Archive | January, 2009

thankful thursday

29 Jan
  • mixtapes. and the effort people put into making something for me.
  • snow. peaceful + school closures + how nice it is to drink cocoa and watch snow fall from my window
  • window seats. like the little ledge at pside. or my desk at work.
  • exercise. sweating. being healthy
  • FF+half to vent to and be absolutely stupid with. and watch balto
  • mustardseed taking me a day early b/c i screwed up my appt date
  • happy hour/dinner dates. although often i end up skipping dinner…
  • my daddy. who helped clear the ice and get me to the entrance to the community so i could go to work
  • umbc reunions.
  • the convenience of metro
  • FF and her directional help. again.
  • drink/food specials.
  • music. learning guitar. singing more again.

thankful thursday

22 Jan
  • mustardseed, consignment stores, ebay. ways to make money
  • friday adventures. i love having plans to meet up with people.
  • heat. warmth. things that make restaurants/bars NOT frigid.
  • friends. i would seriously be so depressed if i never got to see them.
  • my steelers. football. sports bars. things that make me feel alive.
  • no absolutely terrible injuries from the game
  • being alive to watch important history occur
  • snow, cocoa, music, guitar. things that have calmed me down and refocused my thoughts.
  • my favs/bests. whom i appreciate so much more than they know. especially lately when i’m relying so heavily on them for various reasons.
  • cooking, baking, people who like my cooking. i love making food for parties. and the sense of accomplishment from cooking my own dinner.
  • restaurant week. sharing good/fancy meals and my appreciation for them with people i love.
  • design blogs. learning new things, seeing other people’s work, being inspired.
  • mail, emails, phone convos. real connections with real people. but not in the sketchy late night hooker sort of way
  • 509. because no matter what, i still gained the best of friends while there, and when you put us back together its like magic. like teepees.
  • dinner/parties with ff+pwb.
  • halfes. for patience, advice, silliness and talks on the futon.

pulled pork

20 Jan

pulled pork

I’ve always wanted to make pulled pork. Kathy made it, so I got the recipe from her and made some yummy dinner. This was a perfect recipe since it was Inauguration Day so I could watch history and still eat well.

recipe from Kathy:

  • 4-5lbs pork butt roast
  • 2 onions
  • seasoning (garlic powder, salt, pepper, whatever you fancy)
  • a bunch of water
  • 1 bottle of bbq sauce

Season the pork. Chop the onions. Layer half the onions at the bottom of a crockpot, put the roast on top. layer the second half of the onions on top of the roast. Fill the crockpot with water til the roast is almost covered. Cook for 8-10 hours. 

Drain the water/fat, separate the onions for a side dish. Remove any remaining fat on the roast. Shred the roast, which ought to be super simple as it just falls apart like magic. Put all the pork back in the crockpot mixed with an entire bottle of bbq sauce and cook it for another hour. 

comments: Kathy told me this was a super simple recipe. It was. I wish there were more flavors though so I will probably add worchestershire sauce and other yumminess next time I make it. This is especially good when you have a busy day like today when you don’t have time to make a fancy meal but want something substantial to eat.

beef stroganoff

19 Jan

beef stroganoff

When I was at UMBC, one of the foods in the dhall that I really liked was beef stroganoff. Something about the buttery noodles and the idea of beef sauce on top was so appealing, but it was probably as unhealthy as the rest of the college food in the country. Becky also made this last year at the apt so since I had to make dinner tonight I decided that it was time to try my hand at it too. Becky tends to just throw stuff together and adapts recipes, but I don’t know cooking that well yet so I opted for Paula Deen’s recipe on Food Network. I thought that southern, white, fat people ought to know how to make a hearty dish like this.

