Thursday, September 30, 2010

dinner tonight

So I've been meaning to make soup for several weeks so I said to myself, why not make it on the muggiest grossest day ever? So I made my soup and although cooking it was miserable, I am very happy with the result. I am not one for measuring when I cook but here goes:

Fall Minestrone w/ Spinach Almond Pesto and Parmesan Scallion Biscuits

makes: a ton of soup

for the pesto:
-handful of baby spinach (in my case, the almost no good bottom of the bag spinach that I'll be damned if I let go bad)
- handful of almonds (like I said, no real "measurements", sorry!)
- garlic! I have some pureed stuff from TJ's, couple cloves worth
- palmful of parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper

puree it up! make sure to mix it really good or you'll bite into a chunk of almond in your soup and you'll be totally creeped out about what you just bit into. slowly add olive oil until it makes a thick paste. set aside. remember to preheat oven to 450 for biscuits.

for the biscuits:
- 2 cups bisquik mix (sorry dudes, I'll move up to making my own soon)
- 2/3 cup milk
- palmful of parmesan
- several scallions, chopped
- tons of black pepper!

mix it up! knead about 20 times. roll into about 12 balls and smoosh flat. bake 10- 12 minutes at 450. turn off oven 'cause its wicked hot.

for the soup:
- large handful of kale, roughly chopped (in my case, big ziploc bag from friend)
- 1 can of white beans, drained but not rinsed (the recipe calls for dry beans soaked but I am yet to actually soak beans overnight)
- 1 winter squash, peeled & cubed
- 1/2 an onion, diced
- ground turkey (I used roughly 1/2 lb)
- lots of broth (atleast 1 box plus some water or bouillion cubes, whatevs you got)
- spices to taste (I used rosemary, oregano, salt and pepper)

add olive oil to a large pot. add ground turkey. cook until no longer pink. set meat aside. add a little more oil to the pot. saute the onions until soft. add the squash. saute 3-4 minutes. season. add enough broth to incorporate all the ingredients you'll be throwing in there (8 cups or so). bring to a boil. once squash is soft, dump in the kale. cook until wilted. add the beans and the meat. cook until warmed through. add a huge spoonful of pesto and mix in.

serve bowls of soup with biscuits for dunking. while savoring a surprisingly delicious broth, pat yourself on the back for not letting the spinach go to waste. think about how you actually like winter squash (who knew??) and pat yourself on the back for using the squash and not letting it rot like you did with the pumpkin. then eat too many biscuits.

There you have it. The worst written recipe of all time. enjoy!

(I call this piece Bowl of Soup Near a Pile of Thor Comics)
(some wicked rustic biscuits)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

so i've been thinking about...

...collections. I've always wanted one. I'm sure in theory there are several things I collect but never have I had a collection where someone would say "Oh you know Lisa, she collects (fill in the blank)" or " ooh look at this (fill in the blank)! this would be perfect for Lisa's crazy collection". my mother in law collects ladybug things. my best friend's boyfriend collects wise men figurines. you know what I'm talking about. snowglobes, salt and pepper shakers, coca cola merchandise. one thing that started me thinking about this was when I looked on ebay the other day for pie birds (what? is this not a good use of my time?) and when I saw the prices and a pie bird marked 'from the convention' I knew I had stumbled upon something. it also reminds me of a great book I read. there is something about people being so fanatical that I find completely fascinating. I guess I just love how much they can love one thing (or one person). your thoughts? do you collect anything?

(image from here)

Monday, September 27, 2010

so how was your weekend?

mine involved:

writing: thank you cards
eating: meat sticks!

listening to: Jenny & Johnny (next on my list: Broken Bells, Swell Season)

reading: the new Love & Rockets and Martha Stewart living
brainstorming: christmas ideas (I know I'm crazy but I have to get a head start on this)
dancing: my butt off
drinking: tons and tons of tea (anyone else have any good non caffinated suggestions??)
cooking: an old favorite (no homemade bread this weekend, but soon hopefully!)
shopping for: new coats ( how have I gone this long without a real raincoat?) and baseball tees
dreaming about: being late for school (what else is new?)
longing for: fall and a free weekend

so... what are you up to?

