Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tasty Thai

Good evening everyone!

 I hope you all are surviving the school/work week. We are almost to hump day! It was really weird to not start classes yesterday along with a lot of my friends who are still in Harrisonburg. Although I missed it, I didn't miss it as much as I expected to! I think I am beginning to enjoy all of this extra free time. :) Fall is the one season that makes me miss JMU so much!

I miss...

Late night walks on the quad. I used to do this all the time freshman year.

 The changing leaves! They are so beautiful down there! This was what I saw every day in the fall when I walked to my car from work.


Recruitment (gasps!)! There's something about staying up until 2am voting all week and ordering Jimmy Johns that gets me excited. That, and laughing so hard at nothing because we'd be so deliriously tired from cheering, talking, and smiling all day long.

Most of all, I miss this pretty view of the quad!

...and...JMaddy...


Enough reminiscing...

As I mentioned the other day, I made a Thai dish over the weekend. Not only was this Thai dish easy, but it is a vegan dish that even a meat lover would like!! Now I know what you are thinking...isn't vegan food boring? No way! In my opinion, vegan dishes taste better than meat based dishes. Especially hearty ones like the Thai dish I prepared.

A few months ago, I purchased two vegan cook books: The Joy of Vegan Baking and The Vegan Table. The Thai dish I made came from The Vegan Table. Not only is the cookbook BEAUTIFUL, but it is full of amazing recipes that everyone (meat eater, vegan, vegetarian, and even kids) will enjoy!

I won't post the recipe but if you have/buy the book, I made the following changes. First, I bought red curry paste. This was definitely not spicy or flavorful enough season the entire dish. I probably used 2-3 times the amount of curry paste and added cayenne pepper (this did the trick!). If you like your Thai food to make your nose run, you'll want to do the same. ;)

Red curry/coconut base with veggies! The rice is hidden underneath,



 This was quite a hit! I highly recommend this cook book!

I'm off to relax for the rest of the evening. Have a good rest of the week!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things Happen

Well friends, there are times in this journey called life that you can either learn from experiences or moan and groan about the unexpected bumps in the road.

On Saturday, one of those bumps in the road occurred. After weeks of anticipation, my sofa was finally going to be delivered! The furniture deliverers came at noon to move it right on in. After heaving the rather large sofa up 2 flights of stairs, they stared rather perplexed at my doorway. After several moments, they tried to move it inside...

For many of you seasoned furniture purchasers, you know that you are supposed to do things like  measure your living space, especially your door frame and entry way, before swiping your plastic key to comfort. Lesson learned my friends, lesson learned.

After repositioning the sofa every which way and even unscrewing the legs, they asked me to sign a waiver. Never, I mean never, sign something that states that you won't hold the company liable for furniture or home damage. At that point, I politely asked them to take the sofa back to their truck and thanked them for their efforts. Thank goodness Crate and Barrel only charged me the delivery fee and not an additional restocking fee.

I could have let that ruin my day, but really there's no point in pitching a fit about something you can't change. I will tell you one thing, I'll never buy another piece of furniture without first measuring my living space. You live and you learn!

You know what helps you get over furniture disappointments, and well...just about anything? Chocolate chip cookies! These were promptly baked and eaten.


Hope everyone had a fun and restful weekend!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Moving

Well hello everyone! Long time no...see? I am finally settled into my new apartment in Northern VA. Sorry for the blogging delay, but I didn't get internet until last night.

My parents were extremely kind to help me move. My Mom actually stayed through the week to help me organize. Let me tell you, she is the best organizer known to man! While my Dad and I unloaded the cars, she got to work unpacking/organizing kitchen stuff. My Mom actually took a picture of me all sweaty post-move to send to my brother to PROVE that I actually helped! Hilarious.

Throughout the week, I've gotten pretty much everything I needed to get for the apartment. All that's left to make my apartment complete is my sofa that's being delivered tomorrow (weather permitting?), microwave, and new duvet cover + down comforter. I'm thinking about getting this duvet cover. Thoughts? :)

Although moving to a new city is exciting, there are definitely some pros and cons. But typically you can spin any con into a pro, especially in this area. For example...

Con: Extreme traffic.
Pro: Tons to do! I am about 15 miles from DC!

