Archive for January, 2011
This was a week of lazyness. I didn’t take that many pictures this week. The first day this week below, that is the only picture I took that day. I had some anxiety issues this week and am ending this week sick
I had a thought today though. At the end of the year I should put together a photo book of all these. I think it would be especially nice as each picture has a story. I have already told the stories with the pictures so I won’t even need to remember. It might be something nice to look back on.
Day 22 – January 22, 2011
This was the last step of a long story that started with my daughter playing with the hamster through the cage opening. To make a long story short the hamster jumped out, we chased it, caught it, chased some more, we put it inside the ball, the dog chased it.
Day 23 – January 23, 2011
Today I must admit I took not one picture. So here is a picture from the day before I took on my cell phone.
This is not my cart. This cart belonged to the lady in front of me. Notice there is nothing in the cart. Notice how the belt is half empty. What you can’t notice is how pissed off I was. The annoyance in front of me did not move that cart until she was completely done with her order. WTF lady!
Day 24 – January 24, 2011
This is Bob. We bought him 2 1/2 years ago on vacation. He was only about 2 inches big.
He is now a good 5 inches and refuses to eat the last 3 fish I bought him a year ago. They live in his tank and they all continue to grow as if I feed them miracle grow.
Day 25 – January 25, 2011
After work I met my daughter in downtown Pittsburgh this day. We were in search of a candy shop that led us to Station Square. I had every intention on using a photo of the ice on the river as my photo of the day until I took this picture. I might be a bit biased because I am her mother but I think she takes great photos. Ummm Hot Topic if your reading this she would be great in your catalog
Day 26 – January 26 2011
Ugh, the bus. One of the buses I ride is the EBA, which is on the Martin Luther King Busway in the East Hills.
You know your in a bad area when the bus stop has an Emergency Button if you need help.
Day 27 – January 27, 2011
The homemade Raisin Egg Bread I made. It turned out beautiful yummy and will be featured as a recipe on the blog soon.
Day 28 – January 28, 2011
This candle is at an undisclosed location in my house. For me it represents the peace and quiet I need to give myself so that hopefully I feel better tomorrow.
I decided to share one of my ice river pictures as a bonus. I have been wanting to take one ever since I saw the ice when going over a bridge here in Pittsburgh. This was taken at Station Square, which you can see in the reflection of the water as well.
I would love some comments on my photographs
See you next week!
All photo’s taken with Sony Cyber-shot, except for one cell pic.
The only editing was resizing and adding my name.
Oh boy another field trip. They walked into a park with picnic tables and grills.
Obviously they are going to be grilling something here. At first I thought they might make them go primitive but I was wrong. They made it pretty easy.
The task was creativity by putting their own spin on a burger. They said they wanted to see how much they learned so far and who has the creativity in the end. I don’t care what you add to it, it is still a burger to me and while it is possible to get somewhat creative with a burger I don’t find it all that daring.
They started off with the chefs showing their own burgers.
They informed the recruits to cook 2-3 minutes on either side to start and left them to make their burgers on their own without their watchful eyes. The winning dish gets an advantage for their team. The recruits act all dumb like they have no idea whats at stake. Let me guess… the winning team gets to choose for the switcharoo. Who really wins in that scenario? It’s the chef not the recruits of the winning team.
They have 45 mintues and a plethora of ingredients to choose from.
Ty made what he called a man burger. OMG they were huge. Cooking them will be difficult.
Two people used pineapples however one used canned and the other used fresh.
Kelsy admits to blowing up a gas grill before and burning the hair off her face. Get this woman away from fire!
Erika made what she called fancy sauce made with kethcup and mayo. O lordy. Yeah, that’s fancy. It’s not unique either you will see many people put that on a burger.
So many of them made patties that were way too big and didn’t cook enough. A couple of them had burgers falling apart because they used egg whites only instead of the whole egg.
These people are brilliant.
I was right about what was at stake, duh. Here are the results from the worst to the best burger.
