Friday, July 29, 2011

Dessert Friday #4

Cupcakes. Again. What else?

The building I work in sometimes gets mini (really, really tiny) cupcakes from this place and gives them to us (like appreciation day, holidays, etc.), so I knew they were good, but I'd never actually gotten a full-sized cupcake from them.

They were fantastic. Sadly they kind of toppled in the box and the frosting (which was gorgeous) got a little smeared.

Nick immediately ordered two red velvets when we got there because they were the LAST two, but then I wanted the pumpkin we ended up getting three cupcakes. Hurrah for us.

I could definitely live off that cream cheese frosting. And there was so much of it.

Seriously. So good. There is as much frosting as you think there is.

Just to drive the point home.

<3 Fridays.

At one point I looked down and saw this.

I didn't give her any. I know. I'm so selfish.

We went to a baseball game tonight, Red Sox vs. White Sox. Nick is a die-hard Red Sox fan, and I'm...well, I grew up in the south side of Chicago, but I never really cared. So I guess I'm a Red Sox fan as well (sorry White Sox fans out there, but if it makes you feel better, I'm not a particularly good cheerer unless it's for the Bulls).

Sadly the Red Sox lost (sorry to remind you, Nick), but here are some cool pictures.

The stadium filled up more eventually. Kind of.
I'm so artsy being all sepia-toned.
Check out that action shot.
And then there were fireworks! Which was pretty awesome, except that did you know it is super difficult to get a decent shot of fireworks? I ended up with a bunch of pictures of blinding light in a mass of smoke. So sad.

Pretend the smoke isn't there and you might see some fireworks.
We're going to another game on Sunday (told you, Nick is one intense fan) so hopefully that will have a better outcome.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Superstar Bailey!

We have a little star on our hands!

Please, you're embarrassing me.

A couple weeks ago, I submitted a photo of Bailey to this Temptations (cat treat) cat photo contest being held by Thoughts Fur Paws. And Bailey won! She came in first place with almost 100 votes!

Yaaaaay Bailey!

Also this just proves her cuteness. Numbers don't lie.

Thanks to Jaime at Thoughts Fur Paws and Temptations for holding the contest and thanks to everyone who voted (if you so happen to be reading this)!

The prize includes two bags of Temptations treats as well as some toys, which is good, because right now four out of the six toys Joanna gave Bailey are either under the couch (too lazy to check) or just missing forever. So she could use a stock refresh.

And here is the winning photo!

Yep, that's her, passed out on my notes back last summer when I was writing my master's thesis. Bein' all cute. :-)

And clearly Bailey is very excited about all of this.

Yeah. We already knew I'm cute. Get back to me when the treats arrive.

She has no idea what's going on. All she knows is that I've been cooing at her more than usual today. And that for some reason she's gotten a couple more treats than she usually gets.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ice Cubes

And the heat continues. Although today it was only mid-80s! That really is something to celebrate.

And reason enough to put in box fans at both ends of the apartment, because it's probably about 90 degrees inside the apartment right now.

Today we got CUPCAKES at work. I don't know why. I just know that I walked into the kitchen and there was a box of cupcakes randomly sitting on the table, which means they're up for grabs (but really, I didn't steal food from anyone). So I grabbed.

I don't even know what flavor it was. But it was good.

I had some salmon for dinner (which cost me an arm and a leg at the dumb super expensive grocery store next to us). I got a little bit of the fishy olive oil on my finger, and let Bailey lick it off. She LOVED it. She basically gnawed my finger off.

When it gets really warm, we'll sometimes put an ice cube in Bailey's water bowl. I normally really don't like giving her ice cubes, because for some reason she's obsessed with trying to get it out of her bowl, and ends up splashing all over the place.

She really loves her ice cubes, though.

She'll start by trying to pounce on it.

And then she'll have a few licks.

And then she starts to get sneaky, and tries to hide from her water bowl before attacking the ice cube.

But after she's spent five minutes hiding (I would like to remind you here that it's about 90 degrees in our apartment), the ice cube is almost completely melted.

And this is when she pokes her paw into the water bowl and tries to get the tiny bit of ice left out of the bowl, and gets annoyed because her paw gets wet (I'm not really sure what she expects would happen if she stuck her paw into water). This is also when puddles are made all over my kitchen floor.

So then she just leaves in a huff and acts like she doesn't care.

But really, she does care. Because she'll spend about ten minutes after this just sitting and glaring at her water bowl.

Even so, she loves ice cubes. I can't get ice from the freezer without her sprinting from wherever she is (even if she's napping) into the kitchen and staring at me until I give her one too. And then this entire situation repeats itself.

At least the ice cube might cool her down a little.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dessert Friday #3

More cupcakes!!!

Which is funnily enough the name of the place we got them from today.

The label continued down one side of the carton, and I agreed with every single word on it.

Especially "need more." Yes.

The cupcakes were decadent. For real.

And the frosting-cake ratio was right up my alley. It looked like a Crumbs cupcake, but instead of being a total fake out and not having nearly as much frosting as it looked, these cupcakes actually had their expected amount of frosting.

:D :D :D
I think this is the best cupcake we've had so far. The frosting was SO good.

I've also been holding on to a Groupon for some frozen yogurt for about a month now. Despite the stifling heat and the fact that every week we say we're going to get ice cream, I end up deciding on cupcakes instead. Oh well. Someday.

Okay, I might have been a little mean to Bailey when we were eating cupcakes. She kept just staring up at me and her little nose was twitching because she was desperately sniffing the cupcake-scented air. So I might have tricked her into thinking I was going to give her some licks.

