Monday, April 26, 2010

GO WITH THE FLOW

Oh, Sundays are really becoming the new Saturdays. My more subdued lifestyle has lent itself quite well to my productivity on the weekends and it was this particular Sunday I was quite fond of.
The morning started as most of our Sundays do these days, coffee in the yard while we play with the dogs and then off to the farmers market. Before making it even halfway through the FM, Ryan decided it was due time for us to go to the movies again. With other pressing items on my agenda for the day, I decided that if it was going to happen, it had to be right now. So we bypassed the rest of the market, I peeled myself away from the many flowers and veggies I had been eyeing, and we booked it over to Burbank to catch an early show of Kick-Ass. My socks were rocked even further to learn that the early show at AMC is just $6, hooray early bird specials.

This movie was utterly fantastic and I can say with certainty, you have no idea what you are in for. I found myself developing a nerdy crush on the lead played by Aaron Johnson, and my new movie idol is embodied in that of an 8 year old girl.

As I left the theater, I decided that I too in fact, would like to kick some ass. However, my hopes for justice and intentions to now defy all evildoers were quickly thwarted. ADD had kicked in and my shiny object in question was called the Burbank Arts Fair. Schockingly, Ryan was in support of my desires to walk aimlessly around downtown Burbank. As I tried to put our Sunday course back on track (per the previously mentioned agenda), Ryan uttered four words I have never and probably will never again hear him say, "Go with the flow". So I embraced Ryan's new-found hippydom, perhaps my NorCal 60's wannabe mentality had finally started to rub off. As we walked around the fair, I quickly learned that he had really been capitalizing on my love of all things arts, crafts, and fairs; the true motivation was Hawaiian BBQ.

As we enjoyed our food, I snapped this picture of a corner of the fair. On the left, you can see the semi-creepy little alien costumed things that were walking around which just made me curious as to whether it was a child or a little person walking around in those.



We finally left to rush to home depot so I could accomplish at least one productive thing of the day. My quest to become an accomplished gardener was hindered by the fact that I have absolutely no gardening suppplies (and I guess no knowledge about gardening whatsoever). I will keep you updated on my progress as I try to fearlessly tackle the wonders of my yard. First up are Zinnias & Impatiens:









Once we made it home, I convinced Ms. Brit and Drew to come partake in margarita time. Our conversation covered an extensive list of very 'broad' topics, but once the night was over we had established an imposed Circle of Trust by Ms. Brit, so unfortunately I cannot explain what she is trying to explain in the following photo.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

HOME

We laugh until we think we’ll die,

Barefoot on a summer night

Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you


And in the streets you run afree,

Like it’s only you and me,

Geeze, you’re something to see.



So the posting has been quite meager, I realize. I have quite an extensive list of excuses as to why I fell off the face of the earth, in the blogging sense, but really its attributed to the fact that we FINALLY moved into a house and any inkling of free time I have had was put toward my housely duties. Not only is the above video ever so appropriate, excuse its obvious reference in the title, but I felt it needed to be shared as it is completely impossible to watch and not smile.


And we are home for now, almost box-free, the giant pile of laundry has dwindled significantly thanks to my beautiful new HE Washer & Dryer, and 2/3 is decorated - so basically we are 66.67% of the way there. The giant weight that was previously on my shoulders is now gone, and that weight was what I call "Apartment Dogs Guilt". Though they are still inside during the day since the fence is not up to my high standards, they get to run free at all other times to their hearts' content. This basically means I have tired dogs at home who no longer chew everything they see.
I have many other significant updates to provide (Drew's fight, Ryan's Laker-Mania, 1-2 New Recipes) as well as many pictures that have yet to be taken of the new house, but for now, here are my scrap pictures taken from my wonderful new Droid phone that showcase our new home in all its glory as the backdrop.






a little piece of our living room which overlooks the dining area behind it, the window to our backyard, and to the right is the hallway to the bathroom/bedroom/studio.







another view from the living room. Sam is resting/pointing his head toward the kitchen and back door.













And the best part about our house, is our yard. Drew & Ry showcase it very well with their whiskey and stogies.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Holy Asparagus!

So I went a little crazy with the asparagus at the Farmer's Market and grossly overestimated how much I would need. I was left with the task of both finding a way to use a large amount of leftover asparagus before it went bad as well as making an original creation as we had eaten it just the night before. Though I am not really a big fan of "Cream of..." soups mostly due to the fact that they involve high fat, I was able to find a recipe for Aspargus Soup on Cooking Light's website that I just slightly modified. Be very careful with adding much salt here as its super easy to overuse. I served it with some lean steaks I got at Ralph's the day before. I marinated the steaks overnight in Worchestire sauce, seared, and then broiled.

