verbicide: (i love me)
It's been such a nice weekend. I think with the frenzy of socializing during the week, it's been especially nice to have some quiet time this weekend. It's gone alarmingly fast, but I'm not too worried since we have a four-day weekend next weekend. I'm thinking of bookending it with days off on Thursday and Tuesday because I have some home projects that are getting neglected by all the funtimes.

I slept in gloriously on Saturday and then went to meet my new hair person at ZeroZero. Her name is Estelle and she's sort of adorable. My cousin Mo told me about her, and her Yelp reviews were worshipful. I got my hair colored, and while I think it's a little too auburn, I am enjoying the novelty of my entire head being a different color, particularly one that is not BLACK. She was really enthusiastic with suggestions for my hair. She told me what she thought we should do, and then showed me a picture, and I really think it's an improvement. Also, I hated the shampoo/conditioner I tried from Mode (to the point that I'm going to call them to ask if I can return it--I've only used it twice) because it complete dried my already overly dry hair out. We got me a new shampoo/conditioner that I'm much happier with. So, that was fun. Also, and I don't know how this is but she charges $60 for coloring whereas everywhere else is like $120-200. So. That was exciting. She also specializes in coloring super dark, coarse hair--Asian/South Asian. And she got it to change color without bleach, which no one else ever has. It was awesome.

There was a fuckton of traffic, everywhere, on Saturday. So, I really did not want to go and run my errands. So, I stayed at home cleaning and it felt great. The day went by so damn fast. I watched some tv and read a bunch. We're reading Little Earthquakes for ChickLit book club and I'm making steady progress on A Clash of Kings as well.

I went to bed really early. SO nice.

Today was the day to do the things I didn't do yesterday--namely, laundry and groceries. It was one of those days where I'm super excited to go grocery shopping. My fridge was pretty bare, so it was high time to replenish fresh things. Also! I just bought these heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo (per David Lebovitz's rec) and they've already arrived! I bought a cannellini bean, a yellow bean, and these red beans. I AM SUPER EXCITED OMFG. I never work with dry beans because of the overnight soaking (or quick soaking required) method, but this is so exciting!!

I really want to recreate the flavors of that cannellini dish at Barolo, but all these cooking sites warn against adding tomatoes during the bean cooking process, because they're acidic. So, not sure if I must cook a tomato sauce separately and then combine? Because other recipes have you cook the tomatoes with everything else. Hrm. MUST EXPERIMENT!

I've soaked them and will have them for dinner tonight!! I'm feeling inspired by this cookbook that Amy T gave me as a spontaneous gift once upon a time, it's called The New California Cook. I've never used it before because there are ZERO pictures of the food and I need pictures to be inspired, dammit. But the recipes sound so good, and I am really in a California Cuisine sort of mood lately. Amy loves the cookbook and I also really trust her judgment!

Also, even though it's summer, I really want soups. I'm going to make my roasted tomato basil soup tonight. VERY excited about that!

I'm off to meet Sarah now for Greenlakea neighborhood walk* and then it's back home to cook!

* Sarah just called and pointed out that a sunny afternoon, one of the first nice sunny afternoons, on a Sunday are likely to be jam-packed at Greenlake. So we're going to do a less chaotic, but equally lengthy, neighborhood walk from my house.
verbicide: (mrrrh)
...contestant that is.

My dad's coming tonight, and I'm making roasted tomato basil soup. I have both oversalted my dish and sliced my hand*, but kept working (so obviously I wouldn't be the Jaimie of top chef contestants). At least the one thing I have learned from the show: taste your food and adjust. Second (un-salted) batch is simmering, to be combined with the first.

Though as always, I think the show is insane, because if I were a contestant, my time would probably be up and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it. So mad that I got all Anne-Burrell with the salt sill.

(* Not badly at all, though. This isn't like when Jeanne was here and I needed stitches but was really pissed I had to stop dicing my onion.)
verbicide: (daydreamy - belle)
Okay, I know the entire eastern side of the country is miserably buried in snow and we're having a mild winter, but my feet have been so freaking cold ALL DAY. And I'm not rebelliously running amok in bare feet either, I have fleece footie things on for once. I kept fantasizing about immersing them in really hot water. But then I didn't have a magic wand to make that appear, so.

