Monday, October 25, 2010

Have I ever told you how much I love sweet potatoes?

I haven't? Well, shame on me for keeping my love for all things sweet potato hidden under a bushel.

I'm going to make that up to the sweet potato here and now by writing them a poem:

Sweet Potato

I love you so.
I love you made into french fries.
I love you baked.
It mattereth not to me whether you are salted and peppered or covered in brown sugar, as long as you are smothered in butter first.
I love you salty.
I love you sweet.
Basically, I just love you.
So much.

Now that you know my love of the fair sweet potato, you can imagine how much this made me drool. (Both figuratively, and - I'm sorry to say - literally.)

Be still, my beating heart. (And gushing taste buds.) I think I may have found the holy grail of all sweet potato recipes. (Can I get some back up on wanting to substitute cream for the milk? Anyone? ... Anyone?)

Uh, yeah. I'll be making these this weekend. (You know, when I'm not working 10 hour days and I have time to cook delicious food and enjoy life again. Until then, it's Cereal-For-All-Meals-R-Us here at Casa de la Laurie.)

The End.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

She LIKES red!

Okay, okay. Who's kidding who? She loves it, actually.

Behold, my birthday present to myself:

It's red, it's shiny, it's sparkly, it's a little ostentatious, and it has a diamond center. This sucker had my name written all over it. You know I had to have it.

Happy Birthday to me! :-)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

You don't mess with God's girl...

I have a Facebook friend...

Okay, wait. I just saw The Social Network this weekend, and I now hesitate to use that phrase, lest any of you think that my FB friends are just people I friend so I can raise my friend count, and not people I actually know. Let me re-word that.

I have a friend, with whom I went to high school, that posted the following video footage on Facebook.

That's much better, right? It sounds like he's an actual friend, not like he's just a Facebook friend. Not that I've actually talked to him - outside of FB - since high school. But I would if I could. ... And I'm not just saying that because he recently spent a year in Afghanistan and has very nearly perfect punctuation in all of his status updates. (We all know how I love a man in uniform - almost as much as I love a man who grammars. Be still, my beating heart.)

But I digress. (Like anyone wants to hear about my cyber crushes on men I went to high school with, anyway.)

The reason I wanted to post this video is that I thought, quite frankly, that it was AMAZING. I watched it a few weeks ago, and it's been on my mind off and on since then. Abortion is one of my own personal hot topics. (I would like to take a moment and publicly thank the Evers family for their contribution to the world. I love that the precious feet pins were my first awareness that babies are babies, end of conversation. I'm grateful for the examples of good men and women everywhere who stand up and say, and then do, something for the children who would be victims of the silent holocaust. May I be a little more like them. Amen.)

This woman's story? It's incredible. Her message? It's inspirational, on so very many levels. (Let alone the against-all-odds way in which she came into the world. Listen to her. She is a woman full of gratitude, living in a body with challenges the likes of which most of us will never know.) I am amazed by her.

I am awed by the story of her life. I am humbled by her testimony. I am strengthened by her will to make a difference in the world. Bless her. (I'm pretty sure He already has, over and over again.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Today, I'm eating like it's October.

So what if it's a sunny 88 degrees outside, the birds are singing and the winter grass is just starting to come in? I decided I was going to act like it was October today.

That's right. I made stew. In my magical pan. (I heart this pan. And Santa, who gave it to me.) I had to turn the A/C down (and the ceiling fan on) so I wouldn't overheat while eating - thankyouverymuch - two bowls of the stuff, but it was worth it. You just can't beat the warm and delicious feeling of stew in October.

*Oh, and yeah, I know, that's not the most appetizing picture of food you've ever seen in your life. There's a reason I'm not a food blogger, people. When lunch is ready, and it looks and smells delicious, I'd rather eat it than take a break and photograph it. So, what you get is a picture of a pan that used to be full of stew.

**Also, I'd like to state for the record that Millie and I have a lot on common: My stew can stand on its own two feet, too. (112 points to the first person who can call out the name of the movie I just referenced.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

When was the last time you went "Wahoo"?

Have you seen the movie I.Q.? If not, you must. It's one of my faves. This is one of my favorite scenes. I tell you what, Ed Walters makes my heart go pitter-pat. He does. I love him. I also love the old men. With all their talk of "does time really exist?" and their prejudice against Ze Rat Man, they slay me.

