Archive | November, 2012


30 Nov

Just in case you missed it:


Pinned it Tuesday: adult grilled cheese sandwich

27 Nov

Let’s be clear on one thing: I have never met a grilled cheese sandwich that I didn’t like.  So it that interest, taaaada!

adult grilled cheese

Adult Grilled Cheese Sandwich

  • 2 slices of bread, preferably something fun… like Rosemary Sourdough or Rustic French
  • Spreadable butter
  • Goat cheese
  • Tomato (combo of red & yellow are fun)
  • Arugula leaves
  • Prosciutto slices (or thin sliced ham)
  • Havarti cheese (can sub another type, if desired)

Directions: Spread butter on bread slices.  Turnover and spread the other side of one slice with goat cheese.  Heat skillet and place goat cheese slice butter-side-down in pan.  Layer tomato, arugula, prosciutto and havarti on top of the goat cheese. Top with 2nd slice of bread, butter-side-up).  Cover, and heat sandwich on low until lightly browned. Carefully flip and toast the other side.  Remove to cutting board. Let sit for a couple of minutes, then cut with a serrated knife and serve immediately.

Just a note that I skipped the arugula.  I find warm leafy greens revolting (yes, I feel that strongly about it).  Also, because I’m your friend, I’ll share a piece of advice with you: eat this alone!  It’s a (royal, delicious) mess…I was so glad no one was watching me devour it…

(original recipe here)

Happy 30th Birthday, Bro!

26 Nov

Today officially marks 30 years of memories, adventures, friendship, advice, encouragement, plots against our parents, and yes, a bit of sibling rivalry (I’m sorry that I almost pushed your bassinet…with you in it…down the stairs 29 years, 11 months, two weeks ago. I really thought you were a toy!)

Happy 30th Birthday, Bro!

kate and teej

What I am grateful for this year 3.0

22 Nov


In looking at my posts of Thanksgivings past, there has been a clear theme in my turkey day musings.  Two years ago, I was so damn thankful that I hadn’t married the wrong person only weeks earlier.  I was thankful for those who had gotten me through the worst experience of my life, and I was beginning to be thankful that perhaps I was coming into a place that was nothing less than exactly where I was supposed to be.  Last year I was thankful that I wasn’t thankful solely for just getting through my broken engagement.  I was thankful for putting the previous year behind me and embracing new opportunities as novel experiences of my choosing, all of which were invigorating steps forward.

In my third Thanksgiving post, 3.0 for lack of a better title, I am thankful that that for which I am thankful is independent of anything related to what now feels like something that happened a lifetime ago.  I’m thankful that it felt odd to type “engagement” and “married” just now.  Because rarely do I write about it, its influence having long ago expired.  So for year “3.0”, here are three things I am happy for in my life.  Not a life I was forced to create for myself because of what happened, and not a life I created simply because I had no other choice.  No, these three things are simply things I am thankful for in life.

Friendships, both old and new.  I have the greatest friends in the world, and that is something that will never change.  But I found myself discouraged by this article when I read it; that it gets increasingly difficult to make friends once you hit 30, and that these friends are what the article refers to as situational, or “K.O.F.’s (kind of friends).”  Fortunately for me though, through professional networking and then a mutual friend, I’ve been lucky enough in the past year to build two really strong friendships.  While the first came as a result of shared careers in the same industry, apartments within spitting distance of each other, and identical relationship statuses (read: single), the other was grounded in a shared attraction, impossible schedules, and eventually admitting maybe there was a little something more to our friendship.  Regardless of how they started, I’m incredibly grateful that both turned into much more than simple K. O. F.’s.

Having the week off.  No, seriously.  I’m pretty sure my hair is falling out.  And that my dependency on wine is at all-time high.  I haven’t been able to sleep, and the little bit of sleep that I do get is plagued by weird dreams and nightmares.  I’m either prematurely aging or holding enormous amounts of tension in my back, neck, and shoulders.  And I clearly have either ulcers or a parasite because I’m in a constant state of nausea.  Despite a rocky start to my week off (I was at the office all day Saturday),  I haven’t done anything more taxing than enjoy a boozy brunch, watch football, nap, make out with a boy, catch up on Tivo, experiment  in the kitchen, grab drinks with friends, and yes, eventually find my bedroom floor.  I’m sure I’ll be stressed out again by noon on Monday but for now I’ll take exactly what I have coming to me: three more days off.

Figuring it out.  I think.  You can only think about something for so long before you’re forced to accept that you most likely will implode if you don’t at least try. And while that something can simultaneously be exhilarating, inspiring, bold, terrifying, and bizarre, it’s most importantly essential.  But that’s another story for another day.

Pinned it Tuesday: pseudo-Thanksgiving

20 Nov

Pinned it Tuesday has been on hiatus following a bit of chaos in both my personal and professional life.  In getting back on track though, this post was inspired by three things: first, my mouth was watering when my mom told me about the early Thanksgiving dinner she was preparing; second, I wouldn’t know how to cook a turkey if my life depended on it; and third, I finally have some free time this week.  (I have the week off from work in case you hadn’t heard…)

So first my mouth watered when my mom told me about the meal she was preparing for her side of the family…although her descriptions also made me sweat.  It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that cooking large meals, or really any meal that requires more than one pan, stresses me out.  Preparing huge holiday meals then is clearly something I stay away from.  At family holiday gatherings I can usually be found in the living room with my brother and uncles, watching football, drinking beers, thwarting any sort of kitchen- or meal-related responsibility.  Sure, I duck my head into the kitchen a few times and offer to help – because I know that’s what I’m supposed to do – but everyone knows my culinary specialty lies in pouring cocktails.

