Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Booze Saves Christmas


It's Christmas eve and you don't have a rolling pin for those Christmas cookies? Don't worry, just empty (read: drink) a bottle of wine and you've got a make-shift rolling pin.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM HOME SWEET HOMEWRECKER!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Bitchin' Kitchen



She's kind of intense and has an accent I can only describe as "biker babe," but Nadia G, the buxom blond host of web TV show Bitchin' Kitchen is a kindred spirit. She gets very in-your-face showing how to whip up recipes like "Bag Em', Tag Em' French Toast," "Rehab Ravioli" and "One Night Stand Breakfast" -- a surefire way to curb that awkward conversation the morning after.

Check out her site for the latest episode, an ode to underdog vegetables parsnips and brussels sprouts (my fav). She sheds new light on how punk rock veggies can be. Then stick around to probe her site for recipes, cookware tips and to call in to her Bitch-o-Rama hotline!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Shopping Guide for all the Home Wreckers in Your Life

While I haven't actually felt like shelling out much money this year on those I love, I do enjoy window shopping and web browsing for holiday gift items that I never intend to buy. Here's some gems I uncovered; a list of some of the best items for the home wreckers in your life.

For the DIY man (or the hot fix-it guy):
Size Matters Tape Measure

A handy tool for all your measuring needs around the house... including the bedroom.

For the bundle of joy:
Home Wrecker Onesie

Hey, call it like it is.

For the hot to trot homemaker:
Northstar Retro Range

You might not know how to cook, but at least your stove can look cute.

For the whoreticulturist (wow I just got another idea for a blog...):
Park Planters

Just like a stroll through the park near my apartment, only the flashers and gay dudes getting BJs are in delicate, white ceramic.

Happy holiday shopping friends!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Lesson in Couture



I like to think I'm pretty decent at my job (you know, that thing I do when I'm not fussing over my apartment and what to eat). I'm lucky when I get to work on projects that involve my personal interests, like the time we taught people how to decoupage light switch plates as a promotion for a car company. Trust me, it made sense.

But then there are the times when I'm tasked with a project that challenges the boundaries of my skill set, shall we say. For instance, I coordinated an online teen soccer community (I don't play sports) and I managed marketing for an auto company (I don't own a car). I made a viral video with snowboarders in Wyoming (I don't snowboard, but I enjoyed hot tubbing in the snow). Sometimes it's, well, weird, but I'm always learning something new!

My latest challenge at work is to manage the blog of a high end fashion store. Fashion? You are talking to the girl who shops almost exclusively at Target and Forever 21. The girl who wears orthotics in her sneakers. The girl who last week paired electric blue nail polish with red plaid tights (the polish showed up mysteriously in my shopping bag with my $5 tights, so it seemed like karma wanted me to wear them together). Sure, I care about my appearance, but in my world thrift and comfort are always #1. Couture is basically lost on me.

As with everything else I've tackled on the job, I trust I'll learn something new (did you know berry tones are in for fall?) and become a better person for it. Perhaps as Home Sweet Homewrecker has helped me strive to improve my home decor, blogging for high fashion will help me hone my own fashionista know-how.

Which I will then apply directly to the shopping racks at Forever 21.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Turkey Time



So what are you cooking for Thanksgiving?

I'll be making last year's Momofuku brussels sprouts for a friend's turducken party this weekend, but for Thanksgiving proper, I'm just sticking to bringing the wine.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Rock and Roll Recipe Radio - Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread



A brisk, fall day called for warm, seasonal baked goods and a little music. If that loaf of Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread looks a little overgrown to you, listen to find out why. You can make your own pumpkin bread by (carefully) following this recipe:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 c cooked or canned pumpkin
  • 1-1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1-1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into two greased 8-in. x 4-in loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 min. or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 min. before removing from pans to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.

Rock and Roll Recipe Radio - Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

The playlist:
AA Bondy - World Without End
Chad VanGaalen - Willow Tree
The Pretenders - Brass in Pocket
The M's - Pigs Fly
Smashing Pumpkins - Obscured
The Muslims - On My Time

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Women Workin' It

Excuse us, but why weren't we asked to pose for this?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yes We Cake!



