Party Hearty

D. and I had an amazing date last night! I kind of slacked on my reservation-making duties, so when I called they only had to seats left at the “Chef’s Counter,” which turned out to be sort of a bar overlooking the open kitchen. It was actually such a fun place to sit (especially since both of us cook) that the waitress could hardly pry us out of our seats towards the end of the night. We were sitting right in front of the dessert station, so we got to see gorgeous chocolate sauce pouring over everything, and scoop after scoop of perfect little balls of sorbet.

The food was incredible… we could hardly choose a favorite between a little dish of super-tender, cut-it-with-a-fork pork topped with orange slices and a rind crisped to perfection, or a spanish flatbread of duck confit and manchego cheese. Oooo…or the heavenly light baked goat cheese topped with basil tomato sauce and garlic toasts…

Anyways, the fun just doesn’t stop around here – I interviewed a Tuskegee Airman today and I’m off right now to a bachelorette party! Wish I had time to write more. Have a great Saturday night everyone!

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Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 7:47 pm  Comments (2)  

On a date!

D. and I are out on our slightly belated Valentines night out (we were waiting to get paid from working on the actual big V-day). Totally psyched to sample all the exquisite little dishes at Amada! Catch you on the flip side…

Published in: on February 27, 2009 at 7:15 pm  Comments (3)  

Shopping and Dropping

My friend and I hit the mall yesterday to pick out a pant suit for me, for some job interviews I hopefully hopefully will get soon. But, in a comedic routine we couldn’t have pulled off better if we practiced, I forgot my purse and she left all her credit cards at home. She only had a debit card with about $4.65 on it.

Still, we managed to make a night of it! We talked the ladies at the food court into selling us just two egg rolls and letting us put in on the card (they wanted a $5 minimum, and didn’t believe we really didn’t have it). We tried on lots of clothes and I picked out a fabulous suit and some work slacks, which we put on layaway. The suit and a complimentary blouse were so incredibly reasonably priced (buy one, get one 50% off, and no sales tax in Delaware), that we even had enough left over to splurge on a cute little black dress for my delayed Valentines date with D. tomorrow night. We’re going to an incredibly delicious Tapas bar (not topless bar, as many of my friends have been joking), called Amada.

cchip-cookie2

Oh, and Mary was asking for my cookie recipe. Here’s a slightly modified version, from the The Great Big Cookie Book, by Hilaire Walden. It’s amazingly simple:

1/2 c Unsalted butter

2/3 c brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/4 flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 c rolled oats (I used pecans this time)

4 oz chopped semisweet chocolate

4 oz chopped white chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 375F and grease two baking sheets. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl, then add the egg and vanilla and beat well.

2. Sift in the flour and baking soda, fold, and add the oats and chocolate.

3. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets and bake for about 15-20 minutes (mine only needed about 10)

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm  Comments (2)  

Wilde

I’ve made a new best friend this year (the one recovering from mono) and her birthday is just over a week away. She is a huge English literature buff, and Oscar Wilde is her all and above favorite.

When I saw this amazing leather hand-bound journal from Moon Bindery, featuring a beautiful Wilde quote on the flap, I knew right away it was perfect for her. But how to afford it? Hrm, hrm, hrm….

Published in: on February 26, 2009 at 12:46 am  Comments (1)  

My Poor Baby

dscn3912

On Saturday night, D. and I were supposed to go to a party. I baked chocolate brownies with white chocolate chunks, and he made some incredible habanero-lime-caramel sauce to drizzle over them, with some ice cream.

Then disaster struck. While I was working in the studio in the early evening, someone broke the driver’s side window of my car and opened it up.

They stole the brownies.

They stole the sauce. They stole the nice pottery dishes I was going to serve them on, which was all in a bag together. They stole the clothes I was going to wear to the party, as well as my homework and notes for my InDesign class. For good measure, they cleaned my glove compartment of my insurance and registration cards.

Basically, they got nothing of any value to them, and several things that held value to me. Bummer. We wound up skipping the party, D. picked me up and we bought a club to put on the wheel of the car so it would be safe until Monday. My poor baby is now parked out by the curb with a plastic bag taped over the window, looking very South Philly.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I spent over an hour and over $8 getting to work via public transportation this morning (since I wasn’t about to drive my window-less car). Then, after I was at work for about three hours, another reporter showed up (we only have one person work the Sunday morning shift) and asked me what I was doing there. I had been rescheduled to have a three-day weekend, and work next Saturday instead. DOH!! So I had woken up early and worked half my shift, and I wasn’t even supposed to be there.

Luckily, I was able to redeem my afternoon. One of my friends, after hearing my tale of woe, invited me over for an afternoon of sipping beers, watching Disney movies and ordering out for pizza. Thank god there is little that singing along to all the songs in The Little Mermaid won’t fix.

