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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Amazing Weekend

I'm excited to report that my first day off in weeks did not disappoint! It's been nothing short of amazing. John and I slept in, caught up on grocery shopping at Trader Joe's, played in our last regular season football game, visited Great Lakes Brewing Company with the team, and came home to watch football while I made our favorite Chili with cornbread and Stuffed Mushrooms.

John surprised me with the leather jacket I'd become uncharacteristically obsessed with - a close-fitting asymmetrical design in gunmetal grey.

I got the idea when I saw this look on Jennifer Aniston in Switch; it looked fantastic, but I didn't think I'd be able to find, much less own, the perfect grey jacket. My sweet boyfriend proved me wrong.

Team Bob Loblaw took us to Great Lakes Brewing Company specifically to try the (in)famous Christmas Ale, which is brewed with honey, fresh ginger, and cinnamon. It manages to be delicious but not sweet or heavy. Incredible.

Great Lakes was also fun for me because it will have to be the Cleveland Brewer's replacement. Granted, it's not three blocks from my apartment, but it'll do. I felt right at home - it had a similar lower level and everything! And my fierce Mt. Vernon loyalty makes it very hard to say this, but the beer might actually be...better.

All the more reason for you to visit, folks.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Fall

What says Happy Fall better than a fresh apple cake?

Your house smells like cinnamon; your dog tries to get apple cores out of the trash; you have something delicious to give your boyfriend and co-workers.

I have been recommending this recipe to everyone I know. It's amazing.

I did the baking Monday night after work and errands to decompress, and John and I and all my Cleveland friends have been obsessed since. It's reminiscent of coffee cake and undoubtedly sinful, but totally worth it. Courtesy of Real Simple.

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the dish
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the dish
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped pecans
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
Caramel Glaze (optional)

Heat oven to 325° F. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter and the granulated and brown sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Using a wooden spoon, gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. The batter should be very thick. Stir in the apples, pecans, and vanilla. Scrape the batter into a buttered and floured 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cool for at least 10 minutes while you make the Caramel Glaze, if using. With a spatula, loosen the sides of the cake. If you want to remove it from the pan, invert it onto a baking sheet, then invert it again, right-side up, onto a platter. With a toothpick or fork, poke holes all over the surface. Pour on the warm sauce. BAM.

Enjoy. :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Past Two Weeks

I spent a glorious night in Athens, GA with my two best friends from college. We went shopping, wore crowns on our heads, and danced ourselves silly. It was amazing.

John and I tried a fantastic restaurant and can't wait to go back. Felice has our vote - it's in a cozy little house that manages to be both quirky and sophisticated. Their inventive cocktail menu has me excited to return for the Reverse Happy Hour - 10 pm 12 am Fri and Sat - what a great idea! The menu was created with Spanish, Mediterranean, and American influence and a lot of imagination. Delicious.

Waiting for me on our chalkboard after work.

John and I went to a Halloween party with our Team Bob Loblaw and had a great time. We were Angel and Devil; I'll let you guess who wore the halo and who wore the horns.

I can't believe the end of October is here! I was sad to find out that work will require me to stay in Cleve for T-giving, but we're making the best of it with lots of fun cooking and plans for our little family.

My friends are beautiful.

Next on the docket...? Apple cake!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Busy Days

The past few weeks have been insanely busy. The past week...even more.

Things that will be blogged later include one of my oldest friend's weddings, a visit with my two best friends from Converse, and fun dates and new restaurants with John.

What I want to share right away is the talent of my good friend, Erin Waller of Magnolia Street Photography. Erin and I randomly became friends this past January, and we've since had a great time together. I love photography, and being a part of Erin's work has been absolutely amazing!

See some of our pics below, and view more here on her blog. I love them. And Erin.

More to come...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I could use a review.

Long Overdue

I'm thrilled to say that I have a date next week with my good friend Erin!
She has agreed to meet John and me in Pittsburgh for one of our fun shoots and most importantly, hang out time. I couldn't be happier!

Check out more of Erin's inspiring work on her website or blog.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yay for Great Design

I love Jessica Hische's modern and intelligent approach to design. She sells beautiful prints. 
Plus, she has a font named Snowflake. Adorable.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Things I Love

My new favorite thing is dry shampoo. Who needs hair washing? Drying takes entirely too long; this I've known for years. Dry shampoo gives more texture, anyway. I use the cheap Tresseme one from Target.

I may not be a real vegetarian, but I've had a long love affair with vegetarian foods. This is the next place I have to try, on Coventry: Tommy's!

I've been listening to Top 40 music for the first time in my life. I'm going to blame all the Baltimore nights that ended with dancing, Gaga, and yes, Kesha.

Favorite thing in my closet, hands down: stockings with seams. Everyone loves them, whether they are 25 or 85! They're a real conversation piece, apparently.

I've been working a lot. Maybe too much. But my sweet boyfriend sends me off with packed lunches and hidden notes, and that makes it not so bad.

And finally, I have simplified my goals: 


Monday, October 4, 2010


I'm now working for the fashion designer interviewed in the video from 2007 below. Please ignore the garish "fashion network" opening. In fact, skip it entirely. 

Anne is extremely talented, lots of fun, impeccably dressed, and charming in that totally un-American, elegantly detached way. She's gorgeous, but most importantly, she surrounds herself with great people. It's an atmosphere of creativity, the kind with a constant energetic undercurrent. I love it. 

Good Things Happening

The List

I've been job hunting since arriving to Cleveland, and suddenly I am given a full time job, offered another, and given an unexpected interview, all in the space of one weekend. I guess Liz Lemon's most recent mantra is valid: when it rains, it pours!

Speaking of Liz Lemon, she is at the top of The List. Season 5. It's everything I'd hoped.
I found a bar that I love, with the help of Team Bob Loblaw. It's in Tremont, a great Cleveland neighborhood, and it's called Treehouse. It features a big tree with fairy lights and a building-sized Guinness poster mural.

I was apparently voted Team MVP for my defense last week. I think that was mostly because I let the other team's QB plow me to the ground and snap my neck in an attempt to keep him out of the end zone, but hey, I'll take it. 

Cleveland's "Vintage Department Store" did not disappoint. Suite Lorain is great fun to explore. It's absolutely huge, and the old magazines alone could keep me occupied for ages. It's worth a stop to step into the past, hear the music, see the great furniture. And if you're in the mood to dig for a well-made vintage coat, they've got you covered.

This is my latest attempt to impress my boyfriend: Spring Lamb Stew. I substituted ground lamb to accommodate our graduate student budget and made cornbread as its complement. We were both very pleased, especially on this 50 degree October 4th! I don't even need to say what I think about that.

I found a doggie store not even a mile away that carries Herbie's special grain-free food, Evo. Cutting out grain a year ago eliminated a lot of his scratching and paw licking. Turns out lots of dogs have this problem. 

Might be in the South in two weeks. Trying to figure out logistics. My last chance to feel the good warm sun?
Herbie, skeptically dressed in his sweater , huddles in his bed under the table for warmth.

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