Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You died in 1989, wanna get back to that morning...

This weeks music selection is LudoThis is the second Ludo album featured on my blog. Yeah, I kind of love them. If you haven't checked them out yet I suggest you do. Who knows you may love them as much as I do.


    Broken Bride

Part I: Broken Bride

Save Our City

Part Ii: Tonight's The Night

Part Iii: The Lamb And The Dragon

Part Iv: Morning In May


Release Date: 09/27/2005


I love me a good rock opera. This single by Ludo is a great example of telling a story through music.

I don't really know when it was that I started loving rock operas, but for some reason they just fascinate me.

According to Tim Convy, keyboardist for Ludo: “It tells the story of a man’s wife dying, it destroying his life and leaving him feeling isolated, and him doing everything in his power to get her back.

It's tender. It's a little heart breaking. It's full of emotion and adventure, and huge imagery. Time travel, dinosaurs, zombies, the end of time, dragons, the four horsemen... it's a vast story that you can't quite absorb by only listening to it once. I have heard it a thousand times and I still catch new bits that I may not have heard before.

Roll Roll Roll in ze Hay.

Last night John and I finally got to use some of our season tickets to Capitol Theatre again. This time it was to see The New Mel Brooks Musical: Young Frankenstein - "This wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein (that's Fronkensteen) as he attempts to create a monster--but not without scary and hilarious complications." 
My review of it: Rent the movie it's so much better. The musical was just plain dirty. Now, I can do a little dirty, that's not a far stretch for me, but, really, everything was dirty. Every reference, every song, nearly every action. I don't really find that necessary to be entertaining.
It was entertaining enough, and the music was catchy even if the words are all innuendos. I don't think that this is a musical soundtrack that will be in my collection.
Like I said, go rent the MOVIE. The movie may have been racy for 1974, but by today's standards it's rather innocent and I'd much rather watch Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle and Madeline Kahn enact the silliness of the spoof than to subject myself to the musical version. I'm not a huge fan of the works of Mel Brooks, but Young Frankenstein the musical was beyond what I thought it needed to be.
I think John may have enjoyed it more than I did, although in the end he agrees that it was rather inappropriate. We did both agree that the performers seemed like they were trying too hard to imitate past great performances rather than trying to make the part their own. Elizabeth was trying too hard to be a combination of Megan Mullally and Madeline Kahn. Doctor Frankenstein reminded me of someone but I can't quite put my finger on it, and I prefer the Igor from the movie.
So far this season we've (or I) have seen:
Young Frankenstein
The Color Purple was alright, Spamalot was offensive, Young Frankenstein was a bit raunchy

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eating with Liz 2011 - Zeppole

This week we are making Zeppole. What are those you ask? Well, they're unsweetened doughnuts that are deep fried and then doused in powdered sugar. Sound good? Well, they are. I first has Zeppole's at New York Pizzeria when John and I stopped there for dinner before a movie. Our pizza took all of our time we had for dinner, but I wanted dessert so I opted to order and whatever I got would have to be snuck into the theater. I opted for the Zeppoles "Our special dough fried, then drenched in your choice of powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar and served to you in a paper bag." I thought that sounded handy so that's what we got. I walked into the theater with greasy paper bag in hand and not one looked twice. I don't know why I'm so paranoid of sneaking stuff into the theater in all my years I've never been called out on it... Anyway - This greasy paper bag was full  of little doughnuts swimming in powdered sugar. Nom Nom Nom. It was hard not to eat them all before the movie ever started. I fell in love with these little treats, but unfortunately we haven't been back to NY Pizzeria to get more (or try the other desserts.) The other night I wanted something good. I thought about making Chocolate Chip Cookies but once I had the bowl attached to the Kitchenaid, I decided that I wanted doughnuts. I pulled out my handy "Grandma Mac doughnut" recipe, but that makes a HUGE batch of dough, and I didn't need that many. Then I remembered the Zeppole and googled a recipe. I'm so glad I did. Even my often unseen sister came over to have some.
1¾ cups    Flour
½ tsp         Salt
1 cup         Warm tap water, about 105 degrees
2½ tsp       Yeast
4 cups        Oil (good oils for deep frying include canola, grapeseed, peanut and safflower.)
Powdered Sugar, Regular Sugar, or Cinnamon Sugar 
Mix flour and salt together and set aside. dough for fritters before proofing
Pour water into a medium bowl and whisk in the yeast. Let sit for a moment to allow the yeast to activate. Once the yeast/water is bubbly, stir in the salted flour with a rubber spatula until you have a rather wet dough.
Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rise at room temperature for about an hour, or until ready for fryingdough is double in size and very puffy. 
Heat oil to 375 degrees F., and line a cookie sheet with paper towels or brown paper for draining.
Dip a tablespoon into the hot oil, then quickly use it to spoon up some of the risen dough. Use another spoon to scrape the dough off into the hot oil. delicious zeppole
Fry two or three fritters at a time keep them from burning. Fry until they are a deep golden color. Drain on prepared pan.
Dust generously with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Makes about 24
We ate all but three that night, and I finished off the rest the next morning. These are yummy little things and you can make them as big or small as you want. I think next time I'll make mine a little smaller.
I fried them in vegetable oil, because that's what I had in the house. It worked just fine, but it has a very low smoking point. by the time I was done with my batch of zeppole my entire house smelled like burnt vegetable oil and I even set off the fire alarm.
Like I stated above in the recipe, good oils for deep frying include canola, grapeseed, peanut and safflower. I usually use canola, but I bought a bottle of peanut oil to try with my deep fried scones I asked for for mother's day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trust me, I'm the Doctor.

