About Me

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Name: Tasha. Age: young at heart. Dreams: quite often. ‎I used to be snow-white... but I drifted. Now I'm known as "the angry bunny". I'm a Pescatarian (an individual that doesn't eat land animals). Pear-shaped, hardcore food porn addict and caffiend, standing on size 6-and-a-half; seeks excitement by pursuing life as an insomniac horror movie gore whore and epicurean. I love cats, peonies, tattoos and Yoga. I don't like long walks on the beach; sand makes me feel shorter than I already am. I watch MMA for all the wrong reasons. I have a weakness for the deltoid muscle on chiseled men. I have a chronic addiction to sushi.

October 12, 2011

FOOD FIGHT: GSP (Georges "Rush" St. Pierre) - The Legacy Dinner

Current UFC Welterweight Champion

In my opinion, Georges St. Pierre (or as I like to refer him as Gorgeous St. Perfection), is MMA (mixed martial arts). I would have never started watching MMA if it were not for this athlete; this incredible specimen. He's currently ranked #1 in the Welterweight division by Sherdog.com, MMAWeekly and other numerous publications. He's currently ranked by ESPN Sports as the #2 pound-for-pound fighter.

Over the course of the last 4 years, St. Pierre has been dominating the welterweight division in the UFC. It's even been stated that there's a term for what a challenger goes through after losing to St. Pierre. It's called "The GSP Fatigue"; when a fighter scores continuous losses due to the mental and physical havoc St. Pierre wreaked on him. It's simply a theory, but on October 29th, 2011 he will be defending his Welterweight Title against his teammate, Carlos Condit, at UFC 137. If St. Pierre is once again victorious, we will then see if this theory is true since it happened to Jake Shields, Thiago Alves and Dan Hardy. To read more, click here: The GSP Fatigue

St. Pierre had a difficult childhood; attending a school where other children would steal his things; even his clothing. At age 7, he started learning Kyokushin Karate from his father in order to defend himself from a school bully. Then he gradually started learning other forms of fighting. In every sense of the word, St. Pierre is a world class MMA-ist (Jiu-jitsu black belt, Gaidojutsu black belt, Kyokushin 3rd black belt, accomplished wrestler, well versed in Muay-Thai and boxing, not to mention his amazing core strength). He's an all-around fighter. To date, St. Pierre has 22 career fights and has only been defeated once by both Matt Serra and Matt Hughes; of which he has avenged those losses. 

The first time I saw St. Pierre fight was on December 29th, 2007 against Matt Hughes; in which St. Pierre won the Interim Welterweight Championship. He also received submission of the night, dealing an arm-bar to Hughes for the win. Every woman likes a man who can fight and bonus points if he looks like St. Pierre with those bright, mesmerizing blue eyes and charming smile. In 2010, St. Pierre took home the Guy's Choice award for "Most Dangerous Man"; beating out boxer, Manny Pacquiao. Ass-kicking ability aside, St. Pierre's very likeable, humble and a gracious individual. You can't help, but immediately like the man for who he is... an ideal human being and iconic champion in the world of MMA. A champion who relents from talking trash about other fighters and instead lets his skills do the conversing and a fighter who motivates, trains, and treats others with respect, dignity and understanding.

It was truly difficult to create a worthy recipe for Georges St. Pierre. Over the course of planning, I decided to create a full meal; three courses to honor this amazing and respected individual. In my book, he's a cataclysm of all things great. For some strange reason, I keep thinking he could possibly smell like pine and bacon (for he is Canadian); therefore, that was my jumping off point. He's also a man rich in knowledge, well-traveled, adorns himself in fine clothing, but enjoys simplicity and calm. In the end, after weeks of commiserating over recipes in books and my head, I opted for courses tied together with bacon: an edible bacon bowl salad, roast bacon-stuffed beef loin (rich, worldly and a well loved protein), and apple crepes covered with caramel and candied bacon bits. Similar to this man, I hope this meal is an extraordinary dining spread which carries with it a certain spark of "legacy" that is Georges St. Pierre. I dubbed this three-course meal The Legacy Dinner.

