Monday, March 30, 2009

Another Posty Mish Mash

I'm starting this post with a meal that has become a regular feature for us in the broomcakes household. Jaime turned me on to this Cooking Light recipe for Cuban Black Bean Patties with Pineapple Rice. CPM quickly convinced me that I would need to double the recipe in order to satisfy his appetite. It's a little bit labor intensive for a weeknight, but definitely worth it:

Black Bean Patties and Pineapple Rice

On top of the labor intensiveness of the main dish, CPM requested that the meal be accompanied by pineapple salsa. WTF. I don't know how to make pineapple salsa. So, I winged it. I tossed a sliced fresh pineapple, 1 jalapeno, half of a red onion, the juice of one lime, and a little cilantro in the food processor and whizzed away.

Pretty tasty:

Pineapple salsa

I finished two shirts...first the refashion victim:


Second, Simplicity 3835, what I am calling the muumuu shirt:

Simplicity 3835

This was an easy sew! I love this fabric, but I'm not sure I can pull off wearing the's a little busy. Maybe with some black pants? Who knows. I actually sewed the pattern size 12, because that is my bust size, and I didn't want to look like I was wearing a maternity shirt. My hip size is closer to 16-18 (otherwise known as having "junk in the trunk"). I counted on the pattern ease to accommodate my ample posterior. It worked! It fits. I have a funky skull fabric that I might try next. Stay tuned.

Finally, Jaime and I hit up a couple of thrift shops this weekend. I busted my wallet grabbing up clothes for refashioning, old drapes to use for a purse design I am working on, cheap uncut patterns, and this non functional but completely adorable clock. I have it watching over me in the sewing room.

Thrifty goodness

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Night Terrors

CPM can attest that I am a wild sleeper. I talk. I kick. I talk and kick. He told me that once we had an entire conversation about furniture that I thought he had purchased for my sister. I was sound asleep.

Last night was the worst I can remember. I (sort of) woke up and thought that something alien was crawling on the ceiling of my bedroom. It reminded me of the thing in the movie Alien, the thing that attached itself to people's faces to inject the big alien in their stomachs. I was screaming in terror. I know I woke CPM up. That was the most scared that I've been in a long time. I need to relax.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

CPM's bandmate Richard will be visiting us from Florida in early April for band practice and for an art show. You should go. I will be there. That is all.

Oh wait. I realized on an earlier trip to the ladies room that I have my underpants on inside out today. You may now laugh at my natural blond tendencies, internet.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where Have I Been?

I've had a lot on my mind over the last week, but nothing that I wish to discuss with the people of the internetz. Also, I needed to get to thrift store to get into a project I wanted to do, and that trip didn't happen until this past weekend. So, I was on hiatus from my brief career as a blogger. Thus, you get the following posty mish mash...

One evening last week, I decided to make a "healthy dessert." (Remind me later that these two words should never be used together.) After taking an inventory of available baking materials, and realizing I had nothing except fruit on hand, I decided to try to bake some apples. I googled for recipes, then decided to just wing it. After coring two apples, I stuffed the centers with chopped pecans, a little bit of honey, and some cinammon that I had mixed in a bowl. I placed both in a shallow baking dish with a little bit of water, and baked for 45 minutes on 350 degrees. The result...meh. If I were to do this again, I'd add brown sugar. That would definitely give it the oomph I was looking for.

Baked Apple

For the past few weeks, I have been wanting to try my hand at sewing a shirt for myself. I've had this pattern for a while:

But I was afraid. Very afraid. It has gathers. And buttonholes. Scary. Rather than waste expensive fabric, I decided that the smart course of action would be to buy an XL men's shirt, and refashion it using the pattern pieces. This is how far I had progressed after 3 hours:

Shirt Refashion: Progress shot

I hope to sew on the other arm tonight, and finish the hem as well. Please note that I totally cheated on the button holes. Instead of making new ones, I positioned the pattern piece on the original shirt so that the original button holes remained intact. Also note that I missed the entire section on how to gather the sleeves and completely winged that part. Finally, let's not discuss the hour I spent trying to figure out why the sleeve was originally sewed on inside out and thus had to be painstakingly removed and reattached. I'm considering this a possibly wearable muslin. Not bad for the $2 that I spent on the fabric. (I will not be adding the ruffle. Ick.)

Finally, last evening it was time to flip the mattress on my bed. As usual, I was supervised by the pets. They were really helpful.

