Saturday, December 13, 2008

That's The Way The Cookie Crumbles...

After 7 long nights of an ice-cold house (our boiler broke down & only got fixed on Wednesday), this week, I've been mostly channelling my inner Ina/Nigella/Martha/Rachel (yom!) and doing a lot of baking. It has been said before that I'm not too bad in the kitchen - planning is my middle name - so with that in mind, I was challenged to make "yummy cookies" by Babsie, one of my colleagues from a book left in the office by The Book People. She flagrantly disregarded the laws of copyright by photocopying the chosen recipe & presenting it to me. I haven't made biccies in ages, mainly because I've been disgustingly addicted to banana bread... some of which is in the freezer taunting me.

So, last night as I did my triple point shop in Tesco (got to build up those Clubcard Points for another free trip to France), I bought enough buhher, sugar & chocolate to cause a major diabetic coma and elevate my depressed colleagues to a sugar-induced high. I got stuck in (didn't soften the buhher enough and splatted most of it over my hob & coffee machine) and 20 minutes later, had the most evil chocolate cookies ever. I don't use cheap gear when I cook because I don't see the point - that's what shop bought is for! So, buoyed up by that success, I decided to tackle a batch of $250 Nieman Marcus Cookies (but cut the quantities in half because my poor food processor would have collapsed with the shock (Dear Santa, can you bring me a KitchenAid mixer in stainless steel?).

Hubs was very excited (he's only allowed to have the broken biscuits) so I made the ginormous batch of dough, froze it all in sausage shapes and chopped it up like black pudding rounds and baked it for 10 mins. It is absolutely gorgeous... even nicer than last night's Chocolate Extravaganza and is all promised. We're going to a drinks party tomorrow night at our Best Man's house - the WAGS as we are charmingly referred to, monopolise the sofa to watch the X-Factor final, and the lads skulk around the kitchen moaning about us watching crap telly and poor Hubs hovers between the two as he loves the X-Factor!!! Our gift to them is a tin of our homemade cookies. There's plenty left over for my poor sick nephew & niece who have raging conjunctivitis and are feeling very sorry for themselves (Handsome Man stayed in his PJ's all day today because he wasn't well... but will still eat biccies when I bring them over). And my goddaughter/niece Lucy Loo has demanded her fair share too.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Me Me Me Me MEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

This is all Glitterkitty and Little Miss's fault... I love them dearly for it though!!!

I am a person who hates getting things wrong; I can't bear txtspk (grant me strength); Fair City makes me want to heave; I hate my friends who never respond to texts or calls, but expect me to be there for them permanently; I hate the way Hubs makes noise when he eats; I love going to the airport; I would live in France at the drop of a hat; I once chased a burglar out of my parents house with a poker... and gave him a few belts of it; I was known as the "Ice Maiden" by an ex; I love my nail polish; I make incredible chicken risotto and have never ever eaten better; I don't like strawberry yoghurt; I saved somebody's life with the Heimlich Manoeuvre once; I've had one night stands; I start planning Christmas in September; I am addicted to the internet; I have very gorgeous underwear; I'd love to do a bungee jump; I'm far too lazy for my own good; I've never lived on my own; I shared a room with my sister until I was 25; one of my ex's was a famous DJ; I was rather drunk walking up the aisle to get married; I can't have kids; I love reading and am perfectly happy in my own company with something to read; I watch far too much downloaded TV; I hate ironing but do it because I can't bear messy looking clothes; I hate surprises because then I lose control of the situation; I think about things way too much; I haven't seen my best friend in 4 months, although we talk on the phone every day; the smell of tea makes me heave; I cannot stand boy racers; I have an insatiable urge to comb the hair of all those orange mophead Ugg-wearing drones in Dundrum; I'm constantly illegally parking as it's quicker than queuing for a car space and finding change; Even the word "dentist" makes me feel sick; I once dressed up as the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz and was on the cover of the Star; I have a little sister who died when she was born and I miss her, even though I never knew her; I have far too much makeup than is humanly possible to wear in a lifetime; I love gardening but hate getting dirt under my nails; I read 4 newspapers on Sunday and have withdrawal symptoms if I'm away

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thank God I'm (NOT) A Country Girl

Myself & the Hubs were away for the Bank Holiday weekend down in Lovely Limerick. We headed off on Saturday morning bright and early in the pisshings of wind and rain down the N7 - that was a hideous drive, only punctuated by intermittent yawns from the exhausted passenger... it must be very tiring being driven around while the driver (me) just glides through storms without a care!!! Anyway, we eventually made it down, checked into the hotel and went up to our room.

