Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Uffda!

I'm afraid there really aren't many pictures to go with this post because things have been hectic around here as a few lives have been changed in recent weeks. 

The Saturday after our anniversary, Rich (aka Hubbyman) and I decided to go on a roadtrip to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama to see what treasures we might find.  He was also in need of a new suitcase so figured he could get a good deal on one there.


On our way out of town, I received a text from a girl I will refer to as Z saying my best friend (her boyfriend) Andy (who is only 35, btw) was just admitted into the ER for a heart attack.  My first instinct was to go to the ER and be there but she told me "no."  Part of that was from him not wanting to interfere with my and Rich's anniversary plans but a lot of that was her.  She said not to cancel the road trip and she would keep me updated.  Which she did.

I was pretty much in tears the whole time and most of the trip was blur.  The UBC was okay if you are small and looking for clothes.  I think I walked away with a shirt and Rich did indeed get a suitcase.  Here I am as part of the unclaimed baggage with his newly claimed baggage.


I'm sad because I was unclaimed baggage. :P

By the time I got back into town, Andy was getting settled into a room.  Z would not tell me which room, though, and said to wait until the next day to go see him.

I did not sleep AT ALL that night until after 4:30am when I finally got a text message from HIM.  He said he was okay and would let me know when his parents got there which room he was in.  A bit later in the morning, Z texted and said she was going home because he had snapped at her in front of his parents and she needed to get some rest.  At the same time, he told me his room number in the CCU so I rushed there to see him.

As it turns out, his heart is not in good shape due to heart disease and he had to have 4 stents put in.  He seemed to be in pretty good spirits overall, though, and his family seemed really nice.  They gave us a bit of privacy and, even though I tried not to, I started to cry because of how worried I was and seeing him was such a huge relief.  My visit with him was short, but I did spend a good 90 minutes talking with Z in the front lobby about some issues they were having.

The next morning I got a text from both of them saying she had broken up with him....while he was still in the Cardiac Care Unit after his massive heart attack.  Yep.

I called Rich right away and verified that our guest room was still on the table for Andy if he wanted it.  (This is something we had discussed quite a while ago.)  As soon as I got off work that day, I went back to the hospital and extended the offer which he accepted.  That night, Rich and I went to Z's place and got Andy's computer, clothes, a few books and a few other things.  The bigger stuff had to wait as my minivan only holds so much and I am not able to haul heavy things down stairs.

Throughout the rest of the week, I did what I could to get the house ready and, finally, a week and a half ago, he was discharged from the hospital and moved in with Rich and I.  We love having him there with us!  I get to have my fellow foodie cook with me (who is a much more skilled cook than I am so I am learning stuff as we go), Rich gets someone he can geek out and talk "man stuff" with, and we have a 3rd for playing board games!  And since I already cook in a healthy way, it's easy for him to follow his low fat, low sodium diet. :)

He has to wear a device called a "lifevest" pretty much 24/7 (except showers) for a while.  It is constantly monitoring his heart and is also a defibrillator in case his heart stops again.  He *hates* wearing it but he has been very good about keeping it on. 


image source
Things seemed to be very good until Monday when I went home at lunch to pick him up for his doctor's appointment.  When I pulled into the driveway, he was kneeling and staring in one spot which was weird.  I rolled my window down and asked if he was okay.  He said he felt like he was going to throw up then stood up.  I asked if he could make to the seat in the van and he leaned on the hood and said "Give me just a minute."  Then he passed out and fell face first into the concrete!  :(  Since he was blocking my door, I quickly got out through the passenger side and touched him, calling his name.  He almost immediately responded with "I'm okay. I'm okay. ... What happened?"  After a few moments, we got him up and into the van and I rushed him to the ER. 

Here is his poor face after his fall. :(  I have *never* been so scared in my life.


They think it was a sudden drop in his blood pressure that caused the black out like that.  They ran all sorts of tests and couldn't find anything wrong.  He somehow managed to injure his side during the fall, likely from landing on his battery pack for the lifevest and his urine is really dark which is common if you bruise your kidneys, etc.  The hospital did not seem concerned about that, though, so I'm trying to not be.

