Monday, October 31, 2005

Sex and the City

Yesterday my husband was off doing work things while I sat in bed for the entire afternoon. I watched 6-8 episodes (honestly, i lost count) of Sex and the City - Season Six, Part 1, ate ice cream and knitted. Now, all I can think of is that I wish I could do that again today.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


I usually go out to lunch at least 2 - 3 times during the week. I am too lazy to pack a lunch at night for the next day, I get up too late to do it in the morning and I get antsy at work and like leaving (for ANY reason). There was a ton of leftover lunchmeat in the fridge from our party last weekend and I forced myself to eat sandwiches all week - I didn't want to waste it. I hate eating the same thing every day and couldn't take in anymore by Friday.

So, I treated myself to some yummy sushi from Kimo's Sushi Shop in Ohio City - this was my first visit. The presentation in my to go box was beautiful, even after being tossed around in my car. I had a piece of tuna nigiri, salmon nigiri, a california roll and a dynamite roll -to go. The nigiri pieces were huge, it was absolutely necessary to eat them with 2 bites. The outside of the california roll was covered with a substantial amount of orange roe, which is one of my favorite things about sushi. Those little eggs are like a party in my mouth! The dynamite roll was rolled in black sesame seeds and also really good. They were cooking some Udon noodle soup that smelled delish. Must try some next time!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Tales from Pittsburgh

How happy I was last night when I checked my mail box!!! There was a package from the super cool girl - Linda - author of the super cool bloc - Toast. She also happens to be from one of my favorite cities to visit...Pittsburgh!

Things I drive to Pittsburgh for: Mattress Factory, Carnegie Museums, Andy Warhol, Raphael Vinoly, bridges, & of course IKEA.

Well, back to my BOOKS! Not only did Linda send me 2 books, she also included a great postcard telling me a little about how she grew up on old fashioned English children's books. She loved the magic and the realistically imperfect children of E. Nesbit's Five Children and It.

She told me that she found The Princess & the Goblin truly scary! The copy she sent me is from a vintage edition from the Looking Glass Library (not the one pictured below) - it's in perfect condition!

I really love the fact that these two volumes have the original illustrations in them. I'm a huge fan already! Thank you so much Linda for the wonderful editions to my library!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pasta with Winter Squash and Pine Nuts

Wow. This dish was really amazing. I looked through the October Cooking Light and then read Alice's great post about this recipe---she's totally right about this being "unbelievably good". If you have butternut squash , you MUST make the pasta! If you don't have that issue of Cooking Light, go on over to My Adventures in the Bread Box and get the recipe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Party review

My Pumpkin Carving Party went pretty well, considering it rained all day. I was surprised how many people didn't take thier pumpkins home with them. They're overflowing on my front steps! I think this could be an annual event at our house. Next year I need to remember to start the party later. 6pm was too early, I think 8 would have been better.

We had waaaaay too much food and beer, but it's always better to have too much rather than not enough. The cider (I tripled this recipe, threw in a hand full of cinnamon sticks and served it out of a big coffee server to keep it hot) and raspberry bars (Sept & Oct 2005 issue of Cook's Illustrated) were a crowd pleaser. I will be sure to make them again.

Hot Spiked Cider

1 quart water
3 orange tea bags
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 c. apple cider
1 1/2 c. Captain Morgan's

Pour water into saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and toss in the orange spice tea bags. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and stir in sugar, apple cider and rum. Heat just to steaming - do not boil.

Halloween Swap Package!

I want to thank Moki for sending me a really great Halloween Swap package! She inlcuded Abuelita Hot Chocolate tablets, a bat cookie cutter, black sprinkles, a spider bookmark, little pack of halloween tissues, pencils, suckers, a pumkin pin and a freaky eyeball necklace! Thank You!

And Magpie posted that she received her package from me. Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tower City Parking

Interesting topic and discussion about a parking ticket from the Midwestgrrl.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Today I made 2 batches of beef & bacon chili for our Pumkin Carving Party on Saturday. The rest of my party menu (to be made Friday and/or Saturday a.m.)...artichoke dip, vegetarian chili, raspberry bars & hot spiked cider. We're also going to grill some brats. I swear we can't have a party without eating bratwurst or kielbasa.

