Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sweet Summer Treats

This past weekend was the Memorial Day long weekend for the US, and since it was my very first one, I figured I might as well do something fun! We were kindly invited by our friends over to their house for a bbq, so I offered to bring the burgers and dessert. I made my own hamburger meat of course, because I like buying a higher quality ground beef, -which just means I know the beef hasn't been fed any hormones and the cuts of beef used are clearly labeled. It's easier and cheaper to buy pre-made patties, but I trust myself more than I trust a factory that churns out patties using unknown cuts of beef. Plus I honestly believe my burgers are yummy and simple! All you need for 10 burgers is 2 lbs. of ground beef, 2 tbsp. Montreal Steak Spice (or to taste), 1/2 cup bread crumbs, and 3 eggs. The pièce de résistance of the weekend though, is something that my husband and I collaborated on: Jell-O Orange Slices! I got the idea from a friend of mine from San Diego who loves to eat! Thanks Di!

I am proud to say that although this project was my idea, most of the work was done by my wonderful husband! He sliced 6 Navel oranges in half (one was sacrificed for tasting), scooped out the insides, stored the pulp in a Ziploc bag, and even found a way to mend a punctured rind! He was also a superstar at cutting the actual wedges! In case you were wondering, we transported the halves in my trusty two-tiered cupcake carrier and sliced them on premises at the bbq. They were a hit of course, who doesn't love Jell-O?

To be used for strawberry-orange smoothies this week! Yum.

Will you choose the red slice, or the blue slice, Neo?

Can also be enjoyed frozen!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Steak Affair to Remember

Hello friends! I know it's been a while, I have been a happily busy bee! Friends have visited, I left the country for a couple of weeks, and I aged another year. So, all good stuff! I haven't been too adventurous in trying new recipes because, let's face it, a lot of the things I discovered that I can make have been delicious, so I wanted seconds and thirds! Neither has there been much baking lately because I am way too good at it and sugar is way too addictive and binge-inducing. But as the weather gets ever warmer, my husband and I have inevitably started to crave grilled food. The first and most delicious grilled food that comes to mind is: Steak. Delicious, delicious steak. We don't have an outdoor grill yet, but there is always my trusty cast-iron grill pan, who has yet to make us regret cooking with her (her name is Marge). Tonight we ate flat iron steaks marinated in lemon & pepper, roasted potatoes tossed in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley, and my husband's absolute favourite, boiled asparagus with a pat of butter and dash of sea salt & pepper. Unfortunately, I don't have a finally product photo because it was so good that we got way too excited to eat and then... ate it without documenting, which, in my opinion, is way better testimony of my cooking than a photograph!

First of all, it's important to get a really great and yet affordable cut of beef. I talk a lot and make friends very easily with random people on the street, so it wasn't hard to become buddies with my local butcher. His name is Carlos, and he is the sweetest! He always takes care of me, points me towards the best and most delicious deals, and feeds me all sorts of yummy samples! You should always trust a man who tells you what meat to buy so that you can "look like an even better cook to your husband"! Carlos is hilarious, and quite right!

Marinating your steak in lemon juice makes is softer, so you don't have to use a meat mallet. Add a little bit of freshly ground pepper, put it in a dish and cover it in tin foil over night. The next day, always take your steaks out of the fridge an hour before you cook them. They'll cook better, I promise you!

Taking the chill off my meat
While you wait for your meat, you can start your potatoes and asparagus. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Wash your asparagus and snap off the woody ends, set it aside. I like to use Yukon Gold potatoes, they're my favourite, so I peeled (optional) 3 small ones and cut them up into 1.5 inch cubes. Then I put them in a bowl and tossed them with a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, a dash of garlic powder, a dash of pepper, and some parsley flakes. I like to get down and dirty with my hands and mix it all up, so that I can feel that all the potato pieces have been properly coated! Then you can throw them into a heat-safe baking dish and pop them in the oven for 25-30 minutes.

We like our steaks medium rare, so for a 0.5" thick cut, 3 minutes on each side on medium heat in a cast-iron grill pan should render the result I like. For a 1"-2" cut, 4-5 minutes should do it. Always remember that it's better to undercook rather then overcook -you can't ever take it back if you've cooked it too much! Finally, in a shallow pan, bring about an inch of water to a boil, add a pinch of kosher salt and throw your asparagus in until it's a nice, bright green, about 2 minutes. Drain and toss with a pat of butter and season it to taste.

Mmmmm, so good.

Potatoes are my fave.

