Saturday, February 27, 2010

Loretta Lynn's Lincoln

I am at work right now, and I only have 30 more minutes till I can leave and I'm a tad bit bored. So I decided to put my MP3 player on shuffle and pick out ten songs that I really like. I started to make a list, so here they are:

1. Loretta Lynn's Lincoln by Josh Turner.

Oh he has such a wonderful voice, and I love his music. It's very backcountry-ish. And this song is so funny and catchy. Just try to stop yourself from singing along. I bet you can't!

2. Working Man by Rush

Before I met Tim, I had never heard of Rush before, and now I've seen them live.. twice! Their music is a lot of instrumental but it's still great. It's kinda like classic rock, with a little bit of a modern twist, I guess you could say. This is a good song to listen to while at work (which I am!).

3. Never Again by Nickelback

I'll admit, I am a Nickelback fan, but only of their older stuff. I'm not a fan of the radio (other than country and oldies) so I don't listen to any new songs really. But this is a good song for running because it really gets you pumped.

4. In Memory by Shinedown

I used to love this band in jr. high and high school and I just recently rediscovered them. I listened to the cd that features this song on repeat when I went with my parents to our property so it reminds me of being out there in the wilderness with the view of the Olympic mountains and it makes me really want to go visit and make a campfire.

5. Every Mile a Memory by Dierks Bentley

This is such a laid back song, I love it. It's my favorite cd to listen to while road trippin' to eastern Washington, especially Cle Elum (which is my favorite little town ever since I used to go there every summer with my grandparents since they had a cabin on the lake).

6. I Ain't in Checotah Anymore by Carrie Underwood

Wow does she have a voice or what? I love this song; it's one of my favorites by her. It's very true of how I feel living in Seattle away from my hometown. But hopefully I'll get to move closer soon!

7. I Keep Looking by Sara Evans

Sara was truly one of my first favorite country singers, and still is. I can remember when she came out with Born to Fly and I loved that song. I Keep Looking is about how everyone always thinks the grass is greener on the other side. It has the same sort of topic as Smile Empty Soul's The Other Side, but in a much mellower fashion!

8. Days of the Week by Stone Temple Pilots

I went through a grunge phase in jr high and was addicted to STP. Then I moved on to Velvet Revolver, which is a mixture of Guns n' Roses and STP, but they are still good.

9. Lay Your World on Me by Ozzy Osbourne

I know, Ozzy, seriously? Yes. Most definitely. I listened to him non-stop in high school. My floor routine in gymnastics was to Crazy Train. And the judges did not like that and so I always got marked down, but I didn't care. Everyone always loved my routine because it was different than the average one. But anyways, about the song. It's a really great love song, even for those who don't like his heavier songs. Trust me and just listen to it.

10.Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin

Ahh the days of learning how to drive. I was 15 and my boyfriend at the time loved Led Zep so I started listening to them and fell under their spell, too. And now my brother's dog is named Zeppelin. And its a puggle.

So that's my list. Put your MP3 player or iPod on shuffle and tell me what ten songs play on yours. 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vicarious Travels to the Windy City

I have never been to Chicago, and I would really like to visit there sometime. Then again, I would love to visit every major city (and little town in between) in the United States, so I guess Chicago isn't anything special. Except for tonight for dinner.

 Thanks to

Tim is working later so I needed something quick and easy, but I didn't want to just grab a sandwich or salad from the grocery store. I therefore planned to make pizza. That's right. Make. So I have this cookbook called Grilled Pizzas and Piadinas by Craig Priebe and he has some of the weirdest combinations for a pizza that are so absolutely delicious.


The first pizza in the book is The Chicagoan. The pizza has three types of cheese (Parmesan, Mozzarella and Cheddar), strips of grilled steak, baked slices of potato, red onion, and sour cream. At first, I was a little hesitant but once I took a bite, it was all "Mmm... Yumm... Mmm..."

Tim's comment cracked me up: " The only thing that detracts from its ridiculous goodness is when I take a bite and go, 'Ew, onion.'" He gave it a 4.9/5 rating, something he never does, so if your family love meat and cheese and potatoes, this is a great variation to the typical dish.

