Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Picture....

of the Kitchen. Blogger's not letting me upload any others...

Better Late Than Never...

Here's a picture of the Tree!

Mamma Mia!

Well. It was better than "Be Kind Rewind".

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Women

Tonight we Redbox'd "The Women" (what can I say, out of the twelve or so local RedBoxes, none have Burn After Reading. We've been trying to get it since it came out and so far, no luck)... it was cute. There were some funny moments.

Next? Mamma Mia! We'll see just how bad Pierce Brosnan's singing voice is.

Also, you know it's the holidays when you find yourself really regreting your meal choices at the end of the day. Today I had two (yes, that's right *two*) hot dogs, some home made mac n' cheese and chips and dip. The hot dogs were on two separate occasions (one being a 50 cent wiener from IKEA of all places, the other a chili dog from Stewarts). I was half-way through the chili dog when I realized, "you already had one hot dog today!" The Nitrates! The nitrates! What was I thinking?

Oh, let's also not forget that I shared a frozen yogurt with Miss B.

After this week I think I'll have to be on an all vegetable diet for a month!

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Tonight I went to see Valkyrie with the Dad. I actually have to say it was more enjoyable than Benjamin Button.

Though, it was only a matter of time. Tom Cruise could only keep the eye patch on for so long, before Count von Stauffenberg would put in his "glass" eye.


Sorry for the long time no blogging, but the folks are in town and we've been busy. Last night the Husband and I got to see Quantum of Solace! It was really good. I don't care what any of the critics say-- it is great, and I'll take a more Bourne-like-Bond any day of the week, rather than the Pierce Brosnan/Timothy Dalton cheese fests that the franchise had become.

Not to mention it was cool to see that the "Quantum" lapel pin logo for the supervillian group really looked like the same "Q" that is used by the QuickBurger chain.

Also--we saw a preview for Star Trek.

Sylar as Spock. It could work. We're totally going to see it.

Tonight's adventure was The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with the Husband and the Dad. Okay this flick is like 2 hours and 45minutes long. It was good, and the acting was good but it was a bit depressing and though I know they made it critical to the story arc, I could have done without the whole story-within-a-story diary-reading framework. Brad Pitt could have just narrated the whole thing. And we really didn't need him to age backwards completely, couldn't he have just disappeared while still in his prime? Just a thought.

Next on the list? Valkyrie.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Posts may be a little slow now that we're in the holiday home stretch. The folks are in town so we're pretty busy around these parts! Today we had a lovely lunch at Panera with Miss B. (but sadly, the chocolate chip cookie man did not come around with his free samples like usual... bummer) and then it was off to Wegman's for final Christmas food shopping. Quel Nightmare, as usual! But we had a good time despite the massive hordes of rabid grocery shoppers.

Tonight, after Baby hit the sack we redbox'd "The Mummy Tomb of the.... (whatever, whatever, the movie was so bad who cares what the title was)" Clearly Rachel Weisz reads her scripts before doing a movie, thus explaining why she didn't touch this one with a ten foot pole. And such a shame, Brendan Fraser can be so entertaining (though, he really should do an SJP and get that mole thing removed from his nose. It's distracting in HD).

Tomorrow? Toy shopping at Jazams! Cookie baking!

Happy Holidays, everybody!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Gold Coast

So I'm always looking for tips on good books to read (not that I actually have time to read books, I'm still six months behind on magazines and other periodicals, but I like to aspire to read...) so I was checking in on one of the bloggers that I read and she noted that she's reading "The Gold Coast" by Nelson DeMille. Forgive me if Mr. DeMille (if that even is his real name) is the next Nicholas Sparks or John Grisham and I've just been living in a cave, but I'd never heard either of the author or the book, so I happily clicked on the link thinking perhaps I've got a nice non-fiction book that I could assess as being potentially read-worthy. You see, blogger struck me as the type to be somewhat hoity-toity (but in a good and fashionable way) and potentially a good recommender of books. When I saw the phrase "Gold Coast" I'm immediately thinking it is some kind of non-fiction tome about the history of British Colonialism in West Africa, or the like. Sadly, The Gold Coast was a former BOMC main selection and is a trashy paperback fiction tome about a "WASP-y priggish Wall Street lawyer" that somehow gets involved with a Mafia boss on Long Island's Gold Coast.

I guess there's just no judging a book by its title.

What the??

We're finally done with the kitchen (just about... pictures to follow) and with the impending arrival of the Mom and Dad we did a massive house cleaning and straightening last night. Up until last night we had our old kitchen table sitting in a corner in our dining room since July. During the bulk of the renovation it was our pantry table (i.e. where all of our dry/canned food goodies and paper plates and other acoutrement lived) and since we've started actually using the kitchen it was housing a bunch of plates and other sundry items that don't fit in the new kitchen but are going to be stored in the utility room once it is finished.

Last night, after Miss B. went to sleep, we cleared off the table and then the Husband took the table and chairs out to the barn.

This morning, after Miss B. had breakfast she walked into the dining room. I was still tidying up in the kitchen from Breakfast and I look into the dining room and I see her turn to where the table used to be and she was just shaking her head, sort of in disbelief. She turned to me with a look as if to say: "Mom, where did all that s**t go??" Then she waived goodbye to where the table used to be.

I guess I should have expected as much, when something has been around for a third of your life, you're a bit surprised when you wake up one day and its been relegated to the barn!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ladies Day Out...

Today I was in the city for Mel's baby shower! It was a lovely affair hosted by Mel's sister Tiffany and our friend Gretchen. It was a lovely afternoon and great to see everybody, including Leda and Thisbe!

I Don't Want to be an Artisnal Cheesemaker!

Okay, so with my latest issue of Bon Appetite they had a recipe for making homemade ricotta. Today I come home and browse through the newest issue of Gourmet-- they have a recipe for homemade mozzarella! I'm going to be forced to try and make these because who doesn't love the challenge of cheesemaking without a home-dairy? Drat!

Some Scenes from New York

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

As I told the Husband, I want to like this movie. Mainly because it is visually interesting in that same way that all Wes Anderson movies are. Unfortunately, I just can't get past the cast and the acting. Maybe I'm getting closer. I actually almost watched it the whole way through tonight (of course, I was making candy the whole time so the level of distraction made it easier to deal with/ignore Bill Murray and Owen Wilson's goofy Kentucky accent.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Storm Watch!

We just watched Bloomberg's storm press conference. Note to Mike: Don't try to speak Spanish.

As always, the news is making more out of this storm system...but on our end, I had been planning to be out today and we really don't have too many lunch options. So, with no delivery options to pursue I scoured the fridge and we're having real comfort food: mini tatertots and pigs in blankets! Yay!!

The Wrestler, et. al.

Okay, has anybody else seen the commercials they've been running for "The Wrestler" with Mickey Rourke? I've heard the hype I know this is supposed to be a great movie and a terrific come-back role for Mickey, but really-- have you seen what's being put out there? The commercial focuses on Mickey Rourke (scary face-lift and all... but no chihuahua!), poor Marissa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood. The big drama shown in the clip? Marissa Tomei sitting in a car telling Mickey Rourke that he should "call" his daughter. In the background? A warbling Bruce Springsteen tune. UGH! This is not how you sell it!

