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March 2009 Archives

Where in the World

March 30, 2009

Sighting

Never Gotten the Knack of Cooking

March 27, 2009
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Chewy chocolate chip cookies
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Gravy

Which can be pretty frustrating. What culinary forays always seem to fail for you, no matter what recipes you try or tricks you employ?

Jamaican veggie patties

March 23, 2009

When I spoke with my mother on the phone recently, she chided me for posting a bunch of recipes that she wouldn't be able to try. Because my mother has WILL POWER to resist making yummy and wonderful things that require I make them. Like pretzels and waffles and chocolate ice cream (the last of which I am currently eating).

assembly

But I figure this would be okay, because these Jamaican veggie patties are completely vegan. Unless you're Steve and you drowned them in gravy.

And despite my grossly underestimating the time involved in the recipe, they turned out really good if a little spicy for my tastes. Maybe next time I'd add some shredded chicken and more coconut milk, going for more of a (non-vegetarian) curried pot pie.

for eating

Mt. Redoubt Finally Erupts

March 22, 2009

Mt. Redoubt eruption

An eruption of Mt. Redoubt began at approximately 22:38 AKDT, March 22, 2009 (0638 UTC). AVO is raising the aviation color code to Red and the alert level to Warning. Initial height of the eruption cloud is estimated at 50,000 ft above sea level.

Courtesy Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Pinches are Avoidable

March 17, 2009

I don't care for corned beef or cooked cabbage, but since Steve thinks we need to celebrate our shared Irish heritage, the crockpot is currently stinking up my apartment.

I prefer to celebrate St Patrick's Day in other, stylish ways.

A Good Pair of Brown Heels

March 14, 2009

Gabriella Rocha Mylie (Brown Snake)

Type Z I Said So (Brown Leather)

Charles by Charles David Saunter (Cognac Leather)

Frye Gretchen 2 Piece (Brown)

Frye Gail Pump (Brown)

We All Have Problems, These Are Mine

March 13, 2009

Don't you hate when you reach for the conditioner and only once you've slathered it on your hair do you realize it's the shampoo?

And then you rinse it all back out and grab the other bottle and only once you're slathered it on your hair do you realize it, too, is shampoo?

And you come to the conclusion that you bought two bottles of shampoo and zero bottles of conditioner?

And then, dripping wet, you have to rifle through the bathroom cabinets looking for perhaps some travel bottle containing the tiniest trace of conditioner, then spend the next five minutes trying to force it out of the bottle by pounding it on the palm of your hand until your hand hurts and you only have a pea-sized dollop to show for it?

Man, I hate that.

Thin Mint ice cream redux

March 11, 2009

(I made this two years ago! Different recipe, though. Still yummy.)

1 1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, approximately 1/2 cup
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
9 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Makes 1.5 quarts

Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Put the egg whites into an ice cube tray and then freeze. Tell your boyfriend to not use the yellow ice cubes in the freezer.

Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon.

Stare at the back of your wooden spoon, wondering how to recognize a proper coating when the chocolate covers the spoon anyway. Dig out your neglected candy thermometer and stir until the temperature reaches 170 to 175 degrees. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.

Pull out of the refrigerator the next evening and re-read the directions and realize that you forgot to add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream in the very first step, after the wisking and before the simmering.

Consider crying because the whole thing is RUINED and you may be a bit emotional, but instead slap yourself across the cheek twice and tell yourself that ice cream is just frozen milk anyway. So add in the remaining half-and-half and cream, wisking well to combine.

Sterling ice cream freezer

Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions with ice and salt, tossing random ice cubes to the dog who is certain she will die if she does not have one of those fantastic store-bought ice cubes to chew on for the entire 20 minutes the ice cream freezer is running.

Toss a few curse words at the machine every time it gets stuck on some random piece of rock salt.

After about 15 minutes, stop the machine and toss in two crushed packages (one box) of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies. Restart the machine, toss another ice cube to the dog, and let it run until the motor strains and slows to a stop.

131:365 Chocolate thin mint ice cream

Eat a small bowl with love and happiness, just the way Melissa would have.