I can haz spring?

Oddly, I am obsessed with ffwding to summer. I mentioned this to someone who said that maybe it was because we didn't get much of a summer last year. I'm dying for summer foods and they're just not available right now. (TOMATOES. I WANT TOMATOES. And I'm not even a big tomato person. WTF. I want to eat them sliced on a plate with some salt and pepper. Why?)

So, I made brownies. Because that is the answer to all woes. New recipe for me. (Test Kitchen.) Hope they are good. Will take them into office.

I'm still having vivid Black Swan flashbacks at night, which aren't helped by all the trailers for it that are still running everywhere. Also, I wish Sarah were here so we could play more Mario. We have a standing slacker-date for Monday nights, and it's beyond glorious. And that is all I want out of life. Mario with Sarah. And pizza. Oh, and cherry coke zero. But that's it. I swear.

I so desperately want a cherry coke zero right now. And we even have them in the house! But I'm insomniackish lately enough without pre-bed-time caffeine. BOO.

This being a grownup thing suuuuucks. I want a refund.
verbicide: (shiny!!)
This year, I want to cook more Pakistani food. It's bizarrely intimidating, but I've been trying more and more dishes lately. There are probably a handful of things I grew up with that are my favorites, and I've been making my way through a mental list of things I'd like to try or improve.

For some reason, my murgh cholay (chicken with chickpeas) has always sucked. The curry would taste fine, but the meat was sort of bland. So I talked to some aunts, thought about my mistakes, and I finally made a satisfactory version for lunch today. So very exciting! I didn't have any cilantro to finish the dish off, but that was okay! What's funny is that my brothers and I would whine to my mom for boneless chicken because we didn't like dealing with bones, but as a cook now, I wouldn't consider giving up the extra flavor that the bones adds!

From Food

Recipe: Chicken and chickpea curry )
verbicide: (shiny!!)
Poor entrée. It's almost never photographed. Ultimate culinary middle child syndrome.

But, to start: spicy cheddar straws

From Food

And to finish, Hot Chocolate Cake with Homemade Marshmallows

From Food

Have a fabulous end to 2009, and the best start possible to 2010 everyone!
verbicide: (crazyface)
Don't be careless with your newly sharpened kitchen knives.

From Misc

(But if you do, be sure to have an experienced surgeon around who will keep you calm and take you to the ER because she doesn't have a suture kit on her. Thank you, Jeanne!)
verbicide: (Default)
Thank you guys so much for voting. the feedback was very helpful!!

My final menu is:

(I know. Can you tell I love Ina Garten?)

- Cheese platter/tapenade/marcona almonds/champagne-marinated grapes
- Mini steak and roasted veggie sandwiches on foccacia
- Roasted shrimp with chile dipping sauce
- Tomato goat cheese tarts
- Stuffed mushrooms (meat and meatless versions)
- Garden salad - roasted red pepper dressing, sunflower seeds, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes
- Dulce de Leches Brownies and I'm going to try an upside down pear cake. It's based on the Alton Brown upside down peach cake. But this time I'm going to try to do one cake instead of four minis and as always, I'm using pear instead of peach. If it's an epic fail, I'll have the brownies for sure!

And, if I can find mini popcorn boxes locally (it's too late to have them shipped) I was thinking it would be fun to make white cheddar popcorn and serve it in little boxes while we watch! Maybe if Pete and I decide to suck it up and go to see Benjamin Button on Saturday I can buy some from the theater.

And I've decided to give a bottle of wine as the prize, because I'm going to be doing so much cooking, I just don't want to deal with making another item. I figure, I foist my baking endeavors onto my friends often enough as it is!

As with anything trivial, it's fun to set a goal. I really wanted to see as many nominated films as I could.

More Oscar Tawk )
verbicide: (Default)
Mondays off from work are so freaking glorious. It lets you properly enjoy Sunday without the phantom spectre of the work week looking above.

