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Apr. 29th, 2009 @ 10:57 pm fic, omg
Current Mood: wow, really?
Current Music: damned HGTV

I posted it here, link to part 2 is at the bottom. It's wee.
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Apr. 26th, 2009 @ 01:40 pm cupcakes and other uncertainties

In a marathon of crazy, I have spent day 2 of 2 running my ass off. Boychild's birthday party is today, so I shopped, made the s'mores cupcakes (recipe to follow) and packed goodie bags. Had a bit of an epiphany about last night's collosal failure: You can't really be good at anything until you've sucked at it REALLY HARD at least once. That was, hands down, the biggest disaster I've ever endured, kitchenwise, so maybe I got that out of the way.

I kind of liked packing the goodie bags; there's always a question of whether I'll have enough or too much, and then I end up juxtaposing some extra candy and not enough toys for the leftover bags, in case there really aren't enough. I pride myself on my ability to assemble goodie bags. And cakes. I'm pretty good at cakes.

FYI to those who follow, I am really tired of chasing all over the internet for nicknames, so I am going to keep "hily" for everything from here on out, whenever I can. (I am even changing my nin.com registration to "hily" as well.)

Eep, clock -- I will post the brownie recipe later.
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Apr. 25th, 2009 @ 08:49 pm Xiao Long Bao: Soup Dumplings

Shanghai Dim Sum )
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Apr. 19th, 2009 @ 11:05 pm method: beef Wellington

(from The F Word)

Small filet, seared in pan, smeared in mustard. Seasoned mushrooms put in food processor, made to a paste, fried in a hot, dry pan to render out the water. Lay out in this order: cling film, parma ham, mushrooms spread on, beef with mustard on. Wrap tight in cling film and refrigerate 20 minutes. Lay out puff pastry, center beef on it, egg wash generously and wrap. Chill 5 min more, glaze with I have no idea what, score top, bake at 200F for 8-10 minutes, then turn heat down to 180 for 20 more. Just trying to get this down before I forget. This is the next experiment.
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Apr. 19th, 2009 @ 07:01 pm Menu
Tags: ,

Tonight's dinner is The Chicken. On the side will be canned artichoke hearts, halved, brushed with butter and Worchestershire, sprinkled with garlic and shaved Parmesan. I also made a red rice pilaf out of a type of Indian rice I've never seen before. We'll also have garlic sourdough bread. I need to find a way to index my dinners so I can plan menus.
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Apr. 17th, 2009 @ 07:31 pm don't want to forget this one

Red, White and Green pizza )
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Apr. 15th, 2009 @ 07:32 am Fresh from my SIL: 5-minute chocolate cake


To which I replied: microwave pudding )
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Apr. 15th, 2009 @ 12:16 am The entire Slacker series
Tags: , ,

I have always been so proud of this arc, and Ruth has taken the time to set it up for non-stop reading. Multiple hearts!
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Apr. 11th, 2009 @ 09:18 pm chicken, omg
Current Music: Sarah Connor Chronicles

Last night I made the best chicken: I rubbed a whole roaster with olive oil, garlic powder, sage and salt and placed it upside-down in our convection/toaster oven. After an hour, I flipped it. It made a lovely dark-brown skin and oh my God, the juices were dripping out of the breast meat. That was, hands down, the best chicken I've ever made.

Tonight, I took the stock I'd made from the bones, salted it a bit more and cooked a pound of Great Northern beans in it with celery and carrots and garlic. About halfway through, I added the leftover chicken bits and then toward the end I threw in a pound of chicken and prosciutto tortelloni. While this cooked, I made flatbread. I had to eat lightly of the bread, since it was basically flour and butter layered, but oh my goodness. I am full and happy. Two nights of unanimously-approved dinner in a row? Mom heaven.
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Apr. 11th, 2009 @ 05:05 pm update to puppeh
Current Mood: busy

I realize I never updated here. Hubby took the dog to Animal Control, who promptly informed him that yes, someone had been calling, very upset, to see if she'd been dropped off. He left the puppy with Animal Control, who then called the (now very happy) owners to inform them.

Puppy and family are reunited.
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Apr. 8th, 2009 @ 07:59 am (no subject)

I think what some asshole decided to do was dump their aging pet on the road. MIL had speculated that maybe dogdog was abandoned, and I'm beginning to realize that's highly likely. What we're dealing with, I see now, is a bit of a spoiled little dog with bad joints, trouble chewing, very insistent begging capabilities -- and incontinence.

Either we'll find out who belongs to her very quickly and I have misjudged her potentially tearful and overjoyed owners, or we have ourselves a fourth set of paws.

Either way? This one seriously lucky dog. And yes, this is the dog in the icon.

Also, am I missing something on the Dreamwidth thing? I mean, they're doing a good job of making it look like it's made out of pony unicorns and cotton candy, but can it really be all that? *clings to IJ*
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Apr. 7th, 2009 @ 09:27 pm here's some cake to all this angst
Current Mood: *cough*

I Twittered earlier tonight that MIL found a little dog. She brought the dog straight here, of course, because she knows I'm just that soft.

This dog looks like Lady from Lady and the Tramp. She's clearly some kind of cocker spaniel/dachshund cross. She has a lot of gray around the muzzle and clearly comes from a gentle household. She's collar-trained, for Pete's sake. She has displasia in her back hips and her front knees are off, too, and she's really very sweet. Well, everyone knows I'd just make my house the dropoff point for a million strays, but this one doesn't want to be here. She's old and needs to be home.

I hope hubby can find out where she lives; he's off tomorrow and is going to take her to the county vet. If anyone knows who belongs to that little dog, it'll be him.

Till we find her a home (or give up and keep her), I've designated her the sign that everybody's luck is going to pick up. No pressure, lil dog!
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Apr. 4th, 2009 @ 09:04 pm "A Quality of Mercy", Twilight Zone ep 118
Current Mood: amazed, jealous, adoring

This was one of (if not the) earliest appearances by Leonard Nimoy onscreen (he is not, by the way, the main character). It is about a soldier at the end of WWII who can suddenly see through the eyes of his enemies and empathize. Serling headed this episode with the following:

"It's August, 1945: the last, grimy pages of a dirty, torn book of war. The place is the Philipine Islands. The men are what's left of a platoon of American infantry, whose dulled and tired eyes set deep in dulled and tired faces can now look toward a miracle: that moment when the nightmare appears to be coming to an end. But they've got one more battle to fight, and in a moment we'll observe that battle. August 1945, Philipine Islands. But in reality, it's high noon -- in the Twilight Zone."

I don't know what about this monologue captures me so thoroughly, but let me just reiterate -- and reiterate-- that I love Rod Serling so much.

ETA: Ahhhh, I remember now: the final lines that Serling quotes are from my favorite play ever. "'The quality of mercy is not strain'd. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.' Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice. But applicable to any moment in time, to any group of soldiery, to any nation on the face of the earth -- or, as in this case, to the Twilight Zone."
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Apr. 2nd, 2009 @ 07:57 pm Method: Grilled Reubens

I have been doing this long enough that I really should have posted it before now. If this is a repeat, my apologies, but it's one of hubby's favorite meals, and it's easily adaptable for kids who aren't 'kraut fans.

Grilled Reubens )

This can be labor-intensive if you're making a bunch, but heating everything through insures that you don't have cold innards and burnt outards. Outards? Anyway.
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Mar. 25th, 2009 @ 07:32 am Pimping and updates
Current Mood: too much change

Well, I've done it. I got tickets to the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction Austin show for myself and hubby (henceforth referred to as NIN|JA, as they do, and probably more often as SQUEEEEEE). This will be the biggest concert ever for me. I'm nervous. I've already exchanged comments with the guy who will be sitting right in front of me. The seats are awesome, though so many people were complaining about the presale auto-picker putting them in section 35, where we are, but I guess those are all hardcore pit/floor attendees. I can't commit to that; just the idea of ordering the tickets stressed my social anxiety. I know; I have learned to be Zen about my weirdness in that regard.

Banner for new guy/band I'm nuts over:

He is the drummer of NIN right now, and so, so SO much more. This is his debut album. He wrote and played every note of every song on every instrument; he only uses a band for live stuff and video. He's 20. He opened Woodstock 99 when he was ELEVEN.

~ ~ ~ ~

I got a birthday card from my mother, the first contact she's made in over a year. It first made me go !!! and now it just makes me sad and pretty fucking vexed with her. She said "I have a lot to tell you about the past year, but I don't have enough room." Inserting a piece of paper would have been awesome. Yeah, this is my mother. Their computer crashed, therefore I haven't heard from her in over a year, there's a lot to talk about and the birthday card isn't big enough, and she says "I hope you guys aren't too mad at me." Uh. You know? I think I am.

~ ~ ~ ~

I am substituting for K again. Yesterday I had to cut my class short to teach hers; today I have to teach hers and mine at the SAME TIME. The joke about me being the go-to girl at the school better get changed to me being God. The stress level is insane. The good news is that her class likes me. The bad news is that I'm tired. I desperately want to crawl back into bed and call in sick.

~ ~ ~ ~

We've knocked out the wall between the bedroom and the living room. The whole space is open now, and I can't process it. I can't wrap my brain around it. It's like the entire feng shui has changed so much that I can feel it physically but I don't know what to do with that information.

