Sunday, September 30, 2007
The first things I made were Pecan Cinnamon Muffins from Laura Rebecca's Kitchen. I really like her blog and these sounded great when I was doing a search for breakfast items yesterday. I also used the KitchenAid mixer for the first time all by myself. I don't bake - EVER, so I'd never had a need to use it before. Granted - Tim had to show me how to use it, but I figured it out. :) I thought the batter was really thick and I was concerned I had done something wrong, but they turned out great. Okay, I'll be honest. I did do one thing wrong. I forgot to add the vanilla. They taste fine, though, but I'm sure the vanilla would have put them over the top. We've each had one and we enjoy them a lot. I did double the amount of everything in the topping, like she suggested. I like a lot of the crumbly topping, so it was great.
The second thing I made was a marinade for chicken. My friend Scott sent me a recipe for a bourbon marinade a couple of years ago and we really liked it. After exhaustive searches on our emails, we weren't able to find it, but after doing some internet searching, I think we found the right recipe. Tim is going to marinade the chicken breasts tomorrow afternoon and we'll grill them tomorrow night. I figure we can have the chicken breasts and some sort of side dish tomorrow night, and may be salads with chicken the following night.
The third thing I made was potato salad. This is one of those times when I just looked at someone's recipe and used mostly the same ingredients and did my own thing. I left out the celery because I really don't like it raw and the scallions because we didn't have any. It's in the refrigerator right now kind of absorbing the flavors. I also used white potatoes instead of russets. I wanted a more waxy potato than starchy. This was from Simply Recipes - a site I consult quite often as a jumping-off place for a lot of dishes I make. I've never made potato salad before, so from the little taste I've had, I really like it. The real test will be tomorrow once all the flavors have soaked into the potatoes and eggs.
Speaking of eggs, I have found the secret to hard-boiling eggs without getting that nasty greenish hue to the yolks. The color doesn't affect the taste, but it's definitely not as pretty as when it's just yellow.
I did take pictures of both the muffins and the potato salad but they turned out terrible. How do people take pictures of food that don't look awful? Maybe I shouldn't be using white plates? Maybe I shouldn't be using my flash? I don't know - if you have a food blog and take pictures of food, I'd love to hear your secret.
Tim actually made the bacon because he's a lot better at it than I am. I tend to get impatient. The way we do bacon is put it on a rack on a cookie sheet. That way, the bacon gets crispy without sitting in its own grease and it doesn't splash grease everywhere like it does when you do it on the stovetop. Tim has figured out the perfect way to do it, which is quite involved with timers and such. :) I whipped the eggs with a little milk and salt and pepper. I used to over-cook them all the time, but I have to say I've gotten really good at getting them just right. They were creamy and fluffy.
We also had some fingerling potatoes left from the bag I bought earlier this week for dinner so I sliced those into discs and added some chopped onion and fried them in a little butter and olive oil. If I'd had any bacon grease, I would have added some of that too, but I didn't. I've started saving it, though, and will probably be using it a lot.
This morning I slept in quite late. That's the best part of Sundays, right? When I woke up, Tim had already started the bacon and was in the process of making pancakes. I like mine with chocolate chips - they were always a special treat from my dad, so I've always listed them among my favorite comfort foods. Tim does a great job of making them, too.
Last night, I made fettuccine alfredo, with a green salad and garlic bread. I forgot to take a picture, though. I made a salad with chopped romaine hearts, mushrooms, corn, and red onion with a little Italian dressing. The fettuccine was made with both Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses to give it a lot of flavor. I always forget, though, how filling it is and I made way too much, which we just ended up just throwing away. I don't know what it is about fettuccine, but I don't like it the next day. We haven't decided what's for dinner tonight yet, but I'm sure I'll put something here about it...
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I used 2 cups of frozen corn - half yellow and half white. I don't know why I did half and half, but that's what I wanted to do. I also did not pre-cook the corn since frozen corn basically just needs to defrost. I used Ritz crackers and I mixed some into the corn mixture, as well as sprinkling on top. They absorbed quite a bit of the liquid, though, and if I did that in the future, I would probably up the amount of milk. I also did not add the green pepper because Tim doesn't like it, but I did add garlic. In my opinion, all the best things in the world start out with sauteed onions and garlic - am I right? I had originally started to make just a half batch since it's just the two of us, but it didn't look like much and I'm glad I made the whole batch. I had leftovers for lunch today and they were just as delicious as last night. I may even make it for Thanksgiving this year. It will be just the two of us as usual, so there's always a ton of food.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
We've been wildly successful with chicken, hot dogs and hamburgers. The only thing we had trouble with was steak. Tonight was the fourth steak I've tried. The first one was very tough. The flavor was pretty good, but it was almost impossible to chew. The second two turned out similar. The first steak was purchased at VonHanson's Meats and it was called "grill steak". I can't remember what cut he said it was, but it was extremely lean and probably wasn't the best choice for grilling. It would have been a lot better off marinating and then grilled. I bought two steaks at Safeway a couple days later and naturally, I can't remember what cut they were either.
