Friday, December 31, 2010

Snuggie! or Slanket? the Reavaxer?

I am so crafty. Well. Not really. I had my first sewing lesson and my instructor discovered that I needed some serious remediation. I learned words like selvage and baste (which has nothing to do with meat or an oven). And in the end I made a bright orange Snuggie-like thing.

Before we take a quick and fascinating tour through my Snuggie making, we need to come up with a name that is not copyrighted. My mom came up with two possibilities. The Reavaxer is one, but it kind of reminds me of this. The other option -- I don't really even remember it, but I didn't care for it. Sorry, Ma. Anyway, let me know if you come up with a good name for my orange Snuggie.

OK, let us begin.

This is a "Comfy Blanket" pattern. Note how the pictures highlight the awesome pocket.

I think my instructor is pointing out the fact that this is one long-ass pattern.

That larger rectangle is for the foot pocket. Yes, friends, there is a foot pocket.

Threading my mini-sewing machine with bright orange thread.

Pinning the regular pocket.

An unhemmed, sleeveless, pocketless Snuggie.

There's so much fabric! I rolled it up so I could sew in the middle.

Look at that line! My instructor gave me an "A" for that.

And here is my finished Snuggie! I always wanted to be an orange monk. Note, of course, the front pocket. I should mention that the directions said this was an hour-long project. Even with the help of my instructor, who pinned various things & helped me cut, it took me between 5 & 6 hours to make my monk suit.

But look! You can watch TV! (Note again the use of the pocket.)

Or you can read! Whatever you do, you will be so happy in your monk suit.

You can put just about anything in your monk suit. Your head, for example, fits nicely into a sleeve.

But that pocket. Oh that pocket! What things can go in that pocket. A wee dog, perhaps?

Tissues have a safe and handy home inside the pocket.

Mikey the Monkey loves the Snuggie Pocket!

Look, you can even fit two people & a dog in your Snuggie. Of course, at this point, you may be overwhelmed by the paparazzi taking your glamorous monk suit picture. Then you look like this:


After all that hard work, student, instructor, and helper dogs are all pooped out. The End.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Dinner - Pt. 1

"Do as I say, or I will cut you."

"I have crazy eyes. I wouldn't mess with me."

There was a great and bloody battle, and only one was left standing.

No, no. Of course I'm kidding. That's just pomegranate juice, sillies. However, let this very short tale be a lesson for you. Pomegranates are messy. Don't wear nice clothes if you use them.

OK, onto the recipe: Spinach Pomegranate Salad

  • 1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts (optional)
  • 1 pomegranate
  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil


1. Cut your pomegranate in half. Inside, it will look like this:
It's good to separate the seeds in a sink or bowl of water. The white pith will float to the top & you can scoop it all away. If you use a bowl, you can dump the seeds in a strainer. Scooping them out of the sink was easy as well.

A pretty bowl of pomegranate seeds.

2. Mix the last 4 ingredients to taste to make a vinaigrette.

3. Assemble the salad, sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top & sprinkle with the dressing.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spanish Fried Eggs

I'm certain these are bad for your heart, even if the oil is olive oil. But, a friend made them for me, and they are most tasty.


extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish
1 egg per person
coarse sea salt, preferably Maldon
toasted bread (optional, but highly encouraged)


Pour enough oil in non-stick pan to come to a depth of about 1⁄4-inch. Turn flame to medium-high and heat until nearly smoking. Break the egg into the pan without breaking the yolk (or, if you're the cautious type, break it into a saucer or teacup first, and then slip it into the pan). Quickly turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for no more than a minute, all the while using a metal spoon to baste the top of the egg with the hot oil from the pan. The white will puff up and get a bit crunchy and golden on the sides and the yolk will remain gloriously runny. Use a slotted spoon to lift the egg out of the pan and shake off any excess oil. Plop your egg onto your plate or toast, sprinkle with salt (and freshly ground pepper if you like), and imagine yourself at an outside terrazza somewhere in Spain on a warm sunny day.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Snowflake

Our blog is clearly dead, but I won't let that stop me. I made this giant snowflake and thought I'd share it. It's really easy to make -- here are the instructions.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze

I have made this vegetable meatloaf with balsamic glaze several times and really liked it. I always forget to take a picture so I had to take one off the food network site. I keep telling Meli to make it so here is the link :)

Hot Tamales!

These weren't really that hot, but I thought it made for a good title. I used recipes as guidelines, but didn't really follow any recipe exactly and made lots of substitutions. I really liked the Tamales and wrapping them in the corn husk was fun. It was like a food present. I will post the links to the recipes.

