A shift in Priorities or…?

priorities-1024x768Clearly I have been slacking a lot around here. And it’s not just in the posting realm, it’s in the following realm as well.  I used to look at my Feedly  (or Google Reader, RIP) daily, unless I was on vacation or super busy, my feed was cleared daily. I was looking at it a week or so before Christmas and realized that I hadn’t looked since before Thanksgiving. I had over 500 unread posts. I also have over 90 articles to read saved in Evernote for some rainy day reading that I seem to never get around too…

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that I am running around outside a lot more and the activities I am doing are similar and just don’t seem that interesting to post, or that I started spending more time with The Sexy Master Electrician and he eats up a fair amount of time or if I am just not as interest. I don’t think it’s the last one, I enjoy writing up posts and reading others. I think my priorities have shifted in some ways since I moved to Bozeman and I spend significantly less time on my computer than I did before. I rarely spend a Saturday or Sunday morning at a coffee shop on my computer.  Even when I am not doing anything at all and could be on my computer, I’m not.

This is how Princess Chunk Feels about all of my priorities.

This is how Princess Chunk Feels about all of my priorities.

Either way, I apologize, to those who actually care, that my posting has slowed down. Right now it seems to have slipped down the list of priorities. In the new year, I am rearranging my computer blogsphere priorities. I am not going to beat myself up for not posting weekly or reading every Feedly article. I mean how many times do you want to read about my ski adventures and do I really care to read about how to make a strawberry hat? Not really.

I like to look back at what I was doing, so I will  continue to post about those things that I find new and interesting, activities, recipes, etc, and continue with my recaps of day to day things in my Sunday Afternoon Posts. This probably means that my post will continue to be rather random in timing with my coffee posts remaining steady. Let’s keep it interesting shall we?

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [Forty-one]

Sunday 41 (3)If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would be slightly spiked eggnog instead while discussing our favorite holiday movies. Don’t get me wrong, there is a high chance of catching me watching these movies at another time of year, but I almost always watch these movies at some point between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Right now, it’s The Family Stone. The others are: The Holiday, Elf, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Love Actually. And maybe Out Cold Then of course there all the true classics like Home Alone  that I somehow don’t own, but manage to catch on my parents cable when I am home. Any overlap?

And speaking of Home Alone, my friend was wearing this awesome Christmas shirt for a holiday run this weekend. I think I need one.

If we were sipping eggnog this afternoon, I would tell you that I finally roasted a chicken again. It only took 3 or 4 years to get around to it, but it was just as tasty as I remember. This time it was only The Sexy Master Electrician and I, so I have plenty of leftovers to make into soup. Which soup is the question.

Sunday 41 (2)If we were having eggnog this afternoon, I would tell you that I have some very large presents and I and not entirely sure if they are going to fit in my car home. My little yarn tree is half hidden!  TSME may have to drop one off with his truck as he passes through to Iowa before I head home.

If we were having eggnog this afternoon, I would ask if you had seen this cool new illuminated bike path. I want to ride on it!

Sunday 41 (1)

The dogs are excited about the snow up here

If we were drinking boozy eggnog this afternoon, I would ask if you caught any of the meteor shower this weekend. TSME was dog sitting again for the past week in Jackson Creek so I joined him for the weekend.  Friday night we were able to catch a few shooting stars through the clouds. I need to remember my telescope next time he is up here.

Sunday 41 (4)If we were having some eggnog this afternoon, I would show you the picture of my friend’s daughter in the cape I made here. I had extra from AJ’s birthday cape, and grey left over from something else, so I made her a cape too. I was worried it the neck was going to be too small, but it seems to fit just fine!

 

 

 

Sunday Afternoon Coffee [Thanksgiving Edition]

Cali and coffee

Cali and coffee

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, it would come with a lovely view, (below). The Sexy Master Electrician (TSME) is dog sitting again, one of them is above. After spending Thanksgiving in South Dakota, I came back yesterday to hang out with him up here. Too bad the hot tub is not working, I needed it after all the horrible driving on terrible roads.

