Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Remains of the Bird

Hope everyone out there in cyber-land had a good Turkey Day!!!

It was a usual year around here. Well, other than the youngest nephew who was still suffering from the H1N1 "live" vaccine that he got... poor lil' guy was so miserable he pretty much slept through the whole day except for the absolutely heartwrenching minutes before they left, where in his three-year old voice he just kept saying "Daddy... hurt!" while he dealt with being miserable. They don't think it's actually H1N1 at this point, but the poor little guy is obviously still sick enough to be miserable. :(

Anyway... cooking duties for me this year... I actually took it "light".....

Clockwise from the top right, that is a artichoke/white bean spread (Giada recipe), pecan pie, green beans in browned butter and spanikopita. Wasn't totally planning the spanikopita, but I had phyllo dough in my fridge and spinach to use up.

Oh, and say hello to the roasted brussels sprouts and mashed sweet potatoes that were hanging out in the oven keeping warm.

Food was all good at the mother in laws, company was good, and a good time was had.

Oh.... and the Artichoke and Bean Crostini were actually pretty good... filling though. I did NOT need to make a double recipe of this - those things are FILLING. I snacked on a couple before we went over to the in-laws. I did crumble my prosciutto and mixed it in with everything since I just brought the toasts and the artichoke-bean spread so people couple glop it on themselves.

Was I actually stupid enough to travel outside among the shopping masses on Friday?

Sadly, yes.

My first ever experience out among the black Friday shoppers was a few years back when I was up in Wisconsin visitig my aunt over the holiday, and frankly, when you're in the middle of Wisconsin, there isn't much else to do. And since I was apparently not thinking straight when I was packing, there were some things I really needed (oh, like bras... how I forgot to pack them is beyond me, since as I discovered it's not always easy to find the sizes I need). It was not the most fun experience of my life.

But, there were some sales I wanted to take advantage of. I was lucky though... the place I wanted to hit the most was Staples. SUCH the hotbead for Black Friday activity. I swear, there were four people in the store when I got there. I really really needed to get a wireless mouse for my laptop, I kinda wanted to get a pair of speakers for my desktop PC, and the "I might just get them if they still have them" item was an 8 gig Micro SD card to use with the new MP3 player.

So, of course, they didn't have the mouse I was looking for, or the speakers. At least with the speakers, they didn't have the "sale" ones left, but they had another set of speakers that was $20. Fine by me. The mouse? Um, yeah. The one I wanted was like $13, and they were also supposed to have a $10 or $11 one. No $13 one, no cheaper one either. Now, if they'd have had another model on sale for like $20, I would have happily walked out of there and called it a day. But no... the rest of them were all full-priced $40-$50 models. No thank you.

And the memory card? They had RACKS of them. Silly me... I thought they'd be one of the first things to go. But I guess a lot of parents must not be hip on what a great stocking-stuffer an 8 gig micro card can be for the cell-phone and device-mad kids. Oh well.

But, at least for lunch, I had leftovers on hand for a very nice lunch of a turkey hot brown... turkey on toast, covered with a cheese sauce and some leftover crisped prosciutto.....

Tres yum.
No dinner cooking on Friday night. Hey, it's a holiday weekend.

And on Saturday... what do you make when you're getting kind of sick of turkey??

Seafood lasagna!!

Always a hit around here. And this time I was actually smart enough to look at my copy of the recipe, especially the part where I added a note to myself that REALLY VICTORIA, LISTEN TO THE INSTRUCTIONS AND BAKE IT UNCOVERED, because it turned out wonderfully. And I usually use it as an excuse to use up cheap frozen seafood, like salad shrimp, snow crab and bay scallops.

Today, since it was rainy out and football was on, I also decided to hit the dreaded Kohl's. Would NOT step foot in there Friday or Saturday, but one of the straps on my purse busted so I needed a new one. And they tend to have the best selection. Mind you, most of the selection is butt ugly, but they do have some good ones mixed in.
I tend to be pretty plain about my day-to-day purse... I'm all for a fun evening bag, but give me something sturdy, basic and black for my every day purse. And I was surprised to actually find exactly what I wanted. Even in real leather.
Then was on to the fun task of changing out the purse. And who doesn't love that scene from the Breakfast Club when Ally Sheedy when she dumps out the contents of her purse???

USB drives, nail files, various lip balms, various cold medicines and acid reducer meds, tire pressure guage, various tools, and a total of 12 lighters. Heh.

