I will not think about it in terms of it butchering a beloved song but instead concentrate on the humour of it. I will not let the funny lyrics get stuck in my head.
Can you guess which two parts are my favorite??
I will not think about it in terms of it butchering a beloved song but instead concentrate on the humour of it. I will not let the funny lyrics get stuck in my head.
Can you guess which two parts are my favorite??
When you have French Bread coming out the wazoo, you've got to get creative on how to use it up. Here's my favorite method so far.
First, hand over some baguettes to some small children. Let them have a swordfight.
Clashing baguettes help condition the bread properly. Really, it does!
Set the oven for 375. Slice a baguette up on the diagonal. Slice two if you've got a larger than mine family.
Using softened butter, make a paste of butter, sugar and cinnamon. If you've done it properly and got the proportions right it will have a consistency of ummmmm....say softened cream cheese on a hot bagel. Spread a thin layer on the front and back of each slice.
Peel a pear (or other similar fruit) and cut it up into small chunks. You can meticulously cube it if you like, I prefer chunks. Not so precise and much quicker in the morning. Top each slice of bread with chunked pear and sprinkle a bit of additional cinnamon on top. Have I praised the merits of Saigon cinnamon yet? I know I don't have to talk to you again about real butter.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on the edges. I believe mine were in for 17 minutes exactly, but that's because my oven glass is still cracked and I have to make adjustments. You make adjustments too if anything wonky is going on with your oven.
Quickly mix up a glaze* of powdered sugar, a bit of vanilla and some milk and drizzle over the tops of the breakfast bruschetta.
Eat, enjoy and then email me to tell me how it turned out for you!
*By now, you may or may not have realized that I don't care to measure out certain things as I'm pretty good at eyeballing (terribly concise word there, eh?) ingredients when it comes to various items. Buuuuut.....if I had to try to be more precise for someone that isn't too lazy to wash measuring spoons I would say the recipe would be this:
1 cup powdered sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla milk
Combine sugar and vanilla in a bowl. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until desired drizzling consistency.
We made it back from Chicago last night. I haven't any pictures or many things to say about Chicago because we really only got to see it for the earlier part of Saturday. Rick and I stayed afoot and walked a few streets and checked out a few shops. There wasn't time to sight any of the traditional things. But, we did get a feel of the place--enough to decide that yes, it would be nice to come back to get a more thorough feel for the city but if we had to choose--we'd pick going back to NYC again before Chicago.
Saturday night we saw UFC 90 at the Allstate Arena with some friends of Rick's that he sorta kinda new from corresponding with over a mixed martial arts message board. It wasn't really weird meeting them; what was weird was when the shuttle driver asked us how we all knew each other upon finding out we were from Pittsburgh, LA and Syracuse.
Oh, and dinner that night was NOT Chicago pizza. With those same friends, we had dinner at a place called Gibsons. The restaurant had good food and likely good service but with all the people (mostly men hahaha) packed in to have dinner before the fight it was very loud and service was slow. The best way to give you a visual is to tell you how our friend Yuna described it:
"All of these men, all in tight shirts with big muscles sitting like this...(here she curves her arms out like an orangutan and hunches slightly)...eating like this....(mimics eating rapidly by rotating only her wrist in a continous shovelling method). It's so funny."
What made her words even more priceless and set me off laughing is how when she said this, we were standing outside waiting for the shuttle to the Arena and Andre Arlovski--a very hot muscle-y Russian UFC fighter-- got out of car and walked up into the crowd of guys behind Yuna where he was promptly fawned over.
I think we stayed out a bit too late the night before because I was pitiful and dozed off once or twice with my head on Rick's shoulder during the fights. But, I was awake to see Anderson Silva act like a total pr*ck to Patrick Cote by showboatin.' <---That's Rick and the guys' term for it; I had to use it because I haven't a better term for it. It only reinforced the feeling of dislike I always had for him.
Our friends from LA, Matt and his girlfriend, Judy, knew Herb Dean (a very well known referee) and knew him as a friend. Not surprised that it was the LA friends that knew someone? Neither were we. We met Herb Dean briefly before Rick and I and Brad and Yuna took our leave for the night. Matt and Judy had asked us to go out with them and Herb to a bar but I guess us Pittsburgh and Syracuse people aren't quite as starstruck as LA people pretend not to be!
Greetings from Chicago! Rick and I left Pittsburgh yesterday to drive to Chicago and well here I am! We got in pretty late and didn't have too much to sight see yet. We did, however, meet up with some friends and then go to this place for dinner. I mean the original deal--not the typical chain versions that have sprung up everywhere.
