Friday, October 30, 2009

Mojo = Back!

I took a trip to Joann fabric yesterday. I had a list of assorted notions that I needed. What I didn't need was fabric, but I bought some anyway. Sari fabric was 50% off! I decided to use some to make myself a small "evening" bag for a wedding that I have to go to this weekend.

The pattern that I used is free here, except you might have to register to see the page.

Finished result:

Retro Tie Bag

I have enough fabric to make about five more of these bad boys. Woohoo! It was super easy and came together in a little over an hour and a half. This is my kind of project.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Up in the rafters.

CPM and I went to see Pearl Jam last night. We sat behind the stage, up in the 300 level of the Wachovia Spectrum. As high as the seats seemed to me, there were people even higher, in the 400 level! That's what $77 per ticket gets you. If you want good seats, you have to spend over $100. These were a last minute purchase, gotten from a coworker who needed to dump them. I'm glad I jumped on the opportunity. It was a phenomenal show.

Breaking the clearly stated "no video recording" rule, I used my iPhone to take a video of them playing "Speed of Sound," which is on their newest record, Backspacer. I've never actually seen a concert at the Spectrum before, but even through the iPhone video camera, you can tell that this room sounds amazing. Too bad they are tearing it down to make way for something else.

Yeah, we were up high, but the iPhone video camera actually makes it seem like we were even higher than we actually were. I could differentiate between band members, which is not obvious from the video.

Monday, October 19, 2009

When it rains...

I stay inside.

I left my house exactly 3 times this weekend. Once, for an emergency cupcake recon mission on Friday night. I needed to acquire Genuardi's store brand cupcakes. They are strangely delicious, despite their chemical laden ingredient list. Next, for an actual food-shopping trip to Acme on Saturday. Finally, for a Target trip where I purchased 10 bags of Halloween candy.

CPM and I did not eat out once all weekend. Okay, that's a little lie. CPM worked early on Saturday morning, and ended up eating at Sabrina's for breakfast. He brought me home an order of stuffed french toast. I ate half of it.

For the rest of the weekend, I cooked. I made risotto for dinner and apple pie for dessert on Saturday. Blueberry pancakes and veggie sausages were our Sunday breakfast. I made my seitan pot roast, roasted sweet and yellow potatoes for dinner on Sunday. We followed it up with more apple pie. I also baked two loaves of banana bread, and made a batch of pineapple salsa to freeze. At one point on Sunday, I realized that I had spent the majority of my weekend in the kitchen. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A bad morning.

I hate people.

I hate people who have cats and who let them run around outside.

Cats are not outside pets.

If you have a cat and you let it run around outside, you are an asshole.

Thanks to some idiot who doesn't care for their pets properly, I had the distinct pleasure of running over a cat on my way to work and watching it die in the street this morning. The cat darted out in front of my car before I could stop. There were actually two cats running together. The other cat was lucky enough to be far enough behind the one that I hit that he survived unscathed.

I cried hysterically all the way to work.

It's going to be one of those days.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A public service announcement.

If you are in the Philadelphia area, are vegan, or are in the company of vegans, and in need of brunch, you may be tempted to try Mi Lah Vegetarian's prix fixe Sunday brunch. Let me save you some heartache. Don't go. It's not worth the $20 per person price tag. The servers are inept and the food is sub par. It's a shame. A place like this should be awesome.


One year after we repainted our kitchen, and got new dining furniture, I finally spoiled myself with new dishes. Oh, Ikea, there are so many reasons to hate you (for instance, because you force me to self check out, and I charge myself for one more cereal bowl than I have actually purchased, which I do not realize until I am safely back at home). But I can't be mad when you sell the exact rounded corner square plates that I have been wanting for ages.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Newsflash: I made soup and it was great!

Normally, I would wait until work to post this, but this soup was so good, it deserves a home based post.

I found this recipe for Potato Leek soup on a blog that I follow, Last Night's Dinner. I knew I had to recreate it. Except, CPM, my beloved spouse, despises mustard. I decided to modify the recipe just a tad.

I did everything almost exactly the same...sauteed the leek in butter with kosher salt, added the broth (Imagine Brand No Chicken Broth) and potatoes, brought it all up to a boil, and simmered for about 20 minutes until the potatoes were soft. (I used my Cuisinart to slice them, and I also left the skin on.) Once the potatoes were ready, I pureed using the emulsion mixer. Then, the piece de resistance: a gigantic log of goat cheese went into the soup. It was about 1.25 cups of goat cheese. I stirred it over low heat until the cheese melted, and served it just like that. A little sprinkle of salt and pepper helped kick up the flavor, but otherwise the soup was perfect. I didn't have any bread, but I'm thinking a loaf of Metropolitan Bakery's rosemary bread would have been perfect.

Apparently, I live in the ghetto.

This was supposed to be a triumphant post about how I finally finished my very first quilt. So here's that part...I finished my very first quilt! It's loosely based on the lap quilt in Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing. I just tore strips of fabric (purchased ages ago from Reprodepot)for the top and sewed them into long strips, and combined the long strips into the quilt top. It measured about 42" by 60" when completed. I did that back in June. Then I put the top away and forgot about it. I didn't really make much of anything all summer.

This weekend, I decided to finish the darn quilt. It was hanging over my head. Luckily, the fabric that I bought was large enough to act as a back without any piecing. Go me and my over shopping. I made the quilt sandwich and then quilted via the "stich almost in the ditch" method. You know, the method you use when your seams don't line up perfectly, and you don't really care that much because you think it gives the quilt character. I made the binding. I attached the binding. A huge thanks goes to Oh Fransson's binding tutorial. Amy Karol's instructions are very overview-ish. I needed detail, because I've never done this before. This tutorial rocked. My miters are almost nice. My next quilt binding will be better because now I've done it and understand what needs to be adjusted. I also learned that I won't be making any king sized quilts ever because all that hand sewing of the binding would make me want to stab myself to death.

Quilt Top
Quilt front

Quilt Back
Quilt back

After I finished the quilt, I felt like reading a bit before hitting the hay. It was 10:30 on Saturday night. CPM was already in bed. I read in my living room until near midnight (finishing this set of books by Garth Nix). The entire time I heard loud voices outside of my window. I ignored them, because I assumed it was my neighbors, who keep late hours and like to hang outside.

When I went up to bed, I peaked out of my bedroom window to see that the noise was not my neighbors. It was quite a large group of teenagers congregated in front of my house. I watched them for a while to see if they were up to no good. Eventually, I just decided to go outside to ask them to move, because they were so loud that I would never be able to sleep with them hanging outside.

I went outside in my pajamas, my phone in my hand. I asked them to move. At first, they were nice and said, "okay." When I asked them to make sure to collect the two dudes who had strayed a bit apart from the group, things got ugly. One of the young women began screaming obscenities at me, and walked at me in a threatening manner. I used my phone to call 911. I told them that I was calling 911 just before doing so. The screaming continued, but the young woman's friends wisely pulled her away. I went back inside. I tried to fall asleep, but I was shaking in fear and anger.

I am still disgusted. I was told on Sunday that my neighbor came outside after I had gone in, and found two of the kids remaining, and taking a pee in the bushes across from us. Nice. This has made me hate my neighborhood, hate parents who don't provide supervision for their teens, hate teens who have no respect for anything, etc. Yes, once I was a teenager. But if an adult had asked me politely to move along, I would have gone. I never would have begun screaming curses at them.