Lies and Propaganda

Getting Down with my Bad Self

Sunday, July 29, 2007

summer treats

So, we did something we've never tried to do before. And quite honestly, we expected our little experiment to end after about 3 weeks. However, now, it has literally taken over our front yard, and front walk. We planted four little tiny tomato seedling plants in May? June? Two were grape varieties, and two were cherry varieties. I just thought that we might have one plant that might make it, and a few tomatoes to enjoy, if we were very lucky. Well....we were crazy lucky. We also are having trouble getting them to stand up. They pulled up the tomato cages we put on them in the firt weeks, and then they pulled down the 4 foot stakes we tied them to a few weeks ago. So, we've given up trying to get them upright. They seem to be producing just fine, so, we just step over them on the way to the front door.

In the last two days, we've given entire bowls of them to my Mother-in-Law, my neighbors, and still had plenty to enjoy ourselves. So, between the surprise tomato harvest and what we are getting from our CSA, I thought I would use this post to share some recipes that I have developed to make use of our bounty. We get lots of herbs from our CSA, and instead of letting them go bad before we could think what to do with them, I tried very hard to find ways to use them up each week. These "recipes" are just guidelines, really. I don't know exactly how much I use of each ingredient, and sometimes the ingredients vary depending on what we have lying around that week. But, since most of these are so tasty, I thought I'd share.

Summer Pasta Salad

Whole Wheat Pasta Rotini
olive oil
three or four handfuls of bite size tomatoes (naturally) sliced in half
pine nuts
garlic salt
ground sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
coarsely chopped fresh basil and parsley

Make pasta, then cool. drizzle with Olive Oil. Add all chopped ingredients. Add in a handful or two of pine nuts. Sprinkle with garlic salt, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Serve cold, or room temperature. Which makes this an easy salad to take to a party or make a day or two ahead of time. Enjoy!

Note: If you have them, you can add spring onions as well...

Best Pasta Sauce

I make pasta sauce all the time, but I was shocked to find out how good this one turned out. I think it was the best I've ever made.

Ground Turkey
1/2 Large Yellow Onion, diced
Small Eggplant, cut into small pieces
Chopped Fresh Basil and Parsley
One bowl bite size tomatoes
One small can tomato paste (I might have used one with "italian seasoning", but any will do)
A splash of red wine
two cloves Garlic
Dried Oregano (I'm sure you could use fresh, I just didn't have any)
Garlic salt
Ground Sea Salt
fresh ground Black Pepper

Brown Turkey & onion with some olive oil (well, it doesn't "brown" per se, but you want it cooked) in large, non-stick skillet, add salt and pepper to meat while browning. Once meat has browned, you can turn off the heat while you do the next bits.
Dump tomatoes (skins and all) and tomato paste into a blender or food processor with a bit of water and a splash or two of red wine. Blend until liquified. Will be watery.
Pour tomato mixture over meat in skillet, turn on low simmering heat, mixing often
Chop and mix in eggplant, let simmer
Chop and mix in basil and parsely
Add Garlic salt and oregano
Smash and mince garlic and mix into skillet

Let simmer for another 7-10 minutes or so, stirring often
Serve over any pasta you like....sooo yummy!

Note: add the garlic at the end, so it stays sweet and not burnt and bitter.

Summer Quiche

One fennel bulb, sliced thin
1/2 bunch or bag of baby spinach
chopped spring onions (use both green and white parts)
Olive oil
fresh basil, chopped
Fresh parsley, chopped
bite size tomatoes sliced into quarters
turkey bacon (cooked and crumbled)
5 or 6 eggs, scrambled with milk
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
One store bought fridge pie crust

Sautee onion, spinach and fennel in olive oil in skillet
Press uncooked pie crust into pie plate, crimp edges, set aside
In large bowl, combine scrambled eggs, seasoning, spinach mixture, tomatoes, basil, parsley, and bacon crumbles. Mix well.
Pour mixture into shell
Bake at 375 degree oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean


There have been some other experimentations, but these were by far the best. So, I thought I'd share.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

summer on the run

Summer started for me about....3 weeks ago. Since then:

We have had our basement dug up

We have had our new kitchen installed

We have been to Lisbon, Cascais, Belem and Sintra with old friends (best friends)--Portugal is my new favorite place in the world. Breezy and fine...I could sit in cafe's all day there. Remind me to go back when I can actually walk up the hills without a butt assist from my husband....

We have worked a second job (and I can actually say "we" without trying to be regal!)

We have handed away our kitty (temporarily...don't worrry O'saur! You will be back in the saddle quite soon to rule the roost!)