Kat (blue) – cooked her burger to death.
Joshey (red) – Anne said it was freaking disgusting.
Erika (red) – burger was raw and sauce was not unique. she tried using the excuse that it was her first time cooking all this stuff. Chef Anne told her it was everyone else’s too and that was no excuse.
Jen (red) – too small.
Carlos (red) – he used canned pineapple.
Kelly (blue) – nothing special about it.
Anna (blue) – liked the use of avacado.
Ty (blue) – too big to bite but good seasoning.
Kelsey (red) – use of english muffin as buns was different.
George (blue) – use of two different cheeses.
The blue team wins so Chef Robert gets to pick for the trade. He choose to take Kelsey from the Red because she has potential. She got pretty pissed cause she knows how Chef Anne works. Chef Robert said that Kat was not progressing enough so he gave her to the red team.
For the main dish challenge they were to make a fancier meal.
I defenitly made a note of the Pommes recipe and can’t wait to make it! I can’t believe she used a mandolin with these people though I was expecting them all to cut themselves.
I’ve personally never had duck before and also have never julienned anything. Looks like another possibility for people to cut themselves. It all looked delicious.
Their task was to make two sets of their meal in 45 minutes. That’s alot of work!
Joshey didn’t cut his lamb eavenly so he has a hard time cooking it evenly and had a hard time using the food processor.
Kelly almost burned the oil but surprisingly saved herself by taking it off the heat to cool off and then added more oil to it. Smart girl.
Erika didn’t use a non stick pan for her potato dish so they stuck to the pan.
Jen’s potatoes didn’t even fully cook.
Anna cooked her sauce in a cold pan so that’s not going to cook right and burned her chops.
For the tasting they had the pleasure of eating with the Chef at a table set up as if they were at a nice resteraunt.
For the Blue Team:
Kellly – she had no sauce but her meat was good.
George – her meat was rare but her seasoning and vegatables were good.
Ty – his meat was cooked nicely and seasoned well. The vegtables were cut badly.
Anna – her duck was rare, too salty, sauce was thin and vegtables burned. train wreck.
Kelsey – she had no sauce, needed salt and Chef Robert said he was disapointed in her.
For the Red Team:
Joshey – he said on camera that dining with Chef Anne was between a dream date and a nightmare. Oh Joshey what will we do with you? His meat was cooked unevenly but tasted good.
Erika – too spicey with the red pepper.
Jen – potatoes weren’t browned but the meat was good.
Carlos – she told him to amp up the seasoning but otherwise good.
Kat – barely rare meat, no seasoning and her fennel was chopped like crap.
So the verdict was in and here are the loosers who went home:
Red team – Chef Anne – Erika eliminated
Blue team – Chef Robert – Anna eliminated
To me anyone who can’t give you cooked meat should go home. That is unforgivable when it’s so rare it’s not edible.
So I don’t agree with Chef Annes choice, I think Kat should have gone home.
See you next week!
I don’t think I have written anything personal on here for awhile.
One thing I will note is I have been fixing my blog. Some of the pics were hosted on the blog before I started this one. I guess the importer didn’t do a very good job. So some pics didn’t work at all and I want them all hosted in one place. So I have been working on putting all my pics the way I want them, not the way the importer placed them. If you have visited any old pages that would explain the missing pics. I am doing as many as I can over the weekends and hope to finish soon.
- My house is warm.
- I have food.
- My kids are awesome!
- I have a job.
- The co-worker friend and I made up at our work party. I approached her about the issue and all she told me was someone told her I was talking about her. She couldn’t recall what was said. It felt like high school. I have no idea what I did wrong, and it’s very likely it was made up to get us mad at each other, but I don’t know. I am a pretty upfront person and I told her that if she ever has an issue to just ask me, shit I will tell her. Although we talk at work, things are not the same. I miss hanging out with her, but I am glad that we can at least talk at work and not avoid each other anymore.