Seriously, this is one of the most fun movies I own. It didn't get a lot of press when it opened, and I've found that not a lot of people know it. (Which is tragic, since it's about the most quotable thing since.... Since... Well, since You've Got Mail, which you know is up there with Thoroughly Modern Millie and Dan in Real Life when it comes to quote-ability.)

Rent this movie. Netflix it. Borrow it from me. ... Whatever it takes. Just promise me that if you haven't seen it, you will. (I could really use having someone around who knows what I'm talking about when I reference The Seven Sacred Pools, okay?)

I heart Ed. I'm pretty sure I'd have been telling him "I love you. I. Love. You." only a few days after meeting him, too. He's adorable. He asks good questions. He does a pretty ridiculous Brando impersonation, and he likes ice cream cones. Ed rocks. I'm pretty sure he'd make me go "wahoo" (and I mean that in the most respectable way, of course).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating early

For those of you who were not previously aware, this is my birthday month. In fact, we're officially in the 10 Day Countdown to National Laurie Day. It's true. ... I love my birthday. L-o-v-e, love it! And there's nothing I love better than an excuse to celebrate early.

To fully appreciate the beauty of the birthday accessory I used tonight, let me tell you a little story - complete with show-and-tell pictures. (Visuals - they're how I roll.)

As some of you may recall, my friend Jenni came in July. It was a time of much good times and laughter, conversation and bonding, Panda Express and shopping. It was pretty much the best of times. (Every time I get some good quality time in with Jen is the best of times. I love that girl. So much.) ... Anyhoo, when Jen came, she brought along a little early birthday present for me. (This is why I love her. She gives me birthday presents in July. Now, there's a pal!)

Here is what she gave me:

It's awesome, isn't it? Yeah, that's a hot pink satiny shower cap covered with chocolate brown lace. You can understand why she thought of me when she saw it in a boutique this summer... Satin and lace are basically symbols of everything I stand for.

But what Jen didn't know/realize was that there'd come a day when I needed to shower, but didn't want to get my hairs wet, and I'd actually use said shower cap.

That day was today. Behold:

Super sexy, no? ... No?

Okay, okay.... So maybe it's not super sexy, but it is super fun. (And how awesome is it that I have pajamas that totally match The Most Incredible Shower Cap in All of the Land? Pretty awesome, I know.)

Happy early birthday to me! :-)

*Note: My arm is not skinny. It looks a little skinny in this pic, because of the angle of camera, but I promise you all that it is still soft and squishy and the very opposite of skinny. Don't you worry and/or send out the authorities to take me away and force feed me cheesecake so as to fatten my arms back up. Again, I repeat, the skinny-ish arm is an optical illusion.

**Further note: On the other hand, if the authorities are now force feeding people cheesecake in order to fatten them back up, maybe you should give them a call. I could use some o' that - STAT - before I have to alter/take-in one more article of clothing.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This cake has a sweet spirit

I know, I know, it's not much to look at... but trust me, this cake has a sweet and delicious soul.

For those who looketh upon the outside of a cake and judgeth it shall not receive the untold blessings of sweet and tart lemony goodness which lie therein.

Thus saith The Prophet Laur

This cake? It's so good. I've been trying several lemon cake recipes lately (have I told ya'll how glad I am that I can eat again?), and at the end of the day, I had to come back to the lemon jello cake I grew up with. This sucker? It's the best thing EVER. (And one of the things I love most about this cake is that it's a little different than your standard jello cake. The box of jello gets dumped into the mix and baked in the cake. It's a springy, delightful little cake because of that.)

So, if you like lemon at all... Make. This. Cake. Today (or tomorrow). You won't regret it.

Lemon Jello Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 small box lemon jello
4 eggs
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil

2 lemons (juice and rind)
2 cups powdered sugar

Mix cake mix, jello, eggs, water and oil for 5 minutes. Pour into greased/floured 9x13. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. When cake comes out of the oven, prick cake with fork and then pour glaze in a thin drizzle over the cake. You can use a knife or spatula to spread the glaze so it gets into all the nooks and crannies. (This may cause some of the top of the cake to lift, don't worry about that. Remember what The Prophet Laur said about the outward appearance of the cake - it mattereth not.)

