Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How to detail a car, or create your own sauna

1. Make sure it's 90 degrees or hotter.
2. If you plan to clean the outside and inside of a car with a partner, volunteer for the inside.
3. Gather cleaning materials -- old rags, windex and armor all wipes.
4. Grab a bag for garbage. Forget it inside the house.
5. Since you don't have a vacuum, make the car owner promise to vacuum later. If that's you, make yourself promise. Then forget.
6. Get in car.
7. Sweat profusely. Remind yourself that people pay big bucks to sit in a sauna like this. Yours is free.
8. Clean windows.
9. Forget the rag outside. Open door and get sprayed by your partner, who is wielding the garden hose.
10. Get back in the car. Dry off.
11. Spray windex on windows. Wipe down. Make more streaks. Repeat.
12. Use armor all wipe to wipe down the dash. Use about 16 wipes, actually.
13. Wipe down the steering wheel, then remember you're not supposed to, because it makes it hard to grip.
14. Grab windex, and re-clean steering wheel.
15. Clean radio, vents and console. Try not to be grossed out.
16. Pocket all change.
17. Realize you're cleaning all the dust into the grooves. Find a golf tee. Use it to clean out cracks.
18. Place golf tee carefully back where you found it, to avoid a phone call from the golf course later.
19. Lunge over to the other side of the car and clean the glove compartment and other door. Pull muscle.
20. Open glove compartment and close it. You didn't sign up for that part.
21. Get out of car. Get sprayed, again.
22. Get into back seat. Wipe down the doors, and windex windows. More streaks.
23. Stuff all garbage and wipes into a rag, since you forgot the garbage bag. Spill it. Pick it up.
24. Get out of car. Drop half of the cleaning materials.
25. Windex outside of windows, so that the inside streaks really show up.
26. Help finish waxing. Sort of.
27. Switch cars.
28. Start over.
29. Drink water. Notice water glass is near the hose where your partner is washing out the rags. Pour water out and get a different glass.
30. Admire cars. Pass out.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

It's almost time for the weekend, and this one is three days long! Time to get out the grill and party down with your bad self. Do you know where your dancing shoes are?

I have not been at the stove much. I have, however, been crocheting up a storm. We have a new store in town, and I think it's great -- lots of neat colors and patterns! Knit & Knot, I'm talking about you! I made it halfway through a blanket and ran out of yarn. Luckily, they are open til 8 p.m. Awesome.

This week, I'm also loving this article from Self Magazine on Miranda Lambert. Also, her workout! I have high hopes for this one! :)

The small microcooker from Pampered Chef makes vegetables in record time. No commissions here, just going by my experience! Broccoli takes less than 5 minutes to steam in this, which is awesome for when I get home late or decide to work out and still want to eat before 7:30 p.m.

Want to cook chicken faster? Forget pounding, just cut a chicken breast in half horizontally. Works great if the chicken breast is still slightly frozen... I got this idea from The Pioneer Woman's chicken bacon ranch panini recipe... which also looks like a good idea!

Feeling overwhelmed by housework? Check out the FlyLady. She's got the plan for what ails ya. No perfection, just good ideas and a little dose of happy.

So, that's it for today -- more recipes on the horizon, I hope!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pasta and garlic bread hits the spot

I made pasta and cheesy garlic bread the other night, and while it's nothing special, I thought I would jot down how I made the sauce.

The Sauce

1 t. olive oil.
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef, 90 percent lean
1 can Hunt's tomato sauce, 26 oz.
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 T. Greek Seasoning
1 t. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and saute onion and garlic in Dutch oven until starting to brown. Push to sides.
Add ground beef and break up to brown.
Add tomato chunks and stir to heat. Add sauce and seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While sauce is simmering, boil 6 cups water, and add half a package of rotini. Cook until al dente, about 8 minutes or so. Add to sauce.

Cheesy garlic bread

I had half a loaf of sourdough french bread from Greatest Grains, a local health food store, so I thought I would make garlic bread. I cut the bread into 1-in. slices, buttered both sides, then placed them on a cookie sheet. I topped the bread with a sprinkle or two of garlic salt, then with shredded mozzarella. Bake for 5-10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until slightly browned.

I paired these with steamed broccoli and salad. This made for a pretty quick dinner!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hello, Chicago! Restaurant show brings it again...

I went to the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show for my day job. Lots of people and lots of walking, but really cool products.

Look at how big this show was! It was at McCormick Place in Chicago, which required a train trip from the Northwest Suburbs, followed by a bus shuttle from the Allegro Hotel. Then, finally, to the show!

This is a Thermapen(tm) from ThermoWorks, Lindon, Utah. It is amazing. If you read Cook's Illustrated, you've probably heard about it. The handheld base has a needle-like metal probe that rotates out from the base. The rotation trips a switch in the base that automatically turns the thermometer on. Then you dip the probe in your soup, roast or whatever, and it gives you a digital temperature in 3 seconds. I watched it happen! AND it comes in all these colors. Now, you do have to pay for all this, but come on.
How cool is that?

Tea drinkers, unite! And grab your K-cup makers! Twinings tea has new K-cups. Their website includ English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green Tea, Pure Camomile, African Rooibos and Pure Peppermint. They also had Chai and Bedtime Blend K-cup teas available at the show. Instant tea? Awesome.

Remember hypercolor t-shirts that changed at inopportune times, like when you were sweating? Well, Go-2 Products has a better use for color-changing technology, like super-long straws that change in your drinks!

I tasted A LOT of stuff at the show, including a velvety risotto by Stouffer's, which I plan to recreate soon. But the Minute Maid Frozen Orangeade was the best. It's similar to the frozen lemonade, but better. Apparently it's really new, but keep an eye out for it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Hi all,

This post idea comes from the Radical Self Love guru, Gala Darling, and if you haven't checked out her site, get to it — good stuff all around.

As for me, here's a series of things I'm loving lately...

All grammatical mistakes aren't mistakes! As an honest-to-goodness professional writer, it's great to see this article in print — thanks, Cracked! Props to Casey for passing this on.

Cocoa-roasted almonds. Saw these bad boys in Walgreens the other day, and had to pick them up. I try to eat almonds, but I'm really not a fan... until now! Also, the whole package only has 2 grams of sugar -- how do they do that??

http://www.untrainedhousewife.com// — this chick makes me think I could actually make my own clothes. I even bought the fabric!

Nail polish, in particular the New York City Ballet collection by OPI. Great color! Now, when to get to Ulta to buy it...

Biking. Although, currently, I rock a 6-speed Mango beach cruiser with a blue Schwinn helmet. I'd rather have one of these bikes...

Chocolate Brix Bar — I received one of these for watching my friend's cat. How nice is she?? :) It's huge! I'm sort of hoarding it right now. Actually, I hid it. From myself.

When you need to glue something, like jewelry, or that purse holder your friend has that broke, the go-to is E6000 glue. Accept no substitutes.

This article from Slate.com about how it takes a really long time to carmelize onions and no one tells you, and other recipe lies... hilarious! And true, sadly. Found that one out the hard way!

This song from the "127 Hours" soundtrack — Never Hear Surf Music Again by Free Blood. Awesome.

Have a great weekend!