These movies used to scare the crap out of me. Now we make our kids watch them. It is our way of passing on our nerosis and psychosis, to the next generation. HAPPY HALLOWEEN
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I remember watching an ancient Saturday Night Live Skit where Phil Hartman was doing a parody of Telly Savalas and the Player's Club International . Only as Phil Hartman can do it, he said, " Who loves you better than you do, baby?"
Well isn't that where it all begins? All kidding aside, I personally feel I am a better mother, friend, neighbor, wife etc., if I have a good relationship with myself. Patience, love, compassion, understanding, respect all seem to come more easily when I am happy with who I am. There are days and moments when I am incredibly hard on myself, I find it is a constant challenge to cut myself some slack and accept the good Cindy and the not so good Cynthia.
I have posted this picture of myself taken by myself, knowing that it is not the best; the double chin is showing, the gray hair is uncombed, and the makeup is non-existant, but I like the peaceful gleam in my eye and the determined set to my my mouth. This is the photo of a woman who is ready to take on the day, and the next, and the next. You go girl!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Once again, the due date for this challenge crept up on me. I was waiting for Thursday, then I noticed Jen at Use Real Butter mentioned that she was going to post her Daring Bakers challenge in a few hours. It is not like I haven't been on the website reading and getting prepared or anything. I have been thinking about how to proceed, but the darn date came too fast! I am anything but a slacker too. I know how to prioritize, plan, delegate, prepare...I am a bonafide Mormon woman for Pete's sake! So rather than whine about what didn't happen on time, let me relate what did happen, when I had some time. But first let me say....
Here is some stunning dough. I really liked the way the dough was prepared. Using instant yeast of which I am a big fan of. Regular items like salt, oil, sugar, and one irregular item like ice cold water. My dough was stiff at first and I did have to add a couple of teaspoons of water to mine, but it came out smooth and soft. You can see it is cut into 6 pieces. It rested in the fridge overnight and was brought out 2 hours before cooking. It was so rested that it only need a couple of tosses. I love the way my face looks in this toss.I provided various items for the my family to build their own pizzas. I have limited each person 4 topping items, including sauces, and cheese, because less is more. These are gourmet delights. I didn't want them defiled by burdening them with too many toppings.They could choose from the following:
- Sun Dried Tomatoes (I grew them and dehydrated them myself)
- Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
- Herbes de Provance (I grew and made myself)
- Parmesean Cheese
- Assorted Italian meats, Calabrese, Salame, Capocollo
- Pesto and Tomato Sauces
- Mushrooms, onions etc.
The crust came out crisp, but not hard. And where I didn't use the Mozzarella, it was caramalized with parmesean and pesto goodness. It remained thin and tender. Ooh it was just incredible. My husband loved it. It was fun for the whole family to make and everyone had what they wanted on it.
I think this has been my favorite Daring Baker's Challenge so far. I had so much fun doing this, and the family adored it.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
So, it hasn't been the easiest week for poor Daughter Number One. Accounting is giving her a whole spreadsheet of trouble. The dating scene in Provo, sucketh exceedingly. (What is with all this "let's hang out" crappola?") Sorry guys, but if you want a date with this lovely lady, you have to man up and put the Guitar Hero away, oh, and get off your mission before you try to befriend her on My Space.
Also, it helps not to be-little her while she is wearing her Obama 2008 lapel pin, and then try to hit on her at the same time you narrow minded, never-been-kissed, Republican boys.
Her roommate actually used her brand new, NEVER been used KitchenAid mixer and left it filthy while Jordan was up in Rexburg for the weekend. She helped herself to Jordan's C&H Powdered Sugar (not Western Family) to frost some nasty cake, (I KNOW!!) Then she left her brand new William's Sonoma Silicone/wood handled spatula soaking in water all weekend too. Poor Jordan came home late Sunday night and was faced with the trauma of cleaning up that fiasco. Grrrr!!
Then one of the other Admin's at the office is out for months with an illness, and poor Jordan, who is supposed to be a part-time student employee, and one other lame brain woman, who can't find her own *$@# are left to pick up the slack. My precious girl actually left the office crying yesterday, things were so bad. She is failing a class, while working overtime on Saturday's for the Bureau. In the words of that guy who defended Brittany Spears on You Tube..... Leave Jordan Alone!
