Tag Archives: roomie

Camping: It’s for the dogs

[Editor’s note: Gertie wanted to blog about her first camping trip. Who was I to stop her?]

I knew something was up when the stuff started piling at the bottom of the stairs. Some of the stuff smelled like my friend, Penny, so I was pretty excited. Anything that involves Penny is pretty fun.

Then my mom got my leash out, and I’ll admit, I went a little nuts. It wasn’t the running leash. It was the other leash. The leash that means…

Car.

Daddy rolled down the windows so I could stick my head out. Sometimes it was scary, so I came back in.

We drove for a while. Daddy and Mommy kept looking at these papers. I wondered what they were up to.

We got out of the car and I saw a lot of stuff in the air. It smelled funny. Kind of like sausages. But then I saw there were some people I knew there. Auntie Erika [Roomie] and Christi [DD Girl] were there. I love those girls.

Daddy and Mommy got out chairs and joined them.

They were all talking and drinking the stuff that makes them laugh a lot.

There were so many smells.

I decided to check out the joint. You know, inspect it to make sure it was ok. First I had to poop. I like to poop when I get somewhere new.

Then I discovered there was some tall grass.

I had never played in grass like this before.

I loved it. It seemed like the perfect place to chill out and keep an eye on the people.

Daddy even got a new toy out. It was kind of like a ball, but flat. It was kind of hard to figure out how to pick it up and bring it back, but I got the hang of it quickly.

Then, Mommy and Auntie Erika took me on a walk. There was lots of goose poop on this trail. I was very interested in it.

When we got back, Christi got out this weird thing. At first I thought it was scary, but then I realized what it was. It was a crate for people. They even put small beds in the crates.

I was down with that.

I remember when I had to stay in my crate a lot. It made me feel better about being in a new place. That must be why the people had them there.

I wondered when they would get in their crates. Usually the people told me when to get in my crate. Who would tell them to get in their crates? Maybe that was my job?

I decided to worry about that after dinner.

There was a lot of food to check out.

The food made all the people happy.

I got a few bites here and there.

It was kind of like when my mommy and daddy have people at the house.

Only we were all outside.

And then even my food got put in a bowl. I was kind of surprised to see it there. And I wasn’t all together sure about eating it.

Don’t tell anyone, but after I had fun playing, I started to get a little nervous.

The people were getting louder and loud people scare me.

To make matters worse, mommy put me on a long leash attached to the ground.

She said it was because it was going to get dark and she didn’t want me wandering off.

I thought it was mean.

But she was right. It did get dark.

I really didn’t like the dark part.

The people seemed to have a good time and the warm smelly thing they sat around got big and red.

I stayed away from most of it.

Some of the people looked like they needed to be put in their crates, if you ask me.

Finally, my mommy decided to get in her crate, and guess what?! She invited me in too. I got to sleep right up by her head. She never lets me sleep there. She said I was keeping her warm.

Then daddy got in the crate too. But he made the tent get really stinky and then tried to blame it on me. Mommy didn’t let him. She knew it was him and not me. I love my mommy.

In the morning, I decided I really wanted to stay in the crate, even after mommy and daddy got out.

But then I discovered that Auntie Erika was still in her crate.

If I haven’t told you,  Auntie Erika is one of my favorite people.

She used to live with mommy, and sometimes when mommy wasn’t home, Auntie Erika gave me food and cuddled with me.

It was time to see about getting in Auntie Erika’s crate.

Mission accomplished.

You know, camping was fun and all, but mostly I was just glad to get home.

Until I heard mommy and daddy saying I stink like campfire and I might get a bath.

Maybe next time, I’ll leave the camping to the people.

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The Bachelor and Fire & Wine Night Combo Post: Jake, just say gno!

Sometimes you just have to say gno.

And, last night, as we devoured our delicious gnocchi (recipe courtesy of the brilliant Elise of Simply Recipes) topped with a brown butter with spinach and pinenuts sauce (recipe courtesy of Cooking Light), we were screaming “GNO!” at our bachelor friend, Jake.

I decided to compile our list of “gnos” in lieu of our usual Cheese Whiz Ratings. Because last night was gno ordinary Fire & Wine night.

Image courtesy of EW.com

Things Jake should have said Gno* to in last night’s episode – with quotes and input from DD Girl and Roomie:

1. Girls in RV’s. – Didn’t Jake watch Road Rules? He should know that nothing good ever comes out of a bunch of girls sharing an RV.

2. Carrying his date (Gia) around the vineyard like a toddler. “She probably weighs as much as a toddler – DD Girl.” Jake, that’s weird and icky.

3. Girls who wear stilletos on a camping trip. Even Roomie who always looks cute and fashionable balked at these girls.

4. Taking your dates to a whore house-looking hotel, with each room you visit getting progressively tackier than the rest. If that is even possible.

