Thursday, November 26, 2009

Productive Turkey Day... I think so!

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for being able to cross off both #3 and #11 on my 30 x 30 list. Woo hoo for a productive two weeks! (dressing & cheesecake recipes coming on the next Foodie Friday!)

As I sit with a tummy full of turkey and review the list, I'm slightly amused/happy/unsurprised that of everything on the list, it seems the only few I have checked off are the culinary ones. :) A girl has to have priorities, I suppose.

Anyways, a happy happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I hope your day is filled with laughter, family, and full bellies.

Cheers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon Recap

Let's pretend there's nothing alarming about a tween fantasy movie causing cougars to fantasize about statutory rape
Let me preface this post by saying that I have never in my life done the whole "camp out to get: movie tickets/seats at the big rivalry college football game/free lawn chair at Ikea if you're one of the first 50 people" thing. And luckily, despite the madness of opening weekend, New Moon didn't fall into this category either.

By using my sweet talking skills and ohsohandy media connections, we were able to find two pre-screening tickets for last Thursday that required no waiting of any kind. And most importantly, required no buddy system bathroom breaks, camping out on the nasty movie theater lobby floor, and/or preplanned sustenance packing to survive the hours upon hours holding a place in line. I'm 27. As much as I love my teenage vamps... not gonna happen.

I had a blast going to see it opening weekend because a) the movie was great and b) the people watching was even better. I mean it was insane. The ENTIRE movie theater was taken over by women (and the occasional unlucky boyfriend) and I would say the median age was 14. I was late to the party on the first one (saw it the last weekend it was in theaters). So I missed the whole 150-shrieking-13-year-olds-at-first-glimpse-of-edward thing. As silly as it was, that energy is kind of contagious and a lot of fun.

On to the more important topics: vampires vs. werewolves. I was all about Team Edward prior to the movie, but as I read in an online review: this was Jacob's movie. The 2nd book was my least favorite out of the four, but I loved, loved, loved this movie. Taylor does a great job developing his character, and oh. dear. god. his personal trainer deserves a helluva raise. {reminder to self: he's 17, he's 17, he's 17, he's 17}

If you haven't seen it yet, go. Even if you don't think you're "into that kind of thing", go. It really is a great movie and entirely worth $10 and two hours of your time. And I won't spoil it.... but the ending is fabulous.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fall into the Gap

I don't know why, but I'm slightly obsessed with the Holiday 2009 Gap commercial. Like stop-the-dvr-to-watch-it, obsessed (that's when you know it's Bigtime, folks). As I think back on the marketing I've seen and remember, they typically do a pretty good job of creating compelling production that breaks through the clutter. Which is interesting since Old Navy is a sister company of Gap and I can't think of a SINGLE decent ON commercial in the history of their marketing- present advertising campaign most definitely included. (Seriously with the talking mannequins?!)

Anyways, back to the spot: I love the interesting texture of the set they chose, the fact that all the dancers just seem to genuinely be having FUN (I seriously want to find a slick floor and try that move at the end), and of course the choreography. Well done Gap... you stopped my dvr AND got me to add to the viral element of your campaign. Enjoy the free publicity!



Friday, November 13, 2009

Foodie Friday: Black Bean Tacos

This is the first foodie friday that I am posting one of my very own creations! Okay, so really this is the only recipe I've actually dreamt up that I make with any sort of consistency, but that's okay! You have to start somewhere and as someone who has been very dependent on cookbooks until fairly recently, I'm pretty darn proud of this one.

Bonus: it only uses one pot, one cutting board, and one knife. Which, if you are a messy cook like me, can be a great relief on a night you want to cook but don't feel like doing a bunch of dishes.

Natty's Black Bean Tacos
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can of rotel
  • 3-4 adobo peppers, chopped
  • 6-8 jalapeno slices, chopped
  • 1/4 C tequila
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • 1/4 t oregano
  • 1/4 C cilantro, chopped
  • juice of a lime
  • tortillas
  1. Saute the onions in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and saute for a few more minutes. (hey this is my own recipe... exact timing is irrelevant!)
  2. Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas, duh) and simmer over medium low heat until some of the liquid reduces. About 10-15 minutes.
  3. Serve on tortillas, with a dollup of sour cream to cut the heat if you so desire, and a pinch of mexican blend cheese.
  4. Mix up a batch of margaritas to go alongside.
  5. Enjoy!
Chef's notes (ha! love saying that!): I like things SPICY. I mean, to the point where I'm sweating profusely, spicy. Therefore, if you are a pansy like things less spicy, please reduce the amount of jalapenos and, most importantly, the adobo peppers. Those little suckers are HOT. I wouldn't leave them out completely though because they give it a nice smoky, chipotle-esque flavor.

Also, the past two times I've made it, I've added chicken breasts cut up in small pieces. To make this even easier you can buy those little precooked grilled chicken strips and just chop them up. Throw that in the pot with everything else to make it a little more substantial.

Lastly, I was drinking a red zinfandel while I was cooking and the flavor of the wine completely changed with the food (in a good way!). I don't know if it was the smoky adobo peppers that paired well with the juicy quality of red zin, but I would highly recommend it if you would like to forgo step #4.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Translation Troubles

It's been about a month since the first email and "Pierre" and I are still talking on a frequent basis. Note: that's not his real name but that is what my mom has called him for the past eleven years and it has just kind of stuck.

After asking if I had a boyfriend, and me explaining that I was engaged but called it off:


Why you separated? Big kiss to my beautiful american!


Apparently after I was not very prompt with my email response:

I wait your message every day with impatience.