We have learned that RATS live under our shed in the backyard, and have called in the cavalry to deal with them. (ew. ew. ew.)

We have hosted our very own 4th of july bbq in a partially renovated house...but hey! If we don't have a reason to clean...we don't!

We have grown monster tomato plants that are taking over the front yard. Seriously, they are like 4 feet tall. It's pretty impressive, and tasty!

I have taken my glucose test...but still awaiting the results. Hopefully good, or I have to take a longer one. Where I can't eat for LONGER. I don't think I will make it.

I do have some actual work to do for my real job, but it pales in comparision to all the work we have to do to prepare the baby's room. Right now, it looks like circuit city exploded in there, what with the relocation of every computer related item in our house.

Anyways. So far, that is my summer. Jam and action packed. Woot!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

cat out of bag

I only know of one person who reads this mostly, this is for her.

I am pregnant. I think most people know that.

However, what they may not know, or wish to know, is all kinds of weird side effects that I have been experiencing. I am sure i am not the only woman to ever have these side effects, but since it's happening to me, I feel like it is weird and unique. As all people naturally would.

Disclaimer: don't read beyond this point if you don't want to be subjected to a healthy dose of TMI....

If you don't know what TMI means, look it up!

Strange pregnancy side effects:

1. many boogers. I am soooo much boogerier than I have ever been in my life. It's like my nose is working overtime.

2. Inability to cook. My dinners have become less elaborate...naturally. However, there are several times I have out and out ruined meals by doing the following: not properly following directions or recipes, flipping the meat out of the pan and onto the floor (!), and making things that are just plain inedible. I used to be really good cook. What is up with that?! Now I mostly subsist on cereal. pathetic.

3. Tensing my legs and stomach all night, most nights. I don't know if this is considered "restless leg syndrome" or what, but it is really bad. I've even woken up with a charley horse or two. I worried at first that because I was tensing my stomach muscles all night, I was squishing the baby, but the doctors say that isn't happening. So now I don't worry so much. But it doesn't mean I sleep well either. Tie that into the fact that I always was a stomach sleeper to begin with, and man, I am having problems. This whole "sleep on your left side" theory sucks, as my shoulder and arm fall asleep too.

4. What do I eat for lunch? you can't have lunchmeat or peanut butter or soft cheeses (like they always put in good greek salads). Lunch is so lame now.

5. dry skin on my lips. So far I have escaped it everywhere else, but my lips are wrecked. The skin just peels right off of them. ouch.

6. I have a cough that I have had for about 6 or 7 weeks. I have been to the doctor, and they don't know what it is. I have already been through one round of amoxicillan. No dice, didn't help. I will refer to it as the pregnancy cough, since it is showing no signs of leaving anytime soon.

7. due to said pregnancy cough, when I really get going, a little pee leaks out. lovely.

8. no snuggling in bed with the husband. it isn't comfortable anymore. and he can't get past the great wall of pillows that I need to sleep with anyways. I miss him.

9. i have never had much in the way of cellulite. however, I think my legs are starting to be made of cottage cheese, all the way down to my ankles. ewwwwwww.....

10. Can't wear pants. Pants bug me. I am pantsless in seattle. or virginia, actually. they make my stomach cramp and I hate them. i even took a pair of scissors to a pair of new pants in the car, cause I couldn't stand the elastic waist. I wear dresses whenever I can.

11. Can't stay awake past 9 pm. for anything, really. sooooo tired....

I'm sure there are other things. I will amend this when I think of them.

ta ta!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

spring break blues

Here I am, on spring break, and I should be happy as a clam. However, I am a bit under the weather. Not sick, per se, but just coming down with a healthy dose of reality about our finances. And the weather is smashing, thanks for asking. I'm just not feeling quite as sunny.

We owe some money (not that much, mind you) to the credit card boss man. Couple that with a trip we are supposed to take and a kitchen we are supposed to re-do, and get the idea.

It seems as if we should not either a)take said trip (or modify said trip), or b) not do kitchen. And forget doing anything fun in between trip or kitchen, that is right out the window...

Therefore, whereas I was planning to use this break to spiff up the house with some new shades and geegaws (new doormat, various plantings, projects I may or may not finish....etc) I am not able to buy anything. It's a sure way to pop your spring break bubble, no doubt about it.

Now all that is left is housework. hoo-rah.

I guess it could be worse. I'm not on spring break in bagdad....

Monday, November 27, 2006

coup de mom

This weekend I acheived the most amazing thing.....

I got my mom to dump her "mom jeans". You know, those baggy, elastic-waisted nightmares where the crotch hangs halfway down to the know, those.

