Sunday, May 31, 2009

Busy Little Bee

It's been a rough week, so I haven't had much to say. My plan as of Friday was to stay in bed the entire weekend. Luckily, by Saturday morning, I decided to change the plan. After I dropped hubby off at work, I went food shopping. We haven't done a real food shopping in a couple of months. Mostly it consists of small trips to the supermarket to buy what we need for dinner that night. I hate shopping like that because I know it wastes money and also, makes planning a nightmare!  I spent a pretty penny and now my crazy uncle has me going online to check out all the circulars on Saturday morning to see if there are any good sales on meat!  The freezer is stocked and it feels great!

Now for the booty!  I went to a garage sale that I found on craigslist to find fabric and trimmings.  The lady said she would bring them out next week because she didn't reach that part of the garage yet!  I bought that transferware plate for a quarter.  Next, I went down the block and found another sale.  I think I spent $6 on the chiffon hair bonnet, the cow hamburger patty press, the velvet table topper and the handkerchief.  Not bad for a morning out!  I think the bonnet wants to be artyarn, but not sure yet.  The velvet also wants to be something, but I'm not sure what yet.   It would be nice if the bustle made a comeback.  I might make one with it.   Last year, J and I put on a fashion show at a senior center.   I have to get to gettin and make some stuff to show, as this year hasn't been very productive as far as clothing is concerned.  J said she's dragging stuff out of the basement to show.  It should be interesting...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Barbeque-less Barbeque

My, I've been busy today. In honor of Memorial Day, I'm having a Barbeque-less Barbeque. I haven't been feeling well lately, so ribs in the oven was much easier than climbing in and out of the window. I cooked country-style ribs with a rub in the oven at 275 for a few hours, basted them with bbq sauce from Steve Raichlen's grill book and cooked them some more. Corn was steamed on top of the stove. When the ribs were done, I took them out and put biscuits in. Just finishing up the ribs in the broiler and it's dinner time!


So MagicStix coerced me into joining the Spin City Aeolian Spin and Knit Along.  I was deathly afraid to do it.  I actually have yarn that would make a nice Aeolian, but why make things easy?  The camel/silk top she gave me was begging to be something fantastic, so I figured, why not?  I'll do it.  First I had to dye the fiber.  It's really hard for me to pick colors, and I knew I wanted something earthy to go with it, but not boring.  They also had to be functional and match my clothes.  I found some roving on Etsy that gave me inspiration, and these are colors I already had mixed up and ready to go: lt. brown, dk. brown, golden yellow, and magenta.  Unfortunately, I have a heavy hand at dyeing and it ended up WAAAAY darker than I had planned.  Oh well.  I might get more fiber, seeing as now I have a  local source and I don't think I will spin fine enough to make the yardage I need.  Here's pics of the fiber: 

Pie Challenge!!

I started a group on Ravelry and am very excited. It's called Pie Challenge!! and it's a monthly challenge based on a theme. I will officially start the themes on June 1st, but decided to throw down a mini-challenge to get started. You had to make a pie out of stuff you have in the kitchen already, no shopping for ingredients. My contribution is German Chocolate Cake Pie and I'm very excited for it to cool down so I can eat it. Here's a tutorial:

First, bake a pie crust, fill it with pudding and a layer of cake

Get a simple syrup ready.  This one is flavored with chocolate vodka.

Using a pastry brush, soak the cake evenly until it is moist.

Then, spread on the second and final layer of pudding.

Finish off with a second layer of cake and spread on the topping.  I added some Bacardi 151 to temper the sweetness.
Here's what it looks like after the topping is spread on.

