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We have been in our house for just over a week now. And I am so in love with this house, it is unreal. Is it normal for a first time homebuyer to love a house this much? And I love the fact that the house is 10 years older than I am. It has amazing creaks and clanks going on throughout the day as it goes about its business of giving us shelter and being our home. Makes me wonder about the families that lived here before us. What memories did they make in our new home? What milestones did they or their children reach in this house?
The only downside to the house is that we wake up every day with new things to add to the “to do” list. This weekend we primed and painted the guest bedroom, just have to finish the trim. We also changed all of the exterior deadbolts and handles (all 5 of them!). We bought new tile to put down in the foyer to replace the grody linoleum and also discussed laminate for the main living room.
We are still living amid a chaos of boxes. But they are mostly my crafting things, our book collection and dvd collection. DH has to build shelves for us, you know, because his list isn’t quite long enough : ) He built us a great book shelf while we lived in Guam. It is Mahogany and is tall and simple. He basically wrecked it for me and store-bought bookshelves. Our old house in Saipan had cheap-o shelves in the living room that were the brackets and piece of board kind that we used to put our dvd’s on. Hey, they were there when we moved in and it was a rental, so we weren’t going to go about changing things. They worked for the year that we were there.
One of our neighbors came and introduced herself to me tonight and brought me the prettiest bouquet of daisies, carnations and gerber daisies. So sweet. She seems like one of those people that you just want to sit down and have a pot of tea with and get to know better. But I was a dunce as usual and didn’t invite her in. Social ineptness, check. I always think of the proper thing to do after the fact. Sometime I will invite her over though. In my 13 years of living on my own, I have never had a neighbor come and introduce themselves to me, let alone bring me flowers. I am lucky, this seems to be a great neighborhood.
Speaking of the neighborhood, we saw a juvenile black bear walking down our street about a block from the house one day. It was cute and ran right into someone’s yard and up to their porch when it realized we were behind it. The neighbor lady brought it up tonight and asked me if I saw “our yearling” wandering around during the day. I am not too concerned about the bears right now…they are pretty fat and satisfied and have hibernation on their minds. But come this spring when they wake up, I will be much more cautious.
And since a blog post isn’t much fun without pictures, I will share a cooking adventure that BTH & I had last month in the vacation house. Anyone that knows me well knows that I adore chocolate and think that chocolate + peanut butter is about as close to heaven on earth as you can get. Especially when eaten in a nice bath while the baby is sleeping. I have found that my favorite chocolate/peanut butter combo is made by Hershey’s. They come in giant bars and also as filled Kisses. Reeses is good in a pinch, but the peanut butter isn’t nearly as smooth as Hershey’s. For a while there, I was eating a bag of Kisses every other day.
I decided that I needed to do something drastic to help curb my craving. So, I set out to make massive peanut butter cups, like the kind you get in the gourmet candy shops. I figured that I would beat my craving into submission by overdose. I am so smart.
Basically, I just took cupcake liners (I couldn’t find the mini ones) and melted a small amount of milk chocolate chips and spread that into the liner to make the bottom and side shell of the cup. I stuck that in the freezer for the time being while I made the peanut butter filling. For the filling, I took peanut butter (we use the kind that you grind at the store. If your store doesn’t have a peanut grinder, you can get a jar of all natural peanut butter), then I mixed in a bit of softened unsalted butter and some powdered sugar. I didn’t measure amounts, I just mixed until it was smooth and tasted good to me. I then plopped that mix into the shells that I made before and smoothed the top. Then back in the freezer. I then melted some more milk chocolate chips and poured that on top of the peanut butter cup, sealing it in. Then I let them set up in the freezer for a bit. I looked for recipes on different websites but most were pretty strange and included adding wax to the chocolate. Eww. I wanted something simple and straightforward.
They were good, even BTH got a few nibbles. But don’t tell DH. And please don’t mention to him that I have more chocolate chips on my mental shopping list for tomorrow. Because I haven’t had a peanut butter cup in at least 10 days. Guess my plan of conquering my addiction didn’t work.
I might be scarce for a bit…our new internet plan has limited internet usage and we need to get a good idea about how much we are online before we have overages.
I have been cooking today! That is unusual for our house, DH is the chef in the family, I am pretty much the baker. But I haven’t felt like baking lately (until today) because of the insane heat. As I was cooking today, I had some random food thoughts run through my head:
- Cleaning canned salmon is disgusting. I made salmon patties for dinner and was thoroughly grossed out by the time I got it all cleaned. DH just kind of mashes everything together (that’s why I like to make them), so when he makes them, you get extra crunchy bits from the tiny bones. I do it like Granny and pick it all apart.
- I can’t wait until we go home…I am seriously craving blue cheese stuffed olives. Mmmm. I could sit down and eat a bowl full. Top of my grocery list will be a jar of olives and a slab of blue cheese. All you have to do is pick out the pimento with a toothpick and jam some blue cheese inside. If there are any that aren’t consumed immediately, put them in the refrigerator and they get even better.
