Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

I know I haven't written in a while.  There hasn't been much happening.  Or much to say.  Not much cooking either - not enough money to do anything fun.  In fact I didn't make a birthday cake this year.  It hurt a little bit. But I guess it's time to realize that my birthday doesn't really matter.  I mean it does.  But not in the way that it used to.  Or that I wished it did.  I mean 364 days of the year I do everything for everyone else.  This one day of the year I just want to be the center of attention.  I want to be treated like a queen.  I want presents and fabulous food and bottles of wine and cake.  I want to be pampered.  I want to be spoiled.  I want to feel like I matter more than anyone else.  I want to feel loved.
And I guess I did feel like that.  Just not in the way that I had idealized it.

Anyway, moving on from that.
I had a little talk with Boyfriend the other day.  Things have been really really good between us lately.  Like blissful good.  Like we get each other on another level good.  We have been out on a couple dates lately, which is important to me and I think helps us stay connected with each other.  And the other weekend we went to a wedding of a good friend of mine (groom - also complete aside Boyfriend consumed raw baby spinach at said wedding!  Shock!  Although he did put butter on it - ew, I know).  And I'm not sure if it was that or it's just that time.  But there was lots of talk about "our" wedding (all Boyfriend's doing).  And then there was joking about things on "our" wedding etc.  And that just brought back a wave of a bunch of old feelings.  And I mulled it over and decided I needed to express my feelings on this seemingly meaningless chatter.  Initially I was afraid I was making too big a deal about this, but it was bothering me.  And as invalid as certain other nameless persons tried to make my feelings, I know that I have a right to them, so I spoke up.  Initially the way I put it to him was that I don't want to talk about weddings or marriage.  But I knew I needed to flesh that thought out because it made it seem like I don't want to get married at all.  And I do.  To Boyfriend anyway.  I'm older and more mature and I don't want to get married just to say I'm married.  I want to marry HIM.  Big difference.  But really I don't want to talk about it until HE is really ready to discuss it with some amount of seriousness.  This is a touchy subject for me.  Mostly because I've been down this road before, and I don't want to get my hopes up.  If something were to happen between us, the thought that we were considering marriage would make it that much harder to get over.  I'm a tough little lady, but I'm pretty sure it would be that much harder to recover from that sort of thing a second time.  I tried to explain all of this as best I could.  I hope he understood.  I mean I don't bring it up to him because I don't want him to feel pressured.  So I hope that he can understand that I don't want him to bring it up because it will just give me expectations.  I don't want him to bring it up unless he can meet any expectations he gives me.  He knows that my big thing is people not following through when they say they will.

Well this was all kind of heavy, and there are other heavy things on my mind that I would like to consider, but I'm pretty sure I've exhausted everyone's attention span for the time being.  So I'll leave you with your moment of levity: A bottle of wine makes me worse at mah jong, not better.  For some reason this surprised me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Your body is a wonderland? Well my body is a bitch.

I feel like I should be writing more about cooking things.  But I haven't been.  Cooking things that is.
At least I don't think so.  I mean I made dinner last night (whole wheat fettuccine, sausage, tomato sauce) and it wasn't anything exciting.  But I haven't been cooking because I haven't been eating.  Something decided to wreak havoc on my body on Monday afternoon and I haven't a clue as to what happened.  I went to grocery shop for the week and pulled into the lot then I got all shaky and light headed.  My heart was racing and then I thought I was going to toss my cookies.  I grocery shopped anyway because, what the hell, I was already there. Then went home and cried in bed because I thought I was dying.  Boyfriend came home later and gave me a strict bed rest order that lasted through Tuesday.  So I've been out of commission for a couple days and my stomach is still pretty much being a bitch, but it feels the same whether I eat anything or not.

