Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween, baby!

Friday night I went to Mary's to help her decorate for her party. Starting with this perfect specimen, it was hard not to carve a B E A utiful pumpkin.

Mary picked out the design, since she was having a party, this pattern was a logical choice. I think it came out wonderfully.

Every year I grossly underestimate the amount of time it takes to craft a pumpkin. Here's Mary a few hours into the project, just starting to cut pieces out.

Not to mention the amount of time it takes to enter and then thoroughly scrape the guts out.

But this step might be the most important, because when you harvest the seeds, you know you're going to have a tasty treat for later.

See! Look at the tasty treat! I rinsed the pumpkin seeds with water and then put on a little oil, a lot of sea salt and a touch of black pepper, stir, spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and you've got some good eats.

All the decorating, pumpkin madness and crepe paper must have gone to Mary's head, because without warning, she attacked Stephanie! It's hard to tell whether Steph is just making a fun face or whether she is actually a little scared of Mary. I think the latter, but who knows?


Friday, October 28, 2005

Le Mutt

I went to Whole Foods and halibut was on sale, and it was pretty and fresh, so I bought a pound. Once home, I wondered, what will I make for dinner with a pound of halibut? A few weeks prior, Andy made some killer fish tacos, so we decided to repeat the experience. He used talapia last time, but we were sures the halibut would make a suitable substitute.

Andy broiled the fish (eek, scary broiler!) after rubbing with olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon and garlic. He then flaked it into a hot skillet where he'd carmelized some onions.

Meanwhile I chopped some avocado, diced some red onion, shredded some lettuce and seeded a tomato as condiments and brought out the indisputed kin of hot sauces. I also made Steph's famous black beans, slightly mashed with a few crumbles of gorgonzola cheese. Sounds a little crazy, but it is sooooooo good!

Here's the final spread, what do you think?

Here's how much I'm enjoying taco#2 in my pink angora sweater. Brad just promised to take me "the pink taco" in Vegas. I hope they have shirts for sale. I'd just give my right arm if I could get Alison and Steph matching shirts that say something like "Everyone loves a Pink Taco".

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Alison loves the steelers, so her friend Lindsey intricately carved the steelers logo into this pumpkin. I was impressed until the pumpkin started smelling up the house. So now it's proudly displayed in the sun room. Mary and I made Alison have a mini birthday celebration on Saturday night. Mary got Alison two pink sweaters from the Gap, because all Alison wears is brown and black, and frankly, Mary has a problem with that.
I got Alison some hair care products from Jonathan. If you don't know, Jonathan is the genius behind "Blowout" on Bravo, and Alison loves him and his product line because he is "so dramatic" and cries when he's happy. Alison had been at the Gulp and Gory all day long, so after the mini birthday celebration she needed to lay down and found a nice pillow in Mary.

Happy Birthday Alison!

Monday, October 24, 2005

My Bed is for Sleeping

It's raining. I swear, it's been raining since I got back from Minnesota a few weeks ago.

The weekend was dramatic. Lots of drinking (It was Alison's birthday weekend).

Friday I went to Westy's after drinking beer and eating pizza over at Steph's place. Katie Ley and her boyfriend, Joe, met up with us at Westy's. They were partying downtown and were annoyed by the crowds, so Westy's was like a haven. These two are from Wisconsin after all.

Sunday night, Kim, Andy and I found ourselves hungry after celebrating Alison's birthday at the B&W, so we whipped up some shrimp scampi.

Here I am, chopping cilantro. We realize that traditional scampi has fresh parsely in it, but all we had was cilantro, so we figured a good fresh herb was better than no herb at all, and it was delicious!

Andy added the shrimp at precisely the right moment to ensure full cooking without over doing it. No body likes chewy shrimp, and these were just perfect.

Kim was playing photographer that night, and look at this action shot. The cheese is leaping out of the container into the hot pasta and she captured the moment wonderfully.

