Wedding and house updates

I really need to better at updating this. I have been very busy at work and frankly, haven’t felt like updating afterwards.

As for life updates, wedding planning is basically done! We have a tasting in a couple of weeks, and then set our menu for the reception. We also start our marriage prep classes after the Super Bowl (a requirement to get married in the Catholic church). C’s father is checking with his grower because he is growing our wedding flowers for us and we’ll go from there. I also had my first dress fitting on the 17th, which was a great experience. The seamstress was wonderful and made my dress look beautiful, with just pins! I cannot wait to see what it looks like when she is done with it. My bridesmaids are planning my shower and I cannot wait to see what they are going to do – I trust that it will be beautiful and classy, because, well, that is me!

House front – we are under contract for a beautiful home! It’s in Gorham, ME, about 30 minutes from where we both live currently. It is move in ready and is a home we can grow into, rather than grow out of. We’re conditionally approved for a loan and are going through underwriting right now. Our closing date is supposed to be March 4th. We hope that things keep going as smoothly as they have been thus far. Fingers crossed.

Holy cow

I really stink at updating this thing.  I fell into the pattern that happened with my other blogs (like my LiveJournal…remember those days of LJ?).  It became a thing where it was a “oh wow, I should update this thing” but the update became a short paragraph.  I suck.  Life has been busy, which I guess is a good thing.

Wedding update – we’re basically done!  Yay!  Wedding is in 135  days (but who is counting, right?).  It’s exciting and weird at the same time.  Weird to think that in 135 days, I’m going to have a totally different  last name than the one I have been calling myself for the past 28 and a half years, weird to think that I’m going to have a husband, weird to think that I’m going to be living with someone who isn’t a roommate after 7 years of having roommates (between the four years of college and three years of having roommates when I first moved to Portland) and three and a half years of living by myself.  The house  hunt is going.  There is one that we really liked, but we’ll see.  It all comes down to financing.  Don’t want to talk too much about it just in case things don’t go the  way we want them to and we have  our hopes all built up and end up disappointed.  It’s been fun, and a learning process.  Now we’ve started watching HGTV and home search shows, in addition to cooking shows.  We lead a pretty exciting life, what can I say 🙂  Pinterest is going to come in really handy too once we get a house.

As for  cooking, I have cooked a lot of recipes in the time that I haven’t posted.  Do I feel like posting?  Not really.  I need to be better about this though.  I like posting and writing about what I’ve cooked.  It’s a good way for me to think about what I’ve done and what I could do differently.

I also need to start reading more again.  And knitting.

Oops

So I have completely neglected this thing.  Work and life have been busy so I really haven’t had the time to update.   House hunt is still going.  We’re looking at 2 on Friday, one of which we really like (or at least it looks good via pictures…we’ll see how it looks in person).

In big news…the wedding is in less than 5 months!

I promise I’ll update this weekend.

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves, poor wedding song choices, house hunting, and Literal Videos

For those of you who know C, you know that he loves singing.  He especially loves singing around me.  Why?  Well, he’s not that great of a singer, so it’s not because I love his voice (sorry hun).  He knows that it annoys me and makes me laugh given that he is utterly random in what he sings.  Other times, it has to do with what is going on in a given situation.  His motto is also “you are what you eat” so every time he makes meatloaf, he proceeds to sing…Meat Loaf.  We also determined one time that Meat Loaf doesn’t necessary sing the most positive songs.  We were talking about possible first dance songs this morning and one website suggested “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” – which is about a guy who wants to kill himself after being trapped into a marriage.  Great.  Almost as good as the time that someone told me about how they heard on the radio that someone wanted “Lips of an Angel” as their wedding song and were very upset when the DJ told them that it was about cheating.  Because, obviously, you want your first dance as a married couple to be about either killing yourself or cheating.  We don’t have any real frontrunners right yet, and obviously, we want to leave that as a surprise for our guests 🙂

