Whassup!?!

Thursday!  What keeps happening that I turn around and the week’s practically gone?  Not that I mind that this week.  The people finally went back to school.  Yes, they are all still alive and well, thankyouverymuch.  But, I feel like I’ve been chief conductor of the crazy train all week.  Gotta admit that that’s not all bad and sometimes, it’s actually pretty fun!

Worked in the restaurant today.  Again, with the ole switcheroo job thing.  You know what I learned?  I love it when I can make people laugh with my weird, goofy self.  That the laughing thing is just the best.  And it’s contagious!  I’m pretty sure this is why I enjoy my job, the tiny humans and puppies.  I hope YOU have a job that you enjoy like this.  Life is too short.  It should, at the very least, be enjoyable.  Write that down.

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I got a few things done while being stuck in the Blizzard of 2016.  No, not the stuff I was supposed to do.  That’d be boring.  I did try a few new recipes though.  When it’s warm cold out I really enjoy ALL comfort food.  Soups, desserts, pastas, desserts, stews, desserts….well, you get where I’m coming from.  On morning, I woke up and was all I NEED some Cheese Danish!  Penny was her usual helpful self when she called.  She was telling me all about this place she drives to especially for Cheese Danish.  I know!  But, yes, we are still friends and I luvs her.  Fortunately, M is also completely insane very tolerant of my weirdness and offered to venture out into the blizzard to get me some supplies.  (He was out anyway, don’t get all excited.)

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I know, you want one, don’t you?  These were SO good.  I might have had more than one or three.  Tip:  Unless you just like making puff pastry, you’ll need to grab some special from the store – they’re in the freezer section.  Don’t be scared, piece of cake to work with and WAY easier than making your own.  Ask me how I know.

I used Ina Garten’s (stop rolling your eyes) Cheese Danish recipe.  I didn’t used the lemon zest but that’s only because I forgot.  I also forgot the egg wash on top.  I maybe should have had some coffee before attempting these.  Whatever.  Still really good.  Easy too.  They weren’t sweet enough for the tiny humans but that would be easily remedied drizzling on some confectioner’s sugar mixed with a bit of milk.  M would have liked that too but, you know.  Make them yourself if that’s what you want!  More for me.  (As with all of Ina’s recipes, she uses extra large eggs.  I use large ones because it’s what I keep in the house.  The volume decrease has yet to matter.)

Then, I got this great idea that I wanted Chicken Noodle Soup!

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This heaven was made IN A CROCKPOT!  No, I’m not kidding!  No, I didn’t have to open cans for this.

Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup, adapted from Good Housekeeping

  • 4c each chicken broth and water
  • 1c each, chopped carrots, celery and onion (I used baby carrots and added extra)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp each, thyme and black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste, but this is what a started with and I didn’t need more)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small chicken 3-4 pounds
  • egg noodles (I used about 8oz of a 12oz package)
Toss your veggies and spices into the slow cooker.  Put the chicken on top.  Pour in your broth and water.  Cover.  I cooked mine overnight on low, about 8 hours.  When I went to shred and debone the chicken, it completely fell apart.  So, yeah, shredding was a piece of cake.  Fishing out the bones and skin, a bit harder. (But, chicken soup!)  I then allowed it to cool and put it in the refrigerator so it’d be easier to skim the fat off.  I cooked the egg noodles separately because I don’t like mushy noodles and I wanted ALL the broth.  Skim fat, reheat soup, add noodles and ENJOY!  Add a salad and some bread….dinner heaven!
You know what goes well with Cheese Danish and Chicken Noodle Soup?  Well, duh, of course wine!  But other than wine?  Yes!  Man Candy!
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Look!  It’s Sam Seaborn!  I know Rob Lowe’s been around a while.  That he was a teen heartthrob.  That he was involved in a scandal.  I’m trying to care here but….SAM SEABORN!  The West Wing has got to be one of my favorite shows of all time.  Witty banter?  Check.  Eye candy?  Check.  Other things I like in a show?  Check, check and check.  I enjoyed this book, much to the horror of my eye rolling husband.  What?  Sam Seaborn Rob Lowe tells good stories!  He’s self-deprecating, witty and just someone I enjoyed spending a few hours reading about.  Added bonus?  This book has made me spend more quality time with Netflix.  Watching Sam Seaborn!  Fantastically perfect timing, if you ask me.

How’s your week going?  Any of you still dealing with the remnants of the Blizzard?  Supposed to be sixty degrees here this weekend.  Crazy!

Say a prayer, send alcohol….

A hot man with chocolate…. I’m not picky.

These people need to go back to school!  It is not summer time.  In the last couple of hours there has been all out war.  For no reason.  Somebody do something.  I’m giving up and going to go make things to eat.  I will share those things if I survive.

The end.

P.S.  This is my fault for trying to work with the people home.  Can working brain cells be purchased??  I might need some a lot.

