Wednesday

[cooking] Beans on Toast

Haven't felt much like cooking something extravagant and complicated- I'm saving that for the long vacation I'm taking over the holidays. Instead, I've been introducing Dollar to the simple pleasure of beans on toast.

I had a lot of beans on toast while I was in England. I was a poor student and this was the cheapest meal to have. I remember my initial reaction being "Baked Beans? On toast?" because I'm used to the thick, molasses, maple flavored Boston Baked Beans. But over THERE, it's just beans in a light tomato sauce.

So basically you CAN (but probably shouldn't) used Bush's canned bbq or maple baked beans. I found Heinz baked beans in the UK section of the International isle at the grocery store and these are the right ones to use.

Here's the how-to for Beans on Toast.

Learn more than you wanted to know about baked beans here.

I'm planning on taking this meal to the next level and making a Full English breakfast next week. Eggs, toast, beans, bacon and/or sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms. I'll have to get some brown sauce at the grocery store. And maybe I'll head out to a local smokehouse for some real bacon and sausage.

Friday

[knitting] Links

The new Knitty came out this week with all kinds of cold weather wear to make. I like the Corazon mittens and especially the Tiffany mittens. I have lots of different Knit Picks Palette in my stash, so I should be able to pick five different colors quite easily.

Besides those two things, I like Hexed. I've been wondering how to knit a hexagon (for a Settlers of Catan bag) and here it is.

Other pretty free patterns I've found and added to the "OOooo I wanna make that" list:

Inga Hat

Sampler Pillow: Not sure I'd make it in the colors shown but I think this would be a great way to sample some crewel (or regular) embroidery.

A new knitalong: Stranded: The Colorwork Challenge. Tons of stuff to ooo and aah over. And at the Flickr pool.

Squirrelly Swedish Mittens- so cute!

Star Wars charts

Last night a group of knitters got together and we knit our little hearts out. Two hats were finished, a good portion of a scarf was completed, a baby blanket progressed and a sock was cast on. We won't be meeting again until January 3 and by then I should have new stuff to show off. I hope. I'm taking the week between Christmas and New Year's Day off work and I want to spend most of it knitting.

Tuesday

[games] Game Surplus

So you've seen me recommend games and you want to buy one (hopefully) but you don't know where to shop. I'll tell you what place I love- Game Surplus. I've ordered from them several times and they've always proven themselves to be awesome.

One time, I ordered something on a Friday and I got it Monday. MONDAY. And that's with the regular UPS shipping.

Another time, I emailed them asking when they would be getting a game back in stock. They emailed me back within minutes. MINUTES.

Another time I placed an order, asked them to cancel it (they did, within minutes), placed a new order, wondered about getting charged twice, emailed them about it and they totally explained everything to me.

I've ordered games from pretty much all the major online retailers and Game Surplus is the only one I really like. They're fast and nice, we've covered that. Their shipments are well packaged and the prices are right (30% off retail; sale games are 50% off retail).

Read more about who they are. I [heart] Game Surplus.

[games] New People, New Games

This past Friday night I joined a new (to me) group of gamers in the Upper Valley. They get together once a month and play various games. I met a few of them at Carnage Con this past November. We played Carcassonne first and then Shadows Over Camelot. All the guys seem really nice but the whole time I was there I felt like I was in a parallel universe where people are just like me and the people I hang out with but there's (a) no cursing, (b) no excessive drinking, (c) no lewd jokes, (d) etc. They are all very good people to play games with and I had fun but at soon as I got home, I told Dollar how wholesome these guys were. "I feel so clean," I said, "I just wanna go kick a puppy or kill a bum or something."

Saturday night a couple people came over to game and we played Illuminati. Let's just say there was a little more tension at the table after I sucessfully stole someone's group on a sucessful dice roll of '4 or less' (I rolled a 3). It's not the first time I've been accused of witchcraft but it's the first time I've wondered whether or not it was true. After Illuminati we played Runebound but had to cut the game short because it was taking so long. I like the story behind Runebound and the concept of building up your character before you can take on the big bad dragon in the end, I just found combat a little confusing.

Christmas is coming and what better time to give games as gifts? It's so nice to see those square and rectangular boxes all wrapped up under a tree. Word on the streets is that the game every player wants but every seller is sold out of is Battlelore. Created by Richard Borg, it looks like Memoir '44 meets War of the Ring. I ordered quite a few games and I can't wait for the long holiday from Christmas to New Year's to stay inside, drink hot cocoa and play games. And kill bums. Happy Holidays!

Wednesday

[amy] Whipped?

