Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WFDW, Doggy Style

Ok, really though, I have nothing to show you. I could tell you, however, about some pretty bad mexican food I had in place of the new, inventive and exciting home cooked meal that should have been tonights' meal were I not in some kind of lazy zone that is preventing me from accomplishing anything other than the absolute basics. Sigh.
Maybe next week, eh? But definitely go check out what others of us in the not so lazy category have whipped up!

In more exciting news at Casa Splatgirl, darling PupCake seems either to have overcome his total fear of the stairs or is getting tired of having to be leashed and walked around the house anytime we decide some BigTV is in order. So we're on up-the-stairs number three as of about ten minutes ago, and I was lucky enough to obtain photographic evidence:

I feel like my kid just learned to walk or something. YIPPEE for PupCake!!
Notice the bowl of kibble snackie at the midway point. I consider that a suggestion, as being a Greyhound on the stairs means that once you get going there's really no pauses midway, for eating or otherwise. So the poor guy kinda gets screwed for a second, but rest assured mommie races down to retrieve it and bring it up just as soon as he gets his fuzzy-butted ass to the top. Anyway, I'm pretty darn proud, since when he first came even the mere suggestion of stairs was an absolute drool fest and we've now got it down to just a little bit of pacing and a whimper or two.
Unfortunately, I think the down is gonna be a little more tricky...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Herow Ebrybudy

Hapie Tanksgibing!
My mudder wanz yoo ta cee al da funz I havd et da dogge plase too dae:

Cee? It wuz wrelly, wrelly fun an I got ta git alll weet un mudde un plae wit my frenz an ite wuz xtree nise dis tyme cuz mye dadders wuz dere too! Doo yoo ce ware dat Grate Dayn girwie goz hur swobber on mee? Preddy funie...gwirl swobber awn my butz, ha?

I hop yoo allz hat a wrelly fun dae to an dint et toooo mutsch!

Wuv, PupCake

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ramblings On

No pictures again.
I could have given you another picture of the dog, but I only have pictures of him laying around, lounging...because..well...he's a Greyhound, and you've seen him doing that already anyway. But in case you forgot, I'll tell ya he is still the cutest piece of puppers pie EVER.

Of course y'all would get the whole Thanksgiving thing. I knew you would, among other reasons, because you blog, which is a lot about THE PROCESS, right? But thank you. I just needed to know that there are more than two sane people left in the world.
And for those of you who were wondering, we have declined the invite to the fabulous store-boughtenness food fest at BoysMoms. I really have no idea what she'll end up serving, but if I've gotta cook everything myself in order NOT to have to eat mass-produced crap on Thanksgiving, I'm going to love doing it, but it's also going to be on my terms which do NOT include having to haul it all over town and then serve it from a cluttered, cramped and probably dirty kitchen to people who obviously don't give a shit in the first place. So Boy and I will be enjoying an honest to goodness, cooked-by-me and hopefully delicious Thanksgiving meal at home. I'd say there's a fair chance we'll be in our jammies all day as well, or at least right up until we decide to take the dog to the park or go for a walk. Please feel free to stop by :) Along with all the usual yummies, we'll be featuring the delicous (and newly discovered, thanks to WFDW) asparagus gratin and pumpkin bread pudding.

Third and totally unrelated:
The tiramisu at Joey Nova's is the best I have ever eaten that I didn't make myself. Far and away better than any other tiramisu I have eaten at a restaurant, anywhere. And this coming from me, high queen of the tiramisu snobs. Until the other day I would have told you a tiramisu as good as what I make does not exist, but my world has shifted and Joey Nova's has completely blown me away. Not what I would have expected from a strip mall pizza and sandwich joint, but hey, huge props to whoever's making that stuff, cuz they obviously know their tiramisu and I can't wait to get over there and have some more.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sometimes It's Not Just About Getting To The End

A few days ago I was having a conversation about Thanksgiving dinner with a certain friend. She was rather bent out of shape, justifiably so, because it was suggested by a certain guest...insisted upon even, that Thanksgiving dinner in it's entirety be purchased from the local grocery store and "just reheated" for the enjoyment of everyone rather than go to the "trouble" of cooking anything. Now, being of like mind, I COMPLETELY felt her pain in this situation and was more than happy to participate ad nauseum in this little vent, because...well...

