Sunday, January 30, 2011
One of my unofficial New Year's resolutions was to get out more. I'm kind of a homebody and it's nice to go out every now and then. I've been to a few concerts recently and it just makes me want to see more. With ticket prices and Ticketmaster (aka Ticketmonster)taking the fun out of big name shows we have been exploring smaller shows.
We are lucky to live about 25 miles south of Seattle so there are lots of small clubs to explore. Last night, Joj and I plus two of his buddies, hit the Showbox at the Market and heard a Led Zeppelin tribute band, Led Zepagain. They were great.
Besides seeing a good show it was fun to hang "with the boys". Joj has known Erik and Jim since he was a kid and so there lots of stories from back in the day. Between all the laughing and great music I would say it was a very successful boys (plus me) night out and I'm looking forward to the next one.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Every year after our Christmas party, my sister-in-law sit down and do a "what worked, what didn't" list. I have them for almost all the parties we have done and it is so helpful when planning for the following year. One of the items that we go back and forth on is the cheese plate. Part of us feels we should have it, part of us feel it is a time consuming item that no one really eats. I have to admit I like a little cheese when I'm at a party, so on the fence I sit.
As we discussed the cheese yet again, we had a stroke of genius. Fondue. Who does not love a good gooey fondue and since we have already eliminated the baked brie that congeals 5 minutes after you put it on the table we felt this was a winning option.
The next hurdle was 'what do we put it in'? Hmmm, due to the furniture in my dining room the table has to stay in the middle of the room. In years past we had pushed it up against the wall so that made items requiring plugs (like crock pots) a piece of cake. Table in the middle of the room and long cords (especially when folks have been getting their festive on) is just tragedy waiting to happen. The solution, an old fashion Sterno fondue pot. I had been looking on line and decided I wanted to get the Wilton fondue set. It seemed to be just the right size and as a bonus it was tea light powered, so no Sterno. I would have purchased it but it was $20 buck shipping and frankly I'm just too cheap. I'm glad I resisted because the other day while at Goodwill, I found the exact same set unopened for $5. Score!! So tonight we decided to test it out.
I used a the fondue recipe below and learned a few things:
- Don't use preshredded cheese. They treat is with some kind of coating to keep it from sticking and it totally throws off the "meltiness" of the cheese
- Use a beer you would actually drink. Joj brought home some Redhook, yuck, and since the flavor intensifies when it cooks it make the fondue really "beery". For us, a nice blonde beer would probably be a better choice.
- 3 cloves of garlic is a lot.
Also, as far as the items to dip, you don't need a lot. I cut up a large apple, 4 thick slices of crusty bread, 1 small head of broccoli, 2 chicken tenders, and a few slices if summer sausage for the 4 of us. Half way through we were stuffed. It didn't seem like that much food, but apparently if you eat slowly enough you fill up on a lot less. Now I know the whole cheese and beer thing was isn't exactly "diet friendly" but we really didn't make much of a dent in the cheese either. So what is the point??? Fondue can be a relatively light meal. Who knew?
Cheesy Beer Fondue
2 cups beer (I used a pale ale Henry's)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground dry mustard
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (3 cloves was pretty garlicly)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
Combine first 4 ingreds and half of the flour
Toss rest of the flour with the cheese
Once beer mixture is boiling, add cheese and melt (add a couple of drops of lemon juice if cheese is too clumpy)
Then dip all kinds of yummy stuff like bread, apples, veggies, etc.
Friday, January 21, 2011
The kind I have always found annoying.
The kind who get up at ungodly hours to work out.
If I don't go at 5:30, chances are it won't get done.
I guess that early in the morning my brain isn't fully awake and the auto pilot is full swing.
So even though I feel like this
It will all be worth it to look more like this
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
When I went to check the mail today I found a little envelope with my name on it. There is just something about receiving something in the mail that isn't a bill, or an ad or some other randomly created, impersonal piece of mail. That little thrill is like a present unto itself. The note was from a friend of mine who had been at the assembly. She said how much she enjoyed my "pitch" and how she had found it inspiring. Wow. This was coming from a woman who constantly amazes me with her commitment to caring and compassion. She is a real go getter in all the right things. While the note was kind, the fact that she made the effort to actually write it and then drive to my house to put it in the mailbox was really touching.
We all think "Oh I should..." "Maybe I will..." and most times those are just words we say. It is when action is taken that makes all the difference.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I truly believe this is the real me.
However, if I want to look like this
I need to do more of this
I taught swimming for 10 years. I swam competitively for 7, but I HATE swimming laps. So boring. I guess if I'm going to make swimming part of my regime, I should look into one of these.
Today Holly and I met at the pool at 5:30 am only to find the pool opened at 5:45. It took everything we had to stay awake. When we finally got in the pool we discovered they keep it at 86 degrees so swimming laps felt like we were swimming in this.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
For the past year and half I've been dragging myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 5:30 a few times a week to "workout". That has looked very different at times, but usually it meant a 3 mile walk with some friends. Our neighborhood is hilly so we would huff and puff, but mostly get caught up on all the latest goings ons ~ quality girlfriend time. While it fed the soul, the body needed more.
I decided that if I'm going to go through the effort of getting up that early, I needed to see some results, real results. That meant putting the "work" in working out. Go figure??
One of my favorite Seinfeld quotes is from his dad talking about his heath regime ~ "I eat a plum everyday, that is my regime". Unfortunately, it takes more than that. So I've come up with a regime that will hopefully keep me from getting bored and help strengthen my body.
Sunday~ Step class
Monday ~ rest
Tuesday ~ elliptical/treadmill
Wednesday ~ swim
Thursday ~ elliptical/treadmill
Friday ~ rest
Saturday ~ run
Of course, I couldn't do it without my girlfriends. A support system is crucial to keep you honest and hold you to task when you would rather veg on the couch. I know moving more is on every one's mind this time of year, but if I can do it, ANYONE can do it. The first time I ran I made it two blocks and thought I was going to die. Now I can run three miles and no medics need to be called. That feels pretty good.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
As I think about my New Year's resolutions I'm finding "clutter" seems to be a constant theme.
So for 2011 I've decided to declutter the following:
my mind, my body and of course my home
I've spent the past two days starting to clean out the closest that are used to "hide" stuff when we "clean". I'm so over the stuff. I've already got bags for Goodwill and even my Christmas stuff is going to be pared down as I pack it away. If I don't love it, its gone.