Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jicama and a house guest

 Jicawhata? you might be thinking. And a few short months ago (pre move to Boston) I would have said the same thing. Until a friend introduced me to a cute little cafe in Cambridge called Crema. And then introduced me to an incredible sandwich they served there called the Turkey Jicama Sandwich (original right?). 

(this sandwich is also filled with avocado,ancho something sauce, cabbage, carrots, and all things yum!)

Jicama is a member of the morning glory family, and native to South America and somewhat related to a sweet potato. 

oh, and it's pronounced, "hicuhmuh" 
 And I feel really cool when I'm eating it. It helps that it's really delicious, crispy, sweet but not too sweet and gives this sandwich the delectable little crunch I'm always craving! So next time you're in Cambridge, head to Crema Cafe for a delicious jicama treat, but call me first so I can join in the fun (because that sandwich is way to big for just you; look at it!)

In other news, here on the home front (which is sadly, jicama free) we've been having all sorts of fun while the roomies brother, Bobby is staying with us. B decided to move to Boston and hopped on a plane from the Sunshine State sometime last week to join us in our windy city. He's been hanging out here until he finds a place to live.

Becca and I have really enjoyed the distraction of having a house guest around. And I've even learned some fun things. For example, Star Wars wasn't made in the 90s (obviously, I mean, who would ever think that. ha. haha. ha.) and the person who plays Darth Vader is, in fact, not the voice of Mufasa from The Lion King(who knew?!). Yup, it's been a regular old eye opening week around here. Sadly, Bobby will be striking out on his own tomorrow in a new place (lucky for him, on a faster T line) and happy days of three's a crowd will be over, but live on in our hearts forever (awww, we're all so cute). Maybe I'll go drown my sorrows in a turkey and jicama sandwich. Or something.

our third roomie for the week

Monday, March 28, 2011

Birthdays Galore

This time of year is choc-o-block full of birthdays, it's insane. Between friends and family I've got at least one, often 2 birthdays a week!

Now, don't get me wrong. I l-o-v-e birthdays. Celebrating people's birthdays it one of my favorite things to do. Seriously, a whole day to let someone know how special they are and that they are loved? What could be greater?

Still, my own birthday at the end of April comes at the very tail end of all the birthday hubbub and sometimes I feel like where all so exhausted, it's hard to get it together for one final hurrah. (well, sort of. I get pretty excited about my birthday, I can't lie. . .)

Amidst all this chaos, I got an invite for this past Friday to a dear friends birthday dinner party, and because I love her and cake making, I offered to bring the birthday cake! Immediately, my head was filled with overambitious projects I have neither the time, skill, nor tools to make a reality. Not to be deterred, I made due with what I had to make her a fun, spring themed cake. I had so much fun making it for her and I think she had just as much fun demolishing it :)

Here are some pics of the cake. Sorry if this post is a little braggy, but I'm pretty proud of this one (and it tasted pretty darn good as well!)

Oh, and speaking of birthdays. . .

This month my blog turned one year old! (yay) and today is it's 200th post-day! Can you believe it?  What fun this last year has been, I hope it continues for many more blog birthdays to come!

and also, it's my baby sis' birthday today. 
Happy Birthday, mon petit chou!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

 Disclaimer: I kind of stole this idea from another blogger, but tweaked it a little

1. Listening to Ray LaMontagne on slow, sleepy mornings. Check out his latest album with his band the Pariah Dogs

2. The moment on the T when it shoots out of the tunnel and we're above ground in the shining sun. I always feel like I've been holding my breathe and can suddenly breathe again.

3. E-mails from friends just to say "Hi"

4. Pita chips with hummus for lunch

5. Decorating cakes while listening to Irish fiddle music and sneaking samples of the frosting 

PS: I did wear my winter coat today. Since it snowed. For the second time this week. . .

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I will overcome. . .or not

As you all know, I'm super into seasonal and holiday decorations. Here's a little peek at what's going on at my place this spring! I decided not to go too overboard this year, as I'm sometimes bound to do when decorating. Just a few bird's nest themed items and a door hanging!

 Spring has sprung in my apartment and the city is slowly, slowly coming to life. In celebration of this glorious changing of the seasons, I've made a brash move (really, do I ever make any other kind?) and completely abandoned my winter jacket, mittens, the whole nine yards. 