I don't care if the reality is that this is what we have devolved to as a society and that if it weren't for this little "convenience" people wouldn't do Thanksgiving at all. I think it's ridciulous and sad and that it's time for a reality check.
I mean seriously......are we all so detatched from living that we can't be bothered to stop, take a deep breath and stir and chop a little even ONCE in a year?

We seem to have learned to dislike anything in this life that involves THE PROCESS. THE PROCESS is beneath us. We just want it NOW to the point that even Thanksgiving has become a fast food event.
Now I'll admit that when it comes to some other things, I'm not exempt from this thinking by any means, but when it's about food and cooking, I am like the process police. People seem to have forgotten that a large part of the whole Thanksgiving "thing" happens to be about THE PROCESS, and by that I certainly don't mean the process of going to the store and buying an entire prepackaged meal to be "reheated" ten minutes before you're ready to sit down to eat. Puhleeze.

Anyway, fast forward to last night.
My phone rings...and rings.
A voice mail is left.

"Hi Splatgirl, this is BoysMom. I think I told you that I'm going to have Thanksgiving. I was planning to go to the store and buy everything already made....."

Ironic, no?
But gets better.
Today, BoysMom: "So I was thinking I was going to get that whole dinner from the store, but I decided not to, because, you know, you still have to defrost it and heat it up."

I can't even discuss it any further. It's raising my blood pressure.

Friday, November 17, 2006

What WAS for Dinner

Hoboken Eddie's Root Beer Chicken:

As weird as I thought the recipe sounded, it was really pretty good. The flavor profile leans heavily toward the sweet, given the reduced root beer "sauce" and the sauteed banannas, so if that's not your thing then stay away. I tend to have a sweet tooth, so I enjoyed it, but I do think the dish would benefit from an acid component to balance things a bit. Even a squeeze of lime juice as garnish would have good. And although it doesn't say to do so, I wished I would have basted the chicken with the sauce during grilling to add a bit more dimension with the carmelized/burnt sugar note that makes grilling with sweet sauces so yummy.
The accompanying "Jamaican Jerk" rice suprised me. Truthfully, the combination of ingredients grossed me out a bit as I was putting it together. And because I didn't have any of the recommended sauces, I used green Tabasco, Sri-Cha and regular teriyaki sauce and added some fresh grated ginger and wasabi paste. I just threw everything into my rice cooker and half an hour later discovered a flavorful end product with just enough spice to make it interesting.
I'm not sure I'd rush to make this again, but it's far from being one of those straight-into-the-recycle-bin recipes. If nothing else, the root beer chicken part would make great kid food...
Boy chose to wash his down with a cold frosty one, meaning root beer of course :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This One's For Carrie

A chilly, early morning, waiting for this:

to listen to while enjoying this:

A super yummy goat cheese and shallot omlette with hash browns and a warm cinnamon roll (OK, don't faint, but yes, that is the kind out of the can...the best I could do in a pinch. Turns out they're not as gross as I remember.) A fitting reward for getting up much too early and an hours' worth of standing out in the cold. The only thing missing was my pal Knit-Whit with whom I would have liked to share the deliciousness.

My apologies for flaking on WFDW yesterday. I was unexpectedly delayed and unable to complete the assignment of Root Beer Chicken, so I'll do it tonight instead. The whole scoop tomorrow, I promise!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yarn Porn

A quick peek at the view from my chair during my lovely afternoon at Yarn Cafe with Ms. Knit-Whit:

I am still toiling away on the bobbles for the Noni Bobbles Bag. Only 144 left to go...
In case you can't tell, it's boring the crap out of me.

Now...out to walk the PupCake who is veritably bouncing off the walls as a result of us missing out on our regular long morning walk. Apparently a trip in the truck to pick up our dinner of Chinese take-out didn't meet the minimum dog criteria for a satisfactory evening outing.
After that it's onto the couch to check out the first episode of Everest: Beyond the Limit.

