verbicide: (Default)
Thank you guys so much for voting. the feedback was very helpful!!

My final menu is:

(I know. Can you tell I love Ina Garten?)

- Cheese platter/tapenade/marcona almonds/champagne-marinated grapes
- Mini steak and roasted veggie sandwiches on foccacia
- Roasted shrimp with chile dipping sauce
- Tomato goat cheese tarts
- Stuffed mushrooms (meat and meatless versions)
- Garden salad - roasted red pepper dressing, sunflower seeds, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes
- Dulce de Leches Brownies and I'm going to try an upside down pear cake. It's based on the Alton Brown upside down peach cake. But this time I'm going to try to do one cake instead of four minis and as always, I'm using pear instead of peach. If it's an epic fail, I'll have the brownies for sure!

And, if I can find mini popcorn boxes locally (it's too late to have them shipped) I was thinking it would be fun to make white cheddar popcorn and serve it in little boxes while we watch! Maybe if Pete and I decide to suck it up and go to see Benjamin Button on Saturday I can buy some from the theater.

And I've decided to give a bottle of wine as the prize, because I'm going to be doing so much cooking, I just don't want to deal with making another item. I figure, I foist my baking endeavors onto my friends often enough as it is!

As with anything trivial, it's fun to set a goal. I really wanted to see as many nominated films as I could.

More Oscar Tawk )
verbicide: (too much hair)
So you guys voted, and by a narrow, narrow margin the hors d'oeuvres won. It does seem to suit the occasion, so I'm happy with it!

I'm not sure it's enough, though. It's a small devoted group of film buffs, about 5-6 people. Here's the menu so far:

Cheese platter with tapenade, crostini, and champagne-marinated grapes
Steak or roasted veggie sliders with bleu cheese and caramelized onions
Individual tomato/goat cheese tarts
Roasted shrimp with chile-cocktail dipping sauce
A really good salad - undecided so far, but will include fruit/nuts/cheese
Mango mousse cake, unless I screw it up in which case I'll make something else

What do you think?

[Poll #1350898]

Also, I'm going to print ballots and want to have a prize for whoever gets the most right. Trying to decide what to give. A bottle of wine? Some homemade goodie? Another poll!

[Poll #1350899]
verbicide: (boom de yada!)
So today pretty much ruled, from start to finish.

I met Becky from my French class and we gabbed happily for about an hour. If I didn't have to meet Pete, we could have gone on longer. And except for a few desperate forays into English, we spoke French the entire time. We both have our own irritations with the class (I think Amina needs to stop berating us for stupid reasons; Becky gets annoyed with her somewhat condescending socialist bent--which she argues about inappropriately). I really like this woman. It was a great way to start the day and we're going to try to meet every weekend and maybe email for support during the week! She's a playwright and very cool! We kept cracking each other up!

Then I scurried home and Pete was just arriving at my front door. We went in for a few seconds and then had to hustle over to Ballard for Slumdog Millionaire. After the movie, we grabbed a bite at Matador, stopped by my house again for a few minutes, and then we left for Pacific Place to see Revolutionary Road. A quick stop for some dessert and then we headed back toward Greenwood. I'd asked Safeway to set aside some chicken wings, and there was some miscommunication and they were out. So we stopped by Greenwood Market and they had all the wings I needed--whew!

Pete came up to keep me company and I made the potato salad and dulce de leches brownies for tomorrow's party.

Speaking of which--I can't fucking believe it worked. I threw a can of sweetened condensed milk into my big stock pot and boiled the hell out of it for four hours (taking care to submerge it underneath 3-4 inches of water to prevent the can from exploding). And then it was time to go to Sarah's, so I didn't open the can until tonight. I'm so glad Pete was there because it was a moment to be shared. I opened the can slowly, somehow not believing that it was going to have worked--but it did! It was a can full of sweet, caramelized milk. It tasted fucking AWESOME!!! So, that is definitely happening again. Because--AWESOME!! Big shout out and thank you to [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin for introducing me to the concept!!

