Monday, January 31, 2011

30 Days of blogging: Day 2

Day 2: The meaning behind your blog name

I don't really like my blog name. It's not very original and that bothers me. I have thought about changing it, but I can't come up with anything clever. Changing it would also require a lot more effort than I want to partake in. At least it's the truth, my world IS slightly silly.

Other names that could work:

An Envious Non Dutch
If the Clog Fits, Wear it
2 Dogs, a Married Couple, and a Bunch of Grass Fed Meat
Yabba Dabba Doo
The Chronicles of Riponia

Sunday, January 30, 2011

30 Days of blogging: Day 1

Kung Fu

Day 1: A recent picture of yourself  and 15 interesting facts.

1. I love the Golden State Warriors. They are the type of team who can beat the best team in the NBA, but can also lose to the worst. I am a devoted fan win or lose.

2. I really enjoy cooking, but I never follow recipes to a tee.

3. I was born with black hair.

4. I'm a 1/4 Jewish.

5. I hate running, but for the past 3 months I have been religiously doing so, three times a week.

6. I can give Danny a piggy back ride and deadlift 175 pounds...I'm working on increasing my deadlift number...not the number of Danny's  I can lift.

7. I have an excellent memory.

8. I love anything to do with cleaning out gunk. Examples: Biore Strips, Carpet Shampooing, and Endotracheal Suctioning.

9. I have never watched Star Wars....and I don't plan to.

10. I don't like fragrant shower gels. I use Irish Spring bar soap. It smells clean and I like that.

11. I have a chicken pox scar in the middle of my forehead. My brother has a matching one.

12. I hate hot tubs. They are warm and sweaty and gross.

13. I would rather swim in a lake than an ocean any day.

14. I went to my junior and senior prom with my husband. Our limo got in an accident on our way to the first prom.

15. Danny and I have a little dream of owning a small ranch, with a few animals, in the country ... someday.

30 days of blogging

30 Days of Blogging

A few of my friends are doing this. I like the idea.  I'm going to give it a go. Woot woot.

day 1- recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself

day 2- the meaning behind your blog name

day 3- a picture of you as a child

day 4- a habit that you wish you didn’t have

day 5- a picture of somewhere you’ve been

day 6- favorite super hero and why

day 7- a picture of someone/something that has had the biggest impact on you

day 8- short term goals for this month and why

day 9- something you’re proud of in the past few days

day 10- songs you listen to when you are happy, sad, bored, hyped, mad

day 11- write a bucket list of things you want to do before you die

day 12- write a poem to someone you love

day 13- your 5 favorite books and why

day 14- a picture of you and your family

day 15- put your ipod on shuffle: first 10 songs that play

day 16- a picture of yourself

day 17- someone you would want to switch lives with for one day and why

day 18- plans/dreams/goals you have

day 19- write about a sweet memory from your past

day 20- write a letter to someone

day 21-a picture of something that makes you happy

day 22- what makes you different from everyone else

day 23- something you crave a lot

day 24- post your favorite quote or verse of scripture and why

day 25- what I would find in your bag

day 26- list 10 things that you are thankful for

day 27- my day job verses my passion

day 28- cruise a thesaurus and pick out 10 words you like the sound of

day 29 – favorite tv shows and why you like them

day 30 – movies you can watch again and again.

Thoughts at 5 am

I can't sleep. So here I am at 5 am trying to squeeze a little creativity out of my brain. 5 am isn't the best time for my creative wheels to be turning, but I'm bored.

I am thinking about spring and how going to the nursery and buying a huge flat of easy to care for pansies, then planting them, is one of my favorite spring activities. The other spring activity that sends my heart fluttering is bike riding. I desperately need to ride my bike in the sunshine, through the park, and over the bridge.

I am listening to Danny snore. Danny never snores, but he is sick right now so I guess nasal congestion is his snoring exception.



 I am thinking about the spare bedroom's white walls and how they are thirsting for some color.

On our list of our American City tour is Philadelphia. We are going there this summer. I can't wait to run up the Philadelphia Museum of Art's steps like Rocky did, pretend to ring the Liberty Bell, and eat a Philly cheese steak sandwich.

That's about as many streams of consciousness one blog can handle.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dutch Happenings: Grocery Store

Just to prove that Ripon is very Dutch, I took pictures of some Dutch things I stumbled upon at the only grocery store in town.

Windmills, Tulips, Blue/White Motifs: Very Dutch

I'm hoping a certain someone will get me this
 large Dutch Lady for my birthday.

To emulate the Dutch,
wear clog slippers while lounging about the house.

Made in China

Dutch towels are very absorbent.
I am the proud owner of a Dutch Towel.

No home is complete without a Dutch cheese spreader.

Amongst the various impulse buy sweets
are bags of Dutch Licorice called "Cats"

Cats are "purrfectly" delicious....
is there a Dutch feline fascination that I am unaware of?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Orange Zest Lamb Chops

If you are like me, or like anybody whose dinner focus usually revolves around some kind of meat, you get tired of chicken, pork, fish, and beef. I must clarify that I am never tired of bacon or steak. When feeling overwhelmed with what to make for dinner, you should definitely consider lamb. Lamb is decadent in taste, but easy to prepare and if the lamb is raised right, (free roaming/frolicking little lamb) it is pretty healthy too.

