Thursday, December 31, 2009

Public Service Announcement: Skid Marks

Don't party too hard tonight or this could happen to you:

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December 30, 2006 - Newport Beach, CA:

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Trillians Travels: Santa Barbara Mission, Santa Barbara, CA

August 27, 2009:




The plaque in the above photo says: This lavanderia or washing basin was completed in 1818. It served as the original mission laundry. The Indians soaped the clothes on the sloping sides and rinsed them in the center pool.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday Mixing: Joan's Broccoli Madness Salad

From: Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation Restaurants
  • 1 bunch broccoli, uncooked, washed, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
DRESSING 
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1.  Mix the broccoli, bacon, cashews, raisins and onions in a large bowl. In a second bowl, beat dressing ingredients together gently until smooth.

2.  About 10 minutes before serving, toss the salad with the dressing to allow flavors to meld.

3.  Serve on chilled salad dishes.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Survey Saturday: Bounce Dryer Bar

The Bounce Dryer Bar was put into the dryer about 6 weeks ago and approximately 6 loads of laundry per week get done.

Pros:
  • Easy to install and has remained firmly in place.
  • Every load has come out smelling fresh.
  • Static is controlled.
  • Replacement indicator.

Cons:
  • Can only purchase as a full kit (bar and holder) only.
Impressions:
  • It's nice to not have to toss a sheet into the dryer (I frequently forget to) or pour fabric softener into the washing machine (seems like it doesn't quite get evenly distributed no matter what the load size).

Look for an update when it's time to replace the bar!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Meowy Christmas!

From "The Reverend":

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mmmmm! Tamales!

Looking forward to tomorrow's dinner!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trillian's Travels: Passing Through Primm, NV

Taken while zipping along I-15, December 2009:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Mixing: Baby Henry's Bread Pudding

From: LaBelle Cuisine: Recipes to Sing About
  • 4 cups stale, firm white sliced sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch squares (about 7 ounces)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins
1.  Preheat the oven to 350º F. Lightly butter a 12 x 8-inch (2 1/2-quart) baking dish. 

2.  In a large bowl, gently mix the bread and milk. Let stand for 5 minutes.

3.  In another large bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Gradually stir in the melted butter.

4.  Add the bread with its milk and the raisins, and mix gently. Pour into the prepared dish.

5.  Bake until golden brown and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

6.  Cool for 10 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

PATTI'S POINTERS: Fresh bread makes soggy bread pudding. With all of the preservatives they put into the bread these days, it's hard to get bread to go stale. (All of a sudden it just tastes and smells bad.) It's best to spread the bread on the kitchen counter and let it stand for a few hours or overnight, uncovered, to dry out.

TRILLIAN'S TIPS: I usually just place the bread slices in the oven long enough to dry them out a little bit (without turning them into toast) and haven't had a problem with overly-soggy pudding. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

You can't hide ...

Your thyroid eyes! O_O

This post is for a special reader who knows who they are.

Love ya!

P.S. - No offense was intended in the creation of this post. The person this is dedicated to actually gave me the idea for it!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Survey Saturday: Perfect Brownie Baking Pan

I have prepared at least 4 batches of brownies,1 batch of cornbread and 1 batch of Rice Krispies Treats using the Perfect Brownie Baking Pan. Today's survey is just a review by me since nobody else in the house has used it. I have not tried any recipes in the included booklet nor the stencils.

Pros:
  • Accommodated a standard sized brownie (from scratch and box) and cornbread recipe despite being smaller than a regular brownie pan.
  • Pan separates easily from bottom to expose contents.
  • Pan and bottom are easy to clean.

Cons:
  • Even following recommendations to coat pan and dividers with cooking spray, brownies adhered. Cornbread separated more readily. Rice Krispies Treats weren't easily divisible (I ended up using the dividers to impress the treats and used the lines as a cutting guide).
  • Cleaning the divider is slightly inconvenient (especially the corners).
  • Dividers are flimsy and bend easily but it's easy to reshape them.
  • Batter leakage could be an issue if instructions to preheat the pan or line it aren't followed. I haven't experienced this problem because I've used either foil or parchment paper to line the pan.

Overall Impression:
  • The Perfect Brownie Pan isn't quite perfect but none of the cons are real deal-breakers.
  • Too expensive for the quality (I got it for about $20 at Kohl's).  
  • I'm not horribly disappointed by it and I'm not absolutely thrilled with it either.
I will continue to use the pan and experiment with different batters, baking temperatures, coatings, etc. and update this review.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Random Photo - Mini Cupcakes

Winter-themed mini cupcakes made by me December 2008:


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Random Photo - Hawaiian Sun Tropical Drinks

Taken at my cousin's restaurant by me on October 4, 2008:


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Wondering: Missing Ingredient

Why is there no vanilla in Henry's Vanilla Fig Bars? I'm guessing that vanilla refers to the bars' color and it's probably something to do with not wanting to call them "White Fig Bars." As I recall, they have dark fig bars available too but I can't remember what they're named.


