Monday, November 30, 2009

Opinions Anyone?

I have a very vivid memory of holding still a 20 foot metal ladder, with my mittened hands and bundled in my warmest parka, for my father at 7:00 am before the school bus came. He was putting up the Christmas lights and I was his helper. Did I mention that it was probably about 6 degrees F on that cold clear morning? My mother must've asked him to do this task much earlier in the month or something and that was the only time he could manage attaching those lights to the roof of that great house on Pacific Drive.

I love Christmas lights and my dilemma today is whether to buy white ones or colored for our next set.
We are getting a new roof and gutters, so it is a good time to replace the old ones that all have doohickies attached to them for our present roof.

So what do you think?
Are WHITE lights too 90's?  The hubby and I have had them on our house since the 80's and I tend to think they look like stars and also that they are homey gingerbread housey looking.
Are COLORED lights too garish? We had them growing up and the traditional look of that is now quite appealing to me again.

What do you think?
Does your age affect your taste on this important matter? I wonder if kids who grew up in the white light era appreciate the colored lights more or less than the people who grew up with multicolored. I will skip the 30 somethings. You can pick what category you are in (and I always think of you as younger, because I can't bear that you are catching up to me so quickly)

Cast your vote on the right side of this blog. I'm very curious.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Good Day, Sunshine

It was a great day. All the family home and enjoying one another.

The table with it's new Chocolate tablecloth to match the napkins I bought in Harogate last year. (The entire cloth cost as much as one napkin, a 60" X 144"er at Bed Bath and Beyond - good deal? Or maybe the napkins were a bad deal? They are very beautiful though.)

The placecards all labeled for the day. Labels made with sticky paper and digital thanksgiving papers and embellishments.

Here's a close up of the semi-finished product. I put the names in green on the little tag. Very cute if I do say so myself.

Ells Bells all set for the day.

Adorable little rolls to scarf down.
And of course a turkey that we had to frantically cut parts off of and microwave, because it was still a bit pink when we were ready to eat.

Oops?!!! Thanks for pitching in everybody.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oh, You're Supposed to SET THE TIMER?

Last night as I was just heading off to bed, I heard a familiar sound in the background of the kitchen. It was telling me my oven was on and.....OH NO.... the pies were still in it.

It had been at least 2 hours, and after painstakingly making the pies I had just cleaned up and forgotten about them.

This isn't the first time I haven't set the timer. I probably do it about half the time. The other half I think, "Oh, at 8:47 I need to take these out of the oven." Or something like that anyway.
The Hubby even asked very politely if I needed a timer. I said "I'll get it."

The fruit pie is SOLID and the pumpkin crusts have separated about 1 inch from the sides of the dish.

So this am I made a pecan pie.

.... and another pumpkin with the 1/2 can I have left.

If you remember correctly, I always do things the hard way.  I roast cute little pumpkins (I used to boil them/steam them etc. but roasting works better and brings out the flavor more) My favorite pie squash is a green/gray "Sweet Meat Squash" but I don't find the as often as I used to. Hey, maybe I'll grow a couple next year.
So my kitchen looks as if a bomb went off.

Now, on to the rolls.

Oh, BTW, I did set the time this time.

Check this out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Getting to be a Big Girl

We all packed up and drove to Chuck E Cheese for Lexy's 4th.  She was so cute and all her cousins and sister of course had a great time.

I should really fix the red eye on these before I post them.

There that's better. Cute Mother/Daughter shot.

The sister and little cousin "driving" the cool Chucky car.

The birthday girl with her bigger cousins.

Can't forget the Dad dancing with sis to the Chucky beat.

Thanks for turning 4 and inviting us to your sweet birthday.
You were such a big girl and acted so grown up. The thank you note was very polite, and we really had a fun time watching you and your cousins play, and of course you opening your presents.

