Monday, March 29, 2010

I looked out the window, and what did I see?

This amazing sunrise!
And Mt. Rainier.
I mean seriously, I talk about how beautiful it is up in the Northwest, but how could you not have a good day after seeing this?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Big Changes in our Family

Just so you all know...

Graham got BRACES yesterday!

He only got the top teeth done, but he has the brackets, wires and everything.

He still looks adorable (I mean, how could he NOT), but he says he feels really self-conscious. Hence, why I'm not putting a picture online... yet.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Root of All Evil

Ok, so we're not as bad off financially as we were a couple of months ago.. But things are still tight. We are trying to pay off debt as best we can so we can be prepared for our future. So, we feel bad about spending money on non-essentials, like an occasional dinner out or whatever.

We recently had a spat (not really an argument, more like a situation) about money. I don't think I told this story on my blog, but here goes the short version. In October, we went on a group trip to go ATVing in a local ATV park. We were using a friend's family's ATVs. Before the whole group got there, Graham's buddy Ryan talked him into going on a joy ride for 15 minutes. To make a really long story short and to spare you the painful details (it was a really BAD day that ended with me accidentally washing and drying Graham's BlackBerry and rendering it useless), 5 hours later, Graham's borrowed ATV was finally towed from the tree trunk in which it was stuck.

The guy was nice about the ATV and said perhaps Graham could work the money off for the repairs. It was really unfortunate since the ATV was defective in the first place. There were several reports of this certain model lacking reinforcement in the front end. I mean really, ATVs should be strong enough to bump off stuff! So, the guy wants us to pay him $3000 for the repair of the ATV...

Needless to say, that is money we definitely do NOT have...

Oh, and we just got a bill from our health insurance for $1500 worth of allergy shots... that uses up ALL of our deductible. Thanks allergist for explaining these things to us! We won't be referring anyone to your practice because your billing practices SUCK.

So, what do you do when you keep getting knocked down financially?

I just keep paying bills and thanking the Lord that we both have jobs..

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Meatless Meals

So, to try and make our home meals more healthy and economical, I've been trying meatless meals at least once a week. I use beans and hearty vegetables as the main attractions. Honestly, Graham hasn't even noticed or complained.. probably because most of the meals are delicious.

Anyways, Cooks Illustrated is my favorite website and they make the best cookbooks. I was looking through my "New Best Recipe" cookbook the other week, and saw a recipe for an asparagus pasta. I thought it sounded delicious, so I decided to try it.

Verdict: absolutely fabulous. The reduced Balsamic vinegar dripped over the top made it perfect! Also, I didn't have fresh basil, so I just used some dried basil (in small amounts), and it still tasted awesome. Graham took TWO huge helpings of the pasta. Oh, and feel free to substitute Parmesan for the Pecorino cheese. :)

So, I'm posting this recipe with the hope some of you may try it and revel in your vegetarian, almost vegan, dinner!

Campanelli with Asparagus, Basil, and Balsamic Glaze
Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish.
Campanelli is a frilly trumpet-shaped pasta. If you cannot find it, fusilli works well. Take care not to overreduce the vinegar, or it will become bitter.

1 tablespoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 pound campanelli
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound asparagus , bottom 1 inch trimmed and discarded, spears halved lengthwise if larger than 1/2-inch in diameter and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 medium red onion , halved and sliced 1/8-inch thick (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup shaved Pecorino Romano

1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in stockpot. Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta, stir to separate, and cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.
2. Just before putting pasta in boiling water, bring balsamic vinegar to boil in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and simmer slowly until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. While pasta is cooking and balsamic is reducing, heat 2 tablespoons oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until beginning to smoke. Add asparagus, onion, black pepper, pepper flakes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to combine; cook, without stirring, until asparagus begins to brown, about 1 minute, then stir and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes longer. Add asparagus mixture, basil, lemon juice, 1/2 cup Pecorino, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to pasta in stockpot; toss to combine. Serve immediately, drizzling 1 to 2 teaspoons balsamic glaze over individual servings and passing remaining 1/2 cup Pecorino separately.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Dream Sherri is a Jerk

So, Graham and I don't actually "fight" much in real life, but apparently we do a lot in Graham's dreams..

He often dreams I am either 1) a slut, or 2) a jerk.

Example from last night's dream:

Graham was calling my cell phone and my high school boyfriend, Brett, answered the phone (whom Graham inherently hates). Come to find out, I hired a bum who sounded like Brett to play a trick on Graham.

Graham quickly forgave me and then we "made up".

Now I just wonder.. are these his subconscious fears or what?

Ch ch ch ch ch ch Changes

One thing is for sure about this home building process.. There will be changes! Quick Update : drywall is nearly done. Our project manager...