Monday, December 27, 2010

Holidays 2010

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Canada!

I just took a look at my point and shoot camera.  There were 3000 pictures there that I have not shared with you.  Eons ago, my friend and colleague Christina and I attended an event at Cooking by the Book hosted by the Vancouver CVB.

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I loved the centerpieces.  I’m digging these cabbage-y flowers 055

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They had some yummy cheese, veggie and pigs in a blanket appetizers.  My personal favorites.

camera 030Cheers!!camera 047The decor was simple yet really cool.  Just bookcases full of all different cook books.   I wanted to steal them all.  Then again – I don’t have nearly this many bookshelves.   There were cake 054And vegetarian books…camera 050And everything in 053camera 051I thought the kitchen was more hands on friendly than Rustico, but Rustico was a lot less intense and a tad friendlier in my opinion.   CbtB was much more about us actually doing the cooking, and I learned a lot – but I like that the vibe at Rustico is more laid back.   I think, however, if I went to Rustico for a cooking class rather than teambuilding I’d have a different 038camera 044   I was at the potato/celery root table.   The potatoes were parboiled but we had to work on the celery 034It was so nice to have a super sharp chef knife.  I definitely have crap knives at 036   We diced them into 039 until we filled the 040I typically don’t rice potatoes – but we did here.  It was…shall I say…annoying???camera 031Mmmmm. Butter.  Let the record show we used this whole thing!!!camera 043and also added chopped 041  Let the mashing 042    We were done pretty early so then I wandered over to where Christina was and helped cook some crabcakes.  camera 046A little too much frisee.  I am not a frisee fan at 033Here is where the meal went south for me.  The main course was salmon.  I don’t like salmon but it sounded like a yummy presentation.  I took the teeniest of bites and realized I REALLY don’t like salmon. :)   I had a moment with the woman who runs the school where she was not happy that I don’t like salmon and kind of let me know it.  Well.  She was more unhappy that I didn’t tell her I didn’t like salmon.   I know that she simply wanted me to have food I enjoyed but I was really better off with bland food that night anyway.  And I tried.  I really did but salmon and me are not friends. Plus it didn’t help that it was right after I got over my stomach bug.  Which I finally told her about when she wouldn’t leave me alone.  The whole thing made me a tad uncomfortable.   But the overall experience was great and the celery root and veggies were 052

All in all it was quite a lovely dinner and another place that I can put on my list for cooking classes (an early New Years resolution is to at least take 1 class next year).  I got a pair of Olympic mittens as a parting gift that I gave to Jen. 


So there you go.  A little blast from my recent past.  I’m trying to make myself go out and walk a bit on the treadmill now.  I think it’ll be good for my mental – not to mention physical – condition.

Hope you all are enjoying this holiday season. 

See you soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Imagine you’re a deer….

I have some stories – like of the night recently I fell in a mud hole and almost hit a deer costing my boyfriend about $75.00 (give or take).

I haven’t exercised in a week.

I ate McDonald’s twice over Thanksgiving weekend.

Things here are sort of unstable.  I won’t know about my job till early next week.  I’m swamped and can’t seem to keep up.   I want to blog (properly not just a ‘Hey! Remember me?” post) but it is proving difficult.

Subconsciously the holidays are hard to take.  There’s a lot of energy used up in just trying to keep going. I don’t want to be depressed so instead I constantly feel tired and restless.

For the New Year I want to get back to normal – or as normal as it can be under the circumstances.  I am looking forward to my new blog schedule which I think I’ll start up brand spanking new in January.

December though I fear posting will be sporadic.  I’ll do my very best to get here as much as possible.

I’m going to make candy soon.  And cake pops.  And a few cookies to give as gifts.

PS: Just fyi - I also do a mean Mona Lisa Vito impression.



Monday, November 29, 2010

Things: An update.

My niece Madeleine can read whole books on her own.  She’s five.  She’s brilliant.  She didn’t need that creepy Your Baby Can Read program that they sell via infomercials late night.

She takes after her aunt.  I read in Kindergarten too. :)

My niece Ellie is so funny I think she might grow up to be a stand up comedian.

And Cooper?  She’s just cute.

It’s virtually impossible to participate on conference calls when working from “home”.  You have to basically stay on mute lest barking dogs and people getting ready to go to work having conversations interrupt.

Not their fault – and it’s better than when my dad used to yell from the other room or pick up the phone in the middle of my calls.

I’d give anything to have my dad yell from the other room or pick up in the middle of my call. :(

Speaking of dads – think good thoughts for Dave’s dad.  He’s in the hospital and seems to be doing better but good thoughts never hurt.

