Mid-December the cats received the gift of a cookie-scented box stuffed full of fun shredded paper...it was quite the hit! I'm not sure it had much life left in it... They've all had their turns doing plenty of napping in it, there's been some wrestling, and even an accident or two where the box (and Tucker asleep in it), slid off the chair - Tucker escaped before being pinned between the box and the wall!
You can see here that it's still very popular...wonder if we should tape around it for some extra support?
However, it was just the two of us - and we had some funkier cheeses left from Thanksgiving appetizers, so I figured I could start using them up. I ended out cutting off chunks of three times (don't ask what - just that two were kinda stinky, and one was a smoked applewood cheese), dropping them in the Cuisinart, and shredding away. Ok, so maybe about 1 1/2 cups of cheese was a bit much for this 8- or 9-inch pan's worth of cornbread, and made it a bit "meaty" (could've had it be a meal by itself!), but it was really good! I think it really COULD have been a meal with some corn and jalapenos stirred in!
Sure did taste good!
Anyhow, in years past, when we've done Christmas at their place, Brett's mom has occasionally had us hunt out the lucky pickle - I don't remember what we got for it (money? just good luck for the year?). Anyhow - totally goofy fun!
Brett's mom Linda ALSO really raves about the bread and butter pickles I made this summer....so much so that I've given Brett a couple larger jars to wrap up with their presents. And for extra special fun? Check this out - I'll have HER try to find the lucky pickles on the tree when they're here tomorrow - whaddaya think? Too dorky? Brett thinks I'm weird....I thought it was fun!
With Sharon and I eating all the sushi these days, I decided it was time to give this puppy a try. It seemed like the shapes it would make were a little larger than the standard sushi rolls, but that wasn't a big deal. I decided I wanted to start with California Rolls - those are how my brother introduced me to sushi, and they seemed the safest (I'm not rolling my own raw fish!). FINDING all the components resulted in stops in THREE grocery stores (forgot a list, had other things we were picking up, then they didn't have something, etc)
Finally got my stuff together, and made up some rice. I was surprised at how much rice vinegar and sugar you're supposed to add to the cooked rice - I think it's too much. I added more rice to dull down the vinegar flavor (and *I like vinegar*!), which I think helped.
What shape to start with. Simple round? They looked huge, and heck, I should theoretically be able to do that by hand. Fine - heart shaped - so I could make them for my sweetie (the inside joke here is that Brett'll NEVER touch sushi of any sort). What a lovely thing to present him on Valentine's Day - LOL
My avocado was overripe (the first two I bought at the second store were way underripe). The cucumber - a shrinkwrapped "english hot house" style (which we usually get for salads - was surprisingly bitter. Things were not working in my favor. ANNNNNND I hadn't been able to find strips of the artificial crab meat - so I just put together some lump crab meat instead. Fine. They still tasted ok. But man, they're HUGE! BIG hearts! And I put too much rice in (there were no specific amounts listed - I guessed. So these were plump sushi rolls. They really don't LOOK bad (in the pictures - but you can't see where the nori tore on a couple because they were so full). The avocado just sort of squished and didn't hold it's shape - not an major deal for home consumption I guess.
Anyhow - here you can see my attempt - and why I won't be quiting my job as a web designer/developer/programmer to make sushi for the rich and famous.
It's been a whole week since last we read what ou were up to, looked at photos of the terrific food you make, and thought warm fuzzy thoughts at the sight of your handsome BF. What gives?
In other words, get off your butt and post something.
We tell you this with love.
Yours, warmly and in the spirit of the season,
Your blog readers
[One guess as to who sent me this email! Yes yes, I'm behind! We had lots of fun in NY for Christmas, we've been back, we've been to work, we've been running around doing errands, staying home and cleaning, staying home and playing video games, etc...and I'm seriously behind on my blog! Soon! Real soon!]
So, with all this going on, I just wanted to wish all you fun folks who check in here and share your thoughts a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Thanks for helping to make 2006 such a fun year with the new adventure of blogging. I'm very grateful for the new friends I've met - some in person, and some purely online!
Safe travels this holiday season!
Tom Welling's second episode of Smallville as director, "Hydro," has been scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 11 on The CW.
Allison Mack, who plays Chloe, told The Continuum that she feels Welling is "a fantastic" director.
"Tom is an amazing man in that he's like a sponge. And he loves to learn," Mack told The Continuum during a recent visit to the Smallville set. "And he loves filmmaking, all aspects of it. So from the first day that he walked on set, he was so humble about everything and so excited to try things on and take people's advice. There was no pride. There was no ego.
"And because of that, he's learned at a rapid pace. It's really incredible. This year, directing, he was fabulous."
Here's how the network describes the episode, which guest-stars Tori Spelling:
"After Lana (Kristin Kreuk) confesses to Chloe she has reservations about marrying Lex due to her lingering feelings for Clark (Welling), The Daily Planet gossip columnist, Linda Lake (Tori Spelling), runs a story detailing their exact conversation. Determined to prove she didn't give the story to Lake, Chloe investigates her fellow co-worker and discovers she has the ability to turn herself into water and uses it to secretly overhear conversations for her column. "Meanwhile, Lois (Erica Durance) begins to suspect Oliver (Justin Hartley) is the Green Arrow and enlists Clark's help to prove it." ----------------------------------
"Meanwhile, Lois (Erica Durance) begins to suspect Oliver (Justin Hartley) is the Green Arrow and enlists Clark's help to prove it."
