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*wordless wednesday.

xander.


Yeah, I got nuthin'.

Happy hump day!
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*hungry, i's.

Can you get pregnant from eye contact? Because something has shifted in me and I am suddenly ravenous. And it's not anything-will-do hunger, either. The cravings are specific, and strong, and change so quickly and precisely that I can name The Thing I Want at any given moment with startling accuracy.

I want this.

Waffle Fries


And this.

Tuna Niçoise Salad


And this.

Homemade Pizza: Egg, Spinach, Proscuitto, and Shallots


And this.

Bagel with lox


And this.

black bean soup


And oh my stars this.

kadoma tuna.


And this.

Grilled cheese w/ caramelized onions, whole grain mustard, and tomatoes on homemade anadama bread


All I can think about is food. It's not good for the attention span, the job performance, or the thighs, but I seem to have descended into some sort of digestive madness.

It's like gustatory Tourette's.

HASH BROWNS!

I need medication.
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*some pug.

Since Wednesday, the Woodside has been graced with the presence of The Fat Man for almost an entire week.

He goes home tonight, much to the chagrin of J, who will miss having his little buddy.

I will miss the gentle spray of spittle that hits my cheek each morning announcing Steve's need to use the facilities.

frowny clown.


It's actually a rather considerate way to wake someone. J's approach is to barrel all 50 pounds of body weight into the floor at breakneck speed. As alarms go, Steve is more "smattering of mist off the sea," while J is more "HIT THE DECK!"

steve tv.


He also loves to be my TV buddy. This is sometimes tricky when the snoring gets too loud, but that is mitigated when he rests his tiny chin on my shoulder. I'm easy.

Where is J in all of this? Well, normally he's staring with desolate concern at the sofa while I pat the cushions and say, "Come on up. It's OK, you can get up here. Come on. Come on, J. You can come up. Hop up! Come on! You can come up! Aw, SKREW IT."

At which point he usually casts his fears aside and hurls himself onto the couch with an effort most would reserve for long-jump.

So I'll pack up Steve's food, and his bowl, and his dental bones, and his pig ears, and his Ernie and Spider-Man and football, and JFro will come to pick him up. Which is probably good. I think he misses her.

wrinkles.
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*filthy beggar.

Can I have my weekend now?

Please?

Pretty please?

Pretty please with this face on top?

please?


Whew. That was close.

Let the indolence begin!
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*a sandwich story.

When I was a wee tot, my mother grew increasingly worried that I was, in her words, "going to turn into a grilled chicken sandwich." In my defense, I felt it was a way to surreptitiously order the one thing on the menu that came with fries, and I could sneak them past her while she remained none the wiser.

I scored very high on standardized testing.

Last night I tried The Pioneer Woman's oddly monikered Crash Hot Potatoes—small round potatoes boiled until fork-tender, gently smashed (or, in my case, obliterated) on a cookie sheet, dabbed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary, and roasted until flaky and crispy on the outside and tender and buttery inside.

tater smash.


I didn't get a decent shot of the finished result because I lost the light, but trust me when I say these are some of the best homemade potatoes I've ever produced.

mash potato.


The peels get crackly and salty, and the flesh tastes like it's drowning in butter even though it's only kissed with olive oil. You have to go make these now.

I'm not kidding.

Seriously, I'll wait.

GO!

OK, fine. If you must continue your rapt attention to my prose, you must.

Alongside, Ina's Caesar Club Sandwich. Why? Because I defy you to find anything Ina makes that isn't perfection.

Bone-in chicken goes into the oven with a smear of oil and salt and pepper. That's it. (Don't mess with Ina.)

raw.


Just 35 minutes later it's sitting on a plate staring at you, all mock modest and "What? Like you've never seen tender, moist chicken before?"

chick roast.


I almost snuck a taste—what Ina does to chickens can bring even strident vegetarians to the meat counter, and I'm not a strident vegetarian. I have strident opinions, and a strident demeanor, and strident heartburn, but that's pretty much where it ends.

The recipe calls for a dressing made from mayo, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, Dijon mustard, and anchovy paste, but the Winn-Dix was out of (or never carries) anchovy paste. It's a little more downscale, as grocers go, which is why I frequent it. And why it sells 10 for $10 CheezBallz but not anchovy paste.

A whirl in the little processor

ina mayo.


and spread on toasted bread.

spread.


The toasting—shoving the loaf (which Ina helpfully reminds imbeciles to "slice in half horizontally and separate the top from the bottom")—is supremely important, because the toppings are robust and the bread is ... well, on the Woodside, cheap.

It peps up the taste and texture to have some crispityness happening. Technical term, that.

Next, the chopped chicken, bacon slices (the Winn-Dix don't do prosciutto), lettuce (the Winn-Dix don't do arugula), and sun-dried tomatoes (nixed because while the Winn-Dix DO do sun-dried tomatoes, they cost $8 a jar). Also some shaved Parmesan and some slices of Monterey Jack cheese, which I added to give heft to the vegetarian half.

I could have gone with fresh tomatoes, but some crazy weirdos don't like them.

chicken wich.


So freakin' good. And worth it, all the extra steps that elevate a sandwich from Subway to holycrap. The secret is really in the dressed-up mayo, which will make you never want plain old Hellman's again. Because the flavor is so pronounced, with the fresh lemon and bright parsley and tangy Dijon, you don't need a lot. That way, you can eat half a loaf of bread and not feel guilty.

Bonus!

I feel it necessary to point out that I have not, in fact, turned into a chicken sandwich as a result of this culinary exploit.

See? Me.

c'est moi.


Chicken sandwich.

chicken wich.


Me.

c'est moi.


Chicken sandwich.

chicken wich.


Which reminds me:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thanks for the forehead.

Love, K
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*black & white wednesday.