He is home now, though.  :)

So, here are a couple of things that are important, but I wasn't sure how to incorporate them into the story.  This is probably the most personal information I will ever give in this blog, but I know that the few who read this tend to be cool, open-minded people and not very judgemental.
  • If you don't know me in person, you are probably not aware that my husband and I don't have a traditional marriage.  MOST we know in person are aware of this and have alternative lifestyles themselves.  Our way is not for everyone, obviously, but it works for us!
  • Unbeknownst to Z, Andy and I have been more than just best friends for a number of months.  She figured it out after she broke up with him, so I was not the reason for the break-up.  I am not proud of the way things transpired, but it was not a decision either of us made or took lightly and I do not regret it for even a moment.  How this all came to be is another story.
  • I love, love, love having the 2 men I love under the same roof with me. :)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

9 years

9 years ago today, I married my best friend. :)  To celebrate, we got dressed up and went for a fancy dinner at a restaurant called Ray's on the River.
I decided it would be a good night to wear not-black. :)
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I had a hard time getting a full body shot of myself, so I do apologize for the poor quality of this picture.  I got this dress a couple years ago to wear to my birthday party but ended up deciding on something else.  I love the mild vintage feel to the look of this dress.
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The restaurant had confetti on our table for us!
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Geek is gonna geek out no matter where he is. ;)  I picked this shirt out for him a while ago even though it's not his usual style.  The skull design makes me happy. 
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I started with a cup of acorn-butternut squash soup that was amazing!  I was so hungry that I forgot to take a pic of it, though.  LOL  BUT!  I didn't spill any on me. ;)  Then I got the Parmesan-crusted scallops with lobster risotto.  I only ate half of it but made yummy sounds the whole time.  I am really looking forward to the leftovers.
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We got a side of truffle mac & cheese to share.  It was okay.  Mine that I make is way better, even without the truffle flavor. :P  I only had a couple spoon-fulls and he ate about half.  The rest is in the fridge.
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They surprised us with a piece of chocolate ganache cake with whipped cream. :)  It was very, very sweet so I only had one bite.  I was so really full, though, so it was okay. :D
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The hostess took our picture for us as we were leaving. :)  I look so goofy! :P

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mmm, mmm, good!

There has really been nothing remarkable going on the past few weeks.  I've made a bunch of yummy food but by the time I am done cooking it, I am so excited to eat it that I forget to take pictures until I am putting away leftovers. :P  This is the only meal that made it and it's probably the most boring visually.  LOL  It was absolutely delicious, though! 

I present to you roasted tomato soup and grilled ham & cheese on homemade bread!  I am not a huge fan of soup and never have been.  Tomato soup is one of the few I enjoy because it is creamy and smooth and doesn't look predigested to me.  Now that I have had this, I will never, ever be able to eat canned tomato soup again.  Ever.


You can find the recipe for the soup here.  I will also be adding the Pumpkin and Mushroom Lasagna, Shepherd's Pie, and Cherry Bread recipes soon.  Even though the temps are still in the 80's (upper 20's celsius) here in Atlanta, I am so ready for Autumn!

I am still slowly but surely getting my kitchen organized.  My latest little project was my gadget drawer.

Here is the before picture:


A mess, right?  And I couldn't believe how many non-kitchen things I had in there, too.  Like the balloons.  LOL

From The Container Store, I ordered these bins which seems like they were made for this drawer.  I had 1/8" and 1/4" of wiggle room in the 2 directions after I put these in.


I seriously measured the inner dimensions of my drawer 4 times before ordering these for this configuration and hoped like crazy that their dimensions on the website were spot on.  They were. :)

Here is the after picutre:


Now, there are obviously things that did not make it back into the drawer.  The non-kitchen things are finding other homes and some of the bigger things, like my rolling pins (yes, I have 2: one wooden and one nonstick) are being stored elsewhere since they didn't fit in the bins. :)  I know it might be silly to some for me to multiples of a few things, like measuring spoons, measuring cups, whisks, pizza cutters, etc.  I have a couple reasons for this. 