This idea was all good and well when Boston was experience some warm temperatures in the 50s last week. I bustled around in only a fleece, reveling in the warm sun and not having to be heaped under a huge winter coat (I'm not a coat fan. . .). However, Old Mr. Weather--as he is bound to do in these parts-- has decided to bring a dip in the temperatures this week, and even some snow (bleck!). Many others have reverted back to their winter gear (or never even stopped wearing it) and are comfortably romping around the city. 

Not me.

I have thus far refused to give in to the weather. No, in fact, I've been shivering my way through every day with only my tiny fleece and flats (no socks). Each morning I leave for work holding my breath for the cold blast of air that is will hit me, but still I persist. I go out for my daily lunch walk, and although I always try to walk quickly for some good exercise, I've upped my game. "Faster, faster," I tell myself, "the faster you walk, the warmer you get!"  

Today, though, as I shivered violently all the way home, I actually found myself pining away for the dog days of summer when I'll be sweating my face off on the T wishing for winter. I haven't fully committed, but I think the winter jacket will make an appearance tomorrow, as there's more snow in the forecast. We shall see.

And for a little sneak peek on this blustery Wednesday--I'm back in the kitchen and will post more soon (it's a cake for a friend's birthday, so I'll have more on it after the fact!):

It's going to be amazing (I hope {eek!})

Monday, March 21, 2011

Short&Sweet&Snowy (ugh)

Much to the dismay and disappointment of just about everybody in New England, the first day of spring dawned and brought with it the worst kind of gift. Snow.

I was bummed because I was super excited for my daily walk around the Common today and couldn't wait to get out there! As lunch approached, though, the sky began to look more and more grim and by the time I could go out flurries were swirling and dancing furiously. I've gone out in inclement weather before but I was totally unprepared today with only a tiny fleece. Also (Ok, and the real truth) I just bought these lovely new sneakers. And although I waterproofed them to within an inch of their life, I didn't want anything to happen to them just yet. So, I gave up hope of a midday walk.

Thanks for nothing First Day of Spring.  . .let's just hope this isn't what you have in store for us:

 (December '10)

And now-- a recap of just one part of my weekend (the best!).  Here's a fun video of some friends and family singing an early happy birthday to my youngest sister who'll be nineteen in exactly one week. And yes, her candle is in a pie.

(we're all laughing because her boyfriend is singing over the phone from school but is delayed)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Black Friday

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone! 

If you're Irish I hope you're out celebrating your heritage by downing as many Guinesses as possible. I mean. . .wait, what? I'm by no means condoning drunkiness. Obviously.

If you're not Irish, I'm sure you've jumped on the bandwagon with more fanfare and vigor than the actual Irish, so I'm not sure you'll need any encouragement. . . 

 And to change gears rather quickly--Have any of you heard of this girl? Rebecca BlackAfter reading about this in the paper I decided to check her out.
Apparently she's trying to become the female Justin Bieber Youtube sensation. I actually considered not blogging about her because it's just giving her more publicity and no publicity is bad publicity. Clearly, I abandoned that plan, though.
Here's the song that started it all. Try and get through the whole thing. It' s so painful, but there's a rap interlude near the end that's killer (snickering). I don't think he's anyone famous but I guess it's the new, cool thing to pick up an 
internet protégé. I mean, if Usher's doing it shouldn't we all. WWUD. Maybe I'll be on the look out for one.

I feel like I could definitely fake drive around in a black car while rapping about the weekend and how cool my protégé is. No prob, for sure

Two final comments: 1) why does her voice come out of her nose and not her mouth? 2)Did she write this song herself? if so, kudos to her for getting all the days of the weekend straight. Although technically Becky, Sunday is the beginning of a new week. . .)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sob Story

Since moving to Boston, I've posted my fair share of crazy T stories, mostly about the ridiculous riders that make me wonder how they get through life. 

Oh, but this next story isn't about those people. . .it's about me.

