Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cooking with K&K - Week 4

This year, for Valentine's Day, I had the best date of all time.  Lil' K and I decided to spend the evening together cooking up a meal, and spending quality "sister" time. 

I picked K up at her friend's house after work, and she hopped in the car and handed me a rose "I got a Valentine for my Valentine". I love that girl!

Our dinner:

 The menu for the evening was: Lemon Zest Spinach:

Home made beef meatballs (with a tomato/horseradish dipping sauce on the side) and sweet potato fries:

My Funny Valentine getting ready to eat:

 How's that for a beautifully colorful (and healthy) meal:

 And dessert? Oh...dessert was red velvet cupcakes, made from scratch:

We had a blast making our dinner, but I have to tell you, after making those cupcakes, I've decided I need to get myself one of those fancy mixers, because mixing up the batter (and icing) for these cupcakes was quite the challenge for both K and I.

Which is why I'm taking the opportunity to use this post to ask you:

have you seen the Kenmore Elite Stand Mixer giveaway on DearCrissy.com this week?

DearCrissy.com is giving away one of those fancy mixers, and I WANT IT!!!

Anyway, cooking with K is becoming my favorite night of the week...I can't wait till next week...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Popinjay - Little

This week's Popinjay prompt is "Little".

There's this little sandcastle on my balcony...I keep it there year round because it reminds me that winter can't possibly last forever...

Even when surrounded by the bitter spades of winter...it smiles at me...beckons me...speaks to me...

"Soon, soon it will be summer, hang in there..."

Be sure to stop by Michelle's for a "little" more inspiration.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

If I Had a Boyfriend - Valentine's Day Musings

I feel as if I should post a disclaimer before you start reading this post.  If you know me well, then you will know this was written in good humor.  If, upon reading this, you are worried that I am angry or sad or bitter...that just means you need to visit this blog more often, because that is so NOT who I am.  Disclaimer done. ;-)

Valentine's Day is next week.  The day of roses, and romance.  Chocolates in a box. Jewelry and heartfelt messages on a card. Red hearts and teddy bears.

The one day of the year when couples celebrate their coupledom.  When they take the time to tell one another how much they care…

Hear that?  That was the needle on the record scratching to a stop…

Let’s try that again. 

Valentine’s Day.  The day of expectations and disappointments. Over priced flowers and last minute shopping.  Unnecessary pressures to make it all special.

The one day of the year when couples probably fight more than they romance.  The woman expects to be swept off her feet, the man just wants to not end up in the dog house.

And the uncoupled?  They just want it to be done with so they can resume their previously scheduled programming.

Cynical? Perhaps. 

Obvious that I’m single?  Not so fast…

I’m not a fan of Valentine’s day, but then, I never have been.  Single or coupled. 

I sit here just now trying to stir up memories of previous Valentine’s Days…both good and bad.

Elementary school…buying Valentine’s for the whole class, and that extra special one with a cookie for that extra special boy…he never even said thank you.  But then, there was that other boy, the one I didn’t like, who gave me the extra special one with the chocolate…did I ever say thank you?

High School...Those stupid carnations delivered to home room.  Us girls sending them to one another so that none of us would be without…because nobody wanted to be the girl who didn’t get a carnation.  That one year I received one from the boy I liked so much.  That one year I received one from that other boy…only to find out he’d sent them to a whole slew of girls…

College…not expecting anything, not really caring so much about it.  And then, sitting in class, straight out of a chick flick, in walks a boy with a dozen roses, a heart shaped box of chocolates, and places them, wordlessly, on my desk. I’m pretty sure I swooned. A romance blossomed.

Still college…finding out my “will we or won’t we” crush bought a teddy bear for my arch nemesis. Breaking my heart.

My first serious relationship…spending the entire day upset and disappointed because he never even called to say "Happy Valentine's Day". Angry. Only to come home and discover he’d dropped off flowers and chocolates to surprise me.  Disappointment turning to an awkward feeling of guilt.

