Wednesday, March 26, 2008

no time for nuthin'

Halloo, peeps. I hope you all had a nice Easter, if you swing that way. I did. Barbara and I went to her mom's on Saturday night, and woke up to easter baskets (so fun!). Then we went to her sister's for lunch, which was awesome--I brought scalloped potatoes (loosely based on this recipe). Her sister (Debbie) made ham (and some veggie-rice cakes for us vegetarians), this really awesome sweet potato/pineapple/apple/cranberry dish, homemade rolls, her mom made broccoli casserole (and made B & I each an individual one to take home!)...I feel like I'm forgetting some stuff...and some delicious brownies and ice cream for dessert. When we were sitting down to dinner I also pulled off an AWESOME gag based on the whoopee cushion I got in my easter basket. Hi-larious.

In other news, Hurd has left the building. Well, actually, left the Greater Pittsburgh Area for New Orleans. Town just won't be the same.

And, in other, other news E-dawg is heading down to Atlanta this weekend to run her first full marathon!! Send her speed and endurance vibes!

And, in other, other, other news Barbara and I are headed to The Big Apple for a long weekend tomorrow. I can't wait! I'll report back on our many meals next week.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Sorry about my lame post yesterday. I started it, then got busy, then was having connection problems, so I just gave up. Eh.

Things have been busy lately (when are they not?)--new job, pet-sitting, cleaning up my act at home (my apartment--now looking great!), out-of-town friends visiting, upcoming mini-break to NYC, etc, etc, etc. All good stuff, but I still have been feeling a little overwhelmed with everything. However, getting my apartment in shape is definitely helping with the mental clarity. And, I feel more like cooking when I have a clean place, for sure!

I've been really into sandwiches lately. For a long time I was sort of anti-sandwich. For no particular reason I can think of, but they never sounded good to me. But now, it's all sandwiches, all the time.

On Monday evening I used my brandy-new employee discount at Kaya to have dinner with my old pal Jen and her husband, Errol--here in town for a clay convention. Even before I mentioned that I was now part of the bB family, we were already getting amazingly friendly and fast service from our server, Chaz (who, incidentally, the next day had a new baby with his gf - welcome to the world, little Violet!). After I did mention that I was part of bB, the manager, the chef, and the chef from Soba all came over and introduced themselves to me. It was so nice! They made me look like rock star in front of my friends. And, the food was amazing. We started out with some Mango Mai Tais and tofu cracklins. I don't know what they do to the tofu cracklins, but they're the most amazingly fragrantly delicious little nibblets. Some kind of barbeque-peanut lightly sauced on perfectly pert and just a tiny bit crispy tofu cubes. They are awesome. And, then I had an avocado-egg sandwich, which was also fantastic. And, the chocolate-banana bread pudding is off the hook! I got home afterwards, sat on the couch, and was immediately asleep. Visions of delicious Carribean-inspired dishes dancing in my head. Yum.

Kaya on Urbanspoon

I made a sandwich for dinner last night, too. I had some lovely fresh shittakes, so I sliced them thinly, and sauteed them with some onions in a little olive oil and salt for about...maybe 12-ish minutes? Until the onions were soft, translucent, and just starting to brown, and the mushrooms were golden. Then I set them to the side, and grilled some wheat bread with some smoked cheddar. Spread that with some roasted red pepper-eggplant tapenade-ish stuff. Had that with some Russian Banana fingerling potatoes that I roasted with a little olive oil, pepper, and a salt-spice blend I made with some herbs de Provence, tarragon and grey sea salt, served with a dollop of aioli. Washed down with a cold glass of cinnamon sweet tea. Yum.

Okay, now go home and make yourself a sandwich.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Okay. I found my camera's card reader, and was able to once again upload some photos. Now if I can just consistently remember to bring and/or use my camera...

I did actually remember to take a picture of a little dish I made the other day. I just made a version of Heidi's millet fried "rice". I've made this before, and it's always good. And, you know how I feel about fried, equals love. Well, my version (riffed from Heidi's version) is no Java Fried Rice (no, you need lots more oil and...something magical...for that), but it's good. And, pretty healthalicious.


More tomorrow!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

it's a new's a new day...

The times they are a-changin'. And, evidently I'm feeling like quoting old song lyrics today. So, for good measure, I wear black on the outside 'cause black is how I feel on the inside.

But, not really. The sun is shining, it looks like the end of winter and onset of spring may not be too far away, I'm embarking on new challenges and new adventures, and...I'm feeeeeeelin' good.

[small tangent--years ago, when Nowlzie and I first discovered chatting On The Internets, we sometimes would have entire conversations in Smiths/Morrissey lyrics. good times.]

Okay. I'm slowly getting back into action after being off for a week, being outta town, starting a new job, and just figuring out what the hell is going on in general. Over the past couple of weeks I have cooked and I have eaten. The most memorable meal was my going-away from the old job lunch. A big group of us went to the Church Brew Works (the pesto portobella pizza is fab, btw), but the best part was after lunch. I mentioned that a few of the guys were forming a small band to play a little going-away. They were great! They played two songs--one an Irish jig, and the other an Irish funeral dirge--something about "she's gone tomorrow". It's the best, sweetest send-off I've ever gotten. If I ever find myself at a computer again that is not dial-up and has the drivers I need to upload the video I'm going to post it on youtube under "Ehrrin's lads".

The new job couldn't be more different in atmosphere from the last. The last was in an all-beige space, it was quiet, you had to have security clearances to enter the office, it was cerebral in a very tech-saavy way, many of the jokes included formulas and code, nearly half the words spoken were acronyms, and there were mad scientist/aspergers types littering the place. The new job is colorful, loud, raucous, risque and moving at breakneck speed. I think each of the environments complements a different side of my personality. I'm a lucky gal.

My restaurant discounts should kick in soon, but I'm trying to save all my pennies for a trip I have coming up at the end of the month. Barbara and I are heading to The Big Apple for a long weekend. I can't wait! We're planning out The Homosexual Agenda for our trip based on restaurants we want to hit. Some of those on the list so far are Shopsin's (home of the mac-n-cheese pancake), Kate's Joint, Vegetarian Dim Sum House, some little tea shop in Nowlzie's 'hood, some fancy veg place (I think in Park Slope?), B's favorite bagel shop...and more!

Okay, I'm going to try to post more regularly again, but bear with me--change is hard.

unrelated PSA: sign up for your CSA now! CSAs are where it's at! And, after you sign up, it feels like spring and summer are way closer! If you need some help on figuring out which Greater Pittsburgh Area CSA might be right for you, send me a message. I have lots of info!

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Hi all. I've had a little hiatus between jobs--spent meeting my new niece, spending time with my already niece, my mom, my step-dad, the deer herd (including Dixie, the little semi-tame one), some good napping, reading, and some good quality time with my gal. Good stuff. I think I'm well suited to a life of leisure.

Well, I'll be back in action soon. I start my new job in the morning. Wish me luck!