Feb. 3rd, 2017 02:28 pm
topaz119: (dinner is served)
Finally getting my act together to follow [personal profile] st_aurafina's lead, I present my first Recipe Friday…

Something I've cooked recently:
Skillet Lasagna, adapted from Keepers -- if you're a USian of a certain age, you may be flinching at the very words 'skillet lasagna' but please rest assured that this is NOT of the Hamburger Helper oeuvre. (Actually, I had to debate whether my Italian nonna and her many sisters would haunt me for even considering making this. The pictures looked really good and there's enough cheese to keep a cow in service, so I pressed on.) I even managed to make it on a regular weeknight (not a work-from-home day), twice now. It's better with San Marzano tomatoes and the very slightly spicy Italian sausage that I get at the farmer's market, but then, what isn't? It's pretty decent with store-brand tomatoes and sausage, too. If you follow me on IG, I was so pleased by this that I actually posted a shot of it.

Homemade Starbucks Sous Vide Egg Bites -- I usually alternate between yogurt with granola and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast (both of which are easy enough to carry into the office along with lunch), but when my sous-vide manufacturer covered these in their latest newsletter, I decided I'd give them a try--to great acclaim. Easy AND quite tasty. I did the bacon-gruyere recipe, because I had everything at the house, but I foresee some branching out in the weeks ahead. Also, yay for getting the jars sealed tightly enough that no water got in but not so tight that they explode in the water bath.

Something I have concrete plans to cook soon:
In a little more than 48 hours, the Atlanta Falcons will take on Tom Brady and the Patriots for Super Bowl LI (yes, we're back to the Roman numerals. I guess the NFL decided it was safe to go back for 51? Ugh, who knows with those idiots.) Despite having lived in the ATL for 20 years, I am firmly in this for the food (especially since the Steelers faded and died 2 weeks ago—I could hear my dad screaming at the tv set from the afterlife) and have definite plans to try Serious Eats recipe/method to get crispy baked chicken wings. Then I'll do Bon Appetit's sauces (their wings are pretty decent, but Kenji Lopez-Alt is my guy these days so I'm going to see what his obsessiveness has produced.) I am also doing BA's fried mozzarella. Then it will take me all week to clean up the kitchen, so that's it for anything more than pasta and some grilled chicken and veggies.

Something I am idly considering making:
Smitten Kitchen's Blueberry Bread and Butter Pudding, possibly for Valentine's Day breakfast (baseball season has started; I doubt I will see D for dinner until spring break.) I might also try to sous vide a rack of lamb to see if it'd work for the big Easter dinner…
topaz119: (big!pretzel)
So, yep, Happy Superbowl Monday, where you find out more than you wanted to know about your co-workers outlook in life as filtered through their reactions to Gaga and Bey. It’d be pretty depressing except for how I knew how prematurely middle-aged and feeling defensively left behind they all were a long time ago. On the bright side, it does help identify kindred spirits by who’s explaining the “Who knew Effie Trinket could sing like that?” meme and who is still completely clueless even after.

Slightly related, I made these Fried Mozzarella Sticks, for part of the traditional too-much-food buffet, and hot damn, but they were good. (My only change would be to use grated parm for the salty flavor kick at the end rather than plain salt.)

And while we’re on the topic of food, Cooked, by Michael Pollan, yay for Netflix.

ALSO on the topic of food, and about as far away from MP as possible, here is the semi-fancy version of Darcy’s chocolate-covered potato chips from in deep with you darling, just in case you thought I made those up. :D
topaz119: (dinner is served)
[personal profile] mecurtin asked me what my favorite cookbooks are... which, y'all, I have a LOT ("") of those to choose from--4 physical shelves and then another dozen or so on my e-devices, and that's after a couple of years of culling and donating to the Dugout Club's tag sale fundraiser. I have ones that have one or two totally knock-out recipes, I have Ina and Nigella and Martha and Tyler Florence and Mark Bittman, but the ones that have the most half-destroyed pages are:

The Way To Cook, Julia Child -- Classic Julia, for when I want to know how to make a quiche or soups or coq au vin or any of a dozen not-too-complicated dishes that my mother never would have dared to make (she is not inspired in the kitchen.) Also, this is serious chocolate mousse.

Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan -- I checked this one out of the library at least 6 times (at 3-6 weeks a pop) before I broke down and bought it. (I didn't think I needed a baking book, but then I thought I should probably let someone else have a crack at the library's copy.) I've lost track of how many batches of World Peace Cookies I've made over the years.

The (New) Best Recipe, Cooks Illustrated -- I had the original version and ended up with the revised edition as well.
It takes 3 pages to get to the actual recipe, but by the time you do, you know every single variable in the cooking equation and why it didn't work.

Great Food Fast, Everyday Food -- This one's great b/c I can turn a kid loose on a recipe and have it turn out almost every time. I can also walk into the house at 6 and have dinner on the table by 7ish even if I'm picking recipes based on what I know I have in the house.

My Calabria, Rosetta Constantino -- My grandmother's family is from Calabria, and betweeen how none of my mom's generation of cousins really cared about cooking and how none of the sisters (my grandmother and her sisters, I mean) ever really cooked from a recipe, no one knew how to make anything. Oh, y'all it was so sad--we had scraps of paper with notes like start with 10# flour and the people writing stuff down had no clue how things were supposed to fit together and the people doing the talking didn't understand that they had to be super-basic and even being someone who always messed around in the kitchen, I couldn't make things work. This book was published a couple of years ago and when I started leafing through it, all of a sudden a fair number of those scraps of recipes started to make sense.

Honorable mention goes to The Silver Palate Cookbook, which I have in the original, paperback edition from the early 1980s. I don't really cook from it now, but oh my goodness, this was the first cookbook I ever owned that was inspiring. The dinner parties that came from this book! I remember sitting at my tiny, 2-person kitchen table with the (landline) phone tucked between my shoulder and my ear, leafing through pages with a dear friend doing the same on her end of the call, deciding if we wanted to try the salmon mousse *and* the phyllo spinach triangles for the same party. (The answer was YES. Tres (80s) chic!) I am terribly nostalgic about it, about the veal scallops with the mustard cream sauce and the lemon chicken and the Mediterranean chicken salad and, and, and...


Oct. 13th, 2015 12:20 pm
topaz119: (path through the woods)
My mom was discharged from the hospital last week, so I went to her house to hang out for a while. I don't know that she's better, precisely, but she's very happy to be home, and goodness knows we all trust her visiting nurse more than just about anyone to take care of her complicated medical needs. My brother is still staying with her, and I overlapped with his wife being there, too, so that was good to see her. Mom is so worn down that she's falling asleep in between sentences, so we had a very low-key weekend, mostly going through 70 year old pictures. When she napped, did electronic housekeeping (updating her phone and tablet, getting the chromecast rebooted, showing my brother how to stream Netflix on it, etc) In the middle of that process, we (he and I) ended up watching Chef, which ended with him (he worked his way through grad school as a line cook/sous chef) getting all inspired in the kitchen. I made soup, he made flan and a Spanish tortilla and I don't even know what else, but it was very companionable.

And then I went by the barbecue place with the amazing spareribs (different than the barbecue place with the amazing pulled pork because I am married to a bbq snob) and loaded up, and googlemaps managed to find me a way back across the washed-out/flooded roads and I got home in time to feed the HoB ribs of the gods for dinner.

I am still doing fairly well with bringing my lunch—today is some of the soup I made for my brother (chicken with wild rice) and ham / cheddar / whole grain mustard on a pretzel roll. I'm experimenting with assorted noodles, too, to see if I can do some kind of makeshift ramen w/o the chemicals and sad little bits of dehydrated veggies that make up standard US versions. If I work it out, I'll let you know.

Also, it is really really bad (in a good way) to have a Starbucks in the lobby (aka, wow, the Toasted Graham Syrup is v. v. tasty.)