Here's how to make it:

You will need a Boboli crust (or if you have time, you can make your own pizza crust, but it needs to be pre-baked), 1 baking potato, 8 oz. top sirloin or strip or skirt steak, olive oil, 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, 1 cup marinara sauce, some sliced red onion, sour cream and chives.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Peel and slice the potato at 1/4 inch thickness (I used a mandoline, but a knife will work). Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 min or until golden and tender. Loosen with spatula while hot.

Grill or pan-sear the steak to your liking. (I left it a little rare so it would be medium rare when done). When finished cooking, cut into thin slices. Brush the pizza crust with olive oil, then dust with Parmesan. Sprinkle the other cheeses on top. Drop with spoonfuls of marinara sauce, then top with potato, red onion and steak. Bake at 450 F for about 8 minutes, then dollop some sour cream on top and add some chives.

The whole time it took to make was roughly 30 minutes. How easy and quick is that! Mmm.. I'm so tempted to go eat the last slice. But no, it's for lunch tomorrow. I'm so looking forward to that.

While on the topic of pizza, what are your favorite toppings?


Monday, February 22, 2010

P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney

I'm watching Finding Nemo right now, avoiding homework, like usual. So in order to cheer me up from my work load, I am going to write about the food I've been cooking lately. On Sunday I made a Comforting Chicken Stew from Marie Claire Seasonal Kitchen.


If you have never read this cookbook, go to or you local library and read this book. The pictures are so inspiring and everything looks delicious. And the book itself is divided into seasons, so you can cook seasonally, which I am a huge fan of. You might need to fudge the timing of the seasons if you live somewhere hotter or colder (since it was I believe published for people who live in NW Canada or US). But other than that its amazing. And the recipes are usually all very simple. Like the Comforting Chicken Stew.
Basically, you cut up some root vegetables into bite sized pieces and slice a celery stalk and a leek, then flour some chicken pieces. The vegetables are placed on the bottom of a pan with the chicken laid on top. A few cups of chicken stock are added, and then the whole thing is covered and baked in a moderate oven for an hour and twenty minutes or so. And that's the whole recipe. It's so simple, and yet so delicious. The vegetables were perfectly cooked and the chicken was juicy and flavorful. Adding some herbs would have added even more flavor but it was good as it was. And cheap too since the recipe calls for cheaper cuts that are still delicious. Trust me, if you make this recipe once, you will want to make it again, just because it is so easy. Prep time is literally 10 minutes or less, depending on how fast your oven heats and how fast you can chop veggies.

"Whoa. Kill the motor dude."

So for dinner tonight I decided I wanted to make something from my list of recipes to try. I settled on the white bean and tuna salad from Everyday Italian by Giada. I was a little apprehensive about tuna and beans together, but it turned out to be delicious. And it literally took 15 minutes to make. I served it on top of mixed greens and that really made it even tastier. We also ate herbed baguette slices with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It was a very yummy dinner. If you are pressed for time, this recipe will definitely fill you up and be much healthier than a burger or pizza.

"You mean the swirling vortex of terror?"

Ok I'm gonna go pay attention to the movie. And maybe enjoy some more tuna and beans...

Dobry vecer!

Adventure on Snoqualmie Pass

I really miss being up at the pass a lot. It makes me sad. But today while I was looking for pictures for my previous post, I came across this picture:

Thanks to

It's a picture of a wreck on I-90 that happened a couple of years ago on Snoqualmie Pass. If I remember correctly, it happened at about 4 pm, right as me and my dad were exiting off of I-90 to go skiing. We soon found out from the lift operator that the route down the mountain was closed until they cleared the accident. We figured, oh no big deal, it's probably only like 2 or 3 cars so it will be only an hour tops.

Weren't we wrong. It turned out to be a massive pileup that took forever to clear. The first estimate after that said the pass was going to be closed for a few hours then we could go home. Oh and by the way, it had started to snow like a blizzard. So we just kept skiing, hoping that they would get it cleared sooner. We soon wore out and had already had dinner and hot chocolate and were bored. Soon, the few hours wait turned into a few more hours, and eventually became till morning. 

