February 28, 2014

Well, that was easy

 It's official.  My desk is all packed up.  



Sayonara desk jobs.  I already spent my last pay check on a bitchin' fence for Rosie so I'm really, really unemployed now.  However, it only took one maiden frolic in the backyard for that to have been the best money I ever spent.  

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The lady likes to be free!
Rosie, how do I love thee.  Let me count the ways.

Collars turned to the side are so hot right now.

February 27, 2014

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof Indeed

I recently made two really delicious recipes from Ina's latest cookbook, Barefoot Contessa - Foolproof


They were just straight up wonderful so without further ado, here they are:


I used spinach because I'm just not an arugula fan.  I also used canned beans instead of dried because I couldn't find dried cannellini beans to save my life.  It was warm and flavorful with a gourmet twist.

This would be wonderful on it's own or served with a nice tuna steak or chicken breast.


I used a mixture of chicken breasts and chicken drumsticks because a) I only like skinless, chicken breasts and b) it was the post apocalypse/ice storm here in Wilmington and there was no good chicken selection to be had.

And this would be amazing served with mashed potatoes.  I recently saw an episode of her show in which she served this with cheesy grits, another comforting side idea.

Two wonderful recipes, one delicious dinner.

February 25, 2014

Setting the bar low

Because I refuse to spend $300 putting my baby on a chinchilla rug and having his photo taken right after I quit my job, this is totally going to be me/Jack.

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Poor, poor little lad.  He won't know his mom is a low-budget bitch until he realizes all the other kids at school have things like smash cakes and smocked outfits.  And he just...doesn't.

February 24, 2014

The End of an Era

This week marks the beginning of the end of a few monumental things in my life.

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For starters, it is the last week of my 20's.  I turn 30 this Saturday.  

Do you want to know a good way to not give a rat's ass about turning 30?  Be 9 months pregnant on your Birthday.  Suddenly getting older seems a lot less significant than the human being that is about to exit your body and enter your life.  Forever.

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It also marks the end of my illustrious business career in real estate and beyond.  I'm officially retiring this Friday.  Most people who retire when they are 29 are super rich Internet bubble geniuses who are going to sit back on their mega yachts and count their monies.   I, on the other hand, am going to stock up on Ramen Noodles and nearly expired meats and start couponing my ass off.  I shall consider it my greatest challenge to date.

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 I don't even know if the people at my office know I'm leaving, but I'm sure they don't really care. When the most frequently asked question you get at your workplace is why you have hot sauce on your desk, rest assured, you will not be that missed by the end of the next week. 

And finally, this week, and today specifically, mark the end of my prenatal yoga experience.  Thank the yogi gods above that today's class was the last class of my yoga package, because I simply cannot salute the sun anymore at this size.  

You know it's time to temporarily hang up your yoga pants when you are involuntarily making the following position modifications:

Downward Down ---> Paralyzed Polar Bear that has just been hit with a tranquilizer dart

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Child's Pose ---> Depressed, defeated sumo wrestler

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Happy Baby ---> Actual woman giving birth

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It's not even so much the size of my stomach standing in my way as it is the sensation of a 20 lb bowling bowl hanging right in and around my pubic bone.  The pain is real.  And it is increasing by the minute.  

One more modification that is temporarily permanent in my life:

TGIF ---> TGIOHTMWLTGA (Thank Goodness I Only Have Three More Weeks Left To Go...Allegedly)

February 20, 2014

We Run the World Girls

Recently I went to a party and had a pretty revealing encounter with two separate individuals.

One came up to me unprovoked (never seen her before in my life), and told me that parenthood was a total emotional roller coaster...and that she hadn't slept in two months, felt like a zombie, and had never worn so much concealer under her eyes in her life.  She had a 9 week old.

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I guess my plump stomach serves as an "Advice Wanted" sign so I don't have to wear an actual one.  But the girl was cute and it was a really nice encounter.  And a tiny bit scary.

