Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Hiatus

christmashedgehog copy

Please excuse me whilst I go into holiday hiding.

I fly home tomorrow for the holidays to enjoy family, friends and lots of food! Hope everyone gets a lot of relaxation and is looking forward to a brand new year! I know I am!

See you 2011!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe of the week, 12/12 duce

rTwo new recipes in one week! This will hopefully make up for the fact that in an attempt to eat the food that will spoil before I head home for the holidays, last night I ate bread and goat cheese for dinner with a side of cereal. Classy.

With that mentioned, I will be going on holiday hiatus. I’m leaving Rhode Island (where it’s just cold) to this:


Technically I live two hours south of Cleveland, but my area has had a lot of snow. I will be excited to have snow for the first time this winter, but I hope the weather doesn’t ruin my plans!

Anyway, onto food. I decided to make a very comforting meal for winter nights, Beef Stroganoff. I pretty much followed THIS recipe from the kitchn. My cast of characters:

beef (1)

I don’t buy meat very often and when I do its normally chicken breast. So instead of looking around the meat case for beef tenderloin, I pretty much grabbed the first beef package I saw that was already handily cut up into chunks.

I’ll admit, I think meat is kind of gross. Especially cooking with it, which is why I stick to a lot of vegetarian meals. I’ve contemplated going vegetarian a couple of times, but I, personally, don’t have any ethical or health objections to meat, so why deny myself?

I am getting all sorts of off-track. My brain is already on holiday hiatis, sorry about that. So anyway, start by boiling water for the egg noodles and by sautéing all of the mushrooms and onion in butter.


What a delicious combination – onion and mushroom! I need to do this a lot more often.

Once those have cooked for 5-6 minutes, put them in a bowl to cool and brown the beef.

beef (5)

Some recipes have you do this first, but I like the idea of the juices from the veggies infusing into the meat. Plus the meat put out a lot of grease that you will have to throw out, so better the veggies first then the meat.

Once the meat is cooked through, remove the meat from the pan and dispose of the grease. Then add a cup of sour cream to the pan over low heat.

beef (4)

Season as you see fit; I just added a good amount of salt and pepper. Then add the veggies and meat to the sour cream, coating everything in the sauce.

beef (3)

Then once your egg noodles are done, drain and you’re done!

beef (2)

Hearty meal. Hearty winter ale. Completely stuffed person.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Neat shit worth sharing

I have eclectic tastes in music with a leaning towards indie music. When I discovered the npr All Songs Considered podcasts last year, it seemed to fit perfectly with my preferred music. Each week they release a new podcast featuring a variety of new music.

Recently, the All Songs Considered group celebrated their 10 year anniversary and their gift to all of us was their 24/7 stream featuring all of the music from the past 10 years.

I'm in love with this stream! I've been listening to it for almost the entire weekend - with such an eclectic variety of music, including their selection of Holiday music (but not overloaded, they understand the necessity of moderation). And in the spirit of their great podcasts, they tell you the artist, album and song of each song they play on the player so you can find new artists to love while you listen.

And, if anyone's interested, here's a sampling of some of my favorite artists and albums of 2010:

The majority of these artists I found by listening to these podcasts. It's definitely worth a listen!


The Anthropologie facebook page recently launched a contest to create a story/fashion board using Polyvore. I had never used the site before and normally don't care to sign up for yet another website that I won't use, but when the prize is a $500 gift card to Anthropologie I thought, "eh, worth a try".

And actually Polyvore is a pretty cool blogger tool. It lets you find clothes, home furnishings, backgrounds from online shops and create collages. Then you can click on the image below and see what items I tagged.

Green & Gold

These are items from my wishpot list in case anyone has an extra $200 lying around and feels like buying me something. No? Well it was worth a shot.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Recipe of the week, 12/12

Depending on how tonight’s dinner pans out, I may have two recipes this week! This first one though is really simple, incorporates chocolate into breakfast, and finally gave me a reason to try nutella.

I found the recipe  HERE for Cinnamon-Nutella Croissants and I instantly added the easy ingredients to my grocery shopping list.

nutella (1)

Easy right?! Sugar, cinnamon, croissant rolls, one egg and my new favorite, nutella.

I have always heard mixed reviews of nutella and frankly, never really had a reason to buy it. I love chocolate but a chocolate hazelnut spread was never really anything I thought I needed before. But how wrong I was! Now I’m searching for other recipes that I can use it in as I can’t bring myself to total shame by eating it by the spoonful (although as delicious as it is, I could!). So if you have any recipes incorporating this new love of mine, please share!