Hey Peeps!

Just a quick note to check in on everyone.  Are you surviving the blizzard of 2016?  I hope everyone is safe, warm and well.  I’ve got a bit more than the 1-2″ inches they’d forecasted.  I know, be shocked!  But, the family is home together, safe and warm.  Life is not too bad.  Plus, there may or may not be a new igloo!!

Stay well. xo

It’s the little things

After dealing with the crazy that was in my house yesterday, I was happy to be back in the restaurant today.  I worked a different position today.  Normally, I run food and make sure everyone’s taken care of  which is way fun!  I had several people come up to me after lunch to offer compliments….to me!  You know, I never tire of hearing a kind word.  Especially if that kind word is hey, you just brightened my day.  It’s the little things.  I feel strongly about paying it forward.  Nothing I like better than making a phone call, leaving a large tip or just saying ‘thank you’ for being awesome.  We all get busy.  Remember to take a few moments to acknowledge and be grateful for those around you that make your days and your life a little better.  You may never know just how much it means to them.

Happy Thursday, everyone.  Thank you for being a part of my world and bringing me some extra happy. xo

So I’m not going to win Mother of the year

The very lame powers that be cancelled school for today.  Last night.  At 8:47pm.  A half dozen hours before we were expecting to get our doomsday forecast.  People were rejoicing.  I was not one of them.  Shockingly, this was not because my hockey team was getting its collective bottoms kicked.  I knew that, after the long weekend, today would require stringent use of my referee’s whistle….except I keep forgetting to buy one.  So, I did the next best thing.  I poured a giant serving a teeny splash of Bailey’s in my coffee.  Then, I poured some more.  So, I’m not going to win Mother of the year?  I made it twenty whole days!

Anywhoo, I have some ice and a dusting of snow.  They say we’re expecting a blizzard a good bit of snow. (Stop laughing, three inches here will shut down the city.  Not kidding.)  I think I should drop my people off at the weather people’s homes right now.  What do you think?  Let them fight over whether or not the people really need to do homework/study for tests.  You might need to send more Bailey’s.

I’ll serve it with this.

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Oh, did you think I was done sampling things from my Ina Garten cookbooks?  So sorry.  This is her Cranberry and Apple cake.  I needed to use up some cranberries and apples.  In cake form?  Sold!  I loved this.  Not too sweet, cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top, served warm….what’s not to love?  M had his with a bit of whipped cream as he wanted more sweetness.  The littlest one declared that HE doesn’t care for the “red” things!  Didn’t stop him from eating two pieces, so take that as you will.

the new tsar

This last week  I read The New Tsar.  I have to admit that I found this book oddly fascinating.  And somewhat terrifying.  I kind of think that Putin might be a sociopath.  I could not put this down.  Be forewarned, I’ll likely be reading more about him.  This fascination with Russia’s charismatic leader started around the time of the Olympics in Sochi.  I’ve an uncle that has a home in Moscow.  Said uncle is amazing and, truly, one of the best men I have ever met.  We were talking about Putin and the goings on in that part of the world at the time.  I was shocked to hear him speak so highly of Putin (again because of the news being reported at the time).  He said, he was well thought of in Russia, well liked, considered an excellent leader.  Now, I can’t say I knew that much about him.  I knew he was formerly with the KGB.  That his political start was a bit odd,  that there were rumors of rampant corruption surrounding the government. But, not much more than that.  This book lays it all out.  His life, his career aspirations with the KGB, his unlikely start in politics and, most interestingly, his evolution in terms of his political ideology.  Okay, maybe that’s not the right word but it’s close.  He comes across, at times, charming, savvy, terrifying, ambitious and so much more.  It’s like an accident that you cannot look away from.  Pick up a copy if you get the chance.

Is anyone else listening to the podcast Serial?  If so, discuss.  I’m so conflicted listening to this seasons series.  I have to know if it’s just me….

Now where’s that whistle?

Somebody stop me!

Can you believe it’s Friday?  And by that I mean, yay! yay! yay!, it’s FRIDAY!  Somebody pour me a glass of wine.  Or tequila.  It’s one of those.

Whew!  So, how’s your week been?  I’ve been out of control.  Kind of like one of those DYI shows meets Martha Stewart.  It’s been kind of scary.  But really cool too.  I’ve hung the people’s artwork IN FRAMES!  ON THE WALL!  I know!  Then, I actually constructed a table base for a coffee table here in my home office/yet another one of the people’s play areas (also known as area of mass destruction).  I’m hoping this will mean that I can kick back and chill with a favorite beverage and a good book can finally clear off the puzzle that’s taken over my dining room table for the last few months.  I have dreams.

I’ve also hired out a few jobs.  Electricity somehow missed out on my delusions of ‘oh, I bet I could do that’.  Magical electrician has been fixing things!  AND, and, are you ready?  He replaced those under counter fluorescent lights, which drove me batty with their humming sound, with LED ones!  Who knew that’s what my counters looked like?  It’s too much.  I may need a holiday to recover.

