June 18th, 2012

The Grump’s Ramblings: There comes a time…

Note from Valerie: Noticing I had not posted in a while, my husband hijacked my blog to tell his story.  It’s mostly therapeutic to him, so if you’re looking for food, this isn’t it.  But if you want to see a bad picture of me cooking with his kid, you’ve come to the right place. :-)

…when a person needs to make choices that will alter not only their life, but the lives of others as well.  I don’t mean a choice as simple as a new job or a new house, I mean something that has the ability to destroy someone’s life if they’re not able to adapt.  I had to make a choice like this about 5 or 6 years ago; unfortunately, I made the wrong one and I have 3 children that are still suffering from that choice.  My intentions were good in the sense that in the long run I would be able to improve things for them.  However, as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  Proverbs, quotes, beliefs, fortune cookies, they’re there for a reason, so others can learn from the mistakes of the past.

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September 29th, 2011

Potatoes I Wish I’d Thought of

I lived in a dorm for the first two years of college.  My freshman year, I had the best roommate named Jenna.  We named everything in our dorm room: the floor fan was Fran, the microwave was Maverick, and the mini-fridge was Iceman.  Since Maverick sat on top of Iceman, they were having a gay love affair.

Just thought I’d share.

The main dining hall was, 9 times out of 10, overrun by equestrian students who had come straight from shoveling horse manure at the barn and were too self-righteous to see any point in changing out of their crap-covered boots before traipsing around the food and diners.  The only other option on our meal plans was The Cave, a sort of café on campus, but their meal plan options were slim.  I didn’t have a car or job freshman year, so I ended up eating at the dining hall for lunch and The Cave for dinner almost every day.

For a girl that thrives on change, this was terrifically boring.  I really wish I’d have known more ways to use Maverick to cook back then, but I didn’t really know how to make much except pasta anyway (I didn’t learn how to cook until the food situation got so dire that I went part-time junior year in order to move off campus and get my own apartment).

I wish I’d known you could make Twice Baked Potatoes in a microwave.  I mean, they’re baked, right? And you can’t BAKE things in the microwave…right? But according to Adrianna over at A Cozy Kitchen, you can.  She not only tells you that it’s possible, but shows you how to do it and gives two variations.  Um…hello??? It’s such a no-brainer.  Why did I not know this??

If you are like me and somehow didn’t consider this obvious method of making a delicious meal, or you have never been to A Cozy Kitchen, you should go check it out.  Adrianna is so cute and her recipes are gorgeous and oh-so-comfy.

You should also turn me on to more microwave-cooked fare if you know of any, because I seriously use mine just for reheating, and that’s touch-and-go.  I could use the help.

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September 26th, 2011

Autumn is a time for shedding

The trees are being weird again.  Last year some of them went through the full range of colors, and only as they were dropping or about to, more started their change.  There were about three waves of “autumn” instead of the usual one.  This year….this year they’re just skipping the colors and going straight to brown.

I don’t understand New England or its trees.

But they’re not the only ones shedding things! I am trying to shed some leaves too, you see.  Now that I can handle a relatively decent amount of physical work, I’m slowly working my way back into working out.  I’ve begun stretching again, and it feels so. damn.  good! I’ve also started walking again, and that feels amazing as well.  Pretty soon I’ll be back at the gym!

In case I’m not the only one excited about the prospect of walking in the crisp air and dropping some pounds, I have some advice for other women starting a workout program.

  1. Wear a push-up bra.  I’m not kidding.  Everyone knows you need to be dressed comfortably; just try pulling skin-tight jeans off a sweaty body.  No.  But a push-up bra is a must.  a.) The girls will be jogging along with you if you know what I mean and they need proper support so your knockers aren’t knocking around.   b.) Knowing you’re a smokin’ hottie gives you better posture.  When you’ve got killer cleavage, you tend to naturally put it all out there.  And all the stares you’ll garner from the men driving by will only boost your confidence that much more.  Win-win.
  2. Put fruit in your water.  We all know you need to stay plenty hydrated, but water is boring and those flavored waters are a waste of money.  They taste like crap and are full of sugar or worse, fake sugar.  Just fill a reusable bottle with water and throw in some lime wedges or slices of cucumber, or even a bunch of fresh mint.  Hell, leave a twizzler in it overnight.  I won’t tell if you won’t.
  3. Smile at everyone you pass.  You know those super happy looking people in commercials, in their biker shorts and sports bras, walking enthusiastically down the sidewalk?  Now look at the sweaty, grouchy-looking people grunting through the park.  Now answer this: do you want to be the pretty workout chick or the scary workout chick? If people are focusing on your pearly whites, they’re not paying attention to the sweat making your hair stick to your forehead.
  4. Buy yourself some lingerie every time you go down a clothing size.  You have to show off your new body, and who better than to your significant other? Other than yourself I mean.  So even if you’re single, get yourself some lingerie to celebrate.  Just put it on and stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself, “hot damn but I look good.”
  5. Stop eating steamed vegetables and boring food.  If you’re cutting out fat, increase the seasonings.  Find ways to make food more exciting so finding healthy recipes is something to which you can look forward.  Your food should be as sexy as you are, not limp and lifeless

Now go out and have fun working out, you vixen.

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June 5th, 2011

Quick Update

I’ve gone through most of the old posts and re-uploaded the photos.  Phew! I didn’t realize how many posts have two photos in them.  I still have a couple categories left to do, so please bear with me! And believe it or not, I have a bunch of new recipes photographed.  I just need to rustle up the time to sit down and write them!

Tell me, which would you rather see first: Shrimp, Fish, Cake, or Breakfast?


January 18th, 2011

It’s difficult to have a bad day…

a Japanese spoon with a smiling pickle

…after looking down and seeing your spoon smiling at you.

(The soup is Fully Loaded Baked Potato in case you’re wondering.)