Thursday, April 30, 2009

Math fail

I was sorting through my stationery last night, and ended up watching the results show for American Idol. They are down to the last five. They had them split into two groups of two, then asked The Guy Everyone Thinks Will Win which group he thought he belonged with. One group was clearly the stronger performances, so he grouped himself with them.


But wait. We already knew there would be a bottom three. So no matter which group he joined, THAT would be the bottom three. But clearly he thought he deserved to be with the stronger performances, because he is The Guy Everyone Thinks Will Win. I mean, the look on everyone's faces made it clear that this was unthinkable. Even the people who were safe were like, "Whaa?" They didn't even look excited, more like, "Are we being punk'd?"



So everyone was all shocked, but if they had thought about it for two seconds, they would have realized that he was in the bottom three. Two people can't constitute the bottom three. Duh.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Loony Luna

Here's what I had for lunch:

Now, I didn't have quite that much Dole Whip. It was $.74, and at $.15 per ounce that puts me at what, just under five ounces. That picture is surely more than five ounces. Darn you, internet!
And lest you think that isn't much food, I ate breakfast and had a yogurt for elevensies, so it's not like I'm starving myself. But I digress. What I really want to talk about is the Luna bar.
It was a Caramel Nut Brownie, according to the package. According to my tastebuds, though, it was a Chocolatey Vitamin Bar. It did not taste like caramel, nuts, or brownies.
Have you noticed that highly fortified foods all have that strange zing to them? I am convinced that it's all the extra vitamins and minerals they shove in there. When you concentrate 25% of the day's vitamin A, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, and molybdenum (I didn't even know there was and RDI for that) with 80% of B1, B2, B3, biotin (again, what?) and pantothenic acid and 100% of vitamin E, B6, folate, and B12--along with bits of other stuff like calcium, vitamin K, etc.--it gets a little chalky.
There has got to be a way to make a more delicious supplement bar. Like real chocolate. And real caramel. I wonder what it would taste like if you crushed a Centrum Once Daily into a Snickers bar. Wait, why bother? Just take the pill and eat the Snickers!


Monday, April 27, 2009

Bonkers

Does anyone remember Bonkers candy? For years--literally, years--I have been trying to remember the name of that candy. I would describe it to people. "You remember that candy where the inside was slightly darker than the outside, and stuff would fall on people in the elevators?"

Amazingly, people didn't know what I was talking about. But last night, I was talking to someone about "Follow that Bird," which he had recently Netflixed, and he remarked how so many people don't know what he's talking about. Or when he mentions Bonkers.

I was beginning to think I had made the whole thing up. But then without even realizing it, this near-stranger solved one of the most irritating mysteries in my life with one sentence. I think I nearly jumped out of my seat I was so excited that he knew about them, too. But then he started talking about how he got them when he was a kid and was so disappointed when nothing fell on him when he ate them, and I knew that I wasn't the only one. These things existed, and other people thought that giant fruit would fall on them!

I know it's still early, but this could be the highlight of my week.




Sunday, April 26, 2009

Don't fall in love...

Tonight I stayed up way too late making a ringtone. A "Copacabana" ring tone. Myxer.com is the greatest link you will find this week. I learned about it from my visiting teachee. For once, visting teaching pays off. Er...no, it is always a great experience!

The takeaway message, though, is that now every time a family member calls, I will hear "She lost her youth and she lost her Tony, now she's lost her mind! At the Copa...Copacabana. The hottest spot north of Havana..." It will be great.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Gotta love that clap beat

It has come to my attention that there are still people in the world who are unfamiliar with this. The embedding has been disabled by request (grrr) so click for a good time. Can't get enough.

Also, you gotta love a musician who refers to their own clothing line in a song.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Your daily dose of random

What the devil is this:

Mystery plant

It doesn't look like a flower. It looks like a root vegetable, like you could yank it up and find a turnip at the bottom. Or even a weed. And yet there are a bunch of these amongst the tulips and pansies. Anyone? Bueller?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Greetings from the future...or the past, depending on where you live

When I call my family in Arizona during Daylight Saving Time (which time I hate, by the way) I like to greet them with "Greetings from the future!" You know. Because they don't switch, so it's an hour behind Utah. Well, I think it's funny.

My very funny, Revalicious friend said she's going to use futureme.org to remind herself in a couple years how miserable it is to be pregnant, lest she get any ideas. I like the idea of emailing yourself in the future. I sent one for my 30th birthday. You should try it. Unless of course you're already 30; you'll have to pick a different milestone.

