Friday, March 15, 2013

Once Upon a Time There Was Pi(e)

I don't keep it a secret - I LOVE PI DAY! (March 14 or 3.14 for those of you non-math-sided-brained people). I like to order a whole pie for lunch and eat it each year. Last year a gang of us from work went to a lovely place called Smiley's. I was worried that there may be no pie left because of the special day but apparently I underestimate the rest of the world's collective enthusiasm/devotion to this day because there were plenty of delicious pies waiting to be chosen by me.

This year the gang headed back to Smileys and I walk in AND THERE WERE NO PIES!

me: Where are all the pies?

Smileys: oh we're backed up, I have some in the oven but they're all for special orders

me: oh no...I was planning on coming in and enjoying a whole pie

Smileys: oh sorry, we will be back to having more ready-made pies in the coming weeks. I can maybe let it slide if it's for a good reason

me: it's PI DAY!

Smileys: I have a strawberry rhubarb pie about to come out of the oven--it's yours.

That's what pi day is all about, people--hijacking other people's pre-ordered pies. It's not as rude as it seems. Pi day is a happy day because it is meant to be filled with pie. My happiness was maintained by scoring a pie, and in return the intended recipient will get an even fresher one which means more happiness. Sounds like paying it forward to me! The person who ordered it should probably thank bringing me a pie. I might've missed the point of "paying it forward."

Now today is the Ides of March. So watch your back--the person you were happily enjoying pie with yesterday could literally (and lethally) stab you in the back today. I suggest you brush up on your latin

Et tu, _(insert name of stabber)_ !

Also, I don't know how long they keep it up but if you like puzzles, check out then get ready to be frustrated...but it's better if you have pie to console you in those times.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Once Upon a Time There Were Thong Pants

I went home last weekend to VA to visit my family. A couple days before leaving I was texting with my mom and the conversation took a sudden weird turn. I posted this on facebook:

The blanked out part is the bearded man

She did try to explain, but I still wasn't exactly sure what she meant...and I was okay with that.

Then, alas, at home the mystery was solved. Those of you who don't know my father should know he is a precious 70yr old man who is as hilarious as he is oblivious at times. That being said, I present to you The Thong Pants.

My family's pretty special.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Once Upon a Time I'm Pretty Sure I Invented a DIY

First, a quick update on my chicken I recently cooked: I put most of it in the freezer then last night I wanted it for dinner. I somehow knew that there had to be a better way other than the microwave to heat it up (this chicken is my culinary baby so I wanted to treat it right until I ate it for good). So naturally I googled "how to heat up already cooked frozen chicken." Work friend gives me a hard time because I tend to google full sentences rather than keywords but I often google weird enough stuff that I feel I need to be extra specific to get better results. This particular search isn't a good example. Well I found one site that said to heat it up in a frying pan with broth/dressing/marinade. I looked in the bearded man's fridge and saw that the dressing they had said Great as a Marinade! right on the bottle so I went with it. I felt like a real cook making the decision on the fly to turn my lemon-pepper chicken into a new dish I called lemon-pepper chicken in a zesty italian dressing. In the end it turned out just fine and I ate it, although admittedly I did have my doubts for a few minutes:
I'm just glad neither the bearded man nor his
ginger roommate walked in to judge me or yell
at me for using the wrong spatula or something dumb.
I did all of this with only my left hand not just to prove I could but also because I broke my right wrist last weekend. While snowboarding at Breckenridge I finally decided it was time for me to spread my wings and grow up from the learning area. This video gives the general idea of what kind of riding I was doing. I'm far too humble to let anyone record me, but luckily Shaun White is not:

TTR Tricks- Shaun White Back to Back Double... by WorldSnowboardTour

 I thought it was just sore and I only needed to move it back and forth a lot then cautiously continued down. I quickly thought it might be badly sprained so made my way to the base then agreed to let someone look at it. At a glance the doc told me exactly what happened

Dr: that's broken. You fractured your distal radius...(medical speak above my level)
Me: you took the words right out of my mouth...I guess you've seen this before?
Dr: all the time. It's the most common snowboard injury.

Me: ...this must make me a real snowboarder now! ...can I have a beer while I wait to get taken for xrays?

I could never call myself a surfer in Hawaii so feeling like a real snowboarder (and not injuring myself on a green) made me forget for a bit that I managed to injure myself right after I finally got the hang of it and could start having more fun.

I got my cast a few days ago and the guy who did it is a Gamecock fan so I had fun talking to him. I told him that I plan to try doing half days on easy greens and he kept reassuring me they have plenty of fiberglass. I didn't know what exactly he meant by it but then learned (thanks to google) that fiber glass casts are the preferred method over the traditional plaster for various reasons. One big issue I quickly discovered however is that it snags clothes like crazy. So after a day of covering it with dish rags I came up with the idea of cutting the sleeve off an old pullover to keep on it. Voila! It just looks like I'm wearing one long sleeve and keep my elbow at 90 degrees (I did always love geometry)! Here's a before/after:

If I didn't have to enact a self-imposed ban on Pinterest this is surely better than a lot of other stuff on there. And it cost me free.99!

I'm hoping I'm only in the cast for 6 weeks but this whole learning to be left handed has not been awesome so far. It has also made me super aware of how unmarried I am. I'm not trying to get married soon, but it would be nice to have someone there every night and morning obligated to help with bras, and to wash my hair, etc.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Once Upon a Time I Tried Making (Instant) Oatmeal

It is no secret that I am no cook. Here's a timeline of notable events in my cooking career:

1998ish: In english class, wrote a "How To" paper called How To Make Macaroni and Cheese from the Box. I began by telling people it's very easy as long as you know the oven is hot. I showed promise. SUCCESS!