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SD Sunset

SD Sunset

Mom is ready for Christmas

Mom is ready for Christmas

 

If we where having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I made an excellent sweet potato pie with a pecan crust for Thanksgiving. I highly recommend trying it. Just know that it does take a lot of time, you probably want to make it the day before if you can.

The last home game before cat-griz

The last home game before cat-griz

If we were having coffee this afternoon, and you were a Bobcat fan, we would talk about the disappointing loss to the Griz last weekend. At least we still made it to the playoffs. Yesterday we played my parent’s and sibling’s alma mater SDSU, and unfortunately lost on our own field.

IMG_2591If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would update you on the progress of my current quilt. So far the fabric has been cut, and I only see one major sewing issue with a tiny piece that I can re-cut. I want to see if I can figure out how to sew it… but I don’t know that it is possible. If this is the biggest problem I have, I’ll be happy.

If we were having coffee this afternoon I would tell you that TSME is watching little Roo too! And Sage of course. But let’s be honest, I am more excited about Roo.

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would ask you if you have checked out the Architect’s Wife in Bozeman yet. It’s the wonderful creation of interior designer, Abby Hetherington. It is full of amazing furniture, accessories and anything else you may need while shopping to create the perfect room. It’s all contemporary and modern pieces for the most part. A great change from the typical heavy furniture you find out here.

Art piece by Tink Studio and awesome chair at the Architect's Wife

Art piece by Tink Studio and awesome chair at the Architect’s Wife

Speaking of Abby’s new store, TSME and I were lucky enough to be invited to her appreciation dinner a couple Friday’s ago in the showroom. The brought in tables and chairs, but, even though it was dinner, it was all finger food. Everyone was free to move around as they pleased, eat as much as they want. It was awesome, especially the grilled cheese sandwiches, (which we have gone on to recreate), and macarons that I had been craving for awhile now.  The next Friday was her grand opening that was completely different party and just as fun. I think it safe to say that she is going to kill it. Especially with Lucy by her side.

AND because I have to show the proof before he destroys it, images of TSME with Princess Chunk. He claims to hate cats. He claims he is just biding his time before somehow getting rid of her, but I think he’s full of crap.

Brushing her to get on her good side and letting her hang out while watching a movie

Brushing her to get on her good side and letting her hang out while watching a movie

 

The Island’s New Stain

As you may or may not recall, I have a large list of projects to do in my little apartment. way back in the spring, when the weather finally became warm enough for me to want to work outside and I finished my kitchen island over the course of a couple weekends. I could have finished it in one, but I had other things to do outside so I broke it up between the stain and poly coat. It was pretty easy to do, but a bit messy. You’ve been warned.

Island finished (2)I picked up a dark stain, Ebony, for the top and lower slates, thinking that the grey paint I already had for the base was lighter. It is not. It is the same stuff I used on the little dresser. So I decided to keep it white and maybe paint it later. It could probably use a touch up, but it looks pretty good as is. Plus, the idea of all the taping I would have to do was a bit overwhelming.

As I mentioned before, this wasn’t too difficult of a project, just a bit messy and takes some time to let the stain dry in between. And the taping took awhile too.  So here it is in steps, mostly based on the stain instructions. I highly recommend wearing gloves while  staining!

1. Sand the surfaces to be stained. I started with a larger grit, 80, then went to 120 and finally went over it a third time with 220. There was one spot that never seemed to lighten up, and it was a bit difficult to cover with the new stain. Some sort of oil or something must have gotten on it. Anyway, I gave up sanding it forever, cause it clearly wasn’t going anywhere.

Island (1)2. Clean the surfaces to be stained well. I did this once before and after taping everything else off. And then tape it all off to get ready to stain.

Island (9) Island (3)

3. Apply your stain. I used a normal paint brush to apply it quickly and then wiped it with a rag. After letting it dry the prescribed amount of time, I applied a second coat the same way.

Island (5)Island (10) 4. After the final coat is fully dry, us a poly to to seal the top, following the directions to the T. Let it dry and enjoy! Island finished (1)

The Squash is Back

So. It’s time to come to terms with the fact that fall is here. I have been in denial. The weather here also seems to be in denial. Minus a day here or there, it has been beautiful. But the cold nights are here to stay along with extra blankets, hot tea in the evening and sweaters. So. It’s time to accept that winter is around the corner.

