August 30, 2007

Stalker Boy

So, it finally happened. I met someone in the grocery store. I always go shopping hoping to make a love connection. I mean, how romantic is it to be in a room full of food? It's like a giant party with a shining concrete dance floor. I like the elevator music they play in the produce section. As usual, the cup of my imagination runneth over. I really just go to the store to flirt. Real relationships scare the hell out of me.

Last week I was doing some pretty late shopping to grab the ingredients for the Chocolate Blackout Cake, second edition. I walked past an aisle, paused to check my shopping list, looked up, and saw a stock boy staring at me. I recognized him as one of the regular late shift stockers. As I passed to the next aisle, I heard a whistle. Flattered and mortified, I continued shopping and then backtracked a couple of aisles to pick up some chocolate bars. As a rounded the corner, I met eyes with the whistler. I'm sure my eyes widened and my face colored. I have such an expressive face. It's a curse, really. I ducked around him, grabbed my Ghiradelli bars, and slinked away.

So tonight, more late night shopping, again for a cake, actually two, a pound cake and a toffee cake. I finished my shopping and checked out. Unfortunately, the milk I bought had a puncture in the carton, so the checker ran to get a replacement. I stood waiting, looking around, and guess who was on my favorite aisle, the baking aisle, the one with flour, sugar, extracts, and chocolate bars? That's right. The stocker, or rather, the stalker. Just standing there at the end of the aisle and blantantly staring. I looked away quickly. Or probably my mouth fell open and then I looked away quickly. I was still waiting for that checker and the replacement milk. Make conversation with the sacker. I did. Monosyllabic answer from her. I saw the stalker again in my periphery, so I turned around completely.

You know the fluttery butterfly feeling after making eyes with someone? It makes you want to bat your eyes and smile coyly. This guy gives you a fluttery feeling like you want to run away and lock your car door and wear a disguise next time you shop. I'll have to start shopping at the newer Market Street in the rich neighborhood with a bunch of middle-aged housewives! No chance of meeting anyone there. What's with me and the late night shopping and baking?

On a happier note, I just returned from San Diego, where I had, gasp, a date. It mainly consisted of lunch at a Brazilian steakhouse and walking about a shopping mall and the pier of the North San Diego Bay. That is not my ideal place to debut, full daylight. I prefer the cover of darkness or at least the shelter of a shopping cart, apparently. I had a fun time but no particular reason to believe that this guy ever wants to see me again in this life.

That "Still Single Shower" is coming up. Ten out of eleven invitees are married. I'm starting to feel like the reason I'm still single is the elephant in the room that no one's talking about. Or maybe I'm the elephant in the room. Feel free to comment anonymously on my failings.

San Diego Zoo

Had a blast at the San Diego Zoo.

August 20, 2007

Dinner and a Movie

I found my new favorite dinner recipe. Drumroll, please... Chicken Marsala. I made it for the fam last night for dinner, and I loved it. However, I wasn't sure if I loved it only because it was 9pm when we ate dinner and by that time I was absolutely starving. But no, I was still craving it today, so tonight for dinner, I made Chicken Marsala for one. Here's the recipe, adapted from the America's Test Kitchen recipe:

Chicken Marsala
Serves 1

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed
unbleached flour
peanut oil
vegetable oil
1 slice bacon, finely chopped
1/4 c. white button mushrooms, sliced
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 t. Annie's Naturals Organic Ketchup
1/2 c. sweet Marsala
1/2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. butter
1 T. minced parsley

1. Heat the oven to 200º. Pound the chicken breast to a uniform thickness, then season with salt and pepper. Dredge both sides in flour.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in heavy-bottomed skillet* over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook chicken until golden brown on first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Add more oil, if necessary, and flip chicken, cooking until second side is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to an oven-safe plate or dish and keep warm in oven.
3. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to skillet and add mushrooms and bacon. Stir occasionally and scrape pan bottom to loosen browned bits, until bacon is crisp and mushrooms are brown. Add garlic and ketchup, and cook until ketchup begins to brown, less than 1 minute.
4. Stir in Marsala and simmer vigorously, scraping browned bits from pan bottom, until sauce is reduced to a syrup. Turn off heat and add lemon juice. Stir in butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in parsley. Pour sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

*Do not use a nonstick skillet. The pan sauce is flavored by the browned bits which stick to the pan during cooking.