ASPARAGUS SOUP
3 c. chopped asparagus (about 2 bunches)
2 c. fat-free chicken broth

1 bay leaf

2 tsp. crushed/minced garlic

2 c. non-fat milk

Dash of nutmeg
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. milk

2 tsp. butter
Dash of Pepper

Dash of lemon Juice

Combine asparagus, chicken broth, bay leaf, and garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Place asparagus mixture in food processor or blender, process until smooth (better to overdue it so you don't have chunks of asparagus). Add milk, pureed asparagus, and nutmeg to large saucepan, stirring until blended. While mixture warms on med-high heat as you are trying to bring it to a boil, mix the cornstarch with the additional cold milk. Once the soup mixture on the stove is boiling, add the cornstarch mix to the saucepan and stir, bringing heat back down to medium so it will simmer. Continue to stir as soup thickens to desired consistency. Add more cornstarch mix if you want a thicker soup (just be sure to mix the cornstarch with cold milk before adding directly to the hot mixture). Once soup is at desired consistency remove from heat. Add butter, pepper, and lemon juice.

Ryan Approved.

Green Chili Stew

After many requests from Ryan for me to attempt my mom's Green Chili Stew recipe, I finally succumbed to the pressure. Not that I didn't want to, but having never tried the dish, not only did I have no basis of comparison but, I was sure it would not live up to the hype. I called my mom and got the Kathy-version of the recipe which is very similar to mine (highly estimated quantities, if even that). When I get recipes from my mom I get agitated that she just cannot tell me how much of something she used, but then I realize just who I learned to cook from as I hear that same agitation from my friends when I try to explain what I made. Over time I learned to accept that its good not because you followed the recipe, but because you tried something slightly and/or highly original. When it results in success, it is that much more rewarding. However, I digress, back to the recipe. I made some modifications from the original recipe that are quite minor based on ingredients that I did or did not have. This is quite spicy, so if you aren't up for that, leave out the jalapenos.

KATHY'S GREEN CHILI STEW (with some Evan modifications)
2 lb. beef cubes for stew
2 tsp. crushed or minced garlic

Pepper to taste

1 can low fat/low sodium beef broth

1 big can green enchilada sauce

3 small cans diced green chilis

1 small can diced jalapenos

2 cans pinto beans

4 red potatoes, cut in bite size pieces

Brown the beef with a little olive oil (or Pam), garlic, and pepper. Put browned beef with all the following ingredients in a slow cooker. Set slow cooker on low for about 8 hours. *If you want the soup thicker and/or greener, use less or none of the beef broth. Use any salt very sparingly as the other ingredients are quite salty.

BOOK REVIEW - LOOK ME IN THE EYE

"Look Me in the Eye"
by John Elder Robinson
I finally finished "Look Me in the Eye", it took a bit longer than usual as I am attempting to read about 3 books at once these days. Overall, I enjoyed the book mildly. It provided quite an interesting insight into the life of a person with Asperger's and the very full and eclectic life of Robinson. The parts that stood out to me were instances when Robinson would reflect on his experiences and recognize how differently he would react in certain experiences, but all the time unknowing that he had any sort of condition that would make him the way he is. The book jumped from clinical to anecdotal far too often for me. I found the author would retell pieces of certain stories or previously mentioned details that were generally redundant almost as if the chapters were written as separate entities. The close of the book did not flow with the rest, as soon as Robinson started detailing his life as it is now it was like a race to the end. It was as if he had used up his allotment of pages for Act 1 & Act 2 of his life, Act 3 would need to be concluded rather quickly. I realize that I should take a lot of this with a major grain of salt given that the author of this book has Asperger's, and as noted in the book, proper sentence structure and communicative skills are not particularly honed by Aspergians. However, I am a non-Aspergian, and I would retain this book as a point of reference for those seeking further insight into the mind of an Aspergian and not particularly as an wholly engaging read.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Romantic Comedies. A Love, Hate Relationship.

