Saturday, March 20, 2010

Getting old

I just realized that I should change my age in my little profile blurb on the side there ---->

Yesterday I turned 27. I think I'm having a bit of a age crisis, suddenly realizing that I think of 27 as being OLD. It certainly didn't help last night when I didn't get carded for my drink at the restaurant. Anyways, rather than blather on about how OLD I'm getting, I'll just show you that I'm not that damn old. I took this last night, as I'm going to try to resurrect my 365 day self portrait project. I think I look pretty damn good for 27.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Broccoli Pasta Toss

Quick recipe (with my notes at the end) for our lunch today. Super easy, and really yummy!

Broccoli pasta toss
2 cups broccoli florets
4 ounces fettuccine, broken in half
1 Tbsp oil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp. sesame seed, toasted

In a large saucepan, boil water and add broccoli and pasta. Cook for 6-8 minutes or just until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot and toss with oil. Add garlic, cheese, sesame seeds and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

My notes:
1) The cook time on this.....isn't so right. The instructions on my box of fettuccine said to boil for 12 minutes for al dente. So I cooked mine for 12 minutes, adding the broccoli in about halfway, and honestly, I think the broccoli was still overcooked and mushy. I'd probably stick with the 12 minutes, but add the broccoli when there's 4 minutes left of cook time.
2) I'm pretty sure I used more than 1/8 tsp of garlic powder, but I love garlic. Mmmm.

This was pretty good, and with the cook-time modification, I'll probably make it again. It was a nice easy lunch.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Easy Menu Week!

So, I'm fully aware that some of the stuff I make isn't exactly what a lot of people have time/energy for after a long day. But a lot of it is. As anyone who knows me real well is aware, I'm a big lobbyist for "real food". When I say real food, I mean minimal processing. I prefer to eat food that I've cooked myself, without having to worry about what other extra crap I'm eating. So to that end, I'm a lot more willing than a lot of people to put the extra effort into a meal at the end of the day. But it almost drives me nuts to hear people say, "Well, I just don't have the time/energy to cook like you do". Yes, you do! Cooking healthy food doesn't have to be time consuming or laborious, and in a lot of cases, it's actually cheaper than all of the pre-packaged processed crap that so many people eat out of convenience. So this week, I'm focusing on easy-to-prepare, yet still (mostly) healthy food that doesn't take hours to make, and I'll be including recipes.

Tuesday - Stewed Tomato Pasta (Recipe to follow)

Wednesday - Soy sauce chicken wings and fried rice (Ok, maybe a little bit of a sodium overload, but we don't eat like this very often, and for the most part, it's not horrible for you. If anyone wants the fried rice recipe I use, I'll post it.)

Thursday - Mexican Chicken (Literally, just chicken breasts and salsa. Put the chicken in a baking dish, pour salsa over the top and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve over rice. It's deceptively simple and really tasty.)

Friday - Broccoli Pasta Toss (Recipe to follow. I haven't made this one before, but it looks really good.)

Saturday - Hamburger Hotdish

Sunday - Pasta Alfredo (Homemade alfredo sauce is SO easy to make. Fattening, but easy, delicious, and nasty stuff-free. I'll be making the pasta from scratch, which if you have the time, makes this recipe SO much better, but it's still great with store-bought pasta as well. Recipe to follow.)

I spent about $35 on groceries for all of this, but the only reason it was that much is because I was out of a lot of staples. I had to get minute rice, to keep with the "easy" theme of the week, and apparently, Target does not have a store brand of the minute rice anymore. :( I also had to get another 2 pound block of cheddar (we go through a lot of cheddar), so that added $8, and another block of Parmesan cheese was $2.49 (I never, ever buy green can grated Parmesan cheese.) So it did add up, but mostly because I needed to buy damn near everything.

