Thursday, May 31, 2007

Dinner out

D and I decided to try a new restaurant the other night: Lone Tree Thai Cuisine. Not a very exciting name, considering the street it's on is (you guessed it) Lone Tree. But I was hoping it would end up being a great hole-in-the-wall Thai place less than five minutes from my house. Unfortunately, it didn't exactly measure up.

We ordered a TON of food. Pad thai (the standard by which every Thai restaurant must be judged), mixed seafood green curry, laarb (a "salad" with beef in it) and, as an appetizer, "fish cake." Which was actually fish cakes, plural: there were five of them. The texture of the fish cakes was odd - kind of rubbery and flabby, but the flavor was decent, especially when you put the cucumber-relish stuff on top of it. Next the laarb arrived, and it was....kind of frightening, actually. A huge mound of ground beef with a little lettuce thrown in, a dab of mint, and (supposedly) some cilantro. But the oddest thing about it was the sauce or grease that they cooked it in; at one point, D said "Movie popcorn!" and then that was all we could think of. It was pretty awful. The pad thai was ok, except that they overcooked the prawns - WAY overcooked them. And the green curry was mild (we specified extra-spicy everything, because that's just how we roll) with - again - seriously overcooked seafood. The salmon was cooked well, but all of the shellfish was horribly overcooked.

D and I agreed that we would not be returning.

Coming up soon: Greek(ish) salad. Gotta use up that seedless cucumber and the feta!

Lone Tree Thai

D and I decided to try a new restaurant the other night: Lone Tree Thai Cuisine. Not a very exciting name, considering the street it's on is (you guessed it) Lone Tree. But I was hoping it would end up being a great hole-in-the-wall Thai place less than five minutes from my house. Unfortunately, it didn't exactly measure up.

We ordered a TON of food. Pad thai (the standard by which every Thai restaurant must be judged), mixed seafood green curry, laarb (a "salad" with beef in it) and, as an appetizer, "fish cake." Which was actually fish cakes, plural: there were five of them. The texture of the fish cakes was odd - kind of rubbery and flabby, but the flavor was decent, especially when you put the cucumber-relish stuff on top of it. Next the laarb arrived, and it was....kind of frightening, actually. A huge mound of ground beef with a little lettuce thrown in, a dab of mint, and (supposedly) some cilantro. But the oddest thing about it was the sauce or grease that they cooked it in; at one point, D said "Movie popcorn!" and then that was all we could think of. It was pretty awful. The pad thai was ok, except that they overcooked the prawns - WAY overcooked them. And the green curry was mild (we specified extra-spicy everything, because that's just how we roll) with - again - seriously overcooked seafood. The salmon was cooked well, but all of the shellfish was horribly overcooked.

D and I agreed that we would not be returning.

Coming up soon: Greek(ish) salad. Gotta use up that seedless cucumber and the feta!


Yesterday I decided it was time to get cracking and think about what the heck I was going to do for a vacation this summer. I need a vacation. Even if it's just a few days, I need to take some time off and go somewhere. D and I have been sort of dancing around about it, but dammit, I needed to get something nailed down.

I've been thinking about visiting my sister, S, so I thought I'd check and see what festivals are coming up in Portland this summer. I've driven through Portland a few times, but never actually stopped and spent time there (at least, not since I was a kid). Lo & behold, there is something called the Oregon Brewers Festival coming up at the end of July. And it's on a weekend when I don't have the Rugrat. Score! I talked to D about it last night and he was totally psyched for it (how's that for appropriate use of early '90's slang?). I called S this morning and she sounded pretty darn happy about having us come to stay for a few days. So I guess I've got my vacation planned out. I emailed the info to D, and once he gets his dates off approved through work, we'll hook up the plane tickets. It's not really cheaper for two people to fly than to drive, but you get the benefit of not wasting an entire day in the car, each way, if you fly. So I think it evens out.

I am so excited! July is going to be the best month ever: Harry Potter 5 movie will be released, Harry Potter 7 book will be released, and then I'm going on vacation with D, and get to drink lots of beer and hang out with my li'l sis. Perfect.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Balsamic Berries

Balsamic Berries
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister
This is fantastic on its own, or over ice cream. Yum!

You don't even really need a recipe for this. Just throw together a few pints of cleaned, fresh berries (with strawberries, you'll want to hull them & maybe slice them to a uniform size) in a bowl. I used strawberries, blackberries and blueberries, which I found at my local farmer's market this weekend. Sprinkle a spoonful of sugar over the berries, and then drizzle everything with maybe a 1/4 c good balsamic vinegar. Let it stand for half an hour or so to let the berries soak up some of the vinegar and release some of their juices. That's all there is to it!

