Monday, March 19, 2012

Cooking as a sport!


Tonight I embarked on a daunting, exhausting, intense physical feat. One might call it a cooking marathon.  I rushed home from work. Took the dog for a walk without dawdling. Put on my workout clothes. And got down to business.

1.5 hours later I have:

A roasted chicken
Steak - slightly too rare in the middle so I can cook it up a bit when I make breakfast
A batch of chicken liver pâté
Roasted yams with cumin and cinnamon
Roasted carrots also with cumin and cinnamon (why skimp on a good thing)
A chicken carcass waiting in the fridge to become broth (tomorrow's recovery workout)
And one very full belly
(also a satisfied dog and cat. Daisy got a few chicken livers and Otto, who turns his nose up at c. Livers, got random and assorted nibblies.)

When one eats as I do, it's essential to be prepared. If I don't have the appropriate food at work it's not like I can just pop down to Starbucks. if I forget lunch or don't have the right food to bring. Well, it's best to avoid me when that happens. And eating this way takes preparation time. So if I don't have pre cooked food at home. Dinner can take forever. So about once a week I have one of these culinary adventures.

And of course culinary extreme sports go hand in hand with the kitchen cleaning

3 roasting pants (one full of baked chicken juice)
Two skillets
Cutting boards
Large pot
Untold numbers of various and sundry cups and cooking utensils.

Whoo. I need a bit of a stretch and a cool down before bed. And won't I feel virtuous tomorrow when I wake up to lots of tasty food AND a clean kitchen too boot!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pump up the Jam - I mean Otto

This is a very short blog with a very serious question.  Why did the Daisy blog get 32 hits and a comment and the Otto blog only get 15 and NO comments?  Is it possible there are more cat lovers in the world than dogs lovers?  (What a scary thought!!!!! Cat people are crazy, yo!) Otto is very sad - he seems to be moping much more than usual. Daisy, on the other hand, has been down right giddy and uncatlike lately.  They're on the computer. They see what you're doing. We need to find a way to pump Otto up. Help save my happy home!

Otto is having a hard time getting off the couch these days!

It's hard to see in this picture, but that black right above and below Otto's head is Daisy.
Otto is on the attack  - jealousy rears it's ugly head. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Update

What I wear when I ride my bike to and from work has never been a big concern for me. Generally, in life, I try to be somewhat respectable when I leave the house, but for some reason when I get on a bike I seem to decide that no one sees me.  That I'm somehow invisible. Of course, there are those awkward moments from the bike to my desk and back again when I occasionally run into some one I might care to impress. 

But, about a year ago I decided it was time to upgrade. Unfortunately, saying you want new commuting pants is very different than actually finding them. There are  couple of factors. First of all, you have to actually remember. That means there has to be a time when you are not on your bike that you have to think 'oh yea, I need to by some new bike pants'. And then, when you do actually remember, you have to find a pair that meet certain criteria. Basically, I had decided I wanted bike pants that were not dorky bike commuting pants, but ones that looked like regular pants, but were perfect for cycling. And those my friends, do NOT grow on trees.

Let's have a little aside, and take a walk down the path of my bike pants for the last 15 years or so, don't worry, it's a short path.

Pair one, these fleece gems were purchased I believe in 2001 for about $20 at the Gap. For some reason they became my go to bike pant. Particularly in the winter and spring, these were the ones. Of course, there is nothing bike specific or remotely special about them. They have to be rolled up. They get wet and miserable in the rain. And, for the last year, they have had a slow, but steadily growing hole, in the butt.

Pair two, these are actual bike pants. I got them in 1995 or 1996. They were a hand me down from a friend who no longer wanted them (thanks Jay). They are fleece lined and, though not remotely fashionable, extra warm. They used to be too warm, but as I got older and Seattle got colder, I started wearing them through out the winter.

Okay, back to the main story, one crisp fall day last year, I ran into a friend who was wearing some ultra chic pants. It turned out the were bike pants made out of some fancy new water proof fabric. They were stretchy and cool looking and waterproof AND made for biking. In that moment I decided maybe I got to wear the cool pants too.

So, I upped my search game, to find a pair of ladies pants in the same fabric. I found one pair made by this hipster company based out of Brooklyn New York. They were sold out, and I had to wait months and months to get them. But, despite my excitement and cool as they may have been, they looked like total hell on me.

As I was hemming and hawing and trying them on daily trying to decide what to do, a miracle took place. I happened into a clothing company that is so trendy these days I will not name it on my blog. But, it seems this company just started making commuter bike clothes. And not only that, but they seem to have made the very perfect pair of bike pants that fit me to a tee. Holy cow, these fashion miracles do not happen in my life.

      Their beauty may not be completely apparent in the photos, but they are just the right weight, semi waterproof, extra comfortable, stretchy in just the right places and the perfect fit.  Watch out Seattle, I may no longer turn into the invisible woman when I get on a bike.  Hello hipsters! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Otto's Turn

Today when I went to the pet store there was a tester area of dog 'puzzles' that Otto found very intriguing. As a result, my spoiled dog left the store with a brand new shiny 'Treat Wheel'.  The treat wheel is designed to create 'stimulating environments that encourage animals to investigate and interact with their surroundings'. Essentially, they allow the animal to 'hunt and forage for food in ways that come naturally in the wild'. (Paleo dog toys? Right up my alley!) The instructions continue, notifying me that 'as descendants of wolves, most dogs instinctively enjoy the challenge of hunting and seeking out the hidden food in our puzzle toys'. How could I resist a toy that will give Otto all the joy and satisfaction of chasing a rabbit through the woods?

Basically, it's a toy with places where you hide food. The animal then has to use their 'natural instincts' to find the food.

I'm sure you're all excited for the following pictorial story.......
Clearly, designed to mimic the natural world. 

This event did not start with the exuberant joy of a romp through the woods after a furry beast.

No, there was suspicious sniffing followed by looking at me and whining, NOT the behavior of a self respecting wolf.

What wolf would allow his natural enemy to check out his dinner?

I'm so embarrassed.

Finally, the instincts kicked in. He moved the prey to his lair....

And got busy!

That's right!

The rabbit has been slain! And Otto now has the tools necessary to survive the apocalypse.

And finally, completely gratuitous picture of daisy randomly being super cute.
Okay, and for all you non animal lovers, I already have the next blog in queue!  Come back soon!