Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pizza Rolls

So I've been seeing this everywhere.  And by everywhere I mean Pinterest, duh.
So what are we talking about exactly? Easy deliciousness. Check. Let's go.

Start with a half batch of pizza dough.  No you can't have mine, that's classified, maybe if you buy me a drink or two I'll spill the beans.  TJ's dough works fine for this in the meantime. Split it up into about 8 balls and roll them out into mini pizzas! (you know how I love minis, and yes this is basically like a mini calzone).
Next up fill your mini pizza piece with desired filling.  The first time I made these was for Ashley ( a veggie) so I did sun-dried tomatoes and mozz. and yes I used bocconcini bc they are mini too.  I also made this just for me and added some pepperoni.  Anything will do but you have to have the mozz.
Next up, wrap this pup up like a little package, grab opposite ends and pinch.  Then twist into a little circle and begin to place in a greased shallow baking dish. 
Once they are all in, top with Parmesan and some chopped parsley.  Pop into a 400 degree oven and let those babies bake for 20 mins.  You will be rewarded for your patience, I promise.
See, I told you, delicious.

Savannah, A Classy Time

Savannah, GA.  A truly amazing place where I will live at some point in my life.  Hopefully sooner rather than later. We headed down for family vacation and stayed for a week, mostly on Tybee Island, making day trips into town. First off, the beach is awesome, its beautiful, so clean, and so warm (especially for a girl used to the pacific), the atlantic sure has a lot to offer, except for the jelly fish, that wasn't so cool...  
In town isn't too shabby either.  Filled with beautiful architecture, spanish moss, and perfect southern charm.
But really, this was a Graddy vacation, which means what we really cared about was the food, and it did not disappoint.   The beach was filled with, (shocker alert) awesome seafood.  

In town we beat the summer heat with some delicious ice was only a dollar for the second scoop! Dutch Chocolate with orange chocolate truffle pieces topped with raspberry sorbet (to lighten things up!).  We went back     twice, obvi. 
We also hit up a chocolate shop (shocking, I know) where we clearly had to sample a few things...including the lavender sea salt caramel, the BACON truffle, (yes friggin bacon, amazing) and of course the dark chocolate peanut butter cup made with hand roasted peanuts.  Shut the front door people, it was amazing.  

 But back to 'regular food': there was no shortage of deliciousness in this category either.  BBQ was a must and did not disappoint.  The pulled pork was awesome as was the bounty of sides we tried.  We even got Mom to eat fried pickles, which she obvi loved.  Who doesn't? Probably those same silly people that don't like bacon. We also stopped at Sisters of the New South.  People.  Listen up.  If you are in Savannah and you want soul food (which you do) you must go here, must. Mouth-watering deliciousness, serioulsy I'm crying just thinking about how I don't have it anymore. 

Oh and did I mention the open container policy? Um yeah, basically Savannah is Vegas, but Southern, and a bit more classy...most of the time.

Stay classy team, and go to Savannah.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So it may not be a proper craft, but hair braiding has become a very hot topic in my circle and I’m mildly obsessed. Recently Megan found a treasure from our childhood.  You remember those klutz books that are filled with all those super fun activities...remember the braid one? Oh yeah, amazing. 
After rereading this balla book, and reliving the classic fashion of the early 90’s, action had to be taken. 

Ashbash came over for a crafting evening but we got distracted and instead had a drink (a spiked arnold palmer), and she braided my hair.

She tried to start with the french braid, but struggled.  Turns out she is an expert at the inside-out french braid and I love it!

Next up was something that I don't know the name of...but it involved two braids becoming one, amazing.  
Ashbash then went to town and accomplished something truly incredible: the fishtail. This is a braid for the real experts team, don't try this unless you have patience, time and a steady hand.

A break was needed so up next she went with the rope braid.  We still aren't quite sure how it doesn't fall out, but it doesn't...

We had time for one more braid before we had to pick up ms. lisa from the airport.  So Ashbash got a little creative and braided three braids, and then braided them! We tied it off with the scrunchie I made while she was braiding my hair (remember the book is called braids and bows...):

Obvi this was an amazing night.  And one you should definitely try out if you want to feel like you are back in summer camp listening to the spice girls and reading the babysitters club... 
Unfortunately, Braids and Bows is now out of print, you can still find some copies floating around the interwebs, or we could check out what I believe is the updated version...Headbands & Hairstyles. Expect an update.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Shady Trend

Ashbash decided she wanted to make a Terrarium.  What is a terrarium? Well it’s basically a glass vessel filled with rocks, dirt, moss, and plants.  Certain plants do better than others, primarily those that like the shade; the awesome thing about these garden crafts is that they require very little maintenance, just a spritz now and then (if you have an enclosed container they need nothing).

So we turned it into an afternoon and were joined by Megan and Shira to head over to the PTA thrift store to find our vessels.  Next we popped over to Southern States to get our necessary supplies.  Back at the apt we got to work and made quite the mess but some amazing terrariums.  The actual assembly process is very quick, we definitely spent more time shopping than making...

