Thursday, January 27, 2011

Airplane Food Lovin' Foodie

I don't know what it is about airplane food, but i just absolutely love it! I DO! As soon as I hear the jingle jangle of that food cart, excitement begins to build...So many possibilities! I love the stale roll with hard butter, the endless bags of snacky treats, crisp iceberg lettuce with creamy dressing I would never choose, and the peeling off of the film covers to reveal the main attraction: creamy saucy cheesy tortellini something...and dessert too!? This is too good! When do you ever get to have such a random assortment of guilty pleasure items in such a perfect portion size all at the same time? Heaven!

In any other situation, if someone tried to serve me food like this I would: 1. write a horrific review on yelp 2. send the food back to the kitchen and refuse to pay 3. cry

But 30,000 ft in the air and I can't get enough!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pavlova, Mate!

To celebrate Australia Day, I'd like to give you the gift of my Mom's Pavlova recipe! It's a heavenly Australian dessert with meringue covered in fresh whipped cream and fruit. Try it, and your life will never be the same again! Easy to make, and DELICIOUS!! 


For Meringue:
-6 egg whites
-1.75 cups sugar
-2 tablespoons white vinegar
-1-2 teaspoon(s) (depending on how much you like vanilla) vanilla extract
-pinch of salt

For Topping:
-about 12ozs heavy whipping cream
-sugar (to taste)
-fruit (kiwi, strawberry, passionfruit (very important for best
pavlova outcome!), banana)

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Make sure all the utensils and bowls are completely dry. Bring eggs
to room temperature (leave out for an hour).
-You will use JUST the egg whites for this
recipe. Very carefully
separate the egg yolks and whites (break each egg in a separate bowl
to make sure no yolk gets in).
-Beat egg whites with mixer until they hold stiff peaks. Don't over beat them.
-Gradually add sugar, vinegar, vanilla, and pinch of salt.
-When mixture is somewhat firm, place on a cookie sheet with foil.
Mixture should be firm enough to stay in place. Create a pie-like
shape with the outside higher than the middle.
-Put in close to top of oven for 5 minutes or until lightly golden.
-Then, turn oven down to 250 degrees-leave in for 55 minutes.
-Turn off oven. Leave
pavlova in until it's cool (for a few

To make whipped cream, beat heavy whipping cream and sugar (to taste)
until they reach a fluffy consistency. Don't over beat or you will accidentally churn butter like my friend Lilly did once! Pour whipped cream on top of meringue and add fruit.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Paris, je t'aime! Your toilet paper is trés chic and croissants are delicious!

Just got back from Paris today, and I think I am in love! What an absolutely beautiful and charming city. I ate 9 croissants in just two days (I wish I were exaggerating). So flaky and buttery and scrumptious! I couldn't say no. I said oui oui (and unfortunately eight more times after that)!

While shopping at Printemps Department Store, I stumbled upon the most fabulous toilet paper I have ever seen! 

Available in all different colors and patterns. They actually offer a whole line of fashion forward toilet related products. As if going to the bathroom weren't already awesome, now it can be even more fun and stylish!!

Check out this marriage toilet paper.  Use it on the most special day of your life!

This brings the expression "Kiss my A**" to a whole new level!

For the rebel

This is Amazing!

I don't ever want to go back to white toilet paper again. Trés boring!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fifth Grade Journal Friday-Sam on War, Peace and Tea

Sam's thoughts on the Gulf War, February 27, 1991:


Wow! I used to be so passionate about current events and politics. What happened? 

My favorite part is "My mom says 'It's not over yet!'" So dramatic, fifth grade Sam! I guess THAT part of me hasn't changed much!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Ok, it's official. I am a magnet for the bizarre! It was a typical Monday night at a karaoke bar in the West Village, when something unusual happened (or maybe it's not so unusual since something similar happened to me a few weeks ago!)

My friend Gavin and I were singing our hearts out to Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lover" and Spandau Ballet's "True", when I noticed out of the corner of my eye some guy was taking my pic. At first, I assumed he thought I was Gisele, but eventually he came up and told me I look exactly like his friend Stacey who lives in L.A. Of course he got Stacey on the phone and we had a nice little heart to heart, coast to coast...and that was that!

Until the same guy (his name was Bryan) came up to me while Gavin was in the bathroom (smooth, Bryan!) and gave me a napkin with a mysterious message written on it: 

Translation: Your twin Stacey is coming From L.A. Sunday. She wants to meet you-Call me. -Bryan

Did Bryan really want me to meet Stacey? Or was was this his sneaky way of slipping me his number? Is this how the boys are picking up chicks in 2011? Come on, at least ask me my sign! That is a hot topic nowadays.

