Wednesday, March 2, 2011

OK, here's the situation, my parents went away on a week's vacation

And they left the keys to their brand new Porsche. Would they mind? Hmm...well, of course not!

That title just typed itself as I went to compose this blog. I don't know where it came from or why. Sometimes you just gotta roll with things.

So it's me again and I have some news.

Kids, hell hath frozen over. I am getting married.

My plan is to use Kibbles & Knits as sort of a planning blog between now and the wedding, so the full story of my engagement is forthcoming, but I just wanted to report the news. It happened on Christmas Eve. The Cowboy and I are up to our armpits in wedding plans, and I can only speak for myself when I say that I'm loving every minute of it. We have an understanding - I only burden him with huge decisions, and he agrees to most everything I propose. It's going to be a great marriage.

Anyway, over the next 7 months, (wedding date is September 24th), I hope to use this blog as my planning guide and sounding board. I've already gotten a lot planned, and I will be creating posts and tabs to showcase our wedding plans. So stay tuned. Breaking news: I'm the first person ever to get married.

And take it from me, parents just don't understand.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower

First, a note. I had no idea until just right now that cauliflower was spelled cauliflower. No one says cow-lih-flower. They say cow-ih-flower. So I naturally assumed it was spelled cauiflower. Incorrect. I don't know how to spell all the words. Oh well.

Anyway, here's a recipe that I've had for a few years and it's delicious. I often forget about it, because cauliflower isn't a vegetable that I make or eat very often, which is unfortunate because this is delicious. Take a look at this deliciousness. 

Oh yum. It's very simple to make. Here's the how-to. 

What you need:
1 head of cauliflower

2-3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (I never measure, I just drizzle until it looks about right and all the cauliflower is coated)

2-3 cloves of garlic minced (if you like it really garlicky, go with 3)

Thyme. Ok, here's the deal, I don't really measure when I cook, unless I'm following a specific recipe. But this one I've made so much that I kind of just measure by how it looks. On this occasion I used fresh thyme because I happened to have some, but usually I use dried. Dried you shouldn't need more than a 1/2 teaspoon - it's pretty strong stuff. For the fresh, I tore the leaves off about 10 of the twigs and chopped them up. I'm sorry, I know this is very un-specific and not at all helpful, but you can let your taste buds guide you.

Red pepper flakes. Same deal as the thyme. No idea how much. Just give it a shimmy shake and check it out. I'd go lighter on this. They can be spicy.

What you do:
Arrange cauliflower on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, sprinkle garlic, red pepper and thyme. Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes until it starts to get brown and smell like heaven. I toss once about halfway through cooking, just so all sides get the brown deliciousness.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tales from the Toilet

Sometimes I come up with (what I think are) really funny or witty things to say on my blog. Like the other night, I was on the toilet (just keeping it real) and I thought of a funny way to begin this blog, and I thought to myself, "you better go and write this down so you don't forget about it tomorrow when you go to blog," and then of course I got caught up (not literally, thankfully) in whatever else I happened to be doing at that time (ahem), and I forgot. So here I am blogging and I have no idea what I was going to say that was going to be clever, and instead you're stuck reading about my Tuesday Toilet Adventures. I apologize.

I know I've been away for awhile. Truth is, I got an iPhone, and I said sayonara to the ol' computer. And also my friends. And I've kind of been slacking off at work too. The iPhone is AMAZING. And, ok, so I also have 2 jobs, which is totally kicking my ass. And, ok, so I am also literally getting my ass kicked at my first job, by children in crisis. It's been a very rough, busy, crazy couple of months. But I've missed you. Really, those aren't empty words. I've missed you. So here I am.

I wish I had something more exciting to write about. I've been busy knitting like crazy. I have orders for a bunch of random things for Christmas gifts, so when I'm not working, getting my butt kicked, thinking up blog ideas on the toilet, eating, sleeping, or playing with my phone, I'm knitting. Remember when I was rambling on about black people, and I said I was going to knit a beard as a joke for my friend's husband? Well......

