Saturday, June 25, 2011
Do you live in the Portland area? Do you find your days lacking in cute and/or cuddles? Then maybe you should consider investing in a furry feline friend! Kittenpalooza was an event that happened yesterday, but many of the kittens are still available. These kittens are the cream of the crop in cuteness, cuddliness and playfulness, and they need a home! If you have the room in your home and your heart I urge you to consider sharing your life with a new kitten who would really, really appreciate it! Check out the cat adoption page here.
So onto more personal things. As I mentioned before I'm house-sitting at a lovely Victorian home in a quaint suburb. It's quiet, green, beautiful and...really boring! I can't spend every day shopping, so I've got to find something to do to fill my time. Yesterday I was in the office playing with the cat when I was inspired by some of the decorative Dia de los Muertos figurines around the room. I didn't really bring much makeup with me, but I had enough to come up with an inspired look. Here's what I came up with:
I know they're not much to look at, but they were fun to do! I ended up keeping the makeup on all day and it even stuck on while I ate lunch and dinner! Shows you how well drugstore make-up can work.
Anyhow, I think that's enough from me today. I think I'll do some baking for tomorrow's post, so look forward to it!
I'm sorry for the long absence, but life does what it does and I became very, very distracted. I'll just fill you in a little from what happened between my last post (September) to now: Little Lala passed away, I got a new kitten from the same litter, I went platinum blonde, I met and fell in love with a wonderful boy, I moved to California and got a job as a teacher's assistant and as of now I am currently house sitting my bf's family's fantastic Victorian home in Portland!
Anyway, before Henry and his family left to Chicago for the next two weeks, he and I went on a great day trip through the city. We started off by Lloyd Center and hoofed it all the way to a great food cart court where our friend Gus works. We got lunch at Gus' cart, Euro Trash, and I highly recommend it to anyone in the area! Henry got the chorizo & chips and I got the piri piri chicken. Ohmygod if I could shove more of that spicy chicken in my mouth right now I would! There are some other interesting carts in the court, including one that sells the best salted caramels we have ever had and these tasty handmade marshmallows in fun flavors like coffee, spiced orange and mimosa (we got 2 mimosas).
We were actually in the city to pick up Henry's older sister who was returning from a year in China, but we had a few hours to kill so we stopped by Wild Buffalo Exchange and Powell's. That book store always has me feeling so lost! We picked up the new edition of Fluxx for Hen's dad (it was father's day) and then decided to watch the pride parade that was happening downtown! After all that it was finally time to get his sister, Ruth. I had never met her before, so it was really exciting, and Henry hadn't seen her in almost two years so he was super stoked too! We met up with the rest of the family and met Ruth and her hipsterific husband, Aaron, at the gates. When everyone was ready to go home Henry and I decided we had one more place to visit before we left the city for the night...
Voodoo fuckin' donuts! We walked all the way to the Burnside location only to find out they were closed for remodelling, so then we had to hoof it all the way across the river to their other location where everyone who was crazy for donuts was packed. The line went around the entire building! We waited for forty-five minutes before we even got inside. We figured we might as well make the trip worth it so we bought 2 dozen donuts and a Tex-ass. By the time we got home it was time for dessert so we divvied up donuts, drank some beers, smoked some cigars and then went into a food/booze coma.
Well, I think that's enough rambling for now. I'll try to be more regular with my updates again, so expect to hear from me again soon!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I guess the thing most people want to know about is the damn hawk that was recently in my care. An injured red tail hawk came under my supervision 2 days ago with a bad mite infestation and a serious case of the munchies. Red tails are protected under Federal Law and I don't have the means to really rehabilitate a hawk so I called the nearest 2 centers for animal rehabilitation, but was turned down because of the mites and the possibility they might spread to some of the younger birds in their facilities. They didn't tell me keep the bird, but they didn't say throw it back outside either so...
...I put it to roost in my bathroom. My bathroom is basically the same size as a typical falconry mew and I only intended to house it for a few days while I worked on its mites. I dubbed him (or her) Malachi and got to work with dusting the bird for mites. I have to say it was a surreal experience. Every time I went to the bathroom there would be this huge bird of prey eying me from the sink. When I used the toilet it would politely turn its head-- what a gentleman! It even started to eat out of my hand with ease after a couple of hours and I got it to rest on my arm a couple times while I cleaned out its water dish or fed it.