Other assessments:

There seem to be a lot more movies opening on Christmas Day than usual this year. There's Valkyrie, The Spirit, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Marley & Me and Bedtime Stories. Revolutionary Road is mixing it up by hitting theaters on Boxing Day. What is this? Are we trying to make Christmas be like Memorial Day weekend? But really, no complaints, the more movies the better.

Valkyrie. Okay, I'll have to go see this because it is about Von Stauffenberg and at least the real story is interesting... but Tom Cruise? You can't take Tom Cruise seriously with an eye patch! He's Tom Cruise. He's not acting, he's being himself. Suddenly Jerry Maguire is a Nazi with a conscience? You have to figure this can't actually be a realistic historical drama (no matter how many British people they have playing the rest of the Nazi gang... let's not even discuss the whole accent versus accent and how come nobody is speaking German issue...) Given that Tom is in it surely the producers are going to want a Hollywood ending and in this version of the story the plot to assassinate Hitler will succeed! Von Stauffenberg might not have been able to do it right, but Tom Cruise sure will!

I'm looking forward to Benjamin Button and hope that it pans out as a good movie. I think it has potential.

Marley & Me? Haven't read the book, am generally disinterested in all attempts at a film career by Jennifer Anniston. I do like Owen Wilson, but this may have to be a Redbox flick.

Bedtime Stories? Again, this has potential-- it could be like Night at the Museum and let's face it after "Don't Mess with the Zohan" Adam Sandler could be exhibiting his belly button lint for 90 minutes and it would be more entertaining.

The Spirit. Hmpf. Who the hell is Gabriel Macht?

Movies I wanted to see but haven't had the chance yet:

A Christmas Tale
Man on a Wire
I've Loved You So Long
(I figure all of these will end up as renters)


Movies I want to see that aren't out yet?

The Reader (okay the relationship between Kate Winslet and a 15 year old is creepy, but it's got Ralph Fiennes in it!)

Revolutionary Road (looks like it could be a bore fest with the same period feel as
The Good Shepard but I'm taken in by the whole 'let's revisit Titanic' thing with Kate and Leo...)


Mamma Mia! (Come on, it's a crowd pleaser)
Burn After Reading
The Women



So, still madly crafting and candy-ing.

The bulk of today, however, was spent out and about with the little lady. We visited The Mall at Short Hills (where I have to say, it is usually a breeze to find parking, thankfully! Today we got a spot right by the land bridge from the parking deck into Neiman Marcus, which is great because it spits you out on the second floor relatively close to a nice baby changing area and large ladies lounge.... not to mention the shoe department which was having a big sale!) After cruising through the racks at NM, we headed down to Tiffany and then on to Johnny Rockets for lunch courtesy of the Dad. Johnny Rockets was tasty and fun but it is sad that they have discontinued the boneless wings. I'm sure it is because they finally ran out of all of the frozen boneless wings that somebody ordered 6 years ago, but still they were always so good! Anyway, Miss B. had a kid's size cheeseburger and fries and I had a chili dog. For the past few days I've been dealing with some tummy issues and for whatever reason if I attempt to counteract such issues by ingesting really bad food it usually works! Now? Feeling much better! Nothing says a cure for indigestion like a chili dog! (Scary, I know).

We also visited the Gap Kids, Saks, Bloomingdale's and Janie and Jack. Overall the mall was in pretty decent shape-- not too crowded or crazy. A good day was had!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sorry no new posts!

It's that crazy time before the holidays that's been filled with even more crafting than usual. I've got three knitting projects going, I've been making a bunch of candy and just generally trying to get things organized and set up for next week! Will post more when I can!

Love & Kisses-

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Miss B. may be watching a little too much of Kung Fu Panda (or KFP, for short) as today when we were in the kitchen she changed the channel from Top Chef to the Blackbelt Channel.

I don't really understand why it is that we have "The Blackbelt Channel" but we do. That and about 6,000 other strange and useless cable channels.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Someone, please stop me!

Much of today was spent reorganizing my closet. Which, in an odd twist of Gibb-related fate, the Mom was also doing. I do this every so often because I am truly OCD. That coupled with the fact that my closet is literally that-- a closet (not much bigger than about six square feet (if that)). But I have used my space wisely and have all of my non-hanging clothes packed into 10 plastic storage bins and a laundry basket (the bins being stacked in three rows). I started this endeavor in order to make room in my dresser for some pajamas and jeans that always seemed to just be lying on one of the chairs in our bedroom, for lack of any place else to put them. I figured if I cleared out enough room in the closet bins, dresser items could be moved to the bins and the clothes on the chair could go into the dresser! All perfectly logical.

I basically touched every piece of clothing I own today (other than that which is in the separate hanging closet... that will be a challenge for another day). May I just say, to all of my friends and family? If you ever see me attempting to purchase another t-shirt again STOP ME. The only exception to this rule? White t-shirts. They're allowed, so long as I vow to throw out whatever other white t-shirt I have that has become totally dingy. White t-shirts are on a strict buy-to-replace system. Otherwise, I don't think I'll need another T-shirt until the next millennia. I have t-shirts in every color of the rainbow (and more black t-shirts than you can shake a stick at). My usual weakness is that said t-shirt is "soft" (god help me if I'm exposed to modal!) Yeah, okay. I don't need any more.

Sweaters? Sweaters come in a close second to the t-shirts, but for the fact that apparently in my not too distant past I must have had some sort of body dismorphic disorder because 50% of my sweaters are waaay too large for me. (I then, apparently, had some sort of body-dismorphic shift where I believed I was the size of a 12 year old because I also have an inordinate number of Petite Bateau t-shirts in sizes which would appear to barely fit Sophie). Is it the washing machine that has shrunk all of these items or did I really think I could squeeze into them? I even found a hat that was too small.... what was I thinking??

Pants? I have more black capri pants than Audrey Hepburn had. Unfortunately, many of them seem to have sprung from the loins of the Gap and when washed take on a crumpled look and tend to attract lint like nobody's business.

I have now reorganized my tubs so that much of the items are packed away by season and one tub specifically has my ever growing collection of items from Theory. Leave it to me to have one top in four different colors. The inherent problem here is that I can't see all of the stuff that I have at any one time so I am left to try and maintain a mental catalogue of my wardrobe in my head. I either have to remember what I have and where it is located at all times (thus leaving little room in my brain for important things like my address and today's date) or I have to dress like Einstein and just keep wearing the same pair of jeans and one of three sweaters that is on top of the pile in the laundry basket.

Thankfully, I have restocked the sweaters on top of the pile so the locals in these parts have probably seen my pink wrap sweater for the last time this season.

I don't even want to think about taking on the shoe closet!

Friday, December 12, 2008


The MegaMillions Jackpot is over $200,000,000. The other day I bought a ticket at Wegman's against my better judgment. Everytime I get a lotto ticket from Wegman's it is always a lame number, one you can tell, just by looking at it will never come out, like "5, 19, 36, 37, 54 and Mega Ball 55!" Or as the Husband noted, the ticket will include symbols and things like Pi. You can't win the lottery with 5, 7, *, 3.14, the symbol for infiniti and MegaBall 12.

Wish me luck.



Yesterday we made the New York Times No-Knead Bread

Thanks to the Mom who directed us to the recipe (and who provided the Le Creuset Dutch Oven!) As the Husband noted, it could have used "more salt", it was tasty with butter and had a great crust and internal consistency. Next step? Trying to make it sourdough!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ring Composition in Indo-European Poetics.

