Saturday, May 28, 2005

You fly, I'll fry

Yesterday was an event. Aside from the few yards necessary for our front stoop, we've bid adieu to the concrete portion of our construction process after an endless, months-long parade of ready mix trucks.
To celebrate this, and to recover from what was an extremely grueling week, we slept in a bit this morning and then decided to have breakfast. I was craving french toast, and I convinced boy that going to the store for bread would be in the best interest of his stomach and mine. While he was gathering, I cooked up some deeeeelicious Lorenz meats bacon, which is, IMO, the best bacon EVER, and it's a Minnesota product to boot.

One of the added perks of this stuff is that it doesn't splatter and make such a mess during cooking like most bacon. It also barely shrinks and doesn't curl up. I figured this was because it has less water than mass produced bacon, and apparently this is true. While I was cooking, one of my favorite shows, America's Test Kitchen on PBS, was on and they happened to be reviewing several brands of premium bacon. According to them, good bacon is dry cured and takes a week or more to make, while major brand bacon is injected with water, salt and other stuff and "cured" in just minutes. Explains some things, eh? Incidentally, the testers liked Neiman Ranch the best. I've never tasted it, but I'd still say they only chose that one because Lorenz wasn't one of the contenders. Anyway, they also recommended Farmland brand which is avaliable at the supermarket.
There's nothing like breakfast comfort food, particularly since our schedule of late has required we behave like true Americans and eat fast food for most meals. French toast, butter, crispychewymeaty bacon, and real maple syrup, with strong black coffee for me and a Mountain Dew for boy (gack!)

Here's hoping it isn't another two weeks before I cook again.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Dining update:

Today I tried the Bacon, Egg and Cheese McGriddle. Good in a strange kind of sweet/salty way...a lot like one of my favorite meals: beer, candy corn and pretzels. I also went with the Fruit and Yogurt parfait instead of the Apple Walnut salad today. I notice they've changed the yogurt in those since they were introduced. It used to be actual tangy, yogurty yogurt, and now it's more sugary and vanilla tasting like pudding, which I suppose pleases the masses more. FYI, you also get a little cup of this with the Apple Walnut salad.
Soon I will be able to carry on a conversation about all manner of fast food. And since I'm into the swing of things, I will need to try the Arby's reuben asap.
PLEASE let it NOT RAIN tomorrow! With some luck, getting up at the crack before dawn (again), and a bunch of hardcore butt busting, we should be able to get our final concrete placement done tomorrow and have a nice finished floor upon which to sing and dance (and cook, of course).

Some Ebay house goodies have arrived that I would love to show you, and yes, I do intend to resume my normal, more graphic mode soon. I just need to get out of concrete hell first. Consider this my weekly test of the emergency broadcast system...

Another milestone approaches. Our windows will arrive on Tuesday. Scary.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fast food facts

A quick run down of the past week:
Three visits to McDonalds--Egg McMuffins for breakfast three times and two apple walnut salads.
Four Nerds Ropes, (also successfully hooked boy on same. He's even crabby when they're not soft enough)
One Snickers with almonds
Six oreos
Two bags of salted almonds
Two liters of Gatorade
Eight bottles of water
One chicken fajita bol plus chips and guac
One mystery diet/power/protein/energy bar that I know is secretly made out of wood shavings.
Two visits to Culvers--one chicken salad with blue cheese and avocado plus onion rings, and one grilled reuben with mashed potatos and gravy
One medium bananna and vanilla wafer Blizzard
Three Venti coffees
Two Arby's salads, one turkey and swiss sandwich
One Greek chicken salad plus hummus and a pita
one taco salad
a liter or two of artificially flavored lemon fountain beverage
An oriental chicken salad and cup of corn chowder
One roasted chicken sub on wheat
And don't forget the two bags of free popcorn from the local hardware store while shopping for plastic sheeting, plus six visits to Home Depot, two to Mendards and one to Lowes, where, dissapointingly, there is no free food.

I'm sure there's more that I'm either too exhausted to recall or trying to forget. Mention a fast food chain and I can probably say I've paid them a visit in the last seven days. This from a girl who normally has 90% of fast food on the banned list. And I thought shopping for groceries at the gas station was the low point.

