Monday, September 27, 2010

How I got my Martha back...

Wow! I truly had one of the most productive weekends in recent memory.

I love being the crafty cooking type, but I've gotten away from it in the last year or two. I'm not sure why, but it slipped away from me. It was a weird couple of years. I am trying really hard to get back to that, even trying to organize a monthly potluck/crafting night with some local friends - I really hope it takes off, because it would be wonderful. I think it'd be way more fun than the typical "girls night". And just for the record , I absolutely abhor the phrases "girls night" and "date night". Both make me shudder. But that's neither here nor there. I cannot change the lexicon of the world single-handedly. All I can do is try not to utter those dreaded phrases myself. Even though I just typed them.

I received this book in the mail Saturday*

And I highly, highly, highly recommend it if you are into canning and preserving foods, or even if you just want to learn. It has a step by step guide to various preserving techniques, and tons of recipes. It really inspired me so much that I did three of the recipes on Sunday (more coming up on those things in my next couple of posts.)

But back to Saturday. I was fairly busy. Went to the gym, got more stuff ready to go to Goodwill, found two boxes of kitchen utensils in my garage that had been in storage for 5 years (some really great stuff!), and I was able to go through my utensil drawers and purge everything that was not-as-good quality to donate, and then reorganize my drawers!

For dinner, I made this:

(whole grain pasta, chicken, pesto, broccoli, cherry tomatoes)

From this cookbook:

It is designed to be a cold pasta salad, but I opted to serve it hot. Since neither of us are fans for raw tomatoes, I sprinkled them with a little bit of salt and olive oil and roasted them first. Josh wolfed his portion down without even picking out the tomatoes like I thought he would. He loved it. I'll definitely make it again!

Sunday was my jam-packed (no pun intended!) day. We woke up bright and early and made breakfast... Josh made pancakes and I did the bacon.

The pancakes were a comedy of errors. He uses a certain mix and then embellishes it the way his grandma did - brown sugar, lemon juice, etc. However, we were out of his mix. I had some Barefoot Contessa pancake and waffle mix that I had gotten a while ago, so we used that. We had just enough of it to make one batch of pancakes. Except he followed the directions for waffle mix by mistake and it was quite runny. We added extra flour and hoped for the best (they turned out fine). Later, I discovered we forgot to add the butter (We had put it in the microwave to soften and I found it when I was cleaning out the microwave!), AND the mix we used had expired a couple of years ago! But you know what? They tasted great and no one died. I am horrible at making bacon, but it turned out ok. I sprinkled brown sugar on it when it finished cooking - tasted great!

After breakfast, we gave the house a good cleaning, and I decided I was going to make some fig jam that day, so I headed to the farmer's market. Didn't find any figs, but saw a lot of other pretty things. I realize the pictures all look the same, but I cannot resist taking pictures of beautiful things en masse.

(I am not an orange pumpkin girl - I like the ones that aren't the norm - blue/grey, white, warty...)

I finally found some figs at Whole Foods (and I also got a piece of mexican chocolate cheesecake for the Bipster and I to split - it was delicious. Tastes like the spicy mochas I make in cheesecake form!) and then I went home and made two types of vodka infusions AND canned a batch of fig jam (how-to posts on those coming up next). I was really feeling my inner Martha shining through again. It was great!

Then I finished our thank you cards, sent out wedding announcements to our extended family, spent some quality time with Bip and biore pore strips:

tried some yoga on fit TV (really hard to do because they want you to do positions where you're looking at the ground, but then they change positions and if you're not really familiar with yoga, you don't know what to do without looking up at the TV, even though you're supposed to be looking down) but that really didn't go well, so I did some meditating instead, cuddled with my husband a little, and then went to bed!

*I belong to a book of the month club ( It's 9.95 per month, and free shipping always. You just make a list of what books you want in what order, and each month, the first book on your list is shipped to you. It's wonderful!

P.S. Josh also pressure washed the house (and sidewalk) on Friday and it looks amazing! Really makes me want to paint the porch and front door ASAP, but that's going to have to wait until spring, I think.

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