Sunday, January 31, 2010


I am a big fan of aesthetics. Which is why I'm always on the hunt for things that don't scream BABY LIVES HERE AND HAS TAKEN OVER THE HOUSE.  

Things in my world must be practical, but also fun and beautiful for both Mom and Baby. And I love companies that get that concept and have finally started to make things for the home that fit both needs. 

I got REALLY tired of the white, plasticy bottle drying rack that was sitting in our kitchen.  It LOOKED like a bottle drying rack and totally throws off any style I try to keep in the room. 

My favorite baby product company, Boon Inc. came out with a drying rack that fills my need to function and style. It's a grass drying rack. How cute, right? Sure, it was about $20, but it was worth the money and now I can look at my kitchen counter without cringing at the white plastic, double-decker drying rack. Come to think of it, my old drying rack was about $15, so paying $5 more to satisfy my need for some style is definitely worth it.

Quiche Off Into the Air

Normally, Kenny makes the weekend breakfasts. It's the same pretty much every Saturday and Sunday; eggs scrambled, toast and bacon. Gets a wee old after a while, so I agreed to take over breakfast duty. And I agreed to make quiche...for the first time.

I have no clue how to make a quiche- they seem like they are tough to make, especially since I usually only see them at Sunday brunches and baby showers. I figured they are best saved for Sunday brunches and baby showers. Years ago, my mom* gave me a fancy quiche pan and it's been collecting dust in the basement, so it's finally get a little attention.

I not really good at following rules, especially when it comes to cooking. I skimmed a few Quiche recipes and my eyes glazed over as soon as I saw that I had to weight my pie crust with beans first, followed by more complicated steps.

I'm not Southern, folks, I have no patience for willy-nilly cooking steps.

And I have two hours before Abby wakes from her nap.

I figure I can just do a smorgasbord of everything and as long as I'm not too far out of the ball park with measurements and ingredients, my food will keep us out of the emergency room.

I mixed up five eggs, a couple cups of half & half, some bacon and leftover prosciutto, a blend of cheeses, sauteed onions, spinach and garlic. Oh, and a pie crust I found leftover from the holidays.

In about an hour (I guess that's how long they take to cook), I'll let you know how it all plays out. Maybe I'll even put up a photo to show you too. Maybe I'll learn WHY it's important to follow a recipe for Quiche and why they are reserved for Sunday brunches and baby showers.

*My mom also bought me a Vidalia Chop Wizard a few years ago and I grinned when she gave it to me, but it's pretty awesome. No longer crying over chopping onions. That, and ever since I nearly sliced off my finger slicing limes when I was a bartender, I am a little "chop" shy.
Highly recommend if you need to do lots of chopping, but don't have time, patience or courage.

POST QUICHE WRAP UP: Quiche may sound fancy, but it's totally easy to make. It came out of the oven looking awesome and I got a four-fork approval from Kenny. So there you have it!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best Songs of 2009

I'm surprised I'm even doing this. Previous years have been spent seeking out and compiling my favorite music of the year and this year, I thought FOR SURE, it wouldn't happen as I barely have time to change my clothes these days.

Before we get on with the list- know that I make very very limited copies of my Best of CD this year, but will continue to make copies on request for friends. As you can understand, I have to look over my shoulder every 10 seconds to make sure Abby isn't getting her head stuck in the kitty door-- finding time to burn a bunch of mixes ain't happening this year. Besides, most people are iPod people and could care less about a CD. If I had the skills (maybe next year), I'll post my Best of MP3s or something on an FTP site or something. Again, baby steps!

Oh, and this is just a list with maybe a few short quips- my writing skills and any musical descriptive writing got left in the delivery room back in March and I have yet to find it. Definitely a resolution for next year.

"Heartbreak Warfare"- John Mayer
Yes. I love John Mayer's music. I hate how his record label promotes him to be this frat boy/ girly firly kind of putz. He's talented and funny as hell. This song should have been the single. 

