December 8, 2009

cream sauce of distinction.

It's a cold, windy night. I got off work early and decided that it was high time I made a fabulous cream sauce.

3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
6 whole sun-dried tomatoes, diced
6 white button mushrooms, sliced
1-1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp ground superfine mustard powder
3 oz grated Parmesan cheese
garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

melt butter in a skillet on medium heat. add the tomatoes, garlic powder and pepper, saute for a few minutes. add flour, stirring constantly until it's a golden pasty glob. add some milk. stir stir stir, it'll thicken up pretty quickly. add mushrooms, mustard powder, salt and cheese, keep stirring. add more milk if necessary, for viscosity's sake. DO NOT UNDERSALT, it'll make it taste like a floury paste devoid of life. Cook on med-low heat until a good consistency is reached. I poured mine over some boil and serve ravioli I bought in the deli case at the store. MMMMM. :)

Try it!

December 4, 2009

Manly Soup!

I made a nice soup in my crock pot last night!

about 1lb beef chunks (sold as stew meat at most meat counters)
2-3 carrots, washed and cut into small pieces
2 celery stalks, washed and cut into small pieces (even the leaves. they are chewable and have lots of celery flavor!!!)
8oz white button mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 can beef stock (from the soup aisle, same size as the condensed soups)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper (and whatever spices you want, really) to taste
about 6oz water

Put all ingredients in the crock pot, set that sucker on high, and let it go for about 4 hours, until the meat's done all the way through and the veggies are soft. Zach made some noodles (the ones he used to make the chicken soup, in fact) to go with it. I had 2 bowls without blinking, it was so good. :) You can turn this into stew if you add some thickener, like corn starch. I'd dissolve a few tablespoons or so in some water or broth, then stir it in until desired thickness is reached, adding more starch as needed.

November 24, 2009


Look at the magick I have unearthed, and will make for Thanksgiving...


Commence to drooling NOW.

November 23, 2009

Giving Thanks.

It's been a long year! I have many things to be grateful for. Thanks to everybody who has given me a helping hand, a happy thought, a soft shoulder, something to fill my belly or my heart. I love you all and you make my life so rich. :)

Lovely Mr. Zach made a kick-butt chicken noodle soup last week, when I was sick. It singlehandedly cured me, and killed all the zombies. Miracle substance indeed!

Here's Zach to tell you how:

8 Cups water
8 Cubes chicken bouillon
1 8 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
4 Stalks celery
4 Whole carrots
1 Medium yellow onion
1/2 Cup parsley
4 Cloves garlic
2 Cups egg noodles

Serves 6-8, or two with a lot of leftovers!

In a large pot mix bouillon and water according to directions for the bouillon. In this case it was one cube per cup of water. Add the cream of chicken, and start heating the mixture. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into thin segments, and add to the broth. Let the broth come to a light boil, and reduce the heat so that it continues to simmer. Chop the celery, carrots, onion, and add them to the broth (protip: chop the celery leaves with the stalks, and add them to the soup for more great celery flava'!). Increase heat to bring it back to a simmer if necessary. Chop the parsley, mash the garlic, and add them to the broth. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are almost soft. Add the egg noodles, and cook them at a fast simmer until they are done. Voila! Soup! Serve hot, and in bowls, preferably. Season to taste, however I found it quite excellent without any additives.

Sidenote: At the store I found "homestyle" egg noodles on the bottom of the noodle shelf. They are thicker, and more delicious than the thin spiral noodles (in my opinion). You may want to break them into smaller segments as they expand quite a bit when cooked.

Me again. He's cuuuute. :) Anyway, Thanksgiving is this week. I plan on making baked mac and cheese, caesar salad with homemade croutons and homemade dressing, and possibly a dessert. I can't decide between doing an old favorite or getting brave and making something totally new. I'll keep ya posted.

Have a good week! :)

October 22, 2009

What the EFF!

HOW did I get away with never posting my tortilla soup recipe?!? I'm punished. Now, as my penance, here it is. :)

Jennifer's super easy tortilla soup!

