Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crazy Kitchen Adventures (aka The Fridge Clean Out)

I'm not a very smart grocery shopper sometimes. Even though I go in to the store with a list and a general plan for what I'm doing, I don't stick completely to the plan and end up with more food than I need. Or sometimes I end up not liking the idea of what I wanted to make, and the ingredients sit there, staring at me, reminding my I'd better do something with them before they go bad.

I hate the idea of wasting food, so that means being open to a little bit of experimentation. Last night's adventure ingredients were white bread, left over spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese from the lasagna I made 3 weeks ago.

Baked in the oven for 18 minutes at 350 degrees -- Impromptu cheese pizza!

Looks good enough, so how did it taste? Just OK. It was a little soggy in the middle. Maybe I put too much sauce. Maybe I needed to toast the bread first. Maybe I should have baked it longer, but the edges were the right amount of toasty, so maybe not.

I'll get another crack at it today since I'm STILL cleaning out the fridge. Any ideas what can you do creatively with a bag of carrots?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why I Won't Be Watching The Royal Wedding

I've been to a lot of weddings in my life. Growing up, we lived next door to a very large family and I was the go-to choice of flower girl in several Sarnecky weddings. I've been a bridesmaid for high school and college friends. In 2005 alone, I attended three weddings in the space of 4 months! From the largest to the most intimate, each event has been different in it's own way, but they also all have one thing in common.

I've cried at every one. (OK, maybe not the early flower girl appearances, but at all the others)

Weddings are emotional for me because you're celebrating someone you care about finding LOVE. We all want to find that happiness in life, and when you witness it happening, it's like magic. That magic is what makes the occasion special, whether it's celebrated standing barefoot on a beach with only a handful people in attendance or in a grand ballroom with dinner for served to hundreds.

I don't know Prince William or Catherine Middleton, so while I could appreciate the beauty of their day on one level, for me it's little more than an elaborately staged piece of theatre. Many of the details have been released in advance, which while understandable giving their standing as public figures also takes away from the spontaneity of the event. When Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married on my birthday in 1981 I watched on TV, and it seemed like something out of a movie, not a real wedding.

Real weddings have perfect unplanned moments like a bride snagging her veil walking down a wooden staircase and gracefully lifting her arm to free it as I caught a photo of the wide, beautiful smile on her face. Or a groom getting choked up reading the vows he wrote especially for the woman who is still the love of his life.

You don't need to be royalty to be Princes and Princesses of your own love story. Just enjoy your fairy tale on your own terms.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rough Re-Entry

The first day back to reality after an idyllic vacation is never fun. My return came with a double whammy as my beloved Kings were booted out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in overtime during Game 6 -- AT HOME. WITH ME SITTING THERE WATCHING. LIVE.

Even my magic tiara wasn't enough to secure a win.

When your team suffers, you suffer along with them. And when I suffer, I eat. So drowning my sorrows in an enormous bowl of ice cream was the only thing that made sense when I got home from the game last night.

Now that my vacation and my hockey season are over, it's not only time to get back to's time to get back in the gym.

I'm still a work in progress...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Vacation: Day 14

I think I've cooked more this vacation than I have in the past 2 years of day-to-day living, so it was fitting to end my magical two weeks off with food and friends. Easter Dinner at the Donat's house, followed by an entire evening of playoff hockey watching. I contributed spinach balls and homemade hot mustard to the cause. Everyone including the dogs were fat and happy by the end of the evening. Leftovers will get my week started right.

My only regret is this adventure coming to an end...

Vacation: Day 13

It wasn't about wearing the right jersey. Or my playoff nail color. Or lucky jewelry. It was about do or die, win or go home.

Plain. Simple. Playoff hockey. My Kings played it well in San Jose.

On to Game 6 back at home.  GO KINGS GO!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vacation: Day 12

A perfect day at the beach. Remembering the joy of carnival rides. Appreciating the view from high above the Santa Monica Pier on a Ferris Wheel. Feeling the wind in my hair and the sun on my face. Life doesn't get any better than this.

Truly a Good Friday....

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vacation: Day 11

Things you don't want to feel on vacation....

Sad. Disappointed. Depressed. Anxious. Panicked. Frustrated. Annoyed. Fearful. Helpless. Desperate.

But I'm a Kings fan, and a playoff vacation includes those feelings. I hope they stop soon. Please win the next one boys.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vacation: Day 10

The hockey mania portion of my vacation continued with a second trip back to Phoenix for Game 4 of the Coyotes-Red Wings series.

I knew I couldn't handle another 10 hours in the car, so I got to visit my home away from home--the Burbank Airport! Along the journey from California to Coyoteville, I took a bunch of totally random photos of things that struck my fancy. I need a cure for my Instagram addiction...

Sadly, the Coyotes lost the game and the series. It was a unique experience being there for not only the end of their season, but possibly the end of their tenure in Phoenix. My heart aches for all the Coyotes fans that desperately love their team. They showed it loud and proud last night, and I hope the team ownership situation gets resolved in their favor. I would want the same if this mess was happening to my Kings.

And I have to give respect to any team that puts the Kings on a wall in their arena....

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vacation: Day 9

As much as I've been enjoying every aspect of my vacation, I have to admit I was looking forward to the Kings first home 2011 Stanley Cup playoff game most of all.

Game face!

There is truly nothing better than the electric atmosphere of playoff hockey, especially when you share it with great friends.

We love our rally towels!

The Hart Family

Me and my girls!

The boys!

Kings fans know how to celebrate!

The Kings completely dominated the game at the beginning, then proceeded to give it away in a truly heartbreaking overtime loss.

Where did our defense go?

But I still love my boys, and I can't think of any place I would have rather been today. GO KINGS!