I Sometimes Imagine Against My Will

March 10, 2009
  • Being involved in a multi-car pileup, my body twisted and broken, trapped in my seat as I die, loved ones having to make funeral arrangements.
  • Ghosts grabbing my wrists and ankles as I walk past the back hallway in my parents' basement.
  • Crossing the street and being hit by a car.
  • Robbers standing outside my bedroom door at 3am holding baseball bats.
  • The doctor telling me no, sorry, I'll never be able to have children.
  • Melissa's last moments.
  • Jumping off a tall bridge, feeling the wind rush through my hair and my stomach in my throat.

For something warm

March 5, 2009

We've been without hot water at home since Saturday night. It's been pretty crappy, definitely an inconvenience what with the boiling-water-for-dishes-and-brushing-teeth thing and the getting-up-at-5:30am-to-shower-at-the-gym thing, but not unsurvivable.

Last night The Guy showed up. He banged a lot of stuff around in the crawlspace for a few hours, freaking Olive right out, and replaced the water heater that once serviced the entire building. Just like magic, we had hot water again.

I celebrated by washing my face and brushing my teeth without once turning on the stove.

You should definitely invite me to your next party; I'm a hoot.

I was kinda cold before bed, so I put on some long over-the-knee socks that are long enough to cover my shoulders. I hate sleeping with socks on, so was sure that I would wake around 3 to pull them off, but I didn't.

This morning I woke to the coldest apartment ever. I remember once deliberately scooting over to Steve's side of the bed so that I could steal what little bit of Warm he might have generated (it's never enough). And the thermostat said 60, proof that I wasn't being wimpy about the temperature (at least this time).

Tonight we were hit by a pretty big snowstorm and have six fresh inches of snow. It's still just under 60 degrees in my apartment. The Guy was back and said he had to flush the whole boiler system, but it would take a bit for the heat to recover.

I'm currently wearing my over-the-knee socks (blue) pulled up over my shoulders, my pajama bottoms (black), a tight long-sleeve shirt (red), a sweater (orange), and wrapped in a blanket (brown).

I'm still waiting for that heat to kick back in. Any time.

I Would Be A Very Broke Woman

March 4, 2009

...(If I Bought Everything I Liked on Etsy): Shrug Edition

You should hear us at the grocery store

March 3, 2009

I didn't leave the office during lunch. Possible mistake, but no place to go nothing to do.
by Valette about 8 hours ago from web

@Valette Should have given me a call.
by Robotkarateman about 7 hours ago from web in reply to Valette

@Robotkarateman I just can't agree to your Terms of Service.
by Valette about 7 hours ago from web in reply to Robotkarateman

@Valette It's the privacy statement, isn't it? I swear I won't share you with third party vendors.
by Robotkarateman about 6 hours ago from web in reply to Valette

@Robotkarateman But what if I discontinue service? I don't think you should own the rights to anything after I've deleted my account.
by Valette about 6 hours ago from web in reply to Robotkarateman

@Robotkarateman And by "anything" I mean ANYTHING.
by Valette about 6 hours ago from web in reply to Robotkarateman

@Valette, See? This is why you need to read all that legal gobbledygook before clicking on @Robotkarateman v2.7
by jrconlin about 5 hours ago from web in reply to Valette

@Valette I reserve the right to try to get you back with special offers and discounts. In the middle of the night. While drunk.
by Robotkarateman about 5 hours ago from web in reply to Valette

@Robotkarateman Youll need to provide proof of oriignal purchase, otherwise all discounts are null and void.
by Valette about 4 hours ago from TwitterFon in reply to Robotkarateman

@Valette Do logs of old embarrassing emails count?
by Robotkarateman about 4 hours ago from web in reply to Valette

@Robotkarateman You catch more girls with sugar than blackmail.
by Valette about 3 hours ago from TwitterFon in reply to Robotkarateman

@Robotkarateman @Valette I'm 'bout ready to cancel my subscription. Get a room! lol
by rachelweaver about 3 hours ago from Twitteriffic in reply to Robotkarateman

/me loves following chatter (twitter? twatter?) between @Valette and @Robotkarateman
by MelodramaBabs about 3 hours ago from web

Lunchtime Vintage

March 2, 2009

Some quick vintage dress shopping on Etsy:

Additional Content

Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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