Sunday, March 27, 2011

What's for dinner?

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog.

Monday:   Steak Sandwiches and rosemary potatoes, Our own Creation

We decided to abandon are seldom used extra refrigerator so we had to make room for our wedding cake in our primary freezer. We decided to defrost some steak and make sandwiches!  They came out great!  I made a quick gravy after Gavin cooked the meat.  Delicious!

Tuesday:Trader Joe's Tacos & Buffalo Wild Wings

My sister came up Tuesday and had to have Buffalo Wild Wings, but I had already defrosted some ground turkey so made the taco's anyway.  I used Trader Joe seasonings which I had never had before.  They were good, but it suggested half the packet, I used the entire packet and still felt it could use a little bit more.

Wednesday: Hunger Strike 

I actually wrote an entire post about this, but don't know what happened to it.  I think my Droid Blogger App ate it.  Anyway.  40 hour fast meant no dinner Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday:  Hunger Strike 2.0

Friday: Take Out Sushi from Wasabi, Palm Springs Ca

Gavin came to visit me and since we had dog face with us, we couldn't really go anywhere.  Plus, I had a ton of work so Gavin just brought this meat-free dinner to me!  I probably wouldn't go back to this place, but the food was fine.

Saturday:Outback Steakhouse

Somehow, my project was running on time enough that I was able to sneak home Saturday night so my animals wouldn't forget who I was!  Gavin and I went to Outback. It brought back memories.  We used to go to outback all the time after ceramics class covered in clay and craving a blooming onion.  No clay covered clothing or deep friend onions this trip, though!

Sunday: Not Sure

I'm back in Palm Springs, so no idea what, if anything, I'll eat for dinner.  I have a short lull in work, but things are going to get hectic tonight.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What's for dinner?

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog.

As I warned last week, I wasn't thinking I had a chance at any culinary awards this week... I mean, look at my groceries for the week:

Not exactly stellar, right?  Not to mention I drove over 1000 miles this week!  Well, won't you be surprised when you get to Friday, then!  Still... overall, not an impressive week. 

Monday:   KFC

Hey!  Stop making that face, I'm the one who had to eat it!

Tuesday: Skipped Dinner

You would have to if you ate KFC the previous night!

Wednesday: Bratwurst with wasabi mayonnaise 

 My Chicago born and raised husband was more than a little disdainful of my use of mayonnaise, but it's my dinner, I'll add calories if I want too!  Apparently it is correct to drink bear with brats, so that is a Pete's Wicked Ale and by far the darkest beer I've ever drank.  Not bad.  Overall, a good meal.  Mostly because it was the first of the week I spent with my husband.

Thursday:  Meatball Sub

Gavin was working and all I had was leftover meatballs defrosted from a few weeks ago, then I realized I had hot dog buns!  I was really impressed with my little concoction!  Of course, it was the meatballs in red pepper sauce recipe which is pretty much the best to being with.

Friday: Date Night!  Cheese Fondue, edamame and orange salad with soy vinaigrette, William Sonoma Healthful Cooking

And then Friday, I cooked! Like I really cooked!  Gavin had a softball game so I decided to surprise him with a romantic meal.

Pretty romantic if you ask me...

The salad was relatively easy (for a William Sonoma recipe at least!) and very refreshing.  The cheese fondue was relatively simple: milk, flour, Jarlsberg Cheese and dry white wine (Cupcake Chardonnay)  I decided to keep it simple and serve with fresh french bread and sliced apples.

I was pretty proud of my impromptu salad presentation:

I love romantic nights at home.

Saturday: Japanese Grill with Lisa and Chris

Saturday we braved LA traffic to check out the travel show with Jen and meet up with Lisa and Chris in Sherman Oaks after.  It was a cute little Japanese Grill whose name escapes me at the moment.  It was Korean BBQ style cooking which was new to me in a Japanese restaurant but reasonably priced and good. Between traffic and the general populous, I still contend that I dislike LA.

Sunday: Selma's Chicago Pizza

Today, something about the rain made Gavin and I really want deep dish Chicago Style Pizza.  So Selma's!  Love their pizza and had a Orange Wheat and Framboise beer.  Not a bad way to end a rough week.

Next week is looking to be a tough week as well, especially with this weather. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lent Update

I gave up sleep for Lent. Okay, not really, I wrote about my lent intentions here. Every week I'm going to post my progress.

The general idea is I'm not taking anything to help me sleep or help me stay awake. So far, so good.
The commute is tough. Waking up at 4:30 to drive two hours with no caffeine isn't exactly fun. As it turns out, the caffeine wasn’t helping much anyway. I still have to wake up, still have to drive 2 hours. I don’t feel particularly worse for not having a diet coke as a copilot.

