Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Met a Celebrity

I met a celebrity today!

I noticed yesterday on Facebook that Pioneer Woman was going to be coming to the Mall of America today for a book signing, promoting her new book, "Charlie and the Christmas Kitty." But she said that we could bring other books for her to sign as well!

And I was all, "I live in Minneapolis! The mall is right down the road!" So I grabbed my Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook and headed over to get in line. And boy, was there a line.

I knew there would be a line, but I had to pick the lesser of the two evils: Get there insanely early and wait for a long time at the front of the line, or get there just a little bit early and wait for a long time in the middle of the line. Either way, I'd be waiting there for a long time.

So I waited.

I got there at about 1 p.m., her book signing started at 2 p.m.

I went over to the bookstore to pick up a copy of her second cookbook so she could sign that as well, only to find that they didn't have any copies of it! Or her first cookbook! You'd think that a bookstore would stock extra copies of the book so people would buy them....but no.

Standing in line, I had a lot of time nothing.

I didn't bring a book (besides the cookbook). I didn't bring snacks. Drat. I didn't bring a person with me- no matter how hard I tried to find someone to go with me.

Ree came on stage and did her little presentation, and then she started signing books!

Fast forward FOUR HOURS and Laura's at the front of the line!

Wait. Back up an hour. I had been talking to Zach the whole time and I mentioned that the bookstore did not have any copies of PW's second cookbook, so he asked if I wanted him to go to the Galleria and pick one up there and bring it to me! He checked online, and they said they had one in stock, so he drove over there only to find out that they had it on reserve for someone. Then he went over to Target, to find that they had a copy!

He brought it to me in line at the mall, and needless to say....all the other women were jealous. I got many "he's a keeper"s and "you should have had him pick us up copies- we would have bought them!"

Okay, fast forward an hour again.

As I walked up the stairs, I suddenly panicked.


I never thought that I'd be one of those bashful, tongue-tied people when they meet celebrities.

And I wasn't.


She was super nice and bubbly the whole time, and only had to take one bathroom break! I probably would have had to take like....ten. At least.

Anyways, once I got up there, I managed to not make a fool of myself.

I think.

I think I mentioned something about how she was one of the reasons I started my blog, that my sisters like her lots, and that I think she's super cool.

Or something like that. It's all a blur now.

So here's the pictures of that moment- Ree signing my cookbooks, and me not making a fool of myself!

All in all.... I do not regret spending my Sunday afternoon waiting in a line to talk to a celebrity for 2 minutes.


And here's  your funny picture!

I. Am. Batdog.


I have had some seriously weird dreams lately. Last night, I got married in a grocery store. The night before that, I was trapped in a florist shop. But the night before that took the cake. Herein lies the musings from the unconscious mind of me. Not much will make sense, probably.

VERY WEIRD DREAM. It was very Whovian (That means it was very much like a Doctor Who episode, to those of you who aren't cool). I was with my mom. There was an oven involved -which looked like a TARDIS on the inside. Also, candles. I was scooping up some sort of magic sand to make a candle, because all of a sudden, the lights went out outside. It was nighttime in the middle of the day.

Skip a bunch of things I 1) don't quite remember and 2) wouldn't make sense even if I tried to explain them.

There was some sort of alien infestation on earth. They were turning all the humans into aliens. They looked a lot like the Waters of Mars ones (see picture - warning, is creepy).

I tried to figure out how to do a mouse-over so you didn't have to see this image unless you wanted to...but it was too confusing.

Anyways, I was with my mom on a very full bus - we were being evacuated to I think, NYC, and we were barreling past my house and I was all, "STOP WE HAVE TO PICK UP MY DAD," who for SOME reason had his arm in a sling and was wearing a toga? As I went running up to the house, he was coming out and going to the bus. I went inside to pick up a few things - drinks (Diet Mt. Dew, Diet Cherry Squirt, and bottled water (don't ask me how, but I remember what the drinks were. I don't even think they make cherry squirt)) and clothes for my dad- because come on... a toga?

As I was about to leave, I saw MAGGIE sitting in the utility room.


Then I ran back outside only to find my parents standing in the driveway and the bus empty. I have no idea where everyone went. I'm sure it was mentioned in the dream but I don't remember now. The three of us (PLUS MAGGIE, DON'T FORGET HER) stayed at home and tried to fortify our house and that's all I remember.

Oh yeah. Mom was The Doctor with a sonic screwdriver...

Moral of the story?

I have no idea.

Funny picture of the post!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


So. Today was/is my birthday. And it was one of the best yet. :)

Started out at 6 am with a little Insanity. I debated for a real long time about working out on my birthday, but I knew I would regret it if I didn't.

Took a nice, hot shower, got dressed, made my lunch, ate some granola (thanks, mom!) for breakfast, and then headed off to work for the day. As I was driving to work, I thought about what made this birthday so different from all my others. I finally figured it out. I had a full-time job. Crazy how short your birthday seems when you spend the majority of it working.

