Friday, March 18

Crawdaddy Days

I'm back from New Orleans and since it's Friday, I figure I'll share my favorite meals from last week! Yes...I took pictures of the food... I'm that dork. But it was all so good! The group I traveled with is definitely...eclectic. We're not afraid to try new things and (Perez and I, at least) were more excited about the food than all

Wherever I go, I am always looking for a hole-in-the-wall place to eat. I truly believe that is where you find the best and most surprising food in a city. Granted, we spent the majority of our time on the offshoots of Canal, Bourbon, and Decatur so my hole-in-the-wall theory gave way to the eat-what's-on-the-way-to-the-bar mentality, but I still enjoyed myself....even if I was surrounded by other tourists for most of my meals.

 The above pictures were taken at Salt and Pepper, the one good hole-in-the-wall place we found on our way to the bars. It's a Pakistani restaurant that doesn't look like much, but boy oh boy was it good and spicy! We passed it at first, with Mudi demanding we eat there for dinner (he's Pakistani), on our way to look at some art. Well, Mudi got to talking with the owner of the gallery and it turned out they were from the same area of Pakistan and that the gallery owner actually owned Salt and Pepper as well! Destiny! The food was surprisingly amazing; I had no idea what anything was on the menu, so I asked the manager to pick something for me. It was basic chicken and rice, but it was seasoned to perfection. The only annoyances at the restaurant were the customers; all wasted, one was passed out on the toilet, and 2 other racist douche-bags dumped their plates on the table before leaving. And yes, I did call them out at the restaurant. I realized the difference between and tourist and a traveler; tourists are observing the culture around them and are often rude or obnoxious, while travelers try to temporarily assimilate into the culture and are as respectful as possible. These bitches were rude tourists. And they were none too happy with what I had to say.

These, my lovelies, are the French version of a donut: beignets, fried dough covered with powdered sugar. In New Orleans, Cafe du Monde is the place to go. The menu is simple: beignets, coffee, hot chocolate, tea. You seat yourself, and the tables aren't always clean when you sit down, it's crowded, and the servers refuse to split a check. Yet there is a line down the block. Oh yeah. They're that good.

Perez is making sweet love to his beignet.
I paired my beignets with a hot chocolate and was not disappointed. The hot chocolate is thick and creamy, not watered down Swiss Miss. If you ever have a beignet, I recommend dipping it in hot chocolate. 

Creole Gumbo (I think? Please forgive me!) was great at French Market Restaurant and Bar, and the service was great. Walking by, you smell the sweet and salty scent of crawfish wafting out of a window and can't resist!
This was our first experience with craw fish so we were a little intimidated. They boil them fresh in the restaunt and season them with cajun spices. The way the waitress explained it is: rip off the head and suck the juices (or not, like me...bit too barbaric for my tastes), tear off the first rung of the shell, pinch the tail, and suck the meat out. You pinch the tail so that it holds the black stuff in the shell and all you get is the meat. Never eat the black stuff. 

Friday, March 4

I swoon....

Floppy hats make my heart all fuzzly

Bold solids + complementary colors

les drool....

Navajo inspired patterns

Bold shoe love.

Slouchy + Aqua color scale

All pics courtesy of JAK & JIL BLOG stalking habits and featuring Tommy Ton.

I don't know about you, but I am in love with what I've been seeing in Paris this week. I'm all about a simple look with a dash of the unexpected; a tan trench and jeans paired with lime green silhouette heels, a sheath dress or tunic to balance a crazy pattern, fitted blazers and floppy hats, or a playful aqua sweater beneath a fur bolero? What these looks all have in common is balance. In each, there is a give-and-take. Give on a hem line, take on fit. Give on business, take on romance. Give the male model a shirt, and hope he takes it off.... Je t'adore, Paris.... je t'adore!

The best way to my heart...

