Archive for April 2010

29 April 2010

Random pre-weekend thoughts

By: Jessica B.

Was it just me or did today (Thursday) feel like Friday? Lately that seems to be happening a lot. Which means Friday will feel like Saturday and work is the last thing on my mind on Saturdays.

So while I’m preparing for a full weekend of cheap fun and vacation planning (countdown!) I wanted to share some random stuff I’ve been reading and thinking about.

Prepare to enter the vortex of my random head:

  • I read that Katie Holmes will play Jackie Kennedy in a History Channel miniseries in 2011. As a huge Jackie Kennedy fan, I’m really p*ssed off by this. Joey as Jackie? Dawson would not approve and neither do I
  • You can buy a faux or real engagement ring inspired by Bella’s in Twilight. Yes, I love Twilight and Jacob’s rock-hard arms and abs but I do not want to wear Twilight-inspired jewelry, unless it’s from Tiffany
  • The Hills started again this week…and it gave me a good self esteem boost and reminder why I don’t watch that show anymore. The cattiness is unbelievable
  • I got a working library card! And now I’m a book-reserving fiend. But I have to remember to read the reserved books when I get them
  • I’ve rediscovered my love of dark chocolate covered dried cherries. Smack my a** and call me Sally they’re good. Can I count them as healthy?
  • The interview with Oprah and Rielle Hunter really irritated me. Maybe I’m too sensitive to cheating and like Elizabeth Edwards too much but hearing Rielle say she isn’t a homewrecker, kind of pissed me off
  • Got my People magazine in the mail today too and saw Sandra Bullock’s new baby. Seeing that kind of joy on her face made me happy
  • Two co-workers are totally obsessed with Patron tequila. They rave about it but I’ve never tried it, is it really that good?
  • Found out my gym is in financial trouble because it hasn’t paid its mortgage since September. Did they learn nothing from the housing crisis?
  • I heard a rumor that there might be a nacho cart at work tomorrow. Sweet baby Jesus I hope that’s true. Cheese sauce made in the crock pot is amazing

Well kids, that’s what’s stewing in my brain right now. What’s on your mind? Any big weekend plans?

27 April 2010

When you’re wrong

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Random

A few months ago, TC sent me a hilarious list of random thoughts a guy posted that covered everything from texting while driving to public Facebook profiles to learning cursive.

And one of the items that stuck with me from that list was:

“Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.”

For me, that is 100 percent correct. It’s an awful feeling of, “oh sh*t I have to apologize now,” and then I swallow my pride, ignore my previously passionate incorrect arguments, and say, “I was wrong.”

Some people are nice and let it die there, others bask in the knowledge that they were right and I’m doing the womanly thing of admitting fault. I hate when they do the latter, but hey, whatever.

But lately, I’ve been thinking about apologizing to just end an argument. For a long time, that was me. I hate confrontation so I would just apologize and say I was wrong (even when I wasn’t) to end the fight and move on.

I never thought much about it but then I started to notice that certain people I did that with just expected me to roll over and apologize, or they knew that the longer they held on to the fight, that I would eventually tire and give in. For some reason, I would rather just apologize and be wrong than have people be mad at me.

I think that priority is a little off. But I’ve done this because it was just easier. And because I never stood up for myself.

Yeah, I was a pretty big pushover. I would not only apologize, but also go out of my way to apologize, declaring how wrong I was and that they were right. Some people really grooved on that.

And now, I’m in a situation that could be resolved if I just apologized and I refuse to do it. It’s as if a light switch has been turned in my head and I’ve finally drawn a line in the sand. For this conflict, I am partially at fault, and I can acknowledge that, but for the first time ever, I’m not going to be the only one apologizing. No one is perfect but I’m tired of always being the one to make the first move.

This is not about holding a grudge but being fair. If you’re wrong about something, you should admit it. You’re not less of a person for doing so. But I’m always shocked at people who believe (honestly) that they ever do anything wrong. How do I get to be like that? Kidding.

Can you admit when you’re wrong or have someone in your life that can’t admit when they are? Does admitting your wrong make you more human?

Movie review: The Back-Up Plan review is still up as well in case you’re looking ahead to the weekend (which I am!)

26 April 2010

Kitchen adventures: Macaroni and cheese pizza

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food

Yes, you read that correctly.

This weekend, I made macaroni and cheese pizza because lately, I’ve been craving pizza like crazy. And fortunately, this homemade pizza was NOT a semi-fail this time!!!

Where did I get such an awesome recipe? From my buddies Robin and Lauren’s blog, where they remade a well-known macaroni and cheese pizza from Madison, WI. I should not be surprised that it’s from Wisconsin, we love our cheese :)

Immediately, I knew that I had to try this. And now that I’m a little wiser than I was the first time I made pizza, I crossed my fingers and had a bar of soap out for my mouth in case the swearing started again.

