Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not Dealing Well

So I have spent the good portion of the last hour almost crying at work. One of my favorite passtimes. Oh wait. That's right. I actually hate crying at work. I just do it a lot. And the reason that I have been close to crying is that I was just dressed down via twitter by a friend for being offended by commenters on a blog. I guess I should at least be grateful that it was mostly via DM. Now obviously this is not something that should actually in anyway upset me. I mean he is right of course. I should just let everything roll off my back. I should ignore the fact that there are people out there who honestly feel that it is perfectly acceptable to publicly compare breastfeeding in public to jacking off in public. And to a bowel movement. And I should be completely accepting of people calling a woman a Nazi for wanting to feed her child in a completely legal way. Obviously. They are probably just kidding anyway right? And I dont actually know these people. So why the fuck should I give a shit. Right? But I am not totally ok with those things. And so since it upset me to read these things I posted it on Twitter. Thinking that that was a place to vent about being upset by people's comments on the internet. Which was obviously a stupid thing to do since of course Twitter is only for unemotional, completely rational discussion right? Stupid me.

I am mostly blaming my inability to being called ridiculous and stupid and all "lathered up" and a pawn of an attention whore by a "friend" on PMS. It is an easy thing to blame. More correct would probably be my general inability to deal with any sort of emotional trouble recently. From dealing with an impending trip from my future in-laws. To dealing with the impending death of my Nana (metastatic breast cancer has spread to her lungs; I found out last night that we are essentially just waiting for her to die at this point). To dealing with insistent memories and thoughts of Joey. Just not dealing well with ANY of it well recently. I know I should go see someone. But I am not dealing with that idea well either.

So I am venting here. And I do actually feel better. So I guess this works for now.

In other news, we got a big new TV and a tiny new laptop. Matty's parents are coming. We finished Seasons 1 & 2 of Always Sunny in Philadelphia. We watched Last Chance Harry and Robocop. Our eggplants are getting big. We have tried a bunch of new restaurants and made cream puffs! And tried 2 new places for Sips. I will get to all that. I hope! Soon!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Some other stuff

Ok, so I am kinda dying with this headache and cant concentrate on actual work but feel like I should at least be here until 4. Sooooo . . . a couple of things that have come up recently. I am just gonna throw some stuff out there and maybe I will actually get some discussion in the comments? Ha! Yeah, I know, but I am gonna throw it out there anyway.

1) Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina should step down from office. No no. Not step down. He should be kicked out of his office. Kay? I said it. I don't care that he cheated on his wife. I mean, I care for other reasons which I will get to. Give me a minute. Ok, so he cheated on his wife, this probably says something about his character blah blah blah. He is a politician through and through, I think that says a lot more about his character. But 1) he left the state, without telling ANYONE (supposedly) where he was going. Now I do not know what governor's do day-to-day but I am guessing he isnt acutally needed in his office every moment. But! It seems like in case of an emergency, SOMEONE should know where he is. Or at least when he will be back? 2) He hired a bunch of misfits to run his office that cant come up with a decent alibi for their two-timing boss and are too stupid to know when to keep their mouths shut. 3) Spent tax payer money to visit his mistress in Argentina. It isnt like the state paid the bill on a trip to Applebee's here. I am guessing that philadering in Argentina ain't cheap. But he isnt going to be asked to step down officially. He is going to be censured. Why is he only being censured? Because
"some said if Sanford were to step down, the move would splinter the GOP by helping his replacement, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, in the 2010 campaign for governor."
What?!?!!? Excuse me? I mean honestly? This is what state politics are aren't they? And let me get back to the other thing. The whole cheating thing. Jenny Sanford has every right to be embarrassed and upset. I felt for her, I did. It must suck for your marriage to go down in flames in the national media. But then she says things like this little piece of bullshit:
“Of course I’m not saying that Mark is gay,” Sanford said, “but he may as well be. The moral decay in this country has claimed another victim and this time it was my family. Our marriage was perfect until these laws started passing around the country. Clearly the slow dissolution of the sanctity of marriage in America seeped into Mark’s psyche until he no longer felt compelled to abide by our vows.”
I am sorry. Say what no? You are actually saying. Out loud. That your asshole of a husband cheated on you because gay marriage bills were being discussed in other parts of the country. Honestly? What The Fuck. That is just about the stupidest thing you could have said . . . oh wait . . .

