November 30, 2011

I did it! I completed my 5th NaBloPoMo!

I had fun this time: I didn’t feel like I needed to write a soliloquy every single day. I even included a haiku.

A lot of entries were started, thinking that I would go in one direction, and ended up finishing in a completely different place. One entry found me completely without inspiration for words, so I offered up a moment of Zen.

I got lucky, and had a few Friday5’s up my sleeve. I even started a new, and continuing project of Grace in Small Things. I also had the odd inspiration to include additional tidbits with entries, which I think I’m going to continue in the future.

I celebrated my quit-smoking anniversary, got back into Zentangling after a 4-month hiatus; and hey, I had some time to work on a Day Zero Project goal, too!

I’m still not sure if I’m ready for the Christmas season, but I feel better about it coming than I did then.

And, like every year, I close this year’s NaBloPoMo on the eve of Charlie’s and my anniversary. Tomorrow, we will be celebrating 9 years of brightening and ruining each other’s days.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s NaBloPoMo as much as I did!

November 29, 2011

Oh man! I was so busy yesterday, I totally forgot it was Monday, and time for another round of Grace in Small Things.  I’m no less mindful today of life’s blessings
  1. It’s clementine season. Tiny oranges with easy-to-remove jackets!
  2. Leftover prime rib for my salads.
  3. Ne gym bag from the DadZ, which was actually a huge tool bag from a set of several tools he bought. Weird, yeah, but if you saw it, it’d make sense.
  4. The Christmas cards I bought this year are adorable!
  5. Finding a base coat that actually keeps nail polish on my paper thin fingers.

Wage a battle against embitterment and take part in Grace in Small Things.

November 28, 2011

Today felt very good: I had a wonderfully productive day, to the point where I didn’t have much time to to actually sit until now, here, writing this post.

I appreciate this contrast to not thinking because I’m sending a root system down into the couch. I have the opportunity to take more time off around Christmas, but I’m not sure I’m going to take it.

November 27, 2011

I spent the day today without makeup on, or doing my hair, in my most ratty jeans and grody t shirt. Parts of it were heavenly (not having to put on makeup, getting homework done), parts of it weren’t so great (not having anywhere to be leaves me too loosey goosey to get much done).

I’m making tomorrow my “fresh start” day to get the fitness and nutrition regime back on track. I’d like to slim down by an inch or two by Christmas so at least one of my nice Christmas dresses fits…

November 26, 2011

We celebrated the DadZ birthday early this evening, and since I went to Thanksgiving with Charlie’s family, it was like a mini-Thanksgiving. I ended up making a standing rib roast from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School cookbook.

Prime Rib Roast
from Martha Stewart’s Cooking School 

For Rub
15 dried bay leaves, crumbled
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus several whole leaves for garnish
1/2 cup extra–virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup finely grated orange zest (from 2 to 3 oranges)

For Roast
1 three-rib prime rib of beef (about 7 pounds), trimmed and frenched

Prepare Meat
Stir together crumbled bay leaves, sage, the oil, 1½ teaspoons salt, and the orange zest in a small bowl. Season with pepper. Rub herb mixture all over the beef, coating evenly. Refrigerate overnight, covered. About 2 hours before you plan to cook the beef, remove it from the refrigerator. Place beef, fat side up, in a roasting pan and allow it to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 450-degrees F.

Cook beef for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350-degrees F and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat (away from bone) registers 115-degrees F to 120-degrees F (for rare), about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes longer. Let rest 20 minutes.

Carve and Serve
Slice meat away from ribs, cutting along the bones. Then, slice meat crosswise to desired thickness. Serve, garnished with whole sage leaves.

You could really use any blend of beef-appropriate spices (anything really, except for maybe, pumpkin pie spice, but hey — whatever floats your boat, right?) for the rub. The other thing you can do is mix up your spices in with rendered beef lard and rub it all over the roast. The crust it creates and the flavor it imbues is amazing. That also makes for very good Yorkshire pudding when you use extra lard.

DadZ’s haul included a new mechanical keyboard, a Bennington flag for his barn, and a bellows for the fire pit.

My mom ordered a Dio torta from the Transylvania Bakery. It’s not in the safest neighborhood, but it’s a real, authentic Hungarian bakery. The walnut cake and dobos torta are amazing.

DadZ particularly loves going there because he and the owner get to shoot the shit in Hungarian, which DadZ rarely gets to do anymore. So, if you happen to be looking for an amazing cake and live around Cleveland (and have a concealed carry license) I highly recommend the Transylvania Bakery.