Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I have a computer on all day at work, looking at spreadsheets and Word documents (editing! Oh, the editing! I actually love editing.) Sometimes, on my lunch break, I warm up last night's leftovers and go right back to my desk, where I read blogs until it's time to open up the spreadsheets again.
The worst, though, is when I get home. I hang up my coat, put down my bag and take off my shoes. Then I turn on my computer. Until I turn out the light to go to bed, it stays with me. Today, I had to go check on something in the kitchen, and I carried it in with me. I set it down, stirred the pot of mujadara, and came right back to the living room.
If I get more than three feet away from a computer, I'm afraid I might combust.

I think I need to work on that.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Manoli: "No! It's true! Greek mothers want their sons to have lots of fun!"

Abbie: "And they want their daughters to have lots of babies?"

Manoli: "EXACTLY!"

Uppity Middle Schoolers have to eat, too.

The cookies, they were a hit at work. It was pretty fun; I forgot how much I enjoy feeding people. I think I understand that Jewish mother thing. Too bad I'm not Jewish; I'd be pretty good at it, at forcing people to eat when they think they don't want to.

In fact, I'm so not Jewish, when I looked for a recipe for this week, I looked to church. See, when I was in middle school, in Confirmation class, I had this Sunday school teacher named Martha. Martha was great. She was a fantastic Sunday school teacher; she helped us think about the big questions that we liked to talk about in our hippy dippy, oh-so-Cambridge church, and when I got all uppity, and started questioning everything they said (I went through a brief Christian fundamentalist phase in eighth grade. Cambridge churches don't tend towards very literal interpretations of the bible), Martha took it all in stride, and explained what our church believed and why we believed it. Despite all of her wonderful qualities as a teacher of uppity middle school youth, though, the thing that I will always remember the most about Martha was her muffins. She brought us homemade muffins every single week. My favorites, by far, were the lemon chocolate chip ones.

And so, this week, when I was looking for something to impress my coworkers, the first thing that came to mind was Martha's Lemon Chocolate Chip muffins. (Actually, they are not really my coworkers, since I'm just the lowly intern. They're all better than I am. But whatever.)

Unfortunately, it was night time when I got this idea in my head, so I couldn't call Martha (she lives just down the street) and get the recipe. So I had to resort to the internet. This recipe turned out pretty well. I might try to get Martha's recipe, and I'll certainly share it with you if I do get it. For now, though, this will have to suffice. And it will suffice pretty well.
Lemon Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from a recipe on
The zest from 1 medium lemon (I used two small lemons, and I might use even more next time)
1 cup sugar (my mom thought the muffins were a bit too sweet, and I agreed. Next time I might cut down on the sugar a smidge)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup plain buttermilk or yogurt (I used skim milk with white vinegar because, well, that was what we had at my house)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Finely grate lemon peel, avoiding pith. Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Stir in baking soda and grated peel. Fold in half the flour, then half the buttermilk. Repeat. Fold in chocolate chips. Scoop 1/4 cup batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush lemon juice over hot muffins until used up. Sprinkle with sugar. Let stand 5 minutes before removing from pans.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It is time for cookies.

There is nothing like the prospect of searching for a real job to get me off my ass.
Unfortunately for my future career, the only thing a job search motivates me to do is bake. This is lucky for my coworkers and my three blog readers, though. Also lucky? The fact that there is a pile of dirty dishes a mile high in the kitchen sink right now, and, because I am forced to avoid doing those, I must blog.
Seriously, my life is so hard.
I have been craving sweets these days. Specifically, cookies. Oatmeal cookies. Full of raisins and coconut and chocolate chips. What's a poor procrastinating cookie-craver to do? If you happen to own a cookbook all about delicious cookies, the answer is simple. Open it up.

In Rosie's Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book, I found what I was looking for, in Rosie's Oatmeal Cookie. I made a few tweaks, because I've started reading food blogs and that's what food bloggers do, they make tweaks. Also, I wanted some chocolate chips in my cookies. So I added them.

All in all, they came out pretty well, crispy and chewy and just right to eat with a glass of milk. They were a little dark-tasting, though, so next time, if I remember, I'll use a little less cinnamon, and I might leave out the molasses all together. (Honestly, I am such a badass.) On the whole, though, well worth making again. And eating. Definitely worth eating again.

