Saturday, November 28, 2009

absence makes the heart grow fonder...

Have you missed me? Have you been longing for me to blog?

Well, I have not been on my blogging "a" game lately. I've been busy with work, which has been completely exhausting the past 3 months. I don't remember a three month window at work when we have consecutively had so many intense and exhausting cases. Couple this with travel, attempting to keep up a social life and being ill since the begining of July...I'm just plain wore out. Hence, the lack of exciting posts and updates.

Two weekends ago, I was lucky enough to head to Columbus for the annual Lens family away Hawkeye game. There, I saw the best football game of my life when Iowa went into overtime with OSU and lost by the skin of their teeth. I had an absolute blast with my friends that live there and my family who traveled just for the game and The Shoe is an amazing arena to watch a game. Wow.

Next weekend I am headed back to Columbus for Holiday Hop and Christmas Gala. The following weekend is also packed with excitement as I have my work Christmas party(always a blast) and Megan's bachelorette party.

Hopefully I will blog again before 2010. If not...Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Does a kiss make you feel better?
Kissables not kisses cure everything. Right Meg?

Have you ever passed out on the bathroom floor?

Do you start the water before you get in the shower or when you get in?
Before. I don't like showers that are too hot or too cold.

What did you do today?
Flew back from Columbus, worked, unpacked, and am meeting a friend in a few.

Have you ever brushed your teeth while in the shower?
I don't think so. That kind of wierds me out.

Have you had more than 3 boyfriends/girlfriends at the same time?
No, sirree.

Ever been in love?
love is love.

Would you rather be in a permanent relationship or play the field?

What is your favorite sport?
to watch: college football, basketball and major league baseball
to play: volleyball and tennis

What color is your shower curtain?

Have you ever had stitches?
surprisingly, no

Did you believe that boys/girls had cooties?
no. i was always smarter than that.

Do you know how to use chop sticks?
yes, but am no where as skilled as brock.

Lyrics stuck in your head?
currently, San Francisco by Brett Dennen. I love him. I love that song.

Do you like the Red Sox or Yankeess?

What are you doing tomorrow?
laundry and working 3-1130

Who was the last person you couldn't take your eyes off of?
probably some hottie

Have you ever given money to a homeless person?
of course. i love the homeless.

Have you ever run over an animal?

What is your favorite cereal?
I don't really like cereal

Have you ever had an Oreo with peanut butter?
No and that sounds gross!

What are you doing right at this moment?
thinking about the call i got almost 10 years ago. :-(

Do you think its right for straight guys to get their tongue pierced?
Piercing your tongue can chip your teeth. You know how I feel about nice teeth.

Where's your favorite place to be?
with my friends and family

What's your favorite song?
depends on my mood

Are you more of a coffee or alcohol drinker?
water. i drink a lot of water.

Have you ever thrown shoes on a telephone wire?

Have you ever been skinny dipping?
too many times to count

Have you ever been arrested?

Do you dream in black and white?

Do you talk in your sleep?

Do you snore?
Sometimes. Hopefully that will stop soon.

Are you a redneck?
I can be.

Funniest thing you heard all day?
it's far too inappropriate to put on here.

Have you ever gotten a mosquito bite on your face?

What are you afraid of?

What do you look like right now?

Could you go for the rest of your life without drinking alcohol?
i could. if i wanted to.

Who's bed were you on last?
a hotel... i was out of town

Does anyone have feelings for you?
i don't know

Are you happy with the choices you've made?
no regrets

Whens the last time someone of the opposite sex told you they miss you?
several this weekend.

Are you excited for anything?
i'm always excited for life

What were you doing last night at midnight?
laying awake in bed

Would you be able to date someone who doesn't make you laugh?
absolutely not

Could you ever be friends with the person who hurt you most in life?
it depends what it was.

Is there someone you really like to hang out with and just talk about stuff?

What’s more important, trust or happiness?

What was the last thing you drank?

If you were offered to smoke some weed right now would you accept?

Where is the shirt you are wearing from?
i have no idea

What is on your wrists right now?

What does the outfit you are wearing look like?
jeans and a long sleeved t

Do you have to sleep with a television on?

Do you know anyone named: John, Mike, Nathan, Joe, Tim?
all of the above

What was the last movie you watched?
Shrek the Third at work with the kids. For the millionth time.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Dwight Yoakam sausage links and Iowa football

I've been reminded of this story a few times over the past few days. And I have to share it, because it is one of my favorites.

Aaron, Courntey, Nate, Tony, Nadine and I went to Iowa City for the Iowa/MN game a few years ago. Aaron, Court and I being the Iowa fans and Nate, Tony and Nadine the others...We got up at the crack of dawn to start tailgating for the 11am kick off. We made delicious breakfast foods. The MN people brought Dwight Yoakam brand sausages, which we found to be hilarious, because he is a country singer and we had no idea he even had a food line. Well, all of the sausages were not eaten and for some reason(most likely alcohol encouraged) we decided this pole, tree and fence made perfect uprights. By this time, my parents had shown up and were tailgating with us. As I kicked sausages, they all went through the uprights except for one lone sausage that decided to fly off my foot at a 45 degree angle and hit some random man. Needless to say, he was not happy to be nailed by a sausage.

Unfortunately for my dad, he was holding the cup full of sausages that I had been kicking. I simply pointed at my dad, because clearly he was the guilty one holding the sausages. Fortunately, my dad didn't get beat up. Jealous of all the fun we were having, my brother's friend TJ decided that he would also kick a sausage or two. Well, he gave it all his might, slipped on something and ended up flat on his back. Needless to say that was the end of kicking sausage links.

The other reason I was reminded of this story is because Iowa beat Minn by some insane amount of points. Now take die-hard Iowa fans sitting with die-hard MN fans, add alcohol, place them in the MN section at Kinnick and combine it with an ass beating. Aaron and I were completely obnoxious and Nate, Nadine and Tony were not happy about it one bit. I think the thing that really put it over the edge was that every time Iowas kicks off they play "Start me up" by the Rolling Stones. Well, Since Iowa kept scoring, Start me up was played a lot. And every time it was played, we would dance and sing.