2) Sarah Palin should not be allowed in a public office ever again. Not that she shouldnt be allowed to hold one, she shouldnt be allowed in one. She shouldnt be allowed to run her family never mind anything of actual significance to the rest of us. Supposedly she has no job lined up to take after abandoning the one she already had. The one she was elected to. The one she swore an oath to uphold and complete to the best of her ability? The one she ran on for VICE PRESIDENT that made her an expert on foreign policy? That one. What was it again? Oh that is right. Governor of Alaska. Supposedly she
"is resigning because of her combative relationship with the state legislature and because of the distractions and costs of fighting off numerous ethics complaints"
Now it sounds to me that if she can't get along with her legislature and she has been accused of unethical actions to the point that it is damaging the state, maybe instead of being allowed to run away she should be kicked out of her office. But honestly, I dont see that happening. I don't see the "pit bull in lipstick" running away because she is hurting her state. I see her deciding that her job was hard and that she couldnt just have her way and thinking that it would be better to walk away "gracefully" instead of finishing a lackluster-at best term as governor. Because now she has all this time to campaign for all of her GOP friends. Right? And of course there is her book deal. Those things are so much more important for a bid for the presidency right? You know, as opposed to actually running a state or anything. She is a disgrace. But, i guess luckily for us, she is another GOP one.

Ok, enough rants for today.

Some recipes and reviews and shtuff.

Ok, so first I will run a quick update. I think I have a sinus infection. I have an awful headache that starts right behind my left eye and then spreads to my left ear and teeth and then to the right side of my head and then to a band right behind my eyes all the way to the back of my head. And I have had it since Sunday night. The reason I think it is a sinus infection is that only thing that seems to make it any better is DayQuil (which also upsets my stomach and gives me the most awful dry mouth and swimmy head ever). I also think I have a fever but I discovered last night that the thermometer that I have been using for 2 years apparently only reads 98.7. No matter what you do to it. Which is awesome. Oh and I am exhausted. I have slept more this week than I have since . . . I have no idea. So yeah. I have been so much fun to be around. Which of course means we missed yet another Sips. Ugh.

Last weekend was the 4th. So I took Friday off and Matty and I spent the day out and about. Lunch at Maoz, afternoon on Independence Mall for the First Person Arts Storytelling portion of Lincoln 200, a drink at Las Vegas Lounge, more stories in the godawful sun (just kidding, keep shining sun, keep shining!), drinks at National Mechanics, another drink at Las Vegas Lounge (Matty, sorry we made fun of you the first time we brought us there), Philly Pops on Independence Mall and then dinner at Fergies. A lovely day. A little sunburned, but no heatstroke, so all ok! The pic on the left is of Independence Hall, the Pops are in front of it. And the one on the right is us enjoying the Pops. Or at least us trying not to get yelled at by parents for our probably family-inappropriate discussions.

Saturday we headed to Dan's for BBQ and fireworks. I made a vegetarian version of my buffalo chicken dip. I replaced the chicken with 2 bags of Morningstar Farms Meal Starters Chik'n Strips. I sauteed them with a little oil until browned and then chopped them up really small. I would recommend using a little more hot sauce if doing this. Otherwise it was pretty tasty. I would stick with chicken if that is amenable to everyone, but if there are vegetarians I think this was a fine substitution. We went on Dan's roof to see the fireworks, but 2400 Chestnut was in the way of most of them. We did have a lovely view of the PECO building's light unveiling (which was pretty cool). Pics of the evening available here.

