Saturday Morning Coffee Chatter

pastasauceStill trying to locate that awesome banana bread recipe I used at Christmas, but so far no luck. 🙁 Will post it here when, or if, I ever do get it again. In the meantime, I’m home on my day off (so far – work may still call me in yet) enjoying a latte while my Marcella Hazan tomato sauce bubbles on the stove.

I wish you could all smell the inside of our house today. It smells like what I imagine the afterlife will smell like. I’m almost in a dreamlike state of hypnosis. It’s *that* delicious!

I’m also planning to make some sugar cookies for the express purpose of using my new giraffe cutout cookie cutter my husband made me using the MakerBot III 3-D printer. How cute is this sucker?!

2014-02-21 09.33.36So, what’s going on with all of you this lovely Saturday morning? Talk to me.

Stacey Takes A Tumble, Goes Boom

Xmas TreeThis is our small Christmas tree. It’s a fake 4 ft pencil pine tree that I wrapped over 275 mini purple lights around each branch on to illuminate it (from space). I dig this tree, but I’m getting tired of it always leaning one way or another no matter the pot I put it into. Anyway, this pictures were taken last week, so yes that means I left my tree up till the end of January. Nothing out of the ordinary for me. I love the look of the tree lit up at night. It makes me feel cozy and warm on the inside (where it’s gooey and my black heart barely beats).

I also left it up longer this year because I was thinking my brother and his finacee were going to come to dinner at our house right after the holidays, but we got sick and kept trying to find a new date that worked for all of us to reschedule. We’re still trying to do that, and it’s the middle of February now. (sigh) But in the meantime, I broke down the tree and put it all in storage. The next few photos and the story that goes with them will clearly illustrate why I should never procrastinate, or do anything halfway or even in stages when my personal safety is at risk. (snort) Dark Basement LandingOne night last week, I had to use the bathroom, so I decided to use the one in the basement. All of our stairs in the house are carpeted, and we’ve lived here 4 years so far, and no once has this been an issue for me. Not even a near miss of an issue. Until this night. I was so confident in my ability to navigate these stairs in socks that I didn’t bother turning on the light over them. I routinely don’t. I should. I know that now.

Anyway, I got down to the last three steps and slipped all the way down to the landing. In one fell swoop. I felt it jolt in my left leg first, and then the pain in knee as I landed right on top of the knee cap. Hard. Straight down over it. All of weight. My main concern at this moment wasn’t pain or injury, but it was to avoid those two bookcases directly in front of my body as I went down. I did my best to roll to my left side, but it was dark and I forgot I was too lazy to put the ornaments and boxes away in my Harry Potter storage closet, and well… CRASH.

At this point, I will mention it was 10:45 at night, and my husband was on the couch sawing logs. As soon as I crashed into the junk, and the noise stopped, I froze. I listened. Yup, he stopped snoring. Crap. I yelled up, “I’m all right! Go back to sleep!” I had no idea till I got up if that were true, but I didn’t want him to freak out. I jumped up, hobbled down the hall and did my thing. By the time I walked up the stairs again, I knew my knee was fine.

Or was it…?

A week later, I keep hyper extending that knee (especially when I’m at work and have to move around fast and sharply), and this is causing spasms in my left butt cheek as well as my left calf on the outside, and my left ankle on the inside. It’s enough gnawing spasm pain to wake me up every few hours all night long, and to make my leg almost seize as I walk out of work each night.

Yeah, so lights. They’re fairly useful. Apparently. :-\

Dark Basement Hallway

Hiding In Plain Sight

Life is interesting in the ways it can suck up your whole day, or week, or in my case the last two months. Sorry about that. The Yucky News: It started at Christmas when the boy came home from work sick. That illness was his Christmas gift to me. I started to come down with it two days later and it took a long time for it to clear up. Thanks, honey!! (Oy.) At least he went out for McDonald’s takeout on New Year’s eve to feed me as I lay dying in bed.

The Big News: He no longer works for himself. I guess I can tell you all now that he works for Microsoft, at their newest retail store that will be opening this weekend. He’s still doing computer tech work, but more on mobile devices that desktops. He loves his mobile devices so this is also a good change of pace for him. He’s happiest when he’s learning new stuff, much like I am. He’s been putting in a lot of hours with his teammates to set up the store products and to also complete his training modules when he can. There are many of them, and so few hours he can do it, so it’s been a lot of solo time for me but I’m not complaining. I love my alone time. I don’t get enough of it.