Hopefully there will be a replay of these good times when we are all back in Iowa City for the Iowa/MN game in two weeks. Start me up!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bucket List

Not my personal "bucket list" but it was forwarded to me:

Things you have done during your lifetime:
(x) Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school
(x) Watched someone die
(x) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Mexico
(x) Been to Florida
(x) Been to Hawaii
(x) Been on a plane
() Been on a helicopter
(X) Been lost
() Gone to Washington, DC
(X) Swam in the ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
(X) Sang Karaoke
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only
(x) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't.
(x) Made prank phone calls
() Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) Danced in the rain-naked
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
() Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
(x) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States
( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
( X) Gone snowmobiling
() Lived in more than one country
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(X) Seen a falling star and made a wish
( ) Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
() Seen the Statue of Liberty
() Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle
() Been on a cruise (nope and have no desire)
(X) Traveled by train
(x) Traveled by motorcycle
(x) Been horse back riding
() Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR
(x) Been to Disneyworld
() Truly believe in the power of prayer
() Been in a rain forest
(x) Seen whales in the ocean
(x) Been to Niagara Falls
( ) Ridden on an elephant
( ) Swam with dolphins
() Been to the Olympics
() Walked on the Great Wall of China
() Saw and heard a glacier calf
() Been spinnaker flying
(X) Been water-skiing
(x) Been snow-skiing/boarding
() Been to Westminster Abbey
() Been to the Louvre
() Swam in the Mediterranean
(x) Been to a Major League Baseball game
(X) Been to a National Football League game
( ) Been to Israel
( ) Bungee Jumped
( ) Been to an Eagles Concert
( ) Swam in the Dead Sea
() Watched the miracle of a baby being born

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another reason to love the people of Iowa

Great customer service.

There is this great company in Iowa called Locally Grown. You can find them on the world wide web at:

They print on American Apparel t-shirts, which are 100% organic and amazingly soft. The only drawback is since LG is a smaller business they say it takes 10-14 days to produce and ship your shirt. Well, I needed a new Iowa shirt for the game this weekend and started getting nervous that it wouldn't arrive in time. So, I decided to call.

Here's how the conversation went:

- Hello, this is Fred(very cheerful voice).
- Hi Fred. I ordered a shirt from you and I was just curious if you could check to see if it had been shipped yet.
- Sure. No problem. What is your name? (what? No order number? No hassle?)
- Stacey Lens
- (without 2 seconds pause) Oh yes. We shipped that before the weekend. Probably Wednesday or Thursday. Where are you located again?
- Chicago
- That's right. It should probably be arriving today. I specifically remember that order because I went to high school with a girl that has the same name as you.
- Really? Maybe we went to high school together. Where did you go?
- Spencer.
- Nope? That wasn't me. I went to Burlington.
- Really? Do you know so and so? He works here and is from Burlington.
- No I don't. Sorry. Thanks for all your help.
- No problem. Give me a call back if you don't receive it in the next day or two.
- Sure thing. Thanks again.

Where else do you get such nice and helpful customer service? I highly recommend ordering from them.

Pumpkin hummus...hello fall

Can't wait to make this!

Pumpkin Hummus


1 cup roasted pumpkin (or 1 15-oz. can of pumpkin puree)
1 handful roasted pumpkin seeds (or roasted pine nuts)
16 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tblsp Tahini (sesame seed paste)
3 Tblsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tblsp water
2 Tblsp olive oil (one for mixture, one for drizzling)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp minced garlic


Roast sugar pumpkin (in halves) along with seeds @ 325° for 45 mins (or till pumpkin is soft and seeds are lightly browned).
In food processor combine pumpkin, chickpeas, Tahini paste, lemon juice, water, garlic and olive oil.
Process (or blend in blender) till smooth.
Add cayenne pepper and salt, pulse a few times and remove to serving bowl.
Garnish with toasted, salted pumpkin seeds or toasted pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Watch for me...on TV

I like to keep my personal life private. The only time I have made any of my dating life public knowledge was when I was doing The Year of Yes and published a select handful of the more entertaining dates I went on as blog posts.

I have had, as my friends and coworkers agree, some of the most bizarre and craziest things happen during dates. Not once, but several, several times. It's so bad that I have had multiple people encourage me to write a book. That, I'm not going to do...just yet.

Being that disastrous or freak occurrences often happen, most of my dates do not ever form into any sort of relationship. I have also had friends and coworkers encourage me to do a dating show.

The first idea was formulated when I did a one month stint on My rather intimidating and protective male coworker was not a big fan of me meeting people online and going on dates. He offered to go to the place where I would be going out on dates and hang out in the background in case there was anything sketchy going down. My other coworker thought this would be great if we did this as a tv show and if the date wasn't going well, I could just signal to my male coworker and he would walk over and "remove" the guy from the date. Then have a debriefing session. I opted not to employ my coworker to go on my dates with me, but found the idea highly entertaining.

My friend Megan also wants to run a dating show for me. The set-up would be much like trying out for American Idol. She would go all over the country and guys could audition for a chance to go out with me(really, I'm not that great). Megan would be the head judge and likened herself to Simon Cowell. I said that my mom and brother would want a say and she decided my mom could be Randy and my brother could be Paula Abdul. Ha ha. Megan did complain that I am not the easiest person to set up, because of my height requirement. I reminded her it is not a requirement, but a suggestion.

Statistically, preferring a guy that is taller than me automatically eliminates over 50% of the population since I am an inch taller than the average height of the American male. Then I would eliminate the ultra conservatives, small-minded, super religious, homophobes, unintelligent and unattractive people. Factor out gay men. Toss out the socially inept. Find someone in an acceptable age range. Don't forget they need to be single. Honestly, we are looking at about 1% of the population as POSSIBLE dating options. Oh, and they would have to be interested in me, too.

It's a bit of a tall order to fill(pun intended).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rehersal dinner

This is the story of my rehersal dinner. You didn't know I was getting married? Neither did I. This was Brock's dream the other night about my rehersal dinner and has an interesting cast of characters. Let's just hope Brock isn't psychic.

Setting: A nice restaurant down town and we are sitting at an elevated table in the middle of the restaurant, much like a head table at a wedding. But this is just rehersal dinner.

I am apparently marrying one of Jeremiah's good friends, but Brock wasn't able to see his face because he doesn't really know him all that well. Sitting on my side of the table is a guest who I am chosing not to name(because I have no idea why he would be there, let alone sitting on my side and because he adds a whole separate story of drama in the dream but telling that part would give him away) then Aaron then me. Next to me is my soon to be husband then Jeremiah and Brock. Brock is not happy to be on the groom's side because a) he doesn't really know the groom b) he is my friend and c) the person who I chose not to name is taking his seat on my side.

