Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Warning: NOT For Vegetarians

Working backwards here . . . .

Tomorrow is my 26th birthday. Yippeee!!!!

Tonight my parents came over to celebrate and gave me a birthday present this blog will definitely benefit from in posts to come: A Canon Powershot SD550 Digital Elph!!!!! It's so small and soooooo cool. For the occasion I cooked us a feast, including an amazing leg of lamb that I bought this weekend from our recent supplier of farm-raised meats, Dines Farms.

In order to roast the leg of lamb, according to a recipe I was following from, you guessed it, my new favorite cookbook, Tyler Florence's Eat This Book, I had to perform surgery. Guided by the Joy of Cooking, last night I successfully (although not without a great deal of effort) removed the hip and thigh bone from the leg of lamb. After which I stuffed it with garlic and parsley, tied it back up and rubbed it with a North African spice blend that Brad cooked up for me (also from Eat This Book) - MMMmmmmmmmmm.

Can you tell in these photos that yesterday I also got a haircut???

The clock is ticking . . . HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Dangerously Warm?

Today is January 30th. In all of my memories, at this point in the year I am usually contemplating scarves vs. facemasks in order to leave my home and brave the cold. But today, according to my widgets its a whopping 54˚F in Brooklyn and I was actually sweating on the morning dog walk with nothing but a sweatshirt and a light jacket on.

Despite my enjoyment of the warm, sunny day outside, I thought I might pass on this times article (which is today's #1 most emailed). The article makes note of the fact that 2005 was the warmest year in over a century and in the interest of the future of this planet where out childern will live after we are gone, that's just not cool.

Problem sadly is not just with our civilization's lack of concern for our lifstyle's effect on out planet - but the Bush adminitstrations's failure to recognize and aid in necessary preventative/protective policy and lifestyle changes. I recommend you read the article and watch the video . . .

Culinary Goodness

Tonight (Sunday) I took a cooking class at the New School called A World of Curries - the first of two cooking class birthday presents from Brad. It was AWESOME. Aside from the four great recipes, which were deeeelicious, I picked up tons of good cooking tips and tidbits about buying and dealing with hard-to-find specialty foods and spices. Here is what else I learned, instead of using a mortar and pestle to grind your own spices, you should just use one of those $15 push the button on the top coffe grinders! Good, huh?

Anyway, these are the curries I now know how to cook:

French Island Curried Lamb Stew
Pork Vindaloo
Indonesian Yellow Chicken
Thai Geen Beef Curry

If you'd like me to share any of these recipes, just shoot me an email and prepare for you butt to burn.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Little Bitta Italy

Williamsburg is an ethnically diverse, rapidly gentrifying area of Brooklyn, and within it Brad and I reside among I-talians. There are perks of course, like the cannolies at our local bakery, the quality of our neighborhood pizza, and the homemade italian sausages from the butcher down the street. However, there are also many Italian-only, neighborhood customs being practiced around us.

When Brad and I moved to Jackson Street in Williamsburg, about a year and a half ago, it didn't take a long to realize there were higher powers at work in our neighborhood (the street light posts at the end of the block painted in Italian flag stripes were a bit of a giveaway). We will never understand why when we didn't move our car for alternate side of the street parking the other day, that ours was the only one that had a ticket of the several remaining, illegally-parked cars. Or how our landlord can continue without a permit, despite the letters and fine notices coming from the city, to carry on sketchy construction in our building. There is a garage around the corner from our house, that doesn't seem to do any business, yet stays open while a 93-year-old Italian man, by the name of Frank S______, sits in the doorway all day, feeds pigeons and paints his own "loading zone only" marks on the curb so he can park his car there. He also has a picture of himself with Tony Soprano on display in the window.

For the past few months the house directly across the street from us has been undergoing a major gutting and renovation, luckily it has not been too warm to keep the windows closed to the oh-so-close sound of construction. However, this morning Brad and I woke up to the sound and vibration of a JACK HAMMER! on the street outside out window (mind you, we only live on the second floor) just after 8am. I was irritated about it until just a little while ago when I walked into the bedroom, fresh from a shower, and the typical sounds of construction were being drown out by the sweet music of Frank Sinatra's Summer Wind, BLASTING from the work truck.

