Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's baaaaaack!

Today marks the start of the 2009 season of Cool Thursdays at the Dallas Arboretum! If you've never gone to this, you must go because it is so. much. fun.

Every Thursday during the summer, the Dallas Arboretum brings out cover bands to the amphitheater that overlooks the lake. It's BYOB, so everyone brings out coolers and food and big blankets to sit on. It's basically a giant picnic with live music, booze, and a nice view. How can you beat that?

We started going last year when I lived in Lakewood and you couldn't walk into a grocery store in a five mile radius on a Thursday without people running into neighbors asking if they were going. It is quite the neighborhood event.

The first time you go, you quickly notice that there are some veterans of CT that are hardcore. I was amazed at the professional level of picnic-ing that some of these people take it too. I mean they have little tables, chairs made for the sloped hill, all sorts of picnic gadgets. Among my favorites and something I have contemplated purchasing for this season of CT is the wine glass holder from Crate & Barrel:
When I first saw these, I thought it was pretty stupid and unnecessary. But trust me, it's very easy to get a glass kicked over when you're balancing it on a blanket with people everywhere*. And let's face it, it's just kind of cute poking out of the grass like that.

Here is a link to the line-up for the summer. I think I am definitely going to try to catch Christie's Ex and the Hunter Sullivan Band. See you there!

*A glass of wine being kicked over should not to be confused with one being thrown in your face when a certain friend decides you need "cooling off"... you know who you are.... and I'm with Caroline, we will be wearing bathing suits next time in case you decide to play "air conditioner" again!!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Best Sunday Funday EVER

As promised, here are the pictures from my favorite Sunday Funday ever. {a day late, you can thank the beloved mac for being an a-hole last night}

Basically, the day started innocently enough, a typical Sunday Funday with me, Alex, Julie, and Jarred (aka the photographer) but after a few hours at The Old Monk we decided to spice up our afternoon a bit. Erika for some reason decided to pass on our Sunday festivities, so we decided to make an example out of her.

Yes, those are our white girl gang signs.

One trip to Michael's and two hours later, we had decorated her car in what some might consider a somewhat "ethnic" fashion. We call her E, so the front was decorated with a college nickname {sidenote: the nickname "easy e" in no way, shape, or form related to her extra-curricular activities... E was a Chi-o and we Chi-O's are CLASSY}.

Moving on, on the passenger's side we put "T $" because her boyfriend, Trey's, nickname was "T money". {Wow, this story is getting more ghetto by the second. I swear we are very nice, classy people}.

On the back we put her last name and "LBK" since she hails from good ole Lubbock. We tried to find a Virgin Mary sticker to put in the middle to make it more authentic, but apparently those are not a high demand item among the minivan driving, scrapbook loving {*cough* Laura}, Michael's demographic. Apparently stickers in the "old english" font aren't either as we had to go with classic block letters. Regardless, we were quite proud of our work of art. Erika, however, was not.

She didn't notice it until about 10pm that night and she refused to drive her car with the "decorations" and went out in the freezing cold with a razorblade to get it all off. Michael's didn't have letters specifically made FOR cars, so we just bought sticker-stickers. From what I gather, they were not very fun to remove because she still gets mad at us to this day when we bring it up. Sorry E! It was all outta love!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Moose Monday a la Sunday Funday

This is one of my favorite times of year because it's warm enough to get outside, but not so miserably hot yet. It's always funny to see patios around the city on the first few nice days of the year. It's like everyone comes out of hibernation to partake in the Vitamin D consumption.

Sunday Funday has become a sort of beloved twenty-something past-time when it starts getting pretty outside. Uptown has responded accordingly and you can pretty much count on any restaurant with a good patio having bottomless "insert your brunch beverage of choice here".

You give me a patio, warm weather, a bottomless mimosa and I'm a happy girl. Throw in a dog friendly patio and I'm damn near giddy. Such was the case yesterday when we had a little girls post-bachelorette Sunday Funday at Capitol Pub.

I got to hear all the hilarious details from the night before, we met a few very entertaining gay guys that loved the remains of a particularly bachelorette-ish image that Leslie somehow ended up with on her arm, *cough*, Alex, and heard some even funnier roommate stories that I will not subject you to here.