That's not to say work wasn't good, though!

All of my co-workers knew it was my birthday, so I had multiple 'happy birthday!'s from them. Last week, our administrative assistant asked me what I would like for my birthday treat. Since we had been having a lot of ice cream lately, I decided to throw a curve...since it was my birthday and all...and asked for a fruit tray. 

DELICIOUS. I could probably eat fruit until I got sick. I HAVE eaten fruit until I've gotten sick. 

This morning, I received a wonderful picture from my dear friend Hannah, who has been catching up on her Doctor Who episodes (I, as well as she, have been on a Doctor Who kick recently). 

D'awww! I love it!
Throughout the day, I was working on a project. This project has been my baby for the last month or so, and today, I finally finished it! It goes out to all the clients tomorrow! This is the first project for work that was completely mine, and I did it!

In the afternoon, I received an email from Z. "Happy Birthday from Room 130" His kids sang a birthday song for me! I watched it probably 12 times.

One of my friends wished I had 'alot of fun' for my birthday, so I drew him an alot of fun. (if you don't get that reference, click here).

That's alot of fun.
Then I got really excited. Because the work day was getting closer to being done, and I was going out for supper with my Boy. 

I drove home- in rush hour traffic, but I wasn't mad BECAUSE IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. I checked my mail- thanks for the cards, Becky and Margie! I opened a package- Thanks for the gift, E! I love it!!!!!

Then in walks Boyfriend with flowers. Beautiful tiger lilies because he "knows how much I like the color orange." Reservations are at 7 at a restaurant unbeknownst to me.

(ps, you guys better like this post because I am already staying up past my bedtime to write it)

Blah blah blahhh skip car ride BOOM we're at the restaurant. Get ready, because this part was the best. 

The Boyfriend had never been there before, so obviously, neither had I. He had chosen The Corner Table. Teensy tiny little restaurant on Nicollet Ave. 

We walked in, were greeted by our host/waiter Nick (whose name I didn't find out until we saw it on the receipt), and were sat immediately at our table. 

If I HAD to pick apart the night and pick something that I would have changed or didn't like, I would say that the noise level in the restaurant was quite loud. Too often did we have to repeat what we were saying or talk louder than I wanted to, but everything else was so good, I didn't mind too much.

Nick came over, took our drink orders (sparkling Rose for me (I drank wine. It was good. Sorry mom.)), and right before he left to get them, he turned to me and said "Happy Birthday" without any sort of indication from The Boyfriend that it was my birthday. I don't know how that Boy did it... he just said he "knows people who know people". Sneaky.

When he came back with our beverages, Nick walked us through the menu. I was reading the menu the whole time he was walking us through and all I caught were the words I knew... "blah blah blah onion blah blah blah pork blah blah blah gnocchi blah blah blah cauliflower" Or something like that. This was one of those menus where they list the ingredients, but no description, so you don't know in what form the food will come out. Is it a stew? An appetizer? Will things be separate on the plate, or mixed together like a goulash? I basically just made educated guesses on everything. The Boyfriend said it was my birthday, so I got to choose. I will walk you through our menu now:

Course 1: 
smoked sturgeon, leek crema, leek confit, mustard seed, melba
Oh my GOODNESS THIS WAS GOOD. This was one of my favorite parts of the meal. I've never had any of these things before, but PHEW it was delicious. I wish I had taken pictures of each of these courses, but I didn't want to be that person. The sturgeon was sliced and laid on a bed of creamed leek with (pickled?) mustard seeds on each end and a thin thin thin slice of melba toast on top. Now, normally, the girl from Iowa who was raised on meat and potatoes would NEVER EVER order anything like this. But being with Z has helped me to broaden the horizons of my taste buds....and I like it. :D

smoked linguiça, onion jam
Seriously, who would have thought of this. This was like bruchetta. Except instead of bread, it was smoked linguiça (think summer sausage). And instead of tomatoes, it was caramelized onions. MM MM MMMMMM.

Course 2:
gnocchi alla romana, guanciale, wild mushroom butter, ricotta salata
Think the shape of a crab cake. They apparently make the gnocchi in tube form, then cut it into slices and sear each side. Then they cut them into half-moon shapes and gave Z and I each three. On top of that was the guanciale (not totally sure what it was, but I heard him say pig and motion to his neck? Tasted like bacon to me.) and the wild mushroom butter. Top all of that with some grated ricotta and you've got yourself a glorified baked potato. BUT SO MUCH BETTER. I'm drooling just thinking about it again.