We figured, alright, we will just drive east and then go over another pass that will take a few hours but at least we could get home before midnight. Well, as soon as we got on the freeway, there was a policeman detouring all traffic going the other way off the freeway. We stopped to ask him how the conditions were over the other passes, and he said they were just about to close all of them because the weather was even worse. We asked him if we could just back down the on ramp and he said no, we had to go to the next exit and then turn around and come back. 

This normally would have been no problem. The next exit is at the other end of the lake, and the trip would have taken maybe 20 minutes. It took us about an hour to make the trip. We went about 5 mph the whole trip and had to stop every few minutes because the snow was turning to ice on contact with the windshield and the wipers so we could not see. It was not a fun trip.

After getting back to the exit for the ski areas, I-90 was still closed, so we went back to the lodge to have more hot chocolate and rest. Finally, I think the freeway opened at about 11 pm, 7 hours after the accident. We were one of the first ones to get on the freeway and just as we were passing the scene of the accident, they were just finished hooking up the last semi. 

What a crazy night. But I got lots of skiing in. Here's the full article if you would like to read the particulars.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Country Girl

I am going to start two different countdowns. One is till March 15th when I can start running again (and get back into shape for ski season and for hiking) and the other is the day I graduate in June (which I believe is the 13th?).

I am so ready to graduate and move out of Seattle. I just don't like it in the city, even though I'm in the outskirts. I think it's funny that in high school, I could not wait to move to the city. Now, I can't wait to move out! My ideal place to live would be to have so much land you couldn't see your neighbors (or well, just a really big hill in between). I would like to live on the other side of the mountains in like Cle Elum or Roslyn, but Tim could never live in such a small town. He would go stir-crazy!

I really remembered all of this last night when I went on an adventure with Tim. For our anniversary he bought us tickets to see Josh Turner at the Snoqualmie Casino on the 19th. It was truly an amazing concert, the best I've been to. But let me start at the beginning.

We left school at about 2:30 after finishing our homework and lab reports and such. Traffic wasn't too bad, until we hit I-405. It was stopped once we got on the freeway. Tim hadn't eaten anything since 6 am and I was thirsty so we got off on the next exit and went to Whole Foods. I have only been in that store once and I didn't like it at first (I was 15 at the time.. I obviously didn't know much then!). But I now love it! It's like my favroite grocery store that I go to now but bigger! Tim liked it too because it had free samples. So I bought a large container of cranberry-peach juice (yum!) and a container of fresh cut fruit. They were delicious.

Off on the road we went! We finally got to I-90 and the further east we went, the more relaxed I felt. All the stresses from the week went away and I felt so good! We raced up to Snoqualmie Pass for dinner, and got there at like 4, which was waay too early for dinner. So we drove around, went and looked at all the ski areas, had hot chocolate at Alpental (which I miss dearly :( ) and then just played in the snow. Oh yeah, the picture at the top of my blog is a picture taken at the top of Alpental. That's one reason why I love to go up there: the scenery is gorgeous!

After playing around, we finally went to dinner at the local pancake house at Summit West. We both had breakfast for dinner. Tim had potato pancakes that were nothing like normal potato pancakes. They looked like regular pancakes, but take a bite and surprise! They were slightly sweet, but still had some green onions tucked in there too. Trust me, they were very good. And I had the swedes (which are like crepes but thicker) with lingonberry jam. I just had to have lingonberry jam. It is so good but the only place I can find it is at IKEA and I hardly ever go to IKEA.

Thanks to

Anyways, after our delicious dinner, we headed back down the mountain to North Bend, where we stopped for gas and coffee. Well, coffee for Tim and tea for me! Then we tried to find the casino. It was truly in the middle of nowhere and you turn this corner and wham! it's right there with bright lights and lots of cars. It was very busy that night. And very smoky since you are allowed to smoke in there. Yuck!

