August 28, 2009

Cheers for charity

Tonight Jonna, Linds H., Whit and I went to a charity wine tasting event for the Laramie Hospice.

I wasn't sure what to expect because too many times I've gone to these things and they just haven't been impressive. It didn't take long to realize, however, that this one was fantastic!

There was a great variety of wines to sample - not only in the number of kinds available, but in the quality!

And the food was amazing. I loved the tuna on what we called a veggie crisp and we all raved over the Gorgonzola and sausage mac and cheese. It was truly delicious (and no, Linds C., I'm not becoming a pasta person!).

All-in-all I would totally recommend this event and plan to attend every year!

August 25, 2009

Tantalizing tomato

I love roasting veggies. But of all the veggies I've roasted I have never tried tomatoes.

Until tonight.

They came out quite delicious! I ate them by themselves, but could totally imagine them in salads or pasta, or with fresh mozzarella, or on French bread smeared with roasted garlic. (And no, Linds C., I haven't become a huge pasta eater!)

To make them:

Cut the stem end off of however many Roma tomatoes you want to make. Slice them in half lengthwise. Clean out the seeds and membranes and place them insides up on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with oil.

Drizzle olive oil over the tomatoes, shake a few twists of a salt grinder over them, and sprinkle with fresh thyme to your liking.

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 45 minutes.


August 23, 2009

First Supper

Tonight is the first night Todd and I had a meal AT the table.

As a moved-in-together couple we've already done the first dinner and first bottle of wine thing, but tonight was the first night we could actually sit and eat and SEE the table.

The main dish - fish - I overcooked terribly, but the rest was freaking amazing.

I concocted a rosemary sauce for the fish that was finger-licking good (How boastful! But it's true...); made a side of pasta tossed in olive oil, a little salt, pepper and parmesan; and fried zucchini that brought a tear to our eyes - if I say so myself!

What did I love best about this meal? Well, first, that Todd loved it - minus the grotesquely overcooked fish. Secondly, that we had it at the table like normal human beings. Third, the new brand of wine I'm drinking obnoxious quantities of (ever tried Sebeka Shiraz from South Africa? Do. But give it a chance to breathe a little. You won't regret this.)

Most of all...I'm loving that we're sitting at the table together - him polishing all his leather work-gear, a.k.a. holsters, belts, etc. and I'm sitting here drinking delicious Sebeka. But we're doing it together.

I love dinner around the table at my new - temporary - house.

Fried Zucchini:
1 fresh zucchini sliced into 1/2 inch slices

Dip slices into 2 lightly beaten eggs. Dredge dipped slices through mixture of seasoned (not Italian seasoned) bread crumbs mixed with grated Parmesan cheese. Use a bit more cheese than bread crumbs.

Place breaded slices in a large pan with olive oil heated high enough to fry. Cook to even brownness on both sides.

Serve. Then cry for the sheer deliciousness of it all.

Rosemary dip for fish: (The amounts here a bit rough. I was concocting! Taste it before serving and fix what you need.)
3 BIG sprigs of Rosemary
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 heaping tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
couple shakes ground black pepper
2 green onions
2 cap-fulls of lime juice

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well mixed.

Dip (overcooked) fish in sauce.

Love it.

August 20, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just kidding. I obviously know it's not at all November.

But it didn't feel like it this morning as I stood for an hour and cleaned a 20 lb. turkey I had cooked through the night.

Why in the world was I doing this if it isn't anywhere near Thanksgiving?

Good question!

Last year, there was a bin of turkeys on sale at the grocery store for $6.99 flat. I thought, that's amazing! I picked out the biggest one I could find with the intention of freezing it until Thanksgiving this year.

I was right on track until...Todd and I went to my place to get a load of stuff a couple nights ago and we accidentally left the turkey on the kitchen table. Needless to say, it was thawing quite nicely when I went over the next day.

I was afraid it would be ruined if I tried to refreeze it, so I decided to just cook it. I threw it in the oven overnight and at 6 a.m. this morning I was standing in the dark cleaning my bird.

