Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bored at the Office and Other Wordlessness

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rotten Bananas: Take 2

We buy an awful lot of bananas around this joint, and dammit if they don't go bad before we get a chance to use them. I think I've Banana Breaded out everyone, so I thought perhaps a banana pudding would be a better way to go this time. I know it's almost foolishly simple to list how to make it here, but there are some people who cook so bad, they may need my assistance in getting it right. So, here we go.

1 box of instant vanilla pudding
2-4 medium sized bananas that are as spotty as a Las Vegas Grandma's forearms, chopped into small discs
1 box of Nilla Wafers Cookies
2 cups of cold milk

In a bowl, whisk together the instant pudding and the 2 cups of milk. It will soft set in about 3 to 5 minutes of whisking. When it soft sets, put it in the fridge to chill.

Next find you a good casserole dish or a large bowl to make make the final product in. You can get all Polly Perfect on it and make concentric circles of wafers and thin banana slices if you like. I, on the other hand, just made a bottom crust of cookies, the slapped a good mess of naners on top of those.

Fuck Polly Perfect
Then, you will need to add your chilled pudding. You can do a thin layer, then add some more bananas, wafers and more pudding. Or, you can just dump in your pudding like me. No appreciates your artistry here.

After that, you can add a nice layer of bananas and wafers to the top portion. I like to crumble a few for texture and prettiness. You don't have to. You can be all pirate's treasure on yours and trick your guests into thinking they are just eating plain pudding until they chomp into some mystery item. Is it banana, cookie, or toe nail? Only you will know the truth and you can giggle menacingly at their psychological torture. BWAHAHAHAHA!

On Nom

Sunday Suppers: Homemade Veggie Broth to Chicken Noodle Soup

A recent gift of homemade chicken broth got me thinking about how to make my own stock at home. I go through so much stock nowadays because of all these high-falutin' recipes that it is becoming rediculous to spend that much money on a can/box of stock. I thought the easist broth to make would probably be vegetable, plus it would clean out all those random veggies that were racing sneaking towards going bad. There, how's is that for being green and not wasting money?

I found a simple recipe that basically says take any aeromatic veggie, chop into 1 inch chunks, and boil with some spices for about 30 minutes. They listed a variety of vegetables you could include, but here is how I rolled:

4-5 ribbs of celery with some leaves
1 large onion
3 large carrots
5-6 cloves of minced garlic
Hefty sprinkle of thyme and parsley
2 bay leaves
a good pinch of salt


Some other veggies you may consider including: Green onions, mushrooms, potato peels (washed of course), bell peppers, chard, pea pods, basil, fennel, eggplant, corn cobs, asparagus butts, you name it.

First thing you got to do, aside from cutting your washed veg into 1" chunks, is throw about a tablespoon of olive oil in the bottom of  a soup pot and heat to high. Then, throw in your 1" chopped veggies. Enjoy how aeromatic your house is about to smell. I seriously dragged Jon off the couch while he was The Sweet 16 to come and smell. I was in foodie heaven. If Julia Child's house had a smell, it probably smelled like this...and butter.

Moving on.

Let your veg weep (let go of water) for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir frequently lest you have a charred flavor to your broth. Add 2 quarts of water and then BTB-RTS as Chef Anne would say. (Bring To Boil - Reduce To Simmer). Simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. This is how it will start to look

Om Nom
The next step is to seive out the solids and take only the liquid bits.

"taking the liquid bits"

Then, you are left with all the veggie mush. The broth recipe said to discard the remaining veg stuff. I thought that was a lot of hooha. What a waste. I sat around and thought about what I could do with all that awesome veg, and EUREKA! I got an idea. All of that stuff goes into a chicken noodle soup, so that is what I made. Saved time and money.

Because we aren't big chunks of veggie eaters, I took about 3/4 of veggies and pulverized them in a food processor. That gave me a nice thick puree that fattened up the broth a little. I added some more water and some chopped up chicken breasts. Again, BTBRTS for about 30 minutes. Season to taste.

About 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, add some noodles. I, unfortuantely, added the noodles like 45 minutes ahead and they got a bit mushy. My bad, I was waiting on a loaf of bread to bake. Oh well, lesson learned. Not bad for a first try though.

Chicken Mush-Noodle Soup

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Crack an Egg on the Mixer While Blending & Other Wordlessness


Sweet Anniversaries and Other Great Achievements

I know Jonathan and I just got married in December, but it was so close to our 5 year anniversary that I HAD to do something. He is also having a crummy time at the office, so I thought I might do something to brighten up his day.

