Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Conrad Murray Sentencing.....

Michael Jackson's former doctor was sentenced to the maximum term....though he will likely serve only half of it.

I hope that he uses some of this time to reflect on what actions could have been taken to help Mr. Jackson.
I also hope that this does not discourage him from trying to do something to bring good into the world.
I pray that, at some time in the future, he is a financial support to doctors that heal.
Maybe he will be able to encourage doctors to take greater precautions in what they do.

Up until this incident, it could be argued that Mr. Murray seemed to have good intentions (and certainly a very impressive resume).

Hugs to Michael Jackson's children, family and loved ones.
Looking at chocolate gifts on Sees.com:
~~~ Pretty reasonable prices. There are several items under $10. :-)
~~~ I have never tasted an egg nog truffle.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thursday Thirteen.....


Licensed photo. Taken by Christa Richert
I like this photo as the lettuce looks like a rose. :-)

-----Another bagged lettuce recall.  I am tired of bagged lettuce recalls. This voluntary recall includes Trader Joe's and Safeway. E.coli.
-----Lettuce Link. A program to try to help break the cycle of poverty.
-----Potato Salad Sandwiches have lettuce in them. I will have to try this. Simple and seems like people really enjoy it.
-----Lettuce-Wrapped Plum Chicken
-----PETA wants to put an ad of a woman in a lettuce bikini on an incinerator.


3. I got an e-nail concerning P90X2. The e-mail featured this photo. That looks DIFFICULT.

4. In My Life:
-----Requested the 2012 Burppee Catalog. They are mailed out in December.
-----Unsure if I want to see "Super 8." It sounds kind of boring.
-----Some people are finding my blog by searching for "norcrest porcelain rocking chair frog bank." I will have to look around in my posts and find out why that is.
-----The last visit, my doctor stated several times that my thyroid was pretty much dead. The blood test I just took said that it had improved slightly. I am hoping that my thyroid does not die out (making me very dependent on the medicine).
-----I haven't heard anything in a long time about "A Kind of Magic"...the film in which Sacha Barron Cohen (of Borat fame) was supposed to play Freddie Mercury. I did not think this would work well but reserve judgement. Apparently, Sacha Baron Cohen is a good singer. Could he be that good of a singer??

5.  From my life back in 2007:
-----Earlier this month a raccoon made the mistake of attacking and re-attacking the spunkiest cat in our neighborhood. The raccoon was much bigger but the cat won every single round. Both parties managed to survive. I kept thinking "Thunder, Thunder,Thunder Cat" when my husband came in & told me about seeing this. The raccoon was huge in comparison to the cat.
-----Today I was flipping through channels & saw this horribly acted horse movie. The young girl, who was riding a horse, said, "Steady, girl." I thought that she said "City Girl"...wouldn't that be a great name for a race horse?

6. Recipes:
-----Southwestern Bean Chowder. Thinking about this one for next month. It has a lot of ingredients and some people have commented that it is bland.
-----Apple Brandy Chicken.  Southern cooking. I would like to try this when we can work apple brandy into the budget. Suggestions for a good apple brandy?
-----Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken. One we haven't got around to trying yet.
-----Fresh Apple-Pecan Pound Cake. I like chopped pecans. :-)
-----Roasted Cornish Hen With Mushroom and Apple Brandy Sauce. This involves flambe and Husband is not at ease with us doing that.
-----Pork Chops With Apples and Applejack Cream.  I am not a fan of pork chops but we will try this at some point.

7. Apparently, chimps who throw feces are the more intelligent chimps.

8. "Cat in the Hat" Eco-Plush Toy

9. Learned something:
-----Gordon Ramsay will have a new reality show called "Hotel Hell."
-----I did not know that some places have laws prohibiting sexual offenders from going near public pools. California really took precautions this year at Halloween:
"So this year, as part of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's annual Operation Boo crackdown on sex offenders, homeless sex offender parolees in three of the four state parole regions were ordered to report to designated centers to remain there under supervision from 5 to 10 p.m. Halloween night."
-----A "sage gun" fires a plastic bat at the lower body. I read that one was used on someone who would not be compliant for a stun-gun!
-----Isaac Asimov died of AIDS-related complications.

-----Stand-alone novella.
-----Available exclusively as an E-book. This will be a present-to-myself at some point (to read on Kindle for PC).
-----Described as low-priced. I did not look through all the retailers that carry it...but did find it for $2.99 on Amazon.
"It's the mesmerizing tale of Crispin, a twelve-year-old boy who lives wild in the city and has no friend but Harley, though Harley never speaks. Plagued by fearsome memories, Crispin moves in the shadows, through a metropolis both familiar and infinitely strange, evading an evil that also knows the city well and hungers for this special child." 

