Tag Archives: fiance

Two Peas in A Pod

The fiance’s mom has been working on the great cake project which requires going through old photos of both of us to pick pictures for the film strips.

My mom picked some of my old photos to send to her. (Wow,  Mom. You picked some real winners. Really? The toilet picture? Thanks.) 

In compiling the pictures, the fiance’s mom began to notice some pretty eerie similarities. It’s almost as if we’ve been together all along…

Rub-a-dub-dub him

Rub-a-dub-dub me

(I still get that excited about taking a bath.)

Adorable pose him

Adorable pose me

But wait…we’re not done. Because not only were we both cheek-pinch worthy cute little kids, we both found our middle grades a little more…awkward.

First day of school in blue him

First day of school in blue me

(Yes, that is a perm.)

Smarty-pants project him

Smarty-pants project me

(First place! Booyah!)

And while these pictures might make you think we were high school sweethearts, I can assure you, we did not meet until 2008…

Prom pic him

Prom pic me

We really are two peas in a pod…

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Return of the Nerds Rifftrax Night

A typical Friday night in our house goes one of two ways: 1. Fiance and myself  and a movie/catching up on DVR shows. 2. Our closest friends and a selection of board games/Rock Band.

We mixed it up this past Friday by hosting a viewing of the Rifftrax of Return of the Jedi. Now if I’ve already lost you, don’t worry. I can explain. Rifftrax is the name of the activity where one downloads an audiofile of comedians Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett (formerly of Mystery Science Theatre) making fun of a movie. Then, you play the audiofile on your Ipod while watching the movie.

It’s usually really funny. And the Return of the Jedi riff was no exception. After the movie, more hilarity ensued.

Like when nerds aided by brewsky became rock stars.

Or, tried to demonstrate the size of their abnormally large, smart? heads with my Rawandan basket.

But anyhow, that’s just par for the course in my life. These guys are fantastic. And I’m proud to call them my friends.

They fit into our Quirkyville quite nicely.

So does she.

Look at that hot stuff, right there!

What I love most about this picture is that her boyfriend was begging me to take it because he thought she looked cute. (I agree.)

But unlike DD Girl, I didn’t get my sing on Friday night.

Image courtesy of costumestudy.wordpress.com

Nope. I was too busy wondering how I could get my mom to come and do my hair like this like she did when I was 7…

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And our holiday season comes to an end

Fiance falls off the ball.

Woah. woah. woah. We’re falling, falling, falling back into the daily routine.

Kinda sad, but kinda exciting.

Why exciting? We have a ton of stuff going on in January/February.

Namely a wedding at the end of February. And all the activities leading up to it.

I gave us a good start to our work week by fixing up some home-made Gumbo from Cooking Light

Of course, I modified it a little…using fresh veggies instead of frozen with the exception of the frozen okra; and I added frozen corn because I had it on hand.

I didn’t buy roasted chicken, but I purchased two chicken breasts and made a quick rub using paprika, Old Bay and cayenne pepper. I coated them in the rub and brushed olive oil on them and then baked them with a bay leaf on top at 450 for 15 minutes before adding them to the veggies. Also, I couldn’t find turkey kiebassa so I used smoked turkey sausage.

I skipped the boiled rice in a bag (ew.) and made brown rice with half water and half low-sodium chicken broth.

I let the whole pot of gumbo cook for 20+ minutes more than it called for because I just felt it would take longer for all the flavors to come together. I added a ton of hot sauce to mine, but due to recent complaints that I may be trying to kill the fiance slowly with my heavy handedness with anything spicy-heat related, I left his alone.

It was very tasty and made a ton for leftovers tomorrow.

After dinner, I prepared my marinade for the Slow Cooker Char Siu Pork Roast.

I’m not going to lie. The fiance slapped the pork butt a few times when I brought it home from the grocery today. (He said it was fun to smack a pig butt. Please don’t tell Miss Piggy. I don’t want her coming to hit on my man. I hear she is such a Muppet slut.)

At least he can still distinguish between hog rear and mine.

Uh…

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Dippy New Year’s Eve Party Ideas

Free product was taken and consumed to bring you this dippy posty.