Friday, September 24, 2010

friday five!

happy friday all! so glad this week is over. what are you up to this weekend? I have a wedding & I'm hoping to tackle #2 on my list (I've also really been intrigued by making my own cheese lately but thats for another weekend). in honor of the return of 30 rock, here are my friday five:

5 girls I want to ariel (aka steal their essence and wear as a seashell around my neck ala ursula the sea witch....aka the 5 famous ladies I totally adore):
(hey look! its #2 on my list! image from here)

1. Tina Fey ('nuff said. So psyched 3o Rock is back! Anyone else jazzed by how many Barefoot Contessa references were on the show last night? I love when two things I love overlap. Like when that detective from Law & Order married Bobby Flay)
2. Amy Poehler (I am beyond bummed I have to wait longer for Parks & Rec to come back! I need my Ansari/Poehler fix)
3. Amy Sedaris (how could you NOT love her? She has a new book coming out in November and it may be the only book I have strongly wanted to preorder)
4. Drew Barrymore (she can make a zillion bad movies (and she sorta has) and I will still love her)
5. Keri Russell (loved her in Waitress, hoping Running Wilde will stay on the air.also, I love Will Arnett despite him tricking me into seeing Lets Go to Prison)

(other contenders who didn't make the top 5 cut: all the female actresses from Arrested Development, Zooey Deschanel (I feel like when someone uses the term "cool girl" it should just be implied Zooey is on the list), Neko Case & Jenny Lewis (wrote about them the other week, don't want to get redundant), Maggie Gyllenhaal (she oozes cool. also, I was sad when she died in Batman), female authors I like (like Sloane Crosley)...and so on)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

money money mon-naay

(clearly if I came into any extra money, I would carry it around in a money sack. Thats not showy is it?? image from here)

Question for you: what would you buy if you had an extra $100? (This is fun money, people. No paying bills or putting it into savings accounts. Also, this money isn't real.)

I think I would buy some books (this and this are next on my list), go out to a nice dinner and maybe buy some new clothes.

What about if you won the lottery*? Let's say you won some gargantuan amount. What then?

I think I would do some of the usual things (pay off my loans, give family/friends money, pay for my sister's college education). I would love to live off making crafts and cooking all day. If I could make that work that'd be great! Or work or volunteer somewhere I loved that paid poorly (or not at all). One thing though: I would love to buy my entire etsy wishlist. I am salivating just thinking about that.

What would you do?

*No matter how many times I see it, I always watch 'The Lottery Changed My Life" when its on TLC. I love the wacky things people do like buy 100 dogs or buy a bunch of awful art.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

all fixed! read me again!

Please come back, dear readers! I promise not to give you viruses! The wonderful Sarah gave me a heads up that my site was being tagged by google and firefox for possible infections. Now I should be all set. I'm back and better than ever, baby! Here are some randomn things that have happened or things that I'm thinking about:

bought: a new dress (another wedding on Saturday!)
(almost) bought: strawberry tomatoes!

(how neat are these?? and so sweet! image from here)

listened to: more black keys, more Brandon Flowers and rounded it out with Day and Age by The Killers. Need some new tunage (suggestions????)
ate:I made an amazing dinner tonight! (woo #12!!!). I made a couple changes (I had some pesto in the fridge, added some scallions, used barley instead of quinoa). hopeing to make this soon!

(yes I am that good at taking photos ha ha...also the result of eating dinner at 8)

watched: The Simpsons. I never get tired of them. We watched Das Bus last night and I forgot how funny that one was. Milhouse is such a jerk in it and I love it. I love anything that makes my husband really really laugh too.

what have you eaten, bought, listened to or watched?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

how was your weekend??

mine was filled with:

date night (thai food (rad na! has anyone else has had this?? it is my favorite thing to order! it's grilled flat noodles in some kind of brown sauce with chinese greens), superhero hostess cupcakes)

(also,we bought flash cakes...I was fairly excited to eat these. I mean, coconut, marshmallow, chocolate, cream filling, what could go wrong? well something did. also, i think I don't like snowballs so not sure why I thought I'd like these.)

apple picking! (bushels of apples (atleast 3 kinds!), pears, honey, pieces of a dear friend's CSA)
-which resulted in batches of apple butter and canned apple pie filling (take that #1!)
(just a portion of our day's work! apple pie filling on left, apple butter on right)

sandwiches at a converted library coffehouse & talk of Japanese horror films (basically about how they are better than american horror movies, psychological thrillers vs gore, etc)

IKEA trip (swedish meatballs, new compost bin & dish towels, I am trying to reduce my paper towel use/wastefullness)

lime rickeys* with my best friend in our backyard** (what is better than that???)

*to make my lime rickeys, I use lime juice, seltzer, lime wedges and some kind of sweetner. I've used sugar in the past but today we used agave and it works just as nice. crazy straws make any drink taste better too
** have I told you the story of our yard? it is great except for one thing. acorns. my dear husband rakes them up daily and the squirrel that live in the trees assault us with them! I've had welts from getting hit!