Oh.  But, I did make something!  Carrot cake mix cookies with white chocolate cream cheese frosting.  Except the cookies were really fluffy and spongy and light so instead of frosting the tops of them I flipped them over and made them into whoopie pies!  Genius!  I know, I know.  And I think I have finally solved my white chocolate tempering problem.  I have attempted several times to make white chocolate cream cheese frosting and every time with out fail, the white chocolate burns or turns back into white chocolate flakes upon hitting the cream cheese and butter in the mixing bowl.  I seriously feel like I cannot win with this.  But!  BUT! The geniuses (genii?) at Philadelphia have fought my battle for me.  They now make dessert cream cheese!  Holy hell, yes!  White chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate cream cheese.  Amaaaaaazing.  I cannot wait to experiment with the dark chocolate variety.  And normally I am anti chocolate.  But.  I do love dark chocolate above all others.  And I am thinking birthday cake thoughts here.  Normally I go the fruity, sometimes frosting-less route, but I am envisioning amazing things with the dark chocolate cream cheese.  Although I think there will have to be some sort of raspberry filling.  Originally I was dreaming of a fluffy white cake with citrus curd in the middle and fluffy whip cream frosting and apricot preserve glazed fruit arranged all pretty on top.  Now I am having second thoughts.  Hmm...I am also still on the look out for a faboosh recipe to one up either of these birthday cake ideas.  Thoughts?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

So.  I have taken it upon myself to start DVR-ing Jeopardy!  (That was not supposed to sound excited that is simply the correct title for that show).  However, because I actually have no idea how to properly DVR things (I get rreeeaaalll excited when it works out properly) I seem to not have DVRed any of the latest or "new" episodes of Jeopardy!  You know, the ones that air at 7:30 each night on one of the main channels?  Instead I seem to have DVRed old Jeopardy! episodes that re-air on the Game Show Network at like 2am or 9am.  Now that is fine, because A)I usually haven't seen these episodes so B)I am still honing my Jeopardy! skills and learning.  (NB: I have always held a very fond place for Jeopardy! and it is a life goal to be on it.  Mostly because I know so many pointless non-money making things.  And I want these things to finally make me some money.  Although I want to bring back Trebek's mustache.)  But the issue with this is because these have aired at such odd hours they are interspersed with some seriously awesome infomercials.

Now maybe I have failed to mention this here, but I have a serious love affair with infomercials.  I LOVE them.  Especially infomercials that involve kitchen appliances or cookware of any stripe.  I'm pretty sure I NEED all of these things.  Rotisserie oven?  Want.  New knives that can cut shoes?  Desire.  Slicer thing?  Must have.  Cake pop pan? Cannot live without.  I suppose the upside of being unbelievably broke is that I cannot call and order these things.  Well that and my crippling anxiety about talking on the phone and asking people for things.  True story: I have been known to leave stores where employees offer to help me too much or when I can't find things instead of asking for help.
So that makes this post food relevant.  That and I decided I was not making dinner last night because I had defrosted turkey cutlets and I REALLY did not want that.  I wanted a big fancy salad.  Instead I had a bowl of romaine lettuce with dressing.  The downside: I really have to make that turkey tonight.  Wah-wah.  Otherwise I will have to throw it away.  And that will mean wasting my money.  And nothing makes me angrier than wasting my money.  Except people that don't do what they say they will.  Or people that feel the need to update you every 27 seconds on their wedding and/or pregnancy.  Or factory farms.  Or the fact that celebrity Jeopardy! is way easier than regular Jeopardy!  Or when my ice cream gets drippy down the cone onto my hand.  That just makes me throw my ice cream out the car window (also true).  So maybe many other things make me angrier than wasting money.  But wasting money ranks way up there.

Monday, March 19, 2012

It was better than you having a dream about me in a threesome...

I need some food inspiration.  I feel empty of cooking ideas.  Or at the very least stymied.  It is getting unseasonably warm around here and so I am craving fresh and refreshing foods.  I want more veggies and fruits. I want barbecue.  I want salad.  And I really want fish.  I guess I'm just trying to wrap my head around how to package and present these things to Boyfriend (who I decided should get a capital letter at least, though even though we haven't discussed it, I kind of figured he would appreciate the anonymity).

My usual process is to think of all the things I want to try or things we haven't had in a while and kind of plan out what I need because Monday is usually grocery day.

Ok.  So far, things that have piqued my interest.
-some sort of fish
-lemon curd (though I am not real sure what I will do with it - maybe with fresh berries? but I really want to make it)
-home made bread
-beer.  last week Boyfriend asked me to get some in honor of St. P's Day (all I wanted was corned beef, but apparently his family thinks that is the epitome of disgusting.  My family is authentically Irish and drunk and knows that nothing tastes better with a sweet buzz than salty, fatty meat).  BUT corned beef aside, it made me think we should drink more beer.  Well, no.  Maybe not like that.  We should try more beer, or beer styles, or beer brands.  Something like that.  The sweet buzz we acquire will be a happy accident from our quest for knowledge.  And therefore completely excusable.  I mean people have done way worse things in the name of "knowledge" (coughTuskegeecough).

