Friday, February 27, 2009

Foodie Friday

I had been wanting to make homemade hummus for quite sometime. So when I stumbled across a recipe for jalapeno hummus on Annie's Eats, I quickly saved it and went on a hunt for this weird ingredient called 'tahini'. While grocery shopping at Walmart, I asked a store employee were I might find it. I'm pretty sure she thought I had some weird STD and was looking for ointment or something, because with a strange, disgusted look she said "Girl, I don't even know what that is." Okaaay, note to self: Walmart ain't no Central Market.

The next place I tried was a mediterranean food market by my house. Hummus = mediterranean. Food market = sells everything pertaining to a particular food, right?? Notsomuch.

Luckily, this was close to Christmas time and when my brother was home he went on a hunt and found some for me as a bribe to "elf" for him. (Elfing = wrapping presents)
He found it at, of course, Central Market. (I have since found it at other grocery stores close to the peanut butter.) So finally, I got to test out this recipe. And it was delicious. Way better than store-bought hummus.

Roasted Jalapeño Hummus:
3 tablespoons lemon juice (approx 2 lemons)
1/4 cup water
6 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon cumin
dash of cayenne
2 roasted jalapeños with oil reserved (recipe follows)

  1. Sliced fresh jalapeños, for garnish (optional)
  2. Combine the lemon juice and water in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the Tahini and olive oil together until smooth.
  3. Process the chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayenne in a food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the bowl. With the food processor running, stream in the lemon and water and process for one minute. Scrape down the bowl again. Turn the food processor on and stream in the Tahini and oil mixture and process until smooth, about another minute. Add the jalapeños (reserve the oil) and process another minute.
  4. Transfer the hummus to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour to let flavors blend. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and drizzle with the reserved oil. Top with jalapeño slices and enjoy! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

Roasted Jalapeños
2 large fresh jalapeños
2 Tbsp olive oil

Place top oven rack 4 inches from the broiler and turn on the broiler. Remove the stems from the peppers and slice horizontally into quarters. Do not remove pith or seeds. Toss the pepper with the olive oil and place into a small oven-safe dish. Broil until blistered and softened. Remove from oven and allow oil and peppers to cool completely. Reserve the oil - you’ll drizzle it over the hummus before eating.

Ta da!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

TP Marketing?

Does this commercial disturb anyone else?  I mean, is it necessary for Charmin to remind us that "no one likes a bath tissue that leaves pieces behind"??  I just don't understand why they would subject viewers to this.  And the big bear standing behind the little bear saying "down, set, yikes!" when he sees the other bear's issue?  I mean, I am in marketing so I know how things things start... and it's usually with a round-table brainstorming session.  Tea would probably come out of my nose if I was in that room and someone suggested this.  

Bossdad, maybe we should go after the Charmin account?  I think they could use a little help!

Introducing.... FOODIE FRIDAYS!

I love food. All aspects of food... cooking it, shopping for it, watching it on tv, even growing it (okay, so I'm no farmer, but herb gardens count, people!). This is quite impressive to my family since Thanksgiving circa 1995 my mom suggested I come in the kitchen to learn some of the family recipes and I disdainfully replied in my best teenage sourness, "why do I need to learn how to cook when there is McDonald's???" Yes, I know, there are so many things wrong with this statement. But before you judge me:
  1. I was 13ish. ('nuff said)
  2. Hormones make all 13 year olds evil people.
  3. I have since made up for this lack of interest in the kitchen ten-fold. (have you tried my chocolate mousse, because it's to-die-for)
  4. I have also since watched "Supersize Me" and am no longer a Micky D's patron (unless I'm insanely hungover, and then a #4 is entirely necessary and usually makes me a whole new woman)
  5. Yes, my mother is a wonderful human being for not slapping me across the face when I said that.
So, with that being said, after posting a few of my favorite recipes on here one of my besties suggested doing a weekly post (a la "moose mondays"). And she also suggested the name "Foodie Fridays"... I loved both ideas, so starting tomorrow every Friday will highlight one of my many adventures in the kitchen. As always, I'll take lots of pictures. (especially if I manage to get marinara sauce on the ceiling... again.)

Thanks for the suggestion, JJ!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pizza by the Scoop

I just got my third request for this recipe in about three weeks, so I thought I would post it on here for everyone to enjoy.  This stuff is like crack to my friends.  They eat it boiling hot, right out of the oven because they're worried it will get eaten up too fast if they don't*.  It's my go-to for all parties, football games, etc.

