Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Could Study...

But I'd rather fill this out.


1. Clothes Shop- Lots of stuff from Target. I shop the sales racks at Macys quite often. I love TJ Maxx and Marshalls. And believe it or not, I get several basics each year at JC no means uber classy, but it works for me.

2. Furniture Shop- I wouldn't say this really applies to me currently. I love shopping resale shops and antique stores, my home style would probably lean towards a preppy-Martha Stewart-eastern seaboard meets KY-country style. Which sounds weird. But will be beautiful.

3. City- I've not been to many cities. I love Louisville. Nashville has an awesome vibe. The Atlanta skyline is gorgeous. I'm dying to visit Chicago and NYC.

4. Sweet- Cheesecake, chocolate cake, various pies, sour-gummy-sweet things.

5. Drink- Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and lately: Sprite.

6. Music- Dixie Chicks are my favorite everything. Lately I've been playing my Election 08-Road to Victory mix (yes, I made a playlist and named it this) so lots of Stevie Wonder (signed sealed delivered), Bruce Springsteen (the rising), and The Beatles (here comes the sun)

7. TV- One Tree Hill and Grey's Anatomy. Everything on TLC, I'm most recently (and sadly) obsessed with The Duggars. As well as The Rachel Maddow Show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Election Center with Campbell Brown and Anderson Cooper's AC360.

8. Film- I can appreciate art. I can watch a lot of stuff. But if I'm picking just for fun I'll always pick a cheesy chick flick or some documentary.

9. Workout- I go for a lot of walks. That's the only workout I can be diligent about. I need to walk the labrador more often, he could use the energy expenditure.

10. Pastries- I enjoy donuts. Chocolate Covered, Cream Filled Long Johns to be precise.

11. Coffee- toffee nut frappucinos, white chocolate mochas, caramel machiato.


Let's see, what else?

Oh yeah.

I made a chocolate chip cookie cake this weekend. And this pumpkin pie dessert-y thing. I only have a photo of the cookie cake:

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I'm not defending my decorating skills. I shall only point out I wanted lots of icing on it. Because seriously, that's the best part.

(I may have been hormonal and craving sweets all weekend long. So sue me.)


I know some of you may be avoiding my blog like the plague lately. I'm sorry if you are. But there is only a week until this election. Until then, I'll leave you with this disclaimer.


Evangelicals for Obama

"Whether she’s making up the story that the Alaska legislature fully exonerated her of abuse-of-power charges, proclaiming that Obama is an anti-American terrorist sympathizer, calling Obama a socialist (and now, a communist) who will raise all our taxes and “redistribute wealth”, or reveling in the hatred and rage she incites at her rallies, Palin has proven herself to be a lying, vengeful, slanderous hypocrite who uses Christianity as a resume booster."

Evangelicals for Obama, really worth a read. I encourage you all to click the link.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It may look dark tonight, but if I hold on to hope, tomorrow will be brighter

Barack Obama makes his final case on why you should vote for him.

I am telling you, everyone my age, we are watching our generation's JFK. Which side of history do you plan to be on? You don't have to answer. Just think about this in the coming days.

Change is a coming.

Photo of the Day

Jill at the beach:

Sanibel 08--Jon's Camera 087

Friday, October 24, 2008

What did she cook this time?

The Pioneer Woman's No Knead Rolls!

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These things were freaking fantastic. If you like carbs, that is. If you have the slightest problem with the C word, you might want to stay away.

Seriously easy as far as bread goes, it took only one pan:

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I let them rise in the oven, which I'd warmed and turned off, since the house was otherwise freezing:

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But the best part was learning you can keep the dough in the fridge for a couple of days. I had no idea you could do that! Call me ignorant in the ways of dough.

I made two pans today, which we ate...too many to even mention. And I have the rest of the dough in the fridge. I plan to use it over the weekend.