You'll need:

about 3 cups of broth (chicken or veggie)
2 cups of frozen corn
1 small can of ro-tel, drained
2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
OPTIONAL 1-2 jalepenos, minced (***WEAR GLOVES TO CUT JALEPENOS unless you want your hands, face and other sensitive areas to burn!!!***)
1 bell pepper, any color, diced
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
about 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, snipped into little pieces
the juice of 1 lime
OPTIONAL 2 cups cooked chicken (here's my fave cheater move on this: I buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and pull the meat off it! Pre-seasoned and delish. ^_^)

tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheese

Here's how:
put everything but the cilantro, lime and chicken in a large pot. If it's not looking like it's enough broth, go ahead and add more. Cook on medium heat about 20 minutes until the onions and peppers are nice and soft. I like my soup a little zesty, so quite a bit of cumin goes into mine. I also like cayenne powder. When all the veggie are looking and feeling awesome, I add the cilantro, lime and chicken. I let it all bubble together for about 5 minutes to mingle all the flavors together.

Ladle it into bowls, add about a handful of chips (I like to crumble them up) and let it cool off a smidge, then garnish and serve. I like to garnish mine with sour cream and cheese. :) YUM YUM!

October 13, 2009

I'm having a blog-cation, I think.

It's been a busy month, oof!

I started a part-time job at Iron Starr. I work somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 hours a week, in addition to my 5 days a week at the salon. My sagging personal economy is starting to look up, finally.

The fashion show at the salon is finally over! WHEW! We get a while to recover, then it's back to the grindstone for next year. I'll link some pics soon.

With all the running around like a chicken with my head cut off and spending as much free time as possible with Z, I've not been cooking as much... *sad face* I plan to remedy this soon.

Thursday, the very funny Twinprov heads out on the open highway to The New Orleans Improv Festival. I plan on making them some tasty baked goods to help fuel their very long car trip, including some tasty pumpkin muffins. Recipe will be up tomorrow. :)

Be good.
<3 Jen

October 6, 2009

I've been super-busy with the part time job, and with the fashion show at the full time job. Soon, my lovelies!

September 20, 2009

Adventures in icing

Tonight, my lovely parents made a soda can chicken. Very tasty and moist! To accompany it, Z and I made some awesome loaded mashed potatoes and cupcakes with raspberry icing. Here's the goods:


(feeds 4-6 people)

6 medium-sized red potatoes, washed and cubed (I imagine Yukon Gold would be good too)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1-1.5 cups plain yogurt, unsweetened
6 pieces of bacon, crunchy and crumbled
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 green onions, diced
heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard (Trust that it will work, sounds crazy, but it adds a tangy flavor)
heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
salt and pepper, to taste

Boil potatoes until soft. Drain off the water, then mash potatoes using a hand mixer. Add yogurt and butter, mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Record in your log books that today was the first time I've ever gone back for seconds on mashed potatoes. EVER. They were flavorful and interesting to eat. My main complaint on most other mashed potatoes is that they are blah and starchy and dry. Totally not so with these. :)


(Fairy Cakes recipe from "How to be a Domestic Goddess" by Nigella Lawson)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
7 Tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons milk

Directions :

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking paper cups.

Put all the ingredients except for the milk into a food processor and blend until smooth.
Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel to make for a soft consistency. (I use the full 3 Tablespoons)

It doesn't seem like enough batter, but it will all work out, scrape every bit from the bowl and try to fill each cup equally.

Bake for 15-20 or until they are golden on top. It's best to start checking them at 12 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack, but remove from the tin as soon as possible.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 heaping tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon raspberry extract

Cream butter and jam together. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in raspberry extract. More milk makes a thinner, more glaze-like frosting, and less makes it thicker.

When cakes are cool, frost with the yum-tastic frosting. I sprinkled mine with pink sugar right before serving. MMMMM. The simplicity of the cake and the sweet tanginess of the frosting waltz together happily in your mouth. :D

It's getting colder outside, and that's exciting! More decadent and rich things coming soon...

Eat well!

September 13, 2009

Happy birthday, baby brother!