In any case, I'll be in Paris Sunday (I LOVE the sound of that!) so I won't be able to meet Stacey, but she sounds absolutely gorgeous! I'll be sad to miss her. Although I'm sure I'll be too busy stuffing my face with crepes and trying on berets to care!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It was a good date, on paper

Richard knew I love cookies, so he planned a COOKIE PICNIC for our first date! What is a cookie picnic, you ask? It's where you sit on a bench in Washington Square Park, and eat milk and cookies. I had a feeling this was going to be good...

Well this particular day was the hottest and most humid day of the year so far. We were dripping with sweat! After a bit of talking, i had noticed his right eyebrow had some hairs brushed out of place...Kind of made him look like he was raising his eyebrow, intrigued by everything i was saying (which would be completely understandable). I debated whether or not to say anything...

But finally i was like "Ok, i just have to fix your eyebrow" and I put my hand up to try to fix it..and that's when he said "Actually, that's just the way my eyebrow is...Don't worry, people try to fix it all the time..Even my hairdresser tried to shave that part off..But my grandmother has the same eyebrow so i kind of like it".
                         adapted from a photo by Lee J Haywood
I never heard from Richard again after that date, but I did learn a really cool dishwasher trick from him (You know it's a hot date when you're trading kitchen tips!). Here's how it works: When you put your cutlery away in the dishwasher, put all the spoons in one section, all forks in another, and knives in the third. This way they're already sorted when it's time to empty the dishwasher. So simple but it's completely changed my life. Thanks, Richard!!

And the search for a perfect mate continues...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Love Letter to Spasso

Oh Spasso! Where have you been all my life? Last night's meal was absolutely delightful!

The Stracciatella: Torn bits of mozzarella swimming in a sea of perfectly salted creamy heaven, in perfect contrast with the crispy toasted bread....The Pork Ragu: Scrumptious! Homemade pasta in a delicious tomatoey pork sauce and a dollop of goat cheese. For dessert: A lightly salted Chocolate Caramel Tart with cornflake crust. I'm in love!

Oh, and the ambiance: Perfect! Candlelit and bustling but not too crazy. Boys, take note: Perfect date place to really woo the ladies!

Our waiter was this adorable Southern boy who may or may not have given my friend Sarah a glass of wine on the house (I don't want to get him into trouble in case his boss reads this, which I'm sure is likely!) because she was having a rough day....going above and beyond to ensure we had a fabulous night!

Sam+Spasso=True Luv 4-Eva and Eva!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fifth Grade Journal Friday-Sex Ed

Yikes, this entry takes me right back to the horror of that day... It is slightly embarrassing for me to post (mainly because of the spelling) but I just had to share! Love the warning at the top of the page. I'm curious what method I used to determine the appropriate viewing age for these "harsh' words! And what exactly does "and SO on" mean???

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Are you a member of the club?

Did you know that they still sell THE CLUB in these here modern times? I was recently laughing to myself about what a silly contraption it was...Quite the intimidating theft deterrent! I'm sure car thieves were shaking in their boots..Why not just tape a giant zucchini to the steering wheel? Or a shoe? Equally as terrifying!

Turns out, there are still people out there that have a need for it! Can you believe it? Hasn't our automotive technology progressed further than this? Who are these people that still use it? Is it you? Is it your dentist? They look just like regular folk mixed in with all of us, but they're out there! And they can't be trusted (I kid!)....

And gotta love the car photo in that ad. Classic!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bruiser, Foodie Bulldog

Meet Bruiser. He must be the best fed dog in Gramercy. I first saw him dining at Bar Stuzzichini, sitting ON A CHAIR at the table with his owner. Seemingly angry at the world, he stared off into the distance in disgust. What on EARTH did he have to be so upset about? A few days later, my friend saw him inside a window seat at Craft Bar. This dog was living the life! I didn't think it was possible for me to love bulldogs any more than I already did, but this was my dream dog!

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Date with "Miguel"

Way too often, I feel like I am on an episode of Candid Camera or in some movie with zany antics (that I would probably switch off)... I swear, the craziest things happen to me!

A few nights ago I went out with this guy Michael. We were sitting at the bar talking, when I noticed the crazy guy next to us staring at my date. I tried to ignore it, but eventually, Crazy Guy started mumbling something to Michael..."Miguel? Miguel?" Finally Crazy Guy said louder, "Sorry to interrupt, but you look exactly like my cousin Miguel." He proceeded to tell us Miguel's entire life story* and show us a pic (in which a woman was kissing Miguel's cheek. I pretended to be outraged!). HOLY MOLY! Miguel seriously did look exactly like my date...Not to mention they had the same name! We all had a good laugh, reenacted the infamous pic for Crazy Guy to photograph, and Crazy Guy bought us a round of drinks....Good times were had by all (especially Crazy Guy)!

