I am thinking of starting a blog challenge but I have not found my topic yet. I am struggling to find something creative that will occupy some of my time and not break the bank. I would love to cook my way through a cookbook, but I fear that a) that would not be creative because it would have been a copy cat of Julie&Julia, even though I would have picked a different book, and b) I may run out of money which is the main reason that I turned that challenge down. I was thinking about crafts but have not yet found a book that encompasses all of the crafts out there in one book. So I'm working on it. I would love to hear feedback from any of you readers out there, I'm sure you are full of ideas. For now, I am going to write an A-Z blog addressing people, places, or things with each letter of the alphabet. Here we go:
A- Awesome: Today Chris and I visited the bookstore and I found this cool book called The Book of Awesome. I flipped through it and it seemed pretty cool. Unfortunately I was not going to give up 25 bucks for a random book of awesome thins. But on the back of the book it told me that I could go to the website and I'm happy because it's like the book only free!
B-Banana Bread: Just a couple of days ago, I was inspired to make banana bread because the bananas that we bought at the market (8 bananas for 1 dollar) needed to be used. While Chris was at work, I discovered a recipe for banana bread and made two recipes, one with chocolate chunks and one without. The house smelled lovely, and it was nice to hear from my main man, that I should bake more often. The recipe was out of the Taste of Home cookbook, and called for sour cream, which I think helped to keep it moist. To slow a banana from ripening you can keep it in the refrigerator, and to hasten the ripening process you should store bananas in a brown paper bag.
C- Crocheting: After a lot of thought I thought I would teach myself how to crochet. I bought myself a
training manual and two spools of multicolored yarn and I eagerly went to work. The cool thing about crocheting is that you can practice and practice and then pull all of your work out. This is good for beginners like me as well, because if you mess up, like I did so many times you can pull the yarn out and start all over again. I have somewhat figured it out, except for the circle crocheting because the yarn will not stay flat, instead it curls up like a tiny baby hat instead of the hot pad that I am trying to make.
D- Duck: Chris bought us a duck! No not a pet duck- but a duck to eat. He did the math and it was cost effective to buy a whole duck instead of just duck breasts. He broke it down the other day and made a duck stock. Tomorrow, Chris plans to make a nice dinner featuring the duck breasts. Did you know that duck is a good source of iron?
E-Edible: I am still working on my article for Edible Fingerlakes. It's difficult to write and edit etc when it's not just a free write like here. I am upset if I mess up here, but I have a feeling that someone will forgive me. For the magazine, it's a lot of pressure.
F- Friends: No I am not referring to the fact that I have no friends here in Rochester, although that is pretty much true. I am referring to the fact that I now have DVR and can record episodes of friends so that I do not have to stay up late falling asleep to my favorite episodes. The one thing I do find peculiar is that they skip episodes. They play episode 22, 24, 25, 26 but what ever happened to episode 23? It is rare that I find an episode that I have not viewed, but what if there are episodes out there that I missed!? Ah, I never get tired of Friends, no matter how many times I have seen the episodes.
G-Google: The last movie that Christopher and I saw in theaters was the Internship with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. They are two really funny actors and I think they played a great role in this movie based on the Google headquarters. Google is number one for happiest employees and Wegman's is close behind. Go Chris! I'm proud of you :)
H-Honey: I think I may have mentioned that Christopher collects honey. He has about eight or nine honeys that are all delicious. There is one honey which I only tasted once in the store, but he has not opened it yet. I wonder when he will open it. Maybe on a special day. Honey does not go bad, although it will crystalize. This particular honey that he has not opened will never crystallize. I am a fan of honey just because he is my honey, but mainly I just like it in my tea, or drizzled over my cheerios. :)
I- I <3 NY: This is the most recent cookbook that Chris purchased to showcase on our bookshelf. It is a wonderful book filled with ingredients from New York and farms in the area that grow those ingredients. I really enjoy the way the book is organized. It is based on ingredient and then has a page about the local farm providing each ingredient, then a few recipes that highlight that product. I approve.
J- Job: Many of you may be wondering about my job situation. I did start with a catering company, but it was not what I expected. The company used a lot of frozen food, and I did not feel like I was being challenged, or used to my full potential. My parents encouraged me to follow my heart and not settle for a job that wasn't right. As I may have mentioned in a prior blog post, I am looking to find the right job, or career, not just a job. So I am currently searching for a job while working for another catering company part time and working here and there for my mom.
K- Klondike Bars: My weakness I swear. I know it's not rocket science, but honestly who ever came up with the klondike bar is wonderful. Chris and I normally cut them in half and then see who can eat their half without it melting first.
L- Laundry: I am so glad that we have our own washer and dryer. It is so much better than school, but really, I do laundry every day. My mom used to do it. The shirt I wore to school would be washed and dried by the following morning, but I just thought she was crazy. There is so much laundry. Not only do I have to wash Chris's uniform daily but the folding and then separating and cramming into over stuffed drawers. It's my fate, laundry, every day.
