Friday, November 29, 2013

Friday 5: Shit from my iPhone

Patrick refuses to purchase K-cups for some reason.
I have started my own sneaky stash.  Marriage secrets have started!
Kate Spade words of wisdom!
Homemade rosemary bread!  Super nommy!
P and I would love to fix up an old car like this Scout some day.
Adorable Atlanta note cards a friend gave us (us, haha) at our going away party.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friendsgiving and the Deviled Egg Fart Bomb

A few years ago friends of ours invited a crew over for a pot luck Thanksgiving at their house.  It keeps growing every year, by faces and waistbands, and this year was no different.  Last year the party moved to the couple's neighborhood clubhouse to fit the growing crew, and it is the perfect venue.  They do a great job decorating and everyone signs up for a different dish.  You know the drill.

This year was all about redemption for me.  

Last year I had the bright idea to try my hand at deviled eggs.  I remember not even knowing how to hard boil an egg, which is ironic because my brother and I used to fight over who got to bring the hard boiled egg slicer with them in their lunchbox.  We also used to fight for the title of biggest asshole in the cafeteria, one would assume.  
Wtf were you doing giving us a hard boiled egg slicer, Mom?  
Ensuring our lifelong virginity, that's what.

I digress.

For this little foray 2 years ago I made some perfectly fantastic little buggers, popped em on my cute little party platter all wrapped up in holiday saran wrap for the win.  I'm guessing we had had a rough night the night before because that is the only sane explanation for what happens next.  We took my car instead of Patrick's.  My car is a 2 seater, with a little faux back seat which fits approximately 1 bottle of wine and 1 purse.  I know, because those are usually my only companions.  We got into said mini mobile knowing we were picking up a 6'3" dude on the way to the party.  Our friend can barely fit into the passenger seat, much less this mini jump seat in the back, so I crawl in the back and he wedges (wedgesss) himself into the passenger seat, with my party platter at his feet.  

The view from my back seat.  My feet are in the other seat.
Here's where things get ugly.

It took about 10 minutes before P took the first hard turn and disaster struck.  In the form of a loose egg.  Some adventurous morsel of perfection escaped from the pack, snuck out under the saran and SLAP.  Into the side of the footwell.  Usually this wouldn't be a big deal, except said friend is so wedged in there he can barely reach his own feet.  By the time we realized what was going on another few little dudes followed their friend to freedom and were sliding around and spreading their eggy goodness all over my floorboard.  

And by eggy goodness, I mean serious fart attack smell.

Nostril napalm.

If Humpty Dumpty had a baby, and that baby had a butt bomb, 
my car now resembled the inside of his diaper.  

We were laughing and gagging so hard at this point that the only reasonable thing to do was to get the eggs far, far away from us and the vehicle as quickly as possible.  Down went the windows and out went the eggs.  Not all at once mind you because P is still driving down the interstate and Colin is trying to dig around for slippery Humpty dumps.  So, one at a time, foul little messy bombs of Paula Deen love go flying out of my car.  One can only hope the people behind us were as highly entertained as us as they dodged the airborne attack of messy egg missiles.  Can you imagine driving down the highway, minding your own business, picking your nose, sexting away and whack!  Egg to the face.  An anonymous Sunday egging on the highway.  SMH.

P's grandmother is a highly put together little old Southern lady and was so horrified at this story that she actually went to Tupperware and bought me my very own deviled egg travel carrier.  Because having an egg slicer wasn't ridiculous enough, I now can carry my eggs with me wherever I go, free from shame and eau de fart.  

7 large eggs, hard boiled and peeled

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
Salt and pepper, for taste
Paprika, for garnishing (smoked paprika adds an extra touch of yum)
Sweet gherkin pickles sliced, for garnishing
Pimentos, for garnishing

Halve 7 eggs lengthwise. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl.

Mash yolks with a fork and stir in mayonnaise, pickle relish, and mustard. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Fill egg whites evenly with yolk mixture (I used a little dessert spoon).  Garnish with paprika, pickles and pimentos. Store covered in refrigerator.

Adding vinegar helps the whites pull away from the shell for an easier peel.
After boiling, pop em in an ice bath if you have to peel soon.  Can't peel a warm egg!
Palm crushing brute strength.
I creepily love the way it feels when you first get the shell to crumble a bit and then roll it around.

