Friday, November 27, 2009

Foodie Friday

I hear the moans and groans out there.  Too much turkey?  Too much stuffing?  Too many potatoes?  How about that pie?  It's so sad, because for years I used to think all we could do with pumpkin was make pie.  But no more folks!  Some of you may recall the pumpkin waffles.  These are brilliant, yes, but sometimes one would like something else to add to the arsenal.

Enter pumpkin pancakes!

Yes, it is a breakfast theme, but pumpkin goes well with maple syrup.  Just ask my oldest, Andrew.  He will only eat the real stuff, not the fake stuff.  His sister is slowly coming around to the real stuff, but we have to mix the two at the moment.  The real stuff is a bit pricier and she's a syrup hog.  Uses three times as much as the rest of us.  So maybe not being into the real stuff yet is a good thing.

This recipe is by way of my friend, M.  She also gave me the pumpkin waffle recipe.

1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. wheat flour
1/2 c. pumpkin
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. or more water

Whisk flour, eggs, and pumpkin together.  As soon as combined, start gradually adding milk and water.  Continue adding milk and water if too thick.  Cook on medium high.


And if any of you lucky people (or unlucky as the case may be) got cracking at 4 am on Black Friday, enjoy your your bargain purchases!  We are too far from major retailers for this to be of any use to me.  I am not normally into Black Friday (hello, have to get up really early!  Maybe stay up, that would work better for me) but if there's a bargain, then I might want to be there.  Oh well, it wasn't meant to be.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So random

Let's join the random blogging world.


I am shooting for incredibly random, mostly rants of the last few days.

I am annoyed at the concept of query letters.  Yes, I've been trying to craft one for that book I co-wrote.  Writing is a lot easier when you're making a book with characters, plot, research, descriptions, emotions.  SELLING a book you wrote is a whole lot different.  Too bad I can't just send a video of me describing my book to my potential agents.  Though a video of me could be scary.  I just want to say that the editing phase and the writing and editng phase of a query letter is not fun.  You hear that.  NOT FUN.  I want fun again.  Guess I should write another book.

And on that subject, no, I did not participate in NaNoWriMo or whatever that is.  I'll write my novel whenever I damn well please, thank you very much.

At work, I had someone who was supposed to interview me for a newspaper article.  That's fine.  Except she was random about when she'd call, maybe yesterday afternoon, maybe this morning.  Well, she called today at 11:50 am.  Yup, I waited around the office (somewhat) expecting this important call and she calls with 10 minutes to spare on the morning.  Then we had a brief conversation and she decides why don't I just email her the information.  I would have done that earlier in November if she had decided that back then when she first called to set up the "interview."  But instead I spend my last minutes at work today, the day before my day off of travel to the glorious state of Iowa, cranking out a tome on the subject, which I could have done with ease and care two weeks ago!

By the way, the title of this post is not original.  There's a silly little show on Disney Channel, which I can actually watch with my kids.  Sometimes Sonny with a Chance can be pretty funny.  So, it's a show I don't mind watching with my kids, unlike SpongeBob or Fanboy and Chumchum (I am not making that up).  It's a show about two shows and the actors that are in them.  Check it out:

Oh, I did say, "Check it out!"

So the mice mouse is gone from our house.  Yay!  But, again, at work I get to enjoy their company.  I have some traps there, which we call tin cats.  They look like this:

It works, even without bait.  You set the hole along the wall where they run, and they decide to run right in, but can't get out.  I know I should take it out and empty it, but eew! I know it's supposed to be humane and all, but I am not feeling humane.  Even more so when the mouse nose and paw scrape and chew outside the air vents you see there.  It was trying to get out, banging and scrabbling around.  I don't have a problem with nature, as long as it stays outside in nature where it should live.  And yes, I've said that before.

The best thing is a few days off now.  Today feels like my Friday.  My son gets fitted on Monday for a bar across the top of his mouth for spreading apart his narrow upper jaw.  This is just phase 1 of the treatment.  Poor guy.  His dad and I have given him both bad eyes and bad teeth.  I should have married someone with good eyes, my kids might have had a chance then.

And it's so random over at the Un Mom.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Foodie Friday (day late, maybe a dollar short)

And short a brain, too, since I accidentally published before I wanted.

How about an ethnic trip to the Czech Republic.  Or the area formerly known as Bohemia, for some special holiday bread, a bit like challah, but this one is called hoska.  None of my family is remotely Bohemian, but I was making a demonstration piece for something related to work.  I found that many East European countries make these holiday breads around Christmas and Easter.  It is very similar to the Jewish challah bread with eggs, yeast and braiding, so it is interesting how all these groups influenced each other.

This is from


2 pkgs. dry yeast
2 c. warm milk
1 c. sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 c. butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
7 to 8 c. flour
2 tsp. vanilla
1 lemon rind, grated
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. mace
1 c. white raisins
1 c. chopped almonds
1 c. candied mixed fruit

Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water until bubbly. To the warm milk add soft butter, salt, sugar, vanilla, spices and lemon rind. Let cool to lukewarm.