I personally love romantic comedies. I love the melodramatic music, the slow-mo camera, the witty puns interjected between the serious moments that are meant to make us think about those things that are bigger than us.
sidebar: if you have not, please see "Moulin Rouge", as silly as it may seem. The movie somehow finds a way to provide satire against the romatic movie genre, while still engaging the audience in a superb love story.
Inevitably, a romantic movie will come to a happy resolution, specifically our hero and heroine find each other. But there's always such a complicated juxtaposition that occurs. In reality, sometimes two people are in the right place at the right time, and everything comes together. There doesn't have to be a struggle for power and/or a "finding of oneself" for a conclusion. Let's proclaim to these lovesick romantics to get over themselves and move on. Unfortunately, that doesn't really make for an interesting movie, so on with the drama and sass, I'll continue watching but please heed my warning. (and if you didn't grasp earlier in my commentary, valentine's day is a bunch of kablooey).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunday Proves to be a Success...almost

DISCLAIMER: The following is an old blog I never finished from a couple weekends ago. I'm far behind on my updates.

Having slept the majority of the weekend, my body's response the cold that I refused to admit I was getting, I woke up quite refreshed on Sunday with no illness to speak of. For several weekends I had tried with no success to make it to the farmer's market, but finally persistance (coupled with a previously made deal) paid off. The day earlier I joined Ryan on an impromtu and rather untimely trip to the City of Industry for a Magic Johnson signing. I wasn't even able to feign excitement, so instead I struck a deal. I am pretty sure the only reason Ryan agreed to join me at the Farmer's Market the next day was because he believed it would rain. Rain it did not, the sun greeted me the next morning as well as Mr. Sam-A-Ram licking my face at 7:30 AM. I very patiently waited in bed the next two hours waiting for Ryan to wake up. He was none too excited to learn of my weather updates, but he held up his end of the deal. However, my day adventure did not end up in disappointment such as the City of Industry extravaganza.
sidebar: after my visit, I contend that all trips to the City of Industry end in disappointment
The Studio City Farmer's Market was in fact a success. Ryan loved it and I was able to get all the fruits and veggies I was hoping for. We also came home with a few unexpected treats: White Truffle Oil, Spicy Bacon Jam, and homemade Beef Jerky.Once home from the Farmer's Market, I got busy with my Oscar meal plans. I had promised a variety of appetizers and I did not want to disappoint. Though we only had two guests coming that evening (Phil and Chance), my hostess apron was already on, so I proceeded with my initial meal plan. Ryan's only specific request of the night was for mini quiches, so I will share that recipe.

OSCAR MINI QUICHES:
1 Pre-Made Double Pie Crust
12 Eggs
3/4 c. Milk

1.5 c. Cheese

Chopped Ham

Chopped Broccoli (or any other veggies)

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray regular or mini muffin tin with Pam. Roll out pie crust and roll a little thinner than it already comes. Using a medium to large circle cookie cutter (I don't have one so I used the rim of a highball glass) cut circles out of the dough reserving any additional crust to re-roll and cut additional circles from. Shape circular dough cuts into each separate muffin section, shaping it so it forms a dough cup in the tin. Mix remaining ingrediants, and salt/pepper to taste, in a medium bowl. Ladle mixture into the doughed muffin tins filling each level with the rim of the dough. I sprinkled a little extra cheese on top of each of my mini quiches. Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Check periodically, you can tell its done with a knife comes out clean and the crust is a golden brown.

And though normally while I cook, my audience is limited to Sam and Harley-girl, Ryan wasn't feeling very well after the Farmer's Market so he decided to join Sam in his regular spot in the entryway.

Friends and their Wonderful Achievements

Last weekend was all about reveling in the glow of our friends' honorary events. I can say with utmost certainty that the following two attributes apply so accurately to the two men I want to highlight today: hardworking and skilled.
On Friday we paid a visit to a small art opening that showcased the work of Simpson's artists' work outside of the show. Our very own Chance Raspberry is one of the featured artists and of course did not disappoint. He displayed stills featuring my, and soon to be everyone's, favorite twisted clown. I think my favorite moment of the night was when I overheard one of his former coworkers expressing shock at the fact that "sweet" Chance had this secret dark side....oh if she only knew.



