Monday, May 31, 2010

Reason #32074 to love Baltimore

I love the Sunday Farmer's Market in Baltimore.  It's one of my favorite things to do. I like to go really early, before the masses descend, and meander around, with my cup of Zeke's Coffee, and my freshly made donuts from the donut guy, and slowly make my way around, smelling strawberries, trying samples of cheese, and picking out herbs and vegetables, and listening to the musicians that are playing.  It has expanded exponentially since I first started going, and now it is in two areas. 

If Baltimore people want to know which stands are my favorite, send me an email, because I don't know what the names of most of them are, but I can tell you where they are located. 

Today was my first farmer's market of the season, and I did not realize just how much I had missed it.  I met my friends Katie, Lisa and Bryan, and we walked around, eating our donuts, and enjoying the beautiful morning.  Of the new vendors,  Bryan introduced me to the olive oil stand that is new this year, which is SO good. and! if you bring your bottle back, they give you a discount to refill it!  Awesome. Also, Pitango Gelato is at the market now, and my epic love of Pitango is timeless. 

But easily my new favorite stand is Wheely Good Smoothies. First of all, a Pun-y name is always my favorite.  Secondly, they are a smoothie stand, that is powered by bicycle. You pay your dollars, and you get a discount if you pedal yourself.  they fill up the blender cup, and put it on the little stand on the back, and you pedal away.  And when you're done, you have a delicious smoothie!

I chose the Strawberry Basil with Orange juice, and it seriously rocked. I liked it so much that after the farmer's market, I ran down to Trader Joe's to get the ingredients so that I could make my own smoothies. The basil just makes it taste so fresh and delicious.  I tested out making my own with my stick blender, and it totally worked!  I forsee a summer of smoothie making.  The key that Wheely Good does, that makes the smoothies so awesome, is that they use frozen fruit, so that you don't need to add ice that would water it down. GENIUS. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ten Things

1) I got a lot of stuff that I wanted to get packed for moving packed this weekend.
2) This time next week I'll be in my new place! (and be off, because it's Memorial Day!)
3) Forgetting that i have to bake for a work thing on wednesday- but remembering that I have all of the ingredients for compost cookies at my house.
4) Weeding through my stuff is incredably cathartic
5) Going to see The Rescues tomorrow!
6) Friends who update their blogs  frequently. and also those that are  not so frequent.
7) coffee. Coffee is a reason to rejoice.
8) Lady Gaga Episode of Glee this week (even though Glee Tuesdays is not happening this week, sadly)
9)  Awesome people who are helping me move: My mom, my dad, Meda, and possibly my sister.
10) Planning on how I'm going to actually decorate my new place, and the Herb garden I'm going to grow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


It is a dreary, rainy, gloomy day, and all I want to do is snuggle up under the covers and go home to go to bed.  It is tough to come up with ten things today, but I'm going to do my best.

1) The vegetarian cooking class that I took this weekend was awesome, and I have two recipes (for sure) that I am going to make again.

2) Relatedy to 1 (is relatedly a word? eh, probably not)- it was someone else's random act of kindness that I got to take the class.  Quite wonderful. I need to work on my random acts of kindness on my list.

3) I've been recipe planning in my head again, which is always fun.

4) Having to think out of the box to make things healthier - I tend not to do this, but when I have to, it is always good.

5) GLEE TUESDAY IS TODAY. besides that fact that I lamely spoiled myself for this episode. I am really looking forward to hanging out with Julie and Paul and also seeing Neil Patrick Harris on Glee.

6)  Cooking class on Wednesday! I am learning how to make pasta!

7) My starbucks clear container that I keep ice water in, on my desk. It actually helps to remind me to drink water throughout the day

8) I made vanilla bean fruit salad for work today, with a honey yogurt topping. Honeydew, Pineapple, Strawberry, Blackberries, and kiwi, sat overnight with vanilla bean. Man, it tastes awesome.

9) Today's My Mom's Birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom!

10) I found a SUH-WEET deal at Marshall's for a pasta maker, So I'll be all ready for when I get all these awesome pasta making skillz from my class.  I am already thinking of:  Pumpkin ravioli in a sage butter sauce, spinach ravioli wih shrimp and cream sauce,  making my own linguini with clam sauce. Making my own lasagna from very scratch, The posibilites are limitless!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


After a somewhat annoying flight - I had not realized when booking my ticket that we stopped in West Palm Beach. I realize that flying is wonderful, and a a marvel of 20th century invention, but I am not a huge fan of landing.  So getting to the airport and realizing that I had to land twice in two hours was not an amusing prospect. 

I landed in West Palm Beach, (which was a rocky landing) and then I got on my phone to text message my sister and my cousin Potter, complaining about my own dumbness and airsick-ness. We took off for the second flight, and thankfully it was fast, about forty minutes in the air.

I arrived in Florida bearing compost cookies for G- I had made oatmeal with cranberry and white chocolate, and the traditional compost ones for her to try, and I think she liked them- especially "the ones with the pretzels in them!"

I got settled in, and hung out for a while, then went to bed. 

Getting up the next morning, it was early for a Saturday morning for me, (especially without a cat waking me up)  but I got up, and we made a grocery list to get the stuff I'd need when I was cooking over the weekend.  Off to Walmart, Sweet Bay, and Publix. We did more running around in the morning than I do on most Saturdays, and it was only eleven in the morning! After stashing the groceries, I made dill egg salad for us for lunch, which we had with Beets & Sweets chips. 

