So Long Blogger

Josh did a great job redesigning my site, but we were having so much trouble publishing to my new domain http://themaidenmetallurgist.com/, that I decided I'd finally had enough with blogger. Josh moved everything over to a new hosting service, and I'm no longer using Blogger or this address. So, update your bookmarks and come visit me at the new site. http://themaidenmetallurgist.com/


How We Found Our New Home

Maybe you've noticed that things look a little different around here? Josh has been offering to do a little site redesign for a while, but until recently I haven't felt like I could take advantage of his offer. I mean, this is what he does for a living; I wasn't quite ready to take advantage of his generosity, and I certainly can't afford him. The day after we found (and applied for) the perfect apartment, we woke up, and Josh turned to me and said, "now that we're getting serious, I want to talk to you about something... I'd like to get you your own domain." Aww shucks. So he's in the process of doing some kind of internet voodoo, and I'll keep you posted. The day we went apartment hunting (Saturday) was proving a bit of a challenge. I'd found my (almost) dream apartment, and I was comparing everything we looked at to the apartment that got away. Couple that with the Most Unpleasant Rental Agent on earth and Saturday morning wasn't exactly a cake walk. Fortunately Josh didn't like anything we looked at any more than I did. Lunchtime rolled around and we decided what we really needed was a beer (Josh) and a mimosa (me). We shook off the morning's defeat, cleared our minds and took a nice long walk down to meet our (third!) agent. As cliche as this might sound, as soon as we met this new gal we were both immediately calm and knew she'd find us a great place. I was smitten with the first place she showed us, but when Josh's mouth twisted sideways I could tell he was less so... The next place we saw was amazing. One of those luxury high rises, state of the art everything. Our only complaint was it was... too nice? Wait, that's not a real complaint is it? I am here to tell you it takes all kinds. It was an amazing apartment, but we wouldn't have been comfortable there, we wouldn't have been us. The third place she showed us had hardwood floors, a dishwasher, a gas stove, garage included, in unit washer/dryer and central air. Both our jaws dropped and we asked what was wrong with it? With some trepidation, she mentioned that it was a "unique" space. That was definitely true, but we were just the unique people for it. We walked in, exchanged one of those conspiratorial glances and knew it was the place for us.

Labels: ,


The Top Chef Tour

One of my favorite things is to park myself in front of my television, dinner made cocktail at the ready, watching Top Chef. I love it. My mom loves it too, it’s one thing we share and we sit, phones at our sides to call during commercial breaks to dish and theorize and recap, but mostly to lament that we don't get to taste all that wonderful food. The folks over at BTC asked for volunteers in several US cities to go to the Top Chef tour when it rolled through town and I jumped at the chance to spend a half a Saturday getting some more Top Chef in my life. Saturday was a scorcher in Denver. The thermometer reached 99 degrees and I was plenty grateful to be in shorts and ball cap and not in long pants and a chef coat like Antonia and Ryan. They were both extremely nice and friendly and spent the fifteen minutes leading up to the demonstration signing autographs, posing for photos and talking to fans. You could tell they were both really enjoying their particular slice of fame. Having spent ten years working in the restaurant industry I can understand that. Rarely is this a glamorous business. Usually it is hot, sweaty work for long grueling hours. Antonia had prepared duck lettuce wraps for an earlier demo, and quipped about the difficulty of finding the ingredients she wanted, likening it to a quick fire challenge. Though it might be an inconvenience to pick up in the middle of their lives head out to Denver for the weekend, you'd never know it. Both chefs were extremely gracious and friendly. There were three shows scheduled for Saturday, I was fortunate to attend the third demo, hosted by Chef Ryan Scott. Throughout the demo he gave tips, sharing every trick he could think of to make us better cooks. For instance, make sure proteins are at room temperature before cooking. He was also sure to mention that when cooking meat in a hot pan, be sure to lay it in away from you as scars are stupid, not a badge of honor. To test doneness push the meat from the sides instead of the top, and slice against the grain Another tip, in response to a question from a lactose intolerant member of the audience, for a great corn chowder; after cutting the kernels off the cobs milk the cobs with the back of a knife, use the "milk" from the corn instead of cream. For great mashed potatoes add the potatoes to cold water, bring up to boil and then add salt. Instead of adding milk (cold milk can make potatoes gummy) add some of the reserved potato water and butter when mashing. Ryan, grinning ear to ear and talking a mile a minute made crostini topped with pickled cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and flank steak. Ryan's Crostini: 1 c. vinegar (any kind you like) Boil w/ 1 c. sugar and set aside Bring 1 c. oil up to temperature and throw in some slivered garlic and ginger (not paper thin!) Bring the oil off the heat and add the vinegar mixture Chiffonade some basil, add to the tomatoes, and pour the hot mixture over the top Crostini is toasted baguette with olive oil, salt and pepper Whip one pound of goat cheese with one cup of cream, some parmesan cheese and salt Spread on toasts, top with a thin slice of steak and some pickled tomatoes It was a great Saturday, and it was amazing to taste the food, I can't wait to try out this recipe at my next party.