So yesterday was nice. I met Pete and Kirsten downtown and we watched Coraline in 3D. I have to say, I didn't much care for the 3D. Pete felt a little sick afterward and we all had slight headaches. All the previews for coming movies are in 3D, too, which means we'll probably have to keep driving to Lynnwood to see the 2D versions. But it was still fun to see the movie. We hung out over coffee to discuss and then I went to Nordstrom to have them take the electronic tag off the pants Jeff bought on Saturday and to see if I could find my dad a comfy and cute tracksuit (not at Nordstrom, apparently).

Then home, where I successfully made my mom's dal recipe and had that with rice and kababs for dinner.

Jeff and I watched Desperate Housewives. Sometimes I enjoy the show in a pleasant mindless way, and sometimes I so hate the selfish pettiness of all the characters that I wonder why I ever watch it. Unfortunately, last night was the latter experience.

I also finished Dead Until Dark about which I have surprisingly strong opinions. )

Today's chores:


putting laundry away
grocery store to buy another lovely piece of Tilapia and some veggies
going to container store to buy some, um, containers
picking up prescription from drugstore
drop off dry cleaning
packaging up a few things that I need to mail (including, dear god the shame, Jeanne's Christmas present)
bake some banana bread
French homework

I guess I better get to it!
verbicide: (lipstick)
In no particular order.

1. I'm making my mom's Aloo Gosht (beef/potato curry) recipe. It was my childhood and adult favorite meal (i.e., what I would want for my last meal). My mom would sometimes not have potatoes and would make it with turnips and I would HOWL at her, "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME OMG THIS IS CHILDABUSE HOW COULD YOU DO THAT! EWWWWWW TURNIPS ARE LIKE MEMBRANOUS BAGS OF GOOOOOOOOO" and she would shake her head at me, laughing, and say, "I didn't have any potatoes!!" And I would carry on for like 5 hours and refuse to eat it and whine at her to make me something else.

This glimmering insight into my childhood should surprise no one.

Anyhow, as I'm cooking, I realize I'm having conversations with her. And it was really comforting. "Should I chop the potatoes this big? A little smaller? Okay."

I hope it turns out okay. I only have some vague instructions and nowhere near her skills. I'm letting the memories of watching her make it a million times guide me.

2. I am really looking forward to a chatty-chat fest with [ profile] serenity_valley today. Schedules being what they are, we've had to wait to find a good time for both of us. AND THAT TIME IS ALMOST HERE! (Though I also really enjoyed the sneak preview call we had yesterday.)

3. Sarah is coming over for a Wii Play Date and then Tanielle is going to come, too! And I'm going to make the roasted chicken with yukon gold potatoes and carrots because I'm obsessed. But also I'm going to do roasted tomatoes to go with it. Yay! AND AND individual upside-down pear cakes with ice cream.

4. So, OMG. My childhood hero was Judy Blume. I voraciously consumed her books. They were a religion to me. Those books are probably what lit the reading bug under my ass. She just turned 71. She has a blog. And I went there to wish her a happy birthday (along with a lot of 7, 8, and 9 year old children), AND SHE WROTE BACK! It was the sweetest note!!

Thanks so much for your warm note.  I'm touched by how well you remember my books.  Readers like you have made my career, and I can never thank you enough.  If you have a chance check out my blog and let me know what you think.  I'm trying to add a new post every week.

That's right, bitches! Judy Blume loves me! I can die happy now.

Also, how much of a phenomenal badass is she? Blogging at 71? Probably still working on another book? I love her. I feel an epic re-read of everything from SuperFudge to Forever coming on. Too bad I can't include those in my 50 Books in a Year thing.

Hokayso. I have to go do things. And then I will come back.


(This is without caffeine or sugar. PH34R ME!!! *thumps chest*)
verbicide: (boom de yada!)
So today pretty much ruled, from start to finish.

I met Becky from my French class and we gabbed happily for about an hour. If I didn't have to meet Pete, we could have gone on longer. And except for a few desperate forays into English, we spoke French the entire time. We both have our own irritations with the class (I think Amina needs to stop berating us for stupid reasons; Becky gets annoyed with her somewhat condescending socialist bent--which she argues about inappropriately). I really like this woman. It was a great way to start the day and we're going to try to meet every weekend and maybe email for support during the week! She's a playwright and very cool! We kept cracking each other up!

