Thursday, October 30, 2008
The picture in the magazine was pure white, but my bread was brownish - those spices showing through.
Sour Cream Loaf (Loaves)
Modified from Cooking for 2
2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar, divided
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup sour cream
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and 2/3 cup sugar. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and 1/2 tsp cinnamon; add to creamed mixture alternatively with sour cream.
Pour into bread pan (this originally used two mini loaf pans, which I don't have and didn't want to buy, so I just used my smallest loaf pan and it worked out) coated with cooking spray. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes (doing one, this took about 50 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This series does include talking animals (not that the "real" people can hear them), which I didn't think I would like, but have found it to work in this series. Now the last two have gotten further afield with mythical things, now including a dragon. I'm not so sure on that one, but the rest of the plot was good. Mr. Wickstead is killed accidentially, but had found buried treasure, which then goes missing (this is where the dragon comes in). This entire series is very light mysteries where there isn't a lot of suspense and intrigue (i.e., you are seldom worrying that someone is going to kill someone), but it is fun and entertaining nonethelesss. A great light read for the afternoon.
At the time, the ad had shock value and reinforced the image that many Americans had of Republican nominee Barry Goldwater as a warmonger. In fact, Johnson and his advisers decided that running the commercial more than once would be overkill. They also knew that the news media would give it extensive coverage, which they did. LBJ won in a landslide.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This was a winner of a dish and fairly easy. It would also be easy to expand for more people if you need more than two servings (and we are still at that level as Adam doesn't eat much!). You'll note that I redid this to use regular rice rather than instant as I don't keep instant in the house. This has a really strong orange taste to it - I might actually use more ginger next time.
Modified from Taste of Home
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves (6 oz each)
1 tbsp butter
1 cup rice [they used instant rice here, I don't keep the stuff in the house, so I used regular rice]
1 cup frozen broccoli, thawed
In a bowl, combine first six ingredients. Pour half into a plastic storage container and add the chicken. Turn to coat and then refrigerate overnight to marinate. Cover and refrigerate the remaining marinade separately.
Cook rice in reserved marinade (about 1 cup, but do measure as rice is a bit picky) and enough water to make 2 cups of liquid (you can also use chicken broth here if you want instead of water - the recipe originally had the instant rice cooking under the browned chicken and so you would get a little extra chicken broth flavor that way, but you can substitute that flavor by using chicken broth if you desire). Drain and discard marinade from chicken.
In a small skillet, brown chicken in butter for 2-3 minutes on each side. Put browned chicken in a greased 8 inch square baking dish and cover and bake at 350 for 15 minutes (this where you'd bake the instant rice). Top with broccoli; cover and bake 10-15 minutes more or until chicken juices are clear. Serve over rice.
Makes 2 servings.
On the non-fiction stack, you can check out my reivew at the American Presidents' Blog:
- Failures of the Presidents
- Calvin Coolidge biography
- Grace Coolidge biography
- oh and Lynne Cheney's childrens' book, which we bought for Adam
Now on fiction and what I've read lately that was good. I do love my mysteries as you will see!
I've really enjoyed this knitting series so far and the character development has been good so far. I admit this seemed a bit light on the plot line, but was still very fun to read. It was the black widow story - the "accused" is a thrice widowed lady whose husbands have all met accidential deaths. But the last husband's daughter is accusing her of foul play and it is up to Kelly and the gang to figure out who is the crazy one. We see a lot of relationship development in this book from the last, which I always like. In addition, there are some great recipes in the back.
This coffeehouse mystery is the first hardback release in this series and really is a big character shift. Before Clare always worked somewhat with her ex-husband and there was the whole will they get back together vibe going on. Well, Clare is now firmly with her police detective boyfriend and this one had the ex get remarried (a main part of the plot). It will definitely be interesting to see if the author continues to use Matt (the ex) as a "Watson" or someone new comes on the scene. The story goes that Matt thinks his bride is being targeted and wants Clare (so his ex-wife) to figure out if his new bride is under attack. The new bride - Breanne - isn't too keen on this as you can imagine! This does allow us to get to know Breanne better, which makes me think that we might still be seeing a lot of Matt.
This scrapbooking mystery continues off from where the last one left off, but we finally have Carmela firmly committed to a divorce (and the author really is pushing what a dweeb the ex is while before he was always more sympathetic of a character) and it will be interesting to see if Childs has her start dating the police detective (a common theme for these). This one centers around the possibility of pirate treasure after a brutal Mardi Gras murder. I do think Carmela spent a little too much time away from the shop, so hopefully that will improve in the future installments.
