Thursday, January 01, 2009


Despite getting home at 3am this morning – I feel like a champ. The highlight of New Years Eve 2008 was my first experience with Rockband at chez Crimenotes. I admit to being a mic hog – and perhaps the fact that I was reliving my childhood dream of being a singer contributed to not having a hangover, as I was more focused on belting out songs than finishing my drink. For the low points of the evening – there is a tie between seeing a young guy in handcuffs, face down on the side walk during our walk home (the worst being that it was like 10 degrees out which made his predicament that much worse) and the fact that roughly 50% of the women out last night were wearing skirts, high heels and had bare legs. I mean, again with the 10 degree weather – is it really worth it?

Before we pull everything down – I did want to take some pictures of our 2008 Holiday. Two firsts for us – our first Christmas tree and the first year we sent out holiday cards.

Our tree is in a sad, sad state at this point – I was probably less than perfect about watering it and since I rallied to get the tree 2 days after Thanksgiving (for full season enjoyment) it’s getting a bit old.

I refused to buy any ornaments – only lights because I didn’t want to buy a bunch of crap ornaments out of desperations to get it decorated. I really wish I had the foresight to buy ornaments in all the different countries Hart and I have visited over the years but we’ll start that going forward. I asked my mom and aunt for nice ornaments for Christmas and got some beauties that I will treasure and hold onto forever.

As for holiday cards- this was more fun and less stressful than expected. Again, this took a bit of convincing to get Hart on board but by the end we had to buy an extra box as our list grew longer. We got some great cards this year and I think the craziest part is the downfall of the traditional folded card – we had to employ the help of my Kurt Vonnegut screen print and Persian print (which features my name in Farsi – big props to anyone who can figure it out) to hold up all the photo cards.

Finally, a shot of our New Years dinner. A big favorite – home made pizza, recipes courtesey of Alton Brown. See here for the pizza dough recipe and here for the tomato sauce. Only wish we had leftovers for all the college bowl games we’re watching today.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Au Revoir 2008

2008 proved to be a less than exciting knitting year, however, it is nice to reflect on what one accomplished – and the biggest headline for me would be cooking.

For Christmas in 2007, Hart bought me a Kitchenaid mixer and after 3 solid years of obsessing over Good Eats it was time to roll up my sleeves and start cooking.

2008 was a year of major cooking accomplishments for me. Up until then, Hart and I ordered in take out literally 5 days a week – the other two were reserved for eating out. It was not only a waste of money, it was totally not healthy. I didn’t grow up with a lot of home cooking so despite being able to boil water, that was kind of it. Three things really helped me to start cooking well.

For beginner cooks, I can’t recommend these two magazines enough – they include basic yet delicious recipes that are really quick and easy. Whole Foods opened 2 blocks from my house about 2 years ago and if it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t feel nearly as inspired to get cooking.

Here are some of my highlights – unfortunately, food photography is not my strong suit, particularly when looking at this, however, this is a sampling of my accomplishments..

I’m excited about 2009. Hart bought me a pasta maker for Christmas this year, and we just got our first Dutch Oven – which apart from its function – is just beautiful.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November Check In

Hart’s mom (herself, a serious knitter) has convinced me that it’s okay to have really long periods of knitters-block and that’s what I’ve been having. And same with posting. It’s the posting I’ve been having an issue with. I used to be fine blabbing about any old random thing but now every time I sit down, I think “is this worth really posting about?” Even though I don’t have anything major – part of why I do this blog is to have a long lasting diary of what was happening at certain times – even if it’s insignificant.

Last week I buckled down and “endured” the Blue Print Cleanse for 3 days, which isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Before I did it I scoured for blogposts to get some insight beyond the wonderful marketing focused praises on their website, so I’m doing this for the next person who is googling away.

So what is this Blue Print Cleanse? Basically it’s a juice “cleanse” which you can do for 1, 3 or 5 days. It isn’t a recipe you follow – it’s an actual company - a small independent one based in NYC, run by a couple of woman. You pick your level (I did Renovation), your duration (I did 3), and they deliver your juices right to your door. They provide you with cooler bags – each filled with 6 numbered juices that you drink each day. They are numbered, which is great.

People do these things for many reasons and what I liked about Blue Print is that is not a psycho hard core thing like the Master Cleanse - instead it’s more health focused. I did this to give my system a break and also to re-set my eating patterns. I’m not really great with discipline and eating. I’m a vegetarian and frankly, I eat pretty well – I don’t eat typical junk food (chips, cookies) but Hart and I are terrible about ordering in food. Also, I’m bad about portion control and after awhile I just feel heavy and overcarbed and sluggish.

How did it go? The great part was that for me, it was actually pretty easy, relatively speaking. You drink a lot of water along with the juices and I really wasn’t all that hungry. I lost 7 pounds over 3 days (which as I expected, has come back – but that wasn’t my objective). Mind you, I have a few (or 10) pounds to lose so that was kind of nice. I felt like I did cleanse my system, however I didn’t feel like a new person after it was over. I have a few other friends who have done this and they have actually felt amazing afterwards. All of them are meat eaters and I’m guessing this had a lot to do with it. I was only 14 when I went vegetarian so I can’t remember exactly – but I do know many folks who went veg as adults and they feel like a million bucks by cutting out meat – so I’m guessing that’s why it worked better for them.

I guess my key takeaway is that I just eat too much normally and this was a great “reset”. I felt like a million bucks because I didn’t feel weighed down with so much food. I was getting all of my nutrition on a small amount of intake and that felt amazing. The problem is the discipline, which I’m terrible about. And also my love of food – which gets the better of me. I am going to actually try and hit a better balance. Real fresh juices (like the ones that are green, not Jamba Juice) honestly never occurred to me before. And I think it would be great, AND healthy to have those for breakfast or lunch once and awhile. My only concern had been drinking juice in that way that was for crazy dieters who were trying to starve themselves, and I no longer feel that way because they are actually filling, along with being far more nutritious than my cheese sandwich.

And with that, I head off to stuff my face for Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tribute in Light Memorial from apartment window

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A New Beginning - Tomten Stash

I was so excited to receive a package from Webs today which opened to reveal 6 thick, squishy skeins of Cascade Eco +. Five in navy blue and one in maroon.

Last holiday my mom requested a sweater for the following year’s main gift and after stressing for a second about picking the right pattern, I immediately thought of the Adult Tomten by EZ. Actually, specifically I thought of Ann’s on Ravelry.

I’m headed to SF tomorrow and I’m itching to start but this puppy requires swatching, measuring and planning and despite Demi not being travel friendly – I would rather bring her as at least I know what I’m doing.

Hopefully I’ll have some great Demi status shots when I return and I’m so excited to start this new project!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Minimalist Cardigan - FO

I’m excited to present My Minimalist Cardigan, which has to be one of my favorite sweaters so far.

I really loved knitting this sweater – it is the perfect combination of easy knit with an interesting pattern – which is very satisfying. It’s also incredibly classic – which is why I decided to knit it in black. I envision this as the sweater that either stays on the back of my chair at work for cold days or the one I throw on over a top with jeans or a dress.

Mini was also the sad recipient of my knitting downslide. I actually finished this in January but between my ordeal with Dollar and a Half, my downright hate of finishing and my unfortunate downward spiral into apathy towards knitting, this just didn’t get done until now.

Pattern: Minimalist Cardigan, Interweave Knits Fall 2007
Size: 35 ½
Start: October 2007
Finished: Knitting: January 2008, Seamed, blocked and finished: July 27,2008
Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft Aran in black, 10-11 skeins. Love this yarn and highly recommend it.
Needles: size 7
Modifications: Not much, as usual, I lengthened the sweater. I find most patterns walk dangerously close to being “cropped” and therefore ususally add a few inches. In this case, only 1 inch, and only to the back (knit moss to 14 ½ ” instead of 13 ½

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Alton Brown Cinnamon Rolls

As you may know, I love Alton Brown. If you aren't familiar with Alton, I highly recommend DVR/Tivo-ing Good Eats on Food Network.

The first time we saw the "House of the Rising Bun" episode we knew we would eventually make the star of the show, the Cinnamon Buns, but at the time, we didn't have a stand mixer. Hart gave me a Kitchenaid this past Christmas. The sad part of the story is that it went unused (due to my intimidation) for 8 months, the good part of the story is that it was christened with this recipe.

This actually isn't really hard at all - the only non-traditional ingredients that weren't in of our pantry were yeast, buttermilk and powdered sugar - but those are pretty easy to buy. I'm also a non-baker and for a first attempt at using my mixer and for a relative beginner - this couldn't have been easier.

Below is the ingredient list and click here for the full recipe.

main ingredients
AP flour
Instant yeast
Kosher salt
brown sugar

Cream Cheese