Friday, May 28, 2010

Miscellaneous ramblings...

 

This morning I woke up with different front teeth. Four to be precise. I have little recollection of the process other than a nasty needle in the roof of my mouth and maybe spilling my guts (again) to the staff at the dentists' office. Let's just say they know quite a bit about me.

No segue...

Last week I picked up the phone in my office and said to my co-worker, "Wow, Sandra won Survivor, huh?!" Silence. "Patti, we haven't watched it yet." Nice.

No segue...

Yesterday was the last day of Seminary. I might have mentioned to my Seminary students I was having some 'knock me out' dental work right after I left the classroom. They quiz. "WHAT?" "Tell us what the dentist is doing?" I refuse to divulge the details, fighting the urge to let them know asking someone questions such as these, well, impolite. (Sorry, this is my New England upbringing rising to the surface.) Instead someone had a lightbulb go off in their head! "I KNOW. I've figured it out! You're getting DENTURES." That really happened.

The last day of Seminary is a bittersweet experience, even if you've had a more "challenging" year. You feel a sense of sadness when those 170 days are over. And then the least likely student comes up and throws his arms around you and tells you he loves you. And a sweet girl is tearful and tells you she just has to tell you what the church means to her because she hasn't shared that with you yet. You end up in a puddle, and then you realize, this is a fulfilling day, this is rewarding and this is a reminder of why you do what you do.

Now I'm left to think about the possibilities of teaching again next year. And the beautiful Summer. The fact that I don't need an alarm to get me to the office. A trip to the beach. That I can read that new novel. Maybe stay up past 8:30 p.m. and even go see a movie on a Friday night or, gasp, maybe even during the week. Life is so good. Even with four pulsating front teeth, four temporary crowns and an empty bank account.

P.S. I chose this picture this morning because it symbolizes the happiness I feel today. I feel happy. From Caity's plaid Laura Ashley outfit and the story that goes along with it, Zach and the goofy brilliance behind those thick glasses, Bridie and the annual tradition of my Mum buying her new red shoes every Fall, and Patrick, the kind hearted, lovable, adorable toddler he always was.

Happy Summer.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

blog giveaways, contests and things nobody cares about ...


Sometimes I see a really fun giveaway in the blogosphere and call my significant other. Maybe sometimes I call my Dad. "Please, oh please, leave a comment so I can win this?" More often than not my spouse says, "If you want that piece of cookware that much I will buy it for you." And then he leaves a comment. Sometimes he teases me when he leaves a comment on the Pioneer Woman's blog "Patti, you're more likely to get struck by lightening than win that camera." Ree gets thousands of comments. Let's face it, she's awesome.

I'm here to tell you . . . I didn't win a vacation or a new car or 365 days of groceries. But I did win a sweet skin care system, the Clarisonic Plus. Design Mom guest posted on Make You Over about her awesome Clarisonic. Clarisonic even upgraded the giveaway and it arrived today. It was a little like Christmas. Minus the pine needles.

No segue.

I've been sick. For days I've sat in the same place in my house. I've done nothing. You know you've watched too much television when Ally Sheedy's clothes look good to you in St. Elmo's Fire. Or maybe that was the anesthesia . . .

Speaking of anesthesia (and this is not a joke) . . . I woke up one Friday morning (after a haze-filled Thursday from dentist hell) sort of remembering ordering a pizza. I had a vague recollection of a very specific order I placed via the phone. The first funny (peculiar) thing about this is that rarely eat pizza. But on Friday morning there was a $20 bill on the ottoman, Pizza Hut in the history in my MacBook . . . and no pizza. Where is that pizza? I just can't put it behind me.

No segue.


Ellen
is fun. Her show is just happy. Awesome. Dateline, on the other hand . . . who knew so many wives were murdering their husbands and husbands murdering their wives? Yep, there's been lots of television at my house. Mostly bad television.

No segue.

There are eight days left of Seminary. Even at the end of year five (just like every year) I have the thought, "I made it. I did it." I am looking forward to a rest and some recreational reading. My library queue is full.

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fresh Strawberry Pie


Tis the season.

1 cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
7 ounces lemon-lime soda
1 quart whole strawberries
Red food coloring
1 cooled pie shell

Blend sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan; add lemon-lime soda. Cook stirring until smooth and thick. Add strawberries and cook for a few minutes. Add red food coloring. Pour into cooled pie shell. Chill. Serve with whipped cream.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

When Ducks Don't Float


This card? It was labeled from a Seminary student's perspective. Long story, but the bottom line is, yes, they think we are that old. This card represents a meaningful friendship, one full of mentoring and love. When you have a friend who unconditionally loves one of your children you are automatically drawn toward that person. That is Wendi. And she is so much more...

See Wendi's article in the May issue of the New Era . . . it's so her. Check it out here.

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Strawberry Tart


This is an old Williams Sonoma recipe and it's the best... I love my long and rectangular tart pans.

Tart shells:

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter
1 t. almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2.5 cups flour

Cream sugar, shortening and butter together and add egg, extract and flour. Mix and press into tart shell. Bake 10 minutes at 350

Filling:

1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1.5 T. cornstarch
2 egg yolks
2 T. butter
1 t. vanilla
pinch salt

Simmer milk. In mixing bowl stir sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture whisking constantly. Pour back into saucepan and cook on medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, 7 to 10 minutes. Whisk in egg yolks and cook stirring until thicker, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Let cool to room temperature. Add vanilla. Makes 1.5 cups.

Fill tart pan(s) and place fresh fruit on top.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken Kabobs


The garlicky/feta/yogurt marinade with lemon is the best part of this kabob...

1 8 oz. container plain yogurt
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 t. lemon zest
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/4 t. rosemary
3 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1" pieces
1 large red onion, cut into wedges
20 cherry tomatoes
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1 1/2" pieces

In large shallow baking dish mix yogurt, feta cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper, rosemary and minced garlic. Place the chicken in the dish and turn to coat. Cover and marinate 6 hours in the refrigerator.

Thread skewers and grill until chicken is no longer pink. These are yummy. I served with whole wheat couscous.

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Salad Beatrice with Poppy Seed Dressing


Because I can't get enough fresh pineapple lately, here's the Salad Beatrice recipe. I understand that red onion on top of the fruit sounds odd, but try it. It's awesome. This may be the prettiest salad I've ever seen.

1 head Boston lettuce
1 pint strawberries
1 fresh pineapple
1 sliced red onion

Assemble lettuce on bottom, strawberries on one side, pineapple on the other, red onion on top. Dress with the following:

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1.5 cups sugar
2 t. dry mustard
2 t. salt
2/3 cup vinegar
3 T. onion juice
2 cups oil
3 T. poppy seeds

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