Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cooking with me Mum!

Mi madre visited me all the way down in Tucson! I think it's nice that she'll take time out of her life to come visit her youngest poor lonely college child.... Alright so she didn't come just to visit me, and I don't live alone but still, it was awesome of her.

Anyways, we did a little cooking together!  Now when I say 'we' I mean she did the cooking while I complained about my camera battery being dead and having to snap pictures with my phone. (That being said prepare yourself for the photos.  My little phone did the best it could.) Now the reason for this little cooking session was because my mother wanted to surprise my dad with a nice meal. Bunch of love birds those two. We made goulash, rice and cucumber salad. 

And this is how the story begins...
Now, first things first. I can not start any solo cooking adventure without my moo mixer drink! (I know what you're thinking, "This isn't a solo adventure Alixx, you nincompoop".  Well I knew my mother would be doing most of the cooking so I drank it for her. So there.)

So the first thing we cooked, was goulash...
First get some garlic cooking in olive oil. Caution: It will smell delicious. 
Then my mother cut up the onion. I don't do onions.  They terrorize my eyes.  
Put that in with the garlic... and while this is getting its groove on... 
Until it looks like this! 
Remove onion/garlic mix and brown that meat! 
Then put that back all together and add the spices! Salt, Pepper, and Paprika.  Now here is where my mother and I messed up some... not enough paprika, but no worries if this happens to you throw it in later. Just want to get a really rich red/brown color going on.  According to my dad we also forgot to add thyme and other spices.
SPOILER: It still turned out fantastic.
Liquefy that baby with some good ol' H20 and just let it sit. That's it!! So simple.
Now for the extras:
Get some rice cooking in a rice cooker. Best invention ever. Pour rice, water, some olive oil, and garlic powder. Then just sit and wait.
 Next, the cucumber salad:
Just cut the cucumber and onions and put in some vinegar and water and set in fridge to chill til everything is ready to eat!

Now, brace yourself. I did not take a picture of the final product the night of. I know so anti-climatic of me. I apologize. Please don't give up on me yet!!  That being said, it turned out quite delicious and I have this picture off the interwebs of what it should look like.
So just imagine I cooked that.... without the peppers of course.  

I would give a more, add blah-blah teaspoons of blah... but this recipe is more an add what you want so it tastes good kind of thing. Or maybe I'm able to cook things without any worries of measurement.  (Which if you've read the pizza bars recipe you know that I can not afford to be creating recipes as I go)

The moral of this story: My mother loves me and to prove it she makes [me] delicious food. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

UofA vs. UCLA

So I'm somewhat of a football fan. And by somewhat I mean I freaking love it! I was practically born knowing about football, my parents taught me the calls just as soon as I could function. No joke. 

I've got video of me in a diaper doing an off-sides call. You ain't got nothing on me. 

That being said, college football is the best! Which is why I was lucky enough to get season tickets for the University of Arizona! 
Yup Kelsey is an ASU fan and I'm UofA, this site is pretty much a house divided
Now if you've followed the Pac-12 at all, you may know UofA is having a rough year. Let me list the few things I see going wrong:
  • We don't have a consistent good kicker
  • Foles isn't consistent
  • Defense looks like a bunch of limp noodles
  • Our kicker can't make the extra point
  • Our quarterback has zero coverage
So all that led to our current state of 1-5 (0-4 in the conference). Not quite the season I was hoping for. And apparantly this ticked off some people with power and wouldn't you know our head coach got fired. Yup. So defensive coordinator was announced as interim head coach. Oh, and our punter got bumped up to starting kicker.

To put it mildly, I was skeptical.

All that changed last night. Oh glorious night.
This was right at the start of halftime.... I just barely missed a photo of my new love (aka the Kicker)
We played UCLA, who (spoiler alert) had they won, would have been tied with ASU for first in the Pac-12 South division, and things started off with a bang!