I just adore this ND historical series and this last book of the Daughters of Blessing series was another winner. I like that this one was much more centered in Blessing rather than off and about like the last two (with Sophie and Grace) had been. Just a short period in Bismarck, but nothing big. Rebecca Baard has been wanting to start a soda shop, but hasn't been able to get going on it. After her brothers' really screw up her life a bit, she ends up managing the general store and then at the end can finally get her soda shop open. While she has a few choices, her main romantic interest stays the same and at the end, as expected, they finally get together. While nothing surprising this is just such a great heart warming series and the characters so wonderful that you just can't put it down. I can't wait for the next series, which Snelling as promised is on Astrid!
Well, that's the last few books I've read (aside from childrens' books to Adam) - maybe something that will interest you in the lot!
Oh, speaking of my freezer. I've been trying to be a bit more organized so I know what's in there and therefore can plan my meals better. So I got a small whiteboard and am keeping a list. Well, I had something in there labelled pork that was about a year old, so I wanted to use it up. Well, looking it at and seeing just "pork," I figured it was a pork roast/loin. Well, I get it defrosted and low and below, its mystery meat - I can't figure out what is supposed to be! I had to get out Betty Crocker and look at meat cuts - turns out it was country style ribs that I got in a combo pack. I had planned to make Hoisin Pork Roast, but I just turned into Hoisin Pork Ribs and it worked although a bit fatty (as ribs usually are).
Monday, October 27, 2008
We tried this new recipe last weekend (so over a week ago...yes, I'm behind!). It was good, but I think needs some tweaking and then it will make a good holiday brunch.
Modified from Paula Deen
2 cans apple pie filling [I'm only going to use one can next time - this was too much apple, too little pancake.]
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting [I didn't use this.]
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet [I don't have cast iron cookware as I can't use it on my glass cooktop, so I used a baking dish and warmed this in the microwave], warm the apple pie filling, butter, cinnamon. In a bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Add the milk, flour, sour cream, lemon zest, and salt. Beat just until batter is smooth. Pour over the hot apple mixture in the skillet, and immediately put the pan in the oven.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed up and golden brown [mine was still underdone after about 30-35 minutes...I think it was the change in baking dishes...next time, though, with less pie filling, I think this will work out better.].
Using a small, fine sieve, lightly dust the top of the pancake with confectioners' sugar [I didn't do this - sugary enough already!].
Friday, October 24, 2008
Ray's thinking of changing Ph.D tracks to one with a more reasonable credit count and so hopefully will get that figured out soon. Otherwise, work is going okay for him - lots of changes this year and hopefully all for the long term good.
Adam is walking so WELL now! He has a tooth coming in really well as well, although teething is making him somewhat off schedule, sleep wise. He also got a flu shot on Tuesday and hasn't been feeling the best since then, so I think the flu shot might have given him a touch of flu.
We are planning to go somewhere tomorrow just to wander around and enjoy the fall weather. If it rains, I think we'll go to the Hartville Market (flea market) as then we can walk around inside. Trick or treating (don't be me started on this ridiculousness) is on Sunday night this week and I'll have Adam dressed up and then I'll dress him up again on Halloween and take him out to the airport to show off. Expect pictures.
I just planned a few fun things for the weekend in the middle of November - a tea room date with a friend and then Adam and I are going with another friend to the Garfield Association historic home Christmas walk in Garrettsville.
Well, that's about it for here. Hope you are all doing well!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
He got this out of the kitchen cupboards
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
I usually turn on the radio once Adam is napping so I have something in the background as I do my work - I always keep something on so that if I drop something, it isn't instant noise and then Adam sleeps through it (he's not a light sleeper, but a huge crash he'd definitely hear). I think I'm going to get out my record collection....hmmm...sounds good to me! Well, off to do my grading....just keep reminding myself this is my last week of four classes - as of next week I'm down to only two. For whatever reason, I have more students this term that are driving me nuts - some not their faults, other it is, but in any case less classes, means less students, so even if all my aggravations don't go away, at least I have more time to devote to nagging. I love my job, but sometimes, certain things students do just get to me! At least I have Ray to vent to and he understands as he also is teaching and can usually commiserate.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Old door upstairs guest room:
New door downstairs bathroom:
New door upstairs guest bedroom (we also put a matching valance on the window in this room)
Grandpa and Grandma helped with this project while they were here last month.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Now I wouldn't be so mad, but this is the SECOND marriage gyp. Eureka left us hanging about Stark and Allison over the break and then come back and so exciting, they are getting married and he's being so sweet (I think I'm half in love with Stark now....totally in love with Booth...which my husband knows...and doesn't care since they are fake!) and then they KILL him!!! AGGHHH!! SO UNFAIR!!!! And again, sideline characters!! And they've already killed poor Henry's girlfriend, Kim!!!
