Posted by: Emily | February 15, 2009

Love me don’t, love me do

Kalurah over at While They Play made up a new game and tagged me!  I actually started a post like this recently but posting it felt a little self indulgent.  Now I have an excuse! 

Here are the rules:

1. List 5 things you do NOT love about yourself.
2. Then list 5 things you DO love about yourself.
3. Tag 5 other people.
4. Check back with the 5 people you tagged. You may be surprised to find out how many things you have in common.

Love me don’t

1.  I get nervous going to large parties where I don’t know people.  I know this isn’t uncommon but I wish I didn’t.

2.  I gossip too much.  A very undesirable trait.

3.  I make a lot of messes and I don’t like cleaning but really like it when things are clean.  I can’t wait to get a cleaning lady.

4.  When I’m nervous I eat.  Too bad I don’t clean when I’m nervous like some people I know.  That would solve all my problems.  Well, half of my problems. 

5.  I hate my nose.

Love me do

1.  I am really good at getting shy people to open up and talk to me.  There have been a number of occasions where I’ve talked with somebody for a while and later heard from friends that that person usually doesn’t talk at all.

2.  I like my hair.

3.  A professor once wrote a job recommendation for me that included the line, “her smile brightens the room.”  A little strange for a job rec but since I heard that (from my boss who hired me despite the letter) I’ve liked my smile.

4.  I make excellent pancakes.

5.  Animals usually like me immediately and feel comfortable around me.  I like to think that says something about me.  : )

Whew..it was hard to think of things I like about myself.  The not liking list was much easier.  I don’t know many bloggers but I’ll list a couple and see if they will play along.

Abra (even though she never blogs anymore)

Natasha

Marie

Lauren (even though Kalurah already tagged you)

My mother on her secret blog

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Posted by: Emily | February 15, 2009

Gnocchi finale

The gnocchi experiment did not go so well.  I mean, I thought they were tasty but the texture was off.  I think I didn’t use enough flour.  Oh well, I’ll try a different recipe next time.  

The lamb ragu was amazing however!  The next day we ate it with some whole wheat couscous and it was perfect.  Yumm.  The recipe I used has very few ingredients.  I added an onion and two carrots to make it a little more substantial and the flavors were really amazing.  Here is the recipe I used and below is the recipe with my additions.

Ragù

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 6-inch-long fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 pounds lamb stew meat, fat trimmed, meat cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, cored, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (or more) water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For ragù:
Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are transparent, about 5 minutes.  Take out onions and carrots with slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the oil in the pan.  Add garlic, rosemary, and bay leaf; sauté until garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Add lamb to pot; sauté until browned, about 8 minutes. Add wine; scrape up browned bits. Stir in tomatoes, the cooked onions and carrots, 1 cup water, and 1 teaspoon salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lamb is tender, adding more water if needed for saucy consistency, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve over gnocchi or couscous!

Posted by: Emily | February 13, 2009

Don’t gnocchi Valentine’s Day

Ok, that was silly.  I saw a chef making gnocchi on the Today Show the other day and thought, that looks pretty easy!  So yesterday I decided to give it a try.  It was quite an adventure!  If you don’t know, here is a definition of gnocchi:

Italian for “dumplings,” gnocchi can be made from potatoes, flour or FARINA. Eggs or cheese can be added to the dough, and finely chopped spinach is also a popular addition. Gnocchi are generally shaped into little balls, cooked in boiling water and served with butter and Parmesan or a savory sauce. The dough can also be chilled, sliced and either baked or fried. Gnocchi are usually served as a side dish and make excellent accompaniments for meat or poultry.

I made mine from potatoes and added a little parmesan regianno.  With the gnocchi I made a lamb ragu sauce that smells amazing.  This was all supposed to be for dinner last night but we got a last minute invitation for $1 beers (always a good recipe for a morning headache…ouch) so I stuck the uncooked gnocchi in the freezer and ran out the door.  So now we are going to celebrate Valentine’s Day tonight with some lamb ragu and gnocchi.  I’ll update this post to let you know how it goes!  Here are some pics of the process so far.

Generally Frenchie and I ignore Valentine’s Day but as newlyweds I guess we will acknowledge it.  What are your Valentine’s plans?  