Happy Thanksgiving!

August 19, 2009

Moving continued...


An interesting twist to the moving-in bit...

Todd bought a house!!!!

Last night!!!

A BEAUTIFUL, AMAZING, PERFECT house that came completely out of the blue.

Ok, so the offer was simply accepted and of course lots of things can happen between now and getting the keys, but I am of the optimistic sort.

And...I had a good feeling about it based on a few "signs." I'll talk about those later, after it's all said and done.

I am so happy and proud of him!

August 17, 2009

But I want to

I went to Todd's on Sunday to do some laundry. Since I had time to spare I decided to start measuring rooms and furniture to see how things- if things - could really fit.

It was while I was in the "master bedroom" that I had a revelation...

If we swapped out night stands, moved that dresser there...hmmm...

By crackie - I think this would work!

I immediately texted Todd my theory and that I might bring a few kitchen things over.

I imagined a rather leisurely move in, but when I got his response of, "That's great!" something snapped inside. It was like a fire had been lit under my...butt.

I drove to my house and honest-to-goodness packed half of my kitchen into my car right then and there. As I drove that first packed car to my new home I texted him that much of my kitchen would be there when he got home. As well as myself.

Then the Sugarland song "Want To" came on the radio. It is THE ONLY song of their's that I like. I pulled into my new neighborhood with the windows down, the song blaring, and me singing at the top of my lungs.

My neighbors are gonna love me!

Whole world could change in a minute
Just one kiss could stop this spining
We could think it through
But I don't want to, if you don't want to
We could keep things just the same
Leave here the way we came, with nothing to lose
But I don't want to, if you don't want to

But I want you

August 15, 2009

Dream home

Last year I had four homes - D.C., Vail, Laramie, and finally Cheyenne. I guess there were actually five if you count my parent's house, which ended up being a brief visit versus the indefinite stay I was expecting.

After all my moving around last year I resolved that 2009 would be the year of being settled. But out of the blue came Todd, my boyfriend of the last several months, and wouldn't you know it? I've decided to move again - with him.

This is all very exciting, but it's a first for me. I've never lived with a "boy," well, ever, (unless you count Tyler a couple of times) and especially not one that was of any real meaning to me (you know I love ya' T!). I just simply never got that far down that path with someone. Now, here I am doing exactly what I didn't expect to do in 2009: house hunting.

Though Todd and I have basically been living together for months now, it took me some time to be ok with a formal, combining-our-stuff-"for-real" move.

He had been asking me to make this move for a while. But for a very independent, very self-sufficient girl like myself the idea of not having control over my own space where I make all the decisions, and honestly, where I will go if for some crazy reason he and I don't work out - was scary.

But one day, a few weeks ago when my boss and I were talking about this she made a point that really resonated: Life is short. If you even think you want to do this, you should. You won't know if it will work until you try, and if it doesn't then you look for someplace else.

Actually, there were several points in there. And they were all very black and white and to the point. She made it sound so simple! I knew I wanted to do this, and surely I could do something so straightforward and easy!

But a few days later I regressed to my old ways. A gal like me doesn't just change overnight! My independent, single-girl mentality reared up and I had what I'm calling "My Last Stand." I insisted we find a new place together...a place that would be our space and not one or the other's with the other person just making some room.

He agreed and we spent lots of time considering and talking about the merits of countless homes for both rent and sale. After seeing what was out there I got fed up and told Todd I've decided his place does make the most sense. It's a good space, and we'd save lots - let me emphasize LOTS - of money each month, and I was ready for us to just be in a place together. Wait - what's that I said?? Yeah...I know. I just needed to go through a process.

Then last night at his place we started mentally moving me in. It became pretty obvious that unless you see being able to open your dresser from the bed a benefit, it was going to be pretty cramped. It would work, but certainly not comfortably, and I've got to say...after eight years of living in a studio I've found my apartment now nearly palatial. Going back to creative living would be hard to do!

