Thursday, August 27, 2009
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason and nothing bugs me more than not being able to figure out just exactly what the reason was for whatever event that might be on my mind. Have I overlooked it or has it just not happened yet? If it hasn't happened, when will it? I need to know to set my mind at ease and to be okay with things.
There have been things in my life, just like any ones, that have brought me tremendous joy and tremendous pain. I always try to figure out the "whys?" and if it was really worth it. When I think about it, I can pretty much sum it up in the adage "Would you have rather loved and lost or to have never loved at all?".
In order to feel great pain you must have loved. If you never loved you would never experience pain, but you would also miss out on the joy. To me obviously, the joy and the learning experience of it all is worth it.
But what if you miss out on the learning experience? Was the joy worth the feeling of loss? I always feel the need to justify the loss and the pain that comes with it by gaining some sort of knowledge or lesson. Without that, I am confused as to why any of it occurred in the first place.
For now, I will just have to live with the frustration. Maybe one day I will figure out the "why". Maybe now just isn't the appropriate time. Maybe I just wouldn't understand. I hope the understanding comes soon though so I can put my mind at ease.
Posted at 11:48 AM
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Posted at 7:26 AM
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thoughts start running through my head like "OMG I haven't cleaned my baseboards in months!", "Will they notice that spot in the carpet that I CANNOT get out?", "We still haven't had time to replace our counter tops. Will they think I just have bad taste?".
Ugh. The next thing that happens is that I start yelling at my husband because a towel isn't folded correctly or that the pillow arrangement on the bed is all wrong.
Then, I want to just call and cancel whatever get together has been planned in fear that my house smells like puppy pee. You know how you can never REALLY tell how your house smells because, well, you are there all the time. Grr.
It really shouldn't be that bad.
Can't we just skip the tour? It's not the Taj Mahal. You probably aren't going to get any really great design ideas out of it. All it boils down to is a judgment made in their heads. "Lovely." or "Shew they have a lot they need to do!" And don't even lie. We all judge.
I believe the reason people really want the home tour is to better understand the person. What do they like? What's their style? How do they show their personality in their home? How do they really live? How do we compare? It's just part of it. I completely understand it.
Really, I think it's that I'm not comfortable in the center of attention. I feel unnerved by the fact that things might not be absolutely perfect in every little way. I always feel the need to point out all the mistakes and explain why it is the way it is. I feel the need to make excuses.
And....I need to get over it.
Posted at 2:37 PM
Monday, August 24, 2009
- Goodbye, my beloved flip flops who I will wear past the time deemed appropriate to wear you. Hello, sexy long boots that I will adventure to put over my skinny jeans this year.
- Goodbye, warm summer sun that gives my skin that nice healthy glow. Hello, crisp fall breezes that make me close my eyes and take a deep refreshing breath.
- Goodbye, simple summer food. Hello, soups and chili that warm my soul.
- Goodbye, cute sleeveless tops and dresses that I love to throw on and always feel cute in. Hello, jackets and cardigans that allow me to extend the wear of my favorite summer pieces.
- Goodbye, holidays that involve grilling out and outdoor fun. Hello, holidays that involve pumpkins, traditions, Christmas trees and heavy meals enjoyed by the whole family.
I will severely miss summer, but I so look forward to fall. It's the long in between that really gets me down, but we won't think about that for now! If only summer and fall could last forever.
P.S. Spring - I would really like you a lot better if you weren't so darn rainy!
P.S.S. Winter - I'll never like you. Sorry. You last way to freaking long.
Posted at 9:35 AM
Thursday, August 20, 2009
- Lola has taught me to always be curious. You never know how much fun you can have with a plastic bottle or a bug until you try.
- If you are as cute as the Bean (aka Lola), everyone must love you. Seriously...(we may or may not have a very conceited dog).
- Licking yourself can be quite entertaining.
- Your poo is never too stinky to eat. It's really the best way to get rid of the evidence.
- If you're sneaky enough you can always get some good eats from the table or even the dishwasher while they aren't looking.
(We washed it....and promptly disciplined after we got the picture)
- Lotion is delicious....almost as delicious as poo.
- Size doesn't matter.
- Hanging your head out the window and whatever other body parts fit out is the shiz nit!
- Motorcycles are evil....as well as vacuums and hairdryers.
- Everything can and will be destroyed!
(The best place to keep all of your treasures is under the bed!)
Posted at 9:22 AM
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
8 ounces uncooked linguine
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
It tastes better than the picture looks, I promise.
Posted at 8:49 AM
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Posted at 8:46 AM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
It's a tough question to answer sometimes, isn't it?
Actually to be honest, it really isn't all that hard for me to answer. Unfortunately it's just going to be hard for me to do what I want to do. I'm afraid that it might not be a path that people think I should take. And I know, I know - don't think about it right? Well easier said than done.
Then there's the possibility of failing. I'm not a big risk taker and I don't like having the potential to fail, but if I don't take a chance then I may never be able to do what I really want.
Everyone is in a big rush for me to get another job because it's what you are suppose to do. Part of me would like to think about what I want though first before I just jump into the next thing that I might end up hating just as much. I have a feeling that this is the time for me to do some experimenting and figure out if what I think I want to do is really right for me. It will be a way to ease my way into the risk.
I have a lot to think about. At least it is potentially exciting stuff! In the meantime I will be doing my best not to become a lazy bum.