Shoot, I just burned my pies.  You'd think after 50 some odd years, I'd learn how to set a timer.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Love/Hate Relationship

This past week, my patience has been tested by all kinds of computers.
My main home computer just quit a couple of weeks ago. Froze up entirely, and although I turned it off for the night, it would not unfreeze like it had the week before with a simple reboot until I took it into the Apple store and the "Genius" loaded up another operating system. This had it running great for about 3 days, when it suddenly froze up again.
Both times prior to breakdown, The Hubby had been loading up some new applications for his new iPhone onto the iTunes account. We all got iPhones last week and they are pretty wonderful. But maybe it was the iPhone? The computer was fine until now.

I actually Love my iPhone.
Back to the Apple store I went, with appointment in tow.  This time the Genius told me that we were going to have to wipe everything out and start the computer fresh.  Wait. I have to make sure all my pictures are saved, etc, etc. 
I took it back home with the hope that I would be able to bring up the contents just once more so I could get them all saved on our "Passport" download deally.
I tried to turn it on, The Hubby tried to turn it on,  Michael tried to turn it on. All evening and into the night we tried periodically, and on the 32nd time it turned on for me.  
Hurry download all the pictures now!  Oh wait that will take 5.4 hours! Are you kidding? I Hate computers.
Next day after all the contents we deemed important were downloaded, I went back to the Apple store (at my appointed time, mind you) and he erased everything.
Now to add it, reload it, drag it all back in. I have a lot of STUFF. I Love having it at my fingertips, all organized by date, person, place. It is really great, this technology stuff.

Fun, Fun, Fun!!! Did I mention I Hate computers?
The Hubby thought we should just all work from one user name since we all use the same iPhoto, and iTunes, etc. That way we wouldn't have to constantly switch from screen to screen. So we tried that.
Next day we synchronized the iPhones via "MobileMe". It worked like a charm until the next morning when my phone got flooded again, and now I have all The Hubby's contacts and calendar items. My Contacts are GONE. They are still in an undisclosed place in the back of my phone, but are nowhere to be found in my computer. This is my Christmas List.

I Hate computers.
The next day my car computer said I was dangerously driving with a steering malfunction. Then, when I finished my walk an hour and a half later, there was no sign of the malfunction anywhere. I guess the computer forgot about it.

When I arrived home, my DVR (TV recorder) was recording the 23rd hour of the today show, and I couldn't get it to turn off or on, or restart, or retry. 
Scanning from my HP printer onto my nifty computer has never been a problem before, but when I tried to do this very thing this past week the scanner won't recognize that I even have a computer. (I can print from the computer just dandy) Did I mention........?

I still have yet to separate all this out and get my calendar back to only meetings that I have a clue about. Maybe this weekend.
In the meantime, enjoy all your technology for tomorrow it dies.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Why I'm NOT a Food Blogger

I thought I'd do a recipe for my blog today. I thought yesterday that I would do a food blog tomorrow (which is today, now). 

So .... I started by getting out the ingredients for the pasta dish that would be the object of said blog.  But I had actually already started the recipe an hour earlier when I spiced up these two cornish game hens and stuck them into the oven. So I took a picture of them.

They are looking pretty good about now, so I baste them with their own juices. Yumm.

This is the gathered ingredients and now I'm ready to start. Not a horrible way to start a preparation, but I'm now have to stop and take a picture. The next time I would've had to stop, my fingers were dirty and I was under the gun to get this thing into the oven. So I didn't take any more pictures.
The END.

Oh, wait. I did take a picture of the WIERD dessert I made for the dinner.

I saw this on the Martha Stewart show a couple of weeks ago.  It is "Corn Ice Cream."
You heard right, I actually cooked cobs of corn, removed the kernels, made ice cream custard, blended the concoction, put it through a strainer, and froze it in my ice cream maker.

There's more.  I then popped corn and made a sweet kettle corn for garnish, and topped it off with a berry compote. (the compote was also supposed to have kernels of corn in it, but I was thinking it was overkill at this point so I omitted them)

The punch line is that it was pretty good. Interesting, but pretty good.
I'll try almost anything won't I?

I forgot about blogging the cornish game hen / pasta marinara with artichokes until the huge batch I placed into my beautiful all clad oval roasting pan was completely and utterly GONE.