Course 3:
alaskan trap caught cod, pistachio crust, fingerling potato, cauliflower, shallot, curry (me)
Okay, some type of pureed shallot/butter/cheesy/garlic sauce on the bottom. fingerling potato (potatoes about the size of your fingers), curried cauliflower, topped with the cod, which was then topped with a pistachio/walnut crust. YUM.

pan roasted duck breast, braised radish trio, parsnip, juniper-plum sauce (Boy) 
Let's see if I can describe what he ate...Juniper plum sauce on the bottom, Three very different kinds and shapes of radishes, and very delicious ducky. I've never had duck before, and the closest flavor I could find to describe it was liver...but better than liver. 

roasted autumn fruit and vegetable (side for both of us)
This was what it sounded like. Carrots, brussels sprouts (Yes, that's how you spell it. Yes, it looks weird), little baby onions, some type of apple/pear fruit, and nectarine. All in a brown sugar glaze type thing. I never would have thought of cooking fruits and vegetables together.

At this point, I left to go to the bathroom, as I probably drank 5 or 6 glasses of water. I kept wanting to clean out my mouth so the next bite of food would be a new taste! When I came back, we had dessert menus at our table. The Boy and I decided to split the apple tarte thingy (I CAN'T FIND THE DESSERT MENU TO TELL YOU WHAT IT WAS.) Cue Laura having to go to the bathroom again.

Cue waiter Nick bringing us complimentary dessert wine, along with another "happy birthday" wish. If you want to get treated right on your birthday...go to The Corner Table. I don't remember the name of the wine, and neither does Z. I vaguely remember him saying cognac, merlot and MAYBE chardonnay. They basically take the cognac and add the wines before they are fermented. Anyhizzle, it was delicious. Then our delicious apple tarte thing came. This, I took a picture of:

Yes, it looks weird, but it was SO GOOD. That topping? Not ice cream. REAL WHIPPED CREAM with CINNAMON and NUTMEG. om nom nom.
Cue waiter Nick setting another dessert down at the table, free of charge, for my birthday (Nick's favorite dessert)! I also don't remember the name of this one...but I took a picture! It was some sort of sweet potato mousse....but it tasted like pumpkin cheesecake and WAS SO GOOD I CONTEMPLATED LICKING THE JAR. But we were in public so I refrained myself. 

Don't ask me what that stuff on top is. It's got sea salt. and is crunchy and delicious.  Covering a jar full of deliciousness.  That I didn't know whether to eat or to marry. 
As we were finishing up (we both wrote a nice note to waiter Nick on the receipt), the chef came out to say hello! This was the first time I had spoken to the person that had cooked my meal. He was very nice and very happy we chose to eat at his restaurant! 

I definitely recommend The Corner Table to anyone. SO GOOD.

Then The Boyfriend brought me back to my house, and since we both are adults and have jobs...we said goodnight and went to bed.

But not before I wrote this blog post. I just couldn't NOT write about such a wonderful birthday!

All in all, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE who wished me a happy birthday! I couldn't feel more blessed and loved! You all played a little part in making this the best birthday ever! Here's to many more!! (Sorry for all the exclamation points. It's late. I'm tired. It's still my birthday. I'm allowed.)

(I almost forgot your funny pic of the post!)

Friday, September 21, 2012


A lot has happened today.

I just took a Sudafed and ingested a large amount of NyQuil, so sorry if the rest of this post looks like I was drunk when I wrote it. I am under the influence.

A lot has happened today.

I woke up at 6, thinking I would be all ready to work out and start my day. And then my head was stuffed, my throat hurt, and I couldn't breathe through my nose. So I looked at my phone and said, "NOPE." and changed my alarm to go off an hour later.

I installed iOS 6 on my iPhone during the night, so I was all excited to see what it could do today, then I had to spend the day working instead of playing on my phone.

Stupid adulthood and jobs.

Speaking of which, it was hard to concentrate today when there were only 4 of us working in the entire office today.

Today at lunch, my bosses and I had quite the conversation. I don't know what we were talking about and how we got on the topic of this, but this is what we ended up on:

We even went as far as to write it on the white board in the conference room.
During my lunch break, I checked the status of a pending paycheck (that was supposed to be paid on my last paycheck, but my supervisor forgot to approve one of my weeks of time, so I didn't get paid for that week. Long story short, I got an extra paycheck this week) on my phone. Then I noticed a $21.74 charge on my Capital One credit card- which is weird because I stopped using that card. Then I looked at the charge and it said DOMINOS CHARGE 3677. So I went to Domino's website and looked up store #3677...

Which is in the Bronx.

You'd think I'd remember going to the Bronx, right?

*le sigh.*

So I immediately called Capital One and cancelled my card. It was surprisingly easy to do and "Andrea" was super helpful.

Today, I also got an official email signature for work! "Laura Gaalswyk: Analyst." Whoop whoop!

Since I laughed at my workout this morning, I decided I had to make up for it when I got home. I sat in front of my computer and willed myself to not be hungry, to not hurt, and to not be sick so I could work up the motivation to work out.

And it worked.

Then I spent the rest of the evening by taking a hot bath, Skyping with some people I love (that means you, Mom, Dad, and Natalie), and listening to my high school football team remain undefeated.

All in all, I'd say it was a pretty good day.

And before I forget, your pictures!!!



I miss my dog.