Sometimes You Just Gotta Whine and Get it Out

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I woke up this morning after a very restless night only to find out that my phone had died overnight and I was already an hour and a half late for waking up. (GREAT!) Well, nothing to do about it, but just get up and start the day, right? I suppose so. Just another hill to climb in this life of mine. And that's what it has been feeling like lately, nothing but hills. Normally I trudge up them and try not to complain too much, but this time I just felt like sitting back and giving that hill in front of me the bird. I didn't want to try to figure a way to make up for the time I am losing at work today being late, I didn't want to jury-rig something to make it fit or use whatever meager resources I have to fill in the holes. I'm tired.

I'm tired of having to do things the hard way. I miss the days when I was ignorant and could just pop something from a box into the microwave and not have to worry about what sort of chemicals I was about to eat or how much extra sugar and salt is in that food or even what the microwave was doing to this processed food. Now even heating up something involves pots and pans that then have to be washed by hand because we don't own a dishwasher and takes more time to do. Dishes now stack up faster than I can keep up. Cooking everything from scratch means that if you want something to eat, you have to make it, all of it. If there is no bread for toast or a sandwich it means that no one made that bread. If you want something to put on that toast, you better hope there is another jar of jam in the pantry from what you canned in the summer. Pizza night involves waiting for the dough to rise instead of the pizza guy to show up. Having chicken for dinner? Save those bones in the freezer with your vegetable cuttings because you're going to have to make chicken stock to have soup another day. The hard way sucks. It's what it is... hard. But it also saves a ton of money and we know what goes into our food so we do it.

I'm tired of being poor all the time. It is a week until payday and I have $6.00 to my name. Yes, you read that right, I have $6.00 in my checking account. There is no savings because when you get down to this amount twice a month it makes it harder to cut expenses. Could I cut more? Yes. Do I want to? Not really. Am I going to have to? You bet! What makes this even worse is now I legally have to get health insurance for my husband or be fined for not doing so. So, I will choose to add him to my insurance and have it deducted from my paycheck and we will make due. I now say good bye to date nights with the husband going out to restaurants we love and memberships to wine clubs we enjoy. These may sound extravagant to others, but it's all we really have. I don't spend money on anything else. I don't have money to spend on anything else. I have holes in my clothes, a crack in my windshield on my car, a crack in my bathtub, and a kitchen that is half torn up just waiting for a make over. I spent less than $40 on 100lbs of tomatoes and made 4 different types of marinara sauce over a two week period and canned approx 30 jars of sauce. All of that just so I don't have to spend $2-$4 a jar on pasta sauce.

I'm tired of being "the one." You know that person. The one who everyone goes to when they have a question, or need something done because it's just easier than having to figure it out for themselves. The one that has to run the errands, figure out the solution to the problem, do the research, fix the program, build the report, make the decision, contact the people, make the reservation, pick the details, be the bad guy, be the one. I don't want to have to come home from a 9 hour work day, try to figure out what to make for dinner, start laundry, do the dishes, manage the dogs and know that I'm still neglecting my volunteer work then feel guilty for wanting some peace and quiet after everything is said and done.

I think it's time to go find some cheese for all this whine I have going on and pull up my big girl panties (even though they have holes in them.) I got out what I needed to get out and now need to tackle my mountains for the day and find a way to make them seem more like the mole hills they truly are. In the end, I have a job that pays me a decent salary and all my bills are paid, I am married to a wonderful man who is my best friend, I have a pack of crazy-loveable dogs that make me smile every day, I have wonderful friends that have and will always be there for me and I get to volunteer for an organization that I feel passionate about with people that inspire me daily. Life ain't that bad, it's just how you look at it.

A little ranty, but need to get it out.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I think I just have a love/hate relationship with technology and am constantly amazed by how much people will spend on it to have the latest and the greatest shiny object. I understand most technology and many of my friends often solicit help from me with their computers or different programs. I normally have no problems figuring out a new computer or gadget, but I also live a simple life. I don't want to live plugged into something 24/7. I don't want to have to have my mp3 player with me all the time so I can have my "tunes" or fret because I left my phone at home. My car still has the stock CD player that came with it and if I forget my phone at home, then, oh well, I'll just have to live without it.

