Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated

Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated
Yes this is a real sunflower I took this shot a couple of summers ago in the garden outside my work window

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving: The Aftermath

I am finally done cooking!!! I need a round of applause for that...I started baking Wednesday after work and just finished cooking the last item maybe an hour ago. I don't want to think about the oven, 350 degrees, or anything that needs an hour to be done. I will speak on my successes and one failure with the Thanksgiving feast this year.

First, the gingerbread and spice cake are both really delicious (unbiased account I have taste testers and they agree!!) I even made butter cream frosting for the spice cake, and I thank Paula Deen for her awesome spice cake recipe, but that frosting....6 cups of confectioners sugar....wayyyyy toooo muchhh!!! I have made a note of it in my recipe book and I'm thinking 3 cups should be enough. After that if it's not sweet I'll wing it. Next was the quiche. I couldn't for the life of me locate my 4 recipes I used in 07' to produce this dish so I was at the mercy of Google to find a good recipe. And I mean GOOD recipe...something that used heavy cream and at least 4 eggs. I found one that was decent and altered it slightly. I ended up with 6 quiches! What am I supposed to do with all of that?? Squirt is going to take one back to the Island with her, I gave my co-worker one, we ate one that I think about it...maybe I'm ok with the 6. I also baked this Amish friendship bread that I received from a friend, but I did not like the way it came out or smelled so I tossed it. It was really weird for me to leave a batter containing milk on the counter for 10 days. It could be that it smelled fine, but all I could smell was the sourness of the's possible it was all in my head. Today, I made crab dip....and let me just state that I will never ever ever ever EVER use crab meat that contains shells ever again. I spent two hours yesterday and two more hours today picking through to make sure I got all of the shells out only to still find more. Talk about a hair raising experience....argghhhh.

In the midst of it all I have discovered what I really want for Christmas or my birthday, or a "hey just wanted to let you know you rock" gift....a Kitchenaid professional 600 series, 6 quart, bowl lift stand mixer in empire red. I LOVE this beautiful piece of machinery! Just look for yourself...

Isn't it just cherry red perfection??? But alas I think all of my hint dropping is going to fall upon deaf ears. I'll probably end up purchasing it for myself. Which is fine too, but if it were presented to me with a big bow around it...I definitely wouldn't complain!

Outside of the hoopla and grandeur of cooking fantastic goodies, I started thinking of what I am truly thankful for...and yes not just on yesterday, I do visit this topic often. I made a short list...
  1. Health - it is soo important to understand and realize that life is short and with so many different diseases and ailments around, I am thankful to be well and able to do the things that I choose to do. To not have to take multiple medications in order to get out of the bed and get the day started.
  2. Shelter - with the many people that have lost their homes, though some have been fortunate enough to be able to lean on family and friends, there are some who have nowhere to turn. It is their car, a shelter or the streets that they no w call home. I am thankful to have a home. Even though the neighbors SUCK...I am happy to say that I have some.
  3. Friends - not associates, but true friends that I can call about whatever and whenever and just talk, cry, laugh or anything and be accepted and loved for being just who I am. I've come across many people (most this year) who can't just be themselves, it's a persona for every different group of people they come across. I am thankful for the opportunity to let my true colors shine.
  4. Happiness - strange, maybe, but for me, happiness is equally important. Without a light heart, joy or laughter...many of life's tasks I would probably never complete. Being happy intimidates others who are not free to experience this emotion. They complain about everything whether it happened to them or not. I am thankful that through happiness I am able to look at things from two perspectives, getting the whole picture, and seeing the sunlight through the clouds.
  5. Family - even though they drive me crazy every hour of every day, without them...I would be lost. I love them lots the craziness included. They deal with me, which is a big task, mood swings, attitudes, laughter, joy, pain, sorrow...I am still loved the same. I appreciate that sooo much.
  6. Dreams - just being able to dream something and actually fight and try to achieve it. Some people don't poses the drive in life to keep going, persevere through it all and still get back up when you get knocked down. I am thankful to dream uninhibited.
I hope that you all were able to reflect on the many different things we have to be thankful for. I'm sure my list will differ from many in one way or another, but I think even just realizing that you have a lot to be thankful for is more than a 75% start.

Have a Great Weekend!!!

Til Monday.....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Playing A Little Ketch-up...

Boy has this week really been a whirlwind of events...I am happy to be in the comfort of my home on a Friday night (~insert the grandma jokes here~) especially with thanksgiving around the corner this will truly be one of my only nights to relax for the next week or so! I'm super excited to cook my new experimental items along with a couple of tried and true dishes in the mix. I'll be sure to post some pictures as they come out of the oven!

I'm picking Squirt up on Sunday from the airport and I am now at a gift count of...* drum roll please*....Uno!! They say one is the loneliest number so hey why not leave it at that! I have something big planned for her for Christmas which I believe will dub me the Greatest Sister in All the Land title! Of course I can't tell you because she reads my ramblings from time to time...but it is purely the greatest gift I could think of...Yay Me!!! Maybe the best part of it is it's one of those gifts you get for someone else, but you know that you will get to benefit from it too. Is that selfish?? I think not, especially with the current state of the economy, I would say that's a deal!! I'll even allow you to use my reasoning to justify your "double gift" to others...don't say I never shared anything with you!

