December 21, 2009

a grown up Christmas list

I love lists. There's nothing quite like drawing a neat black line through items one by one, just ticking them off. So I have three quick lists for the end of the Monday before Christmas.

Things That Should Not Happen Again

-unbuttoning my pants on the way into the bathroom at work (that should happen after I'm in the stall)
-wearing skinny jeans on a day when my thighs feel as big as boulders
-snow and ice on my car in the morning
-the toilet in my apartment running constantly (aauuugh the noise and the water waste!)
-going to the bathroom at work without my shoes on
-falling asleep on the couch for the millionth night in a row (contrary to anything Adam might say, this is NOT fun.)
-standing in line for half an hour at the post office to mail a gift
-Christmas present shopping for five hours

Things That Should Happen Lots More Times

-a free Moosejaw sweatshirt with orders over $79
-wearing a cute yet flowy shirt on a fat day
-wrapping presents and putting them under the tree (FESTIVE!)
-making cheesecake
-ugly christmas sweater parties
-talking about buying Bonnaroo tickets in December
-penguin onesies from Target (which is what I should have worn to work today instead of the skinny pants)
-Christmas present shopping for five hours only if done with Adam
-wearing red and white striped Christmas knee high socks with white santa fur around the top
-The Flaming Lips live (particularly "White Christmas" and "Do You Realize")

Things That Are Going to Happen Tonight
-mushroom marsala pasta with artichokes
-possible toilet fixation (well I do have a fixation with the damn toilet right now, but I meant the toilet getting fixed.)
-penguin onesie from Target

December 16, 2009

Edward Sharpe (for real this time)

I just realized that my last post included "Edward" in the title and I did not deliver. I had all these plans to write an entry about Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes and also about Edward Cullen (swooooon) and the New Moon premiere that I attended with my Twilight work girls. Epic Fail (in the words of one Carol Prince). OK so now I'm going to get down to business. Music recommendations. Go.

Wait, first does anyone know how I can put a song on here? For now I'm going to go with a YouTube video. (oh my lordy [says my mother...] YouTube does not show up as a misspelled word in my browser.)

November 27, 2009

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup and Edward

One of the best perks of my job is the free stuff. We have a product review page called Cool Finds in Jack and Jill. Companies email us about reviewing their products, we say "sure, we'd love to! But we have to see the product first." The company sends us their product, we decide if we like it or not, and then we fight over who gets to take it home. I've gotten an air popper for popcorn, a Paul Frank winter hat, a pair of fuzzy slippers, and a rice cooker. The rice cooker came with a recipe book. We figured if we were going to take advantage of this free rice cooker, we might as well give the company some publicity in return, so we featured one of their recipes for chicken tortilla soup. The U.S. Kids Test Kitchen made it and all employees were fairly impressed. I thought it needed just a bit more kick. Last night we made it at home with a few spicy additions.

I'm just going to say that this recipe is firstly fairly cheap. Canned ingredients, rice, chicken, and broth. Secondly, it's a ONE POT RECIPE. So few dishes!! Thirdly, it's pretty easy to throw together.

November 14, 2009

Something New

I've been telling myself for awhile that I need to start writing on my blog again, but the idea of just rambling about my life seemed fairly unappealing. So I've decided to dedicate my "new" blog to two of my loves: food and music. OK, no long-winded introductions to the food and songs in my life.

I'm going to start with a recipe Adam and I made for dinner a few days ago. I try not to eat too much meat. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my burgers, steak, and chicken. I just can't handle a lot. In lieu of "real" meat, I decided to make some fish, specifically salmon. I found this recipe is from Gourmet, April 2005, Wild Salmon with Pearl Couscous, slow-roasted tomatoes, and lemon oregano oil. OK, I know, with a name as confusing as that, why on earth did I decide to make the friggin stuff? Well the ingredients aren't that weird. I usually have most of them in my apartment. First of all, we halved the recipe. (there was still couscous left over which I inhaled cold the next day for lunch while watching Friends.) Second, you're supposed to roast the tomatoes for 2ish hours. There's no way that on a week night, I can wait for 2 hours to eat after I get home while tomatoes roast. I have very little self-control or patience. So we sauted the red bitches and then popped them in the oven with the salmon for five minutes. I really liked the sharp lemon and tomato flavors with the fish. Four stars.