Dave thinks he needs his own column.  I think he might be pushing it – but I also think this is a pretty cute picture (from a wedding we went to in October) even if I kind of hate my profile my hair looks kind of flat.

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My dog ate the leftover turkey from my sandwich and promptly took a nap.

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My mom was mad at Cablevision so she got Verizon FiOS and there are 3000 million channels. I put A Walk to Remember on in the background as I ate lunch and realized that I basically own the soundtrack (yes it’s 99.9% Mandy Moore – SHUT.UP.), and that I always had a bit of a crush on Shane West aka Eli Sammler from Once and Again.

I have pictures of Vermont, our Thanksgiving dinner, Giada’s Balsamic Wings that I made and Jen and I ate while watching the Giants yesterday (what the hell – I watch football now???).   I’ll post them soon but I’m going to drive to NJ tonight to help Dave clean science projects out of his fridge.  

And I’m going to use a GPS to guide me.


I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving.   Let’s all agree that 2011 will be a much better year shall we?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One of the very few things I am thankful for this year

This year – in a nutshell – sucked.  I (and close friends of mine) have lost people we’ve loved and watched them suffer through the process.  I’ve heard too much bad news and not enough good lately.   My company has restructured my department for the fifth time in as many years as I’ve been there. 

But I still have great friends, an amazing family who I love and adore, including 3 of the cutest girls in the state CT.  And in 2010 I also met this guy (and his kids).

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He forgets his phone (wallet, building ID, keys) a lot.  He doesn’t like to shut cabinet doors.  He likes boxed mashed potatoes, liver and some scary thing made out of pig scraps. He drinks teeny cups of coffee.  He balks at a GPS system but is jealous of Shazam on my iPhone.

But all in all he’s pretty great so I think I’ll keep him around.  :)

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I’m headed to the mountains and not sure what the internet situation is but if I can get on line I’ll keep you posted.  Otherwise I’ll see you on Saturday.

Monday, November 22, 2010

So. Here’s the deal.

I started this blog well over a year ago (I totally missed my ‘blogaversary’ back in June or July.)   I started at the time when I had been gaining success in losing weight and was reading a ton of healthy living blogs.  I kept thinking “Hey.  I can do that.” and then finally my sister Jen gave me a push.

I still read most of those blogs today – and some of them are the more popular blogs that get mentioned in Marie Claire articles.  I will fully admit here that I was – and still am – fascinated by this phenomenon wherein you can – for all intents and purposes – blog for a living.   I don’t think I’ll get there ever but there are days where I think that would not be too shabby.

My current job has evolved into something that is very, very different from my old days of event planning where half my day was spent planning menus and thinking about table cloths.   I liked that part of my job a great deal and I miss it.

I participated in NaNoWriMo a few years back and realized I have a love for writing (well – I always knew it – but never thought about seriously doing it as a means to support myself).    I now have a 50,000 word mish mosh of a story collecting dust on my hard drive.

Here’s what I know about myself.

1) I like to cook.  I’m pretty darn good at it.

2) I like to write.  I’m pretty good at that too.

3) I like to take pictures.  I want to get better at it.

4) I get REALLY excited about food.  I was reading Food & Wine yesterday and I literally wanted to jump in and live in the pages.  I wanted to make every single thing I saw.

5) I don’t want to go to formal culinary school.  I want to learn some techniques but I have no desire to be yelled at by a French guy while making sauces for a week straight.

6) I think my day to day antics are mildly amusing and some of you seem to agree.

7) I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Foodbuzz is generous to give me pocket change in exchange for the ads on this blog.  Their Tastemaker program just provided me with the Oatmeal bread I made a cheese sandwich with for lunch.  I like that.  I like having a community of other foodies.

8) I like you guys.  Some of you know me in real life – others I just met here.  Some of you never comment – some of you do.  One of you is my boyfriend who likes to comment here, tell me he commented here, and then bug me when I don’t update.  But he has a much bigger kitchen than me and children I can engage into slave labor while cooking so I think it evens out in the end.

I do know, however, that me taking pictures of every bite I eat isn’t feasible – nor do I think it’s very interesting.  I need some sort of plan.  I was thinking of going to a model similar to my buddy Shan at Daily Pie where she has a theme post a day (and two days off a week).

I need two days off I think.  Sometimes I might not take it but it would be good to know I could skip a day here and there.