Moose had a blast. Here is your Moose Monday picture that was taken after Alex fashioned a very long straw for me to drink out of when my hands were unavailable:
I talked to the roomie earlier and she said that Sunday Funday pretty much wore him out and he had been laying around aaaaalll day. (is it sad that on this rainy day, I was incredibly jealous??)

Anyways, in keeping with the theme, I think tomorrow I will be posting about one of my favorite Sunday Fundays from a few years back. It was a hilarious day that deserves a blog post of its own. :) Any guesses, girls?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Foodie Friday: Crispy Fried Prosciutto-Wrapped Cheddar Cheese

I got this recipe today and had a little Joey Tribbiani moment:

Cheese... good.
Prosciutto... good.
Fried stuff... good.

I have had a really busy week combined with being exhausted from New York, so I haven't really had time to cook anything. I did, however, get this recipe in my email today from Daily Candy Dallas. It looked good (how could it not), so I thought I'd share!

Crispy Fried Prosciutto-Wrapped Cheddar
  • 2 c. flour
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 1 can beer (your favorite is fine)
  • 1 lb. smoked or aged cheddar
  • 4 slices prosciutto, sliced thin and cut in half
  • 1 qt. vegetable oil
  1. Combine flour, cayenne, and onion and garlic powders with a heavy pinch of pepper and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine eggs and buttermilk with half the beer (enjoy the other half, honey).
  3. Slice cheese into eight pieces.
  4. Wrap prosciutto around cheese.
  5. Heat oil in a pot.
  6. Dip wrapped cheese in buttermilk mixture, then flour mixture. Repeat.
  7. Fry breaded cheese until golden brown.
  8. Serve warm. A side of sauce makes ’em extra delish (we like BBQ).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ironic?

I just wanted to wish Bossdad a very happy "Take your daughter to work day"!! Actually, now it's "Take your child to work day" because apparently they deemed it un-PC to only take the girls, but I digress.

We have spent several fun days on April 23rd. Most of which I remember my favorite part being the lunches wherever I wanted to go (and anywhere was better than school cafeteria food, of course) and being ooh-ed and ahh-ed over by the sales girls. What can I say... I've always been an attention whore (even if the end goal was to suck up to the boss!)

How ironic is it that 15 years later we really would be working together. And that my first job out of college would be in the industry that I visited him at when I was little.

So Bossdad, thank you for being a great mentor. I appreciate all that you have taught me so far and I look forward to what you still have to teach me in the future. And most of all, thank you for not firing me despite my desk frequently looking like my filing cabinet vomited all over it and my disdain for mornings occasionally resulting in tardiness.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Would you like some food with your sugar?

Yes, this is another New York post. But the purpose of this post isn't to show you the vacay pictures (I figured you've seen enough of those). The purpose is to observe a phenomenon known as my mother. My mom's sweet tooth is the stuff of legends. The woman will bake a dozen chocolate chip cookies in the morning for breakfast. It's actually fairly amazing at times. She definitely took it to a whole new level in New York. Observe:
Magnolia Bakery.
Dylan's Candy Bar.
Serendipity. (she wasn't impressed)
Milk & Cookies.
The Food Tour.
Dean & Deluca. (yes, apparently you can buy cookies by the pound)
Milk & Cookies, the next day. (yes, we went back)
Fat Witch brownie.
Her stash at the hotel.

I have no idea a) how she is so thin and b) how she sleeps at night with the massive amounts of sugar that apparently stay in her system like an IV drip.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Moose Monday

Look at that belly! I'm thinking Moose needs to join my slim down efforts! Of course it didn't help that my mom and I took him to sonic the day we got home from New York. (don't judge.. he'd been abandoned for four days!)

However, I went running and did take him with me for the first half mile warm up. That was plenty... his little tongue was hanging out sideways.

New York, Part II

The rest of our trip to New York was just as much fun as the beginning of it!

