Feb 28, 2010

Week In Review 2-21 to 2- 28

 Today is such a beautiful day outside that I wished I could go outside and play.  I don't have a bike but it would be really nice to be able to take Boo for a walk in the park.  Everyone is out working on the herb garden at Pt Defiance Park today.

This week hasn't been really eventful.  I say that with almost disappointment but you know, a quiet life is also a blessing.  During the winter, even a warm winter, I tend to hurt too much to do a lot.

One thing that is happening is that I am running my first contest.  It is for free white and brown rice.  To get to the contest click here.

We got the verdict on the DH's shoulder.  Apparently he tore the tendons loose from the shoulder socket.  He goes in for surgery on  March 11th.  It's only day surgery but there are still risks.  I managed to take that day off but I am not quite sure how he will be doing on Friday.  We shall see.

I FINALLY got my FMLA squared away.  My employer now has a third party manage all the FMLA claims and it is such a pain.  I much preferred it when everything was handled in-house.  That way if there was an issue, you could go sit down and talk to your local HR rep.

Still looking for a new place, though I am not looking as seriously until after DH is healed up.  He keeps saying that we can move anyways but I don't see how.  I can't moved furniture.

Hope that everyone has a great day!
Feb 27, 2010

Clock Ticking

I am sure that everyone has heard about that little clock that us women supposedly has that starts to get pushy about reproduction as we get older.  Well I just read about a study that proves that men are always thinking about reproduction.  I just wanted to share the link with y'all.


And they wonder why we don't trust them 100% even though we say we do.  Or in my husband's case, he says that he has never given me a reason not to trust him,  Well that's true but it is biological.
Feb 24, 2010

Review & Contest: Mahatma Rice

In my household, rice is a staple.  Where most people will cook up pasta, I cook up rice.  Lately I have been on a kick to eat healthier so we have been eating a lot of brown rice.  So the latest BzzCampaign that I enrolled in is right up my alley.  S&W Rice have recently changed their name to Mahatma Rice.  But don't worry, it is the same great rice that you have always known and loved.

One of the best parts of being a BzzAgent is the free samples that I get to try out and spread the word about.  This is a great company to be associated with and if anyone is interested in joining them click here.

Now for the contest.  I have a coupon for a two free bags of Mahatma Rice, one each of white and brown.  How do I win you ask?  It's simple.  Just comment on your favorite way to use rice.  There are also a couple ways to get extra entries. 
1.  Follow my blog.
2.  Share a recipe using rice.

So there is a possibility of three entries.  Oh be sure to comment separately so I can count your extra entries.  I will running this contest until March 10. 2010

Review: Shalador's Lady

Having been waiting impatiently for this book to come out ever since I finished THE SHADOW QUEEN a little while ago.  When it showed up on my doorstep, I started dancing for joy.  And I am very happy to say that it more then met my expectations.  We get to see Cassie and Gray's relationship grow and flourish.  Witch makes her appearances as well as Surreal and Karla.  It almost feels as though it is old home week with some newer additions to Witch's circle.

I am in a quandary on how to rate this book as followers of Ms. Bishop's Dark Jewels will absolutely love this new addition.  However this is not a book that I would recommend to anyone just picking up the series as there is bound to be confusion on the caste system as well as who the players are.  I think that will rate it a 5 out of 5 with the suggestion that any new readers start at the beginning.  All of the books in this series are excellent so it shouldn't be any hardship.

Human Pin Cushion

Well I went to the acupuncturist today.  I have to admit that it wasn't too bad even though I have a needle phobia.  It stung when some of the needles were inserted but for the most part I didn't notice them being applied.  It probably helped that I was laying on my stomache so that I couldn't see them.

Well the DH is going to have to have surgery for his shoulder.  Aparently he managed to pull the tendons loose from his shoulder.  The surgeon did say that there was a chance that it would heal but then he would run a risk of it reoccurring.  That was a no go as I don't want to hear or see him in this much pain again. This is going down on March 11th.

On a lighter note, here are some pics of my kids.

 
Da Boo
Sterling and Deja
Feb 21, 2010

Week In Review 2-07 to 2-20

 I realize that I forgot to write last Sunday but I didn't remember until a couple days ago so I just decided to plop it all in today's post. 

Let's see, back on the 9th I managed to win a jackpot on a slot machine at the local bingo hall.  Not one of the huge ones that we all hear about but I certainly didn't refuse this one.  It enabled us to pick up a few things that we were wanting/needing. 

I got a new teamaker that actually steeps tea correctly and keeps it warm.  It seems like heaven to finish one cup of tea and to just go and pour another without having to brew it.  This is a luxury that coffee drinkers have had forever, why did it take so long to come up with it for tea drinkers? 

Also picked up DH and myself new cameras.  He got a really nice one since he has become more and more interested in photography.  So he got a new toy in exchange for staying off of hills that he can fall down.  Mine isn't so good for outside photography but should do great for jewelry and my pets.