The Quick News: So, while I’m home alone today, I thought I would catch you up a bit. There are many things to blog about, but I can’t sit still today so here are a few things we have been doing, feeling, and experiencing lately, in picture form. I would say if you have any questions, leave them in the comments, but in the two months I have been away from this blog, somehow the comments for each post got turned off or removed. I’ll look into that today and see if I can fix it myself. Sorry for that inconvenience.

Greek yogurt covered popcorn – I really want to try making this at home. tI can’t be that hard, right?

Our new X-Box One – This is what made its way from the husband’s workplace to our house last night. Guess who is set to become the latest X-Box One widow? (two thumbs pointing at my chest)

Workplace pep kit – The other day my employers waited and watched the snow storm that wasn’t to see if they should close up show early, but in the meantime, most of us grew bored and sleepy since there wasn’t many people kicking around. Most us us ended up eating out of boredom. I ate and drank. I really like this tangerine greek yogurt smoothie Tim Horton’s puts out, and for some reason I had to have a double dark chocolate doughnut to go with it. Love this flavour combination. It hit the spot and did the trick. I managed to stay awake till we closed up show only an hour early that night. So anti-climatic. (le sigh)

Freezing apple slices in a pie plate – I have been experimenting with an idea I found on Pinterest a long time ago where you freeze your apple slices right in the metal pie plate so they form a pie shape you can then bag and keep in your freezer right up the minute you want to bake it. If this works out well, I will start making a bunch for my aging mother-in-law who loves baked goods but no longer feels the urge to do it all from scratch. This way, she can blind bake a pre-made shell, place the frozen pie shaped apple slices into it, and simply add her butter chunks and cinnamon sugar on top before topping it, and placing it into the oven to bake up. I think she’d like this minimal amount of baking labour idea a lot.

Our new Scion IQ car – The husband drives a lot, and our car of 6 years had lots of upcoming maintenance work needed that was going to add up to a fair amount, so we decided to trade it in an get a new car instead after weighing all the pros and cons. In the end, he chose a car he’s been eying for awhile now, but hadn’t been able to find at a price he wanted to pay. He patiently kept his eyes open until he found the car locally, and it was at the right price, and then we pounced. It’s a super cute car called the Scion IQ, and it’s about a foot longer than a Smart Car, but ours holds 4 people not 2. Since this car was a no-frills deal, he bought a spoiler from eBay and installed it himself (saving half the cost a dealer would charge us). It’s ridiculous to have a spoiler for this car, but it makes me giggle every time I look at it. 🙂

Gift basket filled with chocolates – Oh, and the Toyota dealership gave us a lovely gift basket for buying the Scion IQ from them. It was filled with all kinds of chocolates, so they must have felt bad when I told them that I would never get the chance to drive this cute car since it will be for the husband to boot around in only. Yeah, let’s go with that story. 😉

We also bought a new bed to replace our 8-year-old set that we gave to my brother and his fiancee after they moved to town without any furnishings of their own, but it sagged and sloped off one side making quality sleep impossible so it was exchanged. That was quite an experience to go through let me tell you, and I hope it was a one off because if we have to do that all over again, I’ll be heading to IKEA to buy a thick futon mattress. Without hesitation.

I have more blog stories to post, and I will, over the weekend as time permits. The phone rang. It was work but I didn’t hear it so they left a voicemail, but I can’t recall our password to get that message so I have no idea why they called. If you know our phone’s voicemail password, please let me know. I haven’t the foggiest idea. 😉

Muddling Through

update

1. Found my iFone. It appears to slipped under the shelving unit in the basement that houses our laser printer, toners and paper. The casing on the phone is smooth plastic, and coincidentally a very close shade of teal to the carpeting it slid across, so we kept missing it visually. I had to get down on all fours to spot it.

2. I am feeling better. More with each day. I did manage to test three of the Weekend 5 already, but the last two I haven’t had time to make yet. Those I think I will roll over to this week’s and pick up 3 new recipes to round it out.

3. It feels like Fall out there now. My Roma tomato plants have bit the biscuit. I need to pull those out and clean up the backyard this weekend. This makes me sad. I wish I could grow tomatoes all year long outside. Ahh, Canada and your extreme weathers. :-\

Sinus Infection Giveaway

 

oprah

I’m sick. Really sick. Too sick to be around food. None of the Weekend 5 is done, nor will it be before tonight at midnight, and I will probably need to take time off work to recoup. So, until I get better during the week, this week’s Weekend 5 will stay up and I will post the results when I can. It may even get rolled over as next week’s Weekend 5.

