Thursday, September 29, 2011

5 Things I Learned


5 Things I Learned Last Weekend:

1. 2 bathrooms for 9 girls is not enough.

2. Potato Crusted Fish is something everyone must try, (I’m still drooling.)

3. Tiaras don’t work in my hair.

4. Pickle dip is both my obsession and my nemesis.

5. Live like Bruce. Shun facebook. Never consider anyone unattainable (even if they have someone on their arm). Bring style everywhere you go.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Scenes from the Weekend

This weekend I along with 8 others went down to Wellfleet (Cape Cod) for our friend Kate’s Bachelorette Weekend. We rented a gorgeous home with plenty of room for all of us… and our shenanigans.











It was a blast and I’m already going through withdrawals from these ladies. Good thing I only have to wait about a month to see them again at the WEDDING!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Left Neglected

This week I’ve learned a lot about the brain. Worlds like “peduncle”, “foramen” and “fornix” are swimming around in my brain. Neuroscience is no joke, folks. I spend quite a bit of time making up dirty helpful acronyms. You would think that between my lectures, copious amounts of textbook readings and memorizations that I’d have enough of the brain. But apparently it’s not enough. Because after finishing The Rum Diary I picked up this book:


Now, I know I asked for recommendations for a book to read that wouldn’t make me cry or be incredibly sappy but I went ahead and broke all of my rules on this one. Okay, well in my defense, I haven’t cried… yet. I really only cry when reading books about dogs but we won’t even go there. But this book is GREAT so far. I seriously can’t put it down.

For a brief summary, the main character is in a terrible car accident that leaves her with a condition called “Left Neglect”. Essentially her brain cannot recognize anything she sees to her left. There are moments when she can’t see her kids, dessert on her plate (the horror!) and obviously, her mobility is greatly impacted. What I’m loving most is just the description of her impairment and the realization of just how amazing the brain really is.

Wow, major nerd alert there.

But you get it.

So I recommend it, even if you aren’t into sappy books. It’s good, I promise.

In other news, I’ve lost my memory card which pains me to tell you because I, of course, do not back anything up and therefore lost 4 GB of photos. I know, but it’ll be okay. I bought a new one today and apparently my camera takes a unique and expensive memory card that Best Buy only carries one brand of so I shelled out a pretty penny to replace it. I’m hoping that because I bought a new one today, mine will show up. Fingers crossed!

Last but not least, I’m heading away for the weekend. It’s my friend Kate’s bachelorette weekend and we are whisking her away to an undisclosed locale (don’t even think she reads my blog but just to be safe I won’t say). The weekend should be full of shenanigans and good times.

Off I go to make cookies that I can’t even take pictures of! Happy [almost] weekend!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Smoked Gouda Macaroni and Cheese

It’s amazing I’m blogging right now because I don’t feel that hot but I feel that I’ve been slacking so here I am, checking in. It’s been a busy weekend. On Friday morning I drove up to Maine. Yesterday afternoon I drove back down to Boston and today I have been doing homework and napping intermittently (and hopefully kicking whatever this is to the curb). All that doesn’t mean I have neglected eating, how ridiculous!


I picked up this smoked Gouda at Trader Joe’s last weekend and have been trying to decide what I wanted to make with it. On a day like today, comfort food sounded ideal so I used it to make a quick and easy macaroni and cheese.

{Smoked Gouda Mac & Cheese}

serves 4

  • 8 oz. whole wheat shells (or any other short pasta of your choice)
  • 2 oz. smoked gouda (grated)
  • 1 T butter
  • 1-2 T ap flour
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 shallot, chopped finely
  • 1 1/4 c plain, unsweetened almond milk (or cow’s milk)
  • couple dashes of garlic powder
  • 1/4 whole wheat panko crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 375. Spray baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Boil water for pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, begin your roux. Melt butter and add 1 T of ap flour. Slowly add in milk. If roux isn’t thickening, add in more flour up to 1 T. Season with salt and pepper. Add in garlic powder and chopped shallot. Remove from heat and whisk in grated cheese until melted.

Add pasta to baking dish. Pour cheese mixture over pasta and stir to ensure pasta is evenly coated. Sprinkle top with panko.

Cook in pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.




Though this is extremely filling, I am craving dessert. But I think I’ll abstain given how iffy I’ve been feeling today. I’m attempting to quell the urge right now by burning this new candle I picked up today.


It smells delicious. Highly recommend. Pumpkin buttercream sounds like everything my dreams are made of. Alright, I’m back to the books.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Eggplant Lasagna

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, why do Mondays get such a bad wrap? I think Tuesdays are the worst. Come this day I’m no longer coming off my weekend high, all sense of starting fresh has worn off and I can’t tell myself the week is almost over because it isn’t. Nothing went right today, nothinngggg.

Now that I’ve unleashed that, I can tell you what I am looking forward to. Dinner. Big surprise right? Lately I’ve been trying to use the food I have to make dinner rather than buy food for a specific recipe. I find that when I do the later, I end up accumulating a lot of ingredients yet feeling like I “don’t have anything to eat”. One of my favorite new ways of finding recipe ideas? Pinterest. I won’t insult you and tell you what it is because I’m sure you’ve heard about it and if you haven’t, and want to know, you’ll click on the link. Follow me if you want but be warned that I mostly pin food and DIY projects I’ll never actually do-myself.


