Friday, October 17, 2008

Powerbar Recovery - My tastebuds must be busted?

I just ate this peanut butter caramel crisp flavor with chocolatey coating Powerbar Recovery. And it tasted pretty good? So either my tastebuds are totally wrecked for some reason, or I was really hungry after this run? The odds that it can help restore muscle lipids and still taste good must be slim to none. (And, odds are not the same as probability, which is not the same as percent. Just sayin'.)


Where is our camera cord? It's missing, and I want to post photos of our two (two!) ovens and the stuff I baked in them....

Friday, October 10, 2008

Part 2

I didn't want to keep you waiting for too long, since now the story gets pretty interesting. Did I mention I was barely on hold last night?

Part 2:
So she's sending signals to the cable box and it's not responding. And not responding. And the time comes back but disappears again. And doesn't respond. And then she sends it another signal. And we have cable again! Sweet. I was going to watch a DVD anyway. But then I'll be able to get the weather tomorrow.
So she says "Well, go ahead and try your internet."
(No one's been able to get it set up for TWO DAYS over the phone. Just in case you had forgotten.)
I said, "OK, but if it works, you deserve a big prize, it's taken 3 hours on the phone to get nowhere." More than three hours. Of bullshit Comcast people making life miserable and sucking away our internet.

I tried it anyway.

Then I told her I loved her.

Wow. The girl who reset the TV. BROUGHT US INTERNET. LOVE IT!

Trying to get money back from bills that don't exist in Comcast-land

Comcast-land is an imaginery strange and bizarre place where bills take two weeks to get from my kitchen to their computer. And phones don't connect to who they should, remember that.

So for some reason, I can give them the phone number for our old place, but they can't link it to the new place. And the phone number on the account is out of area code so it automatically brings us to the wrong people. But somehow, this number won't bring up the account. Hello, I'm confused. Anyway, today I didn't have the account number with me, so they had to look it up by address. And typed in the wrong address and said we had no additional charges. Have you seen the bill on my counter? No. We have $50+ dollars in installation. Then the girl isn't even looking at October. Hold on. Actually, she isn't even in the right address.

Deep breaths.

So we don't have any bills yet. I know, that blue slip of paper sitting on my kitchen counter? Imaginary! This means she can't see the installation charges and can't credit us any installation charges... There's about a 2 week lag in bills getting from the cable guy to the billing people (note: proves incompetence, for sure). I can call back when we get the bill with the installation charges that were for a useless installation of internet & cable. AWESOME.

Fun conversation:
ICE, "Where's your service?" (Note, I entered a 202 number, that's the service area about a mile away from us.)
Me, "Northern VA."
ICE, "Where?"
Me, internal dialogue: I entered 202, which is A MILE AWAY, and you don't understand "Northern Virginia?"
Me, external dialogue: "Arlington, VA"
ICE, "You need to call the Arlington number, 703 841 7700."
Me, "So should I just stop calling the 1-800 number?"
ICE, "Yes."

Calling the Arlington number to confirm that the 781 number is associated with the account, the girl (named Patience, funny enough) gives me a different phone number we should call 703 730 2225. Note that this is different from the number that shows up on the TV when the service goes out, which is 703 823 3000.


Please visit an excellent website to take your mind off of Comcast FAIL. And put it on other FAIL: KTHNXBAI

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Two more parts of today's Comcast-drama

Our cable went out again tonight. Settop not authorized for use. AGAIN??? The TV was just working. Thank god I got to watch The Office. And somehow I got through fairly quickly. So this girl asks if the internet is working.
Nope. Nope nope nope.
I might have actually laughed, because we haven't found a single person who can solve internet.Then she says, oh there's a note that says they were having trouble getting into the boiler room. I'm trying to figure out if that was from Tuesday or from when I told them they needed to call the property management people for tomorrow. I'm thinking, oh no. If it's from Tuesday, we seriously have a problem.

