Monday, March 30, 2009

Holla...

I would just like to brag a teensy bit that I am currently in first place in my office March Madness bracket. Sadly, I cannot take credit for my mad sports knowledge. I for sure hit up an ex boyfriend for bracket help.

Boyfriend who watches sports center 24/7... not cool.
Ex boyfriend who watches sports center 24/7... quite handy.

I could definitely use a little extra scrilla after my recent phone purchase!

YAY!

Moose Monday

This would be Moose's "are you gonna smack me" face. Why is he looking at me like this you ask? That would be because he decided to knock over the trashcan and have himself another little pantry party. Including, but not limited to:
  1. Licking the plastic pork chop container clean.
  2. Tasting the ziplock containing some of the leftover marinade from Teriyaki chicken.
  3. Doing his damndest to eat through his dog food bag. (he got through two layers of the paper bag)
  4. Helping himself to a dog bone on the lower shelf.
Needless to say, he had fun. Needless to say, his tummy was not amused. Absolutely needless to say, I was not amused by the results of his ill tummy. Gah-ross.

PS- as a follow up to last week: he is now deflea-d which involved washing him and every sheet, blanket, and bed that he touched. And we had a little chat about staying away from the skanky ones at the dog park.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Moose has fleas.

I found three on his nether regions this morning.

I'm pretty sure he got them at the dog park five days ago.

And he slept with me last night.

And the four prior nights.

Sick.

Foodie Friday: Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops

I cooked dinner for my roomie and Jodi on Monday and gave Alex a choice: Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops or Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Chicken. The pork chops won, so you can expect the latter for next week's foodie friday!

Entree:

This was my first try at making these pork chops. The flavor was great, but next time I will either turn the oil down a little or just sear them and then bake them to finish cooking. Cooking 6 min. on each side burned them a little and the insides were still too pink. I set the fire alarm off twice. :)

The good thing about this recipe is that the ingredients are all things that you probably have on hand at all times. I'll probably keep frozen pork chops in the freezer to make these when the mood strikes.

Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops {from Annie's Eats}
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 4 pork chops
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  1. Place the parmesan cheese on a plate. Whisk eggs and put on a plate. Pour breadcrumbs on a plate.
  2. Sprinkle the pork chops generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat the chops completely with the cheese, patting to adhere. Dip the chops into the egg, then coat completely with the bread crumbs, patting to adhere.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pork chops, in batches if necessary, and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate and serve with lemon wedges.
I'm not sure where she got this since she doesn't cook all that much, but this salad dressing is from my friend, Julie, and it is delicious! I put it over spinach and cherry tomatoes.

Julie's Salad Dressing
  • 4-5 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 of an onion
  • 1 C red wine vinegar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  1. Cook bacon.
  2. Pour out most of grease.
  3. Simmer onion in grease then add equal amounts of red wine vinegar and brown sugar.
  4. Mix all together until brown sugar all melted.
  5. Cool in fridge.
  6. Crumble bacon and add to salad.

Dessert:
I saw this on Cooking for Real this weekend and had to try it sooner rather than later. I used fresh pears instead of canned and regular sugar instead of raw (simply because I didn't have raw on-hand). These were really good and made the house smell WONDERFUL!

The great thing about this recipe is you can change it up easily and the possibilities are endless. My next try I plan on using raw sugar, fresh strawberries, and drizzle nutella over the top instead of cheese. Mmm.....

Pear Tarts with Cheddar Cheese {from Cooking for Real}
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 2 (15 1/4-ounce) cans pear halves, keeping stem end attached, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon together.
  3. Lay puff pastry sheet on a work surface brush with melted butter and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar.
  4. Cut into 6 even pieces.
  5. Fan the pear slices over the puff pastry, using 1/2 a pear for each puff pastry square.
  6. Sprinkle tops of pear tarts with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, until puff pastry is golden.
  8. Remove from tart from oven, sprinkle with cheese and bake until cheese melts, 5 minutes more.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mars and Venus, confirmed

I have had some very interesting responses to my post yesterday. I've noticed that it tends to vary depending on the gender of the person I encounter.

