Category Archives: Gettin’ Around

Thanks for Franks in Blanks

This morning Jillian and I walked down Tryon, and chatted with this horse.


And looked at these barns.


Then, with some simple mental math, we decided we canceled out 1/45th of today’s energy intake, and made our way home to prep our tum tums for some fantastic noshing.

In our family, we value education.  Enter: our Thanksgiving history lesson.


Education shmeducation.  My aunt just covers our seats with pilgrims and turkeys.  Close enough, right?

Auntie Sharon does it up right.  Look at all that business on the chandelier.


Buffalo chicken dip is dope.  Dunk, dip, slather, eat with a spoon.  Nothing is better than buff chick dip.


Weenies, weenies, weenies.  Chocolate before dinner.

And welcome to the 7th grade dance.

oOoOo… the boy’s room…

… and the giiiiirl’s room.

Delumptuous (this is a word)…


Get in my belly.


Turkey, turkey, turkey, TURKEY, turkey, turkey, turk.  (Sorry to everyone present for singing one word jingles far too many times)



Dad decided to cut half the bird like Bobby Flay does — big ole hunks to keep the juice in.  Bobby taught Dad this morning when he was on Rachael Ray’s show.

While Dad carved, we popped open some chocolate wine.  Grandma deduced that she’d rather enjoy the two as separate entities.

awwww yeah


A few Aussie throw backs:

My aunt used a koala clip to seal up the cupcakes, and I spotted the aboriginal painted coasters in the dining room.

And the main event.  Jillian made pumpkin pie (it was outrageously delicious), and Uncle Dicky Van Gogh-ed it.


A simple Keurig lesson and Gram’s apple crumb.  Doesn’t get better.

Why hello, cupcake tree.  How might you be on this fine November evening?

Do some giving, do some thanking.  Make your body horizontal.


Wine & Winnie

Tonight we family dined.  Mom prepped the chicken yesterday and tonight I baked it with a mustard and berry compote (frozen raspberries, blueberries & blackberries, dijon, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pepper… boiled and reduced) then greens with feta and roasted acorn squash, apple, carrot and onion.

And since Dad never disappointments  in the ice cream department, I had greek yogurt with cocoa topped with peppermint stick ice cream.  Peppermint ice cream = winter.

Tonight I had some wine with Winnie the Pooh and some friends (real ones, not stuffed animals).

Post Screening Deductions & Queries:

-Pooh, at times, sounds like Julia Child

-I still want to get a basset hound and name it Eeyore

-All of the characters did not pursue higher education (they’re so dumb it hurts)

-Christopher Robin wears a hat that looks like a yarmulke

-Did Christopher Robin have a british accent when we were children?

-Rabbit sucks.  He’s a self serving arsehole.

-Gopher was no where to be found.  I loved Gopher.  Where was Gopher?

-Kanga is the only female.  Where is her main man? Does she have to hustle the 100 acre woods to support her family of two?

That is all.

My Parents Make Friends at Bars.

Mom and Dad busted in for the weekend, and while I worked on Friday, they went to Skaneateles and did fun things (without me).  I made them go to Patisserie just to take a whiff of the outrageously good smell inside the little bakery.  My Dad grabbed a muffin and allegedly loved it.  Then, with the suggestion of my editor at the P-S, we went to Riley’s for dinner.  What a fun little restaurant.

It’s situated in the middle of a residential area and looks like a blown up version of a store front in a Christmas Village with Christmas lights strung around the windows’ perimeters and dark wood lining the walls and ceilings.  We sat at the bar for a good forty minutes until we were seated, but it’s okay because my Mom obviously made friends with a local couple and picked their brains for other new restaurants to try.  And at the same time my Dad asked a white-haired man (who looked like he just got off the boat from Ireland) where he purchased his cable-knit wool sweater because, “my daughter wants it.”

Saturday morning we decided to pop by Freedom of Espresso in Fayetteville before we drove to Cazenovia for the day.

Chai Latte

Dad said, I’ll have what you’re having.  So I ordered us up some chai lattes.  I asked for mine with skim, and since Phil thinks skim is just yellow water, I kept his as is.  When the barista called out a skinny chai and a chai latte, he inquired if his was a chubby chai.  I have a feeling that wouldn’t be all that marketable.

