Thursday, August 26, 2010

Orange (Done Right)

 Catherine Malandrino

How can you not love the sneaks with the suit?:

Calvin & Hobbes

Time to join the movers and shakers (right, babe?):

(Onward and upward.)

Calvin & Hobbes

For my Peters:

For my LB:

Stylin' and Profilin'


Black Cut-Outs: Love it or Hate it?

I think I love it(?):

I know I hate it(/her):

Do we love this or is it a hot mess?:

Street Chic

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Most Improved Player

Dear Rachel Zoe,

This is how beautiful you look by simply pulling that rat's nest you call hair off of your face:

You should probably do it more often. 

The Ironical Transcendentalist

Ms. v. Mr.

The woman in me thinks Dan Humphrey's pants are a wee bit short (and a little tight):

The straight man in me thinks they were made for a wee little man (and are much too tight).

The gay man in me thinks they were perfectly tailored (and are just tight enough).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Word of the Day

gormandize \GAWR-muhn-dahyz\, verb:
To eat greedily or ravenously.
I have never in my life seen men gormandize to be compared with those men. And the curious thing was that as course followed course their appetite seemed to increase.
-- Frank Harris, John F. Gallagher, My Life and Loves
Charley swallows a great gulp of tea in token of submission, and so disperses the Druidical ruins that Miss Smallweed charges her not to gormandize, which, "in you girls," she observes, is disgusting.
-- Charles Dickens, Bleak house
Gormandize evolves into a verb from the French verb gourmandise from the familiar gourmand.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Baked and Wired

If you ever find yourself in Georgetown and see a pink bicycle on the street... halt, look up, and prepare yourself for utter deliciousness - you're at Baked and Wired:

This place is awesome.

My TP and I found ourselves in Georgetown one sunny Sunday evening and decided to try and satisfy our craving for bubble tea (or what TP affectionately calls "boba").

In our quest, however, we snagged a money (parking) spot that happened to be right next to the (in)famous Georgetown Cupcake location in D.C. TP asked me if I wanted to try it and I said "yes" - even though I only wanted to try it to hate it.

But then, we turned the corner and saw this:

There was no way that we were about to wait in a line that stretched nearly a city block for one measly little cuppy cake.

We continued our quest for bubble tea but on our way to this place called Snap, our eyes were diverted by this:

TP had the good sense to put our boba quest on hold and take a look inside this pink portal - and what treasures we did find.

The cupcakes at Baked and Wired are huge. Massive. Made for 2 - but can be eaten by 1, of course.

We got the Smurfette - a seasonal flavor: fresh blueberries based into vanilla cake with lemon buttercream frosting. (Sorry, I don't have a photo - I was completely lost in the amazing goodness of it all.)

TP also picked the nutella brownie and the apricot crunch bar with an oatmeal crust.

The Cake: pretty dense and full of flavor - the blueberries were whole and so fresh, the vanilla was warm, yet delicate
The Frosting: the buttercream itself was the perfect balance of air and substance, and the lemon was just tangy enough with it acidity to compliment its sweetness
Overall: A+

The Bar: the oatmeal crust was perfectly buttery, but mostly made up of oats (probably steel cut), it was a fairly thin layer on the bottom, and filled with what was undeniably Bonne Maman apricot preserves (aka. the best), with another helping of an oatmeal crumble on top, this was one of the best fruit bars I've ever tasted
Overall: A+

The Brownie: you could barely taste any Nutella in the brownie and it was frosted with chocolate (which you may or may not prefer), the size and density of the brownie itself was good and there weren't too many nuts in it, but in the end it was just a brownie
Overall: B-

Even the "wired" (coffee) part of the store was good eats - excuse me, drinks.

Next time, I want to try the Vanilla Latte cupcake and I know TP wants to try the Chai cupcake:

I may also have to try a big ass cookie and a slice of TWSS cake:

I will have to try Georgetown Cupcake eventually - but only to confirm that Baked and Wired is far superior.

Hot Mess

Where does Eva think she's going?:

(A) The Senior Prom
(B) The Junior Prom
(C) The Miss America Pageant
(D) All of the Above

Jenny Packham

Belted Skirt

(Done Right)

(Gone Wrong)

Street Chic

Surface to Air - Cube Strap Wedge Sandal

(I bought the knock-offs once - don't do it. They hurt after walking once around the mall with your sister.)

