Sunday, September 28, 2008
Here be our loot from the farmer's market, yarrr!!! From left to right: sweet potatoes, green beans, mesclun, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes, zucchini, rainbow chard, lotus seed pods, and honeycrisp apples. The sweet potatoes I'm going to roast with butternut squash and serve with a salad; the green beans are for green bean salad; the tomatoes are for salad; the zucchini I may put in quesadillas; the honeycrisp apples are for snacking, and the chard is for goat cheese and chard pasta. The fingerlings have not yet been assigned a meal, but they are Steph's favorite, so we got 'em!
On Saturday night, we went to karaoke at the Hippo with Alex, her brother, and Nicole. When we walked in, this is the scene we witnessed: someone singing "The Rainbow Connection", and a bunch of people holding up lighters and swaying back and forth. This, people, is why karaoke is so awesome. Alex and Steph were the only members of our party who were brave enough to perform. I have videos and I am not afraid to post them on Facebook!
This is a yummy cocktail I got at the Golden West Cafe, called the Ginger Ann. I wanted to try it because it has St. Germain's Elderflower Liqueur in it, which had been recommended to me by Becky's friend, Joanna. I am pretty sure the drink consisted of just the liqueur mixed with Ginger Ale. I may buy the necessary ingredients and try to make it at home.
It rained for about three days straight last week. Usually I kind of enjoy the rain, but there turned out to be a leak in the roof of the den, so that was not a fun situation. The leak kind of set off a string of annoying occurrences that ruined my Friday. At around 11:30pm, I decided the best thing to do was go to bed and forget about it.
Anyway, I actually took this picture on Saturday evening, before we went out to dinner. I thought the dogwood tree in front of the apartment was looking especially Autumnal.
Wine tastings at the Quarry Liquor Store have become a weekly Saturday ritual for me. Honestly, I've only liked a few of the wines I've had at the tastings, but it's still fun and I just like the wine selection they offer. This week, along with my wine purchases, I received this free bag. It has a divider in it, so there are six individual spaces for wine bottles. GENIUS! Now I have a bag to bring with me every week and I don't have to keep taking boxes from them.
Greta lives in the basement apartment of my building. She is adorable and super sweet. The other day she brought me butternut squash from her grandparents' garden. So thoughtful!
As you can see, Winston was very interested in this addition to the household.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I want to sew a new lunch bag for Steph and I loved this fabric we saw at Spool (Loop's sister store in Philadelphia). The bag and fabric are just so cute!
So, on Saturday we drove up to Philly to spend the night at Chad and Andrew's place. We met them at Loop in Rittenhouse Square. After spending some time (and money) buying yarn and fabric, we walked through the park and got some coffee at La Colombe. Then we walked back to the car and went to The White Dog Cafe for dinner. I usually eat there when I'm in Philadelphia because I like their mission and I like the food as well. After that, we went back to the house and spent the evening knitting, laughing, and listening to music. It was a great time.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
We had a birthday cake for Steph last night. Her actual birthday is on Monday, but she wanted to celebrate it with Alex yesterday. Per Steph's request, after our outing to the nature center we stayed in, watched The L Word, Alex and Steph knitted, we ate Chinese delivery, and drank two bottles of wine. It was a lovely, relaxing time.
Yesterday (Friday), Steph, Alex, and I went to the Irvine Nature Center. We checked out the center and went on a nice nature walk. I was impressed with some of the green features the center had going on-- I thought these dual flush toilets were pretty neat.
On Monday evening, I went with Rachel to look at some houses. She is in the process of buying her first home. We looked at 3 houses in Catonsville. One of them seemed like a good fit for her, so I think she is going to make an offer on it. I thought this street was quaint and adorable. I liked the stone wall along the street in front of the houses.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Swordfish, simply sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper, garnished with a lemon. A mercury-filled (and therefore seldom eaten) delight! Roasted green bean salad (local beans from the Farmer's Market) with heirloom tomatoes, tossed with sheep's milk feta cheese from Whole Foods, basil from the garden, and a red wine vinaigrette.
A scrumptious end of summer sort of meal.
The latest issue of Craft Magazine had an article on making cold-press coffee. This is something I've been interested in doing for a while. I had never had cold-press coffee before, but had heard of its merits. The taste is supposed to be much smoother and the acidity lower. This morning, I woke up bright and early at 6am, showered, dropped S off at work, and then headed out to the farmer's market to get our produce for the week, as well as eggs. When I came home, I was quite chipper, so I thought it would be a good time to do some experimenting with the cold-press coffee. I made the coffee as I normally would in a press, only I used cold, filtered water. I allowed the mixture to sit for 12 hours, and then pressed it. I tried the coffee before putting it in the fridge and it was INCREDIBLE. It really is so much smoother-- I am a definite cold-press convert now. It takes a little forethought, but if you put it in the press at night before going to bed, it will be ready for you in the morning when you wake up. If you want hot coffee, you just heat it up in the microwave or on the stove-- since the beans have already been brewed, the acidity level and taste will not change.
My source for coffee is Drew's Brews, located in Nashville. It is without a doubt the best coffee I've ever had in the United States. You can order it online and have it shipped, so I'm still able to get my fix here in Baltimore.
