Why!?

I’ve spent the past two days and nights sweating.  So now today I thought I would outsmart myself, and wear a short sleeve shirt.  And it’s 65*F, so I should be able to wear a short-sleeved shirt.

And you know what?

I AM FREEZING MY FEET OFF, WEARING MY THICKEST SWEATER JACKET (for inside use).

Grr…

(welcome to my life)

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10 Things Running Through my Head Right Now

1.  I’m not really hungry, but I want something to eat.

2.  I want to sleep.

3.  I want a gluten free cracker.  RIGHT NOW.

4.  Did someone sneak in my bedroom and beat me over the head with a baseball bat last night?  Cause it kind of feels like that happened (either that or my head’s congested – and NOT with good ideas).

5.  Is this magnesium body butter ever going to soak in, or is my arm just going to feel sticky/oily all day?

6.  My bedroom PROOVES spontaneous generation.  You should SEE all the junk stuff in there!

7.  I think a cheese stick sounds good right now.

8.  I’m crazy.

9.  Is it wrong to want to eat your homemade beauty care products?

10.  I’ve got a huge mess to clean up.

Movin’ on…

Why Every Cook Should Have Their Nails Painted

I haven’t had my finger nails painted in, like, 8 years or so.  At least.

But that all changed last week.

(Unless you count the time I painted a few nails, then promptly removed it because I didn’t like it.)

Last week I attempted to paint my finger nails red.  And I painted all the layers too soon after each other, and my polish got nicked and rippled.  Also, I had painted all over my fingers, not just on the nails, since I have painted my nails in so long.  So I took it off.

But the next day I just put on a clear coat, thinking that would at least be some nail polish, and I could start getting used to the feeling of having my nails painted.

Then today I painted them purple.  And they turned out pretty well.  My right hand is a little nicked, because I didn’t wait long enough between applying layers, and when I was finished, I went outside and picked up acorns instead of letting my nails dry as long as I should.  I mean, think about it:  pick up acorns with 7-year-old sister for the pig, or sit there and do nothing while your nails dry?  Clear choice.

One of the reasons that I haven’t painted my nails is that I cook a lot, and the thought of my hands in the food with nail polish on the nails just grossed me out a little.

But today, in between layers, it hit me.

EVERY cook should have their nails painted.

Because it happens to the best of us and the worst of us, no matter how good your knife skills are.  You’re chopping something in the kitchen, and either someone bumps you, your little sibling thinks it would be funny to scare you right now (NOT), the mail man rings the doorbell, or the FBI shows up (just kidding about that last part).

And you slip and cut yourself.

And besides the minor details of stopping the blood flow, getting through the freak-out session over the fact that you just cut yourself (the thought of the knife slicing your skin – YUCK!), wade through the apologies (or lack thereof) of the bumper or scarer, find somebody to keep you from hyperventilating, and determine whether or not you need stitches, there is always the important part of making sure that there are no nails left in whatever you were preparing.  Particularly if the cut wasn’t of your skin, because your nails were long, and that’s what the knife got to first.

Just think: if your nails were neon green, wouldn’t they be much easier to find in the food you were chopping?

Now the only think you run into here is that if your nails are red, for example, they wouldn’t show up so well in tomatoes, for example.  And dark green wouldn’t be great in romaine lettuce.

So this is what we need to do:

For those of us who paint our nails every day, you should coordinate your nail color with dinner.  So, for example, if you are going to make spaghetti, you should paint your nails green, blue, or yellow, but should avoid most reds and browns, although certain shades of pink and orange would be O.K. (if they were bright enough).  And if you were going to make a big salad, you should avoid greens and dark blues, and go for bright blue, turquoise, and any of the warm colors (red, orange, pink, yellow).  You get the idea.

And for those of you that don’t paint your nails daily, you should try to pick a color that wouldn’t match your foods.  Bright turquoise.  Bright yellow.  Any neon color would fit the bill.  Just any color that was bright enough to be seen easily, and that doesn’t match any common foods.

So don’t you agree – All cooks should pain their nails?

 

 

NOTE:  This was meant to be funny, not an actual representation of anything I do, or intend to do, or anything that I would like you to do.  By all means, when you cut yourself, forget about your nail color or even where the nail went, and attend to your finger.  And hygiene comes first.  If it’s gross, throw it away.  Over and out.

Canning

“I tried to be normal once.