"The Great Defector"- Bell XI 
They play them on WXRT and they kind of sound like an Irish Talking Heads. The rest of the album is worth listening to as well.

"Lord Lord Help Me Just to Rock Rock On"- Mike Doughty
A song that just grooves and moves along and is mighty catchy. Beware when driving on highways if this song every comes on as it tends to give the need for speed.

"Bastards of Midnight"- The Damnwells
This is one of the best, most underrated bands on the planet as far as Kenny and I are concerned. Solid rock songs with clever favorite lyric in this song is "Trouble keeps the bar lights on...for a while". Anyway, PLEASE get and buy this record and catch up with The Damnwells if you haven't already. They thee best! You can do some good when you purchase a copy of their latest CD on their website- some of it goes to a good cause.

"Dance Anthem of the 80's"- Regina Spektor
I left Tori Amos a few years ago and picked up Regina. Figured I needed another girl on piano, but with lyrics I can actually interpret.

Seems this is a favorite for a lot of people this year- especially advertising companies. It really is a great album for sure. It's got a little 80's touch to it with the synth pop.

2009 introduced the "Traveling Wilburys" of the decade with Monsters of Folk, not to be confused with the Monsters of Cereal (Boo Berry and FrankenBerry would get upset by this). I'm trying NOT to call them a Supergroup, but that's pretty much what they are, right? The Monsters includes Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis from Bright Eyes, M. Ward and Jim James of My Morning Jacket. And I'm not a huge Oberst fan, but this group kind of drowns out his shaky, nervous vocals that give me the willies.

I don't know much about Hockey, other than it appeared in our iTunes one day. Is "Rock-Disco" a genre? That's what I think when I hear this song.  

Who is Jack Penate and why is he touring with US Indie bands? While I like his dance-pop sounds, it doesn't seem this Brit belongs in an indie category. That's not a complaint, more of a fact.

Something happened to Paolo Nutini. His voice on his latest album, Sunny Side Up, sounds totally different than his 2006 release "These Streets". Both are great albums, but Sunny Side Up- he has a much folky, diverse sound. His vocals sound more like 52 than 22. I also really like the song "Candy", but "High Hopes" hit me with it's mild reaggae/sunshine influence.

I feel kind of proud to have followed Gomez's musical career since 1998. They've been consistently going strong with new albums and oddly, a jam-band following. I've never understood that. "Little Pieces" is their latest on their album, "A New Tide.

This band falls into that Rogue Wave, The Shins, Band of Horses category for me. Another great Sub-Pop band that's been around for a while, but I never bothered to listen to until now. Kicking myself for that. 

This song is actually two songs in one. Starts off kind of like a folk song and builds into another swinging song. Has that less distorted Gomez feel to it.

Beautiful sounds and harmonies...I'm not good at placing music into the proper category, but this song throws back a little to Crosby, Stills and Nash....if they were taking some stronger drugs...maybe?

Chicago's very own! File under The Shins, as usual. Just a beautiful CD, full of talent and light. Any song with whisteling and handclaps makes me happy.

I haven't been really into a Pearl Jam since, oh, say 1995? But this album, they made my list with this song. It's Eddie Vedder's version of "You're a Friend of Mine", "That's What Friends Are For"...but without Phillip Bailey or Elton John. And I may add in here, Eddie Vedder gets better and more classic with age.

"The Climb"- Miley Cyrus:
Me and my 8th grade Self just love this song. Don't really care if it sounds corny- this song has got everything- a little inspiration, ballady----I just love a good "Life Anthem". I just love it. It's greatlittle girls to listen and sing and still has a valuable message for us "grown ups" to boot.

"Sex on Fire"- Kings of Leon
For the first half of the year, I thought they were singing "Your STUFF is on Fire" and actually liked that better. This whole album is one great soundtrack to a one night stand. Not that I know what those are anymore.