Then I scurried home and Pete was just arriving at my front door. We went in for a few seconds and then had to hustle over to Ballard for Slumdog Millionaire. After the movie, we grabbed a bite at Matador, stopped by my house again for a few minutes, and then we left for Pacific Place to see Revolutionary Road. A quick stop for some dessert and then we headed back toward Greenwood. I'd asked Safeway to set aside some chicken wings, and there was some miscommunication and they were out. So we stopped by Greenwood Market and they had all the wings I needed--whew!

Pete came up to keep me company and I made the potato salad and dulce de leches brownies for tomorrow's party.

Speaking of which--I can't fucking believe it worked. I threw a can of sweetened condensed milk into my big stock pot and boiled the hell out of it for four hours (taking care to submerge it underneath 3-4 inches of water to prevent the can from exploding). And then it was time to go to Sarah's, so I didn't open the can until tonight. I'm so glad Pete was there because it was a moment to be shared. I opened the can slowly, somehow not believing that it was going to have worked--but it did! It was a can full of sweet, caramelized milk. It tasted fucking AWESOME!!! So, that is definitely happening again. Because--AWESOME!! Big shout out and thank you to [ profile] str8ontilmornin for introducing me to the concept!!

So easy. Who knew?? I wonder how long a boiled can will keep? Must research!!


Jan. 30th, 2009 04:12 pm
verbicide: (dessert)
Holy shit people. Go. Now. Drop your pencils. Get into your car and drive to the store. And get the ingredients to make these.

As I've blathered earlier, I'm really getting into David Lebovitz's recipes. I just made these cheesecake brownies and was going a little nuts waiting for them to cool. And I just had my first bite of warm, gooey, cheesecake-y brownie. I may have died of joy. It's the rare recipe where I feel I can just tell that it's going to be good, but as I poured the rich, dark, bittersweet chocolate-y batter into the pan--I could tell.

His recipes are pretty straight-forward and easy to do. And the results are absurdly rewarding.

I'm just going to sit over here and purrrrr.

So, please. For the love of GOD. Someone else go make these right now!! Because that was seriously a sexual experience.

home sick

Jan. 27th, 2009 02:41 pm
verbicide: (princess and the pea)
Bleh. I've been having more headaches lately, which hasn't been much fun. And last night a headache started that lasted through the night and has persisted through this afternoon. There's also some exciting fatigue and mucous to liven up my life. Jeff bought me some ginger ale last night which is keeping me sane today.

So, I'm home. Which is really good. I think things would have been dreadful if I'd tried to go to work. My hope is that enough hydration and ibuprofen will make it possible for me to go to French class tonight. I really don't feel I can afford to miss a class. I feel behind enough as it is.

I have no patience for being sick right now. Too much I want to do.

I'm throwing a small I Hate the Super Bowl party on Sunday. I don't really hate the Super Bowl, but I have zero interest in football. But any excuse to have people over to feed.

Besides, it's a good opportunity to try some new recipes—most of them are from Tyler Florence's Tailgate show. I love that guy.

So, I want to make:

- deviled eggs (because lately I've been craving them)
- roasted asparagus with garlic yogurt dip
- chicken wings with Thai red chili butter sauce (I thought I could fry up some tofu and toss it in the same sauce for Jeff/Pete.)
- grilled kielbasa (and veggie sausage) with dipping sauces
- some sort of rolls - homemade if I feel extra studly
- potato salad
- citrus-y granita sno-cones (served in dixie cups)
- Dulce de Leche brownies (David Lebovitz's recipe)

Pete got me this fun Wii game where you're a short order cook. I think it'd be a fun party game. And of course there's Wii sports. Or board games. I'm really looking forward to it. I think it'll be mostly low stress because all of the dishes are easy to make. I'm really excited to make dulce de leche. I was just introduced to the concept (boiling a can of condensed milk to caramelize it) by [ profile] str8ontilmornin and have been dying to try it!

I also can't stop obsessing about Paris. It's still just so damn far away!! I've been noting shops and restaurants and alternating between feeling giddy about going and terrified that some horrible thing will happen to keep me from going.