Between the cinnamon rolls and the dinner rolls, this was my week of coming to terms with the big scary thing I call YEAST. I was always afraid of kneading properly, killing the yeast, ruining entire recipes. But I think I'm ready to purchase a large can of the stuff to have on hand now.

And maybe a treadmill or something to counteract the carbs.

Wassup 2008

The most brilliant Youtube of this campaign. Remember the Wassup?! commercials?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Ron Howard wants to talk about the election, and he enlists Henry Winkler and Andy Griffith to help him do it.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cinnamon Rolls

First, the cinnamon rolls. Excuse the crappy quality.

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Second: A food survey, for fun. I hope you all play along.

My favorite non important question to ask someone is 'what did you have for dinner last night'. I am a person obsessed. Always have been. But I love to hear about what other people eat. Because sometimes it's so different from the things I grew up having in my house. Or other times it's terribly similar. So, as a play on my favorite question I hope you all will join me in filling out a little survey. So I can quench my 'what you had for dinner' thirst.

What did you have for dinner last night, or tonight? I made sweet and sour chicken. Marinated cubed chicken breasts in cornstarch/soy sauce mixture, fried with a little oil, drained the chicken, served with homemade sweet and sour sauce, white rice and slices of fresh carrots, onions and green peppers along with chunks of pineapple.

What was your favorite meal as a child?
Pepper steak. I still don't know how my Mom made it, but the recipe came from my Dad's father. It involved strips of steak, rice, soy sauce, green peppers and bean sprouts. I used to request it for every birthday dinner.

You favorite place to grab a bite to eat?
Cheddars has the best burger ever. The only burger I openly crave on a habitual basis. So probably there if I'm sitting down for lunch somewhere. And I would be in serious trouble if Louisville had a Chipotle like Lexington does.

Something you or your family makes that you've never heard of anyone else making: Lots of people make goulash, but nobody makes ours. It's sort of a Hungarian Goulash, but a little different. Again, another of my Dad's father's recipes. We also used to stop at Kroger late in the evenings and pick up thinly sliced corned beef or pastrami, and swiss cheese from the deli, spicy brown mustard, sauerkraut and marble rye bread and have these New York style deli sandwiches. Since my Dad's father grew up in New York City he always made sandwiches like those for his kids. He used to pack my Dad pastrami sandwiches for lunch with squares of baklava for a dessert.

What are you most likely to snack on? I love dry roasted sunflower seeds, pistachios, edamame. I also have a serious weakness for chips, anything but plain. And limes with salt.

Do you call it Coke, Pop, or Soda? Coke. Coke. Coke. Anything else is wrong.

Your favorite dessert is....
birthday cake, ben & jerrys ice cream

If you were hosting a dinner party at your house, what are you most likely to make?
Probably a lasagna with garlic bread and a huge salad. Definitely something that is crowd friendly and involves minimal pans.

Italian, Chinese, Mexican? Which one is your favorite? My mom would say Mexican, my brother would say Chinese, I would have to go with Italian. I like chinese food, but I couldn't eat it all the time. I'm not a huge fan of beans or spicy things. Italian is very comforting and filling.

Favorite celebrity chef(s)?
Paula Deen, Ina Garten and Giada de Laurentiis. Although if I had to pick a favorite of the three I've mapped out a strategy. Giada does Italian, Paula does Southern food, Ina does it all and with just as much she'd have to win.

Favorite cookbook? The Joy of Cooking is a nice reference book. If I'm in the middle of a recipe and it's not going so well the Joy of Cooking always has a comparable recipe to help me out.

Favorite 'weird' food? I love brussels sprouts, a lot. I've been known to eat a few slices of pickled bologna. I like clam strips. Fried cauliflower, after it's gotten cold in the fridge.

Food you won't touch with a ten foot pole:
fennel, onions in most things, oysters, black beans, black olives, most pork.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Clintonite Part: I don't even know anymore

Guess who is coming to Kentucky on Friday?


