Sunday, November 30, 2008

14 days until the marathon

Yes, a mere two weeks and Casey and I will do our first marathon...26.2 miles. Hopefully, in a bit under 4 hours. I'm a little nervous thinking about it. I've never really spent this much time before planning and preparing and training for a single there's a lot of anticipation. There's not much I can do now, other than trust the training program I've followed, and hope that running 20 miles and 26.2 miles isn't all that different. I know race day there will be lots of adrenaline, plus a nice race course with volunteers and spectators cheering us on. That part will be cool. I just hope it all comes together. I'll let you know.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ina's Easy Sticky Buns

I love cinnamon rolls and sticky buns and have a million recipes to make them...but I never do...because they all take too much time or are pale imitations. This is not. And they take less than an hour and little skill to prepare. Ina, in her new book, uses puff pastry, which achieves a crispy, flaky roll rather than the usual tender, chewy roll, but the overall effect is excellent. The goo on top is magnificent (even if you do have to scrape it off the pan and onto the rolls) and the flavor and texture are delightful. I was suspicious of the raisins, and made half without, but they add nice flavor and chewy texture. The rolls are very, very rich though. I might decrease the butter in the topping to only 1 stick next time. I mean...this ain't Paula Deen here, folks.

12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup pecans, chopped in large pieces (I used toasted sliced almonds)

1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted

2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12 cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (this is to catch the dripping butter).

Combine in a mixer the 12 tbsp of butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tbsp of the mixture in each of the muffin cups. Distribute pecan evenly among the 12 muffin cups.

Lightly flour a wooden board. Unfold the sheet of pastry. Brush the whole sheet with half the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of brown sugar, 1 ½ tsp of cinnamon, and ½ cup of raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down. Trim the ends of the roll about ½ inch and discard. Slice the roll into 6 pieces, each about 1 ½ inch wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat with the second sheet. Makes 12 rolls.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the bun onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.

Monday, November 24, 2008

the Turkey Bowl

or...the comedy of errors.

I particularly enjoy my shocked, "oh, no...she's gonna score, again!" face. (Click to see a bigger version). catching her now...darn tall girl...

...oh crap...was I supposed to be covering her?

Kindly unhand my flag, my dear girl. And leave me my pants, too, if you don't mind.


At least we're cute! We were the Mercy Place know, Baby Moose!
And Casey's contribution. Cheering me on while wearing a scarf on his head like a turban. I do love that man. :-)

I've been tagged :-)

I was tagged a few weeks ago by my friend Darrah. She's a quiet, kind person, but if you know her at all, you know she's a fantastically talented artist. If not, you should check out some of her paintings on her blog: Pop-tart.

So, with the tagging, here are the rules:
1. link the tagger and post the rules
2. post 5 random facts about yourself
3. tag friends and link to them
4. let them know they have been tagged by leaving a nice little message on their blog.

So, the questions. Here are 5 random facts you might not know about me:

1. The next thing I want to bake is this pumpkin apple-glazed cake. It has five ingredients. Woo woo!

2. I want to write a young adult fantasy novel, maybe even a trilogy, the main character of which is a half-elf young girl, living in Paris. (nodnarb, stop making that face!)
3. My all-time favorite thing to do is to lay around, reading a good book, drinking tea. Preferably, with a cookie.
4. I used utube to teach my students French techno dancing:
I've been known to do a few movies when it's just Casey watching. He says it looks like I'm having a seizure.
5. I used to, and may again, eat cranberry sauce straight from the can.

Now, to tag:
  1. Aubrey:
  2. Megan:
  3. Stephanie:
  4. Casey G.:
  5. Elizabeth:
alright, be tagged!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Political Quiz

My sister-in-law, Aubrey, took this quiz, and I thought it was interesting. I took it myself and summarized the results.

If you'd like to do the same:

Conservative/Progressive score: 8
You are a social moderate. You think the progressive movement is overall well meaning, but sometimes it goes too far.

Capitalist Purist/Social Capitalist score: 8
You are a Moderate Capitalist. You believe in the American economy how it currently is.

Libertarian/Authoritarian score: 5
You're a Moderate. You think that we all have certain inalienable rights that must be protected, but that sometimes laws need to be made to protect the majority's lives or quality of lives.

Pacifist/Militarist score: 0
You're a Pacifist. You are angered that the United States thinks it should dominate the world through its military force. You think that the only time war is necessary is when we are in direct danger of being attacked. You also believe the US spends way too much of its money on defense, as we can practically cut it in half and still easily defend ourselves, and use that money to fix all our economic problems.

Overall, you would most likely fit into the category of Democrat.

Yep. Sounds about right.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Returned -- Somewhat

I got my purse back. It was empty other than some papers and my classroom keys, but still, that is something. A lady had found it in a creek, and I got it back from her today. It made me kinda sad seeing the remnants of what had been my stuff. They took my cell phone, but left the sim card. They ripped open my coin purse and took the change. And, they left my chap-stick but took the floss. Kinda makes you wonder.

But, I am very thankful to get back my classroom keys, as they were irreplacable. I had resigned myself to not being able to lock anything in my classroom anymore (the closet, filing cabinets), so this is a nice turn. Plus, one of the filing cabinets was locked, with kid's t-shirt money in that'll be nice to have. :-) Casey fixed the car window and changed the house locks, I've replaced my cell phone and am getting my cards soon, so life is almost back to normal.

My mom-in-law told me a friend of hers had her home broken into, but fortunately, the people were caught and most of the things returned. The police on the case said that with these hard economic times, more of this is to come. Desperate times. I'm thankful that despite little setbacks, we're no where near desperate. We'll be just fine. I had to take an inventory of what I'm thankful for...and there were lots of things. :-)

*Pause: I was distracted by food blogs with pictures of challah bread. Mmm...challah.*

In other news, 28 days until the marathon. We were at the lake this morning doing a 15 mile run. It was easy other than the crazy strong ice-cold wind. 28 days. December 14th, hopefully around noon, we'll be crossing the 26.2 finish line at the American Airline's Center. I invite you all to come and witness the raw guts and glory splendor of it. Hopefully, I won't be on my hands and knees...but if it comes to that, I will, and proudly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Casey and I got back to the car after a run at the lake to see that our car had been broken into. They smashed the driver's side window. Stole my purse, keys, cell phone, digital camera and our GPS navigator.

Highly irksome. We waited around for the cops for a while, but as they had my driver's license and keys, I was worried that they might go ahead and rob our house as well. Thankfully, not.

It's just frustrating, expensive, time-consuming to replace all that stuff. But it'll get done, and it sure could have been worse...if we had returned from our run with no car. I am thankful for that as well.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Howling with the Puppies

Our lab Charlie, from time to time, will howl. The first time he did it, in the middle of the night, I thought it was the death knell; it was so creepy. Yesterday, we discovered if you start howling, he'll soon join in. Charlotte doesn't bark or howl, but she gets really excited.

So, as a family, we howl. :-)

As a side note, I had the hungries for the iced cookie cups they sell at the mall, so I made I have two dozen...and I only wanted two. Poo.