The Girls:
  • Julie stopped by last night and when the blog came up, reassured me that she thought I looked great.
  • I also got a reassuring email from Jenny that said "ummm, you should see the number on my scale, missy". (right, that would make me feel better that she was in the same boat, except she's seven months pregnant!)
The Guys:
  • Bossdad called last night and I told him I was eating dinner and he responded with, "whatcha havin', chubs?"
  • Wylie just IM'ed me and I quote, "you having a salad for lunch today, fatty?"
  • My big brother just IM'ed and said, "hey chunk".
I keep telling myself that any intelligent man wouldn't say those things meaningfully. So, in my mind, they are all lovingly teasing me. Right guys???

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Resolution Re-do

I am declaring today New Year's Eve Part II. Why? Because today I stepped on the scale and saw a number I have never seen before. And not in a good way. So today is New Years Eve for the sole purpose of my resolution to get my ass in shape.

I'm a pretty "average" girl. I'm not even close to overweight according to any medical charts, but I'm a firm believer that "chubby" can only be fairly judged by the person that is in that particular body and well, I'm calling myself out.

As a girl, I'm thankful to have my mom's build (love you Bossdad!!) and she is pretty small. But as I've heard from her college days (when she would eat mashed potatoes, french fries, potato salad, and a baked potato for lunch... yes, she was basically a walking complex carb) even she has the potential to get a little "heavy-set" for her build.

I put some thought into this in the shower this morning as I was scrubbing down my unusually plump self, and my main focus will be good old fashioned exercise. I just love cooking way too much. Scratch that, I love cooking GOOD food way too much. (Did you take a look at that recipe for chicken tequila fettuccine? How many recipes can you think of that have carbs, booze, butter, oil, AND cream??)

Also, I want to build this into a routine that I can hopefully continue through the rest of my life. And let's face it, even if I did outlaw heavy cream from my fridge, it wouldn't last long.

My goal isn't to be super-model skinny. Just comfortable in my own skin. And to rid my mind of the desire to purchase one of those waistband expanders made for pregnant women. Don't lie, you know the same thought has crossed your mind after a Thanksgiving or two!

I'm publicly announcing this as a means to make myself accountable. (similar to my last two short lived 1/2 marathon declarations!) So, I'll be sure to update with the good and the bad. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cubicle Wars, continued

One of the joys of having a "work brother" are the inevitable practical jokes. Since Wylie started here a year ago, the following events have transpired:
  1. Multiple scenarios of the parking lot game.
  2. Me telling him he was next on a day several firings were going on. (Having unique access to Bossdad gave this one the ultimate in credibilty!)
  3. Texting people from the other's phone when left unattended.
  4. Him and Jason showing up on a first date when I happened to make the mistake of saying where I was going earlier in the day at work.
His latest antics involved this iphone app where you can text from an anonymous number. On Saturday, I start getting text messages from some random guy named "Jake" that I had never met.

I ignored him until finally five text messages in, he was getting a little creepy, so I say "I'm sorry, but I really don't remember meeting you." To which he replies "We met on Greenville on St. Patty's Day". It was at about that time that I start thinking sheesh... I had fun on St. Patty's, but I certainly don't remember having that much fun that I would forget this. Then I heard Wylie giggling one cube over. Ahhhh.... makes sense now.

My roommate has known Wylie since they were babies. So this weekend she was going through some pictures when she found his senior picture. His senior picture in which he has bad highlights and BOTH ears pierced. Well, hello there payback, so nice of you to show up!

At work we have this big wall with all these pictures of employees on it. We only update this every once in awhile and Wylie hasn't been added yet. Well, I just thought it only made sense to add him since he's been here for over a year.

The Wall:
The Wall with Wylie's Addition:
Wylie up close in his highlighted glory:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Well, looky there...

