This is pretty darn funny.
It's actually safe for work, although you might not want to watch it there.
Just thought I'd warn you first, but nothing to offend anyone really.
Are you ready?
(Hint: You have to click the 'play' button more than once)
Nov 27, 2009
This is pretty darn funny.
OoOoOoOo..... finally recovered from my turkey-induced coma and can tell you about how the day went.
Ah, scratch that. I just want to tell you about how my recipes turned out.
In a word... Awesome!
I stuck to the list of ingredients, but I have to admit they leave a lot of room to play around with.
You can add or subtract as much sausage, celery, etc... to get it the way you want it.
I did make a couple of modifcations to it while I was mixing it up:
I added 1 small clove of garlic to the butter that I cooked the celery, onions and mushrooms in.
I also added a little bit of rosemary to the stuffing (I didn't measure, but if I had to guess it was about 1/4 teaspoon).
Otherwise I stuck to my original plan and made it the way I wrote it out and planned on doing.
I will definitely make this stuffing from scratch again. It was totally worth it.
As for the potatoes....
The only thing I did that wasn't on the recipe earlier was I added fresh ground pepper and salt to them before cooking them.
I cut up the potatoes, crumbled the bacon, (coarsely) chopped the rosemary and then put it all in a big mixing bowl. Then I poured the olive oil over it and ground some pepper and shook a little salt over it before mixing it up and dumping it into the baking dish.
They both turned out great and everybody like them.
Today Hotness and I braved a couple of stores to do some holiday shopping.
We weren't looking for any of the "Black Friday" specials, but there were certainly enough people out-and-about that it was difficult to find parking and get through the check-out lines.
Luckily we didn't have much to do so we weren't stuck in any of it for too long.
Tomorrow, I have some errands to run early in the day and then my afternoon will be filled with more babysitting. (I'm thinking of having business cards made up with "Professional Babysitter" on them. Hmmm.... what do you think?)
That's all for now.
More to come soon, I promise.
Nov 26, 2009
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Today I am making the stuffing I posted the recipe for earlier.
I'm really looking forward to how it comes out.
I'll post my thoughts on it after this Friday.
So yesterday I got to spend the day in Seattle with Technogreek and my friends from Calgary, "K & L".
L is a B-I-G fan of animation and it just so happened that there was an animation exhibit going on at the Pacific Science Center.
Having connections like I do (wink-wink), I was able to get all four of us FREE PASSES to the exhibit for the day.
Which was especially nice, since the whole thing was geared a lot more for kids than for the general animation loving public.
There were a lot of hands-on projects for younger folks, but not a whole lot of history or background for us 'old fogies' who remember the "Good Old Days".
They did, however, have a nifty real-time animation set-up that took your picture in "bullet time" and then animated it right there for you.
This was just one of the three that we did:
Overall it was a fun experience, but I'm certainly glad we didn't have to spend full price to see it.
Afterwards, we went to a sports bar across the street for some Kobe Beef burgers, and then to Bellevue to check out a paper supply store for L.
Technogreek had an appointment in the afternoon, so he dropped us off at his place. K and I went to the Comic Stop and then to Jamba Juice before I dropped him back off and headed back home for the day.
Other than that, I watched "Boondock Saints" with Hotness that evening, under the threat of my brother disowning for not having ever seen it.
It was really good, and I'm surprised I hadn't known about it earlier.
Now that I have seen it, my brother has agreed to not disown me and I am back in his good graces again. (*WHEW!* I was really worried there for a bit!)
Anyway, I wish everyone a terrific Thanksgiving and I have some good news looming on the horizon. I'll write more about it when I have something 'concrete' to report.
Nov 22, 2009
I'm up early on a Sunday morning. Hotness is still in bed snoozing.
I figured, now is a good time to blog and put up a recipe I'm working on for Thanksgiving.
Before I start in, I should mention a couple of things:
1) This is a recipe I'm making for the FIRST TIME. I'm not sure how it'll come out, as I'm "winging it" as I go along.
2) All measurements (that aren't specified) are approximate. I'll try to be accurate, but it's sort of up to personal preference on some of this stuff, so use as little or as much as you see fit.
First, we start with the cornbread since this is the base for the whole thing.
You can use a commercial gluten-free mix, like Bob's Red Mill GF Cornbread Mix. (This is probably the easiest way to go, but since I couldn't find it when I went shopping, here's how to make your own...)