We had an 45 minute wait; they had us put in our pizza order with our name because it bakes for an hour. It was um.....let's call it sufficient. I'll refrain from using words and phrases like 'bland and tasteless except for a very yeasty like taste.' Ooops, I guess I just did. However, it did have a remarkable crunch to the crust that I did like.
I'm a New York Style Pizza girl--whether that was because I was born on Long Island and it just built into me or I developed a taste for it all of my own independent of where I was born---let's just say if I never have Chicago style pizza again, I'm good. I'm good.
Let's talk about a thick crust pizza I do like. French Bread Pizza and not that Stouffer's kind.
Before I left for Chicago I was awash in an abundance of French Bread that I had baked. Some of I had shaped into baguettes (I'll show you what I did with that tomorrow) but some I shaped into batards and made into pizza for dinner. It's pretty simple, slice it open spread it with pizza sauce (the tomatoes and herbs for our pizza sauce came from my garden!), top with cheese and any other toppings you desire and pop it in a 375 oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
It's easy, delicious and not greasy at all. Now this is what I call the proper combination of crisp crust, thick soft bread and toppings!
The bread. It's taking over my life.
See this evidence? Examine it carefully. No makeup. Why? Because it was more important shape and score baguettes. Short nails. Why? Because who wants a sourdough starter from under their nails? Okay, that was really gross but seriously, dough stuck under the nails is not nice looking or feeling. You'll also notice the lack of any nail polish. No silvery blues or greens as are my preferred colors. Why? Because no one wants metallic paint flecks in their bread.
See this bread? I call it Oopsie Ciabatta. An oopsie it may have been but what a fine mini cheese panini (alright--you got me--George Foreman grillini--please may I have one of these?) it makes! Look at the cheese oozing out of the supposed-to-be-there-on-purpose holes. =D
Anyhow, later that evening, as I straightened up the house I relaxed and realized that I had made an error in putting some bread ingredients together. Immediately, I went back and re-did the batch. (Yesterday's lunch was from the relaxed re-do) I was reluctant to toss out my first mistake, however, because of the sheer volume of it. Upon touching the dough, the texture seemed awfully similar to the ciabatta dough that I made last week. I decided to try to use a portion of it to make ciabatta bread using the techniques in the test recipes but shaping it and such as traditional ciabatta bread.
It worked as the above picture illustrates. AND...the desirable irregular open hole structure was better than the traditional cibatta I made last week. Of course, squishing it with
the panini Mr. Foreman distorts that view some.
All this talk of plastics being bad for you has certainly put the fear of the stuff in me. Immediately I wanted to rush out and buy all new glass things and other alternatives and toss my plastics. But then--
a) I realized how hard it is to find all glass containers nevermind at reasonable prices
b) I realized I would just be adding to the trash problem by throwing out my current stuff.
I thought about it and decided that I would:
c) Try to made do with the few non-plastic containers I have.
d) Try to avoid buying new plastic stuff.
BUT THEN I SAW THIS:
The cupcake is so safely nestled within.
You can even turn it upside down.
No more smooshed icing.
Right. Now I will get right on top of d.
This weekend is my nephew's christening in Philadelphia. We will be leaving bright and early and packed to the gills with stuff. My stuff. Rick's stuff. Kid's stuff. Mother-in-law's stuff. Stuff for the party after the christening. Stuff. Stuff. Stuff. Oh, and people too. But no dogs this time, thank goodness!
Let me tell you about today. It was very hectic and will help fulfill any blog reader that is like myself that enjoys reading about the minutiae of someone's day.
1. Got up 6:15 am as usual. Watched the Sopranos on Family Feud skit with Rick before going downstairs. Poked around on the net. Made some coffee and sat with Rick while we drank it. Got Maia up and collected her clothes. Threw in a load of laundry, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, scrounged up change for 2 sets of lunch money (bread ran out yesterday, not making another loaf when going out of town). Got self dressed. Sorta. Combed Maia's hair. Checked her back pack to make sure she had everything. Put garbage on the curb and saw it was raining. Ran back inside for keys to car and and picked up Macey and took the girls to the bus stop.
Still with me? It's only 7:20 am people.
2. Collect trash out of car. Wipe down car surfaces. Went inside and yelled for Tristyn to get up. Straightened up the foyer, discarding all loose unwanted completed school papers. Went upstairs to get on slightly better clothes. Collect read library books and King Corn DVD and put in pile near door. Went upstairs for something--can't remember. Came downstairs to find Tristyn standing in the living room doing nothing. Asked him if he ate. He didn't, so got him a bowl of cereal. Washed big oversized items that couldn't fit in the dishwasher. Told Tristyn 3 times to put his lunch money in his pocket. Was informed he owes the lunch lady a quarter because he lost one the other day. I told him to give her the 20 cents left over from that two dollars and hunted up an extra nickel. Nicked quarters out of Rick's drawer--enough to fill my pocket. Still raining. Gathered up purse and library books and took Tristyn to the bus stop. Realized I had forgotten 'George of the Jungle' in the DVD player and went back home to get it.
