Friday Food Round-Up!

We will not whip out the matzo pizza until this weekend, which I count as a massive personal victory.  Not because matzo pizza is bad (actually it’s quite good in a Lunchable Pizza Kit sort of way), but because there are no leftovers where matzo pizza is concerned and it’s fairly nutritionally void.

Wednesday – Stacked Jalapeno-Cheese Enchiladas to The Homesick Texan’s Family Table

Wednesday

Cruel realities of Passover: My plate was the prettier of the two.  I can only imagine what sort of structural support this meal might enjoy if made properly with corn tortillas instead of…matzo sheets.

However, after two nights of roasted meat and potatoes, this was a bright way to change up our meals.  The salsa verde recipe made so much sauce, that I actually saved a small container to make more enchiladas if the mood strikes before the holiday is over.

Thursday – Pollo Asado with German Potato and Green Bean Salad from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table

Thursday

Y’all know I cannot resist a recipe that involves roasting chicken.  Our only modification to the recipe (beyond using chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken) is that I browned the chicken thighs on both sides prior to popping them into the oven.  How nice.

The salad situation was just lovely.  I am a massive potato salad fan, and I don’t know that I’ve ever tried one that used green beans as well.  Throw in some dill and you have a substantial side dish that feels a bit lighter.

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Derby Hats

Our tickets are being shipped, we leave for Kentucky in two weeks, my black dress has returned from the tailor.

Last weekend the hats arrived.  That gold hat was ordered from Nordstrom’s, the white hat my mother found in England for a garden wedding that she and Dad attended last summer.  The black woven straw hat was ordered from Target.com.

The makings of a new hobby?  Possibly.

Hats

Well, the gold hat was beautiful, but entirely disappointing.  I loved the ribbons, but the brim seemed…short?  If that is a thing that can be possible.  Looking at the hat on my head and comparing it to the photo of the hat on the model, I feel like a victim of egregious photoshopping.

The white hat had such a lovely wide brim and the net was sort of exciting but it did not work at all with my dress.  This probably should not have been shocking because my dress is black, but I thought maybe the color blocking thing could work for me.  Except when it failed.

Trials, I know.

You know that thing where you have a picture in your head of how something is supposed to look and nothing in real life actually translates?  This is that.  I don’t want to say that the concept I’m working off of is highly specific, but I certainly haven’t seen it in the pages and pages of hats I’ve pored through so far.

So one of my projects this weekend will be a trek to the craft store so that I can source ribbons and action the final version using that $15 black hat from Target as a base.  Because we all know how successful my life as a crafter is.

If there was ever a time to light a candle kittens, this is it.

 

Joining Up with the B+ Life Podcast.

I know.  I know y’all are wondering, Kat, where is this going.

Me too.  So please bear with me, kittens.

Approximately four years ago, I started reading Sarah’s blog.  Three or so years ago, when Lindsay still lived in D.C., I got to pop off for brunch with Sarah while I was out on a visit.  I feel like when you get picked up from a metro station by a complete stranger in suburban Virginia you are officially friends for life because you have both officially escaped murder/kidnapping/mugging/The Worst Case Scenario.

But, like I said, Sarah picked me up at the metro station and as we worked our way through mountains of breakfast potatoes and eggs (the best) we talked about EVERYTHING.  She is just as wonderful in person as she is on her blog, y’all.  Over the years, our friendship has grown as have our writing collaborations – she is the fearless ringleader of our little Project Reverb team.

I was so honored when Sarah asked me to join her stable of recovering perfectionists trying their hardest to live a B+ life by recording a podcast with her.  Prior to the first week of April, I had never even listened to a podcast, much less thought about whether or not I would ever appear on one!

I hope that you’ll click here to listen.  If for no other reason than the fact that you want to hear what I sound like in real life.  I mean, maybe you also want to know about the moment I first realized as an eight year old that if everything went perfectly, my life would be great!  Since you know how we would do this if WE were meeting in real life, pour yourself a glass of wine, crack open a LaCroix or brew yourself a mug of tea to drink while you listen!

Reverb 14 | April | Showers

#reverb14 is the opportunity for us to reflect and project throughout 2014.   Each month, Meredith, Sarah and I will be posting on a new prompt.  Join us by writing, or join us by reading. No matter what you choose, come with us.

April Showers Bring May Flowers: We’ve had a long, wet, cold winter here and we’re ready for spring.  Show us a photo of your “April showers” and tell us all about it.”

There are so many photos I should have taken this winter.  Of the glacier that formed on our patio table.  Of the snow banks at the edge of our driveway that towered above my head.  Of the solid sheets of ice that covered our roads.

In Minnesota, April showers don’t bring May flowers.  April showers mean OH HEY WINTER IS OVER.  YOU ONLY HAVE TO SPEND 120 DAYS BELOW 32 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT THERE IS NO 121st DAY.  THE SNOW HAS MELTED.

HAVE YOU HEARD?  IT’S SAFE TO GO OUTSIDE AGAIN.

I think in most states, you would say something along the lines of THE SNOW IS NEVER COMING BACK.  Except for the part where we regularly get snow through the first week in May.  Case-in-point: the forecast is currently showing a 4″ snowfall this week.

HOW MAGICAL.

But last week, we had a week of true spring.  The temperatures danced in the 50s and 60s.  I ran outside and then I rearranged my rest days so that I could run outside some more.  When the temperature crept up to 70, I sat on a West facing porch for two hours before sunset so I could get…more sun.