It's Patrick's birthday! He is *gulp* 22 this year. He asked for a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, so I made this nom-tastic cake:

Perfectly chocolate cake:


* 2 cups sugar
* 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with "PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE" CHOCOLATE FROSTING. 10 to 12 servings.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Oh murder. He'd better hope he gets here before I eat it all, it smells amazing. Bwahahahahahaha! Oh, crumb. I'm next... 25!!! *double gulp*

September 10, 2009

Made pitas with avocado, tomato, sprouts, lettuce, tofu, onions, and a tasty yogurt and tahini dressing. Recipe soon!
Rainbow Noodles were on the menu Tuesday night. Tasty, tasty. We did ours a little differently; we sauteed the veggies in sesame oil (minus the cucumbers). I forgot to get more soy sauce, so we added lime juice and some coarse salt in its place. Turned out just fine! :)

September 7, 2009

Chocolate and cinnamon? I'm in.

Mexican Chocolate Brownies (from Bon Appetit, with a few changes) graced the table as the dessert for Chicken Tortilla Soup tonight. Yum yum yum!

For brownies

* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
* 1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
* 3 large eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3/4 cup all purpose flour
* 1 cup milk chocolate chips (about 6 ounces)

For brown sugar topping

* 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
* 1/4 cup whipping cream
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 3/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup sliced almonds

Make brownies:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil, extending foil over sides. Stir unsweetened chocolate and butter in heavy large saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool 5 minutes. Whisk in sugar, cinnamon, and pepper. Whisk in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. Continue to whisk until batter is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add flour and whisk just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing surface. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Make topping:
Whisk sugar, cream and butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat until mixture is smooth and comes to boil. Remove from heat; mix in vanilla. Cool 10 minutes. Whisk until thick enough to spread. Spread over brownie. Sprinkle with almonds. Let stand until topping sets, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.)

Using foil as aid, life brownie from pan. Cut brownie into 16 squares. Serve cold or at room temperature.

September 6, 2009


I made s'mores treats and boiled some corn to contribute to tonight's meal @ the parent casa.

S'mores treats:

4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vanilla
1- 16oz box golden grahams
1 bag mini marshmallows
1- 12oz bag chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add vanilla, stir until smooth. Pour in the marshmallows, stirring until melted and smooth, coating the spoon. Gradually add the cereal, stirring to coat the cereal fairly evenly. Pour mixture into a greased large baking dish, press out evenly. While it settles, use the microwave to heat the chocolate (in a microwave-safe bowl). Heat one minute at a time, stir between heating. Once smooth, add the milk and microwave for 30 seconds more, then whisk until incorporated and smooth. Pour over cereal mixture, then let cool until just set. These are a bit more fun than the usual krispy treats.

The corn I did utilized a delicious product I'd never tried: Wiley's Corn Boil. It is delicious! It made 6 ears of supermarket corn sweet and tasty. Definitely suggest it! :)

Baby bro Patrick created a remoulade sauce to top the crab cakes my mother made, and it was super good.


* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 2 Tablespoons grated onion
* 1/2 cup cocktail sauce
* 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
* 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all ingredients and chill.

A very tasty dinner, indeed!

September 3, 2009

Heavens to Betsy! Homemade Caesar Salad, to die for!

I made a Caesar salad (inspired by my food crush P-Dub) from scratch tonight, it was amazing! Here's what you need to make it happen:

whole lot of romaine (maybe 2 bunches)

4 tbsp mayonnaise (none of that fakey fake MW business, however tempted you may be by its tangy zip)
2 tbsp lemon juice
dash of Worcestershire
5 tbsp olive oil
dash of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
almost 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 french bread loaf, cut into cubes
1/4 cup olive oil
heaping tbsp minced garlic
dash of salt

Rinse the lettuce, take it apart and put it in a very big bowl. You can tear it up or leave it whole, your choice. Make your dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together in a small prep bowl until mostly un-lumpy. Make your croutons by mixing your oil, garlic and salt in a bowl, then coating your bread cubes in the mixture. When they're all coated, lay them out evenly on an ungreased cookie sheet. Set your oven to broil, put the cookie sheet with the cubes on it in there for a minute or so. Watch them, you don't want to turn them into tiny charcoal briquettes. When they're golden brown, take them out and let them cool slightly. Toss your lettuce with the dressing. then add your delicious warm croutons. Add more Parmesan if you want. This salad will definitely make your family and friends roll in the floor in fits of pleasurable agony, and you'll definitely receive several marriage proposals. Best case scenario, your sweetheart will have a new-found appreciation of your grasp of the "lost arts." :) Enjoy!!!


