Stop Touching Things

"Miss! you can't touch the artwork..."
"He means you, too, G-ma"

Friday, October 7, 2011

The greatest revenge is to live well

That was my motto as I stuffed slurped down my coffee and refilled the trick or treat bag that I keep filled at the office every October... chocolate... dark chocolate... that I eat half of, by the end of the first week.

Maybe this sentiment was fueled by the soup I made last night. It was phenomenal. I made it up on the fly and I totally messed up a few things... but I fixed them, and, well, let's just say I was pleased. As I was standing in front of the stove, wiping up the mess, and putting the soup in containers to store (you know I'm having that soup for lunch today) I blurted out, "Cooking some good makes me so happy, especially when I pull it out of my butt." er, metaphorically speaking that is.  Then I was stunned for a minute as I was able to acknowledge happiness in my own kitchen. Happiness has been hard to find lately, but here it was with in easy reach. Today, I think I'm going to make french onion soup.

Here's to finding those happy moments, and holding on to them for a few moments before the rest of life distracts you. Live well, eat chocolate. Ride bike in your apron.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I came for the music, I stayed for the food.

Find more picks at The Heavy Table...  By the way, can you spot me in the above montage?  
photos by 


A few weeks ago it was penciled into my calendar was Rock The Garden 2011.

Have you noticed the weather lately?  If it's not 1000° F out side, a great tidal wave of God's tears are flowing down the road, into your basement, and all over your hair and makeup?  But, I digress.

It was penciled in to my calendar to attend this event, and it took great pains (by Jolleen at least) to get tickets. We had gone a couple of years ago to see Andrew Bird (swoon) and hadn't been able to get tickets again until this year.  I had heard of the bands playing, but I wasn't really into any of them... maybe Neko Case a little, but that was more tied to a dating infatuation of even longer ago so I wouldn't be too bummed about not going, if the weather was bad, but not bored if it was good.

I started driving the 2.5 hours to Jo's  house that morning when about half way through it started to rain.  Ugh! Rain! Annoying.  I was crossing my fingers that the rain would be over with by the time the show started, I do not like being uncomfortable at concerts. 45 minutes later I was camped out in a Target along I 35 waiting for the downpour to ease up so I could see the road, and waiting to hear the announcement the show was cancelled.  As I wandered from aisle to aisle, I think "If this rain ever stops... it's going to be a mud pit"

Light. Bulb.

Then I ran over to the shoe section and searched through the Rain boots. They had a really cute pair in kids sizes that I just could not get my feet into (I tried. Twice).  So, I bought the least ugly adult sized pair and headed out the door. The rain had cut back a bit and was at least drivable. Radio announcer guy says "ROCK THE GARDEN: RAIN OR SHINE" Good thing I bought those boots...

When I get to Jo's, the rain I left behind 50 miles ago, caught up with me and arrived in Minneapolis. It was coming down so hard I could hardly open my car door.  When I could creep out, I zoomed into the house and just looked at Jo.  Are we really going to do this?  I mean I don't like being wet.  I'm not into the bands.  And it's a DELUGE. She was wringing her hands because she really wanted to go, and she could tell I did not want to be wet.

We discussed the options and it came down to Jo was really looking forward to going, AND we paid good money for those tickets.  We would go. Unless there was a tornado or lightning, and then we wouldn't stay long. We devised rain gear (ponchos for them, i brought a trench coat) and a battle plan.

I in my rain gear and the gals in their new boots
After Katy arrived and we discussed matters, we noticed that the rain was letting up a little. The other girls praised me for my footwear choice and wished for their own Rubber boots.  "Well," one of us said, "we still have time... let's run to Tar-shjay and see if they have any left!" So we did.  They had 5 pair, and luckily the gals found two that fit... and they all matched.  
The official Rain Boot of RTG 2011
When we got to the event, and the pattering of rain was barely noticed in the mud and mist. We noticed were all the rain boots from Target ended up that day, along with the ponchos. I made it a side project to take pictures of all the different rain boots people wore... unfortunately my camera battery died in the middle of it. The music was playing, and we couldn't really sit down since the ground was wet, so we went from food stand to food stand eating and drinking our way through the day.

The tacos were great, the falafel was amazing... and the ice cream... Hagen Daaz... Oh and I'm not ashamed to say I had a fantastic corn dog. I want to go back, but no so much for the music, but to get to those food stands I missed. 

Yeah, the music was good. There are a trillion and one blogs out there to tell you all about it (where do you think I found the picture of me and my friends in the montage?) and I'm sure Jo was disappointed that I get bored easily standing in a crowd staring at someone signing, but the highlight of my day wasn't the bands, or hipsters, or standing the mud with 5000 other idiots... It was the corndog. Or the ice cream.  Or the look on Jo's face when she tried something she liked.  Or the conversation with Katy on why we were taking another picture of what we were about to never see again... our dinner. 

I think that's one of things I love about food, I love the eating and the talking about it and the taking of pictures and then maybe learning how to make it and eating it again with different (or the same!) friends... Food, like music, is easily shared and easily accessible on many levels... but food holds my interest much longer, and even though it's technically rude, you can still talk to each other while your eating. 


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bugged Eyed!

 \/ \/ \/ These are my sunglasses
 (and that is my awesome dog, daisy!)  

My sunglasses are HU-GE!

I wear them Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring.  Running down streets, riding in boats, skiing down hills, swimming in the ocean...

