Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Weird Day

Today was one of those weird days.
Work wasn't bad. I actually got quite a bit done. We have 2 rather large conventions headed our way between now and Thanksgiving, and there are lots of little details to get nailed down. I got a good headstart on several things today.
From a friend perspective, it was a mixed bag. On the one hand, my friend Di got good news about employment for the fall, which is a relief of monumental proportions.
On the other hand, my friend Tonya was dealing with a very difficult first summer camp situation with her daughter. Although it did not directly involve me, I felt really awful for both of them and it occupied my thoughts for the majority of the day.
On an unrelated note, my nephew's 17th birthday is coming up Wednesday. I feel very old. Dev tries to convince me that other people's aging shouldn't affect my perception of my own, but when you remember CLEARLY the BIRTH of someone, you can't help but feel old when they are no longer a child.
Hopefully this weekend I can relax and put some things in perspective. Tonya and I are headed up to Salida for a weekend retreat. Dev, faced with the daunting option of eating ramen noodles for 3 days, has opted to go visit his parents while I'm gone. I kinda feel better knowing he'll have stuff to do and won't be sitting at home, bored. I imagine there will be at least one 4 wheeler excursion, and possibly some fishing. As for Tonya and myself, I'm expecting a little adventure (possibly some rafting) but mostly good company and long uninterrupted spans of time for talking...or just being quiet.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Another Lovely Sunday Picnic...

Dev's parents have been visiting us this weekend, so tonight we all took a picnic supper to Cole Park. The entertainment was provided by Katie Moffatt and Rosie Florez. They were a quite energetic duo from Texas. Here's a pic of Dev and his parents at our picnic...
And here's a pick of Rosie Florez entertaining the kids in the audience with a honky tonk song about hot dogs...


Oh- and here's what Dev and his dad were doing while his mom and I were making the picnic....

Monday, July 23, 2007

Santa Fe

So this weekend, Dev and I took off for Santa Fe. We were meeting Tonya and Shane for brunch and a day of shopping and playing tourist. Tonya has posted her photos of the weekend here. I posted mine here.
I'm also going to post some of them on this blog.
Here we are as we loaded up the truck and headed out on the open road....


Dev seems to get a little irritated when I pull out the camera to take a pic. So here's the way he tries to discourage me from doing this....




But he's so cute...it won't work.
So we drove in and met Tonya, Shane and Sarah at Harry's Roadhouse for brunch. Here's what it looks like:

I can't begin to tell you how outrageously good the food was here. And it was pretty inexpensive as well. All 5 of us ate brunch for about $50.00. I wish I had thought to take a pic of my food, but I didn't. I had chilaquiles with fried eggs. Dev had shrimp and grits. Both of us were very happy with our food.
After brunch we headed to Jackelope, which is, according to Tonya, like Pier One, only better and mostly outside. It had all kinds of southwestern furniture and knicknacks. It even has a live glass blowing demonstration. The best thing about it to me, however, was the prairie dog colony that lives in the middle of the place. Here is my favorite pic, but there are more on my flickr page.

After checking in to the hotel, we headed down to the plaza for some shopping. You can check out the flickr page for those pics. Most of them are Dev hiding from the camera again.
I'd love to go back when we have more time to run around- and when I remember to take pics of the outrageous food.






Wednesday, July 18, 2007

No Bowling.... :(

We didn't go bowling tonight. I think everyone had a hectic day. I know I sat in meetings ALL DAY LONG. My first one started at 9:30am and ended around noon, then the next one started at 1:15pm and lasted til 4:30pm. That's a long time to be sittin' and listenin'. I feel pretty brain dead.
Dev is studying for his Statistics final. Tomorrow is the last day of his summer class. So I can't even bug him. I'm bored.
We might be going to Santa Fe this weekend. That would be fun. Tonya and Shane used to live there, and they are going, so we would have built in tour guides. I know there is a Trader Joe's there. I think that's a must see.
I'll give a full report, no matter what happens. I'll also report on my trip to Denver Friday- not going to be too exciting cuz I'm going for a meeting.
I guess I'll go watch foodtv for a while.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Being Outside...

