Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Traffic Season 2008

So, met That Word Guy for lunch today, and there was some talk about the shutdown of a section of road for the upcoming week, and what a traffic nightmare it was. (And I even left lunch with a present... a bottle of jarred tomato sauce that is supposed to be f'ntastic... have to figure out when I can try it in the next couple weeks... sweet!!!!!)

I noticed traffic was a little heavier going in to work today, but didn't think much about it.

Going home? Ugh. My usual 20-30 minute drive was jammed - after 30 minutes of driving I could still see my office building (which might have been partly because I made a very wrong decision to try and avoid some other traffic I saw). Took over an hour to get home, and I had left word late. Didn't get home until 6:30.

I hatched the plan late in the day to make the Crispy Shrimp from Everyday Food for dinner. Made it before, very good, quick and easy. But getting home that late and having a goal of dinner on the coffee table (we do have a proper dining table, and have never once used it during dinner hour when we didn't have company) by 7pm, I knew the shrimp were out. So, it was the very non-gourmet plan of canned reduced-fat corned beef hash and eggs.

After I get past the initial dog-food-like smell of corned beef hash, I really don't mind the stuff. Yes, I prefer the stuff I make with real corned beef, but I don't often have real corned beef on hand And the hubby loves it. Cooked that until it had some nice crispy bits, fried up some eggs, toasted some English muffins, and dinner was done.

Went to make my lunch for tomorrow, planning to do a chicken/hummus/veggie wrap, only to open the container of chicken and get an immediate "off" smell. I'm not usually one to be squeamish about leftovers, but this was a rare case where there was no way I was going to eat what came out of that container. Luckily I did have some leftover beef from a roast last week that still smelled OK, so that went in to the wrap.

Hopefully there will be time to do the shrimp tomorrow.

Also, tonight was apparently the last episode of Ghost Hunters on Sci-fi for the next few weeks, which hopefully means the Wednesday Workout should be back next week. Yay!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Local Politix


I live in a county in the fine state of Illinois that includes the City of Chicago. In relative terms, I actually live pretty far from the actual city.

Where I live also happens to be right on the border with another county. Only reason I love in this county is the property taxes are much lower. I actually work in the other county.

First, my home county upped taxes on cigarettes in accordance with outlawing smoking indoors anywhere. I believe individual businesses should be able to make the decision, but in the end it's probably saved me money since we go to the other county (without extra cigarette taxes) to buy smokes. And I haven't been to a bar since the new law passed, and I probably won't find myself at a bar in this county while they have that law in the near to far future.

Already this year, the head of the county (a man "elected" to the position after his well-connected father and friends pretty much handed it to him -- I didn't vote for the guy) has proposed a new sales tax. I can drive to one of two very nearby counties and save 2.5% - 3%. Why the hell would I still shop around here?

Already, the Menards that is about four blocks away is moving to a new location in one of the cheaper counties, and the new location is... about three blocks away from my house. Whole Foods is moving "up the street" to the cheaper county (and, frankly, where more of their shoppers probably hail from, it's a ritzier area). I'm sure my own town will feel the sting with these big businesses leaving, and likely more on the way.

The tax hike - we're told - is largely to pay for regional transit costs. Mostly the city of Chicago's infamous El system. I used it when I lived in the city, but even when I lived close to the city limits but worked/went to school in the city, it was much more enjoyable to take the regional transit system, the Metra trains. Metra is not in nearly the financial pickle that the El system is. And it's cleaner, more reliable, run better... and no one who uses it really minds that it costs a little more.

So, higher taxes, to help pay for something I don't plan on using. My own town, loosing businesses. My own self fully planning on going to another county for all my personal and food shopping.

And the county leader, who voted in the tax hike... unwilling to come to my town and 'splain himself. He was supposed to come to a meeting tomorrow night... but right about 5pm today there was a press release issued saying he wouldn't come.

Taxation without representation, everbody. It sucks.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

A Very Veggie Sunday

It's been an uneventful weekend 'round these parts.

There was much happiness and rejoicing around the town on Friday. Did our local sports team win something? Nope. Did they get rid of sales taxes? Not likely. But the new White Castle opened.