So, we decided we're kind of back to square one. I have spent the entire day driving by places and talking to landlords and looking at hell holes I have no desire to "make a go of."

But maybe that's what it's all about, making a go of something. It's not about where we live, but the living together and making room for one another physically, emotionally and mentally.

I'm learning that.

But I'd still like to know if anyone knows of a cute 3-bedroom...!

August 14, 2009

Out of stock

I got several comments on the "How much is the doggie in the window" post encouraging me to go back and spring ol' Ray Romano from the clink.

Out of curiosity I just called the animal shelter to see if he was still available...

He was adopted LAST NIGHT!

I don't know if I should be happy he was adopted by someone, or sad that someone wasn't me.

I'm thinking...maybe Ray Romano was like the outfit in a window you fall in love with and run in to buy, but wish you had never bought once you get it home. (Ok, I'm telling myself this to cheer up.)

To stick with the shopping metaphor: I sadly scrolled through the shelter's catalog of available dogs thinking none of them would compare to Ray when I saw this...

This little 4-month-old girl's name is Tomato! She has three sisters and one brother. Apparently, they are a border collie/heeler mix.

I don't know anything about a heeler, but darn it if she isn't freaking cute!

Back to the store!

August 11, 2009

How much is that doggie in the window

I want a dog more than anything.

I've been desperately wanting one for years but couldn't have one in D.C., because it was against my apartment building's rules. And, even if I could have had a dog I wouldn't have. I just couldn't justify having one in my studio apartment or with the lifestyle I had.

But when I decided to leave D.C., the vision of my new Western life very clearly included a dog. Even more specifically, a dog poking out of the window of the Jeep Wrangler I've always wanted, ears flapping, tongue dangling, as we bounced through the mountains on our way to some wilderness adventure.

So...that hasn't happened yet.

I've been really wanting to change that, despite my current landlord's policy against pets, which doesn't seem to matter since two of the four apartments have one.

Since I have been talking about this forever, my boyfriend Todd and I went to the animal shelter to just...look around. If you had any inkling of how badly I want a dog you would wonder if I was a masochist for doing this. Why would anyone go to an animal shelter and torture themselves staring at penned up puppies if they weren't going to walk out of there with one??

I did it anyway.

I'd been looking around online at dogs available for adoption and didn't really see anything I loved. I realized this may be a longer process than I initially thought. I might have to "shop around," so to speak. Maybe I would find my dream dog in Laramie or Ft. Collins, Colo.,...

What harm could a little trip to the animal shelter do?

Silly Kim.

In a cold, barren cell sat Ray Romano: a 6-month-old black lab puppy who was darling. Aside from his name, which I would promptly change, he was just the right kind of lab - no snouty nose; long and lean, not stubby...and he loved me. He cuddled up against my hands through the cage. He howled when I walked away. He reminded me of my family's old dog Rajah when he was a puppy...

OMG. I started crying (and am getting misty-eyed now!). I wanted Ray Romano. I wanted to walk out with little Ray right then. But I couldn't. Todd and I have decided to try living together (more on this later) and we're in the midst of figuring out where that will be. Until that's settled it didn't seem to make sense to get Ray Romano then.

I had to leave. I couldn't take it!

Window shopping for puppies is soooo not a good idea.

August 8, 2009

Race for the Cure

My boyfriend and I, and several hundred others, participated this morning in the Wyoming Race for the Cure.

I love this race. I love everything it stands for. Runners can be very supportive people. They're competitive, of course, but at the finish line you'll usually see many cheering other racers on.

There's just something even more encouraging about Race for the Cure though. That person crossing the finish line may be running in honor of a lost loved one, or maybe they're a survivor showing the world and themselves that after beating cancer they can do anything.

I get kind of emotional just typing about it.

Since I really believe in this race, and I've lost several relatives not to breast cancer, but to cancer in general, I try very hard not to miss it. I ran the national race in D.C., each year I was there but one, and I missed Wyoming's race last year because, ironically, I was in D.C., for a wedding.

Not this year.

From one capitol to another...

Some dedicated runners...

