Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Pizza

When people talk about what their last meal would be, my choice is always thanksgiving dinner. I love all of the traditional stuff, and I especially love the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce combo. This time of year is when lots of sandwich shops have thanksgiving sandwiches, with those three ingredients.

Last year, my cousins Kate and Potter made a Thanksgiving Pizza, with pizza dough, turkey, gravy,  stuffing, cranberry sauce, and goat cheese. I have been thinking about that pizza since they made it.  So tonight was the night- I stopped by at Trader Joe's and got pizza dough, pre made stuffing, a rotisserie chicken, and boxed gravy.

I imagine if you made all the components from scratch, it would be more delicious, but would also take more time than I am willing to commit on a monday night.

This was so good. SO. GOOD. the gravy, chicken and stuffing are savory and rich, and the cranberry sauce and goat cheese set it off with a really nice tang and acidity.

I will definitely be making this again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

youtube + ukelele = awesome

So it has been pointed out to me that I may have a thing for girl ukelele players.  I... may have a bit of a music obsession with a few of them. 

The evidence is clear. They are AWESOME.

Sweetafton23 (aka Molly Lewis)

Kate Miccuci of Garfunkel and Oates

and Julia Nunes

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies of Deliciousness.

Have I talked about the shortbread cookies at Panera before? No? that is a glaring and irresponsible oversight. I love the shortbread cookies at Panera. They are buttery deliciousness.  And apparently, the recipie to which is closely guarded by Panera, due to my diligent fruitless internet searches.

So. I have tried other shortbread recipes, but they have not come close to the awesome of the Panera ones. As a result, I decided to branch out and make Brown Sugar Shortbread cookies. I took a recipe from Ina Garten that I made as regular shortbread, which was good, a solid B+ and substituted the sugar with dark brown sugar, which gave it a nutty, deeper flavor. I think these rival the ones at Panera in terms of tasty-ness.

I used the fall shape cutouts that I borrowed from my cousin Kelly,  the big ones are leaves and the tiny ones are acorns.

Cooling on the racks. 


Acorns just out of the oven (excuse the crappy kitchen lighting)

I am going to try to resist eating all of them before work on monday.

Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies 
(adapted from an Ina Garten Recipe)


  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick and cut with a 3 by 1-inch finger-shaped cutter. Or cutter of your choice. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday list of petty greviances

1. I have to work tomorrow

2. I burned my tongue on my soup for lunch

3. woke up late, and slept crappliy.

4. work has kind of sucked so far today

5. Solo lunch in the cafeteria today, saaaaaaaaaaaaadly eating my soup and drinking my diet coke and staring off into space

6.  Want more of my friends to be on twitter (get on it, friends!)

7. forgot to make the playlist I wanted for work today.

8. The white knuckle drive going 40mph the entire way home last night in the lashing rain.

9. Nationwide Pumpkin shortage.

10. It not being wednesday at 4:30 already.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Best Burger in Baltimore

One of my favorite tv shows of all time is How I Met Your Mother. And in season Four, there was an episode called "Best Burger in New York" where Marshall was on a quest to find a burger that he had tasted in his first week in NY, and then was never able to find again.  In that spirit, my friend Julie and I (the Julie of Baltimore Over Easy fame)  have begun a quest. An epic quest for the best burger in Baltimore.

Cobbled together from a list on UrbanSpoon and the blog, I have come up with the comprehensive list of contestans in our Best burger challenge

Links will take you to the reviews!