Over the weekend, my herb garden suffered a loss: the basil kicked it. Which I was afraid might happen since basil likes the heat and we had a few cold days last week. However, when I went out to check on the rest of them on Saturday, I found this!
A bird's nest with an egg! I noticed the twigs last week and almost trashed them until I noticed that they looked like they may have been strategically placed... sure enough, they were! I haven't seen the mom yet, which worries me a little bit, but we'll see! How fun would it be to have a baby bird "pet".

Moose personally couldn't care less. Alex held him up to look at it, and he responded by attempting to take a big chunk out of my mint plant.

Moose Monday

Who me? I'm not spoiled.....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Foodie Friday: Coming Soon!

I didn't get to cook anything fun this week, but tonight I am staying in and having a bake-a-thon with Jodi to help her with goodies for her fiance's 30th birthday party.

On the menu:

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) Oreo Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
2 pkg. (8 squares each) Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted

  1. Mix 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended.
  2. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.
  3. Dip balls in melted chocolate.
  4. Place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.
  6. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
  7. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

Yield: 42 Truffles.

Red Velvet Cookies {from Bakerella}
1 Box red velvet cake mix
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
2 Eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ingredients until combined.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of cookie batter onto baking sheet about two inches apart.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Cool.
Cream Cheese Filling
1/2 Cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 8 oz. Package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1lb. Box of confectioner's sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
  1. In a mixer, cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
  2. Gradually add sugar and mix until smooth.
Makes about 24 cookies or 12 cookie sandwiches

And then we're also going to make traditional chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing. I say traditional but sometimes I get a wild streak mid-baking so we'll see! Stay tuned and I'll post the results and reviews tomorrow!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

See you at AA!

I had a slightly disturbing experience tonight that was just begging for a blog post.

The third Thursday of every month my college alumni association has a happy hour. This month it was close to home at a bar we tend to frequent. So we decided to go. The night consisted of good drinks with good friends, but it wasn't until I was leaving that the disturbing event occurred.

So as I'm walking out of the bar saying my goodbyes, I'm stopped by one last friend who yells "bye natty!". Then I walk past the bouncer and he mumbles something under his breath that made me stop:

Natty: Did you just say "bye Natalie?"
Giant Bouncer: Yes, have a good night, Natalie.
Natty: But you just said that because you heard my friend say 'bye Natalie', right??
Giant Bouncer: No, I didn't hear him. I said that because I remember your name, Natalie Cay.
Natty: HOLY SHIT, YOU KNOW MY MIDDLE NAME?
Giant Bouncer: Well, you spell it weird so I wouldn't forget 'Cay' when it's spelled C-A-Y.
Natty: OMG, I come here way too often.

SERIOUSLY? Am I the only one that would be disturbed by this? And he wasn't even there yet when we arrived, so it had been at least a month or two since he'd seen my ID. I either need to find new bars or seek out an AA program, because that was just sad, sad, sad.

After that little conversation I decided to test his memory. I asked him if he remembered a birthday celebration where double sided tape that I happened to have in my purse resulted in everyone in my party entering this particular bar with their ID's not only out and ready for him to check, but taped to their foreheads... sure enough... the man has a memory like an iron trap.
Alex
Jarred and I

Was that in the book of "1000 Baby Names"?

I went to the bank to deposit a check today at lunch and my teller's name was Sparrrrkyl.

Yes, with not one, but four "r's" and a "y".

Not that "Sparkle" spelled correctly would have elicited any less of a stripper-vibe... well maybe a little.

One can only assume that her relatives view her as the "snobby one" that has a "fancy bank job" instead of taking to the pole like the rest of the fam.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I caved...

I know. You're silently judging me. Number four on my 30x30 list is silently judging me too. However, on a more positive note, I am back in the happy world of iPhone ownership!

No offense to Nokia, but after two weeks of pushing the number 7 four times to text the letter "S", I had about had it. I remembered that my roomie had a Treo she abandoned after she got her iPhone, I asked her, and she said I could use it until June.

