Sunday, September 6, 2009

No. 87: Smash

Whiskey Smash

Of Smashes, Jerry Thomas writes "This drink is simply a julep on a small plan." (He has quite a lot to say about the julep, which I'll get around to soon.) Your spirit of choice, a little sugar, some water, a glass filed with shaved ice, and a garnish--that's pretty much all there is to it.

I recently enjoyed a Brandy Smash made by Sebastian, and I wouldn't be surprised if he used Jerry's recipe:

Brandy Smash.
(Use small bar-glass.)
1/2 table-spoonful of white sugar.
1 do. water
1 wine-glass of brandy.

Fill the glass two-thirds full of shaved ice, use two sprigs of mint, the same as in the recipe for mint julep. Lay two small slices of orange on top, and ornament with berries in season.

By the way, a digital copy of Jerry Thomas' 1862 bartenders' manual How to Mix drinks: or, the Bon-Vivant's Companion is available through google books! Just click the title to take a peek.

Whiskey Smash

Saturday, September 5, 2009

No. 22: Corpse Reviver #2

Corpse Reviver No. 2

Show up at Anvil and ask Justin for something refreshing, and chances are he'll offer you a Corpse Reviver #2. Corpse Revivers are drinks designed to wake the dead, as it were, in the most delicious way possible.

Originating probably in the late 1880s, Corpse Reviver #2 contains equal parts gin, lemon juice, Lillet blanc, and Cointreau--and a dash (or two) of absinthe. For those who are a bit intimidated by the wormwood-derived, anise-flavored spirit, this drink could make a good first impression.

No. 7: Aviation

Aviation

The Aviation takes its name from the sky blue tinge derived from Creme de Violette, a liqueur that was apparently at one time almost impossible to find. Consequently, the titular ingredient was actually left out of many recipes, including the recipe in the influential 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.

Luckily for us, Rothman & Winter is producing a Creme de Violette that is now available in the US (this is the brand that Anvil uses), which means that we can enjoy the Aviation in its original incarnation. Originally published in Hugo Ensslin's 1916 "Recipes for Mixed Drinks," the Aviation also calls for dry gin as its base, fresh lemon juice, and Maraschino liqueur:
Aviation Cocktail (Original Recipe)
1/3 Lemon Juice
2/3 El Bart Gin (no longer available; substitute another dry gin)
2 Dashes Maraschino
2 Dashes Creme de Violette
Shake well in a mixing glass with cracked ice, strain and serve.
The Aviation is one the drinks that I will happily reorder once, you know, I'm finished trying all 99 other cocktails on the list.

Monday, August 31, 2009

No. 82: Seelbach

Seelbach
Justin topping off a Seelbach with champagne

This bright little number had 7 dashes each of Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters to thank for its brilliant red color and accordingly bitter taste. It takes its name from the Louisville Seelbach Hotel, which first opened in 1874 as an exclusive gentleman's club and later served as the model for elements in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.

With Kentucky bourbon as its base and additions of cointreau and champagne, what really makes the Seelbach stand out are the large quantities of two different bitters. Perhaps this means it is not a drink for everyone, but I am a huge fan; this is definitely a drink I will be ordering again.

Seelbach

Thursday, August 27, 2009

No. 52: Martini

the Martini

"Six parts gin to one part vermouth" is the final line of the Tom Lehrer song, "Bright College Days," but it is apparently far from the final word on the correct composition of the Martini. From Bernardo DeVoto's perfect Martini that calls for 1.845206 oz of gin to 1/2 oz vermouth and "five hundred pounds of ice" to Hemmingway's ratio of 15 to 1 (both via Eric Felten), this point of contention seems like it can really only come down to your own tastes--and what's fashionable at the time, of course.

Oh, and shaking versus stirring really does make a difference. Shaking the martini both makes the drink colder and dilutes it further than stirring, and even has an effect on the taste. Try both; don't feel pressured by James Bond (he preferred vodka martinis, anyway).

the Martini


Of the Martini featured in my photos, I know neither the proportion of gin to vermouth nor the method of mixing (though I could probably bug Matt to remember), but I do know that he made it with Hayman's Old Tom gin, which is a favorite of mine (an older style, slightly sweet). Anvil's ingredient list, at least, matches Felten's "Original Intent Martini" recipe: gin, French (dry) vermouth (4:1) and orange bitters.

And in my mind, you really can't go wrong with a lemon twist.

