Sunday, November 28, 2010

Everyday Yumminess: Turkey Pozole

Last year as I made my turkey stock, I knew I wanted to do something with it other than traditional Thanksgiving-y flavors. I stumbled upon a recipe for Turkey Pozole at Food & Wine and knew it was the perfect thing to do with my homemade stock and leftover turkey. It is now officially part of my tradition.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving Sandwiches

If it weren't for Turkey Pozole and the brilliance of Turkey, Cranberry, Arugula, and Brie Sandwiches, I don't know that I'd bother making Thanksgiving dinner. For me, this is what it's all about:

Friday, November 26, 2010

Everyday Yumminess: Mini Bourbon-Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Dessert-baking is tricky for the solo diner. You can only scale things back so far, and then you'd better hope it freezes well so you don't have to eat the dessert twice a day for a week. This was my conundrum at Thanksgiving. I had my eye on this Bourbon-Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe at Epicurious, but what am I going to do with a whole cheesecake? Luckily, I found these awesome mini-cheesecake pans and my problem was solved. Look how adorable:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Not even a sinus infection and my oven's decision to spontaneously break while I cooked my turkey could ruin the awesome Thanksgiving Feast I threw together. (Recipes and more pictures can be found on my mostly-defunct recipe blog here.)My turkey was perfect: super-crispy skin, super-moist white meat, and super-delicious everything...
Dry-brining is definitely the way to go. Also, despite not being that into baking, I made the world's most adorable (and delicious) holiday dessert: Mini Bourbon-Pumpkin Cheesecakes.(These little cheesecakes are about 2 inches in diameter and an inch and a quarter high, so they're perfect after a big meal.) Not bad for a sicky without the proper working appliances... I hope everyone else enjoyed Thanksgiving at least as much as I did... (but hopefully more than I did, since presumably you were not sick and your oven didn't break...)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Week 11 Bucs Post (@ San Francisco, W 21 - 0)

This game wasn't always fun to watch, but it was definitely reassuring. This is the best our run defense has looked all year, despite the fact that Frank Gore is no joke. The rest of the defense was solid, as well, with the front four picking up 6 sacks and Old Man Barber getting his 40th career interception, making Barber the first player in NFL history with 40 picks and 25 sacks. Love him.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Why I Don't Cook

Back in February, I jumped on the bandwagon of a brief internet meme and wrote about Why I Cook. As Emily's Culinary Adventures has yet again morphed into Emily Writes about The Bucs and Bunnies, I figured I should go ahead and post about why I don't cook when I don't. I try to minimize the amount of time I spend talking about medical issues here, but sometimes that's difficult when they are acting as the dominant factor in my life. I bought the world's most awesome portable wheelchair a few months ago, much like the one pictured below except in red (Go Bucs!)...It's been pretty life-changingly awesome from the moment I got it, and became more so about a month ago when I started using it at work every day. Unfortunately, sometimes that's not enough. I feel like I'm sort of perpetually chasing some bus (where in this metaphor the bus is "not having to deal with pain all the time") but each time I get near the door the bus pulls away and drives off down the street again.
When I first opted to have my cyborg parts installed, the amount of pain management they could provide would have solved a lot of problems. By the time (a year later) that they were working properly and not causing debilitating back pain, they weren't enough anymore. It was a few months later that I started using my wheelchair on a regular basis, and it felt again like it was too little too late. It helps SO much (as do the cyborg parts), and yet not enough. I couldn't even have attended the conference I went to last week without my chair, but I was still dealing with more pain than my cyborg parts can mask and more than I can handle gracefully just from minor things (e.g. walking from my bed to the sink to get a glass of water) where it wouldn't have been easy to use my chair. Which... yeah, brings me back to the cooking thing. I have a fantastic cooking stool that I got in Australia, which is the perfect height for sitting during basic prep. I think the primary problem is adjusting to using it during my cooking routine. When I'm in a rhythm in the kitchen, I don't have the time or inclination to move a stool around... but it's become increasingly clear that I need to do just that if I want to continue cooking elaborately fun things without making it hard to make it through the next day...

So... I'm planning on a pretty cool Thanksgiving spread, during which I will practice using the cooking stool, and I've got a couple awesome cookbook recipes scheduled in the following weeks (plus, perhaps, a couple science experiments in the kitchen). Hopefully I can get better at using the cooking stool and get back in the kitchen more often. It's certainly not that I don't want to be there... I just don't always know how to get there.

Anyway... That's why there have been so many Bucs and Bunnies lately. I'm working on it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bunny Bonding!

I got back from a week in Orlando yesterday afternoon, and decided I'd better get serious about getting my guys bonded. Thursday is the one-year anniversary of the day I brought Charley home, which shows how silly I was to hope it would only take a few weeks to get them all bonded... Luckily, this is the best session we've had in a long time...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Rabbits Are the Wrong Size...

Don't get me wrong. I think Rico, Charley, and Pedro are the best trio of bunnies on the planet... It's just that sometimes, as I peruse bunny pictures around the interwebs, I realize that my guys are totally the wrong size to optimize cuteness. I mean, look at Charley and Pedro:They are reasonably cute, sure... but they could be so much cuter if they were this size:
... or this size:
They are simultaneously too big and too small. Sigh. I guess it's a good thing they are so very very handsome and cranky (Rico), cute and adorably crazy (Charley), and beautiful and sweet (Pedro)...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Week 10 Bucs Post (vs. Carolina, W 31 - 16) (Also, I was there...)

So... After about 13 years of being a die-hard Bucs fan, I finally made it down to Raymond James for a game. It was, in a word, awesome. Here is photographic evidence that I (or, at least, the top of my head in my complimentary visor) was there:

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Week 9 Bucs Post (@ Atlanta, L 21-27)

I'm not sure which feels worse: getting blown out or coming up a yard short of victory.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sunday Cookbook Adventures: Michael Psilakis's Chicken Souvlaki

Food cravings can be a funny thing. I'm pretty sure I'd never had souvlaki before last night (since gyros are typically on the menu at places that make good souvlaki, and I always go the gyro route...), but as I was planning meals last week I had a deep, inexplicable craving for chicken souvlaki. I knew immediately which cookbook to turn to, and the finished product was just as advertised in Michael Psilakis's recipe: "Messy and great."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Week 8 Bucs Post (@ Arizona, W 38-35)

Wow. Apparently the Bucs were hell-bent on giving me a heart attack on Sunday, but at least they were able to pull out yet another 4th-quarter comeback. (Quite frankly, though, I wish they hadn't given up 21 points in just over 6 minutes of game time to necessitate said comeback...)