So, I wander down to the AT&T store with THE BEST INTENTIONS! I swear, iPhone ownership was no where in my target-clad, girl-on-a-budget, little mind. However, here's how it went down...

Upon entering store:

AT&T Guy: Hi can I help you?
Me: Yes, I would like to activate this old Treo to use until June when I can buy a new iPhone.
AT&T Guy: No problem. So, you look familiar, do you come in here often? (not even kidding, people!)
Me: I was in here last week buying this Nokia after I set my iPhone on top of my car and drove off.
AT&T Guy: That's probably it. Has anyone ever told you you look like Anne Hathaway?

It was at this point that if I were in a movie, I would have gotten that crooked smile and raised eyebrow that the evil guy gets when he comes up with a plan to manipulate his poor victim.

So I bat my eyelashes a bit and tell him my sob story about how customer service told me the only way to get the upgrade price on a new phone would be to add another line and pay $10/month for the next two years even though I've never used an upgrade since I've had AT&T.

(Sidenote: yes, this doesn't make a whole lotta sense since $10 x 24 months = $240 and the cost difference without upgrade would be $200, but I had decided that I would do it this way to save the $ upfront and then I would keep my little cheapy Nokia to use as a "batphone" of sorts. i.e... a phone to take with me on occasions prone to disaster. Good idea, yes? I thought so too!)

So back to the story:

After telling him how I had wasted an hour and a half of my life and got no where with customer service. He gave me a sly smile and asked if I would like to get an iPhone instead of activating the Treo. So he goes back talks to the manager, the manager calls corporate and 30 minutes later he comes out:

Manager: Okay, we're going to get you taken care of!
Me (dumbfounded): Um, ooookay. Thank you!
Me (after mint.com starts flashing in my head): Okay, can I ask you something without you thinking I'm super high maintenance?
Manager: (says nothing but gives me the head-tilt-down, looking-over-his-glasses-at-me, you've-got-to-be-shitting-me look)
Me: So, is there any way you could maybe make that a little notation in my account and I could come back in June? Would that be okay?
Manager: (continues look referenced above) I doubt it.
Me: Okay, okay... that's perfectly fine then, I'll take it!

My rationalization:
  1. Hello... I basically saved $200-240 and there were no guarantees that I would receive the same deal in June.
  2. I have been making really good progress budgeting (although I still have a long ways to go).
  3. My blog would have suffered greatly since a majority of my pictures are via iPhone.
  4. I'm heading up the new media efforts at the agency and I can't very well do that without twitter and facebook on my phone, can I?
  5. Since I bought it three months early and without budgeting for it, I made up for it by buying the 8G instead of the 16G I was planning on buying.

There you go! I'm now a proud and much more careful iPhone owner. Feel free to call me!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Moose Monday

The weather in Texas is finally starting to warm up which means it's the perfect time to hit up a patio for some margaritas, go for a run outside, or if you are moose, curl up and soak in the rays on your fluffy bed.  

This is his new favorite spot mainly because I think his Napoleon complex is somewhat reduced when he is able to look three stories down and bark at people.  But mostly he likes to lay there content as can be with his nose sticking through the railing.  He also likes to push his toys over the edge as I have found two balls laying in the ally below.  (Good thing he's cute)

I mentioned last night that I think I may want another puppy to which my mom said "you always say that time time of year".  Hmm.... I'm thinking maybe that might be my misguided maternal instincts kicking in around Springtime.  They're basically saying "Survey says since you leave the cellphone on top of the car and drive off we're not going to push it on this biological clock thing... let's go for another puppy and see how that works out."  Good to know at least some part of my personality is rational and non-impulsive.  

Just for shits and giggles, here are some pictures of weenie babies for your enjoyment:

Upgrade!

Moose and lulu got its first official upgrade last night! We are now publishing on our own domain of www.mooseandlulu.com!

