Monday, November 21, 2011

And then there was Pie.

In recent years, I've provided the pies for my family's Thanksgiving celebration. I started out only doing pumpkin, then I expanded my repertoire to include apple. My pumpkin pies have always been a source of pride for me - I get super decorative with them and basically act like I slaved all day to create this amazing example of pie-ness, when in reality the decorations I use are extremely easy to make. Evidence of pumpkin deliciousness below, including my creepy finger.
ooooh, ahhhh etc. 
I also make Oreo cookies that look like turkeys with two girls who I used to babysit when they were younger - but now we just enjoy hanging out together, so every year we get together on Thanksgiving and make the cookies for our individual celebrations. Unfortunately we aren't going to be able to get together this year, so I will be going about my Oreo turkey making solo (tear). If you want to make these for your own celebration they're quite easy - take an oreo cookie, cover the top in chocolate frosting, add a chocolate kiss at one edge of the circle, then fill the remaining space with candy corn. Finally, use frosting as glue to attach a red hot to the tip of the chocolate kiss to make the gobbler. Pretty cute. I personally think they taste disgusting so I never eat mine, but others appear to like them and they're just so darn cute. Don't they look festive??

Anyway, on to the point of this post. Before Thanksgiving every year, I have a trial period where I test my pie recipes to make sure that they're as good as they can be on the actual day. I intended to do trial runs of my apple and pumpkin pies this weekend. I got all the ingredients at the store and cleaned the kitchen in preparation. Then I realized that I had only kept 1 pie plate out of storage (I have many...don't judge). So I walked over to Rite Aid to get the disposable kind, only to find that they do not carry them. If you want a shake weight or a cake pan in the shape of a SNOWMAN'S FACE, Rite Aid is the place for you. Pie plates? No. 

Ab. Surd. 

So anyway, I could only make one pie. Sad times. I decided to do the apple since I've done the pumpkin so many times - and last year the apple pie crust fell apart and left me in the kitchen around 2 am having a panic attack and throwing dough in the trash only to start over again anew (wheeee!). I figured I could use as much practice as possible. 

I used this crust recipe and this pie recipe. If you ever intend to make a pie again - or for the first time, whatever the case may be - MAKE SURE you read that tutorial first. I have made so many pies and had so many frustrating experiences with the crust falling apart - but the method of rolling the dough out between parchment paper/wax paper SAVED MY LIFE yesterday. It seriously is life-changing. Plus, then you don't have to wash your rolling pin and try to get the residue from shortening/butter off of it, which let's be real never really is 100% clean again. So anyway - make your crust that way!! 

Here's the pie in its different life stages:

childhood - with caramel topping poured on but before baking

adulthood - out of the oven!

I recommend that you try the above recipes, they're very easy to follow and the apple pie that results is another one of those recipes that seems like way more effort went into it than actually did. Which is always awesome.

Oh, and now please enjoy a gratuitous cute beagle pic. He's super soft. Mugsy gets all the love on this blog, so wanted to throw some Ronin's way:

where's my pie?

I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving and gets to have all the different foods they want to eat! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I'll regret this later

I'm not sure how many of you have heard this story...and I'm sure I'm going to get mocked endlessly about this, but I just thought of it randomly and started laughing so I thought it would be worth sharing...because the humor that can be derived from this story is relatively more important than the amount of damage my ego will sustain by sharing it.

A while back (around March of 2010) I got a personal trainer. You guys have heard the beginning of this story and you're probably thinking "I remember this..." but I'm pretty sure you've never heard this next part.

So I got a personal trainer. He was roughly 5 years old, but he looked like Channing Tatum (and none of you ever met him, so you can't refute that statement). After a few weeks of sessions, he asked if I'd like to have lunch with him over the weekend. I agreed to it (what did I have to lose? answer: dignity), but we never ended up going to lunch. He made up a reason why, I believed it (see above re: loss of dignity), and he asked if he could make it up to me by cooking dinner for me at his apartment the next night.

In the course of our training sessions, he'd occasionally mention a roommate. So I was thinking to myself "Hmmm, chances he's trying to lure me to his apartment to murder me are significantly reduced by the fact that he has a roommate, so I'll go with it." (Shhhh, just let the story happen.) So I go to his apartment the next night, and lo and behold, it's a one bedroom apartment. When I asked about the mysterious, seemingly non-existent roommate, he told me that he'd moved to this new apartment within the last week. Add ten murder points.

So, with my chances of being murdered back at a higher level, I chose the chair right next to the door (subtract five murder points). Joe (the trainer) starts cooking dinner across the room in the kitchen. The door keeps making noises as if it's being opened (his accomplice, perhaps?), so he looks over his shoulder at me and asks me to throw the deadbolt on the door, at which point I was pretty sure my chances of being murdered were reaching 100%.

He's cooking chicken and cutting it up with this gigantic knife before he throws it in the pan, and as he's cooking he's telling me a story. For the sake of the story, at one point he walks over to me, knife in hand, and grabs one of my shoulders while gesturing with the knife in his other hand. At this point I legit thought about screaming and making a run for it...but clearly, he did not in fact murder me.

So I'm telling this story to my friend Heather the next day after she asks how it went and I tell her everything above, ending the story with "But luckily, he didn't murder me, and the chicken was pretty good."

Heather's response: "I'm unclear as to why you went alone to his apartment when you thought there was ANY chance, let alone a GOOD chance, that the night would end in your murder."

Things that make me awkward #324326

...when I'm sitting at my desk listening to music and I sneeze, but I can't hear if anyone says "Bless you" so in order to not be rude I just wait a few seconds then tentatively say "Thank you...?"

Pay it Forward

This afternoon I decided to leave the office and go to Chipotle to pick up lunch. To get out of the Chipotle parking lot, you basically have to risk your life and pull halfway into the road to see if there is oncoming traffic. Problem being, if there is, it is probably going to plow you down the road as soon as you can see it.

So I'm inching my car into traffic, trying to see if I can make it, and this kind pedestrian who is waiting to cross the street and can see around the parked cars that are obstructing my view holds his hand up to me to indicate that it isn't clear for me to pull out into traffic, and then once it is, waves me along.

I thought that was just the nicest thing. So just thought I'd share.

Oh, and then I ate a burrito the size of a baby and a bag of chips. Did you know that if you train for & run a marathon, it is NOT a guarantee that you will be marathon skinny for the rest of your life without working out ever?

So...remind me why I did that?

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

I'm dreaming...

Does the song "White Christmas" remind anyone else exclusively of the movie Home Alone?

Is anyone else already listening to Christmas music?



Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Spooky Scary!

As promised, Mugsy dressed up as a banana yesterday. There is photographic evidence.

Banana on the loose! I was cracking up pretty much the entire time I was walking him and he was dressed this way.

I think he was feeling insecure because not many other doggies in the park were wearing costumes. 
what did i do to you, lady?

Luckily, Ronin was on his side in his assless-chaps/glow in the dark skeleton costume. (Ronin spent the remainder of the night wriggling around and trying to bite the costume off of himself).

We all had a great time, but no one was handing out doggy treats when they walked around so we went home pretty quickly to prepare for the Baltimore trick or treaters, a ragtag group that wins the awards for worst trick or treating manners ever, as well as fewest actual costumes ever and most adults trick or treating!

This morning, we went to the vet to get their shots updated so that Ronin can join Mugsy at doggy daycare from now on. 
as you can tell, the dogs appear to be plotting their escape. Costumes + vet in 24 hours...they're pissed.