drewbear: (Default)
It's been an interesting week and weekend.

As you know, I rolled my ankle last Monday and have been wearing a splint since Tuesday. I've gotten to the point where I can put weight on it and take off the splint for short periods, but pivoting it still hurts like a mofo, so I'm gonna be on the meds for another couple of days. I REALLY hope this is over and done with by Wednesday.

This weekend I went to the local farmers' market with some of my friends from work* and we had a good time, despite the looming weather. We had a nice breakfast at the little restaurant, though the waitress was a real jackass who screwed up 2 of our 5 orders and took forever to get us refills. Let's just say she earned the no tip she got.

The market itself was fun; there was a lot of produce and the weather/season is such that the vendors were just starting to start selling some plants. There was also a woman there who was selling some absolutely beautiful homemade cedar furniture. The prices were pretty good, though I don't have enough money available at the moment (damn saving up for the new job!). I got her card, though, and if any of y'all are interested, you can see the stuff here: Cedarwood Furniture by Franklin.

I had originally been planning on going to the North Carolina Ren Faire as well, but my ankle was starting to bother me towards the end of our tromp through the market & the docs at the clinic, as well as the physical therapist there, recommended that I try to walk on it for no more than 30 minutes at a time and then rest it, elevated, for at least 10-15 minutes. That, combined with the rain sweeping through the area, convinced me that it would probably be a Bad Idea to go yesterday. I feel bad, though, because I wanted to see my friend Alex all in his piratical gear. I'll just have to see him next weekend. ;-)

In sadder news, I went by my local (& favorite) comic shop after leaving the market and it's closed for business. I knew that it was going to close at the end of this month (the property management raised the owner's rent/"maintanence fees" by $1k/month without any warning), but I thought the last day was going to be either today or tomorrow. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to the owner (a really nice guy). I do know that he was looking into possibly re-opening in down in the Garner area at some later date, which I fully support. Not only does Garner need something along those lines, but it would be cheaper rent, which is always nice.

Today I plan on downloading/printing all the forms I'm gonna need for my first day at work (tax stuff, health plan enrollment, etc.), writing my "this is why I'm REALLY leaving" letter for work (haven't decided if I'm going to hand it over or not, but it sure is cathartic), going to my gaming group for the first time in lord-knows-how-long and then picking up some furniture from the house of some friends. And yes, I'll be careful when moving the furniture :-P

*I've always maintained that I like the people I work(ed) with, but increasingly hated the people I worked for. My coworkers and I plan on keeping in touch as much as possible.
drewbear: (With a twist...)
Oh my god, that was a good dinner:

Chicken breast tenderloins wrapped in a single layer of deli-sliced honey ham, pan fried in olive oil with fresh-chopped onions and spices (cumin, sage, marjoram, thyme, salt, black pepper), then topped with just a little shredded cheddar.

NOMNOMNOMNOM
drewbear: (With a twist...)
I've been feeling antsy lately and have been taking it out on my kitchen. In addition to the various meals I've been making from scratch, I've been baking from scratch. This is brand-new for me, so I've been a little tentative, but I'm pleased with the results so far.

The first batch of cookies I made was some cocoa chocolate chunk walnut cookies with pre-measured (dry) ingredients in a mason jar. It was a gift I'd received a couple of years back, but it was all good. The cookies were delicious. :-)

Today, I just finished making a batch of sugar cookies completely from scratch, no kit involved. They're quite delicious as well.

I may try brownies or a cake from scratch soon. I'd try bread, but I don't have a bread pan.

P.S. I finally got a toaster oven, so I can do my small-scale oven work (coughroastinggarliccough) without wasting electricity by using the entire fucking stove.
drewbear: (Default)
It's been a good weekend.

Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] exploder3211 and I went to the NC State Farmers' Market and had a good time. We ended up spending 2 hours there and left with some tomatoes, onion, strawberries, 2 aloe plants (one for each of us), a sweet basil plant (for him) and some herbal chip dip, not to mention plans to return at a later date for more. The produce is absolutely amazing, as are the prices. Between the 2 of us, I'd say that only about $25-30 was spent and we more than got our money's worth.

Today I baked some cookies from scratch for the very first time. They're maple-walnut cookies (LOTS of dark brown sugar) with chocolate chunks and they're oh so good. I think I may have used a bit too much butter, but who's to know, right? ;)

This evening, I plan to go grill some burgers with [livejournal.com profile] thatfatboy & [livejournal.com profile] th0rbear. Life is good this weekend. :-)
drewbear: (Default)
Well, I finally did something today that I've been trying to do for a long time:

Cook a decent omelette.

Yes, yes, I know that this doesn't sound that important, but I've been trying to cook one of the buggers without undercooking or burning it for a while now. This morning I finally found the correct balance of heat, oil and time left in the pan and got a deliciously eggy breakfast. :-)
drewbear: (With a twist...)
My good and dear friends, I have a question for you:

What recipes do you think I should try with fresh garlic?

