Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I'm still here...

...just very distracted by life. As previously mentioned, I've been out of work for the past few months. Well, the budget was getting a lot tighter than we'd like, and we decided I couldn't hold out for the "dream job" and really needed to start making some money. Thankfully, I was just offered a position yesterday and start next Monday! I'm so excited :) I can't wait to have an income again!!
Because money has been a little tight, my cooking has been pretty uninspired as of late. Last night I made a huge dish of Easy Layered Beans and Rice, a great recipe I got from the CLBB. The recipe is *very* forgiving, and I change it around every time I make it. This time, instead of using a jar of spaghetti sauce, I made my own "Mexican" concoction using a small can of tomato sauce, a drained can of diced tomatoes, a couple chopped chipotles in adobo, and about 2 teaspoons of the adobo sauce. I added some of Penzey's Adobo seasoning and a couple pinches of ground coriander. It turned out wonderfully, as usual! I just love this dish :) I'll try to get the recipe up later today.

Well, I'm off to clean the house. I'm trying to get as much done as I can before I go back to work, as I know I'm going to be too overwhelmed/tired to deal with it next week. Have a happy Wednesday!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Hamburger What?!?

I wasn't expecting R. to be home for dinner last night, so I just planned on eating some of the leftovers that have been accumulating in the fridge. So imagine my surprise when R. walks through the door at 4:30 with a grocery bag!!
Hi honey!, he says. Guess what? I'm making dinner tonight! Aren't you excited?

Um, sure. Let me preface this by saying that R. never cooks. Never. In fact, I don't think he's cooked more than five meals for himself since we moved in together a year and a half ago. Seriously. When I'm out of town, he excitedly goes through all the take-out menus and plans where he's going to order food from while I'm away. There will inevitably be a stop to KFC somewhere in there, you can be sure of it.

However, wanting to encourage him, I responded with enthusiasm, hugs, and lots of "I really appreciate that." He quickly shuffled me out of the kitchen because he was "making a surprise." At this point, I'm afraid. I go in the other room and secretly call my sister.

Me (whispering): Hey sis, R's making dinner for us tonight.
Amber: Oh my God, he is? Are you in a fight? Did he do something wrong? Wait! What's he making??
Me (still whispering): I don't know... He said it was a surprise...
Amber (groaning): Ooooh no! Good luck...
So, what graced the table a la Chef R.? Hamburger Helper. Yes, that's right. Hamburger Helper's Cheeseburger Macaroni something or other. No salad, no veg. Just a heaping plate of HH. It was pretty awful - overly salty with mushy noodles and not a lot of flavor. Still, I put on my brave girl face and dug in. I didn't want R. to think I didn't like/appreciate what he had done. But then I notice that R. stopped eating. When I asked him what was wrong, he made kind of a grimace and said, "It's not as good as I remember it... I think I like your cooking better." Poor guy! He tried so hard! I told him that we could probably find a really easy recipe that would be similar to this kind of food but would have more flavor, etc. And it would be un-complicated enough for him to try, if he wanted. He seemed to agree to that. We tossed the rest of dinner and he took me to Qdoba for chicken quesadillas instead. Yum!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Life, a wedding, and other distractions

So, obviously I've been gone for awhile. I've been trying to get back here and catch up on some blogging, but life has just been getting in the way. First off, my little sisterAmber got married last weekend. As I've mentioned before, my sweet sister is a bit lacking in the organization department, so much of the past few weeks has involved me trying to think of everything she could possibly need to have planned/decided, finding out she hadn't done it yet, then doing it myself (with her dragging her feet the whole way... "I'm not worried about the ceremony music, we'll just play something nice..."). Yeah, it was stressful, to say the least. On top of all that, I had 200 wedding favors to make (involving assembling 200 tiny boxes, filling each with tissue paper and candy, and topping each box with a tiny bow I made from teeny tiny ribbon) and writing two speeches. The first speech was for her during her wedding ceremony. See, we had a little sister that passed away when we were kids (Amber and I were 9 and 10, my sister that passed away was 7). Amber wanted to make my sister an honorary bridesmaid, so we had a bridesmaid's bouquet, candles, and a picture of our sister on the mantle near where I was standing. I gave a speech about how we wished she could be there and how happy she would be for Amber and Bryan. It was, I think, the most difficult thing I have *ever* done. I was bawling, the other bridesmaids were all sobbing, and my poor dad just broke down. It was really beautiful, though, and it meant a lot to everyone that mattered. Second speech wasn't so bad - just the Maid of Honor speech for the wedding reception. That one went really well - a little humor, a few anecdotes about Amber when we were growing up - and she really liked it. So all in all, the wedding really came together. My sister looked like a princess and everyone had a fantastic time - what more could you ask for?

So while all of that was going on, I've been also trying to find a job. Three months ago, I left a job that was treating me really badly and I was really unhappy at. I really thought I'd find something else right away, but I'm still looking... I've been mooching off of R. since my savings had pretty much dwindled, and it's starting to really wear on both of us. I'm hoping something comes up soon...

So, enough with this boring life stuff. My next post will be totally food-focused (I promise!)

Thanks for sticking around... Tune in tomorrow for a recap of what's been going on in my kitchen :)