When I was originally talking to G about coming down, I told her that I wanted to cook for her, which she definitely liked the idea of. I asked her what kind of stuff she liked, and she said "I like everything!"  which, while true, I guess, I really wanted to make something special for her.  So I asked her what she goes out to order when she goes to a resturaunt, and she said seafood. So I landed on Seafood Risotto.  My risotto recipe is directly stolen from my friend Lisa,  but seeing as she does not eat seafood, I adapted pretty freely- seafood broth instead of chicken broth, once it was cooked, I folded in crab meat, and shrimp, and peas ( and a ton of parmesan cheese). Alongside we had salads that I put together.

Lynn, Uncle Richard and Aunt Dorie came over for dinner, and we hung out and relaxed on the Lanai (for people not from Florida: this is a sunporch or screened in porch) 

The next day we got up and hung out, and ran up to the store to get a newspaper and for G to check her lottery ticket (spoiler: not a winner)  and then went back to the house, where I taught her how to use her GPS system.   Then I made lunch, which was pasta salad with tuna, dill, mayo, celery, and kidney beans. That salad reminds me of summer dinners, and was good because it is a million degrees in Florida (also, it is MAY, and almost 90 degrees. WHAT IS THAT MESS) 

Lynn and Aunt Dorie came over a little while later, and then I began the prep for roasting a chicken. I chopped the herbs, prepped the bird, and cut up the potato and onions on the sides, and then slid that baby into the oven. We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting and smelling the chicken roasting.  I steamed asparagus (over steamed, really, they were on the mushy side) and then as the piece de resistance, made hollandaise sauce for it. It was a tough sauce to make, with a lot of patience, and whisking, and a double boiler, and more whisking. But I'm proud to say that sauce was pretty darn tasty, and it didn't break, which was the most awesome part of all.  (sidenote: did you know how much butter was in hollandaise sauce? HOLY CRAP) 

We finished dinner with cookies- the ones I had brought, the pitzelles that G had already made, and the Reeses bars that G had made before I got there. mmmm. 

We spent the rest of the evening hanging out and reading and having an excellent time. 

Monday I packed to get ready to go home (packing, AWESOMELY, my own stack of pitzelles, and ball jars with handles that G was giving to me).  We made a half batch of pitzelles so that I could document the process for my list and the results were delicious: 

and then I made pimento grilled cheese, which was pretty freaking awesome.  Potter is right, you can only get really good pimiento cheese in the south. Sigh.

All in all it was a great and low key visit, and good to spend on on one time with my G.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Going to Florida!

So I'm going to Florida to visit my G, and while I'm there, I'm going to check off an item on my List (watching my grandma make a recipe)

And then, while I'm there I'm cooking for her all weekend. I'm so excited!  So far the menu stands at:

Chicken salad in lettuce cups (lunch saturday)

Seafood risotto  (dinner saturday)

Roast chicken and roasted potato salad with asparagus and hollandaise sauce (sunday dinner)

Cuban Sandwiches (sunday lunch)

Plus, I've made two kinds of compost cookies and they are packed in my suitcase (regular and white chocolate/crasin/oatmeal)  and I think I'm ready to go!

I'm going to spend the weekend reading, and chrocheting, and cooking and hanging out with my G. it's going to be awesome.

Monday, May 3, 2010


1) Awesome weekend at home

2) Seeing my Tiny Cousin - who is not so tiny anymore!

3) My new phone (I'm not going to lie. I love shiny new things. It's a Palm Pre.)

4) Dinner with Tammy tonight- Pho and Tutti Fruitti!

5) Frozen Yogurt plans wth D'Paul and Sarah

6) Compost cookie baking tomorrow


8) My 17 pocketed bag and how organized I feel when I have it.

9) Evernote ( downloaded it for my phone, it is amazing for my love of lists )

10) Making two versions of Compost cookies this week!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

DC fun!

So my friend Tammy lives in DC, and she has been telling me for a while that in the quest for the best burger in Baltimore, I was missing an out on an awesome DC burger. While I think Baltimore has more than enough contenders for the title, I wanted to go and check out if the burgers of which she spoke were as amazing as she said.  So I headed down to DC, which is entirely too close for me to not go down to all the time (seriously! the history! the awesomeness!)

And that is how I found myself at the Good Stuff Eatery

We both got the Toasted Marshmallow shake:
This was amaaaaaaaaaaaazing. Those are actual, toasted marshmallows on top. The shake was vanilla, and sweet, with a smoky flavor. I love smoky things (like the tea at Cafe Zen) but this took the shake up a serious notch or two. It also made me think that maybe I should be adding liquid smoke to my S'Mores treats that I make.  Anyway, back to the food:

This is Tammy's basket, helpfully food styled (my pictures did not look nearly as awesome). Ok,  the bad first: the fries were... not great (that's as nice as I can be about them) mushy, and tiny pieces, I got the village fries, that had herbs on them, and the herbs were just in a clump in the center.  The next time I go, I'll just stick with the burger and shake.   The dipping sauces for the fries were AWESOME though, which made me sad that the fries were so bad. They had Old Bay mayo, and Chipolte Mayo, and a couple other varietes. So Good.

Because DC isn't Baltimore, I wasn't following the rules, so I got the President Obama burger, which had blue cheese, onion marmalade, and was epically delicious. Sweet, and savory, and the onion marmalade just kicked it out of the park.  Tammy had the regular cheeseburger, which also looked good. 

So to walk off the eight million calories we had just ingested, we took a walk, then decided to head over to see the monuments at night: 

 I never get tired of the monuments (or humming The West Wing theme song when I walk by the White House)

It was a really great night, and I'm looking forward to seeing what other fun DC things that I can explore!