Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Decisions...

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you have to make a decision. These decisions are never easy, never fun, and usually end up hurting someone. Therefore, they are the things in life we dread. However, some idiot long ago said that they make you stronger. I don't know about that, they seem to make me much weaker.

This morning, I was faced with one of those decisions. I left my house as I usually do, throwing the dog in her kennel, grabbing my 80 bags, jacket half zipped and some type of breakfast product in my hand. Typically spilling on myself. I got in my car and began to drive. I was late. I wanted to leave earlier than I had, but that just didn't happen. We had a showing at our condo today, and thus, in my feverish panic of a departure, I also had to leave the condo spotless. Kara + Spotless = disaster

I get in my car.

I begin to drive.

Breakfast in hand.

I look at my gas gauge, it is blinking that evil red. That evil red eye that just glares at me telling me, "You dumb A*$, you have forgotten to feed me once again. I haul your behind all around town, and you don't even have the decency to fill me up with the toxic fuel of life I call gasoline" Stop looking at me gas gauge. If I ignore you, I know you will go away.

Herein lies the problem. The road has diverged in the woods and I have two potential paths.
Path #1: Nourish myself with the fuel of life, Coffee.
Path #2: Nourish the car with the fuel of it's life, Gasoline.

Path #1 means those in the impending morning seminar will not hate me, and I will be a tolerable human throughout the morning.
Path #2 ensures that I make it to said seminar in order for said people to enjoy my company.

Path #1 or Path #2. And you may be laughing and thinking this is all a joke, but it really is not. Do I coast in to that class with coffee in hand, but likely just fumes in my car? Or do I fill er up and have to sit miserably through a 4 hour seminar on Tax Increment Financing and Real Estate Tax petitions????

WHAT TO DO??? THE ROAD HAS DIVERGED IN THE WOODS.

And so, I did what any responsible person would do which was....get coffee. No, I'm kidding, I got gas.

Which turned out to be an excellent choice as I arrived at the class location with 2 minutes to spare, only to realize I had gone to the wrong place. Yea, the car would not have made it to the actual class site without that gas refill. My mood, it was appropriately soured.

In summary, let me express my public apology to those at the Minnesota Association of Realtors (MNAR) seminar this morning for my lack of human fuel. My Mazda CX7 thanks you all for your patience and kindness.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I'll stick to my day job....

A while back Debra and I discussed our mutual desire to learn the fine art of cake decorating. I had visions of making toy car cakes, and Barbie cakes in my future, perhaps finding great skill and having a friend with a tight budget ask me to help with a wedding cake. I have always loved art, and we all know I love to cook, so this should be a natural, right?


WRONG.

In case you hadn't figured it out, the image above is my cake, mid frosting. I do have to point out that it ended up much better than that. Maybe not a LOT better, but some amount better than the aforementioned image. I guess I have a while to go before I am crafting wedding cakes. But I have purchased the necessary equipment to make a mean cake, so if you need one for something, preferably a retirement party of someone with some seriously impaired vision, I'm your gal.

Both surprisingly and happily, I have had requests for more recipes on my blog! This happens to be one of my favorite things to discuss, but I always thought that my loyal audience was bored to tears by it. Guess I was wrong!

So I have a recipe of the day...make if for dinner if you don't already have a plan. It is a fantastic, lighter version of Chicken Piccata, and has become a staple in the Frank household.

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 4 to 6 ounces each
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons flour for dredging
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon lemon juice (preferably fresh)
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Instructions:
1. Lay the chicken between two pieces of waxed paper and flatten the cutlet with the flat end of a mallet until thin.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet until hot. While the oil is heating, season the chicken with salt and pepper and dredge it in flour.

3. Sauté the chicken over high heat, about 3 minute on each side. Remove to a warm platter and keep warm.

4. Quickly add the chicken broth to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon to release any caramelized bits that may be stuck to the pan. Cook until the broth has reduced by half. Add the lemon juice and capers. Pour the sauce over the chicken, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
Number of Servings: 2

Make it and let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Changes


You may have noticed some changes to my blog lately. I have decided that since people seem to read this (even though you never comment....but I see the traffic reports)...then maybe I should class it up a bit. So with all of the money that has been pouring in from this creative outlet ($0.00), I decided to hire a high profile graphic designer (Debra's boyfriend who is actually an IT guy), and pay him huge bucks (free dinner) to design a logo for me. And ta-da! He has done it, I have a beautiful logo now!