In other news, I got ranch dressing on my shirt today, which I noticed as soon as I stepped outside the building. Yesterday I had a huge stack of paper towels in my purse, but I took them out this morning to put them in the car. Swell. So I wiped it off with a receipt from the car wash. Pure class.

2,000 words on springtime

One thousand:

Tulips as far as the eye can see

Two thousand:

Tiger tulips

I've been trying to get more sunshine (more than my usual ninety seconds per day) so I've been spending ten or fifteen minutes of my lunch hour outside.

It was funny to take these with my cell phone as there was a guy nearby with a fancy camera with fancy lens. There is plenty of subject matter, that's for sure. I love those tiger-striped tulips. There are tulips as far as the eye can see! I don't love the unpredictability of the weather, but I do like the flowers.

Also, for the record, this entry has nothing to do with Earth Day. Or Administrative Professionals Day. It's just pictures I took during lunch.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bread results

IMG_2719

Here's the results from the spelt bread I made the other day. Doesn't that look delicious?

I've been dissatisfied with posting pictures through Blogger, so this is on Flickr. For as long as I've been on the interwebs, I only just set up a Flickr account. Why? Because I never take photos! I have been trying to take more, though. It really jazzes up the blog. That's what you're really here for, isn't it? No one cares what I have to say.

Today's Public Service Announcement:

If you are eating cereal and watching a commercial wherein they mention a Samsung Propel cell phone, it may sound like "a Samsung from hell." Do not be alarmed. This is normal. Maybe you shouldn't eat Frosted Shredded Mini Spooners for dinner in front of the TV.

No, I would never tell you not to eat cereal for dinner. Cereal for dinner is where it's at. I had cereal for dinner.

I'm scoping out plants and a retaining wall for my flowerbed, so I didn't get home until nearly seven--hence the cereal. I'm thinking some herbs, some vegetables, some flowers. I had to go deposit some checks during lunch, so I was walking across Temple Square, and I'm just amazed by all the tulips. Maybe I'll put some of those in. They had some at Lowes that are already sprouted, so I'd just have to keep them alive long enough to bloom. I might be able to manage that. I tend to kill things.

I'd like to plant a rosebush in front of the window. Growing roses sounds quite complicated--nothing short of ridiculous really--but I figure I'll give it a try. If it dies within a year, I can get a refund.

I'd better hold on to that receipt.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Super delicious

There aren't a lot of commercials that I like, but I have to admit to liking this T-mobile one:



The middle girl reminds me of Catherine Zeta-Jones, but the little one on the right is hilarious. "She think's you're super-delicious." I think it's the blinking.

Cheesy zucchini

I did make pesto chicken pizza last night, as prophesied, but the recipe needs some tweaking. I had a Roma tomato, but it was old and a bit dodgy, so I didn't use it. It really needed the tomato. And I don't even like tomatoes. Plus, there was too much leftover. But never fear. It will come eventually.

I was planning on having chicken salad on crackers as the main course this evening, but I don't have any Club crackers. I've tried it on garlic Triscuits, but I didn't like it as much. So instead, I had hummus with toasted pita and cheesy zucchini. Why? Because I'm white. I always have to laugh when there are SWPL entries that I do like. But I don't like a lot of the things attributed to me, so I guess it's okay.

I love zucchini. It is probably my favoritest green vegetable. Oh, do avocados count? That's my favorite green vegetable. But it's more like a condiment than a vegetable, it's so rich and creamy. Anyway, zucchini is frequently out of season, so I buy Bird's Eye yellow and green squash. It's awesome.

Cheesy zucchini
Zucchini
Butter
Garlic salt
Parmesan cheese
Cheddar cheese

Saute zucchini in a little butter and some garlic salt. With a nonstick pan and the ice on the frozen veggies, you hardly need any fat--I just use a few spritzes of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter...Spray (Fabio, anyone?). If you're using fresh zucchini, by all means go crazy with the butter.

Let it carmelize. Like, good and brown. That's where all the flavor is. And if you use the frozen kind, it's crinkle cut, so you get fun lines. Actually, when I use fresh, I cut it with a garnisher, so I still get the fun lines. Also, it's a lot faster and easier to cut vegetables with a garnisher. A LOT.

See, look at that delicious carmelization:


When it’s ready, add some parmesan cheese. I typically eschew the green bottle (shaky cheese, as I call it) for actual Parmesan cheese, but this is one time when I always go for the shaky cheese. When it toasts, it has a nice flavor, almost nutty. Turn off the heat and add the cheddar. And by cheddar, I mean whatever cheese you have around—cheddar, colby jack, Mexican, Italian, etc. I pretty much always have cheddar around, so that's my default. When the cheese is melted, you’re ready to eat!

