Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ghetto Key Lime Cheesecake

I found this recipe on the internet, back when the internet wasn't full of fancy websites, and I wasn't a food snob. I made it often because it was pretty easy and Ross loved it. I thought about it recently and actually found the recipe (wrinkled and all) in a notebook I put together back then of recipes I printed from the internet or got out of magazines. I made it and Ross still loves it.

No Bake Key Lime Cheesecake

1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz. cool whip
1 c. fresh lime juice

Crust (recipe from the back of the box)
1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
5 Tbl. melted butter

1. For the crust: Mix crust ingredients in a small bowl. Dump crumbs into a 9 inch pie pan and spread them out--pressing them down with the back of a spoon. Chill crust 10 minutes before filling.

2. For the filling: First juice the limes. I actually juiced key limes because I didn't find the key lime juice bottled at the store.

3. Combine the cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and whipped topping in a large bowl.

4. Stir in the lime juice until well blended.

5. Immediately pour filling into graham cracker crust.

6. Chill 2 hours or over night.

7. Nom. Nom. Nom.

Okay, the second photo shows two different cans of sweetened condensed milk. If you let the stuff sit on the shelf for a few years it darkens and thickens up. Yummy. But I let the one on the right sit too long (exp. 2001) and it smelled a little cheesy, so I used a brand new can.

A special shout out to Carole A. Resnick who submitted this recipe to that website oh so long ago.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Dreaded Wrinkle Wall

My mom and I are totally skeeved out by a naked mattress. What is a naked mattress? It is a mattress without a mattress pad. Even with sheets on it--it is a naked mattress. Our mattress pad was getting really worn out, and I started looking for a replacement. It was a little difficult to find one in my price range, and one that didn't have sides made out of papery material. I found one at Costco and threw it in the cart as soon as I saw it had stretchy sides.

The mattress pad fits our mattress, in fact it isn't tight at all. It is actually slippery and loose because the sides are so stretchy. This causes the dreaded wrinkle wall. In the middle of the night when I roll over to snuggle with Ross the mattress pad slides and bunches up to form a wall. I feel like I need some long suspenders or something to go on the backside of the mattress to hold the pad tight. Ross put some binder clips on the sides, but I think they have all popped off already. I'm not sure what to do about the wall. I just find it so annoying!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Double Feature at the Drive-In

The drive-in theater opened last week, and we missed it. Ross really wanted to go this week, so we did. I was a little worried that we'd get cold, but it was fine. I wore a couple layers of cashmere, my snow boots, and had a blanket for my legs. We took my car, which is definitely the better car for the drive in. I have heated seats for the cold and the top goes down for the summer. We managed to fog up the windows something severe--especially Ross.

The home made chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich was a totally different experience this time. The concessions area wasn't 120 degrees and the ice cream was still solid when we got back to the car. The place wasn't very crowded at all, and the lines weren't long for snacks or the bathrooms. The drive-in is definitely different in the Spring.

Rango was fun. I was worried that it was going to turn all green-preachy, but it didn't. Ross was bothered that the female lead had hair because lizards don't have hair.

I wasn't excited about seeing The Adjustment Bureau. I thought it was going to be like one of the the Bourne movies where he is being chased the whole time. It wasn't. I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it. I found Matt Damon very attractive in this movie. The acting was good, even if the story was a bit predictable.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

In Loving Memory?

Okay, what the heck is with the epitaphs on the back windshield of people's cars? I'm seeing it more and more lately.

In Loving Memory
So and So
Blah Blah Blah

Really? I saw two on one pick up truck rear window today. It just boggles my mind. How does a decal on the back of your SUV honor the dead? The In Loving Memory part is really what gets me. What is In Loving Memory--the car?--the decal? I just don't get it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dyed with Catnip?

