31 March 2011

Nordic Ware Easter Cookie Sheets

Um, are you ready to be jealous or what?

Okay, so I've been wanting some new cookie sheets for a while.  My mother-in-law has these really nice cookie sheets, and they're stainless steel and they're all the same size and she has four of them so that she can more easily bake oodles of cookies.  My cookie sheets, with the exception of one nice Calphalon one, were all busted and gross and mismatched, and I really liked Matt's mom's idea.

But I also didn't want to throw down buckets of money on cookie sheets that were totally a want and not a need.

But then last week I saw these at Target*, and it was pretty clear to me that the cookie sheets had left the want column and entered the need column.  And then, lucky for me, a pretty fantastic former roommate got them for me for my birthday.

Aren't they beautiful?  

*I couldn't find these online, but they are currently at Target along with some other Nordic Ware Easter stuff, and they're only $10/each.  They also have some cute bundt and muffin pans in the same color scheme.

Sour Grapes

A conversation between my 15-year old sister and me about family planning.

Chloe: Were any of us planned?

Me:  Uh, I'm pretty sure no.  Have you met our parents?

Chloe:  Yeah.  That's cool, though.  Planned kids are boring.  They all play soccer and have packed lunches.

30 March 2011


Richard won Top Chef: All Stars!  I don't think we've ever been so stressed and worried about a reality show (excepting, of course, that episode of The Real World where Stephen slapped Irene and threw her stuffed animal into the water).  Also, we're watching the after special right now and I'm pretty sure that Padma is drunk.

Yay for Richard!

29 March 2011

Blast from the Past

If you don't hear from me, or if you call and I don't answer, well, it's probably because I got this for my birthday from one super husband.

Um, yeah, that's Marios 1, 2, and 3.  And some lost level game that I never played.  And there's also a soundtrack.  How am I dealing with having turned 30?  By regressing, of course, and channeling my 11-year old self, the master of all things Mario World.

So, don't be mad if I'm MIA for a while.  If you need me, I'll be in the guest room turning myself into raccoons and statues and defeating Koopas, yelling and screaming at the TV and scaring the dog (who may or may not really be a king who's been transformed!).

28 March 2011

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's. . .



Me.  It's me.

But I think that I"m going to tell people that I'm forty, so that they all remark on how great I look.  Yeah, that's a good idea.

Truth be told, I'm not crazy about the idea of being thirty, if only because that's official adult territory, and I don't really know that I belong in official adult territory.  I still decorate my house like it's a dorm room, for Christ's sake!

It was much easier for me when it was just other people who turned thirty.  Yes, that was better.  Me, all full of life and in my twenties.  Them, closer to death.

Speaking of that.  My friend Cris (you know Cris), came over on Saturday night for a night of arts and crafts, and she insisted that I listen to Tim McGraw's "My Next Thirty Years" at some point during my birthday.  And that seemed easy enough.  Except that when I made myself a little "My Next Thirty Years" station on Pandora, the first song that played was "Live Like You Were Dying."  WTF, Pandora!?!  You don't have to rub it in!

But, you know, I've been spending my days with 15-year olds for the last five years, so I've been feeling old forever.  This is nothing new.  Plus, I really like my life, so who cares if I'm old.  Right?  Right?

Thirty is stupid.

But--BUT!--thirtieth birthdays are super fun.  At least mine was.  Aside from the fact that the pollen has been trying its hardest to kill me (is it weird that I'm always sick on my birthday?), the last few days have been  just fantastic.  Here's what our weekend looked like.

Deciding that we didn't want to cook dinner and turning to the bolognese we had in the freezer.

Celebrating our seventh Mitchaversary!

Monitoring wine pours.

Cute fuzzy caterpillars that are way more cute when they're on leaves 
than they are when they're on handles that I have to grab in the dark.  Blarg!

Oh, that dog.

Lunch at Umami.

