the depressing Downton Abbey finale, dry sockets, and other first world problems

Well hello. I didn’t see you there. I’ve missed you all dearly and wanted to let you know what’s been going on in my life. Also, I always have a lot to say and it all bottles up unless I blog. So sit back and listen to tales of what’s gone down in Piccoland.

*spoiler alert* Who all watched the season finale of Downton Abbey last Sunday? Am I the only one incredibly upset with it? Not about Matthew. He’s always been my least favorite character and I wasn’t sad to see him go. Sorry. But if they put Branson and Mary together I refuse to watch it anymore and will instead spend my time looking at pictures of Allen Leech. Anyway, I hated how the episode just sort of …stopped. There really wasn’t much of a plot line for it and if I heard the words “Anna and Bates” or “Mismanaged estate” one more time, I was going to punch the tv. But I was incredibly impressed by that bagpipe song. I thought there was only one song and it was the duh duh daduh duh duh duh DUHHHHH one, but that proved me wrong. Now we’re going to have to wait an entire year for season 4. Although I’m a bit excited to see them cover the Great Depression. That affected the UK, right? *spoiler alert over*

I’m almost 100% recovered from my wisdom tooth extraction of death. In the recovery process, I found out I had four dry sockets. Have you ever had a dry socket? It’s like a toothache/ear infection/headache all rolled into one fun ball of pain. My oral surgeon only packed the bottom two sockets, and I’m glad because the whole process is horrid. Basically he took gauze coated in clove oil and a sedative and put it on the sockets. Disgusting? Yes. Did everything taste like potpourri until they were taken out? Yes. But I’m much better now and I’m so glad I’ll never have to go through that again.

hersheys hot chocolate

I still have to irrigate the sockets so I’m not eating much stuff that will get stuck in them (sorry to make this post incredibly disgusting). I’ve also only been craving Cream of Wheat and hot chocolate. And by craving I mean CRAVING. I’ve already gone through almost an entire box of Cream of Wheat. That combined with the fact that I wished that I had my glasses this morning to find my glasses because I’m so nearsighted makes me feel like an old woman. So yes, no cooking. But next time my dad goes to the store I’m having him pick up the ingredients for a German chocolate cake, so get excited for that. In the meantime, here’s a picture of the homemade hot chocolate I made. The recipe is on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa box. That’s as homemade as it’s going to get. I put it in my Mark McGwire cup because I miss baseball so much. I’m going to ignore the fact that Mark used steroids.

I think I’m going to watch the Oscars tomorrow. I’ve never actually watched an awards show. Is that weird? I’m probably just going to watch the first hour because, no offense, I could care less about the acceptance speech from the director of Kon-Tiki.

So yes, that’s my life. Any thoughts on Downton? The Oscars? My odd Cream of Wheat addiction?

Why you should never go through old drafts of blog posts…

You know what’s fun? Annoying people. They rank right up there next to Leonardo DiCraprio as my favorite things on the planet. Except, not. I’m trying not to let this one person ruin my life/summer, but it’s not really working. So I shall now attempt to make you become as annoyed as I am, because that’s just how I roll. Ehem. As of a few days ago, the days are now getting shorter. Soon we’ll be back to the sun never rising at all (apparently I live at the north pole or something…). Also, the season premieres of Downton Abbey and Psych aren’t until this fall. And June 22nd marked the 4 year and 6 month anniversary of Heath Ledger dying. Ok that’s more depressing than annoying. I love that guy.

So because I am obviously annoyed, I wasn’t going to blog about anything today because grumpiness doesn’t make for very entertaining blog posts. But then I was going through post drafts I had saved on WordPress and found this from October 17th of last year:

I went on a date yesterday. Yes, my first date. Ever. Who was the lucky gentleman? His name was Craig and we met at the Apple store while he was trying to fix my Mac. It was a bit of a blind date, actually. And it all happened so fast… I mean one minute he’s looking at my computer, the next moment we’re an item, and then I’m pretty sure when he said “Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with your battery,” I know he meant “Will you marry me?” But he forgot to propose and I’m pretty sure he didn’t even know my name. But we were meant to be. I mean, he’s a Mac dork and he has blue eyes. Check.

It would have been the best day ever if I didn’t have to sit through a 3 hour football game. My church decided

And then it stops. So, my question to you is what do you think happened next? What did my church decide? Did it decide that Craig and I should live happily ever after? Are we goin’ find Craig, so you can run and tell that, homeboy? Was Craig actually Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Awkward? Why are the only things I talk about Newsies, Christian Bale, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Do I need to get a hobby/life? What’s your favorite food? Why are you still reading this?