I grew up eating White Castles, and I suffer from non of the ill-effects that some say they get (let's just say, "intestinal discomfort"). The nearest one to where I've lived for the past 9 years of my life has been about 10 miles away, which means FAR in suburban terms. At the old job, I was lucky enough to be close enough to make a run at lunch time, which was nice.

But now, one right here in our own town! Yay!! The place was a madhouse on Friday (it opened sometime last week) but I was very happy that the burgers and onion rings were very, very good. I got two sacks of ten - one hamburgers, one cheeseburgers - and the hubby ate 8 the first night. I had four. I had two more yesterday. Hubby had the last two hamburgers and then two more cheeseburgers. And he finished off the rest of them for lunch today.

Needless to say, we haven't been eating too healthy the past couple of weeks. Usually when that happens, my body becomes smarter than me and intercepts the signals to my brain about food, and I start to crave veggies. So, I roasted some veggies today for some veggie/hummus wraps for lunches this week, the meal plan for tonight was Eggplant Parmesan. Used the Muir Glen pasta sauce for the first time... I think I'm still a Prego gal. It was good, but a bit acidic for me. I can say right now that I will have heartburn tomorrow.

Along with a lot of the upper midwest, we're going thru a cold snap right now. Last night I pulled in all my potted herbs, and it looks like I'll have to do that most of this week. But, with the cold, I do have an excuse to do a big pot of french onion soup. I've got the onions bubbling away in the crockpot today (mentioned it before but I'll mention it again.... throw a stick of butter in to the bottom and pile on as many onions as will fit in the pot... if I've though ahead enough to do it overnight I'll cook them on low for 10-12 hours, right now I'm keeping an eye on them so they don't burn and using the "high" setting, but it's been over 8 hours and they still ain't how I want them so I'm not seeing how the "high" setting saves me any time....) and I'll throw together everything for the soup so it can simmer tomorrow, and we'll have a nice dinner of that and some grilled ham & cheese sandwiches.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Like a good neighbor......

(..... State Farm is theeeeeeeeeerrrrree.......)

(oh, and Carrie, if you're reading this... go to another page. Now. There will likely be much swearing and bad will towards others following this)

Why are good neighbors so hard to find??

A good neighbor (at least to me) is someone who is not trying to be your best friend, or someone who is up in your face about everything.

Something must be in the air along with spring and massive amounts of pollen.... a huge bug up many of the neighbor's asses.

(see Carrie? I told you to leave.... get out while you still can!!!)

It started last week with neighbor on the right. Came over at 11pm to bitch about us parking in front of his house. Now, we're in an odd little situation on our little section of townhomes... we actually legally own the paved surface in front of our house. But the guy was being a bit of an ass about it all.... there are ways to be neighborly and ways to a complete tool about it and he was sure HAMMERing home the point.... whatever. Hubby (after I told him about the exchange... didn't call him down while I talked to the guy 'cause I knew Hubby would get hotheaded) groaned and moved the offending car. Oh... might I mention... these people don't put an actual car of theirs in their garage... it's filled with boxes that have been there since they moved in. Yeah, I judge.

Neighbor on the left is actually OK... he's an old dude, and gets that a good neighbor is polite conversation and asking for things nicely. He mentioned he's got some people working on his place, and he'd appreciate if we left the space in front of our adjoining lots open so the dudes can park there. Fine... you asked nice, we get it, not a problem.

After the work-type dudes were obviously gone, the Hubby parked a car out front. Yeah, he did it badly, parking on the section of "lot" where the plow dudes totally hacked up our grass. But Monday morning, the neighbor two doors to the left - the daughter of old dude - was knocking/ringing our bell at 6am. SIX AM, PEOPLE. I don't want someone doing that unless our OWN townhome is on fire, especially on a Monday morning. The Hubby went down for that one, and if he was not in a sleep-haze I fear what would have happened. Let me say right here.... as a total attack on some of my gender... there are reasons some women are unmarried. Just try to learn how to be a little civil and not such a self-centered BLEEEEEEEEEEEEP BLEP BLEEPETY BLEEP about things. Please. If you could realize that people are people and they very often have more things going on in life that whatever is your cause for that ten minutes, you'd likely be a lot happier.

