Saturday, October 19, 2013


If you know me, you know I like to be in the kitchen. *cue 1950's stereotype* I love to bake, I love to cook, and I love to share my food. The other weekend, I was at my friend Hannah's house with some girlfriends, where we spent most of the day making apple-flavored food items, drinking cider, doing crafty things, and watching cooking shows on the boob tube.

It was on America's Test Kitchen where I saw a recipe for Atlanta Brisket. *NOMS* I have only had brisket once before, but it was delicious. I like trying new recipes, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

Sometimes when I make food I like to document the process, usually to share with people. Unfortunately... I'm not the best at it. This is how the process usually goes:

Laura decides she wants to make a delicious meal.

Laura gathers all the ingredients and starts making the food.

Laura remembers that she wants to document this and takes a picture of the next three steps.

The recipe called to use a weighty Dutch oven to squish down the brisket in the skillet. I improvised.

It smelled delicious right about now. Then I forgot  to take a picture of the sauteing step.

I remembered to take a picture of the ingredients...
 Laura forgets she is documenting and just does the next few steps without taking pictures.

And then nothing else until it was in the oven.
Laura forgets that she was documenting the process until people have eaten the food...and then it's just not worth it to take pictures...

But it was delicious! I'll make it again sometime, if you want to come visit. :)

Here is the recipe in case you want to try!

1(3 1/2-pound) beef brisket, flat cut, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
Salt and pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 pound onions, halved and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 cups Coca-Cola
1 1/2 cups ketchup
4 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Using fork, poke holes all over brisket. Rub entire surface of brisket with 1 tablespoon salt. Wrap brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 or up to 24 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Pat brisket dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place brisket fat side down in skillet; weigh down brisket with heavy Dutch oven or cast-iron skillet and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Remove Dutch oven, flip brisket, and replace Dutch oven on top of brisket; cook on second side until well browned, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer brisket to plate.

3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer onions to 13 by 9-inch baking dish and spread into even layer.

4. Combine cola, ketchup, onion powder, sugar, garlic powder, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in bowl. Place brisket fat side up on top of onions and pour cola ­mixture over brisket. Place parchment paper over ­brisket and cover dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until tender and fork easily slips in and out of meat, 3½ to 4 hours. Let brisket rest in liquid, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

5. Transfer brisket to carving board. Skim any fat from top of sauce with large spoon. Slice brisket against grain into ¼-inch-thick slices and return to baking dish. Serve brisket with sauce.

And here is your entertainment for this post:

Day 37: The humans have accepted me into their tribe with a gift of traditional festive garb.
Kitten yoga.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

My Dog is a Cat.

My parents are in Florida this week for my uncle's wedding. Florida, where it's 80 degrees, sunny, with a light breeze on the beach. I'm in Minnesota where it's overcast and not quite 60 degrees. Boo Yay for them.

But my parents going on a vacation and having to fly out of the cities means only one thing. Okay, well, two things, but the first one is them staying with me, so that's a given. More Less importantly, they bring Maggie to stay with me while they're gone!!!!!!!



Can you tell I'm excited? I mean, who wouldn't be? Look at this doggie!

Maggie and I have had loads of fun already, running around the backyard, going on walks on the trails around my house, and meeting the neighbors' dogs. She's not as big a fan of that last one. Which is what brought me to think up this list: 

My Dog is a Cat

1. Maggie will hear something (more often than not, the sound of nothing) and RUNASFASTASPOSSIBLETOCHECKITOUT.

2. Maggie doesn't you say... "get along" with other dogs. Much like this cat.
There can be only one
3. Maggie hates baths. And water.
When A Cat Falls In A Tub Full Of Little Water
Two images cause it's funny.
4. More often than not, she wants to go outside. But there have been plenty of times where this is her.

5. Maggie doesn't play fetch unless there's something in it for her. Like a treat. 

6. No matter how much dog food you have given her, if she hears the slightest crinkle of plastic or hears the fridge being opened or sees you walk into the kitchen...

So wowe. Much grace. So doge. Woof.
And that is why Maggie The Dog is a cat. But I love her anyway.

And if that wasn't enough pictures - here's some more!

The morning struggle.
Death from above
I should probably save some pictures for next time...