I am sleeping better. Better, but not great. Last night I slept terribly, so there’s at least one bad night! I don’t have trouble falling asleep in general. It’s not surprising, I suppose, that without caffeine I know when I’m tired and fall into natural sleep easier. I thought my worrisome mind would put up more of a fight, especially without the distracting lights and sounds of rain forests accompanied by Sir Attenborough.

I’m learning and thinking a lot and that’s the real point. Maybe by next week I’ll have some grand discovery to share with you!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A full weekend of San Juan Capistrano.

Gavin and I adore San Juan Capistrano.  We attend mass at Mission Parish and often eat brunch in one of the nearby restaurants.  We loved the theater when we visited, and even got a kick out of Swallows Inn.  I like the history, the architecture, pretty much everything about the little mission town.

This weekend we spent pretty much all weekend in San Juan.  In fact, we made 4 total trips!

First, we attended a Haiti relief Charity event at J Serra High School.  Gavin and I were both really impressed with the school.  Gavin couldn't believe they had Tennis Courts, I couldn't believe they didn't have barbed wire or metal detectors!   The tournament was interesting.  We both had fun.  After I busted, I went a little crazy on the silent auctions.  I'd rather not disclose all the items we brought home!

Much of this came home with us...
Casino Action!

You don't mess with this guy.
Sunday morning, we attended our regular mass.  A bit later, I meet with a new sponsor for my RCIA/conversion.  Looking forward to eventually joining the Church!  Sadly, I don't have any pictures of our church, I will work on that in the near future.  In the meantime, I have a picture of the Old Church in the Mission.

My final trip to San Juan was with the lovely Miss Alyssa for some orange picking.  It's always fun with Alyssa.  Plus, I got a little mini tour of San Juan along the way.

So overall a wonderful weekend.  I think I should spend more weekend in San Juan.

What's for dinner?

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog.

Monday:   Chipotle

I used to hate Chipotle.  Mostly because I hated their meat, so I switched to veggie bowls and all was well.  Then I discovered barbacoa.  Meat is back in at Chipotle!!

Tuesday: Take Away Sushi from Sushi Plantation!

Driving a few hundred miles a day really makes you want to stay home.  Normally I don't like sushi at home at all, but alas, tired body insisted.  Gavin was so sweet to go pick up all of our favorites!  Not as good as in person, but so nice to have some time at home.

Wednesday: Worst Meal Ever: Tomato and cheese sandwich in Palm Springs.

All I wanted was some Ash Wednesday friendly meat free fare.  I gps'ed it and figured Italian would be safe: cheese pizza?  Nope... this place didn't have much to offer.  I should have just left, but instead I stayed for the most awkward meal ever surrounded by a less friend version of cheers who were all already blasted, at 3:15 in the afternoon...  I only got one meal on Wednesday and it wasn't pleasant. 

Thursday:  Veggie Nachos with Alyssa at Taco Mesa

Thursday I was exhausted again, so I made a baked potato.
Luckily, Alyssa was kind enough to invite me over to Taco Mesa to pick on some veggie nachos later in the evening!

Friday: Pre-softball Carbs- Spaghetti

Gavin joined a softball league, so to get him ready for his game, I made some carbs!

That basil leaf is the first yield from this seasons AeroGarden!  Expect more fresh herbs in my cooking starting in the next few weeks!

Saturday: Mexican Food at the JSerra Knights Poker Tournament. 

Gavin and I spent last night at a charity poker tournament through our church.  More on that later.

In the spirit of Movie Date #1, we had some wine and cheese on the balcony before we went.  Only instead of the 24th floor overlooking Melbourne, it was the 2nd floor overlooking Amberly Lane.  And it couldn't have been more beautiful.

Sunday: Sorta homemade butter chicken

I have been craving Indian food pretty much all the time lately.  So when I came across a butter chicken sauce at World Market, I was quite excited! It was easy.  I just stir-fried the chicken then simmered in the sauce for a while.  I would certainly make it again.

Next week is shaping up to be a doozy if my grocery shopping is any indication....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gardening Season Starts again

It's Gardening Season Again! I'm going to start with bigger (and less) tomato plants this year, but I got in the mood by planting some flowers in my new favorite part of our house, the balcony.

Welcome Spring!

My balcony is becoming more and more a place I like to be.  When I get chairs, invite yourself over for a drink there with me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

No Caffeine Day 2.

I'm just about half way through day 2 of no caffeine.  So far there have been four distinct times I REALLY wanted to grab a redbull/soda/etc.  Mostly, I'm realizing, it's habit more than anything else.  I open the garage door to go to work and it's dark outside, so I detour by the soda fridge.... etc.

Last night I slept peacefully for almost 6 hours.  Pretty amazing results so far if they hold up.  It could just be that without the caffeine crutch, my natural energy and my normal energy demand aren't equally matched.  A pleasant side effect is that I'm instantly drinking more water.  This has to be good for me as I'm currently spending much of my life in the middle of the desert. 