I had dinner with the parents last night and we were talking about my blog and I mentioned that you can have it point to a private domain and before we even wrapped up the convo, Bossdad had pulled up go daddy, verified it was available, and purchased the domain. But in true Bossdad fashion, he didn't shy away... he bought the domain name for 10 years!! That's right folks, I am now committed to another decade of blogging as to not waste Bossdad's hard earned scrilla.

So to celebrate the apparent 10 years of future adventures, I've brainstormed what moose and lulu may look like/be discussing in the year 2019:
  1. Luckily wiener dogs live for awhile. However, it's highly likely that by that time moose will be incontinent, senile, bedridden due to obesity or all of the above.
  2. I hopefully will have gotten engaged and actually followed through on it with that whole "marriage" thing.
  3. I conservatively estimate to have gone through 39 debit cards in that time period. (that is one per quarter for the next ten years for all you mathematicians)
  4. Shiloh Pitt-Jolie will have one of those creepy countdown to her 18th birthday websites a la the closet child-molesters that counted down Mary Kate & Ashley's date of legality.
  5. Knowing me and my love for procrastination, I would suspect the majority of my 30x30 list to be rolled up into a 40x40 list.
  6. I will have conveniently "forgotten" to change the "Musings of a twenty-something" in my about me section.
  7. iPhones will not only be able to tell you exactly how many sushi restaurants are in a 1/2 mile radius and how to get there, they will also be able to serve as a tracking device for your children, control your tivo, thermostat, and crock pot remotely and possibly perform minor medical tasks such as sonograms and lasik.
  8. Lastly, despite all my wishing and praying for things not to go South (literally), I will no doubt, have had several of these moments and decided, "screw it, bring on the plastic surgery!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Birthday!!

I wanted to take a minute and wish my big brother a very happy birthday!  He just moved to Arizona from San Diego (aka Never Never Land, because you have to be hot and young to live there).  I don't get to see him near as much as I wish, but I'm planning a trip out there sometime this Spring/Early Summer.  Here he is at a birthday party where they rented a party bus and went on a tour of wineries right outside of San Diego... only you had to wear a costume.  And it was no where near Halloween.  He said they made quite an impression!  

He's spending the weekend in Never Never Land where a lot of his friends and his girlfriend still live.  In fact, lucky guy, he gets to spend his actual birthday evening at the Jessica Simpson concert!  Whitney (his gf) loves Jessica and he got her tickets for her birthday even though the concert fell on his birthday.  What a nice guy, huh? 
Happy Birthday, Clint!  Have fun seeing Jess!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

iPhone 3.0

As I've mentioned, my iPhone decided to take a little ride on the roof of my car. This did not turn out well for iPhone or myself. Since that time the universe has been determined to rub salt in my wounds. Pretty much my whole office has iPhones and their ringtones taunt me daily. My brother and I like to email each other about cool apps when we find them. Salt + Wound:

Clint: I found this cool iPhone app that's better than Nike +.
Nat: That would be awesome if I had an iPhone.
Clint: Oh no.... what happened?
Nat: I set it on top of my car and drove off.
Clint: Nice. How many is this now?
Nat: Three. No, two. No, three.
Clint: Hey thanks... I have stock in apple.
Nat: Happy I could help.

I have a ghetto replacement, but it's just not the same. I'm fully aware that my whine-factor is going through the roof right now, but my fellow iPhone owners know what I'm talking about. So after much thought and much mint.com analyzation I have decided to wait until June. For the following reasons:
  1. First and foremost, mint.com is telling me no. Actually, it's telling me "You are F*%KING INSANE if you think iPhone purchasing is even remotely in your cards right now, but I paraphrased for politeness sake...
  2. Maybe four months of iPhonelessness will make me appreciate said iPhone a little more and be more careful.
  3. I've decided that taking $50/month out of my booze budget for four months would be a more responsible way to make this pricey purchase, in more ways than one. {you're welcome, liver}
  4. Word on the streets* is that Apple is coming out with iPhone 3.0 in June. The rumors apply to a new software update, but often hardware updates come along with that. And I would be SO pissed if I bought one now and a newer, cheaper version came out in June.
*Okay, so really I read this on the apple tech blogs. I'm fully aware that this makes me not only a nerd but a HUGE nerd. But doesn't "word on the streets" sound so much cooler?