Pizza by the Scoop:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t garlic salt
  • 1/2 C pizza sauce (doesn't have to be exact)
  • 3/4 C mozzarella cheese (doesn't have to be exact)
  • handful of pepperoni, chopped up
  • fritos
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix cream cheese and sour cream with a hand mixer until fluffy.
  3. Stir in parmesan cheese and garlic salt.
  4. Spread mixture into the bottom of a greased pie plate.
  5. Layer pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni on top of this.
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly.
  7. Serve with fritos.
*The girls: pictured here at our house in college (notice the plethora of sorority shirts and velour track suits, ha!), burning the hell out of their mouths, right before watching the final episode ever of Sex in the City.  *tear* 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Moose Monday

Moose has had some "issues" lately with the whole remembering-where-he-does-his-business thing.  I can't figure this out for the life of me because he is almost two years old and has never really had a problem before.  The frustration of this led to the acquisition of the puppy jail pictured below.  The same puppy jail that could also be renamed "Moose's personal doggie sanctuary" because he looooooves it.  I couldn't help but feel very defeated the first time I saw him "enjoying" his puppy jail on his own free will.  

Moose - 1; Natty - 0.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Happy Oscars Day!

I hope everyone enjoys watching the Oscars tonight!  I'll be rooting for Slumdog since it's the only one that I had a chance to see.  

Personally, I'm still having trouble with the fact that Will Ferrell's "Step Brothers" was snubbed.  No taste, I tell you, no taste.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sprint Nextel Loses Another 1.2M Customers

I hate Sprint. Probably more than I hate sweet potatoes or schnauzers (which is a lot). My brother also hates Sprint. So much that my mom is very careful not to bring up this touchy subject at family functions lest we get all riled up. Their customer service is the worst I've ever experienced in my life and can honestly say I have probably wasted literally hours of my life on the phone fighting with them.

Luckily, a while back I bit the bullet (and by bullet I mean the ridiculous $200 early termination fee) and got my sanity back. (AT&T = love, iPhone with AT&T service = double love). I subscribe to these emails called Marketing Daily, and since I have been personally rooting on the demise of this horrible company for years, I smiled a smug little smile today when I read the following edition of Marketing Daily:

"Sprint Nextel reported a $1.6 billion net loss for the fourth quarter and a $2.8 billion loss for the year, with some of the losses attributable to final charges related to the company's 2005 acquisition of Nextel. Nevertheless, the company continued to lose customers.

The company lost 1.2 million customers in the fourth quarter and 4.6 million customers for the year in 2008. The company had 49.3 million total subscribers at the end of 2008. However, Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said the company had enough cash on hand to meet its debt requirements through 2010.

"With this financial stability, we can build on the improvements we've made in customer care, strengthen our brand and maintain continued strong network performance in 2009," Hesse said in a statement. He also said the company had high expectations for the launch of the Palm Pre later this year.--Aaron Baar"

*Note: I understand that many people's livlihood's depend on Sprint, and please don't mistake my personal hatred for the company as a malice wish for their employees to suffer. But seriously, you might want to check into jobs at T-Mobile. Or maybe even the company that makes walkie-talkies... I hear they may have even picked up a few of Sprint's former "valued customers".

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chicken Tequila Fettucine

I love entertaining. About once a month I like to invite some girlfriends over and test out a new recipe on them. Since I had a new adorable apron just waiting to get dirty, I decided we were due. Instead of testing something new and making them my guinea pigs like I usually do, I decided to pull out an old favorite that I hadn't made in awhile: Chicken Tequila Fettucine. This is the first complex thing I ever attempted to make and is probably what made me fall in love with cooking.

The trick is to seed the jalapenos according to your taste.  I like things spicy, but since I was cooking for other people, I seeded one and left the guts in the other... it came out perfect with just the right amount of spice for everyone.  

Here is the recipe:
  • 1 (16 ounce) package spinach fettucine pasta
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. In a medium saucepan, saute the cilantro, garlic and jalapeno pepper in 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the stock, tequila and lime juice. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until reduced to a paste-like consistency. Set aside.
  2. Pour soy sauce over the chicken and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, In a medium sized skillet, saute the onion and the red, green and yellow bell peppers with the remaining tablespoon of butter or margarine, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, cook fettucine according to package directions.
  4. When the peppers have wilted, add the chicken and soy sauce. Toss and add the reserved tequila/lime paste and cream. Bring to a boil. Gently simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thick. Toss with well drained fettuccine and garnish with cilantro. Serve with a slice of lime.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Well done on the priorities, Jason. Well done.

