Happy New Year…
Ok, so I’ve been woefully negligent in posting of late. I apologize, but in my defense, it has been the holiday season and much of it was spent elsewhere (as in not at home, and in some cases, nowhere near an internet source). The holiday season is now (finally!) at a close and I start back to working and slaving the in frat house kitchen next Monday. This week will be spent trying to sort out the enormous pile of music my dad gave me (and the enormous pile of laundry that’s built up in our frequent jaunts out of town) as well as finishing up some minor last-minute before I get back to work things such as fixing my car, Dora. Since it’s a week for catch-up, I thought I might get you guys caught up to speed as well.
Christmas Eve we managed to lock ourselves out of the house, and had to go bother my landlord (who lives in the middle of nowhere). I prefer not to think about it. So, after we finally managed to get ourselves back inside. We packed our bags and left again for my parents’. Christmas Eve and Christmas were spent with my family. Which means the drinking began as soon as we got back from 6pm Christmas Eve Mass. It started up again with mimosas with breakfast, continued as all the in-laws arrived (my sister’s in-laws and my mother-in-law) and went on straight through dinner. Dinner was as marvelous as we all hoped it would be, and much meat was consumed. My mother-in-law stayed through the weekend until Sunday morning. In order to entertain we went to see Avatar at the IMAX, and the GPS stopped working on our way home as we were on a dark country road with no idea where we were at or how to get home. Luckily, we weren’t far from recognizable territory and made it home.
The week after Christmas was spent babysitting my nephews. I dearly love my nephews, and consider them quite the cutest things going. That being said, I’ve decided to never have kids. I know that Patrick was sick and that Alex… well Alex is two, but oh my golly goodness! I’m fairly sure if I ever have to do that again, I’ll have a nervous breakdown. Between poor Patrick screaming because he wouldn’t eat (and would not let me put him down, or even sit down while holding him) and Alex’s general 2-year-oldness (“No!” “I can’t!” “MY POOP!”), I was fairly sure I was going to lose it! I still love my nephews; I’m just not sure I want some that I have to take home with me…
New Years Eve was not the bacchanalian revel of the past. There was no bar-hopping, clubbing or drunken revelry as in the college days. It was more low-key. After a day babysitting my nephews, Tyler and I went out to dinner with our friend Lee (whose birthday is the 1st) and then we all returned to the house to play Rock band until midnight. We were in bed before 1am. Kind of pathetic, I know. To bring home the point of exactly how pathetic we were, our neighbors were having a loud raucous party. The middle-aged neighbors with kids… they rocked into the wee hours of the morning. Sigh…
The next day (the 1st) we celebrated my husband’s and my brother’s birthday at my parent’s. The theme was pirates. We all made our own pirate hats and eye-patches out of craft foam and string (my dad was the hammerhead shark/ butt pirate, sometimes it’s better not to ask). We played pirate dice ala Pirates of the Caribbean; pirate dice is one of my favorite games and it translates nicely into a drinking game (btw, don’t bother going out to buy the official game, all you need are a couple packages of extra dice, a few plastic cups and the rules which can be found online). There were also pirate-themed coloring pages, word finds, and such. Much fun was had by everyone, including my husband who was given many pirate-themed shots of rum by my father. Ahoy Matey!
Here is what I made for Tyler on his birthday yesterday:
Chicken and Shrimp Paella
¾ pound Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
¾ pound Shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 small Onion, chopped
5 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 Green Bell Pepper, Cut into strips
1 can Diced Tomatoes, drained
2 cans Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 ½ cup Long Grain Rice
1 tsp dried Oregano
½ tsp Tumeric
½ tsp Paprika
¼ tsp dried Thyme
1 can Diced Chile Peppers
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Cup Frozen Peas
In a heavy, shallow sauté pan with a lid (or a paella pan) heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Lightly season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Add the shrimp to the oil and cook until just pink on both sides, about 4-5 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Remove chicken and add in the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the chicken and the remaining ingredients (except for the shrimp and frozen peas) mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20-25 minutes until almost all of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in peas and shrimp and cook for an extra minute.