Fast Alice Glass

Fast Alice Glass

Friday, April 5, 2013

Project 52 or as Many as I can Manage

Big D and my fam all chipped in for my Birthday and bought me a fancy-shmansy camera,  something I had been lusting over for the past year.  My Dad is a devout Cannon fan so they got me a Cannon Rebel T3i.  Ever since I have been playing more and more around with photography.  Reading books, taking free classes and scouring the internets for info.  I am proud to admit that I probably know what I'm doing about.....hmmm 9% of the time now.  But I'm enjoying it so much I am actually paying to take a 4 week beginners class over the next few weeks.  I'm also following along with this free online photography forum called Project 52.  And by following I mean doing the assignments and totally chickening out when it comes to posting them to flickr and getting a critique, because obviously I'm five.  I figured I would post them here since hardly anyone is reading and I know you are gentle with the criticism.

Assignment 7: One Red Balloon

These were both done in natural light. I would have submitted the bottom one because the exposure is better with the balloon and his hand in focus.  The few people I showed this to were confused as to what was in the foreground (his feet).  However, they were viewing it on my camera screen.  I really loved that it came out so soft and that there was such a pretty catch-light on the balloon.  Compared to the other images submitted this is painfully simple.  But I did pre-plan and set up the shot and I accomplished pretty close to what I had in mind. In retrospect I wish he had been barefoot.  The toes would have been sweet. 

Assignment 7: Samuel Barber CD Cover

This image is overexposed on purpose with a longer shutter speed on a overcast but bright day. I loved the little weird glare coming from the light and the flickers on the water. I also liked how the trees were stark and very cold looking. The Barber piece this would represent is very dark and moving but also ethereal and hopeful despite being painfully sad.  I thought the image was a nice combo of winter with the promise of spring and thus would work for the music.

Don't worry I'll def take a stab at some food porn photography eventually... lol

On another note Miami was wonderful.  J had a bevy of Grandma's adoring him and he hardly noticed we were gone.  Returning to everyday life has been a little rough after so much R&R. Not to mention J is getting three molars all at once.... good times!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nervous Nelly

Well our early St. Patty's day feast nearly went off without a hitch.  Big D's family made it here... finally.  They spent most of their first day traveling trapped in a Michigan airport trying to get on a flight to NY.  Their flight was, as you guessed, cancelled after they were already en route.... again!!! I shake my fist at ye traveling Gods and ask Why!! Why??!! I tell you!  I mean seriously, these people see their son and grandson like two times a year and every time they get the shaft.  Horrible :(  The good part is the rest of the trip was an absolute joy.

You know that part of a trip when you have people visiting and they leave and you are secretly glad to have your house back.  Not in a mean way, just in a glad the chaos and excitement is over and life is going back to normal way.  TOTALLY did not happen this time.  I was bereft. The next day the house was all empty and sad. Not to mention the one year old that has been constantly entertained every minute for 4 strait days and holey hell you better keep it up woman or I will LOSE it!!  So yeah, normal life was a little meh this week. 

The second hitch was the corned beef.  It just wasn't up to its corny goodness this year.  It was really just a classic problem of my meat being too big.  (Insert: That's what she said, joke here) It really needed another day or two in the brine.  So I left out the photos. They were unglamourous with a big grey streak in the middle of the meat where the brine didn't reach... Womp womp :(

On to my title post:
 Ever since everyone left I have been super anxious.  I mean, anyone who knows me knows I like to live it high on the anxiety scale.  Well, like is a strong word, have no choice is more like it.  Surprisingly becoming a parent has decreased a lot of these anxieties but inflamed others.  Overall, I would say I'm more relaxed now but every once in a while I get a wave of cracked out random nothing anxiety.  The worst part is that I totally know where it is coming from.  The endless energy of a family visit and running around followed by a lull.  Then next week we are going to Miami and hold on to your panties, I am leaving J with my Mom.  So I am obsessing over stupid crap that I can't control.  His reaction to my leaving, the amount of milk vs. bmilk I should have my Mom give him, planes crashing, my Mom dropping him, pretty much any random stupid thing you could possible worry about.  Oh and I have Tiiiiiiimmme to worry about it.  There is nothing to do here... arrrrrhhhhh!!!  I'm pretty rational about dealing with the brain vomit it just gets exhausting.