Update: Anvil's ingredients may match Felten's, but Justin would like everyone to know that he uses a ratio of 2:1 gin to vermouth, with 2 dashes of bitters.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No. 1: Absinthe Drip

Absinthe

I started my posts with the drink on the list that was first made (oldest) and followed it with one of the first cocktails I ever had at Anvil. For post number 3, let's take a look at the first drink on the alphabetized list, Absinthe.

While prevalent enough in popular culture that most people seem to be at least vaguely familiar with "the Green Fairy," the notorious beverage is commonly, mistakenly believed to still be illegal in the US. In 2007, Lucid Absinthe was approved for legal distribution in the US, and this broke ground for other brands to eventually make their into American bars.* Thujone, the chemical in wormwood long blamed for absinthe's apparent psychotropic affects, is regulated in modern absinthes, although arguably the spirit's high alcohol content is the real culprit.

The absinthe drip that the List refers to is the traditional method for serving absinthe. A sugar cube is placed on a slotted spoon (often specially designed for this purpose) and then balanced on the glass full of liquor. Then cold water is dripped onto the sugar cube, dissolving it into the absinthe. This process not only dillutes the alcohol but causes it to become cloudy (see the first picture).

Absinthe drip
An absinthe fountain

Lucid Absinthe
Lucid absinthe, with an absinthe spoon and partially-dissolved sugar cube

Not everyone who tries absinthe is especially fond of it. Its strong anise flavor (the same as black licorice) is off-putting to many people. In its undiluted state (I had a taste this afternoon) it is almost unbearably harsh. No small number of drinks on the List include absinthe as in ingredient, including the Sazerac, which is served in a glass rinsed out with absinthe. Whether you enjoy it or not, however, you should take any opportunity to try this culturally-weighted spirit if for no other reason than to say that you've had absinthe.

The List Itself

For all who are curious, Bobby Heugel has kindly made the List available online (click for a larger view):



And now, back to our regularly scheduled drinking.

UPDATE: the lovely Treelight has typed out the list, in case you want a text version: http://dirtykitchenadventures.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/anvils-list/

Saturday, August 22, 2009

No. 61: Negroni

Negroni

I had a Negroni the first time I ever went to Anvil. After trying a few drinks from the seasonal menu, I asked our bartender, Justin, to make me the drink that he would most like to have at that moment. His response was the Negroni, a drink that highlights one of his favorite cocktail ingredients, the Italian aperitif Campari.

Comprised of equal thirds Campari, gin, and Italian (or sweet) Vermouth and garnished with an orange peel, the Negroni is anything but mild, from its bold red color to its bright and bitter profile, both derived from the Campari; in his anedotal guide to classic cocktails How's Your Drink?, author Eric Felten goes so far as to point out the presence of a Negroni in the hand of many a villain and "ne'er-do-well" in literature and film. Its creation is commonly attributed to one Count Negroni who had his bartender stiffen his Americano by adding gin, sometime in the early 1900s. However, there seems to be little consensus on any details beyond that.

I must admit that I did not especially enjoy my first Negroni; however, I have since developed an appreciation for Campari and look forward to my next experience of this cocktail.

Friday, August 21, 2009

No. 73: Port Flip

#73 -  Port Flip

One strategy I considered for actually trying all of the cocktails on the the List was to drink them in chronological order by origin--oldest to newest. The oldest drink on the List is the Port Flip, a drink made with a decent amount of port, some sugar, and whole egg, yolk and all. As you can imagine, after shaking this results in a rich, creamy drink.

In the 1887 Bar-tender's Guide or How to Mix Drinks, author and cocktail pioneer Jerry Thomas gives the following recipe for a Port Flip:

Port Wine Flip.
(Use large bar-glass.)
Take 1 small tea-spoonful of powdered white sugar.
1 large wine-glass of port wine.
1 fresh egg.
2 or 3 small lumps of ice.

Break the egg into the glass, add the sugar, and lastly the wine and ice. Shake up thoroughly and strain into a medium sized goblet.

Cracking the egg
Anvil's Bobby Heugel takes a slightly differently approach, adding the egg to the port.

Definitely a different sort of cocktail; I don't think I've ever had anything quite like it. Don't skip No. 73: the Port Flip!

#73 - Port Flip

An Anvil Challege: the 100 Drinks List

Anvil Bar & Refuge

Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston has issued a challenge to its patrons in the form of a list.

the List

Specifically, it's a list of 100 classic cocktails that they believe everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. The List was released last Wednesday along with stamp cards for patrons to keep track of which drinks they've enjoyed so far. According to Anvil owner Bobby Heugel, finishing the list will get you a 100 cocktails manual; the first five to finish all 100 drinks will receive a special surprise.

