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designchick88

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    Albuquerque, NM USA
  1. Because there's nothing like looking at something really complicated and delicious - something that belongs in a store window or as a photo in a cooking magazine - and thinking to yourself, "I made that." Because it's wonderful thing to be able to go into your kitchen and make roast chicken or chocolate cake or green chile stew at 3 in the morning on Christmas Day when a blizzard has closed the streets, just because you feel like it. Cooking means never having to go out for breakfast burritos the day after a major alcohol binge; it means being able to make chocolate chip cookies at 2 a.m. and
  2. That Take 5 bar sounds good. I just started infertility treatments and am having to do some things that are making my hormones go off the charts. Lately the comfort food has been chocolate-peanut butter ice cream, either Ben and Jerry's or Dreyer's Dreamery. And I have had insatiable cravings for nachos - chicken nachos with lots of goopy cheese and sour cream and hot, hot jalapenos. I imagine if we progress to the point where I am having to stick myself in the butt with needles I am going to need to find something stronger...like vodka tonics. :)
  3. Slightly OT, here - does anyone watch that show on Style Network called Clean House, or the similar show on TLC called Clean Sweep? It features absolutely chaotic homes where people store random items in various rooms (there's usually a packrat in the household somewhere responsible) and they have a crew come in to help the family sort, sell and organize their belongings, and then the crew redecorates one or two of their rooms. It is hysterically funny for someone like me, who was taught about "a place for everything and everything in its place" when I was 3 years old. My mom was a neat freak
  4. We like to throw parties and do so frequently. I am also a member of Generation X and I was taught (admittedly, by my very traditional Southern mother and grandmothers) that social invitations should always be reciprocated, preferably within one month. (They were also big on hostess gifts, another dying tradition.) When we first started entertaining, I fully expected to receive invitations in kind from our guests. Most of the time they never came. Eventually I learned that some people just do not entertain, even if the entertaining involves one other couple in their home over pizza. Other peop
  5. I admit I do this to other people occasionally. I hate it when people do this to me. For example: The other day I was in Whole Foods. I had been invited to a small impromptu party (like, I got the invite at 2 p.m. for the 6 p.m. party) and the hostess asked me to bring chips and dessert. I had no time to make anything for dessert, so I ducked into Whole Foods and picked a bag of tortilla chips, a jar of salsa, and one of their premade chocolate cakes. I should say here that I am a bit of a fluffy girl, not a lot fluffy, but enough so that you notice. I get in line and who gets in line in back
  6. We got the plants in the ground this weekend and I think the enclosure's going to work well. We have two big dogs and one of them loves to dig and chew plants, so if plants are exposed, they're gone. Here's what I planted: Tomatoes: - 2 Brandywine - 3 Roma - 1 Patio Prize - 1 Celebrity - 1 Bush-type Early Girl I try to plant an assortment of tomatoes so we get some variety. I just try to stay away from anything that's going to vine too much, as I don't have that much space. The only thing I won't plant are cherry or grape tomatoes; I did that 3 years ago and the darn thing
  7. We built a garden enclosure last weekend and I tilled in some manure. I am waiting until this weekend to plant anything because we've had some wacky weather in Albuquerque lately. I'll just do tomatoes and herbs, but I can't wait to get started.
  8. Amen to that. My family has the same hangups and there was an inordinate amount of focus on weight and dieting for young females in my family. All I'll say about that is that the end results of that focus are not fun and not pretty. I have my own therapist bills to prove it.
  9. Of course, every expense is built into the price. But if you want to save your restaurant-owning friends an expense that might go to better serving YOU than the banks, pay cash. People stopped carrying cash because with cards you can't get robbed of your cash. Guess what? ID theft and cloning of credit cards is a thousand times more likely to hurt you than losing some cash. If you wallet is stolen, you might lose a couple of dollars. If your CC #'s are stolen, it could be thousands. BTW, the most common way for your CC #'s to get cloned is at a restaurant. Cash is King! ← Sorry. Ca
  10. I cook for myself only a lot of the time, when my husband is away on business. He is very much into simple food and does not like anything eggy or anything with beans in it. So I usually take advantage of his being gone to make quiche, omelets, onion tarts, red beans and rice (like my gramma used to make) and all the other things he won't eat. I love cooking by myself - no pressure to get the meal on the table by a certain time, if I screw something up I can throw it out and start over. It's luxurious to cook a great meal for yourself, open up a bottle of wine, and spend time enjoying your mea
  11. I have a Waring that I bought used when I was in college, about 8 years ago. Don't know how old it was then (probably a few years) but the thing still works like a champ and can crush or blend anything in a matter of seconds. We've used it almost daily for 8 years for protein shakes and it keeps on going. Some of the plastic parts are getting a little scungy and I keep eyeing the stainless-steel ones at Amazon, but I don't really see a need to replace until it goes belly-up, which may be never.
  12. My parents are big fans of Martha's Black Dog and stop there whenever they're traveling I-25 between Las Cruces and Albuquerque. Not far from Socorro is San Antonio and the Original Owl Bar, which should be a must-see for anyone traveling in that area of the state. Great food; great dark, seedy bar.
  13. I buy wine for big parties so I've been where you're at...you don't want to serve people crap but spending a fortune isn't an option either. My favorite low-budget party wines are: The aforementioned Rancho Zabaco Red Zinfandel, this is just about my favorite everyday red. It goes with almost every kind of food. I can usually find it for $8.99 per bottle. The Bonny Doon Ca D' Solo Big House Red is quite good. Even non-red-wine-loving guests drink this and like it. I like most of Bonny Doon's wines, though. I like their Vin Gris de Cigare and their Pacific Rim Riesling also. Cline Cellars' Re
  14. Patrick S, I'm going to go waaaayyy out on a limb and ask you why you seem so hostile/defensive about this subject. Do you know this woman or something?
  15. I gave this some thought; I think it's a good question. For me, the difference between cooking and the other activities is that people need to eat to live, so I think it would be in someone's best interests to learn how to prepare nutritious, balanced meals for themselves. You can live without painting or repairing your car or cutting your grass or sewing your own clothes. You can't live without eating. So why not learn the rudimentary skills of preparing things for yourself to eat? The other issue here is that as a collective, we have gotten unhealthier the more processed and "instant" crap w
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