Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This week's word

di⋅vest [di-vest]

-verb (used with object)
1. to strip of clothing, ornament, ect.
2. to stip or deprive (someone or something), esp. of property or rights; dispossess.
3. to rid or free from
4. Law to take away or alientate (property, rights, ect.)
5. Commerce.
a. to sell off: to difest holdings.
b. to rid through sale.

Well I didn't choose just any word to start off my new word learning. This word has special meaning to Josh and me this week. As we are starting to prepare to move back to NY, we are realizing how much stuff we have accumulated in the past years. So we are going through all of our stuff and purging, or divesting some of it. Most will be donated to charity, however, we are selling some on Amazon. Books, DVD's, Video Games, and CD's have been listed for sale on Amazon, and we've already made $25 by selling only 7 or so things. All our clothes, old housewares and such we are bringing back to NY this weekend when we go home for Christmas to bring to Goodwill. We have 3 rubbermaid bins of regular clothing, one Large bin of winter clothes, sweatshirts and fleeces, and another large bin of books that we know we wouldn't be able to sell on Amazon so we are donating those to a Library.

All in all, I think we are ridding ourselves of well over 250 items. However, I'm not including each item individually in my count towards my 101 things to get rid of. However, I will cound many of them because they were things I didn't think I would part with for quite a while, or that I did think Josh could part with (Books). I am proud of us for really starting to realize that there are a lot of things we own, but rairly use. We have really started to make a conscience effort to purchase things that we know we will use a lot, or will be helpful to have around for a long time to come.

As we get ready to head home for Christmas, I'm starting to get really excited to spend time with my family and do some baking and just relax. I have two days of work left, then I will be officially unemployed. During the time I'm home, I will finish up my resume and start applying for jobs. I'm hopeful that I will find something quickly.

I am happy that I'm going into this Christmas season knowing that many of the things we are getting rid of will eventually be going to new homes who will be able to bring life to things that sat on shelves for years. Also that those things might bring a smile to a face of someone who never thought they would own that particular item.

I don't know if I'll post again before Christmas, if I don't, I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas is in two weeks?

I'm finding it really hard to get into the Christmas "spirit" this year. It just doesn't feel like Christmas this year. We are putting up a tree this year, because, well lets face it, it's pointless since we go back to NY to celebrate with our families starting on the 20th-5th. Also since we are going to be moving shortly after the New Year (well that's the hope at least), we decided it was best to send all our Christmas stuff back home so it will be less to move.

This year we are also only buying gifts for three people. Since we're both newly unemployed, and also newly married, we don't have a whole lot of money. We are only buying for J's brother, and our picks in the gathering with my extended family. Oh and of course our dog. We aren't buying for our parents, since we bought them fairly expensive gifts for the wedding just two months ago. And we still don't know if we are getting each other anything either. If we do it will be something very small.

So between the no shopping and no decorating, and the lack of snow on the ground this year, along with not having seen any lights on houses down here, it just doesn't feel like it's almost Christmas.

I have 6 days left of work at my current job, and well a lot to do in those 6 days. It feels weird that I'll be packing up my office next Friday and saying goodbye to my coworkers. I still have to get my resume ready to send out. I have yet to find any jobs to apply for that are design related, and J hasn't heard from the job he applied for yet. But it's only been just over a week. We'll see what happens.

We really don't know what is going to happen after the new year when we will be faced with the reality that we don't have jobs to go to. This is going to be pretty rough for us, we might have to live in different places for a while until we can both get jobs in Buffalo, and get an apartment to move into.

Christmas is going to be depressing in the fact that we don't have too much to look forward to, and we don't know where we're headed. However, it will be really nice to be able to spend so much time with our families and friends over the holidays. It will also be nice to look forward to being back closer to them in a short time and have a much better social life than we do now.

Christmas will be what it is supposed to be this year. About seeing our friends and family, and being with each other for our first Christmas as husband and wife.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Changed my mind...

