Thursday, October 29, 2009

Walking

So, I started out great with my friend Tracy. Walking three or four times a week for four miles each time. That little ipod thing will not measure correctly no matter how I recalibrate it. It consistently says 4 actual miles = 3.3 ipod miles. Anyway, it's not really the point (unless you can help me fix it). Then Steve's dad had a stroke and I went to their house for a week, no walking. Then I came home and had back issues and started my final term of community college (well, as long as I pass physics!) So again, no walking. This morning Tracy and I walked our four miles and then I forgot to stop the ipod, so it measure another ten minutes while I stood at her kitchen counter eating figs that I stole from someone's tree. I've been waiting forever for them to get ripe! Yumm-0! I have lost no weight, while Tracy has lost about twenty pounds. Maybe because she kept walking, while I slacked. Maybe I'll set my alarm early and go before class tomorrow. I have to do something. I feel like such a slug.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Orange-Ginger Sauce

I'm like a chef or something! :)

Mostly I just enjoy reading recipes, but this one I did try and it was pretty good. No house fires, no bleeding appendages. Just a jet-lagged husband who didn't care what I was feeding him. Always a bonus when trying new dishes.

Ok, I took pictures, but then I realized it's just as hard to take good food pictures as it is to make good food!

Here's the butternut squash and (ground) hazelnut filling. Doesn't look so appetizing in the picture, huh?
Then I made the pasta dough and rolled it through that little machine:
Here's what all the raviolis looked like as they were drying:
Close-up, because I know you care:
Ta-da! The final product! That's sage and shaved parmesan cheese on top, actually it's a different hard cheese that cost a lot, but didn't taste much different than parmesan and it had a name I can't remember, so I'm calling it parmesan.
You didn't know you were now reading a cooking blog. LMAO.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Cleveland airport, aka old stuff I forgot to post

We’re now in Cleveland and the airport is kind of a rathole. That’s my favorite word for icky places. Rathole. One time Steve and our youngest daughter, Tayler, and I stayed in a Holiday Inn in midtown NYC and it was a huge rathole. His brother suggested it. He may have received some sick pleasure in sending us there, I don’t know. I remember sleeping there during the day, while Steve and Tayler went swimming in a rooftop pool. I had heatstroke from being in the city in the damn summer!
Anyway, now we seem to be in a rathole in Cleveland. We’re waiting in a lounge area till the shuttle takes us to the convention. Steve thought the lady meant to wait in a nearby bar (when she clearly said, "waiting lounge"), so he was looking for somewhere that served drinks! Ha. She meant a seating lounge from the 70s. I don’t know what he’s whining about, as it seems to me I was the one in coach on the flight from Atlanta to here! Not even in the bulkhead. What the heck? He stretches as we meet in the waiting area, “How was your flight?” Snot.
He’s reading over my shoulder. Actually he’s trying to get my hair back in its barret. This stupid thumb does not lend itself to grooming. In the Atlanta airport, I was in the women’s room trying to safety pin my top as it’s too low-cut and I was tired of hanging out. Well, it’s almost impossible to pin anything with a big ole thumb, so finally a lady was laughing and said she could help me if I want. So she pinned my shirt. I should have asked her to fix my hair too! The barret is now in my pocket as Steve couldn’t make it work and neither could I. Oh well.
It’ll be time for the shuttle soon. I hope the hotel is good.

More Cooking

Still in Atlanta, still waiting, ho hum... Okay more cooking with Noelle...

Sunday I made chili. It was okay.
Monday I made double stuffed chicken breasts out of Rachel Ray’s October magazine. They were pretty good, well, except actually they were chicken thighs as the store didn’t have breasts with skin on, but it still tasted very good. I’d make it again.
Tuesday I made mozzarella stuffed pork chops (Rachel Ray again). Another hit!
Yesterday, chicken curry, cooked in the crockpot, since I’d be in school most of the day. I’d cut up the chicken the day before and had all my ingredients ready. I just had to cut up the sweet potato before my first class. Dumped in the chicken. Dumped in the sweet potato. Decided to cut up half an acorn squash too since it needed to be used. What I learned is that acorn squash doesn’t peel as quickly as sweet potato and I was short on time and going too fast. Now I’m short on thumb! Lol. Somehow I peeled the top of it right off, fingernail and all. I wrapped a towel around it and went to get Steve. I very calmly said, “Could you help me?” I think he pulled every bandage and accompanying tape we owned out of the cupboard, even some plumbers tape he found with the meds. He poured on the hydrogen peroxide. I asked for a chair. I can watch an autopsy repair but take off the tip of one of my own fingers and I get faint. What the heck? I don’t even know where the tip went, but don’t tell Steve. It all tastes like chicken, right? Gross.
So he bandaged me up; I went to the bathroom to get sick; and he apparently stayed in the kitchen to photograph the cutting board and medical supplies. Always an opportunist! Then I still had to finish throwing together the curry before heading to school. After class, I stopped by the health services department, where a soon-to-be nurse made me cry again as she undid Steve’s handiwork. She clucked her tongue as we both realized his bandage was stuck in the cut. It hurt almost as much as the first time. She butterfly bandaged me, wrapped me up and sent me to my next class. Throbbing thumb, huge bandage. Nice.
All in all, I think it was a pretty successful wifely week. Five cooking attempts yielded two pretty good meals (well, three if you count Muchas Gracias!) Not bad, I’d say. Well, I’ll probably score it higher in a few weeks...after my thumb heals.

