Friday, October 29, 2010

-----Man has compassion after robbing.
-----This man actually won a suit against McDonald's. What did McDonald's do wrong?...they sent secret shoppers and gave him free meals. I am assuming that there was a LOT of pressure in his work environment....otherwise, I am shaking my head at this suit.

Guest post: Home security while on the tennis court.

I Enjoy Playing Tennis With My Husband
Guest post of the week by Deangelo Spencer


I like going to play tennis with my husband. He is a much better player than I am but he always helps me to improve my skills. I like the fact that I can spend some quality time with him while also getting some exercise. The best part about tennis is that it is so much fun to play.


Before we head down to the public tennis courts to play we set our InHomeSecurity home security alarm. We always play at the public tennis courts at the park unless it is wintertime then we play tennis on one of the indoor courts at the private gym we are members at.


Playing tennis has taught me to be a team player. Initially my husband and I were not necessarily playing against each other; we were simply working on keeping the ball in play. Now that my skills have improved we will play each other competitively. I have not beaten him yet in a game, but I have won a few sets. Eventually I feel I will be able to beat him at a game.

Even though I never win, I always have a lot of fun. My husband is a great guy and playing tennis brings out the best in him. We bicycle and play some pickle ball, but tennis is by far our favorite recreational sport.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

-----"Doctor stresses need for sleep screening for children with learning disabilities." Good sleep and learning seemed to be woven together in a way....it is difficult to get one without the other. I did not know that children could have Restless Leg Syndrome-I can definitely say from experience that this at least puts off sleep. If you are on a unmovable schedule, as a child's schooling would be, that missed sleep may not be movable to another time  and key learning moments might be missed.
-----Lungs have taste buds.
-----There was a rodeo in Times Square recently.
-----Astro Weenie Christmas Trees :-)
-----The Cherpumple is kind of like the Turducken. It is a triple-layer cake with a pie stuffed in each layer.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday 9.....



1. What are you proud of?
I am educated. I do not give up on my goals. I have a handsome Husband who is very talented (sculpture and other forms of art). We picked a beautiful Doggie who has the neatest personality. I have many adventures in the kitchen.

2. What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize? How did you win it?
I have never won a big prize....just books and such.

3. Tell us about something you've done that in retrospect was a waste of time.
I need to stop listening to people who think that they are better than me. I spend too much time getting lured back into listening to their games (this applies to a couple of groups). These are people there is no way for me to stop associating with...so I really must develop a strategy to avoid the cattiness and being in (unwilling) competition. This is difficult.

4. How old were you when life changed the most for you? How did it change?
I have been shaped greatly by several tragedies. I have learned a lot of compassion (though I was compassionate before). I know what is important in life. Currently, I feel like I am going through a period of growth not shaped by tragedy...I have been making a lot of self-discoveries.

5. Tell us about a place you that you've been that you considered to be very tranquil.
Sitting on the porch with Husband. We spend a lot of time on our porch. Our Doggie has even come to clearly enjoy and expect this time together....she thinks it is a part of her routine.
---I have not been there but I think that the Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens might be a very calming place for me to go in Autumn.

6. Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why?
I do not have one. Locally, the reporters and news anchors say things that are incredibly stupid. As far as the national news, I find a lot of the reporters to be cruel during interviews.

7. If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it? Why?
Fortitude....I was watching the teams on "The Apprentice" earlier. Fortitude was what comes to mind and it is a great quality to have. There probably is a city somewhere that is already named Fortitude.

8. What is something about which you've always wondered but have not yet found a good answer?
How am I going to finance getting to my Phd....a goal since sometime in childhood though I did not know what the major would be. Eventually, my official title will be "Environmental Engineer." I will use this education to live mainly off the food grid, grow produce for the coffee shop I plan to own, hopefully make advances in soil science and urban farming irrigation and help others learn to feed themselves. The future is something I am always asking myself about...I am too much of a worrywart as of late. When I reach a place of calm (usually during my nightowl hours), I make so much progress on my goals.

9. When you can't go to sleep, what is your personal remedy to help yourself drift into Lullabyland?
Tire myself out by reading, writing or blogging.

Participate in Saturday 9.....this was my first week! :-)

The Apprentice.....Week 6



-----The "Babes on Bikes" location and premise struck me as not able to be that successful. I was surprised when business looked to pick up at lunch-time (but the law of numbers does help sometimes).
-----I admired Clint's stand and I liked the fact that he was backed up. I do like some of David's humor...but, in general, he would often be hard to work with.
-----I did not like that Kelly took advantage of the Dave-situation in the boardroom to say bad things about the men. Unless she had never observed Dave's behavior, I think that was a pretty low thing to do.
-----I agreed with Donald Trump that the losing team did not have a chance after their pick of location.
-----Donald's daughter made a good point about what the reaction of bosses would be to the pedi-cabs.
-----The men are dysfunctional....but the women are always angry and arguing with each other.
-----I like that suggestion...asking some pedi-cab drivers what would be a good location. The pedi-cab drivers might be worried about even a day's competition. Some pedi-cab drivers might see this as an opportunity to suggest locations they did not drive that their competition did (I do not know if there is any competition in the pedi-cab industry). Asking might be successful. One could Google pedi-cab locations and that should certainly give an answer.
-----I agreed that, on this task, the choice for elimination was so obvious.

