28 February, 2010

..."close" encounters of the penal kind.

I went to my front door around 6:30 the other night to see how the "snowicane" was progressing (it wasn't), and while I was there I picked up my mail: CB2 catalog...insurance bill...junk mail...Inmate Mail from the PA Dept. of Corrections...junk mail for former...wait, what?

Yes, my friends - Inmate Mail. PA Department of Corrections.
I've hidden the name to protect the "guilty."

I immediately looked at the recipient's name thinking...well, lots of things, none politically correct, but mainly, "Why is this in my hands right now? Did I make a new friend that nobody told me about?" 

My eyes darted over to the "To" section of the envelope.  Nope. Not my name. Not the previous owner's (legal) name. Hmm.  Why do I have mail from a prison? In addition to being cursed, my house also attracts inmate mail? I hope that's not why the house was so cheap. (just. kidding.) 

I put it down intending to just "return to sender"...but only after I posted about it of course. So I picked it up again, and then I looked closely at the address...  Right house number - wrong street. Not intended for my house. :)

Naturally as I was putting this together I googled the inmate's name in case one of my neighbors was corresponding with a news-worthy criminal. Nothing came up. Unfortunately. (What? I google everyone.)

Now...do I just drop it back in the mail box as I had planned...OR do I go awkwardly drop it off around the corner at its intended destination?

24 February, 2010


What? Beyonce can make bootylicious a real word and I can't say "nomfreakingtasticness?"

I acknowledge up front that this post has nothing to do with the house or neighborhood, however, I had to share. A few weeks back I read a post about this chocolate peanut butter stuff on the blog (never)homemaker* called Dark Chocolate Dreams. Ashley, of (never)homemaker, described it as, "It's basically vegan Nutella (with peanuts, not hazelnuts)."  Sold.

Mmm...fun to eat!

Skip to the third grocery store I looked in...found it! (Why I didn't just wait to look in Whole Foods is beyond me.) I somehow waited 48 entire hours before having a "good" reason to crack that bad boy open, but when I did - oh my!

It's chocolate...it's peanut butter...it's slightly out-of-focus chocolate peanut butter!

The first bite was straight off the spoon and unexpected - there wasn't that initial intense nutty flavor I'm accustomed to with peanut butter. Or even an overwhelmingly chocolate-y or sweet flavor...but then the peanut butter taste kicked in. YUM. 

The jar recommends eating it on a sandwich, or with bananas, or as an ice cream topping - all fantastic ideas in my book - but I really want to try and incorporate this into baking or cooking somehow (maybe monkey pancakes??). But since it was around 10pm, and I was not about to make cookies or pancakes or anything else that required cooking, I figured I'd try it atop some ice cream.  I heated up about two tablespoons and put it on chocolate chip ice cream (unfortunately I didn't have vanilla).

it puts the chocolate PB on the ice cream

nom nom nom

About 3.5 minutes later.

It was so good. Oh  the fun I'm going to have finding recipies to try this in. oh wait - THERE'S the new home connection! Duh.  Oh...wait a second....wait a second.....DARK CHOCOLATE DREAMS EBELSKIVERS!!!!!!

Hot damn, I think we have a winner for first use of DCD in a recipe AND first use of  the ebelskiver pan in new house. Perhaps I'll make a banana ebelskiver batter and put DCD in the middle - monkey pancake-esque, no?


*(never home)maker is a blog I stumbled upon via Apartment Therapy (or was it The Kitchn? Same difference.). It's full of great vegetarian/vegan recipes, some style & decor tips, and (if you're so inclined) some running tips. (All accompanied by pictures that my pictures aspire to look like.) I eat and I decorate. I don't run. Climb - yes. Lift - yes. "Yog" - yes. Run - not unless being chased. I digress - it's a really fun and upbeat blog that I've added to my reader. I suggest you do the same.

20 February, 2010

...Friday night pizza.

After my Thursday night, all I wanted to do on Friday night was come home, get some pizza, crash on my couch, and catch up on Burn Notice. (And why is it those are the nights I get multiple texts to go out?? Damn Murphy and his law. Damn it!) But the question was...where to get the pizza?? I've tried one pizza place, Key Pizza, because we drove past it the day I moved down here. The pizza was okay and I think they only have medium and up pizza sizes. I thought it was time to broaden my South Philly pizza horizons and share my findings with you, my dear readers. (what...no sarcasm there at all.)

