Musing on food and cooking ...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Quick and Easy Guacamole

Here is a lazy person's version of guacamole that I made over the weekend.

4 ripe avacados (they are ripe when still firm but with a slight give to the touch)
1 T garlic powder
1/2 cup salsa (use your favorite. This will allow you to make the guacamole as hot as you prefer)
salt to taste

Open the avacados by splitting in half and then removing the pit. Scoop the flesh out of the skin with a spoon into a bowl. Mash up. I used a potato masher, but I fork would do. Leave it a little chunky. Add garlic powder and then salsa, and mix until well blended. Add salt to taste. Serve with chips and veggies or spread onto a sandwich in place of mayo. To store, put in a plastic container and then cover with plastic wrap. make certain wrap touches the guacamole, making certain that no air can get at it. Air is the enemy of avacados and will turn it brownish grey and who wants to eat that?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More appliances!

So, joy of joys, my new washer and dryer finally arrived today, almost a month after I purchased them. Apparently everyone in the known universe, or at least the northern burbs of Illinois, purchased a washer and dryer at the same time, so it took forever for my purchase to reach my home. Which means, I have been hanging clothes out to dry, which smells nice but is always a pain because it often rains on the weekend, meaning my poor clothes don't always have a chance to dry.

It was an interesting delivery, and I once again shocked and outraged the Latino delivery guys by being incredible strong. For a fat chick. Apparently, a door was installed in the basement sometime after the old washer and dryer were put down there and we couldn't get the old appliances out without removing the door. Normally not a big deal, right? Pop some hinges and away you go. But these doors were bolted and nailed on. With big damn nails. Well, the bolts were stripped and not moving so I had to yank the nails out. They were 5 inches long. I broke a hammer doing it, you know, that claw part of the hammer. Which pisses me off a bit as it was on my nice wood-handled hammer, wood-handled hammers being very hard to find nowadays.

Either way, I got the door off and received a round of applause from the Latino guys, who wanted to know if I worked in construction, and they hauled away the old and brought in the new. The washer works fine, although I have to get a shim for the backside as it rocks a bit (they were impressed I knew what a shim was and that I could purchase cedar shims at Home Depot), and they installed the dryer and did some weird little chemical test that showed that there was no leak in the gas line.

Oh, the gas leak. I mentioned that earlier. The previous owners had mentioned there was a weird gas smell when they used the dryer and they thought the dryer itself had a leak, but weren't sure, which could mean that the line to the dryer had a leak. Which is not a good thing and much more expensive to fix.

Well, they got the new dryer hooked up, turned the gas on full steam ahead and did their chemical test around all the joints and on the new connector and the chemical didn't react and I ran it for 30 minutes and there was no funny smell, so there is no gas leak and it was the old dryer that was spitzing. I still might have the gas company come out and do a general safety inspection, just to put my mind at ease. And I did turn the gas off to the dryer anyways, until I can be there for a whole day, turn it on, and really check and see if there was a funny gas smell in the basement.

Either way, I shall soon have all clean clothes. And blankets and towels, as these appliances are supersized and will do 16 bath sheets at a crack! Whaaaahoooooooo!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Funny from My Friend Kristen - Joke and Recipe All in One!

This is the fairy tale that should have been read to us when we were little:

Once upon a time
in a land far away,
a beautiful, independent,
self-assured princess
happened upon a frog as she sat
contemplating ecological issues
on the shores of an unpolluted pond
in a verdant meadow near her castle.
The frog hopped into the princess' lap
and said: “Elegant Lady,
I was once a handsome prince,
until an evil witch cast a spell upon me.
One kiss from you, however,
and I will turn back
into the dapper, young prince that I am
and then, my sweet, we can marry
and set up housekeeping in your castle
with my mother,
where you can prepare my meals,
clean my clothes, bear my children,
and forever feel
grateful and happy doing so. "
That night,
as the princess dined sumptuously
on lightly sautéed frog legs
seasoned in a white wine
and onion cream sauce,
she chuckled and thought to herself:
I don't freakin think so.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Some Pictures at Last!

So, I finally got my pictures downloaded and I hope you all enjoy what you see. The first set are some of the before pictures. The first is looking into the dining room from the living room: Then, the evil pumpkin colored office:
Soon, Heather begins to paint. God, it took forever! And really, I need to do some additional coats. At some point. Like right before I sell or something.

Then! Voila! Due to the miracles of modern technology, the house is ready! First, my room. Notice how I only painted two walls. Am I being artistic or just lazy? Will we ever know the truth? To the left, notice the nice flowered cutain. I made that out of a table cloth.

