Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cracklin' Good Time

Hi there. Have you met my friend, Cracklin' Oat Bran? He is most delicious. Slightly sweet, with hints of brown sugar and cinnamon. The taste of this cereal has not changed at all since I was a kid, and that can't be said about many cereals.

The apostrophe at the end is a vital part of Cracklin' Oat Bran marketing. It cannot simply has to BE Cracklin'! I must have taken 20 pics of these babies..they are so photogenic. And delicious.

Pictured is my favorite way to eat them too...straight up. See that weight? Seventeen ounces yet its one of the smallest boxes in the cabinet. This stuff is FORTIFYING. If I am really hungry but want cereal, I go for these.

Earlier today I blended them into a blueberry smoothie. They hold up to milk and retain crunch really well, so it was like a crunchy smoothie. Most of the bits settled to the bottom, making it like a bowl of cereal. And they got stuck in the straw. In lieu of an actual photo, here is a photo-realistic representation:

To sum up:
Go get Cracklin' Oat Bran. You'll thank me later.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cleveland Rocks!

Yes, it's true: I LIKE Cleveland!

But this is pretty funny anyway.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pix Msg

Have you ever flipped through all the pictures on your cell phone? I keep all of mine, and transfer them to my computer once in a while. Cell phone pics are funny because you end up taking random shots, usually with the intention of sending them to someone. Unlike camera photos, which are generally clustered around a specific event, phone pics are tiny snippets of day-to-day life. Little moments that you wouldn't even remember if it weren't for these. Looking through my own phone images, I'm reminded of the situations that led to them. Some make me laugh, some just make me say "Huh."

Often, I take pics of things I see in stores that I want to remember later for possible purchase. Like this cooler. Or these sneakers (never went back for them).

Some photos remind of us people who maybe we used to see all the time, and not so much now. What is Juan doing with his hands here? Only we know for sure. And never returned my pen and you put sugar in my hand sanitizer! Damn you! :::shakes fist:::

Here's one from when I went to Sonic in Arizona, sent to make everyone back home jealous, and one I snuck in the Met ("No photos!"):

Trips to the mall are ripe with photo oppurtunities. Here I am wearing a $1200 coat from Burberry (on sale for $647!). I just had to try it on. And I thought the Santa in the Apple store was strangly fascinating.

And this arm at Old Navy. What the heck was going on there?

My refrigerator one day a couple years ago. Soooo empty. 

And would you like to see my teeth? Here they are. You cannot un-see that now.

There are pics of brand new stuff. Everyone takes pictures of new purchases! Like my laptop, the day I got it. Had to leave work and see if FedEx left it (he got there right after me!). My car, on the day I got her. That's Mr. Kon in the background. You don't know him.

Here is the old Yankee Stadium. We went for a Red Sox game, and I had emailed myself this picture after taking it. I know that for sure, because somewhere around the 7th inning my phone fell out of my pocket into my beer, and completely died. This photo is all that remains of that day.

Speaking of stadiums, that was the old Yankee, here is the old Mets: Shea. It is completely gone now.

Then there are those moments you wish you had a real camera, and hope that the phone suffices. These pictures can come out ok, but only serve to prove that nothing is better than having a real camera to take nice shots.

This concludes my trip down memory lane. Thank you for sticking with me, this was a long one!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I know there's been a lot of food-related posts lately, and some of you out there might not be that interested in food. But sometimes, that is just how things turn out. When you basically have nothing to do every day, life moves pretty slow, and you write what you are familiar with.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Copycats and Cutters

Last time I visited my mother, she gave me a variety of random-seeming objects: roller skates, dollar bills, mail, cake pans, fleece sweatshirts, and finally: her big tin of cookie cutters she collected for years. Those who have been reading me for a while might remember this post, wherein I sing the praises of my heart-shaped cookie cutter. So I was "tickled to death" as my grandmother would say, to receive this tin of shapes. The following cookies were perfect for playing with them.

As part of my series of copycat recipes, here are Thin Mints. As we all know, Thin Mints are Girl Scout cookies that are chocolate mint-flavored wafers covered in chocolate. I do not know why that needed to be said, because as I clearly just stated, "we all know." Anyway, the version I got from here is pretty good, but next time I would put more chocolate in, and use dark chocolate to coat them (I only had semi-sweet chips). Otherwise, they are a pretty good start.

I decided to keep it simple and use the standard playing card shapes of Diamond, Spade, Club, and Heart. But what's this? I have TWO sizes to choose from??? Gosh. I went with the bigger ones to keep things extra simple.

And one Scottie dog. Isn't he cute?

Here he is without a head. Awwww.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Easy-Peasey Apricot Chicken

If you are like me (and if you are, you know it), you have odd things laying around like apricot preserves. And you also cook two pounds of chicken at once, all the while insisting "I have to use it, it's going to go bad!." And then, it leads to a week's worth of chicken and rice dishes. These dishes come together really quickly, and often don't need many extra ingredients to make them a meal. My favorite way to flavor chicken is by sprinkling it with taco seasoning from the packet. It also works to put the pre-cooked chicken and taco stuff right in the water when boiling rice; it melds together nicely and you have a full meal in no time (I think I'm down to 10 minute meals now thanks to the wonders of Minute Rice).

Now back to those apricot preserves. I know apricot is a good flavor for chicken, so when I made the rice yesterday (this is all for a single serve meal), I put in cut chicken, a couple spoonfuls of apricot preserves, dried cherries, salt n pepa, and a dash of ground ginger (it sounded good but you couldn't taste it...needed more). Let the rice hydrate per package directions, and just like that, you open the pot and there's dinner! Throw it on a plate, take a picture, and serve! I bet this would be good with some fresh mint thrown in too. Mmmmm.

