Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

Sunday was my 32nd birthday and I realized that I am actually where I thought/hoped I would be at 32! I have a house, I have a husband, and I am happy. This is no small feat.

On Monday D and I walked down to the mailbox together. We live in a terrific neighborhood, but it's a little Stepford Wife like. Instead of having a mailbox at our house, we have 3 main banks of mailboxes for the whole developement which is supposed to foster "community". Our mailbox is on the main road in our development just past the turn for our street. I digress. In our mailbox on Monday was a letter with an address label for the original owner of the house or current resident and the handwritten return address was someone in Mississippi. I was entrigued...why would someone in Mississippi be sending something to current resident. Well...I was quite surprised when I opened it. It was a chain letter---the old fashioned kind where you photocopy 3 pages of letter and then add your name to the list and you're supposed to send it to 50 people and you'll get $20,000 or something like that. Weird. I thought chain letters had been completely replaced by the Internet. I feel kind of sad for the person who sent it. I mean, she sent it to someone who hasn't lived in our house for 10 years. She must seriously think she's going to get a windfall from this chain letter. I'm half tempted to send her something, but what? Maybe I could send her the cuckoo clock that D and I mysteriously received as a wedding gift--no indication of who sent it--and she could sit there scratching her head just as we have been.

Today I just found a cute list called 100 Ideas. It's really clever and cute and has some ideas for adding a little fun and spice to your life. Check it out.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

In Memory of Roy

I'm sure that those of you who know me are wracking your brains to figure out who "Roy" is. Well, he's no one I've ever met, and in fact, he's a cat. Everyday for over a year, I've been reading the blog Crazy Aunt Purl. "Purl" (aka Laurie) is a women who lives in the LA area who writes incredibly amusing and heartwarming posts on her blog. She has immense talent as a writer, and there are so many things she writes about that I can relate to. Today Laurie wrote a wonderful entry about her cat Roy who passed away last night. It's a story that will bring tears to all cat lovers' certainly made me well up at work today. So, in memory of Roy, give your cat a big hug whether his/her name is Lancelot, Hunter, Siggy, Meow, Kitty, Mercury, or Roy.

This is Roy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My husband, the cook

On Sunday D spent about an hour on the hammock with Giada DeLaurentis's Everyday Italian and last night I reaped the benefits. While he says he's only an "assembler," meaning he can put together assorted stuff for dinner, he's actually a really good cook (especially when he follows recipes). D made caprese salad reminescient of one we had in Mykonos, a tuna and canellini bean salad, and lemon pasta. So good!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Tale of Two Salads

Yesterday, when we were at Williams Sonoma making a return, D and I found a gadget called the "Corn Zipper" to be used for taking kernels off the cob. This morning I put it to the test with 10 ears of leftover corn on the cob. At first it was working okay, but after about 5 ears I cut my thumb. D then came in and noted I was using it incorrectly - he had read the instructions on the package about how to hold it. It was MUCH easier after that. The Corn Zipper removed the kernels quickly and easily, though it makes a little bit of a mess (so does a knife).

Once the corn was off the cob, I had to decide what to do with it. I consulted our cookbooks, but everything required ingredients I didn't have on hand. Then I remembered that my sister-in-law comment from yesterday indicated that she likes a Martha Stewart corn salad recipe. I checked and found the recipe. It called for just corn, white wine vinegar, olive oil, scallions, salt and pepper--perfect! I put 1/2 the corn in another bowl (so I could make 2 different recipes) and not having white wine vinegar, I substituted rice vinegar for the first bowl of corn. As I was chopping the scallions, I thought lime juice would make a great substitution for the white wine vinegar, so I added the juice of 1 lime to the 2nd bowl. Both bowls then got some olive oil, salt and pepper and the lime juice bowl got a handful of cilantro while the rice vinegar bowl got some grated ginger root. Both salads were delicious!

As I was just finishing up, D's brother-in-law called to say they were on their way home from Maine and would be arriving at our house in less than 2 hours. I was excited to serve them corn salad for lunch!

Being on a cooking binge I then decided to make banana bread (because having a 350 degree oven on for 1 1/2 hours on an 85 degree day didn't seem insane to me at the time). As the banana bread was baking, I made a watermelon salad with the 1/2 melon leftover from the 4th of July. Then I decided to grill some sweet potatoes to go with lunch. I consulted a new cookbook we just received the other day and found a recipe (basically I just wanted to know how long to cook the slices). We used our new shaker basket for the grilling.

My sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and nephew stopped by for a tour of the house and a quick lunch of the food I had prepared this morning and brought a fabulous peach foccacia from a bakery in Portland.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

You know you're an adult when...

...your Saturday looks something like this:

1) Get up at 7:30 (yes, I got up that early on a Saturday--unheard of before I moved to the suburbs), put a load of laundry in the washer and make omelets with leftover cheese, tomatoes, and onions
2) Husband goes out to get an oil change and pick up a gallon of milk
3) Read for the essential news of the day and then blog
4) Switch laundry, shower, dress, deadhead flowers, etc.
5) Help husband change oil in the lawnmower and bring used oil to the fire station
6) Go to the store to help husband pick out an appropriate suit
7) Go to Crate and Barrel to pick up some exciting registry items like a cutting board, steamer basket, and cookie sheets then got to Macys to do some returns
8) Look at dining room and bedroom furniture
9) Come home, maybe do more laundry, maybe some weeding (they're taking over)
10) Figure out what to do with 1 dozen ears of leftover corn (salad? chowder?)
11) Start tackling the mess in the office and try to find a place for all of my junk
12) ??? Who knows what other excitement the day will bring ???

Friday, July 6, 2007

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

Last Saturday D and I went to buy some fresh strawberries at a local farm so I could make strawberry shortcake for my dad's birthday. On the way back, we stopped at the farm's garden center so I could pick up an annual to fill the empty spot in my front flower bed. The register wasn't open yet, so we walked around and I decided to get some herbs for the container kitchen garden I've been wanting to plant. Unofrtunately they were out of basil, but I did get cilantro, 2 types of oregano, dill, peppermint, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme!

I potted up the rosemary and peppermint with a tall spiky annual I had purchased a few weeks ago.

The thyme and oreganos went in a window box with some pansies that had been in another container for a couple of months, but the bunnies kept eating all of the flowers.

The cilantro, dill, and parsley are all together in 1 planter, but the sage is all by itself since it was so big and I was running out of things to put with it. I think I need to get some alyssum or something to go in with the parsley, cilantro, and dill...right now it looks a little bare. Or, maybe some marigolds if I can find them...I'm not a big fan of marigolds, but they might work well in this case.

The flowers out front are coming along, but I didn't take any pictures this morning since I was in my nightgown! The daylilies in the back look beautiful though I take no credit for those...they were there when we moved in.

The cat has really taken to being outdoors and now scratches at the sliders to go in and out. She's not quite used to being an outdoor cat yet as she noticed 2 rabbits but then didn't realize they were still there once they were in "statue pose." She's also been eating grass which means she's been throwing up. I guess I haven't been feeding her enough lettuce and spinach lately!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Patriotic and Delicious!

Yesterday was the Fourth of July, notably my favorite holiday, and we threw our first non-family party at the new house. Although it was a casual cookout, it was still alot of work--but it was fun to prepare for and fun to host (though not so fun cleaning up). The pièce de résistance was the Barefoot Contessa flag cake I made entirely from scratch. The ingredients included 1 1/2 lbs of butter, a pound each of cream cheese and powdered sugar, 1/2 pint of blueberries and 1 1/2 pints of raspberries, as well as some flour, vanilla, etc. This was a great way to break in the new KitchenAid mixer!