In Cazenovia we went to the farmers market and checked out the overpriced boutiques.  Then we stopped at Dave’s Diner for lunch which really isn’t much of a diner but good nonetheless.

On the way back we walked around the lake.

And took some horrendous self-timer photos.




And after taking a few wrong turns, we found this!

For dinner we went to Pascal’s (a suggestion from Mom’s new friends at the bar) to celebrate my roommates’ birthdays.

It. Was. So. Good.

Salmon B-day

I had the maple-soy glazed salmon and here’s one of the birthday treats — flourless chocolate cake.

Glad my parents could get away from the snow and I could spend some time with them (and avoid going to the grocery store).

Post-Hiatus Weekend-Post

This weekend I drove home to Glastonbury.  A five day stretch of food, family and friends.  This morning I paid for it when my alarm rudely awoke me at 6:30, followed by a haphazard pack job, and a semi traffic-ridden drive back.  At least Starbucks gave me a free venti coffee because the rest of their equipment was out of commission.  Unfortunately the coffee did nothing considering I had to take a 15 minute power nap in my car at a rest stop, then down an Americano, and still end up falling asleep in two of my classes.  Really, Starbucks?  Sarah Short (a nutrition professor here) taught me Bucks magically contains the highest caffeine levels of any major coffee chain.

But here are some weekend highlights:

Thursday night, after popping in to visit Gram and Gramps, I surprised my friend Julie at Uconn for her birthday.  Not that I am some sort of fantastic birthday present or anything, but I went big and got my cousin in on the surprise to make a massive scene.

She cried. She screamed.

Potentially because she was mad she didn’t clean up for me, and even made me sit in the living room while she made her bed.  This is why we’re friends.


The following morning we woke up at 6:30 … in the morning.  Then we chatted like fifth grade girls at a slumber party and decided it was more appropriate to go out for breakfast than go back to bed.  So we did.  I obviously scoured menus online (per usual) and then we agreed on Aero Diner.

Being a Friday morning, Aero wasn’t packed at all.  I ordered an egg-white omelet with all sorts of veggies.  The home-fries were just the way I like them — big ‘ole chunks of potato rather than that mushy, charred business.  And it was so clean in there.  The only downside — our table’s jukebox was broken.

I also went to our town’s Apple Fest for the first time in 3 years.  Unfortunately, my sister did not buy this hat.  And even more unfortunately I left the muddy field with destroyed boots.  (Thanks, Dad for surprising me by cleaning and buffing them while I slept like a princess).

But I did purchase this sweater.  Deep pockets, 100% wool, entirely too big, so very warm and only 35 bucks.

Had to have it.  After questioning the sales man about the price for 10 full minutes (I didn’t believe it could be that low), and making friends with an older couple with matching snow-white hair — who adorably bought matching cream sweaters, I bought it.

Then came the main event.  Fair food time.  So let me forewarn you that Jillian is far worse than me when it comes to food related decisions.  Well admittedly she’s awful at making decisions in general, but I’m too compulsive.  If we had a brother maybe he would be the rational one.

Following an extensive perusal of each and every food tent (we did this three or four times), I decided on a falafal pita and J went for a chicken version.  Even though I ate nearly the same lunch at the NY state fair a month ago, I somehow landed on this guy again.  I guess it’s that good.

And then we had the world’s most important decision to make.

Post-Lunch Dessert.

Thankfully we narrowed our choices to a pumpkin doughnut and a red-velvet funnel cake.  Since we planned to share, we posted up by the food tents for easily over 20 minutes, walked back and forth and created a verbal pro and con list for each sweet.  Then Jillian came up with the genius idea of stalking the funnel cake stand to observe fair-goers’ first bites.

Genius until we realized no one ordered the darn thing.  See we decided that pumpkin doughnuts would undoubtedly taste delicious, warm, and autumnal, but we’d never encountered red-velvet funnel cake before.  But would we fall in?? (This is one of my gram’s commonly used terms generally employed when trying a new restaurant and fearing the very worst, rather than sticking with a tried and true favorite).

So after we followed a father and his three small children (a few minutes too long) in attempts to see his very first bite and the facial expression that followed, I told Jillian it was time to resort to a civil coin flipping.