Next, GUSTER. Guster has been my favorite band since freshman year of college, though I first saw them open for Barenaked Ladies in high school in 2000. I've traveled to quite a few of their concerts in college and after even. The music is good, solid, catchy, sometimes deep sometimes silly, and, for me, like a favorite old tshirt. So when I hear that they were touring in honor of 10 years since the release/tour of their first big label album Lost and Gone Forever, I almost peed my pants. They were going to play through the whole album, plus another set. I bought tickets to the show in Cincinnati, my tenth Guster show. Let me just tell you, it was great. GREAT. They walked on stage, started playing "Diane," and I felt like I had suddenly been reunited with four of my old friends. I sang to every song (except for the two new ones they played). So, check out Guster if you haven't already.

OK, I also just took a bite of my first potato chip cookie ever and I have to report. Because, seriously, POTATO CHIP cookies? WTF? Adam's mom gave me the recipe and I was seriously doubtful. They're actually pretty good though. Chewy because of the oatmeal, and a nice mix of sweet and salty. Kind of like the dough for chocolate chip cookies, but without the chips...well chocolate chips. I have been proved wrong. And so ridiculously easy to make. Here, why not, you try them too. I think that when I make them next time though, I might cut back on the sugar just a bit. They're veeeerrry sweet cookies.

Potato Chip Cookies
recipe from Debbie Coffin

1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 cups oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups crushed potato chips (I suggest Lays classic, no ridges)

Preheat the oven to 350.
Mix the butter and sugars together in a large bowl.
Add the dry ingredients and mix.
Add the eggs and vanilla and mix yet again.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.

And now Mira is begging me to play with her jeans with her.

May 4, 2009

In the Rest of My Life

Adam and I are going to Las Vegas on Thursday until Monday for a friend's wedding plus vacation time. I'm pretty insanely excited since I've never been before. Trying to convince him that we can squeeze a visit to the South Port Equestrian Center into our very full itinerary. 

In honor of the trip Adam took one of his twice a year shopping trips on Saturday. We spent 3 hours at various stores but I'd say we were successful. Suit, tie, sports coat, shorts, tshirts, dress shirts, golf clothes. Check. 

Yesterday we discovered that Mira is a psycho. Huh wait we already knew that. Turns out she thinks horses are the weirdest, scariest, and coolest things ever. She came to the barn with us and was intrigued by the four horses there. She sniffed and yelped and stuck her head under the fence in an attempt to get closer. When she did finally get up close to Patriot, she hunkered close to the ground with her ears pricked up and then lunged at him. Adam yanked back on the leash mid-air and what followed was Mira suspended in the hair, twisting around for half a second with Patriot looking down at her calmly. I think she liked the cows across the street better.

In The Kitchen

Somehow this weekend turned into a cooking/baking party.

Last weekend I made pizza dough. It was insanely easy and good and now I think I can make somewhat healthy pizza. I was then inspired to try making bread. I've always thought of bread as one of the hardest things to make because of my dad's bread baking stories. In coll
ege he was known for making bread that was literally as hard and dense as a rock. He loved it. Everyone else (i.e. my mom and aunt and uncle) thought he was crazy.

My friend Renée made this no-knead bread though and claimed it was incredibly easy. Then I stumbled upon this blog, Smitten Kitchen, and amazingly enough she includes the same recipe on her site. OK so I decided this was the one to be my first attempt into the world of bread.
Not going to lie, it was time consuming, but not in a labor intensive sort of way, just in a waiting sort of way. The dough has to rise for 12-18 hours and then again for 2 hours. So it requires some planning ahead. Buuuut after a half an hour in the oven it tastes so good! Chewy inside and crusty crust. The recipe can be found here. And below:)

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

I also made some blondies, recipe found again on the Smitten Kitchen site, to take to my parents' house for dinner last night. I really want to put dried fruit of some sort in them but since I didn't have any I went for espresso and peanut butter (because peanut butter makes everything SO TASTY duh). Not bad.

Also got duck last week at Goose (ahaha duck and goose) because they didn't have chicken breasts. Never made duck before but I figured everything's good stirfried right? Satay sauce, duck, rice, onions, and green peppers. Did you know duck is fatty? And fat makes things greasy? It was greasy but good stirfry. The best part of dinner? FAT TIRE! Bought right here at my local Marsh!

April 6, 2009


Yesterday was the rainiest of rainy Sundays. Big rain drops for most of the day, thunder, and lightening. The driveway turned into a giant pond. I'm sure some fish have taken up residence there. The weather was not conducive to dog walking, so poor Mira got two pees all day and got drenched in the process (so did I...). I kept hoping that we would get a window of no rain when I could take her out for a brief walk. No luck so around 9pm I broke down and got ready to take her out in the rain. As I put on her leash, Adam and I had this exchange.

