I’M BACK!

HELLO WORLD!  HELLO WORDPRESS!  I’ve missed you both immensely, but I’m glad to announce that after that long and very dumb hiatus, I am going to work towards getting myself BACK IN THE BLOGOSPHERE.

I’ll stop allcapsing now.  The nub and gist is that I’ve had a really rough go for the past month-ish, and trying to blog as much as I was trying to blog was really just taking too much out of me.  Could.  Not.  Do.  It was overexertion on a massive level; I was pushing myself to get out a post every day, when I didn’t have the time or the effort or really the brainpower to make that kind of quota.

So here’s the New Plan: I’ll be pushing for two to three posts per week; even if I can just get out the Friday Five and a recipe, I’ll be calling that a success.  I really want to start getting myself back out there– the writing was really v. therapeutic, when the effort of scheduling it into my life wasn’t driving me to extremes– and I feel like that’s a reasonable way to do that.

I’m also going to be puttering around with a few changes to my social presence; dividing that a little from my blog, as it were.  So keep an eye for updated links on Instagram and things like that– social media is definitely something I want to continue to use, but it has to be streamlined so it doesn’t feel like another “work” aspect of blogging or else I”

True Blood starts on Sunday. Y’all excited yet?

 

 

May Blog Goals and a Wrap-Up

I’m sorry, but what is time?  I swear to you it was just the beginning of April, like, yesterday.

How.  Time never moved this fast when I was in college, this is making my head spin.

I don’t really have much to wrap up, being as April wound up being the least productive blog-month in the history of ever.  But what I can do is check in on my goals from last month, and make a few for this month.

Hopefully I’ll do better with those.  Gulp.

First, looking back on April’s Goals.

Blog Goals

  • Get back to a more regular posting schedule– 3 per week as an absolute bottom line. Nope.  Didn’t even happen.  Time wasn’t even a thing.
  • Make time to pre-write!  The past two weekends have made this seriously impossible but I need to make it more of a priority.  See above.
  • Mingle more!  I feel like a blog island; commenting on other peoples’ wonderful content should be more of a priority for me.  But again, time– so I just need to prioritize it.  I was barely even on my own blog, let alone anyone else’s.
  • Uh, maybe finish changing my layout, since I started…and never did anything else after that.  Whoops.  I changed my social media icons!  ..and that was about it.

The rest of my goals are a continued story of failure, I’m not even going to touch them.  Let’s just move on and think about how May is going to be about ten trillion times better.

May Blog Goals

  • Post things that I eat.  If I can’t manage a recipe, at least I should tell you when something comes out well.
  • Actually take pictures of things!  How many of April’s cooking conquests would have been posted as successes if I’d had the forethought to take pictures of them in the progress stages.
  • Finish a photochallenge!  I’ll be doing the Fat Mum Slim May photochallenge, and hopefully I’ll make it past day six this time.  I’ll be playing on Instagram if you’d like to follow along!
  • Finish the blog update!

May Food Goals

  • Actually, for real, make new things.  English muffins are on the docket.  Methinks my DIY cookbook will be of great help here.

May Life Goals

  • Eat more vegetables!  It’s spring, so I’m on a fruit kick, which means none of my snacks are vegetables anymore.  And this makes me sad.  
  • Find more time for meeee.  Back to her Roots has a really good series on self-accountability where she checks in on fitness and wellness goals, and one of the problems she had last month was taking care of her self.  I’m taking a leaf from her book with a list of things to do to self-care, because I have likewise been suffering in that area recently.  Grump.
  • Stop raging at Brendon for everything that he does.  Not his fault his parents didn’t teach him how to eat food like a human.  (How do you slurp an apple.  How.)

Wrapping it up with Top Posts of the last 30 days…

Number One: Chicken Cacciatore

Mine!  Mine mine mine!

You guys REALLY liked this shit. Which makes sense; it was REALLY good. Y’all have good taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Two: April Goals

The irony is not lost on me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Three: Subscription Boxes, Food Edition

IMG_0669

Little baby post making it into the top! So proud. But that would probably be because I didn’t do much else, so. Shhp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s all for now, folks.  Cook the book resumes tomorrow with a recipe, and then a very very special Friday Five!  Happy Wednesday, and happier May!

Tuesday Things: Goals for April, Blog and Otherwise

See? April’s the prettiest. Duh.

Short and sweet; I’m in a crunch for time with catching up on a few general life things and leftover projects.  But I wanted to get my toes in the blogosphere per my Tuesday habit.

And so you don’t forget about me.  That would be unfortunate.

Blog Goals

  • Get back to a more regular posting schedule– 3 per week as an absolute bottom line.
  • Make time to pre-write!  The past two weekends have made this seriously impossible but I need to make it more of a priority.
  • Mingle more!  I feel like a blog island; commenting on other peoples’ wonderful content should be more of a priority for me.  But again, time– so I just need to prioritize it.
  • Uh, maybe finish changing my layout, since I started…and never did anything else after that.  Whoops.