One of the food blogs I read on a regular basis, Andrea's Recipe Box, had this post about steaks, which led me to another blog with a post about cooking steaks. This method intrigued me so much, I had to try it.
After breakfast this morning, I wasn't feeling well and I came home and took a nap. Tim was feeling a little restless, though, and decided to drive around aimlessly for a while. He came back with lots of goodies and one of them was a ribeye from Midwestern Meats. I used the salt method before cooking it and we fired up the grill. I grilled it about 10 minutes one each side at medium-high and when it reached about 155 degrees on my probe thermometer, I took it off. It was absolutely delicious. Certainly one of the best steaks I'd had in a long time. What a difference it makes when you buy a good cut of meat instead of the cheapest. Tim had a bite and he said the steak was so good it may even convert him. He has never really liked steak in the past, but he had several bites of mine and loved it. I'll turn him around in no time! My favorite part of the night, though, was just standing outside at 9:00 pm and it was only 82 degrees. We were watching our food cook, enjoying the gorgeous weather, and just talking. It was a good night. My man, my steak, and a lovely night. What more could a girl want?
Stephanie and I used to work together. The company we worked for isn't around anymore for a variety of reasons, and is actually in some legal trouble. There are a few lawsuits going around over some of the things that happened there, so there's always a lot to talk about.
I miss the people from that job - we were all friends and very close. We used to go to work in the morning and hug each other hello. We would look out for each other and take care of each other. A few of us still stay in touch, although not as much as we'd like. Whenever I get together with the people from that job, I just end up sad that we don't all work together anymore. So to all of you from that old job, I miss you guys!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Where were you when you heard the news? I know you know. It's like knowing where you were when Kennedy was shot, when Elvis died, during OJ's slow-speed police chase, when the Challenger exploded. I was in my car, driving to work. I was listening to the radio and the station I listened to was well-known for joking around and they said that a plane had been flown into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. I remember thinking to myself, "that's not funny. Why are they saying that?" It was like when I thought the news coverage about Princess Diana was a Saturday Night Live news skit. That's not funny - why are they doing that?
I continued on to work and there was a television on in the conference room. Everyone was standing around and watching, and no work was getting done. Our CEO came in and told everyone to get to work and had IT disable the internet connection so we would get some work done. She wasn't exactly a warm fuzzy person. When I got home from work, though, I watched TV all night and couldn't believe what I'd seen. I was with my friend Cheryl and her two kids watching the news and her daughter, about 4 or 5 at the time, asked "mommy, how many times is that plane going to run into the building?" We turned off the TV at that point. They just kept showing it over and over and she didn't understand that it wasn't multiple planes.
A few short months later, my grandma on my dad's side passed away. I think it was those two events, so close to each other, that made me think about moving to another place and trying to start a new life. I realized how short life really is and I wanted to try to make some changes and be happier. I looked into moving to Colorado because I had visited there during high school and fell in love with it. I was at the point of looking for jobs and apartments in Colorado Springs when I decided to move to Phoenix instead. It's hard to believe I've been here for over five years. Sometimes it seems like I've been here forever, and other times, it feels like I just arrived.
I hope everyone takes at least a minute or two today to remember what happened on this day six years ago. I know I have.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Thanks for the tickets, Charlie & Cathy!
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Thursday night, we went out for dinner at Osha Thai in Scottsdale - definitely our favorite Thai restaurant in the area. We know the waitresses there very, very well because we go so often and they are really friendly. We had originally tried to go last Saturday, but they were closed for the holiday weekend. We were teasing the waitress that next time they take time off, they need to check with us. I told her that we were there on Saturday and were disappointed they weren't open. She said, in her lightly accented halting English, "You need to call. Nobody answer, don't come."
Excellent advice. Excellent. Thank you. :)
Monday, September 3, 2007
It's been a rough weekend, for a number of reasons, which I'm not going to get into. Let's just say I'm not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I have a feeling there's going to be some drama, and I'm not looking forward to it.
Speaking of decadence, yesterday was spent almost entirely in bed. I was exhausted! Friday night and Saturday morning were tough and I had a massive headache and various muscle aches and pains. Tim was tired, too, and we didn't even leave the house yesterday at all. I'm getting a little cabin fever, though, so maybe today we'll actually go out in public at some point. :)