Friday, January 30, 2009

Shuttin' Detroit Down

Feel free to skip the first two minutes. it is the last five minutes that I really wanted to post.

Do You Dare?

It's that time, Cookie of the Month. This time I'm not going to tell you what I am making but am going to show you one of the ingredients.


Are you feeling adventurous? Would you like a few of this month's cookies showing up in your mailbox? Let me know and Jo will pick a winner. Cookies go in the mail Saturday so don't delay.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I Woke Up To This

This is what I woke up to Wednesday morning.


That wasn't so bad but then the sleet turned to snow. Enough snow that I then had to do this.


Now Jo wasn't going to let a few inches of fresh snow go to waste.



She is still loving the snow and is still tolerating the coat.


What do you think she is trying to tell me?


She was over the snow and how could I resist those big brown eyes?


She then spent the rest of the afternoon doing this


and I spent the next two hours shoveling the driveway.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?

SARAH PALIN:  Before it got to the other side, I shot the chicken, cleaned and dressed it, and had chicken burgers for lunch.

BARACK OBAMA:  The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a change! The chicken wanted change!

JOHN MC CAIN:  My friends that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

HILLARY CLINTON:  When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure right from Day One that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road.  But then, this really isn’t about me.

GEORGE W. BUSH:  We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

DICK CHENEY:  Where’s my gun?

COLIN POWELL:  Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

BILL CLINTON:  I did not cross the road with that chicken.  What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE:  I invented the chicken.

JOHN KERRY:  Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions.  I am not for it now and will remain against it.

AL SHARPTON:  Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

DR. PHIL:  The problem we have here is that this chicken doesn’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on this side of the road before it goes after the problem on the other side of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his current problems before adding new problems.

OPRAH:  Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed access to the other side of the road.

NANCY GRACE:  That chicken crossed the road because he’s guilty! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN:  To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART:  No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going.  I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level.  No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS:  Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: To die in the rain, alone.

GRANDPA:  In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS:  Isn’t that interesting?  In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its lifelong dream of crossing the road.

ARISTOTLE:  It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

JOHN LENNON:  Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

BILL GATES:  I have just released eChicken 2008, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook.  Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken 2008. This new platform is much more stable and will never crash or need to be rebooted.

ALBERT EINSTEIN:  Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

COLONEL SANDERS:  Did I miss one?

Thank you, Dr Laura, for today's post. 

Monday, January 26, 2009

I've Been Busy

Now that Christmas is over and my garden is buried under snow it is time for me to get some inside projects done. Even though our house is quite new the color choices the previous owner had chosen had left little to be desired. Think pink. I decided to paint the guest bathroom which was a lovely mauve.


If you look closely you can see the previous shower rod screw holes that need to be patched and the sloppy paint job where the tub surround meets the wall. If you are really observant you can see the new color on the back wall. It is a nice shade of green that I am also using in the main part of the house. It is a nice change from the khaki I had in my last house. Here is the finished bathroom.


Note that there are no holes in the walls and the crisp clean paint line between the wall and tub surround. The back wall still has the new color.

How can one small project require so many tools? Even sadder is these weren't all the tools we used in this project.


Another picture of those freshly painted walls.


Isn't this the coolest sink ever? The counter is polished concrete which is another feature I really like. I really didn't like the former owner's color choices but I do like the choices they made for the sink and countertop for this bathroom.


If you ever decide to visit us this will be your bathroom. As you can see we are ready for visitors. Thank you, Hampton Inn.


When we were living in Michigan D wanted to see how long we could go without actually having to buy soap. I think we may be close to five years now without a soap purchase. Impressive. Travel does have its rewards.

I am now moving on to our master bathroom. It is currently peach. It too will be green. I am also changing some light fixtures that make absolutely no sense considering the style of this house. You will just have to wait and see what those fixtures look like. I plan on going to Lowes tomorrow to get some more paint and look at light fixtures.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Dulce de Leche Brioche Rolls

It is now time to show you what I planned on doing with the dulce de leche that I had made earlier that day. I was going to attempt to make brioche rolls. These tend to be a little involved and I wasn't sure I was up to the challenge. In fact, I started them on a Saturday and finished them the following day. I found the recipe on a blog called Tartelette which can be found at This recipe is from an entry dated 3.06.07. Go browse her blog at your own risk but don't say I didn't warn you.

Here is a photo I took from her blog of what the final product should look like.


All good recipes must include these two ingredients and this recipe is no exception.



Since this is a bread recipe warm water, warm milk, dry yeast, flour, sugar, and salt were also involved. Everything was mixed and kneaded


and then it was time to let it rise. This included multiple risings in and out of the refrigerator.


This was the final result.


Then it was time to roll the dough out into a rectangle. Cream cheese and my beloved dulce de leche were spread over the dough.


That was rolled into a log and then cut into 12 pieces and placed in a nine inch round pan.


