Chicken Rosemary Pizza

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So the other night me and the hubbster tried making chicken and rosemary pizza. It was pretty good which means that next time it will be awesome.

First, we made the dough using our bread maker. We followed the recipe except for our addition of 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.

The dough came put great and it rolled out like a dream. Only a tiny bit of flour dusting was kneaded. I also allowed the dried rosemary to soak in some olive oil for 20 minutes because I didn’t have fresh.
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I generously brushed the dough with the rosemary and olive oil. Then layered my cooked, shredded chicken and sliced fresh mushrooms. Lately, I added the Italian blend shredded cheese and popped it into the oven on 350° for 20 minutes.
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The final product speaks for itself.
However, we did decide on future changes:
1) Sauté mushrooms and onions for toppings.
2) Back off the Italian seasoning in the dough just a touch.
3) Use fresh rosemary and crush before putting on pizza.
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Day 358: Lilacs

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The lilac bush at my house have full green leaves out, but no blooms on them yet. My mother’s lilac bush is amazing and fragrant.

I love the smell of lilac! I really hope to find a perfume or body spray with this smell. Or perhaps I can make a dried potpourri sachet sometime.
If I ever learn how to make an essential oil from flowers, I will do it. Someday, someday.

I’m worried I will miss my lilac bush blooming. I leave tomorrow for my flight abroad.

Day 307: Ivy-cat Love

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While having a sleepover at my sister’s house we passed up sleeping in her room for sleeping in what I call “the sheik’s tent”.
During the holidays, a bed, lamps and bedside tables were set up in the basement. Blankets were hung from the ceiling to the floor and carpeting was put down in that section.

With a small area heater the little room stays quite cozy. We took a counter top TV downstairs and watched movies until 1:30a. Pretty wild for me, since I hit the hay around 9:30 or 10p.

The cat’s name is Ivy. She does not like being picked up or handled. Like most cats, Ivy does love on her own terms. She has recently gained substantial weight so laying on my chest made it difficult to breath.

My last words were, “more weight.”
Heh heh, theater jokes.

Kat’s V-Day 2013

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This Valentine’s Day went pretty well. I was very pleased that Kit and I decided to stay at home. I hate the stress of going out for a fancy dinner only to find every restaurant over-packed with other noisy people. Besides our food was better. First, we got semi-dressed up and were witnesses at a friend’s wedding. We had lunch with the happy couple and then went trudging to do the V-day shopping we should have done days before.
I was surprised how many men were snatching flowers with a desperate look in their eyes and how many folk there were in the grocery store.

Samplecards

This is a hugely popular DIY gift on Pinterest. The project is called 52 Things I Love About You. On each card I wrote something that I love about Kit. I copied some from another crafter, but I found that the ones that meant more were the personal ones. My Kit rarely wears pants. He is a shorts-man. Because of that fact I wanted him to wear shorts for our wedding. The phrase “Two Wild Banshees” is one of those things I catch him saying all the time.

cardsWhen Kit looked through the cards on Vday, he was chuckling and smiling all the way through. Because I wrote on the face of the cards, they can still be played with normally.

wineSupper started the only way it could; with wine. I bought a bottle of the same wine we had for our wedding (a peach chardonnay) and threw some frozen peaches into it. Perfecto.

kabobsHonestly, the first thing I did was begin marinating the shrimp and steak. The shrimp was medium, fully-cooked and frozen. I used a lemon ginger marinade that I should have started the night before, but the hours run away from me. The marinade for 1 pound of shrimp is:

  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/8 onion, chopped
  • 5/8 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro leaves (I used cubed bouillon style cilantro)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika (dash)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (dash)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper (dash)

I cubed up a steak and threw it into a gallon bag and tried to follow this steak marinade recipe: (I didn’t have W-sauce, oops!)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • dash of pepper

As you can see in the photo above, I skewered quartered small sweet onions, whole mushrooms (baby portabellas were on sale), whole grape tomatoes, and fat slices of red and green bell peppers. I baked these kabobs on a cookie sheet (I recommend putting aluminum foil on the trays to help with cleanup). Bake them for 10-12 minutes at 450F, flip them over and bake an additional 7-8 minutes. Thanks for the oven kabobs recipe, Sarra!

cccakeI made coca-cola cake for dessert. I failed to check my stock of butter and only had enough to make the cake and not the glaze that went on top. What makes coca-cola cake special or different from a regular chocolate cake? I honestly have no clue. Google is not helping a sister out either. It was a good recipe that I have to try again when I can do the glaze as well. I honestly love my mom’s recipe for crazy cake. This was more moist…almost like a light brownie.

The rest of the evening was spent enjoying our present that we gave to each other. Our Roku is so much better than jewelry I may never wear. Tons of Netflix TV shows at our fingertips. In one month, the Roku has already paid for itself several times over because we were frequent users of Redbox.

Valentine’s Day: Self-Compassion

Some people love this holiday and some people hate it. Who is forcing you to celebrate it?

