sabado (doh!) & ramen adventures

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1st ramen attempt

Do you know about this magazine, The Lucky Peach? It’s pretty great.  The second issue, which came out last fall, was dedicated to Ramen.  I’ve wanted to make some for awhile, but I had this problem with the broth/stock.  And with the gluten thing. What to do?  Basically, for about 5 months I just thought about it.  But then, a friend of mine told me I could make a salty & unctuous (in a good way) stock with leftover meat trimmings and  tons of aromatics.  So, that’s what I did this week.  I made a stock of sorts using bacon, ham, speck, leeks, green onions, shallots, garlic, and some shichimi togarashi.  Then I found brown rice vermicelli at my old favorite, Joongboo Market.  I also grabbed some green onions, radishes, purple cabbage.  Tonight, I was feeling a little under the weather and thought that ramen sounded like a great idea.

First I sliced the vegetables on my trusty mandoline.  Then, I boiled some stock and added the noodles to the stock.  While the noodles were cooking I cooked the egg.  I think ramen would be great with a poached egg, but I felt like a fried one sunnyside up, because I was being lazy.  When everything was cooked, I put it together in a bowl and added a bunch of sambal oelek.

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yum & spicy

Then I ate it and watched the nightly news.

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all done

I can’t wait to try making it again.

 

2. I’m liveblogging Sofia Vergara’s episode of SNL.

2a. So far, she’s made a funny Fran Drescher and I’ve learned she has a line of reasonably priced sheets for sale at Kmart. One time, in 2005 I bought a pair of sheets at the Kmart at Ashland and Milwaukee in Chicago and the sheets are still kicking! 

2b. Also, Kanye/his management team licensed his song “Runaway” for a new Budweiser song. Hmmmmm. 

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drawer before

3. In other news, I cleaned out the credenza drawers. 

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drawer after

3a. Now they are clean, but sort of empty.  THEY WILL BE FILLED. 

4. Last weekend, like most people in the wold I went to see the movie The Hunger Games with my pal Natalie.  After, we grabbed a negroni at The Barrelhouse Flat and listened to some vintage Destiny’s Child on the way home.  SAY MY NAME. Any thoughts on THG?  I liked it. And the soundtrack is good.  

4a. I also got to catch up with my favorite family, the Starks, from Winterfell. Below is a partial map of Westeros/Essos.  I’d highly suggest finding out about this if you are not already aware of it. 

5. GB, my cousin Rick, and I went to a delicious brunch at Big Jones up in Andersonville.  GB and I have been going there since it opened and that place keeps getting better.  Any brunch that begins with a charcuterie plate is good in my book. 

That’s it for now. 

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fyi

I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, just the internet.

But really, let’s talk about some hi-lights from the past few weeks.

Past:

Florist & photographer booked! For that big deal day in November.

A reading for Green Lantern Press & Make Magazine.

A delicious meal at Au Chaval (they have gluten-free buns for their burgers! shhhhh)

A nice write up of the restaurant where I work.

Wedding Shoes

Still reading a Song of Ice and Fire

Figured out the secret to even better homemade granola is soaking the dried fruit in liquid before baking.

Discovered that the movie “No Strings Attached” isn’t worth finishing despite Ludacris’ cameo as a wise yet inappropriate bartender.

Remembered how amazing this cookbook is.

Up Next:

Going to see this play.

Catering this event

Painting & finishing the office. Deciding between the colors at the top of the post. Leading towards the paint on the reader’s far left (stage right). Medium grey will make the space cozy. Now we need to learn how to install a pendant light and put some shelves up. Also contemplating a cork wall behind the desk.

A field trip to Hyde Park to see an old pal.

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i found it

The perfect lipstick.  

It was at Target. It was destiny. I bought a few more online. 

 

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Stuff is bananas at the moment.  More details laaaaaaater. 

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things to remember


Gluten free cookies are still cookies. I modified this recipe by using gluten free flours & melting the sugar and butter together before adding them to the flour. I also used a less expensive brand of chocolate, because it was in my pantry.

Do you recognize this man?

courtesy of the HBO.com website


His name is Jon Snow and he’s the illegitimate son of Eddard Stark of Winterfell. I watched the all episodes from the first season of HBO show “Game Of Thrones” around Christmas. I have spent my spare time reading the rest of the “A Song of Ice & Fire” series. I’m only on the second book, but MAN is it good. Right now it’s totally beating Downton Abbey, which is still pretty good, but less cool because there is no MAGIC.

I took the first step in making a worthwhile homemade breakfast bar by making worthwhile homemade granola. I based it on this recipe. However, I used coconut fat instead of oil. I also added vanilla beans, flaxseed, dried coconut flakes, and only used raisins as fruit.

I also caught a cold this week. A Jamaican Toddy (which I may or may not have invented) made it better.