So, today is the Husband's birthday. Yay! Birthday shout-out. The Husband also asked for a tip of the hat for his unique and enduring ability to seek out odd and entertaining films at strange hours of the evening (see prior posts re: "Sin Noticias de Dios", btw, has anyone figured out yet that I just like saying/typing that title?) of course, this talent is bolstered by the fact that we appear to have 2,000 cable channels (but usually only five of which are actually showing films at any given time).

In a related matter, 410e9 has asked for an explanation of the Husband's current "status" update on Facebook. The floor is open for a guest post.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Update on Sin Noticias de Dios...

So when the Husband was giving me the summary of the end of Sin Noticias de Dios the other day, he said that at the end there are epilogues about the various characters. In the movie, Penelope Cruz plays Carmen Ramos who is an agent of the devil that has been sent back to earth as a woman, after having been a male gangster in a prior life. The Husband tells me at the end of the movie they have a picture of what Carmen looks like now, after being promoted to Circle 10 of Hell and getting to be a man again. The Husband specified only that "they showed a picture of some Spanish guy". Miss B. and I watched the movie again tonight-- "some Spanish guy?" Hello Javier Bardem! Not to mention-- what an interesting twist since now Javier and Penelope Cruz are a romantic item!

More Curtains!

Yes, that's a giant-sized wooden hand from Indonesia on my windowsill. It's for mail!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Always Be Closing.

A list of Alec Baldwin's five best lines. I don't know that I agree with this compilation, but it's fun to read.

Gone in Sixty Seconds

Three Oscar Winners. Scary.

Do You Speak Bocce?

Kudos to Lide Just Keeps Getting Weirder for her blogging lexicon! I love TBBGIIMC and ECIZ!!

And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care!

It's 10pm, do you know where your crafter is?

Why she's in the kitchen making some curtains! Yup, tonight's project was curtains for the dining room.

We have three windows in the dining room, two of which are kind of half-size and the room doesn't get that much light as it is (despite having windows on two sides...). The Mom had graciously made us curtains shortly after we moved in, but recently I've changed the chair covers on our dining room chairs and the chandelier shades on our lighting fixtures and needed new curtains to match. For whatever reason, when we first moved in I thought using cranberry for my color scheme would be a good idea. Looking back now, clearly cranberry chair covers and light shades was not helping to make the room any lighter (in fact, the damn chandelier shades kind of gave it really weird tavern feel, which while period appropriate just wasn't working anymore). Now we've got a beige and blue scheme going on.

I had been looking for some sort of sheer thing to just drape on the windows but I hadn't had any luck (with my lame attempt at crusing through Linens N' Things, Target and Country Curtains on-line.) The other day though, I noticed a fabric remnant that I bought ages ago at Pierre Deux. It's a toile (what else is new?) and it's cream and navy with a wacky ballooning scene on it. I figured I'd give it a go!

Luckily I had some plain white cotton fabric that I was able to use as a lining and I already had the tension rods! Not bad! I still have one more to make, but it's all cut out and ironed and ready to go, I'll just have to sew it up tomorrow. After this? More little curtains-- for our foyer and the library.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Ladies' Day Out!

I'm back from quite a day out! I got up this morning, made two quiches and headed on my way. Picked up Mel in Westchester and then it was on to Stamford for lunch with Leda and Gretchen! We had a lovely ladies' lunch at Leda's (love the alliteration!) with Leda's famous feta cheese triangles and all sorts of goodies. Conversation was fun and festive, and then it was off to the Ridgefield Theater Barn to see Thisbe in The Secret Garden!

The show was great and there were lots of Thisbe's friends and family in the audience so it was a nice chance to get to see everybody! Ridgefield is really a lovely town and it was fun too to get to drive through Wilton on the way and see a bit of snow covered New England (quite a nice change from the refineries on 95 that started out the early part of the day's travelling!) (Thanks for driving, Leda!) And, thanks to Mel and Gretchen we had tasty desserts to snack on at the Theater Barn at intermission-- Thisbe had said we should bring food and bring food we did! I didn't see anybody else there with Italian cookies, gourmet chocolate and a ricotta cheesecake ;)

On the way home I stopped in at Chipotle for dinner and when I got home I had a smiling Miss B. and Husband waiting for me! Yay! The Husband and I promptly fell asleep for an extended "nap" after Miss B. went to sleep. Awaking four hours later to "Wake up and go to bed" (but not before having a few Hostess Donettes, because nothing says post-midnight snack like a mini powdered donut).

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sin Noticias de Dios

or, "No News from God" (also released in the US as "Don't Tempt Me"). A wacky Spanish movie that the Husband and I started watching late, late last night. It had a very early-Almodovar feel to it (helped by Victoria Abril). I liked it! Though I couldn't stay awake to the end, so thanks to the Husband for this morning's plot recap!


Okay. We Redbox'd "Wall-E" this evening. Have to say--- not loving it. It was more an exercise for animators than entertainment... it clearly didn't seem to be designed for kids, at least not young ones. You've got to have colors, music, excitement. A modified R2D2 hanging out on a bleak looking earth with a cockroach just isn't doing it. Two high points? (i) When Wall-E left Earth's orbit he hit Sputnik and (ii) Signourney Weaver as the voice of the Axiom Spaceship (a great nod to her role in Galaxy Quest where her "one job" on the Galaxy Quest spaceship was to repeat everything that the ship's computer said). Otherwise? Not a big hit with Miss B. or me... kind of like the time I went to see Heavy Metal with the Dad and thought it would be a kid's movie. Lesson to take away? Just because its a cartoon doesn't mean its for kids. Other lesson to learn? If it is a cartoon it *should* be geared to kids (take a lesson from that whoever directed "Renaissance").


That even a toddler knows who People's "Sexiest Man Alive" is


proof that, to said toddler, "Kung Fu Panda" is more interesting. ;)

Regardless, we do love Hugh Jackman!

ps. check out that handmade Poncho!

Friday, December 05, 2008

More Fake Food!

Check these out...

Make Mine a Dagwood!

Is that real Swiss cheese??

Breakfast! Thats eggs, bacon and pancakes (we're working on some syrup...)

And, ravioli and a nice salad for dinner!


Did someone say "Let's Make Candy?"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tonight's Dinner!

Tonight's Dinner was Chicken with Goat Cheese and Basil from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home cookbook, served with couscous and a vegetable medley I crafted myself!

The veggies were pretty tasty-- I sliced up zucchini and diced two large shallots. I sauteed the zucchini and shallots in olive oil with garlic. I then added a hand full of cherry tomatoes, a bit of red wine vinegar and some balsamic vinegar. I sauteed the veggies on medium heat, covered. Once the zucchini started to get soft I added a little bit of the goat cheese that was left over from the chicken dish, together with some salt, pepper and italian seasoning.

I served the vegetables over the couscous, with the chicken on the side. It was a great dish and very quick to make! Strangest part of dinner? Sophie actually had couscous in her hair by meal's end....


The Mom and Dad had been highly recommending the Red Box and I tried it last week (Hancock) and rented Step Brothers from it today. Can't beat movies for $1.00! And you can reserve your movie on-line in advance and then just pick it up at your local dispenser!

