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).

me and dave 1

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. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I’m trying to find it but it has not been easy.  I am struggling to remember how I did this last time.   I feel like I’m close but there’s a piece missing.

I need to move more.

I’ve virtually stopped walking everywhere.  I used to build in an extra half hour/hour to where I had to be so I could walk it.  I saved a ton on subway fare and added 2-4 miles a day to my exercise.


I re-gained a pound.  This is a blessing as there was a time a week or so ago I was up around 5 pounds so I think that’s pretty good.  Plus it motivated me to get my ass in gear.

I am up to week 4 of C25K.  Week 4 is not my friend.   I have not run in 5 minute stretches for a very long time.  But I did it. Say what you want about The Biggest Loser but watching that last night is what got me through the second 5 minute interval this morning.

So there’s that.

Monday night Dave came over.  I made Peanut Noodles with Shrimp.

I halved the recipe but it was still really soupy. :(  Anyone have a good peanut sauce recipe?

 cute stuff and dinner 060 cute stuff and dinner 061 I splurged on fresh shrimp at the fish market down the block.cute stuff and dinner 066I don’t know if I didn’t let the sauce reduce enough or what but I was kind of disappointed in the finished product. cute stuff and dinner 069 It looked pretty though!!cute stuff and dinner 067

Yesterday I made eggs and potatoes for breakfast but didn’t take a picture.   For lunch I had a yummy sandwich on Nature’s Pride Oatmeal Bread which I got as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.

 ss 038 That’s Ovengold turkey, butter lettuce, cheddar cheese and caramelized onion jam.  This morning I had my old weigh in breakfast of Joe’s O’s and skim 039 Lunch was leftover pizza.  I had made this weeks ago and froze it.  It was just what I wanted.

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So there you go.  I’m just plugging along.  Trying to eat less and move more and still be able to have French fries.  That is my ultimate goal. :)

Have a great Wednesday one and all.  Catch you later.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Feed a cold

Hello there.  Sorry for being MIA (I feel like all I do is say that but oh well).   I have been a bit busy since we last met.  I went to NJ, caught a cold, babysat my two adorable nieces for the weekend and am now finally feeling a lot better.   I credit the chicken soup I made for some of that.

But first – let me tell you a story.

So.  Thursday I was in NJ for trivia.  Dave and I went with all the kids.  We lost. :(  I came back to NYC on Friday.  Jen was in the city for an interview.  She met me at my apartment, we had lunch and then we headed to Penn Station to take the train back to my mom’s to await the arrival of Miss Madeleine and Miss Ellie.

It was Happy Hour – ish and we were thirsty.   I saw a stand with mini bottles of Pinot Grigio.

TGIF!  So I asked for two and took out a twenty to pay.

This is a integral part of the story.

The cashier (who will furthermore be known as that lying, thieving biatch - or LTB for short) told me it was $7.00.  She gave me $3.00 change.

So I calmly explain to her that she gave me an inaccurate amount of change and she insists I gave her a $10.00 bill and won’t give me the rest of my money back.

Oh no she didn’t.

The thing is I knew I had given her a $20.00 because Jen had ordered lunch when she got to my apartment and when we went to pay all I had in my wallet were some singles and A TWENTY.  No ten.  I didn’t have a ten dollar bill to give her.

LTB will not budge.  Not only will she not budge – she tells me to talk to the manager and takes the stack of 20s in her register and puts them under the drawer so it looks like I couldn’t have possibly given her a twenty dollar bill.

Her manager is no better.  He tells me I can’t prove I gave her a 20.  I am LIVID at this point.  I’m so mad I’m shaking.  Jen finally talks me down.  I insist they give me at least the $10 they say I gave them back.   I am still out $10 – but they also have to eat the two bottles of wine she opened so the LTB is only $3.00 richer.

I am sputtering I’m so mad and still freaking thirsty so I go next door to grab a Diet Coke.  Jen realizes it’s the same place – connected by a door in the back when she see the manager come over.  I throw the bottle of soda at the LTB’s coworker and run out.


I honestly have never seen such blatant dishonesty in my life.   That’s what got me the most.  How she just sat there and lied and her boss backed her up.  I kept saying “I’m your customer and I am telling you I gave her $20” but nope.   He kept saying I couldn’t prove it.  Unbelievable.  Dave says that I should have had her count her register right then and there but she’d find a way to lie about it again and I’d probably have missed my train.

So I ended up getting a drink at Auntie Anne’s – my happy place.

It took me a while to get over it I’ve got to tell you.  Made me so incredibly angry.

But what makes me so incredibly happy are my two little munchkins.  Jen said it perfectly – when you walk down the street with them people smile because they are JUST. THAT. CUTE.

So to feed my cold I made homemade chicken soup.   My dad used to make this the first time it snowed every year.   :( I didn’t get it exactly right.  It’s missing a bit of seasoning.  I looked in 3 different cookbooks but couldn’t find anything close so I just did my own thing.

I started with store bought stock.   I used 1 1/2 of these babies.