I'm not kidding.

I'm in the very early stages of deciding whether or not to go. But as an official Clinton Groupie I must admit this is VERY tempting.

Also tempting?

This guy:
Hope Banner
will be holding a rally in Indianapolis on Thursday morning. The big bummer part of that is I do have some school commitments that day that I'm not sure I can get out of yet. But, I'm totally trying.

I'm having so much fun making calls on behalf of the Obama campaign to independents in Indiana. And calling for Bruce Lunsford in Kentucky. This weekend I'm spending a few hours at the Democratic Headquarters in the Highlands.

Forget Christmas, election time is the most wonderful time of the year.

Or I'm just a big giant dork.

(I don't really care. I love all this stuff. And forgive, but it's been a long frustrating 8 years for me. This is all a gigantic breath of fresh air.)

In other news I made cinnamon rolls from scratch yesterday. I woke up and thought, hmm...spending an entire day rising dough and kneading it and rolling it out and taking forever sounds like a FUN IDEA. Stop me before I do that again.

Don't get me wrong, they were DELICIOUS. But it's an exhaustive thing. Probably because I'm terribly impatient.

I used this Paula Deen recipe. I do highly recommend it. I should note I do have pictures of them. But it's late, I'm tired and Anderson Cooper is on my television. So I don't feel like getting up and finding my camera right now.

Tomorrow, Scarlett.

Married with Children

Al Bundy, yes that Al Bundy, calculates his Obama tax cut.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekends in October

Down the road, around the corner, over the hill and across the street from the elementary school sits a roadside Pumpkin stand. Near this barn and next to a cemetery.

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This stand sits unattended. But they appreciate your honesty.

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Something about that I love. I hope most people are honest.

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He's finally, totally, absolutely, no question about it, taller than me. Which I suspect had something to do with the resistance to join me on this pumpkin picking adventure. Saturday night he ditched me to hang out with the new neighbors. Loser.

pumpkin stand 009

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We picked out two pumpkins. And a couple small pumpkin shaped gourds.

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I came home and took a cue from Martha. I glittered the small pumpkins.

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But the best part is the plan for the big pumpkins. We'll be using stencils from Yes We Carve, to carve OBAMA PUMPKINS! I would say I have too much time on my hands, but judging from the entries on that Yes We Carve site, I'd say I'm not the only one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Photo of the Day

The little dogs sleep a lot. Actually all the animals sleep a lot around here. But the little ones especially enjoy sleeping on my bed. I think it's because my room has one of those gigantic windows, that while gorgeous, means at any given day...any time of the year, it's scorching from the amount of sunlight.

Dogs like it hot, apparently.

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Cute isn't it?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Coconut Cream Pie

I like pie. A lot. I would say on a scale of desserty goodness, pie ranks right up there in my book. Above cookies, but just below birthday cake. But I especially like baking and creating pies. I think there is a very simple reason for this: pies are a lot less science-y than cookies or cake.

It's true, if you really get to thinking about it. Forget baking powder or soda, or you know...anything, and a cake or cookie can become a gigantic FAIL. But pie? A little more room for error.

My mother came into my room early Saturday morning telling me some story about Barack Obama and pie. I was only half listening, nodding into my pillow and drowning out her words to be completely honest. But something about that pie story stuck in my head, specifically the coconut cream part.

So before you know it, I'm standing in the kitchen on a Sunday evening stirring custard (which I've NEVER EVEN ATTEMPTED BEFORE) and toasting coconut.

I think the results were pretty damn awesome.

I based my recipe on this one, modifying slightly due to a lack of half and half.
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked
  • 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
1. Blind bake a pie crust. I had a frozen Mrs. Smith crust in the freezer. When using frozen you want to thaw it out, prick the bottom with a fork, place a piece of foil filled with dry beans or rice in it, and bake for about 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees.