The Cove

Last night I saw the 2010 Academy Award winning documentary "The Cove".

It was an incredible mix of suspense, heart (of Ric O'Barry, especially) and environmental awareness.

Did you know that dolphins can make bubble rings - and play with them in the water?? They are such intelligent creatures, and there seems to be no sense behind the mass killing of them in Taiji, Japan. Not to mention the issues behind mercury poisoning. (To see what fish are safe to eat: click here.)

I always wondered why celebrities, like Hayden Panettiere (who is featured in the film), were always saying, "Save the Dolphins" - and now I know.

(Makes me dislike her a little less.)

If you want to do something to help, please visit this website.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cute Couple/Stylin' and Profilin'

I absolutely love it when SJP looks like this:

Scallops with Lime & Cilantro Couscous

- Heat extra virgin olive oil on medium high to high heat
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sear the scallops for 3-5 minutes on each side
- Remove from heat, set aside to cool

Lime & Cilantro Couscous:
- 1 1/2 cups whole grain couscous (we used Harris Teeter brand)
- 2 3/4 cups of water or chicken stock (we used reduced-sodium chicken stock)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (I put in way too much and TP had to fix it)
- a drizzle of olive oil (instead of butter)
- a dash of garlic powder and pepper to taste

Serves 2:
- Make a bed of couscous
- Lay scallops on top
- Sprinkle with torn cilantro leaves
- Squeeze fresh lime juice just before serving (don't be afraid to use a generous amount - it tastes amazing)


(Done Right)

(Gone Wrong)

And most definitely age inappropriate:

Sugar Rush

Everything You Need to Know about the Glycemic Index
By Steve Edwards

Those of you who pay attention to your diet probably hear a lot about something called the glycemic index (GI) these days. It's become another in a growing list of misunderstood buzzwords in the nutrition world. Today, we'll take a look at everything you need to know about the GI, which is going to take a lot less of your time than reading through an entire GI diet book.

That's not to ding these books, by the way. If you're bored, you'll probably learn something by reading any one of them. But in my experience, the GI isn't the be-all and end-all of your diet concerns. So I take the opposite approach and say that if you learn to eat properly you can strike the phrase from your vocabulary entirely.Simply put, the GI is a way to measure how carbohydrates react in your blood. It's measured on a scale from 1 to 100+, where products with a GI of 55 or under are classified as low GI, those with a GI between 56 and 69 are classified as medium GI, while those with GI of 70 and above are classified as high GI. A high GI number means that a food is quickly converted to glucose in the blood (in layman's terms, a "sugar rush"). The lower the number, the slower the food is converted to glucose. The scale was invented for people with diabetes, but the advent of processed foods becoming a cornerstone of the American diet and the rise of type 2 diabetes have given the average person a good reason to pay attention to the GI index of foods.

Essentially, if we ate nothing but natural whole foods, the GI scale would have little meaning for anyone who didn't have diabetes. Even then, the highest GI foods have low numbers in their natural state. It's the cooking and processing of food that alters it so it breaks down much more rapidly. Eating too much food that's converted to glucose rapidly can lead to type 2 diabetes over time. Pretty much, the highest of high GI foods are processed junk foods. There are a few exceptions, which we'll get to, but essentially, if we eat a balanced healthy diet with very little junk food, the GI index is far less important to us.

Sugar is the big villain in the GI world. In nature, sugar comes from plants, where it's surrounded by fiber. Fiber in foods slows digestion, lowering the GI number of even foods that are high in sugar, like bananas. Processing, as well as some types of cooking, breaks down or strips these plants of their fiber. This makes them sweeter to the taste, but it also makes them less healthy. And along with the fiber, processing usually removes a lot of the vitamins and minerals.

The main problem with the American diet, as stated above, is that we're eating too many processed foods. Although we seem to understand that desserts are mainly sugar, crafty advertisers have been pulling the wool over our eyes by hiding the fact that most American processed foods are not much better for us than sugary desserts are. Breads, cereals, some potatoes and pastas, some rice, crackers, chips, fruit juices, sodas, and condiments, plus almost anything that's ever received a "no fat" label or comes in a box or bag, is high in sugar and probably low in fiber and nutrients. When these processed, packaged foods are all you're eating, you cause your body's insulin response to work overtime. Do this enough, especially without exercise (the great equalizer in the sugar game), and you can wind up with type 2 diabetes.