I think I'll stick with Nabisco's Fig Newtons. Henry's bars just weren't that good. Probably needs some vanilla.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trillian's Travels: Northbound on Interstate 15

An interesting procession seen during a drive to Vega$ in October:
Yes, that's R2-D2 in the back!
Herbie the Love Bug:

Paging Dr. Emmett Brown:
Wonder if this guy would've helped us out if we broke down:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday Mixing: Dipped Gingersnaps!

From:  Taste of Home Cookbook

Dipped Gingersnaps (Yield: 14 ½ dozen)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Additional sugar
  • 2 packages (10-12 oz. each) vanilla or white chips
  • ¼ cup shortening 
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar and oil. Beat in eggs. Stir in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

    2. Shape into ¾ inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until cookies springs back when lightly touched. Remove to wire racks to cool.

    3. In a small saucepan, melt chips with shortening over low heat, stirring until smooth. Dip the cookies halfway into the melted chips; shake off excess. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets until set.

    Nutritional Analysis: 2 cookies equals 128 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 93 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein.

    Sunday, December 13, 2009

    Hukt ahn Fonix Werked fer Mee!

    Found in my local PennySaver (October 6, 2009):



    Saturday, December 12, 2009

    Survey Saturday: Keurig Special Edition Brewing System

    The Keurig Special Edition Brewer has been in my home for one week. Below are the results of a survey of the 8 people that have used it.

    We’ve agreed that:
    • Overall, the Keurig Special Edition is easy to use, convenient and less wasteful.    
    • The SE is very quick to brew yet produces good flavor.
    • The brewer is slightly larger than a standard kitchen coffee machine but it was easy to find counter space for it.
    • Variable dispensing sizes is nice.
    • It is easy to navigate and set menu items.
    • The customizable on/off times and brew temperatures are useful.
    • Once the beverage has been dispensed, there is no dripping from the spout. No more burning coffee odors!
    • Having hot water ready all the time is handy.  We prepared Cup Noodles (in its original container) using the brewer.
    • Nearly any cup you’d have a hot beverage in fits. The largest we tried was a Thermos brand 14-oz travel mug (it filled the cup area).
    • The optional water filter does improve taste.
    • K-Cups come in quite an array of flavors, intensities and types. You can even choose from hot chocolate and tea cups. Favorites so far are the Café Escapes Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa, Gloria Jean’s Hazelnut, Timothy’s Columbian Decaffeinated and Donut Shop Coffee by Coffee People.
    What we didn’t quite agree upon:
    • Brew and pump noise is different but comparable to regular coffee makers. Only 1 person insisted that it was a bit quieter than the usual. 
    Overall Impressions:
    • 1 person plans to purchase a Keurig SE to give as a Christmas gift.
    • 1 person would like to have one for the office.
    • 1 person has stopped using their regular coffee maker in favor of this one. This person was rather staunchly opposed to the idea of using it and switching coffee brands.
    • 8 people expect this appliance to be used daily.
    Look for an updated opinion within the next few months after we’ve worked our way through the included beverage sampler pack and put the machine through its paces!

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Pudding Potatoes

    Background: Talking with someone on the phone who had mentioned that their company was having a catered holiday lunch ...

    Me: Hey, how was your lunch?

    Them: Oh, God. It was  N A S T Y (emphasis not mine).

    Me: That bad? How do you mess up a basic turkey dinner?

    Them: They had the taco truck guy cater it.

    Me: Oooooh ...

    I later heard that they were served stuffing that consisted of what seemed to be taco meat, dark pieces of what was presumably turkey and mashed potatoes so runny that some people thought it was pudding.

    Pass the Pepto!

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Chance to win an HP TouchSmart

    MckMama over at mycharmingkids.net is hosting a contest and the grand prize is an HP TouchSmart!!! Find out more about the contest here.

    If you haven't already, be sure you read all about the miracle this family has been blessed with: Stellan.

    A Prayer for the Holidays

    "Dear God,

    Thank you for our health, being able to get together, the delicious food, the wonderful gifts, the whole baby Jesus in a manger deal and one more thing: we are so glad that you chose some folks over in Africa to starve and deal with drought and horrible wars instead of us. Amen."

    Is that just wrong or what?

    Yet it's exactly what Bono tells us to do in "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

    "... Pray for the other ones
    At Christmas time it's hard, but when you're having fun
    There's a world outside your window
    And it's a world of dread and fear
    Where the only water flowing is the bitter sting of tears
    And the Christmas bells that ring there
    Are the clanging chimes of doom
    Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you."

    Wonder what Bono would tell those folks in Africa to be grateful for.

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    "Don't look at me that way or I'll stab your eyes out!"

    Just an example of some of the loveliness that comes out of my mouth on a daily basis.

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