Guys get embarrassed about flowers so I didn't want to send those. I decided that perhaps a cookie or candy bouquet would be better because a fruit bouquet would have probably gone straight in the trash. He scorns all things healthy. After Googling around, I found some neat ideas. Since he is a Reese's Peanut Butter fiend, I thought this number would be nice:


That was until I realized that it cost 60 freakin' dollars! Sixty dollars + delivery charge for 12 standard sized Reese's PB cups plus another dozen or so "fun size" (read: mini) ones, a bow, and tissue paper. Screw THAT! I decided I could probably make it on my own and save myself some money. Not that he isn't worth the $60+, but if I ever want to move out of our ghetto hovel, we have to make some cuts somewhere. So I made a scaled down version because he didn't need THAT much candy, and I had to sneak around the house in spells to get it done. It would have looked suspicious if I carried in a giant grocery bag of candy. I swear he is like a puppy following me around at times. So here is a look at how it turned out, and I will give you a general brief on how it is made:

Not quite as flashy, but does the job. Probably should've added a bow. Oh well.

 To do this project, you will need:

  • 1 cheap flower pot, coffee cup or tin bucket
  • Floral foam that will snuggly fit into the bottom of your cheap pot
  • Wooden craft sticks, dowel rods, or Popsicle sticks in the number appropriate to the number of candy stems you want.
  • A hot glue gun with hot glue. Hopefully, your gun has a "low" setting.
  • 1 bag of crinkled paper. (If you are cheap like me, you found some old construction paper you had lying around from a previous project, accordion folded it a bit, and sent it through the paper shredder. Ta-freakin-da! Shredded crinkly paper at half the price.
  • A big bow (if you're into that sort of thing)
  • Your loved one's favorite candy bar in a variety of sizes, in the amount according to the number of stems you want.

Heat your glue gun on a low setting and grab all your supplies. You can glue your foam into your container if you like. I didn't so I could reuse the flowerpot. The end result wiggled a bit because of this, but it was no big deal. If you want to glue it in, put a ring of hot glue around your floral foam and press firmly into the bottom of the container.

Now it is time to start making your "flowers". Turn your candy face down so that you will be displaying the candy name in the final product and not gluing over it. Spread enough glue along a wooden stick that will run down the entire length of the candy bar. Give it just a second to cool so that it does not melt the plastic wrapper of the candy. Then, firmly press the wooden stick into the back of the candy packaging. Repeat for all your stems.

Once all your stems have had time to harden, jab them into the floral foam at various heights and rows. Start with the back and tallest row first, working your way shorter and more forward. Feel free to break of the bottom of your sticks to achieve different heights. An ugly bottom won't matter because it is hidden in the foam.

Slap a bow on the pot for good measure. We had no bows, guys don't dig bows. ALL RIGHT! I forgot the damn bow. Stop judging me. Add the crinkly paper around the base of the sticks to hide the floral foam, and there you go.

I'm sure mine would have looked better if I had more time. (I.e. not done while hopping on one leg while trying to pull pants on for work and running late as usual). The happy effect was achieved despite missing the bow. My beau was happy to get some sweets on a day that was so completely shitty, except for the fact that 5 years ago on that day we became a couple. He was even sweet enough to bring one candy home for us to share.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Unfortunate Fortune Cookies

Prior to filleting my finger, I had decided to try to make fortune cookies for a friend's birthday get together. I haven't got anything particularly pithy to say about it, and I've stalled long enough trying to come up with something clever. So, while I am out of the kitchen, I might as well get you caught up on some of the cooking-goings-on about the joint.

Our core group of friends is scattered all over the city. That may not seem like such a big deal until you realize that Houston has a circumference of over 100 miles. Observe:

Not true to scale because the map does not quite go wide enough North/South to capture the distance between the Hovel and Roy-mantha's, or far enough East to get the true location of Kail's joint.

We chat through Facebook from time to time, and OF COURSE they are all loyal readers so you might be able to guess who some of them are. Anyway, Facebook may bridge a gap, but it does not fill the void that is left when you miss the people who were your best man, your future baby's godparents, your matron of honor, your ambulance driver, and the group that will show up for a last minute birthday dinner when everyone else blows you off. Hence, we have monthly game night at a different house each month. February was Team Robinson's turn due to being proud new home owners, and having a birthday to celebrate. So, we all piled into our vehicles and made the trek.

