Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So The Gimpster and I Bought a House...

Life has been insane lately, as the Gimpster and I bought a house, and closed the end of January.  We had a TON of work to do, with cleaning the house, moving all our stuff, and now painting, organizing, and attempting to unpack.  I have no idea where my camera cord is, so I'll have to show before and after pictures when I find it!

In the meantime, I can say it was a beating.  We spent all Friday after we closed scrubbing the house from top to bottom with my sister's help, while Gimpy changed our locks, installed a new programmable thermostat, and did boy things.  The next morning we got up early, I brought a few bags and beer over to the house, and Gimpy went and got our UHaul.

Moving is always an adventure, but it becomes more so when one has two extremely heavy couches, that don't fit through the stairways.  What do you do in that case?  Send them over the balcony.  Sadly, there are no pictures of that.  Imagine instead 6 people on the ground waiting to receive a heavy couch, and 4 people attempting to lower it down to them, without dropping it.  It was chaos.  

Then came the fact that I have too much stuff.  Seriously, I think it was asked at least 4 times "how does one girl have so much stuff??"  My friend's newish boyfriend was one thing, but my British friend who has eaten out of our acorn shaped soup bowls, and had a three dimensional Easter Bunny cake... should know why I have so many things!

So, we load up all of my things.  It took a while, and was actually pretty funny considering I had thought for a few minutes that we'd be able to load all of my things and then load up Gimpy's stuff and make one trip.

Ha.  What a joke.  Floor to ceiling, look at how absurd this is...
You can see how happy he is...

That's not even all of it.  So, we got all of my stuff over to the house, and started unloading everything.  This was much easier as far as the couches were concerned.  Out of the truck, up about 8 stairs, and into the first room.

So then the guys went back to Gimpy's house, and the girls and I unloaded 23 boxes straight into the kitchen.  Nope, not an exaggeration, and yes, there were more of them that needed to be unloaded... ha.

It was an exhausting day, but we fed everyone some pizzas, and sent them home.  We unpacked a few more boxes, and I made Gimpy take a nap - he was exhausted, and his knees were killing him.  Then we went out for my dear friend Caroline's birthday, and came home and passed out.  All in all, it was an absurdly full day, before a very full couple of weeks.  Stay tuned for more stories to come from the move.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chicken Béchamel Lasagna

A few years ago I made a Chicken Béchamel Lasagna, and my friend Angie has been on my case ever since to make it again, and actually write down the recipe for her!  Last night Gimpy and I were having her over for dinner with a few others, so I decided to make it and actually write down what I did for once.  This lasagna is great, and if you are looking to make it more low carb, you can do it as manicotti instead.  I did that once for a ski weekend because another friend was making a lasagna with red sauce, so I wanted to mix it up.

Chicken Béchamel Lasagna
1 lb chicken
1 lb spinach
7 cups milk
1 lb mushrooms
1 cup onion, diced
3 garlic cloves
1 stick unsalted butter
4 cups shredded parmesan cheese
1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Balsamic vinegar
Package of lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350.  Put chicken in a pan, and cover with balsamic vinegar.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.  Cool, then shred in the food processor.  In the meantime, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Blanch your spinach and remove it.  Put your pasta in the spinach water and cook until al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Put the butter in a deep pan, melt and add the mushrooms.  Cook about 5 minutes until tender.
Add the onions and diced garlic, and cook until translucent.  Add the flour, and cook for 2 minutes to form a roux.  
Whisk in the milk, and cook 5 minutes until it starts to thicken, stirring occasionally.  Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 2 cups of the cheese, and the spinach.  Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  
Spray your lasagna pan with olive oil, and then put 3/4 of a cup of the béchamel sauce on the bottom of the pan.  Set aside a cup of the sauce, and add chicken to the pot of sauce.  Begin to assemble your lasagna with a layer of pasta, sauce, parmesan cheese, and continue till your ingredients are used up.  For the top layer, use the sauce that you set aside without the chicken on it.

Cook in a 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Cut, serve, and enjoy!  Of course I forgot to take a picture of the finished lasagna, but at least I wrote down the recipe for Angie this time!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another Banner Year

It's January 1st, which means that everyone in the bloggosphere is doing a year end wrap up, so I think I'm obliged to as well!  2011 was an amazing year, my life is so blessed in so many ways.  I have the most unbelievably amazing boyfriend, fantastic friends, and a wonderful family.

We started the year with the Gimpster's friends visiting from Virginia, me teaching him how to snowboard and a few celebrations of St Patrick's Day.  Gimpy's brother got married down in Virginia Beach, we had a luau, a suit party, and I ran the Long Branch half in my best time ever (2h 02m)!

The girls and I went into the City for the Derby, and had a blast at the Preppy Pub Crawl.  Gimpy got a new job locally, and we celebrated with wine tasting, hiking, and just having a great day together.  We had some more weddings, more birthdays, and did some boating.

We had a mechanical bull riding party, the girls and I had a killer tailgate at the Kenny Chesney concert, and we hosted a White Party to rival P Diddy's.  For that, I made vanilla pudding shots!

Vanilla Pudding Shots
Packet of vanilla pudding mix
1 cup cold milk
1 cup cold caramel baileys

Mix the pudding powder with the milk and baileys according to the package direction and put it in small cups.  Chill for a few hours, and then take them like a jello shot!  So tasty, it's like vanilla frosting!

We went on the wine bus tour, and did some apple picking.  Had Halloween, twice.  Went on Santacon, which was not very well organized, did some sewing and had the 4th annual 12 Bars of Christmas.  We had a wonderful Christmas in Virginia with Gimpy's family, and got the amazing news that the people whose house we're buying signed the contract!

So we have lots to celebrate in 2012!  I am so looking forward to this year coming up.  Gimpy and I have so much to be excited for.  We close on our new house January 27th, and will be cleaning and moving in that weekend. It's a huge step for us, but I am so ready for this next stage in our life together.

On that, I resolve that I will be much better about blogging in 2012!

Happy New Year!