Twosday: New Fall 2014 TV

New shows I’m loving:

  • Gotham I know this is pre-Batman but I still see it as a Batman show. I grew up watching the 1960s TV show and Batman: The Animated Series so I use that as a base. If Selina Kyle ends up even a smidge as cool as the Julie Newmar Catwoman I’ll be happy. Since Bruce Wayne is just a kid, I don’t have to do my usual “Why does Batman NOT have eyes?” Seriously, in the cartoons it is like he’s wearing white lens Oakleys under the hood.
  • How to Get Away with Murder I’ve gotten back into watching legal based TV shows after a mini-break since The Good Wife was ruined by a non-GW related article. (ARG!) The law school element reminds me a bit of the interns element of Grey’s Anatomy which totally works for me and the jumping back and forth in terms of timeline actually works. Viola Davis has such a commanding presence as Professor Annalise Keating and I love seeing Paris Geller… I mean Liza Weil back on TV.

New shows I need to watch:

  • Constantine When I think of Constantine, I think of the movie with Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. I’m curious to see what they will do with it on network TV with the creepiness level. Plus since this storyline has a comic foundation, the debates about what is right and what is wrong with it should be interesting.
  • Forever Curses? Immortality? Medical examiner working with crime solving? I know I’m keeping things vague but it is on purpose. I don’t want to read too much since I know going in with as little prior knowledge of the current episodes the better.

Surrounded by Chefs But Not in the Kitchen

It all started back when I finished reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. It is the updated edition so there are added bits of follow-up on some and a return to the ewok based comment he made about a fellow chef. I know, I know. While there are numerous other things I could refer back to, it is hard not to use one with a Star Wars reference. As a fan of his various TV shows, I had a feeling I would enjoy the book and I did very much so.

Since I’ve been cooking more and trying to post more about my cooking adventures, I found myself watching more cooking shows as well. Master Chef and Hell’s Kitchen got pretty regular play via Hulu and I started watching a somewhat recent season of Top Chef. I never had any interest in culinary school or working my way up the ranks in a kitchen, but I still find chefs and cooking interesting. The blur of a chopping knife and the flash of a flame is not very likely in my kitchen but it is fascinating on-screen.

This being said, however, I’ve been lulled by the glowing screen and the cooking continued but a bit less adventurous the last few weeks. Not only was I starting to find myself in a rut but also the recipes I was finding looked interesting but I was too tired or lacking just enough time to complete them. I am slow in the kitchen so anything prep wise means added time. I don’t think discussing a recipe is fair when you aren’t giving it sufficient time to actually make it. Cutting corners works wondrously but with something new you can easily end up with non-flaky flaky biscuits.

This was part of a dinner with friends and luckily they are kind and didn’t mock me… too much. What are friends for if you can’t taunt each other even a slight bit?

When I wasn’t making baked good versions of those furniture moving slider discs, one of us was using parts of recipes. There is always the default base of protein, starch/carb, and vegetable which is basically the suds-free version of “lather, rinse, repeat.” Even though it makes grocery shopping very easy, that can get boring pretty quickly even with meal planning. As a result, we ended up altering our meal planning to the point where we start deciding as soon as we walk in the grocery store.

On one hand, I’m missing searching for something new but on the other, I am giving things more of a chance. Darth Husband always likes to joke about how he had to take me to Florida to get me to eat fresh fish. It is pretty true since prior to that it was basically stick form, tuna, or shrimp. I figured it was easy peasy and also much less stinky options. The thought of having tilapia, which was part of tonight’s dinner, was unheard of and worthy of a yuck face.

Lately I’ve been giving fresh fish a chance and playing around with my personal food options even more. High dairy, low dairy, gluten free, no red meat, vegetarian, low sugar, and LOTS OF SUGAR have crept into and out of the mix. I am trying to expand my horizons a little more to find the mix that works best for me with a food app helping me make sure I’m getting what I need. Logging everything you eat, both “good” and “bad”, is quite the reality check especially when there is a UPC symbol to scan.

I have some different recipes saved for future attempts including a vegan recipe I found online that “Mr. Steak and Potatoes” Darth Husband is willing to try. I have a feeling some of them might end up fails but that will be ok. They can just go on the list with the biscuits.

Fashion Friday: Seen on the Street – Purple Skirts

I find fashion inspiration everywhere: TV, movies, music, magazines, and even books written by description heavy writers. This time it was via random women as I was out and about. I could use the term “street style” but this was more so a single item than a full outfit.

I noticed a great purple pencil skirt one morning as I got off the train. A few days later there was a purple straight skirt and then another one with a slightly short hemline but far from a mini. This got stuck in my head and I’ve decided I need a new purple skirt. I had a wine/plum skirt years ago but nothing more of the grape soda hue that I’ve seen lately.

I love the combo below. A good pair of boots, silver hoop earrings, and a great grey cardigan sweater have been staples in my closet for years. If it magically appeared in my closet, I would be ESTATIC!

Purple pencil with a bit of rock n roll

 

Add a bit of a winged liner and a retro-inspired hairstyle and the end result in a funky spin on a polished combo. I don’t wear pumps often enough but when I do I usually go for a more rounded toe.

