Completely incoherent ramblings about shoes, food and being in love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sweet Yummy Goodness


This evening will be all baking, all the time for me. Well, not quite, but I do have 4 pies to make by Wednesday night. Two Pumkin Pies and two Apple Pies. I LOVE to bake. I mean seriously. It's theraputic for me. I think I also really like the results :)

I am the family baker. Every time there is an occassion, I am the one bringing dessert. It all started about 4 years ago when I made my Dad a lemon meringue pie for his birthday. It came out so well, that I was requested to make the next birthday dessert. In the begining, I would use boxed cake mix and spice it up with my own special additions. About a year ago however, I decided to make a cake from scratch, and I have never looked back. I have even thought of starting a small business doing childrens birthday cakes and whatnot.

But anyway, this year I am making two pies for my family, and two to bring to my mother-in-law's house. This is the first time that I have ever spent thanksgiving away from my family, so I thought that I could make it up to them by at least baking my famous pies!

I thought I would share with you my Apple Pie Recipe:

1 unbaked 9 inch double pie crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 egg white
8 apples * - peeled, cored and sliced
Cinnamon, Nutmeg, All Spice, Cloves

First of all, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
In a small saucepan melt the butter. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water and both types of sugar, bring to a boil. Once its boiling, reduce the temperature and let it simmer.

Place 1 of the crusts into your pie plate ** Brush the crust with beaten egg white (this keeps the crust from getting soggy)

Take your apples, and put them into a really big bowl. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 of the syrupy mixture over the apples along with cinnamon, nutmeg all spice and cloves (you can use all, none or just some of those spices) and toss to coat. The best way to judge the amount of spice to add is through smell. When it smells like a yummy apple pie, you have added enough :) But, you can always taste too...

Fill the pie crust with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice, you know, the pretty criss cross crust thing. Take the remaining syrupy mixture, and gently pour it over the crust. Place the pie on something like aluminum foil or a thin baking sheet, because the liquid has a tendency to bubble up and over the sides of the dish, which causes a big mess in the oven.

Place on BOTTOM rack of oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes. Apples will be soft when its cooked throughly.

For an added treat, about 10 minutes before the pie is done, brush the lattice work with milk, and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Enjoy the lovely smell of warm apple pie in your house...its better then one of those Yankee Candles!

*For apple pie, people have varying opinions on which apples to use. Personally, I chose 3-4 different types of apples. I believe this is what makes my pie so good. It allows for more depth of flavor. For instance, I might use 3 granny smith, 2 macintosh, 2 cortland and 1 liberty. I mostly go with whatever I can find in the grocery store that day so its not an exact science, but you get the idea.

** An easy way to transfer your crust from where you rolled it out to the pie plate is this: When you are rolling the dough, do so between two sheets of wax paper. When you are done rolling, remove the top piece of paper. Fold the whole thing in half, creating a semi-circle. Peel the wax paper back so that the wax paper is flat, and only attached to half of the dough. Now fold the whole thing in half again, so now your dough is just a liitle wedge. Remove the paper entirely and place the wedge into the pie plate with the point in the center. Unfold and Viola! Fix any cracks by smooshing it back together with you finger. You can always use the trimmed edges for filling in thin spots too.


So, I hope that you enjoy my recipe. I swear, once you taste this pie, you will be hooked. Its the best pie ever!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Meme Me

Thanks to Janet for this silly little diversion

5 Things

10 Years Ago - I had just learned that I would be moving to England for a few years...which turned out to be the rest of my high school career. What an experience. Maybe I'll tell you about it someday...

8 Years Ago - Junior year at boarding school near London. I was going through my hard core goth/punk stage. Having a blast being a rebel in a conservative school. What I wouldn't give to go back to those carefree days.

4-6 Years Ago - Cowardly dropping out of Tulane, moving back to Delaware, and landing a job that pays me too much to do too little.

2 Years Ago - Buying my first house (condo, shutup...I like to pretend) Falling deeper in love with the man of my dreams.

Now - approaching my 6 month wedding anniversary. It gonna to be really weird when I'm saying six years...I still can't believe I am married :)

Five Yummy Things

*1* Sushi. Janet, I am not trying to copy you, I swear, I eat sushi twice a week...remember when we used to "borrow" that one guy-that-shall-remain-unnamed-in-case-he-stumbles-across-this's credit card and order from that great place in NOLA, I mean, you used to only get the dumplings back then, but yummy!
*2* Creme Brulee
*3* Frozen grapes
*4* Sugar free Redbull
*5* Anything Colin cooks for me

Five Songs I know By Heart
Seriously? Only five?