Congress says that tomato paste on pizza is a vegetable. a ridiculously small amount of tomato paste qualifies as a serving.
Recipes for healthier pizzas:
-----Nectarine and Prosciutto Pizza.  Bleu Cheese might be a little strong for some children.
-----Eggplant Parmesan Pizza. For the adults, this would pair well with a pale ale or amber ale.
-----Black Bean Nacho Pizza. Beer pairing for adults: India Pale Ale or a brown ale.
-----Arugula and Prosciutto Pizza. I have never had fontina cheese or arugula.
-----Mushroom-Prosciutto Pizza. Quick to make. Another that includes fontina cheese.
-----Pizza Bianca With Arugula, Bacon and Mushrooms 
-----Green Pizza. Broccoli and arugula. Spinach can be used for something milder. Uses pesto...I am a big fan of pesto.
-----Pizza With Caramelized Fennel, Onion and Olives. Includes 4 cups of chopped fennel bulb and kalamata olives.
-----Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Stuffed Pizza. Good for dipping in marinara. Includes tofu (a no-no at our house as Husband is allergic to soy and I should avoid it).
-----BBQ Chicken Pizza. Includes tomato chutney. How to make your own tomato chutney is explained (it can apparently be a hard-to-find ingredient).
-----Quick Pizza Margherita
-----Turkey Pizza. I wish it looked more appetizing.
I will be finding pizza recipes that are considered healthy (for one reason or another) as a form of protest until this "vegetable" decision improves.

12.  Might be on our menu soon:
Easy Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut 

13. I would like to try the "Mincemeat Cream" chocolates that I found on Sees.com. There are two brick-and-mortar locations that I might be able to get to and try this at some point. :-)

".....a creamy center filled with pieces of citron, raisins, lemon peel, orange peel, glace fruit, brandy flavoring, spices and English walnuts. Covered in rich dark chocolate....."

This is a post-in-progress. :-) Hmmm. OK...I never did finish this one.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Adventures with Capers.....
Capers With Capers :-)

 Next month we are trying some recipes using capers.

Things I have learned about capers:
~ They have a  lot of vitamins and minerals
~ Some people add even more salt when they make a dish containing capers (which are already high in salt).

I want to learn about capers:
~ Specifically, what vitamins and minerals do they have?

We are trying next month:
-----Tomatoes, cucumbers and capers with homemade Italian dressing. No lettuce. I am leery of bagged lettuce lately and don't feel like going through the trouble of fresh (we don't own a salad spinner).

-----Chef Meg's Simple Zucchini Caponata. We may actually make this tonight. :-) We will add capers, canned tuna, sweet onion, minced garlic, basil and red bell pepper. I am tentatively calling our version "Butterfly Caponata."
~ I noticed that this recipe calls for trimming the ends of the eggplant and zucchini. Who doesn't do that??

I would like to try:
Potato Salad With Tuna, Capers and Anchovy Vinaigrette.  I have never had anchovies where I could discernibly taste them. Husband does not like them but maybe I could persuade him sometime. What dishes do you like that have anchovies in them?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday Thirteen.....

1. "Knit a Sweater, Save a Penguin." How to help he penguins who were victims of an oil leak in New Zealand.


3. Free download of Kid Rock's album "Born Free." For those in the military and must have military e-mail.

4. The Total Body Support Pillow, This might be helpful for someone I know with fibromyalgia.

5. Money:
-----10 "great" deals that usually aren't.
-----Some restaurants want to (or now do) charge if you do not show up for a reservation. One restaurant actually charged the full prix-fixe of $165 per person!

Huggies Camo Diapers

7. Various homemade Hamburger Helper ideas.
Chili Mac. Strogranoff. Potato Beef Casserole. Quick Lasagna.

8. "Diary of a Bipolar Breakdown"

9. "And the Doctor Said....." :-)

10. All-Dixie Deep South Potato Salad recipe

11. How was your Halloween?
Mine was drawn out...full of stops, starts and postponements. Missed both of our planned trips due to having colds and not wanting to weaken immune systems further..
---Staying home wasn't all bad...one day Husband wasn't there and I indulged in my very own guilty vice...macaroni and cheese from a box (Husband detests it). Made rice pudding. Listened to a lot of Mar Poppins music.
---Still had not gotten the pumpkin carved Halloween night. It was kind of nice having a pumpkin in such good condition to light on the nights after Halloween...we called it "Scary Pumpkin Time." When the pumpkin rotted, we had our annual "Pumpkin of Sorrows Toss" where we right everything that upset us on the pumpkin and then toss it from somewhere high.
---My brother came to visit when we weren't contagious anymore.
---Husband tried to bob for apples but the pan was too small. He was a good sport and posed for photos with the apple anyway. He choose a 2009 Berringer Cabernet Savignon as his prize.
---Among the things I missed was a Halloween masquerade to benefit The First Church of The Living Dead. Our friends, the Christian band "Dark Valentine," were performing. Husband went and took this awesome-do-not-copy photo of Simon.