Food Goals

  • Try and make at least three very new things this month!  My dad already suggested cookie cups, and I’m planning on doing puppy chow, but I want to bust out of the box even more.  I’m chewing on the idea of finally trying to tackle croissants, but that depends on the weather we get stuck with.  Any suggestions?
  • Time meals better!  That is something I forever suck at, much as I hate to admit it (even after the twenty million times my mama pointed it out to me while I was timing arroz con pollo improperly, because that seems to be my perpetual downfall) but it’s definitely something that will help with the content-for-posting thing, if I’m not mental with the prep while I’m thinking that I should be taking snaps of said prep.

Life Goals

  • Reorganize my Pinterest boards!  This is something that’s been bounced from to-do list to to-do list for weeks, but I need to really do it.  I feel like my life will thank me.
  • Work on being a skin color other than pasty.  I can do that.  I can totally do that.

Friday Five: April 5th

HAPPY FRIDAY!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

So, let’s be real: I’ve kind of sucked this week when it comes to making contributions to the blogosphere.  It’s not because I don’t love you guys (because I love you guys a whole lot!); it’s not because I didn’t plan (oooh, did I plan); and it’s not because I got side tracked with easier distractions (puhleze, AC3 has been sitting on my game shelf since December.  I just don’t have enough time).

What happened was a result of two things: firstly, my epic fail and ensuing injury left the middle finger of my left hand wrapped in masking tape until about Tuesday, which made it seriously hard to type.  I was reduced to hunt-and-peck, where I hunted all of the letters but still managed to only peck “r”.  But after my redneck dressing was cleared to be removed, things…

..well.  Things just got real busy.  So I thought I’d take this week’s Friday Five to tell you about them (because some of them were kind of neat!) and leave you with very non-empty promises to be back next week in full force with all of the recipes.

1. I got halfway cleared for an ambulance ride-along!

..in this fat bastard. I probably shouldn’t call it that to anyone’s face, though.

The ambulances my sister works on are really, really hard up for volunteers, and I’m…curiously, very tentatively entertaining the idea.  Very, very tentatively.  But concretely enough to take the bloodborne/airborne pathogens class (Monday night) and get CPR certification (tomorrow) so that I can ride along in the rig with her for a day and hope something gory happens.

And then hope I don’t puke.  But if I do, now I’ll know what to do about it.

2. We got chicks!

They're so sweet. I can't even.

They’re so sweet. I can’t even.

We used to be better about keeping chickens at my house, because fresh eggs rock.  But after a rash of brutal slaughters-by-coyote (that ended with me making friends with a dead shecoyote that I decided to name Bob (don’t ask, I was an odd ten year old)) we gave it a rest for about ten years.

The chick-draught is finally over!  We have three little chirping darlings in the kitchen right now; since I’m the only one who cares enough to name them and be clever, they’re called Violet, Sunny, and SheKlaus.

I’m hoping their lives go better than those of the Baudelaires, though.

3. I joined a book club!

Well.  Technically I joined a few weeks ago, but the book club met, which was great.  The girls all seem really sweet so far, and I’m so excited to have somewhere I can read and just be silly with actual people my age for an hour every now and again.  I got home and my mom was like “did you make any friends?”

I am not the speed-friender, mama.  An hour is a little short.  But I made contacts with ladyfolk, so at least there’s that.

Plus, the book suggestions.  They are so far off from my norm, but I’m loving them so far.  My to-read list just like doubled.

4. I cooked, honest!

I don’t have pictures of any of it, or instructions or thoughts or all those nifty things you get when I post something in long-form.  But what I do have are some recipes, so I’ll share those with you since I’m in suck-mode right now and it’s the best I can do.

  • Chicken with Kalamata Olives and Artichokes – Food Network Mag March 2013.  I can’t find the recipe to share, but if you have the mag try it!  Either use a little less liquid, though, or reduce it down a bit more; ours was a little too sloppy for us.
  • Chicken and Broccoli adapted off of this recipe with cauliflower fried rice – so good!  The chicken cooked to the perfect texture; I’m not sure if that’s due to the quick marinade or the cornstarch, but either way it was so perfectly reminiscent of takeout and  couldn’t believe it.  

5. I planned for next week!  

I hate (we’re talking a special level of hate here, the kind generally reserved for Subarus) that I’ve been so bad about posting this past two weeks, and I’m going to make every effort I have to turn that around.  I have a plan for next week, posts to write over the weekend, and things to do to fill the week after!  Kind of a crummy start for April, but there’s nowhere to go but up?

Something like that.

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!  Doing anything special to revel in the nice(ish) weather?

(For me?  Sitting outside in shorts reading Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.  I can’t wait.)