Finally, I found some ganache in the fridge and piped it on top to make it a little fancier.  Mmmm.  Cake-Pie!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Idiot Neighbor, Take 2

So I’m taking a nap, (I penciled one into my busy schedule of doing nothing) and I start to hear a weird hissy drippy sound. The cats have been evil since the middle of the night. One knocked over my fan and flower arrangement in the bedroom window at 3 AM, then he proceeded to knock over the litter box later on. The orange one woke me up at 5:30 by meowing and purring in my face, then I caught him on the kitchen counter when I heard strange noises in the kitchen. Back to the drippy sound. I am half asleep with one eye open, looking around the mess of my bedroom trying to locate the source of the sound. It seems to be coming from where my makeup is. Is it an aerosol can or pump hairspray about to explode? Is it an insect under the dresser? I look up and don’t see anything and the a$$hole upstairs has the music loud again so I can’t hear where it is coming from. The cats looked with me, and I could feel something spraying me in the face ever-so-lightly and I’m so confused. When I stand up and turn around, I see all kinds of water dripping from inside the doorway. I call for my husband, who is no where in sight, then proceed to find some clothes and go upstairs. What I see when I open the door is a waterfall of water dripping into the hallway right next to our apartment. My husband is already upstairs and apparently, idiot neighbor has clogged the toilet and didn’t f-in’ hear the waterfall afterwards because the god-dang music is too loud! The restaurant people from downstairs start ringing the bell wildly to let us know there is a leak in the restaurant, and we just told them it's the guy upstairs.  I swear my landlord saves the front apartment for idiots only. The last guy who lived there’s wife started a fire in the kitchen garbage (judging from the pile of beer bottles in the trash and the fact that she smokes and is stupid, I think she put the cig in the garbage) and tried to put it out with a pot of coffee, which dripped down my bedroom walls. That’s all for now. He turned the music down and I’m back to doing nothing. The world is safe…for now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What a Wonderful Day!

Today I went to the church where dad and stepmom got married and where my friend got married.  One of my students received his first communion.  I know his parents were thrilled.  B sat though the service wonderfully and quietly.  He did great!  Then we went to a pub to get lunch, which was also nice.  I love my adopted family.  I really feel blessed to be a part of their lives and their family.  One can have enough family, but not enough good family :)

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today is the last day of my VW Jetta.  We (The mechanic and I) have agreed it's time to take it off life support and donate it to charity.  Let's review some of the great moments with the Jetta.

The First Day-A New Beginning
Excited to join the ranks of the two-car family, I drove to Pennsylvania with my mom, where the little blue Jetta was waiting patiently in the driveway.  After getting a tour of it's features by my mom's husband, I hopped in and proceeded to follow my mom down the winding country road.  About 1/4 mile down the road, the hood popped open, flew into the windshield and cracked it all the way across.  Confined to viewing the road in the small space where the open hood attaches to the car, I slowed down and pulled over onto the shoulder.  My mom was nowhere in sight.  I decided to hyperventilate for a while until she realized I was not behind her.
What may have been 3 minutes later, (an eternity to me), I see my mom drive up on the shoulder across from me.  She steps over to the car and remarks, "Oh.  I see the hood popped open."  I have no reply to this.   I realize my hands hurt because they are still gripping the wheel, and I finally understand the saying "white-knuckled."  I meant to get the car blessed with holy water, but I never got around to it.  This leads me to my next Jetta experience.

