Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WANT: An apartment; DO NOT WANT: Homelessness

Apartment hunting in NYC is the worst. I've been straight West Coast (insert flashing gang signs here) for my entire life, so I've never had to deal with the insanity of apartments coming up for rent a mere 3-4 weeks before a move date, nor the absolute RIP OFF of brokers. I'm too anal retentive to leave my housing fate in someone else's hands, much less allow them to charge me a full month's rent (which, in NYC, is substantial).

I was checking out apartments on Craigslist trying to avoid paying a broker and found a gem. Mr. VF cautioned me not to get too in love with apartments since we were waiting to hear from NYU about student housing. Long story short on NYU: I got screwed and didn't get family housing. Apparently you're an idiot if you're married or otherwise coupled and then try to go to NYU because you're the only schmucks not guaranteed housing (singles, on the other hand, are living the dream). Also, no advantage for marrieds or domestic partners. You can be a regular ol' bf/gf (or whatever combo you desire) and get family housing. It's a clusterfuck. I digress.

So I found a great apartment (via pictures on CL) and one of my school friends living in the city was gracious enough to go by and look at it, confirming that it is indeed as awesome as advertised. We find out on Monday if we got the place, so cross your fingers, friends!

But gets better! It's closer to campus by a couple of blocks, will cost the same as family housing (once we pay for all the utilities), and is coming furnished which is what we wanted. Dear 8 lb, 6 oz newborn infant Jesus, please let us get this apartment!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Apocalypse is Upon Us

Yesterday I worked up the nerve to visit the Whole Foods near The Grove. At 5PM. On a Friday. My bravery is boundless. Incidentally, for those familiar with the area, the CVS next door is apparently one of the LA area's biggest sellers of Valtrex. Just a little tidbit shared by a pharmacist one day that skeeved me out.

Anyway, I digress. I meandered through Whole Foods while Mr. VF was on the lookout for good wine for me (aren't I the lucky one!). He finds me and says "I just saw the most disturbing thing ever. Come with me." Given that I'd just found out about the Valtrex, a million things came to mind. What I found was worse. Way worse.

O RLY?! As if the clothes weren't bad enough, now we have wine for the poseurs too?! JFC, I thought I was going to die in the middle of the store. I think I hear the galloping hoofbeats of the Four Horsemen.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Funemployment Cooking

Thanks to Claire's link from Facebook today, I have come to know and love a new term - funemployment. This is my life now to a tee ever since the layoff. I actually love my life least, until I go to law school and realize how oppressive life as a law student/lawyer is (don't get me wrong, I'm excited about school, but I think I have a healthy dose of cynicism/realism about what the profession is and is not).

As part of my funemployment, I'm starting to cook again...and when I say cook, I mean real effort-taking meals, not the college student method of cooking where you make a pot of spaghetti. I was craving Italian food, so I decided to make chicken parmesan. I've never had it before, but I like chicken and I loves me some cheese, so I went for it. The Mr. adored his and begged me to make it again last night. I refused because I don't like eating the same thing like, nightly. BUT he did say that I made him a believer in chicken parm because the chicken stayed pretty moist (even upon microwave reheating).

Stats on the project:
1- number of pans I used to pound the chicken breasts.
1- number of pans that I destroyed while pounding the chicken breasts
2- number of nights that this fed both the Mr and me.
4- paper plates I used while making this to reduce my clean-up
3- number of times I spilled the egg mixture onto the floor while dipping the gigantor chicken breasts.
assload - amount of cheese I put on each breast
1- number of times I giggled like a schoolgirl while writing the above

Here is a pic I took with my phone of my creation:

The Sauce:
1 28 Ounce Can Imported Diced Italian Tomatoes
4 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Decrease To 1 Tablespoon If Wanting To Make A Lower Fat Version)
Salt & Pepper To Taste
3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Basil [Ed note: I skipped this part]
Dash Of Red Pepper Flakes

The meat:
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Flour
Salt & Pepper
1 Egg [Ed note: since I only keep Egg Beaters in the house, that's what I used. It was fine]
2 Tablespoons Milk
2 Cups Italian Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 Thin Slices Mozzarella Cheese
3/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, and add the garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, but before it takes on color, add the tomatoes. Turn the heat to high, and as soon as the sauce begins to bubble, turn back down to medium low. Season with salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes and add the basil. Cook for another minute or two and remove from the heat.

Season the flour with salt and pepper, and place in a plastic bag. Pound the chicken breasts until they are 1/2 inch thick. Place each breast into the bag with the flour, and shake until it is well coated. Beat the egg with the milk in a bowl. In a second bowl place the bread crumbs. Dip each chicken breast first into the egg mixture, and then into the crumbs.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a frying pan, heat the butter with the olive oil. Once the butter mixture is sizzling, fry the breasts until golden on each side. Place the chicken breasts side by side in a baking dish. Spoon some of the prepared sauce over the cutlets, and then lay a slice of mzzarella cheese on each. Finally, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Note: if you have a working broiler (I don't), bake the chicken for 15 minutes, then do 5 minutes under the broiler for more bubbly cheese.