J woke me up no less than 13 times this morning growling and bah-woofing at slamming car doors, coughing neighbors, and pausing hummingbirds, only moving to what he thinks is an only-dogs-can-hear low-level whine when I hissed at him that there are starving boys and girls in Africa who'd love to have him for dinner.

I would make a splendid mother.

I filled out and addressed 18 baby shower invitations today, and while I'm really happy with them, my thumb is now curiously numb.

Tonight I plan to get in the kitchen for some much-needed sandwich-making, but in the meantime I leave you with some studies in colorlessness.

shifty.


Because no matter how shifty,

incognito.


no matter how incognito,

scooter.


no matter how troublemaking,

zoetrope.


there's just something startlingly pretty about it.
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*shared sentiment.

for head.


Work has been nonstop ... work ... lately, so combined with my very busy schedule of sloth and insomnia, I've done very little worth writing home about.

Tropical storm Claudette has stubbornly refused to dump any environmental disaster of any kind on the Woodside. Unfortunately, the unfulfilled promise of same is leading to canine cabin fever that is swiftly descending into madness. I don't like the way J is looking at me these days, like a dog who might wake in the night with a sudden urge to eat my face cream. Or my face.

I am off this evening on an ill-fated social errand, from which I hope to return with tales of unmatched awkwardness and inappropriate non sequitur. There will be boys. One of whom is my brother, but that is neither here nor there. Y chromosomes elicit an uncommon vapidity in me. I'll probably start a high-pitched conversation about Care Bears.

So as you nestle into your reliable loved one this evening, grateful that you managed to navigate finding each other the way God intended—at blurry frat parties—think of me.


Cloud - Click here for more home videos
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*work, in progress.

Friday:

jack stare.


Saturday:

cake flower.


fairy tutu.



stuff pup.


whistler's mother.


Sunday:

cracked.


Monday:

muzzarella.
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*make a wish.

As I'm sure you can imagine, it is sometimes very difficult to be me.

No, not because I have the social skills of a kid in a helmet and my gravity has no center.

It's because I'm just so darn lovable.

My friend JULIE is celebrating her 31st year today, and to my great surprise JULIE told me that JULIE's greatest desire on the day she is to turn officially older than rocks is to see JULIE's name on the Woodside.

Frankly I was afraid that JULIE needs to dream bigger.

But JULIE made this:

big al.


so what else do you give the girl who has everything?

Happy Birthday, JULIE!
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*pollo loco.

I know that the Woodside kitchen has produced nothing but salads of late, but you must never underestimate the culinary wizardry required to ... cut stuff up. And stir it together.

James Beard, here I come.

But it is flaming hot in Alabama in the summer, and in my defense this little number (Giada's Italian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups) fulfilled my requirements to feed carnivores, leave the kitchen cool, and keep the diabetic out of ketoacidosis. It also meant I didn't have to turn on the stove, a fortuitous notion considering that the last time I attempted to cook something I left the burner on for eight hours, sending J into hysterics and narrowly avoiding burning the house down.

Serendipity!

PS Because I was at the Food Network site, I feel it necessary to point out that this? Food Network Webmasters? Is gross looking. I wanted to navigate away immediately, if not for my commitment to the needs of my adoring readers.

PPS Your almonds almost gave me a seizure.


I halved the recipe, which serves 12, and was able to satisfy three eaters, comfort some late-night munchies, and make lunch for the pregnant sister.

I began with the wrinkled carcass of poultry, ostensibly lemon-pepper in flavor. Either it was overcooked, or it recoiled from the humidity. (the reason this photo looks like it was taken in a sauna. Because ... it was.)

chicken on a spit.


Outside? 88% moisture. Inside?

white meat.


0%. That is some dry business there, folks. But we'll just throw a bunch of shit at it, and all will be well!

Specifically parsley (the Publix only had the curly cousin of flat-leaf),

curly.


red onions (sliced "paper-thin," courtesy of mad knife skills),

red ribbons.


bell peppers both red and yellow (which were supposed to be roasted bell peppers but were not, courtesy of bad reading skills),

hell's bells.


slivered almonds,

slivers.


and some rather handsome capers.

caper.


A simple vinaigrette—red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and olive oil—goes on top.

red dress.


The recipe says to use "enough to moisten," so I used ... all of it. You saw that dried-up ole chicken.

chicken salad.


The colors are lovely and summery, and it's a great way to serve people something you know they'll like—chicken salad—without the heaviness of mayonnaise. (Don't be sad, mayonnaise. You know we'll always be together.)

Oh, and also: mojito.

neato mojito.


That has nothing to do with anything. It's just frozen rum.

YOU'RE WELCOME.
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*midweek madness.

We've been in production at The Place That Pays the Mortgage, and I've edited an issue for The Place That Keeps the Lights On, and I've completed a project for The Place That Will Be Invaluable Should the Dead and Blighted Tree Finally Turn Its Kamikaze Effort to the Woodside Roof.

And motherfather I'm exhausted. Go on, world. Go on with your bad self, with your apostrophes in all the wrong places

bad-apsotrophe-wtf


and your inappropriate quotation marks

most hilarious misuse of quotation marks ever


and your egregious spelling mishaps.

Church of the Brethren Christmas Message


Because I am tired. I am tired and I am busy. Busybusybusybusy. Just ask J.

jake stirs.


He knows that my frenetic pace has kept me glued to the computer screen, unable to mercilessly pester him as he attempts to nap.

I have tasks to tackle, social functions to grace, lawns to mow, and unmentionables to launder.

rabbit's foot.


I certainly didn't have the sort of time on my hands this weekend to be sitting in my pajamas on the sofa at noon, taking wonky portraits of an increasingly irritated dog.

dead dog.


Yikes.

OK, back to "work."

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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.

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