Monday, February 28, 2011

Quiche, Or, As I Describe It to JP: Savory Pie!

Did you see the Oscars last night? It was SO awkward!
And, as discussed previously, although I am interested in the winners, I don’t always watch the Oscars awards show, and now I remember why. NEVER AGAIN!

The only decent part of the whole thing.

Last night, I watched the Oscars at my friend Heather’s, but let’s just say the company was much better than the entertainment. The food was good too! Heather provided all these awesome finger foods as well as some super-yummy homemade popcorn in mini cardboard popcorn tubs; what a hostess! I had just survived a crazy week, but I did have some extra roasted asparagus and mushrooms in the fridge, so I modified this recipe to make two pans of deliciously awesome quiche, one of which I took to the party and one of which I will be eating for breakfast every day this week:
Asparagus and Bacon Quiche
·         1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½ inch pieces
·         10 slices bacon
·         2 frozen pie shells
·         1 egg white, lightly beaten
·         4 eggs        
·         1 ½ cups half-and-half
·         2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (I had Gouda in the fridge, so I used that instead; it was very goud-a. Haha.)
·         ¼ t ground nutmeg
·         salt and pepper to taste
1.       Preheat oven to 400° F.
2.       Place asparagus in a steamer over 1 in. of boiling water and cover. Cook until tender but firm, about 2 to 6 minutes. Drain and cool.
3.       Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, (wait for it to cool!) crumble, and set aside.
4.       Brush pie shells with beaten egg white. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and chopped asparagus into pie shells.
5.       In a bowl, beat together eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sprinkle cheese over bacon and asparagus. Pour egg mixture on top.
6.       Bake uncovered in preheated oven until firm, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before serving.
One of my favorite things about quiche is, as long as you get the egg to half-and-half ratio right, you can make a number of substitutions depending on what you have on hand. For example, if you don’t have any bacon, you can’t go wrong subbing in ham, chicken, sausage, or even small pieces of steak. The same goes for cheese; as long as you have a hard cheese you’re probably good to go (RE: soft cheeses [feta, goat cheese, etc.], the amount you need may differ, so use your own best judgment). And like I said, I had some extra mushrooms, so I threw those in too. With all these substitutions, this recipe definitely makes for an easy dish that’s good enough to eat at home but still dressy enough to do you credit in public.
Do you have any good in or out go-to recipes? Also, did you watch the Oscars, and if so, were you as weirded out as me?
p.s. This article on 20 sun-based songs is really brightening up my day. My favorite is “Sunlight” by The Harlem Shakes!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

John Prine, Or, How I Am the Best Daughter EVER

When I was growing up, my dad used to drive around this ancient, black Ford Bronco. I think it was an ’84 (like me), and he drove it from the time I was 10 until around my first year of high school. I feel like the air conditioner in it must not have worked because what I remember most about it was how stale it was in there, no matter the season. In the summer it was hot and stale, like stepping into a wood shed; in winter it was cold and stale, like stepping into an attic. Another key element of this vehicle, though, was that it only had a tape deck, AND, for whatever reason, my dad owned approximately three tapes during this period: Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersInto the Great Wide Open , Melissa Etheridge’s Your Little Secret (?), and John Prine’s Greatest Days: A John Prine Anthology, all of which were rotated on an endless loop.

This song brings me back to that Bronco every time.
But back to the post, my dad LOVES John Prine. Even back then, he would tell me to stop my preteen jibba jabbin’ and really listen to Prine’s words. Prine is a country/folk guy along the lines (if not the fame) of Bob Dylan, and he’s always been known for his clever wordplay. It cracked my dad up that he could come up with lyrics like:

Last time I checked my bankroll,/
It was gettin' thin/
Sometimes it seems like the bottom/
Is the only place I've been/
I chased a rainbow down a one-way street... dead end/
And all my friends turned out to be insurance salesmen.

That “insurance salesmen” line is a throwaway, but it in an AMAZING/amazingly apt analogy.
Now my dad writes songs himself, and you can tell that Prine truly inspired him:
Stomped into our trailer/
With the 12-gauge from his truck/
Passed several mounds of deer heads/
Like a choir of singing bucks.

So when I discovered that John Prine was paying one-night-only show at the Fox in Atlanta, I knew I had to get my dad tickets. And it was SO GREAT when I gave them to him Christmas morning; he is notoriously stoic when it comes to receiving gifts, but when he pulled the tickets from their envelope and read that the headliner was his all-time favorite, John Prine, his face broke into a wide grin.  