Stewed Tomato Pasta
(This recipe serves 8-10, I usually do a half recipe)
2 14.5 ounce cans stewed tomatoes with juice
1 3/4 cups of chicken broth (this is equivalent to one 14 oz can)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 12 ounce package of spiral pasta

In a Dutch oven, combine everything except the pasta. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 16-18 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally.

My notes on this recipe: I mash the tomatoes with a potato masher before adding the pasta. I also add garlic salt and onion powder with the Italian seasoning, and I top with fresh grated Parmesan for serving. It's delish! :)

I will get additional recipes up in the next couple days!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Keep out of children

Today, I was going through some stuff in the back room at work, and I came across this package. It's for a 2-pack of cheap box cutters. I about died laughing, and it really helped make work suck a little less.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This week's menu and other things....

I feel like I've been insanely busy lately, but at the same time, I feel like I haven't been. I keep making excuses for not blogging, but really, I spend plenty of time at my computer, I'm just lazy. Anyways, I made up this week's menu mostly out of leftovers that we had in our freezer, and trying to use stuff up. Made for a nice short grocery list. :)

Sunday: Chicken Noodle Soup
Monday: (Leftover frozen) Crockpot Pizza Soup
Tuesday: (Leftover frozen) Chicken Tacos
Wednesday: Rib-eye steak with whiskey cream sauce and roasted potatoes with garlic
Thursday: Nachos with (leftover frozen) cheesy nacho sauce
Friday: (Leftover) potato soup (from the previous recipe)

It was supposed to be Turkey Noodle Soup for dinner tonight, to use up some leftover turkey in the freezer, but then I needed more chicken broth anyways, and I make my broth from wings that I buy in bulk from Costco, so I'm using the chicken from that. I also made a huge batch of noodles and froze half, so in a couple weeks, when I'm craving soup again, I'll be able to quick throw it together with very little prep work. It's nice that we're getting a lot of our leftovers used up, especially because a lot of the time, we'll decide to freeze stuff....then immediately forget that we put it in the freezer to begin with. So this morning I just went through and found everything that would require minimal prep for dinner this week. It'll be nice to not have to worry about dinner all week, but I might actually start to miss cooking. ;)

I haven't been up to a whole lot lately. It feels like I've been working CONSTANTLY, but I know that's not the case. I did just get off of a 6-day stretch, which was exhausting. I want to get back into crafting (knitting, macrame, etc), but then I feel like I'm trying to cram more into my life. Maybe I'll try knitting a simple scarf or something to feel like I'm accomplishing something and see how that goes. I just know that I really miss my crafting. I don't know if I'm up for re-opening my Etsy shop, because that was a lot of work, but I know that I liked the joy I got from knowing that people were wearing my creations. And the extra cash was nice, especially when it came time for that tattoo. ;)

Well, I don't want to promise that I'll try blogging more often, but I will attempt to put a more frequent effort into it. In the meantime, I'll try to get my chicken noodle soup recipe up in the next day or so. It's my ultimate comfort food, because it's exactly like my mom used to make it. :)

(Oh, quick P.S.: If you're on Twitter, follow my sweet little guy: The Cuter Peyton. I'll be posting cute pictures from Peyton on there.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Roasted Potato Soup

Tonight, I improvised a potato soup recipe off of a couple different recipes, with a few tweaks of my own. I wanted to share it with you, as it's DELICIOUS. Note that all measurements are approximate.

Roasted Potato Soup
6 Russet potatoes, washed and cut into 1" pieces (peeled if you wish, I didn't peel mine)
1 head of garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil (I think I used about 1/4-1/3 of a cup)
Kosher Salt
Fresh-ground Pepper
White wine (I think I used about 1/4 cup)
4 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 large or 1 small/medium onion, diced
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
8 oz. Velveeta
1/2 cup sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese, to add as topping