Okay, should go drink something and lie down. Mrh.


Jan. 25th, 2009 04:46 pm
verbicide: (me and hobbsie)
I wonder if I'm coming down with something. I feel so totally sacked out. And a little queasy. And parched. Bleh.

I did end up taking a nap, but not feeling much rested for it. Then I drill-sargented myself out of bed and ran to the store for the powdered sugar. And let me tell you --it was totally worth it. I would have died a little if I didn't get to make Jeff's birthday cake. The bittersweet-chocolate orange frosting's made and it's as tasty as I remembered. The crumb coat's on and it's chilling in the fridge. I'm anxious about having enough to pipe a border on top, but I think it'll be okay.

Dinner reservations are at 6, on the eastside. Brian is supposed to chauffeur us all in his car, but not if it snows. Oh, right. It's fucking snowing out there. Just tiny little feathery puffs that seem to be saying, "Yeah. It's THAT cold, bitches."

While the crumb coat chills, I think I need to take a shower so I can look semi human tonight.

And I forgot to hit Submit, so I'm now freshly showered and feeling MUCH better. The final frosting layer is on and the cake looks fine. I even have enough to pipe a border, I think. I just need to transfer it to my cake plate and do the final touches there. Whew.

I'm bummed that all the random events of the weekend kept me from spending more time with Jeff and Ni. They're off at a movie now, and I can't help but think if I'd done more yesterday, I could be hanging out with them now. Boo.

Today's tip: don't drink spicy v-8 if you're not feeling great. You will reflux v-8 all day and want to barf.

Okay. Must finish cake.
verbicide: (princess and the pea)
I am so sleepy.

Got to bed late, after watching a Tivo'd Battlestar with Jeff. I went to sleep pretty quickly, but I didn't sleep well. I kept waking up with nightmare after nightmare. That was...unpleasant. And then Jeff got up early and while I can normally sleep through anything, I guess my mind just wanted to be awake already. So, got out of bed.

But now I'm so tired. And I wish so much that I could just sleep and idle the day away. But, nope. Too much to do.

Jeff's birthday cake's done. It's a sour cream fudge cake and it smells and looks pretty good. I need to go to the store because with all the baking this weekend, I'm out of powdered sugar again. I really go through baking supplies so fast, I could have sworn I just bought another two pound sack. The frosting is going to be a chocolate orange buttercream that I've made before.

The tangerine cupcakes were a big hit, but I didn't like them as much this time. Not sure why.

Wah. I so don't want to get dressed and trundle out to the store in the cold. But I need to go do that NOW because I'm supposed to hang out with Jeff and N. today at a coffee shop --they both have some work to do and I really need to do my French homework and it'll be so much more pleasant to do it with friends in a cafe than whining about it on Monday night at home.

If I could only just get some sleep first. SO TIRED.

la la la

Jan. 24th, 2009 01:04 pm
verbicide: (Default)
Fridge: Cleaned
Kitchen: Tidied
Pasta casserole for the week: Made
Dishwasher: Loaded and running

Still need to make the tangerine cupcakes but I've been hit with a sudden attack of the Lazies. I should at least go measure some ingredients and get that part of it out of the way.

Days like this, I really wish I had a sous chef. ("FranCIS! Grease 18 muffin tins and prep my ingredients!!") (No, I don't know why my imaginary sous chef's name is Francis.)

Also, because I'm still giddy and I can't stop thinking about it:

This is our president and first lady:

It's so nice to be so proud for once. (More awesome images here.)
verbicide: (Default)
It started in the kitchen, and that's usually a good thing. Sarah stopped by in the early afternoon with a random awesome present (!). She saw this gorgeous photograph of a kitchen in Avignon, France, and decided to get it for me. The photographer is someone whose work Sarah (and I) love at a local shop in Ballard. We visited for awhile, I forced her to try random food bits, and then it was back to the kitchen for me and she left for home.