Can't they marry off anyone? I'm SO ANNOYED!!!! And I'm STILL made at Gilmore Girls for they way they left that series!!! I HATE TV writers (and the media in general as they all slant the news so liberally and then add in who cares what Bradenglica is doing!).
And what moron made Baby Einstein so hard to start? There are like 10 minutes of previews and garbage to get through - its for BABIES...they don't care and their mothers just get annoyed and it makes me absolutely NOT want to buy the stuff in question.
Adam moved up to 18 month clothes. As I was pulling out what I have for him, I realized I really only have summer clothes and it is getting cooler all the time, so I'm going shopping today. I need some long pants and long sleeved shirts for him.
Ray is still busy at work, but Kent is hosting a flight competition next week and so after that things should get a little better. They did some administrative rearranging at his work and he got another class, which he is excited about, but it is never easy taking over a class mid-semester. He is also taking two Ph.D classes this term. My classes are keeping me busy as usual, but I only have a few more weeks and I go down to two from four, which will be nice.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Also, introducing the newest form of gerrymandering - early polling! I'm all for absentee ballots, but this is just a sham to try to get people to make a decision before the party in question does something stupid that makes them change their mind.
Then there's the stupid bail out. The only reason they acted so fast (both sides again) is that is an election year and they want to say they did something even though what they did is pointless. The economists know they are all idiots and not qualified to "fix" the economy. They don't even understand the economy! The problem is that the economy is a slow thing - anything you do will take years to see and they've been blundering it for years. In addition, the American public needs to take responsibilty as they are the morons who signed 50 years leases or used credit cards like water. It's just a new form of spectulation - the 1920s all over again! The stupid FED didn't help by keeping lowering interest rates so the economy would keep going and people who couldn't afford houses bought them. Now we are all going to pay for other's people's stupidity.
Ray and I are both academics and while neither of us are economy experts (and don't claim to be), we have common sense...why aren't people with common sense running our governemnt? Oh, wait, they are smart enough not to run for office! Seriously, politicans usually have only been politicans have no actual common sense or real experience! Maybe that's why I like Palin - she isn't a career politican. I'm still thinking a lottery system like jury duty would work better for Congress!
Oh, and I can tell you how to fix the electoral college, but neither party wants to do unless it is in their best interest. They need to fix it for the public, not them! Same goes for the rule on foreign born citizens....it shouldn't be changed for Arnold, but rather with everyone in mind.
Okay, I'm done venting for the day.
Peppered Beef Soup
Modified from Southern Living [my aunt got me a subscription to Southern Living for my birthday.]
***needs a crock pot***
1 (4-lb) beef roast [they make a recommendation...I just used what was on sale, which to me is the point of a crock pot - taking so-so meat and cooking it to tender.]
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (16-oz) package baby carrots
2 (12-oz) bottles lager beer [or you can use beef broth, but we actually liked the lager in this soup and we don't like beer. We actually used a local lager from the Cleveland brewery.]
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon beef bouillon granules [so just take three bouillon cubes and smash them]
3 tsp freshly ground pepper
4 bay leaves
Salt to taste
Rinse roast, and pat dry. Cut a 1-inch-deep cavity in the shape of an "X" on top of roast. (Do not cut all the way through roast.) Dredge roast in all-purpose flour; shake off excess. Cook roast in hot oil in a big pan over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
Place roast in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Stuff cavity with sliced red onion and minced garlic; top roast with potatoes and baby carrots. Pour beer, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce into slow cooker. Sprinkle with parsley, bouillon, and ground pepper. Add bay leaves to liquid in slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours or until fork-tender [I actually ended up doing this longer as my roast wasn't shredding the first time I checked it...it will depend on your roast...I also made a point to flip it once as the liquid won't completely cover the roast and I wanted everything to be able soak up the juices.]. Shred roast using two forks. Season with salt to taste. Serve in Toasted Bread Bowls, if desired [we didn't do this time, but I really like the idea as this soup is really good with rolls.].
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
The Austin Public library...where I hung out each day for awhile as Aunt Elaine doesn't have Internet (although I did find some wi-fi to "borrow" at night)
Doesn't Aunt Elaine look like Great?
Grandpa (and his Palin shirt...he had a bunch made and so wears one practially every day) at the Mississippi. I keep telling Grandpa the McCain campaign shoule be paying him - he is always getting votes! The shirt says (in case you care): Wasilla, Alaska: Home of the Sarah Palin and the Warriors (my high school team in case you didn't know....my cousin Kelsey is currently playing basketball for them).