I would not, however, recommend watching Step Brothers with commentary. The movie was okay (god knows it was better than Don't Mess with the Zohan) but the commentary is *really*, *really* lame.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why Martha is the Queen!

Okay, no matter what anyone may say about her, you do have to admire Martha Stewart. Today was one of those days that just reaffirms to me why Martha is indeed the queen of all domesticity. Earlier this holiday weekend I made for the Husband Ina Garten's Blintz recipe from her new cookbook. Ina recommends adding a nice blueberry sauce to the blintz as a topping. I made the sauce (with fresh blueberries, orange juice and lemon) but the Husband wasn't a big fan of the pairing, thinking it too sweet with the already sweet blintz. So, I kept the blueberry sauce and figured we'd have pancakes later in the weekend. The plan was for pancakes for breakfast this morning but it wasn't until sometime early this morning (meaning around 4:30am) that it dawned on me, in a half-sleepy state that I had thrown out my Whole Foods Pancake Mix. You see, the WF buttermilk pancake mix is actually pretty good, but when I bought the mix last I bought the wrong kind and it was really awful. The ultimate cross between elmer's glue and wallpaper paste. This lead me to toss the remainder of the package and left me high and dry on the pancake mix front come this morning.

Cut to the scene in the kitchen this morning. Miss B. is happily in her high chair, the Husband is hanging out in the kitchen and I need to whip up some pancakes MacGuyver style. I figure no biggie, I've got flour, surely I can put something together. First place I look? Tyler Florence. I've got two of his cookbooks and he's got a great recipe for apple french toast made from croissants so I thought he might have a good pancake recipe. Does he? Well, it may be good but it's a buttermilk pancake recipe and I've got no buttermilk (let's not discuss this... buttermilk had been on my Thanksgiving shopping list but there was only one container of it left at Wegman's when I went shopping and it was all the way at the back of the dairy case on the top shelf and needless to say being 5 feet tall I couldn't reach it.) Tyler also has a recipe for crepes... I scan the list of ingredients... I've got everything, but then I notice that you're supposed to let the crepe batter rest for an hour before using it. The recipe actually tells you that if you don't wait the hour the crepes will be, and I quote: "rubbery". Yum. I look over at my toddler sitting in her high chair awaiting breakfast--- needless to say I don't have an hour for a crepe batter to "rest".

Next? Next I go to a cookbook aptly titled "Brunch". Surely "Brunch" will have a pancake recipe? Yup, but it calls for self-rising flour. Don't have that!

Finally, I decide to go for the big guns... I hit up the Martha Stewart "New Classics" Cookbook. It's a great blue thing that's thick enough to be a good doorstop. Pancakes? Of course! What kind would you like? Again we've got buttermilk, buckwheat.... how about "Fluffy?" Yes, I'll take Fluffy! Thankfully the fluffy pancakes require eggs, butter, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. All things we have... it also requires powdered milk, so I faked it and went with regular milk...

The batter looked good. The pancakes came off the griddle a nice golden brown and indeed fluffy! The taste? Thumbs up from the peanut gallery and they tasted great with Ina's blueberry sauce.

Martha Stewart Saves Breakfast! Woo-hoo!

By the way, after all this cooking this weekend... we ordered a pizza for dinner. Hallelujah!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Today was an exciting day! We took Miss B. to the 10:30am showing of "Madagascar 2" (I did feel bad that her first real movie outing... as we'll not count "The Nanny Diaries", since Sophie slept through most of that... was to a sequel, but, what can you do?) She did great, sitting on the Husband's lap for the bulk of the flick (with just a quick visit to my lap) and snacking on Dunkin Donuts (Who needs Rachael Ray? I think Miss B. could be their newest spokesperson.... "Toddlers run on Dunkin!") and generally enjoying the show.

Later on in the afternoon I visited the S. Brunswick High School Craft Show (eegads!) But I did get a really cute hair clip from Mom's Little Sweet Pea with the letter "S" on it!

Then, for dinner I made cheddar and potato soup followed by a French Apple Tart from Ina Garten's new cookbook! The tart was super easy (as I cheated and used pepperidge farm puff pastry rather than making puff pastry from scratch!) and very, very tasty! All in all a good day!

Felted Sweater Blanket!

Check out this really cool project--- a felted sweater blanket! I had seen this type of thing before at Ye Old "Go For Baroque" and thought it was intriguing. I've got two old sweaters that I think I'm going to try and make into a stroller blanket for Miss B. We'll see how it goes and then maybe we can work up to something this fab!

Prince Albert in a Can!

Check out this great online shop for London's Victoria and Albert Museum!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Got Sushi?

Here's a picture of our first fake food for Miss B. Thanks to the guy from the Sushi department at Wegman's we were able to package it in a real sushi container! Check out those felt chop sticks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! There is so much to be Thankful for, especially Miss B., the Husband, Mom and Dad, Miss Kitty, the Boo-Dog and all of our friends and family!! I hope everybody has had a great day and that this will be the start of a great holiday season.

And, let's also not forget to be thankful for our new kitchen! It was a great place for preparing this year's dinner! I started out this morning by popping the Griggstown turkey into our top oven (upside down) and then followed shortly by a pumpkin pie in the bottom oven. Next we made onion tarts (to be put in the oven after the pie was done). Then we made the stuffing and sweet potatoes, and finally regular mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy! It was a lot of food. And we have a lot left over. Perfect for making turkey, apple and co-jack sandwiches tomorrow (just like they used to make at Ruloff's in Ithaca!)

Good luck to everybody who's off to shop at the wee hours tomorrow morning and Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Official.

The Balloons have been inflated.

Back to Basics!

No, that's not a reference to Christina Aguillera's last album. It's Ina Garten's new cookbook and tonight we made the spring risotto! (Yes, let's not discuss the fact that it's clearly not spring!). It was really tasty-- the recipe includes leeks, asparagus and peas. Ina makes it with fennel too but I'm not a fennel fan. Maybe I should give fennel a try but I've heard it's related to licorice and that's about as appetizing to me as saying that you should add an ingredient that tastes like root beer. Ugh! But, back to the risotto. At the end of the cooking process Ina has you add in a 1/3 of a cup of mascarpone, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and some lemon juice. I added this in, covered the pan and took it off of the heat (I also added a touch of butter as that's Jamie Oliver's secret to perfect risotto). Maybe I put in more lemon than Ina says, but hey, you've got to make it your own, right? All in all it was quite tasty and quite a nice looking, colorful risotto. (It was colorful in part because I also sauteed a mire poix and added that in so there were carrot bits!)

The real cooking begins tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snacktime Comparison

Today Miss B. had a lovely fruit and cheese plate for a post-nap snack. She had co-jack cheese shapes, a strawberry, a piece of watermelon, some grapes and some cantaloupe.

What did Mom have? A coke and some cheetos.
Why don't I just smoke a pack of Lucky's and have a shot of tequila while I'm at it!

Dissolveable Stitch.