Now it's 8:20 am.
3. Get George out of DVD player. Talk to Rick for a minute and he tells me about how he is supposed to drop off the boxes at Comcast Cable. I can tell he doesn't want to do it, so I heave up the bag containing cable boxes and mentally work it into my list. Both of us go out to our cars and he sees the parking ticket I got him yesterday when I moved the car for the Air Duct Cleaning Guys to park their car--little did I know that I moved it onto a street about to be cleaned! I take ticket and add going to pay it to my list too. Drive to next town over and vacuum out car in pouring rain all the time keeping an eye out because was in creepy town. Quite sure someone was going to drive up and block the car wash bay thus preventing me from getting out and then doing something....scary.....to me. Didn't happen.
4. Go to Comcast and turn in boxes. Find out I didn't bring the cable cords. But really, who can pick out which cables are which from a mass of wires behind the television? Call Craig and ask him about MedExpress. Go to Starbucks, order a non-fat, tall raspberry mocha and then go to Target for no apparent reason. Wander around, try on turquoise corduroy coat, find hair things on clearance and buy hair things. Ask cashier where the MedExpress is. Go next to door to Giant Eagle to buy eggs and find organic eggs are on sale. Pick up two dozen.
Finally it's 10 am.
5. Go to Jo-Ann Fabrics to look for christening appropriate cookie cutter. They do not carry cake decorating supplies nor cookie cutters. Back into the car and go to Michaels. They have such things and I spend the next 30 minutes looking at all of it. Buy some cake decorating tips, sparkling sugar, heart cookie cutter set and white non-pareils.
6. Find MedExpress and sign in. Talk to Rick on the phone and tell him where I'm at. When I'm called back I explain the ear situation feeling like a fool because I'm not coughing or sneezing or anything. Basically put, it feels like something is in my ear and my hearing is a wee bit muffled. The lady looks at me oddly but takes blood pressure (100/60), temperature (98.7) and tells me someone will be right back. Someone new comes along and I re-explain the ear feeling even stupider all the while praying that I have some hideous ear infection rather than something in it. <---I don't want to look like a 2 year old that sticks things in my ears that don't belong there.
Turns out there is something in there and it's fluid because my Eustachian tube is swelled shut. Some strange tymphanic test thing is done. Feels like my ear drum is being sucked out of my head but confirms the doctor's visual diagnosis. She tells me about it and advises me to go buy and take Zyrtec-D and see if that helps. If it gets worse, it will mean it got infected and to go see my regular doctor.
It's 11:15 am.
7. Call Rick to tell him about the ear situation. I try to give it a sense of drama but doesn't really work as he is too distracted at work. Get back to my town and drive to the borough office. Pay ticket feeling quite proud of myself for paying it under 72 hours and thereby getting the $10 fine instead of the $20 fine. Meanwhile, been having text message conversation on cell about Burger King and their onion rings and realizing that I'm getting very hungry.
Drive to library a few blocks away. Rain has finally stopped. See there are glass balls on sidewalk and stoop down to touch one. IT'S NOT GLASS! It's slimy and gelatinous and just plain gross. Jump back and nearly fall off curb. Surreptitiously shoot look to make sure no one saw me and go into library. Turn in books and movies, select DVDS for Philly car trip for the kids and check them out along with bread books I requested a few days ago.
Go to Giant Eagle. Again, but a different one this time. Ask man at deli counter to make me a turkey and cheese on Italian bread. (My Italian bread is superior---yay!---I love it when that happens) Get Zyrtec-D from pharmacist. Apparently it's an over the counter medicine that's kept behind the counter??? It requires writing down my full name, driver's license number, address and signature to buy. V. weird.
Anyhoo, it's 12:30 pm and I go home.
8. Pop Zyrtec-D pill. Eat lunch while leafing through Breads from LaBrea Bakery book. Almost get convinced to try to make a sourdough started despite not caring overmuch for sourdough. Decide at any rate, must wait until weekend after this one because will be in Chicago the weekend after this one and who would feed my starter if I started one?
Straighten up the mess I made and put away things from earlier errands. Can't find headphone splitter for portable DVD player. Switch laundry from washer to dryer and put more in the washer. Mix a starter (not sourdough!) for bagels. Bake cookies. Get utterly absorbed in icing cookies and trying out new icing technique.
