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I made a 28 Before 28 list after my last birthday, and here’s a progress report:
1. Cook a new dish every month. Check (even though I’ve been very bad about blogging it)
2. Run a race. There’s a local race this March. I have yet to start actively training for it.
3. Add one more country to my travel list. I was planning to go to the Philippines with a work friend, but ticket prices soared beyond my budgeted reach. I may still have a foreign excursion this summer, but that will have to count towards a 29 Before 29.
4. Finish Cannonball Read. Fail. It ended in November, and I only reached 32 books rather than the 52 required to complete it.
5. Submit a finished work for representation. Frame the rejection letters. I don’t have anything I consider finished.
6. Become a local tourist. I haven’t really pursued this. I’ll try to squeeze an excursion or two.
7. Get my PCCN. All I’ve done is take the live review course offered by my hospital. I need to set up a study plan and get going.
8. Send Christmas cards. Check.
9. Learn to skate. I think I might have been overly ambitious when adding this to my list. I was influenced by a few roller derby bouts I’d attended. I’ve never displayed any talent to skating during my childhood. I don’t know why I thought I could do so now. Also, there are surprisingly few local rinks.
10. Make knitter friends. Is it cheating to make a friend a knitter friend? I have a work friend who expressed interest, and I’ve been encouraging said interest. She excitedly told me that she’d bought her supplies for a class being taught at her church.
11. Learn how to invest. Working on this.
12. Be a part of at least one change through my council service that positively impacts the daily work of a nurse. This is probably the most discouraging ambition. I had no idea how little was actually done in this council. I then attempted to work through the unit council, but it is incredibly hard to motivate people when they feel the constant pinch of corporate and pressure of management over idiotic things.
13. Make one good friend who lives in my neighborhood. Nope. I did make a new friend from work who lives in my city. I would count that, but it defeats the purpose of getting to know my neighbors.
14. Take at least one self-portrait a month. Check.
15. Try waxing. Come on. You can do it. Not yet.
16. Get fitted properly for a bra. I’m ready for a underwear drawer makeover.
17. Break one bad habit. Working on it.
18. Wear more skirts. I started out stronger in the beginning, but the colder weather has turned me back toward pants. I bought several cute pairs of tights to help turn that tide.
19. Find a piece of art I love to hang over my mantel. Nope.
20. Back up all of my photos on on-line storage – and make it a a habit. No, but I did scan tubs of my parent’s old photos.
21. Knit a sweater I can wear proudly. Ummm…no. I did make three little sweaters that three adorable baby girls can wear proudly. Does that count for anything?
22. Learn how to sew. Check.
23. Start flowers/herbs from seeds. Check.
24. Take a self-defense class. Nope.
25. Learn how to use Photoshop. Nope.
26. Stick to my budget. Yes. See above #3 response. That would have kicked my saving’s butt.
27. Road trip! Drove from Texas to Pennsylvania. Still have time to squeeze in another to San Antonio with a work pal.
28. Look forward to my 10-year high school reunion. Not really, but I’m still planning on going.
In preparing for my brother’s early Christmas visit a week ago , I had a couple of meals worth of groceries in the fridge. It never crossed my mind that he’d have his own very long list of restaurants/diners to fill up on food he can’t find up north. They don’t even eat breakfast anymore, so the breakfast casserole I made the first morning was eaten by me and my youngest brother over the next week. Lesson learned. Do not feed.
The rest of us had our own regularly scheduled Christmas Eve special. I worked Christmas Eve and Day, so I didn’t get a chance to use up any of the food. (We had arepas, buñuelos, and hot chocolate before opening gifts.)
I invited everyone over for lunch today to help clean my fridge. And it was awesome.
Praline chicken was the new dish. Maybe a little dry. Still delicious.
Frozen garlic bread is the best. Stick it in the oven for 10 minutes. Done and done.
Everything else was microwaved goodness. I highly recommend the frozen mashed potatoes if you don’t do it the “real” way. (Snobs.) So good. Make sure you double the butter. I scoff at a mere 2 tbsps.
Leftover Christmas cookies and candy for dessert.
Boy Meets World on the television. We loved this show as a family, and I gave my sister the first season for Christmas. It was so much fun that I proclaim it a new family holiday tradition.
What? I make the rules around here.
I finally got rid of this box of Christmas cards … and the 2009 Christmas stickers. The downside of not having been in the habit of sending Christmas cards is that I’m not on very many people’s own Christmas card list as evidenced by the five cards I’ve received so far (an all-time low).
This will change.
I was excited to open my mail and find a Christmas card with this little cutie wearing the sweater I made her.
And I just realized it’s already December.
I made this through the cooking studio, so no recipe to post. It is simply layers of corn tortilla, cheese, and mixture of meat, red beans, and corn. And it is good. It’s a bit of a safe dish in that there is plenty of room to add a salsa of your choice to kick it up a notch.