A few weeks ago, when I got wind that Borders might be going under, I panicked because I had several gift cards from various holidays. I'm more of a Barnes & Noble shopper myself, so I always forget to use them. Needless to say, I made the executive decision to spend all of it. At once. One of my purchases was a pre-order of Jodi Picoult's latest book. She's one of my favorite fiction authors and one of the few whose books I will actually buy instead of just borrowing them from the library or something.

Apparently I placed my order just before it came out because within 2 weeks it arrived in an exciting Borders package in the mail ( I adore getting packages in the mail) .

The first day I decide to read it,  I get on the train and crack it open. As with every Jodi Picoult novel, the story is timely, poignant and about a very emotionally charged topic. as I eagerly turn pages and am lulled into a reading rhythm by the sound of my music and the sway of the train, I reach a particularly painful part. And I start tearing up. Not, like, oh, I'm a little misty eyed let me blink it away. Like, tears are forming and I'm about to start crying in earnest.

Let me interrupt myself here to tell you a little factoid. I'm a crier. Movies, TV shows, commercials, greeting cards, books, little kids singing at church. You name it, I've probably cried over it. Once there was a particularly poignant commercial about a handicapped girl joining a swim team that had me in a salty pool every. single. time. 
My friends take great pleasure in teasing me about this. I think part of it is just an emotional response to other things. It's hard for me to break down during an tense family or friend situation but somehow it feels safer or easier or better to lose it while reading the note my sister left in my christmas gift, or while watching Up (that movie is so terribly sad, I don't care how cute Russell is or how "happy" the ending. Anyway, another post for another time)
So, there I am crammed on the train with dozens of other bleary eyed commuters. Crying. I try to pull it together , breathe deeply, blink rapidly, stop reading, think about happy things. I get a few strange looks, but manage to compose myself. I slap the book shut, no more Picoult on the T. Except it's so good, and I have to read it on the T or I won't have time. So last night on the way home from work as I devour another chapter, it happens again. Tears, and more weird looks.

And then--it hits me. I am now one of the crazy people on the T. Because I'm not just reading on the train, I'm reading and I'm crying. 

I might have known this day would come. . .

Thankfully, I don't think it was really memorable enough for people to remember me. I might still be able to regain my aloof, city chic, commuter cool, if I just stop reading on the train. I've got a reputation to protect, after all!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I Await the Spring

In only about a week it will be officially spring! I hope that everyone is recovering from Daylight Savings and ready for the world to start blooming!

I'm still getting used to the time change myself. This morning I woke up feeling good for the first time in a couple of weeks (I've had a little flu/cold thing) rejoicing that I was finally feeling mostly back to normal. Then, around 10 o'clock this morning I was overcome by a horrible period of lethargy. I could barely keep my eyes open at work and, in fact, a few times my eyelids slammed shut and it was all I could do to open my eyes again and just stay awake. Eek!
 It's only an hour but that sudden change in time usually affects my body for a few days after while I try to adjust. Does this happen to you?

I've gotta pull it together, though, because tonight I have some big plans. As in, I'm clearing out my apartment of the last vestiges of winter decorations and getting ready for spring! For some weeks now, I've been meaning to pack away the modge podge of decorations and put out new spring themed ones. Currently, there's a snow man perched on the shelf by the front door, which happens to still be sporting a valentine's wreath, and winter themed hand towels in the kitchen. Not to mention the pile of pine cones and berries in my bedroom left over from a winter floral arrangement.  It's a decorating nightmare is what it is!

A trip to Target and TJMaxx's home sections are in order, I think! With Easter (almost) around the corner there are a lot of sweet pastel, egg and bunny themed bobbles out, but I'm thinking I may go for a more general spring approach so it can stay up for the next couple of months and be enjoyed by all! We shall see though, I'm definitely a sucker for those mini egg topiaries. . .so cute!

Below: Frosty before I chucked him in a box for the next several months (yay! {sorry Frosty}) 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

let's just linger in the elevator. . .