Mmmm cream cheese. Dontcha just love it? The fiance even likes it on pizza, which is a little odd but good.

And after this weekend, Ms. Quirky will be abstaining from things that have the words cream and cheese in the same list. So, I better get my fill while I can.

In fact, I have pulled a whole new regime of recipes from Cooking Light to try in the New Year – both for Fire & Wine and regular meals. I’m actually really excited about these and trying to get the fiance as excited as I am about the next two months of really buckling down.

Last week the fiance’s family got together at our house for a game night. No game night would be complete without dippy foods. I decided to pull out the Four Cheese Baked Natural Cheese Crisps my friends at Pepperidge Farm sent me to try for a Fire & Wine night. I actually forgot to serve them at our Fire & Wine holiday meal (oopsie), so I thought a family game night would be the next best thing. I was salivating over the dip recipe Pepperidge Farm included with the crackers.

Ingredients:

2 packages of chive & onion cream cheese

Juice from one lemon

1/4 cup of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce

Directions:

Blend in food processor. Serve chilled with the Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals Cheese Crisps and fresh veggies. Don’t eat it all in one sitting.

This dip was sooooo good.

I would even spread it on a bagel. Or lick it off my fingers.

The fiance said it was a little spicy and that might be my fault. I may have added a little more than 1/4 cup of the peppers. But I just love adobe sauce in stuff. And an adobe sauce & cream cheese marriage is one I can really get behind. I probably just got a little too excited.

This dip is so simple, but so good. I wanted to be sure to share it before New Year’s Eve, in case you were looking for ideas.

So, wanna know what I’m serving up tomorrow night?

We’re having a “We is po'” New Year’s Eve party. Which means everyone brings their own beverages, and we’ll provide snacks and a champagne toast. In keeping with the theme, I picked three appetizers that were all under $1 per serving.

Sausage Rolls

Cheese and Guinness Spread

Spicy Black Bean Hummus

I’m really excited about my menu. It’s just a few snacks, but dippy enough to keep me my guests happy. And, really, you just can’t go wrong with savory sausage rolls. I just hope there are some left for everyone else.

Happy New Year!

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Queen of Quirky’s Secret

Dear Victoria,

Do you mind if I call you Vickie? Ok, cool. And do you like how I made your name pink? That only took me five minutes to figure out how to do. (I was over-thinking HTML code.) But it was totally worth it because I know it’s your favorite color.

I just wanted to send you a little note to apologize for missing your Fashion Show last night. For what it’s worth, I watched last year’s show and even received a lovely little something as a Christmas gift last year. I do love it.

But, I wasn’t wearing it last night when I didn’t watch your show.

See, I went out for a drink with two girlfriends. And then I came home and made this really big refried black bean burrito. (With extra  hot sauce.  Like you, I can be a little saucy sometimes.)

Bean burritos are quite filling, aren’t they?

And of course, I really wanted to enjoy my pear crisp after that. So I went upstairs and changed out of my dress and into my comfy p.j.’s. I know you can appreciate those because you sell several varieties.

Then, I helped myself to a great big helping of crisp with a large dollop of whipped cream on top. mmmmmm….

I was passing through the channels and I saw your show begin, but I didn’t turn it on.

I hope you can forgive me for not jumping to watch your scantily clad sexy supermodels. I’m sure they were all beautiful.

It’s just that I really didn’t want to out shine them. I know my fiance would have been so transfixed with me over them that it would have been quite the embarrassment to you, Vickie.

I mean, after all, I had on my most stretched-out waffle long-sleeved p.j. shirt and my Scottie dog stretch flannel bottoms.  And we all know, nothing is more attractive than watching your future wife chow down on a burrito oozing with mushy black beans and then following that up with an inhalation of pear crisp.

I really feel like I did you a favor, not turning on your show. I like to do favors for my friends, Vickie, don’t you?

Then, we cuddled. There is NOTHING a man likes more than cuddling, don’t you think? And I fell asleep on the couch next to him.

Isn’t that sweet? We do that sometimes.

