Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seeing Double

I caught this on Food Network last week-I especially like Melanie Hutsell's butter popsicle demo that begins right after the 4:00 mark. Melanie was on Saturday Night Live back in the 90s. Once she bites into the butter, you can hear the crew starting to crack up. I appreciate Paula Deen's great sense of humor!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Husker review

The first game of the season is a month away-here's a clip of the great 4th quarter highlights of last year's Colorado game to get everyone in the mood.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Our first tomatoes

Corrie and I each had one tomato in our dinner salad tonight. I know we'll be up to our ears in tomatoes soon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

chocolate pie

I made a dark chocolate cream pie for the inaugural UNP Pie-A-Palooza this week. While I didn't win a coveted trophy, it was still a great opportunity to practice my pie crust-making skills, which is something I need to keep working on. I was pretty pleased with my entry-I made two practice pies in the past month, along with one try at just making the filling, which we ate as a pudding.

The pie and crust recipe came from King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion All-Purpose Baking cookbook, otherwise known as my baking Bible. The single crust recipe called for both butter and crisco-I think from now on I'm going to work on all-butter crusts. The filling was an interesting combination of milk, sugar, and corn starch, which you cooked until a thickening stage, then you add egg yolks and more sugar. Once it comes to a boil, you have what looks like vanilla pudding, then you add unsweetened chocolate, vanilla, and butter. I considered swapping in a different type of chocolate, like bittersweet, but I didn't try that ahead of time on the practice pies, so I didn't want to risk it on the competition pie.

The winner of the taste category as well as best in show was a rhubarb lattice pie with cardamom and orange. The baker found the recipe on and decided to make it even though the online reviews were mixed. Her gamble paid off!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kitties were happy to have the windows open

The air has been on in the house for at least a week straight. Within a minute of opening the windows this morning, three of our cats had sorted themselves into small, medium, and large.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Julie & Julia

I saw a preview for this movie the other night-it looks intriguing. I might have to actually go to the theater to see it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rhubarb recipe of the week

Thanks to our prolific rhubarb, I'm trying a different rhubarb recipe every week. Last week as part of my pre-half marathon dinner, I made a rhubarb crisp. This week, it was a cobbler out of the King Arthur Flour's baking companion book, which offers a standard cobbler recipe, and you add your fruit of choice. I was a little apprehensive about using rhubarb with the recipe because it also called for bourbon, and that combination just didn't sound right. I proceeded on, and I don't know if it was the strong bourbon I used (Knob Creek) or if I didn't simmer the syrup long enough, but it tasted mostly like bourbon. Not that that's a bad thing, but it didn't seem right for a rhubarb cobbler. Corrie suggested I try apples in the recipe next time.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Nice tulip photo

I don't know why I've remiss on blogging-bloggy things have been happening. Here's a photo of some nice tulips in the butterfly garden.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Photo of the day

Todd rolling around in the garden dirt this past weekend.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My sister has an etsy shop now

My sister finally set up an etsy shop where she's selling some of her artwork. Check it out!

One of her specialties looks to be pet portraits. The example she's using is our dad's African Grey parrot, Buddy.

Her shop is much more sophisticated than the one I wanted to open for selling cat toys.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

First and second flowers

Here are the first and second batches of crocus this year! The second ones just flowered today.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A month late for Groundhog's day

Here's godfrey the groundhog in his mound of dirt, mentioned in my Valentine's Post. I bought a pattern download through Mochimochi shop. I left the eyes off the dirt mound as per Corrie's request.

This worked up really fast. It was pretty easy, except I had a hard time getting the hat to look right on him without covering up his ears.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In Living Room Color

Corrie had had enough of our "cakebatter" white walls throughout most of our first floor, so he stepped it up and picked a few colors to look at for the living room. We now have 3 walls in rattan.

When he painted just a swatch, we were afraid we'd made a big mistake, but now that there's a couple of coats on, it's looking pretty good. It looks nice with the woodwork, and I think we can find a lot of other colors to add to the room that will look nice. However, it clashes with our green curtain aka a green sheet, so now we've been talking about "window treatments". I feel like an adult! I told Corrie this color makes it look like responsible adults live here. (the white walls made it seem like an apartment.)

As he goes, Corrie is working on the window trim and patching some drywall cracks. We could eventually have a finished living room!

I've been thinking about decor, too. I bought a shadow box to use for some of the trinkets we've found around the house while remodeling. I'm bummed because I've misplaced the World War II ration stamp I wanted to include in the display.

The foil milk carton top has separated itself from its velcro, and I'm saving a spot for a c. 1910 postcard we found, too, so I need to do some rearranging. The other items are more milk carton tops, a Gold's department store tag for what I'm guessing was a pair of shoes, a Fuller Brush company whistle that I found under the porch, and a button with a lyre on it. This is just a small sampling of the stuff we've found. The rest is for another post.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sesame Street favorites

Corrie and I spent this morning watching our favorite clips from Sesame Street on Here are some of my favorites:

-lady bug picnic

-making crayons

-David disco skates

-Orange singing Carmen-this one kind of freaked me out but I still liked it

-and this one flat out gave me nightmares

Happy Belated Fat Tuesday!

