Mis(Adventures) In The Kitchen, And Other Brain Farts.
14 January 2017
It's 0315 right now, and I cannot sleep.
So many things running through my mind. Does anyone care anymore now that my dear Mamacita (Mother-in-Law, for my uninitiated pals) has departed us? I feel like she was my only audience who gave a rat's patoot, and now I should shaddup.
Of course, I won't, and then I remember my lovely teenage daughter, Chloë, loves to read my posts when she has time. The old ones about herself, especially. And so, for my beautiful curly girl, I will continue. (And I love you, Toots!)
So on January 2nd of this year, Rob and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. I'm guessing no one who knows us personally thought we would hit this mark. There were times over the past decade-and-six that make me think I'm not sure how we did it, myself. But here we are, still kicking away at this marriage thing sixteen years in, and not I'm thinking we'll go far longer than we all anticipated. I love this guy an immense amount, and he loves me an immense amount, and that's pretty much kept us going. It's enough, y'all.
Now, let's discuss something which I rarely talk about: FASHION. (I know, right? Me.)
I know nothing about fashion, other than I'm no good at it and don't really mind that. So this should really be: CLOTHES MY KIDS WEAR.
First, there's this awesome boho shirt Chloë splurged her gift card money from my sister, Aunt Stacey, on. She got a couple pairs of leggings and a pair of cute socks to round out the total, and I had a coupon and a military discount, and it was after Christmas clearance time, so she did quite well. (Wherever the photo of Chloë actually showing us what it looks like, instead of, you know, a ton of curls... I can't find it. Oh, well.)
Next up, Señorita Wet Head is showing off her new LuLaRoe leggings and dress (Carly? I have no recollection which model). She loves these, and they look so awesome and feel so comfortable on her, I may have snagged a couple pairs myself.
I had no intention of getting in on the LLR craze. I really did not. But then I had an awesome friend, Summer from Virginia Beach (where from I did not meet her until a year or two after we moved away from there, which is crazy but awesome) gift Chloë with these two beauts following a Facebook conversation.
Not only do they look and feel great, Chloë and I both share nearly identical sensory issues with fabrics, and I find they will work for me, too. Here are the ones I've demanded requested from Summer:
(because I love to cook and bake, duh)
because these just sing to me. Aren't they nice? I love 'em, can't wait to get 'em.
Speaking (constantly, at least in real life) of Idaho - oh, we weren't? - I've been collecting sales for cold-weather gear. They all now have snow pants that will grow with them, boots that will (well, who knows with the ever-growing Sophia?) fit awhile, and winter coats! Chloë is dying to go downhill skiing. I am not a skier, but maybe I'll take lessons with her if I can brace against the cold long enough. I've gone cross-country skiing, which I enjoyed, but a lot chicken about the other kind. On the other hand, Chloë is afraid of the ski lift, and I can't wait to go on that!
Sophia wants to go snow boarding, and Jack just wants to play in the snow, I guess. I don't know what he'll end up doing. I suspect I'll be nursing hot cocoa next to him in the lodge while the others frolic in the cold and snow, most of the time!
And now for another topic that is omnipresent lately: COOKING.
I don't always fail when it comes to cooking. I don't remember this so much, but I made a lot of it from the CSA share we get weekly, and none of it got thrown away! (I don't remember it because of my Fibromyalgia Fog that is making me dafter and derpier than even my usual self. It's muy frustrating.)
(If you're in the Homestead area of Miami, by any chance, check out this CSA. We get ours from Bee Heaven Farm, and the foods are organic, sustainably-raised produce. This year, we also get a small Mediterranean food share from one of the CSA-connected farms. I've enjoyed that a bunch. We have gotten Rachel's eggs from there and have even sought out more such foods at the Pinecrest Farmer's Market on Sundays. Pretty awesome stuff.)
Anyway, so sometimes I make decent stuff, and I don't get injured in the process.
And then, last Sunday night was different. As a semi-vegetarian (sometime-pescetarian here), I haven't had a steak in over 20 years. I don't know how to cook one! But I bought these sirloin steaks from Publix on the hunch that maybe extremely-picky (and tiny!) Jack would eat it and like it. In 16 years of marriage, I had never cooked Rob a steak, so I was all equipped with my Interwebs knowlij and ready to make it.
Fail. Fail, fail, fail.