2. Place milk, sugar, eggs, flour, salt and into saucepan. Bring to boil on low heat, stirring quite frequently.

3. Remove from heat, add 1 cup of toasted coconut to mixture and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Pour into baked pie crust. Chill in fridge for 3-4 hours.

4. Top with tons of whipped cream and remainder of toasted coconut.

(Toast 1 1/2 cups of coconut by placing on a cookie sheet and baking for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees. Stir a few times during baking.)

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Friday, October 10, 2008


Dear Universe,

In my next life I'd like to be a dog.

Preferably one that gets to live like these two do:

friday 005

But maybe with opposable thumbs so I could still use the internet if at all possible.



Thursday, October 9, 2008

How I Spent My Day

My Dad has one of these, and because he has one of those every 2 1/2 months he has to go downtown to Frazier Rehab to get it emptied and refilled. Because my Dad is disabled, because he sometimes doesn't think as well as he should or remember things like he used to (from years of overuse of pain medication and loss of oxygen during his major heart attack) I usually accompany him on these visits. I fill out paperwork, help him answer questions and handle setting up the valet parking for the car.

And I freaking hate every minute of it.

What taking our Dad to the doctor looks like: A Photo Essay

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rehab 010

rehab 007

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(note the spot on my upper lip. that's my new 'skin cancer', at least I firmly believe it might be skin cancer. i'll get back to you, the dermatologist won't see me for another month)

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Fun stuff.

Photo of the Day

Reason # 8,467 why I'm voting for Obama

Because this is what a campaign not full of fear and hate looks like.

This is what a campaign not full of fear looks like

If you aren't on the Obama train, you are missing out on a pretty freakin' fun ride.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Four Days in Denver

Four Days in Denver: Behind the Scenes at the DNC

Fast forward to around 9:00 to listen to Barack and Michelle discuss Malia and the Jonas Brothers. Adorable.

To Balance Out the Sap

I love my dog. And while I waxed poetic about what a great dog he has been the other day, I don't want you to think he is in any way perfect.

Artist: Jack
Medium: Grocery Store Ad

He calls it: 'Existential Dreams of People Food'

surveying the damage


Apple Butter:

I based this recipe on one I found online at a crockpotting blog. I've never really eaten much apple butter, but my Dad loves it, so I figured if anyone would know if this was good or not it would be him. He loved it, so I'll share it.

3 pounds of whatever apples you love (I imagine you could do as many apples as you'd like, but I had a 3 pound bag on hand)
1 bag of those cubed melty caramels
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
2 tsp of cinnamon
a few dashes of cloves
1/2 cup of white sugar

Core and slice 3 pounds of apples, add vanilla, place in crockpot on low and cook overnight. (8 hours)

Wake up to a wonderful apple smell.

Smash the cooked apples with a fork. Or some fancy masher if you are so inclined. We aren't that upscale around these parts.

Add cinnamon, cloves (I only used a dash because I hate when cloves overpower anything, but if you love feel free to add more), sugar and an entire bag of those caramels. (I only used 16 caramels thinking it might be too many. HA, go for the WHOLE BAG, trust can handle it.)

Turn on high and cook for a couple of hours with the lid OFF.


Pumpkin Roll

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

    PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

    COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

    BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

    beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

    I used Libbys Pumpkin Pie Filling for the pumpkin in this. If you are unfamiliar, it's pumpkin with the necessary spices already in it. So I just did 2/3 of it, and didn't have to add the spices. But, do whatever works best for you.

    And for those who think I'm cheating by using canned pumpkin: MARTHA uses canned pumpkin. That makes it okay. ;)


    I also made a chocolate cheesecake, but now I can't find the recipe. Oops.

    I've decided the ONLY good thing about cooler weather is the baking. But the baking is bad for my heart and my thighs. So logically this proves my theory that moving to South Florida will prolong my lifespan.

    What are you people baking? Have any good recipes or blogs to point me to? I have a long weekend ahead of me and my neighbors are starting to expect goodies.

