Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Still Here

I wish I had something entertaining to share as an explanation for my absence, but frankly I don’t. I’m just too busy, or too lazy, or not committed enough to this blog. At least I’m honest :-)

It’s just the normal chaos around the Fromage house: work, school, LT Fromage’s work, sick pets* and trying to keep up with housework, bills and our (slowly diminishing) social lives.

*One of our cats, Toby, has suddenly started peeing everywhere, because God knows I needed another fun situation since we finally got rid of the fleas. Until we get this straightened out (which may be a while because it involves finding a new vet since our old is an @$$ hole) Tobes is staying in the dogs’ kennel when we can’t watch him. There’s nothing like starting your morning before 5AM scrubbing the kennel and vacuuming litter! Hooray!

Amidst the daily struggle to stay above water, here are the highlights:

The crusade is over, I finally figured out the secret to a delicious green curry! No joking around here, it tastes exactly like the dish I so love to order at our local Thai restaurant! Want the secret?

THIS CAN! Yup. All that work, hours spent chopping, dicing, and bent over the mortar and pestle (aka “the squisher”) and all I had to do was open a freakin’ can. At first I was outraged that it should be so… simple? Unauthentic? But guess what? It takes me 25 minutes to make this at home now, which means I can have it EVERY NIGHT OF THE WEEK (If you think I’m exaggerating… I’m not.). Plus, it’s really cheap – 99 cents for a can of paste, which is good for about 3 servings, and total up the other ingredients (Coconut milk, veggies and tofu), you’re looking at about $3 a serving, which is much easier on the bank account than the $13 I was shelling out before. The other great thing? Now that I’ve mastered the green curry, I can branch out and experiment with some other recipes from my curry book!

The primary culprit in my lack of spare time is school, but all my time is paying off; I’m cruisin’ right through my Medical Transcription training. I’m about 40% complete, maintaining an A, which is great because our entire life seems up in the air right now with news that LT Fromage may in fact be deploying.

Things we are unsure about since yesterday: Our plans for the holidays, our upcoming Vegas trip, where LT Fromage and myself will be working in 2011, and where we will be living in 2011.

The New Year will be bringing our family a lot of changes; we just don’t know what they are yet!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Today’s Post Brought to you by the Letter S

School Busses

School is back in session! This means I’m back to avoiding school busses. I wish I could express just how stressed those yellow busses make me when they stop. In high school, one of my friends got a ticket for not stopping for the bus. She was in the far oncoming lane and didn’t know she was required to stop way over there, the cop watching the situation was familiar with the law though and she almost lost her license. Since then I’ve had a terrible anxiety surrounding school busses. It’s silly, really, since I know what to do when I see a stopped school bus, but still, I avoid them at all costs.


LT Fromage bought me a “Curries of the World” cookbook a few weeks ago, and to go with it, a beautiful mortar and pestle. Sometimes, when I’m reeaallly excited I lose the ability to recall the appropriate words for things, and this gift made me very, very excited! “Mortar and pestle” just wouldn’t come out, but “Squisher” did. I’ve been using my Squisher every few days, experimenting with different recipes for green curry. It’s not quite where I want it just yet, but I’m getting closer with every batch! Yum!


While I could drown myself in green curry, LT Fromage prefers a little variety in his diet, Top Sirloin has been on sale and he swares that mine is the best steak he’s ever had! When I’m not making curry, I’m cooking LT’s favorite meal:


LT Fromage prefers Top Sirloin, but I’m sure a similar cut can be substituted.

Pat the steak dry with a paper towel and bring to almost room temperature. While your steak is sitting out, preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and place an oven-safe skillet on a burner over medium-high heat (Cast iron is great, I use my grilling pan)

Take your dry, room temperature steak and rub with olive oil, liberally apply salt and pepper to both sides. Add a small amount of olive oil to your hot skillet and in goes the steak! Sear on both sides, the time it takes will depend on the steak you chose and how hot your skillet got, just remember, you only need to sear it, not cook it!

Once seared, place a few pats of butter on your steak and place the skillet in your preheated oven. Again, cooking times will vary depending on your chosen cut and preferred finished temperature.

This next step is oh so important!

A few minutes prior to being “done” take your steak out of the oven and cover it for about 5 minutes, this step is key to a juicy steak. Don’t worry, your steak will finish cooking while it’s covered.

This steak is so tender and juicy that LT Fromage usually eats it as-is, but if he’s in the mood for a little something extra, I’ll whip up a Gorgonzola sauce.

Gorgonzola Sauce

Dice a shallots, or about 1/8 of a white onion, add to a sauce pan with a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Once the shallots or onions become tender, add 1 cup of heavy cream, simmer until reduced by half then add ¼ lb of Gorgonzola cheese (yuuummmm), stir until melted and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

This sauce is yummy over steak (or so I’m told), grilled portabella mushrooms (My steak alternative) and mashed potatoes. I may or may not eat this up with a spoon…. it’s that yummy!
Lastly, we eat a lot of asparagus in the Fromage household (Thus, we often have skinky pee…), my favorite way to prepare it is so easy!

Roasted Asparagus

Wash asparagus and remove lower portion (If you’ve never done this before, it’s really simple – bend them 1-2 inches from the bottom, the yucky part will snap right off). Add the asparagus, in a single layer, to a backing pan, drizzle with olive oil and add salt and freshly ground pepper. Pop in the oven at 425 degress F for about 15 minutes. I usually shake the pan up once or twice during roasting, to make sure everyone is getting coated and cooked equally :-)

Enjoy! If I ever get the green curry down, I’ll share the recipe for that, too!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cabin Pressure

My hopes of being refreshed after vacation once again amounted to nothing more than that sinking feeling in my stomach upon returning to work. LT Fromage and I have decided we will henceforth be independently wealthy and give up our jobs to stay home doing whatever we please day in and day out (We just have to figure out the logistics is all).

There's someone out there who needed a vacation more than I did.

The folks on the country radio morning show were talking about this story today. A clumsy passenger (Who apparently couldn’t follow instructions) finally sent this flight attendant over the edge. (And dude, I feel ya. I hate stupid people, too!)

I’m not going to rewrite the article, but it ends with our exasperated flight attendant telling it like it is over the intercom (his speech laced with profanity, of course), grabbing his bags, activating the emergency chute and sliding down with a beer in each hand (compliments of the beverage cart).

He’s probably not going in to work today…

Monday, August 9, 2010

Drop It Down Low, Granny! / Goodbye, Veda

I wonder if I should award the highlight of our vacation to watching my new brother-in-law’s 91 year old grandma boogie on the dance floor (No joke, she can drop it down lower than I can!)? My brother’s spotlight dance to “We Are Family” was pretty unmatchable (Ever seen Napoleon Dynamite? Yeah, well my bro’s moves are even cooler!). Or maybe it was my dad’s freakin’ awesome Father of the Bride speech (He could, and probably should, totally do stand up!)? Was it introducing my family to Thai food (They loved it!)? Was it the 0% humidity (That was glorious!?

Maybe I can’t choose just one highlight, our trip was pretty close to perfect. (I WILL be posting a video of Betty C shaking her thing as soon as I can get a hold of it!) It was wonderful to spend the night before the wedding with both of my sisters; girly looked stunning on her big day! Having not seen my dad in almost a year, it was indescribably wonderful to catch up and he came through and made some of his dee-lish salsa! Yum! Of course, it’s always a joy to see my in-laws too, and I feel so lucky that I can say that (and mean it!), it’s hard enough to find someone you love enough to share your life with and when you love your new family, too, well, that’s pretty great!

I wish I had one of those great photo blogs, at some point I’ll (hopefully) share some pictures of the wedding and those great dance clips.

Unfortunately, our trip ended on a rather sad note.

When LT Fromage and I moved to the Little Apple we left my dog, Veda, with my mom. Veda was almost totally blind and deaf even back then and often had a hard time getting back on her feet, we never knew her true age, but we can be sure that at that time she was well over 10. It was so comforting to know she was with someone who loved her as much as I did, but was able to provide what I couldn’t at that time – 24 hour a day, 7 days a week attention and care.

My mom had been prepping me for a few weeks, Veda was having more bad days than good and had developed a tumor, thankfully, she made it long enough for me to say goodbye.

Veda was the smallest dog I will ever own, weighing in at a mere 27 pounds, but as a Jack Russell terrier and Australian cattle dog cross, she wasn’t a froofy lap dog (Although, I did often paint her toenails pink and in the winter she had a fuzzy pink jacket until LT Fromage came along!). She picked me at the shelter, sitting in my lap licking my face. I wasn’t sold until the staff member informed me that this dog had been visited earlier in the day by an interested family, but Veda wouldn’t even turn to look at them once during the whole visit. The staff member was so impressed by our instant bond that I was offered a job on the spot! (Which I took. I worked there a few years, eventually becoming a supervisor for the entire customer department in one of the country’s largest shelters). Veda got me my first “real” job, she was there with me when I moved into my first apartment and later, my own house. She loved tennis balls, she loved her cat and she loved chewy caramels.

My parents made the tough decision to put down their dog, Socks the same afternoon (Who’s age was also unknown, but we know she was also at least 12 or 13). Socks joined the family 7 years ago, when her elderly owner passed away and none of the living family wanted another dog. My dad was a detective on the scene and didn’t have it in him to leave poor Socks to a fate in the shelter. (My dad brought home a CHILD one day, too, whom my family fostered for 5 months. I love my dad’s big heart)

There must be something about the month of August; this is the 5th year in a row that this month has marked the loss of a beloved pet. I hope that next August comes and goes quietly, and for now I’m so grateful for my strong mother who stayed with Veda until the end this August, because quite honestly I’m not sure I have it in me to leave another vet’s office with an empty collar for a while.

Our family time ended a little bitter-sweet, but I’m so thankful to have been a part of my sister’s wedding, that we got to spend time with both of our families, I’m thankful for my strong and caring mom and be given a chance to say goodbye.
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