Amid the presidential election fervor, there arises the occasional effort that is just as adorable as it is inspiring. One such example is the new blog Yes We Cake which covers baked goods devoted to Obama. Delicious democracy!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Small Space Decorating

Now that it's been well over a year since I moved into my own apartment, my little abode is well settled and decorated and really only needs the occasional replacement of a dead plant. Ok, frequent replacement.

Therefore I am eager to help others decorate their new homes. Be warned, in the early 90's I convinced my mom to paint our living room mauve, so not all my ideas are spot on. For this reason, I'm turning to the experts at Apartment Therapy for ideas to decorate a lofty studio apartment. I found this article from earlier this year that shows off great use of color to separate spaces, and also color restraint to make small spaces appear big and airy.



If you have suggestions for small studios with high ceilings, let's hear 'em. I also liked this repurposing idea from Readymade. It will work well with his high ceilings.

Pining for Pumpkins

Just minutes into the first day of October and I'm already pining for pumpkins. When it comes to food, I think fall is truly the most romantic time of year. Sure summer has ripe veggies and berries, grilled things and cool drinks. But it's too damn hot to cook. Autumn invites butternut squash soups, a cup of hot apple cider in your mitts, baked apple crisps, and all the bounty of the harvest.

I hope to get out to a U-Pick farm this fall, because there's something satisfying about "harvesting" your own food, but at the very least I will waltz down to the local green market for some pumpkins and cider over the coming weeks. And when I do, I am armed with four delicious pumpkin recipes from Readymade.



Of course I can probably find versions of these pumpkin-y consumables ready-made for me at the market, leaving me more time for sipping cider and catching up on another fine thing that's returned for the fall season -- Gossip Girl.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Good Wife Always Knows Her Place



A friend sent me this 1955 Good Housekeeping article about how to be a good wife to your hardworking hubby. I'll share with you some of my favorite tidbits:

"Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it."

"Let him talk first -- remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours."

"Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice."

"Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him."

"A good wife always knows her place."

"After providing your husband with a healthful meal, washing the dishes and putting your little treasures of children to bed, join your husband in the marital bed and open your vagina to him so you may perform your wifely duty."

Ok, I made up that last one, but it's pretty much implied anyway. Wow.

On a similar note, I've started reading a book called Finding Betty Crocker by Susan Marks. While I'm willing to bet Betty had a lot of advice similar to that above, she also had a lot of good, practical cooking advice for all those housewives (and out of work husbands). Granted it was all loosely veiled advertisements for Gold Medal Flour, but in the Depression Era at the dawn of radio, Betty Crocker was a revolution in brand marketing.

Also the idea of a radio cooking show maybe isn't really that weird.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer is for BBQs

I've been a slacker about posting on the blog all summer because I've been too busy doing what one is supposed to do in the summer -- abandon the kitchen for outdoor BBQs! Aside from taking one rainy Sunday to bake a strawberry rhubarb pie, I've been soaking up the sun at lots of friends' backyard and public park BBQs. Kudos to the Shameless Carnivore for grilling prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and delicious pickle brine-soaked pork chops last weekend, made from spicy McClure's pickle brine no less!

Summer also means outdoor concerts, and I've managed to see one almost every week between the Pool Parties, Celebrate Brooklyn, East River Music Project and River to River. But there is one event that will be combining my love of summer BBQ and summer outdoor music -- the New York Magazine "Highbrow BBQ" on August 23rd. It's part of their successful New York by New York live music series. Here's the info below -- buy your tickets now! You can even enter a Best BBQ food challenge.


What: Highbrow BBQ
Who: Former Top Chef contestant Chris "CJ" Jacobson and a full-set performance by Islands
When: Saturday, August 23rd, 1:00pm - 5:00pm. (Rain date August 24th, same time.)
Where:
Solar One, East River waterfront at 23rd Street, Manhattan
How much: $25, buy your tickets at
nymag.com/nyxny
Is that it? Nope, a 46 issue New York magazine subscription is included with each ticket purchase

This event is presented in collaboration with Glaceau. New York Cares is a charitable partner.

Admission is all ages but ID will be required for drinking.


Note [8/13]: Just added - DJs Never Forget and Tanlines. Preview the Tanlines jams here.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wedding Version 2.0

Last weekend, after attending a childhood friend's wedding, I was lured by the promise of danishes and mimosas to a day-after brunch at the bride's parents' house. Turns out this was also a trick to get us to watch the newlyweds open their pile of wedding gifts. I've never really understood the appeal of sitting around watching someone open many gifts when you have no gifts of your own to open. I love Christmas morning gift opening, because everyone gets something, but bridal showers, baby showers, graduation parties... it's dull. Especially wedding gifts because we all saw the registry. There's rarely any surprises.