And a depressing side's still raining here. I think we've had a total of two-rain free days so far this month. Today's dirty homeowner adventures rivaled those spring days of shoveling and wheeling mud.

Most importantly, a HUGE thanks to Mariko of SuperEggplant for the bundle of goodies that arrived this week along with the cookbooks she graciously gifted me. The organic dark chocolate is good enough to stave off instanity on even the rainest, muddiest day.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

It must stop raining

It's almost the end of May; I haven't HAD to get a pedicure yet (my feet are still winter ghetto) , I've haven't yet worn my favorite pink miu miu sandals, I haven't planted my window boxes or my garden, and we haven't been able to to work on the house AT ALL. It's boo and I'm a little crazy because of it all. Please make it stop raining.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Almost too much food porn for one post

Boy and I took a pass on working on the house project today since there has been zero sunshine around to dry things out like we need. That left us with sleeping in this morning and looking for something to take up the afternoon and evening.
I've been in a cooking drought lately as a result of my whole GC gig, so I figured free time + a serious craving for something yummy + Ms. Knit-Whit and her fab hubby= one delicious meal and some amazingly beautiful pics. I owe this serious dose of food porn to Carrie. Feeding her in exchange for some to-drool-over photography is a great deal.

Salmon club

FYI, ditch the marinade and just season and oil the fish before grilling. I can't say enough good about this recipe. I've made it over and over again and it's one of my absolute most favorite sandwiches EVER. And isnt' this truly a magazine worthy photo? I'm so crazy about this recipe I would have said a photo could never do it justice, but I really think this one does. It's THAT good.

Grilled new potatos with herbs and parmesan

Instead of boiling and then grilling these, I just cubed them, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and put in a parchment/foil pack on the grill. Once they were tender, I tossed with the herbs, scallion, parmesan and garlic. The fresh herbs make this sort of like a warm potato salad. Delicious and different.

And for dessert, as promised, Coconut macadamia nut bananna bread with strawberries, mango and coconut glaze.

The recipe comes from The Gourmet Cookbook, and it's yummy. The coconut glaze I made by adding ~1/2c. sugar to a can of coconut milk, reducing until thick and then finishing with a little fresh lime juice.

A huge thanks to Carrie for being the one to fork over the $$ for a good camera and having such an amazing photographic eye. You rock, babe!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Pajama brunch

After a busy week, we're both indulging in a little Saturday lazyiness, made easier by the fact that it's rainy...again.
We've just devoured the most delicious, simple brunch of omlettes and coffee cake. For me, it was a sauteed baby portobella mushroom, shallot and cheddar, for boy the mushroom hater, shallot, cheddar and swiss. I really, really wanted to have something beautiful to take a picture of, but it seems I can't make a good looking omelette to save my life, and they both fell into the ugly-but-delicious category. You're just going to have to create your own visual, sorry. I blame my issues on the fact that I really need to replace my All-Clad nonstick skillet, as the finish has seen better days and isn't really non-stick anymore.
Again, I am in awe over how amazing the baby ports are. Really, the eggs for me were just an excuse to eat a pile full of sauteed mushrooms, and the sliced baby portobellas combined with shallots were omlette nirvana.
I was also in the mood for something a little sweet, and since I've still not managed to find time to create anything for my freezer stash, I decided on my mom's old stand by recipe for coffee cake from the Betty Crocker cookbook. It whips up in about five minutes and while not glamourous, it certainly fits the bill for a quick brunch dish. And the ingredients are so simple that I'm almost always guaranteed to have them in the house which is a big bonus when I'm in the pajama zone.

I also took a few banannas out of the freezer to try a recipe for coconut macadamia nut bananna bread from the Gourmet Magazine Cookbook. Sounds yummy, and hopefully I'll have the full report tomorrow.

Friday, May 13, 2005

With a roof comes personality

It's starting to feel like something in there. I can't wait to hang cool stuff from the ceiling, and boy informs me we've got serious climbing wall potential. Interesting idea.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

This is scary

It's official. I have turned into one of those people who shops for groceries at the gas station. No doubt cold hot dogs straight from the package are just around the corner.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Yes, I cooked

The weather said soup, so I made some. Turkey and wild rice, made from some almost-never-happens homemade stock.