Friday, October 22, 2010

-----New strain of H1N1 emerges.
-----Nuclear launch card was missing for months? I would imagine that even when the codes and "football" are in there correct place, constant guardianship can be a stressful and scary experience.
-----Last month, a 6-year-old girl was removed from a cheerleading squad after her parents objected to a cheer. I would object to those words too...even for a teen girl. I wonder if the cheer is still being used.
-----Zahra case suggests that North Carolina is lax in tracking home-schooled children?
-----Terri Horman wants to be able to visit her daughter.  I can not see a judge allowing someone whom investigators have focused on for an abduction (and possibly murder) to have unsupervised visitation. Morally, I could not see a judge ordering the father to pay for the supervision.  If she is innocent, I could see where Terri would really feel that too long had gone by without seeing her daughter after a time. I can see where the father would be petrified that an unsupervised visitation would be allowed (again, I doubt there is any chance of that actually happening). Then again, there are people who would say that Terri's daughter eventually should have a renewed relationship with her no matter what occurred. What do you think?
-----Joran van der Sloot's lawyer wants a probe of the accusations that Joran attempted to buy marijuana while out of his cell.  I would think that some expert could give a pretty accurate estimation as to whether the tape in question might be doctored.
-----A book accusing the parents of Madeleine McCann of faking her abduction WILL be allowed to be published. 
-----When a missing person is found/assumed to have been murdered.....why do people always think the perpetrator is the spouse?

Friday Fill-In.....

 

1. One of my strongest beliefs is _____.
I never give up and think that anything is possible (this, of course, not including things that only God can do). It may look like I have given up on something but I am always looking for a way for things to get better. I wouldn't say this is always optimism....sometimes, it is just a good kind of stubborn. EVERYONE agrees that I am stubborn (though some do not ALWAYS agree that is a good thing).

2. _____ huge!
Honestly, I thought of the fact that some people CHOOSE to be huge. I have a thyroid problem that started out as being always underweight and, now that the attempt by my thyroid to burn out has gotten worse, I am hypothyroid. I have friends who also have genuine (worse) medical problems that cause weight gain. Those who say they have a health issue that causes weight problems when they DON'T trivialize this kind of problem and make my very upset. Those who are severely overweight because they eat and invibe a LOT and then do essentially nothing (but are NOT depressed and angrily expect others to respect all their "effort" in life) make me ANGRY. This is NOT the average person I am talking of...there are about three people that I am specifically thinking of. 

3. The sky is cloudy with a threat of wind and rain and cold, so ______.
stay inside. I do not like to go much of anywhere on really gloomy days. The pressure changes usually make me have headaches, anyway. I have Raynaud's phenomenon...so, these kind of days can be most unpleasant for my extremities.

4. _____ is comforting to me.
Music. Also, makes for hours of great exercise. I am glad to see that Blip now has a widget for blogging (over in my right sidebar). I am listening to my Blip playlist right now....the selection is Johnny Cash singing "Heart of Gold."

5. I always thought I'd be _____.
done with my Master's and maybe my Phd. by now. Right now, finances are making it so I am more concentrating on Open Courseware and so on at the moment. I am determined. Eventually, my official title will be "Environmental Engineer."

6. _____ and then I went outside to look at the full moon.
I grabbed my camera. I have gotten okay photos of the moon with a cell phone. I have not been able to get a decent picture of the full moon with a digital....yet.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I 'm looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____and Sunday, I want to ______!
---Tonight: Making German Hot Potato Salad as a part of the cook-through project that Husband and I are working on. We are completing the 4,500+ recipes in "Joy of Cooking." I am aware that this will likely take about a decade!
---Tomorrow: My brother comes over and it is "Game Night." I don't know what Husband, Brother and whatever friends are going to play.
---Sunday: I want to work on re-arranging furniture so that I can have an office area in the kitchen. Also to start the grocery list and choose recipes for next month (we do one longer grocery trip and occasional little runs). I plan to read and/or review the selection for Monday's #biblechat that occurs on Twitter.

PARTICIPATE IN FRIDAY FILL-IN

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thirteen.....

1. Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. This is a year-long opportunity in honor of a talented woman who was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

2.
-----Fellow blogger "Scribbit" posted how she makes Linguini Puttanesca.
-----According to Whitney Miller's comment on Facebook, the cookbook from her MasterChef win will be released in May.
-----Mom Improvement 
3.
Our friend Thom's gargoyles. Ready for casting. Cell phone photo. Approximately April 2010.

4.
-----Motorist rams SUV into school bus filled with children. Apparent suicide attempt.
-----FORD RECALLS 1.5 MILLION CARS DUE TO BRAKE FAULT!

5.

