August 25, 2011

great purge of 2011 update

So I was purging things, specifically stuff in my fridge. Here's how it's going so far:

Half empty marinade bottles - two gone!

Mustard - one gone! Andrew just tossed it. Hopefully out of the recognition that it's crazy to have 4 different types of mustard in our small fridge. Or in any fridge.

Stir fry sauce - one gone! We've been having a lot of stir fry lately and it's been delicious. A little secret: add sesame oil when you cook the vegetables. Delicious.

Salad dressing - both gone! Although we'll be buying more Caesar dressing soon since that's the kind Andrew likes. I'm fine with mixing up balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little pepper on the spot for my salads.

Travel shampoo and soap - three gone! First I had to finish my own shampoo, but then I moved on to the little bottles.

Ok friends, I need some motivation. I have my half marathon training plan all figured out for the Monster Dash at the end of October. I'd been running away, hitting all my workouts for about five weeks and now... no motivation to run. My knees have been feeling a little sore/creaky lately and I don't know if that's a running injury or as a result of my stand-up desk at work (it's awesome; everyone should have one), but it's adding to making me not want to run at all. I went out yesterday and my knees were fine, but I don't know. Maybe actually registering for the race will give me the boost I need to get back in the game. Maybe my training plan was a bit too ambitious, ramping up the mileage too far out from the actual race for it to be sustainable for me. Either way, I need to get my head (and feet) back in the game and fast.

Since I know you missed it the last time I posted, here are more Sam pictures:

He was sitting on the couch and the pillow fell over on him and Sam just sat there. It was cute.

He's helping me blog again. What a nosy puppy.

My mom's coming today for the weekend! Maybe she'll help motivate me.

Bacher out.

August 22, 2011

recipe booking

Ok, so I like cooking. I won't lie. I also find a lot of recipes online. I had this really bad habit of keeping a browser window open with tabs and tabs of recipes I wanted to try or keeping a post unread in my google reader until I could try it (or until it was in there too long and expired).

Recently I found this really cool website and have been using it to remind myself of all the recipes I want to make. When I find an interesting recipe, I bookmark/"pin" it and the website stores them by pictures, making it easy to browse and remember why I was interested in the first place. It's pretty cool.

Here are my two boards: Recipes to try and Recipes that rock (things I've already made and like)

Food pictures make me hungry.

Bacher out.

August 8, 2011

more food, more sam

I used up one of those marinade bottles yesterday and made Baja Chipotle chicken. But we couldn't just eat chicken, could we? What to do, what to do... So I made some spanish rice, but after looking at the box in the store, decided I could make it just as well myself and do it without MSG and other unpronounceable ingredients.

I put brown rice, garlic, diced tomatoes, red pepper and onion, paprika and chili powder into my rice steamer and let it do its magic. I also cut up extra tortillas, baked them on my pizza stone and made chips. Finally, I sauteed green and red peppers, onions and garlic to put over the chicken along with some diced avocado.

Pretty delicious, if you ask Andrew. He was very vocal about his approval for the meal.

I was cleaning up some of my photo folders and found these, which I never posted. So, without further ado, some meals from a few months ago:

Homemade mashed potato pizza based on Pizza Luce's mashed potato pizza.

Walleye, I think? From my grandparents. It's over asparagus and seasoned with salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and lemon.

Curried chicken with ginger and yogurt along with brown rice and homemade naan.

I felt like a genius and made naan on my pizza stone. It turned out better than when I'd tried it in a pan, leaving it not greasy and with just the right amount of air bubbles. I did the same pizza stone method for making the tortilla chips yesterday. Although I made the naan before we had Sam, so yesterday was a little more difficult to make sure he stayed away from the hot oven door.

Speaking of my puppy, here he is doing one of his favorite things:

Looking out the window.

And he also video chatted with Kari today (although she doesn't like the picture):

Good bye again.

August 6, 2011

the great purge of 2011

Over the past few years, my mindset regarding "stuff" has shifted from having it - wanting things to be around in case I want to read/watch/use it - to one of not having. I use the library instead of buying books; I don't randomly buy DVDs anymore; most of the clothes I buy are thrifted and thus cheaper and one less thing for a landfill. I'm much more deliberate about what I buy in general - I'd rather spend money on good food (ingredients and meals) than another DVD I sorta like.

A few months ago and sporadically since then, Andrew and I have done some major spring cleaning and went through our closets, bookcases, dvds, cupboards and purged a TON of stuff. Clothes went to Goodwill (two garbage bags worth) and I FINALLY got rid of my favorite shirt from middle/high school - my 1997 Tator Trot shirt. Seriously, it had more holes than swiss cheese. All of our tupperware definitely has a matching lid now and I got serious about the "one in, one out" policy regarding wedding presents, since I don't need two 8x13 cake pans. We sold several bags worth of books and DVDs to a secondhand store and I have 5 or so books listed on Amazon, trying to sell them for more than the bookstore would buy them.

We cleaned the closet that weekend!

This picture is from yesterday, so the closet cleaning stuck pretty well over the past few months.

We got rid of enough books to clear off one whole shelf plus parts of others:

We also sold enough DVDs to have a whole shelf for game:

Yes, that is one of Sam's toys on the floor... a Target dog that he ripped the stuffing from its guts.

It's been really good to weed out our belongings and get rid of things I know we won't use. Now that we've gone most of our stuff, I'm now beginning to purge some other areas such as... the fridge!

We have 3 half bottles of meat marinade. I'm making meal plans that include using these up.

4 types of mustard! Andrew's responsible for this one since I hate mustard. He keeps bringing some home after his work camping trips.

Two identical bottles of stir-fry sauce. Seriously.

Two nearly empty bottles of salad dressing. I'd been making my own balsamic vinaigrette whenever I wanted dressing, so these got shoved to the back. I'm actively using them up now.

Other things to purge:

Hotel shampoo and soap. I've got a big bag of it and apart from maybe keeping a few bottles for traveling, I'm going to use them all up. I imagine this might take some time, since there's at least a few washings worth in each bottle.

Tea candles! We had a bunch of candles left over from our wedding, including some much larger ones. They were just sitting in the closet and I pulled them out during the original purge back in April. I've been using them up since then and I went through 6-8 of the larger candles and have now started on the tea candles.

Slowly but surely, I'm going to use up all of this extra stuff. It's not quite as fast as bringing it to Goodwill or a secondhand store, but it's much needed. Someday, I'll be able to store the ketchup in the fridge door.

Other things as of late...

I made some cake balls, but only had enough chocolate to cover a third of them. Oh well, they're still delicious.

Sam watching me cook. He often stands there and just watches. Sometimes he's a little further around the corner, just showing half his face. He's such a weirdo.

He likes to sit on people's laps. Regardless of where or how they are sitting.

We sit like this a lot. This was me last weekend after a 9 mile run. I was tired.

Sam before I started writing this post. He wanted to know what I was doing.

Ok. I'm done for today. I start a new job on Thursday. I'll tell you more later. Good bye.