*In addition, crazy guy hijacked our date for about 45 minutes to tell us his whole life story: He is 40 years old but looks so much younger! Divorced with 4 kids, manages 3 buildings on UES...For a year, he's been dating a 50 year old woman who has a great bod and is amazing in the sack (i've never seen or heard so many hand gestures or sounds to represent this). They met through Crazy Guy's ex girlfriend who he dated 14 years ago. He makes his own Moonshine and sells it to the Jews (?). When Crazy Guy was in elementary school, he dated an identical twin, and the only way he could tell her apart from her sister was a mole she had on her back. One time he kissed the wrong twin by mistake! It went on and on..Oh Crazy Guy, you so crazy! And you sure know how to set the mood for a romantic date!

adapted from an image on Karen's Whimsy

Sunday, January 9, 2011

We need to talk, Ryan Gosling

Dear Ryan Gosling,
I don't know how to tell you this, Ryan Gosling, but this isn't working out. It's not you, it's me. I've met someone else. His name is Garrett Hedlund, and it was love at first sight! He's got a twinkle in his eyes that could light up the inside of a million refrigerators with the doors completely shut...That smile, that voice (that was REALLY him singing in "Country Strong"! HOT!)....Yes, PLEASE! I DO, Garrett! I WILL!

But you probably don't want to hear all that, Ryan Gosling. It IS actually over, Ryan Gosling. It is. Time to move on! I will never forget the time we spent together. Stay strong!


Samantha Hedlund

Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Heart Ramen...and Dates!

photo made possible by Char Ong's Camera
When it comes to good food, I am like the U.S. Postal Service: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" will keep me away! So yesterday I trekked through the snow to eat a solo lunch at Ippudo, and it was worth every sludgy splash to get there. So goooooood! And I got this awesome t-shirt that says "I Heart Ramen". What day off from work could be better?
As I slurped my Ramen, I reminisced about the first time I ever went to Ippudo. It was a second date with this guy Matt I was seeing. We ordered this delicious appetizer that came with 5 pieces of shrimp. When it came time to decide who would get the last shrimp, we went back and forth a few times offering it to each other (cute, right? I definitely thought we were soul mates!) and then finally he said, "I couldn't possibly take it. I actually had a lot of Mentos before dinner". HAHAHA!! I wasn't sure at the time if he was kidding or serious (it turned out he was actually serious) but I thought it was hilarious. He also admitted to me that he once got a knee injury (I think it was a torn meniscus?) from tossing and turning in his bed. That gave me a good laugh too. This guy definitely got a third date!

Moral of the story is: Ippudo is awesome! Go on dates! Go alone! Perfect way to spend a snowy afternoon. (R)Amen to that!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fifth Grade Journal Friday..A note to myself

Dear Sam,
I can't believe you actually wrote a note to yourself when you were 11! You weirdo! It was so nice of you to wish yourself a good time at your own party though. Very thoughtful! Too bad your grammar wasn't as good as your etiquette. I hope it wasn't too many years later that you learned the difference between "your" and "you're"! And when did you actually learn how to spell "actully"? Aw, 30 year old Sam...You've come so far!
Bye now!

I am relieved to say this is the one and only time in my life I have ever written a note to myself (well, except for this blog entry today!). 

P.S. The "I Heart Garfield" refers to Garfield the Cat. I know, I was a WEIRDO! But at least no one could never accuse me of not being a passionate child.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To Tip or Not to Tip?

cartoon by Fritz

So, here's the scenario: I go to a fancy sandwich shop like No. 7 Sub. Walk up to the counter, and place my order (usually the Eggplant Parm, which surprisingly does not contain any eggplant. Instead it is filled with Fontina, Yellow Squash, Pickled Jalapeños, and BBQ Potato Chips...INSIDE the sandwich! I know, I know, it sounds delicious...Well it is! Ok, FOCUS, Sam. This entry is NOT about eating!). So the cashier guy pushes some buttons on the register, magically places my order, and gives me change or a credit card slip to sign. Voilá, his job is done!

The tip jar taunts me: "Come on!! You're not going to give me ANYTHING??? What, are you too cheap? You have something BETTER to do with that money?"

Me: "But why should I tip? He just pushed some buttons on a cash register Just because this place is super trendy and has an adorable logo, now I have to tip the cashier?"

Tippy: "How dare you write $0 on that credit card slip! You are soooo not going to heaven now. Can you say BAD KARMA??"

