Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Holidays from Not-a-Fortune

Before I left town for the Christmas holiday I scheduled an automatic post advertising DIY printable fortune cookies from kind over matter. I neglected to promote the post on Facebook  or Twitter, so if you missed it go here. The last full post, where I wrote about my evening with Myrtle watching Die Hard and replacing our not-a-fortunes, could have ended with this:
A gift from Myrtle- gumballs with "an enlightening fortune in every box!"

I went home for the holidays and when I arrived at my parents' house, these were waiting for me, saved from a recent visit to San Antonio's Golden Wok:
My father's not-a-fortune (top): "I would rather attempt something great and fail than attempt to do nothing and succeed."
My mother's not-a-fortune: "It doesn't matter, who is without a flaw?"

The next day Colleen, also home for the holidays (though her home is quite a bit colder than mine) sent me this not-a-fortune, which had clearly not been proofread:
"Speak only well or people and you need never whisper."

Erin over at Pardon My Dust had Chinese food on Christmas Day and she blogged about it here. She included her fortune, but in case you're lazy and don't want to follow that link, I'll post it here as well:
"You will soon embark on a business venture."
She told me not to add the usual "in bed" to the end of this one, as that's still illegal in this country, but I reminded her that to my knowledge there are parts of Nevada that might still entertain such businesses...

My parents and I had lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant the day after Christmas, and while my father and I received actual fortunes, my mother did not:
My father's fortune: "Soon, you will receive pleasant news."
My fortune: "You will be reunited with old friends before the month is out."
My mother's not-a-fortune: You deserve to have a good time after a hard day's work."

Since I gave my parents the gift of more Chinese food for Christmas (a gift card), my mother has another opportunity for a fortune. 
I included two fortune cookies in the takeout container along with the gift card, and they opened them last night. My father's cookie insert said, "Past experience: He who never makes mistakes never did anything that's worthy." My mother's: "Emotions can be sweet and sour, so can your meal."

My mother's not-a-fortune was food-related, as was this not-a-fortune Mr. Fabulous received:
"Enjoyed the meal? Buy one to go too."

Last night at happy hour LT gave me the inserts she and her husband received at lunch:
Her hubby's actual fortune: "You will receive a surprising gift very soon." (in bed?!)
LT's not-a-fortune: "The courage to be great lies deep within each of us." (not even going there)

Finally, as I was writing this post, Not-a-Fortune's favorite expectant couple, Bea Dazzler and her husband Princess Quite-A-Lot, sent me these inserts:
"Magnanimity will bring you universal respect."

"Live in THIS moment," Bea Dazzler's not-a-fortune and a good reminder to appreciate what we have and enjoy ourselves as best we can.

happy holidays!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

These printable fortune cookies are featured on kind over matter, one of the blogs I follow. The directions are included on the site. Click the link above and get to work satisfying your crafting gene (one that I lack).

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For?

Earlier this week Myrtle invited me over to partake in her Christmas ritual of watching Die Hard and wrapping gifts. I brought Vietnamese food, which came with fortune cookies.

My fortune cookie insert read, "A bargain is not a bargain unless you can use the product." I wonder if the rule applies to a torn not-a-fortune.

Myrtle's insert read, "It is now, and in this world, that we must live."

Hmmm...neither of these qualify as actual fortunes. We were disappointed. I posted a photo of our not-a-fortunes on Facebook and Twitter with the caption, "We want new not-a-fortunes." Yet we settled in for some younger Bruce Willis action movie and present wrapping fun. A couple of hours later, Myrtle showed me a gift she purchased for her niece:
That's right, M.A.S.H., the classic pencil and paper game best friends use to predict their futures! If you've never played it, the gist is that you can predict who you'll marry, what your occupation will be, how many children you will (or will not) have, and other future events. M.A.S.H. (so titled for Mansion Apartment Shack House - your dwelling options) was popular when we were in junior high, but that didn't stop us from playing in college, and we're kicking ourselves for not having come up with this handy notepad, which is surely a bestseller!