Was anyone else slightly disturbed by this exchange on the Bachelor tonight:

Molly:  If your house was on fire what is the one thing you would grab?
Jason, (with NO hesitation):  My old school Air Jordans!

Um, helloooooo..... are all the half nakey ladies causing the blood to drain from your brain into other areas??  YOU HAVE A SON!!  The proper answer to that questions would have been TY!!  Remember him, he's at home right now, with the sitter, while you are getting frisky on three overnight dates in a row in a country halfway around the world.  Sheesh....

That kid is going to have some major ammo to hold over his dad's head when he becomes of the proper age to watch dear old dad's ass-groping stint on the Bachelor.

Moose Monday

Moose's favorite place to sleep is length-wise down your legs. I think he believes the crevice makes for optimum sleeping conditions for a wiener dog such as himself. Here he is taking a nap last week while I watched grey's. His little paw sticking out on the right side of the picture cracks me up. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lucky First Date?

I just got home from a very eventful first date.  We had lunch on the patio at Patrizio's and then went and saw Slumdog Millionaire.  (great movie!)

What's so eventful about lunch and a movie on a Sunday afternoon, you ask??  Well, that would be because I got shat on.  Twice.  I'm not even sure if "shat" is a word, but that is, indeed, what happened to me.  Patrizio's has this adorable, tree-shaded patio that made for a perfect lunch on a warm afternoon.  If you take the birds out of the equation.

What made the story even better is that I ordered chicken lasagna which had a combination of red and a white cream sauce on it.  So the first time it happened.  I looked down at my hand in shock.  And then at my plate.  And then back at my hand.  There was a spot of white on the edge of my plate that we couldn't quite place.... cream sauce or bird poop?  Needless to say, it was sent back.  

He brings out a new lasagna but luckily when it happened a second time my hand wasn't near my plate, so I just excused myself to go wash my hands.  Again.  I ran into our waiter on the way to the bathroom and he gave me an incredulous, "SERIOUSLY?".    

Finally while we were waiting for the check (after we were done eating, thank goodness) we are sitting there talking and we both see a speck of white fall between our line of sight... I look down and it's landed on the ground thisclose to my purse.  I look up AND IT'S THE SAME FREAKING BIRD!

I think it was at that point that the manager came over and apologized, and mumbled something about how he thought the bird "must be sick".  WHAT?? Did he eat some bad birdseed??  Maybe drink too much tequila out of the birdbath last night?  Are you kidding me, sir?  No, I really do think this bird just hates me.  He must know what I did to those 8 hamsters in middle school (unintentionally, people, unintentionally!)

I'm thinking I should go buy a lottery ticket because they say it's good luck to have a bird poop on you.  Personally, I just think it's just kind of shitty.  (hehe.... sorry, I had to!!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Reason #43 why I love having a roommate...

I pulled out my labeler this afternoon, and when I turned it on, this is what I saw:
It made me giggle. It's the little things like this that keep life interesting that you miss out on when living by yourself. Apparently this is from our housewarming party when people discovered my labeled pantry shelves... and in the process of making of fun of me, found my labeler and then proceeded to label themselves, moose, etc. While I think my mom was, in fact, in attendance at said party, I would be very surprised if she was behind this.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Way better than flowers!

In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I thought I would post a link to a delivery service that puts flowers to shame. No, it probably won't last any longer than flowers, but let's face it... everybody loves mac n' cheese!!

Good Tastes Mac n Cheese Delivery

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

30 x 30

So here it is! I've been working on this for awhile. In celebration of my 27th birthday I've decided to join the bloggy bandwagon of a 30 by 30 list. In other words, 30 goals/wishes/aspirations to complete before my 30th birthday. I have two days shy of three years to complete these things... wish me luck! I'll be sure to keep my blog following (all three of you!) updated on my progress!

Here is my long awaited 30 x 30 list:

1. Run a half marathon
2. Go sky diving
3. Learn how to make cheesecake
4. Pay off my credit card debt
5. Put my hard earned scuba certification to good use
6. Pick up piano lessons again
7. Play a full game of tennis (complete with keeping score so I learn all that love-15 stuff)
8. Form the habit of putting my debit card BACK in my wallet so I always know where it is
9. Become a wish granter for Make-a-Wish
10. See one of my inventions come to reality
11. Learn to make my family's Thanksgiving dressing
12. Go to the Georgia aquarium
13. Stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora
14. Kiss someone in the pouring rain (I'm such a cheeseball, I know)
15. Train myself to get up earlier and run every morning
16. Take a ceramics class and learn to throw clay
17. Get into yoga and/or pilates
18. Learn calligraphy
19. Take another stab at french by memorizing one phrase each day
20. Go camping in a tent
21. Make a red velvet cake and cream cheese icing completely from scratch
22. Read one marketing book every month
23. Help my mom finish my sorority t-shirt quilt
24. Make homemade bread that doesn't come out like a brick
25. Learn basic photoshop, html, and In Design
26. Make homemade pasta
27. Set up a website to sell my crafty things
28. Pick up the check for a member of the military and leave before they can say thank you
29. Go three years without a car accident. (okay so this is only partially controllable, but it's a good goal, no?)
30. Finish my big brother's 30th birthday present (he's 31 now... I'm so bad!)