During dinner, Jeremiah leans over to Brock and confides in him that he knows that my soon-to-be husband is gay. All through dinner Brock keeps trying to inform me of this from his chair, which means he is trying to tell me by talking past Jeremiah and the guy I am supposed to marry. He said I just looked so happy that he couldn't bear to tell me. After dinner we went out for drinks and he got drunk and told me anyway. But then Brock woke up, so we'll never know the ending to my life.

Chant and be happy

Friday night I was transferring from the blue line to the red line on the L when I saw a homeless man trying to write in what appeared to be a journal. He was getting frustrated because he couldn't get his pen to work and started digging through his bag to find another. He came up empty handed. I carry a big bag and have endless amounts of objects in it, much like a Mary Poppins bag. I reached in and pulled out a pen. I walked over and gave it to the man, who was very thankful and returned to my seat. Within a minute my train came and I headed to board. As I did, I felt a tap on my shoulder and it was the homeless man. He held out a book for me. I kindly declined, but he insisted that I take it. It was his way of saying thank you for the pen. How sweet was that? I'm actually going to read Chant and be happy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I hold trees in my hands

I've been on a reading binge...again.

I've read 5 books in the past month...3 in the last week alone. At this pace, I'm wondering how quickly I'll crash and burn. Probably, when I get to the bottom of the stack of books that's on my desk. Only 4 or 5 more to go...

Here's what I have read:

The Ha-Ha by Dave King
Look me in the eye by John Elder Robinson
When you are engulfed in flames by David Sedaris
I was told there'd be cake by Sloane Crosley
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon

I would recommend any of them. I really liked Look me in the eye and The curious incident of the dog in the night-time because I really enjoy kids on the spectrum. And reading them really confirmed that I am slightly on the spectrum myself. One of my co-workers and I talk about how we have spectrum qualities and at times, I found myself thinking...that's how I think.

I always enjoy Sedaris and think Crosley is a little like him. I really enjoyed her essay entitled You on a stick. A funny bit on the trials and tribulations of being a bridesmaid.

If you need some new reading material, read a few of these gems.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Veg head no more...sorta

So, after being a vegetarian for a year and a half, I ate meat last week. I had been craving meat for about a month, so I decided to eat some.

I had a turkey sandwich. It was less than amazing. I am still unsure why I chose a turkey sandwich, because I have never really liked turkey all that much anyway. So, my parents were pretty excited to hear that I was eating meat again when they came to visit this weekend. I think I ate small amounts of meat twice more. It wasn't everything I remembered it to be. In fact, I haven't eaten any since lunch on Saturday.

So, I don't think I'll be adding meat back into my daily diet, but might eat a little here and there. I guess I am no longer a vegetarian...I just don't eat meat often?

party in my mouth

I tried these for the first time today. They are amazing. So much flavor. I think I also made 3 of my cowokers addicted. We are all just hanging out together now because no one will come near of, thanks to our kickin' breath.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

running thoughts

** That is NOT me running.

So, I went for my first run on my new running program today. I still hate running. According to my coworker(who is a runner), she hated running at first too, but said give it two weeks and you will like it. I have run for more than two weeks before in my life and never liked it, but will give her the benefit of the doubt.

I really don't like smokers and running through their clouds of second hand smoke. I also don't like buses for their exhaust and I don't like when I get the "red hand" at cross walks. Maybe it wouldn't have been as bad if I had gotten up to run at 5am like I had planned. Instead, I hit snooze until I had to get up to go to work. The consequence was a mid day run. Oh well, run accomplished. Check that one off the plan!

On to tomorrow!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

I've got the trots

Ok, I hate running. Hate, hate, hate it. I've always wanted to be a runner and have admired runners, but it's not my thing. I am a ma-chine on the elliptical, though. I love that thing. I've always said that if they offered a marathon on the elliptical, I'd do it in a heart beat.

The problem is, I have been doing nothing lately. So, to get my lazy ass back in gear, I enlisted Megan to sign-up with me to run the Turkey Trot. It's a 5K on Thanksgiving morning. Now I have to get my ass in gear and put on my running shoes.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

busy signal

I always think when I am making my work schedule that I can pull all sorts of crazy hours and shifts and clump all my work time together to have a larger chunk of time off later. In this case, my family is coming into town next weekend, so I am trying to lump everything together now, so I have as much time off as I can with them. Then, when I am in the middle of all my shifts, it's not me, it other people that suffer.

I often "glance" at my emails but don't fully read them. I send calls to voicemail, never to return them. Often, getting annoyed that the voicemail is too long and I quit listening to it half way through. In fact, the more people try to communicate with me, the more I get annoyed. I just want to get everything done without interruption.

Really, I've always been this way. I get very annoyed when I'm interrupted. I don't like reading books unless I can read large chunks at a time. I've never been able to read a few pages here and a few pages there. And if I'm talking and someone keeps interrupting me, I quit talking all together. It's my stubborn ways.

What prompted this? I just realized that my brother called me this morning, I was at work, had to put the phone down to help someone. It took so long that he hung up and I just realized that I never called him back and he was in the middle of a story...and now I feel bad. Sorry.

So, if you are a victim of my inability to communicate when I'm busy, I'm sorry. I'm going to try and work on it. And now is the time. I'm working four straight 16-hour days.

Monday, August 31, 2009

For the first time in 28 years...

This is the first summer in my entire life that I haven't spent a significant amount of time at my grandparent's farm. It's one of my favorite places in the world. There is no sense of time there. No stress.

In fact, I have only been back once since the beginning of last August. I was there briefly at the beginning of last December when my parents and I stopped to see my Uncle, cousin and goddaughters on the way to my other uncle's funeral.

Growing up, my bother and I would spend a week at the farm "working" for my grandparents. And while we did a lot of work, we also had plenty of time to play. We spent many days in the bean fields, the garden, the grove, a few adventures in the Boyer River and mowing.

Mowing their place has always been something I've loved to do. As kids, my grandparents had 3 riding lawn for each of the grand kids, so we could all mow at once. Then, we would undoubtedly end up chasing each other on them. As I grew older, I loved to mow because it was just you on the mower and it was a great place to think. For hours on end. One of my grandpa's favorite stories to tell was how he looked out one night and I was mowing the apple orchard with the head lights on the mower, because it had gotten too dark out. He'd never seen anyone use the head lights on the mower before and it made him laugh. Really, I was leaving the next morning(to drive back to Chicago) and I was far too stubborn to not finish mowing the yard before I left. But stubbornness, that's a trait I got from him.

