Thursday, October 10, 2013

Randoms – The Wifening Update, Photo Shoot, General Geekiness, and Other Randomness


- The Wifening continues.... Kinda. I did make dinner again the second week This time it was Spicy Sausage Pasta.

I found the recipe for it here.

I used Aidell’s Cajun Andouille sausage for mine. I thought it was yummy. I even ate leftovers of it the next night! GASP! (Seriously – GASP! I don’t eat leftovers.... Except Chinese food, pizza, and the chicken parm from the Italian place that we go to) J thought it was “Okay.” Whatever.

And then life got busy. And I haven’t made dinner since... Unless you count ordering pizza online from the new place across the street – which I totally do.

- Remember when I was ridiculously excited about something? Well, I’m still not entirely sure how much I’m really allowed to say about it, so just quick... I got to go to Philly to be in a Nutrisystem photo shoot!! Here’s one of my cell phone pictures of the main outfit they used.

 Except the shoes – they changed those...

It was super awesome and I got to make a bunch of new friends that are also big “losers” there to have their “After” shots taken. I have no idea when or where the pictures will start to show up. People from my group have already shown up in commercials and in magazine ads. Can’t wait to see myself in the ads!!

- My dear old laptop bit the dust. It was a hard little worker, but it was already way past its prime. I was already kind of looking out for good deals, but I just couldn’t justify it as long as the old one was still kickin’. So I had to go get a new one... And since the HUGE one was on sale for $50 less than the smaller one.... Obviously. 

She starts in the corner and progressively gets closer over time... DON’T BLINK.

- Unfortunately this put a dent in my “new bow fund” for archery... So I’m stuck with my little bow for a while longer. Don’t get me wrong – my little Craze has been a great bow. And I’m pretty good with it, if I do say so myself. And I do. 

Three out of three rats would.... Agree? Disagree?

Rat Kebab!

- My office went to an Angel’s game the other day... As much as I hate baseball, it’s better than sitting in the office!

- I finally ordered myself an Adipose stress doll. If you aren’t a Doctor Who watcher, this means nothing to you... If you are like me and LOVE Doctor Who, this definitely means more. The Adipose are little creatures made up of fat and I think they are just too cute. And when I saw that they made a stress doll version of them, I just knew that it would be most like what I imagine they would feel like. I was soooo right. It’s exactly what I picture when I see them on the show... And it’s so ridiculously adorable. I honestly want to take it with me everywhere, but I don’t want anyone else to touch it.

It needs me to protect it! It’s just a baby!

I don’t even have to squeeze it to get the stress relief from it... I just have to snuggle it. And I do.

- And I will definitely enjoy snuggling it in my NEW BLANKET!! (Sorry... People from my office went to a filming of Price is Right and Bob Barker’s voice keeps playing in my head... Even though he hasn’t been on the show in YEARS...) My friend’s mum makes these super awesome blankets and I’ve always had a major green-eyed-monster desire for one. And now I have one!! Totally by surprise!! And it’s so perfectly ME. The reds and blacks.... The soft fuzziness of the back... I just love it!


- We were playing cards at our friends’ house last weekend and I think their dog MAY have been taking a nap around here somewhere.......

Has anyone seen Cowboy anywhere?

- Even though I haven’t been cooking, I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately. I’ve been making my favorite cookies of all time – recipe here. I like to play with the base recipe to make other flavors... Like I’ve use Heath toffee bits instead and that’s delicious. I revisited the rolo-stuffed cookie that was a total disaster at Christmas time using this dough (minus the m’s) and was actually successful this time around! I still want to try more variations...
 To be honest, I actually use slightly less chocolate chips and mini m’s than it calls for... I know it sounds INSANE, but the first time I made them there was just a little bit too much STUFF in them....

I made these mascarpone cookies, but no one was really impressed with my attempt at making them taste like tiramisu, so I’ll just stick with the original from now on...

We’ve made scones... And plan on making them again soon – I’m thinking chocolate raspberry. Or maybe caramel... Oooh! Or chocolate toffee.... SOO many options......
 These were blueberry. They went FAST.

And I made cupcakes for archery league. In fact, most of my baked goods end up at the archery range. It’s my way of being able to bake without having the goods in my house tempting me...

One lonely little cupcake left... 