*1* Someone like you-Van Morrison (our wedding song)
*2* Anything by Ani Difranco
*3* Everything by Keller Williams
*4* Scenes From An Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel
*5* I Like Big Butts - Sir Mix A Lot

I could go on for hours...

Five Things I Would Do With a Lot of Money

*1* Buy this house, that Colin and I have been swooning over for years, and now its on the market, but we don't have 700 thousand dollars. bah
*2* Travel the world.
*3* Open a restaurant
*4* Throw a huge party and invite all those people that I haven't seen in ages and everyone that I really didn't get to hang out with at the wedding, etc.
*5* Buy my dream car. A G-Wagon (except that I am technically Very against gas guzzling SUV's. But, I won't drive it often, I'll just sit in it in the driveway and drool. Or! Since I have lots of money, I'd make them build a biodiesel/electric hybrid type engine for me!)

Five Places I Would Escape To

*1* Australia
*2* One of those National Geographic Expeditions
*3* London
*4* Amsterdam
*5* Sweden

Five Things I Would Never Wear

*1* Uggs
*2* Fur
*3* Jeans with no back pockets
*4* Sweats in public
*5* Floral Print Tights, or whatever the trend right now is...HATE. IT!

Five Favorite TV Shows

*1* Scrubs
*2* OC
*3* Laguna Beach
*4* The Office
*5* The Daily Show

Five Things I Enjoy Doing

*1* Hanging out at home with the hubby
*2* Sleeping
*3* Baking
*4* Shopping
*5* Running

Five Favorite Toys

*1* My iPod Nano
*2* My XM Radio
*3* My DVR
*4* My running shoes
*5* My husband (ok, that was cheesy, sorry)

Five People I am Tagging To Fill This Out

*1* Nobody, cause I don't know anybody. So If you want to do it, leave me a comment, and I will add your name!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tale of Two Kitties


As promised, here is the story of my cats:

I met Colin during the summer of 2002. On the way home from a funeral I stopped in a crazy little bar/restaurant/hole in the wall to get a drink and a bite to eat. But mostly, a drink. Before I knew it, the owner had offered me a job as a bartender. I didn't need the job. In fact, I had a very good job, making more money then any 20-year-old-with-no-college-degree should be making. But, for reasons that I didn't fully understand yet, I decided, what the hell. The place was forty minutes from my house. They rarely had any customers. The tips were going to be terribly shitty. But, it seemed like a fun place to work, and besides, if I didn't like it, I could just quit.

One week later I showed up for my first shift. Nervous as all hell. I knew that it was just a rinky-dink place, but it had been awhile since I had bartended in England and I felt a little rusty. With my bartenders bible in hand, I walked into my new job.

My manager quickly showed me around, and took me to meet the rest of the staff. We walked into the kitchen and,

'Good God. I think that might be the most gorgeous man I have ever seen. Stay cool Jess. Stay cool.'

His name was Colin. A few awkward days later, he asked me out on a date. Well, sort of. Actually I believe what happened was that we were talking about restaurants in Philly and I told him that my favorite was The Continental. To which he replied,
"I bet I know a better restaurant"

So I took him up on that offer. *offer? what offer?*

After our amazing first date at The Striped Bass, we were inseparable.

Two months later, we moved into an apartment together. By then we had both quit working at the hole-in-the-wall. Life was good. We were living on the bottom floor of a twelve unit building. Nothing special, but the rent was cheap and it was in a good area. But, the neighbors. Oh, the neighbors.

There was crack-head Nick. He was actually a really nice guy, but he was a crack-head. We liked to refer to him as a 'functioning crack-head'. We would run into him at the grocery store and he would be stocking up on normal things like bread and milk, but man! he was tweakin'.

Then, there was the young Vietnamese girl that lived above us with her dad. At all hours of the night, she would sneak out of her apartment and climb down the wall right next to our bedroom window. One night she even had her boyfriend pull his F150 up to the building and shine his bright ass headlights right into our room just so she wouldn't have to climb down so far.

