Friday, December 17, 2010

Where am I?

What the hell? My only post in over a month is me trying to open a bottle of champaign with an oven mitt...well you may think that I've hit rock bottom, but here's the skinny - I haven't been posting my adventures in baking and crafting because I've been working on some top secret Christmas presents. I love Christmas...probably too much. I always go overboard. I force myself to make a SMALL list of people that I would like to make Christmas presents for. This list then explodes to include every freakin' person I've ever met...doesn't matter where they live, my heart will pay the asinine postage fee and go through the pain in the ass adventure of finding the right size box. Seriously, I love this stuff.

Since I love Christmas so much, I have to make my house look like Christmas spewed all over it. This begins with a lovely set of handmade ornaments! Evan and I always scout out the Martha Stewart page for holiday crafts and found this awesome set of easy ornaments to make at home.
These ornaments are made out of 1 cup of cinnamon, a bunch of craft glue, water, and some glam metallic craft paint and sequins. They take a bit of time to make, but they smell really good and they're really fun to decorate, especially if Christmas records are involved!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Poppin' Bottles is a Terrifying Process

Saturday, November 13, 2010

fat food

My friend's band, the Mother Z's, played the other night at the Elbo Room here in Chicago. This uber cute brother sister duo requested cupcakes and I pumped out these beauties - a double chocolate cupcake decorated with an almond "z" cookie. I used the chocolate cupcake recipe from vegan cupcakes take over the world, and I made up the chocolate buttercream by creaming 1/4 c. earth balance with 1/4 c. shortening, adding about a 1/3-1/2 c. cocoa, a bunch of powdered sugar, 1-2 tsp. vanilla extract, and water (ran out of soymilk). I got the cookie recipe from "the decorated cookie" blog. The flavor in these are really great, but it is a bit hard to manipulate the dough. I warmed up the frosting in the microwave so I could just dunk the cookies in the icing, but this just ended with burned finger tips and sloppy decoration - I was short on time, OK?
Y'all better hop on this gravy train. Tonight I made Suzanne and Michelle an extra special dinner, which included an epic menu of country fried seitan steaks, mashed potatoes, gravy, cornbread stuffing, pumpkin pie, and broccoli (i only cooked this out of some sick obligation to have something green on my plate). I used "Tomorrow Friendly Food" blog as a base for the country fried steaks and it turned out extra crispy and greasy - gotta love it! The mashed potatoes turned out wonderful - but it's pretty hard to screw those up, right? - and the stuffing turned out pretty good, but I think I'm going to stick to my traditional whole wheat bread. I made a non-sweet corn bread and cubed it along with some wheat bread. This was mixed with sauteed 1 c. onion & 1 c. celery, 3 c. no chicken broth, and a shit ton of poultry seasoning, 2 tsp. onion powder, and 2 tsp. tried parsley.

I haven't been able to stop drinking so much water ever since I finished my meal - I'm not surprised since I pretty much consumed a block of salt fit for a full grown horse.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kickin' Route 66 Style

Fuck Chicago. We're kickin' it route 66 style. Gwen and I have been wanting to take a day trip to get a little country air in our lungs and some corn in our face. Jesus H. Christ was it hard trying to find somewhere fun to go in the midwest for a day. Though we were faced with these challenges, Gwen and I grew up in the Midwest, so we are used to inventing our own fun...thus, a road trip along route 66 was born. We mapped out our trip from Chicago to Funks Grove, IL where we would stop at a series of quirky locations. These sites were so underwhelming...which made it overwhelmingly fun!

boo-bye, chicago!

polk-a-dot drive in - braidwood, il.

this is what vegans eat at diners...sweet lord i hope these were vegan.

the world needs more fiberglass statues.

where i should be - in between elvis and james dean.

wah wah waaaaaaaahh.

piss hole.

Barney Fife ain't got shit on me.

silo shadows

probably the most underwhelming site - a filled-in pedestrian tunnel.


Memory Lane in Lexington, which had a series of vintage billboards along a mile stretch of original route 66.

