Salutations

This weekend was really fun. I narrowly broke 100 while bowling and consumed some delicious escargot. Now, I want to make escargot at home. I always have garlic, lemon, and butter in the proverbial larder…. I just need to buy some snails.

I’m writing a paper on Norwegian cuisine, and want to buy this cheese:
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Apparently it is a sweet brown goat cheese. Norwegians use it all the time. It’s vaguely disgusting, but I love cold packed cheese food (ala Kaukauna/Merkts) so I think I would enjoy cold packed sweet goat cheese. I love eating things my Grandpa Hjalmer (a true Norwegian) would have enjoyed as a kid. Does anyone know where I can buy it in Chicago? I already emailed the Swedish shop on Foster. However, I feel a little weird about this as everyone knows Swedes and Norwegians have a long running rivalry. Maybe someday I will tell my only joke about being Norwegian.

Additionally, I like this basket for soap in a bathroom or kitchen.
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(via bungalowbungahigh)

I think I need these shoes. Both.
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(shoe pics via Lori’s)
Side note, how do you avoid the insides of your summer shoes getting gross? Gerard says socks. I say socks defeat the purpose of summer shoes. EXCITED FOR SUMMER SHOES.

Remember summer? I do.
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Spring Is Coming!

I’ve enjoyed winter, but I am ready for spring to spring. Yesterday, I was walking home from work and I noticed it was still dusky at around 6. This made me really happy. If you don’t live in the Upper Midwest, you might not understand this bit of happiness derived from the anticipation of longer days. This week has been a bit of a breather in a busy schedule- no school on Monday and since one of my jobs wasn’t very busy, I got to head home early on Thursday. When you work in the service industry, getting “cut” is a double edged sword. However, sometimes it’s nice to have the chance to head home and be cozy… As long as it doesn’t happen too often!

This weekend, I’m looking forward to working, getting dinner with friends, a belated work holiday party, doing homework, and working out.

It’s time to start thinking about planting for summer 2011…. What will this year hold?

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Day Off Pasta

On Monday I didn’t have school, which was actually really nice. I had the chance to sleep in and have a leisurely morning before heading into the office to do some paperwork.

The past week was a blur of work, school, and social engagements. I didn’t really cook at home very much (uh, or at all). Something I’ve been struggling with is my desire to only eat pizza or tacos lately. Sometimes I order them, sometimes I make them, but I think my diet needs a bit of a change. My sodium intake is WAY to high and I’ve got to get ready for Costa Rica.

Now, getting ready to go on a beach vacation doesn’t usually involve eating Prosciutto, but it adds flavor and a little goes a long way. I know that Spaghetti Carbonara calls for pancetta, but I didn’t have it in my fridge. I also know that it calls for a raw egg– I like to practice poaching them, so I use poached sometimes. I also add peas, and instead of Parmesan the store had Asiago. To someone who is a purist, this is probably the grossest sounding pasta ever. To me, however, it is great.
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The picture is kind of disgusting, but I assure you it tasted really good. I also found a REALLY GREAT gluten free pasta at the Dill Pickle Co-Op. The brand is called Jovial Foods, and the brown rice cappellini tasted like conventional pasta!
I also roasted some carrots. YUM.

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busy bird

In the past week, 3 different unrelated people have called me a busy bird. 3 jobs, school, and a life outside of that stuff does leave me feeling like a bit of a tornado.

When I’m riding the train or bus (made much more convenient by Train Tracker and Bus Tracker), I do the bulk of my blog reading. Sometimes, I read about food. Sometimes, I read about celebrity gossip. Sometimes, I read about home design. Sometimes, I read about the news. I also play a lot of word warp and am continuously checking out Twitter. I also have days where I read a book or do a crossword. Pretty heady stuff, eh?

Through my internet travels, I found that Diane Von Furstenberg has released a line for home. I tend to stick with monochromatic themes, but these sheets would look awesome on any bed. They’d also provide a nice contrast to the weather we’ve been having outside.
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*photo snagged from Bloomingdales website. I’m a sucker for patterned dish cloths, and I want ole’ Diane to release some. Isn’t she a countess or something?

My friend Whitney has a great house, cute dog, and smart husband. She also has a cut glass decanter in her living room, which I am going to copy. Maybe this one will do?
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*This image is from Steuben glass. It costs about two months of my rent. I am not serious about buying it, but an approximation from ebay for a 97% discount will probably be in my purchasing future.

I’ve been inspired my my other friend Whitney to take better care of my hands/feet and found my new favorite nail polish at good old Target.
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It’s called Petal Pusher by Sally Hansen and it really does dry almost instantly.

To tell the truth, when things get busy I’ve been eating soup and quiche, at least this winter. Tomorrow GB and I are making burgers and going to see the Social Network. Maybe I will make ketchup!

Stay tuned, soup’s on this Sunday.

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to own a muffin store

In case you haven’t heard, it’s about to snow a LOT in Chicago. We’re about to enter dreaded February, and at our house we are trying to be cozy and avoid the winter doldrums. To be honest, at this point, I don’t feel like it’s the doldrums. Doldrums are sweet and innocent sounding… more appropriate for mid January after your unrealistic New Year’s resolution is broken or compromised. February is the most GRINDING part of winter, but a negative attitude never helped with making it suck less. It also doesn’t shorten it… so, we’ll keep on pushing until April. Bo—ring. I’m going to stop complaining and focus on things that are good about the winter, cough, February (my new favorite month).

To keep warm I like to make hot toddies. I didn’t invent this recipe, but I don’t ever remember reading one either.

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Ingredients
1 shot whiskey (I use Jim Beam, I’m not allowed to touch Gerard’s fancy collection)
a couple of cloves
Lemon twist
Half a lemon’s worth of lemon juice
Tablespoon honey (or to taste)
Hot water
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Star anise leftovers
A few Allspice berries

Directions:
Boil water
Place remaining ingredients in mug
Cover ingredients with hot water and stir until combined. Pretty easy. It’s also good with Maple syrup instead of honey, or rum instead of whiskey.
If you’re not in the mood for booze, omit it! It’s still tasty and better for you.

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Yesterday Gerard called me and said he was going to the grocery store and asked about what we needed. We both decided snacks were of the utmost importance in a snow-mergency. We like to add Adobo from the Spice House to popcorn. Try it, you’ll like it. Unless you’re my friend Danielle, and then you won’t.

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He also picked me up some nice flowers. We haven’t gotten to spend a lot of time together recently with busy schedules that sometimes seem diametrically opposed. Last night was a nice break from that routine and we watched Inglorious Basterds, which was entertaining, if violent.

Gerard also recently made a Russian Imperial Stout. Here it is, looking at itself in the mirror. I can’t wait until he makes a sorghum beer or hard cider. (hint)
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“Hi beer, you’re really pretty”

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Something that makes me happy in the winter months is my leftover-from-the-summer windowsill herb garden. That’s some thyme I planted last March! That’s also the SNOWY street in front of my apartment.

I think tonight will be a pumpkin muffin kind of night. Ever since I watched the Simpson’s, I’ve dreamed about owning my own muffin shop. Let’s be friends, February.

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