Interlude: Comcast had been calling all day. I talked to them at one point, figure out that they were calling to sort out the appointment for tomorrow. Then they kept calling. And then they started PRANK CALLING. Because they would call, I would answer, and then no one would be there. Hello? Hello, Comcast? NOT OK. So I called back, thinking this could be on account of the people who have been scanning blogs. And I wait on hold a couple times with little patience for a person. Finally, a person! In Florida? She told me to call back using the same number and the same prompt I just pressed into the phone. Press 2 for Northern Virginia. Well geez, I thought that's where I was. Fine, I'll call back because she can't transfer me. OK. Take 2. Same number. Press 2 for Northern Virginia. Get a girl in Ohio. Uh, good place for the election, I say. She says, if it goes the way I want it to. I think the same thing. But I don't ask which way that is. (OBAMA-BIDEN 08!) Anyway, apparently they'd been prank calling me all day to re-confirm the appointment for tomorrow they confirmed this morning. Along with the phone lines being crossed at Comcast, maybe the brain lines are crossed as well, since no one seemed to remove the confirmation from their list.
Fine. Back to patiently waiting for tomorrow and missing work to get internet tomorrow night. Fine.

(Yeah, like a double episode of Dawson's Creek or something.)

Pumpkin Bread

It's coming...
(1) Need to buy a pumpkin
(2) Or two
(3) And make pumpkin bread
(4) And pumpkin pie
(5) And apple pie (note: buy apples too)
(6) Delicious!

And yeah, I will post the recipe for the pumpkin bread as soon as I make some first this season. But it is the best.

Smash it with a hammer...

And here's the clip:

Reading my blog because of the Comcast drama? Post your crazy stories in the comments. Comcast is viewing the blog (SO WEIRD) so here's to letting them know how you feel!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's *NOT* Comcastic!

God, I hate Comcast. Today I wished I had the cojones of this lady. Or maybe I'll put Comcast in a box, and put that box in another box, and mail it to myself, and when it gets here I'll smash it with a hammer! (Yes, Emperor's New Groove is an excellent movie.)

I sort of don't know where to begin. Let me start this way: I FUCKING HATE COMCAST!
So yesterday, the Comcast guy came by to install our cable and internet at the new place. Where I can't get Verizon or DirecTV or anything else that is NOT Comcast. And when he left our tv was working and about an hour later our internet was *almost* working. As in, I couldn't download "Comcastinstallwizard.dmg" and get online. Even though the signal from our Airport was clearly getting to the computer, then Comcast sets up this block to it. When I got home later (as in 9pm), I finally gave in and called. Then SB called. Then I called.

Oh wait, back up. I tried to call. When I pressed the button for problem with internet - it went to Comcast's closed sales department. So I decided there was a problem with the cable (astounding foresight here, also, too) and then had my call transferred to a nice girl who was a little baffled but seemed to be genuinely trying to help me out. Then she put me on hold. Never let them put you on hold, because apparently that means, "I'm going to try to put you on hold, but I work for Comcast and thus am just not the most intelligent guy/gal out there (feeling Joe-Six-Pack), so when I try to put you on hold, what I'm actually going to do is accidentally disconnect you.


Call back. Again. Go through Cable. Again. Talk to a moron who schedules an appointment for Thursday, 3-6. Not like I didn't already take a morning off of work.

AWESOME. We're gonna call back again. And by we, I mean this time SB decides he's going to try to get through too. Bon Chance! Oh disconnection. Finally I get to this other woman. Things are humming along - look! we've discovered you have 2 accounts! one of them is for your old address? oh dear, we made an appointment there? you don't have phone service anymore?

Aiiiii, and then this happens: Random man's voice: "Whoa. That was cool."
Woman on the phone: "So my computer just froze up."
Me, in disbelief: "Can you transfer me to someone."
Increasingly incompetent Comcast employee: "No, you'll have to call back."

For the love of Pete. Seriously? Your computer freezes and I have to navigate through your phone line to another incompetent Comcast employee [ICE]? GAAAAAH.

After some more time on hold, when this time I try, "I don't doubt that you can help me, but I've been on the phone for 2 hours and can I speak with a supervisor?" (Apparently not.)
And truth, this guy actually asks what the IP address is and some other stuff, but then says, "Well, someone's in your account."

YEAH. Because her computer CRASHED. "Can you have someone override that?"

Guess what he said? "No."
But, he did "escalate our ticket" and told me we'd have internet in the morning.

Flash forward 7 hours.