We finished watching the 4th season of Weeds. I was a bit afraid what would happen to the show after the events of the ending of season 3 but I think that they did a great job completely reworking everything and making it totally work in a new setting with a new (but the same) plot line. I am looking forward to what happens in season 5 but will have to wait for the DVD since we dont have Showtime. I would also recommend checking out some of the special features on the DVDs since there are some interesting ones. Like one about the laws regarding pot and the punishments associated with the selling, possession and trafficking of it. And also how they make all that weed on the show.

We also watched Bush's Brain (2004). Guess who's queue that was on. So this is a documentary about the brain behind the monkey, Karl Rove. Evil guy. All in all I think it is fair to say that he is a back stabbing, manipulative little man. In it to win, no matter the consequences or the actual prize. It is ok. I mean there was a lot I didnt know, but I dont necessarily even know if I wanted to know those things. It just makes me more depressed about the last 8 years I guess. If you are obsessed with Bush and just what exactly happened to make him president. Check it out. Otherwise, maybe you better just let it all be. Which is not a good thing to say, I know. But whatever, it is my blog.

I finished reading The Tommyknockers (1987). It wasn't nearly as bad as Matty lead me to believe. It certainly wasnt't like one of the Bachman books or anything. It was late 80's Stephen King, with a bit more science fiction and a bit less horror. Or a bit more science fiction and the same amount of horror? I mean it wasnt The Stand but I thought it was good. A little long. But I enjoyed reading it. Now I am reading Insomnia (1994).

And finally, we have been cooking up a storm! Here in fact is a picture of Matty cooking up a storm:

Last Thursday we had:
Chicken and Summer Vegetable Tostadas

The tostadas can easily become soft tacos if you skip broiling the tortillas. Serve with black beans. We served with a salad on the side. The left pic is theirs, the right is ours. Definitely a winner and will definitely make again. Makes lots and good leftover reheated in the toaster oven.

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons canola oil
12 ounces chicken breast tenders
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1) (as always, we used regular)
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) (we used 1 ear because we had lots of zucchini)
1 cup chopped zucchini (about 4 ounces) (we used half of a BIG zucchini)
1/2 cup green salsa (we used Trader Joe's new tomatillo and roasted chile
salsa, it is red, not green)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over chicken. Add chicken to pan; sauté for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini to pan; sauté for 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and 2 tablespoons cilantro. Cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring frequently.

Working with 2 tortillas at a time, arrange tortillas in a single layer on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Spoon about 3/4 cup chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla; sprinkle each serving with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil an additional 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, and cheese. Sprinkle each serving with about 3/4 teaspoon of remaining cilantro. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings CALORIES 398 (30% from fat); FAT 13.1g (sat 5.9g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.2g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 75mg; CALCIUM 236mg; CARBOHYDRATE 36.7g; SODIUM 799mg; PROTEIN 32.5g; FIBER 3.1g Cooking Light, AUGUST 2006

Monday we made:
Orzo-Bell Pepper Salad

Blanching the bell peppers for a few seconds tenderizes them while maintaining their delightful crunch. The marinated cheese provides a shortcut for adding more flavor. This is another delicious recipe that we will probably make again. I have one problem with it. It calls for 1/3 cup each of 3 different peppers. That is like a quarter of a pepper. Which leaves me with the rest of all these peppers. So I used a whole red pepper, a whole green pepper and a whole yellow pepper and I definitely thought it was perfect, I dont think you would get any pepperiness with less. Also I didnt read the ingredient list and got unmarinated mozzarella. This made enough for us for dinner with a Trader Joe's Panko crusted chicken tender each. Left pic is theirs, right is ours.

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)

1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper (see note above)
1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
(see note above)
1/3 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper (see note above)
1 cup finely chopped tomato
1/2 cup (2 ounces) diced fresh marinated mozzarella cheese (such as Cappiello)
(see note above)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (I used Trader Joe's Mixed Olive Bruschetta)

To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk.

