Category Archives: appliances

Pop-Tarts World Beckons…But Guess Who Still Hasn’t Gotten Frosted.

As thankful as I am to have new freelance gigs, blogging for CafeMom’s The Stir has not left me with a whole lotta energy to write about even *more* food topics here.

Plus, I may or may not be gainfully employed for a bit…making it even less likely that I will have the oomph to write about food (or food-ish topics) when I get home.

Thus, my blog has been neglected. (And after conning my friends into supporting me on Facebook no less. Sheesh.) Now it’s practically September…which means Labor Day and Back to School and Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and I AM ALMOST 30.

So. A lot on my mind…but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking of you, my dear blog/readers…

I read this story about Pop-Tarts World when it was published on August 8 (!) and I thought it would make a great blog post. In a perfect world, I would have visited the Times Square location by now and would have the inside scoop on Pop-Tarts sushi, vending machines that enable you to create your own variety packs and how you can get “frosted.” But, sadly, the best I can do is tell you that it exists. And that I think the idea is pretty great (…and I applaud the Pop-Tarts marketing team…)…even though I’d probably pick Pillsbury Toaster Strudel over Pop-Tarts any day of the week.

Image via oskay/Flickr

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Covet Thy Neighbor’s Wife? Heck, No! I Covet My Neighbor’s Vacuum.

It seems I have reached a stage in life in which I really want a vacuum.

And…I guess it makes sense as I have become increasingly domestic in recent years…but I’m not sure I was expecting *this.*

It all started with these little fuzzball characters that I glued to my clock radio…which I got in, like, junior high. There were originally about five of them. And my mischievous cat, in various acts of play, managed to remove all but the one that looks like an elephant that I got at Marine World/Africa U.S.A. — also likely in junior high.

And…I got a new patchwork mailbag purse for my birthday, but this one has a wonky shoulder strap and it recently broke again, but I was out of crazy glue…so I had to buy more crazy glue and then I guess I went a little — ahem — crazy and was lookin’ for stuff to glue and, after reattaching the number 9 to my Last Supper Hologram clock (also a victim of the cat), I saw my poor clock radio with only one lonely fuzzball character and two pair of feet where  his brethren used to stand.

Related: Periodically, I take a ruler and a flashlight and fish out whatever said cat has managed to lose underneath my dresser, couch and armoire. So…I figured if I did this again, I might find some of my missing fuzzball friends to glue back on my clock. And, boy, did I…in addition to a zillion hair ties, countless cat toys, a single pushpin, two pieces of junk mail and a postcard from my friend Jonathan. And dust. And cat hair. But — shame alert — not just, like, a normal amount of dust and cat hair. It was more like dust and cat hair were plotting together under said surfaces to overthrow me. And if I had waited any longer, I might have ended up a cautionary tale under a headline in the New York Post like, “Dust Might,” or “When Sally Met Hairy.” I was horrified…and got rid of as much of it as I could…while also wondering if my friends had been talking behind my back about staging an intervention.

And I admit I have tossed around the idea of getting a vacuum in the past…but I always concluded it was one of those cost-prohibitive things and that I could just sweep until my massive book deal.

But I felt in wake of the terrible discovery of what lies beneath my furniture that the vacuum went from an idea to an imperative. And then I began wondering how and when I became the type of person who really wants a vacuum. I guess age is the answer?

I have a big birthday this year…which is part of my life panic, I guess. So much was supposed to have happened by now…but who knew that it would also usher in a new life stage in which vacuums make me happy?

I found one on that wasn’t *too* expensive…and for a brief, shining moment, I was really excited as — for whatever reason — I am on some sort of I’m-getting-hitched mailing list and I’ve been getting all sorts of mail about planning my wedding…including — drumroll — an invitation from Target’s Club Wedd to register for ten items in exchange for a $20 gift card. (Although, unfortunately, it expired last weekend, so I totally blew it. Although morally I am batting 1.000, I guess.)

So. No vacuum yet. But, as noted, I still want one. This is the face of maturity?

