31 October 2008


Happy Halloween!
Hope you all have a fantastic evening.
Full of spooky, of course!

29 October 2008

Once, twice, three times a laday...

Three years, my friends, it's been three years! Happy Anniversary to my dear dear hubby! It's hard to believe three years have already flown by, but it's hard to believe it's only been three years. So much awesomeness to reflect on, and so much to look forward to in the future. Here's to my Bradford! Happy anniversary, babe!

Now, if we were to be specific, I would guess that at this exact moment three years ago, I was smack dab in the middle of makeup orgy at our condo!

Anyway, tonight we are off to celebrate at Eve! Woot! But to precelebrate, last night I made yum preaversary dinner, Brad's choice. "I want meatloaf!" So, I give you sausage meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting. :)

Who knew that it would be difficult to find foil cupcake liners? I bring you my in-a-pinch solution:

All class here.

I followed the recipe pretty closely, but I didn't use cream w/ the potatoes, and I wasn't in the mood to dirty up my hand mixer. I just smooshed. I also didn't worry about making it look like real frosting, so I just scooped the potatoes on top (instead of using a pastry bag that I don't have).

I had to put my hands in. Ick.



I've never made meatloaf with sausage, but I really enjoyed the different flavor. They didn't come out of the tins perfectly, so in the end they were just a plate of potatoes and meat, but who cares, right? They were yummy! A little on the dry side, but all in all, we both enjoyed and I would make this again.

To add a little green to the meal, I picked up some Chelsea-grown collard greens and dried cranberries and sauted us up a little side dish. Mmm. I tend to get impatient and undercook greens, though -- need to work on that. haha

Finally... Dessert. Mmm.

Mini wedding cakes!

26 October 2008

Gonna wash that green right outta my hair.

Update: Despite another all-nighter (literally [thanks, stupid steroids]), I didn't make it through all four movies Friday night. Brad and I watched Basket Case, which was ok. (Brad: "Did you seriously just make me watch that? Really?") I watched Lost Boys 2 on my own, and I cannot recommend it on any level. Terrible acting, obvious ripoffs from the original, stupid storylines (extreme sports-loving vamps? barf), and Corey Feldman... I fast forwarded most of the 2nd half. Two more nights to finish the rest up!

I had grand plans for Saturday afternoon. Football day, so I had the house to myself. Well, thanks, all-nighter, for totally ruining my whole day. Luckily the dogs were sleepy, so they let me be a slug on the couch all day. I spent the whole day in what felt like a drunken, foggy haze -- still unable to sleep but absolutely incapable of doing anything requiring thought. I share this only because it was such a disappointment to lose my entire crafty day, and because I somehow managed to pull my brain out of my butt and not only survive but thoroughly enjoy this year's Halloween Bang! Seriously... Halloween, costumes, dance remix Halloween theme song, Night Breed and Evil Dead video clips... I wish it was the Halloween Bang every night. :) Flanked by my trusty Brads and the lovely ladies (and yeah for Jason and Brad&Alison -- you guys are all too cute!), I had a wonderful night. AND Halloween isn't even here yet!!

Is that your costume or your normal outfit?

Last night I was finally able to sleep, and thanks, Brad, for letting me sleep until 11 am. I feel a million times better today, and I spent the day fiddling away in "my room." Now, we all know my craft space has been through a multitude of redos... But if I haven't mentioned it yet, we finally just deemed the office my work room (which I also share with the dogs -- their cages are up there), and I was able to move out of the basement. Hooray! Not only do I not feel totally isolated from the rest of the house up there, it's warm and cozy, and I can still spread all out, too.

Yeah! ME room!

Just a quick side note for fellow REM fans -- I FINALLY picked up some frames at Ikea last week for a framing project that's been in the works since 1991.

The top magazine cover is from 1991, during the REM "Losing My Religion" era. This is when we jumped on the bandwagon, and I am so happy I held on to at least one full, intact issue of this Rolling Stone (I bought three of course!). The second cover comes full circle, from this spring, just in time for mine and Sara's road trip, and REM's new album and tour.

