Hope everybody else is doing well!
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Hope everybody else is doing well!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
The Mushroom Turnovers you already know about, though they were good enough (even as leftovers) that I believe they merit a second mention. Next in line? Red Curry with Winter Vegetables, from the same cookbook, which was fast, healthy, vegan no less, and absolutely wonderfully delicious. Here's how we made it:
Red Curry with Winter Vegetables3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 potato, chopped
1 can coconut milk
3 tablespoons yellow curry paste (bought from an Asian grocer)
1 cup water + 2 tsp salt (in lieu of stock)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2/3 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup roasted cashews
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups rice (pre-cooked volume), cooked according to directionsShake up the coconut milk and spoon 1/3 of it into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer about 3 minutes.Add the remainder of ingredients through the soy sauce, stir to coat, and bring to an active boil. Maintain boil until vegetables are just tender, about 15 minutes.This is where the recipe recommends something called Wheatballs, from elsewhere in the book, but we've been itching to try our hands at pan-frying tofu since we've had it excellently done at a variety of Thai and Chinese places out here. Meanwhile, chop tofu into bite-sized pieces. Combine flour with cornstarch and dredge tofu pieces in the mixture; and fry in hot oil until golden brown on each side; about 2-3min a side.Add the tofu and cashews to the curry and stir; sprinkle with cilantro just before serving over rice (we had basmatic cooked with turmeric and a bay leaf, but plain would be great also) with a generous glass of wine.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Because my confidence in the kind of fair and unbiased quote I'm getting diminishes exponentially each time I'm addressed as "honey" or "sweetheart" (and that count was rapidly rising past a tolerable level), but because there was no budging on the driving it home issue, I told him to hold off and meanwhile accepted the offer of a ride from a kind woman in line behind me (who was addressed as a perfectly respectable "ma'am"). She also confided as we went out to her car, "I would never take my car here for repairs. I take it here for the emissions testing because it's convenient, but for repairs, I always take it up the road to the Shell station. I don't like being condescended to, and if you don't either, you'll be happier there."
After researching the options for rental cars being unable to swallow the idea of dropping $1,400 with a man I didn't trust for a car that had been essentially running fine, Sweetheart decided to call said Shell station. The man on the phone acted surprised, both at the price and some of the suggested repairs. "Replace the drums? That's almost never necessary. From what you tell me, I'm guessing we could finish this, parts and labor, for around $500. By the end of the day." By when?! I called Matt with the good news, and to ask his advice about the best way to extricate our stranded car from Honey's. He called over and asked "So the car is totally undrivable?" and was told "Well, no, we just wouldn't recommend driving it very far." You mean, like the "not very far" two miles I was going to drive it home but you wouldn't let me, preferring to see me walk it in 20-degree weather if I hadn't been offered a ride by a stranger? My mind was made up. However, because I didn't want to unnecessarily imperil myself and others if a better option was available, I first called AAA to see what they might offer as far as towing. "The first hundred miles are free as a member." Sold! The only problem? They'd be there in twenty minutes. I quickly called the first cab company I could find in Reston and ran out to stand on the corner and wait for them. Luckily, they showed right up, and we even beat the tow truck.
Riding in the truck with the operator reminded me uncontrollably of boys I knew from high school. He was polite and good at his job, along with being greasy around the knuckles and having a Gatorade bottle he was constantly dribbling brown spittle into. Yep, really took me back.
Once we got it to the Shell station, I was courteously greeted by the man I'd talked to on the phone. Called by my name, even. He then offered me a ride home, for which I was immensely grateful, as we were now a good 10 miles from home. Shortly after dropping me off, I got a call saying that there was only ONE rear cylinder that had leaked, meaning that only ONE needed to be replaced. The drums were fine. The front brake hose? "Well, when they did the brakes the last time, it just got a little twisted. So we just untwisted it." Oh, really. The multifunction switch? Fine, the fog lights were just burned out. And two points on the safety inspection they had failed to notice were a cracked serpentine belt and two broken motor mounts. The total? Under $700, ready by 5pm. We'll take it.
All in a day's work.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
These are all factors that, to a certain extent, I (and other nurses and caregivers!) can directly influence. Meaning that regardless of what else goes right or wrong, we still have the opportunity to engage with the patient and make a difference to them.
There are four factors that research have found to make the greatest contribution to your degree of satisfaction with your birth experience (experience or not of pain isn’t one of them!):
- Having good support from caregivers.
- Having a high quality relationship with caregivers.
- Being involved with decision making about care.
- Having better than expected experiences (or having high expectations)
Tonight for dinner I decided to make Garlicky Mushroom Turnovers from Real Vegetarian Thai, a cookbook we got for Christmas. I started with the dough for the turnovers, which is where something went terribly wrong. Instead of all-purpose flour I used chapati flour, something we've substituted for both whole-wheat and white flour in the past and had great results with. I don't know if it was a different brand than we usually use or if it caused the measurements to be off or what, but I could not get the dough to come together to save my life. It just resisted turning into anything but stiff, sticky, stubborn clumps. Even after beating in an egg to bind it together (it worked so well on the cookies), and adding more warm water, it just turned into...wet, stubborn clumps. Realizing that this dinner was not at all on the right track, I did what I am loathe to do and I just threw it out. I started over with a batch of our favorite pizza crust/flatbread recipe and decided on a kind of calzonified turnover. From here on out, I was on a better roll. (No pun intended, hahaha!)
The filling includes garlic-cilantro paste, which is just what it sounds like. Specifically, eight cloves of garlic and about a tablespoon of chopped cilantro, along with 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper--all whirled in the Cuisinart or mashed with a mortar and pestle. Fry it up in a tablespoon of oil (I used sesame) until fragrant and cooked. Add 8 oz of chopped mushrooms (I used a couple of handfuls of dried mixed mushrooms we got from Costco, reconsituted and also minced in the Cuisinart) and fry until those are cooked. I also added about 1/3 onion, minced, in lieu of the shallots called for because we don't have any because we've decided they just aren't worth it when onions are so much cheaper and shelf-stable and easy to come by. The next ingredient is 4 ounces of firm tofu, pressed dry and chopped tiny. Let me just say that this is the first time I've successfully cooked with tofu. The last time I tried it (which was also the first time), I was a brand-new 13-year-old vegetarian and I fried it up in A-1 steak sauce. Don't ask me why that seemed like an appropriate way to kick off the new lifestyle. By the end I was gagging it down and for a long time, just the mere mention of it made me shudder. However, like so many other good things in life, Matt convinced me to give it another try. Since I've happily eaten in in Eggless Egg Salad and a variety of stir-fry since, I thought I could try my hand at it one more time.
After frying the tofu until it turns golden and mixing it well with the rest of the filling, you pour on a sauce made of 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix it all up and let it sit.
We rolled out the pizza crust into six little circles, plopped on the filling and folded them over into little half-moons. Then we baked them at 400 degrees for twenty minutes.
They were wonderful--rich and tasty and the crusts were doughy and delicious. The book also gives a recipe for a sweet and sour chili sauce involving 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, several hot chilies, and a little salt. I don't know if I'd use quite that much sugar next time, and instead of cooking it down and reducing it I took the impatient way out and thickened with cornstarch, but it was great. We'd definitely make this whole thing over again, and it's on its way into the permanent rotation.
Of course, the multiplicitousness of our names made us a big hit at the DMV. After confiding to me that "the men who come with their fists and want everything done their way" were "not very good for harmony," the kind (if confusing) old woman who helped me became convinced (due to the way it's listed on my Iowa driver's license--and she's not the first to make the mistake) that not only had I changed my last name twice, but that I was now attempting to change my first name from Amanda to my middle name, Katie. ("Amanda over here is making some changes to her name," she told one of the other clerks.") No wonder she was confused. And the woman "helping" Matt kept telling him that he didn't write his "real name" on the application. Frustrated, he finally barked at her, "THIS IS MY NAME. AS IT'S WRITTEN RIGHT HERE." Eventually she allowed that it wasn't even the last name she was concerned about but the fact that he had put his middle intial, rather than his full middle name, in the spot marked "MI." Imagine that.
This is a similar reaction to the ones I've gotten as I call our credit card companies, etc. I've had a number of people ask if the new last name is hyphenated--after spending the past 8 months lugging around a hyphenated name and wondering if anybody had even heard of the concept. Despite carefully phrasing my request as being that "My HUSBAND AND I have changed BOTH of OUR nameS and WE need to update THEM on OUR cardS", ING still only changed mine--telling me when I called that they would "need some documentation if HE wants to change his name"; after I pointed out that I had already mailed it, for both of us, they said somewhat perplexedly "Yes, I guess you did, I don't know why we didn't update it." I don't either. Progressive went ahead and updated my last name to Matt's (despite the awkwardly precise wording of the above statement) before I could get them to understand the actual change. And at the end of the call, they usually address me as Mrs. Some-Mutated-Combination of all three of the names (along the lines of "Hellenbrullens," which is how my sister suggested we combine them), and thank me for my business. Oh, no. Thank you.
As a result, Matt and I have started blowing off steam by postulating what we could have chosen that would have been simpler, and then imagining how people would screw that up anyway. Because our first names are relatively simple, and people screw those up too. The dry cleaner in DC had Matt's name listed as "Met." He's also gotten a number of people who ask "So it's just M-A-T?" And I had someone ask me "Katie, that's just K-A-T, right?" Mat and Kat...yup, you've got it. I'll have to update the title of the blog. Not to mention everybody who insists that it's not my "real" name, which must be Katherine or Kathleen. Anyway, today we played the same little game with street names, something else that seems to baffle anybody we try to give it to. "We should have just tried to find someplace on Main street." "No, then they would think 'Oh, like a horse's Mane?'" "Or 'Maine, like the state?'" We just can't win on this, can we?
When they came out of the oven, the results were very much improved, though they still just weren't great cookies. Plus--two sticks of butter, two eggs, a cup of sugar...it sounds disappointingly similar to my regular go-to cookie recipe, and where it differs, the difference isn't an improvement.
In hindsight, I'm glad they were salvageable, but I don't think I would go out of my way to make them again. I think the next time I'm craving a little double-chocolate goodness, I'll just add some cocoa powder to my tried-and-true favorites.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
And it did. Between 9:30 and 11:30 I changed the sheets, did a load of laundry, vacuumed the apartment, cleaned the kitchen, did the dishes, and made a batch of cookie dough. Whew! Just as I was about to sit down and tackle the two major tasks that I really wanted to accomplish today--filing our DC taxes and finishing my Shenandoah application--the hospital called and asked if I would come in. Initially I told them that I could be in in about an hour, thinking that I'd bake the cookies first. I immediately realized that at time and a half, that was a very expensive batch of cookies I was about to bake. So I put the brakes on what I was doing and went in from 12-5, stopping to pick up Matt on my way home. Once there, we put the cookies in the oven so we'd have something to munch on while dinner cooked.
Due to a chocolatey itch that the failed pudding didn't quite scratch, the cookies I attempted today were these. While Smitten Kitchen usually does not disappoint me, on occasion it does perplex. Similar to the way my pudding was in fact chocolate soup, a problem experienced by several other commenters on the site while the majority sung the recipe's praises, I found these cookies to be overly dry, rather crumbly, and altogether unexceptional. They weren't necessarily bad, but I wished I'd saved my Ghiradelli chunks for hot chocolate or something else. Once again, a number of others who made them agree with me; the rest are in rapture. What's up with that?!
On the more tried-and-true front, Matt and I came home and made a batch of tamales with corn and jalapenos. We also whipped up a quick batch of Matt's infamous salsa, using canned tomatoes instead of the usual fresh but I think it's going to be very good nonetheless.
On another positive note, our car insurance went down $300 just for moving to Virginia.
And, thanks to everybody who has voted in the poll! If you're not committed to voting by secret ballot, you can always drop me a comment and give a more expansive opinion. Or you can leave a comment about anything--recently I've started to feel depressed by the lack of feedback, wondering if anybody reads the blog anymore and considering whether I should throw in the towel. Since installing a stat counter, however, I realize that you're out there--you're just the strong, silent type. But feel free to give me a shout-out every now and then.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Yes to all of those--but the most intense feeling that struck me this morning, that I honestly couldn't identify at first, was the deep and powerful craving for a Sausage and Egg McMuffin. I almost never wake up craving one--it's only after I've been up working all night that I feel like I absolutely need one. I remember back in the old days, I could start thinking about one around 1 am and by the time I got off work at 7, it had built into an aggressive and undeniable desire. As one of the other nurses said, "Oh, yeah, working nights makes you feel like you're hungover. You just want to eat like you've been on a party bender."
Not that I can really identify, except with working all night--but Amen to that, I guess!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Saturday we slept in a little and ran some errands. The gasket around the Neon's trunk is leaking (at least, that's what we think it is) so we're working on getting that problem sorted out so that we don't continually have a trunk and a backseat with standing water in them. My close friend from law school had called earlier in the week to see if we wanted to get together, so we invited her over for dinner. Matt, incredible husband that he is, single-handedly prepared the garlic soup we love so much, along with a pan of baked ziti, all the while keeping our wineglasses refreshed while the friend and I brought each other up to speed. As a side note, another friend recently introduced us to Clean Slate, a white wine we love, so we were drinking that. I had also confidently attempted homemade chocolate pudding, only to have it fail to thicken and so end up with a delicious, but unfortunately drinkable, chocolate soup. Oh, well--better luck next time.
Today I slept in again and finished reading Diary of a Midwife, written by the program head at Shenandoah University. I'd read it back in nursing school but had a very fresh appreciation of it this time, since she spent a portion of her time in Reston and also detailed (back in 1998) many of the same struggles I wasn't aware of before practicing on the East Coast. It's a wonderful read for nurses and non-nurses a like, and I would highly recommend it. I'm really looking forward to meeting with her, hopefully within the next few weeks.
For dinner, Matt made a variation on Butter Chicken, using potatoes, which was very good. But more on that later, because we're hoping to squeeze in a walk before I go to work at 6:30.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
And boy, were we right.
Friday, February 15, 2008
This includes two entirely drug-free and spontaneous deliveries, which is just about unheard-of in these parts, and which were delightful and powerful and exciting.
I've gotten a couple of lovely cards from my patients.
And Matt tells me I've gotten back a certain...glow...that I didn't have while I was in law school.
I'm so happy to be a nurse again. I don't have any doubts about leaving law school being the right thing...although I don't have any doubts that it was right to go in the first place. Though as far as which midwifery school to attend, I'm still completely stuck.
On a more mundane level, a few updates...Yesterday we tried whipping cream into butter and just ended up with a very frothy batch of cream. While this was an interesting development to the cats, you can't so much spread it on toast. The internet has been absolutely no help in assisting us to determine where we went wrong. It smells like butter, which is to say a little bit tangier than what you might want to cream coffee with, so I think we'll probably end up making it into waffles or pancakes.
Brought on by the Noodles With Lime-Peanut Sauce, new rule in our household is that pasta can only be eaten with chopsticks. Otherwise, we have a very difficult time getting an "8-serving box" to serve more than two people. This seems a little excessive, even to us...slowed down by chopsticks, we can just stretch it to four.
I've noticed I spend most of my days off chasing other people's ineptitude--today, this includes figuring out why a claim I submitted never went to my insurance and is now being returned to me past due (which required sitting on hold with the insurance company for fifteen minutes and the laboratory processing facility for twenty, and WHY DO I SPEND SO MUCH TIME ENTERING ALL OF MY PERSONAL INFORMATION ON THE TELEPHONE'S TOUCHPAD IF I WILL JUST BE ASKED TO REPEAT IT ANYWAY), as well as loudly complaining to T Mobile about our phone service (anybody who has talked to one of us in the past six months--you know of which I speak). When I have better things to do!
This weekend I think we're going to hunker down and make tamales. We don't have many other grand plans (though via Netflix, we have been loving spending our evenings watching episodes of The Cosby Show) since Sunday night I work overnight--which will be a nostalgic return to the days when I stumbled home as the sun came up and Matt would be waiting with breakfast as well as to, as he puts it, "listen to you yell about work."
I guess the former somewhat excuses the phrasing of the latter.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Noodles With Lime-Peanut Sauce (adapted from The Food Network)We also had a successful impromptu trip to CVS tonight--I realized I had some Extra Bucks ($14) expiring today and so we dragged our butts out in the cold (I realize this generates little sympathy among many of you!) so we didn't lose out on them. We ended up getting a bottle of Sambucol, a black elderberry extract which is $12.99 and generates $10 in ECB this month (PLUS there's a mail-in rebate so it's free plus $10! ...not to mention the fact that it is a hippie naturopathic immune booster and we're excited to try it) and then a stick of deodorant we needed anyway. We used our $14 ECB, paid $1.98 out of pocket, and got $10 back plus a bunch of coupons. Send in that mail-in rebate and we'll be rollin'! Best of all, my receipt didn't say "limit reached," so I'm going to go in and do the same thing again later this week.1 box whole-wheat linguine
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups (about 6 ounces) sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 scallion, cut into pieces
3/4 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup shelled unsalted peanuts
Cook the pasta. Drain and keep warm.
While cooking the pasta, toast the peanuts in a dry pan over a medium heat until they become fragrant, about 3 minutes. Set them aside to cool. Make the sauce by pureeing the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, vinegar, lime juice, scallion, ginger, sugar and red pepper flakes in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Right before serving, steam broccoli and peas and toss with the pasta and sauce. Chop the peanuts, sprinkle them on top and serve.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Silky Cauliflower Soup
Recipe from David Lieberman
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roasted Garlic Soup with Parmesan Cheese
Bon Appetit, February 1999
26 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 1/4 cups sliced onions
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
18 garlic cloves, peeled
3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces)
4 lemon wedges
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. Working in batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.)
Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.
This soup was amazing! The flavor was very integrated and the garlic was not overbearing at all.
1.5 t Mustard Seeds
1.5 t Fenugreek Seeds
1T Minced Garlic
1t Ground Ginger
1 t Cumin seeds
6 Cardamom pods
1 chopped onion
4 Chopped carrots
3 Celery stalks
2 Cups mixed red and brown lentils.
5 C Water
2 bay leaves
Pour a healthy amount of olive oil into a heavy bottomed pan. Pour in mustard and fenugreek seeds. With lid on the pan, heat the oil until you hear the seeds start to pop. When you hear the popping, throw in the garlic and ginger and fry for a few more minutes. Add cumin seeds and cardamom pods and fry for another minute. Add onions, carrots and celery and fry for 5 minutes. Add water, lentils, salt, and bay leaves, bring to a boil then cook on low for 45 minutes. Blend slightly, pull out cardamom pods, stir in cilantro, and serve with sour cream and bread. It will be so darn good and you won't know why.
It's been a lovely day.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
I should have taken pictures of Winchester, but forgot the camera in the car. Here are a few of the Shenandoah Valley, though, where we stopped for a hike afterward.
My apologies to those of you who aren't fortunate enough to be enjoying such a mild winter. And an old man actually stopped us on the trail and said "Cold one today, isn't it?" Well, based on the fact that we were all hiking in sweatshirts...
Friday, February 8, 2008
2 cups of milk
1 cup sour cream
1 lb cooked pasta (we used whole-wheat rotini)
12 oz cheddar cheese
1 can diced tomatoes
Saute onions and mushrooms in a little butter or oil until golden. Add milk and sour cream and whisk into a smooth sauce. Whisk in cheese until melted. Add tomatoes and cooked pasta and season with salt and pepper. If desired, top with crushed cornflakes and drizzle with melted butter. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until bubbling.
And that's how we get (most of) the creamy goodness of macaroni and cheese, while still feeling semi-healthy thanks to the vegetables and whole grains.
Otherwise, this weekend we're hoping to head out to Winchester, where Shenandoah University is located, to check out the town and also hopefully do some hiking!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
To try to offset the financial loss, I'm doing my best to make my way through our taxes today so that we don't have to pay to get it done. (Pay more than what H&R Block Online charges, anyway--but it still pales in comparison to an accountant.) Given the fact that in 2007 we got married, we've each been full-time students at some point during the year, we earned income in three states plus DC, and we've held a total of 6 different jobs, it's a real treat. I'm not even going to think about the fact that our W-2's also list an assortment of last names!
So far, our federal taxes are finished but not filed, because apparently there's a holdup right now with how the government is going to process education credits. So they're sitting with H&R Block until whatever the sticking point is gets fixed. Wisconsin's paper form is done, but not sent because I have to wait until our federal taxes can be filed. Iowa and Virginia are likewise done but not filed. DC is next, but we have to do paper and they're mailing it to me. That one will likely be the most complicated.
Besides that, I'm also working on continuing to process our name change. Because one of the major motivating factors for changing was so that we would have one name on everything, following through with that means sitting on the phone with every bank and credit card we have, making copies of our marriage license and court order, etc. It's a pain in the butt, but the only way we would have avoided it would have been to keep entirely separate names--and that causes headaches of its own, especially once kids come into the picture. So at least now, we're doing it at our leisure and we're doing it early enough in the game that it will hopefully fade into the background before too long.
Speaking of complicated, now that my birthday draws nigh, it's time to start thinking about titling and registering the car in Virginia... which we can't do until we have Virginia licenses, which we're planning to get when our new Social Security cards come. We also have to pay to get the car emissions-tested first.
I'm also working on finishing my application to Shenandoah. They require documentation of the number of clinical hours I've worked as a nurse...so I need to figure out what those hours are, then get somebody to verify them. That this has occurred at three different hospitals may pose a challenge. I also need to send out recommender "forms" to everybody who's writing me a letter of recommendation. And then I need to sit down and start the mind-numbing process of filling in my Activities, my Employment, and my Honors and Awards for the past how-many years.
On top of that, I'm itching to get going on some volunteer work, especially since my actual job is a little spotty these days. Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is high on my list right now--it would sort of take Big Brothers Big Sisters one step further in that I would be getting to know kids in the Virginia court system, and then actually making recommendations as to whether I think it would be in their best interest to remain in foster care, go back to their families, or be released for adoption. I'm sure it's very intense, but I feel like it would be a good match for the impulses that drove me to law school (remember that?). I'm also still waiting for another training to come up for RAINN, because I missed the last one to come to Iowa. And of course, there are mountains of paperwork that need to be completed for each.
On (for me) a more interesting note, yesterday I made a pot of cream of broccoli soup, pumpkin dinner rolls, and a big batch of peppermint brownies.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Last night I ended up getting called into work over the dinner hour and when I came home, Matt had made an old favorite I'd nearly forgotten about--baked ziti pizza. Basically, make a batch of baked ziti (cooked noodles, sauce, and a big spoonful of ricotta), spoon some sauce and the pasta on top of a pizza crust, add mozzarella and any other toppings you'd like, and finish it off with big plops of ricotta all over the top. We first had this in New York City and have not made it nearly often enough since! It's a wonderful and very filling take on pizza.
Food aside, things here are good. We appreciate all the kind feedback on our name change, and are feeling secure about that decision. This morning I drove into DC for a dermatologist appointment and also met with the program director of Georgetown...who, unless she was kidding, gave me the news that I'm in! Now it only remains to apply to Shenandoah and decide what to do...
Saturday, February 2, 2008
So, without further ado: we are now officially the Sullenbrands. While we do each feel a little sadness at giving up the whole of our family name (though to be fair, I'm losing 1 letter and Matt is losing 2, so it's not a total evisceration by any means), we've decided that for us, forging this new identity together is something we want to do. It's not a choice that would be right for everybody, but we've decided together that it's what is right for us. And we think that's what building a marriage is all about.