This fear of cooking with more than one pan coupled with the fact that I live a very single life in Manhattan, means I’ve never actually cooked a large, organized meal in my life.  Let alone Thanksgiving dinner.  Who knows what on earth I was thinking but before I knew it, I had convinced myself that attempting to cook a small turkey would make a great blog post.  But what’s a turkey without the sides?!


Because every meal, or attempt to cook a meal, clearly should start with a cocktail (and who needs cranberry sauce when you can have cranberries with vodka), I started here:

vodka spritzer

 Cranberry Vodka Spritzer

  • About 1 and 1/2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 and 1/2 oz vodka, per drink
  • Lime, cut into wedges
  • Club soda
  • Ice

Directions: Put about 1 1/2 cups of cranberries in a blender.  Add 2 tbsp honey and about 1/4 cup water.  Blend until a puree forms, adding more water if necessary.  Pour into a bowl.  For each cocktail, add ice to a cocktail glass, then add 1 1/2 oz vodka and two tbsp cranberry puree.  Top off with club soda and squeeze a lime wedge into glass.  Stir gently to combine.  (original recipe here)


 Simple Butternut Squash Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 lb butternut squash
  • 1 medium boiling potato
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper (or white pepper, if you have it)
  • Sour cream and fresh dill, to garnish

Directions: Prepare the ingredients: thinly slice the shallots; peel the butternut squash; scoop out the seeds and chop into 1 inch pieces; peel the potato and cut into 1 inch pieces.  In a saucepan over low heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil and the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are translucent (5 to 10 minutes).  Add the squash, potato, bay leaf, a few pinch of kosher salt, and 3 cups of water. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a steady simmer. Cook about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender.  Remove the bay leaf and let the soup cool slightly. Then puree the soup using an immersion blender (if you have one, or remove it from the pot and use a blender). Let the soup cool a bit more; it will thicken a bit and become creamy. Taste and add kosher salt and pepper to taste (we added about 1 teaspoon kosher salt). Use white pepper if you have it and want to preserve the pure look of the soup (if you don’t mind the black flecks, use black pepper!).  Serve garnished with sour cream and fresh dill, or other garnishes as desired.  (original recipe here)


 Roasted Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts (about 2 cups), ends trimmed and yellow leaves removed
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place the trimmed brussels sprouts in a baking dish (I used an oval shaped baking dish but you can use any shaped baking dishes). Coat the brussels sprouts in garlic olive oil (or use plain olive oil if you want and add about 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic powder) and balsamic vinegar.  Add the salt and pepper and toss them all together to mix well.  Bake for about 35-40 minutes, shaking pan every 5-7 minutes for even browning. Brussels sprouts should be dark brown when done. Serve warm.  (original recipe here)


Mom’s Stuffing

There is absolutely nothing fancy about my mom’s stuffing but it is BY FAR my favorite “side” on the planet!

  • Two cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1 cup onion, very finely diced
  • 1 cup of celery, very finely diced
  • Poultry seasoning
  • One loaf white or wheat bread, cubed

Directions: Heat chicken stock and butter in saucepan on medium-low heat.  Once butter has melted, add very finely diced onion and celery to soften.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Cube each slice of bread in 12-16 pieces.  Season cubed bread generously with poultry seasoning.  Pour stock/butter mixture over bread, mix well to make sure none of the bread is dry.  Either stuff in turkey, or bake alone on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes to heat.

And then for the so-called main event…Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter and Roasted Shallots

Here’s the recipe I was going for.  Although it technically didn’t happen…at all:

1. Can I please just explain how difficult it is to find a turkey that weighs less than 20 pounds at Thanksgiving time?  Impossible.  Apparently not everything is Manhattan-sized in this city.  Instead I grabbed a 5 lb turkey breast, which is still way too big for one person, and called it a day.

2. Duh, of course this recipe wasn’t going to work on a turkey breast.  Even I know that you can’t “roast” a turkey breast for hours on end (right..?).  I should have immediately plotted a new course of action when I couldn’t get my hands on an actual turkey.  (That, and if I’m honest with myself, I had to google “basting”…)

3. Similar the great broccoli realization of 2012, I just don’t like turkey.  I try to but I don’t.   Turkey is the new chicken.

So maybe this little “experiment” of mine didn’t work out exactly as planned but I’m a total appetizers/sides gal, so I was more than happy to enjoy several meals of butternut squash soup, roasted brussels sprouts, and mom’s stuffing.  (There obviously weren’t any leftover cocktails!)  I kept the turkey breast in my fridge for a few days, hoping I’d change my mind and give it a second try, but it ultimately met its final demise in the garbage chute of my apartment building.  Lesson learned.  I’m petitioning for lobster next year!

Out of office biotches!

18 Nov

I think I worked a zillion hours last week but that’s all in my rear view mirror.  Because guess who has the entire week off??!!!

You’re right.  I’m bragging.  I’ll dial it back a bit…

I’m surrounded by psychos

17 Nov

No, really.

  • Brother: #6
  • Mother: #10
  • Father: #4
  • Roommate: #2
  • Boy I’m having sleepovers with: #9