Sidenote: for future planning purposes, since you can't buy insurance for these stupid things I intend to set aside $20/month to fund what appears to be my inevitable annual iPhone purchase.

So, in the meantime I will be rocking my own personal version:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

things I am loving right now...

  1. that it's raining.
  2. my big glass of vino.
  3. that twilight is coming out on dvd march 21st.
  4. "breathe me" by sia.
  5. the fact that even though I had a 10-hour work-day, it was super productive and I feel like Bossdad got his money's worth out of me today.
  6. that my weird ass taste in music was somewhat validated today when I heard this song on the radio.
  7. that my herb garden I planted last weekend is still alive.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Lakewood Whole Foods...


...did not disappoint.  

Much bigger, gorgeous fish selection* including some hard to find things and some delicious looking pre-prepared dishes, sparkly clean, tons of wine, and the cheese... ohhh the cheese.

I was thisclose to channeling my inner Parisian and getting a loaf of crusty bread, a few hunks of cheese, a big fat bottle of red, and calling it a night.  (Definitely will give in to urge of consuming solely carbs and booze for dinner at next available opportunity.)

*I know "gorgeous" and "fish" don't seem to go together, but before you judge, go take a look.... those fishies are purty.

Note to Self,

Please refrain from ever using the roof of your car as a temporary shelf in the future. Especially for things that, a) you have an unhealthy dependancy on and, b) are the same color as your car. You would think given your scatterbrained nature this would be an obvious one, but apparently you needed to learn the hard way.  In the meantime, have fun with your iPhone envy and your Nokia 2600.  

Yours Truly,
N

ps- Zach Morris called, he wants his phone back.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Moose Monday

My parents have been in Hawaii for a week so my mom needed some time with her grand dog when she got home on Saturday. Since I am now iPhone-less, I didn't have access to any Moose pictures at my disposal at work at my blogging locale of choice. So I had to wait until tonight when I got to Plano to get a good picture of him. My mom and I debated on the photo shoot and eventually decided that "doggles" would be an appropriate way to go. (yes, she just happened to have a pair on hand.)

My mom really wanted the picture to have an authentic aerial feel, but unfortunately a) moose wouldn't sit still and b) the wind wasn't cooperating with our desire to have his ears "flapping in the wind". Meanwhile, Bossdad was inside watching the news wondering what the hell we were doing. I think it's days like these that he really, really wishes my brother lived closer for some testosterone and sanity. But we sure had fun.

Hot Pockets

I have this thing for unanticipated pockets... basically a garment that you wouldn't think should have pockets that does; most often occurring in skirts and dresses. The more formal the piece, the more I love the fact that it has pockets. Banana has a TON of cute skirts/dresses right now with unanticipated pockets. On on recent shopping trip with my mom, I picked up this fun little skirt:
And in doing some wishful online shopping, I found some other cute finds that satisfy my odd pocket obsession.

Another find from Banana:
Dolce & Gabbana
{total wishful thinking.. check out that price tag!}
:
Back to reality... Erica dress from the lovely J. Crew
And the ultimate, again from J. Crew:
And no unanticipated pockets, but I love, love, love the back of it and might be cashing in some Christmas giftcards for this one. With the six weddings I have coming up in the next few months, I'm sure it will go to good use. I don't think the color would look quite so shocking since my skin is the complete opposite side of the spectrum. {from banana}:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Foodie Friday: Cinnamon Rolls

I made these delicious red velvet cookies last week and ended up with a ton of leftover cream cheese icing. As my roommate was downing her fifth cookie she mentioned that the icing would be really good on cinnamon rolls. I'd never attempted homemade cinnamon rolls before so I thought it might be the perfect opportunity to give it a shot.