> 1 Cup of gluten-free (GF) cornmeal
> 1 Cup of GF flour (I used: 1/2 Cup rice flour + 1/4 Cup Tapioca flour + 1/4 Cup cornstarch.... all available through Bob's Red Mill)
> 1 Teaspoon Xanthan gum (this stuff is rather expensive, but a little bit goes a very long way, so it all works out if you plan on doing a lot of GF baking)
> 1/2 Cup sugar
> 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder (I used Clabber Girl, but make sure the brand you use is gluten-free.... they should be by nature, but sometimes you never know)
> 1 Cup of Milk (I used Fat-free, or "Skim", but that's just personal choice)
> in a 1 Cup measure, put 2 eggs and then top off with vegetable oil to make "1 Cup"
Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the wet ingredients to it and mix well.
(for added flavor, I added about 1/2 tsp of rubbed sage and 1/4 tsp of thyme to the dry ingredients)
Pour it in a skillet or baking dish (8x8x2 should be fine) and bake at 425 F. (Originally my recipe said for only 20 minutes, but it actually took about 35-40 minutes. I'd say start at 20 minutes and check it to see if a toothpick stuck in the middle comes out without any gooey batter. If it does, it's done. If it doesn't add another 5-7 minutes until it is)
* One thing about GF breads is that thay are "heavier" and more dense than typical bread. Don't be surprised if it doesn't come out looking like regular cornbread (such as Jiffy Cornbread).
Let it cool and then slice the cornbread into 1/2 - 3/4 inch slices.
Take the slices and cube them into 1/2 - 3/4 inch cubes.
Then let them sit for a couple of days to get nice and stale. (You want them kind of dry and hard when you make the stuffing).
If you don't have a couple of days, you can spread the cubed bread out on a cookie sheet and dry them in the oven for an hour or so. Turn your oven to 150 - 200 F and check on them periodically. When they are nice and dry (almost like croutons), they're done.
That recipe (plus the stuff we're going to add next) should be enough to make a side-dish for 4 or 5 people. So if you are planning on more people, just double-up the recipe. If you have leftover stuffing, who doesn't like stuffing the next day? Only communists, I tell you.
Now to make the stuffing.
Measurements are approximate, so feel free to add more if you like it, or leave it out if you don't.
In a skillet on med heat, melt about 4 Tablespoons of butter and to it add:
1/2 cup of chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Cup of Mushrooms (see below)
Stir these around for a bit until they start to get a little soft. (The onion starts to turn translucent about that time)
Then add these to your cornbread cubes and toss them around to mix it all up
In a saucepan, heat up 1 cup of GF chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth if you want) and add 1 teaspoon of sage (I use "rubbed" instead of "ground", but the flavor is the same so use what you have... and feel free to use more if you like sage).
It doesn't need to boil, but get the broth to a simmer to make sure you get the sage flavor to mix.
Then add this to your cornbread cubes and mix it up good so that everything is soaked in both, and put it in a baking dish (the size will depend on what you decide to add to the stuffing next...)
I am adding to this mix:
> approx. 1 Cup of wild mushrooms (I bought dehydrated ones at the grocery store and followed the directions for reconstituting them)
> approx. 1 tart apple (like Granny Smith) chopped up into small cubes
> approx. 1/2 Cup of dried cranberries (I'm using Craisins, but you could also use chopped dried apricots instead)
> approx. 1 Cup of cooked and drained pork sausage (not the "maple-flavored" kind, though)
> approx. 1/2 Cup of shelled pistachios (or walnuts, pine nuts, or even shelled pumpkin seeds!)
Mix everything (or at least, everything you want to add from the list of extras) and bake it in the oven at 425 F for about 30-40 minutes until everything is heated through.
I've never made this recipe before, but I did make good old Stove-Top Stuffing and added these ingredients to it and it was wonderful. I can't see that making stuffing from scratch would be any different.
I'll let you know how mine came out after Thanksgiving is over.
***** Bonus Recipe *****
I'm also making some roasted red potatoes. This recipe is E-A-S-Y!!
Chop up some red potatoes into approx 1 inch cubes (about 7 regular-sized taters), and put them into a bowl.
Add fresh ground pepper and salt (enough to taste) and a generous amount of chopped rosemary (if I had to measure, I'd say at least a tablespoon)
And crumbled cooked bacon. (Mmmm! BACON!) Maybe about a 1/4 Cup (or a little more... it IS bacon after all!)
Then pour olive oil over (just enough to coat everything evenly) and toss everything around a bit to mix it all up.
Put it all in a baking dish and bake at 425 F until the potatoes are done (usually about 45 minutes, but check them periodically... it could take an hour)
Anyway, that's what I'm making this year.
If you try either (or both) of these recipes out and have any comments or suggestions, let me know.
Until next time.....
Nov 19, 2009
I was so excited. Not only did I get the tickets for dirt cheap, but I was going to take my concert buddy with me.
I called a buddy who works with Hotness, but he couldn't make it either.
"ALRIGHT SEATTLE! YOU WANTED THE BEST, YOU GOT THE BEST!!!"
