8.21.2013

Ansel iPhone

For some odd reason I got the idea in my head that I had been doing a phenomenal job on blogging lately, well, when I logged on today and realized that I had A) forgotten my password and B) saw that for the month of August I have only posted once it occurred to me that I was lying to myself. Ooopsy.

Another thing that has recently occurred to me, is why you get vacation time, I have been working at the same company for close to two years. In those two years, one would gather approximately four weeks of vacation time (insert laying on a white sand beach, with a cabana boy brining you freshly made fruit cocktails, while you watch the water water crash just below your toes thought now). Well, being the young and dumb, the terminology my father often uses to describe folks my age, I have decide to use minimal vacation time. Actually, only about ohhhh maybe 5 or 6 days  out of 730 days. Young and Dumb to a T. Today, I realized this is what it feels like to be worn out. You know, the feeling when you have to get out of bed at 5:30 to be at work prior to 7 in order to get a big smiley kick-start on your day and projects. Okay, okay...so I know that I am a late work day riser compared to most people...
I will admit that I have become quite the aficionado when it comes to planning trips around days that I know I can work from home, early release days, etc. So, if I have learned one thing...it is how to not use up those hard earned vacation days.
So, here is my dilemma. I have hours of vacation. How do I use it? Of course, go on a trip. Well, that sounds very enticing - I would love to just hop like a bunny onto a plane and jet to some far off location  miles away from the interplanetary headquarters. Well, thats not going to happen - especially on a student loan paying off salary...if you will. Okay, so...what about a staycation (insert, blank stare/eye rolling now) you REALLY think that I want to stay in Orange County? I am counting down the days...okay...somewhat hypothetically...until Spencer and I start the great adventure aka Med student residency.
So for now, I will keep on keeping on in hopes of slating some travel soon! Until then, here are some Ansel iPhones of what I have been doing lately.

This my good friend Katie and I doing a jump photo. It was her last day at Oakley.
I totally miss having her around. 

This is a sunset. Pretty neat looking huh? I took it while I was on a hot date with Spence.
I then posted it to Instagram (@ereederreadsanereader), then proceed to scroll through my feed and see
that 5 of my friends had simultaneously posted the same picture. 

This is one of my best girlfriends, Ella.
We are goofballs and really enjoy wine and little black dresses. 

Fresh Fruit. One of the perks of living in the Southern part of California - still trying to figure out the other perks...

Fisherman's Friend cough drops are like magic. Seriously.
They are cough suppressants, but, also work to cure bad lunch breath (Okay, so I cook with a lot of garlic...)

I found a heads up penny in a parking lot. Then proceeded to go into the grocery story, my total was $7.77.
The lady told me I should buy a lottery ticket, let me tell you...I am not lottery savvy (yes I know I should understand gambling because I went to school in Reno - low and behold I don't). So, I went to 7-11 and bought a ticket. I ended up winning $3.00. 

What's your Riesen for eating all the Riesen's?
New world record set for fastest bowl of candy consumed in our house: 2.5 seconds.
Entire bowl = GONE. 

One of my Canadian homies sent me a dope package from his bike shop Golden Sports.
I am pretty pummmmmmmped. 

This is what I think of my friends. 

I am ready to roll at a moments notice. 

I designed some birthday invitations for my lovely Grandmother.
They turned out really great. I absolutely LOVE doing projects like this.  

Spence and I decided to check out this Aussie pie place that we have been hearing so much fuss about. Well, it turns out is is AWESOME. In one week we ate their twice, PIE NOT ? Pair a meat pie with a good beer = well deserved Friday night. 

I dedicate Saturday's to long rides - generally there is a pit stop at somepoint.
Kit and I were refueling/rehydrating...emphasis on the hydrating part. 

I went to a birthday party at my friends house in Crystal Cove on Saturday. I rolled up and there was a Ferrari in the driveway...it was like being in Aspen all over again. Oh, this was the view... 

I am trying to increase my strategic knowledge. So, I started reading this book that was handed out to us after a women's summit last year. 

Yet again...another heads up penny. I couldn't seem to get this one out of the sludge though...

I am working on a box cave at my desk, so far it looks like it is coming a long nicely. Soon I will be able to take a nap in there and no one will know...