The fact that Apple stores are selling out of the new iPhones within 30 minutes is kind of making me sick. Do you people really need a new phone that bad? I doubt it, you just want something shiny and new. My phone is three years old, I bought it used less than a year ago and is the first smart phone I have owned. Does it do the job? Yup, sure does! Do I need a new one, not until this one totally breaks down on me. Does my life depend on it? Nope, but it is handy. I probably would still have my old phone if I wasn't involved in pet rescue. I found that trying to find someone's home in the dark and having printed maps weren't a good combination so I made the splurge. I paid $60 on ebay for my phone to have GPS so I wouldn't crash into someone's mailbox while trying to find the next street to turn on while juggling a puppy and a map in the dark.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my phone. I get to play all those silly games, troll Facebook when I'm out and about and post all my obnoxious food photos on Instagram. But am I constantly on it? No, and when I find myself pulling it out in boredom I make myself stop and recognize what I'm doing before doing anything else. You see, I don't want to be addicted to my phone. I don't want to have to check my phone for every update that comes through or to be one of those people that can't sit and have a conversation with someone else without their phone being on the table buzzing and beeping and checking it every two seconds. They always say they are paying attention, but then a text will come through they have to check, and BAM there they go, somewhere else instead of being there with you in that moment that you will never get back.

I'm not sure what point I'm trying to get across here, but I just felt the need to get it out there. Is it my sensitivity to what I perceive as greed? There is so much waste in this world and when I see a headline like the one I saw today about the iPhone's selling out it just get's me going. I see all of those perfectly good phones being cast aside for the latest and greatest model that will be obsolete within a year when that money can be going to better things. Greed is what has put this country in the mess it is in now and the fact that people run to spend money they don't really have get a phone they don't really need just escapes my logic.

I guess there was no point to this rant, other than for me to rant. I think I need to climb back into my hole and go back to living in the 40's with my canned goods, cooking from scratch and re-using and re-purposing every possible item I can before having to buy something new.

Re-Grow Foods from Kitchen Scraps

Friday, May 24, 2013

I'm guilty of just throwing away most of my kitchen scraps when it's so easy to just have some pots ready to re-grow all these items. It's like throwing money away. Must change the bad habits and grow your food; it's good for the environment and good for your pocketbook!

Guinness & Honey Chocolate Cake

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The husband found this recipe on this world wide web of ours and decided he wanted it made for his birthday this past weekend. After having the cake boil over the recommended 9-inch cake pan and make my house smell like charcoal for three days now, I made some adjustments to the recipe. 

I may have burnt cake all over my oven, but this is one of the best cakes I've had in a while. I served it with the frosting dolloped on top and fresh strawberries on the side.

For cake:
1 cup Guinness MINUS 2 tablespoons
½ cup + 2 tablespoons butter
½ cup dark cocoa
1 cup superfine sugar
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon Local Honey
¾ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all‐purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda

For frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
less than ½ cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325º. Grease a 10‐inch springform pan and line with parchment paper.
Heat sliced butter and Guinness in a large saucepan until butter is almost melted. Add honey and blend well until mixture is fully combined. Remove from heat. Whisk in superfine sugar and cocoa. Beat sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a separate bowl; add the Guinness mixture to egg mixture gently to avoid scrambling the eggs. Be sure to keep mixing. Blend well then beat in the flour and baking soda.

Pour batter into pan and bake for the first 20 minutes at 325º, then increase temperature to 350º for last 25‐30 minutes. Check with toothpick (should come out clean). When done, cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

For frosting, beat powdered sugar and cream cheese together until creamy. Add heavy cream a little at a time and beat until spreadable and you get the consistency you want.

Fruit Ripening Chart

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This is a great chart on the best ways to ripen fruit after you have brought it home from the store.

Hot Glue Gun Stand

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Shanty to Chic has a great tutorial on making a glue gun holder. The husband has already been tasked to make one for me!

Mango Cobbler

This looks so yummy, I'm going to have to try it some tropical night or maybe make it for our next South Seas Cinema event!

Mango Cobbler with Coconut Whipped Cream

Serves 6
For the filling:
4 pounds ripe mangos, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut chips
Coconut Whipped Cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat mango slices evenly. Transfer to a 9-inch square baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to rub butter into the mixture until it looks like coarse meal. Add the beaten egg and buttermilk, and stir until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Spoon the batter over the hot mango mixture in 9 evenly-spaced clumps

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown. Let cool for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, spread coconut chips evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Remove immediately from the hot pan and sprinkle over the cobbler.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with a dollop of coconut whipped cream on each serving. (Be aware that the cream will melt quickly if the cobbler is warm.)

Recipe Notes

  • I use Ataulfo mangos — also called Manila or champagne mangos — because they are very sweet and not too fibrous. Other mango varieties can be substituted, but if they are quite tart, you may need to add additional sugar to the filling.
  • For a slightly less tropical dessert, serve the cobbler with regular whipped cream or vanilla ice cream instead of the coconut whipped cream.
  • This dessert tastes best the day it is made, but can be made up to one day ahead, cooled, and stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly with foil or plastic wrap.
Thank you to The Kitchn for this yummy recipe.

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