12 Feb 2009 @ 3:05 PM 

Yesterday was a near perfect day. My morning began with a highly anticipated package finally arriving, (Gary’s Valentine ‘s Day present). The huge box is stashed in our bedroom closet so shhhhh…

Then my much-needed chinchilla shelves arrived via UPS. I spent the next two hours happily constructing my chin’s extreme new condo. I spent the next 30 minutes sipping tea in front of his cage and watching him explore his new digs. Then my boss at the Nature Center called. He bought me a Merauke blue tongue skink! I rushed over to see her and she is a looker. I named her Meredith. Gary was due home soon so I jetted back and made him drive me back out to the Nature Center to see and photograph Meredith. Afterwards I picked up my new glasses and contacts. I look so smart now.

After a wee rest, (it was my day off after all,) I helped Gary make dinner. He made me Indian food, (chicken korma to be precise). It was perfect but I distracted him at one point so the bread got burned beyond recognition. We watched TV and looked at pics of Meredith before we settled down to sleep. After our customary “I love you”s I turned to my beloved and said- “Bar naan, it was a perfect day.” His response? Sine Qua naan.

Ah- you gotta love him.

Posted By: Kat
Last Edit: 06 Jul 2011 @ 03:01 PM

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 18 Dec 2008 @ 5:19 PM 

I would like to point out that not all fruitcake is bad.  Alton Brown’s Free Range Fruitcake, for example, is yummy as heck.  And, unlike many fruitcake recipes, it only takes a week or two to age, not months and months.  Some recipes start with, “gather your ingredients in July…”  Not for me, buddy.

Of course, now my coworkers think that I only make desserts with a solid alcoholic base. In the past month, I’ve brought in Black Forest cake (kirschwasser in several places, as well as port wine), panettone bread pudding (rum), and now the fruitcake (rum and brandy). I am not a lush, honest.

Someone must think we are low on wine, because I came home to a ridiculously large box, containing a very generous gift basket and four bottles of wine.  Kat was heartened to see at least one bottle of white.  We have about ten reds but no whites until today.  Whoever sent this (the card was unsigned), thank you.  You rock.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 18 Dec 2008 @ 05:22 PM

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 15 May 2008 @ 6:56 AM 

Although I’ve been battling a cold since Sunday, yesterday was an especially good day for Us.  Kat first drove down from Lubbock to see me one year ago, on the 14th of May.  To commemorate this momentous occasion, we went for a bicycle ride to the river with The Boy, then for dinner we had fish tacos (her favorite of my cooking thus far), and knocked back a fabulous bottle of Moscat Spumante to finish up the night.  I didn’t even know that spumante was made with muscat grapes, but it was very nice – not at all dry and very very drinkable.

I’ve told her that one anniversary per year is all you get, so next year there will be no date-aversary.  Gotta hold the line somewhere…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 May 2008 @ 06:56 AM

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 15 Apr 2008 @ 6:33 PM 

Following Wayne’s tip on Gear Diary, I requested a “free” Senseo coffee maker (just pay for shipping) last week.  Guess what’s in my kitchen right now?  Oh, yeah, baby.  I’m not a big coffee drinker, but someone else is and for fifteen bucks, what the heck?

I guess I didn’t read the offer very well, because I was surprised to see a canister in the box, along with a bag of coffee and the machine itself.  The machine is on sale at Amazon for about 65, coffee bags cost around 4 dollars, and the canister is another 4 bucks.  So, almost 75 dollars worth of coffee swag for 15 – dude, hit that site, if you (or your significant other) like coffee even a little bit.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 17 Apr 2008 @ 01:10 PM

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 05 Feb 2008 @ 6:00 PM 

Picture this: Kat’s in the kitchen, making herself some pasta. I hear a shout, and go in to see boiling water pouring down the counter and the front of the dishwasher.

Um… What happened?

“I was holding the colander to strain the pasta.”

Did you know it was recently boiling?

