Wednesday, September 26, 2012

it's chili season...

much to my dismay.....I fought the end of summer, kicking and screaming like never before. I wasn't ready for it to go. I didn't get enough.

Not enough relaxing or sunning or floating or playing. I didn’t eat enough popsicles….wait, did I eat any? I mean, tragic. And now {what in the actual EFF ??} here we are almost in October….. %^&$#@*

Does anybody have a paper bag I can breathe into for a second?
I’m in full panic mode over here…

I have to admit there is a lot to love about fall….crisp mornings and snuggly sweaters, Halloween and pretty leaves, Thanksgiving and apple pie and pecan pie and football….well, football food at least. It alllll comes back to the food…..like this chili! This chili is my favorite white chicken chili everrrr and I’ve been promising to post this recipe since probably last fall when I was whining about not being ready to face the cold. Again. Why do you put up with me?
Well, quit yer beggin’ cuz here it is…..

There aren’t a lot of recipes I bother to make more than a handful of times but this one is a staple. I’ll be making it forever and that’s good news cuz it’s super good for you and also super, super easy…that is if you don’t have a wild toddler climbing your leg and grabbing for the burner while squawking unintelligible nonsense.

Thank god for wine.

I finally wised up and made a double batch, and it’s the perfect amount…here’s how you can make it too!





White Chicken Chili
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 TBS vegetable or canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced (I used more than this)
3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
5 tsp of green Tabasco (um. I used almost an entire small bottle. Just go ahead and eyeball this to your taste, but I suggest using wayyyy more than 5 tsp)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 cups of chicken stock
I TBS stone ground corn meal
1 15oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed & drained

For garnish
Chopped green onions
0% plain greek yogurt or light sour cream
Lime wedges
Cubed avocado

Directions
Heat vegetable oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed stock pot, then add your onions & garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until fragrant & translucent. Add the chicken stock, salt, Tabasco & chicken breasts to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low simmer, cover & cook for 15 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, whisk the cornmeal into the pot (whisk it so it doesn’t clump) and then add the beans. Simmer for 15 minutes. Mash about ½ cup of the beans against the side of the pot using a wooden spoon. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and add it back to the pot & let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until the chili thickens. To serve, top with sour cream or yogurt, green onions & avocado. Yummy.

To “double” this, I just used a huge onion, about 7 garlic cloves, a lot of Tabasco, extra chicken, a whole box of stock, 2 tsp of salt, 2 TBS of cornmeal and a giant can of beans. You really can’t screw this up. it is AWESOME.

Enjoy!!!


 
 
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It's called Procrastination, and I am its Queen.

You know how when you have emails in your inbox that keep piling up or a phone call you keep meaning to return and the longer you go without doing it, the harder it is to actually pull the trigger and then all of the sudden it’s been like 3 weeks and you start telling yourself the person must think you’re a real jerk anyway for taking so long to reply so….you just….procrastinate more…and it gets worse and worse? Yeah. That’s me right now. Me and this blog. I keep thinking of things I want to talk about but….then I get lazy…or I come up with excuses, or I try to write but the words just won’t come. And this has been going on far too long….on and off….and I hate it. cuz then I also feel dumb leaving comments on everyone else’s blogs, which is actually my favorite part of blogging, but I feel like if I leave a comment, you are going to come visit me and see that I haven’t updated in 2 weeks and be all “LAME.” And not give me a chance, but I swear I’m fun. I swear I am. I love girly stuff and yummy food and my kid is really, really cute (if I do say so myself…)


see?

and I’m planning to do a bunch of fun stuff this fall that I hope to not be too lazy to take pictures of like apple picking (maybe?) and wine drinking (duh.) and New York City Wine and Food Festivaling and attempting to actually put in my hair extensions and style them and wear them out in public which should be good for quite a few laughs, I’m sure, and we’re going to The Oyster Festival…..and….and I’m gonna make White Chicken Chili soon…and Chicken Pot Pies! And I’m going to take pictures of that too and post the recipes and you will LOVE it. All of it. I promise you will. Just bear with me.

Do you know that yesterday was one of the top 100 worst days of my life? I decided that. I know it’s dramatic, since nothing truly tragic happened, but god, it really sucked the big one. First of all, it was Monday, which, well, sucks by definition. Then, it was super swamped at work, which makes the day go by faster, but something about the workload yesterday was just especially exasperating, add to that I woke up with *girl problems* if you’re picking up what I’m putting down??? And then, like salt in a wound, I came home to a jury summons. Really? really. Plus, the whole house is sick with this awful, phlegmy cough, which I can handle if it’s just me who’s afflicted, and even Ben is handling it pretty well but Scott? Don’t get me started. So to cheer myself up, I thought we should all go to the diner for dinner, except that Ben was a holy terror and wouldn’t touch his dinner and only wanted to scream and wiggle and Scott coughed the entire time and if you’ve never heard him cough? It is very unsettling. So there we were, Ben freaking out, Scott coughing out a lung, all I’m trying to do is enjoy my salad….to no avail. Wrap it up. Bad day. Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And the icing on the cake? I got farted on. I give up, people. How is this my life?