Look at those beauties!
Edges are a bit more cooked than I like, but it was still delicious!
I have to admit that I have really gotten the hang of this. Stay tuned this Memorial Day weekend for a cute and yummy summer dessert idea!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Six Months and Counting

Last Friday we celebrated our six "monthiversary", the halfway mark of our first year of marriage. I think we've done pretty well, we seem to be fully household compatible! I thank my lucky stars that he is a very clean boy and I know he thanks his that I am slightly obsessive compulsive (all the labels must face forward and all the towels must be clean and folded/hanging properly at all times). The key to our domestic success started, I think, with our mothers. We were both raised in similar environments that coupled common sense with diligence. We respect each other's space and we respect our home. But I'm not going to lie: it helps that we have separate bathrooms!

Also, right from the get-go we established certain responsibilities in order to avoid resentment and hostility. Since I love cleaning, that is my domain, as long as he doesn't add to the mess, all is well. My husband's responsibility is the garbage and recycling. I do the groceries and cooking, and he does the bill paying.

We knew each other pretty well before we got married, but now we REALLY know each other. When you're just dating you get to see the final product, when you're both fully primped. When you're married, you get to see everything before the tooth brushing, face washing, nose hair plucking, hair straightening and nose blowing. It's awesome, there is now absolutely nothing that we don't know about each other's quirks, so the fact that we love each other more is astounding and extremely comforting.

I look forward to the many years to come, everyone tells us this is the easy part, so we are relishing and enjoying and taking everything one day at a time!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Land of The Rising Sun

My big sister lives in Tokyo. The only thing that could be worse than that right now would be if that statement read: My big sister lives in Sendai. Thank God she doesn't but my heart and prayers go out to everyone who has suffered loss. My sister hasn't slept very well since the big quake because of constant aftershocks and I haven't slept very well because I keep having earthquake nightmares. I've actually had Japan on the brain for several weeks now. As I am typing this post, I am sitting next to my big suitcase that is all packed and ready to go -to Japan. That's right folks, I am on my way to Tokyo in two weeks, I was originally planning to go in mid March but thankfully we decided that the end of March would be better, budget-wise. And yes, I am slightly obsessive complusive, so I pack my suitcases 2 weeks beforehand to see if my clothes, toilettries and in this case my sister's North American wish list, will fit properly. I am a very efficient packer, I never overpack or underpack and I fold everything so that every square inch is properly utilized if necessary. I even put my shoes in shoe bags and my undies in designated undie bags. My sister is also a bit OCD and safety oriented because she's getting me an earthquake pack for when I get to her house! It contains: a helmet, flashlight, knife, and sustenance. No matter what anyone says, I am looking forward to my trip and I can't wait to meet Japan and it's strong people! Thank you for yor prayers.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

You Had Me At Rabbit

For many years now, I have been obsessed with a certain adorable, fluffy creature called the rabbit. This may have stemmed from the fact that I was born on Easter Sunday nearly thirty-two years ago and all my presents had something to do with bunnies. I got my first bunny, Hoppity, twelve years ago and my life was forever changed. After he passed I was traumatized and depressed for many years. In fact, when I think about him I still cry and miss him, which you might think is strange because I currently have two very cute balls of fuzz that share our apartment with us. I love my two crazies! Tidbit loves to run around at top speed, she's quite the alpha female and is always very curious about the goings-on of the household. Toby is my blind, one-eyed guy who also loves to run around albeit slowly, and crashing into things sometimes. Toby never stops eating EVER. Anyway, you know how I never make packaged macaroni & cheese anymore? Well, at the grocery store I stumbled upon something totally awesome that made me venture back into the world of pre-packaged food again. (Just for a bit)

That box on the right has actual bunny-shaped pasta!

Their mascot is a Toby!

And then after the grocery store, if you can believe it, I stopped in at the Urban Outfitters next door, and they had a table full of RABBIT CLOTHING. Well, as you can imagine, I just about lost my marbles from excitement and I proceeded to pull one of everything of the shelf and headed straight for the dressing rooms. I decided that this was the cutest one, plus it's French and looks like Tidbit without the spots.

 This isn't my only rabbit shirt.