One, I am a frenzied cook.  I don't want to have to look for a certain sized measuring utensil in the middle of my chaos and then have to wash and dry it before I can use it again.  If it's not reusable, I'd rather grab a clean one.  Of course, I do try to plan ahead and measure dry things before wet things, etc. but that's not always possible or I just don't remember. 

The second reason is that I hate washing dishes.  So if something is dirty in the dishwasher, I'll grab a clean one instead of hand-washing it.  That's especially true with my spoons (in a crock on the counter instead of here), tongs, and pizza cutters. :)  I don't use the pizza cutters for just pizza cutting, either.  I use them for cutting my dough to size when making buns as well.

We had a visitor last night!


Neighborhood cats seem to love our yard.  I think they know we are cat people. :)

Sidia was very interested in our friend and made excited chirping sounds when I lifted her up to the window to see.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Not much to say

Ever have one of those days (or weeks) when you are feeling social but not really talkative?  That's kind of how I feel today.  I am craving being around people but my brain really just wants to sit back and observe.  Friends are coming over Sunday to play Cards Against Humanity, though, so that works.  :)

So rather than being wordy like I usually am, here are some random pictures varying from tonight to almost 30 years ago. :)  I don't *think* any of these have been posted here before but, if they have, here they are again.  LOL

Of course, food. :)  For dinner tonight, I made Mini Cheese Burger Meatballs and Herbed Oven Fries with broccoli.  Oh!  Did you notice that I have a Recipage now?  It's true!  There's a widget gadget thingy over to the right. :)
A friend's '66 Mustang

Taken from the passenger side of the one and only time I got to go for a ride in said Mustang :)

T-shirt I designed for an ex-boyrfriend.  His name was obviously Shawn and he would always say that this is when he had to get up for work. :)

Someone asked me to do a doodle of a dinosaur and a flower.  Challenge accepted!
This way some people didn't have to choose between eyes or boobs (*giggles*)
I was a deadly doll for a Halloween a couple years ago.  I think this is my favorite costume I've ever had so far.

Trying to grin like the Jimmy Carter giant peanut statue in Plains, GA :)  This was on one of our random road trips quite a while ago.

A photographer I know was doing a BBW Alice in Wonderland photoshoot and I got to be the "white rabbit".  I made the lace ears (based on this idea) and also added the lace to a plain black bra.  As with recipes, I even go my own way when following DIY tutorials. :)  It was so hot in the studio for this shoot and the photographer made me take my glasses off. :P
Class picture from the sixth grade - I'm circled in case you haven't figured it out.  LOL  I hated the shirt my Mom made me wear so I wore my jacket over it.  That SO helped with my already built-in dorkiness.

So... what are YOU doing this weekend? :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Cure for Pooplessness

Hubbyman and I decided to do another road trip yesterday and discovered that Monticello, GA has the cure for constipation!

It's amazing what you find when you make a wrong turn. :)  This was painted on the side of a building in a parking lot where we had to turn around after someone... ahem... I... headed in the wrong direction.

Our goal for this road trip was Vidalia, GA, the home of the sweetest onions you could hope for.  Since I've been on such a food obsession kick lately, a food-related destination just made sense.

For a change of pace, we decided to take my mini-van so I drove the first half of the trip.  His car is a manual which I am not able to drive so he usually does most of the driving.  It was a nice change for him, too, to be a passenger for a change. :)

The drive was pretty but there was really very little photo-worthy.  Plus, you know, I was driving. :)

We did stop at a pretty little place for a late picnic lunch, though, called Little Ocmulgee State Park



We decided on this pavilion for out feast because it had a cool four-sided fireplace in the center.


I packed WAY too much food for our picnic so we ended up bringing half of it home with us but at least I made sure we didn't go hungry. :D
  • Diet Coke (for the caffeine)
  • Romaine lettuce (big jar)
  • Cold curried pea salad (small jar)
  • Balsamic-mayo dressing (little plastic container)
  • Orange
  • Nitrate-free turkey sandwich on a homemade bun with touch of mayo and Dijon mustard
  • String cheese
I actually only ate the sandwich and lettuce salad.  The pea salad (recipe to follow) came home.  I ate the orange on the way home and Hubbyman ate my string cheese.  His lunch was similar but he had 2 sandwiches: one with ham and one with roast beef plus cottage cheese, more string cheese, and a banana instead of an orange.  His pea salad also came home with us.  We had had it the night before for dinner and knew we'd be having it with dinner tonight as well so we agreed it was okay to save it for later since we were really full. :)

Oh, I had also bright homemade salsa, chips, and mixed nuts that we didn't eat, either. LOL

As we were cleaning up, I noticed cute little footprints in the concrete under the table.