So coin flip we did.  And we shared a pumpkin doughnut.

It was delicious, warm and autumnal, and we certainly did not “fall in.”  The red velvet funnel cake looked like General Tso’s chicken anyway.

The next morning, on our way to check out my Uncle’s new house he’s building, Jillian and I stopped at one of our favorite farm stands, Draghi’s.  They make the world’s most fantastic filled cookies.  I wanted to buy an array of mustards and dressings and sauces, but I narrowed my selection to this hot sauce.

And to keep up with this weekend’s diner quota, Jillian, my cousin Michael and I hit up O’Rourke’s in Middletown– a miniature, aluminum-sided Irish joint with an outrageously extensive menu.  Guy Fieri even visited for an episode of D,D &D.  O’Rourke’s on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives

Ain’t it cute? : O’Rourke’s

I swapped half of my pesto omelet with Mike and he split half of his “omelet of my dreams” which featured caramelized onion pesto (so excellent) and plum tomatoes.  He subbed Mornay sauce for the standard hollandaise.

I know my hollandaise (only because I had the daunting task of making it in my sophomore year food science class.  You wouldn’t believe how terrifying it is to make because the emulsion can break super easily) but I didn’t have a clue what Mornay consisted of.  So I looked it up.  A classic Mornay uses half Gruyere cheese and half Parmesan plus butter, flour, seasoning and a milk or cream base.

Loved this place and I will definitely have to go back.  They even serve a little plate of poppy seed bread and Irish soda bread before your meal arrives.  I’ve never been offered bread before breakfast, but I wish more places caught on to this idea.

The wheat bread I had with my omelet even tasted Irish-soda bready.  Now I want to make Irish soda bread.

The night before O’Rourke’s Mom, Dad, Jillian and I had dinner at Hanafin’s pub in Glastonbury.  We’re all about the Irish spirit, but I’m confused why they played such a plethora of Michael Jackson Hits (but I don’t hate it).

Shock Top pumpkin beer (my new favorite pumpkin brew) and Irish stew over mashed potatoes made a rough day a whole hell of a lot better.

May I mention that my parents sent me back to school with a lifetime supply of salsa?  And freshly laundered, folded clothes and bedding – Thanks, Ma!

Even though this weekend consisted of little sleep, and some rough patches, I’m incredibly lucky to have such a strong family.  And even though the circumstances could have been better, I’m lucky I got to see some of my cousins (missed you Trev and Kev) and friends, and spend time with my Gramps and draw him horrendous pictures of animals (a horse that resembled a dog, and a cow that looked a lot like a pig with spots).

In closing (I feel this necessary after such a lengthy recap), Dad — I’m not even one bit embarrassed that you have a techno Celine Dion CD in your car.  In fact I like it.  And thanks for the clothes I stole and brought back to school with me.

I Ain’t No Grandmaw

This is not a giant thimble.

Instead it serves as a tea-steeper for this funny little contraption —

Thanks to Liz for the killer birthday prez — a travel tea tumbler.

Tonight I tea-balled instead.  Hehehehehehehehehehehe.

But on the realz, I have a serious tea collection that I sort of forget about sometimes.  Tea goes in phases for me while coffee stands in as a complete necessity.

I’ll spare you the food photos since I ate the exact same two meals as yesterday — an egg white omelet and the other half of the stuffed acorn squash.

But since I just proved how geriatric I am with my tea collection, I’d like to take the opportunity to pretend I’m really adventurous, as evidenced by the activities I engaged in while abroad…. here are a few highlights —

Let me begin with the ballsiest of all ballsy (mom calls this chutzpa)– Bungee jumping.

I wish I had a better picture, but I assure you, that this photo does in fact depict me dangling by my ankles with my shirt flopped over my face … obstructing my vision.  I may or may not have shed a lone tear whilst walking up the neverending stairs to the bungee platform.  Then had to wait for about 40 people to jump before my turn, which consequently came once it was completely dark out.

This one kills me.  White water rafting grade-four rapids proved to be one of the most hilarious but also terrifying experiences ever.  I landed in our guide’s lap on more than one occasion.  Please note all of our faces.

Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef.

Tamed wild roos, while looking super fashionable in sneaks.

Swam under a massive waterfall — a struggle to get to.