So easy. Who knew?? I wonder how long a boiled can will keep? Must research!!

home sick

Jan. 27th, 2009 02:41 pm
verbicide: (princess and the pea)
Bleh. I've been having more headaches lately, which hasn't been much fun. And last night a headache started that lasted through the night and has persisted through this afternoon. There's also some exciting fatigue and mucous to liven up my life. Jeff bought me some ginger ale last night which is keeping me sane today.

So, I'm home. Which is really good. I think things would have been dreadful if I'd tried to go to work. My hope is that enough hydration and ibuprofen will make it possible for me to go to French class tonight. I really don't feel I can afford to miss a class. I feel behind enough as it is.

I have no patience for being sick right now. Too much I want to do.

I'm throwing a small I Hate the Super Bowl party on Sunday. I don't really hate the Super Bowl, but I have zero interest in football. But any excuse to have people over to feed.

Besides, it's a good opportunity to try some new recipes—most of them are from Tyler Florence's Tailgate show. I love that guy.

So, I want to make:

- deviled eggs (because lately I've been craving them)
- roasted asparagus with garlic yogurt dip
- chicken wings with Thai red chili butter sauce (I thought I could fry up some tofu and toss it in the same sauce for Jeff/Pete.)
- grilled kielbasa (and veggie sausage) with dipping sauces
- some sort of rolls - homemade if I feel extra studly
- potato salad
- citrus-y granita sno-cones (served in dixie cups)
- Dulce de Leche brownies (David Lebovitz's recipe)

Pete got me this fun Wii game where you're a short order cook. I think it'd be a fun party game. And of course there's Wii sports. Or board games. I'm really looking forward to it. I think it'll be mostly low stress because all of the dishes are easy to make. I'm really excited to make dulce de leche. I was just introduced to the concept (boiling a can of condensed milk to caramelize it) by [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin and have been dying to try it!

I also can't stop obsessing about Paris. It's still just so damn far away!! I've been noting shops and restaurants and alternating between feeling giddy about going and terrified that some horrible thing will happen to keep me from going.

Okay, should go drink something and lie down. Mrh.
verbicide: (Default)
It started in the kitchen, and that's usually a good thing. Sarah stopped by in the early afternoon with a random awesome present (!). She saw this gorgeous photograph of a kitchen in Avignon, France, and decided to get it for me. The photographer is someone whose work Sarah (and I) love at a local shop in Ballard. We visited for awhile, I forced her to try random food bits, and then it was back to the kitchen for me and she left for home.

Jeff and I were lucky enough to have [livejournal.com profile] serenity_valley and [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin come to visit us for dinner. While I didn't post about it (because I wanted to surprise them) there were months of Fantasy Menu Planning and obsessing. Because they are both such lovely foodies and because [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin is a chef (and instructor at a culinary institute), I really wanted to do something special for them.

There were no full blown panic attacks, but I was a little, um, focused at points and I almost threw out the amuse 30 minutes before they were due to arrive because I wasn't sure it was going to work (Jeff convinced me to keep it). It was the only dish that I felt slightly obsessed about creating instead of stealing from a cookbook. The salad was also my own creation, but loosely based on this terrific salad Jeff once had at Crave. There was a second dessert course that flopped, so I eliminated it. And Jeff also obviously knows me a little too well, because when I'm preparing for a party, I tend to forget to eat all day. So when he went out to pick up a few things for me, he brought us back some lunch because he didn't want me to pass out before they arrived. I thought that was very sweet.

I was feeling extra bashful and because [livejournal.com profile] serenity_valley and [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin are such dear people who instantly make you comfortable, I forget that we've only had the chance to hang out a couple of times and that I am basically intensely shy. But the minute they walked through the door, I remembered why I like them so damn much. They are just wonderfulness personified. They came bearing gifts--three amazing loaves of homemade bread as well as a beautiful jar of finishing salt from The Meadow.

Le Menu et autre )
verbicide: (christmas!)
We got Jeff his first real Christmas tree today! Growing up, his fireman dad wouldn't let them have one! So we went to one of the local tree lots and bought a gorgeous Norwegian Spruce. We ran a whole mess of errands--grocery store and Fred Meyer for tree stuff. Jeff was extra sassy today which kept cracking me up.

