Monday, March 30, 2009

When I dream of summer I cook...

...and last night, as the warm sun was finally sliding below the horizon I grilled. The boys (a good friend Aaron and Jesse) started the coals before I even got home from work. After a quick trip to my favorite Fred Meyers to pick up the necessities for the meal I ran into the house and started prepping for what would be our first use of the bbq this year. Very early in the day, as I was working and all my favorite people were hiking, I realized the only way I was going to get to enjoy the sunshine was by cooking in the last bits of it when I got home. Something light, something quick, and something that screamed summer. Fish Tacos!

I picked up some true cod (on sale!) and some other fish taco necessities: corn tortillas, sour cream, cabbage, jalapenos...and Las Flores Fish Tacos were born! I've included the recipe for the Bacon Black Beans also, cause they were pretty good to eat in accompany to the fish tacos.

Las Flores Fish Tacos
1 lb true cod (or other white fish)
1/4 cup of tequila, i used Hornitos
juice of one lime
2 tbls cilantro, diced
3 green onions, diced
salt and pepper

1 head of cabbage, quartered with core still intact.

diced tomato
diced red onion
salsa blanca (sour cream, diced jalapeno, can of green chiles, 2 tbls red salsa, lime juice)

Corn Tortillas

Marinate the fish in the marinade for 30 minutes, not any longer because the lime and tequila will start cooking the fish.
Using a grill pan, you know the non stick kind with the holes in it? They are rad...grill the fish over pretty hot coals for 3-5 minutes on each side (depending on thickness). While fish is cooking brush a little olive oil onto cut sides of cabbage and throw them on the grill. Turning when you turn the fish. You'll see the grill marks and the outside will be pretty soft.

How to tell the fish is done: take a butter knife, stick it into the center of the thickest part and twist it...the fish will separate easily and be very flaky but still wet when it's done. It's over done when it down right crumbles and sticks to the knife (on a fish taco you don't have to worry too much about this, it's still good), and it's not done at all if it won't flake or if it looks raw. Mostly I end up grilling by our dim porch light so I have to trust the feel of it.

Get all your toppings ready while the fish is cooking. You can grill the corn tortillas, or you can pan heat them. They would be extra good grilled! Throw some fish and cabbage on a tortilla and whatever other goodies you like...pop open a can of tecate, or throw back a shot of tequila and relax...summer will be here soon.

Oh yeah, Bacon Black Beans
Can of Black Beans, refried
3 pieces of bacon, diced
half of jalapeno, diced
quarter red onion, diced

saute onion, jalapeno, and bacon until bacon is cooked through. Add can of black beans and a splash of water. Cook until beans are hot and serve with a smidgen of cheese on top.

It is 2 in the morning and I wish we had leftovers....enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Today's facts so far:

1. I'm still young enough to totally not get enough sleep and work 12 hours. The only side effect is having to eat tons of potato chips.
2. The side effect to eating a donut is sometimes worth it. Sometimes.
3. Somebody always has it worst. And what is worse is that somebody always has it better.
4. I got my picture taken by a total stranger customer at the new job tonite. She was silly. She thought I was beautiful and wanted her 17 year old daughter to know that you can be a grownup and be exactly the individual you want to be. Those are her words not mine. She was referring to my funny glasses and I'm pretty sure my hair was doing something quite interesting tonite. The whole thing was flattering/creepy. A lot of things fall into that category.
4.a) I took a job at my old job doing part of my old job. It's at nite, sometimes. It involves cooking and learning and discounts on kitchen stuff. I really think it's going to be ok this time around. I believe they call this moonlighting, not starring Bruce Willis. too bad.
5. moan...potato chips...moan
6. I may have learned in the last year what it takes other workaholics years to realize. And this I owe mostly to my friends.
7. I've never seen Rosemary's Baby and have had the urge. I have no urge to see Monsters vs Aliens.
8. There's a new blog on my blog list, shown to me by my brother. Style rookie, check it out. She'll make you wish you could do 12 all over again. Or rather, she makes you really excited to have a twelve year old daughter. Which is not something I've ever been excited about considering how awesome (sarcasm sir) I was when I was 12. But maybe I was awesome.
9. My little brother is going to see my little brother on Saturday and I am uncomfortably jealous about it. And happy because the last time it was just the two of them in Tucson the tumbleweeds video happened. And the tumbleweeds video is lost. So I am begging them to bring a video camera. Begging.
10. Did any of you come to my house today? The doorbell rang whilst I was napping...and now my curiosity is killing me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ffffeliz Cumpleanos Spidermonkey!

It was hard not to sing to you today Mean Claire Bean...but worth it just to see you smile. Happy Birthday friend.

