Wednesday, August 24, 2011

DC Earthquake- I'm All Shook Up

This one time, there was a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in DC.

While I was at work.

Oh yeah, that was yesterday.

People are joking about how it was really not a big deal but, as I was in the city when everything started to shake, glass started to crack, bricks topple into the street and onto cars... it seemed like an attack had happened somewhere in the heart of the capital. Which caused me to have a heart attack before I realized, of all things, that it was an earthquake on the east coast. 

Really? Really?!

After calming down and realizing it was just a natural disaster not a national disaster, I waited out the vibrating and then was evacuated from my building with the rest of my coworkers. 

Came home to where my dog was soundly sleeping as though the house hadn't shaken, roommates all home and a flutter with earthquake talk.

Needless to say, it was a big deal. At least conversationally, ha.  So, where were you when the earthquake struck? I was in my office having a panic attack. But otherwise! Good times?

Also, the following conversation really happened to me this morning. My co-worker can back me up if you don't believe me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

B.L.T. Dip: Worth Killing For

So. This is pretty much the best dip ever. 


My roommate, Em, is in love with this dip. Spread on rye toast, wheat thins, triscuts, and bagels.... it's addicting. I even made it into chicken salad by using tablespoons of this dip instead of mayo. And look how pretty it looks.

See! Look how pretty! 

And it tasted EVEN BETTER!


So, pretty much you must make this dip. Because it is delicious. Pure pure delicious.

Go now, my loves. It WILL change your life.

B.L.T. Dip
-1 cup mayo
-1 cup sour cream
-1 cup (cooked) bacon, diced
-2 ripe tomatoes, diced

Combine all ingredients, chill for an hour. Serve with crackers. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pizza Throw Down

So, my friend and I had a cook off: who could make the best pizza. Our friends judged us- not something you usually want. However, in this case it was all in good fun.

And fun it was! Julio is an exceptional cook- while I blunder around the kitchen and the results are messy but, usually successful, he is strictly talented and competent in the kitchen. Therefore, our cooking styles in an improvised competition were well suited for the entertainment of our friends and competition.  

Messy vs. competent. Both results delicious, just with various amounts of dishes left over, as well as diverse flavors.

I of course had to make some of my Chicago deep dish.

Julio made a greek pizza- with lamb sausage and feta.
I mean... holy yum!

We each also made a second pizza. I made my favorite, an Italian inspired pizza that always goes over well, he made a Duck pizza with fig jam.

There's that greek pizza again...

My deep dish pan was new and too big for my crust amount. Plus, I balanced it poorly. The middle of my pizza was therefore a soggy soggy mess. A devastating blow in a competition. Luckily, my other pizza performed well!

Julio thought his Duck and fig pizza was too sweet. He was happy with his greek pizza though (and I thought both were amazing for the record)

All pizzas were in! The judges went into my room to calculate their decision and it was: 

Julio! By 1 point.

To be honest, just LOOKING at the pics, I think you guys can agree, he totally deserved the win. If you had been there to try one of each, I KNOW you'd agree. My first pizza was Chicago Pizza goo, ha. Not enough to keep me in the game. The fact that I lost by only 1 point was pretty much amazing in itself, I'm pretty sure it's just because the judges both happen to be my best friends.

Hey, I'll take a biase though ;)

We have already had a second throw down in the new house this past weekend! I am sure you'll be getting recipes and pictures for this newest round. And stories to boot.

In the meantime, you have GOT to try some of Julio's pizzas. They are TRULY amazing- I can't say enough how awesome all these flavors are. Give them a try for yourselves and post back any positive results! And if you guys start to have your own throw downs, I'd love to see those pics and recipes too! 

Love you all and Happy Cooking!!

Julio's Winning Pizzas:

Garlic Thyme Duck Confit
Fresh Thyme
Goat Brie
Fig jam (which in Julio's opinion/the opinion of some tasters was way too sweet, suggested you cut it with tomato juice. However, I just want to say I thought it was amazing)

Lots of olive oil
slices of lamb sausage
kalamata olives
Fresh thyme
Oregano (not fresh)

Last shot of our old kitchen! Will have to take some pics of the new kitchen at the house...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

City Life vs. Wheaton Life

I can’t believe it but, it’s almost been a year since I moved to Washington DC. I’ve really just got to say, this city is amazing.