Shrimp & Orzo

Shrimp & Orzo Pasta Salad
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister
Mmmm....summery and delicious! Quick to make and perfect for a BBQ or picnic, since it's at its best when it's room temperature. This is a variation on a Barefoot Contessa recipe, and it's my contribution to Sweetnicks' ARF/5-a-day roundup this week.

Shrimp & Orzo
1/2 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled & deveined (tail off!)
1/2 lb orzo pasta
1 c chopped tomato (I used cherry tomatoes)
1 c diced seedless cucumber
1/4-1/2 c diced red onion (adjust amount depending on how much you like onion)
1/4 lb feta, diced
1/4 c basil, torn into small pieces or sliced into thin ribbons
2 lemons
EVOO, salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook pasta according to package directions. While it's cooking, toss the shrimp with olive oil, salt & pepper, and spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet. When the oven is preheated, cook the shrimp for about 3-4 minutes, just until they're pink and opaque. Time will vary depending on the size of shrimp you're using.

In a large bowl, put the tomato, cucumber and onion. Zest one of the lemons and add the zest to the veggies. In a smaller bowl, put the juice of both the lemons, and a liberal amount of kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper (this is going to season the entire salad). Add olive oil, whisking constantly, until you have about 1/2-3/4 c of dressing. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and add it to the bowl with the veggies. Immediately pour the vinaigrette over the pasta and veggies. Throw in the shrimp, and finally add the feta and basil. Stir gently to combine, and check your seasonings. Let it sit at room temperature for about half an hour or so, to let the flavors meld. Then dig in, and just try to keep yourself to one or two servings. ;-)

Gettin' busy

Not like that!

Friday night, I went out to dinner with my friend K and some of her other friends. This was her "goodbye" dinner, before moving back to Las Vegas, where she was born & raised. I'm bummed that my friend isn't local anymore, but she'll be back to visit often, and we didn't see each other much more often than once a month anyhow. So it won't be a huge change. After dinner, I drove out to stay the night with D. He had to be at work at 6 AM the next morning, but even the threat of waking up at 4:30 am on a Saturday is not enough of a deterrent to keep me away from him. (I know!!)

Saturday, after watching the gorgeous sunrise on the drive home, I took a nap, then hit the Brentwood farmer's market. I bought zucchini and yellow squash, a gorgeous huge red onion, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries, and tons of cherries. I also got a sourdough baguette, some asiago foccacia, a package of naan and a packet of vindaloo curry paste. Whew! With all these goodies in hand, I made a plan: vindaloo for dinner, followed by homemade cherry ice cream. Turns out, though, that homemade ice cream is a major process. You have to simmer and steep the milk (with vanilla bean, in this case), then make the custard and cook it (gently!!), cool it in an ice bath, chill it in the refrigerator, and THEN put it in the ice cream maker and freeze it up. It took HOURS. But OMG, so worth it. That fresh cherry ice cream was fall-on-the-floor good. Next time: more cherries, and maybe puree a few of them to add to the custard at the start of the freezing process.

I packed up half of the cherry ice cream, and all the fixings for the vindaloo (chicken, veggies, curry paste, TJ's frozen rice bags, and naan), and drove BACK out to Livermore to make dinner for D and his roommates. They were very appreciative, and after a minor mishap where the vindaloo would not thicken up (I made a quick roux to fix it), it turned out pretty well. Not my finest meal, but it was fairly good.

Anyhoo, I spent the night out there again (two nights in a row!) and for the first time ever, D and I spent the night together with no sexy-time. Just sleep. He was exhausted, what with the lack of sleep the night before, and of course we had to get up at 4:30 again so he could make it to work by 6 AM on Sunday morning. So I completely understand, but at the same time I really missed making love with him. I can't believe that after all these years, I am suddenly the one who wants sex all the time in the relationship.

On Sunday I drove straight to Walnut Creek and sat outside Babydaddy's house reading for an hour, until 7. I figured Rugrat would be up by then, so I knocked on the door -- but apparently Rugrat was still sleeping. Babydaddy answered the door all disheveled and half-asleep, and I went in and convinced Rugrat to get up and get ready. The two of us went out to breakfast (which was pretty horrible; note to self: do not return to Buttercup Cafe in WC) and then headed home. Where I promptly took a nap for two-three hours, while Rugrat watched TV. I finally got up and did something productive: cleaned out my dresser and my closet. One of the local charities was scheduled to come out this morning (Tuesday) so I wanted to be sure and get it done before then, and I was ruthless. I now have not one, not two, but THREE empty drawers in my dresser, and dozens of hangers. The underwear drawer is now so organized that I can also fit my sexythings and bras in there. Sunday afternoon ended up being lazy, with me reading a lot, and eventually running out to the grocery store to buy some fixings for Shrimp and Orzo Pasta Salad and then eating two huge servings of it. God, that stuff is SO good.