Rosie's Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from Rosie's Bakery's Chocolate-Packed Jam-Filled Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book by Judy Rosenberg.
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 t baking soda
3/4 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
8 1/2 T ( 1 stick plus 1 1/2 t) unsalted butter at room temperature (except I never have unsalted butter, nor is it ever at room temperature. My cookies always turn out fine)
1/3 c plus 2 T (lightly packed) light brown sugar (in the Abbiebabble house, we always buy dark brown sugar. It is fine.)
7 T granulated sugar
1 T plus 1 t molasses (I used slightly less because I don't like molasses, and also, I used dark brown sugar)
2 1/4 t water
1/2 t pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 c plus 1 T rolled oats
1/2 c shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 c plus 2 T golden raisins (except I used regular raisins, because I was not about to go shopping, just so I could make some cookies)
1/2 c chocolate chips (Abbie addition!)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly grease them with vegetable oil.
2. Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter, both sugars, the molasses, water, and vanilla together in a medium-size bowl until light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stop the mixer twice during the process to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
4. Add the egg and mix on medium-low speed to incorporate it, about 20 seconds.
5. Add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed for 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl, then mix until blended, about 5 seconds more. Scrape the bowl.
6. Add the oats and mix for several seconds on low speed to blend them in. Add the coconut and raisins (and the chocolate chips!) and mix until blended.
7. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
8. Bake the cookies until they are golden around the edges and lighter in the center, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool them on the baking sheets.
Makes 20 cookies.

My Friends are Thoughtful

In response to my last post, I got this email from Emma:

Date: 16 Jan 2008 17:15:02 -0500
From: Emma
Subject: oh dear
To: Me

what medicine did you take?

And then, about thirty seconds later:

Date: 16 Jan 2008 17:15:22 -0500
From: Emma
Subject: although
To: me

it might be a viable alternative to collagen injections...

NOTE: For those of you who were wondering, my face is all better, and after a lovely doctor's appointment yesterday, I now know that I am allergic to Sulfa drugs. Whatever those are. Thanks to everyone who emailed me!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oh, My.

You know what happens when you go to bed after taking medicine that you are allergic to?
You wake up the next morning looking like this!

(Except for the frizzy hair part. That's just me. All me.)

Aren't you glad to read the blog of someone so vain? Someone who would only put flattering pictures of themselves up on the internet?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I am slightly boring

EDIT: Manoli says no one cares about my MRSA. This is probably true. If you don't care, just carry on. Don't read this post. Move on to the delightful cookie recipe. Or some other blog. I might just delete this post all together.

I am tired and I need to do laundry, so here is a fascinating list about my life:
1. Last night we had pot roast from costco for dinner. All we needed to do was put it in the microwave for ten minutes. Surprisingly, it was delicious.
2. I have no clean shirts to wear tomorrow, so I am gonna do me some laundry!
3. I have MRSA again! It's very exciting! Aren't you excited for me?

A longer, more exciting post will follow in the next couple of days. I hope.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Goodness Gracious

Did you know that the readership of one's blog increases dramatically when one actually updates one's blog? Shocking, I know.
Anyway, aside from my adventures discovering the beauties of excel in business casual, there isn't much of an update on the me front. My life is pretty boring. I go to work, do my job, and come home. This week I'm freakishly grumpy. I've picked approximately thirty fights with Manoli, several with my father (which is impressive since I only saw him for a couple of hours), and have thus far managed to avoid fighting with my mom only because she is good at ducking my bad moods.
This will go away, right? Grumpiness is not some strange side effect of working in an office, is it? I hope not.

Last night for dinner I had something that rivaled the Cacarero: a chili verde burrito from Anna's Taqueria with extra salsa. It was perfect. The pork in the spicy sauce, the rice, the beans, the aMAZing salsa, the guac. Yum. I want another one right now, please.
p.s. OH NO! Wikipedia just told me that in 2004, Anna's violated labor laws! I'm not sure how I feel about this. Labor laws are important.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It's been a while, so let me tell you about my sandwich.

Seriously. This sandwich that I had today could make up for months of not blogging, let alone just over a week.
After trying to reach me for weeks, Kim had finally gotten through to me (sometimes I am very difficult to get on the phone. I'm mysterious like that). We made plans to meet at noon today at South Station, and find some place to grab a quick lunch. Kim suggested that we head towards downtown crossing, and so we did that, only to discover that we both had a hankering for chacareros. (Actually, only I had the hankering. Kim had never had a chacarero before, but she had heard about them and was intrigued. And the only place to buy them in Boston is in downtown crossing.) After a lot of walking in circles, we finally found Chacarero. We waited in line for ten minutes, and then they handed us our bundles of sandwichy goodness on styrofoam plates. And oh, were they good. It was all I could do not to wait in line another ten minutes and get another one. I was so full, though, that probably would have been an unwise decision.
What is a chacarero, you ask? WELL. It starts with a homemade roll, flat like focaccia and about the size of my hand. The bread is sliced in half, then on go thin pieces of chicken that have been grilled, followed by muenster cheese and a generous dollop of thick green hot sauce. The quick-handed sandwich makers place steamed green beans and several slices of juicy tomato on top of this tower of delicousness, and then the top of the bread is slathered with avocado before going on top.
And that is a chacarero. If ever I get ambitious, I might try and make it someday. It would be worth it.