But the good news is today is Tuesday, which is one day closer to Friday, which is my brother’s birthday and also, my favorite day of the week. In the meantime...read this, cuz I love Kim and you should too cuz she's real and this is how i feel a lot of the time....and also, look at what we are thinking of trying to do at our house...


pray for me, yes?
(I don't know, ok? I got nothin')



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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

today.

This is a weird day for me, as I’m sure it is for most of us. I had planned on posting something chipper, lighthearted and silly….and then I remembered.

There are bells chiming all around me as I type this. The air outside is mild, crisp, calm and still. Another year has passed, but from the weather you’d think, again, that it was the exact same day. That’s a hard thing to explain to someone who wasn’t in New York City on September 11, 2001 because the weather, at least for me who spent that whole day outside, walking the streets of Manhattan aimlessly, homelessly, in a mild state of shock, is sense memory that can’t be turned off like a song on the radio or a smell in the air. Even when a day with air and sky just like this falls in May, June or October, I still never fail to notice it’s “September 11th weather”. If you were here, you know what I mean.  

Anyway, I’m searching for words and there’s not much more I can say today. If you want to read about my day 11 years ago, you can revisit this post:












In the meantime, just make sure you tell the people you love how much they mean to you today. The thing about September 11th that strikes me the most is that the people who loved all 2,996 people who lost their lives that day let them leave that morning never knowing that would be the last time they’d say goodbye. How many of them were fighting? How many took for granted they’d have the chance later to make it up to them? How many were in a rush and forgot to kiss their babies, their moms or their dogs? Do it. You just never know.





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Thursday, September 6, 2012

that time i got shot in the face with poison

So you people want to hear about le Botox, do ya? Well, I do have a rep for spilling all the deets, so let this not be an exception...here's how it all went down for all you Curious little Georges out there....

Now I had been thinking about getting 'toxed for a few years...but, as with everything in my life, I sat around and made up excuses, daydreamed about how much better life was going to be once I was finally wrinkle free, but yet still feeling that I knew all to well I was never going to actually pull the trigger and would just catapult ungracefully into my horrid 40's looking like a Sunmaid raisin. Que sera sera, throw in the towel, what's the point, nobody likes me, everybody thinks I'm ugly, I guess I'll just eat worms.

Have I mentioned I have a flair for the dramatic?



So there I was all woe is me, approaching my late...ahem....thirty somethings and asking my dermatologist at every appointment just how much she charges again ('too much' was always the answer) when along came a groupon for $99 for 20 units. I had no idea how much Botox I actually needed to handle the mess that frowned back at me in the mirror, but 20 units seemed like a good place to start and according to Mr. Google, also sounded like a damn good price... so I took to Google once again to read reviews on the doctor and make sure he was legit and not some Dr. Bobolit quack (where's all my Nip/Tuck homies?) and without much more thinking*, I clicked "purchase", and it was done.

(*this is a straight up lie. I hemmed and hawwed for 3 days before I bit the bullet.)

That was last summer. Yes, it was. I carried that thing around with me for a year, waiting for a special occasion, waiting to lose a few pounds, waiting for it to expire so I could make more excuses about how I looked like hell and was getting old (I'm a head case, I admit it.). In the end, it turned out, $99 was too much money for me to just flush down the toilet so I had an excuse to feel sorry for myself, so, with 4 days left until the expiration date, I made an appointment for my first round of Botox.

Here are the details you all came to read...


My Groupon was for 20 units, which, my doctor explained to me is a standard starting point and what most every Botox doctor will use as a "minimum". 20 units, he said, are almost always sufficient to treat the "elevens" which are the vertical lines that show up between your eyebrows when you frown or scrunch up your brows. Go ahead and go look in the mirror and frown. I'll wait............

See? Those.

My "elevens" never really bothered me much, but my forehead was starting to drive me nuts. I felt like I was turning into that painting of the young woman who turns into that horrible looking old bag in The Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland....?



I explained to the doctor that my horizontal forehead lines were causing me strife but that I was afraid of putting too much Botox up there in case it would paralyze the muscles to the point that my lids would droop (thanks for that paranoia, You Tube and Web MD). As if I was talking to some amatuer or something.......he assured me he knew what he was doing, explained that the main muscles of the forehead are located between and above the eyebrows and that in order to treat my horizontal lines, he was recommending an additional 10 units....20 units for the area between my brows and then, dispersing the last 10 units along the very top of my forehead about an inch or so below my hairline. I told him he was the expert and to get the party started!