* I know I’ve been a bad blogger, but I really have been making about 2 or 3 of these studio dishes a month. I’ve been twice since I started this list, and I get 6 entrees each time.
I tried out this recipe from next month’s issue (Aug 2010) of Shape magazine with some modifications. I left out the mint and lettuce leaves, leaving only shrimp, avocado, cilantro, and rice noodles (with a squirt of lime juice) as the filling. I also saved time and bought chili sauce made especially for spring rolls from the Asian section of my local grocery store.
Verdict: Yum, though my rolling skills leave room for improvement.
1. Cook a new dish every month
3 for June: chicken in apple cream sauce, cheesy filled pasta shells, and bourbon glazed pork chops.
3. Add one more country to my list.
It looks like I’ll be going to the Philippines in January or February.
4. Finish Cannonball Read.
7. Get my PCCN.
Just took a one-day live review course.
18. Wear more skirts.
Just bought a new dress and skirt. I’m wearing the skirt now.
21. Knit a sweater I can wear proudly.
I’ve decided that the piece I’m working on counts, and I’m still knitting away on that one.
23. Start flowers from seeds.
I took this picture a few days ago when the little sprouts seemed to be doing well. The ones on the left have mostly died out. Strangely it seems that one container at a time is being demolished. Foul play?
I’m driving out to Pennsylvania with my mom and sister in 2 weeks to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and new niece. We’ll be visiting some other family on the way back.
In the process of budgeting and investing….
One of my goals this year is to cook more, so I added “Cook a new dish every month” to my 28 Before 28 list. I decided to try a cooking studio with a friend in order to help me meet that goal.
It wasn’t what I expected. I thought we would be cooking and then taking our meals home to freeze and eat later. Instead, the studio is more of a meal assembly kitchen.
I arrived to find a room with several stations. Each station consisted of a metal table with paper towels, a cleaner, and utensils underneath. On the table sat directions for the meal assembly. The back wall of the room was a row of freezers, much like you would find in the frozen foods aisle of your neighborhood grocery store. The first direction always instructed you to go to the freezers and pick up your ingredients.
Each freezer shelf was designated for a particular meal of that month’s menu. The freezer door would instruct you on how many ziplocked bags to pick up and take back to your table. Once at the table with your ingredients, the directions would instruct you on how to assemble your meal.
No actual recipes are provided. The service is to do all the meal planning, grocery shopping, and prep work for you. The prep work includes making the mixtures such as a cheese filling for pasta shells. All I do is put the cheese mixture in the pasta shells, line the shells in a metal tray, pour the already made sauce over them, and sprinkle with cheese. The tray is then covered and wrapped in plastic. It is to be frozen and then cooked later at my home. Cooking instructions are printed on labels that are placed on the covered items.
Some items need no assembly – say a soup. The baggie I took out of the freezer with the soup just needs a label before it’s placed in the cooler I brought.
There was meat (already seasoned) that I shaped into patties before placing in a baggie. There were some ribs that I rubbed with seasoning before -you guessed it – placing in a baggie. I have no idea what all was in the seasoning, because that is the kitchen’s secret.
That’s it. I think my friend and I finished our 6 entrees in 30 minutes.
I’ve tried two of the meals – pineapple teriyaki burgers and chicken tortilla soup. They were ok. We’ll see how the rest taste – BBQ ribs, bourbon glazed pork chops, cheesy pasta shells, and chicken with apple cream sauce.
Not at all what I was expecting. I guess that, for me, the prep work is part of the cooking experience. And I felt like I was missing out.
I set some goals for myself this year in the form of a 28 Before 28 list.
1. Cook a new dish every month. I made some Colombian dishes last month. A friend and I are going to go to a cooking studio next week.
3. Add one more country to my list. An ICU nurse I know has invited me to go with her on her next trip to the Philippines. She told me the other day that I would only have to pay for my plane ticket. I was to be her guest.
4. Finish Cannonball Read. Still reading.
7. Get my PCCN. I’m shooting for that accomplishment by the end of the summer. My hospital is offering live review classes next month.
9. Learn to skate. The local roller derby team is starting a rec league this summer. No experience necessary. I told my derby friend that I can’t skate. She said again, “No experience necessary.” I’m interested.
10. Make knitter friends. I’m checking out a knitting group on Monday night at a new LYS.
14. Take a least one self-portrait a month. Check.
21. Knit a sweater I can wear proudly. I had already started a lace and cables shrug when I added that goal to my list. It’s the size of a cropped cardigan (the kind I wear all the time). So far it looks good. Could it count?
27. Road trip! Already planning a trip to Pennsylvania with my mom and sister to see my soon-to-be-born niece, Rosalyn.