I didn't really enjoy being in the casino part. But once we got into the ballroom, things got better. The concert was great. The music was not so loud it hurt my head like at other ones I've been at, but they did have strobe lights which hurt my eyes (I'm sensitive to bright lights and loud noise.. and I only recently developed it like 6 months to 1 year ago. It's very weird). But other than that, Josh played a lot of great songs, including a lot of my favorites (Firecracker, Everything is Fine, Long Black Train). He also played a lot of songs off his new album, which I don't know as well since I haven't really listened to it much. The cool thing was that his wife was playing the keyboard and backup vocals! They really make a cute couple!

Thanks to

After the show, we left and drove home and went to bed. But I still really miss being out in the wilderness. Lately I've been looking at trails and hikes to go on around here and I'm so ready for spring. It's weird, outside right now it's 53 F out and it seriously feels like summer, but just a little cooler. I am so excited for spring and summer. I can actually start running again and working out outside. I'm interested to try my yoga routine in the grass..

Alright, well I should get back to work. I'm going to add more pictures and edit this when I get home since the computer I use at work doesn't have a lot of the stuff I need to add in pictures and websites and stuff. So that's all for now.

Dobry den!

Oh and I have decided I want to go on a hike here!

Update: Added pictures. They make it look so much better.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Juicy Juice

Remember those? I used to love the little cartons of juice. In fact, I still love them. My future mother-in-law buys me a large pack of juice boxes from Costco because I love them so much. But now I've kinda grown up a little and now have my own juicer. My parents gave me their old one because they didn't want to make their own juice anymore, but there was a part that broke off so juice went everywhere! So I have been wanting a new one for a while, but have not had the money for one.

But my mom bought me one for my birthday! So now I am planning on making juice every morning. I'll see how long that lasts. I have bought more fruits to juice. I'm not so into juicing vegetables, but we'll see. I just might change my mind. But I'm so excited. I made grapefruit juice this morning. It took a little getting used to because the instruction manual said to leave the pith on so it was a little bitter. Other than that it was good.

I'm definitely going to eat healthier. Dunno how well that's going to go because pizza and burgers are so yummy. But I'm going to try nonetheless. And I'm going to start getting up earlier so I can workout and start practicing Czech. I really want to finish learning Czech so I can relearn French and then start on other languages. I would love to be a polyglot :)

But for now, I'm making small steps to eat healthier and workout and doing stuff I love.

Well, I better focus on Czech and then I've got to clean the kitchen, bathroom, living room... pretty much the whole apartment. So I better get going then!

Hezky den!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Ever since I met Tim, I have never really celebrated Valentine's Day too much. When I was little, all I got from my parents was a good box of chocolate and a card. But of course that was good enough for me. In elementary school, we would decorate shoe boxes the day before and then tape them to our desk and everyone was required to bring valentines for everyone. I always made sure my best friend and the guy I liked got the best cards. (Not that that guy ever noticed..) Even then I was never really into Valentine's Day. Probably because I believe you should show your love and appriciation everyday to the ones you love. And now I don't really celebrate it too much because our anniversary is on the 15th :)

But it's still fun to get chocolate. Mmm..

On to food. I made the Chicken Paillards with Orange Thyme Butter. I served it with roasted yams and Parmesan roasted cauliflower. The cauliflower wasn't as cooked as I like it (it was still a little crisp) and I like mine soft, but not mushy. My broccoli and beans and pretty much most other vegetables on the other hand, I like still a little crisp. I'm weird like that. Anyways, the yams and cauliflower were tasty. The chicken was pretty tasty, but I could only eat about 1/2 a chicken breast before I was full. I liked that the chicken was nice a juicy and it was thin so it cooked really fast. And I cooked it in my cast iron grill pan so it had those nice grill marks on them. I'm all about presentation. Overall it was a good meal. Probably won't make it anytime soon again, but eventually.

I was supposed to make the Lime Shrimp with Sesame Crisps but I only got three hours of sleep friday night because the neighbors above us came home at 11 pm and were making noise until 1 am and then I was frustrated and angry and so I couldn't fall asleep till 3 am and had to get up at 6 to go to work. So I was really exhausted. So we ordered a pizza for dinner and had some friends over. We played Mario Kart Wii and Beatles Rock Band and TF2 and just laughed and had fun.