Yesterday I finally slept in. Rugrat called a friend and ended up going over to her grandmother's house for a few hours in the afternoon, to swim and play for a bit. I planned on getting a pedicure, but of course the nail shops were all closed for the holiday. So instead I went to Lowe's, got some paint for Rugrat's bathroom and the office/guest room (which I've been thinking about redoing for quite a while now), and got BUSY. I couldn't, in good conscience, do the "fun" painting (bathroom, office/guest room) until I did the painting that really desperately needed to be done first, so....I finally painted the trim in the half bath downstairs, the trim around the kitchen entryway, and the walls in the kitchen and living room, where Babydaddy retextured after putting in the new countertops over a year ago. Yes, I know. I am a lazy fucking slob. It took me OVER A YEAR to paint that. And why? Well, I think I was kind of depressed. I mean, I didn't feel sad or anything, but let's face it: I spent a year doing pretty much nothing but reading. I read an average of eleven books a month last year. I had no fucking life. I could not get energized. And now my life has totally changed: I've quit smoking (almost two months without a cigarette!), I am in a fabulous relationship with a man I adore, I'm food blogging and even exercising occasionally. I have a new car, a gardener, and a cleaning lady. And I am ridiculously happy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


More flowers!
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
I just feel really lucky, y'all. Every day I wake up and feel blessed to have this great guy in my life, someone who treats me like a princess and loves me just as much as I love him. Someone who I just seem to mesh with, perfectly. I am so comfortable with him. And so hot for him, too. ;-)

D came over last night, and we had a quick dinner and vegged out for a while on the couch (Veronica Mars series finale! AI final sing-off!). I was a little bit nervous, but I did it anyway: I gave him a garage door opener and a key. I knew that he would be fine and wouldn't freak out about it, but's just the stereotypical male response that I get stuck in my head, and I think to myself, "This is too much, he's going to run away." Of course he didn't. He even asked for a drawer. Kind of joking, but...maybe not.

We got to sleep in this morning since he had a late shift at the hospital today. I love this, because it means we get extra snuggle time in the morning, and get to be kind of lazy. In fact, he slept for a while after I got up. Wednesday is staff meeting day, so while I was on the call, he ran out to the grocery store to pick up eggs for the frittata I was making for brunch. And he came back with flowers. Because that is exactly the kind of guy he is. Beautiful pink and purple spring flowers (glads & iris). And I thought to myself, "What did I do to deserve this man?" I am just the luckiest girl in the world, I tell ya. And then he showed me again how he feels about me, this time in a way. ;-)

I think he may be the one I've been looking for, all this time. And wouldn't that be ironic, considering that we missed a chance to be together fifteen years ago? But maybe we needed that time, to grow up and make mistakes and find the WRONG people, before we could find our way back to each other and recognize that this is so right.

Spinach-Mushroom Frittata

Spinach-Mushroom Frittata
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
D had a late shift at the hospital today, so he didn't have to leave until lunchtime. To celebrate, I whipped up this simple frittata (while I was on my staff meeting phone call! It's THAT easy) for brunch.

Spinach-Mushroom Frittata

1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 c diced onions
1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1 c loosely packed fresh spinach
4 eggs
splash of milk or half-n-half
Few shakes of Tabasco (optional)
2 Tbsp Boursin cheese, crumbled
1/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper, various dried herbs/spices (I used a prepackaged grilling rub that I got via my wine club a while back; it's got rosemary, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and some other stuff)
1/4 c chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350°.

In an oven-proof 10" skillet, sautee the onions and mushrooms in the oil and butter over medium heat until the mushrooms are browned and the onions are soft & translucent. Add the spinach and let it wilt a bit. In the meantime, mix up the eggs with the milk (or half-n-half), Tabasco (if using), salt & pepper, and spices. Crumble in the Boursin cheese (a soft, spreadable garlic-herb cheese). Pour the egg mixture over the veggies, and top with the shredded cheddar cheese. Pop the whole thing in the oven for 10 minutes, then broil for another minute or two to puff it up and get the cheddar all golden brown and delicious. Cut into four wedges, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.

This was the perfect amount for two people, but if you're serving other stuff (like fruit, toast, etc.) you can probably stretch it to four people.