We started the day at the Mad Greek in Ballard which has really terrific food. I'd forgotten how much I love their gyros. Jeff kept asking, "How did you find this place?" And his tone smacked of betrayal that I'd hidden it from him so long; that I would take him to Georgia's when I knew the Mad Greek existed. As we passed by Georgia's later on, Jeff shook his fist at them, "You're dead to me now!"

Lugging everything upstairs and putting it all away was less fun, but the tree is up! And there are twinkling white lights! I ran over to Jeff with a small wrapped present:

Me: I got you a little something!
Jeff *glower* WHAT!? Why?
Me: NO YELLING. I think the new rule is that you should look at what it is before yelling at me.
Jeff: *sheepish* Okay. (he unwraps a small wooden bear ornament). Awww, it's a bear!
Me: See! This is why you should look at the things I give you before yelling at me!
Jeff: I didn't yell...
Me: You had Yell Face!
Jeff: I did have Yell Face. Hee. But someone's got to keep you in line!
Me: Uh HUH.

[Jeff, who is the biggest lunatic I have ever met about receiving presents, complains I get him too much. Which, I don't. He's just certifiable.]

We are both totally sacked out now. I'm obsessively reading The Pioneer Woman's blog and Jeff's watching Hannibal. We're going to a party one of his co-workers is throwing (my former co-worker and friend, too). The theme is tacky Christmas sweaters. We got Jeff this fur-lined vest-monstrosity that can not be believed. I'm going to wear more along the lines of a ski sweater that doesn't have reindeer or Frosty or similar. I've got the pomegranate martinis ready to go. Though I have to admit, I'm so tired I could really just curl up and watch TV for the rest of the night by the light of a roaring fire and twinkling tree lights. That can be tomorrow. It's something really nice to look forward to.
verbicide: (happy)
So, despite the last minute crazies, things went really well.

This meal was largely inspired by the amazing dinner [livejournal.com profile] str8ontilmornin and [livejournal.com profile] serenity_valley hosted last weekend. One of the most amazing culinary nights of my life, I must say. And while good food is good, I think great food inspires. Originally, I was just going to make Beef Wellington, because it is a favorite of both John and Jeff B. Then I thought it would be fun to make the brioche bread pudding again. And then, after last weekend's dinner, I decided I wanted to go nuts and have some crazy ass cooking fun.

Le Menu )

Anyhow. It was a really fun night. Judy and John brought a gorgeous bouquet of orange flowers (since orange is my favorite color) and Ellie and Jeff supplied a really nice red wine. Everything went remarkably smooth. And everyone seemed to really enjoy it, which made me very happy!
verbicide: (erp)
The only thing I really needed to do today was pick up a turkey. I'm feeling a little lazy this morning so getting my butt out the door required more effort than it should have. But I went to Greenwood Market and am now the proud owner of a 12 pounder. I meant to take a picture of Greenwood Market, since I spend half of my life there, it seems. But I forgot.

Last night was unfortunately the scene of some cooking mayhem. Jeff's hard work at curd-making yielded a perfectly textured curd that lacked any cranberry flavor. And Jeff has taken to calling it the 'turd curd' because of its bizarrely brown color. This is sort of the reality of being a cooking enthusiast. Sometimes, things just aren't going to work out. In a similar fashion, the pumpkin cheesecake I made turned out beautifully, except the water bath leaked through my double-wrapped heavy foil and into the springform pan. I'm feeling stubborn about tossing it out, yet totally unwilling to serve a soggy crust'd cheesecake, so I'm going to try to be inventive. I've flipped the cake, cut off the soggy crust (the cheesecake itself tastes great), and am going to redo the crust, and flip the cake back onto it. Cheating? Yes. I know. And it won't be as perfect as if the crust didn't soggify. But I hate waste, and the top part tastes perfectly good.

All I really need to do today is fix the cheesecake and make the cranberry apple pie. Oh, and the mini quiches.