August 27, 2009

Okay, I'm feeling like a change. And, the promised recipes...

I've been rattling around for years, yearning for education in something I find relevant and engaging. To me, regular college was absolute drudgery. I slipped out, in relative disenchantment and some degree of disgrace, broke and disappointed. Now, I feel like I've spent enough time in self-imposed penance and want something else. This probably isn't news to anyone, but I love to cook. My kitchen offers a stimulating and creative place for my mind to run wild. I am relatively young, childless, and able to move around the world. My car will be paid off later this year, my lease is up in April. Within the next year or so, I'd like to pack my necessities into boxes, buy a bike rack for the car, and go to Austin to start a new life chapter as a culinary student. be continued.

Now, as promised, RECIPES!

Pasta salad:

2 cups macaroni or other small pasta
1 can chunk white tuna in water, drained
about 2 dozen red grapes, halved
1/2 small yellow or red onion, minced
2 carrots, shredded
2 celery stalks, diced
1/4 cup sunflower kernels
1/4 cup cashews, crushed
1 cup miracle whip or salad dressing of choice
1/4 cup honey mustard

optional shredded cheese of whatever variety pleases you most. Monterrey Jack would be lovely.

Prepare pasta according to directions on box, then rinse thoroughly with cold water, for about 10 minutes. In a 3 or 4 quart bowl, mix everything together. Mix it up gooood so the dressings are coating every bit of that tasty. Serve it up cold with some wheaty crackers. Share some with your momma, she'll think you're awesome. It's colorful and great.

Homemade Chocolate Pudding:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup flour or cornstarch (flour makes a denser pudding, cornstarch makes it more silky)
about 2 cups milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder (upon further thought, I think 4 oz melted unsweetened chocolate would have been tastier. try the ghiradelli 60% cacao baking bar, it's 4oz)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and whisk constantly over medium heat, until the mixture is very golden, about 5 minutes. Add your milk slowly, still whisking. Whisk until it thickens, which can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. When it's about the consistency of gravy, reduce heat to low, then add your chocolate and sugar. Stir it until well incorporated. You can add more chocolate or sugar to taste. When it's looking and tasting awesome, stir in your vanilla. Remove from the heat and get that sucker cooled down. Hot chocolate pudding might be gross, and unsafe: see here for safe cooling, scroll down to where it says Cooling liquid foods.
This pudding is hearty but delicious. A peanut butter cookie would be a nice complement.

I got my brownie recipe from the delightful Paula Deen. Maggie's decadent brownies were a hit, the only thing I can see making different would be switching the marshmallows for caramel and pecans. Mmm. I'll try it and let you know.

August 24, 2009

My kitchen has spit out several glorious things last week. Here are the highlights, recipes later: a delicious summer pasta salad, pudding, and brownies.

July 29, 2009


Last night, there was the most amazing storm rolling slowly southward. I got to watch the lightning it produced dance from cloud to cloud, lighting up the sky. Amazing. :)

(via flickr)

We also ate Indian tacos, watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, held the drooling smiling butterball that is my adorable niece, and washed clothes.

Today, I'm holding down the receptionist chair at the salon and looking forward to the tasty leftovers that will be my lunchity lunch (garlic shrimp and wheat pasta). Later tonight, I think we're going to a preview of 500 Days of Summer. :) I'm also hoping to score a part time job. I applied for a couple and one called me back, I got my food handler card for it, and hopefully I'll still be wanted. Oh nellie, the extra funds would be good, in addition to letting zach have all the study time he needs.

In other news, The Pioneer Woman will eventually be the death of me, with all her mouthwatering recipes. I found the recipe for her cinnamon rolls and I can practically taste them. I'm looking forward to the happy faces that will be receiving these babies, since the recipe makes several pans. Oh the humanity! :)

July 27, 2009

Ice Cream Sammiches!!!

I was a good girl on Saturday and didn't get Maggie Moo's at lunch. I rewarded myself by making homemade snickerdoodles into tasty ice cream sandwiches that tasted lightly of cinnamon. YUM. Here's how:


* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup shortening
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
*sugar and cinnamon mixed in a bowl (about 1/4 cup of sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon)

Baking directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Roll dough into balls just a little smaller than a golf ball.
3. Roll balls of dough in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.


