Tuesday, August 31, 2010

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Best Show on Television



I'm thrilled to report that Friday Night Lights was just renewed for TWO more seasons!! (http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/blog/2009/03/_after_a_few_we.html)

If you're not watching this show, you're missing brilliance. That, and Kyle Chandler, who I've loved since he played the bartender, Jeff, on Homefront, another critically acclaimed but not widely watched show that was on in the early 1990s.

Really, go rent the DVDs from prior seasons and catch up. This is one show where I can watch the same episode over and over and never be disappointed.

Do it!

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Bad Blogger

I've been a bad blogger and have neglected to post much lately. Why? Well, I tend to think up great posts while I'm out and about, and then when I get home, there's just so much to get done that by the time I sit down, I've gone and forgotten my great ideas. Sigh.

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Ew

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fat Dog

We have three dogs - Sandy, an 8 year old lab/shepherd mix (at least that's what we think she is), Shelby, a 4 year old chocolate lab, and Izzy, a year old black lab. Sandy weighs about 74 lbs, and Shelby is about 76 pounds. Izzy, the PUPPY, weighs 82 lbs. You might think that Izzy weighs more because she's a strapping, big lab. Not so. Izzy's the shortest of the three by far, and she's roly poly. Just like her mother.


We took Izzy to the vet the other day, and the vet recommended a prescription diet food for Izzy. That shit is $55 a bag! Holy cow.


We're cheap, and obviously incompetent dog owners, so instead of shelling out that much for her food, we're feeding her less of her regular food and supplementing her regular food with cauliflower, which she seems to like. The vet had suggested the cauliflower, we didn't make that up.


I was a little worried about, um, cauliflower's gaseous qualities, but there doesn't seem to be an impact, thank heaven.


BTW, for anyone who's thinking about having three dogs, stop that. Three dogs is a world of difference from two. A multitude more work. Don't do it! Two are perfect, three is insanity.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Speak and Spell and Sigh

My little brother had a Speak and Spell, and I always thought it was a super cool toy, even if I was too old for it when it came out. I'm absolutely positive that Zippy would love the Speak and Spell, but Texas Instruments no longer makes this rockin' toy. You can find old Speak and Spells on eBay (and elsewhere on the web), but they tend to be sold for ridiculous amounts of money (well, at least a ridiculous amount of money for a present for a six-year old).



I'd love to know why Texas Instruments is making me sad like this. I guess I'll just have to send Zippy over to play with the Speak and Spell simulator instead of getting the real thing for her.


Sigh.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tip: Deep Fried Turkey

We like to fry our Thanksgiving turkey. (When I say "we", I mean "Mr. LT" there.) It's quick (under an hour), and the turkey comes out juicy, but not the least bit oily. In previous years, we've always used peanut oil to fry the turkey, but this year, when mr. LT went to Costco, the big 5-gallon container of peanut oil was $50!! I'm cheap, the economy sucks, and no way were we paying that much.



Mr. LT needed to go to the Sportsman's Warehouse yesterday, and found that they carry cottonseed oil, which has a similar high smoke point to peanut oil. The cottonseed oil was $19 - so he bought it.



After consulting with Mr. LT, I just learned that the container of cottonseed oil was only 3.5 gallons, so we need to check to make sure that will be enough to cover the bird. In any case, even if we have to buy a second container of cottonseed oil, we'll still be ahead. Lesson: don't assume there aren't better deals available than at the warehouse stores.



One thing I do need to figure out is a reliable method for straining the used oil. We've tried several different ways of doing this in the past, and really, it's just been one big FAIL after another. Off to google!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas Cookie Exchange?

Anyone else up for doing a Bend-area based Christmas cookie exchange? Basically, everyone makes several dozen of one kind of cookies, then the group gets together and everyone goes home with a variety of cookies, without having to make several different types of cookies themselves. How many varieties everyone gets depends upon how many folks participate.

I'd love to do this if others are interested. Comments, baby!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

16th Anniversary Dinner

Last night was our 16th wedding anniversary. Burger had agreed to watch Zippy for us, so Mr. LT and I headed out to dinner. He was in the mood for sushi, so we headed over to Mio Sushi up at the Cascade Village shopping center. We'd heard the food was good, and had been meaning to try it for a while.


So at 7:00 PM on a Friday night, we walked in to Mio Sushi, and while it was crowded, it was not packed. There were a few seats left at the sushi bar, so we chose those.