I can download the install wizard! YAY!
I have no internet connectivity upon set-up! BOO!
Our cable's out too! WHAT THE FUCK?????????

Next phone call to Comcast: So our cable is now out and they said it would be on this morning.
Solution: We'll send a technician. Monday.
Me: Various innapropriate curse words in my head.... Well. Can you at least credit us the installation fee?
ICE: Did they install the cable?
Me: Cursing in my head. Yes, but it hasn't worked yet.
ICE: Well they already installed it. Did you sign when the technician left?
Me: *@#*&%@$(*^@

Then I called from work. And tried to use a cell number as the account number. And called Boston's Comcast office. He gave me Alexandria's office.
Sort of. Apparently, a national call center. The guy there is able to make me an appointment Friday afternoon (I should never have given up Thursday lost wages) because I'm not home to tell him what lights are on on the modem and *brief interlude for immaturity* says, "If I do that it will end up burning our your box." Ha. Moment over. But refuses to take the number to call the property management to access our boiler rooms. And tries to tell me that regardless of what I'm reading to him verbatim that says Comcast itself must call, I need to call.


I call back. Reach someone. And am immediately disconnected.

Last call of the morning. In which I reach a nearly brand new ICE with particularly bad English.
2 minutes in, he asks me if I'm having a good day. Well, no. But you're always supposed to say yes to those questions. I tell him I'm calling to give him the number for this... Then he says, I kid you not, ICE says: "Well, I see you have cable and internet. Are you interested in getting phone service too?"


Ohmigod! If one more ICE says to me, "Thank you for choosing Comcast" I really might get down with grandma hammer. I have a lot of tools in our closet.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Things I've learned from my mom

Yeah, I know, I said I'd write about the goings on in my kitchen, but the little kitchen is filthy and crowded and for some reason I stuck all the good baking stuff in places I can't reach... So I just haven't done much lately outside of the chocolate chip cookie bars from my favorite cookbook. Note to self: bake for this weekend...

Anyway, here's a snapshot of one of my mom's helpful hints. For preventing identity theft?

Scenario - in the car, on the highway, my mom might be driving
Me: What are you doing?
Mom: Protecting my identity. (She's tossing something out the window from a plastic bag in the cup holder.)
Me: What...?
Mom: Just getting rid of my old credit cards.
Me: Can't you just cut it into tiny pieces?
Mom: There are some things you flush down the toilet, some you burn, and some you cut into tiny pieces and throw out the window as you drive down the highway.

WOW. Mom. Taking some things a little too far?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Instruments of Torture?

This morning in front of my bathroom mirror as I attempted to prettify (post new bottle of Olay SPF 15, thanks Costco) by sliding on some mascara, it happened again.

That's right, I think I'm developing another rogue eyelash.

What in the world is a rogue eyelash, you ask, and why is it such a big deal?

Well, the slightly gross answer is that sometimes my eyelashes curl downwards, like, at my eyeball, leading to uncomfortable situations. (And slightly unsightly ones too, as it starts to look like I've been crying one-eyed due to the excessive blinking and irritation caused by an eyelash POKING YOU IN THE EYEBALL!) This also results in midday trips to the eye doctor to "have my eyelash pulled out," apparently not a rare occurrence for eye doctors...

Anyway, I guess I need one of these:
And no, it's not really an instrument of torture, just an eyelash curler, but I think I need a girly girl to teach me how to use it and not accidentally tear out all of the eyelashes, although that would solve the rogue problem right quick.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

This will never work here (or there...)

Starbucks is my frenemy. I think their coffee tastes like that nasty bitter stuff the dentist puts on your teeth when he's filling a cavity, but I heart their iced tea lemonades, and truthfully, I order a "Venti iced passion tea lemonade unsweetened." Yup, Starbucks snobbery right there folks.