Now, if you look closely you'll see a category or two that may not be appropriate for tweens. Upon closer inspection, Myrtle decided against giving her niece a gift that requires her to choose her cause of death and contemplate how many times per week she'll have sex in the future. What did that mean for us? That's right: gift wrapping and Die Hard just got put on the back burner. Cue squeals of glee from yours truly!

As M.A.S.H. is certainly a fortune teller of sorts, I'm sure you want to know what Myrtle and I learned about our lives. I won't tell you everything, but here are the highlights:

Myrtle will live in a mansion in NYC; drive a Jaguar (who drives Jaguars anymore? ooh, maybe it's the animal instead of the vehicle); and, paradoxically, be a richy rich academic (income: "too rich to care whether I get tax breaks"). She will not be married, will never have kids - even step-children - yet will somehow end up with Jon Stewart (the part she was most excited about, I'm sure). Also: she will die of boredom.

I will also live in NYC, but in an apartment (possibly one in Myrtle's mansion, as I will be merely a teacher). I will drive a red convertible, which is a goal of mine, though I question the logistics of this in the city. The most important parts of my M.A.S.H., in my opinion, are that I'm not marrying Ryan Reynolds (or Paul Rudd), my occupation will not be "not camper," I will have a pet jellyfish, and I will die as a result of an injury sustained during sex and involving chocolate syrup (important note: I'm allergic to chocolate).


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Joy, Peace, Friends, and Fortunes

Last night I met Bea Dazzler and UnScurvyGirl for dinner at PF Chang's. Although there was a ginormous chocolate cake involved, I couldn't partake due to a persistent chocolate allergy and was jonesing for the fortune cookies our socially inept server waited until the very last opportunity to deliver. Finally, I received this not-a-fortune:
"Your happy heart brings joy and peace where there is none."

Bea Dazzler's not-a-fortune is more of a direction:
"Place special emphasis on old friendship."
[Note: file under "to do."]

UnScurvyGirl's not-a-fortune seems like a good one for my blog header, no?
"Every person is the architect of his or her own fortune."

Today I woke up to an email from UnScurvyGirl with this not-a-fortune from the website failblog.org, labeled "advice":
"Only listen to fortune cookie, disregard all other fortune telling units."

What if we always placed special emphasis on our cookie inserts, and on nothing else?

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Couple's Not-a-Fortunes

Not-A-Fortune's favorite expectant couple, Bea Dazzler and her husband Princess Quite-A-Lot, sent me these not-a-fortunes:

"Listen carefully. An upcoming important message may be subtle."

Along with her picture text of this cookie insert, Bea Dazzler said, "Sshh! Did you hear it?"

"Your dynamic eyes have attracted a secret admirer."

To which Princess Quite-A-Lot added, "Twinkle, Twinkle. Oh yeah."

I don't know what I enjoyed more- the inserts or their recipients' commentary. Thanks for sharing, friends!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Same Night, Same Place, Different Not-a-Fortunes

My girl Single Blonde and I both had dinner from Austin's Chinatown tonight, though not together (I won't speculate on how her evening progressed, but for my part I'll say it would have been more enjoyable had we been together). Here's my not-a-fortune:
"Use your talents. That's what they are intended for."

And here's hers:

"The time is right to make new friends."

I'd say she's the big winner, as mine is really more of a direction. Hers at least indicates good things to come of new friendships, no?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I'm All A-Twitter

My tweeps (tweeps=twitter+peeps) are usually very good about sharing their cookie inserts with me. I haven't been so good about sharing them with you, my faithful readers. This is my attempt at updating you on some of the fortune cookie inserts my tweeps have received over the past few weeks.

"There is something seeing and there is something being seen."

My favorite Iowan (whose last insert appeared here) deemed this a "Not-a-fortune (+not-a-sensical)," which is right on target. Hopefully receiving the following actual fortune as part of this year's United Way campaign was more encouraging:
"The project you have in mind will soon gain momentum."

