I am not good with surprises. I can keep them. That's not what I am talking about. I am talking about how, I cannot stand it if I know that something may be happening, some sort of surprise. I CAN'T STAND IT. It makes me frickin' freak out. If I know that something may be happening, I can't handle not knowing what it is.
Some examples of this are:
10 years old - Christmas - found out every present that I was getting from Santa. I had Shannon keep look out - while I very carefully unwrapped the presents, opened to see what it was, and then carefully re-wrapped them again.
My engagement - Chris kept hinting that he had been looking at rings, had picked one out - and that I had to be patient. I couldn't take it.
That's really all I can remember right now... not too many examples...
Last night was the surprise of all surprises. A surprise that I knew nothing about. Nothing! I had no clue. It completely threw me off guard.
My friend Tina hosted a wedding shower for me. My GFs were all there. It was amazing. The plan was that Tina and her husband, John, were hosting an 'end of summer' barbeque for us, with our friends Chrissy & Jim, and Karen & Randy. I remember thinking that it seemed a little late in the year to have a barbeque since the weather has been so crappy. Our friend David was coming with us and I told him that I didn't realize that he was invited - and he was so fast on his feet and said that he was coming b/c Tina had invited him when they were out on a dog walk when he was taking care of the pups.
We arrived at Tina's house, I had bags with me - a bag of beverages, a bag of Hallween candy that I had wrapped up (I hate coming empty handed to someone's house), and my purse. The guys are up the stairs before me, b/c they were empty handed (thanks guys). The door opens, and Chris goes in, and I see Pilar sitting on the love seat. It took me a moment, and I thought 'why is Pilar here'. And then I just started laughing. I couldn't believe it! then I started shaking, and then I started to cry. And then I couldn't stop laughing.
I am still in shock that I had no clue. Not one.
It was an incredible night. My girlfriends, and my mom, put on an incredible feast. The plan for them was to make something that I had inspired them to make. I couldn't believe how much thought that they put into this. The food was so delicious. They all spoiled me with the most incredible gifts.
It was an amazing night. I just was so incredibly honoured that anyone would do this kind of surprise for me. I felt so blessed. I had a moment during the night where I had to just say 'this is my wedding shower'. It's all so exciting. I just feel so loved - and so sincerely happy to have such an incredible group of ladies to share this wonderful experience with.
This week has been a full on week of wedding. We have mailed our invites, we have rented our tuxes, I have started the fitting process with my dress, we have picked out our wedding bands, we have done our registries, I have met with the decorator for the wedding, we have booked our JOP, we have our photos from our engagement shoot, and I had a wedding shower!!!
Sorry for the wedding talk - if you are opposed to this - please skip to the next section. Don't throw things, or punch your computer in disgust - it will only cause you harm. I think that I am going to do wedding updates though - I wasn't going to - but I am going to be purely selfish - and write down things. The reason - so that in about 5 years, when I am sitting on the couch on a Saturday night and I am bored b/c Chris has gone to bed b/c he has to go to bed even earlier than he normally does, I can look back and remember all the excitement. And... if you are interested, you can too.
Alright, enough about wedding talk. Stop talking about it. Ok fine, if you want to - call me. I have a lot more chitter chatter where that came from.
I watched about 5 minutes of Bobby Flay's 'Throw down' today. They were making some dish - I don't know what it was called or what the ingredients were - but I know there were tomatoes and I heard Bobby say that he added coconut milk to the rice. I had plans to try and make something with this in mind. I had a plan in place - I started cooking - and realized that I was missing lots of the ingredients (rice, canned tomatoes). Time for Plan B. Plan B turned out to be a nice surprise.
Curry Barley Stew
3/4 cup barley
2 onions - chopped
2 chicken breasts - cut in half
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups fresh tomatoes - chopped
5 links of italian sausages - broiled and then chopped into thin slices
1 zucchini - chopped into small pieces
2 peppers - chopped
2 cups button mushrooms - cleaned and the stems cut off - kept whole
1 can of coconut milk
2 tbsp of curry powder
1/2 tsp pepper flakes
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
In a large pot, drizzle olive oil and saute your onion over medium heat. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Saute for about 5 minutes.
In the meantime, start boiling the barley. Add the 3/4 cup of barley to a pot with 4 cups of water and season with kosher salt and pepper. Boil over medium to high heat. Keep an eye on the barley, you may need to add more water. Boil the barley for 30 minutes.
Add a little more olive oil before adding the chicken. Add the chicken skin side down, give it another sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper. Be sure to give the chicken a little nudge to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes. Take the chicken out of pan and place it on to a plate. The bottom of the pot should be nice and dark - don't worry, the wine will make everything better. Hey - I've heard that before!
Add the wine to the pot and deglaze the pan. Get all of those bits off of the bottom and mix it all up. Then add the fresh tomatoes. I used tomatoes from my garden - they were ripe - and they were deelish. Let that simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes before adding the coconut milk. Once you have added the coconut milk, add the spices. Then add the rest of the vegetables and the sausages. Add the chicken back to the pot. Then add the barley and let it continue cooking in the pot and absorbing all of the incredible flavours. Let it simmer away until the barley is cooked until the consistency that you like.
And that's it. You're ready to serve it up. It's a hearty and healthy dinner. Chris rated it a 5+.
Well friends - I am still on a high from last night - and ready to sit on my Royal Canadian for a bit before tucking in for the night.