WHICH IS WHY I am the best daughter EVER and why we are going together to that concert tomorrow night!
SO, in honor of Music Thursday, I present to you a classic from JP himself:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


This past weekend I attended a Photoshop workshop at SCAD—Atlanta. In it, I learned about each of program’s tools and their uses and how to better utilize the layers feature to my advantage (“La-yers!” [I scream, as I shake my fist at the sky.]). Regarding the few things with which I was already familiar, the instructor showed me faster and easier methods to go about them, which will allow me to become a Photoshop MASTER!
Haha! Here is the movie poster I made. It is literally THE WORST, but in making it, I learned some cool stuff,
so please disregard its ridiculousness. (Also, don’t you love Mel Gibson’s CRAZY face?!)
I am a big fan of continuing education, and after months of heckling, my work finally agreed to pay for this. And, nerd that I am, I was pretty excited! And it ended up being pretty good; I learned a lot, which was cool, but we went pretty slowly, and each day was 8 hours, so it was kind of like I spent all weekend at work.
One thing that KILLED me about the workshop, though, was that there were two mom-age ladies and a girl my age from the Soviet Bloc (I don’t know; she had a Russian-type accent!) who not only were beginners to Photoshop, they were beginners to computing in general! For example, when we had to do a Google search to find an image to work with, they were all like, “Wait. What now? Where is Google?” SIGH. I thought the class was Intro to Photoshop, not Intro to Basic Internet-Based Searches!
Literal quote from a lady: “I’m lost. Where do I find the desktop?”
The SCAD—Atlanta building is really cool, though, and if you get a chance, you should definitely check it out. The building is so multi-purpose and design-y, it’s almost as if the building itself is a brochure for the school. There are neat art installations and projects posted everywhere, and the cafeteria looks like a movie set for an art school cafeteria. It makes me want to take classes there regularly! But, alas, as I am not made of dollars, I will continue to squeeze weekend workshops out of my company whenever I get the chance.

Have you ever taken any continuing ed-type workshops? If so, were they awesome, or were they the worst?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There’s No Business Like Show Business

OK, this is what a nerd I am: I am so excited about Broadway Across America releasing its lineup for the 2011-2012 season in Atlanta that today’s Music Thursday going to celebrate songs from those very shows!

And the lineup is:
Wicked: Sept. 14–Oct. 9, 2011
Loosely based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, this musical takes the story of The Wizard of Oz and re-envisions it from the “wicked” witch’s perspective. It’s also one of my all-time faves!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical: Nov. 29–Dec. 4, 2011
Based on Dr. Suess’ seasonal favorite, this show is sure to be a Christmastime crowd pleaser.
Memphis: Jan. 31–Feb. 5, 2012
This musical tells the semi-biographical story of Dewey Phillips, the first white DJ to play black music in the 1950s.
Billy Elliot: The Musical: March 14–20, 2012
Featuring music by Sir Elton John, it was only a matter of time before the musical, based on the film about a motherless boy who eschews boxing for ballet, was reworked for Broadway.

Les Miserables: April 24–29, 2012
This Broadway standard is based on the eponymous French novel that chronicles the life of ex-convict Jean Valjean from 1815 through the 1832 June Rebellion. This fact-based synopsis does not give this amazing musical credit.
Jersey Boys: May 22–27, 2012
This biographical musical documents the story of the 1960s rock band The Four Seasons through its music. Great show; take your mom!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

anthropologie + weddings = lurve

OK, so I’m in ♥ with anthropologie’s new wedding web site BHLDN. Everything on it is so beautiful, and I feel like really gets to the heart of what brides of the teens (is that what we’re calling this decade?) are looking for. As I confessed to you in a previous post, I have been creeping on wedding blogs for years; not because I love weddings specifically, but because I find the aesthetics of it all so intriguing, and I would just like to add BHLDN here as an id est to my earlier statement. Seriously, if I were a businessman (ha!), I would predict that this operation will do very well.

Addendum: I do not, nor have I ever worked for BHLDN or any of its affiliates. They did not pay me to write this post. Seriously, though, if they’d like to, they could just shoot me an email. Literally. Any. Time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Crowdsourcing Photogs!

You know what I love? Getting advice. Well, actually I love giving it a lot more, but that’s another story for another day. Seriously, though, when faced with a situation I just don’t have that much experience with, I like to ask around and get some opinions of other people. WHICH IS WHY today I am going to crowdsource my wedding photographer situation.
So, as I mentioned the other day, I’m getting married in September, and instead of running around like a crazy person, I’m trying to knock things off my to-do list one at a time until I can walk down the aisle without having given myself a heart attack in the process. Right now, I’m in the middle of trying to book a photographer. I feel like it’s something I need to wrap up in the next few weeks because, seriously, the good ones are dropping like flies (as in they are getting booked, not dying), AND it would give me some peace of mind to check another thing off my list.
I think I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to my top three, two of which I’m scheduled to meet with within the next week. All three cost about the same, so that’s not really the issue…
So my question is, which one of these do YOU like the best? Whose style do you prefer?
·         Anna and Spencer
·         Three Pennies
·         Tina Rowden
I will take any questions, comments, or suggestions on this. Let me know what you think!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Apples in Stereo