Hippiechick's fortune didn't reach her in time, as she wished the fortune cookie gods had gotten to her sooner:
"This is not a day to take risks. Diplomacy rules today."

L received a much more promising fortune:
"Your planning will bring rich rewards."

And finally, Becky shared some like-a-fortunes she and her kids found as they enjoyed some Jones Soda:
"Now is the time to set your sights high and go for it."
"Your happiness is intertwined with your outlook on life."
"Fear creates danger and courage dispels it."

Why Wasn't It Me?!

My friend LT just texted me that her coworker received this actual fortune at lunch today:

"This is a night for love and affection."

As LT said, "you don't even have to add 'in bed' to the end!"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fortune Cookies in the Bath?

For several weeks I had tickets to see Bob Schneider at the One World Theatre, a gorgeous venue in Austin. Not everyone likes Bob Schneider, but I do. I had been looking forward to this night. I asked Single Blonde in the City to be my date. We went to dinner at The Grove, and then were surprised to find ourselves at a Christmas concert with Bob and friends. When the couple next to us asked if we knew the concert was going to feature Christmas music, we realized we weren't the only ones for whom the program insert was the first indication of a holiday theme. Upon leaving the venue, a screaming, raging concertgoer threatening to "go in there and demand a refund" was our second clue.

SBITC saved my night with the gift of relaxation: fortune cookies meant for the bath.

As pictured above, the cookie insert peeks out. What does it say, does it need to dissolve before I'll know?

"Thank you for helping raise money for the American Cancer Society."

What the what?! That's not a fortune at all! That's not even a not-a-fortune! But you're welcome, American Cancer Society; and thank you, SBITC, you're the best!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The End of My 31st Birthday Celebrations, FortuneCookieJunkie Style

My apologies for the interruptions. Allow me to complete the pictorial chronicle of how my friends spoiled me and fed my fortune cookie obsession. Since I've been teasing you with my trip to P.F. Chang's for weeks now (exciting, I know), I'll begin with the not-a-fortune I received after Colleen and I had a scrumptious (shout out to my mother, as that's one of her favorite words) meal, which began with the all-too-addictive crispy green beans and ended with an interesting carrot cake cheesecake in celebration of my birthday (duh).
"Everyone feels lucky for having you as a friend."
[Sidenote: this cookie insert includes my lucky number, an element imperative to Bea Dazzler's belief in an insert's proverbial power.]

This cookie insert, though not bearing an actual fortune, may have been a harbinger of what was to come. Feast your eyes on the card Colleen gave me:
Now if that doesn't say "I feel lucky for having you as a friend," I don't know what does!

Do you recall where I keep my fortune cookie inserts? Over a year ago, in my second Not-a-Fortune post ever, I wrote about this little gem, which I had just received as a 30th birthday gift from Myrtle.
Yeah, well, it now looks like this, crammed to the gills with cookie inserts:
In fact, the little silver fortune cookie that could is so stuffed that I have a stack of cookie inserts sitting on my desk awaiting a new home. At least I did until my friend and next door neighbor Hester gave me this fortune folio:
According to the faux insert on the cover card, "Success comes to those who keep their fortunes in this handy scrapbook." Woo hoo!

And someone wanted to make sure I don't have any trouble filling the scrapbook, as I received this box of personalized fortune cookies:
(And this photo was taken after several have been consumed!)

You'll note the word personalized, meaning I won't be sharing the contents of all of those fortunes. However, I will tell you the first cookie I opened contained an insert reading, "You will always love not camping." I cannot imagine that this will ever not be true.

Thank you to everyone who helped make my birthday special. You all remind me how fortunate I am to have such great friends and family every day of the year.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

They're Everywhere!

I'm at an academic conference this weekend. I'm carrying a bag I don't carry on a daily basis. I reached into one of the interior pockets and instead of a (purple) pen or my lip balm, what did I find? A fortune cookie insert!