I missed Planet Earth a bit last night as I was in a boring hotel room with absolutely nothing to do.

 Don't worry, baby penguins, we are 3.75% of the way until we meet again!! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ender's Game

So I finally read and finished Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

I started it once before, but didn't pay enough attention at the beginning and consequently became confused and annoyed and gave up shortly there after.  We started it on the way to Vegas last weekend, so not much chance to not pay attention driving across the middle of the desert!

I thought the book was amazing.  I'm not a big science fiction fan much of the time, but the book was much more about psychology, mind games and war strategy. 

Plus, I got to revisit my hobby of reading books with outdated technology (or at least modern technology) presented as futuristic. 

To everyone who recommended the book, thanks!  Are any of his other books worth reading? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fat Tuesday.

Today is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday.  It's the last day of celebration and feasting before lent.  I have chosen to practice lent in the past, but this year lent is a special to me because I have decided to join the Catholic Church (when they decide to accept me is up to them! :) ).  In the past, I've given up TV,caffeine, and pineapple juice, and participated in being thankful each day (resulting in a lasting friend in the form of Bobby Crosby, although my dates were off that year).

This year I thought a lot more about exactly what Lent is about and what it means to me.  I won't get too much into that here, but basically after some reading and some soul searching, I came up with something a bit more meaningful to me.

I haven't slept well since January.  And by not well, I mean I haven't gotten an uninterrupted natural sleep for more than about 4 hours at at time.  More frequently with smaller blocks.  So this year for lent, I'm giving up control (if you can call that control) of my sleeping.

It's become the job of medications, caffeine, and anything else I could think of to keep me awake or asleep. Practically, what my lent commitment means is that I am giving up sleeping aids and waking aids.  On the sleeping side this includes Tylenol PM, Planet Earth, Simply Sleep,  Refresh, Sleepy  Time Tea, and any other medications specifically designed to help me sleep.  (Should I come down with a very bad cold, I may have to alter slightly, but we'll just hope I stay mainly healthy).  On the waking side this is primarily a sacrifice of caffeine.  Redbull, Diet Coke, Jolt, five hour energy shots... that sort of thing.  I don't find it necessary to specifically exclude things with small amounts of caffeine(like chocolate) because I don't each much anyway and never for the purpose of staying awake.   

The rest of my lent commitment, besides a general mindfulness towards good behavior, will be those prescribed specifically by my church.  No meat on Fridays, fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. 

I intend to update probably about once a week on my progress.  Wish me luck!

But, today it's Fat Tuesday!  I ate a meat burrito for lunch!  I had two red bulls and a diet coke!  And those guys in New Orleans think they are partying hard!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

What's for dinner?

A blog about what we had for dinner!  If you want to see our cookbooks, check out the cookbook shelf link at the top my the blog

This week is painfully short on pictures (it was a difficult week in the Griffin household) so I've here's a picture of our current 'spring' table!

The centerpiece is filled with these little balls Alyssa and I bought at the dollar store.  You soak them in water and they grow something like 50x their original size.  I couldn't think of anything to do with them, so they've just saw in our kitchen since we made them until I thought of this!  I'm quite happy with how it came out although the candle doesn't like to sit straight.

Monday:   Portillo's with my parents and Gavin

The only location in California is located not too far away in Buena Park.  Worth the drive, even in traffic.

Tuesday: Cheesecake Factory

I had the salmon carpaccio and a steak.  And no cheesecake. 

Wednesday:Mom's Potato Soup

My mom cooked us some food and left it in the freezer so I thawed it out.  I forgot to take a picture, but don't think it would have photographed well anyway.

Thursday:  Spaghetti-O's

Thursday I had a terribly crap day.  I didn't want to spoil my 'no missed dinners' streak so this is what I came up with.  For your sake, no photo.

Friday: Del Taco

Gavin and I drove out to Vegas Friday so stopped at the World's Best Del Taco in Lenwood, CA.  Love that place.  Need to remember NOT to buy taco's there.  I hate the meat at Del Taco and that's typically not a problem since they put less than a tablespoon in each Taco.  Not so here...

Saturday: Rosemary's, Las Vegas, NV

A math house favorite!  We took Gavin's sister and brother-in-law as a Christmas gift.  I had the twice baked souffle, tar-tare, and lamb.  I forgot to photograph it.  I"m a little off my game at the moment!

Sunday: Whatever I can find in the kitchen  

No set plans for dinner, probably some cheese and crackers and whatever else I can find around our kitchen!  (Don't worry, I ate a ton of other food today, the last few days my appetite has been surprisingly strong) 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Everyday has it's own special beauty

I might have to drive over two hours to work, but look at my views...

So I say again, every day has it's own special beauty.