Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tales of the Tail: Patiently Waiting (for now)

Kip's little internal clock alerts him every day when 6pm rolls around, and he begins to let us know that it's "Time for supper, humans." He will wait patiently by his bowl for a few minutes, staring at us with unblinking eyes. If we do not bend to his will quickly enough, he starts to paw at his food bowls and will eventually come and put his head in my lap and wag his tail.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ramen Noodles Never Tasted So Good

Actually, I've never had Ramen Noodles before, so I'm really not qualified to make that statement. But they are pretty darn good in this recipe.

This went into immediate regular rotation for us. It meets all of our qualifications for weeknight supper: (1) quick, (2) ingredients that can be found at the local grocery store, and (3) flavorful.

Start by slicing up a green bell pepper.

You only use the noodles out of the Ramen Noodles, not the little flavor packet. Also not pictured is the mozzarella cheese, or the garlic, onion, black pepper, etc that BD uses as he's browning the ground beef.
The ground beef gets browned first, then the tomatoes, peppers, italian dressing, and noodles come to a boil. BD removes the beef to drain and then does the tomatoes in the same skillet -- yay less dishes to wash!

Add the beef back in to the tomatoes/noodle mixture.

I forgot to get a picture of this before we ate it, but you get the idea. The mozzarella cheese goes on top until it is melty.

This made enough for supper plus lunch for both of us the next day.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tales of the Tail: All Healed Up

Kip says, "Look, no stitches!" (Although I think he's way happier about the "Look, no t-shirt!" part.)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Graduation to Me!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Around the House: Windowsill Plants

I don't even remember how this collection started, but we have a bunch of random plants growing in water on our kitchen windowsill.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Chocolate Bliss

These cookies have 16 oz. of chocolate in them. Do I really even need to say anything else?

I started by chopping chocolate and pecans. I quickly discovered that my little food processor will not chop squares of chocolate, so I had to chop it all by hand.

Yes, that is a pineapple in the background. No, it did not go into the cookies.

This batter does not have much flour in it, so it was really gooey.

I think I ended up with around 3 dozen cookies from this recipe. As you can imagine with all of that chocolate, these cookies were good but really, really rich. They also seemed to dry out quickly, although I had them stored in a plastic container.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Problem Mixer

I'm having a problem with my stand mixer. It makes such a mess when I'm making dough. It slings flour all over the counter!

I know you might think this is user error, but just look at the mess it leaves on the rest of the counter!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tales of the Tail: No Dignity

As Kip's injury heals, we're trying to keep him from running and jumping. So not only is he having to wear an old t-shirt, he's also having to do his business on a leash -- inside our fenced in backyard!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Almost A Success

Today I attempted to make cinnamon rolls. I have been craving cinnamon rolls for several weeks. Last weekend in Atlanta our hotel was across the street from a mall that had a Cinnabon, so on Sunday afternoon BD and I split one for a snack. It was so warm and gooey and delicious that I knew I had to try to recreate the experience at home.

Things were going well at first. The dough was easy enough to mix up, and it was rising as expected.

I mixed up the filling - brown sugar, cinnamon, and (lots of) butter.

This is where things started to go downhill. The dough was really sticky, so it kept sticking to the countertop as I tried to roll it up. I had rolled it out pretty thin, so the dough was tearing and filling was spilling out everywhere.

By the time I finally got it rolled up and cut out, I was so frustrated that I totally forgot that I was supposed to let the dough rise again!! I, of course, did not realize this until they had baked for 15 minutes. I turned on the oven light to check the progress, and they were not puffy at all. I just stared at them for a second trying to figure out what was the problem, and it suddenly dawned on me that I skipped the second rising completely. UGH.

They looked awful. Not only were they mishapen because the dough stuck to the counter so bad when I tried to transfer them to the baking sheet but they were also dense and flat.
I took them out of the oven and threw them down on the counter and walked away. I didn't want to think about the time and effort I'd just wasted. I didn't even bother to make the icing that was supposed to go on top.

I came downstairs later to discover that BD had been sampling the defective goods.

I told him about the mistake and asked him what he thought. He said, "Well, they were kinda shaped like cow patties, but they tasted good. I'd say it was almost a success."

I think next time I'll just leave the cinnamon roll baking to Cinnabon.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tales of the Tail: Update

Thank you all for your concern and well wishes for The Kipper!