I don't know.  My brain is too cloudy to think clearly and plan appropriately for the week.  It is probably because I've been having WAY more excessively strange dreams than most people have in their entire lifetimes.
I was shaving Boyfriend's head last night (because the back of your head is WAY easier to let someone else do, as long as you trust them with a razor near your most prized possession.)  But, I only agreed to do this if he would listen to my latest dream I had (Friday night).  He acquiesced.  So we're in the bathroom together and he is seated while I shave his head (because as you may or may not know, I am almost legally a "little person") and I set the stage for him.
Me: "So this dream I had the other night it was SO weird, but I told my mother about it and she said, no, you REALLY need to tell Boyfriend that dream because it is weird AND funny.  So..."
Boyfriend: "Just get this over with".
Me: "Ok, so I dreamed that I was bitten by a weasel.  But it was a rabid weasel.  And I got bit on the hand as I was trying to pick it up and move it.  Its teeth only just barely pricked my skin.  So then I knew I had rabies and I needed to go to the doctor"
Boyfriend: "Seriously?  Why?"
Me: "Because when you have rabies you need to seek medical attention"
Boyfriend: "No, I mean weasels and rabies?  What is happening in your subconscious?"
Me: "Neither of us probably really wants to know.  Anyway, it gets better."
Boyfriend: "Better than weasels and rabies?"
Me: "Oh yes.  This is the funny part.  I was African-American.  But you were still you, and still very pasty.  And you kept telling me that I didn't need to go to the doctor's because I had only dreamed that I had been bitten by a rabid weasel.  And also, I had a baby.  And the baby was African-American.  A little boy.  And I had given him corn rows."
Boyfriend: "People could not make these things up if they tried.  Even Dr. Seuss couldn't.  Also, are you trying to tell me something with this African-American baby business?"
Me: "What?! No!  Anyway, do you think this is better or worse than the dream where we had a dog that always ate the top four buttons off my shirt causing my boobs to fall out?"
Boyfriend: "More creative.  Although only the top four buttons is kind of highly specific.  But overall I like the dog dream better."
Me: "Why because my boobs were always on display?"
Boyfriend:  "Yeah, that and the fact that you DIDN'T HAVE A BABY"

He's just not ready to deal with a miniature version of me; although the thought of someone else with the same kind of irrational logic is kind of exciting.
Also, I think that he is incorrect about one thing- Dr. Seuss could totally make this shit up.  Except then it would rhyme.  And be packaged in a neat way for six year olds.  And be slightly moralistic.
And if  you haven't noticed I want this blog to be not just about food and cooking.  But also about my life.  Because sometimes it is really weird and funny.  And, like my rabid weasel dream, is not to be missed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

At least there is dessert

In which I eat soup because I am far too tired to care and impatient to wait for a real dinner to be cooked and boyfriend ate the left over pizza and I just smiled and poured beer for people for nine hours.  On St. P's Day.

Oh well, at least there is cookie pie for dessert.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Does not always share well with others.

So the brownies happened.  I feel ambivalent about them.  Probably because they are low-fat.  Also possibly because I put a little too much salt on them.  But I am thinking they might be salvageable if I drop a dollop of peanut butter on top of them.  I will test this theory out and let you know and then decide if the brownies are worth telling you about.  The best thing about them, thus far anyway, is that boyfriend totally ate one yesterday while I was at work.  I told him they were low-fat, but what I apparently neglected to tell him was that they were salty.  Teehee.  Boyfriend does NOT appreciate snacks that incorporate the salty-sweet dichotomy, like chocolate covered pretzels.  To me those are perfect and encompass everything I want in a snack food; satisfying all cravings in one shot.  So when I got home this is the exchange that happened:

Me: "Oh, so did you go and have dinner without me already tonight, or do you want me to cook?"
Boyfriend: "No, I just had one of those brownies you made the other day..." (frowns slightly)
Me: "Well, I told you they were low-fat, right?"
Boyfriend: "Yeeeeah..." (continues frowning)
Me: "Oh!  Did I tell you I made them salty?"
Boyfriend: " wonder I thought they were gross"
Me: "And you ate it?  Bwhahahahahaha!"