Todd and I after finishing. He kicked butt! And I must say I'm rather proud of my time as well...

For Dad, Grandma, Dustin, Aunt JoAnn, Teresa and others...

August 7, 2009

They eat?

Tonight was Ft. Collins Friday - an outing I tried to start last year. The intention is to take one Friday each month to go to Ft. Collins, Colo., and have a nice dinner at a fun ethnic or non-chain restaurant.

Sadly, we only did it once last year, so it kind of became an annual event versus a monthly one.

But I'm changing that!

We started the new era of Ft. Collins Fridays off strong with dinner at Nyala, an Ethiopian restaurant. I'd eaten Ethiopian a few times in D.C., but the experience was a first for the rest of the group. I am pleased to say everyone was super into the idea of trying it, and everyone - EVERYONE - loved it!

This shouldn't be a surprise given what others had to say about the place. I'd heard from several reliable sources it was very good and really traditional. In fact, some of the dishes weren't available because, according to our server, the owner makes them and she was in Ethiopia as we sat there visiting family and gathering more ingredients.

That could have been a tall tale, but I chose to believe it.

Our reservation wasn't until a little later, so we tried Cafe Vino for a drink beforehand. I've been wanting to try this place for a long time, but I had no idea how freaking amazing it would be! We look like a bunch of lushes, but it really wasn't that bad. Everyone ordered a white wine flight. For $11 or $12 you got three half glasses of wine. It was awesome! Molly, Don and Annie enjoying their flights...

April, me, Todd and Brandon sipping ours...

Another photo of an ENORMOUS Brandon hand. He really had that glass singing, which, I guess, when you have hands that huge shouldn't be too hard...

So, the food at Cafe Vino looks amazing. Thin, crusty pizzas; cheese plates; tapas - all very Napa-esq. I'm eyeing the next table's pizza...Y.U.M. This will likely be the next Ft. Collins Friday, FYI...

Inside Nyala...

We opted for a couple bottles of wine - one a honey wine that was good, but waaay to sweet for me, and this one, which is from Adis Ababa, the capitol of Ethiopia. It was quite tasty...

Cheers to the 2nd Ft. Collins Friday!

Everyone reaching to try the first platter of food to come out. You use your hands and the injera bread they give you. I had a hard time with injera the first time I tried it in D.C. Carrie beat me to trying Ethiopian and wasn't a fan. Her description? Injera is like the lining of a cow's stomach. Imagine having that in your head the first time?! I didn't share this with anyone before they tried it last night. The taste of injera is hard to describe, but I think Don hit the nail on the head - it tastes like, "an undone sourdough-tasting pancake." That's about right!

We ordered one of each of the combos: one lamb combo, chicken, veggie, and beef. Each combo comes with three little "piles" and two sides. It sits on another injera pancake...

When I sent out the evite about Ethiopian all the expected jokes came out: "They eat?" "We'll be sharing a grain of U.N. rice," and so forth and so on. Not one of us, however, left that place hungry. Ethiopian food, likely because of the injera, is extremely filling! You can tell from the cleared platters it was well liked too...

You can't take this group anywhere... April waiting for the bathroom and pretending to be a "starving Ethiopian" reaching for food...

Further evidence that its not advisable to be seen in public with us: Molly and Todd unable to resist the urge to use the table baskets as costumes...

A real testiment to the deliciousness of the food? Brandon, who is using injera as a mask and who we clearly can't take anywhere - and who I was sure would be the hardest one to please with Ethiopian food - said, and I quote, "It just makes me want to be a missionary in Ethiopia to eat their food!"

That's quite the stamp of approval!

August 3, 2009


I'm back!

July was a killer on my schedule! - and my ability to keep my little blog updated.

After trips to Vail, Dubois, Wyo., Lamar, Colo., and Vegas, and several days of cowgirling it up at Frontier Days I am ready for a quiet August.

However, if you know me that just means a little more time doing stuff closer to home - not a kabash on doing stuff in general.

So, I'm back and will be much more consistent in my updating.


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