Caprese Pasta

Caprese Pasta
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
I picked up a couple of brown tomatoes (a new variety, not brown as in rotten) at the grocery store and wanted to try them in something simple that wouldn't overwhelm their flavor. So I just made a Caprese salad and threw in some cooked campanelle pasta. You don't even really need a recipe for this, people. Just chop up some tomatoes, some fresh mozzarella, and some basil. Toss with olive oil, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and some cooked pasta. Voila!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What is UP with the Season Finales this year?

They are all so damn depressing! First Ugly Betty: everyone was totally screwed at the end of that show. Betty & Henry torn apart by a scheming pregnant ex-girlfriend; Santos SHOT while Justin sang his heart out in the school musical; Daniel & Alexis in a car crash; Wili stuck with the world's UGLIEST engagement ring; Amanda learning that her whole life has been a lie and that her parents are really the late Fey Somers and (presumably) Bradford Meade! Jesus. Talk about soap opera.

Then Grey's Anatomy, where I just wanted to slap everyone silly. Y'all can read about my tirade on Grey's below.

Sunday, we got Desperate Housewives: Lynette not only has to deal with cancer, but also her husband's (righteous) anger over her near-infidelity and her raging bitch of a mother who's decided to insinuate herself into her estranged daughter's life at a time when the last thing Lynette needs is more stress. Gaby discovered that her fiance is a raging asshole who only married her for political reasons. Unfortunately, she didn't discover this until AFTER the wedding, and what does she do? She throws herself into a liplock with her drunk ex-husband, who just dumped Edie when he found out she was taking birth control pills while telling him she wanted to have his baby. Is it so horribly wrong of me to hope that Gaby and Carlos did more than kiss? I mean, yes, bad of her to cheat when she hasn't even gotten to the wedding night yet, but...she & Carlos are meant for each other. Bree comes back with a faux-pregnancy bump and a teenage daughter stashed in a convent awaiting the birth of her illegitimate child. How fucking 50's can you get? Snooze alert: Mike & Susan get married, finally. Yawn. But! At the very end...Edie hangs herself!! HOLY SHIT, y'all!

Brothers & Sisters: umm...pretty boring, actually. Senator McHottie's family comes for the engagement party, and they are all a bunch of white trash drunken freakjobs. Nothing much happens, except that the youngest boy gets shipped off to Iraq, and there is a tearful scene at the airport. Again, bringing the sad! What the HELL?

And last night: 24 season finale. It's been a pretty lame season. The beginning of the season rocked, with the nuclear bomb going off in LA, but the rest of it? Yawn. Total snooze-fest. So, at the end last night, we have Kiefer contemplating suicide. Jesus, what a downer.

AND! I just found out that Veronica Mars? It is no more. Tonight's season finale is the end for our plucky blonde mystery solver. Waaaaaah! Throw in last week's AI results, when Melinda got booted....and this is the suckiest spring finale season EVER.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Green light

Things went quite well this weekend, I think. Rugrat and I met Tomboy, D's daughter, and they got along pretty well. They kinda bonded over video games. ;-) By dinner, Rugrat was calling her his "best friend," so I guess she gets his big stamp of approval. And she didn't seem too put off by his hyperactive craziness. She's very smart, very precocious, and incredibly well behaved.

We had quite a long day together: Rugrat and I got there shortly before noon, and we all went to the Scottish Games together. Then we went back to D's house, played video games (Guitar Hero totally rocks), had cake and opened presents (it was Tomboy's ninth birthday - she's exactly eight months older than Rugrat), then went out to dinner and off to see Shrek 3. Like I said, quite a day.

So now we've been dating for about three months, and we've both met the kids, and the kids have met each other. Have I mentioned lately how really, really well things are going? Because they are. Really well. Last night D told me he wants to grow old with me. sweet is that? Of course this is after I fed him risotto and homemade peach-blueberry crisp, and we rolled around in bed for a while. What man doesn't want that for the rest of his life? A woman who will cook for him, do the dishes afterwards, and then jump his bones? I am so in love with this man, y'all. I could happily do that every day for the rest of my life, I think. In fact, the only thing that really sucks is how little I get to see him. We get maybe two sleepovers a week, and it's really starting to not be enough for me. This summer things will be better though - if we can just get through the next six weeks, we'll be golden. Tomboy is going on a cruise for a few weeks, during which time we'll have two weekends together, sans kids, and Rugrat will be spending the majority of his time at his father's house beginning July 1, since he'll be going to daycare out there and, in the fall, school out there. So D and I will have a lot more opportunities to be together beginning in July.

Peach-Blueberry Crisp

Peach-Blueberry Crisp
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
I was having some serious fruit cravings when I visited the produce stands in nearby Brentwood yesterday. Both my dinner and dessert heavily featured fruit.