Sandwich Security

Bossdad thinks it's hil-arious to eat anything in the work fridge that's mine (or even that he thinks is mine). So yesterday in my daily candy, I get this:
Yes, they're plastic baggies that make your sandwiches look moldy!! GENIUS! I triumphantly sent him the email to which he replied........ "Great! Thanks for the heads up, now I'll know for sure which ones are yours!"


ps- to get your own moldy baggies click here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Birthweek Recap!

What a GREAT birthday! I had so much fun and am so grateful for my wonderful friends and family!! Here is the recap:

Amazing spray tan from a fabulous gay man named Paul. This led to subsequent discussions on whether Paul was truly gay or just had it all figured out with the best professional "little white lie" around thus allowing him to oogle half nakey girls freely without them feeling icky and violated.

Saturday Morning:
Since you aren't supposed to shower off the base of a spray tan for eight hours, I went to bed with my initial color not washed off. I woke up to this:
Yes, apparently I drool in my sleep. And apparently drool + fresh spray tan = the demise of one of my white tank tops.

Saturday Night:
We had reservations at Victor Tango's at 7:00 so we met at our house around 6:30 where the girls gave me my birthday presents: a massage, an ADORABLE apron (exhibit A), and a SNUGGIE (exhibit B) from Al, E, and Jules and a really fun picture from Jodi that I now have proudly hanging in my cube at work (exhibit C). How fun is that? (I know, you're super-jealous of my girlfriends, aren't you?? Yep, I would be too.)
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C
Victor Tango's was a blast. The boys made it their mission to made sure I was slightly unsteady on my feet before dinner was over (and not because of my four inch heels). The favorites of the night were the ahi tuna nachos, the crab mac n cheese (I. die.) and the cheeseburger tacos.

However, my favorite part of dinner was my HOMEMADE birthday cake. My three college besties had NEVER baked a cake before. Like even out of a box. So this was a huge deal for them. It took them four hours and a bottle of wine. Look how cute it is!
After dinner, we headed to Sunset Lounge to do a little dancin'. And dance we did. Three of my favorite guy friends came. And boy can they dance... we had a BLAST! Here are a few of the pictures...
The night ended with a rock band party back at our house in which Jodi ran point on the vocals and I drummed. In my snuggie.

Lunch at Jakes (my personal remedy of choice) and then a movie with the girls. We went to see "He's Just Not That Into You" and in a twist of fate we ended up at a theater we've never been to. If you've never been to Inwood theater you MUST go. Instead of seats, they have couches with huge ottomans and BEAN BAG chairs! I know, it's the little things in life... but it was SO COOL. See below...
Celebration with the parents! And if anyone knows how to do it right, it's them! Mom (aka the inventor of the birthWEEK) definitely does not slack off. I got to Plano and was greeted on the entry table of their house with a cake, balloons, presents AND flowers. However, my mom said she was a little disappointed I got there so early bc she wanted to have "In da club" playing when I walked in. Yes, my mom wanted 50 cent to be the first one to wish me happy birthday upon my arrival. Freaking. Hilarious.

We hung out for a bit and then went to The Keg for dinner. It was delish and lucky moose will get to enjoy the festivities since I brought home a GIANT t-bone for him from my dad's steak. We wrapped up the night with presents and a chocolate confection from Central Market. (If you are of the cake-purchasing as opposed to the cake-baking variety like my friends, Central Market chocolate cakes are so good... moist and just the right amount of rich.)

All in all it was simply a wonderful birthday! Thank you everyone for making it so special!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Moose Monday

Since I was going to be gone all day Saturday, my parents offered to take on the "burden" of Moose-sitting.  (seriously, you'd think he was a child!)  Here is a picture that I got from my mom around noon yesterday.  Yes, that's a hamburger bun.  His lunch was a sonic burger dry.  No wonder he freaks out every time he sees my parents.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

25 Things

The "25 Things" list is all the rage on Facebook. Since I took the time to write it, I thought I would use it as a blog post too!