I used peanut oil to fry the chicken and vegetable oil for the pan sauce. I don't know if this is logical. I simply grabbed peanut oil by accident last night, and I fried the chicken in that. I really like the way peanut oil fries, but I'm sure the oils are interchangeable. Depending on the mushrooms you're using, it might be a good idea to put them in the skillet before the bacon. I found that less ripe mushrooms needed more time to cook, and the bacon was almost burned by the time the mushrooms had softened. I used salted butter in the pan sauce and didn't find that the sauce needed any extra salt or pepper.

I served the chicken over fettuccine noodles. A simple green salad with a light dressing is a great accompaniment. A quick and easy meal. -

New York CheesecakeAfter the Chicken Marsala, you're going to want a good dessert. I suggest cheesecake. I would be eating the New York Cheesecake I made yesterday, except I was a good little girl and took it to work to share with my co-workers, and then I forgot to bring it home.

After dessert you're going to be so full that you'll want to veg out on the couch and watch a movie. I suggest The Godfather to keep with the Italian, excuse me, Sicilian, theme. Don't even think about going outside to do yard work or mow your lawn. No reason why you should quit being the white trash neighbor that everyone hates.

August 19, 2007

Always a Bridesmaid


I thought Sarah was going to stay my hip single friend, but she went and got herself a good catch with John. At the rehearsal dinner, we had comida salvadoreña, or El Salvadorean food for you English speakers. I was introduced to the world of pupusas a few weeks ago, and they are wonderful. I've tried pupusas stuffed with queso, loroco (tastes like zucchini), chicken, and pork. They're served with curtido, which is a cabbage relish, and tomato sauce. I love fried plantains spread with that tangy cream they use. I also tried a drink called marañón, which is made from the cashew apple. Cashew trees apparently produce a bright red or orange apple along with the nuts we buy in a can. There are a couple of Pupuserías/Restaurantes Salvadoreños in Lubbock which I've been frequenting since I found out about them. I recommend them, except the wait can be excessive if there's any type of crowd, but that's the price of fresh, handmade food.

How cute is that picture of Hannah? It was a little cold and rainy outside while we were taking pictures after Sarah and John's wedding. My hair immediately went fro, but the bride looked beautiful. Here are my BFFs Catherine (Hannah's mama) and Sarah:

Catherine, Sarah, and Kimberly

August 13, 2007

Still Single Shower

I have this great idea to have a "Still Single Shower" for myself to recoup from the losses after years of attending bridal and baby showers for my friends. I wouldn't really request gifts. It would actually just be a party to celebrate my fabulousness, with a tongue-in-cheek theme. So now I need ideas for it. I am trying for something that screams single and fabulous and not so much old maid. I want people leaving my party saying, "What is wrong with the guys around here?", and not, "I guess we know why she's single." Food-wise, I'm thinking it will be a dessert party, since that's what I like to make, but I guess I could do some real foods, too.

You're all invited to the shower. Men are welcome, too, and don't worry, there will be no giggling at this shower. We will all be mourning my failed love life, which is nothing to laugh about.

Nice thing about being single: I get both closets in the master bedroom. Of course, I don't use them, because other nice thing about being single: King size bed all to myself. It's a nice place for laying my clothes. Also, the living room is crowded with clothes air drying after laundry day. Yesterday Wendy mentioned that I had two closets, both of which must be empty, since all of my clothes are in my bedroom and living room. "How do you decide which clothes to put in which closet?" she asked.

I answered, "One is for clothes I would wear. And the other is for clothes I would never wear."

Sad but trueI want party suggestions, people. Should I pass a collection plate for my plastic surgery fund?

August 1, 2007


Sometimes people comment that I look like someone famous and beautiful. Then they ask to borrow money. People have told me that I look like these people:

Keri Russell, but it was back during her Felicity days. Trust me when I tell you that if I don't intervene, my hair looks just like that after washing it. Fro is fun. Keri is super cute in Waitress, too.

Brooke Shields. I think we share thick straight eyebrows.

Pauline said I reminded her of Kate Winslet in The Holiday. Unfortunately, it sounds like it was the character's crazy antics and not her gorgeousness that reminded Pauline of me. Nice to know that the person in my life with whom I spend the most time thinks I'm an unstable psycho chick.

Sophie Simmons (in red) - Gene Simmons' daughter? And we'll just leave the question mark there.

I so do not look as good as Giada does in an apron.

And then there is the Simpsonized version of me.

Okay, I was a little selective in the pictures I posted here. What girl wants to admit her hair looks like Brendan Fraser's in George of the Jungle? (Thanks, Wendy.) I told you my hair was fro-ish. All I can say about the ladies above is "I wish."