So, I'm here watching a double marathon of The Real Housewives and the Husband brought up a great snack! Oatmeal Raisin cookies (from WF) and a bowl of vanilla ice cream (perfect for dipping!). So I'm enjoying this and I had just put a wedge of ice-cream laden cookie in my mouth when I see the Husband inspecting what appears to be a string. He also has a half-eaten cookie in his other hand. He is holding up the string and the cookie. I'm chewing. I say (mouth full) "is that a string?" the Husband's response? Something to the effect of "it looks like one of those dissolveable stitches" This effectively leads me to get up, spit the cookie out into a piece of toilet paper and wash out my mouth with water from the bathroom sink. All the while the Husband is sitting here in bed looking at the "stitch". He then asks me, "did you really just spit that cookie out and wash out your mouth?" In a word? "Yes." He then proceeds to tell me that he had put the cookie down on his sweatshirt so it could have just been a string.


Thanksgiving Madness!

Today Miss B. and I did our Pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving shopping at Wegman's. Last week I got a lot of the boxed/canned goodies (such as stuffing mix, pie crust, chicken stock, packed pumpkin, etc.) but we still had a good sized list of stuff for today. Oh my goodness. The Husband's take on it was that today shouldn't be too bad because it should be mostly people who are trying to be prepared in advance, so they should at least know what they're looking for, etc. We both figured tomorrow would just be "PANIC! at the Grocery Store".... today? Today had a mix of people who were hepped up on some sort of shopping speed and then people who acted as though they had never been to the food store before, ever. There were a lot of people with these little carts that Wegman's has. Normally that would be a good thing-- smaller carts, people can move faster and get around easier. Unfortunately, many of the people with the small carts were the ones who seemed like it was their first visit to the store. The baking aisle? It was like a train wreck. Carts and mini-carts were lined up on both sides of the aisle. People were milling about in the middle and then just staring at the food on the shelves. It's as if no one actually knew what they wanted to get but just decided to wing it once they got there. One woman pushed her cart deep into the baking aisle, saying to her companion "Now we need to find brown sugar and vanilla extract." I didn't have the heart to tell her that she had just passed them (as there was no room for her to turn her cart around and besides-- have you never been here before? Don't you know where the brown sugar is? Isn't it likely that it will be in with all of the rest of the sugar that occupies like 7 1/5 feet of shelf space just to your LEFT?

Let's hope tomorrow's great turkey air-lift goes better.


Yesterday when we were in the city we went past the Ziegfeld and saw them setting out the red carpet for the Australia premiere! It's gotten good reviews and everybody loves a Baz Lurhmann flick!

What the!?!

I just saw a commercial for "Personal Trainer: Cooking", whereby some kind of Garmin-esque electronic device (it turns out its a Nintendo of some sort) will speak cooking directions for you while you cook. Its website says: "focus on the food while you cook thanks to Hands-Free Voice Control" alternatively, you could focus on the food while you cook by reading a recipe in advance! The website also notes that this is the first in a series of "Personal Trainer" software. Coming soon are "Personal Trainer: Math" and "Personal Trainer: Walking" Walking? Focus on your feet while you walk thanks to Hands-Free Voice Control! Do we really need a little machine giving us verbal directions on how to walk?

Monday, November 24, 2008

San Marzano Tomatoes!

Tonight we made Tomato sauce from scratch using San Marzano tomatoes! I'm sure this is no new developments for most folks, but I had never tried a can of San Marzano before. I put a large can of San Marzano in a sauce pan, added a bit of cream, some salt, pepper, italian seasoning, a good bit of basil and a touch of garlic salt. After simmering for a bit I added in some of the vegetables from last night's ratatouille (specifically, the eggplant and zucchini and a few red and yellow peppers). The result was a nice light tomato basil sauce with veggies! We had the sauce over fresh gnocchi (which unfortunately, I did not make, they were store bought from WF). Add a crusty loaf of bread and some fontinella and you've got a tasty dinner!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Response...

So the Mom Blog has a post about the North versus the South. I have to respond with just a few thoughts about New Jersey, specifically. I've never (and I mean never) been in a state before where its basically verboten to ever make a left turn. You want to go anywhere? You basically just have to keep making right turns until you either get to Pennsylvania or the Atlantic. After some shlub in this state inventing the infamous "Jersey Barrier" it's like their brother-in-law was given the contract to make every single road in New Jersey a divided highway.

How does one get across a divided highway? Jughandles! What the *hell* is a jughandle and why do I need to use one just to get to the other side of the road? I'm lucky that I don't have to use a jughandle to get into my own driveway! Mapquest? Garmin? Hardly! Both of these navigational tools have not been programmed to take into account the whole divided highway situation. I remember one time the Husband and I tried to get to Buy Buy Baby in Paramus. We started off on I-80, we got off on Route 17 but unfortunately the Buy Buy Baby was south of the exit from I-80. Could we turn around? We had to drive almost all the way to the New York State Border before we could figure out where the F!*% the place was! We had to stop at a Barnes & Noble in Mahwah for god's sake!

It's as if the entire state has been designed so that the only way you can know how to get someplace is if you've been there before. If it's your first time trying to get someplace good luck and leave an hour early.

Circles? Let's not even discuss the circles. I can deal with the "Somerville Circle" as it is known, but the circle at Exit 135 in Clark/Rahway off of the Parkway-- you have to gun it in order to merge into traffic. It's like a pinball machine of crazy drivers and you have to just hope that you in your little pin ball car can be blasted into the circle fast enough not to get hit by somebody else.

As greater proof of more idiocy in our municipal road systems, when we first moved here there was a stop light at Nassau Park Boulevard and Route 1 in Princeton/West Windsor/Lawrenceville (that's another great thing, by the way, every thirty feet and you've moved across some such political boundary and you're in a new town, township, or borough-- it makes using 411 a nightmare). Nassau Park Boulevard is a street that has a bunch of big box stores in two shopping centers, including a Home Depot, Wegmans, Best Buy, Target, Petsmart, Wal-Mart, etc., etc. After Whole Foods moved in down the road (without the benefit of a stoplight at its entrance), DOT decided that there was no need for a traffic light at Nassau Park! You want to get to Wegman's from the Northbound lane? Bon Chance! Get off the exit before, use a clover leaf, and go in the back entrance. You want to exit Wegmans and go North on Route 1? You can get on Route 1 going South and then exit at the next clover leaf, cross over Route 1, exit again at the next cloverleaf, merge into traffic with cars attempting to exit onto another cloverleaf and then you can merge with Route 1 traffic going 65+ MPH. It's accidents waiting to happen, no wonder we have one of the highest insurance premium rates in the country! (Our insurance was actually cheaper when we lived in Manhattan! You would think a close proximity to the Bronx would raise your rates, but no, try moving to New Jersey and watch those rates triple!)

Not to mention how people drive! My Mom is right-- all of these people feel like they need to be someplace and they need to be there *NOW*, but that urgency is also coupled with a great inability to stay in one's own lane. When driving one constantly has to be minding the cars on either side of you because not only will people change lanes without enough clearance, they'll also just weave into your lane!

What about tractor trailers? I know they're bad drivers everywhere but here it seems to be especially bad since, what with all the refineries, often tractor trailers are tanker trucks. On Friday night we heard on the news about another tanker truck that jackknifed and caught fire at Exit 16 of the Turnpike. This prompted both me (and the newscaster) to mention how just a few months ago another tanker did the same thing at the *same exact exit*--- this was memorable because it was the night of a Bruce Springsteen concert at the Meadowlands, and I'm sure you can imagine how well shutting down the turnpike at the Meadowlands exit before a "BOSS" concert went over with the local constituency.