To prepare salad, cook pasta in boiling water 6 minutes or until al dente. Add bell peppers to pasta in pan; cook 10 seconds. Drain. Combine pasta mixture and half of dressing in a large bowl; cool mixture to room temperature. Add remaining dressing, tomato, and remaining ingredients; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. We were way too impatient for this and only let it sit about 20 minutes or so.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 cup) CALORIES 351 (29% from fat); FAT 11.3g (sat 3.4g,mono 5.8g,poly 1g); IRON 2.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 8mg; CALCIUM 134mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.6g; SODIUM 619mg; PROTEIN 11.6g; FIBER 3.4g Cooking Light, JUNE 2004

Tuesday we had:
Turkey-Jasmine Rice Meatballs with Baby Bok Choy

Use a box grater to shred the ginger after you've peeled away the brown outer layer. Jasmine rice has a pleasant aroma that underscores the other Asian ingredients, but any long-grain white rice will work to help keep the meatballs moist and add a bit of texture. Chopped bok choy can substitute for whole baby bok choy. These are kinda a pain in the ass, but totally tasty and awesome. Their pic on the left, ours on the right (the thing in the middle is a Chinese crunchy noodle leftover from Chinese on Sunday).

1 cup water
1/3 cup uncooked jasmine rice (we used brown jasmine)
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chopped green onions
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
2 large egg whites
1 garlic clove, minced
Cooking spray

Bok choy:
6 baby bok choy (about 1 1/3 pounds)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon shredded peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup water
3/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons cornstarch

To prepare meatballs, bring 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in jasmine rice; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is almost tender. Drain; cool. Combine rice, breadcrumbs, and next 6 ingredients (through 1 garlic clove). Shape mixture into 18 meatballs. (Ours made 26.)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Cover and reduce heat to medium; cook for 10 minutes or until done, turning often. Remove from heat; keep warm. (I would recommend just cooking these on an oiled cookie sheet in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350. They totally fell apart in the pan.)

While the meatballs cook, prepare bok choy. Cut each bok choy in half lengthwise. Rinse under cold running water; drain well. Arrange bok choy in a steamer basket, overlapping pieces.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup onions, ginger, and 1 garlic clove; sauté 30 seconds. Place steamer basket in pan. Combine water and next 4 ingredients (through red pepper); pour over bok choy. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and steam over medium-low heat 20 minutes or until bok choy is tender, rearranging bok choy after 10 minutes. Remove the bok choy and steamer basket from pan; cover and keep warm. (We do not have a steamer basket. So we cooked the onions, ginger and garlic in a big wok, then added the bok choy and then poured the water mixture over them. We brought it to a boil, then covered it and cooked for 10 minutes, rearranged and then another 10 minutes.)

Combine sherry and cornstarch; add to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick. (I would add some of the cooking liquid to the cornstarch mixture to get it warm before adding it. It would probably help it mix in better. We cooked for about 5-6 minutes before deciding it was thick enough.)

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 3 meatballs, 2 bok choy halves, and 3 tablespoons sauce) CALORIES 251 (35% from fat); FAT 9.8g (sat 2.4g,mono 3.4g,poly 2.9g); IRON 2.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 75mg; CALCIUM 135mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18g; SODIUM 832mg; PROTEIN 21.3g; FIBER 1.9g Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004

Last night we had a curried pork over basmati rice that I am having trouble finding the recipe for online. So I will have to add it later. Tonight we are having Chicken Paprikash-Topped Potatoes.

Ugh, DayQuil wearing off. Hopefully I will feel better soon. This better not ruin my weekend as well as my week!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Center City Sips Review Week 3 (for us): Chifa

So last night we went to Sips at Jose Garces's newest restaurant, Chifa. A Peruvian-Cantonese place. Specials: $2 Philadelphia Brewing Company Kenzinger and Walt Wit bottles; $3 Valdivieso Sauvignon Blanc and Malbec; $4 Sparkling Mango Lemonade (mango vodka, lemonade, sparkling white wine) and Mula Cuzco (vodka, ginger liquer, cusquena pilsner, lime); $5 (I think) Ecuadorian Ceviche (fresh shrimp, yellow tomato gell, avocado) and Pork Belly Buns (grilled pork belly, hoisin glaze, pickled daikon and carrot, togarashi mayo).