After talking about food & wine:

After I live in Bordeaux you come and we eat good things and we drink good wine. TOMORROW IS MY SUNSHINE!


A few of my favorites:

The topless in France and authorizes is normal.

What are your hoobies?

I think more often you.


And a few that thoroughly confused me:

Us you registered for the marathon in New York.

I thought I was the first time that it is for time passes too quickly.

When you see it will be a cooking competition every two.


And just for you, Elizabeth and Laura, :

My basketball team it is San Antonio with Tony Parker is the best.


The communication is pretty confusing/funny though, if anything, always entertaining. However, the coolest thing by far, is that after this whole thing started I dug around my closet and found his letters from ten years ago, and surprisingly I could read all of them with relative ease! I remembered struggling and laboring over every word when I was in high school. And even though I took quite a few french classes in college, I never felt like anything "sunk in". Well apparently it took more than I realized, because it was not as difficult as I remembered it being.

Yay for all those less than stellar foreign language credits doing something other than destroying my GPA!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why my brother is cooler than yours

I got this in the mail a couple days ago:

If you can't read it, it says:

Hey-
Saw this on somebody's fridge and thought of you... so I stole it. There may or may not have been some alcohol involved! :) Anyway, hope you had a great Halloween and I'm looking forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving!

xoxo,
Clint

And attached was the Schnauzer fridge magnet. I hate schnauzers. Hate them. I'm sorry if you have a schnauzer that you love dearly, but after getting bitten not once, but TWICE when I was little.... they just are not my favorite. And I love dogs.

So this little note just cracked me up. As a bill-paying grown up, getting the mail just isn't as much fun as when I was little {Highlights magazine, anyone?? hells yeah!}. It's always fun to find something totally random and hilarious to make up for all the people asking to drain my bank account.

Thanks Clint! You totally made my day!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Updates


Because I know you people are just DYING to know:
  • My blanket was found, picked up by a friend's mom (because the creepy lady at the trashy hotel assured me that if I just gave her my home address, credit card number, expiration date, and security code, she would give it to her friend to send to me... um, how about NO?!?) and is en route to Dallas as we speak. YAY!! THANKS SIDNEY!!
  • I ordered the cheese. I know, I know... but before you start into me for buying a $40 piece of cheese when "pay off credit card debt" is in the top five of my 30 x 30, I have an excuse: Shortly after that post, my mom and I were shoe shopping and she asked if I'd ordered it. I said no that I couldn't justify it especially since it probably wouldn't all get eaten considering it was a WHOLE POUND of cheese, and she said "Well, why not?? Order it and I'll help with the experiment". So there ya go... The Dot, as always, came in handy for further fostering my champagne tastes. Which I'm not sure if she realizes, but she really is encouraging me to use my blog as a wishlist of sorts. Shortly after the tomato basil soup/food mill post she came hauling in this. I must admit, I'm kind of loving how well this works! It's like having a genie in a lamp!*
*Secretly I think she just gets so excited with the warm and fuzzies when I say anything about cooking after a teenage comment I made about not needing to learn how to cook when there is fast food readily available that she encourages cooking in any. way. she. can. I think the visions of her at the age of 83 eating McDonalds at the Thanksgiving table ensured proper scarring for life.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Paybacks will be hell in the future...


... but for now I just can't resist!

My baby cousin, Kinley, just turned two and had her birthday party at a pumpkin patch a few weeks ago.

Being the wonderful family member that I am, I always take great care in choosing an appropriate gift for my favorite cousin's little girl. Last year for her first birthday it was one of those push popper thingies that makes a whole-lotta-noise. This year... BATH CRAYONS!

I got a text message last week with the picture above accompanied by the following message:

"Bathtub crayons are such a sweet gift. You shouldn't have! PS- I CAN'T WAIT until you have kids....."

Which I if I didn't know better, sounds an awfully lot like a threat, doesn't it? Which is kind of rude if you ask me. And besides, doesn't she just look like she's having so much fun??

I thought so too.

Love you cuz!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween Costume Recap!

Halloween was a blast, as always. We had some of our friends over to the house and then walked to a few bars down the street. It was a good but random group of people and I hope/think that everyone mixed and mingled and had a lot of fun.

We had an interesting selection of costumes... from pop culture (swine flu & the falcon express) to traditional (french maid & flapper). I went as Ariel from the little mermaid and moose was Sebastian (yes, I know Sebastian was a crab not a lobster, but luckily it's been so long since anyone has seen the movie that I don't think anyone noticed.

The bar complete with spooky runner and cobwebs.
Some of the food: tombstone cupcakes, red velvet eyeball cakeballs, spider web cupcakes.

Annnnd the costumes:
flapper, nascar fan, 80's girl, hippie, a fat little girlfriend, french maid
Me and one of my oldest friends, Dusty. Dressed as he was back in his glory days as one of our alma mater's football players.
swine flu & fat little girlfriend... if you are confused by the latter, click here.
flapper, ariel, nascar fan
boy scout, gangster, nascar fan, drunk guy, eddie from Christmas Vacation, annnd rock star/gangter (I think?)

And my two favorite costumes of the night:
"Drunk Guy that passed out too early"
This guy came to the party in a dress with "BALLS" written across his forehead. He had three sharpies hanging around his neck and let everyone write all over him. It was hilarious and a very original. The things that were written on him also got fairly "original" as the night wore on.
And Jon & Kate plus 8.
I saw a few others on facebook that did this, but I'm sorry, Erika's resemblance of Kate in that wig is just downright creepy. Bonus points because moose thoroughly enjoyed having eight new "toys" to play with during the party.

Hope everyone had a fabulous halloween!!