Then as I was leaving the party, I got more advice from a man outside who also saw my invisible sign and told me, "Having a baby is the best thing ever.  It's so much fun!  I have a 9 week old and it's just great."  His take on being a parent was drastically less dramatic.

My womanly instincts told me this might be the laid back baby daddy to that exhausted woman inside.  I asked if by any chance he had a 9 week old.  He said yes.  I told him I just talked to his wife who said she was exhausted and hadn't slept in 2 months.

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His response, "Well, sure, she does 90% of the parenting duties.  But it's really fun for me!"

Their markedly different states of parenthood and its effects did not go unnoticed.

I have a feeling this is only the beginning of a lot of perceived parenting injustices in my future.  If you do the crime you have to do the time.  And if you have the boobs in free time and sleep you lose! (Patent pending on that expression).

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I'm ready!




February 18, 2014

Pork Medallions in Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Sometimes I just can't eat another chicken breast.  So I always, always buy pork tenderloins when they are on sale.  And then I always, always make my beloved Party Pork.

But recently I decided to switch it up and make this recipe:



Pork Medallions in Mushroom Marsala Sauce Recipe
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The results were outstanding.  I served this with diced, roasted crispy fingerling potatoes, and roasted asparagus tossed in a Mushroom and Sage Olive Oil that I purchased at Taste the Olive in Wilmington.  Divine!

I dare say it was a showstopper in looks as well.  I kept it in my large sautee pan for presentation as the medallions were already laid out so beautifully in the sauce while cooking.

The only problem was that it was during the first snow storm of the year and Grant was at his buddy's house drinking until around 9pm (which he thought was 7pm??), so it was a show stopper for 1.  

I rarely make elaborate meals for just myself.  And I never, ever make cream based dishes with two sides and 6 servings to eat by myself at 8:45 at night.  I felt like a rich, glutinous European woman when I dined solo on this masterpiece.  But I've had bigger problems than that before, so I coped and persevered.  It was worth all the hardship.

Make this for your lover, friends, or family today and they will be sure to kiss the cook and sing your praises.

 
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 lb. pork tenderloin (about 2 tenderloins)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 12 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala
  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    DIRECTIONS:
     

    Trim the tenderloins of silverskin and any excess fat. Cut the tenderloins into 2-inch-thick medallions. Flip each medallion onto a cut side and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten slightly. Season the meat with 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

    Heat the olive oil and 1 Tbs. of the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. When the butter is melted and foaming, add half of the meat and sear until nicely browned, 2 to 3 min. Flip and cook the other side until the meat is well browned and slightly firm to the touch, about another 2 min. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining pork.

    Melt the remaining 2 Tbs. butter in the pan. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and sauté for about 30 seconds, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the mushrooms and sauté until all of the mushroom liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden, about 3 min. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt, sprinkle with the flour, and add the Marsala. Once the Marsala has almost completely evaporated, add the chicken broth and reduce by half, about 3 min. Stir in the cream and parsley, return the pork and any accumulated juices to the pan, and cook, flipping the pork once, until it’s firm to the touch and still a little pink in the middle (cut into a piece to check), 2 to 4 min. Taste for salt and pepper and serve.

    ENJOY!

February 17, 2014

Asian Relaxation

The future of relaxation is here.  And it is called Asian Relaxation Center, located at Racine Commons.

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 Let me start by saying that my dogs haven't just been barking recently.  They have been positively whimpering in pain.  This is my only real pregnancy complaint, but it is real and it is freaking painful.

I have had two people suggest this Asian Relaxation Center to me so I went to check it out last weekend.  It is basically like a walk in spa for massages.  I made an appointment an hour in advance but me thinks that if you just showed up they would be down with that as well.

At first you might think it's a happy ending sort of place.  You go back to a dark room with little to no explanation in English and just wait for someone to come tend to you.  Real talk: The first time I went the anticipation was killing me.  But it's not that sort of establishment...You perverts! 

