We Are Conditioned.

Last week I wrote about “cutting corners.” All week I have been thinking about that personality trait I had. It has inspired me to try new things. Mr. Bird has been patient with this new trend of mine. Yesterday I felt particularity apt to trying something new in the kitchen. During #clotts last date night we spotted a Zupas and decided it would be better to go into debt then pass this up (just kidding, but almost). We tried a few of the soups and I fell in love with the Mushroom Bisque. I decided I would one day master this soup and make it dairy free. After I finished work yesterday I went to the beloved Winco and picked up the ingredients I needed to make the soup. The recipe looked a little advanced for someone who still burns Ramen Noodles, but that didn’t scare me. When I got home, the mess, I mean cooking, began. I spent an hour and twenty minutes putting together this gourmet soup. I soaked the mushrooms in a separate bowl and used the left over mushroom juice as an ingredient just like the recipe said. I was so proud of myself for following the recipe thus far… I melted the butter, mixed it in with the garlic and onion and poured in the chicken broth. I heard Mr. Bird yell from the other room that it smelled delightful. In my mind I thought, what a cute husband, he took a break out of his super busy study schedule to tell me that my cooking smelt good. I think he has picked up on the fact I need compliments if he wants me to keep feeding him.

While the soup was simmering, I broke out the tomatoes and basil and began making some brushetta for a side dish, because men like multiple dishes of food for a meal. Last night I learned that you make side dishes to feed your husband when the main dish fails. After the soup had simmered for 30 minutes it was time to stir in my homemade dairy free whipping cream. This is where things got a little experimental. I had used my 2% lactose free milk, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla as a substitute. It didn’t change the taste too much, but it was lacking the thick consistency. I thought oh well, Mr Bird can handle soup that’s a little runny. He came into the kitchen as I was trying to clean up some of the dishes so we could play Yahtzee (a dinner tradition) through dinner without me being distracted. Mr. Bird tasted the soup and said it needed a little more salt. I gave him the go ahead to add a little to the pot. About 45 seconds later, he turned around and said “Well I ruined it.” He had poured in about a cup of salt… I just started laughing. I tasted it too and it was ruined. He looked at me and asked if I was mad. I will say that for about 2 seconds I was and then I realized it was just food. We had a good laugh for about 20 minutes. We had cereal and brushetta for dinner. Throughout the night we continued to laugh about the whole ordeal.

There are many life lessons I could get out of this event, like the stomach pain might be worth the dairy, don’t pick recipes with too many directions, and life is too short to be upset, especially when it comes to your marriage or partner. He kept asking all night if I was mad at him. We are a people who are conditioned to think that when something goes wrong that someone has to be MAD. It is okay to make mistakes, that is how we learn. If we become too afraid to try something new because we fear a mistake is at the end, we will no longer try. This event didn’t scare me away from trying new things, it only made me want to try more.


(C)LVB-2014

The Truffle Shuffle

Okay for Mother’s Day this year I thought I would try out my domesticity and make truffles for those who have had motherly influence over me. I haven’t ever made truffles, and the recipe I picked had ingredients that would potentially make me super ill. So I didn’t taste any, that makes me either super brave or dumb… I will go with both. While I was working away like a woman in the 50’s my husband went fishing. So I was left alone, and thank heavens. When I cook I stress my husband out. The reason? My kitchen turns into a hot mess. I have not made a meal or treat without spilling, dropping, or spraying something everywhere. So I turned my hip hop up high, and I did the truffle shuffle. Here is the simple recipe… Okay it’s not even a recipe, it’s like an infograph that I somewhat followed. truffles

Once I finished the truffles I left them in the freezer for a while and would assemble into boxes as I went. I rolled my truffles in coconut, cocoa, and sea salt. NOTE TO SELF, by big rock sea salt not the little stuff… It’s to deceiving for those who might eat. I handed them out, and people were astounded as to how good they were. I don’t know if they were more shocked that I had baked or that they were good. Overall a successful Mother’s Day gift! Don’t worry I made a video while cooking this time to give you a feel on what it’s likes to be in Clare’s Kitchen.

 


 

I Know Everthing

The other day one of my dear friends posted as his Facebook status: “I love when my friends get married or have a kid and immediately they know everything there is to life! Seriously I love it it’s hilarious!!!” Don’t worry this blog post is not defending the idea that when you get married you know everything… Honestly, I think it is quite the opposite. I would gladly accept a virtual slap across the face or poke if I thought this. It would show how naive I was and might indicate I needed some humble pie (you can get the recipe from Pinterest or great one from the book The Help). I have recently received feedback about how “honest” I am on my blog. Some have said you didn’t have to share that silly thing you said, you could have gotten away with not knowing that New Mexico was indeed a state. I say, why hide it. It’s okay, I am an imperfect person who is constantly learning. So today I want to share with you a few things that can testify that I don’t know everything when it comes to marriage or being a wife.

