Wednesday, September 30, 2009
They didn't have a sign up yet, so you have to know where you're going, but it was totally worth the taks of finding. When the DH and I went there, we shared an appatizer of copa and pickled peppers, and then had a wonderful pizza with a very simple sauce, fours kinds of cheese, and their homemade fennel sausage. We also sat at the bar and got to watch them making the pizza. I enjoyed every bite of the pizza and we had a lovely time.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
- Man, don't sit there
- You annoy me by this
- Go and sit somewhere else until you can speak nicely
- I felt hands helping me to sit up
- I flung myself out of my seat
- and began to hover slowly across the ceiling toward me
- Striding down the hall in her nightgown and cap
- But then came the day that Chiang vanished. He had been talking.
- Lying in his grave
- Gleeming angrily
- He saw it was open
- There for the night
- Bro, we're missing you!
- Guy, don't leave without me
- Immediately afterwards she remarked
- The first daughter wanted a brocade dress
Monday, September 28, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
These rolls really are super easy to make. The best trick of all that my mom taught me is to use the pizza cutter to slice the circle of dough into triangles to roll up into crescents. It's brilliant. I wish I could have thought it up, patented it, and gotten rich off of it. Maybe it's not that kind of idea, but it sure makes these rolls easier.
2 tablespoons yeast (2 packages, not rapid rise)
½ cup lukewarm water
(Optional - 1 teaspoon sugar for the yeast to eat)
1½ cups milk
1 cup margarine
1 cup sugar
6 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
7-8 cups flour (no more than 8 cups)
Mix yeast, water, and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Heat milk and margarine together until the margarine melts. Combine eggs, sugar and salt, and add milk mixture. Mix in the yeast. Add flour 1 cup at a time and mix - dough remains sticky. Let rise until double.
Take ¼ of the dough, roll out into a circle (⅜- to ½-inch thick), and then cut like a pie into 8 to 10 wedges. Roll from the wide end to the tip, and shape into crescent rolls with the tip on the bottom. Let rise 1 hour. Can set for 5-6 hours. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Brush tops with butter as soon as you remove them from the oven. Makes about 36 rolls.
Friday, September 25, 2009
For reference, I'm thinking about things like how hard I want to work to get my team to improve their performance when I'm not sure I'll be able to give them raises at the end of the year (not is it OK to lie or cheat). They want that as a reward for the extra effort they put in, which is totally fair, but I may not have the option to give that to everyone. This is one of the fights that goes on in my head.
There are many more, but sometimes I wonder if I'm the only one who thinks about this stuff. It first came up in a Victorian literature class and it's been somewhere knocking around since then. It's fairly normal to have some cognitive dissonance, but we also naturally do things to decrease the cognitive dissonance in our lives. Usually, we either disavow ourselves of some notion or we lie to ourselves about it.
So, is there any aspect of your life where you live with cognitive dissonance? I'm curious.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
¾ cup butter
2 cups sugar
½ cup molasses
4 teaspoons soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
Cream butter, sugar, and eggs. Mix in the molasses. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Chill. Make into balls and roll in granulated sugar. (I use the large crystal turbonado sugar with vanilla for fun.) Bake 6-8 minutes at 375°.
Friday, September 18, 2009
This evening, I finally put the shadow box together and here it is!
This includes parts of our wedding announcement, the rose the DH gave me when he proposed, one of our engagement photos, and the little frame my mom put together with our wedding date in it as a favor at our wedding luncheon. I think it turned out OK.
And here it is in its new home on the shelf in my office. It looks great here and I spend enough time in the office to be reminded of that
Thursday, September 17, 2009
The DH and I have gone through three blenders in our four years of mariage. It's actually a little entertaining at this point. The latest is one with a square top with completely perpendicular sides that just doesn't do the J-O-B. And this is the one we bought after the last one started smoking. We don't allow smoking in our house, so it had to go.
Buying a VitaMix is especially funny to me, because we all got such a big kick out of it when my grandparents bought the VitaMix. You would have thought it could make dinner for you. Unfortunately, we got dinner made in the VitaMix. It can heat what's in there, so grandma made soup. Then she blended it. Yes. She blended the vegetable soup to a puree so we would eat all the vegetables. It tasted even worse than it looked. On the upside, I think we got ice cream out of the VitaMix too. It wasn't all bad.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I dropped the DH off for a massage and went to the Farmer's Market down town. It's such a great vibe there. I perused all the produce, artisan breads, baked goods, crafts, and a wide variety of specialty foods. I couldn't leave without stopping by the Mennonite's pie stand and buy a cherry pie for Pops. He was thrilled that I'd made it there.
