Wednesday, July 29, 2009

We're going to San Francisco...

In only a matter of hours now Mr. P, Jess, our brother Sean and I are all off to San Francisco! We are suffering through a major heat wave here in the Pacific North West. Yesterday the high was 106 and today it's 105 right now. The forecast for San Francisco is a beautifully refreshing 60 for the whole weekend. Because of the heat wave we are going to leave at 4am in an effort to make through the high temperatures before noon. We are going to Santa Cruz first where we will spend the afternoon swimming and eating gelatto on the boardwalk. Then we will go to San Jose to meet our friend David. We're staying Thursday night with David and then Friday morning Sean, Jess and I are going into San Francisco for the weekend. Mr. P is going to stay with David because he is still on crutches and can't walk all over the city as we intend to.

It is going to be such a blast I can't wait. We're going to City Lights Bookstore the famous hang out to the beat poets. We will wander through china town, go to the Pier 39 at the Fisherman's wharf, wander through the Italian district where there will be more gelatto. Then Saturday night Mr. P and David are coming into the city to take us out to Tapas and a bar on the 39th story of a building! I will take lots of pictures and share them soon. Until then happy weekend everyone.

Mrs. P

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh woe is me and my scrambled eggs

Apparently I cannot make scrambled eggs. This is news to me. Lately Mr. P has been commenting on my eggs a lot. Since he’s been home, on crutches and needing to gain weight I have been making him breakfast every morning, and not cereal but real breakfast: pancakes, eggs, bacon, French toast, potatoes. Well every time I have made scrambled eggs Mr. P says something. First he suggested that perhaps I was cooking them too long and he thinks that’s what makes them watery. Well this has progressed. Over the weekend we were watching Barefoot Contessa and she made scrambled eggs and there is Mr. P, “See how she does it? She takes them off the heat before they are done blah blah blah”. So how has my husband suddenly become an egg connoisseur? Remember this is my husband who doesn’t cook! And never once has he made me scrambled eggs. Apparently, when he worked in the residence hall kitchen in college they made a lot of eggs. But why is he just bringing this up now? I made plenty of scrambled eggs over the past year and he never said a word. Were the scrambled eggs at OCS such exemplary culinary gems that he just can’t face my watery excuse for eggs? I think the first thing Mr. P can start doing when he is off those crutches is demonstrate this apparent egg knowledge he seems to possess.

Eggs aside, here are some culinary successes of my weekend:Risotto with pecorino, prosciutto, and goat cheese by Jamie Oliver

This was delicious but a little on the expensive side. It’s good for a special meal.

Recipe: olive oil, 1 onion chopped, 3 stalks celery, finely chopped, 3 cloves garlic chopped, 14 oz aborio rice, 2 quarts veg broth, 2 wine glasses full of good dry white wine, 2 handfuls of fresh lemon thyme, ½ stick butter, handful of Parmesan cheese, handful of pecorino, some proscuitto, and some goat cheese.

Bring broth to boil in one pan, reduce to simmer. In another pan heat oil. Saute onion, and celery a few minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add rice and cook 1-2 minutes stirring. Add the wine and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Once wine is absorbed add one ladleful of stock cook, stirring until absorbed. Continue this until rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Turn off burner. Then add parmesan cheese and pecorino cheese and butter. Gently stir in then place lid on pot and let stand covered for 3 minutes. Dish onto plates. Top each plate with prosciutto and crumbled goat cheese.

Banana Pancakes by Ina Gardner

No joke the best pancakes I have ever eaten. They are so good. You can view the recipe here.
Mrs. P

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back to work

Well Lauren's wedding is over. It was beautiful. She was gorgeous. I can't wait to get a hold of some pictures. Sadly I didn't end up taking pictures because I was too busy but the lovely Kate, another bridesmaid, took a lot. Hopefully Lauren and Nick are having a perfect honeymoon and relaxing from all the craziness. I am back at work but am definitely not recovered. It was a fun but exhausting weekend.