I’m feeling pressure (I’m looking at you Melissa) :) to keep up the pace and though I am willing to cut myself some major slack due to some traumatic events in my life recently I’m not as gung ho as I once was.  But I do enjoy blogging. A lot.  I miss it when I don’t post.  I want to be excited about it again and I want to post things that are more meaningful than me showing you a peanut butter sandwich every morning.


I am thinking of something like the following – in no particular order.

1 day featuring a recipe – whether mine, my dad’s or my attempt from one of my many cookbooks

1 day a “what I ate” post with pictures

1 day about diet and or exercise

1 day a restaurant review or a look at any industry events I plan

1 day of me just babbling about wearing designer jeans in the 80s, Reality TV or something else inane.

I’d really love to know what you think.  What about this blog what do you like?  What do you wish I did more of?   I don’t ever expect to get rich here – I’m not going to open a store or appear on the Food Network any time soon but I’d like to use this place as a way to focus my culinary aspirations and give them some sort of purpose.  Whether that manifests itself in a new career, a little freelance writing or something all together different I do not know but this is what I’m aiming for.

Don’t be shy.  We’re all friends here.  I’ll even pick a comment at random and send you something chocolate.

Dave – you’re disqualified from that part of this post as you still have the truffles Mora and I made in Ziploc containers in your fridge.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Uh oh. Or-eee-o

I may or may not have had Sergio Valente jeans and may or may not (but totally did) wear them roller skating at the 2002 Roller Rink on Sunrise Highway.

But this is not a post about tight designer jeans and my ill spent youth.  This is about Oreo Truffles.

Mora and I made them before I was struck down with a virus so evil I only stopped eating bland food yesterday at lunch.

I sadly do not have pics of the finished product.   I KNOW.  Well.  They looked very much like the ones I made in this post.

Here’s a sneak peek into the process.

Lots of mashing of 053Lots of debate as to how many cookies can be eaten and still have enough for truffles. ss 058We compromised on 1 – split between Mora and 054 Lots of melted chocolate 057  And lots of 060 These pics are all via my iPhone.   Look.  It’s Hipstimatic Mora – in a pic that looks like it could have been shot back when I used to roller skate in 061 I have more to report – including a dinner that included these.

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My ancestors are literally rolling in their graves knowing I ingested boxed potatoes but I will report I didn’t hate them.  I got two boxes to try from the Pssst program.   I gave them to Dave because he is pro boxed potato products.

I don’t care if it’s a total PITA.  I’ll peel pounds of potatoes any day over mixing them from a box.

It might be sticking point in our relationship.

I’m off to DC for the weekend to see my first EVER college football game and my first ever tailgating.  I was going to bring brownies but I burnt the bottom.

Still I am sure there will be more fun to report when I get back.

By the way I have some serious questions for you re: the blog that I will pose on Monday.  In advance I want to let you know that feedback will be greatly appreciated.   It’s nothing earthshattering or major.   Trust me I’m not on the verge of any exciting blog prospects.  Just trying to get this to be a place where I stop slacking and start using it more effectively based on things I want to do with my life.

And on that cryptic note – have a wonderful weekend!!

Stay healthy.  This getting sick thing is totally for the birds.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things you might be wondering…

Where I am.  Answer: I’m at Dave’s

What I’ve been doing.  Answer:  Up until last night I was having a perfectly lovely weekend.

What I’ve been eating.  Answer:  Today?  Flat Diet Coke, Saltines, and Peppermint tea.

Dave’s kids had a stomach bug that they generously shared with me.

I’ll be back when I’m eating something that isn’t beige.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Half and Half

I’m here to report that I’ve been going halvsies lately and I’m very happy about it.

Last night Dave and I went to La Cucina for dinner.

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We split a salad.  Bruschetta with goat cheese.  YUM.

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Then I ate half my plate of homemade cheese ravioli.  It was very saucy and hard to take a good picture.

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Dave had some sausage thingy.  I will admit I ate a piece or two of that as well.

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And Dave had a little tiny itty bitty coffee.

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Today I had a bagel thin and PB for breakfast.   Dave listened to a radio show about picky eaters and said it would come in handy since he’s around one a lot.

I have no idea who he might be referring to.

We went to Cafe Metro for lunch.  I like it there because I can pretend I’m five and color.

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We both had vegetable soup with farfalle.  I ate half a grilled chicken sandwich with mozzarella and roasted peppers. 


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Dave had a Portobello sandwich.

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Then we went to the hardware store and (because I am five) I made Dave buy me a grape Tootsie Pop.

Does anyone else think grape is the best Tootsie Pop flavor?

Then after work we went for a walk to the library which ended up being about 3 miles.

Not a bad day.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go eat a turkey burger. :)