Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When Everybody's getting out of bed, I'm usually getting in it......

Night shift. Just saying it makes me cringe a little. When most people are familiar with the 9-5 schedule and that... those of us who work night shift know that we live in an alternate universe. The sleep schedule is off, the days off are spent in and out of a stupor depending on if we chose to stay up or try and nap to get something done... you just have to work it to know it. I have been particularly tired these last oh say 10 years or so and am getting fed up with my lethargy. I was on my way home this morning listening to the radio to dull the sound of the pavement when it hit me. Not a deer like you would think as I wind my way through the canyon in the dark every drive... but no, an idea for more energy. The radio program was having guests on this morning of some little kids from an elementary school as their fieldtrip. These kids were so excited, enthusiastic, basically brimming with potential for the new day over something so little as checking out a studio. I wish I could get that excited over anything. So if I could find a way to harness this pip and vigor into a palpable energy then I could basically be recharged every day to do a 150% job in every aspect of my life! I don't know if they could develop some kind of kid energy sucking machine to change their natural enthusiasm into a vitamin supplement that could be marketed that's legal. Since their isn't such a thing... I wonder if they have some little trinket box I could put in my pocket that once opened will spout forth all of their kudos and oohs and ahhhs to jolt me into excitement. A little wee chorus of voices saying, "Wow" "Look at that" "You are awesome". All done with sincerity and personalization. Could you imagine?? I think I am on to something here. So the next day I wake up and feel myself dreading my very existence... I am going to try somewher during that day to hear a little kids awe and wonder and thrill at doing something totally mundane and see if I can't smile!

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Sunday morning rain is falling"

Mmm... Sunday Pot Roast!!! My Aunt Kristine made it this week and it is stellar!! Nothing makes me feel like it's Sunday more than a roast beef. My mom used to make it with a big oven bag and a Lipton Onion Soup Mix for many years. Maybe 10 years ago she stumbled upon this recipe that was more rich and beefy than ever and we haven't looked back. The beauty of it is that you cook it in the crock pot all day and the juices make a fantastic au jus or you thicken it into a gravy. Pair that with the mashed potatoes and you may never leave the table again. If you have any leftovers well then you just aren't pacing yourself adequately, or you can make a killer roast beast sandwich the next day. Here for your enjoyment is the recipe...... make it once and you will never go back to your old Soup Mix again.

Roast Beef and Au Jus

2 (10 1/2 oz) cans Campbell's Onion Soup
1 pkg Au Jus seasoning (any brand)
2 (10 1/2 oz) cans Beef broth
1 pkg Good Seasonings Italian Dressing Mix
1 pkg Good Seasonings Zesty Italian Dressing Mix
3-4 lb Roast (Boneless Sirloin, Chuck, or Rump)

Place roast in crockpot. Mix all other ingredients in a large container or pitcher. Pour over Roast in crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours until meat is tender and falls apart. May cook on low for 7-10 hours.

To make a gravy from Au Jus:
3 T Margarine or Butter
3 T flour
2 cups Au Jus

Melt margarine in saucepan. Add flour to make a rue or a paste. Turn to medium-high heat. Add two cups of Au Jus stirring until thickened. Serve when desired thickness reached. Enjoy!

Roast Beast with tons of gravy!

Oh and homemade rolls.... little butter there...

Any ideas what I should have for dessert with this?? And I wonder why I can't diet.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

It's raining and the cats are snoring..... literally.

Deloris and Pumpkin getting along!
Tigerlilly enjoying the rain.
Pumpkin is relaxing after a bowl of milk.

Cheeto snoring with the rhythm of the rain.
My cat snores. We recently rescued this cat from KSL.com which is a Utah's Craigslist. His name is Cheeto because he is orange. He also has some type of kitty asthma. Most of the time it just sounds gurgly when he gets upset and runs around and exerts himself. But sometimes, it happens when he is just laying there and he will actually snore when he sleeps. With the rain pouring down heavily and me being snuggled up on the couch with one of my billion throws, I can hear his rhythmic snore and it makes me happy to have no pressing engagements today. I have plenty of chores I could be doing..... and yet right now all I can bring myself to do is watch the Hallmark channel and sip my Stephens Hot Cocoa and Lorna Doone cookies. Buttery. So yes, I am living out some people's fantasies of staying in, snuggling up, and indulging in chocolate when the rain is falling outside. Life is good.

"3 AM and I'm still awake writing this blog"

Some things don't occur to me. I once heard that Albert Einstein would wear the same clothing everyday so as not to expend any extra energy on figuring out his outfit and could get down to business. This is why I figure I think the way I do, not because I'm an idiot, but more like a genius who cannot be bothered with the day to day simple choices and ideas everyone else thinks about. In honor of that part of me..... this blog is named after some phrase I once uttered aloud and that my family still uses against me to this day. I grew up in Sacramento, aka Sacramento Valley. On a particularly clear day outside, I looked up and around and noticed for the first time, mountains in the distance.  I got excited and exclaimed to my dad "Hey, we live in a valley!" Apparently this was hilarious and has been used as a reference point to anything less than intelligent I may blurt out at any given moment. So relax, eat up, enjoy......because there is no way I could make this stuff up!