Needless to say I have to make up for 'tricking' him into eating salted low-fat brownies with some cookie pie. This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  Now I, like most people, detest making pie crust, so I cheat and use store bought.  Why not?  It's perfectly good.  Unlike most people though, I can, if called up, make pie crust.  Because I conquered that beast years ago, I have given myself permission to cheat.  Plus store bought pie crust is fine and not totally disgusting, like buying frosting in a can at the store vs. making your own.

Also, I made a little mini apple crisp I wanted to share with you.  It was so mini that I pretty much ate the whole thing after my weekly long walk last week (I take several short hour long walks, and one almost three hour walk - at least that is the weekly goal these days).  It all started because I was asking boyfriend about fruit desserts (which are usually my fav) and he told me he had never had apple pie or crisp or anything.  I told him that was un-American.  More so, it is un-New England.  At least to the girl that grew up living within 15 minutes of 5 different apple orchards in the heart of Johnny Appleseed Country.  So seeing as how I avoid pie crust like the devil I was convinced I was going to get him to eat an apple crisp.  Except he won't eat anything with oats.  So then I was convinced I could make apple crisp sans oats.  It took a while and some serious thought.  But I settled on graham crackers.  And judging by the fact that I opted not to entice him to try any of it, and instead gorge myself and not share you could say it was pretty successful.

Mini Apple Crisp For Two (or one if you are me)
2 Apples (I used Granny Smith) peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons of water
4 grahams (from the Fresh Stacks packs) crushed
3 TBS sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TBS cold butter

Place apples in greased 1/2 quart baking dish.  Place water over apples.  In a separate bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon and cut in butter.  Sprinkle over apples.  Bake roughly 30 minutes @ 350.  I think I let mine go another 5 minutes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back to Basics vewy vewy quiet, I am being sneaky in the kitchen.  So I know I promised you something fun and exciting and sweet.  But, boyfriend, ever the traditionalist decided he had a cookie craving that only I could satisfy.  (That is probably not true, but we were out of E.L Fudge cookies and Oreos, so what could I do?)
So no cookie pie, no apple crisp (at least for the time being) because I can only deal with dirtying and then washing so many dishes per day.  The downside of not owning a dishwasher.  So I contended with good old-fashioned chocolate chip cookies.  I, like most experienced home cooks, have a go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies.  In fact, it's my go to cookie base in general.  I have tried others every so often, but I ALWAYS go back to the one I'm going to give you.  Now, when baking I don't normally mess around with the recipe because baking is like science you have to have things in the correct ratios otherwise things don't turn out; savory recipes I can't leave alone, but to me, they're like art - I always have to put my own touches on things and ultimately I can usually correct something like too much acid or salt, etc.  But I messed around with my go to cookie recipe today because it seems like boyfriend is having some inner turmoil.  Eating healthy vs. eating tasty.  So I wanted to help that out a little bit.  And I did that by subbing in whole wheat flour for half the flour - next time I'm betting I can get away with all whole wheat.

Basic Cookie Recipe
3 Cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 sticks butter melted and cooled
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 375.  Sift (I know, I know, honestly I pretty much NEVER do this) flour, baking soda and set aside.  Beat together both sugars and butter until smooth.  Add in eggs and vanilla.  Beat.  Beat in flour mixture.  Stir in chips.  I don't measure my chips - I use a bag and a half.  This time it was 1 bag of semi-sweet and half a bag of white chocolate chips.  Also, I didn't have large eggs; I had teeny little medium eggs, so I used four of them instead of three.  I won't say it was a mistake, everything turned out ok in the end, but I ended up adding a little extra flour and setting the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes because it was looser and stickier than I usually work with.  This particular recipe makes ALOT of cookies.  Here is my downfall, I get tired of putting out sheet after sheet of cookies so the cookies gradually get larger so I have to make fewer of them.  Ultimately I ended up with roughly 40 large-ish cookies.  Had I made them "normal" size I would probably have around 60.  That rarely happens.  I know boyfriend likes it better because he has "lots" of cookies, but in my opinion, 40 is still lots of cookies, they're just freakishly huge now.

I promise.  To both you and myself that there will be something more exciting happening tomorrow.
Oh, and the steak - it was totally bad assly awesome.