Friday, November 13, 2009

My Beloved Ingredient

Today I am blogging a tribute to probably my favorite ingredient. This is not just an ingredient for the kitchen, but for your whole household!

Often, this ingredient is looked down upon. People smell it, and say"ick!"

Not I. I feel such an inexpensive staple is underestimated.....

....Vinegar!

Here are some of the things I use Vinegar in my daily life!:

Food uses:
  • I always soak my meat in a variation of Vinegar & Herbs to make it it's tenderest. Balsalmic? Red wine? Rice? Apple Cider Even plain ole' White Vinegar.
  • It is the best topping to a delicious & nutritious salad! Can't do just plain white? Try Red-Wine vinegar. Still too strong for your tastes? Dilute a dressing such as "French/Catalina" with some vinegar!
  • Mix some Balsamic with your asparagus and throw it on the grill!!
Laundry uses:
  • Every month, I run an empty load in my washer on the HOTTEST temp, and a few tbsp's of White Vinegar & some bleach! It keeps my clothes smelling fresh--especially the towels!
  • Cleaning Ryan's black, dirty, military boots! I take a little vinegar on a rag and use it to buff up and remove stains!
  • It removes mustard stains! Since I eat mustard with almost every meal - stains occur. Vinegar breaks them down!
Cleaning uses:
  • After my garbage disposal nightmare with the lime/lemon rinds. I researched new methods of freshening up your sink. Pouring some vinegar and just a small amount of baking soda down with hot water for about a minute freshens it right up!
  • Removes all charred/greasiness from microwaves, stove tops, or oven doors!! Soak these items for a minute, and clean away!!
  • Scorched pots/pans! After washing as much out possible with soap/H2O -- Pour white vinegar in the pan, and let soak for a few hours. It should come right out!
  • Wine glasses getting water stops/cloudy? Rinse out with some vinegar!
  • Run 1/2 cup of vinegar with water through your coffee pot, to clean the inner workings!
A few facts: (thought I'd research little on it!)
  • The use of vinegar dates back to the Egyptian era of 3000 B.C.
  • Don't use this magical ingredient to clean you pearls! They will melt away in vinegar!
  • There is a National Vinegar Museum in South Dakota(?!) (I don't think I'd visit a museum)
  • Jesus was offered vinegar before he was crucified.
  • Caesar's army drank vinegar as a beverage. (What men!)
  • It was used during the Bubonic Plague to prevent skin from germs!
Now, most of these tips are probably common sense to most of you. But I thought they were kind of neat! It's great to see such an inexpensive, easy-access household item has so many uses! Yay for vinegar!

And the best thing of all?? -- It used in pickling!!! :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sedatives, anyone?

Today was November 11.

It's already bad out there, people. Dangerous. Scary.

I wish I could've had some Ativan today. Not the pill. I wanted it from a syringe. I would have liked to inject it straight into my body as I had to make my way through the food court in the mall to get to the other side without bursting into tears of frustration. (Oh, I am so dramatic)

Sneezing/hacking old men, emotional-eating women shoving Cinna-bons into their mouth 3-at-a-time, childen running around in a complete chaos, rude/snotty high-school-kids sucking down their $8 Jamba juices with an indiscriminable face from their abundance of facial piercings (Ow!!!). I suddenly felt like I was no longer in the mall, but in a zoo surrounded by screaming hyenas. I regress -- it was worse than a zoo. At least zoos contain the animals. This was not contained. The mall today was a truely a glimpse of hell.

What a bad decision.

I told Ryan, "I am going to quick run into a store" I set up a meeting place. By the time he found me, I was literally pushed up against a wall, narotically rubbing Purell all over my hands, arms....even up to my shoulders.

I love Christmas. It is definitely my favorite holiday. Here are things I love:

  • Christmas music: Preferably the creations of Nat King Cole, Frank Sintra, even Manheim Streamroller if I'm really in the mood (especially if I'm cleaning)
  • The smell of cinnamon everywhere you go.
  • The coffees at Starbucks. Even though I never buy them, because I fear the caloric content -- I make Ryan get one, and then I take sips of his.
  • The baking. Especially the process of baking
  • Most of all -- the family. I love Christmas Eve with my family. It is amazing. Family everywhere, tons of laughs, Oyester stew, Crab legs, a wide variety of sea food snacks, wine, and Christmas eve mass. So much happiness.
  • Candy canes. Screw the cookies, fudge, etc--give me Candy canes and lots of them. I love peppermint.
  • Sweaters. Especially Christmas sweaters. Ryan & I are purchasing cheesiest holiday apparell we can find this year, and wearing them with a hat on our flight to North Dakota. Cannot wait.
  • Advent Wreathes. I love lighting advent wreathes, flourshing the week with prayers, and focusing on the true meaning of Christmas.
  • The excitement Children get about the season, the adorable letters they write, and when they realize Santa Claus has come. It's just way too cute. I can't wait to see my nephews this year!!!

However, today I learned there are a few things I don't like about Christmas. And those are (though few, so don't call my a scrooge):

  • Crowds at the mall
  • Any nativity scene where Santa Clause is placed hovering over Jesus. Come on, people. Saint Nicholas was not present at the birth of Jesus Christ. Enough said. I could say more--but I will stop there.
  • The post office. I feel like during the holiday season the postal workers become sinister, Christmas-gift-ruining pricks. It's almost as though they want to make you cry. (I had a bad experience last year)

Before y'all think I have turned into an angry Christmas-hating grump. Please, do unsterstand this is purely a "vent". Maybe humor? I really do enjoy this season like none other, and cannot wait to fill my house with the smells of cinnamon, sounds of Sinatra, and decorations of Christmas. But there are some things that I just don't enjoy about the holidays!

Happy Veteran's Day! Thank a Vet today!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ten On Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! (Who says that?!...Hm) Anyways, here are my Ten On Tuesday.

1. What gift are you most proud of giving?
I can't think of a good one at the moment--only one that sticks out is the scrapbook I made for my Mom at Christmas a few years ago.

It probably looks like shit, to be honest? I don't do extraordinarily well with creativity -- seriously. But, it was one of those gifts that I put time and love into.

2. What’s the best gift you ever received?
-My birthday this year -- I walked into the restaurant and there was my mom & dad! They flew to AZ to surprise me. I still get a giant smile on my face thinking about that!!

3. In honor of my husband: What’s the worst injury you’ve ever had?
-As klumsy as I am on a daily basis, I haven't had any major injuries! But:

-About 2.5 years ago, I lived with my sister Lisa. I headed out for a nice morning run with my new Saucony shoes (Saucony's are BAD! Don't buy them!). Coming down a big hill, I tripped over my own feet and went down face first!! Eyes and lip were completely bloody, knees totally lacerated (still have scars on the knees). I just remember walking down this busy street crying and bleeding -- and people just stared. (Scheel's refunded me on my shoes, b/c I feel twice in them!)

4. They say everyone gets 15 minutes of fame. Who’s 15 minutes has gone on far too long? (The Gosselins are not acceptable answers, be more creative.)
-It is a tight running race. Michelle Obama coming in 1st. What has she done. Seriously. Ugh.
-2nd place? The Kardashian (sp?) girls? Who are they? And why are they talked about? I do realize I kind of live under a rock, so maybe I need to be informed of these girls? But nothing stands out to me.

5. You have 20 minutes and $1000. What do you buy?
-$500 would go towards buying a new laptop. Seriously -- right now as I am typing the screen is falling off. I can't even close my laptop anymore. It's so sad.
-The remaining $500 would be split between clothes, a dress for a Christmas party coming up in December, and a new vacuum cleaner!!!! (Our vacuum makes me want to cry)

6. Tell me three blogs that I need to read.
Lisas Yarns
qwerkyqook
Adventures With B and B

7. Would you rather go without pizza or ice cream for the rest of your life?
-I could probably go without both. I feel sick after either either of them. But only because ice cream has the healthy option of "yogurt", and "mint" also falls under the category. I will say that I could go without pizza. Every time I eat it, I feel sick for the next 48 hours, so I tend to avoid it.

8. Would you rather go to a beach or a snowy mountain?
-A beach! I love water. Plus, I don't know how to ski/snowboard. And I have mountains practically in my back yard (lacking snow, however)

9. Are you a night owl or a morning person?
-Oh goodness, definitely a morning person!! I love feeling as though I'm up before the world gets going. It is rare that I even stay up until midnight.

10. What word do you always misspell?
- Apologies. I always want to add 2 p's. Just looking at it now looks strange to me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A little update :)

It has been busy lately! It has been awhile since I have purely blogged for enjoyment.

It seems this blog has become a list of disasters and adventures I run into during daily life. But life has been seemingly calm.

So here is a list of completely random new things that are consuming life lately!

1) I started the gas grill the other day for the 1st time since the "Pre-Wedding Hair-Burning Incident" (if you remember). Let's jsut say, upon pushing the ignition I just back about 20 ft to avoid any possible flame up.

It was less eventful this time.

2) I started my Pediatric rotation. I have been at the hospital in training/clinicals too much this week.

3) Kids are really cute, and they sure know how to melt my heart! But I really don't like seeing them sick hooked up to ventilators, going through chemo, IV's, and in pain. It hurts my heart, and is really hard for me to "leave at the office", as they say.

4) Ryan did some mad networking at his Telemetry conference in Las Vegas -- and has had these companies calling him left & right all week wanting to set up interviews. Very exciting!

5) We got our wedding pictures finally! If you have not yet seen them. Check them out www.photographybyjoelson.com, Click on Celebrations - To View an Event, click here - View Photos - Then enter the code: 40633PNastase

6) Ryan & I are hosting our 1st Thanksgiving this month. I am quite nervous. We have the potential of ruining someone else's holiday. Scary. We love to cook and do it quite often--so hopefully this will have trained us??

7) Really random Abby-fact: I am no longer eating cheese. I always have stomach aches. And most of my meals have cheese b/c I eat a large quantity of salads. I decided to start eliminating different foods out of my diet to isolate the problem. Since I quit eating cheese -- I have felt G.R.E.A.T.! Kinda weird. (it's probably all in my head? -- but it's been effective, so I'll take it!)

8) I have spent way too much time in meeting and lectures lately. I would say about 65% of my nursing class make me want to pull my hair out (one hair at a time with a tweezers, preferably).

9) Last night Ry & I made Chicken-Spinach Tortelli. It was the first time I have ever made a white sauce. I hated the sauce--loved the tortellinis! I am wondering how Italian restuarants do it. We only made like 14 tortellini's and it took like an hour!!??

10) The newest question that boggles my mind: How do they make Cheerio's?

-how do they make this little oat morsel, with a hole in the middle? Do they roll out individual little strips, and shape them into circles? Are they circles with holes punched in the middle? This truly boggles my mind. I need to email "How It's Made" on the Discovery Channel.


Well, I hope you all have a fabulous week!! :)