Of course not every food in the categories I listed above is bad. There are companies that make healthy versions of pretty much everything. But marketers can be tricky. As a consumer, it can be hard to know what you're getting. Even reading food labels can be misleading, which is why every diet that comes with a Beachbody® program consists mainly of whole, natural foods.

So the very simple rule is to make sure your diet consists mainly of whole, natural foods and you will no longer have to pay attention to the GI index. There are some variables worth mentioning, especially since eating nothing but natural foods can be challenging in today's hectic world. Here are 10 quick tips to help you understand the GI index:

1. Desserts. These tend to be mainly sugar and/or fat, and as such, they generally don't try to fool anyone with health claims. If we could keep our desserts small and make them a once-a-day indulgence, we'd have no problems. My tip is to do just that: with desserts, keep a close eye on portion size and frequency. Also, fatty desserts lower the GI influence of the sugar, meaning that, especially if you're insulin sensitive, a richer, fattier dessert might actually be preferable to a "no fat" dessert that's all sugar. But either way, unless you're diabetic or borderline, if indulging in desserts is the only way you stray from your diet, it's not going to cause much harm in the big picture.

Stylin' and Profilin'

I love her so much I can't live:

Kardashian (Done Right)

Love It or Hate It?

I think I love it:

Ms. v. Mr.

The (straight) man in me: "Those shoes are cool."

The woman in me: "No, they're not."
The (gay) man in me: "That dress is hideous."

Blazer & Stripes (Gone Wrong)

You still haven't gotten a stylist yet??:

Love the blazer, but what is with the camel toe??:

Stylin' and Profilin'

Nautical Stripes

(Done Right)

(Gone Wrong)

Bad Hair Day

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cigar Aficionado

I smoked my first cigar the other night:

It was from the Dominican Republic and I didn't cough.

Two thumbs (way) up.

Gordon Biersch: Beer and the Old Man

This next statement may be somewhat controversial, but: BEER > WINE.

And until I feel otherwise, I will always look for a bar before a winery (unless I can get a brut, a cava, or, you know, a glass of champagne).

I know, I know. Gordon Biersch is a chain restaurant. But, if it is a chain, that probably means you have gone there at least once - and will probably frequent it again. Therefore, this post is justified.

When my TP and I walked in, an older gentleman (who didn't turn out to be such a "gentleman" at all) motioned for us to come sit next to him at the bar.
  • Did we know him from Adam? No. 
  • Was it a bit creepy and random? Very. 
  • But did we sit by him anyway? Yes.
He was clearly a regular - telling us what beers to get and pestering us to order the garlic fries (which we did not).

Our friendly bartender immediately offered us the beer sampler, so that we could decide which one was our favorite and would get us through the rest of the night.

They were out of their seasonal brew (sadness), but we tried the Golden Export, Märzen, Schwarzbier, and Czech Pilsner.

Beer Sampler
From L to R: Golden Export, Märzen, Schwarzbier, Czech Pilsner

My favorite was the Golden Export:

Golden Export

A smooth, refreshing lager, lightly hopped with a dry finish. The demand was so high when it was first brewed in the 1870s, that it was “exported” to other regions in Germany.
Original gravity: 11.5° Plato
Alcohol by volume: 5.00%
Bitterness units: 17

TP's favorite was the Hefeweizen:

Hefeweizen (hay-fa-VEIT-sen)

A German-style wheat beer that is crisp and refreshing. This light and sparkling beer is known for its signature aroma that suggests cloves and bananas.
Original gravity: 12.5° Plato
Alcohol by volume: 5.50%
Bitterness units: 12

The old man insisted that his favorite, the Märzen, was the best, but I wasn't too impressed.

And what's a night out without spontaneous tequila shots - Patron with training wheels (salt and lime). Again, the old man demanded that we put the lime in our mouths before taking the shot (which we did not). The rim was over salted, but it went down as smooth as always.

Homer:Us :: Peter:The Old Man

The old man may have been a little thorn in our sides, but it made for an interesting night at a regular old chain.