On a need, we picked up one of those little portable water heaters.  Yeah we are still without hot water and still looking for a new home.  We have to get out of the place we are in.  I know that it isn't helping our health. 

I did win a couple prizes in the One World One Heart blog crawl.  I will be taking pics and sharing them with your when they both arrive.  I so have to get involved with that next year.  What a great way to meet people from all over the world.

That's about it.  Not too much happening.  I am so looking forward to writing that we found a new home.  Hope that everyone has a great week!
Feb 19, 2010

Pins and Needles

The things that we do for relief.  From pain that is.  I am extremely phobic of needles however my new doctor and friends have all recommended that I try acupuncture.  Soooo I have an appointment coming up on Wednesday.  I can't say that I am looking forward to it but we will see if it works.

Oh a lighter note, today is National Chocolate Mint day!  I can get behind anything that includes chocolate and mint.  In fact, I think that I will go get York Peppermint Patty.
Feb 14, 2010

Love Is (Pics)

 
My Valentine's Day Present

 
 And another View

 
DH and Sterling

 
Deja & Sterling

 
Sterling and DH
Feb 13, 2010

Love is in the Air

 

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day.  Being as it is on a Sunday, I am sure that a lot of people will be celebrating it tonight instead.  Since I have to work all weekend, my husband and myself actually jumped it a couple days ahead and went out for dinner at Mitzels (which was really good) and my husband gave me my gift.  It is an absolutely gorgeous Pandora bead.  I recently picked up both the necklace and bracelet chain in bulk buy but I didn't have any beads.  I would take a pic but I didn't pack my camera cords.

One food group group that I really associate with love is chocolate and I adore the creaminess of a good cheesecake.  What can be more romantic then feeding little bites to your lover.  So I found a few recipes that look to be really good.

Chocolate Tiramisu Cheesecake

  • 12 Serving
  • Prep 30 min
  • Cook 1 hr

Ingredients:

  • One 7-ounce package crisp Italian-style ladyfingers, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup marscapone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups mini semisweet chocolate chips
  • Boiling water
Smart move
Use a hot, wet knife to slice the cheesecake.

Directions:

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Using a food processor, grind the ladyfingers into fine crumbs. Add the butter and espresso and pulse until incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press to form a crust halfway up the side of the pan. Bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325°.
  3. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar at high speed until smooth. Beat in the mascarpone, vanilla and salt. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
  4. Set the springform pan in a roasting pan. Pour the mascarpone-chocolate chip mixture into the baked crust, then place the roasting pan in the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the top is golden and the center is set but still jiggly, about 1 hour. Let cool in the water bath for 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 2 days. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. In a small, heatproof bowl, melt the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips in the microwave at low power, stirring until smooth. Transfer the chocolate to a resealable plastic bag. Snip a hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cake.

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Oreo Cookie Crust

Oreo Cookie Crust:

  • 13 Oreo cookies or similar chocolate sandwich cookie, crushed fine
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 pounds (four - 8 ounce packages) Philly Brand cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 can (14 ounces) Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup semi sweet gourmet chocolate chips, melted (see above)

Dark Chocolate Ganache Icing (optional):

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mini dark chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Heat cream almost to scald. Remove from burner.
  • Add chocolate and whisk to blend and melt.
  • Cool enough to spoon or drizzle.
  • Chill ganache 1 hour or more to spread or pipe from a pastry bag.

Directions: How to Make a Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (This cheesecake needs a lower oven temperature than most cheesecake recipes.)
  2. Place a pan of hot water in the bottom of the oven and close the door.
  3. Take a 9 inch springform pan apart, line the bottom plate with aluminum foil, then reassemble the pan. Pull the excess foil up and around the pan to prevent any batter from leaking into the oven. Spray sides and bottom with vegetable spray.
  4. Mix Oreo Cookie Crust ingredients and pat on the bottom of the prepared pan.
  5. In a mixing bowl on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth ~ about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides half way through. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat again, scraping a few times. The mixture should be smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time beating after each addition until creamy. Add vanilla and blend. With the mixer on low, add melted chocolate in a steady stream and beat only enough so there are no lumps and the filling is nice and fluffy. Scrape as needed.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan on top of the Oreo cookie crust, and bake at 300 degrees for 60-70 minutes. The center of the cheesecake will be a little jiggly. This will set up as the cheesecake cools. Remove from oven and let cool before removing the sides of the pan.
  7. When fully chilled, remove from pan and frost with the optional dark chocolate ganache icing.
  8. Makes one 9 inch Chocolate Cheesecake. Serves 14. Wrap and refrigerate any leftovers.

Feb 12, 2010

Plum Pudding Day!

It seems as there are strange little known holidays here in the US for every day.  I think that I will share some of these throughout the year.

Today is Plum Pudding Day.  I wasn't able to find the origin of this day but I find it rather strange that we here in the United States celebrate a pudding that is almost unheard of here.  I have enjoyed plum puddings in the past but this was when I was living in Germany.  Since it isn't something that you can just go to the local grocery and pick up, I also wanted to toss in a recipe to make your own so look below for that.