This is an adaptation of Barefoot Contessa's apple crisp recipe. I cut the recipe in half, and I substituted fresh peaches and frozen blueberries for the apples. I also didn't happen to have any lemons or oranges on hand, but I did have some organic strawberry lemonade, which is pretty tart, so I added a bit of that in place of the citrus juice and zest. It turned out beautifully, even if the peaches were a bit underripe (and boy, does that make it difficult to skin them!).

This is also my submission to Sweetnicks' ARF/5-a-day roundup this week.

Risotto with Apples and Manchego Cheese

I had a similar risotto once at an Italian restaurant - it had the sauteed apples, but instead of Manchego, they used Asiago cheese. This dish turned out well, but I think it could be improved with a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to brighten things up a bit.

Risotto with Apples and Manchego Cheese

4 c chicken stock
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 c diced onion
1 apple, peeled, cored & diced (I used Fuji, which was maybe a little too sweet)
1 c arborio rice
1 c white wine
1/4 c grated Manchego cheese
salt & pepper

Bring the stock to a simmer in a pot, and leave it on medium-low heat to keep it warm but not boiling.

Melt the butter with the olive oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the onions and apples, and season with salt & pepper. Sautee gently until the onions are translucent. Remove the apples with a slotted spoon (try to leave the onions in the pan). Add the rice to the pan, stirring to coat it evenly with the oil and butter. Let the rice toast for a minute, then add the wine. Let the alcohol cook off for a minute; when the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add a couple of ladles of stock to the rice pan. Stirring often, allow the rice to almost completely absorb all the stock before adding more to the pan. Continue in this manner, adding stock gradually and stirring frequently, until the stock is gone and the rice is cooked al dente, about 20 minutes. Add the apples back in to the rice, and allow it to cook for a few minutes more, to reheat the apples and soften them a bit. Add the cheese at the last minute, and serve immediately.

Makes two big servings, or two regular servings and a small portion for tomorrow's lunch.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I am so disappointed in the Grey's Anatomy season finale. What the HELL? Nobody is happy, everyone is screwed, and McAsshole has made a raging comeback. I mean, damn, Shepherd. WTF? You can't give Mere even the littlest fucking bit of of a break when she has a breakdown after her mother dies? Oh no, because everything must be as YOU want it, on YOUR timetable. Fucker. You can go back to your estranged wife and leave Meredith hanging in the wings, and call her a whore when she gets laid, but God forbid she should start actually dating someone seriously, because then you dump your wife like a hot potato and expect Mere to immediately come running back into your arms. And when she finally decides to trust you and get back with you, her bitch of a mother dies. So do you support her when she freaks the fuck out and passively attempts suicide? No. You have your own crisis and can't fucking stand the fact that she doesn't have a permanent goddamn zest for life when she has YOU, because obviously that should be enough to fulfill her and sustain a permanent pollyanna 'tude. And then her stepmother dies and her recently-reunited father blames her for it, and do you come to comfort her and give her a shoulder to cry on? No. No, you do not. Because you are too busy pushing her away since you think your relationship with her will jeopardize your chances of becoming chief of surgery. For all these reasons, I dub thee McAsshole. There is not a goddamn thing about your personality and behavior that makes you "dreamy."

Not that I think Mere is such a great catch. She's a whiny, pouty, manipulative bitch. So they probably deserve each other.

Cristina deserves much better though. And whether she knows it or not, the fact that Burke just left her is going to be the best thing that ever happened to her, because he's another self-absorbed asshole who wants it all on his terms. She definitely did NOT want to get married, and he really just did her a favor. Even if it sucks in the short term.

George needs to stop letting other peoples' wants and needs control his life. He needs to take a break and decide what HE wants and needs, and then make some decisions. I can't tell if he's actually supposed to be in love with Izzy or not. Izzy is just one of those people who "falls in love" at the drop of a hat (or at the drop of the underwear).

In fact, probably the only sane character on the show is Bailey. I love Bailey. But I don't know if she's going to be enough to sustain my interest in the show for another season. Do I really want to spend my Thursday nights spewing hate and bile for an hour while I watch? Yeah, not so much.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I cannot believe it. I can't believe Melinda got voted off AI. I mean, I know every year there's a huge shakeup at this point, but...seriously? Melinda isn't going to be in the final? I am so fucking done with this show.

Lost one

I'm missing a post. I could swear I posted something yesterday or Monday. But today it's gone.