This meal is super easy; it was on the back of my bag of frozen chicken! What you do is rinse 4 frozen chicken breasts with cool water to get the ice off, season with a bit of salt and pepper (I added red pepper flakes), then stick them in a metal pan and cook at 350 degrees F for 45 min. I substituted with a glass pan, so I lowered the temperature to 325 deg. and it took probably 1 1/2 hrs to cook the chicken thoroughly. Once it's cooked through, add a slice of ham, tomato, and cheese (I added eggplant... don''s the worst) and pop it back in the oven for 5 minutes to melt the cheese. Place the chicken on a serving plate and boil the stock with 1/3 C marsala wine for about a minute over Med-high heat. Pour over the chicken and serve!

I had Perez over for dinner  (I owed him one for writing a paper for me a while back), and although he hates ham, he thoroughly enjoyed himself! I paired it with Blue Moon wheat ale with a bit of orange squeezed in it. YUM! 

Oh, and for those of you eggplant luvahz, how do you think I should have cooked the eggplant to make it work for this?

Thursday, March 3


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In a nutshell: you are responsible for your health and happiness

Graphic by Julian Bialowas

I had a terrible dream last night. I was at a family barbecue and fighting with my best friend. She was angry with me for something I didn't understand (and was therefore irrational). Despite my efforts to show kindness, she continued her disdain. It all came to a head when she left a slice of pizza on the ground and I threw it at her, screaming insults. I awoke from this nightmare still angry. Every muscle in my body was tense, and my arms were crossed, forming a defensive shield. My entire body had gone into fight-mode in my sleep. 

It's funny how the events in our daily lives affect us, even when we tell ourselves they don't matter. Negativity seeps into our subconscious; if gone untreated, it becomes parasitic, infecting the soul. Mental duress impacts the physical body, as well as the spiritual. "Unusual symptoms that resist the million-dollar workup can be a sign that your body is expressing some kind of emotional upset,"  says Charles Goodstein, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry at NYU Medical Center in New York City. Unexplained headaches, intestinal issues (you know what I'm talking about), and back and chest pain are all associated with mental stress.

So how do we get over this? How are we supposed to move past what is hurting us when, as far as far we knew, everything was fine? First, learn to acknowledge the issue. It may seem that you're letting it go, but in reality the issue is simply being buried and allowed to fester. Second, make it a habit to address the issue right away. If your room mate blasts the TV when you're trying to sleep, don't lay there, allowing yourself to get unreasonably angry.  Ask your room mate to turn it down (politely) when it first happens. If your boyfriend is late for a date, call him out on it immediately! Let him know he upset you; hey, you may even get desert out of the poor guy if he feels bad enough. Third: LET IT GO. Once the issue has been addressed and resolved, it doesn't exist. By holding a grudge, you make yourself sick...and look like a psycho. No one wants to date a psycho, except for maybe another psycho. Then you can make each other sick together, and leave everyone else alone.

Paris is always a good idea

I remember the first time I saw a pixie cut. I was 16 years old, and on a TCM kick when Sabrina (the one about a chauffeur's daughter, not a teen-aged witch) came on TV. Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) left for France an invisible girl, but returned to Rhode Island with a lot more moxie...and a lot less hair.

Photo by Mark Shaw

I was in love.
It took me 5 years to build up the courage to get the cut, but I finally did it in July, 2010. I look younger than my age, so I was always afraid that a short cut would make me look even younger. I was afraid I would look like a boy, or that men wouldn't find me attractive, but to be honest I think it's done the opposite. I look like a young woman now instead of a child, the cut accentuates the feminine features of my face, and not to toot my own horn, but I have definitely seen an improvement in my boy count. I haven't looked back since!

A few of my favorite/inspirational cuts:

I stumbled upon Karla's page while perusing pixies before my last trim and all I could think was "Finally! Someone's got it right!" It was just what I wanted, and I absolutely love it. Although, I must say Carey Mulligan's hair is a-tuggin' on my heart strings...