Bacon Salad Bowl
Bacon Salad Bowl - What you will need:
1. Baking glass cup (use for custard)
2. A baking dish
3. Tin foil
4. Bacon

Turn baking glass cup upside down. Cover completely with tin foil. Place tin-covered baking glass cup in a baking dish. Layer bacon over the cup. Bake at 350 degrees until bacon is crispy. Let completely cool before removing from the baking glass cup and foil.

Roasted Stuffed Beef Loin

Roasted Stuffed Beef Loin

2 cups cut fresh spinach
4 slices of bacon, diced
1 small white onion
2 Tbsp. of olive oil

1. Salt and pepper beef loin.
2. Fry bacon and onions until caramelized and then add spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove mixture and let cool.
3. Make a tunnel in the middle of the beef loin and stuff with mixture. 
4. Rub olive oil on beef loin and bake in oven for 45 mins. at 350 degrees. 
5. Remove from oven and let rest at least 10 mins. before cutting into it. 

Apple crepes with candied bacon and caramel. 
Basic Crepes Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp. of butter, melted

1. In a bowl, mix the flour and eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water. Stir together to combine. Add the salt and melted butter. Beat until smooth.
2. Heat a lightly oiled non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour a scoop of the batter into the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan in a circular motion so batter can coat the surface evenly.
3. Cook crepe for about 2 mins. until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side.

Apple Stuffing:
2 apples (I used Honeycrisp) - diced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. In a pot, combine apples, sugar and vanilla extract.
2. Cook over medium heat until apples are lightly caramelized; stir often.
3. Remove from heat. Serve hot or cold. 

Candied Bacon:
2 slices of bacon
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Parchment paper
2 baking sheets

1. Mix bacon and brown sugar together.
2. Lay bacon on parchment lined baking sheet.
3. Place another layer of parchment paper on top of the sugared bacon. Then place the other baking sheet on top to help keep bacon flat.
4. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 mins. 
5. Remove and let cool completely. Bacon will harden.

Stuff apple mixture into crepes and roll. Add caramel sauce and crumbled candied bacon on top. Garnish with raspberries and candied bacon slices (optional).

October 5, 2011

Lady of Autumn

Ms. Kalimah Anuksunamun Thurston
T'was a clear, sunny and beautiful day in early October. Just weeks ago, the weather in Minnesota dipped down into mild fall temperatures. Suddenly, we are blessed with somewhat of an Indian Summer (Today, Oct. 5, the temperature was 86 degrees). Although it feels like summer, the foliage begs to differ. It's clear that autumn is upon us; my most favorite season of the year. Perhaps this is why I don't want to relocate anywhere else... or to remain away too long from my home in Minnesota. In not seeing the earth tone hues and vibrant shades of gold and red on the trees just doesn't quite seem like a full year; a seasonal transition into the festivities of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

I took the opportunity of a half-day work day to take my cat, Kalimah, out for a stroll. She was hesitant at first to go out because she's an indoor kitty (she thought we were heading off to the vet), but the moment we hit the stairwell leading outside, she took to this day's warmth and gentle breeze like a fish to water. By the time we were to come back in, it was an all-out kitty tantrum worth nine lives. Fortunately, the promise of nom and epic brushing coerced her little heart and mind to listen to me, her mama. 

Kalimah's more than deserving of such love, affection and gifts. She is incomparable and fills my life with every joy unimaginable. Whenever I see her sweet, loving face and hear her calming purr... she's like the season of autumn. Without autumn, as the year doesn't feel complete; without her my life is incomplete. She's like the warmth of a burning fire, the soothing aroma of fall spices filling a cozy kitchen, and a gentle hug from loved ones at Thanksgiving dinner. She's my lady of autumn; a beginning and an end to many things in my life. 

First try at the "falling leaves" shot. Fail!


September 30, 2011

JOURNEY: The Cat House on the Kings

With my friend and fellow cat enthusiast, Sayuri; posing at the Main Gate into the sanctuary/adoption center.