I have to say, I was a little disappointed with Vidalia.  I really thought it was going to be an onion wonderland, but it was just another town who, in my opinion, grossly underutilized its onion factor.  In fact, the only onion I even saw was on their water tower.

He asked what I was expecting and I said, at the very least, I thought their would be more oniony names of businesses.  To his bemused horror, I proceeded to rename every business we passed: McOnions, Onionee's, The Peoples Bank of Onions, The OnyInn, Staronions, Kentucky Fried Onions, Taco Onions, Onion Wireless, you get the onion idea.  Admittedly, I carried on with this theme for a bit too long. :)

From here, he drove us home which made me happy.  Though, he got the easy part because we always take interstates home.  We take backroads for the first part of our road trips, but he has me as a navigator rather than vice versa.  They say men are better with directions, but I have to strongly disagree with that based on my house. :)

It was a long day and I had to struggle to stay awake on the way home.  I kept finding myself lost in thought, especially about a special someone in my life.

My camera phone did not do this sunset justice, but it really did look like flames in the horizon.

Cold Curried Pea Salad 
(adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
  • 16oz frozen peas
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped
  • 8oz can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 2/3 c mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the peas, celery, apple and water chestnuts.  In a small bowl, mix the mayo, curry powder, salt & pepper well.  Fold mayo mixture into the peas.  
  2. Refrigerate until ready to save.  This tastes better when made a day ahead and still tastes good a few days later.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mad Tongue, Happy Tongue

Yeah, I know that sounds dirty, but I am going to disappoint you with this post if you are expecting something naughty.  :)

This has been a sort of busy week for me and, for some reason, I am just "over it" with my daytime job.  There is no particular reason, but little things that normally just roll off my back are getting to me.  I even got so frustrated earlier this week that I took about 75% of the things off my wall and packed them up.  It made me feel better. 

There were a number of points where I literally had to bite my tongue to not say something uncharacteristic for me.  So I doodled it... which also made me feel better. :)



Most of my friends will tell you that I don't swear or curse often unless it's to make a humorous point or if I am really upset.  I rarely get really upset.  I did this day, though. :P  Inside my head, it sounded like something sailors would have been embarassed to hear.

Other than trying duck for the first time over at a friend's house on Tuesday, not much going on on the cooking front. The duck, btw, was AMAZING!  It was like a cross between chicken and beef and I could have eaten half of it if they would have let me.  :)  I should have asked to take a picture of it before I put it all in my face with happy slurps.

I'm still eating and loving my overnight oats.  It's hard to pass up dessert for breakfast!

I love how purple it turns out when I add lots of frozen blueberries!
 I made hamburgers (organic beef mixed with carmelized onions, my homemade BBQ sauce, and shredded Cheddar topped with more of said ingredients) last night and served them on my homemade buns with leftover mac & cheese from Saturday and leftover carrots from Sunday. 

They were so freaking good and I am so glad I made an extra one for lunch today. :)

I still had a lot of leftover mac & cheese so I had that as a side today.  Actually, I've had mac & cheese and carrots for lunch all week other than today.

For the macaroni and cheese, I basically follow Alton Brown's recipe.  Not completely, of course.  That would be wrong. :)