I had known that I wanted to make fortune cookies for Mrs. Robinson's birthday for awhile, but I hadn't got any practice in so I had no idea how they would turn out. I Googled what appeared to be a basic recipe: Mostly egg whites, flour, vanilla, water, and a bit of almond extract. "No big deal," I thought. "I've got this."

I started out by making up a few fortunes and printing them, and cutting them to size.

My favorite fortune ever: "Man who stands on toilet is high on pot."

The dough (that I have seen in several YouTube videos) is supposed to be very thin and runny. My dough was very thick and coarse. I decided to slowly add more water until I achieved my desired consistency.

When the batter was runny enough to my liking, I made coaster-sized discs on a well greased cookie sheet and baked until that magical "just done" time in a 400 degree oven. Working quickly, you have to get a cookie off the pan, place the fortune in the middle and fold it in half. You have to work fast, in theory, because the cookies harden into little crisps that won't bend if they cool. So snap to it!

Ouch, hot tamale! Wait, wrong ethnic group. Ouch, hot Wonton!

The next part sounds a bit weird, but you then have to bend the cookie over the rim of a coffee cup and put in a muffin tin to cool and harden. Bending it over the rim of the cup makes it into the exact right shape. 

Well, most of my fortune cookies never got truly hard. They tasted okay, but they were more like thin, almondy sugar pancakes. I had to make up for this failure by at least making them prettier to look at. If people were busy oooing and awing over them, they wouldn't notice that tell-tale texture was completely missing slightly less than ideal. Besides, Mrs. Robinson loves that sort of thing (meaning cutesy stuff).

Being now that I am a Goddess of the Double Boiler, I decided to chocolate dip them and sprinkle with, well, sprinkles. Do I need to remind y'all how to do that? Okay, last time for you newbs:

1.) Never melt chocolate in a microwave! Always use a double boiler. (i.e. pot of boiling water with a bowl of chocolate snugly placed over it. Stir frequently and do not walk off or this may happen.

 Next, all you have to do is dip your cookie tips into the melty goodness and sprinkle with rainbow sprinkles.

Dip and Sprinkle!
Everyone at the party ended up liking them despite their unfortunate texture. I thought y'all might enjoy a self-portrait with the completed product. Enjoy and happy Sweets Sunday.

Andrea c.2011, the Chocolate Sprinkle Period.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rotten Bananas and Other Wordlessness

When life hands you rotten bananas, sneak into the kitchen and make banana bread.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Doctor's Orders: Banned From the Kitchen for 8-10 Days.

Let's start off with a video, shall we? Everyone loves Saturday Night Live (the old stuff, not the new garbage they have now) so here is a clip of one of my favorite cooking-related skits. The link has a higher quality video, if that's your bag. Pay attention to the clip because it will come back into play later...


Snap back to yesterday, and I am having a pretty super Saturday. I went grocery shopping with Jon and it didn't rain. The weather was simply beautiful, and I felt like a picnic would be a splendid idea. After all the groceries were put away, I set to making us a little lunch for the park. I put some chips in our basket with some baby carrots and almond butter. All that was left was to make some sandwiches. Now, we haven't bought sliced bread since the wedding, because we were given a bread machine. Every week we make a loaf of bread and do our best to manage from it. Sometimes we have huge slices, others our cut at an angle. To curb this, I bought what turned out to be a big piece of junk:

The Norpro 370 Bread Slicer and Guide

Naturally, I want to try to make a nice even cut for my sandwiches. I position my loaf carefully and whip out my serrated knife. I am already on thin ice with knife usage due to this incident and this incident.  I am not supposed to be using them without adult supervision, but it has been over a month since the last knife-related incident. Therefore, I was allowed to put on my big girl panties and go at it alone.

The rest is kind of graphic, so if you have a weak constitution, for the love of God, don't read on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Final Warning~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I go to slicing and the knife somehow the plastic bit on the guide jiggles the knife loose out of my hand. It goes flipping through the air all Free Willy style and I leap out of the way as to not disembowel myself or skewer my foot. Well, I'm no cat-woman so the knife did catch me and do some carving. The ring finger on my right hand, the hand that was holding the knife was now jagged mince meat. (Think back to SNL skit above) Y'all, there was so much blood, all I could do was scream HELP HELP HELP in increasing higher volumes. The third one finally brings Jon around the corner in a hurried, but not too panicked manner. Here's how it kind of goes down:

 Me: Oh shit! *blood sprays and runs down my arm to my elbow* help! Help! HELP!
Jon: What's up babe? Did you spill someth... OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!