But then you realize that the only happy ending you are getting here is the most legit, heavenly foot massage of your life, without any of that pesky, "Make yourself comfortable, get under the sheet when you're ready" BS.  

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This is very much a wham, bam, thank you Asian man situation.  And it's my new everything.  I actually went back the very next weekend and thought I'd died and gone to heaven with the foot rub.  I also got a neck/head massage which was really nice, but not as relaxing since laying on your back while pregnant makes you feel like you're going to vom, and explaining that to someone who doesn't speak English makes you feel like you are taking crazy pills.

The foot rubs are the ticket.  I'm sticking to those.

Nonetheless, go to this place.  You can basically get any half hour increment of time you want.  It's typically $1/minute.  Certainly more than I've ever made!  But totally affordable if you just get a half hour ($25/30 minutes for foot).  I might go back every weekend until I have this baby :)  Sorry I'm not sorry at all.  My feet feel like that of an old crippled 600 pound lady and they need to be rubbed.  A lot.

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February 14, 2014

Happy VDay Hoes

Happy Valentine's Day.

You know what will make your special lady love you forever?

Not getting her a pulsating necklace.

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Have you seen this ridiculousness on TV recently?  


AKA, they pulsate.  When your Valentine's Day jewelry comes with a video demonstration, you know it's going to be all class all the way.



Here's a list of characteristics I never wanted in jewelry:

1) For it to follow my every move.

Well, looks like that's the whole list!  I'd rather have a $10 box of chocolates that just sits still until I eat it, than a $800 vibrating, Rose Gold, heart-shaped, 3/8 carat novelty necklace that looks like it'd give you vertigo.  I wonder if batteries are required.

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Love might be in the air, but it is not in that box from Kay Jewelers.  Trust me fellas.

February 13, 2014

My Thoughts on the Weather, in pictures

This was me Tuesday night:

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This was me last night:



Hopefully this will be me tonight:
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I am working on a little project called Operation Relocate the Hope Diamond.  The cast of characters:

The Hope Diamond.

She has caught a chill and is none too pleased with the lack of power.
 
My parents' beach house.

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And, God willing, working power.

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For Grant.

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For me.

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For the HD.


Wish me luck.  Last time I checked the status of the operation the power was flickering at my parents' place.  Hopefully the operation is a go by COB today.  The Hope Diamond's need for luxury waits for no one!  Not even Mother Nature.

BTW for all the locals in my neighborhood, I just got a call from Duke Power saying that our power will be restored by 11:30PM... ON SATURDAY!!!!!!!

W
T
F
?
!

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star

I'm totally getting this for Jack/Me.  


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Not just to protect me from getting peed on.  But also because it looks like a Yamaka for the baby penis.

Shalom my baby.

Tinkle Tinkle Little Star!

February 12, 2014

Apple Mug Muffin

In my endless pursuit to exhaust the Internet and simultaneously eat everything I can think of, I have found another delicious and unique little recipe.

This one particularly struck my fancy because it's basically a muffin built for one.  Perfect for the girl who can no more be trusted with an entire dozen of muffins than with the tip of a piece of pizza.  (I think I'm pretty sane in most regards, but I definitely have a disorder in which I have to eat the tips off of pizza slices if I see them sitting idle.  This makes me a most untrustworthy person to split an in-house pizza with).

What we have here is a muffin in a mug.  

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Ingredients
 
Muffin
Streusel Topping
Instructions
Muffin (Microwave)
  1. Melt the butter in a microwave safe mug on lower power.
  2. Whisk in the applesauce, egg, vanilla and maple syrup until well combined
  3. Add almond meal, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt and stir for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add streusel topping (optional) and microwave for 1 minute, 10 seconds
  5. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Muffin (Oven)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit (176 Celsius)
  2. Melt your butter and grease your mug
  3. Follow steps 2 and 3 and then add your streusel topping (optional)
  4. Place your mug(s) on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes
Streusel Topping
  1. Combine using your fingertips, then sprinkle on top before microwaving.
  2.  
I made it twice.  Both times in the microwave.  I also used 2 Tablespoons of regular flour instead of almond or coconut flour.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  

I also doubled the recipe the second time (but not the butter), seen below, because FEED ME I'M HUNGRY.