I finally started to knit a Harry Potter scarf last night for my friend. I promised her I'd have it finished by the time Goblet of Fire movie comes out -Nov. 18th! Since it took me an entire night to figure out how to use circular needles, I really better get crackin'. I'm following the pattern from atypically.knit. Directions are to knit rows of 70 stitches. I've finished one stripe and have already added 2 stitches. I am not starting over again.

FYI - I am not a wierd Harry Potter fan. I read the first 3 books and liked them quite a lot, but decided I will not be devoting my time to read all 7. I should read Goblet of Fire again though. You know, during all my free time when I'm not working on the scarf.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

smoking chicken!

Last night I tried to roast a chicken. The Amateur Gourmet posted about his fowl the other day and it looked like a good October dinner!

How is it that I try a seemingly simple recipe and fail?

I followed Adam's post on the Barefoot Contessa's version. Pretty simple...put a lemon, head of garlic and some thyme inside the bird. Brush it with butter and roast. How can you screw it up?

Well, the entire house filled with smoke. I'm pretty sure it was the butter and drippings burning in the bottom of the roasting pan. Wow, I'm a freakin' genius. Can someone tell me how to roast a bird and not make my husband think I'm burning the house down? What am I doing wrong? I added water to the pan and that seemed to help a little. Not much. Then, to add insult to injury, I took it out before it was done. I just wanted to stop the smoke! We nibbled on the wings while the bird went back in. I just wrapped it in foil and threw it back in the oven. Ugh.

I should have bought a rotisserie.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

fun filled friday!

Wow, my husband and I both had yesterday off. We spent so much "quality" time together it was sick!

  • got some cool heirloom pumpkins from Rosby's to put out on the front porch
  • had breakfast at Nate's, stopped at the Market for some cinnamon almonds
  • took a drive out to Blue Jay Orchard in Hiram and bought some apples
  • ate lunch in Garrettsville (not so yummy)
  • went to Tremont for the Art Walk. Thanks to Tremonter for posting about the Mutt Hutt's Doggie Disco - in was fun!
  • watched Pulp Fiction - it's been so long since I saw that movie, it was like I had never seen it before!

I am just about to get off work now. This afternoon is not going to be near as much fun as yesterday. We have plans to do lawn work and clean the garage, in preparation for our Pumpkin Carving Party next Saturday. That I am looking forward to.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Fun Picture Meme

Found this at Alice's and thought I would participate...hope you do too!

Here's what you have to do:
Do a Google image search of the following and post the first (or favorite) result for each:
* The name of the town where you were born
* The name of the town where you live now
* Your name
* Your grandmother's name (just pick one)
* Your favorite food
* Your favorite drink
* Your favorite song
* Your favorite smell

I was born in Cleveland...

I live in Clevand! It will soon look like this...

My name...

Grandma (Victoria Falls)...

Ok, this is disgusting!

Drink it, don't smoke it...well, snort it.

I can't stop listening to the White Stripes, Blue Orchid

Can you smell them?

veggie burgers & baked fries

Last night I made veggie burgers and baked fries for dinner. Does anyone know a better way to make Dr. Praeger's veggie burgers? The first time I baked them in the oven and they were mushy and fell apart when I tried to get them off the cookie sheet. Yesterday I cooked them in a frying pan on the stove...still mushy. I really like the consistency and taste of these veggie burgers - you can see pieces of carrot and whole lima beans in there! - but I want more of a crispy crust.

Oven Fries:

Oven 400 degrees

6 small potatoes
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. old bay

I used my gradma's old french fry cutter to slice the potatoes into traditionally shaped french fries, but you could also do wedges. It will just take longer to cook. Add oil and seasonings to potatoes and toss to coat. Lightly spray cookie sheets (2) with cooking spray and arrange fries in a single layer. Flip fries after 10 minutes. Cook an additional 10 - 20 minutes depending on size of potatoes.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

honey hut



I live 1 block away and it's very dangerous. I somehow feel it's ok to eat ice cream if I walk there. I got a single, in a cup, in a sugar cone, chocolate pecan and strawberry. That's right! A single with 2 flavors! I didn't even know that was possible until I heard another customer do it this past summer. The truth is that you really get 2 scoops in a single, so why not get 2 flavors? Genius. Although, I kinda feel a little guilty ordering it. The workers have to scoop from 2 different freezer containers for one cone. And I usually end up wishing I had gotten all chocolate pecan, because it is the best flavor anyways.