"If you are wise with your decisions, good things are bound to come."

It's labeled "M&D" in the corner, meaning it's one of my parents' cookie inserts (Mom & Dad), from who knows how long ago. I'm posting from my phone on the fly and can't look back through my old posts to see if I've shared this one previously. Is it a fortune or not? Good things are bound to come, sure, but only IF you are wise with your decisions. Hedging its bets...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Some 31st Birthday Fortunes

At the end of my last post I promised you I'd chronicle my birthday trip to P.F. Chang's, and I will, but not in this post. Why? A couple of reasons: chronologically, I'm going to start at the beginning, and P.F. Chang's isn't it. Also: I don't have access to the photos from that event at hand, and I'm feeling lazy at the moment. My blog, my prerogative. ;)

I'll begin with my parents' visit, which included Chinese food for lunch (shocking, I know). Here is the actual fortune I received following the meal:
"A pleasant surprise is in store for you."

And this was true, as I found out when UnScurvyGirl's delivery of homemade Nutter Butters arrived. Yes, you read that correctly: homemade Nutter Butters. A box full of them. All for me. Now that's what I call a gift! Plus, it came with a personalized fortune:
"You will have a sugar high very soon. Oh and you'll be older, too."

Both true. That UnScurvyGirl is nothing if not creative, sassy, and clever. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beginnings of Birthday Postings...

... and HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY to my girl Erin, a great friend of Not-a-Fortune from its inception. 

I turned 31 last month (still not used to saying "31" instead of "30") and my parents and friends spoiled me with fortune cookie-related gifts and outings. In an effort to keep from overwhelming myself, I've decided to write two or three posts about all of this birthday love. As today is my dear friend Erin's 30th birthday, I'll begin with her gift:

(and it was delicious)

The insert reads, "You will find all the joy life has to offer in the years to come." I may hold her to that. ;)

Due to unforeseen scheduling snafus and last minute changes of plans, Erin gave me this gift at her own 30th birthday party this past weekend. It was a great party, weeks in the making. I live-tweeted it as best I could while also trying to enjoy myself. Erin blogged about readying her house (her yard, really) for the soiree at Pardon My Dust and I have no doubt she will also chronicle the event itself in due time. Check it out.

Meanwhile, welcome to your thirties, Erin. May this new decade bring you much happiness.

Next up in the "Allison turns 31 and eats lots of Chinese food" series: Colleen & I go to P.F. Chang's, UnScurvyGirl makes the best Nutter Butters, and an entire box of personalized fortune cookies arrives!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'll Be Back...but who is "our"?

I'll be back with new posts after a brief hiatus. In fact, I've drafted the beginning of a post detailing all the wonderful fortune cookie-related birthday goodness my friends and family bestowed upon me, so expect that in the not-so-distant future.

In the meantime, I'll leave you pondering to whom "our" refers in the following fortune, shared with me by one of my favorite Twintelopes:
"Don't forget, you are always on our minds."

Monday, November 1, 2010

If I Wasn't a Sour Cream Fan Before...

That's right: I don't like sour cream. There. I said it. But I do cook with it upon occasion, which is exactly what I did last Friday night when I made panna cotta using a recipe from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home. And what did I find when I opened the carton of Daisy?

"A smile can start a conversation without saying a word."

I think this post and the previous two prove this concept. Thanks, Daisy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oh, Daisy...

My last post showcased a Daisy sour cream lid that revealed an ironic saying, given its context, that could have been mistaken for a not-a-fortune had it been printed on a small slip of paper and stuffed inside a fortune cookie. It seems the people at Daisy have a fondness for these cultural sayings. Colleen found this on the underside of her sour cream container last night:

"Jumping for joy is good exercise."