It’s Thursday again, and that means it’s Music Day on the old Love, Love, Love It! Blog. And today, I’m going to talk a little bit about The Apples in Stereo.
I was introduced to the band last year when a friend sent me this video:

Isn’t Elijah Wood adorable? He’s so young-looking; I feel like I have a middle school crush on him.
Also, this video is BANANAS.
Love it! Seriously. I immediately got that album (Travellers in Space and Time) on itunes. It’s so fun and dance-y! And although I’m not a typically electro-pop kind of girl, I really like this album; it seems so 60s-inspired.
However, when poking around ye old interwebz to write a better post for you (you’re welcome), I found out that the album I have isn’t actually representative of the band’s sound at all. In fact, it’s a concept album intended more as a “time capsule for listeners of the future.” Neat?
SO, since the album I had and the band's earlier music were reportedly pretty different, I decided to investigate. Umm…totally worth it! The songs I listened to (from #1 Hits Explosion) had the same catchy tunes and 60s-inspired rhythms as Travellers in Space and Time but minus the electric stylings (which I was pretty happy to lose anyway). My favorites were “Ruby” and “The Bird that You Can’t See”.

I feel like the lead singer, Robert Schneider (not to be confused with Rob Schneider) has a really neat voice!
Anyway, I ♥ this band. You should check them out. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


OK, so I’ve been interested in writing a new post for days now, but I didn’t have anything that I was really moved to write an entire post about. I’m like halfway through three different books, I watched The Town over the weekend (not exactly what my college professors would deem “newsworthy”), and I haven’t been out and about on the streets of Atlanta lately because a) it’s winter and b) I have to save all my dumb dollars for my wedding this September (I mean, people tell you that stuff’s expensive, but no, really, it’s nuts.)
So INSTEAD of talking about my media habits a/o my lack of recent adventures, I’m going to give intershoutouts (internet + shoutouts) to some sites that have been keeping me occupied during down time in my cube.
When Parents Text—a blog where people submit text exchanges from their parents, typically one part wacky parental advice and two parts technology-based hijinks. This site is basically the story of my life. It’s like Texts from Last Night, but I think it’s funnier, in part because I can relate more but also because it’s more light-hearted? I don’t know; I just like it. I literally LOL’d at my desk, which is always worth it, even when (especially when?) it gets me the stink-eye from my cube neighbor.
Do you want waffles or muffins for breakfast? Just text “A1” for waffles or “B1” for muffins.
Why did you go through all that trouble? Why can’t I just text “waffles” or “muffins”?
We are texting in code! ;););) :)
A1 or B1?
Mom. Yes.
I think I would rather have muffins. I’m making muffins
Thought black I peas were good! That furbie chick is hot

COLOURlovers—a site where you can create/compare color palettes/trends on a social network/blog-type setup. This site is so neat! I may be a nerd or whatever, but I found this site yesterday and was having so much fun goofing around on it. I doubt I’ll spend a lot of time on it connecting to other color/design nerds, but it was pretty cool to see what other people had come up with. And I “invented” this color:

Style Me Pretty—a gorgeous wedding blog featuring a ton o’ photos of real-life weddings. So I love this wedding blog. All of the pictures are SO beautiful! Since this blog is a No Fronting Zone (NFZ), I will admit that I have been reading this blog for approximately two years. I KNOW I just got engaged like two months ago, but I don’t read it for the wedding part! In the same way I was interested in that color site, I think I just like reading about design/aesthetics. Also, it is well-written. Don’t judge me!
And finally, call me a softie, but this was my favorite Super Bowl commercial:

You can see the actor’s tiny, adorable face here. 
Do you have any intershoutouts? Are there any blogs/sites you love but read with a secret shame??

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The King Is Dead...Or Is He?

It’s Thursday! And on the Love, Love, Love It! blog that means we’re going to talk about muzak (I just decided. Go with it.). AND the music we’re going to talk about today is…The Decemberist’s new album: The King is Dead. Shocker: I love it! But it’s not just me! This album is was number one on the Billboard charts, people. Seriously, I hope this means you’re all sitting at your desks listening to it right now.
Lead singer Colin Meloy is my indie rock boyfriend. This pic makes me want to buy fake hipster
glasses and force JP to wear them.
As far as indie rock bands are concerned, The Decemberists are very well known (so well known, in fact, that true indie rock fans will probably say that they only liked the albums the band released before they were discovered). They’ve even performed on Late Night with Conan and The Colbert Report. Whatever. I still think they’re great, and if you are unfamiliar with the band or even just their latest album, I highly recommend you check out The King is Dead BECAUSE IT IS GREAT.
I fell in © with this band after I heard “July, July!” on my local college radio station.