You simply roll out the croissant pieces on a baking pan. Mix together some cinnamon and sugar and beat the egg.


Put a spoonful of nutella in the wide-end of the croissant piece and roll up like you would normally.

nutella (8)

Add just a bit of water to your beaten egg and brush it onto the rolled up croissant.

nutella (6)

Then sprinkle each piece with the cinnamon-sugar.

nutella (4)

And in less than 15 minutes of baking time, you have a delicious warm, slightly gooey breakfast treat.

nutella (2)

I plan on making these again while my 15 year old cousin is visiting me in Providence. They just seem so perfect for the holidays!

nutella (5)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Recipe of the week 12/5

I know I refer to this blog a lot, but I couldn’t resist fresh365’s Pear and Gruyere Panini recipe.

Here was my cast of characters:


I used the cheap, sugary honey in my cupboard, but I recently tried fresh, straight from the comb honey and I died and went to foodie heaven. There’s a local honey(…maker? cultivator? monger?) in RI who sells fresh honey comb and I’m keeping that gem in mind next time I have a fancy cheese smorgasbord.

Anyway, start with generously applying honey and thyme to eat side of your bread.

panini (1)

Thyme is also muy deliciousio by the way. It has such a great punch of flavor.

panini (2)

Add your sliced pears and top with slices of gruyere to each side of your panini. Combine and use your fancy panini press or whatever method works for you:

panini (3) fancy!

Add a side salad and top with lettuce (if desired) and you’ve quickly got a delicious pear and gruyere panini!

panini (4)


On an editing note, my recipe of the week is going to be much more scattered because of the holidays. I also keep finding that now when I come home at 5pm and it’s dark, I’m uninspired to cook a unique, fun meal. I’m thinking about petitioning my work to allow me to exchange maternity leave with a Hibernation leave. Six-weeks of lounging in my warm apartment cooking, reading, crafting and watching 30 Rock.

Yes, the winter slump is starting. I need to stay motivated and keep on putting inspiration into action! If you have any hearty winter meals, I would love to hear them! Beef stroganoff is on my list, but I need more to get me through this winter.

Carpe the winter blues!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Neat shit worth sharing – Hedgehog edition

You know when you're excited about something that is beyond your control, so you don’t want to tell a lot of people because you really, REALLY want it to happen but you’re worried it may not.

(Did you follow that?)

Well, currently I’m on a waiting list to get a hedgehog! And I’m really, REALLY excited about the possibility of getting one!

Which isn’t aided by the fact that I’ve been seeing them everywhere.

In jewelry:

hedgehog.jewelry1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

In Christmas ornaments:

hedgehog.ornaments 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

And in household goodies:


1 (ash tray), 2 (bottle opener), 3 (vintage crystal figurine) , 4 (iPhone case), 5 (brush) , 6 (candle)

By now you should be equally convinced of their awesomeness, and if not, you can't deny the allure of the one-and-only hedgehog badboy:


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Spirit

Today is December 1st which means it’s finally appropriate to be excited for Christmas!

Moving away from home has made getting together with my family during the holidays that much better. But even though most of family and kickass best friends are 12 hours away, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t enjoy some holiday fun in Providence.

To be honest I decorated my apartment before I left for Thanksgiving break, but since none of my friends have seen it yet, it’s almost like it didn’t count.

I decided I wanted to cut out paper snowflakes because what’s cuter than this darling window curtain:

via ohdeedoh

I mean, I used to make these things as a kid in elementary school all the time. Easiest decor ever. This is what I got:


They’re all square! I don’t know how I got square snowflakes, even after I followed Martha Stewart’s instructions. Ugh.

Not to be downtrodden, I decided to just go with what I bought and leave the DIY to others.

photo (3)

The ornaments are wall decals that I bought after Christmas last year for really cheap.

photo (1)

The deer are also an end-of-season wall decal. It came in a pack of three, so the other two are hiding in my hallway.

photo (2)

Even my moose got in the holiday spirit.

photo (7)

And of course, my Christmas tree. My first real Christmas tree ever.

photo (4)

Thanks Whole Foods! I’ll have to plant it in the woods nearby so that it can live on.

photo (6) holidayphotos using CrossProcess and ShakeItPhoto apps

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Neat shit worth sharing

I'm hoping to post a recipe tomorrow. I've already made the food, but I'm a little worried about time since I'm leaving early to get a possible patdown before my flight to Baltimore tomorrow. So in case I don't get to it, I owe ya' one and Happy Thanksgiving!

