February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Menu Ideas, and the Liebster Award

Since this week is a busy week for me (it's my birthday Friday, and I'm gearing up for the Wicked Faire, and I bought myself Skyrim as an early birthday present (I know, I'm late to the party on this one, but at least I know the bugs will be worked out!)), instead of the usual recipe post, I have a round up of Valentine's Day recipe ideas for you! Yay! (Btdubs, making Picmonkey collages is like my newest obsession. OMG.)

I'm particularly proud of this collage. XD
And for the star of the show:
Left to right, starting at the top:
I was also awarded the Liebster award, not once, but twice from Ruby at The Ruby Red Apron and Heather at Dietetic Sinners

So, for the Liebster Award, I'm supposed to list 11 random things about myself, and then answer 11 questions asked by the person that awarded it to me. Since I have 2 sets of questions to answer, Imma skip the 11 random things. (You're welcome)

From Heather:
What is your favorite childhood memory?
And we start out with a tough one. Umm, it's hard to say. Not one memory really stands out to me as a kid. I can't even be like, "going to Disney World when I was five" because I got pneumonia immediately afterwards. Can we go with "everything other than getting pneumonia"? 

I had a pretty awesome childhood, so we'll go with that.

What is the best thing you have ever eaten?
Another hard question. Geez, is this the Spanish Inquisition? Who's going to bring out the comfy chair? I guess I'll go with the tres leche cake at Martino's, a local Cuban restaurant. That thing's like a religious experience (and their chicken mole ain't too bad, either!)

What was your favorite subject in school?
An easy one! English.

Where did your blog name come from?
This one takes a little back-story. A few years back, the bestie decided she wanted to open a cupcake shop, and she wanted me to do it with her (never happened, obvi). But we weren't just going to sell cupcakes. No, we were going to serve gourmet teas, and I would sell my jewelry, and we'd have a steampunk theme and make soups and sandwiches, and it would be the best shop in the history of shops.

So, our working name for this shop was Om Nom Nom Cupcakes. But then we couldn't use that, because we weren't just cupcakes, so we decided on Om Nom Nom Cupcakes and More. But that was a bit unwieldy. We were just calling it Cupcakes and More by that point. I was making jewelry pretty constantly back then, and everyone was convinced that I should open a shop and sell it anyway, so one of the women my mother worked with suggested the name Tea & Trinkets, which I loved. It went with the theme, we could make it more of a tea shop atmosphere, it was perfect.

Fast forward to me starting the blog, and I was trying to come up with a name. My perfect shop name wouldn't work, I'm complete pants at naming things, and I thought I'd be posting a lot more crafts (heh), so I tweaked Tea & Trinkets into Treats & Trinkets

Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
Lose all of my old memories. As good of a life as I've had, I've also got a lot of baggage and bad memories. I'd rather start fresh than stay stuck.

Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it?

What animal are you most like?  why?
I honestly don't have an answer for this. Although I'd very much like to be a housecat. They've got it made, dude.

On a scale of one to ten, how well do you sing?
I'd say in the 6-7 range? I made regional choir twice in middle school, so I'm better than average, but I never got any solos, so it couldn't be by much. I'm a mezzo-soprano, if you were wondering.

Have you ever met someone famous?  If so who was it?
Nope. Although there was that dude from the Sopranos that came to the family barbecue once. Apparently his character was killed with a Snapple bottle. Very exciting. And the drummer from Vampire Weekend said hi to me, but I couldn't remember where I recognized him from and thought he was in one of my classes or something (suave is my middle name).

And Chris Baty tweeted me back when I asked him a question. And Jen Yates retweeted me once. And Bonnie Burton said she wanted to read my novel about the Cheese Man. And this one time in high school, I emailed John Ondrasik, and he emailed me back, like a full length email, with paragraphs and everything, and I was excited about that for months, and I was convinced we were totally best friends.

Yeah, I'm gonna stick with the "nope."

What's your favorite ice cream brand and flavor?
Ben & Jerry's. Cherry Garcia. Word.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
I'd stay the age I am now. Old enough for everything, and young enough to do it. Although I'm a bum and a homebody, so I probably won't do a darned thing. But I could.

From Ruby: 
What has been your most popular blog post so far?
Mommy's birthday cupcakes, the white chocolate chip cupcakes

Name one recipe or food that you would like to cross off your bucket list.
I'd like to try and my my own ricotta and mozzarella. Also, get over my frying phobia.

What’s your favorite ingredient to work with (spice, herb, etc.)
I like cinnamon. And Mrs. Dash. Although, not together. Ick.

Since I love vegetables so much… What is your favorite vegetable?
Spinach. It's pretty much the only vegetable I'll eat 100% of the time, no matter the preparation. Cooked, raw, hot, cold, whatever.

What is the best dish or dessert you’ve EVER made?
A question like that could start wars. Everyone has a different opinion on that. So I'm going to go with my personal favorite, which are my applesauce cupcakes.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Or where do most of your ideas come from?
I pull it out my derriere. Seriously, though, we know my deal with planning things. It don't work. I have a notebook with recipes that I've planned out and researched and written notes on and I haven't made a single one. But then I'll buy some Zombie Head Bon Bons and boom! Cherry chocolate chip cupcakes.

Inspiration can come from anywhere, at any time. You just gotta be ready for it. (Inspiration blogger quote FTW!)

Name one person famous or not — that you would like to cook dinner for.
Talk about a loaded question. There are quite a number of fangirly answers to this one, and while I would very much like to make dinner for a certain British actor with a ridiculous name and even more ridiculous cheekbones, my answer would have to be my Grammy. I'd make her risotto and hot dogs. And for dessert, we'd have devil's fool cupcakes, because that was the last thing she ever asked me to make, and she couldn't eat them. 

And that was a lot harder to type than I thought it would be.

Do you have a favorite chef/cook?
That's a toss-up between Nadia G, Alton Brown, and Bobby Flay. Although, if I had to choose one, I guess I would say Alton Brown, because nerdy cooks are awesome.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?
The blogging community is wonderful. I also love the fact that it pushes me outside of my comfort zone to try new things and new flavor combinations, and techniques. It gives me something to focus on when I need it, and forces my mind to do something constructive and creative

What is your earliest cooking experience memory?
Making meatballs with my grandmother in her little Brooklyn kitchen.

What’s your favorite cuisine or favorite food?
I don't really have a favorite. I'm rather eclectic.

And now I'm suppose to nominate 11 blogs and ask them 11 questions of my own. (It's really supposed to be new blogs, but I'm a mean old blogger and I don't really follow n00bs. *shakes cane*)

And the nominees are:

And here are your 11 questions (be afraid):
  1. What is the funniest thing anyone has ever said to you, or you've overheard someone say?
  2. When you were really little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What's the craziest thing you've ever done?
  4. What accomplishment (blogging or or otherwise) are you the most proud of?
  5. Why did you start blogging?
  6. What is your ultimate comfort food?
  7. What is your guilty pleasure?
  8. Who is your favorite superhero?
  9. What is your favorite movie of all time?
  10. If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
  11. What are your zombie apocalypse plans?
...I warned you. I told you to be afraid. Did you listen? If you're brave enough to answer my questions, please make sure to leave me a link in the comments below so I can read your answers. I solemnly promise not to steal your zombie apocalypse plans. Because mine kicks butt.