Monday, July 31, 2006

Pushing the Envelope of Gourmet Cooking

Because sometimes even ants on a log seems like an accomplishment.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Because if You're Gonna Stir the Pot

You might as well stir it up good.

Somehow, Thursday is apparently "adopt a new kitty on a whim" night, and this is our newest little girl. We're calling her Emmie, at least until she can finish up exploring the house and tell us what her real name is. If you're counting, we're now back to 3 cats, or 2 1/2 if you count our old lady who's getting ready for the big dirt nap with at least two paws.
I'm totally blaming Boy for this one. I had mentioned that I wanted to go to the store to scope out the dog gear in preparation for THAT arrival, and he mysteriously made me drive past three closer stores to go to the one he had been at yesterday getting kitty litter. So he knew they had a room full of adorable black and white cats but claims he didn't visit them and denys setting up this little adventure. Personally, I think he engineered the entire event and carefully disguised it to look like I was the one deciding we needed a new kitty RIGHT THEN instead of him. Again, an idea he completely denies...
Anyway, we're in love with her already, and she's about the most mellow and sweetest little kitty I've ever met.
Let's just hope she likes Greyhounds.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Have the Blahs

It's official.
I can't be bothered to cook. It's too hot.
My creativity must be on vacation. (Or I'm EXHAUSTED).
I can't seem to get anything done even though there are at least eighty odds and ends on my current to-do list. It's still too hot.

We've applied for a dog.
They wanted references so if anyone calls, mum's the word on the stir-fry, those cute little fur coats and that horrible cat moaning, OK?

I seriously have nothing else of interest. It's just too freakin hot.
But because a blog post isn't complete with at least one picture, here is one of Boy's attempts to capture a Little Kitty tongue:

She's just a little too fast, but you can kinda see the blur, no?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Reporting on an Exciting Development

The lemon tree is GROWING!!

I'm so exicted. I was starting to worry because it's been potted up for a while and didn't seem to be doing much but I can now officially say I haven't killed it. Here's to eight feet tall, baby.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Orange Juice is Finished!

Except for a shelf and a rug, that is, but hey....

Boy and I made a quick dash to IKEA this morning for, among other things, frames. I took a couple of decent pictures on our conservatory expedition that seemed like they'd make for perfect powder room decor, so I ordered three 11x14 prints from Shutterfly. I was really wowed when they showed up, and figured there's no better compliment than cheap, IKEA frames. Only the best here at Casa Splatgirl.
But yay for inexpensive, original wall art, right?

This room is really hard to take pictures of because it's so tiny, but I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you can tell that it's orange :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Trust me, it IS NOT really this color!

I can't figure out why, no matter how many different lighting situations I try, this color wont' show up in a picture anywhere near what it looks like in person.
Anyway, look here to see the actual color and be assured that while I am an outside the box kind of color person (remember the Orange Juice powder room and the Lime Pop doors?), I am not insane enough to paint ANYTHING the robin's egg blue my lovely Benjamin Moore Rendezvous Bay looks like here.

So then, next color please!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A Before and After...Almost

There has been painting again, and this time in the kitchen.
Here's the before:

Except there's just one problem with the after. I got some pics, but the color is showing up SO weird that I can't post them or you might barf. Seriously. And I gotta run, so you'll just have to wait until tomorrow for the big reaveal. But I think it's going to be worth it, cuz it's really, really cool.
Then again, I'd probably say that about anything other than white at this point.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Knitting on the Road

I did manage to get a little knitting done on my second cotton sock during our drive to the track. I could have done better, but just as I was reaching for my camera to take this picture all hell broke loose and I was treated to a front seat view of the semi truck in front of us smashing into the back end of the mini-van he was following. In motorcycle speak, we call this an ass-packing.

**Note to mini-van drivers: abruptly slowing from 75mph to 30mph in the fast lane on the interstate to get a better gawk at whatever is going on on the other side of the median is never wise, particularly when you've got a big big truck on your tail.

Anyway, that little adventure made me just a little too tense for knitting, but I did pick it up again on Sunday and whip out a heel flap so the rest of the #2 sock should come around shortly.

In other news, lookie what came yesterday:

Unfortunately, they didn't arrive looking quite like this. Boy and I had to spend a couple of hours assembling, but we now officially have a coat closet, and I'm happy to have a home for the pile of outerwear that had been planted on top of the pinball machine for the last three months. Now, if someone would send the paint fairy over to help me dress this room in something other than white primer, I could almost call it done.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Not a Post for Vegetarians

What is the next logical activity to plan when you know you're going to be spending the day roasting on asphalt in 100 degree heat and blistering sunshine, wearing full leathers and a helmet, and sitting on a hot motorcycle? Bring your smoker and cook some meat, of course. That way, in between riding that hot motorcycle and roasting in your own personal bovine sweat suit, you can stand around and tend to the smoke and fire that's cooking what will be, if you can manage not to pass out from exhaustion, a seriously yummy dinnertime meat fest for 30 or so of your motorcycle riding companions.

The goods:
18 lbs. of prime rib
9 lbs. of pork loin, bathed in Jerk marinade for two days.
3 racks of ribs

and from the fire:
Jalapeno potatos
Baked beans

This amazing display of meat porn was devoured down to the last scrap by our fun gang of track friends. My part in the whole project was the jerk pork that you can see sliced up and crammed into a serving dish at the top of the picture. I guess maybe I'm biased, but it was my favorite. Super juicy, tender and slathered with a smoky jerk crust, it was about as good as meat can get, made even better by the fact that I had been craving it for months.