Well I will make this short, and I'll post again later today.  But, I have decided to make this not just about dairy free recipes, though I will certainly post some of those here as well.  I want a place to post my thoughts and such as my husband and I carve out a life that is yet unknown to us.  We will both be unemployed as of Christmas, so you are welcome to follow our journey in this craptacular economy.  The life of a Graphic Designer married to a Molecular Biologist who is about to(hopefully) get his PhD.  

I did make the Penne with Vodka sauce.  I tried soy milk.  It tasted alright, however, the soy milk/olive oil combo separated way too easily and the soy kind of curdled.  Next time I will try using Coconut milk.  

I'll make a more detailed post later today with updates on what is happening with us.  Also a few other things that have been rattling around in my head.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Entering the Blog World

Well I've finally decided to enter the world of blogging. I have no clue if I'll be able to keep it up, however, it's worth a shot.

I wanted to make this blog for two reasons; 1) I am Lactose Intolerant, but have a husband who is now and loves his milk and cheese. I wanted a place where I could store recipes that are either completely dairy free, or have substitutions for the dairy elements to make them Lactose free; and 2) I wanted a place where I could also write down some of my other thoughts (we'll see how that one goes).

There are plenty of recipes out there that contain no diary ingredients. However, since my wonderful husband loves all things dairy, I thought I would experiment more with substitutions so we could both enjoy some of the forbidden recipes to me. I also really miss dairy and in the past year or so have really tried more and more recipes with substitutions, or just eating soy alternatives that are pre-made.

As the holiday season approaches I am surrounded by tempting foods that would have me in pain all night. So I want to be able to post some recipes that are tasty but also dairy free(or at least lactose free). My husband loves anything sweet, and will each just about any pastry he can get his hands on. However, not many pre-made ones make it into our home since I cannot enjoy them as well, and he. being the wonderful husband that he is, doesn't want to torture me with items I cannot enjoy as well.

My first recipe that I am going to tackle is a Penne with Vodka Sauce.

Here is the original recipe from Fat Ass Kitchen:

Weight Watcher POINTS® Value: 7
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 18 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy


* 1 tbsp unsalted butter
* 2 medium shallot(s), minced (about 1/2 cup)
* 2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
* 2 tbsp parsley, fresh, minced
* 1/2 small sea salt, or other coarse salt
* 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
* 3 tbsp canned tomato paste
* 2 oz vodka
* 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste (for cooking pasta)
* 12 oz uncooked penne
* 1/2 cup(s) heavy whipping cream
* 20 leaves basil, fresh, cut into ribbons (chiffonade)

* Heat a large skillet over a medium-low heat. Add butter, shallots and garlic; sauté until shallots start to caramelize, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add parsley, sea salt and pepper, stirring once or twice. Add tomato paste and mix to form a paste. Cook for about 5 minutes, moving paste around pan occasionally; add vodka. Scrap bottom of pan with a wooden spoon and cook for about 5 minutes more.

* Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.

* Add cream to tomato sauce; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add pasta to sauce and mix to coat; top with basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields about 1 cup per serving.


* Serve immediately when the sauce is at its creamiest. If you prefer a looser sauce, add some pasta-cooking water to the sauce.

As you can see, this recipe calls for the use of Heavy Cream and Butter. Now I have substituted butter with a full vegetable shortening margarine before, so that will be no problem. However, the Heavy Cream stumped me for a bit. Then I stumbled upon this wonderful website: Go Dairy Free . They have a whole section with different ways to substitute for various dairy products. Milk, butter and cheese are fairly easy considering there are many products on the market that are soy or rice based to replace these. However, cream especially was one product I have never encountered in the grocery store. The website suggests using soy milk mixed with olive oil to add fat. There are a few other suggestions, however, the use of soy milk, or even lactose free milk will be the cheapest option, and easiest to find.

I'll be trying the recipe out later this week and will post my results, and of course my husband's feedback since he will be the one who will actually notice a difference.