a brief update

i’ll probably keep the specifics off of here and keep track in my bullet journal, but i had my yearly physical yesterday: the blood pressure is (still) a little high and i’m starting on a low dose of zoloft for anxiety.

so, i took the first 25mg today and apparently won’t see the benefits for three to four weeks, even though the side effects start right away; effects which i’m supposed to “power through”. a couple of which are gi issues, insomnia, low libido, and weight gain. i said to rodney, if i become a fat, farty, sleepless gal with no sex drive, i’ll stop taking it. seriously though, i’d rather continue to be slightly anxious most of the time than mess with the rest of my life.

anyhoo, i go back for the blood pressure check in a couple of weeks and a follow up with the doc in a month to see how the zoloft is going.

it’s been a bit

i got kinda sick a week ago and things have been a little off since then. i’ve been doing a lot of sleeping and not a whole lot else.

but! i’m going to share more foodstuffs.

we got some stuffed raviolis from costco, and i made homemade sauce with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices from costco, so i kinda feel like this would be a cool product demo at the store (in a vitamix, for sure).

spinach stuffed ravioli and sauce

on our last trip, i spotted the little organic chickens they have, which are two for the price of the one tiny one that i’ve gotten at woodman’s. so, i was excited to try gwynnie’s rotisserie-style chicken and it turned out well, but wasn’t nearly as tasty as the woodman’s bird.

chicken butt

at least i got some excellent stock from it and made really yummy chicken noodle soup (we got a 5lb bag of egg noodles from costco. i’m starting to sound like a costco commercial, i know).

not to be made sick of turkey, i pulled some ground meat from the freezer and we made turkey burgers again. they’re huge.

we’ve recently shied away from burritos for brunch, and switched over to egg sandwiches. they’re not as filling and faster to pull together.

and finally, last night, i pulled off chicken alfredo in about an hour.

you guessed it

moar food! after going through gina’s latest book, i started in on yotam ottolenghi’s plenty more, adding markers to recipes that look doable. the whole book is vegetarian (though he does suggest fish sauce every now and then) and each chapter is the style of cooking (i.e., roasted, boiled, baked, fried, etc.).

we spent a little time on friday at the stinky grocery on monona drive (viet hoa—which was actually not very stinky this time), so i picked up some curry leaves and kaffir lime leaves in anticipation of making yotam’s roasted root veggies.

not ever having dealt with a rutabaga before, i let rodney chop it up because it’s one of his favorite vegetables.

curry paste and curry leaves made the house smell delicious

while the veggies were cooking (at 475º!), my little zojirushi was steaming up some rice. and i finally got to use the ice cream scoop for the purpose which it was bought.

seasoned rice balls and veggies

i had floated the idea of also adding potatoes to the mix, but i think they would have gotten quite mushy at that high temperature and there ended up being no room on the sheet anyway. 

*relaxing sigh*

what a lovely set of days off. i really needed a break from work. i turned my out of office on starting wednesday at 3pm and turned off all notifications from the slack app until monday morning.

and now, gentle reader, prepare thyself for a photo dump.

the turkey. dry brined for 16 hours, rubbed all over with butter, stuffed with a lemon and two heads of garlic, trussed, and roasted for 3 hours.

stuffing prep. this actually began tuesday night (baking the par-baked baguette) and was made wednesday and reheated while the turkey rested on thursday. i used this recipe and it turned out wonderfully.

i didn’t get a picture of the gravy, but here’s the start of it, made from leeks and butter.

i could barely eat half of what i put on my plate, but it was all delicious.

not to waste a thing, i popped the carcass into my big slow cooker on thursday night and it simmered for about 16 hours; after which, rodney strained the broth out and we made turkey noodle soup.

and finally, we had leftovers for dinner on saturday night (with some still left in the fridge!).

 also, dogs.

calm before the storm

i’m not sure why i got ground turkey the last time we went to costco, since we’re making one tomorrow.

however, we had some french fries to use up, so reached for my phone to find a turkey burger recipe. this one turned out really well, and i can’t believe i ate the whole thing.

