Friday, December 31, 2010

Meat, knives, and cold, cold, cold weather

The beef is here. I mean: The beef is here! Ten pounds of rouladen-cut top round. Wah-wow! (That's the sound in Tetris when you get a super-slam {it's not called that, but it should be}). I'm cooking some tonight and freezing the rest for the next rouladen occasion. And I'm in love with Crown Foods (the butcher's), serving Spokane since 1956. The son, Scott, cut my beef and sharpened my knives. The mother ( I don't know her name but she's in her eighties) rang me up on an ancient cash register with a crank handle she pulled to open the drawer. It was so excellent. I need to develop a keener taste for flesh, so I can go back again.

Right inside this bag. I can only assume the D stands for delectable.
With this receipt.

Investigated by this kitty.
Five knives have been sharped and are ready to go. Not that this dish
requires five knives-it's just that I had them all sharpened at once.
Smart move on my part.
Sunset in Browne's Addition. Walking home from the Museum tonight
was nowhere near as frosty as this morning...when it was 1 degree.

Patsy Clark's mansion. On the way home, so why not take a picture?
Walking and freezing and ducking under branches.
OK, so time to begin cooking. I'll have the recipe, process, and results tomorrow...when I will, most likely, be in a meat coma. I can't wait!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Boys! All we really want is boys!

Boys! To do the dishes. To clean up our room. To do the laundry. And in the bathroom. Boys!


One BOYS earring. Found at a garage sale: 5 cents. Endless opportunities for sisterly fun. Well, actually, there's only the one opportunity for sisterly fun. But oh, what fun it is.

Bonus picture: Bruno!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meat to eat

Rouladen for New Year's Eve! You heard me. I called a butcher yesterday and I'm picking my beef up tomorrow afternoon. The butcher's was a first for me. I was actually pretty excited, and I almost told the butcher how excited I was, but then I thought he'd probably be like: weirdo. And really, he probably thought I was a weirdo already because when he asked how many pounds I wanted, I had no idea and just said, What do you think? Does it freeze well?

So, I'm getting 7 pounds. Is that too much? Too little? I honestly don't know. I don't buy meat that often and never from a guy wearing an apron with blood on it. But still, exciting!

So, today I roasted almonds. Also a first for me. It went down like this: I was eating raw almonds at work, and I thought: These would be so delicious if they were roasted in olive oil with sea salt. And then I came home and made that dream a reality. It takes about 25 minutes and is super easy.

Roasted Almonds
2 cups or so will fill a cookie sheet
enough olive oil to coat the almonds
a bit of sea salt

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the olive oil-coated almonds on a cookie sheet and cook for 5 minutes. Pull them out and give them a stir, then back in the oven. Bake 5 minutes and stir, etc. for 20-30 minutes. Keep an eye out so they don't burn, and then gobble them up pronto.  Actually, allowing them to cool first is a good idea.

P.S. It's snowing like whoa.

OMG I almost forgot MR. T!

So First Christmas really can be summed up with two-words/three-letters...MR. T. 
Monika gets the best Christmas present award, most creative, and most photogenic.


First Christmas time!

Yeah, yeah, yeah first Christmas is fine and all, but I have high hopes for second Christmas this year. Lots of things happened--Bruno loved all of Nick and beat up on Matilda. Bruno talked to Peanut (who is as bad as ever). I put on the "boys earring." I wrapped a bunch of presents that look really nice. I made fun of Nick whose presents took the shape of the contents (he doesn't like using boxes). Last night I finally took down party decorations from Mother's 60th but not before Penelope had herself a little kitten photo-shoot.
See for yourself!
She's not ready to stop the partying.

Nick's presents.

My presents

Well this one was really Stephanie's house-warming present, but I believe you can use the same wrapping paper for Christmas, house-warmings, and birthdays.

She attacked these moments later.

Hand knit coffee sleeve for Chelsey.

Mother's Christmas tree.

Bruno goes gaga for Nick every single time!

The feeling is mutual.

You can see the big bird ornament in the background...and of course Peanut.

Christmas jam-jam! Me circa 1989. I'm also wearing my favorite dress ever. GOOSE DRESS!

I used to hate this goose and would hide it, but now it's one of my favorites. This is my mother's "governor's goose." She got it from Governor Booth Gardner's wife when she was invited to a luncheon at the Governor's mansion. It's kind of funny looking.

I used to be mad that my stocking wasn't quite red but more of an orange-red (think Ariel from Little Mermaid's hair color), but now I like it better this way.


I don't know what Bruno is saying, maybe, "get off my hamper!" 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A bird in the hand

One of the best things about Christmas is the post-Christmas decoration deal bonanza. Here are a few of my post-Christmas ornament finds:

The resin birds are from Popinjay in Olympia (just wait until you see the additions Catherine has purchased for The Aviary). The fox is Pottery Barn in Spokane. I also found sweet Christmas cards (which won't be revealed until they appear in your mailbox next year), electric blue tinsel, a wreath hanger, tissue paper for Matilda's cat house (she loves diving into tissue paper. Seriously, if you have cats, this is probably the best play investment you could ever make), and bows, bows, bows!

P.S. I was finally able to add more photos to my Christmas Day post. Mom's computer is not exactly up to blogging snuff.

Monday, December 27, 2010

What to my wondering eyes should appear?

Well, we're back in Spokane. Matilda survived the return trip with very little fussing, and as usual, Matilda and Bruno were chasing each other around Mom's house--playing!--up until the time Mom and I put Matilda in the new crate. Once home, Matilda got right back to business...lamb business.

And just where did this come from?
Note the looming shadow--that's Matilda.
That's all Matilda. She's such a little lurker.
In the past week, she's deposited the following on my bedroom floor: the lamb (practically every night!), 3 sparkle balls, my knitting, a bit of curly paper, and the ticket stub from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Oh, Matilda.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Looking at Mom's Christmas tree through her vintage kaleidoscope.

Taking a picture while doing so: not as easy as you might imagine.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Home for Christmas

Turns out, I was able to make it home for real Christmas after all, but that doesn't negate Second Christmas, which is most certainly still happening. This was just a mini-Christmas with cookies and two amazing creations from Catherine's boyfriend, Nick: Eggplant Parmesan and Tiramisu. He's kind of a wonder in the kitchen. But what was a perfectly decent mini-Christmas for me, was a perfectly awful mini-Christmas for Matilda.

She will hide under the tree until Christmas is over!

She had a horrible time during the drive over (She hates her carrier, and to be fair, 5 hours is a long time to be stuck in a tight space. I'm going to buy her a bigger one for the drive back.), got jumped by Bruno once she arrived, and spent most of the evening hiding under the bed in Monika's old room. Things got better, but she was pretty angry with me for a while. She'll get over it.

Here are some pictures from our drive to Tacoma.

Sunrise in Spokane

From I-90. You can see my camera...well, window shots are tough.

Approaching the Columbia River crossing.

Heading through Snoqaulmie Pass.

Matilda always shoves her face against the crate door. I think she wants to make the trip as uncomfortable as possible.

This catnip crazed dynamo awaited Matilda in Tacoma.
Her fate was practically sealed.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Nick and I went to Zoolights 10 days ago. We walked around, took pictures, bought (and instantly regretted drinking) hot chocolate, and looked at sharks.  The aquarium isn't as impressive as it was when I was under 4 feet tall. Now that I'm "freakishly tall" all the tanks look less massive. I guess you could also account this to when I'm 25 I realize that we're at a zoo and the aquarium isn't the real ocean. I'm sure I thought this when I was like 5.

Now I'm knitting a jellyfish. This will be transformed into a cat toy.
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