What’s On My Mindgrapes

in case you were curious


Archive for October, 2008

Hhhhhappy Halloween!

Here I go again, blogging from work. I’ve got a very easy pasta recipe coming to you shortly, but right now I just have to tell you. I am bursting at the seams with love for Minneapolis. A few years ago, I never thought this would happen. I’ve loved cities before, but usually after moving away and trying to start life in a new place, or trying to start over in an old one.

Life is pretty good here. Most of my family lives here, which is comforting and saves a lot of money since I don’t have to fly or drive several hours to visit them. I have friends that I love, a nice and reasonably priced place to live, the ability to see touring bands at small- to medium-sized venues located minutes from my house. The Twin Cities is thriving in many ways: public radio, the local arts and music scene, a variety of neighborhoods that are home to people of all ages and types. (more…)

I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling

I’ve got a pretty nasty cold right now, but TGIF. Here’s one thing to feel good about when your voice is cracking like a thirteen year old boy.

Thanks, Kate!

Not s-ing around, here

There’s no better way to start off a weekend than with a warm, satisfying, bacon-flecked dish of Brussels sprouts. Seriously. Like many, I grew up fearful of this little green orb because of the horror stories of my mom’s childhood. Back in the day, these were served mushy and boiled. Now they’re the supposedly the trendiest vegetable out there. Most food blogs I read have at least one BS recipe, but my first exposure was on Orangette. And let me tell you, that woman is obsessed with the sprout. If you don’t take my word for it, take Molly’s.

How would I describe the BS? It’s cabbage-y, crunchy yet tender. Best when roasted or sauteed; I’m hesitant to try it boiled or blanched (associations with mushiness). It begs to be paired with something flavorful, like balsamic vinegar or caramelized onions, which was a favorite dish of last winter. This winter, I’ve upgraded to bacon. It’s salty, chewy, familiar, and fills your house with that wonderful aroma. “There’s only one thing that smells like bacon, and that’s BACON!” 



Changes for Samantha

America has lost one of its most beloved icons. The American Girl Doll Collection has decided to retire the Samantha Parkington doll. First released in 1986, Samantha won the hearts of millions, including your author.

Samantha was a precocious orphan being raised by her wealthy Grandmary in New Bedford, NY. A recurring theme in Samantha’s book series is progress, with regard to the Industrial Revolution, women’s rights, and children’s rights. I preferred Samantha’s fancy dresses, minature school supplies, and brushing her hair.

Last Halloween, I was lucky enough to be Samantha for a night. Accompanied by my friends Kirsten and Molly, we were the hit of evening.


Though Samantha has been packed up in a box for the past ten years, she will be in my thoughts today. Thank you, Samantha, for being an extraordinary American Girl.

Window shopping for the cubicle-confined

These days, I’m rarely actually shopping, except for the weekly trip to my local discount supermarket or Trader Joe’s. And clothes shopping is limited to the clearance section of already inexpensive stores like H&M or Target. Sure there’s a financial crisis going on, but I’ve been living in one of those since I left college. It’s called the Real World.

But don’t worry, I’m doing ok. My fridge is stocked with wine, cheese, and the occasional vegetable. I can go out and have fun, but am always on the lookout for student discounts (thanks to my University ID sans graduation date!) I’m becoming more mindful of where my money goes, which can be rewarding at times, and other times cause stress on top of the existing stress. Which is stressful.