Friday, November 28, 2008

A Fiery Orphans Thanksgiving.

We started as 3. Grew to 9 for dinner. Then 16 for the late night fun banter.

It was a long day for me. Up at 8am to start cooking. And the last guest left round 2am.

It was an almost perfect day...except the FIRE!!!!

Yesh! I caught the house on fire. The oven really. So. We bought one of those cheap pans to roast Mr. Turkey in. Apparently there was some crack in it? All the fat leaked into the bottom of the oven and caught on fire! Fat fire!!!

It was very exciting and very hilarious. Brian and I stood looking at it--the fire. Then we'd look at each other. I dashed into the pantry looking for baking soda. We only had baking powder. It does NOT work the same. Nope. So then Brian started to get water and I said "Noooooooooooooooooooo!!!" So then we looked at it some more. As the smoke filled the kitchen and all of our eyes watered I thought of what was most important--The Turkey. So I rescued the turkey. Just as Amanda dashed in with the fire extinguisher. We didn't need the extinguisher. The Fat fire burned off and calmed down. That's what fat fires do.

It was hilarious. The day thus far had gone way too smoothe. I was way ahead of schedule. After the event the house reeked of smoke! Windows open, fans out before the guests arrived.

Loved it. One of those memories. My first Thanksgiving where I ran the show and I almost burned the house down.

We made so much food.

The Menu:

I made:
Apple Brown Sugar Brined Turkey.
Cornbread and Pretzel Stuffing.
Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes.
Carrot Yogurt Salad.
Hazelnut Brown Buttered Brussel Sprouts
Sweet Potato Casserole
Croissants with Brown Sugar Butter

Merissa brought:
Spoonbread
Broccoli Casserole

Erika and Nando brought:
Cheesy Green Beans
Marshmallowy Potatoes and Squash

Becket brought:
Greens. Salad and Greens!

Amanda brought:
Sweet Potato Pie
Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
Cranberry Relish

Ben brought:
Clementine Salad
Banana Bread
A lot of booze

Galen brought:
Pumpkin Pie

Mika brought:
1/2 a bottle of wine

Brianna and Andrew brought:
Their sweet asses.

We ended the night with a 3 hour conversation about gender, sexuality, expectation, and power. We're, like, really smart and articulate people who can shovel massive amounts of food down our gullets.

After the fire. Not quite cooked of course, Just smokey. extra smokey. Thank goodness for the oven downstairs!!! We would have been shit outta turkey luck!



Ahhhhhh! I did not finish my plate. So ashamed.



The first wave.Good little eaters and amusers.



I love hosting things. I wish everyday was a holiday where I can cook feasts for my loved ones.

I'll invite you next time. If you tell me how pretty I am.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Somebody lied to Rachel Ray...

When they told her that this was a good idea.



Or this.



This either.



Ooooop,here's another.My fav!



She's not the only one.

Cat Cora got tricked too...




Bless their hearts.

This is the ONLY Food Network Star that can get away with FHM spreads.



Giada.

I am sexy. You are sexy. Rachel Ray? Noooooo sexy. Huh? Or am I wrong? Are these hot? Bah.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Great Chicago Cupcake Off of November 8th 2008

So it was my Birthday on Saturday. It was a really great day. Really great. Relaxed but jovial. Surrounded by my favorite people.

We had a deliciously delicious meal at Uncommon Ground.

http://www.uncommonground.com/pages/clark_home/19.php

We feasted on...


Sweet Potato fries with goat cheese fondue!


Sunshine Salad:organic greens, seasonal farmer’s market vegetables, avocado,sunflower seeds & sprouts, apple cider vinaigrette, seeded flatbread crisp!


Pumpkin Ravioli:creamy sage brown butter, toasted hazelnuts, gorgonzola cheese!


Duo of duck:duck confit, seared duck breast, black river gorgonzola, ‘crunchy’ potatoes, farmers market onion & port wine duck jus!


Crispy gunthorp farm chicken breast:apples, butternut squash, swiss chard, brie, apple brandy reduction!


Among other things.