I remember when I reached the point at which I felt I was too old to have posters — I felt I had graduated to framed art. And so I ended up taking a Van Gogh and a Monet from home that I had in my bedroom in high school. And they worked for awhile. But…I don’t really feel they fit anymore now either…and I feel a little silly with them up. I’ve  been browsing Etsy lately and falling in love with various pieces of art…but it seems like everything I find that makes me think, “I can’t live without that!” is in Europe and therefore prohibitively expensive to ship.

Part of me also really wants one of those Warhol-esque canvases with four prints of the same image in different colors. Part of me thinks it would be completely amazing to hang something like that in a prominent place in my apartment — not unlike Eva Longoria on Desperate Housewives — but the rest of me is only brave enough to do something like that if no one ever comes into my apartment ever again. Sort of hard to explain that it’s an inside joke with myself and that the intense narcissism is what makes it funny…although, then again, it’s my damn apartment and I guess I should do whatever I damn well please here.

However…I also sort of feel like Here’s-Me-In-Four-Different-Color-Schemes would only work in the height of Year of Lisa fervor…and — not sure if you’ve noticed — but I’ve tried to tone it down a little. I’m still trying to focus on the book and to hustle to come up with enough freelance assignments to keep me afloat and to be happy…but am maybe slightly less in-your-face about it. And I’m slowly but surely trying to tackle the clutter in my apartment — also a Year of Lisa goal — but I killed my shredder in the act. So. I may have to add “shredder,” to the list, too. But, luckily, a friend is going to Costco soon…so I may be able to kill two birds with one stone. What an efficient and tidy supporter of small artists I am turning out to be?

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Filed under appliances, birthdays, Brooklyn, feminism

New York, We Have to Talk…

New York and I have had a good run. For more years than I’d care to admit, we’ve been really happy together.

I’ve had plenty of those Only-in-NY Moments. Take, for example, the homeless guy who peed in an empty bag of potato chips on the E train on my morning commute once. Or the Michael Jackson birthday party in Prospect Park. Stuff like that doesn’t happen anywhere else…and I guess there’s a sort of pride attached to it when you live here and you get to go to those things because you’ve made a conscious decision to be here.

I’ve had my fair share of celebrity sightings: Dianne Wiest, Gabriel Byrne (we live in the same ‘hood — he used to go to Cafe Scaramouche before it became Buttermilk Channel), Debra Messing, Uma Thurman, Steve Buscemi, Chase Crawford, Mario Cantone, and that tall guy from Law & Order SVU. Denny Doherty of the Mamas and the Papas starred in the musical that was performing at the theater where I worked my first summer in New York. And I interviewed the Naked Cowboy once…and had “Hi Lisa, it’s Naked…” on my voicemail for a really long time.

I’ve had some really good times here and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people and I’m so, so glad I did that big, scary thing and moved here by myself all those years ago.

And for a long time — whether because of work or school or my own personal dramas — I’ve sort of been gliding along here. I built myself a home. And for the first time since California circa 1994, I’ve felt like there’s this one place in the world where I belong. And, sure, I hate the uncertainty of freelancing and wish things had turned out differently post-J-school, but…for the most part, I’ve been fine. Sure, it’s a busy place that sucks a lot out of you…and I always looked forward to escaping to Alaska because it’s pretty much the exact opposite of New York in every way and I could actually slow down for a bit and breathe in new surroundings and see places that were untouched by virtually anything and come back feeling like I could face everything again.

No more Alaska though — this year I went to Arizona and New Mexico. The trip had about the same effect, I guess…but returning to New York in July was the first time I haven’t actually been excited about coming back. Usually I can’t wait to get back to my apartment and my life. But I didn’t feel that way this year. And, for the first time, I started noticing things that never bothered me before — it’s dirty; it’s crowded; it’s full of egomaniacs.

Then I went away again — and the same thing happened upon my return. I just don’t feel the same about being here anymore. And somewhere along the way in either Colorado or Illinois on my *next* trip, it hit me: I think I’m ready to leave New York. I’m happier when I’m not here.

