Monday, August 30, 2010

Measuring is important...

Because before you know it, you've dumped your entire 1 pound box of pasta into the water to boil instead of just the two cups the recipe calls for. I did this. Last night. I ended up fishing out the pasta that I didn't need and refrigerating it. I felt a little silly, but I don't want to waste anything. That box of pasta cost a whole dollar yesterday. It may be one of the best whole wheat penne pasta buys in recent history.

I was boiling it to make an easy basked pasta recipe from this month's Shape magazine. The one with Kristen Stewart looking flawless. So this recipe calls for 3 cups of diced tomatoes. Have you ever diced enough tomatoes to get 3 cups. Let's just say that since my knife skills aren't super stellar it took me a while. But the end result was pretty good. I had some for dinner tonight (I was thoughtfully trying to prepare for the week). Well you can judge from the looks of it.

This is a picture of the picture in the magazine:

This is a picture of my entree:
Not bad right!? Well it tasted as good as it looked. I guarantee it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wookie! is our puppy...

And we love him dearly even though he wasn't this teeny tiny when we got him:
So cute and cuddly!
He was this big:
Twenty pounds tiny
He is now this big:
Fifty, yes fifty, pounds of pure teen puppy.
He is only 7 months old. He is sure to get bigger. That scares the crap out of me.

Have you any idea how much fur this short hair dog can produce?  In combination with our two kitties...

Turtle- she's an eight pound beauty who loves boxes and cuddling.
Timmy- he's sixteen pounds of "I'll take Wookie! on" kitty ego.
A lot of fur. We try (this term is used loosely) to be neat, but a tile floor does not hide fur.  I swept tonight and was tempted to take a picture. You should be glad I didn't.  I would't have posted a picture of the fur anyway because if you are our friend, or parent (Hi Mom!) you might never, ever set foot in our house again.  Let's just say that a call before dropping by is not just a courtesy, it's a necessity. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


My husband, Justin, had soccer on when I got home from work.  It was also on when we got back from the gym and were making dinner.  I have the World Cup to thank for this. Before the 2010 World Cup Justin was into EPL (English Premiere League).  He had one jersey for his team, Stoke City Potters.  My mom and I bought it for him for his birthday.

Soccer Widow, Golf Widow.  The difference is I lose sleep on a Saturday morning.
 I guess it is partially our fault.  He loved the jersey.  He wore it during the World Cup, even though he wasn't once routing for England- they weren't in his soccer bracket. He ended up winning the bracket with his teammate. I was glad for him. It was a pride thing and a decent chunk of change.

The whole thing did make me glad it only comes 'round once every four years. He fell in love with soccer players from other leagues, bought three more jerseys with his winnings and now he seems to be content to sit down and watch any game.  Maybe it isn't just any game, but it looks like any game to me.  It's not USA or Stoke, so hand over the remote so I can watch Project Runway.

The fact that soccer and football season take place side by side is why Justin now has a HD DVR hooked up to the T.V. in his office. Seriously.

The other side of this coin is that I can now record whatever I want on the main DVR and not have to worry about missing an episode online if I don't watch for say, a month. I'm very busy. Can't you tell?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Calphalon Discovery...

So my T.V.-watching-habit-hating husband (more on that another time) came home to me eating a potato and asparagus frittata. I said he should try it. He said "this is really good- is it homemade?" I started to tell him the ingredients and he said "Wait, this is homemade- I thought it came out of a box." Ah true love. He doesn't get any for lunch tomorrow.

What does this exchange have to do with the discovery I made with my Calphalon Contemporary Non-stick Cookware.  I had never thought to look to see if I could put it in the oven until I looked at "time-friendly" recipe that required putting the pan in the oven to finish off the dish. 