And... might I mention our lawn might not be so hacked to bit if she, as part of the association board, tried a little harder to pick a landscaping crew that could tell a weed from a lilac bush??

Let's just say that last night, the Hubby and I were dreaming of winning the lotto and having a contest to give this place to somebody who is the most annoying neighbor EVER. C'mon... we try to keep quiet. We keep the place up. I try to make the yard look nice. I'll have conversations with neighbors when it seems fit, but let them escape or go on their way when I think that is what they want to do. Am I such a bad neighbor??

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Herbs and grass. Yay!!

No.... nothing like that.....

Gardening season. Yay!!!

Went out to do the grocery shopping today and it was just beautiful outside. I had to get my behind to the local nursery and hope they had some herbs out. I also had a blackberry bush I and some ornamental grasses I needed to plant, and I figured if I was going to do a little work outside, I might as well do a lot.

Did get to the nursery, and I was happy to see that they did have some herbs out. Yay! My creeping rosemary was the only thing that survived my attempts at bringing it inside over winter (well, actually, the lavender and sage were doing well but then just up & died on me in the past week). They actually had sweet basil, which I plant every year. Also picked up some lemon thyme, French lavender, tricolor sage, and tarragon. Tarragon, yay!! Yay!! I've missed the fresh tarragon since I went and killed it a couple months back.

I still have some herb pots to fill... need to get parsley and chives, and undecided on what else I'll plant. I want to find some kind of mint, maybe a second tarragon plant. Was also thinking of some lovage that I saw. Never even tried it, much less growing it, but that is half the fun. Hopefully I'll be able to get everything I need to fill out the garden next weekend.

Also planted some ornamental grasses. I'm hoping I just had crapola plants last year and it goes better this year. Got some maiden grass and a Dallas blue switch grass that I ordered online from Gurney this year, and the replacements for the flame grass and diamond grass that died as soon as I put them in the ground last year (both sent free from Spring Hill Nursery as replacement plants). Fingers crossed.

Also got my hair cut today. I may be a girl, but I really stink at keeping up with haircut appointments. I keep my hair pretty basic... straight and long with no bangs... and I am embarrassed to say it's been two years since I had a proper haircut even to trim off a lot of the dead ends. My sister in law took off probably two inches from the longest point... but it looks a lot better (even despite my five year old nephew looking at me and going "She looks the same, Mom!").

Drive thru beef sandwich and hot dogs (for the hubby) for dinner. Wanted to cook some chicken breasts for some lunch stuff this week, but didn't get around to it. Looks like a salami sandwich for lunch for me tomorrow.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I am either a very light sleeper for the night, or a very sound sleeper for the night. On Thursday night/Friday morning, I was apparently a very, very sound sleeper. I slept thru an earthquake.

Mind you, in the midwest, we don't get whoppers. Also, the epicenter was about 240 miles away. But people who were awake for it, or woken to a more concious state than me and the hubby, had a very "WTF" experience with it and all knew it was something, and not something normal.

I only remember getting up to go to the bathroom, and not being able to fall asleep again. Which had me tired on Friday. I also knew there would be no napping for me on Friday since I needed to get the mini bagel dogs made for my nephew's b-day party, and it was up early this morning to get all the last minute stuff done before the long drive to my bro's house.

Party was fun... tons of kids... thankfully they just had the basement finished, so the insanity was contained down there, mostly. But it was fun.

There was a little vague talk about what the plan is going to be for Mother's Day. I know that my bro is on reduced pay while he's on leave as he recovers from surgery, so I think the expensive brunch we've done the past few years isn't going to be an option. Might gather everyone here for a late brunch thing.. don't know yet.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Is this.....

.... a flower or a weed?

If you said "flower", you're better than the last two landscaping companies our association has hired.

If you said "weed", I can give you the name of two companies that will happily hired you for your mad landscaping skillz.


Last year, that lovely little flower - which was still in bloom - was hacked off by the landscaping dudes. They took down the whole plant. How can you mistake a daylilly for a weed??