A few hours later, I woke up with a big snore and it seemed like my left cheek was glued to the pillow. Oopsie. Someone had drooled a big fat loogie all over herself.

I’m so pretty when I wake up. It’s a wonder my fiance can ever turn his eyes away from me.

So, now you know why I didn’t watch your show. Thanks for being so sweet about it. I’ll be sure to stop by for that semi-annual sale after Christmas. (Things are a little tight with the Wedding and all…)

Oh, and just so you know… I did DVR it for my fiance to watch when I’m not around to distract him.

Tootaloo!

QoQ

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Whipped cream shot gone terribly wrong

<—- This is my future father-in-law.

After he tried to use my future mother-in-law’s new fancy whipped cream dispenser fraternity-style right into his daughter’s mouth.

Clearly, it went horribly wrong, as no one really read the directions on the thing. And, of course, her mouth was the test run for said device. Because, um, that’s where normal people test whipped cream dispensers?

You should have seen the table.

And the floor.

And half of us at the table, including his daughter, who got more than she bargained for. (So many really awful jokes about a mouthful could have been were told.)

I almost peed my pants.

Ok, I did a little, but I had a lot of margaritas that afternoon with my naughty bridesmaids who FORCED me to drink like half a pitcher because they are wusses and couldn’t be bothered to help me. And the fiance’s sister was the instigator, so getting covered in whipped cream after her father tried to spray a shot in her mouth probably serves her right.

I love them.

And that was Thanksgiving meal part I. I can’t wait until Thursday…

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Quirkyville: Kickin’ it Sunday Style

Have you ever woken up with absolutely no plan and suddenly you have a list a mile long of things you want to get done?

That was me today. I woke up at 9 because Gertie was pacing around the bed and putting her snout up on the bed in the most pathetic manner.

Suddenly I wanted to do it all. Drink a good cup of coffee, go for a run, make a football feast for the fiance and pick up some things from Wal-Mart. The Chiefs game began at noon, and I knew he’d be up by 11:45, so there was no time to waste…if I wanted to be ready in time to serve him some game food.

I could combine the run and coffee if I ran to get coffee.

I picked a route that would take me just far enough to feel like I had exerted myself, but not too far to be a lot of work. (It was lazy Sunday, after all.) Then, I hit up a local coffee house…one that I knew had a little patio so I could leave Gertie while I went in to grab a latte. As I approached the shop, I could see there was another dog on the patio.

Uh-oh. Last time there was a dog there, it didn’t work out so well considering the dog was barking and growling so much,  it scared Gertie to the point that I didn’t feel comfortable leaving her for a few minutes to go inside. No coffee for me.

Awww man, that would put a damper in my plan.

But then I heard someone call out “Hey Stephanie and Gertie!”

The dog belonged to my good friend Jessie and her boyfriend. Oh fun! Not only did I have someone to hold Gertie when I went inside, we got to sit on the porch and catch up over coffee, an unexpected but pleasant diversion to my plan.

Once home, I decided to skip a shower and just run out to get the stuff I needed from Wal-Mart,  plus the ingredients to make the wings, rotel cheese dip and homemade ranch I was formulating in my head.

Only I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. So the fiance was recruited from bed to join my search party all over the house. Nope, no keys. (This is not an unusual occurrence for me. He wasn’t too thrilled about being co-captain of my search team either. Oh well, he’d get over it when I served him piping hot crispy, tangy hot wings.)

There was no time to lose though. I took the fiance’s car while he continued to scour the house for them. (They were in his coat pocket from an evening where I wore his coat outside. Who knew?)

I was back  in 45 minutes…kind of a record for me to go to the grocery and Wal-Mart. But wings were at stake.

I found this recipe for baked buffalo chicken wings. It was super tasty. The only thing I would modify is I would be sure to spray my baking pans with non-stick so that I didn’t lose any bits of the crispy chicken skin. Other than that – perfection. You won’t even miss the fryer.

Then, I “winged” some homemade ranch dressing. Here’s what I came up with:

8 oz of mayo

1 cup of buttermilk

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 large clove of garlic finely, finely diced

2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley

2 tablespoons of finely diced green onion

1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

1 tsp of onion powder

1/2 tsp of black pepper

salt to taste

I whisked it all together. The end.

