This is from a few weeks ago (I just got all the video off my camera so expect a few) and you can see Adam wanted to help Tim play rummy!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
S'mores Brownies Mix
Modified from Gifts in a Jar: Brownies
This was originally Rocky Road Brownies
1 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
¾ cup coarsely smashed graham crackers (approx. 4 pieces - put these into a zipper bag and just crumble with your hands and then dump in)
½ cup flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup mini marshmallows
Layer all but the marshmallows into a jar attractively. Put marshmallows in zipper bag. Put on top of rest before you seal the jar.
Attach gift tag with cooking directions.
1 jar of S'mores Brownie Mix
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup buttermilk (3/4 tsp lemon juice and fill rest of 1/4 cup with regular milk if you don't have buttermilk in the house and won't use the rest - like me! Or you can use powdered buttermilk, which I have because of apple cider doughnuts, which are are awesome - I'll be making those once cider comes out.)
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Grease 8 by 8 pan.
Set marshmallows aside and put rest of the jar into a mixing bowl. Add melted butter, buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Stir until blended.
Spread into a pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 3-5 more minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and slightly melted. Cool in pan on wire rack. [This is really hard to cut because of the marshmallows...the picture was all nice and even...I'm not sure if they undercooked them or what, but this was a very messy!]
Makes 16 brownies.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'
The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.'
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I talked to Ray last night - my baby is missing me! I almost caved and insisted he go with us, but the trip would be too hard on him and he is getting some quality Daddy time. But since Daddy has to teach classes, we have friends watching him at night and it is his first real baby-sitters, so he isn't used to it. I guess he complained most of the night for Mo last night - just wanted Mommy or Daddy. I go home on Sunday and I already can't wait to hug him again. He needs me!
But this is a good resume builder for me plus it will help me keep abreast on my teaching. Plus I am really enjoying the trip with my grandparents - I just want Adam here too!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Helping Great-Grandma Rake
SCATTERGORIES...it's harder than it looks! Hit Forward, erase my answers, enter yours, and blog it (this was a forward). Use the 1st letter of your name to answer the following. They have to be real places, names, things. Nothing made up! Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
WHAT IS YOUR NAME? Jennie
A FOUR LETTER WORD: john
BOY NAME : James
GIRL NAME: Julie
A COLOR: Jade (green)
SOMETHING YOU WEAR: jeans
BEVERAGE: julep (like mint julep)
SOMETHING FOUND IN A BATHROOM: Jaffra (my mother uses this brand of face stuff)
A PLACE: Johannesburg (South Africa)
REASON FOR BEING LATE: Just missed the bus
SOMETHING YOU SHOUT: Justice For All!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Modified from Cooking for 2
1/2 lb ground beef [this is a two person magazine, but I freeze all my hamburger in 1 lb packs so I doubled this recipe]
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp flour
4 cups water
1/3 cup medium pearl barley
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 tsp beef bouillon granules (the bouillon cubes you buy to make broth (I buy mine at Sam's Club in bulk) are 1 tsp if you smash them (a big pot works well).)
1 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
In a large pot, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in flour. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until barley is tender (and 1 hour worked well for me).
Makes 3 cups.
Modified from Simple and Delicious
4 medium zucchini (okay, I used some from my garden and did only two of what I considered fairly small zucchini and made all of the filling, but probably used over half of it, so this really is going to depend on the size of zucchini.)
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; cut a think slice from the bottom of each with a sharp knife to allow zucchini to sit flat. Scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4 inch shells (this bugs me as waste, so I might use the pulp to make zucchini bread next time).
Place shells on microwave safe dish. (I don't know what size their microwave is as they were using a 13 by 9 dish...which will NOT fit in MY regular microwave...I just used a plate and for my two, I was able to put all four halves on it...if you are making 4 you might need to do this in stages.) Turn off turntable. Cover and cook on high for 3 minutes to until crisp tender. Drain and set aside. (I didn't have to drain anything out of mine - I'm assuming they mean water).
Meanwhile in large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Remove from heat and stir in egg, marinara sauce, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of the cheese.
Fill each shell (they say 1/4 cup each). Microwave, uncovered, on high for 4 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese (like I actually measured this...just get cheese over the top). Microwave 3-4 minutes longer or until the filling is 160 (and I did actually measure this and it was well over with this microwaving time) and the zucchini are tender.
Serve with additional marinara sauce (this is really good).