Friday, September 17, 2010

happy friday!

lots of people do 'fun fridays' so I thought I would do a fun one too: friday five!

List of five songs I would cover if I was a good singer:

1- The Outfield- I don't want to lose your love tonight
2- The Decemberists- the mariner's revenge song
3- They Might Be Giants- ana ng
4- Bonnie Tyler- total eclipse of the heart (I needed to put something epic on here and couldn't decide on a meatloaf song)

and last but definitely not least....
5- The Newsies soundtrack- Santa Fe

(now who wants to start a band????)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

music music music

(I really wanted to post a youtube video of Alf rocking out since that was the first result when I googled 'rocking out' but you tube won't let me embed it. lame.)

So my friends, I am actually doing one of the items from my list (#29)! I have 2 new cds: the new Black Keys and the new Brandon Flowers. I really like them both so far. In the spirit of music talks, here is my list of some of my favorite cds that I have played to death but still love (in no particular order):

1- Neutral Milk Hotel- In an Aeroplane Over the Sea
When I listen to this cd, I immediately picture myself in a friend's bedroom in high school, sitting cross legged on her floor, pouring through her cd books. I saw this cd and decided to give it a try since the name was so bizarre. I am so glad I did. This cd reminds of high school and college and just loving life.
2- The Killers- Sam's Town
I love this from start to finish and back again. Me and Ry were watching a dvd of their London concert the other day and there is something so amazing about watching a concert and liking every single song (The only time I have ever attended a concert where I knew every song at the time was The Decmberists. If I went to one their concerts now, that would no longer be the case). We played 'When You Were Young' at the wedding which might be my favorite song ever by them. Love love love The Killers.
3- Neko Case- Middle Cyclone
Please note: This goes for pretty much all Neko Case cds (it is tied with Fox Confessor). I went through a phase where all I listened to was Neko Case. And it was awesome. She is my idol. I mean, how cool is she? I would love to see her live. If that happens, I would love to call my super cool cousin Nicole up and see her together!
4- Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins- Rabbit Fur Coat
Please note: This pretty much goes for all Jenny Lewis/Rilo Kiley cds. I looove Under the Blacklight too. Also, I want Jenny & Johnny! If Neko Case is my idol, Jenny is my number 2. I remember watching her on Elvis Costello's Spectacle and thinking 'who the hell looks good in overalls?' but she totally did.
5- Josh Ritter- The Animal Years
This album reminds me of my husband. I love it. Especially 'Wolves'.
6- The Shins- Oh Inverted World
Close second: chutes too narrow. Reminds of college and going to Poland. I only brought about 4 cds with me to Poland so this got played alot. I love the way it begins. I remember being so jealous when Rory from Gilmore Girls saw them on Spring Break. so jealous.
7- The Smoking Popes- Destination Failure
This will forever remind me of my best friend. Just one of the reasons it is so awesome. Just try to listen to 'Pretty Pathetic' and not feel like they completely nailed that justbrokeupandfeelcompletelywreckedandawful feeling. Also, they do a cover of pure imagination which is rad.
8- Liz Phair- Exile in Guysville
Loved this cd in high school. Listened to it for the first time again a couple months ago and fell in love with it all over again.
9- Modest Mouse- Good News for People Who Love Bad News
There are some cds that will forever be 'driving cds'. This is a good one. I am sort of obsessed with Ocean Breathes Salty and Black Cadillacs.
10- Passion Pit- Manners
This cd really got me through the final crunch time in planning out wedding. For that, I will be forever grateful to it. Also, I don't think I am capable of getting sick of Little Secrets.

and if we want to get old school (which of course we do):
1- get up kids- something to write home about (close second: four minute mile)
2- less than jake- losing streak
3- reel big fish- turn the radio off
4- weezer- pinkerton (second place: blue album)
5- radish- restraining bolt (my AIM name was littlepinkstars and I really wanted to marry Ben Kweller....well if things didn't work out with me and Rider Strong)

what are your go to cds?

Monday, September 13, 2010

fall- 3 thumbs up!

