Saturday, July 31, 2010

What About Me?


Dear Lilly Pulitzer,
I think it's fabulous that you have jumped on the Greeks are Great bandwagon. Because we are great! But I don't see my letters. I sent you emails requesting them. Just as you asked. But please don't snub the rest of us NPC gals. It sort of feels like being cut during Recruitment. And that's not fun. We are just as Lilly-worthy!
Looking forward to more Greek fabulousness,
KK

Friday, July 30, 2010

Spiraling

No, I'm not spiraling out of control. Actually, I just realized my blog makes me seem like a total Debbie Downer this week. Which is not an accurate depiction of me this week. We all have "woe is me" times but this week isn't one of them for me. The seizure thing and the mother issue and the "you suck because you're single" thing do bug me but they also made me realize how when I only tell you those stories, it paints a picture of a blonde girl wailing in the fetal position in a corner. That I am not. Not this week anyway. Tehe. So to lighten the mood, let me tell you about my recent hair issues. I mean, what topic is more fluff than hair, right?

So my entire life I have had very, super fine hair. And a LOT of it. Every hairdresser I have ever met makes both of those comments in the first 60 seconds. My hair does not curl. It does not ever gain body. It does not have waves. It cannot handle humidity. Or wind. Or rain. I wash it and blow dry it every single day to achieve the minimal volume that sits upon my head. I know, I said every day. I do. Always have and always will so just let it go. Oh and I highlight too. So I wash and dry processed hair at least once a day. But I am also always told it's healthy. Not that having unhealthy hair would ever convince me to do a day without a wash and blow dry. My hair would be stuck to my head like butter if I did that. Flat, flat, flat!

But about four or five months ago, I noticed a change in the left front side of my hair. When I blew it dry, it didn't quite lay smooth. Then I finally noticed it looked like a wave. So strange for this stiff as a board straight hair head. Last month my hairdresser commented too and then looked at me, smiling. Girls, we all know that "I am not going to be rude and ask if you are pregnant but are you?" smile. I immediately replied that I am not!! The curl is increasing in volume and wave now. It's now a full on spiral curl on the front left side of my face. To my knowledge, I have had no hormone changes recently. Can this just happen on its own? Has this happened to you? I know plenty of people who had drastic hair changes during puberty, pregnancy, post-pregnancy and after a bout with cancer. But in all of those cases, major chemical changes take place in your body. I didn't think hair just up and changed all on its own. I know how to deal with my buckets of super fine hair. I know what works and what tools to use and I have this mop down to a science. I can share a hotel room with four women and be the one who blow dries and styles my hair without glancing at a mirror. Fine tuned skills! And now I have a combo head. Super straight with a twist. What the heck? I mean, it's probably not life altering but it is surprising every morning to find a ringlet on my crown.

I promise to figure out why my printer and new computer dislike each other by next week so that I can load photos (I load them via the port on the printer....who refuses to share and play nice with the new computer.). I know nothing is more boring that several posts in a row sans photos.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Mother Strikes Back

So my mother just tried to friend me on Facebook. I about threw up. (see my Monster Monday posts if you are unclear what I am talking about) For now I am doing nothing about it. I am not clicking "ignore" because she can just keep trying to "friend." I blocked her email address years ago. She calls once a year or two and I delete that. Once every few years she mails me something and I return it to sender unopened. She doesn't write her return address so I just fill it in for her. Though I found out recently that they moved so all these years I have been sending her stuff back to the wrong address. Whatever. My relationship with her is over. And while I still occasionally have little girl fantasies that she will walk away from her Satan husband and want to get to know me, I am wise enough to know that will never happen. It is more likely that I will have a successful career on Broadway or as a rodeo clown than her leaving him on her own accord. Most days I love FB. I love seeing what high school and college friends are up to these days. I love getting to know some of my favorite bloggy pals too. But my maternal parental unit and I will not be commenting on each other's status updates. Not this decade anyway.