I had a container of my fave vanilla bean ice cream out on the counter while I baked, so it would be soft enough to work with when the time came. I size matched my cooled-off cookies, then went to work assembling the tastiness. I rolled up a smallish scoop of ice cream, plopped it on the bottom side of a cookie, then smooshed the other cookie on it, to make the sandwich. Upon completion of the construction, I had them all on a plastic platter and put them in the freezer to firm up before serving. I brought one in my lunch today, much to the envy of my coworkers. YUMYUMYUM. :D To further enhance your DIY cred, home churned ice cream would be awesome. Pioneer Woman has a great recipe I've been dying to try!
Glad it's raining, but it makes me wanna eat fatty foods and sleep. It'd be on now if it weren't for employment... Lol

July 25, 2009

I was asked by my friend Jay to make his lady Amy's birthday cake. It's a simple round chocolate cake, with sky blue writing. It was a joy to make! :)

Happy birthday, girlie! :D

July 23, 2009

As promised...

The lasagna recipe!

Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick, I think)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups of your preferred milk (I used soy)
small block of Parmesan, grated
2 cups mozzarella, also grated
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp superfine ground mustard (the powder, not the yellow goo kind)

1 medium yellow squash, sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
3 carrots, diced
1 yellow onion, diced

1 cup low fat cottage cheese, undrained
1 cup part skim ricotta
1 box lasagna noodles (we used whole wheat, YUM)

(whatever other veg content you want, really)

Melt the butter over medium heat in a big saucepan. Add the flour, whisking constantly, until it's totally incorporated. Keep on whisking for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown. Add your milk and keep on whisking! It'll get thick, so don't worry, that's normal. :) (congrats, you made a basic white sauce!) Turn the heat down a little, to medium low, then add your salt, pepper and mustard, keep whisking!!! Add all but half a cup of your Parmesan and about 1/3 of your mozz. You might wanna switch to a spoon at this point, this is getting really thick... Take a little taste and see how it's doing spice-wise. Don't be afraid to add more spices if you think it needs it. Once the cheese is all melty-melty, turn the heat off and take this sucker off the heat so you don't burn the bottom.

In another pan (even while you're doing the sauce, as long as you have a minion to man this other pan), heat up some olive oil to saute your veg content, except for the cucumbers. Add the onions, some s&p action, the carrots, then the squashes. Soft, but not total squish. You're just making things easier on yourself for the baking.

In a medium bowl, mix your cottage and ricotta together, to form Ricottage©. (Zach and I coined the term "Ricottage©", so be a pal and don't steal it. LOL)

Okay, you're ready to put this badboy together.
In a 9x9 baking dish, plop down some cheese sauce. Spread it around, then put some noodles on top. I know, they're not presoftened, but it's okay. Spread some Ricottage© love on those noodles, then sprinkle a mix of the remaining cheese. Layer about half your soft veg and springy cucumbers over that. Then, more sauce, noodles, Ricottage©, cheese, rest of the veg, then another layer of sauce. End with final noodle layer, last of the Ricottage©, then rest of the sauce, and all the grated cheese left. Carefully cover the pan with foil, then bake this gorgeous beast for 45 minutes with the foil on. Then, take the foil off and bake for another 10-15 to brown the cheese. :)

Oh, mama, is it tasty!!!

July 20, 2009

My weekend was awesome! I volunteered at IFO on Friday & Saturday nights, went to see Harry Potter, & made a fantastic lasagna(recipe up later). Happy Monday!

July 16, 2009

Check out Improv Festival Oklahoma this weekend! It's gonna be awesome! Acts from far and wide will be in attendance, working hard for the funny.