Next up was Saturday evening, lucky for us Drew's ceremony had been moved to this weekend so we were able be there to support him. He has been shockingly absent from this blog since its commencement due to his rather rigorous schedule with work and training. It definitely has paid off however, and it was no surprise to me as I watched him receive his next armband (kind of like getting another belt in karate) as he moved up a level. All of this is happening just a month before his very first fight is happening the first week in April. As much as I absolutely hate to see him fight, not due to lack of ability whatsoever but more due to a protective instinct on my part, I am extremely excited for his fight to finally take place. Once its over I think he will have proved not just to the people in his life, but also to himself what a bit of determination and a hell of a lot of willpower can yield. And though he is doing this with just one good eye, as a co-founder of Patch Match™ I refuse to admit this into the competition, unless maybe I'm wearing a full body padded suit.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Salmon, hold the nuts.

As I am still catching up on a week's worth of extremely minor events, I came across pictures of a pretty lovely meal I made last week that had completely slipped my mind. Per Ry's request, which is how most of my meals come to fruition, we had salmon. To get my cooking juices flowing, no pun intended, I started checking out my favorite website (tastespotting.com) for some ideas. Most of the recipes included Soy Sauce and/or Hoisin. I really was not in the mood for an asian flavored dish, particularly not with the veggies I was making, so I decided to revise a recipe I saw and I think it turned out quite well.

HONEY PECAN SALMON:

Worchestire Sauce
Honey
1/4 c. crushed Pecans

Salmon filet

Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375. Coat glass baking dish with cooking spray and place salmon in dish. Cover with several dashes of worchestire to taste, basically enough to cover and/or marinate. Squeeze lines of honey on the coated salmon and kind of mix with the worchestire with your finger or a spoon. I let mine sit for about 15 mins. since we wanted to eat soon, but I think this would be even better if you let it marinate covered in the fridge for a few hours. Heat olive oil in a skillet pan to a medium-high heat. Once drops of water sizzle on the pan, place the salmon in the pan. Sear it on both sides for just about a minute each side. Place the salmon back in the baking dish and cover with crushed pecans, drizzles of some more honey, and salt to taste. Bake for about 12-14 mins. until desired doneness.

And on the side we had our favorite veggies, which is actually so simple that I almost wouldn't even think to post a recipe. However, I made this around Christmas-time with my family and my sister loved it, as was quite clear when I received a text message from her a few days later asking how to make it because she was craving it. That was quite the cooking ego boost I might say. Thinking back however, I believe credit is truly due to my man Tony Chachere, who has made many things I have cooked taste quite complex and utterly delicious with very little effort on my part.

BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER SAUTE:

1 bag Frozen mixed Broccoli & Cauliflower

OR

1/2 head of chopped Cauliflower
4-5 Broccoli Florets chopped

Spray Butter
Tony Chachere's Seasoning (or Cajun Spices, or Cayenne)

Spray saute pan with spray butter and heat to medium. Toss cauliflower and broccoli in pan. Sprinkle veggies with salt, pepper, and spicy seasoning of your choice to desired spiciness. Spray veggies with a little more spray butter (enough to coat a little) and sautee veggies for a while in the pan. I recommend cooking them until they start to brown a little. It makes the veggies kind of crunchy and in my opinion better (I will say from what I have read, critics would say I am well overcooking these types of veggies, but I think it tastes better).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The SANTA BARBARA TOP TEN

Let me first apologize to the few that do read my blog for the delay in my updates. I have plenty of excuses, but none that really matter.

On to the long awaited Santa Barbara post. Though this took place now 2 weekends ago, I felt it deserved a post all its own, mostly because of the magnitude of pictures that were taken thanks to Ms. Brit and Michael & their fancy new camera. Since I could easily write a novel about the fun that we had on our mini-vacation, and since most would agree that I already do write novels in my posts and emails, I have decided to highlight My Top Ten Moments of the SB weekend (these are done in order of occurrence, not by ranking as it would be far too difficult to choose my favorites).

1. ARRIVALS IN THE RAIN FOLLOWED QUICKLY BY MASS CONSUMPTION OF WINE.

So the two other couples arrived much later in the evening Friday as Ryan & I were passed out on the couch. Though nothing could be done to wake my comatose boyfriend, I quickly found my second wind, perhaps the best alarm clock for me would be the sound of a wine bottle being uncorked. I don't fully remember everything we chatted about but there was discussion of wine tasting the next day. I believe our aspirations were far too great considering the last of us did not officially go to bed until 5 AM.