Last year was my first honest attempt at landscaping for outside the townhome. One thing I did was buy two cheap-ass, teeny-tiny lilac "bushes" (more like a twig sticking out of a pot) that I planted with dreams of lilacs in my head. The plants didn't grown much last year, but I had hopes they'd do well this year. One in the front yard, one in the back yard.

They both survived winter, which made me happy.

But today, got home from work, and noticed that the bush out front was totally uprooted. Not dug out, like maybe an animal (or the feral cats) got to them, but almost like someone yanked it out of the ground in it's twig and three-bud glory. Sigh.

Got it back in to the ground, and I'll see what the damage is. I'm half thinking this might just be the sign to drop $50 on a real, couple-year-old bush from the nursery up the street. At least then the stinkin' landscapers would have no excuse for mistaking it for something else.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pork challenged


That Word Guy will be very happy to know I finally did manage to catch it on super-sale while placing an Amazon order, and I am now a proud owner of the pan. Put that one on your watch lists, folks... when it's $20, it's a steal. Yes, I finally did listen after the many, many times you told me to get that pan. And it does indeed rock. And if any of the people I buy gifts for in my life cooked, I'd get this pan for them.

Too bad the first meal in it didn't turn out so well.

Was trying a new recipe that is basically pork chops and then a pan sauce with peaces. Sauce was ok, pork chops looked the same raw in their package, but cooked up to one about an inch thick and one about a half inch thick. I got the thick chop. I'm usually not squeamish about pink pork, but my chop was a bit too pink even for me.

Yeah. Dinner ended up being Kraft Mac & Cheese and then a slice of swiss cheese. It coulda been worse.

I am also absolutely in love with the show Top Gear on BBC America. It's like "car show" meets Monty Python. Just awesomeness.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I wasn't tagged but I feel like doing it anyway.....

Favorite movies you have to be "in the mood" for in order to enjoy:

I got nuttin'.

Favorite movies that make you laugh out loud no matter how many times you have watched them:

1. Blues Brothers
2. Road House

Your favorite "Guilty Pleasures"

1. Legally Blonde
2. Miss Congeniality

Favorite movies you have seen so many times, you can recite all the lines

1. All About Eve
2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Movies that "Opened your eyes."
(Note: I don't really watch documentaries... so it's movies that opened me up to things or changed ideas...)
1. Vampire Hunter D. Did not like anime until I saw this one.
2. Sin City. After such a recent run of bad comic book movies, this one was EXACTLY like reading the comics.

Most Overrated

1. E.T. I feel asleep the first time I saw it in the theater, and I've fallen asleep every time since then when I've tried to watch it.
2. No Country for Old Men. Now, I like watching guys run around with guns and shoot people as much as any dude... but wow... this was another one where I just fell asleep. Twice.

What were the last 2 movies you watched

1. Lucky You on HBO (and it is at least as bad, if not worse, than everyone said)
2. The Blues Brothers

Favorite "smart" movies

1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
2. The old BBC Pride & Prejudice

Your spouse's/significant other's favorites

1. The Quiet Man (I at least knew this one....)
2. The Wild Bunch (I did not know this one... it's a new - in the past two weeks - addition)

Your all time favorites:

1. Gone With the Wind
2. The old BBC Pride & Prejudice
(I need to add a third so I don't seem like such a girlie girl....)
3. Sin City

And the kitchen is closed....

Boy, today was a busy day.

Did chili.

Made the chicken salad for Curried Chicken Salad in Naan. That will be lunches this week, along with Grilled Ham, Cheese & Tomato sandwiches (which I think I'll actually do on tortillas). And turkey instead of ham. So not that much like that recipe at all, lol. But that's how I roll, baby.

Also mixed up the stuff for an artichoke dip for my nephew's birthday party on Saturday. That went in to the freezer, I'll pull it out to defrost later in the week and throw it in to the little crockpot to keep it warm on Saturday. But as I often do when I'm prepping food to bring to a party, I think I made waaay too much.

Also did some garlic confit and tomato confit. I want the garlic oil to make pita chips to go with the dip on Saturday, and I'll probably use the tomatoes in my sandwiches this week. Really, the romas at the market just looked so good I just wanted to buy them, again.

Got the kitchen cleaned, and the laundry is going.

