What’s On My Mindgrapes

in case you were curious


Archive for January, 2009

Honest to blog?

Ok, ok, lame title. I watched some of Juno this weekend, and this post is about blogs, so I had to.

Lately, I’ve been astounded at how many blogs exist. Especially food blogs. I check them like most people check the stock market or sports stats. And so many of these blogs make me think, I should have thought of that! I mean, Ezra Pound Cake?? I stole my blog title from a freakin’ TV show! Other new blogs in my Google reader include The White House Blog (so informative!) and Design*Sponge (so pretty!).

As you know, it’s now officially awards season. The internet is a-buzz about the Oscars, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals (for children’s books), and several other awards that come around at the end of a calendar year. The Well-Fed Network (basically a network of food blogs) announced the winners of the 2008 Food Blog Awards. I’m really happy that Smitten Kitchen won in the writing category. I thoroughly enjoy Deb’s recipes and photos, and she has a natural way of writing like she’s actually talking to me. This is especially useful when it comes to cooking and you need some reassurance or some flat-out encouragement. Another one of my faves, the Kitchn, won for Best Group blog, which is no surprise since Apartment Therapy has a great network of blog contributors. Their postings are concise, cover a wide range of topics, and have introduced a lot of new concepts to me.

There’s still time to vote for the 2009 Bloggies, which honors blogs in a variety of categories. I voted for the blogs I honestly read, and also found a lot of blogs I want to check out. I encourage you to browse through the categories and see what’s out there.

And JAG, er, I mean, all you readers in Chicago should check out The Printed Blog, a controversial new endeavor bringing printed articles from blogs to commuters, kind of like a newspaper. I’m torn, it’s rather wasteful compared to actual blogs, but it gets information to those who might not otherwise come across a blog. It’s probably intended to comfort the few who are used to reading an actual paper. Let me know what you think.

Look at that, I’m informing the masses! Could there be a Bloggie in my future? Not with headings like that. Oh well.


What an exciting day!

We have a new President.

I was lucky enough to take a break from working and watch the Inauguration ceremony with my co-workers in a conference room.

And for those of you curious as to what everyone ate at the Inaugural Lunch, both the NYT and Epicurious were kind enough to post details on the menu (which included mac and cheese for the kids! That’s what I had!!)

The Menu

Seafood stew in puff pastry including scallops, shrimp and lobster
(Abe loved seafood)

Main course
“Brace of American Birds (pheasant and duck)” served with sour-cherry chutney and molasses sweet potatoes
(Abe ate root vegetables and wild game as a child in Indiana)

Apple cinnamon sponge cake and sweet cream glacé
(Abe liked apples)

Recipes are available.

Photo credit to this ragazzo via a Google search.

My kind of hotdish

“Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
-Vonnegut, A Man Without A Country

Hats off to Rox for posting this quote on her blog a couple of weeks ago. Sometimes, I feel so uncreative, I don’t even know where to start. I’m surrounded by creative people every day and I marvel at their ability to generate ideas, create beautiful works of art, or make useful objects. Hell, even pick out interesting outfits. How can I be more creative? What is my art? (more…)

To-Dos and How-Tos

No resolutions here. I figure 2008 went rather well, I don’t need to make resolutions and just keep doing things that make me happy and a better person. I’ve learned a lot, I love my friends and family, and I can’t wait to keep learning, cooking, and writing.

The recipe of the moment is for caramelized onions. It’s more of a method than a recipe, since you can take this and run with it. (“Teach someone to fish…”) I like to add CO to grilled cheese, pasta, brussels sprouts, or eggs. The possibilities are endless. Add garlic, or thyme, or sugar, or balsamic vinegar, and probably a whole lot of other things I haven’t even thought of. I decided to emulate the Pioneer Woman, so here is how to make CO in photographic steps. (more…)