We also had garlic bread. A nice piece of ciabatta, cut lengthwise, slathered with butter, cilantro, garlic and red pepper flakes. We timed this totally wrong, and were nearly done with the pasta by the time the bread was ready, but we didn't care all that much. It was still tasty. And look how Kim's shirt matches the kitchen!
Finished product in a pretty blue bowl. In the background you can also see the purple frosted cupcakes I made for Alison's birthday. Yes, I had two directly following our meal.
This meal was amazingly easy and quick to put together, start to finish, I'd say about 5 minutes longer than it took to boil the pasta. I think next time I'd like it was maybe some fresh spinach tossed in a the very end and some mushrooms, maybe portabellas. Yummy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I love Food TV

Yeah, this is what I had for dinner the other night, homemade french onion soup and steak and arugla sandwich.

Here's Stephanie enjoying the veggie version of the sandwich. The rest of us had thin slices of marinated flank steak, but steph doesn't eat cow, so we grilled her up a veggie burger and slapped it on there instead.

This sandwich was killer. Blue chesse dressing made with fresh cheese and sourcream, fresh spicy arugala, a nice tomato, what else could you want?

Kim was a champ in the kitchen that night. I kept dropping stuff and was afraid of the over, but she was the Iron Chef of 884 Saturday night.

Here you can see the beginnings of the sandwhich. I sliced a french baguette in half lengthwise (without cutting myself!) and then started layering!

Kim was the brainchild behind this fabulous pieces of puff pastry and spinach heaven! Look how good!

It was impossible to follow the recipe for this soup, they said not to stir, but who could resist? And it still tasted great.

Yummy, steaming up my camera.

We let Andy do the "manly" things, like grill (because I'm afraid of the barbecue) and then use the big knife to slice the steak.

And yes, I'm afriad of the broiler too (it's under the oven, never seen that before, and seems too damn close to the floor to be safe)so Kim took on the responsibility for me.

Yes, we saw most of this food prepared on a FoodTV show the day before and decided to quit whining about it and just go make it. I'm so glad we did. It's not like boiling two kilos of pasta for 13 people, but it was quite a thing.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Visible Hand

If you've never treated yourself to a pedicure, stop what you're doing and go get one right now. Heaven in a salon, let me tell you. I saw Toni getting one last Friday and it only took about two seconds for the salon lady to talk me in to an early morning appointment the next day. And look how cute my toes were and are still! Color : My Throne for a Cranberry Scone. What a name, but it matched my top at the wedding perfectly.

So, about the wedding. It was awesome! I had never really been to a wedding before, so I was pretty excited not only to see Toni make this huge and special commitment, but also to experience the ceremony and ritual associated with this particular social institution. Catholic Church is cool, lots of sitting then standing, then sitting, then standing. There were some little girls sitting two pews in front of me that I wanted to backhand and their parents even more so for doing absolutely nothing to shut their kids up or make them behave. So rude.

Cherith, her sister Sarah, and I shared a hotel room and had quite the time setting up place cards and doing the tango.

Thank goodness Cherith sidelines as a plumber, because she saved us from maintenance man hell at the hotel. How hot is this picture? Damn.

The wedding was beautiful and dinner was great, especially the cake. And the rest of the night was for real,

I danced all night, got really hot and sweaty and enjoyed myself more than I have in a long time.

I also was so happy to see some women from Delta Psi Delta. Beth, Dana and Erin were close enough to come to Toni’s wedding too, and we did a lot of laughing and remembering and catching up. It had been over two years since I had seen any of these women, and after a short visit, I realize I want to see them more! I hope it happens again soon.

E, Cherith & Toni @ the Knorr's house.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Fall has arrived. I like it. It smells nice.

Toni's wedding was an absolute blast! Best.formal.ever.

Here's my favorite picture, with a promise of more to come.

And thanks to those who gave suggestions for magazines, they really were helpful!