So...quick weekend recap: Saturday was the day when all plans went awry. Rugrat and I planned to go to San Francisco for the KFOG Kaboom, and to visit the Steinhart Aquarium and the playground at Golden Gate Park, but when we got there: 1) the Steinhart was closed for remodeling, and then 2) the PLAYGROUND was also closed for remodeling. Double whammy of disappointment! So we bailed on the fireworks show because it was about seven hours away and all of our fabulous plans for wasting the day in the city were shot to hell. Instead, we toodled out to Livermore, and I was thinking that I could get some tickets in advance for the Scottish Games (coming up in just a few days now!). Buuuuut, when we got to D's house & looked on his computer, they'd taken down the advance ticket information and our only option was to buy at the gate. Jeeze. Talk about a day of bad luck. But then we went out to dinner together, the three of us, and the boys totally bonded over silly games and jokes. And when we got back to D's house, Rugrat snuggled up on the couch with him. Awww, so cute.

Last night, D came over as usual, and we had a lovely evening on the couch with American Idol and House, and various naughty activities. I am still totally insatiably horny around him. What is up with that?? Not that I'm complaining (nor is he). I told him about the whole sort-of-engaged-to-Bob period, and how I still have my wedding dress, and even the fact that I just tried it on again the other day...and he, amazingly, did not freak out and run for the hills. I mean, I didn't really think he would - I think I know him pretty well by now, and wouldn't have told him if I thought it would freak him out - but any other guy would have been long gone.

And now I am sitting on the couch wearing the t-shirt he had on yesterday, because it smells like him and I love it. It's huuuuuge, but it's kind of like being wrapped in his arms, so I had to poach it this morning while he was getting ready for work. ;-)

This weekend: Scottish Games! I will be meeting D's daughter, and since I'm bringing Rugrat, they will be meeting each other for the first time too. Whew. Talk about getting it all out of the way at once. Trial by fire, y'all!

Friday, May 11, 2007

In sync

Not to be confused with N*SYNC.

In some ways, D and I are perfectly in sync. Other times, not so much. For example - sleeping. I am most definitely a night owl, but D routinely has to get up for work around the time the sun is making its daily appearance on the eastern horizon. So that means he goes to bed a bit earlier than I normally would, and gets up a whole hell of a lot earlier than I normally would. When Rugrat has a school vacation, I'll sleep in until 8 AM on weekdays; even when he's in school I'm not up until 7 AM, which is still significantly later than when D needs to rise & shine in order to deal with the hellish two-hour commute from my house to his work. So...I get less sleep on the nights when D is here. But that's OK - I actually don't mind getting up early in the morning with him. I don't see him as often as I'd like, so having those few minutes together in the morning before he leaves is important to me.

And in other ways, we are completely synchronous. Like, the fact that we are both ridiculously happy with our relationship. We had an interesting conversation last night about all his prior "Jennifers" (he's dated like three or four other Jennifers over the years). And he said that he had decided to give up on the Jennifers, because it never worked out, and then I came back into his life. So I said, "Well, I'll be your last Jennifer." And he said, "Hopefully you'll be my last anything." We are both in this for the long haul, I think. And he makes me feel very secure in the relationship, because he doesn't hold back. Now that he's decided he loves me, he's in it all the way. It's very freeing.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Stupid birth control pills. I was off them for about a year, so I totally forgot about this. I don't get pre-menstrual syndrome; I get post-menstrual syndrome. I become a bitch the week after my period. *sigh*

Yesterday Rugrat and I got. Into. It. And it was mostly because I was just being all on-edge and bitchy. He was pushing my buttons, sure. But that's par for the course. I was kind of overreacting, so then he started whining and bitching. And saying the same thing over and over and over in that freaking voice that drills into my brain and makes me insane. I kept telling him to stop it, and finally I just told him to shut up. And he HIT ME! (Not that hard, on the arm, but still.) Oh, hell no. That shit does NOT fly with me. So after I beat him to a pulp (just kidding. But I had very stern words with him) we came home and he pouted. And stomped around. And gave me stinkeye all evening, until I made him take a shower. As he was getting in, I was reminding him to clean all his "bits": "Don't forget to clean between your toes!" "I know." "Don't forget to clean your pits!" "I know, mom!" And then, in a burst of inspiration, I brought back the "No" game: "Doooooooon't smile at me." (Corners of his mouth twitch.) "Dooooooon't you do it! Don't you smile at me!" (He can't help himself now, the mouth is smiling all on its own, no matter how angry he still is at me.) "I don't want to see you smiling! No smiling, you hear me?" (Total full-on grin.)

Yeah, I still got it. ;-)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I am going through my days in a Benadryl haze. The allergy season has hit full force and I am down for the count. I try to hold off on taking the pills for as long as possible each day, because I know they're going to knock me on my ass, but it's hard to live with the constant itchy-painful feeling in my sinuses, the sneezing, the irritated, watery eyes, and the sinus pressure headaches. My skin itches all over, regardless of how much lotion I put on (because it's the histamines, y'all, not dry skin). All I want to do is go into a Benadryl coma for the next couple of weeks, with a cold wet washcloth over my face. Wake me up when the pollen count dies down, mmkay?


Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
The quintessential Cinco de Mayo dish...just a couple days late.


4 ripe avocados
juice of 1 lime
1/4 c diced onion
1/4 c diced tomato
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 chopped fresh cilantro
salt & pepper

Remove the flesh from the avocado skins, discarding the pits and scraping off any brown spots. Mash it gently with a fork, and then pour the lime juice over it. Add the onion, tomato, garlic, cilantro and salt & pepper to taste. Mix well, and serve with your favorite corn chips.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Weekend roundup

I was quite productive this weekend! I seem to be unable to sleep in until 10 AM anymore, which sucks on the one hand, but on the other...well, I'm getting a lot done.

Friday night Babydaddy and Rugrat and I all went to see Spider-man 3. On opening night. Of course. It was pretty crowded but we got there early and waited in line, so we got fantastic seats. And the crowd was pretty rowdy - you should have heard them going totally batshit over the previews (for Harry Potter 5, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, etc.). And during the movie people kept laughing in strange and inappropriate places. Not that it much mattered, we loved the movie anyway. Venom was particularly creepy, with his Jaws-like teeth and the weird casting choice of Eric Foreman (from That 70's Show, AKA Topher Grace IRL). I mean, who could take him seriously as an evil villain? But he did a fantastic job and was insanely freaky.

Saturday I ran some errands and got a pedicure, and then in the evening I drove out to Livermore, where I met up with an old friend from high school who's visiting from Alaska. We went out and had a couple beers at some dive bar where people were singing karaoke - badly - and then I came home and stayed up late watching TV. (And how cute was D when he was acting all mildly jealous about my "date" with this guy? The answer: very, very cute indeed.)

Sunday I got up at about 8 and got busy. I went to Home Depot for car wash supplies, and came back and went totally Armageddon on the backyard. I busted out the weed whacker and chopped down the entire mess back there, the five-foot-tall weeds covering 95% of my back "yard" (lawn? not so much), and then pulled weeds in about half of the raised beds (damn, I am SORE today). Then I washed my car, and got all anal-retentive with the microfiber cloth, drying the whole thing off. And finally, I took my clean car to the grocery store, picking up ingredients for guacamole, pico de gallo, and chicken tacos. (I'll post my guacamole recipe over at Table For Two.)

D came over around 8, and we had a lovely evening together, snuggling on the couch and...stuff. I'm sure you can fill in the blanks. :) He told his daughter about me this weekend, while they were driving up to his sister's house. She heard about Rugrat and immediately had the same reaction he did when he heard about her: "So I kind of have a brother then?" Damn, kids, slow down a bit, wouldja? You don't have to marry us off just yet. But...I totally want to spend the rest of my life waking up next to this man. It just feels so right with him. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely planning on taking my time with this. We will not be rushing into anything permanent. I haven't even met his daughter yet! (Although that will be remedied in about two weeks, when we go to the Scottish Games.) And the kids haven't met each other. And we've only been dating for a couple of months. So, no, I'm not ready to walk down the aisle or anything. But I sure do like spending time with him, and waking up in his arms, and talking to him on the phone three or four or five times a day. I like cooking for him. I like making him smile. I like snuggling with him, curling up against him in the middle of the night and feeling him wrap his strong arms around me. I even like getting up early with him (I know!!) to send him off to work with a kiss and a tupperware container full of leftovers. And I really like the person I am becoming, because I am happy and relaxed and healthy. I've waited a long time for this, to feel this way again. And boy, it was worth the wait.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Unexpected bonus

Babydaddy called me this morning and told me that he wants to keep Rugrat overnight tonight, as they are planning on having a Spider-man movie marathon in anticipation of the third movie. Since I have dinner plans tonight with S, my boss/project manager, at Ruth's Chris, I'll take Rugrat out to Babydaddy's house and drop him off. And after dinner...I have the whole night free. So of course, I called D and asked if I could come out and have "sexy time" with him after dinner. Hee.

Three guesses what his answer was. (And the first two don't count.)

Yum Yum Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Dinner 05/01/07
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
I made the fabulous Yum Yum Chicken Enchilada Casserole again on Tuesday, and got a picture this time. It may not look like much, but let me tell you....D ate half the pan in one sitting (and this amount could easily serve 4-6 people), and polished off the leftovers the next day for lunch. This is GOOD STUFF, y'all.

