More Posting!

I have a few loose ends I wanted to tie up:

As you know, I signed up for Twitter. I'm @CristinAshley and I'd love to start following more people I personally know. I have some TV Stars, Chefs, and authors on my list, but I need more real people! :)

Just FYI, there's a sale at Target going on right now for Giada De Laurentiis' pasta and coffee. If you buy three pastas (from $1.99 to $2.99) you get a free bag of coffee.

As of right now I can't vouch for the taste/quality of the pasta or coffee, but I'd say it's worth purchasing to try it! I'll report after our breakfast coffee and pasta dinner on Wednesday or Thursday.

A gift from Michael

He keeps me in check, keeps me motivated and keeps my head above water.


More Cookbookery!

Just bought these beauties!

James Beard's The Fireside Cookbook.

Thomas Keller's Bouchon.

Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave.

I'm hoping to start picking, making and posting about recipes I choose from my new cookbooks. I'm serious this time, y'all.

Hypnotic Donuts

Thanks to a tip from my friend Sarah, I was privy to the weekend menu of Hypnotic Donuts. One look at the menu, and I was sold.

Menu for the weekend of 7-24-10
Chocolate Cake:
A. Andes Mountain- crushed Andes candies and powder sugar snow
B. Turtle- chocolate and caramel frosting with chocolate and caramel drizzle
C. Picky for pecans- covered in crushed pecans and caramel drizzle
D. Strawberry fields- strawberry frosting, milk chocolate chips, fresh strawberries and strawberry drizzle
E. Almond to the world- sliced almonds, coconut, and chocolate chips

F. Hypnotic donut- pretzel, crushed peanut butter captain crunch, peanut butter, chocolate/caramel frosting, chocolate/caramel drizzle
G. Canadian Health Care- Maple Bacon on maple frosting
H. Mexico- fresh jalapenos and a dash of Tabasco
I. Dirty South- Chocolate frosting, crushed oreo, gummy worms
J. Macho Nacho- refried beans, queso, and fresh jalapenos ($3)
K. Crunk- sprinkles of silver and half of a 100 grand mini candy bar in the hole

Plain Cake:
L. Lucy in the Sky with Lemons- lemon frosting, lemon heads, and white chocolate
M. The Hangover- strawberry frosting covered with kiwi-lime flavored electrolyte powder
N. Hyppie- covered in granola
O. TC and MM- half chocolate frosting half white frosting covered in mini M and M’s.
P. Poppin berries- strawberry frosting, strawberry pop tarts and strawberry drizzle

Special (1): (very limited) Lisa’s subterranean hypnotic blues- blueberry cake donut topped with cream cheese icing, blueberry pie filling, crushed graham cracker and whipped cream. ($4)

Special (2): High in the mountains- glazed donut covered with lemon frosting, dipped in white chocolate stored at 40 degrees and served chilled ($3)

When we arrived, we had previously settled on holding back and only ordering one apiece. When we re-looked at the menu, all that changed! They were only $2.50 apiece, for Pete's sake! So, here are photos of the ones we chose:

Crunk: Silver, crunchy sugar bits with a mini 100 Grand candy bar in the middle. Michael's first choice.

Lucy in the Sky with Lemons: a plain donut with lemon icing (spot on flavor!), Lemonheads and white chocolate chips. Excellent with the sweet and sour combinations.

Canadian Health Care: glazed donut with maple bacon and maple syrup icing. My very favorite!

Andes Mountain: chocolate cake donut with vanilla icing, powdered sugar, Andes Candies bits all over and an Andes candy in the middle. Most noticeable feature: the cake donut. It was so fresh and soft. Wonderful.

(All courtesy of Michael's fancy phone camera!)

Details: The whole shooting match is located at 17390 Preston in Suite 263, which is actually a place called The Pizza Guy. Don't be fooled - they're set up inside. It's from 7-10am on most Saturdays and Sundays. You can check out their facebook page to see upcoming menus and dates they're open.

Anyone want to try it out in the next few weeks? I hear they'll be having a Guerrilla Warfare, which will have a combination of banana and peanut butter. HELLO.


Houses, Houses, Houses!

I'm sitting here at home, watching HGTV, contemplating going to work out, and trying to relax before work.

It's so tough to watch all of these shows like House Hunters International, Designed to Sell and Curb Appeal because we don't have a house to improve on! I am filing ideas away for when we get a house or condo.

Now, for a montage of homes I have fallen in love with.

Craftsman Style

Another Craftsman

A beautiful Contemporary

A Cape Cod Style

A Bungalow

A home in Vermont

Another home in Vermont

Kipling's home in New England

Have I caught the real estate bug? I hope not!


Twitter - Part Two

For better or worse, I've signed up for a Twitter account. I've made four tweets so far, and from what I can tell, it may be useless. We will see as time goes by.

Let me know if you know anyone worth following.



Recently, I've been collecting numerous cookbooks. As if I need any more. As of right now, I have more than 35 cookbooks. And I have my eyes set on more.

It was never a goal of mine to collect cookbooks. I am more of the type "if you don't use it, get rid of it!" Thus, everything in my house, and kitchen, has a use. As far as cookbooks go, I make decisions on buying a book because of it's cooking genre, chef/author, style, photos and recipe-worth. What is recipe-worth? It's about the degree of inventiveness; it's about the comfort and usefulness of learning to make an age-old standard dish; it's about the excitement of trying a twist on a favorite.

In the past few weeks, I've bought these beauties:

Dean & Deluca

Pink Adobe

Tasty Taters

Weber Grilling


I've only broken a few in so far. I've learned a ton about charcoal grilling, and have made barbecue hamburgers, hotdogs, onion and garlic dip, pita chips, red onion and nectarines on my kettle grill. I haven't had time to break open the others and find the perfect recipe.

Michael is going on his usual business trip at the end of this week, so I'll have Friday evening to cook for him. Any suggestions? Or should I leave it up to all the new cookbookery?



Serious question time:

Should I create a Twitter account for myself? And if so, why?

I'm considering this because when I was on Facebook today, I realized I don't check it often enough to get the tidbits from my friend's lives. Especially the ones that live states away. I felt like I missed something important, and it was too late to make a relative comment. I just don't get on FB at the right times, because I feel like I check the highlights almost every day. I don't specifically search for individuals, either. I mainly look at the homepage, and check to see if someone has written on my wall, invited me to an event, etc. Am I a selfish Facebooker? Is that justification for opening a twitter account? The few that I checked today (that on FB had moderate life events I missed) have a Twitter account.

Maybe I'm not as technologically advanced as I hope to be. I am almost a quarter-century old, remember.

So, should I get one?


July So Far

I haven't posted in a while, but wanted to make a quick addition before continuing my busy morning of errands. A long post is surely overdue.

I had an eventful week and a half since I last posted, mainly from family and friend get-togethers. I spent my 4th of July cooking out and shopping. Always a good thing. :)

I wanted to share a few pictures my friend Sarah sent me (because I have no camera, still). These are from our Wild About Harry's/Gingerman night. The Gingerman was fun as always, and Harry's was excellent! Their peppermint custard was amazing!

Michael, Me and Jeremy at Wild About Harry's, Note the French Fry

Sarah, Jenny and John at Wild About Harry's, Note Jenny's Hair!

Michael and Me, Note the lack of crinkle-face

Sarah, Me and John at Gingerman, Note John's Face :)

I will post soon with more happenings for July. Now, I have to fly away for more errands before 3pm.