So, I now know someone who literally can’t be trusted to boil water. I suspect she does this sort of thing just to ensure I won’t allow her to cook.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Apr 2008 @ 05:25 PM

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 25 Nov 2007 @ 8:34 AM 

Ham, mashed potatoes, bacon & leek dressing.  Cherry/Orange scones with whipped cream.  A cat that meows so much it must be using the sound as sonar.  Two dogs that don’t know how to sleep without people under them.  One boy who got to put up ornaments and didn’t break any.  One hot woman who gave me a new fuzzy robe to stay warm. High temperatures of 40 degrees.

And now, finally, three days late, Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.

Cheers.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 25 Nov 2007 @ 08:34 AM

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Party!

 
 05 Nov 2007 @ 6:19 PM 

The comfort food party went very well. Mashed potatoes and pot roast disappeared like they weren’t even there. Plenty of ham soup for leftovers this week. Yum.

And, the secret dessert can now be revealed. It’s an orange chiffon cake, with mocha butter cream frosting, garnished with sugared rosemary, cranberries, and meringue mushrooms. NovParty_8 It was supposed to have one more sawed-off branch on top, but it was unbalanced and so it went to Alex’s other house with him, along with some meringue mushrooms. He was very happy.

And everyone liked Kat.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Apr 2008 @ 05:26 PM

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 30 Oct 2007 @ 8:53 PM 

Planning a comfort food dinner party for this weekend, when the lovely and captivating Kat is finally introduced to the majority of the people I talk to her about. I try to have a theme for my parties. The last party (way back in January) had a theme of “cheese and crackers” (plus chocolate souffle) and the one before that had a fancy-pants theme. That one had half Cornish hens, individual baked Alaskas, and so on. This party, I decided to avoid the chaos and go with a simpler theme: comfort foods.

What do you consider a comfort food? We ended up with 7-layer dip, ham soup, pot roast, and mashed potatoes. Dora seems to think that tiramisu is a comfort food, but that may be personal preference. Naturally, I can’t do anything simple 100%; there is a special dessert planned for this party, but I’m not giving anything away until I have to. Stay tuned for photos on Monday. 🙂

Now, off to frost a cake for tomorrow’s fall festival. Yay.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 01 Nov 2007 @ 10:02 PM

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 05 Oct 2007 @ 6:35 PM 

The guy behind me at dinner tonight seemed to complain non-stop. I was thrilled when his entree arrived, but he still didn’t let up. Some folks just need to bitch, I guess.

The Boy ate a massive amount of crab legs, as usual. Oink.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 05 Oct 2007 @ 06:35 PM

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 15 Jul 2007 @ 8:22 AM 

There’s a great deal of scientific information in this interview, but it’s interesting enough even for laymen to read, I think. The basic story is that fructose and sucrose are not the kinds of sugars we evolved to consume in large quantities, so they mess up our body chemistry and make us pigs. The good doctor even demonizes orange juice (any kind, including organic fresh-squeezed).

Good news, though – eating oranges is good for you. Some of this is sort of common sense, if you think about how we ate 20,000 years ago compared to now. Our bodies haven’t changed in that time, but our diets have changed vastly. Nobody drank orange juice before industrialization; they ate oranges. Nobody drank sodas; they drank water. So, those people who decry processed foods, here’s another data point to use in your quest to return to a diet better designed for our natural metabolisms.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 15 Jul 2007 @ 03:56 PM

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 14 Jun 2007 @ 8:08 PM 

La Tienda is having a sale on whole Serrano hams. I love that stuff, but even on sale, it’s not really cheap. The cheapest is a 12 pound boneless ham for a mere…$189. Sure, let me get two!

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 14 Jun 2007 @ 08:11 PM

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 17 Mar 2007 @ 10:26 AM 

Since I’m not much for bad beer (and what good beer would you color green?), I’ve never done the St. Pat’s thing at a bar.  We made corned beef & cabbage last night, and corned beef hash for brunch today.  Big hits, both, for the boy.  And, I’ve got some corned beef for sandwiches too!  Mmmm…

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 17 Mar 2007 @ 10:26 AM

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 19 Jan 2007 @ 5:02 PM 

Some stories are just too darned funny to not share. I think this was on Boing Boing, so if you’re a real geek you’ve seen it already. Apparently, some pot dealers are getting creative, and mixing up the “munchies” part of the weed experience with the “getting high” part. Witness, Pot Tarts and Buddafingers. How do the DEA agents not laugh their asses off when they bust these guys?

