Monday, October 10, 2011

Ten things that are making me happy right now

I haven't done this in a while!


Cousins, and the most wonderful birthday weekend ever. 

Duckpin bowling


4 My crazy cat, who is not currently biting my feet right now, but is looking at them hungrily. 

5 Temps dropping to the fifties

6 Glee Tuesdays

7 Picking up crocheting again

8 Spiced Apple Cider

9 Work is really, really good (if exhausting, at times)

10 My fancy-ass new camera that I love SO MUCH.

Monday, October 3, 2011

30/30th 50 Cheeses

When I was having Birthday At the Beach this past weekend, we had The Cheesing Hour on Saturday and Sunday. 

On Saturday, we had a selection of three cheeses: Stagnola Blu, Brie, Mini Brie Bites, and Cranberry Chevre. 

The brie that we had was 62% Brie, which was super creamy and buttery.  In the background, there are brie bites, which come five to a package and are really cool- I'm a fan of having them in the fridge in case I need a quick hit of brie and I don't want to buy a huge wedge. 

The Stagnola Blu is a cheese that Trader Joe's carries, but it is about to be discontinued- I'm not sure if you can get it other places, but it's a great blue- creamy, and has a real knockout flavor. 

Chevre and Cranberry are two of my favorite combinations, it's a really great combo in this cheese too. I think after the brie, this was my second favorite of the cheeses. 

Sunday night we had some harder cheeses, a Manchego, a Cinnamon Dusted Toscano, and I also wanted to try out a Hot and Sweet Pepper Jelly that I had gotten from Trader Joe's, so I served that over a brick of cream cheese. 

The pepper jelly was really good, except the "hot" part of the Hot and Sweet was.... missing.  It was tasty, though! It is definitely going on my next party menu. 

The Manchego was really nice- a milder cheese, salty in  a good way.  I didn't really prepare as well for this cheesing hour in terms of accompaniments, and I'm a little bummed out. I think it would have worked really well with some olives, or maybe a slice of apple. 

The Cinnamon Toscano was really different.  It is a really strong tasting cheese- and then to add a powerhouse spice like cinnamon ups the flavor to eleven.  I liked it a lot, even though it's definitely a "holiday" cheese- the cinnamon reminded me of Christmas.   My mom said that she thought that this cheese would go really well with apple pie, and I would have to agree. I think that would be awesome. 

So!  Six cheeses down, 44 to go! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

30 in the 30th

Without Further Ado.....

1 Write up my list and hang it somewhere in my apartment so I can be mindful of the list. 
2 Couch to 5K
3 Call G/Grandad at least once a week
4 Update my blog at least once a week
5 End the year ten pounds lighter than I start it. 
6 Go as many as I can of the restaurants in the CityPaper's Best of Baltimore List
8 Create 12 new Ice Cream flavors (or make a different ice cream each month. or sorbet)
9 NYC for the weekend!
10 Learn how to bake bread. 
11 DFTBA Tattoo 
12 Go to Rhode Island 
13 Make a concerted effort to schedule more 'sister' time with jack
14 Be better at keeping in touch with friends and family
15 Read books from five authors I have never read before
16 Try 12 different kinds of wine
17 Go to a Scotch tasting with Julie

18 Go on 30 dates. 
19 Go to Boordy for a wine tasting. 
20 Perform six random act of kindness
21 Create a Val's guide to Baltimore and write it up on my blog. 
22 Throw a party!
23 Try 50 different cheeses 
24  Take photo portraits of my family and friends 
25 Volunteer for a day somewhere: soup kitchen, City Year, something
26 Read five classic books:  Definitely on the list: Jane Eyre, The Scarlet Letter, and A Tale of Two Cities
27 Try to maintain a more positive and less self defeating attitude. 
28 Take a photography class (or photoshop) With Katie.
29 Make ten cocktail's I've never made before using my new barware cocktail set (fancy!)
30  Write and mail actual, physical birthday cards to my friends, because it's awesome to get real mail.