Jeff and I were lucky enough to have [ profile] serenity_valley and [ profile] str8ontilmornin come to visit us for dinner. While I didn't post about it (because I wanted to surprise them) there were months of Fantasy Menu Planning and obsessing. Because they are both such lovely foodies and because [ profile] str8ontilmornin is a chef (and instructor at a culinary institute), I really wanted to do something special for them.

There were no full blown panic attacks, but I was a little, um, focused at points and I almost threw out the amuse 30 minutes before they were due to arrive because I wasn't sure it was going to work (Jeff convinced me to keep it). It was the only dish that I felt slightly obsessed about creating instead of stealing from a cookbook. The salad was also my own creation, but loosely based on this terrific salad Jeff once had at Crave. There was a second dessert course that flopped, so I eliminated it. And Jeff also obviously knows me a little too well, because when I'm preparing for a party, I tend to forget to eat all day. So when he went out to pick up a few things for me, he brought us back some lunch because he didn't want me to pass out before they arrived. I thought that was very sweet.

I was feeling extra bashful and because [ profile] serenity_valley and [ profile] str8ontilmornin are such dear people who instantly make you comfortable, I forget that we've only had the chance to hang out a couple of times and that I am basically intensely shy. But the minute they walked through the door, I remembered why I like them so damn much. They are just wonderfulness personified. They came bearing gifts--three amazing loaves of homemade bread as well as a beautiful jar of finishing salt from The Meadow.

Le Menu et autre )
verbicide: (cooking)
So, I'm having Judy and Ellie and Milo over for brunch on Sunday. This is very exciting because it involves my favoritest activity of all: FANTASY MENU PLANNING.

I think I have it mostly narrowed down.

Fresh Orange Juice
Jamie Oliver's Potato and Asparagus Tart
Italian Chicken Sausage Patties
Salad with field greens, red bell peppers, sunflower seeds, carrots, and scallions with a roasted red pepper dressing.
Dorie Greenspan's Lemon Cream Tart (or possibly something else from the Bon Apetit issue that just landed in my mailbox)

I know there's enough starch with the potatoes, but I really like a bread-y component to my brunch. Maybe some toast with Jeff's pomegranate jelly? Would scones or biscuits be overkill--sweet or savory? I did just make these cheddar/scallion biscuits for NYE that went over quite well.

[Poll #1327674]
verbicide: (lipstick)
So the pot of lentil sausage soup is simmering away on the stovetop. The pudding's in the fridge for later. I have some lovely crusty bread that I'll heat up. This looks like a great recipe. But I can't remember an Ina recipe that I've made that I didn't absolutely love. She's amazing.

The reviews at suggest adding more tomato paste if you like, which I think I will like. Plus it'll get rid of the rest of the can. And I can't wait to eat it.

I love a freshly made bed, but I'm not so crazy about making it. However --the poll results have persuaded me to flannel-up tonight. Which I admit will be very snuggly and nice.

I'm going to make the bed, put away the last bits of laundry, and sit with my drink* and book** in front of the fire now.

Note to self: Just because it's snowing buckets out there doesn't mean you can stay up late because you're staying home tomorrow. There is no guarantee that you're staying home tomorrow. So go to bed as scheduled, with your bag packed and your clothes laid out because your system is due for a shock at 6:30AM when you need to suddenly be functional and head out the door on the streets where the rain has washed away all of tonight's pretty snow.

* It's Tanielle's variation on the screwdriver. You slosh some vodka in (I did Absolut Citron, since that's what I've got in the house), orange juice, and some Sprite. All estimated to taste. It's delicious.

** The Thirteenth Tale which has me completely ensnared.
verbicide: (bossa nova - by breezybee)
I mean, is this the happiest day or what?

I'm at my desk, computing. Snow is fluffily falling outside onto the gleaming white landscape. Jeff has just settled down for a nap. He's going to make pomegranate jelly later. Brutus is snoozing right behind me. I'm exchanging silly emails with a bevy of cousins--we're all excited to go to Big Bear next week. Which, will probably have less snow than we have here right now.

Love Actually is playing in the living room, to keep me company while I finish making these lemon sandwich cookies from the latest Bon Apetit. It's a recipe from Citizen Cake in San Francisco.

