nothing accomplished here

Actual, unretouched conversation.

Pastor: do you have a fingernail clipper?

Me: No.

Pastor: how do you clip your nails?

Me: I don't.

Pastor: How is that possible?

Me: I pay an Asian person to clip them for me.

Me: Just kidding (kind of)!!! I file them.

Pastor: Do you have a file?

Me: yes (hands him file)

Pastor: (hands it back) I can't use this. These things give me the heebie jeebies.


End scene. The Pastor still has a snaggly nail.


40 for 40 - the international foodie edition

40 for 40 - International Food Edition

It's appropriate since this is about food that I'm starting from scratch. I typed this once, inexplicably lost it (I hate you recently, Blogger) and had to start over.

This one is just for the Pastor.

1. Two words. One is Cancun. The other is Guacamole. Two more words: room service.
2. Getting to Greece after having terrible food for two weeks in Kosovo. Eating stuffed tomatoes. Were they really that good, or were we that starved for something edible? The Pastor was sick and ever since has accused me of trying to kill him that day because I had misplaced our Ziploc bag of meds.
3. Pizza in Kosovo with ketchup instead of tomato sauce. Also Kosovo - weird, white cheese.
4. Having a piece of good ol' American apple pie on the boat between Greece and Italy.
5. Being cheap in Amsterdam and not wanting to eat in a restaurant. Getting cheese, crackers and fruit at the grocery and having a picnic outside.
6. The worst international meal? Perhaps Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Google it). It was worse than the worst school cafeteria lunch.
7. It's okay to eat a sandwich out of the package in England. I'd never do that here, the sandwich wouldn't be good. Or healthy.
8. Dessert crepes at the hotel in Costa Rica after starving all week at the jungle research facility with the rat infested kitchen. This was the 2nd meal we have eaten in a hotel that's famous for John Kennedy staying there.
9. Another Kosovo memory. The Pastor pretending to drink wine (sneaking it to me) and me pretending to eat a giant bowl of honey (sneaking it to the Pastor) when we were eating dinner at the home of one of the Pastor's Bible students.
10. Having pasta by the Leaning Tower. No, not that one, the other one.
11. Forcing the Pastor to find every Starbucks in a foreign country so that I could obtain an oversized, heavy, fragile coffee mug that I'd have to try to fit into my small and light backpack. Later, I'd find a way to put it (and other stuff) in the Pastor's bag.
12. Eating Croque Monsieurs at that cafe near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
13. Nutella crepes on the street in Paris.
14. Fondue in Switzerland.
15. Indian food in the Indian district in Manchester. I especially loved the Indian sweet shop.
16. Eating at Nando's in Manchester - especially the night when the Pastor had just received his Ph.D., yet a fellow diner mistook him for a waiter.
17. While the Pastor was working on his Ph.D., I'd walk down the road in Didsbury to the Illy Cafe where I'd get my latte. The barista would always call me "Love" because that's what boys call girls in England. I'd go next door to get my gingerbread man.
18. Having High Tea with the kids at the Alice in Wonderland themed tea shop in Oxford.
19. Walking to the Cafe Nero every morning in Oxford to get the best Caramel Lattes of my life.
20. Towards the end of our European adventure, laying in bed thinking about what I was going to order at the Mexican restaurant the day we got home.
21. Eating French pastries at that cafe when we went to the Cathedral in Chartres, France.
22. Is the Bahamas international enough to count? Not being able to eat my food, because the Pastor's food had an eyeball in it that was staring at me.
23. Dining at the original Hard Rock Cafe in London so that we could get our "free" sundaes after eating our $20 burgers.
24. Thank you England. If not for you, I never would have known about delicious flapjacks.
25. The hotel we stayed at when we went to England for the Pastor's graduation. Every morning we had croissants, cheese and lattes for breakfast.
26. This number is dedicated entirely to Nutella. I know I mentioned you in #13, but that's not enough. I didn't discover Nutella until my first trip to England in 2005. That's when I found what I'd been missing the first 33 years of my life.
27. We are fancy people. We went to the Louvre. We ate at the McDonalds. Le Filet of Fish. We went to Stonehenge. We ate at the McDonalds.
28. The Pastor realizing his backpack was so heavy after he'd carried it all the way across Europe. The Pastor realizing it was heavy because I had filled it with cans of coffee. Coffee, you know, that stuff that's one of the world's most plentiful resources.
29. The Pastor showing me the map of all the places we were going to go overseas and all the things we were going to do. Me, being excited, not at seeing the famous church on the map (much to the Pastor's dismay), but at seeing a cookie shop. We did go to that cookie shop.
30. Having hummus for breakfast in Israel.
31. Having a bagel in Old Jerusalem. That was a good bagel.
32. The market in Munich.
33. Me and Nate and Cam having tea and scones with clotted cream - yum! - at St. Michael's Mount.
34. Fish and Chips. In London and at the beach, Exmouth. With smashed peas in Manchester.
35. The Fire and Stone Pizza place in Oxford where we took the kids every Thursday for 5 pound pizzas, that's price not weight.
36. Eating at the oldest restaurant below sea level in Manchester.
37. Eating a grocery store picnic on the train from Scotland to England because we hated Scotland so much we decided not to stay there.
38. The grocery stores in England. More gingerbread men. Olive bars. Candy bars.
39. Eating Greek yogurt at the base of Areopagus.
40. And finally, my favorite. We didn't eat him/her, but the cow someone ate. Seeing the cow everyday tied to our front porch in Kosovo, and then getting to see the bar-b-q.

Thanks Pastor. I love you.


How can I have lost another blog post?



40 for 40 - the foodie edition

I love food. I love cookbooks. I love Food TV. As I type this, I'm watching Ina Garten finish up a key lime pie for Jeffrey just before he walks into the door.

In honor of my 40th year, here's a list of 40 entirely devoted to my love of food.

1. I trace my love of Mexican food back to the days of being a small small kid and going out to eat every Friday night at the Taco Palace on 39th Street. The place is long gone, but in my mind I can still smell the chips. Of course, years later, my parents said we stopped going there because we started getting sick every week, but I'll always love you Taco Palace, a name that combined my love of Mexican food and all things royal.
2. Fred Gangs on 23rd Street. I have been a vegetarian for 20+ years, but if I could go back in time to my 90 lbs., 12 year old self and the opportunity to eat one of their giant burgers with cheese, avocado, bacon and olives, I would not hesitate.
3. My college graduation. I went to Henry Hudson's after. I know I had a tequila sunrise. I know I had one other drink. And nachos. How did my 110 lbs. self handle that? The next morning I went to Jimmy's Egg with my dad and had a waffle and bacon. Oh how I wish I could still eat like that.
4. Getting ice cream at Braum's after special events like dance recitals and piano recitals. Strawberry Cheesecake.
5. Speaking of ice cream, the place I cannot remember the name of where they would bring family- size sundaes out to your table in a kitchen sink.
6. One of the best meals I've ever eaten. The Elote Cafe in Sedona, Arizona. It was a lovely New Year 2010 celebration with the Pastor.
7. Eating a hot dog at the Texas Motor Speedway, tailgating before a Nascar race. My Dad telling me after the fact that he thought he had mistakenly given me one of the real hotdogs and not one of the vegetarian ones.
8. J. J. Tippins. Oh how I miss you. French Onion soup. Your thick, giant corn bread with honey butter. And the pie? French Silk? Dutch Apple? It was all good. The giant salad too.
9. All the wonderful times I've been to In-N-Out Burger. No meat for me, but In-N-Out can make a grilled cheese that good. I knew the french fries were wonderful, but it changed my life the day I found out you would put cheese and dressing on the fries. Delicious milkshakes.
10. Eating at On the Border with the Pastor on a non-date when we were "just friends." He talked on the phone nearly the whole time and we had tortilla soup with extra crispy things and extra cheese. It's a good thing that we were "just friends" because there's no way I would have put up with a date like that. : ) He touched my arm on the way out the door. I thought it might have meant something but later I found out that was just his "non-threatening elbow touch."
11. A New Year's Day meal at the Grand Canyon lodge with the Pastor. The food, the view, the Waiter, the rainbow taco dessert - it was magical.
12. Getting to eat at one of my faves - Big Bowl - in Chicago with the Pastor, Nate and 3Ven. Fresh Ginger Ginger Ale and Mongolian BBQ.
13. Cheever's Cafe. I've been there too many times to count with the Pastor. Wedge Salads. Rolls and real butter. Juan Queso Chihuahua which is a bowl of cheesy mexican goodness. And the desserts! Giant cakes. Ice Cream balls.
14. Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Fried dough and a powdered sugar bath. What more could a girl want?
15. Ted's Cafe Escondido. The spicy atomic sauce with chunks of avocado. Homemade tortillas. Cheese Enchiladas with no onions and sour cream sauce. I eat here at least twice a month. At one point the relationship was so serious that we had a picture of one of the waitresses hanging on our fridge. Of course she had given us her engagement picture, we were helping to finance the wedding with our tips.
