparently there is one thing that I can do, purely for the entertainment of my husband:  dress up as the Danny Devito Penguin from Batman.  “You’re all round, kinda have a big nose, and can you do this: ‘quack, quack, quack?'”  Again, most pregnant people would injure someone who made that comparison but again, I just laughed.  I might actually consider this costume idea if it were Halloween or if I could stay awake past 9pm to attend a costume party.  But yes, Baby isn’t here yet and she’s already affecting my blogging.  I apologize.  Wait, what is that?  You want to know how you can help?  Oh, readers, you’re so sweet!

1)  Do you have a blog post idea?  Don’t start your own blog.  It’s tough.  Just send your ideas to me at 141characters@gmail.com.

2)  Submit a question to Mondoo’s Mailbag.  Leave a question in the comments of a mailbag post or email me at 141characters@gmail.com.

3)  Keep reading and commenting.  No matter how lame or infrequent my posts become.  Remember, I’m pregnant, you don’t want to make me cry.