Yeast scares me since my first attempt at making focaccia resulted in very herb-y bricks, but I had recently stolen my mom's bread machine from her house so I thought it might be less intimidating. One thing I hadn't realized is that you have to make the dough (1 hour), let it rise (1-2 hours), roll out, cut up, and let rise AGAIN (1-2 hours) and THEN bake (30 min).

So not knowing this and NOT being an early riser, we had cinnamon rolls as an appetizer to dinner (no really... I'm serious). And to be honest, I kind of winged it by using a combination of two different recipes. (not the best idea while baking) They rose properly and looked great, but they were a little tough. I would completely welcome any thoughts as to the secret to mushy, soft cinnamon rolls.

Since I haven't perfected this one, I'll spare you the recipe, but here are some pictures of the adventure. (If you must have a recipe on Foodie Friday, click the link above for the cookies from Bakerella. As one of my coworkers said they are "freaking to-die-for".)
Fresh out of the bread machine, ready to rise.
It worked!
About four hours in... risen for the second time.
Finished product! A little tough, but still tasty!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Aloha......... from Dallas.

The term "staycation" seems to be popping up everywhere as Spring Break is upon us. Since the economy has tanked a lot of people have chosen to stay home instead of traveling. My parents were lucky enough to go on a "real" vacation since they were offered a free trip to Hawaii through Bossdad's media expenditures. (mustbenice!) I am only slightly bitter about this since I will be the one doing most of the work to maintain the client relationships that sent him on this little vacay. Ahhh, the joys of being low man on the totum pole. I did try to go with them...
But that didn't work very well. So instead, I had my own little mini staycation at "Chez W". I decided to housesit/watch their dogs for them so moose could play with his cousins with eversohandy doggie door access. I must say, it has actually been a very nice, relaxing, productive week. I have:
  1. Completely detailed my car using bossdad's shopvac and plethora of auto detailing products.
  2. Organized all my tear outs of recipes into a cute little, labled binder for easy access.
  3. Saved on gas by driving my mom's car (and totally got busted when I was talking to her and said "ew, a bird just shit on your car... er... I mean, my car".)
  4. Took full advantage of the stocked pantry by making a huge batch of marinara sauce to freeze. As well as an italian meatloaf to have something to put said marinara sauce on.
  5. Further confirmed that my mom's fashion sense is like a fine wine... (just gets better with age) by "shopping" in her closet for at least two work outfits this week.
  6. Ran several 'burbs oriented errands including but not limited to: buying/planting flower boxes for the townhouse at Home Depot and purchasing shower gift at Babies R Us. (I'm pretty sure the uptown zoning laws prohibit such businesses as "Babies R Us"... it scares all the drunk youngsters.)
It's been a great week... they get back Saturday so I guess it's time to clean up the kitchen, reorganize my mom's closet, and fill her car back up with gas. Hope you guys had fun!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Foodie Heaven!

vs.
When it comes to Gucci Grocery Stores, I'm a Central Market girl. Yes, Whole Foods is nice as well, but it's a bit.... granola-y for me compared to the more gourmet-ish Central Market. However, that might change. The Whole Foods by my house closed down on Sunday and reopened less than a mile away a little closer to Lakewood. So why am I considering changing camps? Because of a meat scale.

I know that sounds odd. Let me explain: They have scale that weighs your carnivorous ingredient of choice and prints off a price tag. BUT, along with the weight and price it ALSO prints off three recipes for your chosen cut of meat, suggested side dishes AND wine pairing suggestions. UM, HELLO? Okay, admittedly, I get a little more excited than most when it comes to cooking*, but seriously, HOW COOL IS THAT?

*You should have seen me when my mom and I happened to stumble upon this gadget while shopping at Williams Sonoma. You would have thought I was a three year old on Christmas day. Anyways, to read more about this ingenious little meat scale you can click here.