It is also the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada.  Not too sure how well it is going to go this year as the weather in this part of the world has been unseasonably warm and Vancouver Canada is sharing the same heatwave.  Now normally this would be a good thing (at least in my mind) however they are having to truck in snow as there is none where the skiing is to take place.  Should be interesting.  I might even watch some of it.  I have found that while when I was kid, I would sit glued to the television during the Olympics as I have gotten older I just don't seem to watch them anymore.  I am sure that must not be common as they are sure televised around the world.  So are you going to be watching the Opening Ceremonies?

Plum Cake Recipe






Plum Cake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 small jars plum baby food
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • confectioner's sugar

How to make Plum Cake:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add in plums, cooking oil and eggs. Blend well.
  4. Pour into a greased bundt pan.
  5. Bake for one hour, or until cake springs back to the touch.
  6. Sprinkle confectioner's sugar on top. 


Feb 9, 2010

Went Shopping

Is there anything that will place a smile on someone's face faster?  Especially for goodies with what let's call unlooked for riches.  I went out to our local bingo hall after work last night and hit the jackpot on the slots.  So I finally had the extra money to pick up a couple goodies I have been wanting.

After my computer was stolen last year and I lost a lot of what I had saved on it, I swore that I would be getting a backup hard drive.  I just haven't had the extra money.  That is til now.  I went to Best Buy and picked up a SeaGate Replica.  No more worries about losing pics or tutorials again.  One worry gone.

We also went into BB to pick up a decent camera for the husband.  He is starting to get back into photography and as long as it doesn't do any more extreme photography where he falls down an embarkment, I am all for supporting him.  While there I decided to pick myself up one.  Nothing as fancy as his, I just don't need it.  But a little Nikon CoolPix fit my bill.  Now I might be able to get some good pics to share.
Feb 7, 2010

Week In Review 1-31 to 2-6

 
 Sterling curled up in the laundry

A friend has suggested that since I want to be able to look back on my blog to see what was happening that I start doing a week in review posting on Sunday.  I thought that was a great idea so here is my first.

The thing that stands out the most in this week was the weather.  It has been gorgeous with daytime temps getting up to the upper 50's.  This is incredible weather for this time of the year.  This time last year, we were freezing and had snow.  What a difference a year makes.

We have also put in an application for a home loan.  Not sure if we will get it as my credit isn't the best in the world but we really need to get out of where we are living.  I am pretty sure that there is mold in the house kmaking us sick.  Not only that but our water heater has gone out.  I don't want to pay to replace it as we are going to get a new place come hell or high water.  The good thing about the water heater is that iyt is forcing me to go to the gym for a shower.  I might as well start my workouts again.  Especially as I am not killing myself working the 60+ hours weeks anymore.

As far as my fibro is going, things are starting to look back up.  I am seeing a new doctor that specializes in fibro and arthritis and he has me back on the Tramadol.  Now being in constant pain does wonderful things for one's outlook on life.  Have more tests and whatnot as he isn't convinced that it is fibro but if it isn't at least we will find out what it is.  Wish me luck!

World United Blogger

I just got invited to join the World United Bloggers. This is a group of bloggers that are committed to promoting peace and happiness throughout the world. How cool is that!

If you are interested in checking them out, click here.

Have a safe Super Bowl Sunday!
Feb 3, 2010

Our Menagerie

I have had people ask about my furkids recently and I wanted to share a post that my husband put up on his blog all about them. He is the photographer in the family so there are actually some decent pics of them also :)

Click Here

Ugg Boots

I found a wonderful site that gives away a pair of Ugg Boots every month! Click on the banner below to enter.


mens ugg boots

What a Difference a Day Makes

It is said that if you don't like the weather up here in the Puget Sound then just wait.  It will change.  Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I couldn't believe that it was only the 2nd of February.  There was blue skies and it was 57 degrees.  Here is a pic that I took during my running about.  Sorry about the car in the front.  I was so focused on the color of the sky.  I can see a piece of jewelry coming out of it.


And here is one that I took this morning off of my front porch.  And yes they were both taken in the same city.  Just look at that grey.  And people wonder why SAD is so common here in the Puget Sound region.

 

Oh and neither of this pics were touched up in any way. (otherwise I wouldn't have gotten rid  of the car in the first one.

Oh and I almost forgot but I signed up for Technorati and they needed me to include this code in a post  6JDCGDGE7RZ8.  I am just now signing up for them but supposedly they are supposed to increase the traffic to your blog.  Give them a try.
Feb 2, 2010

Heck of a Bunch Giveaway

I just discovered this new blog whose hostess is gracious and inviting.  She is also hosting a great giveaway from GiftTree.com.  They have some really nice goodies so be sure to  check out this contest.  And just in time for V-Day.  (for some reason that just sounds so nasty)