Friday, January 30, 2009

Feeling flexible

Okay not this flexible, although this picture did make my morning. How cool is this? BCBG, a brand I love despite that I sort of can't afford it, (think triple digits for all clothing/shoes/accessories). They send me emails a few times a week. Actually I get emails from the merriam webster word of the day (today was 'garble'); the urban (hilarious and ghetto, earlier this week was 'land in on the hudson' as in when trying to do something well), and a few other less notable auto-emails that more or less get dumped into my junk mail. But I digress, the picture made me think of the fabulous yoga i did last night, and reminiscing a bit the 'ol flexible cheerleading days. Get me a fan and I am trying this bad boy at home. Kudos BCBG.
It almost makes up for the email they sent me last week about how excited they were that Dakota Fanning was wearing one of their dresses. Seriously? All I can think of is Amy Poehler doing the 'Dakota Fanning' show on SNL where she was an overgrown child actor that was awkwardly transitioning from her LimitedToo days... This is what I'm to aspire to be? Party foul BCBG. Party foul.
On to my eats! So in perusing the giant cookbook that is the internet, I came across a unique recipe that I had nearly all the ingredients for (high five!).
Lentil-Almond Stir Fry (Heidi Swanson, 100 cookbooks)
  • Lentils
  • Potatoes
  • Almonds
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Dates
  • Yogurt
  • Mint
  • Peppers

    This was actually pretty good. I was intrigued by the ingredients (and I've been meaning to do things with lentils) they sound kind of weird together, but were really good. I halved Heidi's recipe, used regular yogurt and a more mild pepper. Also I had previously lukewarm feelings towards brussel sprouts. Since I'd only had the steamed, wet and yucky kind previously, grilling made them a thousand times more appealing. Duly noted.
Tonight I am leaving after work for a FAM filled weekend (yay!) watching my sister's game tonight, Grandma's birthday tomorrow, Aunt's Wedding Shower on Sunday and a mere 12 hours in the car. I am SO excited to see everyone and am wishing the day away already.
Happy weekend friends! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How do I look?

Remember that show that used to be on E! called how do I look? Well that had Anna Devane (Robin Scorpio's mother from General Hospital and superspy from All My Children who stayed at Wildwind and married that nut job David Hayward?) good times.... anyway the actress from all of that is also the host of this E! makeover show. At the very end of the show during the big reveal said formerly frump-tastic guinney pig would walk out on the stage with new highlights and usually a wrap dress and look into the camera and awkwardly force the words... 'How Do I look?'

So..... new blog format..... how do I look? To thank for this transformation we have the oh-so-talented and generous melissa who was kind enough to put together a fancier look. Thank you!! :) sidebar though: apparently the links may not work so well so if for any reason you want to link to the ACTUAL recipe that I've chronicled my time attempting to recreate then let me know and I can scrounge it up. Yes scrounge. A distant cousin to scurry.

Anyway, on to the eats! There were actually some truley fantastic things I had planned to make this week. They would've made me go overboard on superlatives, fireworks would've gone off and a choir of angels would've been singing in all their glory. Except..... it's really pretty cold outside and when i'm not in class, running errands in the snow and single digits makes a can of annie's organic spaghettios seem all the more appealing. I know, I know... that's not exciting. Well with my lack of grocery trips happening this week, below are the simpleton eats I hadn't tried before.

For lunch today I made a turkey sandwich that had Avocado (oh that's right), a swiss lite laughing cow wedge, spinach, sprouts, cucumbers and pretzels. I'm loving the pretzels on there.. except that since I threw this together on my way out the door this morning (as opposed to immediately before eating) the pretzels got a little soggy in the cheese. Note to self, add those later. Otherwise this comes highly recommended. I had it with a side of NF yogurt and bare granola. Perfecto.