We were worried the "Clark helps the migrant worker hispanic kid" episode was directed by someone who was still very new to the job, and therefore thought that was the Tom Welling directed episode. Nope. But it sure sucked big time! Will have to see how his "Hydro" episode goes. In the meantime....
TORI SPELLING ON SMALLVILLE!?!
Hm, I just don't know. Anyhow - here's my JOKE rendition of how it could go (found a really cool fan drawing of Supergirl, and had a little fun with Tori's face... ALL credit for the amazing image of Supergirl goes to "Serayala" - check it out! Hopefully he/she won't come after me for swiping/tweaking their image... I wish I had that talent!)
Here - take a look - what do you think?
"Hi, we look kinda whorish for Archie girls!"
Ok, maaaaaybe I'm being kinda harsh here. And I can understand Archie comics maybe wanting to appeal to modern/young readers (maybe they don't have any young readers!?) by giving the girls hip, modern looks. But sorry - I don't approve. Something about the Archie universe just doesn't need this sort of change - I think part of the whole Archie thing is it's VERY traditional look. Archie isn't Archie when drawn like other modern comics. Might as well be Brenda Starr or Betty Page or something else.... (LOL Yes, I pulled those names outta my ass, and no, one of them was NOT a comic strip - it was the whole Betty thing and my years of working in a comic shop that had an adult comics/magazines room in the back... LOL)
Anyhow - back to the point - these are NOT the Betty & Veronica of the Archieverse....I say they're two girls from some alternate universe that are trying to cross over. Won't they look weird when they plainly don't fit in because their lines are all different!??! You want to see being ostracized in high school? You just wait! It'll be worse than having a new pimple for prom! (I just made that up. Honest. NEVER happened to me. NEVER!)
I'll add some extra space here - don't scroll down and look if you don't want ANY teasers/spoilers whatsoever!
On her. Of course. These two are so close, it's hard to keep them apart. Maybe he knew she needed the extra warmth? So long as he wasn't poking his feet around her stitches, and it didn't bother her, I figured there couldn't be too much harm in leaving them like this. They stayed this way for a few hours, with him changing positions periodically.
Aren't they cute!
Moxie's cleaning her stitches after getting fixed last week. While she has swelling from a blister underneath the stitches - FROM TOO MUCH ACTIVITY (try keeping a 6 month old kitten calm for 2 weeks - HA!) - everything's fine, she hasn't picked at the stitches, and they come out tomorrow! Hopefully the doctor will be able to bleed off the fluid under the stitches - ew gross.
Yes, you may drool!
For years now I've had a hand-me-down KitchenAid mixer - one that Randy's mom was so generous to "give" me when she got her new one (and Randy got a new one around that time, so he didn't need it). Worked like a charm! But Christmas is a time of giving, and sometimes we gotta give to ourselves! That, plus the stars, er, discounts/sales/rebates/free shipping were aligned just right, and I got the $299 Empire Red Artisan KitchenAid mixer for $240! Ya really can't beat that!
Ok, stop drooling - it's getting a little gross.
I DO notice a difference between the new and old mixers. Randy pointed out the new ones are made by GE, and wondered if that affected the quality. The beaters/paddles are definitely of a lighter weight, but I don't know that that's going to mean a lesser quality (I sure hope not!). It's not whisper-quiet like I thought a brand new one might be, but I guess that's just silly to expect from something packing this much horsepower! (Ok, I didn't expect WHISPER quiet, but maybe quieter than the old one!) I DEFINITELY prefer the newer bowls - maybe a little bigger/broader, and definitely easier to work with since they've got a handle!
Yup, I admit it - I'm in love with my KitchenAid! Wouldn't you be too?
Time ran short. Tensions were high. Recipes were goofed. Etc. While I got plenty of stuff made, including the chocolate biscotti, I didn't make the other variety. Oh well - they'll be something good to make AFTER all the sweets of the holidays are gone - a more mature, less rot-your-teeth-out taste...
Don't get me wrong - I'm quite content with sharing (and snacking on!) the chocolate variety! I made two batches - one plain, and one that I split in two - half with sliced almonds and mini chocolate chips, and the other with sliced almonds, mini chocolate chips, and dried cranberries. Yum!
And then Peter's got me hooked on the idea of making non-chocolate ones with pistachios and cranberries - that's one of the treats from him that arrived in the mail yesterday. Wow, soooooo good!
Joe over at Culinary in the Desert recently posted his rendition of turkey soup with cheddar corn dumplings. Sure did look good!
Not really liking turkey soup much, and having the majority of a storebought rotisserie chicken from the nite before, I decided dinner was going to be some sort of soup around those dumplings! Chicken soup it is! Even Tucker was interested....very good stuff! I liked how fresh the frozen corn tasted in the dumplings, and it went so well with the cornmeal. I didn't really notice an overly-cheddary taste to the dumplings - they were just real good!