We had a lovely little party, the six and a half of us. With all of Claire's favorite things, sea salt and vinegar chips, maui onion chips, french bread and Rondelle, a fruity drink, a french dip sandwich, a salad ala caesar, and yes, a donut cake. She deserves this and so much more and we were all very happy to be able to get together on a Wednesday to let her know.

Have you ever been right smack dab in the middle of an event and had a feeling of nostalgia sweep over you? This happened to me tonite. I time travelled. I felt as though I was remembering this sweet event, that I was somewhere in the future looking back on all of the nice things our little unit of friends had experienced and this was a memory that was extra nice. The colors already felt faded, and the jokes were the beginnings of jokes we'd tell for the rest of our lives, and the photos already had places in albums sitting on shelves in a house in the future. It is nice to have friends. Finding friends like these is like meeting your husband. Things just feel complete. I've got my family, I've got the love of my life, and I have one of the greatest group of friends anyone could ask for.

We don't need no water...

Today's facts so far:

1. There is a firefighter sleeping on my couch.
2. There is also a firefighter sleeping in my bed.
3. I am glad there are other firefighters on duty tonite because these firefighters are a bit out of commission.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday is the new Friday

Today's facts so far:

1. two jobs too many?
2. white pants at coffee shop. hrmf.
3. it's spring so I am feeling a lot better about wearing my white out. Not my correctional fluid, but my white. I'm pretty sure none of it is considered winter white. Or rather, wintah whaaht. You'd get it if it you were meant to get it.
4. Ran a few quick errands at two of my favorite places that still exist in Bellingham and will be hitting up a third tonite.
5. I'm not really sure why these facts sound so mysterious, I blame it on Facebook status updates. Blogality check, I don't have to keep sentences short nor do I have to try to be interesting. This is mine.
6. Projects on the horizon:
a. hem new thrift store find, blue ikat dress.
b. turn killer dark vintage denim jeans into shorts.
c. make jesse his blankey.
d. freezer paper stencil many many many many things. many.
e. make new headboard. i'm thinking simple wood frame with old blue tapestry stretched over it. the colors will work, and it's sentimental.
f. secret projects for people who read this.
7. mmmm. baked potato with olive oil, mozzarella, and green onions is delightful!
8. The new Torani syrup flavor, Honey Vanilla, is honey amazing.
9. I really, really, really wish I could see my family for longer period of times, and more often.

Coming Soon: Ralph Macchio: Karate Kid or Mature Martial Artist? You be the Judge.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How my brain works.

A while back Jesse asked me to give him a running commentary on what was going on in my head at any given time. He did not ask me this because he is such an attentive husband that he needed to know my feelings about everything. He asked because, he loves me, and well, I'm just going to explain. It's a lot longer of a story then usual. This is one GIANT thought I'm about to drop off...

I have been an anxious person my whole life. When I was young, under seven, this manifested itself in absolute terror, night terrors to be exact. I would feel wide awake but would be in the throws of a horrible nightmare. Bugs and nighttime creatures would be in my bedroom, literally attacking me. My poor parents would have to rush in to save me only to find me thrashing out of fear that the small men were going to hit me again with their frying pans (that really happened). Sometimes they would carry me into their beds in hopes it would comfort me, only to be awakened by me pushing them off the bed to save them from the hundreds of bugs creeping towards me. Not fun.

The night terrors went away as I got older, which I is normal. A lot of little kids have night terrors, some have been known to have them as adults, but I've been lucky. However, my anxiety didn't go away, it just changed. I was a funny little kid, I worried about what to wear, I worried about death, I worried about adults looking stupid or being embarrassed. Puberty was a great equalizer for me, everyone was crazy and stressed out and worried all the time. It was great, I mean it was awful, but not anymore than any other teenager had to deal with. My early college years were the same way. Everyone was searching, grasping to anything that resembled the adulthood we all thought we were a part of. Like ants, us new adults scurried around doing what we thought we should be doing until we hit a wall, and then we would scurry off into other directions. Teenagers and college students are nuts. All of them.

It was when the honest to goodness panic attacks starting occurring that I began to worry again. I had always been a stressed out kid, an emotional teenager, and a lost college kid. I would maybe get more anxious than necessary right before a school dance, tears may have been shed. I may have had an irrational fear of heights my whole life. But nothing, but the night terrors, felt so awful and real as the panic attacks. They started after a tiny bit of trauma in my life in my early 20's and continued fairly regularly up until last year. They were textbook panic attacks: racing heartbeat, sweats, numb fingertips, and the awesome feeling of doom, I was going to die right then and there. They started fairly irregularly, enough to keep me worried but not enough to keep me away from things. And then it was every night, and then sometimes during the day. And then the triggers changed, certain foods would cause one. Driving on anything but a straight, flat, under 35 mph road. Heights, for sure. Bumping into something. Hitting my head, on anything, which was a real bummer for a klutz like me. Temperature change. Rain, sun, life.

