Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

you say it’s your birthday

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Oh wait, no you don’t.

I say it’s my birthday.

Because it is.

The big 30.

Guess what?

Crockett got me a camera!

A camera for blogging!

(I usually abstain from exclamation points but this totally deserves several.)

I have other really exciting news. Crockett and I are moving in together. That’s part of the reason you haven’t seen much of me lately – I’ve been packing. See also, birthday celebrations. However, this camera and I? We’re going places.

Off center boyfriend kissing places.

Beautiful bracelet (that I simply adore despite the fact that it was temporarily overshadowed by the ZOMGNEWCAMERA moment that followed) places.

Puppy butt places.

Puppy themed sock places.

In case you can’t tell, all of these pictures were taken without me moving from my present opening position on the couch. This one used optical zoom. OPTICAL ZOOM, people. I HAVE OPTICAL ZOOM.

Still life with briefcase and gnomes places.

And how could we forget, the ‘I’m already kind of tired of you taking pictures of me with your new camera’ places. It’s not my fault he’s so handsome. Really, it’s his fault. He should apologize to me.

Anyway. I have packing to do, and homework to do… but it’s my birthday, so I’m going to start with more camera playing. Just for a few minutes.

You support me in that, right?

happy new year!

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

On the last day of 2010, Crockett went snowboarding and I hunkered down with the girls. We spent the day cooking and reading and generally lazing, with the exception of a field trip to the rec center (me, not them).

I expected to be the only person there, what with it being the last day of the year. I thought folks would stay home in preparation for starting best behavior on the 1st.

I was totally wrong. I basically had to knock down an old lady to get a treadmill.

When I showed up at Crockett’s, he was disassembling a computer because I’d rented Salt and his computer ate it. He got it out and we did watch it – probably not worth all the work, honestly. Kind of a stupid flick.

I brought a couple of things, celebrating New Year’s food traditions that I’d found. Here we have fish (ok fine shrimp whatever) and pork (in the form of delicious spicy italian sausage).

Ree’s black eyed pea dip.

And greens. These are actually all the greens we ate, but I’m sure it was enough to bring us some luck.

And drinks, of course. One of Crockett’s presents from me this Christmas was a book called The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto. Since he read it, he now insists that the only real drinks are martinis (gin, of course) and straight whiskey. Doesn’t he look dapper, with his new Christmas sweater, his martini, and his post snowboarding hair?

A proper martini does not have olives. In case you were wondering. It instead has a squeeze of lemon oil.

I was drinking gin and tonic, because The Hour author can kiss my ass, and wearing my claddagh ring which I’ve recently become re-obsessed with. I’m sure that obsession is in no way tied to the fact that I just watched the first three seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer again. Totally sure.

Gin: Leopold’s. It’s distilled here in CO but if you can get it where you are and you like subtle gin, try it. You won’t regret it. And if you do, hopefully you’ll forget that you regret it because of all the gin you just drank.

At some point I got quite jealous of Crockett’s nice thick eyelashes.

We took the party downstairs, to watch Salt and the ball dropping etc. Also, to watch Kesha resolve not to be a douchebag in 2011 – which, interesting choice.

Someone didn’t make it til midnight.

But we did! Sure, there were some closed eyes… but we were awake for the crucial moment. Seriously.

Then, of course, we went to bed. Because it was -3 degrees outside and we had absolutely nothing better to do. It was nice, actually – I always try to go big on NYE (with the exception of last year when I was super sick) – but home and mellow wasn’t a bad choice.

First meal of 2011.

Not too shabby.

I hope your NYE was exactly as you wanted it to be. Tell me all about it, k?

resolve

Friday, December 31st, 2010

In 2011 I resolve not to get so far behind that I end up with 400 pictures and ten posts worth of happenings.

I resolve to continue to eat more vegetables.

To really truly educate myself on the science behind South Beach and do what’s good for my heart.

To try new and interesting things with oatmeal. Perhaps, shockingly, not involving pumpkin.

To ignore the South Beach insistence that bananas are bad. Fuck that, yo. Bananas are good – incontrovertible fact.

