Windows in My life

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Step 1

Talked to the MD about my youngest yesterday.

She saw what I see and agreed that Grace does need a specialist to look at her.

I am glad she agreed. At least I don't have the response "She's just 2" or "She's just having an issue with the divorce and just give her time".

I am going to take it one step at a time. Step 2 is the phone interview about the process. I guess its a formality rather than a requirement since the MD could see what I and the teachers see.

It's a relief however a long journey that my small family is ready and willing to do for her.

Step 1 down, a few dozen to go.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stop eating that...

So for people in the know I have food allergies.

There is one that I know of and its Dairy. Not just lactose, I so wish I could just take a pill and be over it.  And I am going to have to work with it for the rest of my life.

Now on to the hey that makes my skin itchy and why is my throat closing up when I eat this?

Nuts. I guess I am allergic to the world however talking Tree nuts and possibly legumes are now the enemies. *Insert dramatic music* Anyway, at school in Cakes class, my teacher makes a Boston Cream Pie with Cashew Pastry Cream. Any way I was prepared for the Dairy part however wasn't going to put myself into double jeopardy for a small taste of cake... Even if it looks SUPER yummy!!!

Seafood. I'll admit that when I was younger, I had issues peeling raw shrimp or mussels or clams. My hands would break out at the mere sight of under water creatures in Chinatown. But if you cooked them, put a little sauce on them I was all good. When I got a little older my hands stopped puffing up to 20 times it size and I thought I grew out of it. Also I love eating Octopus, Tako in japanese sushi lingo. Found out that my body is allergic to that (Umm NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!) as well now. Again going to Culinary school has brought me to recognize that when I was handling clams, in the shell, my hands started to break out, again... then I would eat something or even smell it cooking and bam! My nose would start running. Again not realizing that what my body was trying to do was keep me alive.

Talking about that as well, I was told that weight gain was also a sign of the body trying to protect itself from the bad foods. WHEEEE... Figure that after culinary school I should just go on a baguette and water diet for the rest of my life. Unless I prep foods myself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Picture of me any one??

Well I have the passport and now the passport card! Now just to figure out where my ticket is to ride is going to be punched. I got my birth certificate in the mail a few days later.

My face is a weird color on this card. Isn't it? I thought it would be in color. A friend told me that I can swipe this instead of my ID at the airport when going through TSA domestically. I think I need to go to the airport to test this out. Disney any one??

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ladoo and Galum Jalub

Probably not the best Ladoo I've made so far however I still can't get the gee to besan ratio down. It's a trial and error and you need to make food more than once ever two to three weeks. Here is the third incarnation...

And on another note a friend of mine wanted to know how to make Galum Jalub and I told her it would be on the blog. I am sorry E.R. that it has taken me a few days!! Any way while looking at YouTube video's for Ladoo, I happened upon one for Galum Jalub, (One of my favorite Indian treats!) and the woman stated just to get a mix. A MIX! I was blown away! So I needed to go to the local Indian store and buy the mix? I was like COOL!!

So I went and bought the brand Gits Galum Jalub. It was super simple, directions are in both American and British English, German, French, and Spanish (Spain).
                   

Above is the one for Dosai however as you can see that they have a lot more mixes that I would like to try... Any way the directions are very simple. Mix the flours with water, heat up gee/oil, cook GJ in said fat, then place in sugar water for a minute or two and you get below...

These were not my best and I still have some mix to use so I'll be doing this again. The only down side to the mix is that they don't have the honey mix along with the flour mix. I will say Google and YouTube is awesome for that however I have yet to sit down and look for it yet. I'll type it up once I do!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Japan? India? Korea?

Trying to decide on my first major trip outside the US borders.

1. Japan - Been there however not to Tokyō and northward. I wouldn't have anyone to visit it would just be me, myself, and I. Good thing I know Japanese, however it has gotten rusty over the years however I can re-learn it in a few days. Oh and if I am there less than 90 days, I don't need a visa...

2. India - In the top 10 places I want to go and see before I get to my grave. I have a friend there however he's not really talking too much to me right now so I am hesitant to get a visa to India and him not even being in the country when I'm there. Though I will probably get there some day on my own. I am slowly learning Hindi, but like any new language its only to the big cities for me while I'm there.

3. Korea - Well technically South Korea - Seoul to be exact. I was told it was an hour commuter's flight from Tokyō, so I could technically go to both countries while I'm over in Japan. Maybe I can go there for a visit, and I don't need a visa if I'm not staying there for less than 90 days! So I can do the commuter thing and have some fun in Seoul for a day.

So it may be Japan/Korea and then India. Who knows until I actually set foot in a plane headed to my destination I don't know either.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

IT's here!!

YEA!! It is here!! Woot!! Only problem is that it is one of three items coming. The next is the documentation stuff that I sent to the US government and then Passport card.

I thought it was weird that in the places where it used to say STAMPS it says VISA. And I think it is smaller than the older one I have/had. If I do find it I might show the difference in size in a later picture.

I just got a passport cover ordered. so that will be spiffy.