**UPDATE**
Just to clarify, my mother knows that I want nothing to do with her. She's been told to her face, over the phone and in writing by me. Multiple times. Over more than a decade. She has also been told by a variety of other people. I even had a sit down with her therapist my senior year of high school and laid it out there in front of her and the therapist. So the therapist could have a record. She knows. She chooses to ignore. She and her Satan husband are delusional and think that I own them gratitude for taking me on nice vacations. To which I reply, "just because they were expensive does not make them nice." As Countless Luann "sings," money can't buy you class. Her Satan husband thinks he is king of the world and won't hesitate to tell you. Though you would probably like him upon first meeting. He's all sorts of fake charming like that. He is amazingly talented at twisting things and telling false stories and filling heads with made-up information. He is behind most of what she does but I no longer allow that as an excuse. I'm getting off track. My point is, she is fully aware of the situation. She's a very intelligent person who is always in the moment. She knows. She suffers from sever depression but she knows. But I didn't know you could block someone on FB. Thanks for the tip Gracie Beth!

Curse Of Single Syndrome

So I got a phone message two days ago from some lady saying I won a prize I entered. I have zero memory of this but I guess I must have. I don't usually enter mall type giveaways but it's not out of the question I suppose. But I was completely skeptical. So I stalled calling back for two days. I just finally worked up the nerve and called. The guy on the other end of the phone said I won one of the top four prizes as long as I confirmed the correct info. Enter super skeptical KK. But it actually wasn't super personal. Until he asked if I was married/living with my significant other or just single. I said single. He said,"what?" I said again I am single. To which he replied, oh well this prize can only go to someone married or living with a significant other, sorry. So once again life slaps me in the face because I am not effing married! It's not about the prize. I don't remember entering and was disbelieving the entire time that I actually won something. But to be told once again in life that I can't play in the cool kids club because a guy isn't holding my hand really bites. I should call back and say I now live with my life partner and share the prize with Bestie or something. Being single really sucks lately. Like waaay more than it ever did before. Hmpph!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Giveaway!




Last night was rough. I was exhausted and fell asleep as soon as my head i
hit my pillow. Rare for this insomniac. Then around 4AM, I woke up dripping wet and immediately looked for Sadie. She was having a seizure. Once again there is truly no doubt that God woke me up from my deep slumber to see her episode from start to finish! I flew out of bed and turned on the light (though I have no memory of actually turning on the light) and held her. It was shorter than usual. They get shorter as time goes on. Which is a good sign I think. The last one was almost exactly five months ago but the seizing time is lessening. Unfortunately it still takes her about an hour to "come out of it." Where she is no longer shaking but still has a blank look on her face and can't follow your voice. And then there's the throw up. Always a bonus. But you have to just sit there, with (or worse, in) it until she comes out of it. I can't just up and leave her. Of course, once she comes back to herself, she feels fine. Tired but no memory. She goes to sleep. And I lie awake with a flashlight to shine on her to make sure she is OK for hours until I can finally fall asleep. She's peachy today and I am a loony-toon hovering momma. So the bottom line is that she's fine. Healthy. I'm losing my marbles as we speak though. So it's fabu.
My computer finally kicked the bucket so today I became the proud owner of my very first laptop. Can you believe it's 2010 and I am only now using a laptop?! I am totally not used to it yet either so you should expect many typos in the coming week. It's so different!
But to end on a happy note, go to http://www.monogramsandmargaritas.com/ for a fabulous giveaway! That includes all sorts of fabulous Lilly and preppy goodies, two of which are made by yours truly. The can and coffee cozy set above (I don't yet know how to highlight anything without a mouse so I can't move the photo around.). But don't you just love the pink and green Lilly Pulitzer fish print? So pop over there to enter!
And want to hear a fun story about Monograms and Margaritas? She ordered something from my etsy site. And upon sending it to her, I realized she lives in the same apartment complex that Bestie and I lived in a decade ago. Not only the same complex, but the same building (not same apt but still). Small, teeny, tiny world!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How To Make A Pie Crust

Every time I do a post about baking a pie, I get questions regarding how to make your own pie crust. And comments calling me crazy things like "amazing" and "Martha." And while the compliments are flattering, they are unnecessary. Making your own pie crust is a very simple process. I don't use a food processor. I know that Martha and Ina both use theirs but I tried it one year and I just didn't like it as much as using my own two hands. I've been making pie dough for longer than I can remember. I started standing and walking on the same day, as the story goes. Apparently I felt crawling and bobbling about was for babies. I have to assume around that time is when I first made a ball of pie dough. If baby KK can make pie dough, you can too!