And, granted, it’s not exactly reality when I’m away because I don’t have to spend eight, ten, twelve hours in front of a computer writing asset management stories or applying for jobs or pitching freelance ideas or working on the Great American Novel (…or copywriting)…so maybe it isn’t entirely fair to blame unhappiness directly on New York. But, at the same time, I’ve done some freelance work while I’ve been away…and I still think it’s safe to say I’m happier in other places. (A New York friend even observed that I look happier in the photos on Facebook that were taken in other cities…)

Last weekend was my first weekend back in a long time. And I made lasagna and empanadas (which turned out BEAUTIFUL because I watched one of the chefs at Xoco very, very carefully and tried to mimic what she did…). And I realized how happy cooking makes me. (That’s one bad thing about so much traveling — I haven’t really cooked much.) I don’t really have the budget or the appetite to cook every day…but on those days that I do, the act itself always makes me happy…which sort of begs the question of culinary school, but that’s a whole other can of worms I’m not really ready to open yet. (Plus, writing still makes me happier than anything. So, ideally, I’ll be able to forge out a living combining the two someday…)

For now, I’m expanding my job search…and we’ll see what happens. (It’s never a bad thing to have additional options, right?) If I get my dream job in New York, I’ll stay. I’ll put up with insane rent and try to make an agent fall in love with my book proposal and maybe someday I’ll be on The View telling the ladies what a rough spot it was in ’08-’09 before my life really took off.

Or…maybe the reason nothing has worked out here is because I’m not meant to stay. Maybe I should really be somewhere else. (The problem is that my life is in so many places…I don’t know where to go. For a long time I’ve said that I think my wedding will be the only day in my life when everyone I love is actually in the same place. Although I guess the glass-is-half-full spin is that I could really go anywhere. And that got me thinking about how happy I was when I lived in England…and that it’s crazy that I haven’t been back in seven years…so I think a trip to London is imminent.)

The sort of depressing part is that job opportunities didn’t expand exponentially when I started looking across the country. There is a pretty darn good one in Dallas…and a sort of okay one in Denver…but other than that, I really haven’t seen anything. (So…maybe it’ll be culinary school after all, eh?)

Nevertheless, I spent the good part of a morning this week looking at apartments in Dallas and realized that for less than half of what I am paying now, I could get an apartment with an actual bedroom and a dishwasher and a washer/dryer and access to pools and fitness centers and all sorts of crazy stuff. And I could finally get a golden retriever! (I even looked at breeders in Texas and found one that traced the lineage of its puppies on its Web site and the father of a litter that was due last September was related somewhere along the line to a dog named Miss Racey Lacey. Gotta be some sort of sign, right?)

If I was still exceedingly happy in New York…or if I was even taking advantage of living here anymore, I wouldn’t be looking beyond its limits. But I think I’m ready for a change. And now all I have to do is figure out what that actually means.

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Filed under Alaska, appliances, Brooklyn, Mamas and Papas

Cue the Lynyrd Skynyrd…

Boy, am I going to sound like a wet blanket, but…the job woes continue, etc., etc.

And…as noted in my previous post, I’ve been sad about The Bartender. So…I was talking to my oldest childhood friend and she reminded me that maybe the reason everything is so uncertain for us now is because of our Saturn Return. So, I mean, this is fantastic news. I can’t even tell you how comforting it is…especially since I can now start thinking about 30 as the end of chaos…rather than the beginning of the end.

Big J’s other revelation? Welll…I was *also* saying that I think maybe my love affair with New York is coming to an end (although, then again, something like the Michael Jackson birthday party comes along and reminds me why I fell in love with Brooklyn in the first place…)…and there are so many cities I’d love to try out before all is said and done: Seattle, Chicago and Atlanta, to name a few…and then I start looking for jobs in those places and then I end up with a totally overwhelming number of jobs to apply for and then I start thinking, “I don’t even know if I want any of these jobs!” and I don’t actually apply for anything and I get nowhere.

That is when Big J said (more or less), “You big dummy! You don’t just apply for anything! You look for the jobs you really *want* and *those* are the jobs that you apply for outside of New York!”