---The HDR is interesting but it looks to be a bit like bluescreen....but maybe that has to do with my eyesight (I only see 2D).  On the second viewing of the HDR part of this episode, the bluescreen-like phenomenon was not as pronounced to me. I do not know if this means my eyesight was working better or just messed up like it always is. I did not have the same problem when looking at the video on the "Soviet Montage" site.
-Later: Had Husband watch part of Diggnation and the Soviet Montage video....he had basically the same reactions. 
---I have always thought the houses featured at the beginning of "Full House" were pretty.
---Two of the topics are PG in this episode.
---Fable III. I have barely played the first one. Maybe that is something that I should do this weekend. :-)
---"Scientific Tuesdays" on Revision 3. I will have to check that out. Science experiments that you can do at home.
---Tesla Roadster 2.5 Sport. This is an electric sports car....a very expensive electric sports car. I do not believe in people owning expensive cars unless they have ALL other priorities taken care of. What is my dream car?....a Porsche (911 or 944) Cabriolet that has undergone an electric car conversion or a Karmann Ghia (think Andi's car in "Pretty in Pink").

6. Ragu has a recipe for Spaghetti Tacos. That is a bit unusual. It looks a bit unusual. I will try this (as I try everything once that is not unsafe or immoral). Convincing Husband to be open to trying this one might be....INTERESTING. There are topping options besides the plain taco shells and pasta sauce featured in the picture. I will try this both plain and with some topping variations....wish me luck.

7. Spicy Velvet Elvis Sandwich. The Peanut Butter Bread recipe must be made first for this sandwich (be aware of the comment that someone has made about the amount of flour).

8.

Have you tried these? I just did. It says on Amazon that they are sold out almost everywhere. There are green,white and brown candies and some of the white have little palm trees next to the "M." You can smell the coconut (unsure whether there is a natural component to it or artificial flavoring).Like all M&M's I can't eat that many....I cannot have much soy and the sugar/caffeine in the chocolate affects me too much in larger handfuls. Husband cannot eat these at all....he is newly allergic to soy (and is at the point where he can only eat trace amounts). Other than my usual issues, I did think these were a treat that I might like once-in-a-while.

9.
$8 Million iPhone (Thanks, to @SocialSmarter for the link.)

10. Cast of 2011 Celebrity Apprentice revealed.

11.

I am on my second reading of "Perfection" by Julie Metz. This is the first selection of the SheSpeaks Book Club. Our discussion of the this book started on the 19th and we will spend two weeks on each section. I was lucky enough to get an Advanced Reader copy. I identify with and disagree with most of the characters in some way.I am hoping for a lively discussion and for this group to continue for a long time.

12.

 

13. In My Life:
-----Husband told me that I am "unique" (and he met that in the literal sense of the word-not sarcastically or teasingly). I found that to be awesome.
-----I do not know who to vote for. For the most part, all of our candidates have been quiet or extremely mud-slinging. I do not even know where to begin making decisions. I do not vote along party lines....so that will not help. We do have a rude and annoying neighbor....a joking conversation occurred last night in which it was considered to vote the opposite of all her political yard signs.
-----We made a carrot salad from "Joy of Cooking." Excellent. It had grated lemon peel and grated lemon juice which could be tasted (but also blended in perfectly). Husband and I are doing a cook-through project of this book....yes, it will take about a decade!
-----Doggie went to the dog park again yesterday. Father-in-Law took her. I am glad to say that she was perfectly behaved. While Doggie was away, Husband and I took a walk in another park, sat on picnic benches, explored the playground equipment and saw bits of Halloween decoration. It is good to have an impromptu date once-in-a-while.
-----It's Thursday and time for the blogging activity known as The Mingle.

PARTICIPATE IN THURSDAY THIRTEEN

Monday, October 18, 2010

Curious as a Cat.....

1) Are you brand conscious about toilet paper, or is whatever’s on sale good enough?
We always get Northern. All toilet paper MUST be double-ply. Nothing colored due to all the dyes (I have one colored roll that stays under the skirt of a decorative doll). Occasionally, we will get something else if there is an extremely good coupon.
Cottonelle coupons
Angel Soft coupon

2) When was the last time you washed all the windows in your home inside and out?
Never all at the same time. Windows can be difficult to reach and/or disassemble. This occurs on an as needed basis. The screen in the kitchen window is always getting on my nerves...guess that means we cook a lot.

3) What's the funniest movie you've ever seen?
I don't recall any that are particularly funny....though I know there has been at least one that had me really laughing in recent years. The movies "Toys" and "Benny & Joon" make me smile.

4) Show and Tell. What comes to mind first when you see this picture? Or, tell a story if it reminds you of one.
This reminds me of a kaleidoscope, snowflakes and a flower...all things I appreciate greatly. This also reminds me of a menu at an Indian or Oriental restaurant. I can see a waiter with a certain dignified grace placing this on my table.
___________________

Participate in "Curious as a Cat" meme. 

It's Monday....What Are You Reading?


This is my first week doing the "It's Monday-What Are You Reading?" meme.

Right now I am reading:

An advanced reader copy of "Perfection" by Julie Metz. I have actually started re-reading the book so I am well prepared for the discussion that starts tomorrow....the first selection of the SheSpeaks Book Club. I have identified with most of the characters in some way and disagreed on a LARGE scale with many of their choices. I am glad that I read this book as there are a lot of culinary references and it gave me a look at how people come to decisions (or even feel compelled to certain choices). Perfection is a true story of a woman newly widowed who finds that her marriage was not like she thought it was.