Last year this little household bought a whole lamb from a local lamb farm in Tracy and we've been enjoying lamb ever since. Frank's Basque Family Farm delivered the meat to our house as part of it's wonderful service. If you aren't sure about purchasing a whole lamb, they have smaller packages available. Here's the website for more information .

My lamb chop recipe came about because these were the ingredients I had in my pantry. It just happened to turn out amazing. Often lemon, mint, rosemary, or thyme are used when making lamb, to cut the very rich flavor of the meat. I did not have lemon so I gave orange a try. You can use orange or lemon in this recipe and your results will be magnificent.


  • 8 lamb rib chops or 4 lamb loin chops- I used rib chops which are not as easy to find as loin chops. Either will work just fine.

  • The zest of 1 orange and it's juice

  • 1-1.5 tablespoons of fresh rosemary

  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • salt

  • pepper


  • Set oven to broil

  • Zest the orange using a microplane. This is the fun part, I feel very Ina Garten-esque when I use my microplane.

  • Chop up a tablespoon or so of rosemary. Rosemary can be very strong so be careful not to go hog wild (or lamb wild?), but it's fresh taste helps to balance the richness of the lamb... so a little rosemary crazy with lamb is okay.

  • Place chops on a shallow baking sheet.

  • Drizzle each side of chops with olive oil.

  • Sprinkle both sides of chops with rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spread the little bits of orange zesty goodness on each side. Squeeze the juice of the orange over the top of the chops.

  • Place on top rack of oven. Broil each side of lamb rib chops for approx 5 minutes each. For regular lamb chops up the time to 6-7 minutes per side. This will result in a browned outside and a slightly pink middle.

Lamb Rib Chops



Ignore my dirty oven.


Serve your amazing Orange Zest Lamb Chops with a crisp side salad

Dinner is served!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On December

Favorite Dress: Red Christmas Dress

It's hard to tell in the picture, but the dress is sweet in real life.

I bought this dress almost a year and a half ago. I had plans on wearing it to Thanksgiving or Christmas last year, but I wasn't feeling it then. This Christmas had to be it, otherwise it was just going to be another article of clothing in my closet that I have bought but never worn. I bought this dress at Forever 21 ( I know I know), but I have seen it featured on Modcloth as well. The dress is made of a red cotton blend fabric and has brass buttons on the faux flaps along the waist and neckline. It is medium in length with short sleeves making it a good option for a nice family Christmas dinner. I paired the dress with thick black tights and my pointy black flats. I put a sparkly headband with some brassy colors in it, in my hair and called it a night. The dress is comfortable enough that I didn't feel restricted in my Christmas cooking endeavours, but nice enough that I got a compliment from my mom on how nice I looked. Thanks Mom!

Favorite Activity: Making Gingerbread Houses

Lindsey's on the left...Jessica's on the right

Lindsey is my childhood best friend. We have been friends since the rip old age of 3. We still see each other a couple times a month to catch up and play with her adorable twins Greyson and Connor. This month we discovered that throughout our lifelong friendship, we have never made gingerbread houses. We decided to do just that. Now Lindsey and I are modern women, so we didn't feel the need to physically bake the gingerbread. Instead of baking, we bought some gingerbread house kits at the grocery store and went to town with icing, fondant, and various candies that came in the package. It was a mess. Icing was everywhere and our houses looked nothing like the picture on the box. However big of a mess it was, it was fun:  Fun to giggle like little kids again and fun to reminisce about our days of eating frosting out of a jar.

Favorite Recipe: Orange Zest Lamb Chops

Tastes as good as it looks...maybe better.

I will type out the recipe (hopefully soon) and put up a link. Delicious!

Favorite Nap: Christmas Day Nap

It was my holiday to work Christmas Eve.  After a long but fun night with the little babies, I came home, opened presents with Danny, and went to bed. It was a gloomy day...perhaps it rained a bit (I don't know I was sleeping), which helped in my quest for the ultimate day time sleep. I also took a melatonin which I thought would help to block out the sounds of Danny's ruckus making. It turns out the melatonin/rain combo was almost too much of a good thing. I slept till 3:30 and could of slept longer, but I had to work again that night. This is the longest daytime sleep I have had and definitely a good Christmas gift from Old St. Nick.

Favorite Irk: Chapped Lips

I am addicted to ChapStick. I always have a tube of the plain or medicated kind in my purse, if for some reason it goes missing, I have a small internal break down. During the winter, my lips need extra ChapStick because of the dry air. I have also taken up running (bleh!) which contributes to the lack of moisturized lips. There is nothing worse then having dry red lips and no ChapStick. Luckily, I have about four tubes of the medicated kind and Santa brought me some fancy fruit flavored Blistex for Christmas. Santa must hate chapped lips too.