Now onto the good stuff.

Did you ever read Goosebumps growing up?

I guess I was kind of a strange kid in that as other girls my age were reading stories about horses and teenage babysitters, I was stuck on Goosebumps. I LOVED these books and owned just about all of the original series.

So imagine my happiness when I found a blog, Blogger Beware, dedicated to snarkily summarizing all of the books!

One of my favorite parts from Monster Blood:

It seems either the dog's grown larger or the leash has grown smaller. I swear to God it takes Evan like forty pages to make the connection between his growing dog and the Monster Blood it ingested. Oh wait, I'm sorry, ***SPOILER ALERT***

Definitely a blog worth keeping around when I'm bored and nostalgic.


If Goosebumps isn't your thing, maybe music is. If neither Goosebumps nor music is your thing, then just stop reading altogether and reassess your values.

Amazon is practically giving away MP3 Downloads this Christmas. Everyday they offer a new selection of super cheap-o albums. Yesterday they had Kayne's new album for $3.99 and today they're offering Belle and Sebastian for $1.99! It's enough to make you want to impulse buy daily!

Recipe of the week, Nov 14

Thanks to daylight “savings” time, the sun has already set when I leave work at 5:00pm everyday. Add that to the fact that this week was going to be crazy busy and I knew that my desire to cook would be minimal.

So I decided to make this delicious Asain noodle dish – which makes a lot and taste even better the next day (bonus!). I can’t find a link to the recipe anywhere and I certainly didn’t make it up myself, so hopefully my description will help.


Here’s my cast of characters. I couldn’t find fresh sugar snap peas because they’re not in season, but I found that the frozen ones already had the tips broken off – laziness rewarded.


Start by mixing the sauce in a small bowl:

1 clove of chopped garlic
3 tbsp of sesame oil
2 1/2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of ginger.

Then boil water for the vermicelli noodles. I used wheat ones because I love the taste of wheat noodles when you’re cooking with fresh(ish) vegetables.


While the noodles are cooking, heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil in your wok or large skillet (but seriously, get a wok) and cook your onions and asparagus for around 3 minutes on high heat.

Then add the sugar snap peas and the sauce you mixed up. Cook on HIGH for another minute, then lower to medium heat.


After your pasta is al dente, drain and add to your wok (see why you need a wok?). Let cook on medium heat, mixing for around 2 minutes.

Then I toasted walnuts by letting them sit in my conventional oven at around 300degrees for around 3-4 minutes. Top your delicious asian noodle dish with the toasted walnuts and your done!


While it sounds like there’s a lot involved, this dish only takes around 20 minutes to make because the vegetables cook rather quickly. And like I said, it’s great the next day when the flavors have really been able to mix together!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Neat shit worth sharing

Hello blog. Goodbye hiatus.

Finally, the test is over with. I won’t know my score for six weeks and to be honest, I’m considering not even looking at it when it gets sent. That’s how little I cared for this test and the standardized testing scheme in general.


The best post-test cathartic moment was getting to clean my apartment the next day. I know that’s nerdy but a weeks worth of mail, study materials and clothes had piled up all over my normally relatively clean apartment.

I wish I would have known about this awesome site during that mess because it was all too easy for me to misplace my phone.


How genius is this? As someone who lives alone and doesn’t have a landline, I may have to bookmark this site!

And when you find your phone and answer, you get to listen to a female computer voice assure you that she’s happy you found your phone. I guess that’s handy if you’re really lonely or something.


These have seen a lot of blog love, but I have to share the adorable chalkboard speech bubbles available at PlayingGrownUp


I love the wedding trend of renting photobooths or better yet, just setting up your own photo background and having your guests take fun pictures. If you plan on getting married you NEED to do that and you NEED to incorporate these adorable signs.

These are at the top of my gift list for engagement parties.


Remember how much I love calendars? Paper Source has by far the cutest monthly calendar I’ve ever come across. Don’t believe me? Well iKea does as I first spotted them in their latest catalog


Did you spot them? They’re the 2011 Zoo Calendar puzzles.
animalcalendar It’s like they wrapped my meticulous need for planning with the fun of animal figurines! These are definitely on my wishlist.