On a different note... the Kokum Coconut Sorbet got a positive response when taste tested so I am going to tweak the recipe a bit and use my babysitters' father as a guinea pig. I need to make a few adjustments however I think with what I learned at school I maybe able to put it into production and sell a little in my future shop on hot days. She also stated that the food I am giving her is being eaten by every one except her.

This next week is going to be "fun" going to do a mass time line for cupcakes and sugar cookies!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wholly Cheeseballs

Well I woke up to this at 5 in the morning!

They said the 21st, not the 17th. I almost want to take the day off to revive it. Almost. 

I feel this is too soon. Waiting for my passport has been a mixed blessing. It's been exciting to know that I can travel to more places than the 50 states of America. However it means I can't travel too far and for too long because of the littles.

I want to take them with me however I know that 30+ hrs on a plane they would be miserable with out getting up and going some where. Three first class tickets are not in my future. 

When its time for them to travel overseas, I would like Grace will be 10 or so. I don't want them too young however I know as they get older it will get harder for travel however they will remember and have fun. 

I know I don't want to take them to museums and stuffy spots, however if they suggest it then I would go.

Can't wait for the package to arrive today!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 21-14=7

Oh me oh my!!! Yesterday I was in my school baking baguettes and checked my email and the US government issued an email saying that they have completed everything and are sending it by NEXT WEEK!! Woot!! As my friend Heather says I am doing a snoopy dance of joy!! I maybe able to see snow in Canada or even start a visa to Japan or even more west.

And here are the baguettes. Yummy!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 22

Been wondering since there is 22 days till the shiny passport comes and I can apply for the visas that will hopefully put me on a plane to the next leg of my journey west.

The thing about applying for the visas applications now a days is that they are 5+ pages long, need to see bank statements, have to attach a passport like photo to it (maybe even two) AND then you have to pay a fee to see if they would approve said application and then and only then you can buy a plane ticket for destination. When did world travel get so weird???

In 2000, I guess a different world by today's standards, I went to the Japanese consulate, filled out a page front and back (I think), no photo evidence besides my passport (if I am remembering it correctly), and whisked myself off to Japan like a month later and that was after I had all ready got my plane ticket booked and paid.

Now, like I said its 5+ pages, a passport picture (maybe two), the last 3 bank statements (if you reside in San Francisco County ((ONLY, and of course I will be applying in the city and county of San Francisco.)), and if you throw in your first born child (if approved mind you) they will throw in an extra few weeks for your traveling delight.

I have also thought about applying for an externship some where in the West. It would kill me because that is 6 weeks with out the littles. I'd be calling them every day however not to wake up to some one in the small of your back or getting my hair pulled in all general directions because the little little wants to play hair dresser. Okay maybe I won't miss that particular part however I would miss out on 6 weeks of Summer with the littles.

Though I do get two and the first one is just after my birthday and right before Bella's school starts up again. So if I was able to pull it off I could do one of two out in the world and come home for the remainder and still graduate on time. The other problem is my cats. 6 weeks away from them is no problem. However for them it will be 6 months to 6 years. I don't know who would take care of them for that long and I would have to pay some one to watch them.

Some times its easier for me to stick where I am at because of all the mess however part of me wants to travel and live some where and enjoy a new world for those 6 weeks.

I was thinking about applying to the Intercontinental Hotel and asking them if I can go abroad for a stay in a hotel, they own in a country I'd want to visit. Its one of those wish on a lucky star type deals and only if I had a connection or two in the HR department. That would be so cool if I could actually pull it off too...

Any way back here in reality, I am looking at 22 days till I get the passports and another few weeks before I even get clearance for a trip to the Western side of the world. I hope they don't change the guidelines of visas between now and November 10th.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Travel plans

Don't know about me and travel. I am itching to go some place. I know the places I want to go just need to get my butt there.

Long ago in 1984 I went to Europe with my mother. Don't remember a darn thing. 1990's rolls around and boom I'm back on an air plane stamping my passport in Central America and back in Europe. This time because of my age, I was able to remember most if not all of the events that happened. The one thing I didn't like was being under my parent's thumb. Mainly my step father however it was still some one saying where to go or what time to go to bed.

In 2000 my first trip by my lonesome. To Japan. I was by myself for the first time and loved it. The only thing I had to do was to get to the youth hostel in time so they wouldn't lock me out. The funny thing was I went to historical places and other museums by myself with out my dad telling me to do so.

I thought I would be back to the West side of the planet (well Japan and other Asian countries are to my west0. Then life took hold and I have my two littles. I thought my travel bug was done biting for a long time, well until they were old enough to travel with me. I guess my bug couldn't wait that long.

I have 24 days till my passport is sent to me. I really haven't thought about my life as a traveler in a while. Its exciting and scary. In the next 23 days, I think I'll be sharing a lot more about my travel plans.

I am all ready planing trip number 1 in my head...

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Songs

Every one has songs that they hold close to their hearts. Here are a few of mine. May be eclectic however that's how I roll. This is in no particular order.