Me: We're going to get so wet.
A: Well take an umbrella (said UMbrella) and then at least
you'll be dry.
Me: I don't own an umbrella.
A: What?! But you have like 40 scarves!
Me: When did scarves and umbrellas become synonymous?

Still no apartment pictures, but it's really awesome, trust me!

I do have pictures of this glorious giant strawberries n cream cupcake we made for Sam's
birthday. I baked, Adam decorated.

April 3, 2009


Let me take  you on a journey.

It's 9am on a Friday morning (this Friday morning in fact). I've just opened my internet browser at work and my homepage opens up. "Introducing Flutter" it says, "because 140 characters is 114 too many." Huh, is there something cooler than Twitter out there? Doubtful I clicked and was taken to this video. Have you watched it? Because it's fairly hilarious. I obviously have to see if this Flutter exists, so I Google it. Nope, it's just a cruel joke that the good staff of Slate came up with. But I did find a website called Flutter that sounded suspiciously like Etsy (LINKS EVERYWHERE OMG!). Upon browsing the site I came across chandeliers.  My first thought was "Oh my God these are awesome! Now I know where I'm going to buy my next chandelier." My next thought was "wait, when the hell will I need a chandelier in the near future?"

Good Morning!

Oh have you noticed there's a plague going around? It's called the baby plague. I think it's a side effect to the better-known marriage sickness. I felt behind when my friends all started getting engaged and married. Now that they're all going to Babyland, I feel like the runner in last place who can't even see the guy in second-to-last place. Apparently I have a lot of catching up to do, but I'm not going to start sprinting anytime soon.

I moved successfully into my new and fabulous apartment. Fabulous because I can actually cook in the kitchen!! I will be posting pictures soon hopefully of not only the apartment but of my most recent baking adventure in said kitchen.

I'll leave you with this delightful conversation I had with a man while answering the phone at the front desk at work last week.
Phone rings.
Me: Saturday Evening Post.
Man: Yes, hello ma'am, I want to report a child support fraud.
Me: Ok, um, this is the Saturday Evening Post, we're a magazine.
Man: I need to report a child support fraud. Can you help me?
Me: Well this is a magazine. We publish a magazine here.
Man: Do you know who I can call?
Me: Um, I, no, I really don't, I'm so sorry.

In retrospect I probably should have told him child services.

March 3, 2009

reasons not to rent from signature communities

Things that have broken in my apartment recently
  • the radiator, three times to be exact, which leaks water all over the floor of my living room/dining area/entry area (they're pretty much all one and the same)
  • the bathtub, which no longer drains properly.  After 20 minutes of plunging this morning I was left with a 1/2 inch of water plus all sorts of gross shit floating in it in the tub.  Washed my hair in the sink.
  • the kitchen sink, which provides me with a nice background of drip drop plip plop leaky faucet.
I am sick and tired of this piece of crap apartment and the landlords who do not know how to fix shit.  Two visits ago, the maintenance guy said he didn't know much about radiator heat so couldn't fix the leak in mine.  On the last visit he said he'd be there at 9AM.  9:30 rolled around, I had to leave, had told him I might be gone.  He showed up sometime later that day I assume, only he COULDN'T GET IN though he assured me he had a key to do just that in the instance that I was not there.  

Moving next weekend.  Thank goodness.

At least spring is almost here.  If you consider 16 degree weather almost spring.  I found the perfect dress for warm weather.  This week peas are available in my Farm Fresh Delivery.  I can smell warm weather, horseback riding, and camping.  Oh and golf.  But oddly enough I am not dreading golf season.  I don't mind when Adam turns on the golf channel on Sunday mornings.  I actually watch.  What's happening to me?!

And then all was ok in the world because there were doughnuts in the break room.  I scarfed down a custard-filled chocolate frosted one in about 1 minute.  It's going straight to my cellulite-y booty and thighs.  

February 2, 2009

A Sadness Runs Through Him

Good God I am bored at work.  The sad reality is that I have work to be done.  This is obviously more important.

Put your iTunes on shuffle.  Write down the name of the song to get your answer for each question.  

If someone says, "Is this ok?" You say...
Give It Up or Let It Go, Dixie Chicks

How would you describe yourself?
Your Savior, Temple of the Dog (well that's a little pompous.  But it's true.)

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Nowhere Fast, Incubus (that's shockingly accurate at this point in time, and I don't mean that in a bad way at all.)