(Borrowed drawing from Allie since I couldn't draw even before this incident & obviously can't now.)
One thing to know about Jon is that he is my hero, but blood is not something he handles too well. I'm trying to keep calm as to not add vomit to the gross things that are now festering in my jagged wound. 

Jon: What do I need to do?!?  What do I need to do?!?

Me: *as calm as one can talk after being kabobed* Babe, it's real bad, the cut is jagged. I'm going to let you look at it and you tell me if we need to go to the emergency room. Why don't you get a clean paper towel, because this one is soaked through.

Jon: Yes. *grabs paper towel and begins to sweat profusely*

Me: Okay, take a deep breath and I am gonna show you.

Jon: It's really hot in here, let me turn on the air conditioner real quick...

Me: *dizzy* Ok...

Jon: Okay, I'm ready. 

Me: *reveal*

Jon: Oh SHIT!
Me: *sigh, I know this means a trip to the emergency room*

So we call my mom for advice, she doesn't answer. We call Jon's mom for advice. She says to put an ice pack on it, and that we should probably go to the ER in case I hit a tendon something. All I can think is how massive my ER co-pay is. All Jon seems to care about it getting off the phone. His mom is being super nosy and is trying to get all the details. Finally I yell, "it's bleeding through the rag!" because Jon can't gracefully extracted himself from the phone conversation. He summarily hangs up after yelling, "Mom, I HAVE TO GO!" 

Now Jon wanted to head to the ER and all I see are giant dollar signs getting flushed down the toilet, not to mention having to wait 16 hours to be seen as I bleed to death. Houston's ER situation is awful. I suggest to Jon that we go to an urgent care center down the road, and thankfully he agrees. I was sure he was going to call an ambulance to rush me to a tier 1 trauma center any minute. 

I calmly wrap my hand in another dish towel with ice packs while my man runs about the house grabbing keys, cell phones, etc. as if I was in active labor and the baby was crowning. We get into the car and I look him square in the eye, "Babe, I'm not in labor or anything. Everything is okay so drive carefully. The urgent care center is only like 6 blocks away."

We make it to the urgent care center and are seen right away. The receptionist tries to get me to fill out paperwork and I look at her in disgusted disbelief. Jon snatches up the clipboard and suddenly forgets my birthday, our address, and phone numbers. 

We get taken back and I try to make jokes to the nurse. She doesn't laugh and gives me that "don't give me no nonsense" look... Bitch.

We have had the ice pack on for a good 20 minutes, so the blood was able to clot a little. After cleaning it out with iodine and salt water, we got a view of the damage.

It appears much worse when blood is gushing out it.

I ended up having to get three stitches. Not pleasant when they pumped needles full of numbing agent into the very tightly compartmented cells of a finger. It was painful to say the least. I felt everything and nearly lost my lunch as the doctor practiced for a knot-tying merit badge.
We paid the butcher and went back home. We lost only 30 minutes of our Saturday, thank God we avoided the ER. I still wanted to go to the park, Jon said no. He had a cataclysmic migraine relapse and was down for the count. But not before we surveyed the horror that waited for us in the kitchen. We almost called CSI for the amount of blood that was splattered around the kitchen.  Don't believe me? A video tour for your viewing pleasure:

Blood was on the counter, floor, all the way up the fridge, on the appliances above the fridge, the counter above the freezer, the ceiling and the light fixture, back down the counter where I was not even close to, and on the floor.

The worst news of all, no cooking for 8-10 days until the stitches come out. I already got fussed at for cutting butter this morning. I am not happy.

Only thing I'm lacking now is a cone collar and dignity.

If you like what you see, please Follow Me for more recipes and cooking related antics.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Technique Tuesday: Crushing Your Own Fresh Peppercorns

I've been learning a lot from watching my favorite Food Network shows. (Particularly Iron Chef and Secrets of a Restaurant Chef) My knife skills are improving, and I have mise en place pretty much down. A neato skill I saw the other day was turning your kernel-like spices (like peppercorns, mustard seeds, or coriander seeds) into a fresh powder without a spice mill or electric grinder. It's really simple. Observe:

This works really well on a wooden cutting board. I don't own one, so I had to do the best I could on the plastic one. But it makes very fresh and fragment spices for your dish on the spot.

