Oh the things I can do…or make

Tonight I spent my evening building a trash pit.  Glamorous, eh?  A twelve by twelve pit made by driving stakes into the ground, wrapping them in day-glow orange safety fence, and tying the ends with string.  As with most projects not in my normal daily routine, this took over twice as long as anticipated, and was quite a physical workout.  John could have done it in 15 minutes, but it took me an hour.  I am proud to say I did it myself on my own with my own ingenuity.  Big deal? Nope….but it always feels good to accomplish something, no matter how small it may be, that you normally wouldn’t have had to do.

Other things in the making these days include our own pasta, bread, and even vegetables in the garden.  Though I must admit that the plants probably did most of the work there.  

See below for a picture of the house I am “making.” 

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May 29, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

It’s Rehearsal Time!

Wow, what a week!  After a 9 hour drive with John and Bob on Tuesday, we have been running full speed ever since, enjoying time with family and helping to decorate for the wedding.  Mom and I put together a beautiful looking tropically themed room for Casey’s rehearsal dinner this evening.  We used shells, sand and simple white candles.  It will be wonderful.  All of the family is getting into town today, and this eveing we will have a short rehearsal at the church just to make sure we all know where to stand and what to do…I hear flasks may be involved, but as long as we all remember where to stand and what to do, we’ll be good to to go. 

Off to get my hair did, and grab a glass of wine before the night begins.  I love being wiuth family at such a beautiful time! (more…)

May 23, 2008. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Sunday Sunday Sunday…

My sister is getting married next weekend!

Today is a day for preparation.  On Tuesday I will hit the road with my brother, and my husband for a glorious 9 hour drive to Jacksonville, Florida. I don’t think I have driven for 9 hours in years!  That means today is all about making sure I have everything I need for the trip.  Packing can be a bit daunting, but a little foresight can make the process much much less painful.  This afternoon will be about shoes, and earings, and washing clothes and making sure John has what he needs for the trip. He’s not so much into clothes, and most anytime there is a special occasion that requires a certain type of dress, the poor guy is in trouble.

I’m also going to try and pack us some homemade goodies for the trip.  No sense in spending money on a bunch of junk from Mcdonald’s.  I’m thinking maybe some homemade cookies and sandwiches with homemade bread.  Yummo!

Maybe I’ll try and write from the road.  If not, I will be sure to post pics of Florida once we are there!

May 18, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Slow Lane

Today I came to the realization that I have been living my life a bit faster than I wanted to.  Maybe this has happened because of what I am reading these days.  The book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbra Kingslover and her family is changing the way I not only think about food, but the way I think about life.  The book is about a family who challenged themselves to eat only foods that they could grow, make (bread cheese, etc.) or procure from local vendors.  Quite an interesting concept, and foreign to so many of us these days.  John and I are reading the book together.  It’s the first time we have both been so into something at the same time.  Hooray!

I am looking to try and start taking more time to enjoy the everyday simple pleasures of living.  Keeping my house clean, working in the garden, taking a nap with my kitties, community service, preparing food from scratch…. all things that I struggled with on my old 9-5 schedule.  Can I quit the rat race? Nah….no one truly can, but I can sure try to slow down a bit and live for the good of myself and my family.

Today, for example, I made bread from scratch, and we had a delicious salad of local grown lettuces and herbs for dinner.  After dinner, we decided we wanted to make our own pasta, and made a mad dash at 8:45 PM to Williams Sonoma and snatched up a simple pasta machine.  Then we headed over to Ukrops and perused the local food selections there.  We even stumbled upon a local made raspberry sorbet!  What a treat. 🙂  Now John is in the kitchen making pasta for our dinner tomorrow.  Life is good!

May 15, 2008. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

What’s the craziest thing your mother ever did for you?