- I baked tonight! Organic blueberry muffins. I used Paula Deen’s recipe for blackberry muffins, but since we don’t have blackberries, I subbed organic frozen blueberries. Oh, and I added some of the drained blueberry juice to the batter because it was crazy thick. They aren’t pretty, but they are freakishly tasty. I think that the sprinkles of raw sugar on the top help!
- My pal, Deece, gave me a bag of truffles for Mother’s Day. As I was slicing one in half the other day (what! I know…I haven’t scarfed them all down yet?!?!), I paused for a second and rotated the truffle a bit so that it was the first letter of our last name. Cute! Or maybe I am just a dork. Don’t.answer.that.
So you can see that it truly is double chocolate…
I was playing around with BTH today, just snapping some random photos of us. I think that the caption for this one should be:
“Oh, I am going to have a brother or a sister? That’s awesome, that rocks! I am so happy. Please don’t notice the cracker crumb on my face, notice my cuteness instead.”
Then the caption for this one would be:
“Remember how excited I was, how I said that it “rocked” and that it was “awesome“? Yeah, I lied. 16 months old and I have this faking out the parents thing in the bag. This is how I really feel. You probably won’t even notice my middle finger as I slyly put it up.”
Ya’ll, I have been beyond tired lately. It is getting absolutely pathetic. I am too tired to knit at night. How pathetic is that? I did get to the heel flap of my monkeys and am plugging away at them…I think that they are going to be ginormous though, if the heel flap is any indication. I have been reading quite a bit. In the last two weeks, I have re-read books 1-3 of the Harry Potter series. I got a bunch for Christmas from my Dad & Step-Mom (hardcover, first edition natch) and am working my way through them. The plan is to have them all read by the time we are packed up. That includes reading book 7 for the first time. I can’t believe that I haven’t heard any spoilers about book 7 yet beyond “somebody dies”. If you have an inkling to spoil it for me now, don’t do it…I will hate you forever.
Oh yeah, my dear Barack is on a total roll…we should be pretty much done by May 31. I found this today via Ravelry and thought it was great. I will post more later this week…I found a bunch.
Every Saturday, I meet Deece for coffee and knitting. Then we mosey on over to Expressions so that she can buy her 10 pounds of chocolates for the week. I keed, I keed…it is probably only like a pound or so, I have a tendency to exaggerate in my chocolate induced euphoria.
Anyway.Back to my point.
Expressions has relocated to where the Wine Cellar used to be right there by Coffee Care on the way up to Capitol Hill. The shop is bigger and filled with more goodies than before. I think that it started out as a scrapbooking store, then she added the candy bar which was shelves of Hoosier jars filled with all kinds of gourmet confections. Everything from chocolates to Jelly Belly jelly beans, she even has chocolate covered gummy bears (eww!). Now, she carries fancy honey and teas along with imported cheeses and pate.
Along with a new line of chocolate bars, Vosges Haute Chocolate. I picked up a few of the smaller bars to try them out. At $2.50 each, they are a bit pricey, but it is better in my opinion, to buy a few small ones and figure out which you like rather than plunking down $7.50 for the big bar and end up hating it.
- Red Fire Bar – Mexican ancho & chipotle chillies, Ceylon cinnamon, dark chocolate (55% cacao)
- Naga Bar – sweet Indian curry powder, coconut flakes, deep milk chocolate (41% cacao)
- Oaxaca Bar – guajillo & pasilla chillies, Tanzanian bittersweet chocolate (75% cacao)
- Black Pearl Bar – wasabi, ginger, black sesame seeds, dark chocolate (55% cacao)
- Macha Bar – Japanese macha green tea, deep milk chocolate (41% cacao)
- Mo’s Bacon Bar – applewood smoked bacon, Alder wood smoked salt, deep milk chocolate (41% cacao)
- Creole Bar – New Orleans style chicory coffee, Sao Thome bittersweet chocolate, cocoa nibs (70% cacao)
DH has eaten the Red Fire, the Naga, and the Black Pearl Bars. He says that they are very good, but he really can’t taste the extra stuff in them. I was disappointed that the Black Pearl bar wasn’t more potent for him, he really likes wasabi, ginger, and dark chocolate.
I have had some of all three of mine. The Creole Bar, whoa! I don’t usually have much caffeine so this one made me jittery. I adore New Orleans chicory coffee, and used to consume it regularly when we lived in S. Louisiana. I wish I had a bag now. For the time being, this will do! I would buy this in the big size. The Macha Bar…disappointed. I couldn’t taste the green tea at all. Plus, having just come back from Japan and bringing home a box of green tea chocolates from Gion, Kyoto…I was a bit spoiled to begin with. Now, the Bacon Bar…I didn’t like it at first. Seemed strange to me. Bacon & chocolate? But it is GOOD! There are little bits in there (must be the salt) that are a unique texture and the bacon is a nice smoky flavor. I would totally buy this in the bigger bar.
So there you have it. I know, I need to get pictures up from our Rota trip. But I have been distracted y chocolate. Did you know that Webs is having a hugeungus yarn sale? Good God, Cascade 220 for less than $5 a skien? *want, want*