That project done, I went on to two others.... finding the Christmas cards I bought after the holidays last year (they were luckily in the first Xmas box I looked in) and doing some massive re-organization of my MP3 player, which took longer and I'm still working on. I have yet to totally figure out how the heck Windows Media Player decides to sync or not sync based on your playlist, but I'll get it figured out. Someday.
Dinnertime? How about some turkey chili...

Since I am of the mind that you can't have enough turkey aroud Turkey day, I actually threw a turkey breast in the crockpot on Thanksgiving so we'd have additional leftovers. Because everyone needs more than once chance to live the "turkey + mayo + white bread" sandwich over the course of the weekend. And leftover turkey come Sunday is a very, very nice thing to have.
And I did learn, the hard way, that one should NOT "guess" at the number of jalapenos to use... yeah, I roasted some poblanos and jalapenos and added four jalapenos... which had this stuff at nuclear levels. But thanks to that, I did also learn that a peeled potato in there to help draw out some spice is good, as is a sprinkle of baking soda. At least it went from "OH MY GOD WHAT KIND OF GUATEMALEN INSANITY PEPPER DID YOU USE IN THIS?!?!?" to "the spice builds up on you hot" thing where you could finish a bowl.
And that is the last of the turkey.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Just another Thursday.....

So.... the new job is going well, despite all the stinkin' construction traffic around the office. At least I have learned that being stuck in traffic is a good time to do important things like rate all the songs on your MP3 player and catch up with Ebooks on my Palm. Productivity, people!

Oh, although I have also learned that the Sansa Fuze MP3 players are NOT a good choice with and old Compaq laptop. Problems with power to the USB ports and I just can't get the thing to work correctly on my laptop. So I can sync my Palm on my laptop and NOT my desktop, and I can transfer files to my MP3 player on my desktop, but not my laptop. I suppose in the scheme of the world, it makes sense somehow.

So... today.... I was looking at the Outlook calender at work, and I totally realized it was one of my favorite days of the year.....

Happy Beajolais Nouveau Day, 2009!!


What to serve with the fine wine??

Well, today the oven also got fixed (YAY!!!!) so I obviously had to use it when I got home. Scotch eggs, anyone??

That is sausage wrapped around a hard boiled egg, that is given a flour-egg-toasted panko coating and thrown in the oven for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

I think the oven performed beautifully. Thank you, Abt oven repair dude!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Technology Weekend!!

Well it's all "Welcome to 2001" over here.... I finally bought a standalone MP3 player. I was looking at the SanDisk Sansa Fuze for awhile, since the 'puter really just kinda treats it like a removable drive and it's not all "sync" driven or anything. I'm pretty happy with it so far. It wasn't "plug & play" on either my desktop or my laptop (more on that in a second) but it was easy enough to get it installed anyway. (Edit to add... sadly, it can be sync-driven. Or at least it was on my laptop, where it promptly over-wrote everything I had on there, including all the songs I already had on my micro SD card. Le sigh....)

Price on it was also good... and even better, I got to use the hubby's poker winnings to buy it. Some of the guys in his shop play when it's slow... and last week he actually got to use a line he's been wanting to use for twenty years.... "Well, it looks like I just have a pair of twos.... and another pair of twos....." He was excited. And I was happy my gadget was paid for.

Of course, now I realize how badly I need to organize some of my MP3s.... a task for the future.

There was also much excitement.... got a "used" laptop screen (basically the whole front cover) for my laptop, and I switched out my old, non-working one. It was actually easy enough to do, and I now happily have my laptop downstairs on the couch, next to me, where it belongs. Life is good again.

Further proof that life is good? We've booked our next trip to Vegas. New Year's Eve, baby!! Always wanted to do it, and the way the holiday falls this year, the hubby can actually fly out of town (not tied down by "first of the year" inventory) and they're not making him fly to another plant to oversee... so it looks like we'll be spending New Year's Eve watching the insanity that is NYE in Vegas from our hotel room.

New job continues to be good... still learning the ropes, but getting to jump in on projects since we have deadlines looming.

Oh, and oven repair dude is coming on Thursday. I cannot wait.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What a difference a week makes.....

So.... had my interview last Monday morning.

Had an offer from them Monday night.

Formally accepted it Tuesday.

Started work on Thursday.

And thanks to road construction, the drive home from work is taking twice as long as it should. Joy.

Oh, and apparently my stove decided to stop working, just in time for Turkey Day. Burners work fine, broiler works fine, but the oven won't come up to temp. Yay.