The Roof-top Pary
Every year, the teachers at my job are invited to an Upper West Side rooftop party, overlooking the Hudson river.  (Actually, that should be coming up soon...) It is hosted by the parents of one of the students in my class and involves shmoozing and drinking and eating catered food.  I believe it is one of the highlights of the year.  Any event which requires me to get dressed up and eat and drink is a good time, (the only exception is when one of my various parents gets remarried.  Then I go heavy on the Jack and light on the good time.)  We had a splendid evening. I wore a cute green and while silk print dress in a 50's style.  It had a wrap top and a full skirt. We left the party at around 11 o'clock.  As I was about to cross 2nd Avenue to get on the 59th Street bridge entrance, I heard a loud thumping sound.  Passersby were shouting and pointing from the sidewalk, "You have a flat tire."  Gee.  Thanks.  I didn't notice.  Not one to be deterred by gender roles, attire or aptitude, I proceed to park on 2nd Avenue in a no standing zone, open the trunk and take out the spare tire and tire kit.  Wait.  Did I say spare tire kit?  That's funny BECAUSE THERE WAS NONE!!!!  We had the tire.  It had air in it.  No jack, no lugwrench.  WTF?????  WHO TAKES THE SPARE TIRE KIT OUT OF THE CAR!!!!!  That's ok.  I tried to console myself.  We will find someone and borrow a jack and wrench.  One of the girls from work has a Jetta and was coming home from the party around the same time.  No problem.  We borrowed her jack and somehow, I think with the help from some guys on the street, managed to get the car up.  Now for the wrench.  Oh.  It doesn't fit.  The Germans are soooooo special and need fucking special lugnuts for their fucking German engineered cars.  Noooo.  It can't be standard.  They're German, why make things easy.  (I will say now that I am German and I see that this making things difficult comes from that side)  I call DH.  I remember having a 4-way lug wrench in the back of the truck.  He's tired and angry and it's probably about 12:30 and he just got off UPS.  He comes to the city and guess what?  No 4-way lug wrench.  Oh.  I think it was in my ex-boyfriend's truck.  My bad.  Five of the girls from work are hanging around with me in party dresses and DH refuses to get out of the truck and even say hello.  I finally admit I have to call a tow truck.  The girls leave and I'm left with my DH, who is currently not speaking to me.  The tow truck comes and drags the Jetta down to 35th street and 10th Avenue, how fucking convenient.  They change the tire in under 3 minutes and charge me $80 for the towing and $5 to change the tire. Ain't it funny how that stuff works?

Going to Work
One day I took the Jetta to work.  The car was acting weird and braking weird the whole 9 miles it takes for me to get there.  When I got off the exit, the car was not braking!  I repeat, the car was not braking!  DH has a habit of always putting on the emergency break, no matter where he parks.  I do not do this, and his dashboard always has check engine, low oil, a venerable Christmas tree of warning lights at any given time, so I didn't know the emergency brake was on.  I figured it out, but not without almost having a heart attack.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

Still tired and depressed

I feel like a zombie today. After work, I passed out for about an hour, woke up starving, and I still feel like I could go to sleep now and wake up in the morning. School has me stressed out. I don't know what is going to happen. I haven't finishes my incompletes and I didn't file a leave of absence and it's been a year. My time is up. Everyone is going to be mad at me. I don't know what's wrong with me. I get so frustrated. When I sit down to do school work, I feel lost and overwhelmed. My knitting has taken over because it helps me get my mind off the reality of the mess I've made. Hubby feels bad, but there's nothing he can do. I really have to fix this.  DH has been wonderful about everything and has offered to come to school with me.  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I'm so tired...

All my Amazon stuff, save for my silk artyarn, came in this week. I'm very excited to report that. Knitting Lingerie Style is super-cool and I can't wait to make a slip. I've got some stuff on order from friends and family, one shrug and two bikinis, as well as a shower present for my cousin's fiancee. I'd like to finish that stuff up before I work on my own stuff. Mom's shrug is coming along nicely in Moda Dea TweedleDee. It's bulky acrylic, but really soft and nice. She picked it out, and it's working beautifully in the pattern, which is supposed to be for a mohair yarn!

In other news, schoolwork has been non-existent, so I decided to do some ABA on myself and put myself on a schedule this Saturday. I've done a bit of cleaning, ate breakfast, worked on my mom's shrug AND did some schoolwork. My reward is a trip to Smileys and AC Moore, to get more yarn for my mom. Smiley's is having an awesome sale. I'm getting there when the doors open so I gotta go. Being this productive is super tiring. Did I schedule in a nap for later?

