Thursday, October 29, 2009

Photo Scavenger Hunt!

So the October Photo Scavenger Hunt is done on October 31! I have two more days. Yikes!  I've crossed off what I have done so far:
  • Couple
  • Slope
  • Plate
  • Going Places
  • Scrambled
  • In the Distance
  • Underneath
  • Bright
  • 11 p.m.
  • Today
  • Everyday
  • Resemble
  • Childhood Memory
  • In the water
  • Flower
  • Button
  • Heritage
  • Glow
  • Clock
  • Closed
  • Smile
  • Back
  • Plastic
  • Handle
  • In my fridge
  • Look back at me
Yep, that's right, 3, I have 3 of 26.  Kate doesn't have anything after school tonight and Mom will be busy with Kate's costume.  So maybe we will have some leftover sloppy joes and go out hunting!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 0025 & Day 0026 POD

The best of friends, slightly blurry.

We are collecting food items for the local food pantry's Thanksgiving Project. This is our list.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Roast Chicken

So after a week of thinking/planning/talking about this roast chicken, I finally made the roast chicken with much help from Mom. I completely forgot about the biscuits until it was too late and ended up doing canned biscuits. We also ended up using a Reynolds bag instead of the Joy of Cooking recipe. It turned out nicely. Here is a picture of the bird before it went in the bag.

I actually did all of the dinner dishes after dinner! 

Everything turned out nicely! And our friend Connie joined Mom, Kathryn & I for dinner.  Mom made a delicious apple pear crisp for dessert.  She ended up baking it in the toaster oven because we ran out of room in regular oven. I don't have any lovely food pictures because I forgot to take them.  Sorry guys.

Here is Mom's Apple Crisp Recipe.  She used 2 pears and 4 apples for the Apple Pear Crisp.


6-8 apples
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1 c. sugar
  3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
Peel, core and slice apples and place in a greased baking dish Mix butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon with a pastry blender till well blended. Spread on top of apples Bake 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes Serve warm with ice cream.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Listed in the Foodie Blogroll!


How fun is this! 

Food talk time.  You may recall I was supposed to go out to dinner tonight.  Instead, I ended taking my fall photos, having cheerios for dinner, and planning tomorrow night's menu.  We are having Roast Chicken, Green Beans, Corn, Cheesy Biscuits, and Rhubarb Pie.  I am hoping I have time to make something else for dessert as I am not really a fan of Rhubarb Pie.  Rhubarb Pear Pie is delicious, plain rhubarb, eh.  The green beans and corn really should be simple enough as I am just warming them up.  The chicken, however, will be new.  It will be especially fun as my Mother is obsessed with not undercooking chicken.  So I will be strictly following the Joy of Cooking directions and using a meat thermometer.  Hopefully, I will get some good shots of the chicken. 

I have that job interview tomorrow morning so I am going to so get my suit ready, take a hot bath and read for a bit!  Wish me luck!

Goodbye Flickr, Hello Zooomr!

I had briefly used Zooomr about a year ago. Then when I came back to blogging, I forgot about it and started using Flickr. I've been watching my % of space used creep up as I uploaded pictures. So tonight I started uploading my pictures onto Zooomr. I am hoping I can create a photostream in my side bar like I have right now with Flickr.

Tonight I went out and took some pictures of our beautiful fall colors. Michigan is so beautiful in the fall. It was drizzling, but not too rainy. I have some great pictures of our little island.

Every time I walked closer to the ducks, this big one started carrying on and stearing the others away from me.

It was really quiet at the park (with the exception of that one duck).  Until another woman came walking through.  I almost asked her to participate in my 100 strangers project, but I didn't have anything to give her.  So I just took this shot.

Pictures & Dinner

I have fallen behind on my photos. I let myself off the hook Wednesday because I had had a long doctor's appointment and generally felt crappy when I got home. Plus we had a meeting at K's school for high potential youth. Yesterday, I have no excuse. I did think about it briefly as I sat surrounded by the mountain of paper I sorted for shredding, recycling, and trash. But I decided that no one needed to see that and I'd take another picture of Kate later on (my favorite subject). Well, I didn't. I went to bed instead. Tonight, I think I will be eating out. I'm not really sure what the plan is yet. So tonight's picture will be delicious food. Now, I need to figure out where we are going for dinner. . .

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Well, this is fantastic. It's almost like we're living in Mao's China right now."

Well, Glenn Beck thinks as much.What would compel him to say such thing?  Sit down, this is big.  The President has called for more Americans to volunteer for non-profits.  Upsetting, I know.  I just cannot believe the President would do something so awful. I mean, volunteering? What's next, Obama?  Do you expect us to vote and to care about the future of our country and world?