It has been years in the making... my journey to this magnificent feline (and canine) wonderland. Since viewing a special on Animal Planet about the Cat House on the Kings almost 3 years ago, I've wanted to venture off to this land of tuna breath, purrs and sandpaper kisses. Some people want to head off to Vegas, Hawaii, Paris, the Bahamas, but me... any place where the residents of furry faces that speak the "language of meow" outnumber humans is far more fascinating. 

On September 24, 2011... my sister Cua and friend Sayuri accompanied me on a 2 hrs. road trip to visit the Cat House. Sayuri's also an avid cat enthusiast; owning two wonderful little feline fur babies (whom I had the pleasure of meeting during my visit to California). The Cat House is located in Parlier, CA and is situated right along the Kings River. It's a 12-acres no-cage, no-kill animal sanctuary and adoption center. It's headed by an amazing woman, Lynea Lattanzio, and this facility has been in existence for nearly 20 years. 

Upon our arrival, we were taken to the Kitten Quarters and main office. The moment we walked in, I felt as if I were home. There was a comfort and contentment that enveloped every sense of my being. I was both calm and ecstatic. I almost couldn't hold in my excitement in just simply hearing the meows from the cats who sensed our presence in the building. It was like Christmas morning with new fallen snow, fire wood crackling, the scent of mistletoe and fresh baked cookies in the air, the aroma of mama's lemongrass turkey and every gift on my wishlist present under the tree. It was magical. 

One of the Cat House representatives showed us around the Kitten Quarters, where mother cats fed and slept with their wee babes. We were also introduced to the most adorable, tiny puppies recently rescued from death row and were on their way to a rescue in Oregon. After cooing and awing over the puppies, we settled down to visit the cats. Being able to hold them in my arms helped alleviate some of the sadness from missing my cat, Kalimah, at home. There's just something so completely fulfilling in feeling kitty whiskers and paws on my face. The pleasant purrs and kisses are bonuses. 

Getting love from the kitties.
Ms. Lynea Lattanzio took some time out of her busy schedule to give us a tour of the Cat House. The moment I saw Lynea round the corner to greet us, I started to tear up. It was overwhelming to meet such an amazing, sweet and down-to-earth individual who loves cats (and dogs) as much as I do and to finally meet "the lady with 700 cats". She's so passionate about her calling in life. She's an angel and a reason to believe the pure and sincere goodness in people. At the Cat House, she lives by one rule: although the cats may not have a home, they have a life. Lynea inspires me to be a better person.

With my hero, Ms. Lynea Lattanzio.

This little girl wouldn't let me go. The moment I picked her up, in my heart, I was hers. 
I met a wondrous, adorable kitten at the Cat House and immediately fell in love with her. I still think of to this day and often find myself regretting not bringing her home to live with me. Throughout the visit, she held onto me and purred in my ear. If only I didn't live thousands of miles away, she would be sitting here next to me as I write this blog. I truly miss her. For a few hours, she brought me so much happiness and peace. Imagine what a lifetime with her would be like... everlasting happiness and peace. I do sincerely hope she finds a loving, forever home. 

Lynea's cat. Can you spot the heart on kitty?


Sayuri, Lynea, Tasha (me) and Cua with Ninja Kitties.

It was such an amazing trip. I plan to visit the Cat House on the Kings every year. I'm a proud sponsor of a cat living there, Sir Lancelot, and I hope that others will help sponsor or donate to this tremendously incredible place. Even if you can't offer a loving, forever home... donating your time and monetary gifts to the on-going operations of this sanctuary/adoption center will help provide the companion animals there a life; to live freely and happily without fear of being put to sleep just because humans deemed it so and/or to suffer cruelty so many other animals experience. $5 a month. That's one less cocktail you can do without, one less  pack of cigarettes (your health will thank you); one less unnecessary thing you might regret purchasing.

For more information on the Cat House on the Kings and how to donate, go to The Cat House on the Kings or FB The Cat House on the Kings.com

Give the joy of NINE LIVES and donate. Also, please spay and neuter your pets & adopt, don't shop. 

My souvenir from the Cat House.