Monthly Archives: May 2011

Can’t Stop Detoxing

Today was a four cups of tea day.

Normal = three cups of tea.

Which is to say that if prior to yesterday this weekend didn’t qualify as “Indulgent,” after living Memorial Day 2011, it definitely did.

Can’t stop detoxing, really.

In all seriousness, when I hopped on the treadmill this morning, I could practically feel the toxins oozing out of my pores.  It wasn’t a clean sweat (I mean, is it ever, really?).  But, it was definitely a necessary sweat.

Reality.

When I pause to think about it, it’s actually kind of ironic, really.

When I was in college, my version of detoxing after a long weekend or a big night out involved going head-to-head with more McDonalds than is EVER appropriate and a marathon of something on TLC.

You should know that the TV room in the sorority house was always 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house, and the shades were always drawn.  Despite the Creams and Chocolate Brown-motif going on,  it kind of had a Tropical Cave-vibe.

But not in a cool way.

By the time I was done “recovering”?

I didn’t even really feel better.

Just greasier.

Just moodier.

Just different.

Just trying to imagine that today is mind-boggling.

Present day?  Involves a normal, fairly unprocessed breakfast.  An early AM sweat session (running and yoga both do the trick here).  Some Ibuprofen.  A Children’s Chewable.  As much tea as I can drink without feeling slosh-y.

Relax.  Repeat.

Help is on the way.

How do your detox habits today differ from your college habits?

What’s your favorite type of tea?

Mom and Dad ALWAYS used to keep a pitcher of iced tea (unsweetened) in the fridge when we were pups.  Fast-forward to today and if we’re talkin’ soul food, I love a good glass of sweet tea!  Otherwise, my daily tea rotation consists of a mix of Constant Comment, Earl Grey, Green, and Plantation Mint.

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Memorial Day

Kittens, the sun was out today and we dedicated ourselves to getting our daily doses of Vitamin D.  In all seriousness, I barely knew what to do with myself.

We lunched with Brian, who just got back from his year in Israel (!) at The Tin Fish.  What is life, if not for living it around the shores of Lake Calhoun?

We enjoyed a wonderful afternoon weather-wise.  After a morning full of storms, I kind of feel like we earned it.

I also dedicated myself to silently sobbing my eyes out as I reviewed The Pioneer Woman’s Coming Home submissions.  Feel free to sob as well.

As I scrolled through her photos on my DROID, I was absolutely overwhelmed.

Freedom isn’t free.

For all of the wars and armed conflicts that we have sent family members and friends into, we have been absolutely blessed to see all of them come home.

And every time I think about those Gold Star Mothers or I see a flag at half-mast, I think of those who are Called to serve so that we may live without fear.

If you’re currently serving and reading this, then Thank You.

My words are insignificant, compared to what you have already offered up.

And for those of you who are related to someone who is currently serving, Thank You.

You sacrifice every day as well.  Our borders are safe, because you loved them enough to tell them that you would be able to make it.

That you would be able to hold your head up high while they’re away.

Blessings.

As promised I’ve finally managed to draw for giveaway winners!

Our winners are…

For the copy of Nigella Kitchen

#24 Khara

And for the Clip Zip ID…

#8 Jess

Please e-mail your shipping addresses/information to me at tenaciouslyyourskw at gmail dot com so that I can get your prizes to you!

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

Outtakes

We left Crosslake at 9:30 AM  so we could get back to the cities and run the odd pre-Memorial Day errand.

You know, finding peace in organization and all of that.

Not everything I laid eyes upon this weekend was as shocking as the treasure trove we found at the  flea market.  So for now, a few more snaps.

As per the usual, the lake was looking just lovely.  With all of the snow we had last winter and the recent rain, our water level has been extraordinarily high.  The dock wasn’t underwater, but goodness we were close.

Mom brought provisions for an early evening cheese tray.  They’re basically a religion in our family.

For a moment just now, I tried to put myself in the shoes of a cheese hater and attempted to think of one good reason NOT to cheese tray.

I realized there weren’t any.

In a perfect world, Marcus and I would embrace this every day…

In the mix: Bleu Cheese Pecan Dip, Brie, Gouda, Smoked Gouda, White Cheddar. There were also some roasted peppers and an assortment of nuts.

…Let’s be serious.  Post-honeymoon, we probably will 😉

And as promised, a few outfit snaps.  Given that the temperature kept on swinging between 50-60 degrees, sometimes with sun and sometimes without, there was absolutely no place for anything even remotely resembling a tropical print.

We made do.

It wasn’t exactly glamour, but by God, I was comfortable.  And I spent the entirety of the day enjoying Superior Hair.

Thank goodness for small mercies.

Do you regularly embrace a cheese tray?

What are your go-to transitional pieces when the weather is all over the place?

I swear by pashminas and cardigans.  Easy, light layers that I can stuff into my purse are far preferable to bulky pieces I either have to keep on or haul about.

p.s. The giveaway winners will be selected tomorrow!  Thank you ALL for your patience, kittens!

