Archive | June, 2012

This Friday’s five

29 Jun

Every now and then a few random things make for a particularly nice Friday.  Like this time, or this time.  Here are this Friday’s five:

#1:  With the exception of four short hours on Monday from 9 am to 1 pm, I officially have off until Thursday!  

#2:  Bracing for a challenging week at the office, I decided pink nails would help me make it through.  And just look at where we are!

#3:  Is this thing on?!  At happy hour last night, I had the chance to catch up with a few people who I haven’t seen in a while.  One of the girls told me that she and her colleagues read my blog faithfully.  Amazing!  Shout out to you guys!

#4:  Buzzfeed’s 26 Things Hillary Clinton Thinks About You.  Missing from the list?  Hill thinks I should have drinks with her and devise a plan to bring back Texts from Hillary.  In scrunchies and kick-ass sunglasses obviously.

#5:  I’m going to hit “publish” on this post and then indulge in a dinner of cheese, olives, and white wine.  Other than that, my evening consists solely of crawling into bed to watch a movie (one that you would probably die if I told you I’ve never seen before…but that’s an upcoming post!)

Did you just use that as a verb?

28 Jun

Everyone’s been talking 50 Shades of Grey for weeks now but over Moscow mules at The National last night, I heard it referred to in a very different way.  As in, a verb.

To quote one of my single girlfriends, in referring to her latest male dream machine, “I just want to 50 Shades of Grey him!”

Yup, that just happened.

So of course we ordered another round…

I pinned: oreo cookies and cream cheesecakes

26 Jun

I’m a self-proclaimed “one pot wonder.”  More than one pan on the stove or in the oven and I get embarrassingly overwhelmed.  One item is guaranteed to be cold by the time the second comes out; it’s highly likely the smoke detector will go off; an entire part of the meal is overlooked (“Damn, I forgot the salad!”)  Casseroles, soups and salads, and veggies that can be roasted on the same baking sheet as my main course are generally my best friends.

In that interest, I’m also a “one bowl wonder.”  The simpler the recipe and prep, the better.  I generally like baking because measurements tend to be exact.  I’m not a “pinch of this and pinch of that” kind of a girl.  Tell me exactly how much of what to use.  Help minimize the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. Although I do appreciate the invisible force field that prevents me from taking up residency in the kitchen without a cocktail in hand.

I promised that June would bring Pinterest doing, so when one of the girls mentioned that she wanted Oreo Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes for her birthday, I immediately pinned the recipe and mentally committed to following through with it.  Making these babies last weekend, I was pleasantly shocked by how easy they were.  Six ingredients and only one bowl required!

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes

  • 42 Oreo, cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
  • 2 pounds (about 3 2/3 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 275° F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.  Place 1 whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
  2. Beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.  Gradually add the sugar, and beat until combined.  Beat in the vanilla.
  3. Drizzle in eggs, a little at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add in sour cream, beat to combine.  Using a large spatula, fold in the chopped Oreo cookies.
  4. Divide batter evenly among the cookie-filled muffin cups, fill each cup almost to the top.  Bake, rotating muffin tins halfway through, until the filling is set, about 22 to 28 minutes.  Transfer the muffins tins to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate (in the muffin tins) at least 4 hours (ideally overnight). Remove from tins just before serving.
I of course did not think to snap a picture with my phone until after a few candles were missing but you get the point – and everyone seemed to enjoy them.  Happy (one bowl prep) Birthday Sistah!

(Original recipe here)

Pig roastin’ and crawfish boilin’ in Poconos – check!

25 Jun

I woke up sore this morning…from cornhole and drinking games!

Just your (un)usual, not-so-city-slicker activities this weekend: mimosas and sunbathing in the backyard; barbecued burgers and vodka slushies; wiffle ball and cornhole ; crawfish boiled with sausage, potatoes, corn, and brussel sprouts; the headlining 75 lb pig roast (swine and bourbon, ballin’); an acoustic performance around the fire pit; girls vs boys flip cups, beer pong, and a kicked keg in the garage; drunken “game” of basketball in the driveway; a dozen 30-year-olds passed out on every available bed, couch, and air mattress in the joint; and finally, way too many quotable statements to count…although I’m sure we’ll be using them for years to come.

“That shit cray. We did it, YOU GUYS!”