__________________________

I am also reading a cookbook....the classic "Joy of Cooking." This is the 1975 edition (that many people agree is the best one). I am on page 42. Husband and I are doing a cook-through project with this book (partly because I cannot afford culinary school). The 4,500+ recipes should take us somewhere around a decade to work through and make for interesting discussion!

"Sautéed  Fruits" (with Amana Thick Cut New York Strip steak)

(Inspired by) Orange and Onion Salad

Coleslaw de Luxe

Chowder (particularly clam)




---How to dig,cook and clean razor clams
____________

Chowder Houses:
-----Chad's Chowder House (has won many awards)
-----Duke's Chowder House (award-winning chowder)
-----Marblehead Chowder House
-----Sam's Chowder House
-----The Union Chowder House
________________

-----Where to get Disneyland's clam chowder
-----Review of Dunkin' Donuts clam chowder. It is not made from scratch.What donut goes well with clam chowder?
________________



The only undefeated Champion Clam Chowder in the Seattle Chowder Cook-Off. This is the same chowder mentioned in the list of chowder houses.
____________

Calendar.....


Licensed photo...DO NOT COPY.
Title: Maya Calendar
Description: Artifact of Maya Calendar in a sunray

-----This day in music (including Elvis Strikes Back, The Quarry Men,a famous John Lennon photo and the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
-----October 29th The original cast of  "The Sound of Music" will be on Oprah.
-----November 27, 2010 would have been Bruce Lee's 70th birthday. The Bruce Lee Foundation is having a celebration in San Francisco. There is an address to send birthday cards (which will be on display at the celebration).
-----2011. Filming will start on a biopic with Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury. I just do not see this as being able to be done well. I hope that Mr. Cohen does not do his own vocals....whether he would be good at them or not-it reminds me of La Bamba where many people now think of sounds other than the real Ritchie Valens.
-----2011. Six Flags Amusement Parks 50th Anniversary Celebration. I plan to go to at least part of it.
-----March 22,2011....the book "A Chicken in Every Yard" comes out. It can be pre-ordered now at UrbanFarmStore.com.
-----March 20-27, 2011. World Championships in Ski Orienteering. Tänndalen,Sweden.
-----MasterChef (USA) has been renewed for a second season. I do not know when that season will start.

2011 Calendars:




            

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Found while looking for Meat Stew recipes.....

-----Spiced Beef Stew
-----Beer Braised Beef (for the slow cooker)
-----Old-Time Beef Stew. A Paula Deen recipe.
-----Beef Stroganoff (for the slow cooker)
-----Crispy Orange Beef. To make this one, I would have to find out if there is something that we can substitute for soy sauce. Husband is newly allergic to soy and I should limit my intake of it.
-----Stew Meat Casserole. A super-easy recipe.

   
-----"Protect Your Pets this Halloween"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hell's Kitchen...9 Chefs Compete


-----I have to say that Gordon Ramsay's last elimination really left him no choice. I think this person tried really hard.....it is just that (accidentally) wasting that much food can only be overlooked so long.
-----Everyone is capable of changing their attitude....even quickly. Of course, it takes a lot to have people believe that one's attitude changed quickly.
-----I enjoy the challenges that require the chefs to be creative.
-----"I got my hooker boots on and I'm gonna have a good time."
-----"People that eat fine dining are not used to getting portions made for, like, Andre the Giant."

-----Pea and Bacon Risotto
-----Sweet Pea Risotto
-----Chicken and Pea Risotto
-----Red Wine Risotto with Peas. The peas are optional.
-----Spinach-Pea Risotto. I am wondering if the other vegetables in this dish will work without the radishes as I cannot have radishes (thyroid issues). I wonder how jicama would work for this dish (it would have a sweet, nutty flavor or would blend in with other flavors....depending on how much it "heated through").
-----Fresh Pea Risotto with Spicy Grilled Shrimp



-----Sabrina and the lentils was a BIG risk! Not just in the cooking time-the aesthetic look of lamb and a bunch of lentils on a dish takes some getting used to.
-----I enjoy the judging panels. Always well chosen. I wish that contestants were always respectful of the judges while doing confessionals.
-----Since when do Kobey or P.Diddy have a special connection to Hell's Kitchen?
-----I do not like Jame's attire this episode.
-----Time management.

Happening in the world.....

-----Couple taunts terminally ill 7-year-old.
-----Accusations are being made that Joran van der Sloot was willing to make a drug deal in jail. His attorney says that we was painting his cell to improve living conditions and that the tape was staged. If this is not staged, I am wondering how much more trouble Joran could be in for this incident.
-----Let us hope that speaking with JonBenet Ramsey's older brother is handled delicately. If he is innocent of all wrong-doing, this questioning could be traumatic for him...again. Just think how these kind of speculations against himself and his family members have already been a presence in his life.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Our Joy of Cooking.....