Yup, I’m that sick. Sinus infections are hell. Especially when they come with nasty coughs that make me pass out from straining too hard to catch my breath.

Worst part? I think I gave it to the husband before I realised I was this sick. Oops!

Oh, and I somehow managed to lose my cellphone while doing laundry yesterday. We’ve looked everywhere in this house, and it’s disappeared. Like magic, but way more vexing.

Our Fave Food TV Show

YouGottaEatHere

Our new favourite food show is You Gotta Eat Here! which airs Friday nights at 10PM on the Food Network channel. It’s hosted by the very funny and delightful to watch get his food orgasm on, John Catucci – a man after my own heart who carries his own fork & knife around in his back pocket seemingly at all times. Just like Mama! His reactions are the #1 reason the show works as well as it does for me. He consistently makes me giggle, and my belly growl.

When he slams his hand down on the prep area bar, rolls his eyes, moans with food in his mouth reminiscent of Meg Ryan doing her fake orgasm scene in Harry Met Sally, only John means his, I instantly want to get into our car and drive to whatever the restaurant he’s featuring is located to have the same experience.

That’s how you make great tv, kids. And how you feature the hell out of your menu. Oh, sure there are times when I cringe at some of the food concoctions and the portions being served, but John’s reaction to what he’s eating in the kitchen with the chefs and cooks gets us past that squeamishness  and make us want to binge on marathon runs of its first two seasons all week in and week out.

This show has us both quasi longing for a smoker. Seriously. You’ll understand when you see how they make this featured dessert:

Right!?!? Oh, man. If only we had room in our tiny kitchen for a smoker. ‘Mmmm…

I really like that a lot of these restaurants will share a great recipe with the public on the You Gotta Eat Here! blog over at the Food Network, like those Codfish & Potato Cakes from Chafe’s Landing I can’t taste unless I take a trip down East. Oh, my gosh… And guess what! That recipe is online now. Woot.

This show has inspired us to do a few road trips, but I’m not sure how far away we want to drive. I’m thinking past the Ontario border would probably be a bit much for us to do over a long weekend, but never say never, right?

Follow John’s new You Gotta Eat Here! season adventures on their Facebook page, as well as some of the recipes featured on the show as well as show’s trip map over at Food Network.

I’m off to make the mayonaise for this Potato Salad. I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile now. Oh, it’s going to be sooooooo good. 🙂

A Batch of Cupcakes for Two

CupcakeFor2

[ Click picture to embiggen. Recipe & picture courtesy @AmberReed. ]

Sometimes I want something baked that’s a bit sweeter than a muffin, but I don’t want to make a full batch or a big production of it because half the time I want to taste test a new flavour combination I’ve thought up or found someone talking about online, and it just happens to be one the husband doesn’t like or isn’t into like Espresso Double Chocolate (for when I’m PMS’ing), so what is a girl supposed to do – park herself in front of a dozen muffins or cupcakes till they’re all disappeared from the house?

Uh, not going to happen!

I figure most of you feel the same way I do about not wanting a bunch of baked goods kicking around in the house, seductively calling out your name in the middle of the night from the kitchen all the way to your bedroom, like so:

“Psst! Hey, you! Oh good, you’re awake. Can’t sleep, eh? Me neither. Remember me? I’m those delicious treats you baked today. Come to the kitchen and visit. C’mon, just a short visit, and then I’ll have you back in bed in no time at all. I promise. I know you can hearrrrrrrr meeeeeee…” <– How many times has this happened to us, right?

Well, it doesn’t have to happen anymore. That’s right, the picture at the top of this post holds the perfect solution to our shared dilema, kids. Give it a go next time you’re craving.

(Don’t lie. We all crave. I know you’re shaking your head right now, but you’re also giggling because you know I know I’m busting you!)

Edit: The second set of increments in the picture are all missing their slashes to turn them into fractions. If you don’t correct your measurements, you’ll have a HUGE mess on your hands. Bake them at 350 degrees for 15-18 mins.

Stress Eating

popcorn

[ Click picture to embiggen ]

While watching the #SavingHope season two opener Tuesday night, this is how I stress ate my  popcorn. Sorta. And I’m not even a stress eater normally.

But, in my defence,  did you freakin’ watch the whole episode from start to finish?! I’m not even kidding when I say I don’t think I can watch next week’s second episode without first borrowing my father-in-law’s portable oxygen tank. (!!!)

I hope #Dexter’s final season opener on Sunday is gentler on my blood pressure, heart, tear ducts, brain and lungs.