Friday, February 29, 2008

This Commercial is Fricken Hilarious

My colleagues were telling me about this commercial. Apparently it came on during superbowl but I was stuck in an airport on superbowl sunday. You must turn on your volume. Click the URL below then click "watch the tv ad"

Move to Morgan Hill or Not Move to Morgan Hill: That is the Question

So it looks like MH is now in the running again. It was ruled out awhile ago when Rob and I both agreed it would be way more convenient living closer to San Jose with regards to commuting to work and being within an arms reach of about anything your little heart desires. But then, Rob put a little seed in my head again when he sent me a URL to a home in MH. We went to MH last weekend to look at some open homes and going back again this weekend. Rob says not to get my hopes up (too late!) and he still is not sure yet. Sometimes a good 'ol pro and con list usually helps see things more clearly. Here goes:

Pros to moving to MH
1. Lower priced homes with bigger homes and lots
2. Better drivers
3. Family oriented
4. Alyssa may not have to work when we have kids (this one carries a lot of weight) :-)
5. Closer to some friends and family
6. Better overall quality of life
7. Less traffic (meaning going from point A to point B but not including going anywhere outside MH)

Cons to moving to MH
1. Commute would suck
2. Farther from some friends and family


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Too Much Information

This morning I was driving into work and traffic was slow as usual. Driving at 10 MPH, the only thing I can really do to entertain myself is too look around at other cars specifically the one in front of me. Does it have a personalized plate, bumper sticker, dent, etc. The one in front of me this morning had one of those faux bullet holes and a personalized license plate frame. Oooh! Love those! So I got a bit closer to the bumper to read what it said: "Back Off I don't like it from Behind." Ok at this point I was a bit embarassed as I indeed crept up on the bumper to get a closer look - hopefully she isn't getting the wrong impression here. Then my mind starts to wander. What do her co-workers think? I assume she has a daily job she goes to. What would I think if one of my co-workers had that on their plate? Then I think about her parents. Would they be ashamed or perhaps maybe they would be proud? I imagine this girl thinking at one point "wow, what a funny license plate frame idea" or "I have GOT to get that on my car" and actually taking the steps to go to a mall kiosk and actually order the "I dont like to get it from behind frame, please." What did the employee of kiosk think? And no where between ordering the frame, buying it, driving home and actually putting it on the car did she think "maybe this is a bit much?"

Sunday, February 24, 2008


On Saturday, Rob and I went to his cousin Pete's new townhouse in Mountain View to have pizza and movie night with him, his brother Kevin, Kathy and her boyfriend Michael. We watched "Dan in Real Life." I think this movie is still in theatres so you must be wondering "how did they watch it at someone's house?" Well, we will not go there...

I decided to bake some dessert for everyone. A colleague of mine sent me a recipe because she too shares a love affair with peanut butter and chocolate - anything. You put peanut butter and chocolate on a filet, I just might take a bite. Anywho, I made these peanut butter and chocolate sandwhiches and they were soooooooo good. Below are some pictures and the recipe.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Sandwiches

For the cookies:
2-1/2 cups smooth peanut butter, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Tip - Substitute semisweet chocolate for the bittersweet in the filling for a sweeter kick. (I made it with semisweet and it was yummy).

For the chocolate filling:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

How to make the cookies:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Line four cookie sheets with parchment or nonstick baking liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer), beat the peanut butter, brown sugar, and baking soda on medium speed until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix on low speed until just blended, about 25 seconds.

Shape level tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Arrange the balls 1-1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Do not press down. Bake one sheet at a time until the cookies are puffed and crackled but still moist-looking, about 11 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack to cool about 10 minutes. Using a spatula, move the cookies to the rack and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Make the filling:
Melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave or in a medium heatproof bowl set in a skillet with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool and slightly thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.