Alsoalso, if you want to prompt me with a pairing, I'm still happy to do more of the autumn ship meme.
topaz119: (cupcakes are love)
Between my mom being in the hospital, DragonCon, a late summer cold, and the office move, I have just been staggering through life, but last week I hit the wall and exploded into some kind of over-compensating kitchen binge.

cutting for menu details probably of interest to no one but me, but recipes are available upon request (if I have them, sometimes I'm just riffing on a theme) )

After all that, I'm thinking this week is going to be nothing but creative re-use of the leftovers (opening the refrigerator door is an exercise in dodging falling Tupperware. The dog is in heaven, waiting to see what might explode upon contact with the floor.)

round up

Aug. 18th, 2014 09:07 pm
topaz119: (BlackHawkBW)
The last few weeks have been a little more bonkers than usual, including the weekends, so when I say I didn't do anything but mess around in the kitchen and listen to podcasts and poke at various writing projects this weekend, I don't think it really conveys how truly excellent it felt to have a quiet couple of days.
In the kitchen, I finally used all the blueberries the boys have picked recently to make Martha's Blueberry Cobbler. It's a biscuit-y cobbler top (though biscuits made with heavy cream, so it's not like it's particularly light) but it was easy enough. To go with it, I made a Ben & Jerry's vanilla ice cream made in the food processor, as described on Food & Wine, which worked out super well. And since I was on a roll, I also tried the sliced-frozen-banana + food processor=soft-serve banana ice cream trick (I hesitate to call it a recipe, as it is literally just frozen bananas) and despite everything looking like a gray, glue-y mess at the start, it did actually turn out to be an unqualified success. I added about a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa and whoaaaaaaa, it was awesome. I feel that there are many occasions when chocolate-banana ice cream w/no dairy or sugar or fat would keep me from a screaming fit. (I feel like I should also mention that the HoB gave multiple thumbs up for this, too, and you know damn well they could care less about anything but the taste, so I assure you this isn't an instance of 'this tastes okay for what it is' but rather that it really does taste awesome (if you like bananas, obvs.))

I also kind of fell down the Disney World fandom abyss and somehow ended up listening to about 3 hours worth of speculation about what might or might not be coming in the next few years. (Bottom-line, there are gonna be lots of construction walls but Hollywood Studios might actually end up being navigable and StarWarsLand is coming. Also, Anna and Elsa are never ever going away, but you probably knew that already.) I find I still could care less about the actual events of Avatar (not the last Airbender Avatar, but the Pocahontas-in-space one) but I am still surprisingly excited to see the world around the events. There might also have been a few additions to the bad-for-you-but-hey-it's-vacation list of foods (BLT-ranch fries, BabyBoy is ready to go now) and some preliminary discussions about the plan of attack for the Food & Wine Festival this year. So, yeah, not a bad way to spend a Saturday morning while the laundry was trundling along.

…and writing… My [ profile] marvel_bang is progressing (which is good news after having lost a thousand words and then getting caught up in the mess of school starting again/#2 finishing a semester.) I think it's falling into a three-part structure and the first part is almost done, the second is solidly in progress and I at least know why the third part happens. So that's good.

In the same crash/reboot/crash sequence, I also lost almost everything I had on a [ profile] be_compromised ficathon prompt, and that really stalled everything out there, but I did have fun with the three-sentence mini ficathon, and ended up writing a bunch over the weekend (all Clint/Natasha)---

The Female Gaze (prompt: these hips don't lie)

between the rock and the hard place (prompt: nowhere left to run)

nerds in love (prompt: Movie night: Star Trek or Star Wars?), plus [ profile] alphaflyer (whose prompt it was) responded with a little bit more, which I also added to.

the family that spies together (prompt: Everybody just assumed that Natasha didn't want/couldn't have children)

trust fall (prompt: being forced into corporate teamwork event)