There is one thing that makes me very happy about all of this. Squash is in season. Apparently I am a weird one for liking squash so much. I do recall posting some squash recipes last fall and winter. And the year before that. And the one before that. Maybe I do have a problem… I will apologize for this post and I’m sure the next one or two up front. Then we can move on while you roll your eyes at me and go make this delicious dish!

turkey pumpkinI have stuffed peppers before, but not pumpkins. This trumps peppers. The recipe is savory and the texture is perfect. I will admit that The Sexy Master Electrician demanded some sort of spiciness be added, so we added some cajun seasoning.  We didn’t add a ton, just a tiny bit to give it a little kick, but I don’t think it needed it at all.  The only snag we had was our larger pumpkin and squash. They were bigger than the softball size recommended, so it did take about an hour or so to bake through.

Turkey Stuffed Pumpkins

4 servings

  • 2 softball-sized pumpkins or kaboucha squash ( or one of each!)
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 4 slices sourdough bread, diced into chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 white onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6-8 sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • salt, pepper and olive oil to taste
  • 1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning (recipe below) more or less
  1. Cut the top off of the pumpkin, make the opening wide enough to stuff. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Season with salt and pepper, then steam or roast until tender (about 15 minutes on 350′ F)
  2. Meanwhile, soak the bread in the cream for 5-10 minutes until moist.
  3. In a medium saute pan over medium heat, caramelize the onions, garlic, and sage in the butter until translucent for about 3 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the pumpkins and olive oil. Mix with hands to incorporate thoroughly.
  5. Arrange pumpkins onto an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Lightly pack the meat mixture into the two pumpkins until all of the filling is used.
  6. Bake in oven 35-45 minutes at 350′ F or until internal temperature reaches 165′ F.
  7. Allow to cool 10 minutes, cut in half and serve.

Enjoy!

Emeril’s Cajun Seasoning Slightly Spicier
  • 2 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  1. Combine and store in an air tight jar.
  2. Season with cation, it is spicy, in my opinion anyway.

An Evening in Livingston

IMG_2486I’ve mentioned Livingston before. It’s a smaller town on the other side of Bridger Pass, about 30 minutes from Bozeman. It’s know for the trains, wind and as an artist town. It’s also pretty fun, but since it’s over the mountain and through the canyon, we don’t go over often. There are many great spots to eat and drink and have fun at, I think we need to get over there more often.

The Saturday after Halloween, The Sexy Master Electrician and I found ourselves over there for a night out. We went over for dinner and to watch a friend’s band play later on. (I apologize for not taking many pictures, I wasn’t really planning on posting it!) We crashed at my boss’s studio that evening and proceeded to spend most of Sunday on the east side of the Bridgers.

I loved the neon owl

I loved the neon owl

We started a pre-dinner drink and some MSU football at The Owl. It was pretty quite inside, so we could actually hear each other talk. The bartender was a super nice old guy who was great to chat with and not too nosy or talkative.

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From there we headed over to The Second Street Bistro for a late dinner. It was amazing. We kind of went all out and did a full bottle of wine, an appetizer and dessert with our main course dishes with post dinner tea and espresso. I felt like I might burst when it was over and I wanted to eat more. We had the nicest waitress and, whether it was the later time or their typical attitude, I am not sure, we were there for two hours, and never felt rushed or like we were a bother. It was great. Oh and in case you were wondering, we had crab cakes, steak frites, the ravioli special and creme brulee.

This little hippo salt holder was adorable

This little hippo salt holder was adorable

After dinner we rolled ourselves next door to the Murray Bar.  Some of the band members of The BusDriver Tour playing with a few friends. They were really fun and the bar was surprisingly quite. We heard that the town blew it out the night before and there was a Day of the Dead party going on that night as well. We didn’t mind it at all. We enjoyed some cocktails and the music before calling it a night and crashing at the studio.

One of the pieces at the studio using freestalls from home.

One of the pieces at the studio using freestalls from home.