  • 1 1/2 pounds cubed round steak, cut into thin strips
  • seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder)
  • All-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Cooked egg noodles

Season the steak strips with House Seasoning, then dust with flour. In a large skillet, quickly brown them on both sides in the olive oil and butter. Remove the steak from the pan. Add the onion slices and mushrooms to the pan drippings. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion is tender. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour. Put the steak back into the pan with the onion and mushrooms. Add the mushroom soup and beef broth. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, covered. Adjust seasoning to taste, adding salt and pepper, as needed. Stir in the sour cream the last few minutes, right before you serve. Serve over cooked noodles.

comments: I always end up making noodle dishes with sauces that are Too Too Thin, though it might have something to do with the fact that I always get the healthy versions of broth/soup/dairy instead of full-fat/sodium. Anyway, I thought that by simmering the sauce longer that it would reduce, but that seemed to be the opposite of what was true. Thus I kept mixing more flour in to thicken the sauce but it really didn’t change the consistency at all. Very disappointing. I also can’t say that I’m a huge fan of sour cream. The meat was a little tough, but it was still delicious because you don’t really go wrong with eating cows.

chocolate covered chocolate caramels

19 Jan

chocolate covered chocolate caramels

Since I had leftover filling from my Puddles of Yum I decided to put it on top of ice cream as Tanya suggested. As I was heating it up and expecting something like hot fudge, however, the filling started becoming really thick and airy and I realized it was caramelizing. (Another, oh yeah this is condensed milk moment.) So I got the idea to make chocolate covered chocolate caramels, which was super easy to make.

  1. Line a pan with parchment paper and grease it
  2. Heat up leftover filling from Puddles of Yum til thick and caramel-y
  3. Pour caramel in pan
  4. Cool the caramels and chill it (it was cold out so I stuck it in the garage)
  5. Cut the caramels
  6. Melt chocolate (whatever you prefer, I used milk) in a double boiler and coat caramels in chocolate
  7. Place finished product on a piece of parchment paper and cool/chill it til it solidifies.

thankful thursday

17 Jan
  • the rare days when i get to sleep a full 8hrs
  • weekends to unwind during
  • seeing 99% of my boys in the past week
  • exercising. being healthy.
  • cooking my own meals and baking for friends
  • going to new (to me) bars
  • people who tell amazing stories
  • seeing old loves. which felt like homecoming
  • getting a last minute appt at mustardseed
  • glittens, b/c i can’t use my touchscreen phone with mittens
  • crit sessions at work
  • the daily chatter between coworkers whether it be about design, typography or colbert report
  • digital plug-in tuners
  • slowly learning to play guitar

puddles of yum

14 Jan

puddles of yum

recipe from Tanya at Sunday Baker

comments: peanut butter cookie shells with soft, chocolate caramel inside. cookies were simple to make and making indentations to make wells was fun. for the filling, i wish i had melted all the chocolate first, then added the sweetened condensed milk b/c i didn’t think and the filling ended up a bit lumpy. i also forgot that condensed milk turns into caramel which i learned when the filling started caking on my pot. i would still make this again, it’s delicious, but i def recommend drinking milk with it.

cheddar garlic biscuits (Red Lobster)

13 Jan

cheddar garlic biscuits

recipe from

comments: very easy to make. dough seemed a little too dry but turned out just fine. too much garlic powder for my liking.

thankful thursday

9 Jan
  • sunny days. sunshine makes me happy especially when i wake up to it
  • mittens+hat when i pump gas
  • easing back into work, but still having plenty to do so i don’t waste away
  • margarita dates. i love margaritas + anthony is the best.
  • becky. i don’t know how alive or healthy i’d be right now without her saving my ass.
  • entire day dates. for endless fun with my bests
  • winter break so i could rest.
  • high school friends. they don’t let me down. i.e. nye
  • new experiences with new friends. i.e. nye
  • a clean room. underrated. messy isn’t bad, but its so much nicer to live in a clean environment
  • being able to wake up and not crash while driving on such little sleep this week
  • my dad. who keeps me sane by answering my questions the first time around.
  • my ability to appreciate and know good food/drinks. and have standards.
  • the 509 futon. so many good convos were created there and i miss them.

california rolls (sushi)

2 Jan

2007+2008 were not great health years for me. Thus, the last time I cooked food was before the holidays. California Rolls made for my office’s holiday party. Yummo and pretty easy to make. I adapted the recipe off the back of the sushi rice bag.