That said my awesome MIL brought me Delta airline biscotti and they have totally been helping me through this troubling time.  Why are these so goooood?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Full Circle

Hi There!!! I'm back for my semi-annual post!  How have you been? Have a good year?  Oh meeeee toooooooo.  Here's to hoping I can muster more than three posts this year!!! 

 Little Man is just over a year old.  His first birthday was memorable and exciting.  I imagine you think I scoured pintrest to make decorations and vegan gluten free birthday cake topped with hand dipped candles made from my own earwax.... WROOOOOOOng.  How I wish I had the time to do these things. Well, maybe not the earwax part.  Decorations were courtesy of Party city, in all their Elmo glory.  Food was Pizza from the cheapest pizza place I could find and the cake was amazing but made by my awesome Step-Mom with completely conventional ingredients.  Cake was delish and I hardly felt bad about giving J food coloring considering I didn't have to stress over making a cake :) SCORE!  I did make a pretty bangin' fruit punch that tasted great mixed with Champagne, so big pat on my own back. 

 It really was an awesome day.  Nemo came that weekend and prevented Big D's family from joining us which was a total bummer but they are coming this weekend to make up for it. Hence my current post!! I am curing!!! Or more specifically corning my own beef for Saturday dinner.  I did this last year and the results were insane.  I also was given brisket fever by Sainttigerlily during our visit this weekend.  Please put that braised cabbage recipe up for the world girlfriend, Internet chefs everywhere will thank you.

Disclaimer: this corned beef was from last year.  I'll make sure I have a photo shoot of the new one :)
Also, enjoy the birthday cuteness....

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bouncing Back

So it's been a while... indeed!! I fantasize that my readers (all maybe 1 of them if I'm lucky) remain on the edge of their seat until I post. In reality I'm just filling my day with something other than changing diapers, breast feeding, and maybe cleaning something. But I'm here!! HuzZZAaah!! And I am genuinely excited to have a moment to blog :)

So yeah!! Not so pregnant anymore... Thank God! Baby J is just about the most amazing thing I ever have or ever will cook up. And what a recipe it was, just a dash of self sacrifice here a little overwhelming pain there, some constant nausea and taDAAAAAA a baby. Being a Mom is amazing and feels sooooo much more organic then the process through which he arrived.

Lets talk briefly about the birth. Well, it didn't pan out the way I expected. Big D and I changed mid pregnancy to a practice of Mid-wives in hopes of a totally natural birth. No drugs, very little intervention. What we ended up with was every possible intervention in the book and 36 hours of Labor that ended in a c-section anyway. At the end of the day I'm still glad I went with the mid-wives. They let me try every possible tool to try and get the baby out the good old fashioned way. But Baby J despite being almost 9 1/2 lbs he just wouldn't drop into a deliverable position. I never even had the option to push, never dilated, nada, zilch despite all the contractions. Luckily this isn't the 1800's so I didn't you know.... die or anything. The recovery is really hard from surgery, harder than labor but thankfully easier than the pain I was experiencing during the pregnancy. And the outcome??? Amazing little baby monster to call my own!!! And now you are all like, "post a picture bitch!!" Ok! Ok... here you go...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Shortbread and Babyland

So you may have noticed my conspicuous amount of absent time. A roughly 9 month absence. Without fail as soon as you indulge yourself by venting in a public space about personal problems life will invariably prove you wrong. Not that I'm complaining btw!!! So yes after all that tear jerking and terribleness I got pregnant. Scott free, no drugs involved, totally pregnant; News that I was waiting originally to share with you after the alls safe yet totally arbitrary 12 week mark. What I did not expect was to be slammed with the pregnancy stick so hard. I was sick people... nausea like I have never experienced in my life. It was intense. So week after week went by not posting, not cooking, not even standing vertical so much and I just lost my blogging mojo. Which is a theme if you haven't noticed.

So now I'm about a week away from my due date, as big as a blimp, and more uncomfortable than I ever imagined possible. FYI I was not one of those graceful pregnant people. Those people that make it look so goddamn easy.. "Hi I'm growing an eight pound person off of my uterus and I'm going to run the NY marathon." By about 5 months pregnant I was having intense pelvic pain which has pretty much been the theme for the past 4 months. I would have loved to keep working until the end of the pregnancy. Mostly just to keep my mind from turning into total mush by watching nothing but Bravo and E all day. But it's kinda hard to help people find a good vitamin for themselves when all you can do is lean over a little rolling cart and moan.