Jordan is such an upbeat girl. Believe me, I am the one who is making this into one great- big- darn- deal. I will go to bed now, I will not rant any further, but if she won't take this seriously and get angry and lose sleep, by darn I will...what are mother's for?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I recently posted about Lawrence Welk and how we would then have to stay tuned for Hee Haw to come on. I don't disappoint; here it is kids... my favorite part of the show. Give it a watch.
Dave and I are planning on doing this for a talent show someday. I have the costumes.
Friday, October 24, 2008
"Ooh, follow that Sikh"!!!Well Malaina If I had seen this Sikh walking into that restaurant I would have followed him anywhere!!!
This video is delightful. I am going to make this recipe this week. I love the Indian accent. Everything sounds so magical!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I will clarify on the deer hunt...he went with 3 other guys. Only one of the deer is ours.
The last challenge was such a stinker at our house, that I just knew from reading the Pot Pie recipe, I would have to do some editing.
- I left out the squash, the pearl onions, the saffron and the Pernod (licorice flavored liqueur). And I cut back on the butter by 1/2 a stick. Sorry Ina. The butter requirement was insane.
- To keep this gravy vegetarian for my daughter I also used vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth, with great success! It also turned the gravy a really pretty dark color.
- I added my own homegrown frozen sugar snap peas, haricot verts (french green beans), and chicken breast to the large pot pie. I left the small one alone for my daughter.
- Did any other BB's find that this recipe made twice as much as you thought it would? Mine would have fed a very generous 6+.
- There was tons of extra pastry, so I made it into sugar sprinkled treats.
- I loved the addition of the fennel bulb. I will be purchasing this on a regular basis from now on, I can think of lots of ways to use this. Before, I had only eaten it in salads, and it was just ok. I think the fact that I took the liberty to caramelize the onions and the fennel, added great depth to this gravy.
- Oh, and I also found some of those great "albino"asparagus at Sunflower Farmer's Market! Only .99 a pound!
- I will be making variations of this again.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We were in a hecka hurry, to make it to geek week at BYU. Okay, now that was just mean of me. My middle child is a self proclaimed science geek; we are desperately proud of Malaina.
One time Malaina and Jordan were up at campus together and one guy in Malaina's lab group said some science joke and everyone but Jordan got the joke and laughed. Jordan quietly turned to Malaina and asked her what was so funny....Malaina simply replied...
"You have to speak fluent Dork to understand."
So anyway, back to National Chemistry week... BYU was hosting a Chemistry Magic Show, and for extra credit Tiny wanted to go. Well, I wasn't going to let her drive up there alone, walk on campus alone, not knowing exactly where to go. So I hurried up the cookie making process and we went for a really fun chem. dem.The science twerp sitting next to Christina's friend Tisha sure was having fun!
Monday, October 20, 2008
I remember as I was growing up spending many a Saturday evening watching Lawrence Welk on television at my grandparents house. I also remember my dad was hooked on it too. I used to tease him, because I thought he was too young to like that old fogie music. But, even I would admit it was mesmerizing. Then we would watch Hee Haw. I post about that one later.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
This mixture gave me plenty of yield for the next few months, and it is much cheaper than those fancy herbs at gourmet stores.
2 Tablespoons dried fennel seeds (I LOVE anise-that's what I used)
2 Tablespoons dried lavender leaves
1/4 cup dried marjoram
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/2 cup dried rosemary
1/4 cup dried savory (I used dried tarragon, because that is what I grew)
1/2 cup dried thyme
1 Tablespoon of sage (because I have bushels)
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container in a cool , dark place.
This will stay fresh for 2 months. Mine will go in the freezer.
How to use this spice mixture?
Soups, Stews, Roasted Bird of any Kind, Sprinkled on Scones or Biscuits, Foccacia Bread, Potato Salad, Pasta Alfredo, or Spaghetti sauce, Bruschetta. Garlic Bread. Any Giada de Laurtentis recipe.
You can basically use your own good instincts and just be creative. I can't wait to see what this is like in my own creations.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Isn't this image adorable?!!! I went to yearbookyourself.com and did this. This is what I might have looked like if I were the class of 1968. I am the class of 1980! I was 6 years old in 1968, and I remember watching some of the Mexico City Summer Olympics that year. I remember my first sin after baptism, (a lie and I was guilty for days about it). I remember my teacher was a woman named Mrs. Gordon, at Valverde Elementary on Alameda Avenue in Denver, Colorado. I was a tattle tale and remember getting a boy in trouble for not reading correctly, and I remember the "fall-out" shelter signs . I found someone's lunch and when I opened the bag I saw it only had a Ketchup sandwich in it, and I was jealous that I had to eat school lunch. (No, I did not eat the sandwich)
My grandparents gave me my first baby doll, a Madam Alexander life size baby that said "mommy". Her name is Julie and I still have her.