I definitely slept in this morning (didn't get up till 10:30) but I needed it. And then I made a cranberry nut bread! I've been craving it lately so I finally made some. Usually I make it with walnuts, but this time I decided to make it with pecans (since that's what I had) and added some flaked almonds on top. It was very yummy. Sour, but yummy.


Eh that picture doesn't really capture the yumminess. It's my cell phone camera and it's not very good. If only I had a good camera. Oh well. Only 4.5 more months till I will actually have money to buy a nice one. Or maybe a good one, but not a super expensive one. I don't need a bazillion functions on it.

Anyways, later Tim and I are going with my parents and his to Red Robin for dinner since me and my mom get free birthday burgers :) I wonder what kind I will get... 

Alright, I have to go clean and dry my hair and get ready.
Hezky den!

Friday, February 12, 2010

End of a Very Long Week

I'm so glad to be done with almost all my school work for the week. I've still gotta finish my lab report by 5 pm and do my p chem homework, which is also due at 5. So I'll be busy today. And then yesterday I actually read the prompt for my next paper in my history class and it's based on these two books that we are supposed to read, but I haven't. So I gotta get going on that. The paper is not due till the end of the month, but I figure I should get a head start since the rest of the quarter is going to be ridiculous. Starting this week, I am going to have to write two lab reports per week. I'm going to try and not procrastinate, like I usually do, and finish the first one on Sunday. Or maybe Monday since it's a holiday. And then I'll have the rest of the week to work on my other lab report. Hopefully they will go much smoother.

Anyways, enough about school. On to food. I didn't cook last night since I got out of lab at 6 pm and dinner wouldn't have been ready until 7, which is a little too late. And we were hungry. So we went to Metropolitan Market (my favorite grocery store) for dinner. They have an amazing selection of soups that are made in the store daily. They also have a ton of sandwiches, and a hot deli that has amazing food like lasagna and shepherd's pie and butternut squash risotto and many other yummy things. I decided on the three bean chili, which I got extra so I had more for lunch for today. I also got a piece of cornbread and an avocado to go with it. At home, I added some cheddar cheese and a dollop of Greek-style plain yogurt. I would have also added onions, but I didn't want to buy a red onion and then have it go to waste, so I passed on that.

Tim gave me a very sour look when he saw what I had done to the chili. He thinks it's a disgrace that I put avocado on chili since he thinks it disgusting. The yogurt was an abomination since he is a sour cream fanatic. He will put it on anything and everything. Well, maybe not everything. But whenever he thinks something would be good with sour cream, he eats it with sour cream. I prefer the yogurt because it's thick like sour cream, but it's healthier and yummier to me. I wish I could eat yogurt everyday but I'm allergic to dairy so I can only eat it every so often, otherwise my stomach gets very upset.

Is it lunch-time yet? I really want to eat my chili. All I had for breakfast was a slice of toast with Nutella and a glass of orange juice. I think it's time for me to cut up the carrots I bought and eat them with hummus. Mmmmm.. (my toast was like that one, minus the bananas)

So tonight I will make the chicken paillards. And then tomorrow after work I will make the shrimp. Some of my friends from the dorm I lived in two years ago are coming over to play rock band and mario kart wii. It should be lots of fun. I should bake something.. Maybe. Then on Sunday I'm going to go visit my parents and we are going out to dinner to celebrate my and my mom's birthday, which were this past week, and to celebrate Valentine's Day. Tim and I never have really celebrated Valentine's Day since our anniversary is on the 15th so we just celebrate then instead. Less crowded in the restaurants and stuff. I really want to make him a card though. I found this really cute one but it was like $5 and I could make a much better one for free since I already have most of the materials.

Anyways, I should go work on my lab report. Yay for ChemDraw. Oh and chop up some carrots for a snack. Mmmm...

Dobry den!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Love to Hate Matlab

Well, kinda. It's more like I love lab but hate that the instructions for my lab are so poorly written that I spend too much time on one lab report and end up not having time for my other classes. Only 4.5 more months of this. Then I will be free!