I think there is a wormhole in my pantry....

Dude. Seriously.

The agenda for today was to make chili, given the unseasonable cold and the depletion of my reserves of chili in the freezer. And I figured I'd get the bonus of using up some of the many cans of tomato soup and beans that I'd seen when I did a re-org recently. Got the beef and onions done, and went to find the beans and tomato soup from the pantry.

One can of beans. One can of tomato soup.

I *know* I'd seen more.

And also, while I was looking, there was a bottle of Dijonaise right up front/on top of everything. When I cooked brats last week, I spent ten minutes moving/looking for that bleepin' bottle and could not find it. It was not there last week.

Stupid pantry wormhole. Sigh.

So, it was off to the market, and I did have a couple other things I wanted to pick up. No biggie.

Decided to go to the "other" produce mart I hit sometimes. Great produce, great deli, lots of ethnic items. But man, I hate the people who shop there. It seems like every person in the store at any given time thinks that they are THE most important person in the world. It starts in the parking lot. People parking in the fire lane, non-handicapped people parked in the handicapped spaces, Hummers taking up two or three spaces... it's a nightmare. And then you walk in, and people are rude and it's just not enjoyable.

But I did make it out alive, with a giggle at two dudes in chef gear who were raiding the sections of fresh herbs.

Home, and the chili is cooking away in the crockpot, so I can take it easy this afternoon. Was thinking of going over to Trader Joes... but I'm feeling lazy. And I'd like to catch up on the two episodes of The Riches that are waiting on the Tivo. Or I might just continue to watch the Top Chef marathon.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Been meaning to say something.... was very sad to read about the passing of Dan Savage's mom last week. I've been reading him for years, spoken to him via email after reading his book "The Kid" when my brother and sister in law were in the throws of the adoption process.... just a great guy. Funny, insightful... and I've been a fan long enough to know how big of an influence his mom has been. And I know how much it sucks to loose the parent you're the most like. My heart goes out to him. Hopefully right now he's in a bar of the sout' side somewhere with his family getting very, very drunk and remembering hilarious stories about his mom.

Pulled together a pretty nice dinner tonight.... but you get a rant before you get the details! One of the things that irks me the most about Rachel Ray is that the cooking is so rushed. It's yet another show that seems to stress what a chore cooking can be, and isn't it great to burger-fy your meals so you can be out of the kitchen in 30 minutes (and... I'm a fairly skilled person in the kitchen, and any of her recipes has always taken me at least 45 minutes... I'm just sayin'....). Sometimes it's nice to spend some leisurely time in the kitchen. Not being rushed, just giving the cooking process the time it needs to do its lovely magic.

Sometime last year at the end of tomato season, I found myself with a couple of very beautiful tomatoes on hand, ready to go south, and a couple extra cups of heavy cream on hand. What to do? I tossed the cream and some garlic confit in a small pot, put it on the simmer burner on low, and let it go for about an hour and a half. Then I added the flesh from my wonderful summer tomatoes, and we had a lovely tomato-cream pasta sauce for dinner.

I've done it a few times since, and as long as you give it about an hour and are around to stir it every five minutes or so, you are rewarded with a wonderful sauce that a lot of Italian eateries can't compare to.

This week, the roma tomatoes at the produce mart were looking really good, so I bought several. Ok, about three to four pounds worth. We had some with the tacos/nachos last night, but tonight, as soon as the cream (oh wait, I used half & half tonight... not quite as good but still very tasty) came to a simmer, I threw in the whole tomatoes (with the bottom scored) for a minute, then peeled/seeded/chopped them and threw them in. I started cooking at 6pm, and dinner was ready by 7pm. I was not rushed, I spent my time dealing with the tomatoes, peeling some shrimp, getting my pasta water to a boil... and it all came together, but none of it rushed. And it was a zillion and a half times better than any sauce fromajar. Who needs a recipe when you have decent ingredients? The only thing that might have made it better was figuring out how to work bacon in there.....

