Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fresh Direct Delivery

We got home to an empty fridge and no desire to brave the inclement weather; so I ordered Fresh Direct.  It's often much cheaper than Food Emporium.  

Fresh Direct Delivery

One of our cats using the boxes to stretch.

Another cat using the boxes for a better vantage point.

I tried to keep it healthy with whole wheat bread & pasta, veggies, fruits, turkey bacon, skim milk, etc. The one exception was the salt & vinegar potato chips.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Wrap Up

We just got home from Christmas in Illinois.  It was such a good time, and I made out like a bandit with presents.  I am so glad to be home though.  Here are some of my presents:

The squirrel tape dispenser came into fruition and is adorable.  Our cat provides a nice perspective on its size.

Anthropologie Squirrel Tape Dispenser

Paw Perspective

Catzilla next to tape dispenser

These Anthropologie hedgehog measuring cups were a welcome surprise.  I don't think that I'll use them for everyday cooking and baking.  I might use them to bake something super fancy though.

Anthropologie Hedgehog Measuring Cups

Safe and stowed away in my cabinet
My all-time favorite chocolate candies are milk chocolate vanilla buttercreams.  My mom corrupted me by giving me an entire 1 lb. box.  They are a nice treat that needs to be rationed; otherwise, it could end in disaster.

Fannie May box

Milk Chocolate Vanilla Buttercreams
My parents' house in Illinois gets so dry that I have to slather on lotion and moisturizer.  I loved my mom's Estée Lauder Day Wear; so she gave me a pot for Christmas.

Estée Lauder Day Wear
She also gave me an Anthropologie robe with squirrels all over it.  I think I look like a very cute Rocky in it.

Anthropologie Squirrel Robe
And she gave me this glamorous bracelet from Stella & Dot.  It is so adorable.

Stella & Dot Petra Bracelet

After a wonderful week full of family and a long day of travel, my bed looks so good to me.

Our bed - looking forward to sleeping in it tonight.
If you're wondering about the bedding: the duvet cover is Room Essentials and super cheap from Target.  The little turquoise pillow is a round pintuck pillow from Urban Outfitters.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Festive Christmas Nails

Getting excited to go home to Illinois for Christmas tomorrow.  Still have a lot of cleaning and packing to do, but here's my festive mani-pedi:

Christmas Nails

I chose to layer Essie's Golden Nuggets on top of Essie's Aperitif.

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Polynesian Pearl Diver

A few years ago, I watched the movie Blue Gardenia.  In the movie, Anne Baxter's character goes and gets blitzed on a tropical-looking drink called a Polynesian Pearl Diver.  Immediately after watching the film, I tried to find a recipe for this drink, because it sounded wonderful and I am a lush.  I couldn't find a recipe anywhere.  

A couple of weeks ago, I saw Django Unchained at the Lighthouse International.  We were the first American audience to see the film, which was exciting in and of itself.  Leonardo DiCaprio's character ordered a Polynesian Pearl Diver at one point in the film, and I was thrilled.  It looked like a rum drink served in a coconut shell.  I'm assuming Quentin Tarantino watched Blue Gardenia and was also intrigued by the sound of this evocative and intoxicating drink.

My hope and assumption is that this will become a recipe that is recommended for Oscar parties this year.  If I can finally get my mitts on a recipe for this drink, now that I assume it will become part of pop culture, I will make it and post about it in a later post.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

I can't stop buying animal pattern clothing

I previously mentioned the Westie dress that I received from Urban Outfitters.  Well, since then these two items of clothing have also happened:

Rhyme & Echo Winking Owl Blouse

Loft Smitten Kitten Dress

Smitten Kitten Pattern

I think I have a problem...

Homemade Deep Dish Pizza

As part of the Christmas gift-buying extravaganza, I bought some of my Chicago family a gift card for a pizzeria that serves deep dish pizza.  This made me crave deep dish pizza like none other.  Tonight, I tried to make something close to deep dish pizza.

I preheated the oven to 425° and set to work grating Trader Joe's mozzarella, cutting green peppers, and draining a can of black olives.  We have a Fiestaware deep dish pie baker that I greased with olive oil and floured with of all things flour.  I stretched a ball of defrosted Whole Foods pizza dough over the dish so that it was thickly lined, including edges, with dough.  

I spread pre-fab pizza sauce over the dough in a thick layer and topped that with a generous heaping of mozzarella, green peppers, and olives. 

Then I added another layer of sauce and mozzarella.

And another layer of olives and green peppers.

And to finish it off a layer of grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.

I baked the pizza for about 40 - 45 minutes.  I recommend putting a baking sheet on the rack below, because my pizza overflowed onto the oven floor.  That might also be because I went a little sauce and cheese happy.

The finished product was a doughy, saucy, cheesy pie.

We ate half of the pizza and it was decadent.

Not necessarily authentic deep dish, but pretty good.

It's gonna be a piece of cake, Bren.

I stopped by Magnolia Bakery again this Monday.  This time I got a piece of cake.  I ate it before dinner with a glass of milk.  This combo always makes me think of one of my favorite childhood books Harriet the Spy.  In the book, she eats a piece of cake with a glass of milk every day after school.

Christmas Shopping

This weekend was mostly spent Christmas shopping and cleaning.  I found some really good presents.

My husband needed this Anker External Battery Pack so that he can charge his iphone while out and about at work, etc.

I also got him this Bean Yoga Mat Bag in Burgundy that I have in green and love.  It's a little bit roomy, but that's good.  We like to go to yoga together.  Are we yuppies?  Is my husband a metrosexual?  I don't care.

Crazy cat lady that I am, I got our kittens a second cat carrier (the exact same model that they already have) so that they don't have to be squashed  into a little bag together anymore when we take them to the vet.

I also bought them this "slumber thermal cat mat" for cold winter nights.

My mom requested a new gravy boat (hers broke over Thanksgiving); so I got her this Sur  la Table gravy boat.  I also got her something a little blingy as well, but on the off chance she's reading this, I'll tell you about it later.

While at Sur la Table, I got this Kuhn Rikon polka dot paring knife, because it's adorable and extremely useful.  I have one in blue that I use all the time.

I drew my sister in our Christmas drawing and  bought this adorable Wanderlust + Co  Petite Multi-Bar Bracelet that I saw in Lucky Magazine.  I also bought her a gift card for a mani pedi at a really nice nail place in Chicago.  5 stars on Yelp.  I love her.

We hadn't done laundry since being home from France, and there is a new wash and fold near us (finally), so we gave it a try.  It was $37 for all of this and such a luxury not to have to schlep to the gross laundromat near us.  I will definitely be using this new place again.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Monday Cupcake

This Monday, I was feeling sort of down and gloomy on my way home from work.  It's getting darker and darker outside earlier and earlier.  Bloomingdales has a Magnolia Bakery, and I passed by it.  I ended up buying a vanilla cupcake w/ chocolate frosting to split with my husband after dinner.  We have some leftover birthday candles, and I thought it would nice for both of us to make a wish for the week.

This might become a tradition.

French Stuff



Cancoillotte in Action

Country Store Cereal

Cornichons, Emmental, Baguette, Jambon, etc.

When in Provence, drink like a Provençal.

Nightcap of Pastis

Suchard is a sweet treat

Chocolatey nugget of goodness

My two favorite French tabloids - Public and Voici

I love a good "stylo plume."

I was shocked & delighted to discover that
maïs grillé aka corn nuts are a popular snack
in France right now.  Please ignore my
purple elephant pajama bottoms.