Truly Up North

Kittens, I have committed the last 24 hours to Hardcore Eating Carbs and am very much in a place of peace.

Thank God.

For those of you who are craving zen and relaxation, I most definitely recommend this course of action.

Since the forecast for this weekend was abysmal, I didn’t pack my running clothes.  I figured that a morning off would let me refresh, and if the sun did decide to peek out, I just wanted to be able to relax and bask in it.

Naturally we were blessed with an absolutely rain-free day, which led to LOTS of time spent outside.

The flea market was at the top of our to-do list and because I couldn’t help myself, I had to take a few snaps.

Sometimes you go to the flea market and you find vintage purses…homemade jams…strands of pearls.

Other days you just have to take it all in.

I’ll let you try to make sense of the odd juxtaposition of expired cheese products, tables laden with switchblades AND painted gourds, and as Mom so eloquently put it, “Art that should never be made.”

Right?  Right.

Just when we think that we’ve seen it all, they always manage to out-do themselves.

Post-flea market we did some bog-wrangling with the pontoon (a tiny swamp was trying to float towards our strip of beach), checked out the eagles’ nest (there is a breeding pair on our lake and this year there are two eaglets!) and went to The Wharf for lunch.  I enjoyed a cup of creamy lobster bisque and a walleye sandwich.

I think we can all agree that one isn’t truly Up North until they consume something that has been pulled from the water.  Regardless of where that water actually is.

I know I was meant to draw a giveaway winner today.  But even the thought of putting the information into a spreadsheet seems like WAY too much effort for this lady at the moment.  So expect news tomorrow or on Monday at the latest.

Pinky swear.

Do you ever visit flea markets?  What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen at one?

Friday Food Round-Up!

As you’re reading this, I’m more than happy to report that my current location is somewhere along 169 North.  For you Minnesotan readers, no, we probably haven’t made it to Lake Mille Lacs just yet.

This week’s cooking could be described as frenetic at best.  As per the usual, there were no disappointments, but we definitely rolled with it.

Yes, I realize this recipe should have gone in last week’s round-up.  But I didn’t know we were eating it until just before we cooked it up.

Our modifications: We used parsley instead of mint, dried dill instead of fresh.  We added an entire sauteed onion as well as a carton of chopped up mushrooms that met the same fate.  I’m sure you could use canned mushrooms in this situation and accomplish the same result.  Because steaming artichokes involves a level of fussiness that I don’t hope to achieve for a while yet, we used canned hearts that we quartered.  Yes, this means that for all of the flavor we were meant to be cooking into the artichokes as we steamed them, we back-ended all of it (the red pepper flakes, lemon juice, etc.) into the finished product.  Oh, and we didn’t have fregola, so we did what the recipe instructed and used the box of Israeli Couscous that I’ve been hoarding for a year and a half instead.

Long story short, this is a GREAT, light tasting, filling and extremely forgiving pantry meal.  The entire thing to 30 minutes from start to finish.

And reassuringly, it reincarnated well the next morning topped with a couple of soft fried eggs.

Sunday – Rhubarb Crisp based off of Apple Crisp from How to Cook Everything

Mom and Dad have a couple of mammoth-sized Rhubarb plants in their backyard.  About two weeks ago, Mom and I decided that this year, we’re going to try to squeeze four harvests out of them, which meant that the first cutting was last weekend.  I left with two gallon-bags full of the stuff (sans-leaves, they’re poisonous!) and set about to actioning almost immediately.

I’ve only eaten the stuff in pies with strawberries or in a lovely breakfast cake that Mom makes, but my go-to dessert of choice (which was convenient because we were en route to a potluck BBQ) is crisp.  It’s fast, it’s easy, it tastes fresh and you can make it with basically any fruit you have laying around or in a can.

My only complaint?  Rhubarb has a TON of liquid in it and so when I pulled it out of the oven, I felt like there was a lake of liquid in my crisp.  I’m not entirely sure as to what the best way to remedy this situation would be.

Tuesday – Mexican Lasagna from Nigella Kitchen

Marcus was actually at poker night when I made this so, I cut myself a slice and then topped it with a soft fried egg.  I almost cried, it was so good.

Our modifications: We sort of halved it.  We only used three fajita-sized tortillas (four would have felt excessive, I think), halved the filling and made the sauce as the recipe stated.  Except we DID NOT use ketchup and rather sprinkled a bit of cumin in.  We didn’t put any cheese in the filling (because half the time you don’t notice melted cheese in things when it’s like that) and rather grated some cheese over the top to create a melty, bubbly crust.

Amen.

Wednesday – Stir Fried Chicken with Broccoli or Cauliflower from How to Cook Everything

Kittens, this was an illustrative tale in what happens when you want to make something, pick a recipe that isn’t ACTUALLY what you’re attempting to make, and then you do it anyway.

Mostly I just wanted the sauce, but never really got around to connecting Point A to Point B.

What I wanted = Homemade Lo Mein

This recipe?  Is obviously not homemade lo mein.  And more ironically, we didn’t even use chicken and instead tossed in a carton of mushrooms and a couple of bell peppers.  Tricky.

