New Year's Resolutions, Really?

Does McTatty make New Year's Resolutions? Kind of. Sort of. But not really.

Goals? Yes - usually money related. This year:

Save money.
Cut back on cable.
Read more books from the library (and avoid late fees).
Photograph more street stuff, and join the Bloomington Photography Club
Make a budget and stick to it.

So far, that's all that I NEED to do - but the list usually gets longer as the year goes on.

We'll see what happens!



MONSTER Mastercard Rip Off

Gas to g0 home for one week: $150
Christmas shopping: $362
Dog booties & dog jacket for MONSTER's first snow: $40

MONSTER pooping on my mom's carpet AFTER FIRST SEEING SNOW: Priceless

The cost of MONSTER: $85
Hookworm & eye infection treatments: $248
Doggie kaopectate: $8.99

Giving MONSTER's kaopectate to another vomiting dog: Priceless

Does that sort of sum up our trip home for Christmas? I'll have more stories later, but at this point, I just can't help laughing! The things that happen can only happen to McTatty & Bimmer Man!



Cous Cous with Mushrooms, Green Beans & Lemon

Cous cous. I love it. Green beans, love them too. And mushrooms. The love of my life. Besides Bimmer Man who has seemed nonexistent lately thanks to Law School (Note: if you like being alone, marry a lawyer, it's true, they do spend a lot of time at the library).
Lemons, cous cous, mushrooms, green beans, olive oil, salt & pepper. Ignore the Pomegranites. I photographed them.
I love the yellowy orange of the lemons. They're a little green too, but that's ok!
EVOO. Why in the world did that come from Rachael Ray? People have been using extra virgin olive oil for quite some time now... EVOO... I think I'm in a mood...
Saute sliced mushrooms in the olive oil for a few minutes - til they're nice and brown. Do NOT add salt yet, the salt draws out all the moisture.
But you can add pepper. Just enough to taste it throughout the mushrooms.
Add the green beans and 2 cloves of garlic (minced).
Green beans get all gross and squeaky in your teeth if cooked for too long.
So they only need to be sauted for MAYBE 2 minutes at the most. I only had them in the pan ONE minute.
I always add lemon to cous cous. It's habit that I will never break. I had oranges, so I juiced a few of those and added a splash of orange to the cous cous too. It wasn't too bad! But, don't be like me. Stick with the lemon.
Mmm... Oranges...
Combine the beans, mushrooms & cous cous.
Put on a plate very nicely. And eat. I would serve this with grilled chicken. Or salmon. Whatever's in the fridge. I've been on a money saving kick lately. You'll probably hear about that in my next post.

HAHA! Me? Save money? Yeah, right...



Winter Red: Pomegranites

What the heck do I do besides salads and ice cream toppings?

I did dig through a very large container to find the prettist ones at Walmart. One guy even called me picky. Ugh. Perfection? Well, no, that's not me. I just wanted the brightest red ones that I could find.

I'm really not that picky...



White Pizza - McTatty's Version

This is easy - the usual pizza dough, store bought alfredo sauce, caramelized onions, basil & just a few slices of pepperoni.
The dough recipe I have memorized.
One packet of yeast
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons olive oil (Ok, so I use more like 3)
1 tablespoon honey
And then to change it up: 1 tablespoon dried herbs of whatever you like
1 tsp salt
3 - 4 cups flour
Mix the water with the yeast, let proof for 2 minutes then add all other ingredients - the flour 1 cup at a time. Knead dough for 7 minutes. Put in oiled bowl for 30 minutes to rise.
Then PRESS out dough with fingers (NOT WITH ROLLING PIN) on a baking sheet that's been sprinkled with corn meal.
Top with all the toppings and bake for 12 - 17 minutes at 425 degrees.
Voila! The perfect pizza.

Happy Holidays!

