Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry, Happy & Seasons



Snowflakes hanging from the ceiling add a fun festive vibe to the house. I will need to do this next year. It's so easy, cute and inexpensive that it's ridiculous not to do it!

Merry Christmas everyone. Eat, drink, enjoy and be merry with your friends and family.

Just for fun here is the 'fake' Christmas song from Love Actually that I can't get out of my head!!



Friday, December 21, 2012

Must - Christmas Edition

Christmas is just a few days away and I am ready. Besides the yummy food and treats I will consume, I get to hang with the family and enjoy the present opening that seems to last all day in this house (we take our time and try to stretch it out as long as possible). With the holidays in mind I am sharing a few of my favorite holiday internet findings this week.

Image via Imgur

Christmas Cards - A dad who knows how to navigate photoshop started doing Christmas cards using his kids when his boy was in diapers. It snowballed into this and he has declared that his parents hate him and his kids will hate him more. I, however love them! Click through to see all 8.

Image via iVillage

Gingerbread Houses - These gingerbread houses are pretty amazing and obviously done by people who have way more talent than I do. Pretty cool though.

Christmas List - Give this list a little read. Just a really nice wish list for the season.


Seriously. Make it.
Fudge - I made my second batch of this and it is going fast. Pretty sure number 3 is right around the corner. It's so easy to do I have no idea why you haven't done it yet. 

Enjoy your weekend and avoid the malls if at all possible!




Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Songs for the Holidays



For the last ten years my father has been producing CD's for the holidays and sending them out to friends and family. He starts the search for new and interesting takes on traditional songs in the summer and then goes into production October/November. He has never had a repeat, keeps the music interesting and crosses all genres of music to provide only the best compilation year after year. Last year I shared my favorite songs and this year I thought I would share his 2012 Christmas from Beach CD. I must say that I love this years selection and I hope you do as well!




PS - I added the last song because I love it.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Because

The post I had originally scheduled for today was a humorous look at the end of the world because the Mayans got bored making calendars. When it comes to surviving the apocolypse I got that on lock, as long as zombies are involved. Then Friday happened and I lost my humor. I am not going to write about my feelings on gun control or mental illness. Both issues I have strong feelings about and I am happy to share it if you want to know, send me a message. No, this post is because I didn't know what to write. I had to turn off social media, the TV and avoid the Internet to get through parts of this weekend. The more details I found out the more I started losing my faith in people. Then I realized maybe that was part of what the shooter wanted. So I watched a lot of feel good Christmas movies and tried to get in the right frame of mind. I am still working on it, but Colin and Hugh are helping (Love Actually was watched about three times).

My heart and prayers truly go out to each and every victims family and friends. There are no words that can make this better, but hopefully they can feel the goodwill and thoughts from every part of the world.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Must

I don't know if I should be happy or sad that the weeks are just flying by. On the one hand the end of December is a start of a new year that I hope brings more happiness and less crap then 2012. On the other side, the weeks go by so quickly you feel that you never quite get everything done. Instead of contemplating this further, this weekend I am just going to try to relax, enjoy a glass of wine and watch Miracle on 34th Street on loop. Dare to dream big!

Here are my must check out items for this week.

Let's hear if for the Boys - This week on SkinnyScoop I re-upped my gifts for the man that is impossible to shop for. There are some pretty neat things on it and there have been some great contributions to the list from other members. You may just find that great last minute gift you have been searching for!


Beef Cobbler - At first it sounds a little weird, but with a little time and a little work you have a super tasty dish that we couldn't stop eating. Oh it was so good. This is definitely a keeper recipe in my house. The one thing I did though was use a dutch oven for the stove top cooking and into the oven (Curtis calls to switch pans). I hate dishes and if you don't have to dirty another one, why would you?


Cheddar biscuits on top. Heck yeah.

Dance like no one is watching - My GF's and I all love to dance with or without wine, but I loved this story. It's a quick and easy read. Body acceptance can only come from within ourselves!

I am dancing while my friend is trying figure out
how to escape the fact we are on stage at a place
called the Kitty Club in Las Vegas. The last
two words explains the first part. 

Agate Plates - I want these so bad it's almost bordering on obsessive. They are ridiculously expensive, BUT I LOVE THEM SO!! They are pretty spectacular. It doesn't help that Uncommon Goods is my internet crack. I can't stop wanting most of the items on the site!