I suppose if you wanted, you could use actual garlic in the butter, but I never cook with fresh garlic. It stinks. It makes the whole house stink. It makes me stink. So when I can, I use garlic salt. When I need “real” garlic, I use the jarred garlic you can find in the produce section. It’s much easier to keep a jar of garlic in the fridge than chop up a clove of garlic.

So there's my dinner. Hummus (with olive oil) toasted pita, cheesy zucchini. Yum.

I'm afraid my directions are so random and tangential. It might be because I don't have a real recipe that I'm following. You could use Creole seasoning instead of garlic salt, for instance.

In other news, the battery in the fob for my car alarm/door locks died several weeks ago. I couldn't find the right battery at Sprawlmart, alas. I thought I had seen a Batteries Plus somewhere, so I looked it up. Yeah, it's right by my house. I drive past it at least twice a week. I was in and out in two minutes. So, that's exciting.

I also got my last $500 from my amended taxes (thank you, Obama & Co.) and my DSW rewards certificate. So it's been a pretty good day. I'm going to get a simple little gas grill and a garage door opener. Oh, and pay my condo insurance bill. Don't worry, I'll post a picture of whataever shoes I get. I already know which ones I want. I just hope they're still in stock.

And for dessert, a Cadbury Creme Egg from last year. Don't worry, they've been in the freezer.

Friday, April 17, 2009

American Idol

I will tell you right now that I don't watch American Idol. I'll catch bits here and there, but I don't DVR it (not having a DVR to do it with) and I don't go out of my way to watch it. If there's anything else even remotely interesting on, I'll watch that. If you talk to me about how great Adam or Danny is, I will look at you blankly. If you talk about the blind guy (Scott, right?) or the weird guy with the stupid black nail polish and weird arrangement of "Ring of Fire," I'll be with you. I do know who Allison is. She's got very red hair.

Anyway. I'm just saying I don't know much about American Idol, but I do know that they frequently have a "year you were born" night (thank you, Wikipedia!). It's kind of sad to see how young these people are (do you realize that people born in 1991 can buy tobacco now?! Although I think it's 1990 in Utah. But I digress.). It makes me feel old. But the real fun comes in when you think about what song you would do.

I was born way back in '81, when the hair was high and interest rates were higher. Once again, we turn to Wikipedia, which is an excellent resource for finding a list of all the albums released the year you were born, but not as the sole source for important scholarly research. While it would be cool to do something like Billy Joel's "You're My Home," that doesn't win ballgames. Or singing contests. So I've narrowed it down to REO Speedwagon's "Keep on Loving You" or--and this is what I'm leaning to--Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." Thanks to Rock Band 2, all the kids know that song, as do the slightly older Idol fans from the first time it was popular. It's the perfect setup. Now all I have to do is go on American Idol.

What would you sing from the year you were born?

Also, seriously considering pesto chicken pizza for dinner.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Whole wheat bread


My mom has a great bread recipe that, unfortunately for me, makes five big ol’ loaves. Even halved, I have no need for that much bread. I can’t eat it fast enough. I give some away, but still. It’s too much bread.

So I decided to try and cut it down to one breadmachine-sized loaf. I went to public schools, but my fraction skills are pretty sharp. It turned out great! I would say it is a “1.5 pound” loaf. I don’t know why they measure it by pounds, as weight varies depending on the type of bread. Anywho. My machine is a two-pounder, and the bread was three-quarters high, which—again with the fractions—means a pound and a half. Voila!

Whole wheat bread
1 c warm water
2 T oil
2 T honey
1 t salt
.5 T dough enhancer
4 t vital wheat gluten
2.5-3 c freshly ground flour
.5 T yeast

This is the order for my bread machine. Follow the order and instructions for yours. You could make it by hand…but why bother? That’s why we have machines! I'd give you the instructions for making it regularly, but oh, they're in the kitchen and I'm in the living room.

The best tip I could ever, ever give you is to make sure and measure the oil before the honey, because the honey just slides right out.


As a side note, I don't use wheat generally; I use spelt. It's more nutritious than regular wheat, it has higher protein count, it tastes yummy....It smells downright buttery as it bakes. Can't get enough.

A view of the yard

The planter in front of my house is undoubtably the ugliest in the neighborhood. Because I have done zero with it:

There's a cigarette butt, the lid to what looks like a spray paint canister, washed-out paint, and lots of weeds. Lots.