Perhaps if I do all these things, I will live to be 102. The woman who built this tiny city lives in my Grandma’s building, and she’s 102. I didn’t ask her if she eats lots of bananas, but I’m sure she does.

Speaking of my Grandma and her building, this is the first Christmas  after she sold the house she’s lived in since well before I was born. We usually caroled in her neighborhood, but without a home base that became complicated. We invited the residents in her building that were around to join us in a common room, and we got our carol on there. My mom and I were particularly festive – please note the spinning and the elf hat. We had about 25 folks join us, which was absolutely wonderful. We sang. They sang. Fun and merriment abounded.

Mom, dad, Grandma, Uncle Phil… and of course me, in the purple.

I was lucky enough to get to spend Christmas day with members of my family and quite a bit of Crockett’s, shown here. It was lovely.

Later in the day some friends joined us. All told there were 19 people in the house.

I take really good care of my clothes, can’t you tell? Chocolate shirt and Kelley, queen of the photobomb.

Friends can be family too, you know? The morning after Christmas two of my Denver darlings came up to Boulder to join me for brunch at Salt, followed by cans of champagne and shopping.

Yeah, cans of champagne. They were a gift for me, and I’m fairly sure were made with me, specifically, in mind.

Basically, Christmas rocked. Obviously I’m missing quite a bit here, but I think these were the high points. How was your holiday?

I wasn’t JUST studying

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Ok fine, I was mostly studying while I wasn’t here. However, I did do some other stuff.

My man dragged me out of the house at least once.

We saw some live music at the Waterloo. It was this guy’s show – his name is Pete Stein. He was kind of badass, but the real reason I allowed myself to be dragged was because Gregory Alan Isakov decided to show up at the last minute. He’s glorious.

I allowed Crockett near my ears while he was decorating the tree.

Then I sat back and let him do his thing.

Yes, his tree is twelve or so feet tall.

Yes, his tree topper is a monkey holding a tin soldier hostage.

I made it out the door for the Louisville parade of lights.

It’s hard to photograph a parade of lights.

I even made it out the door for a run or two (in my Gentle Lovers socks, of course). (Gentle Lovers is the name of my brothers cycling team.) (Yes, that is absolutely fucking hilarious.) (Yes, it is awkward to say ‘my brother is a Gentle Lover’. I try not to.)

I enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather.

All told, I survived. I ate, too, of course (post on that to follow). Awesomely, when I was done with the semester, Crockett and I had the opportunity to spend some time in the mountains.

We had a huge hotel room (that was next door to 1408 – if you know what that means, scream with me a little. If you don’t, carry on). I took a PW style hotel bathroom picture. We almost got stuck on the other side of the pass because it turns out over there it is winter. All in all, it was what I needed to clear my school related cobwebs.

What did you guys do?

I’m back, baby

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Done with school and well rested. Later tonight I’ll catch you up, at least a little. I have a hotel room to tell you about, cookie recipes to show you, and a new Boulder restaurant to fill you in on.

Also?

I missed you.

christmas is in 3.29 weeks

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Do you know what you’re getting your loved ones yet?

No?

This isn’t something I’m asking for for myself, because I already have one. Why am I not posting a picture of the real one, you might ask?

Because it’s always dirty.

Because I use it for everything.

It’s technically called a ‘butter warmer‘, but what it really is a little two cup miracle. It does melt butter like a dream, but it also heats up individual portions of soup almost as quickly as the microwave and with more panache. It’s the perfect size for 1 cup of oatmeal or cream of wheat. It can hold two portions worth of nacho cheese sauce. Easy to clean, easy to stir, basically fabulous. If you have someone with a small kitchen or a small belly who cooks and doesn’t have one of these, order it now. You’ll thank me later.

P.S. My dad bought me mine for Christmas last year. Thanks dad!

now that Thanksgiving is over

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

If there is a food blogger in your life who sometimes (or always) uses an iPhone, do I have the gift suggestion for you.

(Am I hinting right now, or is this too heavy handed to count as a hint? What’s stronger than a hint?)

It’s a macro lens with a magnetic circle on the back – it clicks on right over a phone lens and works the macro magic.

