msbabs32: (Workout)
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 10:24 pm
Feet for Lungs )
msbabs32: (KF)
Tuesday, May 26th, 2009 04:45 pm
In martial arts the usual accessory of concern is your belt. However, of late I have been more concerned with my shoes. )
msbabs32: (Workout)
Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 12:18 pm
Feet and Back )
msbabs32: (Workout)
Thursday, May 14th, 2009 04:12 pm
Cold Feet )
msbabs32: (Workout)
Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 12:09 am
Cardio is getting better )
msbabs32: (Workout)
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 12:09 am
Onward & Longwards )
msbabs32: (N&M)
Monday, May 4th, 2009 12:58 pm
Attended a friend's wedding this weekend. It was out of town so N and I hopped on a flight the day of, had a lost reservation at the car rental place and still made it to the wedding on time. It was on this gorgeous residential golf course smack dab in a vineyard. Every thing was beautiful. The ceremony was very short but very elegant. They did a sand pour thing that was really neat. I wish I had thought of that for mine.

Cocktail hour and all through the night had an open bar. I must stop to describe the candy wonderland they had. An entire buffet of candies (mints, chocolates, gummies, sugar drops, etc) was available - and they provided bags to carry away loot. Simple, elegant, not expensive and a huge "Wow!" factor. I definitely approved.

Dinner was very good (the fish definitely outshined the beef). People danced, exchanged info and generally had a good time. I very much enjoyed my table as well as the other people I met. It was a great time and I only wish I had another day to explore the area and hang out with friends.
msbabs32: (Cooking)
Friday, May 1st, 2009 02:59 pm
There are ups and downs when grocery shopping with N in mind. Swanson, Campbell, Progresso - all of them had some type of soy oil or soy protein in them. Healthy Valley was my savior but 1-2 months ago they too turned on us. They started putting soy protein in their cream of Mushroom and Cream of Celery soups. I had to stop making rice bakes and casserole dishes which had become weekly staple.

I researched several "Cream of" soups until I figured out a general template )

So far I've tried celery and asparagus. The flavor is something I have never gotten with canned. After a bowl of each I poured the rest in 12 & 20 oz containers for use in future recipes. Aside from the initial chopping, the work involved with this dish is minimal.

Add 1 more thing I can do from pure scratch!
msbabs32: (Research)
Monday, April 27th, 2009 05:20 pm
Wandering Whole Foods this weekend I was perusing the produce area for healthy snacks at work, specifically fruit.  I saw the cantaloupe.   I like cantaloupe and these are already cut in half and prepared. I bought two halves and was happy. Eating one at home with only a spoon and with great ease strengthened my resolve. I took the other to work and tried to have there.  At home the cantaloupe was dispatched mindlessly. My stainless steel spoon easily sliced and scooped in one motion with only occasional  glancing. The experience was done with quickly, almost too quickly.

This was not the experience had at my desk. The plastic spoon lodged into the fruit and threatened to break.  Attempting to use more lateral forces failed as well. A plastic knife had to be employed to  get at any of the meat and it was messy.  I had to use a combination of the knife, the spoon and my fingers. It took quite some time to finish.  I almost bailed cantaloupe juice all over my desk several times. So while plastic utensils with cantaloupe is not a FAIL, I would not recommend it. No more cantaloupe at work, unless I decide to bring in a metal spoon.

UPDATE: Cantaloupe half and I did battle again at home. But this time I brought a metal spoon - and I made sure the spoon was small so it took longer....
msbabs32: (Research)
Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 11:34 pm
On my latest trip to Bed Bath and Beyond (B3) I picked up a 12oz press pot and a Zyliss food chopper. I've now used both and am fairly pleased with them.

The Press Pot (image) )
It makes wonderful press coffee and there is much less mess. When no drinking press, the size of the carafe is also perfect for microwaving and frothing cappuccinos for two. The spout keeps the milk from spilling everywhere.

The second item I bought is a food chopper, like the one you see the ShamWow guy selling )
I was skeptical at first but chopping several onions a week sent me looking for shortcuts. It works reasonably well on Onions and only okay-wise with garlic. But as advertised it was quick and brainless. However the brand I bought cost $9 and it kinda shows it. The top protective barrier doesn't stay when you are not chopping. It may get more irritating as time goes on. It's only $9 so once it irritates me enough I'll upgrade to the Cuisinart brand name.
msbabs32: (jedi geek)
Monday, April 20th, 2009 01:07 pm

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...