Just finished this book (again with the strategy thing...).
It was good - I found it kind of ironic that our HR/talent team gave us this to read.
Slightly wondering if they read it first?
There are some really GREAT ideas in here - I highly suggest it. 

Hanging out with biking friends. 

I went to Agenda Show, in LBC with Arnette and got this SWEET cap. Snapback swagger....
I went to the health food store (noted vitamins) and found $20 in the parking lot. Spencer and I diligently went to the liquor store behind the health food store and bought boutique beers and sat in the back yard the rest of the day. As Charlie Sheen would say...winning! 

Well, that's all for now kids. I am going to go and google flights and plan for my escape.

Sending Love from SoCal

8.05.2013

Saturday DinDin

Saturday's are always a pretty big day for us in our quaint little Southern California apartment. Chances are we decide to go out to breakfast - boutique donuts (yes, those do exist), the french bakery, american eggs and bacon (extra bacon on the side please) or a good ole' fashion Cowboy breakfast - if you don't know what that is, clearly you haven't lived. After breakfast I normally ride or vice versa and then I find myself basking in the sun either in our neighbors yard or at the beach nose deep in a book (can you be nose deep on a Kindle?).
For those of you that follow me, you know that we plan our meals out per week. I always try to plan out a big time consuming meal for Saturday. Why? Because I have a lot of time on my hands and normally we are both home. This past Saturday's big food adventure? Homemade Gnocchi & Ragu. Two words: HOLY COW! I made sure I packed my lunch last night so that I could take the left overs, leaving Spence with the soup we had Sunday - which was delicious too - but let's be real, this gnocchi blew the rest of our dinners away. So, I thought it would be only right to share....just to defy the myth about this being a difficult meal to make...not true at all and it also produces a lot. Freezer meal? Check!
I originally found this recipe in a vegetarian cookbook that picked up at Barnes & Noble on sale - then as I was cooking I added my own touch to it (of course):

Gnocchi with Ragu (and mushrooms depending on if you have picky eaters - clearly we do here)

Gnocchi 
1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes (normally 2 will do) 
1 large egg
3 cups of flour
Salt, Pepper, and a few dashes of whatever else you deem appropriate

Boil the potatoes for 40 minutes, with the skins on. Once they are done remove and let them cool. Once  they no longer are hot to touch peel the skin off. They suggest a ricer, but, I didn't have one so after a quick little google search I learned that a cheese grater would do the trick. In a large bowl grate the potatoes. In the center of the grated potatoes make a pool, yes...like what you do at Thanksgiving with your mash potatoes for your gravy...place the egg and flour and seasonings in there. Knead with your hands. The dough should be fairly dry - use your best judgement on the consistency. Let the dough hang out on the counter while you get cracking on the Ragu.

Ragu
Olive Oil (or Coconut Oil) 
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Carrots, finely chopped
2 Celery Stocks, finely chopped 
4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed and chopped
6 ounces tomato paste
10 ounces tomato sauce
3 Cups Red Wine (I used a California Table Wine - AKA CHEAP!) 
1 cube chicken bouillon 

In a large pan heat oil. Add chopped veggies and cook until soft - approximately 5-7 minutes. Then add tomato paste and tomato sauce. Cook for another 5-7 minutes. Add cube of bouillon and 3 cups of wine. Let simmer for around 45 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. In a separate bowl fill it with cold water and ice, set aside.

While the sauce is simmering it is time to get back to the gnocchi. Divide into 5 equal parts - roll out into about 3/4" ropes, then cut into 1" intervals. Drop the gnocchi intervals into the boiling water, cook until then float (hint: I gave them a quick stir in order to make sure they didn't stick to the bottom of the pot). Once they are floating fish them out with a strainer and put immediately into ice bath. I cooked my gnocchi in several different batches, which I highly suggest. Once I had all of the gnocchi in the ice bath I then pour them all in the colander.

Once the sauce it done, I put both the sauce and the freshly made gnocchi in a large mixing bowl (this way all the noodles get covered). Dash with some fresh Parm. I also added some sautéed portobello mushrooms on my dish - they were delicious!

So..the best part about this? This dish made enough food for about 6 meals! I took half of the recipe (prior to mixing the noodles and sauce) and put both in different Tupperware's and put them in the freezer.

Yum. So good!

Sending Love From SoCal!