But Starbucks is trying to change the whole idea that their coffee is roasted to burning in piss, by using the "Clover," which essentially grinds the beans, brews them, and then extracts them to make a perfect cup of coffee. Apparently this "brings coffee back into focus*" because:
Vacuum-press technology pulls the coffee through a 70-micron filter in which "every hole is like a hair's breadth," said David Latourell, formerly of Coffee Equipment Co. and now a Starbucks employee
Read it

Anyway, in addition to this new technology, if you want a better cup of coffee, you're going to have to pay up. I understand this, but also, I don't. Starbucks is about class and snob and coffee. Suddenly it's like, well you can have shitty coffee or you can have better coffee? People are still going to take the shitty one because (1) they don't understand what better coffee tastes like and (2) they're cheap bastards. If you want tasty coffee, you probably aren't visiting Starbucks anyway.
(And did you read Fast Food Nation? (Book, not movie.) There's this whole thing about taste & quality being mediocre because it's a fast food chain, and I guess I should find that part of the book to back up this post....)

But, honestly, I digress. What I meant to say is why this isn't working in BOSTON. Why the Starbucks/Dunkins competition is non-existent. Here's the thing: in Boston, you have 2 different breeds of coffee drinkers. Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. They don't really cross. The population of Dunkins drinkers (lahge regulah, I'm not saying they have sophisticated palates necessarily either) are not the type to seek out Starbucks, sit down & pay for internet & listen to music, etc...

My point? There's Dunkin Donuts and there's Starbucks. Boston is not the place for Starbucks to try to get converts to their "better" coffee because the clilentel of the two stores differs not based on taste preference (though, obviously, somewhat) but based on class/appearance/and the need to sit on a couch. People going for taste are the indepent store drinkers, and damn you Starbucks if you try to ruin little business (though Taylor Clark proves the opposite in Starbucked, I know I know).

*OK, but you're a coffee shop, coffee is supposed to be the focus.....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Photos /Updates

Update: My camera is being returned and was repaired under the warranty! YAY! So more baking & photos to come. Maybe I'll make something special for the occasion. Can you say birthday cake? (Does anyone have a birthday coming up?)

But I survived without a camera, and Ginny took some awesome photos of us at the Muddy Buddy.
Here are some links: Official Race Photos and Ginny's photos on my Picasa
And here are some highlights:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nothing's great in Bangladesh

It's all just plain decent.

The cake I made the other day was more than decent even though it was a little wobbly.

And the Muddy Buddy was sooo way more than decent. I'd said we raced decently, definitely need to practice that mountain biking.

And my camera being broken? So entirely INDECENT.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Odds & Ends

“Cooking is 80% confidence, a skill best acquired from when the apron strings wrap around you twice.” -Barbara Kingsolver from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which I thought was a pretty awesome book

NY Times's chocolate chip cookie article:
I still have frozen cookie bars in the freezer (duh), but now I think there are ways to make them even better. I'm now baking a cake this weekend for our office bake-off!

End: I broke my camera Tuesday night. ON MY BIRTHDAY. (And no I was not drunk... and the detail on my t-shirt that I couldn't photograph proves that.) I just hate to admit that I was clumsy enough to break it... Gah.
Oh well, on the way back to Canon to be fixed I hope.

(Back of the singlet.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008


(Traffik light kitteh sez go!)
Because who doesn't love an LOLcat?

Boys like cookies

And girls like cornbread.

Uhhh, what? So, no, no strange social commentary or anything, just:
Last Thursday I did a LOT of baking. There were also 2 boys in the house who ate a lot of the finished (and unfinished) product....

1. Oatmeal almond lace cookies via Cooking Light

2. Oatmeal scotchies via the butterscotch chip bag

Interlude: The mess, post-cookie. (And I actually cleaned it all myself after!)

3. Cornbread WAFFLES!
OK, these were really awesome. Basically I mixed up cornbread batter and poured it on the waffle iron. They looked almost exactly like waffles (I used white cornmeal) but didn't crisp up. The nice part of that was that when we had them for our potluck lunch the next day they hadn't lost crispness because it never existed in the first place! Whoo-hoo. Also, we had some excellent salads, vegetarian chili, and brownies with the cornbread and cookies. (We need a repeat.)

But again, the cornbread was totally totally awesome. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Foggy Bottom Fresh Farm Market

a.k.a. I heart tomatoes!

I walked over to the Foggy Bottom farmer's market after work yesterday. I think I've said it before in this blog, but I'll say it again - the French bakery is AMAZING!

After this Gatorade, breakfast is hot coffee and a chocolate croissant.