Posted by: Emily | February 11, 2009

Update: What’s up with me?

Well, since you asked, here’s a random list of my thoughts for the day…

  • Getting Direct TV today.  I think watching a lot more Comedy Central is the cure to my unemployment blues.  
  • I am totally outraged by the Chris Brown/Rihanna thing yet I find it interesting that it takes something like this to get domestic violence in the spotlight.  This shit happens every freakin’ day to every type of person.  
  • I am sorry to report that we will not be able to offer you an interview for our associate position.  Your qualifications for the position were strong – strong enough so that in all past hiring decisions you would almost certainly have at least been offered an interview.  This time our candidate pool was truly exceptional, both in terms of numbers and the quality of many of the applications, making our decision extremely difficult, but we simply do not have the resources to interview all the worthy applicants.
  • Doc told me to take calcium and Vitamin D supplement.  I discovered Adora.  Yumm!  They don’t taste vitamany at all, just chocolately.  And for you milk allergy people, the dark chocolate ones are dairy free!  Get your calcium women! 
  • However, this book is telling me that whole calcium thing might be a lie.  Harvard Schmarvard.  
  • Frenchie bought me black boots for Valentine’s Day.  Well, he didn’t actually know  he was buying them for me and we don’t celebrate stupid holidays like Valentine’s, but now that I have them he thinks he is a wonderful gift giver.  : )  
  • I am loving the new New York Times puzzle KenKen.  As some of you know, I love math, so this game is perfect for me! 

UPDATE:  Direct TV installation failed so unemployment blues back on.

Posted by: Emily | February 8, 2009

Not hip

This morning I decided to make black bottom cupcakes to take to a friends house tonight and turned on NPR as usual.  Unfortunately at 11am on Sunday it changes to a church service so obviously instead of trying to better my life, I turned it off.  Normally I would start listening to a book on tape or a podcast but since I was frustrated with this recipe I decided to listen to some angry music instead.  Then I realized I never listen to music anymore!  Well, that’s not exactly true.  I listen to Frenchie’s crazy music selections (jazz, hip hop and Prince) but I never listen to my own music and I haven’t listened to a new artist in forever!  

So I’m asking for music recommendations.  I like folky, singer songwriter stuff but I’m open to everything.  

What have you been listening to?

Posted by: Emily | February 5, 2009

Pleasantly surprised

An update on the doctor experience today.  Absolutely wonderful!  Well, as wonderful as an appointment involving a speculum can be.  I saw a resident who was literally the nicest doctor I have ever gone to and she spent a really long time with me asking me all sorts of questions and actually listening to the answers.  I still had the high blood pressure though, even a little bit after the appointment, so maybe I just actually have high blood pressure.  Who knows.

It was kind of weird because I think she was my age.  That’s a first!  The only downside is since she is a resident she might not be there very long.   : (  Better get my appointments in soon!

Posted by: Emily | February 4, 2009

Bring on the HBP

White coat syndrome.  Have you heard of it?  Every time I go to the doctor the nurse takes my blood pressure and pulse, both of which are off the charts and I explain that I have a little anxiety about the doctor.  “Ahh, white coat syndrome” they say.  “Why are you afraid?  There is nothing to be afraid of!”  After rolling my eyes and passing the urge to knock their heads off, I now know to ask the nice nurse to take my blood pressure after the appointment is over so that they don’t try to put me on medication.  It always goes down.  

I have NO idea why I have this problem.  I have no logical reason to be afraid of the doctor.  I’ve never been sick, I’ve never been too abused by a doctor, but yet, right now, just thinking about my appointment tomorrow, my heart is racing.  Well, maybe I have one reason.  A few years ago I had this horrible doctor named Fern Starr in Brookline.  She was my first doctor on the East Coast and she was (and probably still is according to her online reviews) the bitchiest doctor I have ever met.  When I would tell her a problem she would tell me that didn’t sound like a problem but if I really wanted me to she would look into it.  

