Wednesday, March 30

a stroll down memory lane

Today is my sister's birthday (Happy birthday, C!), which got me thinking back to the good ol' days of childhood....

In the 80's, we looked forward to play dates with Strawberry Shortcake & Friends, Silly Putty, sliding down snowbanks and masterpiece Etch-a-Sketch drawings. A new Cabbage Patch Kid brought you to celebrity status among your girlfriends; the boys preferred "grossing us out" with the adorable doll's arch enemy--the Garbage Pail Kids. My sister and I weren't allowed to collect them...our parents deemed them too graphic!

Just for the sake of reminiscing, a few other long-lost pals from the 80's:

>>Fraggle Rock, The Polka Dot Door, 3-2-1 Contact and Double Dare
>>Speak & Spell, Speak & Math... and wasn't there one more?
>>My Little Pony (especially Cotton Candy, the pink one with little white specks)
>>She-Ra, He-Man and gangs of Transformers
>>Malibu Barbie
>>Lite-Brite
>>Pound Puppies
>>and just as the Sister and I reached our preteens, NKOTB!

Monday, March 28

jeepers, peepers

Happily, I have wonderful parents who still conspire with the Easter Bunny to leave their daughters green plastic grass- and goody-filled baskets. Note that I'm 26 and my younger sister is 24; traditions don't die easily in our household!

So Sunday morning, I awoke to find a family of Peeps perched in a basket of shimmery plastic strands, among Dove chocolate eggs and other assorted treats. The best part? The Peeps had been out of their packaging for awhile, giving them that slight staleness I tend to crave when I spot a sugar-studded yellow chick.

Apparently, these marshmallow snacks have gained quite the following. You can even make them yourself at home: Wham-o, the company that brought us Frisbees and Hacky Sacks, now makes the Peeps Marshmallow Maker.

MSNBC recently ran a very favorable article on the product. Peepsville, here I come!

Wednesday, March 23

news you can't use

From today's Washington Post: "Actor Robert Blake says he has a clear conscience after his acquittal on charges he killed his wife, but he also has an empty bank account and owes a fortune in taxes."

Well Bobby, my man... newsflash! According to the International Movie Database, you haven't played it out on the big screen (or even a 13" television screen) since 1997's Lost Highway.

Wipe your brow, stop your whimpering and get a job.

Look, if Darius Rucker (of Hootie and the Blowfish fame) can still land a gig--albeit one in which he hawks burgers for Burger King--you have no excuses, Mr. Blake. Selling out for a Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch sandwich surely beats begging for one in the street.

Tuesday, March 22

oh la la

Following along the lines of my prior (food-focused) entry....

My new best friend is Clotilde Dusoulier--she just doesn't know it yet. A Parisian by name and habitat, an International foodie at heart, she makes a point of taking her readers along on a daily feast of the senses. The photos on her site, Chocolate&Zucchini, often make my mouth water, her kitchen-tool collection is second to none, and her mastery of the English language would put most Americans to shame.

Mon Dieu, Clotilde's Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cake looks incredible. I think I may bake one this weekend....

Monday, March 21

enriching eats

I feel comfortable enough with you, dear reader, to share a bit of background on myself: I was raised on cookin' a la Betty Crocker. I'm not ashamed to disclose this, as my mom was--and still is--a great cook. But I grew up in Wisconsin, land of cheese, brats, and frozen vegetables--where skipping high school study hall to get Chinese takeout (usually chicken fried rice) was a captivating ethnic dining experience.

Living in Chicago for the past 4 years, I've learned a lot in the way of culture. I'd venture to say I'm pretty deeply entrenched in the stuff. I love salsa dancing, I pour through foodie publications, I adore chutney and samosas--heck, I'm even dating an Indian guy (and his mom makes out-of-this-world samosas!).

My latest discovery (thanks to Boyfriend) is the Korean staple, bi bim bop. He stumbled across it with friends while in med school in Ann Arbor. Lately, we can't seem to get enough of the rice, meat and veggie concoction. Accompanied with a semi-spicy red sauce reminiscent of barbecue, and topped with a sunny-side up egg, it's the star at our local Wrigleyville Korean joint (Rice Box, 2940 North Broadway).