Perhaps I will ask Santa for them.

 Have a great relaxing, wine drinking, Miracle on 34th street weekend everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fudge Off

When I was little we used to spend most holiday's at my aunts house on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. Her house was surrounded by large pine trees (think Twilight) and was tucked away from all the big city hustle and bustle, which as a child that sounded terribly boring but the older I get I see why my parents were drawn there. In the end I always had a great time, it was a pretty amazing place to spend Christmas and not just for the location. Every year there would be fudge at her house. While you may not think that is a big deal, I came from a household of little to no sugar and that fudge was as close to mainlining sugar as I would get all year. I would walk by the table where it was out and swipe a piece (sometimes two) as often as I could all day long. A few times I would get caught, but a few minutes later and I would be back on the circuit. It's amazing I didn't throw up.

So now every December I start thinking fudge without even trying. At first I was a little afraid to try and make it myself because it involved a candy thermometer and then it just seemed like to many steps. Then I found the 5 minute fudge (To be accurate it takes me 10 minutes from gathering the ingredients to cleaning and drying the bowl. Really). Well it sounded just to good to be true, but it was quick and it was delicious. So each year since I have been making and giving away my microwave fudge to rave reviews, but something was nagging at me. Was this as good as the old fashioned? What if I tried a more old fashioned styled version of it, would it be better? Then as luck would have it I came across this recipe and thus was born the Fudge Off 2012. I am putting my tried and true quickie microwave fudge against a little more work, but pure ingredient kind of microwaved fudge. Let's get started!


Quickie Micro Fudge

I have no recollection where I found this recipe originally. It's so easy to remember that I never had to look it up again!

3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup of butter (I use salted)
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla

In a large bowl combine chocolate chips, butter and sweetened condensed milk and microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and then continue to microwave in 30 second intervals (stirring in between each one) until completely melted and smooth. Add vanilla and pour into greased 8x8 pan. Chill several hours before cutting.

Tip - spray the 8x8 pan with cooking spray and then place parchment paper in pan. It's so much easier to get it out this way.

Still delicious and so ridiculously simple to make it's hard to justify the time it takes to make it any other way.

Pros - Super silky, fool proof, same recipe can be used with different chips (white, peanut butter, etc.) for variety, quick, delicious.

Cons - Uh none.


Add it all in a bowl

Chill and done

Microwave Fudge Recipe 
Adapted from the recipe Gaye's Microwave Fudge Recipe

After reading the reviews I made a few changes to the recipe to make sure I ended up with the smoothest and best fudge I could. The ingredients remain the same, however the technique is a little different.

4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Sift sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl, then whisk to combine.

Heat butter until melted completely in microwave approx 1 minute. Add milk and microwave an additional 30 seconds. Pour milk into dry ingredients and stir, slowly adding in butter until chocolate is smooth and shiny. Add vanilla and mix well. Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Chill several hours before cutting.

Same tip - spray the 8x8 pan with cooking spray and then place parchment paper in pan. It's so much easier to get it out this way.

Pros - Taste a bit more like the old fashioned fudge, easy, butter-tastic

Cons - Sifting and without doing this step you could end up with lumps (Lumpy fudge = gross), takes a little more time.

Sift away

Chill and done

The results? Well let's just say I like them both, but will continue with quickie fudge because I love anything that involves only one bowl to clean and hate sifting. That said both produced good fudge, but the best reviews came from my trusty one bowl recipe!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend and a Cheap Holiday

This weekend was fantastically easy going. There was no particular place to be, no one that we had to see and nothing we had to do. Doesn't mean we didn't do anything, just means we did what we wanted to do. Thanks to some prompting by the BF we got the feather tree up, made a delicious cobbler (more on that later) and went for brunch at the Ports O' Call in San Pedro. That brunch is where I ate my fill in pretty much every category they have, there not to mention the bottomless glass of bubbly. Yum.

Today reality hits and I have to go to the dentist for dental work and not just a cleaning. I am never good at these things and always have a fear that they will screw up. There is no good rationalization for this, it just is. So with that in mind when the dentist mentioned he could offer me a Hawaiian vacation for $30. I was intrigued. It's not covered by insurance and you don't get on a plane, but it includes a valium and nitrous oxide for the entire uncomfortable time you are in that chair. For me $30 is a steal to help avoid any unpleasantness as a result of someone poking me in the mouth.