It was raining quite a bit on Tuesday night, and it sounded like it was falling on the cement border between the grass and the planter. So I grabbed a flashlight, and sure enough, the gutters must be clogged because it was dumping out right in front of my window. But as I shined the flashlight down, I noticed something I'd yet to spot during the daylight:


Tulips! There amongst the weeds, I have three cheery blooms. What a lovely surprise!

In another neighbor's yard, though, you'll find these:

Wait, what is that? Mushrooms!


I've never seen this kind before! There was one cluster on Sunday, and by today, there were tons and tons. There's something almost whimsical about them, like from the depths of some old, eastern European forest. The ones we would get in Arizona were singles, very flat and white.

So there's a little tour of the flora of the complex. There's one picture I have spared you; it's evidence that one of my neighbors is pretty much pond scum. And we all know who it is. Letting your dog roam free is all well and good, but letting your dog poop in front of other people's houses...that's just gross.

The original blogger

I have a book at work that I read occasionally when I've forgotten whatever book I'm currently in the middle of. It's "the best of" Eleanor Roosevelt's "acclaimed" newspaper columns. From 1936 until 1962, right before she died, she wrote a newspaper column every day.

The topics are quite random. According to the back of the book, "A single column can range from small personal passions--such as gardening, being a grandmother, and gossip--to the largest public passions, including civil rights, the depression, the agony of war, the United nations, and the quest for world peace." Eleanor Roosevelt would have made an excellent blogger, I think. Talking about whatever is on her mind with--so far as I can tell--no real qualms about upsetting anyone....

I'm sure her column was rather a big deal then, but it seems quite quaint now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter candy

Since the Easter bunny doesn't visit my house anymore, I bought some half-price candy on Monday. This is undoubtably the best fifty cents I will spend all week:


They are cheap, not real chocolate (notice the "chocolatey"), and so delicious.


For Enrichment tonight, I made these:


They're Ghiradelli Turtle Brownies. I managed not to bust into them last night, much as I would have liked to. I'm sure they'll be delicious, because the Double Chocolate ones certainly were. And when I opened the box, the bag with the brownie mix had a coupon for $1 off two. So...self-perpetuating brownie cycle!

You know what I want? A new camera. A camera with an SD card so I don't need a cord to upload photos. A DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses. With greater control over aperture and shutter speed and focus. With more than 3.2 megapixels. You know. A good camera.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dessert!



Jello in a martini glass is just that much more delicious. And very festive. Whipped cream is a must. With my martini glasses, a four-serving box fills three martini glasses.

I changed the blog name. Maybe all this updating is just a phase, but isn't it fun?

Milestone!

I believe the last post marked my 18th this year, which is as many as I had in all of 2007, and again in 2008. So I'm already way ahead of the game. I could take the whole summer off, and no one could complain about a lack of content. At this rate, I'm going to have to rename it!

I was going through, adding tags to the last few posts, and I swear, they're all food-related. It's kind of funny. I don't love eating. I like cooking, and especially baking, but when it comes down to having an actual dinner, I'm not very good at it. I wind up eating devilled eggs and roasted potatoes. Or a black bean burrito and kettle corn flavored microwave popcorn. (Both recent dinners, incidentally.) It's just not worth the effort.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Excellent news!

Good news, kids. I found my camera cable, so instead of going to bed, like I should have done an hour ago, I am downloading photos. I'm sure there will be all sorts of pic spam in the coming days. Unfortunately, I look much better on the tiny camera screen than when you blow 'em up. If I were a better person, I'd learn to use Photoshop and make myself presentable. But I can't really be bothered to do that in real life, so why should pictures be any different?

But I did my hair for reals on Easter, and felt the need to immortalize it. Because it's that big of a deal when I do my hair. Also, this is one of my favorite dresses.



Coming soon: pictures of my house! Including the red sideboard sideboardish/locker thingy I put together this evening. You won't be disappointed.

Well, you might be. But at least you'll have those lovely curls to keep you company.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Easter!



I know it's a few days early, but I found this fellow while at work, and I'd never remember to post it from home. It's just so cute. It makes me all smiley inside. It's the type of thing you would see on a bowling shirt. If they made Easter-themed bowling shirts.

