Sweet Dreams are Made of These

I have had daily vivid, bizarre dreams my whole life.  I wish I could remember more of them, but they usually dissipate like smoke moments after I wake up.  There are some that hang around, though.  Here are a few that stand out:

I have had a recurring dream for years about my grandma’s house.  In these dreams, the house starts out looking like the one she lived in when I was a child.  The dream house, however, has a series of secret passages and rooms that go on seemingly forever.

Once, when I was young, I dreamed that my family and I were all different kinds of acne.  Some were whiteheads.  Some were blackheads.  Some were clusters of pimples.  We could change sizes and stick ourselves to the faces of people we didn’t like.

When I was on Chantix, I dreamed that my dog had committed some sort of wrong, and Queen Elizabeth was to choose his punishment.  She decided to put him in a rocket and blast him off into space to starve to death.

Most disturbing have been the series of baby dreams.  Often times, I am given an extremely small baby to take care of, and I misplace them or drop them or step on them.  Once, when our friend Desiree had a baby, she came by to see us.  She asked me if I wanted to feed her son, and I said yes.  The Hubs got all hurt and said to me accusingly “you never feed our baby!”  And I, honestly taken aback, said “we have a baby??”  He pointed, and there in the corner of our living room was a little girl in a high chair, covered in spider webs, and looking all sad from the neglect….

A lot of times, I’m looking for someone.  Chasing them.  Often times across a vast college campus.  Once through a series of connected rooms that were Olympic sized swimming pools with balconies on two opposite walls in each room.  You could only go from room to room by jumping off one balcony, swimming the length of the pool, climb back up to the next balcony, and do the same in the next room, and the next, and the next.

Feel free to offer interpretations.  😉  Do you ever remember your dreams?

Song of the Day

Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics.  What else would I pick for this topic?

Recipe of the Day

Pina Colada Poke Cake via http://www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com.  Nobody needs to eat this cake.  It is as far from healthy as you can get, but it is dreamy.  Until your eye starts twitching from all of the sugar…..

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
  • 1 box butter cake mix, plus ingredients to make cake
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 15-ounce can cream of coconut (NOT coconut milk)
  • 1 15.25-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
For the Topping:
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar (sweeten to your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • shredded coconut and maraschino cherries, to garnish if desired

Directions:

  1. Prepare and bake cake in a 9×13 pan according to package directions. While your cake is baking, mix together the reserved pineapple juice, sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut until smooth.
  2. Immediately after removing your cake from the oven, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the milk mixture over the top of the warm cake, making sure to get it down into the holes. The cake will appear very saturated, but that’s okay. Evenly spread the reserved crushed pineapple all over the top. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. To make the topping:
  4. Beat cream vigorously by hand with a whisk or using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer. When the cream starts to thicken, add in the powdered sugar and coconut extract. Continue beating until soft peaks form. You may also use Cool Whip if you wish. Garnish cake with shredded coconut and maraschino cherries.
  5. Keep cake covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Prepare and bake cake in a 9×13 pan according to package directions. While your cake is baking, mix together the reserved pineapple juice, sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut until smooth.
Immediately after removing your cake from the oven, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke holes all over the top of the cake. Pour the milk mixture over the top of the warm cake, making sure to get it down into the holes. The cake will appear very saturated, but that’s okay. Evenly spread the reserved crushed pineapple all over the top. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To make the topping:
Beat cream vigorously by hand with a whisk or using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer. When the cream starts to thicken, add in the powdered sugar and coconut extract. Continue beating until soft peaks form. You may also use Cool Whip if you wish. Garnish cake with shredded coconut and maraschino cherries.
Keep cake covered in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Book of the Day

Image result for night circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.  This is the mesmerizing story of a mysterious circus that appears without warning or advertising.  Le Cirque des Reves….The Circus of Dreams.  I highly recommend this book.  It belongs on every must-read list.

 

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That Time I Died

Good morning to all 2 of my readers!  How are y’all?  I am in a pretty darn good mood.  Tomorrow I get to go see my doctor for my 2-week follow-up and hopefully be released from my confinement.  I am beyond ready to get back to my normal ol’ life.  I am ready to be able to drive.  I am ready to be able to get up and do whatever just because I want to.  Hell, I’m even ready to be able to do laundry again.

I had another strange dream last night.  Bizarre dreams are the norm, but I can’t always remember them.  I remember this one because it is a recurring dream.  I’ve had it at least twice before.  I and a few friends and family are at a combination fair/flea market type place.  Instead of shopping, you are handed a scavenger hunt list.  The fair/flea market is in one extremely long rectangular shaped building that just goes from one room to the next to the next to the next to the next……each room being a different shop owned by a different person and selling different wares.  You must maneuver from room to room marking objects off of your list.  And not all are physical objects.  One item from my list last night was to get the lady who sells umbrellas to tell you a story.  The recurring part is that one list item is to find your own headstone.  Yes, there is a shop that contains headstones.  They don’t sell them.  It’s more like a library or an index.  If you have a headstone in there with your name on it, you have died at some point in your life.  And, I knew from previous visits to the shop that I had a headstone in there….you know….from that time I died when I was 16.  Last night, a friend and I were making our way through our lists, and I started digging in the piles for my headstone.  She looked at me like I was crazy, but I knew it was there.  When I found my stone and showed it to her, she asked me if I was okay.  I shrugged and told her that I didn’t guess I was since I had died.  This all seemed very logical.  I marked the item off of my list, and we continued on our way.

