Thursday, September 29, 2011

Desperate Housewives

We are closing week three of forced unemployment and my house and I are becoming more intimate then I would like.  One of the major drawbacks of not working is now I have all this extra time to do fun things but no cool money to implement.  No wine socials, no horseback riding, NO cleaning woman.  So Team Tuna, lets recap how Mrs. Tuna is amusing herself.

I’ve been amazing busy for someone who doesn’t have to visit a veal fattening cubicle every day.  Urban Planning classes have been sucking up a fair amount of time.  I have this one Zoning Law class that the instructor is much more interested in showing you that she’s in charge then in teaching you anything useful. There has been a minimum 5 to 10 page paper due every freaking week, not that she’s grading any of them.  This week’s with the appendix is about 35 pages. Snarky Bitch, focus a little more time on covering your roots.  Wait until I evaluate you on

What I have discovered is that I am now that annoying student who raises their hand and shouts out answers for extra credit points. I’ve become teacher’s pet, mostly this is due to the lack of adult conversation being home alone.  I’m so starved for attention I strike up friendly conversations with 12 year olds at the grocery store about neat study methods.

I’m missing the cleaning woman, Kathy the Wonderful who been vacuuming up dog hair for almost 20 years. I was a little saddened how quickly she found a replacement gig and how I had to figure out how the washing machine works on the delicate cycle. I even braved the inner workings of the carpet shampooer for our bedroom. Gotta pace myself before doing the living room, I don’t want to run out of things to do. The Big Tuna pointed out the house is definitely tidier but he’s still waiting for the French Maid outfit.  This week we’re making faux Chinese from Rachel Ray.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Salt and pepper
20 ounce can pineapple chunks, drained with 1/2 cup juice reserved
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 ¼ pound skinless chicken breasts cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon oil
1 red bell pepper cut into 1 inch pieces.

In small bowl combine pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of corn starch, ketchup and ginger.  In separate bowl coat chicken in the remaining cornstarch, salt and pepper.   In skillet, heat oil, add chicken and cook turning occasionally until browned. About 5 minutes and transfer chicken to plate.  Add pepper to skillet and cook about two minutes. Stir in chicken and pineapple chunks.  Add the pineapple juice mixture and heat over medium heat until sauce has thickened, a few minutes. Serve over hot white rice.

One of the perks I had at Giant Engineering Company was free gym membership, not that I was that familiar with the aerobic equipment but still. But since I have no reason to continue wearing control top pantyhose I need to do something to keep that mid roll of fat in check. Flipping through a magazine I came across a home workout, a few jumping jacking, free weights and crunches, I can do this. First day out I followed the pretty colored pictures and thought,  huh I must be in better shape than I thought, I’m barely breathing hard.  I dabbed my brow, had a shower, poured a cup of coffee and examined the text a wee bit more closely.  Apparently I was supposed to do 3 reps, yeah maybe tomorrow. For now, bring on the cupcakes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Will Blog For Food

Giant Engineering Company broke my heart, I know it’s the economy, I knew it was a business decision, I know I shouldn’t take it personally. My boss had the nerve to give me my rock star performance evaluation in the morning and then do a meet and great with HR in the afternoon.  I knew it might be coming, but I thought bought myself some time by winning a new project. They cut the middle and none of the top. F*ckers.

I had to go back and grab my four years of crap two days later. At first, security had to monitor my actions to make sure I didn’t run up and down the halls spraying graffiti and throwing computers or myself out the 30th floor window.  But they lost interest, wandered off and left me to wallow in self-pity. The survivors came by and were weepy, I spent my packing hours reassuring them that I would be fine, just fine and they should buck up and stop being big crybabies.  

Okay, I’m always about a plan, it’s the engineering brain work. First step, set up a professional  Gmail account. It’s not like mine was debbiedoesdallas@gmail. Or anything but still.   Imagine my surprise when I discovered Dawn.Tuna@gmail was taken, it’s not like I have some common name. My first reaction was to send the bitch an email demanding her to relinquish my account, but opted to add my middle name rather than get the FBI involved with identity theft. Then hours spent putting in my contacts and a generic note giving my new contact information. Got lots of feedback saying “thumbs up Buttercup, you’ll be fine” or “when one door closes another opens”.  Yeah, don’t let the door hit me in the ass.  

The Big Tuna is being supportive, he says not to worry, and we’ll be fine. I think he secretly believes I’ll greet him at the door every night in a French maid’s outfit holding a Heineken. Snort, right, it will interfere with watching Judge Judy. But I may have a little more time to cook something a little more involved than our usual fare.