However, day 2 of the event was destined to be the last day. I was given the number of a Northern California rescue center by one of the Oregon facilities and they got back to me in the morning about retrieving the bird. Around 4 we said our good byes as the guy sent to pick the brid up let me place him into his cage. It was kinda cool how the bird had learned to trust me so quickly and didn't react at all as I scooped it up, whereas when the guy got near it, it would puff up and make this rasping noise in irritation. I had one hell of a feathery homeslice, and dare I say it, I think we bonded!
After the bird was gone the police swung by because someone I know thought I was being irresponsible with the bird, assumed I planned on keeping it as a pet, and called the police department. I know housing a protected bird is technically illegal, but I had no intention of keeping it, and I hope the person who called realizes that the fine for keeping a bird of prey as a pet without the proper license is comparable to a DUI. So thanks to possibly getting me really screwed, I appreciate that. Anyway, I did what I could for it and helped it get where it needed to be so it can get the proper treatment.
I was kinda weary of the doorbell at that point, but the next visitor was bearing awesome gifts! The mailman delivered a package from my beloved Zammie and it was filled to the brim with goodies! She bought me a really cute hoodie, lots of shirts, two itty-bitty school uniform skirts and my very first Sugar Pill cosmetics ever! She's such a sweetheart and I just adore her and y'all should to! If you ever need more pink or frills or cute in your life I recommend her Etsy shop 'cause it's full of whimsy and wonder!
Well the hawk being gone opened up my night so I went out with Stacy and met up with a big group at Alex's for open mic. I've gotta say nothing quite compares to having a cold beer while listening to original 9and sometimes covered) live music performed by our many friends.
There were some crazy songs that literally got the whole bar groovin', but I didn't feel at liberty to snap photos and blind them so you're going to have to try to picture the fastest fingers on a tiny mandolin and two acoustic guitars on fire with pure Southern soul ringing from them. Oh and there was a harmonica wailing like a storm cloud too.
When the shows ended we finished our mingling and decided to head out, but we needed to walk off the buzz before any of us did anything stupid. Seth Stacy and I ended up sobering up at the nearby park by pretending to be...strippers.
I had no idea Stacy could be so nimble in a mini-skirt or that Seth had those crazy moves! I'm not very adept at anything physical so all I could do was go straight down the pole, but Stacy spun like a damn top and Seth was like Spiderman going upside down and doing flips and stuff. It was pretty rad to have the whole park to ourselves to mess around in.
My arrival back home wasn't the best. My current foster kitten, Lafayette, hasn't been fairing well the past few days and last night he really took a turn for the worse. I've had him since the day he was born and I know he's a fighter with a vivacious personality, a love of food and crying and more gusto than a kitten his age should have. But when I went to give him his regular night feeding he was listless, lethargic and rigid. I tried to keep him warm by me all night and feed him when he would eat, but he just continued to deteriorate. This morning he wasn't fairing any better so I waited for the vet to open and took him in to get examined. I'm in a bit of a financial bind so I wasn't ready to put out for extensive blood work or medication, especially because I realize kittens that young already have a high mortality rate. But damn it he's been a fighter since day one so I put it in my mind that he was going to make it!
The vet informed me he probably had inherited cat herpes that had taken effect and caused respiratory problems which led to his lack of nutrition and dehydration. The vet also said he had a very slim chance of surviving unless he got a kitty-IV and some medication, but like I said I'm broke so I had to decline. The staff was so wonderful though and moved by Lafayette's story that they gave little Lala the IV free of charge as well as a week's supply of antibiotics to help him beat this thing. They wished me the best and so far I've seen some change in Lafayette. He's mewing again, his core temperature has raised and I can get some drops of milk in him now every half hour or so. We're gonna fight through this and I'm going to see him grow up into a beautiful cat!
P.S. Happy 50th birthday to my beloved mom and I'm sorry I can't spend this momentous occasion with you, but I hope you're having a blast!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Well since I recently dyed my hair pink I figured I needed to be out letting the last bit of Summer dazzle off of my lovely pink tresses, so I hit the park a lot with Stacy, Amanda and our pack of dogs. I swear, we all got the pick of the litters because all our canine companions are great! Renard and Chevalier and I have grown a lot closer these last couple of weeks because it's just been us living together in the big house. You can tell we love to cuddle!
I'm no meteorologist, but I'm assuming the days of Summer are gone now, and the recent rain showers have been supporting that theory! Stacy, Laura, Amanda and I took shelter from the cold weather at a local Japanese restaurant and did a whole bunch of sake bombs (and walked responsibly).
However, a few sake bombs weren't going to satisfy us on our day off so we walked to the local market and picked up some plum wine, Brut champagne and a peach to create Plum Peach Perfections! It's actually a very sweet drink and sneaks up on you so make sure you're not planning on...moving...much.