Stupid sideways picture that I can't fix..... But check it out! I knit that! Me! With my hands! And some yarn! Weeeeeeeeee! I'm pretty damn proud of myself, so toot toot toot. Here's a picture of me modeling it.

I made it for a friend of a friend who found a picture on the innerwebs and asked if I could do it. After researching for a pattern, I told her that I would. Fast forward 3 months (it took me a REALLY long time....) and there you have it. The pattern wasn't even that difficult, it just took some figuring out, and this is definitely the most complicated thing I've ever knit. But it was fun! And I shed a tear when I had to mail it off to it's owner. I will definitely be making one of these for me in the future! I wore it to school and freaked out all the kids. Good times, good times.

I've also been busy working on a few baby knits. This is Bella.

Her chubby. Her like the hat I made.

And my friend Melissa asked if I could knit up some mini-scarves to adorn a bottle of wine as a gift. Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

Mmmm, wine. And also? How cute is that? Instead of a little gift bag, just fancify your wine with a scarf! Only $4! On sale now....

So you can see, I've been busy. But I've got a few Christmas posts up my sleeve. And soon I'll be off for 2 glorious weeks. So when I'm not busy sleeping, eating, drinking, sitting on the toilet or playing with my iPhone, I promise to write more.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sometimes I wish I were a gay man...

Such a shame. Why do the gay men get everything I want AND NPH?

Ok, so I can't really think of anything else that The Gays have that I don't have, or that I want. But Neil...., oh Neil.

A beautiful, beautiful man. I love you Doogie. I love you forever.

Friday, October 1, 2010

3 Black Actors

I'd like to start this post with a quote from the movie Jerry Maguire.

"I love black people. I am MISTER black people."

Having said that, I will now proceed with the following true tale of hilarity.

My friends. Marcie and Lisa. Marce and The J. Jerry and Elaine. Fred and Daphne. Farah Fawcett and Kate Jackson.

There they are. The fools. I love them.

We all used to work together many moons ago (Lisa and Marcie still do) before I moved to Texas, and every once in awhile we would do some much needed Team Building. Of course by Team Building I mean drinking. And laughing. Lisa, Marcie and I were always much more than just co-workers. We were friends, and I still consider them among my best friends.

So, once upon a time on one such Team Building occasion, the 3 of us are sitting around, drinking a few brews and talking. We were discussing how Mr. J. (Lisa's husband) would see someone, anyone, with a beard and think that that person was Kris Kristofferson.

Seriously. People on TV, dead celebrities, former presidents, fictional characters. Kenny Rogers, Abraham Lincoln, Jerry Garcia, Santa Claus. All Kris Kristofferson. Random people. He'd be walking down the street in suburban Ann Arbor, Michigan and see a guy with a beard, and point him out and say, "Hey look, it's Kris Kristofferson". And he truly believed it, every time. Mr. J is not quite right.

So we are discussing this, and laughing heartily because, let's face it, that shit is funny. And then I bring up how I'm sympathetic to Mr. J's plight, because I too have a confusion issue regarding celebrities. I tell the girls how I often confuse James Earl Jones

with Laurence Fishburne.

To me, they are one and the same. Lisa and Marcie crack up at this. James Earl Jones and Laurence Fishburne?!! How crazy! Jones, the voice of Darth Vader; and Fishburne, the guy from the Matrix. How could I possibly get them confused? Preposterous!

As the laughter dies, Marcie chimes in with, "I don't understand how you can get them confused! Laurence Fishburne is much younger! And he was also the guy in Pulp Fiction!"

More laughter erupts. Lisa and I inform Marcie that Laurence Fishburne was NOT, in fact, in Pulp Fiction, but rather, that was Samuel L. Jackson.

Marcie doesn't believe it! "Are you sure?" she asks. Lisa and I, still chuckling, assure her that it is so.

Lisa, shaking her head, now can't believe that 2 of her friends and her husband have made such errors of identification. "When clearly," she says, "Everyone knows that Samuel L. Jackson was also the voice of Donkey from Shrek."

At this point, if you had been sitting at the table next to us, you would have thought we were delivering a litter of puppies. We were shrieking and screaming with laughter.