I decided to walk a few blocks further than normal to try a new pizza place I've walked by before - Marra's on Passyunk. Apparently Marra's is some kind of South Philly pizza institution or something.

See how old-timey it looks? That's how you know it will be good. Right?

I went online to check out their menu, and was pleasantly surprised to see that they had personal sized pizzas!  I'm a big fan of "mini" pizzas (and almost all mini food) - pizzas that I won't be eating for days and days after I get it. My old pizza stand by - Pine Street Pizza - had mini pizzas for about $6-$7, it was perfect. So I was happy to find a potential replacement go-to pizza spot.

Anyway, I ordered a personal pizza with green peppers and picked it up about 30 minutes later. I wasn't expecting this:
The cheese goes blub blub blub...

It looked like they hacked up a green pepper into about six pieces and tossed it on the middle of the pizza. I mean seriously - I've never seen such large pieces of peppers on a pizza...it was slightly amusing.

Once I got past the oversized pepper pieces and unevenly cut slices (in small, medium, and large variety)...I tasted it. I have to say, it was pretty good. I have no deep insight to provide into the texture of the crust or the flavors of the sauce - it was just good, tasty pizza. The price point wasn't that bad either - I paid just under $8 with topping, tax, etc.

Okay, I lied. I do have some notes. The crust wasn't too doughy, but still crispy. Though I would have liked it to be a bit thinner. Oh, and smaller sized chunks of pepper. I would have liked to get some pepper with each bite instead of all at once.

Has Marra's become my new go-to? When I want a mini pizza, yes. Though I might pass on the green peppers next time.

12 February, 2010

...my first piece of "hate mail."

So apparently a complete stranger took enough offense to my last post to actually email me. Not just comment, mind you, email! Needless to say, this made my day.  (Although, I wish people would stop commenting everywhere BUT the comment section. Makes me look like I have no readers.)

Wow. Where do I begin? With point 1, 2, 3, or 4? Or the link to "the other side?"

None...I'll just say that it's a free country and if someone felt the need to get that off their chest, by all means, send away. That's the beauty of the social space that is the interwebs.  You can pretty much say whatever the hell you want...and if you can't take the criticism, then stick to writing in your diary. 

I'm going to continue to constructively channel my "anger" here.

11 February, 2010

...why you don't fuck with my parking spot.

No, I won't pop a cap in yo' ass...but I will get even.

(editor's note: There seems to be some understandable confusion. By "my" spot, I mean the one I dug out and put milk crates in. After five years of city living and over 40" of snow in a five day span, I finally succumbed to the "tradition" of "reserving" a parking spot. I'm writing about the people who didn't observe said "tradition" and moved the crates out of the spot to park there.)

These people are going to come out tomorrow thinking they have a nice, clean spot to just pull right out of. WRONG FUCKERS!

These people are going to come out and have a lot less snow to shovel! Notice how I spent extra attention on blocking in the front tires.

I decided, when I got home and saw that a nice, clean VW was in the spot I so carefully and arduously spent over an HOUR digging out of this morning, and I saw my crates moved out of said spot and onto the snow bank next to it, that the owners of that car were a special kind of asshole and they would pay.

Now, if I'd listened to my mother, to enact my revenge I would have let the air out of their tires. (Apparently, this is her M.O. used against an ex's new g/f that parked in front of her house - that's my girl.)  Effective, yes, but it wouldn't drive home my point - which is...if you didn't earn the spot, and the objects in the spot aren't yours, FIND ANOTHER SPOT YOU LAZY JACKHOLE.