P.S. Check out the What's for Dinner Wednesday main dish selection for tomorrow, courtesy of Boy. Slightly strange sounding, yes, but I already think it tastes better than tofu.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Would You Like Some Thinset With That?

Happy Monday! There's a thin coating of snow here this morning, which explains why everything looked so blue through the cracks in the bedroom curtains.
Let it be known that PupCake is NOT amused.

I spent the weekend over at Boy's mom's house, installing her new tile backsplash:

It would have been a quick, one day project to set the tile had it not been for a tile saw that decided to quit in the midst of things. So instead of a done-in-a-weekend project, it took two afternoons to set and I'll have to head back over to grout it in the next day or two, but I think the results are going to be lovely. She's really excited and after fifty-plus years in the same house, always compromising and never really getting exactly what she wants, I'm happy to be able to give her something that's all her and that she really loves.
Maybe this will be the incentive she needs to keep a lid on her endless countertop clutter :)

Reveal pics coming soon!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

What's With this Lake Thing, Anyway?

Since his arrival, PupCake and I have settled into a routine of long morning walks followed by getting down to business for me, and a nap for him, and today was no different. We both love our walks and all those smells and sights lead to one pooped Puppers. Which is not to imply that he does much other than lounge anyway :)

The weather has been gorgeous the last couple of days and to take advantage of it yesterday I decided another dog park scouting adventure was in order. We headed over to Alimagnet dog park in, of all places, Burnsville, and boy did we have a blast. Alimagnet was rated the number three dog park in the country and it's really, really cool with a lake, wetland, woods, plenty of open space and a heated shelter and water dish. PupCake thought it was doggie HEAVEN! He makes fast friends with dogs that like to run and play and fetch but in his mind, the whole point of the game is that he gets to chase the ball chaser, not that the ball gets got. He totally doesn't get that part, because, like, what could possibly be better than getting to run?
He's definitely a follower, so when another small hound chased his ball into the muddy, swampy part of the lake, Puppers followed him in full-on, and promptly got stuck in the water with paw-sucking mud up to his elbows. He stood there for a minute sort of confused, turning around to look at me like "hey.....?", and then ceremoniously pulled out one of his paws and held it up and looked at it. Another minute or two and I'm starting to wonder if there's anyone around wearing waders that I might be able to persuade to go in after him. But then, apparently sick of standing there all alone and not wanting to appear the sissy, he trudged his way back to shore with a look like "yea, I'm cool". A few more romps in and out of chest deep water and my guy is thinking he's the man and that this doggie lake thing is pretty cool, as I'm cringing at the idea of wet, muddy dog in vehicle. (FIY, Alimagnet has a dog-washing station near the parking lot.)
Needless to say,after all that excitement he was even more of a lump of dog last night than usual and could barely be bothered to come to bed.
I think we're enjoying retirement :)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What's For Dinner Wednesday

Tonight's menu:
Gumbo YaYa over rice

Disclaimer: I have never been to New Orleans, or even to Louisiana, so I have no idea if this is would be considered an authentic recipe, but I do know that we both found it delicious enough to go for seconds which is saying a lot considering my firsts was a huge bowlfull. It had a completely unique, new-to-me flavor but still provided all the proper cues to make it seem like major comfort food. It was so, so good that I can't wait to be hungry again so I can eat some more.

The recipe makes enough to feed an army. I cut it in half, and I'd say there's still enough left for another two generous meals each for both of us. I know it doesn't look like much, but trust me when I say that this is the perfect dish to pull out of your pocket when you've exhausted your cold weather repertoire of chilli, soup, and as we say in midwestern, hot dish.

(BTW, I used a store bought, rotisserie chicken instead of roasting my own. Gasp. But hey, its the first time I've EVER bought one of those!)