{this is pretty much what you’ll get if you follow me, lotsa food. get in me.}

Anyway, back to the recipe. Well I knew dinner was going to include an eggplant because I bought a gigantic one at TJ’s over the weekend. I chose the big guy because at TJ’s they are per eggplant not by weight so I figured I should get the most for my $, right? After the success of my zucchini lasagna, I thought an eggplant lasagna could be a tasty spin-off.


Obviously you are now wondering why I brought up Pinterest and then dropped it. Well I found a recipe for vegan eggplant lasagna on there and that’s how we got to this cast of ingredients. Am I vegan? No. Not even vegetarian. I love me some meat. But I didn’t have ricotta and those vegan’s have come up with a ricotta alternative using tofu. And why the nutritional yeast? I just really like the stuff. I don’t use it as a substitute for cheese and never will. There was actually COW cheese on the top of this lasagna but that was an afterthought so it didn’t make it in the ingredient shot.

The recipe can be found here. I’m not going to type it because I didn’t change a thing (aside from de/un-veganize it by adding shredded mozzarella to the top).




The only thing I would change when making this again would be to add more nutritional yeast to the tofu-ricotta mixture. I needed more “cheese”. But it was delicious all the same.

*Fun fact: I took the above picture at 640 am on my front porch. It was rushed because a neighborhood cat was hissing and howling (do cat’s howl?) at me and it was a bit early for me to be dealing with that ish.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Rum Diary


I just finished reading this book. If you are unfamiliar with Hunter S. Thompson, he’s the author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I read that book several years ago when I was living in Italy and didn’t have TV. It’s insane. Absolutely and completely insane. And I loved it. So when I stumbled upon this book at Newbury Comics one day I thought it sounded cool so I picked it up. From the back cover:

Begun in 1959 by a then-twenty-two-year-old Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary is a brilliant, tangled love story of jealousy, treachery and violent alcoholic lust in the Caribbean boomtown that was San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the late 1950s. Exuberant and mad, youthful and energetic. The Rum Diary is an outrageous, drunken romp in the spirit of Thompson’s bestselling Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Hell’s Angels.

It was exactly that. And as you can assume from the title, there is lots of rum drinking. There were many moments I wanted to be reading this book in a hammock on the beach with a Rum Runner in hand. It’s definitely not a feel good book so if that’s your literary style, don’t even bother.

I also didn’t realize when I picked this book up that it was going to be a movie soon starring Johnny Depp. I watched the trailer (look it up on youtube, I’m too lazy to do it for you) and I think I’ll splurge and go see it since I’ve read the book. I think a nice book/movie comparison will be interesting. I’ll just have to remember to pack a few nips of rum in my bag to enjoy in the theater.

What should I read next? I’m not into romance novels or books that are going to make me cry. Suggestions?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

When it rains… it makes the ground wet

Can someone please tell me how people actually find roommates on Craigslist? Since I’ve posted my listing (about 3 weeks ago) I’ve had more responses from humanitarian workers in remote parts of the world that want to wire me money to reserve the room than actual, real interest. I’ve tried scanning my ad to see if there’s anything in there that might yield this result but there’s nothing. I requested that the individual be employed yet have received at least 3 inquiries from people with out jobs that have “some leads”. Please. That may be indeed true for some but I’m leery when the e-mail is being sent on behalf of someone on behalf of someone else who isn’t the same person who signs the e-mail. You are looking for a progressive roommate who likes sunshine and smiles? Keep looking. That’s not even a joke… that was a real e-mail. That is not to say that I’m not progressive and yes, I do like sunshine and smiles but I’m not sure they are in my roommate criteria short-list. Sigh. The search continues…


I was trying to take pictures of the apartment this morning and Griffy managed to make an appearance in just about every one.



Anyway, aside from that on going search, the weekend was a good one. How could it not be? It was long. Friday night we went out for sushi, Saturday we enjoyed some drinks in town with friends and Sunday the man-friend and I had dinner at The Palm. It was a surprise and I can’t wait to go back again. Last night I made dinner for the two of us. I found a recipe for Brazilian Coconut Chicken on allrecipes and I’m still thrilled with how it came out.


Rub 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces with this spice mixture. If you don’t like a lot of heat, I suggest reducing the cayenne a bit. Add 1 T olive oil to a pan and bring to medium heat. Add chicken pieces, flip after about 6-8 minutes. Flip. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove pieces of chicken from pan.


To the still hot pan add 1 T minced ginger, 2 cloves garlic (minced) and 1/4 onion (chopped). Add additional olive oil if desired. Cook until onions start to turn translucent (just a few minutes). Empty contents of one 15 oz can of diced tomatoes into pan (drain a bit of the juice out first). If desired, add chopped jalapenos (seeds removed to reduce heat). I used 3 with seeds. Finally, pour one can of lite coconut milk into the pan. Reduce the heat to med-low. Let cook for a few more minutes then add the chicken back in. The sauce will NOT get super thick. That’s okay. You are going to serve it over rice. Preferably Basmati. Or you can use brown rice if you prefer. I used 1 c dry rice and that amounted to 4 servings once cooked. To serve, place 3/4 c rice in bowl (I used pasta bowls). Top with 1/4 chicken and sauce mixture. Enjoy!


Make this meal pronto. It will bring you sunshine and smiles. And perhaps it will send a roommate my way…