Friday, January 4, 2013

The week that made me question if I have bad joujou

Is it just me, or is this a weird week? Was there a full moon I didn't know about? Did I unknowingly walk under a ladder? Maybe I gave a black cat a good swift kick in my sleep. Perhaps I starred in a play and said something other than "break a leg" (trust me, my life is not that exciting). Now I hear The Producers' cast singing, "It's bad luck to say good luck on opening night! If you do, I'll tell you!" I may have watched that movie an unhealthy amount of times...

Due to my series of unfortunate events this week, I must consider that, a) all bad things happen in threes, b) I must have some bad karma or something following me around, and c) I am a chronic over-reactor.

First came the mysterious windshield incident of 2013. What a way to start the new year off with a bang. Or rather, a smash. I felt so bad for my poor car, Leo. He's been in the shop too many times this year. He is almost a teenager, I guess. Now that he's 11, he's been giving me all kinds of 'tude.

Second, our internet and cell booster went down for unknown reasons. We tried to replace the modem, but when that failed to solve the problem, I started pointing fingers at the squirrels in the basement. You guessed it: they're still taking up residence down there.

Third, our washing machine crapped the bed. After four years of utilizing unloved college washer and dryer units and spending too many hours last year cleaning our clothes at a really sketchy laundromat, we were overjoyed to have a washer and dryer in our rental house! However, the set we have was made in the 80s and is very temperamental. The washing machine squeals--A LOT--and hums and rattles and generally shakes the floor whenever it's running. How did we know it was broken, you ask? It started SMOKING.

Sidenote: I realize that, in the grand scheme of life, these are pretty petty problems. Believe me, I know how blessed Mr. J and I are to have otherwise functioning vehicles, and the extra money to afford services like internet and cell phone service. Not to mention, we're quite lucky to have a house to rent and a washer and dryer at our disposal.

Nevertheless, I was none too pleased that all three incidents had to happen in the same bloody week. In fact, they were less than 4 days apart. Grr! On the upside, my windshield was replaced, our internet was fixed, and our landlord is diligently working as I type to fix that damned washer. Bless that man, and Mr. J, for dealing with my antics and promptly dealing with the problem. It's times like these I wish I was as mechanically inclined as I am comfortable in the kitchen.

Speaking of comfy, here's a recipe that is both healthful and scrumptious (queue bad segue).

(Almost Organic) Turkey Goulash

Cook 1 pound of whole wheat organic pasta according to package instructions (I like to use farfalle, or bowties. They make me feel festive!)

In a large pot, cook 1 pound of ground turkey in 2 Tbs. olive oil with 3 diced garlic cloves.

When the turkey is nice and brown, add:
  • 1 28-oz can organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz can organic tomato paste
  • 1 or 2 tsp. onion powder (depending on how much you like that smoky, oniony flavor)
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning (or paprika)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tomatoes and 2 celery stalks, pureed
This puree helps smooth out your tomato sauce (and sneak in extra veggie power!)

Bring your meat sauce to a boil, then lower to a simmer for at least 10 minutes (the longer the sauce simmers, the more flavorful it will be).

Add your cooked pasta. Stir and heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy! xo