It's been a long time since I've done one of these. Aside from how I haven't lost my love of run-on sentences (look away, [personal profile] without_me, look away!), I'd forgotten how much fun it is to try to distill a story down this far.
topaz119: (velma is thinking)
cut for your scrolling ease

this week in fandom )

this week in writing )

this week in DragonCon )

this week in food )

Also, Trader Joe's cookie butter is EEEEEVIL.
topaz119: (Default)
It was gorgeous this weekend -- warm (70s/20s) with no humidity and a nice breeze. I got the boys to clear off the deck (pollen and tree seeds are killer around here) and then I cleaned off the furniture (or at least a table and a chair) so I could eat lunch there while I read. I meant to be out there in the evening, too, but I did something to my hip and then sitting out on a patio for dinner in a metal chair aggravated it, so I ended up taking to my bed for the night, boo.

Maybe tonight? The fire bowl looks lonely.

Fannishly speaking, breakfast discussions of Game of Thrones are becoming The Thing around here, as I crash before the boys watch on Sunday night, and then we have to hash it all out in the morning. It is a hell of a way to start off the week. I am blackly amused with how the 'read with your kids! teach them to appreciate books!' has devolved into my needing to call time-out for blood, mayhem and death at the breakfast table. One more in the never-ending list of Things They Don't Tell You About Parenthood...

Also with the fandom stuff, amazon is attempting to bribe former comixology app users into not bitching about not being able to buy in-app now (god forbid amazon have to share profits with apple/google) by handing out $5 credits. I'm still bitching, but I was happy to take their money and pick up an on-sale compilation or two... (Old stuff, Bendis's New Avengers Breakout, which is somewhere in the house in TPB, but which is now happily added to my ipad.)

I am boooooooored with everything I've been cooking lately, so I'm trying to consciously incorporate different things into my routine and I figured I could share any successes. This isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but it's cheap and easy and not outrageously unhealthy -- Broccoli & Cheddar Mashed Potato Cakes. (That's an actual recipe, though it works pretty well to just throw an egg into leftover mashed potatoes, then chop up some broccoli & cheese and mix it all together before coating the cakes in panko and frying them until they're all crunchy on the outside.) #2Son & I didn't even eat any of the chicken that was the rest of the meal.

::squints:: okay, I think that's it for today, ciao, bellas
topaz119: (A-Babies!Nat)

So, I'm writing an Avengers/Agents of SHIELD/Hawkeye Clint/Coulson that I've wanted to write right from the start of AOS, and I'm posting it a chapter at a time, because that's the only way I can reliably finish anything these days... and that got long and boring )

...and that was probably 100x more than what you signed up for around here, but it feels like I just freed up my brain to keep going on the writing, so cut-text it is.

I feel vaguely guilty for doing anything but trying to write on this thing (I, er, underestimated how long it was going to take to claw out of the angsty hole I dug for everyone, so instead of a nice 15K fic, I'm about to crack 25K and still have a third of it to go, whoops), but I have managed to read a couple of books (I finally realized I could put my iPad in a ziploc bag and read in the bathtub, which makes life SO MUCH BETTER, duh.)

What I've Just Finished
So [personal profile] poisontaster not only sorted me out on where to start with Barbara Hambly, but also loaned me her pick, so Bride of the Rat God, it was. I enjoyed it immensely, especially the setting and atmosphere of 1920s Hollywood, which was vivid enough to be a character of its own. So, that was fun.

And then I resolved to actually *read* some of the sale-of-the-day e-books I compulsively buy, so I dove into the first of the Phryne Fisher mysteries, Cocaine Blues, and didn't come up until I'd gone through Flying Too High and Murder on the Ballarat Train (and #4 is on the way from the library.) I think it's safe to say I enjoyed the series--it's nice to read something outside the usual post-WWI setting of England/NYC (these are set in Australia) and Phryne is entertaining enough in her own way. Plus, dear lord, the *clothes*. I find myself googling her designers and imagining my grandmother (who was a knockout in her day) in various and assorted outfits. The mysteries are fine -- I never bother trying to work out who the villain is when I read these things, I just float along and (if all is working right) am entertained by the spectacle, which these are doing nicely.

