Monday, January 24, 2011

Cop Out

I'm so tired you guys.  I'm sorry.  I actually have like three posts started and not finished.  I'll have one of them up tomorrow.  Swearz.

Have a good night.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mushroom Ravioli

My cooking adventure for the weekend: Mushroom Ravioli.  This is an adventure for two reasons.  One, I hate mushrooms.  Hate them.  Two, I've not ever made my own pasta before.  Bring it on!

I used Tyler Florence's pasta dough for ravioli recipe, which can be found here, at the Food Network website.  It was pretty simple to put together, but it was a little more crumbly than I think it should have been.  Also, I don't think I let it relax enough because it was SUPER elastic-y.  Overall though, it tasted good as a dough, even if it was a little heavy.

The filling I made up on my own.  I started by frying some diced bacon (about 4 slices) in my dutch oven (I love that thing!), and when it was crisp, removed it and set it aside.  Then, I got a couple packages of fresh crimini mushrooms diced them up, and added them to the bacon fat.  With the mushrooms I diced up about half a large onion and threw that in.  While the mushrooms and onion was sauteing, I put in a splash of Marsala wine, then let it cook down until there was no liquid left.  After that, I took it off the heat and let it cool a bit before I added about cup-ish of mozzarella and parmesan, both shredded.

After rolling out my dough, I used a circle cutter to cut the dough and then put a little spoonful of the filling inside each one.  I had some leftover filling, but I had enough dough to make 19 raviolis.  I plopped them in a pot of salted, boiling water, in batches of 5 or 6, for 4 to 5 minutes.  Ta-da!
(And yes, that is a bite out of the top one...I tasted it.)

We had some leftover tomato basil sauce that I put on them, along with some of the leftover parmesan cheese.

The best part?  They.  Were.  AWESOME.  Both my parents like them a lot, and they like mushrooms as it is.  But I think the most triumphant thing for me was getting MYSELF to eat them.  I liked them.  Like, they were actually super tasty.  Score!

This weeks challenge, complete success.  I haven't decided what my Iron Chef ingredient is for next week, so if any of you have a suggestion, I'm totally open.  :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I love routines.  I really do.  I love them almost as much as I love spontaneity.  This week I think I finally figured out my routine and I'm really happy.  We started having our "real" meetings this week, which means doing official business-type stuff that I have to keep straight for both committees.  I'm basically in charge of scheduling meetings and then sitting in and keeping an official set of minutes.  Sounds easy, but I assure you it's much more work than you'd think.  I do really like it though, so that's really the best part of the whole thing.

I'm trying to work some other things into my new routine, and I'm doing better with some than with others. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm going to do my cooking projects on Sundays (or Saturdays...just the weekend in general), and this week is mushrooms.  I'm going back and forth between raviolis and soup.  I think raviolis are going to win though, I love me some pasta.  My plan at the moment is just to pick up the ingredients and then see what happens.  Whoo!

Let's see....oh!  So I had talked to a friend of mine and we agreed that we should run a 5k in June.  I was all excited and like, "Yeah, this will be awesome!"  Yesterday, this friend of mine says, "I think instead we should do the half marathon!"  I of course agreed, cause how awesome is that, right?  Neither of us have signed up yet (money and all you know), but registration just started and goes through May.  The race is in July, so that gives me a lot of time to train so, you know, I won't die.  Plus we don't have to RUN the whole thing, a run/walk combo is accepted and encouraged.  But still I'm like, "That's a long way..."  If this actually comes to fruition, this will be one of my major life goals as well.  I've never been good at running, mostly because I've always been the chubby kid and didn't like to.  Plus, being out of shape and trying to run is probably one of the most difficult things ever.  But I shall overcome.  I will make myself into a lean, mean, running machine.  Oh yeah.
That's about all I got for now folks.  Stay tuned to see how my food endeavors turn out!

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Lot of Random

Wow, my first week of real work has come and gone and on to week two!  This week will start my regular schedule, and I'm SO happy.  This last week I've had meetings at 8 a.m., which I had to set up for at 7 a.m., and to get up and get there in time I got up at 5 a.m.  Let me just tell you that me and 5 a.m. don't get along very well.  I know, I know.  Whine whine whine.  People do it everyday and don't think twice about it.  No offense if you happen to be one of those people, but I think they're crazy.  No one should be up that early.  It's just mean.  And for me what basically happens is I can't get to bed on time no matter how hard I try, so I get like 4 hours of sleep.  Then I drink about half a pot of coffee in 2 hours, get cracked out on caffeine for most of the day, and by 2 or 3 when the coffee wears off I'm a walking zombie.  Well I guess most zombies are walking so that's a bit redundant, but you get my point.  I just wasn't made for mornings. And I am totally willing to accept this fact and move on.  Not to say I won't make every effort possible to be up and get things done when I need to, but I can't promise I won't be napping by 3 in the afternoon.