These are the days when I wish I were submissive; I really want the inner capacity to get tied to a wall and beaten until I just can't fucking think anymore.
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Mar. 14th, 2009 @ 06:49 pm arachnophobics beware

This is a shot hubby took. There are a couple things to be aware of:

1) the actual spider is about the size of...well, somewhere between an eraser and a dime. It's a wee little spider.

2) in the spider's eyes, those round things in the middle of the two big ones? That's Rob's camera lens. Yes, my husband is reflected in the eyes of a spider small enough to fit on the end of your thumb.

*trips out some more*
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Mar. 13th, 2009 @ 06:15 pm Dinner

This is dinner: Rustic Cabbage Soup.

The fuds )

I'll let everyone know how it turned out.
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Mar. 12th, 2009 @ 12:15 am okay, you know what? This is cool.

I was in Team Spirit in 1990.

Does that make me a member of an elite force? Less than about 100K US service members?
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Feb. 27th, 2009 @ 02:11 pm miscellaneous updates

So I'm teaching this massive conflict resolution course. I started out with four very serious, very studious people. I am down to one student. Everyone who came the first day keeps saying they'll be back, but we're in week 3 now, so whatever. The last woman standing, T, has been amazing, and this is...it's hard to explain, but this is one of those times when you can honestly say "if I reach JUST this one person, all this will have been worth it."

So today, kind of in celebration, I bought sushi at the grocery store. I've done this once before (it happened to be at Escapade, at Trader Joe's), and this is...not so great. It's as close to bad as I can stand and still put it in my mouth -- BUT. It kept me from buying the big, fat hamburger I actually wanted, so I'm happy about that.

I also bought spring roll skins. Our noodle house here has awesome spring rolls, and I want to try to duplicate that. I even found the dipping sauce.

Next week is spring break. Also next week, I am going to go on Alli. It will mean a massive paradigm change, but I need that. I'm not going to refit my wardrobe up another size; I'm just not. So sushi and spring rolls are okay, right? I am also altering (gasp! awe! shock!) The Fried Chicken Recipe by a) not frying it in flour and oil but baking it in panko breadcrumbs, and b) using chicken breast instead of skin-laden dark meat. This is either an awesome idea or I will hate it, so more to come on that, probably tonight. I just can't go on this diet ride alone; everyone has to come with me. I mean, the kids can still have their Peanut Butter Crunch and stuff, but I'm not making separate dinners.

When I was standing at the olive bar scooping those lovely sweet red peppers into a bin, a very adorable woman came up to me (I want to say she was about 80, so fill in the white hair and the perfectly-coordinated big-shouldered lounge sweats and the high, creaky voice yourself, and I say that with all love and adoration because I really wanted to take this woman out for coffee the second she spoke to me) and said "Well honey, I have wanted to try those forever, are they good?" And I gushed for a while about how I can eat them like candy and no, they're not too spicy and yes, they're a hit as appetizers, etc.. She said, "I am gonna get me some'a those, then, I'm having -- well, look in the basket, I'm gonna make a pot roast. For company. And banana pudding, and deviled eggs, and I just wonder -- you know, I bet the ladies would like these, where's that little --?" and I handed her the small bin and showed her how you have to mash the lid on really hard. And then she said "Well I'mma try these, and I will surely think of you--" and she did this odd little double-take as if seeing me for the first time (and maybe she was; she'd been facing the olives while we spoke, not really facing me) and said abruptly, "Well aren't you pretty!" Stunned, I thanked her, and she said "Well my goodness, I just never -- you should wear that color all the time, it just suits you so well." Green and purple -- I told her yes, as a matter of fact, I do wear it all the time, and thanked her again.

All of this made me feel wonderful because I am of the retailing school of thought which states that if one person says it, between six and nine other people are thinking it. So *beams*

and now, omFuck, I have just nuked my sinuses in a fit of wasabi overload. *pants*
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Feb. 21st, 2009 @ 03:58 pm birthday party and other weirdness

Took the girlchild (she is no longer contagious after her bout with strep) to a birthday party today. The irony is that the girl told me the birthday girl DESPERATELY wanted the second one in the Twilight series, so we got that for her. The second she opened it, scandal! the moms were all discussing that it was a ROMANCE and worse, it was VAMPIRES. I was thinking, dude. It being the BEST KIND of romance is not going to come out of my mouth.

Once again, this reinforces my understanding that I will never fit in around here. The longer we live here, the lonelier I feel. I can act like I fit, shutting my mouth when it's time to NOT SAY SHIT and putting in conversation when I actually can, but...yeah. I'm just not a small-town mom.
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