Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Overheard In Our Household

Ann: Just saw a sign for a firearms shop, do you think we should have one?
Tony: Nah! I think I should have a grenade.
Ann: In case of a break-in?
Tony: Yeah, if some sub-Mensa breaks in, I'll hold up a grenade. They mess with me? I pull the pin and throw it at them. That'll show 'em.
Ann: Uh huh. So, how do you suppose our home insurance will feel about the damage?
Tony: Self defense!
Ann: An indoor grenade as self defense? And who is the sub-Mensa here?

Tony: Did you take your medicine today?
Ann: Ooooh, that's a good "Overheard", aren't you clever!
Tony: So, now our conversations are just fodder for Overheards?
Ann: Well, now this one is really an Overheard about an Overheard.
Tony: Like I said, did you take your medicine today?
Ann: I'm not on any medicine.
Tony: Then Voltaire was wrong.
Ann: Oh please.
Tony: All things are NOT as they should be.

[I believe this was his comment during a day when I was in a particular state of bouncing off the walls during Phoenix's 115-degree cabin-fever, perhaps]

Tony: You need to find something else to do with your time. Like a 1-person play for 3 years in another city.

[He's so obviously enamored with me, yes?]

Monday, October 20, 2008

I Think I'm Finally Hydrogenated

Well, I'm a solid. We've eaten so richly and naughtily over the last week, that surely we must be hydrogenated by now. We feel as if we should store ourselves as drippings under the sink in a used, rusty can - and just toss ourselves away with the rest of the rubbish.

We tried to make up for it by going for a hike/run on Sunday, yet we were sweating vegetable oil and butter and felt as if our legs were filled with Crisco; it was not at ALL joyous like last week's run. We were yelling the f-word for completely different reasons this week. Oh yes.

The cause of our solidification? Well, some bad-ass chocolate peanut butter bars which I'll never forgive myself for discovering - more on that in a bit. The other offender was a fantastic dinner on Saturday night - bread with fresh pesto (I wanted to drink it!), lobster bisque that was so buttery we almost lost our minds right there, 1 lb. of mussels (practically ate the shells), and main courses of fish and lobster. INSANITY. We were so full when we left, but by the time we got home? SOLIDS. Could not move. Miserable.

And of course - this divine, perfect, and miserable meal was hot on the heels of these godforsaken artery-clogging, cardiologist-funding, drool-inducing, loaves of chocolate-sugar-fat...

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

I shouldn't even post these. Listen, if you make these naughties, don't make a full batch because they will HAUNT YOU EVERY MOMENT UNTIL GONE! They're worse than The Blair Witch Project, I swear - haunting little shits. I have a love-hate relationship with some desserts, and this one is definitely on that list. Even worse (or better) is that there is NO baking involved - they are the easiest things EVER - how irritating is that? Totally, if you've spent any fair amount of time baking complicated things that turn out so-so. Hello, Me. So anyhow, if you make these - have plans for them immediately unless you are on a weight-gain diet, then go hog wild.

1 c. (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. crunchy peanut butter
3 c. powdered sugar, sifter
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1 2/3 c. chocolate chips, semi-sweet

Line a 13x9 inch pan with aluminum foil. In a food processor, combine butter, peanut butter, sugar, and crumbs until a ball forms. Press mixture into the pan using a spatula.

Over a double-boiler, melt the chocolate chips. Stir, then spread over peanut butter mixture. Chill in refridgerator for about an hour. Allow to come to room temperature before cutting into squares. Store in refridgerator. Adapted from Paula Deen, who else uses that much butter? ENJOY!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where I Irritate Everyone Not In The Desert

I live in the desert. Which means, for the last few months we've pretty much lived with 3-digit temperatures every single day. But it's a dry heat. Screw that dry heat. Listen, I don't care if it's dry, wet, or moist - when it's 115 degrees outside, the dew point can suck it no matter what, as far as I'm concerned.

Well, this weekend, my dears? The high on Saturday was ONLY 74 degrees. WHAT? Yes. We ran around the block twice screaming the f-word because nothing else would suffice to express the level of our elation. After the cops left, we took the dogs for a walk (they even barked the f-word!) - and they had so much territory to re-mark since the Spring, I think they strained a kidney.