Make 4 servings (We only did 2 zucchini and if you have a side (which you usually do with dinner), we found a half was enough for one person rather than two halves).
Friday, September 12, 2008
From June 4, 2007:
I found this article in the November 1952 issue of Good Housekeeping and thought it was worth sharing. I like it for how it shows Mamie Eisenhower's personality, but also its message. First look at the percentage of voters it quotes - and although 2004 was a "good" year, it still wasn't that good! People are continually complaining about the government and its officials - especially President Bush. While I can't say that President Bush is always among my favorite people, since I voted, I have the right to complain! Doesn't matter WHO I voted for - just that I made a choice and went out and cast a ballot. For those of you who didn't bother to vote - you can just SHUT UP. If you don't vote, you lost your right to complain because you didn't DO anything about the elected officials. Yes, I'm on a rant, but it's a valid one. If everyone who didn't vote because "what does one vote matter?" actually voted, we'd make a huge difference! If elected officials were actually afraid of being booted for voting against popular opinion, they'd change their tune quickly! Anyway, enjoy the article!
Vote for my husband or for Governor Stevenson, but please vote”
by Mamie Eisenhower
When Good Housekeeping asked me to write this piece, my initial reaction was to say an immediate an emphatic “No, thanks.”
I am not a writer.
And then I changed my mind – about this article, anyway. I said “Yes” because of a letter I received from a young girl whom I do not know, have never seen. Here is what she wrote:
Dear Mrs. Eisenhower:
I live with my parents and I am a high-school senior. Although my fellow students and I like to have as much fun as anybody our age, we still have a serious side. Most of our boy friends are now about 18 – old enough to fight, but oddly enough not considered old enough to vote! As a matter of fact, my own boy friend has just been drafted.
Because your son, John, is now in Korea, I thought you of all important Americans would understand what I am going to say. I feel so useless at home, not being about to do anything. Besides, I read that during the last presidential election (when I was still in grammar school) only half of the eligible voting public ever got to the polls! I don’t think this should happen again, so I’ve dreamed up a way to help. On Election Day I am offering my services for free (baby sitting, dishwashing, cleaning house) to any neighborhood mother or wife so she can get out and cast her vote. I talked the scheme over with my girl friends, and they agreed to join me in this teen-age crusade.
But I’d like to reach more people. That is why I am writing this letter. Through you – perhaps – my idea could spread to other towns and other teen-agers.
I am proud to publicize Jeanie’s letter. I hope other teenagers will follow her example. Our sober-thinking young people put to shame the kind of woman who claims she has no time to vote, or who argues “What does one vote matter?” With the right to vote goes a public trust that must be exercised just as surely as any official must exercise his.
During the past year when my husband’s title was Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, I recall walking in Paris and seeing what looked to be window boxes smack against the cement subway wall. I thought, How clever the French are with their flowers. Then I went closer. Though the flowers were still beautiful, I saw they had a purpose. I didn’t have to know much French to understand: Above the buds were seven plagues in memory of six boys and a girl, their ages ranging from eighteen to twenty-two, each shot to death on that spot, August, 1944. Their markers face the Place de la Concorde, where Marie Antoinette lost her royal head, but somehow Marie Antoinette did not concern me; it was those young others dying in my time and even in Jeanie’s time in grammar school. I stood still, as every woman stands when she sees those markers, and I closed my eyes and prayed to God,” Please don’t let this happen again!”
I believe one way to keep it from happening is to use your vote. Whether your ballot goes for an Eisenhower or a Stevenson, cast it. Cast it while you thank your stars you live in a land where you have the privilege of declaring your choice.
Its pouring here and really pretty blah. Anyway, just a quick update from our land.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ray is still sick (and was late home due to flight team practice..which doesn't really help) and I woke up with a headache (which is the like the worst feeling in the world). I took medicine and that went away, but the day just wasn't great. I finally got my fax, but it was a huge production. I also ended up waiting on another fax, although this student was much more together and it was fairly easy. I had to go to the PO, but because of time had to drive, not walk. I could have used the walk.
Oh, well, maybe TOMORROW will be better. Have to balance the checkbook tomorrow...that will royally suck, but oh, well. If I get it done, it will at least be an accomplishment. I did get out my fall decorations out today and they look nice. Pork chops tomorrow for dinner...hopefully I'll actually get them done for dinner tomorrow not at 10:30 at night.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Then the baby is up and down...hopefully not getting what Ray is getting.