Then, the office. Notice it is still pumpkin colored. However, considering how tired I was and have been, it remains unpainted. Someday, it will be a tranquil sea green.....

Below, the quest room. This paint was truly horrible. It was rather like troweling mud onto the wall. But mia madre, did an excellent job of painting, did she not? And all of those books for my non-existant children! How hilarious!

A view of the living room though the dining room. So cavelike. So yellow.

And here, a look at part of the living room. It is rather a serene space, actually. Of course, getting used to almost no tv has been interesting. I saw a part of Conan the Barbarian. In Spanish. And then Tank Girl. In Spanish. And then, get this, Kung Fu. In Spanish. Triple dubbing! Seriously, though, I don't get all that many channels with my little antenna, but I get several Spanish channels and one multi-ethnic but mostly Indian channel that is quite interesting.

And here, the beautiful dining room. Which actually doesn;t get used all that much. As I get almost no visitors. This means you, dammit.

Finally, the cats see to really enjoy it. here's Leo stalking out his end of the couch.

And Pele, basking in the glory that is the East window.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The HaHa House is ready for visitors!

So I finished unpacking Monday night and except for the need to print out some of my own photos and hang them on the wall, the house is set. I will be taking and posting pictures soon. My new washer and dryer will be delivered this upcoming weekend, and I hope the minor gas leak problem with the dryer is fixed with the addition of the new appliance. If not, i will have to have someone come out and install a new gas pipe. Which is not such a big deal, I guess, except that I do need to do laundry and would prefer to not go to the local lavandaria.

In other house news, I have ordered a new vinyl shower window curtain that will hopefully handle my water problem. See, the house was built before showers became popular, and, as a result, has an unfortunately placed window in the path of the shower spray. The water goes under the window, into the frame, and sprays out into the driveway. Eventually, I will have to have the window removed, but until then, the specially designed Vermont Country Store vinyl curtain should sufice.

I have also got my bird feeders up and I have at least two cardinals and three orioles. And a million squirrels who have figured out how to open the bird feeder. My little herb garden is in and growing well, and I am about to do major outdoor landscaping. I have at least two whole summers' worth of projects.

I am hoping that Leo's hypoallergenic food will come back on the market soon. His loose poops are becoming problematic, what with Pele's huge belly that drags where it shouldn't be dragging. God, I had to give her a bath last night at 3 am because she must have gone into the box right after Leo-kins was finished. Yuck yuck yuck! I am sad to say that when these two kittehs pass on, I am going to be done with pets for a while.....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Update on Kitteh

As I am still unpacking and have no photos to share yet, I thought I would give an update on the Leo-kin. You know, he's the one with the IBD whose special hypoallergenic food was recalled, thrusting us into crises and wonder what was going to happen? Well, I got this new food from Neuro Wellness. It is made with human grade salman and herring and all the ingredients are from the United States. He started eating it two Fridays ago, and he seems to be doing ok. The first few days were pretty bad - lots of cramping and some screaming. But since then, he has only an occassional cry and/or mrurp sound, which might be related to moving stress rather than the food. Moreover, he looks like he might even have gained weight (a very good thing) and his coat is quite sleek and glossy. He almost looks healthy again, instead of looking like a dehydrated tri-athelete. The only bad side effects are that his droppings have gotten to be very soft again and, well, let's be honest here - they stink to high heaven. I mean dear god. Smelley Cat has nothing on the Leo-kin.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Bit Sad

Unpacking continues to go well. I have only 3 smallish boxes left and a few piddly things to do. Mia madre has been a tremendous help, even doing the laundry and hanging it on the line as I currently have no working dryer. I expect to be able to post some pictures soon, well as soon as I find my downloading cord.

Still, despite how well everything is going - even if I have been spilling the gas in the back of my car - I am feeling a bit sad. Having mia madre around for the last couple of weeks has made me realize that I am actually a bit depressed and lonely. I haven't made any g0ood friends like I had in Boston. Most of my friends are work friends and they are great, but they go home at night to their other lives. As they rightly should. I have been trying to get more involved in activities, but not much luck there either. And yes I know it takes time, but still. So I am a bit sad this day....

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I have a new stove. A Kenmore from Sears. It's lovely. It also shuts off when asked to do so. Rejoice!

Anyhoo, the unpacking is going well... just a few more boxes of weird odds and ends and office stuff. The new house is forcing some reorganizing, particularly in the office crap. I have to go to The Container Store tonight to get containers for all my office crap, because there I don't have as many easily accessible bins for office crap as I used (not sure how this happened, unless the gnomes stole them). I put a few curtains up. It kinda looks like a house now!