On Thursday we did a "food tour" through Greenwich Village. If you've never done this I HIGHLY recommend it. {thanks for the tip, Kelly!} It's basically a walking tour through a section of the city with snacks along the way... you can't beat that! We had pizza, cookies, risotto, pesto, cannolis, and cheese. And all along the way they tell you about the history of the neighborhood. We saw the apartment from Friends, the $30k/month townhouse that food network rents for its "Next Food Network Star" contestants, and the speakeasy where John Steinbeck hung out back in the day. Here are some pics of the tour:
The "Next Food Network Star" residence. It used to be a carriage house and the horses were put on the second floor w/ an elevator!
The Dot. Loved the blooming trees.
I had to take a picture! The Chi Omega in me couldn't pass this one without a picture.

Just a pretty window box.
Murray's Cheese Shop
The rest of Thursday we shopped and then went to Phantom of the Opera that night. Phantom was really good, but the real excitement came when the bicycle man that drove us home almost killed us. Literally, I said "I wonder if anyone has ever died on one of these thi....." and looked behind me right as a Jeep Cherokee was inches away from smashing my pretty little nose in.
Friday we got up and went down to Chelsea to stalk the food network building. The bottom has all these little specialty food stores, restaurants, and kitchen supply stores. It's so cool because literally anything they might need for a show, is right downstairs. Including, GIGANTIC JARS OF NUTELLA!!
I was thisclose to buying it. If it hadn't been $64, I probably would have.

FN stopped giving tours in December so my mom and I devised a little plan: we found the elevators and decided to get on and push every button and check out each floor. If we got caught we were going to play the "dumb tourist" card and pretend like we were looking for more shopping and not secretly trying to ass grope run into Tyler Florence.

While it was a brilliant plan, we were apparently not the first ones to think of it as THERE WASN'T EVEN A BUTTON FOR THE SECOND FLOOR! The sneaky people at FN apparently have some super secret stalker-proof elevator that they use. Hmph. Whatever. It's not like I was going to hurt Tyler.


sadly, this was as close as I was able to get.

We used the rest of Friday to do all the things we hadn't had a chance to do yet. We went on a carriage ride through Central Park:
Ate at Serendipity (gotta say, didn't quite live up to the hype):
Went back to the cheese shop from the food tour, Murray's, and bought enough cheese to pay their rent for the next month, you know the usual:

My mom looking sheepish with her arms FULL of cheese and salami.

We had a blast! Three days was just about enough. We were both pretty tired by Saturday. I'm so happy we went and a big thanks to my mom for everything!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Day in the Big Apple

You might be wondering why I'm blogging while on vacation?  That would be because I forgot to file my tax extension before I left.  (yes, extension: in my world tax day rolls around every year on October 15th.)  So as we were resting our tired feet after a long day, I look at my phone and see "April 15 11:10" and go into panic mode.  Luckily, I had my laptop with me.  So 15 minutes and $14 for 24 hours of internet access later, I am officially extended.  

Since, I paid for a full day of said internet access, I thought I'd use it. So, now on to more important things:  We started off our day with lunch at the infamous Tavern on the Green in Central Park.  
The food was great, especially the soup that tasted like it was something out of my kitchen (i.e. made with lots of heavy cream) only way better.  
This is one of the big topiaries in the courtyard of Tavern on the Green.  Kinda cool, until you walk up to it and realize it's FAKE.  Come on, Tavern, you're a NY staple... surely you can hire a gardner that can handle this for you?!

Anyhoo, after that we walked over to the Museum of Modern Art.  Let me just say that my mom is all about her kids gaining "culture".  However, this forever gave me an out for all future undesired "cultural experiences" because she was not a fan of the MoMA.  At. All.  In fact, she damn near whined through the whole thing.  

I'll admit, the art was weird.  But I tend to like that kind of thing.  Even so, the one thing I was super excited about was seeing Van Gogh's Starry Night.  One of my favorite memories in my twenty-something years was in the town where he painted it, St. Remy, and I've always wanted to see it in person.  Naturally, it was on loan.  Until June.  Ugh.

However, I did get to see magnificent pieces such as this:
WTF??  And this:
Yes, that's a piece of green fabric stapled to the wall, no lie.  And this: 
This would be a Macbook with a rock pushing down on the "g" key and the screen showing "g" repeated indefinitely.  I mean, really???  I had a macbook in my hotel and I could have picked up a rock in Central Park.  

I just don't get it.  There were quite a few things at the MoMA that given 15 minutes with common household items, I could recreate with MacGuyver like speed. 