12. German:
-----Neat German shooting range.
-----"The Gummy Bear Song." Long German version. "Three times you can bite me."

13. Copycat recipes:
-----Taco Bell seasoning. Wondra is carried at our local Walmart.
-----Cadbury Creme Eggs. I don't like the corn syrup though. I am finding that a lot of things might be possible substitutes for the corn syrup...including sugar syrup.
-----York Peppermint Patties


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Italian I learned today.....

Alla griglia e al forno.....grilled and baked
Contorni.....side dishes
Insalate e tramezzini.....salads and sandwiches
-----I wanted to try making stewed duck the other night but Husband says that this is oily. I will look around to see if there are recipes that are not.
Another thing I will not cook with...chicken or duck blood. I found an Asian recipe that calls for this. Eurasian Stewed Duck (Pato de Cabidela)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

-----Carpaccio has been added to the list of things I will not eat ( should actually make a list). Carpaccio contains raw meat.
               ~~~ Have you ever tried carpaccio?
              ~~~ It does not look appetizing.
              ~~~I note that some restaurants neglect to mention that it is raw and expect you to know this. I hope  
                     that waiters/waitresses advise what carpaccio is.

Monday, November 14, 2011

-----Arsenic pollutes Iowa's waters.

In My Life.....

-----We went to a couple of libraries today. I got "Das Boot", "The Silver Palate Cookbook" (lots of photos),"1001 Movies to Watch Before You Die" and "How to Cook Everything." The last two are really thick books...so I have a lot of reading ahead of me. I was happy (and not surprised) to find that "Das Boot" was mentioned in the movie book.
-----I was happy to have a lot of blueberries in my salad at lunch. Anti-oxidants are a good thing. :-)
-----Next week we might go thrift-shopping. I have requested clothes for Christmas (that and Stephen King's "11/22/63").
-----We are making a big ham in the crockpot tomorrow. I will have to find a recipe.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Vikings ("Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode)

In My Life.....

-----There was a very pretty purple in the sky yesterday evening. I was walking by and saw it through the edge of the curtain and just had to go out and see it.
-----I would like to find a recipe for stewed duck. It is hard to actually find a duck here except at Thanksgiving and Christmas....so, if we are going to make it, I have to act quickly.
-----Adding Stephen King's "Cat's Eye" to our wait list at the library.
-----I really want to read that new Stephen King book about what it would be like if Kennedy had lived. 11/22/63: A Novel

Apples and Bananas.....

Good start to my day.
Listened to this fun song....."I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas."
Also listened to Johnny Cash singing "I'm Being Swallowed by a Boa Constrictor" and "Five Feet High and Rising."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In My Life.....

-----I just started reading Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle." I don't know if it will continue to do so but there is a lot about the way this author writes that makes me smile. Easy to follow and the words really paint a picture.
(FREE text on Project Gutenberg)
-----It will be interesting to see "Twilight:Breaking Dawn" at some point. I am wondering if the baby will be vampire, human or both. This also brings up the question of whose side this child will grow up to be on. I don't have a clue as to what will happen as I have not read any of the "Twilight" saga.
-----I need to figure out where I put my Campbell's "Soup for Life Plan" booklet.
-----We are trying Swedish Egg Coffee for breakfast tomorrow.
-----I have never had boiled peanuts. Apparently, you can freeze them. Hmmm.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The stone where Jesus' body was laid after the crucifixion.

In My Life.....

-----BBQ chicken pizza leftovers for lunch. :-)
-----I don't think Johnny Cash's "Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart" is one of my favorite songs. (Listen FREE.)
-----Apparently, people sometimes find my blog by looking for "cleavage dress" or "dress cleavage."
-----Today I noticed that I found our Burning Bush prettier the other day when it had snow on it.
-----Doggie 1 is looking adorable in her little winter coat (already). She gets cold pretty easily.

-----I am looking for a copycat recipe for Candy Cane Joe Joes as I will not be traveling to a Trader Joe's anytime soon. Last year I tried the Christmas Oreos as a substitute but had a reaction to the soy in them.

Licensed photo
Photo by Margarit Ralev of Ralev.com

Make your own microwave popcorn.
~~~ I noted that someone commented that putting fajita seasoning on it is good.
~~~ Walmart has a "Great Value" fajita seasoning but I have heard that it has a fake smoky flavor.

Kahlua Caramel Popcorn

Mushroom Popcorn
Buffalo-Style Hot Popcorn
Cajun-Style Popcorn
Italian-Style Popcorn
Herb-Seasoned Popcorn
Chili Popcorn Seasoning Mix 
Cheesy Barbecue Popcorn

Peanut Butter Popcorn. I wanted to try this one a while back but Husband is hesitant. We both wonder if this will be messy.

