Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here's hoping Christmas Morning finds everyone with family, friends, sharing, and of course lots of good food!  I'm enjoying a quiet morning with coffee, a fire, and some holiday cheer.  :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Hello Winter!

Got our first measurable snow of the season.

When I stepped outside in my house shoes, I clearly wasn't prepared.  I stepped right into about 2 inches of snow!  Anyway, went back inside and decided that this is a good morning to be lazy for a bit. 

 Stomped the snow off my slippers, went to find dry socks, got a cup of coffee and checked email.

 Two kitties want to cozy up with me and my laptop!  So now three out of the four get along OK...  Punkin, Lili and Kona.  Piko is still being standoff-ish, she thinks about playing with Kona but then just swipes at her and hisses.  Ahh well, give 'em time. 

It's a great day for a fire in the fireplace and a warm adult beverage in my hand!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hotter Than Mother's Music

Fondly known as "Mother's" to those of us who grew up in Mt. Prospect in the 70's.  I spent many days and nights hanging out in the pinball hall, ducking air hockey pucks, or browsing the selection of 45rpm's.  :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kona Kitty

Look who showed up on my doorstep.  So far nobody is looking for her.  So I named her Kona.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pizza tonight!!!

I made a Chicago-style deep dish pizza for dinner tonight.  Very yummy!  Recipe is posted here:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Recipes

I posted some new recipes I found on Yahoo Shine.  They look good!  Especially the crock pot Asian Tomato Beef thing...

What's Cookin'?  My Favorite Recipes!

 Time to go make dinner.  :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Corrupted Moral

The teacher gave her fifth grade class an assignment: Get their parents
to tell them a story with a moral at the end of it. The next day, the
kids came back and, one by one, began to tell their stories. There
were all the regular types of stuff: spilled milk and pennies saved.
But then the teacher realized, much to her dismay, that only Janie was
left. "Janie, do you have a story to share?" "Yes ma'am, my daddy told
me a story about my Mommy. She was a Marine pilot in Desert Storm, and
her plane got hit. She had to bail out over enemy territory, and all
she had was a flask of whiskey, a pistol, and a survival knife. She
drank the whiskey on the way down so the bottle wouldn't break, and
then her parachute landed her right in the middle of 20 Iraqi troops.
She shot 15 of them with the pistol, until she ran out of bullets,
killed four more with the knife, till the blade broke, and then she
killed the last Iraqi with her bare hands. "Good Heavens," said the
teacher. "What did your Daddy tell you was the moral to this story?"
"Stay away from Mommy when she's been drinking."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Derivatives for Dummies - Explanation of Derivative Markets

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Heidi keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers' loans). Word gets around about Heidi's "drink now, pay later" marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi's bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi's gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Heidi's borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank's corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets.

Naive investors don't really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation's leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi's bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community. The suppliers of Heidi's bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms' pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with having to write off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi's bar.

Now do you understand?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blender Bearnaise Sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash red pepper
  • 2/3 cup butter -- melted
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons shallots -- minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried whole tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and red pepper in container of electric blender; set on high speed and process 3 seconds. Turn blender to low speed; add butter to yolk mixture in a slow, steady stream. Turn blender to high speed and process until thick.

Combine wine, vinegar, shallots,tarragon and pepper in a small saucepan; cook over high heat until almost all liquid evaporates. Add to mixture in blender and process at high speed 4 seconds. Serve over meat, seafood.
My preference is for clarified butter.
This recipe from CDKitchen for Blender Bearnaise Sauce serves/makes 4

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Wolf Moon and a Bird

I took these pictures of the Wolf moon back in January. Finally getting around to downloading them from the camera!

And here are two pictures of a bird that Piko was watching from the windowsill:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Apple French Toast

  • 1/2 loaf (16-ounce) French bread
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced

1.  Cut bread into 3/4-inch thick slices.  Place slices in a single layer in a lightly greased 13-x-9-inch baking dish.

2.  Whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla; pour mixture over bread.  Cover and chill until all liquid is absorbed by the bread, up to 8 hours.

3.  Remove bread from dish.  Wipe dish clean, and coat with vegetable cooking spray.

4.  Cook brown sugar, butter and syrup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring often, until mixture is smooth.  Pour into baking dish.  Top with apple; arrange bread over apple.

5.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Loosen with a knife, invert onto a serving platter. 

Yield:  8 servings.

I have put together the bread/egg/milk part the night before, and also the morning of baking this wonderful French toast.  It takes about 2-3 hours for the bread to absorb all the liquid.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Shrimp with Basil and Fresh Tomatoes

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped, plum or common tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces spaghetti or other pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil leaves (optional)

1.  Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Set aside.

2.  Pour cooking oil into a wok or large skillet. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.) Preheat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry onion and garlic in hot oil for 2 minutes or until onions are crisp-tender. Remove onion mixture from the wok.

3.  Add shrimp to the hot wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque.

4.  Return onion mixture to the wok. Add tomatoes, basil, capers (if desired), salt, and pepper. Stir all ingredients together. Cook and stir for 1 minute more or until heated through. Serve immediately over hot cooked spaghetti or other pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

If cars were made as well as computers...

1. For no apparent reason, your car would crash... twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the highway for some reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn, would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning.

7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no apparent reason, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced, buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as with the old car.

10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

AND... If all else failed, you could call Customer Service in some foreign country and be instructed in a foreign language how to fix your car yourself.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Frosty Things

When I went outside this morning, everything was soooo white! With the fog, humidity, and cold air, ice crystals had formed on almost everything around. Here are some of the pictures I got...

Ice Crystals...

Frosty Pine...

Chilly Berries...

and a Crystal Flower Sculpture!

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Mouse print

We toss birdseed out behind the bushes by the front door and all sorts of critters come to dig around and see what they can get. We've had birds, bunnies, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, all sorts of lil animals out there. The cats love to watch from the living room window. Today I noticed some mouse footprints in the snow, so I decided to follow them to see where the mouse comes from. Around the other side of the car, out in the parking lot, at the foot of a snow bank, this is what I saw! Well, at least the lil field mouse isn't living inside the trunk of the Buick. The footprint trail came from across the neighbor's yard. :)
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