I’ll be posting on a collaborative blog called nerdswithfood.wordpress.com so check me out there!

I got an invite a long while ago to be on the mailing this for this online boutique called RueLaLa. I signed up, checked it out and thought, “Wow. I cannot afford anything on there.” At the time most of the stuff they had for sale was high end designer clothing. Each “boutique” on the site features a specific label/designer and the stuff is on sale for 24-48 hours at a very discounted price (less than retail). They only have a limited number of each item and tend to sell out of the popular brands. Then the other day, I was bored and was browsing the site and lo and behold – there was a Shun knives boutique. Of course I had to check it out at the tail end of the sale and there was basically nothing left.

I’ve been keeping an eye on this site since then and was able to catch a Le Creuset boutique sale last week. I got myself a white 9 quart cast iron french oven for $200 (retails at around $350-400), 2 sets of 2 square stoneware baking dishes in black and in Caribbean for $30 a set (retails at around $70), and 2 sets of 4 stoneware mini cocottes in black and white for $40 a set (retails at around $80). I have to admit that it was quite a steal. Shipping was one flat rate of $10. I apologize ahead of time to the delivery guy because according to UPS, the shipment is about 45 pounds. Yikes. I’ll post pictures when I get the delivery.

Which leads me to announce that RueLaLa is having a J.A. Henckels knife boutique tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 1st) starting at 8am. You need to be “invited” to check it out (rolls eyes). But here’s my invite link in case you all want to take a gander: http://www.ruelala.com/invite/klieu06. I’m betting you’re going to save around 30-50% on the knives at least since the Le Creuset boutique was so awesome. Let me know if you end up checking it out!

So I started a new job right around the time of my last post, and then I fell off the face of the planet. Sorry all for going AWOL! Lots of things have happened since then, so I’ll try to (slowly) write my posts on my food adventures. Some things I’ll mention are:

1. A Thomas Keller dinner night with some friends – each couple made one of his recipes. One of them was from his new book Ad Hoc at Home.

2. My trip to Philly for a friend’s wedding – we went to a Jose Garces restaurant!

3. More of my cooking projects

For now, I’d just like everyone to know that Costco (the one in Pacific Beach on Morena) is currently selling a 3 pack of different sea salts for $15! I got so giddy and people were giving me weird looks at the store. (Stop giving me the sidelong glance, person with the 5 gallon jug of mayo.)

I feel so fancy with this in my kitchen...

The brand is Olde Thompson and the salts are Cypress Flake, Himalayan Pink, and Sel Gris (French Grey Salt). This stash is probably going to last a while. I didn’t realize how much there was until I took the bottles out of the packaging. That’s a lot of salt.

I found a super awesome deal a couple of weeks ago on craigslist that I couldn’t pass up. Someone was selling their barely used Amazon Kindle 2 for a little over $100 and she was throwing in the accessories she bought. The seller threw in a skin for the Kindle that she never applied and what seems like a Case Logic D-SLR camera bag that was waaaaay too big for the device. A guy had emailed her first before me and she was going to let him grab it first, but I knew this was such a great deal and I wanted this thing so bad that I called her the morning the guy was supposed to meet her and offered her an extra $20 if she’d let me buy it immediately. It’s amazing how much you can sway someone with Mr. Jackson.

The bf was going to buy me a Kindle 2 for my birthday, but I beat him to it. Instead,  he got me a nice cover for it and a book light made for the cover. What a sweetie. =)

The book light slides into a pocket behind the Kindle. Its got a bendy arm and the light is a bright LED with two brightness levels. It also only uses 1 AAA battery and is small enough to fit in the cover next to the Kindle and allowing the cover to latch. The skin that the lady gave me was so pretty, so I applied it onto the device. She has good taste.

There’s quite a few books that are free to download on Amazon (mostly classics). I had a really hard time deciding which would be the first book I’d want to spend money on. In the end, I kept going back to Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential and ended up making the purchase:

I’m about halfway through it now. Such an awesome read! I love how honest and articulate he is. It took me a while to commit to the purchase because I wanted to make sure there were no pictures that I’d miss out on if I didn’t get the physical book. I can’t wait to read his other books!

By the way, Mr. Bourdain will be in Escondido at the California Center for the Arts for his book tour on September 18th. He’ll be doing a “lecture” and then a Q&A session. If you get VIP tickets, you can meet him and get your book signed. Details on the event are here and you can purchase tickets here. I can’t wait!

I made chicken pot pie over the weekend as meals for the rest of the week.

Totally doesn’t look appetizing, but I swear it’s pretty tasty!Om nom nom.

It’s my third attempt at chicken pot pie and my second time making this particular recipe. I adapted this recipe from Ina Garten’s Chicken Pot Pie recipe on Food Network. Hers seems like it would be amazing, but I was on a bit of a time crunch and I’m kind of particular to what kind of veggies I’ll eat. I also don’t think I could tackle homemade pie crust. Yet. Most of the time was spent prepping the veggies and tearing up the chicken. I forgot the heavy cream on the first try of this recipe and it didn’t seem like anything was missing. I added a splash (1/8 cup approx) of 1% milk to see if it made any difference this time and it seemed like the filling was a tad more runny. The bf seems to think it’s wonderful, but he tends to eat just about anything I cook whether it’s good or not. Next time I cook this, I’ll work on the cosmetics of the pie.

Recipe after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

My “temp” partner-in-crime somehow convinced me that I should have a blog. She must have caught me in a moment of vulnerability because I actually agreed to do it. To actually have people reading my ramblings, well, that’s another story. So Dani – this one’s for you.

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