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Archive for September, 2007

Momma and Baby

… are rocking the free wireless at Chicago’s most lackluster of hospitals, Resurrection (on Division St.).

One of our rough-and-tumble softball teammates has, in fact, taken one for the team, and will have a freshly relocated shoulder to show for it. Stylebaby and Cerealmom were voted most likely to have a car, and thus drove said teammate to the hospital.

So, here we sit, lamenting the fate of our star center fielder. Every time the door to the triage area opens, we raise our tousled heads like little meerkats, looking for our ashen-faced friend. We wait in fear of the moment when the desk staff calls us up to fill in his insurance information. Poor, poor centerfielding pup. We dedicate this picture of Jackie Chan to you (he dislocated his shoulder while filming City Hunter):

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P.S. We won the game!

 P.P.S. While Googling for images of meerkats, we found this lovely little cross-stitch. If only we could be so crafty…

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6. The two cups of coffee you’ve already downed are making you irritable, unpleasant and incapable of working

5. You are snapping at interns for no reason

4.  Your body temperature won’t stabilize (if you started lactating it might be menopause…two decades early)

3. Going for a walk (a.k.a. bitching for 30 minutes to your stylebaby) doesn’t help

2. Your mouth continually tastes like a warm sewer

1. Blogging a “top 6” list doesn’t make you feel better — it makes you feel like David Letterman040318_courtney_vlarge9awidec.jpg

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This is quite possibly the grossest thing ever. This bucket was just sitting on the sidewalk, all full of syrup, waiting for some child to fall in it and drown.

Drown to death in “Bear’s Glucose” brand corn syrup.

UGH.

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Around Town.

Some young hooligans defaced a defacement of the current president. If you can’t quite make out the scribbling, it reads: “I am stiped.” and “Fuke you : [drawing of a bird being flipped].”

This phenomenal creation was donated to Working Bikes by a pair of thick-armed and flaxen-haired women driving a red Saab convertible. The handlebars are crafted from bent copper piping, electrical tape and topped off with black plastic endcaps–I suspect they’re the very same kind that keep walkers and canes from scuffing up hardwood floors.

 

I have christened it the “JC Penney All-Star Rabbit Supreme.”

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I like cooking a great deal. In my spare time, I dream up culinary concoctions, and, though I am a busy person, attempt to make at least one solid meal per week. Last week’s special was a citrus-lavender stir fry, complete with cilantro and red cabbage slaw and garlicky couscous. It was a perfect combination of colors, flavors and textures.

 

This week, I went in a different direction: that of the crock pot. No tofu crackling and sizzling in extra virgin olive oil here. It was a night of pumpkin, acorn squash and sweet potatoes slowly simmering in what has become my favorite new soup stock: stout beer.

So, I thought I would share my recipe, as it is quite easy, but has the sort of complicated palate that I’ve come to expect from high maintenance foods. Feel free to improvise in terms of the vegetables–once you’ve got a solid stock, you can be flexible and experiment with a variety of garden goodies.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely diced)
  • 1-2 yellow onions (chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Rosemary, thyme (to taste)
  • 2 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 T. soy sauce/tamari/bragg’s.
  • 1 pint stout or porter beer
  • 2 stalks celery (roughly chopped)
  • 2 carrots (coin-cut)
  • 2 yellow potatoes (diced)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1 small acorn squash (chopped into 1 inch pieces, with rind)
  • .5 lbs of pumpkin (finely chopped, sans rind)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 T. brown sugar (optional)
  • Sour Cream
  • Fresh basil (diced to release flavor)

The first thing you’ll want to do is heat up the crock pot until it is warm to the touch. Add the olive oil, and while you’re waiting for everything to warm, start chopping and prepping the vegetables. Start with the onions and garlic, as they will need to cook the longest. I’ve included ideal cuts for the veggies–this way you’ll get a good mix of separate flavors from the larger pieces, while the smaller items will cook down and add to the body of the stock. I recommend sticking the pumpkin and squash into the microwave for a few minutes each to make chopping a little easier.

Once the onions and garlic are in the pot, add your seasoning and let them soften up in the olive oil for about 15 minutes. Then, add the celery and carrots, plus 1/2 of your beer. Give it another 10 minutes, then add the yellow and sweet potatoes, acorn squash and pumpkin, as well as the last of the beer. Let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to make sure that everything is mingling and cooking. Add water as needed.

When things are starting to mix together, check your stock. Does it taste too bland? Too bitter? Sometimes, if using an extra-stout beer, the stock will be on the bitter side of savory. If this is the case, add the brown sugar and water. It will help break up the darker tastes. Let simmer for another hour, or until the larger veggies are soft enough to eat.

Serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream (vegan versions work well too!), the basil and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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the american way (buy me)

Seriously, you NEED these products. now.

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HAWT! (thanks Jezebel) Don’t forget the matching belly jewels!

And while we’re checking out gear for mom, this is a fall necessity… fifth_ave_stroller_suv_.jpg

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Dear Stylebaby,

Use your words. “Really insert-bland-adjective-here” is no substitute for punchy prose.

Yours Truly,

Stylebaby, esq.

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