no party this year

i guess, in all my excitement about getting the house situated and the food blog, i forgot to announce that i’m not having a memorial weekend party this year.

i used to joke that it was an excuse to clean the house so it was at least presentable in the dark. there isn’t much to clean now, since we’re keeping it relatively clean and i’ve purged a lot of things from the first floor rooms.

also, i’m sad to report that Marco passed away last night, in my hoody.

back to mine

i never would have thought a new sauté pan and a new toilet (both of which were replacing ancient versions of themselves) would make me feel so much happier in my house.

i think i finally have all of the rooms the way i want them, except for the paint… i want to do the bathroom, bedroom, and living/dining room. it’s time for a change (the kitchen and hallway color is perfect).

since it’s the start of birthday week, i slept in until 9 and we coffeed on the couch, i walked the dogs, we planned a handful of meals for the week, went to woodman’s, made migas, and now he’s watching the cubs while i work on *drum roll please!*

my new food blog!

i’m really surprised at how much time it takes me to write a post! i hope it gets a little faster, but it probably won’t because i’m meticulous with my choice of words and have a lot to talk about.

it’s been good, though. i like thinking more about easy meals that i wish friends would make instead of ordering out all the time (like i used to) or eating at chain restaurants. i think, in the last 11 months, i’ve ordered for delivery six times. that’s a complete 180° from me even two years ago. it’s exciting to know that i get to re-read my cookbooks knowing how to plan for leftovers and knowing better substitutes.

i probably won’t post so much food here now, so head on over to the Gunna Finish That? facebook page or the site itself.

almost ready

after arduously sketching, designing, and picking colors, i landed on a logo for the food blog, which, after the domain name, is the most important thing.

i got the facebook page set up but have been having trouble with instagram cuz there was “sorry an error occurred” when i tried signing up the first time, so now they think my both email address and the @name is in use, so i can’t sign up.

anyhoo, i took pics of the first featured meal last night and have a list of the next few in my head. i think i’d like to launch with five meals and try to post two a week. that seems reasonable.

new adventure!

i’ve been posting a lot of food pics on facebook in an attempt to bring it back to the “boring social media” of food and dog pics, instead of political arguments and neighborhood groups taking pot shots at each other.

after one such post, my aunt suggested that i start a food blog. immediately, my mind went to, “but what would be the best domain name?” instead of, “could i really pull that off? how would that even work since i’m making other people’s food.”

well, i found a domain name, and have a rough sketch of a plan to get things started. i will be mostly showcasing recipes that i love from authors that i adore, sharing my modifications but always giving credit to the original post/book/blog.

i think it will also give me the opportunity to show friends that they can make food, too! it doesn’t have to be as arduous as some folks think it is, and i’ll even share my follies if i ever have them ;)

once i get the site up and have a few recipes queued, i’ll post the url here.

been busy

i went back up to the 50mg of sertraline cuz the symptoms of reducing were annoying (catch-22?) and things have been fine since.

i’ve completed the 21-day yoga and will start the series over on monday. the time change is already affecting my sleep, so i’m hoping to wake up early enough to enjoy and not have to rush.

the trapeze has also been a big help for inversion/traction. i haven’t gotten on it this week but will start a pattern of use soon.

we had a routine vet visit last weekend and, since jones is 14, had a senior blood panel done. the vet said she sees “age-appropriate kidney changes” and we need to get him onto a low protein food. luckily(?), i have some royal canin leftover from nora, so i’ve been mixing that in with the mounds food to get him used to it and will be checking the pet store for other options that don’t require a prescription (royal canin is about 200% more expensive than the current food).

merle needs to be scheduled for another teeth cleaning. i don’t know if you remember, but last year, i had her in on one of my birthday week days and i spent the entire day on the couch in a panic, waiting for the vet to call.

she sleeps

and now for some food:

turkey burgers and cauli-tots
baked jerk catfish and roasted veggies
roasted chicken legs with arugula, wild rice, and a yummy dressing
roasted thighs and a roasted beet salad with toasted sesame seeds

it’s really nice being able to spend time with my person and make food together and enjoy hanging out at home.

i purged a bunch of kitchen stuff last month and was able to make some major improvements with the counter space in the kitchen last weekend. i also cleaned up the front room as we’re preparing to find a dining table that seats at least four. i’d like to start having people over for dinner/brunch/meals (rodney makes kick-ass scrambled eggs; you wouldn’t think there’s really a comparison of scrambled eggs, but there is).

work is going okay… we’re down a few people and have plenty of work to do. i feel like i spend a lot of my day as an air-traffic controller as far as receiving, assigning, tracking, managing, and monitoring tickets. i might be able to help develop a site in a couple weeks, but my dev is so speedy that he’ll probably have it done before he goes on vacation for a week. 

anyhoo, hug your pets and your person, smile when you wake up, and take on each day with purpose and resilience. 

hanging, sleeping, souping

i’d had a yoga trapeze on my amazon wishlist for over two years, and kept hemming and hawing about getting one until a friend recently reposted a video of a gal using her trapeze in such a way that it looked like she was under water.

and that was it; i figured out where it would be mounted and i ordered the contraption. so, we spent an hour or so installing it in the front room and i was off! searching the depths of youtube for videos that looked reasonably “beginner”.

hangswing

i finally found a yoga sequence that included the trapeze, but didn’t rely solely on it:

unsure if i overdid it (who am i kidding? of course i did), but on sunday around noon, i needed to lay down. not being one to leave me alone, merle came upstairs and snuggled into the middle of my back and started snoring. it was quite possibly the cutest thing ever.

i woke up around 1:30 and decided that i wasn’t going to make it to the kanopy dance show at 2:30 for which we had been comped tickets. i ended up going back to sleep until around 4 and felt just fine. so, i started making dinner: skinny taste’s chicken pot pie soup.

it was surprisingly delicious and i’m glad there is a bunch leftover.

still sick

i’m getting tired of spending my weekends napping and sleeping in… and i’m also not too impressed with my new-found ability to have a legit, full-on sinus headache. it hurts from the top of my molars to the inside of my eyelid.

i slept in until 10 am on sunday, took a two-hour nap in the afternoon, and was in bed by 9 pm.

aside from all that, though, we made this delicious baked orzo with eggplant, carrots, and celery on saturday night.

and merle kept me company on the couch while i knitted during the beginning of the superbowl.

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

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.