Crazy Cat Lady Starter Kit

This, of course, is my crazy kitty, Milo, who just canNOT resist getting into a box or a bag. He’s quite obsessed with them. I order a lot of stuff from Amazon, and he practically has conniption fits when he hears me opening a box. He’ll even jump in before I get the packing out.

I’ve had this box on the kitchen floor for over a week, just because he gets in it when I’m cooking. It’s “his” place. Until I get another package, I guess it’s there to stay for a while.

Jeremiah? ‘Zat You?

There are plenty of photos of scenic areas from this weekend, but one of the most fascinating closeups I took was this colony of bullfrog eggs. There were thousands and thousands of them in the series of small waterfalls that run down the slope to the river.

I can only imagine the croaking that will ensue once this population matures. :)

Down in the Valley

I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend with some friends at their new cabin in the Chattahoochee National Forest. It was so beautiful (their cabin and the surroundings), and the weather was absolutely perfect. I made a feeble attempt at getting some good late-night star shots, but standing in the cold darkness waiting on long exposures to finish, while my friends are inside talking and laughing by the fire, quickly revealed just how feeble the attempt was. :)

This is the view from their porch, looking toward the Toccoa River at the bottom of this slope. Just before the sun set, it was still casting golden rays between the peaks onto a few places in the valley. I’m sure in the Spring and Fall seasons, it’s even more beautiful.

I will be posting more photos from here soon. What a great time! Thanks, WW and MM!!


Like a Hot Knife Through Butta!

Since I didn’t get to post last night while watching THE game, I thought I’d parallel the title honor of tonight’s blog post to the way Eddie Lacy bulldozed his way through Notre Dame’s defense!! What a shellacking!! Congrats to the Alabama Crimson Tide for making Alabama and the SEC proud!

Of course, the title also alludes to my photo… my set of knives just arrived this evening. I’m so excited! I’ve had a set that was okay to start with, but pretty cheap. Now that I’m preparing food a lot more, I quickly realized the need for a better set.

I got some good advice and opinions from friends on their preferences, but ultimately went with what I was already considering. First, they got a 4.8 out of 5-star rating from 96 Amazon users, which is pretty good, because Amazon reviewers can be brutally honest (and should be!). Second, they are high-carbon stainless steel and offer lifetime sharpening. And finally, what fun colors!! They will go perfectly in my bright red kitchen! :)

Actually, the colors serve a purpose in that they help differentiate the intended use for each knife. For example, the yellow knife is for citrus, the red knife is for tomatoes, the green is for paring, orange for bread, and so on. That will certainly help me remember the right tool for the job.

Sandee offered to buy them for me for my upcoming birthday, and well, how could I resist such a generous offer?! So Happy (early) Birthday to me!! Thanks, Sandee!

Little Happinesses

“I wish my stove came with a ‘Save As’ button like Word has. That way I could experiment with my cooking and not fear ruining my dinner.
― Jarod Kintz

Okay, so I’m becoming food-obsessed. Not really so much with eating it, because I’m not eating that much, but with making it! For someone who has never really cooked on any kind of regular basis before, this whole process is fascinating! It amazes me that you can put individual ingredients together, and they come out something good and edible! I mean really, who was the first person to figure out that if you put flour, eggs, sugar, and other stuff together and heated it, it would become a cake?!

I’ve also heard people talk about how cooking is relaxing to them, and I never understood that. The lingo of the kitchen was confusing. (What the heck is a Dutch oven? What is clarified butter? etc. And yes, I know the answers now. :) Plus, I was never good at matching side dishes with entrees, never good at knowing when to start one thing before another to try to get them all to come off at the same time. I’ve always been able to follow a recipe, but never felt confident enough to experiment with changing any of the ingredients.

So since I’ve been cooking more regularly and the food is actually good, I’m getting a lot more confident, and it’s really fun! Of course, I do it when I want to. I’m not expected to cook every day for a family. I’m sure that might take some of the “fun” out of it. :)

So last night, I made this buffalo chicken pizza and had strawberries, fresh celery, and ranch dressing to go with it. It was very good. However, next time, I’ll put less (or no) bleu cheese because I don’t really like the taste of it very much. The strawberries were perfectly sweet, and provided a cool counter to the hot flavor of the buffalo chicken.

For brunch today, I made a sausage and eggs casserole with a side of hash browns and the rest of the strawberries. Delicious!

Sandee is obviously encouraging my newfound hobby, since she’s often the beneficiary. I think she’s hoping it’s not just a passing phase. :)