I loved it.  It's the perfect warm-your-soul-for-breakfast treat without too much guilt or sweetness and, more importantly, without the dangerous leftover other 11 muffins that you'd have if you made a traditional batch.  

You could customize this with blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, banana, butterscotch, chocolate chips, etc!  Get jiggy wit' it.

February 11, 2014

Sochi 2014

It's probably a good thing that the Winter Olympics only happen every 4 years.  

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That's about how long it takes to forget how painfully boring the countless hours of Figure Skating, Ice Dancing, and Pairs Skating is.

Don't get me wrong, I love the downhill ski races, half pipe bad assery, and all that other hardcore stuff, but I simply cannot sit and watch two spandex clad people that aren't even skating for my own country pick their toes against the ice and call it sport.  

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I know it's hard.  I know I couldn't do it.  But I also know I'm not impressed enough to watch it for more than 0.5 seconds.

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Semi-related tangent: A lot of these ice skating couples are real-life lovers.  How do you think that plays out?  The sexual tension could build and build during 9-hour days of training with bodies pressed against one another.  (Come on, we've all seen the Cutting Edge!).  But how in the name of Lycra would that attraction not burst into flames when you see your male dance partner wearing a bedazzled, skin tight costume?

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If it wasn't from the cold of the ice skating arena, that mental image right there would make me lose my lady boner faster than you can say Triple Sow Cow.

February 10, 2014

Be Still My Heart


I'm sure the fact that I have a dog I'm obsessed with and a baby about to be born makes this extra cute to me, but how can you watch this and just not die of preciousness?!


I hope Rosie turns in to the ultimate protector for our baby.  And not an ultimate diva bitch who can't share the spotlight.

Quote It


I'm just going to go on record as saying that keeping your heart rate elevated is not really worth how dumb you look jogging in place at stop lights.


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February 07, 2014

Lunch Made Easy - Pizza Spaghetti (Squash) Pie

As much as I love cooking, I really dislike trying to figure out a healthy, affordable way for me to get a quick lunch everyday during the work week. 

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So I love when I find a recipe that is easy, delicious, healthy, and can be prepared at the beginning of the week to last me until Friday.

This past Sunday I made this recipe on a whim because it looked tasty and uncomplicated.  

And I'm happy to report that it's Friday and I'm still looking forward to having it for lunch!  It has stayed fresh and together for the entire week and I've enjoyed it each day.  I enjoy anything with pizza sauce and meat though, so I need to remind myself to try more recipes with these basic ingredients.


The recipe says it serves 3-4 but I was able to get 5 lasagna sized portions out of it.  What, you don't measure your food in terms of "lasagna"?  Well you should.
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I used hot chicken sausage instead of pork for less calories and fat.  I'm pretty sure most people who eat "Paleo" also do Crossfit, and since that was so not happening in my life, I figured I'd modify the fatness for someone of a much less hardcore lifestyle.  I also added a little cheese to the top in the last 10 minutes because I'm naughty like that :)

Almost 5 Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie - From PaleOMG
 
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 large spaghetti squash (about 600 grams)
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • (optional: add anything you like with pizza: veggies, basil, even cheese if you do primal)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place spaghetti squash cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the skin of the squash gives when you press on it. Then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.
  3. Once squash is done cooking, remove threads and place in an 8×8 greased baking dish.
  4. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add Italian sausage and onion. Cook until pink no longer remains in the sausage and it is broken up into pieces.
  5. Add pizza sauce, dried basil and salt and pepper to the pan and mix well.
  6. Add sausage mixture to the 8×8 dish and mix well with spaghetti squash threads.
  7. Lastly, add whisked eggs to the baking dish and mix everything together until you can no longer see the eggs.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until the top of the mixture forms a slight crust that doesn’t give when you press on it in the middle of the dish.
  9. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    This will definitely become a regular lunch staple for me!