I don't know if you know that a panic attack is an actual physiological occurrence. Your heart skips a beat and my (and maybe yours) mind would think it was the big one, because my mind thinks this my body reacts by pumping more adrenaline into my system. This causes my heart to race faster, the sweats, and the numbing. And at this point my brain will go into panic mode and so on and so on. When I learned this it was easier to deal, I would take walks, I would breathe. It got better, they occurred less regularly, the number of triggers dwindled. After about a year of really awful attacks things started to get better. Still not awesome though, especially for my lovely, patient, and kind husband who would be woken up in the middle of the night to me pacing our tiny apartment for hours.

And this is when Jesse decided to ask me to tell him what it was like. What it was like to have all of this fear built up inside of me. He wanted me to tell him when I got scared, when a situation would come up where I might get a panic attack. Basically he wanted to know what the hell was going on inside my silly head.

So I started to tell him.

Driving down a two lane road with a small shoulder, "He is going to lose control of the car and it will go over the shoulder, hit the gravel, swerve out into oncoming traffic and a semi will hit us head on." Swimming in the ocean, "A riptide is going to come and snag my foot and I will be dragged underwater and I will drown." Sledding, "I will hit a bump and go flying off the sled hit my head on a rock and everyone will think I am ok and tomorrow I will have a hemorrhage in my brain and I will die." The common cold, "It is really cancer". Petting a dog, "it has some strange unknown disease that will seep into my skin and we won't know about it for months and then I will be very sick." Getting any painkillers or Novocaine, "I am one of the rare cases they don't even know about yet that is allergic to this stuff and it's going to make my brain die." Eating anything, "I wonder if I am deathly allergic to this but we just don't know it yet and we are going to find out right now because my throat is swelling shut."Cleaning out our storage unit, "The mice poop is going to kill me."

So, after awhile it got really funny. Jesse would try not to giggle, but a lot of times it was impossible. Does anyone really think that the tofu in their Pad Thai came from a chemically contaminated tofu plant in China? The more and more I said out loud the irrational things that were going on in my head the more and more I realized how irrational they were. I was not and am not crazy, I am just very, very, creative. And my creativity manifested itself in the wrong direction, it went to loony town. I find myself voicing my irrational fears to people I barely know now, granted the fears are so tiny compared to what they were, and now I even find myself elaborating on their silliness. If I am simply thinking "we are going to fall off this cliff" I will tell someone that in my head "we are about to have a dance party right now and we are going to forget we are standing on this cliff and one of us is going to leap right off and die." And both thoughts will sort of be really what I'm thinking, but one will make me and everyone around me laugh and that will remind me that this reality, the one that is actually happening, is a lot more fun than the scary one that lived inside my head. I know it's a cheesy adage, laughter being the best medicine and all. But boy, I sure prefer laughing over the alternative.

I better stop typing now or my carpal tunnel may act up and cause my arm to cramp and fly up and hit me in the head, and the impact might make my brain swell up and I might just pass out right here while Jesse is asleep and nobody will find me until tomorrow and by then it will be too late...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

wishing it were summer.

Tonite, for dinner, I dug through the depths of our cupboards and fridge to find something, anything, that would resemble a well rounded meal. I knew there was a bag of radishes stashed in the crisper, but really, how much can you do with a radish right? Sliced on salads, processed for dip, pickled for deliciousness...but nothing dinnery. Oh, how I was wrong. Turns out treating radishes like potatoes is a very good idea. We had some red onion, dill, and celery as well and some Kewpie mayonnaise and thus a radish salad was born, similar to a potato salad but lighter and equally delicious. Radishes have an almost sweet flavour when they are cooked, and the texture is very light, almost cucumbery.

Since we were having a cold Radish salad, a very summery dish indeed, I thought it appropriate to go with it. We had some frozen salmon fillets that I pan seared with just a light dusting of salt and pepper, and my new favorite side discovery is Zattarans microwaveable rice deals, tonite it was dirty rice, and we were well on our way to what will be a delicious summer meal...and for now is our only glimpse into the future. Where the sun will come out, and the ground will thaw, and the rain will be wet and warm, and the salmon will be cooked on a grill.

It's just around the corner, I can taste it.

(jesse has hidden my camera somewhere so there is not photo of the salad. But trust me when I say it was gorgeous.)