I bought some new black pants today. I showed them to Ross and then thew them over the arm of the couch. Then I caught Bailey doing this:

Sorry it's so dark, but I think you get the idea.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Longwood Gardens

On Thursday we went to Longwood Gardens with my parents. My favorite thing was the smell of the grapefruit blossoms. Ross's favorite thing was the view as you walk into the conservatory. My dad's favorite thing was blue daisies. I'm not sure what my mom's favorite thing was. She had trouble deciding. Here's just a few photos. We had a great time.

Green Smoothie

I saw a recipe for a green smoothie in a magazine yesterday and thought I'd give it a try because I had all the ingredients at home. As Ross said recently--I've never met a recipe I really liked. I made changes. I'm really surprised at how much I like the smoothie.

Green Smoothie

1 1/2 c. soy milk (we always have vanilla soy milk in the house)
1/2 c. orange juice (I had mango orange Nantucket nectar, so that's what I used)
1 c. loosely packed spinach
1/2 banana
1/2 c. cucumber
1 piece finely minced candied ginger
1 Tbl. flax meal

Throw all ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth. Much yummier than it looks--really.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Power Waffles

Whenever I see my mom she wants me to make power waffles. She got her wish last weekend. I got this recipe from Bon Apetit. I'm sure I've tweaked it a bit. It took a little bit to find some buckwheat flour, but I had everything else in the house. I start this the night before because I don't want to have to wait an extra hour in the morning for breakfast. I use candied ginger instead of crystallized because it is easier to cut up and makes less of a mess.

Power Waffles

2 1/2 c. warm soy milk or rice dream
1/4 c. finely minced candied ginger
2 Tbl. sugar
1 tsp. dry yeast
1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. buckwheat flour
2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. old fashioned oats
1 tsp. salt

6 large egg whites, beaten to blend
6 Tbl. butter, melted
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Mix first 4 ingredients in bowl to blend.
2. Let mixture proof 10 minutes.
3. Mix dry ingredients together.
4. Add dry ingredients to yeast mixture and stir to blend.
5. Chill mixture one hour or overnight.
6. Mix egg whites, butter, baking powder, and vanilla into chilled mixture.
7. Cook waffles in waffle iron.

Serve waffles with yoghurt, honey, and bananas.

Introducing Priscilla

After a lot of hemming and hawing I gave in and let my dad buy me an orchid. I named her Priscilla. From the bottom of her pot to the top bloom is 3 and a half feet. She dwarfs Penny. Isn't she beautiful?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Took the Plunge

Today we took a drive and bought a snowboard set up for me. I got a board, boots, and bindings. Everything is in really good shape. To make it pay off I need to snowboard at least 3 more times. The boots are a little big on me. Ross might buy me some other ones. We'll see. I'm excited to have my own stuff. Now I just need a helmet, goggles, mittens...

Dreaming of Black Ops

I was looking through a fashion magazine while Ross was playing Call of Duty Black Ops. That made for some interesting dreams. I dreamt I was playing Black Ops and getting jewelry and other accessories as prizes for kill streaks (instead of spy planes and turrets). I was playing Fashion Black Ops. Somehow that transformed into Interior Design Black Ops. I was getting furniture as prizes in my crates and using hacker pro to turn the couch into a love seat. Very funny. Who wants a SAM turret when you can get a great handbag? Ha!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Pancake Prince

Ross has been making pancakes lately. Isn't that Texas shaped blueberry pancake awesome? He's also made cherry pancakes a couple of times too. It seems that I gave up on figuring out a healthy, but fluffy pancake recipe. And Ross has decided just to make pancakes with stuff in 'em.

I'm still not crazy about syrup, but I like the real maple syrup infinitely more than the fake HFCS stuff. We've been putting powdered sugar on the pancakes. It is special powdered sugar. It came with the pandoro that we bought for New Year's. Unlike the stuff available here, it doesn't have corn starch in it. I think it tastes better, and sweeter. It could be all in my head and I'm just imagining that imported Italian powdered sugar is better, but Ross thinks so too.

I'll be making power waffles soon. I just need to find some buckwheat flour. I'll be sure to post the recipe and some photos.

For the Love of Food: My Scathing Review

In a nutshell: The food was great, the tension was not.