As she noted in her text to me, "On the other hand, if you don't eat this sour cream, you won't need the exercise so badly...also ironic."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Irony In Action

I won't go into details but my dear friend Allison moved across the country a few months ago and, well, let's just say creating a new community has been difficult. She returned home from a failed meet up to find this under the lid of her Daisy sour cream container:
Similar to a not-a-fortune, no? Not to mention the definition of irony...

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Luckiest Cupcake In the World?!

Hello, dear readers. I come to you from an overcast Austin on this Friday evening. I've got lots of fortunes and not-a-fortunes to share, but I'm not feeling very bloggy today. Hopefully you'll forgive me and settle for this re-blog of THE LUCKIEST CUPCAKE IN THE WORLD:

From Bake It In a Cake, a fortune cookie is baked into each cupcake. Follow the link for the recipe.

Thanks to @sparklebliss for making me aware of this.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Green-Tea Fortune Cookies

In my last post I mentioned that I received an empty fortune cookie bag and I contemplated whether this meant I should make my own* fortune cookie (following the logic that an empty cookie is an opportunity to write your own fortune). Reading the November 2010 issue of Food & Wine I came across this recipe for Green-Tea Fortune Cookies. Serendipitous, no?

This recipe is from Joanne Chang, who told F&W she "likes having fun with the fortunes she puts inside these large cookies, like 'Give the chef a big kiss.'" I hate to be a buzzkill, Joanne, but that's a not-a-fortune.

*You may recall a fortune cookie-making extravaganza in honor of the Chinese New Year. That post can be found here, and offers step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) on how to fold fortune cookies.
  • ACTIVE: 1 HR


  1. 3/4 cup sugar
  2. 3 large egg whites
  3. 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  4. 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  5. 1 tablespoon matcha green-tea powder
  6. 18 small paper fortunes


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg whites, butter, flour and green-tea powder until smooth. Cover the batter and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Have a coffee mug and standard-size muffin tin handy. Spoon two 2-tablespoon-size mounds of batter onto the baking sheet, 6 inches apart. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter to make two 6-inch rounds.
  3. Bake in the center of the oven for 12 to 14 minutes, until the edges are browned and the centers are still light. Let cool for 10 seconds, then using a spatula, invert one tuile and place a paper fortune in the center. Fold the tuile in half and then bring the ends together, using the rim of the coffee mug to make the crease. Set the fortune cookie in a muffin cup to hold its shape. Repeat with the second tuile. If the tuile hardens, return it to the oven for a few seconds. Repeat with the remaining batter and fortunes. Let the cookies cool completely before serving.


The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Recrisp in the oven gently if necessary.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Emptiness & Opportunity

Last night my college roommate texted me to ask what it means when you receive a fortune cookie that has no fortune- an empty cookie. I told her about V's superstitions regarding this occurrence (found here) but then said I think it's an opportunity to write your own fortune.

But does that mean I'm supposed to make my own cookie since the last time I had Chinese food I got this:
This is an empty bag. No cookie. Obviously no cookie insert, fortune or not.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

As Seen in Lake Casa Blanca State Park

...but not by me, 'cause I love not camping.

"It's time to treat yourself to something special."

My friend Erin (formerly CAChick05, but we'll just dispense with the pseudonym since I'm directing you to her blog) of Pardon My Dust found this not-a-fortune on the ground at Lake Casa Blanca State Park in Laredo, Texas. She wants to know if found not-a-fortunes still apply to her. As this one suggests indulgence, I'm inclined to answer in the affirmative. Readers, your thoughts?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Dinner of Directions

...and I missed it. Bea Dazzler and UnScurvyGirl met for dinner at P.F. Chang's, my old haunt. I wasn't able to join them (sad!), but Bea sent their not-a-fortunes with the text, "We don't need to be told what to do at dinner, thankyouverymuch."

"Face any problem with dignity."
"Be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds."