2. RYAN CREEPILY SLEEP WALKS, PROVIDES PREVIEW OF MOVIE TO BE WATCHED THIS WEEKEND.
So Ryan has this thing, he doesn't really sleep but rather comas. Some of the most extreme methods have been tested to wake him from his slumber, and so far only one has been successful, but I am not willing to do that every morning. Until this past weekend, I believe I was one of the few people who has witnessed his very creepy "awake sleep". During our wine-filled merriment in the dining room, we all catch movement finally from the comaed Ryan who is laying on the couch in the living room. He gets up and stands completely still, like he was walking, but someone just put his motion in pause (not unlike some moments in Paranormal Activity which we watched later in the weekend). He then walks to the doors leading to the backyard, fails at his attempts to determine how doors work, gives up and falls asleep on the door. This was pretty fantastic for all of us, and as soon as I have the video of this, it will be posted too.

3. GIANT FAMILY BREAKFAST DISPLAYS ANGELINA BALLERINA'S TALENT WITH EGGS.
I lived with Angelina Ballerina for about 6 months and I discovered that weekend in SB that she never had made me eggs. She has quite a skill and all were in awe of her delicious eggs.

4. POKER, POKER, AND MORE POKER.
The game started after breakfast on Saturday and continued for the rest of the day. We took several needed breaks, but managed to play poker for quite some time with no real winner. Despite several shifts in chip leaders, we ultimately called the game on Sunday as some participants had left and anty-ing up would be difficult.

5. PAT AND CHANCE REDISCOVER A LOVE FOR FROZEN SWEETS.
During one of our poker breaks, a group took a little field trip to the store. Upon their return I believe I witnessed the 6 year old versions of Chance and Pat as they shared their excitement over the treasures they had brought back. Let's just say, we did not fall short in supply of frozen dessert items and I learned just exactly what everyone would do for a Klondike bar.

6. NAP TIME TURNS INTO MOVIE DAY, I CONTEND THAT "THE MIST" STILL SUCKS.
In the early afternoon my excess wine drinking from the night before officially wreaked havoc on my body. I had used any reserves up to that point and realized that my systems were shutting down. Unfortunately, the place I decided to park myself was in the living room, where unbeknownst to me, one of the worst movies of all time was about to start. Unable to move, I endured the beginning, hoping that the few who were watching would come to the realization that I previously had, and decide to change the channel. As the movie progressed, more people began to filter into the living room. Our new room additions had seen this movie before and inexplicably enjoyed it thoroughly. Their advocacy inspired intrigue with those that were unaware of what "The Mist" was, and I was doomed to another loss of two hours of my life.

7. STEAKS FOR DINNER & GIRL TALK WITH WILL FOR DESSERT.
By dinner time I had slightly recharged my batteries, but nothing gets me going like cooking. Throughout the course of Saturday we had three new welcome houseguests: Chance, Nicole, and Will. So for dinner we grilled up steak, chicken, and veggies for the vegetarian(s). If you noticed that I imposed doubt on the fact that there was more than one vegetarian, I commend you for your keen eye. This is due to the fact that this weekend, Ms. Brit had decided she was in fact a vegetarian (Nicole however, is always a vegetarian). After dinner we talked about lady troubles with Will and I sure hope he appreciated my many questions.

8. MOVIES, MOVIES, AND MORE MOVIES.
I think we all did ourselves in on Friday night because Saturday evening was pretty tame. After several rounds of our "grab bag" to decide what movie would be watched, the winner was Angelina Ballerina's pick, "Boondock Saints". I actually completely passed out during the entirety of the movie, but I have seen it several times before, and its due a definite two thumbs up-zies. Once that movie ended we lost a couple movie watchers, but I woke up in time for a mini-marathon as we proceeded to view both "Paranormal Activity" and "Breaking Down".

9. SUNDAY PHOTO SHOOT.
Sunday morning brought another round of a giant group breakfast. I believe I wowed Ms. Brit with my skills in the kitchen as I turned a disastrous gravy into something quite good. Somehow our morning moved into the backyard, likely due to the fact that the sun was finally out and it was officially a beautiful day in SB. A few pictures turned into many more, and suddenly we had quite the photo session. I would love to share them all, but here are some of my favorites.

*Please enjoy the cheese.

10. ANGELINA BALLERINA & I DISPLAY HIDDEN GOLF TALENTS, WE ALL WISH WE COULD RETIRE.
By Sunday afternoon it was down to the last two couples, so we decided to go hit up the driving range and take advantage of the beautiful weather. Not only was I immensely impressed with Ry & Pat's serious skills with their clubs, but I think Angelina Ballerina and I got the hang of it pretty quickly and have some future golf lessons we need to take up to enhance our serious talents. Our driving range trip was made that much better upon the realization that we could bring beer down.