Well, I guess I’ll get this day started.  Bad TV, eye roll-inducing political Facebook posts, my Kindle, the dishes, and a nap or two.  I simply cannot contain my excitement.  Y’all have a blessed day!

Peace and tombstone grease.

Song of the day:

Holding On To You by twenty one pilots.  This is the song that turned me on to twenty one pilots.  They friggin’ rock.  I love their quirky, yet thoughtful lyrics and their beats that make you want to shake it.  This is no longer my favorite song of theirs, but I will always love it.

Recipe of the day:

Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp in Coconut Milk with Fried Plantains via http://www.halfbakedharvest.com

I came across this recipe one day when I was craving something with coconut milk.  It is insane.  It is probably one of the best recipes I have ever tried.  I had zero experience with plantains when I made it and was fortunate enough to get ones that weren’t very ripe.  The second time I made this recipe, I got ones that were very ripe and soft and sweet, and it just wasn’t the same.  I highly recommend getting not-so-ripe plantains.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound raw tail on shrimp
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded + chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped + more fore serving
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • steamed white rice + black beans + sliced avocado, for serving

Fried Plantains

  • 4 yellow plantains, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • oil, for frying
  • flaky sea salt

Instructions

Add the shrimp to a gallon size Ziplock bag or medium size bowl. Add the olive oil, honey, garlic, ginger, jalapeños, cayenne, cumin and cilantro. Toss well to combine, seal the bag or cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes or up 24 hours.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot use a slotted spoon to scoop the shrimp out of the marinade and into the hot skillet, season with salt and pepper. Make sure to scoop up all the garlic as well. Cook the shrimp until pink, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add the butter and 1 teaspoon pepper (or more or less to your taste) to the skillet. Continue to cook the shrimp in the butter until the garlic begins to caramelize and turn LIGHT golden brown, about another minute or two. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk and basil.

Serve shrimp alongside rice, black beans, fried plantains, avocado and lime wedges. Garnish with freshly chopped basil.

Fried Plantains

Heat an inch or so of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the plantains and fry for 2-3 minutes per side or until just lightly golden. Remove and drain on paper towels. Now transfer the plantains to a cutting board and, using the back of a wooden spoon, smash them down into round flat disks.

Return the plantains to the hot oil and fry another 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden and crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Chips are best eaten right after frying, but any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.

Book(s) of the Day:

I am listing three books today.  All three are set in bookstores, which is awesome, and which I love.  All three are very different and very compelling stories.  How great would it be to work in a bookstore?  Or better yet, live in one?

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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All three books earned 5 stars on Goodreads and a warm fuzzy place in my heart.

A Different Perspective

Well, here I am post-surgery, and time no longer has the same meaning as before.  I don’t mean that nearly as profoundly as it sounds.  I mean that my sleep schedule is all kinds of jacked up.  I have been sleeping off and on around the clock.  And, now it is 3:30 a.m., and I am wide awake.  I have been sitting beside my window watching cars drive up and down my street and wondering what in the world has these people up at this hour.  I kind of like being awake in the middle of the night.  Things are peaceful.  The world outside is beautiful.  You can hear the sounds that are lost during the day.  The absence of light gives my familiar surroundings a new and mysterious façade.

My recovery time is going to be lonely.  The Hubs has to go back to work.  And I am left in a solitary world of my own making.  I spent several years wrapped in a shroud of depression so veiled that I did not even recognize it myself for quite some time.  During that time, I slowly and methodically removed myself from almost all of my friends’ lives.  I pushed people away.  I did this by not coming around, not inviting people over, and declining invitations thrown my way.  The Hubs and I have swapped our old roles.  I used to be the social butterfly who dragged him along often against his will.  Now he’s the one with a social life, and he often ends up being one of my few companions.  I hate that I did this to everyone.  I have tried reaching out in recent years in an effort to repair some of the relationships that I had once distanced myself from.  But, what’s done is done.  And, I can’t blame everyone for moving on with their lives.  It has kind of been a bit hurtful that many of the people that I expected to pop in and check on me have been all radio silence.  I know that sounds selfish, but it is what it is.  The truth is often unattractive.  But, that will be my only complaint on the matter.

Narcotics are having quite an impact on my already-vivid dreams.  Every time I take one of the prescribed pills (which isn’t often as I despise taking pain medicine), I have such realistic dreams that I have to spend time convincing myself that it was indeed just a dream.  And, each time I have been extremely relieved when I finally decide that it couldn’t have been real.  Shudder!

I just wanted to take a moment in this quietness to drop a few lines.  I think I will go back to watching the night world outside my window until sleep finds me yet again.  I hope all is well in your worlds.

Peace and night critter grease.  Ha!  That sounds kind of grody….