I'm really excited to have everyone over, but I have to admit that I wish we were doing it over the actual holiday. Because ultimately, it's not a holiday, it's a regular Sunday and it just feels different--though I'm so grateful we can still do it in some form. I know it wasn't going to work out for either Sarah/Em or myself this year (and quite possibly next year, too), but it's a tradition I've really loved and looked forward to each year, and I'm a little sad.

But, I will get over that pretty fast. It'll be so nice to see everyone!

Now to summon the will to make pie crust. Why is pie crust such a total pain in the ass?
verbicide: (boom de yada!)
As ever, Ellen and Judy's Mock Thanksgiving party was a blast. Too much glorious food and the love and warmth of a lot of friends I don't see often enough.

I was pleased with the carrot cake cheesecake. I didn't pipe an edge on top (even though Jeff bought me some more cream cheese), but I decided to sparkle sugar a carrot on top. See?

From Food


I was pleased with it!

I'm trying to have my cake decorating be a more organic process. Instead of trying to pipe a decorative border onto this uneven-edged cake, I just let the whorls of frosting droop over the sides and did the abstract-y carrot on top. I wish I had darker green sanding sugar on hand for the top, but it was fine as it was.

It was really well received at the party, which was very satisfying. The most flattering thing was, Ellen almost didn't let me bring a piece home for myself. (There was like half the cheesecake left!) I finally convinced her to let me have some since I didn't eat any at the party! The marbling of cake and cheesecake turned out nicely, but I'm too lazy and tired at this point to snap another picture.

I'm starting to feel a bit like a baking peacock. I like to fan myself and flutter my eyelashes while people praise me. It's come to this, people.

In other weekend fun, Jeff and I walked around Greenlake and snapped beautiful pictures of trees and then we came home and I snapped beautiful pictures of Jeff and Brutus sunning on the balcony. It was a gorgeous PNW day and we enjoyed it thoroughly. (I'll share some pictures of that soon.)

And soon, we're going to go see The Secret Life of Bees. I know the movie can't compare to the book, because I really just loved the book. But I hope it's sweet and charming. And that I don't fall asleep during it, because it's not until 9:50PM! Eek!
verbicide: (happy)
So, not as pretty as I'd have liked. But people certainly liked how it tasted. And I'm trying to focus on that as being the measure of success. Also, my photography skills still leave a lot to be desired. I couldn't find a good sunny spot without weird shadows from the window. Boo.



We have two pieces left and I'll try to get a shot of the cross section because the layers were pretty!

Pete's thing went great. We'd just finished dinner when Jeff arrived!!!!! We'd been talking about this all week. With the push to put the house on the market early next week, Jeff's got so much to do at the house--I told him not to worry about it. That Pete would understand. He'd be sorely missed, but everyone knows what a stressful situation he's been in lately. He sadly acknowledged that he couldn't come and was really unhappy about it. But he came home early anyway!!!! I seriously ran down the hall and tackled him. It made my night!

He tasted the Ina Garten mac and cheese (so much better than the Alton Brown version) and we hung out and talked. Right around 8, the phone rang. I made some bullshit excuse and went to open the front door. Bill, Kirsten, and Amy filed in and pounced Pete! Muhahaha! Pete had thought I might do something sneaky, but when it was just me and the mac and cheese when he got here, he figured he was safe!

We had the cake and coffee and sat around talking. I wax rhapsodic about this every time, but it just makes me so freaking euphoric. My good friends. Sitting around. Eating cake. Talking companionably. These are always the happiest moments of my life. I may take a lot of things for granted, but this isn't one of them. I love my lovely friends!

Everyone left around ten with packages of food (cake and portions of the chilaquiles which had made an enormous amount) and Jeff and I finished tidying the kitchen and catching up. We watched our standard two episodes of The Office and are now heading to bed.

What a great night!!!
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
It's just been such a nice weekend! My month off has gotten off to a great start.

Detailed Weekend Blather! )
verbicide: (dessert)
Last night was lovely. I went home with Jeff and hung out with him, Chris, and the kitties. I got to see the phenomenal job they've done with the demo of their kitchen. It's exciting to see all stages of the project.

