Monday, December 22, 2008

Favorite Brewery of 2008

This year, I discovered the Laguinitas Brewery, thanks to my new favorite beer store, The Perfect Pour, otherwise known as beer heaven. Everything I've tasted by this brewery has been top notch. They have a terrific line of beers in honor of the albums of Frank Zappa. I highly recommend trying one of their beers soon!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Albums I Should Have Bought in 2008

I do have a short list of albums I didn't get around to buying or listening to in 2008. Hopefully, I'll get them with my gift certificates :) Here's that list.

Girl Talk - "Feed the Animals"

I somehow still haven't gotten this, despite being able to pay what you want for it.

Hold Steady - "Stay Positive"

The songs I heard on the radio from this album sounded interesting and not annoying like every other Hold Steady song I've heard.

Portishead - "Third"

I swear I have picked up this album 10x at the store and put it back every time. I love Portishead and don't know why I didn't get it!

I also wanted the new Sigur Ros album, but I'm too lazy to look for a picture of it (or the album's name...)

Favorite Albums of 2008

2008 was a slow music year for me. I didn't go to many shows (2, to be exact) and found many of the "new" bands to be completely uninteresting. But, there were some gems released in 2008. Here's my list of favorites:

Marnie Stern - "This Is It and I Am It and You Are It and So Is That and He Is It and She Is It and It Is It and That Is That"

Listening to this album makes me wish these songs were available to play on Guitar Hero. I've never heard anyone play the guitar this way, and the fact that she's a girl just makes this music that much cooler. Thank you Bust magazine for introducing me to this quirky, cute album. (and if you're a girl and you don't subscribe to Bust magazine, please do so immediately)

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!"

I finally listened to Nick Cave this year. I can't say that I love this entire album, but "Dig Lazarus Dig!!!" was definitely my favorite song of the year. I think Grinderman is a better album, but this one has some gems too.

Jenny Lewis - "Acid Tongue"

I think Jenny Lewis has one of the prettiest singing voices ever. These songs aren't as good as those on her previous effort, "Rabbit Fur Coat", but it's still worth a listen.

The Walkmen - "You and Me"

This album wins my favorite cover art of the year. I love the lead singer's voice. Some people may find it grating, but I think it's comforting. This album sounds different, and dreamy, and nice.

Deerhunter - "Microcastle/Weird Era Cont."

This Deerhunter album has been on constant rotation at my house since we bought it. Fantastic Friday night drinking red wine music, or if you just need a break from your stressful day.

and top three albums of the year....

Santogold - "Santogold"

I could not wait for this album to be released. It was almost ruined for me because of all the advertisements in which these songs were featured, but it's still one of my favorite albums of the year. Super fun summer album.

Fleet Foxes - "Fleet Foxes"

The harmonies remind me of the Beach Boys, and I think this album sounds beautiful. I don't understand why some think it's overrated. Is it the best thing ever? No, but it's definitely one of the best of 2008.

TV on the Radio - "Dear Science"

I really didn't like the first TV on the Radio album, and didn't want to listen to this one at all. But, I kept hearing the single on the radio, so I gave this album a try, and loved every song. I couldn't stop listening to it after I first bought it. It's my favorite album of the year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cute of the Week

Cookies and Balls

Most of this weekend was spent making cookies for the holidays. This year, the chosen cookies were as follows:

Spritz: A family staple, in vanilla and almond varieties. Spritz are easy to make with a cookie press. My Nana used to send me huge tins of these when I was in college. They rarely lasted more than one day! They are my personal favorite.

Spritz with cinnamon!

Green Tree Spritz!

Raspberry Thumbprints: I bought the holiday edition of Cook's Illustrated and immediately wanted to make everything in this issue. These cookies were featured, and they taste excellent. I liked their hint to bake the cookies for 10 mins, then take them out of the oven, define the thumbprints with the back of a teaspoon, fill, and bake completely. They turned out wonderfully!


Rosemary Butter Cookies: My friend Meg handed these out a few years ago, and we all asked for the recipe. Lucky for us, these cookies won the Baltimore Sun Baking Challenge, so all we had to do was pick up a paper! These are requested each year and have become a new tradition in my family.

Rosemary Butter Cookies!