Totallyyyyy redeemed myself!
Magic carrier.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Half-Ass Pantry Recipe: Skillet Rosemary Chicken

This is a super easy, Fall kind of a dish.  My favorite kind in that it is simple, requires minimal washing of utensils/ dishes but doesn't come out like a pile of mush.  Hubs like the mushy recipes that come for single pot suppers, not so much for me.

This comes out really lemony, almost too much so, so be prepared if you're not a huge citrus fan.  
I used boneless, skinless breasts.  Two of which were already cooked from the green egg the night before, so I added them in with just a few minutes left to heat them up, but not overcook.  

3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large

Kosher salt

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
1 clove garlic, smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6 to 8 ounces each)
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved [or any kind of mushroom, I used baby bellas bc they sound cute]

Preheat the oven to 450. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.

Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat. [Marinate those bad boys for a bit.]

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon.  [If you're using skinless, I'd say just cook 3 minutes instead of 5.]

Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves [don't use all 4 halves unless you really like lemon] to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.

[Note: I found myself wishing I had some white wine around (who doesn't) as there wasn't as much liquid produced as I had hoped.  You can throw that in there halfway through the baking, I would say, for max yums.]

The accidental you're-not-a-potato selfie. 
Big deal - put them in cold water and then bring the whole thing to a boil.
Don't just drop them into already boiling water.

Looks so Christmassy!  

This mashing bit took a lot of coordination to photograph.

Good trick - squeeze the lemon over your fingers (using your iPhone hand) so the seeds get caught.

This was just one half of a very fertile lemon! 
Marinade concoction.

Raw chicken is one the most fowl (get it?) things I can think about sticking my phalanges on.
Hence my love of prepacked breasts.  Everyone loves a good plastic breast.
You can rinse and even slide the suckers out without ever touching them!!!

Snuggle butt chicken marination.

Browning - no touchy for 3 min!

Your rosemary will get torched, so keep some extra for garnish/ last minute adds.

I totally threw in leftover chicken with 3 minutes remaining on the clock to heat up but not overcook them.
Roasty toasty goodness!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday 5: Random Shit from My iPhone

Finnley, surveying her land for one of the last times.

View from Miami during my movie shoot work trip.

Over caffeinating on coffee and Aveda tea at the home office.

Hubsy got a surprise treat - white chocolate banana creme pie from Sugar Shack.
Which has fabulous sandwiches and like 80 kinds of cupcakes.  Noms.

Love this.  Stole this from someone off of Facebook.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Things That Go "F You" in the Night

It seemed like such a bright idea to go to bed early tonight. 9pm early. Hubs was sleepy. I was sleepy. The jalapeƱo margarita from Verde was resting peacefully in my tummy. And causing some old lady heart burn.

11:45 - I wake up to hubs wandering around the room with his iPhone flashlight on. "Wtf are you doing?" "I swear I heard an animal making noises on your side of the bed..." "You mean our dog who sleeps on my side of the bed every night?" "No, a different one... on the ground." "Shut up and go back to bed."

12:15 - hubs jerk-punches me in the back, just in case I'd gone back to bed from the someone-else's-animal-under-the-bed incident already. Good to have you home, honey.

12:35 - finished to-do list for tomorrow, including such exciting reminders as "take a shower" and "when the F are the movers getting here?"

1:03 - finish creeping on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Contemplate investigating Tumblr.

1:05 - realize I have no idea what Tumblr is nor anyone on it. Attempt to Snapchat a selfie in the dark.

1:10 - run out of coins on Scramble with Friends.

1:11 - punch hubs in the back for good measure.

1:12 - begin perusing LifeLock for any new, known sex offenders in 10 mile radius. Nothing like a pedophile's mugshot to put me into a deep slumber, apparently.

1:18 - Not a lot of new statutory raping going on this month it seems, must be the change in weather.

1:19 - Give up and eat a Tums. Tequila, you're such a whorebag.

Edit: 1:26 - Hubs jerks himself awake, flashlight is out again. "Now what?" "I felt something crawling on my neck. [No, he didn't] Why are you up?" "Bc I married your annoying ass." "Oh." Then he proceeds to unmuffled and unabashedly poot himself back to sleep.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Half-Ass Pantry Recipe: Beef Daube Provencal (Beef Stew)

The hubs and I have very, very different likes and dislikes when it comes to food.  Neither of us is particularly picky, but our preferences are basically polar opposite.  I want nothing more than to snack on a meat and cheese plate or other mini finger food ("squirrel food" according to Patrick) and he loves a good hearty soup, or a casserole or other sloppy single-pot fiasco.  Chili is a favorite of his.  

