Two nights ago I got a text from my coworker that she was sick and I needed to cover the front desk...for the early shift. If you know me and early we do not get along well. But, grateful to even have a job I hit the hay early so I wouldn't be a complete zombie the next day.
Here's Day 7
nothing extraordinary, a gray thermal, jeans, and a luxuriously soft purple Vera Wang scarf that I got for Christmas. Did you know Vera Wang is designing for Kohl's now? Helloooo Vera.....
Oh, but I'm not wearing the scarf in the pic...that's a purple coat I got for last year's Christmas...but hey I made the effort to take a picture of myself at 6:30 in the morning driving in the pitch black darkness to work...give me a break!
On a completely different topic, the night before Matt had surprised me with my very own copy of Julia Child's The Art of Mastering French Cooking! I've been reading her biography and hearing about all the hard work that went into it I had been dying to get my hands on a recipe or two. Now with the whole 730 pages of it, I didn't even know where to begin! So many new things to try! Did you know she has a whole section on brains? They sure didn't mention that in the movie, although that would have been a funny one to see her try to cook!
We walked Roy to the store and I loaded up on mushrooms, shallots, heavy cream, wine, a baguette...all the things necessary to make a gourmet French meal (don't worry, we had plenty of butter at home).
At home I got to work on her recipe for chicken breast with mushrooms and shallots in white sauce. Reading her cookbook really is like having here there over your shoulder giving you little tips. I can completely see how one would get very attached to her without having ever met her--her voice just shines through the text. I can just hear her saying "Now, you must dry the chicken thoroughly or it will not brown, dear!" or "Wait until the sauce looks positively syrupy before adding the cream."
As I began to add the shallots and mushrooms to the foaming butter I realized all too late that my Le Creuset casserole dish is altogether too small. I was (please say this in her voice) "Crowding the mushrooms!" So I tried my own variation which involved doing them in batches. Which involved me schlopping mushroom juice all over my stove top and hot mushrooms on my toes as I clumsily tried to transfer them to and from a plate.
But then she instructs you to cook everything all in one dish in the oven...but my little chickenies were completely covered with mushrooms! Hmm...eventually I did make it work and removed to the chicken to a warmed (boo-yah-yeah it was warm) plate to work on the sauce. A bit of bouillon, dash of wine, reduce reduce, add the cream, add a few drops of lemon juice and voila!
According to Matt it was one of the top 5 things he's ever tasted in his life and he dubbed it, and I quote, "phenomenal." Thanks Julia!
We have decided to make Wednesdays our "no TV" nights so we actually ate dinner at the table, played a card game and I took a bath. I think we need to do that more often!
Today I got the early shift again (feel better Carol!) and was bound and determined to wear a skirt. You know the rules, I have to cycle through bottoms (skirts, slacks, jeans, etc) before I can wear them again and the skirt section in my closet has just sat there staring at me menacingly. Our workplace is a bit more casual than some of the more suit-like stuff I own, so trying to dress it down was going to be a bit of a challenge. But hey, that's why its called the Wardrobe Challenge, right?
So here's Day 8
Thanks to my purse hanging on the coat rack for the substitute tripod...
The pencil skirt from my suit I paired with a graphic tee, sweater and a hat. Whaddya think? My boss said he liked it and when I told him about the challenge got inspired to get rid of all the shirts he's bought and never worn...so that's a good thing!
Today's charity spotlight goes to...Doctors Without Borders. Or, since I made a French meal last night, Medecines Sans Frontieres.
Rated 4 stars (the highest) on Charity Navigator, its mission reads:
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization that provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters.
Here is an excerpt from an article in the Wall Street Journal that was written by two women stationed in Haiti with MSF when the quake struck:
Five minutes after the quake, people were banging on our door in need of help. There were four of us, including a fourth year nursing student with minor injuries, and we worked all night. The janitor helped with bandages. It was quickly overwhelming from a medical standpoint: Within a few hours there were hundreds of people in need of surgery.I see some people and can't believe they are alive. They have extreme crush injuries, partial amputations, and open fractures. A mother helped me bandage her infant, whose left hand was gone. It took an hour, but once the baby was bandaged, she was calmer. I can't imagine what the mother is going through. I changed the bandages on a little girl and it took me a while to see the wound, but part of her skull was missing. She needs immediate reconstructive surgery.
You can read the article in its entirety HERE, but I warn you its pretty graphic.
To donate to Doctors Without Borders, click HERE.