1)Preheat oven to 425 degrees (F). Put potato pieces on a shallow roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over them, salt and pepper them, then toss to coat. Cut the top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed, then place in the middle of the pan and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes.
2) While the potatoes and garlic are roasting, cook the bacon over medium-low heat. When finished cooking to your desired texture, remove the pieces to a paper towel-covered plate until needed. Take a tablespoon or two of the bacon grease and put it in your soup pot. Add the onions to the soup pot with the grease and saute for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until onions are soft and starting to brown.
3) Remove potatoes and garlic from the oven and throw the potatoes in the soup pot. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and chop up and add that to the pot. Add the chicken broth and milk to the pot, and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
4) Mash up the potatoes with a masher in the soup pot to desired consistency. Throw the bacon in the pot, along with the Velveeta. Cook until the Velveeta is melted into the soup. Add the sour cream, and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
5) Serve the soup with shredded cheddar on top. :)

Makes about 6ish servings, but potato soup always freezes well if you're cooking for only a couple people!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This week's menu

This week's menu is small, because I work until 8 Monday and Friday, which means that we will be eating convenience foods (I know, I know, not the best way to do things). I'm going to try to find some super easy healthy foods to eat on my late nights from now on so that we're not falling off the healthy wagon. We've done salads those nights a couple times, and I think we should probably make that more of a habit. Either that, or I should have a hotdish (that's casserole for those of you not living in Minnesota) prepared and ready for Brian to throw in the oven. So without Monday and Friday, here's what we're having this week:

Sunday - Greek Shrimp
Tuesday - Sesame scallion tofu and sea slaw
Wednesday - Asparagus and poached eggs on toast
Thursday - Spinach Artichoke Hotdish

The only one of these that I've made before is the dinner on Wednesday, and we'll be eating it with a couple slices of bacon too. I'm not going to include my shopping list this time because I haven't gotten everything on it yet, and I'm lazy.

*Note: Just got done eating the Greek Shrimp. If you know what is good for you, you will make it for dinner this week. That is all. :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vacation: Day 4

Well, I didn't post the past couple days, because I'm lazy. So I'll try to sum up everything I've done since then.

We got up and headed out for breakfast, only to find that the "all day breakfast" place that Google maps told us was a few blocks away, no longer exists. So we ended up finding McDonald's, and ate there. We did some wandering around the Lincoln Road mall, which is a really gorgeous area. The rest of Tuesday was spent walking around South Beach, just looking at everything there is to look at here. Our legs still hurt today from all that walking. It was a little too chilly to lay on the beach comfortably, so we declared it tourism day. I'll post some of the pictures I took that day when we get back home and I have a better internet connection. For dinner, we headed to the Ice Box Cafe. We both had the rigatoni there, and it was really good. However, the Ice Box Cafe isn't known for it's dinners, it's known for the desserts. Oprah Winfrey has raved about the desserts here. So we got a couple slices of cake to bring back to our hotel room, an Oreo cake, and a cake called "The Bomb". The Bomb consists of layers of cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and brownie. Oh. My. Word. Both desserts were amazing.

Wednesday morning, we headed to Big Pink for breakfast. Another amazing meal, I had "Pinky's Hollywood Breakfast", consisting of polenta fries topped with wilted spinach, bacon, poached eggs, and a rich cheese sauce. After digesting a bit, we went and laid on the beach for a couple hours. I was one of only a few women on the beach that actually kept my bikini top on. I would've joined in the topless sunbathing fun, but I neglected to sunscreen up the girls, so I kept myself contained. We did step into the water a bit, but it was really chilly, so that was short-lived. When we got back to the hotel room, Brian was really tuckered out from all that laying around, so he took a nap. For dinner, we went down the block to Grillfish. Brian had steak, and I had a fantastic shrimp picatta.

