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Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the lever slowly, Sweep from side to side....

What happens when you're suddenly made aware by your husband that there MIGHT be a slight problem with tonight's dinner because the grill is, um, on fire?
Sorry barbeque chicken, you're not happening...

It was bad... like, he yells down the hall and I look out the window of our dining room to see every crevice of the grill spilling flames out into the air, and maybe we should consider calling the fire department bad. However, Andrew had it under control, cut off the propane, and everything was not lost... unless you count the chicken thighs.

 

YOU IMPROVISE, that's what! Nope, we did NOT fall victim to takeout tonight- I was bound and determined (oh, and went grocery shopping yesterday too...).

So, open the refrigerator door, and VOILA! Inspiration hits. I'll admit, I've been thinking about making ratatouille for about a week now (or something close to it) after seeing an article in the Boston Globe's Wednesday "G" section (that's "Food Day" and naturally my favorite...) so part of the inspiration for tonight's dinner came from there.

Armed with peppers, zucchini and yellow squash (on the cheap this week-  AND in season, we have excessive amounts and a few donated from my brother's lovely girlfriend Shelley, who brought them from the farmer's market in New Hampshire), basil and oregano from the garden, cherry tomatoes, and plenty of garlic, I set out on a mission with one big idea: make dinner happen.

on the menu: sauteed summer vegetables, Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend (check it here... this stuff is AWESOME), and garlicky wine-sauteed chicken. And so it began:

to this:
sooo pretty!!

to the final product:

Yummy goodness!

 

And THAT'S how you turn a potential Monday disaster into a non-failure, and still avoid the potentially disasterous (read: regret from spending money on so-so food) takeout alternative.

Top it off with Mojito Monday (courtesy Beardo/ Tyler, my live-in-bartender/ Brother) and you've got one helluva good night!!

The Beard and Shelley give it a thumbs up!!

So, all in all, even if he felt awful, there was a positive to the fact that Andrew "killed" dinner. Maybe this should happen more often???

 

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Absence!

The tragedy! The horror!

I've been absent- after a VERY short start, due to the fact that I've been too busy for my own good.

June's a whirlwind- always has been, and spills over into July... not that I'm complaining about the sudden uptick in my social calendar, but sometimes getting back to "normal" is all you  need- less stretched thin.

And so, I begin again... More to come soon.

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An interesting observation...

Sometimes you have to wonder- at what point does your subconscious play into your real life and things start getting…well… weird?

Back story: I have three very young cousins, the oldest of which, Natashja is a feverent ball of energy, possessing more imagination in her pointer finger than some adults I know. She’s insane, to a certain point, and absolutely fascinating and adorable, all at the same time. “Taz,” in her four and a half years (though upon meeting her, you might be easily convinced she’s the ‘six years old’ that she’ll try to tell you she is) has come to LOVE playing with her “dollos”- more commonly known as Barbies.  She’s got QUITE the enviable collection, courtesy  her mother’s vigilant hunting of a diversity of different looking Dollos thanks to scouring EBAY and all kinds of different venues. However, Taz trumps it all, by likening everyone... and I mean EVERYONE to her dollos. She sets up and plays out real-life scenarios with all of them. When someone got married, she set up a VERY elaborate wedding. The dollos go to the pub, go to concerts... they have better lives than most real people do, I genuinely think.

So of course, there has to be a Lacey and Andoo Dollo. (for the record, Andrew is known as "Andoo", or at least was, and it has stuck. He's even in my cell phone as "Andoo". It changed for a while, until at some point, Milissa (Taz's mother) located the ultimate in Dollos for the Lacey and Andoo series... Speed Racer and his girlfriend, Trixie:


Barbie Dolls - Pink Label Collector Speed  Racer Barbie and Ken Set

For her entire life, I have had short hair, so Taz identifying me this way, I have to say is pretty awesome. But yesterday... walking down the hall to the ladies' room at work, I caught a glance of my reflection in a glass door, and realized... with my latest haircut, I suddenly am COMPLETELY emulating the doll. I was even dressed like the silly thing (instead of red and pink it was yellow and black, but still...). It was a bit weird- suddenly I found myself thinking- did I actually decide on this a while ago, when I saw the doll, and now it's coming to fruition? Can the subconcious actually do this? And when does Andoo obtain the awesome '70's hairdo and white jeans to complete this pairing, or is this preventable?!?