In a nutshell, New Jersey is a nuthouse. The Husband is fond of saying that Princeton isn't New Jersey (a sentiment also put forth by a representative from the State's Tourism Board not too long ago), I just try to bring a little bit of New York to every day in Jersey (case in point, today I blew my car horn four times-- twice at the Wendy's drive through and twice at a Stop sign). You can take the Type A out of their stint at city living, but you can't take the city crazy out of the Type A.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Knitting Merit Badges...

Thanks to Miss Leda, I stumbled upon a webpage with knitting merit badges!

This one is easy to get-- it's just about talking up knitting in a positive light, but not too new age-y or grandmotherly... (Okay, done.)

This one was a bit tough for me-- it says that you've mastered the simple mathematics required of knitting. Anyone who knows me knows that math is *not* my strong suit. I actually had to take statistics over the summer in college-- and that was only because it was a requirement of my major which (unlike the required-for-graduation swim test) I couldn't manage to get out of.... But, I have finally figured out the higher math of knitting. This was proved when I was able to successfully confirm that I could substitute a particular yarn for Miss B's poncho. When I tried to tell the Husband the calculations involved it was mind numbing.

This is the MacGuyver I badge-- again, not too bad. It just means that you've used non-knitting items in a knitting related scenario... I'm a lawyer. All I have to say is binder-clip. Also, who hasn't used a paperclip as a stitch marker or a sewing pin as a way to pick up a dropped stitch?

This is MacGuyver II-- meaning you've used knitting implements in a non-knitting application. I can think of many occasions on which I've used a long needle to sweep an errant toys out from under furniture. (Errant object typically is a MegaBlok or soothie).

This badge is one of the more fun ones-- earned for having an inordinant fondness for novelty yarns! My personal fave is anything by Noro... I consider their space dying techniques to be a bit novelty. I also have a poncho (that I've been trying to make for I don't know how many years)which involves eyelash yarn. Let's not even discuss the six months I spent making a Colinette afghan!

I also think they need a badge for having successfully taught someone else how to knit! I vote for Thisbe to get that badge! Thanks, This, for teaching me how to knit all those years ago at the grand old yarn store that is no more on the Post Road in Westport!


In anticipation of the upcoming gift-giving holidays and in furtherance of the great family tradition of wacky crafting (namely (x) when my Mom and Dad spent goodness knows how many hours building and furnishing a gi-normous Victorian dollhouse and (y) when my grandmother made an entire coffeetable full of Barbie clothes for me including a creamsicle colored knitted pantsuit and a Barbie-sized bra), I spent Sophie's naptime this afternoon making fake felt food! (Photos to follow). So far I've made sushi rolls, ravioli, pancakes, bacon strips, and a piece of lunchmeat ham and some lettuce. I'm still working through how to make my two slices of white bread (with crusts) and I also have two eggs sunny side up to make as well as some tomato slices. Basically, when I'm done I figure I'll have a three course breakfast, a ham sandwich, some sushi and then pasta... I'm thinking of also making a salad to go with the ravioli. If this works out (and I can figure out how to master making crust) then I think we'll try a pizza next.

Jean de Florette

The other day Miss B. handed me my copy of Zagat's Movie Guide and as I flipped through it, I saw the review of "Jean de Florette". The review mentions that it's not to be missed with it's companion piece "Manon of the Spring". Since 1986 (when these two films were released) never having seen the actual French title of "Manon of the Spring" I thought it was about a woman named Manon and the season, "Spring". Little did I realize it is actually "Manon des Sources" aka Manon of the [natural water] spring. But, I digress. I read the review and then oddly enough both of these flicks were on HDNet movies the other night. Of course I realized this at about 2am (while the Husband was mysteriously downstairs snacking) and I ended up watching the end of Jean de Florette and the begining of Manon of the Spring until about 3:19am when I finally had to go to sleep. The title character in Jean de Florette is played by (as about 65% of all French films are) Gerard Depardieu. In this flick he's a hunchback "born loser" (as one of the other characters describes him) who ends up dying at the end of the first film when a rock from an explosion hits him in the head. Not a winning description, but it was a well done movie and I'd certainly be interested in seeing it from the beginning and seeing the rest of Manon of the Spring. Of course, neither appears to be coming back on to HDNet anytime soon, but you never know. When I do come across it again, though, it will be quite a time investment-- kind of like when I watched all 3 hours of Camille Claudel (also a Depardieu flick) in subtitles.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Today's Randomness...

As I'm at the stove making Hungarian Goulash I flashed to a memory of when the German Club went to an Indian Restaurant all the way on the other side of Atlanta with Herr Craven in high school. It was the worst Indian food I've ever had! Just throwing it out there-- did Texas Jack drive that evening? Most of it is a blur besides the fact that it rained the whole way there and the bad yogurt that seemed to be a part of every dish ordered...

This Week's Approval Matrix

Has the great line: The Real Housewives of Atlanta make The Real Housewives of New York look like The McLaughlin Group"

Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work!

Another great PBS Series! Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work is just like "A Year at Windsor Castle". I can watch these British documentaries all day!!!

Just Tick This Off as Another One Of Those Signs of the Apocalypse...

They're remaking Footloose!?! With one of those people from High School Musical?? Is Footloose really remake worthy????

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Do You Want to Die By Post-It?

(We're watching "Get Smart")

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bond. James Bond.

Here's an article from MSNBC's "The Scoop" about a first time Bond viewer. How can you not love Bond? At least she did watch Goldfinger first!

Cat Tales...

Today we dropped off Miss Kitty at Petsmart for a bit of grooming. It was her first time there, and first time being groomed (other than her usual attempts at creating hairballs). We get there at about 11am and are told that we don't actually have an appointment. Okay, whatever. I'm there and I hand over our rabies certificate and just then a woman walks in behind us and asks if the cat which had just finished grooming (and was at the back of the grooming area in a "pet taxi") was a Himalayan. The groomer says that it is a Himalayan and next the cat inquirer asks if she can touch it. Groomer is kind of surprised by this and replies with "that is not a nice cat." And clearly-- lady, it's not your cat! No you can't touch someone else's cat! Turns out that this woman has "allergies" and she thought that a Himalayan might be "hypo-allergenic". When the Groomer tells her that she can't touch the cat she then asks if she can touch some of the fur that had just come off of it. (You see there was a considerable amount of cat fur balls on the floor of the grooming parlor...) At this request the Groomer seemed happy to oblige. She walked over, picked up a big ball of cat fur and handed it to the woman. Ms. Allergy then proceeded to rub the fur ball all over her hands. I can honestly say that I've never seen anything quite like it. The woman said she'd see by the end of the day if she had any kind of reaction and the Groomer's response was, "you should know in about five minutes."

When we came back two hours or so later, we paid to get Miss K. out of hock and she came out of the back with a little pink bow in her fur! Sophie got a kick out of the bow.

Something's Fishy at the Turkey Farm...