I vaguely remember Apollo 8 being launched. My first movie that really affected me was "Planet of the Apes" from 1968. When we went to the Lakeside Amusement park I remember the Tilt a Whirl was constantly playing "In the Sunshine of Your Love" by Cream. And, best of all I remember still believing in Santa!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
What did you think?
Were you morbidly fascinated like I was?
Did you think it was irreverent?
Or did you think it was an incredible testimony of God's love and hand in all things, (every single detail)?
I would encourage you to take a look at this exhibit. The price of the ticket is worth the visit. I came away feeling profoundly moved/disturbed. It still has me thinking, and it really opened my mind to the awesomeness of the human body and the miracle of life.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Here is what happened to the Green Tomatoes...
6 cups finely chopped cored green tomatoes (unpeeled)
2 onions, finely chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tsp. celery seeds
1 cinnamon stick,(4 in.) broken in half
2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups lightly packed brown sugar
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
I sent the onions, peppers, and tomatoes through a coarse grind on my food grinder. Drained off the liquid in the tomato mixture and stirred in the 1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt. Set this all in a glass bowl covered it and let it stand for 12 hours. The next morning I poured it into a strainer and rinsed it with cold water and then squeezed out as much of the liquid as I could.
Tie the cloves, celery seeds, and cinnamon stick in a square of cheese cloth, creating a spice bag, or bouquet garni.
In a large Stainless steel pot, combine the vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, mustard, salt, ginger and spice bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add drained tomato mixture, stir well and return to a boil. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are transparent, about 1 hour. Discard bouquet garni.
Meanwhile prepare canner, jars, and lids. I quick wash the lids and jars in the dishwasher and leave them in the heat of the dishwasher until needed. I get about 3 inches of water boiling in the canner.
Ladle hot relish into hot jars, leaving 1 centimeter of head space. Remove air bubbles and adjust head space, if necessary by add more hot relish. Wipe the rims, Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Place the jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
I made some AWESOME Ketchup with the 24 pounds of ripe tomatoes I harvested. 24 pounds condensed into 10 half pint jars. This is really the best thing I have ever preserved, and I will likely make it over and over now that I know how. In case you are wondering what the brown liquid is, it is cider vinegar with a bouquet garni of cinnamon, cloves, celery seed, and allspice. You can leave a comment if you want the recipe for the ketchup.
By the way all of today's recipes are from this simply awesome book. You can click on the picture and it will take you to Amazon where you can read more about it.
Friday, October 10, 2008
She confessed today that her favorite foods are "toddler foods", with the number one all time favorite food being a corn dog. School lunch.....corn dog.
I must, must, must, get this right! Help me to save her from this frozen food nightmare! Respond to this post with your favorite recipes or URL's.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa Family Style was the source of this week's Barefoot Blogger's cooking challenge. I for one, love butternut squash, and I love risotto, so I figured this recipe would be a hit at my house. It sure is pretty isn't it?
The risotto itself is easy to make. Nicely textured and it came out a lovely color. Perfect for fall weather. But, I gotta say, I did not like this recipe. Uggh. My family hated it. Not since I made shepherds pie in 1984 for my new husband, have I had such a failure. It made me sick to throw it down the disposal, but I don't think the dog next door would even eat it. I made it exactly like the book said to. I think it might have been the saffron that was so icky. The squash was really nice, but I would have preferred it with some brown sugar the, way "mom" used to make instead. And, it would have been less mess, less expense, less fuss too. Yep, this recipe was a bust at this house. I am not even going to bother posting the recipe here because I don't want any of my friends to try it and then blame me for their sucky results. Sorry fellow BBr's, I hope no one takes offense. You can't win 'em all.
I wonder what Ina Garten was thinking when she put this in a "Family" cookbook? My family has sophisticated palates, I rarely make the same thing twice, I am an expert in the kitchen, but this recipe was just not a winner. There is no family I know of in my neighborhood who would like this recipe. Granted, we do live in Provo and not in the Hampton's.
I took dinner to a friend's son and daughter-in-law yesterday. They have a cute new baby girl. I was short on time, I relented to convenience foods (gasp!) and decided to make it for my family too. My husband and daughters LOVED it. My friend loved it asked me for the recipe. Her husband (who eats anything) loved it to. I am going to share that recipe here, no phancy- shmancy photographs, but, chances are, when you are called to take a meal to a new mom, or a sick loved one and you are wondering what the heck you are going to make, you will have these ingredients on hand for this recipe and thank your lucky stars for cream of anything soup.