They all had my favorite marshmallow buttercream on them. There were chocolate ones too, but those went FAST. With very good reason - they were PHENOMENAL. I will be using this chocolate cupcake recipe for a LONG time. Drooling just thinking about it......

- I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to be for Halloween, but I really have NO idea... At least not anything that would be quick and easy. And I just don’t know how to top last year... 

 Being all of the Avengers at once was pretty awesome....

I’ll have to keep thinking... Someone in my department thinks we should all go as different color crayons... Could work...

So, there we are... Should be pretty much caught up. For now...

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Wifening – Part The Second

Reporting in on The Wifening... I made dinner. Just like a real grown up. And I handled raw chicken and everything... And no one got salmonella! 

I call that a success!

I decided to make a twist between a recipe that we already love (that’s not really a recipe at all) and a recipe that I found on-line (I think it was on For the part we already love: simply take however many boneless skinless chicken breasts you need to feed who you are feeding, put it in a Ziploc bag with a crap-ton (real measurement) of sweet-hot mustard (or whatever mustard you happen to enjoy), and let it soak in that overnight. J would normally just cook this up in a pan the next day and it is ridiculously simple and delicious. Something about that sweet and spicy mustard coating the chicken is just magical.

But I had to make it different. Because I wanted to make it mine. SO... For the twist: Take it out of the mustard and coat it in a mixture of panko bread crumbs and fresh shredded parmesan cheese (slightly more panko than cheese). Then put it on a rack on a foil-covered tray (I improvised this and used the roasting tray out of our turkey pan on a cookie sheet) that has been sprayed with olive oil (or other oil...) and bake it at 450 degrees for about 20-ish minutes. Maybe more, maybe less depending on the size of your chickens. There were two random chicken strips in our pack of chicken, so I made those too. I just put them in the oven about 7 minutes or so into cooking the rest of the chicken so that they wouldn't be overdone.

For a side – because I had to make sure there was a veggie too... I made carrots with garlic and shallots. This is something that we have regularly because it’s simple and yummy. Basically peel and chop your carrots, par boil them for about a minute, dump out the water and set them to the side. Chop up about 2 cloves of garlic and 2-3 shallots (TOTALLY depends on how much you like...), throw them in a pan with some olive oil and let that cook up until the shallots start to get pale. Toss in the carrots and make sure it’s all mixed together. I also added some spicy Japanese seasoning that we love at this point... Then shove the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes. Normally J would have it at 350, but since the chicken was already in there at 450, it went in at that... It's pretty forgiving. Just keep an eye on it – you want the shallots to get crispy, but not burnt. I sorta failed on the crispiness because I was overly concerned with the non-burntness... But they still tasted good... I just really love when the shallots are super crispy...

So there you go... My easy dinner.

It’s not super pretty (well, the chicken actually is quite nice looking – the carrots aren’t lookers, but they sure are yummy), but it’s still dinner. And fairly healthy. And I thought it was delicious. J said he didn’t love the parmesan with the mustard, so if I make it again I will probably leave it out. I actually liked the flavors together, but I’m not gonna lose sleep over taking it out...

It wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had built it up to be in my mind and I’m slightly less worried about cooking chicken now. I thought it was going to be super dry, but it was delicious and moist.

My big problem is that I love baking, but I don’t like cooking. And the biggest irritation for me with cooking is that there aren’t really any exacts. Not with measurements or times or anything! There are too many variables... And I never liked that. Baking is so specific and orderly.... Cooking feels like just slappin’ some stuff together, cooking it “until it’s done,” and hoping it’s good. J loves that kind of thing – he can walk into the kitchen with no idea what he wants to make and come out with something incredible like pomegranate duck or salmon with a plum-chile glaze. I have to have a game plan.

But I’m going to keep doing this – I already picked out what I’m making this week. For the time being, I’m going to go into each week with my meal picked out so that I at least know WHAT I’m making. I’ll work up to the grabbing of random things and making a dinner out of them eventually... And I’ll keep enjoying watching J have to do the dishes for a change on the nights I cook... haha

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Wifening

What? It can be a word if I want it to be one...

Welcome to my little experiment. I realized one night after making dinner for J (stuffed peppers – YUM!) and being overly proud of myself that it was the first time I had ever made a real dinner for the poor guy! In just over 8 years of marriage... Ooops.

