Thursday, December 30, 2010

Noms: Raviolis

The bf's mom is Italian and therefore is charged with teaching me EVERYTHING she knows about Italian cooking each time she comes for a visit. Luckily, I think she enjoys passing on the family secrets and tricks of the trade so we have a good time together. This trip I insisted on learning the art of making handmade raviolis. When I say art, I certainly mean it. Creating each perfect pillow of divine nosh is like creating a masterpiece suitable for any gallery or museum worth mentioning. So basically - you can just call me Picasso!
Raviolis are actually not complicated like I originally thought. However, they take FOREVER and you must be meticulous. Here is the step by step guide if you are interested in becoming an artist like myself:
Make the dough.
This involves 1 cup of flour for each person eating and 1 egg per cup of flour. We had to add an additional egg because our dough was VERY dry that day. This all depends on the weather, the humidity etc so just make sure your dough a tad sticky and you should be golden. Let the dough rest.Wrap in plastic wrap to preserve the moisture for about tens minutes. Trust me - your arms will thank you for the break.
Roll out the dough.
This requires a pasta machine with an electric piece (or guns of steel and entirely too much time for someone as popular as myself). Cut small chunks from the rested dough and begin kneading through the machine. My machine had seven settings so you want to go through each setting a few times. Setting one made it longer and flatter, setting two made it even more flat and long, etc, etc until setting seven when we had a full sheet of pasta!
Create the raviolis.
Use your ravioli pan (they have stamps too) and begin by laying one sheet of dough on the bottom. Then, stuff the dough with your filling (we used butternut squash, but you can use whatever filling you like) and topped the filling with another sheet of dough.
Seal the raviolis.
Use the tiny rolling pin that came with your pan to seal the raviolis. Don't be afraid to use some force. You want to ensure each ravioli is seal tightly! Then, pop them out!

Set out to dry.
Flour the raviolis and place on a pan to dry. We let ours dry over night since we weren't eating them until the next day; however, I am sure you could eat the same day. You will have to shmagoogle that one on your own kids.
Cook.Serve.Accept adoration and applause.Instruct all to address you by your official title, "Chef Betty Croker Picasso."
After bringing the water to a boil, we cooked the raviolis for three minutes and topped with a delish butter sage sauce.
Now that I am a pro, I am excited to attempt more fillings. I need to find the best of the best out there and experiment. I think I will make a million one day and freeze them for last minute dinners. What is your favorite ravioli filling?

Chef Betty Croker Picasso out!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Travel Tips: Oktoberfest

The bf and I took a quick trip to Munich in September for a little festival you might have heard of - OKTOBERFEST! I know, first thing you are thinking is, "umm aren't you a month early?" No my dear friends, Oktoberfest actually takes place in September. A quick history lesson for those of you less booze inclined: the very first Oktoberfest was actually the best wedding reception ever held in honor of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese. The reception was such a hit that the event was held again the following year and so on. Traditionally, the festival last either 17 or 18 days leading up to the first Sunday in October. This year was the 200th anniversary of the world's largest festival which annually attracts over five million guests. Try to imagine the biggest state fair ever in combination with the largest beer tasting in history. You have Oktoberfest! The set up itself is a large section of the city center with 14 beer tents. The guests typically wear the traditional German lederhosen and dirndl. Here are a few tricks of the trade to make your next journey a success: 1. Look the part. The bf and I arrived in Munich sporting our typical travel ensemble of jeans and sweater. Turns out we are the ones who looked ridiculous! Take some time to find some lederhosen or a dirndl. It is worth the bucks to look like a local.
2. Learn how to order beer in German. Thankfully, the bf did this VERY well and we were served post haste!
3. Make reservations at the beer tents NOW! We had no idea that Oktoberfest is basically the Oscars minus the celebs and plus a few mean German ladies. We were lucky enough to finagle our way into THREE beer tents and even ended up SOMEHOW in the famous Hofbrau House at the end of the night. However, we were VERY lucky. Make reservations now for your favorite brewhouse to ensure you get prime seating a at least one stein of the magical deliciousness. 4. Hydrate. The beers in Germany are serious. The beers in Germany are huge. I don't care if you won every beer guzzling competition at your frat house. You are not prepared for this. Make sure you take a time out between steins to gulp some good ole H2O. You can thank me later.
5. ENJOY. This was hands down one of the most fun times we have had in Europe so far. It is impossible not to enjoy yourself once you are inside one of the famous tents. Grab a beer, eat a pretzel, make new friends and most importantly don't forget to PROST!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Boogie Woogie: Holiday Playlist