I also got some delicious (but "Ugly") tomatoes. Well tomatoes, I don't care what you look like, I love ya. SB & I ate through about 4 tomatoes last night before dinner.

And! I got pretty sunflowers. They're in a vase on the counter next to these bell flowers I got at the Courthouse market on Saturday - where I also bought (finally!) a pineapple sage plant.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

That's Not What I'd Call MY Store, But...

So Ben* in his round the world travels, sent me this photo, in an email titled "World Campaign":
It's not what I'd name my bakery, because who really wants pastry that's just decent? I much prefer sweet, flaky, gooey, etc to decent when I talk about pastry.

BUT. After reading this article from the Washington Post, I decided I needed to find a good word to become viral. And that word was DECENT.

Main Entry:
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin decent-, decens, present participle of decēre to be fitting; akin to Latin decus honor, dignus worthy, Greek dokein to seem, seem good
Date: 1539
1. archaic a: appropriate b: well-formed : handsome
2 a
: conforming to standards of propriety, good taste, or morality "decent behavior" b: modestly clothed
: free from immodesty or obscenity "decent language"
: fairly good : adequate, satisfactory "decent wages"
: marked by moral integrity, kindness, and good will "
hard-working and decent folks" "it's very decent of them to help"
synonyms see chaste
de·cent·ly adverb

I'm going to say my use of decent would be definition 4 or 5, possibly with a little more emphasis on fairly good. When I say decent, I say it bolded and in italics, like this, "That was some pretty decent baseball we just watched, guys."

For the ladies, one #46, Jacoby Ellsbury, getting on base:

Anyway, apparently it is getting viral, because Decent Pastry is keeping it real in Bangladesh. The real question is, how were those pastries? Decent?

Update, in fact - Ben says:
we went in there, basically to steal AC
and it was, in fact, totally decent.
not outstanding. a little pricey. not too too much variety. all in all, decent.

*Ben's blog, for more on round the world travels, is here:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gettin' Busy

We're going to the beach this weekend!!!
So of course I am baking cookies for the trip. It's been a busy week, lots of baking, but that's fun.
Tonight I made chocolate chip from the King Arthur Cookie Companion, which is an awesome cookbook, and tomorrow the plan is oatmeal scotchies, but I need to buy more flour, sugar, and brown sugar first.
Cookie dough & my cookie scoop:

Here are the cookies baking:

We're not ready for disaster:

I like how that last photo turned out, with the newspaper headline. :)
And finally, a few shots of the super rhubarb pie, thanks farmer's market!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rhubarb Pies!

Last week, post trailer loading for Stotesbury (which went not so hot for my little mosquitoes), I went to the farmer's market at Foggy Bottom. (1) I got a pain au chocolat from the French bakery, (2) I learned that I can still understand French pretty well - apparently these pastries are like you bought them in France - too bad I can't really speak it anymore, and (3) I bought two bunches of rhubarb (expensive at $4/bunch, considering my mom steals hers).

y cousin & I holding a pitcher & glass from "Cousins" - in Philly Thursday night, if you look close enough, that's the city glowing in the background

Unfortunately, I was in Philly from Thursday - Saturday night and Sunday spent a few more hours with rowers, so rhubarb sat in the fridge until tonight. Then after my nap, because I napped instead of running, clearly still exhausted from the weekend, I finally got into the kitchen and made a hell of a mess. But the result was this super-awesome rhubarb pie. The crust is perfectly flaky, and the rhubarb is tart and gooey. Sadly, the photos of the pie cannot do the taste justice, but I'll add them later anyway. It went quite well with vanilla ice cream too. And, if only I had more steps today, I'd have another piece... Goals = running Tuesday morning. Right...

Monday, May 12, 2008

More Birthdays (from March)

Dear Shamus,
Happy Belated Birthday to You! Except that you got this cake on your birthday (or a little before)... And the photos were MIA until now. I finally re-found this excellent brownie recipe that makes a wonderful ice cream cake. The recipe is still stuck on the side of the fridge, and I think about the awesomeness all the time. I need a good reason to make another.