S'mores Cupcakes!

So I just discovered the Serious Eats Photograzing site. Wow! So many beautiful pictures of so many delicious foods! Wow! I found these S'mores Cupcakes. I will be making these very soon!

I found out this morning that I was accepted for the Foodie Blog Roll! Now I have to try to figure out how to get the blog roll on my blog.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


So I signed up to be on a foodie blog roll.  I don't know if I've been reviewed yet.  If so, I hope they don't hold today's post against me.  This weekend, I decided I would make a roast chicken this week, a whole chicken.  When I bought my chicken, I wasn't really paying attention.  I thought it was a 1 pound chicken.  It seemed awfully big for a pound.  But it said 0.85.  Perfect, it is just Kate and I (sometimes Mom eats with us) so a pound would be fine. 

Berl came over tonight for dinner.  So I was going to make the roast chicken with mashed potatoes and broccoli.  At 20 minutes per pound plus fifteen minutes, we could be eating by 7:15 at the latest.

Turns out, it is actually 4.5 pounds and it was $0.85/pound.  Thankfully, I figured this out before I had it out of the package.  At 20 minutes per pound plus fifteen, it would have been much, much later than 7:15 before we ate.

So tonight, we had spaghetti & meatballs with broccoli and garlic bread.  None of it was homemade.  None.  But everyone enjoyed it and Berl helped with the dishes after dinner and everything is put away.  We did have some of that very delicious Apple Cider Pudding Cake with Edy's Double Vanilla Ice Cream after dinner.  The cake was homemade and still quite delicious.  It was more cakey than puddingy tonight.  Still great warmed up with a scoop of ice cream!

After dinner, I studied the Joy of Cooking section on Roasting Poultry (421) and Roast Chicken (424).  I feel almost ready for Saturday.  We will also be having Cheesy Biscuits Saturday (638).  I really do love this Joy of Cooking and might actually fork out the $30.00 for one of my own!

We're having roast chicken on Saturday night before Kate's play. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 0018's POD

The Last Dandelion

Apple Cider Pudding Cake

Apple Cider Pudding Cake is in the oven with less than 5 minutes to go so this post will be interrupted by some deliciousness! Okay, I'm back! It is out of the oven cooling so that I don't scald my mouth.  It smells so good!
This is another recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. My pictures are never as beautiful as hers, but here you go! Here is the final product.  Check out my flickr photos of the process.

In The Pan

In The Bowl with Double Vanilla Ice Cream!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

blogger is making me angry

Ug, blogger is broken. Well, my template is broken. I can't get the date stamp on my posts anymore. So until I figure this out, you'll just see undefined where the date is supposed to go. If you know how to fix it, please let me know. Thanks.

*update* It is filling in the date but using 2 lines to do so. I am not using a third-party template. This is not how it shows up on template preview. This is driving me nuts.

Exciting Saturday Night

As a reward for all of her work this morning and afternoon, I took Kate to go see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. It was an adorable movie. And we went to a local theater so it was a bargain too!

Before we went to the movie, I tried another recipe from My Kitchen Cafe (I'm starting to develop a blog crush on her and her recipes!) This time, we went with her Skillet Macaroni & Cheese.  I cut the recipe in half.  She was definitely right about eating it hot.  It was delicious hot.  Unlike boxed mac & cheese, it actually some substance so you don't really need to eat nearly as much.  Kate did not seem to care much for it.  But this is the second time I have ever made real macaroni & cheese.  The first time was with a recipe off of the Velveeta box.  It was not good.  I will definitely be making this mac & cheese again. 


Last night, I bought a bottle of Newman's Own Wine. I wanted to chill it before dinner and then forgot about it.  I am so used to leaving vodka in the freezer that I didn't give it a second thought until this afternoon when I found it like this in the freezer.

The cork was still in, but just barely.
And finally, you will notice a few changes to the blog.  My favorite is this signature at the bottom of all of my posts!

Broccoli Cheese Soup!

Last night, I made Broccoli Cheese Soup and it was pretty good.  I found the recipe at My Kitchen Cafe. It was very easy to make.  I used an entire package of frozen broccoli - which was way too much.  I also added some sea salt when it was all done.  I don't normally add salt to soup, but I don't think I used enough pepper and it needed *something*. We had some warm delicious french bread with it too.  I also think that next time I will chop up the broccoli.

I love My Kitchen Cafe.  Tonight, we might try to make her Apple Cider Pudding Cake.  Today is cleaning day and I am being beckoned.


Kate is making me breakfast!  She was going to surprise me but I got up and saw her.  She is making pancakes from scratch.