In all walks of life, there are different types of people. There happen to be flip flop people and non flip flop people. There are cargo short wearing frat boys and die hard jean hipsters. And of course, there are holiday music people and grinches - I mean non holiday music people. I, of course, happen to fall into the holiday music people category. The first day after Thanksgiving when I am in Atlanta I immediately preset my radios to 98.5 for all holiday all the time. Sigh - it is so good! I live in the South and for the most part we don't get snow. So, I have to supplement my holiday atmosphere by adding over the top obsessions like holiday music. I literally do not listen to ANYTHING else from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve. It makes my heart happy and annoys the crap out of some of my favorite men i.e. the bf and the daddy dearest. WHAT could be better than that?! A few of my favorites for your consideration.

What is your favorite holiday song?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Words of Wisdom...

I couldn't agree more. Eight more days and I am on my way! Now all I have to do is get through the work week sans wingwoman, purchase one final Christmas gift, cook the best food ever, spend time with the family, take a million pictures annnnnnnd PACK! I just put my suitcase away YESTERDAY and already need to pull it back out. Life is tough my friends.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Brilliant Ideas by Me: Airplane travel

Every summer when I was younger, I went to the beach with my mom. I loved our trips and many included my favorite Aunt Pam or one of my mom's other fabulous friends. We always had the best times. I miss those days. I am sure you can remember from your beach vacas the tiny shower that you were requested to use before entering the pool after frolicking beach side all day. Well, I never used those. Ever. I was that kid (or early twenty year old, but details details) who was sand-ridden head to toe and would bypass the line for the cold shower and jump into the deep end of the resort pool. I would bob to the surface refreshed and clean and laugh at all those silly folks for where held down by the man waiting in line.
I think airplanes should have a version of that tiny cold shower nowadays. On my recent nine hour flight home from Holiday abroad, I had the nasty pleasure to sit next to a stinky, stinky man. What happened to common courtesy?! I mean, do some people really not know what deoderent is? After about two hours of learning to breathe through my mouth or turning my entire face the the opposite side for a moment of peace while engaging a severe neck cramp, I was over it! I made up my mind to nicely say something to said cohabitant of my general air space. Well, to my shock as I turned to the sleeping beauty I noticed that SOMEHOW he had ninja unbuttoned his entire shirt AND belt. ICK! The smell was penetrating the final clean pieces of air and now it was at high speed since all barriers had been demolished. Oh and he decided to take full custody of the shared armrest AND fall into my property from time to time for the remainder of the flight. 34,000 feet above ground and not one ounce of fresh, clean air. Puke. Gag. I literally sucked up the rest of the nine hour flight and landed safely home. I booked it off that plane faster than Devon Sawa in Final Destination.

You're welcome for the late 90s reference.

So my friends, my point is: Maybe if the airlines would invent a tiny shower to defunk the funky preboarding we all could enjoy our biscoff cookies and tiny sodas in peace. And no, next beach vaca I will not use the tiny cold shower before jumping cannon ball style into the deep end. If FunkMaster Flex can torture me for nine hours, the rest of the fancy shmancy beach resort can deal with my sandy feet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Frisk me freely boys!

Recently there has been an uproar regarding the TSA's new scanning tool at the airports. I realize there is a larger underlying reason to be upset about this - mainly as pointed out by the bf that, "all this stuff does is increasingly subject normal travellers to suspicion under the guise of telling them that its keeping them safe which is not particularly making a difference either way or what standard security would do. What they need to be doing is investing more money into intelligence to monitor suspicious people instead of scanning every one's body." I totally agree. We should be investing more efforts where the problem is starting - not where the problem is ending up. However, with that being said, if I need to be frisked, felt up or scanned to get here in two days...SO BE IT.

Perhaps upon my return, I can take a more serious look at this issue. Until then, FRISK ME FREELY!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

ReDiscovery: The Public Library

When is the last time you went to a library? No, not the college library. Speaking of, our college library was one in the same as the community bomb shelter having six floors below ground. I remember kids would crawl out of the stacks and be blinded by light when finally reappearing to the world after five long days of finals. Oh and the exterior was equally unappealing boasting an interesting design that I could only equate with golden suction cups. I digress...

