Wednesday, June 28, 2006

sixteen empanadas, two avocados and a beer later…

So, last night I made empanadas. I got a recipe out of one of the old everyday food magazines I ordered off of ebay—but I made it with ground turkey instead of pork/beef. So here's what I found out.

  1. they are delish!
  2. these people never bothered to actually make this recipe.
  3. the cilantro that I was growing in my container garden is actually parsely.

See how similar they look? Not identical, mind you, but similar enough to mistake one for the other, considering the circumstances.

Otto’s mom gave us some basil, cilantro and dill, according to the dissolve-in-the-soil pots. The dill died indoors, and so, as far as I was aware, there was cilantro and basil left. And it turns out that some of the pots labeled cilantro, which were actually parsley, turned out to be dill. But at least everything that said basil was basil.

And speaking of basil, our sacrificial basil, as we’re now calling it, since it distracts those damn japanese beetles from the other plants, is really letting those basil plants down lower flourish. We have oodles and oodles of basil. I think we’re going to make pesto without the cheese and freeze it. Mmm hmm. We'd move those sacrificial plants, but it might mean that all of our basil would be attacked, and that's just not a risk I'm willing to take.

Anyhow, back to the empanadas. See how the recipe says it makes eight empanadas? Well, they’re lying. It makes sixteen. I even measured the width of the dough I rolled out on my handy dandy Tupperware mat. And let me tell you, only Mary Poppins herself could have gotten that much filling in such a small space. The second batch of empanadas required a beer--and Carolina Brewery's Summer Wheat is excellent! It wasn't like we could just let the meat mix go to waste!

But at least they were yummy. And if you ever make them, add some cheese, and maybe a little bell pepper too. And if you don’t add cheese, then put salsa on top. And speaking from experience, since Otto and I now have six more cooked to eat and another eight in the freezer, I recommend halving the filling recipe. Or making room in your freezer.

Tonight, there's a new recipe to tackle. AND THERE'S THE BLADE SERIES PREMIERE AT 10/9C. YOU SHOULD WATCH IT. Sterling is working on the show, and it seems like it will be good. And then go see Superman tomorrow. Or at least that's what I'm going to do.

Monday, June 26, 2006

some pretty pictures for monday

no time to blog--barely time to eat! but real's some pictures I took this weekend.

the Mathew's sunset on Saturday night. While this happened I got thirty-four bug bites. I counted. I looked like I had chicken pox or something.

turkey-lurkey, the baby turkey will rescued a few weeks ago. he REALLY likes blueberries. he's tripled in size since they found him, and he sleeps in a cardboard box. he is very very well behaved.

a thirsty turkey-lurkey. he was so cute! and their dog, sophie, guarded him.

a swallowtail on the zinnia...

and all the pretty zinnias.

Friday, June 23, 2006

my ode to crayola.

Oh, how I love thee, paraffin and pigment!

So, yesterday I bought a 96 box of crayons to keep at work and/or to take with me places (incase they get melted—see, I already have one at home). I discovered that they’re like $2.50 cheaper at Walmart than at Michaels—and that’s a lot when they aren’t expensive to begin with.

And on my way home, excited about future crayon use (though I’ve yet to do any since I watched two episodes of LOST with Otto instead) I had a little blast from my past.

I remember almost catching the microwave on fire trying to create one of those mottled multi-color crayon things. Anna and I thought this was a brilliant idea when we were, oh, ten.

I thought about how I hate sharpening crayons and therefore loved the beginning of new school year because it meant I got new ones. I think I’m a fan of the little lip on the top. And I like them to be neat and clean and uniform and I don’t like to tear the paper. Perhaps I’m a little OCD about ‘em.

At one point in my life I had decided that I was going to work for one of two companies—Crayola or Bic. Eventually Prang or Papermate also entered in the picture. I thought I wanted to be an engineer in ink. Turns out that’s 1) a hard thing to be and 2) you’re stuck there, so no field-changing. So I came up with a new plan. I think I’m currently on plan eleventy-billion-and-six, but what-ev.