In the interest of furthering my knowledge of cocktails (and indulging my nerd tendencies) I have decided to try to blog the List: all 100 drinks. A photo of the drink, at Anvil, accompanied by a little bit of information so that the List Challenge is not just delicious, but also educational. (Nerd, remember?) I'm not going to do any major research, but I'll do my best to provide some kind of background information on each cocktail

While I will be competing to drink all 100, I will not be blogging the cocktails in the order I drink them. Nor will will the posts follow the list order (which is alphabetical). I may develop a consistent strategy, I may not. In any case, I'm looking forward to this project.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Haps (or, Blame Twitter)

Looks like blogging is becoming a monthly thing for me. This is largely an effect of the fact that I am now on Twitter. If you use Twitter, or would like to keep up with what's going on with me, you can follow me @aynsavoy. I've also put a tweet feed over in the right margin of this blog.

Anyway, if you haven't been following me on Twitter, here's a run-down of the past month (if you're here for food photos, skip to the end):

Travel
We were all over the place in July. We visited our folks in St. Louis over 4th of July weekend, also taking the time to check out some wedding stuff. It was a short, hurried trip. Toward the end of the month we headed to Comic Con, met up with old friends, saw some panels (highlights: Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine, Henry Selick and Neil Gaiman discussing Coraline, cartoon voices panel, and the creative team of Doctor Who + David Tennant!), and bought some books and artwork (I got a personal sketch from Dave McKean!). Finally, I closed out the month by traveling back to St. Louis for work--Reasoning Mind is expanding to a few campuses there and I'll be supporting them.

Work
Speaking of work, my department has been superbusy preparing for the upcoming school year. Mainly this has meant training teachers. We've had at least one training a week since the end of July; next week there will be three simultaneous trainings. It's been pretty nuts, but we've pulled through. Which is good, since school's about to start.

Play
I've also become thoroughly engrossed in my current hobby: food. Being a foodie came pretty naturally to me, espeically now that I know other people who photograph all of their meals. Twitter has been really instrumental helping me meet other members of the Houston food commuity and learn about events, happenings, and tasty places to go. At the center of all this is my current fixation: a place called Anvil Bar & Refuge.

Delicious-looking
The Argument
"I want something with a cinnamon stick"

Anvil makes the best mixed drinks I've ever had--which doesn't seem to say a whole lot considering that I'm mainly a beer drinker...until you consider that the drinks at Anvil are coaxing me away from beer and toward spirits. I'm addicted to the place--the feel of it and the people who work there as much as the drinks themselves. The staff have real passion for what they do, and it shows. And through Twitter, I've met up with other Houston foodies at Anvil.

In addition to Twitter, the best way to keep up with me is to check out my Flickr account. The majority of the photos you'll find there are of food (and drinks from Anvil), but considering that my social life these days consists of eating and drinking, it's a pretty accurate representation. I'm not going to post all my recent favorites photos here right now, but here are links to photo sets from some of the awesome things I've done/eaten recently:


Reef+Anvil Cocktail Tasting Dinner


Moules escargot

You can find more photos of my dining exploits in my Houston Food set on Flickr.

I'm also easing my way back into cooking (lots of travel is not conducive to kitchenings). Most recently, Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic:

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

Before that (and before San Diego and St. Louis), I had a few other tasty experiments:

Pizza bianca
Caramelized onion tart
Grilled cheese and salad


Thanks for reading! See you next month ;-) or on Twitter.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Test post

(Hey everyone, I'm just testing this code out for someone else, but if you'd like to donate to the awesome non-profit I work for, feel free to click the button below!)


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Photo update

Some of my favorite pictures from the past month, in reverse chronological order:

A Peruvian Riddle
A Peruvian Riddle at Anvil Bar & Refuge

Sliced strawberries
Strawberries for woebegon dumplings

Damon platform
On the Damon Blue Line platform in Chicago

Violet Hour

Happy graduation to me!
Happy Graduation to me!

happy cat
Happy cat

Monday, June 8, 2009

Speaking of food...

Not only do I love cooking, but I love eating (go figure). And it turns out that Houston is actually a pretty great place to be for a food lover--apparently the city has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the world. I've actually been planning a series of posts about my favorite restaurants here.