Anyway, this was a fro-yo cake, with mint oreo in the middle. The star-sprinkle S and the Happy Birthday Candles really make it pretty spectacular. So does the amount of chocolate involved, and the gooey condensed milk icing. Basically, this would be a signature cake of my imaginary bakery.

Side-view, cake-tastic

These candles are bananas

And, sugar coma, go!

Wish you were here...

So, you wish you were here, swimming in the fishbowl of my kitchen year after year.

If you've never been a roommate, boyfriend, rower, coworker, brother, parent, or a Sean to me, right now you wish you could get into that position. I'd say coworker is the only available space right now, soon to be classmate I suppose. (And I anticpate testimonials in these comments from said roommates, boyfriends, rowers, coworkers, brother, parents, and Sean. So at least from my mom.)

Because, this is what I've been up to:

Birthday cupcakes:
I got a "cupcake decorating kit" the last time I was at Target, so I spent some time playing with it and making flowers/stars on the top.

Before you get too blown away by my stupendous skills:
(1) It was funfetti cake mix
(2) And rainbow chip icing, so baking skills were minimal there.
Anyway, Sean still doesn't have these cupcakes for a variety of reasons. Don't blame me, blame Radiohead being at Nissan Sunday night. (Hold on, we could could put a lot of blame on Nissan, but I made it in to see the show, so I'll just say it was wet, but AWESOME!!!!!)

Molasses cookies (!!!!)

In my baby's first big jump into the pool of life, she cannonballed in with some very serious molasses cookies. By serious, I mean seriously delicious. Now that I can actually cream the butter & sugar, the cookie is so much better - and so is my wrist. Plus, I bought a cookie scoop and that makes stuff way easier too! I am now about 2 steps closer to opening a bakery I think. Whole lot of good this next degree would do me then.

So, many more tricks & treats where these came from, since I bought a lot of butter today and have chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in the cupboard.

And pizza
With some props to Trader Joe's for the dough & cheese, and to Paul Newman for the sauce, but courtesy of my oven... This one actually turned out round and pretty, with some bubbles forming under the crust (and I for one love pizza bubbles). Not a thin crust this time, but crispy, and good nonetheless.

My Baby

Here are some shots of my new baby! Isn't she beautiful? We wish we could spend all our time together, but sadly work and life and some semblance of restraint in terms of how much butter I consume keep us apart.

So that was the big news, she came in the mail last week, thanks to Amazon! And UPS has been coming straight to our door instead of delivering through the apartment office, which is awesome, because our apartment office sucks big time. Anyway, this is excellent news and a welcome addition to the family. (She hangs out with the wine rack & the electric kettle all day. Can you see how I need a bigger kitchen?)

Get ready life, stand mixer coming at ya!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

not food, just food for thought

I read this piece from the Washington Post about yoga for soldiers at Walter Reed, to help them cope with PTSD. The sad reality of it is that so many soldiers are coming back in need of serious mental health care, and they are not receiving what they need. Very obviously, the country that sent them to war is failing them. I wish I was more altruistic (and/or a yoga teacher) that I could get a degree in social work and take the time to help these people, but... I just wouldn't be good at it. The altruism, yes, I may have that in me. The compassion and empathy that is needed to be a good therapist and listener... Well, let's just say that I never want to get angry enough at the kids I coach to make them cry, because then I'd have to deal with them crying. And YUCK. :)

Then again, regardless of how much you want to help, it doesn't mean that the government wants to spend the money for you to do that. Just to make it necessary for someone to help.

I guess what's also interesting is that across from our office this morning there were some Code Pink protesters - 2 women & a man, and as I walked into work, the cops showed up (somehow just 1 car - I thought they always had 2) but they couldn't really do anything, because outside of yelling into a bullhorn, they were being peaceful.
"You're in bed with George W. Bush and Nancy Pelosi... Call your congressmen." Etc.

I'm guessing someone kind of important lives in the Washington Harbor building though, it would explain the black SUVs that hand out there every so often.

And, ok, food. Big news ahead... BIG BIG BIG F'ING NEWS soon. ;)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Quick Bites

Yeah, so my hand is falling off (ouch) and I have not been in the kitchen as much as I'd like.
However, I took a great photo the other day when I was getting crafty over the stove
Mmm rice krispie treats. I've been convincing myself that these are moderately healthy, since it's mostly cereal. I wonder if they're gluten free for Laura.

