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. 

*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.