Me: "'s not like I'm at a restaurant where I'm getting actual table service. I am MORE than happy to tip 20% or more for that. BUT THIS??? And what tip is even expected? Should I drop in my change? Will $1 offend him? Who does the money even go to?

It is a never ending debate: To tip or not to tip...But in my opinion, the answer is not so subtly hidden within the name of this delicious sandwich shop: No!!!!!

Am I right? I have no way to know. But I do know, the one time I went there with my sis and coworker, they each tipped $1 and were both surprised to find black and white cookies tucked into their bags. I tipped $0, and when I went to look for my cookie, sadly NUTTIN'! Cookie blackmail, it's the worst kind, really. The cookie wasn't even that good anyway. So THERE!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My plan for when I win the megamillions

adapted from a photo by Pocheco
Wow, $355 MILLION dollars! I sure could do a lot with that money! I don't want to be overconfident, but I have this strange feeling I'm going to win. Here's what I plan on doing with all that money (totally open to suggestions though!):
-Buy the Momofuku empire and change name to "Samofuku", where they will serve ONLY pork buns!! And there will be NO WAIT, ever!
-Buy the entire continent of Australia and rename it "Samlandia". Of course I will spend the NY winters in my mansion on the beach in warm, sunny Samlandia.
-Change the name of Tim Tams to "Tim Sams", and print my face on the cookies.
-Buy a bulldog....but I'm not going to name him Sam, that would be too confusing!

I know what you're thinking...What a good Samaritan you are, Sam! As you can see, it is all about what I can do for others. I want to use my money for the betterment of the world we live in. You're welcome everyone!!

You spelled my last name HOW?

When I was 17, a photo of me selling my artwork at a church craft fair was in the local newspaper. Why on earth I thought people at a church craft fair would want to buy my psychedelic, bizarre artwork is beyond me! I definitely did not make any sales that day. But back to my story...

So I showed up for work at IHOP* a few weeks later, and my coworkers were like "SAM! you were in the newspaper! We hung up the clipping on the back bulletin board. Go check it out!".  I had no idea I was in the paper, so I ran to the back to check out my big moment in the spotlight. To my horror, I noticed the most egregious misspelling of my last name I had ever seen: "Ratman". Yes, you read that right: RATMAN!!! Of all the ways to mess up it up!

Questions flooded my mind...Was this my 15 minutes of fame? How many readers does this newspaper get anyway? Will I ever live down my nickname as "the Ratman"? I'll be honest, I'm kind of glad it happened because it makes for a good story (and possibly a good title for my future memoir. I am thinking "Tales of the Ratman"), but seriously, RATMAN? Ok, drumroll please...Here is the photo you've been waiting for:

*yes! i worked at IHOP! a post to follow on this soon

Monday, January 3, 2011

Listen to this! (music recommendation)

Ok, so I just discovered this band that I'm a little bit obsessed with right now: Lord Huron. It is the most beautiful, ethereal music I've listened to in a long time. I first became entranced last weekend during the blizzard. The snow was falling, and the city was quiet. It was the perfect soundtrack!

Apparently, singer and songwriter Ben Schneider recorded the band's first two EP's, "Into the Sun" and "Mighty" all by himself, which is kind of amazing considering it sounds like a chorus of magical fairies, squirrels and butterflies making music together in blissful harmony! Ben also created the artwork for the album, which totally captures the essence of their sound, and is breathtaking. Check out the song "The Stranger", it is gooooooood!

I've got nothing but praise for Lord Huron. Let there be more songs released by them in 2011!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Milton, the New Year's Eve Piñata

Happy New Year! Today I fondly reflect on the life of Milton, the New Year's Eve Piñata. The story of Milton: 

Five years ago, I was in Chicago visiting my friends Joanna and Mike for NYE. We planned to have a Mexican themed New Year's party (don't ask me why!) and what Mexican themed New Year's party (are there many?) is complete without a piñata? We ended up ditching the Mexican theme, but we kept the piñata and named him Milton....and he became our muse for the weekend! And now, the adventures of Milton!

Milton gets a ride from the airport.

Milton wonders how he will reach the button he needs.

Milton needs some privacy.

Milton celebrates the joyous season.

Milton checks his email. This was before Twitter.

Milton takes a nap before his big night out.

Milton after one too many martinis.
Unfortunately, after that delightful weekend in Chicago, Milton was promptly dumped in the trash by my friend's mom. You will be in my heart forever, Milton. I am thinking of you today, and always. 

May 2011 be as full and rewarding a year for us as just that one weekend in Milton's life. 

R.I.P Milton.