Sunday, January 27, 2008

It's That Time of Year When I Start Thinking About My Birthday

Well, really, I started thinking about it even earlier this year, as I was trying to decide on just where exactly I wanted to be. For the past few years, it's been an easy decision - call up my friend Brad, and make reservations at a vegetarian-friendly, fancy-pants restaurant in Toronto, like Susur, or Perigee.

This year, I realized that I was in an interesting position that I've never been before. Hell, I'm living in a foreign land, which means that traveling to places that I've always wanted to try was all of a sudden a bargazillion times easier to do. Straight off the bat, visions of The French Laundry played through my head, for a while, until I realized that flying from the mid-west to the west coast was probably a task better taken when winter was a mere memory.

I decided that heading back to Chicago, a place I really do love so (and not just because of the head-sized vegetarian burritos, The Green Zebra, or Charlie Trotters) , wrangling Lisa and Matt into being my guess for dinner, and grabbing a table at Moto would be a most excellent course of action.

Yup, Moto. Molecular gastronomy? Don't mind if I do!

A week after making reservations for February 23, Chef Homaro Cantu appeared on Iron Chef America. And won. And made me even more delighted about my choice.

Seriously, now, Feb 23 cannot come soon enough.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's a Wind-Based Winter

This place that I now live in has made me happy with the negligible snowfall. It also allows me to laugh when a centimetre dusting of the stuff causes 2-hour school delays.

What I'm not so pleased with, however, is the bitter, bitter wind that seemingly decided to make this city its home. I swear, it carries a switchblade, and uses it to cut to the bone every time I take a step outside. So painful is it that I've stopped caring about looking anything close to resembling pleasant to the eyes, and have taken to wearing ugly, Thinsulate-lined Sorels on my feet, over top of two pairs of socks, and densely-knit wool mittens over a pair of cashmere lined leather gloves.

But, you know, I think not having an ever-present blanket of snow on the ground makes the pain worthwhile.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

That's an Extreme Mango

Since these suckers both look and taste like every other mango that has made its way into my gullet, and lack any kind of mutant aspects, like an arm or eyeball emerging from its stone, I think they're trying to market to the athletic market.


Ball and Chain

Oh, man, do these pendents by Ball and Chain make me happy? They sure do.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cutest. Phone. Ever. Also, Reality TV Freakout

I finally got a mobile phone. Take a look at the Sidekick Slide and coo with me.

I DVRd some truly horrific reality TV overnight.

  • Rock of Love II, I love your for your drunken whorishness. Don't you ever go changing.
  • I also got to indulge my fascination with competitive eating with 2002's Glutton Bowl. I'm watching the hard boiled egg competition RIGHT NOW. I am about to puke, and also delighted. I am complex that way.
  • American Gladiators: The Next Generation? The only way you could be better is if Wesley Crusher was one of your competitors. I wonder whatever happened to the original gladiators. I am envisioning a beer paunch on Nitro, and it isn't pretty.
  • Don't even get me started on my love for Celebrity Rehab and Scott Baio is 46 and Pregnant. Just don't.
Shame? I have none. But you knew that already.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Without a Dope Beat to Step To

I really shouldn't have left you all like that. Being busy really isn't an excuse, I know, but I return with pictures?

Last night, I hosted an Ice Cream Social - which, really, was like a 5-year-old's birthday party, but with wine. And because I am one of those people, I took pictures of the spread before people started a-coming through the door.

Here's the run-down...

Made by me: vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, ganache, vanilla butter cream, chocolate chip cheesecake cupcakes, toasted coconut.

Bought: two types of candy sprinkles, three types of Kashi party cookies, vegetable tray, and the start of the cheese section of the table.

A close up of the chocolate chip cheesecake cupcakes.

Again with the crackers and the veg tray. The cheeses on the board: Drunken Goat, Manchego, White Cheddar. And on the plate: St. Andre and Wensleydale with Cranberry.

Behind: homemade raspberry sauce.

Behind the ice creams are pistachios and graham cracker pieces.

A close up of the ice creams. I made these as well. In the back: Cheesecake. Front left: Roasted Banana. Front Right: Chocolate Cinnamon Cayenne.

Missing from the photos: excellent cupcakes Andrea brought from Bakery Gingham.

Amy Mo took this photo of the wines, just as they began to multiply like rabbits. I started out with 6 bottles on hand. Four went out in the recycling this morning, but I now have 10 sitting on one of my selves? How does that happen?

Also welcomed into my house is an excellent candle from the much beloved Paul Robinette, a super sweet pizza wheel (do I see a pizza party in the future? Why, yes I do!), and a beautiful print by Camilla Engman.

The people I know are amazingly generous. Yes, with the gifts they brought with them, but even more so for their company and friendship. I am getting maudlin. So I will stop now.