But there is a second big change. And if you know me well, you will know why this change is quite ironic. And so I challenge you to figure out what has changed on my blog and - with me in mind - comment why this new element is SO not me. And.....GO!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Healthy Tuesday

Most of you know I am a bit of a health nut, and have a slight obsession with new, healthy recipes, and new, fun workouts. So I have one of each to share with you as we are in the middle of February. Perhaps new year's resolutions are beginning to slip by the wayside, and the Girl Scouts begin their annual assassination of the waist line...

#1. Baked Oatmeal. I like to make this on Sunday, cut it into 6 pieces, and bring one each day for breakfast. It seems like a treat, and yet is quite good for you.

Baked Oatmeal

2 cups uncooked oats (could use steel cut if you want too..but make sure to soak them first if you do)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins (or dried fruit of your choice) - optional
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts (or nut of your choice) - optional
1 teaspoon baking powder
1½ cups milk
½ cup applesauce
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg in a separate bowl. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm.

#2. The Shed - http://www.theshedfitness.com/

Jeremy and I discovered this place about 4 months ago and we love it. They have outstanding spinning classes, as well as a number of other fun ones. The teachers are great, it is no frills, no fluff, no primping yourself for the gym. Just a great workout with fun people. Check it out if you live in Minneapolis! Better yet, give me a call and I'll meet you there for a class!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dixie's Tupperware Party!


Success! We were looking for something to do this weekend and succeeded! We wanted to explore our city and do something different...so we took to the theater. Kind of. We decided to go to ...

Dixie's Tupperware Party

What is that, you may ask? Well, it is a transgendered woman carting Tupperware across the country selling it. Literally, the Tupperware was for sale, or crap as she calls it. The story is that she was let out of jail and her parole officer insisted that she get a job in order to gain custody of her children. To make a long story short, she decided to sell Tupperware after a chance encounter with a classy bowl she was given.

And so it began. Dixie took to her friends and neighbors with her shtick and sold Tupperware. A lot of Tupperware. In fact, so much Tupperware that at the annual Jubilee she was the 2nd highest grossing Tupperware Salesperson.

So Dixie explains in some hilarious manners how the Tupperware 'crap' can be used. The cupcake holder for example, was described as a Jello Shot transporter. And my favorite, when a woman in the audience asked:
"Does any of this have PBA's?"
Dixie Responded: "Now lady, I think you mean BPA's, which are a byproduct of a plastics. First, no, we have a higher grade of plastic that does not have BPA's, but second, this Tupperware, it is PLASTIC. Therefore, I do not recommend putting it in the oven(which is how BPA's are released - the microwave is not enough heat). This plastic, it doesn't do so well in the OVEN. In fact, BPA's or not, I recommend you keep the Tupperware crap out of the oven. Have I answered your question to the fullest of your expectations, madam?

It was hilarious. I highly recommend it if you are not easily offended, and if you have a sense of humor. If you fall into either of those categories, don't go. And for that matter, why are we friends?

Before Dixie's we had another Minnesota adventure this weekend. My good friend Candice was celebrating her birthday by attending something only Minnesota could boast. A meat raffle.

Now I was a bit confused, but it is everything the name implies. You walk in, purchase a raffle ticket for $1, to be entered in a drawing to win meat. Like real actual animal meat. So very bizarre. No, I did not partake in the raffle section of the program, but I did get a serious kick out of the place. This bar was about 5 minutes from our house, and yet it was as though we were on a different planet.

Seriously, this was straight out of a movie. Candice won a giant slab of bacon. Darn, too bad I didn't win the giant slab of bacon.


Minnesota, I think I love you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

9 more minutes

until the weekend!


So what should we do? I would like to go to the airport and just buy a ticket wherever the next plane is going to. Or go Target and buy one of those Vitamin D lights or something because this is the worst part of winter ever. Seriously, hate it. I must go somewhere. Anywhere. Feel free to send contributions to the 'Kara must get away somewhere' fund.

