Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Friendship Factor

It seems like I'm always talking about the bond of friendships with my friends who live far away. We move away and then lament about how things are so different or we reminisce about "the good old days" when we were all together and having the best of times. It seems like, while we've all gone in different directions, we miss having those same strong friendships wherever we've ended up.

Before I moved here, I was living in a very transient college town and it was the one thing I disliked most about where I lived. I felt like I was always saying "goodbye" to someone. The same pattern happened for the eight years I lived there. I would meet someone, we'd hit it off and become close friends and then eventually they'd move away. It happened over and over again...until, eventually, I was the one who moved away.

I don't know a lot of people where I live now. I will somewhat blame it on the stage of life I'm in. In Missouri, I was single and had hometown friends, college friends, single work friends, church friends, etc all living close by. My schedule was such that I had plenty of time to socialize and plenty of people with whom to socialize. Where I live now, I've only been working for the past six months and with other people who are married and less likely to get together outside of work. And because everyone you do meet here could live a great distance from one another, it takes a lot more effort/coordination to get together and life is busy...which means I am missing out on some of my local friendships. So, yes, I consider my "friends" here to be a much smaller group. All this to say, I have two friends who live here who are now moving away very soon and I'm feeling pretty sad about it. I just found out about one of them this afternoon which has kind of put me in a funk and feeling a little sad about friendships...or my lack thereof.

And, speaking of friendships, I had another friend send me this article on friendships recently. I found it really interesting. If you get a chance, check it out.

Now that I've vented, it's time to take a hot bath, unwind and get out of my funk.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cupcakes and More

Met my friend Alison in the city today for lunch at a Belgium bakery (chicken curry salad!) before doing a little shopping and a little cupcake eating at Sprinkles! Alison had strawberry, I had coconut (of course!) and I even brought home a red velvet cupcake for Joe.

Outside of Sprinkles Cupcakes

And the famous Cupcake ATM outside...we went inside but if they weren't open, I'd totally try the Cupcake ATM.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tea Time

With Holly at tea
Went to a work/social event with coworkers this afternoon for traditional tea at an upscale hotel in the city. I have never done a real "tea" before and this was a great first-time experience. We had way too many desserts, little crab sandwiches, salmon sandwiches, chicken salad, quiche and, of course, tea!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My Weekend

  • Staying home on a Friday night just to clean the house and catch up on laundry. The most productive evening at home in a long time.
  • A quiet Saturday of errands and rest. Exactly what was needed around here.
  • Homemade chicken enchilladas with leftovers for a busy week.
  • The House of Blues Gospel Brunch with friends.
  • A meal with Joe's former ESL student and his family.
  • Stumbling upon, "Little Women," on tv with Christian Bale, Winona Ryder and Claire Danes. One of my all-time favorite movies. Team Jo, if you wondered.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Joe and I celebrated all weekend, partly, due to the fact he had class tonight. (Did I mention my over-achieving husband was taking Arabic?) So instead of spending the evening at home alone, I went to dinner with friends. All in all, it was a good day!

Clockwise: Amy, me, Jennifer and Wanda. Wanda's birthday was Friday so we both celebrated together!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

City weekend

Last week, on a whim, Joe suggested we spend the weekend in the city to celebrate my upcoming birthday. No real agenda, just a leisurely weekend. Of course, I was game!

After checking into our hotel, we went to dinner. I have a tradition of celebrating my birthday with crab legs. Love.

Coconut cream pie is one of my favorites and I have never seen a slice of pie so big in my life. Between the two of us, we only could manage to eat about a third of it!

After dinner, Joe and I had tickets to a late-night magic show. We are kind of obsessed with magic shows and this one was very intimate and so much fun. Also, we both got to serve as "assistants" at some point during the night.

Saturday morning had us walking ALL over the city. First we walked along the Lake front, then did some window shopping and then off to see a play, "Freud's Last Session."

After the play we went to a gourmet barbecue restaurant we'd been wanting to try...bruleed macaronni and cheese, anyone? We also had fried green tomatoes, barbecue ribs, pulled pork, cole slaw and corn bread. Yum!

We capped off our Saturday night with my absolute favorite spot in the city - Buckingham Fountain. It never gets old. Our trip ended this morning with breakfast at the hotel before heading back to our life in the suburbs.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Peach Cobbler

The dark spots are where I got heavy-handed with cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Yesterday we had company over in the evening which meant I spent 5-6 hours in the kitchen yesterday afternoon. Seriously. I made way too much food but Joe says the best dish of the evening was my peach cobbler. I doubled the recipe which I won't do in the future because I can't imagine peeling 16 peaches ever again. (Even when blanched to more easily remove the skins it was not my cup of tea.)

Peach mixture ingredients
8 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch

Topping ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter - chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Mix together
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Combine peaches with peach mixture ingredients. Toss evenly to coat and pour in a 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Combine topping ingredients in a bowl and stir in water last until just combined.
4. Remove peaches from oven, drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobble with sugar/cinnamon mixture and bake for about 30 minutes.

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