The last one was my blueberry pancake.  Yum!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another Application In!

15. Get a new job. 

I've applied for three jobs in the last 2 weeks.  Two with nonprofits in the area, the third an attorney position north of here.  But commutable for now. Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Books, Pictures, Life, & Stuff

I have been enjoying some good books this past week.

Day 0015

Last night, I read MaryJanice Davidson's Undead and Unwelcome. It was a good, quick read. I liked where MJ took the story with Betsy's sister & half-brother. This is book 8 in the series so you might want to read a book or two prior to this one. If you like the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, I think you'll like the Undead and . . . series by MJD.

I just saw that Charlaine Harris has a new book coming out in November in Grave series. I am really looking forward to reading this!

Most  of my pictures for the last few days are on my camera which died last night.  Here is last night's picture.

Day 0014

The baby, I snapped this picture of her after my camera died.  I love my iPhone but it sure is hard to get that dog to be still.

Day 0012
I originally checked this out for a dessert night fundraiser for Kate's choir.  Then I got sick and didn't make anything.  Mom made her delicious Scotcheroo's.  I took the picture because I was going to return it and wanted to make a note of the book to re-check it out at a better time. I decided to keep it so that I could make Intense Chocolate Mousse Cake (recipe by Nigella Lawson)

I can't wait to make this.  The picture in the book is delicious!  I might try to make it this weekend.  Or for work tomorrow because we have a work birthday this weekend. 

I need to make a page that is a slideshow or otherwise puts the pictures in order. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Missed two days!

I really thought that I at least blogged on Sunday. Spending Saturday in the ER and Monday getting labs and ultrasounds really threw me for a loop and has screwed up my sense of time. I did manage to take pictures both days and will post those soon (maybe even tonight).

Accounting Firm Admits Cost Savings Left Out of Report Prepared for AHIP Repor

Most notable about the statement, issued late last night, is an acknowledgment the cost savings from the bill weren't included, though PWC points out that is noted on page one of the report.
Read more. . .

This really just shows more of the same from the right and from the health care industry.  Why talk about actual issues when we can issue false and misleading reports?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 0010

Here is today's POD.  It is Kathryn & her Dad after her performance at her choir concert tonight.

Day 0009 & An Update

First, here is yesterday's POD:

These are 3 of the people I went to go see Hamlet with last night.

Gallbladder update:  Things are looking up!  I am "due" for another Vicodin and actually feel no pain! So I am going to head to bed and hope that I stay sleeping all night!  This gallbladder thing might turn out have a silver lining.  It really wouldn't kill me to give up fried food. In fact, it might kill me if I don't. 

Gallbladder & Ovaries

I spent 4 hours in the ER this morning because my gallbladder is very angry.  I got very little sleep last night.  It seems to be trying to kill me.  The magic stuff in the i.v. drip they gave me was pretty awesome.  I could not believe how quickly it worked.  I am at home and on Vicodin now.  This is a good time.  Kathryn has a concert tonight so I am waiting to take my next dose until I need it so that I can make it through the concert. 

When they did the CAT scan, they found cysts on my ovaries. So Monday, I am in for ultrasounds on my ovaries and gallbladder.  I can't eat after midnight on Sunday night and the ultasound isn't until 12:30.  That will be a good time.

I did take a picture last night, but I haven't been up for posting it yet.  Activity is limited to as long as I can handle it and to gentle activity.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 0007

This is the picture of the day from Thursday.

Kate & the dogs in bed sleeping.  You can barely see the dogs.  This is one of the problems with using my iPhone to take pictures. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 0008

Here is today's picture.  Yesterday's picture is on my computer at work. 

This photo is captioned, the foster cat has got to go.

My Eye

So my tear duct is obstructed and my left eye has stopped producing tears.  I am on antibiotics for 14 days.  She thinks it should clear up in 7 days.  But it might not.  The swelling is pretty bad and hurts.  It hurts to have my glasses on now too and is tender under my eye.  The eye itself is dry.  So I am going to watch an episode of Castle and head to bed.  Oh yeah, still need to take a picture for today. . . I will be posting a few pictures over the next couple of days. . .

Template Help

Apparently, you can't leave comments because it won't give you enough room to type in the verification code.  If there is a blogger template expert out there, who'd like to help out, let me know please.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Almost went to bed . . .

I almost went to bed without blogging. Tonight I had yoga and I am
feeling extra tired. I did get a picture today and yesterday. I'll
post them tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon I get to find out what is wrong
with my tearduct. I don't really have anything to report. Tomorrow I
will need to get going on some goals.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Today's lunch had 473 calories.  Yesterday's lunch had 1,120 calories.  Today is much better.

