Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Cheer is Finally Here

While our house may still be a debacle of cardboard boxes, insane amounts of unnecessarily clothing (due entirely to my the Hubs' obsession with coats, and none of my own) and two people now working from home without a desk or breath of fresh air... we found the Christmas supplies this afternoon!

Up went the mini tree and around the house I sprinkled the few measly bits of holiday cheer I could muster the energy to put up, knowing they were coming down in (presumably) 3 short weeks.  But seeing as how this is a new city and we know nobody... no promises on these puppies not making it straight through to Spring.  I have literally no where left to store any of them anyway!  

Love these little guys - especially the feathers!

I will so miss Swoozies :(
Best place in Atlanta to get super cute hostess gifts and fun house decor, especially at the holidays.

Fun Mrs. Claus apron from the mom-in-law last year.

No mantle - haven't Macgivered anything crazy yet to substitute, but I'm pontificating as we speak!
I lucked out and got some great family ornaments this year from my parents!

Cute set my brother made me for Christmas a couple of years ago, when we celebrated in NOLA.

At first I thought this was one of those horrible "Keep Calm And...." things when I unpacked it.
After I got over my mortification at having bought something so cliche, I remembered this has sparkles! and stopped caring.
Mr. Claus looking festive, and demonstrating our serious spacial issues in the house right now!
This is our "home office" - mine is located at the dining room table!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday 5: Random Sh*t from my iPhone

Last night in the house - we pushed the couches together and made a pillow fort in the living room!
Rule breakers... honey badger don't care.

My first view of Cincinnati - pretty sweet way to drive in!

Off our balcony, looking at the water and the gorgeous bridge!

First adult bevvies as Ohio-ens (Ohians? Ohioooons?) at YardHouse across the street.
Big timin' is how we do.

Getting in the Christmas spirit while doing some unpacking and organizing!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Moving is the Devil

Seriously.  If the Devil lived in a box, that box would be buried somewhere inside my new apartment right now.  

I. Hate. Moving.

My current entry way.  Welcome home Captain Hoarder.
 I have literally moved at least once a year since the age of 16.  16 times in 12 years, actually:  

  • Boarding school dorm room 1
  • Huntsville, AL for summer
  • Boarding school dorm room 2
  • Home on Hilton Head for summer
  • UPenn dorm
  • Emory houses 1 through 3
  • UGA apartments 1 and 2
  • Winston-Salem apartment for a whopping 6 mo
  • Atlanta apartments 1 through 4
  • Atlanta house
  • Cincinnati

You'd think I'd have this down pat by now.  False.  So false.  This obsessive moving was mostly due to me forgetting that you can, in fact, re-sign a lease rather than finding a new roomie and floor plan every time.  I also tend to be the girl who will just live with anyone.  Someone I met in the leasing office while I was signing?  Done it.  Someone I had heard came from the same school I went to and was also named Rachel so therefore was likely fantastic?  Done it.  Randoms online?  Done it.  I lived with a dude who turned out to be a drug dealer.  I've lived with a girl from India who couldn't drive at the age of 32- so I taught her in a rental car and we hit poles, curbs, animals and guard rails until she passed her test. 

I've lived with girls, guys, friends, coworkers, strangers.  Some turned out great, others not so much.  

Now I appear to have at least landed myself a consistent, mildly normal human being as a roommate.  But this moving thing.  Good lord.  Here we have at least secured a spot in a bad ass location in the middle of this up and coming area called the Banks, right on the river and surrounded by brand new bars and restaurants.  I'm 3 blocks from the Bengals stadium and 2 blocks from the Reds.  However, even this little extravaganza will be up in 20 months, and therefore be the longest I've lived anywhere since I could legally operate a motor vehicle.  

This is a pano off my balcony - Bengals on left, Reds on right.  Pretty sweet!
And yet, every time I move it's the same cluster banana reaction of "oh my god, where did all this shit come from?!?!"  I think I have single handedly ensured the ongoing profitability of Goodwill.  I also have a good bit of Jew left in me and have managed to accumulate a lot of things for free, which tends to lend itself to my hoarding abilities.  

This move was no different.  We downsized a good bit coming here and I thought packing a 10 x 20 storage unit full of grand pianos, golf carts, and brand new china would do the trick.  Turns out 2 blenders, 2 crock pots and 68 t-shirts dating from 1996 on still made the trip.  (Yes, 1996.  My mathlete captain shirt will never see die.)  We can't have a grill here (shed a Green Egg tear), but we made sure to bring lots of tools, just in case someone else does!  And P's very own grill apron, with this emblazoned across the front:

It's amazing the crap that piles up even in a year.  And considering my latest purchasing frenzy has been due to the clearly necessary new collection of winter gear... it doesn't look like we're exactly heading in the right direction...

Glossy Blonde

Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday 5: Shit from my iPhone

Patrick refuses to purchase K-cups for some reason.
I have started my own sneaky stash.  Marriage secrets have started!
Kate Spade words of wisdom!
Homemade rosemary bread!  Super nommy!
P and I would love to fix up an old car like this Scout some day.
Adorable Atlanta note cards a friend gave us (us, haha) at our going away party.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friendsgiving and the Deviled Egg Fart Bomb

A few years ago friends of ours invited a crew over for a pot luck Thanksgiving at their house.  It keeps growing every year, by faces and waistbands, and this year was no different.  Last year the party moved to the couple's neighborhood clubhouse to fit the growing crew, and it is the perfect venue.  They do a great job decorating and everyone signs up for a different dish.  You know the drill.