Yesterday, Husband and I made a salad inspired by the "Orange and Onion Salad" on page 111 of the 1975 edition of "Joy of Cooking."*
~This was the second recipe in our cook-through project. Yes, we know that this will take several years! For my coffee shop though I eventually intend to serve food grown in our (work-in-progress) urban farm. I cannot afford the culinary school that I very much want....if this doesn't teach me how to do it all, then nothing will! :-)

I have noticed that this cookbook always recommends using the best ingredients possible and making substitutions where necessary....this meant we actually did not use the oranges.

The oranges at Walmart were overpriced and only looked to be of acceptable quality. I had been slowly eating the Walmart oranges before we started the salad....each time the remaining pith upset my stomach a little and my fingers stung after the labor of peeling the hard skins. There were bits of hardness on the ends that I actually had to dig out. We started out using these oranges for the salad until we realized it was a pain. Perhaps, we will attempt some sort of juice to save this pitifulness (or should I say pithi-fulness).
~~Usually we have some little cans of mandarin oranges around but did not notice that we needed to restock.

Instead, we used Sweet Harvest canned peaches from Aldi's. The 29 oz. can was actually cheaper than small cans and the juiceness/texture was perfect.
~~The color was great. I had about a dozen of the peach slices at lunch time the next day and I still felt the same about the juiciness. There were only a few that were firmer in texture. These were not too soft-just right. I am very picky about canned peaches. We will try these again.

Other choices:
-----Onions. I am not absolutely sure that these were Bermuda onions. Walmart did not choose to label most of their onions but I do know from the label of the company (also not identifying the onions) that these were grown in the U.S. They were suitable for the salad and looked like small Bermuda onions.
-----Grapefruit. Walmart was out of pink grapefruit except for a few expensive and bad-looking specimens. We bought a bag of regular grapefruit. This grapefruit caused Husband to rate the salad a "9 or 8" as he thought the grapefruit was bitter (for salad or otherwise).
-----Romaine was the best choice of lettuce for us.
-----We went with (whole black) olives that are noted in the recipe as an "Italian version of this salad."
-----Obviously, we did not "arrange" this salad. :-)
-----Neither of us were willing to venture into making celery seed dressing yet. We went with a Vidalia Onion dressing (a fave in our house and something we convert others to). This particular Vidalia dressing was a vinaigrette. The dressing was made w/canola oil. It takes a while to find a dressing with canola oil-Husband is allergic to soy and I should avoid it.


-----We served this salad with bratwursts. Doggie got an unexpected treat when I accidentally dropped one of mine (happens every once-in-a-while with me when we have bratwurst).
-----I would not recommend Golding Farms Honey Dijon so far. I cannot place what I dislike about it....perhaps too much egg. I sampled a little spot of it when replenishing the dressing on the salad and thought the taste I didn't like might be because of layering the dressings. I then tried a small bit on a spoon and did not like that either. I will ask Husband what he thinks and continue to experiment with it.



*I have the copy that was released in September 1985.

Does School Pride include educational pride?

That new show, "School Pride," that will be coming out on NBC is a very good idea. I am not sure if the show will help with the quality of education. Yes, I realize that better equipment and facilities do help....but schools also need to ensure that there are truly good teachers.

Sunday, October 10, 2010




-----Not using your turn signal is a badge of honor to some???

Our Joy of Cooking.....



Tonight Husband and I made the first dish in our cook-through project: "Sautéed  Fruits" from the 1975 edition of "Joy of Cooking."

This recipe is listed on page 128 of our copy of the book-which is the one re-published in Sept. 1985. Of course it is us (read this as we like to try new things while trying new things) and it is Our Joy of Cooking....so, we modified the recipe a little to our ways.

The onion and fruits were both cooked in bacon drippings (we took the pieces out and snacked on these...don't worry it was not a lot of bacon). The grease was hot quickly which meant we had to be careful and act quickly when adding the onions. We turned off the flame while adding the apples in.

Choices:
-----For paprika, we used Spanish Paprika. I have read that Spanish Paprika varies in taste, I think the  Tone's Spanish Paprika we used is dulce (sweet and mild).
-----The recipe says that you can also use white sugar but I think that the brown sugar was the right choice.
-----Instead of the single fruit options listed, we used both Johnathon apples (tart enough and well-flavored) and pineapple rings (which were diced with the spatula while cooking the fruit).  Even if we had just used apples, neither of us would have used 6 for this recipe as it really seemed to be too many. We used 4 apples and a can of pineapple.

To serve it "with a meat course," we chose to each have half of a Amana Thick Cut New York Strip steak. Splitting a steak this way for an entree is economical and keeps an excess of red meat out of our diet. We seasoned the steak with salt and pepper.
~~We cut away most of the fat before serving. There was a small amount of grizzle left that was easy to deal with. The steak was cooked for approximately 10 minutes in as little Canola oil as we could get away with.

The flavors were perfect together and the portion was absolutely perfect for two people. We have been enjoying experimenting with apples alongside meat lately. Husband says that the meat and apple dishes remind him of medieval cooking.
~~Smells were also lovely. I like the smell of one's clothing after cooking steak.