And apparently making terrariums is quite the trendy thing to do now.  People all over are having terrarium parties!  Our first run with them was pretty successful, Shira’s is on Struggle Street but I think this is because she did two layers of rocks and dirt… We decided that we too need to have a proper terrarium party and will serve…get ready for it…dirt cups! Oh yeah be jealous.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Nutella Strawberries?

I stopped by the Coop (as Ashbash calls it) and picked up some delicious strawberries and rhubarb (more on that one to come later).  Now once I got these lovely red jewels home I had a sudden craving for strawberries in my favorite form: covered in chocolate, of course. 

This is an awesome snack (yes I said snack, not dessert) for many reasons.  One of all, they are super easy to make.  Two of all, you don’t feel guilty eating so many because you are eating fruit!

The process is as follows: wash strawberries, dry strawberries (very important team), melt chocolate, dip strawberries in chocolate, let rest on wax paper and chill in fridge until ready to devour. 

I use the good old stand by Bakers semisweet chocolate but I decided to try and jazz things up a little and add some Nutella to the chopped chocolate before sticking it in the microwave.  How did this turn out?  Well delicious but not very Nutella-y.  It made for a thicker chocolate coating which was awesome but it was lacking in the hazelnut department.  So if you like more chocolate on your strawberries, add in some Nutella, but don’t expect the flavor to shine through.

Crafting for Craft Organization

I do love to craft and as a result I have many crafting supplies.  I recently moved to a new apt and realized I was lacking in craft supply storage space.  So as a poor grad student and crafter I decided to craft my new organization vessel.  I headed to the Habitat Restore to see if there was something that caught my fancy.  You have to keep an open mind when looking for furniture that you plan to refinish, all you need is a decent piece in the shape and size you want.  I found such a piece, an old kid’s dresser.  It didn’t look too sharp, but it was the right size, and only $20.00, holla!

After a quick trip to home depot to pick up some paint I was headed home to begin my project.
I moved it outside and removed all the knobs and wiped it down with a bleach-water spray, inside and out.  3 coats of blue later I was ready for stripes! 

1 ½ painters tape and 2 coats of grey led to the (almost) finished project.   

I’m still acquiring a variety of knobs to replace those drab wooden ones with, but it is ready to hold all my crafting fun!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Buns vs PTs

There was/is a great debate between some of my friends over the superior burger in Chapel Hill.  There were two contenders in this battle: Buns and PTs.  Each has there own set of pros and cons:

The good:
*Variety, you can top your burger with practically anything, including a fried egg, as seen here on the delicious brunch burger.
*Options for non-meat eaters, this is a big one as many of my friends don’t like to eat the cow. AND they have sweet-potato fries, my fav.
The not-so good:
THE BUN?! Okay, so this is my huge problem with Buns, if you are going to call yourself buns, I expect the best bun.  The bun you get isn’t bad, but its not really that good and that just leads to disappointment. 
The burger, is a little dry, I like a medium burger but you can’t get that many places in NC due to some ridiculous law blah blah, so I can’t fault them too much for this but still, lame.

The good:
The burger, that’s right people, the most important part of this equation, the burger at PTs was delicious.  It was a thin patty with a good char, not overcooked, absolutely delicious.  And it was surrounded by a wonderful fluffy bun that had just a shake of salt on it, oh soo good. 
The bar, boom! Full bar at PTs, need I say more?
The bad:
*Options: the menu at PTs didn’t mess around, they served a good burger and fries and that was almost it, so if you had other wants in your party, PTs would not be such a good choice.
*Biggest problem: its not PTs anymore! Due to an altercation PTs closed and reopened as the Lodge.  The Lodge sucks.  It still has a full bar which is awesome but the burger  (and bun) has gone down the Chapel Hill.  Finally, the biggest sin of all: on my last attempt to eat at the Lodge I noticed they had expanded their menu and now had cheese fries, I friggin love cheese fries so of course I ordered them.  What did I get? Not cheese fries but burned yet soggy fries covered in that weird nacho cheese/velveta kind of sauce.  Not a happy camper.

So in conclusion in the battle over the best burger in CH, the order is such:
The Lodge …… < Buns < PTs (RIP)

Things I like about Chapel Hill

So I’ve been meaning to do this for a while.  Graduate school has provided a bit more time for my cooking and crafting habits. I hope you enjoy the products of my free time.

Chapel Hill and I have had some tense moments so I can’t say I love it.  But it has some redeeming qualities, especially in the edible category.   
Sunrise Biscuit Kitchen is, get ready for it, a drive thru biscuit kitchen. OMG! Their biscuits are huge, rich and buttery, yet fluffy; yeah I’m pretty sure there is a crap ton of lard in them, and I like it.   

The best part of these biscuits is that they are actually sandwiches.  Yup, this is a biscuit sandwich team.  I like mine with either Bacon, Egg & Cheese, or Country Ham, Egg & Cheese, but if its close to lunch, I’ll go all the way with the fried chicken biscuit.  Ridiculous and totally worth it.