Ainsmar told us about a cooking class with a Moroccan theme and showing of Casablanca. We shelled out 175$ and this is how it went:

We arrived a bit early because I was worried about traffic. For some reason I thought it would be in an industrial park area. Nope. It was in someone's house. We parked. Chef Diane came out and started to direct traffic. When we got out of the car she didn't introduce herself or say welcome, she just told us we could go inside. She never did introduce herself.

The two helpers were inside. They couldn't figure out how to work the oven, the TV system, or the fancy coffee maker. There were packets of hot chocolate and tea bags, but no hot water for them. More and more people started to pile in. The tension began: Chef Diane started to argue with her helpers. It wasn't loud, it wasn't heated, but I could feel it, and I didn't enjoy it.

Chef then went through the recipes and told us how she would change some of them. Okay, if that is the case--then why didn't you take the time to change them before you printed them out? Most of the people weren't cooks, and had never had Moroccan food, so they were going to follow the recipes exactly. After the explanations (and some rules) she basically said --decide what you want to do and have at it. Then the chaos began. People running around, trying to figure out who was making what and where. Everyone trying to figure out where everything was in the kitchen.

More chaos and tension ensued. Chef did not know how many people were there, so the teams were unevenly divided. There were 17 people (she thought there were 19!) Too many for the amount of space and number of dishes (5). Poor Ainsmar was on his own making dessert, so Ross joined him. People were on top of each other, and there really weren't enough things to do for everyone to fully participate. Chef went around telling (rather than instructing I thought) everyone on how to do things. She was very controlling and was self-admittedly unpleasant. If she was kidding--she shouldn't have been. Her instructions didn't follow the recipes on some things, and that caused confusion.

More tension--no one could figure out the DVD player. Many of the guests tried to figure it out. She bickered and argued with her husband. That I could really feel and it was very unpleasant. There wasn't enough room in the ovens for everyone's dishes. I had to walk through her house--down a hallway that smelled like cat to use the restroom. I don't think cats and dogs belong in a professional kitchen--she didn't let them in until the end, but still. I didn't enjoy the yipping, yapping, scratching at the door dogs during dinner.

I want to say that the other people that attended the class were great. Everyone was friendly. The helpers were friendly, but brow-beaten into deferring to Chef, so they weren't always helpful--and I certainly didn't want to deal with Chef, which is why I asked them in the first place. I think Chef's attitude might have been right for a professional kitchen, and probably a professional classroom, but not for a casual cooking class. She actually argued with me about something non-cooking related. People shouldn't argue with their customers.

They never got the DVD to work. They ended up renting it through Fios and stopping it and restarting it from the beginning three times. There was effectively no sound. The movie part was really a bust. There were snacks at the beginning--toasted pita wedges with with hummus and baba ganoush, but we didn't start eating the food we made until after 10p. Wine was served with dinner. The lamb tagine sat on the counter because the Chef and her helpers were busy finishing the dessert. Meanwhile the lamb was getting cold. We were waiting for wine I guess. When we figured that out I just picked up the bottle and served our table. Ainsmar was really sweet and put candles in my dessert and had everyone sing Happy Birthday. Actually eating the dessert was difficult because I had already eaten so much food. All of the food was good. The lamb tagine was excellent. We ended up leaving at 11:45p!

This would have been a better experience with maybe only 6 people and 3 dishes. There were 3 different dishes with phyllo dough. That means three butter bombs. There was no real education going on. Ross was disappointed by that. Each person only got to see how their own dish was made. We didn't get to learn about the different spices. We didn't get to learn about much at all. For 175$ I could have bought a whole book of recipes and my own food, and figured it out by myself. I could have probably bought a tagine too. I feel like I paid for someone to wash dishes. Heck, I can just make Ross do that!

As strange as it may sound, I'm glad we went, but I will never go back. Eating all that food so late at night made it hard for me to fall asleep and caused indigestion in the middle of the night. Some Moroccan Mint tea would have been nice to aid digestion--if only that were my only complaint.