Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oatmeal Crispies

Photo from thepioneerwoman.com

Have you already heard that one oatmeal joke? It was a lot of mush, so I won't bother telling it here.

Tee hee.

Ok, so I decided to be domestic and do wife stuff this weekend. This means I baked. Actually I did the dishes and 2 loads of laundry too. Andy of course did husband stuff while I did this. He bought a shop vac, napped on the couch for 2 hours and drank a beer. Good work, husband.

So I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I actually really enjoy her entire website and was eager to try one of her delicious looking recipes. I picked this one because I just happened to have everything in the house (except for the pecans, but they were on sale at Meijer so I picked up a few).

And well, I didn't have shortening either, so I used one stick of butter and one stick of margarine. I don't think this hurt the recipe at all.

As far as other deviations from the recipe, I also cooked them for a bit longer. They suggested 10 minutes, which I did for the first cookie sheet full, but I didn't think they were well cooked. I left the next 2 rounds in for 15 minutes and got the fully cooked consistency I was looking for.

And while they were sitting on the counter cooling, of course Tobias stuck his big fat nose up there and snatched one when we weren't looking.

And of course yesterday after Andy took one from the case and didn't replace the lid, Toby plopped his front paws on the counter and snatched another.

Toby also sat by my side EXTREMELY interested in what I was doing the entire time I made the dough. I am very careful about not touching dog and then touching food I am preparing, so his big puppy dog eyes staring up at me made it hard to stay focused on the cookies. And his constant licking of the air. Followed by his constant licking of the side of my pants. Dog is weird. And hungry, apparently.

Anyways, I really liked the cookies and so did Andy (and Toby). And considering the ingredients were common, I'll most likely make the recipe again soon.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Andy the Artist

So, Andy and I are planning on expanding our deck this summer and adding a nicer patio below. I've sent him some pictures of decks/patios I like. Then Andy took a real photo of the back of our house and subsequently made this:


I love him.

Edit: This blog of mine cuts off the side of it. View the whole image here.

Poker? Damn near killed her!!!

So, Andy and some of his/our friends get together and play poker on Thursday nights when enough people are available. They rotate the houses they play at and tonight we are hosting. And although only Andy plays when he goes to play at the other guys' homes, I insitituted a house rule at my home.

If you play poker at my house, I get to play too.

I love poker. The boys tend to underestimate a lady playing poker too, so that usually works in my advantage.

Because little do they know I got 3rd place in a poker tournament. I even have a trophy to prove it.

There were maybe 50 people that entered and somehow I ended up at the final table. It was my first "real" tournament, and boy oh boy, was I shaking at that final table. I can't really hide my emotions. When I have a big hand, my pulse starts racing. My hands start shaking. I start sweating. In short, I become a hot mess.

It was down to about 5 of us, and I had a good hand. Another guy had raised big, and I went all in. He stared me down. My heart was beating through my chest and I tried to steady my hands by keeping them on the table. My strategy is to never look at them in the eye. I just kept my eyes on the table and felt his eyes on me. Watching me. Trying to figure out if I had something or not. He probably sat there staring at me and contemplating his next move for about 5 minutes.

He folded.

I took the pot and it helped keep me alive long enough to get 3rd place, that trophy and a $200 prize.

Never underestimate a lady, boys.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Dog Days of Toby

Life is so hard when you're a dog.


You just have to lie around, looking pathetic . . .


. . . hoping that maybe if you look pathetic enough . . .


. . . someone just might give you some attention.

Apple Bacon Tomato Soup

What do you get when you cross a pig with a centipede?

Bacon and Legs!

I have been slacking on my recipe blogging (and just blogging in general) so I'm getting myself back on track with this delicious soup.


See how hearty and delicious it looks?

It sounds like a very strange combination when you look at the ingredients. I'm no chef, so I have no idea why these all worked together though to make a tasty soup.

Side Note: When I say "tasty soup" in my head I say it like Jules in Pulp Fiction saying "That IS a tasty burger!"

Side Note #2: It bothers me that in the Fergie song "Fergilicious" they say she's "T to A to S-T-E-Y girl you tasty." There is no E in "tasty", Fergie.

What was I talking about? Oh yes, the delicious soup. I followed the recipe but would add these notes:

- We bought stewed tomatoes and they were in big chunks, so I chopped them up before adding them.

- We used a red delicious apple and merlot for the wine

- The apples cooked for about 10 minutes before I added them to the big pot, and we let that simmer about 20 minutes before we couldn't resist digging in any longer. Not only does this taste great, it SMELLS great while cooking.

- Use turkey bacon to make it healthier. Unless you have a husband who accompanies you grocery shopping and starts whining like a 3 year old girl when you attempt to put turkey bacon in the grocery cart at Meijer on Sunday.

So I'd grade this recipe as an A. It was different, it was easy, it was delicious, and it was pretty darn healthy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Winter Carnival 2009

We ventured up to Winter Carnival 2 weekends ago. For those of you who don't know what Winter Carnival is, it's an event held by Michigan Tech where ice sculptures are created for months in a schoolwide competition. Although that may be the surface description, for most Tech students it's really just an excuse to drink heavily for 5 days straight.


So, we embarked on the 9 hour drive up to the tippy top of Michigan's UP. Trust me, I would have much rather driven 9 hours in the OTHER direction and ended up somewhere warmer. Ok, it really was fun and I love the UP, I just wish it wasn't so darn cold.

Here's the gentlemen that really brought us together for the occassion:


Those are the Tech alum - minus Joe who arrived late Friday night. And minus the only Tech lady Alum among us, Jackie.