Back to the goods... In addition to some secret birthday surprise finagling (yeah, I'm talkin to you, Rachel and Kristal!! One more week! One more week!), I finally got started on a project I've been planning for ages. I love cookbooks, but I also love cooking magazines and rely heavily on internet recipes. So I've got scraps all over the place. I organized these somewhat a few years ago, but my folder was limited to just a few categories. Plus, it totally wasn't pretty. So today I ran over to Target, picked up a three-ring binder (oh how I love school supplies), some page protectors, and some tabbed separators, and I got to work!

I only got through the very beginning today... But I think I made a pretty hefty start! I can't wait to have everything all laid out, nice and neat... Ahhh.....

If don't get a chance to say so before Friday, spooks spiders and love from yours truly. Happy Halloween!


24 October 2008

My lucky day.

Ironic, a week before my third anniversary as a Church (and nearly three years after moving to this house), I get a "Welcome to the neighborhood, Somerville Family!" care package in the mail from, I dunno, the city? Anyway, most of it was crap, but buried in there was a coupon from Hollywood Video for three free videos. Wtf? Sign me up! I figured there would be a catch, but I sure as heck was going to at least try it out. Off I went to Hollywood. Husband-that-doesn't-like-to-watch-movies-be-damned! It's almost Halloween, so, of course, I decided I would have a little horror movie marathon and selected four movies. Up I shuffle to the counter, unsure of my sure-to-be black market coupon... Low and behold, not only was my coupon legit, I had a FREE rental credit. WHAT? Where did that come from? "Do you want to use your credit today?" Heck yeah! I grabbed my movies and scurried out of there before I could be busted for what was clearly some hinky movie mojo. So tonight is the night... It's unlikely I'll get through all these tonight, but I darn well better get through them in the next five days.

Yo, check us out!

Lost Boys 2. How can I resist? Takes me back to the days of my Corey Haim shrine. Sigh.

Teeth. Literally. Teeth. In the crotchal area. Sweet.

The Happening. Will probably suck. But we are suckers for M. Night Shamalamadingdong.

Basket Case. Absolutely will be outrageous and ridiculous. I can't wait.

Have a haunting weekend, my friends! xoxo

23 October 2008

For my jessy poo.

For Jess. And 'cause I am ASS bored. I have known Jess my entire life. Since, you know, DAY 1. Let's see if I can say anything that would ever surprise her.

01) Are you currently in a serious relationship? i guess. haha jk :) Three years next week!
02) What was your dream growing up? to be Stephen King
03) What talent do you wish you had? drawerer and/or multi-linguist
04) If I bought you a drink what would it be? are we at a bar? I'll take a red bull and vodka, stat!
05) Favorite vegetable? cucumber. I could munch on you all day! mmm
06) What was the last book you read? Lullaby by Chuck Palahahhahaniuuuuk
07) What zodiac sign are you? Leo
08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where. Ouch ear cartiledge earring (...I'm this close to giving in and taking it out. Thing STILL hurts), buttish area tattoo.
09) Worst Habit? Impatience?
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride? For you Jess? But of course!! (I would also piss myself in excitement if I saw you walking down my street!)
11) What is your favorite sport? So You Think You Can Dance
12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude? I think I manage both in moderation.
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me? OMG that would be so fun!!!!! I'm giddy at the mere thought.
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you? Probs dad + hospital + near death....
15) Tell me one weird fact about you. I absolutely CANNOT spell resturaunt. See?
16) Do you have any pets? The beasts.
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly? DUDE. DO IT!!!!!!!
18) What was your first impression of me? ga ga goo goo
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary? creep ass
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? I will not give away my girlish secrets in public! Tee hee!
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? Hello? Partner!
22) What color eyes do you have? Hazel.
23) Ever been arrested? ha ha ha ha omg can you imagine? NO
24) Bottle or can soda? Currently on a can kick.
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it? Hmmmm... buy some more work comfy pants! Ha! Save most. Take a trip!
27) What's your favorite place to hang out at? Vinology
28) Do you believe in ghosts? Enough that they scare me.
29) Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Watch TV. I admit it.
30) Do you swear a lot? of the ass sort
31) Biggest pet peeve? Too many to narrow down.
32) In one word, how would you describe yourself? Normal.
33) Do you believe/appreciate romance? Sure.
34) Favourite and least favourite food? OMG. This is like choosing between children. Ok, mac and cheese. Least favorite? Damn! Cooked carrots?
35) Do you believe in God? Yes.
36) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you? Come on peeps. You know you wanna.

21 October 2008

Haunted muffaletta.