I still love coloring books. I like the PowerPuff girls best right now.

Green crayons are some of my favorites. If it’s a shade of green and a crayon, I like it.

Gel crayons aren’t so fun, by the by.

And I want to go to Easton, PA, and I want to buy this shirt, too.

And today I’m drawing a sailboat. And this weekend I’m going to take some fun crayon pics, perhaps. The ones I found online inspired me to do so…

Happy weekend, kiddos.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

crayons at lunch.

thanks for reminding us that wednesday is art day, brooke. it was a nice break from being an enginerd.

find a nickel, pick it up, just doesn't have the same ring to it.

Did you know that they're thinking about abolishing the penny? Crazy, eh? They'll just up and do away with it. Apparently it costs more to make a penny than it's worth. They could change the metal used to make the penny, but it wouldn't feel the same and wouldn't be 1) good for vending machines OR 2) able to be picked up when they scan your bags at airports. But you know what? Current pennies don't meet one or two either. Click on the penny for another article.

And know what else? If it happens they're going to count on people to round to the nickel when using cash. But they figure they'll just charge the exact price when paying with credit, debit or check. So the concept of the cent won't go away, just the coin itself. They say it won't cost the average consumer much--maybe $2 a year lost or gained--but that the expense of the penny plus the added three seconds per cash transaction where pennies are used make it justified.

but then there's that pesky problem of melting down all the pennies they collect if they remove them from circulation.
personally, I think we should focus on homelessness and starving people in the US rather than debating the value of the penny, but that's just my two cents.

don't groan, you know you were waiting for me to say it.

Happy First Day of Summer!

Monday, June 19, 2006

guess I'm not getting tarred and feathered....


oh dear. note: this blog post deserves a rating--certainly PG-13. but still.

so, friday I came home and at 3ish began cooking the cake (see irrational fear from last week) and drinking beer. then I began making chicken enchiladas and mexican rice, dinner for me and the four guys. it was good. post dinner and post plenty of beer, we walked to the food lion that's just down the street. a shopping cart, a trek through the woods and a port-a-potty were involved, but it's a long story. we've gone to buy, um, I can't even remember....oh, sugar!

we did not, however, buy beer, though we'd already killed two cases, three tall boys, two forties and a grolsch blonde. before 9pm.

we head home and fifteen minutes later johnny, susan, dan and cory roll up. i make drunken cupcakes while they catch up. we cannot get the boys to stop eating said cupcakes, so I hide them in the entertainment center. someone eats the crispies off the bottom of the oven. it is hilarious.

we eat the german chocolate cake. (see previous post)

the rest of the evening is a tad fuzzy. I do remember insisting that the guys NOT install the TJ Dome Light switch I got Otto OR the steering box skid plate that Dan got him. There were four of them trying to do so at 1215AM. I took pictures.

then I had water and went to bed.

this was all on friday.

saturday morning I wake up to find that johnny and susan have gotten BoJangles--for everyone! hooray! we climb ouut of our various levels of hungover (me=low. otto=high. erik=yikes.), hose off, pick up the keg, attack the japanese beetles that decimated my basil and head to the brewery in Holly Springs for a little hair of the dog. It's AT LEAST 85 degrees in there, and there are easily 100 people standing around, drinking the free beer and immediately sweating it out again. We only get one beer before leaving, deciding that we'd rather pay $2 for beer in an air conditioned location with water, food and seats, then continue drinking the free stuff.

at mitch's tavern (a very cool place everyone should visit) we sit at the table we sat at the night otto and I got together (awwwww....) and it took TWO HOURS to get food. wow. at least it was yummy.

we realize (and I panic) that it is now 4pm and people will arrive in three hours.

so, Carrie went into bossy mode and we everything got done. I was even ready three minutes early.

and then there was the party, which deserves only a little explanation.

there was a keg.
there were tequila shots.
there was music.
there were fake tattoos.

the theme was pirate.
and at, oh, let's say three am, there was drunken banana grilling. and someone applied the tattoo to his ass (in front of EVERYONE) but I opted not to include that picture, so much.

so. much. fun. see?

and that, my friends, is how you throw a birthday party. well, if you're me. :)

Friday, June 16, 2006

emulation and an irrational fear of cake.