(image from here...take that Martha! seriously M-dog goes bonkers for halloween, have you seen her halloween special issues????)

alright, my favorite time of year has come. thats right, its fall people., especially when I see my beloved candy apples in the store (not the fancy ones, mind you, the ones at stop and shop...why must they come in 3 packs?? I have to hide them to trick myself to only eat one. also, I have yet to master eating one and driving). i bought a loaf of pumpkin wheat bread at the farmers market this weekend (I really wanted the sweet potato pecan bread but $7 seemed a bit steep for bread). it makes me long to eat my favorite boston pizza: 'the seasonal',which is only available at select times at penguins' pizza, with toppings like butternut squash, goat cheese and sage. I've decided to review my fall food/drinks so far (you know, to help you out of course):

1- dunkin donuts' pumpkin muffin
aah, streusel. you make everything so amazing! I can't believe you are only butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon! anyways, I was psyched to eat one as I am every year. However, this year's fell flat. Did I built it up too much? Probably. It is an unsettlingly (can I use that word???) moist muffin. Also, I failed to mention I did eat the whole thing so it wasn't that bad.

2- starbucks' pumpkin latte (iced)
I'm not a big hot coffee person, except after meals. I am iced year round. so I was very excited to have this drink. It was great (except the fact that I always get mediums, do I mean grandes?, and I think it was almost $5). not too sweet (D&D's is way too sweet for me), definitely delicious. you should get one!

3- trader joe's pumpkin pancake mix
granted we had these for breakfast way before fall. there is something I don't like about having pumkin things off season but whats done is done. that being said, they were very tasty! very heavily spiced but very tasty! buy some!

4- starbucks' salted caramel hot chocolate
I was pretty stoked about this. I love the salted caramel thing thats everywhere nowadays. I love when foods I like become trendy (see also: cupcakes) because then I can get them everywhere! Anyways, back to the cocoa. Basically, it was salty cocoa. Delicious, but not what I thought.

also, I am going to apple and pumpkin picking next weekend (!!!!) and helping bake a sure to be award winning pie. all I need is one of those pumpkin sweater vests from marshalls and I will officially be in the zone. also, I'm going to carve the crap out of that pumpkin.

and just for fun!

old favorites:
super simple pumpkin tiramisu
pumpkin creme brulee
oatmeal apple scones
cazuela baked apples

want to try:
squash potstickers
sweet potato gnocchi (I just bought a ricer!)
leek bread pudding
apple butter

whats your favorite fall food item? do you love fall as much as me?
(well you might think you don't)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

hello there!


Thank you so much for following me here! I decided to start a new blog to rant and rave about everything else in my life other than weddings (I will still rant and rave about weddings on my other blog). I thought a good way to start would be with a list, so here is 28 before 28:

1- get over my fear of canning (botchilism!)
2- get over my fear of baking bread from scratch (yeast!)
3- make a baby
4- make some flippin crafts (I am also crazy and prepping for christmas gifts already)
5- REALLY clean our home (and organize!)
6- plan & execute an awesome garden for next spring/summer (this summer was good but next summer it'll be great!)
7- organize my ever-growing piles of magazine clippings (recipes, stuff I like but can't afford/would never actually buy, etc)
8- send more mail/packages to my far away friends/family/college bound sis
9- start painting again
10- get over my fear of my sewing machine (I sew mostly by hand)
11- eat better (aka healthier)
12- cook more (by cook I mean experiment & use more of my recipes that I collect instead of making the same 1o things I always make*)
13- see more movies (this should make my husband happy; the last thing I begged to see was 'Babies'; usually I would rather sit at home and watch a Simpsons marathon)
14- have some kind of routine exercise (for real, this time)
15- be better with money (save more, spend less)
16- read more books (and finish the ones I start...any recommendations??)
17- buy our home (well start the process anyways)
18- go to the dentist and dermatologist (eep!)
19- invest in some clothes (more than 2 pairs of work pants perhaps?)
20- buy a hammock stand! (gotta throw some easy ones in there too)
21- recycle more (stop being lazy and not washing out pb jars, etc)
22- compost more (stop being lazy and throwing apple cores in trash sometimes)
23- shred junk mail instead of letting pile up and take over living room
24- actually keep my houseplants alive
25- (for real) learn to knit** (and remember how to crochet)
26- stress out less
27- keep in touch better (maybe use an actual phone as opposed to email even? lets not get ahead of ourselves here! one step at a time!)
28- remember birthdays better! (actually write on my calendar so I remember them)
29 (bonus!)- get back into music (like when I used to eat, sleep and breathe it...but maybe not take it that far)

* lately its been a lot of poached eggs, mini bagels with laughing cow cheese and fruit, veggie couscous, random garden salads, take out & homemade burritos, etc)
** ashamed to say, but for one of my homework assignments for my fibers class in college, I had my roommate knit for me. I can't knit to save my life. my teacher knew right away, I think she even knew Meg did it