The last time I was a public library must have been years ago...I am talking elementary school. So I realize that this sounds completely of the wall, but I recently have begun a relationship with the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library. Did you know...IT IS FREE! Well, taxes and whatnot, but that is just details. I sauntered into my branch of the Atlanta Fulton County Public Library last Saturday with my unimpressed bf in tow. You see he is in grad school and therefore gets a fancy library at his university. Well, little ole me had to settle for what the county provided. I certainly wasn't impressed by the library itself. Computers that resembled large boxes, fluorescent lighting, a strange lingering mildew smell...I could go on, but I chose to look at the positive. Millions and millions (ok thousands?) of FREE books. I signed up for my brand spanking new library card proudly while Daniel sighed. I think he was jealous and my shinny new card.
After passing the rigorous screening process (verifying my address) and receiving my card, I was off. I popped into the first aisle I saw which turned out to be the World War II section. I poured over the titles not sure which to select for my first time. It was a big decision. I finally settled on Sisterhood of Spies, Women of the OSS and Miss You: the World War II letters of Barbara Wooddall Taylor and Charles E. Taylor.

I spent the rest of the day curled up with a hot latte and a warm pup reading the adventures of the women spies of World War II. Now, while I ponder a career move into international espionage I would suggest YOU go explore the library near you. Seriously, go. Gobble up the first books you find and see what adventures you can stumble upon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wiki Fact: Daylight Savings Time Sucks

I am not sure why on earth anyone would spend tens of thousands of dollars on college anymore when everything you will ever need to know can be found on For example: daylight savings time.

A common fact that you might not be aware of is my ongoing hatred for daylight savings time: fall version. I hate hate hate falling back an hour. I know, I know...most people love that extra hour of sweet slumber; however, I would glady sacrifice those tender 60 minutes for endless sunlight at the end of along work day. There is nothing worse than going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Sigh...until April...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Boogie Woogie

Do you ever feel like you are not as cool as you used to be? You see "kids" (who are probably only 22 when you are 26) running around wearing really tight pants or spinning on their new iPads and think to yourself - dumb kids! Clearly, I never have that problem; however, I find this song hilarious and amazing all at once.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jesus Christ

Drowning in my immense boredom earlier this afternoon, I took to the blogosphere for pure entertainment or at least a slice of mind numbing trickery that would get me to that oh so magical five o’clock. I love going to and just clicking on something random to start reading. From there, I simply make my way through the mess of template and find the oh so joyous ‘next blog’ button. Typically, this leads me on an interesting adventure where I could happen to find something worth subscribing to in attempts to add a bit more substance to my Google Reader. Today that did not happen. Instead, I somehow ended up in a never ending circle of biblical proportion – literally. Each blog I visited was centered on the bible. Very strange since usually I click from babies to butchery in one fell swoop.

I started with Bob’s Log. The title was catchy enough to grab my eye and I was hoping for something racy! Bob spends his day analyzing and translating Psalms. Next.
Then, I came across Between Sundays. I don’t know what this person talks about, but the entry had a huge picture of jesus and their twitter account is linked to the blog which read, “Night one of VBS was terrific.” Next.
After that, I discovered Forever His. The subtitle to this blog says, “I have summoned you by name. You are mine.” Isaiah 43:1. Unless Isaiah is Dr. Burke with all that hotness, minus the homophobic slurs, then no merci. Next.
Finally, I clicked once more in hopes of finding something actually worth reading and I found Falling into Grace. NOPE. NO THANKS. DONE.

I think there are two possible things one would think from this very odd occurrence today. One, maybe I need god in my life. Maybe this is his way of telling me, “hey, hey you down there! Pay attention and get on board with my whole jesus thing.” Two, I should start my own cult. I have witnessed the power of religion today and find it fascinating. I can only imagine what I am capable of if I start now. Maybe this time next year there could be four blogs about little ole me :) I mean, hey, I do have nine followers!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Free cookies anyone?

Everyone knows the easiest way to get more people to show up somewhere is to offer free stuff. An even better way to to get more people to show up somewhere is to offer free food. Yes, I take bribes and I prefer calories. Take note. In high school the Fellowship Christan Athletes (FCA) met each Friday in the school auditorium to make themselves feel superior to everyone and pay penance for doing the dirty and drugs the previous weekend, I mean, praise god. I also would attend FCA meetings...for the free chicken biscuits :) In college, I only attended the National Society of Colliegete Scholors meetings because they offered free pizza (no wonder I decided to become president of NSCS) nom nom nom. Now, I work in an industry where thousands of people plan their Tuesday based on who is serving the best free lunch. So for the most part these organizations offer up the goods with getting little in return. That doesn't seem very fair. Luckily, I have just the ticket of a mutually beneficial relationship to share. Who wants free cookies?! Read on...