This morning I opted for something a bit more fancy. There is a food blog that is so inspiring, except for the fact that it's not exactly healthy. However, Aunt Anne... you would love this guy from closet cooking. The recipe calls for scrambled eggs (i used 1 egg and 2 egg whites), sundried tomatoes, and freshly grated parm over bread with mayo (i used WW and Vegan mayo). It's like regular eggs and toast got a fancy facelift.
Last night because I didn't go to the store and couldn't spend the entire night on the sofa in PJs eating cheeze-its and dark chocolate M&Ms (don't worry, that did NOT happen the entire time the news was on. at all. okay a little) I was running out of options. Because Avocado always sounds delicious and there was one ready to go, I took any and all fresh-ish vegetables and threw them in tacos. What you're looking at off the coast of South America there (my new $1 placemat to round out my collection with American Presidents) is Fish tacos! Shrimp, spinach, black beans, corn, salsa, diced tomato and red onions. LOVELY.

And now my lovelies, I am off to work, sneak in some homework and in general waste away the minutes until I am home from work and class and am engrossed in all things Sawyer. Adios amigos!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dance Party!

So remember how last weekend it was so nice to stay in and do nothing? Apparently my cabin fever sent me over the edge this weekend where shenanigans included everything from losing a jeopardy game, losing a wii tournament, consequently losing the prize liquor (pretty sure i found that too) losing my glasses (found), losing my lunch, a dance party (with apparently trick photography coming from the kitchen counter top?) losing basketball games (as a spectator... obviously) crawling across bar tables, playing dice games with crowds of cheering townies, trespassing, broken chairs, broken camera (fixed) and in general putting me in some serious detox today. My body is pretty mad at me and has me swearing off alcohol and the copious amounts of bar food i ate over the course of 2 days. Unfortunately places with $4 pitchers don't have food that isn't fried. Fortunately my attempts to BEG our waitress to turn on the fryer at 2 am didn't happen. As I now dream of vegetables, citrus fruit, and a simpler time where I had reports to this pseudo health food blog about which I could be proud... The one home-made recipe bright spot was the food Jaclyn made for the Wii party.
As it happens, she received this recipe from a teacher of ours (from a class we were supposed to be in together no less)
So without any further ado I will now present a foodshoesbooze special guest appearance by Jaclyn....

Career Person Rolls (Crescent)
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • l/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • l/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (always use extra large for baking - not jumbo or large)
  • 1 stick real melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour (must be bread flour)

Dissolve yeast in water (add 1 tsp sugar; let set 10 minutes). Warm milk slightly; do not let boil. Add sugar and dissolved yeast. Mix and let stand l/2 hour. Add 2 well beaten eggs, salt, butter, and flour. Mix well with big spoon. No need to knead! Cover and let stand overnight. Do not refrigerate. Divide dough into three parts. Pat each on to greased 12-inch pizza pan. Cut into 12 wedges. Roll up starting with wide side. Place rolls on greased heavy (not coated) cookie sheets or sheet cake pans. Grease a sheet of waxed paper and gently place over top of rolls. May let set all day. Bake 350 about 10 minutes or until slightly brown. Brush with melted real butter and serve immediately. May warm up two rolls at a time in microwave for about 12 seconds. I have adjusted the time period to coincide with my career. The roll dough should rise at least 5 hours, and the rolls at least 4 hours. When I have let the dough set overnight and the rolls all day, the house has been cool.

Marinated Rolled Pork Loin

Purchase rolled pork loin in vacuum pack. There are two in each pack. The brand escapes me. Wrap apple favored bacon around each roll. May take about two or three slices each. Marinate overnight in the following mixture:

  • l/2 cup soy sauce (regular)
  • l Tablespoon minced onion (the kind with the spices)
  • l/8 minced garlic (in a jar)
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • l/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • l/2 teaspoon salt
  • l/2 cup sugar

The marinating recipe triples easily, and I usually do triple it when I?m serving several. Bake uncovered in flat heavy pan 325 degrees until meat thermometer reaches 170. Doesn't take very long. My recipe says 45 minutes but may be shorter. Drain marinade and place loin on cutting board and slice thinly. I have fixed it ahead and warmed the slices. I can?t tell any difference.