Not the most photogenic of meals, but it sure was yummy.

As for tonight's season finale of Amazing Race...WHOOHOO!! I'm thrilled that Joyce and Uchenna won, and thrilled that Princess whinesalot-you're-such-an-asshole-I-want-to-marry-you Kelly didn't win. She's like a bad Dr. Phil rerun.

The house goodies have started arriving and I'm psyched cuz there's some really cool stuff and I'm all about the fixtures and finish stuff. I'll try and grab a photo-op soon. If I'm lucky I'll get a great toilet shot :)
Roof is being hung Thursday and getting concrete Friday. The front stoop is formed and ready to be poured on Friday as well. For some reason, the front stoop going in is feeling like a big deal, and not just because it will eliminate the treacherous balanace beam uphill on a 2x10 entry routine.
I'm back to feeling overwhelmed with the number of things that need to happen in the next few months. Might have something to do with busting ass all day with shovel and wheelbarrow and only making a miniscule dent in the 18 yards of sand that needs to get moved.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

The pool boy has been busy

This is weird. An ice floe in our pool in May when it was 75 degrees out today:

Boy must be working some kind of strange chemistry magic out there.

Really, he poured in chlorine and it instantly created this weird white foamy crust over the entire surface of the water. How bizarre.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

some stuff done and some gone

It was garage sale day today which provided the perfect venue for some color on color mitten between people watching that is. What a trip. I think it should be mandatory that people be forced to watch themselves on video from time to time to promote some self-awareness. Things I heard people say and saw them do was seriously frightening.
I did manage to sell a bunch of furniture and other stuff that will simplify our impending move of house. Bad news is there's lots more I need to purge.'s mitten number one, awaiting embellishment (which, btw is going to be ubercute):

It might look a little weird, but if you're familiar with the Color on Color scarf, you'll get that it's all about color and pattern, and this was my answer to having a bunch of yarn left that was screaming to be used.

And in other yarn news, my fab pal Carrie gifted me with this yesterday:

That's the promises-to-be-beautiful color #100. Our plan is to have a sock-along but we haven't come to a consensus on pattern yet. Whatever we end up doing, it's going to be great, and perfect timing as I'vebeen thinking about starting a new pair of socks as the alternate project to Teva Durham's Turtleneck Shrug from Scarf Style that I'm itching to start.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Color on Color, the mittens

I had quite a bit of leftover yarn from the Color on Color scarf, and I thought maybe I could use it to make some matching mittens. Here's my progress so far:

I'm changing colors and stitch patterns randomly and using a basic four needle mitten pattern. I'm not sure how I feel about the results so far, and now I'm thinking it might have been better to knit them flat and then graft at the sides because I can't really do the color blocking or garter stitch working in the round. I'm planning to add some I cord (YAY, more I cord to knit!) to the cuffs and maybe some other embellishments that I hope will cuten up the finished product unless I rip and change tactics first. Anyone have a mitten pattern that's knit flat? I could SO see these with pointy tips and a little pompom on the end. I'll keep you posted.

almost most of a house


Pretty neato.
We should have roof by the end of next week. I'm starting to believe we might acutally get to move in someday.
The house, (the one that live in as opposed to the one we're building) is a wreck, which I believe is a reflection of my current state of mind. While I was struggling to get dinner together tonight on my small, cluttered counter top (small because the kitchen sucks in general, cluttered because I don't have enough cupboard space for canned and pacakged stuff), I was dreaming about how nice it's going to be to use the veritable ocean of counterspace in the new house. Just think. I'll be able to create multiple messes and still make dinner without freaking out! According to the plan, I'll also have plenty of pantry space and plenty of room to store dishes and tableware, which means I can buy more dishes and tableware. YAY! Thinking of all those new, empty cabinets and how I'm going to fill them makes me all giddy. Don't tell boy.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Here's hoping my good karma doesn't get used up

Today's event of note...getting a call from our architect asking if there was any way I could pick up an 11' long steel I beam and bring it out to our build site. I had to think for a minute about whether it was April 1st and he was kidding. Coincidentally, I was only about a mile from the steel supplier AND in the truck instead of on my motorcycle since the weather was still winterlike this morning, so it was no problem. Definitely not on my list of typical afternoon activities, however. I figured he meant just some little (but long) beam, but no:

A very big beam. Yay for a long bed truck.