Why do people copy other people? I don’t mean the kind of copying that happens accidentally (like Sterling picking up methinks or my new L.O.V.E. of spelling out words for emphasis), I mean outright, blatant copying. Especially of inside jokes. Gah!

Have you ever been to Moe’s? You know, the southwestern grill/burrito place (similar to a chipotle or atomic burrito or whatever) where they say “Welcome to Moe’s!” every time someone walks in the door? Well, we say it all the time. And it’s funny.

And now one of our co-workers is doing it too, but without the oomph, and without understanding what it actually means. Which is annoying. It’s not like it’s a secret or anything.

It makes sense that people copy another out of admiration. Or just plain liking what they do/say/wear/think. But it doesn’t make sense to repeat something that is, essentially, nonsensical, just to do what someone else does. (man, that was an awkward sentence). Yeesh.

Also, I believe I have developed an irrational fear of this little guy.

Otto’s favorite-est cake?
German chocolate. A delectable chocolate cake with a caramel-coconut-pecan frosting.

My least favorite things? mushrooms, mayo, judgmental/hateful people, coconut and pecans.


Good news? I’m leaving work at 1230. Bad news? I’m baking this cake. And it’s complicated. Not un-deity-ly so, but complicated. And I’m going to make it. Because I love Otto. And what says I love you more than spending like two hours baking a cake filled/covered with things that I don’t like so that I won’t eat it? Especially when you're super worried you're going to screw it up...the frosting is a ridiculous labor-intensive half and hour project, all by itself!

Anyhoo. Let the birthday festivities begin! I’m sure I’ll post seventy million pictures, don’t worry!

update: the cake was yummy. even for a coconut-and-pecan-avoiding person like myself. once the guys realized that there was cake to be had, it was promptly eaten, leaving me only a post-eating picture to take. and the only reason there's leftovers is because it's a triple layer with extra frosting. (it isn't supposed to go on the sides, but that's what the birthday boy wanted, so I made more). it wasn't difficult as much as it was tedious/time consuming. but next time I may just use the box-version, because otto informed me that that's how his mom made it, and I didn't need to do all this stiffly-beaten-egg-whites stuff. sigh. he should have told me a little sooner--like BEFORE I was folding in the egg whites. but whatev.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the flora.

hello pretty flowers!

The purple one just started blooming this morning! I’ll take another picture of it when I get home. I loooooove vinca! They’re so pretty. I remember seeing them in Arizona when I was little. They were right under our windows along on side of the house in Tucson.

And Lantana are so much fun. They seem to like any weather, and that plus their colorful blossoms make me happy.

Tomorrow LOADS of people are coming over. L-O-A-D-S. It’s the beginning of Otto’s birthday weekend extravaganza! Hooray!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

saw this while getting gas last night.

this was under the "premium" price at BJ's Warehouse (it's like Sam's). Someone actually typed that out and taped it up there.

wonder how much it cost them, in gas, to drive back to put it up...

Monday, June 12, 2006

m is for monday.

so, since it's a miserable monday I found some pretty sky pics to cheer me up. they're from a few weeks ago....

so anyway, m is for monday.
and mucky outside.
and making the patio cute.
and migraines. definitely migraines.

So, I spent most of the weekend on the patio. We cleaned, we hung hooks, I repotted plants, Otto built a park bench, we bought hanging containers and little folding tables. And now our patio looks AWESOME! Alls I need to do now is buy one more hanging planter from BigLots and a Kmart pot to go in it and plant more basil in it and re-hang the Christmas lights and we’ll be good to go! We’re both REALLY excited about having our patio be a usable space. It will be nice. And especially nice to have for the par-tay this weekend. We took three trips to BigLots, three trips to Kmart and two trips to bed bath and beyond this weekend—yikes! I took some pics at the beginning, but they didn't turn out well, so the first is from the halfway point...