I made enchiladas last night with Zachary. They were so good! Here's how:

1 large chicken breast, cooked and shredded
5 biggish mushrooms, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup salsa/picante sauce/pico de gallo
salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, garlic
8 whole wheat tortillas
green enchilada sauce
about a cup of shredded cheese

I put the frozen chicken breast in a saucepan of water, and let it simmer on the stove for a quite a while when laundry was being done. When we came back from laundry, I took the pan off the heat(and later, Zach reduced the chicken to a pile of tiny shredded goodness)and replaced it with a frying pan with 2 tablespoons or so of olive oil. The onions and jalapeno, along with the dry spices, went into the pan, followed by the mushrooms as soon as the onions were verging on translucency. We let it all cook down until everything was nice and soft, then added the chicken and cream cheese. We let the cream cheese get nice and melted, then added the red stuff of our choosing (salsa in this case).We prepped our casserole dish with a splash of enchilada sauce, then stuffed our tortillas and laid them in the pan(seams down), then covered with the rest of the sauce and our glorious cheese. They baked at 350 for about 20 minutes. NOM NOM.They will also be my lunch today. mmm. :D

July 15, 2009

YOU GUYS, My ex and his brother are twin nerdcore rap whiz kids. Their latest creation is on a subject very near and dear to this old heart of mine: Harry Potter! Check it out, along with all their other gems of pop culture nerd delight, at Love it! :D

July 13, 2009

Man, I brought my lunch today and nothing sounds good... I hope chicken soup smells good enough to want it. It's prepaid, anyway. No extra spending.

I need to get more books from the library. Reading will keep my brain from rotting out. lol

whine whine whine.

time for lunch,and maybe yoga.

9 hours. :D
The magic wand keeps me from humping the legs of friends, loved ones, and innocent bystanders. In other news, Zach flies in tomorrow night. YAY! :)

July 10, 2009

About that...

So, I mentioned in a previous post that I didn't have a problem. lol, maybe I do. I'm so ready for Zach to come home in 3ish days. He'll get the excited-girlfriend-ambushing-him-with-kisses-at-the-airport treatment. :)

July 7, 2009

I'm grateful that Zach and I don't argue all the time. That would eat me up inside.

July 6, 2009

Day 7 without Zach. I'm pretty bummed by his absence, and super-eager for him to get off that plane in a week. It makes me thankful that he's usually home.

July 5, 2009

Wonderful party! I am a little tipsy from 3 margaritas, showered, teeth brushed, and ready for bed. :)

July 1, 2009

I am tired, and there's still more house to get done. It'll have to wait for tomorrow. If I never move again, it will be too soon. Lol

Laaaazy girl.

Today is my day off! w00t! Sleeping in, paying rent, and cleaning house FTW.

Yesterday was less fun than I'd like. My boss had us go to the Get Motivated seminar that was going on, and I feel like 4.5 of the 7.5 hours we were there was a waste of a perfectly good Tuesday. I'm not super-appreciative of thinly-veiled proselytization in any form, so it was an interesting day. To top it all off, nobody in our group won any prizes. Oh well, I guess sometimes you have to dig through the offal to get to the treasure.

I'm getting closer to having my house in shape for Saturday's festivities. Yaaay!!! :D I totally plan on making Pioneer Woman's Mac and Cheese, Chicken burgers with pesto mayonnaise, and vegan lemon cupcakes, among other nom noms.

I've been 2+ days without seeing the darling Zachary, and I'm not going through crazy detox symptoms yet. I imagine this time next week will have me pacing the room and pulling the hair off my arms and face. No, I don't have a problem. ;)

I'm ready to quit being broke. I applied for a couple of part time jobs, hopefully I'll hear back soon. Maybe I can have a garage sale in the later part of the summer.

June 29, 2009

Happy Monday!

Good weekend!

Zach's birthday was totally rad, of course. The cupcakes went over VERY well. Here's the recipe. The frosting, too. Royal Bavaria was absolutely tasty, Opie's was goofy and fun. :D

Raychel's home! Raychel's home! Yaaaaay!

So, today Zach goes to DC, then Nantucket. 2 weeks? I can do it...

June 26, 2009

I bike commuted for the first time today! It went well, which I suspect had something to do with Zach and I doing a test run last night to find the best path. It was kind of nice to exert myself a little bit this morning, I'm not dragging my tail yet.

Speaking of dragging tail, I need to get my stuff together sooner every night. I've been staying up way too late. If only each day could be a little longer...

In my infinite wisdom, I decided the best way to get myself to unpack my house would be to set a date for a party. So, I sent invites for a little 4th of July bash. Of course, the house is still 50% in boxes. Even with the week I was off between smart style and here! oof.