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Let the Planning Begin

Okay guys. There's only 280 days left until I become a missus. Maybe I should start this planning thing.

It's hard to start when there's so much that needs to be done. Need to finish (well, really, start) the website. We decided to have people RSVP via the interwebs to save money. You guys can do that, right?

I believe in you.

There are flowers to buy (well, first I have to decide what flowers to have), decorations to decide on (and then buy), guestlists to make, hair appointments to make, dresses to buy, invitations to design (then buy, then send), rings to get, brownies and cheesecakes to make, tents to rent, chairs to rent, tables to rent, signs to make, yard games to make, and ALLOFTHESTUFFINBETWEEN.

This is stressful. But we've got great friends and family that will help us out when we need it. After all, I contributed at their weddings. *coughRebeccaEmilycough* Zach has also been superawesomegreat thus far.

Thank goodness for Pinterest. Or is it "woe is Pinterest"? Probably both. It is both great for ideas and great at letting you know what you'll never be able to afford.

Whenever I get the wedding website up and running I will let you know. It may be a while, knowing my impeccable ability to procrastinate. And sometime within the next 280 days, I will be contacting some of you about helping out at the wedding. You may already know who you are. :)

Give him an Oscar for best actor!
"I need a better angle for these fries!"
Too bad there's no Instagram filter for looking like a dummy.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well, it's been a while since I last posted.

Guess what! Zach and I bought a house! Eek!

It's a long story, but it all happened so fast! The house went on the market on a Friday, we looked at it on Saturday, and they accepted our offer on Sunday! It's a charming 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom split-level home in Plymouth, MN. A little over a mile from Zach's school, it's in a perfect neighborhood close to everything we could ever need (stores, restaurants, freeways), and I love everything about it. I am currently living at the house, and Zach will move in next summer after we get married.

I also traveled to Connecticut for work for 5 days, and got to see a little bit of New York City! It was a stressful week with long hours, but Zach and I talked on the phone each night and the breakfast at the hotel was it was okay. Brian (my coworker) and I took the 7:00 train into NYC on Tuesday and got there around 8:15. Brian really wanted to see the Empire State Building, so we walked over there and I didn't want to pay $50 to go to the top, so I waited at the bottom for him. While he was touristing, I watched 2,337 people walk by in front of me. Yes. I counted.

Then we walked over to Times Square to find something to eat. We didn't find much in the Square, but one block away we found the Brooklyn Diner. Overpriced comfort food. Yum.

My first view of Grand Central Station! It was big. 
Times Square! It was bright. It was smelly. I think it was trash day. 
Nice shot of Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building.
Last weekend, Zach and I went to the Minnesota State Fair - here are a few highlights:

BIGGEST. BUNNY. EVER. See the regular-sized bunny behind it. 
As loud as this southern dude was... I still took a nap on the bench. Zach made sure I didn't drool.
This guy sheared the sheep in about 2 minutes all in one piece! Impressive.
We ate LOTS of food and walked around at lot. We saw a calf take its first steps, ate mini donut ice cream, and saw an impromptu performance of Spamalot. I would list all of the food we ate, but then I would just feel guilty, so I'm just gonna let you use your imagination. We did have LOTS of water as it was 10,000 degrees at the fair.

Without further ado - our new home!
Isn't it cute?! Yes, I know the garage light is out.
Entryway to the house. Lookit the adorable hooks!
Kitchen right off the front door. Window overlooks the street.

Dining room. Love love LOVE the table. There's a story here. Ask me if you want to know.
Sliding doors to the patio.

Upstairs LIVING room. Not FAMILY room, as I was sorely mistaken. We have minimal furniture. Needs a piano. And another chair.

Master bedroom. I only have a twin-sized comforter, I know.
Upstairs bathroom
Not-so-organized office. But it's getting there!
Downstairs FAMILY room (not LIVING room)! I'm sitting on that couch right now! So comfy!

We call this the "guitar room"

Half-finished laundry room. Love that I have my own washer and dryer!
Downstairs bathroom
Patio right off the dining room.
And the HUGE backyard!!!! Love it. All fenced in, with a shed over there on the left. It needs a little TLC, but it's all ours!
That's our house! You're welcome to come over any time - I (we) love company! 

Can't end a post without your funny pictures. :)

Someone fell asleep in the rain.