Is nice. Especially when it is hot inside. Dev and I are sitting at our little table out on the balcony, watching the sunlight change colors as it shines on the wall of the Valley Health and Fitness Center. Not exactly idyllic, but it will have to do for now.
I just got finished blogging about my dinner over at the new blog, so you should go check it out. I'm gonna have to seriously think about how to divide my stuff up between my two blogs. So much of what I do is food related, but I don't want to stop posting to this site. I'm sure it will work itself out.
Tomorrow is bowling night, so there will be no food to blog about. Perhaps I will remember to take the camera, so I can blog about bowling.
Then there's always Thursday.....

Monday, July 16, 2007

It's Alive......

The new cooking blog has been launched! We haven't fancied up the place yet, but there are a few posts to read (I'm working on another right now)....
So go read it!

The name of the blog is 1700milesofcooking and it's sure to be a very interesting read.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Movie Night

After the chicken parm was safely out of the oven, Dev and I headed over to Tonya and Shane's for our first Movie Night.


We ate a lovely dinner, then decided to go play in the park to make room for dessert. After watching Sarah play with the other kids on the merry go round, we decided to wander over to the tennis courts. Dev agreed to hit the ball around with Sarah for a while. I know Tonya took several pics of this match up. I only took one.

This is a Marla Hooch shot of Dev. We all had a good time standing around talking and chasing tennis balls everywhere.

We returned to the house to eat chocolate cake and watch a movie. Tonya had selected "Farmer Astronaut" (or is it "Astronaut Farmer?"). Anyway, whichever it is, the movie was pretty good. I mean some of it was unbelievable, not only from a technical standpoint (not that I'm a science person- but I'd think freefalling through the earth's atmosphere with only a little parachute and landing on the solid ground- not in the water- would bang a person up a little more), but also from an emotional standpoint. If my husband built a rocket in the garage, fine, but when he pulls the kids out of school for 5 weeks to be his FLIGHT CREW, I think I might speak up and call the padded room police. Not to mention spending our life savings on rocket fuel.....

But it was just a movie, and overall very entertaining. Bruce Willis didn't even crawl all over my last nerve, and that's saying something. And it did have a pretty decent message about refusing to give up on your dreams. AND if you pay attention in pre-algebra class, you can, at 15, know everything you need to be able to launch a rocket into the earth's atmosphere- who knew?


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Waiting....

Man, it smells good in here. The tomatoes and onions and garlic are roasting away in the oven, waiting to be whizzed around in the food processor with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I also went ahead and pounded those chicken breasts flat (very very therapeutic- I might do that to all cuts of meat just to relieve some stress). As soon as the tomatoes are done I will pan fry the cutlets and begin the assembly of my chicken parmesan. If this doesn't turn out I will be highly upset.
50 minutes is a long time to wait. Especially when it smells like it does right now. I must be strong......

Playing Around

I'm playing around with my blog while Devin makes his roasted tomato sauce for my parmesan tonight. I am not allowed to watch the process. Dev says it is one of his "wooing" recipes. Maybe one day soon I'll post a list of these recipes. I've tried to tell him I didn't move 2000 miles away from home because of his recipes, but he doesn't seem convinced.


Anyway, I've decided to play with the picture upload features on blogger. I can't seem to figure out how to get the pics to appear within the post, instead of at the top of the post. Let me experiment with something....
Okay, hey maybe I figured it out. Great looking kabobs, huh? I actually posted these a while back. I just needed a pic to see if I was on the right track, and it looks like I am!!! Yay me!

Cleaning out the Camera

I promised in a previous post to put the pics from the last houseparty at Tonya and Shane's on my flickr page. I finally managed to do so. Feel free to mozey on over and check them out.
It was a bittersweet event to be sure, but I think overall the pros outweighed the cons when it came to moving into town.

More Saturday Fun!