So yeah, I guess one could say that I am a little rabbit obsessed, but hey, that's me, what can you do? *nose wiggle*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eight Eyes

My husband and I went to the optometrist last weekend, I definitely knew my husband was due because he's been complaining and speculating about his vision for the last couple of years and I had an appointment because they scheduled one for me when I went in for the allergy check. We walked out those optometrist doors as human beings who were changed forever. Okay, not really we just found out that we're both ever so slightly far-sighted and should use glasses for reading and computer use. This isn't exactly news of epic proportions, but I for one was completely shocked and a little upset. So much so, that I asked my husband to keep quiet about my prescription. Before the know-it alls step up and say, "what is your problem, this is not a big deal" I just wanted to explain that I can be a very competitive person sometimes (ok most of the time) and having been prescribed reading glasses makes me feel like I just lost, -in what, I don't know, life maybe? The eye lottery? I was making a big to-do about it when the staff at the optometrist's just laughed at me and told us that we have the mildest prescriptions of all time and that I should calm my body. That being said, after ruminating on this situation I have decided that I am totally going to own it and get the best, gosh darned reading/computer glasses a girl could find! My husband is really good at seeing the positive in everything because he's Polyanna Sunshine (why I married him) and he pointed out that this was a chance for me to have a new look, a new fashion accessory. I fell for it hook, line, and sinker. So, this is how I would like to look:

I actually love the way I look as a bespectacled lady. Do you want to know the best thing about them other than helping my eyes? I miss my grandfather so very much but when I put glasses on, I can see his face in mine in the mirror.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ketchup Chips For President!

So sad that this is what I have been reduced to, a girl hugging a bag of ketchup flavoured potato chips. My husband was in Canada last week and there are two things that we always try to bring back from the Homeland: Premium Plus Crackers with salted tops (NOT the same ones in U.S.), and ketchup chips.

I had a little Twilight Zone moment at the grocery store in the junk food aisle when I first moved out here, or maybe it was more of a panic attack/drowning sensation when I realized that they didn't have the ONE chip flavour that I was craving. I don't eat chips all the time, but when I do have a hankering for them, it's usually for 1 of two kinds: Doritos Nacho Cheese Flavour or Lay's Ketchup Chips. They taste like my childhood and are so comforting, I often crave them once a month if you know what I mean. As for my husband, there are three things that he cannot live without, ice cream, Premium Plus crackers, and good, sharp cheese. Of course with our luck, two of those items can only be purchased in Canada. I can't even imagine what it must be like for my sister, living in Tokyo right now. It's no wonder she sent me a wish list the length of my arm for my trip out there at the end of the month! In any case, I am a very happy girl! Lilibeth: 1, Cravings: 0.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Missing Tim Horton's Sour Cream Donuts (plain & glazed)

It's no secret that I miss Canada and everything about it. For example, my husband and I were walking down Pine Street to get our hair trimmed at Raven, when we happened to pass some sort of sports bar -maybe it was just a regular bar with televisions. When I looked at what was on, I saw the very distinct CBC logo in the upper lefthand corner, at which point I started to jump up and down and scream, "CBC! They're watching hockey on CBC!" Also, I haven't heard anyone use the term "double double" here, something I only learned in Ontario but still makes me giggle. (It means two creams & two sugars for your coffee) I haven't been able to find a place that sells sour cream donuts either, even though Top Pot Donuts is pretty amazing. I was looking up the recipe when I stumbled upon a yellow cupcake recipe on joyofbaking.com that calls for half a cup of sour cream! Well, that got me excited, and instead of a quiet night just watching Shakespeare In Love for the 50th time and drinking tea (household addiction, we have 20 varieties of tea) I had a cozy evening of baking yellow sour cream cupcakes with chocolate frosting! These are REALLY good and I highly recommend that you try the recipe. It's even good without the chocolate frosting, if that's any indication to you of their scrumptiousness. I think next time I'm going to use a plain sugar glaze so that I can get the true sour cream glazed donut effect, and call them: Sour Cream Glazed Donut-Flavoured Cupcakes! Yeah, no, that's too long.

This last picture I made for my friend Clementine, who celebrated her birthday this week and who loves cake and cupcakes more than any human being I have ever encountered.

Yellow Cupcakes:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (cut into pieces)
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and sour cream. Beat the wet and dry ingredients together at medium speed until the batter is smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. If necessary, stir the batter with a rubber spatula until the flour is fully incorporated. Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until pale gold and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. 

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy (about 2 -3 minutes).

Keep in mind, the frosting is optional! Mmmmmm!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Random Health Kick

I went for a jog again today, only this time I went a little bit easier on myself and so far my knees feel alright! There is something about physical activity that makes me want to eat healthy foods. So once again, for supper, I made something wonderfully delicious and nutritious: Quinoa with grilled zucchini and marinated tofu steak. I have an enormous amount of tofu left over, so it's going to be a tofu week. And since I wasn't trying to recreate something that I missed back home, I just made it simple and kept it Lilibeth-like. This was the result:

This is what you need:

1 small zucchini cut lengthwise
1 cup quinoa (health food section of your grocery store)
2 cups water
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt
tofu steak triangles (recipe in previous post)
splash of sesame seed oil

In a small sauce pan, bring the two cups of water to a boil with the 1 cup of quinoa. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it so that it doesn't burn.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of oilve oil in a pan, throw on your tofu steaks and zucchini. Sprinkle the zucchini with salt. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the zucchini is soft. The tofu should become softer and dark brown.