Even further beyond my understanding is why one would want to videotape the gift opening, as the father of the bride was on this occasion, and watch it again later. Of course, this particular video will have the running commentary of her dad's wonderfully awful puns. Guess which gifts were being opened while these one-liners were delivered: "They're barely married and you're already MUGGING them!" "Boy, I can really DISH it out!" "You seem really BOWLED over by that gift!" "I think this marriage has gone to POT!"

The good friend sitting next to me agreed that this is not an activity we'd ever want to relive by watching the video, which led to the plan that when I get married the gift opening will happen via webcam. That way anyone who really wants to watch can do so from home, and even fast-forward to their own gift being opened, while I remain in my pajamas amid a pile of Crate & Barrel boxes.

Even better, my friend added, "you can have the maid of honor Twitter all your gifts as you open them instead of taking notes!" It was then decided that my friend will get ordained online and preside over my eventual Web 2.0 wedding. Guests will be invited via Facebook and each sent home with a flashdrive keychain party favor.

You can add to my earlier post about this modern internet age two additional engagements I recently learned of thanks to Facebook. This is not including the wedding I'm heading to this weekend -- that's two weekends in a row! I get the feeling this couple are the type of people who already have everything, so I decided to get them a primarily edible gift. I filled a basket with local pickles, organic coffee, tea, dark chocolate covered peanuts, ginger chocolate, wine from the bride's home state and ceramic mugs from the city where the lovebirds met - NYC!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Green Gadgets and How I Know I'm Getting Old

I wanted to share with you a couple of the stranger "green" gadgets I've learned about this week:

Elephant Dung Paper
Yes, paper made from elephant poop. Supposedly elephants produce enough byproducts to make 115 sheets a day! And no, it doesn't smell.

No! Shopping Bag Bra

I mean, WTF? I'm trying to imagine the scenario at the check out counter.



I also have a green item that isn't weird, it's just awesome. I was complaining recently of the lousy water pressure in my shower to a friend, and she told me she bought a water-saving shower head from takeashower.com. Takeashower.com, besides being a cutely obvious place to buy a shower head, is more old school than Dunder-Mifflin paper co. You call up the folks at Takeashower.com, aka Water Management, and place your order over the phone. As I finished giving my info to the nice sales rep, he assured me, "Don't worry... we'll get you clean." And it sounded like he really meant it.

A week or so later my new shower head arrived in the mail, and I screwed it into place. The shower I experienced next, after six months of limpid streams of water and having to rub the suds off, was pretty much next to heaven. I don't know how they turned my weak shower into a cleansing blast, but boy, what Takeashower.com doesn't have in website savvy they make up for in shower head tech skills. As they should, I suppose.

Anyway, the fact that I just felt it necessary to write an entire blog post about a shower head, and that there was a subsequent text exchange between myself and my friend's boyfriend about said shower head (Boyfriend: "Awww yeah that showerhead!", Me: "YES!") means only one thing. I am getting old. These are the things old people get excited about.

[Note: Today I noticed, perhaps due to this post calling their site "old school," takeashower.com now takes orders online! - 9/17/08]

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shame Stew, Easy on the Onions

On a recent evening I decided to make myself a nice dinner of beef bourgine, because as usual I wanted an excuse to cook with red wine. My first stop was to Balducci's for fresh herbs, mushrooms and beef. I asked the butcher behind the counter for one-third of a pound of sirloin.

"Three-fourths of a pound?" he asked.

"No, ONE-third. Why? Is that weird?"

Shrug.

Was this butcher judging me? So what if I'm cooking for one? Is that so unusual?

"This is about half a pound," he said, holding up a piece of sirloin.

"Ok?" I replied, not knowing if he was asking my permission to sell me half a pound, or just educating me on the cut of meat. But next thing I know, he's wrapping up the not-exactly-cheap sirloin and passing it to me over the counter. Apparently it's not ok to eat for one.



Indignant, I headed to my neighborhood grocery store for the less-fancy staples for this dish, which included frozen pearl onions. Of course, the store has no pearl onions, but after three passes through the frozen section I did find "Stew Mix." This store-brand veggie mix showed a photo of potatoes, carrots, celery, and abundant pearl onions. That should work! Surely you see where this is going...

