Things I have been successful at this week.

Today, all of my technology died at most inconvenient times, my dinner was made mostly of M&Ms, and we finally reached the long-awaited Thursday that I have been inhabiting mentally since Tuesday.  It has been one of those weeks, you know?

I made rice krispie treats for the first time ever in my whole life this week and I hope y’all are ready to never hear the end of it because now I feel like this is a craft that I NEED to master.  Also, why did no one ever clue me into the fact that rice krispies are a stick of butter, a bag of marshmallows and six cups of rice krispies the end?

In The Great House Purge of 2014, my mother unearthed an XL Wayzata Football sweatshirt.  I put it on and immediately questioned all of my other fashion choices since high school.  Seriously, why aren’t we all wearing XL sweatshirts all the time?  Besides the part where I feel like I am walking around with an entire blanket and not a sweatshirt, it is amazing.

I used my Caribou Coffee BOGO and ordered the hot cocoa that I have been craving for a month.  And now I think I might need to drink hot cocoa every single day for the rest of winter.  That would not be terrible, right?  My next project after I post this is to Google what the best hot cocoa is.  I am a Swiss Miss drinking lifer, but it would not take a lot to get me to switch.

Oh, and I watched the Pitch Perfect 2 trailer.  And it was aca-mazing.  May 15 come swiftly.

So there is all of that.

What were you successful at this week?


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Reverb 14 | November | Let’s Talk Turkey

#reverb14 is the opportunity for us to reflect and project throughout 2014.   Each month, Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting on a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.

Let’s talk turkey: Do you even like Thanksgiving food? If you could make the menu, what would you have? What was the most memorable Thanksgiving? What was served? 

I love Thanksgiving.  I think it took me until college to realize it, but it is the best holiday with the best food.  While it commemorates a meal cooked long ago, it survives today for us to gather with loved ones and ensure that each family member consumes one stick of butter disguised as “gravy” and “side dishes” and “dessert.”  Period.  There are no gifts.  There are no ceremonies.  There’s just us, with our people and our favorite food.

Fact or Truth: I have loved mashed potatoes my whole life and this is a the holiday that celebrates them.

Fact or Truth: I believe that Hand Turkeys are the one, true, original American art form and my love of them has been documented.

Fact or Truth: Each year, my aunt delegates the blessing over the meal to me.  There have been years with very serious prayers for family members in the operating room and friends fighting cancer.  But probably 75% of the time, I rely upon Ben Stiller’s prayer from Meet the Parents: Day by day, by day by day by day, O dear Lord, three things we pray. To love Thee more dearly. To see Thee more clearly. To follow Thee more nearly… day by day… by day. Amen.

Fact or Truth: I take it very personally that the New York Times wrote a story about 50 states worth of Thanksgiving side dishes (which I refuse to link to) that ascribed to Minnesota via an unnamed source something called Grape Salad.  I still don’t really get what it is, I am 100% positive that I have never eaten it and I am also 100% positive that in my sojourns across the state, I have never seen it on a menu.  From Austin Minnesota to Tofte, from Woodbury to Moorhead, We Don’t Eat That.

Fact or Truth: There was the Thanksgiving that wasn’t because I was packed off to a day full of rehearsals for the Nutcracker.  At the time, I thought it was more exciting to go to another entire day of ballet, but in hindsight it seems like it was more of a plot fashioned by the artistic director of the ballet school to keep us from eating.

Fact or Truth: Each year I throw a Friendsgiving so that I can celebrate twice.  Take that, ballet school director.

Fact or Truth: My love for this holiday is deep enough that I could go on for ages.



If the uniform fits.

My cheerleading uniform still fits.The Varsity 3 The Varsity 2

And I’m sure you’re wondering, Just exactly how did you figure that out, Kat?

My parents are in the process of purging their house in preparation for a move next spring/summer.  Which means that every week my mother appears with a new bag/box of things that we now must possess, which is only sort of tasking because we live in a two bedroom townhouse that we outgrew the moment Marcus moved in five years ago.  So, lots of space for stuff and things, you know?