Crazy hail/thunderstorm.  What the hail?

Flooded carport bistro.


Cold and rainy outside.  Warm and cozy inside. 

What a lovely way to ring in this, my fourth decade of life.

I do look great for forty, don't you think?


Did you know that Caitie's nickname for me is Peep?  And did you know that it has nothing to do with the tasty Easter treats?  No, the reason that my nickname is Peep has more to do with immature bathroom humor than it does springtime confections.  See, my baby sister Chloe called our brother Jordan "Doo Doo" when she was learning to talk.  And I thought that that was the funniest and greatest nickname for him, so I did everything I could to make it stick.*  When I told Caitie about the reason that, years later, we were all still referring to Jordan as "Doo Doo," she decided that I should have an equally obnoxious nickname, so she started calling me "Pee Pee," which was later shortened to Peep.

Sorry to start off this post about treats with talk of bodily functions.  I just thought you should know that little bit of  history.

I love making marshmallows.  We learned that this Christmas.  So when I looked in my friend Martha's magazine this month and saw the idea for homemade Peeps, I was all, "Sign me up, Martha!"  Well, it didn't happen quite like that.  It was more of me lying on the couch with the dog, thumbing through the magazine and then tearing out the page before I drifted off to sleep while watching crappy TV on ABC Family, but let's just pretend that Martha was here seeking volunteers to make marshmallows shaped like bunnies and chicks.  Or pigs, in this case.

So here's what you do, party peeps.

You make some marshmallows, and you put them into a large cookie sheet so that they won't be too thick.

And then you take some superfine sugar (you could probably use regular white sugar, too, but I had the superfine and thought it'd be better) and some food coloring.  I happened to have this weird neon color food coloring (which I've had for years and hated in every instance but this one) that ended up making some very pretty sugar.  Use whatever you like on this, though.  Take about 1/2 cup of sugar and only one drop of food coloring and mix together for pretty, pretty colors.  (PS--I tried the gel food coloring for this, and it didn't work.  It just clumped.  So--use the liquid food coloring.)

And then you cut the shapes out with cookie cutters.  We sprayed our cutters with Pam first so that they wouldn't stick to the marshmallows too much.

And toss the marshmallow shapes around in the sugar.  Easy peasy.  Japanesey.

I really loved the pigs.

But the very best one is the rabbit with Mitch ears!

Cassie took this picture of Mitch looking up at me. Isn't it the cutest?

Except opposite, I guess.  Shoot.

And the flavor of these homemade peeps is just extraordinary.  They're light and fluffy, and basically just little sugar pillows that melt in your mouth.  You probably need to make these, like, yesterday.

And, really, all you need for this is the marshmallow recipe.  The rest is simple.  So here it is.

Vanilla Marshmallows


Vegetable-oil cooking spray
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
4 packages (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg whites


1.Coat an 9x13-inch square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray, and set pan aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture registers 260 degrees on a candy thermometer.

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl; let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract; set aside.

3. Also meanwhile, beat egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Pour mixture into lined pan.  Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. 

*Also, I am evil, in case you hadn't figured that out already.

27 March 2011

I'm Basically Bob Vila.

So, a couple of months ago, I read this blog post where this girl took an old funky dresser and jazzed it up by removing the drawers and painting it. It was kind of awesome, and I thought it was something I might be able to do myself.

And just a couple of weeks after that, I was browsing the free section of Craigslist and I saw this dresser that was missing two drawers. Perfect! It was a little busted looking, but it had good bones, and I thought it had some potential for awesomeness.

After I picked it up from a very nice lady named Penny, I brought it home and put it in the office/junk room/catchall for everything in the house that has no real place. And there it sat for two months.

