Tuesday, March 22, 2011



A Mixture of one shot of Chinese Baijiu,
one shot of Chinese Gougi Jiu and
one shot of Amaretto,
crushed ice
and Schweppes Cream Soda.
Served in a tall slender glass
with a white ivory looking chopstick swizzle stick.
The Chopstick has a Chinese Inscription on one side.

***I would garnish the chopstick with about 3 pieces of candied ginger root**

Monday, March 21, 2011


Makes 1 (9-inch) 3-layer cake
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup pink lemonade drink mix*
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
4 cups cake flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
Lemonade Buttercream
(recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 3 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and lemonade drink mix at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon extract.
3. In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
4. Spoon batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly among pans.
Bake for 24 to 30 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.
* For testing purposes, we used Country Time Pink Lemonade Drink Mix.
Makes about 4 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1. In a large bowl, beat butter, lemonade concentrate, and lemon zest at medium speed with an electric mixer until combined. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating until smooth.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Packing for Thailand

The hardest thing about travel for me is packing.
I have a binder with our travel arrangements, itinerary and addresses and phone numbers of any place on the journey I might remotely want to go. I have made contact with key people at each hotel and destination. I have arranged everything to the last detail. I have power adapters, pocket currency exchange cards printed out.
All that remains is what to wear.
I have a pretty good idea of what I will be packing. I have read up on the dress code and studied lots of videos on youtube. It seems what the books and websites say to wear is very different from what the Thai people wear in daily life. The books say no shorts especially for women over 40 how awful is that to say. No open shoes like thongs, no strappy summer dresses or anything that shows your shoulders or upper arm, no skirts above the knee etc. Thats most of my wardrobe except for the shorts. I rarely wear those. I am one of those girl gals who loves her dresses and glitzy sandals. I tend to dress/over dress for everything so I should look suitable even in 97 degree weather.
Also from what I have read I shouldnt look for clothes in my size, anyone above a 6 is considered fat there. Never the less jewelry never makes you look fat so thats my main objective.
Not sure how I am going to cope with the 30hrs of travel time. I did it once before and have avoided that long a flight for many years. With the limited items you can bring onboard, I will take some crosswords, a book, maybe my ipod and ofcourse every cable and cord for my camera and flipcam. Things I wouldnt dare want to be lost incase my luggage ends up someplace else.
If anyone can think of something they think I need to bring please email me.

The Goodwin's Go to Thailand

My husband and I have decided to take a trip of a lifetime. He has been working away from home for the last 5 months and we need some special time together. So we are taking a 21 day trip to Thailand. 15 days will be with an escorted tour the remaining days will be prior to and at the end of the tour. I plan on taking a cooking course in Phuket and doing some scuba diving as well as teaching an English class to some students in a remote village outside of Chiang Mai. In the meantime we will be stopping off in Moscow,Russia and Singapore.


Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Bundle: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared without a trace more than forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to try to discover what happened to her. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist recently sidelined by a libel conviction, to investigate. Blomkvist is aided by the pierced and tattooed computer prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption on their way to discovering the truth of Harriet Vanger’s fate.

The Girl Who Played with Fire

Mikael Blomkvist, now the crusading publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation. On the eve of its publication, the two reporters responsible for the article are murdered, and the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to his friend Lisbeth Salander. Blomkvist, convinced of Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the murders. Meanwhile, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous game of cat and mouse, which forces her to face her dark past.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Lisbeth Salander lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. On her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and against the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Karl Stig-Erland Larsson (15 August 1954 – 9 November 2004), who wrote professionally as Stieg Larsson, was a Swedish journalist and writer, born in Skelleftehamn outside SkellefteĆ„. He is best known for writing the "Millennium series " of crime novels, which was published posthumously. Larsson lived and worked much of his life in Stockholm.


I was with a client picking out books and I picked up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for myself. I had no idea it was going to become and addiction. As soon as I finished it. went to the book store and bought the remainder of the series. I have now finished The Girl who Played with Fire. I am about to start The Girl who kicked the hornets nest, but I am scared to . Once I am finished with it , then thats the end. It will be like losing and exciting lover.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I can't believe I have gone the entire month of February without a post
It was a full month that's for certain. We had freezing days, Drama Queen days, Days that just seem to blur into the next.
I have had more work than I can handle, working 7 days a week, most weeks. Both my businesses have been booming. Somehow I have become the Belle of the Ball in New Orleans and have been baking my specialty cakes and shipping them off for Mardi Gras Parties all month. I have had to turn down clients because I just don't have enough hours in a day to meet all the work.
I have been so busy in fact I didn't even have my birthday party , I had planned to every detail.
With the limited time I had I did put in a small vegetable garden. I am excited about it and hope it does well.
I am also planning a romantic vacation for my husband and I once he gets home . He has been working International for the last 5 months.


Nick Stellino's Roasted Eggplants in Balsamic Vinegar
1 large eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup + 8 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
8 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Melanzane Arroste Sottoaceto
Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Sprinkle the eggplant slices with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and place them in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. Pat them with a paper towel until thoroughly dry.
Line the bottom of two large baking sheets with parchment paper Brush the eggplant slices lightly on both sides with 1/3 cup of the olive oil and bake in the hot oven for 10 minutes. Turn them over and bake until they start to brown, about 10 minutes more, Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a small glass baking dish, place 1/3 of the eggplant slices, sprinkle with some of the salt, pepper, garlic, basil, mint, olive oil and vinegar, and repeat the process until all the eggplant is used, Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the refrigerator to ripen.
The next day, enjoy this dish for lunch or dinner, over salad greens, on toasted bread rubbed with garlic or sprinkled with a little goat cheese and bits of sun-dried tomatoes...Mamma Mia!
I have been using this recipe for the last 20 years. Its one of my favorites. I have planted my garden and hopefully with have an abundance of eggplants this season.