It's no secret. I LOVE Doctor Who. I always have. I've been hooked to Doctor Who since I was a kid, hiding behind the couch on Saturday nights while my dad stayed up to watch. The couches in our living room were these big clucky things made of wood, and the cushions were these fabric bags of fluff. They never sat just right and were so uncomfortable.  Seriously the entire couch was just made up of 2x4's bolted together, but they did create a great hiding place when mom would try to rearrange the furniture and the loveseat often ended up in front of the bedroom doors, making an ideal place to hide out and watch TV after bed time. The Doctor Who theme will always be Saturday nights to me. The opening theme makes me smile and takes me back to those days. Anyway, hiding behind the couch or lingering in the darkness just beyond the doorframe, I watched the adventures of this Time Lord. Some times he's an old man. Some times he's young and quirky, but always, always he is The Doctor. He's brilliant. He's fantastic. He's amazing. He's packed full of emotion and heart. He meddles in the lives of humans. He makes us better people by association. He has two hearts and countless faces. He's over 900 years old. He's not one of us, but he fights for the human race. We're like his pets.

My doctor is # 4 – Tom Baker – with his red velvet blazer, silly hat and yards and yards of scarf. His adventures with K-9 (his robot dog) and Sarah Jane are my favorite memories. Tom Baker was my first Doctor. I love him. I remember seeing his regeneration from # 3 to # 4 and then from # 4 to # 5. I also loved Doctor # 5 – Peter Davison – He wore celery and stripped pants, and glasses just because they made him look smart.

Through the years without Doctor Who I held onto my love of the show. I'd often pretend that I was with him, in the TARDIS. I'd fight aliens and travel through time. I wanted to be the Who Girl. I had a friend who even suggested that I'd make a good one, with no prompting from me.  I can't even begin to say how excited I was when I learned that the BBC was bringing Doctor Who back to the small screen. I unfortunately didn't get to watch any of the new series until 2010, but let me just say – The wait was worth it. We started watching the revamped series when PBS started broadcasting them on Saturday nights (so fitting) at 11 PM.

First there was Doctor # 9 – Christopher Eccleston – He was alright. Not my favorite, but he did a good enough job of bringing The Doctor back to life. He was only The Doctor for one series before he regenerated into Doctor # 10 – David Tennant – He was a brilliant Doctor. He was the Doctor for four years – three series' – His time was filled with emotion, drama, huge story lines, and love. He had three Who Girls during his time and two men (his "companions"). He finally met his end (he'll knock four times) and regenerated alone in his TARDIS (I don't think he ever regenerated alone before) and turned into Doctor # 11 – Matt Smith -- I do not like this incarnation of The Doctor.. He's just hasn't gotten to me. I'm not a fan. He doesn't seem like "The Doctor" there are personality traits and story lines that have carried over in all his other forms, but with this Doctor it seems like the other's didn't exist and the writers are trying to hard to make you believe that he IS The Doctor when there really is nothing else linking him to the past. He just doesn't fit the mold… maybe he'll grow on us. Maybe he wont. Maybe he'll regenerate soon and we wont have to worry about it for long. No one but the writers know.


One man, many faces.


I do love all of David Tennant though. and Rose. Ah! Such a great story arch. I personally didn't want the 10th Doctor era to end at all. :( The way it ended broke my heart and I didn't have much hope for Matt Smith after David Tennant. I loved Martha Jones. I wasn't a super fan of Donna, but we recently bought series four and are watching it from the beginning. I had only seen random episodes from this series and so Donna annoyed me. And I had never really seen the Christmas episode where she and the Doctor met so I really had no idea where she came from. But now that I'm getting the big picture of who she is and how she's relating to the Doctor I'm a little more fond of her and the end of her travels is a bit more bitter sweet now then it was before. I liked her grand dad a million times more than I liked her. But like I said, she's grew on me. I think for most of the episodes in series 4 I ended up in tears by the end.
Can I just say though that I LOVE the Master. He's so deliciously nuts... always has been.