Here's to hoping your day is a heck of a lot less unpleasant than mine!

Fun building/Structure
Seal Beach.

Huntington Beach



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Must

This week has been the first of two weeks full of everyone trying to get as much work done as possible before the holidays. It can be broken down to basically non-stop work and stuff, except for when I found time to go to the dentist and the doctor to be told that I am broken and time, money and pills are the only answer. You know just like every other week of this year. To help reset my mind, spirit and body I think a few cocktails and some cheese nibbles are in the plans for the weekend.

Here are some must check out items you may have missed!

Image via Japan Trend Shop


Edible iPhone Cover - Like we needed further proof that Japan needs new hobbies that are actual hobbies and not just crazy things that are better left uninvented. Just think about the bacteria and crap that would touch this, how could you even think to put this in your mouth? I guess if it was the only food for miles, I was on foot and it was apocalyptic times and all. If this is to your liking beware it's priced like it's the last cracker on earth.

Image via Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Hot Toddy - Baby it's cold outside and this will warm you up with a quickness. Man I love a good toddy and this recipe screams to be made.

Image via Juicy Couture

Juicy Couture Palladium Blazer - I am in love with this blazer for the holidays. Unfortunately I am keeping the budget under control and it won't be in my closet this year, but I can dream of the outfits I would create.

Hope you have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's the thought that counts

I have always been pretty big on making gifts for people in my life for the holidays and I hope people enjoy receiving them. I put time, effort and lots of thought into every gift because I think that the homemade touch is just so much more personal. That's the whole point of gift giving anyway right? I am thinking of you, love you or thought you would enjoy this. Well at least that is what I think it should be.

Throughout the year I am constantly on the look out for great ideas that look like they would be fun to do and receive. This year these are the items that have caught my eye and have been tested for approval.



Sweet Tea Vodka
I know this is more of a summer type booze, but I say sweet tea is all year round. When it's 15 degrees out and you're desperately wanting to be anywhere but there, you can turn up the thermostat and party like you are on the beach with this easy and yummy concoction. It's all in the imagination. This is easy to whip up and people love it when you infuse your own booze. It's like they think you know magic or are Susie homemaker and they will thank you. Only you will know that it takes very little effort and time.
Ingredients
1 bottle (750ml) of decent, but not expensive vodka 
4  tea bags
1 cup water & 1 cup of sugar to make a simple syrup

Directions
Pour vodka into a pitcher or jar and add tea bags. Steep for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until it is nice caramel brown.

While vodka is doing its thing with the tea make the simple syrup by heating water to a boil. Add sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.

Once vodka and tea are properly mixes add simple syrup to vodka to taste. If you want you can always make more simple syrup to make it sweeter!


You can even get a little crazy and add
some hazelnut syrup to it. YUM!

Irish Cream Liqueur 
I think alcohol is a great gift (for those that do drink) and this one is absolutely so yummy you may not even get around to giving it away. The recipe and directions are so incredibly easy it's ridiculous not to try it. The recipe can be found here, but after trying it a few times I have come to add a little more whiskey and only use really good dark chocolate syrup to give it that rich and decadent taste. It blows the commercial liqueurs out of the water. You will not regret whipping this up.




Peppermint Candy Sugar Scrub
I am a sucker for scrubs. I have made my own in the past and really love them. I found the idea and recipe here and it is an excellent one if I do say so myself. I used coconut oil since I had it in the house and I love it. I think I may like it better than almond oil. Next time I am going to try a coconut lime scrub. I am sure it will smell heavenly!




Rosemary infused Olive Oil
I have done this one for the last few years and always make sure I have enough left over for me. This is a great oil to use in everyday cooking to give it just a little added hint of rosemary to your dinner table. Plus it looks pretty when presented as a gift.

Heat olive oil over medium heat with the ratio of 5 sprigs of rosemary to each cup of oil until warm (5-10 minutes). Remove from heat and cool. Add sprigs to bottle and pour olive oil in. Keeps up to 1 month in the refrigerator.

I would show you what they look like, but
they are gone.

