Tuesday, February 24, 2009

it was as good as it looked

hot damn. this was an excellent savory onion pie! like i mentioned in my last post, this came from nigella lawson's "how to be a domestic goddess," and it was rich and filling and sweet and savory all at the time time. we ate it last night for dinner with roasted hubbard squash and a big salad, and it was a great big hit. the boyfriend's daughter's favorite meal is quiche and last night she said, "i think i like this better than quiche." i seriously thought we'd eat it all in one sitting, but it was much richer than anticipated. we had some leftover today for lunch, and if it's at all possible, i liked it much better the next day, at room temp. i was afraid that this would be one of those recipes that looks amazing and tastes mediocre, and was so pleased that the opposite was true. i spent all night saying "damn! that pie was good!" and having everyone agree with me was awesome.

i did make a few changes to the original recipe; namely using yellow sweet onions instead of red, and using more gruyere than called for. first things first! sweet yellow onions were on sale at costco, and to be frank, i don't care for red onions. i don't know why, i just don't dig them. using sweets made this pie sweeter, for sure, but the pastry was rich and cheesy (thanks to upping the swiss factor!) and i think it was the perfect balance. the next time i make it i want to do it in individual ramekins, so we all get a little sweet pie of our own.

on tomorrow's menu, a roasted potato, prosciutto and gruyere pizza pie, along with an asparagus one and a great big salad. for the asparagus i might use goat cheese, although i think the boyfriend and his daughter don't care for goat, but i'm pretty sure the boychik and i do, so it should work out. we bought a giant box of salad at costco as well, so more big salad with dinner! i love cooking over at the boyfriend's house for a few reasons, one of them being they're easy to please, they'll try pretty much anything once, and they seem stoked to have someone else in the kitchen with them. some nights we listen to alice cooper on the radio, play games* while the food cooks, and generally goof off, which is super fun. i feel spoiled and pretty pleased with myself those nights. it's honestly just nice to have a relaxed night where we get to eat delicious things and hang out. i like that they like doing dinner, and i like that i get to be a part of it. dinner is awesome, end of story!

*i introduced them to farkel! the only math game i like!

Monday, February 23, 2009

monday monday

monday's are actually super fun for me; it's my last day off and the day that everyone else goes back to work or school. this isn't me bragging! it's just that on monday i can run my errands in relative peace and quiet and i like that.

today the plan is to do some cooking from a cookbook i got for christmas, nigella lawson's how to be a domestic goddess. there's a recipe for a savory onion pie in there that i've been looking at for months now, and last night at dinner i was pawing through the book again when my boyfriend asked, "are you ever going to cook anything out of that?" i told him that i was, and that tonight for dinner we are going to have that onion pie, and maybe her sour cream chocolate cake for dessert. i haven't decided just how much baking i want to do today, but i feel like i want to do a lot of it.

that's the other nice thing about today, i usually have the house all to myself so i can do things like take over the kitchen and make a mess and cook up something new. becasue it's monday, the boyfriend and the kids are usually just happy someone's making dinner and will indulge me and eat what i cook.

i also need to do some laundry, finish the boyfriend's second sock, and nuzzle my kitten for a while. i should dye my hair as it looks ridiculous, but it also needs a trim, and i kind of look like a hobo anyhow so i'm not sure i'll get to that today. a friend will be in town this afternoon possibly, so i'm waiting to see when that will be so i can work around that and meet them for a cup of coffee. go watch some sexy nigella and think about what to make for dinner, i'll see you soon!

Friday, February 20, 2009

finished product

finished product, originally uploaded by pinprick.

sausages were made! they are delicious. chicken, bacon and spinach with a touch of caramelized onion. yum yum. the process was a pain in the ass, i think because it was our first time. we're all pretty stoked to try it again, though, and i think (personally) that we have a natural affinity for sausage making.

we made meat product! whoo!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

oh, hai!

jeez, it's been a while. i haven't been doing anything seriously exciting, i just haven't been home a lot and when i have been there my computer has been seriously acting up. i thought i got it fixed the other night, but yesterday morning when i went to start it up it had the same hiccup-y problem. for whatever reason it won't start; it gets going and then i hear it stall and start and stall and start and it just freezes on the first start-up page. i tried a re-set, but that didn't do it, so maybe leaving it alone overnight gave the computer fairies enough time to sneak in and work their magic. we'll see!

valentine's day was a nice surprise. the boyfriend liked the one sock i finished, and it fit perfectly, so i feel pretty good about finishing the other one. he succumbed to peer pressure and bought me a box of candy; he was sheepish about it, but his fellow students got him so nervous that i would be disappointed if there was no candy that he ran out and got a box that was entirely too big. the kids were stoked as it is so giant that we've all been munching on it since then. it was a quiet day, which was just the way i wanted it. valentine's day isn't a big deal to me, but having an excuse to squirrel ourselves away for a weekend was just too good to pass up.