And of course she’s right!

So…I did just that on Friday…and came across a job in Alabama that sounds like it would be a really good fit — writing and editing stories about food, home and travel. I don’t actually know anyone in Alabama…and I’m not sure how I feel about starting all over *again*…but I spent four years in Mississippi and Georgia growing up…and was actually surprised by how nice it was to be in the South again when I went on the trip in the trailer with my mama in July…(see my post about that meal in Carlisle, Arkansas. Whoa.)

Plus, I’d be living on the coast…which is 1) super-beautiful (if memory serves)…and 2) only about five hours from Atlanta. So…I could get a car and visit some of my favorite people on the weekends…and I could finally get a Golden retriever. And imagine the kind of apartment I could have — I’m thinking washer/dryer *and* dishwasher. My heart be still…

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Filed under appliances, birthdays, frying, Mississippi

Things I Learned at the Meat Counter Today

I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t actually cook with meat all that often. I don’t know why. Perhaps because I make a lot of pasta. Or I secretly hate protein.

In any event, when I *do*, I am always paranoid I’m going to make myself sick by not cooking it long enough, so I end up cooking it too long and it burns a little…which I guess isn’t that big of a deal as I am only feeding myself and I don’t have a vent, so I have to take the batteries out of the smoke alarm whenever I use the stove anyway. It may inconvenience the lady upstairs who has to smell my noxious fumes…but if it truly bothers her, she’s never complained about it.

All this is to say that I had to seek out pork loin today for this — Pork and Pozole Burritos — which is a rare errand. And so imagine my dismay when I got to the meat counter at the borderline crummy Met Foods near me and discovered that all they had were TEN POUND SLABS. That’s right — pork loin was only available in ten pound increments. And, for the record, that’s TWENTY TIMES the amount I needed.

I ended up going with a boneless option that came in a one-pound package…but as I stood there, staring at my options, I was shocked when I noticed boxes of Armour Star Lard in the meat case (I use that link because he seems like a curious guy…and so happy with his coupons!).

I don’t use lard in my pie crusts — I opt for shortening…but Armour Star piqued my interest because…way back when I was working at Good Housekeeping, I had to go through back issues from the 1960s once to photocopy a column called “Every Day is Mother’s Day.” It wasn’t all that exciting and/or interesting…but! I was fascinated by the ads. They were really funny…(or depressing, I guess…depending how you looked at it). They SO clearly played on women’s insecurities…which I suppose they still do today…but it was different then. Less subtle?

There were a few ads that I enjoyed in particular (I think you all know how I feel about Miss Fluffy Rice) and so I photocopied them and framed a couple that now hang in my kitchen.

One of the photocopies? You guessed it: Armour Star Lard…which asked: Whey are the most tender, flaky pie crusts you ever tasted made by someone else?

A: It’s because they use Armour Star Lard.

Who would have ever thought that paranoid crust-makers could *still* procure Armour Star in modern-day Brooklyn?

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"I’ve never seen so many Crock-Pots in my life."

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Easy-Bake, 45; Mia, 6.

So…my niece will be six next week…and as she was super-excited about her August birthday back at Christmas, I imagine she’s off-the-charts this week.

And I wasn’t quite sure what to get her…until I saw this:

Hasbro’s Easy-Bake Brand Kicks Off the 2009 “Baker of the Year” Contest Celebrating 45 Years of Baking Sweet Memories.

I had one of those ovens and I loved it!

And I could totally be her sous chef!

It says ages eight and up…so she’s still too young to officially enter the contest…but her house is always full of people, so I think there are enough grown-ups to make sure she easy-bakes safely.

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A Selection from "My Deceptively Delicious Dinner Party…"

Plan B was a dinner party for my friends. I figured they could serve as kid-substitutes even if they wouldn’t perhaps be as wonderfully direct as your average five-year-old.

I felt like a fraud when I bought the book. I don’t have kids. I don’t know what it’s like to try to get children to eat vegetables. What right did I have to buy this book? (Plus, it was in a Mother’s Day display which somehow emphasized that I was unfit to purchase it unless my ultimate intent was to give it to someone proper.)