Fluer de Sel Caramels
While I suggest every single one of the items above, if you only do one, do this. Holy cow, these are the best caramels that I have ever made. They are so good that when my mother and I first did them we went back out to the store to get more supplies to make another batch. I don't even think that first year I actually gave anyone more than one or two. They are addictive in the best way possible. Recipe is courtesy of Ina Garten and can be found here. I suggest doing this with two people, because things can go wrong if you aren't paying attention. There is one crucial step where you have to do two things at once and if you are busy tending to one the other will burn.



Saturday, December 1, 2012

December

I've been so busy this last week that December truly snuck up on me and slapped me in the face. I have about zero presents bought, 20 blog posts that are half (OK 1/4 written) and decorations pulled out, but not done. It doesn't help that I damaged my foot so running, my true stress reliever not to mention a way for me to be less strict with what I eat, is off the table for now. The saddest thing is my latest injury didn't have anything to do with working out, it happened while I was getting the mail and slipped on a curb. What a crappy story.

This weekend I spent time at home, tending to my foot and finally getting some decorations up. I even managed to make some holiday cards. I have been messing around with Photoshop and wanted to make some fun cards based on ones I saw a couple years ago. It took me awhile to get the hang of it, but I am finding my way around and pretty pleased with how they turned out. Thank goodness for the Internet and all the free information you can find to navigate software issues.

Speaking of the Internet I also enjoyed watching Game of Thrones season 2 courtesy of it. Now if I can find a way to multitask and read the books while doing all of the fabulous things needed to be done this month that would be something. Until then I find the HBO series a great substitute and a much watch if you haven't already.

Stockings hung and fire lit!

I love this sparkly wreath. It's the perfect combination
of holiday and glitz!

Sneak peak of my cards!


Stayed tuned because I have my list of handmade gifts you can make and give this year in the works. Some pretty fabulous things if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Revenge!

I am not sure if any of you watch Revenge, but I do and I officially don't know why. I keep thinking it will get better, but as soon as it starts to get a little better it then, in the same episode turns weird and boring. Every episode makes me crazy on so many different levels I don't even know where to start, but I guess I do so here are my suggestions to make Revenge a little more watchable and enjoyable for us the viewers.


Emily/Amanda - While she is very pretty, she has only two facial expressions and it's getting harder each episode for me to care if she every gets her revenge. She treats her BF Nolan like crap, she continues to not trust anyone and in the process screws things up and when she apologizes its more along the lines of "I am sorry you are such an ass that you made me do it". It's starting to get old and her character has the potential to be so much better. Let's try to make her a little more likable and go from there.


Nolan - He is my favorite character. He provides comic relief, dresses like a Tommy Hilfiger ad on crack and has tons of awesomeness up his sleeve. Then all of a sudden this season they made him wear pants and go to the office and become a boring lap dog of Emily's. I want the old Nolan back and like right now!


Daniel and Ashley - OK I looked for a decent photo and couldn't find one easily which just further proving my thoughts that no one cares about them as a couple. I mean outside the fact that Ashley has fantastic dresses on the show I could care less about her. She was supposed to be BFF's with Emily and then the minute Emily breaks her engagement to Daniel, Ashley starts moving in on him. Weird. Then on the other hand Daniel, the mouth breather, is sleeping with the scheming help and can't seem to figure out just how much he shouldn't trust her. And then there is the chemistry, oh wait sorry, there is none. Break up and move on. Please.


Jack - Snore. Most boring character ever. Let's give him a storyline that doesn't involve a stupid broken bar or a baby mama he doesn't really care about. Please. I don't even pay attention when he comes on the screen and he's cute so let's get on making him interesting by having him sell the bar completely and get a job working for Nolan or even crazier the Grayson's!


Amanda/Emily - Liked her better before the baby mainly because she gave Emily a run for her money. Would like to see the bad ass back again. Although the baby shower scene where she showed up with her stripper friends like a bunch of mean girls was awesome. More of that please.

Charlotte and Declan - Don't care to even look for a picture or talk about them. Wallflower characters.


Victoria - Fabulously scheming, impeccably dressed and the best actor on the show. Never change.


Conrad - He's perfect as a rich and evil white guy. Perhaps he should run for Senate. Drink more and carry one.