5. The “I get lost in your eyes” line as said to Kathryn. Both times. Really?

6. A tie that looks like a tablecloth during the rose elimination ceremony. What was that thing?

7. Seeking wisdom on picking your future wife from Chris – the-network-is-going-to-love-this Harrison. Of course they are going to let you not give out all your roses, silly Jakey.

8. Girls obsessed with Vienna. Ugh. Enough already. All of it.

9. Ashleigh’s post-rose ceremony departure was less than graceful, as Roomie told DD Girl who was out of the room. So this gno is to Ashleigh – say gno to snotty, tearful departure speeches.

10. Girls who freak out over a cute little family of raccoons. (Gia!) Possibly the best part of the entire episode.

*Cheese Whiz Awards will return next week.

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Date night!

I asked Roomie out on a date to go see the very sappy girly movie Dear John with me.

I asked her on Facebook, adding that DD Girl would be welcome to join us, as long as she could hold her barf.

After watching the trailer Roomie admitted that this movie might be over-the-top for even her romantic movie loving self. 

I think it will be fun. Like indulging in too many Sweet Tarts and giving yourself a simultaneous headache and tummy-ache.

Because I think a sappy, girly movie is just what the doctor ordered for this dreary winter we seem to be having.

What sort of sweet treats do you enjoy to cure the winter blues?

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F&W: Classic lasagna & classic us for a fine holiday celebration

The last Fire & Wine night of the year. And I wanted to make it special.

I thought about doing a ham or turkey breast, but to me, Christmas is Italian.

I grew up (and still do) eating spaghetti with my family on Christmas. This isn’t your ordinary spaghetti. This is cook-all-day slow-roasted-goodness spaghetti. My Italian grandfather passed the recipe down to my mother who will (I hope) eventually pass it onto me.

In the meantime, I decided to try my hand at lasagna. No, I had never made it before. Odd, I know.  I don’t like ground beef. But it dawned on me that I could substitute ground turkey for beef and then it dawned on me that I could add some Italian sausage to that.

So, I adapted this classic lasagna recipe from Southern Living by using 1/2 lb of ground turkey and 1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage instead of the ground beef.

  • 2  medium onions, chopped
  • 2  tablespoons  olive oil, divided
  • 4  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2  lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb  sweet Italian sausage removed from casing
  • 1  (14.5-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano diced tomatoes
  • 2  (6-oz.) cans tomato paste
  • 1  (8-oz.) can basil, garlic, and oregano tomato sauce
  • 1  bay leaf
  • 1  teaspoon  Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons  salt, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  pepper, divided
  • 12  lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 8  cups  boiling water
  • 1  (16-oz.) container ricotta cheese
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4  cup  grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2  (6-oz.) packages part-skim mozzarella cheese slices
  • Garnish: chopped fresh parsley

1. Sauté onion in 1 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Add turkey and sausage, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.  Stir in diced tomatoes, next 4 ingredients, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf; set meat sauce aside.

2. Place lasagna noodles in a 13- x- 9-inch pan. Carefully pour 8 cups boiling water and remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil over noodles. Let stand 15 minutes.

3. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper until blended.

4. Spoon half of the meat sauce mixture in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Shake excess water from noodles, and arrange 6 noodles over meat sauce; top with half of ricotta mixture and 1 package mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat layers once.

5. Bake, covered, at 350° for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until bubbly. Let lasagna stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish, if desired.

Perfection is what that is.

The sauce is fantastic. (I ended up adding about 2 tablespoons of sugar to it because I like my sauce a little sweeter)

We enjoyed our meal while we watched Oprah interview the President and First Lady in the White House.

I wondered aloud where you would have Fire & Wine night at the White House. Like how would you eat on stools and wipe your fingers with paper towels?

We decided that Fire & Wine night is one of life’s pleasures that President and Mrs. Obama do not get to experience.

And then we decided (accidentally on purpose, please may I have another glass?)  it was Wire & Fine night.

And that was the funniest thing anyone had ever said.

Meanwhile Gertie entertained by tossing her pheasant around the room.

And the Fiance was up in his man cave rolling around on the office chair and cheering loudly at a University of Kansas basketball game.

DD Girl and I didn’t have to work the next day so we may have continued the celebration out on the Plaza with more friends, and I may have had a little much fun….

But whatever it was, it was just fine with me. Merry Christmas!

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F&W Night Shrimp Coconut Curry and Show & Tell

I loved show & tell as a child.

It was probably my favorite day of the week.

Any opportunity to have all eyes on me and my object, no matter how menial…

I’m an attention whore. What can I say?

Do you know that I still do show & tell? Usually when I have a new guest in my house. I just love pulling out an old photo album or object from my past to show my visitor. I know it’s a horribly annoying trait. I try to stop myself.

“Stephanie…do not go get that photo album. No one wants to see your pictures of Germany circa 1999.”

