Monday, January 28, 2008

Getting to know our kitchen

I had a lot of firsts in the kitchen last Friday. I made my first cake from scratch (carrot cake), my first two-layer cake and my first cream cheese frosting. It was a tasty experiment, and one I won't mind repeating. Paul is allergic to nuts and had never tried carrot cake before. I thought it was high time he had and eliminated the nuts from my recipe. Besides, it's rare that I've actually had a piece of food that Paul's never tried. It's almost always the other way around.

One thing that hasn't changed much since we moved to New York is the amount of time I spend in the kitchen. Paul is still the main cook, though I will make an occasional visit. Before I got a job I made some plum dumplings that didn't turn out too bad (but they took way too long to make), and I'll regularly bake banana bread or oatmeal cookies. Every few months Paul and I will spend a few hours of the weekend rolling out pasta and making ravioli. I still won't touch raw meat, though. If I make dinner for myself, I'm perfectly happy with some kind of peanut butter or couscous concoction.

In any case, our kitchen isn't all that small. Rather, it's not that small compared to our old kitchen in Columbus. We have a fair amount of cabinet space, no counter space and room for a table that can comfortably sit two (although we've fit four). One nice change: In Columbus our spare room closet was filled with kitchen appliances. With our lack of closets here, we don't have that option even if we wanted to.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bragging about my husband

Paul got a surprise at work today-- a new title. He's now an assistant vice president. No change in duties, but it sounds impressive!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Never a bad time for a cupcake

Paul and I have started a ritual of visiting the Little Cupcake every week or two. Cupcake bakeries seem to be fairly common throughout New York (and I believe there was even one opening in the Columbus suburb of Worthington shortly before we moved, so I think it's spreading).

I love the Little Cupcake because of the ambiance (chandeliers on the ceiling and bright pink to-go boxes, for starters), the frosting (rich buttercream and others) and the hours (open until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays). Paul likes the coffee and neon frosting. When it comes to dessert, the more unnatural the color, the better he likes it.
I've actually never had a whole cupcake there. I go straight for the three-layer cakes. Brooklyn Blackout, Coconut Cloud, Oreo and my favorite, German Chocolate. And I still have so many more to try!
Also, they decorate for the holidays. This photo was taken shortly after we moved here, as you can tell from the pumpkin in the background. At Christmas, a huge tree sat in the window, which was especially nice since we didn't have one in the apartment. Last night I noticed the Valentine's Day decorations.
Anyway, if you pay us a visit and are in the mood for sweets, this is where I would take you. Unless you want a cannoli, put that's a whole different post.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I smell a rat

I saw my first New York City rat.

Actually, I think it's the first rat I've ever seen.

I was just starting to descend the steps to the subway after work Monday, and there it was on one of the middle stairs. I briefly considered going down anyway, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Luckily there's lots of subway entrances around my work, so I just crossed the street to another one. A couple of guys coming up the stairs saw the rat, too, but they weren't as stunned by it as I was. I think one of them got out a camera.

Surprisingly, I've only seen one mouse in New York, and that too was at the subway. This one was on the tracks on Saturday as Paul and I were waiting for a train to take us to the Brooklyn Museum. That one gave me only a slight shudder.

As much as our kitties sometimes annoy me, I do like that they probably keep the mice away from our apartment. I know my fear is irrational, but it's probably not going away anytime soon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Drinking your Sunday brunch

Sunday brunch is big here. Since it's my favorite meal of the week, that's fine by me. Who doesn't love choosing from pancakes, omelets and french toast throughout the early afternoon?

Most of the brunches around here come with a drink for free- normally a mimosa, Bloody Mary or a draft beer. The place we went to Sunday in our neighborhood went a little beyond that.

For $16, you get your meal and all the alcoholic drinks you can down while you're eating. I didn't take advantage of that (I don't think I could drink my money's worth), but Paul did. I'm not sure I had ever seen him eat so slow-- or drink a Bloody Mary so fast. Along with his two drafts, it probably was a good deal, although maybe not the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Paul, I think, had a blast. He said it was the only place he'd ever visited where the more he drank, the thriftier he was.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Home to Ohio

We just got back Tuesday night from a 12-day trip back to Ohio, and our car was more crammed than when we actually moved here in October.

A lot of it was groceries-- I stocked up on stuff that's expensive or hard to find in New York. That included eight jars of salsa. Now I can make quesadillas whenever I want.

The car trunk also held our Christmas presents, but most of those were small. My mom gets her shopping done early. Before we knew that we were coming home, she had bought us presents she could easily ship to us.

And some things are just more convenient to bring by car-- like the computer printer I stuffed in the back seat. I didn't want to lug one home by subway.

Anyway, I had a wonderful week-and-a-half, even though it obviously went by much too quickly. We didn't get to see all the friends we had hoped, and some probably didn't even know we were in town. But I did see almost my entire family and enjoyed a traditional Friday night at the Ravari Room with Sam and Don.

The drive to Defiance wasn't so bad-- I was excited and the traffic was light (although it took us about twice as long to get out of the city as I expected do to a wrong turn or two-- I take full responsibility!). The drive back was gloomy, snowy and depressing. Skybus starts flying about an hour north of New York this month, so hopefully we won't drive to Ohio often (or ever).

I have so much to say, but I don't have the energy to sit in front of the computer any longer today. Work's been busy. Even though I've only worked two days this week, I already have nearly 20 hours. But it's a short week, and I'm not complaining.


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