Oh and on another note: Harry Potter was so much fun! As a huge fan of the books I will admit I was not entirely happy with some of the changes made to the movie. But as a whole it was a good. It was really hard to stay up for the midnight release. I think it must be signs of my age. I know it wasn't this hard at the last one.

Mrs. P

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Welcome Home Mr. P!

We picked up Mr. P from the air port on Friday. It was so wonderful to see him, touch him, and know that he is home. I know he was only gone 6 weeks and that so many women have to be away from their husbands for 7 month, 1 year and 14 month deployments but oh my gosh I missed him so much! He looks a little different, like a Marine. I suppose it's mostly the hair, but he also seems to carry himself a little differently. Since he's been home he has spent most of his time eating and sleeping:) He's on crutches so there isn't a lot he can do. I left him this morning with a stack of books, movies and a lot of snacks. He will probably be on crutches for at least 3 weeks maybe longer. If anyone has good ideas of how to keep him entertained please send them my way. I foresee him getting very bored pretty soon.

On another note, here are fun photos from Lauren's Bridal shower. They were taken by Kate Yates, one of the other bridesmaids. Enjoy!

Mrs. P

Friday, July 10, 2009

Menu Friday

Mr. P is on his way home. He was injured this week, a stress fracture, and cannot complete OCS. It is a disappointment for him, he was so close to finishing but he worked really hard, he did his best and we are all proud of him. We aren't really sure what the long term plans will be from here nor am I going to worry about that right now. We are just going to focus on getting Mr. P home, healed up and fattened up:)
And with that it's time for Menu Friday.

Saturday: Sticky Chicken from Jamie Oliver, Jamie at Home (Mr. P's #1 fav food)
Sunday: Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus with strawberry rhubarb pie
Monday: Homemade Pizza and salad
Tuesday: Tostadas Salsa Verde from Martha Stewart, Food Everyday
Wednesday: Indian Food! a chicken curry and a vegetable curry, Best Ever Indian Food Cookbook
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Lauren's Rehearsal Dinner

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Can We Just Talk About How Much Mrs. P Hates to Clean

So last night I was going to finish cleaning house so Jess could come home to a completely clean home. Plus I need to start practicing my responsible wifely duties (such as cooking and cleaning and not staying up until all hours of the night watching Frasier) so I am ready when Mr. P comes back in 28 days!

Here’s what I still needed to do to completely finish cleaning:
  1. Iron A LOT
  2. Vacuum
  3. Clean the bathroom
  4. Pick up my bedroom
  5. Clear off the dining room table

Here’s what I actually did:

  1. Ironed a little bit
  2. Wrapped Lauren’s wedding present
  3. Sort of cleaned the bathroom (you know a quick wipe down with Clorox wipes)
  4. Sorted out and organized all my beauty products
  5. picked up my bedroom
  6. pre-stamped a bunch of addressed envelopes for Mr. P with Simpson’s stamps
  7. Cleared off dining room table
  8. started organizing recipes (this totally defeated the purpose of clearing off the table as it was soon covered with recipe cards, pages out of magazines, a notebook, recipe box and more randomly scribbled recipes than you can imagine)
  9. gave up and read Harry Potter until it was time to go to the Airport

Have I mentioned that:
A. I HATE to clean
B. I’m bad at cleaning
C. I love to organize things,
D. this is clearly just because it’s a way to procrastinate cleaning

Please tell me I am not the only one. Do you guys hate clean? What do you do to procrastinate cleaning? Are you also deeply in love with Clorox cleaning wipes for their quick fix cleaning? What are your best "clean enough" tips?

Mrs. P

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Easy Roasted Tomato Risotto

Yesterday I was having a hard day so I decided to cook myself a real dinner. For those of you who know me you know I love to cook but ONLY when someone is here to eat it with me. This stems mostly from my intense hatred of doing dishes. Usually when it's just me I eat cereal, scrambled eggs, quesadilla's or left overs or I go to my Mom's house and eat her food as I did Monday night:)

Last night I made myself roasted tomato risotto with roasted green beans. It was so good. It's my own recipe that I have been using for a couple of years. It's one of those great foods that seems fancy but in actuality is inexpensive and easy, this makes it perfect for romantic dinner's. I think it would be a perfect summer anniversary dinner along with roasted shrimp and green beans and a good bottle of wine. So I thought I'd share with all of you. Sorry there are no pictures because I let Jess take my camera to Boston.