I also went to my first ever Durham Bulls game. We had a good time, but we left before the game was over since it was the TWELVTH INNING. T-w-e-l-v-e innings. There were fourteen total, and they broke a record for the ball park. Oh, and I almost got tarred and feathered by an Alabama man sitting in front of us. I said that I hoped that Edmonton would win at least one game in the Stanley Cup series because it would make for a better show. Saying that at a Durham Bulls game in section 131 was apparently a mistake. And when Otto, Ben and Katie left me to go get beer and hot dogs, I was told that I should probably be tarred and feathered. It was said in good fun, I think...anyhoo.

My migraine has now progressed to a headache—a good sign, seeing as how my head has now hurt to some degree or another for, oh, nine hours, give or take. After the aura started and I took my prescription medicine it took me an hour and half to get ready—and I’d already showered! I was sooooo slow. But I made it to work, and now I can’t wait to go home and go to sleep. It will be glorious!

And if it doesn’t rain like mad, perhaps we’ll have dinner on the patio before watching the next episode of Lost. We just finished White Rabbit! We just started watching Lost a week and a day ago, and we’re really liking it…

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

the nascar extravaganza.

beer + more beer + small grill + sunblock + completely too many "native" people + pringles + cornhole + cameras + loud noises + more beer + pizza + hotdogs stuffed with cheese + pretzels + more beer + the russian mail-order bride in front of us made for a good time.


so, we saw lots of blimps (including the goodyear!) and some signs flying in the sky. apparently it's quite the process to get those signs to fly behind planes. I tried to put in the cute pre-sweating pictures. It was REALLY REALLY hard to get a picture of the cars unless they were on one of their caution laps--i.e., somebody had wrecked, and they had to go slowly until it was cleaned up. I rooted for #41 (the target car) and #11 (because it is my favorite number).

it was terribly, horribly sunny. tip: when you tailgate, bring one of those camping canopy things. TOTALLY would have been worth $20. But you know what? Otto's arms are peeling, and mine aren't! Yay for sunblock and proper moisturizing (though I did get burned).

Oh, and you know what's hilarious? People. And watching them. With their shirts off (the "natives"), or their odd outfits (I often find myself thinking--of all of the things you could have worn, that's what you chose?), or their blatant disregard for their hearing since they didn't wear earpluds, or their extreme devotion to the sport. Ryan went "native" for a while, and kept telling us all that he felt like he was home--his home town is Amarillo, Texas. Hi-larious.

There were American flags EVERYWHERE. And confederate ones too. At the end of race someone even started chanting "U-S-A." I don't know about you, but going to a hot-sweaty-gas-hogging/abusing event full of beer, bare beer bellies, mullets and the little tiny pieces of rubber that get all over your skin really makes me want to celebrate the fact that I'm an American.

Especially when you're packed in like cattle trying to exit the race and people are dumping out their coolers in the grandstands and the woman next to you says, "I hope this isn't pee 'cause it sure feels good!"



It was also great to see people get pumped up as their driver came around. To attend NASCAR properly, you needed a few things: beer, a person without their shirt on in your group, a scantily clad girl/girl wearing inappropriate shoes, earplugs, more beer, someone to root for and someone to root against. The last three, in particular, were the most important. People shook their fist in a little circle when their driver came around the bend, and then flipped off the one they rooted for. Very funny to see the cheer-flip off-cheer-flip off cycle.

So what's the moral of the nascar story? Drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of salty, fatty foods, make friends with the natives so you can play cornhole, wear sensible shoes for walking the trail of tears (the long trek to the speedway from the parking lots, since you're bound to park forever away), don't bother listening to the concerts beforehand because anyone singing sounds like ass since the PA sucks, and remember to close your mouth at the beginning of the race when the cars come around the bend or the inside of your mouth will taste like rubber for the rest of the night.

the end.

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