Saturday, February 27, 2010
Otherwise, we got more snow, but it wasn't too bad where we live. That's about it from here.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I also lost a cavity in Hawaii and finally got that fixed as well (again, was scheduled to do so weeks ago, but this huge insurance mess).
The bad news - they found another cavity today and I have to go BACK next week! AGH!! Top it off, our regular six month cleaning is the first week of April! I'm really sick of my teeth at the moment!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
While I find the "offensive" commentary on the Russian's OD rather annoying, I thought the dance wasn't well done to start with. Their costumes and entire program were very gimmicky to cover up what was a really simple program. It lacked difficulty and depth. That's my complaint with it. Their free skate was much the same - they were trying to cover up the fact that they aren't doing the difficulty because of their injuries.
But it was great to see all the top skaters really do their best in their programs and thus make a great competition.
Monday, February 22, 2010
So then today, we are all hanging out in the kitchen and Adam takes off for the fish tank room, wrench AND hammer in hand! So this time he lost both tools at once! He was NOT happy! But since we don't want a cracked fish tank, no banging on glass is allowed!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Adam has completely "Adamized" PaPa's house and is thrilled to be here. He just lit up when he saw PaPa!
My friend, Tamara, drove down for the evening and we went out to dinner at Olive Garden - YUM! Adam stayed home with PaPa and had a blast. He was exhausted at bedtime, always a sign he's had fun!
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We've also had problems with her pooping outside her litter box since Adam was born. We've tried various solutions, which seem to work for awhile, but now she seems to just do it randomly. Ray even thinks she's forcing herself to do it because she's getting blood in her stool, but there is nothing wrong with her (we've checked). She's always been a very poopy cat, but it seems worse now.
I have no idea what will make her happy. Adam ADORES her and he's, overall, VERY nice to her. We also have tried to make sure she gets attention, but nothing seems to really "fix" it. AGHH!!! It isn't like we will get rid of her (only reason we'd do that is if she started attacking Adam, which she never does, even provoked), but I really wish she's quit with the pooping outside the litter box (and it is always the same place - it isn't like she's trying to prove a point) as I'm sick of cleaning it up!
Oh and the Moguls run that got Canada their first home soil gold was awesome to watch!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Cookies
aka Chocolate Sauerkraut Cookies
Modified from Cream Puff Murder by Joanne Fluke
1 cup butter, softened
3 cups white sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk [I never buy this - 1 tsbp of lemon juice, the rest regular milk]
5 cups flour
2 cups chopped (drained/rinsed) sauerkraut [****I emailed the author (yes, she actually ANSWERS her mail - it's cool!) about this and she couldn't remember off the top of her head - I ended up using 2 cups of chopped, packed sauerkraut, but it might be 2 cups starting makes 1 cup finished....mine worked out, Joanne said someone else did it the other way and it worked as well, so go with your gut! Texture wise, I think one might be better.]
Prepare sauerkraut by rinsing it off with cold water under faucet and raining it in colander. Make sure to rinse well, this is important.
Beat the butter and sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs and mix them in thoroughly.
Mix in vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Stir until well incorporated.
Add half buttermilk and half of the flour and beat until smooth. Repeat with rest of the buttermilk and flour.
Dump sauerkraut on a cutting boar and chop it finely or in food processor on pulse (Adam and I did the food processor - he likes buttons!). It is very important to get into very little pieces.
Measure sauerkraut, packing it down. Pat dry with paper towels and addd to cookie dough and stir thoroughly. [As I noted above, I did two packed cups....might only need one.]
Drop dough by teaspoonful onto cookie sheets.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes [I also did this two at a time, 8 minutes, then switched top and bottom and did another 8 minutes]. Let sit for a minute then put on racks to cool.
Mocha Icing [I didn't make this as I don't think icing cookies is worth it and I don't like coffee]
1 cup softened butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2-6 tsp very strongly brewed coffee
3-3 ½ cups powdered sugar
Melt chocolate chips with 4 tsp of coffee in microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and then if still lumpy, do 20 more seconds. Repeat until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Stir in butter until smooth.
Whisk in sugar and stir until mixture is of spreading consistency. If too thick, add more coffee, if too thin, add more sugar.
Frost, sprinkle with coconut before fully set if you desire.
Yield: 8 dozen cookies [okay, I only got 5 dozen, but I make big cookies]
Adam and I went out to Sam's Club on Saturday as Ray is, as usual, giving up pop for Lent and hence we needed juice. They, of course, didn't have what I wanted, but I did find some cool hot chocolate! Then I went to Michaels and had fun! Adam found some stickers for me, too, to scrapbook with - Micky and Manny! That boy adores his Mickey and all stickers!
Then, after nap, we went to dinner (Ray's choice) and then I made cookies (the much talked about sauerkraut cookies....post coming with recipe).