February 06, 2014

Shut Up Sky Mall Magazine - It is what it is Bracelet


Let me start by saying this is one of my all-time most hated expressions. 

It's simple.  It's dumb.  It's too obvious to be a real expression in the first place.  And it makes you sound like an idiot.

But please, Sky Mall Magazine, by all means make this into a piece of jewelry and encourage people to keep saying it!  
NOT.

As I was looking this item up online to get a link to it, can you even imagine my surprise to discover that there are 43 reviews for this product on the Sky Mall website!?  That means that 43 people out of who knows how many actually paid for this item in earnest, gave it careful consideration, and then took the time to write a review about it.  If I had to guess, I'd bet that only about 5% of online buyers actually post reviews.  Even though I'm totally making that number up, if I'm right that means that something like 1,000 people have actually bought this bracelet!!!

What the hell!?
I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!



February 05, 2014

Spam Fail

Out of all of the ridiculous fake email subjects I've seen in my SPAM folder, this one takes the cake for the least appealing.


You're not even promising to make my penis bigger?  And, hello, do you see that I also just came into $950,000.00 from Dr. Mrs.Jessica Iwoego?  Good luck competing with that "Elizabeth". 

You better find someone else to help you cheat on your husband!  I'm going to be busy spending my western union money from the great Dr. Mrs.

February 04, 2014

My Eyes Deceive Me

You know what is kind of cray cray about being pregnant?  Besides the tiny human growing where once there was only boneless buffalo wings and miscellaneous fruits and veggies?

Your vision changes!  At least mind did.  I recently had to change my contact prescription because I couldn't see anything far away.  And I just got confirmation that this is real thing in my daily "What to Expect" email - an email that comes once a day to either convince or reassure you that your body going haywire is a totally normal part of the process.

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"But wait…are your eyes actually deceiving you…or at least, playing tricks on you? Many women discover that their vision seems less sharp during pregnancy, or that their contact lenses are less comfortable than they used to be.
Pregnancy hormones do more to your body than meets the eye, yet they also do plenty to your eyes. They affect not only your digestive tract and your ligaments (not to mention your reproductive organs), but also cause a decrease in tear production, leading to eye dryness, irritation, and discomfort. What's more, the same fluid buildup that causes your ankles to swell can also cause the curvature of your eye to change."

Yay.  More fun shit.

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This is really NBD because changing a prescription is easy peasy if you have an available eye doctor that you trust.  Which I do...now.

When I lived in DC I thought I was suffering from the worst case of pink eye since lower school contagion.   For like a year.  After going to no less than 4 eye doctors, it turned out that I was just allergic to my contact solution and never hard pink eye.  I guess that's what you get for going to eye doctors at the mall.

One of the doctors I went to I found like I found all my awesome care providers when I lived in DC - by cross referencing insurance covered providers with proximity to my office...whichever office that was at the time.  Oh me of many jobs and little pay.

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While I was delighted at his proximity to my office and the fact that he was not located in an underground mall like the last man, I was none to pleased when I came to discover upon our first meeting that he was deaf, cross eyed, and, most offensively, had a pony tail.  


 
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 I think it's great to be different and imperfect, but when it comes to service providers that actually work on one of your 5 senses, I think it's actually OK to discriminate to the extent that such a provider must actually have all 5 of their senses fully functioning.  

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I eventually learned my lesson and became one of those ridiculous adults who waits until they go back to their hometown to go to the doctor.  But not before trying 3 dentists (one who gave me a filling without numbing me first and making my sister cry on a separate occasion), 2 gynecologists, and 4 eye doctors.  That was all in 3 years.  
3 years, 4 jobs, 9 medical care providers...am I sure I'm not crazy?  'Tis a wonder I'm not running a small Government faction on Capitol Hill with that track record!