Here is another technique to try if you find that the first technique is not quite giving you the fine mill that you desire for your dish.


Bon Appetit

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kick Ass Shepherd's Pie

Hey guys! I am so excited to tell you about this recipe and how I pulled it off flawlessly by "thinking like a chef" and bypassing some goof-ups I made early on and turning out an excellent meal. 

I am proud to say even the leftovers are now gone, which says a lot in this house. Jon was very sweet with his compliments: "This is so good that not only would I eat it again if you made it, I would feed it to other people." That's my man, forever the charmer. 

Let's rock out some Shepherd's Pie, kids! 

First things first, Shepherd's Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb or cubed lamb shoulder. Not only is mutton a little difficult and pricey to get our hands on here in Houston, we aren't the biggest lamb eaters. Instead, I used ground beef. It was magnificent. I imagine if you want to use beef stew meat diced into very small cubes (like 1/4") you could use that as well. 

I made my Shepard's Pie off of Chef Anne Burrell's Shepherd's Pie. If you want her recipe, click her name. How I made mine is listed below:

  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt
  • 3-4 heaping Tablespoons of flour
  • 1-2 ribs celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 quarter to 1/2 of a large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped. (Garlic powder got me through because I just ran out of fresh)
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 fat pinch of thyme
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dices
  • 3/4 to 1 cup milk (warm if you have the time)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen peas
You'll notice that mine will make a smaller portion, feeds 2 starving, college frat boys, or 4 people eating moderate portions with a dinner roll or something. As previously mentioned, mine is made with beef instead of lamb. In addition, I added a bit of onion because, hey, why not? Also, my Shepherd's Pie is differing from Chef Anne's because it is missing leeks, tomato paste and bay leaves. Why? I didn't have them and had to make do (due?). 

Haha. I just said doodoo. *crickets* Ahem, moving on.

I also didn't have fresh thyme, so I think like a chef and improvise. I used a pinch of the dry stuff instead. As far as the tomato paste goes, thought I had it but I didn't. It was tomato sauce. I used a quarter cup of it instead and slipped the remainder into a half used jar of pasta sauce that was hiding out in the fridge. No one was the wiser.

Enough stalling, let's get to the heavy lifting.


    Coat a wide pan, like a sauce pan, with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and toss with the flour. Add the beef to the pan and brown well. Remove the beef from the pan and reserve in a bowl you have lying around. Ditch the oil in the pan and add a splash new olive oil.

    Add the celery, carrots, and onion to the pan. Season the mixture with salt and cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables are soft and very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add the beef back to the pan and stir to combine.

    Add the tomato sauce and cook until the tomato sauce starts to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add the wine and cook until it reduces by half.

    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes it actually makes it into the dish.

    Add enough stock to just cover the surface of the beef mixture. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle in the thyme. Bring the stock to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes to an hour, or until the kids start complaining that they are starving. If you are using the stew meat, you will need to continue cooking until the meat is tender. When the stock level reduces replace with more to keep the meat just submerged.

    In the mean time, we have to make the mashed potato topping. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover by 1-inch with tap water. Season the water with salt and bring the water to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes They don't have to be soupy or super creamy. They need a little heft to them to stay on the top of the pie and form a hardy "crust".  Get one of the kids to mash them with a hand tool or mixer while slowly adding the butter and milk. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

    Remove the lid from the beef and add the peas. Simmer for 15 minutes more to allow the stock level to reduce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. When done, the beef mixture should be thick and stew-like. Not soupy.

    Preheat the broiler.

    Transfer the beef mixture to a wide, flat baking dish like a Corningware dish. Spread the mashed potatoes over the beef mixture in an even layer.

    Just like this...

    Place the baking dish under the preheated broiler. Broil until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy. Don't walk off! This only takes a few minutes and if you aren't paying attention, they will burn. If you are as truly awesome, your dish will come out like this:

    Okay, not very pretty, but damn tasty.

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    How to Know if You Live in the Ghetto

    ~Jon, dear, don't read this post. You are an excellent provider & never think otherwise~

    Go outside, take a look around, and marvel at your neighborhood. One day, you are living in a perfectly nice, working class suburb. The neighbors know each other, their kids play together in the street...then, one day something happens. Any number of bad things can happen, too many to list in fact. The point is, at some point or another, the quaint working-class neighborhood you used to live in has morphed into ghetto. Some of us don't realize that, in fact, that our place has become a ghetto. Aside from the obvious signs, like old ladies selling cocaine in your driveway on Wednesday afternoons, there are some other key signs that you do, in fact, live in the ghetto. Please allow me to list a few just so you are aware.