Upon opening the "stew mix" at home I found, amid the golf ball looking potatoes and icy carrots and celery, exactly ONE pearl onion. Friends, beef bourgine was a bust -- shamed and duped all in one meal. A single onion for a single girl.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sign of the Times

In the year 2008 I find out that two of my good friends got engaged over the weekend... via Facebook. (I found out via Facebook; they didn't get engaged over Facebook, but expect to see that in 2009). This is just a little too "Web 2.0" for me, though I soon discovered that they did in fact send out a friendly announcement email, complete with an attached photo of their smiling faces, but this communique got eaten by my spam filter. Also very 2008.

"What else is stuck in my spam filter?" I then wondered. And there it was. The email from my local farm co-op telling me that shares in the 2008 crops were going on sale NOW so act fast if you want fresh veggies every week from local farms. I had been so excited to partake in this feel-goodie, localvore, slightly-expensive-given-that- our-whole-planet-is-experiencing-a-food-shortage experience. But thanks to my spam filter thinking my veggie application was some kind of virus attachment, shares sold out and I will be picking up my greens at the grocery store and the farmers market with everyone else. Sigh.

Odds are I would get stuck with piles of swiss chard every week anyway. And what the eff do you do with swiss chard?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rock and Roll Recipe Radio - Episode 5



For this installment of Rock and Roll Recipe Radio I invited over my friend Scott Gold, author of the new book The Shameless Carnivore: A Manifesto for Meat Lovers. While writing his book, Scott tasted 31 different animals in (roughly) 31 days, so it's safe to say he knows his meat. Scott brought over two different cuts of buffalo meat to my apartment which we turned into buffalo carpaccio, buffalo tenderloin with roasted potatoes, and pan-fried buffalo ribeyes. Don't worry, I prepared some veggies too.





Listen to our cooking here and check out the musical playlist below.

Rock and Roll Recipe Radio - Buffalo 3 Ways With the Shameless Carnivore


Buffalo Tom - Treehouse
Dash Rip Rock - Trapped Inside a Liquor Store With You
Appomattox - Either Way
Harris - Carousel
The Ruby Suns - Oh, Mojave
Deerhunter - Cryptogram
Songs in the Key of Meat - 31 Animals in 31 Days

Read more of Scott's meaty exploits here.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A House I Can Afford in Brooklyn

This house for sale in Brooklyn is probably about the same size as my apartment -- but with a yard! What do you think? It comes with a Murphy bed.



From the listing: "This house, located near the intersection of Ave T and Van Sicklen is believed to be Brooklyns smallest house. Occupying what used to be a driveway, it's a one bedroom, one bathroom home that sits on a parcel of land 7.25 feet (2.2 metres) wide and 113.67 feet (34.6 metres) long and has an interior area of just under 300 square feet (under 28 square metres)."

THE PRICE ? ? ?
You get all this for

ONLY
$179,900.00!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Fantasy Football Bed

Ladies, be thankful that this isn't your bedroom.

Can you even imagine sleeping, let alone getting "romantic" in a bed that resembles a football field? (Ok, maybe you can guys, but I'm talking to the ladies...) Sometimes I see those design shows on TV where they try to incorporate some husband's overgrown baseball paraphernalia collection or model train obsession into the home decor. It usually looks something like this, and if I ever marry that person, well... No I just won't marry that person. Can't do it.

Thank you Fantasyland Hotel for some laughs. Check out the igloo room, the truck room and other delights including the "Canadian Rail" room which kind of just looks like my parents' living room in 1989.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Chia Herb Failure

My mom, an avid gardener, encouraged my green-thumb-in-small-spaces by giving me a Chia Herb garden for Christmas. She picked one up for herself too, and we planted them around the same time to see whose grew better. I’m comforted somewhat by Mom’s reports that her garden isn’t exactly flourishing, but I’m pretty sure it’s doing better than this…



Apparently you need to water them more than once every two weeks. Sigh. But, still wanting a crop of tasty herbs on hand, because I hate picking up a hefty bunch from the store only to use a pinch while the rest turns to ooze in my vegetable bin, I am determined to try, try again. Apartment Therapy has a good, and attractive, plan for a one-pot herb garden that I may give a try.