We hadn't been there before, so we carefully looked over the menu to figure out what we wanted to try. We filled out our sushi card-thingy with a ton of options - probably $50 worth of sushi, at least. We were brought water almost immediately after we sat down, but we didn't get any other attention. At all. I finally flagged down the water girl and asked for our server, and I could see her trying to get someone to come over to us, but another five minutes passed and we still hadn't even had a drink order taken.


So we left. When we got back to the car, the time was 7:34. We'd pulled in and gotten out of the car at 6:56. So we waited no less than a half hour for service, and never got any. What a shame.


Mr. LT still had sushi on the brain, so we headed toward Kanpai over on Newport. We've been there numerous times in the past, and it's always been our go-to place for sushi here in Bend. Well, Kanpai was packed, and there were very obviously people still waiting for tables. We were really hungry, so we didn't stop to see how long the wait was. No knock on Kanpai, they're reliably busy for a reason.


Well, what else should we do? We could have gone to Deep, but we were dressed very casually and Deep is nicer than we were in the mood for (sorry, Deep. We love your food!), so we decided to change directions. Mr. LT hadn't tried Thai food until recently when we visited Typhoon (friggin' YUM), and he'd been really happy with the food at Typhoon. So I suggested Thai.


We talked about going to Typhoon, but were worried it would be packed, so I suggested we try Angel Thai Cuisine over on Division. It's very off the beaten path, so I hoped we'd be able to get served quickly. I'd heard good things about Angel Thai, and had been wanting to try it, so we headed on over. At 8 on a Friday night, Angel Thai was very quiet. A large party (of 8 or so) was leaving as we arrived, and only one other table was occupied.


We were seated quickly and brought water immediately. Our drink orders were taken quickly - Mr. LT had a Thai beer, and I had a glass of shiraz - and the shiraz was actually from Thailand. They had fried calamari as a special appetizer, and Mr. LT and I both love calamari, so we ordered that early. The calamari was very good, and the dipping sauce was excellent - almost like a spicy plum sauce. Or something.


I ordered the Phad Prik Catfish (#71 on this menu - the menu at the restaurant is a little different than the website). It was very good, with some nice crisp basil leaves, and enough spice that you feel it, but not so much that you need to douse the flames. Mr. LT ordered the Panang Curry with beef. I loved this dish, although I'd probably get chicken, were I to order it, as I prefer the lighter taste of chicken (or seafood) with curry. In any case, I loved this dish - the sauce was amazing, and I got a very strange look from Mr. LT when I told him I'd be happy to bathe in the sauce. There was plenty for two of us - more than enough, really. The dishes were served family style, with rice on separate plates, so it was easy for us to share.


While we were full, something sweet sounded great. Neither of us had ever tried sticky rice before, so we ordered the mango sticky rice for dessert. While it's definitely not an American dessert, it reminded both of us of oatmeal - and I mean that in the best way possible. It was delicious, and the cold mango was a nice contrast to the warm rice. We ended up taking some of our dessert home too, because we were really full and couldn't bear to leave it behind.


All in all, we ended up with a wonderful anniversary night. While the evening didn't go as we'd originally hoped, we ended up being thrilled with our dining experience - the folks at Angel Thai could't have been nicer, the service - always at risk when things are slow - was great, and the food was great. Angel Thai, thanks for a great evening. And Mio Sushi, you've still got some things to learn.


(And Mr. LT, I love you. Here's to another fantastic 16 years. Happy Anniversary, babe.)

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sad

Our neighbor's house was on fire a few minutes ago. The good news is that nobody was home and that another neighbor was able to get their dog to come outside through the doggie door. The sad news is that our neighbor's house was on fire. :( What a sad event right before the holidays.



These aren't neighbors that I know, but it still hits close to home. When I was 13, my friend Jenny's house burned down, and I remember how hard it was on their family. While our neighbor's house is in much better shape than Jenny's house was, this still won't be easy to come back from, and I'm sure there is a lot of smoke damage we can't see from outside.



What a shame.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pasta Feed!

Mark your calendar! There's a pasta dinner for a good cause this Sunday, November 16, at Aspen Hall (in Shevlin Park) from 4 until 8 pm. Tickets for a family of four are $15, kids are $4 each, and adults are $8 each - you can get tickets from the Bend Metro Parks and Recreation District. Their office is located at 200 NW Pacific Park Lane, Bend, OR 97701, and their phone number is (541) 389-7275. Tickets can also be purchased on-site at Aspen Hall if you just want to show up and pay.