UPDATE:  The lazy jackhole/fucker/special asshole was not in the spot when I went to work this morning. However, I am pleased to report that he/she/they had to dig themselves out. Again. So I'm imagining their morning went something like this:

Asshole #1: "Do do do doo...la la la...oh how nice it will be to get into our car this morning without shoveling again."
Asshole #2: "Yes, I will enjoy the labors of that person who thought that milk crates would keep US out of a nicely shoveled parking spot."
Asshole #1: "Ha! Ha! Ha! Can you imagine the look on their face when they went to - WHAT THE FUCK?? WHY IS OUR CAR SNOWED IN??"
Asshole #2: "WHAT?! But when we stole that spot last night, it was so snow-free!"
Asshole #1: "The karma elves must have come overnight to punish us for our selfish and ingnorant behavior."
Asshole #2: "The snow is not enough. We should shovel out the elderly and then impale ourselves on the ends of our shovels."
The End.
I say there are two assholes because the car looked suspiciously like the one across from me yesterday morning that two yupsters were digging out. And obviously, I took creative license with the end of that dialog. They clearly would not have the self-awareness or courtesy to realize the extent of their douchiness.

Also, while I almost put my crates back in MY spot...I thought it might start a vicious passive-aggressive crate-removing-snow-shoveling war. And really, I just don't have the time or energy for that.

31 January, 2010


I think I said it before and I'll continue to say it - having a functional kitchen, albeit small, makes all the difference when it comes to my enjoyment in and practice of cooking. I am eating way more vegetables and way less processed food.

Today's adventure involved my new food processor (Cuisinart 7 Cup model) and a new recipe for Potato Leek Soup (courtesy of The Kitchn).

I read a post on the Kitchn about a simple recipe for Potato Leek soup. I like soup and I like easy. Coming off my success at making Lentil Brown Rice Soup,  I was game for a new recipe to add to my repertoire.

It basically consisted of frying bacon, cutting up potatoes and leeks, and giving it all a whirl in the food processor. It's good eats for lazy people - my fave.

Potatoes and leeks bubblin' away - check out that steam!

mmm...bacon. And my new toy.

I have neither an immersion blender, nor a potato masher (whole other topic)...so mutiple batches had to go into the food processor in order to make this a soup and not, well, hot potato water.

This could be a recipe for a disatrous mess.

Mess averted. Looks like pea soup.

I topped the soup off with some crumbled bacon and thyme. The thyme made a very tasty addition.

If you squint, you can see the sprig of thyme. 

Lessons learned for the next time: salt the water more (I never salt my water enough) and process less for a more chunky texture. 

Now my freezer will be full of literally three things: Lean Cuisines, soup, and fudge.

30 January, 2010

...picking out my new kitchen.

Now that The Wall is down, the kitchen renovations can begin in earnest. Or at least I can do lots of shopping and window browsing. Last weekend - er, I know, this is another tardy post. I've come to the conclusion if there's a picture from my camera involved, the post will be delayed in getting published. Moving on. - I went to Ikea and Home Depot to start looking at kitchen cabinet options. I came home with a buttload of pamphlets:

And the realization that I have VERY particular tastes. I want white cabinets. But I don't want that fake wood crap. I want real wood - just painted white. (Not that anyone but me will know the difference.) But it can't be that off-white color - actual white. And it can't be too country/traditional looking. I want something modern. But not stark modern. Contemporary modern. (Hmm...maybe this is why I'm single?)

Next up I'm going to hit up the warehouses, et. al. on Washington Ave. Maybe they'll have more of what I'm looking for.

I'm particular, but I have been planning this kitchen since I put the offer in on the house.

Ooh...Ikea Kitchen Planner. My idea of spare time fun.

This is the second floorplan configuration - I originally wanted to move the sink underneath the windows and then move the stove about 2 feet to the left. Then I realized my budget went to removing The Wall. It's okay, this new layout is still SO much better than what it is now:

Even though this looks like where country oak comes to die, the cabinets are really maple.

Kind of what the new kitchen will look like from same angle.

On the agenda:
 - Taking the ceiling up so I can put in 42" cabinets
 - Moving the sink over about one foot into the corner
 - Putting a pantry next to the fridge, as well as a cabinet above it
 - Installing the microwave above the stove
 - Putting in a 18" dishwasher
 - Additional recessed lighting and pendants above the breakfast bar

The storage possibilities are going to quadruple.  This is good news for two reasons: one, I hate clutter, and two, even though the current kitchen is less than ideal, it's still better than what I had - no counter/surface space and an oven that set off the smoke detector every time you turned it on - and that means I am cooking a LOT more now.

Just think of the gourmet treats I'll make when I get my new kitchen...mmmm.