Recipe via professor C Southers January 2009

Jaclyn's notes: Don't you dare substitute for any of the ingredients--you know my philosophy!The best of success with the above. You may want to practice, especially on the rolls; they freeze well.

lauren's notes: Good... looking forward to trying them on my own at some point for carnivorous friends. School will have me eating out of the freezer until I can report something homemade-ish later this week. See you then! ;)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My apartment smells like the Long Branch Lake Marina

Ohhhhhh swordfish i said. How exotic i said. An 'intermediate' recipe from the food network I said. Poppycock (a word i've been meaning to say more often). My apartment smells gross. As my brother said (when I was trying to describe the gross smell, as we recapped over a commercial break the events happening at the moment on LOST) that's the smell they always talk about in air freshener commercials. I made this recipe from the food network. It was basically a swordfish with tomato-ey sauce over linguine (except that i used WW spaghetti noodles because its what i had). Also the sauce was supposed to 'set' for an hour... but who has time for that B.S. when lost is on. Church on the move, fish. (p.s. the picture on the TV was supposed to a shirtless Sawyer.... no idea why i got a blurry murderous Sahid instead)
I have been claiming to be a seafood lover for several years now. Between shrimp cocktail and work events on the east coast where I eat seafood drowning in buttery/cheese sauces at fancy restaurants...... heck yes i like seafood. This was pretty fishy. Good... but hard to get over the smell. I might continue to take my more sophisticated fish when prepared by professionals. Even.... more than intermediate cooks. I actually ate about half of it and then stuck it in some gladware. It will totally be the kind of thing that I avoid in the refrigerator and then end up throwing away in-container because I'm so afraid to open it... and the bottled up aroma it is sure to produce.

So the last couple of semesters I ALWAYS had class when Lost was on... which would explain why I was so confused when I heard that Jack and Claire were related, and that more time traveling was happening, and that Cheech (or chong?) is Hurley's dad. It's a good thing that the smell of mystery and intrigue are stronger than the smell of Long Branch Lake Marina.... no?


I wish every day was Inauguration day! I had the live feed streaming in on my laptop all day and was overcome with pride, excitement, history, HOPE,.... and a little regret and envy that one of my closest friends and brother were down there in the midst of all that (crush of humanity) and that I turned down a ticket in the name of responsibility to my job/school/budget. It turns out that those two had kind of a crazy time and, like thousands of other people, they got turned away even though they had tickets (poor security planning for the ticketed area, overflow of people, etc.) but I'm sure it was CRAZY exciting being down there. It was all I could do not to answer my work phone: HAPPY OBAMA DAY! but it sort of didn't seem professional. Instead I only half paid attention to any conversation, meeting, etc..... and half hummed the national anthem and prayed that obama would stop walking outside his vehicle (WHY do they let him do that??)
Also I was sad I didn't have red, white, and blue fruit to put in my oatmeal. Actually I was pretty sad I didn't have a giant 4th of July jello cake with blueberries/strawberries on it, and an uncle sam costume.. THAT's how patriotic I was feeling yesterday. I did, however, use one of my absolute favorite food combos ever. When my brother and I were little we concocted a 'banana parfait' with bananas, PB, and chocolate...give or take marshmallows and honey. (he'll tell you it was all his idea, don't listen to him). Parfait sounded fancy so we used it, never mind that it's really only supposed to be applied to things with whipped creams and yogurts. whatev. Anyway I used all of those ingredients in my oatmeal and it was heaven. The chocolate melted right in and made it soooooo good.