Now if only I could get Disney to fix my window as easily…

Published in: on February 23, 2009 at 12:38 am  Comments (5)  

Surprise

I nearly did a double-take a day ago when I opened up the front page of Etsy and saw Yasha Butler, a friend whom I share studio space with, as a featured artist! There’s a whole interview with her and everything! Way to go! It appears she sold dozens of pieces while her interview was posted, and it’s well deserved. Her work is incredibly fine and well-crafted. I can attest that many hours go into making each of those pieces look so refined and white. I’m super-lucky because I get to pick her cast-off pieces out of the trash (sometimes I can’t even figure out what she thought was wrong with them) and decorate my apartment with them  😀

And if that’s not enough, she’s getting married in a month! She’s also got a great design blog if you want to check it out and share your congrats!

Published in: on February 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm  Comments (2)  

Where does the time go?

messy-studio

Honestly, you get started on something, and voila! It’s 2 a.m., you haven’t done half of what you actually set out to do, your eyelids feel like they are sagging below your chin, and your dream of waking up early and actually lifting weights before work is still shimmering like an iridescent butterfly before your eyes – waiting to get crushed in the harsh light of morning and alarm clock buzzers.

Not to mention your prose becomes steadily more filled with absurd metaphors and half-baked similes as you get more tired.

Definitely time to hit the sack.

Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 1:57 am  Comments (4)  

Poor thing

One of my best friends is laid up with mono and can barely walk or eat! I feel really sorry for her, especially since it may cost her a new job (and we know how tough it is to find those these days!).

I stopped by her house today to drop off a couple of books for her, including one of my favorites, The Highest Tide. It’s a sweet, fun read, but packed with fascinating information about nature and science and the little-known ocean. It’s a really entertaining book, and I hope it gives her a little lift since she’s stuck at home.

Any other recommendations?

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 8:38 pm  Comments (6)  

Cheesy Biscuits with Bacon – A Brief Photo Essay

“A fool and her sleep are soon parted…”

I dont call it the midnight kitchen for nothing!!

I don't call it the midnight kitchen for nothing!!

Measuring out flour and baking powder

Measuring out flour and baking powder

Adding cheese and bacon!

Adding cheese and bacon!

Spooning it out onto the baking sheet

Spooning it out onto the baking sheet

A flaky and delicious breakfast tomorrow awaits!

A flaky and delicious breakfast tomorrow awaits!

Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 1:30 am  Comments (4)  

Buyer’s Market

When I first met Jenni Brant, of BurroBranch, though the Etsy Mud Team, I immediately recognized some of her work and posted a little something about it on the Night Kitchen. Some months later she got in touch with me again: One of her pieces, she said, had been picked as a finalist in the Niche Magazine awards contest and she’d be coming from Nebraska to Philadelphia to hand deliver it. The contest was happening simultaneous with the big craft buyer’s market at the Philadelphia Convention Center, in mid-February. Could she stay on my couch?

Of course, I said yes, albeit my couch is uncomfortable and she’d be overrun with cats. We made some preliminary arrangements. But then, just a little over a week before she was supposed to come, she told me she was totally bogged down in work. She asked if I would be willing to hand deliver her piece, if she shipped ASAP, and she would include a little gift and a pass to check out the market. I couldn’t down that offer!

So she whisked her piece over and I jumped on a bus with it Friday morning and delivered it to the show. Then came the cool part! The Buyer’s Market is specifically for wholesale crafters, and you are not allowed in if you are not a buyer or affiliated with a gallery or shop. Or, if you have a special pass. Which I did. So I spent well over two hours meandering through, checking out some truly amazing jewelery and other goodies along the way.

Some stuff, I have to say, was mediocre. Some of the ceramics was particularly not notable, unfortunately, but there were a few that really stood out. There were some things there that were just plain weird (pizza clocks?). But for the most part I was awed and dazzled by the literally hundreds of incredible fine jewelers and metal smiths, not to mention teased and tempted by wholesale price markings on everything!

Here’s a few of the highlights, from the folks I was able to grab business cards from:

Jewelry by Nora Dougherty, www.noradougherty.com
Jewelry by Nora Dougherty, http://www.noradougherty.com

Sarah Graham Metalsmiths, www.sarahgraham.com
Sarah Graham Metalsmiths, http://www.sarahgraham.com

Jacob Albee Goldsmith, www.jacobalbee.com

Jacob Albee Goldsmith, http://www.jacobalbee.com

Danny Kamerath Woodworking, www.dannykamerath.com

Danny Kamerath Woodworking, http://www.dannykamerath.com