Within 2:13 we had scored a touchdown.... Then we made the extra point. 
Then another touchdown.... and again the extra point.
 This screen is massive, I believe it's the second largest in collegiate sports. Plus it's HD. Tuition money at work.
Next thing I knew the score was 21-7, and I had fallen in love with this nameless kicker.  
Now I know it seems so trivial. The extra point. Everyone is suppose to make that. It's suppose to be guaranteed.  But not for UofA.  We've had a curse of poor kicking for quite some time, so when an extra point is made, it actually receives more cheers than the touchdown.  
Foles handing off the ball for our fourth touchdown.... I could be mistaken
So then there was another touchdown + point, followed by another touchdown + point followed by yet another touchdown + point. Which left our halftime score at 42-7.  Which means our kicker was 6/6 and by this time I knew his name. John Bonano! 

Things got crazy right before half. There was a ref... well I thought he was a ref, til he ripped his clothes off and ran about the field. I was in shock. Then, while the streaker was brought to the ground by 3 police officers, a brawl ensued between UCLA and us. Two players got ejected. Then bam half-time.

Now Kelsey wasn't lying in her post, we are huge band nerds. So of course I snapped some photos of the half-time entertainment. I love marching band. 
 First they did their own little park-and-bark.....(notice the cymbal on the far right was dancing, I enjoyed that)
 Then mariachis came! Gee whiz. Football, marching band, mariachis and Mexican dancers. What more could I ask for?

Alright well I won't go on to break down the game play-by-play because 1) I am no ESPN correspondent and 2) I left my sm card at home so I was very limited to the amount of pictures that could be taken. So to sum it up we ended up wining 48-12! Our first conference win!

Oh and John Bonano kicked two field goals. One was 41 yards. Where has he been all my life?

What football game is complete without the in-game snackage?
Noodles. I loved them so much I forgot to take a picture when I first got it. There was a lot more veggies. Oh it was good.
Mom and sister enjoying a tub of popcorn! 
Overall such a great game. Great way to get the crowd and fans pumped about the remainder of the season.  I can't wait til November 19th. That's when ASU and UofA square off.  And I hope UofA crushes ASU in their own stadium. Sorry Kelsey, but you picked the wrong team to cheer for! 

(Disclaimer: Any and all trash talking is fictional and made for the sole purpose of entertainment. Kelsey's my best friend, no matter where her collegiate loyalties lie)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

House Sitting Epiphanies

So as you may know I've been house sitting for some time now and I've found out a few things that I'd like to share with you:

1.  I am ridiculously paranoid. 
Yup that's a screwdriver. Yup I've got 9-1 dialed in my phone. I like to be prepared. 
 Any sound, movement, or chill down my spine sends me into a worry spiral of whether or not I locked the doors and how close to death I am.  I even scared myself walking past a mirror. I've found the only thing to help this paranoia, is to steer clear of any scary movies even trailers.

2. Bose Surround Sound is epic.
Bose. Oh sweet sweet Bose.
 I have never been so enthralled in shows until now.  Also it makes zombie stuff like The Walking Dead a much more interactive show. How so you ask? Well when a zombie is creeping through the woods it literally sounds like they're creeping up behind me. And in reference to 1 this does not help my whole paranoid thing.

3.  This house is not a suitable hide-out in the zombie apocalypse.  
Now imagine every wall looking just like this. I'd be dead 5 minutes in.

4.  Cats don't really like me.  
He was interrupting my studies... because he wants me to fail.
Sure they cuddle up to me, but I'm fairly positive it's because they are trying to lower my defenses and then claw me to death and parade around the house with my head on a stick. Overboard? I don't think so.

5.  Tucson traffic still sucks on the east side. 
Since no actual picture would ever accurately describe the atrocities seen in Tucson streets. 
 Having to travel 5 miles and it take 30 minutes is ridiculous. Especially when the speed limit is 40 most of the way, but here is Tucson people take 40mph to mean 25mph.  Lovely.

6.  I would make for an amazing hermit.
 If it wasn't for the necessity of going to school to finish my Master's I would have stayed in this house the entire time and never would have left for fear of human contact. Does that make me weird? Probably, but I see it as a service for my fellow man that I spare them the awkwardness that I most certainly bring to the table. Now to find my own place and successfully become the hermit I know I can be!

