Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I'm wearing green & orange today...are you? Actually, just this morning I found out that I'm representing Irish unity because I am sporting both green & orange. I had no idea that the orange on the flag represents the Protestants and the green represents the Catholics - the white in the center represents peace. The idea being, Green + White + Orange = people living together in peace. Cool, huh? Yesterday I cooked an Irish dinner (no, I didn't boil meat!) by making a yummy Shepard's Pie (Real Simple version with ground turkey, not the traditional version with Lamb) and I made a loaf of Irish Soda Bread. Of course, I didn't take pictures of the meal but I did glean two pics from the internet (see above) to show you (approximately) what my Irish Soda bread looked like. I can't believe how sticky it was! My loaf didn't look very neat (like in the first pic) and it was too sticky/soft to really cut the requisite X in the top of the dough so I was not sure what to expect when it was time to come out of the oven. I was concerned it was just going to be a yucky blob that we couldn't eat. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it had risen and looked sort-of like the picture from the recipe! I don't know if Urban Cowboy enjoyed it (we did not enjoy one another's company over dinner due to the ever-sensitive and negative topic of me & and my current relations with is family) but I did. The bread was very crusty on the outside and very moist on the inside. It was more dense than I bargained for but it was yummy. According to the recipe, the bread is notorious for drying out very quickly so if it doesn't get eaten in one sitting it may be very "rock-like" by the next day. There are only 2 of us in the house so, needless to say, we still have 1/2 a loaf! I guess we'll see tonight at dinner if it dried out and is as hard as a rock. I did wrap it in foil and store it in a plastic Ziploc while it was still warm so I'm hoping it's not too dry.

In other news...I purchased curtains for the living room on Saturday! Ho-hum news, you say? Au contraire, my friends! It is exciting news for several reasons: 1) I saved a lot of money because I had coupons and gift cards!, 2) I saved a lot of time because I didn't have to make them since I found curtains in almost the same exact fabric as the fabric I had chosen to make them out of!, 3) they look awesome in our living room and really complete the space!, 4) now we can hang out in the living room at night without feeling totally exposed to the neighborhood! All we had on the windows before were sheers (which I'm keeping up) and it was unnerving to know that people could drive by and look in and see us sitting on the couch or doing whatever. Urban Cowboy helped me hang them on the rods and then I installed the tie-back hooks. Overall, they look fabulous! I will take a pic ASAP (I need to clean one area of the room first - it's stacked with random things like birthday presents I need to find homes for!) and post in my Facebook house album.

Oh, and I hope all of you are doing ok in light of rising gas costs and food costs! I almost had a heart attack when my new friend told me how much it was for her to fill up her Suburu Outback! Eegats! My work car needs gas (no, work doesn't provide a car for me - it's just the car I use to drive to work) and I'm scared to go the gas station! However, Urban Cowboy and I spent almost 2 hours at the grocery store yesterday and the end result was a totally stocked pantry/fridge (yea! for menu planning!) and about $45 in savings through buying sale items and using coupons which our grocery store doubles! In the end, we'll actually save $54 because we have a mail in rebate for one item which will make that item free! AND, we earned $.20 off our next gas purchase with our grocery spending so that's, like, more savings! YEA! Urban Cowboy is fanatical about his coupon use and he loves, Love, LOVES to see how much they save us each shopping trip. He's SO devoted, in fact, that whenver we break a % saved record, he posts it on the fridge. (heehee)

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