What I'm Reading Now
Nothing, at the moment -- or, well, cookbooks as I sit around assorted therapist/orthodontist offices. Canal House Everday and Bouchon Bakery (which qualifies as strength training, too, as it is huuuge.)

What I'm Reading Next
Phryne Fisher #4--I can't remember the name, just that it's waiting at the library and tomorrow is conveniently enough a work-from-home day, so I can grab it on my errand run around the little town we live near.

Other random stuff
Spring break -- I am experimenting with a third-party broker for Disney Vacation Club properties and have a savanna-view studio reserved for approximately the price of a moderate-resort room. (This is mostly so that #2Son can hang out in the room and have something to see if the rest of vacationing gets to be too much for him.) I will report back on how it all turns out, but so far it's been pretty painless. I also started making dining reservations in November, as soon as D confirmed that the varsity team was playing in a WWoS tournament, so I'm holding Saturday evening fireworks-timing at the California Grill, a reasonable time for dinner at Le Cellier, and an actualfax dinner table at Be Our Guest. (My squee is only barely contained at this trifecta of Holy Grail restaurants.) The Flower & Garden Festival is doing food booths again this year, so that's cool; the new MK daytime parade starts in about a week (and has so many steampunky elements I might have to see it more than once); and the construction walls are down from around the Seven Dwarves Mine Train, with the possibility of it being in soft-opening by the time we get there. For this being my 4th trip in 9 months, I am ridiculously excited by all of this.

TV -- Behind on everything except for SPN but that's only because BabyBoy has caught the bug and watches it in the morning before school. I was very happy to see who I saw this week, even if I'm seriously ready to start smacking some sense into people named Winchester.

Movies -- We finally (!!!!) coordinated schedules and went to see The Hobbit last weekend, and all I can say is that I have given up trying to be rational about those movies. As soon as the score begins, I just fall into this place where I'm catching up with friends I haven't seen in decades and while I can objectively see where the first part was a little slow, I honestly didn't care. I think we're trying for the Lego movie this weekend; I have promised not to make loud comments about Manic Pixie Dreamgirls while there (note the 'loud' part, because that's as far as I was willing to go.)

Anyway. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I'm still here (and on tumblr and twitter and goodreads and pinterest -- come see me if you're hanging out there, too!)
topaz119: (winter)
SnowJam 2014, v. 2.0 has kicked off with sleet and freezing rain this morning. No school and I'm working from home, so yay for getting to turn off the alarm clock last night. I started the fun-cooking last night with Snickers Chex Mix, which is ridiculously OTT and addictive. BabyBoy has already requested it for Beach Week.

Today, I think I'm going for cupcakes with nutella buttercream frosting. (I am, btw, also concocting real food, but that's not nearly as fun as the lineup of sugar-highs I've got planned out.)

At least this time I don't have crazed deadlines at work (nothing is more fun than trying to hack together a publishable guide from bad PDF sources while the power keeps going up and down like last time.) I might even get all the holiday stuff put back in the storage room (it's all down, but half of hit is still strewn across the pool table, which is probably going to become hot property if the power goes out and the boys need non-electronic entertainment options.)

My life, so exciting...
topaz119: (path through the woods)