He rubbed some numbing cream all around my forehead, which by the way, did not do shit, and then showed me the fresh vial of Botox so that I would know we were using a new, sealed product. Botox by itself, it looked like to me, is actually just this yellowish powdery residue on the bottom of a tiny glass jar.  Each jar contains enough of this substance to make 100 units of Botox, so what he did was take the equivalent of 100 units worth of water, injected that into the top of the jar, shook it up to mix it well, then, inserted a syringe that had little markings on it (indicating the amount of units), extracted 30 units worth of the Botox into the syringe and then proceeded to stab me in my face. Repeatedly. And for this abuse, I paid him handsomely.  But seriously, the actual injections took no longer than 30 seconds. He moved from spot to spot lightening quick and then when he had finished injecting all 30 units, he gave my forehead a quick rubdown to spread it all out and I was good to go with a little gauze pad he instructed me to press against my forehead for 2 minutes.

I drove away feeling like a Real Housewife.

I know you all want to know if it hurt and I'd be lying like the lady who chatted me up at the doctor's office if I told you all it didn't. It does. You are being stuck in the face with a needle, BUT it's a very small needle, and it's quick. The closest thing I can relate it to is a bee sting. It felt like about 12 super quick little bee stings. My eyes watered, I had to give myself a little pep talk...but I'm kind of a wimp too, so don't take it from me.

It took 3 full days to kick in. The internets told me this ahead of time, but I was still utterly convinced on day 2 that I was the only poor sap for which Botox will not work and that I had thrown my hard earned money out the window. But, the proof is in the pudding.

What do you think?

please excuse my lack of mascara. god, what is wrong with me?

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me or leave them in the comments and I'll answer you as best I can. I am really super in love with the results and am afraid to admit I might be hooked. When I look back at the "before" pictures that I didn't think were all that bad at the time, I wonder how on earth I lived like that for so long and why I didn't go sooner!  I feel like I can leave the house now without makeup and not look like something out of Creature from the Black Lagoon....and possibly the best compliment of all? When I came back in to work Tuesday after having gotten the Botox on Friday....2 different people insisted that I had lost weight! Isn't it the greatest when people know you look good but they can't put a finger on WHY??

Yay Botox!






 
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I need a vacation from my vacation


Things I did during my 10 days off....

Joined the gym....it's getting serious, folks. No more messing around.

Took Benny on his very first road trip, very first time out of the state, very first time in a big city and I am happy to report that not only did we all survive, but he did great and I can't wait for us to do it again!!

We went to Sesame Place, spent 2 days in PA, had Chik-fil-a for lunch (god help us all YUM!), and had breakfast with Elmo and friends which was a hit BEYOND.

Kicked it with Cookie Monster...and The Count. Big Bird was not such a huge hit.....oh well. You win some, you lose some....


Took lots of naps.


Got new glasses, finally! Two pairs of 'em even! Love a good deal! Love being able to SEE!

  
Got Botox.
(true story. stay tuned for more on that later.)

Spent 6 freakin' hours almost on the Brooklyn Queens Expressway wanting to punch myself in the face.



Stuffed said fat face with the sandwich my {imaginary} boyfriend declared the BEST in America...



Fell in love with Reading Terminal Market and all the Amish (and otherwise) goodies to be had there...


Drank a lot of wine.


Went on the tri-annual Hamptons day trip with Noreen....indulged in cookies from Levain Bakery which.....there are not words to describe. Indulged some more in a huge bowl of killer guac and warm, salty tortilla chips on the canal in Hampton Bays. Indulged yet again in one of the best lobster rolls I've had to date, despite the lack of top split buttered roll. It was sublime.


Unindulged after a week of gluttony with a dinner of nothing but grilled vegetables and half of a grilled ground turkey patty.

I neglected my google reader.



I neglected my email.

I neglected my real mail....Kelsey and Danielle, I PROMISE I am going to the Post Office today. I promise promise.

I got new lipgloss! Thanks to  Kristen for the recommendation! I have about 864 lipglosses and I don't know how I ever lived without Love Nectar!


Things I did NOT do during my 10 days off:

Blog.

I know. I'd like to say I'm sorry, and part of me really is...especially after roping you all in with the promise of presents, but it felt good to not open my computer....it felt good to not wrack my brain wondering how I could possibly come up with something witty to say, which would more than likely end up not being witty at all due to vacation brain.....

But, I'm back. With a forehead full of botox and fancy new specks. Be afraid.

Love you guys!!!!



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