marcicat: (owl heart)

Time to go back to work for two days!

[PS: You know what’s the most annoying thing about a touchpad that’s 7 years old? The on-again off-again ability to click and drag. I mean, that’s probably why I’m so patient with my work computer being slow, so — bright side!]

I cleared out some of the unnecessary emails yesterday morning, so there’s that to be grateful for. Also, it’s veggie day, always good for another episode of ‘how shall I combine these veggies with mac and cheese *this* week?’

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (puffin)

I unexpectedly ended up with an extra cabbage this week from someone else’s CSA delivery. Winning!

Except I really didn’t know what I was going to do with an extra cabbage. This has literally never been an issue in my life before.

Anyway, so I was googling coleslaw, which as far as I can tell is currently a catch-all term for ‘healthy stuff cut up really small, mixed with less healthy stuff that tastes really good.’ And I thought ‘okay, that’s manageable.’

So I chopped up the cabbage until I got bored, and then a little more so it would fit into the dish I’d allotted for this particular endeavor, and I mixed it The Most Delicious Sauce (butter, onion, garlic, salt), and I put it in the fridge and hoped for the best.

Conclusion: I ate it on toast and it was good!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (freakout squirrel)

I tried out the “Hannaford To Go” experience yesterday (order groceries online, drive to the store to pick them up). It was interesting.

The best thing about it is that it lets you separate the time it takes to shop and the time it takes to pick up the shopping. So I could pick out my groceries on Thursday afternoon, when I had plenty of time to look at a screen, but couldn’t physically leave to go to the store. (::cough:: I was at work.) And then I could pop over to the store before work on Friday morning and pick them up, a block of time that easily fit driving to the store and back, but would definitely not have accommodated actually shopping.

On the other hand, between the time I placed the order and the pickup, I remembered five other things I probably should have gotten. Also, I’m totally one of those people who has no idea what the product is called, just that ‘it’s usually about here on the shelf, and there’s some purple on the box,’ so that meant I had a second tab open to google stuff to see if I could find enough key words to get it to pop up in the grocery search results.

Still, I promised myself a sticker on the sticker chart for trying something new, and I have a good start on next week’s grocery list, so I’ll call it an overall win.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger bali)

After a few cool and gray days at the end of last week (not unwelcome!), we’re back to sun and summer temps. AND it’s National Ice Cream Day!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (iriomote_cat_warning)

This was week 1 of the summer CSA, so I now have to figure out what to do with all these veggies. Today’s project is making “refrigerator pickles.” I’m not really sure what else to do with what are clearly pickling cucumbers.

So after a quick google search (tip: always include the word “easy” in recipe searches) I’m ready to go. I just haven’t actually started yet. (I’m already using the 2-cup liquid measure to make hummingbird food, and it hasn’t cooled down yet — a perfect excuse!)

[The recipe I’m starting with is Quick Pickled Cucumbers, by Melissa Griffiths. Despite the obvious lie of “total time: 5 minutes” — I have already spent more than that trying to figure out what container to put them in — I like this one because it includes sugar and I am a disaster of a person who likes sugar with everything. Also it says at the bottom that I can’t mess it up. Here’s hoping!]

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (puffin)

I love mac and cheese. Usually I get the Annie’s brand, because I like the bunny. (Yes, a highly sophisticated brand choice mechanism.) But this week I tried the Horizon brand, because — I don’t know, I was at the store and I liked the shape of the box? It had a cow on it? Anyway, it said ‘white cheddar’ and ‘new,’ and I figured why not.

So the Annie’s cheese pack has powdered cheese that you mix with whatever — butter, yogurt, milk, water, basically anything you have on hand that will make a cheese-sauce-like texture. (I often forget that this will be necessary, so I’ve tried using all of those things.) But when I opened up the Horizon box, I was both baffled and amazed. It comes with a pouch of cheese sauce. Ready to go. WHAT IS THIS PACKAGING WIZARDRY.

Once I got over being weirded out by the cheese goo pouch, it was actually super convenient. And delicious. Add veggies of choice or enjoy plain: meal accomplished.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (blue footed bubi)

I’m pretty lazy in the kitchen, and I like to wash as few dishes as possible when I’m cooking stuff. And yesterday I was planning to make muffins (from a box) and also a grilled cheese sandwich. So I thought — why melt the butter for the muffins in a separate dish when I could just use the pan I’m going to use for the sandwich?