We drove to dinner at Taste of India, which was diet-destroyingly delicious. After, we went to see The Namesake. It was a slow, generation-spanning movie and so much of it reminded me of my own family, that I'm incredibly homesick today. Since I'd abandoned my car at work, Jeff drove me home and came up to hang out for a bit, while Chris left to visit with a friend of his who is about to go out of town.

I love going out and doing things, but my favorite times with the people I love are spent sprawled across a couch talking about random things, so that was the best. Jeff left around 1, and I poured myself into bed.

This morning I have no French lessons and no place to rush to. I slept in, while Hobbsie miaow'd disapprovingly. I ambled to the grocery store for a few items, because I'm baking a cake for Emily's 21st birthday. It's a surprise, so don't tell her!

I love the cake recipes from The Best Recipes book. They bake so evenly and don't have that obnoxious hump in the center of the pan. This time I'm making their Velvet Devil's Food cake. And, not insignificantly, they aren't absurdly complicated. Sarah says Emily likes coffee, so I hope the coffee buttercream will go over well. I definitely feel more confident this round of cake-baking. Since I really want the chocolate to be the hero here, there are no fillings except for the frosting. I hope it tastes good!

The cakes are out and now I just need to frost them and take a cab to dinner by 7:15. But the rest of the day belongs to me and Hobbsie.

I think a Buffy marathon may be in order!

Also--my foot is 100% better. Chris loaned me a yoga tape so I'm also going to try to do that today. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

success!

Jan. 7th, 2007 12:03 am
verbicide: (happy)
Now that was a fun night.

It was really fun geeking out so completely. I even wrote these tiny menus on vellum and parchment paper as part of the table setting.

We started the night off with the gougeres, sitting around the table catching up. We had the same French pinot noir to drink as I cooked with. Next, we started on the salad course. I'd dressed some butter lettuce with a lemon-thyme vinaigrette that I'd sort of winged. I'm not very experienced with salad dressing, so I was really happy that my vinaigrette turned out. Some shaved parmesan and croutons were the only other additions.

While the last few things finished off, we exchanged presents. And Emily has truly listened to my ultimate desire. As I frequently shout, "I want a pony!" and "Is it a pony??" she has finally helped me realize my dream and bought me my very own My Little Pony. You may all refer to me as the Crystal Princess.

Finally, the main course. I'd made a relatively light mashed potato recipe (small amounts of butter and cream, salt, and fresh chives). I roasted asparagus for the first time, and I've only recently learned that I really like 'em. Roasting was pretty damn simple and quick so I'm hoping to add that as a regular part of my cooking repertoire. And of course, the Coq au Vin. I was pretty pleased with it. And I think the credit goes to Alton Brown here, because he really broke down every single part of that recipe.

Also, have I mentioned how much I love all my new kitchen-y things? The Le Creuset pot from my mom and the glorious All-clad pan Sarah got me and the new Shun knife from OB and Em. Not to go on and on about them, but it's really incredible to see what a difference proper tools can make. It was still hard work and was probably the most complicated dish I've ever made, but in the end it was worth the labor. I would totally make that again. (Just not, you know, tomorrow.) Sarah and Emily both had seconds and I about passed out from the shock of seeing them both eat so much. (Sarah actually goes to restaurants and orders a single pancake. As much as she loves food, she generally has the stomach capacity of a tiny mouse.)

I was even satisfied with my baguette! It browned a bit too much on top so I was worried, but it tasted fine--in that it tasted like bread. I think I need to work on my general bread-making skills to improve the texture and color and shape, but overall I was pretty happy!

We nibbled on red grapes, green apples, and brie, cambozola, and gruyere for the cheese course, and finished with the Tarte Tatin with vanilla bean ice cream while watching Cars.

I think pastry is a tough skill to master. I have a few baked dishes I've relied on for a long time now (berry cobbler, fresh fruit hazelnut-tart), but it's been a long time since I've worked on pie dough. So I think it's going to take at least another try before I'm satisfied with this. It was, however, much improved from the first attempt. Another small mistake, I should have let the ice cream churn longer. It seemed done, but really wasn't set properly.