Oh, and I’m sorry for making you annoyed. As a token of my appreciation, if you answer my questions or continue the story of When Picco Met Craig, you can look at the picture of my new sunflowers.

Yeah, I’m really boring today. Sorry?

All you need is love/potato salad

I have a question. And before you ask, no, it’s not “Why won’t Christian Bale marry me?” or “Why can’t I be more like Kevin Clash, the guy who does Elmo’s voice on Sesame Street?” or even “Why can’t all food be coated in peanut butter and/or chocolate, deep fried, and then fed to me by Christian Bale while Elmo tells me a story?” No. Especially that last one, since it makes me doubt my sanity a bit. It’s “What are Ryan Reynolds turkey meatballs”? Ryan Reynolds turkey meatballs has become a daily term people google to find my blog. Could someone please explain? I’m officially weirded out. And Kevin Clash is seriously amazing. Not that I watched a documentary on him last night and I’m seriously resisting watching it again right now…

Also, Downton Abbey Christmas special? Can we discuss please? First off, the whole Bates and Anna drama needs to go away. I know I wasn’t the only one who secretly wanted Bates to hang. And I say that in the least morbid way possible. You understand. The scene where they all dance together was adorable. Especially when The Dowager and Thomas dance. *SWOON* On an adorable scale of 1 to a basket of puppies handed to me by a leprechaun wearing a tutu, I’d say the dance scene ranked pretty near the top. Although now that I’m picturing it, a leprechaun in a tutu doesn’t sound so cute anymore. Wow. I think I’ve just mentally scarred myself for life. Good job, Picco. Oh and we all saw the whole Matthew and Mary stuff a mile away. I won’t spoil things for people who haven’t seen the episode yet, but Matthew proposes and then they awkwardly twirl in the snow. Whoops, did I just say that out loud?

Speaking of Downton, ummm, Thomas Barrow. Why isn’t this man a real live person and why isn’t he in my life so we can sinisterly plot things together? And then sinisterly bake sinister food together and speak of sinister things, such as Miley Cyrus and how freaky weird she is. Tell me that wouldn’t be oodles of fun.

And since I’m all over the place tonight, I just thought I’d throw in that I’m sick. So sick that the overall sick levels of my sickness have reached maximum capacity. See, I’m so ill that I thought that would make sense when I typed it out. The sad part is that it totally did in my head… Obviously I need to catch a cold more often because when I do get mildly ill like I have been the past 3 days, I do things like start 1000 piece puzzles in the middle of my bedroom floor that I know I’ll never finish, as well as wake up with classic songs we all know and love, such as Benny and the Jets and Grease Lightning, going through my head. Someone take me to a doctor pronto. Or come help me do a 1000 piece Audrey Hepburn puzzle. Either one would be much obliged.

Luckily, all of life’s ills are solved by potato salad. Even if one of the potatoes wasn’t totally cooked all the way, and maybe I might have added a bit too much mayonnaise, it still made me happy. Food tends to do that. As does watching Batman Begins. Could someone please tell Christian Bale’s manager that I’m completely obsessed with him? PLEASE?

Oh, and I boiled two different foods tonight. Potatoes and eggs. Both of which I’m not a big fan of. AND I hate boiling stuff because the dumb water never boils. Not to brag or anything, but I’m pretty impressed with myself.

Potato Salad

2 pounds clean, scrubbed potatoes (I used 6 medium ones, since I don’t have a kitchen scale and I’m really bad at guessing weight, age, and gender. You only think I’m joking. Do you know how frustrating it is not being able to tell if that creepy person you see is a man or woman? And then not being able to let it go that you can’t tell? It’s awful.)
6 eggs
1 pound bacon
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1/4 cup relish
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (I used 2 cups tonight and it was a bit much…)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. If you’re like me, you might as well go cure cancer while you’re waiting for the water to boil. If you’re not like me, TEACH ME YOUR WATER BOILING WAYS.  Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain.
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop. In that order. You do it out of order and things will get all wonky.
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
Chop the cooled potatoes, leaving skin on. In a large bowl, combine the hard boiled eggs, bacon, celery, and relish. Add mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste. Chill for an hour before serving. Enjoy immensity.

Chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie

It finally snowed. I’m happy.

I got a valentine. I’m beyond happy.

