Hey everyone. It's been a pretty good week in the Land of Blonde. No, not perfect but it's the little things, right? Like these tulips. They gave me a week of pleasure and I even loved them when they started to drop a few petals. My grocery store has a Five for Friday deal...a little bouquet for $5.00 Love it. Today I bought some dwarf lilies. I like to get them before they open so you will have to wait, with baited breath I'm sure, for a pic.
It was 64 degrees and sunny here in Chicago today. Amazing. I opened windows in every room and let the breeze blow in to clear out the air and the dust rats. Milo and Layla could not sit still. They leaped around with their sniffers in the air and did their little dance to go outside every 20 minutes. Maybe they think this is spring, who knows? But they were happy. I was happy and all was good. Except the wind. Far beyond what the Windy City is accustomed to. Streets downtown were closed as windows broke, construction sites became dangerous; debris flying all over. Everything and anything taking off into the wind. I made a trip to the grocery store (I know, by now all of you think I live at the grocery store but it is what it is. :) and I was hanging on to my cart for dear life. Other than that bit of excitement it was a sunny week and we all need that in February.
The Husband spent the most part of last weekend and then Monday and Tuesday working at home on the project he will be presenting in Vancouver this April. We did go out for a nice Valentine's Day dinner Sunday and had a wonderful time. I have to say, by Monday I had a little too much togetherness. What can I say? I'm used to being alone 5 days a week and although I never knew how much I was accustomed to it, well, I guess I am. I escaped to Target Monday and other than a few food items, I was just wandering. You know me too well though, I have a love for shower curtains. Switching them up by season or just a whim. I wanted something spring-y and this fit the bill. At $19.00 I was pleased. Maybe a little premature but a girl can dream, right? I have the window open and you can see my little birdhouses swaying in the breeze. So encouraging!
The only other thing I needed to make a soft feel was a pale pink hand towel for the shelving I have in this bath. These are simple pieces of pine I had cut to the dimensions I wanted at Home Depot a few years ago. I painted them a soft creamy color and they give me space and a way to display pretty soaps, towels and glass containers of essentials. How fun it is to change a bathroom around so inexpensively.
I really love the book section at Target. Losing Border's was a real disappointment to me. Barnes and Noble is about 50 minutes away and I've noticed it's filled with a lot of eye catching items I can't begin to count, nor need. I think you know what I mean. But...I have to avoid the book section at Target...I'm a sucker for the best sellers and pretty covers. I did see this and when I read the back cover I was intrigued. I thought it would be a sort of generational novel going back and forth from the times I really love--the early 1900's and 1960's. It was but what didn't prepare me was how well written and...
...hysterically funny it is! You'd never know. Switching back and forth between two eras can be a little too common in so many novels, and though you can read the jacket cover (which you might want to enlarge to read above), you'd never know how charismatic these characters are and how life plays out in such comical, suspenseful and heartfelt way. I'm eating up several chapters in a sitting. I'm also enjoying a slow and enjoyable read of Stillmeadow Seasons by Gladys Tabor. I savor her gentle rumination, almost meditative. Before bed is the best time for me to relax and enjoy her writings. Her times on the farm are a bit like my time at the lake, I get her need for solitude and simple life.
I got wise after all of my appointment mishaps that I wrote about in my last post. I never thought I needed any sort of calendar beside the good old wall type with pretty pictures of puppies. But I finally broke down and bought a simple little planner and I'm getting pretty good at transferring all of those little appointment cards I usually stuff in my purse in to this little guy. At the end of each month is a larger space for daily notes and I'm keeping a daily meal diary there. I hear that tracking your meals helps in your diet. I find it terrifying but heck...who knows? I may or may not let you know how well this works. ;-D
And on to another recipe with an awful picture as per usual. We don't eat meat during lent and as I'm not a huge fan of seafood, nor do I eat eat many carbs such as pasta, potatoes or anything relatively white, I have to be creative to make fish taste a a little better. I peruse recipes all the time and I happened to find a great recipe for Cod Cakes published by the New York Times. Of course I changed it. The poached fish involved a lot of herbs and spices that I felt would simply get diluted in the process so I eliminated them in my recipe. I also have specific ideas as to how to create a cake that doesn't fall apart. I hope you enjoy this and feel free to modify your ingredients.
1 lb. fresh cod fillets
2 T butter
2 stalks celery, diced fine
1 carrot, diced fine
1 medium onion, diced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping T mayonnaise
2 t Dijon mustard
S & P
1 T Italian herb blend
1 T sweet paprika
1 c Panko bread crumbs
1 c. plain bread crumbs
1/4 c canola oil
Poach fish in 1/2 c water in a small skillet about 10 minutes until opaque. Remove and let cool. Drain skillet and melt butter over medium heat. Add all veggies and garlic and saute about 6 minutes until soft. Transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl combine mayo, mustard, eggs salt and pepper. Add herb blend and paprika. Add this to the large bowl of veggies. Stir in the bread crumbs 1/2 cup at a time. The batter should be moist but firm.
Flake the cooked cod both finely and in small chunks. Add to the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill at minimum 30 minutes.
Heat canola oil over medium heat. Form patties of the cod mixture and cook about 4-5 minutes on both sides until heated through. For a crispy surface, spread a bit of mayo over each side before cooking. A lemony vinaigrette is a nice topping as well.
Well. that's it for now. We have zero plans for the weekend but that may change. I'm feeling very on top of things lately. I handed in my first newspaper article of the year 5 days early. Yay! This is the year I want to be a non procrastinator. If that's possible.
I also want to say that I'm keeping the book giveaway open another week (see my last post). If you want to be entered, please let me know in your comment.
Have a great weekend!