On Mexican vacations... both of them... that were 3 years a part.... 

In family pictures...

They are fugly to the extreme, and they only cost me $12 or so... but they cover all around my eyes and keep the sun from glaring and my sophisticated laugh lines from forming....

It's entirely probable I will be wearing these same sunglasses 20 years from now and the trendsetters will be trying to buy them off of me because they're so 'sophisticated'. 

Bug Eyed: It's how we do it in Howktown.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Why yes, I did eat half a pan of brownies for dinner.

I always thought that I would reach middle age and not fall for the chocolate trap. Boy was I wrong.

I'll admit, I was swayed by the picture.

It just looks so rich and decadent.  I think I convinced my self I was getting this:
Spoon River Flourless Chocolate Cake

I was silly.

Anyway, the brownies did taste good. They were chocolaty and rich and gooey... but I couldn't get them out of the pan.. even though they were completely cooled.  They just stuck to the fork. When I picked them up, they fell apart. That was annoying. In no way was it a satisfying brownie eating experience. 

That didn't stop me from eating half a pan for dinner, though. I only stopped because my sister and my parents were looking at me a little strange. Plus, I let them have some, so I could really eat the whole pan AND share. Good chocolate goo eating experience? Yes.

I'm going to have to go to Spoon River soon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brownie Life Improvement Plan

So, I've been on this diet. Well, let me rephrase that... I've made a life style change that involves not eating every loaf of bread, topped with donuts, wheat thins, and sugary crumbles that I see.  More fiber, less sugar.  More fiber, less carbs. More fiber, less refined, processed, pre-packaged foods.  And so far, it's working out pretty good for the balancing out the blood sugars and chronic fatigue part of the plan.

However, I've noticed that I've been seriously lacking in the Brownie department.  Now, I've discovered that I can eat one square of ultra dark chocolate (coupled with black coffee and few almonds!) and almost get the same effect and still stay low carb/sugar... but it frankly is not a brownie.

SO! While walking through the store aimlessly to let the food choose me,  This box of brownie mix jumped into my hand (funny how that happened).  The box is sitting in my car waiting for me to get home and bake it up and then eat it all up.  At first, I felt a little guilty. Then I realized, my plan need a name. If a plan has a name, then it's official.  There is no questioning official business!

The Brownie Life Improvement Plan will commence at the completion of the Brownie Baking League inaugural bake off... which will probably end up being sometime around 10:30 at night considering my work schedule today.

I've never had this mix before, so I'll have to let you know how it goes.  Until then... Eat brownies, my friends.

Friday, March 4, 2011

That's where I'm going to be in a  month.

Time to start the Tequila Reinstatement Program. That's a long and arduous process that acclimates one body to Margaritas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Next it will be the "I won't be caught dead in those capri pants from 2003" buyers program. This might have to be a daily regimen of online shopping to make sure I have enough dresses to fulfill my other goal of "never wearing ass fattening shorts again".

So far so good on that end...  Online shopping has never really been a problem for me... well, if you by problem you mean 'can't figure it out'.

So, as we sit here with the -10 degree windchill in F%*&$ March... I'll dream of you Cancun and when we meet, I'll be prepared!

Let's just hope my passport gets here in time.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! Say Hi to Your Mother for Me.

Ala Cuisine! Kylie and I kill time at HyVee waiting for the Manager to fix the register after my New Year's Party Purchases seem to break its resolve...

While the Howktown is a fairly happenin' place, the exact location of it is situated in the middle of... nowhere.  It is rare that I get out of town visitors that aren't related to me in some way. I tried the convincing, cajoling, bribery in the past to no avail...

Maybe it was because the last party I had I invited every friend I had and expected everyone to get along... One trip to the emergency room later and I was asking myself "what exactly where you thinking, Howk?" Most likely I was thinking my eclectic taste is friends was shared by all and they would find just being in Howktown enough to get past their differences... besides I'd made them a 5 course meal all by myself! That was 5 years ago... Cest la Vie!
That is until this year! The guest list was pared down to just the college girlfriends and included pizza and drinks and watching you tube videos of Mark Wahlberg Talking to Animals. Now Jo Jo Potato and N.O.H. had been down since then, but this was the first time that the 4 of us had been together in Howktown... ever! I was a bit excited.

The Czarina gave me the Pioneer Woman cookbook for Christmas and we decided to try out her Potato Leek Pizza, as well as two others of our own making. All yummy. The pizza dough recipe was fantastic. Easy to make, easy to use, and tasted great.  I haven't made enough of the recipes yet to give this book a thorough review, but the two I've tried have been pretty freakin' awesome.

Cute and good with eggs!
I had homemade bloody Marys waiting for my friends when they arrived.  I figured I'd have to spoil them to remind them how awesome Howktown really is (it is actually known as The Fun House by a certain 8 year old visitor).  After the pizza, and the Marys, we headed down stairs. I had intended to get them all dancin' but we ended up talking and mixing drinks.  We ended up talking and laughing (and sometimes crying) all night; the best part of a Pajama Party anyway!
That's homemade bread, sisters.

The next day, my personal chef made us all omelets, while I made French Press style coffee for everyone. Mostly because Deb thought it was weird that her coworker had a french press in his cube. ;)

Now I'm going to talk to a goat. Hey Goat, nice beard.

Happy New Year from the Queen of Howktown and her Personal Chef and Consort.