I didn't schedule in a nap, but ended up taking one anyway. Mom's shrug is coming along, and I switched from dpns to magic loop on my alpaca cuffs. Here's a haiku about it:

Alpaca glides on
Two pointy, silver needles
My world is all right

I am so happy that I can work on this project again! Insubordiknits might be having a weekend workshop in August and I will be so pysched if it can happen!!! I can't afford her new DVD, but for my b-day, nothing beats a fiber workshop. Art yarns. I have books, and I have sort of tried, but I will be ready by the end of summer. I plan on making a daily schedule for myself to help me organize my time better. It will include fiber processing and knitting, to keep me motivated and on track.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's Christmas in New York baby! My dad had given me an Amazon gift card earlier this week left over from Christmas, and I made short work of it on multiple fiber-y pursuits. Gift #1-Yarn swift, which is necessary for gift #2-850 yds Misti Alpaca Lace Handpaint in Mauvelous, which is necessary for gift #3-Options metal interchangeable circular needle set. Add to that Knitting Lingerie Style, two feather pillows and one skein of Artyarns Regal Silk in a springy pink/green colorway and I just about used the whole thing up.

My first package arrived yesterday. Misti Alpaca is sooooo soft! It's burning a hole in my stash and I haven't even put it away yet! I think that I might make a circular lace poncho using Aeolian stitch patterns. I think I may be somewhat crazy to do this, as I am a novice lace knitter, but with a calculator and cool pattern from elann which gives instructions for a poncho using any lace pattern, I think I may be able to do it!!! It actually may be easier. That also means that I get to knit the purl rows! Oh goody, goody gumdrops :) Actually, I don't mind purling so much, anways.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

It's finally here!  I can't help but to celebrate holidays where great food is guaranteed: i.e. Pie Day, Dia de los Muertes, Bastillle Day, etc. Who cares if most Mexicans outside of Puebla celebrate it?  Does it matter that beer companies first popularized the holiday to increase revenue?  NO!  I'm so excited.  Just have to cook the pork and make the guac and some salsa.  Hey!  I'll make salsa now so it has a chance to macerate!   Good Idea!

This is what flan looks like!!! It's coconut and cinnamon and I can't wait to eat it!!!! The pork is on the stove and I'm about to make guacamole to snack on. We had a fiesta at school today and most of the kids ate chips and salsa and were happy. More chips and salsa for me, please!!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Getting Ready

Tomorrow is  Cinco de Mayo and I'm very excited.  I have my menu, and most of the ingredients.  Today is a prep day.  I will cut up and season the pork, make the flan and the tomatillo sauce and salsa.  That means tomorrow all I have to do is cook the pork and make the guacamole.  I try to go out to eat Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo, but being as we're so broke this year, I figured I'd do it myself.  We'll have plenty of leftovers.  Last night I made my version of ratatouille (without eggplant) with shrimp and white rice.  By Wednesday, I can use the rice in stuffed peppers with some of the pork and tomato sauce.  Tonight we will have Philly Cheese Steaks with shredded beef from TJ's.  I love food.

Later that same day...
Cheese steaks were super yummilicious!!! I made the salsa verde, the salsa de chile and the flan de coco y canela(with a healthy dose of 151!).  I roasted the tomatillos in the broiler for about 9 minutes and actually followed the recipe.  For the chile salsa I strayed a little bit.  First off, those chiles have been in my pantry since I tried to make mole about 4 years ago.  They were not pliable, I could not score them and devein and seed them.  I did the best I could by cracking them and shaking any loose seeds out, then soaking them in boiling water.  After,  I threw them in the food processor.   I didn't toast them, which may be sacriledge to some, but so would using up old-ass dried out chiles!  The soaking water didn't seem too bitter, so I used it, and I didn't strain it, as I wanted a somewhat chunky sauce, like the one in my favorite Mexican hole in the wall.  I possbly used ancho and pasilla chiles, as I forgot to label them and know I used three chiles in my mole.  My crazy pineapple drink is still hanging out in the bathtub, and I have the guacamole ingredients, save the avocado and tomato chopped up and ready to go.  DH even said he would try the flan!!!  I still have to cut up and season the pernil so it's ready to go tomorrow.  Did I mention I'm excited?!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It's almost Cinco de Mayo!!!

I'm very excited about eating Mexican food this week. No wonder TJ's had the guac kits on display when you first enter the store. I've decided on my favorite: carnitas. I will be braising pork butt in lard. I'm so excited!!!