Assemble the sandwiches: Turn half of the cooled cookies over so they are flat side up. Spoon 2 tsp. of the chocolate filling onto the center of each cookie. Top with the remaining cookies, flat side down. Press gently on each cookie to spread the filling almost to the edge. Set on the rack until the filling is firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Alyssa Recommends: Heaven in Loaf Form

Williams Sonoma Lemon Poppyseed Bread Mix - YUM!

I bought bread mix on 2/13 to make Rob breakfast on Valentines Day. It made our house smell so yummy. The mix had crystalized lemon peels in it. I thought that might taste weird and chewy but it didn't. Rob loved it and it was a hit at the office (I took them left overs). Price was about $10. I wasn't able to find it online so I guess if you want it, you have to go to the store. Happy Baking!

Grade: A+

On the flip side, I tried the Williams Sonoma Pear Martini Mix and it was NASTY. I seriously might return it. It tasted like beer. Yuck.

Grade: F

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Eating Right or Eating Wrong?

I record Oprah every day since I am at work when it comes on in the afternoon. One of my favorite regulars is Dr. Oz who seems to know all about everything medical/health but today I'm not so sure anymore. I try to eat some sort of low fat meal at lunch (lean cuisine, weight watchers, etc.) but recently purchased these "Eating Right" entrees at Safeway which Dr. Oz personally recommends. Today I heated up my Lemongrass Chicken with brown rice and had another "incident." The first time it happened I thought it was human error but since it happened again I am now blaming the product. For some reason when I heat these delicious (sense my sarcasm?) low fat meals, the tray falls apart. The plastic cracks and I'm left with sauce lying on the communal microwave glass tray which I'm sure everyone appreciates and a flimsy tray that I am trying not to lose my lunch through as I'm transferring it to a paper plate. Since when did chewing on shards of plastic become eating right?

Friday, February 1, 2008


Rob and I flew into Denver yesterday and met up with Ashley, Jim, Gracie and my mom (my dad drove out himself). The day started off pretty good. We made our flight, all connecting flights were on time and as we were approaching the baggage claim in Denver so were the family members coming from LA. We couldnt have planned it better if we had in fact tried to plan it. We got the luggage, rented an expedition, crammed inside and we were on our way! We stopped for a quick lunch - note it was our choice to stop the first time unlike the 2007 Colorado trip. Side note: last year Rob and I met Jim and pregnant Ashley and we drove the 2 hour trip together to the house in Grand Lake. Within 20 mins the car broke down and we had to wait 2 hours for a tow truck (did I write about this story in a prior blog? It sounds vaguely familiar). Anywho, so we stopped for a quick lunch and my mom comes up to me who was getting lunch at the place next door and said "Hertz just called and you left your cell phone." I dont even remember taking it out of my purse or pant pocket (I cant even remember where I had it). I debated whether or not it was worth driving 10 miles back to the airport to get my phone but who am I kidding of course it was. So we had to turn our butts around and go to the airport. Twenty minutes later I had cell phone in hand. NOW, we were on our way! Gracie was a trooper and only started to get fussy when we had 10 more minutes to go so what did we sing to the fussy baby? 100 bottles of beer on the wall! We sang until 47 or something. I really didnt sing much. I was the lucky one in the back seat of the SUV sharing my seating area with 8 bags of luggage and some groceries we picked up on the way. They including Gracie wouldnt hear me if I were singing anyway.

Today we woke up to snow falling, oh wait, no we didn't. We woke up to my mom snoring on the couch in the family room (we were sleeping in the loft). We thought she was down there because my dad was snoring in their bedroom but after overhearing the conversation (which woke us up after we drifted back to sleep) there was just a misunderstanding that I won't go deeply into. Something along the lines of my mom tought she was keeping my dad up snoring so she came to the family room. Turns out she never woke up my dad but ironically in the end woke us up. :) But, yes, after we did wake up for the final time it was snowing outside (and still is).

Right now my mom is making breakfast and some us are going snowmobiling in a bit. I went last year and it was fun but I'm taking a break this year to relax at home with mom and Gracie and maybe log into work for a little bit to finish a project that I've been working on.
I haven't taken too many pictures but I'll post a couple.