Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ghoultide Goodies

It is he first day of the most wonderful month of the year! For me, October 1 marks the beginning of pumpkins, bonfires, s'mores, scary movies, the smell of falling leaves, the fair, creeps and beeps and Halloween! Tonight at midnight is the beginning of the ghoultide season, so to mark this special occasion I am planning on watching some of my favorite Halloween movies and baking spiced pumpkin bread for tomorrow's breakfast. (Special thanks to Esther for the recipe!) Get ready, my lovelies, Halloween is upon us!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Duty Calls

What a wonderful, rainy Saturday morning. Coffee is brewing and the cats and Ginger have been watching the birds all morning. Grant and I slept in this morning after an eventful Friday evening and a frustrating week. Please observe the mugshots above.

 I came home from studying around 6pm and what happened as soon as Ginger was walked and free to roam the apartment? Vomit, I tell you. Lots of it. Early that morning I had caught her ::um:: cleaning out the cat box for me. Ginger has been told multiple times that her assistance is not needed when we clean out the litter box. However, she still feels, that on occasion, she should help with this chore...which of course makes her sick. Friends, let me tell you, I have never smelled anything so foul in my entire life, and I HL'd in biology. Ginger didn't even want anything to do with it once it was out of her...if that gives you an idea of what we were dealing with. So I cleaned up her mess which was about the size of a small child, and set to work airing out the house. So, with nag champa burning, the windows open, and the fans working overtime, I sat down on the couch to work....

...and then I heard it....again. That horrible retching noise that animals make.

Ginger slinked out from around the side of the couch from where she had once again emptied the contents of her stomach. I quietly counted to 10 and set to work on round 2 of cleaning.

Needless to say that when Grant got home we cancelled our plans for the evening. I love my furry babies but they had tried my patience this week.

Wednesday morning Oren and Bosco knocked down our hall mirror, which fell down our flight of stairs and shattered into a million pieces, right when I was about to leave for school. Oren cut his paw but no kitty stitches were required. Vacuuming up all of those fragments took much longer than it should have. And Nyx was her usual cranky and devilish self and glared at the amount of time I spent running the vacuum.

As much as I want to throw them off of the balcony sometimes, it is mornings like these that make me love 'em all the same.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Of Fried Noodles and Lemon Wedges

By the 17th grade (yes, 17th), I feel like I have learned something about cooking (in some sense of the word) - the previous post excluded.

For example,

I have learned that I always have enough ingredients to make...something....

Always have a stock of random frozen food items on hand. They will save your ass some day.

Peanut butter is manna from heaven.

No matter how you cook 'em, or what magic you perform on 'em, mushrooms are always nasty.

In this household we make food in bulk, if you screw up the recipe, guess're still eating it for at least a week. There have been months when we went through a lot of hot sauce. If you don't understand that last statement, bless you, you are not southern or ghetto enough.

Asian grocery stores are where it's at for fresh and cheap produce.

I have learned that my husband is super skilled in the kitchen. Whether this has been breed out of necessity - because I do not have the time to cook every other night - or constant practice, is beyond me, but the man can cook.

Ramen can be great, just don't eat it as your only food source for two weeks straight...this will make you anemic (and cranky).

And last, and maybe most important....

Booze is a great source for calories if you're in a pinch.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Off is Important

I burned the soup. I couldn't believe it. I had never done something so completely irresponsible in my life. To be fair, it was a disaster waiting to happen.

For the last two weeks I have been doing nothing but playing catch-up. There were simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done that needed doing. While I was devoting my attention to school, my house was becoming a wreck. The dishes were piling up, I could not remember the last time I cleaned the cat box (gross, I know), and generally things that were usually put away found themselves all over he house and in odd places - and could never be found again when I needed them. Grant was helping as much as possible around the house, but his own work was keeping him busy with overtime nearly every night. Needless to say, when we both got home in the evenings, usually around 10, we were usually grumpy and tired but there were still things to get done around the house. It felt like we were in a never-ending cycle of stress.

I was up late working at the house one night this week and around 1am I got hungry. I was sick of making bags of popcorn, or even quickly assembled sandwiches, I wanted something that would make me feel not so much that I was eating for survival, but something that would make me stop and enjoy a study break. In my sleep-deprived brain, that meant soup.

I am a big fan of Bear Creek soup mixes. 8 cups of water and you are on your way to pretty delicious "instant" soup. Never being without at least a few packets of these tucked in my pantry, I grabbed a package of chicken noodle and my soup pot. I sat down on the couch while my soup cooked, it was already simmering in the pot...and I thought, just for a second, I would close my eyes and in just 5 short minutes I would have a bowl of yummy soup, maybe even watch an episode of Supernatural to recharge before finishing my reading....

....I woke up face down in the couch pillow at 5am.

I ran into the kitchen (which was surprisingly not filled with smoke) to find my soup had become a charred, crusty mass lining my lovely pot. I turned the burner Off and moved the pot into the sink. I stared into the belly of the beast, probably with drool drying up and turning white and flaky on my chin, at what had promised to be a lovely dinner. I could not believe that this just happened to me. Me! Miss Paranoid About Household Disasters. I lost my pot. I tried to salvage it by removing the burnt offering I had made to the late-night kitchen gods, but it was no use. My house still, nearly 4 days later, smells like burned, nastiness. And Grant has fully enjoyed admonishing/laughing at me for the irony of the situation.

I learned my lesson. Off is important, not only for the stove, but for me too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Coffee Conquest

As promised my lovelies, a recipe from my friend Sam for a way to make cold brew coffee with little to no effort! All you need is a french press. So, take your darling little french press and fill it with the normal amount of coffee grounds that you would use to make hot coffee. I added about 1 tbs more grounds than I would usually do, but I like strong cold brew, so I thought I would try a little extra in this batch. Once the grounds are in the bottom of the container fill the press with cold water. Leave unpressed - this is very important - and store it in your fridge overnight. I had to readjust my fridge shelves to allow the unpressed container to fit! I let my press sit for about 10 hours before pressing it and I think that it is just about right. This morning, with my balcony door open to let in the lovely 70* weather, I enjoyed my cold brew over ice and splashed with some sweet cream. I believe I have found the perfect way to start a Monday.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Peace like a River

What a week of changes. Beginnings, endings, and anticipations. Truly, friends, the only words that I have might be cliché, but I can find none better. Also, coffee dates with friends are good for the soul.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8