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I roasted a chicken breast in the oven, sliced it and set it to the side.   It was about a 1.5 lb chicken breast that I roasted with garlic cloves under the skin and onion on top.  I then put the bones in with the stock and simmered for a while. To the stock I also added some chopped onion (about one medium), 3 bay leaves and 2 stalks of chopped celery.   cute stuff and dinner 050  I used fresh parsley and the celery leaves as well.cute stuff and dinner 045I added the chicken and about a half a bag of baby carrots and 4 potatoes peeled and chopped.  This is what I loved about my dad’s soup.   It’s very starchy – you’ll see why in a bit.cute stuff and dinner 055Simmer, simmer.cute stuff and dinner 057 Then you add the egg noodles!!!   This is KEY.cute stuff and dinner 056Served in a big mug.  It definitely did the trick.cute stuff and dinner 058 

Just looking at this soup makes me calmer.   You know what else makes me calm?  Grilled cheese sandwiches and oven fries.  I made this sometime last week but just found the picture.

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I think I gained back the 2 lbs I lost.  Between being sick and job stress I’ve not kept up with tracking at all and have had very meager workouts. I’ve made myself go but have basically phoned it in and haven’t been to Zumba in weeks.  I feel much better today so I think I’ll finish up week 3 of the C25K.  I hid from weighing in last week but I’ll suck it up and go tomorrow and take my lumps.  I have to move more.  I used to walk EVERYWHERE the last time I was focused on weight loss and now I get to the subway and give up.  


There is only so much I can do I guess.  I am trying to give myself a break and not be too hard on myself but there is a balance between going easy on myself and saying screw it you know?

Later I’ll tell you of the dinner I made last night and how my peanut sauce was way too watery.

Hold on to the edges of your seats. ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The last few days…

I’ve had work stuff to take care of…specifically reapplying for the job I basically already have.

Don’t ask.

I have dragged my feet but finally got myself to the gym.  I’m finding it really difficult to get back on track.

I ate the following things.

I mixed Mac & Cheese with chicken and spinach.  The leftovers are lunch tomorrow.

oct 042oct 047 As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program I received two loaves of Nature’s Pride bread.

oct 021 Please don’t mind the peeling paint on my windowsill btw.

I made myself a sandwich for lunch yesterday.  Ovengold turkey, Laughing Cow Light Garlic and Herb, spinach, shredded carrots and hummus.

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The Honey Wheat is not too sweet.   I really liked it.  I’m a big fan of doughier type breads – I’m not so much a seeds and nutty bread type of girl.  I’m looking forward to the other loaf waiting for me – Oatmeal.  Yum.

I made two boneless pork chops on Monday.  I ate one in a more traditional way.  Breaded with panko with roasted asparagus, creamed corn and a baked potato with light sour cream.

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The other I dipped in teriyaki and baked.  I then chopped it up and tossed it with a bunch of veggies in some brown rice.   I sauteed onion, zucchini, yellow squash and yellow bell pepper with the pork and some teriyaki glaze.oct 050

In the end I added some steamed broccoli and black beans (yeah I know but it was good!) some sweet chili sauce and a dash of spicy chili sauce.oct 052 

It was pretty freaking good.

I’m fighting a cold as well as the clutter monster which is threatening to take over my apartment again.  I’m bound and determined to tame them both tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I am here to report I went on the Haunted Hay Ride.  I did not want to.  I whined like a baby.  I dragged my feet. 

But in the end Mora got too scared so I had to act like a grown up.

This however did mean I had company while waiting for everyone else to go through the Haunted House and Haunted Corn Maze.

So there’s that. :)

Friday night we (me, Dave, Maddie and Mora) went out for Chinese food.

  Noodles and duck sauce….oct 002oct 005 Yummy steamed veggie dumplings.  These were really good.oct 003   oct 007 Kung Pao Chickenoct 009 Shrimp Fried Riceoct 010

And a cookie for dessert.oct 011

Saturday morning Dave made me baked eggs for breakfast.  I have let him down by not taking a picture.  Saturday afternoon I had a Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich.  I haven’t had one of those in like 5 years.  It tasted as yummy as I remember. Saturday night I had pizza and some salad and some wine.  I was too scared to take pictures.

Sunday I had a bagel thin with peanut butter for breakfast.  Lunch was baked chicken nuggets and rice with the kids.  Dinner was Boboli pizza.   We also carved pumpkins.

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Mora was Princess Peach from Mario Brothers.  Her friend and his brother were Mario and Luigi.  They were adorable.

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Dave’s Maddie was Thing 1.  Or Thing 2.  I can’t remember.  She was not in full costume before she went out though so I didn’t get to snap a picture.

My munchkin nieces (Maddie and Ellie) were a kitten and a ladybug respectively.  I don’t have a picture of them either. :(

Both Maddie and Mora hauled in quite a stash.  Mora is the most organized kid I know.  Look at this…

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I got some Reese’s out of the deal so I’m a happy camper.

A lovely post re: lunch and dinner coming your way tonight.