Weekend Fail and March Wrap-Up

Happy 31st!  Another month gone.

I never really miss March.  It’s not my favorite month, and most of the time I just see it as something standing in the way of April– which just so happens to BE my favorite month!

April is superb.  The weather generally rocks, stuff starts to turn green, I get to eat cake…

Not too old, though.

April is pretty much the shit.  Other months don’t have nothin’ on April.

But before I get too carried away with myself about how awesome next month is going to be, I’m going to give a really quick round up on this one!  Starting with this weekend, and how it turned into the hugest failure of a weekend ever.

The post I planned for Saturday: how to make the best pie crust, ever.  Running on the success of last week’s fried chicken how-to, I wanted to teach y’all some more skills!  And it was all going really well.  The pie crust looked gorgeous before it went into the oven…

…but I’m not even going to show you the pictures, because a new “fail-safe trick” (I call bullshit) led to the most weirdly shrunken pie crust in the history of pie.   My mom had to save this weekend’s planned pie adventures with a second crust, which means now we have two pies.

We do not need two pies.  Anyone want a pie?  We have one to spare.  It might have a weird crust, though.

Following the massive pie failure, I decided to start rounding up my craft projects for the weekend– starting with the re-pocketing of a pair of cutoffs.

That ended even worse; do not even ask me how but I broke the sewing machine needle with my hand.  And we don’t have a spare, so I have three quarters of one pocket done and my shorts are currently more useless than they were before.

Failure. And pain.

Failure. And pain.  Nice colored pants, though.

So yeah, this weekend didn’t pan out so well.  I did manage to make a pastry cookie thing with the leftover pie crust and that tastes pretty much like a cinnamon roll, which rocks, but other than that..nope.

Now for the March Wrap Up part of today’s post, as promised!

Big one here is that Peaches and Praline was born.  I think that’s the star of the show in itself.  But if stats are more your speed, here’s some of those:

Most Viewed Posts

The greens just want to assert their awesome presence, don't mind them.

Chicken Cacciatore – published March 12th

 

 

 

 

How's that for a slice of fried gold?

How to: Make the Best Fried Chicken Ever – published March 23rd

 

 

 

 

I spy with my little eye...yellow Oreos?  They're spring; my mom isn't keen on the mint, so I went half-and-half.

Mint Oreo Brownies with Thomas Keller – published March 9th

 

 

 

 

Most Liked Posts

The winner is cacciatore again, with 14.  The runners up:

arroz con pollo: served

Weeknight Dinners: Arroz con Pollo – published March 6th (12)

 

 

 

 

Easiest cake ever. Also the least pretty.

Party of One: Mug Cake – published March 24th (11)

 

 

 

 

2 for 5 at CVS!

Friday Five: March 15th – published March 14th (11)

 

 

 

 

Thanks for a great month– and I promise, next month will be even better!  Y’all have been wonderful with comments and support, and I’m excited to see how things have grown when the April wrap up rolls around.

Happy Easter– and don’t forget to say “rabbit rabbit” when you wake up!  (Old kid-superstitions die hard.)

Tuesday Things: the Godly Book of Godliness

If you’ve been paying attention this week (or even if you haven’t, because I’ve kind of been sideways-gushing about this and I haven’t been really subtle about it) you may have picked up on the fact that I have something very, very big and very, very cool for this week’s edition of Tuesday Things.

I would like y’all to meet my Godly Book of Godliness, also known as the Everything Planner.  Also known as the reason I have stopped losing my mind every day.

In the flesh.

In the flesh.

This book came out of two things: last week’s hectic non-post extravaganza, when I couldn’t tell which way was up and sit down long enough to actually write something coherent and containing some kind of food product, and my ongoing spring cleaning project slash long-term effort to get rid of all my college junk and settle back down (which I’m happy to report is almost! done).  I started doing a little bit of research on ways to keep your life organized (not just your shit, though that is equally important and got equal amounts of research) and decided on binders split for different organizational purposes: one for blog things, one for money things, and one for personal things.

I should have known better; I never do these things small.

TT - GodBook, Weekly

The blog binder has become a catch-all for keeping every. single. day. of my life in order.  What started out as a weekly editorial calendar now includes daily components and a weekly to-do list of general projects/tasks.  The editorial calendar has been killer; I can track what’s on the menu each night, mark down which things I’m actually going to take pictures of, and when I’m writing/posting what.  That way I can get posts written a little in advance and just add in the pictures as I get them ready to go, which makes posting on a regular schedule seem a lot less scary.

TT - GodBook, Day

I’m using the Simple Mom’s Daily Docket pages for the dailies, printed double-sided.  The breakdown of each day is kind of perfect, and the little reminders of things to do for yourself and motivating quotes really, really help.  Mostly I just use them for exhaustive lists of things to do/post/errands to run in a day. And I do it in pretty colored Sharpies, because that is how all the best things (especially those with any intent to motivate) are done.

