Monday, November 28, 2011

Rude Kitten

I'm starting off the week after the holiday nice and strong by being sick. It's great. Couldn't have asked for a better entrance into the arctic zone and depression that Chicago will turn into in the coming months.

I came home from work a bit early today, with the intention of sitting on my couch and spacing out on my iPad. This lasted for a couple of hours, until Bailey noticed that I was paying more attention to the internet than to her.

This is concerning.

I was chatting with Nick online since he was still at work, and apparently she wanted in on the conversation.

Hey Bailey is here.

All she managed to type was gibberish.

This is hard.

Then she decided to just sit on me so I couldn't use the iPad at all.

Were you doing something? You're not anymore.

And thennn...she realized that I was wearing a hoodie with a zipper. Bailey loves zippers, and for the next hour she tried to chew and paw on it while I played defense. She was so obsessed she got a little cross-eyed with focus.


I won in the end, although she put up a good fight. She didn't chew on my zipper anymore, but she still didn't let me use my iPad.



Friday, November 25, 2011

Dessert Friday #21

I was texting happy Thanksgiving thoughts to my friend Katie yesterday, and at one point she asked me, "Are you making a turkey? Or maybe a turkey-shaped pile of cream puffs?" So, naturally, I wanted a cream puff...

And I give you...

Yes. Yes I did.

It happened again.

Katie, you are an inspiration.

And of course I kicked myself for not thinking of a turkey-shaped pile of cream puffs for Thanksgiving instead of an actual turkey. But that's okay, because my turkey did actually turn out okay (again, thanks to Mark and various online sources during my moments of panic)!


In fact it was more than edible. It was actually good. And I didn't poison anyone! Which just goes to show: the more I panic, the better I do. It's a lifestyle. I predict high blood pressure in years to come.

There was a ton of food, which unfortunately I didn't photograph very well because I was too busy panicking. But there was stuffing:


And mashed potatoes, and homemade gravy from the turkey drippings, and a bunch of food (mostly veggies, thank goodness, because I didn't think to make anything green) that my mom brought over, and an APPLE PIE that NICK MADE which you'll just have to take my word for made it to the dinner table.

There was also Pink Lady Finger Junk (so named by the Edds family). This is a dish that Nick (and everyone else in his family) absolutely needs to have on Thanksgiving. Ingredients include (not a complete list):
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapples
  • Marshmallows
  • Strawberry Jell-O
  • Lady fingers
Just from this list, you might think this is dessert. I treat it as dessert. Nick has a heart attack when I refer to it as dessert, but I can't consider something with fruit and sugar and JELL-O in it not dessert (Mark, please back me up on this one). But apparently the Edds eat it with everything else (like STUFFING) during dinner.

Whatever floats your boat. I will eat it for dessert. With apple pie. Double dessert for me.

My local grocery store apparently doesn't know what lady fingers are, and the last time I made this dish, I bought what they considered lady fingers, which was a box of crackers with sugar sprinkled on them. Uh, what? No. This year, I again failed to find them, and instead of using weird crackers, decided to bite the bullet and make my own homemade lady fingers.


I got a bit impatient and started blobbing them way too big, and they got super round.

This lady had too much turkey.

But overall, a big success and it definitely tasted better than the store-bought kind.


See what I did there? Yeah, I put all the good-looking ones on top, so you wouldn't know from the picture that I actually burned a small batch of them, because I got greedy and tried baking two batches at the same time and used the bottom rack, which I will never put anything on again because apparently things just automatically burn on the bottom rack.


You just let it sit in the fridge until it sets. I think the actual name is something along the lines of "Lady Finger Strawberry Torte." Don't ask me why it's known as "junk" now.

Bailey spent almost the entire day yesterday starting at 6:30am being CRAZY.

Who, me? Not me.

Yes, her. I guess it was for the best, because by the time dinner was about ready, she was too tired to be curious about the copious amounts of food we had just sitting out. The most she did was sniff lazily from her throne.

If you could bring me some, that would be great.

Didn't happen. She did get extra wet food in the morning though. So there you go. Kittens get Thanksgiving, too.

Now I'm off to play this game that I just learned is called Gomoku. My dad has had a set for awhile, but I'm not big on strategy games (I don't like having to think so hard while playing games), so it's basically been collecting dust, until Nick heard about it yesterday. It's basically like Connect Four, except instead of four in a row, it's five...and instead of dropping pieces into a vertical board, it's on a really, not like Connect Four except for the fact that in both games you try to make connections with your pieces. Nick is crazy about this game and forced asked me nicely to play 9404850 games after dinner tonight.