Every other relationship since then…the expectation, the planning, the denial of its importance, all the while wanting it to matter to them.

So Much Pressure.

And as a single girl…it’s always easier to just ignore it.  Pretend it’s just another day.  Convince yourself you don’t really care, after all, it’s a commercial holiday, meant solely for price mark-ups and exploitation of the masses.

And yet…knowing deep down that a flower delivery would absolutely make my day.

But why on this day more than any other?

Because really, if I had a boyfriend? I’d want him to send me flowers on a Wednesday in April, simply because he was thinking of me.

If I had a boyfriend, he’d know NOT to buy me chocolates, because I can’t resist a good chocolate, and I’m trying to watch what I eat.

If I had a boyfriend, I’d hope we would go out to dinner, and listen to music, and whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears more regularly than once a year.

If I had a boyfriend, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t matter nearly as much as say…President’s Day…a day off from work to spend together watching movies, or building snowmen, or going shopping for groceries to make dinner that night.

If I had a boyfriend I wouldn’t need red hearts and teddy bears…just a heartfelt I love you and a sincere bear hug.

But I don’t have a boyfriend…so instead…I’ll ignore all the hearts, and flowers...I’ll pretend it’s just another day…and I’ll buy my own damn chocolate.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Cooking with K & K...Weeks 2 & 3

I'm a little behind on my Cooking with K posts...well, let's be honest, I'm a little behind on all my blog posts...except for Popinjay! ;-)

But, without further ado, let's go back and review cooking dates number 2 and 3...

First up, week 2:

The menu for the evening:

Tomato Mozzarella and Avocado Salad:


Chicken and soba noodles with peanut sauce:

 And raspberry filled muffins:
Lil' K making the muffins

 The salad was delicious and simple to make, the noodles and chicken were AMAZING and I WILL be making that dish again, and the muffins were okay...a little dry...I don't bake very often, and I believe it was K's first time EVER baking...we are learning...

Week 3:

The menu: Asian Chicken Noodle Soup:
 Roasted Shrimp and Orzo:

 And Spice apples with vanilla ice cream:

I'm going to go on the record and say that this was by far my favorite menu to date.  The chicken soup, which included lemongrass and ginger was simply the best.  The orzo and shrimp was delicious and light, and the fruit? OH the fruit...so, so very good.

Funny story about week 3, in the middle of cooking, with the oven on, all our pots and pans on the burners going, we set off the fire alarm...oops.  Turning on the fan, and opening a window, we quickly took care of the problem and continued cooking...no big deal.

Until, about 15 minutes later, I look out my window and see TWO firetrucks pull up in front of my building, and a slew of fire fighters walk into my building.


How embarrassing. K and I looked at each other, laughing and mortified...

I opened up my door to discover, however, they weren't there for me...someone had smelled gas at the other end of my building and they were there to check that out.


By the way, the gas issue was resolved with no problems...

The next cooking date for K and I is on Valentine's night...I'm researching an appropriate menu...stay tuned...;-)

Monday, February 07, 2011

Popinjay - Innocent

This week's Popinjay prompt is "Innocent".  I knew right away what picture I would use for this.

This past Saturday night I attended a Fundraiser Gala event.  The church group I'm involved with has been putting these Galas together for a few years now, and proceeds from the tickets, the silent auction, raffles and donations go to a local children's hospital.  It's our way of giving back to the community, and it's an excuse to get all dressed up.  Our very own adult prom.

But it is also a family event.  Everyone brings their kids, we have dinner, and we dance the night away.

As the adults had a few drinks, mingled, chatted, and danced...the kids were having a party of their own.  Creating their own dance moves, having the time of their lives.  We spent a good portion of the evening just watching the kids have a blast in all their innocence...

Here, they created their very own "conga line" and made their way around the event hall, weaving in and out of tables...such beautiful spirits, and wonderful innocence!

Be sure to stop by Michelle's!