The kitchen is a total mess. I usually clean while my friends are still around, or at the end of the night, but I think I've earned a little break. Tomorrow morning/afternoon is going to be very busy -- talking with Alain for an hour, meeting my French professor at a cafe, then movie with Pete. But it'll be an early night and I can clean to my heart's content tomorrow night. Dishwasher can only do so much at a time!
verbicide: (cooking)
The Coq au Vin is marinating, and I think I'll start cooking around 4 to give me enough time to reduce the sauce properly. The tarte tatin is almost finished and ready to cool. The baguette is on its second rise, and I'll be able to bake that next. The vanilla bean ice cream mix is chilling in the fridge for later.

The only things left are to prep the potatoes for mashing, making the pâte à choux for the gougères, and actually cooking the chicken and baguette. Oh, and to roast the asparagus. I wanted something green on the plate.

And... I just tried the tarte tatin. So much better than my first attempt. I think once my new apple peeler/corer gadget arrives, I would be tempted to try this a third time. I'm still overcooking the apples, for my taste. And I think I might try that sour cream version of pate brisée again because I liked the flavor and it was a little easier to roll out, or since the flavor of this one was so good, I might just add a little ice water to it because mine turned out a little too crumbly.

The one unanticipated problem? I am such an absurd weakling, I couldn't flip the pan. I was able to the first time, but I think I must have squeezed in a lot more apples this time, or I'm just being lame. I thought I was going to sprain my wrist and ultimately had to slowly tip it over onto a cookie sheet and let some of the juices run out. Time to start lifting those weights again, sheesh.

Once again, I would like to comment on my worshipfulness of my Kitchen Aid mixer. I remember wanting one but worrying that I wouldn't use it throughout the year (since my focus was on buying it to make cookies for the holidays). So! Many! Uses! Just today alone it's been used to make two types of dough, I'll use it to mash potatoes, and with my spectacular attachment, I'll be able to use it to make ice cream.

And since I've been wanting an icon for cooking, I can't think of a better image. Voila!
verbicide: (happy)
I have OB and Em coming over on Saturday to try my first attempt at duck (recipe courtesy of Ina Garten). I haven't decided what to serve with it yet, but am excited nonetheless. Probably sauteed spinach and a potato dish of some kind.

Next Saturday, I'm going to try some honest-to-goodness French cuisine. Sarah and Emily are coming over and I'm going to try to make: gougeres (which is cheating a little because I know I can easily make those), a very light green salad with lemon-y vinaigrette, coq au vin, assiette de fromage, and tarte tatin with homemade vanilla ice cream. Depending on how the baguette making adventure goes, there may be a fresh baguette that day, too.

I may do a test run of the tarte tatin for OB and Em, too. Want to make sure the skillet I have in mind is up to the task. (Not the new shiny that Sarah got me, because I can't let that get too hot.)

I just got off the phone with my SIL Em. I will be saying this for awhile, so my apologies for the repetition, but it is so freaking nice having them live so close. Anyhow, after all the roast turkey and stuff, I want some Paki food. So I called my mom and got her recipe for aloo gosht (a potato/beef curry) which both OB and Em also love, so I'm going to double the recipe and take them some. I can't believe that just a few months ago that would be been completely impossible (because Port Orchard is the opposite side of the universe). I'm also going to make some keema mutter and perhaps try my hand at naan. And because I'm feeling amitious, perhaps test out that crockpot recipe for kheer.

And also perhaps today will involve some Jeff-ness. If the weather continues to be horrendously crappy, we may not be able to do Greenlake as hoped, though. Meh. I might just do it anyway, because I need to get some fresh air. First, away to Safeway!
verbicide: (hobbsie love)
Note to self: Safeway is not going to be open at 5PM on Christmas, so next year, don't run out of basic food items by Christmas Eve.

I will say, I'm glad the employees are not stuck working such a shitty shift.