After quite a fun and relaxing weekend with many of the people in the world that I love, I will say that the weekend lived up to my expectations. Though it rained through much of the weekend, it didn't really matter. Ryan and I made the decision that we need to make all of our money now so we can enjoy every day like this, early retirement here we come.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Letter of the Day is P

Well really it should be the letter of the week.





Why Grover, you look quite
PERPLEXED.


P
roductivity was surely the theme of last weekend, it was one of those times where you look back more in confusion rather then awe of that which you've accomplished. The confusion stemmed from the fact that both Ryan & I did all of the things that we have been putting off for at least 6-8 months, and I don't think either of us function normally when we don't have at least a few things we are procrastinating. Luckily for us, a whole new slew of "to do's" have been added in just the last few days, so we'll be busy not doing any of it for a while.
Our next word was inspired by my coworker, who so appropriately categorized me as having a Pioneering approach to cooking. This of course was a response to my disastrous cooking tale of the night before. I tried making a [hopefully] original breakfast creation. Forgetting that my muffin tin had suffered its demise, prognosis: "death by cornbread", I thought I was fully prepared to revolutionize the way in which we all view breakfast. Upon the realization that my muffin tin was now a rain receptacle on our porch, I decided that this creation would be made anyway, and my muffin cups would suffice.
Sidebar: Please reread the last 2 sentences, but each time you see "muffin ______", say it in your head like it means something else.

...... it cracked me up.


Without going into too much detail as I do plan on recreating this recipe properly and making it functional, hence the pioneering spirit, the muffin cups did not provide adequate support and I ended up making a pan of baked egg substitute. During the cooking adventure gone awry, my newly re-found camera started displaying error messages and intermittently shutting off. Upon reflection, I realize that this was my camera's way of saying, "Trust me, you do not want a picture of that".
And finally our last word is Patience, because that it what I have been trying to practice all week. On Friday I will be joining a large combination of many of my favorite people to relax in Santa Barbara at what I will now refer to as Our February Vacation House (my parent's house while they are out of town). A weekend of wine + friends + poker - dog walking = A Very Happy Evan. The reunion of the terrible tripod will final take place, in which Ms. Brit, Angelina Ballerina, and Myself finally will be in the same place, at the same time, for the same purpose. I cannot wait, and I am so happy to hear that my lady-zies are just as excited as I am for this wonderful weekend. In addition, all of our boyfriends will, for the first time, be together with the tripod together, and I truly do not think they know what they are in store for.










So here's a little taste.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cauliflower Overload

So ultimately the purpose of creating a blog for myself was for recipe maintenance and distribution amongst my more "kitchen challenged" friends (you know who you are) asking for some of my stolen or slightly original creations. By no means do I consider myself an expert when it comes to culinary stylings, but I will try anything once and tend to have unique taste pairings. On more than one occasion by more than one person, my appetite has been compared to that of a pregnant woman's. Since I vehemently deny that pregnancy could ever be the culprit, I instead attribute it to an early penchant for original combinations. Though far from classy, my early classics were Cold Hot Dogs dipped in Apple Sauce, Mustard on Oreos, and Tortilla Chips dipped in Vanilla Yogurt. The salty-sweet combination matured into a love of Peanut Butter Burgers, Hawaiian Pizza, and Chocolate Dipped Bacon.
But anyway, I'm getting entirely off track here as my latest meal has absolutely nothing to do with the above. Last week, after what seemed like an eternity of busy schedules and take out food, I finally was able to cook. My initial idea though had grown simply from steak and cauliflower (in my attempt to cook on a budget and use what's currently in my fridge)to an entirely new concept. I had four days of meal planning as my schedule kept being pushed back, so once I finally found the time and motivation to cook, I really went for the cauliflower overkill. Ryan and I both agreed that they meal together was good, but each separate piece was great. So I will implore any that decide to try the following to learn from my mistakes as you might in a choose your own adventure book & turn to Page 26 instead of Page 14, which thinking of it, I really need to get because those things rock.

First, I had a SIRLOIN strip type steak (eh, I'm so not good on remembering the cuts of meat, particularly steak) in the fridge since it was on sale at my Ralph's.
Since it was on sale, I figured it would be best to do some sort of marinade to avoid the potential toughness of the meat, plus I wanted extra sauce for the next part of my meal. Using a few I found online as a point of reference I made the following
SIRLOIN with MA
RINADE:
1/4 c. honey
3 tbsp. soy sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 flank sirloin steak

Mix all the ingredients through garlic powder well. Po
ur over meat in small casserole or pan and spoon extra juices on top of steak. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour or more to marinate. Broil Steak for about 4-5 minutes on each side in casserole dish in oven, or until desired doneness.