I made two king cakes this year, the first for us at home to test out Alton Brown's cinnamon roll recipe as king cake recipe and the second to take to work. The first one I made, which I didn't photograph for some reason, turned out pretty fat, and it took forever to bake. I thought it might've even been a little underdone, but at least it seemed moist. The one I made for work was a better shape, but I think I overbaked it a little-it was dry. The recipe worked well otherwise. This is the one I took to work, along with a photo of the king cake table.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kooky Spooks!

Corrie and I were trying to remember what these plastic Halloween costumes with an inflatable head on top of your own head were called. I could only remember kids wearing them for one year, possibly two, back in 1980 or 1981. Thanks to Google and Corrie somehow remembering what they were called, here they are:

I'm sure there are tons of blog posts like this one where people are recounting these outfits. There are also a few still in their packaging for sale on Ebay, of course!

Classic Sesame Street film - A LOST DOG poster for Ace

I was reminded of this Sesame Street clip this week during the lost dog caper. A lot of things have changed in 30 years!

Friday, February 20, 2009


It was a great feeling getting up this morning on a vacation day, checking my phone, and finding a message that the missing dog, Watson, aka Rhett, had been located last night! Here's dog and dad:

It sounds like the discovery went down something like this: last night, Animal Control called Terence and Sabrina and asked if they were still looking for their dog. A woman near what we had been calling ground zero (56th and South, the last place the dog was reported being seen) had called Animal Control after she thought there was a dog in her yard and she had also received an e-mail from someone alerting her to this particular missing dog. Catching the dog involved laying on the ground and coaxing him over with summer sausage. Terence reported he's much more sociable now, and he's more interested in his food and water. What a happy ending!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Lost Dog

Since Sunday, I've been trying to help my friends Terence and Sabrina find their lost dog. There were sightings of him Sunday afternoon, but no reports since-it has really bummed me out, and it's not even my dog. I'm trying to keep the hope going. He has to be somewhere.

For those readers who live in Lincoln, here's a photo of the dog and the text from the flyer we've been hanging up all over town. It seemed likely that he could've stayed in the vicinity of 56th and South, however he also could've kept going.

DOGBREED: West Highland White Terrier
SEX: Male (neutered)
NAME: Rhett Butler
COLOR: White
WEIGHT: 16-17 lbs.
AGE: 3 1/2 yrs.
VACCINATIONS: All up to date

LAST SEEN around noon on Sunday (February 15, 2009) at 56th and South streets, heading south. He slipped his collar, so he has no tags. He was rescued from a puppy mill by the Little White Dog rescue up in Omaha, and they advised that it would be best to not approach him as he will be afraid and would likely run off. Instead please provide a thorough location of the sighting. If seen or found call Sabrina and Terence at 402-570-3783 (cell) Reward offered.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Varmints make good Valentine's Day gifts

I knitted this snake and mouse combo from mochimochi land for Corrie as a surprise Valentine's Day gift. Weeks ago when I was perusing patterns online, Corrie saw this one and said he had to have it. I wasn't going to overlook such an easy gift idea, so I secretly worked on it out of the view of Corrie for a couple of weeks.

The idea is the mouse fits completely inside the snake, which this mouse did fit in all the way before I felted it in the washer. (A project made from wool yarn will shrink and become a totally different-looking beast once it's been washed.) I think I felted it too much, which took out the elasticity in the snake, so now the mouse will only fit in its mouth. I told Corrie I could make another smaller mouse but he said that was ok. Oh, those aren't hats on their heads, either-those are toupees.

Mochimochi land offers tons of projects I'd like to make, like this groundhog in his own mound of dirt.

I like this one too where the mouse and snake have made an appearance.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My sister is on to something

My sister baked and decorated a beautiful cake for our mom's birthday. She had warned my mom that it looked bad. If this is her idea of a bad-looking cake, I'm not sure what a good-looking one would look like. I think she could go into a career of cake-decorating if she wanted to. (Her previous projects include my 2008 birthday cake.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl Snacks

Even though we stayed home, we still made some snacks for the game last night.

I tried making these mozzarella sticks that I saw Giada De Laurentis make on the Food Network a couple of years ago. They looked ok after the egg wash and breadcrumb covering.

It all went to heck after that. The recipe said to freeze them at least 2 hours and up to 2 days after they were coated. (so that when you fry them, the cheese doesn't melt too fast.) I probably froze them the minimal 2 hours, and when I fried them, most of them bursted out of their coating, then I had cheese popping out of the skillet. They were salvageable, but I couldn't bring myself to take a photo of the finished product, they were a mess. Corrie was nice and said it was a learning experience. I don't have any experience frying anything, so I suppose he's right. Next time we plan to freeze them overnight and see if that helps.