Ahh... I can't believe Halloween season is almost over already. HA! Is it wrong that I'm already sad for something to be over before it's even technically started? :) Oh well.... It's getting close, and I'm getting excited. And, of course, I can never resist the Halloween aisle at any store, and I've found a few last-minute Halloween goodies.

Haven't tried it yet, but bound to be delish.

I had one of these yesterday, and it was tasty!

I was SO excited to not only find this IN the store (had only seen it online), BUT it was ALSO on sale. Sigh.

Speaking of shopping, last night Lisa Z. and I hit Ikea... finally... after months of talking about it! I had a gift card from my bday (thanks, Melissa and Doug!), so I was ready to buy some loot! We decided to go on a weeknight, and it was the perfect decision. Take my advice friends: Ikea during the week is THE way to go. Here are a few of my favoritest finds:

Retro tins, just $2.99!

Cute as hell glasses. $6! Yes, that's a mushroom!

Mini bowl set. $3. Hello? Sold.

Finally, I leave you with a quick dinner tip! We went to New Orleans what seems like a million years ago now, and since then I have been mad craving a real muffaletta. They have it at Fishbones, and the Quarter, and neither even come close. So I'm always on the lookout for something, anything, muffalettay... Sometime over the summer, I found a little jar of actual-titled-muffaletta spread. I snagged it up. Now, obviously, it's not going to be the same, but I thought I'd give it a whirl. I finally got the inkling to test it out tonight, but I didn't want to kill myself (or Brad, who's getting over the flu) with 300 grams of fat in cheese and lunch meat, so I made a chicken muffaletta.

I sauteed up some stir fry chicken with a little salt, pepper, and oregano. I sliced two cibatta rolls in half and put some swiss on the bottom. I layered the chicken next, then topped with the m. spread. Now... this is nothing like a real muffaletta. BUT I thought it was pretty damn tasty (and easy), and it gave me enough of a hint of the flavor to continue to tide me over until we can make it back to Central Grocery again. And if you can't find "muffaletta" spread, try it just an assortment of olives. Would still be a yummy dinner!

16 October 2008

I'm a pepper.

Last night we ate up all of Kristal's delicious booty (yeah, I said booty!), and, unsurprisingly, it was, well, delicious! Now, this is totally nerdy, but I LOVE to chop. I could chop veggies all night. (Ha! AND my grandma's name was Choppy... Maybe there's something to this....) So I'm already enjoying chopping up my peppers, but they were just SO beautiful. I love rainbow peppers. Consider my enjoyment tripled.

Even the insides are pretty!

Choppy lopy do.

I was originally going to use my wok, but, in addition to nerdy chopping love, I also love to saute (I know I know). Something about the heat and the oil and the smooshing everything around... So multiple pans and cook time and cleanup be damned. The stove it was. Meanwhile, of course, I was cookin' up a big pot of rice. I'm still not touching meat, so I'd bought a pound of stir fry chicken. Threw this in the skillet with some oil and a ton of basil and oregano. The other skillet got all the peppers with a little oil and some salt. Once everything was done, I threw it all together, dropped in a few cherry tomatoes for good measure, and it was time to eat.

The morning after... I woke up this morning, and the entire house still smelt of wonderful, delicious pepper goodness. Ahhhh.

14 October 2008

Do the swim, do the monster swim.

This Saturday was the long-awaited trip to Halloweekends -- our first time back since 2004! As luck would have it, it was a beautiful day... kind of a curse when it comes to Cedar Point. The upside, we got to enjoy a lovely day outside. The downside, there were a milllllion people there. More people than I've ever seen there. We waited almost an hour for the Gemini, a half hour to get pizza, and still weren't able to ride the Top Thrill Dragster -- two hours is just not an option. But we had fun, everything was Halloweeny, and come dark, the spooky came out.

How can the nacho hut be out of cheese?

Waiting in line makes me crazeee.

The fright zone. Ooooeee!


Takin' a tub.


It was so nice to get out of town for a day, ride some rides, do some good people watching. All in all, an excellent weekend trip.

Sunday I decided to make a big fall meal as a thank you and send off to the in-laws. I FINALLY busted out the real pumpkin. And it wasn't so bad. ;) I won't go into all the gory details -- I covered this in a blog last fall, but I reran this recipe, adding the sausage this time (I substituted Italian chicken sausage).

