December 8th, 2013
Sure, it’s December. But it’s never too late to make notes on the Thanksgiving feast.
I brined the turkey overnight with a really great mix from Whole Foods. And I used a bag for the first time, so I could put everything in the fridge instead of the garage overnight.
Whole Foods demo appetizer: Brie, fig jam, crushed Marcona almonds. New favorite cheeses.
I put a pound of butter on the turkey this year. I was not playin’. I also made this crazy corn casserole from a Food Network insert: 5 cups of corn, 2 beaten eggs, handful of cheese (I used a cheddar/Monterey Jack mix). Combine the corn, eggs, and cheese and some salt and pepper. Butter a casserole and spread the mixture. Bake for half an hour at 375: I cooked it while the turkey rested. I wasn’t sure anyone would like it, but it was actually really good. The original recipe threw in some chipotle in adobo, but I skipped that step. I made turkey stock the next day. It made about 7 or 8 quart-size Ziploc bags of stock that are now in the freezer. I’ve always been too lazy to actually make stock, but I’m really glad I did this year. The Christmas turkey gravy will be that much more awesome.
December 6th, 2013
I’ve been thinking about getting a laptop for months now, and I finally bought one a couple of weeks ago. Best Buy was having a pretty good sale, and between writing, chasing Hannah around, and some new courses I’m taking we kind of figured I needed to be a little more mobile. So, this was an investment in me. And my new endeavors.
Today was the first day of courses I’m taking online through Rutgers CCPD, paid for by a grant from the Dept. of Labor. First I’m taking a CIW course in Web Design, and after I finish that program up at the end of March (and hopefully take the certification exam) I’ll be taking a shorter course in Adobe Illustrator. I’m throwing everything I can think of out there into the universe to try and build this new post-teaching life I’m working on. Following all of the passions. I want to keep writing about things I love, I want to totally revamp my blog and web presence, and I want to see how I can build on my crafting experience by trying my hand at things like fabric design. I have wanted to learn Illustrator for years but never quite found the time. Now I’m making the time. And the web design course will give me all kinds of skills and foundations.
It’s all exciting, and a little terrifying. The day I ordered the laptop I waited until Adam was home from work to come with me to pick it up. It just felt like a huge manifestation of all these new challenges and risks. Like once the laptop was in my possession, I had to actually start earning it. And it just froze me.
Until I got the shiny box home, opened it, and got to work. I’ve got a lot of ideas, and I’m hoping it will be a good investment.
December 1st, 2013
This is one of the fastest weeknight recipes ever, and that’s about all my mind can wrap itself around after a giant Thanksgiving feast. I still need to post some notes on my Thanksgiving menu, especially since some of those dishes will be repeated in a few weeks for Christmas. But for now, I feel like keeping it super simple with this recipe from Food Network that I made way back in June (so feel free to bookmark it for a time when cherry tomatoes are tasting awesome). I always skip the mushrooms, which are in the original recipe linked to below. And I like tortellini over ravioli, they seem to hold together better.
Skillet Chicken and Tortellini (adapted from this recipe)
1 9-ounce package small cheese tortellini
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, basil or a combination
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November 28th, 2013
I’m thankful for my amazing husband and daughter, who love me enough to do things like come with me to the Macy’s parade balloon inflation yesterday. In the rain, then in the freezing rain, just to help honor my favorite tradition.
I’m thankful that even though I lost my job this year I seem to be finding my way.
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November 26th, 2013
I wrote this piece for BuzzFeed late last week: 25 DIY Ways To Get Ready For Catching Fire.
And I wrote this post for GeekMom that went up today: Tips for Visiting the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Inflation.
I really hope the weather holds so we can get into the city tomorrow. It looks really unpleasant overnight, but hopefully it will clear up! I’m scrambling to get ready to host Thanksgiving at our house on Thursday, or I would have more to say. I’ll be back posting once we all get through the holiday!