In the meantime, I've been ocassionally taking photos of things I eat or drink around town. Coincidentally, Eating...Our Words, the food blog of the Houston Press, recently started featuring one reader photo every Monday--the weekly Snackshot. A photo of mine was featured the very first week they started doing this, and then I got lucky again last week and today. It's a fairly minor thing, but also kind of exciting. You can view my Snackshots with the links below:

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Recent kitchen exploits

Bounty

Being done with my paper means I can finally get back to doing the things I enjoy doing without feeling like I'm procrastinating. Which, apparently, was mainly cooking, an activity I pretty much gave up on during the last few crunch weeks.

But I'm back now, and here are some of the things I've made since last Wednesday:

Homemade pasta

Andrew wanted to make his famous* spaghetti sauce, so I thought I'd try out this recipe for homemade noodles.

Homemade pasta

It was pretty simple, really, just flour and eggs. And rolling it out really wasn't that bad. So it's definitely something I'll do again (though let me tell you, I was happy to let Andrew do the rest of the cooking that evening).

Pasta with meat sauce

*it would become famous if more people got to eat it


Braised baby artichokes, Provencal-style

Braised baby artichokes provencal

This was a Mark Bittman recipe I have been drooling over for a month, but when it first came out I couldn't find baby artichokes anywhere. But, when I was at the store getting this for the pasta, there they were: baby artichokes, all boxed up and ready to go.

Braised baby artichokes provencal

This dish has amazing flavor, thanks to the slow-cooking, seasoned olives, and (basically) candied garlic you end up with (and I added shallots, which also caramelized by the time the dish was done). It's pretty simple to make; aside from prepping the artichokes, you really don't have to do anything except except add it all to the pan and let it cook.

Braised baby artichokes provencal

We ate it with French bread and chevre, and white wine. The outer leaves of the artichokes weren't really cooked enough to eat, but the steams, hearts, and chokes were amazing.


Yellow cupcakes with sticky fudge frosting

Yellow cupcakes with sticky fudge frosting

I recently started reading The Pioneer Woman's blog, and this cupcake recipe has earned her a permanent place in my heart. Not only is the cake delicious, moist, and pretty straightforward to make, but the frosting is a one-step process that takes only a saucepan to complete.

Yellow cupcakes with sticky fudge frosting

I used 70% cocoa dark chocolate disks, and the frosting is definitely rich and not very sweet. I could stand it a tad sweeter, but considering my recent complaint has been cupcakes that are too sweet, these were a pleasant change.


There you have it. For more pictures, click any of the photos above to access my Flickr page.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Photo update

In case you didn't notice the edit to the post below, I have finished my paper!  I've also started heartily abiding by my only-one-meaty-meal-a-day rule, and it's been going all right so far. The house is getting cleaner.

I just uploading a bunch of pictures, some I've had stored on my camera for awhile, and a bunch from this past weekend's trip to Seattle.  I'll post a few of my favorites below; to view the rest visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/30368264@N08/.



Tollhouse Crunch

bookstore kittehs

orange

Window cat

Monday, May 18, 2009

Goals:

Edit: one down!

Also, I forgot a really import goal: get back in touch with all the friends I've neglected while I've been so self-involved trying to finish/forget about this paper.  I've missed you!

short-term
  • finish BA paper
  • clean the house
  • get a haircut
long-term (in no particular order)
  • go to the farmers' market regularly
  • eat meat only one meal a day
  • survive work this summer
  • keep the bedroom neat
  • buy more business-dressy clothes
  • do creative writing again
  • practice belly dance outside of class every week
keep your eye on the prize !

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Facelift

New colors!  New author photo!  Hooray!

This is me looking forward.  Looking forward to being finished with my thesis (not quite there yet, but a draft is due Monday and I'm on my way), and moving forward with my life without something looming over me and reminding me that whatever I'm doing, I should be doing something else.

Which is why, as I explained ages ago, I haven't been writing on here.  Even when I'm not working on the paper, there's a voice in the back of my brain going, "Isn't there something you should be doing?" and so while I've certainly become an expert procrastinator, certain activities seemed inexcusable.  Blogging was one of them.

So, this me saying that I'm going to continue to be absent for the rest of May, and then hopefully I'll back in one form or another. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Just for fun:

Immanuel Kant was a real pissant 
Who was very rarely stable
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar 
Who could drink you under the table
David Hume could out-consume 
Schopenhauer and Hegel
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine 
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya 'bout the raising of the wrist
Socrates himself was permanently pissed

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill
Plato, they say, could stick it away
Half a crate of whisky every day
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram
And RenĂ© Descartes was a drunken fart: 
'I drink, therefore I am.'