sausage making is a much bigger pain in the ass than you might realize. especially when the man making it is such a stickler for "perfection." we've been grinding meat, re-grinding it, playing with the seasonings, making test batches, tweaking stuff and then starting over. this is a much more scientific cooking endeavor than i am used to, and it's been fun learning about what's going on, why you do things in a certain way, what works and what doesn't. i've gotten to get my hands in it, and now i'm totally ready to skip ordinary sausage and move right on to salami. i want to cure meat! (hee hee, that's what she said.) this weekend i also got to introduce chicken paprikash to the kids, who liked it way more than they thought they would, and we spent one morning wandering around costco and picking up giant packs of toilet paper.

i think my roommate is freaking out that i'm going to move into the boyfriend's house next week, so this week i need to spend some time assuring here than i'm not going anywhere for a while. he's got to finish school up, and as much as i adore being with him and hope someday we shack up, i'm not in a huge rush. it will happen when it's time, and for now i kind of dig knowing i have my own place where i can hide out when i'm fussy or need to pluck my eyebrows. this is definitely the "honeymoon" phase, and i don't want to rush out of that and into full-on domesticity. playing house is nice (so nice, seriously), but i want to enjoy it for what it is right now. plus, i hate moving. i hate packing and unpacking and the sheer toil of getting my overnite bags ready is more than enough for me at the moment!

Friday, February 13, 2009

hee hee hee

natalie dee

i couldn't help myself!

hearts and hatchets

pixel heart, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i love friday the 13th! it's a fun day, especially to see all the folks out there who are a bit superstitous about it. also, they made a remake of the movie that comes out today, which i think sounds awesome. my boyfriend's daughter wants to go see it, but i told her she's got like seven years to wait. i'm not going to be responsible for nightmares!

it's weird to have a boyfriend on valentine's day, since that very rarely happens. we don't have any big plans; he's got to work all day, and it's not a huge deal for me. (i honestly think it's just a holiday built around guilt and consumerism!) i am knitting him some socks for his clogs though, and we're hoping sometime this month to get to take a tiny trip together. i told him the best thing about this holiday is that we can probably talk someone into watching the kids overnight, so we can go out and goof off by ourselves. i did also order him a baking stone from the pampered chef, but that's not exactly a valentine's gift and it's kind of a selfish one at that. after all, i'll get to enjoy the fruits of his baking labor. do you have plans? what are they?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

road trips are awesome

hamilton high gym, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i haven't been on one in a while, but lately i've had that old familiar urge to go. there's not much better than getting in your car and going somewhere else for a while; even if it's not too far away or for too long. a road trip that ends in camping or staying in a ridiculous, neon-lit hotel is pretty much my favorite thing ever. i'm hoping this summer to take a lot of those; with the boyfriend of course, and some on my own. i'd like to take maggie camping this summer, as well. she's never been out in the woods for any extended period of time before, and i think she'd really enjoy it. plus, what kid doesn't love tent life?

work has been busy lately, meaning i've been doing very little in the way of goofing off. not much knitting, a small amount of knitting, and a whole lot of hand-holding and calming people down. this week no one's wanted to get into the big magnet, which always surprises me. if i could nap in that thing every day while it banged and crashed around me, i would. it's like being in the belly of a very cozy, non-stinky garbage truck. an egg with an attitude, if you will. i think it even looks nice, like a space-age donut, all smooth round curves and bubbles.

in other news, i need a haircut in a bad way. my bangs are all grown out, so you know what that means: i miss them. i want them back. someone recently told me that bangs are fun, but they've "been done." also, my roommate, who is also my hairdresser, refuses to cut them for me. she thinks i look better without them. anyone else want to weigh in on this?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

small and smokey

this weekend was spent listening to a lot of the talking heads and hunting down sausage making stuff. the boyfriend is making a chicken, bacon and spinach sausage for his class project next week, and he didn't have a grinder so we got to spend part of sunday goofing around town looking for one. i didn't realize this, but you can find a fairly large selection of meat grinders at sportsmen's type places. evidently, a lot of deer and elk and other game is turned into sausage-y goodness, which totally makes sense. while hunting down natural hog casing (which was way harder than finding the grinder) we stumbled upon silvana meats; a butcher shop in the little town of silvana. yesterday we ventured on down there to check it out, and the moment i saw the small shop i was smitten. we walked in, and the smokey smell of hams and bacon and other cured meat delights was the first thing to greet us, and i knew it was true love. for a small shop, out in the middle of seemingly nowhere on a monday afternoon, they were hopping. there were never less than three people waiting in line the whole time we were there, and it was only 3:30 p.m. while waiting to buy our casing i found these gorgeous smoked cornish game hens. initially i was only going to buy one to check it out, but the smell! i'm telling you, it's positively narcotic how happy the scent of smoked meat makes me. i was fairly certain that they would be good, so i bought two, just in case. we cracked one open when we got home, and the kids and i devoured it cold in about five minutes. the joy of a small drumstick wasn't lost on anyone, trust me. the skin was too smokey and lovely to waste, so we put it in a hot pan and made cracklings with it (since everyone knows cold skin is gross!) which were also promptly gobbled up.

if you eat meat, and are anywhere in the vincinity of silvana, i highly recommend a trip to this meat emporium. the meats they offer are all natural, butchered on site, and the staff is friendly and crazy-knowledgeable about meat. they also offer about five hundred different varieties of sauces, salsas and marinades, which we're anxious to try out. you can buy a single, solitary steak, or half a cow. a tiny ham the size of a baby's head, or a whole pig for barbecuing. i won't even start talking about the selection of bacon, because we don't have enough time. it was a great field trip, and afterward we had a celebratory beer at the silvana road house, where someone won big on pull tabs and we got a free round! later this week one of my tiny hens is bound to become smokey little sandwiches, if it lasts long enough. if it doesn't, it's still going to be delicious.