2005: most people have heard about my London Broil fiasco where I wanted to start my sophomore year of college when I was living in my first apartment (no parents! bad ass! we're getting a mini tramp(oline)! let's throw sticky hands into the ceiling fan and see where they land on the wall! typical mature stuff) and wanted to treat my friends to a home cooked meal. The main lesson learned that night is that on some ovens the bottom drawer is just a storage drawer and nothing else (i.e. not a broiler). I just wish I had figured this out before I spent all day letting it cook in there. Embarrassingly I even took it out mid-way to flip it over and did not notice that it actually wasn't cooking...or even hot. FAIL.

2009: I ended up being a huge disappointment to 6th grade me as I messed up making mac-n-cheese from a box. Maybe it's because I was feeding 5 children and 2 adults so was trying to make it from 2 boxes. At least the youngest (less than 2 yrs old) liked it...but we had also once caught her drinking whatever liquid was in the toilet brush holder. She's built up quite the immunity over the years. FAIL.

2010: Made a delicious chicken parm dinner for the roomies and a friends. It was only a success because my sous chef was a roommate who was a good cook and told me about things like "thawing the chicken" and that they do mean to literally beat it down so it's more dense. I still don't get these things. One friend who is really into cooking complimented it and later said his burps even tasted great! SUCCESS!

2010: I let the success get to my head and during a princess sleepover where two of the girls I nannied came over I got distracted by a dance party and burned the frozen pizza. Luckily I had some bread slices and oatmeal to feed them instead. And Diet Coke. FAIL.

2013: Last summer I bought some frozen skinless boneless chicken breasts. They've been in the freezer since. Earlier this week I decided I was going to cook chicken. Sunday night I pulled it out of the freezer and started opening it to only thaw 1 or 2 breasts. But it was like, really really frozen.

Since I was having more success ripping apart styrophoam than chicken breasts I decided my only option was to thaw and cook the entire thing. So I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge to cook Monday evening.

But Monday evening I got home from work and forgot I was going to cook chicken so I popped in a Lean Cuisine, poured some wine, and tried not to cry as I watched 2 episodes of 30Rock (why does it have to end?!), and a random episode of Duck Dynasty. Then I remembered I was supposed to cook chicken, but it was already almost 9pm and I was tired.

Tuesday I was going to cook it for dinner but when work friend invited me to go to a movie I forgot about my cooking plans and went. Again, got home around 9ish, asked the roommate how long chicken can be thawed in a refridgerator before I shouldn't cook it (I'm proud of myself for even thinking to ask this) and knew I had to cook it the next day. It was happening.

Wednesday. Leave work a 5:30. Was supposed to get picked up at 6:15. It was me against the clock. I pulled out a big giant frying pan thing I had bought (it came in a set I don't think I've used yet). I knew I needed to cut up the chicken before cooking and had a brilliant idea to just cut it in the pan so I didn't have to dirty a plate or something with raw chicken germs. I grabbed a fork and a sharp knife and went to town.
I read later that it isn't a good idea to use a sharp knife in the pan like that but then I figured "no worries" because this part was a pain in the ass because the knife isn't very sharp. It's actually our only sharp knife and so it gets used a lot (my roommate cooks) and its performance leaves something to be desired. Oh well...ChefProblems - amiright?

I labored through the chicken cutting process and was now ready to cook. One time when I was trying to cook sausage I was told by a roommate that I don't have to grease the pan because sausage is already greasy. I figured this logic in some regard applied to chicken because it was wet and slimy. I was wrong. It started sticking fairly quickly so I poured some olive oil into the pan because it seemed the thing to do. My mom would sometimes make chicken that was really good. Whenever I asked her for the recipe she would always give the same vague response of "oh I just put a little of whatever is around in it..." which is incredibly annoying to a black-and-white step-by-step accounting/math minded person. But I decided to see what was in the cabinet since it's right above the oven. I saw we have "lemon pepper" and I feel like "lemon pepper chicken" is a thing so I decided that was what I was going to make. So I added lemon pepper.
In the end I had my "lemon pepper chicken" and was proud of myself for remembering to cut into some pieces to make sure it was cooked all the way through (which was the bearded man's immediate response/concern when I told him I had cooked earlier). The bearded man and his ginger roommate were on their way with Chick-Fil-A in tow, so now my culinary creation waits in the fridge to be eaten this evening. Maybe I'll even make some pasta noodles to go with it...since I did buy a pot a few months ago for this very reason. Also, it was only 5:50pm. Cooking chicken is fast. SUCCESS!

2013: Then this morning at work I confidently strolled into the kitchen to make some instant oatmeal for a quick breakfast but before long there was a burning smell accompanied by increasing smoke coming from the microwave vents. I'm going to write a new "How To" paper called How to Make Instant Oatmeal from the Individual Wrapped Bags and I will begin by telling people that it is very easy as long as you remember to put water in the bowl before you start the microwave. FAIL.

Luckily the bearded man and his ginger roommate are domestic enough and cook dinner a lot so I will just resign myself to continuing to shamelessly call around dinnertime and have them throw another burger on the grill, or chicken breast in the pan because I'll be over in 15. I mean they kind of owe it to me...I do let them use my Hulu Plus log in...