Peanut Butter Balls: My friend Meri is the queen of cookie making. Her cookies always taste the best, and she makes kick ass peanut butter balls. This year, she was nice enough to pass the recipe on to me. I think they came out pretty well considering this was my first time ever making candy!

Peanut Butter Balls Before Dipping!

Covered in Chocolate!

After everything was made, I packaged some for giving to co-workers, friends, and family. I found cute takeout containers at Target for the candy!

Packaged cookies!

Take-out boxes!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wall-E on DVD!

Wall-E just came out on DVD. If you didn't see it in the theater, you missed seeing the cutest movie ever. Go buy yourself a copy, because you'll want to see it all the time! Yes, I'm a little obsessed, but he's super cute!

Goodbye, Fall

A few weekends ago, my husband and I said goodbye to fall by making apple pie and applesauce with the apples leftover from apple picking day. Goodbye, fall! We look forward to seeing you next year!

Photo montage:

Essential Apple Pie and Applesauce Making Music!

Essential Drinks!

Apple about to get peeled, cored, and sliced!

Apple peeled, cored and sliced!

Apple Pie Before Oven!

Apple Pie After Oven!

Apples in Stockpot!

Apples in Squeezo Hopper!



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yummy Yogurt

This week, I bought a few of the yogurts made by Rachel's. They are trademarked as being "wickedly delicious", so I couldn't resist. So far, they are pretty yummy. I tried the Strawberry, Orange, Mango from the exotic flavors line and the Plum Lavender and Vanilla Chai from the essence line.

I won't lie, I was sucked in by the pretty packaging and flavor names. I wasn't really a fan of the Plum Lavender, but the other two were pretty great, with nice, subtle flavors and smooth texture. If you're in yoplait flavor boredom like me (except when it comes to Strawberry Cheesecake or Cherry), I'd recommend them.

Pics below of their pretty labels:

Funny or Torture?

Andrew Sullivan had this posted on his blog and I had to steal it for my own...

Monday, November 10, 2008


Just a quick post to say that, for the first time in 8 years, I am excited about who the American people elected president. I am so glad the Bush years are over, and I cannot wait to see diplomacy return to the white house.

Congratulations, America! You did it!


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Off the Needles

I started and finished this hat today! My friend asked me to knit them for her friend, who is having twins soon. Since my cat is an unwilling model (and I'd rather not get cat hair on the hats), Homer agreed to pose...

Do Not Want

I just saw stirrup jeans on sale at Please say it isn't so. Stirrup pants are one thing from the 80's that should not come back from the fashion graveyard. Weren't leggings bad enough?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day!

I hope everyone goes to vote today!

I went to the polls in Maryland this morning to find a line of about 20 people waiting to vote at 6:45am. This is the first time I've actually waited in line to vote. I drove past 3 other polling places on my way into work and they all had lines extending out the door. It's amazing how many people were there!

Election Day has always been exciting for me. When I was growing up, I used to stay up late with my Mom and watch the results. I can't wait to watch tonight, and I think it will finally be good news.

On my way out of the building, an electioneer for Obama turned and asked me if we made history today. I hope so, sir. I hope so.

Friday, October 31, 2008

30 Rock!

30 Rock premiered last night and I was reminded why this is the best show on tv that no one is watching. Start watching it people! I don't want what happened to Arrested Development to happen to this show!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Treehouse of Horror

I know I've been heavy on the videos lately, but here's one more. I have to admit to not watching most episodes of The Simpsons these past few years, but I try to at least watch the Treehouse of Horror. This year's episode contains a cute Mad Men spoof.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Coolest Cake Ever

This bakery made the coolest cake ever. How wonderful.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Favorite Store

You know you're getting older when you feel like all the clothes in your closet need to go. I am trying to abandon my previously frumpy ways and move towards a more tailored look. My problem has been mostly that the clothing in stores like Ann Taylor still seems too old to me, and the prices at JCrew as of late have pretty much made their clothes not affordable anymore. (I'll save my rant of high prices and decreasing quality at JCrew for another time).

Enter Martin+Osa. They are the latest store from the Aberslutty/American Eagle Brand. Their clothes are wonderful. Plain, simple, and pretty. I realize that I'm being marketed to here, and I don't care. These clothes are made for those of us wanting to shed our college thrift store clothes for something just a little more refined.

Visit their website here.

My New Favorite Chip!