Time-friendly is in quotes because the cookbook said 30 minutes.  That's if everything is prepped.  Everything was not prepped. Everything had to be measured and the asparagus, potato and onion has to be cut up.  Onions make me cry.  They make some people tear up.  They make me cry.  Yes, I am whining, but if you read the beginning you see what my sacrifice got me.  A little bit of mocking.
Fruits of my labor.
Ok, he can have some if he wants some, while it is delicious, I don't want to have to eat it all by myself. Even though it's not bad for you- thank you 8-year old Weight Watchers cookbook. This is the book on Amazon: Make it in Minutes.  So while you can make something in minutes, the minutes don't necessarily include prep time, so just add in a little according to your skill level and F.Y.I. my knife skills are crap.  If you would like to make them better please send me to a HEB Central Market class. My birthday was last weekend and Christmas is only 4 months away.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Five reasons I love my convection toaster oven...

My husband told me that this week I'm on my own for food.  He is going to do his thing and I gotta do mine. This is when I realize that the convection toaster oven quickly enters my food prep game plan in a major way. Because really, I don't want to have to wash more than one or two prep dishes if I am cooking for myself.

We all know we don't love to do them no matter what lies your mom told you as a kid.

Our little counter top oven especially comes in handy when I don't want to use our circa 1984 original oven.  This thing is a dinosaur that we trust so little we bought a temperature gauge to go inside of it because it is always lying to us when that little light says it's ready to take on any task.  One could chide me for being an energy waster by just keeping it around and using it on occasion, but knowing that getting the kitchen redone is in our 5- (10-? 15-?) year plan, I just can't stomach dropping the bucks on it.

Back to why I love the counter top helper:

1. Semi-homemade. I cut up and toasted a corn tortilla in it last night, thus adding a little baggie of semi-homemade tortilla chips to my lunch.  A bit over done, but for a first go round, not bad at all.

Voila- corn chips that truly were baked!

2. EVOO.  I don't want to take the cover off the grill, and those asparagus spears taste just as lovely when done on the grill option with a spritz of EVOO and a shake of sea salt.

3. Easy. It can make meals for two, too! At least I manage to make it work- eggplant parmigiana, fresh from frozen stuffed clams, mini pizzas with campari tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.

4. Foil. I can line either the the teeny baking sheet or the grilling component with foil and clean-up is easy and recycle ready.

5. Unplug.  I unplug almost everything that it makes sense to unplug in the house so that we aren't electricity drainers.  Not that we are super green, but I do try to do what I can to make up for the rest of the stuff that is constantly humming away in our house. The hubby calls me nuts, but I get the electric bill first.

It really is a great convenience to have this little gadget in the house. Without it, some of our meals would have taken twice as long, thus leaving time for hunger fueled squabbles.  Don't get in the way of this girl when she's hungry.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just pick one already...

That's what I was saying to myself as I thought about what to name this blog.

My husband said "You're doing this for yourself right- cause I wouldn't expect people to read it."
I said "yes," while secretly dreaming of world domination through the written word and my own narcissistic introspection.

Reality check:
If people read it that would be great, if not, then that is fine too.  I get to document what I want to try to do to satisfy my curiosity about what makes me happiest.  Not that life is bad.  Not by any means.  I n fact life is great.  I work with good people, I belong to a volunteer organization, I have great friends and I just turned 29.

I think it was the 29 thing. I remember thinking hard about the fact that I was another decade older when I turned 20.  Well the next decade mark will be 30.  It seems like 30 has become this new marker with this significance I never thought I would grant it.

I know a lot is going to happen in the next year and I want to focus on some things.  I actually had a list of things I could focus on.  I like lists.

But first things first- gotta have a name for the blog.

In a nod to my dear friend who thoughtfully defined the words that perfectly defined her, I did some thinking with the dictionary in my lap and to define the titles for my blog and I chose Corkscrew Curiosity.

Corkscrew vt
1. Wind
2. To draw out with difficulty
3. To twist into a spiral
4. To move in a winding course

Curiosity n
1. Desire to know
2. Nosiness
3. Interest leading to inquiry

Hopefully I can ask some good questions and fulfill whatever nagging need I apparently have to create something.  Thanks for sharing in the journey!