Today I checked on the website for my local turkey farm hoping it wasn't too late to put in an order for this year's bird. Said turkey (and quail) farm was just featured in an article in this Sunday's New York Times, which made me think of it. I check out the website and lo and behold, I am advised that persons looking to order a turkey for local pick-up should check back later. At this time they're only taking orders for birds to be shipped (at a starting price of over $100!) Now, giving the farm the benefit of the doubt, perhaps I'll be able to order my bird as soon as tomorrow and maybe this is just some sort of administrative thing... but the more cynical view seems to me that especially following NY Times coverage, they're hoping that the bulk of the birds fly south (or north, east or west... just fly) for the holidays. Perhaps there's an extra cushion of profit margin built in to the shipping costs? Unclear, but what kind of irks me is that I am a fifteen minute drive from the turkey farm and all you hear about these days is "eat local" and "sustainability", yada, yada, yada.... all of those "go green" buzz words that have fueled an entire economy around Whole Foods and the like. Here I am, literally trying to eat locally and I've been stymied in favor of folks who want their turkey UPS'd to them. Argh!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Le Californie Brule!

Once again, knowing French food words (i.e. Brulee, as in creme...) comes in handy when translating TV5 Monde's evening news show Le Journal.

Housework is never done!

Here's a funny article from today's New York Times...

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today we visited the Big Apple Circus! I finished Sophie's Daisy Hat for the occasion and I thought that she was dressed particularly cute today (see picture!) Unfortunately, the animal acts showed up in the second half (for those of us sporting toddlers, an animal or two in the first act would certainly make things a bit more interesting for our little people... perhaps switching out the catsuit attired lady-tightrope walker (who does her tightrope act to the Viagra commercial jazz music... I am *not* kidding...) for a parrot act, horses a dog or cat or two??) I can honestly say I've never seen such a little person consume so much food in one sitting... we went through some hot dog parts, bun parts, broken up pieces of cracker jack, pretzel and cookies (cotton candy was rejected, thankfully). And, as usual in a city of 8 million people, I saw someone I know from the Job. Random, no?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sting's Favorite Pasta!

That was dinner tonight (and I know its a perennial fave of the readers!) In other news, tomorrow is the big day-- we're going to see the Big Apple Circus! We've been seeing commercials for the past two weeks or so and Miss B. and I watched some performers from the show on The View the other day so hopefully Sophie knows what she's in for!

Tonight's project? Finishing an upside down daisy hat for Miss B. so that she can have a new chapeau for circus going! Also, trying to plot how the Husband and I can manage to go see Quantum of Solace...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tonight's meal (prepared in the new kitchen, and thankfully, not by toaster oven) was Jambalaya! We've gone on a couple of occasions to the Salt Creek Grille for their Sunday Jazz Brunch and they have a tasty jambalaya. I hadn't made jambalaya since law school so I thought why not bring it back in to the repertoire! I used spicy italian sausage (in link form, which I then cut up) and chicken tender strips from Whole Foods. I browned the sausage and chicken together with sliced onions, green peppers and diced jalepenos in a bit of olive oil and garlic as a start. Once the meat and the veggies started to brown I added in a bit of white wine to deglaze. Once browned, I moved the meat, veggies and juices from my large skillet into a stock pot. Then I rough cut a red pepper, yellow pepper and orange pepper and sauteed those in olive oil. Once the peppers were soft I added them to the stock pot, together with a can of diced tomatoes. I also added into the mix some cumin and cayenne pepper. I put the stock pot on to medium heat and added Zatarain's Jambalaya mix (which includes seasoning and rice). I also added about a half a box of chicken stock and some uncooked Texmati rice. I kept the goodies on low-medium heat for about 25 minutes (or until the rice is plump). At the end I added a bit more white wine and a touch of chicken stock. The jambalaya was super easy and got rave reviews from the Husband! Overall I was happy with the general tastiness of the meal and was reminded of our old fave PBS chef Justin Wilson!

In other fronts... yesterday Miss B. and I did see Ernie and Neal. They were, well... a bit too heavy metal for our tastes let's just say. We preferred Melody and Presley (from the last B&N Kid's show we went to see). Melody & Presley were the type where you think to yourself "Gee, I wonder if they're available for birthday parties!" Ernie and Neal? They seemed more like they might be available for gigs at your local Hell's Angels hang out. But, who are we to judge? We like to listen to the Metropolitan Opera on the radio on Saturdays!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ernie and Neal...?

This afternoon, after naptime is done, Miss B. and I will be heading over to our local Barnes & Noble to check out the musical stylings of "Ernie and Neal". I'm not sure who these two are but they are taking part in the weekly family fun music series at the store and hell, it's cheaper than Music Together! Now we just have to hope that, unlike last time, Miss B. doesn't decide to rearrange the Art History section and then go running to the Starbucks in the middle of the store carrying a book on Cave Painting!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Who knew?

According to Dean and Deluca, "Licorice has been prized for centuries by the world's great civilizations." Right up there with gold, saffron and the polio vaccine, I'm sure.

One Day!

One day till Top Chef New York!


Today we watched a bevy (okay, just two) movies from books. We'd already seen Atonement (growing on me) and then earlier this evening we watched "The Jane Austen Book Club". I had read The Jane Austen Book Club a few years ago and enjoyed it, but when I saw the movie was coming out I was a bit disapointed by the cast. It seemed a little like it should be a Lifetime movie of the week. After watching, I'd still have to say putting Jimmy Smits, Amy Brenneman and one of the people from "Lost" in a movie tends to make you think "TV!!!" immediately upon watching, but overall it wasn't a bad movie adaptation. The guy who played the only guy in the book club was somebody I've never seen before but he did a good job and the Kathy Baker character knitted in 75% of the scenes she was in so you can't beat that!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Late Night Showdown and Other Stuff!

It's one of those odd nights where the guests on both David Letterman and Jay Leno are appealing! It's Jamie Oliver pitted against Martha Stewart!

In other news, must send a shout-out to the Mom and Dad who had both totally put in the good word for getting a disposal and a trash compactor, and lo and behold... they are both pretty nifty additions to the new kitchen! The disposal (an Insinkerator Evolution, touted on This Old House as the quietest disposal ever made!) has caused a bit of "will-it-blend-esque" disposing. So far we have disposed chicken bones, a whole tomato, a good portion of a sub sandwich, olive pits, banana peels, etc., etc. and the compactor is pretty neat too! It's really an amazing feat for us to only have to empty out one bag of trash per week (noting, we do have a supplemental trash can for certain disposable items that don't fit the disposal/compactor criteria) overall this has been quite an improvement in our waste production.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Like Mother Like Daughter...

I am well known for having a habit of "eating a happy face" out of McDonald's cheeseburgers. A phrase coined by my parents and meaning that I will take one bite out of the edge of a burger and then proceed to only eat the middle. Well, this morning Miss B, did one better. We were having pancakes and she took a little silver dollar pancake, folded it in half and took a bite. What does that mean? When the pancake was unfolded there was a hole eaten out of the center. The pancake now resembled a small, flat donut. Of course this also resulted in a dab of maple syrup on Miss B.'s nose, but she didn't seem to mind that.