UTZ has a wonderful salt and malt vinegar potato chip now in their "Kettle Classics" line. Maybe it's been around for a while, but I just found it. It tastes almost identical to Thrasher's french fries.

They are available in most grocery stores right now. Go try some!

Strawberry Shortcake Cereal

I used to love this cereal. I wish that if they were going to bring back all of our 80's toys like Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, My Little Pony, and the like, that they would also bring back all the delicious food tie-ins that were available in the 80's. Like this cereal:


I don't know why everyone isn't talking about this. Maybe they are and I just haven't been listening.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I know it will be a while before Lost returns to the airwaves, but some information is starting to leak about season 5. This is my favorite so far (don't worry, I won't post spoilers here)

We will come to learn that one of the following is true in Lost's fifth season premiere. A. The Island moved forward in time. B. The Island moved backward in time. C. The Island did not move in time, but it did move in space -- to another location on the planet. D. The Island did not move in time or space -- it's still there, but Dharma tech renders it invisible to the naked eye. Source: The Ausiello Files

I also wanted to send out kudos to my friends who got all caught up on the series over the summer!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

You Decide

Who looks more presidential? The candidate speaking calmly and clearly to the American people, or the candidate making strange gestures, puffing out his chest, and rolling his eyes while the other is speaking.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Anyone Remember

The store at the mall in the 80's called "Units"? Or its counterpart "Multiples"?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Repost: My Favorite Popcorn

I know I posted about popcorn last year, but I think with the football season in full swing, it deserves to be posted again. I am a huge fan of popcorn made on the stove. I think it has more flavor than it's air popped counterparts.

Over the last year, I have significantly decreased the amount of oil necessary to make popcorn on the stove. I now use only about 1-2 teaspoons of oil to make it (really this was just so I can justify putting butter on it instead of a little more olive oil once it was finished).

Making popcorn on the stove is also wonderful because it does not clutter up the kitchen with yet another appliance.

The recipe!

Kate's Favorite Popcorn (introduced to her by her first awesome roommate, Kel)

1-2 Tsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
1/3 cup (plus a little extra)popcorn kernels
melted and cooled butter or olive oil for topping, to taste
salt to taste
Nutritional Yeast (at least a 1/4 cup)

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over high heat (or medium heat if you are lucky enough to have a gas stove). Throw in 3 kernels. When they have popped, throw in the rest of the kernels. Place a lid on the stock pot and hold so that steam can escape (be careful and wear oven mitts). Shake the pot so the kernels are evenly coated with oil. Allow the popcorn to pop, shaking occasionally so the kernels don't burn.

When finished popping, pour melted butter or olive oil over popcorn. Season with salt and nutritional yeast.

I know nutritional yeast sounds strange, but trust me, it will quickly become your most favorite popcorn too. I have also started to mix the butter with just a little bit of vegetable oil so that it coats better.

True Blood

I have been enjoying the episodes of True Blood. Check it out if you have HBO! It's always been fascinating to me how people interpret the mythology of vampires. From Bram Stoker, to Anne Rice, The Historian, Buffy and Angel, and now True Blood. I would like to read the Sookie Stackhouse books too. I'm sure they are much better than Twilight.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Some Humor

Warning: This is likely not safe for work. Unless you work where I do. Contains some language and a picture of boobies.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Watch CBS Videos Online
Yeah, I totally underestimated that she would be such a national joke that she would need the man to sit next to her to set her straight.

Friday, September 26, 2008

You Can See All the Countries From Here

Watch CBS Videos Online

I forgot that foreign policy experience means that if you can SEE at country, then you have had foreign policy experience.

Are you listening, America? Because she's not saying very much at all.

No Sense

She doesn't even make sense when she talks.

From the Katie Couric interview:
COURIC: Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it’s got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade — we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation.

Holding Hands

Ever since I saw Wall-E, I've thought holding hands is about the best thing ever. According to (which normally makes me all happy inside), one of these otters recently passed away. It makes me so sad to think that the other little otter is just floating around in the water waiting for his partner to float by and hold hands with him again.

I realize this makes me a big sap (and slightly over-emotional woman), but I can't help it.

R.I.P. cute little otter!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Candy Review - Cinnamon Fire Twizzlers

If you like cinnamon, go buy these immediately. My husband has been stocking up on these awesome twizzlers, because he's afraid they'll stop making them. Previously only available at Walgreens, these Twizzlers have been popping up in other stores (like Giant). They have a great spice to them, and are in pull and peel form.