Note: If you only own one 9x13 cake pan and it's at your friend Jo's house (as mine was), you can definitely bake this cake in a sheetcake pan - just remember to shorten the baking time to 20 minutes. Also, I'd recommend upping both the lemon and sugar count in the glaze. You want to have plenty of tart and sweet goodness seeping into your cake, so go with 3 lemons and 3 cups of powdered sugar. You won't regret it.

Further note: When pricking the cake with said fork, try not to let your fork go all the way down to the bottom of the pan. It's okay if you hit the bottom of the pan a few times, here and there, but you don't want all the fork holes to go all the way down, or the glaze will all go through your cake and it will make the bottom all soggy. (And who likes soggy cake bottoms? Not me, that's who.)

Now, go forth and bake.

It has been commanded.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Yeesh, I'm crazy in the AM!

It's a known fact that I wake up more than a little bit crazy, yes?

This morning was no exception. (In my defense, I'm gonna say that I must have had some kind of dream that brought this line of "reasoning" on. ... And, yeah, I put that words in quotations, because we're using the word reasoning in the loosest terms possible.)

I woke up this morning with the most overwhelming gratitude that I hadn't been born during the Puritan age. Why? Because if I had been, I would have surely died from the tumor. It would have grown and grown and grown until I wasn't able to breathe, and then I'd have died. ... But, worse than the dying was knowing that, before the tumor got so large that it actually choked the life out of me, I'd have been branded with a scarlet letter (listen, I was looking more than a little pregnant right before I had surgery), and that would have mortified my mother. ... And then I remembered that if I'd lived my life with the same timeline, I'd have been 35 before I grew the tumor and we all know I would have been burned as a witch in my 20's - either because a) I'm a stubborn, opinionated woman who has a penchant for speaking her mind, or b) my eternally chubby legs make me the best floater in the greater Phoenix area, and we all know that women who could swim were burned at the stake. (Not that I can swim. I sure can't. But boy howdy, can I float...) So, I guess I wouldn't have had to deal with being a Hester Pryne-alike, since I'd have been burned alive ages before the tumor even started to grow. What a relief!


This is what I thought as I got out of bed this morning and walked to the kitchen to get a drink. These thoughts, in this order.

My word, I'm a crazy woman.

But the good news is, I'm alive. Why? Because the tumor came out. And also because I wasn't born until the mid 1970's, well after the time that women were being burned at the stake for being weird. Phew!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Me and my rich fantasy life

I have a new schedule at work, which translates into I have new co-workers. (Long story short, they reconfigured some of the shifts - and my old Thurs-Sat shift was changed to a Fri-Sun shift. I now work M-Th. It's a killer, working a 4x10 shift when I was just getting used to a 3x12, but hey... it's still better than all those years I spent working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.)

But I digress. The point of this post was not to drone on about my new schedule. The point was to tell you a funny work-related story.

So, without further ado...

On my first day on the new shift, we all went around and gave our names. At the end of the circle, this skinny kid said his name was Alex, and I thought to myself, "Hmmmm. Alex is kind cute. In a weird way, he reminds me a little of Pasha. He's younger and skinnier, but he's looking a little familiar to me. How bizarre."

(We all remember my deep and abiding love for Pasha, right?

Fast-forward two days when I see Alex has been copied on an email sent to me, and his last name ends with 'sky'. Uh, hello, people. That's a Russian last name.

Yup, Russian... Just like Pasha.


No wonder I thought he looked a little Pasha-like!

I've officially joined the ranks of 30-somethings who have crushes on children. I'm pretty sure Alex is only 22, and I don't even care. (Listen, he reminded me of Pasha in the first place - and then I saw his last name. Oh, my.)

The End.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

He's so quotable

I'm not sure which is my favorite line:

"I almost ordered a Russian bride once. You know, a Czech-mate."

"Hiding would be building a fortress out of my comforter and then dowing a fifth of scotch... But, apparently, that's considered unhealthy."

"Hey. I'm a wise-ass, not a jackass."


"What, exactly, are you supposed to be?" - "A space cowboy."