1/2 lb turkey burger

weekend mornings have become nicely routine; i work on the potatoes while rodney makes drinks (he makes me a really good bloody). and then he scrambles while i sautée up whatever veggie we’re putting in the scramble. it’s been nice, saving money on brunch.

v8 bloody, screwdriver, eggs.

lastly, i ordered gina homolka‘s latest cookbook, which i poured over and placed the appropriate markers. there are *tons* of yummy-looking meals in this one. it may even prompt me to invest in an air fryer, especially since eating fried-fried foods makes my stomach ache. i’ll probably hold off, though, to see if santa will bring me one.

many markers of colored significance

i forgot to mention that the calm before the storm is because i’m going to be documenting everything i can for my first complete thanksgiving meal. we picked up the turkey yesterday and i baked the par-baked bread for the stuffing, which i’ll make tonight before i dry-brine the bird. tomorrow, we’ll roast mr turkey, work on the potatoes, and root for the bears (i can’t believe i just typed that).

more food and an oven update

after discussing several options with a handful of people who know my kitchen habits (my, how things have changed in the last 11 years), i landed on not wanting to spend $350-$800 on a used or new oven. when i got home, we took apart the front panel so we could see what was going on. there’s this tiny little hooked piece of metal that controls the position of the lock mechanism, but it was too far inside to maneuver (or bend), so we opted to break the lock itself. i found a decent pair of cutty pliers and rodney wiggled the end off.

the night before this, we made chrissy teigen’s cobb salad, sans bacon.

and, after the oven was “fixed”, we made her mac and cheese.

there’s at least 6 cups of dairy in there

unfortunately, my body is not accustomed to so much butter, milk, and cheese, so the next day was pretty uncomfortable. but, it tasted good.

trouble in kitchenville

about a week ago, the 9+ year old amana ‘5.1 big oven‘ started clicking randomly in the morning. i deduced that it was the lock mechanism trying to engage as if the self-cleaning cycle had started. after some googling (and a vague recollection of this happening at in the last five years), i remembered having to hold down one of the display buttons to get it to disengage. this seemed to work once or twice, but now, a week later, the lock is stuck locked and the door is stuck open.

i called kirsh appliance, because they’ve helped me out of a jam several times (including delivering said oven) and gave them the model number and described the issue. i made an appointment for wednesday them to come and fix it and hung up the phone. thirty minutes later, josh called me back to say that the issue required parts that are no longer available and i should consider that i may need to get a replacement oven.

please keep in mind that this is all happening in the same month during which i’m going to cook a thanksgiving turkey for the very first time.

so, i google ‘lg stainless gas oven best buy’ because we had to replace the microwave last year which had a similar diagnosis and i may as well get a matching appliance that’s easier to clean than the current one. after getting a little price-shocked, i called kirsh back to cancel the service call and ask if they happen to have any used, stainless, gas ovens. no, just black. but at half the cost of the new best buy version.

currently, my solution is going to be to break the lock mechanism because that’s the thing that’s not making the oven not work and hopefully have a lovely turkey and dressing dinner before i need to deal with replacing it.

more to come, i’m sure.

another speedy weekend

i wonder how hard i would have to petition to get work to be 4/3 instead of 5/2. weekends go by so fast, it would be nice to have a third day to enjoy them.

that isn’t to say i don’t enjoy weekends, but we spent much of saturday shopping, making breakfast (which ended up being consumed at noon because we slept in so late) and installing curtains in the upstairs bedrooms that, by the time we were done with all of that, i was a little pooped.

zucchini and red pepper scramble

the curtain install was a minor fiasco because the screws were pissy about getting into the window frame, so we ended up using nails because i was about to break a window.

sunday was quiet as rodney had a triple-header of basketball games to watch, so i did some chores, made myself breakfast, and played a couple hours of fallout. by the time the packers came on, i realized that i had only been outside for the morning dog walk. then it got dark, and i got tired.

hopefully, i can stay awake later tonight cuz i don’t even want to tell you what time bedtime was.

bulk foods

costco has become a regular in the rotation of errands. i try to make it so we only go out there once a month, but i don’t have a good feel for our use-up rate yet.

on our last visit, i picked up a 5-pack of romaine hearts (for less than $5), so last night, we skipped the roasted veggies and threw together a salad.

not pictured: homemade croutons and dried cranberries

homemade dressing is also super easy and i don’t know why people buy it in bottles. i made a variation from this recipe (which is also a delicious no-cook dinner).