After the MoMA disaster, my MoMA decided she wanted her $40 and her 15 minutes since she practically sprinted through it quality time she spent, back.  There is only one way to get her out of this type of funk and that involves mass quantities of sugar.  Luckily, there was a Magnolia right around the corner.  
She was a much happier camper when provided with a sugar buzz.  The rest of the day we shopped, got caught in some sort of Pope Switch-out craziness that we saw later on the news, hit up a wine bar, and called it a day.  

Tomorrow:  Food tour through Greenwich Village, shopping in SoHo, and Phantom of the Opera!  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I <3 NY

We are off to NYC! My mom and I fly out at 5:00 and we are so excited! My dad reminded me to "leave space in your suitcase for what you buy there". On one hand, the man knows us well. On the other hand, maybe he doesn't know us that well since the last time I was there the "space" in my suitcase wasn't sufficient and an entire duffel bag had to be purchased to transport the shopping scores.

We don't get in until late so we'll see how much we're up for upon arrival. Bossdad surprised us with a limo service to take us to our hotel. I'm guessing he wasn't a fan of us getting in a car with some random cabbie at 9:00 at night.

The only thing we have set in stone is that we're seeing Phantom of the Opera on Thursday. Other things that may make it on the agenda:
  • A food tour.
  • Frozen Hot Chocolate at Serendipity 3. (I didn't quite tell my mom about the rat debacle of 2007, but I googled and they did reopen!)
  • Lunch at this place. Mac n Cheese... mmmm...
  • Checking out the recently opened Top Shop.
  • Hunting for bargains in the garment district.
Things I will not be doing:
  • Purchasing another turtle in China Town (RIP, Frank)
  • Eating another street hot dog. (not impressed the first go-round)
  • Paying $9 for HALF of an airplane sized bottle of champagne at Rent*.
  • Helping haul a suitcase resembling the gigantic trunks in Joe vs. The Volcano up seven flights of stairs. Seriously, Jones, what the heck was IN THERE?
I may or may not be planning on stalking the food network building in hopes of seeing Tyler Florence and/or Bobby Flay. And the food network building may or may not be located in the meat packing district at 75 9th Avenue. Just saying...

*Seriously. This was NINE DOLLARS. Gotta love NYC!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Moose Monday

I keep working on Bossdad to make the office "dog friendly". We have seven dachshunds between our office employees so it would be pretty hilarious. It hasn't quite worked yet, but every once in awhile when we are transporting moose from Plano to Dallas, he will let him come hang out for a few hours. This was taken on his last visit and I thought it was pretty cute.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

You spin my head right round, right round...

This is a conversation that actually just happened. No names have been changed to protect the innocent, this is a true interaction between my mother and myself:

Mom: You didn't post a foodie friday yesterday.
Me: I know, I posted it this morning and dated it yesterday.
Mom: No, you didn't. I checked. Because I had to go back and find that post about your birthday to find the website where you can look up lyrics and it wasn't there.
Me: It's up now, what lyrics where you looking up?
Mom: Well, I downloaded "Right Round" by Flo Rida and your dad was convinced it was about a blow job, but I told him it wasn't.
Me: It's not, it's about a stripper.
Mom: I know! That's what I was telling him, but he didn't believe me so I had to show him the lyrics.

The funniest thing is, we breezed past this on to a different subject and it took me about five seconds before I realized how hilarious this conversation would be to someone listening to us. She followed this up with musings on how she thought it was stupid that a rapper from Florida would name himself Flo Rida.

Just another typical mother-daughter chat on a Saturday morning!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Foodie Friday: Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

If you told me I had to choose between cooking or baking for the rest of my life, I would definitely choose cooking. It is not in my nature to follow a recipe EXACTLY and I love being able to throw in a little more wine or an extra clove of garlic to a dish. However, these cupcakes may have turned me into a baker. I made them for the bachelorette party and every time I saw someone take their first bite, their eyes would roll up in their heads. MAKE THESE NOW!