Hungarian Chicken
4 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 rib celery chopped
½ bay leaf
2 sprigs parsley
½ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup sour cream (more if you like)

In large skillet brown chicken on both sides in half the butter. Transfer to a large saucepan. Heat remaining butter in the same skillet and cook onion, garlic, celery, bay leaf parsley, thyme and paprika until onion is wilted. Stir in tomato paste and flour. Pour in broth and stir rapidly with a wire whish. Pour mixture over chicken and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and heat throughout without boiling. Sever over hot egg noodles.

If writing blogs paid real dough we’d all be on the Real Housewives of Minneapolis.  I did have a few meetings this week including a second call back interview for one place so fingers crossed.  Worse case scenario, the world on freelance consulting is calling my name. I’ll have to change my profile from working at Giant Engineering Company to Itty Bitty Consultants. Anything to get out of the house and avoid trying to figure out how to run the lawn mower without chopping off my toes or squeezing into lingerie that accents my muffin top.  Wish me luck Team Tuna!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blog Hop Pick of the Week

This week I am a guest link up at Peaches Reviews her fabulous words are below.

First off, smile with me :) You made it through another week and deserve a big smile. You've got the whole weekend ahead of you so make it a good one!

This week's featured Smiley Hopper is Mrs. Tuna from Working Woman's Guide to Dinner!!

I asked Mrs. Tuna a few questions about herself and her blog so you could get to know a little bit about her.

1) When did you first start blogging? Why?
All my life I've craved attention and the best way to find it was being funny. When you're eleventy feet tall and the most awkward thing you divert people's focus from your jolly green giant tendencies by making jokes about myself. I'd written short humor stories for friends and family and my daughter encouraged me to start a blog about 18 months ago. I tie a funny story every week to a recipe, I'm all about themes like Barbie Pink or toga parties.

2) What's your favorite part about blog hopping?
Ah the sweet adrenaline rush of a new comment.

3) What's your favorite hobby
Well prior to the break up with Giant Engineering Company last week I had be horseback riding a few days a week. Now I spend my day trying to figure out which dog snores louder.

4) Who's your role model?
In real life my role model was my mom, one of the reason's actually started blogging was to stay connected to her after she died on Thanksgiving 2009. She was an amazing cook and amazing professional writer. Many of the recipes are ones I got from her secret stash. She would have loved blogging. Miss her tons.

How it Works

* Follow Me and the Smiley Hopper of the week! (Spots 1 & 2) Leave us a comment with your blog/twitter/facebook url so that we can follow you back

* Grab the Smile With Me Saturday button then post on your blog to give your new followers a place to comment

* Add your blog/twitter/facebook to the list only once!- (NOT YOUR BLOG HOP or GIVEAWAYS PLEASE These entries will be deleted.)

* Follow as many people on blog/twitter/facebook as you would like, Make sure you leave them a comment so they know you stopped by. Then Follow Back everyone that follows you & comments.

You can link your blog every Saturday at 12am EST. Have fun!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

911!!!! 911!!!!! Emergency

Well I've had an epic end, fricking got laid off this week, not unexpected but Giant Engineering Company and I have parted ways. Fear not Team Tuna, we've been hoarding our pennies and digging change out of the sofa so we'll be fine. Sniff. Really. Fine. I'm sure I'll whip up a hilarious post about security wandering off and allowing me to paint graffiti on the walls in all my spare time next week when its a little less raw. Instead, I'm going to run my September 11th Post from last year about Bebe, tomorrow's her 50th so lets all wish her a great one.

Bebe and I met over twenty years ago, innocently at a neighbor’s baby shower. There were six pregnant neighbor women at the shower, maybe something in the water. I certainly swore off tap water after that. Who knew at the time we’d end up being the sisters we never had. Well okay I do have sisters, but not one who wouldn’t steal my clothes or my boyfriends or eat the last Popsicle without asking.

Her little kiddies are only 14 months apart and Bubba was often out of town hunting and killing to fill their freezer. The Big Tuna often stepped in as the extra parent when we took our broods out to places like the State Fair or Sesame Street Live so we weren’t outnumbered. He began to spend so much time with us he said he felt like a polygamist and started calling her Wife Number Two. And thus became our life as Siamese Twins, drinking wine with ice cubes and play dates. I can honestly say I’ve never made a major furniture purchase that she didn’t sit on prior to writing a check.