Yet Socrates himself is particularly missed
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed!


Thank you Monty Python.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is this normal?

I have a question for the internet community at large:

There are some townhomes under construction next to my apartment.  Unsurprisingly, there is a porta-potty for the workers out front; it has a padlock on it but apparently isn't locked.

The reason I know it isn't locked is that on at least two occasions, I have seen someone drive up from outside of the neighborhood, park their car, get out, go into the porta-potty (presumably to use it), get back in their car and leave.

My question is: is this a normal thing to do?  Is it common for people who need to go to the bathroom to scout for construction sites and use their portables?  

If it had only happened once I might have assumed that the person knew someone working on the site and was therefore aware of its presence, but I've seen it happen two or three times now.  We're near amajor road, but we don't get much drive-by traffic and you can't see the porta-potty from a major road, so people either need to know about it or be hunting for one.  Maybe the people I've seen go in aren't actually using the toilet; maybe it's being used as an exchange point for drugs or black market pedigreed dogs or something.

Anyway, it's just struck me as really bizarre that people would use a random portable toilet on some out-of-the-way construction site, but maybe I am just not in the know. Is this something you've seen/heard of people doing?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hey you, creative person! Want an Arbitrary Art Grant?

I think this idea will interest most of you who read this blog regularly.  From Greg Lundgren, via The Stranger

...I wanted to talk about my Bumbershoot exhibit this year that I am curating in the Olympic and Orcas Rooms. It is called Dada Economics, and I think it's going to be quite fun. I'll be announcing and producing (12) + Arbitrary Art Grants over the next 5 months in mediums such as dance, writing, painting, music, art dealing (hey the market's falling) and sculpture. Actually, sculpture is the first one I am announcing and even though the art grants are only $500.00, I anticipate the collective project to generate a lot of work (and yes it will be the good, the bad and the ugly).  ...Here is the poster:

ARBITRARY ART GRANT

$500.00

to one person who builds a

sculpture

inside of a steel grocery cart,

created only from the store inventory.

Build it, photograph it and email a picture to:

info@vital5productions.com before May 15th, 2009

On May 30th, a winner will be randomly selected, called, and handed $500.00 in cash. There is no application or judge.

Visit www.vital5productions.com for more information.

This sounds really cool, and I plan to participate.  The website spells out the mission of these grants, which is in short "to fortify the arts community, reinforce the ideology that all people are artists and stand as a catalyst to create large scale group performance." Hopefully the website will be announcing each new grant.

In related news, I actually wrote a piece of fiction last night, for the first time in quite awhile.  It's not in any shape to display publically, but I will tell you that it is (surprise surprise) zombie-related.  The zombie stories I enjoy best are always the ones that take a different angle on the situation, and I hope to do that with this idea.

Anyway, when/if I participate in these grant thingies, I post my photos or whatever here.  If you participate, post yours on your own blog, link to mine then comment here and I'll link to yours.  Sweet!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

One other thing

Today is a perfect day for sitting inside, drinking hot tea, and writing.  It is far too dark for 1:30pm, the raining keep starting and stopping, and there is a slight chill in the air.  I am drinking Russian Imperial, with jam mixed in (crazy?).

Back to work.

Warm-up

The inability to get writing done is one of the easiest things to make excuses for. Can't focus for a variety of reasons--must be your environment: the wrong seat, the wrong music, haven't eaten, cat's distracting.  The mythical beast of "writers' block" (if you can put words--any words--on paper, you don't have "writers' block; as Neil Gaiman has said before, you're just stuck).

I have had an impossible time trying to get anything accomplished on my paper at my apartment.  So I decided that if I was going to blame my surroundings for my inability to focus, I'd better believe my own half-truth (instead of a simple lack of will power) and find a place that allows me to focus better.  So here I am, for the third week in a row, at the Te House of Te, lunching and drinking tea, and thinking about getting down to work.

