Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Veggies that are actually...tasty? What a world.

I am not a veggie lover. I'm that absolute catastrophe of a human who'll pick the carrots out of a stew or eat around the broccoli in a casserole. I can tolerate raw veggies a little better (dipped in ranch, obviously. What, you thought I was an actual functional grown-up, snacking on organic natural free-range unseasoned broccoli? Nah homes. Drench that shit in man-made sauce that's only even edible by the scantest of standards, then we'll talk), but it's still not something I'm gonna get excited about.

BUT. Since I got all married and settled down and junk, I figured I could stand to work a little more on being a respectable adult. That means making healthy meals a little more often. Gotta balance fun treat-yourself foods with the things that'll actually keep you alive and healthy and not riddled with vitamin deficiencies. Which leads us to a recipe I tried the other day. It was pretty ambitious, you see. It's not your average broccoli with cheese recipe. No no. It is....cauliflower. CAULIFLOWER. Arguably the least sexy of all vegetables. It even looks like broccoli's weird shut-in cousin that had polio as a kid and can't do much now and really lets it define him, you know? 

Hopefully I haven't lost you already, because I swear I'm gonna bring this back around. You know what makes almost everything tastier? Buffalo sauce. Yeah, we're talking buffalo cauliflower. The recipe I used was this one here, which I found on Pinterest. Admittedly, I was mostly making it for Chris. That weirdo likes cauliflower to begin with. So I figured it didn't really matter if I liked it or not, he'd probably eat it and pretend to enjoy it for the sake of my ego. 

But it was actually...good. Really good. Like, "would make it again of my own free will" good. Just look!

If you squint your tastebuds you can almost pretend that's cheese! Just kidding, it doesn't taste like cheese. It looks like it though. These actually taste very, very similar to chicken wings, just with the tiniest bit of cauliflowery taste at the end of each bite. But the flavor is very mild, and the texture is pretty spot on. It was really easy to make, too. Only took about 20 minutes, and even that's because I insist on doing things the difficult way, like chucking all the cauliflower into the batter at once and just mushing it around with my hands in the too-small mixing bowl (the recipe suggests dipping the pieces individually, but that sounded like more than my attention span could handle).

The end verdict? Chris loved it (heard him raving about it on the phone to his brother later that night). I was surprised that I actually liked it. Two thumbs up, would cook again!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Home sweet apartment!

As promised, please allow me to show you around my new place! Well. Parts of it. Obviously I'm not gonna show you like...the bathrooms, or the guest room/office, which is currently a cat shantytown (by which I mean it's full of half-empty boxes). But parts of it look pretty legit! Almost like actual functional grown-ups live here! Let's look, and I shall regale you with tales along the way. Also a quick disclaimer: these are all cellphone pictures, because I didn't think to pack my camera. Worst. Blogger. Ever. 

Living room! So, this was the hardest to pull together. We started out with no living room furniture at all, so we had to shop around for a couch, coffee table, and entertainment center thingy, then wait for it all to get delivered. We ended up getting everything from Rooms to Go. The entertainment center came first because it was a floor model, so it came from the store rather than having to come from a warehouse. You'd think that would mean it was faster and easier to get, and you'd be right if they hadn't first brought us the wrong one. It worked out eventually though, so I won't complain too much. 

I'm obviously really fond of all the furniture we got (or else I wouldn't have picked it),  but the entertainment center is probably my favorite part. I just think it's super interesting and stylish, plus it's nice solid wood, so it'll last for ages. And since it was the floor model, it was an attractively discounted price. The bookcase is just a simple Room Essentials brand one from Target (there's another one just like it, but shorter, in the bedroom). The small table by the door (from Ikea several years back) is just temporary--at some point I'd like to replace it with something more decorative, maybe a little art deco number of some sort. For now it's a good place to keep sunglasses and things that get misplaced on the way in or out the door, like wallets and phones.

The chairs are, again, and surprising no one that is at all familiar with my Target addiction, from Target. They're lightly padded and are actually surprisingly comfortable, especially considering how affordable they were. If you're wondering why the table from by the front door is over there hiding behind the table, it's because the day I took this was the day our couch was being delivered, so I scooched it out of the way. That table, by the by, is actually a source of great pride. It cost us a whopping fifteen dollars. Yeah, I said it. FIFTEEN DOLLARS. Of course, it started out life looking like this:

I mean, it was assembled. I'm just not great at forethought and didn't think to take a picture of its starting point until I'd already gotten it disassembled to get it home from Goodwill. You can see it started out with some uninspiring laminate on the tabletop and plain wooden legs (feet? I feel like the legs are actually the brass part, which would logically make the wood parts the feet, but...then aren't the little balancer thingies also called feet? Or are those toes? Someone help me, table anatomy is not my strongsuit). But I really liked the unusual silhouette, and I had a vision for what it could be. A bit of sanding, some primer, and two coats of shiny black lacquer later, and it's a sassy little beast. 