But, since the likelihood of my seeing 20+ degree weather anytime soon is unlikely - I'd like a suggestion of something else fun to do in Mpls this weekend. Anyone? Suggestions? We were thinking of going to that Dixie's Tupperware party thing at Hennepin Theater, looked funny - but somewhat expensive. But we still might go. Anyone have any other brilliant suggestions?!

Talk about random blog post...because now I have a recipe to share. And I haven't made it yet, but it has 2 ingredients (I am my mother's daughter after all)and I love them both so I will share it, and ensure it must be delish...
Icebox Cake

Serves 12

Graham crackers
2 boxes instant pudding (flavors of your choice)
Whipped topping (optional)

1. Prepare the instant pudding according to the package directions and set aside to thicken.

2. Line the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan with whole graham crackers. Break them in half if needed to fit.

3. Cover the graham crackers with half of the pudding. Add another layer of graham crackers on top of the pudding. Top with the rest of the pudding.

4. If desired, cover the top layer with whipped topping. Crush extra graham crackers on top, cover and refrigerate until cold and set, about 3 hours.


Random post complete. Have a great weekend!

Monday, February 8, 2010

I saw the $104,000,000 statute...

Right here, in White Bear Lake!!

In case you hadn't heard, Sotheby's auction house recently auctioned off its highest record sale to date. They sold Alberto Giacometti's, "Walking Man" for $104 Million.

See below:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/7150946/Alberto-Giacometti-sculpture-fetches-record-65m-at-Sothebys-auction.html


And lo and behold, when I was at a leadership retreat last weekend, I saw it!


Or basically the same thing. Whatever. But I'm pretty sure the White Bear Country Inn didn't pay $104 million for their sculpture.

And it leads me to the obvious question we all must be asking ourselves, in this "Biggest Economic Downturn of our Generation", who is buying a statute for $104 million. I guess you can clearly see that I was not the anonymous buyer. My sculptures tend to come from TJ Maxx.

And even then...they're on clearance.

Who am I kidding, I don't even own a sculpture. But if I did, it would come from TJ Maxx.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Must See

I'm not a huge movie person, and I'm not usually the one who says...

You must read XYZ book....
or
You must see XYZ movie...
or
You must go to XYZ store...

(though I could fill in each of those blanks) However, this time. YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE.

Food, Inc.


This will change your perception of farming and what we put in our bodies. I know I'm the crazy fitness nut, and I like to eat healthy, but this is totally different. See it. It's on DVD, rent it. Immediately.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fire!?

Last week Jeremy and I celebrated our 4 year 'dating' anniversary. This led him to ask when we can stop celebrating our 'dating' anniversary, since we are now married. I informed him the answer is never. Why give up another excuse for a great meal and celebration!? Yep, never. So we went out to Porter and Frye for dinner, and I have to say the restaurant was a bit sad. Half of the place was secretly closed off to make the restaurant look busier than it actually was. The meal was nice, nothing that knocked my socks off, but nice. And then...we got the bill...and noticed something odd..

In case you cannot read this receipt, we were charged for, "Fire!........$0.00"

Apparently times were so hard they were no longer charging for Fire! Can you believe they give away Fire!? Okay fine, so maybe that's only funny to me.

On a different note, its official...Debra and I have signed up to participate in the Breast Cancer 3 day once again! The walk is August 20-22, and for those of you who know me well, you know that is just about a week before my birthday. SO...if you want to give me a great birthday present, you can donate to the walk! That's all I want! And maybe some of my mom's yellow cake from the box. And also a balloon. And some singing. But mostly just a donation to the walk!

I will be sending out an email shortly, but if you are able to donate it, I would greatly appreciate your help:


http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2010/TwinCitiesEvent2010?px=3167794&pg=personal&fr_id=1473
As I did last year, I will provide periodic updates of our training walks. Lets hope this year Debra does not pee in her pants on a training walk again. Or maybe she should, because let me tell you, it was one of the more hilarious events of my life. As long as it's not me who does the peeing.

XOXO

Kara