So the reason I don't food blog is that I'm absent minded, I guess. Or, maybe I'm always in a hurry. Or I start cooking dinner too late because I'm doing something else.
Maybe someday.

I have a request for the actual recipes so here they are.

For the Corn Ice Cream go to this link on Martha Stewart. Honestly, as odd as it sounds,  we all really enjoyed it.

The original pasta recipe by me is as follows:
2 Cornish game hens , seasoned inside and out with 
                                   salt, pepper,  & Herbs de Provence
Roast in 350* oven for 1 hour, uncovered, basting a couple of times
When done, cut apart and set out to cool so you can debone and handle them.

Cook 1 lb. of Penne, or Gemelli pasta in boiling salted water. (something that size)

While pasta is cooking place all other ingredients into baking dish. I used a large oval roasting pan. A lasagna dish or other large casserole dish will work great.

48 oz. Marinara type spaghetti sauce (mine had mushrooms in it)
1 lb. grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb. grated cheddar cheese
1 scant cup Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
1 cup sour cream ( I have used alfredo sauce in a 16 oz bottle instead of sour cream too)
2 Tblsp. Capers
2 cups quartered artichoke hearts
Roasted garlic
Onions - sauted in poultry drippings

Dump it all together with cooked pasta and deboned, cut up game hen.
Sprinkle another cup of grated parmigiano on top and bake for 45 minutes.

Chow down.

P.S. Can you tell I shop at Costco?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Apple Dress

After church Sunday, Kathryn brought Ellery over for a visit and dinner. Austin was recuperating from a little bug that hit him.
E was wearing a new dress that I finished last month, and she looked so cute in it.
Here is the front piece after I finished smocking it. It is a simple geometric pattern in white and the darker of the greens in the fabric. It is then finished with an embroidered double petal stitch that makes the green stand out a bit.

I also smocked the back of the bodice to match the front, and made white baby piping to trim the collar, cuffs, and yoke.
I got this great idea from my cousin/niece who just had an adorable baby girl. The ruffle buns add so much to the outfit, don't you agree?
GPa and Katz took E outside for the photo shoot and the day was again an amazing one. What do you think of that green prickly stuff, E?
Sitting in the apple tree. Quite exciting stuff, wouldn't you say? If you want to see more of this cute little one, her mom writes a blog too.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Lots of Fun On Halloween

We start the night before at a Los Gatos Ward Halloween Partay.
I had invited the granddaughters and their parents (if they wanted to participate) for a party at church and they all came for the fun.

Ellery was in a cute little witch costume.

Lena was a "Hop, Hop", as she put it. The outfit was rather warm making it more adaptable for a cool night of trick-or-treating. I'll show it in full later.

And Lexy, ala Minnie Mouse, showed up ready for a good time. Dancing, laughing, and taking it all in like a pro.

What a bunch of nice little girlies!!
GPa and I finished the night off at an ugly high school football game in Palo Alto. Too bad Cats.

The next morning found us bright and early getting all set for a pumpkin patch and corn maze in Livermore.

Ellery got her hair done for the occasion.

Don't get lost in the corn Michael.

The Hubby, always on the lookout for a fun picture, is up on a crossing bridge in the middle of the field. "Hey Dad."

Love these pumpkins.  Did I mention her hair? You've gotta get a closeup of this one.

"What do you think these thingy's on the top taste like?"

Kathryn, Ellery, Austin

Kira, Michael

Vicki, John
 Did I mention how AMAZING the day was? Something like 73 degrees and yet it is still feeling like fall. Gotta love the Bay area.

Then the "Hop Hop" showed up at our house to trick or treat. She brought her cute parents and sister who helped Gramvi set up the pumpkin bags on the front porch.

Thanks, Lexy Lou.

Then Michael and his friends readied themselves for the night in the Ninja Turtle costumes that they spent the past 4 hours creating.

Cole(Leonardo), Michael (Donatelo), Michael Sporck (Michelangelo)
Nice job boys.  Don't have too much fun.