Friday, March 11, 2011

four-star fried chicken

12232010 Four-Star Fried Chicken 05

So I made some changes to the design of the blog, mostly just because I was tired of looking at the old site. The new design has some big benefits though. When I finish adding the necessary links to the "Recipes" tab, it will be a heck of a lot easier to pull up a recipe from the site on my phone (I find myself doing this quite a bit at the grocery store). I think my favorite addition, though, is the "Worthy Reads" tab. A combination of blogs and books, this tab has almost all of my favorite literary kitchen resources. (Though not mentioned, I also utilize the recipe databases on MarthaStewart.com and Epicurious.com.) There are only three blogs listed, and I can't say that I keep up with them on a daily basis, but they are the first three blogs I visit when I'm looking for a new recipe. The books section, however, is the bread and butter of this tab. (Or maybe the cupcake and frosting?)

I must confess that I really, really like my cookbook collection. In fact, just looking at it -- all the books neatly arranged by type and height -- brings me joy. For someone who prepares meals as infrequently as I do (a factor of my life situation at the moment...not really my choice), a collection of more than seventy books is truly unnecessarily large. Over the course of my life and even when (if?) my opportunities to cook increase, I'll be lucky to make it through a quarter of the recipes it contains now. That doesn't matter much to me, though. For some reason, having all of those recipes within arms reach -- no typing required and most on glossy pages with beautiful pictures to accompany them -- makes me happy. There are surely more cookbooks (and a new bookcase) to come.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

clam and chive dip

12242010 Clam and Chive Dip 01

So a very cool thing happened to me just before I went home for Christmas. I was sitting in my office -- which is cold and crowded with boxes of paperwork that don't have a home -- and I was feeling terribly glum, as it seems there is no aspect of my job anymore that makes use of my creative gifts. Payroll, tax preparation, meeting organization -- this is not the job I moved across the country for, and not the job I was promised. The economy is in the can and I work in a specialized industry anyway, so finding a new position has proven extremely difficult. Woe is me.

(Woe is you, too? Yeah, there are a lot of us in that boat.)

Anyway, whilst I was silently bemoaning my professional decline, my friend Carl stopped by the office. He's not so much my friend as someone who is tied to the company I work for, but in order to keep a bit of my anonymity, we'll just call him my friend. Carl and his family own and operate a little cooking company called Sur la Table. Perhaps you've heard of it? Carl's wife, Renée, is the current chair of the company, and the sole reason for his visit was to bring me a copy of her recent cookbook, Memorable Recipes to Share with Family and Friends, which they inscribed for me. Just for me! How cool is that?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

04012010 - PB C Chip Cookies 04

Last Tuesday was a pretty uneventful day. I had a meeting that ran late after work, then I went to the grocery store, and then home to relax. The Cowboy had plans to meet up with a friend (who is known in real life as Thunder Dan...I wish I had a cool nickname like that), so I had the evening to myself. Like any productive 27-year-old, I put that time to good use by organizing pictures, filing credit card statements, and cleaning the air filter in my vacuum.

Just kidding. I actually ate buffalo wings, played Super Nintendo, and did nothing productive besides think about putting away my Christmas decorations. (I think that counts.) And it was awesome.

I also had toast and chocolate chips for breakfast that day. It's possible I'm not fit to live on my own.

Anyway, (un)productivity aside, I was asleep on the couch by 9:00 p.m. This was nice. Being awakened by someone pounding loudly on my door at 3:00 a.m., however, was not. It was scary. The couch is only a few feet away from the door, so if I got up, the person outside would be able to see me...and my panic-stricken face. I did not want that. Plus, it seemed logical to me that the person outside chose my apartment because there were lights on (my nearby neighbors are early-to-bed folks and, most likely, were fast asleep at the time). Proximity to the ax murderer, near certainty of premeditation, and my own paralyzing fear kept me frozen on the couch. After a few minutes, the person went away -- on foot, apparently, since neither a car door nor the sounds of an engine could be heard -- but I held my position on the couch for another 30 minutes and then, wide awake, wandered around my bedroom for two hours after that. Not nice at all.