The other day for lunch I had a turkey sandwich on wheat with Brie and apples. SO RICH. and really really good.
Today for lunch I had three of these veggie rolls.. YUM. I took sprouts, carrots, red peppers, zucchini and tossed it in Italian dressing. I put 2 Tbsp hummus on a wheat wrap and topped with spinach and the veggie mix. It hit the spot after last night's indulgent sushi outing with John where we consumed anything and everything deep fried and with cream cheese (so good and made me feel SO gross).
Tonight is class and then LOST season premier!!!!!!!!!! Get excited... Sawyer, I've missed you soo!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cake = heaven

This weekend was filled with tons of glorious sloth-like behavior. My least exciting weekend in recent memory and to me it felt like I had checked out of life to sleep and read and do or not do whatever I wanted (the not-do was heavy in the homework area). This is the time of year where weekends start filling up fast and having a minute to breathe and enjoy some solitary confinement felt pretty indulgent. Also because I wasn't out traveling/eating/dressing up/boozing/shopping/reflecting on how I had a friend in college that was a pimp.... I made a few homemade things which were then glamorously photographed. After work on Friday I was in the mood to use some of the coconut milk I had used for my Thai shrimp earlier in the week. I melted some dark chocolate and made a coconut milkshake! It tasted exactly like a Mounds/Almond Joy candy bar. Amazing!
Feeling fabulously rested the next morning I decided to make some whole wheat pancakes.. EXCEPT that I didn't have any milk (or even soy milk) and no real butter. Luckily I found a recipe that didn't include any of those ingredients. I ended up making from scratch Vanilla/Banana Whole Wheat pancakes:
  • whole wheat flour
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • egg
  • yogurt
  • water
  • oil
  • vanilla extract
  • mashed banana
The flavor was pretty banana/vanilla-ey (yum) so I don't know how it would be plain. A little later I went to Yoga and even finally bought a class pass to get me through the month. I haven't been to a chiropractor in forever and intermittently doing yoga has been the reason. Lately however, as I hadn't been to a class in months... plural. shameful. Increasingly all kinds of cracks and creaks and aches have been happening in my shoulder/neck/back/chest area. I'm thinking spending money for a month of yoga is better spent than my copay to the chiro. Yes?

I also hit up the library, where I checked out the above selection of DVDs. I love old movies and musicals, so I thought Follow the Fleet seemed right up my alley (plus who doesn't love Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers?). It was okay, I sort of kept picturing my grandma going to see it as a little girl and thinking how much movies had changed. Also Fred Astaire was a little, scheming, funny sailor. Sort of a combination of my brother (in his Navy days) and Zach Morris. How likable is that? It sort of made me gag though how women viewed men back then. This movie was released in the late 30's or so and reflects the complete lack of independence females had and/or wanted. This girl meets a guy for four hours and then takes out her life savings to restore some boat he might like. Not to mention he was kind of a jerk to her in the first place. Where was the He's Just not That into You book then? Finally when his other options have run out they end up happily together forever. And you expect me to be satisfied with this ending? It just made me want to burn a bra. Seriously.

I also rented Annie Hall because I feel like there are tons of cultural references to this movie, so I was ready to see what all the fuss was about. I think my problem is that as long as I have been old enough to know who Woody Allen is (sometime around 11 years old I saw his ex wife on Oprah talking about their story) I knew he married his step daughter. EW. I mean I whine, I talk about my problems, I'm paranoid and have moments of unabashed insecurity. However I found him extremely resistible. Why was this movie such a big deal? (sidebar, loved Diane keaton, and her nerdy/trendy 70s wardrobe).
However did I mention how much I love the library? It's just 4 blocks or so from my apartment and it's a beautiful big building with all kinds of interesting programs and things to do. I worked in the campus library in college and the local library was pretty much our weekly source of movies and books growing up. I forgot how peaceful and nice it is just to be there.. definitely something I plan to use more in the coming year.

So after a long day of movies, cleaning, and more nothingness, I made another creation from Ellie Krieger's cookbook. the Portabella/Gorgonzola/Sun dried tomato Paninis. I think I O.D.'d a bit on that cheese with my pizza earlier in the week, and it was soo rich!
I decided I was hungry and hour later and made a Whole Wheat half sandwich with apricot jam and blueberries. YUM.
Sunday morning I woke up early, did some Yoga, watched Meet the Press, This Week and in general felt like a contributing member of society (sometimes i just hate sleeping the day away!) I made a semi turkey sandwich thing which I very much considered brunch. Egg on a turkey deli slice with tomato, spinach, and grilled cheese and wheat toast. Nice.
I even went to mass (once again, no excuses, the cathedral is 4 blocks from my apartment), and then walked to the new downtown grocery store. Laying on the couch with John I proclaimed my undying need for cake. The following resulted in this:

Is it just me or is cake totally heaven sometimes? I can go days eating vegetables and be perfectly content and then all of a sudden I need a fix of sugar from a baked good. That was yesterday for me.
We also had Pineapple stir-fry. I used a frozen onion/pepper mix and added in a can of pineapples with the cubed chicken. It was over Jasmine rice and we used soy sauce because the sauce that was recommended on the bag of stir fry turned out pretty nasty (bbq sauce plus fruit juice plus soy sauce... it was gross, it was tossed).

So I am back at work this morning and am sad that my company doesn't recognize Dr. King. Note to self: next job work for the government/financial institutions/or education so I can start getting some of these days off! I hope everyone is having a fabulous Monday and is getting geared up for this, a most exciting and historical week!! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Taking the Skank Train to Skanktown

(Gossip Girl Style) Spotted: a former, now infamous, college friend of mine making scandalous news. Did you ever meet my friend Laurie? She was really more of a friend to my friends. I never was that close with her.. mostly because by the time I met her she had made a few stops on the skanktrain to skanktown. Case in point, she was a petite white girl from the suburbs, who one night at dinner was greasing the cornrows she had given herself (my internal monologue said…. Stop being friends with this person) Seems innocent enough but unfortunate.. right? What about the time she wanted to go dancing in a bikini top and clear plastic light up heels. yeah, who does that? Anyway, after college we all lost touch with her but it was pretty well known that she was into some sketchy business sure to result in making the top of the casting list for Flavor of Love’s 10th season: the skankiest truck stop girls we could find. Where is this going? Apparently Wednesday this off-the-map former friend was ARRESTED on three felony counts for pimping. That’s right, running a prostitution ring. And not the Elliot Spitzer high class ones either. HOW does that even happen? How in the world do you get into that? This is a girl who graduated from college as a math major with honors who was raised in the suburbs by a normal family (as opposed to, say, raised in a brothel by porn stars and vegas showgirls). Where does the skankiness come in?? Where we… former classmates/friends asleep at the wheel here? Should we have been ready to have an intervention at the first sign of a overly-penciled eyebrow? Craziness. And now she’s gellin like a felon and will be supplying me with my next set of Missouri plates. What a topsy turvey world we live in. (note: I realize this sounds a bit harsh, but DUDE, she was allegedly profiting from exploiting the low self esteem of other women. SO not okay)

Whew. Enough of that. Here is Aunt Sara's Oatmeal combo of the day. I had 1/2 banana with approximately 1/4 cup blueberries in my Kashi vanilla oatmeal. Warm on this cold and snowy day.. just what the doctor ordered.

Last night I microwaved an acorn squash. I halved it, scooped out the seeds, rubbed it with earth balance margarine and cinnamon, put the halves back on (secured with a toothpick) and covered in saran wrap. After microwaving for 6 minutes... Vwalla! yummy squash ready to eat. I also made couscous (Israeli type pasta) for the first time. I had it once in a restaurant and was obsessed with the idea of little round pasta balls, even though I had no idea what exactly it was. I made approx. 3/4 cup and cooked it with little sauteed onion, sea salt, ground pepper, and parsley flakes. It was the quick cooking kind which was ready in under ten minutes... take THAT spaghetti noodles.
I enjoyed my dinner while watching the President's farewell address. I'm a little over him these days... is it Tuesday yet??? Good thing 30rock came on soon after and pretty much made my night.... could Tina Fey get any funnier?
Speaking of gossip girl, I am wearing a headband today and have been taking it off to rub my head every ten minutes. I forgot how headache-inducing the pressure can be. No WONDER Blaire Waldorf is so mean all of the time... she needs an advil and to rethink her trademark headband in favor of other plaid accessories.
In other news.... Happy Friday to you, my non-skanky peeps!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


My bffs at work (can I keep calling the gofugyourself girls that? I laugh with/at them all day at work, therefore they are my work friends).. made yet another Harry Potter reference today. LOVE them. Except in the very same post, they dissed a hair pulled back scenario that is very reminiscent of the look I was going for with my bun today. Yes a bun, which is making an appearance on my scalp for the first time since I wore srunchies around it and wanted to be a ballerina. I am thinking they would have a carefrontation with me (kind of like in college when my friends had an sat me down and talked to me about how I needed to NOT wear my red leather coat with everything every time we went out) anyway the fug girls would tell me about my face being all stretched and marmish and how my widows peak canNOT handle it.