We boozed on...


Frida Kahlo: Dark chocolate liqueur, madagascar vanilla vodka, kalua, omahene chocolate, cinnamon-cayenne pepper syrup.

Neal Cassadys Coffee: Madagascar vanilla bean house-infused whiskey,
black cat double espresso & steamed maple cream



Plus two seasonal drinks called Tom Waitts for No Man


and The Blanche Devereaux



And!

Black dog gelato & sorbet trio:choose three: whiskey, caramel-goat cheese,salty peanut, fresh mint or cocoa nib,cucumber-rose sorbet or strawberry-rhubarb sorbet!




After dinner we headed home where we entertained ourselves with song, rhyming games, wine, and...

CUUUUUUUUPCAAAAAAAKES!


I went to three bakeries...

Molly's
http://www.mollyscupcakes.com/

Southport Grocery
http://www.southportgrocery.com/

Angel Food Bakery
http://www.angelfoodltd.com/

We judged by looking and tasting and scoffing and yumming.





Here was the selection with awarded titles.

Molly's: 1st place
Chocolate with Chocolate Icing--Moistest!Moistest? Not a word, right?
Carrot Cake with Brown Butter Icing--Weirdest Icing
Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Icing--Best overall. Winner extraordinaire.Prettiest
Vanilla with French Butter cream Icing--Most delicious yet boring.
These puppies won overall.All four were quite good.

Angel Food:2nd place
Coconut-- Biggest. Easiest to cut.
Pumpkin with Cream Cheese Icing-- Most seasonal, duh.
They were pretty and boxed nicely.

Southport Grocery:3rd place
Vanilla on Vanilla--Easiest removed wrapper. Ooo.
Chocolate on Chocolate--Best chocolate cupcake that tasted nothing like chocolate.
Oddly dryer then expected. Good frosting I guess, but dry as your dirty kunst(art) face.

We had so much fun. Well, I did. 24 is gonna be a goodie. I can feel it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dinner Party of Dreams

Braden, Vanessa, and Blayne were going to have dinner.

Austin, Brian, and myself were going to have dinner.

So, like duh, we combined forces and had a delightful ole'time.

Menu:
Miso noodle soup with Shrimp.
Sticky rice with egg and seaweed
Veggie and Chicken Dumplings
Veggie Egg rolls
Chocolate and Green Tea Mochi
Gingerbread cake.
And6...6! bottles of wine. That's one a piece folks.


Topics discussed:
Whether or not sperm has souls. Is that why they sparkle under black lights? Is it their souls saying "Hello!!"?

Who is the funniest cartoon character of all time?Then the boys talked Disney cartoons for far to long. V and I were a bit in awe of their Aladdin/Little Mermaid/Beauty and the Beast knowledge. It was impressive. And weird. They were not ashamed.

We discussed our lovers or lack thereof.

As well as the art of projectile vomiting and our fascination with Cancer--especially my mother's benign tumor that grew body parts like teeth and eyelashes(for real.)

We debated whether or not I should get a tattoo on my back to commemorate this insane year that is almost behind me. What do you think? See it below.

We laughed. Hard. For hours.

...then we had massage time? Yeah, we paired off and massaged shoulders and necks. Bizarre, but a perfect ending to a wonderful meal...I think. No, I know it was! We're such hippies.

Go team Cabaret Vagabond. We were full of Asiany carbs and Kunst. Always Kunst. Lots of Kuuuuuust.

Soup and dumplins. I love dumplins. I once made pumpkin dumplins. Yeah, I know!


Sticky rice. How does it get so sticky?!? Magic!


Some gosh darn delicious soup. Hard to eat with chopsticks though. We did it anyway.We're hard core chopstickers.


Dessert by Austin and Trader Joe.


Our host and hostess. Good people. Two of the best.


3 of my favorite men on the planet and our attempt at being food critics. See us critique! Look at us gooooo!


My possible tattoo. She's sensual and confident, and would be there on my back even though I couldn't see her...I'd know she was there. I LOVE Mucha. He's everywhere in my apartment. I adore him.