Did I mention that one of the main characters on my street who always dresses all in one color (white in the summer, black in the winter), drives a cadilac, swears that his sons are f*uckin' bums while walking down the sidewalk, and is capable of using the expression "fuhgetaboutit!" more than once in the same sentence?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Better Late Than Never

Yesterday, my sister-in-law and fellow Aquarian, Amanda, celebrated her 27th bithday. While I thought about it several times throughout the day's course, I completely forgot to call or email her with my birthday wishes. (Is forgetfulness an Aquarian quality?) So, In the spirit of my life's extreme lack of timeliness, I am saying it now:


Now I think I remember Amada telling me she had a drunken experience that recently turned her off to one of her once favorite foods, Quinoa. But, on the off chance that I made that memory up - Here is my birthday present to you, just the way you like it - no garlic, no onions, Sistuh:

Apricot Quinoa

2 cups cooked quinoa

10 dried apricots, chopped

1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds

2 scallions, (green parts only) chopped

2 handfuls fresh mint leaves, chopped

2 handfuls fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Stir it all together and enjoy room temperature. It's very scrumptious!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I won't talk about how late Brad and I wake up on weekdays when no one has to go to work. It's embarrasing. But I will tell you that yesterday, after snoozing through a few rounds of the alarm clock, we finally woke to the sound of the street cleaner outside our window– a late remider that our car was still parked on the Tuesday side of the street (and yes, yesterday was Tuesday).

Each time this happens we can add $45 to the $1250 per 6 months premium we already pay to make sure we don't damage anyone else's car or propertity twice a week, when we drive our 17 year-old car from one side of the street to the other for alternate side of the street parking.

Luckily Brad had a Cartoon Network deadline yesterday, so I was saved from the usual trap of Dr. Mario playing and movie watching that often swallows entire days when Brad is home with me. Instead we spent most of the day ruining our eyes and backs in front of computer screens. I am doing much of the same alone today.

I did manage to steal myself away from the the office to make some falafel last night, inspired by the new Tyler Florence cookbook (which is quickly becoming my FAVORITE cookbook). Making the falafel is not a diffficult process, as much as a messy and time-consuming one. But, when you bite into a ball of homemade falafel, it tastes so good, you find yourself wondering how you can ever live without it again.


in a food processor combine

2 cups chickpeas (soaked overnight for at least 12 hours in water to cover by 2")
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 small chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon corriander
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 handfuls cilantro, chopped
2 handfuls parsley, chopped

Pulse until combined well. Does not have to be smooth, but there should not be any whole chickpeas in the mix. Generously salt and pepper the mixture. Keep in the refrigerator until ready to fry.

In a deap pot heat 3" oil over medium-high heat, too hot if smoking.
Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, form the falafel into balls and fry in batches for about 5 miutes (should be nice and evenly browned). Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.

*** Serve the falafel in warm pita with lettuce and tomato, topped with tahini sauce. To make he sauce, wisk together 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup tahini, the juice of 1 lemon, a dash of salt and a dash of paprika.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Shiny And New

I have been planning a grand redesign and overhaul of my personal website for quite a while, and am pleased to announce that I have just completed a major step in the process. Check out the new look here. The next transition will likely function in a sleaker Flash interface.

New features coming soon at HM Projects include links to this blog and other personal projects (hopefully a recipe collection minisite in the future), as well as BAD FEATHER, a joint portfolio of websites built by Brad and I.

Also in the works is Brad's new blog, MONKEY WANT NANNER!!!
. Stay tuned for the URL later this week.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

And I Call Myself A Geek

My camera phone was purchased one year ago. After about one month I filled up the gallery space in the phone with pictures and stopped using the camera because I didn't know what I was supposed to do with the saved pictures.

Last Friday, when my phone died at work I thought it was broken so I took it to the Verizon store. Turns out it just needed a charge and while I was there I finally learned how to get the pictures from my phone to my computer, I just had to email them.