Posted at 11:02 AM
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
As you guys know, I have been trying to clean out my pantry and I had A LOT of rice. One of the ways I found to get rid of it was with this recipe. It sounds like a lot of ingredients, but seriously it's something you will make it over and over again so it won't even matter. It's super fast to make as well so one thing I would recommend is to have everything ready to toss in before hand. Try it - it's yummy. Now I just need a recipe for crab rangoons - they are my ultimate weakness when it comes to Chinese food!
Sichuan Style Stir-Fried Chicken
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
½ cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons sugar
2½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 tablespoon Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1¼ teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1½ tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1½ tablespoons minced garlic (about 7 cloves)
1 teaspoon chili paste with garlic
1½ cups drained, sliced water chestnuts
1 cup (½ inch) sliced green onion tops
¾ cups unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
6 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
To prepare marinade, combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and chill 20 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken mixture; stir-fry 4 minutes or until chicken in done. Remove from pan; set aside.
To prepare sauce, combine broth and next 6 ingredients (broth through 1 teaspoon sesame oil); stir well with a whisk. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in pan. Add 2 tablespoons green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile paste, and stir fry for 15 seconds. Add broth mixture, and cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly.
Stir in cooked chicken, water chestnuts, sliced onion tops, and peanuts; cook for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.
Posted at 9:34 AM
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Posted at 11:38 AM
Monday, August 10, 2009
Posted at 11:34 AM
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Ridiculous for two people right?
Here is the laundry list of items I have to work with....
- 7 partial boxes of pasta
- 8 packages of rice
- 2 jars of molasses
- 3 boxes of breadcrumbs
- 4 boxes of soup mix (corn chowder, french onion, mushroom onion, and vegetable)
- 2 cans of peaches
- 1 can of blueberry pie filling
- 1 can of Eaglebrand milk
- 1 can of enchilada sauce
- 2 boxes of pancake mix
- 3 cans of tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 jar of artichokes
- 1 can of mixed berries
- 1 box of dates
- 1 box of oats
- 1 box of lemon wafers
- 1 box of crackers
- 1 can of peas (which I really think has followed us through at least 2 moves...not big pea fans)
- 2 jars of salsa
- 1 can of beef gravy
- 1 can of chicken stock
Maybe it's just a pet peeve of mine but I really have no need for "backup supplies" in the pantry. It's just forgotten about honestly. It simply sits there and takes up space that I desperately need. So for the next week or so I am challenging myself to use every last thing in that pantry without having to purchase too much else at the grocery store (fresh ingredients and meat of course will be needed).
After this little mission, I do see an immediate future need for a carb detox to take place since we do have 15 partial boxes of grains to get through!!! Ugh. Wish me good luck! Any suggestions of combinations/recipes will be gratefully accepted!
DISCLAIMER: ***This little challenge may or may not have somewhat to do with the fact that tax free weekend is this weekend in TN and I am wanting to go shopping even though I am technically without a job. The husband must be persuaded immediately!***
Posted at 7:18 AM
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Welcome to What's to Eat? Wednesday! Around here, Wednesday is all about food so if you want to join in just put your site in Mr. Linky below so we can read all about it. Do you need topic ideas? Try these…favorite/worst recipes, kitchen disasters, restaurant experiences, kitchen gadgets, food memories, or dinner parties….really anything about or related to food goes here!
One of the best things about being unemployed is the time you have to do the things you enjoy. One of the things I most enjoy is obviously cooking. I have been wanting to try a risotto recipe, but just never had the time to do it. They always make them sound so delicious on T.V.! I of course turned to one of my trusty sources, Ina Garten. I think I have about 30 of her episodes on the DVR right now so, be prepared to see more of her recipes around here.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
- 1 cup chopped fennel
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 pound thin asparagus
- 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese. Makes 6 servings.
Yum! It was absolutely delicious! I did make a couple minor changes though. First, I substituted 1jar of marinated artichokes for the fennel because I dislike it's licorice taste. Then I substituted 16oz. of frozen asparagus for the fresh which is what Ina did on her show as well. I just threw it all in frozen, no defrosting.
Mine ended up taking a lot longer than she said it would, but I think it was my fault. I wasn't familiar with what exactly it was supposed to look like and assumed it would be a little less liquidy than it actually was due to the rice releasing it's starchiness. This recipe was also my first experience with leeks and let me tell you - they are a keeper! Basically just a mild onion flavor for those of you who also haven't tried them. I did have to google how to prepare them lol. Anyways - try this recipe. It's awesome!
Posted at 9:00 AM
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It's always strange to me to look back on my life and think about the way things could have been and how they actually turned out. Not saying things are for the worst by any means, just different than what I originally thought it might be like. I use to try to plan my life out in my mind when I was younger and no matter what, life always surprised me. There was always some twist I couldn't see coming or when I had thought I had prepared for the "worst case scenario" something different came out to slap me in the face.
I have come to realize that when it comes to life you have to just go with the flow. There will always be something unexpected to trip you up and you have to be able to change and adjust. Life goes on.
I think I have just come to a point in life where I have no idea what is going to happen next. I have no plan. I have no grand scheme. I only have a vague idea of what I want to happen in the future. This would have scared the shit out of me not too long ago, but for now I am embracing it in hopes that I will see things more clearly and be able to adjust a little better in the future.
Posted at 8:32 AM
All images are property of Laura Sager unless otherwise noted.