As he got older and my grandma was in a nursing home, I always told him I was going to get him a puppy to keep him company. After pestering him about this for a long time, I asked him what he'd name the dog if I brought one home to him. Without a moment's thought, he responded "Nuisance, because that's what it'd be." I died laughing.

Maybe it's the farm. Maybe it's him that I miss. Maybe it's a combination. He was not a perfect man, but he is the person I often have in my mind when making decisions. His approval always meant the world to me. And it still does.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inglorious Basterds

I'm not even going to tell you about the movie. I almost didn't go see it because I don't like Brad Pitt. Don't like him at all. I went and saw it to support Paul Rust. It's a little bit surreal every time I see him pop up on the big screen.

So, the movie is about to start and this large sweaty man plops down next to me. Ok, there is the "leave one seat in between rule" for a reason. And there was room to leave a seat. So, large/sweaty man and his girlfriend occupy the seats to my left. He makes phone calls and talks incessantly throughout the previews.

I do not like talking during movies. At all.

It's so bad that I almost asked him if he planned on talking during the movie. I should have. That's not even the worst of it. Every time an actor or actress said "Oui" during the movie, he said it out loud. What? Weird. Oui.

He also smelled very bad. There were four distinct smells coming from him:

1) body odor

2) apple cider vinegar

3) cheap woodsy cologne and

4) baby powder.

And I have distinct memories of these smells because he flopped around like a beached whale during the entire movie. Could not sit still. 153 minutes of constant movements that would, in turn, move my chair. Every movement sending another waft of something awful my way. And a few times he was bouncing up and down clapping.

This man was by far the worst person I have ever had the pleasure sitting next to in the movie theater. I recommend the movie but make sure you secure a good seat.

(500) Days of Summer

Absolutely loved it.
One of my new favorite movies.
Go see it.
Figure out why I like it.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Fall I come...

My fall seems to be packed with more fun weekend events than usual. Here's a sneak peek at some of the things I'm doing(and yes, you will notice the theme of FOOTBALL!)

*Last weekend, I helped to close out the summer with a trip to my friends lake house where we had an absolute blast, despite it raining the entire weekend.
*On Monday Megan and I are headed to the bridal store to pick up the bridesmaid dresses for her wedding. I am sure my parents will be very excited to store the dress in my closet at home after the wedding is over. It is already overflowing with the ridiculous amounts of bridesmaid dresses from weddings past. You may or may not know, but the movie 27 Dresses was actually based on me. ;-)

*Sept 11-13 is the annual Lens Family Fun Weekend in Chicago. My dad only agreed to come if I could promise him the Iowa/Iowa St game at a bar.
This was two years ago at the Iowa/NIU game at Soldier Field.
I'll be making my yearly return to Iowa City Oct 2-4 with Megan to go to the Iowa game. We are making the short trip for Megan's birthday to relive the glory days of college.
Megan eating her own finger while tailgating a few years ago(we call her fingers the sausages and my brother convinced her to do this).
Meg, my brother and his wife Jill at the Iowa/Wisc game a few years ago. It was so cold that day...and obviously Jill is a badger fan, as she went to UW for undergrad. I will always hold that against her.
Bundled up for 7am tailgating before the Iowa/Wisc game.
*On a non-football related front...Megan's bridal shower is Oct 25th. I'm sure it will be a blast...any event involving her family usually is.
*I'll be in Columbus Nov 13-15 with my family for our tradition of attending one out of town Iowa game every season until we hit all the stadiums in the Big Ten. This year is the Iowa/OSU game at The Shoe. I am extra excited because Aaron is finishing up med school at OSU and will be tailgating with us. Last year was Iowa's blowout of IU in Bloomington.
Aren't we a cute little family?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


it's the new rob thomas album.
get it.
love it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Actor's Studio Questions

These ten (10) questions originally came from a French series, "Bouillon de Culture" hosted by Bernard Pivot. They're better known as the questions that James Lipton asks every guest at the end of "Inside the Actor's Studio."

1. What is your favorite word? I have several, but one of them is juxtaposition

2. What is your least favorite word? panties

3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
Creatively: random things trigger this
Spiritually: witnessing occurrences that are too amazing to just be a coincidence
Emotionally: seeing selfless deeds being done

4. What turns you off? poor manners and poor grammar

5. What is your favorite curse word? jesustittyfuckingchrist

6. What sound or noise do you love? almost anything nature related(leaves crunching under my feet, waves crashing, wind blowing through the trees)

7. What sound or noise do you hate (dislike)? loud chewing

8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? work to improve living conditions in a lesser developed county

9. What profession would you not like to do? podiatrist(i hate feet)

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
I don't think about stuff like that.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Music to my ears

It's no secret that I've always had questionable taste in music. When I was on the conveyor belt in the baby factory, some worker fell asleep and forgot to put the music chip in brain. With that being said, I'm still going to share with you what's been playing on my iPod lately. Feel free to judge all you want.

Nelly- body on me
MGMT- time to pretend
Laura Izibor- don't stay
Luda- what them girls like
David Kroll- only memories
Erin McCarley- pony(it's ok)
Gloriana- wild at heart
Luda and T-Pain- one more drink
Keith Urban- sweet thing
Jack Ingram- barefoot and crazy
Company of Thieves- oscar wilde
Billy Currington- good directions
Colbie Caillat- fallin for you
Greed Day- 21 guns
Cobra Starship- good girls go bad
Flo Rida- jump
Uncle Kracker- smile
Beyonce- ego
Rascal Flatts- take me there
Keri Hilson and Kanye- knock you down
Jason Aldean- big green tractor
Jessie James- wanted
Katy Perry-waking up in vegas
Carolina Liar- show me what I'm looking for
Rob Thomas- her diamonds
Kings of Leon- notion
VOTA- hard to believe

and always a smattering of brett dennen, taylor swift and zac brown band.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I've got a little extra wattage in my smile this week

If you weren't already jealous of my great life, you might be after reading this...

* Tomorrow Aaron is flying in just to go to lunch with me! Ok, so he's not flying in just to go to lunch with me...I think he is giving some super intellectual speech for the AMA but I still get to go to lunch with him! Yay!

* Friday night I get to see Megan! Sadly, I don't get to see her all that much since she moved out to the suburbs. I know it's so much closer to work for her but I miss her dearly and all the fun adventures we would have together. Living with her was one of the most fun years of my life. We could entertain ourselves for hours doing positively nothing. We also had amazing wine and scrabble nights...I need more of those in my life.