This from the same person who spent two hours of my sunday afternoon organizing and updating the font database on my new computer. I should be ashamed, but not of the pictures . . .

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Current Events

We entered the stock market today and we're trading with REAL MONEY.

Also, we also made our favorite chipotle chilli for dinner.

Ahhhh, welcome weekend.

Turkey Chipotle Chilli with Pepper Jack Corn Cakes

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 lbs ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 palm full of chilli powder
2(or 3!) chipotles in adobo, chopped.
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup of beer
1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes (I like fire roasted)
2 cups tomatoes, diced (1 can of diced, drained, will work in the winter)
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans

1 8.5 ox. package jiffy corn muffin mix (prepared to box directions for corn cakes)
4 oz. (1/2 brick) pepperjack cheese, grated
1 diced jalepeño
2 tablespoons butter

1. Heat oil in a wide stock pot over medium high heat. Add turkey and crumble as it cooks for 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic, chilli powder and chipotles. Cook another five minutes and season with salt.

2. Add stock and beer, stirring to loosen bits from the bottom. Add all tomatoes, beans and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.

3. To prepare the corn cakes, mix grated cheese and jalepeño into batter.

4. Heat a non-stick griddle over medium-high heat and rub with butter. Ladle batter into 3” cakes and cook 3 minutes per side until golden. Tranfer to a plate and keep warm.

5. To serve, top each bowl of chilli with a corn cake like a chilli pot pie.

6. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fan Mail

This morning over breakfast Brad and I were discussing how I might boost my blog readership. He suggested a techical approach of searchable tags, while I thought of introducing more controversial subject matter. But, despite the crawl speed of my hit counter, I'm at least getting positive feeback from my small but steady audience. I occasionally receive a compliment or encouraging email and today I recieved an especially outstanding bit of fan mail, from the number one fan of this blog, my mother-in-law.

Now I am guessing the subject of this email has to do with my recently documented return from the unemployed dead. The content however, is a little cloudy. Perhaps it would make more sense if I could see it through a martini haze - but unfortunately all the Sapporo
I drank dinner isn't offering greater clarity.

From: Caryt Thomason
Subject: Glad to see you back!!!

Date: January 19, 2006 1:11:13 AM EST

To: Heather Marold

Always live in YOUR place and time, and remember we choose to surround

ourselves with folks who keep us steady "most of the time".

That's why we marry the folks we marry. ...or who keep us


xo Mom

(I've had a martini.....am I prophetic or what?)

FYI: I love my daughter-in-law's blogs! AND I love my little "virgin

olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette chefs and chefettes"!

xxoo Mom

Yep. that's right. do you need to scroll back up and read that again?

Now the funny thing is that Caryl might just be onto something here. Who doesn't seek some wisdom? Brad suggested that we get Caryl her own blog where she would post prophetic tidbits and advice delivered only through a martini haze, and he vowed to read it as a drunken I Ching. Maybe I'm just missing that hook in my own blog.

As for us "virgin olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette chefs and cheffettes", the eating is about to get a whole lot better here in Brooklyn. Yesterday Brad and I purchased my birthday (February 1st if you're wondering, hint, hint) present - cooking classes at the New School! I will be studying both curries of the world and the art of fresh pasta. So, I'll have some new culinary advice to share pretty soon. Does that want to make you tune back in? Tell your friends?

I'm working on it . . .

"That's why we marry the folks we marry. ...or who keep us merry...whatever!"

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Excuses, Excuses . . .

Has it really been this long since my last post? Bad Heather.

Here's what I been up to:

Last Friday night I joined my friend Megan, who is the web editor for Cargo magazine, on a press junket in Atlantic City. We were taken there in a limo and as guests of the Borgata Hotel, where we enjoyed dinner, much vodka, The Playmate of the Millenium and our fair share of drunken dancing at the Borgata's club, MIX. I didn't even know I needed such a fix of Jersey trashiness until I got there, it was aweome. The crazy night led to swolen feet and me arriving home (via limo) at 2pm the next day, hungover and short on sleep. Let's just say that married life doesn't often lend itself to many nights like this and I was pretty much wasted for the rest of the weekend.