I won a whopping (count 'em)...two games. One of them was pretty epic, though. Almost half the board was covered.

I'm the black pieces.

Nick also wants to learn to play Go now (it uses the same pieces and board as Gomoku), but I think I'm going to have to turn him over to my dad for that one, because that waaay surpasses the level of strategic thinking I like to do for games.

UPDATE: Nick informs me that I actually won a whopping THREE WHOLE GAMES. So there you go. Gomoku master, right here. Bring it.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day!

I am responsible for cooking this thing today:


My first ever Thanksgiving turkey. Shout out here to master chef Mark for emailing me instructions on how he made his turkey, thus reducing my panic level from "dangerously high" to "can maybe think straight."

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Here's to hoping I don't poison anyone with an undercooked turkey.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dessert Friday #20, etc.

That "etc." is for not updating in over a week. This is shameful.

Last Monday and Tuesday I went to Oregon for work. This means I got up at 4:30am Chicago time (2:30am Oregon time, for those of you keeping score), sat on a plane for 4.5 hours, was in meetings the entire afternoon, and then had dinner with work people. Dinner was great, but by that time I'd been awake for approximately 18 hours and was no more than an empty shell (who could still eat a lot). The next morning I got up at the crack of dawn again and flew back to Chicago. And for some reason I thought it was a good idea to not have a drop of coffee or any other form of caffeine during this entire adventure. So that was good.

Apparently this completely wiped me out for the rest of the week, because I a) couldn't ever get up in the morning, and b) would sit on my couch immediately after I got home from work and not move. Thankfully Nick had tacos ready for dinner the Tuesday I got back (what a keeper), because I certainly wasn't going to feed myself.

Thanks Nick.

Bailey was pretty upset with me when I got home last Tuesday. First she wouldn't let me out of her sight.

I will be right here watching you.

And then she got all emo.

You left me for two whole days.

But it wasn't anything a few (five) treats couldn't fix.

We can be friends again.

Did you think I forgot about Dessert Friday? Worry not.

Cream puffs.

Yup. Again. And guess what? They had extra filling this time. So it seemed.


This past weekend, we went down to Illinois (yes, I realize that Chicago is in Illinois, I mean Illinois as in the home of the Fighting Illini) to visit Nick's sister and to watch the Illinois-Wisconsin football game.

Players standing around.

Nick is a Badgers fan (I really have no preference - in fact, I can name maybe three positions in football, and aside from the quarterback, I really have no idea what anyone else does), and although they played a pretty ugly game the first half, thankfully they won so Nick didn't have to mope the rest of the day.

And the rest of the day was and feasting on a pre-Thanksgiving meal! We figured since we were down there visiting, we might as well have an early Thanksgiving. Which was just fine by me, because that meant I could basically have two Thanksgivings.

Don't worry, I've got some large sweatpants stashed in the back of my closet.

Oh. I should mention here that there were also....snakes!


No, we didn't eat them. Nick's sister and her boyfriend, Mark, breed snakes (ball pythons), and they had an impressive setup of bins for their snakes (if you're in the market, let me know and I will let them know). And I held them! Multiple ones (not at the same time)!

This is proof that I held at least one snake.

They felt really interesting. Pure muscle, smooth, and any bigger than they were would have had me running as fast as I could out the door.

So that was exciting. Aside from that, the afternoon consisted mainly of sitting around the fireplace, playing this game called Dominion (I have to say one of the few games involving cards that I actually enjoyed playing), and eating.

I wish we had this in our apartment.

The meal was, in a word, epic. Mark is a fantastic cook, and the turkey he made was definitely hands-down the best turkey I've ever eaten. The rest of us pitched in here and there. Mainly for moral support. Although I did make some potatoes, Chinese-style (recipe from my mom, which was possibly the most aggravating thing in the world to figure out, because it mainly consisted of directions like "put in some corn starch and some soy sauce" with no actual measurements). Maybe if I ever figure out real proportions, I will let you know how to make them. For now, I'm still guessing at how much of everything to use.

Thanks 95% to Mark, 5% to the rest of us.

I had multiple servings.

Round 2.

And then I gained 10 pounds.

I made some turkey hash tonight for dinner, which was basically a mixture of potatoes, turkey, stuffing, any leftover food there was, some garlic, green onions, a tiny bit of butter, and basil (again, thanks to Mark for the idea - and the demonstration during brunch the day after our feast). I didn't take a picture of it because it's not exactly the most attractive looking meal (as the name suggests), but it was delicious and I promptly gained another 10 pounds. So naturally, I'm off now to run around the block 25 times sit on my couch and watch TV.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dessert Friday #19

Hold on to your hats, folks. Guess what I didn't have for Dessert Friday this week.