I love finding new ways to be lazy, it adds a great dynamic to my daily activities.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sloppy Joe

And I don't mean my dad! Zing!*

Sloppy Joes are something everyone seems to eat as a kid, but hardly ever as an adult. And when they do eat it, it's the Manwich sauce from a can. My recipe for from-scratch sloppies came purely by accident: I had two recipes, and somehow combined them in my head without realizing it. So after finishing cooking I discovered the mistake, but it was too late, and it tasted great anyway! And was quick. Suddenly I've become master of the 20 minute meal. Suck it, Rachel Ray!

Here's what I put in, in no particular measured amounts (Sorry, thats just how I roll):
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Onion, chopped, cooked with the beef
Bottled Chili sauce
(Almost the whole bottle, then about the same amt of ketchup and add more to taste)
Dash or so each of:
Garlic powder
Salt n Pepa

You could probably add more stuff to make the flavor more complex or something else chef-y, but sometimes simple is just fine, as with this.

*My Dad's name is Joe.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Home Bye-ing

Yesterday, after driving past a cute house for sale, I went online to look for it. Not a bad deal: 3 Br, detached garage, pool. Then I started browsing all the houses for sale for that realtor. I'm not sure why, because as That Guy pointed out bluntly, "We don't have jobs." Sucks to put things on hold because of a silly thing like that. Not that we were trying to buy a house before, but it's possible eventually!

In other news, I have done exactly zero baking lately. The most cooking I've done is homemade mac n cheese and easy chicken dishes. Perhaps I will post an oldie but goodie on here for your perusal. In the meantime, here is preview of a project I am working on. It is a photo of the farm across the street; excuse the power lines. We get some really nice sunsets over there, and they shine right in our living room windows every day. It's nice to fix dinner and watch the sunset.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Slow News Day

Not much blogging going on around here, because not much bloggable activity is going on. With the economy what it is, it's tough times everywhere. We will return to good posts soon.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Awesome on Wheels

Roller Skating Gene Kelly. Seriously cool.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Munching on Scones

I love baked goods. All kinds, but ones that come in portable sizes are the best. It's so easy to grab a cookie or biscuit or cupcake and just munch on it, and not feel too bad about eating it, unlike when you make banana bread and eat half the loaf in one sitting, but only cut it once so you can still say you had "a slice." I'm not even that picky...I gladly use Bisquick mix on a regular basis to make pancakes and one biscuit at a time; I have even used it to make scones (a recipe I made up myself, and turned out reasonably well). Scones pretend to be both a biscuit and muffin, so they are great for breakfast, or snack, or dessert, or all three if you are me.

These are easily the best scones I ever made (not that I have made too many as yet, but I'm trying to make a point). Cherry-oatmeal, slightly modified because the original recipe was for cranberry. They are moist and hearty, with just the right amount of crunch on the outside. You can taste every bit of the oats too, but it is not overpowering. I think I will try other variations of add-ins such as peanut butter and chocolate chips. These are now my favorite treat that is not what it is pretending to be (that position was formerly held by the bastard child of English muffins, the crumpet - hey crumpet, you know what you did!).

This recipe can be found at Joy of Baking.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Cheep Tix, Part 2

After my grousing about prices the other day, we ended up getting cheap tickets to a Yankee game from Stub Hub. $25 for $60 seats, and they were a great view, totally worth it.

We arrived very early, so that we could walk around and see the stadium a bit, and were not disappointed. The new digs are as extravagant as they say, with lots of space to walk around and sights to see. The line for Monument park was relatively short, so we went to check it out (the Yankee stars aligned for the field photo below, nice view from there.). The main entrance hall (see photo) is gorgeous, and wide open. Sort of reminded me of a train terminal or something, but it didn't exactly have that feel. There are photos of old time players and great Yankee moments all around. That Guy kept getting ahead of me because I would randomly stop to look at things and he'd keep walking. Next time, we will make it there early again and go to the museum.

In contrast to the sweet deal on seats, drink prices are out of control. Nine dollars for a bottle of Budweiser? C'mon! It cannot possibly cost that much for them to get it. The drafts at least come in a keepsake cup and are "only" $10.

We were bummed that the lead catcher for the Yankees, Jorge Posada wasn't starting, but he did come in the seventh inning to pinch hit, and later hit a home run in the 9th. Hip hip Jorge!*

l to r: Me in our seats, the awesome Yogi Berra in Monument Park, the Great Hall where you enter the stadium.

Huggins and Ruth monuments, view of batting practice from Monument Park.

Old Yankee Stadium, or New Yankee Stadium?

*Shhh...don't tell anyone: I'm actually an Orioles fan.

Friday, May 01, 2009

DMV of the Unemployed

The other day That Guy and myself ventured into beautiful downtown Passaic, NJ, to visit the unemployment center. You are supposed to go to a class and learn how to write a resume and interview for jobs. They threatened in the paperwork that it would be two hours long, and if you don't attend, you don't get benefits. We went down there, only to be 45 minutes early, because we weren't sure where it was and left plenty of time to get there. That Guy had to talk to a counselor-type person about benefits, so we did that with the extra time. There were two counselors available to answer questions: Spanish speaking and English speaking. He got to cut the line in front of some Spanish guy. Yay for non-English speakers! Wait, no...what? Damn.

Anyway eventually we sat in the little classroom waiting to begin, and the first thing the lady said (well, second after "good afternoon") was if you were promised your job back eventually, you can leave. Hell yeah! While we weren't officially promised this, I was told something vaguely similiar. Good enough for me; we really don't need help on resumes anyway.

Pretty much the whole experience was a waste of time. One of those pesky things you have to do once in a while to keep things going the way they should, like bribing your local police force so they don't shut you down for not having a liquor license.