Hosting a Gathering

As a newlywed, I looked forward to hosting the perfect first get together to show off my domestic skills. The time was ripe to host. We decided that we could entertain our guests by making them homemade ice cream with our new machine. I rushed to Trader Joe’s after work and picked up the stuff for the recipe. Mr. Bird had put the bowl in the freezer during lunch so we thought we were ready. We quickly tidied up the house and got the ice cream mix ready. We put it in the machine and turned it on to do its magic. Our guests had even brought over candy to put into the ice cream. We crushed them up and got them ready to go. While we waited for the ice cream to become ice cream we played ticket to ride. Mr. Bird would occasionally check the ice cream’s progress. Let’s just say there wasn’t any. I started laughing and thought this would happen. My first get together, my first big hosting as a wife, and I had failed. I wasn’t too shocked, I have come to learn not to always trust my cooking skills.

Dinner for Four

IMG_4048Mr. Bird and I decided it would be nice to have each set of parents over for dinner. We wanted to thank them for putting so much time, effort, and money into our beautiful wedding. Mr. Bird’s parents came over for dinner and the evening was delightful. My famous chocolate chip cookies were a hit, they were even eating them before dinner. We made them “homemade” spaghetti, I say “homemade” because I thought if you added stuff to the jar stuff it made it homemade. Apparently that is not how it works… The dinner with the Bird’s was very uneventful in terms of cooking mishaps, which I was grateful. You know, first time trying to impress the in-laws, you do not want to mess up! We had a wonderful evening full of laughter and conversation. We even got them to play ticket to ride! I have enjoyed getting to know the Bird’s and am grateful I am part of the Bird Family.

IMG_4060A week later we decided it was time to have my parents over. I had picked out the perfect recipe and it even had said it was “easy.”  It was broccoli and beef Chinese Food style. It was my time to show of my #wifelife and impress them with who I was becoming. Thursday morning I woke up 30 minutes early to get it all ready and put it in the crock pot. I left for work hoping it would turn out. That morning I got called into Jury Duty and was told I may not even be done until 9pm or 10pm. That wouldn’t put a damper on the night since dinner was supposed to be at 6:30pm…(sarcasm) I was able to sway the jury and turn the case into a two-day trial, and so I rushed home. I came home to a full crock pot of burnt beef. Seriously? My parents would be showing up in 45 minutes and I was not about to break one of my parents crowns on rock hard beef. Mr. Bird humored me and tasted it… We decided to make crunch wrap supreme tacos instead. We had one tomato, I started to cut it up, when the cutting board tilted (#minkitchenprobs) and the tomato went down the front of my work clothes and to the ground. After consoling me and encouraging me Mr. Bird ran to the store while I browned the meat. The meal was a hot mess… The idea was to do something “easy” so we could sit and enjoy my parents company. Throughout the night we were all in and out of our mini kitchen pitching in. It was a hot mess. All I could do is laugh though. We had a great time with my parents, it goes to show that food is not always the key ingredient to an event, it’s the people!

So as you can see those are just a few examples of how I don’t know everything. I am positive that there will be more and even excited to learn from my mistakes. Marriage in itself is fun, but all of it is a learning experience. When he put a ring on it, that ring didn’t come with magical powers, it came with a life together of learning through trial and error. The only thing that will get you through it is patience, but mostly a sense of humor!

#WifeLife

I was under the impression that when a woman became a wife she would inherit some sort of super natural powers (just like moms get when they have kids). To my discouragement this did not happen! I woke up to find no cape had been left, no shield, no freakishly powerful bow staff… As this disappointment sunk in, I turned to see my husband sleeping and remembered how much I loved him, that’s when I knew I could rock the #WifeLife.

CookingIt has been exactly 12 days since we got married and all I can say is so far so good ( I think… you would have to ask Mr. Bird on that one). In my reign as wife I have only set the fire alarm off 3 times, it is not my fault that the alarm is super touchy. I didn’t even burn anything, black is just my favorite color so I like to include it in some of my meals, duh… I wanted to impress Mr. Bird and so I decided to start out with a meal with tilapia that looked “complicated” but really wasn’t. It turned out fine and Mr. Bird said he enjoyed it. It wasn’t until I was chit chatting with my sister the next day that I realized I had left out one of the major ingredients, the butter in the sauce. Now the health nut in me could just say I was trying to save us calories, but everyone and their dog knows I am trying to gain weight. So I will just come out and be honest, ya I forgot it, he didn’t starve though! As you can see we have a mini kitchen, and since I am short it is most convenient to put a bench in the middle so I can reach everything. Not to toot my own horn but I have definitely come through on my strengths in my mini kitchen and baked a few batches of cookies, he does enjoy that!

I would say that being a wife does change a few things. You are becoming a new person, trying to mold your old identity in with the new. We were sitting in church on Sunday and they announced that they were excited for Mr. and Mrs. Bird to have moved in. I was excited too, I was looking around to see who they were, when I realized it was me. I was Mrs. Bird. It was the first time in my entire life someone had pronounced my last name right and I didn’t even realize it was mine to enjoy.

I am sure you will hear plenty about the #wifelife from me! I am loving every second of it, and wouldn’t want to have embarked this journey with anyone other than Mr. Bird. When I get my amazing wedding pictures back, I will describe the day and share those moments. It was the perfect fairy tale wedding that went way too fast.

(C)LVB 2014