However, I did rally to see a free performance of The Jaun Macleen Band with Brad at Supreme Trading in Williamsburg saturday night. I will tell you this, if you ever have a chance to see this band live, DO!

Sunday night was a cozy one and Brad and I made a DELICIOUS pizza. The recipe, from the Tyler Florence cookbook, Eat This Book (which we recieved from one of Brad's coworkers for Christmas), was for a pizza topped with goat cheese, a mushroom, proscuitto, rosemary and garlic sauté, spinach and fontina cheese. Oh, and I made the dough this time (yes, we're moving up in the world). It was like eating heaven. . .

So now, I'm working full time again this week, which has got me pretty burnt after such a long, involuntary vacation. But I gotta make the money, right? I'll do my best to make more time for bloggin this week than I did last.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


So, yesterday Apple launched it's new computers using Intel chips. The new technology is aimed to bridge the gap between Mac and PC users, and potentially corner the microsoft market. Apple stock prices are flying, meanwhile I can't seem to look past the fact that my new iMac, purchased less than 30 days ago, is now for sale on the Mac site for the same price, with the words 2x faster flashing next to it, thanks to those tiny little intel chips.

I wait three years between computer purchases, and within one month, I'm already in possesion of dated technology. Go figure . . .

Meanwhile, I'm a bit pooped from my first full-time work week in a while. Brad and I have been slavin' in the kitchen all night over some Lamb and Bean Stew and some homemade grilled Pitas (Brad's task) for a dinner party with friends tomorrow night. The recipe is from my new subscription to Gourmet magazine, gifted by my mother-in-law for Christmas. I'll let you know how the food goes over, and I'll pass the recipe on soon if it's worth sharing. I have a feeling in my belly it will be!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

What Happened When We Mixed Cheese With Booze

Yesterday Brad and I had just finished a weekly house-cleaning session when my friend Sara called to see if we were free for the evening, as she and her associate were. Thanks to the mac and cheese supplies in the fridge, a last-minute dinner party was inspired that eventually warped into a booze-laden, impromptu poker night.

The Menu:
Pomagranite salad
Chipotle corn bread
Garlic and sundried tomato sausages (from the farmers market, soooo good!)

Three cheesy macaroni and cheese

Hazelnut chocolate chunk cookies (for dessert, of course)

Yummy red wine, then tequilla, then vodka . . . .

The Players:





Not just your average your average poker party . . .

Friday, January 06, 2006

Back In The Swing

For those of you who feared I was sinking into a depressed state at home, week after week, just me, the pets and my shinny new imac . . . fear no more. I'm getting back into it, really I am. It was just a little holiday lull now past.

This afternoon I interviewed for a hot new design gig (for whom, I will not yet mention lest it doesn't pan out). Regardless, next week I will finally venture out of the apartment and under the east river to the lovely isle of Manhatten, for an entire week of work with my friends over at Concentric Advertising.

I think I just heard my checking account breathe a sigh of relief!

When In Doubt, Add More Cheese

In the interest of my recent fascination with upating classics in simple yummy ways, I thought I should share this Times article. It is the story for one woman's search for the ultimate, cheesey macaroni and cheese recipe. Here is the resulting recipe.

At the grocery store the other day,
Brad told me that after reading this article he was experiencing an intense craving for the dish, which is now on the menu for the weekend. Although I can't say I share the author's enthusiasm for American (processed) cheese, an oppinion with which my Velveeta-loving mother-in-law would disagree I'm sure, I certainly do love cheddar. Personally, I like a little cream cheese in the mac mixture for it's creamy and yet binding qualities. Other than that, I'd say the article's findings are spot on.