McTatty, Bimmer Man & THE MONSTER

Snack Time

I love Mexican food. This is my version of a quick snack. That's not really Mexican but it has cheese. And I love cheese. And I love salsa and I love tortillas. Generally you can use any combination that you want - but for some odd reason, wheat tortillas don't wrap very well for me so whatever, I use flour tortillas.
Step 1. Microwave 2 tortillas for 30 seconds.
Step 2: I only had slices of sharp cheddar (usually it's 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar), in the middle of each tortilla.
Step 3: Top with white cheese of sorts, like Jack or spicy cheese or whatever. Mozzarella isn't the best, but then again, this is a snack. So, whatever.
Step 4: Use any kind of salsa. I prefer black bean salsa but since we just got back from vacation I could only see Taco Bell packets in the fridge. Bimmer Man saves them for I'm not sure what. Me? (Did you see that he commented on my last post?)
Step 5: Put salsa over the cheese, right in the middle.
Step 6: Wrap, burrito style leaving one end open so the melty cheesy goodness will show.
Step 7: Do the same to the other tortilla. "Ahh.... We meet again." I love Taco Bell's Chili Cheese Burritos.
You'll have twin cheesy tortillas!
Step 8: Microwave for 1 minute. It takes almost exactly 3 minutes to be in cheese Heaven.


10 Random Things About Me

1. I left my cell phone at work last night and Bimmer Man was stranded at school for two hours until he checked his e-mail on his faux iPhone.
2. I HATE picking up dog poop but we use Bio Bags so it makes me feel a little better.

3. Every time I want to cook/bake/do something in the kitchen, Bimmer Man has decided that we're doing something else. I'm ready to get back to the kitchen.

4. I don't have springform pans, but I want to make cheesecake. There's 4 in my Amazon.com cart right that I'm tempted to click on the "checkout now" button.

5. I'm a huge dork. And I get my books from the library. And the DVD's to watch movies.

6. Don't ever mess with my Diet Mountain Dew.

7. Comcast stopped sending me bills in the mail, so I stopped paying the bill. Our cable got shut off - they were sending the bills to our old apartment. I was hoping that person would pay them.

8. I lost my address book and can't send Christmas cards until I find it.

9. I joined a Pedometer Walking Whatever Tracker at work and I've only taken 2,314 steps today. And I walked the dog - I don't think the stupid penny pedometer was working correctly becase we walked for 45 minutes and that's almost 3 miles. I'm not going to win any prize soon.

10. All the presents I'm giving away are going to be my homemade photo cards. I'm cheap and we spend $400 on booze on vacation.

Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Good luck Holiday shopping.


New Favs That Don't Fit In My House

Starting with an ice luge from Urban Outfitters, $24, this would not fit in my house. Nor would my dog approve of it, he might actually be pretty scared by it! But my drinks wouldn't! Ha! You pour your drink down the luge, which the ice cools it as it glides down. The only problem that I can tell: What if everyone has different drinks?
Then there's the lovely oven mitt, $12. The ones that I have are gross green from Target. I think this would better serve my purposes of keeping my hands safe. That's what I would tell my husband anyway!

And of course, pies need to be cooked. Frozen, made, rolled, whatever. This tea towel ($8) will serve as a reminder of your holiday baking needs. For me, it's just fun and festive, I don't need to be reminded of another thing on my to-do list, thank you.

And a juicer. Everyone needs a juicer from Anthropologie, $12.95. I really need a juicer! The pattern reminds me of Marimekko designs (Finnish, which can be found at marimekko.com, I think, I just pulled that website out of my butt. It happens that I get lazy when I blog and don't really type the correct web site. There's google for finding web sites! Ha! Especially when I'm lazy!
And trust me, I'm pretty lazy today knowing that the long weekend is coming!


Green Living? Oh, Yes, I Do, Kinda....

I am unable to give up my addiction to magazine subscriptions. Yes, I know. That's not very green of me, is it?

Cottage Living, Better Homes & Gardens, Cooking Light, Domino and Real Simple. That's a lot of freakin' magazines.