I've been keeping up on Olympics - I'm mainly DVRing and then watching the next day, which is awesome - no commericals and I can skip what I don't like. One cool factoid from today - brothers who were competing for different countries in Nordic Combined! (Switzerland and Norway). I haven't watch pairs shorts yet - that's tomorrow! YEAH!!
Today, I went to Mass alone. Ray didn't want to spread his germs (that's why we didn't go last week - Adam and I were spreading ours...plus Adam hadn't slept, hence no one had slept....), but with Lent coming up, I wanted to make it. Kind of nice to go alone and be able to concentrate on the service! I had to do a little shopping on the way home (needed OJ and milk mainly). Then, Adam and I made chicken noodle soup (best thing when you are sick!). I had office hours after that....Ray and Adam ended up going out for a bit as I had pictures to pick up at Wal-Mart and Ray wanted something (which I don't think he ended up getting) for his little men.
We are currently trying to figure out how to make Ash Wednesday (and yes, I know it isn't a holy day of obligation, but it is a good way to start Lent). Our big issue is that Wednesdays are bad days for Ray, so we are probably going in Kent (we go to church in Streetsboro) to make it easier on him BUT St. Patrick's in Kent doesn't have a website so I have to call tomorrow on Mass times. In my opinion, not having a website, in this day, is not acceptable, by the way - get with it St. Pat's!
Also, hopefully, tomorrow I'll get a dentist appointment set up - wish me luck! Well, I'm off to bed here in a few minutes (going to post my cookie recipe first). Long day tomorrow.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Autumn Brunch Waffles
Modified from Bisquick Cookbook
2 1/4 cups Bisquick
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon [I like cinnamon, but Ray doesn't....next time I think I'm going to use pumpkin pie spice, which is a combination spice and so sits better wtih him.]
1 cup finely chopped peeled, all-purpose apple [this was two small apples for me...they actually only used 1/2 cup of apples and honestly, I might even go higher in the future.]
Heat waffle iron and grease if necessary. Stir all ingredients but apples until blended. Then add in apples and mix. Pour batter into waffle iron. Repeat with remaining batter.
Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops [my waffle maker tells me when its done, so I didn't time it]. Remove from waffle iron and serve with syrup.
Cinnamon-Cider Syrup [I did not make this, I just used regular syrup - mainly because I knew Ray wouldn't like the cinnamon. In the future, I might try it, with pumpkin pie spice.]
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp Bisquick
1 tsp group cinnamon [or pumpkin pie spice]
2 cups apple cider
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup butter
Mix sugar, Bisquick and cinnamon in 2 quart saucepan. Stir in cider and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute, remove from heat. Stir in butter until melted.
Serves 6 (12 4-inch waffles).
Ray likes just the base as a dip with chips so if you are looking for a fun appetizer, (I modified the recipe to be a dip) this could be it.
Snowing again here - I'm sure all the shovelling he's been doing hasn't helped him either!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
- The Clockwork Teddy by John J. Lamb - this is in the teddy bears and was pretty good, but I'm sick of non-local settings. I like it when they stick with one group of characters/setting. I picked up two more (backlist) and they look to be local, so I'm looking forward to that.
- The Saturaday book in the Ann Pursurer series - pretty good, but I have to say all the badger baiting stuff really wigged me out (and the sleuth thought it was bad as well - the bad guys were doing it).
- Imposters at Blue Heron Lake - this is the last book in the three book series by Susan Page Davis and her daughter. I really enjoyed the first two and was looking forward to this. It has been put off several times - they ended up releasing them as one set, so I had to rebuy books 1 and 2 with this collection. That said, the plot was pretty easy (it was the "obvious" choice - the one with the bad past and prison record), but I enjoyed getting to finally see the conclusion.
- While My Pretty One Knits by Anne Canadeo - this is a new author for me and a new series. I enjoyed it, we'll see how the next ones go as I think it can go either way. It is pretty solidly "typical," so it could easily fall off. I also don't like that the author - of a knitting series, no less - doesn't really seem to be a knitter. That tells me she's writing to an "audience" that she was told would sell well and could bode badly for the next books. In addition, this is a "large" paperback, which they overcharge for. I HATE that. All Christian fiction (which this isn't) does that, but I also understand they have market issues, but seriously guys - either go hardback or go pocket paperback! It also bugs me that all these "little" towns can support these small stores and big groups....doesn't ever work in real life!
Okay, I think that's it for now.
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
We got more snow today, we are supposed to get more tomorrow. We'll see if that means we get out of anything or not.
That's about it from here - I want us to be well! I swear we've been sick so much this year! It seems either Adam or I is always sick. Some of it is the habit of sucking his fingers that Adam has picked up - I think he's getting sick that way. But in any case, not a good winter for us health-wise!