So here you go... 25 random things about me:

1} I'm a horrible driver. Horrible. I am literally considering covering the stone edging of our garage in rubber bumpers because I keep scraping the side of my car on the damn thing when I pull in.

2} I don't think I'm going to go to my 10 year high school reunion. It was fun. But not that fun.

3} I'm obsessed with blogging and get a little irked when I write something really witty and no one comments on it. I'm a brat like that.

4} I'm also obsessed with Twilight and have a rule... you can make fun of me only AFTER you read the first one. If you would still like to make fun of me after that, so be it, but you won't because you'll be obsessed too.

5} I love my dog like he's a child. It cracks me up every time someone asks me his name and then gets the inevitable confused look on their face and says "moose? you named your dog moose?".

6} I will never hear the song "low" without hearing the lyrics that kate made up in moose's honor. "give him a bone... and he's at home... moose is low, low, low, low, low." Love. It.

7} I love to cook but refuse to cook anything without seeing a picture of it first. I like to know how it's supposed to look before I start.

8} Inappropriate nickname usage in the workplace really irritates me. If you don't at least know my middle name, you shouldn't be calling me "natty".

9} I could probably eat my body weight in nutella filled crepes. But I won't because that would be extremely unhealthy.

10} A few christmases ago I had a little too much wine and told my family I wanted to join the peace corps. They laughed at me and told me that I wouldn't do very well sleeping on the dirt floor in a hut. I got mad and slurred to them that they "should support my passions". Now anytime I get the slightest hint of tipsy, instead of asking if I'm drunk, my parents ask me if I'm "about to join the peace corps". They think they're really funny.

11} My favorite college memories are doing drive by's with the girls. Yes, we were crazy. Go ahead and judge me.

12} I waited in line for two hours to meet giada de laurentiis.

13} In elementary school I brought a grass snake in for show and tell. After school we were loading the bus and a kid dared me to take the lid off. I had no idea snakes could slither up with nothing for traction. The snake got out. Our bus driver had a serious phobia and forced everyone off. Our bus was first in line blocking all the other buses. It was mass chaos. I might still be damaged.

14} I LOVE the rain.

15} When I was little and learning my right from my left, my big brother would ask me to hold up my right hand and when I would he would say, "nope, that's your left". Thanks to him I still have lots of backwards moments.

16} I have two debit cards because at any given moment one of them is missing. This seems to stress out everyone but me.

17} I have several ideas for inventions. I'm very protective of this, but I'll tell you if I trust you enough.

18} I get sad when I think of my gorgeous wedding dress that never got picked up (but thankful I made the decision not to wear it).

19} I have very opinionated views on pharmaceutical companies. (but I won't go into that on here!)

20} I have a girl crush on Kate Hudson.

21} Trying to minor in French almost cost me my college degree since I got a C in every french class I took.

22} I wish I could paint.

23} I worry that if I ever have kids I will in no way be able to compare to my parents.

24} I would rather have few super-close friends than have tons and tons of not so close friends.

25} Joan Rivers frightens me.

Monday, February 2, 2009

IM Convo with Bossdad

Bossdad has this very charming thing he does where he will randomly holler your name from the depths of his office. At first, I would shout back "yes?". It didn't take me long to learn that these salutations are not shouted as a call for your attention... it's a request for your presence in his office so he can ask you a question. While this is very charming, I thought there might be a better way.

So I decided to install an instant messenger on his computer. Hilarity ensued:

N: hi
N: see how nice this is?
N: if you have a question, you can just IM me real fast.
Bossdad: what the hell is this?
N: it's called IM.
Bossdad: you just took over my screen
N: a great way to communicate.
N: and mom is on it too.
Bossdad: is it always on?
N: yes, it runs in the background. you can turn it off though.
Bossdad: great . . . can i hide?
N: yes.
Bossdad: what about when I am looking at porn? like is wylie reading this right now
N: no.
N: just me.
Bossdad: can you see what I am doing?
N: and maybe you shouldn't be looking at porn.
N: no.
Bossdad: i don't want you to know when i am playing hearts or whatever
N: or solitaire.
N: or facebooking.
N: or in general not working.
N: I can just see the little box.
Bossdad: what little box
N: the IM box.
N: duh.
N: it's like texting but in the office.
Bossdad: so you cant see my desktop
Bossdad: what is this? is it google, yahoo or what?
N: no.
N: I see exactly what you see.
N: it's yahoo.
Bossdad: okie dokie - I'm more wired than ever - now get to work!