Our weather continues to be wacky.  Yesterday, it was so warm that I was outside refinishing some chairs.  At lunch today, a customer said it might snow this weekend.  Dear weather gods, please wait until after I pick Penny up from the airport to do that.  Then, I can blame her for all the crazy (she’s in Vail….the witch!).  Anyway, if you’ve the prospect of snow or just lovely cool temps, you should make this soup this weekend!

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Beef Barley Soup, out of one of my new Ina Garten cookbooks.  I used beef short ribs rather than oxtails.  Less expensive, more meat, same great flavor.  I made it the day before I planned to serve it.  That way, I was easily able to skim off the extra fat, which had solidified.  This soup is sooooo good.  Even the electrician thought so!  Plus, like almost all her recipes, it’s quick and easy.  Bonus that it is hearty without being heavy.  Pretty sure it’d be adaptable to adding more veggies or whatever.  As with most recipes (of other people’s) that I try, I tend to stick pretty close to the original the first time.  But, you?  Go on with your bad self.  Make changes!

And now for the books.

witches

I couldn’t wait to pick this one up.  Who doesn’t think the Salem Witch Trials were interesting, if bizarre?  This got great reviews.  I hated it.  No, that’s not too strong.  Oh, it’s fine.  It’s got some interesting parts.  For example, did you know that during this time in history, it was commonplace for people to keep diaries/journals?  But, few exist from this specific year?  Nor are there, with rare exceptions, court transcripts of the trials?  This should have been a red flag.  But, I persevered.  It is just SO BORING.  There are only so many times you can tell me about the culture or mindset of the powers that be.  I thought there would be more about the actual trials, about the actual women – and it was mostly women- accused of being witches.  There’s some but not nearly enough to have warranted the time I spent reading this.  Set.  The.  Book.  Down.  Clearly, I am a very slow learner.

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I am not so slow that I don’t know that I love a good Jill Shalvis book when I need some fluffy brain candy.  She doesn’t disappoint.  I had previously decided that I needed to move to Lucky Harbor, seemingly THE home for all the hot men.  Now, I’ve learned that there are MORE hot, yummy men in this Cedar Ridge place!  Now, if only I knew how to ski…

How’s your week been?  Any fun weekend plans?  I’m off to make some kind of sweet yummy something….stay tuned.  Cheers!

 

Vampires, Spiders and Cookies…What’s not to love?

Happy Friday, peeps!  I’m getting some serious stuff done today.  I’d recap my list but then you’d feel all guilty because you haven’t gotten as much done.  And who needs that?  It’s Friday!  Almost the weekend.  Got big plans?  If not, find some time to make these!

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Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies from the one and only Ina Garten!  Santa added to my cookbook collection, can you tell?  I love Ina.  Love her!  I’ve little people and more than a full time job so, even though I make our meals every single day, I don’t necessarily want to spend all day in the kitchen…..I can go to work for that!  These cookies have so many of my favorite things – dark chocolate, dried cranberries, oatmeal and my favorite sweet salty thing going on.  I will tell you that I liked them SO much better the next day.  The taste and texture the next day are to die for.  Bonus that the recipe makes enough, but not too much.  Just because I’ve worked out everyday this week doesn’t mean I want to work out MORE.  😉

 

spider

 

Did you read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series?  I did.  Loved it.  Watched the movies too.  Both the American and European ones.  Because I’m a weirdo that doesn’t mind subtitles unless there’s no volume.  I need volume with subtitles.  I said I was weird!  Anyway, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to read another book in the series written by a different author.  I’m also conflicted about what really went on between the series’ original author, his family and the woman he lived with for decades, who may or may not have co-authored the books.  It’s just a bizarre tale and I already have enough crazy.  So this gift just languished.

When I finally decided to pick it up, I purposely didn’t read any of the reviews.  Or anything about the author.  Or the other parties.  I was being all blank slate.  It has a very different style of prose.  For me, it was a bit more readable.  It doesn’t have the same tight plotting, the shocking details, the story.  Doesn’t mean I didn’t still enjoy it, despite the thought of putting it down (slow plotting).  In the end, I found it interesting enough that I’d consider reading another.  I also discovered that I’m entirely too intrigued with learning more about hacking and security.  You know what that means don’t you?  Stay tuned.

Okay, time to head back to work.  Gotta make the people happy and give out paychecks before lunch.  I’m also hoping to squeeze in a bit of time after work and school pickups but before piano lessons (!) to go visit the Vampires and donate some blood.  Saving lives!  Yep, that’s me.  Not a bad way to start the weekend.  Pretty sure I’m going to reward myself with a nice glass of wine after.  And some cookies.  Cookies go with everything, right?

Happy Weekend!