The next morning, at the recommendation of my boss, we headed to Pinky’s Cafe for breakfast. Another delicious meal. I had a weird breakfast potpie that was combination of ham, sausage, bacon, gravy, egg and biscuits. The cafe was tiny and reminded me of places in New York. It was great little cozy spot.

Main Street Livingston, with Pinky's at the end!

Main Street Livingston, with Pinky’s in the middle!

IMG_2493We headed south from town down to Yellowstone to spend some time in the Boiling River. It was perfect, until more people started showing up. Then we went back to Livingston for lunch and a beer. There is a new brewery in town, and we were hoping they served food, but not yet. So we went back to Gil’s Goods for a quick bite.

Yummy Gil's burger with mini pickle

Yummy Gil’s burger with mini pickle

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Always great and went back to the Katabatic Brewery. It just opened in September. It was pretty good. I only had enough energy for one beer,  but TSME tried a couple different options. The space was nice too. I want to go  back when I am not so tired with a group to try it again.

IMG_2498 IMG_2497Even though we slept in that morning, I was exhausted by the time we left the brewery and headed home. Maybe it was the Halloween shenanigans from the night before, maybe it was the hot water in the river. Either way, I was happy to be home, but I think we need to spend more time exploring or just enjoying Livingston.

 

Sunday Afternoon [forty]

IMG_2480If we were having coffee right now I would tell you about Halloween! I broke out the cotton candyland queen dress, messed up my make-up, lipstick on teeth a must, and made a sash to become Miss Nothing. The Sexy Master Electrician went as a blacksmith last weekend and Dexter this weekend.  Last weekend we had two parties to attend. One was heavily children loaded. But there were twin chicken toddlers that were pretty funny. And a little girl who thought my drunken beauty queen costume was actually a pretty princess. The second was all grown ups, more yummy snacks and puppies.

TSME napping with Winnie. Halloween takes it out of him.

TSME napping with Winnie. Halloween takes it out of him.

Skull Cake!

Skull Cake!

This weekend we went downtown with friends. It was a blast and when it was over, leftover cold fried chicken never tasted so good.

Dexter

Dexter

The Drunken Miss Nothing and The Evil Queen

The Drunken Miss Nothing and The Evil Queen

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you about Rooster and Sage. Rooster, aka Roo, is a teacup yorkie puppy. Sage is his much older golden retriever roommate, who is sort of a fan, but not really yet. They are TSME’s cousin’s dogs. He was asked to babysit for a long weekend, so I of course tagged along. So damn cute. I did feel bad for maybe neglecting Sage a little bit, but it’s really hard when there is a tornado of small dog in your lap.

Roo and his Shunk

Roo and his Shunk

aurd Dog

Guard Dog

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If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would tell you that I finally went into the Story Mansion. It’s the largest of them all on Willson Street where they collected. It was a frat house back in the day up until my first year of college. Somehow I never ended up at any parties there. Anyway. It is now offices and the first floor is an event venue. So I went mostly to see the inside. The mash potato bar (brilliant) and s’more bar were and extra bonus.

Mashed Potato Bar

Mashed Potato Bar

S'more bar

S’more bar

If we were having coffee right now, I would tell you there are many times, I couldn’t agree with this more.

And this is also very true: “In 1964, Pablo Picasso was asked by an interviewer about the new electronic calculating machines, soon to become known as computers. He replied, “But they are useless. They can only give you answers.”  I probably need to unplug a bit more… via This is Glamorous.

If we were having coffee right now I would tell you that I am so happy that I will be able to play volleyball next week. After sitting out three games over this dumb twisted ankle. I am ready to play again. Yeah!

Team Short Shorts!

Team Short Shorts!

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I would scream it out again how happy I am for my friend’s Melissa and Kurt. They finally got engaged while in Italy. And it sounds like Kurt did a fantastic job. She had no idea. Well done Kurt!

If we were having coffee this afternoon, I show you this cool idea for highways. When are we going to get it here?

DCIM100GOPROIf we were having coffee this afternoon, it would have been in the Boiling River. After a night out in Livingston, we headed down there to enjoy the river. The weather was grey and cold, and when we arrived, there was only five of us. It was perfect. We were there for about an hour when more people started showing up and we decided it was time to leave.

DCIM100GOPRO DCIM100GOPRO