Last week’s adventures brought my mother to the discovery of a sweaterbox full of sentimental clothing items.  Think: My infant snowsuit (I was a lamb), my first communion dress, Christmas dresses that my grandmother sewed by hand, the odd romper, and my high school cheerleading uniform.

It was sort of a reunion because I made some of my best high school memories in that uniform, but because I am a glutton for punishment, I absolutely had to try it on and face the heartbreak.

Except for the part where it fit.

Which was sort of unsettling, really.  Because I honestly thought I would be thinner now than I was then.  Yes, seriously.  I’m sure at this point some of you are rolling your eyes thinking, Kat, you’ve lost us.  At that point, I had lost me too.  11 years later, why did I feel that way?  Why was that (of all things) my first reaction?

And so I had to think about that feeling and why, exactly, I felt it.  What I realized is that while I am exactly the same size that I was at 16, I feel so much lighter.

When I was 16, everything was wrong.  My hair wasn’t blonde enough, I wasn’t tall enough, I wasn’t thin enough, I was too loud, I didn’t watch the right cool movies, I didn’t know enough about music to know that the band OAR is pronounced by its initials and not like the word.

In short, I was a teenager and even though I had a very happy home life, friends, and things to do (band!  cheerleading! newspaper! track!), everything was wrong because it sort of has to be at 16 years old.  I doubt I feel the amount of angst in a year that I felt in a day at age 16.

It’s no small wonder I feel so much lighter now.  When I look in the mirror, I truly love the person that I see 100% of the time.  I know that 16-year-old me was not capable of extending that level of kindness to herself.  She was ready to tear herself down before anyone else could even have the chance.  It’s exhausting just to think about, you know?  How thankful I am to have come so far.

Of course I am lighter now.

What I’ve Been Reading

So I think I went through one of those phases where I wasn’t in the mood to read.  I don’t know why it seemed like too much, but the idea of opening an actual book (or my kindle, for that matter) just seemed like a lot of work.

Worn Stories by Emily Spivack

Worn Stories

Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter by Melissa Francis

Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter

Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

Pope Joan

Euphoria by Lily King


What have you been reading lately?

Minneapolis, in a weekend.

A few months ago, Beka mentioned that she might want to come visit Mads and I in Minneapolis and we said Absolutely Yes.

Weekend Snaps 007

Also, thank you Mads for letting me use this snap!

Our city is beautiful.  Admittedly it is easier to show off without snow because our outdoor life is second to none.  It’s hard to argue with the Land of 10,000 Lakes or the fact that we have more coastline than the state of California.  But we made do with the wintery  hand we were dealt.  While I think that our restaurant/activity choices were absolutely ideal for the amount of time we had (and the amount of time we wanted to spend driving!), I know that we could have planned our time together a thousand different ways.  I think that is the hardest part about showing off a city that you love: there is never enough time.


I picked Beka up from MSP and we started making our way toward dinner at the Blue Door Pub.  Because we had some time to kill before we needed to meet up with Mads and Priscilla, I drove her down Shepard Road (and along the Mississippi River), through downtown Saint Paul so we could view the Capital building and St. Paul Cathedral, up past the beautiful homes along Summit Avenue and then again down Grand Avenue.  St. Paul: Our Splendid Capital City.

We chose the Blue Door Pub for several reasons.  As Minnesota is the birthplace of the Jucy Lucy we felt very strongly that Beka needed to sample one.  While it would have been more authentic to visit Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club, both of which both lay claim to the creation of The First Jucy Lucy, we were also seeking a venue that would allow Beka to sample cheese curds.  Non-Minnesotan/Wisconsinite/Texans live largely ignorant of this fact but true cheese curds as we know them (not those nonsense mozzarella stick bits that pass for “cheese curds” in the rest of the country) do not exist outside of these states.  So it was very important to us that Beka try these.  We feasted on jucy lucys, cheese curds, totchos and it was good.