It turned out pretty good, a little runny, but that’s how I like ranch.  You could probably thicken it up with more mayo or some sour cream. But I didn’t have any more mayo and I was out of sour cream.

Despite my feast, the Chiefs are losing and the fiance is downstairs yelling at the T.V.

My work here is done, folks. I’m hitting the bathtub with an army of bubbles.

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F &W: Goat Cheese & Spinach Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

IMG_1033Sometimes a mistake turns out to be a really, really good thing.

In this case: goat cheese.

When I was considering what to fix for Fire & Wine night (because. ahem. I still haven’t had any suggestions from you people yet.) I was trying to stay on the lighter side of things.

After all, some of us have Halloween costumes to squeeze into in a few weeks.

So, I found this recipe for Spinach & Ricotta pizza on Cooking Light’ssite. Later that night, I sent a text to DD Girl and Roomie, but I SWEAR I thought the recipe was for Spinach & Goat Cheese pizza. So that’s what I wrote in my text, only to realize my mistake the next day.

It was too late.

Once you put goat cheese out there, you can’t take it back.

You have to deliver the goods.

So after reading the recipe, I decided goat cheese might add more fat and calories, but it would make it very tasty. Besides, I had more pressing issues at hand….

A bit of a  rising problem.

Pizza crust.

Remember the whole baking ban?

It seems I have unleashed a wild side because now we are two for two on doughy baked creations.

I began perusing the Web for pizza crust recipes.

Easy. No fail recipes.

With the help of my twitter friends I decided that pizza crust could in fact be made without the help of a mixer. No heavy machinery, folks.

So I took a recipe for quick and easy pizza crust and switched out half of the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour ala Two Peas and their Pod’s Whole Wheat Veggie Pizza. I also used the quick yeast.

In case you are confused with all this mixing and meshing, the recipe was:

1 packet of quick rising yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup warm water

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

I added the yeast to the warm water with the sugar and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then I added the rest of the ingredients and stirred really hard until it made dough. I mixed it a little more to make sure it was all smooth. Then, I let it sit for 10 minutes.

I pulled the dough out of the bowl and added a little flour to it and on the parchment paper. I rolled it out into a sort-of -round -and -even 12-inch pie. I slapped it on my cheap Wal-Mart pizza pan and fixed a few holes, trying to make it as even as possible. (DD Girl held the pan steady. Gotta give credit where it’s due.)

IMG_1023Then I brushed it with olive oil and smothered it with  1/4 cup (maybe a tad bit more than that) of this New York-Style Pizza Sauce (which I only changed to add a teaspoon more sugar after I tasted it and thought it needed it. Perfection.)

I sprinkled fresh spinach on top of the sauce, topped the spinach with some light mozzarella cheese and parm.

Now it was time for the good stuff.

I sliced little slivers of the goat cheese and strategically placed them on the pizza. (there are no pictures of this step  because we were very busy making it perfect and um. eating little bits of the cheese in the process.)

Then, I topped it with some fresh sliced tomatoes and a little more parm.

I baked the entire thing (actually, I should confess that there were two pizzas going on at once. I mean, who are we kidding? Four of us sharing one 12-inch pizza with goat cheese? No way. Reality check, folks.) at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

It’s hard to say exactly how long because I reset the timer for “two more minutes” a few times. I kept whimpering that the crust might be too doughy until DD Girl threw an intervention on me and said, it’s going to be fine. Take them out now.

IMG_1034She was right.

See, here is DD Girl and the fiance chowing down on the pizza with Gertie hoping to catch a few nibbles.

You can’t see Roomie, but she was there too.

I served the pizza with tomato and mozzarella salad with that fresh basil I had for the pizza sauce. You know the drill – drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar with fresh cracked salt and pepper.

So easy.IMG_1029

Not at all like pizza crust.

Which takes measuring and waiting and all the things I’m so bad at.

But hey, that’s the point of Fire & Wine night. Try something new.