One neighbor, Hippie Tom, had a patio that was the first thing you came across when you walked up to the building. Tom was living in an alternate universe. He had no job. Something had happened to his brother a few years back and somehow Tom got a lot of money out of it. We never really asked for the full story, but his brother was killed somehow. So, all day long, Hippy Tom sat on his front patio, guitar on his lap, jamming out to the Grateful Dead and Widespread Panic. His FULL beard was always full of indistinguishable crumbs. Or maybe bugs, who knows. You could smell the beer on his breath the minute you got to the parking lot. Hippy Tom was a very friendly guy. Whenever he saw you he would offer you a chair and a beer. Or a joint. Anything to avoid life. He would do crack with Nick and then deny it, and then slander Nick for being a crack head. We quickly became "friends" with Hippy Tom. He had a very gorgeous cat named Peaches. She had just had a litter of 5 kittens. They were always outside with Tom and when I walked by they used to run over and pounce at my legs on hide under my long skirts. They? were utterly adorable.

One night I was sitting on the patio with Tom, reminiscing about the good old days when Jerry was still alive. I had one of the kittens on my lap. It was only about 6 weeks old. It was a little white ball of fur. All it wanted to do was sleep. I could have sat and pet this kitten forever. Tom had named it Baby because he was the babiest of the litter. Tom really had a way with words.

Sitting there waiting for Colin to come home from his new restaurant job, Hippy Tom asked me if I wanted to keep Baby. A cat? Well, yes I wanted him. But I had to see if Colin approved. Tom thought it would be a good idea, because that way he would still get to see Baby. He had become very attached to these kittens in the few weeks that they had been alive, and although he couldn't keep them, he didn't want them to go away.

Colin and I discussed it later that night and decided that, while getting a pet together was a big step, we had already skyrocketed through the first two months of our relationship, so why slow down now? We went back to tell Hippy Tom that we would adopt Baby. It didn't take long before he convinced us to take two. Colin was partial to a little blackish-brownish one with a orange dot on its forehead. They were like polar opposites of each other in terms of appearance, but the one thing they had in common was the orange. Baby looked like he used to be orange primer and when someone was putting the coat of white paint on they missed a few spots here and there. Monkey, the brownish one, had only a tiny little circle of orange on her forehead.

Well, I say 'her' now. At the time, we were convinced that Monkey was a boy and Baby was a girl. They seemed to have those mannerisms. Baby was the one that liked to be cuddled and Monkey was the 'snakes and snails and puppy dogs tails' one. It wasn't until our first vet appointment that we discovered otherwise.

Their names however, are the most appropriate names ever. We wouldn't have kept them if Hippy Tom hadn't asked us to repeatedly. I mean, Monkey? Baby? Not necessarily the most creative names on the planet. Baby is, well, a Baby. And, Monkey, is quite possibly the offspring of some rare from of mid-Atlantic tree monkey and Peaches.




We had one of those thermostats in the apartment that was a round dial. The ones from like, the 50's. On many occasions we would come home to a house that was 90 degrees, or 50 depending on which way she swung when she would jump up and latch her little paws around the dial. Oh yeah. The thing was like 4 feet up the wall. How she jumped up that high we will never know. Often times we would be sitting on the couch watching TV and the hallway light would go off. Then on. Then off again. Yup. It was just Monkey, jumping up and flicking the switch. The greatest Monkey moment ever though, involved the TV.

There used to be a commercial for Cingular wireless with a little Jack Russell terrier on a white background. There was a voiceover that was talking about Cingular's new 'rollover' plan, and everytime that the voice said 'rollover' the little doggie would bark a little and rollover. When Monkey heard the dog bark she would come running. No matter where she was in the house or what she was doing, when she heard that dog she was in front of that television like the dog was right there in our living room. With every roll of the dog, Monkeys little head would make a little circle. The more then dog rolled over, the closer he got to the edge of the screen, and eventually he rolled right out of view. Well, Monkey didn't like that. She would actually run behind the TV to look for the dog. And then run right back to the front when she heard him barking again. Oh, and, this wasn't a one time thing. It happened whenever the commercial came on. Maybe she's not the smartest cat in the world, but dammit she's entertaining! We wanted to videotape this comedy routine to send into Americas Funniest Home Videos, but by the time we borrowed a camcorder, the commercial was off the air. Dammit. We totally would've won $10,000.



It has been three years now. Colin and I are married. We've moved into a new house. (I say house, but I mean condo. I like to pretend) And our children? Still two of the most beautiful cats you have ever seen, although they are a little bit on the fat side. Through all of the accidents on the carpet, and tooth marks in Coach purses, I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Bitch-O-Rama


I need to BITCH today.

My house is in such disarray I can't stand it anymore!