Actually, it wasn't a room at all - it was a junior suite with an enclosed balcony overlooking the Shannon, bathrobes, two basins in the very plush bathroom and an equally plushly priced minibar. As usual, myself and Hubs opted for the pov option - a quick trip to Tesco in Arthurs Quay for beers and a bottle opener and then sat out on our balcony laughing at everybody else getting soaked to the skin!

My MBF was down in Limerick for the weekend too, so we decided to meet up with him that night for a few drinks. By the time we met him after dinner, we were nicely oiled and walked down to Nancy Blakes where a good time was had by all. Let's just say that we had seats at the bar and a very attentive barman who sadistically bought us shots - Baby Guinness to be precise. Hubs doesn't do shots so myself & MBF ended up drinking them... and by God we were maggoty the next morning. Myself and Hubs were as delicate as fine china until lunchtime - even the monstrous room service brekkie didn't fix us and Hubs wouldn't let me go to Mackers for a cure, the swine!

We ended up in Mammy & Daddy MBF's for dinner that night (I drove and Hubs was on the dry too...) and when I say they live in the country, oh my god, they live in the country. Not a streetlight for miles, the Satnav laughed at me when I tried to programme in the address (no house numbers y'see). And as for the directions they gave us... turn up by Mary's pub and take the first boreen and we're down there a bit. "Mary's pub" doesn't have a sign, the "boreen" was as wide as my driveway and "down there a bit" was almost the next county away. Anyway, we made it there eventually and had a lovely Sunday dinner handed to us (always the best kind) and eventually moseyed back to the hotel to have a drink in the bar & read the papers in civilisation with traffic, street lights and people!

I was in a cocktail mood and the first one - a Strawberry Mule - was lovely, so I decided to have a different one which according to the menu, had Morgans Spiced Rum, Pineapple Juice & Lime. Apparently that was only a "suggestion" as to the ingredients - this yoke had rum, Malibu (I feckin' hate Malibu) and Blue Curacao in it. It was rancid altogether and the bar lady didn't take too kindly to being asked for a drink that was exactly what it said on the tin... second time around was a success tho'! Merrily sober, we retired to the comfort of our suite (god, saying that sounds so posh!!!) and had sweet dreams.
Fun is now over and back to the heaven that is called work tomorrow... I won't be able to sleep with the excitement and anticipation...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For Those About To Rock...

Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh... ANGUS!

I am a very happy little Baba today & Hubs is positively beside himself with glee. Why this joy when I am stricken with the streamiest, snottiest dose in history?? We're going to see AC/DC live in concert - and not in Dublin either... we're off to Milan baby (said in the manner of Eamon Dunphy).

Yes, I know we're all in the middle of a huge depressin' recessin' but there are times when only a bit of metal can lift your spirits. I know the new album Black Ice will arrive in the house on Friday evening and will be listened to incessantly. And, seeing as we glided gracefully around the dancefloor at our wedding to A Whole Lotta Rosie, what else could we do? The Dublin date clashes with our holidays so it makes sense to have a durty weekend away and do a bit of moshin' in Milano.

Now, where's my air guitar???

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sing.... Sing A Song

Did you know that singing is good for your mental health? Me neither, but that's how I ended up singing in the local shopping centre this evening with the Laydeez Choir! Hubs was dragged along as an (un)willing spectator with the promise that we could eat rubbish for dinner in the Food Court afterwards. As usual, it was a mad dash to get home from work, changed, layer on the slap, do the hair and back out the door within 20 minutes!

We didn't do too badly considering there was only half of us singing, we forgot the words to one (ok, two) of the songs and couldn't hear ourselves because the acoustics were absolute rubbish. Hubs gave us the thumbs up anyway which is praise indeed! Then he was dragged off to do the food shop with me - not impressed at all. God love him - I have to do it every feckin' weekend and he thinks the Magic Food Fairy fills up the cupboards with stuff to eat!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

4 Years Ago Today...

We were cutting this
Isn't it amazing how time flies - I can still remember walking into the empty function room with my brand new Hubs and seeing this in front of us. Still makes me smile!
Anyway, I'm off to cook a lovely dinner & open a bottle of fizz with Hubs. This probably means that I'll be as sick as a small hospital tomorrow and work is utterly mental, so I will no doubt regret getting piddled... but what the hell!!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

You Know You're Getting Old When...