We also made this chili-garlic roasted broccoli recipe from Rachel Ray's show. I don't look too many of her recipes up, but this one was well worth it. Corrie and I will eat a huge batch of broccoli when we make it. I didn't use as much garlic as it called for-I only used 2 cloves. The picture looks a little gross, but trust me, it's tasty.

We rounded out the meal with a frozen stromboli I had made back at Christmas time.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Duck, duck, duck . . .

Corrie and I attended the Avoca annual Quack-off duck races yesterday. For those who aren't familiar with the race, this was the 29th annual running of the ducks, and every year you can bring a duck to race or rent a duck to race. The point to the race is simple-get your duck past the finish line first, and you can clap your hands, make noise, etc. etc. to encourage your duck's speediness, but you can't touch it.

Proceeds benefit the local fire department. I was glad that we decided not to participate this year but to just spectate, because it had to be a long day for the participants. Registration happened in the morning, then the heats of duck races (3-4 ducks per heat) began around 1:00. I have no idea how many first round heats there were-we left around 3:30 or so and they were on heat 60 something. The winner of each of those initial rounds goes on to participate in the next set of heats, so it must've lasted all day and into the night.

The warm weather probably drew a larger crowd this year. The other thing going on is a lot of drinking. I have no problem with that, although I'm getting to an age where people in their early 20s who aren't managing their liquor consumption very well get on my nerves. Overall it was a great time. It's not every day that you hear someone say over a loud speaker, "if you rented your duck and you did not win your heat, you need to return your duck to the trailer. Please return your ducks."

Here are some photos and video from the day:

This is the view of the start line. There were 4 lanes.

Here's the end of a heat-it looks like 2 different people think they won. I'm not sure what the official call was. It was very interesting to watch so many ducks stop short of that orange line.

Here's a winner being interviewed after their heat. Note the duck necklaces. Duck flair and costumes were everywhere.

Here's a picture of the crowd as we were leaving. A duck race draws a lot of people!

I took a few short videos. This is a typical heat-a winner sails through, then the other ducks get in a traffic jam.

I'm very glad we attended, and I bet we'll go again next year. I'm still not sure I want the pressure of racing a duck, however.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes We Can!

Maybe it's just me, but I think Corrie's smile at the Lincoln Obama rally last February made today possible. I'm so glad we can finally move on and try a new path and not have to hear about the internets any longer.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This can't be right

While I'm happy to see some green in my yard, I'm a little concerned that the tulips are already popping up! Hopefully they know something that we don't, that winter is almost over? I know I've seen the tulips in February, but I can't remember finding them in January before.

Good Eats

Starting this weekend, Duggan's Pub is offering breakfast from 9 am-1 pm every Saturday and Sunday. This morning, Corrie and I took the paper, and to Corrie's dismay I took the camera, and we had ourselves some Sunday breakfast.

The breakfast menu is simple-I think there were 5 main dishes you could order, with a la carte items also available. Corrie had the chicken friend steak and gravy, which comes with eggs, hash browns and toast, and I had the "classic": 2 eggs, your choice of bacon or sausage, hash browns and toast.

I really liked the hash browns-I think you need a seasoned restaurant griddle to pull those off. It was very affordable, I thought-my breakfast was $5.50 and Corrie's was $7.95. Other menu items included biscuits and gravy and something they called the "stacker" which was several breakfast goodies piled up with an egg on top.

If you are still getting over the fact that Kuhl's restaurant is closed and you're interested in a new breakfast spot, check it out! You won't have to clean your kitchen up afterwards.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Just checking in

No, I didn't vow to stop blogging in 2009. I just haven't been too bloggy lately. What's there to blog about when you're doing the same thing everyone else around here is doing-trying to cope with the cold, trying to eat just a little more moderately after the holiday indiscretions, trying to get through the 31 long days of January.

These past cold days, I've been challenging myself not to open the doors to go outside any more times than necessary. (novel idea, I know.) Itty Bittiest has made that challenge easier since she caught the cold that the rest of the cats had last week. I made the mistake of letting her back outside into her natural habitat last Saturday afternoon, thinking she'd be back in her bed on the back porch in plenty of time for me to snatch her up and bring her back in the house for the night. Itty Bittiest had other plans, evidently-it became dark and she still wasn't around. This cat has spent every night over the last 6+ months on the back porch-it's not like her to not be around. After several checks throughout the night and one trip around the block Sunday morning, there was no sign of her. After coming back in the house and feeling like something was not right, who comes up to the back porch but Itty Bittiest. Since then, she's been under house arrest, so I haven't had too many reasons to be opening and closing doors and checking on kitties.

Otherwise, I've been crocheting and knitting a few non-holiday items. I knitted a hat with nice-looking cables, but I didn't end up liking the hat very much. Not warm enough, and it felt like it was going to pop off my head. I've been throwing the idea around of starting a mini-mini craft business via etsy, too. I thought I'd start with offering a few knitted cat toys stuffed with organic catnip and see where that gets me. I definitely don't plan to pay the bills with this idea, just maybe cover some of the costs of my craft habit.