Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
The Smile Award is from Lori at I'm No Super Mom But I'm Loving It! Lori recently posted a picture of her son sitting in the dishwasher when he was a baby. Is this a boy thing? I've got a few pictures like that.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I realize that I already posted a picture of the moon recently but not this moon. This moon was seen overhead last week and is called The Full Beaver Moon or The Frosty Moon. Back in the old days, when you saw this moon in the sky in November you knew it was time to set the beaver traps before the swamps froze. And then you would have enough warm furs to last through winter. Heads up, The Full Cold Moon will make its appearance in 3 weeks on December 12th.
I also realize that I've spent way too many Poetry Fridays on Adelaide Crapsey. I can't help it! I love her short, little, serious, tragic poems.
Niagara by Adelaide Crapsey
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Sometimes when I watch Rachael Ray's show 30 Minute Meals, I think, "You've got to be kidding me." I mean, is she running out of ideas, or what? Really, who thinks of combining macaroni and cheese, beer, chopped up hot dogs, ketchup and mustard? That's a miss. A big disgusting miss.
But to be fair, she has some hits too. Like this recipe for Shepherd's Pie. I happened to catch it on her show last month and I've already made it 3 times. Add a side of green beans or corn and some bread and it's great family dinner. And even though I've made it 3 times, I still have yet to get it under 30 minutes!
Rachael Ray's Steakhouse Shepherd's Pie (original recipe is here, my version is below)
2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 TBS steak sauce
2 lbs ground sirloin
8 oz container mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
3 large baking potatoes
3 TBS sour cream
3 TBS chives
4 slices bacon
Bring peeled, cut up potatoes to a boil in salted water.
Add sirloin, mushrooms, and onion to a skillet and salt to taste. Cook until meat is browned and liquid is gone.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt butter, whisk the flour into butter, cook 2 minutes then whisk beef broth into flour, add steak sauce and pepper, to taste. Thicken 6 to 7 minutes. Pour gravy over meat mixture, then pour into a baking dish.
Drain cooked potatoes and add sour cream and chives. Add a splash of milk so it will be easier to spread. Mash and then spread over the meat mixture. Top with nuked, crumbled bacon.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Well, this morning it's 30 degrees and the temperature may get up to 53 today, so unless you're a polar bear, I'd say swimming is out of the question.
Monday, November 17, 2008
After having a couple of busy weekends lately, this past one was pretty uneventful. The only productive thing I did was get rid of the jack o'lantern that was on the front porch. The above is a before picture and trust me, you do not want to see the after picture of a carved pumpkin that's been out in the elements for a month.
Let's see, what else was going on this weekend...Oh, I know, the last race of the NASCAR season! I guess it's no surprise that Jimmie Johnson won the championship. That's 3 championships in a row for him. I've accepted that Elliott Sadler will never win the Cup, all I want is one race. That's it. To see him win just one race will make me happy. He was having some brake issues yesterday and ended up finishing 28th. That puts him in 24th position in the season's final standings. Oh, well, better luck next year.
Carl Edwards gets the win for yesterday's race, Jimmie Johnson wins the championship, Kurt Busch gets the red lantern, and the Daytona 500 is February 15, 2009.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wonder why I'm illustrating this post about Moby-Dick with one of WD's Civil War reenactment pictures?
Here it goes: Way back on this day in 1851, Moby-Dick was published in the United States, but it didn't go over very well back then, it was a little too tragic for people's tastes, but really, what did you expect when Herman Melville started palling around with that Nathaniel Hawthorne, so anyway, the book was a dud, but Melville kept writing, and he didn't just write novels, he wrote poetry too, and having lived during the Civil War, he wrote a few poems concerning that time in history, one of those poems is about the battle at Shiloh, and although I don't have a picture of WD at Shiloh, I do have one of him at the battle at Chickamauga, not the real one, the fake one, the one where you can ditch the hardtack, hop into a Ford truck and drive 80 miles per hour back to Arkansas eating White Castle hamburgers all the way.
Whew! That was a long sentence. But thankfully not as long as Moby-Dick. Here's Shiloh: A Requiem (April, 1862) by Herman Melville.
Skimming lightly, wheeling still,
The swallows fly low
Over the field in clouded days,
The forest-field of Shiloh—
Over the field where April rain
Solaced the parched ones stretched in pain
Through the pause of night
That followed the Sunday fight
Around the church of Shiloh—
The church so lone, the log-built one,
That echoed to many a parting groan
And natural prayer
Of dying foemen mingled there—
Foemen at morn, but friends at eve—
Fame or country least their care:
(What like a bullet can undeceive!)
But now they lie low,
While over them the swallows skim,
And all is hushed at Shiloh.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
So yesterday I posted a picture of my messy, unorganized cookbook. It's full of recipes I've torn out of newspapers, ripped out of magazines, and jotted down on envelopes. I've got dozens of recipes that are just waiting to be made. Recently, I decided to go through them to see if I could thin out my collection a bit and I ran across a recipe for Pumpkin Soup. I had torn it out of a newspaper (Irene Wassell's food column in the AR Democrat-Gazette) way back in December of 2005. And since soup weather has now arrived, I decided to give it a try.
And...it's a keeper! It's thin but creamy and delicious with buttered french bread. The flavor combination of pumpkin and onion is wonderful and the spices aren't overpowering like I worried that they might be. I can't wait for the weather to get even colder so I can make this soup again.
Let's see, that's one clipping down, 1185 to go.