Another aspect of this meal was the cauliflower rice. Despite my intense love of all things carb, I also recognize the need to get rid of the "Relationship 10" lbs gained over the last year and a half while blissfully ignoring my ever tightening pants. This was actually a very nice addition to the steak and worked very well with the juices. I think if I ever make this again, I will keep the steak and faux rice and substitute the rest with a salad.
CAULIFLOWER RICE:
3/4 head of fresh cauliflower

Olive Oil or Cooking Spray to taste

Salt & Pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan (optional) to taste
Lightly pulse the cauliflower in a food processor so that it resemble
s the consistency of rice. When the rest of the meal is almost ready, lightly saute the cauliflower bits with some cooking spray or olive oil, and seasonings. I also put a bit of Parmesan for taste. Serve under the steak, the extra juices from the marinade really complement the faux rice.

Next up is the ham wrapped asparagus and cauliflower steaks. These are not highly complicated so I will spare you the detailed recipes. I will say, that in the future I fully plan on making the ham asparagus in place of one of my favorite sides/appetizers, bacon wrapped asparagus. It provides a similar flavor with very little fat as I just used just half a thin slice of low fat ham to wrap the spear and secured with a toothpick. I did use a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on the asparagus prior to wrapping, but you could spray with pam for less fat. The cauliflower steak was 2 sections cut from the same head used above for the "rice". I essentially seared the cauli-steak to brown the outside. Both the asparagus and steak were baked together at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes. You could adjust the temperature to whatever your needs are, I wanted to take Sammy-Pants on a walk so that's what I did while it cooked.
In the end it resulted in a reasonably pleased and well fed boyfriend, a "happy to eat the leftovers" Chance, and a lesson in overthinking & overpairing meals.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ms. Brit blows back into Cali


Per usual, my plans for last night far exceeded the actual results. While gourmet cooking, laundry, and taxes were replaced with pizza, television, and sleeping; I did manage to accomplish some of the original evening's intentions.
Ryzies & I fell asleep quite early the night before, so after work yesterday we rushed home to finish my vocal recordings. [If you are reading this and didn't know me by chance, you may be thinking to yourself "is she a singer?" to which all those reading that do know me will respond with a collective "hell no."] What I lack in singing abilities, I attempted to make up for in whorish phrases and sounds last night.
Backstory: One of our friends created an Ipod App (coming soon: more details on later) in which a woman's voice is required.
The reviews were quite positive. I am still experiencing mixed emotions between the positivity of the ego-boost coupled with the whack-factor of having your boyfriend's friends now know 1. your sexy noises and 2. reviewing them. But, I'm a LEO lady at heart and attention is my thing, so I have just now fully decided that it actually is pretty awesome.
With recording now completed, I was able to devote full attention to the long-awaited return of my soul LEO lady lover.
Backstory: Brit left me to my own devises over a year ago to pursue hopes, dreams, and a career in Chicago. Turns out she cannot live without me and has now returned. Her boyfriend perhaps thinks it is because of him, but we all know the truth.
She brought my third favorite dog in the world Nala to help fill my dog withdrawals as ours are vacationing up in Santa Barbara with skunks and whatnot. Though Nala and I had no time whatsoever to catch up on our tabloids, we did have a blastzies.

Aside from Brit & I catching up on the latest and greatest in our lives, it was a rather uneventful evening in which the duo called it an early night for once. We both get rather sleepy when the vino is absent.

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."

Perhaps that isn't the most applicable quote for my day, but as this post marks the commencement of all to come, I felt it would set the appropriate tone for what the intention of this blog actually is. I assure any of the few that decide to read this, my quest for the "silver lining" will likely be overshadowed by the rather mundane and uncomplicated life I do lead.
The "zies" in my world are all those things I love, and the purpose of this chronicle is to showcase them.

RAZMCK STUDIO: OFFICIAL PLAYLIST

"DANGER" QUOTE OF THE DAY

"DANGER" QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I liked the new blog but I desperately want to know what Brittany is doing in that photo."

MY BABIES

MY BABIES

EYE CANDY

EYE CANDY
 
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