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Things I love...

In terms of witing a blog, I've really sucked.

I keep saying I'm going to do it, and then it falls through. Part might be due to the fact that in terms of things in my personal life, my time management tends to be on the side of "not so great". I constantly am starting a project with every good intention of finishing it- to ooh and aah over my anticipated results- and then to get halfway into it and have my attention and time diverted completely.

So here's another crack at it- I'm going to try again. Maybe it's just in vain, but it's worth a shot. And what better way to try and launch myself back into the swing of things, than to blog about the things I'm loving right now?

And so, I present them:

Homemade pizza: I came home one day from work, and courtesy  my awesome brother (better known as Beardo) had brought me a pizza stone and pizza peel. After many attempts, I'm getting it down pretty well, at least according to the people I've fed. It wasn't always pretty, but now the results are promising. I've always been enchanted at the thought of making pizza at home, and now with the spectacular (and FREE) tools that I've got, I'm into creating pizza masterpieces- a Pizza Opus, if you will. Ridiculous, yes, but there's something about the whole process that right now is so captivating. I LOVE cooking more than a lot of things, as many people know and to have complete and total creative authority (and in knowing EXACTLY what is and is not going on the pizza) it's pretty awesome. The ability to say "I want fresh basil on my pizza," and put an exorbitant amount on top thrills me to no end. Of course, the downside to this, is that Andrew, as much as I love him, is no longer interested in ordering pizza out- which totally cramps my "It's Friday night and I don't feel like cooking so let's order out" style. ... As my grandmother quoted my grandfather "Why would I want to go out, when I live at the best restaurant in town?".

 

 

Tootsie Pops and cherries:

Yup. Both. On the butccher block in my kitchen.

The Tootsie Pop obsession started back on my vacation to Florida. In riding around with my grandparents in their car during my trip, they stash away a bag of these bad boys, available for whenever. It was then that a re-obsession began. Flat out, they're awesome, in both a nostalgic childhood way, as well as a "why HAVEN'T I bought a bag of these in a long time because I'm missing out on awesomeness" kind of way. Notice the light blue- Blue Raspberry- as advertised on the bag as the "Exciting New Flavours". Apparently that means they're going to be incredibly generous and give you ONE new, exciting flavour in an entire bag. Way to go Tootsie Roll Industries. Though I will say, bravo on Tootsie Pop Drops... ). At any rate, I'm currently embroiled in a love affair with their perfect confection- Raspberry being my favorite, as it has been since I was a child. I'm hoping that the summertime heat and humidity doesn't turn them into some horrid gooey- thing, halfway melted on a paper stick- something that Tootsie pops have the unfortunate habit of doing in summertime.

As for the cherries- well apparently it's cherry season, though I've never really paid attention to it, honestly. Admittedly, they were on sale at the grocery store, and I wanted them- is that so bad? I'm a bit of a fresh fruit fanatic- last week's obsession was blueberries, and this week cherries are taking their place- they're juicy and plump, and absolutely fantastic, maybe due in part to the fact that I' can't really remember having a ton of  fresh cherries around before- and they're totally inspiring me to try and make one fantastic Shirley Temple (or maybe, as I once overheard in a restaurant "an alcoholic Shirley Temple" with some kind of spirit of choice in the mix.... is there a name for this?? Bueller?? Anyone?). At any rate, the cherries are highly recommended. They were perfect after dinner tonight, after a grape Tootsie Roll Pop.

 

And last but not least....

Avery Reese Lachance, baby extraordinaire.

My best friend, Tina and her husband Eric just gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl, whom I can't help but be smitten with. In some ways, it feels like we waited forever for her, and in other ways, it feels like just yesterday that Tina told us that she was (suprise!) expecting. She's got the most adorable little nose, incredibly long fingers, and from what I've seen so far, a whole lot of curiousity about the world around her. I couldn't imagine two better parents, and I can't wait to see how this little girl changes and grows- the whole thing just amazes me.

Yes. Totally smitten!

 

So,  for now, that's about it. More to come, as it happens (hopefully it happens a lot)....

 

 

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