I ♥ ♥ The Doctor



Sadly, Elizabeth Sladen died on April 19, 2011. What does this have to do with my Doctor Who post, you may be asking? Well… She is better known to Doctor Who fans as Sarah Jane Smith. She reprised the role several times over the years since 1973 up to the most recent incarnation of the show. But for me, mostly I remember her as Tom Baker's Who girl. Just like most people say "You never forget your first Doctor." Well, I have never forgotten my first "Who Girl" Sarah Jane will be missed. I had been looking forward to seeing if she'd pop up somewhere in the newest incarnation of the Doctor… but now she wont. The Who-niverse has lost a favorite.

Eating with Liz 2011 - Greek Skillet

I wanted to share last nights recipe. It was not so bad. But, as John has pointed out, all these meals (the edible ones) from are missing …something… it's like they're almost good, but there is just something, some taste, missing that would make it just a little bit better. We haven't decided what yet, but we're working on it. Again, this is cooking for two. This turned out to be about 3 ½ servings.


Greek Skillet Supper

Parmesan Garlic Bread


½ lb ground beef

¼ c onion, chopped

1 t oregano

½ t cinnamon

sprinkle of garlic salt

14 oz can beef broth

14 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 T tomato paste

¾ c egg noodles, uncooked

¾ c frozen spinach, thawed and drained

½ c feta cheese


In large sauce pan, brown ground beef & onion over medium heat. Add seasonings, broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and noodles. Cover and cook until pasta is nearly tender, about 10 min. Stir in spinach and ¼ c feta. Cover and cook until heated through. Sprinkle w/ remaining feta.


½ loaf French bread

(Parmesan, butter, garlic salt)

On a baking sheet, slice French bread in half, lengthwise. Spread each half w/ butter. Sprinkle garlic salt and top w/ parmesan. Slice and bake @400, 10 min, until crispy.


I was impressed with this recipe (aside from the "missing something" part.)

I am not a fan of feta cheese, but being determined to try the recipe as is I bought some and used it like the recipe said to. Still not a fan of feta, but when added to the recipe I really couldn't taste it.

I'm working on being a spinach fan. It doesn't seem quite as gross to me now as it used to. I am really not a fan of the precooked frozen stuff. Perhaps next time (if there is one) I'll use fresh spinach instead. It should wilt up nicely in this hot pot. In this case I did use the frozen spinach. I microwaved it until it was mushy and then used a paper towel to squish the excess liquid out.


What did I do differently:

I did not drain my diced tomatoes. I just dumped in the whole can. I don't know how well this would have worked if I hadn't. The 10 minutes of cooking time pretty much boiled out all the liquid. Maybe I was cooking it to high, but I don't think so.

I added pepper. A few good shakes of pepper in the recipe didn't hurt it. It probably helped a little. Maybe what these recipes are missing is more spices. (i.e. salt and pepper) I should have used the pepper mill and given it a few good turns of fresh ground pepper. That probably would have been tasty.

I had precooked my beef. I used ½ lb of beef for the recipe the night before so I just cooked the whole pound and put half of it in the fridge. This worked well for this to be a quick meal. 15 minutes from start to plate -- Not bad at all.

Dried Onions. I think I may have figured them out. I use 1/8 cup or less of the dried onions and that seems to work out well. For this recipe I used my Pampered Chef wooden Spoon and just scooped enough to fill the spoon well with onion. That was just about the right amount. I'll figure these dried onions out yet.

I didn't measure my egg noodles. I just added two handfuls.


We didn't eat this with garlic'd French bread. I don't have any French bread and I didn't feel like garlic. We had crescent rolls from a tube. Yes, the store brand.


SIDE NOTE: I've been craving buttery carbs lately and these have been a staple in the fridge for a while. If I'm not eating the chocolate chip cookies that I posted not to long ago. (I think I have used more brown sugar in the last two weeks then I think I EVER have in my life.)


This probably would have been good with a nice green salad as a side. John suggested that instead of noodles that it may be good on a pizza crust.


This also would have been good as a soup. As it was it was kind of a hamburger helper texture with just a little extra sauce in the pan. I'd suggest an extra can of Beef Broth if you'd like it more soupy.


CHEF'S NOTE: Buy your tomato paste in a refrigeratible tube. Buying it in the can is such a waste. I have never used an entire can of tomato paste and it always ends up being thrown away. Just like the open can I have in my fridge today.