The girls and I decided to have a nice sit down dinner last night so I threw on my apron, filled up my bags with ingredients and platters and whisked myself away to their condo to do some heavy duty pasta cooking. On the menu was chicken and sage sausage pasta in a rose sauce, plums with chevre and cracked pepper and an heirloom tomato mascarpone salad. My mom also happened to entrust four delicious cupcakes from Mrs. Delish's bakery in my care so I brought those over as well. Let me brag about my cooking skills here-- the meal was fantastic. Nothing makes food taste better than good friends, jazz music and griping about men!
I think that covers the last three days pretty well, but there's never enough time or room to blog when you're always adventuring. Hope you're all having a lovely time enjoying the last days of Summer!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I swear I just cannot stop cooking! We had a bit of a cold streak here in Ashland so I decided a nice soup or stew would be fantastic to keep Renard, Chevalier and I warm. I also happened to be watching The Princess and the Frog, so I felt especially inclined to make a N'awleans styled soup dish. I poked around in my fridge and cupboards and realized I had everything I needed for a Creole style bean soup with Cajun chicken!
Ok, here's a list of ingredients you're going to need for this recipe (mind you I'm estimating, I never really measure stuff out on my own and tend to cook by taste):
- 1 16oz bag of dried assorted beans
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3 cups diced carrots
- 3 small jalapenos, blended with water
- 2 large chicken breasts, diced
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes (or 1/2 cup ketchup)
- 3 tbsp Tabasco or Crystal's hot sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
First things first, you've got to prepare the beans! Wash the beans and then fill a large pot with 5 cups of chicken broth (water will work for lower sodium) and begin boiling the beans. Leave them boiling at a medium temperature for about an hour and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
While the beans are cooking you should begin prep work on your produce. Finely dice the onions, carrots and potatoes and set them aside. Seed 3 small jalapenos and put them in a blender with about 2 tbsp water and blend until you have a mushy consistency. Dice your chicken into bite sized cubes and prepare to pan cook.
Cook the chicken in 2 tbsp olive oil on high heat for 5-7 minutes stirring constantly. While the chicken is cooking add 1 tbsp hot sauce and some salt and pepper to taste. Once chicken is done set aside.
Hopefully your beans are beginning to soften and the amount of liquid in the pot has been reduced. Now add your onions, carrots and potatoes and let cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes. Once the produce has softened go ahead and add the remaining ingredients and stir. If you don't have canned tomatoes add about 1/2 cup ketchup to give the soup it's sweet and tangy flavor.
I garnished my soup with some finely chopped green onions and a splash of cream (my original recipe was much spicier than this, and the cream helps cut back the burn). This soup is great with crackers or buttered bread. I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any comments or suggestions feel free to let me know!
Friday, September 17, 2010
I'm no stranger to dying my hair. When I was in middle school I started off subtly with blonde or cyan tips, then I worked my way to maroon and black. When I was in high school I was primarily a natural brunette, but opted for some copper and blonde streaks towards the end. My first two years of college had me start experimenting with my whole head including dying everything black (which looked more like a muddy mess) and becoming a complete redhead. I've spent this last year as a blonde. But now I have finally done it, I have finally finished my quest for the holy grail--I have pink hair!
While Amanda and I were in the process of dying my head our group got into a heated discussion about whether or not something like hair can define who you are as a person. I mostly agree, but I also agree that there is some silliness to that statement. Of course hair can't really define you, not the inside you that really counts. But hair is just like clothing or body art of piercings-- they are ways of expressing yourself so that people can get an idea of who you are at a glance. It's sort of like judging a book by its cover or stereotyping, but the reality is when you're walking past a crowd of people the ones with similar clothing or tattoos as you are the ones you're going to want to befriend first.
So why did I choose pink hair and what about myself is it expressing so eagerly? Simple: I want to be noticed. It's not like I want all the attention in the world, but I don't want to fade into the background either. It's my way of saying "look, I'm here, and you can't ignore me." People in my small town will remember me when they see me on my walks with Renard. My professors will definitely learn my name on the first day and people will want to get to know me simply to ask about why my hair is pink. It's like the ultimate conversation starter and ender. My head is pink, now you know, and now you want to know me.