After picking the DH up from his massage, we headed to Ethan's big soccer game. He's six and plays on a boys team. Today was his day to play goal keeper. We got a kick out of watching him (no pun intended). His team is good enough that goal keeping looked pretty boring. He said he had a good time and he was excited that we came to watch, so it must not have been too bad.
After the first soccer game of the day, we went to Julia Davis Park and looked around at the booths at Art in the Park. It's a large arts and crafts festival that the art museum puts on every year on the weekend after Labor Day. I have fond memories of participating when it was a very small festival. Now it's grown to six or eight times the size it was when I was young. I still enjoy it just as much and it was fun to take the DH there.
After spending some time at the park, we headed back West and went to Abby's soccer game. She plays with the 10 and 11 year old girls. As luck would have it, she was playing goal keeper for part of the game as well. She looked great out there and she really knows how to hustle. It was cool to see her Dad giving advice from the sidelines too.
After that game, we headed back home and the DH and BIL went to the Boise State vs. Miami of Ohio football game while we went to dinner and then headed back to Art in the Park. I ended up buying a couple of things there, including a set of chimes as a house-warming gift for a friend at work. After all that, we were exhausted and headed back home to relax.
Sunday was spent going to church, relaxing, and having my all-time favorite meal. In the early Fall, my mom makes the best fried chicken and serves it with new potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob, and whatever else is in season. It all tastes so good and fresh. I'm not sure if I love it most because we don't eat it just any old time or because it really is that good. Whatever the reason, I promise it was worth looking forward to.
The DH and I flew back Sunday evening and enjoyed sleeping in our own bed again. I love to travel and I love to come home.
Monday, September 14, 2009
An ambitious fusion of opera arias, Russian folk tunes, and art songs with beat-driven electronic soundscapes, the album largely succeeds in bridging incongruous musical worlds.Is that enough to get you interested?
Saturday, September 12, 2009
12 strips bacon
Mrs. Dash (or other seasoned salt)
Spray cooking spray in the cups of a muffin tin. Place one slice of bacon around the sides of each muffin cup. Sprinkle a little Mrs. Dash in the bottom of each muffin cup. Crack one egg into each muffin cup, being careful not to break the yolk. Put a dab (less than a 1/2 teaspoon) butter on top of each egg. Salt and Pepper each egg. Put in 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, until eggs look cooked. Eggs can easily be removed from the muffin tin with a large spoon and will keep their shape.
Friday, September 11, 2009
At work, there was a TV set up in a conference room. We wandered in and out of the conference room throughout the day, watching the news in disbelief. I cried with Gianna as we tried to process what we were seeing and hearing, still not quite ready to accept the reality of it all.
I read some of the Views of a Day in the New York Times today. It was good.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I've had true love for some time now, but this week I also got home-grown tomatoes. YUMM-O! There's just nothing that compares to the flavor of the home-grown variety. I've had tomato sandwiches for dinner two nights in a row and it's just like a piece of heaven. Right now, I'm even contemplating a tomato sandwich for breakfast.
Last night I processed and froze about eight quarts of the tomatoes we got on the weekend. It was easier than you can imagine. I cut out the parts I didn't want to keep, then blanched each of the tomatoes (for about 15 seconds in boiling water), and then dipped them in cold water so they'd be easy to handle. After doing that, the skins just slipped right off in my hands. Then I cut the tomatoes into quarters, or eighths depending on how huge the tomato was and put them into freezer ziploc bags. Now we'll be able to enjoy the tomatoes in stews and sauces for at least a month or two. I'm looking forward to the rich flavor they'll give to my beef stew, the DH's salsa, and anything else we find to use them with.
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The area is surrounded by fields of hay and alfalfa. They grow tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, raspberries, peppers of all sorts, apples, and pears. While we were there, we spent most of the time just enjoying each other's company, but we also got some time out in the garden. I enjoyed picking rasperries (at least sort of) and was reminded of how poorly I do it. My mom used to go out after I said I'd picked all the raspberries in the back yard and then come back with half again as many as I'd picked in the first place. I love being out in the garden and seeing everything growing. I think I could really enjoy the rural life in a lot of ways. Then I think about all that work. I'm not one to shirk the work, but I'm no good at bending over picking weeds, thinning vegetables, and harvesting produce all day. I was good for more than an hour, but not for the day and certainly not long enough to be of great use out there.