- My sister is taking me grocery shopping while the bad is happening. I am lucky to have a sister that I can count on! Thank you!!!!!!
- My husband got laid off, which meant they took his work truck and his cell phone.
- He didn’t apply for unemployment for almost two weeks after the fact.
- He has been hiding in his man cave in his basement depressed. He is blaming the medication he has to take for seizures. Him hiding in his man cave is nothing new.
- My youngest hasn’t been able to attend gymnastics, that is already paid for, because I have no one to take her and pick her up.
- He needs to make another doctor appointment to get the doc to sign off on the papers for him to drive, but keeps putting it off.
- We are arguing alot. I keep reminding him of things he needs to do (like unemployment and doc appts) and he is getting more and more aggravated with me about that. Forget that aside from the first few days he hasn’t cooked dinner or done anything in the house. I work all day, take 2 buses home, cook dinner and try to clean up. When we both work I still did most everything in the house. He gets laid off and I still do most everything in the house. It doesn’t seem fair.
- This category could turn ugly soon.
Here is to hoping that winter goes away and 2011 becomes a better year somehow. I know I have had enough drama.
My youngest daughter wanted a sewing machine for xmas this year. She is interested in fashion and making her own clothes. I bought her the Singer 1409 Promise Sewing Machine at Target on Black Friday. It was within my price range and looked simple enough for a first sewing machine. She quickly learned how to thread it as this machine makes it easy peasy. I only had to show her a couple times and she has been doing it on her own ever since.
She started off practicing stitches and learning how to control the pedal. She then went on to make little catnip filled pillows for the cats, which the dog chewed up instead.
So on to her first big project:
I remembered making hair scrunchies in a class in high school. It’s a good easy project for a kid and you can make many of them! Don’t forget to backstitch so your stitching doesn’t come apart.
First you want to choose a piece of fabric and 3/8″ wide piece of elastic.
There are plenty of online places to buy fabric like this cute Tea Party Fat Quarter Assortment or I went to JoAnne Fabrics and just picked out a bunch of different Fat Quarters and Fabric Quarters. They are 18″ x 21″ and great for small projects.
For a child size scrunchy cut it 3″ x 12″. Cut the elastic 5 1/2″ long.
For an adult cut it 4″ x 16″. Cut the elastic 7″ long.
Fold in half lengthwise with the pattern facing the inside.
Pin or mark where you will be sewing. You will leave 1 1/2″ of the bottom and top open. So 1 1/2″ from the top you will begin sewing lengthwise and stop 1 1/2″ before the bottom. Sew about 1/2″ in along the edge.
Turn the tube right side out.
Spread out the ends. Fold one end to meet the other with the right sides facing each other. Pin them together.
Push loop together.
Place a safety pin on one side of the elastic and feed it through the tube.
When you have both ends of elastic sticking out put them together and sew across them to make a circle of elastic inside the tube.
Stitch as close to the edge as possible and stitch the opening closed. You could also hand stitch the ends together if you prefer.
See I told you it was easy! Now go make a bunch of them.
You can also visit my Instructable where you can download a PDF version.
Let me know what you think of this project in the comments
This week there were 3 challenges. I am not yet rooting for any of them to win, though I don’t know that I really did until the end last year. Thank you Food Network for putting recipes up this week! The previous 2 weeks recipes are not online but hopefully they will be doing this from now on.
The first challenge was a Skill Drill about Flavor. If you ask me flavor is pretty damn important. This was a team challenge to replicate 3 sauces just on taste. Yeah their palate is ready to just pick up what is inside something hell I don’t know that I could do that, well not every ingredient.
They had to replicate salsa cruda, remesco and petso in 45 minutes. I’ve heard of and made my own pesto but other than the word salsa i’ve never heard of either of the other two.