I had never been here before moving. Which was quite the experience, by the by, moving to a city I had never SEEN at the drop of a hat. However, my life shifted, entirely. I got this totally wrong for me but totally amazing job offer, seemed to FEEL called to take it even if it was what I never wanted, and so it was all I could do to shift with the new turns of my life. Even if, as I can assure you they didn’t, the paths I was being pulled toward didn’t make sense to me.

And I am now so glad God presented such a path. That my family supported it and worked it out for me, that everything has been so spectacular for me here, so RIGHT for me here, since I moved.

I digress. Sorry. I am just pretty much ecstatic with how my life bloomed into something I couldn’t imagine. Life’s funny like that, huh?

Prior to living here in DC, I lived in a smaller suburb of Chicago. Accent on the suburb.  Wheaton is my home, despite the other cities I’ve lived in, residences I’ve taken up, and places I’ve worked- Wheaton is where my roots end. Florence, Dublin, DC- they all have pieces of my heart, have been a home to me in some way. However, Chicago is the place that comes to mind when I think “Home”.

Going from my life in the suburbs to living in a big city is always an adjustment- the comparisons often being jarring/hilarious.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Frosting for the Cause: Pineapple Dump Cake

I don't know if you know about Frosting for the Cause but, it's amazing. It's a truly amazing group of food bloggers- organized by one REALLY amazing food blogger- Paula. I did this post, the following post for her site and wanted to share it here on my page as well. I waited a month before doing so in order to not steal the thunder of Frosting for the Cause by sharing the recipe here. I hope you guys enjoy it and will go join Frosting yourselves. Love to you all:

I had several options to choose from while writing this post as to an inspirational person in my life who suffered through cancer as I have had several loved ones go through the very particular horrors of the disease. While most were surviving, not all were so lucky. As I sat down to begin outlining this post, I found myself struggling to pick the story of just one, a single person I love, a single person who fought what always seems like the losing battle, just one person who won, or who lost, who inspired me.

As I am sure many of you know, choosing one story can be difficult. Especially if you are so deeply entrenched in the lives of so many amazing survivors or loved so many who are no longer with us. This was my exact pondering as I scribbled in a notebook a little over a month ago trying to come up with the story I wanted to tell. Oh yeah, and a recipe to go along with it.

You guys all make it look so easy ;)

However, I was seriously struggling. I had a lot of stories to tell but, none stuck out in that moment. Couldn’t I just tell them all? Write a novel for each one? That’s what my Grandpa Moylan, Aunt Karen, Aunt Peggy, Kendal, Kara, and John deserved. So, I sat. Scribbling in a notebook on the DC metro. (Read, drawing comics aimlessly and worrying about what to write). On my way to some dinner thing my coworker helped put together. A benefit, you know the type. An auction and fancy cocktails followed by some speakers with a dinner.  

At the time, this meant I had worn a dress to work and that I had to wear my work heels for approximately 4 more hours than I normally like to. Little did I know that what it would come to be the inspiration for my post that I had been searching for.

The benefit was a sponsored Camp Kesem event. I had never heard of it either, no worries. George Washington students organized the “Camp Kesem GW’s 2011 Share the Magic Benefit Dinner” and raised $11,000 in just that one evening auction and meal as they told one of the most inspiring stories I had ever heard.


Just to be clear, these are students, guys. I was a student not to long ago. While in undergrad, I worked two jobs, worked toward my two hard earned degrees, did a LOT of goofing off, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, did Relay for Life committees each year, and probably spent 1/3 of my life on Facebook. Things I never, ever, even kind of did? Threw benefits. Organized expensive events. Wrote to speakers for their time. Got donations. Organized, marketed, publicized, and budgeted entire summer camps.

If you ever want to feel like a slacker, talk to these students at GW and so many other campuses who are a part of the Camp Kesem Summer Program.These GW Students worked so hard on this event and SO MANY OTHERS to raise money to have a summer camp for the children of cancer patients.

Did I mention? It’s for free. A week long summer camp, entirely free to the families and child. $0.  For as many kids they can get to sign up. I mean, that’s insane. That’s a LOT of fundraising. Not to mention work. And yet, this students work like dogs throughout the entire school year to provide a week of summer paradise to children they don’t even know but who are dealing with cancer in their family.

Cue inspiration flowing freely through my notebook.


I found myself moved to tears as a young camper who’s camp nickname was “Pasta” described what it meant to her to have that week every summer with kids who were all going through the same things. Kids who understood. What it meant to have some time to be a kid and goof off at a camp, away from the hospitals and worry for her parent, but also a place where she could talk about those exact fears and have a group who understood and could laugh with her,  pray with her, for her, and above all be there for her.