I once told Brad that if people would just be sure to include lots of garlic and/or cheese in all their cooking, everything would certainly taste delicious. So do it, comfort youself - make some mac and cheese!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Day-To-Day

Francine is still walking on three feet and I am still more or less jobless. Today's major task is to complete a comic I have been working on for the next issue of my friend's grafitti magazine. However, this involves me simultaneously resisting the urge to curl up in bed with my little tripod and and my latest, cant-put-it-down read, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Yesterday Brad had his weekly day off. Although he preferered to sleep, eat and lounge his way through the day while reminding me that he should not be expected to do anything on his "day off", I, being someone who has had too many involentary days "off" in recent weeks to guiltlessly do nothing, insisted otherwise. I dragged Brad out on a 3 hour errand run involving banks, postoffices, laundromats (drop-off of course) and grocery stores. Reminding him the whole time, in need of some recognition for my ability to use my endless days at home well, that the role I have taken on as mundane-chore-doer, is not so easy.

However, the spoils of our mundane journey were delicious. Armed with a new arsinal of cookbooks I recieved as Christmas gift, I made us an amazing
Thai Lentil and Coconut Soup for dinner, which Brad complimented with a Arugula and Pomegranite (his new favorite food) salad. Here is the recipe, from a Soups, Starters and Salads cookbook, gifted by my Mom:

Thai Lentil and Coconut Soup

2 tbsp neutral oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
1 fresh chilli: ribbed, seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1" piece of lemongrass, outer layers removed and inside finely sliced
1 cup of red lentils, rinsed
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 can coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Add onions, garlic, chilli and lemongrass and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until onions are softened. Add the lentils, coriander and paprika

Stir in coconut milk and 3 3/4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes.

Stir in lime juice, scallions and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Blue Tuesday

Despite the fact that it has now been one entire month since I have gone out of the house for the type of work that deposits money into my bank account, I seem to be drowning in work at home. One project after another keeps stacking up and I can't seem to get through them.

I had a rough night of sleep last night (not much sleeping was actually done) that I attribute to the growing stress I feel for my lack of a job and income. I know I need to job hunt because my agency has not pulled any projects for me in a while, but I can't seem to get through my perpetual to-do lists in order to do so.

In addition, Francine is having a rough day too which makes me all the sadder. As if it is not enough that she has splitting chapped lips that occasionally bleed (yeah, you know how uncomfortable that is) and came back from my parent's house with some sort of mucousy eye infection this past weekend, this morning we woke up and found her hopping on three legs due to a badly torn pad on her back foot. I don't know what caused this mysterious injury that appeared over night, but it broke my little heart watching her hop to, around and home from the park on this morning's dog walk.

Poor Francine - she looks as down as I feel today . . . although she is cute as ever. According to this Times article that Brad sent me, I think she would be scientifically classified.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

On To The Next

New day, new year!

Happy 2006!!!

I am in the process of recovering from last week and last night. The chaos of traveling, families, and holidays culminated in our feeble attempt to host a New Year's Eve party last night when almost everyone we know in Brooklyn was out of town. Instead we ended up with a drunken apartment full of a few friends and mostly strangers rockin' in the new year and woke up with red-wine stained couch and a bit of a hungover fog. Don't get me wrong, it was fun, what I remember of it anyway . . . .

Last week while in Colorado Springs with Brad's family we were on a pretty heavy party schedule that involved many nights of alcohol and appetizers. The final night my mother-in-law co-hosted a women-and-their-daughters party for which I made a blue cheese and walnut ball that was so good I actually toted the second one back, frozen, on the plane and served it last night to yet another pleased audience. Some of Caryl's friends who were hoping to be mentioned in this blog, including Beth Byer, Marcia Hafemeister and Debbie Pierre, might be interested to know that the cheese ball was actually a Martha Stewart recipe that you can find here.


Anyway, today is January 1st of 2006, and that means it is time for some resoltuions. Here we go:

Heather's Wishful Resolutions for 2006

Become a morning person

Get a full-time design business up and running

Take dance classes or teach dance classes every week
Write a cookbook
Figure out what to do with the next few years of my life . . .

Heather's Realistic Resolutions for 2006
Wake up earlier
Hunt for more independent design clients
Start creating my own recipes
Make time for personal creative projects
Blog more
Shop less, or a least save more
See what else happens . . . .