So the blue team split into 3 teams of 2 people each choosing a sauce to work on. I was thinking that was pretty smart. The red team didn’t have much of a plan. I would much rather work with one person on one dish for 45 minutes than figure out 3 with everyone. The chefs tasted them all not knowing which team did which sauces. Red won the pesto and salsa cruda and blue won the remsco. The blue would have won had she not chopped her salsa like crap cause she was in a hurry.
Whatever, not like they get anything for winning.
Next was the Technique Challenge. They had 30 minutes to complete.
The red team made Seared Halibut with Sauteed Swiss Chard and Salsa Cruda. Chef Anne taught them that fish will stick and win, you have to let it cook enough and it will unstick itself. Dumbass Joshi tasted his food and put the spoon he tasted with back into the bowl. I don’t even do that at home and I bet my family would eat my germs. So Chef Anne wouldn’t eat the salsa. What did she do? She pushed it off the Halibut and ate the rest. Ummmmmm wasn’t that salsa on top of the fish?
The blue team made Pan Seared Shrimp with Romesco Sauce, Grits and Greens. Chef Robert showed them how to remove the intestine from the shrimp. Would someone please show chinese restaraunts how to do this? Most of them fail miserably. The girls on Chef Roberts team were grossed out by ripping the heads off the shrimp and de-pooping them There was a guy on the team who didn’t have enough time to get his sauce on the plate before time was up. Chef Robert wanted to taste it anyway and loved it but it didn’t count. Not that the challenge actually counted towards anything other than the chefs know what they missed.
The Main Dish Challenge was what really counted. They could get sent home for their mistakes now. They walked into the room and saw a table with TV Dinners and ice. The Chefs put their own spin on typical TV Dinners and they had to replicate it in 60 mintues.
You notice that the recipe is on the chalkboard but they all are taking notes. Probably a good idea as you never know when they might erase that board. In this challenge multi tasking was key. Even I have a hard time with getting everything done at the same time doing multiple things at once.
The red team made Dry Rubbed Rib Eye with Mushroom Sauce.
Erika had a problem with touching her hair while working. She is just a hot mess if you ask me. Chef Anne said something to her so she kept washing her hands. In the mean time her carrots were dark as could be. If you would focus on cooking and not your pretty hair you would do better. Oh yeah, Chef Anne eats her food even tho she touched her hair and touched food before being scolded.
Kelsey burned her meat and carrots. I swear this chick is gonna burn the place down.
With 10 minutes to go Priscilla the retired school teacher hadn’t even cooked her meat yet! OMG get that shit cooked. No one wants to eat meat that still looks alive. The meat is the main portion of your meal and that should be done more than anything else on that plate.
I don’t know what Chef is thinking but them red dishes didn’t look pretty to me. They had a ginourmous piece of meat that hides everything underneath it. But hey Chef Anne showed them that way.
The blue team made Herbed Turkey Breast in Gravy with Creamed English Peas and Cranberry Compote.
Kelly kept whining that she feels like a step sister because Anna can do no wrong in Chef Roberts eyes. Wah, cry me a river. Kelly plopped her meat down on the plate and looked around at everyone else who sliced theirs and was all, “I noticed others slicing, and I didn’t.” She just stood there. Then she blames the fact that she doesn’t eat meat on why it didn’t occur to her. I am pretty sure Chef Robert instructed them to slice that meat. Ummmm didn’t you write it down on your lovely note pad there?
Chef Robert told Matt he was over thinking everything. He admitted that he thinks like it’s science. Who does he think he is Alton Brown?
Chef Robert told George that all her plates looked nice but the meat was over cooked. She just kept saying “Oh, really?” to everything like she was in dis belief.
I couldn’t believe we went an entire show without hearing the words mis en place! Made me happy. It just became one of those annoying phrases that she over used. Thank you for editing it out if she did say it alot.
So the verdict was in and here are the loosers who went home:
Red team – Chef Anne – Priscilla eliminated
Blue team – Chef Robert – Matt eliminated
I am not surprised and do think Priscilla lasted longer than she should have.
See you next week!