Here are your ingredients. All Purpose Flour (but this is all I had on hand), sugar, salt, Crisco and ice water. As far as tools, you will need a pastry cutter (but if you don't have one, please feel free to use two dinner or butter knives), a knife, a rolling pin, plastic wrap and a bowl.





Step 1: Two cups of flour go into your bowl.




Step 2: Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to bowl.




Step 3: Add 1/4 teaspoon salt to bowl.




This is a pastry cutter. If you don't own one, you can easily use two knives or forks instead.




Step 4: Take your pastry cutter or a fork or whisk and sift the flour a bit. Mix up those three ingredients.




This is Crisco. I use butter flavor and buy the sticks because they are less messy and have measurements on the side just like a stick of butter. Don't be afraid of Crisco. Seriously, it's OK. I know Martha and Ina have been seen using butter but my family did a taste test a few years back (I was serious when I told y'all we are a pie snob family! For Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are only two people allowed on pie duty, me and my aunt. We are serious about pie!) and we unanimously agreed that Crisco was far superior. It's a pie my friends, don't skimp. It's not like you are going to eat one every day. Also, it's best if your Crisco is refrigerator cold.




Step 5: Cut off 3/4 of a cup of Crisco. Peel open the wrapper, just like butter. Cut the Crisco into cubes (or small pieces- it's soft so it won't be perfect) and toss in your bowl.




Step 6: Take your knife (even if you will be using a pastry cutter) and run it through the flour covered Crisco pieces. Softly chop chop chop the Crisco into small pieces, mixing with the flour.




It will now look like this. Small beads of fat and flour.





Step 7: Slowly add in the ice water. And by ice water, I mean ice cubes in a cup of water. Really, truly ice cold. You will need to add anywhere between 4 tablespoons and 8 tablespoons of water. So start with 4 tablespoons. Use your pastry cutter (or knives or forks) and cut the water into the fat and flour. Your goal is to be able to make a ball and have it stick together on its own. So if you're not there yet, add more water, one tablespoon at a time. It will vary depending on the weather, humidity, age of flour, etc. Don't be scared. Trust your gut and eyesight. If it still seems dry, add a touch more water.




Step 8: Once you get the right amount of water blended in, make two balls of dough. Flatten them down into a puffy pancake for easy storage. If you will be using them the same day, wrap in plastic wrap and pop in the fridge. Must rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using. This allows the glutens to relax and the fat to get nice and cold again. Key to a flaky pastry crust! If you are not planning to use it the same day, wrap in two layers of plastic wrap and store in freezer for up to two months.




Step 9: Dust your surface with flour. I actually take a damp sponge and moisten the counter top and then "glue" down a layer of plastic wrap. It makes for easy clean up. But not necessary. Either way, you need to get some flour down on your surface, hands and the rolling pin. If you don't own a rolling pin, you can use a CLEANED and UNOPENED bottle of wine. I think a full bottle will work better as the weight of the liquid works to your rolling advantage.




Step 10: Roll out your dough. Slowly. This isn't a race. No need to stress. It's flour and water. You can and will win this battle. You are smarter and prettier than this ball of dough, my friends! If it starts to stick to your rolling pin, and it will, just lightly dust with more flour. You'll likely need to re-dust a few times. Just do a light dusting- you want to add the smallest amount of extra flour as possible. So just enough to prevent sticking.




