foods and dogs

i finally perfected the turkey burgers and had to write the recipe down because it’s quite different from the one with which i started. i also learned that using frozen and thawed meat doesn’t make for the best burger assembly; it’s better to use it unfrozen. i remember mom making burger patties with a tupperware burger press and freezing them for future use; that may be the next test i administer. during the last turkey burger meal, i realized that a 1/2 lb burger isn’t something i want to fit in my gullet in one sitting, so rodney opted to take the portion that i wasn’t going to eat.

turkey burger with gorgonzola

something was wrong (or right?) with my sniffer, and i decided that i didn’t want stinky cheese on my burger, so i went with feta.

and a big ol’ onion.

along with homemade crinkle fries.

another evening, we had the simplest, easiest ever meal; gnocchi with chicken sausage and broccolini.

sur la table was having a huge sale last week, so i treated myself to a new porcelain roaster; this one is a little bigger than the le creuset that i got late last year. it lends itself better to lasagne!

and now for some dogs

some candid moments

even though i didn’t get to take off the holiday week, we had a good time. apparently, we’re both pretty bad at duckface.

but jones and merle are still cute.

and the geese are digging the creek and the snow.

also, i made the most delicious meal i’ve ever created. i bought the madison originals cookbook a million years ago but never made anything from it. well, sunday, i spent over three hours in the kitchen producing the scallop dish from the concourse chef and it was *fantastic*.

bujo

i haven’t talked a lot about my bullet journal lately, but i am still using it. now that it’s been in use about a year and a half, i go back and review what was the haps a year ago.

well, we all know what happened a year ago. it was in the negative temperatures and i was biking to work on fewer than 500 calories a day. my home life had been upended but it would be yet another month before he would move out. (sidenote: what is that phrasing called? the past tense description of something happening in the future? i remember it being very confusing in spanish.) 

it looks like i’ll have enough pages in the journal to get me through june; so that means one leuchtturm will last me at least two years. 

2019!

the first (full/short) week back to work has been okay. an issue occurred before the holiday which blew away some functionality that we needed to push updates out, so the devops guy and i have been tag-teaming getting that back to working order. i wonder, sometimes, if there would be enough people-power here to react to the emergencies we had last year if we were all at 100% capacity.

at home, we’ve been making a lot of food. i’ve been spending saturdays planning the next week’s menu for dinners and have been enjoying mostly leftovers for lunches. a couple nights ago, since there were many chicken thighs to cook before the best-by date, i roasted them in the steel pan and roasted the veggies separately in the pampered chef roaster. we determined that it was the best way to do chicken and veggies instead of having them all together. you could taste each vegetable and the chicken was juicier, instead of the veggies being sogged up by chicken juice. happy accident.

i biked to work for the first time since before xmas yesterday after deciding to only put one studded tire on (the front). i’m glad i did because all the ice and snow and footprints made for an almost unusable bike path in some places. i can tell it’s been forever because my front chest/shoulder muscles hurt from holding on to the handlebars over all of the bumpitybumps.

i’m on week three of the sertraline (zoloft) and don’t feel much different. though, i’m not sure how i’m supposed to feel. the sleepy goosebumps keep happening, and i’m not getting the gut issues they said i would. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

everyone at the house is doing well; rodney’s been teaching marco to talk, so his tweeting sounds are very different lately as he tries to find his talking voice. i haven’t heard any words yet, though. jones is still an old man and merle still needs to be right next to me all the time.

rando update

last week at work went pretty quickly; everyone was looking forward to the four-day weekend (or nine-day for the luckier of the bunch). this is the first time i’ve worked between xmas and new year’s in 18 years. i mean, at the doll factory, i would have to work nye sometimes because of the doll of the year release on jan 1.

we went to mom and george’s for oyster stew on monday, and rodney went to sauk on christmas day to hand out gifts while i stayed home, made some gummies, and played a little fallout. we ventured out to wilson’s to see who was oot and aboot. turns out strangers come out in droves when not very many places are open on a holiday. we played some pool and then came home so i could roast a chicken.

this year, i’m at work. and i’m the only warm body in my wing of the office. it’s quiet and i keep meaning to turn on my bluetooth speaker (which i just did—a tribe called quest will usher me into the afternoon).

oh yea, i also keep having dreams with goosebumps that wake me up. i think it might be the zoloft? i’ll mention it to the doc when i have my check-in next month.

weird dreams

the first weird dream i remember from last night was rodney and i going to some old guys farm house to look at a dog to adopt. the dog was about three years old and an australian shepherd who was mostly white but with big brown splotches. he had two beautiful blue eyes, you know the kind. and his name was judy. judy, because of the crosby stills nash and young song, suite: judy blue eyes. judy was very well trained and behaved.

the second dream gave me goosebumps that woke me up. i was at a weird outdoor party and kept trying to dance but the ground was slanted and slippery so i ended up back out in the “garden” and someone asked if i wanted to go look at all the flowers with them. there were some witchy-looking ladies at the entrance and one had a bowl/branch/terrarium thing with albino ball pythons all over it. one of the snakes jumped on me and started crawling around. the lady said, “the earl of snakes is a healer! the rest of the snakes will want to meet you.” and i said i liked snakes, so it was fine. they all started crawling around my neck and face and that’s when i woke up.

seven days

they had me half the dose for the first week to ease into the issues that may occur, so i’ve been on 25mg of zoloft for the last week and i haven’t noticed much in the way of side effects; except yesterday, at lunch i felt *really* full after only having completed half of the (dotty’s) turkey burger and that feeling kept on until dinner so i didn’t eat much.

which is unfortunate because dinner was really involved and took almost two hours to prepare.

poblanos stuffed with cannellini an and chicken 

the poblanos had to roast, steam, and get peeled; the sauce had to simmer for 30 minutes; the stuffing had to simmer for 10ish; and it had to bake for 30. i guess it was a good exercise in patience.

 in other news, here are merle and jones being cute dogs.

and, for the first time ever, the house has holiday festivity lights.

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.