Chapel of the Temple Trees in Funks Grove, IL

pumpkin cat.

pumpkin cat.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Our obsession with holiday fare carries on. Evan and I decided to bake a pumpkin cake (pumpkin in both flavor AND form) with a vanilla pumpkin buttercream. I got the cake recipe from (frosting recipe our own creation), and while our cake doesn't display such fancy decoration, ours is in the shape of a pumpkin, which obviously dominates. Adding to the halloween festivities included halloween pandora...which wasn't very halloween-y and Troll 2.

Monday, October 25, 2010

a lil' bit o' craft

The small third bedroom in our apartment was one of the prime factors for me in making our final decision on choosing our home. I told myself that I would transform it into a sewing/crafting room where I would rediscover the creativity that I had cultivated before college. College crushed it. I'm reclaiming it.

Here is a little bit of an update on things that I've been working on. I've come up with a lot of fun ideas, but I have yet to execute many of them due to the lack of supplies and the pain in the ass bike ride to Jo-ann's. I've mainly been focusing on sewn houseware items, specifically aprons, but in light of not having tracing paper, I've resorted to making crafts with the items I have on hand.

The first of these are ric rac broaches. I have designated a ric rac bag, which I hang on my bed frame, and make these while I watch Pushing Daisies. p.s. i have no life.

Tonight I started making a garland out of the Spanish Bingo cards that I bought at the Walgreens by my house. Once again, living in Humboldt Park has worked towards my greatest advantage. I'm in love with the pictures and have been trying to think of some ways to use them. The first of these has been transforming one of the cards into a dirty dishes/clean dishes sign on our dishwasher since it's so hard to tell the damn difference. The small cards I thought would suit well as a cute garland. I've added some bows of polka dot ribbon that has been in my sewing kit forever, but unfortunately I ran out.

I also sewed a set of curtains for our wonky three front windows. Curtain selection is absolutely terrible and you bet I'm not wasting my money on any of the shit they have at Urban Outfitters and I'm sure as hell not going to drive my ass to Ikea.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Hunting

It's mid-October. I'm gonna carve a fucking pumpkin. Last time I was biking to Logan Square I spotted this gem of a pumpkin lot located across the street from an ihop and a walgreens. Once again, I've found a little slice of good ol' Indiana in the city. This thing looks exactly like those christmas tree lots featured in a Christmas Story and holiday episodes of Family Matters. In fact, "the pumpkin keeper" (the name we assigned for the guy running the place) looks like a character straight out of Pete & Pete.

Gwen and I picked two pumpkins and a bunch of indian corn to hang on our front door. The process of picking your pumpkin soulmate is so exciting! Everyone has specific criteria for their perfect pumpkin - cute small size, long stem, nice color, etc. You'll comb the fields for hours looking for not only pumpkins that fit your qualifications, but ones that stand out from the others. And once you've found your significant pumpkin, you squeal! Well that's what I did.

I found him!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bucktown Apple Pie Contest

so frickin' cute.

So...I didn't win...but I still had fun! The crazy amount of kitchiness compacted into one small space made my heart explode with happiness. There were 140 different apple pies, face painting, pumpkin painting, square dancing, bluegrass, and a bouncy house. To put it simply, I was in heaven. It was like having a tiny slice of my Indiana home in Chicago, which I miss oh so much.

it's your big day, uncle apple!

best friend matching face paint!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Sunday Brunch

Fuck work. Make brunch. - This was my mantra for Sunday, and it worked surprisingly well. I made fancy vegan french toast, which included some strawberries, bananas, and, of course, aunt jemima - side note - gwen and i have almost gone through a whole large bottle of aunt jemima in under a month...we're disgusting. For this brunch we decided to watch an episode of doug - Doug is the most anxious and self conscious cartoon character on tv.

Sunday's weather called for a big pot of chili and corn bread, so once dinner hit, I invited stephanie over and made what i call "Xtreme Monster Chili." I have never created something so excessive in my life - it looks like I was cooking for a crew of construction workers rather than 3 women. I sauteed chopped onion and garlic and added 6 cans of beans and stewed tomatoes. I then added a layer of corn bread on top of this concoction, which was added by another batch of corn bread because stephanie and i thought it was a good idea. This is what made "Monster Chili" into "Xtreme Monster Chili."