And since there’s no gain in using the same dish if I’m just going to wash it in between, I cooked up my grilled cheese in the pan while it still had some lingering melted butter in it. I wasn’t expecting much difference, but I was mistaken! It was unexpectedly delicious!

Score one for lazy cooking!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (blue footed plush)

After talking about it for more than a year, the company I work for is shelling out for standing desks for their low-level minions (aka my department). They are scheduled to be installed this weekend, but — somewhat worryingly — no one seems completely clear what style of standing desk it will be. Will the entire L-shaped desk raise and lower? Just one side of it? Who knows?

The best part is that we’re supposed to clear the top of our desk to make it easier for the magic to happen. This has led to a lot of chatter as we all find stuff buried in piles of papers that we thought had been lost forever, and basically spend a lot of time trying to pawn off our desk trinkets on each other so we don’t have to figure out what to do with them.

Things I’ve learned: I have a LOT more snacks in my desk than I ever remember.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (yin yang hearts)

After last weekend’s tempting open window experience, we now have 15F degree temps and a brisk wind. Sounds like a good day to stay inside, cook mac and cheese, and not think about work!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (cookies)

I’ve run out of bread. (Okay, I ran out of bread on Tuesday.) Which is not a huge deal — I could easily go get more bread. But I had planned to go grocery shopping on Friday, and yesterday it didn’t seem like a issue because I didn’t have any bread plans anyway, and today it seems silly to go to the store if I’m just going again tomorrow.

I could just do all the shopping today, if I knew what I wanted to make this weekend to take to work for lunches next week. Alas, I have been undecided on that question for days. (I’ve been hoping for a flash of inspiration to strike. So far, nothing.)

On the other hand, I have Triscuits. So I’m pretty sure I can procrastinate on this issue for another day, and make it Friday’s problem as planned.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (aquarius dreamsheep)

Instead of fic this week, how about a recipe from the folks over at Penzeys:

Mini Ham and Cheese Quiches

I used a regular muffin pan, because I don’t have one that makes mini muffins, so I used half a slice of bread in each one. And I didn’t take off the crusts, because that seemed time consuming.

Based on ‘stuff I have around,’ I used sliced turkey as the meat and a pizza cheese blend instead of swiss. Also I don’t have any of the spices mentioned so I just used whatever I wanted (some shallots, some garlic, some salt and pepper mix).

It’s an easy recipe, which is always a selling point for me. If I made it again I’d probably use more eggs — I thought the bread:eggs ratio was a little off. (Maybe it was the crusts!)

But overall a thumbs up! Tasted good right out of the oven, and also reheated well throughout the week.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (snowbirds on a line)

Yesterday a coworker brought in homemade cupcakes — with icing that looked like flowers. “WHAT SORCERY IS THIS?” I proclaimed.

Coworker: “Oh yeah, you just use a piping bag.”

Me (staring in disbelief): “That’s a thing people have?”

Coworker: “Well, apparently just me and [the person who brought in the cupcakes].”

What this means is that TWO of my five coworkers have the means and ability to make frosting look like flower petals. That is some serious baking game right there. I mean, I have no desire to spend any time piping frosting at this point in my life, but I am still super impressed.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: that was easy (that was easy)

Since I will indeed be traveling next Thursday, here is the most useful tip I have. It relates to food — specifically, breakfast, and the juice that is usually available with said breakfast.

So, there’s the standard orange juice, right? And some kind of red juice — cranberry, pomegranate, something like that. But the oj is too sweet, and the red juice is too tart, and so clearly the solution is to mix the two together. The result is both pretty and delicious, a true breakfast delight.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: xkcd grownups (xkcd grownups)

Things I Like About Delicata Squash:

1. it’s so pretty!

2. don’t need to peel it!

3. super easy to scoop out the seeds!

4. high seed-to-stringy-bits ratio, making it So Worth It to pull out the seeds and toast them!

5. eating the toasted seeds!

On The Other Hand:

1. not actually crazy about the flavor of the squash itself

Is it possible that I am just not a squash person? I’ve always had a lukewarm affection for summer squashes, but I wouldn’t cry a river if I could never eat them again. And I figured my lack of love for the winter squashes was just a lack of exposure, which was supported by the fact that when I tried butternut squash last year, I liked it! Butternut still gets my seal of approval, but I’m skeptical of the others I’ve tried. (Acorn squash was a particular disappointment. It’s so cute! But tastes gross!) And now with my delicata experiment… I’m beginning to think that me and squash may not be meant to be.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: drama llama (drama llama)

Sometimes I wonder if I am Doing Cooking Wrong. I had a conversation at work about butternut squash that centered around how difficult it is to peel and cut. And I was all, ‘IDK it doesn’t seem too bad.’

