First of all: Happy Birthday to my Auntie R! I love you and I miss you.
Yesterday I felt like crud. I developed one of those horrible migraines that made me sick to my stomach. My body also has a nasty habit of carrying all of my stress in my neck and shoulders. On Friday I had my back up against the wall with a rubber band ball between me and the plaster trying to work the knots out. The method was unsuccessful and I ended up snapping rubber bands. Not good. J came home to a living room rearranged because I couldn’t turn my neck or lean my back against the arm rest to watch television, so I had to be sitting forward in front of the TV. (The way we have our living room set up has the TV on a stand that is perpendicular to the couch with the TV at an angle.) My neck and back feel a bit better today, but that migraine had me down for the count. I slept badly and ended up staying in bed till noon today. Oops.
This weekend has been pretty chill. Last weekend J and I went with one of his grad school buddies to a place called “Shake Shack” on South Beach (aka SoBe). Finally! A decent burger! It was more expensive than Kopp’s back home, but it was well worth the $4. I decided to finish my meal with custard. They actually had it and I had to contain my squeals of delight because J’s new friend doesn’t know me and I don’t want to embarrass my husband. I walked up to the counter, waited my turn, practically bounced in place while I ordered my vanilla custard, and waited for it to be handed to me. “Well?” You are probably wondering, “was it good?” Sigh. No. It had ice chunks in it. I don’t know if it was the batch or if it was the recipe itself, but I ate my custard with silent disappointment.
Since my back and shoulders had been bothering me almost all of this past week, I haven’t been cooking as much. I did bake some sugar cookies on Monday and frosted them with vanilla icing and sprinkles, but they were slightly burnt and just so-so. Baking desserts eludes me. It must be the need for precise order and measurements. Cooking is so much more forgiving. I also dislike my oven and stove. In Madison we had a gas stove and I could control the temperature much better. Here things tend to burn even on the medium-high setting, and I have to turn things around in my oven so one side doesn’t get scorched.
Yesterday, before I got sick, I decided to make turkey meatloaf for dinner. I added cut up string cheese to the recipe because that is what Mom did for me when I was younger. Despite the fact that I slightly burnt the onions, it turned out pretty darn good. See- cooking is forgiving- Worchester sauce and ketchup cover many offenses (like big, dark sunglasses the day after a night of debauchery). And, like lasagna, I think meatloaf is best the second time around. J prefers to microwave, I prefer to fry up in a pan with a little bit of olive oil. While making the meatloaf I cracked one too many eggs (I like cracking eggs! What can I say?) so I decided to make another batch of Becca’s Failed Fudge Brownies. I used more fudge this time, so they are even gooey-ier than last time. Personally I like my brownies that way.
We have been trying to use up that dang Failed Fudge. For lunch yesterday, J treated me to breakfast foods- my favorite. Turkey bacon and an epic omelet with cheese, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers… He makes turkey bacon so much better than I can. And he surprised me with a dessert. Dessert for lunch is a treat! He made banana hot fudge sundaes by melting up some of that fudge we have sitting in the freezer. We still have over a third left!
Today I had a slow start- as I mentioned before with me rolling out of bed at noon. I watched some episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives that we had DVR’ed. I love that show, but it makes me ravenous. So, after watching three or so episodes, fast forwarding through the commercials (love that!), I decided I would give baking another try. But this time, it would be bread, not dessert (since brownies are the only thing I can do). I had a “No Knead Bread” recipe from the Cooking Channel. The first try with yeast didn’t go so well. I called J into the kitchen and we sniffed it and we stirred it and he Googled what yeast was supposed to look like… We tried again. It turned out that I didn’t mix it properly. I had to add the sugar and the yeast first and then add the water. Oookay. That is why I did terribly in chemistry. Luckily I have a scientist for a husband.
The yeast worked the second time around. I made two loaves of bread. One was “savory” with steak spice ground on top and one was “sweet” with brown sugar sprinkled in top. The bread actually turned out and J enthusiastically approved. The one problem was that both loaves kind of stuck to the bottom and I had to use my knowledge of physics to get them out with a lever-like tool (aka an awesome Pampered Chef spatula thing). I ended up massacring the ends of the savory loaf. They were stuck in there. I probably should buy a can of Pam instead of using butter to grease my baking sheets and dishes.
Tonight for dinner I am planning on a grown-up pizza with fresh mozzarella, shallots, and mushrooms. It should be fairly straight forward. I also have to work on wedding Thank You notes, hanging the rest of our wall décor, picking out pictures for our wedding album, and doing two loads of laundry (ugh, hate that!). For someone who isn’t working, I sure have a big to-do list. And for someone who doesn’t like the heat, I am in the kitchen a lot.