Things that have happened since last we chatted:
  • Drove 400 miles with BabyBoy for company. Browsed a book store. Ate wood-fired pizza.
  • Searched fruitlessly for a non-foofy angel to replace our beloved lady who lost her head last year due to an unfortunate ladder-climbing incident.
  • Baked 10 dozen Gingerbread Kisses for my mom's cookie exchange. (If I don't bake some, she won't go, and it's an easy trade-off for me to get her some socialization w/o my dad.)
  • Saw Thor 2 again, this time with my parents. (At some other time, I will go into the blissful irony of explaining comics book canon to the people who literally burned any copies of said comics if they found them in their house.)
  • Concocted a ham dinner with all the trimmings when we all decided we weren't in the mood to eat turkey multiple times during the week.
  • Ate wild mushroom ravioli and pan-seared grouper over grits and was harassed by my favorite waiter (he was upset that the Beach Week crew dared to come in on his off-day last summer, so I promised we'd check his schedule first next year.)
  • Did not check work email, not even once.
  • Drove 500 miles back home (detoured to pick up Oldest.) Met the new GF, looking and feeling my best after 6 hours in the car, but apparently did not scare her unduly.
  • Made an assortment of cream-soup-based casseroles for the in-laws Tgiving.
  • Spent Tgiving keeping my mouth shut and reading by the fire at said in-laws, surfacing only to show my father-in-law pictures of his niece on the red carpet at the Catching Fire premiere. Made a valiant attempt to explain the plot and her role in it, but crashed and burned.
  • Threw out the remains of the cream-soup-based casseroles.
  • Ran around and dug the house out from under all the crap so the wonderful lady who cleans for me could, y'know, find the house to clean.
  • While out stocking up on general food necessities, saw that they had fresh, free-range turkeys for under a dollar per pound and decided to make an actual Thanksgiving dinner, mostly because #2 had spent the week being overwhelmed and didn't get any feasting in.) I had cornbread dressing in the freezer, so I hit the (clean) house at about 4:30 and we were eating by 7:30. I have to link you to Smitten Kitchen's Green Bean Casserole because it is SO FREAKING GOOD. Holy moly, I was mostly just making it as general cooking therapy for me, but guh, it was amazing even though I made it with 1% milk instead of cream. (I'm not even apologizing to the tumblr/pinterest people who are seeing this again because it is just that good.)
  • Cleaned up the kitchen. Made brunch. Cleaned up the kitchen again.
  • Administered oxygen to the Auburn fans in the house after that finish.
  • Made dinner. Left the kitchen a wreck.
  • Read some stuff. Watched some other stuff. Caught up on AOS and Arrow. Didn't quite get there with SPN or Sleepy Hollow.
  • Did not shop. Am not 'mostly finished' with my holiday shopping. Do not care.

    My life. So exciting. ;-)
  • topaz119: (path through the woods)
    Hello, lovely peoples! I've been meaning to post for days and days now, but it has been A Week, and for no discernible reason other than there having been too many weeks like that in the recent past.

    Summing things up:

  • Thank you for all the birthday good wishes! In spite of the stupid week, I did get to have deconstructed gumbo and coconut cream pie at Watershed on Peachtree. Since I count the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot as a birthday trip, the rest of my gifts are (much) lower key--just things like new cooling racks (just in time for the holiday baking season) and a new pepper grinder. Still, lots of fun.

  • Also on the birthday topic, [ profile] rogoblue, thank you for the cheeses, they were/are very yummy! (I somehow lost your email address, which is why one should never clean out inboxes uncaffeinated.) Also, the, uh, odd gift that will probably arrive w/o a note is from me. (I could not figure out how to add a note to the order and then it processed before I could go back and change it. I got a shipment notice on it, though, so it did get sent. Someday, I will manage to do presents w/o all this attendant drama. I live in hope that it's before I go on Social Security.)

  • BabyBoy and I went to see Thor 2 and had an excellent, popcorn time, though I think my favorite part was the 5 minute Cap 2 trailer (yes, we did 3D--13 year old boys don't go for anything else.) I seriously cannot wait for that movie. Back in Thor-land, I have this Clint/Darcy that's been kicking around on my hard drive for the last 6 months that seems to have been kick-started by all the snarky Darcy in the movie, which is a pleasant surprise. Extra bonus points that what I already had didn't get jossed by the movie--maybe I'll even manage to find an end for it at some point?

  • I finished an actual, full-length novel last week--will wonders never cease? It was one of my Victorian-widow-turned-private-investigator mysteries, Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily series. It was fine, but suffers by comparison to Raybourn's Lady Julia/Brisbane series with which it shares a fair number of similarities. But sitll: a book! of fiction. Finished!