Worst two minutes of my
life.”                             
-Unknown

I found this quote online the other day, and I thought it was pretty good.  Because I feel like I am pretty not normal.  🙂

I have been so busy the past few weeks, and this next week promises to be really busy, too.  The main cause of this is canning.  We’ve been canning peaches and tomatoes.  We purchased three bushels of peaches for ourselves two weeks ago (I think), and I have canned roughly 16 quarts and 2 pints over the past few weeks.  And that could increase.

Mom and I have been going to the farmer’s market and collecting tomatoes to can.  So far, we have 19 quarts and 2 pints.  And that could increase.

This morning Mom and I went up to a farm about 45 minutes north of us and purchased almost 50 lbs. of tomatoes, 7 lbs. of tomatillos, several pounds of potatoes, 9 melons (mostly yellow watermelons, but two were cantaloupes, and one was a snow leopard), and several sweet peppers.  Today we canned the vast majority of the tomatoes.  That made 12 quarts and 1 pint of the 19 quarts and 2 pints above.

I love canning.  But it is exhausting.

And so listed on my schedule this week:  wash dog, manage clothes, clean room, can chipotle peppers, can jalapenos, can tomatillos, can raspberry jam, work two afternoons, teach three piano lessons, and hopefully do some school.  Not on the schedule (but things that I’ll still have to do) practice piano and help with meals and other things at home.  It would be really nice if I could make my bed at least one day this week.  And it would be really nice if I could accomplish all this without dying.

Just kidding about the last part.

Things are a bit exciting around here.

Here are a few photos from canning peaches the other day.  Enjoy!

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Peaches being prepped for canning

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The canning/blanching set up:  the big black pot is the canner, the second pot is for blanching, the blue bowl is for iced water, the clear bowl is for the blanched and cooled peaches.

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Blanched, peeled peaches.  Aren’t they beautiful?

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Just look at those purty colors!

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Sliced and in the ascorbic acid solution

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In the jar in a light sugar solution

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I love how food looks in jars

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Practically ready to go into the canner (just have to put on one more lid)

I’m Still Alive and a Fish Recipe

Yes.  I’m still here.

Sorry for the long(ish) absence.  Life has been really crazy over here.  (Actually, I should be cleaning my room right now.  But, hey.)

On Tuesday two good friends and I put together a fancy dinner for the leadership couples in our church.  It was a BLAST – but still a lot of work, and very exhausting.  We decorated our basement, and set up a table with white tablecloths down there.  The night of, all of us – my friends and their brothers and I and my siblings – dressed up fancy and served/waited on the parents.

Anyways, lots of fun, but it took up Monday (cooking and prepping) and Tuesday (more cooking, prepping, and then serving).  Wednesday was takedown and we had company, Thursday Mom and I had to run an errand, and on Friday I spent the day at a friend’s home making Milky Way Bars (which was a blast).  And today Mom and I went shopping again.

So, basically, I’ve been busy.

Now, a (hopefully) brief story – I have some large-ish hoop earrings that I wear quite a bit.  Well, on Monday I went to put them on, and one broke.  I was pretty bummed!  I wear those a lot!  Thankfully, Mom had just received a coupon in the mail for Kohl’s (where I got my first pair) and I was hopeful that I could find another pair.

Today Mom and I went to Kohl’s, and they didn’t have any.  I was not too thrilled to say the least.  So on the way home we stopped at a different Kohl’s, and they had a pair of the hoops!  Not only that, but they were on sale, along with a bunch of other earrings, so I got several pairs.  And that makes me really happy. 🙂

Also, I got some pairs that *actually* have color on them, which makes me happy that I am branching out (most of my earrings are silver).

Moving on now.

I made this really tasty fish for dinner.  It turned out so well that I want to post it here, mostly so that I can make it again (I am bound to forget).

So, without further ado (or earrings), here it is.

Fish in Sauce (I am really creative with names, am I not?)

10 fillets of fish (mine was either catfish or tilapia, I didn’t look)
Salt and Lemony-Dill Seasoning (or dill)
Butter (and lots of it!)
1 onion, minced
2 c. Chicken broth
1/2 c. Water
3 Lemons, juiced
Dill and lemony-dill seasoning
Minced green onions

1.  Melt the butter over medium heat.  Fry the fish over medium heat on both sides until cooked through, being careful not to overcook.  Sprinkle the fish with salt and lemony-dill seasoning while it’s frying.  Add butter as necessary to keep it from sticking.  When cooked, transfer to a 9×13” pan.

2. Scrape out any burned bits from the pan and pour out any burned butter.  Add a pat of butter and the onion, and sauté until softened.

3.  Add the broth, water, and lemon juice.  Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Add four tablespoons of cold butter one tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until the piece of butter is gone.  Sprinkle the dill and lemony dill seasoning into the sauce.