I also found out I have the wrong link for Utopia posted in my Western Civ II class...the one I posted is in Latin! So I had to find the right link and then repost everywhere and send out emails...hopefully I caught all the places.
Well, I'm going to TRY to take a shower and go to bed. We'll see if this works.
Today she is the most talked-about woman in the world. And with good reason.
Sarah Palin's sensational performance at the Republican Party Convention may turn out to be the tipping point of this rollercoaster American election.
Obama fans hoping she would fluff her big night were in for a nasty shock.
This speech has turned the election upside down. It was simply stunning.
Democrats and their Lefty media backers had been sneering that she was a small town nobody, a hick from the Alaskan sticks put into a job way beyond an inexperienced woman.
Believe me, you will not be hearing that again.
Palin turned out to be an electrifying mix of intelligence, passion, energy, optimism and plain speaking.
Full of self-assurance and aggression, she popped Barack's balloon big-time.
From the moment she walked on stage in this cavernous bear pit, bandbox smart in cream jacket, trim black skirt and black heels, she proved that John McCain knew exactly what he was doing when he picked her as running mate.
Hair piled into a slight beehive – more Sarah White House than Amy Winehouse – she blinked and smiled behind her geeky spectacles as the vast crowd went ballistic.
For an unpopular party divided over Iraq and struggling to compete with Obama's Messianic glamour, the choice of Palin looks absolutely inspired.
Main Street America will have loved her performance.
And it was seen by 30 million voters – the greatest number ever to watch a candidate for the much-derided VP post.
She is popular with voters for the very reason America 's snooty political establishment despises her: She isn't one of the Washington gang.
She's a moose-hunting mum of five with a sledge-load of problems behind her own front door that workaday Americans can relate to.
A child with special needs. A daughter of 17 pregnant. A constant juggle between family and career.
As she said, her family has had its ups and downs like any other.
Last night her first task was to introduce herself and her family to an American public incredulous that the unknown Alaska governor could within weeks be a heartbeat away from being their commander in chief.
Compared to the journeyman career politicians dominating both parties here she seemed fresh, natural, one of us and not one of them.
She spoke to America as one mum to another. She cracked good jokes.
What's the difference between a hockey mum and a pit bull?, she asked.
Answer: One wears lipstick.
What will have scared the enemy camp most is the devastating series of prime-time punches she landed on the jutting Obama jaw.
Showing steel beneath her magnolia jacket, she slaughtered his lack of experience, his vanity, his emptiness beneath the windy waffle.
It was the most powerful demolition of the Democrat hero I have heard in two weeks on the US election trail.
The St Paul audience adored her.
When she duffed up the Lefty media commentators for their sexist sneers, the vast crowd roared approval and pointed in anger at the titans of the American press aloof in their special enclosure.
And quite right too: who ever asked whether Obama could still be a good dad if he became president?
The irony, as Palin pointed out, is that liberal media sniping has only succeeded in uniting Republicans behind her.
The wagons have been drawn up and the Republicans are ready for battle.
The McCain-Palin ticket now looks in exciting shape.
A war hero and a heroic mum. Experience and optimism. A man and a woman.
And when McCain joined the Palin gang – babies and boyfriends and all – on stage after her
speech there was a sense of cheeky fun absent from last week's solemn Obama coronation.
How the Democrats must be regretting Hillary isn't running with Obama. Barack's sidekick Joe Biden looks a dull old dog compared with the ball of fire that is Palin.
But most fascinating of all, consider this: If Obama loses, Hillary Clinton will run in 2012. Opposing her is sure to be Sarah Palin.
That would guarantee America its first woman president.
And my fistful of dollars, having seen both in action here, would be on Palin.
Yes, her daughter is pregnant. But we all know that could have happened if she had never entered politics! It can happen in any family, whether we want to admit it or not. And her daughter seems to be stepping up and facing the consequences of having sex. If you have sex, you need to be willing to deal with the consequences. If you don't want to, it is easy - DO NOT HAVE SEX. I say her daughter is stepping up and therefore proving her parents did a good job of raising her to face the consequences of her actions. And yes, Palin has a special needs child - again should her life stop because of this? No and it seems she is stepping up to do the best by the child as is her entire family - again this is a great thing. So why are they complaining? Oh, yes, they don't like that she is proving them wrong. Murdering children isn't necessary for women to succeed....big shock there for all of them.