So why am I blogging, instead of turning off my wireless and working on what I'm supposed to be working on?  Last week, I wrote a response to a friend's blog post and then got right into writing my own stuff; I think writing something  got me going...in the groove, if you will.  An d that's not completely surprising, since the most common advice to writers is to just always be writing.  It doesn't have to be good or long or evern worth rereading, but you need to keep yourself in the habit.  Cory Doctorow wrote an article recently on getting writing done in the digital age, and I like his suggestions a lot; unfortunately, my work (job work) has been so exhausting lately that it feels masochistic to make myself sit and work when I get home (also, remember the no will power thing).  It's more fun to cook or look at pictures of other people's weird weddings or annoying the cat.

Long post short, wish me luck on my work!  I'm going to grab another pot of tea.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cupcake envy

Mississippi Mud Cupcakes--chocolate cake, oreos, and chocolate chips.  Recipe from "Cupcakes!" and baked by me.

This blog and this cupcake shop (advertised on The Stranger's website) have me seriously jonesing for an excellent cupcake.  When I still lived in Chicago, I could count on Swirlz Cupcakes whenever I was in the mood and had the time to venture up to Lincon Park, but I have been sorely disappointed since the move to Tejas.

No doubt there are good cupcakeries in Texas, but the couple places I've tried here in Houston have really fallen flat for me.  One place had decent cake, but the frosting was too dense, too sweet, and there was too much of it; a 1:1 ratio of cake to frosting is more than I can handle, especially when it's super sweet.  Another place actually keeps their cupcakes in a refrigerated case--a big no-no as refrigeration dries out what might otherwise be a moist and tasty cake (and their frosting was also far too sweet and dense, also thanks to the frigeration).  

There's at least one more exclusively-cupcakes bakery in town, but according to their website they will ship their cupcakes nationally.  Baked goods like cakes, with toppings like frostings, that are made with fresh, honest ingredients, really don't ship well, so I'm kind scared to even try them.  And the one other bakery that at least purportedly has tasty cupcakes  has been closed since August with no word of what's coming next. 

(And if it seems like I am unfairly dogging on Houston for its lack of delicious cupcakes, I'll have you know that I initially wanted cupcakes for my St. Louis wedding, but have since been scared away by descriptions and photos of the confections from both of St. Louis' exclusively-cupcakes bakeries, and have decided to go with a tiered cake from Cravings--they only use real, fresh ingredients.)

In fact, the only cupcakes I've enjoyed while in Houston have been the chocolate sour cream cupcakes I made myself from my copy of Cupcakes!  But I am usually too lazy to make frosting, especially when I'm only making the cupcakes for myself.   I really need to have an occasion to justify baking a batch of cupcakes AND decorating them (answer: I should have more parties).

So: anyone from the Houston area have cupcake recommendations?  Anyone want to come over so that I have someone to bake cupcakes for?

On a more positive note, Whole Foods is currently selling 18lb bags of Texas grapefruits for $8.  Guess what I lugged home, and what I'm having for dessert.  As soon as I buy more eggs, I'm going to try this recipe for grapefruit yogurt pound cake, from Smitten Kitchen (part of my apparent quest to try every recipe from that blog).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Life as it stands/runs/jumps/etc

After the holidays, I felt pretty much like I had my life sorted out.  Andrew and I had gotten engaged and I was moving in with for good; I had a great job lined up that I was excited to begin; I had finished my college classes; we even got a kitty.  "All my ducks in a row" was a phrase that repeatedly popped to mind when I thought about where my life was, and it felt good.

Reality check--

Getting engaged means wedding planning begins.
Moving into the apartment means there is now the apartment to maintain.
Having a great job means responsibilities and challenges and getting up early and being tired when I come home.
Finishing my classes means I should devote myself to writing my thesis.
Having a kitten means taking care of and entertaining her.

I'm not unhappy about any of these things; honestly, I didn't have things to worry over and plan, I'd be really bored.  But, my life has become very busy, and I haven't thought about blogging or writing much (besides my thesis) in awhile.  Perhaps as I continue to settle in I'll find that I have time I was spending/wasting elsewhere, and perhaps not.

This isn't meant as an excuse for not writing so much as it is an assessment of where I am right now.  And I like where I am, which is the most important part.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A productive day thus far

So far today, I have:

Taken Amelie to the vet (happy and healthy!)
Turned in the pet agreement and fee to the landlord
Gotten car insurance
Had the car officially inspected
Started outlining a section of my thesis (Hello, Poe)
Put beans in to soak to make hummus tomorrow
Vacuumed the computer room (with some help from the Roomba)
Changed my bank account mailing address

And it's only 1pm now.  I'm supposed to go to the recycling center, too...I think I'll take care of that now, then come back and get to work on the paper.  Sweet!