You start listening to The Archers and all the old radio shows. Last year, I listened to an episode or two and before I knew it, I was hooked. Rather than listen to the daily 10 minute episode which means I have to have access to BBC Radio 4, I download the weekly compliation and either transfer it to my mobile to listen to in the car, or hoard them for my MP3 player for holidays. It's amazing how quickly you get caught up in the happenings of Ambridge and its residents. When I was over with my cousin in London a few months ago, I discovered that herself and the lovely fiance are both Archers fans too - so I'm not the only weirdo in the family.

If I'm in the car on a trip during the week, I stick on the Afternoon Play - the time absolutely flies by and there have been times when I've sat in the car waiting for it to end because it has been so good. Hubs, of course, would much rather flick, flick, flick through all the stations which results in the driver claiming ownership of the stereo (that would be me!). If we head up the North at the weekend, then the Jonathan Ross Show on BBC Radio 2 is the show of choice because he's so flippin' funny and the music is great.

Mind you, I still couldn't be paid enough to listen to RTE Radio 1 because most of the presenters (except Tubridy) drive me demented . It's a pity that my DAB radio doesn't work on the digital bands because RTE's catchment area only really covers Dublin & the North East... sooner they get this sorted the better!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

In A Stew

This whole "R" word (and I don't mean "romance") is certainly hitting people with a vengeance. I was in the hairdressers this morning & two of the girls who work there were talking about where was cheapest for meat - Tesco, Dunnes or SuperValu... they had it down to a fine art! Tesco is 3 times normal points on a Thursday, Dunnes is 25% back all this weekend and SuperValu has better meat, but the shop layout is so rubbish that you just buy what you need to get out quickly!!

I've been doing a bit of cutting back myself in recent days as we're just back from holidays in La Belle France where the motto was "ah sure stick it on the Visa & we'll sort it out when we get home". Mother of Jaysus, I wonder how many pages the Visa bill will run to next week? Mind you, we did shop wisely - vodka is €11 for a litre and beer is 70c a can, so we certainly won't be sober for the next few months given the amount of booze we crammed into my trusty car outside Auchan, LeClerc & Carrefour... even an item like a chair cover was a bargain (€20 compared to €50) so I got value for my plastic cash.

And so it comes to food. On Tesco's Super Thursday I decided to buy just enough to make a rake of dinners for the freezer and no ready meals. Therefore last night's batch of "cooking with mince" produced some damn fine Chili con Carne - 5 meals for less than a tenner, and this evening, I have a very yummy beef casserole humming away on on the hob. I was never really into stews as to be honest, they weren't Mum's strong point so I ignored them. But the past few months has led to a rediscovery of granny cooking with a twist.
I will only eat turnip if it's been reduced to almost a puree and parsnips are vile creatures fit only for rabbits, so they never makes the pot. Tonight's culinary masterpiece contains leeks, carrots, onions, celery, spuds and some gorgeous rib steak which is dirt cheap at the mo. Add a load of stock & gravy, the red wine which I've just remembered to put in and you have a cracking meal for very little money. Fair enough it takes time, which I definitely don't have during the week, but this makes great freezer food if you can get your act together at the weekend. Add a pile of shredded & steamed Savoy cabbage and it's paradise on a plate.
Jesus, I'm starving.

Friday, September 26, 2008

And so it begins...

I talk enough on a daily basis, so perhaps it's now time to write it all down instead of babbling? Anyway, this won't be a hugely incisive or groundbreaking blog, just me waffling on about things that make me smile (or make me murderous...). I'll try not to mention work -because you never know if Big Brother is watching - so that narrows down my choice of topics by about 70% already!!
I suppose I'd better tell you a bit about myself. I'm not as old in my head as it says on my passport, which is why I behave like a 22 year old most of the time. I'm blind as a bat without my contacts and I despise wearing my specs. I love my holidays which tend to be spent in France because we love the country and all that goes with it. In fact, 7 days ago, we were there - packing to come home. I love flying, but the Hubs positively hates it and that's why I've never managed to get to South Africa, Asia & Oz... but I'm sure new drugs are being developed that will let me knock him out and wake him up on the other side of the world without me being arrested! I hate peppers as they are evil and have no place in a civilised world. The same goes for baked beans and neither item has ever entered my home.