Friday, April 29, 2011

How Do I Look Oma?

Ryan had some fun with the Photo Booth app on my Apple.  He kills me.

I didn't notice him doing this until after he left.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Not Everything Turns Out as Planned

So I had the family over for Easter.  Decided to take the easy road and grill burgers.  That gave me all day Saturday to try out this Boston Creme Pie recipe that I found in March/April issue of Cook's Illustrated.  I love this publication (I hesitate to call it a magazine as there is no advertising).  Everything I've made from it has always turned out great.

I started early Saturday morning making the creme filling, giving it plenty of time to chill and set.  I then made the cake and after that cooled, I made the chocolate glaze.

It didn't take me too long to figure out that something wasn't right as the creme filling oozed out on all sides leaving the cake a lop-sided mess.  I didn't even bother putting on the chocolate glaze as that would have only made the mess worse.

My family was very gracious and ate some of it anyway.  I just heated up the glazed and used it like a chocolate sauce.

I seriously think I would have been better off making a yellow cake mix with vanilla pudding and then use the glaze...which was the only part of the recipe that turned out properly.

The Stinker was home for the week-end and I actually got a photo of him with his GMa.  (He had a good laugh watching me put the cake together.)

And finally...proof that Luke the wonder baby, actually does cry.  It was a surprise to me.

It was a great Easter, but I won't be making a Boston Creme Pie any time soon.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

Happy Easter to my friends, family and all my blogging buddies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

This Actually Happened...

I was putting out my garbage yesterday evening.  As I put the black bags down, I noticed that one of them had some of the white inner gargage bag showing through a hole.  I thought an animal must have gotten into the garbage in the garage.  I bent down to check it out and there protruding from the bag was a piece of sharp metal. 

As I racked my brain trying to think of what I could have thrown out that was metal, I tear open the bag further and further until I finally pull out my brand new chef's knife.

Here's my saved knife.

Considering I just bought this in November to replace my previous knife that I left Up North after my girl's week-end, I feel extremely lucky. did that happen and why did I even bother to investigated the little hole in the bag.

I can only imagine how crazy I would driven myself trying to find it.   I would have thought I was going crazy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hanna Movie Review


Grade: C-

This movie starts out with an interesting storyline.  In the frozen wilderness, a man raises his daughter to be a well trained assassin.  He is preparing her for a mission where she must kill or be killed.  Kind of a Bourne Identity...meets 16 year old girl.

If only they had continued to develop that initial premise.  Once Hanna is dropped into civilizations, the director quickly gets caught up in artsy-fartsy camera angles and the story strays all over the place, leaving in it's wake a lot of innocent dead bystanders.  It just becomes lost and very, very sad.

The only saving grace was the young actress, Saoirse Ronan who plays Hanna.  She is quite mesmerizing and lovely on camera.

But, let's be honest, this movie just isn't worth the effort.  Save your money both now and when it come on NetFlicks.  Just don't bother with this movie.


This is the view outside my back door.

Reminder: It's April 18.

And it's still coming down.  They say it could be 2 to 4 inches by the time it's done.

Enough already.  Now I've got to go dig my boots out as I put them away for the season...silly me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Luke is ONE!

We all got to celebrate Luke's first birthday last Sunday.  Not sure if he was totally into the event, but he was a good sport.

And here are the cousins together.  Trying to get all three in a photo is a real challenge.

We all had a great time together and have some more birthday's coming up real soon...right Ryan and Austin??

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Unhappy Boy

Ryan was over yesterday and while perusing the DVDs, he happened to notice the case for the Super Smash Brothers Brawl video game for our Wii system on the shelf.

"What's that?" he asks.

"It's the Super Smash Brothers Brawl" I say.

His face lights up and his little body starts to vibrate.  See, unbeknownst to me, he has recently become extremely interested in Super Smash Brothers.

"Can I play this?" he asks.

"Sure" I say. 

I open the case, only to find it disc.  His little eyes begin to well up and I tell him I'll text Uncle Mikey and ask him about it.  Maybe he knows where it is.

I text Mikey and get a quick reply..."I have it". 

Not good, since Uncle Mikey is away at college.

As you can imagine, this makes Ryan a very unhappy boy and here's the picture we sent to Uncle Mikey to confirm our sadness:

Here's hoping Uncle Mikey feels the pain.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Source Code Movie Review

Movie:  Source Code

Grade: B+

After much hemming and hawing (is that how that phrase is written), we opted for seeing Source Code on Saturday evening.  There isn't a plethora of must see movies out right now, atleast not at the "big" theaters, so we thought we would give this one a try.

Very glad we did.  A very suspenseful movie full of some interesting and challenging ideas that got us talking after the movie. 

Jake Gyellenhaal plays Colter Stevens, a soldier who wakes up on a commuter train, only to find out he is in another man's body.  He soon finds out that he is part of a new mission that allows him to re-live 8 minutes of an event and his job is to try and find the bomber of the train.  I don't think I've given too much of the plot away as the movie trailers tell you this much.

The movie is very interesting and certainly action packed.  It's one of those films where it is important to pay attention to the details.  They will come in handy later. 

Best part of this movie-going experience was discussing it with the two women sitting next to and the group in front of us.  Rarely do we get in a conversation about a movie with the strangers around us, but my metaphysical thinking significant other was a real boon to the other movie-goers. 

If you get a chance to see this and what to discuss it, just let me know.  I'm here.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Farewell to Winter

I know it's Spring, but you would never know it by looking out my window.  We've had snow, ice and rain today.  Complete yuck.

To move us all forward, I decided to cook one last winter meal.  I opted for a White Bean Soup.  Studied a few options I found on the internet and came up with a recipe based on what I had in the house.

First, I need to discuss the ham hock.  Never used one before, but I was at a little butcher store near my home a couple weeks ago and a woman was buy 3 or 4 ham hocks having the butcher cut them in half.  Being me...I of course had to ask what she was going to use them in.  She told me she puts them in a pot, with vegetables and chicken broth and it makes delicious soup.

I stopped in the butcher store this week-end and bought a ham hock, cut it two.  Kind of like I knew what I was doing.  It worked, I hardly think he suspected this was my first time.

So here is my soup recipe and it was really, really good.

White Bean Soup

¼ cup olive oil
1 ham hock (cut in half)
3 stalks of celery, large dice
3 or 4 carrots, large dice
1 medium onion, large dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
pepper to taste
64 ounces chicken broth
1 bay leaf
6 red skin potatos, large dice
1 large jar Northern white beans
½ cup half & half (optional)
10 strips of cooked bacon, diced

Add olive oil to Dutch Oven or Stock Pot, heat on medium heat.  Add ham hocks, celery, carrots and onions.  Sauté until vegetables soften, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add chicken broth and bay leaf.  Heat until boils, and then simmer for 2 hours.  Remove ham hocks and let cool.  Also remove bay leaf.  

Add potatoes and beans and continue to cook until potatoes are tender, about 30-40 minutes.

When ham hocks are cool enough to handle, pull off meat and diced.  Add back to soup.

Add half & half and stir.  Using an emersion blender, blend soup to thick consistency (you can also run it through your food processor).  Dice 5 strips of bacon and add to soup.  Use remaining diced bacon to garnish soup for serving.

Now...let's get on with this Spring thing!