Speaking of unique flavor, I assume that a lot of the character of this dish can be attributed to the long cooked, dark roux with which I had no prior experience. I'll say it's a little freaky, really, cooking that butter and flour until it's dark brown and smelly and making me need to turn on the hood. I would have probably chickened out and quit early (and way short of "dark mahogany") had I not seen this done once on one of those great, old school cooking shows. Remeber those? The kind of shows that you could really learn something from because they favored technique and real skills over tarty personality, invented celebri-"chefs" and cuisine-d'idiot-ness?
I miss those....

Monday, November 06, 2006

What's For Lunch?

A lunchtime take on the Green Chilli Quesadilla recipe from a couple of weeks ago. As written, I think this one is about as close to quesadilla perfection as it gets, but today I was looking for something more substantial:

I had a leftover grilled chicken breast and a piece of bacon that I sliced up and tucked in with the chili mixture, and instead of Monterey Jack cheese, I used some Spanish Mahon. Fast and easy Yum!

Turning to dogworld, we escorted The Pup on his first dog park adventure yesterday which was really fun. We were a bit tentative at first, being that all of us are new to the whole dog park experience, but our FurBoy proved to be just as polite and well behaved in the presence of a bunch of unfamiliar dogs as he is around us and the kitties despite the fact that there were some real brats running around stirring things up and getting snippy. Unfortunately I forgot my camera but rest assured there will be many more trips to doggieville since I think we had just as much fun as he did.

Friday, November 03, 2006


I've been finding a few minutes here and there to work on the many, many bobbles for the Noni Bobbles Bag.

The pattern has you knitting a total of twelve bobbles in each color, which, if you're counting equals 192 little round swatches that then get sewn up into balls and attatched to the bag pre-felting. Since I don't have a ball winder and I didn't bother to have the colors that I've purchased so far wound at the yarn shop, it's taking me quite a bit of time to wind each color into two separate balls before I can start knitting on the quick (but futzy) little bobbles.
Anyway, if you're questioning, like I was, it's looking like the bobbles use up about half a skein of each color, so no, you wouldn't necessarily have to go out and purchase 16 skeins of Cascade 220 to knit this bag. Depending on the wealth of your feltable stash, that is. Which leads me to fantisize about all the delicious little projects I'll be able to whip up with my 16 colors of leftovers! I think sometimes having just a bit of wool in a lovely color is better than having a full skein. Less pressure to put it to good use, you know?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

What's for Dinner Wednesday, the Reveal

It was Boy's pick this week, and I gotta give him huge props for stepping deeply outside both our boxes and choosing something I would never have chosen in a bajillion years.

Thai Tofu with Zucchini, Red Bell Pepper and Lime

OK, so I think I've only cooked tofu once and that was back in the eighties, but it's left me with the same opinion as before. WHAT is the attraction? It's wads of meaningless nothing with a sort of gross texture and frying it made more of a mess in my kitchen than cooking bacon. Are people eating it just for the health benefits? I say give me a bowl of wheat berries and adzuki beans washed down with a glass of soy milk and hold the flavorless curdled crap.
Even with my limited experience cooking tofu, I know that it can benefit from flavor enhancing treatments (like marinating) and this recipe just has you frying it plain, in oil, and I'm sure that's was partly to blame, but still, I find the texture not so good.

Aside from the tofu problem, this recipe in general is pretty blah too. I mean, the thing to love about Thai food is it's abundant flavor and this recipe really didn't have any despite my off the record addition of fish sauce to try and pump things up a bit. Fortunately, I served it over rice noodles which are hard to go wrong with in any form because had they not been a part of the dish I think we would have been running for take out. As I told Boy, It's a good thing I was really hungry.
There are great, quick curry recipes out there and this is not one of them, my friends. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Get Used To It Buddy"

Mr. cm, modeling his new cold weather gear:

Hot off the sewing machine and just back from a test walk.
Fortunately, my model was extremely patient and I was able to draft a pattern by using him as the dog-form. I think it came out pretty well, although I'll consider this the prototype and tweak ia bit with the next version. The wearer seems to think it's OK, but really, how could he possibly object to such functional style? :)

Boy's comment as he watched the dog stand there looking bored while I worked: "Get used to it buddy. It's a fact of life with the Girl."

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