Speaking of sassy beasts: bonus cat picture! It kind of vaguely shows off our lovely wooded view (we got an apartment on the back of the building, so our balcony is relatively private and quiet), so it's sort of on topic. Mostly I just like to give the people what they want, and what the people want is cat pictures. I assume. 

Here's the rest of the kitchen. The island is movable, but it's really useful where it is, providing valuable prep space, so it's most likely going to continue living there. The walls by the table desperately need some sort of art or shelves or SOMETHING, anything to make them less bare, but as you can imagine, decorating the walls is lower on the priority list. So for now, let's just pretend it's a minimalist statement.  

And of course, the most important part of any domicile: a nice comfy bed. One of the things I was most excited for about this apartment was the fact that the rooms are surprisingly huge: big enough for this king sized monster. I know the picture doesn't show much detail, but the bed frame is from Ikea and has four gimongous drawers underneath for bonus storage. Our closet is respectably sized, but we also have a lot of stuff, so extra storage is always welcome. The mattress was a gamble, since I bought it online without having tested it out at all. The reason I made this leap of faith? It was only around $300. For a king size, 8 inch memory foam mattress. With free shipping, even! That's a steal. I got it through Sears, whose return policy on mattresses gives you 60 days to return or exchange if it turns out to be hideously uncomfortable. Luckily it's a damn DREAM to sleep on, so we didn't have to worry about that. The duvet is a linen/cotton blend set from Target that I got on clearance for half off, and the sheets are the Pure Beech Jersey set in black, which I got from Bed Bath and Beyond and used a 20% off coupon on. I tell you this because I am a long-time evangelical when it comes to these sheets. They're well under a hundred dollars, even in king size, come in some fun colors, and are easily the softest sheets I've ever touched. I've had several sets over the years, and I recommend them every chance I get. Seriously, go feel the sample at BB&B if you're in the market for sheets.

And now, after detailing the glory that is that bed....I think I'll go crawl into it for the night. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

So how's Georgia? PEACHY. Get it? Because...peaches...? Sorry.

So I moved! Oh wait, let me back it up a second. I got married! Following the age-old adage of "pics or it didn't happen," allow me to prove to everyone that this handsome fool was actually silly enough to marry me. I know, I don't get it either. 

Look how cute we are! Gross. Anyway, so we got married on July 18th, went on a glaaahrious honeymoon to Cancun, and moved down to Augusta, Georgia a month later. It was kind of a pain to be married and still living apart for a month, but, you know. Sacrifices for love and all that good stuff. 

And now we're (mostly) settled in! I've only been here about a month but I'm already loving the area. Everything I could possibly want--grocery store, movie theater, bookstores, even a shopping mall--is a five minute drive from home. And if we're feeling REAL crazy and drive a whopping fifteen minutes, we can be in downtown Augusta, which has tons of local shops, restaurants, and cool things to check out.

The actual task of making this apartment feel like home has been a trial at times, but I'd call our place maybe....85% done? We haven't tackled the second bedroom yet; it's going to be used mostly as an office, but we're planning to custom-build a desk that will go all along one wall and have enough room for both of us to have our own workspaces. It'll require some work, not to mention a two-hour drive each way to Ikea for the parts. But that's a post all its own! Beyond the office, all we really have left is small things, like finding cool art to put on the walls, and functional nightstands so we don't have to sleep with a little pile of books and glasses and phones in the bed.

Now that things are starting to quiet down and I'm establishing some sense of a routine, I'm ready to get back into posting here. I think I'll shoot for two posts a week; maybe some combination of Monday or Tuesday and Thursday or Friday. I know I've been...sporadic, at best, for quite a while now, but sometimes you just have to focus on your life so the important things don't pass you by. Hopefully you'll stick around to see what happens next! Well, I can tell you what happens next. I post some pictures and fun tales of the new place, later this week. Spoiler, I guess? See you there!