Monday, February 09, 2009

ding dong, the witch is dead

and by witch, i mean my job at haggen. yeah, that's the store i've been working at for the past year. want some unsolicited advice? don't bother working there. other grocery stores will treat you better, trust me. i'm relieved to be done, once and for all, and looking forward to having actual weekends again. i didn't end my time there in a classy way, and i also didn't leave in a hail of gunfire and expletives, both of which i was thinking of. instead, i was slightly passive-aggressive and shitty, never actually telling my boss she could suck it but thinking it all the time. who cares how it ended, i'm just thankful it did.

i've wasted most of my weekend lounging around and drinking bloody mary's with my boyfriend, which i think is a perfectly good way to celebrate quitting a ridiculous job. today i've already gotten some grocery shopping done, and i'm going to go hang out with a friend this afternoon and goof off around town, so i suppose i should get moving in that direction. it's time for real clothes and lipgloss!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

honk honk

maggie 2, originally uploaded by pinprick.

the air is impossibly dry in the MRI trailer, and lately i'm all snuffly and gross. i remember my nose going through this in colorado; the bloody noses and crusties are no fun. i'm carrying around a saline spary to combat it, which makes me look nerdier than usual, but it's starting to help. i know what comes next, and i'm not crazy about it: the humidifier. cue my crazy old lady music!

today it's been all grumpy old men and nutty ladies. i'm looking forward to going home and cleaning my room! tonight is the night that i get my bed made, clothes folded and mp3 player organized. i know i've mentioned my little zen stone before; it works like a shuffle only i think it's cuter. it had almost 300 songs on it and i was pretty much sick to death of every one, so i erased it the other day and have been putting on all new stuff. by "new" i mean things i haven't been listening to ad nauseum lately. maybe i'll stop by the boy's house on my way home to pick up some music to rip...i wonder if it's possible to stop by there and go home?! hee hee. it's homework night, so it should be do-able. we'll see!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

it's been a while, hasn't it?

bobble tam, originally uploaded by pinprick.

i've been busy with work, helping my sister move (she's got a new house! not hers, a rental, but still. it's exciting!), and spending time with a certain you-know-who. i realize i've been remiss in blogging, so here is a brief recap of what's going on. let's start with my grievances, shall we?

the grocery store can officially kiss my ass. i've been trying to make it work with them, and working a few extra days a week there was supposed to help me get back on my feet and save up some money. however, i think the aggrevation of being there is outweighing any monetary benefit. what clinched it for me was two things; one is petty and stupid, but here it is anyhow. when i became assistant manager of the deli, they didn't even tell me. i applied and interviewed for it, then they jerked my chain for a few weeks, then suddenly i was on the schedule as manager and a few days after that they told me i got the job, but sorry! no pay raise. i wasn't officially offered it, and couldn't say "no" to the fact that they weren't going to give me more money. this was irritating enough and i was getting ready to go to the union about it when i got my new job. that sort of made it a moot point, as i would be relinquishing that position as well as my cheese specialist one at the same time. then the other day i notice a big note on this weeks schedule saying "congratulations!" to the woman who got the position after me. granted, she was totally their second choice since she had applied for the job when i did and i got it instead, but STILL. it was kind of a slap in the face. she gets a very public congratulations, i get written on the schedule surreptitously. hmph. the second thing was i called in on monday because my sister was having some issues with the move and needed help with maggie, but when i called out my boss actually told me "i don't see how that's should be my problem." um, okay. here's how it's your problem: I'M NOT COMING IN TO WORK. she tried to bully me into coming in and just said sorry, no. she flat out asked if i still wanted to work with them and i said, "i'm not sure." i am sure, though, and i'm going to go in the week and ask to not be put on the schedule in the future. i'm washing my hands of those jerks, once and for all.

besides that, things are going well. in fact, i'd say that because of that things are going awesome. i'm looking forward to only working four days a week, i'm going to watch maggie a few times a month for my sister, and have more time to do crafty shit and generally hang out with my friends and family. i had an excellent talk with my boyfriend the other day, and so things on that front are also good. we've been doing fun stuff, like long drives and movies. i've been obsessed with reading kelly link's short stories, have been knitting and my job at the mri place is rad. i'm getting more and more hours there, so the loss of my grocery gig won't affect me much. i think it will generally make me less surly and angsty as well. that job doesn't put me in the best mood!

what's new with you?