If you try this tell me. If you can decide what the missing "something" is I'd really like to know.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Stomp your feet and clap your hands

I have only owned this album for a short time, but I dare say that I LOVE IT.
           Vices & Virtue
        Panic! at the Disco
(Digital Deluxe Album from iTunes)
The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Let’s Kill Tonight
Trade Mistakes
Ready to Go (Get Me Out of My Mind)
The Calendar
Sarah Smiles
Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met…)
Bonus Tracks:
Oh, Glory (Demo)
Stall Me
The Ballad of Mona Lisa Music Video
This album was released 3/22/2011 so it is pretty new. We were first introduced to this fun little group (or so I thought) by the iTunes download of the single: The Ballad of Mona Lisa. I loved the song. It's up beat and catchy and just a little bizarre. John was perusing iTunes one night and came across the music video for Mona Lisa and was intrigued enough to say to me that I'd like this band. He was right. Turns out that Mona Lisa isn't the first time I'd heard their music. There is a song on the Jennifer's Body soundtrack by Panic! at the Disco. One I had liked before, but didn't look much further into the band. I think John picking out the video for them was my go ahead to look more seriously at the band and the music that I would probably like... The music video for The Ballad of Mona Lisa is quite bizarre. It is a bit steampunk and confusing, but I love the weirdness of it.
What songs on this album do I love the most:
The Ballad of Mona Lisa
Let's Kill Tonight
Sara Smiles - This one gets stuck in my head frequently.
Oh, Glory (Demo)
After looking just a little more, it looks like there are 2 more Panic! at the Disco albums out there I'll have to look into.
Other bands that Panic! at the Disco remind me of:
Neon Trees
Secondhand Serenade
The Beautiful South

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eating with Liz 2011 - e-mealz

I haven't been keeping up with my new recipes on the blog this last week. I've just been lazy. Really, that's my only excuse.  To make up for it I'm going to post two recipes we've tried that we have liked. I'm not going to say that we "really" liked these because that's not a word I'd use for these recipes, but they were edible, and we didn't object to the leftovers. These recipes are for 2, but we found that there is usually extra.

 Last Week:


Creamy Crock Pot Chicken

4 oz cream cheese

½ can cream of mushroom soup

½ pkt dry Italian seasoning

(½ c dry white wine or cooking wine)

2 lbs chicken thighs, skins off


Soften cream cheese in microwave. Mix cream cheese, cream of mushroom soup, Italian seasoning and wine until smooth. Place chicken breasts in crock pot and cover with mixture. Cook on low 4-6 hrs. Serve chicken and creamy gravy over steamed rice.


Serve with:

Steamed White Rice

Sautéed Zucchini - Sauté sliced zucchini in melted butter until crisp-tender.

Garlic Bread



This Week:


Chicken Noodle Casserole

2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

2 c egg noodles, cooked

10 oz can cream of mushroom soup

1 c frozen mixed vegetables

(½ c milk, ¼ c parmesan cheese, ¼ t pepper)

1 c cheddar cheese, shredded


Combine all ingredients, reserving ½ c of cheese, and place in small casserole dish. Bake @ 400 for 25 minutes. Top w/ remaining cheese and return to oven just until cheese is melted.


Serve with:

Garden Salad with Vinaigrette dressing

Serve with salad tossed w/ celery, tomatoes, and dressing.


So why the statement about these recipes being edible? Well, there is quite a story behind that… I recently, in my quest to save some money on groceries, discovered the website For a small fee of $5 a month ($15 dollars for three months pay up front) this website gives you a menu and shopping list weekly that supposedly adds up to weekly grocery bills coming to approximately $75 per week for a family and two person plans average $35 total per week. (7 days of recipes for families 5 days of recipes for two) Sounds like a great idea doesn't it?

I thought it did. I have been looking for something like this that would tell me what to eat and what side dishes to serve, and it's so handy that it includes a shopping list so I don't have to worry about it. I hate menu planning. I hate shopping list creation. I don't much like shopping either. So this sounded perfect. I've been following this for 2 weeks now.

The first week there were a few recipes that just didn't win us over… Like a stroganoff that used ½ cup Catsup – who uses that much Catsup for anything. Yuck. But I made it, and we tried it, and it was gross. Last weeks final score for these recipes: 2 out of 5. Yep, we liked two out of the five recipes we tried and one of those two was a taco salad that we usually make anyway. Not a great start. It has actually made us a little gun shy when trying any of the recipes provided.

So far this week, I have only tried the one recipe. (because John's been gone and it seems that when I'm home alone I usually end up not eating dinner at all because cooking for myself is lame.) I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of last nights recipe. The rest of the weeks recipes don't seem too bad, but we have yet to see.

The recipes are based mostly on canned, frozen and dried foods with some fresh stuff thrown in here and there. I'll admit, I have saved between $60 - $80 on each grocery trip with this list so YES, it is saving me money, but John inquired about the nutritional value of the food with all the canned stuff… I have to admit that I wonder that too. I've tried to buy low sodium and no salt added stuff when I can, but with canned food you can't really avoid those things.

I guess we'll try this out for the next 3 months (because that's what I paid for) and see how things turn out. I'm hoping that maybe last weeks recipes were just a bad selection. I'll follow up on this again after we've tried it out for a while.


If you're interested in looking at for yourself, please use me as a reference. I could get free stuff out of it. Click on the picture below.


Secret stair case running high.