Candy Review - Yogurt Dots and Dots Elements Green Tea

The yogurt dots are some of the best gummy candy I've had in a long time. They have a lovely texture, and really fantastic flavor. Sometimes, when things have tropical flavors, like mango, I think they taste too artificial, but these are terrific. I've only seen these at Happy Harry's in Bethany Beach, so grab them up if you see them locally.

By contrast, the Green Tea Dots are completely inedible. I could have saved my money and sucked on a bag of tea. I thought these would have an interesting flavor, but instead tasted only of dirt. I am still on the lookout for the others in the elements series though, primarily the pomegranate and the cinnamon. If you see them, please let me know. Something tells me I will find them at CVS soon, since CVS usually wins these candy hunts.

Candy Review - Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses

I picked these up at Target the other day because I thought they would be milk chocolate. A closer look at the package would've told me that they were more like the disgusting candy corn kisses released last year. (In case you didn't have the displeasure of eating these, the candy corn ones are also back for Halloween)

The flavor of these kisses is pleasant enough, but the texture is oily, silty, and overly creamy. I probably don't like them because I am not a huge fan of white chocolate.

They definitely have the flavor of pumpkin pie though, so if fake oily white chocolate is your thing, I suggest trying these. In fact, I'll give you a bunch for free. Hurry before my co-workers eat them all.

Note: In case you don't know, Hershey is using mockolate in alot of their products these days. Their traditional candy still uses Milk Chocolate (Hershey Bars, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and kisses), but the rest have been replaced with an oil based product with chocolate flavoring added. This disappoints me because it affects my previously favorite candy bar, the Take 5. For more information, I recommend visiting Candy Blog.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Should Be Watching

Mad Men comes on AMC Sundays at 10pm. Now, I know it's football season and we're all watching the Sunday Night Games. Which is why it's wonderful that the episodes are available ondemand for free the next day.

While I don't think it's the best show ever, it is filled with beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes and is fantastically filmed. These people know how to dress a set.

My only question is, why did men stop wearing hats?

Music Report

I seem to be listening to alot of music lately, and actually buying current releases. I recommend you give these a listen.

I cannot stop listening to this band. Their harmonies are reminiscent of the Beach Boys, and their music is gorgeous. I give you, Fleet Foxes. It's great Friday night drinking wine music.

I haven't heard the new Girl Talk album in its entirety yet, but that's only because I keep forgetting to go here to pay what I want for it. Thank you Radiohead. The new single is terrific, which ironically, features Radiohead and rap music.

Ah, the sweet, wonderful noise of the Breeders. It doesn't get much better than Kim Deal's voice.

Finally, while not technically a new album, this was a recent purchase for my husband's birthday (which of course, he guessed AGAIN). But, it's a sweet album of old favorites recorded by Willie Nelson and recently re-released as a 2 cd box set. I recommend you listen to Stardust as soon as possible.

Sweet dreams, everyone.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Seriously, America

Are you really falling for this shit? She has no clue what the Bush Doctrine is. It's only been in the news for the past what seems like forever. Or has she been too busy firing people she doesn't like?

Shout Out

My friend Chris is going to have some photos in the Dining Room at Brewer's Art starting Monday, September 15th. Hope you can check them out! His photos are great, and so is the beer at Brewer's.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What I Made for Dinner - 09/10/2008

I only eat fresh tomatoes when they come from my Dad's garden. The ones from the store seem to have zero flavor, no matter what time of year I buy them. I get by most of the year using canned tomatoes (from Costco!), but in the summer, I make BLT's.

I am not a big fan of sandwiches, but this is my favorite. I create a BLT the simple way - iceberg lettuce, fresh fried bacon, tomato, mayo, salt, and pepper, on toast. I cheated a little putting everything on wheat toast, but I just didn't feel like buying a whole loaf of white for 2 sandwiches.

Lettuce and Tomato!



Tomato Sauce

My Dad also let me borrow his machine for processing tomatoes into sauce. So, on Sunday, I took a huge bucket of freshly picked Roma tomatoes and turned them into sauce.


Tomatoes in the hopper!

Juice is being extracted!

Sauce is on the stove!