Nifty, no?

you look like a million bucks

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Crockett got up early to take his dad to the airport (spoiler alert: he made it home), and I dragged my butt out of bed to get the food started.

I took the turkey out of the brine and rinsed it off, and put it in a slow oven (~300) breast down. My intention was to flip it after a couple of hours so the top would color, but when I checked on it at 10:15 (two hours later), it was done. Done. In two hours. It was only twelve pounds but still, yo, 2 hours is unheard of. Thank goodness I had a thermometer, otherwise I would probably have left it in for another hour. Sadly, that meant the breast skin never got all roasty toasty.

While the turkey did its thing, I started the vegetables for the stuffing (up at the top) and the spices for the sweet potatoes. I made the stuffing exactly as written, but this is the second time I’ve made these sweet potatoes and I took some liberties. The banana, sweet potato, coconut, and coconut milk are all naturally sweet, so I left out the brown sugar. Without the sugar it’s more suitable as a side dish; with the sugar it would be more appropriate as a dessert. That’s lime zest, ginger, and a mashed banana sauteing in butter in the images above.

Pause for smoothies.

The sweet potato pudding with all the ingredients added, getting its thickening self on.

I got the sweet potatoes and stuffing into their baking dishes, hopped in the shower, and got the appetizers on the table as our first guests walked in the door.

  • Spanikopita -a contribution from my mother, purchased at Costco. If you shop at Costco and you see the frozen spanikopita, purchase it immediately. Do not hesitate. Just do it. Does it sound like I’m kidding. No, I didn’t think so.
  • Walnuts – I pan roasted them with a couple of tablespoons of butter, half a teaspoon of crushed red pepper, half a tablespoon of minced fresh rosemary, a quarter cup of brown sugar, and half a teaspoon of kosher salt. The red pepper didn’t really come through, but I was worried about it being overwhelming for my grandma.
  • Cheese platter – brie (cause with the yum), sliced fresh sourdough, a vanilla fresh fig jam that I’ve completely forgotton how I made, and…. the stinky cheese of death.

I bought it at Costco. It’s called Morbier, which doesn’t technically mean ‘death’, but it sort of sounds like it, no? When I opened the package I may have thrown up a little in my mouth. Seriously. However, I am not one to tell other people what’s delicious, so I put it on the plate anyway. No one ate it.

My volunteer bean snappers whining about the smell and kicking ass at snapping.

We had a three phase Thanksgiving. Phase 1: My dad (left), mom (middle), and Crockett’s brother (right), his family, and my grandma. Phase 2: Crockett’s brother + fam left. Phase 3: Everyone left and Crockett and I went to a friends house to rejoin his brother and have dessert.

Four ladies (and three generations) on one couch. Kim may not be related to us, but she fits in nicely, don’t you think?

We got the table set up and hugged the Phase 1ers goodbye.

Looks tasty, no?

As we were at Crockett’s house and it was his first time hosting Thanksgiving, he sat at the head of the table.

Cheers.

Also a responsibility of the host? Turkey carving. I think he’s doing it wrong. (Please note how pale it looked once I put it breast up. Sad.)

However. Inside? Juicy. Delicious. Perfect.

It got a little slippery, so Grandma and I each grabbed a leg. Fortunately we both kept all of our fingers.

A representative dark meat lovers plate (my dads).

A representative white meat lovers plate (mine). I like dark meat too, but on the actual day I’m white with gravy all the way. Clockwise from the top: cranberry jelly from a can (don’t judge, you know it’s delicious), cranberry chutney, turkey with gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, roasted squash and pomegranate salad (mom), green beans with almonds, and jalapeño corn bread (dad).

This is the point at which the plate started to best me. I had too many spanikopita.

Fortunately, we ate slowly and I got a second wind. Who has two thumbs and belongs to the clean plate club? This girl.

My dad brought cinnamon orange rice pudding, but we all only managed  a few bites. I refused to let him take the rest of mine away, because it’s going to make the best breakfast ever. EVER.

I am so glad that I was able to host this year. I have so much to be thankful for.

These girls.