For the past few weeks I've been unintentionally getting myself into the most awkward situations at work.
They are all because I'm apparently just becoming way more absentminded, or something. I don't even know!
(I'm sure none of you are surprised by this at all!)
Example A- Twice now I have entered my building in the morning at the same time as a coworker. We hop into the elevator chatting and after a few seconds, I notice we aren't going anywhere. Enter the brief, sort-of awkward silence and a general sense of confusion. Then the realization that I've just been standing there and haven't pressed the button to go up. Thus, we are going nowhere

Example B - Today I ran to the bathroom and was in there at the same time as a coworker. I wash my hands before her and pop over to get some towels to dry them. I'm almost done drying my hands when she comes out and seems pretty confused. It hits me. I never shut the faucet off for some reason. I guess I'm so used to self stopping faucets I just assumed it would do that job itself. I lingered trying to explain this little situation away while awkwardly laughing and silently signaling to her "I'm not a total weird-o I swear! Just a little absentminded!"
Needless to say, I'm convinced my coworkers just see me crashing around all the time like a crazy person and are just like, "Oh, brother, here she comes. what's it going to be this time??"
I know the reality is they aren't thinking about me at all, they're more worried about themselves (like me!) but if i keep being the whacko who traps us on the elevator because I can't remember to press a button, it's going to go downhill fast!

And on a completely separate but just as ridiculous note. Have you all ever heard of a little game called "Things"?

It's a hilarious party game that I am in love with (I love games) because it involves making up answers and lots of laughing. Two nights ago we had a group of friends over for dinner and fun and I suggested a rousing game of Things. The results were hilarious. We even still have some of the aftermath chilling on our fridge for now:

Total chaos as you can see (hey, just like my life. . .)

Monday, March 7, 2011

If you can't stand the heat. . .

There is nothing quite so satisfying to me as the decadent smell of something amazing baking in the oven. Especially when I know that I'm the one that made it! If I could bake something every day, I think I would be the happiest girl this side of the Charles. Or maybe even the Mississippi (remember when we used to race and see who could spell ippississiM backwards the fastest. I rocked that game. . .)

Presently the smell wafting from my oven is that of a new cookie I'm trying. 
It's a peanut butter and blackberry jam cookie with a little chocolate thrown in to sweeten up the deal. I'm beyond excited because the buzzer just went off and here's the finished product:

(oh. my. gosh.)

I love the idea of this cookie, because peanut butter and jelly is probably one of the most nationally recognized comfort foods in America. And now it's going to be in cookie form. swoon. And covered in sugar. double swoon.

I'm making these little goodies for a dinner at my place tomorrow, but I'm definitely going to have to dip in for a taste test tonight!

And the kitchen fun doesn't stop there. I'll be breaking out my beloved crock pot and prepping a taco soup I'm throwing together, that I'm also kind of pumped for. 

oh my, if cooking and baking the night away doesn't beat all!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sick Day

Sorry I've been so MIA this week. After a wonderful out-of-town weekend, I arrived back to Btown feeling a little sickly and really wanted to sleep. I held it together all week going to work and most of my other activities, but this week definitely feels like it went by in a haze.
Today, I gave in and called in sick to work. It was fun for a few minutes, but now I'm bored. Anyway, as such, my little blog project here went unloved for a bit. Except for the ridiculous post I see I made happen on Monday. Yikes! 

Feeling sick, a sickie roommate and a stuffy house have gotten me super pumped for Spring though! I absolutely can not wait for the temperature to start rising (which is should do this coming week, I believe!). What will it feel like to once again head outside with only a light jacket, or no jacket at all?! I know, I need to pace myself. Today in a fit of overzealous spring fever I flung open one of  my windows to let in some fresh air. It was great initially, but a little too chilly!

For a few minutes I was also outside and just wanted to start whistling and skipping down the road. Since I can't really whistle that well, I didn't. I didn't skip either, actually, even though I'm a champion skipper. 
Is everyone feeling spring fever as strongly as I am? What spring activities are you just dying to do?

(going stir crazy during my sick day today. . ).

In other news. Did you all know that today is National Grammar Day? No? I didn't either 'til this morning. I used to care a lot about grammar. And then I started writing this blog. My thoughts come way to fast to worry about what commas go where or if I left a participle dangling. I'm sure it really annoys some of you when I pull the classic blunder of putting a "there" where "their" should be and, frankly, more power to you. I salute your grammar prowess. I'm probably going to keep screwing it up majorly here at KatyDidWhat, though and I'm OK with that. 

I hope if you're reading this you are feeling well, and skipping in the sort of warm weather, and getting pumped for Le Printemps!