A month ago, I bought a bulb with the vague idea that I would roast it and toss it into the ghoulash I was making, but promptly forget about it once I got home and put it in my pantry-veggies basket (non-refrigeration veggies like potatos, onions, etc.). Today, havign forgotten about the bulb at home, I bought two more at the store (what can I say? they were 2/$1) and then found that I had more garlic than I knew what to do with.

I've been looking up some recipes that use fresh or roasted garlic, but they almost all assume that the cook has a food processor or electric mixer of some kind, which is not my case. I have an oven, a cutting board and various cookware (knives, potato mashers, mallets, spatulas, etc.). The long and short of it is that everything I cook is done by hand and the recipes I'm finding don't account for that.

So. Any ideas for this over-garlicked soul?
drewbear: (With a twist...)
Cooked myself an all-natural-ingredients lunch and 'twas quite tasty :-)

Recipe lies herein )

Total cook time, including ingredient prep: about 15-20 minutes.
drewbear: (With a twist...)
On a note totally unrelated to the previous post, today was finally cold enough that I had my first cup of hot tea for the season. A green tea with spearmint blend from Mighty Leaf Teas, unarguably my favorite tea company.

I'm also have some frozen chicken tenderloins in the fridge thawing and I'm going to cook them up either tomorrow evening, Friday or Saturday, depending on when they thaw out completely.

Thinking of food and drink, what are some of your favorite make-em-yourself meals? I'd like to hear about anything from as simple as a sandwich and soda to a home-cooked 7 course meal (though I'm likely to be quite intimidated in the later case).
drewbear: (Default)
So I found out why I've been so increasingly tired the past few months. It turns out that it isn't that my meds aren't working any more but rather that I'm, get this, anemic.

How this was discovered was that yesterday I started feeling really crappy really quickly (throat-stabbing coughs in under 30 minutes), so one of the nurses ran a CBC, strep test and mono test on me. I came back negative for strep and mono (thankfully) and my white blood count was normal, but my hemoglobin count was WAY low.

Now, I've been reducing or entirely cutting out red meat for the last 6 months or so, but hadn't increased my intake of leafy, dark green veggies. It just flat didn't occur to me that this could/would result in a nutrient deficiency, mainly because I've never had any of any kind before.

So now I get to go buy a good multivitamin to boost me temporarily and start eating more red meat and/or spinach. Hopefully I'll be back up to my normal self in a short time.
drewbear: (With a twist...)
Well, that was disappointing. I bought some oranges on my last grocery trip and have been eating them these last few days to help get vitamin C and fluids. Well, the last one, which I peeled today, had a freaking thick rind (around 1/4") and was completely flavorless. It tasted more like when the dregs of an orange soda get diluted by melting ice I'm so disappointed. :-(
drewbear: (With a twist...)
I've been cooking from scratch more often nowadays and today I finally managed to make refried black beans properly. Overnight soak, simmer for an hour, fry the beans in lard/cooking oil, mash in pan, continue frying, occasionally adding the soak water and finally, once the bean slurry is evenly mixed and most of the water has cooked off, add a dollop of sour cream to add, well, creaminess.

They turned out well and oh lordy, did the apartment smell good all day.
drewbear: (Default)
Mmmm.... tea. I love Mighty Leaf teas. If you get a chance, snag some.
drewbear: (With a twist...)
Well, I was feeling a little creative AND hungry, so I decided to try out a couple of new recipes today. The first was a new chicken marinade that I started this afternoon and the other was a rice mix that I threw together while the chicken was cooking. Both were good, but I think that I needed to make the marinade a little spicier. Anyhoo, if any of y'all want 'em, here they are. And the measurements are rough since this was all self-made, so feel free to adjust to your own tastes.

Honey-lime Marinade

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
juice of one whole lime (fresh squeezed)
ground black pepper (to taste) (I used about 3/4 of a palmful, but should've used more)
chili powder (to taste) (I used about 1/2 of a palmful, but should've used more)
2 splashes of golden rum

Whick all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly mixed, then use as any other marinade.

Nutty Fragrant Rice

1 cup dry white rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups water
1/4 cup unsalted cashew halves

Combine first 6 ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover pot with tight lid and lower heat. Let rice simmer for 15 minutes. While rice is cooking, toast cashews in a dry pan until lightly browned. Remove cashews to a cutting board and rough chop them into approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of the original size. Hold cashews to the side. When rice is almost finished cooking, stir in toasted cashew pieces, then recover and continue cooking. After rice has absorbed all water, remove pot to cool surface and fluff with fork or immediately serve. Makes 3-5 servings.

Edited to add what some might consider the most important part of the marinade: booze!

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