Friday, July 14, 2006

See You on Monday!

We're headed off to the track for the weekend to play with the motorcycles.

As you can see, Little Kitty is wasting no time getting her lounge on. I'm sure she'll move from this spot during the weekend only to eat and poo, but she wouldn't have even considered this a suitable lounge locale until I messed up the pillows for her. A made bed is SO un-kittylike. Duh.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Quick Reminder...

...that tonight is MotoKnitter night at Betty's Bikes and Buns, and it would be great to see some new faces! So come on over and get your knit on, K?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I'm trying to watch the season premier of Project Runway. In honor of the event, I whipped up a nice snackie for dinner:

A cheese plate of aged Gouda, Maytag Blue and a Farmhouse Cheddar with fruit, some herbed salami, olives and some curried candied almonds. My favorite didn't make the photo, but it was a peppered fresh goat cheese that I drizzled with honey. Can you say YUM? I had forgotten what an amazing combination that is, and how delicious it would be as dessert.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Wok and the Kitty

I think this means either:

A: "turn me into stir fry"
B: "I could croak right here I'm so sick of looking at this unfinished kitchen"

One thing is for sure...Kitty is a freak.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A New Baby!

Let the lansdcaping commence! We planted our first tree today, a Locust hybrid called "Twisted Baby". Rather fitting, don't you think?

In other news:
I'd say there's about a 99% chance there will be another addition to our family in the next month or two, and NO, not a human one.

Boy and I went to a meet and greet held by Northern Lights Greyhound Adoption today, and we're swooning. We, or rather the I part of we, have been contemplating adopting a Grehyound for a couple of years, and now that we're settled in "The House" and have some nifty new grass to run around on, I think it's time. Now I just gotta go get the thumbs up from Little Kitty...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Last Nights' Dinner

A quick chicken and vegetable stir fry with brown rice, cuz I'm a whole grain kind of girl these days.

Not real gourmet but definitely deelish.

Lots of other non-cooking messes being made around here too...stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Summertime Favorites

There are several green bean salad recipes that have become regular players on my summer menu. A quick search of turns up some really great ones, most of which are variations on the green beans with vinagrette theme. Really, it's hard to go wrong with any of them but one of my favorites combines the blanched beans with grilled corn, tomatos and fresh basil. I was craving that today, but it's always killed me to spend time halving those little grape tomatos and lovingly bathing them in vinagrette only to have Boy the Tomato Hater pick them out and leave them abandoned on his plate. So I decided a little playing around was in order, the results of which were new and delicious.

I can't remember if I've ever used sun dried tomatos in a vegetable salad before, but they're really a hit in this one, the added bonus being that Boy likes them. Their chewiness is a great compliment to the crunch of the beans and corn, and their slightly sweet flavor is the perfect balance to the vinegar based dressing.

Green Bean, Corn and Sun Dried Tomato Salad
1 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
3 ears fresh sweet corn, grilled and cut off cob
1/3 C. oil packed sun dried tomatos, chopped
1/4 C. seasoned rice vinegar
3 T. cider vingear
3 T. olive oil
freshly ground pepper

Blanch beans until just tender-crisp and cool in an ice water bath. Drain well. Combine with remaining ingredients in a bowl, season to taste, and toss. Chill well, stirring occasionally and serve with your favorite summertime main dish.

In our case, the main dish was Grilled Salmon Club, thanks to Mr. Knit-Whit who reminded me this past weekend that it has been way too long since I'd made these.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sometimes It's a Long Way Down

Letting no beverage go unsampled, because even a little kitty can appreciate the value of an ice cube.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Lunch From the Grill

Even though it violated several of my own unwritten rules of food gathering, I caved to convenience today and bought a couple of those prepackaged, shelf-life-of-forever pizza crusts, something I have never done before. Boy and I were hungry for a quick lunch and in the mood for something a little more interesting than sandwiches, and I figured they'd probably work well on the grill since they're nice and stiff cardboard. I grabbed some fresh mozzarella and a red pepper that got roasted up while I slaved over prepping the other three ingredients.
The end result was pretty good, particularly since I didn't spend two hours making and rising dough. The premade crust wasn't even awful, and honestly, it was A LOT easier to deal with it on the grill than fresh dough which improved it's image for me a bit.

Roasted Red Pepper, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Pizza
(aka, Boy the tomato-hater's version of Pizza Margherita)

Thin crust of your choice, preferrably fresh homemade
olive oil
a tablespoon or two of good quality pizza sauce
roasted red pepper
fresh mozzarella
fresh basil leaves
salt & freshly ground pepper

Assemble this or any pizza on a pizza peel for ease of flicking off onto grill or baking stone. If you're using fresh dough, dust the peel with cornmeal to keep it from sticking.
Spread about a 14" round of dough or crust with 1T. of sauce. Cover with sliced fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and red pepper strips and drizzle the whole thing with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. I grilled ours, but a really hot oven works good too, especially if you have a baking stone. You want it hot enough to slightly char the bottom of the crust just as the cheese is starting to get melty which basically means the hotter the better for grill or oven.

We chowed this baby right off the peel while we enjoyed the sunshine out on the patio, but feel free to use plates :)

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