This is what it will look like all rolled out. The best way I have found to be certain that your dough is big enough is to hold your desired pie plate over the flat dough. The flat dough should be several inches larger on all sides. Oh and do you see the tear/hole towards the bottom?




Here's a close of of my tear/hole. It happens. All the time. Just pinch it together and keep going. As the saying goes, don't sweat the small stuff! No one is going to mock imperfect crust as they are scarfing down a slice of pie. I promise.




Step 11: Transfer pie crust to pie plate. I forgot to take a photo for you but I have found the easiest way is to place your rolling pin in the center of the dough. Fold half over the rolling pin so that it's sort of like a dough/rolling pin taco with dough on the top and bottom and rolling pin in the center. Lift up the rolling pin and place into pie plate.


Step 12: Trim the edges. Use a knife or kitchen scissors. Trim them a bit larger than the pie plate.




Step 13: Fold the extra dough under itself to give you a clean, rounded edge.


Step 14: Pinch the edge to make it pretty. You can do this several ways. You can use a fork and sort of mash it along the edge. You can make a wave-like design. You can even use baby cookie cutters on the extra dough and attach them around the edge with an egg white wash. Or you can do what I did below. I took my first two fingers on one hand and pressed my index finger between them using the other hand. I could only get one hand in the shot though as I only have two and needed one for the photo taking. The point is, do whatever feels good. It won't be perfect but it will be tasty. Accept that now and you will be a happy camper!





And that's it. If you are making a two crust pie- so one on the top and one on the bottom, follow all of the above directions but wait to do the crust pinching bit until the top crust is placed on top. After the top crust is on, pinch the top crust under the bottom crust edge and pinch away. Then cut three slits in the top to allow steam to escape.



Please tell me a few of y'all will try this soon! It really is so easy and the flavor difference is night and day. Plus, it's fun. And impressive to company. I promise I won't tell them how easy it really is!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I've Got The Golden Ticket ....er....Tomato



Two years ago my cousin had an entire row of these golden beauties. Golden pear tomatoes. It's slightly larger than a grape tomato. And the most magnificent tomato to ever touch your lips. I've been obsessed with the sweetness for TWO years. But it was so damn cold last year and by the time it finally warmed up, I couldn't find a plant. This year I shopped and planted early thanks to a special and unusual treat for NY. I believe it's called spring? This is the first teeny tiny treasure. But the plant is growing so well and tall and is full of baby green t'maters and flowers. There are few things that are more rewarding than grabbing a snack of sun warmed vine ripened tomatoes on the way to your car. Simple, sweet goodness. Mmmm!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Breakfast Of Champions or Happy Ending




I made this last night and OMG it was amazing! For weeks I've been craving egg custard. But it's an odd craving so I did my best to just ignore it. Until I could ignore it no longer. I had to bake a pie. I used a small pie plate I guess because I ended up with three baby ramekins of extra custard. Only two are shown though because I ate the smallest one moments after it came out of the oven. Even taking the time it took to make my own crust, it was a very simply and not all that timely event. And so incredibly worth it. Light and eggy and creamy and delish! Would be lovely with fresh whipped cream and raspberries but I didn't have either in the house so I served it plain jane.


Egg Custard Pie

Ingredients:

* 1 9" unbaked pie crust (freeze the other crust for later use)
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 egg white
* 2 1/2 cups scalded milk
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

* Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
* Whisk together eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla. Add scalded milk (I don't know what makes milk "scalded" so I just microwaved it for two minutes. It tastes fine so I assume that was good enough.).
* Add pie crust to pie pan. Brush inside with egg white (I ran out of eggs and just used a bit of cream instead). Pour egg mixture into pie shell. Add nutmeg (which I didn't read until after I tossed it into the egg mixture. Whatever.)
* Bake 30-35 minutes or until knife comes out clean.


This is so easy and so yummy that you might want to make two. A day. Just for yourself. All those eggs, it's practically an omelet, no? Breakfast of champions if you ask me!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Is This Why I'm Still Single?