I think I'd be most comfortable as the one taking care of all the produce when it's brought into the house. I had a great time last night cutting watermelon and canteloupe, grating zucchini, cleaning berries, making more zucchini bread, and trying out a new mini-cobbler recipe with some raspberries. Today, I'm looking forward to processing some tomatoes (after eating a few of them). I'd be happy to make a nice lunch and dinner and lots of yummy treats for anyone with the stamina to work all day in the garden. Doing that, I'd feel right at home on the farm.
The YouTube video is from Bumbershoot and not great quality. The album, however, is great. The style is AltCountry and Kristen's voice is great. It reminds me a little of Mary Chapin Carpenter. She also has a great guitar player with some really good riffs. Take a listen here, but if you like it even a little, go take a listen on iTunes where the quality is much improved.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
This week, the DH and I tried some of the halibut that our friend Fred caught and gave to us. We have several halibut steaks in the freezer, so I thought it was time to try out a new recipe. I found and then modified a recipe that turned out to be delicious and also very easy.
Pan Seared Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 C dry white wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups halved heirloom tomatoes
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the grape seed oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Sear the fish for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add the hyme and juice of 1/2 a lemon and baste the fish with the sauce. Remove the halibut from the pan to a serving platter. Add the olive oil to the pan and stir in the dry white wine and then put in the tomatoes, the garlic and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the parsley. Stir to combine and serve on top of the fish.
Friday, September 04, 2009
When I got home, I looked up the Julie/Julia Project blog. I was dismayed. I don't care much about glitzy design on a blog, but I do care about good writing and interesting information. Julie was writing un-edited blog entires, so I wouldn't want to be too harsh, but her writing is no better than my average high-school students. I did see some more polished entries from after the project was completed (assuming she had more time to choose her words and edit herself). My biggest disappointment, however, was that I had absolutely no idea what the real experience of cooking and eating the food was after reading several entries. I love to read cooking blogs. I even have friends who blog about recipes they try and food they make that are far more inspiring that Julie's blog. I realize that her purpose was to document her "project" in her blog, but it just didn't resonate with me.
Julia Child's editor indicated that Julia had read the blog and considered it a stunt. After reading more of it, I completely understand Julia's reaction. Julia would have described the smell of the onions cooking, the texture of the sauce, and the flavor of the final dish in such a way that we would all be chonping at the bit to make it ourselves. When Julie describes her experience, it leaves me thinking about how hard the project is, how many tools it would take, and how expensive it must have been. I'm also thinking about how annoyed her husband must have been most of the time. And I know that Julie was keeping it real with her language, but the F-bombs o' plenty are even more distracting from the food and lower my opinion of her as a skilled writer.
I really wanted to like Julie, to be happy for her for getting a book deal, and even happier for getting a movie deal. In the end, I think Julie is just a pawn of a bigger machine looking for a money-maker. They found it and Julie will have her 15 minutes of fame. I say, good for her. I just wish I could be genuinely happy about the whole project.
Contrast that with my reaction to Julia Child. I did find her inspiring in many of the same ways that Julie found. She was someone who really wanted to find her passion in life. She tried a variety of things that left her lackluster. When she went to France, she was intrigued by the food and fell in love. Then she went to the Cordon Bleu cooking school and found a true passion for cooking. The best part is that she was having a great time doing it. She wanted to share her passion. That is amazing! I want to find something that I can be that passionate about.
I bought her biography and look forward to reading it. I love to bake, but I'm not sure I'm at the level that I'd call Passion. (Notice the capital letter and italics -- that's real passion.) Hopefully I'll find it somewhere along the way. And the good news is that Julia didn't find her passion at 16 or 22. She was in her late 30's when she went to cooking school and older than that when she got involved in her cook book project. Fantastic! I guess I've become a bit passionate about Julia Child and hope I find the inspiration from her to find some pastime that I can be truly Passionate about in my life.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
First, let me highly recommend the service package offered when you buy a car from the dealership. It costs about the same as JiffyLube if you count up how many times you'll get service and what that costs there, but there are added benefits that I had no idea I was signing up for when I got my service package. I've been in four times now since purchasing my car.
- The first time I went in, they found an issue with a part that needed to be replaced. It was under warranty, so it just cost me an extra 20 minutes in the waiting room (with wifi, so I could surf the net while I waited).
- The second time I went in, they added foam to my front dash to decrease road noise. It was fixing a known issue and would take extra time, so they drove me to work and spent the day on the car, so it cost me the inconvenience of riding in their carpool to work.