This weeks CD... Just because I love it.
Album cover
    Indigo Girls - Indigo Girls

  1. Closer to Fine
  2. Secure Yourself
  3. Kid Fears
  4. Prince Of Darkness
  5. Blood And Fire
  6. Tried To Be True
  7. Love's Recovery
  8. Land Of Canaan
  9. Center Stage
  10. History Of Us
This album was released in 1989, but I didn't find it until I was in High School nearly 7 years later. Initially I bought the album for the song Closer to Fine because it was the one that I heard people playing on the radio or in the halls at school. I bought the cassette and found that I loved all the songs on it. The harmonies are beautiful, and the words are so poetic. After a few years cassettes went the way of the dinosaurs and I went a different direction with my life. Sometime last year I heard Closer to Fine on the radio again and it reminded me of how much I had loved this album. I bought it from iTunes. ( I hate buying MP3's I'm always afraid my computer will crash taking it all away.) I added it to my iPod, and now every time I hear the songs I just want to sing along. Loudly. but I'm often listening to them while at work and that doesn't go over to well. It's also a little embarrassing. O_o
What are my favorite songs on this album?
Closer to Fine
Kid Fears
Blood and Fire
Land of Canaan

Friday, April 8, 2011

I love.

I love sleeping.

I love baking.

I love cats.

I love other people’s dogs. (Mostly.)

I love being outside.

I love the sunshine.

I love nail polish.

I love warm blankets.

I love fire.

I love quaking aspens.

I love long car drives.

I love the leaves in the fall.

I love cherry blossoms in the spring.

I love quiet snowfalls in the dark winter nights.

I love the stars and warm evenings of summer time.

I love lemonade.

I  love strawberries.

I love Jell-O.

I love good food.

I love pasta.

I love a nice medium steak.

I love chocolate chip cookies.

I love Italian Soda.

I love rocks.

I love open spaces.

I love colors.

I love paint.

I love yarn.

I love cloth.

I love the idea of creating with these items and making something beautiful.

I love to crochet.

I love cleanliness.

I love organization.

I love knowing where things go.

I love having direction.

I love my Savior.

I love fellowship in something bigger than myself.

I love silence.

I love being praised.

I love being complimented.

I love being loved.

I love the smell of baking bread.

I love the sound of ticking clocks.

I love my family, even though sometimes I don’t say it.

I love John.

I love having friends.

I love friends who love me no matter what I am.

I love that there are some who know me completely and still think I’m awesome.

I love finding lost friends.

I love finding lost things.

I love warm squishy mud.

I love traveling.

I love Virginia.

I love Washington.

I love Canada, although I have never been there.

I love England, although I have never been there either.

I love Everything British; the Royal wedding, Jelly-babies, my dad.

I love airplanes.

I love road trips.

I love expensive hotels.

I love jewelry.

I love the sparkle of a clean diamond.

I love diamonds.

I love diamonds under track-lighting.

I love rubies.

I love garnets.

I love sapphires.

I love necklaces.

I love rings.

I love the randomness of life.

I love movies.

I love the suspension of reality that is given by stepping into a theater, or turning on a DVD.

I love owning DVDs.

I love action movies.

I love adventure movies.

I love girl movies.

I love Tim Burton movies.

I love Disney Movies.

I love Disneyland.

I love Anime, both as an art form and as a genre of cartoon.

I love Rurouni Kenshin.

I love the Elric brothers.

I love the mythology of Samurai.

I love the violence and the passion that can be filtered into an anime cartoon series that wouldn’t work in any other form.

I love fantasy.

I love stepping into other worlds.

I love the Vampire Diaries.

I love Damon and his crazy eyebrows.

I love the absurdity of the entire story.

I love the fact that above all its about love.

I love watching Doctor Who.

I love The Doctor.

I love the Master even though I shouldn’t.

I love Daleks, they are awesome even though they would like to exterminate me.

I love the TARDIS and would give my soul for a trip through time and space. (Especially with the Doctor.)

I love the idea of time travel.

I love Tom Baker as Doctor #4 and Peter Davison as Doctor #5.

I love the theme song.
I love the different incarnations of the theme song over the years.

I love foreign music.

I love Japanese pop music.

I love that I can’t understand the words, but they make me happy.

I love cultural music.

I love contemporary music.

I love religious music.

I love music with a beat, but I also enjoy the calming stuff.

I love at the moment: Panic! At The Disco, The Perishers, Secondhand Serenade, Ludo, and U2… always U2.

I love the cars that go Boom!

I love music from the 90’s.

I love music from the 80’s.

I love monster rock ballads.

I love the quiet crazy of Pink Floyd.

I love Ewan McGregor.

I love his smile.

I love his moles.

I love Moulin rouge.

I love Come What May.

I love truth, beauty, freedom and love. (Above all else Love.)

I love hearing him sing.

I love Christian Slater.

I love any show he ever appears in.

I love his eyebrows.

I love how sometimes he reminds me of John.