Update: I am hungry already.  It is 1 p.m.   I ate my sandwich at 11:30 a.m.  Another 400 calorie sandwich would be a bad idea.  But I could do some cheese and crackers. . . .

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today my Softsoap bzzkit arrived!  I love my bzzkits!  In exchange for testing, commenting on, and sharing products, I get cool free stuff in the mail.  This time it was the Softsoft(r) Brand Nutri Serums samples.  I have 4 little Moisture Retaining Omegas 3 & 6 and 3 little Restoring Vitaman E.  I have $1 off coupons and some "ChatThread" cards (little cards to let you know what Softsoap wants me to tell you about the product.  You can become an bzzagent @

I am off to a hot bath and then to bed.  I will let you know what I think of the Nutri Serums.

Here is today's picture of the day:

Weigh-In Dates ~ 69. Track my weight 3 times a week.

Week 1


Part of the 3. Lose 80 pounds is this yoga class I'm taking at the local Y.  It is normally once a week but I missed last week so I am going twice this week.  This class is kicking my ass. Tonight was night one of this week.

3. Lose 80 pounds

Reaching this goal will not be easy. And it will take some time to achieve. So I am starting today.

People who keep food diaries lose more weight and keep it off longer (as long as they are keeping up with the diaries). I am lazy. I use's food tracker because it is easy. It has many foods already in there plus you can use the nutrition data from others or enter your own. The site also has a fitness tracker that can tell us how many calories you have burned. I am tracking everything I eat on I even their free iPhone app to help with this.

I am also drinking 96 ounces of water a day.

My goal with this part of the project is to become healthier in incremental steps so that these changes will stick.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Tonight Berl & Donald came over for dinner.  I made Rachael Ray's Chicken Kiev, Cheesy Orzo, and creamed corn (I didn't read the label clearly, I thought it was regular corn which I am not a fan of but Donald prefers it to broccoli).  We also had Jello Instant Oreo Dessert which I made this morning.  After dinner, we played Sorry.  Donald beat us despite our group effort to keep him from winning.

I didn't use fresh herbs for the Kiev, I just used some italian seasoning mix from the cupboard and fresh garlic.  Next time, I think I will lightly brown or seal the chicken in the oil and then bake it.  I ended up needing to add a cup of water to the orzo in the end and let it go for another 5 minutes and was happy with it. I also used the thin sliced chicken breasts instead of slicing open regular ones.  I am undecided as to whether I'll do that again.  I probably will has it is lesson hassle, all I had to do is pound them down to 1/4 inch.  Each piece was only 4 ounces.  I guess that is fine, Donald had 2.  (If he moves in, feeding a 16 year old boy will be much different than feeding a 10 year old girl.)

Everyone liked the Chicken Kiev (recipe & link below) and only Berl & I liked the Cheesy Orzo (recipe & link below).

I completely forgot to take pictures of the finished product. So I just have 2 cooking pictures and then pictures of the recipes with my notes on them.  I like to make a note on the page of when I made that recipe last and who liked it.  The cheesy orzo says, 10/04/2009, Amy & Berl liked it, Kathryn & Donald do not like it. (Kathryn & Donald's dislike will not stop me from making it again. . . ) Although, in the future, I will probably half it as it does make quite a bit.

So today, I took a couple of pictures (see today's below) and made a dinner for my family.  Making progress on a couple of my goals!

  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast (6-8 ounces each) or 4 chicken cutlets (6 ounces each)
  • 10 blades fresh chives, chopped to about 2 tablespoons
  • A palmful fresh parsley, finely chopped to about 2 tablespoons
  • A palmful fresh dill, finely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons chilled butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain bread crumbs
  • A wedge lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Plain, round toothpicks (for securing chicken)
In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 1/2 inches vegetable oil over medium-high heat. The oil needs to be 360°F for frying. If you do not have a frying thermometer, add a cube of white bread to the hot oil. If the bread browns in a count to 40, the oil is ready.

Cover work surface with waxed paper. Arrange breasts on paper. Butterfly small chicken breasts: cut into flesh and across, but not through the breast, and open them up. The cutlets may just be removed from package and arranged on waxed paper. Cover breast meat with a second sheet of waxed paper. Pound out cutlets to 1/4-inch thick with a small heavy skillet or a rubber mallet. Be careful not to tear meat. Roll up waxed paper and breasts and set aside.

Combine chopped herbs on cutting board with chopped garlic. Cut six tablespoons cold butter into four pieces (1 1/2 tablespoons each) and coat each piece liberally with the herb garlic mixture.
In three disposable pie tins, add flour, eggs beaten with a splash of cold water and bread crumbs (one ingredient in each tin).

