Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cranky face

This week my throat has started to hurt...this morning I woke up and it felt much worse.  I decided to not go to class and sleep more, and see if that helped.  (sometimes that helps when I'm not feeling well).  It didn't!  My throat feels raw, and when I tried to eat breakfast, it kind of hurt going down.  Just settled on a banana, kind of slippery...still hurt!

Luckily, my mind has not been affected (although I do have a slight headache), so I've been able to get some projects done for school.  The diet project for Nutrition is really fun, I'm learning about my diet and what I need.  Turns out I only really need about 2200 calories a day, not 2400, which was my average.  Anywho, I did part 3, still need to do part 4 (a short paper evaluating my diet and what I've learned).  I still need to write my 3 page paper for Philosophy, and there's also a short project in Nutrition about the elderly's diet.  That's what I'm working on currently, shouldn't take too long.  All of this stuff is due on Friday, but I'm not freaking out!  I know I can get it done :)

My appetite is gone. : /

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Plants, plants, plants!

After my Nana died, we split up a lot of her plants.  Man, she had like, a million plants.  She especially loved orchids.  Now, I have 1 parsley aralia, 2 regular orchids, and 1 hanging orchid.  I brought the parsley aralia and one of the orchids up to my apartment with me when I moved, but I left the other 2 orchids at my parent's house.  The last time I was there, I noticed that they were NOT happy, so I brought them up with me!  Today I repotted one, and I tended to the other one...

First, here are some pictures of my lovely, lovely orchid blossoms!

Aren't they pretty!  You can see the buds in the background, but here's a close up of what they look like:

Grainy, I know, but my camera refused to focus on them!

Today I repotted (for the first time, ever) the other orchid that I've got.  It suffered some neglect at the other house (getting knocked out of it's pot by a dog, not getting watered regularly, etc) and it did not look pretty.


That last picture is upside down, but I can't fix it.  Poor thing was falling out of it's little planter, it wouldn't stay in!  So, I got it a bigger one, and some new orchid potting soil!


 In the new, bigger, planter
In it's pot!  It looks happier, I think.

Also, I got a new bucket (the one I bought last week was defective!) to water the hanging orchid in.  Hanging orchids are different, they need to be submerged in water about once a week instead of being watered from above. My new bucket:

It works well!  Before I watered my orchid, I trimmed all of the dead pieces off of it, because I didn't see the point of keeping them.  It looked pretty raggedy...

This is after I watered it...I let it sit on the tray for a few minutes to catch any excess water that would drip out.

Then, I hung them both up again!

It looks dark in the bathroom, but it's actually not!  It was just raining outside at this point...

Oh, I also bought a spray bottle so I can spray them, so they'll have a bit more humidity.  

I love them, they're so fun!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Knitting Club!

The knitting club accepted me into their group, and tonight I'm going to their meeting!  It's at the student union, 6:45...I'm glad that all parking is free on campus after 5, now all I have to do is figure out where to park! I'm pretty excited, because even though it's a knitting club, they also do crocheting, which is what I like to do!

My throat is starting to get sore.  I am not okay with this.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project Two: Coq Au Vin

I decided to make one of my favorite things to order from Rue Cler at home: Coq Au Vin.  Chicken in wine.  It's a sort of stew made from chicken stewed in red wine, carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes.  The recipe I used had bacon in it as well, although next time I think I'll leave it out.

I started out doing something I'd never done before...buying a whole fryer, and then cutting it into the various chicken pieces myself.  I watched a video online, and thought: "I can do this, it looks easy!" OKAY. It is not as easy as it looks!  My chicken was very juicy, even after I dried it off, so chicken juice got everywhere, it was slippery, I couldn't find the joints where I could cut the pieces off the carcass.  Next time, I think I'll just buy a whole chicken that has already been cut apart.  Much simpler, much cleaner, much better!!   Here's a picture of the poor chicken after I was done...poor thing looks like it's been mangled!

Still, I did something new, and now I can say that I've done it!  Plus, now I'm a real woman!

Back to the prep:

There was a lot of chopping of carrots, onions, and garlic:

I fried up the bacon, then cooked up the chicken in the bacon fat.

 This is the chicken pieces in the bowl
 Some of the chicken cooked, in the pan
The rest of the chicken cooking...

Then I cooked the carrot, onion, garlic mixture in the pot...

 Then added the potatoes...
Had to keep the chicken warm!

Added the potato/carrot/garlic/onion mixture to the pan...

Then cooked the wine up a bit with some salt...

Poured the wine over the chicken stuff...

Covered it with Aluminum foil, and let it simmer for an hour and a half!

An hour and a half later...

YUM!  The chicken was falling off the bone!

My Coq Au Vin in my good!

It was absolutely delicious.  Everything was so tender and flavorful!  I didn't have a casserole dish big enough to fit all the chicken and veggies and wine...I had to use a pan instead.  Next time I will definitely do a casserole dish, instead of a pan.  I think it will help if the chicken is completely surrounded by the wine, instead of just on the bottom half of the chicken.  STILL GOOD, REGARDLESS!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Project One: Zucchini Muffins

I have a problem eating breakfast in the mornings...I'm never hungry that early! I'm trying to make yummy things for breakfast that are quick, but still substantial.  Enter zucchini muffins! They were really easy and fast!


It was so easy, you just mix the dry ingredients together, the wet ingredients together, then the wet into the dry!

Finished product:

They went for just a little bit too long...I'm thinking maybe 3 minutes or so? They sat in the pan for 10 minutes to cool down.

Here they are out of the pan:

They're a little overdone, but not too bad! I tasted one, they're pretty good! They're not very flavorful, or very sweet. I think that maybe next time I would add more cinnamon, a little nutmeg, and maybe some cloves, as well as a bit more sugar.  They do taste delicious with a bit of butter or cream cheese!

Healthy Breakfast!

Exploring my Interests

In the interest of becoming a more well rounded individual, who is a whole person, and not just a half, I am going to start using my free time to really start doing things I like.  Today, it's cooking! I am going to make zucchini muffins, and then for dinner, I'm making Coq Au Vin!  It's one of my favorite dishes, and it's my very first time cooking with a whole fryer, as opposed to just chicken breasts or thighs.

I brought one of the hanging orchids up to my apartment with me yesterday.  It is VERY unhappy, and I think maybe dying. I am going to try and nurse it back to life.  I really never thought growing plants could be so rewarding, but waiting for my other orchid to bloom is thrilling!  Every day I go in, and I see that the buds have gotten bigger, and more purple! I can't wait until it actually blooms! I may have to start looking into growing plants, because I am really enjoying this experience! I don't want to go quite as crazy as my Nana did, the plants took over her house. BUT I do want a couple more, and I can see how this would quickly snowball out of control for me!

The Appalachian knitting club added me to their roster, so next Monday I will go to my first meeting! They actually crochet as well, which is what I like to do, so I'm going to start another project!  You have to donate something to them at the end, so I think I'll make another scarf.  I think a blanket would take too long...

I also want to start cross-stitching.  My mother made me the best Stocking in the world as a child, it's so unique!  I'm going to make Jake one, now that I have free time and I want to be crafty! Plus, my mom made my stocking backwards, so it hangs in the opposite direction of everyone else's...I'm going to make Jake's backwards as well.  That way, my stocking won't be the odd one out anymore! I remember watching my stepmom Robin cross-stitch at night, and I was totally enthralled with it then, so I think I'm going to enjoy it...

Later I will post pictures of my coq au vin cooking experience. I hope it's successful...