Pure Nerd

65 % Nerd, 35% Geek, 43% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendencies associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Take The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test at HelloQuizzy
msbabs32: (Cooking)
Saturday, April 18th, 2009 01:47 pm
So much sadness this morning. I placed the bacon on the sheet, set in the oven and went about making the rest of breakfast. As I was eating my waffles, coffee and sausage (notice no bacon) I smelled something. I shot up and bolted to the kitchen. I threw open the oven door and attempted to rescue my darling strips. All the while N is crying "Honey? What's wrong? Honey". When he arrives in the kitchen he gets (warning, the below may be traumatic bacon lovers)
his answer. )
I forgot to set a timer to:
a) tell me the bacon was done
b) remind me I had bacon in the oven

After much sobbing and scrapping I cleaned up and tried again. This time I set the timer and checked its progress through the window. The second batch came out much better (sorry no pics). I need to keep a better eye on things during the mad breakfast rush.
msbabs32: (Bah)
Sunday, April 12th, 2009 11:37 pm
I cook with a lot of garlic. Two of my favorite dishes use at minimum 20 cloves a piece. Therefore I usually buy it prepared. The last couple weeks prepped garlic was unavailable at the normal grocery store. Not wanting to make an extra trip to Whole Foods I got the 3-heads pack. They felt firm, looked non-moldy and of enough quantity.
Just about every clove of every head had already started to sprout. I only get about 2 descent cloves from each head. To quote a friend of mine: Rasafrasa! I've gone through three packs from different stores. Every time the heads gave no indication they were bad - almost as if this was some weird food conspiracy.
So no more. Even if it means an extra trip to WF exclusively for garlic.
msbabs32: (Cooking)
Saturday, April 11th, 2009 01:29 am
I've taken to making bacon by the package in the oven of late. It is easier to make, the bacon almost always cooks evenly and is much easier to clean up. Whatever we don't eat immediately gets bagged and tagged in the freezer. However, taking it out of the oven is not for the faint of heart. a pound of bacon makes 1/3 - 2/3 cup of pure rendered lard. One can't escape the thought "This has been deep frying in all that fat"!
So I thought I would try a healthier method. I layered the bacon on a grid cooling rack that fit in a half sheet pan. "Ha," I thought, "The bacon will be suspended from all that grease below!" I'm pretty sure an evil cackle resonated immediately after. It normally takes 10-12 min to make. After 20 there was still no real progress and the ends were charring. So back into the grease they went, bubbly with happiness as they settled in. Four minutes later they were done - deep fried in their own fat, golden, crispy, and ambrosia.
As I drained off pan and dabbed the bacon I thought about how bacon is made on the stove. You are not supposed to drain the fat off until you are done. The chefs call it "lubrication" probably because most cannot bring themselves to face the fact: proper bacon must basically be deep fried.
If this story has ruined your bacon eating, I suggest you come to grips with it. Eat a salad later to make up for it or have the bacon on a salad instead of a cheeseburger. If this story made you a feel a little wiser and hungry, keep in mind that bacon fat is supposed to make wonderful biscuits. :-9
msbabs32: (Cooking)
Thursday, April 9th, 2009 01:49 pm
I love french press coffee but paying $30 for a 12 oz coffee press is enough to give pause. So this morning I tried the tea leaf basket from a broken teapot. It fit properly in the mug, allowing for water to flow around and below it. A thick head of froth appeared as expected as the coffee steeped but basically left as I pulled the basket out. The coffee tasted rich and good until I stirred it right before taking a sip. Apparently quite a bit of sediment got kick up. After allowing it settle for a minute I went back to the cup. At about 1/3 from the bottom the coffee became silt-y and I had to toss it.

The keeping-coffee-grinds-at-the-bottom aspect is crucial advantage of a french press. In conclusion if I wanted coffee and had no other way to make it, the basket method would save me. However, since I don't like tossing half my coffee at every mug, I'm going to fork over the 30 bucks at my next store visit.