I'm going to make spice cake cupcakes for my loverly Zach's birthday, which happens to be tomorrow. :D

June 25, 2009

Glorious Thursday.

Hello to the 2 people who read this damn blog. lol

It's been a busy week here in my world, I started at Hollywood Glam on Monday. So far, love it. :)

I've been reading Black Heels to Tractor Wheels: A Love Story over at The Pioneer Woman. YOU GUYS, it is soo good. Even Zach is riveted, and he doesn't like to read. She also posts amazing photos and recipes and has contests and I pretty much luuurve her.

I met Zach's momma last night. I was initially nervous when presented with the possibility, but it wasn't a big deal. She is really nice. :D

My chorus broke up in May, so we all scattered to various choruses in the metro. I've been visiting Sooner Sensations, and it's super great. There are few things in this world that leave me as exhilarated and exhausted as a good, long... chorus rehearsal. Ahem. * tee hee! * But seriously, they are all so nice, and Debbie, the director, really knows her stuff. She should, as she is a part of an international champion quartet.

Zach is going to be gone for 2 weeks at a botball conference and a trip to see a friend starting Monday. Le sad... Call me and bully me into leaving the house. Srsly. :)

June 17, 2009

so, state board said they picked someone else. boo. But, I am going to start at Hollywood Glam Salon June 22. 310-4455 for appointments. Hopefully, it will be a positive change. :)

June 8, 2009

well well well.

I went camping this last weekend. it was totally rad. we made 4 meals over the fire, and made sammiches to eat on the hiking trail. oh, the hiking trail. I am a fat kid fo sho, so it kicked my chubby butt. I stayed hydrated, nibbled some snax and sammich for additional fuel, and didn't hurt myself- save a little blister on my heel. Glo-ri-ous. :)

Today was my job interview for the State Board position. *Crosses fingers*

I made tuna patties the other night, super easy:

2 cans of tuna, drained
1 cup of breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 cup of shredded cheese
1/2 of a small onion, diced and sauteed
1/2 of a small bell pepper, diced and sauteed
a good dash of salt and pepper
a sprinkle of paprika and dill

combine all ingredients into a bowl, taking care to not cook the egg with the sauteed veggies. (room temp veggies help)
form into patties that are about 3/4-1 inch thick, place on a baking sheet, bake at 375 for about 15-20 minutes, until everything's all hot and nice, with a crisp exterior.

I served these badboys up with some pipin' hot broccoli. nom nom nom!

May 21, 2009

all right.


-Divorced. that's all done with now.
-Moved. everything's mostly in boxes, save the kitchen. lol, it's the most important room to me. :)
-Applied for State Board Job. application was accepted, I should hear back about an interview soon.
-Sexy Project. I posed in front of the camera for Eric's "Biting the Apple" submission. :D It's a funny concept that I hope people enjoy.

April 29, 2009

just got the letter from metro tech. no interview for me. poo. :(

a lush, green paradise, just beyond the glass. :)

So, telling the fam was hard. Probably the hardest thing thus far. I got a new place, I'm in the process of moving and packing and all that general un-pleasantness. I haven't heard back from Metro Tech yet, supposedly they are still selecting applications to interview. I just got wind of an opening at the state board of cosmetology office for an inspector, I'm filling that app out now. all that driving will very much suck (driving to the office at shepherd mall, driving all over the state to do inspections) so I'm trying to stall a little until I hear one way or the other. I'm involved with a sexy project, more on that later. :)

April 17, 2009

What doesn't kill you just might make you stronger.

So, here goes: there's a lot happening right now.

The big thing is that Clint and I want and need different things right now, and have been drifting apart for a very long time now, but have only had the guts to say so to each other in the last month or so. We had several weeks of serious talks with ugly cries, the high points of those being that we realized that we got married with the idea that we were doing it for the other one, to make them happy because they really wanted it. So, we both have been making sacrifices that harbor some resentment, the big ones being Clint wants to move away and find out if he can make any kind of living doing comedy, and I want to stay near my family and friends and finish school for now. I want to start a family before I turn 30, Clint's not sure if he'll ever want that. So, in order to preserve the things that are important to ourselves and each other, chiefmost our respect and admiration of each other, we finally decided last week that we were tired of beating our dead horse and have started the process of filing for divorce. I know, it seems like we are quitting and running away, but we are so tired.