- The third trip in required some new belts and windshield wipers, but they are included in the service agreement, so I didn't have to pay for them. I just needed to approve the work. Those are just little things, so it didn't even take any extra time.
- The last time I went in (last Friday), they did my 25K maintenance, so it took a little longer than normal. The found that the water pump was leaking, so they also replaced that. It was under warranty, so I didn't have to pay for it. Because they found it before it was a real problem, I will also never have the inconvenience of the car quitting on me because the water pump failed. I also told them that my tire air pressure light was coming on, but that the pressure was fine. They checked it and found the nail lodged in my tire. I actually had to pay for the tire fix, but I avoided the inconvenience of walking out to my car to find a super low tire that would make me late for work and finding out about the nail that way.
The service folks are so nice and I always feel like they're doing just a little extra to make sure that I have a good driving experience.
The second reason that I love my car dealership is because they like to do the right thing. Last year, we heard about an elderly sister in our ward who had some issues with folks who were providing some care for her. They got access to her bank account and proceeded to buy three cars. They went to my car dealership, Toyota of LakeCity. Of course, the dealership was thrilled to sell them the first car. When they came back the next day to buy a second car, the dealership thought something smelled fishy. They refused to sell the second car and asked the people to return the first car they had purchased the day before. They gave up two (and what could have been three) sales to do the right thing. They also reported the people for abuse and helped nail the case against those folks who were taking advantage of someone who needed protection.
I know most people hate car dealerships and car salesmen, but I want everyone (all three of you) to know that there are some really good dealerships out there who do the right thing and make their customers have great experiences.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Yard sale/Bake sale to raise money for their adoption. I'll be baking and I'm only making the really good stuff, so you won't want to miss that!
13716 Midvale Ave. N
Friday, Sept. 4th and Saturday, Sept. 5th (with a possible encore on Monday)
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Also, for the knitters I know...
A Serious Stash Event
The duchess' sister used to own a gift boutique and yarn store. When she shut down to focus on raising her baby, the yarn just stayed on the shelves. She is bringing all that yarn to Seattle and selling it well below cost- because it is just time for it to go.
Rowan, Jeager, Elsebeth Lavold, Debbie Bliss, Kraemer, Louisa Harding, Plymoth, lots of sock yarn. There are sweater quantities in most yarns, and project quantities in all yarns. There will also be needles, notions, patterns, bags- pretty much anything (other than books) that you might expect to find in a yarn store.
The Important InfoWhere: 13716 Midvale Ave. N. Unit B, Seattle, WA
When: Labor Day weekend Frinday Sept 4th, Sat, Sept 5th and Monday Sept 7th
(NOT SUNDAY)10:00 am- 5:00pm (or until we run out of yarn ;)
Nora Ephron always does a nice job of creating the time and place and she does that well both in the Brooklyn setting for Julie's story and the wonderful city of Paris, and then Connecticut, for Julia's story. I left the theater wanting to know more about both Julie and Julia and what they have accomplished. I wasn't quite ready to run out and buy Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I was inspired by Julia's love for cooking and teaching others to have that same love.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
The DH and I have both taken sleep studies in the past few months. My sleep study revealed that I wake up a lot and have too much brain activity when I wake up, but it's not from sleep apnea. It's from worrying too much. The DH, on the other hand, found out that he has sleep apnea and is awoken some 35 times an hour when he stops breathing. I guess that could be a problem.
To counteract the wear and tear of stopping breathing 35 times an hour, the DH was prescribed a CPAP machine. The idea is that it blows air up your nose to keep the air passages open, so you can't stop breathing. The only problem with that is it's constantly blowing air up your nose, which for the uninitiated, can be very distracting and keep that person wide awake. Last night was night three with the CPAP machine and it's gotten progressively better each night. The first night was pretty bad with the machine getting loud and being terribly uncomfortable for the DH. The second night was a little better, but still uncomfortable.
I'll admit that I like to share the bed with the non-snoring version of the DH, but I also appreciate the non-hooked-up version of the DH. We've agreed that he will absolutely wear it for the first five nights, but then all bets are off. If he doesn't feel like the benefits of feeling great during the day outweigh the discomfort during the night, then he's done.
Mostly, I just want the DH happy and healthy. I know many, many people who swear by the joys of CPAP, but the DH needs to feel it himself. If not, then we'll return to the snoring and I'll keep loving the white noise machine.