Cream puffs.

Nick was in charge of it this week, and, as he put it, got us something different "to change things up a bit."


Magnum bars. Yeah, I'd never heard of them either. Apparently Nick didn't know about them but just got them because "they were the fanciest" at the store. Works for me. It's an incredibly decadent ice cream bar with chocolate and caramel.


Not the usual cream puff (or cupcake), but equally delicious.

Did Bailey want some? Yes.

Hey can I have one :) ?

Did she get some? No.

No ice cream for Bailey :(

Don't worry. She got her full can of wet food this morning. Which she didn't fail to remind me about, nice and early.

Hello it's time to feed me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fall Days

Oh, wait. Is it fall? I'm not sure, because in the middle of the day today, Chicago snowed buckets. Literally buckets. I looked out the window at work and thought that someone was standing on the roof of our building with a gigantic fan blowing fake snow down to the streets.

And then, in typical Chicago fashion, it was sunny with blue skies five minutes later. Nice.

Despite the crazy weather, some of the trees here finally have red leaves.

Like this one!

And we've even got some ivy on our back porch that's turning lovely shades of yellow and orange.

Definitely fall.

With all the leaves falling off the trees, Bailey has been keeping vigilant watch over the apartment because you never know when those leaves might attack.


She gets a little nutty. Which is a little annoying, but then she's so completely exhausted that she usually just passes out for hours.


But as long as she's even the tiniest bit awake, she'll be keeping an eye out for the leaves.

On guard.

Obviously she thinks this is a really big deal. I tell her she's just silly.

Please. The apartment would be in shambles if you didn't have me.

Yup, that's probably true. But since we do have her, we just come home to mail on the floor, the rug turned over in one corner, teaspoon measuring spoons on the living room floor...shall I go on?

I worked from home earlier this week because our radiators weren't working properly and it's, oh, what, 30 degrees outside? Thankfully we got them fixed. But since I worked from home, of course this happened.

Yes it did.

How did that bag of chips get on my desk? More importantly, how did more than half the bag get eaten? Beats me.

And of course this happened.


What can I say. She likes stretching out on clean laundry (that has been folded neatly into piles).

Nick went on a Lord of the Rings kick last week, and demanded (literally, demanded) that we watch all three movies. Thankfully not all on the same night, so we've been slowly making our way through them. We watched the second one last night, and I figured movie means snacks which means chips and dip, right?

I would just like to point out Nick's dainty pinky.

P.S. The foam roller is an absolute miracle healer. My back is about 98% back to normal. Everyone, go get one. Even if you don't have back problems, go get one. Just in case.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dessert Friday #18

Yeah, I know I've been kind of slacking with posts lately. However, I have not been slacking with the desserts .

Cream puff, anyone?

Yup, third week in a row. It happened.

Remember the filling? I do.

Maybe next week I'll try to be original and pick something else. Although the something else would most likely be cupcakes, so that's not exactly being original. What's the most extravagant dessert out there? (Please say red velvet cupcakes.)

To counter my endless ingestion of desserts, I made a healthy autumn salad last night for dinner.


With Brussel sprouts. I swear, as I was chopping up the Brussel sprouts, I seriously considered just not including them at all because they smelled weird. I didn't like it.

And continuing with the healthy kick, homemade garlic bread on the side. Because everyone needs a little fat, right?


Thankfully the Brussel sprouts turned out edible. As long as I had squash on my fork as well. No, I'm kidding, they actually tasted good (Katelyn, you can make them for Thanksgiving now) and definitely smelled good in the oven.

Is that rum + Coke in the back? Yes it is.

And some Bailey pictures, of course. The best ones I had were on my phone, so I apologize for the graininess and small size (apparently I didn't want to email them to myself with the "large" size option).

I judge you. Who wouldn't want to see a big picture of me?

And then there's this gem. Hilarious to me, probably embarrassing to her.

Eh? What's over there? What was I doing again?


In complete other news, continuing with the completely random post that this has become, I went to a Pilates class last Wednesday and discovered the joy of the foam roller.


Really, someone should have told me about this before. This thing basically gives you a massage. My back was practically dancing with joy after I used this. After class I immediately ordered one of my own, and ever since it arrived yesterday, I've basically been living on it. Regular 24-year-old back, here I come.