So we stir fried the mess and then I tossed in the noodles.

MISTAKE.

I mean, it didn’t ruin the dish or anything, but this is definitely a case in which it would have made FAR more sense to just stir fry everything in the sauce and then top the noodles with it.

It was delicious and comforting in the way that I was hoping for it to be, but next time there will most assuredly be an easier way.

As an aside, how lovely do the red pepper flakes and sesame seeds look as garnish?

Did you pick any recipes this week that were totally wrong for what you actually meant to make?

Getting Ready To Go

Last summer we made it up to the cabin four times.

And this summer, two is starting to look more and more like a pretty promising number.  Maybe three.

So, I’ve kind of been looking forward to this weekend for…months, really.

Since I’ve been all helter-skelter this week, on Wednesday afternoon I made the decision to ask my boss if I could leave work a couple of hours early on Friday. 

Leaving early = beating traffic = Marcus and I will be able to make it up to the cabin in-time for dinner.

Yes, that means that in less than 24 hours, I’ll be happily drinking beer and chipping away at a pizza at Zorbaz.  It will probably be BBQ, but it might be Mexican.

That little detail is neither here nor there.

As I was driving home from work earlier this week, I realized that it had just been ages since I did a style post that didn’t involve me actually wearing the clothes.

Consider this a visual packing list of sorts, if you will.

Yes, it’s supposed to rain all weekend.

Yes, we will be in a place where Buffalo Check is an un-ironic apparel choice.

Yes, we’ll be in a place where you’re more likely to see people selling pearls at the flea market than actually wearing them.

But the Trina Turk and Lilly are my optimistic side coming out.  You know, just in-case we actually get some sun and there’s a reason to look festive.

Instead of like we’re in Forks, WA.

Apologies for that last one there.  Sometimes I slay myself.

I”ll try to take a few outfit snaps while we’re up there (The Cabin is a place that lends itself well to wardrobe changes), so that you can get an idea of what my reality actually is when we retreat.

What are your Memorial Day Weekend Plans?

What are your packing essentials when you go to the lake?

p.s. If you’d like to channel that same pizza-Mexican joint-hybrid that we all love, Angela was so kind as to post her re-incarnation of Zorbaz’ Macho Nachoz.

p.s.s. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Wedding Wednesday

Can we talk about wedding brain?

Because kittens, I am just a mess.

Exhibit A: I think I’ve sent e-mails that I actually haven’t sent.

Exhibit B: I tried to brew coffee without water this morning.  Marcus kindly reminded me that in some cultures they just chew the coffee beans.  It wasn’t really helpful information at the time.

Exhibit C: Last weekend, I looked in our utensils drawer and found my granola container.

…?

When I recounted all of this to Bri this morning, she was like, are you seriously thinking about the wedding that much?

The answer to that question is no, I am not.  I couldn’t even begin to tell you what I fill my hours thinking about, even if I tried.

BUT THERE IS JUST SO MUCH VIGILANCE GOING ON.

Snafus

We got all of our silverware and we have 10/12 sets of our everyday dishes.

So last weekend absent any other forseeable “perfect time” to accomplish this task, we did The Great Dish Switch of 2011.

As we were peeling the labels off of our new dishes, Marcus decided to try putting one of our dinner plates in the dishwasher.  You know, since we had to wash them all anyway.

Um, FAIL.

They don’t fit in the lower rack.

I mean, yes, these are mammoth-sized dinner plates.  And by mammoth, I mean the kind that diet books warn you about, because eating ANYTHING off of them will probably lead to instant-weight gain.  EVEN IF IT’S JUST A SALAD.

But still, the moment that I saw that happen, I absolutely understood what people mean when they say they need to lay down.

The floor was the most immediate option, so I took it.

And with very real tears streaming down the sides of my face, I just laid there for a moment of silence, King Tut-style.

The Ketubah

It’s been absolutely ages since we played that rousing round of Guess How Many Paint Samples I Sourced.

Right?  Right.

So let’s talk about the Ketubah.

A couple of weeks ago, we went to go meet with Rani, the artist who is creating our Ketubah so that we could touch-base and get some necessary details sorted out before she started The Final Copy.

When we got to her house, she was trying to decide how to best incorporate all of the colors we had selected.

Obviously taking 90 colors and fashioning them into something coherent is a totally normal thing to do.

There were a couple of really good options going on that day, but we ended up leaving that meeting agreeing to return in a week to see how one more technique would look.

And when we walked into her dining room yet again, we were greeted by this beautiful sight.

To.die.for.

Obviously patience is a virtue for a reason.  Because I can barely stand to look at that snap without letting out a little squeak of joy.

Have you ever experienced wedding brain, pregnancy brain or some variation thereof?

Are you a fan of warm or cool color palettes?

I can’t decide which I prefer more since I definitely wear them both.  For the purposes of this project, I guess I’m a cool palette person for sure.

If you haven’t done so already, DEFINITELY be sure to toss your name in the hat for my giveaway!