I placed the dough back in the refrigerator for the night. In the morning I had this to show for all of my hard work.


After baking in the oven this was my final result.


I admit hers look better and probably taste better too. They weren't terrible but the caramel and cream cheese that had been rolled in the log had sunk to the bottom of the pan. I thought more of that would have stayed in the roll itself. I have to give these a 2.5 out of 5. I may give them another try at some future date.

But because the dulce de leche is sooooo good I had to find another recipe to try. This time Dulce de Leche Brownies that I found on He is an American living in Paris who has written numerous cookbooks. His specialty is chocolate and more chocolate. Visit his site at your own risk. Here is the final result.


Again not what I was hoping for. They were a little too sweet even for me. I think I needed to bake them a little longer too. I liked the outsides better than the middle. Plus I think a thicker caramel consistancy would have worked better. Another that I may try again in the future.

In the meantime my quest for the perfect Dulce de Leche recipe continues.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dulce De Leche

I am betting you don't know what dulce de leche is but after you read this post you will be running to the store to buy this:


You will then take the label off and place the can in a pot of boiling water. You must, must make sure that the can is always completely covered with water. I did have to add water to the pot to keep the can covered with water. I will not be responsible for what could happen if you don't follow my directions. Now you will boil this for about two hours, give or take a half hour either way.


Remove the can from the water and let it cool. Once it is cool you can store it for months in the cupboard. Or do what I do which is open it as soon as possible. Why you ask? Because this is the result of your hard labor.


The best caramel known to man or woman.

When researching this on the net I did find other methods of making this that didn't involve the possibility of exploding cans but the consensus seemed to be as long as the can is always covered with water the risk of the can exploding is quite small. The cooking time can vary too. I saw cooking times anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours. The longer the cooking time, the thicker and darker the caramel. I cooked mine 2 hours and 15 minutes which included the water coming to a boil.

The reason for making dulce de leche? You will just have to wait for my next post to see what I did with my non-exploding can of sweetened condensed milk.

Friday, January 23, 2009


"his sad news arrived in my inbox this morning:


The Pillsbury Doughboy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma from complications from repeated pokes in the belly. He was 71.

Doughboy was buried in a lightly-greased coffin. Dozens of celebrities in the food community turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch.

The grave site was piled high with flours.

Aunt Jemimah delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Doughboy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded. Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very smart cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Despite being a little flaky at times he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.

Doughboy is survived by his wife, Play Dough, two children, John Dough and Jane Dough, plus they had one in the oven. 
He is also survived by his father, Pop Tart.

A funeral was held at 3:30 for about 20 minutes, or until done."   7.15.06

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Girl

Who doesn't like looking at my Jo?


When she isn't spending her time staring at me she enjoys looking out the window as you can see by the nose prints all over the glass. I really must clean those doors one of these days.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Fun Wasn't Over

I know you thought all of the Christmas fun was over but you would be mistaken. We still had to drive home. Usually that isn't such a big deal but this trip was a little different. As we headed south we were listening to the radio and realized we were driving right into an ice storm. The tollway in Indiana was completely closed which wasn't too much of a concern because we weren't going west. But part of 75 south of Detroit was closed as well as some highways around the city. The radio was reporting numerous accidents so we decided to head straight south and catch the tollway west of Toledo. That plan worked pretty well other than the 60 mile section of ice we hit around Ann Arbor.


We saw a lot of this.






The fun never ends for us.

Change You Can Believe In

After eight years of corrupt and mean Republican leadership, the country welcomes an outsider who promises change.

The economy is in the tank, unemployment is soaring and our world image is in the tank.

The American people have mandated a new direction of hope by electing a solid Democrat majority in the Congress.

The new Democrat President (although relatively unknown and unproven) and Democrat Congress will finally solve all of our problems created by the Republicans and the future will be bright!


I bet you thought I was talking about President-elect Obama but you would be mistaken.  I found this in the comment section of an unflattering article written about President Bush. The author was commenting  about the mood of the country at President Carter's inauguration in 1977.  

It seems the more things change the more they stay the same. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

We Came

We came from near


and far


and even farther.


We celebrated winners,


drank to good times and family,


and ate the best food imaginable, even if some of it was declared illegal by some.

banana stuffed french toast, 12.08

We found time to play games

joni, 12.08

and even discussed things of great importance such as burning computers.

burning computers, 12.08

I even found that river that I had wanted to skate away on.

my river, 12.08

I think John said it best, "I'm gonna go ahead and say I'd sacrifice gifts any day to have a Christmas like we had this year."

Amen, brother, amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Random Pictures From Christmas

I have some random pictures that I liked and haven't posted yet so I thought I would post them now. Do you see anyone you recognize?

The writer


The proud Republican


The next to fly the nest


The cousins


a father and daughter


an uncle and niece


and last but not least, the youngest


About Me

My photo
I'm strange, but I've got a great sister!

Newton's Cradle