The next day, the high was 77 degrees. I KNOW, right!!? So we went for a 2-hour hike/run and felt all superior about ourselves for living where we do with all this GLORIOUS weather. Every time we'd pass someone on the trail, Tony would say to me something like "Can you believe we saw that moose back there?" or "Should we report that tiger to the Park Ranger?" or "I didn't know there were pythons in Arizona!!" - because he is hysterical that way and because the weather, clearly, made us behave as if we were on drugs while convincing us both that we are indeed funny to the outside world. We don't learn from experience, you see.

Anyway, people always ask what it's like to live in the desert in the summer. I always say, take a hair dryer, put it on its hottest setting, then turn it on high - point it at yourself - for 3 months. That's kind of what it's like. Only worse, when you consider that one thingy called the Sun. So, now that we're heading into 9 months of staggeringly beautiful weather, please forgive me this indulgent and annoying post where I go all fruity about the weather. It's like we've been without water for 3 months and just took a big slug. Ahhhhhhh.

Monday, October 6, 2008

We Know We're Nuts, What's New

Since moving to Phoenix three years ago, I've been working for my husband's firm - and my husband is my boss. Here is a pause ______ for you to swallow that holy-shit in your throat. See, when we decided to move here, I had to leave my Fortune-500 career-type-job because it wouldn't transfer down here; his firm threw me a bone and I've been torturing my hubs from 8-5 ever since.

At this point, almost everyone who hears this says "are you NUTS?" - because people just cannot fathom working with the person they married. On one hand, I understand their contention. On the other, I don't get it - I mean, if you can't work-it-out with the person you married, of all people, then how the heck do you manage to work out a marriage of all things, which is a tad more complicated than the workplace? Just curious. So, I'm always a bit struck by the fact that people are JUST DUMBFOUNDED by the fact that we can work together - and 90% of the time they say "I could NEVER, ever work with my spouse, NEVER!!" - am I the only one who finds that a strange oxymoron?

Now, this is not to say that the marriage sub-language does not make it into the office. Oh no, it is insidious - no matter how hard I attempt to snuff it out. And, I think my husband is a saint; I think the saints should come marching in at any point - on any given day, seriously. I fully admit to being a total pain in the ass on some days - there, it's in print - and he loves and adores me nonetheless. At the office, I think there are 3 major "looks" from the marriage sub-language that he has to deal with on a regular basis:

1) Look #1: "I'm on the internets, probably very busy researching who is on Perez Hilton - what could you POSSIBLY want that's more important, but OOPS I also shouldn't be doing this" - so, this look is a mixture of irritation, guilt, and "I love you, honey!".

2) Look #2: "I have PMS, so you may as well grab ALL of my nerve pathways in a bundle, pour kerosine on them, take a lighter, and torch them - because anything you ask me right now will feel 1 billion times worse than that" - this is when I hate working with any human being. But my husband? OH, he loves finding out the hard way just when THIS look is coming to the table, LOVES IT.

3) Look #3: "These are my teeth in a fake smile and yes I'll do that for you because we're at work right now, but if we were at home, you'd kinda be in trouble right now - but we'll have to talk about it later." This look can also be in combination, or following, Look #2. Poor fella.

Believe it or not though, we actually really do enjoy working together. Except for that PMS thing. Plus, he loves the fact that I bring baked goods in for the office almost weekly. Maybe that's why he wants me around. Maybe that's the only reason, actually, now that I think of it. He's actually rather obsessed with my baked goods. Now I feel used for my baked goods. He should double my salary, that ingrate. What am I, a caterer? Well, I'm getting off track here...

Anyway, so before I tell you about my recent sugar high, do you think you could work with your spouse, partner, love-dub, significant other? Or, are we indeed just nuts, per usual?

Soft Sugar Cookies

This is a recipe from my childhood. It's weird, because I thought these cookies were SO fantastic when I was a kid, almost heavenly; now, I would describe them as a good soft sugar cookie. I amped up the vanilla, of course. They're kind of a tangy, cakey, soft, singular-note, sugar cookie. They'd also be nice with a bit of glaze on top and would do well with the addition of almost any other flavoring that blows your hair back. So, if you're in need of a simple, sour cream based, soft sugar cookie - this is your baby, baby.

1/2 c. butter, room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 c. sour cream
3 c. flour

Preheat oven to 375F and place baking rack to middle position. Place parchment or silicone baking pad on baking sheet, set aside.

In large bowl, using electric mixer - combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy; add eggs, thoroughly combine. Add salt, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and sour cream - mix until combined. Add flour and mix until just combined.

Drop by tablespoons onto baking sheet, about 1 1/2 inches apart; sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake 8-10 minutes, just until bottoms are light golden. Place on cooling rack. ENJOY!