November 29, 2010

happy monday

Mondays suck. 

That being said, something fun you can do to make Monday suck less is to Google your name.  Unless you have a name like Hilary, in which case all that comes up are pictures of Hilary Duff on the red carpet, and Google so menacingly asking "did you mean Hillary Clinton? Showing results for Hillary Clinton".  Duff and Clinton, you have ruined the Google your name game for me.  But, Urban Dictionary?  Totally made me laugh.

November 24, 2010

my dreams are crazy.

A while back, I decided to keep a dream journal.

I've never been one of those people who remembers their dreams in great detail, in fact I typically forget them the moment I open my eyes.  It sounded fun, and I was told that in committing to the practice of writing down my dreams, I would have bigger! better! more vivid! memorable! dreams.  Awesome!

Little did I know that my brain would take this little experiment to a whole new level.

At first, I would rack my brain as soon as I woke up trying to remember any little detail from my dreams the night before.  Slowly, I was able to wake groggily in the middle of the night to write down the dream I had.  But then.  THEN I started writing IN MY SLEEP.  Which is amazing.  And is way more entertaining!  Now, I often wake up and excitedly open my dream journal to find barely legible descriptions of the most random stuff ever.  My longer entries, which I will probably share with you later, are almost always about food. Sometimes I can barely read what I scratched out on the page.  For example:

"Step by step making an egg sandwich, & a soup."

And I don't remember writing it, let alone having the dream.  

Here are some other gems:

"In a forest jumping to the tops of trees!  Then, in a store picking out neck ties."

"Slow motion bumper cars through a tunnel."

"Sonya Sotamayor!!!!!!"

"Side by side escalators.  I'm on one and there are tropical fish on the other."

"Dead bird in my purse."

"Worms in my sleeves!! Something about fig newtons."

"Ordered a HUGE bowl of guacamole!  Random man sat with us and was eating it all very quickly and making me extremely ANGRY!"



A friend of mine introduced me to this super weird, unbelievably random and hilarious blog yesterday... and I am shamed (cough not at all shamed) to admit that I have not gotten any work done and have had to stifle laughter for fear of someone walking by and noticing me laughing while alone in my office.  The spaghatta nodle stuff is almost more than I can handle!

November 17, 2010

ode to summer?

I just found this rant I wrote during the Summer, how fitting now that Winter is setting in...

Basil at my community garden
Certain people were apparently created with super human resistance to heat and humidity. Perhaps there is a genetic explanation behind those who sit all winter pining after temperatures over 90 combined with an unreasonably high amount of moisture in the air (how is it that 100% humidity does not equal rain?).  They happily walk along the pavement (which, mind you, is distorted and waving in the distance as the heat rises off of it), sleep with the windows open in the middle of July and stand over grills all summer. I can tell you right now, I am not one of those people.  Maybe I have more sweat glands than most, because a walk from home to work in the summer will leave me drenched, red in the face and practically dehydrated.

November 15, 2010


One of the things I have learned in my oh-so-many years of life, is that little indulgences are extremely important. And an indulgence I can't seem to live without? Lattes.  I hate to admit it, but I have become quite the coffee snob. I can taste when coffee has been sitting for too long, was made with bad beans or if the grind is off. Drip coffee just doesn't cut it for me anymore (except in emergency situations).  I adore La Colombe (a local coffee roaster and café) and between you and me, chose it to supply the beans for the café I started here at work for purely selfish reasons.  On weekdays, I visit our small café, and always order a double shot of espresso with a splash of milk.  But when Friday comes, it's time for a treat! I walk over to Capogiro (speaking of indulgences...) because dammit, they make a good latte.  An even specialer/more special/specialist treat?  Heading downtown with my two best friends (hey girls!) to the 19th street La Colombe for a latte AND an almond croissant.  Life is good, no?

Ain't it pretty? A picture of a latte at the 19th street La Colombe Café that I did not take.

November 12, 2010


A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to see Ingrid Michaelson live at the World Cafe Free at Noon show.  She was so entertaining and I kept thinking "oh man she is so much cooler than me" like a total nerd.  Her new album is amazing- she's really evolved since her first- and I've been listening to it nonstop since it came out.  I'm a total sucker for upbeat music that just makes me feel happy.  Plus she plays the ukulele.  Awesome.

November 9, 2010

6 things I love right now

I tend to get mildly obsessed with are my latest obsessions

1.  Pequea Yogurt, strawberry or raspberry
I think it is pronounced "peck-wah" but honestly I don't really care how it is said because all I want to do is keep shoveling it into my mouth.  We all know that I am an ice cream fiend (example: "Dr. Hilary's Ice Cream Diet"- my 1 week, post wisdom tooth removal diet which consisted of literally 99% ice cream AND a 5 pound weight loss... book coming soon) and I sometimes SKIP ice cream after dinner to have a heaping bowl of this stuff.  I could go on about all the other reasons to love it- small local farm that produces it, happy grass fed Jersey cows- but most importantly, it is just delish.