And I’m not a big fan of peeling vegetables, so it’s not like I do a dance of joy every time. (Also, some butternut squash is Super Big and that’s — wow, a lot of squash.)

But the point is, I was all, ‘I mean, it’s not nearly as difficult as peeling and cutting up sweet potatoes.’ Because sweet potatoes are my kitchen nemesis. Far from the basically flat surface of a butternut squash, sweet potatoes are all uneven and lumpy and even once they ARE peeled, they’re hard to cut and they make the knife all orange and it’s not like you can do much with just one so you have to do it a bunch of times and it’s all just a Big Ordeal as far as I’m concerned.

Except my coworker looked at me like I was possibly confused, and said, ‘Really? Sweet potatoes?’

So now I’m Quite Suspicious that I am missing some secret solution to the potato problem.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (duckling)

1. “can you roast artichoke hearts”

(Yes. I have not tried it yet. Instead, I had mashed potatoes with roasted eggplant and green peppers, the nightshade trifecta.)

2. “solar powered Christmas lights”

(Exist. The most popular ones seem to have a battery backup, making me suspicious that perhaps the battery part works better than the solar part. Also can’t find any info about how long they need sun each day to work.)

3. “cornell lab of ornithology coloring pages”

(Coloring is one of those things I always think I like more than I seem to while I’m doing it. Free coloring pages are always a win, though.)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

wait, what?

Sep. 8th, 2016 06:17 am
marcicat: (penguins sliding)

Last night I dreamed that my cousins were giving me financial advice at some kind of family meal. I was eating mashed potatoes.

I think it’s clear that the real question here is:

Why mashed potatoes?

(Also, I wish I could say that my dream!cousins offered some insightful wisdom on the topic of financial solvency and success, but unfortunately it mostly amounted to ‘this would be easier if you were rich, so maybe work on that.’ Thanks guys! I’ll get right on that!)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: xkcd grownups (xkcd grownups)

On Sunday I shelled peas for the first time. [note: It is possible it was not the first time. It was certainly the first time in this apartment, though.]

It was fun, in that novelty sort of way, although I did spend the entire time thinking to myself ‘do I even *like* peas?’ What looked like a lot of peas in the pods turned into not so many peas all on their own, thank goodness. I dumped them into mac and cheese, because most vegetables seem improved with a hefty helping of cheese and salt.

I did, however, feel like perhaps I was not getting the full shell pea experience, given that it was rainy and I was standing in the kitchen. So I promised myself — if there are more shell peas in the vegetable delivery this week, I will pick a hot sunny day (should be no shortage this weekend) and sit out on the balcony to shell them.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (superhero rainbow shirt)

Last weekend I found myself preparing to make a pasta recipe in the crock pot. And I was going to use some yogurt in the recipe.

But I’d already been to the grocery store, where I hadn’t been able to bring myself to buy plain yogurt when I *knew* I had vanilla yogurt sitting in the fridge already.

So, yeah. I used vanilla yogurt in place of plain. If you ever have a similar urge, and you tell yourself, ‘With all those other ingredients, I probably won’t even be able to taste the difference!’ Not so much, it turns out.

It wasn’t inedible, it was just sort of weird. I mean, there were carrots, and artichoke hearts, and pasta, and cheese, and then sometimes I’d take a bite and think ‘is that vanilla?’

Life lessons learned: vanilla is a stronger flavor than I thought!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: thanks, laura! (owl strut)

I love it when I’m reading a recipe and it gives an estimated prep time. Because it’s always CLEARLY a lie. I don’t know which aspect of the prep time they’re measuring, but it’s not ‘how long would it take the average person to start from the actual beginning.’

Ten minutes is what the recipe I’m looking at for this morning tells me for prep time. I’m pretty sure that assumes that your strawberries and rhubarb come pre-washed and pre-cut, and possibly that you are a magician.

On the plus side, I highly recommend the crock pot / slow cooker approach to cooking. At least it takes out the whole ‘hanging around watching the food cook’ part of things.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

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