I love his gravely voice.

I love the statement “Greetings and Salutations” that I learned from Heathers.

I love that you’re still reading this, even though I ramble.

I love writing.
I love the idea of being a published author.

I love the stories that fall from my fingers, and the stories I can’t get out of my head.

I love reading other people’s stories, published and unpublished.

I love books.

I love reading YA fiction.

I love reading Fantasy fiction.

I love books made of paper and the musty smell of an old novel.

I love reading.

I love Anne Shirley.

I love being inspired by the words that others want to share.

I love holding a book in my hands and hefting the weight.

I love the look of an organized books shelf.

I love the useless knowledge that comes form filling my head with nonsense.

I love nonsense.

I love the world created by Robert Jordan.

I love werewolves, the big slathery, killing kind.

I love magic in all forms.

I love fairies, and believe in them too.

I love pirates.

I love saying Arrr!

I love puffy sleeved shirts.

I love knowing other people’s dark secrets.

I love that “Rawr” is I love you in dinosaur.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Eating with Liz 2011 - Sandwich Bread

You know that new bread pan I was bragging about not too long ago... well, I still LOVE it. However, my bread recipe (although very yummy) just wasn't working out for sandwich bread. It's too grainy and doesn't hold up well with thin cutting and lunch transportation. So I had to go on a search for a new bread recipe for our sandwiches. That's when I found this recipe from Sure, you think, a flour company should have great recipes for bread.... and they do.

Dainty Tea-Sandwich Bread

The best bread for thin-slicing is called pain de mie, a butter- and milk-rich loaf baked in a special lidded 13" x 4" x 4" pan. The lid ensures that the baking bread won't expand too much, keeping it very close-grained-and thus totally non-crumbly, and easy to slice. Pain de Mie Pan with Lid

3/4 cup milk
1 cup lukewarm water
6 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1/3 cup potato flour or heaping 3/4 cup potato flakes
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour*
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

*Use all-purpose flour exclusively, if you like; but believe me, your family will never notice the substitution of a cup of organic white whole wheat flour for part of the all-purpose.

Manual Method: In a large bowl, combine the milk, water, butter, salt and sugar. Add the dried milk, flours and yeast, stirring till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it's smooth and supple. Because of the relatively high fat content of this dough, it's a real pleasure to work with. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Mixer Method: Combine the ingredients as above, using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. When the cycle is finished, remove the dough and proceed as follows. 

Lightly grease a standard (13 x 4 x 4-inch) lidded pain de mie pan. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, shape it into a log, and fit it into the pan. Flatten the top as much as possible. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until it's about 1/2-inch below the lip of the pan, about 45 minutes.

Carefully slip the cover onto the pan, and let it rest an additional 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, carefully remove the lid, and return the bread to the oven to bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until it's golden-brown on top and tests done; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. For a soft, flavorful crust, brush the loaf with melted butter while warm. Yield: 1 loaf.

I also found THIS blog post visually helpful for using the Pullman (pain de mie) pan for this bread.
I made this bread last night since we are running low on last weeks loaf. I'm not sure what went wrong with this one. I'm sure there are many factors.
Problem 1: I didn't start making it until after 7:00 pm. Using the actual raising times and baking and settling blah blah blah it would have taken me until after 10:00 pm to be done. I can't stay up that late.
Problem 2: I didn't have any Potato Flour, or Potato Flakes. I apparently missed that line in the recipe when I read it through 1,000 times before my last trip to the store. I did however have some potato pearls that I popped into the food processor to break down their pearly-ness. I think they worked okay. (But, as is the case with food processors, while grinding/chopping/pulverizing stuff, the spinning of the blades heats up the item being processing and can change the flavor of the given item. Just so you know.) I'll get one of the other items at the store next time.

NOTE: I don't own any King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour. I just have regular Whole Wheat Flour and I only used 1/2 a cup in this recipe. I've been cutting down the amount of Wheat Flour I have been adding to my breads, I'm not 100% pleased with the wheaty-grainy-ness of it. I may have to look into different wheat flours when I run out of this bag... maybe King Arthur is the way to go. also, I have considered adding Flax Seed to the bread for protein, but I'm not that much of a health nut yet.

Problem 3: My house was COLD last night. I also apparently didn't have warm enough water... the Yeast didn't activate and the dough didn't rise after an hour and a half. Then, by the time I finally put it into the pan it was a quarter after nine and I didn't want to wait another 45 minutes for it to rise again once in the bread pan. Ugh! So I didn't. Next time, I'll make sure the water is 100 - 115 degrees F which is the ideal liquid temperature for yeast. I'll probably warm the milk too.
Outcome: The bread only rose to fill a little over half the pan. I ended up with a 13x4x3 in loaf. But it is mighty tasty. The bread, without it's proper rising times, came out really thick and heavy. I cut off a few thick pieces for breakfast this morning and loved it. It would have been especially yummy if I had had some butter, or honey, or jam to go with it, but as it was we were running late so all I got was plain bread. I think I'll have some more with dinner tonight. But as for being "sandwich bread" useful... not so much. I'll have to make another loaf before we can have sandwiches again.
I guess I'll have to convince John to take me to the store on the way home from work tonight so I can try again tomorrow while he's working late.
FYI - I bought my Pullman pan (with the lid) for $25 on Amazon. Or, it looks like you can buy the same pan form the King Arthur Flour site for $39.95... whatever, you choose.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The DVD Player....

