Friday, December 23, 2005

Aunt Elizabeth

I'm an aunt! Now before those of you who know Joel get all freaked out, calm down, he only got a dog. But I prefer dogs to babies anyway, so I'm over the top excited about the new addition to my brother's life.

Alice is a very sweet and active 12 week old pitbull. Here she is half asleep on the super cozy blanket I made for my mother a few years ago. She's absolutely gorgeous and I'm in love with her already, even though I only met her yesterday. I want a puppy so much, but I'll have to live vicariously through Joel for now.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sweet Potato Party

Well kids, it's been an interesting week cooped up in the house writing my papers. My cold is much better, I haven't been smoking...as much. I turned in two papers on Monday of this week, and have been working on my last one steadily since then. Well, after a short breakdown on Monday morning. But I fixed that one with the Big Bag of peanut M & M's from CVS. Anyway, a lot has happened, so let's recap.

We had our first snow here in Philadelphia, and since I've been so wrapped up in myself and ignoring the blog lately, we've actually had our second snow too.

I bought a big bag of sweet potatoes the last time I was at Trader Joes, so Andy marinated and grilled a nice flank steak, and I made mashed sweet potatoes. For those that turn their noses up at sweet potatoes, this is the recipe to turn you around. I know this to be true, because it happened to me. The thought of that sticky syrupy marshmallowy gross casserole people make around Thanksgiving time makes me want, well, you know. But my friend Jon made these once for me, and I've been hooked ever since. All you do is smash a few cloves of garlic and throw it in some melted butter on low with some fresh rosemary. Let is sit, you know, a while. Then strain. Peel your potatoes, cut them in to chunks and boil until tender. Drain the potatoes and put them back in the hot pot, add the rosemary garlic butter and serve hot. They're anything but sweet, but incredibly delicious!

We had leftover potatoes, so the next day we sauteed some bell peppers and onions, added the leftover sweet potatoes, some stock and a little tofu, and made this fabulous sauce!

Here is the dish up close. Looks yummy, huh?

We added a little cooked penne to make it substantive. We thought of this dish in about 5 minutes and had mediocre hopes for it, but damn, it was soooo good! I'd make it again.

And of course, everyone's favorite fuel for studying...Brownies. No joke, the 884 collective has consumed two pans of brownies in the past 6 days. Sheeot.

It's one, I'm going to bed.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Thanksgiving

This was the very first Thanksgiving in my entire life that I did not spend with my family. And you know what? It was okay. Not nearly as traumatic as I thought it was going to be. The first year I lived in Philly, my parents came out here and we drove to NH. Last year, I flew back to Omaha. Every year in college I made it home and brought friends to the frozen tundra of Nebraska. But this year my parents drove out to Colorado to see Joel, freeing me to spend my favorite holiday with friends here. My roommates went to their respective homes, so it was just Steph and I stuck in the neighborhood.

Luckily, Rae invited us to her house.

Here is Rae's daughter's dog, Heidi, wearing her sweater. Normally, I'm opposed to dressing dogs, they have natural coats, and they just plain look silly in clothes. But Heidi loves her sweater! She'll growl at you if you try to take it off. Look how gorgeous!!

Speaking of gorgeous, look at all the fantastic Thanksgiving food we ate! Awesome. This is exactly the reason why I love Thanksgiving! It's a holiday devoted to gluttony. We had mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, green beans, brussel sprouts, turkey, unturkey, stuffing, and homemade rolls.

Speaking of gluttony...look at my plate. Oh dear...and you know what, I ate it all!

You may be saying, "Unturkey"? WTF? Well, Steph is a veggie head, so an unturkey, complete with soy skin and mushroom gravy was a must.

And Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without desserts! Here is the first table of cheescake, lemon pie, pumpkin pie and Rae's famous Cinnamon Chocolate Cake. Yes!
And if you were reading carefully, you'd know there in fact was a second table of desserts. Here is the Apple Pie which I love, even though I hate apples, and of course, pumpkin roll. I made the pumpkin roll, it's my favorite Thanksgiving dessert. I used my mother's recipe, but she makes it better. Maybe I just missed her...