So on FB today, Lilly Pulitzer announced that they will be debuting a line of wedding dresses this year! I think that perhaps the reason I have been unattached all these years when every one of my friends got married, had children and bought homes is because I was secretly waiting for a LP wedding gown. Or that's what I am telling myself today anyway. But an hour later when I went on FB to pull the photo, they removed the entire post. I googled and could only find photos at her fabulousness, The Preppy Princess. So go here to see the loveliness that will delight brides everywhere. I love the short gowns. While I have oddly never been one to pre-plan my hopefully-one-day-please-God-don't-make-me-a-40-year-old-bride-or-worse-a-cat (except in my case a dog because I am super allergic to cats)-lady wedding, I have never envisioned a black tie event for myself. (Watch me totally have a black tie wedding and eat my words!) I love the idea of a more laid-back wedding where a short dress would be perfectly appropriate. Hopefully the images are again made available soon as I would love to post them on here. Until then, visit TPP and drool!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Squash Bruschetta






I have an overabundance of squash in my little garden this year. If you have never grown anything, you likely can grow a squash plant. They are very low maintenance as long as you can plant them in a location that receives great sunlight and give them water daily. That's it. And they will grow out of control (so give them plenty of growing space- as in say 4 feet min) with lots of fruit to enjoy all summer. Last year I didn't do a very good job of finding ways to creatively consume my squash. And as a result, many grew too large to eat (squash are generally best enjoyed when small and tender even though it's fun to see them giant and record-breaking) and went to waste. I don't like waste. So I'm doing my best to think of fun, new ways to work them into my meals.






Last week I made a meal out of two kinds of bruschetta- the regular tomato basil kind and my squash creation. It's very easy to make- though not super quick I will admit. But if you decide to serve this as an appy at a party (as I did last night), it's easy enough to prep ahead of time and just put the parts together 10 mins before hand.

Squash Bruschetta

Ingredients:
* Several small or medium size squash of any kind (I used yellow, two-toned and zucchini), diced
* 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
* 3-4 peaches, diced
* EVOO
* Salt and pepper and taste - be generous
* extra herbs if you have them like rosemary
* 1-2 tsp minced garlic (optional)
* part-skim ricotta cheese
* french bread, sliced (just ask the bakery to slice it for you)
* EVOO spray

Directions:
* Slice your onion and saute it in olive oil to somewhere around translucent. Add your squash and saute until soft. Add seasoning, garlic and peaches and saute until soft and well blended.








(if you are making this ahead of time- take it off the stove and store it in the fridge for future use- just reheat in microwave before using)

* Place sliced bread on a baking sheet. Spritz top of each slice with EVOO spray. Pop in pre-heated 350 oven for about 10 minutes or until toasted and crispy instead of soft.






* Spread a little bit of ricotta on each bread slice. Top with the squash mixture. Enjoy!






Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garden Again





I don't have much to gossip about right now. I'm busy but it would be holy boring to read about. Happy about the oil well being capped. For now. Curious about Bristol and Levi's "surprise mom, we're gettin' hitched" magazine stunt. But not curious enough to look into it further. If there's a story, I have no doubt it will play out on a classy show like Entertainment Tonight or in OK Magazine. And so happy that I finally wrote about my adult friendship issue. If I had any clue I wasn't alone, I would have talked about it with y'all years ago! Who knew so many of us fabulous gals find it hard to find great gal pals in our areas?!









So as I have nothing of substance to discuss, here are some random garden photos. The big oblong squash are (I think!) Spaghetti Squash! Or acorn squash. But based on the shape I'm guessing spaghetti. Either way I can't wait. They grown crazy fast- doubling in size each day it seems. So be prepared to see lots of squash recipes on here in the coming months. I certainly can't eat them all simply steamed. And perhaps this is why I have no friends- haha! So girls do fancy things like talk about shoes and I talk about squash. Yea, I'm pretty sure this might be part of my problem. But what do you think of the bag I made to use this summer? The inside is Lilly Pulitzer fabric of course. It seems to garner compliments all over town. Love it, if I do say so myself!






