As American as. . .

Apple Pie! and outsourcing! (I’ll explain.)

For the previously discussed Mad Men party, I wanted to make a quintessentially 60’s dessert. But you know what? I looked up some recipes from the sixties and there was just way too much jello involved. I’m not into jello, you guys. It’s so. . . wiggly.

ew.

So then I decided that instead of focusing on the 60’s specifically, I’d think about classic ‘Merican dessert. And that led me straight to apple pie. There’s something so great about pie. To quote Jim Gaffigan, it’s liquid cake. It’s flakey and gooey and crunchy and warm and just amazing.

But remember when I said this post was as American as outsourcing? I’m going to let you guys in on my dirty little secret:

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Fool Me Once, Shame on You

I’m not a huge fan of ‘celebrating’ April Fool’s Day. I feel like I have enough opportunities to make a fool of myself throughout the year without anyone else trying to help me do it.

Like most things, though, if you add food to the mix I’m much more willing to participate. And while I’m pretty sure I might initially gag if I ate something expecting the taste of berry pie but instead tasted shepherd’s pie, some of the foods-that-look-like-other-foods out there are so cute and clever that I wanted to try some myself. Keep reading to see how I made grilled cheese and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

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White on Rice

This past Sunday, in case you didn’t know, was a national holiday. After 17 months, Mad Men is back on the air. The only appropriate thing to do then, of course, was to have an awesome party. My wonderful friend Carrie hosted, and we had a sort of fancied-up TV dinner. . . meatloaf (delicious!), succotash, apple pie (which I will be sharing with you on Friday) and white rice. Amazing, fluffy, sticky, satisfying white rice.

Why, hello there.

Rice is one of those foods that I am convinced should be very simple to make. It’s a staple. It’s a side dish. I can make pasta, which is like, rice’s best friend. But I can never ever get it right. It’s always crunchy. or soupy. or there’s a layer of burned gelatinous rice material on the bottom of my pot. So Carrie, who is from Hawaii, offered to show me her technique for making killer rice.

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Skirting the Issue

Once upon a time, circa July 9, 2010, I had the privilege to be Katrina’s Maid of Honor.

Awww 🙂

It was a classy event. Katrina picked a summery blue-and-yellow color scheme.  The ceremony was sweet. The reception was delightful. There were cupcakes. There was dancing. There were toasts.

Look at me, rockin' the toast. I'm so funny.

Nearly two years later, though, I still have this flowy yellow dress hanging in my closet, waiting for its new purpose. I’ve got a billion other fancy-occasion dresses, so I decided this year that I would turn my bridesmaid dress into a skirt for Easter. Here’s part one of that adventure.

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Monday Mocha Break

Hey all! Your Monday Mocha Break is a little late today. It’s my day off, so today I took a massage break, and had my first ever Swedish massage! If you’ve never had a professional massage, you really, really should.

So, if you’re still looking to sip a mocha and take a little break from whatever occupies your Mondays, I want to share one of my favorite websites with you: Dark Roasted Blend. DRB posts collections of all things beautiful, weird or fascinating.

Check out their recent coffee art & style extravaganza, including coffee splash photography:

Enjoy!

 

Brilliant!

I have to admit, I have a weak spot for St. Patrick’s Day. But not in the whole excessive drinking bar crawl way (though I did do a pub crawl one year when I was abroad). I find venturing out on St. Patrick’s day to be a somewhat miserable experience (drunks. kiss me, i’m irish t-shirts. college students.), but I love the opportunity to indulge in specific types of alcohol (guinness! jameson!) and various irish-y food stuffs pretty great. And I like to listen to Irish punk on repeat for a day or two. So that’s awesome.

This year, some poet friends and I opted for a quiet evening in, playing Settlers of Catan (which. . . amazing.)  Two of my guy friends made beer battered fish (!) so I offered to bring dessert.  The only rule I made for myself in deciding what to make was that it had to include Guinness.

There's a shamrock in my beer!

I love Guinness. It’s so rich and dark and amazing, and it pairs so well with chocolate. One of my favorite undergrad memories is touring the Guinness factory in Dublin. It was like Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but with more hops.

Clearly, I am very Rock n Roll in this picture.

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Ensconsed in Velvet

If you don’t know what I’m talking about in the title, it’s a reference to Seinfeld, which I’ve fallen for again. I haven’t had television in my home for about 3 1/2 years until recently. I know, I’m not sure how I survived, either. But rather than catching up on hip new shows, I’ve been sucked into reruns of Seinfeld and Scrubs.

What I’m really talking about, though, is red velvet. And not just your traditional red velvet cake. This is about red velvet shortbread cookies!

Red Velvet!

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Hit on all six!

Our dear Amy is getting married in May, which means we are right in the middle of getting ready for her shower. The theme of the shower is 1920’s Speakeasy (how cool is that?).  Being on the wrong end of the country during the planning and prepping phase has made me of limited use, and, guys, I like being useful! So I offered to do the invitations. But since this was a shower for Amy, my bff since forever and also one of the craftiest (in terms of making stuff, not in terms of scheming) people I know, I decided I should design them from scratch and make them by hand. All fifty of them. By myself. In one week.

Say What?

But you know what, Readers? It wasn’t so bad at all. Once I got a plan, and a design in place, and four seasons of Battlestar Galactica streaming on Netflix, it was pretty smooth sailing.

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Ice Cream For Breakfast

(Subtitled, Mint Chocolate Chip Oreo Mini Ice Cream Cupcakes)

Mint-chocolatey!

Heads up: I have no idea what I’m doing.

A few friends are coming over on St. Patrick’s day and I promised myself (and my fiance) I wouldn’t get in over my head with food ideas. My brain can mostly handle stress over the wedding, but not much else on top of that. So I’m going pretty basic (but tasty!) as far as savory snacks go. But desserts? Come on. You gotta have fun with dessert.

I’m not sure when I started thinking “I should do this”, but I like things that are green, things that are mint-chocolatey, and things that are mini varieties of other things. Add the buzz about Oreo’s 100th Anniversary, and it’s not a far leap to mini ice cream cupcakes (right?).

I’ve never done this before, so this morning I was pretty much winging it. If you’d like to risk being the fool who followed a fool, here’s how…

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