I definitely want to try some of the other sauteed fruit options for this recipe but only if done as a side dish (1/4 of a steak a piece and the other ingredient amounts reduced appropriately). Why a side dish for the other fruits?....we decided we like this dinner so much that we will always serve it the same way as this evening. We know when not to mar a good thing. :-)

The only change that I would make to the way we made this dish...having a glass of red wine with it. :-)

Friday, October 08, 2010

Calendar


Licensed photo...DO NOT COPY.
Title: Maya Calendar
Description: Artifact of Maya Calendar in a sunray

-----Tomorrow would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday. Speaking of John Lennon, a bit of unusual news....FBI seizes John Lennon fingerprints before auction.
-----October 1st-15th....20% of proceeds from Crumbs Bake Shop Pink Ribbon Cupcake will go to the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Pink Ribbon Cupcakes come in both a chocolate and vanilla version. My Mother has Stage 4 Breast Cancer  and I would appreciate it if you keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
20% of the proceeds from our Pink Ribbon Cupcake will go to t... on Twitpic


-----October 29th The original cast of  "The Sound of Music" will be on Oprah.
-----November 27, 2010 would have been Bruce Lee's 70th birthday. The Bruce Lee Foundation is having a celebration in San Francisco. There is an address to send birthday cards (which will be on display at the celebration).
-----2011. Filming will start on a biopic with Sacha Baron Cohen as Freddie Mercury. I just do not see this as being able to be done well. I hope that Mr. Cohen does not do his own vocals....whether he would be good at them or not-it reminds me of La Bamba where many people now think of sounds other than the real Ritchie Valens.
-----2011. Six Flags Amusement Parks 50th Anniversary Celebration. I plan to go to at least part of it.
-----MasterChef (USA) has been renewed for a second season. I do not know when that season will start.

2011 Calendars:
            

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more 

One of the candidates locally is getting bad-mouthed on a grand scale. I am not fooled by this. His opponents are taking part of what he said out of context and that is the only bad thing they are able to say against him. If I were in his district, I would vote for the man for two reasons: 1) Every single thing he has said in its full context is totally for the welfare of his constituents and morally best and 2) I have known his family for years and I know that he is actually openly being true to the morals that he was brought up with. It is nice when you can tell that a candidate is genuinely making an effort. I voted for Obama and I am confused as to what he is doing.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Hell's Kitchen...10 Chefs Compete



-----I wonder who came up with the idea to use the Lilliputian opening
-----Of course, I had heard of all the famous salads.
-----Salad Nicoise has done by Julia Child is one of my pet culinary peeves...her interpretation just does not seem palatable to me. I have been coming across other Salad Nicoise recipes that I am warming up to recently.
-----Gail's salad was impressive.
-----That is the first time I ever wondered if a couple of mice had gotten in and died on a plate.
-----There is a difference between an entree salad and other types of salad. I will be doing a salad from "Joy of Cooking" soon that I think will be almost an entree salad....I think there are some salads that are almost at entree but just don't make it to being that filling (even if they do include a protein).
-----The Getty Villa. Admission to the Getty Villa is free.
-----I would have found the "disgusting" lunch interesting...if everything had been washed well. Something I have been look at doing for a long time (except would likely be sugared).
-----I am getting more interested in Bon Appetit as of late. This week, we are making a Pomegranate Lemonade. I love the simplicity of the lemonade recipe and Husband has already sampled part of the combo using some already-opened club soda (he said it was GOOD).
-----I do agree that Gail is tough (when she is completely paying attention).
-----Scallops are clearly an issue this evening. I have not cooked scallops yet but intend to. I think I am generally good at getting fish right...so, I am not too intimidated by the thought of scallops. What does intimidate me is trying to find fresh (read this as SAFE) product here....we never end up buying seafood anymore due to the (lack of) quality at our stores.
-----Another expensive mistake for Melissa. I would be DISAPPOINTED at the substitution.
-----I wish that Vinny were less in grumpy mode.

Hell's Kitchen...11 Chefs Compete



-----I know that some people don't like it, but I love the Gulliver and the Lilliputians opening. I need to read that book again sometime soon. I want to read a little more about 18th-century society so I can appreciate the details of Johnathon Swift's satire better.
-----The young people were very nice to the chefs. I especially thought Rayona was very sweet. I can understand that the chefs had preconceptions about these children but I would have phrased it in a way that I was dreading the way things might go (not absolutely generalizing that the kids were going to be snotty). I was very disappointed to see that some of the chefs still insulted these young people even after they found that they did have some palate.
-----I cannot find a silver food dome on Amazon. It seems like they are mostly mesh or transparent any more.
-----I don't often see product names on this show but I did see a box of Barilla pasta.Of course, I have seen the Rosemount boxes in confessionals many times.
-----Why is it that generally the back of the house has no respect for the front of the house (and vice versa)? I enjoy both aspects.
-----Talking rudely (with cussing) to the kids themselves....TOTALLY unacceptable. This person has such a mix of good leadership and un-professionalism emerging.
-----I am not cheering for one person at all. He has shown a bit of attitude throughout but the snide remarks towards the kids was really offensive to me (surpassed only by the chef who had outright confrontation with no valid reason shown for why).
-----I have never seen a 6-year-old make crab cakes.
-----In my opinion, Melissa's mistake was....enormous. Unless there was some way of salvaging, that was a very EXPENSIVE mistake.
-----I love Nona's expressiveness though she does need to learn control of it at times.
-----Sabrina could go far in this contest...if she can become disciplined as far as restraining herself from outbursts. I guess we will see what happens. 
-----"I can't teach common sense. I'm not here for that."