Or just try to pull the bun out like John did when I saw him this evening. Actions speak so loud sometimes.

The above picture is the HEAVEN i experienced once I was home from class: huge sweatpants, stripey slippers, a little light reading, gorgonzola pizza, an AWESOME $1 place mat from walmart which is quickly helping me learn the order of the presidents (I'm so challenging my dad the next time I am home, a previous nerdy record holder in this category), and a lovely birthday painted wineglass from my birthday twin/aunt/godmother/the family's next bride!

The pizza was from an instant pizza mix (no wheat... boo) with sliced portabella mushrooms, red onions, roasted red peppers and crumbled gorgonzola pieces. I didn't use a rolling pin, which showed.... considering the shape of the pizza was inadvertently resembling the continental United States. (i sampled Maine while it was still warm, and it was delicious). I forgot how blah I am about pizzas without any sauce. Note to self for next time. However.... look how steady my hands were to take the close up picture. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back to school..... back to school... to show i'm not a fool

Ahhhh... Billy Madison. Wouldn't it be lovely to be curled up on the sofa watching Adam Sandler movies and soaps today? Alas, today was one of the days where I packed breakfast, lunch, and dinner in one bag, schoolbooks in another bag, laptop/work supplies in yet a third bag, and grabbed my purse to have a total of four bags (think mule with saddlebags on each side). If this keeps up at least one of those will need wheels before I get all lopsided and hunchy. I think my chiropractor and/or all of those who have seen the hunchback of Notre Dame will agree... not pretty.... no matter how fancy the accessories.
Because my school schedule is all kinds of crazy and I now leave work early to get to campus, my entire day starts earlier. This morning I needed some fuel to justify the pre-6am alarm so I made instant oats. I had semi decided for this blog I would show new veggies/new recipes I had tried. At christmas my Aunt Sara inquired about oatmeal combinations, so the following breakfast incorporates a bit of both (and I made a mental note to try other creative ones i had seen... stay tuned). The last time I was at the grocery store I picked up some dried figs. Let me tell you.. amazo! I had always liked fig newtons, this time it was minus the cake (and hfcs) which you didn't miss at all. Same tough, gooey texture. I used Kashi vanilla instant oatmeal and threw in some dried cranberries with my figs. In one minute I had a warm, fabulous meal-at-desk. Last night I was LOVING spending a long time in the grocery store. I hadn't been home (impromptu STL stop for the weekend, catching up with LOTS of friends (yeah!) class for 5 hours Monday, and that pesky full time job) and had been in dire need of some fresh veggies. There is something so theraputic about spending time evaluating the overwhelming veggie/food options available to you and thinking of all of the possibilities. I love taking my sweet time up and down every aisle and having the satisfaction of crossing off the items on my list (about the only list i can manage to work my way through it seems) Last nights meal (featured below in soft focus, compliments of these shaky hands) was based on this cooking light recipe. Thai coconut shrimp used the following ingredients:
  • chopped onion
  • red curry paste
  • sugar
  • large shrimp
  • light coconut milk
  • fish sauce
  • chopped green onions
  • chopped fresh basil

I served it with jasemine rice and snow peas sauteed in EVOO, salt and crushed red pepper. (p.s. one of those plates was for John)

Rookie mistakes I made include forgetting to chop the tails off the shrimp before I threw them in the pot and using too much coconut milk. What can I say... I love coconut milk. I was excited to cook with it (or finally make some purchases from the ethnic food aisle in the store for that matter), it is definitely my favorite part of thai flavored things. I used 'green' curry paste instead of 'red' because it's what they had and the descriptions, etc. looked similar. However I was so concerned with not making it overly spicy that I don't think you could taste it at all. Better safe than sorry, right?