Sure, I was able to 'gram the above photo of Rob's plate (that sourdough from Publix was amazeballs, btw). But then he cut into it, and that was not Pinterest-worthy. It wasn't done nearly enough. So I threw the steaks back in the searing-hot pan and started cooking it more thoroughly.
I ended up burned and bandaged when I grabbed the hot pan a little too hastily and splashed the tiny bit of hot EVOO I was using so as not to burn the steak. That was after the apartment filled up with smoke and all five detectors starting screaming and rioting. Oh, my gosh, it's funny now, but at the time I was not laughing!
Here's how it looks a few days later (scroll past quickly if you're squeamish or cranky about boo-boo pictures):
The amazingly miraculous thing was, I used my Young Living lavender essential oil on the burn, as I had read was a THING, and you guys, it totally took away the pain. I had zero pain after that, none after the bandages came off, none ever. It blows my MIND.
(I haven't even talked much about my Young Living oils on this blahg, because I don't want to be coming off as the scientist who lost her marbles, but I am totally having an epic experience with the essential oils. I don't even care if it's a placebo effect but they help me. I lurve them.)
So yeah. Good lavender oil on a burn is a thing. Who knew?
I have returned to the kitchen successfully since then, though. All the small ingredients fell to the bottom of the bowl, but this Tablespoon recipe for Copycat Olive GardenTM Pasta e Fagioli turned out well. I subbed a lot here and there:
- I needed lots more olive oil.
- I used two 13-oz (I think) packages of Hillshire Farms Turkey Sausage instead of ground Italian sausage.
- I had no celery, so I just put in extra diced onions. Why not?
- I didn't have the Great Northern beans, so I put in small red beans and red kidney beans as requested.
- I didn't put in dry pasta, because we had leftover orecchiette in the fridge. It turned out far paste al dente, of course, but it was fine for this time.
- I had no chicken broth, so I put in water and some Lipton onion soup mix. Maybe don't do that, but it was fine.
- I didn't have Parmesan, so I grated fresh Romano on it, instead.
I had mixed results with the kids, but Rob loved it and had eaten the whole pot (and it was a bigg'un!) by lunchtime the following day. I'll try this one again sometime, for sure.
Meanwhile, I had ordered some $90' worth of Harry & David Royal Riviera Pears (not having paid nearly that much, but still) after Christmas that arrived looking less than regal. The replacements are being sent out to us, but in the meantime, that's a whole lotta sweet pears to use up!
Since they had been frozen in shipment sometime and were wrinkly and um, subdued, I decided to cook with them.
Jack and I decided to try the Crockpot Pear Sauce recipe from the Pretty Hungry blog. Jack did all the work himself, while I just called out steps to him to do from the computer screen. We pretty much followed the directions verbatim, and it was a good one. This recipe is, to me, perfection. We loved it. Speaking of this, I think I'll go have some more after we wrap this post!
A few final Saturday morning fragments:
Rob and I had a good short visit with Anne-Marie from Miami International Riding Club, where Sophia took lessons until breaking her wrist following a fall (her mistake) this past July 1st. (Sophia misses horses and riding desperately and will continue after we move to Idaho.) I had made horse show bows for one of Anne-Marie's young equestrian students, and she came by to pick them up. Lovely girl. Too bad Sophie was already in bed and missed her. We'll go say our good-byes before we go, of course.
Our foster-fail Chiweenie puppy, Tapioca, is just a few months shy of a year old now. She was rescued by That Black Dog Rescue, Inc. after a tough start with a litter-eating mama and too-early weaning from her bottle by the initial rescuers. She's done well except for her major chewing problem, and now she's starting to exhibit more aggression toward Rob and Jack. We'll probably end up getting her doggy therapy in Idaho. Poor thing.
And finally, I'm going to miss my subtropical South Florida flowers and balmy winter weather after we move! This photo was from earlier this month.
However, I am excited for our look forward now that moving date is just over a month and a half away! Packing has not yet begun here at Chez Odette, but we will soon start in earnest. I plan to jettison a lot of my belongings to which I am no longer feeling a strong emotional attachment. A fresh start is just what the doctor ordered.
Well, if you read this far, thanks for sticking with me through it all! I hope to keep up more regularly and redevelop my readership and my blogging mojo. Famous last words from me, but I'm gonna try.