Friday, April 27, 2012

Five for Friday, vol 45

1. When I took a nap in Sunday, you kept adding dogs and blankets on top of me to keep me extra warm.

2. "that was an intense movie thrill ride" ... as you fell asleep in the couch.

3. I think of you whenever Bittwrsweet Symphony pops up on my Pandora.

4. [Raki symbol]

5.You like to make the bed with mix-and-match sheets.

I love you.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Poulet Sauté aux Herbes de Provence

Don't you love how saying something in French makes it seem so fancy? I mean, "chicken cooked with herbs" certainly has a lot less appeal and pizzazz. I used to be able to say a lot more of the French things, what with six years of study under my belt, but sadly most is now lost. I can still conjugate the occasional irregular verb (and I still remember some of the curse words, pardon my French) but otherwise my Francais est tres mal.

Enter Julia Child, who makes me feel nostalgic to be back in Madame Swanson's classroom getting scolded for chewing gum and writing endless sentences about how j'aime le shopping et le match du football. The best part of high school French were the days we got to eat one of France's many native cheeses and watch teen soap operas ("Merci, Julien. Merci beaucoup!"). You know those skits on SNL where they all look depressed and break into random dancing? Yeah, not that far off.

Fun fact - I was also President of French Club. Oh how the boys were knocking down my door back then.

Poulet Saute aux Herbes de Provence
1/4 pound butter
2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken, in pieces
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper
3 cloves unpeeled garlic
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 egg yolks
1 T lemon juice
1 T dry white wine

Heat butter in a large skillet until it is foaming. Add chicken pieces and saute for 7 to 8 minutes, turning often. Do not let chicken color more than a deep golden yellow. Season with herbs and salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook, uncovered, for another 20 to 25 minutes, turning 2 to 3 times, or until chicken is tender and juices run clear. Remove chicken to a warm platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Mash garlic cloves with the back of a spoon. Remove peel. Add wine and boil down until reduced by half. Beat egg yolks in a separate small saucepan until thick and sticky. Beat in lemon juice and wine with a whisk. Add liquid remaining in saute pan, a half teaspoon at a time, until a creamy sauce begins to form. Beat over very low heat until warm and thickened.. Remove from heat. Adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately. Adated from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Five for Friday, vol 44

1. You took at least a dozen photos of bath time with the dogs.

2. "you know what this dinner needs? Crab Rangoon."

3. There are about a dozen tennis balls scattered all over the yard because you think it's hilarious to watch Penny chase them.

4. You love charity, especially when it involves pizza and an open bar.

5. You have alerts set up to watch for when our favorite bands tour in the area, so that you can always buy tickets.

I love you.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Five for Friday, vol 43

1. "I didn't know the grocery store sold dresses."

2. On your days off, you send me texts with pictures of the dogs, including dialogue, full storylines, and cliff hangers.

3. "How many fries do you want?"
"A billion."

4. You eat peanut butter toast everyday for breakfast.

5. You told me that I had a "June" tan earlier this week.  I don't really know what that means, but you meant it as a compliment, so thanks.

I love you.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Five for Friday, vol 42

1. You made me espresso for the week since you'd be gone.

2. You ask me about the night I spent at my parents and I go on for 20 minutes. I ask you about the party you went to and you answer in three words.

3. Text Whale never gets old.

4. If I feel the least little bit poorly, you immediately want to stuff me full of vitamin C and foot massages.

5. You make up words.

I love you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Us me I we.

I have a serious question. Alert the masses.

Kenny and I are on the same page about 90% of things. Big picture married stuff - finances, kids, hopes, dreams, retirement plans - we're good. Trivial everyday roommate things - whose turn is it to take the dog out, who needs to fold laundry - well, we need some work.

I am NOT a natural born housekeeper. The rest of my family are neat freaks, but I seemed to miss out on that gene. I'm also a youngest child. In other words, I really dislike keeping up with chores and I like getting ample credit when I do them. My husband, a middle child, is kind of the same way. So we duke it out. He mows the lawn and starts laundry. I get dinner on the table every night and clean the floors. And we're both left feeling grumbly and cranky about it. Maybe we don't acknowledge each other enough. Maybe we each want too much credit. Maybe we spend too much time worrying over who "should" be doing what and not enough time just getting it done. We recently acquired a cleaning service that comes once a month, and it's already made a difference. I feel less pressure to keep the house looking perfect, at which I have been failing lately.

Otherwise, I think it comes down to an me vs us thing. It's been all too clear with Kenny's travel schedule ramping up recently. We both do a lot around here, so when half the moving parts are gone, it feels overwhelming. So how do you get over it? Our house is too big for one of us to manage, at least not with two dogs, two full-time jobs, and two long commutes. At the same time, regardless of who does whatever the task at hand is, it needs done. And when I ask for help I feel like I'm nagging.

So tell me, Internet friends, how do you share work around the house? How do you get over the me mentality when it comes to chores you hate?

Inquiring minds need to know.

Monday, April 2, 2012

She's ready to POP!

When my best friend Jen announced her pregnancy the last year, the first thing I did was start crying and hug her. The second thing I did was ask to host a baby shower. Jen and I have been friends since high school, which means we've seen each other through some incredible life changes - bad boyfriends and great husbands, picking a major (me) and picking a med school (her), relocations, promotions, new homes, and a couple of puppies. Jen has always known exactly what she wanted and nothing has thrilled me more than watching her dreams of becoming a doctor, a wife, and now a mama all come true.

Also, throwing a baby shower is just plain FUN. Along with Jen's mom and our other bestie Sarah, we planned a pink-pink-pink party with a "Ready to POP" theme.

In terms of decor, we wanted to go as pink, fluffy, and girly as possible.  Nothing less would be right for Jen and her daughter.  I originally attempted to make string globes for centerpieces, but I couldn't get them to quite come together.  Martha to the rescue! Instead, I made tissue poms in various sizes and shades of pink.  I made the table runners by cutting table sheeting into strips.

In lieu of lots of games, Sarah set white burps cloths at each place setting for guests to decorate with pastel fabric pens.  After all the gifts were opened, Jen selected a handful of favorites and the creators were awarded with bouquets of lollipops.

Along with yummy finger foods and iced coffee punch, we had cake ... lots of cake.  I might have overdone it on the cake (but I just could not help myself!)

Whipt Cream Bakery did an amazing job on the desserts - not that I'm surprised.  They have never failed me!  I brought in an invite and a request from the mama-to-be for cupcakes, and matched my ideas PERFECTLY.  Look at that cake!

It's a perfect match!

Pink-pink-pink!  I love a reason to use my cake stands.

How cute are the little bows on the cupcakes?  I die.

A big pile of presents later (... handmade bedding, baby Uggs, an adorable zebra tutu ...) that baby girl is spoiled and she isn't even here yet!  Just the way it should be.  

And I got to hang out with the coolest baby so far.  This is Lucy.  Don't you just want to squeeze her?

Now that Baby B has been properly showered, the countdown has begun.  Jen is on leave and a few days away from her EDD and I keep obsessively checking my phone for updates.  I am trying to keep myself from asking that awful "have you had that baby yet" question, but I am on the edge of my seat.  So far, my friends have all been blessed with beautiful babies (whom I don't get to see nearly enough), and I know Baby B will be no exception.  I can't wait to meet her!

Lesson learned: my DIY skills have not improved since wedding planning, but I certainly love baby showers.  I kind of want to host another ... so who is next??