And here’s how it turned out:

Food photography FAIL due to no natural light, but you can see the layers in the pizza

Ingredients:

  • Prepared pizza dough (I used Trader Joes’ again)
  • 1 package creme fraiche (also purchased at Trader Joes)
  • 1-2 cups mild cheddar cheese
  • 1-2  cups Mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 cups medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 box elbow macaroni (plain or whole grain noodles will work)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • EVOO

Directions:

  • Roll the pizza dough on a floured surface and fit to your pizza pan slide for the stone
  • Spread a thin later of EVOO then creme fraiche on the dough
  • Cook the macaroni for 5 minutes in boiling water so it’s not raw but not fully cooked, drain
  • Evenly sprinkle the noodles, mild, medium and Mozzarella cheese on the dough
  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly and the crust is cooked
  • Serve!

Verdict:  Tastes like homemade mac and cheese! YES!

Fortunately, I knew that made this correctly because it definitely tastes like mac and cheese…on a pizza crust. I recommend warming it up to really get that taste but with a little salt and pepper on top, it’s REALLY good. And the cheesy goodness comes out really well too. For me, the more cheese the better, and while I cut back a bit on the amount I put on this, it still tasted great with the noodles, without the noodles being overdone. And the softer crust tastes great too.

Note: You can increase the amount of cheese and noodles on your pizza if you wish, but I found half a box still covered the pizza enough without being overwhelming.

So now that I’ve combined the super foods of mac and cheese and pizza, what would be your perfect pizza topping or super foods pizza combination?

25 April 2010

Weekend recap: Rainy day activities, spring dresses and getting organized

By: Jessica B.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Well, the weather sucked in Chicago this weekend. Nothing ruins a weekend like rain, clouds and fog. So I decided to do some of my favorite rainy day/weekend things around my house.

Okay I can’t really say that picking up the piles of clothes and papers in my apartment is fun but I did some general not-so-fun-but-necessary-stuff like:

  • Pay my renter’s insurance (I know it’s necessary but I didn’t like writing that check)
  • Fill out my passport paperwork and get my birth certificate together (yay! It’s here!)
  • Book car and hotel reservations for my second big solo trip
  • Create an itinerary/event flow for my NOLA, Vegas and yet-to-be-announced trip

I knew I was working in my field for too long when I made an event flow for my own personal vacations. But, when you have confirmation numbers, hotel details and addresses spread all over the place, it’s good to be organized :)

Yes, I love organizing things. It doesn’t really matter what.

And once this mature adult sh*t was over, I was ready to have a little spring dress fashion show. Just because it’s 40 degrees outside (Chicago! You’re killing me!!) that doesn’t mean I can’t try on my pre-spending freeze dresses and dream of warm weather.

My biggest challenge with dresses is the boob-area. I’m busty to begin with and some dresses make my D-cups look like Heidi Montags. I’m not so keen on that, which is why I mostly wear dark color dresses, to help keep it under control.

And so far, I’ve found two I’m pretty excited about (apologizes for the sucky photos, rain means no good light in my place):

Old Navy – $19.50

JCrew – $69.50

Oh yes, I’m dreaming of warm weather right now!

And finally, when it’s pouring outside, I love curling up on the couch with movies. And right now, I’m totally obsessed with the Wii Netflix feature. It syncs my instant Netflix queue to my Wii so I can watch movies on my TV anytime. Um, amazing. I have a little Arrested Development, 30 Rock, Office and several documentaries in my queue right now and the convenience is amazing. My only complaint? Not in HD so the resolution is good but not great. But again, convenient and I like that.

How was everyone else’s weekend? Are you Netflix Wii obsessed? Do you love spring dresses?

Movie review: Caught up with Jenny from the block and some HOT new many candy in The Back-Up Plan

22 April 2010

My latest food nemesis

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Food, Random

Yes, I have a food nemesis. And her name is Betty Crocker.

She’s a stone cold, addictive, tasty b*tch.

And what Betty has hooked me on is…frosting.

Don’t worry, I’ll give you a second to laugh at me.

Yes, I’m referring to the stuff you ice a cake or brownies with. Except, I don’t do that. I dim the lights, sit on my couch and with the soft glow of my TV shining on me after a long day, I take a spoon and dive into it like it’s yogurt.

Rich, smooth, creamy and oh my gosh it’s so good. Secret shame!!

My name is Jess, and I love frosting.

Lately, a little too much.

It’s sort of like that episode of Sex and the City when Miranda is addicted to Betty Crocker cake and eats it out of the garbage. I remember watching that thinking, that is crazy! There is no way something like that could be that addictive. Yeah, I’m eating those words with a spoon…out of a frosting can.

Fortunately, I’m not eating thrown away frosting, but seriously, I can’t get enough of it.

I partially blame this on my Lent challenge. Frosting is not candy, therefore it helped me curb the chocolate hormone-induced cravings. But now it’s out of hand and I can’t stop!

Two weekends ago, I went to the store to buy brown rice for my stir fry and suddenly, unconsciously I’m walking out with frosting AND brown rice.

Both of which were delish (not together).

Then, knowing I would be tested, I went last weekend to buy frosting for the bake sale brownies, PRAYING I would use it all, but I didn’t. There was half a container of frosting left.

It lasted 48 hours.

Now I must resist the baking aisle at the store because frosting could just appear again and I don’t want it to!

I knew Lent would come back to bite me somehow.

What is your biggest sweet or savory indulgence? Big weekend plans anyone?