This year was all about redemption for me.  

Last year I had the bright idea to try my hand at deviled eggs.  I remember not even knowing how to hard boil an egg, which is ironic because my brother and I used to fight over who got to bring the hard boiled egg slicer with them in their lunchbox.  We also used to fight for the title of biggest asshole in the cafeteria, one would assume.  
Wtf were you doing giving us a hard boiled egg slicer, Mom?  
Ensuring our lifelong virginity, that's what.

I digress.

For this little foray 2 years ago I made some perfectly fantastic little buggers, popped em on my cute little party platter all wrapped up in holiday saran wrap for the win.  I'm guessing we had had a rough night the night before because that is the only sane explanation for what happens next.  We took my car instead of Patrick's.  My car is a 2 seater, with a little faux back seat which fits approximately 1 bottle of wine and 1 purse.  I know, because those are usually my only companions.  We got into said mini mobile knowing we were picking up a 6'3" dude on the way to the party.  Our friend can barely fit into the passenger seat, much less this mini jump seat in the back, so I crawl in the back and he wedges (wedgesss) himself into the passenger seat, with my party platter at his feet.  

The view from my back seat.  My feet are in the other seat.
Here's where things get ugly.

It took about 10 minutes before P took the first hard turn and disaster struck.  In the form of a loose egg.  Some adventurous morsel of perfection escaped from the pack, snuck out under the saran and SLAP.  Into the side of the footwell.  Usually this wouldn't be a big deal, except said friend is so wedged in there he can barely reach his own feet.  By the time we realized what was going on another few little dudes followed their friend to freedom and were sliding around and spreading their eggy goodness all over my floorboard.  

And by eggy goodness, I mean serious fart attack smell.

Nostril napalm.

If Humpty Dumpty had a baby, and that baby had a butt bomb, 
my car now resembled the inside of his diaper.  

We were laughing and gagging so hard at this point that the only reasonable thing to do was to get the eggs far, far away from us and the vehicle as quickly as possible.  Down went the windows and out went the eggs.  Not all at once mind you because P is still driving down the interstate and Colin is trying to dig around for slippery Humpty dumps.  So, one at a time, foul little messy bombs of Paula Deen love go flying out of my car.  One can only hope the people behind us were as highly entertained as us as they dodged the airborne attack of messy egg missiles.  Can you imagine driving down the highway, minding your own business, picking your nose, sexting away and whack!  Egg to the face.  An anonymous Sunday egging on the highway.  SMH.

P's grandmother is a highly put together little old Southern lady and was so horrified at this story that she actually went to Tupperware and bought me my very own deviled egg travel carrier.  Because having an egg slicer wasn't ridiculous enough, I now can carry my eggs with me wherever I go, free from shame and eau de fart.  

7 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper, for taste
Paprika, for garnishing (smoked paprika adds an extra touch of yum)
Sweet gherkin pickles sliced, for garnishing
Pimentos, for garnishing

Halve 7 eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl.

Mash yolks with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, pickle relish, and mustard. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture (I used a little dessert spoon).  Garnish with paprika, pickles and pimentos. Store covered in refrigerator.

Adding vinegar helps the whites pull away from the shell for an easier peel.
After boiling, pop em in an ice bath if you have to peel soon.  Can't peel a warm egg!
Palm crushing brute strength.
I creepily love the way it feels when you first get the shell to crumble a bit and then roll it around.

Totallyyyyy redeemed myself!
Magic carrier.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Half-Ass Pantry Recipe: Skillet Rosemary Chicken

This is a super easy, Fall kind of a dish.  My favorite kind in that it is simple, requires minimal washing of utensils/ dishes but doesn't come out like a pile of mush.  Hubs like the mushy recipes that come for single pot suppers, not so much for me.

This comes out really lemony, almost too much so, so be prepared if you're not a huge citrus fan.  
I used boneless, skinless breasts.  Two of which were already cooked from the green egg the night before, so I added them in with just a few minutes left to heat them up, but not overcook.  

3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large

Kosher salt

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
1 clove garlic, smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved [or any kind of mushroom, I used baby bellas bc they sound cute]

Preheat the oven to 450. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.

Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat. [Marinate those bad boys for a bit.]

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon.  [If you're using skinless, I'd say just cook 3 minutes instead of 5.]

Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves [don't use all 4 halves unless you really like lemon] to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

[Note: I found myself wishing I had some white wine around (who doesn't) as there wasn't as much liquid produced as I had hoped.  You can throw that in there halfway through the baking, I would say, for max yums.]

The accidental you're-not-a-potato selfie. 
Big deal - put them in cold water and then bring the whole thing to a boil.
Don't just drop them into already boiling water.

Looks so Christmassy!  

This mashing bit took a lot of coordination to photograph.

Good trick - squeeze the lemon over your fingers (using your iPhone hand) so the seeds get caught.

This was just one half of a very fertile lemon! 
Marinade concoction.

Raw chicken is one the most fowl (get it?) things I can think about sticking my phalanges on.
Hence my love of prepacked breasts.  Everyone loves a good plastic breast.
You can rinse and even slide the suckers out without ever touching them!!!

Snuggle butt chicken marination.

Browning - no touchy for 3 min!

Your rosemary will get torched, so keep some extra for garnish/ last minute adds.

I totally threw in leftover chicken with 3 minutes remaining on the clock to heat up but not overcook them.
Roasty toasty goodness!