You are welcome to a smorgasbord of decedent, sugar filled cookies for just one hour of your time! I know, amazing. And what does the other party get from me you ask? Well, they get to your blood. MUUUUWAAHAHAHAH! No no no, you are not getting throated by Rob Pattison or the hot bad vamp from True Blood. You are getting pricked by a lovely lady or gentleman in a white coat dawning a smile and plastic gloves. We are talking blood donation kids and it is time to spread the word. I am the only person I know who regularly gives blood and I think more people should be like me...haha. Seriously though, donating blood takes less that one hour, it saves three lives each time and you get FREE COOKIES!!! My blood donation center even offers samoas...year round. You tell me where I can find a samoa in July! Ok, so you are scared of needles? You don't like blood? Waaaa waaa waaa... get over it. It seriously is a prick that hurts LESS than biting your own tongue AND for literally half a second. I don't like blood either. So the lovely nurses kindly drape a cloth over my oh so yummy veins so I don't have to see a thing. And all this takes place while I am watching my favorite food network show during my lunch break. After my life saving is complete, I am rewarded with my free cookies. Oh and they offer you juiced too!

I think everyone reading this blog (yes, all 8 of you including you mom) should make a commitment to at least try giving blood this month. I mean, worst comes to worst, you freak out and they will probably still give you a cookie. Maybe not a samoa though fyi. To find a blood donation center near you click here.

Now, run along kiddos and spread the word about how to get free cookies. You never know whose life you could save :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Boys vs. Girls

For anyone that knows me very well, you know that I see things in life as very black and white. I know, there are a million shades of grey in our world, as there should be, but for me I like to bottom line things as much as possible. My best girl friends know all too well that I particularly like to black and white things when it comes to guys. He didn’t text you back? He doesn’t like you. He doesn’t want to meet your family? He doesn’t like you. He only calls you after 10pm or 4 beers? He doesn’t like you. AND even MORE importantly, he doesn’t text you back, he doesn’t want to meet your fam, he only calls late at night after drinking…BE DONE! You deserve better. Do not give the time of day to someone who doesn’t treat you absolutely ridiculously amazing. Period. If you do, then you are pathetic and desperate and clearly are not even remotely ready to make someone else happy let alone yourself. There it is.

So, while I sit on my high horse and preach my black and white religion to all my girl friends and even to myself when I was dating, I have seemed to miss an important point. I find it unacceptable for boys to treat me or my girl friends remotely subpar, but I have allowed my girlfriends to treat me subpar. A recent conversation had my friend shoving, thankfully, my black and white mindset right back into my face saying: it's not that black and white with your girlfriends. After a moment of thought, I replied: maybe it should be. It got me thinking…

Why do I let ANYONE treat me in any way I am not happy with? That doesn’t seem to mesh well with my whole black and white scheme I have going. Why do I feel like I should give chance after chance to someone I am close with when I wouldn’t give it to others I barely know? Shouldn’t the people who I am “close with” treat me BETTER than someone I hardly know since they should care about me? They should want to treat me as best they can since, in theory, they are my friend. So, why am I continuing to let a friend treat me poorly when I would never tolerate such behavior from a stranger? I don’t know.

Maybe, I give more chances to friends because we have history. We share memories. We have cried together in hardship and laughed through life when it seemed ever so hard. Maybe I give more chances because I remember those great times and I want them back again so badly it hurts. I hold onto the hope of old times being reincarnated into something new and different and maybe even wonderful.

My point is this: how long do you let a friend treat you poorly before you lose all hope and just move on? Can you really ever do that? Or because you share this history, this lifetime, do you hold onto hope that one day you might be able to grab a bagel one morning like old times?

I guess it comes down to that hope. Hope is a funny thing. I think hope is something I cannot control. It is there and then one day it isn’t. So maybe the answer is this: You hold on tight to that hope as long as you can and then one day that hope is just gone. And then maybe it won’t hurt. Maybe then you won’t be sad. Maybe losing hope doesn’t have to be a loss at all. Maybe losing hope creates a new beginning.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Head in the clouds

Yesterday was gorgeous. Mother Nature has recently proven to be quite the bitch; however, yesterday she somewhat redeemed herself. She still has a long way to go so don't go getting all team Mother Nature yet. The clouds in Atlanta yesterday were outrageous. They looked like they were out of a cartoon - white puff magical softness everywhere my eyes could see. I know, what's the big to do about clouds crazy? I am telling you, they were outstanding. I have never seen so many dollops of pure white perfection throughout the oh so unnaturally blue Atlanta skyline that normally tends to appear dismal on most hazy days. The perfect storm of cotton on water made the sky to.die.for. Clearly, I headed straight to the park with the fam in tow to absorb every bit deliciousness.