Started the day heading to the 11th St. Diner. We each got a massive omelette. The old lady in the booth next to us saw the guy bring our food and said to me, "A skinny girl like you can't eat that whole thing!" I told Brian that sounded like a challenge, but apparently, the old lady was right, and I just couldn't finish the damn thing. We headed down to the beach for a couple hours again. We've both gotten some color now, although Brian is definitely more of a shade of pink, while I've got a decent tan going. We got an early dinner at La Sandwicherie, which is just a block away from here. I got a seafood croissant. Again, a fabulous meal. Now, we're just relaxing for the night, we'll probably head to a souvenir shop in a little bit here.

I really, really, really don't want to leave tomorrow. My tan isn't dark enough and I haven't eaten enough food. I haven't seen enough sights here.

Which just means I'll have to come back again soon. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vacation: Day 1

Today we started our vacation in Miami Beach! We got up well before dawn to be to the airport, and it was crazy there. The lines for check-in were long, and the lines for security were insane. We finally got here though, and hopped a cab from the airport to the hotel. I think there's a reason why I've never ridden in a taxi before. This guy was insane. Zipping between lanes, honking his horn 1/4 of a second after a light changed green, and changing direction at the last second. Finally, we got within a block of our hotel, and he decided that he needed to be over a block to pull up in front of the place. He quick turned and went down a creepy alley behind the hotel, where we were confronted with a small space to fit the car through, and a homeless guy pushing a bike on some kind of cart in that small space. The homeless guy stood his ground and refused to move, while the cab driver felt the need to start shouting at him. I slouched down in my seat, wondering why we traveled so far just to get whacked by a homeless guy within an hour of landing. Finally, the homeless guy backed down and got out of the way. We got almost all the way out of the alley, where there were two guys participating in what appeared to be a drug deal. Apparently they stared at us a little too long, so the driver shouted in broken English, "Whats you problem?" then turned to us and said, "Everybody here, dey have da problem!" He finally got us dropped off at our hotel, and we got checked in. After a short rest, we headed out to find food and came across Five Guys Burgers and Fries. I'm not big on burgers, they all pretty much taste the same to me, but I could actually rave about this burger. It was SOOO good!! Once we got some food in us, we walked down to the beach and just walked for a while. It was nice and relaxing. We've mostly just been bumming around the hotel room since then, because we're pretty beat from all the flying and walking and almost getting killed today.

Tomorrow's Itinerary:
*Sleep in.
*Lay around on the beach all day.
Nice. :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

12 More Hours

In 12 hours, I'll be on a plane, Miami-bound. I'm SO excited! Today I was browsing around looking to see what kind of things there are to do/eat there, and it looks so fun! I'm bringing my cameras, so I'll have plenty of pictures from the trip.

I started packing early today, then Brian went in and put his stuff in the suitcase. I went in a little later to put a couple more things in there and about had a fit. I'd filled up about 1/4 of the suitcase with my earlier packing. Now, it was completely full, and I wasn't done!! Luckily, we realized that we weren't using our biggest suitcase, so there should be plenty of space for us to both get all our stuff in there once we get it in the big one.

It's been really quiet around here today with no Peyton. Every time I'd pull up the driveway, I'd look through the window to see if he was barking at me, and he wasn't there. :( He's probably having a great time with my parents though. :)

And because every post needs a picture:

I don't know who they are, or where they're going, but those dogs are on a mission.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I declare today a no-idiot day

Well, I said goodbye to my baby today. Won't be seeing my Peyton for a whole week. :( It's weird being at home and not having him sleeping on the couch or getting underfoot in the kitchen. I ran some errands, and when I came home, he wasn't there to greet me. I know he's safe with my parents, but I miss him already. He's my sweet little guy.