* On Saturday I get to have lunch with the Godfrey clan. Shiner is one of my former bosses and greatest life mentors and one of the most amazing people I have ever met. I absolutely love her and her family. I can't believe Elaine will be coming to Chicago to tour Northwestern...I met her the summer before she was going into first grade! It really makes me feel old. She is one of the most beautiful, smart and well raised teenagers I know...and without much surprise as she has amazing parents.

I'm a lucky girl. :-)

"Good job walking"

I love my job. I love the kids. I love my co-workers.

Two years ago at our work Christmas party, one of my co-workers told me a story about something I did earlier that day, that I was completely unaware of and she found quite funny. It was early December and we had a particularly unruly and impulsive group of Team One(12 years old and under) boys. They needed all the support, encouragement, praise and reinforcement of ANY positive behavior possible.

As the boys were walking from the front of the unit to the back after a group, I simply said(and I sincerely meant it), "You guys are doing a really good job walking." As it was highly unusual to see this group of kids actually walk from point a to point b with out spinning, running, skipping, hopping or dropping to the floor and rolling around. My co-worker said at that moment in her head, she thought to herself "Where do we work that we say things like "good job walking" and it is the only compliment you can come up with?" Needless to say, it is now the running joke between her and I to compliment each other on doing a good job walking and have a hearty chuckle.

So, if you are every running short on nice things to say to a person, I would recommend going with "good job walking" and think of this story and maybe, just maybe have a little chuckle of your own.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Megan and Dames

Apparently, it's a Mulvey kind of day on my blog. Darrin(aka Dames) and Megan have had their wedding website up and running for a while, but I don't think I've given it a shout out, yet.

I love these two. They are by far my all time favorite couple to hang out with. This picture was actually taken the night before they got engaged. What isn't written in the "engagement story" portion of their site is that Megan pulled me into the bathroom at the ugly sweater Christmas party we were at and told me she thought it was going to happen the next day. I called her the next morning and she had convinced herself that it wasn't going to happen. I still thought otherwise. Love my gsm.

Down the Road

A world premiere written and directed by Braden LuBell starring Marika Engelhardt and Patrick Mulvey.

Maddy and Lee are young, bright, and beautiful - and exactly what each other have been looking for. It only makes sense to build a life together. But when their well-laid plans are stalled by inevitable surprises, each attempts to navigate a slippery slope of optimism and compromise - until their present looks little like the future they always wanted.
August 14,15, 21, 22 at Strawdog Theatre's Hugen Hall, 3829 N Broadway, Chicago, IL. All shows start at 11:30pm and will last about an hour.

$15 suggested donation at the door.

For reservations or questions contact Marika and Patrick at
**I am going this Friday July 14th. If you are interested in going with me, let me know.

Joey and the Stinkberries

You may think this sounds like a great name for a band...and it might be, but it's actually referring to a very traumatic event in my life that I was very recently reminded of by none other than Joey himself.

Let me set the scene for you. Joey and I were friends in college. We met freshman year when we were both engineering majors...a major that didn't last for either of us. We had all of our classes together courtesy of a program called "courses in common". The university's theory was that by giving several people all of their classes together they would form bonds. Well, it worked.

The University of Iowa had other genius ideas as well. Like planting some pretty trees in the Pentacrest. The drawback to these trees is that in late fall they drop these berries onto the ground, which is fine unit they are stepped on and break open emitting a rancid vomit smell, hence the reason we called them stinkberry trees.

So it's a unseasonably warm day in December and Joey and I are headed to our Engineering Calculus(with the infamous Freddy G as our professor) final which we had spent hours studying for. As we prance through the Pentacrest on our way to final I give Joey a friendly nudge and I must have caught him at just the right time, because he was knocked completely off balance and fell into a large evergreen tree. I start dying laughing because I think falling is the funniest thing ever. Joey did not think it was quite as funny, because I was 10 steps in front of him when I heard feet pounding on the pavement behind me. Here comes Joey, grabs my backpack and twirls me around at lightening speed to which I go flying to the ground....right in a GIANT pile of mashed up stinkberries. I now have rancid vomit smelling stinkberries on the back of my jeans and on my hands. With no time to run back to change and a final looming ahead of us, we continue on to see what Freddy G had cooked up for us. Let me tell you, stinkberries don't wash off your hands well and it was very hard to concentrate on that final smelling of stinkberries. The only consolation was that Joey sat by me and had to smell me the entire final, too.

And that, my friends, is the story of Joey and the stinkberries.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Artichoke-Potato Medley

Straight from Vegetarian Times(Sept 2009)

Okay, okay, okay. I haven't made it yet...but I will. Soon. I just got this issue in the mail today and I'm reading it at work. Had I gotten this before I went home last weekend I would have made it for my parents because they love artichokes.

  • 1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 10oz boxes frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
  • 1 1/2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (4tsp)
  • 3 Tbs. chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp. sweet or smoked paprika
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped, optional


  1. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Drain.
  2. Return potatoes to saucepan; heat over high heat with artichokes and oil. Cook 5 minutes or until vegetables start to brown, stirring occasionally. Add olives, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest and paprika. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 minutes more, or until fragrant and heated through. Serve garnished with chopped eggs, if using.

metal mouth

At the beginning of July I was briefly in the hospital with tonsillitis and strep for which I was given IV clindomycin, then took it orally for 10 more days.

Ugh. How awful.

The night I was in the hospital, I woke up several times in the night with the worst cold feeling, metallic taste in my mouth. Bad enough to wake me up. That's bad. I attempted to use the hospital provided cranberry juice cocktail to wash this taste out but to no avail, it was coming to me through my blood stream. The bad taste lessened in the 10 while I took the abx orally...thankfully.

The bad news is that it did a number on my taste buds. Nothing is quite as flavorful as it was before. Food has lost it's allure. It makes me less interested in cooking, because I know what I'm making wont have much taste. Today, I woke up and had no desire to even go near food until I made myself eat something at 3:30pm, because I know my body needs food. This might sound great, but it's not. It sucks.

I want my mouth back.

It's 4am...

Yes, it's 4am. I'm at work. Finally, time to update the blog.

Last winter, my dad came into the city for a day and we did fun and exciting things like going to the flower and garden show together. Ever since, my mom has wanted to come in and spend the day with me as well. So she did. We did fun things like go to dinner, go shopping and a lot of walking.

After putting mom on the train, I headed straight to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Aaron was in town and we met up to see Pat McGee, Bret Dennen and Matt Nathanson play for the Jammin' at the Zoo series. It was a slice, until it started pouring rain 2 songs into Matt Nathanson's act. We grabbed a cab and headed to Court's where Aaron made us some amazing(ly strong) margaritas in honor of National Tequila Day. Then, we headed out for a fun night in the city.

The next weekend I headed home for a long planned trip at my parents(unlike my previous trip there). It was nice to have a few relaxing days at home. I spent my afternoons reading on the back patio and soaking up the sun. One night mom and I even went on a beer run bike ride to the Casey's General Store by their house. When we got back, I then convinced my dad to go for a ride with me. Our ride ended with a little less of happy ending and a trip to the ER when he thought it would be a good idea to leave the comfort of his bike seat for the harsh reality of the hard cement road. A possibly damaged rotator cuff, broken pinkie and dysfunctional tendon later, he's off the golf course for at least the next 3 weeks.

I'm back and have a wild week at work and it doesn't look to be slowing down until after the weekend is over. Hopefully more regular updates to come.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Ann Arbor out, Iowa in

I was supposed to head to Ann Arbor over the 4th to spend some time with Mel, but a minor set back of strep throat sent me packing to my parents house to spend some time at the Lens ranch.

Bummed not to be having a girls weekend, but rest is what I knew I needed. It was also exciting that my brother was going to be there as well. One of the first things we did Friday morning was make a list of meals to eat for the weekend...yay, cooking!

Friday for lunch we had burrito in a bowl. Easy and delicious. Inspired by Chipotle/Pancheros. Friday for supper we made our own pizzas on the grill with homemade pizza crusts. They were really good. I used bbq sauce for the sauce with onions, grape tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini and olives with just a little cheese. It was so good! I had the leftovers for lunch today. While they were grilling my brother pulled out our old ball gloves and we played some catch.

Friday night we went as a family and saw The Hangover. Hilarious. It was my first time seeing it, but everyone else in my family was seeing it for the second time. I got really excited when the preview for I Love You Beth Cooper came on and there was Paul Rust's face on the big screen. I pretty much shouted, "IT'S PAUL RUST!" My brother Shhhhed me and then I had to explain who Paul was. I will go to see I Love You Beth Cooper just to support Paul and you should, too.

Saturday for lunch I made a spinach, broccoli, tomato and feta quiche. I thought it was ok. Saturday night we grilled out shish kabobs. Yummm. While they were grilling we played frisbee. Perfect 4th of July. After dinner we played a little asshole and I taught my family how to play farkel.

That pretty much wrapped up my 4th weekend. Today I traveled back to the city to get back into the swing of things.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

roll. chop.

Meet my newest kitchen gadget.

It is the rolling garlic chopper.

I HATE mincing and chopping garlic, so I felt that this little friend might be very helpful. I have not used him yet, but I am very excited to put him to use. Isn't he just adorable? I really need to name him, too. Anyway, this is just a post to get excited about all the fun things I will be doing with my new gadget(providing it works as well as it says it does). I feel like he might make fun noises as he rolls and chops, much like R2D2. Officially geeked out over him.

Fun, Sun, Wedding, Done

After Aaron claimed his luggage, we set off on a 2.5 hour road trip to Provincetown(affectionately called Ptown) for Jen and Haven's beach wedding. It was by far the most relaxed and laid back wedding I had ever attended, which made it extremely enjoyable. It was also the first day of sunshine in 3 weeks, then it started raining again the next day. Coincidence, no?

Jen and Haven:

After the ceremony Aaron patrolled to beach to make sure everyone was safe and we didn't lose anyone in the tide:
They rented a massive beach house to stay in for the week and had the reception there. We dined on clams, lobster, chicken, potatoes, veggies and wedding cake, of course.

It started to rain right after dinner. While giving the toasts and cake cutting, there was a rainbow...
The next morning they chartered a 73-foot boat for everyone to go out sailing. It was a cool and misty morning but we still had a blast.

More of the cruel Northeastern weather playing games with Aaron's umbrella.

Detours, detours, detours

Last weekend I headed to Boston to attend Haven and Jen's wedding in Provincetown with Aaron. Upon landing in Boston and "powering up" my "cellular device" I discovered 9 texts from Aaron ranging from his flight was diverted to cancelled to he was now on first class and would be getting into Boston around 11pm. My grand plan was to hang out in the airport bar and wait for him, until I debarked my plane and realized what a crap hole of an airport Boston Logan happens to be.

So, Plan B. James had already landed and I knew he was out and about in Boston from his Twitter updates that day. So I called up the socialite and met up with him at his friend Monica's(awesome girl)...who happens to live across the street from Tom and Giselle(fun fact). From there we hit up two Boston bars and waited for Aaron's arrival.

James, Mon and myself enjoying a Brubaker:
Aaron arrive and we had to toast the Irish by doing a car bomb:We had to spend the night in Boston because Aaron's luggage was still in New York(thanks again for the place to stay, Mon) and we went to a great brunch place the next morning but not before James acquired some sort of pedal injury. Thank goodness he didn't get any blood in the rental car.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Asparagus Tart

I have previously made something similar to this but threw together some things I had today to make a new creation.


1 pizza crust(i used the tube roll out kind--lazy)
1/3 tub of dill flavored hummus(or flavor of choice)
6 spears of lightly steamed asparagus
1 tomato
fresh Parmesan cheese
olive oil(i used lemon infused)


Preheat oven to 425F.

I simply got out my baking stone and rolled out the tube of pizza crust on it. I lightly brushed the crust with a little lemon infused olive oil(I'm sure plain would be just as good, but slightly more boring). After that I spread a thin layer of dill flavored hummus on the crust(it used 1/4 to 1/3 of the small tub of hummus). I cut the asparagus spears into 2" pieces and places them on top of the hummus. I placed the tomato slices(1/8 in thick) on top of the asparagus. Sprinkle the whole top with a little salt and pepper to taste. Grate the amount of fresh Parmesan cheese on top to suit your taste buds. I personally think a little goes a long way.

Bake at 425F for 14-17 minutes or until the crust is light brown and the cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Next time I might throw some artichoke hearts on there, too.

It makes a great light lunch/supper on a hot summer day. Would also be perfect if cut in half length wise then into 1" wide strips and use as an appetizer at your next gathering. It's great cold, too!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Zucchini-Tomato Gratin

Straight out of Vegetarian Times


  • 1 1/2 lb tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices(I used Roma)
  • 2 medium zucchini(1 lb.), cut into 1/8-inch thick diagonal pieces
  • 1 T plus 1tsp olive oil, divided(I used a lemon infused olive oil)
  • 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
  • 2 T roughly chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup thinly slices basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese(the fresher the better)

1. Take your tomatoes and zucchini, place the slices on large baking sheets and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30-45 minutes to sweat out extra moisture. Rinse and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 375F. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil(this is where I went cowboy and pulled out the lemon infused olive oil because I thought the flavor would enhance the dish) in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini for 3-4 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a plate.

3. Layer 1/2 the zucchini slices in an 8in baking pan. Top with 1/2 of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1/2 the garlic, 1 T of olives, half the basil and 1/4 C of the Parmesan cheese. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Repeat with remaining zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, olives and basil. Drizzle top with 1 T of the olive oil(went with the lemon again) and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 C of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil, and bake 20 minutes more or until cheese is melted and gratin bubbling. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

This is what it looked like when I pulled it out to take the foil off after 10 minutes:

While I was waiting for the vegetable to sweat, I realized that I had bought some white peaches at the grocery store(fully intended on eating them just as fruit and not combining them with alcohol) and that I also had some Bacardi Peach and a bottle of white wine. Hmmm...white peach sangria. So I mixed this up to sip on while I cooked...

Roll out! Make your own sushi

Sushi making is probably far easier for me to make than your average carnivore. The carnivore would have to search for special sushi-grade fish, while I just have to hit up the produce section and pick out the vegetables that I want.

I LOVE veggie sushi. Brock and I love going for sushi at this place downtown and their veggie rolls are so good that I have almost converted him to ordering only veggie rolls while we are there. For my first attempt at making sushi, I stuck to simple veggie rolls but next time I would want to try to make some veggie tempura rolls. Ok, enough of my rambling, I'll tell you how I made it.
  • Seaweed wrappers
  • Sushi rice(regular long grain rice will not work)
  • 3T of Japanese rice vinegar
  • 2T sugar
  • 2tsp salt(you can use table, sea or kosher...I used kosher)
Veggie fillers(what I used):
  • Tofutti better than cream cheese
  • Carrots( in matchstick form or shredded)
  • Cucumber(long thin slices or matchsticks)
  • Avocado
  • Jalapeno(diced)
  • Cilantro
  • Asparagus(cooked until tender)
My asparagus getting ready to get tender and then cool so it can go in my rolls:
This was the sushi vinegar my local grocery store carried:
To make the sushi rice, I simply googled "sushi rice" and a site called How to Make Perfect Sushi Rice popped up. So, I just followed their recipe...why mess with perfection? Here's their recipe:

Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan on the stove over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved into the vinegar. Do not boil the mixture. Leave sitting off heat until needed. You can make this portion before or while the rice is cooking.

Here is my vinegar, salt and sugar mixture before everything is dissolved:
Rinse the rice with cold water. This may take several water changes. Do this until the final rinse water runs clear.
Steam the rinsed rice in an equal amount of water (i.e.: 2 cups of rice and 2 cups of water) in a rice cooker or on the stove top following the package's directions or by bringing to a boil, then cooking over very low heat until the water is evaporated and you are left with lovely sticky rice.
As always when cooking rice on the stove top, use very low heat after the initial boil and keep the lid on at all times. The trapped steam is what enables the rice to cook.
Once the rice has finished cooking, it can be left off heat in the pot with the lid on for up to 15 minutes.
When the rice has finished cooking, add the vinegar seasoning to the rice. Turn the rice out of the pot and into a non-reactive shallow bowl.

You want to cool down the rice and add the seasoning at the same time.

Use a tool like a samoji(I used a wooden fork) in a gentle chopping motion to spread out the grains of rice and ensure the seasoning covers every grain.

Some people use a hand-held fan to help in the cooling process. (I did NOT do this, as I do not own a hand-held fan and simply didn't think it was necessary)
The website also provided this handy guide:

Tips for Making Perfect Sushi Rice

1. Use a non-reactive metal or wooden container for the final step of seasoning the rice, as some metals will react with the vinegar and mar the flavor of the rice.
2. Be careful not to squish the grains of rice together when adding the vinegar mixture. You want to maintain the integrity of the rice grains.
3. Spreading out the rice makes it cool down faster. This stops the rice cooking in its own heat. To make sushi, the rice should be at about room temperature.
4. If you are not going to make the sushi right away, cover the seasoned rice with a damp cloth to ensure that it doesn't dry out.
5. Never refrigerate sushi rice, as it will get too hard to work with or eat.
After making the rice it became very hands on, therefore a lack of pictures. Mathiew Le gave me a sushi making kit a few years ago and I had never used it, so I pulled it out of the closet and gave that beast a whirl. Thank you Mathiew! Making sushi is so much fun.

Have all your ingredients ready in bowls and have a bowl of room temperature water on hand.
Lay a piece of seaweed paper on your rolling mat and spread a thin layer of rice on it. I don't like a ton of rice, so I only covered about 1/2 of the seaweed with rice. It helps if your fingers are a little wet(dip them in the handy-dandy bowl of water conveniently sitting there). Then you put on any of the topping you would like. I made several different combinations. I really like a jalapeno, cilantro, carrot, avocado and cucumber combo with a little cream cheese. Sooooo good.

Once you have your fillings on the rice, you are ready to roll!
I don't really know how best to describe how to roll, but it is important to roll tightly. Use the mat to roll and try to roll and tuck the seaweed into the rice just past the ingredients very tightly. Pull the mat back and bit and keep rolling until you have a roll.

I got a little overzealous and made a lot of rolls. I was on a roll(pun intended).

Slice up your rolls into nice pretty pieces. Pull your wasabi and soy sauce out of the cupboard, dip and eat.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rustic Pizza

I made this about 6 weeks ago, but have obviously sucked at updating my blog. I got two new cook books for my birthday from Megan and am very excited about making several recipes in them. This is the first recipe I have tried. The cookbook is amazing, it's called 100 Great Recipes: Vegetarian. The great thing about it is that it gives you the recipe to serve 2 or 4 and lots of pictures. I really like pictures. There is a good chance I will never try to make something if I don't get to see the picture along with the recipe.

I came across a recipe for a roasted-vegetable and mozzarella tart that looked really good, but I had a hankering for something more pizza-ish. So I started out by changing the recipe a little...then a lot. But will probably make the original recipe sometime too, but it looks real good.