Abbey Burger Bistro (Federal Hill)
Hamilton Tavern (Lauraville)
Burger Brothers (Towson)
Kooper's (Fell's)  Done! 10/27 See mini review below
Alonso's  (Roland Park )
The Dizz (Remington)
Duda's Tavern (Fell's)
James Joyce Irish Tavern (Downtown)
McCabe's (hampden)
Turps (Mount Vernon) Done! 11/17/09 See mini review below
Poncabird Cafe (Highlandtown)
Alexander's (Fell's Point)
The Seahorse (Dundalk)
Dougherty's (Mount Vernon)

Kooper's Tavern
Burger- decent burger, good size smashed patty- cooked to order, meat was okay, flavored with something (worsteshire?)   Fries: frozen, had flavor on them, (medium, taste wise)  Pickle: AWESOME  Crab dip: good actual dip, bread accompanying, not great. (bonus: on tuesday nights, burgers are half price)

Burger: good size,  cooked perfectly to order, meat good, some kind of mix to flavor meat  Fries: frozen, but decent, and cooked well. Pickle: good  Crab stuffed pretzel: Not actually a pretzel so much as a breadstick, but good creamy dip, good amount of actual crab. Julie liked the side of cheez whiz that came with, I was... less impressed with that, but it wasn't bad. (half price burger nights: Wednesday)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Zen of Risotto

My friend Lisa makes the most amazing risotto. After many dinners of it at her house, watching her make it, A few years ago I stepped up and made it myself.

It's fantastic.

Risotto is creamy, and salty, and cheesy and wonderful. But, that's not what I really like about it. what I really like is the method to make it. Risotto is not hard, but it does require patience. And stirring. Lots and lots of stirring. When I'm stressed out, one of the things I like to do is cook.  The methodical tap that the knife makes hitting the cutting board to chop the onions, the sizzle of the butter and olive oil in the pan. I can imagine  the scent of the beginnings of every good dinner; onions and garlic sweating away.  And then the rice, toasting a little, to infuse a nutty taste, and the stock, in another pot,  barely simmering away, waiting to be incorporated, ladleful by ladleful.  The worn wooden spoon drawing circles in the cooking rice, as it absorbs the hot stock. waiting, waiting, more stock, stirring stirring stirring.  The rainfall of cheese, melting into the pan, and then, a scoop of the comforting dish steaming, as I blow on it a little, before I take the first bite.

Sometimes I add  roasted sweet potatoes, sometimes sausage, occasionally veggies. But it always begins with the rice and the pot, and the slow, slow stirring.

See also: (the zen of caramel sauce)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

How I Met Your Mother

One of the best TV shows on today is How I Met Your Mother. It's Hilarious, it has Neil Patrick Harris, who is awesome (See also: hosting of the Tonys and the Emmys) Jason Radnor, who is funny, Alyson Hannigan, Cobie Smulders, and Jason

so i bring you..... some of my favorite quotes from How I Met Your Mother.... If you are not watching it, you should be.

Lily: Don't Ted-out about it.
Ted: Did you just use my name as a verb?
Barney: Oh, yeah, we do that behind your back. "Ted-out": to overthink. See also "Ted-up". "Ted-up": to overthink with disastrous consequences. For example, "Billy Tedded-up when he-"
Ted: All right, I get it!
Ted: No, I meant do you have a cold?
Barney: I'm fine. [blows his nose from a cold]
Barney: I'm fine. My nose is just overflowing with awesome and I had to get some of it out. If you'll excuse me, holiday is the time when people are lonely and desperate. It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Ted: Chinese?
Barney: I don't like Chinese.
Ted: Indian?
Barney: I just said I don't like Chinese.
Ted: Indian isn't Chinese.
Barney: Weird meat, funny music, side of rice. Why are we splitting hairs?

Monday, November 2, 2009

All the single ladies

I love this song.

I especially love different versions of this song.


Baby Version

Football Players

Wah uh oh oh oh oh!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A change in plans

So.... I decided that I am not going to do NaNoWriMo this year. Just with everything that is going on, i don't think i would make the goal, and since this year is about COMPLETING GOALS, I am switching over to NaBloPoMo, where I will be updating here every day this month! (please. try to contain your excitement.)  I'm actually really excited, and I think it'll be a great thing to be posting more often.

Some days i'l do Memes, and other days will be cooking stuff, and yet other days will be working on my 28th list (am going to complete all things this year! I can DO it!)