Overall I was very impressed. We hadnt been to Chifa yet since it opened. It is an absolutely beautiful space. Sips is confined to the downstairs bar, which was apparently the bathrooms when the space was 707. It is a bit small and loud considering the number of Sips participants, but understandable, again considering the number of Sips participants. We stood for about half the time and then got seats (the seating filled up almost immediately at 5). I think I preferred standing at the bar. The seats are mostly benches along the wall which make conversations between more than 2 people difficult and it was also much louder when we sat down so that added to the difficulty conversing. The drinks were yummy. I stuck with the lemonade. It was a bit tart but refreshing. I tried the Mula Cuzco but after the tartness of the lemonade the pilsner/ginger combination was a bit tough to take. I dont eat shrimp so I didnt try the ceviche but I heard it was delicious. The pork buns (more of a mini sandwich really) were really tasty as soon as I managed to ignore the fact that it was pork belly. I dont know why, but the word belly freaks me out. So overall a definite winner and we would go back, definitely recommended. I would really like to try going there for dinner at some point.

The rest of the night we wont talk about. Just suffice it to say that while walking home I tweeted this: "too drun to read tweets nd wakking aomeeem finw right ?" What I meant to write was that I was "too drunk to read tweets and walk" and something else apparently. I dont know what. Ooops. Well it is a holiday week right? I have decided to take tomorrow off. Which I am pretty happy about. I hope that the weather is nice this weekend. Hope you all enjoy your weekends!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ridiculous Watermelon Doggie


Migas with Chorizo and Mexican Succotash

Two more recipes. Dont really feel like talking about anything else. Had a rough morning, killing mice, broken scopes, just blah. So all you're getting is some more recipes that we had for dinner last night. Both dishes were super tasty and we will definitely be making it again. Watch the amounts on the succotash since it made a huge amount. Lots of lunch leftovers.

Migas with Chorizo
eating well

Makes 2 servings, 1 1/2 cups each (A very filling 2 servings when you have something else on the side in fact. The picture is mine, if you couldnt guess) ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy


4 corn tortillas, cut into 1-by-2-inch strips (I think I might cut them a little smaller. Half to 3/4 inch I think)
2 large eggs
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons prepared tomato salsa
1 teaspoon canola oil
¼ cup chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup finely diced chorizo (we used fresh sausage so we had to cook it first, we just crumbled it instead of dicing, we used about a third of a lb)
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tortilla strips on a baking sheet and bake until lightly crisped, about 5 minutes.
2. Whisk eggs, egg whites and salsa in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, chorizo and the toasted tortillas; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg mixture, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggs are set, about 2 minutes. Add tomato and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese.

Nutrition Information

Per serving: 375 calories; 18 g fat (6 g sat, 8 g mono); 233 mg cholesterol; 31 g carbohydrate; 22 g protein; 5 g fiber; 560 mg sodium; 560 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (25% daily value), Vitamin A (20% dv), Calcium & Iron (15% dv). Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 medium fat meat, 1 fat 2 Carbohydrate Servings

Mexican Succotash

Cooking Light, JUNE 2009
This all-purpose side dish incorporates lots of late-summer produce—great for using your garden bounty or farmers' market finds. (The top pic is theirs, the bottom one is ours)

1 poblano chile (I used an anaheim from the garden)
2 cups shelled fresh lima beans (about 2 pounds
unshelled beans) (I used a lb of frozen, thawed in the fridge)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped
Vidalia or other sweet onion (I used regular)
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Cut poblano chile in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place chile halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 10 minutes or until blackened. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel, chop, and set aside.

3. Place beans in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 25 minutes or until tender. Drain.

4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell peppers; sauté 6 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Stir in beans and corn; sauté 6 minutes or until corn is tender. Add poblano and tomatoes; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro, juice, salt, and black pepper. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 3/4 cup) CALORIES 243 ; FAT 2.9g (sat 0.4g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.5g); CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 53mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45.1g; SODIUM 163mg; PROTEIN 12.1g; FIBER 12.5g; IRON 3.3mg