I looked for (Post)Prom recipes and found this for Italian Sodas. I have not found Italian Sodas made at home to be at all successful for us in the past but I am trying a Vanilla Italian Soda with this recipe tomorrow.

Alton Brown's Funnel Cake recipe

In My Life....

-----Yesterday we made "Secret's in the Sauce" BBQ Ribs in the slow cooker. We used beef ribs instead of pork...our pieces had a considerable amount of fat and a considerable amount of meat. I think there were about 7 pieces of rib total and at a very reasonable price ($6-something at Walmart). We liberally sprinkled both layers of ribs with restaurant-style pepper. For the BBQ sauce, I picked Great Value (Walmart) Honey BBQ...this took one jar and a bit of another. Of the Grey Poupon variations, I picked the "Mild & Creamy" that comes in a squirt bottle and we used about 3 good dollops. We used a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic from a jar. Husband says that ribs need to be doused in sauce, so we poured a moderate coating of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce over the top. There wasn't really a sauce to the finished product-more of a coating and juice. We picked the ribs out minus the "sauce" and agreed that the meat was PHENOMENAL. Definitely, a 10 out of 10.
-----A not so successful experiment at lunch today. We usually re-use sauces for another dish. We had put a piece of meat for pot roast left over from last month's freezing into the rib sauce before bed. I thought I smelled strange things in the kitchen when I went in to get water several times during the night (sinus issues have been not fun for me lately). I thought the strange-ish smells were my imagination. No, not my imagination....that was the sugar cooking out of the rib sauce. The meat tasted like it does when people leave it on too long (some do this all the time and think that is a normal taste).The sauce was overcooked and burnt a little at the sides of the pot, it was palatable but not what we were expecting. Now we have a pile of less-than-pleasing meat for sandwiches. I am going to try adding some more of the Honey BBQ sauce to refresh it and we might freeze some for a later use as I have another dish that I want to start on tomorrow.

-----Helpful to another recipe (because I keep track of how effective products are in our kitchen):
~~Restaurant style pepper-we keep a bigger-not-the-biggest jar of Tones. The restaurant style has a more distinct flavor and I think does not lose the flavor on the shelf as quickly (vs. my old fave McCormick's in the metal container). This pepper still makes me sneeze sometimes but does not have as much dust. I find that this pepper often looks more aesthetically-pleasing in a dish.
~~Most of a bottle of Walmart Honey BBQ sauce. This is the lowest cost BBQ sauce I saw. Likely more of this will be used with the leftover meat for dinner tonight.
~~The bottle of "Mild & Creamy" Grey Poupon. One obvious use to me is the Zucchini pie that I like to make.
~~Minced garlic. We always have a jar almost gone and usually a backup jar. Right now we just have about 1/3 of a big-ish jar.  I do not have any bulb garlic right now as it has been drying out to quickly (we use the jar whenever it seems like we can get away without doing the prep that comes with fresh).
~~2/3 of the jar of cherry preserves. I like the use of this as an actual ingredient.
~~Some of the Jack Daniels BBQ sauce. We last used this with some heated chicken for yummy sandwiches.  :-)
~~And, of course, the unintended amount of meat to use up.


-----Grandmother-in-Law sent us some dinner, veggies and a jar of homemade apple butter. Her potato salad is AWESOME and there was a slice of ham. Also, handfuls of cherry tomatoes that look so much better than those in the store and maybe a dozen little bell peppers.
-----We now have a lot of cherry tomatoes to get through as I had just found little bags on extreme sale the day before. The storebought were in OK shape but visibly did not have a long shelf-life ahead. Obviously, I prefer the tomatoes that Grandmother-in-Law grew. I think the guaranteed-least wasteful thing to do would be for me to cook down all the store bought tomatoes into some yummy salsa (Mother-in-Law taught me how to do that).
-----What do I mean by extreme discount on the tomatoes? The bags were on sale for a $1.00 each and then there was a 75 cent coupon for next visit. The way I like to think about it is that we it was a quarter for each bag! :-) I love the challenge/achievements of grocery shopping.
-----I don't know how our avocado seeds are doing. I wish there was more evident progress. These avocado seeds were salvaged from a pasta dinner we made. :-)
-----I am about half-finished with reading my advanced reader copy of "Perfection." This is the first selection in the She Speaks Book Club. The book is about a woman who finds that her Husband has betrayed her in a big way (she only finds out after he passes away). I have no idea if I am going to be disappointed or happy with the heroine by the end of the story. This is a true story.
-----I am starting my first cook-through project. I am working through my battered copy of  "The Joy of Cooking" but using my own judgement of what I want to learn from it and how I adapt techniques. It will be "My Joy of Cooking."
-----Husband took Doggie to the dog park for a playdate with Sister Doggie today. She did really well with all the dogs. Doggie's first visit to a dog-specific park.
-----Having a lot of problems with Google Chrome crashing. This will be on a different random page that will crash the browser over and over. A couple of days later the same page will have no effect. I have not been able to find a way to fix this and I hope that the next update fixes this issue.
-----Downloaded GT Ripple again today. This is a software used to make water in desktop wallpapers ripple.  I have at least one photo that I want to experiment with using the "mirror effect" on to add water to a photo that does not have it.
-----Of course I missed this week's episode of 90210. Of course, it is not up on the CW site yet. Why does Teddy have to keep messing up?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