I bought it anyway. I wanted to make as many recipes as possible to give my guests a chance to sample a broad range. I tried to turn it into a fun party game (dangerous territory?) by not telling them what vegetables were hidden inside each dish. I made them guess what purees were included. I even created a chart for them to fill out with boxes for the mystery vegetable and whether or not they liked the dish or had any additional input.

In order to pull this off, I had to make a number of vegetable purees. Jessica makes it sound easy — you toss a bunch of vegetables in a food processor and store the purees in your freezer and pop them out whenever you want to make a vegetable-laced dish for your kids.

I, however, am a frantic, childless grad student and so it wasn’t so much easy prep work as frenzied grocery shopping and mad apartment-cleaning on Friday night (which made me wonder what I was going to do with the rest of my weekend as cleaning and grocery shopping seem to take up the bulk of them) and then rising with the sun on Saturday to puree my heart out and cook, cook, cook.

If I learned anything from this culinary adventure, it is that I am not very good at steaming vegetables. I can blame my steamer in part (I was killing time at Crate and Barrel recently and saw they had steamers for $8, so it might be worth investing in a new one).

I have an aunt who missed her calling in life in either interior design or personal shopping. She has a good eye for design and every time I visit she has rearranged the furniture in at least one room of her house.

She is also good at giving gifts. When I first moved to New York and started cooking for myself, she gave me a colander filled with every kitchen gadget imaginable: a garlic press, pastry brushes, a vegetable peeler, a timer, etc., etc. (When I was moving out of my first horrible apartment in New York, my roommate claimed that the colander was his and asked me to unpack it so he could make pasta. We went back and forth until I finally realized that it would be easiest to just do it — my reward being that I would never have to deal with him again and so the colander became a parting gift from my life.)

My aunt *also* included a vegetable steamer in that 2003 Christmas gift. And by now, I had used pretty much everything in there, except said steamer. It was even still in its original packaging.

The steamer was all bound up in a metallic wad and I had trouble busting it open — so much so that I actually broke it a little (which may also explain why I had so much trouble steaming with it). It doesn’t really stay open in a nice bowl-shape. It’s either completely flat or falls in on itself. I did the best I could, balancing it on top of the saucepan and hoping for the best.

Cauliflower was my first vegetable. I cut it into florets but was only able to fit a fraction in the “steamer.” The recipe says you have to steam for eight minutes…but eight minutes into it, my cauliflower did not seem particularly tender and I still had a chopping board full of florets to blow through…and I wasn’t getting any younger (people were coming at 7:30…and at this rate, I was going to spend an hour steaming the head of cauliflower alone), so I decided to boil the rest. (Well, actually, I decided to try to put the cauliflower in a saucepan with a little water — which is what the book says you do to wilt baby spinach — but I soon found that it burned and so I added a lot of water and just let it boil.)

I had some baby spinach left over from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit’s celebration of greens in March (for St. Patrick’s Day — get it?) and so in the interest of frugality, I decided to just use what I had instead of purchasing more baby spinach. (Jessica also says that baby spinach requires no preparation whatsoever and so it’s a snap.) But, I have a big Cuisinart and I did not have all that much baby spinach…so I was able to blend the spinach…but not exactly puree it per se. It splattered against the sides of the food processor and I tried to scrape it back toward the blades with a spatula, but it always ended up just splattering against the sides again and eventually I gave up.

My boiled/steamed cauliflower florets pureed nicely in my Cuisinart once I had softened them. But I had to wash the food processor out repeatedly, which was kind of a pain. (I can’t imagine Jessica doing that over and over again.)

The sweet potatoes were an absolute dream to puree because I roasted them instead of steaming. (But, I forgot to poke holes in them and one of them leaked sticky stuff all over the pan…but I was thankful it did not explode in my oven.)