1/2 cup minced onion
2 TBS cooking oil
1 TBS all-purpose flour
1 tsp curry powder, or to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 (16-oz) can pumpkin
1 TBS brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, or to taste
2 cups half-and-half
In a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until translucent. Add flour and curry; stir until well mixed with the oil.
Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar and nutmeg. Add broth and creole seasoning and whisk until smooth.
Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add half-and-half and heat until hot. Do not boil. Serve immediately.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Before we headed to Texas a couple of weeks ago, I decided I needed a new cowboy hat. And a new pair of jeans, and a new Elliott Sadler t-shirt, and some new Nikes. Unfortunately, I only had enough money for the hat. But isn't it pretty? It's from Toby Keith's line of hats.
If you're unfamiliar with Toby Keith, he's a country music artist whose hits include An American Soldier and Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue. He sings--and speaks--openly about patriotism, supporting America, and having faith in the United States. He's probably most famous for feuding with Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Natalie said Toby's Angry American song was ignorant and Toby implied that Natalie was a commie heathen. He really, really likes America.
As a matter of fact, I could've bought his Toyo Outback Hat, a camouflage hat with the USA flag on the side. It's described as "patriotism, pure and simple." I instead went with the Seagrass Western, "good-looking, all-American, and a whole lotta fun." Yep. That Toby Keith, he's all about Amer--hey, what's this?
Monday, November 10, 2008
We had another busy weekend of traveling. We went down to Pine Bluff (AR) for WD's family Thanksgiving dinner. And from now on, whenever I go out of town, I would like to impose a no-blogging rule. Man, you guys are prolific. I guess laundry today will just have to wait. Darn.
I was able to watch most of yesterday's Nascar race before we had to head home. As an Elliott Sadler fan, I knew I wasn't going to miss much. Someone got into him early in the race and he dropped to last place. He was able to work his way up and finish in 30th place. Jimmie Johnson continues to lead the Chase and needs to finish 36th or better next week in order to clinch the championship title.
There were a couple of red flags--one was for rain (!) and the other was for the #38 car landing on top of the #83 car (!)--that made the race last longer than expected. So at 7:30 pm everyone was instructed to turn the channel over to ESPN2 to finish watching the race. Apparently, you do not want to mess with all of the Extreme Home Makeover fans out there.
Jimmie Johnson gets the win, Martin Truex Jr. gets the red lantern and we are at Homestead next Sunday for the final (!) race of the season.
Edited to add: Ooops, it wasn't Extreme Home Makeover that ABC cut to, it was actually America's Funniest Home Videos. But isn't that worse?!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Quick! What did Adelaide Crapsey invent in the early 1900's? If you said the modern toilet, that's very funny but very wrong. It's the cinquain poem! Remember when I tried writing one of those things? Hmmm....feels like it was years ago. And yet, it was only last week. Man, a lot has happened in one week. Halloween, last soccer game, road trip to Texas, election day and the change in the weather. Last weekend the temps were in the 80's and this weekend they're in the 60's. With the leaves constantly falling now it's really looking like November. And if you listen closely, you may just be able to hear them fall.
November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I've had dogs for 10 years now and throughout that time I've made several homemade treats for them. Carrot cakes, oatmeal cookies, cheese puffs, but my absolute favorite is the Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. They're easy, healthy, natural, crunchy and taste great. As a matter of fact, when LP and I made them for Lexie's birthday a few weeks ago, we ate 4 of them drizzled with a little honey!
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit (original recipe from Sacramento & Co.)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk (I used 2%)
Mix dry ingredients. Mix milk and peanut butter, separately. Combine. Roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut shapes. Prepare cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Bake at 385 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and store airtight in the refrigerator. Best if allowed to come to room temp first.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Hey, look, it's me and WD (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas. Well, maybe not (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas but certainly the outer layer of the pericardium of Texas. We traveled to Texas Motor Speedway this past weekend for the NASCAR race.
Before we left home, I made sure to clear some room on my camera and charge the batteries. While in the motel room I played around with the settings, getting it ready for fast action shots, and then...I forgot to take it to the track. (The above pic was taken by WD's dad.) I guess the good thing about that is that it was one less thing I had to keep up with.
We had a great time even though Elliott Sadler came in 35th. Jimmie Johnson leads the Chase with only 2 more races to go.
Carl Edwards gets the win, Juan Montoya gets the red lantern, and we're in Phoenix next Sunday.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Back from the NASCAR race in Texas--just in time to vote! But am I ready? Have I really made my final decision? There are so many issues, how can I decide on just one candidate?*
They are both notable authors voicing the need for change. They are concerned about climate change and both call for a cap on the nation's greenhouse gas emissions. They both agree that the United States should focus its attention on Afghanistan. They both want to provide an opportunity for illegal immigrants to obtain citizenship. They both recommend the closing of the Guantanamo Bay prison camp. And they both support embryonic stem-cell research.
And....McCain has 24 pets (which includes 4 dogs) and Obama has none. Zero. Nothing. Zip.**
*Actually, I already voted last week and my final decision was made without factoring in the pet issue.
**Obama has promised to get his daughters a dog after the election and America has voted, we want a poodle! we want a poodle!
***This politically charged post makes me nervous. I'm not anti-poodle OR anti-yorkie! But I am anti-snake. Hmmm.
****Many thanks to LiteralDan, the Commander-in-Chief of all footnotes, for the use of the asterisks found in this post.