Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Water and Watermelon

Last night CPT Fromage and I decided to grill. We totally would have done it over the weekend but everyone and their brother was grilling! It’s not that we’re too cool to do something if it’s already trending, but rather that our apartment complex won’t let us have our own grill (lame sauce) and our entire development has to share ONE propane grill. Double lame sauce. So we waited until the weekend was over to bring our brats and “good dogs” (dude, tofu dogs are my new favorite food) outside. Know what else we brought? Wait for it…

Yes. We totally grilled watermelon. And it was UH-FREAKIN-MAZING. I wish I could describe it to you so you’d be totally excited to try it, but I can’t even begin to start. The texture; it’s gets almost meaty, and the taste is indescribable except to say it’s smoky, it’s spicy and it’s heavenly! We ate it as a side dish, but I hear it’s also good in place of a burger (slap some cheese on it and throw it on a bun? I’d try it!)

Grilled Watermelon
4 slices of watermelon, 1 ¼ inches thick (My slices were quarters, if that makes sense… A half of a half slice) ¼ cup honey
juice of 2 limes
dash of cyan pepper
dash of salt
Combine the honey, lime juice, salt and cyan pepper in a glass baking dish and add the watermelon slices. Flip them over so both sides are coated and let sit for 15-20 minutes.

Turn your grill to medium-high heat and grill watermelon slices for approximately 5 minutes per side (you’re looking for nice, dark grill marks)

Serve and enjoy! You can thank me later.
So about that water... it was good luck we planned to grill last night, because we got hit with a pretty fierce storm about 45 minutes before we started cooking. The wind and hail broke one of our windows, wrecked the cars (and we just last week picked up one of them from the shop for hail damage repair… FML…) and knocked out our power for 12 long hours. We’d have had no way to cook a darned thing inside with the power out! Our A/C didn’t work either of course, and our apartment wasn’t the only thing getting warm… I had to throw out the week’s worth of groceries I’d bought just that afternoon… Lame sauce. At least the watermelon was delicious!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today’s post brought to you by the letter B

Babies: Why must baby things be so expensive? I suppose the hit to our bank account would be less if we stuck to just the basics – car seat, crib, diapers… But how am I supposed to simply close a browser window when an etsy seller has knitted such a darling newborn size cow hat? (obviously our newborn will need a knitted hat… in September) Or the personalized burp clothes with cow print trim? (if it doesn’t have his name on it, how will we all keep up with who’s burp clothes are who’s?)

Boys: We don’t know a whole lot of people here in Lawton yet. Mostly because we Fromages are sort of recluses. CPT Fromage has made a few friends from his course but of course, none of these guys have wives, or hardly even girlfriends. One has a fiance… who’s in New York. Lamesauce. So my only social interaction outside of my better half, is with his friends. While I have a potty mouth myself and enjoy a good “That’s what she said”, I’m finding myself missing girlfriends. A “thank you for cooking supper” or “the steak was great, thanks” would go a long way. Why don’t boys know about those polite gestures? I will also never be able to erase from my mind some of the dirty stories (and accompanying visuals) shared over the supper I spent hours cooking. Ugh. I miss girls.

Best Steak Marinade in Existence: So, I can’t vouch for this personally, since I’ve never eaten a marinated steak myself, but, I’ve made more than my fair share of them and CPT Fromage agrees that this one is top notch.
I can’t take credit for this recipe, and you can see theoriginal share here, but to save you the trip, I’m posting it on my blog as well…

Best Steak Marinade in Existence

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic (optional)


1.     Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add hot pepper sauce and garlic, if desired. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.

2.     Pour marinade over desired type of meat. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Cook meat as desired.

*I skip the blender step, eliminate the hot pepper sauce and used fresh minced garlic instead of dried. I also prefer to marinade much longer, starting the night before so it’s almost 24 hours. Was incredible on rib eye and sirloin, and I’m sure we’ll be making again and again!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Watermelon Smoothie

So it’s about 100 degrees here today, and humid, and I’m still pregnant. Just makes me want a mug of hot chocolate… Kidding! What I really wanted was a milk shake, but let’s be honest, it was too hot to get in my sick minivan with the mostly broken air conditioning to drive to Sonic. Also, the window doesn’t roll down, so it’s a little embarrassing when I have to open to door for my drink (Eh, actually, I sort of roll with it now, I’m learning to embrace my new ride).

With a milkshake out of the question, I decided I’d try out my new Ninja blender. It got here yesterday* (Er, last week, I just was too lazy to walk to the office and pick it up until yesterday) and I wanted to see if it was really as amazing as the reviews claimed. Dude, it is. Know what else was amazing? My watermelon smoothie.
Since getting pregnant, I’ve been on a mega watermelon kick. I always liked it before, but now I crave it like crack. It’s still not really quite in season yet, but at least it’s easier to get my hands on than it was in oh, January or February. Anyway. We bought one last month that turned out to be a dud, but I couldn’t bear to throw it away so I chopped that sucker up and threw it in the freezer, figuring I’d think of something to do with it when I one day got around to buying a new blender.

Guys, it was amazing. If I could be in love with a food or drink item, and Green Curry was already in a committed relationship, it would be this smoothie. Try it. If you don’t like it, send it to me and I’ll drink it!

Watermelon Smoothie

Makes 2 servings. Unless you’re me, and then it’s one big serving.

2 ½ cups frozen watermelon
1 small apple (I used Pink Lady, ‘cause that’s my fave)
½ of a fresh lemon, squeezed
1 TB maple syrup
½ cup Limeade*  (Give or take. I prefer my smoothies pretty thick, so add more if you want  to use a straw instead of a spoon!)
*Lemonade is probably great too, or Sprite for that matter. I’m pretty sure this would rock your socks with Vodka, but seeing as I’m with child, I can’t vouch for the awesomeness that I’m sure would ensue if you added a grown up beverage… Let me know if you try it so I can be jealous.

Blend it all up and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mashed Cauliflower - You've gotta try this!

More violent crimes around here to report: armed intruder in a woman’s motel room, armed home invasion, armed gas station hold up and a double shooting. What a wonderful place to raise a child…

Besides violent crime, Sh*t-hole of the Earth (Oops, I slipped again… Lawton) also has a bazillion stray dogs. Seriously, it’s like finding pennies on the sidewalk, they are everywhere! We’ve only been here 2 months and have already picked up 2 nursing mommas! Sheesh!

Besides not getting shot and picking up strays, been doing a lot of cooking. A lot of cooking! I’ve tried somewhere in the range of 30 new recipes, most of which I’ve been pretty stoked about. I’ll be posting a few of my favorites here coming up, so keep an eye out.

Most surprising food we’ve enjoyed was mashed cauliflower. I know, right? Ew. CPT Fromage hates the stuff, but one of our weekly dinner guests is on a trendy carb diet, so mashed potatoes were out of the question. I figured if these sucked, no big deal, I’d blame it on his dietary restrictions. Haha. But can I tell you, we LOVED them. We tore through the entire bowl and still wanted more. CPT Fromage has even announced publicly that he prefers them to mashed potatoes. Dying to try them now? Here’s what you do…


1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbl heavy cream
1 Tbl butter
2 ounces flaked Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Break down the cauliflower and discard the stem, steam until tender. When you’re done steaming, be sure to let the cauliflower cool for a little while; it helps the texture so you don’t end up with a soggy side dish.

Once the cauliflower has cooled, it’s time to blend it with your remaining ingredients. You’ll want to warm it up again ever so slightly so that the butter and cheese melts in (I know, it seems like a pain, but trust me, you  should let it dry out).

I so badly wished that I had a food processor because it was a… splendid… experience trying to puree with my electric hand mixer. Messy messy! I ordered a food processor the next day to avoid this in the future. All that to say, use a food processor if you have one handy, as I’m sure it’s easier, but if need be, you can mix it without one.

I served mine up with some green onion on top, and if we weren’t watching carbs, probably would have added some sour cream. Let me know what you think and if you make any tasty changes!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stayin' Alive, Stayin' Alive!

In just the last week or so, our local news has reported a police standoff with a man holed up in his house with a gun, a shooting turned car chase through town, a domestic situation where shots were fired, blood was on the scene but no victim ever surfaced, and a car that crashed through an apartment building into a man’s bedroom as he slept. Never a dull moment around here I suppose.

This sort of thing wouldn’t surprise me if we lived in LA or the Bronx, but really? Sh*t-hole, USA (Er, I mean, Lawton, OK)? Somehow, this city is also the 8th most dangerous in the country for women and has a violent crime rate that’s almost twice the national average. Who knew the southern-midwest could be so…. Exciting.
In an attempt to make it out of this 8-month stay without getting shanked, CPT Fromage and I bit the bullet and spent the extra money for a place with extra security features in a safer part of town, and we rarely leave it after dusk. Not that there’s much to do here anyway; unless you’re into meth that is.

Thank goodness for a German shepherd, concealed carry permits and a lifetime of being taught self-awareness (Thanks, dad!). 2 months down and no 9-1-1 calls yet!
So, it’s been a lot of Pintrest, Hunger Games books (Uhm, if you haven’t yet, READ THEM!) and trying lots of new recipes. You know, cooped up activities. We also FINALLY came to a decision on a baby name! We’re pretty excited to meet our little guy, who now has a more formal moniker (because “Dat Baby” wouldn’t carry over well into adulthood).

Hooray for a trip back to Colorado this weekend for my bro’s high school graduation (Know what’s depressing? Baby Fromage will graduate class of… 2030! I feel very, very old). So looking forward to a few days of good company, good restaurants and no more sundown curfew!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Why am I soft in the middle when the rest of my life is so hard

The other day I felt it was necessary to apologize to CPT Fromage for my choice in music. Not because we have to like all of the same tunes, but because it was 7AM and I was on the 5th repeat, at full volume, of “Break My Stride”. To me, this is a fabulous way to start the morning, but CPT Fromage isn’t as into 80’s music, so I’m fairly certain this was equivalent to waterboarding or some other form of torture to him. Trying to be a good wife, I put on some mutually enjoyed bluegrass over breakfast, but was jamming out again as soon as the door closed behind him. (And now I’ve had to go que it up for another listen since I’m talking about it! “Oh! Ain’t nothin’ gonna break-a my stride, nobody gonna slow me down, oh no! I got to keep on movin’!”)

I love 80’s music. Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Eric Carmen and Howard Jones… Those guys get some serious play time on my iTunes. No ZZ Top or Aerosmith songs have a home on my playlist, nope, I like the more terrible stuff. Ashamed to admit this? I am not.
So this morning, as per the usual, I was rocking out to the 80’s on VH1 when the video for “You Can Call Me Al” came on. Seriously? How have I not seen this in my nearly 27 years of life? (*Pausing Matthew Wilder to pull up the Paul Simon video*)

I have to assume everyone else in the music listening world has enjoyed this terribleness already, but in case you have missed out, or just want to subject yourself to it once more… (Once more won’t kill you… I’ve played it at least a dozen times.)

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