Labels: , ,


Photo Essay Tuesday (The Byron Show Edition)

Josh's best pal Byron is a wonderful guy, and a lot of fun. I think this week's pictures speak for themselves.

Labels: ,


The Ultimate In Lazy Dating

Friday morning things were moving right along according to plan. Josh went to the apartment rental service with me to keep me company and to offer his expert opinion on apartments. The agent that helped me out was a really enthusiastic and friendly guy, who took one look at my apartment wish list, laughed, and asked what I could live without. I was prepared to compromise, having been told that a Chicago apartment with all of the following (in my price range) was an urban legend:
Dogs allowed Parking Patio South facing windows Hardwood Floors In unit (or at least in building) laundry Close to train Gas Stove Dishwasher
The nice young rental agent spent about 40 minutes pouring though the listings and found five places to show me. We started with the one, he said, that he thought would be (almost!) perfect. It was. As soon as we walked in I was struck by how much it reminded me of the apartment where Jill and I used to live in Wash Park. Charming, vintage, and full of sunlight. The rental agent could tell I was sold and the corners of his mouth turned up into a self-satisfied grin. We went to see the next apartment because, well, it didn't seem prudent to settle for the first place I looked at. After the second apartment however, I was ready to forgo the remainder of the showings and sign on the dotted line. First months rent paid, lease signed I happily strolled out of the office ready to go explore my new neighborhood. A few hours later I got a call that the apartment had already been rented, and the listing just hadn't been updated. I'm a little embarrassed to tell you how hard I took this news. I was a bit heartbroken, I mean, I'd already decided where to put my furniture! Defeated and slightly deflated Josh and I headed downtown to see a movie. Eschewing the bus we decided to walk the long walk back to his place, keeping an eye open for "For Rent" signs. I was pouting about the apartment and hadn't noticed that Josh had been uncharacteristically quiet most of the day. As we waited on a corner for a light to change he started hemming and hawing the way he does when he is about to say something he considers of particular gravitas. Usually I'm pretty intuitive, and when he does this I know exactly what he's about to say. (The day he told me he was in love with me I knew exactly what was coming but it was too much fun watching him torture himself to find the right words to even think about helping him out.) This time, however I was so stuck in my own mind I didn't really see this coming. We'd briefly discussed moving in together before, but dismissed the idea as rash and foolhardy. Something over the course of the day must have changed his mind about that because that is exactly what he suggested while waiting for the light. Seven blocks later I was sold too.

Labels: ,


Greetings From Chicago

I've been in Chicago for a few days already, and so far I've been slacking on the photo snapping. Due largely to the fact that thus far I've been taking care of business. On Thursday I had work stuff to do all day and yesterday was devoted to finding an apartment. The story of how I found the perfect apartment and how it slipped right through my fingers is post unto itself. Any plans we may have had today (we didn't have any) are officially put on hold as the apartment search continues. It hasn't been all work and no play. On Thursday night we went to see Byron's show and I was amazed. It was really fantastic and very engaging.

Labels: ,


Photo Essay Tuesday (Rockies! Rockies! Rockies! Edition)

Staying the course (squeezing out as much Colorado as possible in the next month) Part of my crazy weekend included quite a few Rockies games. With Katie! And Kassie! And Daver oh my! Speaking of Daver, my friends have a long standing joke about Katie and her little brothers. Once upon a time, many moons age I may or may not have made out with both Kate and her (older) younger brother. At the time Daver was probably 13 or 14 and the joke became if I could only make out with Daver one day, I could pick up the hat trick. Sadly, five years later Daver is 19 years old and the joke hasn't died. Daver got this matching "tattoo" to show me his love. I still wouldn't make out with him. Next, my mom and I spent all of Saturday together before meeting my Dad for another Rockies game. Cute family picture! Mmm, foot long! "Liberty" dots. Oh, America.

Labels: , , , ,