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of doing brunch with some of the girls from my former part-time gig at Aveda. It was a true delight and I hadn't realized that it had been soooo long. Sheesh time really does fly when you get older! I also was able to witness the Amster's baby bump up close....sooo cute! I can't wait for the baby to arrive! I just LOVE other people's kids!!

So I know the next movie in the vampire series came out today and I can admit to see Twilight numerous times just because it was wayyy better than what I had I want to see New Moon, but I don't want to see it with the crowds, so of course that means I'm going to have to wait...or go during the week at the senior citizen times, of which I may do the latter. Anyhow the point of it all...I cam across this clip from Jimmy Kimmel Live and by no means did I do this on purpose, but there's some Sesame Street action going on in it knew!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Few Notes...

Firstly, I would like to extend my extreme gratitude to any and everyone who has served in the armed forces or are currently serving today. It is a great task and unbelievable selflessness that truly allows a person to put their life on hold and on the line for so many others to fight for the belief of freedom and liberty for all. I stand 110% behind all of those who serve this country with pride and dignity. I hope that you all have done something not just today, but everyday to recognize these individuals. Regardless, of your political beliefs, I hope that you support our troops.

Secondly, Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I have managed to end up as one of the cookers this year. I was asked to make seafood quiche, which I can admit is always an experiment and I totally end up with wayyy more than I plan for. The problem you ask...well I have 4 different recipes that I like certain parts of so, I mix them all together sorta and usually end up with 4-6 pies depending on the pan I use. I am going to buy a tart pan this year so maybe that will cut down on the amount that I end up with. I also am making a surprise dish for my cousin which I can't disclose at the moment in case she reads this! And my own personal challenge of an experimental dessert. I'm thinking gingerbread as one and I have been looking for a really good sweet potato bread/pudding recipe. I have a few contenders, but I may end up combining the recipes on that too. I need to be finalizing these plans soon though as there really isn't too much time left in between now and then. Hopefully no one asks me to make a cake *fingers crossed* I'll do it, but I can't see the bottom of my plate at the moment!

Thirdly, so the gift count. I'm still at lucky number 1 and I haven't really thought about anything else to get either. She'll be here on the 20th or the 21st (can't remember) so I really need to get that under wraps too. I'm feeling the pressure. I'm going to start looking, maybe Friday I promise!!

Happy Hump Day!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I ♥ This Commercial

So I can't really say that I necessarily ♥ this infomercial, but I saw it last week and it was really weird, but I watched the whole thing! And yes before you ask, how it plays below is how it plays on TV with all of the mixing included for your entertainment. At the very least you'll laugh and if not in the beginning at least at the end when someones grandma is talking and laughing. I hope I don't see this on TV again!!

And a side note: Today is the actual 40th anniversary of Sesame Street (yes that means you won't have to be subjected to my meandering thoughts of SS childhood living) and if you had the opportunity to click on google today (it's not too late to go) they have the whole gang hanging out around the logo. Yesterday was the Count, but he was never one of my faves so I kinda skipped over his segment. And in all fairness I think I skipped over Elmo too (shame on me). I'm not a fan of him either but I'll post their pictures below in case you missed them. Although Zoey has an Elmo Live and he does get his party on (Elmo says get on up...Elmo says get on up...Elmo says get on down...Elmo says get on down...) Enjoy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Trash Can Living

Can I just say that I am LOVING Sesame Street Week on Google. Today is none other than my favorite character....Oscar the Grouch! Why the little green furry creature that lives in the garbage can makes me smile, I really can't say, but awesome to see him!!!

40th Anniversary of Sesame Street

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday...Woot Woot!!!

Welcome Friday! Not much happening this weekend. I have an exam I HAVE to study for. I pretty much know the information, but it's the minor details that I have to work out. Squirt's birthday is tomorrow and I am supposed to giving her 19 gifts for her 19th birthday and so far I have a grand total of *drumroll please*.....1!!! Round of applause people please lol. What am I doing, I have no clue. I don't know what else to get her. I really have to put my thinking cap on for this one. I wish I could just give her the one gift and $18, but I already know that's not going to fly :-)

And of course go to google! It's Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary and today google has Bert and Ernie in for the "O's". I can't help but to think about the rubber ducky song...

Rubber Ducky your the one
You make bathtime lots of fun...

Jump into some leaves and have a Great Weekend!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Click Again (for today only)

Go to google! It's Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary and today google has cookie monster taking a bite out of google which just happens to be a giant chocolate chip cookie!! And yes at 26 I'm still just as excited about sesame street lol!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Click (for today only)

Go to google! It's Sesame Street's 40th Anniversary and google has big bird's legs as the "l" in the logo. There's always something interesting!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy November!

Wow, November already eh? It doesn't even feel like October existed, at least to me anyway. I'm guessing it's time for me to prepare for the holidays. That means, cakes to bake, cards to write, gifts to buy, and limited rest to get. I'm pseudo looking forward to the next 2 months, but I'm going to write out a plan so that I remain stress free (or at least try to).

Today is a bittersweet day. My brother would have been 34 today. I miss him terribly, but it doesn't hurt as much anymore. It's been 8 years now and even though I may get a little teary eyed here and there, I've let go of the anger that went along with it. I can look back and remember the good times, the fights and the words he used to make up. The memories good and bad make me smile. So today while I wish him a lovingly happy 34th, I'll reflect on it all, even the mischievous times when I used to get him in trouble!

Happy Birthday Avery, you are truly loved and deeply missed!