Easy Roasted Tomato Risotto

1 1/2 cups aborrio rice
half of a onion chopped
4 ripe tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic, don't peal
3-4 cups of chicken broth
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tb + 1 Tb butter
fresh thyme or oregano

Pre-heat oven to 425.

Wash and core tomatoes, place them in baking dish. Put the whole un-peeled garlic cloves in the dish with the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast 45min-hour. Set aside to cool.

To make risotto first you need to bring the broth to a boil. You can do this in a sauce pan or just in the microwave in a Pyrex glass measuring cup. As soon as the garlic (that roasted with the tomatoes) is cool enough to handle squeeze it out of the skin. It should be soft and gooey. Discard the skin and roughly chop the tomatoes in the baking dish reserving all the liquid.

Heat a small amount of olive oil to med-med-high in 3 quart sauce pan. Add 2 Tb butter. Once butter is melted add the onions and cook stirring frequently 3-5 minutes till translucent and just starting to caramelize. Add the rice and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add 1 cup of the broth, stir constantly until broth is absorbed, once broth is absorbed add another cup. Continue this process until all the broth is absorbed it should take about 15-20 minutes. Taste the rice. It should be just slightly al dente but close to being done. If it doesn't seem close heat another cup of broth and add. If it seems close add the tomatoes, garlic and all the reserved liquid. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Add 1 Tb butter, the cheese and the fresh herbs. Taste. add salt and pepper as needed.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oh amazon how I have a love/hate relationship with you. You provide an endless supply of cheap used books from my fingertips without having to find parking downtown. Yet every time we meet I leave with $50 less money. Sure, I got many more books for said $50 than I would in an actual store, but due to the amazing deals I'm pretty sure I spent more in the end. Furthermore have we all seen the book problem in my house. Amazon, my house cannot handle anymore of your amazingly cheap books--there is noooo room. And yet, today what do I find? Jamie Oliver books for $1.75!!!!! Are you trying to kill me? How can I resist Jamie Oliver, hard back, good condition books? Books that I would spend $30 on at Borders. We both know I do not possess that kind of will power.

A Plane Ride Away

I had a wonderful 4th of July with my family. Almost the entire family made it and it was so good to spend quality time swimming with all my cousins. I'll try to post pictures later when I get them loaded.

Maybe it's the wonderful long weekend but I'm having a blah week. I'm tired, I really miss Mr. P and I don't want to be at work. All combined I'm struggling with a bad mood. But I do have some good news. We bought my plane ticket today for Mr. P's graduation ceremony and commissioning ceremony in Quantico. I fly out of Portland August 6th which is exactly 3o days away!!!! I am so excited to get on that plane!

Edited to add: I forget. Sam is fine. She got on the next train and met my Dad and Jess at the next stop. Poor Katrina however, went back to where they left her to find her and she wasn't there (because she'd gotten on the next train) and Katrina freaked out a lot. But now everyone is fine and it's just a funny vacation story:)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Parenting Mishaps

So I just got a text message from my sister.

She is in Boston with our Father, Step-mother, Kat and step-sister Sam for a family vacation (apparently you aren't invited on fun family vacations once you get married but that's another topic).

Anyway, Dad, Kat and Jess just got on the T (Boston's version of the Metro or Subway) without Sam. I kid you not. They left our youngest sister behind at the T station. I know I shouldn't laugh but it is funny. Sam is 11 so it's not like she is 4 and in extreme danger.

It's a little comforting to know parents still make mistakes after 25 years of parenting.