1992 - Seventh grade - First dance - It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday - Boyz II Men
2009 - How I felt about my first born - 1,2,3,4 - Plain White T's
1988 - New Kids On The Block fan girl - Hangin' Tough - NKOTB
1986 - (and beyond) My birthdays - It's My Party - Leslie Gore
2014 - First 6 Months - Let it Go - Movie Frozen
2014 - Last 6 Months - I'm Moving On - Rascal Flats
1997 - How I felt about my life - All Mixed Up - 311

Love to listen to new stuff. Even if it means annoying every one around me with a different sound than what they are used to. I love to listen to what the world listens to and try to come up with an eclectic mix. Right now, I am listening to some Bollywood and Country music. 

I miss my old computer. It had some Indian music I got back in 2007 from a video game engineer that was very shocked that I liked the music he was listening to. I told him it had a good beat and I liked it. He gave me a CD of some songs and I put them in my library. Now its in a digital space because my computer decided to take a noise dive and I don't know where the original hard drive is now. 

I am always looking for some good music. Comment on your favorites.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kokum Coconut Sorbet

I had a free chance to make it in class yesterday.

Still needs tweaking and only time will tell.

I am going to try again to make and measure out the ingredients though because in my haste to make it I forgot to write things down. I felt that with my other failures of this sorbet it would never take.

I guess it actually took this time.

K-C Sorbet being made at school
I also made a cherry-lemon sorbet too. however it was my safe grade and this was just a side project. This weekend I hope to measure and tweak it so I can take it back on Monday to show my teacher that it can be palatable.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Two States: The story of my Marriage - the Movie

Good Movie. I have yet to read the book (it was back ordered) however I am reading a lot of Chetan Bhagat's books lately.

After seeing 3 Idiots, another movie based on another book he wrote, I have been on a book journey to read that book, then I found out that it was one of many, so like the bookworm I am, I had to get the whole collection. And not just the kindle books or B&N reader versions. Actual paperback books.

I wonder after I get done reading, what other books should I read?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sugar Cookies, Cupcakes, Oh My!

Even though I am now officially open as Bella Roux (On Thumbtack) I have been getting bolder about what events I can do for my littles.

For my oldest I am going to make 250-300 cupcakes for her school's festival (pictures coming soon!) and for my youngest I am going to make 200 cut outs of Halloween sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles (pictures also coming soon).

I kind of feel like doing this will open doors for me and hopefully I can make a living in the future doing this full time so I can have time with my littles with out working 60-100 hrs in a cubical.

Feeling like I can do this... maybe...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Montra

Today is a day where I have to state to myself: "Get up, Get up! Stop feeling sorry for yourself!"

Do know why however its more of a internal conflict than on of dire need to talk out right now. I have these moments every so often however its days like these I have to actually pull myself out of bed and not feel like curling up into a ball and crying.

Okay here I go world. Today is going to be a good day. I have the littles and I am going to learn how to make Sorbet correctly (if I haven't yet talked about my Kokum trials and tribulations, I will soon). Got to get up.

Get up

Up.

NOW AMANDA...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Moving on?

Am I ready to move on?

To face reality of the next chapter of my life.

I have moved on from the X, however not completely. Heather, a personal and dear friend, has told me that if you can be in the same room with him and walk up to him to say "Hi", then have indifferent feelings about looking at him, then you are over him.

I still am at the stage of wanting to punch him in the face a few times still for what he did to the littles.

However, I am almost there.

It becomes difficult when my heart tugs on the strings for some one else. I feel trapped in my world. If I don't think about it, I think about it more and more. I hate that. I really do.

I need to stay rooted in the present or I live in the horrid past or am torched living in a future that does not exist yet and I ignore the people that need me now. My littles, my friends, and family.

And if having the person that I really like as a friend, well good friend, right now is what I need to accept because I really value his friendship and advice then I must come to terms with that as well in the present.

I still need to work on the X thing anyway.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ladoo Almost Got It

I am happy about my ladoo! Still need to tweak out some small details however I got a great texture and taste.

Here it is:

There are a few mistakes and no nuts *Sigh, waiting for test results for my new allergies*. However I actually made a good 101st try. I am going to make it again however its one of those things worth sharing because I don't have a teacher (an Auntie, Indian mom, or even an old woman that has been doing this for years) to show me how. I have youtube and some culinary school training,

When I got it down I'll show it again. and hopefully I can show another application for Ladoo as well!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bella Roux Bakery - On Thumbtack

So any one want to hire me for something?? If you are in the San Francisco bay area I can come to your house and help you with your greatest struggles. Either click on this link Pastry by Amanda or in the side bar below and hire me for a cool afternoon of teaching!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall

This year Fall came late to San Francisco. I don't mean the calendar Fall that came n time. The actual weather feeling.

I can feel the weather changes. It creeps me out most of the time because one day there is nothing and then the next I notice the switch from one season to the next. I thought since I have new allergies and my body is getting older I wouldn't feel it. However two days ago I did.

It's not a bad thing, just weird. Or at least I think it is.

Does anyone out there feel that slight shift or is just me?