Anyway.  My regular meeting schedule is from 3 to 5 in the afternoon, with me setting up around 2.  Heck yeah.  That means I can actually be a productive person because I won't be sleep deprived and then cracked out on coffee.  And let me tell you, I was pretty freaking productive last week, so I should be ON IT from here on out.

My grand plan is to get up early enough to work out before I leave for work, and at some point look into joining a gym that I can go to after my meetings are over.  At this point I'm really looking for a place to run more than anything.  Why don't I run outside you say?  I don't know if you guys know this, but it's winter here.  Winter = snow.  Melty snow = ice.  Ice = broken face.  I am quite partial to my face and would like to keep it from being broken.  Yeah, I know there are people who run in this weather, and they're probably also the people who get up at 5 every day.  I have managed to find a pair of Yak Traks, so I might give the outside running a try....but if I slip and break my face I am not going to be pleased.  We'll see.  I have a deal with a friend of mine that we'll run a 5k in June, and right now I can barely run a block, so I have some conditioning to do.  And I would consider this a pretty big accomplishment, so I want to find a way to make sure my lazy butt does it.

Another thing I thought would be kind of interesting - particularly when my reader base gets built back up (please come back to me...I'm sorry I suck at updating) - is having you, my wonderful readers, give me an ingredient/theme/type of food to cook for the week.  I have my weekends off, and one of my resolutions is to cook more, so I want to make something a little more complex or different every Sunday.  I will of course post pictures and link/post the recipe to whatever it is I made.  I think this would be really fun and a great way to challenge myself.  As a personal goal, this week's challenge is mushrooms....cause I can't stand them.  But, for anyone out there reading this, I am totally open to suggestion for next weeks dinner.  Think Iron Chef with you choosing the secret ingredient.

Well, that's all my random musings for the moment.  I hope you all had a great weekend, and Happy Monday!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Well Fine

So while I was in the middle of a blog post, my father decided it was a good time to reboot the router and no tell me. Seeing as I am currently internet-less and also trying to make good on my resolution to blog more, I thought I would just do a quick post from my phone. If I'm feeling feisty and have some time tomorrow morning I'll do my original post. Until then, have a good Thursday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

House-sitting: OR Why My Neighbors are Awesome

So my next door neighbors went to go visit family over Christmas and asked me if I would house/dog-sit for them.  I've done this on occasions before and of course I said yes.  Aside from getting to stay in their awesome house and play with their dog, they were paying me well.  Bonus.

My goals here are simple: keep the dog alive and the house standing.  Easy peesy.

And it was easy peesy.  Until 2 days before they came home.  It was that morning that I was going down to the laundry room to get the dog's water bowl to fill up, and then this happened:

Image borrowed from via Google search

Except imagine that instead of another person, it's the dog looking at me from the top of the staircase.  And really, it wasn't TOO big a deal because I was fine, just a rug burn, and it was only like 5 steps that I fell down (its a short staircase), but then THIS happened:

On my totally graceful fall down the stairs I managed to smack into the picture on the wall, which brought it down with me.  Awesome.  I was supposed to make sure everything was ok while they were out of town, and so what do I do?  I break their stuff.  I mean it was an accident, but still.  So yeah, I freaked out and was in a panic about getting it out of the way and fixed before they got home.

I take the cracked picture to our hardware store, since they do glass replacement, and I'm all, "Can you fix this?"  And the guy says, "Yup!  No problem."  "Cool, well can I get it by Wednesday morning?"  "Oh sure, we'll have it done tomorrow.  We'll give you a call when it's ready."  "Yay!  Ok thank you!"  And I leave happy that this should be all repaired and no one will be the wiser.  This on Monday.
Tuesday, I don't hear anything from them.  So Wednesday morning at like 11, I go in to pick it up.  My neighbors are currently in the air very quickly approaching and I've got about 2 hours before they come in the door.  So I walk in and.....I see the still broken picture laying on the counter where it was left on Monday.  I ask about it.  The guy who was there who happened to be the owner tells me, "Oh I'm really sorry about that, my son (whom I spoke with on Monday) just told me about this this morning.  I'll have it done for you within the hour and give you a call."  Ok I leave again and wait.  And wait.  And wait.  Nothing.  My neighbors call and say they should be home in half an hour and I just realized I'm going to be forced to tell them that I'm a dork and broke their stuff.

Lo and behold, they arrive and I'm all "Welcome home! may notice something missing...." and proceed to tell them what happened.  Being the awesome people that they are, they laughed and said not to worry about it, and that they'd pay for it just let them know.  I didn't even get a call that it was done until the NEXT DAY....and they didn't even replace the wire that had broken on the back.  So when I took it over to return it (which I totally picked up and paid for regardless of what they told's not their fault I'm clumsy), I'm like, "Here's your picture that I broke and the wire is still broken so it's not even really fixed and I fail don't hate me."  It pretty much came out like that too, only more as one word instead of a run-on sentence.  They still laughed and said it was totally fine and not to worry.  I'm very lucky I have forgiving neighbors.

And that my friends, is the story of my house-sitting adventure.