SCENE: In the kitchen, AMY is cooking shrimp and broccoli in a light Korean teriyaki sauce. The rice is done in the rice cooker and the table is set with candles. ANGELA stops by for a minute to drop off AMY's sewing machine.

Knock, knock

AMY: Hello!

ANGELA: Look at you, Suzy McHome-Maker. Cute apron. What are you cooking?

AMY: I'm just stir-frying some shrimp and broccoli.

ANGELA: Aren't you a nice wife. I've gotta get me one of them.

AMY: ...

ANGELA: What's Dollar doing?

AMY: He's upstairs, I think. Watching a movie.

ANGELA: He's not helping?

AMY: He's... um... You know, I've got the whole cooking thing under control.

ANGELA: Is he at least going to do the dishes after you guys eat?

AMY: ...

ANGELA: ...

AMY: No.

ANGELA: You're [bleep] whipped!

AMY: What?! I am not!

ANGELA: You're totally [bleep] whipped!

AMY: (thinking Dollar doesn't even have a [bleep]) Okay, well, I don't want to keep you.

ANGELA: Okay bye.

AMY: Bye.

DOLLAR: (coming downstairs) Was that Angela?

AMY: Whatever. (goes back into kitchen)

DOLLAR: What is it? What's wrong?

AMY: Angela says I'm [bleep] whipped!

DOLLAR: I don't have a [bleep]. You do.

AMY: Yeah, well, I know what she means! Because you're, like, upstairs watching a movie and I'm cooking.

DOLLAR: ...

AMY: And she was like, Is he going to at least do the dishes, and I was like, No.

DOLLAR: Sshh shh shh shhhh (wrapping arms around AMY), see this is why I don't want you talking to people. They start saying crazy stuff and putting ideas in your head...

AMY: Ha ha. Listen, I like to cook and I like to have a nice meal at the table with you. I don't mind doing the dishes because, frankly, it'll be faster if I do them. It's just, if it looks like I'm whipped to everyone else, that's not cool.

DOLLAR: Listen, you may do all the work in the kitchen but I do all the work in the bedroom.

AMY: Oh yeah. That's true.

DOLLAR: Yeah! So you can go tell Angela THAT!

AMY: ...

DOLLAR: And then you'll tell her that I told you to say that, and I'll still look like a jerk.

AMY: Yes.

Monday

[amy] Another tiring weekend

After such a nice, long Thanksgiving break last weekend, this past two-day weekend wasn't nearly long enough for me. Saturday morning I was awake early so I went to the 8:15 am AquaFit class at the gym. It's mostly senior citizens who attend and pay no attention to what the instructor is telling them to do. They pair off and kind of paddle around the pool, chatting about grandkids and neighbors. It appears that I'm the only one there who really wants to work out. While everyone is slowly moving around the pool in a giant circle, I've broken off and taken a place in the middle of the ring, obeying the instructor and furiously churning the water around me. It's a good all-over workout.

Once home, I decided to go back out to the stores to get a tree stand (and ornaments, lights, ornament hooks) in preparation for when we get a tree. Then I went to the produce store to pick up some veggies for the week. I saw some new cheese and had to pick up a block. I'm kind of cheesed out after making the uber cheesey Mac & Cheesey cheese cheese last week but I think this beer cheddar would make a nice mac & cheese. Although, I'd maybe use mini penne instead- just to mix it up. And add some broccoli. Mmmm... I'm formulating a recipe.

After all the shopping, I cleaned out the fridge of Thanksgiving leftovers. Dollar went to the dump and we played a game of Memoir '44 after he got back. Then a couple people came over to game and we all played Illuminati. By the time they left around 7 or 7:30, I was ready for bed. For real. I'm such an old lady. I got into bed, Dollar put Jacob's Ladder into the DVD player (I had never seen it before) and I made it about half-way through before I fell asleep.

Sunday I slept in until 10 am (!!!) then went out a did a little shopping with my mom. I came home and watched some of the Matrix while Dollar was gone to band practice. He came home, I cooked some supper: roasted potatoes (this time with parmesan and garlic seasoning) and sautéed green beans and asparagus (in a little white truffle oil and salt). It was a very nice meat-free dinner. Then we played some Memoir '44. I feel bad for Dollar because throughout all the time we've been playing (maybe a dozen games by now), he hasn't won once. He always wants to play, which I admire, but he gets really down from losing every single time. The thought of throwing the game has crossed my mind but I wouldn't be able to do it. I'm too competitive.

Only 3 weeks until Christmas. I've been toying with the idea of knitting SOMETHING but I just haven't felt like it recently. Pity.