No, Marcie and I say between gasps, that was Eddie Murphy.

It took 10 minutes for us to stop laughing/crying/screaming and calm down. We all had tears rolling down our face at the absurdity of the conversation that had just taken place. Essentially you had 3 white girls, sitting around talking about a bunch of black actors and no one knew who was who. And it went from me, to Marcie, to Lisa. Each one of us taking a turn mis-identifying a black actor. We stopped there, although I have a feeling we could have continued the circle, since I sometimes confuse Eddie Murphy with Chris Rock.

To each of these actors, I'd like to say that I apologize for our ignorance. You have each contributed something valuable and worthwhile to the film and television industry. Except I didn't really like The Matrix, but I'm sure Fishburne has done other things that I've seen. I can't think of what, except  maybe Star Wars. I'm just kidding. I no longer get them confused. Most of the time.

Speaking of beards, I think I found my next knitting project.

I'm going to wear it on my next trip up to Michigan and mess with Mr. J.

Hey look! It's Kris Kristofferson!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recipe: Shrimp Salad

Recipe time! I've been thinking a lot about various recipes I want to post here, and I have several in the queue. I'm excited to share them. Today's recipe is more of a summer time salad, but I've only missed the official summer cut-off by 4 days, and here in Texas it still feels like summer, so I'd say we're all good. This salad is fast, easy and super yummy. It is my friend Christy's recipe, so thanks Christy for allowing me to share it! And sorry I forgot to ask first. I figure it's always easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission.

So, for shrimp salad you will need the following ingredients:

1 pound shrimp*
1/2 bag pasta of your choosing (I like the small shells)
1 cucumber
1 green pepper
4-5 green onions
1/4 to 1/2 bag frozen peas (depending on the size of the bag and how much you like peas, I happen to like them a lot)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup Ranch dressing

*The shrimp. Here's the deal - depending on the size of the shrimp you get, you have several options. This time around I bought the tee-tiny super adorable witty bitty baby swimps. Usually I just get regular sized shrimp and cut them in half. But you can leave whole shrimps in there if that's how you roll. I prefer for everything to be bite size. I am all about aesthetics. Also, the little shrimp I bought this time was pre-cooked and frozen, so I didn't have to cook them. I highly recommend going with a pre-cooked shrimp, but if you got something else on sale (and I get it, shrimp is expensive), then you'll have to boil the shrimp first and allow it to cool. I said this recipe was easy, right? Maybe I lied.

To make the salad, boil water and cook noodles according to directions. Cut up all your veggies into bite size pieces, pretty much the same size. Here's a picture of my veggies all cut up and waiting.

How green and pretty! You can see why this would make a good spring/summer salad. Oh, and the peas? I don't even cook them, I just toss them in frozen from the bag. They will thaw out in no time.

Once the noodles are done, drain them and allow them to cool. They don't have to be cold, just cool to the touch. Once you add them in to all the cool crisp veggies, they'll cool down even more.

I don't know why I've included a picture of the noodles cooling in the strainer. It's a completely useless picture.

Toss the noodles, shrimp and veggies together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl or large measuring glass, mix the Ranch and mayo together. I use light Ranch and light mayo. I figure no one needs that much dressing in their lives. Some people don't believe in light Ranch or light mayo, and think it's a sin against food. Do what you like. Either way, whisk them together until there are no more lumps. Think of it like gravy. No one wants the lumps.

And now just toss the dressing in with the salad. You'll want to kind of eyeball it and maybe only add a little dressing at a time. You can always add more, but you can't take it away. Don't make it too soupy - this is supposed to be light! Just mix until it's well combined, chill for an hour and serve!

It makes great leftovers, too. The longer it sits the better it gets. Yum!! This is a great light lunch. Christy served it at our last book club and it was fantastic! If you're hosting a book club or ladies lunch or something, this is a great recipe. Thanks again, Christy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Special Sunday Story

Yesterday morning I was in the mood for a kolache. If you're not Czech, or you don't live in this area, you may have no idea what a kolache is. I didn't until I moved here. Kolaches are a Czech pastry. They can have fruit, cheese, or meat filling. Basically, it's a fancy Czech term for either a danish, donut, or pig in a blanket. That's the best way I can describe them to someone who's never had one. I like the kind with the little mini sausages and cheese in them. They are delicious. This picture does not do them justice.