Push my limits.

And hold my breath and hope it turns out.

With a little encouragement from my friends.

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F&W Night: Comfort food Italian Style

There was a lovely chill in the air last night which was great because it totally justified my rustic Italian comfort food menu for Fire & Wine night.

As always, it was a chance for me to push myself to try something new – in this case, something baked. (gasp!)  I’ve said it before (#52 in things about me) I don’t bake. I think most of that stems from the fact that baking requires you to actually measure, oh and it’s usually sweet stuff, right?

Well, I absolutely couldn’t resist this savory  Crisp Rosemary Flatbread as posted by uber food blogger, Smitten Kitchen who got the recipe out of an issue of Gourmet. It looked just good enough to lift my baking ban and go for it. I’m so glad I did. They were wonderful. I actually made two batches – I left a little bit of salt out on the second batch. (Also, I managed to get flour all over my cute black button-up shirt, yet another reason why baking is so not me.)

IMG_0954I served the bread with baby arugula dressed with a simple mix of olive oil and juice from 1.5 lemons (next time, I’d just use one.) And of course, salt and pepper. (No pepper for DD Girl. She’s strange and doesn’t like it. While it pains me, I keep pepper out of her food.)

The pasta carbonara was from Giada’s Everyday Pasta. It was pretty simple:

 6 ounces of pancetta

2 ounces of bacon

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

18 ounces of fresh linguine

2 cups of cream

1.5 cups of parm

6 egg yolks

salt and pepper

I just chopped all the meat and put it in a pan and let it cook until crispy. Then I added the cinnamon(ok, I told DD girl to do that b/c I was fussing with my lemon dressing.) Then I whisked together the cream, eggs and parm. Only, I didn’t have enough cream (just a little more than a cup), so I added some pasta water to it and it seemed to work fine and poured all of that in the same pan as the bacon. Once the fresh linguine was finished (so fast!  3 minutes.), I tossed it into the sauce.

IMG_0955Voilà!

 Giada said to top it with chives, but I didn’t have any, so I used fresh basil. 

Also, the cinnamon added a whole new complexity to this dish. I highly recommend it. DD Girl and Roomie both really enjoyed it. The fiance (who amused me by sitting by himself in the dining room while the three of us girls sat on the couch) liked it too, but not so much the overly lemoned arugula salad.

C‘est la vie.

Wait. Why am I accesorizing this post with French? It was an Italian meal.  Oh crap.

Saluto!

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Aging gracefully?

I am relishing. RELISHING the last few days of my 31st year.  Count down:  t-minus 3 days until <gulp> 32.

That means, this year I will celebrate 10 years since my graduation from college. Yes, college. Oh, 22, you were such a sweet age. How adorable were you? Getting ready for your first big job, living in your first apartment.

22

And what on earth are you drinking in that wine glass? Baileys? Ew.

You’ve seen a lot of changes in the past 10 years.

 

Marriage.

marriage

 

(Like I would show you his picture.)

 

 

Marathon.

marathon

 

 (Way dorky, huh?)

 

 

 

 

 

Different hair styles – from blonde, to dark to red.

dark hair

 

 

 

 

 

 

And lots of dogs – Tally(below), Mack(above) and of course, Gertie.

tally

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good friends.

bar friends

 

 (Hey, look! It’s Jay from the Lunch Bunch!)

 

 

 

 

Different jobs.

PR

 

(My first P.R. job — meeting Carson Kressley for a media event.)

 

 

 

 

30.

30th birthday

 

(Whatdaya know? It’s Molly!)

 

 

 

 

Divorce.

Gertie and Mom

 

(Just me and the Gertster.)

 

 

 

 

(And no, I didn’t just wear that yellow and blue shirt for a year straight. I took it off, some.)

Dating.

bat couple

 

 

 

 

 

 

And today.

today

 

(Ok it’s not today, but it was in July, right after I got engaged.)

 

 

 

 

So that’s me. Turning the big 3-2. A decade of official “adulthood” behind me. I can’t imagine what the next decade has in store. But I do know who I can’t wait to see more of…

IMG_0935

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