The Tamales

I used this as a general guideline because I didn't really know the procedure for making tamales. I didn't use rotisserie chicken, but just baked some chicken and then shredded it (I guess that is kind of the same thing). I didn't put in peas or olives, but instead I sauteed some green peppers, onions, corn and added roasted red and poblano pepper. And I probably used more cheese than it called for, cheese makes everything better. I also made my own green salsa which was delicious in the tamales :)

The Green Salsa

I liked this recipe. I didn't have serrano chiles so I used the poblano chile. I also roasted half of the onion.

I would make these again. They were really good and not that hard to make once I figured everything out. I also have like 25 corn husks leftover.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I made another necklace.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Top Chef Take That: Pesto Meatballs Spaghetti

Hi... I have no pictures of my own, as I don't have a working camera and laptop, but I made spaghetti with a twist last night and I wanted to share because it was pretty good. I had some leftover pesto from a delicious pesto spinach tomato pasta, and decided to add it to Stephie's mom's meatballs that I love so much. I didn't have much pesto left, so I only added about 2 spoonfuls, but it was enough to add a slight pesto taste to the meatballs. I will do it again for sure, and maybe add 4 spoonfuls to give it a more noticeable pesto kick. I did it with marinara sauce, but I think of the meatballs have enough pesto flavor they would taste good with a light Alfredo sauce or even olive oil and Parmesan. The meatballs had pesto, garlic, shredded Parmesan, egg, and bread crumbs. I also rolled them in breadcrumbs like we do.

As I was making it I remembered the frozen food task on a season of Top Chef. One of the groups made a pesto meatball pasta dish.. the judges thought it was weird to put pesto in a warm dish with meat, but we gracewood fans disagreed. I wanted to try pesto meatballs since watching that show several years ago. Here is a picture of Kasey and Dale discussing their pesto meatball dish.

Friday, July 16, 2010


The Final Day.

I decided to post this all by myself. Nobody (Rachael) reminded me to do it. 27 times.

The first morning we started with a more traditional breakfast. Coffee and a bagel, not Thai Curry.

We spent most of the day driving. But we did manage a trip to Greektown. We had cheese that was on fire (I don't remember the fancy name). I didn't get it the first time when our waiter brought ours out so we had to take a picture of our neighbor's appetizers being presented to them.

Pictures of our delicious Greek food.


Day 3

We began our day with leftover Chicago style pizza for breakfast. I have to say it was better than the cold Thai Curry that I had for breakfast the day before. Much better. This picture depicts what happens when you eat too much Chicago style pizza.

We had a photo shoot in front of the bean. This is our best jumping picture :)

More photos from Millennium Park. Rachael makes a pretty convincing dinosaur.

We forgot to take pictures of us in Chinatown and our 5 hour shopping trip. We did however manage to take pictures on the L on the way to Chinatown and shopping.

Fireworks! We didn't make it to Navy Pier but had a pretty good spot.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chicago Interlude

Look, I made a necklace.


Day 2, Part 1 of Chicago

We got up bright and early (going by Estephania's time) and headed to the Art Institute of Chicago. We took some time out from our cultural edification to take goofy pictures in the Modern Wing.

We capped our cultural experience by being materialistic Americans. There was a sale--what can I say?

The awesomeness of this picture probably makes it difficult to read the card. It is a Frontera Grill business card. Rick Bayless' restuarant! I love Rick Bayless. I heard he's a regular reader of this blog. We love you, Rick!

For appetizer, we had queso. It was delicious melted cheese with grilled onions and chorizo. Scrumptious. (It's almost as good as when I melt the Kraft Mexican Blend over Tostitos in the microwave.)

Lindsay and I split an appetizer platter. On the left are two gooey quesadillas. Going clockwise, we have some sort of chicken taco-like thing, chips, guacamole, and ceviche. In the middle is a jicama salad. I loved it all. Lindsay did not care for the ceviche.

Steff got this, but I can't remember the name. Starting at the left, we have scrambled eggs, plantains, and chicken in a mole sauce. It was all so good!


Day 1, Part 2 of Chicago

On our way back from Taste, Lindsay tries to take a jumping picture. Fail, Lindsay, fail.

She's better in front of the camera than behind it.

We went to a bar, got drunk (from one, overpriced drink), looked stunned, and snapped a picture. The third blogger wasn't invited, because she stopped blogging. We're punishing her.

Hey, remember how this is a food blog? Well, here's some food! We went to a restaurant in Wicker Park called Thai Lagoon. Steff got the yellow curry, because I asked her nicely. (I wanted the pad thai.) She even got it mild for me. It was yummy, but my mouth was aflame.

I ordered my pad thai "as bland as possible." The waiter kind of sneered and said, "Well, we call it no spice, as bland would suggest no taste." But I forgive him, because he has watched Kate & Allie and didn't act like it was a weird thing to ask of him. My companions hadn't even heard of it.