Highlight of my day:
Chowing down on an asparagus and brie on baguette sandwich and a good-but-not-as-good-as-Black-Dog-Cafe molasses cookie for lunch. I really, really did intend to take a picture because the sandwich was lovely, but I just didn't manage.

Non-food highlight of my day:
Seeing our upper level walls stacked and ready for the concrete pour tomorrow:

It looks like a whole house now. I was really quite overwhelmed seeing it for the first time. And I'm sure our neighbors are rather underwhelmed given the fact that there is now a house where their view once was. On the up side, our view is great :)

I'll apologize in advance for being a slogger. Tomorrows pour marks the start of what promises to be a very busy next few months, with very little knitting and a whole lot of take-out. Hopefully my forthcoming adventures in a new studio (WHOOHOO!!) and kitchen (double WHOOHOO!) will more than make up for it.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Let's play tourist

OK, so the weather has been crap around here. It was barely in the 40's all weekend, leading to extreme laziness on our part and not a lot to blog about for me. Here's the down and dirty...
For superfabulousfunFriday, boy decided to take us on an urban adventure. He had the idea to try and navigate to the Mall of America from our house using public transportation alone. To most people that probably sounds simple enough, but alas, this is Minnesota, land of the SUV commuter.
Problem A: we live in the 'burbs. Problem B: the Twin Cities suck when it comes to public transportation. Look this trip up on the metro transit's website and they'll tell you it's not possible.
Up until a year ago we had nothing but the bus, and now we can lay claim to a single light rail line that will help you, the tourist, get easily from the airport to downtown Minneapolis or the Mall of America, and not much else. Ironically, we have one of our most public embarassments to thank for the light rail. It was none other than governor and ex-WWF star Jesse Ventura that got it built. In between having pissing matches with the media and acting like a playground bully, that is.
Anyway, we had to conceede right at the start that there was going to be some driving on our part, since the closest bus stop to our house is about three miles and is only serviced during rush hours.
It was interesting and enlightening to play tourist in our own city, and we did make it to the MOA and back using public transportation after driving 15 minutes to the nearest transit station to our home.
Total travel time on bus and light rail to complete a trip that would be about a 40 minute drive= 1hr 45 minutes. So most of our evening was spent either on bus or train, with a brief stop at the mall for some dinner. Good thing we decided to eat at the bar instead of waiting for a table.
It was an evening's worth of adventure, and particularly enlightening for boy, who had never ridden the bus a kid like I had. And since it was so freaking cold, I even got to take my Color on Color scarf out for it's debut.
The whole trip made us wishful for Europe or the great American cities where public transpo is avaliable, convenient and used by everyone. Unfortunately, unless you're fluent in English and willing to do some substantial research, figuring out how to combine bus and train trips to reach your desitnation is almost impossible, and understanding separate fare systems and how/where to pay is out of the question. It's shameful, really, and a far cry from places we've visited where you can buy a ticket, understand the route, choose the train and travel far and return safely without speaking a word of the language.
At one point, while we were waiting downtown for the bus to take us back out to the burbs, boy looked around and wondered "so if you weren't from here, how would you know this is the bus stop when there's no sign or anything?" And he was right, there was no sign.

I did get some cooking in as well. I had planned on doing a turkey breast on the grill rotisserie on Saturday, only to discover AFTER I had screwed around for an hour digging out the electric part and getting the thing on the spit, that the infrared burner was too gunky (or it was just too windy) and wouldn't stay lit. So it was into the oven instead, and plan B for dinner (takeout pizza). I also managed to brave the weather long enough to make it out to my garden and cut down the rhubarb that was HUGE.

I whipped it up into a rhubarb crisp that was deeelicious. (Note the yummy tangelo waiting to give up its zest to the cause). If the weather would have been acting like the first of May instead of the first of November, I would have made the buttermilk ice cream to go along with it (which, btw, I have tried and it's fab).
Sunday I turned the turkey breast carcass into stock that's now sitting in my fridge waiting to turn into something yum. Unfortunatley, it was not at all photogenic so no pics.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?