I like bowling shirts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Since we're talking about food

You may have noticed some redecorating. I've "followed" all the blogs I used to have listed in the sidebar, and have replaced it with a bunch of foodish blogs I enjoy. (So don't feel bad if your name is gone; I'm still reading it. UNLESS YOU DON'T UPDATE.) I'm always on the lookout for a new food blog, because I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. (Last night I finally sat down and cut out the recipes I wanted from the food section of the newspaper that I bring home week after week.) Wow, I'm tangential today.

Anyway. I found one that sounded delicious: Habeas Brulee. Yeah, no. It's one of those dang "artsy food" places. Actual examples:
  • Rosmary Noodles with Pigeon Essences. Words I like in that name: Noodles. With. What the crap is pigeon essences? No, on second thought, I don't want to know.
  • Home-cured Salmon with Black Pepper and Coriander. I don't like fish, and certainly not fish that I home-cured.
  • Pork & Sundried Tomato Cappelletti with Pomegranate Walnut Sauce. What?
  • Chile Lime Sweet Potatoes with Spinach Clove Yogurt. At this point, they're starting to sound made up.
  • Duck Confit and Fig Crostini. Ducks belong in ponds and cartoons. Not in dinner menus.

And it just goes on like that. I'm sure that website is valuable to someone. Just not me. I imagine that the people who like websites like that wear pointy-toed heeled boots to the grocery store, use words like "synergy" and "value-add." They talk about a wine's bouquet and go to dinner at ridiculously late hours. And drive German cars. Their houses have more bathrooms than bedrooms, and they don't clean them themselves. They go to movies that are Important, not entertaining.

And they never dance the Robot when they're home alone on Saturday nights.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

And what are YOU having for lunch?

I forgot my book today. I DEMAND MORE CONTENT. People should update their blogs, two and three times a day for my entertainment. This means YOU!

I have work to do, but I didn't ration it this morning, so I'll be done with it soon. Then what will I do all afternoon? Sigh.

In other news, I have been bringing cereal for lunch. This is a good idea, people. Especially when I bring grownup cereal with fiber and protein. And yesterday I had a banana. It was such a complete meal! But yes, we have no bananas, so today it's just cereal. More food. This is why I don't update more often. I'm talking about what I'm going to have for lunch. It just doesn't get more boring than that.

But while we're talking about food, Smith's recently had a case lot sale, and I bought a case of brownie mix. (Relax, a case only has twelve boxes.) But they were only $1 a box when you bought the case. You can't beat that price. You used to be able to get 'em for $1.08 at Walmart, but that was months ago, before gas prices went up. Of course, gas prices then went down, so I don't see why they're still charging nearly two bucks.

Again. I'm boring. I'm boring me. This is why I don't update. But lookit, this is my second post this week. I'm trying to bring you every fascinating excruciating detail of my life. Like last night, I went to Target to buy Seinfeld on DVD and they didn't have season 7! Or the Office season 4! So I bought Seinfeld season 9 and got a raincheck for the Office.

Oh, the thrills.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Easter things

People. I MISS EASTER BONNETS. And gloves. I have long said I wish I was a strong black woman so I could get away with wearing those crazy big hats to church. I was really in it for the gloves as a kid, I think. Maybe I should buy myself an Easter dress, anyway. It's just not as exciting when you buy new clothes whenever you feel like it, anyway. It is also less exciting to get a movie for Easter--seriously, when did we not get movies in our Easter basket?--when one buys them oneself. But Seinfeld dvds are on sale at Target this week, so methinks I shall obtain a season or two for myself.

I'm wanting to do a festive Easter dinner. Alas, there aren't enough people to feed to justify a ham. I need some children. But I digress. I'm thinking steak, even though I have no idea how to cook it without fire. The George Foreman just doesn't satisfy me. I'm very excited about the vegetables. There will be roasted potatoes and green bean almondine and rolls (not a vegetable.), and is a salad too many vegetables? I have been even less hungry than usual lately (I know, I know, is that even possible?) so I don't really need to go crazy on the side dishes. But I'm telling you, you cook green beans and almonds in enough butter and salt 'em really well, and they are pretty yummy.

And is there such a thing as a traditional Easter dessert? I keep thinking of Jello/Cool-whip pie, but I don't remember actually loving that. And I could make some of Bakerella's Easter pops, but man, that's a lot of work. I'll probably make strawberry jello. BUT. I will pour it into festive stemware instead of the usual bowl. The usual bowl, btw, is one of those white-with-green-flowers numbers from the 70s. You know the ones. Everyone has some somewhere. Oh, it will be a party.

I talk about food a lot for someone who doesn't really feel hungry ever. "I forgot, I don't eat food. Now get out before I love you too much!"