7.  Cable is delicious.
 Oh Yea....
Having lived with only having 5 channels for most of my life, makes having 400+ channels seem like I've finally made it in the world. Granted I stuck to netflix and cartoons most of the time. But hey, at least I've got the option to watch all those channels.

8.  I really need to catch up on video games. 
This game will be played during my winter break. You can bet your buns on it. 
Having enough time to slowly realize that I am way behind on video games. Arkham City came out today and embarrassingly enough I've never even played Arkham Asylum.  Not to mention all of the other games that I've never had a chance to finish or start. I won't list them. It would only further add to my shame. 

So there you have it. The inner workings of my mind in respect to house sitting. You're welcome. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry (Pizza) Bars

House sitting this week and I have about 50 pounds of raspberries in the fridge all for me! Well not exactly 50 pounds, but there's a lot of those little suckers. I'd show you a picture of them... but i forgot.

Actually I forgot to take a lot of pictures, and the ones i did take... well lets just say that they could use some help... and by some I mean a lot. You'll see.

Alright well with all these raspberries I decided to try this fancy little recipe I found on, Oatmeal Coconut Raspberry Bars! So I began with finding the ingredients and I found, I didn't have oatmeal.
or brown sugar.
or sugar.
or whole milk.
or real cream cheese.
or raspberry jam.
or all-purpose flour.
or sweetened coconut flakes.
but i had raspberries!
so I improvised. Prepare yourself, it gets messy.

So first things first, get some coconut! Mine is unsweetened. Boo. 

And spread thin and evenly on an un-greased cookie sheet, I used foil because I'm terrified of stuff sticking to the cookie sheet. Don't judge. 

Place in oven and let it get toasty brown! Meanwhile...

Put some flour, sugar, and salt into a bowl. This is where my photography started to spiral downward and I started to improvise like crazy. For example I think I used wheat flour, not entirely sure, and the sugar was also of questionable origin.

 You have been warned.

I was then suppose to have cold butter to mix in, but that takes forever! So I nuked it for 10 seconds... 

And plopped it on in! Ya I know "plopped" is a gross word, but it fits the really gross way the butter is laying up in that mix. (Note: I did remove the paper on the butter before continuing)

Then I mashed it up.  I'm a real professional can't you tell?

Almost forgot about the coconut but I pulled it out in time! Smelled amazing. 

Back to the mix added some barley, and some weird oatmeal clusters that I found. Oatmeal clusters not pictured above.

Then got some wax paper, even though it called for parchment, bad move in retrospect. 

And stuffed that crust down! Placed in fridge and got to work on the fruity stuff.

So I took some jam, apple and grape, and put it on the stove. Oh and added honey, for some reason I thought yeah.... honey will make up for brown sugar in the crust. It's been one of those days.

Threw in some raspberries...

 And mashed 'em up!  At which point it occurred to me that they resembled sun dried tomato pasta sauce...

Then fake cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar and 1% milk (weak). At which point,

Autobots Assemble!
Jam mix poured on oatmeal crust and spread out

Then fake cream cheese mix poured on top, at which point I felt it really resembled a pizza. Sigh...

 Put that in the oven for 20 minutes... and

Presto! A pizza... I mean oatmeal bars!

It was a rough journey to say the least, for one not having a single ingredient, save for the raspberries. And two thanks to this little fellow...
 He decided it was time to climb up my leg every few minutes or so, when i wasn't looking, and was holding really hot pans. I'll blame him for the missing photos and the pizza bars.

So it ended up being not at all delicious. The wax paper held on to those puppies like you wouldn't believe, so instead of bars I ended up more with pieces and crumbles. Plus the barley was really weird and the overall flavor was more bland than sweet and fruity like I had hoped.  Next time, I will for sure follow the recipe... Or add a ridiculous amount of sugar. Again got the original recipe at, but improvised quite a bit.  I think I'll take some time to work on my photos, then I'll be back with more cooking adventures!

Side note:  Made spaghetti squash afterwards, if you've ever cut one you already know, if not, it was tough, and by tough I mean I got this knife

 Stuck like so...

And had to pry it out. Full body work-out of the week.