Friday, June 11, 2010

Foodie Friday...

Well hullo there Mr. Blog! Haven't seen you in a while... We've been pretty busy with our beautiful Bug.

I've been inspired by the wonderful Nini to document some of my culinary experiments. Most people stare at me like I've grown a spare head when I tell them that I generally cook without a recipe. Once you have a general idea of what goes with what (and in what quantities - I can't wait to check out THIS cookbook) you are free to create whatever you want! I recently started making pasta from scratch (thanks for the birthday pasta roller & cutter, Mom!) and I can't even begin to describe how luscious homemade pasta is compared to the dried boxed crapola from the grocer. Oi. Amazing. But I digress...

I had fun creating a variation of a classic Italian Stromboli last night for dinner. A stromboli is a type of turnover made with dough and a variety of fillings, including meats, cheeses, veggies, spices... After consulting the contents of the fridge I settled on a pulled BBQ chicken, spinach, oregano, basil and quattro formaggio filling. 425*F for 30 minutes and helllooooo beauty! Quite tasty. This would work with most any meat leftovers and roughage combo, paired with a flavorful cheese like provolone or Swiss.

I am ecstatic to be harvesting over half of salad fixings straight from the garden already - with much more in the works. (C'mon tomatoes and pole beans!) Our Thursday night salad consisted of BlackSeededSimpson lettuce, FrenchBreakfast radishes, Nantes carrots, oregano, SugarSnap peas, mushrooms, radicchio, edamame, Fuji apple and slivered almonds in a miso dressing. I'm a bit of a salad-fiend.

The meal served up nicely and would even make a good first course for a dinner party. Be sure to adequately flour your dough so that your creation doesn't come apart while transferring from pastry board to baking sheet. Also be sure to oil up that baking sheet!

Dessert was homemade non-dairy strawberry chocolate chip ice cream. Now before you go thumbing your nose at non-dairy ice cream, let me tell you that even my mother (who generally HATES deviations from the meat/potatoes/butter/cream formula) loves this recipe. Those of us who are *painfully* done in by dairy (that would be me and the hubby) will be amazed at the creamy texture of this frozen delight. Doesn't that sound like a cookbook header? Hmmm, recipe should follow, eh?

Eat-It-And-Weep (for joy) Ice Cream
2C coconut milk (full fat - this is ice cream, people)
1C almond milk
1+ pint fresh, ripe strawberries (or more, as you see fit)
1/4C agave nectar (they have this at Trader Joe's)
pinch sea salt
1T vanilla (not imitation -c'mon and eat well, peeps!)
Blend ingredients well. Pour into ice cream maker and churn at LEAST 30 minutes. (I normally go longer - up to an hour.) Add chocolate chips (minis work best - about 1/3C) five minutes before your ice cream is finished. VOILA. Mmmm. And darned if I didn't get a picture of the final product (two nights in a row!) Just too excited to eat my ice cream, I guess.

Happy Cookin'!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Mobile Blogging?!?!

Mobile blogging?!? Get out!

Testing, testing, is this thing on???

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Life is Bug.

There are some things in this world that are predictable. Democrats and Republicans unable to agree. Health care expenses annual increases. The general deliciousness of See's dark chocolate molasses chips. Hilarious strife over the holidays.

Other things take you by surprise, like the volume of love you are capable of when you become a parent. Perhaps we're lucky... While all babies are special and beautiful in their own way, not all babies are cute. (It's true, even if it is something you only talk about behind closed doors with your best friend. Feeling slightly guilty. Kinda...) We struck gold - talk about a cute kid. Geesh.

Blogosphere, meet our Bug. Dang do we love her!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Day Twenty Three: Moving in to Hell's Furnace...

Dude. It was 110 degrees today in Felton. ONE-HUNDRED-AND-TEN-DEGREES-FAHRENHEIT-IN-FELTON. Hottest day on record since 1965.

And we decided to move today. Of course.

Our ridiculously wonderful friends showed up at 9:30, worked like crazed ants and were up at the house by 11:30 with almost 80% of our stuff!!! (SAY WHAT?) They hauled, they sweated, they smiled, they cursed, they laughed, they almost died from heat stroke... but they kept working. Box after box after sofa after bed after chair. We have some ridiculously fabulous friends.

Turns out the little AC unit that the previous owners massacred a window to install (with half-assed plywood and a little plastic accordion piece, no less) actually works! Not very well, but you don't knock ANY form of cooling when it is that dang hot. We cranked it all the way on for our lunch of pizza and beer - it was less than uncomfortable in the front room with all our friends perched on furniture and boxes, so obviously the AC thingy was doing something! I was petrified that someone would keel over and have a stroke on the front steps, so I tried to steer people to stand in front of the AC unit for at least five minutes with a bottle of ice water whenever possible. It gave me the excuse of standing near the cooler air, too, to try to bring down the swelling that turned my feet into blimps and my fingers in to bratwursts. Not fun.

The crew was all done by mid-afternoon and even volunteered to help us unpack and get settled in. (Did I mention that our friends are ridiculously fabulous? Geesh.) We shooed them out to their air conditioned cars and off to their hopefully cooler homes. And then the nesting bug hit. And I just had to unpack every box in the kitchen. The bug started to subside when my feet started throbbing, but not by much.

Thru all of this, our buddy Joel was tiling our bathroom floor. Inside, in 110 degree heat. What a guy. The floor looks GREAT (oh my gosh, look at those little curved pieces around the tub!) and he will be back tomorrow to grout the tub and floor. Wahoo!

We took our first outdoor shower at the new house tonight - can I just say that this is a PERK of moving into a house without a working bath? A full view of redwoods, stars up above, warm water run thru a hose out the back window... Fabulous. It was so nice to remove an inch-thick layer of sweat buildup at the end of the day.