Other wedding news – we have transportation to and from the wedding that day and I chose my bridesmaid shoes.  The important things, you know 😉

House hunting – we went went around again yesterday with our realtor and looked at three more houses.  One, we loved with some minor flaws that in talking with one another and our realtor, can be taken care of.  It comes with an epic great room that we could use as a living room/music room (C has guitars, I have a baby grand piano that I’m getting from my parents) and be able to still have C’s disco dance Halloween party in.  As our realtor said, we could have our reception there or rent it out.  It really is that big.  The other two yesterday just didn’t leave us with that vibe of feeling at home, including one that was a short sale and was in pretty bad shape.  It was sad to see how quickly someone’s life can turn for the worse.  We’ll be going around again in a couple of weeks and hopefully more will come out in that time.

Foodwise – these mini bbq cheddar meatloaves from Iowa Girl Eats are to DIE FOR.  They were the perfect portion size for a person and the roasted broccoli Kristin pairs it with were also good.  I love roasted veggies.  They give an entirely new flavor to the vegetable and they make some vegetables appetizing – like brussel sprouts (seriously – make roasted brussel sprouts sometime.  It will turn your way of thinking about them around entirely).  There is nothing that C and I like more than carmelized onions and his apartment smelled wonderful they were done.  I combined half a pound of ground beef with half a pound of moose meat that C’s father killed back in October.  This was the first time I have every had moose and it definitely gave a bit of gameiness to it that I kind of was expecting given the fact that half of the meat was moose.  The BBQ sauce gave it a great flavor and made a really good glaze.  And who really doesn’t like ooey-gooey melty cheese?  I think that that addition just MADE this meal.  I can’t wait to have leftovers for my lunch tomorrow at work.

I was planning on making a chicken chili with quinoa for my lunches for this week before I realized that I was going to be gone from Wednesday to Saturday visiting my parents in Texas.  They moved there in August for a couple of years for my dad’s job.  When he is done, they’ll move back East.  If my dad had his way, they would move to Maine (he went to college here and loved it).

On an ending note, for your entertainment, given the fact that I talked about meatloaf and Meat Loaf, I leave you with the literal music video of “I Would Do Anything For Love”.  I should warn you, don’t be drinking anything or eating anything while watching this.  It’s funny (on another note, make sure you watch the literal music video of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”).

Hearty Chili

Looking back, I’ve  been making a LOT of chilis  and soups.  They’re usually quick and easy to make.  I’m all about the ease of cooking.  That’s the difference between C and I when we cook.  I tend to be pretty  hands off – his food is much more complicated and technical (he has been known to open up a packet of ramen before).  He usually always has dinner prepared when I get to his place after work (he gets out of work earlier than I do, but I don’t let him do ALL the cooking – Fridays and weekends are usually my days, and I will cook on the occasional weeknight).

Speaking of which – we have started house hunting for our home together!  We went out for three hours last weekend and didn’t see anything we liked – but who really sees their dream house on their first time out, right?  We have an idea of what we want which is good and our idea of a “dream home” is very similar.  We’ve spent some time looking on Trulia and seeing what is out there and we have pretty much the same taste.  It’s fun.  And stressful.  I’m already starting to get stressed out about the idea of having to move out of my apartment in less than six months.  Luckily, I will move out bit by bit.

Anywho, this chili from High Heels & Grills.  It’s a husband and wife team and every Monday, they have “Man Monday” and make “man food”.  This chili was one of the recipes recently.  It’s as pretty easy to make as it looks.  I didn’t necessarily make it “manly” and used ground turkey instead of ground beef, but I don’t think it lost anything with it.  I just realized I forgot to buy fresh tomatoes for the recipe (oops) but I don’t think it lost anything.  I used the diced tomatoes from our grocery store with diced chili peppers and also used Mexican corn instead of creamed corn.  Overall impressions, probably the best chili I have made (except for the turkey chili I made when I went camping with some girlfriends that was REALLY good and REALLY hot – that was really yummy).  It’s been on the colder side here in Maine, or at least starting to (except for the 60 degree temperatures we had on Monday…that was weird), so this has been perfect for lunches.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey

 

I think that this was a book that either my dad’s brother or my dad’s sister gave me for Christmas.  They tend to always give me books, which isn’t a bad thing.  I haven’t been reading as often as I have been because I’ve been really tired and would rather just read my blogs on my phone and then sleep.  I need to make more time for reading though.  It might make me feel more relaxed.