All proceeds from this event will go to an account set up to help Jason Frieboth, who is fighting cancer and has to travel to Portland for treatment, and his family during this tough time. This type of treatment is very hard on a family - unless you've got a huge amount of vacation and sick leave available, or good disability insurance, paychecks can disappear - and Jason's wife Candy will be traveling with him when he gets treatments. The Frieboth family is lucky, because both sets of grandparents are able to watch the children when Jason is in treatment, but it still is not easy.


If you can't make it to Aspen Hall this Sunday, there are other ways to help the Frieboth family:


- Thursday, November 20th will be Jason Freiboth Day at Tony's Deli. A percentage of all sales that day will be donated to the Freiboth Family. Tony's Deli is located at 320 SW Century Drive, Suite 410. Their hours are 10:30 am to 6:30 pm. Stop by or call (647-1653) to get lunch or dinner. They offer a variety of hot entrees, wraps, grinders, sandwiches, salads and soups. They also have "Take 'n Bake" and catering platters. Enjoy some good food and support Jason at the same time!


- Make a donation in the Freiboths' name to Bend Take-Out. Their phone number is 382-8844. You can call them between 10:30am – 2:00pm or 4:30 – 9:00pm and tell them you want to make a contribution to the Jason Freiboth account. They take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. You can also send a check. This allows the family to order food that they enjoy, in quantities that are right for them, and get it when they need it.


- Make a donation directly to the Freiboth account at US Bank. A special account has been set up so that Candy can access it to help with the many bills they are dealing with around Jason’s treatment and keeping the family going.



Jason and Candy will be leaving on Sunday for Portland for his first round of treatments. Keep them in your thoughts. Also, a blog has been started so those interested can keep track of progress: http://jfreiboth.blogspot.com/

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Stuffed Squash

Last night, I made stuffed squash for dinner, something my dad (and mom) used to occasionally make. Mr. LT asked what was for dinner and gave me one of those "ew, disgusting" faces when I told him. Sigh.



Well, in the end Mr. LT loved it. It got a little overcooked because I was running Burger and her friends all over town while the squash was in the oven, but we just scraped off the overly browned bits and ate the rest. Here's what I used:



2 acorn squash, cut in half with the seeds and ikky stuff scooped out


1 tbsp butter

1/2 onion, chopped

1 package sweet Italian sausage

2 cups bread crumbs

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp. ground thyme

2 eggs


I cooked the onion very slowly to carmelize it, then took the sausage out of the casings and cooked it with the onion until it was done. I then moved the onion/sausage mix into a bowl, added the (freshly made, a small miracle for me) bread crumbs, the thyme, brown sugar, and the eggs, which I'd beaten slightly.



While all that was happening, I should have had the squash in the oven, but I didn't. I was winging this recipe and forgot how long it can take squash to cook. After I'd finished the stuffing, I realized my error and stuck the squash in the oven, un-stuffed, with a little pat of butter in the cup of each half, for about 15 minutes. Next time, I'd leave the squash in for 30 minutes pre-stuffing, and cover them with foil. Lessons learned...



In any case, when I took the squash out of the oven, I then stuffed them with my mixture, making nice mounds on top of each individual squash. I stuck 'em back in the oven (at 350F) and let 'em cook while I ran Burger around town (she and her friends wanted to see the production of Bye Bye Birdie at Summit HS last night). Then I got home, noticed the burned bits, scraped them off, and fed Mr. LT, Zippy, and myself.



So next time, I'll remember to (mostly) pre-cook the squash, and I think that these would be even better if maple syrup were drizzled over the top of the stuffed squash after they were stuffed. Yum. I'll be making this again. Thanks to my parents for the inspiration!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Like a Dream


Just wow.



May he bring this country together.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote

November 4 is here (well, at least on the east coast). Vote. Please vote. It matters.



(And while I'd like you all to vote for Obama for the same reasons I will, I realize that might not be possible for all. I do request that you do what you can so I don't need to see Caribou Barbie each day, though. I'm so over that.)



And RIP to Toot, Obama's grandmother. What a sad day for him on the brink of this election.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Making Me Cry

One America. Just one.








Yes, I cried at the end of the video (and I know I'm making that dude who lives in Bristol, VA get all creeped out. My blog, my passion, though.) I have such high hopes for this election, and I'm so scared that we're going to have yet another election stolen. (because yes, Gore won.)

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