We got her some nice, new, spanky jeans. They have a bootcut bottom, they highlight her skinny legs. They actually fit her. She looks tall and was a struggle, but I feel like I made the world a better place this weekend.


new world

I think I will stop listening to the radio. It stresses me out. I can' t focus when all I can hear about is what the government is going to do next, how we are going to get out of this mess in Iraq, what will happen to all the people who live there, what's new with the stock market (it's starting to tank), what's happening in Israel and Palestine, the federal deficit, inflation, this list is endless, really.

So, I will start listening to cds.

I am thankful that I live in a country where I can turn off the news.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Things you might not know about me

1. I like penguins. No, I REALLY like penguins. They are cute,beaky, and obviously communicate like people. and they are fuzzy when they are small. I am a sucker.

2. I like to fall asleep during bad monster movies on tv. Actually, I like to fall asleep in front of the tv. period.

3. Once, when I was a kid, I told people I had a lobotomy. Because my parents told me I had one.

4. don't feel so bad about #3, because my third grade friend Kyra told me in response that she was pregnant.

5. I hate dark colors because when I was growing up, our house had brown carpets, brown tables, brown couches, rust colored chairs, and puke yellow blinds and wallpaper. Lots of pukey yellow.

6. I have a separate bar of soap in the shower that I use to wash behind my ears, and that is all it is used for.

7. I am contemplating turning all the furniture in our living room into different shades of blue.

8. I really, really, really want to travel to Australia.

9. I know all the words to the entire Beastie Boys' "Liscence to Ill" LP.

10. Sneaky Snake was my favorite record when I was small.

11. I've broken or lost (sometimes both) every nice bracelet I've ever owned. I have lots of other jewelry that I have had for many years. But no bracelets.

12. I had a trigger finger when I was little.

13. My great fears in life were/are: losing my first tooth, learning to drive, being alone in the dark, having a baby.

14. I have an overwhelming feeling that I have some important work I have to do before I leave the planet.

15. I used to spend an inordinate amount of time in college planning for the worst case scenario. I would only wear practical shoes, in case I had to run or fight someone.

16. I got punched in the face in 7th grade.

17. I took fencing for three years in college. I was invited to work with an olympic fencer, but I couldn't afford it at the time.

18. I have a brown belt in Okinowan Shorin Ru.

19. I broke my arm in dance class.

Okay, that's quite enough.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

summer haps


my loyal public (okay, one person...K this is for you!) has been wondering what the hay we are up to this summer.

Things have been crazy!

We had our basement flood in early June. Bad bad bad. We lost our water heater, carpet, some drywall and ALL our furniture. And lots of stuff in boxes, and our vacuum cleaner. I was home when it happened, so I was able to save some important, the computer, some wedding things, and some important papers. Other than that....we lost everything else, including all my dads things. Anything in a box on the floor was gone.

The good news: we are fully covered under our homeowners, because we had a "sewer backup clause". So, we should be getting a nice check to cover most of it. But there are things we can't really replace. So that kinda sucks. But the money will help right things. It is just taking forever. Oh well. At least we are going to get a check.

It will be nice to put the house back together. Right now, the guest room looks like a storage closet, as does the dining room and back deck. Although, the stuff on the deck is stuff we are throwing out. We are waiting to get the okay from Insurance to start pitching it.
We had to catalouge everything (and if you know us at all, you know how much stuff we had!) and that has taken a couple of weeks as well. (books, records, etc) whew! what a job!

Other events: I took my first grad school class, and got a 93.5! hooray! it was hard work over 3 weeks, but I was able to finish and do well. I haven't had that much required reading in about 10 years. Everynight 4 chapters (80 pages each) and some articles as well. ugh. but now it's over, which is a great relief.

Also, I have been working part time as a tutor. I don't work but maybe 10-15 hours a week. It brings in a little extra money....But it has great flexibility. I can work evenings, mornings, or ask off certain times (weekends) and it hasn't been a problem, which is good since we have 4 weddings we are working on this summer!

J is doing well. He was on a shoot during my busiest two weeks of class, and was outside in 100+ degrees everyday. Poor guy. But he got some nice comp time because of it. He is in line for a good promotion at work, since most of the people in his department have recently resigned. We hope it comes soon...every little bit helps!

We are going to take a few extra days in August before my friend's wedding in Naples, NY and go to Toronto and Niagara Falls! I am very excited to do so, as I have never been there before.

And then, back to school.


I wish it had felt like more of a break before I have to go back, but that's okay. We've gotten to see many people we usually don't get to see this summer, so that has been nice. And we get to go to Screen on the Green...movies on the mall downtown, which is one of my favorite summertime activities here.

And if they give us a big check, it will be really helpful around here!

much love from the upside down house,