A gal's two best friends.


I even made dessert -- an apple crisp with Michigan honey crisp apples (my new fave!). I wasn't thrilled with the results, so I'll skip the recipe. But with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt, it did the trick.

As for our own Halloweekends, I decided last year I was not to be outdone by the neighbors again regarding Halloween decorations. This was one battle I deserve to win. So Brad humored me and went shopping for supplies, and I've been slowly getting everything as I like it. I wish it were Halloween all year long.

Creepy spider pumpkin.


Yo. Check us out.

I stick my tongue out at your silly decorations.

And finally, since there is a creepy theme here.... An ode to the creepy mannequin in Aunt Sandy's dining room. Eek!

10 October 2008

Stop the presses.

Last night, I shared a lovely dinner at Vinology with Meg, Shivani, Sarah, and Mike. I'm always so thrilled when I get a Meg visit, and especially thrilling is a Meg visit at Vinology.

So we all sit down, peruse the wine list... la la la la. Since I'm all in the know about Michigan wine now (ha! :)), I did a scan through the menu looking for Michigan. Then my eyes hit it.... Sex. SEX! At Vinology! My excitement seemed to convince the others, so we ordered a bottle (only by the bottle, but not bad at $28), and then another. Everyone loves Sex! I was hesitant to open my bottle anytime soon because then, you know, it'd be gone. But now that I know I can have it anytime I like, I might have to bust that baby open soon!

Now enough about Sex! (...but yes, it was just as good as I remembered!)

Much to Meg's horror, I had to order the rabbit. Last time I was there, they were out, and I'd been thinking about it ever since. Just something new to try. Plus, it had Michigan mushrooms with it... and polenta... I couldn't resist. So Meg, if you're reading this, EARMUFFS..... It was really yummy. I ate every last bite. Including the skin, which, as I thought about it, did start to creep me out a little, but I managed to push that thought aside to focus on the herb stuffing in between the skin and the meat... Delish. We topped off the meal with a shared order of "milk" (cream) and cookies. Perfect. And Meg! Double perfect.

09 October 2008

Fall harvest fairy.

I had a little visitor this morning... None other than Miss Kristal popped in, bearing the fruits of her amazing garden. Peppers, hot peppers, pumpkins, gourds, Halloween goodies... even canned tomatoes and apple butter! Every time I walk by my basket of yum, I get a noseful of pure delicious nose candy (actually, I can still smell it over here, across the room!). I can't WAIT to dig in! Kristal, you are such a dear! xoxo

07 October 2008

Does kale go with birthday cake?

I think kale is my new favorite vegetable, and hey, who knew there was more than one kind? Apparently the kale I bought a few weeks ago was a different variety, and over the weekend I tried out the plain old kale kale (organic, from a farm in Chelsea). I saw a recipe for kale and mashed potatoes in the new Rachael Ray a few weeks ago, and I was eager to try it out. I made these to accompany some really yummy Italian chicken breasts from Plum, so I didn't use the sausage part of the recipe. I also didn't have any yogurt, so I used sour cream instead.

Kale is pretty.

The finished product.Yum.

I really liked this and will definitely make it again.

Speaking of dinner, we've been busting out some of my wine tour bottles to enjoy with dinner. Sunday, we had my Riesling from Blackstar Farms. This I wasn't sure about what to expect as I "loved" it at the end of the second day, after hours and hours of champagne drinking. I loved everything at that point!

First drink, I thought, hmm... I don't love it as much as the Gewurtztiwhatsit from last week... It tastes very similar but is less sweet. As I continued to enjoy the glass (and the remainder of the bottle...), it grew on me more and more. I would definitely drink this again. Good thing Plum carries Blackstar wine!

Now, just a quick recap of George's birthday excursion to Pet Supplies Plus today. I took Heidi there for her birthday, too, because they have bulk treats at dog level, so they can pick out a few things they like (in Heidi's case, that is everything). I wasn't sure how George would do, considering his scardycatness... But he charged right in there like a man on a mission!! He was a little skittish when a saleswoman came to visit, but after a few minutes of chit-chat and treat offerings, he calmed down and chomped down a few snacks. I was so proud of him! In public, in a store, around people, without Heidi... It was a big day for our little one-year-old.

Let's get this show on the road.

Mmm. Treats.

Are you my mummy?


I'm so happy.