Weekend Snaps 001

To start our day, Mads brought an assortment of donuts from YoYo Donuts in Minnetonka.  They were absolutely delightful.  I know there are many arguments to be made for other bakeries in the area (I’m 100% sure I have tried all of them), but this was what was closest to us, end of story.

For lunch/brunch, we visited World Street Kitchen.  I have been very vocal about my love of their caramelized lamb belly since our very first visit.  It is absolutely delightful, there is no other food on earth like it, and once we were done feasting Mads and Beka understood why as well.  I had my first experience with the WSK brunch menu (Southside with Eggs for the win) and my heart was filled with joy.

After lunch, we drove over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to look at their large Asian collection (it covers over half of the second floor) and…everything else.  Weekend Snaps 003

The permanent exhibits are free and they are just top-notch.   If you live here and you have not been you must go.  I’ve already made notes in my calendar about two exhibitions I want to visit in 2015 (the DaVinci Codex and another about Ferran Adria).

We played around with a few (translation: 10) ideas for dinner.  The sad reality?  We could only eat dinner once.  What we finally ended up settling on was a trip to Pig Ate My Pizza in Robbinsdale.  We ordered a few tasting menus ($50 per couple for three small plates, a pizza of your choice and dessert) and got to work.Weekend Snaps 004

Weekend Snaps 005

After dinner, we headed over to The Rookery for another drink.  Since they work with molecular gastronomy and run an open kitchen, it was a pretty great show to watch.


We planned for this day to be a lazy one since we spent Friday and Saturday out and about.  However, we did have one action item on the agenda.  While mildly authentic, the cheese curds at the Blue Door Pub had Italian Seasoning in the batter and we felt betrayed because Cheese Curds Are Not Mozzarella Stick Bites.  So we ran over to The Sunshine Factory in Plymouth.  This is not  fancy sports bar, but their cheese curds are an excellent rival to those served up at The Mouse Trap during State Fair season.  If you are a cheese curd fan, you must get here immediately.  During happy hour, it’s $6 for a dinner plate full.  These people mean business.

Minnesotans, how would you fill a weekend for out-of-town visitors?

Friday Food Round-Up!

This is one of those weeks where I remembered why I truly love to cook.  It is so satisfying to come home after work and know that if I add A to B, it will produce C, which is a real and tangible result  A real, tangible, delicious result.

Sunday – BBQ Chicken Pizza using Pizza Crust


On Saturday night, I had some girlfriends over for dinner and it was just lovely.  One of them left me half of a rotisserie chicken and I knew immediately that I would have to do something with it.  BBQ Chicken Pizza was the first and most natural choice.

Monday – Great Grandma Turano’s Meatballs from Dinner: A Love Story with Papardelle


These meatballs are just the best.  I always imagine them taking forever to assemble but this week they came together in a snap.  They were the best cozy dinner for a snow (and rush hour traffic)-filled day.

Wednesday – Thai Corn Chowder from Great, Easy Meals


I have been eyeing up this recipe for nearly two years now.

Marcus: Is this a vegan soup?

Answer: No.  There is butter.  But to build a richer flavor, I think next time I would chuck in a chicken bouillon cube or two.  It’s chock full of healthy fats (hello, full fat coconut milk), but it just needs a little touch in the flavor depth-department.

Thursday – Chili Cheese Oven Fries


Laziest dinner of earth.  It was either this or going out for dinner.  I’m proud of us for staying strong and staying in.  Side note, the chili is Trader Joe’s Turkey Chili.

Things I have been successful at this week.

This morning, I was trying to think of the list of things that I have been successful at this week, since this has been the longest/fastest week ever.  Please tell me that you have those sometimes too.

I came up with the fact that I have worn most of the black clothing in my closet (go figure) and that I have become a consistent (rather than recreational) concealer user.  For some reason, that revelation seems horrific/permanent for reasons that I cannot entirely understand.  Actually, they probably have to do with the sinking realization that I am going to be tied to this flesh-toned warpaint for the rest of my life.  Oh, and I ate soup two nights in a row.  That was pretty spectacular and cozy-feeling.

So there is all of that.