Add yeast mixture and beaten eggs and mix well. Sift in 4 cups flour, stirring well, add floured fruit and nuts alternately. Then add remaining flour, beat until dough does not stick to bowl.

Turn out on floured board and knead until smooth and elastic about 8 or 10 minutes. Put in greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down dough and divide in half. This make 2 loaves.

Cut 4 large and 5 smaller portions, roll each into long rolls. Braid the 4 rolls forming a loaf. Put on pan lined with greased brown paper. Braid the 3 smaller rolls and place on top, then remaining 2 pieces on top. Place toothpicks to hold braids in place.

Brush with beaten egg whites in a little water. Let rise to double in bulk. For rich crust brush with melted butter during baking. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, lower temperature to 325 degrees for 45 minutes longer depending on how you like it.

I only made two separate braids with four strands each.  Something about weaving four strands is really elegant.



Silly me forgot to take a picture of the end result.  One was a little too dark on the bottom because I had both in the oven in the same time and the bottom one was too close to the bottom of the oven.  Good thing I made two.  Other than that, they looked beautiful.

Also, I tried quick raising yeast, which is a crock.  It didn't really raise any faster.

Happy holidays!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Something by way of The Grandpa.  I was glad I visited.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Time for Random Tuesday


Dear Little Mouse,

I know the weather is a little chilly outside at night. I also know that you are cute, and fuzzy, and look adorable when you chew on a corn kernel. However, you may not know that this is my house and it is not acceptable to leave your little presents on my counter or under my sink. Mice are to live in the wild and my house is not the wild, thank you very much, despite what you may have heard. You are to be evicted immediately and I don't care how cute your little whiskers or paws are. It is also not acceptable to be sneaky and lick the peanut butter right off the trap without setting it off. Therefore, I have placed more presents for you around the places where you left us presents. I am sure you will not enjoy them, but I hope your life is quick and short and painless and I can then get on with mine.

Thank you.

Dear Little Chipmunk or Ground Squirrel or whatever the heck you are called,

I know you think you're cute, with all your aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings living under our garage and in our house walls. However, when one of them dies inside those said walls, the stench is pretty nasty. If you're going to live there, have the courtesy to die elsewhere so our basement does not smell like death. In addition, we could live with seeing one or two of you around, but now there's a whole commune and we do not want to see more holes in our yard or foundation wall. Therefore, Mr. Wild left you some tasty treats that may make your stomach hurt. Please be sure to have that stomach ache away from our house, so we don't smell your rotting carcass when it finally gets to you. If you want to go move to the neighborhood park, I think that would be the best for all of us. But if not, share the tasty poison pellets with your aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings and we will deal with the stench until it goes away.

I wouldn't have such a problem with wildlife, if it would just stay in the wild and not invade my space.

Go visit the Un Mom by clicking on the label for more randoms.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Foodie Friday (with a little history)

I was at a gathering earlier this week and this is what I made for the food table.

Blintzes with...

blueberry sauce

I made the crepes, cheese filling and sauce from scratch.

Sorry there's no picture of the sauce on top of the blintzes.
They do taste as good as they looked, if I may say so.

So the history lesson is that when I was maybe 10 or 11, we went out to Ohio to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins who were (are) all older than me.  My oldest cousin was graduating and at her graduation they served blintzes with cherry sauce.  It was really yummy and my first exposure to something that is often considered a Jewish food, though I didn't really know it was that.  My uncle is Jewish.  I think on this same trip I was also introduced to bagels, lox, and cream cheese.  I thought that was a pretty tasty treat, but didn't know its cultural background until I was a lot older.

I was going to do cherry sauce, but cherries cost more.

If you're absolutely dying for the recipe, then maybe I'll post it, but I think it came from the Food Network and is very long, which is why didn't spend the time copying it and posting it.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts going strong...


Way too much candy, but healthier kids and a fun weekend nonetheless:

Snow Princess (good choice for the chilly weather)



We found a snow man, an orange snowman, but a snowman anyway.

Had a great time trick or treating with our friends, Bumblebee the Transformer and Spider Girl.

(Why is it that most superhero women are Something Girl, where their male counterparts are Something Man? Like Super Girl, Super Man, Bat Girl, Bat Man, Spider Girl, Spider Man.  There is only one Wonder Woman.  Wonder Boy sounds better than Wonder Man, don't you think?)

You will notice that there is no older child in these photographs.  I have hit a milestone I was not ready to hit.  The "I'm too old for trick or treating and a costume" milestone.  Made me feel sad that the end of an era was here.  We did buy him something earlier for a costume, when he was having a school party and I told him he should have a costume, but he missed the school party and refused to go out in the costume.  Mr. Wild also recently overheard him telling his sister and her little neighborhood friends that he didn't think Santa was real, that it was really just his Mom and Dad.  He hasn't said anything to us and I'm still not sure how to deal with it.

I'm so not ready for this next stage of childhood development....middle school!

Go visit the other randoms!