I devour them when they come in the mail. I pour over all the pages, some mags I save for months later only to discover that I missed some fabulous recipe that was in season in, well, May. And then I feel bad, tear the good stuff out and recycle the poor remains. Not so eco-friendly of me.

I pride myself on having clean drains (I used to have long hair and we have a Golden/Irish Setter mix) by just using baking soda & vinegar. AND I EVEN BOUGHT CLOTH NAPKINS. But somehow, I just can't give up holding a tangible magazine.

Ugh, well. Ugh. Maybe it's the artist in me. I want to smell it. I want to feel the nice smooth paper in my fingers. Ok, that's a little to raw - but come on, I love a new magazine!

And so I signed myself up for another one.

And it's all online!

Here's the Winter 2008 issue.
Honestly. I just can't live without my magazines! At least one is online - hopefully the rest will follow to Flash animation and do some cool stuff.


Less Paper Clutter!

Opt out of getting a phone book from the Yellow Pages or White Pages.

Woo hoo, we finally have the option of NOT receiving one! Yea!

Oh yeah, and we finally don't have one just sitting on the floor beneath the kitchen island. I like recycling. And I like being able to opt out of all that crap.



Photo Stuff

I started putting together handmade cards a few weeks ago. Mostly of flowers and scenes from Brown County, Indiana. I'm selling them for $3 each OR 6 for $15. I have more listed on my Etsy Shop but to be quite honest, well, um, I haven't really had much time to figure Etsy out!

So, I've been busy trying to get everything together, keep the house clean, walk THE MONSTER and read. So in the meantime I've been keeping a list of recipes to make this weekend. Including a tarte of some sort, maybe some squash stuff, eh, who knows at this point, right? (Oh, yeah, and I'm going to a Thanksgiving but I don't know how I'm going to pack either! Or go tanning! Can you tell I'm freakin' out a little bit?).

It's time for vacation! (And I'll bring my camera, which means I will have a higher chance of taking pictures, woo hoo!)



Home with a Migraine

And yet I still bake because I need a smell other than our dryer sheets and dog. I didn't take pictures, my eyes are still too sensitive! Argh!

The easiest cornbread ever...

Honey Cornbread Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
Special equipment: paper muffin cups and a 12-cup muffin tin
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Into a large bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the whole milk, eggs, butter, and honey. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
Place muffin paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Evenly divide the cornbread mixture into the papers. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.


Rosemary-Lemon Roasted Chicken With Veggies

A fabulous smelling and tasting dish for the Fall. And honestly, it's how I use up veggies! Just throw everything into a roasting dish with salt, pepper, couple tablespoons of olive oil and you're good to go!
Quarter onions and carrots, then toss into a "Pam-ed" ceramic roasting dish.
Don't chop the rosemary. Just leave it. That's the "cheater's way out." And trust me, you'll thank me for the tip!
Mmmm, crisp, bright lemons with the woodsy rosemary...
One of my favorite combos of flavors.
Set the oven to bake at 375.

Don't bother chopping any garlic. Just smash and toss into the dish.
Quarter potatoes. Again, just toss into the dish.
Season with salt and pepper. I use lots of kosher salt.
Quarter your lemons. Squeeze two over just the veggies.
Season the chicken.
Nest the chicken into the veggies and squeeze the rest of the lemon over everything.
Top with the rosemary, and again, season with just a pinch more salt.
Nest the lemons all around. Your house should smell just fabulous by now (and your hands probably won't smell like garlic too much considering that you didn't chop it).
Admire the rosemary smell and then just shove it in the oven. Turn with a wooden spoon about half way into the cooking time (35 minutes). If you're afraid of browning everything black, cover with tinfoil. Since I don't really care, well, I didn't cover with tinfoil and it didn't make too much difference.
It still turned out fabulous - just don't forget to flip, otherwise the goodies on the bottom won't brown and crisp like the should, instead they'll steam, which is ok, but the coloring won't be what you're looking for.