    Monday, October 6, 2008

    Worth Watching

    I want to marry Keith Olbermann. And have little journalistic, glasses wearing, intelligent babies who speak in really long political diatribes from birth. Yes, I realize I'm setting myself up for lofty disappointment with this dream.

    Photo of the Day

    Casualty of War



    4,177 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003 (via the AP)

    Best Friends

    Autumn Soybeans 059

    The vet I take my dogs to once told me that the day a lab stops being a puppy is the day he dies. These dogs just never grow out of that fun loving, goofy, neurotic puppy thing. I guess that's part of the reason so many of them end up in shelters, surrendered for being 'too much trouble'.

    While my Jack is very much still a puppy at heart, his age is beginning to show. He's eating senior food, in the mornings his hips are slow to help him up, and his hearing is at best mediocre.

    But he'll still try stupid tricks for the pleasure of a bite of hamburger. Anything for his boy.

    Autumn Soybeans 064

    This dog is so attached to my brother it's sometimes hard to believe. We call him the mother hen of the family, because the moment he loses sight of Jonathan he begins to whimper and pace the floor. And he doesn't stop until Jon is safely home, and in his sight again.

    Jack turns 8 years old on election day and sometimes I look back on the years and wonder where the time has gone.

    jack and jon 013

    I meet kids sometimes who have never had a pet. There is this notion that children should have some sense of responsibility before owning an animal. But I scoff at the thought. No matter how much it will hurt in the end (and it will), Jon grew up with his best bud. Dogs are loyal by nature, and this one has been one of the best.

    Autumn Soybeans 060

    Sunday, October 5, 2008

    Quote of the Day: American Reclamation Project Edition

    "After the disastrous administration of the past 8 years. What we really need is, we need somebody to lead us in an American Reclamation project."

    "I've continued to find where ever I go, that America remains a repository of America's hopes and desires and that despite the terrible erosion of the standing in the world accomplished by our recent administration we remain for many, many people this house of dreams and 1000 George Bushes and 1000 Dick Cheneys will never be able to tear that house down."

    --Bruce Springsteen, just yesterday campaigning for Barack Obama

    Saturday, October 4, 2008

    Don't Vote

    Last day to register to vote in Kentucky is OCTOBER 6. That's MONDAY!

    For my Democrat friends who think it doesn't matter because Kentucky will go McCain. Well yes, it's true Kentucky will go McCain, but Bruce Lunsford is running the closest campaign ever to Mitch McConnell, and for the first time the Republican senator is in danger of losing his seat. The last CJ poll has Lunsford just 1% behind, but within the margin of error to call it a dead heat. One more Democrat in the senate makes us one step closer to avoiding Republican filibusters on all bills.

    It matters.

    So register.

    Friday, October 3, 2008


    Did you watch!?

    I planned my entire day around the debate. We had the best time watching last night, my Mom was shouting out the funniest things. This morning I awoke to my Dad's best Sarah Palin impression. Ask him to do it the next time you see him, it's a hoot. I think in his previous life he was a hockey mom from Alaska...just saying.

    Here is an interesting article on the prosperity gospel I blogged about a few days ago and its connection to the subprime lending crisis: Time Magazine: Did God Want You To Get That Mortgage?

    Taylorsville is having an Octoberfest this weekend that I'm oddly excited about. I'm hoping there is warm cider. Or something equally as 'fall-ish'. I'm tempted to break out pumpkin roll for the first time tonight. I'll blog about it if I do because I have a fantastic recipe to share for one.

    And I've decided I have to make this Crock Pot Apple Butter before my weekend is over. It sounds too easy and delicious to pass up.

    But I'll admit, while the excitement of fall is all new and wonderful right now, the summer lover in me is not enjoying the cooler temperatures. I just don't think I have it in me to adjust to the colder weather. I'm sure it'll be another long winter of my whining! (I apologize in advance.)