Unplugging

22 Jun

Well kids, I’m in a car Poconos-bound for the weekend ready to catch some sun, enjoy vodka slushies, witness my first pig roast, play cornhole, catch up on sleep, chill with friends, try crawfish for the first time, and UNPLUG.

As one of my fellow travelers put it: “We’re going to PA, you guys!!”

Catch you all when I get back!

Summer Bucket List

20 Jun

Today’s first day of summer brought back our unusually warm spring weather with a vengeance.  Ninety-seven in the city might as well be 197 degrees!  Well, what better way to ring in the summer solstice than with my official 2012 Summer Bucket List!

With just under 14 weeks until the autumn equinox is upon us (I know, I know; don’t say that!), here are 20 things you’ll catch me doing this summer:

  • Walking through clouds on the MET’s Cantor Roof Garden – Tomas Saraceno’s Cloud City.
  • Riding coasters at Six Flags.
  • Pig roastin’ and crawfish boilin’ in Poconos.
  • Watching a classic at Bryant Park’s Summer Film Festival.
  • Enjoying comped cocktails at the Le Caprice and The Pierre.
  • Kayaking in Shelter Island.
  • Taking in the Public Art Fund’s Common Ground or How I Roll outdoor exhibits.
  • Walking the Brooklyn Bridge (for mom!)
  • Movie hopping on a rainy day.
  • Participating in summer BBQ shenanigans in Hopewell Junction.
  • Co-organizing my agency’s family and friends “fun run” for charity.
  • Renting bikes on Governors Island and visiting the Interactive Sculpture Park.
  • Pulling a Saturday and/or Sunday Funday on the waterfront.  So many options, so little time…
  • Checking out Pet Sounds, the interactive mixed-media installation at Madison Square Park.
  • Dipping my big toe in the ocean.  Between naps on the beach.
  • Celebrating “Good Beer Month” – aka July.  Repeatedly.
  • Partying on a roof deck with friends over infused vodkas and fireworks.
  • Taking in a Yankees AND a Mets game.
  • Getting on a boat.  Any way possible.
  • Something spontaneous!

What’s on your list?!  Happy Summer Solstice!

Five lessons from my father

17 Jun

Whether he intended them to be lessons or not, they were.  Thank you for these five early-life lessons, and all those that followed, Dad.

There will be plenty of time to date.  Hence, the no-dating-until-you’re-16 rule.  (Let’s be honest, maybe it should have been 29…)  Similar to wearing makeup or having boys in my bedroom, I grew up in a house with age-appropriate rules that I may have disliked at the time, but in hindsight I am so grateful they existed.  There always would be (and continues to be) plenty of time for boys, dating, and heartache so thank god my parents didn’t allow me to let these things consume my early teenage years.

Play “lawyer” just as often as you play “house”, if not more.  As far back as I can remember, I played “work”- lawyer, CEO, anything that involved a desk, so-called files, and pretend pressing deadlines.  I knew what “EOD” meant by the age of 9.  Raised in an environment that valued education and achievement (without any of the undo pressure that made-for-TV movies are made of), there was never any doubt that my brother and I would find success after graduate school.  Professionally, at least!

Never hit your brother.  Don’t get me wrong.  We of course argued like hell, exchanged words my mother would disapprove of to this day, and shared looks that could absolutely have killed.  I’m pretty sure we also threw the nearest object within reach at each other’s heads once or twice…but ultimately we never hit each other.  Perhaps this is a contributing factor to the relationship we have today.  (And to the phase my brother had in our 20s when he regularly fake kicked my ass…)

Work your ass off but get it home in time for dinner.  Working in retail, it seems impossible that my father was home for dinner every night.  Accurate or not though, that’s how I remember it.  I suppose these memories are mixed with those of bringing dinner to the store he managed and eating together in his employees’ “break room.”  Regardless of how it actually went down, I had a working father who regularly made sure he had dinner with us.  Lucky for us at the time though, he was rarely the one to cook it!

Always look the person you’re talking to in the eye.  I can’t remember which significant other of which aunt or uncle the story was about but I remember being told this story at a relatively early age.  My grandmother “never trusted” this whoever-it-was-significant-other because he/she “wouldn’t look her in the eye.”  My grandmother couldn’t fathom why this person couldn’t keep eye contact with her…what could this person possibly be hiding?  I’m not sure, but for the record, I’ve had steller eye contact since 1989.

Happy Father’s Day to all the truly remarkable men out there, and especially my father!