Purple and Pumps

Chasing Flags with $20 in Change in My Pockets: Community Wide Garage Sale Adventure

I’m gonna chase some flags
Got twenty dollars in change in my pocket
I – I – I’m hunting, looking for some vintage
This is thrifty awesome

When my Sister-in-law is in town, we always make a trip to a thrift store, resale shop, and/or garage sale. We are both that excellent mix of crafty and thrifty. This means not only are we out hunting for a good deal but also a good deal that could be redone somehow. That being said, it is safe to say that a quick trip really doesn’t happen.

Recently, we decided to make it an afternoon outing. After I loaded up my pockets with change, grabbed the last of the cash I set aside specifically for garage sales and an empty reuseable bag to carry stuff, we went to a local community wide garage sale. My niece also joined us and babbled as she was pushed in her stroller (or carrier depending on her mood) on and off for a good two and a half hours. Yes, we were out for that long and probably could have been for longer if we didn’t start getting hungry.

If you have never been to a community wide garage sale, it is pretty much what the name is – a series of garage sales throughout a community. Some are located in one place but most of the ones I’ve attended are throughout the area.  This particular area splits theirs into two weekends and honestly needs to do so. There are so many homes participating that the town has officially posted signs that limit parking to only one side of the street! The mailboxes of each place hosting sale as are marked with official neon pink papers which makes it easy to find from a far and then helps with deciding where to park. You just need to remember where you parked!

Our adventure to this one last year meant baby clothes for the SiL and vintage glass for me. Since I made a killing and found a ton of green glass last year, I stayed away from it this year. Well, that and I’m already rotating pieces in and out of display at the moment. She was still on the hunt for baby stuff and once again found a ton of stuff.

This year for our trip, and for this summer’s garage sale adventures in general, I’ve shifted my focus to vintage jewelry and purses. I’ve lucked out several times and this time was no exception. Our first stop had me asking “How much for the entire box?” instead of how much per scarf, and by scarf I mean the vintage nylon ones in both sheer and opaque. She said $10 and I agreed since we are talking a plastic shoebox filled to the brim and I got the box too.

I’ve learned two good tips this year about how to find vintage at garage sales:

  • Look for old furniture. If there is an ugly old chair like the one your grandmother had in her house, there is a good chance that sale will have stuff from that same decade and older.
  • Look for multi-family signs. I checked out two this summer where multi-family meant multiple generations of a family. Some people’s stuff were only a small amount within more modern items and would not have been enough for a standalone sale.

NaBloPoMo October: A Crunch and a Thunk

NBPM_OC

I had read about other NaBloPoMo themes in the past and though I had thought it would be a good idea to try, it never got past the thinking stage. This month I’ve decided to take it off the idea list and make it be an actual attempt. The basis of this really is to post every day, something that many people do, and so nothing too shocking. I, however, was never a post a day person. It was partially not knowing what I wanted to say, partially wondering if people would even be interested, and finally part trying to find enough time to construct something that made sense in terms of content and what I wanted to say.

Then came the October theme “Crunch” and the mention of crunching leaves and crunch time. Of course, I also thought Crunch bar since October makes me think of Halloween and Halloween makes me think of chocolate. OK, who am I kidding? I don’t need Halloween to make me think of chocolate. That is a default.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to go ahead and try this even though I do plan to post more. Then I read the first writing prompt:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Crunch crunch crunch: leaves are starting to carpet the sidewalks. Tell us about your favourite autumnal sound.

In my mind, I could hear the crunch of the leaves blanketing sidewalks and curbs over the years. That mix of a crinkle, crunch, and swish often found its own rhythm as I walked along. Then something else popped into my head, a drumbeat. Then it was joined by another and another until it was no longer a beat but a full cadence.

As long as I can remember, Fall didn’t just bring back the school year but also the sounds of the local high school band. Long before my days there and long after, when the wind is right the echos of the drumline could be heard from afar. For those nearby, on practice night it was accompanied by the chant of “Left, left, left” and on game night, the cheers of the crowd. To this day, if I hear it I find myself automatically stepping in time.

I see this all as a sign that it is time to step back in, find my beat, and fall (bad pun intended) back into writing more as well.

Trying a New Online Recipe: 5-Star Cheeseburger Casserole

TANR_OR

Even though I usually try to set up a meal plan for the week, often when I’m out shopping it will just be planned ideas and not for exact days. This works especially well when the weather is crazy and I don’t want to use the oven or I’m running amuck in the evening and have less time to cook.  Occasionally, I will end up with something that gets passed over and next thing I know, I am having to make it before it ends up in the garbage. This happened with some ground beef. I had a little time before the use by date but wasn’t planning to risk it by waiting any long. It was 93%/7% so I was thinking to make pasta with a meat sauce. When I mentioned that to Darth Husband, he suggested I make cheeseburger casserole instead. I had meshed together a few recipes to make one and he liked it. Since this was before I started my Wednesday recipe attempt posts, this time I decided to follow one recipe, 5-Star Cheeseburger Casserole from Bakerette.

Here is my breakdown of this recipe.

  • Ingredients shopping:  Easy. Everything was already in my kitchen or easily found at my local grocery store since nothing was out of the ordinary.
  • Prep:  Easy. Basic cutting and measuring.
  • Cooking:  Easy. Even though this includes both stovetop and oven based cooking, neither was difficult.
  • .Make it again:  Definitely. The recipe works great for the two of us but could also easily be served for a group.
  • Modify it:  Yes. I excluded the pickles. I could also see swapping out the noodles for rice noodles or corn noodles if I wanted to change things up a bit.
  • Works for leftovers: Yes even though we only had enough for Darth Husband to take for lunch.