Work.... ugh. Yeah. There is an industry standard program for producing "print" manuals, and we don't use it at my place. We use a program that has not been updated in ten years. Some people are fanatical about it, but I have yet to be convinced. It's not nearly as feature-rich as the industry-standard tool at this point in time (hello! Program has not been updated in TEN YEARS!) and I've just had a lot of problems with it crashing. It's even more crash-happy than the industry standard program, which can be a little crash happy sometimes, but there are at least ways to fix it. Anyway... today, the program crashed on me, and took an entire chapter of the book I was working on with it. Poof. GONE. No where to be seen. Not in the recovery file. Not in the auto-saved "backup". Gone gone gone. A day of work down the drain, since luckily I don't really trust the program and I at least make a PDF of my work at the end of the day, so I at least had the text I needed. Sigh. Man, I do not like this program. I really, really want to go back to the industry-standard program we used at the last job.

Hopefully a quiet weekend ahead... looks like my bro is getting sprung from the hospital tomorrow or Saturday, so I'll be happy to leave him alone and let him get some rest over the weekend.

Is it Friday yet???

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Happy Hump Day!

So, yesterday I got to work early so I could leave a little early to go down and visit my brother in the hospital.

My brother has had problems with non-cancerous polyps in his colon since he was a teenager. About five years ago, at his yearly checkup, his doctor said he could start doing screenings every 5 years rather than every year.

When he went to his screening this year, they found a group of polyps that they couldn't remove in outpatient services... he needed surgery. GREAT.

My brother lives about an hour/hour and a half south from where I live. I work about twenty minutes north from where I live. I figured it'd likely take about and hour and a half or two hours on the expressway to get there.


Didn't know they had one of the roads I planned on taking down to a SINGLE lane at one point. They mentioned the jam on the news radio, but didn't point out it was because the road was closed down to a SINGLE LANE. Had they said that, I'd have taken a different way.

It was also raining, which only added to the woes. It took about three hours to get to the hospital by my brother's house.

Also, after that long in the car, I really, really, REALLY had to use a bathroom. Figured I'd stop at the first fast food place I passed after I got off the expressway. Which, of course, meant all the fast food places were on the other side of the road. I finally pulled over at a gas station.

Visit was ok... brother was doing well but as expected (gooped up on pain meds and cranky). He's still not getting enough quality rest/sleep or eating well, so it looks like he might be there for a few more days, perhaps in to the weekend.

After I was there for about an hour he was getting sleepy, so I decided to make my exit. It seemed like a good time, the rain looked like it was stopping. Ha. Got on the road, and I could hear the updates on the news radio about how I was pretty much stuck right under a big storm cloud the entire time. At least there were no traffic jams, but it was still a slow go.

And of course... by the time I got off the road, I needed to find a bathroom again. Ended up turning in to the first fast food place I passed, an Arbys, used the facilities and got myself a healthy order of cheese sticks to have as a lovely 10pm dinner with a beer at home.

Hubby didn't get home until about 10:30... he'd gone to a book signing of one of his favorite authors. At least he stopped and got California Pizza Kitchen for dinner (and grumble... he didn't even like it!).

Tonight was fish tacos for me, and nachos for the hubby for dinner. Easy enough.

I really, really need to take inventory of my freezers and start using stuff up. I thought I had frozen pork chops, but I cannot for the life of me find them. I did, however, find at least five pounds of shrimp. Ooops. Yeah. Really need to start clearing out some stuff.

Not sure what I am going to do for dinner tomorrow. Shrimp, I guess?

Monday, April 7, 2008

The diet blahs....

Yeah.... currently in a bit of a diet funk.

Since Vegas, the scale has. not. budged. And it's frustrating. I should be exercising right now, but I'm not. And that is not a good sign.

I've been here before... I know what I need to do... start planning everything out better, including planning. More than just planning the week's dinners... planning ALL my food to the point of making sure meals are more balanced.

Also, I'm really getting sick of eating out lunches. Thought it would be fun... a nice treat.... to make it a point to head out to lunch every day. Yes, it has been nice to make it a point to get out of the office, but frankly I'm getting darned tired of the food. One problem is that the lunch room at work is not nearly as big as it needs to be for our building, so it's hard to even get a seat around lunchtime. There are quite a few people at work that actually take their lunch to their car to eat, seats are always so scarce. I might need to start looking in to getting down there early, around 11am or so, so I can actually get in my OWN food. I donno. Still thinking about it. But in any case, this "no food at the desk" thing is just insane. Like, close to "deal breaking" insane. Bleh.