Uncover chicken and squeeze a wedge of lemon over breasts. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place an herb-covered piece of butter on each piece of chicken. Wrap and roll cutlets tightly up and over the butter cubes. Secure stuffed chicken with toothpicks. Roll stuffed breasts in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.

Fry the Chicken Kiev bundles 7-8 minutes on each side until deep golden brown all over.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cans (14 ounces) chicken or vegetable broth or stock
  • 2 cups orzo pasta (enriched rice may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat a 8 inch pot with a tight fitting cover over moderate heat. Add oil, onion and garlic and saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and return broth to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed and pasta tender. Remove lid and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. You favorite fresh herbs may also be stirred into the orzo or rice to strengthen the flavor even more.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dinner tomorrow night

Berl & Donald are coming over tomorrow night for dinner (assuming Berl doesn't get called into work).  Tomorrow afternoon I will be at a pet blessing for the humane society (pictures will be posted!) and Mom will be volunteering at the home tour for Advent House.

I am trying to figure out what I am going to cook.  I am going through Joy of Cooking, one of Sandra Lee's cookbooks (if I can find it), and the interwebnet.  I am going for something homey, something K & D will both eat, something not complicated, but something that takes some effort & care.  So far all I've found is a Chicken & Broccoli Braid.  But I don't think it is what I am looking for.

I found what I was looking for in my Rachael Ray's 30-Minutes Meals 2.  Cheesy Orzo page 63 & Chicken Kiev page 176.  We will also have green beans and maybe even an Oreo Dessert.

This will be the first time I've cooked for Donald.  I've cooked for Berl a few times - not too many. So I'd like this to turn out nicely.  I have made Chicken Kiev before and I *think* I've made Cheezy Orzo.  The green beans and Oreo Dessert are no brainers.  The green beans are probably in my freezer and the Oreo Dessert is one of those instant imitation cheesecake style desserts.

This dinner by the way will help me with goal number 42. Cook fifteen different meals for my family & friends.  As you may have figured out, I don't cook that often.  I make various excuses for not cooking but what it seems to boil down to is I am either not prepared, didn't plan ahead for that night or I am uninspired by cooking meals for just Kathryn and I.

There will definitely be pictures of this meal.  I think I will go ahead and cook this meal even if he gets called into work. It will be good practice and a good dinner.

J. R. Ward

I am a big J. R. Ward fan. She has her critics, but I love her stories and her style.  I just saw an ad on hulu for her new book series.  I am definitely going to be finding and reading it!

Day 0003 - 44. Take a picture a day for 1,001 days & post them on the blog.

44. Take a picture a day for 1,001 days & post them on the blog. {3/1,001}

Day 0003 -This morning at our pancake breakfast fundraiser.

Pictures Day 1 & 2

44.Take a picture a day for 1,001 days & post them on the blog! {2/1,001}

Day 1: one of the pictures of the office we decorated this morning.

Day 2: The movie theater where we watched Zombieland.

Friday, October 2, 2009

26 Things ~ 65. Do a photo scavenger hunt with a friend 6 times

I just sent out an email to some friends to do a photo scavenger hunt using the 26 things theme from  Here is the first list:

1. Couple
2. Slope
3. Plate
4. Going places
5. Scrambled
6. In the distance
7. Underneath
8. Bright
9. 11pm
10. Today
11. Everyday
12. Resemble
13. Childhood memory
14. In the water
15. Flower
16. Button
17. Heritage
18. Glow
19. Clock
20. Closed
21. Smile
22. Back
23. Plastic
24. Handle
25. In my fridge
26. Looking back at me

I will post any links people share for their photos here.

Day Two

Last night, I went to open mike night at a bar with my brother and our friend Connie.  This morning, I feel like a swallowed gravel.  I really can't wait for Michigan to pass the indoor smoking ban.  Tonight B & I are going to see Zombieland and have dinner at Max & Erma's.  I am really looking forward to the date!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

A stranger every ten days

To complete the 100 strangers goal, I will need to take a picture of a stranger every ten days. I am printing out some business card sized cards to give to people when I ask to take their pictures. I need to go pick up some print-able business cards this weekend.

Where to start, where to start?

Last week, I was all geeked and wanted to start on all of the list right then!  Today, I look at the list and don't know where to start! I did take a couple of pictures today of our office manager's office after we decorated it for her birthday.  I also started on my 1,000,000 grains of rice goal over at So far today, I have donated 610 grains of rice.

Day One!

Today is not only the first day of my 101 goals project, but also, the first day of windshield scraping season.  Or, as it is called in our house, the season of windshield washer fluid.