4.  Sprinkle some green onions over the fish in the pan, pour the sauce on it, then sprinkle some more green onions on top.

Enjoy!

If you try this, please let me know if you like it!

Love,
Allison

I’m Still Alive

Yes, I am.  Although I am tempted to say just barely.  🙂

This weekend was our annual Men’s Advance.  And it went really well (at least from my view of things it did).  I helped it the kitchen, which was great, as usual.  But it is all very, very exhausting.

Very exhausting.

And on top of that, a cold is going around our church, and I could tell last week that, although I wasn’t sick yet, I was going to be soon.  So I did what I could to ward off that cold, but I had it on Monday.

It is appearing to be a real mean one.  As in it isn’t going to let off easy.

*Sigh*

Well, I had several wonderful grain free things over this weekend, and now I have been wanting to make them, as well as several other things that I have been wanting to make, but just haven’t gotten around to.  So, instead of making a mental list (which I am probably going to forget anyway, since my brain is out of it), I am going to make a list here.

(I know.  Another food list.  But bear with me.  It is hard not to be able to make any of these things, due to no energy, and the fact that I don’t want sugar while I am sick.  So hopefully this will help me let off some steam.)

1. Quiche or egg casserole.  Probably quiche, since it has crust.  I want crust.

2. Grain-free scones.  A dear friend of mine had these at their home when we were there for brunch, and THEY WERE AMAZING.  And I put butter on mine.  ‘Nuf said.

3.  Grain-free chocolate chip biscotti.  Again, another dear friend of mine made these, and I had them while at there home for brunch.  AND THEY WERE REALLY AMAZING.  And I need some again.  I think they had walnuts and raisins in them too.

4.  Grain-free biscuits.  I got a new recipe from a friend, and it is even better that the recipe I had tried.  I need something to slather some butter on.

5.  I need to make an apple crumble.  I tried to make walnut flour, but due to unforeseen circumstances, my walnuts never made flour.  Just a moist crumble-y thing that reminded me of a crumble. 

 

So that’s that.

What are you making/craving/hoping to make soon?

Do you have a cold?

Well, That’s Just What Happens

I was hoping/planning to post a great post about the new year, and new stuff in the new year.

But that just isn’t going to happen.

Today, at least.

So you are going to just get this (whatever “this” turns out to be).

After reading a Paleo cookbook, I decided that I should go on a short-term stricter diet.  It consists of this:  no grain, legumes, nuts, seeds, nightshades, and eggs.  Oh, and low sugar.  And good oils.

(And all that jazz.)

I started yesterday.  January 1st, right?  Great time to start these things.

But.

I am craving sweet.

Let me rephrase.

I am REALLY WANTING something chocolaty/sweet.

REALLY BAD.

Well, I was just plain wanting something chocolaty, like a chocolate pudding.  But I don’t have any avocados.  So I was looking online for a coconut milk based chocolate pudding that doesn’t have eggs.

And I looked, and looked.  But I didn’t see one.

So I started scrolling through LOTS of amazing-looking dessert recipes.

Looking at all that dessert (and thinking about it, too) made me want it even MORE.

That’s how I ended up at the above state.  (REALLY WANTING something sugary/chocolaty.)

That’s what I get for looking at all those dessert pictures and recipes.

I guess that’s just what happens.

And the only thing that I found that is semi-fast, is all of the above free, and that I have the ingredients for, is chocolate fudge.

(My brother Drake just went over to get a drink, and picked up the tall orange cup that is often his.  He asked whose it was, but no one answered that it was theirs.  Right after he had taken a mouthful, Noah pipes up.

“Oh.  That one’s mine.”

Drake immediately spat the water out and dumped the cup,  and then grabbed his own.

It was really funny.  Truly.  You would have had to been here, though.)

So I want to make chocolate fudge.  And I want to eat it, too.

But the chocolate chips that I have aren’t exactly paleo.  Basically, they are not great.  They have whey.

BUT I REALLY WANT SOME CHOCOLATE!  And not plain chocolate.  A CHOCOLATE DESSERT!

And now let’s mix in complication #2.

My family has been passing around the flu.

Drake just got over it, Noah has it now, and two others may be coming down with it (not including me).

And I should be trying to NOT get it.

I am still thinking about bending the rules on my diet to take some Master Tonic (it has peppers – nightshades).  And I know that the sugar will weaken my immune response.  And I am still fighting to get over a cold.

Life can be a bit difficult, and crazy.

 

I think I am going to go make me some fudge.

 

Love,
Allison