Wonder why hand is shaking so bad causing me to make such crooked lines and realize heart is also racing. Grab box of pills and read package insert. Damn Zyrtec-D.
9. Frantically shove mess around the kitchen hoping to create a bit of clear space in the cookie/icing extravaganza. Make decent headway and then my mother in law arrives. Throw vegetable bin in car and drive m-in-law to Maia's school because it's Snack with a Grandbuddy Day. Pick up CSA vegetables dreaming about icy-cold Evian water.
Nothing will do but to go buy icy-cold Evian water. Damn Zyrtec-D. I get to the little convenience store and buy the biggest bottle they have. It's not so icy. Buuuut....it's so refreshing and good that it tastes sweet.
Get Tristyn from his bus stop, drive Katie and her two children home and give them our CSA vegetables since we can't eat them if we are out of town. Tristyn and I go to Kmart and get new headphones for him and Maia and get new headphone splitter. My m-in-law calls and says they finished early. Go pick her and Maia up.
Drive down road and realize that it's No Outlet and I've never seen this road in my life. Utterly puzzled--so much don't even feel stupid. Turn around and back track and see that I completely missed my turn. Damn Zyrtec-D.
10. Peel remainder of last week's CSA apples and chuck them in a 8 by 8 pan. Toss with sugar. Top with yummy oatmeally brown sugary cinnamony goodness and chuck in oven. Tell Maia where to find necessary paper for her and m-in-law to do a craft at the kitchen table. Cut up remaining loaf of ciabatta bread and have epiphany. The sliced ciabatta looks like a slipper! Still skeptical that that is how it's supposed to look like a slipper, but whatever, that's how mine looks like a slipper.
Mix up French toast egg-y stuff and get out ham. Brew coffee and set the table. Unload and partially load dishwasher. Make French toast out of leftover ciabatta, scrambled eggs, ham and apple crisp for dinner. Rick's home!! Yay! We all sit down to dinner together.
Ack! It's 6 pm!
11. I scramble to get the kids out of the house for Tristyn's soccer practice, my m-in-law generously clears the table for me despite having a million and one things to do herself before we leave for Philly and Rick heads back to the office to get some extra work done in preparation for our trip.
We are only about 10 minutes late to practice. It's the only time we've been late---I HATE being late for anything. Lateness is one of my top pet peeves and on the rare occasion I am late I am furious with myself for hours.
Darkness falls, 7 pm comes and soccer is done.
12. Back at home, the house is quiet. The kids head upstairs to take baths and showers and to clean up their rooms. I clean up the remains of dinner. Pack up cookies. Maia finishes her room quickly and cleans up the remains of her craft project.
I remember my bagel starter and finish mixing the dough. The dough gets shaped into balls. I straighten up living room and dining room. Get banned from the kitchen. Clean up the foyer and vacuum the first and second floors. At last I am invited back into the kitchen to find that two wonderful, wonderful children cleaned my kitchen--washed, dried and put away the last of the dishes, swept the floor and put away anything that was out. I am super impressed and thankful.
Shape balls into bagels.
8:45 and it's rapidly approaching the kids' bedtime.
13. Go upstairs to the third floor and help the kids pack their things. Read "What Happens On Wednesdays" and "Pretty Salma" to Maia. Tristyn elects to stay in his own room and read. Tuck the kids in.
Put the kids' stuff in the car. Go inside and spend waaaay too much time looking for my black and pink weekend bag. Find an alternative I'm not happy with and pack my clothes. Pack as much of my toiletries that I have duplicates of--the rest will have to wait until tomorrow. Put crappy bag full of clothes in car. Arrange DVD player, movies, crayons, coloring books, etc so that it won't have to be done in a moving car tomorrow.
It's past the bed time I'd have liked to have tonight of 11:15 am.
14. Make cup of tea. Open up Little Mac. Rick is home! Yay!! Take tea, Little Mac and self upstairs to be in the same room as Rick. Start typing this blog post.
Keep typing. And typing. And typing. Boring all 8 of my faithful readers and all 34 of my random visitors. Keep typing.....
It's 12:29 am and I'm wired.
15. Damn Zytec-D.
I don't know about this shaping technique. It doesn't look like any sort of a slipper I've ever seen. I googled ciabatta to see just what they are supposed to look like and all I've got to say is man, there are some funky shaped feet out there!
Not much going on around here but the usual. Though.....some floor guy came out to look at our floors to gather information for an estimate in case the floors beneath the ugly carpet this house came with can't be refinished. That was pretty exciting for me because I really want hardwood floors. I don't think we will be laying a new floor any time soon, but it's nice to have a price range in mind so as to properly set aside money. <---That's Rick's part. =P My part is to envision how good it will look!