Do you see how bad that is?!?!

Those fuckers came and stole my laundry room over a month ago! Seriously, if I have to come home to that wall of boxes one more time, I think I will go ape shit.

I can't do my laundry. It has been 5. WEEKS. NO. LAUNDRY.

Luckily I have more underwear then anyone in their right mind should own, (I can't help it, I have a soft spot for Victoria's Secret.) BUT SERIOUSLY THIS IS GETTING OLD!

They told us that we could use our washer/dryer. So the night before we left for Florida Colin did a load of laundry. I, unfortunately, didn't have time. When we got back? there was a lock on the door and now we can't get in.

Fair enough, we had been asking for a lock due to the fact the anyone could have walked right into our house through the laundry room door. But, they put the lock on the outside door, which means that now we can't get into the room to do our laundry. They put the lock on the wrong damn door. We can't open the door from inside of our house because there is plastic on the other side.

But Jessica, it's just a little plastic. Why don't you just rip it down?

Yeah, well. Colin was practically ripping down the damn wall trying to push through the plastic. The must have used some sort of insane "the terrorists have biological weapons, buy plastic. and duct tape" type shit. There is no getting through it. Well, I suppose this way at least one doorway in our house is secure in case of biological attack.

Gahhh!!!

Plus, we are trying to get our place ready to sell. Do you have any idea how difficult that is when you can barely walk through the damn place? We did, however, get the bathroom sink put back together this weekend. It has only been what? a year since we tiled the floor in there and never put the sink back fully. Yeah, we're real good at this homeownership thing.

On a much happier note,
Janet and Andrew got engaged this weekend! I am so happy for them. I swear, when I found out, it was like it was happening to me all over again. I had permagrin all day! They will have a very long and happy life together. And, maybe I'll get to help with wedding plans because? I am totally an expert now after spending 2 damn years planning every last minniscule detail for my own. Head on over to her journal and say congrats! And leave me some damn comments too. I am nice. You love me. You want to make me smile today because it was a shitty weekend. Oh, and kitties!





Here are my children in all their glory. Baby and Monkey. Don't make fun of their names, they are very fitting...stay tuned for tomorrows entry, "A Tale of Two Kitties"

Love Ya!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Flights of Fancy


Wee'rrrrrrrrreee Baaaaaccckk!

I bet you didn't even notice that we were gone did you?
Well, we were and it was fabulous!

About a month ago, my father-in-law Ingemar (great Swedish name) called and asked if we would like to come down to Florida for the weekend. Colins brother, sister-in-law, and niece were coming over from Sweden for 2 weeks, and he really wanted all of us to be able to spend some time together. Jacob (brother) Linda (brothers wife) and Jackie (beautiful 20 month old niece) weren't able to make it to our wedding, and I had still never met them. Also, Colin had never met Jackie. Ya know, being from Sweden and all, its not just a few hours drive. So hell yeah! We'll totally come to Florida! WooHoo!!

So, it was a huge surprise to everyone. The only people that knew were me, Colin and Ingemar. Everyone was so shocked to see us! I think Jacob nearly had a heart attack. Its weird, for how little they get to see or talk to each other, Colin and Jacob are very close. So anyway the weekend was full of BABIES!

My favorite subject at the moment is the babies. There seems to be a whole new baby boom going on. In Hollywood, on blogs, and in my (Colin's) family. Colin comes from a very large family. Well, he is an only child (with one half brother, and one step brother. Jacob is his half brother) But his mom is one of 5 kids, all of which have 2 or 3 kids, which are now at the age where babies are popping out everywhere. Haha get it? Popping out?! OK. Moving on. While in Florida, I had the pleasure of entertaining myself with; 1 20 month old baby girl, 1 9 month old baby boy, 1 2.5yr old girl, and 2 twin 5 week old baby girls. This is good and bad for the following reason: I want a baby! The twin girls were arguably the cutest of all the kids, but that is due only to the fact that they were premies and are just now the size of newborns, and therefore? so precious. I was too scared to hold either of them though. Something about them seemed so fragile, and I couldn't imagine breaking one of them, so instead I decided to just stare. Hopefully, when I have my own, I will get over my fear of broken babies.
Aeden, the nine month old boy, is model baby quality. He has got those huge baby eyes that are brilliant blue, and a six and a half tooth smile that could melt the coldest of hearts. And? hes only nine months and walking around like an old pro. The 2.5 yr old was definitely in the terrible twos stage, but nonetheless adorable. But the highlight of my weekend was definitely Jackie, my first and only niece.