His Plans

This morning I was reading 1 Samuel, where the Israelites ask God for a king. He warns them about the misery a king will bring them but they ignore him and demand one anyway. I was familiar with the story but this morning it really suck with me. I don't want to be those Israelites who ignore Gods plans for them and proceed with their own. I think this is such an important lesson for all of us as Christians.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how wonderful last summer was for Mr. P and I. After our wonderful honeymoon we came back and moved in together, set up house, went to baseball games with our friends, went camping and to the cabin, went to Johnson’s Farm to buy vegetables and cooked delicious food. And I can't help but thinking that if it wasn't for our change of plans abandoning our original plan and following Mr. P’s instinct to join the Marine Corp that’s how this summer would be as well. But reading this story in 1 Samuel reminds me that was my plan not Gods and for whatever reason the Marine Corp seems to be very clearly God’s plan for us. I don't want my plan I want God's because I know that God's plan is greater than anything I could ever plan.

I know that this time apart from Mr. P is good for both of us. And it serves some purpose of God's, an end we can't know now but inevitably will be good because it's His plan. I know that I am learning how to be alone. I am preparing for deployments to come. I am able to spend lots of time with friends and family that I will soon be leaving. I thank God for the opportunity to live with my sister, spend so much time with my wonderful mother and go to baseball games with my friends. I am learning how to enjoy life without Mr. P here, which is important because I'm going to have to be away for him for much longer than a summer and I need to be able to handle that.

I am very excited for the end of the work day today because it’s my Friday! Office is closed tomorrow for the holiday weekend. And I’m going to the Em’s game with a bunch of friends for “Thirsty Thursday” which is cheap beer night. I have every intention of eating a corn dog for dinner and beating the forecasted 95 degree high with cold beer.

Then Friday is my much anticipated “Me Day”. An entire day where I have no plans, no where I have to go, no one I have to see. I am going to clean house, do laundry, file paperwork that is stacking up everywhere and lay by the pool reading Harry Potter and get ready for tons of family fun on the 4th. While I am sad to spend it without Mr. P, I am looking forward to it. The 4th has always been a pretty big deal in our family. There is always a huge family get together on my Mom’s side of the family at my Grandmother’s place which is on a creek with the perfect swimming hole. I am really excited for a day of swimming, sun bathing, 4th of July food and seeing all of my many many cousins. There is even a new baby that I haven’t seen yet. Happy 4th of July to everyone out there! What are you doing to celebrate this great American holiday?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's clearly time for a Harry Potter reading marathon!

I am tired today because I decided it would be a good idea to stay up until 1am last night reading Harry Potter. This is yet another example of my inability to behave like a responsible adult. You can add it to the growing list: Lauren and my excessive shopping and consumption of Mint Juleps, Jess and I driving 2 hours to Portland to go shoe shopping instead of cleaning house the before having our entire family over for father's day (we had to stay up until 1am to get the house grandmother appropriate), Lauren and I staying up until 3am talking when she was supposed to catch a 5am train, hours of watching Frasier and Cheers instead more productive activities such as reading, and now late nights of Harry Potter. And I warn you, this is only the beginning as I am reading book one.

I blame this behavior on Mr. P being gone. He has very little tolerance for above behaviors, particularly, staying up until all hours of the night reading Harry Potter. Actually, Mr. P has a very strong aversion to Harry Potter, period. This stems from his deep seeded resentment and anger at Harry for having the same name as him. I have tried to point out the lack of logic in these feelings and even kindly offered to loan Mr. P my vast collection of Harry Potter books so he could realize the priceless value and truths held in them. As I philosophy major I would think Mr. P would value the deep insights into good and evil portrayed in the books. However, all of my efforts have been fruitless and Mr. P continues to harbor a bad attitude toward Harry Potter. This is one instance where he probably would prefer to be away at OCS then at home. Jess and I are both re-reading the books in preparation of the 6th movie which comes out in a few weeks and we fully intend to go see at the midnight release showing never mind that it’s a Wednesday night.
On a different note. Here are the beautiful new shoes bought at the Nordstom Rack during our Portland Shopping trip. Only I got them in pink but I couldn't find a picture of them in pink.

Mrs. P