Matisse did OK with the move, but was really worrying me with her panting and lethargy. Extreme even for a cat. Poor baby, she was so hot on top of the stress of moving to a new place - I can't imagine having a fur coat today. She'll be better off than us in the winter, but for now... no bueno. She plopped herself down on the cool-ish stone hearth (and then kept moving slightly when she over-warmed that spot...) and looked up at us with sad, sad "why are you doing this to me???" eyes. *sniff* I try to be a good cat mommy!

So... we're living in BOXLANDIA for now... in ridiculous heat... in an old house that creaks... without a shower... and it is *awesome.*

(And yes, Matt *is* wearing board shorts in this picture.)

Day Twenty: Meet Your Neighbors...

TileWatch’09 continued today; Dad made great strides and finished the shower tile... AT 8:30 p.m.!!!! He then packed up and went home, much to my mother’s relief. Sometimes the cats just aren’t enough company...

When I stopped in to have lunch with Dad today we discovered a lovely congregation of GINORMOUS ANTS in the garage. Some even had wings! For some reason they absolutely love the quickset and were making a nuisance of themselves in the powder bag. We tried our best to smash them into oblivion (they made large crunching noises... and I was in flip flops.) Matt will do a *wonderful* job taking care of them later. You should see him attack ants – it’s more than a hobby for my husband. It’s a mission!

We’re winding down on the house in preparation for the move this weekend... While we are nowhere NEAR done, the time has come for us to make it happen. Oh Lord.

Day Nineteen: Do we name her Paulina?

Following a crazy work-packed weekend, my dad, Paul, took three days of vacation time to… work on our house?!? Yesterday he started on the subway tile in the bathroom between coats of floor varithane. Can I just say that our floors are AMAZING!?!??!!??! It looks like we had them professionally refinished! Who says you need to spend $2K and stay out of your house for two weeks to have great looking floors? (You just need crazy talented parents who are really good at home repairs/remodels…) I can’t believe Dad is up here for three days.

The tile is coming along, slowly but surely. Dad is a *very* meticulous worker (read: borderline over-the-top-perfectionist… ;o) His mantra is measure three (or four) times, cut once. And his work is GORGEOUS. I’m more of a measure twice, cut once person. Matt is a “you measured?” type – but more often than not is dead on. Darn talented booger. *smooch*

It was extra special to come up to the house on a week day and have lunch with Dad – two days in a row now! I attacked the dead caulking behind the kitchen sink with a vengeance, but still only one third the energy I’m used to being able to expend on repair projects. This remodeling-while-preggo thing is getting old.

Matt came by after work and continued working on the bathroom walls, covering screws with another layer of mudd. There is much debate over how we will finish the walls – I want a smooth wall finish but have been informed that this is beyond the skill/patience level of the workers on hand (mainly Matt and dad.) Ugh. We’d better not have to do the orange peel finish. I hate that. Maybe I’ll grab a palate knife and see what kind of mischief I can get into… Or not.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day Seventeen: Are we there yet?

Another fun-filled Sunday! Just think.... this time next week we will be waking up for the FIRST TIME in our NEW(ish) HOUSE! Wahoo!

Matt and I rarely get to sleep in together... or have breakfast together... or even just spend time alone together these days! Being an electrician means that his hours lean more towards the first half of the day - as in he starts before most people are awake! So we stole a few minutes of luxurious together time this morning, joking around and mentally preparing to get back to work on our project, er, I mean house. Needless to say, it was quite lovely. Boy do I love that man!

I was treated to a lovely Peet's coffee on the way up and arrived oh-so-ready to keep painting. (Well, actually I was ready for a nap, but that didn't seem to be one of the options available, so painting won out.) It didn't take long for me to realize that I just do not have quite the reach I did, say, six months ago... There seems to be something in the way! It was great when mom and dad showed up after church; the cabinet interiors got taped along the backs and I was able to get two coats of paint applied.

Dad had the enviable task of sorting thru the kitchen window trim pieces and tacking them back up. There is still one piece that we cannot for the life of us figure out... In retrospect, I really should have painted the trim pieces red while they were off... but with half of the strips being good-condition-old-growth-redwood pieces, it was more of a commitment than I was ready to make when we started in on the kitchen painting process. Now that mom has done such a kick-butt job painting the room, the trim looks shabby in comparison. Ah well, an easily remedied situation... but not this week!

Matt and Dad continue to steam ahead in the bathroom, finishing the sheetrock and wonderboard today! Now all is ready for tile... and my too-good-to-be-true father is taking off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week to tile our bathroom. Holy underpants, Batman!

Mom buzzed around like a cleaning lady on speed today, continuing the floor scrubbing and helping to clear the WayBack of extra tools and garbage. Dad plans on varithaning the floors tomorrow, so Mom had them in eat-off-me-order by nightfall.

I ended up running errands for three hours in the afternoon, searching for semi-gloss floor varithane (HD only had one gallon, OSH had none... what's a girl to do?!?), lighting fixtures, switch plates, wonderboard screws and more. Needless to say, my feet hurt. Quite a bit. Ugh.

We all sat down to our first full home cooked meal *inside* the house, using our scaffolding as a makeshift table and plopped into the four folding chairs that have been our only furniture for the past 16 days. Mom cooked, therefore it was delicious. I must say that I am REALLY looking forward to finally cooking in my own kitchen!

Home to bed, aching and exhausted but thrilled that we are still making good progress. We are behind schedule, of course, but at this point I'm not going to worry about it. I'm too tired to worry. Matt's too tired to worry. Dad's almost too tired to worry. And Mom is a VERY talented worrier, so she can be really tired AND worry enough for all of us. It's a Johnson women trait.

I still need to pack. A lot. Tomorrow. Everything tomorrow.