I mean, I had made things that I wanted before and just happened to make enough for him... The problem is that I tend to want to eat like a 5 year old a lot and that’s not his cuppa tea. Like when I made him tamale casserole – a dish that I grew up on and love to this day. He took about two bites and then made himself something else if I remember correctly - I know he did NOT like it. Or when I made him crescent dogs! What a delicious night that was!

**To my credit, I had tried to make him my mom’s lasagna once, but he kept taking over, so I abandoned the kitchen and played games on my Nintendo DS on the couch while he made dinner. And I have since made lasagna without him home, so he COULDN’T take over. AND I do all the laundry... So there’s that...**

I don’t know what it is... I just don’t have the “wife” gene. It must have skipped me somehow. I hate cooking. I REALLY hate cleaning... I think part of me feels like – “I’m at work all day, then I go to the gym after work, and the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook dinner! If we want a housewife in this house, I’m gonna have to start doin’ a whole lot less of this ‘goin’ to work’ nonsense.” Which is unfair of me. I know this... He works too – farther from home and longer hours to be quite honest, but still... He actually LIKES to cook. And is really good at it!

He makes BEAUTIFUL dinners! Out of things that seem completely random to me. He just knows what will taste good together just BECAUSE. He does kitchen sorcery like “cracking an egg open with one hand” or “flipping things in a pan instead of stirring”.... Things that would leave me with a handful of crushed egg or a wall covered in food... And he always has everything finished cooking at the same time – and everything is perfectly timed and wonderful. I try to think of doing that and snort-laugh. A lot.

I can’t look in the fridge and go, “Hey, there’s a pork tenderloin. I’m gonna make.......” Because that’s literally where my brain shuts off. Seriously... I couldn’t even make up an example to use here! My brain had a panic attack and ran away to look at recipes for cupcakes and cookies.

Because that’s what I enjoy. I love baking. I could make some sort of bread, cookie, cake, cupcake, sweet... every day of the week. I have recipes that I know by heart because they are my standards. A thing that is definitely NOT true about COOKING. I don’t know any recipe by heart and I certainly don’t have anything that would just pop into my head to create!

I WANT to be a better cook... Kind of... Ok, not really... But I feel like I SHOULD want to be a better cook... Because grown-ups know how to make something for dinner other than a tuna sandwich... So I’m determined to change some things around my house.

I will arm myself with a stock of recipes that I feel fairly confident I would be able to make and I will start trying to cook dinner. And I will try to be better about straightening up... And maybe vacuuming more than biannually (seriously not that much of an exaggeration). I’m not putting any kind of “numbers” or “times” on this – not for real real. I’ll just say.....

I am going to cook dinner one night next week!


I will pick something that seems easy enough to make and I WILL make it! I will pick it before our weekly shopping trip so that I can buy whatever I need to make it and can’t make excuses about not having the ingredients! I will not curl up in the corner at the thought of touching raw chicken! The meal will be well-rounded and include protein, veggies, and a carb of some sort!

And if it comes out dry and disgusting, I will try again next week!

I’ll let ya know how it goes... J may decide that he doesn't REALLY wish I could cook like he thinks he does and will resume all cooking duties... We'll see. Maybe I'm gonna be a naturally awesome chef - I just haven't made an honest enough attempt at recognizing my full potential yet.... 

Yeah.. See? There's that snort-laugh again......

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Who's that girl?

Who’s that girl that thought she was alone in the bathroom at work?

Who’s that girl that was pacing while she zipped and buttoned because she’s trying to get more steps on her Fitbit?

Who’s that girl that was dancing to the music playing on the XM piped through the office and lip-syncing along with it?

Who’s that girl that suddenly saw the feet in the stall behind her? The feet attached to the very quiet person... Who was apparently trying (ALMOST successfully) to be invisible...

Who’s that girl that could not for the life of her remember if she was talking out loud to herself when she thought she was alone? Because that TOTALLY happens... A lot.

Who’s that girl that was then trying so hard not to laugh out loud at herself and the ridiculous situation that she almost forgot to wash her hands? And had to walk back to the sink in front of the stall door separating her from those quiet quiet feet?

Oh yeah....

She’s me.

And she’s FABULOUS, thankyouverymuch.

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