But on to food, which makes me much happier. So I made the tuna with tangy onions from Coastal Living. I made it with steamed broccoli and a wild rice pilaf, courtesy of Uncle Ben. I really enjoyed the tuna. Tim's portion was a bit rarer than mine, so he did not like it as much. And I was surprised at how delicious the onions were. Basically you slightly brown the onions in a little oil and then add quite a bit of vinegar (the recipe states that you should add 1/2 cup red wine vinegar for 1 whole onion, but I used 1/2 an onion and reduced the vinegar to about 3 tablespoons). I thought they would be very tart and I wouldn't like them, and since Tim doesn't like onions period I thought he would hate them.

And he loved them! He said this is the only way he will eat onions (I don't think he even likes them when they are caramelized or fried. And he sure loves his fried food!). So it was definitely a hit. I was very wary of cooking tuna. I mean, I'm so used to the stuff from the can, I was definitely swimming into dangerous waters. But it all worked out in the end.

However, the rest of my week does not appear to be as wonderful, cooking wise. School wise, I don't even want to think about it. I was going to cook tonight, but Tim had to stay at school to finish homework and then go to work, so I was by myself. I hate cooking for just myself. You would figure I would love it, since then I could make things that I would love, but Tim would hate, but it's just so hard to cook for one. Two is much easier. So I ended up making a beef flavored cup of noodles. Not the best choice, but I was hungry.

Anyways, I did decide on what I'm going to make for tomorrow night and Friday night. For Thursday, I'm going to cook Chicken Paillards with Orange Thyme Butter from Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America. I'll probably make it with rice and then just steam whatever veggie is on sale. Or maybe I could make Ina Garten's Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower. If you have not tried her recipe, drop whatever you are doing, go to the store and buy a block of Parmesan and some cauliflower and go make it right now. I said right now! It's truly amazing and truly life changing. I hated cauliflower before I tried it roasted. It becomes sweet, and sort of nutty, and the Parmesan gives it a salty kick that pairs perfectly with the new found sweetness. Mmmm.. I'm dreaming of it now.

Hmm.. if I make the cauliflower, then I shouldn't make rice because that would be colorless. And I like color in my food. Maybe roasted sweet potatoes too? That would tie in nicely with the orange in the butter. Ok it's decided.

And then for Friday, I'm going to make Sesame Crisps with Lime Shrimp from Crisp by Michele Cranston. I love her cookbooks. All of them are so colorful and the recipes are usually so simple but taste so fabulous. It's like I'm in heaven whenever I look through one of her cookbooks. Well, it's the same feeling when I walk through my favorite grocery store, too. Anyways, I'm going to probably serve this dish with some wilted bok choy with sesame seeds. The baby boks looked really good the last time I was at the store.

When I was deciding what to make this week, I ran into a problem. A lot of the recipes that are in my list have fish or seafood in them. I don't have a problem with fish, I really enjoy eating it, just not all the time. My mom went on a fish frenzy for like a year when I was in elementary school. All we ate was fish. Everyday. (Ok, I will admit, I'm probably exaggerating, but to a girl in 4th grade, variety is good. Well, variety is good at any age. My mom just doesn't understand that, bless her heart.) So I'm a little wary of making fish more than once every two weeks or so. And yet so many of my recipes have fish in them. I guess I'll either need to suck it up and make them or maybe I'll just make them later in time. That second idea sounds great.

Alrighty, I should be working on my other lab report that's due Friday, but I'm going to postpone that to tomorrow. Time to catch up on all my shows I've been missing because of school work.

Dobry vecer!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thermodynamics and I do not get along

And matlab too for that matter. I'm absolutely frustrated with school right now. I was all happy and yay this morning, but then I started to think about thermo and then I tried working on my matlab for my Instrumental Analysis lab and it all fell apart. No more happy Rachel.

So now I'm confused and I'm basically going to end up copying the code from another person in the class (which is technically not cheating since we are allowed to have the same code, but our lab reports have to be different. and the TA doesn't even look at our code so it's ok.). And I was supposed to go see the new Master Plan for the Renton Museum today but I'm at home, stuck. Ugh.

The worst part is, if I don't get this done, I'm not going to have time to study for my test on Wednesday and I'm not going to have time to work on my thermo homework so I will have to do both of those tomorrow. On my birthday. And I'm turning 21 so I was going to go out to dinner with Tim and just relax and eat good food and actually maybe drink some wine with dinner! But instead I will probably have to stay home and cook dinner and not get to relax. Ugh. Why couldn't this week be next week? Or the week before.