Perhaps later I will finish my Paper Mario game. I also need to ice the applesauce oatmeal cookies and finally bake the chocolate crinkles. And make the chocolate malt sandwich cookies.

I just need to focus long enough to scan some refi documents and the documents for my 401k. Since I am not going back into the office again THIS YEAR MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

If it's safe enough, we're going to go shopping tonight at U Village. And then, except for some homemade things, I'll be done with my Christmas shopping. I wrapped the first present and stuck it under the tree. And I'll write/mail Christmas cards FINALLY tonight! I swear! I will!

It's just such a good day!
verbicide: (Default)
Except... there's no snow. YET.

There's supposed to be a lot of it. All the Seattle schools are closed! Which means it would be highly irresponsible for me to go to work and get stuck on the Eastside! YUP!

I have to say, my gloves are wholly inadequate. As a Californian, I always thought polar fleece would be good enough for anything. But the bus was late yesterday, so I was standing outside at the stop for about half an hour and by the end, I thought I might dissolve into hysteria. I couldn't feel my hands anymore. I was kitted out in two warm wool sweaters, a quilted jacket, scarf, hat, gloves. But I was so goddamn cold. The exposed parts of my face (which was a pretty narrow strip) and my hands. I tell you, I'm the biggest weather sissy on earth. I would DIE in a real winter. As it is, I just hunker down and try to never leave my house ever.

Speaking of. It's been such a nice goddamn day so far! Jeff and I sat and lingered on the couch this morning. I kept trying to convince him to stay home or to just go get his laptop and come back home. But he's not built for sloth the way I am. Poor dearie.

Last night was a total blast. Pete came over for a final visit before his two week vacation to visit his family in NJ. I made one of Pete's (and Jeff's) favorite dishes --Ina Garten's Mac and Cheese and some sauteed zucchini to go with it. Recipe Blather ) I sent some off with Jeff today for Amy T and Kirsten, too!

Then, Jeff lit a fire and turned on the Christmas tree and it was just a lovely lovely evening, sitting around and talking.

Pete brought us his amazing homemade chocolate caramels. And I got one of my Christmas presents from him! He knows I'm crazy about these Japanese gummy snacks and there are all these flavors that are hard to get and I've never been able to try. So he went to Ranch 99 and bought me ALL of them. Mango, apple, pineapple, melon, and orange because it's my favorite. I couldn't stop squealing for awhile over that. We sampled them all and omg it was so exciting!! I think pineapple may be my new favorite!! Also, he brought over his Wii Fit for us to borrow while he's out of town! Can't wait to try it!

Pete eventually left and we went to bed. I did, however, leave an epic mess in the kitchen. But it was so glorious to get to just clean it up this morning. Everything's loaded in the dishwasher. I went to the grocery store after work last night, so I have everything I need to make all the stuff I need to make. (Except frozen raspberries, goddammit! Must go buy those and some more eggs. DOH. I should go do that this morning before the predicted weather craziness starts.)

Today I'll work from home and start the cookie baking adventure. I have tons of exciting food options in leftovers. Is a taco salad weird to have for breakfast?

In other Christmas news, I just feel so behind already. How did this happen?

I need to write/mail some cards today. And at least plan how/when I'm going to mail the few gifts that require mailing. The timing is all off, because I leave for LA for a week on Tuesday. I see Judy/Ellen on Saturday and I'm worried their gift won't be ready by then either.

But, I need to remind myself that any pressure here is my own. I may be late this year, but no one is going to really care if they don't get their cookies until I get back from LA and can have more time to bake, right?

Though, I'm almost totally done with my Christmas shopping. And the rest should be finished in one more quick trip to U Village! In exciting news, I was able to get Jeff's Christmas present done yesterday on my lunch break. The smaller gift is en route from Amazon and the bigger one (which is sort of a Christmas/birthday hybrid gift, since his birthday is in January), is hiding in my car. I'd like to wrap them and stick 'em under the tree by tonight! I hope he likes!!

Sarah and I are exchanging gifts/having dinner on Friday, before she leaves town. I've asked for her big gift to be expedited; I just hope it gets here on time!!

Whee!! This is why I love the holidays!!


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August 2011

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