Doesn't help that I've been a walking kitchen disaster the past few days.... there is an episode where Homer is trying to make breakfast for Mr. Burns, his boss, and every thing he tries to make catches on fire. Including pouring milk on cereal. I was about that talented yesterday. Didn't toast enough panko for all the veal cutlets (last night it was veal parm for dinner). Forgot to sauce the cutlets before coating them with cheese. Forgot to get mozzarella at the grocery store (luckily I had some cheese). Tonight was a new recipe, chicken fried skirt steaks, and the hubby liked them but I guess I am just not a fan skirt steak. I ended up eating two slices of sage derby cheese and a peanut butter cup for dinner. Healthy!

And I have some ground beef in the fridge that I should cook up tonight. Not going to be home tomorrow night, my bro had some surgery today and the plan is to go visit him tomorrow, which means I won't be home until late.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Shut up! Shut up! Bloody vikings.

Spam... Spam... Spam... Spam......

Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

No, this is not just a recreation of one of the funniest comedy sketches ever.... tonight's menu featured Spam.

The hubby and I both have a weakness for Spam. Some slices, fried up nicely... half your daily suggested intake of sodium and some potted meat goodness all in one swoop. And tasty porky goodness never hurts anything.

Tonight was fried eggs, some Spam, Crisp Potato Hash Browns, and toast. Good stuff.

Really, it was all brought on by the fact they now sell Spam in "single slice" packets (think the tuna fish pouches) that I just HAD to try out. One reason we don't have Spam as much as we like (but probably as little as we SHOULD) is I just utterly suck at trying to slice the stuff outta the can. It's been several years since I even tried, and part of the problem may have been the Ginsu knives I had at the time. But man, the pouch things ROCK. Tear open a pouch, ooze out the meat, and ready to rock.

Why is Spam considered so evil anyway? I know a lot of people consider it trashy food, and maybe I do also, but is it so bad? Is it the name? Would it be better if it was just called "ham terrine"?? Is a slice of Spam served with some eggs, potatoes and toast any worse of a meal than boxed mac & cheese served with frozen chicken strips and ranch dressing? I think the times have changed. There are FAR bigger culinary crimes out there nowadays.

As for me... my love of Spam is renewed. And now I have to try and find some good Spam fried rice recipes since we have always wanted to try it, and the potted meat is a LOT cheaper than a trip to Hawaii to see how they do it right....

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Three years ago today...

... was my last "official" day as a single gal.

And I didn't even know it.

We were in Vegas... hubby had a trade show and I tagged along for the ride. On Friday (April 1st) we took a big trip out to the Neon Museum for a private tour, and we had a cab driver who told all the stories of the pranks his family pulls for April Fool's Day, and he was really trying to convince us that we should get married and then get divorced the same night to pull a prank on our own families.

That wasn't going to happen.

We'd always talked about getting married in Vegas... I do not have the poofy white dress bride gene and a big wedding held little charm for me. I figured we'd just be scoping things out to plan a future trip for the actual nuptuals. But I did bring a white dress with me "just in case".

On Saturday morning, April 2nd, we woke up and did the buffet thing and went back to our room. The now-hubby looked at me and said, "Well, do you want to do it now, or come back another time?" Me: "Huh?" Him: "We've done the buffet and everything else Vegas, want to get married?" Me: "Sure!"

He went out to get a decent shirt (all he brought were polos and tee shirts) and I headed off to find some shoes to go with the white dress (the dress was $5 off Ebay, the shoes cost me $120 but are still my favorite brand of heels to this day) and we went downtown, and then got married at a seedy little chapel in a strip mall. It was great.

We'd been together for... quick math in head... 11 years by that point. We knew it was going to happen and it would happen when it happened, and that was the moment. The families were more relieved/excited that we FINALLY did it than upset we did it without them. But it is what we wanted... our relationship is the two of us, and the marriage was the two of us (and a car salesman-like preacher).

Couldn't be happier, still.