Here is the progress Dev is making on the cheese for my chicken parmesan.
One pic is of a bag of fresh ricotta hanging from my kitchen ceiling...
The other is the mozzarella curding in the pot, waiting to be squeezed and dried.

Not bad, huh?

Saturday, Lovely Saturday

Our morning started with french toast. Any morning that starts with french toast can't be bad. After a quick shower, it was time for our weekly bike ride to the farmers market.
This week's purchases included fresh peaches and some really odd looking round zucchini. The peaches are bound for the grill, then a topping of vanilla ice cream. The zucchini will probably end up in a stir fry of sweet corn and fresh tomato.
Dev has been standing out on the balcony with binoculars, watching the planes do stunts at the Alamosa Fly In. We can see pretty well from our apartment.
He has also been busy making home made ricotta and mozzarella(sp) cheeses for my chicken parmesan recipe. We are taking it over to Tonya and Shane's for movie night. I hope it turns out as good as it sounds like it will. My goal is my version of the ultimate chicken parmesan. I'm planning to pound the chicken breasts out like cutlets, bread them in panko, pan fry them to crisp them up, layer them with fresh basil leaves, coat them with fresh ricotta mixed with lemon zest and black pepper, then slather them in home made roasted tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese- then dump the whole thing over angel hair pasta. Wish me luck! I'll post the pics of the steps and the final result here tomorrow!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New Hairdo





So I went and had my hair cut today. I haven't had a real hair cut in probably more than 10 years.


I went in thinking I wanted it cut, but not necessarily drastic. The stylist and I talked for about 10 minutes about what I really wanted. Then she said if I really wanted to make a change, why not really make it count. She told me if I cut 10" off the length of my hair, it could be donated to Locks of Love. Then it would be used to make wigs for kids who have cancer. So I agreed. 10 seconds later I had no hair.


I suppose it isn't horrible. But it will take a while to get used to. I will probably like it after it grows out a bit.


Plus- it looks bad in these pics because I had to walk through 2 construction zones to get back to work, and our building isn't air conditioned, so I sat at my desk and sweated for an hour and a half before quittin' time.


Well, anyway, it's done and there's nothing I can do about it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Good Day

I have had a very good day.

Work was productive. I got my entire desk and cube re-organized. I made sales calls and even got positive feedback from a potential group tour!

Now I'm sitting in the living room, propped on the couch, feeling the nice cool breeze coming in the window after having eaten the kick-ass turkey burgers Dev fixed for dinner, and listening to "White Lines" by Duran Duran (turned way up on the headphones). Not bad for a Tuesday.

I'm feeling so blissed out I might paint my toenails.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Zzzzzzzzzzzz

Zzzzzzzzzzzz.....

After suffering another bout of insomnia last night, I am now sleeping sitting up at my desk. I am so freakin' tired! I feel like I just ate a giant bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy, only I didn't. I had Pad Thai (with tofu) for lunch, and didn't even eat a fourth of it. Drinking lots of cold water hasn't perked me up, neither did the white chocolate macadamia nut cookie my co-worker Phil offered me earlier. The sad thing is, once I get home and decide it's bedtime, I won't be sleepy anymore. WHY DOES MY BODY HATE ME???

What I Do When I'm Not Sleeping...

Well, on this particular evening while I'm not sleeping I'm geeking out. I did a complete overhaul on my blog. I changed the template, color scheme- the whole enchilada. I even added a hidden counter so I can see how many people don't read this stuff.
I got an email from my friend Diane today, proposing a new blog project. She would like to launch a tag-team type food blog. We are both amateur foodies, and we've spent many long summer days cooking up some not so shabby food. Now that we are 2,000 miles apart, the only way we can still cook together is over the wonderful world wide web.
I think we should do it. It's in very preliminary stages right now- we haven't got a title, much less an actual game plan. Not that those kind of things have stopped us in the past. If it happens, I'll be sure to link it here. I've been thinking of trying to install a blog roll anyway. I have several friends with great blogs and I'd like to link them to mine.
I'll let you know what happens....