But then last week I got motivated. I removed the hardware, borrowed a sander from a friend, and went to town. In the house. Note to self: do not sand a dresser in the house. Seriously. It was a very stupid idea, but Matt wasn't home and the dresser was too big and cumbersome for me to move it outside myself and I wanted to do it RIGHT THEN and I, on occasion, lack patience. I'll be wiping up brown dust for the next year of my life, and I may or may not have made myself sick with inhaling all of the dust that was laced with Ebola or something comparable. Oops.

So after I sanded the dresser and filled in the wood holes, I primed it and gave it two coats of paint (The same paint that I'll soon be using on other house projects, so none will go to waste. The color is slightly off-white, Martha Stewart's color Talc from Home Depot. I plan to put the dresser in our guest room, and it'll be joining the IKEA Expedit shelf which is a little off-white as well.) I also added new hardware (which I found at Target on clearance for $13.98).

The last thing I needed to do was figure out how to do the bottom part. I considered baskets or some other kind of solution, but ended up just lining the inside with some fabric that I got from IKEA last year.

Anyway, here it is now. I'm in love.

Yeah, you can still totally see where the old hardware was. Also, I don't care.

And here's a breakdown of the cost:
  • Dresser: free
  • IKEA fabric: I had it already, but I paid $4 for it originally
  • Paint: $15, but I only used like 1/10 of a gallon, and I'm using the rest for other stuff. So this was like $3 worth of paint and primer.
  • Hardware: $13.98
Total: $20.98


I saw this wino eating grapes.  I said, "Dude, you have to wait!"

-Mitch Hedberg

24 March 2011

Slightly Classier than Dan Conner

A conversation between Dan and Fred on the critically acclaimed television show, Roseanne.

Fred: Dan, these christmas lights are pretty tangled. Why don't you just buy a new string?

Dan: That'd be a fairly large investment, Fred.

Fred: Why didn't you take the time last year and put those things away carefully?

Dan: Like that's how I want to spend my Easter Sunday.

Well, party people, I finally did it--I took down the Christmas lights.  And it's not even Easter! (Granted, Easter is kind of late this year, but still.)  So, the lights that basically told all of our neighbors that we are fun (if not a little, um, unsophisticated) and cool are gone for now.  And the lanterns that have been packed away in a box because they were too ratty and faded and full of bees have made a comeback.  Here's the skinny.

It's home improvement season here at M Cubed*, and I've got myself a big ol' long list of tasks to complete.  One of them was to save myself some cash by rehabilitating the lanterns in the Carport Bistro.  I'm cheap, and I didn't want to pay $40 for more just because of some silly little bee nests and faded colors.

So I turned to spraypaint. And I'm really pleased with how they turned out.

Aren't they pretty?  I just hope the lizards still like them.

*What is it with me and the early '90s ABC sitcom references today?  Oh man, don't even get me started on Coach or Full House.**
**Also, this wasn't an ABC sitcom I don't think, but my students don't get Saved by the Bell references.  If that doesn't make you feel old, then I don't know what will.  Are you sufficiently depressed?***
***Also, this has nothing to do with TV shows from the early '90s, really, but yesterday I overheard one of my students say that Elvis died in a snowboarding accident.  Ha!

Happy Tuesday

It's funny sometimes how the simple things--friends, sunshine, and a big family-style meal--create some of the nicest moments.  On Tuesday, Cassie was in town for work, and we ended up having an impromptu dinner party with our friends Brian and Ann (or, as you might know them, parents to Iris and Opal). 

It was just lovely, albeit a little bittersweet.  The only person missing from our Savannah Family was Hugh, who's off becoming Mr. Awesomepants Doctor, a pursuit which precludes one from being able to spend an evening drinking and hangin' out--or, as I often say, chillin' out max and relaxin' all cool an' all.  Shoot.

So there was no Hugh, which sucked, but there was a cute dog.

And wine spritzers. (a.k.a., "attempt to drink less wine while feeling like I'm drinking more wine")

And kindred spirits.

And a baby who's growing like a weed.

And a table decked out in Fiestaware. 

I love this time of year! 


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