But then, let's back up to April's trip to Boston:
Anna & I again had a business dinner (this one not so fancy) and again had a fun waiter - who was also really interested in my Josh Ritter t-shirt because (1) it's super cool and (2) apparently a lot of people come into the restaurant wearing it.

Anyway, here's the "you look like you're on vacation" photo:
And here's a photo of my dinner, since it's sort of obscured in the one above two points on this again (1) I saw someone else eating this and wanted it (2) the waiter recommended it:
(Yes, my tofu, in a pineapple!)

And the most important part of the trip came on the way home (before being stuck in the airport for hours, spilling a smoothie on the floor, and having the zipper pulls broken off of my suitcase) - yes, that's me with an enormous cup of dunkin's coffee... OK, it's not a real cup of coffee, but imagine if it was!!!! (Also, repping the Tribe pride here.)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eating in Nola

I took my first trip to New Orleans ever this week (a few weeks ago... life has been busy - this was at the end of Feb). We went down for a conference and it was so much fun (the city, not the conference so much). Our hotel was pretty close to the French Quarter and we did A LOT of walking around that area, in flip flops! The weather was spectacular too, a nice change from the pretty gross wintry mixes we had last week.

So Saturday night we get to the city after a long layover plus delay in Atlanta, check into the hotel, and head out for some dinner etc. Walk around Bourbon Street, take photos, be tourists, the whole bit. Haven't done the tourist thing in a while.

Sunday morning setting up for the conference we just chilled at Starbucks & saw the *cutest puppy ever*! Got a great tip from one of the conference organizers and checked out Cafe Du Monde for beignets & hot chocolate & more powdered sugar than you could comprehend.

On Monday (on Sean's suggestion - and he loves my baking, so could he go wrong?) we went to Nola - Emeril's restaurant. Food was yummy and then we got dessert. Oh, that was a good idea!
This photo is us with our desserts (Emeril's the guy in the photo with crawfish).

And there was this really yummy deli (Welty's) right next to our hotel that was lunch on Monday & Tuesday, if you're ever over there....

Plus, we wandered into this really neat store ( Photos = awesome!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Go Oft Astray!

I was really excited to make this cherry pie with heart cut-outs in the crust for Valentine's Day. I mean, perfect combination of bright red fruit & hearts, too bad I find out that SB claims he doesn't like fruit pies! (Back to the drawing board - or is that the ice cream cake?)

But first, I absolutely failed to find tart cherries.
Giant had - cherry pie filling, light cherry pie filling, and sweet dark frozen cherries. Guess what I chose? (And defrosted?)

And of course, sweet dark frozen cherries never ever had a bright red color. Luckily I dug up a sweet cherries pie recipe, cut down on the sugar, and added lemon juice (along with almond extract and cornstarch*).

Oh yeah, and about the trip to Target the night before Valentine's Day in search of a heart-shaped cookie cutter? I don't recommend.

But, the crust of this pie actually turned out pretty fabulous. Plus I managed to cut out some hearts, roll the top crust around my rolling pin to lay out on the pie, crimp the edges with a fork, AND brush with an egg wash.

End result:

Isn't it pretty? Now, if only someone liked fruit pies.
Instead he suggests that I make them and sell them.
This is not a bad idea - but... It's not like I live in a fabulous kitchen with a fabulous one of these to cook with. Anyway, if someone can suggest a coffee shop/failing bakery in need of goodies... I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve.

*Cornstarch - main ingredient in oobleck. Which I once made with my 2 year old brother & thought it would be an awesome idea to make green oobleck. With green food coloring. Yeah, that turned into bath time quite quickly. (Mom, did you already know about that?)

Of Mice and Men...

Things that have been cooked up recently by me:

White Cornbread (quick, easy, awesome)

This was pretty fun to realize it's so easy to make. I overcooked the bottom a little while attempting to get the top to turn golden brown. But, duh, it's WHITE cornmeal and that wasn't going to happen...

Apple pie numero dos

And not by me:

But it's a heart shaped chocolate cake! With sprinkles.
Excellent for Valentine's Day at work.