And there you have it. This is how I would change Revenge so I can watch it again. Am I wrong? What would you change.

All photos via ABC

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dealz

Imagine if Etsy and Groupon had a baby website and that site brought you cute handmade and other items at great reduced rates. How awesome would that be? Well the good news is you don't have to imagine it, during one of my shopping rabbit holes for awesome gifts I ran across GroopDealz. GroopDealz is exactly like an Etsy/Groupon mix with a wee bit of new items mixed in. I have seen a few sites like this, but of all of them this site has the most handmade stuff. Plus I love, love, love the necklace I ordered a few months ago from it (Love. So cute. Really.). Just fair warning that you will get a lot of mails from them if you sign up for the newsletter, it's the one thing that bugs the crap out of me. Oh well, deleting is easy.

Don't you totally want to check it out? Well to get you started here are a few of my favorites items that are currently up for sale.

Glitter clutch for $14? Yes please.

Little girl boot socks with lace. $6.50 and sooo cute!

Chevron reindeer Pillow Cover $19.
Because everyone needs one or maybe two.

Now go check it out yourself (as there is more available) and feel free to purchase the pillow for me. I could totally use a whole set of them!

All photos via GroopDealz

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lazy Days



We had just about the laziest of lazy weekends. We went to the movies to see Lincoln and to dinner at a friends house. Other than that we did nothing. Well I guess I did make some eggs in toast. That was pretty delicious. All in all a pretty satisfying weekend if you ask me.

I do recommend seeing Lincoln. It reminds me a bit of the movie 1776, in the sense that you know how it ends, but you are still anxious about how it gets there. It centers around the end of his first term as president and the end of the war and how it effects the passing of the 13th amendment. Excellent actors. I was even able to tolerate Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, but just barely. Definitely not a movie that has to be seen in the theaters so you can wait a few catch it DVD or stream it on release.

Now it's just time to focus on getting through the next few days and then Thanksgiving. My favorite meal is almost here!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Must

Even though my Internet went down earlier this week, my phone got me through the withdrawal, I was finally able to get caught up on the Walking Dead and life as I know has been restored to the mild chaotic mess I call everyday. Lucky enough Friday is finally here and it's almost time for a well deserved cocktail and the weekend! For me the latter will include prepping for my first 5k since I was 15 (for reals), seeing the new movie Lincoln (DDL looks more like Lincoln then Lincoln in this movie. Excited!) and a fabulous dinner made by a former chef friend. Doesn't get much better them that. Hope you have a great weekend planned as well!

This weeks Must items:

Image via Skyfall/MGM-Sony


Skyfall - Go see it. I have not been known to be a Bond fan in the past, but a little Daniel Craig can turn pretty much anything around and Skyfall was one of my favorites. It was definitely a more personal look at Bond and his past, but still had action, sexy time and Javier Bardem (creepy, but he is a spectacular actor). All in all, good fun!

Image via Birchbox

Beauty Blenders - I saw these featured in magazines and online awhile go, but totally dismissed them because the price seems a bit much for make-up sponges. Then I received one in my Birchbox last month and now I am kicking myself for not taking them more seriously. With a little water, you use it to apply your tinted moisturizer or foundation quickly, evenly and mess free like nothing else I have ever tried. Ignore the price tag and just try it. It truly works like a charm.

Image via Birchbox

Birchbox Home Pop Up Shop - Speaking of Birchbox, they have unveiled their Home Pop Up and first ever Brichbox Home Box. With delights like truffle salt (shown) and Prosecco home fragrance I definitely think it's worth a look. Who knows you may be able to cross off some holiday gifts on your list or maybe even grab an item or two for yourself!


image via eventjuice

eventjuice - In case you missed it, I wrote a little something over on eventjuice about how customer service is dead and how to bully get around such issues. While the content is aimed at the event industry (my crazy background lies deeply in conferences, corporate schmooze fests and other craziness) I think it really can be applied to pretty much any industry or private life issues along these lines. Plus I do really want to know your worst story. Particularly if it has a funny ending!


Image via Gawker
Reddit Troll - Even if you never have been on Reddit this story is fascinating from every angle. Wondering what an Internet troll is? Click here. Wanna know what Reddit is? Click here. Need to restore your faith in humanity? Click here

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Frenched



If you hate onions, this is not going to be your post. It's ok I don't blame you for not liking them. I blame your taste buds. Onions are delicious and fantastic in just about every meal I cook and I am sorry you don't feel the same way.