Friday, November 07, 2008

R.I.P., Dear Apple Tree

This morning I pulled the ye old wagon out of the garage and lo and behold, there was a barren spot at the edge of the driveway. I could see even more of our road than usual (ha, ha, I know, I know, how close we are to the road!)... what was it, exactly, that was different?? I could see more sky, I could see down the lane... wait, I thought to myself... where's the TREE??? We used to have a good sized apple tree right at the edge of our parking area, adjacent to the street we live on. It was a neat Craggy tree that took up quite a bit of space and would indeed produce quite a few apples in season. I stopped the car, got out and walked over to where the tree had stood just yesterday. What did I find? Wood shavings. A stump. A few large cut pieces of apple tree trunk. How random is that??? I thought to myself-- "Who the hell cut down our tree?" There was no note, nothing in our mailbox. I looked down the street to see if there was a tree trimming truck (sometimes the power company comes and trims the tree limbs-- but there was nothing. In fact, there was no other evidence that any of the other surrounding trees had been trimmed, let alone entirely cut down to their stumps!) What do you do when a tree is mysteriously cut down? Call the police! (Non-emergency number, of course...) The local PD put me in touch with the Department of Public Works. I described the situation and gave them my address. I was then told that at about 5am this morning they got a call about a downed tree on our street. Turns out the downed tree was our apple tree. Now mind you, it had been raining and a bit windy.... but it is unclear just how much of the tree came down. Based on the appearance of the cut pieces the tree trunk looked extremely healthy. Mind you, also, that we heard nothing. Not even a peep during the night (not the tree falling nor the chain saws!)

I have to say-- I understand if the tree fell, obviously the township had to take away the limb in the street-- but I can't believe they cut down our entire tree to a stump and they didn't even leave a note! Not a knock on the door, nothing! Now we have this big gap where the tree used to be. I guess I should just be thankful that the damn thing didn't fall on the X5 which was parked outside very near the tree, but still... I miss our tree! It's passing feels so abrupt!

KK's Baby Hat!

Here are pictures of the "Upside Down Daisy" baby hat that I made for KK! (Okay, so it's a week post-shower, what can I say, knitting takes time!) Anyhoo-- I just wanted to post a picture because I am really happy with how this hat turned out (so much so that I have to make one for Miss B. now!) I also have to highly recommend Susan B. Anderson's "Itty Bitty Hats" book! If you're a knitter (or want to become a knitter) this is a fantabulous pattern book! I first found out about it thanks to Thisbe who made the birthday cake hat for the WK! I have already made three pumpkin hats, the candy cane striped hat, the inca snowflake, the rainbow marley hat, the birthday cake hat and now the upside down daisy! All of the patterns are very clear and easy to follow and they just couldn't be any cuter!!! Yay!

This is easily my most used pattern book, if you have any babies/toddlers that you could be knitting for then you need this book :)

This is Sophie saying...

"where are you driving me to *now*, Mom????"

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Big Comfy Couch

This is one of those weird children's shows on PBS that I'm not quite sure how we got started watching. It's from Canada and made in the mid-nineties, but what I find most disturbing is that there have been two Loonette the Clown. Unlike in soap operas where they'll replace an actor with someone who only vaguely (or for that matter not at all) looks like the original actor, on The Big Comfy Couch they got a girl who (when in costume) really looks like the first girl, but she doesn't speak quite the same, so she tries to "pretend" to be the original Loonette. The first Loonette was much more natural, while the second Loonette has to truly try and "act" like the original Loonette. Needless to say we prefer original Loonette, but between her, Granny Garbanzo and Major Bedhead the whole thing is a bit kooky (including the "clock stretch" that is on every episode.)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Okay so,

who wants to bet that Bill Clinton's sleeping out in the barn tonight!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Real-Time Vote Blogging

So we're down at the Kingston First Aid and Rescue station waiting to vote! usually they have two machines (at least they did for the primaries.... i guess one for each party!) but today there's only one and usually poll workers outnumber voters by 5 to 1. Today there are about 18 people in line with us including seniors bused in from Buckingham Place (aka Buckingham Palace) just down the road. We've already had one angry young woman voter storm out (not sure why) hopefully she was a vote for Obama! :) My crazy next door neighbor (the fried chicken mogul) is in line ahead of me-- I've never seen the man dressed in anything besides collegiate sweatsuits and baseball caps. This is unlike the older gentleman in front of me (who has already informed me that he's doing a write-in vote) who is bedecked in black watch plaid pants, black tassel loafers, a navy turtleneck and a navy blue blazer with gold buttons.. Very dapper! Sophie is likewise dressed patriotically in red, white and blue (pictures to follow!) In other voting observations the poll workers said they didn't need to see my driver's license (scary!).

So today's message is go out there and vote-- it's the only way to justify being able to complain for the next four years!

And, alas, as a side note, years ago I had told Brianna Basaraba that I would move to France if certain Republicans were ever elected. All I can say is that for this election I am neither wealthy enough nor underprivileged enough to justify voting Democratic. I have to vote based solely on taxes. Down with the AMT! (But regardless of who is elected, I'd love to move to France!) ;)

Miss Potter

So Miss B and I finally watched this movie the other day (we've had the DVD for months and months...) and I have to say it is a very sweet, family film (even if, rather depressingly, the love of Miss Potter's life, played by our fave, Ewan McGregor, dies of some Victorian mystery virus two months into their secret engagement while Miss Potter has been spirited away by her family to the Lake District).

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Why the Italians Will Never Rule the World...

Because they always take a break for salami. This morning I took the train into the City for KK's shower. Especially since it was the running of the marathon I figured the train was the best way to go. I walk on board at PJ and snag a seat very close to the door, by the window. Who follows me? Four Italian girls (and by Italian I mean, speaking Italian, actual real-live, from Italy Italian) and an Italian guy who looked *exactly* like Orlando Bloom (except for the fact that he was about 5'8). The four girls sit in the row right in front of me (as it was a four seater) and Orlando sits in my row. Straight through to New Brunswick they're having a good old time laughing and chatting it up and every now and again I understand a word here and there thanks to college Italian but for the most part I've covered this all up with iPod. Then, as I'm attempting to nap, just after we pull out of NB... out it comes... salami sandwiches. The smell was so pungent I felt like I was inside of a deli case. Four semi-glamorous, sunglassed and coiffed Italian girls and their pungent lunchmeat at 11am. It seemed an odd juxtaposition, but at the same time, it seemed perfectly normal.

One other train anecodte... again proving that everyone looks like someone, on the way home I was standing next to Paris Hilton's twin (that is if Paris Hilton ever was to wear a "Wisconsin" sweatshirt, but still-- super thin, bad short blond hair and that wacky Paris Hilton nose!)


KK's baby shower is tomorrow, so as KK is a fellow crafter, I thought I would include with her gifties some decorative burp cloths! (A hat is under construction, to be delivered after baby delivery!) The Mom's friend made some of these for me for my shower and they're just so pretty and so easy to make that they're a fun gift for one crafter to another!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Here's our new faucet!

Remember-- it's not broken, it's Italian!


So, I'm starting to put stuff in the new kitchen and today it was time to put the Michael Graves tea kettle in its rightful place on top of the new rangetop! You see, I'm a bit of a design freak. I coveted this teapot since I first saw it at Kristen Fucci's house back in the seventh grade. I remember little else about her house (other than the fact that her dad had one of the goofy Saab 5000s) but I was always mesmerized by the teapot! I loved the little bird at the end of the spout! Back in law school the Mom got me the version that Michael Graves did for Target back in the day-- but alas, it didn't have the bird on it. A few years back the Husband bought this for me as a meseversary present... interestingly enough, being in Princeton, we actually have a real live Michael Graves store! This little goody is one of the few good things that ever came out of that whole Memphis design period in the mid-eighties in Milan. Do we use it? Of course not! It's just for show. ;)

Boo! Happy Halloween and Happy Anniversary to the Mom and Dad!