Squirt, taking charge of the pillows:

Squirt maintains the pillow pile

Ollie and Rocky, maintaining the new blanket and sheets:

Ollie and Rocky Make the Bed

Monday, March 16, 2009

"I'm going to ask the porn star."

CPM and I are big fans of Howard Stern. We have 2 SiriusXM subscriptions, one for each of our vehicles, listen online at home, watch HowardTV whenever we can, and are basically big losers who geek out about the show. Luckily, we have lots of friends who do the same. Thus, yesterday, was like a dream come true.

At approximately 11am, the house phone rang. CPM was calling to tell me that he was on his way home from work. (My husband works 7 days a week because he is insane.) He planned a quick shower, and then we were heading to the NE Motorcycle Show at a convention center in the King of Prussia area. We would be on a tight schedule. Richard Christy and Sal Governale were appearing at the show, but only from 11am until 2pm.

We left the house at 12:30. KOP is typically a 45 minute drive from our home. We would be cutting it very close. Before we even made it to the highway, a handy traffic sign notified us that an accident had blocked a left lane on the two lane highway of death otherwise known as the Schuylkill Expressway. No worries. CPM's encyclopedic knowledge of suburban shortcuts took us on the scenic route, and had us at what he thought was the correct location by 1:20. Upon reading the posted events (gun show! craft show!), we realized, oops, we were at the wrong convention center. According to our handy smart phone devices (him: iPhone, me: Blackjack), the correct convention center was located a few exits further down another highway.

We reached the correct convention center by 1:25. We waited in line for 4 minutes. We paid admission. We forgot to ask where to find our targets, so we began a circumambulation of the exhibit hall. (oooh, leather chaps!) Time is passing. After one complete circuit, we hadn't found their booth. CPM was getting visibly agitated. I had to pee. CPM turns to me and says "I'm going to ask the porn star. She'll know where to find them." Oh, right. I held my pee long enough to witness the exchange.

Porn star Gina Lynn has been on the Howard Stern show. She's at the expo promoting something. I think I've seen her Sybian ride. I notice that in person, she looks quite tiny. She is standing at a folding table petting a little dog that is wearing clothes. CPM moseys up to her booth and begins a conversation with her. Unfortunately, she had no idea where to find Sal and Richard. Porn star interview escort duties now completed, I ran off to the ladies room and sent my spouse to continue his search.

At approximately 1:40 pm, CPM's efforts were rewarded. He found the booth. We got to chat for a few moments with Richard and Sal. They were quite nice. We got to take some pictures for posterity (see below). It wasn't until later that I wondered if Richard had showered or brushed his teeth before this event. It was the weekend, after all.

Richard and Sal

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bags bags bags

I have become a self proclaimed "bag whore." I have multiple purses. Too many. For the longest time, I wouldn't even carry one. I would stuff my ID in my back pocket, clip my keys to my belt, and that was that. Then, something clicked about 5 years ago. I needed a purse. It started innocently enough with a green Nine West bag that I got on sale at Macy's. But then I had to upgrade to Coach. Ack. I realized I love leather bags. I started getting a new bag every couple of months. I also love to buy interesting bags when I'm on vacation. I've tried to put the brakes on my bag addiction. But guess what? When you can sew your own, the bag possibilities are endless. I found this pattern and it turned out okay on my first try:


When I redo it, I need to expand the pattern, because this bag is too small to really be useful for me. I also need to swap out the snap closure for a zipper, so I need to figure that process out. I don't like the way the handle is inserted, so I will modify the process of sewing in the lining to suit my need to hide the handle. This sample took me about an hour, and it's definitely sloppy, because I was rushing. All in all, it's not too bad a job.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Praise Seitan

I stole the title of this post from a t-shirt that CPM purchased for me on one of his many cross country jaunts. I love that shirt. I also love properly prepared seitan.

I've recently discovered that Ray's Seitan is perhaps the best tasting meat replacement product around. Over the summer, I made seitan skewers at least once per week on the grill. When the cold days of winter interfered with my ability to stand outside and cook, I modified my seitan recipe into a roast.

I layer assorted vegetables into my bargain priced cast iron dutch oven (take that Le Creuset). In this case, I used 4 small yukon gold potatoes, 4 carrots, 1 red onion, 1 package of sliced baby bella mushrooms, 1 package of cherry tomatoes, and 2 red peppers. The veggie layers can be modified to suit your tastes, of course. In between veggie layers, I paint my super delicious all purpose top secret marinade (a combination of garlic, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil), and sprinkle salt/pepper/sage/thyme/rosemary over everything. The top layer is the seitan, which is also liberally painted with my marinade. I pop the whole thing in the oven, with the lid on, for about an hour at 450 degrees. This time, I served it up over egg noodles, because I was craving the pasta, but it's also good with a crusty bread, or on its own. My apologies for the crappy photos.