Yes, I had to pay for it, but it’s the first non-manditory valentine I think I’ve ever gotten. The band Sunderland (which I saw when they opened for Honor Society) had a Valentine’s Day package. I sent them $25 (which was also pretty much my life savings. I’m broke.), and they sent me a valentine, a CD which had their new song, a video, and some pictures of the band on it, a rubber bracelet thing, and candy. Um, I love them. And it was totally worth every penny, especially since I forgot that I had sent money and my mom was like “Um, who is Sunderland and why did they send you a package?” Happy days. That being said, feel free to send me a valentine. It’s not too late. I’m still accepting secret admirer valentines and/or chocolate until…forever. Hint hint.

As Cousin Violet said on the episode of Downton Abbey last night, “All this unbridled joy has given me such an appetite.” Luckily, I made food.

Yesterday, I made chicken pot pie. I’m pretty sure I could live off this stuff.

Today I made lime cilantro chicken. For someone who really doesn’t like chicken at all, I’ve sure made it a lot lately. And there’s still a package of chicken in the fridge that I need to make tomorrow. Oh joy.

Two things. One, I love cilantro. I could eat it by the pound. I think. Second, can we please discuss last night’s Downton Abbey? It was two intense hours of walking paraplegics, eloping Irish chauffeurs, and more Mr. Bates+Anna drama than any of us cared about. Who was scared of Thomas’ temper tantrum? Who wants to make fun of me because in those two hours I went from hating Matthew to thinking he’s the coolest thing since Mr. T? Although Thomas still wins the intense stare contest against Matthew. I spent much of the episode texting my friend Marie who was also watching it. For those of you who doubt my sanity, here’s some of the conversation that proves you right:

Marie: BALLKOBNJIEWOWLFJIFFJ!!!!!!
Me: OH THE DRAMA
Marie: I KNOW!!! DRAMA. MATTHEW AND MARY. CAPSLOCK.
Me: I. Love. Matthew.
Marie: Uh whatever, he’s mine.
Me: whatdaheck?!
Marie: NO YOU MAY NOT KISS HIM FOO.

And it went on for pretty much the entire episode. It was pretty intense.

Please meet my new best friend, the cast iron skillet. I’m going to grill everything on it from now on. Bacon, chocolate,  the new Mrs. Anna Bates… Come on, you know she’s kind of boring you too.

I guess I should talk about the food a bit. Um, this is raw chicken.

This is delicious cooked chicken with cool grill marks on it. Any questions?

Oh, and I totally loved Branson and Thomas and Sybil last night. End of story. I’ll stop talking about Downton now.

Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa*

*If the avocados your mom picked up from the store were so unripe that they could double as a weapon, you’ll have to leave out the avocado part like I did…

Chicken

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray

Salsa

1 cup chopped plum tomato (about 2)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled and finely chopped

Combine the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and chicken in a large bowl. Mix and stick in the fridge for an hour. Remove chicken from marinade and throw out the marinade. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat an awesome grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan and cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Dodge the oil splatters so you don’t get 3rd degree burns like I almost did. *ehem*

For the salsa, combine the tomato, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add avocado, and stir gently. Serve over chicken. I also served it with Mexican rice and it was delicious. And don’t worry, I can read Mexican.

The 7×7 award, OR why I spend too much time reading other people’s blogs

BRACE YOURSELVES. Picco decided to write a super long post and talk in 3rd person, obviously.

The other day I was nominated for an award. Nothing much, just a Nobel prize for being totally awesome. Well, actually it’s a blogger award for being…a blogger… same thing. It’s the 7×7 Link Award and if I’ve nominated you, then you’d better nominate other people back. Or else. *sinister music playing in background*

S7V7N rules

1. Tell 7 bloggers how fantasticly amazing you think they are by linking back to your favorite post from their blog.

2. Share 7 of your own posts in accordance with the themes set out below.

3. List 7 reasons why the person who nominated you is the bomb diggity.

4. Buy me these Converse.

5. Watch this. He’s Swedish and has red hair and I’m totally obsessed with him at the moment. Um, awesome?

6. I’m sticking this everywhere. If it ends up stapled to your face, I apologize, but it’s what had to happen. That wasn’t really a rule, but I needed to tell you.

7. Help me fill out college scholarship applications. They’re taking over my life, and not in a good-Downton-Abbey-taking-over-my-life way…

Ok, I lied. Those weren’t really 7 rules. It was more like 3 rules and 4 weird demand things. Thank you for putting up with my oddness. I appreciate it.