I was still hungry afterwards so I made some butternut squash fries. WHAT HAVE I BEEN WAITING FOR all of this time? I love these things! My only regret was having too small a squash that made a small batch. I sprayed them with EVOO spray (probably a little too much) and them covered them with sea salt. I was in love with them and forced John to try, and he bunched up his face like he was completely grossed out... sucks to be him.. more for me!!

Oh man, my classes are nuts. For my law class we had an assignment due before the first class and she had already posted about 200+ pages online for us to print out. I kept thinking I was SO glad I'd double checked so I didn't have an Elle Woods moment on the first day with my big pink fluffy pen being 10 steps behind. I think I'm going to really like my entrepreneurship class but holy reading each week. This means less booze-filled spare time and more studying and food time. Shoes too, obviously, because what am I ... an animal?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Book, Cook, and Bowl

I know what you're thinking... change the name of your blog because book, cook, and bowl is so MONEY... right? well actually it's more like the sum of my activities for the week (when of course you don't count working, sleeping, and continually checking for updates). My most recent concoction was supposed to be from this cooking light recipe. Too bad I forgot to print out the recipe before I left work and the internet connection last night was patchy at best. I just sort of threw in whatever sounded like it was probably in there. Truthfully I think I got all of the ingredients. Quantities on the other hand is probably an entirely different issue.
  • Crab meat (canned, no more pulling from the legs for home preparation! sheesh)
  • diced celery
  • diced pepper
  • diced green onion
  • lemon juice
  • hot sauce (gasp! i hate hot things but i had john bring some hot sauce over)
  • curry powder
  • cream cheese/ NF yogurt / Nayonaise (vegan mayo) self made combo
  • lemon juice

because the original recipe called for tons of cream cheese and mayo, my version (lacking a lot of the thicker texture) turned out relatively tuna-esque. I was in-like with this lunch. I wouldn't marry it or anything but I would probably date it, meet its parents, and then decide that we'd be better off being friends. I was trying to change it anyway, not letting it be it's full fat self. It's for the best.

Many of the afore mentioned ingredients came from my trip to the new Grocery Store downtown, which apparently everyone and their dog who lives in the vicinity wanted to see at the very moment I was there... it was packed! The building/decor/fresh selection was beautiful and the deli/bakery was amazing. For a good five minutes I gushed to the girl at the counter about how pretty their cakes were. The selection on the grocery side was slim (read: they had no orzo rice and only one kind of cream cheese) things were pricier and the parking situation is a little less than desirable(elevators to the parking garage, validating tickets... all kinds of confusing things). I ended up walking and was grateful I didn't get 10 cans of black beans or a handle of vodka. GEEZ 8 blocks seems like a long way without a shopping cart. Yes, I realize I would look homeless if I had a shopping cart downtown. I will probably just stick with grocery shopping in the burbs. Anyway before grocery curiosity overtook me I went bowling with class friends (shout out to the simons siblings and john s.). It was fun despite averaging a 75 and only getting to do a getting-a-strike victory dance twice..... probably because there were more than a few gutter ball hang-head-in-shame times too. oh snap.

Last night John made an impromptu appearance and we were at an impass about what to make. In the end I made the chicken/rice soup I had my heart set on and he made spaghetti casserole (always sounds good). I used the recipe from Ellie, and it was good. I think I used a little too much lemon, but it felt good to have some healthy homemade soup!