Monday, February 08, 2010
Going to visit Daddy
More snow castles
Since he's sick and not feeling like doing much, I've actually been letting him watch cartoons most of the day (which I usually try to limit) and his new obsession is Tom and Jerry! I actually put it on just for something earlier today (he's seen it before) and then later he was asking for "cat" and giving me the button. He wanted more! Good thing we have it on DVD! It is the historic collection....did you know there were some racist stereotypes portrayed in it? They, of course, had to warn us about in case we were crazy enough to think these things were appropriate. I find it amusing they have to "warn" us about old children's cartoons - they just aren't PC enough anymore! I certainly get that you have to watch little kids - who are learning things like this - on things like ethnic/racial slurs found in early cartoons, but the Acme Hammer is not something to worry about!
Sunday, February 07, 2010
Thursday, February 04, 2010
Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Pork Chops with Beer and Bacon Gravy
Modified from Rachael Ray's 30 Minutes Meals
4 bone-in pork chops, about an inch [I used boneless as that's what was in my freezer]
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil, plus a little extra
2 thick cut slices of deli smoked bacon [I used four slices of normal bacon - again what was in my freezer]
1 medium onion, diced
1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 bottle amber to dark German beer [I used an amber lager and I used Great Lakes Brewery beer as that is local (made in Cleveland) and I like supporting local.]
1/2 cup stock [I used a bouillon cube]
Chopped parsley, for garnish [I did use as I have my fresh garden]
Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil smokes, add the chops and cook, turning once, until caramelized and the meat is just turning firm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove to a platter and cover with foil, reserve.
Add a drizzle more oil to the pan, add bacon and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the onions and saute over medium heat with the bacon until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Sprinkle in flour, stir for 1 minute, then add the beer. Cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes more, then whisk in the stock. Remove from the heat and season with pepper. Pour the gravy over the chops, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.
Crockpot Fried Rice
Modified from A Year of Slow Cooking [Christine turned me on to this site awhile back and what I really like about it is that she did this for a year straight so really did some experimenting with more than main dish soups/stews. She literally tried just about everything you can do in a crockpot and I like that diversity.]
2 cups leftover rice [I used extra from Chinese we'd ordered - silly huh?]
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup of whatever frozen or fresh vegetables you have on hand. [I used red peppers and green beans, both frozen as I freeze peppers when they are in season]
leftover meat [I used the leftover herb chicken]
sesame seeds [optional, but I used them]
Sitck everything into a crockpot. Mix it around, and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 3-4 [I used low]. You are only heating everything up and cooking the egg.
I will say that I'm not a big fan of "short" crock pot recipes. For a side dish, okay, as often you want to free up your oven for later, but what I like is to turn it on and leave when you are going to be gone all day and then come home to a good meal. So this is rather short for me, but with leftovers, it is a quick throw together.
Modified from Rachael Ray's 30 Minutes Meals
1 box frozen spinach, defrosted in the microwave [I only plan on using 1/2 of a box next time as this was too much green that Adam could see!]
1 1/3 pound (1 package) ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, finely chopped, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large egg
1 3/4 cups milk, divided
3/4 cup bread crumbs, 3 handfuls
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Coarse salt and black pepper
oil, for drizzling
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock [I used bouillon cubes]
1 (10-ounce) sack shredded provolone or blend of Italian cheeses, available on dairy aisle [I used Italian cheese blend]
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Wring defrosted spinach dry in a clean kitchen towel. Place turkey in a bowl and make a well in the middle of it. Add the spinach, all but 3 tablespoons of the onion, all of the garlic, 1 large egg, about 1/4 cup milk, bread crumbs, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper. Mix well. Form into 12 large balls and drizzle with oil. Arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet and roast 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
While balls are in the oven, heat a small sauce pot over medium heat. Add a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter. Melt butter, add remaining finely chopped onion and cook 2 minutes then whisk in flour. Cook flour 1 minute, then whisk in 1 1/2 cups milk and 1 cup stock. Bring liquid up to a boil then stir in shredded provolone or blended Italian cheeses. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, turn heat to lowest setting.
Place 3 balls on dinner plates and top with sauce.
Serves 4 adults.
- This insurance says we don't have insurance with them
- They don't take this particular off brand (typical of Ray's employee to have weird insurance) of Delta.
Now I really like our old dentist and I don't blame them - they did everything right, but I do blame Ray's employer. This is the second time in a couple of months that they shut off our insurance for no reason (and yes, it was ALL of it, not just dental). In addition, when Ray talked to them, turns out they had a bunch of stuff screwed up! So hopefully this is getting all fixed and then tomorrow I get to call the new insurance (who we'd already called once!) and see where I can go so I can get this blasted stuff done!!! I detest insurance companies. They are parasites on society, in my opinion! They have created this cycle that means higher costs and paperwork to the sky as their entire purpose in life is to never pay for anything.
This also is very aggravating because I'm pregnant - last week we almost ended up in ER - this is not a good time for our insurance to be hassled with!