And I’m not going to lie, even though I’ve remained a steadfast fan, for the past few years their music has gotten a little too art-y for casual listening. Some of the songs were really cool, but they weren’t really something you wanted to play as a soundtrack to your typical workday (my main practice re: music these days).
But it seems like this album really hearkens back to a few years ago when the rhymes were light and each song operated as an individual unit. I think my favorite song on this album is “Rox in the Box”. Even though it reminds me a little of Dr. Seuss, it is catchy and rhymey and great.

So I guess what I'm saying is: Check out this fabulous album immediately if not sooner!

Are you a Decemberists fan? Have I just changed your life forever?!
Props to my amazing friend Matthew for hooking me up with this CD.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

An Early Spring

I’m probably totally alone in this one, but I love nice (warm) weather. It just makes everything that much better.
This past weekend it was approximately 70°F here in Atlanta, and it felt GREAT. My friend Heather and I went to the Piedmont Park Dog Park with her dog, Ilsa, and it was wonderful. The dogs were having a great time. We were having a great time. I even got a little sunburn on my face, which made me look a lot healthier but which threw off my body’s temperature balance like whoa. Regardless, totally worth it.
Alas, last weekend’s weather was just a tease, and we are now back to gray skies and the mid-40s. Although, I am counting my blessings because Georgia definitely got off easy this time (Sorry, rest of the country!). Also, I’m extra pleased because Punxsutawney Phil (the go-to source in groundhog predictions) and General Beauregard Lee (who apparently has a DWP [Doctor of Weather Prognostication] from the University of Georgia???) have predicted an early spring, and I am so ready.

Groundhogs look more like squirrels than you would think.
Groundhog Day is such a weird day. Wikipedia (definitely the most reliable source on the internet) says that there are two(ish) explanations for its origins: The first possibility is that it’s a European tradition (which the Pennsylvania Germans kept up in the United States) of using a bear or badger to predict the weather a few weeks shy of spring—around Candlemas if you’re Catholic and Imbolc if you’re Pagan. The other possibility is similar but has more to do with how a lot of confusion arose when they were trying to switch from the Pagan calendar to the Catholic one and people couldn’t remember/figure out when things were actually supposed to happen. So it became a tradition to allow an arbiter, in this case a groundhog or a hedgehog, decide. It all sounds kind of nuts, but I’m sure there are a lot of things that you do with your friends that you think are real clever or funny, but if it were to actually become a thing that people actually did, the origin story would be weird. Remember that.
Also, prior to this blog post, I was definitely calling it Groundhog’s Day, as in it belonged to the groundhog. Not correct. Just FYI.
In other news, this song is great, and it totally encapsulates my longing for spring. Now I’m just going to bask in the glow of this past weekend until spring decides to actually show up for real.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kapa Dawgs

It’s that time of year again—the Super Bowl! And although I’d rather be watching the Puppy Bowl, I’ll have to suck it up yet again in the name of love and domestic serenity.
Sigh. However, when adorable puppies are not an option, the only alternative is to eat delicious snacks. WHICH IS WHY I decided to participate in Rachel Wilkerson’s January Project Tasteless Challenge. Rachel’s blog is awesome (when I blog up, I want to blog just like her!), so I thought it would be fun to throw my hat into the ring this month, particularly since the theme is “Please Let Me Infiltrate the Man Cave,” which may as well be the theme of my life.
Anyway, I actually missed the deadline (hey, that’s how I roll), but I still wanted to share my recipe because let’s face it—it’s awesome. To help me infiltrate the man cave, I’m employing pigs in a blanket, an old standby, with a spicy twist. Fun fact: When I got this recipe from my college roommate’s mom (Hey, Judy!), it came with an appropriately tasteless name (Dawg D*cks), which, as you can see, I have renamed in honor of their family.
Kapa Dawgs are delicious, totally Super Bowl-worthy, and I promise you will never go back to your sad, naked-beneath-the-blanket pigs again!
  • 2 packages refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 2 3-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 t prepared horseradish
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 32 cocktail wieners

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles.  Cut each triangle in half lengthwise. (Placing the cans in the freezer for about 10 minutes definitely helps with the cutting process.)
In a bowl, mix the next four ingredients together until well-blended and smooth.
Spread a glob (mmm…glob) of the mixture onto each of the triangles, then place a wiener (haha) at the base of each triangle and roll up.
Place each roll seam-side down onto a baking sheet, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, let cool, then eat.