Someone asked me that question today, and I couldn’t think of an answer.  I still can’t think of one.  I guess my own momma just isn’t that crazy…  I wish they would have asked me what the sweetest thing my mother ever did was, or the bravest.  Hell, my relationship with mom started with 36 hours of labor all culminatingg in a glorious scalpel to stomach emergency that left her with one hell of a scar, and set her up for 2 more C sections as a result.  I think things have changed now, and just because they had to cut you once doesn’t mean that your subsequent pregnancies will necessarily have to result in cesarean operations. 

Anyways, that’s one hell of a way to start a relationship…and yet she still loved me.  She loved me through some sort of fun little disorder that some babies have where you vomit all the time.  They call it spitting up,  but I am sure it’s every bit as disgusting as throwing up.  She loved me through potty training, puberty, and a nasty little phase I had where kussing was the cool thing to do, and getting along with your mother was not.  She scolded me when I yelled at her, and tried her damndest to teach me to drive.  Dad ended up having to take over because I was that bad, and Mom’s poor nerves were just about shot.  She wore the same clothes for what must have been 10 years just so that I could have new ones from time to time, and never complained about having to shop at K Mart, or the Goodwill.  Come to think of it, she still loves a good thrift store with all of its untold treasures. And I don’t remember us specifically spending time learning the intricacies of cooking,  but we sure did make a lot of chocolate chip cookies, and play dough.  And Ooblec.  Later, I was allowed to make just about anything I wanted once I proved that I could handle a knife, and control a burner or oven. And now, even though we rarely trade recipes, my cooking style is eerily similar to that of my Mother’s… funny how things turn out. They say that a relationship between a girl and her Mother can be tricky, and I agree.  But when I stop to think about all of the things my Mom has done for me, I have to just sit back, smile and ask the man up stairs what exactly it was I did to get so lucky.

May 11, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Free Grocery Money

I just finished up doing my shopping for the week, and I found a great deal at Kroger.  For the next couple of weeks Kroger will sell you a gift card for $300 dollars, and actually give you a card worth $330.  you can buy up to $1200 bucks worth of gift cards, and you get back an extra $120 dollars in free spending money at Kroger.  1200 dollars is a lot of money to front for groceries, but if you can swing it, getting 10 percent back is a great deal.  For more details go to Kroger.com

Who doesn’t like saving money on things you have to buy anyways?

May 9, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

4 Houses

In the last month, I went from a desk job to a job building houses.  Now I may just be overseeing 4!  My own personal house plans were finishedd today.  So exciting! We also submitted a contract on a lot out in colonial heights.  The neighborhood isn’t the best, but this home could present a wonderful opportunity for someone who may not otherwise be able to afford a new house.  Add those 2 onto the one we already have started, and the lot we bought last week, and things are really movin’ now. 

Now I just have to figure out what I am doing 🙂 haha!

May 6, 2008. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

A Sneak Peek

A Sneak Peek
Alright, as some of you know, I am working on a new blog that will reside on FollowTheCook.com. I am hoping to have things up and running within the next month, and boy am I excited! I have been working on several posts over the last few weeks, and am proud to share one of them with you today. Looks good, eh?

Leftover Steak

6 oz leftover steak

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp soy sauce

2 tsp sesame seeds

1 bag of prepackaged Asian salad mix

Serves 2

All right, let’s face it. We are busy people. Even the most motivated cooks have nights when they just aren’t up to the challenge. And with food prices being as high as they are, I thought I would show you just one of my favorite ways to eat up leftovers. This light meal is perfect for those nights when you just don’t have the energy to spend the evening in the kitchen. You can have this whole meal ready and on the table in under 10 minutes.

Start by preparing salad as directed on the package. Don’t make it too difficult, just dump everything in the bowl add the dressing, mix it up and set aside.

Next, thinly slice your steak and trim off any unwanted fat.

In a sauce pan, heat vegetable oil and sesame oils until hot. Add in the steak and sesame seeds and saute for about 2 minutes or until the seeds begin to brown and the steak gets crispy.

De-glaze the pan with the soy sauce, and serve meat over the prepared salad. Enjoy!

May 1, 2008. Uncategorized. 3 comments.