life in my Big Yellow House

tackling domestication, one day at a time

Sunday morning noms February 12, 2012

Filed under: food — dianarchy @ 11:13 am
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The stars finally aligned that I would have all the ingredients in my house at the same time to make a delicious oatmeal bake I found on Pinterest. Usually that does not bode well for the recipe in question. The longer I have to mull a recipe over and build it up in my mind, the more I go back to the original source and look at their delicious food porn, the more disappointed I am in the final result. This time, I lucked out — or the recipe is really that amazing. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things I’ll change the next time I do it, but overall, this was one of our best breakfasts in a long time.


First off, I want to apologize for not getting a decent picture. First, it’s been half-eaten because I didn’t think to get a picture before dishing any of it out. Secondly, the color balance is not very good on my phone. Regardless, I have to assume that since my baked oatmeal looked exactly like their pictures of baked oatmeal, I did it right.

The flavors were amazing. I loved how well everything went together. Strawberries and chocolate are a nobrainer, but I loved the addition of orange zest. I usually despise it (it’s the texture that gets me; if anyone knows of a good substitute for the flavor without the strings, please let me know in the comments!), so I tend to leave it out. This was definitely a good use of orange zest, though, and since I only had to zest one of them, it was worth it. I was a little concerned when I got the Chinese 5 spice home and opened the lid. I had forgotten in the store that anise smells like black licorice. Barf. I decided to use it anyway, and I’m glad I did. The anise was overpowering when I smelled it out of the bottle but had definitely mellowed by the time it got to my bowl. I prefer my oatmeal a bit gooier, this crumbled apart very easily. I was hoping the egg would bind it together better, so I might increase the eggs to two next time, or I may switch to a quicker oat.

There were a few things that I didn’t do exactly right, but I don’t think they affected the overall flavor. I didn’t measure some things (the strawberries or the chocolate chips, for example) — not worth dirtying a measuring cup. I can promise you that if no one had dishwashers, you’d see a lot more people spending $20 for a decent digital kitchen scale and writing recipes in weight instead of cups. A half a cup of sliced strawberries can vary by quite a bit depending on how big the berries are and how you slice them. How about just telling me to slice 3 ounces of berries? Put bowl on scale, zero it out, and slice strawberries directly into the bowl until 3 oz shows up on the display. No need to wash a measuring cup (and you better do it quick before it gets sticky!).

I’ll step off my soapbox now. Anyway, I probably should have let my milk come at least to room temperature before adding it to the melted butter, or heated it a tiny bit after doing so. The butter immediately rehardened and left tiny bits of solid butter throughout the milk mixture rather than having a nice smooth buttery milk mixture. The end result had butter throughout the bake, so it was probably fine, but it irritated me that I didn’t think of it. At least I added the milk to the hot butter BEFORE adding the egg. I could have just cooked the egg. That would have been much worse than letting the butter get hard.

I forgot to make bacon until the bake had only a few minutes left, so I decided to skip it. This breakfast definitely lacks in protein, so I recommend boiling an egg or remembering the bacon. Sausage would be delicious, too.

Overall, this was one of my favorite Pinterest finds. I’ll definitely be making it again, but I’ll need to speed up the process a bit. Since I’m won over by the flavors, but not the texture, I think I’ll try making this in my crockpot. I’m also going to try reheating this in the oven and testing to see if it crisps up better than it bakes.


Dinners for next week January 8, 2012

Filed under: food — dianarchy @ 9:34 pm
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I spent most of last week building a website for my doula business and playing Wizard101, so Nate made dinner every night. This week, it’s my turn.

One night will be Pot Roast (found on Pinterest).

One night will be shepherd’s pie.

One night will be Bread & Butter Pudding (looks like BLT pudding to me).

One night will be Nipponese Chicken Mandarin.

One night will be baked beans.

Perhaps a bit ambitious, but at least it will get me out of the dog house.


Pre-engaged December 9, 2010

Filed under: mental,personal — dianarchy @ 6:28 pm

If you read nothing else from this link, at least read this:

Don’t: Assume that I’m angry, bitter, jilted, lonely, sad or otherwise suffering. I count my blessings every single morning and night. I’ve found the love of my life and he loves me back. We’re planning our future together and spending as much as our present together as possible. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life. Assuming that I’m upset because I’m not engaged is frustrating, because I can’t convince anyone otherwise. The more I insist that I’m happy, the more people tilt their head with a sad smile and, while rubbing my shoulder, sighing “oh don’t worry sweetie, the ring is coming.” It’s as if they think the longer it takes to get engaged, the less he loves me, and the more delusional I am. Be kind to the pre-engaged and use this line instead: “I’m so happy to see you like this! You’ve found the person you want to spend your life with. It only gets better from here.”

Do: Please encourage me to talk to my boyfriend about our future and delete the word “pressure” from your conversations about that. Call me new-fashioned, but I believe that as an educated woman in my late twenties with my own assets, ideas, experience and opinions, I shouldn’t be waiting on my partner to make one of the biggest decisions of our lives on his own. What if I have expectations about marriage based on my religion, values or traditions? Shouldn’t he know that before he proposes? What if I want to be the one to propose? What if I don’t want to get married? What if I have some debt that I want to pay off before we make it legal? What if he does? I fully believe that if this is someone that I legitimately want to spend the rest of my life with, I should be able to talk to him about anything. Talking about marriage is not “pressuring for a ring.” It is creating a sustainable relationship. I am not a coy, blushing girl waiting for my over-the-top surprise proposal. I’m ballsy and strong and independent. He loves me because I’m opinionated, so why would I hide my opinions about our future? I don’t. Honesty isn’t pressure.