But definitely not safe for dieters. ;-)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lost: Mindfuck

What. The. Hell?!?!?

LOST is totally fucking with my head every week. This week was kind of the "calm before the storm"...sort of. I mean, there was the whole mindfuckery of Locke's dad being maybe actually dead, but somehow on the island and of course, because everyone's lives totally intersect, he's also Sawyer 1.0. Meaning, he's the con man who ruined Sawyer's childhood, because Sawyer 1.0 was fucking Sawyer 2.0's mom, and convinced her to give the family's life savings to him. So when dad found out he shot the mom, and then himself, leaving the orphan son to grow up and become ultrahot sweaty yummy Sawyer 2.0. Is this all clear yet? Anyway, supposedly Sawyer 1.0 (AKA Locke's Dad) got in a nasty car accident and the last thing he remembers is getting an IV in the ambulance...and then he woke up bound and gagged on the island.

And WTF with Benry trying to get Locke to kill his own father? Oh no, The Others aren't bad people. They don't kill people. They just try to get other people to become homicidal maniacs. And Locke, in his ultimate wisdom, decides to get Sawyer to do his dirty work (so he DOES fit in with The Others, I guess). First he lies to Sawyer, then he manipulates him, then he fucking locks him in a room with Sawyer 1.0 until Sawyer 2.0 discovers the connection and ends up killing the guy because he is a fucking evil unfeeling bastard who TAUNTS poor Sawyer (2.0) until he totally snaps.

So a big FUCK YOU to Locke this week. If you don't have the balls to kill someone off, don't go torture your friends until they do it for you.

And a slightly smaller FUCK YOU to Jack this week, for being a sanctimonious ass. Because that is just Jack. Because he and Juliet are keeping some secret which they reference in front of Kate and then he REFUSES to tell her about it. Ass. He's still being pissy because she shared the glittery hoo-ha with Sawyer when she thought he was about to die. Fucking get over it, you tool. You're getting your rocks off with the resident Other mole, and it's not like you ever staked your claim on Mt. Kate anyway.

But the big mindfuck? The really big whopper? Was how they're trying to tell us now that really everyone is dead. Because the plane was found -- FULL OF BODIES -- off the coast of Bali! WHAT THE FUCK????

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Asparagus Risotto with Lemon and Basil

Dinner 4/30/07
Originally uploaded by snarkmeister.
A nice, fresh risotto for spring, and my first submission to Sweetnicks' ARF/5-a-Day roundup!

Asparagus Risotto with Lemon and Basil

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock (approx) - you can use vegetable stock for a vegetarian meal, but I like it with chicken stock
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces and steamed (I steamed it over the chicken stock while I was making the rice)
Zest from half a lemon
1 tsp fresh chopped basil (or one cube of TJ's frozen basil, which is what I used)
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat butter & oil together over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent and soft. Add some salt & pepper. At the same time, heat the chicken stock until simmering, and then keep it simmering during the rest of the process.

Add the rice to the onions, and saute for a minute or two until coated with oil & butter and slightly toasted. Add the white wine and let the alcohol cook off, about 1-2 minutes. Add a big ladle or two of simmering chicken stock, and stir. Let the rice absorb most of the chicken stock (it will take a few minutes), stirring frequently, until you see the bottom of the pan for a moment when you stir, and then add another ladle or two. Continue this process for about 20-25 minutes, until the rice is creamy and tender but with a little bit of bite (al dente), and you've used up all (or most) of the chicken stock. Add the basil and lemon zest. At the last minute, throw in the asparagus and stir it all together. Check the seasoning, and add more salt & pepper if needed.

Serves two generously (or two modestly, plus enough leftovers for one lunch the next day). Enjoy!


One thing I forgot about when doing my good news/bad news roundup yesterday: ultimate temptation.

Sunday, when I was digging around for the end cap for my little iPod shuffle in my gym bag, I came across a fresh, unopened pack of cigarettes. Instead of swooning lustfully over them and driving myself crazy, I immediately turned to Rugrat and told him to take the pack to the next door neighbor (who smokes, and used to bum cigarettes off me on a semi-regular basis) and ask if he wanted it. There was a split-second of temptation, but I immediately dismissed it.

This is good, right? Because I didn't even entertain the thought of actually smoking one. I can't remember feeling this way after quitting since...well, since I quit when I was pregnant with Ryan. I don't feel deprived or resentful when I see other people smoking, either. I just feel like it is not an option for me anymore; I don't want it. And the fact that I actually forgot to mention it yesterday? Shows what a non-issue smoking is for me now.

So, in short: bad news - I found some cigarettes and was momentarily tempted. Good news - I totally didn't smoke!