*pictures have arrived*

She only speaks Swedish, and not very much of it. At first. it was a little weird, but then when I realized that I probably speak Swedish as well as she does, I was a little more comfortable. Oh yeah, I guess I learned a little Swedish over the weekend. Tack sa mycket. She was as perfect as I always imagined her to be. I tried to put her in my suitcase and sneak her back to Delaware, but her Mom caught me. Ooops.

All of this culminates with this single thought:

Colin was so in love with Jackie that I think he may be coming around on the baby issue. Yes, I know we have only been married for five months, and we need a bigger house, but, just go with me on this one, I think we could make it work. I thought long and hard about it on the never-ending plane rides home. We wouldn't really need to leave the condo until he/she is about a year old. That gives us at least 1.75 yrs to find a new house. And, that is only of I got pregnant today. We decided to quit smoking. For our new years resolutions. And, we are really going to do it. Cold turkey. Both of us want to. So, lets say January 2nd we get pregnant...thats plenty of time! Seriously, I think I'll start 'forgetting' to take my birth control soon...don't tell Colin! (That is just a joke. Please don't take me seriously, I would never make that huge of a life decision without my husband)

Oh yeah, other things happened in Florida besides babies. We also went out on the boat and went swimming and had a big lunch with all of Colin's aunts, uncles and cousins and we watched home videos from the 70's and 80's with little naked Colin running around and chewing on the microphone cord and whatnot. It was a beautiful weekend.

You guys, seriously, I want a baby!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Worth Every Penny

This weekend was fabulous!
Mostly because it was all about me, so maybe it wasn't so fabulous for Colin, but meh....who cares! (haha just kidding sweetie!) Anyway, It was full of purchases that have turned out to be the most utterly magnificent buys every. Allow me to explain...

Saturday started out right with breakfast at Dennys, which I am pretty sure is impossible to top. MMmmmm....Dennys....

Then off to the mall for a little shopping. I had every intention of going to the mall and buying a new bra and new boots. They were the two specific items that I needed. Did I walk out with either one? Of course not. I did however buy
this.

Without getting into to too much detail, I would like to tell you the glory that is this outfit thingy.
I suffer from low self esteem. I blame a past boyfriend who was verbally abusive. However, when I put this on, I was instantly strutting alongside Tyra and Giselle down the VS runway. Seriously. This thing hides a myriad of flaws and quite possibly is the sexiest thing any girl could possibly wear. Oh yeah, Colin agrees with me...its not all in my head. Plus, when I was at VS, I had to ask the lady where they were cause I saw it on a mannequin. She said she thought it was the last one, but that "I am pretty sure it's a small so that one will fit you if you want me to take it off for you" Nothing better then someone looking at you and guessing that you would wear a small. Way to make my day Victorias Secret Sales Lady!

Worth Every Penny.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my hippy hair. I need to get it cut still. I know, I know. Whats the point of asking for advice if you're not going to use it? Well, I fully intend to, it just hasn't seemed to happen yet. So anyway, last week I ran out of shampoo and conditioner so I ran to Happy Harry's to pick some up. Yes, you are allowed to laugh at a drugstore named Happy Harry's. They also have a pretty funny slogan but I can't remember it at the moment, I know that it always makes me wonder why is Harry so happy? Anyway, I ended up picking up a brand that I had never tried before,
Samy Shampoo and Conditioner. I can now recommend this product whole-heartedly. When I saw Janet on Sunday, she said your hair looks good, You got it cut? Nope, its just the new shampoo. I think this may be the miracle in a bottle that I have been looking for. We are talking super shiny, very light weight, and I am left with NO frizzies. None.

Worth Every Penny.

Which brings me to Sunday. There is nothing better then getting together with out of town friends to sit and be pampered. Janet and I met up on Sunday to get manicures and pedicures. It is so lovely to relax and chat girly talk. Although, I did end up bringing up football which. Bah. I have officially lived with Colin for too long now. But nonetheless.

Worth Every Penny

Last but not least, my birthday present from Colin. My beautiful black iPod Nano. I am now the coolest person I know. I have joined the ranks of the pop culture elite. This device amazes me, I am in awe of its glorious miniature-ness. Mind you, I had to ask other people how to actually make the damn thing work, but last night? On my run? Heavenly.

Worth. Every. Penny.

Especially since I didn't pay for it.