Song of the Day:

The Sound of Silence – Disturbed (I love love love this version).  And, I find this song appropriate with the time of night and my mood.

Book of the Day:

Image result for let's get lost adi

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

I just finished this book for the A Book that Gives You Wanderlust requirement of the 2016 Reading Challenge.  I love a good road trip, and this book is about just that.  It is very John Green-esque, and I love some John Green.  I have mentioned my affinity for YA fiction before.

Recipe of the Day:

Savory Bacon-Cheddar Pancakes with Corn and Jalapeno via http://www.seriouseats.com.  I very much enjoyed this savory twist on the old breakfast staple.  Nom nom nom.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces bacon, cut into fine dice
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears of corn)
  • 1 to 2 red or green jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced (divided)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 ounces (about 1 1/4 cup) cultured buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for oiling pan or griddle
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Directions

  1. Heat butter, bacon, and 1 tablespoon water in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until water evaporates and bacon begins to crisp and brown, about 5 minutes. Add corn, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring, until tender and cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add jalapeño peppers and half of scallions and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a plate to cool slightly.
  2. Combine cornmeal, flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, honey, eggs, buttermilk, 2 tablespoons oil, half of corn/bacon mixture, and half of remaining scallions in a large bowl and stir and fold until no dry streaks of flour remain but batter is still lumpy. Fold in cheese cubes.
  3. Heat griddle or large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add a small amount of oil to the griddle and spread with a paper towel. Ladle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of batter onto the griddle, spreading it into an even circle. Repeat to fit as many pancakes as you can. Spread a 1 tablespoon-sized portion of the bacon/corn mixture on top of each pancake.
  4. Cook undisturbed until edges of pancakes begin to set and bubbles start to break the top surface, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip the pancakes with a thin, flexible spatula and cook on second side until golden brown and completely set, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in a warm oven while you cook the remaining pancakes. Serve, garnished with remaining scallions and drizzled with honey.

Sunday Sunday Sunday

Happy Sunday morning, Interweb!  I hope you are having a fabulously relaxing weekend.  Mine has been so far, so good.  Yesterday, my mother and I drove up to hang out with my grandma, which is always wonderful.  I also got to see my dad, my sister, and my super-cute great nephew.  He warms my heart.  I don’t think he’s too sure about me yet, though.  He always gives me this contemplative look with his head cocked to one side and half of an unsure smile on his face like he can’t quite figure out if I am one of the good guys or some weird-looking drifter who has invaded his home.

I had a dream last night that left me feeling slightly annoyed when I woke up this morning.  I dreamed that The Hubs and I were sleeping, and a sound woke me up.  I got up and went to investigate.  I couldn’t see anything amiss, so I went back to bed.   A bit later, The Hubs heard something and woke me up, and he went to investigate.  He started hollering something about a dog.  Just then, a gust of wind blew open one set of my bedroom blinds.  As I go over to look out the window, a pack of 5 dogs jumps through and takes off toward my living room.  I run in and find about a million puddles of dog pee all throughout the house, torn up cushions, ravaged papers, and just general destruction everywhere.  And, in the midst of the chaos sits Rodge, one of my customers from work (who I have never actually met face-to-face).  He is sitting at my computer typing furiously.  I ask him in not-so-nice-deranged-screaming-head-spinning-fire-shooting-from-my-mouth terms to please leave.  He does, and I go to my computer to find that he has been making up orders for locations that do not exist and entering them into my dispatch system.  Meanwhile, the pack of dogs, which range from Labrador-sized to teacup poodle-sized are running circles through my house, jumping in and out of my bedroom window, and adding to the destruction with every pass.  When I did actually wake up this morning, I cautiously tiptoed into my living room while holding my breath….just in case…..

Well, I must stop being a Procrastinating Polly and go do some chores.  It is Football Sunday.  My fantasy team is the only one left in the league that is undefeated, but I have an inkling that will come to an end today.  We are limping along with injuries and bye weeks, and it is just not a pretty picture.  But, never say die, right?

Peace and doggy destruction grease.

Recipe of the day:

Baked Potato Pizza via http://www.pillsbury.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (11 oz) can refrigerated pizza dough
  • 6 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 cups cubed, unpeeled baked potato (about 1 large)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp ranch dressing mix (from a 1-oz. pkg)
  • 8 strips crisply cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
  • sour cream, for garnish

Directions

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray or grease a 15×10″ cookie sheet.  Unroll the dough and press into a 15×10″ rectangle.
  • Arrange provolone cheese onto dough.  In a medium bowl, mix potato, olive oil, and ranch dressing mix.  Spoon mixture evenly over cheese slices.  Sprinkle with bacon and cheddar.
  • Bake 13-16 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.  Sprinkle with onion and serve with dollops of sour cream.

Book of the day:

Image result for a sudden light

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein.  It has been a while since I read this book, but I loved it.  Stein has quite a way with words, and I found myself reading and rereading passages so I could absorb them.  Stein also wrote The Art of Racing in the Rain, which squeezed my heart until I could barely breathe.

Song of the day:

Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns

This is one of my most favorite worship songs.  Enjoy!