I'm officially obsessed!!! I had no idea that Cinco de Mayo was this week. (I know it's funny, but it's because I wasn't thinking about it!) I bought refried beans, and blue corn chips and a guacamole kit, but wasn't even aware how soon I would need them!!! Upon further research, I've decided to put together a menu.

Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and Salsa and Guacamole (I ate half the bag, and now will have to hide them from DH)
Carnitas with Salsa Verde

and Chili Sauce
Tepache (Mexican lightly fermented pineapple drink)
Coconut Flan

Well, the tepache is sitting in the bathtub, where it can ferment and bubble and spill out all it wants if it is inclined to do so.  It should be ready by Tuesday night.  I put the piloncillo in the food processor with the grater blade and only used 16 oz, and I used the whole pineapple, including the flesh.  After sampling the dark, rich, piloncillo, all I can say is yes, it's brown sugar, but the flavor is different then your regular Domino brown sugar.  I would make the effort to find it-it's gooooood!

Since Western medicine has not been able to offer any insight to my maladie, I have decided to invent my own diagnosis complete with name and description.  I am suffereing from an episode of acute procrastinits.  Brought upon by a severe bout of anxiety from things I should have taken care of a while ago, the disease manifests itself with overall body and muscle aches, extreme lethargy and pain in the joints, especially the toes, ankles, knees, wrists and knuckles.  I refuse to go to the doctor because I don't believe they can help me, save another prescription of pain killers.  One doctor diagnosed me with a non-specifice auto-immune response triggered by stress.  The obvious solution is to remove stress from my life.  Good luck in that department.  Because of school and money situations, this week has been awful and now I'm laid up here in bed writing this ridiculous blog post.  My husband is sick, too, from Chinese food, and I imagine it will be an interesting day.  

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Foodie Survey!!!

1. How do you like your eggs?
Runny yolks all the way!!!! Over easy, poached, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, shirred, baked, omelette, scrambled-but still soft.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Tea with sugar or honey with/without milk or lemon. Herbal, black, green, except I hate white tea and rooibus. Gross. My fave teas are strawberry black tea and rose black tea.

3. Favorite breakfast food:
Chocolate-any way I can.

4. Peanut butter: Smooth or crunchy?
Creamy, with added sugar, no doubt!

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
Depends on my mood. French, vinaigrette, honey-mustard, blue cheese, I pretty much eat them all.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Uh, Dr. Pepper.

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make?
Pasta with butter, peas and parmesean cheese.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
I hate pizza, but if I must, either buffalo chicken or hawaiian.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Whatever the voices in my head tell me to...

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?
Tacos are my all time fun food.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Overcooked steak reminds me of skirt steak cooked in the toaster oven as a child. I remember chewing and chewing and chewing, UGH!

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?
My friend's grandma used to make awesome coconut candy from fresh coconuts and whenever I see it, I think of her making it in the kitchen.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
Anything with eyes or other body parts attached that look like they may walk or swim off my plate.

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
I've blocked out most of my childhood :O I can't remember.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
Lots of foods, mostly strongly flavored ones, like sauerkraut, mustard, pickles, horseradish, wasabi, jalepenos, black pepper.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Not really.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
I like most fruits and veggies, but like all berries and I don't have a favorite veggie. I do like brussels sprouts more than most people, though.

18. Favorite junk food:

19. Favorite between meal snack:
Whatever's in arms reach.

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
When I eat pomegranates, I have to carefully peel and take out all the seeds intact, put them in a bowl, clean up the mess and wash my hands before I eat it by the handful.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
I'm not nor have I ever been on a diet.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?
See #21

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
I usually take it however it comes.

24. Can I get you a drink?
Depending on my mood: Fun party-frozen and fruity Classy party-Cosmopolitan Bar-Jack and Coke Cafe-Grapefruit and Campari (it's kinda gross, but you get used to it)

25. Red or White Wine?
Depends. Beaujolais or Reisling. (Have you guessed I need sugar in my life?)

26. Favorite dessert?
Don't usually eat dessert after dinner, but will eat pie for any meal.

27. The perfect nightcap?
My bed.

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