Also I am excited to share my new literary purchase. Because i received multiple copies of the skinny bitch cookbook, I spent quite a bit of quality time at Barnes and Noble (I'm beginning to think I could live there) attempting to exchange for an equally interesting book, possibly up the same health-food-expanding horizons. I ended up with the You: The Owner's Manual Book from Oprah's Doctor, Dr. Oz. This series of books is all kinds of popular and best selling and I've been eyeing them since I thumbed through one last year and discovered they have TONS of health info in a funny simplistic easy-to-read format. Think medical encyclopedia meets bathroom reader type-book. There are fun facts, recipes, myth busters, illustrations, and medical info and advice. I'm all over it.
Too bad school starts next week and it will pretty much RUIN me from extracurricular reading, because there are all kinds of things I want to soak in first. On the list is the People's History of the United States which I started over Christmas. Two weeks later and on the verge of a new semester I'm on page 50 of 700, so seeing the end of the book doesn't look promising any time soon. SUPER interesting though. Also when I was home last I found and old literature book from a class in college. There are all kinds of cool peoms, sonnets, short stories, etc. in there. Apparently while IN school I was too busy watching trading spaces marathons all afternoon, planning spring break, and otherwise having a mediocre GPA to go above and beyond any required reading. Oh well... college is for fun and not sonnets, right? Isn't that a saying or something?? :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Hellooooooooooo 2009!

Sorry it's taken me so long to recap. The good pictures (of all the girls in their dresses, of me and the BF, of the swanky digs, of the unbelievable view, etc.) are on emily's camera. Because the 'now take one with mine' thing can be done to death I thought I would just steal hers... which I have yet to actually accomplish. Below is Myself, my brother, and a friend of ours from grade school.... who apparently wanted to ring in the new year with the best brother/sister duo since donnie & marie (or so we claim) I made three yummy appetizers for the party. In googling easy things that would keep overnight or that I could throw together at the last minute I found for all that you see below. There is some super creative stuff and more importantly.... there are pictures of everything (imperative for someone on my level... remedial). Anyway the first yummy, gooey, app was a grape covered in a mixture of goat cheese/cream cheese/port wine and sprinked with pistachios. On New Years Eve Eve I was so in heaven making things. Despite the fact they were sort of labor intensive (i probably spent 1-2 minutes on each of these little bastards trying to get them semi evenly coated and inadvertently covering myself with cheese and nuts and didn't go to bed until after midnight .... gasp!). The warm gooey cheese was SO RICH, the pistachios were bright green and had a crunch, and the fruit in the middle was unexpected and flavorful. I spent all the next morning e-mail bragging about these, literally the fruits of my labor. Too bad when I got home the nuts had softened in the cheese and the cheese (obvi) no longer warm, made them sort of a cold mush. They were dece.... but not amazing. Plus no one could really tell what they were. 100 times better when eaten immediately than kept overnight. Lesson learned.
Next up we had cucumber cups with a crab mixture (lime juice, zest, cucumbers, scallions, yogurt), in fancy asymmetrical cucumber cups cut out with a mellon baller. I decided to upgrade and not use crab from a can. Too bad I didn't realize that you couldn't buy crab (at this grocery store anyway) fresh that is out of the claw.My lovely friend and houseguest for the evening (she hails from kentucky) aaaaamy, was attempting to crack them open with a pair of pink pliers I had when I returned from work. Ruined nail polish, frustration, cuts on the knuckle (totally inappropriate tools) later we realized this should only be done with a giant bucket and a tub full of butter with a bib that says all-you-can-eat-seafood. Too much trouble for actually trying to use the crab in a recipe. However the finished product was REALLY good. The lime was strong, but it was a good compliment to all of the other fresh flavors. yummm.
By far the most popular item was the mini baked potato bites. I used red/new potatoes, cooked, halved and scooped with the mellon baller (man i love that thing). There was a mixture of NF sour cream, turkey bacon diced, and scallions that I topped it with. I sprinkled on some freshly grated wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese. REALLY good and the plate was missing several little bites every time I glanced over at the party. Total comfort food, in fun-sized portions.
Below is stephanie pointing to the display (square plates are my contributions) Emily made a dip and so did amy... .everyone else brought booze. YAY teamwork!
The rest of the night included dancing, laughing jokes, a few wardrobe malfunctions (YIKES!), and a lot of festive and noisy hats and horns. Happy New Year!!!