When we got home from dropping him off, I went out to wash my car and get a couple things. The whole trip was trying to my patience. First, I went to the gas station to get my car washed. I had to wait about 20 minutes, which was ok, and expected, because when it warms up in Minnesota, everyone washes their cars. I got over that. Then I headed to the mall to pick up a game for Brian and some sunscreen. First, I went to Gamestop for the game. I don't think I've ever had a pleasant experience there, but it's the only place that he knew had the game he wanted. I went in, found it, and went up to the counter. When I'd walked in, there had been about 3-4 guys standing at the counter. Now that I actually wanted to *buy* something, there was no one around. Finally after standing there for close to 5 minutes, a guy that I'd assumed was a customer came up with another guy and a little girl. He went behind the counter to ring them up, completely ignoring that I was standing there waiting. He then went to the door of their back room, and told another guy that he had to come out, because this other guy was his brother, and he couldn't ring him up with his discount. I proceeded to wait some more while they STILL ignored me and rang up the other guy. Finally, after getting him rung up, the guy that had come out of the back room turned to me, looked confused and said, "Can I help you with something?"

"YES! I just want to buy this game!!"

Ok, fine, it was kind of bitchy, but at that point I'd been ignored for a good 10 minutes by these assholes. He snarkily replied back, "Well then I'd love to sell it to you!" It took every ounce of strength I had to not reach across the counter and bitchslap the motherfucker. I finally got rung up and out of the store. I headed back across the mall at a near snail's pace, because apparently I was the only one there in a hurry. I finally got to Target, and went to the sunscreen, where there was a woman digging through the shit in her cart right in front of the sunscreen display. She wasn't even *buying* sunscreen, just blocking it. (But really, what idiot buys sunscreen in Minnesota in January, right?) I just kind of squeezed in between her and the sunscreen and found what I wanted. I went up to the register, went to the shortest line, and proceeded to listen to the woman in front of me pick through her items and say, "I need a gift receipt for this one......and this one.....and oh, let's do this one too....and this one...."

I managed to get back out to my car and headed home. Now, I'm one of those people that will usually think that everyone else is a dumbass on the road anyways, but today was excruciating. I saw multiple different vehicles driving over the lines, and one asshole cut me off, then proceeded to slam on his brakes well before his exit.

I may never leave my house again.

Friday, January 15, 2010

OMG, two posts within 3 days?!

I have a good excuse for why I failed to blog yesterday, despite the previous day's announcement that I'd try to blog daily, even if it was just something short and stupid. It was my friend Tim's birthday, and immediately after work, my friends and I went out to celebrate. I didn't get home until nearly 11:30, which meant that my snooze button got hit for an hour this morning. Unfortunately, Peyton doesn't have a snooze button, so I did have to get up right away and let him out to pee, but I went straight back into bed for the remaining 58 minutes. Luckily, today was my last day of work for 9 days!! I am on vacation until the 25th! Woo! Early Monday morning, Brian and I will be flying to Miami for 4 nights of warm weather bliss. This is the first vacation we've taken together since we got married a couple years ago, and I think it will be good for us to spend the time together and rejuvenate. I will be missing Peyton while we're gone, but it will be nice to not have that responsibility either. :)

Other than that, I don't have anything new, so I'll leave you with a random picture of the day:
Yes, that's plastic dinosaur porn.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A little personal randomness

So, I've been pretty bad at updating this blog. I'm trying to decide if it has anything to do with the transition from Xanga, or if I'm just not feeling the blogging. I've had plenty of exciting things happening, but to be honest, I just haven't felt the pull to blog about it. We got snowed in for Christmas this year, so it marked the first year that we haven't been with our families for Christmas, but I didn't blog about that. We managed to get down to see everyone and have our Christmas a week later, but I didn't blog about that. I took a major faceplant in my parents' garage while we were there and got 8 stitches, but I didn't blog about that. I had a really successful toy department reset at work the other night, but I didn't blog about that. We're taking our first vacation since our honeymoon next week, we're going to Miami, but I haven't blogged about that. I'm thinking maybe I should try to make it a daily thing to blog, even if it's just a short blurb about how much my day sucked. It would probably help my readership as well, if I'd actually post from time to time. I think I might try that (although I might be more forgiving about the days I work until 8 pm. Might skip those days because I don't get much time on the computer).

Here's a little something that didn't get blogged about: