more domestic bliss
jeff and i have made a real effort to eat in lately. i've been enjoying the chance to try cooking things that are a little more challenging than burritos and spaghetti. don't get me wrong...i make mean burritos and spaghetti, but sometimes i like to stretch my brain a little.
originally, i had planned on putting the whole chicken that was on sale this week in the crockpot, but when i forgot to marinate a tri tip, i decided i'd roast the chicken and we'd have tri tip the next day. i've roasted plenty of chickens in the past, but it had been a little while. i had no twine for trussing and our meat thermometer died, but it still turned out pretty nice.
grape seed oil, kosher salt, herbs de provence, sage, garlic, lemon chicken...on a bed of cauliflower and potatoes tossed with some shallots, more grape seed oil, and a splash of red wine. roast it up for about 1 hour, 20 mins, and there you go. can't really go wrong.
we continue to keep ourselves busy around the house, wondering where the time goes.
i've been pretty happy, lately. the funk that i found myself in at the later half of last year seems to have resolved itself. i'll have to take some of the credit for that, but i think seeing all my friends and family happy, relatively healthy, and making all sorts of good changes in their lives really rubs off.
i genuinely value all of the great relationships that i have and consider myself very lucky to have so many great people in my life.
by the way...i don't know if i've ever properly promoted the latest incarnation of jeff's website. he's been taking one iPhone photo every day and posting it with a short little blurb explaining that particular moment or event for the day. he's been keeping up with it since april, and it's kind of fascinating how interesting our lives seem when reviewing what we happened to be doing every day. sure, there are a few sitting around in the house pictures, but for the most part, it appears that we lead very exciting and strange lives.
so make sure to check it out...
camilles (9:03pm, 8.27.09)
the hambone's connected to the...stomach bone?
back when i was working as a mother's helper, in addition to being introduced to ground buffalo and finding a love for cherry tomatoes, the most wonderful discovery had to have been that you can purchase frozen hambones from HoneyBaked Ham. they are covered in tons of meat, and at $8 or so for a generous sized one (sometimes you can get 2 bones for 1!), they make for a tasty crockpot soup.
jeff's mom actually introduced me to the bean mixes that HoneyBaked sells, and by adding a chopped up onion, celery, and carrots, you've got a super easy meal.
this morning, after i did my chopping and went to pull the hambone out of the freezer, to my annoyance i discovered that the hambone was way too big for the pot. the last time this happened (we were using the Easter ham hambone), jeff had to saw the bone in two for me to fit it in. this time he was still in bed, and i was determined to not let the fact that i couldn't get the crockpot lid over the pot stop me. some tinfoil and a large oven safe bowl later, and there...i fixed it.
i wasn't sure if my foil/bowl contraption was going to be a close enough lid approximation, but sure enough, when i pulled everything off when i got home from work (10 hours later), the ham was falling off the bone and the soup was ready to go.
i'm writing this because someone might google "hambone too big for crockpot" like i did earlier today, and i want to assure you, foil and a big enough bowl, and you are set. just make sure you get a good seal around the edges of the crockpot. i needed two pieces of foil and made a serious double folded crimp in the middle to seal it together. you may also get some condensation seeping out the sides of the crock, so it wouldn't hurt to place your crockpot on a dish towel during the day.
and i want everyone to know about the hambones. AND if you don't feel like buying the soup mix from honeybaked, the bones are awesome for any other bean/split pea concoction that you can dream up.
anyway, i slathered a few pieces of bread in clearman's cheese spread, broiled them up, and we had ourselves a tasty dinner.
in other news, i got a new camera, we are in the middle of decorating our dining room, we are just 2.5 weeks away from hawaii, and are looking at a possible trip to singapore/indonesia over christmas.
tooting my own horn
in reference to the final i turned in on saturday...
This was fabulous! Using furniture from Design Within Reach is certainly a sign of great design! As far as the furniture arrangement, the Living Room is designed with function in mind and the arrangement is great for the conversation grouping you have provided. There is room to move around in the space, and you have thought of the entire design as a whole. As for the inclusion of the elements in the room...fabulous!
The classics in furniture coordinate so very well and the accessories are brilliant with what you have shown here. The art print is absolutely fabulous!! How did you ever find these wonderful accessories? Your creativity and talent are amazing! Your eye for good design certainly comes through in this last project and I am so very, very proud to see work like this. Will I ever meet you in any of the design classes on campus? I hope so. Talent like this is not seen every day! Thank you once again for your beautiful work and your great eye for design.
my grade on my final assignment was 250 out of 200. i ended up with a 1166 out of 1093 in the class, for a 106.6%.
i really try not to brag all that often, but this is something i just couldn't keep to myself, even if it was just for some silly class that really doesn't mean anything other than that i was proving a point...
camilles (8:28pm, 8.17.09)
i'm down to the very last assignment for my interior design class and i'm happy about it. it's been interesting, but i'd like to focus my creative energy on things other that studying. if anything, it shows that i probably would not enjoy seriously being back in school.
between the extra credit i received on my last two assignments and the pretty good grades i got on 14 different quizzes, i can actually get a 34% on my final and still get an A in the class.
that's a lot of brainpower to put into something.
do you know why i took this class?
inspired by jenny and her list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, i made my own at the beginning of 2008. i still haven't gotten around to writing about all of them, but believe me, i HAVE been doing them. the list is of activities or accomplishments that i really want to do. fun things (like getting a dog!) and things that i've been putting off (organizing the household files). but as i do each one, my life is a little bit more enriched.
taking an interior design class was one of them.
it feels good to reach goals. :)
camilles (9:58pm, 8.10.09)
back in 2004, jeff and i were owners of a puppy for approximately 72 hours. it was such a horrific experience that once we returned her and got our money back, we'd become extremely gunshy when it came to the thought of another dog.
but after almost 5 years and the recent move into our new home, we felt like it might be time to give it another go.
we spent a few weekends looking at shelters, played with a dog at one of them, decided that she just wasn't right, and kept waiting. i got on an interest list for a rescued puppy i saw online, but never heard back. jeff went to asia. i got through another year of physical inventory...
and then we were together again and decided that after our normal visit to the swap meet we would swing by the san diego humane society to see if we could get a look at the pekingese dog i had seen was up for adoption.
we ended up with the little fluff you see above...not a pekingese like her paperwork said, but a tibetan spaniel as one of our friend's dad pointed out. just over 2 years old, still recovering from her recent surgery to get fixed. her previous owner kept her outdoors, but you can see she's a little dog. she's an indoor dog. she's a couch potato who enjoys snuggling while we watch tv, but will also play a pretty mean game of fetch if you toss the stuffed goose that jeff picked up for her. she hasn't barked. she doesn't snort. she's a little gassy, but what dog isn't?
she definitely seems pretty happy with her new digs. and we are happy with her.
camilles (9:20pm, 8.4.09)