The look on her face when she realized there wasn't a trace of cupcake or frosting on my finger was one of pure disappointment.

And then she tried to coax Nick into sharing.

Which he didn't...because he was already done with his cupcake.

But don't worry. We weren't that evil. I gave Bailey a little kitten treat, and Nick also had a yogurt afterwards which she got a couple licks of.

She's got a vet appointment tomorrow for a couple of shots...she's probably already mentally and physically prepared for the fight against going into her carrier.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pressure Cooker Weather

And that pretty much sums up the weather here this week. 100 degrees, 5000% humidity. I am hardly exaggerating. But really. 100 degrees is true. Last night the electricity on our block went out, probably because everyone was blasting their air conditioners, hoping to make their rooms 30 degrees cooler than the outside temperature.

The humidity was especially bad today, even at 5:30am, when I went for my run. I started sweating about three seconds in, and my was just confused. It had no idea what to do and just formed pools on my arms and legs. It was basically saying "I don't understand, where do I go?! TOO MUCH MOISTURE!"

Bailey has been quite the drama queen about all this. Every time she catches us looking at her, she gives us one dramatic flop on the floor after another. It would start out with her just puddling around somewhere.

And then she'll notice that we're looking at her. And turn on the drama. 

Then she just walks around spreading the drama from one end of the apartment to the other, floppity flop.

She eventually gives up, probably because she's expended so much energy dramatizing and is officially exhausted.

The weird thing is, I don't think she actually cares about being in a pleasantly cool room. I say this because I have a window air conditioner in my bedroom, and because I realize it might be uncomfortable for the furball in this 90-degree heat, I leave my door cracked open so she can get in at night. Sometimes if I'm awake I'll wait until she's in the room and I'll close the door to save energy. That just results in her crouching by the door, waiting for me to let her out.

BUT THEN! Once she's actually let out, it's not like she has anything important to do, like go to her litter box or eat. No, she just sits right outside the door, in the heat.

Someone explain, please. Is having her tail just inside the air-conditioned room enough to conduct the coolness throughout her entire body?

She's prancing outside in the living room (seriously, it's gotta be about 95 degrees there right now) as I'm writing this in my 68-degree room. I've given up trying to convince her that cooler = better, so I've shut the door because it's agonizing feeling the hot air breeze inside. My little air conditioner isn't strong enough for that.

Last weekend, before this horrific heat settled in (when it was still possible to stand inside my kitchen for longer than two minutes without wanting to climb into the refrigerator) and it was (only!) 80 degrees in the apartment, I made challah bread. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, except that I had to wait awhile for the dough to rise sufficiently. The directions said let the dough rise in a "warm place." I took that to mean my lap, because even though it wasn't heat index 110 degrees, it was still pretty darn warm. So last Saturday I basically sat around with a giant mixing bowl in my lap for half the day. Good times.

The dough came out nice and puffy though!

And then...the braiding. For some unknown reason I was overzealous and decided that I would be able to handle six-strand challah. The instructions from the recipe I found were...interesting. Something about taking the second strand from the right, crossing it over, taking the left-most strand, weaving it through...bringing it back...something...start over. I basically just ended up doing whatever made it look decent.

It turned out pretty nicely, I think, for my first go.

Probably not what challah is actually supposed to look like. But that's okay.

Good enough for us to eat.

The next morning was even better because...I made challah french toast from the leftovers! I think next time I make challah bread, I'm just going to make french toast with all of it. It was so delicious.

Bailey was intrigued. She knows she's not allowed in the kitchen, so she started out by being all sneaky and hiding behind this wall that separates the hallway and the kitchen, where we were eating.

But then she just strolled right in and walked up to me.

And so I let her lick some of the melted butter. But not the sugar.

I think I'm turning into a big softy here...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dessert Friday #2

Holy cupcake.

Nick got cupcakes from Cupcake Counter today, and I guess since last week he literally watched someone in front of him in line pick up the last of the red velvet cupcakes, he felt deprived and went all out this week. He got us four red velvet cupcakes.

So naturally, we each had a cupcake before dinner and then one after.

Round 1
Bailey really, really wanted some cupcakes. I used to yell at her when she tried to jump on our chairs while we were eating, and she's usually very good now about not even showing any interest in our food. But I guess she realized how good the cupcakes were, because she sat about two feet away from us the entire time and just stared.

No, she did not get any licks of the frosting, because 1) that is by far my favorite part, and 2) sugar makes her an absolute nutjob.

I don't even remember what I ate for dinner because all I cared about were the cupcakes.

Round 2
:D :D
And once again Bailey eyed us from two feet away.

I was sitting on the couch as I ate my second cupcake, and eventually Bailey couldn't stand being so far away anymore, so she opted to hop on the couch and plop down right behind me and pout, because I didn't give her anything.

And now there are no more cupcakes.

Bailey is very upset about this. She tried punching me.

It's probably good that there aren't any left, because I'm having a major sugar crash right now and would really really like some water. Except that I'm too lazy and tired to get up from my couch (yes, where I have been sitting since I ate that second cupcake) to get myself some water. And Nick isn't home.


The cupcakes were seriously delicious though. Smaller than the Crumbs cupcakes, but it made for a better frosting-cake ratio. I still think there could have been more frosting, but at this point I really think it's just me being addicted to frosting. I would really just prefer frosting in a cup topped with a sliver of cake. That would be ideal.

And now I'm really thirsty, so I'm off to roll myself into the kitchen and get some water.

Did I mention that I love Fridays?