{Adapted from Annie's Eats}

Cupcakes:
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 12 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 cup lemonade concentrate
  • ¾ cup confectioners sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Stir together with a fork and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until it is light and fluffy.
  4. Add the sugar and beat until well combined.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  6. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl and beat on low speed until just incorporated.
  7. Add in the milk and mix until smooth.
  8. Add in the remaining flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended.
  9. Fold in the fresh strawberries with a spatula.
  10. Divide the batter evenly between the paper liners, filling them about ¾ full. Bake about 20 to 25 minutes.
  11. Once the cupcakes have cooled:
  12. Whisk together the lemonade concentrate and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl to make the lemonade syrup.
  13. Poke several holes in the top of each cupcake and pour the syrup over the cupcakes, allowing it to soak in.
Frosting:
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 18 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2⅔ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Beat the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and very fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.
  4. Frost cupcakes as desired and garnish with fresh strawberries and lemon slices.
*For the frosting, the original recipe calls for fresh strawberry puree, but I left out them out and added strawberry flavoring instead because I wanted the frosting to be yellow (the bride's colors) instead of pink.
{apologies for the crappy iphone picture}

Thursday, April 9, 2009

A little humor on this gloomy day

I just got this video in an email and thought it was pretty cute.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

March Madness Moola

After UConn lost on Saturday, I had a sneaking suspicion that I would win our office bracket. Sure enough I walked in yesterday morning to this:

Wylie was the keeper of the cash and had taken my winnings and taped them all. over. my desk. I must admit, this was a way better surprise than some of the things that go down in our office. You can cover my cube in billz anytime you want!

I would like to thank the boys at my "dark horse" Michigan for their outstanding run at it, thus leading me to administer a bracket ass-kicking to all of my co-workers.

The city of New York should probably go ahead and thank Michigan as well since I have no doubt that I will be donating my winnings to their fab city in exchange for some goods at H&M.

Thanks again for your help, Brian!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Moose Monday

Since I was at a bachelorette party this weekend, my parents dogsat for me. Which after witnessing Whitney with a shotgun in one hand, a beer in the other, aiming at a possum, in the dark, drunk... I'm very thankful that I didn't bring my beloved, somewhat possum-shaped dog with me. That could have ended very badly.

They went camping in the RV so they just took him along. (yes, they have an RV, but before you start in with the trailer park jokes, come tailgating with me for a Tech game- you will soon welcome the wonderfulness of the RV). As you can see, he had a very rough time:

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Reason #63 Why I Love Having a Roommate

After the bachelorette festivities wrapped up this morning, Alex had to drive Laura to the airport.  They had about an hour to kill so they stopped at Texas Roadhouse to have lunch.  Roadhouse was our favorite hangover food of choice in college, but there isn't one close to downtown D.  So Al just texted to tell me she was bringing me my personal remedy that I so rarely get to indulge in: chicken fried steak.  

Just what the doctor ordered after a weekend of liver abuse.  

As I'm sitting here typing this, I think I may be a touch more excited than one should be at the impending arrival of fried meat.  

Oh well.  I will continue to do my happy dance in hopes that it will assist in minimizing the massive caloric intake that is about to occur.

YAY!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Kicking Wedding Season off with a Bang!

This weekend should be an eventful one. We are all heading out to celebrate Whitney's bachelorette party at her family's ranch. This is by no means a quiet nor subdued group of girls and I have no doubt it will be an absolute blast. I've never done a "ranch party" and despite my love for air conditioning and bug-free environments, I'm really looking forward to it!!

My roommate and I spent last night on a crafting project of an "adult" nature. I'm debating on if I should blog about it or not, because despite the hilarious final product, it might rank fairly high up on the bachelorette trashy scale and I certainly wouldn't want to offend either of my two moose and lulu readers. ;)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Birthday Burgers

Moose turned two yesterday on April Fools Day. {Or 14 depending on how you count it}. He celebrated like any normal family pet would:

With a Whataburger.
That had a candle in it.
While wearing a party hat.

Before you judge me, I take no responsibility in this matter. My crazy mother is the orchestrator of all the above birthday festivities. She is the queen of birthdays and apparently her granddog is no exception.
I would say he had a pretty good day. After his burger, he got to sleep in their bed with them while their two dogs slept in the laundry room. This, my friends, is why I am in no rush to give them grandchildren. I happen to like my high ranking on the priority list, thankyouverymuch.

(which for the record, is right below moose and my brother, and just a smidge above a really good bottle of red wine)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOOSE!