Archive for September, 2012

September 28, 2012

Someone is a Winner!

Clever friends amuse and entertain you.  They also win you free tickets to see Bob Schneider just because they have a competitive desire to be the biggest smart-ass in the room.  Thanks, Ben!  My dream is to be as witty as you some day.  The husband and I will enjoy the show.

 

 

September 28, 2012

Comfort Food Recipe – Sweet Potato Souffle

Hello, Fall.  I have been anxiously waiting for you.  Now that you are here (sort of), I can make all my favorite comfort foods.  The first dish I made in your honor was sweet potato soufflé.  It was a smashing hit with the husband.  Now don’t let me down by bringing back temps in the 90s.

XXOO,
Misty

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Souffle

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup shredded gruyere
  • 2 tbps light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (I probably used more)
  • 3 large eggs
  • S&P

This serves 12, so I made a much smaller portion.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Poke the potatoes with a fork and bake for 45 minutes or until soft.  Raise the oven temp to 425.

Peel the potatoes once they are cool enough to handle.  Beat the potatoes with the butter until smooth.  Now beat in the cream, cheese, brown sugar, thyme, and S&P (to taste).  Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Transfer the puree to buttered baking dishes.  I used individual ramekins for a pretty presentation.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temp to 400 and bake for another 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are lightly puffed and browned.  Let the soufflé rest for 10 minutes before serving.

September 26, 2012

Tomato and Fennel Gratin Recipe

Monday night dinner was delayed a day this week.   We made plans to have a bottle of wine and large bag of popcorn while watching 2016.  It was a perfect date night. Tuesday night was filled with food and the usual Monday night traditions.  The husband did his thing, and I had the kitchen to myself to try out new recipes and make something special.

What was on the menu?  Roasted chicken thighs, tomato and fennel gratin, and sweet potato soufflé.  It was so good that it was decided that the dishes are now fall staples.

I don’t think I need to tell you how to roast chicken thighs.  It is also really boring, and you have google.  So let’s just get to the good stuff, the gratin. It sort of reminded us of a heavenly pasta dish, because the fennel is such a great substitution.  Next time I will double the fennel portion of the recipe.  My mouth is watering just thinking about the leftovers in the fridge!

Tomato and Fennel Gratin

  • 5 small roma tomatoes, sliced in ¼” thick slices
  • 1 large fennel bulb, stalk removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 oz (56 grams) crème fraiche (we make our own)
  • 2 tbsp black olive tapenade (see notes below, I deviated)
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese (I probably used more)
  • Handful of fresh thyme leaves
  • S&P to taste

Notes prior to cooking:
If your tomatoes are super juicy, you can place them in a colander and sprinkle them with a little salt.  Let them hangout for about 20 minutes and this will remove the excess water.  Also note that the better the tomatoes, the better the gratin will taste.

I did not have all the traditional tapenade ingredients on hand, so I made my own version.  Finely chopped black olives and garlic with a little olive oil and lemon juice.  It was wonderful and might be making appearances in other recipes.  I also don’t love capers, so this was a good solution.

Preheat oven to 375

Steam the fennel for 8-10 minutes or until it is tender.  In a bowl, toss the fennel, crème fraiche, olive tapenade, half of the thyme and parmesan, and season with S&P.

Butter the bottom of a small baking dish.  Place the fennel mixture at the bottom of the dish.  Arrange the tomato slices over the fennel in overlapping rows.  Season with S&P and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and thyme leaves.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown and the gratin is bubbly.  Let is rest for 5 minutes before serving and then enjoy!

The sweet potato soufflé recipe will be posted tomorrow.

September 25, 2012

Golf and Sofia Vergara

On Sunday night I was reminded that it is sometimes more appropriate to phone a girlfriend than to interrupt the husband’s golf show to talk about meaningless celebrity bullshit.