Please don't get ugly and judgmental with us, and realize we are still good friends, so no bashing either.



April 9, 2009

Lazy day off! I'm dog-sitting a super low-key beast for the next couple of weeks. He goes out in the morning & goes in after work. I feed and water him, and offer encouraging words and petting. He's pleasant as far as charges go. :)

Man alive, is it windy today! The sky to the east is visibly tinged with orangey-brown dust. Ugh. Contact wearers, beware.

Still no word from Metro Tech. Hopefully soon. If that doesn't pan out, I'm considering asking about a move to a salon one of my friends from hair school opened not too long ago.

April 3, 2009


Metro Tech called me today to say that the job I applied for got changed a little. Basically, instead of it being a program quality control position, it'd be an instructor position, and if enrollment dropped or something, I'd be out on my ear, since it's a need-based position. Interview will be set up this upcoming week, I think. Cross your fingers.

April 2, 2009

Springtime can kill you.

So, my kitchen has mostly been on hiatus, what with two weekend trips to barbershop contests, Red Dirt shows, and other various time-eaters. I did make a wonderful quiche the other day. I jazzed it up by using real mushrooms and changing some of the ingredient amounts. Pretty good, I didn't have any leftovers.

There's been a lot going on in the personal realm as well, but it still has need for secrecy. So, in a couple of weeks or so, I suspect everything will have fallen into place enough than I can talk about it all.

I watched a work crew of bees doing their hard labor yesterday. Bees are tireless little creatures!

My brother and his wife had a baby on St. Patrick's Day. Her name is Emily and she's awesome. :)

January 8, 2009

I am the suck at blogging regularly.

Christmas was good. I got some nice things from the hubbub: red rainboots with polka dots, a copy of The Moosewood Cookbook, a copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard, and a gift card for a couple of massages and various spa services. NYE was awesome. We went to see the Flaming Lips, then we went to my buddy Chris's party. Mmm-Hmm!!! The rest of the week was fun times, with many gatherings to play Rock Band, drink, listen to records and have a generally awesome time. I've made several things of note in the kitchen:

You'll need:
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and either smashed or minced
salt and pepper, to taste
splash of olive oil
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
big handful fresh spinach, rinsed
jar of pasta sauce (or you can make your own, I guess ^_^)
6-12 oven ready lasagna noodles
small container part skim ricotta cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

2 skillets
large rectangular casserole dish

Preheat oven to 375.

put the turkey, onion, garlic, and salt and pepper (and maybe a little bit of water) in a large skillet. cook on medium-high until the turkey is browned and the onions translucent. drain any excess liquid off.

put the olive oil and mushrooms in a small skillet. cook on medium heat until the mushrooms begin to darken in color and reduce in size. Add the spinach and continue to cook until spinach is sufficiently wilted and mushrooms are mostly soft.

Add the mushroom and spinach mixture to the meat mixture, then add the sauce. mix it all together.

Spread about 3/4 cup of sauce mixture on bottom of pan. Spread a dollop of ricotta on 3 or 4 noodles (enough to make a layer covering the bottom of the pan without overlapping too much) and place on the sauce. Sprinkle some cheese on top. Spread another scoop of sauce, then more of the ricotta noodles, then more cheese. repeat until you make it big enough to fill your pan without making a mess. finish off the masterpiece with the rest of the cheese.

Cover gently with foil. bake for 20 minutes with foil intact, then remove foil and bake for 8-10 minutes, to make the cheese golden. Stab the lasagna in a few places with a fork before you pull it out, to gauge its done-ness.

red white and blue cookies:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~ 4 oz. white chocolate chips
1/2 cup each dried cranberries and dried blueberries

preheat oven to 350.

sift together the flour, soda and salt. set aside.

put butter, sugars and egg in a mixer bowl with paddle attachment, mix on medium until fluffy.

slowly add dry ingredients, mix until combined. add vanilla.

mix in chips and fruits using wooden spoon (or really clean fingers, this batter is kinda thick).

measure out heaping tablespoons (mine were roughly golf ball size) of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet (about 9 will fit). bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes, until golden.