Monday, August 31, 2009


WOOO! I have an office (ok, so I have someone's old office, and it's more of a secretary's space, and I have to deal with beaucoup freshies running in to see their professor)! Now if only the computer would finish compiling...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gardening and stuff

This week I've had a guy building my new fence. He finally finished today (grumble grumble money grumble grumble), and I'm quite excited to get to work on my backyard-particularly my garden. For anybody out there looking to save a few bucks, Lowes (or HomeDepot) tend to have decent and consistent prices on materials. However, their labor is expensive, since they outsource it and take a cut of the profits. You are much better suited to find someone who (is licensed, bonded and insured) will do the project as an aside. I have the fabulous benefit of living next door to a contractor, so he can recommend someone for any job I may have. Anyhoo, I saved almost $1000 by finding my own fencing dude.

On to the garden though. So, there's two main ways to set up a garden: ground level, or raised bed. I'll be building a raised bed, for several reasons. Both methods of gardening are effective (both cost and aesthetically), but raised beds are better if your yard is small, you have no yard (concrete, patio, etc.), or you want to grow bulk in a concentrated area. You should choose a spot that gets at least six hours of full sun a day. At the moment, I'm trying to keep the cost WAY down, so I'll be re-purposing the wood from the fence delivery platforms. If need be, I'll pick up some extra wood when I run over to Lowes again. Hopefully, I'll have some photos to share tomorrow. :) Wish me luck!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lowfat Seafood alfredo

I have a new recipe!!! Just made it, and am quite pleased.

1 medium sized zuchinni, julliene cut
1/2 medium onion, chopped fine
4oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1/2-1lb fresh callimari (or your fav. seafood)
white wine
1 c. skim milk
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, chopped

1. On med/med-high heat in a large frying pan, brown onions and most of the garlic. Add some white wine to keep the onions from sticking. Add mushrooms, and allow them to cook most of the way through; add zuchinni. Reduce to medium heat.
2. Start water to boil in a saucepan or pot for your favorite pasta.
3. In a small saucepan, pour some white wine (enough to cover the bottom a little) and throw in your callimari. Allow to cook thoroughly.
4. By now, you water pot should be boiling. Add pasta.
5. Take cooked callimari, drain any remaining liquid, and add to frying pan with veggies. Throw a lid on top of the whole thing.
6. In that same small saucepan (I hate making big messes!), throw in 1/2 cup of white wine, milk, and remaining garlic. Allow to boil. Stir frequently. Once boiling, add the parmesan cheese. After about a minute or two (while stirring), throw in a SMALL handfull of flour, to thicken the sauce (cornstarch works too, but I didn't have any). Once sauce is to your desired consistency, throw some pepper on top of the sauce and fry pan veggies. IF the sauce is too thick, add more milk. If it's too runny, add more flour.
7. By now, your pasta should be ready. Drain, throw in a bowl, throw seafood/veggies on top, and pour your alfredo sauce on top of the whole thing. Mix, and sprinkle some parmesan on the top. Serve, and enjoy!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tomato Sauce Recipe

Best thing I've made yet.

8 vine ripe tomatoes (NOT from the grocery store)
1/2 large green pepper
1/3 sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 sprig Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig basil (green broad leaf)
cracked pepper
olive oil

1. Boil tomatoes in a large pot for roughly 5 min. or until skin cracks. Remove skin, cut off top stem area, and de-seed (use thumbs to "pop" the exterior of the tomato on all sides, and push the seeds out). Some seeds are fine. Mush or puree to desired chunkiness.
2. Place pot back on stove, medium heat. Chop the green pepper into small pieces, throw half in the pot. FINELY chop/puree/mince the remainder, and throw in pot. Mini food processors work great.
3. Repeat step two, but with the onion. Some mushed, some chopped. Add to pot.
4. Add about 1 tbsp olive oil and several turns of cracked pepper, stir.
5. Finely chop 3 garlic cloves, add to the pot. Stir.
6. Add the sprig of basil and parsley to the top, and leave to simmer. Check on consistency and stir occasionally. When you're happy with the consistency, remove from heat.

Perfect European meal? Get some very very fresh french bread (the crunchy top, but supple middle kind-give it a light squeeze-it should give, and crackle, but return to shape). Cut a few slices. Get some fresh (from the farm, if possible) parmesan cheese, grate some in a bowl, add a bit of olive oil and cracked pepper. Take bread, dip in cheese and oil, and spoon some of the sauce on top. Consume, slowly.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a sneaking suspicion...

that everytime I feel even the faintest twinge in my back, I'm going to freak out and fear another stone. It might help out if I stopped checking by punching my kidneys...

On a happy note, FIREFLY is on HULU!!!!!!!!! (Yes, I already own the movie and tv series on DVD, but still. It's always nice to remind Fox that they made a huge mistake by canceling the show)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

For all you environmental foodies

I found a new favorite website! It's; they help you locate farms in your area, provide hints and advice to picking your own produce, give canning advice and more! I'm hoping to locate a farm in my new area so I can stuff my face with blackberries. Mmmmmm. produce.....

Oh, and here's another goodie:; they can also direct you to farms, provide information about farmers markets in your area, provide blogs with related material, and tons and tons of info on organic and environmentally friendly foods.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Stupid NFL

Ugh. They're not only letting Vick play, but he's been signed to the Eagles. This whole situation makes me sick. I'm not for public humiliation, but I really hope he gets booed out of every game. It's one thing to be cruel to another human-at least we can say "no", try to fight back, or get help. But an animal? They can't stop the torment. They can't say no. They can't remove themselves from the situation. I guess my anger is two-sided. First, that the NFL didn't put a lifetime ban on the guy. Second, that there were at least two teams who wanted him: the Eagles, and the Bengals. So many people (particularly children) idolize athletes-I know I did. I was a HUGE Bulls fan in the early 90's; Micheal Jordan was kind of my hero, even though I never played basketball. The NFL is screwing with the kids by providing them a good athlete who's a horrible person. He's done horrible things, and yet they're putting him in a position to influence the youth. There are going to be a lot of confused children out there not understanding what's right and wrong because there wasn't proper punishment for the wrong committed. It's bad enough Brittany Spears is back in the spotlight to be idolized; but at least she never killed anything.

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

Well, I wanted to formally announce that my hair is gone! I unfortunately can't take photos since I haven't gotten around to replacing my camera, but I measured my locks, and Locks of Love will be receiving a 15.5 inch donation from my scalp in the mail. I'll try and get a camera before I get an envelope, so I can photo my amazing former locks. As for my new haircut? I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's like this:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

verily, things move

I have three boxes left lurking in my halls. And way to many books lining my floors. But other than that, Half Pint and I are moved in! The neighbors are friendly (maybe a little hippie on one side of the street), the area's nice, there's a park down the street. Now I just need to stop by a bike shop or find a bike on my local freecycle community, chop off my hair to donate, and wrestle down my rotations. I've already spoken to two professors, and both are available and have space. One has funding at the moment, the other is working on it. Unfortunately, I have some choices to make. There are five people I'd like to rotate with, but only three rotation spots. Oi. Oh, and I still need a printer. Gar! And I just found out the school gyms and pools are all closed until the 31st. WAAAA! No working out for me....looks like I'll have to take it to the streets, Rocky style. ADRIAN!!!!!!!! :D