When school picks up, I don't get to read much for fun.  So when I find a book that I can't put down (or books: Hello Harry Potter ENTIRE series this Summer) I get really excited.  I checked out "The Help" last week at the Free Library since there seems to be a lot of buzz about it.  On the planes to Orlando, I couldn't put it down, and actually got SAD when the pilot said we were about to land! I raced through it, and finished it on the flight back to Philadelphia.  It reminded me a bit of the "Poisonwood Bible" with multiple female narrators all telling the same story.  Trust me, it is worth reading.

This site has sucked up many hours of my life lately- and inspired me to tap into my creative side.  It has also caused me to spend (way too much) time perusing craigslist for furniture to be refurbished.  It's a good thing I have roommates or else my house would be filled floor to ceiling with fixer uppers... The before and after photos are my favorite.

I am not much of a scent person- I hate almost all candles, I don't like soaps, shampoos or lotions that smell. Just walking by a Yankee Candle store makes me want to run away. Or vomit.  Needless to say, I do not typically wear perfume.  But Demeter's Gin & Tonic is amazing! I can't find it in retail shops anymore (it used to be sold in Anthropologie) so I have to use it very sparingly.  However,  I recently fell back in love with it and have been wearing it every day.  When the air starts getting colder, a spritz of this stuff brings on a wave of crisp refreshing summer! Demeter has so many different fragrances, some are really strange (Celery? Dirt? FUNERAL HOME?) but some are spot on and absolutely perfectly fresh. 

I realize this is a bit ridiculous and childish, but I 'needed' a holder for my toothbrush, and this one has made me so incredibly happy!  What is better than having a little hippo stuck to your mirror hugging your toothbrush and keeping it safe?

OK, so I haven't actually been here yet, but that doesn't mean I don't love it.  I have spent a lot of time looking at the site (let's call it online window shopping) and I know I could easily spend a ton of money there.

November 2, 2010

soup season!

This week I was introduced to the term "T.A.A." which stands for "Tiny Ass Apartment".  I don't particularly live in a tiny apartment (we have 5 bedrooms and 2 baths), so I think "T.A.K." is much more appropriate for my situation.  Our TINY ASS KITCHEN looks big because there is a table and chairs and room to walk around.  But look closer.  The oven is painfully small; a cookie sheet cannot fit sideways in it, and when placed lengthwise the oven door cannot shut all the way.  There is about 2 square feet of counter space, one 6 inch wide drawer and the dishwasher has to be used for storage.  We make it work, and I think professional organizers would be somewhat impressed at the ways in which we cram 3 people's kitchen belongings into such a tight space.

I tell you about my kitchen mostly for pity.  And also so that one day, when I have a large kitchen with 4 sinks, 2 islands and 3 ovens (ok, that might be a bit much) we can all look back and laugh about my T.A.K.  However, last night I made my first soup of the season and the size of my kitchen did not matter, as I was able to do everything on that 2 foot stretch of counter before throwing it into the big pot.  Which is one of the many reasons I absolutely LOVE soup.  And may I just say, last night's concoction was really. freaking. good. Evan looked at me at one point and said "I CAN'T EAT IT FAST ENOUGH!"

I got the recipe from 101 Cookbooks (a fantastic blog, by the way, especially for those of us on the vegetarian train) but I messed with it a bit. It is not a quick soup, as split peas take a while to soften up, but it was worth the wait- not to mention the strong curry smell wafting through the house was pretty wonderful!

Lentil & Split Pea Coconut Curry Soup
1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red split lentils (masoor dal)
7 cups water
3 medium carrots, cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons butter or ghee (or, to be a vegan meal, you could use oil)
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins (trust me, they are a key ingredient!)
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 14-oz can coconut milk
2 teaspoons sea salt
Cayenne pepper, to taste
a ton of cilantro, chopped 

Rinse the peas and lentils until they no longer make murky water. Put them in a large pot with the water, and bring to a boil.  Add 1/4 of the ginger and the carrots, lower to a simmer and cover.  They'll take at least 30 minutes to soften up. 

In a small (dry!) pan, quickly toast the curry powder, but be careful not to burn it.  Just keep it over the heat long enough for it to become very aromatic.  Put the curry in a small bowl and set aside.  In the same pan, over medium heat, melt the butter (or ghee) and add most of the scallions (whatever is left will be for garnish), the rest of the ginger and the raisins.  Sauté for a few minutes, then add the tomato paste.  I ladled in a bit of the water from the simmering lentils and peas to help break up the paste.  Sauté for another minute or two.  
Add the curry to the tomato mixture, mix mix mix, and then (if your peas have softened up) add to the big pot, along with the coconut milk, cayenne pepper and the salt.  Let simmer uncovered for another 15 or 20 minutes.  It thickened up quite a bit during this time- if you like a thinner soup, just add more water.  Top with cilantro.  Unless you are a Cilantrophobe and think it tastes like soap.

For dessert, we had one of my favorite simple treats- plain vanilla ice cream, with a sprinkling of cinnamon, honey and a splash of milk in a mug.  Stir it up, and you have an exotic tasting mini milkshake!