There are so many popcorn recipes that contain corn syrup. I do not like that.

The Ben Franklin Song (A Song About Money) By: The Wise and The Young

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Warm Kobe beef with Truffle Tea. The tea is served alongside the beef.

First snow of the season. :-)

Some of it stuck to the cars and rooftops. The freezing water on the trees melted pretty quickly. It was only slippery during. I like snow...I just wish there wasn't cold and ice. I am already starting to have trouble with my hands and feet...Raynaud's Phenomenon.
~~~ Our big mum had already bent down from frost.
~~~ The second photo is our wonderful burning bush. I am going to research to see what I can do to help it grow bigger.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

In My Life.....

------Yesterday was mainly a good day. I had my first crawfish (and it was apparently funny to see me eat it). Kind of messy. It had eyes and reminded me of cockroaches. The taste grew on me and I am looking forward to having it again.
-----The starter had to be replaced on our car. Expensive. :-( Not a good thing for around Christmas-time.
-----We  are up early this morning and having breakfast and a movie. Hamsteak,over-easy eggs, Hollandaise with Hungarian paprika, and English muffins. We are watching "Thor."
-----We actually started the day out by trying Nutella for the first time. :-) I want to see if I can find a cake recipe using it. I also had a birch beer (non-alcoholic. It is an ol-d-fashioned soda).

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Helpful info on cheese storage. We are making Croque Provencal this week. We have no access to raclette cheese and I do not have a raclette grill yet. A possible substitute for raclette is Jarlsberg...but Husband did not think he would be able to find that at the store. We are using Swiss (and making bechamel sauce to put over the sandwich).

Artisanal Cheese

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Madeleine L'Engle - Prayer

In My Life.....

-----Still very excited about Husband's Christmas present that arrives this week.
-----Cannot find the camera bag. Weird.
-----The air conditioners are coming out of the windows this week. Pretty sure it is now permanently cold. I detest winter.
-----Had to bring blankets out for Scary Pumpkin Time (lighting the Jack-O-Lantern for a bit). It was cold outside.
-----Working our way through a variety pack of clearanced Halloween candy.
-----I was reading today about chocolate. It has a chemical called phenethylamine (PEA) that is a mild mood enhancer. Apparently Montezuma really thought it was helpful....he supposedly drank 50 cups of chocolate before lovemaking. Sadly for Montezuma, chocolate is not an aphrodiasiac. I wonder what all that chocolate did to his health (unless he didn't drink it often).

~~~Montezuma Cake
~~~Montezuma. Drink recipe. This is not another drink by the same name that calls for a raw egg yolk. Adapted from Patricia Lousada's "The Ultimate Choocolate Cookbook."
~~~Cafe Ole Montezuma Pie
~~~Montezuma's Hot Chocolate. Includes a recipe that serves 25.
~~~Montezuma Beans
~~~Montezuma's Hot Chocolate Sheet Cake
~~~Montezuma's Revenge. A guacamole recipe.
~~~Montezuma's Revenge.  Drink. Beer and tequila.
~~~Montezuma Stout. This is for homebrewing.

Friday, November 04, 2011

In My Life.....

A good day today.
-----Ordered Husband's Christmas present...more on this later. He gets to open it next week. Perfect for him. :-) I am excited.
-----Started ordering some of our monthly house supplies (like toilet paper and paper towels) online. Finding ways that they are cheaper and no shipping offers...my new strategy. I will gt us stocked up on these type of things. Tired of them being a resource drain.
-----Our Jack-O-Lantern's face can project onto the house wall when the candle is lit.....a neat thing that Husband discovered. :-) It was just carved yesterday as we had colds. It has a lot of time left. Once it rots, we are re-instituting our annual "Pumpkin of Sorrows Toss."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

In My Life.....

-----All Saints' Day. One year husband and I each picked a saint and told each other what we learned. Today, I have been thinking about holidays and celebrations...what they mean to me, what the don't mean to me.....what they should and shouldn't be. I don't know that all saints performed miracles attributed to them and why do modern-day saints often do so only after death?? I am going to bring this up for discussion in prayer/study group.
    ~A Day in the Life of St. Francis. Video that is animated, poetical and full of smiles. Of course, with a very important lesson at the end. I wish that I could find a way to get YouTube videos to embed properly while using "Blogger in Draft."

-----I found a recipe to use a fairly large red buttercup squash. It was not easy to find recipes for buttercup squash. Acorn squash is similar, though drier, so we are making either Martha Stewart's Roasted Acorn Squash Soup with Horseradish and Apples or her Acorn Squash Lasagna.      I have still to find a recipe for Flying Saucer squash that I like.


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