So. It's Saturday morning and I want some. There's a little bakery down the street that sells them, so I get in the car and go. This is kind of a boring story so far, isn't it? I'm sorry. It's about to get better. I hope.

I'm in my neighborhood. I'm driving the speed limit. I'm wearing my seat belt. My registration and inspection are both current. I'm not texting. And I'm sober as a judge. I come to a 4 way stop, and I'm turning right. There is a cop in the on the road I'm about to turn on, also at the stop sign. I signal my turn and wait for him to go. He was there first. He starts to go, and as I  make my turn, I see him do a quick U-turn and turn his lights on.

Oh for crying out loud.

I rack my brains and try to figure out what in Moses' name I could possibly be getting pulled over for. As I said, I was obeying all the rules of the road. And I know I'd come to a complete stop at the stop sign because he had the right of way. I seriously have no idea at this point what the hell this cop could want with me. Because of this, I'm not really nervous. Now, I've been pulled over before when I know I've been speeding, or ran a red light, or what have you, and I've been shaking, nervous, on the verge of tears. But this time, I couldn't see that I had done anything wrong, and furthermore, the cops in my little community are (pardon my French) DICKS, so I just kind of sat back and waited to see what ol' John Q had to say.

"Good morning ma'am," (strike one, don't call me ma'am, buddy) "I'm Office Asshole with the Mayberry Police Department. You're being pulled over this morning because you failed to signal 100 feet before making your turn. Is there a reason for this ma'am?" (again with the ma'am)

"Uhhh, um, no." (seriously, that's probably more eloquent than I actually was. I was dumbfounded.) I stare blankly at him.

"Are you in some kind of hurry this morning? What's the rush?"

Blank stare continues. "No rush." Feeble shrug. "Didn't even realize......" my sentence trails off. I don't even know what to say.

"License and insurance please?"

I hand them over. He walks back to his car. And I sit there. And think. And think. Let me paint the picture for you.

I'm in a residential neighborhood. I'm not on a busy street. In fact, there was no one behind me when I approached this stop sign. The cop was on the other street, also at the stop sign. It was 9:00 on a Saturday morning. There were no children playing in the street (as there sometimes are in my neighborhood). I was not speeding. I came to a complete stop. I USED MY SIGNAL. I just didn't turn it on 100 feet prior to making my turn. So for this, the cop MAKES A U-TURN, and pulls me the fuck over. Pardon my French again. But are you fucking kidding me??

Wow, what a menace I am. What a dangerous driver. Thank goodness he was there to prevent me from hurting anyone. Don't bother pulling over people who are, oh, I don't know, actually speeding (which I still think is ridiculous in most situations), or killing people, or selling crack cocaine, or molesting children. No, I'm the real threat to society.

At least he didn't ask to search my car and find that dismembered body and kilo of pure Mexican heroin in my trunk. Whew. Close call.

So he comes back and says,

"Ma'am, I'm only going to write you a warning today. I need you to sign here, which indicates that I have given you a warning for failing to signal 100 feet before your turn."

I sign.

"Thank you. Here's your license and your copy of the warning. You drive safe today."


And I pull away. And I make sure to put my signal on RIGHT THEN AND THERE for the turn that was 2 blocks up. Just in case.

They didn't sell beer or hard liquor at the bakery, which was probably a good thing. And the more I've thought about this little run-in with the law since it happened, the more outraged I've become. I can't see ANY circumstance that would be acceptable for him to pull someone over for THAT. I just can't. Can you? Seriously, please tell me. Because I sure as hell know it wasn't at 9 on a Saturday morning in my own damn neighborhood with no one around me. If he'd have given me a ticket, I would be fighting it. As it is, I will be writing a letter to the good ol' Mayberry Police Department. And the first thing I will tell them is:

You have a pleasant day.