Break me off a piece of that Keef Kat bar!

Note: this blog does not advocate doing illegal drugs.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 19 Jan 2007 @ 05:02 PM

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 09 Jan 2007 @ 8:10 PM 

From our local catfish restaurant’s television ad: “We have chicken-fried bacon!” Yes, folks, bacon is so healthy already, it’s even better once it’s been batter-fried. They probably cover it with gravy too. Mmmm….feel those arteries hardening!

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 14 Jan 2007 @ 09:28 AM

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 26 Dec 2006 @ 6:55 PM 

Quote of the day from a Food Network show: “We bought these canolli shells from a little specialty shop, I’ve got an Italian deli down the street, you’ve probably got the same thing near you.”

Apparently you’re only supposed to watch “Easy Entertaining” if you live in New York City.  Easy my ass.  Oh, sure, let me just run down the street to the little specialty Italian flippin’ pastry shop.  And while I’m out there, I’m gonna pick up some smoked pimento from the Spanish tienda.

There are days that I really need to get out of this town.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 26 Dec 2006 @ 06:55 PM

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 10 Nov 2006 @ 2:40 PM 

Jose Andres writes recipes that only he can make. Not only are there ingredients that nobody has heard of, but his instructions are just plain wrong. I’m making flan, and I tried to follow his instructions for the caramel sauce but eventually I fell asleep.  OK, not really, but he seems to have a vastly different stove than I’ve ever seen. He says you can melt sugar on low in five minutes. On low?  HAH! After changing the temperature frequently, it still took me twenty minutes for a cup of sugar to melt in a small pan. Low? Bite me, Jose.

We’ll see how the custard turns out tonight.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Nov 2006 @ 02:41 PM

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 10 Oct 2006 @ 3:25 PM 

If you can find Augustiner Bräu Munchen near you, get it. Wow. I’ve never had a Dunkel before, but if you like dark beer and red wine, this is a great one for you. It’s so malty and full-bodied.

Yeah, it’s a keeper.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 10 Oct 2006 @ 03:25 PM

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Tapas

 
 01 Oct 2006 @ 12:01 PM 

My friend Dora hosted a party at her house last night, and I catered it. We had tapas and sangria (white and traditional), and Jenn brought cheesecake, while Tammy brought pie and homemade bread.

One of the things Alex and I enjoy is trying out new recipes. Everything last night (except the traditional sangria) was a new experiment. Based on the speed with which food disappeared, I’m gonna say that oven-roasted potatoes are always popular, and the chorizo in red wine was a big hit too (although I found it too strong personally). Sadly, the one thing The Boy helped with was not one of the hits. We put little bits of roasted pepper and green olives on cocktail toothpicks, along with feta cheese or cocktail onions. The onions were almost universally unloved, and the feta eventually got eaten, but not something worth bothering with again.

The game Hoopla is a load of fun, if you ever throw a party for a decent-sized group of people. Apparently everyone is on the same team. Huh? Anyway, hope for the demolition derby card.  😉

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 01 Oct 2006 @ 12:01 PM

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 09 Sep 2006 @ 9:09 PM 

I know I’ve never mentioned how unique my son is. Today, after eating some of the marvelous, only available one month a year, Pecos Sweet cantaloupe ice cream, he lectured me about how important it is to eat hand-made food instead of machine-made. He even generalized to say that hand-made things are better than machine-made things.

This, after we had scallops and shrimp on wilted spinach for dinner (which he ate without complaint, but did say it was only “a double” and not a home run). I love this kid; we obviously are raising him right.

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 09 Sep 2006 @ 09:23 PM

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 30 Aug 2006 @ 9:38 PM 

I’ll let y’all know how this tastes tomorrow. It’s got caramel and apples baked into an apple cake. Oh, yeah.

cake

Posted By: Gary
Last Edit: 16 Sep 2007 @ 12:19 PM

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