I Take My Job Perks Where I Can Get ‘Em

Wearing this type of attire to work is definitely a big perk. Again, what a cool boss I have. Hey, I dressed it up with a jacket, right? Honestly, no one has even noticed. It does feel good to not have to dress the way I used to have to when working in the corporate world.

Last night we had one of those blissful day in the life moments where Mike and I were just cuddled up next to each other on the couch. I was playing a game on my iPad and Mike was reading through some of his blogs on his iPhone and our dogs were cuddled up with us too. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to – or take for granted – the peaceful and wonderful little moments in life. I make a point of noticing them. When we moved off the couch to make and eat dinner we got into some fun discussions about this funny idea I had once for a comic book with a female protagonist. Then we got to talking about some fiction I was reading and then joked around about collaborating on writing something together. It was a fun idea and one I am giving some serious thought to. There hasn’t been a lot of  opus going on lately to post about. Well, that might be slightly unfair…

Some projects I have been working on mentally and physically…

Making Hats – Each year Mike and I go out to the Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, Oregon (just outside Eugene). Mike has been a volunteer for close to ten years and so I now tag along with him. It’s a wild time filled with costumery, good friends, and fun. I’m not much into wearing costumes and crazy clothes, but it turns out I am into making them. Mike is great because he will wear stuff so I don’t have to. Last year I made him a kilt out of Superman fabric (don’t have a good picture handy). It was a challenging project that took a lot of time but was totally worth it. This year I’m thinking about making hats. Fanciful, wonderful, crazy hats. Hats with horns, glass beads, feathers, lights…all these ideas are percolating. I’ll begin working on them hopefully this weekend.

Cooking – man I’ve been cooking up a storm lately. Maybe my favorite thing so far has been the coconut curry soup with basil lime chicken. So good!

And now I have the writing stuff to think about.

So many ideas, so little time. Which is so much better than no ideas and tons of time. What a nightmare that is!

Cooking Spree

I really wanted the cookbook Platter of Figs, by David Tanis this Christmas and Mike’s parents ended up getting it for me. Mike has some food allergies (diary, garlic, and gluten) and food preferences (he eats fish and chicken but no red meat, pork, turkey, etc.). I’ve been getting very good at adapting things for him while not losing the original flavor intent of the dish. I was, however, pleasantly surprised that there are some dishes I either don’t have to modify at all, or only have to slightly modify. This chicken tagine with harissa oil is one such dish:

This inspired me to get creative on my own. To me that is the hallmark of a great cookbook; when it inspires you to close it and then create dishes on your own. So I made a Thai style red curry paste from scratch. All the ones you buy pre-made have garlic in them, but we love red curry so I got creative and we used it to make salmon, potatoes and peas in a red curry with coconut milk. Delicious.

And just yesterday for lunch I made a “creamy” white sauce with shallots, scallops, and fresh parsley and tossed it with some gluten-free porcini mushroom pasta that my sister sent s for christmas. Also delicious!

Thanksgiving II.

We are just about to sit down to dessert. Dinner was yummy: Cornish hens stuffed with wild rice and mushroom stuffing (lots of fresh sage from our garden); candied yams; and roasted brussel sprouts.

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Dessert just came out of the oven; mini blueberry pies. It smells amazing.

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I asked Mike what the biggest holiday in Canada was and he said Christmas. He also said he was surprised that it seems to be Thanksgiving here. I told him Thanksgiving was my favorite because it was basically Christmas without the stress and expense.

And then he decided to give me an early Christmas present.

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So as soon as we figure out how to get around some bugs in the programming which are annoying in the set up stages we will be playing some fun games 🙂

Monster Zucchini

Everyone has a story about prolific zucchini. I must confess that it isn’t my favorite vegetable. I love to cook and have tons of creative recipes, but the whole thing leaves me feeling “meh” after eating it. So all season I have been bringing my zucchini in and giving it away to coworkers. I’ve also sent all my friends home with zucchini if they stop by the house. The thing about the variety I am growing is that if you happen to miss one, or don’t check for a few days, they grow to be these gigantic sizes. It’s a bit insane. The good news is that the variety I am growing doesn’t get stringy and seedy when it gets monster sized. You know, why the heck are there hunger problems in the world? This morning I picked the biggest one to date and it could surely feed a family of four. Or five. Or ten.

Apologies for the hideous photo. It was taken on the fly with my iPhone camera in a dark office with zero natural light. I’m new at this website thing!