Cooking

October 1, 2009
Sitting in the Atlanta airport, waiting for a flight to Cleveland. Last year we got to go to Rome for a Retrouvaille (marriage group we do) convention, this year: Cleveland. Really? Not that there’s anything wrong with Ohio, I’ve never even been there, but let’s see, Italy or Ohio? Hmm… Not a hard choice for where I’d rather go.
So, my thumb is bandaged and looks about twice the size it should be. It’s not twice the size but the bandage is big so I don’t thump it on something. I wanted to be a homemaker kind of wife this past week and cook dinner for Steve each night. It went okay, but could have been better.
It started last Thursday when I took a whole chicken out of the freezer to cook on our BBQ’s rotisserie. I thawed it overnight in the fridge, in an awesome marinade. Friday afternoon, I reached into the freezer bag to take it out and put it on the rotisserie-turner-pole-thing and my hand came back with a chicken breast. Then another. Then another. What??? It turned out not to be a whole chicken after all, but twelve breasts frozen into a lump! There are two of us, what the heck do we need twelve breasts for? Who even put that many in one freezer bag???
So, I dejectedly put the chicken on the preheated BBQ and went back inside to chop up some potatoes for boiling. As I stood over the kitchen sink, I could smell the chicken on the grill. That didn’t seem right, as it’d only been a couple minutes. Then I realized smoke was coming into the window and it was black. So I rushed outside where I could see flames on the inside of the grill. I’m not talking a little BBQ flame, but a full-on FIRE! I opened the lid, NOT SMART, and the flames roared. I shut the lid and hurriedly turned off the gas, terrified the whole time that my head was gonna catch on fire or the darn thing was just going to blow up. I called my girlfriend and asked could I throw flour on it. She said yes. Run back upstairs into the house and get the canister. Throw on a handful. Whoosh! Yeah, that worked well. Obviously it needed more flour. So, I threw on lots of handfuls, but they just burned up instantly. I called my girlfriend back, “It’s not working. The fire’s bigger, can I spray it with the hose?” “No, what if that spreads it because of the gas.” “I already turned the gas off, I better get the fire extinguisher.” I run to the garage and come back prepared. Pull out the red plug, squeeze the trigger, and NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. I look at the canister trying to determine if there are further instructions, how hard can it be to put out a fire? Then I realized there was a gauge, which read, “Recharge”. Great. I’m seriously thinking of calling 9-1-1. The grill is against the house and I’m terrified the house will catch fire. Black smoke is rolling from the grill and up and over our house. It’s two stories high! The children next door are starting to climb their play structure to look over the fence. I open the lid one more time and realize the chicken is almost burnt out and the flames are getting smaller. I throw on some more flour, just for effect. After about twenty more minutes the fire is out; the grill is black, no longer shiny metal; my whole house smells like smoke, and now, only now, I start to shake like a leaf. About this time, Steve calls to say he’s on his way home and, “hey, what’s going on with you?”
I have to confess. Swiftly, without hesitation. There’s no time to cover this up. Plus, now there’s no dinner, just small, black, hard lumps on a sooty grill. Oh my. It takes about five seconds before his chuckling begins. Just another day in the life of my cooking adventures. I ask if he thinks I should water down the side of the house now that the flames are out. He says yes. The water hits the siding and sizzles, smokes, pops its way up the wall. This was hotter than I realized. It takes a good five minutes for the house to stop smoking. Now I’m really shaking, so I go inside to “rest” till Steve gets home. He looks at me as he walks in the door, verifies that I’m okay, then looks out the back door and laughs. I get no respect, I tell ya. None, whatsoever!
He took me to dinner at my favorite Mexican place. Muchas Gracias, kind of authentic fast food. Yumm-O! But I really was looking forward to that rotisserie chicken…