Woolly Bear

One day while I was out on my loop, I saw this Woolly Bear cruising across the pavement and we all know the sort of imminent doom that accompanies that.  That little buddy’s path was not moving toward success.

We all know that I am a recreational wildlife rescuer (turtles, caterpillars and dragonflies only), so of course I had to pluck him up and bring him to the least brown patch of grass I could locate along the route.  That right there friends, is my hope for the spring.  This is the first Woolly Bear.  These are the first buds on the trees.  These are the first sunny days.

There will be more of all of these glorious, warm, life-giving things and less of everything else.

Link Rodeo

This is easily the most eclectic potpourri of links I have managed to assemble.  Happy reading.

From NPR: Why Women Don’t Ask For More Money

From Popular Mechanics: How Many People Does It Take to Colonize Another Star System?

From Slate: You’re Not As Busy As You Say You Are

From The Atlantic: The Overprotected Kid

From the Washingtonian: How Not to Get Your Kid into Kindergarten

From PolicyMic: The Creepy Way Fathers Across the Country Are Controlling Their Daughters’ Virginity

From Wired: The Fierce Battle for the Soul of Bitcoin

From the NYT: With Positions to Fill, Employers Wait for Perfection

From Grub Street: Hardcore Coddling: How Eleven Madison Park Modernized Elite, Old-School Service

Friday Food Round-Up!

As I mentioned last week, Lisa Fain (The Homesick Texan) released a new cookbook.  Of course we planned the majority of our menu around that.  Despite the fact that it is Passover next week, I’ll probably do my best to cobble together a few Kosher for Passover meals out of that book as well.  It’s a healthy challenge.

Monday – Shrimp with Cream Sauce over Rice, Caesar Salad

I know.  No photo.  And MORE shrimp.

Mom and Dad were in Europe for the last two weeks (hence the ribs and the shrimp).  Marcus went to the airport to pick them up, I made this meal, which is probably the meal that Mom would have made for him anyway if they had been home in the first place.

By the time we sat down to eat, it was probably 8:30.  Mom was so jetlagged that she initially only served herself rice and no shrimp at all.  Meanwhile, Marcus and I were eating shrimp like they were going out of style.

Tuesday – Cowboy Beans, Spanish Rice and Spicy Pea Salad from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table

Tuesday

I can honestly say that I’m not sure I’ve ever cooked using dried pinto beans before.  I am, however, totally positive that I have never used jerky as an ingredient prior to this meal.  We used turkey jerky in the beans so that we could avoid the beef-dairy faceoff at dinner time.  When I saw that the recipe called for this special ingredient, I had an idea of how the beans would turn out, but no real clue about the end result.  If you are thinking about making these beans, they’re good the first night but they are even better the second day – give them a chance to sit and let the flavors mingle.

Spicy Pea Salad?  Is apparently some sort of typical Texan dish.  It is certainly not the highlight of any Tex-Mex/Southwestern/BBQ joint I’ve ever been to, so this was the first time I ever got to try it.  Marcus compared it to elote and deemed it Good.

Wednesday – Frito Salad from The Homesick Texan

Wednesday

Can we all agree that this picture is clear evidence of the many reasons that I do not photo my salads on a regular basis?

I like to think that we fairly faithfully followed Lisa’s instructions for this salad.  And then I incorporated the pea salad, rice and beans from Tuesday’s dinner because that is what salads are for.  Presto.

Another Week in Suburbia

Today, I spent two hours sitting in the sun after work.  We’ve had a handful of nice days over the past few weeks, but this was the first Spring day that qualified as Glorious.  I got my Vitamin D, and during that time, I am fairly certain I saw every single small dog in the neighborhood go out for a walk.  Which is to say nothing of the neighborhood bikers and the two pups on skateboards who intended to board their way up a very steep hill.  All of it was very idyllic.  We will not see another 70 degree temperature for another week, but God it is so good to know that it is in fact possible to be warm in this state.

A few weekends ago, Marcus and I were invited to a Scotch tasting with friends.  We spent several hours pondering the different whisky making regions of Scotland, tasting and trying to match the different drinks to the different sets of flavor profiles.

I got 2/5 which was pretty much horrible and to be entirely expected.  I like to think that what I lacked in knowledge, I made up for in enthusiasm.  So I was not deterred from scribbling down a copious number of tasting notes because shockingly enough even to me, there were a few bottles that I really enjoyed.

I had Marcus swing by the store on his way home from work to source one for me.  As a fair full-disclosure, I told him which varieties I had enjoyed and instructed him to select the cheapest one.  Again, we are not experts, people.

He delivered this very serious looking container.

Scotch

So now that is in our house.  I’ve already done away with the box-thing because it didn’t really seem like the sort of thing that you’re actually meant to keep.  Between the Scotch, the kombucha and the master cleanse-in-a-bottle I grabbed last weekend, I think I’ve hit the trifecta of costly/somewhat pointless drinks.

Finally, while I was busy spending all of our life savings at Target, I discovered that they had my favorite candles on sale.

Candles

They’re not especially fancy (translation: $30 anthropologie candles they are not), but they smell delicious, and they are excellent hostess/thank you/emergency birthday gifts.

Once I carted them in the door, I took a moment to think about the fact that I am now at a place in my life where it makes any sort of sense to have a stash of candles.  We are really through the looking glass on that one.