Slept gloriously in this morning (though Mr. Hobbes did not approve at the delay this caused in his breakfast), forced myself out of bed to dress nicely for Christmas brunch with the bears. I've gone from largely hanging out with women to largely hanging out with men, and the contrast has been interesting. (And nicely so --but nothing against women.) The funniest thing is watching them be polite In the Presence of a Female and like, try to hold back on swearing. At which point I have to rapidly KICK Jeff under the table before he spits his drink out guffawing and outs me as the potty-mouth I am. It's very sweet, gentleman-ly behavior.

I drove out to Jeff and Chris's and Chris drove all of us to brunch. I felt bad for Craig because he clearly has been to this place before with great results, but it wasn't what he expected. The food was only just okay, and he has great taste so it must have been fabulous when he'd gone before. He apologized --but it was totally unnecessary. (It was the restaurant at the Doubletree by SeaTac.) I don't think anyone really cared because the point is Togetherness and Love. Which there was plenty of.

Afterwards, Craig and Greg had bought us all tickets to see Dreamgirls at Pacific Place. I generally don't care for biopics and this wasn't a movie I would have gone to see otherwise--BUT, I'm really glad I did. It was very well done, the singing was amazing, and it had that big production feel that is perfect for a Christmas movie. One of the things I didn't care for (and this is not a plot spoiler, so I'm not cutting it), but the singing a la musical --while very well sung-- didn't work for me. It took away from the emotion of the moment in what were some very important scenes. The minute the character would start to sing, it felt like a musical number and diminished what was authentic and sometimes very painful for the characters. But some great acting, incredible singing, and I thought they did a good job of filming all the singing sequences to keep it interesting (at one point you see the girls reflected in someone's glasses, and the effect was cool).

The last couple of days have been super social and I am tired and very glad to be home with my creature. There was an e-mail from my SIL asking if I wanted to join them for dinner, and I would have if I only hadn't changed into my pajamas. Once the pajamas are on, it's all over.

Yesterday's party was great, but I'd had a nasty scare in the morning. Hobbsie has kitty-epilepsy, and he used to have seizures about once a year. He really hasn't had one in the past few (that I've seen, I realize he could be having a dozen while I'm at work). He'd seemed very punk-y in the morning, so I picked him up and stuck him on my lap... where he stayed, pretty listless for a long, long time. He moaned a couple of times, but was so inert. It's always so terrifying. I never know if it's going to be it... if he's going to die and as much as I struggle to keep calm and focused on him, I can feel panic just below the surface. He slowly got up and had a seizure (which involves throwing up and making the most god-awful howling ever heard). He loses coordination and after it's over, wants to lie on a cool surface (like the kitchen floor) and not be touched for awhile. I watched him the rest of the morning and he was seemingly 100% by the time I left for Jeff's. I almost dropped the breads and cookies off and came back, but he was so normal by the time I left, I knew that would be silly. That said, I went to Jeff's, helped them set up, stayed for the beginning of the party and then came home early, neurotic that I'd come home and Hobbsie would be dead. Which, thank merciful Zeus, he was not. And he's back to normal now, so that is going to be this year's Christmas miracle.

And now, to eat some randomly assembled food and possibly watch another movie in front of the fire with Hobbes.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!
verbicide: (Default)
I'm in charge of bread and cookies for Jeff and Chris's Christmas Eve party, so the baking starts tonight and will probably continue on through the morning.

I'm making a double-batch of the cranberry shortbread cookies and the chocolate malt sandwich cookies. For breads, I'm making a rye, a rosemary French, and Jeff's weekly 100% whole wheat.

It will be good to be in the kitchen and away from the PS2, as my entire night was spent dreaming that I was leaping through trees and off of building, trying to escape faceless enemies. Not so soothing.

At some point, I will also need to figure out dinner for myself, but I'm in a very finicky mood. Not sure at all what I want to eat.
verbicide: (Default)
Because I went to bed early, it followed that I woke up early. I talked with Alain and then darted off for a day of errand-running. Cookies were mailed to family. I discovered that I could handle going to a new post office and didn't drive out to Ballard. Then I dropped off presents and cookies at KC and Jen's house. I'd left my cell at home, so it was a day of either leaving things on doorsteps or springing myself onto people unannounced. I drove to U Village and bought gifts for my brother, SIL, and nephew-to-be in all of 15 minutes flat (not kidding). I hastened out of there to get my hair cut, and I rather like it. It's short but swing-y and bouncy. And easy to manage, so hurray. I wrapped gifts in the car and then drove over to OB's house. I continue to marvel at having them so close where such random-stop-bys can actually happen. It is glorious. They seemed really happy with their presents (because I demanded that they open them immediately). And I managed to inherit OB's old dvd player for my bedroom. Bonus.