Saturday, July 10, 2010

Its So Hard To Find Friends

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.


I am a very blessed girl in the friend department. Truly! I have the most amazing girlfriends on the planet. But sadly, none of my best girlfriends live in driving distance of me. I've lived here nearly five years and I still do not have a huge circle of friends. I have friends. Even some very dear friends. But my two closest friends are moving. One already moved, actually. Out of state. The other is about to move out of the area. I feel like I am back to square one. It's so stinkin' hard to make best pals up here for some reason. I think because people don't tend to move in and out of the area as much as they did in the other cities I've lived in (DC, Indy, Atlanta). Most of my friends up here were raised here and went to schools close to here and moved right back after graduation. So they have big circles of hometown and even college friends. No one seems to need to make new pals I guess. I volunteer my booty off - so I am in big groups of women. There is no way I can add another volunteer gig to my schedule. I am booked in that arena. And I don't like to play sports (people are always recommending that I join a softball (gag me!) or some other sporty team/group/thingy). But I feel so lost. I am a girl's girl. I very much need my girlfriend time on a very regular basis. Half a decade is a long ass period of time to go without having a local best friend. I seriously cannot even believe it's been that long. I only ever intended to live here one to two years max.

Have any of y'all up and moved to a new, non-major city that didn't offer much in the way of new friend making? And you were single (because it's different if you are married I think)? How did you find good friends? I've tried going to friend meet ups that I found listed on Craigslist but they were strange and just not my crowd. I've tried joining not one but two book clubs, but both fizzled after the first book. I took on a chair role in the League and I do have friends there. But they almost all fall into the "have lived here forever and already have a big group of friends and only make new friends with those living in the burbs (which I do not)" category. Clearly I am doing something wrong. So if you have advice or ideas, please share! I need pals who don't require a plane ticket to see in person.

Fail


With the success of my anchor skirt over Memorial Day, I thought I would try making something fun to wear on the 4th of July. I have coveted this strawberry fabric for a year and a half now. I've used it here and there but have a ton that has just been waiting patiently for me to find a worthy project. I decided it screamed 4th of July picnic. So I sewed it up quickly and added the fabulous green ribbon ruffle trim. All high and mighty, thinking I was a sewing genius. And then I tried it on. And realized that it made me look a solid 30 lbs heavier than I already am. The fabric is too heavy and the thick waistband (that I thought would be slimming, mind you) was too poofy and the bottom ruffle is too heavy, making the skirt stick out from my hips all quirky. So sad because I love how it looks on the hanger! It would be too much work to un-do it so I'm just keeping it for now. I could see it possibly becoming a fun table cloth in the future. Maybe. Or it also might end up going to the thrift shop come fall. I give myself an A for effort though because it is seriously adorable until you see it on my body.






Friday, July 9, 2010

Greek Girls: Sorority Gifts



After a sorority trip with my collegians, I like to give them a little something as a thank you for being so fabulous. I usually make ribbon and pearl necklaces but this time I took a departure from my standard prezzie. I have a Lilly Pulitzer towel wrap that I adore and have wanted to try making something similar at some point. Well I seized the day and am so thrilled with the results. They were not very difficult and if you didn't add any embellishments, it would take no time at all. But what's a gift without embellishments, right? I made them in each girl's favorite pair of colors and added our sorority letters too. They seemed to love them! I'm so adding these to my list of go-to gifts to make for friends.















Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pop Tarts






Oh Lindsay Lohan, you cannot possibly think anyone believes you didn't know you were missing court ordered classes and whatnot. I knew. I never read celeb blogs. And don't follow much on TV. But I knew. It has been on CNN for crying out loud. I hope they make you stay in jail for the full 90 days. Embrace the orange jump suit, Lilo! Also, is there a difference between jail and prison?






And how creepy do we think these two are as a couple? I think she's adorable and cute, but he is beyond annoying. I don't know why, because age isn't usually an issue for me, but they just irk me. Not that they asked my opinion or anything. Ha!

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