The statues were pretty cool, but it was actually hoovering just above freezing when we were there so many of them were melting. The theme was Outer Space, so we saw more than one Wall-E:


A pretty cool Futurama themed one:


But first place went to the Men In Black themed statue:


The amount of detail in some of these are AMAZING. That MIB one even had the street signs carved out in ice.

We also took in a few minutes of the somewhat strange MTU tradition of broomball:


Kind of like hockey, except instead of a stick you have a taped up broom, instead of a puck you have a small ball, and instead of skates you just wear tennis shoes on the ice. So there's a lot of falling going on through the game.

The boys also took us on a tour of the dorms and campus buildings, which had since undergone major upgrades since they graduated 5 years ago.

Aside from enjoying campus and the sculptures, we of course did our fair share of drinking. And the others did their fair share of eating pickled eggs - I'd guess somewhere between 30-40 were consumed by 10 people in a 3 day period.

We visited the Keweenaw Brewing Company, which makes delicious beer. We've been there a few times and they sell cans of some of their brews down here. It was at this bar that I heard a Yooper say with heavy Yooper accent:

"Yah, gimmie some of dat der Amber beer and put a lotta head on it, ahhkay?"

You've gotta love Yooper speak, eh?

We dined at a local seafood establishment where we had the most awesome waitress ever. She was about 70 some years old and a Scottish immigrant. She's lived many places but says that Houghton can't be beat becuase of the way of life and the people up there. I can agree with that, to some extent. She also told us how when she worked in Chicago she would take lunch breaks in Wisconsin because "she deserved it" and that when she worked in Canada her and her friends would come to Detroit to get "royally ripped".

Then at some point, we ended up at the local bar of Chassell, just outside of Houghton. It was at this location that the boys got together and sang "Afternoon Delight" to us and the 4 or 5 locals gathered at the bar.


It was a great time and I can't wait to go back next year.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Rock 'n' Run

As many of you know I started training for the 25K Fifth Third River Bank Run back in late November. I ran the 10K last year and figured I'd challenge myself this year. I generally think people who voluntarily run more than 5 miles are lunatics (Hi Liz) but I needed something to motivate me to workout.

I almost always have music in my head. Music gives me goosebumps. Music makes me wanna dance. Music brings back memories. Music makes my imagination wander. When I've ran those first few miles and I want to stop, the next songs on my playlist will usually draw me in and I'll lose myself, and before I know it I've gone the rest of the way.

So, it is with this that I bring you my Top 5 Running songs. These are the songs that help me forget how tired my muscles are and get me through those long runs.

Number 5 - Blind by Korn

Let's face it, it's the intro to this song that makes it so right for a good run. The slow build up makes me slowly increase my pace. Then I hear the lead singer scream "Are you ready!?!?" and I take off. I actually don't know if I know the other words in this song except for "I can see I'm going blind" and I've listened to it over 100 times. Perhaps because this is a song that drives me because of the music, and less so the lyrics.

Number 4 - Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine

This song makes me angry. For no apparent reason. I listen and I get angry at nothing and I run faster. Then I stop being angry because I ran so well. Works for me.

Number 3 - Make Yourself by Incubus

I like this song because it has soft verses and then hits it hard on the chorus. During the soft parts I feel focused on the road in front of me, on my breathing, on my running - which is good. Then the chorus hits and I forget what I'm doing and I'm quite cetain my pace increases a bit - which is also good.

Number 2 - Sabotage by Beastie Boys

I always smile when this song pops on. It makes me feel . . . . tough. I have no idea why. When I listen to it, I just feel badass, and when I feel badass, I run fast and don't feel a thing. Because I'm badass like that.

Number 1 - My Hero by Foo Fighters

I knew that my top choice would be a Foo song. To be honest, all of these could have been Foo songs. I restrained myself to only allowing 1 though. If I had to choose one band to run to for the rest of my life it would be them. I was contemplating Best of You and The Pretender for the top spot also, but My Hero really fits with a good run because the lyrics and music were practically made to fit any sports montage video. I am also a dork and when the chorus shouts "There goes my hero, watch him as he goes" in my head during my run I change it to "There goes my hero, watch HER as SHE goes." Call me a dorkface (because I am one) but I don't care because it works.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm too young to feel old

Sometimes I act my age.


That's me being professional and educating the youth of America.

Sometimes I act younger than my age.


That's me not being professional and (thankfully) not interacting with the youth of America.

Sometimes I act older than my age.


That's me sleeping probably around 10 pm on a Saturday in college when Kara had guests over for a party. That's right, there's a party going on, and I'm sleeping.

Somewhere along the line I developed the sleep habits of an 82 year old. I wake up every morning around 5:30. If I had a choice, I would fall asleep at 9pm most nights. Usually I can't stand the teasing I get from Andy, so I manage to stay up until 10 or 10:30 most of the time.

I can't even remember the last time I used an alarm clock. I've just never really needed one.

Until this morning.

I woke up about 45 minutes late this morning. I'm not sure what happened. We were busy all day long on Sunday and I had stayed up late (Um, 11 pm is late right?) for the Super Bowl.

Thankfully, I have this guy around to help me:


Ok, ok. Sometimes he doesn't act his age either. I think that's why we get along so well.

I woke Andy up and told him I was running late and asked him to take care of Toby. Usually that's my job in the morning. Not only did Andy take care of Toby, but he made me breakfast too since he knew I wouldn't have time. I'm a lucky girl.

And I ended up arriving to work 10 minutes early.