Another quick note about entertaining: I am completely paranoid about hosting anything. My aunt — the same one who gave me the colander — has a party-planning philosophy. She threw a holiday party once and was very selective about her guest list. Hardly anyone showed up and it was a miserable failure. Ever since then, she has invited literally everyone she knows –- from the mailman to the checkout girl at the grocery store –- and found that this usually ensures a decent mix of people (or at least one that is not completely humiliating). I have tried to adopt a similar tact –- much to the chagrin of my “friends” on Facebook? –- but I think with only mixed results.

I have a friend who always throws great parties. She doesn’t even really throw them — that would require far too much planning. She just decides on a whim that it would be nice to have some people over and because she’s so much fun, what starts out as an intimate gathering quickly snowballs. It’s amazing to me.

I am the type of person who really likes to plan things: the guest list, the food, the order the dishes are served, how my apartment appears, etc. And yet after all of my careful preparation, I have never been able to amass an audience like my friend can. Not once. It’s hard not to take it personally.

Don’t get me wrong –- the people who came were very good sports. But I did this on short notice and one good friend was out of town and another had her fiancée visiting and the F train was bypassing my stop that weekend, so I feel I could have amassed a more sizable crowd had I held off for a bit. (My friend definitely could have…but she, too, ignored my email and so I was unable to muster interest in my party by association with her.)

Also? I have a complex about music. As in, I am completely embarrassed by it and I don’t want anyone to know what’s on my iPod. I think that someone must have made fun of me as a child and it scarred me for life. So this is perhaps another reason why it’s so important to keep the conversation going whenever I have a group of relative strangers amassed in my apartment and I have no background music to fill gaps or to provide conversation pieces. (Or maybe I worry too much.)

I wanted to have an “appetizer” for my guests and I finally settled on mozzarella sticks because the tofu cubes seemed too complicated and the dips sounded a little boring. Plus, Jessica swore her mozzarella sticks were super-easy and I, too, shared her fear that mozzarella sticks were far too complicated for any rational human being to make on his or her own. So I was curious.

I also planned to make lasagna and so I had purchased two enormous hunks of mozzarella, which turned out to be way too much cheese. It was also kind of expensive. And now I have one huge hunk of mozzarella left in my refrigerator. (Although I saw a man eating an enclosed pastry-ish thing on the Subway afterward which made me want to make empanadas. I can definitely rid myself of some cheese that way.)

I tried to jazz up Jessica’s recipe by adding some spices to the breadcrumb mixture. I also couldn’t find flaxseed at my grocery store, so my mozzarella sticks were flax-less. You’re supposed to make little logs and then roll them in bread crumbs and freeze the “sticks” for 20 minutes – presumably so they’ll stay together when you brown them? And I don’t know if it was my timing or what, but I took them out of the freezer after 20 minutes and ended up putting them back in again because I had to do other steps in other recipes before I was ready to brown the sticks…and, unfortunately, they didn’t really want to stay together for me and became a huge blob. It was kind of like a mozzareppa, grilled cornbread with mozzarella in the middle that you see at fairs and festivals and the like.

I, however, was horrified by how ugly it was and wanted to pretend it had never existed. But my guests were far more adventurous than I was and were still willing to try them.

That’s the thing — in my sophomore year of high school, I had to take a speech class and one of our assignments was to do a demonstration. I decided to give a speech on how to make brownies.

At that point in my life, I certainly hadn’t baked as much as I have now, but brownies don’t require much expertise — especially if they come from a box. So…I tried to jazz them up a bit by dusting them with powdered sugar the night before. But when I woke up the next morning and was gathering my things for school, I was horrified to discover that the powdered sugar had melted and my brownies looked awful.

“No one will eat them! I am giving a speech on brownies and no one will want to eat them!” I panicked.

“Don’t worry,” my mother said. “You’d be surprised — people will eat just about anything. Especially if it’s free. You’ll see.”

And, much to my surprise and delight, my mother was right. I apologized profusely when unveiling the ugly brownies to my classmates, but they ate them all anyway. It was the same thing with the mozzarella sticks. I tried to advise against them, but people ignored me and actually consumed them.