How do you feel today?
Halfway Home, Jason Mraz

What's your life's purpose?
Satellite, Dave Matthews Band

What is your motto?
Highway, Ingrid Michaelson

What do your friends think of you?
Nature Boy, David Bowie (I'm a BOY?!  shit.)

What do you think of your parents?
The Pretender, Foo Fighters (ouch, I do not think my parents are pretenders)

What do you think about very often?
From a Buick 6, Bob Dylan

What do you think of the person you like?
Rich, Yeah Yeah Yeahs (heh, I'm sure he's rich compared to me!)

What is your life story?
The Show Must Go On, Queen

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Bare, Matt Nathanson (I want to live in a nudist colony?)

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Looking for Astronauts, The National (I mean he likes space and NASA...)

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Love Song, Sarah Bareilles

What will be played at your funeral?
Can You Feel the Love Tonight? Elton John

What is your hobby/interest?
Dear Doctor, The Rolling Stones (if it's a hot doctor, then yes, that would be an interest/hobby of mine)

What is your biggest fear?
Shame, Matchbox Twenty

what is your biggest secret?
Exit Music (For a Film), Radiohead (haha, cue the exit music, I won't be tellin biatches)

What do you think of your friends?
Fireflies, Faith Hill (mmm I love this song)

What will you put as the title?
A Sadness Runs Through Him, the Hoosiers

January 29, 2009

Til Death Do Us Part

I think I have finally figured out why I dislike The Notebook.  I know, GASP!  Don't kill me, K?  Most of my friends love it because it's a story of true love, standing strong until the end.  The husband falls in love with his wife and fights for her, despite the fact that she's marrying another man, and they live this love story.  Even at the end, when she cannot remember who he is, he still comes and reads to her and reminds her of their life together.  Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that this is true love at it's finest.  It's the kind of love I hope to have when I grow old.  But this story, the tragic present that the old Noah and Allie live in, is not romantic.  Yet somehow that's what the movie has become.  Some epically romantic movie of prevailing love.

Earlier this week my mother's uncle Herman died very suddenly of a heart attack.  He left his wife, Willy, who is nine years older than he was and is in very poor health.  She can hardly see anymore and in recent years he had done everything for her.  Grocery shopping, cleaning, all paperwork, money, everything.  My grandparents, my mom, and I visited them a few years ago when I was in Holland, and I remember him even carefully helping her carry coffee into the living room, guiding her around furniture.  Yes, it was overwhelmingly kind and touching that he was doing all this for her, that he was there for her through it all, but at the same time it was so incredibly sad and horrible.  

The night Herman died, Willy sisters and brothers told my mother of a scene that I can't quite shake.  Willy sat in her chair in the living room, maybe the light was muted and dust floated in the air, much like it did the day we visited.  Over and over she said, "how could he leave me?  How could he?"  She seemed utterly lost without him.  Her brothers and sisters offered their houses, begged to stay and help her through the night, but she refused.  She just wanted to sit in that chair, "I probably won't even go to bed, I can't sleep."  

If this was The Notebook, Willy's story would be spun to look romantic.  She spent her entire life loving him, he took care of her, now she's pining away for his lost love.  I just can't see it that way.  I just see an old woman, lost without her other half, who can't even bring herself to move from her chair and go to bed, so she sits there, helplessly all through the night.  How is there even a shred of romance in that?  I know my grandparents and great aunts and uncles will take care of her.  They'll stay with her, they'll eventually insist that she comes to stay with them, but right now I'm only sad for her.

That was quite a depressing post.  

January 6, 2009

Who will save the egg?

Humpty Dumpty is running a Cover Art Contest right now. We ask kids to draw a picture of themselves as a superhero and send it in. One will be chosen to be on the cover of a future issue.

I get pretty hysterical and awesome entries. Some kids get really creative, while others just draw the Eggman himself wearing a cape. Today a big stack of entries arrived on my desk. I have two favorites.

The first is a picture of a man wearing a half red, half blue outfit of some sort (mostly a square outfit, as drawn by this 6-year-old) with long arms, stretched out to the sides. He is saying "Up up and away!" Underneath, in carefully messy child's handwriting, is this statement "Super Obama wraps arms around world."

The second is done in pencil. It's a picture of a boy's face and says "my little brother." This kid considers his little brother a superhero! I wish I'd thought of my little brother that way when I was 6. No, I guess we were fairly close at that age. The uncontrollable annoyance didn't start until middle school.