We all do outrageous things from time to time so that we can gain some attention whether it be acting on a dumb dare, dressing garishly or being loud. We all crave the limelight, but for this year I'm focused on the pinklight!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I got off of work today and realized that I was very hungry, and furthermore I was reeaally craving a chicken salad sandwich. What was conflicting with this craving, however, is the fact that I recently started a low-calorie diet and a lot of the flavor in said meal comes from condiments like mayonnaise. Thank goodness I have a few tricks up my sleeves about swapping in healthier ingredients while retaining flavor, and I'm going to share a few with you in today's recipe (recipe makes about 5 cups)!
Firstly, you need chicken! I happen to know where some live ones are, and they say the fresher the better...But I actually had some frozen tenderloins that did just fine! I took 6 frozen tenderloins and put them on a cooking sheet in the oven for about 22 minutes with the temp set at 350 Fahrenheit. While the chicken is baking it's a good time to do most of the prep work for the other ingredients.
I like the sweetness of red bell peppers more so than the watery taste of celery, and celery has no nutritional value, so I nixed it in preference of one whole medium red bell pepper diced finely. Next I diced 1/4 of a red onion as well as 2 thinly sliced green onion stalks. I then took a cup of red grapes and halved them so that their juices would mix better.
Hopefully your chicken should be nice and moist after 22-25 minutes (depending on oven strength) so once it's tender go ahead and place it in a large bowl and place in the refrigerator for ten minutes or until cool enough to handle. Once the tenderloins are manageable go ahead and shred them in the same bowl until they're in bite size morsel.
Now add all your produce ingredients (bell pepper, onions, grapes). I also added 2 tsp of salted sunflower seeds and a few unsalted peanuts I had on hand to substitute the traditional cashew, but virtually any nut or seed will do. I tend to vary my spices each time I make chicken salad, but for this particular batch I added salt and pepper to taste. Then I added 1 tbsp dill, 1 tsp garlic powder, a pinch of paprika and a pinch of celery salt. There's other stuff, but I really add things in the heat of the moment so I can't recall... Experiment and I'm sure you'll find a flavor you enjoy!
All these spices are necessary to replace the calorie heavy-hitter mayonnaise, but we still need a wet ingredient to bind the mixture, so I opted for 1 cup of plain greek yogurt and 2 tsp spicy mustard. Once everything is in the bowl just mix it up until you're happy with the consistency. After that serve it on some toasted bread or in some greens--either way is delicious!
Of any of you make this and have suggestions, improvements or comments I would love to hear them!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Well I've been really bad about updating this the last few days. Sorry for the delay, but I was just having too much fun with my pals! This week has been pretty hectic with plenty of cooking, shopping and playing so I'm just going to sum it up with a few pictures instead of a lengthy text:
A little earlier in the week Amanda and Stacy came by for martinis and dinner, so while Amanda was mixing up our choice beverage for the evening (chocolate martinis) I was cooking up a bacon and asiago chicken buccatini pasta with fresh parsley, basil, onions and tomatoes from the garden.
Since we were already on a chocolate binge the next day Stacy and I set about baking some chocolate inspired cookies. The first batch had dark chocolate chips, marshmallows and plenty of cocoa powder. They were soo good fresh from the oven and all ooey-gooey! The second batch was smaller and we nixed the marshmallows so we could throw in some heavy whipping cream and Bailey's alcohol for some tiny tea cookies. These were scrumptious as well!
The nearby town of Talent was having its annual Harvest Music Festival and our friends in Jive Coulis were playing so naturally we attended it. It was a pretty cool shindig with lots of our friends and some killer break dancers ( whom I was unable to snap pics of). Us girls brought our dogs along as dates, but Renard was more interested in Parker's kitten, Alma, than the music!
That about sums up this week. I had loads more pics, but you have to understand that doing these frames for each picture is literally sucking the life out of me... When I find a more economical way of doing this then expect more photo-heavy updates!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Alrighty, so I told you that I got some less than savory news a few days ago, and since then I've been pretty "blah," but my excellent girlfriends came to my rescue last night! I happen to have two gorgeous gal-pals who are always there to support me (and me them cuz we tight!) and when they heard the news too they rushed to my side!
One of my buds, Amanda, happens to be a very good working bartender so she knew just what I needed: a healthy dose of chocolate! She's been making Stacy, herself and I deeeliiiciiiooous chocolate martinis and here is her scrumptious recipe if y'all feel inclined to add a little delicacy to your drink!
There are a lot of other chocolate martinis recipes out there, but this happens to be our fave because it's relatively cheap to make and only requires three ingredients (some have a lot more bells and whistles). If you're interested in checking out a few other recipes then here are a few of the most delicious sounding concotions I found on the web:
Martini Art's Chocolate Collection
Heavenly Chocolate Martini
Mexican Chocolate Martini