These ladies.

This guy.

And, of course, this guy.

I hope you have a lot to be thankful for too. MUAH.

not guilty

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

There’s something to be said for setting yourself up for a bad day. Now, this only works every so often – I’m not advocating it as a lifestyle, ok? However, every once in awhile, if you think your day is going to suck, it’s ok to embrace it. That way, when it does (at least a little), you saw it coming and you’re good to go.

This is what I chose to fuel myself with. Except? This isn’t mine, it’s Crockett’s. Mine had cottage cheese instead of brown sugar and I made the executive decision to show the pretty one. Because it’s my blog and I can.

Finally, FINALLY, there was snow on the ground. What does that look like, about a quarter of an inch? Record breaking, I’m sure.

Stress makes one hungry, have you ever noticed that? I mean, uh.. has one ever noticed that? I don’t think either of those makes sense. Anyway, when I got to school I was starving and I ate lunch while walking to class. Chobani yogurt topped with homemade granola and just a smidge of honey – the Chobani was mad pricey and I just picked up another, cheaper brand to try when this one is gone. There is something to be said for the Greek style. Is ‘once you go Greek you never go back’ a thing? If not, can we make it one?

And grapes.

I got my dreaded project back. I had my dreaded meeting. I celebrated by going to the gym and running three slloowww miles and doing lotsa weights. I may not lift weights until next Monday, since I’m not really set up for it at home, so I figured it might as well be serious today.

My arms kind of hurt.

After my second class, I went by Whole Foods, because I’d suddenly developed a panic attack that there would be no turkeys left if I waited until tomorrow.

I got one. I’ve had a Diestel for the last three years, and they’re good. I feel like if you’re going to pick one day to really source your food, Thanksgiving should be that day. I have absolutely no evidence or reasoning to back that up, in case you’re wondering.

By the time I’d made it through the grocery store, I was starving. Again.

And you thought we were going to have a day without a smoothie.

I also had some of my sausage and bean soup. Because soup and a smoothie is the perfect combination.

Thanksgiving is only two days away, really. Did you realize that? Before leaving the house tonight, I made Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney, tea cookie dough, and several pies worth of crust.

This is what your kitchen looks like the week before Thanksgiving, right?

Now?

Now?

Now I have seven hours of waiting to do. See y’all tomorrow.

h-HA-ppy halloween!! (Part 2)

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Oh, brunch.

You were delicious the first time.

Not so much when I ate you again on campus.

At least my drive TO school was pretty.

I love the plains right outside the foothills. They’re plain, sure (ha – see what I did there?), but they’re so pretty.

On campus two interesting things happened.

First, I got the computer with the single best name ever.

Appropriate, no?

Then? This boy was showing off? And then he fell. I tried not to laugh. Unsuccessfully. Fortunately, he was fine, negating any ‘bad person’ vibes I may have been sending off.

After school, I met Crockett and our buddies to at Lucky Pie in Louisville celebrate a friend’s birthday. That’s her happy face above.

Crockett and the birthday girl’s husband got there long before I did, but were only on their first beers. Lightweights.

There were other people drinking.

Obviously.

I adore the kitchen at Lucky Pie, but since I worked there (albeit briefly) I always have to resist the urge to walk up to the window and find out what the status of my order is.

After the party, we hit up Crockett’s brother and sister-in-law’s house for some quality family time and some leftover lasagne.

Oh, and a purple nurple. (Otherwise known as grape soda and gin. Crockett’s brother invented it and if you’ve never tried it, stop knocking it in your head. I know you are.)

We all tried on costumes in preparation for Halloween night.

I could own the blond thing, I just chose not to.

AHHHHH.

That’s Crockett’s mom in there. She’s charming and lovely and smart and if I never see her in this mask again it will be too soon.

Crockett and his brother dressed up as inadvertent twins. Weirdly, it happens with them all the time.

Little A dressed up as a .. surprise in a bag. I guess. Whatever it was, it was a wicked cute costume.

The events continued, but my photography continued less so. And? I’m tired of writing about Halloween. I leave you with this: Bob Ross and Alex Owens.

Perfect, no?