Sashi's Macaroni & Cheese
  • 13oz pkg whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp powdered mustard
  • 3 c skim milk
  • 1/2 lb uncured bacon, fried, drained and diced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 16 oz sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cook pasta until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate pot over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep stirring for about five minutes. It should be lump free and golden brown. Stir in the milk, garlic powder, and paprika. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Temper in the egg*. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese until wet and mixed. Do not try to keep stirring to make it into a smooth cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni and bacon into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Melt the remaining 3 Tbsp butter in a small pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for 15 minutes before serving.
  6. Tempering an egg: break the egg into a small bowl. Quickly whisk about 1 Tbsp of the hot sauce from the pan in with the eggs. Do this with 1 or 2 more tablespoons until the egg is well mixed and warm. Add the mixture to the pan. If you do not temper the egg and add it directly into the pot, you will just result in bits of cooked egg in your mac & cheese since the sauce will cook it. Tempering it first helps make a creamier sauce in the oven. I learned this the hard way. :)
You probably haven't really noticed my understated little glass bowls I use for the oats and now for the mac & cheese, huh?  I have to tell you, these are some of the best things I have purchased.

They hold 16 oz/2 cups and have a nice plastic lid that stays in place really well.  The lid is not microwaveable but I okay with that.  I just use a paper towel in the microwave and put the lid on it to carry it to my desk.  They were only $19.95 for a set of 12 bowls with lids from Crate & Barrel.  I have 2 sets. :)  I use these for just about everything leftover related because they are just the perfect size.  Even with BPA-free plastic now, I still prefer to heat things up in glass.

While I do have a metal spoon at my desk, I also have this set of silverware that I got in the clearance section of World Market a while back:
In the top half are the 2 handles plus the spoon attachment.  The bottom half has the knife, fork, and even chopsticks. :)  They are really sturdy and hold together well yet snap apart easily when you are ready.  I have a set in my bag and by where I sit in the living room because, yes, I am that lazy when late night snacking and cannot be bothered to get that forgotten utensil in the kitchen 20 feet away.

They have these on Amazon but you may be able to fiund them cheaper in stores.  For my Aussie friends, you especially may be able to find them locally since they are a product of New Zealand which, if my geometry lessons were correct, is a touch closer to you than to me. ;)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I like big buns, I cannot lie

Yeah, I'm a dork.  :)  But I'm cute. ;)

This was a pretty quiet weekend since Hubbyman was gone last weekend and just wanted to relax around the house.  I was all for that!  I didn't do too much but spent some time in the kitchen.  I made a new batch of BBQ sauce, tried a blueberry muffin recipe which did not taste good at all, tried a granola bar recipe for Hubbyman that ended up being granola cereal (but he still likes it), and rearranged a few things to try to organize the kitchen a bit better.

Between tasks, I watched Season 3 of RuPaul's Drag Race on Netflix. :)  I so want to be a drag queen and yes, I know that does not make any sense considering I am, in fact, a biological female. LOL  I am just drawn to the artistry and creativity and flair these women have.  It just amazes me.

We are having friends over an afternoon of gaming next Saturday and I am providing the main dish for dinner.  Since my food processor will be here Tuesday (YAY), I am making Tango Joes which, to quote the woman whose recipe this is, are yum-o!  Now, I could have just bought buns from the grocery store and eaten mine on something else, but I had some time today so made a couple batches of buns myself using the dough setting on my bread maker.  Once they cooled, I just popped them in the freezer for Saturday.

Here's the 2nd batch fresh out of the oven:

Now, these buns are HUGE....bigger than the palm of my hand.  I may try splitting the dough recipe by 10 or 12 instead of 8 if I ever want to use them for burgers. :)

For dinner tonight, I adapted this recipe and it was so good!  It's definitely going to make an appearance again some time soon, after all the leftovers are gone. :P

The pork was so tender that it melted under my fork. :)
Cumin BBQ Pork Chops and Carrots
  • 3-4 lb pork tenderloin cut into 1" thick chops
  • 1.5 lb baby carrots
  • 1.5 c water
  • 1/2 c apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 3 Tbsp agave
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper
  1. Pan sear each side of the chops for 2-3 minutes per side over med-high heat and layer in bottom of 5-6 qt crock pot.
  2. Top with the carrots.
  3. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and pour over the carrots and chops.
  4. Cover and cook on high 5-6 hours or low 8 hours or until the carrots are tender.
I also made a simple salad with green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, tomatoes and pickled baby corn and then tossed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Leftovers from tonight's meal and last night's mac &cheese and oven fried okra means I will be eating quite well for lunch for the rest of the week.

How was YOUR weekend? :)