1/2 of a yellow onion, peeled and cut into wedges

1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips

3 1/2 inch slices of eggplant cut into 1/4 in strips

4 vegetarian meatballs(cut each ball in half)

1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese(I used the veggie shreds kind)

pizza sauce to the amount of your liking(I like a lot)

Box of pizza dough mix(lazy, I know)

Start by slicing your vegetables and tossing them in a bowl

Add the olive oil and toss:
Spread out on pan and ready to go in the oven

Preheat your oven to 400F. Once cup/sliced/shopped to the above specifications, toss the vegetables with little olive oil, place in a roasting pan. Roast for 25 minutes. I threw my pizza stone in the oven while the veggies were roasting to heat it up.
While your veggies are roasting, search through your pantry to for a box of pizza dough mix. Find one, discover it is expired and mix it up anyway, thinking that it should still turn out alright. I had originally planned on making homemade pizza dough but it was getting late and I didn't have time for it to rise an hour when the box mix is ready in five minutes.
I like it saucy:

Mix up that dough(follow the simple directions on the box) and spread it out. Next, look in your pantry for some pizza sauce, realize that you don't have any either and reach into your fridge and pull out some sundried tomato and olive marinara, add some extra Italian herbs and call it pizza sauce. Spread desired amount on to crust.

Now there are a lot of toppings on that beast:

Once the veggies are properly roasted, pull them out of the oven and arrange them any way you would like on your pizza sauce. Strategically arrange the meatball halves so they are about equidistant from each other. Then top with motz. Put this beast on your pizza stone and bake until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbly.

Maybe put a little too much cheese on it, but it was delish!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I am not stretch armstrong

I have been over committed and stretching myself far to thin lately. I apologize to everyone I have been neglecting. When I get stressed I get really bad at communicating. Emails go unanswered, texts go unreturned and phone calls get sent to voicemail and stay there for days. I have been working too much and sleeping too little. This was brought to my attention when I went out to dinner with Megan last weekend, while I already knew it myself, sometimes I need someone to point it out to me.

I had a lot of fun social things happening this week, which is better than my usual tactic of hibernating when not at work, however they led to me getting even less sleep. So, after tomorrow which should conclude an insanity of shifts, I am cutting back. More time for me, less time for work.

I have several short travel trips coming up that I am looking forward to as well as a trip home, which is always relaxing.

What am I going to do with this new found free time? I'm going to look into taking a class. I need a creative outlet. What it will be... I don't know... But I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chew on this

Has it really been 3 weeks since I last posted? So much has been going on...

I have a few new kitcheny things that I need to blog about soon, my birthday and I'm moving this weekend! Oh, and lots of work, as usual.

Interestingly the other day I was taking a mid-day cab ride when the driver just started chuckling. He told me to look at the driver in the car next to us and the was a woman devouring a sandwich and the half masticated grub was rolling around in her wide open trap. It was down right revolting. Ironically, she was a very nicely dress business looking woman in a luxury automobile. The cabbie then launched into how much he loved seeing how people eat and chew when they are in their cars because "their true colors come out." Since then, I have kept my eye out for mobile eaters and it does seem like they have worse manners than table eaters.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Mexican burrito pie

Megan "Maher" Gray emailed this recipe to me months ago and I have a made it several times because it is so tasty. The last time I made it was for my parents on a trip home. That was the real test to convince these carnivores that a vegetarian meal could be so satisfying...I think they were convinced.


-one medium VERY RIPE avocado
-a small bunch of green onions
-a head of garlic
-a lemon or a bottle of lemon juice

-Sour cream
-Shredded cheese (Mexican blend recommended)

-chili powder

-5 8 inch tortillas (smaller if necessary, no bigger or won't fit in pan, doy)

Canned/Dry Goods
-19 oz can of pinto beans
-Salsa (the fresher the better but any kind works fine)
-Small can of pickled jalapenos (optional)

-disposable deep dish 8" pie tin if you don't have one, or are making this for someone else


Mash these items together in another mixing bowl (with potato masher if available)...
1 19-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (if you can only find a 15-oz can it won't be a huge disaster)
2T pickled jalapenos, minced (optional for the spicy food lovers, I actually add more because I like it HOT, HOT, HOT)
1 tsp chili powder ½ tsp ground cumin 1 cup salsa

It looks good, doesn't it? No, not really. It's the final product that really counts.

Mash these items together in one mixing bowl (with fork) until smooth...

One large VERY RIPE avocado (if it's not really soft it will ruin the whole thing)
3 green onions finely chopped
1-2 cloves of fresh garlic minced
1T lemon juice
1T sour cream (I use the Tofutti brand faux sour cream and it is really good, I promise)

You are really starting to lick your lips now, huh? Or is it making your stomach churn?

Just keep, my hand looks freakishly large. Yikes.

Again, another shot of the over sized hand. All the better for mixing.

I employed my mom to do a little mashing. Hey, you have to make your money where you can in these hard economic times. :-)

These were the tortillas we used. Hy-Vee, where there's a helpful smile in every aisle. I've never really seen a smiling worker in every aisle when I've been there, but that's what they claim.

Alright, here we are really ready to throw this together now.
Use some non stick spray on your 8" pie pan. Put down one tortilla and then spread 1/2 of your bean/salsa mashed up mixture on it. Then top that off with another tortilla.

Got that tortilla on top? Ok, then spread 1/2 of your avocado/sour cream mixture on that tortilla.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mexi blend cheese on top of that spread and top with another tortilla.'s starting to look good now.

Ok, add another tortilla and spread on the rest of the bean/salsa mash. Then top with another tortilla and add the other 1/2 of the avocado spread, top that with 1/2c cheese and toss another tortilla on top of that. So, you pretty much just repeated the first two steps over again, Easy, huh?
Then you add another 1/2c of cheese on top of that last tortilla so it looks like this:

Were you preheating your oven to 350F? You should have been! So, if you did, cover that pie with foil and bake for 25 minutes. If you didn't, wait for it to heat up then bake.
After 25 minutes, take the foil off and bake for another 5 minutes.
It will come out looking like this:
Well, not exactly like that, because I added some diced tomato to the top when it came out. They didn't just magically appear while it was in the oven. Sorry for any confusion.

Slice it up into pie shaped pieces and serve and EAT! Yummmmm~

My dad, mid bite...

Just so you know, he gave it two thumbs up.