The last time I saw her I was in the office to get my blood taken for a cholesterol check.  It was a fasting cholesterol so I hadn’t eaten breakfast and I fainted after the nurse took my blood.  I had never fainted before so I was definitely not expecting that.  I woke up on the floor with Fern sitting above me.  Then I proceeded to go into shock.  I couldn’t move my arms or legs which freaked me out a bit.  Fern started yelling at me to calm down and then called an ambulance because she didn’t have time to deal with this.  Um, sorry, I didn’t really mean to pass out!  Excuse me for wasting your time bitch.  

Now that I am back in Boston I had to try to find another doctor.  Of course, I called the hotline and the doctor they found me was…Fern Starr!  I said no way Jose and now I’m going to some random intern at the hospital.  Anything is better than Fern.  

I have recovered from this experience and have had my blood taken since without passing out, but I still hate going to doctor.  This is why I am seriously considering living close to my friends who are becoming nurses and doctors so I don’t have to deal with this anymore.  

Hopefully nothing catestrophic will happen tomorrow to further scar me. I just need some medication refilled.  How badly can it go?  

Do you have any crazy doctor stories?

Posted by: Emily | January 31, 2009

Crunch

This morning I did not feeling like braving the cold and going to the gym so instead I decided to try out a yoga video.  It turns out if you have Netflix you can watch some movies instantly, which I have known about for some time, but there are also exercise videos on there!  I decided to try a Crunch video called Super SlimDown.  It is a combination of pilates and yoga to improve your core and posture.  

Obviously this video is not going to make you super slim, but I think it is my favorite yoga type video I have tried!  I have done a lot of yoga in my life but I think this would be pretty easy even if this is your first time with yoga.  It also made my back feel amazing, which will unfortunately probably lead to a migraine tomorrow (I get migraines when I relax too much), but it was worth it because right now I feel great!  The woman is not super annoying like some instructors, although all the women’s bodies in the video will kind of make you want to give up and eat a tub of Ben and Jerry’s.  I was very pleasantly surprised with this video!

p.s. If you check it out makes sure to notice blondies crazy fake ponytail.

Posted by: Emily | January 29, 2009

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

These turned out amazing.  Crunchy, but in a good way, and sweet.  I used a little too many white chocolate chips so the sugar is a bit overpowering, but they are still yummy!  

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 ounces white chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease.  In a large bowl or mixer combine the sugar, brown sugar and butter; mix well to cream together.

Add in egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined

Add the cinnamon, baking soda, salt and flour and mix well.

Fold in the oatmeal, dried cranberries and white chocolate chips, making sure that all ingredients are uniformly distributed.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 3 inches apart onto the prepeared cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 F for 10-12 minutes, just until the edges are lightly golden.  

These cookies were pretty soft when I took them out of the oven and I overcooked one batch so make sure to take them out right when they turn brown.  Enjoy!

Posted by: Emily | January 29, 2009

Frustration

Please enjoy this passive aggressive post…

I never thought I would be here.  I never thought my day would center around dishes, grocery shopping, laundry and cleaning.  However, I always knew I wouldn’t be very good at it.  And I was right.  

I understand that it is nice to do things for your loved one and I do love cooking for Frenchie.  I do not enjoy cleaning up after him.  I do not enjoy when he asks me to do things differently.  I know that he is saying less than he wants to, and I appreciate that, but even the little things set me off these days.  I never claimed to be meticulous!  I definitely never claimed to be attached to stuff, and I am really not.  Which sometimes means I don’t take of things as well as I should.  My husband is the opposite.  He takes care of everything very very well.  I guess this makes us a good match, but it also causes some fights.  He doesn’t understand how I could not even think to inspect the couch with a magnifying glass as soon as the delivery boys dropped it off.  How did I not notice the scratch on the arm?  Was it the cat?  Or was it already there?  Now, because of my carelessness, we will never know.  

I was meant to have a job.  Get up early, go to work, hang out with friends, and do housework on the weekends.  Like a normal person.  I was meant to live in a gently used house, not a perfect house.  

I am hoping my mindset changes when I have kids.  That I will want to do things for the house for them.  I just can’t get myself to do what my husband wants me to do.  I guess it’s my inner Ani-loving, man-hating feminist, but I get the shivers when he asks me if I bought cat food at the store today.  NO, I didn’t, and yes, I had time, but I didn’t feel like going on a citywide search of the one cat food that Loki will eat.  OK?  Maybe tomorrow I will.

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