In the meanwhile, I’ll just have to keep using up that excess mint from the store on mojitos!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Birdie Baby Room

Until I have the husband and the money and the room and the life skills to pop out any kids of my own (on purpose), I enjoy observing the baby making steez of my friends and friends of friends (because let's face it, my best friends are just as busy drinking, paying off debt and not-being-married as I am...).

In this post I want to share some pics from my coworker's sister and bro-in-law's adorable nursery for baby-to-be. Their choice of birdie art from Pottery Barn Kids is right in line with my growing collection of ceramic birds. A collection that is sure to be overgrown and creepy by the time I'm elderly. That right boys, who wants to make babies with the crazy bird lady?



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kombucha-cha-cha

Recently kombucha has become the hot new health beverage. This fermented tea claims to have fantastic detoxifying effects on the body and may even give you a natural high, it's just that good for the bod. I have friends that swear by it, and I've tried it a couple times hoping to find a sense of well being in a bottle (since the usual bottle doesn't always do the trick).

I can't say I'm convinced that this vinegary, bubbly, living beverage really does anything special. At least not for me. Though I respect, and even envy, friends who so enjoy the healthful effects of kombucha that they are now growing their own "mother fungus" at home to ferment this elixir themselves.

But what I really want to know is, if you spill half a bottle of kombucha in your purse, is a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms going to grow a mother fungus in there? Um, because I'm a little worried.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Cooking with Sparks

Someone told me about this home cooking tribute to the orange-colored, caffeinated malt liquor known as Sparks the other night. I can't remember who because I'd been drinking way too many Sparks and I was both drunk and walking on the ceiling. Nevertheless, I always like to support my fellow home wreckers, so I thought I'd share this truly creative and disgusting cooking show with you. Bon app├ętit!



Friday, February 22, 2008

Rock and Roll Recipe Radio - Episode 4



For my 28th birthday I decided to celebrate not only my birth, but also to lament that I simply didn’t rock out hard enough to burn out at 27 like so many rock stars (Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, etc).

Staying with this theme, and perhaps taking it to a whole new level, I enlisted cake-decorating friend Melissa to decorate for me a rock and roll suicide themed cake for the occasion. Tune in to this special birthday cake episode of Rock and Roll Recipe Radio to hear all about it.

Rock and Roll Recipe Radio - Red Velvet Rock and Roll Suicide Cake






Red Velvet Cake Recipe


Playlist:
The B-52’s – Cake
The Afghan Whigs – Be Sweet
Radiohead – House of Cards
Ben Lee – Birthday Song
Nirvana – Come As You Are
Cake – Short Skirt / Long Jacket
Cowboy Junkies – Sweet Jane
Cracker – Happy Birthday to Me

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

When A Boy Buys You A Waffle Maker...



...you make waffles. Even if, in the end, he doesn't stick around for breakfast.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

And for the discreet man...





Warning: Excessive use will result in a real beer belly.

For Sexy, Secret Boozing...



"Bartender? I'd like to upgrade to a Pinot Grigio D-cup, please."


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Home Away From Home: A List of the Meats I've Eaten in Wyoming

Elk

Day 1:
Bison Bratwurst
Filet Mignon
Salmon


Day 2:
Bacon
Wild Boar Stew
Trout
Sea Bass

Day 3:
Tofu (I needed a break)
More shrimp
Chicken
Elk

Day 4:
More bacon
Hamburger

Day 5:
More bacon!
Tuna
Chicken and shrimp pad thai (needed a red meat breather)

Day 6:
More bacon!!
Elk chili (back to red meat!)

Deer head at the JH Playhouse

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Audible vs. Edible

vs.

Since you know we love food, music and bad puns, it should come as no surprise that this Food Marathon post comparing Hot Chip and Hot Kettle Chips delights us. Here's a taste...
ROUND 2 - ORANGE GINGER WASABI vs. SHAKE A FIST (track 2)
Hand's down my favorite track and chip. The song's rich, layered production is akin to the chip's depth of flavor. Jangly bass undertones in the song are similar to the chip's subtle ginger flavor. The bass and wasabi are the highlights the song and chip respectively- notable in the aforementioned mid-song breakdown. The citrus in the chips is best represented by the overall synths in the song- both are well-defined, well-chosen and blend well with the other elements