One of the first things I noticed was that her birthday was September 11th, 911, 911. She claims to have never noticed until I pointed it out. My powers of observation are stellar. At least related to mundane unimportant things like whether someone’s socks match. She is the most positive cheerleader you can have, a direct counter point to my sarcastic but charming personality. Whenever she gets into her happy bubble, it’s my job to remind her of all those “special” moments that make 9/11 the perfect date for her.

• Remember the time we had the kids at the newly finished park and I said, “some little kid is going to walk up to that unfinished bench and get his arm stuck in that unfinished hole”? And Sean ran over and put his in and we almost had to call the fire department to get him out?

• Remember the time Bubba went elk hunting on your due date and you took a long hot shower? When you wouldn’t answer the door we boost Jim over the fence to peer in your bedroom window and catch you almost naked?

• Remember the time Nash broke his arm on the EXACT same swing his older brother broke his arm on the year before?

• Remember the time we went to the bar and I didn’t have my ID and they tried carding me at 38 years old and they insisted they carded everyone? When you offered yours up they said, no that’s okay madam?

• Remember Wally?

I could go on and on and on but I have to stop so as not to ruin the birthday moment. Here’s one of my fast and furious recipes that Bebe has come to enjoy.

Spicy Fettuccine
1 Tablespoon Butter
¼ cup minced onion
1/ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can whole tomatoes (Progresso Basil)
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
¼ cup shredded fresh basil

Melt butter in large skillet. Add onions and red pepper flakes, cook over medium heat until onion is tender. Run tomatoes through food processor and add with salt to onion mixture. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to boil for 1 minute. Cook fettuccine according to package direction. Toss with sauce and garnish with basil

Bebe had a birthday this weekend. She spent it getting wild and wooly as you can get in Salt Lake City. Now that my BFF is living in BFE we satisfy ourselves with endless phone calls and Skype wine dates. She tells her family that she is flying in to see them but we both know it’s really to see me and Sheldon. So when are you coming home? I need to go shopping for new guest room furniture.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Cool Girl’s Table

Sliding into week three at Arizona State has not made me spontaneously combust…….yet. But the semester is young. As with the first day of school last year I carefully scrutinized my horoscope in What's your sign my Little Zodiac Killer on opening day.

“Your interest may be impractical, and that is part of the appeal. Claim your right to your own wonderful nonsense.” WTF kind of advice is that for a Taurus? We don’t believe in nonsense, if we did we’d be farting out rainbows and unicorns.

As someone who is 49 and ¾ years old I have never felt as uncool and unhip as I have felt in the new semester. Is it the fumbling around in my sensible backpack for my fancy Walgreen’s reading glasses that causes them to give me such a wide berth? Literally in one class every seat was taken except for a four chair gap around me. What, bad breath or body stench? Do I remind you of your GRANNY OR SOMETHING?

In last week’s post I shared I was taking five classes, but I have a tiny declaration, one of them is a cheater course. I’m earning credit for Interning at my own job, snort really. Seriously, why can’t you take a little pity on me and give me life experience credit, I’ve earned it damn it. Basically I had to get my supervisor to sign off and answer a few irksome questions. Is this a paid job……um yes. And how much does it pay? Ummm….way more then you Mr. Professor. Another demonstration of how ASU can suck every last dollar from my sad empty checking account, this had followed the $780 parking pass purchase the week before. Here’s a cheap ass meal to feed those starving college students who might trip over my blog after a rousing game of beer pong.

Beef, Beans and Dumplings
1 pound ground beef
2 envelopes mushroom gravy mix
1 ½ cups hot water
9 ounces frozen green beans
Bisquick dumplings dough

Brown ground beef in 3 quart microwave dish, approximately 6 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Drain fat. Stir in gravy mix, water and green beans. Microwave on high 8 to 10 minutes or until sauce thickens stirring occasionally. Prepare dumpling dough according to box directions. Arrange dumplings around top edge of casserole in a ring. Microwave on high 3 to 6 minutes or until dumplings are firm to the touch. The bigger question is are the frat boys smart enough to realize they need milk for the dumplings. Uh, no, I’m sure of it.

In most other circles I’m considered the hilarious fun person, life of the party, the chick who will wear the lampshade. You could learn a lot from me you young punks, maybe I’d even let you cheat off my paper, but not if you continue to call me madam. Just remember suckers, I’ve over 21 and can buy beer.