And then back home to grab Sarah's cookies, and to briefly preen at new haircut, before driving over to her place to help her pack and straighten her place out before going away FOREVER. Well, until the 31st. It is just tragic when half of your social life goes far, far away, dammit!

I borrowed half of her video and book library and we grabbed a quick bite at Gordito's, which is tragically going out of business on the hill. So sad. Then more hanging out and jabbering until I left and she is undoubtedly showering as I type, before her exciting red-eye flight tonight.

And now I am giving up on all pretense of restraint and going to put on Final Fantasy 12, for which I have waited, nay, hungered, lo these past many years. Wannit NOW!

The only thing wrong with today was the lack of Jeff, but as I explained to him in our parking garage on Thursday, we are going to be hanging out, because he has no choice. And then there is lots of Christmas-y fun to be had with throngs of adorable Bears. And more cookie baking for parties. Whee!

denouement

Nov. 24th, 2006 10:51 am
verbicide: (I love my damn cat)
I would also like to note that I have been to the grocery store every single day since Monday. And because I was too ditzy to buy even an extra onion, I need to go to the store again so I can make stock from the turkey carcass.

I am okay with going to the store. I'm not excited about leaving the joy that is my pajamas. Mawr.

I also want to try to make a rice gelato. There's this great place downtown that has it. And I have the glorious KAMICA. I'm going to make my mom's rice pudding and see what happens when I KAMICA it.

But first I need to put dishes away and load other dishes. It's about 95% clean. Which, I can't say enough how exciting I find that.

Everything was lovely yesterday. Everyone came over, we snacked on mini-quiche, crudities, and the fantastic cheese/cracker spread Sarah brought over. Someday I will learn how to get everything out on the table, simultaneously, at the perfect temperature. But for now, I'll just continue cooking for people who aren't picky.

We played a couple of rounds of Apples to Apples, which was awesome. And then--dinner time. And of course, the traditional silly picture of Emma. I love her for being such a good sport. (*blows kiss*)

Then movie time --we watched the sapalicious A League of their Own, and I packaged up leftovers and put away food. Then: dessert! Michael'd brought a fantastic pumpkin pie and I'd made the carrot cake cheesecake.

Hobbes was particularly taken with Michael. They almost ran away together, except Hobbes is a slut for chicken slices in gravy, and I had the can opener.
verbicide: (Default)
Um. It's all done. Well, sorta. The turkey and stuffing need to finish cooking, but um. I don't think there's anything left for me to do. *bemused*

Everything's clean. And I'm clean. And now I have 45 minutes to be neurotic about if things are going to taste good. That's probably the most insane-making facet of a meal like this. You can't taste stuff out in advance. And since I'm trying a new recipe for turkey, and since it's simply the most enormous bird I've ever cooked, I'm quite terralyzed™.

I still haven't figured out what to wear. I tossed out the idea of a skirt, because there's no way I'm wearing hose and there'd be the all-too inevitable reality that I'd end up flashing someone before the day was over. And let's not have that. I've got my dark grey polar fleece pants on, but have no idea what to wear on top. I think Sarah would fall over laughing because it's just friends coming over, not the Pope. But it would be nice to look nice! A long-sleeved black top it is. Done.

Everything's plated. Um. What else to do? I may try to muscle the turkey back onto one rack up. I'm worried everything on the bottom of the pan will scorch.

On a totally non-Thanksgiving topic: All my body moisture has left me. Lips cracked, skin dry and whitish. I need to dip my entire self into a vat of lotion and just sit there for three days. Poor skin, how I abuse thee.

*bounce* *bounce* *bounce*

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verbicide

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