I don't want to sound like I'm complaining. I am totally trilled and feel so lucky to be having a healthy pregnancy. We had no major complications, our little guy seems healthy and other than discomfort I haven't had any problems medically. I just can't get over how different this experience has been from what I envisioned. I guess I had some pipe dream of what an organicgranolaearthmother journey pregnancy would be. That since it is such a natural process that it would feel natural. But honestly it has seemed like freakshowalienland right from the get go. Just the whole metamorphosis from normal to extremely pregnant has felt sooooo weird. I just hope the transition from woman/wife to mother feels a little less jarring.

At some point I may post about all the pregnancy craziness. The things that happen to your body, the loss of autonomy, general pregnancy ickyness that people don't talk about. But I have a sneaking suspicion that once I meet this little guy he will be waaaaaaay more interesting than revisiting all the good times of the last few months. In the mean time I'm making shortbread on a snowy day and waiting for baby...

Simple Shortbread

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour

Blend sugar and salt in processor. Cut in butter using on/off turns until blended and smooth. Blend in vanilla. Add flour and process until blended but still slightly crumbly, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 250°F. Divide dough in half. Press each half onto bottom of 8-inch-diameter cake pan or 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Bake shortbread 30 minutes. Rotate pans and continue baking until cooked through and very pale golden, about 30 minutes longer. Cool in pans on racks 10 minutes. Cut each warm shortbread while still in pan into 12 wedges. Cool completely. Using thin spatula, carefully transfer wedges to platter. (Shortbread can be prepared up to 4 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yeah... Hi, it's me

Sorry for the blatant absenteeism. I didn't have any intention of disappearing this last month but disappear I did. I'm not going into gory details but I'm going through some serious shit. Life shit, sucky shit, shit that I don't want to share on this blog. I even did my Charcutapalooza challenge this month, which despite being an epic fail, would have made a great story. But I just didn't have the heart to write about it. I didn't want to disappear into the ether without an explanation. And if your one of the two people who read this blog I'm sorry to the one of you who doesn't know what is going on. Maybe someday I'll feel like sharing openly about this experience but I can't make any promises. I will promise to be back to posting as soon as I feel OK enough. I love this space and writing about my adventures.

Fast Alice

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Curry in a not so Hurry...

At first when I was craving crazy varieties of food I though it was due to the bland restaurant scape here. Now with the tease of warm weather, I'm thinking it may just be spring that is making me want crazy spicy food. I LOVE Indian food people.... LOVE!! Yes, with many exclamations. And I always wanted to know how to cook it. But with cheap Indian right off our old subway stop it was hard to get motivated to learn. So now is the time. I had never attempted to make this kind of food before and although it came out great it took my like aaaaalllll day to make everything. However, I did make the paneer and Nann from scratch and the bread takes 4hours to rise...

As I scoured the Internet for recipes I found the most adorable woman on youtube named Manjula. She has a ton of amazing videos and I totally imagine her to be my Indian Grandmother or Great Aunt or something. We laugh and make Nann bread and she teaches me all about reincarnation and where to buy the best Hing. Or at least that is what I pretend when I'm alone in my kitchen puttering around on Saturday. Seriously people... I need to make some friends here and not like the kind you find on youtube and make friends with in your brain.

The first dish I made was Palek Paneer. I made the paneer myself and it came out amazing. Here is a tip to all you amateur cheese makers out there. I bought pasteurised grass fed milk at the health food store and it worked great!! I have had some terrible experiences making cheese from regular pasteurised (Not UHT) milk that failed to make a curd do to heat damage and what not. This milk made the BEST curd. It was very firm and I can't WAIT to make Mozzarella out of it.

The next dish I made was Chicken Tikka Masala. But Ooooooppss I only had one breast of chicken. So I improvised and use the remainder of my paneer and some string beans to fill out the meal. It was actually really tasty. I might make it this way next time weather I have the chicken or not.

The next and last thing was the Naan. Which I had started of course, many MANY hours before. I of course did a garlic Naan which Big D loves. The naan proofed up more than I expected and I'm sure I didn't roll it out thin enough. But by then we were about to to faint with hunger so I just threw it in the oven. Still tasted great.

Even now I'm looking at these pictures and hoping I did Auntie Manjula proud... Sigh.. Hopefully I will meet some real people soon even if they can't cook.

Fast Alice