"Start every day off with a smile and get it over with."
-W C Fields

Not Forgotten....Laura Garza



Laura Garza was a young woman missing in New York for about a year-and-a-half. Skeletal remains have just been found. :-(

She went out for an evening at the Marquee Nightclub and wasn't heard from since. Foul play is suspected and the case is being treated as a homicide.Laura came to New York dreaming of going to dancing school and becoming an instructor.Laura was 25-years-old.Anyone with information is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-800 577-TIPS or text tips to 274637 then enter tip577.


The "Pray for Laura" MySpace

Maybe I will appreciate iceberg lettuce.

-----Morton's Iceberg Wedge Salad.  I do not generally like iceberg lettuce at all but the presentation looks interesting and the flavors sound like they would be yummy together.
-----Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc recipe for Iceberg Lettuce Slices. I love recipes that have a lot of steps (as long as they don't require tons of hand-eye coordination or precision cutting skills....I am a klutz due to an eye problem).
-----Emeril's Iceburg Wedge Salad. 
-----Pioneer Woman's Homemade Ranch Dressing with Iceberg Wedge
-----Iceberg Lettuce Chopped Salad with "French" Dressing. A Rachael Ray recipe.
-----New York Strip Steak with Iceburg Wedge Salad

      

     

It seems that the Iron Man (racing) brand is going to have many changes.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

In My Life....

-----I might be getting some tulips though the squirrels made iris bulbs  highly unsuccessful. I have a wholesale catalog for part of  my long-in-progress business setup and Antoinette "The Chameleon Tulip" sounds like a good choice. I can get 25 bulbs that have 4 tulips per stem....and they have 4 different stages of color! So, if all goes well....in a way, it will be like having 400 tulips. :-)  I am not sure where they would be put...they go with our current flower colors but not with those that I want to introduce. Tulips will fit nicely in the urban farming classes that I will be teaching. :-)
-----I need to go see if the mysterious cantaloupe that made an appearance this summer did well. This  was a survivor that somehow came up this year....though the seeds from the supermarket cantaloupe were dug up by squirrels the summer before this.
-----We are growing avocados....again, seeds salvaged from groceries. I do not know if they will ever end up bearing fruit (which can take 10-20 years). They are starting inside and the seeds popped up through the soil after only a few days. I think they are making satisfactory progress. I am nervous about the soil not draining well and the amount of sunlight. On the bright side, if these seeds are not successful, it will cost nothing for us to try again. If we cannot get avocados to fruit or taste good, then they do make nice house plants. :-)
-----Very angry this morning. We were lucky enough to be lent use of a sod cutter at one point and filled in a large-ish area in the side yard that was muddy and our city says has to have grass. A lawn service came to the house next door and, since they had a car parked in their driveway and wanted to start at a certain angle, they rode a riding lawn mower up the very yard it took so long to essentially graft grass from areas in the back yard to. I wonder if they thought I was photographing them when I went outside with my phone and walked around (possibly not able to hide the angry look). This person wanted a good look to their work so they unnecessarily started their approach on the lawn they weren't being paid to mow! There is some damage but I think it will recover....more to the edge so that is good. The lawn service obviously did not want to have to come back again soon as they mowed the grass next door so close that it looks dead. I so want to make a signs with a pirate on them-"Trespassers will walk the plank!" :-)
-----Kimberly Norwood has been missing since 1989.

Apple may have to pay $625 million in fines over patents.

She Speaks Book Club: Perfection


This is the first selection from the She Speaks Book Club. I was lucky to respond when the bookclub was taking enrollments on Facebook....I was sent an advanced reader copy.  I have started reading and I am on page 225. The heroine has a lot of turmoil and I really don't know how this is going to end.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

-----Politics of the Plate
-----Edible San Francisco
-----101 Cookbooks

Lemonades


-----Cucumber Lemonade. We will be making this one soon. I will definitely use a seedless cucumber. I will do as one person recommended in the comments and let it settle for a few hours so that the cucumber can be tasted.
-----Cucumber-Lemonade Chiller.  Uses agave syrup. :-)
-----Cucumber Lemonade Mojito 

-----Pomegranate Lemonade

-----Watermelon Lemonade. Vodka can be added for a cocktail.
-----Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade. Wondering how thick this will be....whether it might be a good idea to strain it (like with the Sparkling Kiwi Lemonade we made recently).

-----Peppermint Lemonade

I have thought of having a lemonade stand...as an adult.

Every lemonade I have made so far (other than just the standard) could have used less sugar....so, I will have to experiment with that on these recipes. I guess I just don't like as much sugar in my lemonade as most recipes call for.

I found how Brown Lemonade came to be interesting.

(The glass of lemonade is a licensed photo)



      

:-)



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