Con: A grocery store isn't 1 mile away anymore.
Pro: No more late night runs for Ben and Jerry's and more efficient meal planning will now take place!

Con: Target is far away
Pro: More money for my wallet ;)

The most exciting things about living up here are...
  • Living close to half of my family (within ~35 minutes)
  • Having legitimate malls (sorry Harrisonburg)
  • Living near 2 major airports!
Soon, I'll have some recipes for you all. I'm still getting organized in my kitchen. Tonight, or at some point this weekend, I'm making a thai dish! My Mom has ended up staying into the weekend to escape the hurricane back home in VA Beach. We are all stocked up in case we get any really bad weather up here! Good luck to everyone back at home braving the storm. Be safe!

Monday, August 15, 2011

24 hours in Instagrams

The past 24 hours in Instagrams:


 Finally got a sofa...
 ...and fulfilled my dream of owning a piece of Crate and Barrel furniture.

The color is "iron"

I had beets!
 Peeled and chopped beets, vidalia onion, sea salt, cracked pepper, and a little EVOO and cinammon.
 Grilled.

YUM!


Indian-style grilled chicken.
 Cumin, cayenne, paprika, turmeric, ground pepper, kosher salt, and garlic rubbed on chicken after it was doused with fresh lime and lemon juice.

This is seriously the best spiced chicken I've had. It's got an amazing flavor that has a little kick. :)


 Last but not least...
 Raisin bran + bluebs + unsweetened vanilla almond milk + The Washington Post = fantastic evening meal + reads.


I had to get up at 4:50am this morning because I had to drive to Maryland for a training session for work. I tell you what, I cannot wait to sleep in until 5:30am tomorrow morning! ;) 

Off to read and hit the hay. Night!



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Patience is a virtue

Hey heyyy...

I hope everyone has had a good work week. It's almost Friday!

My week has been pretty good, despite the fact that Monday set a horrible tone for the week. What happened? 5 hours of sleep + 2 hr drive to work = no fun! Apparently, a tractor trailer caught fire in the early morning and blocked all of 95N!

Patience is a virtue, people.
Patience     is      a      virtue . . .

Seriously, patience is only one of the lessons I've learned since being thrown into the real world. Patience and also being helpful without complaining. There are times in the real world that you are asked to do things you do not want to do or help out with projects/tasks that aren't a part of your job description. Most of the time, you can't say no to these things! You can hate the task at hand, but keeping a nice and happy demeanor really sets the tone when building working relationships.

How do I do this?

Well, each day before I walk into the building at work I make a choice to be positive and helpful for that day. These are real choices, people! It's so easy to go about your day with only your interests in mind, without thinking of the interests of others.  Obviously, you don't want to be a door mat, but I think the quality of your working relationships/environment can improve by making a few simple choices! :)

On another note, I was introduced to some new music this weekend that I love! Check out Crosby Loggins:




Ahhh so good. His first cd has been my afternoon commute music this week. 

I'm off to relax for the rest of the night. It's going to be a very busy next week or so. This weekend I have a wedding I have to go to, Maryland for work on Monday, then I'm moving next weekend! Exciting! :) I'll try to slip in another post between now and next weekend.

Have a fun weekend!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oreo Cupcakes

Dear bloggies, yesterday I accomplished an item off my Cooking Bucket List: Make icing from scratch!

Growing up, I never liked icing. Even on birthday cakes! I have even declined a piece of wedding cake (I know). Instead of birthday cakes, I had birthday ice cream cakes or boston cream pies. The reason I don't tend to care for icing is because it's sickingly sweet and there's too much! I always wished it could be more fluffy and airy and a tad less sweet.

Recently, my Dad got me a cupcake (I believe it was this one) from Crumbs Bake Shop in Arlington, VA and it had the PERFECT whipped topping! Light, airy, not too sweet. Ever since biting into that cupcake, I've been dying to recreate that whipped "frosting!"

Yesterday was the perfect occasion. My Dad and I were invited over to my cousin & her husband's house for dinner and I volunteered us to bring dessert. Recently, I saw a recipe for Oreo Cupcakes and I knew that would be the perfect dessert!

I used this Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcake recipe and this "icing" recipe:













Perfection.