Our last meal pre-marriage I got all cutesy and made meatloaf.  Writing the word meatloaf makes me want to gag.  So I squirrel food-ed it up and made miniature meaties in a muffin tin pan - so much cuter and we popped the left overs in the freezer individually for him for some weekday meals.  I have no photos of that, so instead here is a recipe of one of his other favorites, which actually turned out to be quite spectacular:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, crushed (you'll be removing these from the pan, so don't chop em up too fine)
  • (2-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Dash of ground cloves
  • (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • bay leaf
  • 3 cups cooked medium egg noodles (about 4 cups uncooked noodles)
First, a lesson in no-tears onion cutting, thanks to my mom.  This was my very first, and still one of my only "tricks" in the kitchen, ha!

Chop off one end, leaving the other intact and remove outer layer of onion.
Cut a small sliver off one side, perpendicular to the end, so it lays flat and you don't add finger bits to your food.

Slice sideways in parallel to the board.  This one gets tricky when you get close to your hand.
Just stick your palm on top and close your eyes.

Chop vertically down towards the board, creating a cross-hatch effect.
Then, and I forgot the pic, cut the other way in vertical, so you're parallel to the intact end.
Tah-dah!  Diced onion!

My prep.  You always need wine in your prep.

  2. 1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  3. 2. Heat a small Dutch oven over low heat.  (Nobody has an actual dutch oven, except Patrick when he's feeling extra hilarious on the weekends.  You can use a normal stock pot.
  4. 3. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. 
  5. 4. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. 
  6. 5. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. 
  7. 6. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. 
  8. 7.  Add reserved garlic, beef, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrot, and everything you haven't used yet, minus the noodles bc you're not dumb.  See how helpful I am?
  9. 8. Cover and bake at 300° for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve over noodles.  I used some crusty bread for dipping instead of the noodles.
  10. Note: To make in a slow cooker, prepare through Step 2. Place beef mixture in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or until beef is tender.

After digging on some other blogs, I have come to the conclusion that it's really annoying trying to find the recipe steps hidden amongst the photos.  So looky there.  Consolidation my friends.

Heating up a solid 12 monster hunks of garlic.
Mmmm.  No such thing as too much garlic.  Ever.

Unless you're a vampy.  I'd give it up for some of those True Blood dudes.
I meant the garlic, but who's counting?
I keep shitty, almost undrinkable red wine on hand for moments like this.
Such a waste of a fine thing.

My goodies.

Mmmm stewy stewy stewwwww
Has anyone else seen that horrible Will Ferrell move, Semi-Pro?  Where the bear gets loose in the stadium?
This also freezes really well!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Botanical Garden Holiday Lights

'Tis the season for all things jolly and delicious.  And cold.  So much cold.  Makes my lady balls shrivel up just thinking about the impending cold of Cincinnati.  I'm finally starting to embrace snuggly clothing, mostly thanks to my new fleece-lined tights.  Hubs: "I see these are an acceptable form of pants to you now."  In past years I would just wear my usual short sleeve stuff and then throw on a bigger jacket.  So much easier than having to worry about layering or comfort.  Not to mention the PITAness of dressing and undressing, or, God forbid, an emergency pee stop.  You know the kind, where you're twitching and hopping trying to get your button undone, but you have to go so bad that your pants are on extra tight and you seriously consider just peeing straight through?  These are the fears I have around cold weather clothing.

And sweaters never stay their shape.  What is that.  How can a t-shirt last for 20 years and they can't figure out how to mold my llama fur back into arm holes after it accidentally takes a whirl in the washer?  I googled a badly-fitting sweater gif, since gifs appear to be my latest attempt at acting well under my actual age.  I got a link to these guys' 3-D printed sweater on kickstarter instead.  This 3-D printing phenomenon is pretty cool so I investigated.  First comment: "Um. That's not 3D printing. It's called "knitting" and it's been around for quite a while."  Hahahaha.

Wow.  How did we get here...

Bestie-best scored tickets to see the Botanical Garden Holiday Lights before they were open to the public.  They had s'mores and hot toddies for sustenance as you wandered through the gorgeously lit up garden and admired all the dead-for-winter plants.  Then we hit up Ormsby's for some tipsy Jenga action.  Because that's what we do.