The drain tube was removed this morning by our local vet. It was a very easy, quick procedure, and the vet said Kip is healing well. He seems much more comfortable now that the tube is out, but we're still making him wear an old t-shirt to keep him from licking or scratching the wound. He is still taking the antibiotics and a little bit of pain meds. We'll go back next week to have the stitches removed.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Making Signs

Our seats for the football game were in the lower level end zone, so we decided to make signs to bring with us on the off-chance that we'd be on TV.

BD wanted to make a traditional Tar Heel sign, so he created a large-scale template.
(Photobomb by Kip.)

He traced and cut out the shape using Carolina blue foam board.

One of the most recognizable symbols in college sports: the big blue foot!

My original plan was to make something that spelled out "ABC" since the game was being broadcast on that channel, but I wasn't creative enough to come up with the right words. So instead I acknowledged our ties to both teams.

I cut out the letters from poster board and glued them to white foam board.

I added some graphics.

And, of course, some glitter!

We never got on TV or even the Jumbotron, but we had fun making and showing off our signs!

Let the Season Begin!

Last weekend we met my parents in Atlanta for the Chick Fil A Kickoff Game between LSU and UNC. Although Carolina lost the game, it was an exciting game, and we were right on top on the action in row 12. My mom is an LSU graduate and BD is a Carolina graduate, so we had a "House Divided" look going on for the game.

The game was held in the Georgia Dome. We rode the Marta and got there early so we could catch all of the pre-game activities.

My parents were very impressed by all of the pre-game activities.

Since the game was sponsored by Chick Fil A, we saw all kinds of CFA marketing. This blimp flew around the Dome and dropped little stuffed cows with parachutes into the crowd.

Even the cow mascots got all decked out in the appropriate colors.
Our traditional self-portrait. I think we have one of these from every sporting event we've attended!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tales of the Tail: It's Been A Tough Year

Aren't mutts supposed to be heartier and healthier than the fancy pure-breed dogs?! Apparently Kip did not get that memo. First, he had major knee surgery in January. And yesterday he spent the entire day at the emergency clinic.

When we picked him up from the kennel on Monday, they told us they had noticed a little blood on his shoulder but couldn't see where the blood was coming from and had cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide. That has historically been one of his "hot spot" areas, so we assumed he had been nervous and scratched a sore. We got home and clipped the hair back a bit and realized there was a HOLE in his skin. The area around the wound was swollen, and he was pretty lethargic during the evening and restless during the night. (The fact that the kennel staff didn't notice it was more than "a little blood" or know how it happened is a story for another post.)

We called our local vet's office first thing on Tuesday morning, only to discover that the vet was on vacation. So we ended up at the emergency clinic in Durham. They shaved and cleaned the area and confirmed that it was definitely not something he did to himself by scratching and it was infected. Kip stayed during the day for them to sedate him and stitch up the wound and insert a drain to eliminate the absess.

He was pretty loopy when we got him home yesterday evening, but he's more like himself today. The drain tube should be ready to come out on Saturday; our regular vet will do that procedure.

In the meantime, he's on oral antibiotics and pain meds, and our carpet is covered with every towel and bedsheet we own to keep the fluid off our floor.

Poor's a picture of the damage. You can see the bigger wound is stitched up then the drain (surgical tubing) is held in place beside it with two additional stitches. The tube runs under his skin and comes out lower on his side. It works by gravity wicking out the fluid around the tube. And, is as disgusting as it sounds.

Wanted. Part 3.

On the off-chance that you've gotten the idea that all I shop for is clothes, here are some non-clothes items that I am wanting.

A lava lamp for my desk at work.

A beginner sewing machine. Then I'll just have to find some lessons because I know absolutely nothing about sewing.

A set of Le Creuset cookware in a bright color. LOVE.

And a set of Fiestaware dishes in multiple colors. Can you tell I'm a fan of bright colors?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kebobs. Chicken Kebobs.

I like kebobs because each person can put exactly what they like on their kebob. I also just like to say the word "kebob". Kebob. Who created that strange word?


Soaking the skewers in water so they won't burn on the grill:

Marinating chicken, onions, and red bell peppers in a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and canola oil:

I intended these to be a little spicy by but I forgot to add garlic, red pepper, and black pepper to the marinade. So out of 6 ingredients, I forgot 3 of them -- what a ditz. It's really a miracle that I have not managed to somehow burn this house down. It's probably a very good thing BD does most of the cooking.

I added baby portabella mushrooms to the marinade later, and we also had pineapple and cherry tomatoes.

We made 10 skewers which I thought was going to be waaaay too many, but we only had 2 leftover.

We had trouble getting the mushrooms to stay on the skewer; they kept tearing and falling off. BD used the grill tray and grilled mushrooms on it along with the other extra ingredients.