I'm so tired and stressed from school. And my headaches have become more frequent and more intense, which is not good. And my stomach has been killing me lately too. I'm becoming a basketcase and I'm going to blame it all on school.

Along a happier note, I made the Spinach and Bacon Souffle on Friday. It was really yummy and it poofed up like a souffle should, but the top was a little too cooked for my taste cuz I put too much cheese on it :)

* This is the picture from the book, not the one I made. Although mine was quite a bit fluffier.. oh I wish I had a camera! (Thanks to

But it was good. I will have to make it again. Except next time I will know what I am doing so it won't take me almost 2 hours to make it.

That reminds me, I need to make my weekly menu. Maybe tomorrow night I will. I need to work on my matlab stuff, but I just cannot figure out what I'm supposed to be doing since there are no instructions!

I cannot wait to be done with this mathy and chemistry stuff. I just want to cook and work in my garden. Then I will be happy.

I guess I will go and get more frustrated with matlab. Or maybe I'll go cook dinner. Tuna with tangy onions, wild rice pilaf and steamed broccoli. Mmmm.. my first experience with tuna that's not from a can. Shall be interesting. Tim better be ready to order a pizza.

Dobry vecer!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dreaming of Brussels Sprouts and Peppers

I recently bought a book on vegetable gardening since my dream is to one day own a vegetable garden of my own. I have since been literally dreaming of assorted vegetables I'm reading about. I really hope to one day cook everything right fresh from my garden.

Who cares about flowers? Vegetables are where it's at.

Just kidding. Flowers are pretty too.

On to another subject. I actually went to all my classes today. And I got nothing out of the first two except that my physical chemistry teacher is an idiot and is mean. He posted our homework assignment on Wednesday (instead of the normal Tuesday) to have it due on Friday and made it longer than usual so we asked for an extension till Monday and he said he would think about it and tell us tomorrow in class if it is due or not. What a great guy, huh?

But I got all my work done for my lab so I can have my birthday off from school (except my history class) and I can go get my new license! Ahh I can't wait to turn 21 so I can buy all the wine, port, brandy, framboise, etc... All to cook with of course. I especially need the framboise to make Giada's Raspberry Tiramisu. Mmm..

And I finally figured out my classes for next quarter. My last quarter. Probably ever. Unless I decide to continue with Czech, or take some other language. But it will be my last quarter of chemistry ever! I'm taking physical chemistry III (statistical mechanics), seperation techniques, inorganic chemistry lab and to round out the course load (and get me up above 12 credits) is history of the slavic languages. It was either that or learning Slovenian. And I figure the slavic languages one will possibly come in handy when I really learn Czech.

Tim is finishing his lab report for some class that involves computers and frustration. He had steam coming out of his ears earlier (in the form of hand waves and arm movements). But now he is done, so we are going to play TF2.

Dobry vecer!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


I'm so tired of Tuesdays and Wednesdays. They are like the worst days of the week. Well, for me at least. I have labs both days and Tim is also working till midnight so we have not been getting much sleep lately. But at least this week isn't as crazy as the last one. Only five more months of this, then I'm done!

Anyways, I've actually planned out a set of meals to make this week! YAY! But I didn't exactly stick to my plan. I made too much food so I had leftovers on Tuesday since Tim isn't home for dinner then, but other than I've stuck to the schedule.

Ok story time: About two years ago, I became obsessed with cooking seasonally. I would go to the farmers market and buy all sorts of fresh produce and yummy cheeses and breads and plan to cook with it, but I could just never find any recipes out of my 30 some (now almost 60!) cookbooks that involved at least one of the ingredients I had (that I could cook since then I lived in a dorm and the kitchen was down 5 floors and through a tunnel into the other building. And if I forgot anything, well, I just had to pack everything up and carry it up to my room and back again.) Anyways, I decided to make an excel spreadsheet of all my recipes, what season the main ingredients are freshest in and eventually I want to list each recipe by the main ingredient. Crazy, I know. But I've almost got the first part done. I just have... 7 more cookbooks to go then I'm done. So anyways, now I'm trying to cook my way through as many recipes as I can get. I've just started this week.