It’s reasons like this I read “wedding blogs” like APW and Offbeat Bride, and try to stay away from the blogs that tell women that they’re not good enough for whatever it is they’re selling.


thoughts inspired by a checklist December 2, 2010

Filed under: mental,personal,projects — dianarchy @ 8:21 pm
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Bangor Bungalow: Winter: window-mania!.

Two things…

first of all, isn’t that checklist beautiful?

I realized that I have two big reasons for not starting projects. Yes, there is the fact that I am incredibly lazy. But in my head, I have beautiful ideas for this house, and I think if I actually did them I’d feel so much happier. Especially about this house. I am sort of suffering buyer’s remorse right now because I hate my house so much.

I hate it because I bought a house knowing I’d need to put work into it to love it; I didn’t realize that almost 2 years later I’d be sitting in this house with no projects done, resenting the place. And who wants to fix something they resent? I don’t. I just sort of hide from it as much as possible. I don’t invite anyone over, and I don’t devote any time or energy to making it better. I sleep here, I eat here, but I’ve felt more at home in some apartments than I do here.

I’ve avoided saying this for a while, because I feel like a failure. I feel like I betrayed the American Dream or something. This house is – at the moment – a smarter financial decision than continuing to rent. But right now, I don’t have a real compelling reason to have become a homeowner.

I always thought that it would be silly for me to get my dreamhouse as my first house. I see people my age doing that and I wonder if they have any idea what’s in store for them. I just think, “My life could change at any time. My job is stable enough to warrant purchasing a house, but not so stable that I’ll never move again (as in, I probably won’t want to do my job for the rest of my life, but I’m not in any serious threat of getting laid off).” At this point in my life, I don’t want to be tied to a dream house.

I just wish I’d realized, before buying this house, that it didn’t mean I shouldn’t love the house I do buy, in the mean time.

I also wish I’d realized that by not loving a house, I’m going to put off doing projects on it, even if those projects would help me to like my house more in the long run. I’m an instant gratification kind of girl.

These are the things you should know about yourself before you commit to a 30 year mortgage. So yeah, I kind of feel like a dummy for not realizing that about myself — supposedly the topic I know best — before now. Another reason why this topic has been silent for so long.

So I think I need a checklist.  A whole-house checklist, broken down into sub-checklists for each project. And maybe I can recruit some of my “roommates” into helping me with them. Or maybe I can’t. It’s my name on the deed, there’s no reason I should need their approval or their help. But it’d be nice.


The benefit (or peril?) of wearing jeans you haven’t fit into in 3 years July 17, 2010

Filed under: personal,projects — dianarchy @ 6:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Scene: just after changing my clothes and looking in the mirror, daring to ask that question that no woman should ask a man who lives with her:

Me: “Do I look okay?”

Him: “Yeah, honey, you look great!”

Me: “Are you sure? I don’t know, I feel like I’m …”

Him: “A little skanky?”

Me: “Yeah! That’s the word.”

Him: “That’s what makes it great, baby.”

So I guess things are fine in that regard.

I haven’t spent much time working on the house. Spent a lot of time these last few months trying to focus on our relationship. Any progress we *have* made on the house hasn’t been documented, since we don’t have time to blog+work+love+potty. I’m still not even sure how the folks over to Young House Love did it, before they made blogging their full-time jobs. I’m not even popular, I don’t even have any readers to respond to or feel obligated to.

I’m going to try to get better. If anything, I need to experience. English might be my only language spoken, but it’s getting rusty and folksy and I’m not exactly proud of it. See above, re: “over to”.

For starters, I bought this book the other day at Bullmoose (tangent: if you’re in the Bangor area and you haven’t stopped and checked out Bullmoose’s Bangor location’s book section, you are really missing out. It is currently my favorite bookstore in all the town.). I plan on making something out of it, and I plan on blogging the entire project. It might be boring, it might be a disaster, but it’s a project, and you guys are getting it play-by-play. I hope that by forcing myself to document one thing, it becomes a habit and I do it more often.

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What looks like a neat project to make?


Super Hot Chica in Training: This is Why You’re Fat: Book Giveaway April 19, 2010

Filed under: exercise,personal — dianarchy @ 5:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

Super Hot Chica in Training: This is Why You’re Fat: Book Giveaway.

I know I should actually write more in this blog, but I get home from the gym and zone out in front of the tv. Maybe I am pushing myself too hard.

Maybe I need a new battery for my laptop, so I can actually use it around the house instead of needing to keep it plugged in all the time. That would be nice …

Regardless, I am entering to win this book. I am very much looking forward to reading it. I will probably even buy it if I don’t win it. Maybe.


Come to think of it … March 13, 2010

Filed under: personal,projects — dianarchy @ 2:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Let’s just clear out some open tabs, shall we?