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Fortune Cookies

Remember my October 1st post where I said that October is my birth month? It is. And we have a tradition in my family of not acknowledging Halloween until after my birthday, which is not until the 27th in case you were wondering. The lovely women over at kind over matter do not participate in this tradition (why would they?), and so yesterday they offered these printable Halloween fortune cookies:

If you would like to receive the template for these adorable holiday-which-I-don't-acknowledge-until-way-later-in-the-month-themed fortune cookies, simply follow this link for more information.

And remember, only 21 shopping days left!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where Did September Go? Oh, well, it's still a Friday...

If October weren't my birth month I'd be more inclined to lament the loss of September, which blew right past me. I have no idea where it went. No. Freakin'. Clue. Here's a not-a-fortune I saw on kind over matter, one of the sites I follow. (If you follow this link, you can download a free October desktop wallpaper calendar with a lovely saying from kind over matter. The women who run that site really are the best.)
"Approach all areas of life with a bold enthusiasm."

I've received a few cookie inserts since my last round-up:

"You will enjoy good health and financial independence."  — All I can say to that is, "Ha!"

"Every person is the architect of his or her own fortune." — When I posted this not-a-fortune on Facebook (ooh, speaking of Facebook, how many of you are going to see the movie based on its founding?) one of my fb friends commented that she had received the very same not-a-fortune herself: "Scam!" In the same thread, my friend V commented that she received "Something wonderful is about to happy," which appeared on the blog a few weeks ago. I think this very unscientific sample proves these little inserts are not always original.

"A secret admirer will soon send you a sign of affection." — I will refrain from comment on this one, other than to say, "Creepy McCreeperson."

I also have two cookie inserts stashed away with the above three that I think belong to The Geologist. It only makes sense given the fact that we were together each time I had Chinese food. The first one reads, "A truly great person never puts away the simplicity of a child." I know The Geologist received this not-a-fortune, as I recall discussing it with him. The second reads, "Endurance and persistence will be rewarded," and it is taking every ounce of strength that I have not to add "in bed" at the end the way Single Blonde in the City would want me to.
My parents (everybody's favorite parents?) saved two cookie inserts for me, one fortune and one not. My mother brought them to me when she came to visit last weekend. She wasn't sure which was hers and which was my father's, but it doesn't matter to me because I think both inserts apply to each of them.

"If you can't excel with talent, triumph with effort."

"You will soon create a favorable impression on someone."
My friends have shared fantastic cookie inserts with me the past two weeks. All the way from CA, my niece Emily said this about her fortune cookie: "It tastes like cookie! It's good!" Her not-a-fortune, which was spot on:
"You have a fine capacity for the enjoyment of life."

Emily's mother's not-a-fortune was the same one I blogged about following SBITC's grandparents' memorial service:
"If you continually give, you will continually have."

Emily's father's cookie insert read,
"You should do well at making money and holding on to it,"
and those of you who are regular Not-a-Fortune readers may recognize a certain materiality to his cookie inserts, more of which can be found here.

One of Not-a-Fortune's favorite friends, Bea Dazzler, and her husband, Princess Quite-A-Lot, received these winners:
"While you're carrying a grudge, others are out dancing."
(To which Bea Dazzler said, "Um, what?")

Princess Quite-A-Lot wants to know "Who writes this crap?" and thinks he "win[s] on the lame scale":
"Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
(Insert pregnancy-themed joke about eggs and basket, as Bea Dazzler is currently carrying Princess Quite-A-Lot's baby.)

An ATX friend who has been dealing with a bit of an unsettled situation had a fortuitous lunch a few days ago when he broke open his fortune cookie to reveal an insert that read,
"You will soon emerge victorious in the maze you've been travelling in."

Some of my Twitter friends also received interesting cookie inserts since my last round-up:

Julie, aka @queenofpink, was told "A thrilling time is in store for you," to which she responded, "Thrill me, baby." Her daughter's fortune: "Your planning will bring rich rewards."

Finally, Lauren's not-a-fortune told her, "A truly creative person rids him or herself of all self-imposed limitations."
And so, with that, I wish you a happy my birth month! Er, I mean, happy October!