Check on your quinoa, you'll know it's ready when all the liquid is absorbed and you can see a ring on each grain. It'll also become fluffy and rice-like.

Serve with the grilled zucchini and tofu. I added a splash of sesame seed oil to my quinoa for some added flavour and the benefit of omega fatty acids. (Who am I?!) So yummy! Oh and before I forget, the health benefits of quinoa are that it's a good source of dietary fiber, protein, magnesium, iron and it's gluten free! I think that maybe I will suggest that my parents eat this instead of their usual white rice.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Super Protein Salad

Today I was craving something I hadn't had a hankering for in a long time. The summer before the wedding I was eating really lean, light foods, not necessariliy for weight loss but because it was what my body wanted. I had also scared myself into not eating sugar for fear of succumbing to the ailments of my ancestors. Clearly, marriage changed that a little bit. I needed to learn the basics of cooking good family meals and I was also craving comfort food, what with being in a foreign place. The thing about Seattle is, it isn't really that different from Toronto. It's just different enough to make you feel like you've entered the Twilight Zone. With my husband gone for a week (skiing up in Canada), it sort of felt like my old single life again, just me and the bunnies, which is probably why I was missing one of my favourite restaurants back home: Fresh. They had this one salad on the menu called the Super Protein Salad that was the most delicious thing in the world! I ate it three times a week, sometimes four. I tried to recreate that salad today, but it just wasn't the same. The neighborhood Safeway didn't have half the ingredients I needed so I had to improvise most of it. What I created was definitely nutritious and tasy, but sadly, not the same way my beloved Fresh made it. Where does one get goji berries, tempeh and puffed quinoa in Seattle? My beautiful sister-in-law gave me a Fresh recipe book the night of the rehearsal dinner (thank you so much!), so I was able to at least substitute real Fresh tofu steak for my tempeh.

The Super Protein Salad has:

your greens of choice
chick peas (check)
grape tomatoes (check)
cucumbers (check)
grilled tempeh (fail) I used tofu instead
puffed quinoa (fail)
goji berries (fail)
slivered pistachios (fail)
currants (fail) I used Craisins instead
slivered almonds (check)
sea salt (check)
hazelnuts (fail)
I like to top my salad off with tahini dressing, which Safeway miraculously had (check)

Since I was substituting tofu for tempeh, I decided I would try Fresh's Marinated Tofu Steak Recipe, which is as follows:

1 block of firm tofu
2 tsp ground coriander (I used parsley)
4 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 cup of tamari
2 cups of filtered water

Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut the slices diagonally into triangles. Place them in a bowl and pour the rest of the ingredients over the tofu triangles. Marinate for 1 hour. Then I took 7 triangles and browned them over medium-high heat in my frying pan, and added them to my salad.

Lilibeth Protein Salad

All in all, it was a very nutritious dinner for one but I really need to find a place that sells tempeh. That aside: Happy Birthday Clementine! I made you cupcakes! The catch is, you must come to Seattle to eat them.

The real Super Protein Salad, so delicious.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Running Around Town

It has been three and a half weeks since I broke my toe and bone-bruised my foot. I am supposed to avoid strenuous activity for 6 weeks but I have never really liked being told what to do and since I feel fine, I decided I would try my hand at jogging. Here in Seattle, it seems you can never go anywhere without running into a dozen joggers a day. I've never felt the inclination to run simply because it looks hard, but last Friday, I was late for a dinner reservation and thought I'd try to make it on time by running there like a fool. You know what? I discovered that it wasn't that hard and it was kind of enjoyable! Well, I am up for things that are both enjoyable and raises my heart rate and metabolism, so why not? My lovely friend Lindsay suggested I go to a professional running place that could help me find the right footwear and maybe even have classes or groups of people to teach you how to run properly. I did just that at this place called Fleet Feet Seattle, which is not far from where we live, so that gave me extra motivation. A nice newlywed, young man helped me find running shoes for my bunion-y, pronated, low arched feet (my husband has pronated, flat feet, so our kids are screwed), and I ended up with some sweet looking new Brooks runners. They actually had me put on several pairs of shoes, jump on a treadmill and recorded my running feet from behind. From this recording and from watching me walk and run outside, they made recommendations for specific shoes. Very cool. So, I got home and jogged today for the very first time, joining my fellow Seattleites in the time honoured tradition of keeping our bodies fit! Now I won't feel so guilty about eating all the food that I make! It was challenging, even though I started out slowly, but I think I like it.