  • Still watching SHIELD (May continues to own me, but FitzSimmons are growing on me fast; also, so far not-jossed on the AOS/Avengers Clint/Coulson, writing as fast as my brain will process); Arrow (Oliver and a sense of humor--I so approve; still on the Olicity train); Sleepy Hollow (I'm not sure which is more fun: the IchAbbie or Orlando Jones live-tweeting the episode). Still lagging behind on SPN and OUAT, and Castle gets watched in bits and pieces in the mornings so I'm watching but I'm not entirely focused.
  • topaz119: (dinner is served)
    Right, so for some reason, all the Cooking Light cookbooks for Kindle are on sale today, most for $3.99. This includes several variations on their Fresh Food Fast concept, which at least means it's do-able for a non-insane weeknight (some nights, we're lucky if we can put peanut butter to bread before somebody has to be somewhere else.) There's also one with slow cooker recipes, too. I have some issues with CL's portion sizes sometimes but for that price, one decent meal from the whole book is more than worth it. I know I've talked to a couple people on my flist/circle about dealing with dinner during the week so I thought I'd pass this along.

    FWIW, I *did* manage real food tonight: shrimp scampi, couscous and steamed broccoli. Ice cream for dessert, because dessert can't not happen around here.

    Also of the good: the farmer's markets are gearing up around here and the strawberries are starting to look real instead of plastic. I am so sick of winter veggies and apples you don't even know...

    Good weekend, everybody!
    topaz119: (hanging on)
    3 day weekends are awesome, even if the only thing I'm doing is getting caught up from the holiday smash. (Well, and cooking -- we made pizza last night, which is not all that unusual, but I think we might have finally worked out a good combination for a barbecued chicken version, with Ina's barbecue sauce, smoked gouda for the cheese, and some super-caramelized onions, yum. There has also been some banana bread/muffin-baking and a truly massive grocery shopping run about which I will only say that it is a good thing I drive one of the bigger minivans, because there's no way all that would have fit in an ordinary trunk.) The tree is down and physically out of the house, though it's still parked out front. I must say, for a tree bought sight-unseen off the internet, it was both gorgeously full and long-lasting. I will miss having the lights in the corner; I think I'm going to burn a lot of candles to make up for it.

    In other news, the sun finally came out, \o/. No kidding, I could feel my mood lift. Also of the good, I got my hair cut for the first time in a year. Four inches gone and there is an actual style now, whee. It's weird not to be able to put it up just by knotting it through itself but since it looks half-decent when it's down now, I suppose it's okay.

    Watching the Inauguration, I wish my time in DC had coincided with an administration that didn't give me migraines--I would have liked to have been standing out in the freezing weather for a President I supported. More frivolously, holy cow, that was a gorgeous coat Michelle was wearing. They keep calling it "somber," which, I guess? It wasn't bright, but the cut was fabulous.
    topaz119: (merry christmas happy holidays)
    tree: vertical, lit, decorated

    cards: mailed

    house: defcon omgINCOMING

    yard: somebody coming to get rid of the leaves tomorrow, in time for dinner "party"

    gifts: 13/20, 3/5 stockings, 1/3 kids done with their own shopping

    cookies: sugar cookie dough chilling; gingerbread kisses in process; tempted severely by these chocolate fudge cookies with candy cane buttercream filling

    hobbit: still unseen, fml

    back: semi-de-kinked, no actual crunching so far

    christmas day dinner: menu decided upon (basically, fish of the day, as the plan is to get up super-early on Christmas Eve and go hit the markets and see what looks good. We're hoping for a side of salmon.)

    work: done for until 12/31 when I'm going in to write a draft in the peace of everyone being off.

    nye: uhm. last year, L & I went spectacularly off the rails with pomegranate martinis, so I think the husbands are pretending the night doesn't exist this year.

    this is why i never do holiday fic exchanges!

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