S7V7N nominations

Holding the Future Hostage
I’m pretty sure Tia and I are twins, which explains my whole theory on being adopted. Except for the fact that I look exactly like my mom…hmmm….but anyway, this girl’s pretty amazing. If while you’re reading her posts you have slight deja vu, it’s because we write in the exact same way. She’s pretty much me, but…blonde.( Totally a compliment, by the way.) I couldn’t pick my favorite post of hers, so I ended up going with the one about Princess Bride. Because who can go wrong with Cary Elwes, the gorgeous British guy? Although he’s not so gorgeous anymore.

Adventures in a Grown-up World
This is actually a real life friend I have. Yes, I do have friends outside of the blogging world. You’re shocked, I know. She recently made the switch from Blogger to WordPress (smooth move), so she only has 2 posts as of today. Which made picking a favorite that much easier. So of course I picked the post that includes a picture I took. Duh? But seriously, Marie’s hilarious. You should all go subscribe to her blog right now. Now. NOW.

Eccentric Owl
All I’ve got to say about Mara is that her clothes are amazing, her new beau is amazing, and when I’m not pretending that I’m Maggie Smith, I pretend I’m Mara. Again, totally a compliment. My compliments always come out sounding non-complimentary and slightly creepy.

Gluten-free Girl
Every person with Celiac should look at Shauna’s blog, Gluten-free Girl and the Chef. I don’t know how this woman makes gluten-free food look so delicious. Sometimes if her posts get too long (I seriously have no attention span lately), I just admire her amazing food pictures and wish that all of the food was in my stomach. Yum.

Amy Bites
Um yeah, I love this blog. Her food is always amazing, she’s healthy (something I really need to work on), and at the top of the blog there is a picture of a brownie. I’m sold.

My Sweet Creations
My favorite part about this blog? Pretty much every post is about desserts. Oh, and all of her cooking utensils are the same shade of aqua and it’s totally cool. And I think she loves food almost as much as I do. Almost.

I Married an Irish Farmer
And last, a lovely lady by the name of Imen McDonnell who, like the name of the blog says, married an Irish farmer. Automatically makes her super awesome. All of her food looks amazing and she is pretty much amazing and she lives in Ireland and I don’t stalk her I promise.

S7V7N of my own

1. Most Beautiful Piece: Artsy Fartsy- You have no idea how cool I looked walking around the art fair with my (mom’s) camera. But the art was more beautiful than I was. If that’s even possible.

2. Most Helpful: Gluten-free Butterbeer Cupcakes- This is the post I always link back to when I talk about the gluten-free brown rice flour I use. I need to make these cupcakes again since they’re made with cream soda and they are DELICIOUS. Totes delish as cool people say. Right…?

3. Most Popular: Presto French Fry Cutter, Je T’Adore- Second to the gummy worm post you’ll read about in like 17 seconds, this is my most popular post. Why? No clue.

4. Most Surprisingly Successful: Marooned On a Desert Island? No worries! There Will Be Gummy Worms- This post has gotten 1,535 views. My blog stats tell me that people find this post by typing in “gummy worms” and “worms”. Ok then.

5. Most Controversial: What’s Better Than British Dramas? Brownies. Duh.- I made the stupid mistake of announcing my distaste of Matthew from Downton Abbey in this post and I’ve regretted it ever since. I can’t tell you how many people have come up to me demanding I tell them why I don’t like Matthew. And then they throw javelins and small dogs at my head… I think. I can’t remember. There’s no space in my brain to remember facts like that since it’s chock full of guilty feelings because I don’t like nasty Matthew “Intense Stare” Crawley. Sorry guys :(

6. Most Underrated: Who Wants To Hear About My Fat Dog? *awkward silence*- Not only do I talk about my obese dog, but the chicken nuggets I made were ahhhh-mazing. I’m proud of this post. Go read it. Go. The end.

7. Most Pride Worthy: “You Are What You Eat.” That’s Funny, I Don’t Remember Eating a Legend- I ate broccoli, people. Get excited.

S7V7N reasons Bethie is the bomb diggity

1. She adores Downton Abbey. Do there even need to be any more reasons?

2. She’s totally ok with me getting all my worldly information from Damian McGinty’s twitter.

3. Read this. Enough said.

4. She adores Downton Abbey

5. On her bucket list, she wants to ride an elephant through a jungle. I’m pretty sure if I had a bucket list, that would be at the top. Seriously.

6. According to her about page, she answers people with song lyrics. Um, I do that all the time. That and quotes from random obscure 1950′s movies that no one has ever seen. Like On the Waterfront. Why does no one else love that movie as much as I do?!

7. DOWNTON.

And now I kind of want to start a bucket list.