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Picnicking(sp) and Blogging

I just got back from the Sundays at Six concert at Cole Park. Dev and I had a pretty good time, in spite of the rain. I have just submitted a piece on it to the Alamosa blog, so hopefully pretty soon you can read the details. I also submitted a piece on the opening of the Farmers Market. My Sunday has been disgustingly productive.

My Weekend

My weekend was quite the mixed bag of experiences. I'm not back to 100% after my brush with gastro-intestinal meltdown. So I had some really good moments and some not so good moments.
The not so good moments were usually when my tummy didn't feel so good and I needed to lay down. This happened roughly twice a day. I feel so much better than I did before, but I am looking forward to a time when I don't have weird crampy feelings going on in the background all the time.

Luckily the good moments outnumbered the bad stuff by a landslide.

Friday, Dev and I went to visit Tonya and Shane at their new house. We were mightily impressed. We were most taken by the back yard, which actually is big enough to plant a garden. We already know where we'd put everything! I can't wait to see what Tonya and Shane do with it. We hung out with them til around 9pm, then came home to vegitate on the couch for the remainder of the evening.

Saturday was the first occurence of the Farmers' Market. Dev and I got up, ate breakfast and rode our bikes down to the corner of State and Main Streets. After stopping into Milagros for a cup of coffee, we headed out to the market. There was not a lot of produce there yet, because our growing season is just kicking into high gear. But I did manage to buy 2 beautiful purple onions that still had the tops on them from the field, and several big red tomatoes.

After the market, we ran out to WalMart while it was still early enough to avoid the Darwinian Stew that always invades WalMart on Saturdays. We were in search of camping gear (thinking we might head out to Hooper to try out the tent). All we managed to find was a camp chair for Dev. We are still looking for a folding camp table and a decent camp lantern.

Lunch was left over pizza from Friday night.

Dev felt inspired and dug out his telescope. We fiddled with that for a little while- lots of dials and gizmos to deal with on that thing. It will be cool to take it with us when we do get to go camping.

Dev decided after that he'd like to to take a look at Fort Garland. So we drove out and crawled around for an hour or two. I really like Fort Garland. You get a real feel for what it would be like to live there. Lots of neat things happened there. I recommend a trip out there. But make sure you have enough time to go slowly and read the material with the exhibits. You will learn an awful lot about Colorado history.

So I had these 2 poblano peppers in my refrigerator that I really needed to use. When I think of poblanos, I think of stuffed peppers, so I decided that was going to be dinner. But I also decided that I was not going to look up a recipe and have to go to the store again. My goal was to come up with a totally original stuffing recipe, designed to use up the leftovers in my fridge. So here's what I came up with......

I had one piece of rotisserie chicken left, so I finely minced the meat and threw it in a bowl. After that, Dev sauteed half an onion and a clove of garlic and threw that in with the chicken. I had a little bowl of whole wheat couscous left over from something, so that went in as well. A handful of frozen corn suffered the same fate. I added half a can of petite diced tomatoes, a handful of feta cheese and about 1/2 cup of grated cheddar. Then I mixed it up and added a little of the leftover tomato juice to make it moist enough to bind together. Dev halved the poblanos, scooped out the seeds and trimmed the veins inside. I packed the stuffing in the peppers and sprinkled on a little extra cheddar. They baked on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 1/2 hour. The whole point of this exercise (other than using up leftovers) was to see if you could stuff the peppers without going through the roasting/skinning process- cuz that's just no fun. I am happy to report that this was a delicious. The peppers themselves were soft on the inside, but because the skin was still intact, it had some texture. I will definitely do this again, and I will also probably never roast/skin the peppers first.