16. Ingrid's German Restaurant. I don't know what your heaven looks like, but mine includes a never ending supply of their thumbprint cookies.
17. Getting to spend the night at my grandparents. Getting to stop at 7-11 on the way and get an Icee drink and a giant Butterfinger.
18. Getting to eat fish tacos and portobello mushroom tacos at Rubio's. Another thing I always look forward to when we go to Cali or Arizona.
19. Thanksgiving 2009 when I prepared the Williams Sonoma meal.
20. I would never say no to a chocolate cupcake with the white frosting and chocolate chips from Gigi's.
21. The good ol' days when I could eat Hardee's Biscuits and Gravy with Hash Rounds. Now I know you can't eat a breakfast that contains more fat than I should eat in a month.
22. My Great Aunt Hazel's pea salad with chunks of cheddar cheese. Of course I don't have the recipe.
23. The oatmeal cookies I force my Mom to make for my b-day every year. I've been known to be a selfish hoarder with these, but I've been pretty generous this year. I've been one of those people who, what do you call it, oh yes - shares!
24. Discovering I could make my own fettucini alfredo. And sauteed mushrooms. And artichokes.
25. Starbucks coming to town. Before Starbucks, we got a Barnes & Noble and that was my first taste of the nectar of the goddesses, the Caramel Macchiato.
26. Some ethnic restaurant the Pastor and I ate at when we went to Brooklyn, New York. I couldn't tell you what ethnicity. I couldn't tell you what we ate. But it was good.
27. Eating at the Greek Festival every year. I usually get a dinner and a pastry sampler box. I try my best to split the pastries with mom, I eat half that night and the other half the next morning for breakfast.
28. The fish-n-chips, Parker House rolls and Boston Cream Pie at the Parker House Hotel, the place where John Kennedy proposed to Jackie, and where the Pastor and I had a delightful meal.
29. Getting to eat a cupcake, cannoli and sample goodies at the Cake Boss bakery.
30. Eating at the oldest bakery in Texas. Not that special.
31. The Horsey cookies at Clark's Pastry Shop. It's within walking distance. However, walking over there doesn't justify eating that many cookies.
32. My newest obsession. Yes, I get fixated on restaurants and I want to eat there over and over and over again. The Ghengis Grill. More Mongolian Bar-B-Q.
33. I love Thai food. Super spicy. Tofu. Potatoes. Some kind of curry sauce. Rice.
34. Thin crust pizza from Papa John's. Light sauce. Extra cheese, of course. Then all vegetables except onions. Add some of their garlic dipping sauce.
35. How could I not include Pei Wei? When Pei Wei opened in October, 2004, I had just lost my job and my boyfriend, the Pastor and I ate there every single day the first week they opened. It's usually Dan Dan Noodles with extra sauce and veggies on the side for the Pastor. Kids meal for me - Honey Seared Tofu and Brown Rice. Edamame. Lately we've thrown in some crab wontons. Always two fortune cookies, which determines everything about our future.
36. Every time I see Kentucky Fried Chicken I think about being pregnant with Nate and craving it. Nate's always loved chicken.
37. Everything about this list explains my 8 year relationship with Weight Watchers.
38. Fried Pickles from Sonic. Why did they take these off the menu? Of course they wouldn't be complete without a Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper.
39. The hand-cut french fries at VZD's. With a grilled cheese with their spicy mayo, tomatoes and pickles.
40. A new love. The Republic. A bag of yummy cake donut holes for dessert, with three different dipping sauces.

I could go on. I certainly didn't have any trouble thinking of 40 things for this one!

This list helps me to know deep in my heart I could never commit murder. Because if I did, there's no way I could ever narrow down a last meal before they executed me. See? My love of food makes the world a safer place.


