Things I like, Part one

Those who know me well could tell you this list will not be all inclusive. There will be a lot of entries that involve food. It’s unavoidable. From A-Z, here is a list of the things I like!

A – Aurora Borealis

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I’ve witnessed this phenomenon no more than half a dozen times in my life, and there are only two occasions that really stick out in my memory. Both of these times occurred during my high-school years (which makes sense, as the sun last reached it’s solar maximum between the years of 2000-2002). Each time, it was visible within the Twin Cities. That’s lucky, because the aurora rarely reaches an intensity that allows good displays at our magnetic latitude, and the light pollution of a metropolitan area doesn’t help matters. The sun’s eleven year cycle is approaching it’s solar maximum again right now, but that doesn’t mean every night will include auroral displays. A great way to gauge your chances of seeing the aurora is to check out NOAA’s Space Weather website. If the sun erupts and sends a CME (coronal mass ejection) toward earth, we generally see aurora a few days later, when the ejecta interacts with the geomagnetic field. A large CME, or a direct hit from one can thrust the aurora further south. It’s been awhile, but the sun is pretty active right now, so it’s only a matter of time before we see the aurora again!

B – Bacon

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Who doesn’t like bacon? I think even vegetarians secretly like bacon. While bacon is good alone, it has no problem being integrated into a wide variety of recipes. Anytime I make a dish that includes bacon, I have to make a few extra pieces just for snacking on.

C – Coffee

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You know it, you love it, and you can’t start your morning without it. Except french roast. I don’t have a problem with most dark roast varieties, but I find french roast to have a funny bitter taste that I don’t care for. I swing through McDonald’s drive-thru most mornings on my way to work, and the only thing I get is a large black coffee. I like my coffee with coffee. No cream. No sugar. No flavor shot crap. Give it to me straight up. On occasion, the 20 oz. McDonald’s cup just isn’t enough, and my body requires a trip to Caribou as well. Most of the time, it’s just another cup of black coffee. This time of year though, I have a special place in my heart for Caribou’s pumpkin latte. It’s pretty rare that I’m willing to spend almost $5 for a cup of joe, but pumpkin lattes have control over my wallet.

D – Danish

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I told you there would be multiple food entries. There’s something about that flaky croissant style pastry filled with delicious fruit flavors and/or cream cheese. I have been known to eat four of these in one evening.

E – Eating

Well, this one is obvious. I love food. I cannot believe I couldn’t find a photo of myself eating!

F – Friends

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These three ladies are my besties! From left to right, Beau Hodge, Michelle Harste, and Erin Danielson. These gals are one of the few reasons I ever leave my house.

G – Gravy

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I don’t care what you’re putting it on… whatever it is, it’s just a catalyst for gravy. Sure, I like mashed potatoes, but it’s really all about the gravy. I’ll cover my entire plate with it. If there’s gravy with dinner, the food on my plate is swimming in it.

H – Hawaii

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I’m fairly certain the word, “paradise,” must have been defined after someone visited this place. There aren’t many places on earth where you get this level of beauty day in and day out. We visited Maui on our honeymoon, and I would love to return someday. Everyday was sunny and warm, the air smells like plumeria everywhere you go, and there are fruity cocktails being served all over the place.

I – Icicles

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How tempting is it to bust the longest one of these suckers off the side of your roof and wield it around like some sort of gladiator? Once, a couple winters ago, a couple kids walked right up my front steps while I was sitting on the couch, and busted a few impressive specimens off for some sword fighting. Kids in St. Paul are bold, and have no respect for the property of others. I didn’t really care that they wanted my icicles, but it made me nervous when they started fighting with them in my front yard. Anyway, this isn’t supposed to be a rant about the riff-raff of the North End. Icicles are cool (no pun intended).

J – Jimmy’s

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Beau and I go here every Wednesday for happy hour. Neil and I had our first date here…. and we got married at their event center as well. Many birthdays have been celebrated here as well. A lot of my life’s history has occurred in this place!

K – Kitties!!