Sundays are always lazy days around our house. Right now, we are watching Nigella Lawson on Foodtv (a Sunday tradition). We had a great breakfast of ham/cheddar rosti. I had never tried it before, but I've seen recipes in magazines quite frequently for the past few months. It's basically a hybrid of an omelet and a potato pancake. I consider it a technique more than a recipe, because once you know how it all fits together, you can use anything you want in it. The only necessary ingredients are eggs, frozen hashbrowns and cheese. I started with one beaten egg in the bottom of a large bowl. I added about a cup (I rarely measure stuff- but I probably should) of shredded ham (I used lunchmeat ham from my crisper drawer), diced purple onion (about a quarter of it- the recipe called for shallot, but so what?), about a teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary, a dash of salt and pepper, and a little shredded cheddar. I mixed that all up and added about 3 handfuls of frozen shredded hashbrowns. I heated up a tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet and patted the potato egg mixture all over the bottom. I left it alone over medium heat for 6 minutes. After that, I put a plate over the skillet and inverted the pancake onto the plate (ok I admit I had Dev do this part). I wiped out the pan, added a little more oil and slid the pancake back in. After another 6 minutes of leaving it alone, I slid it onto a plate and that was it! I served it with thick slices of farmers' market tomato. It was a perfect breakfast! The cool thing is you can add anything to this. I would like to do a veggie version with green peppers or you could use asparagus. Anything you can chop up will work.

This afternoon we are headed to the park for a summer concert. I am taking some cheese fondue with the customary dippers (bread pieces, cooked potato, summer sausage, pears) and a tomato basil filo tart. I can't wait to kick back in the park, listening to mariachi music and gnoshing on yummie finger food. It really doesn't get much better than good music, good food and good friends.

Here's to ending the weekend on a high note!!

Friday, July 6, 2007

What a Week!

So much to write about....so much I'd like never to experience again!

So my last post was on the eve of the last campfire at Tonya and Shane's house at Zapata. It turned out to be quite lovely, in spite of Tonya's continuing battle with allergies. I have a few pics and as soon as I remember to take them off the camera, I will post them. Tonya also has pics posted on her Flickr page.

Sunday was fairly non-descript. Dev and I puttered around the house most of the day, then went to the park and practiced putting up our tent.

Monday was the beginning of the end....

I woke up not feeling great, but not feeling bad enough to stay home from work. As the day progressed, my stomach was hurting- really burning more than hurting. I figured I'd have a sandwich for lunch and it would go away. Unfortunately, it didn't. By the time I left work Monday, I was in a good deal of pain. I took some ibuprofen when I got home and hit the couch. By 10:30 the pain had changed into something much sharper and all over my belly. At 11pm I had had enough and asked Dev to drive me to the emergency room. After being poked and prodded and examined, it was determined I had no sign of infection, and nothing "seemed" life threatening. I was told by the doctor I had 2 choices: 1- go home and if things get worse come back to the ER or go to a doctor or 2- have blood work and a CT scan, but because you don't have insurance, it would be pricey. Needless to say, I went home.
The next morning I woke up in a good amount of pain. So I chose to call the clinic and set up an appointment with a doctor. They could not see me until 2:15, so I took the appointment and curled up on the couch to wait it out. At the clinic, again I was poked and prodded, and again told that nothing seemed life threatening, but if I wanted to continue with tests, I'd have to talk to their financial person before anything would be scheduled. However, the PA I saw said he felt that this was some sort of gastro-intestinal thing and I should take the prescriptions for Nexium and Tylenol 3 with Codeine, then swig Maalox 4 times a day to see if that made things better.
Tuesday night and all day Wednesday are a blur, because although the Tylenol 3 does a bang up job on pain, it also knocks me out- oh, and completely obliterates my appetite.
Thursday morning I attempted to come back to work and gave up at noon. It seems that when you don't eat anything, it's impossible to feel better. After coming home Thursday afternoon, Devin forced me to eat some lunch, and I took the advice of my friend Diane and started making myself eat some yogurt. I even got up off the couch and took a short walk before dinner. Miraculously, I began feeling much better! I even cooked some piddly little dinner last night for the first time all week.
So now it's Friday, I'm back at work, and I feel almost 100 percent myself!
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