If you like onions this is your post, because this is all about French onion soup. I am not sure if I like the soup for the sweet onion taste or if it is just an excuse to have copious amounts of cheese and bread doused over a richly delicious broth that is made by cooking the crap out of onions and adding beef broth. Either way it's crazy good.

As I mentioned last week the weather here in SoCal has turned fall like and my need for cool weather foods has been activated. The other morning I woke up craving a rich and yummy French onion soup. I have two go to recipes that I use, one that uses red wine as a base and another that uses white. There are subtle differences, but both are amazing. After a quick poll on Facebook, red won out (with a splash of cognac, not included in the original red recipe, but found in the white) and the BF and I had an amazing dinner that night. Writing this I want to make it again, but considering this uses a stick of butter I better keep it to only every once in awhile.

Cook, cook and cook. In the red wine recipe count on adding
about 30 minutes more of onion caramelizing then mentioned.
Totally worth it.

Get the onions nice and drunk with yummy red wine. Then add
some to your glass.

Dig in!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Crockpot Love

As the weather turns cooler I immediately crap my crock-pot and start thinking about what delights I am going to try this season. To start things off, I wanted to share my delicious pork roast recipe that I mentioned last Friday, unfortunately I only have the one picture since I got so distracted by the smell I totally forgot to take any other pictures before we consumed and destroyed it! It was so good it practically melted in your mouth.

This is one of those recipes that I have tweaked and adjusted over the years to my tastes, so feel free to change as you see fit. I actually don't even know where I got the original recipe, it has been so long.

Ingredients

1 large onion, sliced
2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin
2 tsp olive oil or butter
Sauce
1 1/2 cup beef broth
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard
Dash of hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire to taste

Layer onions in bottom of crock-pot. In a heavy skillet or pan heat oil until hot. Add pork and brown on all sides. Remove and place on top of onions in crock pot.

In same pan that you used to brown roast, add all ingredients and stir until well mixed. Pour on top of roast. Cover, and cook on low 6 - 8 hours, or on high for 3 - 4 hours. Then enjoy.

So awesome and easy, it's ridiculous


I forgot to add the link to the crockpot recipes of love last Friday, so to make up for it here it is care of Chef in Training. There are some definite tasty looking recipes!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Black out

I am a super lucky girl, in that I have some of the fastestInternet available in my house. We zip around the Internet and download HDmovies and shows like it is no big deal. That is until it all came to a stop.

The BF and I both work from home and the Internet is prettymuch the gateway to the world both professionally and private. We make callsthrough Skype, email our clients and do 99% of our research online. We arewired throughout the house and plugged in just about every room. So you canonly imagine what happens to us when it all goes down…

Me – Call the cable company, assure lady that we have resetthe modem several times, and schedule someone to come out today to fix whateveris wrong. I then use the phone to answer some emails and then start writingarticles and posts in Word on my laptop. Lunchtime arrives and I make veggiepizza, post some stuff on Facebook via phone and go back to writing.

Him – Starts doing things, I am not entirely sure what, but itinvolves lots of speed tests and things being plugged and unplugged. Goesupstairs and pulls out the tools and then proceeds to take apart every piece ofInternet related modem, router and other things I don’t know the names of. Sayslots of swear words under breath. Tells me what he is doing (I try to lookinterested and then remind him the cable guy is coming today) and then he realizesI have no idea what he is talking about and goes upstairs to the patch box(where the cables come into the house). Spends an hour with the patch box,comes down and declares that it has to be the modem or the line that comes intothe house. Tries to get a little bit of bandwidth to create an Internetconnection, creates 5 different networks and one works enough for him to getsome work done. Eats lunch. He then starts messing around with the cablesagain, takes down the mini internet and puts all the stuff back in place forthe cable guy to arrive.

Cable Guy – Arrives, finds issue within 5 minutes (it's the line coming into the house) and wewon’t have full Internet until Wednesday.

Him – “That’s what I thought.” Sets up mini Internet again.

Me – “One whole day and a half without full speed Internet?!How can I catch up on the Walking Dead that I missed last night?”*

Gee talk about first world problems. I also have shown where my priorities are with Internet usage. I should be ashamed, but I am not.