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Awww. Look at my precious cat babies! B-Bones is the one wearing the tuxedo. Sadie is all black and is also known as, “Fat Kitty.” She even responds to that name when called. I love my meow-mix faces! When we (by we, I mean myself and the kitties) lived with Michelle, she and I concocted a plethora of stories about the secret life these two lived. B-Bones has owned his own reality and has been a supervisor at the cat treat mines (which he got fired from when they discovered he was driving on cat-nip). Sadie subsequently had to get a job to feed her cat treat addiction after B-Bones was fired. One time (and this one actually happened), B-Bones stole an entire steak off a dinner plate when no one was looking and ran off with it. B-Bones will eat just about anything he can get his paws on. Sadie, however, is only interested in baked goods. For some reason she especially loves cookies, particularly oatmeal cookies. These two are an interesting pair.

L – Lightning

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Here’s a cool shot of a lightning bolt over the Minneapolis skyline. I think weather is cool, especially thunderstorms. My husband thinks I’m a huge dork, because I’m one of those people who is glued to the local news during a severe weather event. I just find the power behind this side of mother nature fascinating.

M – Moscato

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You know I love wine, right? This is one of my favorites. Moscato is very sweet and crisp. Ecco Domani is my favorite brand of moscato. It has a very light fizz to it, and I think that’s why I like it so much. Barefoot also makes a good moscato (you can also get a pink moscato from that brand).

I just don’t have the patience to finish this list right now, but will post the rest of the alphabet in the next few days!

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Assorted mid-week ramblings

I guess I started this blogging thing a few weeks ago… and since then I’ve been pretty busy with random obligations. We’ve taken in three bids on remodeling our ugly bathroom, attempted writing “thank-you” notes to our wedding guests (does everyone take two months to get through these, or am I just outta control?), and I’ve also been assesing my BRCA2 mutation+ situation (I’m sure I’ll have a post regarding that in detail at some point in the near future).

I must confess, I was just distracted by some dude on the X-Factor singing some Sting on my TV. Sting is a guilty pleasure of mine. Is that considered a guilty pleasure, or is Sting too classic to be considered as such? Side note – I am not intentionally watching X-Factor. It just so happens that upon returning home this evening, I turned on the TV, began writing this blog, and never changed the station. But then some guy and his buddies started singing this Sting song I like… and…. shit…. this is how I wasted two nights a week for four years after falling in love with David Cook the first time I watched American Idol.

Rest assured, I will not start watching X-Factor.

I do have guilty pleasures though. I have a thing for Justin Timberlake… and the song, “Moves Like Jagger” by  Maroon 5. I do not believe those are actually considered “guilty pleasures” by women ages 16-40, right? It’s the same with men of that age range vs. Katy Perry… you can’t help it.

I also like Cold Play. I like them a lot. My husband hates them. I don’t understand why so many people have a problem with them.

I think Simon from American Idol/X-Factor is sexy. There. I said it. Now we can move on.

I made a boston cream pie yesterday. It was pretty flipping tasty. I tried to add a picture of it to this blog, but it wouldn’t upload because I mistakenly started this blog in Internet Explorer and NOT Google Chrome. Internet Explorer ruins everything. EVERYTHING. I just have to break the habit of automatically starting IE on start-up instead of a more superior internet browser.

Have I ever told you how much I love wine? All kinds…. except Chardonnay and Merlot. I’m not sure why, but I can’t stand those two varietals. When it comes to white, I prefer a Moscato or a Riesling. Red, and I’m 100% for a really good Chianti or a distant second place is Shiraz. I’ve noticed more and more places providing Moscato lately. Two years ago, you’d be lucky to find more than two or three Moscato selections in most liquor stores. Today, I can find six different Moscatos at the Cub Foods by my home. I’m sure the excessive sweetness draws non-winos to the beverage, but this variety has exploded in the midwest in the last two years.

Chianti, on the other hand, is still not easily aquired. I’m fairly certain this varietal is only produced in Italy, and  I’m still hard pressed to find more than two Chiantis in most liquor stores. If you’ve never had it, it’s a wonderful red wine. It’s very acidic and has a lovely cherry flavor to it. I’ll even drink it with fish. Yep, RED wine and seafood. I’m living on the edge.

I’m starting to get sick of typing, so I think I’ll wrap it up. My husband is going to DC for work tomorrow and Friday, and then his band is playing a show on Saturday. This will likely result in another blog at some point in the next three days, as I will be home alone for extended periods of time. A “list of the things I like” (“a picture of a pony and a VCR” could be included) sounds like an upcoming title.