What have we been watching lately? I don't remember when the last time I posted one of these blogs was so I'm not sure how far into our viewing history I need to go back. Our "watched" pile is getting bigger as the days go by, I'm not sure what I'll remember, but I'll give it a try.
Doctor Who: Series 1 - The Ninth Doctor and Rose
Doctor Who: Series 2 - The Tenth Doctor and Rose
Doctor Who: Series 3 - The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones
Angel: Season 2
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer: Season 4
The Invention of Lying
Nick and Norah's Infinite Play List
I think that may be it...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Words, words, words..

My friend Michelle blogged about her new-found love of books and reading, and it kind of inspired to me to blog about my age old love of the written word.

I don’t ever really call reading one of my “hobbies” because it is just something that I have always done. It’s a part of my life that I don’t remember ever not doing. I grew up in a house full of books.

I read because I love it. I have had such great examples of readers throughout my life.

Dad read the encyclopedias for fun, and he had a musty old stack of paperbacks in his closet. They’re probably still there. The library was always there and I could choose any book I wanted to read. It was also right in my direct path home from school so I’d often stop there and pick out a new book before crossing main street for the last half of my walk home. I could read and walk at the same time. Probably not the safest thing to do, but the world was a different place when I was growing up. It’s weird sometimes to say that, thinking that I am only 32 and it wasn’t that long ago that I was a kid, but the world really is a different, darker and less trusting place… but that is a topic for another day. This is about books.

In Second grade my teacher gave me a book at the end of the year. My very first copy of Alice in Wonderland. I still have it. It’s tattered and yellowed from the years of love, but I have it. I remember Mrs. K told me that I was the best reader, and inside my shiny new book was a shiny $1.00 bill. Mrs. Karadeema fueled my love of books. Periodically over the years, from the time I left second grade to the time I was in High School, I’d stop in at Kaysville Elementary and see her. She always remembered me, and was happy to talk to me, and we always talked about books. She was the best teacher ever. I don’t recall another teacher in my 13 years of education that ever inspired me to read more then her. She retired from teaching several years ago.

My dad has handed me several books over they years. Books about religion, mysteries, histories, pictures, genealogy, poetry… When I was older I remember reading the first book I ever loved. It is called Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman. I read it in 4th or 5th grade and it impressed me enough that I never forgot about it. I bought it a few years ago

After that books came and went that I loved and didn’t love. Books I bought and books I never want to see again. It’s a bit of an obsession with me I suppose. I have been buying my favorite books since I got my first job in high school... so I have a lot. My book collection has spilled over the confines of my book shelves making piles of books in almost every room of my house. John hates it, but what can I do. I'm a reader. I tell him to read this book or that book, but they're mostly YA romance and he's not really into that sort of thing.

Several years ago, I joined a book community online. The website is I used to just pick and choose books by their covers at the library or at Barnes & Noble. But with Goodreads I can see what people I know are reading and also what the authors I love are reading too. That makes it fun.  
It is here that I can connect to other readers, lovers of books, and authors. Which is cool I have 412 books on my “read” list on, but I don’t think that  covers all of the books I have ever read… I’m sure there are hundreds more that I just can’t remember the titles of.  I'd suggest that if you're a book fan, or if you want some suggestions of what the people you know are reading, you should go join I'll be your friend. :)

I read an article the other day that said that book ownership is an indicator of education levels. The more books you have in the home, the more likely your children will be to finish their education. I hope someday, that the amount of books in my home will inspire my future generations to be better readers and to seek learning. That would be awesome.

Currently my favorite style of books is YA fiction. I don’t know what it is about the young adult books that captivates me. Is it the silly first love stories, the “that never really happens” aspect of it, the feelings, the realness of the problems, the relevance of their issues to not just YA audiences, but to me too… I don’t know, but they caught me.

My current favorite YA series/author --  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. The story of a girl and a boy and the werewolf between them. It’s a trilogy. Shiver, Linger, and Forever. Forever comes out in July 2011. I have really enjoyed reading there books. The story is good, the characters are believable, and the writing is really good. (I’m a bit jealous of writers and their ability to write the way a person really speaks. I have a few hang ups on this so I’m a little behind in my writing career.) I really do recommend this series to everyone I know who would love them. I don’t even want to admit how many times I have listened to the audio versions of the first two books.