M- Molasses Cookies: Another weakness. An unfortunate story. When I left Roaring Gap last year, and Christopher had to finish up his externship, he baked me molasses cookies and sent them from North Carolina with love. I hid them from my family and gorged on them a couple at a time. The secret was kept from my family members but only for a few hours. I was sitting on the couch when I heard a ruckus coming from my room. I hesitated wondering what it was and then leapt towards my door. My beloved dog Phoebe found the cookies and ate every last one. I was very mad at her for a couple of days. I think directly after the incident I called Christopher in tears and left a long voice mail which he later informed me he could not understand one word of.
N-Novel: I have twenty pages left in Cleaving by Julie Powell. I enjoyed the book mainly because it was about butchering. But the last hundred pages have been difficult to get through. I think I lost interest when she stopped working at the butcher shop. She is now traveling around the world, learning about meat in different cultures. I am sure that these pages are easy for another to get through because it was probably more difficult for them to get through the pages about breaking down the meat. But it is due back to the library by July first, so my time is running short.
O-Oreo commercial: I am pretty obsessed with the cutest Oreo commercial ever. There aren't really words to explain, just watch and enjoy :)
P-Pull Through: This is my favorite parking lot game that I play with myself. Doesn't it just make your day better when you pull into a spot at the grocery store and discover that it's a pull through spot? Lucky you. Or maybe you scout out these spots. But we all know it's wonderful! It makes you feel good when you get the spot, and then when you return to the car and you have forgotten about the perfect pull through spot, you again smile to yourself.
Q- Quinoa: I am very fond of Quinoa. Especially in a cold salad. But the best quinoa I ever had was at the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls. I do not recall the exact dish, but I remember popping the quinoa onto my tongue and the texture was a surprise. Chris explained that they had deep fried the quinoa which is why it was hard on the outside and puffy on the inside. It was wonderful, one day I hope to recreate that quinoa on a dish in our restaurant.
R-Rollerblades: As you all know, we are quite the roller couple. Our most recent adventure was nearby on a trail which went over the water. It was really neat to have water on both sides and enjoy the wildlife. We saw lots of birds and even a tiny island full of turtles. The only problem we had was that to get down to the water we had to travel down a super steep hill, and that tiny break on the back of your right blade is not quite helpful when it comes to high gradients. We scaled down the "mountain" sideways as if we were on skis, and then had the energy to slowly charge our way up the hill on our wheels. We neglected to remember that it was 90 degrees out, but hey we got our exercise for the day.
S-Sheep: One day, when I have a house and grass to mow, leaves to rake, and a family to raise. I really would like to have a sheep. I know it seems pretty random. But have you seen a lamb? They. Are. So. Cute. And recently I have been noticing the sheep in the countryside, and they must shave them at the end of springtime so that they do not over heat in the summer. I wonder if the sheep farmers keep the wool and spin it themselves or sell it. Anyway, I have been asking Chris for a sheep for the past couple of weeks. New obsession I guess.
T-Tuna: I think I figured out that Tuna is my favorite type of fish, and its future is not looking good. I love tuna fish sandwiches, but also just seared tuna is my favorite fish. Tuna Markets.
U-Up: Can we take a few minutes to appreciate the love story of Up? I borrowed the movie from the library and Chris and I watched it the other night. This scene makes me cry every time. I think they did a wonderful job capturing a love story without words. I think Up also must have received some sort of award for the music, because it really is very memorable.
V-Vacuum: I know I have mentioned this before, but that was prior to the day that I arrived home to my brand new vacuum surprise bought for me by my very own roommate. It turned out to be the Electrolux Ergorapido and I am very happy with it. I would recommend it. We have hardwood floors and two area rugs. It does the trick. And it makes me happy every chance I get to vacuum.
W-Weather: What the heck is up with this weather. It rains and it pours. And then the rain goes away and it's super muggy and just icky. The rain is depressing, not that sweet smelling rain, but the long dribbling rain. Yuck. I wish the sun would wash the rain away.
X- Xerox: Did you know that Rochester is where the Xerox head-quarters used to be? It's interesting to figure out the history of the city I now live in. Kodak is here as well, a lot of ink based companies. All of the companies are in the same area of the city, and whenever Chris and I drive past, we refer to it as the 'valley of ashes' like from The Great Gatsby. It's grand.
Y-Yawn: Christopher likes to count my yawns at night. He gives me about six and then sends me to put on my pajamas and crawl into bed. He always teases me saying that after exactly seven yawns I am out like a light.
Z-Zoo: I have been wanting to go to the zoo, mainly because I have never lived somewhere that had it's own zoo. Everytime we plan to go to the zoo it rains, or it is too hot and we foresee that we will get sticky and cranky. Hopefully tomorrow's weather will cooperate and we will be able to visit the lions, the tigers, and the bears! Oh My!