Endured (and I mean that) a 7-hour glacier hike in New Zealand… sans restroom.

Bolted “Fat Bottomed Girls” at Karaoke night

And to really try and prove I ain’t no gramma —

… won a limbo contest at a bar.

I hope I convinced you how hip and adventurous I am with this post, because things will undoubtedly become progressively more old-lady-like.

Corn not Kern

Today was a glorious day.  Promptly at 10am, I flung open my bedside window, and surprise, surprise… it was gorgeous out.

This weekend a few friends who studied abroad with us drove up to visit.  An iced Americano from Recess + a BMC from Mom’s Diner + Aussie ladies = a happy morning.

Hint: BMC = Moms’ fancy acronym for a broccoli, mushroom, and cheese egg white omelet.

THEN I convinced (forced) Molly to hit up the Manlius farmers’ market with me.  Little did I know the “market” consisted of 3 tables.  But I walked away with some dinner ingreedz, and a lovely autumnal drive where we each commented on the “beautiful foliage” at least once every 2 miles.  We also drove down a dirt road — how adventurous and spontaneous — where a lady stood at the end brushing her horse and shot us the stink eye so hard that I thought she would shout “Get off my lawn” like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino.

Then I came home and engaged in some light reading about 18th century slavery.  What a great read.

Here’s my loot from the FM…. an acorn squash, an onion, the world’s most itty bitty bulb of garlic, and overpriced but enticingly good dried (chandler) bing cherries.

I wonder what people think when they drive by our street and witness me crouching in the grass snapping shots of food.

Kind of embarrassing.

So after pretending to read for a while, I started on dinner.

I halved the acorn squash.  Wait — has anyone heard Paula Deen say acorn squash????? She says A-kern.  A-KERN. I heard her say it yesterday and it upset me.

Speaking of Paula Deen, today, and this is a direct quote, my roommate asked this of her baked mac ‘n cheese — “I wonder who made butter? It’s just so great.  It makes everything taste better. Butter. Butter, butter, butter.”  Almost a haiku.

Back to the a-CORRRRRN squash.  I cut her in half after scooping out the inards — found out that an ice cream scooper is ideal for this task– and popped her in the oven at 400, open side down in a glass casserole dish filled with about an inch of water.

Then boiled up some brown rice, and added it to a bowl with the dried cherries, chopped walnuts (that I spilled all over the floor … but it’s okay cus I rinsed them), half an apple, diced onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a tablespoon or two of pumpkin seeds, some butter (butter, butter, butter), salt and pepp and almond milk.

After all this business was taken care of, I stuffed the half-cooked squash with the mixture.  Back to some unfortunate reading.

After about 45 minutes longer in the ove, this happened:

And because I endorse sticking to a balanced diet, I consumed an entire pint of B&J’s chubby hubby.  I wish the pretzels actually had a crunch, and I also wish my heart would stop palpitating.

Panini, Pumpkin, Pineapple.

My latest Standard assignment proved … delicious.

I arrived at the Tipp Hill Cafe at 9:30 this morning.  When I opened the door and introduced myself, owner Julie Rudd promptly ordered up the breakfast panini I requested by phone last week.

We sat at a table and chatted about the restaurant and the sandwich– a simple tomato, egg and cheese on stretch bread.

I chowed down– after the photog snapped a few shots of the tasty sammich — enjoyed some coffee, then headed back to the office to write up the story. Must go back.

More on the Tipp Hill when the piece runs next week.  I think I could get used to the whole eating while on assignment thing.  Next week’s signature restaurant — Stella’s Diner and their breakfast scramble.

Pumpkin turned functional with tonight’s dinner.

And may I present to you… le pumpkin bowl… oui oui.

Fine, nothing about this screams “French.”  It just seemed appropriate for some reason.

So this is what happened.  I gutted the pumpkin, roasted her and filled her up with a veggie puree — roasted cauliflower, carrots, almond milk, butter, salt & pepp.  Then topped it with kidney beans and feta.  It’s like the produce version of a bread bowl, you get to eat it as you go.

And then things got a little tropical…

Pineapple, kiwi, yogurt and honey.

If you have a second to read this piece, please do.  It’s unbelievable.  And tell me what you think after you weep your eyeballz out.

Still Life by Skip Hollandsworth

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