I heard tonight that they're last day open is going to be November 22 (pumpkin pecan!). You better go soon, or you'll have to wait for St. Patrick's Day (pistachio!).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Here's another great place to sign up for swaps...SWAPMEET. There is still time to sign up for the November Craft Swap! I just can't seem to get enough!

Monday, October 10, 2005

book swap

I just signed up for the 2nd BJF Book should too! The theme is YOUR Favorite Children's Book!

How fun is that?

slow roasted tomatoes

Yesterday I attempted Stephencook's master recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes. I only had about a dozen tomatoes, so I halved the recipe. The house smelled great all day long while they were roasting. The only thing that I didn't like about my batch, is that the garlic dried up into little garlic "chips". I ended up picking most of them off and discarding before I slid the skins off the tomatoes and put them in the oven.

So, today I found this recipe at Epicurious to use up my tomatoes: Bulgur Pilaf with Roasted Tomatoes, Onions, and Garbanzo Beans. I just roasted the onions first and then added the tomatoes from yesterday, garlic and chickpeas and roasted them all together for about 10 minutes in the oven. I didn't bother adding the dill or lemon juice (didn't have either) and it still had lots of flavor. Probably from the herbs added to the initial batch of slow roasted tomatoes.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Art of Cooking

Today I got my hands on 3 new cook books. Well, not "new" but new to me. The Art of Irish Cooking (1965), The Art of German Cooking (1967) and The Art of Italian Cooking (1948) - all are out of print now but seem to early volumes of Hippocrene International Cooking Classics. I've leafed through them and found it amazing what ingredients cross cultures ...for example calf brains and eel. The Italian book has great chapters on Italian herbs, festival menus, antipasto and the correct order of serving wine. It actually outlines what type of wine to serve with each course and the desired serving temperature. Awesome! Now I know that I should be drinking chilled Chianti with my spaghetti or ravioli!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

City Artist at Work

Check this out on Friday or friend will be selling her purses!

Blogging By Mail 3 - Sign up!

Cathy over at My Little Kitchen is hosting the third installment of Blogging By Mail. She has assigned this round a theme: "Home for the Holidays". Plus a list of items that every participant should include in their packages this time - like a picture of your kitchen . I think this is a great idea! Can't wait to get my partner!

Go sign up now...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Last CSA :(

My last CSA delivery just arrived. And do you know how great of a customer I am? I forgot to leave my check to pay! I want to give a big thanks to Basket of Life Farm. I'm looking forward to next year!

2 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
1 spaghetti squash
1 watermellon
3 red apples
3 yellow apples
15 tomatoes
1 head of cabbage
4 bell peppers
1 bear of HONEY!
1 jar of homemade pepper jelly!

Also, today I'm sending out my postcards for the Swap Bot postcard swap. Lots of flamingos will be going through the mail! Do flamingos fly?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cleveland's Best???

I'm reading the Cleveland Scene's Best Of Cleveland '05 issue. Why do I even bother? I just get annoyed when I read "best of" reports by local papers and magazines. Most of the places are the same as last year---except for the "Best NEW fill-in-the-blank". Who makes up ridiculous categories like Best Downtown Grocery or Best Barbecued Spaghetti? Sometimes publications list the the Top 3 fill-in-the-blanks. But, I'm seeing categories where there aren't even 3 contenders in existence! I mean many downtown grocery stores are there? Was this even a category when Dave's was the ONLY one? Also, if anyone knows who else serves bbq spaghetti beside the winner, please let me know.

I am way off base here?

I hope that these publications are trying to promote local business. Maybe I'm supposed to say to myself "Best Frisbee Golf"---that sounds like fun!" and that's great. But when they list Border's as the Reader's Poll Winner for "Best Bookstore", like I said before---it kinda annoys me. I know that a lot of people buy books at Borders.