It never works. Because once I have just a little thought that I could run up and grab that item, it’s all over.

It’s a good thing my friends like me so much put up with me. I’m really quite the train wreck sometimes. Like, if I were in a reality television show, I’d be watching me and covering my eyes, saying “it’s embarrasing to watch her.”

Last night was particularly painful for my guests.

I have no idea how this came up, but I started talking about a play I was in during 9th grade. And then…

I ran up and grabbed the playbook (Yes, I still have it.) And proceeded to dramatically read some of the lines from it.

We were missing DD Girl, who had some holiday errands to run. So, it was Roomie and one of my co-workers who endured this performance.

Thank goodness the Coconut Curry from Jaden Hair’s new Steamy Kitchen cookbook was so delicious.

I just subbed shrimp for the chicken because I felt like shrimp and added some red peppers because I had them on hand.  I added the shrimp at the very end, instead of mid-way through the cooking process so that it wouldn’t over-cook.

You could really do so much with this dish and still have it taste yummy. For example, I couldn’t find Thai Kaffir Lime leaves, so I squeezed a tad bit of lime juice into the curry and added cilantro. That’s what I love about Jaden’s recipes – they are so flexible and easy.

I just really hope that the curry was the star performer last night and not me.

(I may or may not have dug up some pictures from the play and brought them to work to show my co-worker, as if she didn’t get enough of my antics last night…)

*Image courtesy of www.steamykitchen.com. Book was a gift, courtesy of Jaden Hair, as a guest favor for the Blogher Food 09 after-party.

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F&W Bag Ladies

Fire & Wine night was replaced with Wine & Packing & Pizza night tonight.

For Roomie. Who is moving into her very own little 1 bedroom this weekend.

It’s the same layout as the 1 bedroom I lived in after my divorce. Walking into her new place brought back so many memories.

So did enjoying our last glasses of wine in the old apartment where Roomie and I lived for almost a year.

After we cleaned out her kitchen and loaded it into an old grocery cart to roll down to her new place.

Bag ladies.

With our grocery cart. And our wine. Klassy.

At one point, DD Girl picked up Roomie’s rolling pin and shoved it in the air with the exclamation, “MEN!” We don’t have issues, really, we don’t.

After we unloaded, Roomie’s kitchen,  we unloaded our baggage. Because all of us – myself, DD Girl and Roomie have some.

It felt so good to talk. Just talk. Candidly. As women, on the same page, with the same struggles. Different packaging.

I love those girls. And their baggage. And mine.

Isn’t it great to have girlfriends? How do you and your friends find time/ways to connect?

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F&W: Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff and hellooo officer

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Fire & Wine night is back to “no boys allowed.” Or, rather Dungeons & Dragons has been moved to Thursday night so the fiancé won’t be around.

Oh well. Girls are cooler than boys. We knew that.

What a perfect week to cook up another meatless dinner. And trust me – you won’t be asking “where’s the beef” in this Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff recipe. In fact DD Girl ranked it her favorite F&W night so far.

I knew it was going to be a great girly night when “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” started playing on my I-pod when I was on the treadmill.

And it was. We learned that Roomie recently joined Match.com. In part because she has been reading my Have lasso. Will love again series. We had a blast giving her dating advice and hearing about all her new suitors (Already! Seriously, the girl has only been a member for 24 hours. Way to go!)

And then DD Girl and I filled Roomie in on how she missed the hot police officer who came by before Roomie arrived to let us know about a crime in our neighborhood. Crime shrime, he was so smoking hot, he could made the fire in fire & wine night.

Back to the food. I modified this Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff from All Recipes. 

Queen of Quirky’s Smoking Hot Police Officer & Wine Night Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large onion chopped length-wise
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 oz of Portobello mushrooms chopped and then halfed
  • 4 oz of mixed mushrooms (cremini, oyster and baby bellas)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh diced thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup of port wine*
  • 2 teaspoons of  Worcestershire sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 12 oz package of egg noodles boiled and drained
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat butter in a large skillet until melted. Add onions and cook on medium low heat for about 20 minutes. The onions will caramelize and lightly brown. They will be delicious. Do not skimp on the onions. After about 20 minutes, add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Then add all the mushrooms, mixing them into the onions and garlic well. Add the thyme and salt & pepper to your liking. Cook on medium-high for about 7 minutes until the mushrooms are browned. Remove all of the mushrooms and most of the onions from the pan and set aside. In the skillet, pour in the broth, wine and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil and reduce half the liquid. Stir in the flour to thicken the sauce. Return the mushrooms and onions to the skillet and mix them into the sauce. Add the cup of sour cream and mix well. Serve over egg noodles. And do lick the spoon.

Invite hot officer to join you. Or, just imagine that he did.

  * Hey babe, thanks for sharing your birthday port wine with me for this recipe. I only used 1/4 cup. I love you!

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