SO GO SARAH!!!!
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Lasagna (NOT) Bowls
From Rachael Ray's 30 Minutes Meals [TV]
1 pound pasta (curly is recommended - she has a specific kind....I just used what was in my cabinet)
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 pound bacon (she used pancetta...way too cheap for that...I actually looked this time...yeah and laughed at the price)
3/4 pound ground beef
1/2 large carrot, peeled and grated or finely chopped
1 small to medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon allspice,
pepper to taste
1 bay leaf 3 tablespoons tomato paste (I just used a full can of tomato paste - they are so small anyway)
1/2 cup dry red wine [I used Merlot...had it in the fridge from another cooking experiment and just wanted to get rid of it....most of the reason for trying this now.]
2 cups beef stock (I just make this with the bullion cubes from Sam's Club)
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
Nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (she used fancy stuff, I didn't)
A handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped (which I didn't use)
Heat large pot of water to a boil, salt water and cook pasta.
While pasta water comes to a boil, heat oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, add bacon and render 2 to 3 minutes then add meat and break up as it browns. When the meat has begun to caramelize and develops a nice brown color, 4 to 5 minutes, add carrot, onion, 2 cloves of garlic, allspice, salt and pepper and a bay leaf. Cook 3 to 4 minutes more to soften onions and carrots bits then stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in wine and cook out 1 minute then stir in stock and reduce heat to simmer.
While red sauce cooks, sauté the last clove of garlic. Melt butter in pot over medium heat. Add in flour and whisk together a minute or so then whisk in milk and bring to a bubble, reduce heat then season sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, thicken 8 to 10 minutes.
Toss pasta with white sauce and 1/2 cup grated cheese. Serve pasta in individual bowls and top with a ladle of meat sauce in the middle of the bowl for mixing in. Garnish with parsley, if you like.
French Toast Strata
From the Longaberger Catalog [yes, strange place...they are pushing their new casserole line]
1 (1 lb) loaf un-sliced French bread (we actually used Tuscan bread...you just want chewy)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, cubed [I thought this would melt in, but it doesn't, so next time I'm giong to mix this in with the custard rather than cubing it.]
2 1/2 cups milk [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]
8 eggs [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]
6 tbsp butter, melted [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]
1/4 cup maple syrup [half this...this was just too mushy on bottom]
Cube bread. Grease 9 by 13 casserole dish. Put in half of the bread cubes. Top with cream cheese cubes (so I won't next time) and then with remaining bread. In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, butter and syrup (cream cheese...and I'm halving this). Pour over dish. Lightly press down to moisten. Cover and refrigerate for 2-24 hours (I also might try baking immediately). Bake uncovered at 325 for 35-40 minutes or until center is set and the edges are golden brown. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving with syrup. Makes 6-8 servings.
Chicken and Vegetable Tortellini Stew
Modified from Slow Cooker
***needs a crock pot***
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb boneless chicken, cut into chunks
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
2 cups water
1 (9 oz) pkg. Refrigerated cheese filled tortellini
2 green onions, sliced (or actual onions)
1 tsp dried basil
In slow cooker, layer carrots, garlic and chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour broth and water over top. Stir to combine. Cover, cook on Low for 6-8 hours. About 20 minutes before serving, stir tortellini and basil into chicken mixture, increase heat to high, cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until tortellini are tender.
You can sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. You can also put in a can of beans, a medium fennel bulb and baby spinach (add last), but except fennel (which is a pain to deal with), we don't like the rest (the spinach we like...just only raw!).
Makes 6 servings.
Southern Sweet Tea
From several Internet sites
8 regular sized tea bags
2 cups cold water plus plus more to fill pitcher
1 cup of sugar
Place two cups of water in pat and add the tea bags. Bring to a boil, do not continue boiling. Remove from heat and let steep (about 5 minutes). Pour warm tea into an empty pitcher. Add the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill remaining pitcher with cold water.
The main thing is you have to boil the tea to get that right taste. If I made plain iced tea, I just dump tea bags in warm water, seep awhile and then cool. That is nice though if you want to allow people to pick their own sweetness.
Edna Jensen is my great-grandma (anyone who remembers her would remember her as Edna Woods). As a note, if we have a girl, we are naming her after Greatie, although, Ray refuses to name a child Edna, so it will be Ellen Edna rather than Edna Ellen.
Amy and Adam