Gene Simmons did a bass solo, complete with the "spitting blood" routine and flying up from the stage.
Nov 15, 2009
I tend to run along a fine line between being a technophobe and a gadget-freak.
I like nifty gadgets and such, but I don't always feel that I need to have the latest-and-greatest whenever it comes out. In fact, I tend to shy away from some things because I feel that they invade my person space a little too much.
I went a long time without a cell phone for this reason. I felt if anyone needed to get hold of me they could call my home number, leave a message, and if they were somebody I wanted to talk to (i.e. NOT a telemarketer!) I'd call them back. I don't need to be getting calls when I'm not near a phone. But Hotness talked me into getting one and now it's with me all the time.
And it has come in handy. I'm constantly using the camera, and texting has become second-nature to calling when I need to relay a message but don't want to make an actual call.
I felt the same way about my first iPod.
I wanted something to listen to when I went to the gym, on a plane ride, etc...
I tried to find an mp3 player that WASN'T an iPod, simply because I wanted to support somebody other than Apple. (They had a H-U-G-E market presence and I wanted to 'support the little guy')
But I eventually broke down and got an iPod Nano (because everything else on the market was geared for use with the iPod) and loaded it up with songs. It's served it purpose at the gym, camping, on my plane rides to Calgary, and so on.
I can't say that I couldn't live without it, but I do appreciate it's convenience and portability.
When the iPhone came out, it was eye-catching but didn't lure me in with it's sleek design or it's functionality.
What bugged me most was that you couldn't replace the battery on it. So once it "died", you were stuck with buying another one, and so on.
That's not to say I still didn't like it, but I managed to avoid being sucked in by it's sexiness.
Until, recently that is.
No, I didn't get an iPhone. But I did upgrade my iPod to an iPod Touch.
I have a friend who works for a company that builds applications for the iPhone and iTouch and was very impressed with what it was capable of doing.... besides just playing music.
I can talk myself into rationalizing just about anything, so it didn't take long to talk myself into getting one.
Hotness didn't dissuade me, but tried to get me to explain my reasons for wanting one.
I explained to her that with it, I could:
1) check my email when I'm not at home (especially while I'm out job-hunting)
2) use various applications, or "apps", that are specific to my interests (more on this in a bit)
3) I could instant message for free with her when I'm mobile, particularly when I'm in Canada (instead of texting her at $.30 per international text... which adds up after a week!)
... not to mention just playing around with it for fun.
"Okay, if you think you'll actually use it for that go ahead and get it," she said.
So I did.
I didn't go crazy and only got the 8GB version. I figured if it worked like I thought I'd be using it for, I could always upgrade at a later date.
I have fallen in love with it during the week I've had it.
I could probably live without it, but I have already gotten accustomed to having it with me at all times.
I was able to check my email and update my Facebook status while at the local coffee shop before heading to a job search.
I went to dinner with Hotness one evening and sent an email to a friend about something I had just thought of (and would probably forget before I got back home).
I loaded some "kid-friendly" apps on it and have used it to keep my niece and nephew entertained for a few minutes when I'm babysitting.
Not to mention, using it as a day-planner. (Am I free to babysit on Monday afternoon? Lemme see... why yes I am. Anytime after 2:00 p.m.)
I've been searching the iTunes store for applications, mostly free ones, that I can use for myself.
There's a ton of them on there. A lot of crap and a lot of useful ones.
Obviously you get what you pay for, but for the most part I've been pretty happy with the free apps I've picked up.
I got a few games (to kill time and keep kids busy), and a couple of conversion apps (i.e. inches to meters, Fahrenheit to Celsius, foreign currency to U.S. dollars, etc...).
I also picked up a language translator, not that I need it all the time but "just in case".
And I got a sale price calculator that will determine the cost of something with original and additional mark-downs plus figure in the tax so I'll known what I'm about (or NOT about) to spend on a sale item. (Since I do a lot of shopping, this comes in very handy)
Did I need it? No, probably not. Obviously I've lived this long without having one and could've continued to do so.
But like I said earlier, I've grown accustomed to having it in the very short time of owning it.
It's also helped me realize that having an internet-capable phone is something I'll want to have if I can find the kind of job I'm hoping to get. Portable internet access will be a necessity for me.
So here I am, sucked in by another shiny object on the technology shelf but very happy with it.
Coming up soon:
KISS in concert
Gluten-free cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving
Nov 13, 2009
Sorry for the lack of posting.
I will try to rectify that soon, but in the meantime please enjoy this Public Service Announcement from BabyLove Diapers.
Heh heh heh... a "poo explosion"!
Nov 7, 2009
I intended to go as "The Fly" from the 50's sci-fi film, but never got around to finishing the mask for it.