Then to round out our day, the oven stopped working and I didn't find out until I had prepped the chicken to go into the oven. At this point I have decided vodka is a much better dinner than whatever I was going to prepare. Crap.


*I have both basic cable and lights, so I donated to the RedCross as punishment for my Walking Dead comment.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Pretty Sure Someone was Killed in my Kitchen

In my house I usually do the cooking for dinner and such, not because I have to, but because I want to. I enjoy cooking, I love trying new recipes (good and bad) and lucky me the BF enjoys eating. That is not to say he can't cook, in fact sometimes he does and it's good. The only issue I have with his cooking is that butter (and a lot of it) is one of his main ingredients. I like to try and keep my butt size down so his cooking is restricted to only every once in awhile.

That is of course unless I am out for the evening and he needs to fend for himself. Which is not a big deal for him, but turns out it is for me. Before I go to far into this story I need to preface it with the fact that I have a bit of a cleaning and putting things away in the correct spot problem. By problem I mean it has to be done my way. I am getting better and not freaking out on people any more, but I do re-clean and put everything back in the right spot the moment they walk away. This is considered progress. Trust me.

So back to the BF, last week I went out for the evening and he decided to make himself tomato soup, which I am sure was delicious, and he cleaned up. Well kinda cleaned up. Is there something about domesticated men that render them unable to properly clean the counters after using the kitchen? When I got home I noticed there were small red splotches all over the counters. Before I realized what it was I thought he had cut himself. Then I saw it on the stove and sink and it started to dawn on me what happened. He must have killed someone and boiled the head (as a side note I thought the same exact thing about our neighbors. Turns out they are just divorcing.). After a moment of panic and a Starburst (left over Halloween candy) I spotted the soup can and was relieved I didn't have any additional body parts to worry about, but now I had to re-clean the counters, with bleach.

Now I realize that I am a complete freak about my kitchen, but surely I can't be the only one that wants to ban someone from the kitchen. Am I?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

You Must

Over the last few weeks I have been thinking of a weekly wrap up that I can add here that includes some of the fabulous things I come across on a weekly basis. After much deliberation I have decided on a Must list. This list will be made up of things that I tried, made, saw or did in any given week and highly recommend you do (disclaimer notice: You and I may not have the same taste and if you feel it sucks feel free to let me know, but realize you have free will to try or not try. I am not your mama).

After putting together the list this week I realized it was mostly food related items. I guess it gives you a bit of an idea of where my head was at. I think a lot of it came from the fact that we started to get a little bit of Fall weather down here in SoCal and comfy and cozy are always my first response when the temperature drops. Nothing is better than comfort food and a fire to keep the chill away.

Rachel Allen's Risotto Verde - Last weekend I was really looking to make something a little out of the ordinary so I pulled out one of Rachel's cookbooks and realized it had been way too long since I cooked one of her recipes. She, in my opinion, is the master of flavor filled, easy dishes that have a comfort food kind of feel. This dish in particular will change the way you think about cooking risotto forever as it is baked and not stirred to death on the stove. This received thumbs up from everyone and I spent only a handful of minutes over the stove.

So good and chock full of veggies!

Left over Halloween Candy  - I was trying to get creative to get rid of my candy stash so I took all the M&M's out of the bag and made some cookies. They were yummy!



Food & Cooking Secrets - Check out this list from My Organized Chaos (not to mention the awesome site) of great tips and secrets in the kitchen. While I knew a few, I had forgotten some and never heard of others. You can never have too many tips!

Crock-pot It - Tis' the time of year to break out your crock-pot for quick and easy meals. There are so many recipes and I have a good one that I will share next week, but in the mean time here is a good resource for crock-pot meals and here is my delicious looking picture.

It looks tiny in this picture. So good though.


Give a Little - If you haven't donated yet to hurricane relief, there is no time like the present. The American Red Cross is now ramping up to provide relief to the Northeast AGAIN as the nor'easter blows through the just recovering New Jersey and New York areas. Remember it doesn't take a lot to give. Just by texting REDCROSS to 90999 you can give $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief and if it doesn't get used now, it will go towards the main disaster fund. They can always use a little cushion!



Keep warm and have a good weekend!


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