Quick Enchilada Casserole
1 pound ground beef
1 can chili beans
1 can green chilies
1 can (sm) enchilada sauce
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
Corn Tortilla Chips
Monterey Jack Cheese (or just cheese)
Brown the beef, drain off the fat. Dump in all the canned goods, no need to drain anything, and mix with the beef. Put the tortilla chips on the bottom of a 13x9 pyrex dish. Spoon the beef mixture on top. Top with as much cheese as you want. Bake 350 until bubbly, about 30 minutes. This can be made ahead and then baked directly from the fridge. Just lower the heat and use foil and bake it about an hour or til bubbly.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Thanks to Lisa at La Mia Cucina for the shout out! I am sorta flattered, since Lisa is one of the founding mother's of the internet food world's most popular baking groups, Daring Bakers. Just wait till you see what we will have baked up for you this month!
Here's what happened: My friend Angela has come to the USA from Penang to enroll her daughter Mei Ying in college in Salt Lake City. (Her son is at BYU) Mei Ying was all set to commute into downtown from a distant suburb where their other good friends live. I could tell Angela was unhappy with the arrangement, because of the great distance from town, not because of the living situation. There is very limited public transport into metro Salt Lake City from the Cottonwood Heights neighborhood her friends live in.
This is a big deal for my parents. They are retired and my mother is really not in the best of health. She has severe Chronic Fatigue, and I know this will be challenging for her. I really think this is a valiant thing they are doing for a family they didn't even know! I only hope 18 year old Mei Ying is up to the challenge of living with them!
Mei Ying, Angela and Tian Ming in Hong Kong
Sunday, October 05, 2008
I had Dave scan this for me. I am embarrassed to admit it is quite dusty from the frame I have had it in. I think my housekeeping skills need improvement. Most marriages can benefit from an occasional dusting off too don't you think? Sometimes life's challenges can make us so busy that we forget to keep the cobwebs off of those parts of ourselves that make us who we are. My marriage to Dave has made me the woman I am today. With ne'er a discouraging word, he has been my other half in every way.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
I did learn a few things:
- Line the pan with "Wax paper", for easier removal of the sticky slices.
- If the tomatoes are too thin they don't dehydrate as well; they almost disappear. An ideal thickness is 1/4 of an inch.
- About 5 or 6 pounds of tomatoes shrinks down to mere ounces, but the flavor of the dehydrated tomatoes is outstanding.
- It takes several hours to dehydrate anything. Mine took about 8 hours. No wonder they are so pricey in the store.
I have also been busy with some art. Batik art to be exact. I did these pieces while we were living in Malaysia, (you can click on the photos to enlarge them.) I entered them in a local art show and both were a delight to see on the wall. You can visit the gallery at the Provo Health Department and Judicial Building. I have been busy on other pieces as well, and I will be entering them in a Spring Art show with the city as well. I have had a busy, but fulfilling day. I always have a fulfilling day when I preserve food and push myself in unique ways.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
- This picture is worth the e-mail even if you don't take the time to read the story below.
- Only women of a certain era will fully appreciate this... True story.
A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England town where
Paul Newman and his family often visited.
One Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike,
she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone.
She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight
to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.
There was only one other patron in the store:
Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee.
The woman's heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes.
The actor nodded graciously and the star struck woman smiled demurely.
Pull yourself together! She chides herself. You're a happily married woman with three children,
you're forty-five years old, not a teenager!
The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her
change in the other. Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul Newman's direction.
When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change but her other hand was empty.
Where's my ice cream cone? Did I leave it in the store? Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the
cone still in the clerk's hand or in a holder on the counter or something! No ice cream cone was in sight..
With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman.
His face broke into his familiar, warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman,
"You put it in your purse."
- What's with all the Natural Ice Lip Balm? Well I had a panic attack when I could no longer find it ANYWHERE! I got online and bought 24 packages.
- What's with all the pillows? Well, I am a pillow whore. I have more throw pillows and exquisite pillow coverings than the whole neighborhood combined. I make no excuses.
- What's with all the fancy soap? I like to smell good. It is my substitute for the lack of a sunken jacuzzi tub surrounded by windows overlooking the Malacca Strait from the 27th floor. Seriously.