40 for 40

It's a lot harder thinking of lists with 40 things than I thought it would be. I have several in the works, but here are -

40 random things about me
1. I am a good speller.
2. I am like a crazy old lady ripping recipes out of magazines. And cookbooks are like porn to me.
3. I like doing arty crafty things.
4. I drop my phone. All the time. That is, when I actually know where my phone is. I have to look for my phone at some point. Every. single. day. I wonder what I used to do with all that time before I had a cell phone.
5. I am quite flexible and good at yoga.
6. I never have wax in my ears.
7. To my knowledge I'm still free of gray hair.
8. I'm bored with being a vegetarian. I can't imagine eating meat again, so I am trying new foods to mix things up.
9. I was supposed to be named Cari Sue.
10. My college degree was Insurance. What did think I'd do with that?
11. I went to vo-tech and got a certificate in Office and Secretarial sciences. I learned to type on a typewriter.
12. I took a shorthand class. Every once in a while I'll remember some random symbol when I'm writing. Anyone remember shorthand? It's a primitive form of what you young people do when you text. LOL. ;)
13. I love vintagey, antiquey, garage sale junk.
14. I have been to Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. That's 32 states.
15. I hate to exercise.
16. I've lived in ten residences in my life. Four of those have been in the past six years since I married the Pastor.
17. I like to smell my food.
18. I fall asleep incredibly fast. Like powering down a robot.
19. I had a Camaro, another Camaro, a Grand Am, a Ford Focus, a Ford Explorer, another Ford Focus before I married the Pastor. Since then I've had a Honda, a van, another Honda and another van. All I really want is a Volkswagen Bug.
20. The top played songs in my ITunes library include The Neon Trees, The Mamas & The Papas, Britney Spears, Paramore and Dolly Parton.
21. The Pastor and I were going to elope but we were told it would be frowned upon. I had a gorgeous coral dress I was going to wear.
22. I have bad vision. -8.5.
23. I have a complete set of Nancy Drew books. Thanks Dad!
24. I collect sit by the sink sponge holding frogs.
25. The Pastor claims I'm horrible at reverse driving. He's right.
26. Every Thursday is donut day and Nate and I have donuts. It's been a tradition for 7 years.
27. On this number I had something written about the Pastor and I. He wanted to keep it a secret.
28. If I won a million dollars I would still shop at Target and think it was fancy. I would probably pay someone to flat iron my hair everyday and match all the socks.
29. My blood type is B-. I try to donate but about half the time my iron is too low.
30. I don't wear a watch but I think I am going to start because I hate relying on the cell phone so much.
31. I am not a morning person. I'm not a night person either. Nate just told me I'm not very pleasant in the middle of the day either. (Happy Mother's Day!) (Happy Birthday!)
32. The last book I read was Bossy Pants by Tina Fey.
33. Whenever I pick up something like a stapler or salad tongs I have to click it twice. That's not even the weirdest OCD thing I do.
34. I hate clothes that button down the front.
35. I don't hold a pencil/pen the correct way.
36. I have been to the Greek Festival every year for the past 17 years. That's a lot of baklava.
37. I hate ceiling fans.
38. I'm allergic to cleaning supplies. Especially bleach. Which is all very sad, because I do like to clean.
39. I've never mowed a yard.
40. I've taken cooking classes for sauces, appetizers, truffles, tofu, and French Pastry.


40 for 40

There's this woman I know, I'll call her Mom. Mom claims I am going to be 40 this year, but she is quite old and probably senile. I'm sure she hasn't any idea what she's talking about.

I thought I'd play along though, just to pacify her. To celebrate my charmed life, I thought I'd start making some lists. Here's the first.

40 places I've been

1. Yellowstone National Park
2. Disneyland
3. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church
4. Graceland
5. St. Michael's Mount
6. 30 Rockefeller Center
7. The Coliseum
8. Salem Witch Museum
9. Coca Cola World
10. The Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas
11. Le Petit Palais
12. The Fantasy Factory
13. Plymouth Rock
14. Gerald Ford Presidential Museum
15. Carlos Bakery
16. Voodoo Donuts
17. Winchester Mansion
18. Tillamook Cheese Factory
19. Magnolia Bakery
20. Neuschwanstein Castle
21. Parker House Hotel
22. Medieval Times
23. Carhenge
24. Stonehenge
25. Hoover Dam
26. Tiffany & Co.
27. The Big Texan
28. Weight Watchers
29. Cafe Du Monde
30. the Heart of Northern Indiana Amish Country
31. Michael Jackson's house
32. Abbey Road
33. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Trust me, Google it)
34. San Diego Zoo
35. The Red Light District
36. Mt. Baldy
37. Watonga Cheese Festival
38. the jungle
39. The Texas Motor Speedway
40. The Jordan River

All but five of the places were with the Pastor. He's even been to Weight Watchers with me! Probably because he's also been to the bakeries and donut shop with me.

Looking forward to new adventures -