I woke up the day after my first jogging session with a swollen eye and non-stop sneezing. Related? I sure hope not, so I'm going to keep at it but first I need to let my knees heal. I think I just got my first peek at the future, because I have never experienced such joint ache before! Oy.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Allergic To The West Coast

The world is a very interesting place. Either that or I am a very sensitive person. This is the second city I have moved to and the second time I have experienced a whole new set of ailments that stem from an external source. When I moved to Toronto, my skin had a very adverse reaction to the extremely polluted city air. It went away once I got used to it (and also with the help of Clinique's 3 Step System) but would return on the most smoggy, summer days. Since moving to Seattle, I have had to deal with a new problem: eye itchiness. I've been taking anti-histamines that don't work and have been tortured every morning and evening by this gripping itch that feels like it's going to take over my life. By last Friday I had had enough, I woke up with a bloodshot, itchy, watery, puffy eye. Could this be an eye infection? It was time to pay a visit to the eye doctor. It turns out I am very allergic to some new (to me), unknown, west coast allergen. It was a relief to know that it wasn't something worse, but now I'm test-driving an eye drop called Pataday. So far so good, this is the fourth day and my eyes definitely feel relieved. I have been here for nearly five months, and enough is enough! I really need to get used to my environment, which brings me to my next topic: jogging.

I figure if I am outside for a good chunk of the day, blasting my eyes with this new allergen, I might get used to it faster. This could turn out to be allergic reaction suicide, or my strange theory could actually work! I will keep you posted. (pun intended)

Clinique's 3 Step System

Pataday Eye Drops

Friday, February 18, 2011

Filipino Style Meaty Pasta Sauce

My memories are all food related and scent related. When I smell YSL's Opium, I will instinctively think of my mother. Thinking of my mother makes me crave her spaghetti, which was probably the dish that started it all for me. It doesn't follow a classic Italian recipe but has the same basic ingredients plus a few tweaks here and there, which is why I call it Filipino style, but it's really Myrna Lofranco style.

Mommy's Spaghetti Sauce:

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt to taste
1 tbsp of white sugar
1.5 - 2 lbs lean ground beef
12 large cremini mushrooms
1 medium yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 large can/jar of store bought tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
1 can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 small brick of extra old cheddar cheese
1 lb of whatever pasta your heart desires, my mom always used spaghettini

Finely chop the onions and garlic, quarter your mushrooms.

In a large pan, brown your ground beef on medium high heat. Season liberally with salt. Set aside.

In a big pot, soften the onion in the olive oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add your ground beef and garlic. After the meat, onion and garlic are incorporated into each other, add your tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, and can of cream of mushroom soup. Bring it to a boil and add your cremini mushrooms. Reduce the heat after 5 minutes, add your sugar and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

The colour lightens and looks creamier after you add the soup!

Grate as much of the cheddar cheese as you want, it's mainly for serving, you can afford to be generous with it, it only makes it taste better! Trust me on this, I know it's weird.

Voila! Mommy Spaghetti Sauce on some egg noodles, with a sprinkling of sharp cheddar cheese. I ordinarily use white cheddar for looks and cause it's what my mom used, but they taste the same. This dish makes me feel like I'm 6 years old every time. Only takes 30 minutes to make but makes me immeasurably happy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Less Than Five Weeks Until Spring!

Lately, I have been in the mood for ultra feminine, sweet, soft and classically ladylike things. (This comes as no surprise to many of you) I have absolutely decided that this is the year that I am going to wear a Chanel perfume. There is just something about Chanel that makes me happy. It conjures up images of a strong woman, who is both cutting edge and classic at the same time. My new obsession? Coco Mademoiselle. I drew up a spreadsheet so that I could see which scents I have been drawn to and which top notes and middle notes are found in my most favourite perfumes of all time. Coco Mademoiselle was a perfect match, and I have to say, I am in love. It's been going strong since 1989. It smells nothing like the newer perfumes that have come out in recent years that smell juvenile and way too sweet.

I have started wearing headbands and pearls more often, you'd think I was watching a lot of Gossip Girl, but I am not! I think I'm just looking forward to the spring, which leads into summer, which means no more wearing giant, heavy jackets that make men and women all look the same. I enjoy looking like a lady. Much like this lady:

I love the Chanel Camellia.

So cute and spring-like!
I am in love with grey nails

Emma Watson
See? I'm on some weird Chanel kick, I don't know what's going on. I mean, I was wearing high heels in the kitchen the other day for crying out loud! I think I'm going to go put on some ballet slippers and make cupcakes now.