Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It may be cold outside, but baby, I'm hot!

Disclaimer:  although the date on this post is November 1st, you should know that I actually started writing it last week.  So keep in mind that while today it is a gorgeous fall day, last week it was freezing and dark and rainy and miserable.  Now that we're all on the same page
Proof that the cold weather is here to stay:
The teacher-sweater has made it's annual migration to the back of my chair, where it will roost until the spring when it goes back to the south (the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet)

Its cold.  I'm hot.

Ok.  I know that was a little obnoxious, but both of those statements are (sort of) true.  With a couple of exceptions:

1.  I tried to do my own hair a la Kim Kardashian/Blair Waldorf and it did not turn out well at all:

Moral of the story: leave the velcro curlers at the store and pay the $25 to let a professional do it.

2.  I was in a cranky mood for no good reason, ate too many banana chips (which is ironic because I despise bananas), and then pretty much ignored my husband and children for hours by self-soothing with back-to-back episodes of Storage Wars.

Despite these minor setbacks, I really felt like I was on fi-ah (the cool way of saying fire, in case my phonetic spelling threw you off):

1.  Since the day it came out, I have been jonesing for an Ipad.  But like a Moray eel, I hid in the shadows until it was the perfect time to pounce.  And after years of watching for sales and counting my beans, I hit the trifecta: I had exactly the amount of money needed saved in the bank, there was a 10% sale at Staples WHICH INCLUDED IPADS (that never happens, right?), and, because of my recent employment as the Urban Mom's kitchen chef, I found out I could write off 1/2 of it as an expense. I emerged from my crevice (car) and struck!

2.  Got one step closer to being a kick-ass extreme couponer.  In fact, while last week, my nanny was begging me to stop buying toilet paper and toothpaste, this week, she is asking me where I find all my coupons and sharing in my excitement over the news that Walmart will price match any store.  Here is my best shopping trip so far:

Retail price: $278
OOP (couponer lingo for out of pocket) after sales, coupons, and redeeming my points a Shoppers: $50.
Special Thanks to my favorite Canadian Couponing sites:  Mrs. January and Savealoonie.

3.  As the new editor of my school's newsletter, I was pulling my hair out trying to solve a layout problem that not even our computer teachers and a former magazine editor could fix.  After hours of coffee and frustration, I SOLVED IT!  I know that you might find this boring and not such a biggie, but honestly, being a giant nerd, it was the most fullfilling experience of the week.  Except for…

4.  I had a full-on amazing conversation with one of my favorite authors, Alice Hoffman, when I went to listen to her speak and sign her latest book, The Dovekeepers at Indigo.  No, we are not best friends (yet) but my questions were a million times better than the comment I made when I met my first rockstar (author), Michael Ondaatje, years ago.  I was so star-struck and nervous that the best thing I could come up with to say (read: blurt out in a really embarrasing way) was: 

            "I read the book (The English Patient) before the movie came out, you know!" 

thinking this made me superior to any other reader in the audience.  The difference between that experience and the Alice Hoffman experience?  Well, without tooting my own horn, mine really was the best question of the night.  Just ask the expression on Heather Reisman's face when I asked it.  Later, when Ms. Hoffman signed my book, she really took the time to talk to me, despite the dozens of people behind me in line.  I am still finding the courage to follow her advice.  Check back and I'll let you know how it turns out. 

and finally…

5.  Not only did I grow the most beautiful leeks, but I also managed to keep them alive long enough to turn them into the most delicious soup and, in the process, transform a dreary, dark hump-day dinner into an awesomly awesome heart-and-soul warming meal:
Potage Parisienne Soupe
Its really just potato soup, but the French name sounds so pretty...
3 tbsp butter
1 heaping cup of leeks chopped and washed well
3 Yukon Gold potatoes (each one should be about the size of a baseball, not softball, baseball) diced
900mL chicken stock (or the contents of one tetra pack)
S & P to taste

1. Melt butter in a large soup pot.  When it starts to foam, add in the leeks & a nice pinch of salt.  Cook over medium-low heat until they soften, but not brown. Take your time with this step…it should be about 8 minutes.
2. Add in the potatoes, stirring to coat, and follow it up with the stock.
3.  Bring to a low boil and let simmer until the potatoes are soft (about 15 min)
4.  Using either an immersion blender or regular blender (your choice), blend (bet'cha didn't see that coming!) until smooth.
5.  Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.  With grilled cheese.  At least I did.

So there you have it.  How I manage to keep myself warm AND feel incredibly hot during the yuckiest week of fall. How do you stay feelin' hot when the world is so cold?


  1. That is funny about the sweater on the back of your chair....I was just talking about mine with another teacher at my school and how mine has already found it's way there.
    Thanks for sharing, great blog this week.
    and I love the hair!

  2. You are on Fire!!! At least you talked to Alice Hoffman. When I went to meet Philippa Gregory, she had to get our soul sisters feeling by vibe, as I forgot my book at home (so no signature) and couldn't think of a good question other than 'have you ever tried on a medieval english dress.'