So for monday, I made Ina Garten's Chicken Piccata with Couscous. I wanted to make broccoli, but it just didn't fit in timewise. So there. But it is delicious. Anything piccata is wonderful. I love the lemony-winey taste with the crispiness of the breading with the juiciness of the chicken. Ahh I'm drooling just thinking about. (Ok not really.)

Anyways, so then I had leftovers on Tuesday. I didn't go to classes this morning (bad girl, I know) so I went to the grocery store instead and bought ingredients for lunch and dinner. I made BLTs for lunch, with avocado on mine. Tim hates avocado. He can't even stand to look at it. He sure does not know what he's missing. Then tonight, I made a Pan-Seared Steak with Simple Pan Sauce (from Williams-Sonoma Mastering Beef and Veal) accompainied with a green salad. It was good. I really enjoyed the flavors, although the cut of the meat was not the one called for in the recipe. It actually called for tenderloin, but seeing such that I'm a college student and I'm about to run out of the money I saved from my summer job after this months rent, I bought cheaper cuts that were much chewier. So next time I make this dish, going for the tenderloin.

And for the rest of the week, tomorrow night we are having Bean Salad Wraps from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I am not so sure about beans. Never had much luck with them, although I've only tried once. Then Friday I'm making Tuna with Tangy Onions from Coastal Living Cookbook. Again, never tried cooking fresh tuna (I'm great with the canned stuff) so it will be an adventure. And Saturday (or Sunday if we go out to eat or have plans or something) I will be making a Spinach and Bacon Souffle from Williams-Sonoma Complete Seasons Cookbook. I saw a picture of it and I was immediately hungry for it. Problem: I don't have a souffle dish. I have little ramekins good for creme brulee and other sugary wonderful desserts, but not one large one. So I will make a trip to good ole Fred Meyers to find one and just buy an inexpensive one so I can have it, and then put a really good one on my wedding registry in a few months :)

I truly have too many kitchen things. And I have bought barely any for myself. I inheritied a lot of things from my grandma, and my parents gave me their old stuff (blender, food processor, slow cooker, etc.) when they got new ones. I have so many odd things too. I have a madeline pan. Who really ever has a madeline pan?

Well, me. And even though I have so many kitchen utensils and gadgets, I'm still missing some key things. Well, key to me. Maybe excessive to others. Like a mesh pan cover. For when you cook bacon. To avoid the grease splattering all over your kitchen, like mine did today. And I need an immersion blender. For all sorts of things. Like soups and milkshakes and smoothies and... ok that's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure there are plenty more uses. But I'm getting that for my birthday from my fiance's mom. So my future mother-in-law. Hmm...

I also need a new microwave since I busted mine and it stinks to high heaven. For someone who can cook things from scratch and not poison anyone, I cannot, absolutely cannot make things from a box. It's literally impossible for me. Ok not everything, but most things. And it's more like just using a microwave. I am terrible at using a microwave, but I can sure use a stove or an oven pretty well. Anyways, the short version is that I burnt a frozen pot pie in the microwave and there was smoke and flames and fumes and oh I don't want to remember this. On to the next thing I need (well, more like want, but who's counting?).

I do need a camera. To take pictures of all the things I make. I have a camera, but it eats batteries like the cookie monster. So I have no camera. And it makes me very sad. I want to kidnap (or would it be cameranap?) my dad's but he won't let me because he needs it for train parts. Psh, food is so much more interesting than train parts.

Ahh, it's so late. I should be in bed. But I'm rambling on anyways. I stayed up late in hopes that Tim would call to tell me he's off work early and I would go pick him up, but nope. He's gotta stay till midnight. I'm so glad he's going to be working only one night or none next quarter. But then again he's going to start to have softball so we won't be getting home till 11 then anyways. Who needs sleep, right?

I wish I had a camera. Especially to take pictures of my BLT. It was delicious looking. And tasting. Why are BLTs so good?

Ok. Going to bed now.

Dobrou noc!

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