TT - GodBook, to-do

The weekly to-dos are actually my favorite.  They were an after-market addition from later in last week, but the basic gist is that every Sunday night I’m going to round up all the projects, crafts, and whatever else that I want to get done over that week/into next weekend and jot them all down.  That way I can keep track of all the things I want to do in a week, and I have my lists collected together (as opposed to on ten scattered legal pads, which was my system before) and I can easily move things from one week to the next.

Also included: a weekly cleaning checklist, so I can keep my nice pretty room looking exactly as perfect as it is this very second.

The power of organization!

Plus, let’s talk about these calendar inserts for a second:

TT - GodBook, Cal

Look! You can see my birthday!

Yeah.  That’s a calendar that has seasonal veg listed in the top section.  You’re pretty jealous (and you can download it here).

Sorry if this edition of Tuesday Things was a little boring!  I get a little excited about things like organization and office supplies, so when you lump pretty colors in there I get a little crazy and obsessive and feel the need to tell everyone.  But; maybe my spring organizational fest will spark some of you to get on your own organizational projects, eh?  eh?

Mine’s sorting through my college life; what’s your big unfinished project to tackle for spring?

Friday Five: March 22nd

HAPPY FRIDAY!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I am really good at posting things that aren’t recipes this week.  But don’t worry, you get another one tomorrow.

And hey, this non-recipe post is fun!  And to make up for the fact that I have BARELY talked about food all week, I’ll be making it super food-centric (or at least blog-centric) with only oneee tiny little exception.

You’ll forgive me.  I know you will, you’re good like that.

1. Black Jelly Beans

Who knew? Apparently, everyone.

Who knew?
Apparently, everyone.

Proof positive that a, my taste buds are getting more open-minded in their old age and b, sometimes when enough people tell me something they actually turn out to be right.  I was the head of the Black Jelly Bean Haters Club until about a week ago, when my family busted them out and I thought ‘eh, I like asparagus now, why not black jelly beans?’

And a whole world of opportunities opened up to me.  Licorice flavor, as it turns out, is delicious.  Now that I know that, I’m super stoked to try Italian anise cookies again and love them this time around.

2. Irish Soda Bread + Guinness + cheese

ngg all that baked cheese.  Be still, my taste buds.

ngg all that baked cheese. Be still, my taste buds.

True story: the ugliest bread in the known universe is also one of my all-time favorites.  And I’m super bummed that it only comes out to play once a year.  And I’m maybe looking to correct that sad fact.

That’s right, folks.  I made Irish soda bread for the doomed-to-be-unposted St Patrick’s Day dinner, and it was delicious.  Possibly the best soda bread I’ve ever had.

That could be due to the half a Guinness and the fat hunk of grated cheddar cheese.  Wine and cheese have nothing on beer and cheese.  Nothing.

Anyway.  We had like a quarter of it left, and I made the excellent decision to add a slice to my breakfast every day.  Delicious life choices are delicious.

3. Hell’s Kitchen

My mom thinks he looks like a dentist in that coat. She’s kind of right.

Did HK come back last week?  Yes.  Does that make this entry slightly less topical?  Yes.  Am I bothered?  Not particularly.

(Neither is Catherine Tate.)

Now, I know it’s kind of formulaic in that Ramsay kind of way.  (You know, how if you watch enough Ramsay shows you can tell what’s going to happen when, who Ramsay’s going to be the most angry at, and make bets about how many scallops are going to be rubbery or how many lamb lollipops he’s going to be able to jam his finger through because they’re so raw.)  But I like getting my Ramsay Shouting fix.  Sue me.

4. the Godly Book of Godliness

Hallelujah choir goes here.

Hallelujah choir goes here.

You’ll be hearing more about this Tuesday (as part of the newly instated Tuesday Things post).  But let me just say that this book is saving my life.  So much that I actually went back to work to pick it up today when I realized I’d forgotten it, because I would have been so out of sorts without it.

5. Bates Motel

I wish I could cue the Psycho theme to play as soon as you scrolled this far. ALAS.

I really, really want to like this show.  And I really, really think I could.  There’s a few things it really has going for it: it’s on A&E, so they can show like whatever they want; Vera Farmiga is the creepiest, so I can totally buy her as Mama Bates.

Things it doesn’t have going for it: Freddie Highmore’s accent.  But his creepy face is working on the Norman front, so I might overlook that.

I’m thinking it could be good.  Like, American Horror Story before they decided to throw themselves off a cliff good, with the horror/mystery/making you like characters you feel uncomfortable liking front (never did I ever think I would sympathize with Norman Bates, let me tell you).  We’ll see.  I’m withholding full judgement, but I’m optimistic.

What are you into this week?