Also, speaking of YA series’, I also really enjoyed The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen. I suggest these for people who enjoy good historic coming of age novels.

I also love the genre of Fantasy. My favorite series in this category is The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. He passed away in September 2007 and the books are being completed by Brandon Sanderson. I’m not a huge fan of his work but if he gets these books done then, good for him.) I have been reading them since 1995 (at least.) I’m ready for the series to end, but I think I’ll miss them when there is nothing else to look forward to. By the time the series wraps up (hopefully this fall) there will be 14 books to this series. These are some heavy duty books and there is a lot to remember and keep track of throughout the series, but the over all picture is worth it. I’ve gotten a lot of my family to read these ones… Thanks, Richard McGee, for getting me hooked.   

Other author’s I have come to really enjoy: David Gemmell, Madeline L’Engle, Lemony Snicket, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Baroness Orczy, Mary Higgins Clark, Richard Peck, Lucy Maud Montgomery, William Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, Edgar Allan Poe, Judy Bloom, Shel Silverstein … and so many, many others it’s hard to name them all.

I guess what I'm rally trying to get at is that... I LOVE BOOKS. There are so many books out there that I have yet to discover and have their pages flipped through my hands. I can't wait to pick up the next book in this ongoing adventure.

Hmmm... what should I read next?

Stay the Same

Oh my! I'm back with my CD selection of the week... and yes, I realize that today isn't Friday, but I realized that I have a ton of half started, unfinished blog posts in my out box that need a little attention. So lets get back to this without further ado:


Stay The Same

   Joey McIntyre


All I Wanna Do

Because Of You

Couldn't Stay Away

Give It Up

I Can't Do It Without You

I Cried

I Love You Came Too Late

Let Me Take You For A Ride

One Night

Stay The Same

The Way (that I Loved You)

We Can Get Down

Without Your Love



I think this album came to me as a bit of a joke. My eldest brother bought me the single of stay the same on a whim because he knew how much I loved the New Kids on the Block... and especially Joey. Stay the Same is Joey McIntyre's first solo debut album, released on March 16, 1999. The single for this album was the song "Stay the Same" it's a bit of an inspirational ballad that talks about how you're perfect just the way you are.... I'm sure Norm didn't know it at the time, but I really needed to hear this song. At the time all my friends were moving, going on missions, getting married... and I wasn't doing anything. I desperately wanted to be different. I wanted to be doing something with my life but I felt like it was all just on hold for no reason. I wasn't sure I liked who I was and I was pretty sure that no one loved me back. Then, one day, out of the blue my brother gave me this single and it changed everything. I listened to it, and I cried, and I listened to it some more and loved it. And I think Joey taught me a lesson that I really needed to hear at that time in my life. Believe in yourself. You are special just the way you are. Don't change. You're perfect just the way you are. I know the CD was non-regulation mission music, but I took this single with me when I went to serve in the Washington DC South Mission, and I'm glad I did. There were times, and companions that ripped me to shreds and made me think that I wasn't worth spit, and when I'd feel low and unworthy, I'd turn on this little off the plan song and I'd be okay again.

Eventually I did buy they entire album. I don't recall if that purchase was made before, or after the mission, because the rest of the music didn't have as big of an impact on my soul. The album is made up mostly of 90's Pop love ballads. (Which I do love.) Joe McIntyre has a great voice for belting out this type of tune. The rest of the songs on the album are great and worth listening to. Some of my favorites on the album are: I Cried, The Way (that I Loved You), Because of You, and I Love You Came to Late. I realized that I only have a few of them on my iPod and may need to reshuffle some music to add Joey back into my listening library... but Stay the Same is on there. I don't think I'll ever not love this song.

Thanks for bringing Joe back into my life Norm. You really have no idea how much it changed me for the better and how those words, and that song have helped me through the hard times. Thank you for being such a great brother.


Stay the Same – Joe McIntyre


Don't you ever wish you were someone else,
You were meant to be the way you are exactly.
Don't you ever say you don't like the way you are.

When you learn to love yourself, you're better off by far.
And I hope you always stay the same, cuz there’s nothin' 'bout you I would change.

I think that you could be whatever you wanted to be
If you could realize, all the dreams you have inside.
Don't be afraid if you've got something to say,
Just open up your heart and let it show you the way.

Don't you ever wish you were someone else,
You were meant to be the way you are exactly.
Don't you ever say you don't like the way you are.

When you learn to love yourself, you're better off by far.
And I hope you always stay the same, cuz there's nothin' 'bout you I would change.

Believe in yourself.
Reach down inside.
The love you find will set you free.
Believe in yourself, you will come alive.
Have faith in what you do.
You'll make it through.


Don't you ever wish you were someone else,
You were meant to be the way you are exactly.
Don't you ever say you don't like the way you are.

When you learn to love yourself, you're better off by far.
And I hope you always stay the same, cuz there's nothin' 'bout you I would change.


Don't change.