Jamaican Toddy Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lime, squeezed
1 oz dark rum/light rum/spiced rum
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1 oz honey
A few allspice berries
Hot water

Method:
1. Combine first 4 ingredients
2. Top with hot water
3. Enjoy
4. Go to bed early.

Some other thing’s I’ve been enjoying this non-winter (it’s been unseasonably warm) have been: Revenge, this amazing lip balm by Nuxe that my pal Whitney got me for Christmas, soaking my own beans (way more tasty), wedding planning, contemplating if jcrew is jumping the shark yet not finding an adequate sale section to fill the void, this blush from tarte (it’s plum scented), and this new poster that GB and I made. Also, don’t forget, it’s an election year. And, although the Susan G. Komen foundation reversed their decision regarding Planned Parenthood, PP could still use your support.

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JIBARITO FANTASY


A Jibarito is a delicious Puerto Rican sandwich. The first one was invented in Chicago!

It’s also an enjoyable genre of music.

What more could you want than music and a sandwich?

Let’s go over the Jibarito’s finer points. Instead of using bread, you use fried plaintains, which is actually harder than you might think to make. I prefer my jibaritos with steak (some people like it with chicken, lechon, or ((gasp)) veggie patties), and it’s best you marinate it in homemade mojo for a day before you cook the meat. A Jibarito is really one of the only appropriate uses for American cheese. You’ll also want to include a seasoned mayonnaise, some sliced tomatoes, and crisp lettuce. It doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, the sum is greater than its parts.

I’ve long been a fan of the Jibarito as it’s gluten free and a great way to consume American cheese without being judged too harshly by your peers. Some of my favorite places to consume these sandwiches include Cafe Central, D’Noche, and Borinquen Restaurant. Jibaritos were one of those things that I left to the professionals, until I decided to try it myself.

I had some friends from work over for a belated holiday party. I set the table.

Got the extra chairs out.

And made 6 Jibaritos using this recipe! One of them was vegetarian.

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january #2

ceiling at marshall field's in chicago


2012 is pretty cool so far. Wedding planning is going well (venue, bartenders, caterer, and hotels booked) Save the dates are designed and addresses are pouring in. It’s going to be a fun party! I’d have to say I’m the most excited about the Mariachi band and seeing everyone we love in the same place.

I promise I won’t spend the year blathering on about preparations for the big day, but I am just a little excited. Our colors are grey, navy, and red. The gals will be wearing navy and the guys grey suits. I’m thinking dahlias (big ones) for flowers and striped table runners. It’s a little hard not to fall into the trap of looking at wedding stuff all the time, but then I find myself freaking out about a feathered headpiece and Gerard or a pal will remind me to reel it in… I’m not really a feather lady.

And also, as with most things Anthropologie, it’s important to stay away from the Bhldn website. Not that I dislike the goods, I just feel that both websites skew my vision of what is attainable/reasonable/attractive. I mean, come on.

courtesy of bhldn website


I mean, this is a nice enough Treasure Hunter’s Halo, but the model looks like a child bride (a very pretty one, but still YOUNG! But maybe I’m just bitter because I’m pushing 30) AND the darn thing costs $560. That’s bananas. Only my small opinion, but if I were into that look, I think a fun part of the whole aesthetic is the whole d-i-y nature of piece like that. Amiright? That’s like a whole night at a SUPER FANCY DELUXE HOTEL or a BRAND NEW RUG.

On my list of things to do, I’ve been doing a good job of exercising 4x a week (!!!) and we’ve done a good job of not eating out, unless we’re planning on it. I’ve been enjoying roasting chicken. My favorite recipe is a combination of Thomas Keller’s Roasted Chicken & the Zuni Cafe Chicken recipes. I follow all of Thomas Keller’s directions, but I use the Zuni Cafe method of airing out the chicken in the fridge for a few days before I roast it. I also let it rest at room temperature for an hour before I cook it. Tempering your meat is an important thing to do. I think we get too worried about food safety, but it’s actually harder to cook something safely when it’s the wrong temperature. We’ve also been doing a better job of sticking to a cleaning schedule around here, which mostly involves just cleaning it up as we go.

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bathroom

We’ve been living in our “new” apartment since May. It’s been nice to settle in, but now we are ready to make some changes, since we’re going to be here for a few more years.

Currently our bathroom is a little boring. We got the go ahead from our landlord to paint it and change some things up. I’m excited for this project.

Our bathroom has this ubiquitous and ugly mirror:
via faucetdirect.com

I’d like to replace it with something a bit more simple.

via Ikea

However, we’ll lose some valuable storage. My solution to this is to install some shelves in a small un-utilized area next to the sink.

Additionally, we have an ugly vanity thing above the toilet. It is small and unattractive, but not useless. I’d like to put some open shelving above the toilet where we can store towels and use more of our jars.

Here’s some inspiration:

via Remodelista

Hopefully we’ll be able to make this happen by February or March!

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