Layer 1
layer 1

Layer 2
2nd Layer

Layer 4 and done

Seitan roast

Monday, March 9, 2009

Colonel Mustard

I can remember obsessively playing Clue as a child. I eventually developed a fool-proof, guaranteed to win methodology. That is why this post at I Can Has Cheezburger made me laugh out loud at my desk this morning:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Sunday, March 8, 2009

February in Paradise

Ahh, Hawaii. Paradise.
This was my fourth trip to Hawaii. After three previous
trips, I’ve learned lessons:
-Stay for more than 8 days to maximize the relaxation
-Stay in a place that includes a full kitchen, because
eating out every night for that long would kill my stomach and our budget.
-Apply suntan lotion every day, no matter what.
-Bring a lot of money for shopping.
-Plan to spend a lot of money on stuff I could probably get
at home.
-Drink a mai tai every day.
Being born in February, arguably the worst weather month if
you live on the east coast, means that my birthday celebrations are normally
inside, involving the wearing of many layers, and the eating of lots of food to
help pack on the insulating layers. This year, my wonderful husband, CPM,
decided that we should head to warmer climes to celebrate. I was in complete
agreement. Thus, our longest trip to Hawaii was booked.
It’s a long trip to get to Hawaii from the east coast. Since
we fly from Philadelphia, we are always subjected to a layover somewhere. This
time, via Delta, that was in Salt Lake City.  On previous trips, it’s been Phoenix, Las Vegas, and
Houston. Woo. I’ve seen a lot of airports. None of them have great food. (For
great airport food, head to Copenhagen. I had a really great meal in that
airport.) By the time one arrives in paradise, you have the sensation of being
dried out, exhausted, starving, and exhilarated at the same time. You get your
bags, claim your rental car (we always get one), head to your condo/hotel, check
in, shower, and are now ready to begin your vacation adventure. For us, that
always begins with a meal somewhere.

After two weeks on Oahu, in Waikiki, I’m trying to remember
what we did that would be of interest to people, and I can’t think of much that
is earth shattering. We went to the beach every day, even when it was raining
(because the rain lasts only for a few minutes, and then the sun returns). We
went on a whale watch and saw two whales. We went house hunting and found a
bargain basement deal of house for sale at $485,000 with a tarp for a roof. We
took lots of long walks, some to find whales, some to find food, some just for
picture taking. We went outlet shopping. We went to the Ala Moana Center to
walk around. We walked Kalakaua Avenue every day, either in the morning or in
the evening. The people watching on the “strip” is second to none. We ate
delicious food. We went to the zoo on our last day to kill time and had a
blast. It was our vacation. We relaxed. We got sunburned, because suntan lotion
eventually gets irritating, and you give in and “forget” to apply it. It ended
too soon, as always, and we were back in Philadelphia, facing the cold, and the
snow, and hoping that spring and warm weather would get here soon. When the weather is bad here, I can just look at my
pictures and fantasize that I'm in a place where the sky is blue, the breeze is gentle, and the temperature is perfect.

Don't get me wrong: Hawaii is not perfect. It has its share of problems. There are homeless people. There are scam artists. There is crime. There is traffic. There is dirt. But something about the fluffy white clouds blowing by makes it okay.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Argument with Self

This morning, I had the following conversation with my self:

"It's Friday, I want a muffin for breakfast."
"Great idea! A corn muffin would be delicious."
-Continue to prepare self for work.
-Complete preparations, proceed to non bedroom areas of house.
-Walk dogs.
-Auto start car.
-Rethink muffin.
"You know, you'll feel terrible after you eat that muffin."
"You know you should just stick with your 2 slices of Pepperidge Farm Cinnamon Raisin Toast and serving of non fat greek yogurt."
"You can have some pecans as a treat!"
"Ooooh, pecans as a treat!" Pthbbt.

And yet, I just ate my raisin toast, yogurt, and pecans and I don't miss that muffin.

I wanted my first post here to be about my recent trip to Hawaii, but I have so much to say about it that I couldn't find time to craft it properly. Thus, you get a ridiculous first post about how I talk to myself, in my head. Yes, I am crazy.

Welcome to my blog. I love purple. I wear glasses. The end.