Before I continue, I must admit that I am pretty obsessed with golf.  My love for it has slowly matured over the last year.  It fully blossomed when I was introduced to Graeme McDowell.  Yum-mmeeeee.  Of course I didn’t really meet him, but I watched Feherty’s interview with him and felt like I was right there drinking a pint of Guiness with the Irish lads.   Are they called lads in Ireland?  I think that might be the other accent, the Australian one.  I don’t even like Guiness and think European beer outside of Belgium is a waste of calories, but I would choke down a Guiness for Graeme.  Feherty too.  Okay, more about golf and Graeme later.

The husband was watching a golf program on Sunday night while I was inspecting Emmy dresses online.  I couldn’t help but notice that the celebs very carefully place their hands on their hips or waist to accentuate the feature they want you to see.  I reviewed a few photos in detail while carefully avoiding the bitches that are much skinnier than me, and then I went to our full-length mirror to attempt to mimic the poses.

OMG, Sofia Vergara’s hips are huge!  HOT but huge.  And don’t forget that she is Latin so she gets a pass.  I confirmed it a couple of times in the mirror and then went running to the husband to tell him about my very scientific way of determining a celeb’s waist and hip size. I went into great detail about where Sofia’s hands were placed (slightly above the crotch but below the waste) and even demonstrated it in my leggings, tang top, and Uggs.  Then I showed him how far apart her hands were in her pose.  I really wanted him to understand my A-HA! moment.

He just looked up and said, “So your hips are smaller than hers and this is important?”

Touche and STFU.

September 21, 2012

Einstein or Jesus Quiz!

Remember when people used to immediately ask you what you do for a living as a way to get to know you?  How tacky!  The husband and I have found a much more discreet way to pass judgment and determine whether or not you are our people.  Besides, a profession doesn’t tell you much about a person.  Unless, of course, you are a gold digger.  Then it might be important.

Instead of the job question, we ask new people what neighborhood they live in.  It is so telling!  After this preliminary question, we get a little deeper with questions about their personal preferences.  Remember the Einstein or Jesus game?  Well, that is part of it but with a lot more questions.

We are going to approach this like a simple quiz where you pick which one you prefer.  Post a comment or email me with your preferences and I promise I won’t judge you.  That might be a lie.  I promise I won’t publicly judge you.

  • Einstein or Elvis
  • Gin or Vodka
  • College Football or Pro Football
  • Cooking Channel or Food Network
  • Suburbs or City
  • German or Belgian (we are talking beer here)
  • Bottle or Glass (again, we are talking beer)
  • Facebook or Google+
  • Yelp or Foursquare
  • Crockpot or Le Creuset
  • Craft or Commerce
  • Analog or Digital

And last but not least, Einstein or Jesus.  The husband and I even disagree on that one.  Which one do you think I chose?

September 20, 2012

I’ll have a latte!

I am a changed woman.  I like coffee!  Well, I like lattes and cappuccino.  That counts, right?  I love red wine, big beers, and the stranger the food the better, so why did it take me so long to like coffee?

I discovered my new love last week when I tasted the husband’s post dinner cappuccino and a friend’s morning latte.   They were delicious!  And now I just finished my first latte that I ordered by myself for myself!

I had been looking forward to this experience all week.  I was waiting for an empty afternoon to park my butt at The Pearl Cup with my laptop.  That is what the cool kids do, right?  I even pretended like I was the uber creative type writing the great American novel on my Apple computer.  Little did they know I was just writing blog posts.

So, I might have gotten a little excited and slammed that first cup too quickly.  It tasted so wonderful, and it was so pretty, but I don’t feel so good.  I think this is what you coffee drinkers are experiencing when you say you have had too much.

September 14, 2012

Stalker Traffic

I always get a little tickled when my name shows up in the referring search terms for my blog traffic.  This week “Misty Browning Sanford” and “Misty Browning Sanford, Dallas” made a few appearances.  Someone was doing a very deliberate search for me.  Well, I see you!  I don’t know who you are, but you have been crowned my new stalker.  Yeah… Stalker might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it makes me feel special.

If you, my stalker friend, are reading this, don’t worry.  There is no shame in googling friends and randoms.  I search people’s names all the time.  I am curious by nature.

What tickles me about this whole thing is that people are finding ThePlasticJungle.com when they are probably looking for a LinkedIn profile.   Can you imagine their reaction when they find stories about the husband, my fear of babies, and Dickhead Fred‘s antics?  Hopefully they have a sense of humor, because it just got a whole lot more personal than a LinkedIn profile.

September 13, 2012

Cool Kid-isms

I am afraid of having a boring kid.  Call me crazy, but I want a kid that is pure sass and smart ass…in a respectful way of course.

I am sure a shy and sweet kid would be nice, but what a snoozefest!  I want a terror!  Okay, not a terror.  The kid can’t break my shit or turn our home into a tornado zone.    I just want one that speaks her mind and has a personality that shines a little brighter than the others.  Does it work like that?

Before you ask, NOOOO I am not pregnant.  I just found a hilarious blog that shares the anecdotes of a 4 year old.  I was almost in tears of laughter a couple times.  Cami, I hope my future kid is half as clever as you.

http://www.camisms.com/

September 9, 2012

Travel Bug

I have an itch to travel.  I haven’t been on a plane in 4 months.  Yikes!  I need to get out of town pronto!  No, I need to get out of the US!  I found some flight deals and did a little scheming.  I knew it had to be something good for the husband to agree to a last minute trip out of the country.

I was barely keeping it together while I was waiting for him to get home from work.  He is kind of used to this.  Since I have been working from home, I tend to completely vomit all over him with stories and thoughts the moment he walks in the door.  I have even started keeping a list so that I don’t constantly barrage him with texts, IMs, and emails throughout the day.  Pretty pathetic, but I can’t forget to tell him every single important detail of my day…

This day was extra special though.  I had found an amazing deal to Ireland, home of Rory McIlroy.  This is a BIG deal in the Sanford house.  At least I thought it was.  I kind of imagine my excitement about this was like the excitement he felt when he proposed to me.  Eh…maybe not that high, but close.

The husband walks in the door
Me:  I have an idea!
The Husband:  *raises his eyebrows as if to say,“yessss”*
Me:  I spent some time on the google machine this afternoon and found an amazing deal.
The Husband:  *raises his eyebrows again*
Me:  Let’s go to Ireland!
The Husband:  Ireland??
Me:  Yeah, Ireland!  We can get there for dirt cheap, and I want to get away.
The Husband:  How about we go hiking in Arkansas for a long weekend.
Me:  *blink blink*
The Husband:  *blink blink*

Yeah, it went down like that.  Apparently he got all adult and responsible on me and doesn’t approve of going to Europe on a whim anymore.  Whatever.  Next time I am just booking the damn tickets.

September 3, 2012

Bob Schneider and Cougars

The husband kind of has an affinity for cougars.  Or maybe they have an affinity for him.   Whatever it is, it keeps me entertained.  I should note these women are not the aggressive Capital Grille or Dragonfly cougars.  They are nice, older women in their 60s that happen to think the husband is adorable, so they engage him in conversation.  I plan to keep telling myself that, so I continue to find it entertaining.

On Friday evening, we had drinks at The Common Table and then saw Bob Schneider play at the Granada.  Both happened to be full of cougars that were flirting with my husband.  One woman walked up to him to tell him she liked the look he had going on and then gave him the once over with her eyes.  I was standing right next to him!  I can’t even remember what he was wearing. I even looked in the laundry basket to try and piece it together to share it with you, but I got nothing.  The drinks before the show might not have been the best idea after doing a juice detox all week…

While the husband was flirting with the old ladies, I was dancing and singing to every song Bob played.  I have lived in Dallas for 5 years, and this was my first Bob show.  *shame*  When he was playing Big Blue Sea, I was particularly enthusiastic.  I looked at the husband with a huge party on grin, and he just shook his head.  He then leaned over to tell me that Big Blue Sea is a song Bob plays for all the d-bags.  He should know.  Not because he is a d-bag, but because this is at least his 10th Bob show.  I just shrugged my shoulders to say whatever and continued dancing.  Big Blue Sea might be a d-bag song, but the entire audience sang and danced to every song Bob played that night.

That most definitely will not be my last Bob Schneider show.  I can also guarantee that there will be plenty more cougar encounters to document.  The husband needs to earn his keep!

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