Ptolemy Grey is a 91 year old African American man who finds out  that his great-nephew, who takes care of him, has been shot.  Another great nephew brings him to where the wake is happening and in the process, steals money from Ptolemy.  Ptolemy is already distrustful of  others, but this tips the scales.  While there, he meets Robyn, a 19 year old who  has been taken in by Ptolemy’s niece.  Robyn ends up becoming the one who helps to take care of Ptolemy and saves his life (in many ways).  Ptolemy ends up taking action for his own life during his “last days” (the title of the book is kind of a give away as to what is going to happen).

The story also alternates between Ptolemy’s present life and his experiences with an older gentleman named Coy Dog when he was younger.  Those experiences helped to shape the later life of Ptolemy and the things he was trying to accomplish in his last  days.  It got to be a little confusing because they kept going back and forth from past to present and Ptolemy was called multiple names in the book.

Overall, a beautifully written book.  Also kind of timely because I finished reading it on Saturday, which was the day that my grandmother passed away.  My grandmother was a remarkable woman who was married to my grandfather for 64 years before he  passed away in 2005.  She was 94 years old and raised four children and had seven grandchildren (including me) and one great-grandchild.  She will be deeply missed.

Shrimp Po’ Boy

C and I love seafood.  Living in Maine, we’re spoiled because we can get it a lot and it usually is pretty decent.  We don’t have it that often but we spoiled ourselves and had seafood two times this week!  C made a delicious glazed salmon that  is quickly becoming my favorite meal that he makes (it used to be an apple and fennel stuffed pork tenderloin) on Wednesday and last night I cooked (I usually cook on Fridays but since we’re going out of town tonight for the weekend, I cooked last night).  I wanted something quick and easy because I knew I wouldn’t be starting dinner until after 6 as I was working until 5 and it would take me 30 minutes to get back into town AND I  needed to go to the grocery store.

Last night’s dinner was shrimp po’ boys.  I’ve made it before and liked the recipe (thank you Pinterest and my board of recipes I would make again) and remembered it being pretty quick and easy to make.  I used chipotle mustard instead of creole mustard as Kevin, the blog writer suggests, but I don’t think it made that much of a difference.  I didn’t quite use the amount that he suggested because well, C didn’t have enough in the bottle and I didn’t realize that.  Oops.  I just increased the spice level and I think it came out just fine.  I do remember it being slightly more spicy when I made it the first time because I did use the correct amount of chipotle  mustard (or  slightly more…C and I both like spice, him more than me).  Thinking about it now, I probably could have also added sriracha or garlic chili sauce.  Yeah, they’re Asian, but they’re still good and pack a good punch.  The garlic chili sauce is slightly more spicy than the sriracha.  C’s best friend put it in a batch of jalapeno pesto that C made for wings (modeled it after a sauce from one of our favorite restaurants in Portland, Binga’s Stadium).  C didn’t think it was quite hot enough so his best friend ended up putting the chili garlic sauce in it and used it as a pasta salad.  Holy cow.

Sriracha is also great.  You know a great place to buy sriracha?  Asian markets.  It’s cheap there!  C and I are lucky enough to have quite a few around both of our apartments.  It’s always interesting to go in there and see what stuff they have for sale.  One sells bugs – to eat.  I certainly wouldn’t try eating bugs but I think it is great that there are so many Asian markets in Portland because we do have a very high immigrant population here.

The po’ boys though?  They’re good.  Simple weeknight meal but it still feels special because it’s seafood.