Three things make a post

1. I have decided to get myself a TV streaming stick, either a Roku or Amazon Fire. I am leaning toward Roku based on internet comparisons, but I do have Amazon Prime and a Kindle Fire, so I'm open to being persuaded in that direction. (Also, I have a suspicion that as soon as I buy a Roku, they will announce that they're coming out with a newer model, whereas Amazon already did.) Anyone have a recommendation or preference? (Obviously the best time to purchase such a thing is AFTER I spent the weekend binge-watching not one, but TWO TV series - Jessica Jones and The Man in the High Castle - on my laptop. Both shows are highly recommended, FYI.)

2. I really want to email this to my mother and be like, "Do you think maybe we could try this for a change?" I might possibly be cranky after a phone call this weekend in which I mentioned having a lot of pain this week, and her response being, 'Well, you have been doing a lot of cooking lately and eating more than usual." Like, SORRY MY BAD for trying to eat relatively balanced meals and maintain a healthy weight. Maybe I should go back to eating nothing but grilled cheese. I get that she just wants to be able to make me better and critiquing everything I ingest is her trying to ~solve my Crohn's but CROHN'S DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY and just once I would like to say, "Hey, I'm in a lot of pain," and hear, "I'm sorry, honey, that sucks," instead of, essentially, "Well, that's what you get for eating FOOD." 

3. Speaking of food, I made butternut squash soup this weekend. I'm not even going to bother linking the recipe because the proportions were way off and I ended up having to add more than twice as much chicken stock as the recipe called for in order to get the right consistency, so I'll be looking for a different recipe the next time I make it. My parents have one, but it makes about eight gallons of soup, so I figured I'd just look for a smaller batch recipe online, but this one was not a winner. Tasted fine, though, once I made it not mashed potatoes-esque. 

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Another cooking post!

Look at me go!

Rosemary Olive Oil Crock Pot Bread - YOU GUYS I BAKED BREAD IN A CROCK POT. I don't know why I am so excited about this achievement in particular, considering I've done a fair amount of cooking and this was ridiculously easy, but something about the novelty of baking bread in the crock pot makes me want to brag to everyone I know. The bread is delicious, btw. I have eaten it every day since I made it, and I have some epic plans for grilled cheese if I can stop myself from just eating it slathered in olive oil (definitely try it with the olive oil herb dip included at the same link). There will be more soon enough, though, because my mother has already demanded that I make it again when I come home for Thanksgiving.

French Onion Beef Stroganoff - This is another recipe from the same blogger, and it's another winner, so I'm thinking I need to just work my way through the entire site. I am not usually big on beef stroganoff, since I don't really like mushrooms - I actually left them out when I made this one - but I loooooove french onion soup, so adding beef and noodles couldn't really go wrong. I also didn't bother with the red wine, since I don't drink it; I wasn't about to open a whole bottle just for 1/4 cup to cook with. I added extra broth instead, though I probably didn't need to, as the sauce was very liquidy and needed longer to reduce than the recipe said. But hey - I've got delicious bread to sop it up!

Butternut Squash Casserole - So this is the casserole recipe I was going to make last time, except I forgot to buy squash. On a related shopping note, I happened to do my grocery shopping on Saturday with [personal profile] angearia and [personal profile] gryfndor_godess and they must be good luck charms or something, because all my recipes turned out awesome this week! (And I managed to get all the correct ingredients, lol.)

Anyway, this recipe kind of ticked me off - or rather, the lack thereof ticked me off. I don't remember how I stumbled upon this link - I get daily emails from, but I also may have been searching for something - but reading through the post, I was super excited about the goat cheese + parmesan combo, and then I clicked on the link for the recipe, and it turned out it was the ORIGINAL recipe, pre-modifications, which is completely not what the post's author described. My parents may be of the "exact measurements are for losers" school of cooking, but I prefer specific instructions. So, if you are like me, and you're all, "Okay, but HOW MUCH goat cheese did you use? What is the ratio of goat cheese to parmesan? And goat cheese is a totally different consistency than cheddar! Will it melt the same?" I went with 2 cloves of garlic tossed with the squash and olive oil before roasting (which took more like 40 minutes to get to tender). I used 1 cup of goat cheese and 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan to make the cheese sauce, and then another 1/2 cup of parmesan sprinkled on top. I also added 1 tsp each of fresh rosemary and thyme, since I had it left over from the bread and stroganoff recipes. I do like the combo of sage and butternut squash, so I might try that if I made this again, but you definitely have to add something, as without any herbs or spices at all, it'd be pretty bland.

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Crohn's on TV!

Is anyone else watching The Affair? The plot is... pretty self-explanatory. It's about two people who are married, not to each other, and having an affair. The initial hook was that each episode was divided into two parts, telling the story from each main character's POV, sometimes repeating the same events but with contradictions or inconsistencies that suggested intriguing things about memory and unreliable narrators. Except by the end of the season, the versions were sometimes SO different that you couldn't tell what actually happened, like, from a basic plot perspective, which ended up just being distracting.

So I wasn't even sure I was going to watch season 2, but then I did, and weirdly found myself most concerned with a totally minor thread in which the main character's teenage son is having stomach aches - like, up until this week's episode, it is not even mentioned often enough to be a legitimate subplot, it literally is just a vague thing happening in the background of the story. To the point that I was seriously questioning myself, like, is the show that boring or am I just that obsessed with digestive problems that I will latch onto any character experiencing them, no matter how minor?


But then that got me thinking that this is probably the first TV character I have ever seen with Crohn's disease, and in general how rarely we see ANY kind of chronic illness on television that isn't cancer. I mean. other than President Bartlet's MS on The West Wing and Michael J. Fox on The Good Wife (and his short-lived sitcom, where his character also had Parkinson's), can you name any? I sincerely doubt this "kid with Crohn's" plotline is going to become a huge part of The Affair - if it comes up again at all, it'll undoubtedly be only in the context of how his parents handle it, since they're the show's main characters.

Maybe that's because living with chronic illness doesn't fit neatly into a plotline. I mean, cancer has a well-defined arc - it's a character-strengthening battle you either win (yay happy ending!) or lose (tragic death). But most chronic illnesses just go on and on and maybe there are ups and downs, but there's no END (granted, some illnesses are irreversibly degenerative, but it's usually a long-term thing that won't kill you nearly quick enough to be dramatically relevant). The best you can hope for is managing your symptoms, and in general you just live with it every day and it sucks and probably is kind of boring and nothing anyone would want to watch for entertainment. 

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