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sexy Plexy

Okay, I'm doing a kinda fun piece of research this semester on the way sexual dysfunction remedies are advertised, but I'm having a little trouble coming up with a sample population of magazines to focus on. So, I need some suggestions, does anyone get or read a magazine where they have noticed advertisements for sexual dysfunction cures? I'm talking Viagra, Cialis, Avlimil, theEuros, or even the "magic" lube ads that claim to help with sex? If you pass on some names of magazines I'll really appreciate it. The only magazine I really ever read is The New Yorker, and it's devoid of said advertisements.

Please help.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Thirty years of making out

So much has happened and I have so much homework to avoid I'm going to blurt it out here with photo evidence.

Friday afternoon I drove to Penn over on Chestnut to pick up Katie Ley! Now, Katie and I worked together for two summers up in Eagle River at Trees for Tomorrow as Upward Bound counselors. But last summer she didn't return to camp and instead did research at UWEC, so I didn't get to see her. And this summer she did return to camp, but I was here teaching full time, so I hadn't seen her in over two years, until this Friday. She's in a master's program at Penn for Statistics, and she's living in the graduate dorm, but can't cook or anything, so I picked her up and took her to the Collar. We sat on the Fairmount side and I was explaining to Katie how the Fairmount area was like a small town within Philly and as if on cue, Stephanie drove by and hopped out to have a few beers and then Sue walked down the street with friends from work, so it turned in to an informal happy hour.

We went to Stone's, then went back to my house and got ready for our cocktail party!
Alison and I had a tough week, so we decided to celebrate and she bought a bunch of booze and I bought food and beer and we had a small get together. A good time was had by all, and everyone loved Katie, and she seemed to have a good time, so it was nice.

Alison then passed out. So I took Donal and Katie down to Krupa's for a few more beers.

We put Katie in a cab home, then Donal and I went back home and Steph showed up. More good times, and I made some late night, high carb, awesome drunk food, and we all went to bed.

Saturday was the flea market at Eastern State Penitentiary so I dragged Donal and found a few neat things. First was this little box. Some of you know of my obsession with boxes that a capable of putting things in. I literally have like 20 or so boxes hold stuff and I love each and every one. So here's my newest box, it's shiny and pretty and it was only $1.

I also purchased this hand painted light switch plate, because frankly, they're ugly unless you do something to them, and this one is awesome and pink. I love it.

Then J & P came over and we played scrabble. Despite P opening up with a bingo, "ULTERIOR", I won the game, but only because P got stuck with the Q on the last pull.

Later we went to eat at The Continental in Olde City and it was Amazing! Yes, with a capital 'a'. It's like a tapas place, only not everything is Spanish tapas.

We started with the Calamari Salad and the potato sticks with Chinese mustard sauce and the crab dumplings in green curry. Potato dish not pictured, sorry!

We inhaled that quickly, so we ordered the Shrimp Scampi and the Thai noodles, my two favorite dishes of the night.

I also had a pretty blue girly drink called the "Thai Phoon". Phenomenal!

After rolling out of the restaurant, we took a nice long walk up market street from 2nd to 13th and hit Tavern on Camac. This bar is out of control. It's a piano bar, it's a restaurant, it's a club bar. Not all in one, in three sections, so you can move in between a rendition of "Downtown" and a club mix of "Unchained Melody" merely by going up or down a flight of stairs. Poor Donal, the men upstairs dancing without their shirts on frightened him a little. And it was so hot I couldn't drink or even smoke, I felt like was going to pass out, so we came back home to wind down. J & P headed home, and Donal and I fell asleep while watching Foxfire.

This morning Donal and I made pancakes, then he had to head back to Shrewsbury. I have about 20 papers to grade, about 100 pages of reading to go before I can write my paper for tomorrow, and about 200 more after that. So why am I still not working? I'd rather go bring a box of cookies to Mary in Manyunk as she finishes her first week of the Preliminary Exams. Eeek! This time next year I'll be equally busy and panicked.