And, ironically, it was the only recipe that everyone universally liked.

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Filed under appliances, books, cheese, chocolate, parties

It sounds like the best pie contest *ever* this year!

To: American Pie Council Personal and Professional Members
From: Nancy Mathieson, APC Membership Director
For those of you who will be coming to Florida in April to participate in the 2008 APC Crisco National Pie Championships, rental homes with kitchens for baking are still available through:
5511 W. Irlo Bronson Hwy. (Hwy 192)
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Phone 888-658-8535

Did you see that?? Rental homes! Kitchens! Presumably ovens!

You may recall my near miss last year…and, you know, all’s well that ends well. But, still. To think what might have been had I had a DreamHome

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The Grandaddy of Mixers, A Deadly Orange Meatloaf, & Ruminations on Sports Allegiances

Well, it wasn’t *quite* as joyous as, say, the bundles that Christina and Nicole brought home this weekend, but…I finally joined the ranks of the KitchenAid mixer elite…(which is perhaps roughly equivalent in certain circles).

Yes, it’s true — I finally settled on a color. (Sorry, Anonymous…I did Empire Red. It matches a lot of the stuff I already have!) And as I was leaving the store with Big Red in tow, I was certain I was getting knowing glances from shoppers recalling when *they* first brought home *their* mixers.

Some of them just smiled…but others said things like, “I love mine!” and I felt kind of like I had joined a special foodie club.

I’d like to say that the inaugural run was something truly spectacular…but I was actually expecting to be snowed in today and was huntin‘ for some good, old fashioned comfort food when I came across a Paula Deen meatloaf recipe that is too embarrassing to name specifically. But maybe if I paraphrase her “I’m not your dietitian, I’m your cook”-quote, you’ll understand that this was one crazy meatloaf and I might actually have a heart attack and drop dead any minute now.

I also don’t know if it was the mixer (or maybe I was caught between the moon and New York City?), but I felt rather daring and didn’t follow the recipe to a T.

First off, I couldn’t find a can of fried onions. (Do they make them anymore??) But…it seems like every recipe I ever make always starts out with sauteing onions and garlic, so that’s what I did.

I also didn’t use mayo because I don’t really *like* mayo (my sister, who is the exact opposite of me in sooo many respects, liked it so much when she was little that she could eat it out of the jar with a spoon).

I also added a crapload of carrots and parsnips because I got to take some home from work the other day and I didn’t really know what to do with parsnips (despite the helpful winter veg section in Bon Appetit this month) and I wanted to test out Mrs. Seinfeld’s sneaky veg theory. There has to be something to the whole “Deceptively Delicious” (and the book that sued it) concept as I couldn’t tell there were parsnips *or* carrots in there…although my meatloaf was incredibly orange which made it rather difficult to tell when to remove it from the oven (Paula suggests to do so “when the meat is no longer pink”).

I was sort of watching the Giants game while all of this was going on…and for some reason I feel a certain allegiance to them. I’m not sure if this means that I’m becoming more of a New Yorker or if it’s because I’ve always had a soft spot for the underdog. A friend IMed me during the game to ask the score and I told him that Dallas was up and he said, “Oh, good! You’re a Dallas fan, right?”

I asked him he would think that. His logic? Because Dallas is close to Sippi. I then explained that Atlanta, New Orleans and Tennessee are *also* close to ‘Sippi. Plus, I don’t have very strong ties to Mississippi anymore…and my sports allegiances are kinda screwy anyway. (Javy! Javy!)

I am a little nervous about next weekend’s game though. My family bleeds green and yellow. Although, then again, I suppose Eli & Co. could inadvertently avenge the Bruins in the ’99 and ’00 Rose Bowls (when UCLA lost to Wisconsin and my family rejoiced). It’s kind of funny — I had a Super Bowl “party” last year and everyone in attendance was rooting for the Bears and I felt sorry for the Colts, so I adopted mock affection of Peyton for a single night…and look what happened!

Although, then again, I suppose Wisconsin’s part of my life whether I like it or not…once upon a time, I had a cheesehead.

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