If you feel socially obligated to do something special this week then do this, work on self-compassion.

Self-compassion is a way of treating yourself with kindness instead of criticizing yourself. It has all of the benefits and none of the pitfalls of self-esteem.
I’m no expert, watch this video. This speaker, Kristen Neff, identifies the failings of self-esteem, three main parts of self-compassion and its benefits.

I followed some links and found her website. There is a book, if you want to spend money. There are videos, exercises for increasing your self-compassion, meditations and more.

If you’re skeptical like me, then it may sound like some hippy-dippy faith you must believe blindly. I am not asking you to do that. Watch the TEDx video and just keep an open mind. She makes some good points.

She has various exercises to help you work on your S-C and specifically mindfulness, common humanity and self-kindness.
One thing I love is that she encourages journaling and has a guided format for those shy about writing their feelings.

So maybe you’re not with your it man or woman on this made up holiday. So what!? Work on loving yourself, do random acts of kindness for people who need a smile, pamper yourself.
Pamper doesn’t mean spend a lot of money. Do something for yourself. You survived another year.

At the end of her exercises she offers some ways you might treat yourself. Who deserves a special something more than you?

Here are her ideas to treat yourself. Ultimately, do something you enjoy.
°Get a massage, a pedicure, or other form of pampering.
°Take a nap in the middle of the day.
°Go to a comedy club.
°Rent a tear-jerker DVD and let it all out.

°Listen to relaxing music while lying on the sofa with your eyes closed.

°Practice loving-kindness meditation or do yoga for a half-hour.

°Hang out with a friend for an evening.

°Go dancing (home, club, informal group). Or, do the self-compassionate body scan (guided meditation on her site).

°Have that oh-so-compassionate glass of red wine, accompany it with a large glass of water to help your body cope with its dehydrating effects.  Or, if you find you are drinking too much and it’s starting to harm rather than to enhance your well-being, have some dark red juice (cranberry, pomegranate, or cherry) mixed with sparkling water in a wine glass. Often just the sight of dark red liquid in a wine glass will trigger a relaxation response.

Who says you have to do it on the 14th. Chocolate goes on sale February 15th.

What do you think? Too far out or worth a try?

My Love, My Heart

Or, “How I Became Engaged to a Man Twice My Age.”

After I posted my journals blog last night I sat on my bed reading two of my journals in particular. I was reading the months leading up to and my budding relationship with Kit.

Although the writing was Nobel worthy it still made me laugh, blush and tear up as I read my memories from four years ago.

At the time I was in a relationship that I was not happy with, I dated this guy because I was denying the possibility of dating my (at the time) supervisor. Every entry reflected my unhappiness with my boyfriend and the joy that I had when I was with Kit. Even sitting at work on a rainy day it was perfect.

One entry made me chuckle. I’ll summarize:

I was at work and my boyfriend called me to wish me a good day and ask if I wanted to hang out after work. At the end of the phone call he said, “I love you,” to which I replied, “I know, bye.” Heartless…I know.

When I hung up Kit asked if he said he loved me and why I replied that way. I told Kit that I didn’t want to lie to my boyfriend, we had talked about it and I had told him that I didn’t feel the same way. Kit said that was probably the meanest thing a guy could hear from his girl. He also asked, why date him then?

At this point in our friendship, Kit and I had been saying “I love you” as a platonic exchange for several months.

We denied our feelings for each other for a long, long time. My journals reflect how often I stressed over this. I often wrote how doomed our relationship would be because of our society’s lack of acceptance for it.

Yes, for about six months we had to break everyone in to our new relationship.
When our relationship was still secret we had this exchange at work:

I had to stand in as a model for photos. Not because of me, they were trying to get the lighting just right for a family shot. I stood there, in a grumpy mood, on a balcony.

I escaped being in the pictures but I did stand around they were testing the quality of the light for a picture. So I was standing upstairs at the banister, the photographer flitted away to talk to the family. I mumbled, “If you guys don’t need me, I’m going to go back and drink my coffee.”

Kit looked up at me from the lower floor and replied, “I need you.” I laughed at his joke. Then he said, “I always need you,” and I heard his voice change.

It made me smile like a Cheshire cat. After that the photographer was looking for Kit and the moment was gone. For five seconds we were alone in a building full of people and just had a tunnel vision scope on each other.

Every second of your love that I have experienced has been worth all the hard moments.
Four years and counting. I love you, Kit.

Day Twelve: La Diversión


Home for the Holiday Weekend

I will admit that I was much too busy and distracted to take a photo for yesterday. So technically my picture for day Twelve was taken today on the 5th of September.

I will be posting later today with a photo for day thirteen.

As you can see, my fiancé is home for the Labor Day weekend. He takes a lot of trips for field work all over the U.S., but somehow we always get time to see each other.
His field work is creating bat friendly gates over cave entrances and mines to protect the archeological finds and animals within while keeping people from getting hurt or destroying the resources.

When I go to visit him on site I hope to get some photos of his work for one of my days.