After a lovely lunch at Atwater's, we drove over to Hampden to check out the yarn store. Much to our surprise, Hampden was packed! Yesterday was Hampden Fest...we walked around, but it pretty much sucked. It was basically cheap, silly merchandise and funnel cakes. A funnel cake would have appealed to me had we not just eaten lunch, but since we had, the whole experience was pretty disappointing. However, the yarn store was not! They had a lot of cool stuff, including about 5 different local brands of yarn that had been hand-dyed. They also offer a lot of interesting classes, including one on dyeing your own yarn. It's in October and we are SOOO taking that class. Here is a picture of the shoppe.
We were very good and limited ourselves to buying some yarn for ties and some needles for knitting socks.
We went to Atwater's for lunch yesterday, located in Belvedere Square, by our old house. I have to say that Atwater's is probably my favorite place to eat in Baltimore. I have never had a soup or sandwich there that I didn't absolutely love. They served us water in this biodegradable plastic cup. Apparently it's made from corn. I was impressed.
Friday, September 12, 2008
A few years ago Steph taught me how to knit and we knitted a baby blanket together and I also made one scarf on my own. I don't know why I didn't continue with knitting, but whatever, life got in the way I suppose. Chad and Steph are pretty serious about knitting and I was jealous that they got to have all the fun! Also, I want a lot of things (socks, scarves, ties, etc...) and I am impatient and I can't wait for people to make all these things for me because I'll be waiting a long time. Haha. So tonight, Steph taught me how to knit again. So far I have 9 rows finished. I'm just practicing right now...I don't think this will turn into anything. I'll probably start with a scarf again and then maybe try to make a tie.
Louis kept me company while I knitted.
It rained pretty much all day today. We had planned to go for a walk at NCR while Alex went running, but it didn't work out due to the inclement weather. I really hope it doesn't rain all weekend because I have a lot of outdoor activities planned. I took this picture tonight...it is of the window and you can see the rain and the glow of the streetlamp outside. I think it turned out pretty cool.
Steph wanted to enter her yarn stash into her Ravelry account, so I helped her last night by taking pictures of all her yarn. I had no idea she had so much yarn!!! It's kind of easy to forget about it when it lives in the closet most of the time. I usually only see whatever she has out for a particular project. Of course, there is so much great yarn out there, so you can never really have enough. I already got her a bunch of yarn for her birthday (haven't given it to her yet though), and I'm sure we'll buy even more yarn in Philadelphia next weekend. Oh yes, and we are always planning a trip to a new yarn shop in Hampden this Saturday. Here are two of my favorites.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I picked up these flowers from Trader Joe's. I like to keep fresh flowers in the house because they brighten up the room and make me smile. There are certain flowers I definitely associate with Fall, notably Chrysanthemums. I'd also add those cool cabbage flowers to the list.
Steph loves ice cream. I think if she could only eat one dessert in the world, ice cream would be it for her. In my case, I think I'd choose pie. Whole Foods has all sorts of interesting ice cream brands. This one is from New Jersey and the flavor is Rice Pudding. I love rice pudding, so I was actually pretty excited about this acquisition. It was super yummy, but very cold, as ice cream tends to be. I prefer warm desserts.
Quarry Liquors had a big sale over the weekend, along with a huge wine tasting. I guess I am kind of a regular there now as I go to the wine tasting every weekend and buy stuff there at least once a week. I bought 9 bottles of wine, a bottle of sake, and 2 cases of Ace Hard Pear Cider. Anyhoo, this is a Riesling from the Finger Lakes that I bought. I was tasty-- very light and fruity. At $16, I would certainly buy it again.
My downstairs neighbor, Greta, is one of my new favorite people. She is super sweet, listens to awesome music, and lends me all her CDs to burn and cool DVDs (Flight of the Conchords is my new obsession) to watch. She also has a one-eyed kitten named Charlie, who is so incredibly cute. He sort of looks a little bit like Louis. Here is a selection of some of the CDs I burned from her the other day.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Over the weekend, we went to Rocket To Venus with Ann and her roommate, Renee. Ann ordered this fried PB&J sandwich as an appetizer! It was ridiculous. I tried it and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but I'd hardly call it appetizing either. Ann cracks me up-- I don't think I know anyone else who would order a dessert as an appetizer.
There is a new liquor store called Quarry Liquors and I love it! It is in the newly developed Quarry Shopping Center by my Dad's old townhouse. It is kind of weird to me that there are stores and houses there now because I remember it just being woods and, of course, the quarry. At first I was angry about this development ruining my childhood memories, but now that I've found this great liquor store, I no longer have any hard feelings.
I tried this Pear Hard Cider from Sonoma County, CA and it is delicious-- really light and refreshing. As you can see, I had two the other night, so obviously I enjoyed it. If you can find Ace Pear Hard Cider at a liquor store near you, I strongly suggest you try it.
Winston is a little demon. He likes to steal pens from my desk when I'm not looking and take them off into a corner to gnaw at them. He has all this extra energy and crazy now because he can no longer go outside and hunt turkeys and who only knows what else all day long. I still love him, of course.
The farmer's market this summer has been incredible. I can't remember a time when they had so much great produce. Every week we come home with a bounty of deliciousness. I used some zucchini I bought to make zucchini risotto. Oh my lord, it was the best food I ever put in my mouth. I keep dreaming about it and just want to make it again and again, even though standing over the stove and stirring the risotto forever is annoying. I got the recipe from the Vegetarian Epicure, which is my current favorite cookbook. Behold a picture of the final result.