    You May Live in the Ghetto If...
    1. Nothing in your house is mounted or held in place properly. Any repairs made to property by your landlord are shoddy at best.
    2. It doesn't matter what day is trash day, because your neighbors will pile massive amounts crap in your yard regardless.
    3. "I have been sitting here almost a week."
    3.) The city doesn't bother to repair any property damage they do to the lot because they figure, "Meh, we're in a bad side of town anyway. Why bother?"

    4.) You have a house that is literally falling in on itself next door.

    5.)   Illegal Immigrants come with baskets to collect fruit that grows in the yard of the condemned house.


    6.) Even the mailbox tries to steal your shit.

    7.)    You wake every morning to a combination of train horns and N.W.A. blaring from cars driving by.

    8.)    Girl Scouts don't try to sell you cookies, Jehovah's Witnesses won't pass out "TheWatchtower", and you will see no Mormons on bikes trying to spread the word about the Latter Day Saints.

    9.)    You've had a random child knock on your door at 3 a.m. on the coldest night of the year looking for his mother, and you had to call Child Protective Services. (true story)

    10.)  The last unit in your complex is rented by a single, teenage mother. How do I know she's single?

    11.)   When you leave a half decent pair of shoes or furniture outside for trash day, it mysteriously disappears before the trash man arrives.
    12.)   Your friends are afraid to come over after dark.
    13.)   Your parents think you should wait on having kids until the "schools in the area are better" or you have "a bit more space."

    There are many more reasons. I simply can't list them all. However, this should be enough to give you a basic understanding and let you know if your living in a dump. I have composed a little song about our first little apartment together. I would sing it for you, but I would sound like William Hung. Therefore, I will simply give you the lyrics, plus the original tune that the lyrics were adapted from. Click the link to see the original music video, and get a hint of the melody if you have never heard it. Enjoy.

    Adapted Lyrics by: Me

    All things considered we’re doin' just fine even though

    We have debt the size of Texas at our baaaaank
    The way I feel I should be losing my mind
    But all things considered
    We’re doin' just fine

    Woke up this morning to the sound of fights outside our door
    We got served a piece of paper for breakfast that said
    “Pay right now or you don't live here no more”
    And the stray dog won't let me pet him, he just drags
    my trash out in the street
    And the train made me late again
    We should have just stayed in bed asleep

    All things considered we’re doin' just fine even though
    We have debt the size of Texas at our baaaank
    The way I feel I should be losing my mind
    But all things considered
    We’re doin' just fine

    Well the A.C. broke down again right before the city cut off the gas
    And the hoodlum kid’s words are ringing in my head
    “One more new thing and I’m robbin’ your...” yeah
    Well I can’t wait till five o clock when I drive my beater back towards the house
    So I can sit in traffic all day
    And end up going to the ghetto!

    All things considered we’re doin' just fine even though
    We have debt the size of Texas at our baaaaank
    The way I feel I should be losing my mind
    But all things considered
    We’re doin' just fine


    Tuesday, March 1, 2011

    Pot Roast in Foil...WIN!

    This Recipe was submitted by Txbruno, who sadly has not yet claimed his awesome prize for winning the recipe contest. I had 6 hours to kill last Sunday, so I thought, "why not?". After being rejected from a cooking blogroll because my blog was deemed "not about cooking", I decided I had to "cook it up a bit". So, after placing our new handy-dandy oven thermometer in place, I got to foilin'.

    Pot Roast in Foil
    • 1 3-4# Chuck Roast
    • 1 pkg dry onion soup mix
    • 1-2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup 
                 Notes Txbruno:I prefer the artery clogging version but you can use the fat free version.
                 Me: Oh HELL TO THE NO! We are goin' full fat version.
    • 2 white potatoes washed and cut into large chunks. He probably implied peeling them, so you can do that...or not.
    • 1 bag of carrots peeled and sliced into large chunks
                  Notes Txbruno: I use more because my wife loves carrots.

                  Me: Awww! The man loves his wife. So sweet.

    Cooking Distructions:
    • Place 30x18-inch piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil in 13x9x2 baking pan, place meat on foil. Add carrots and potatoes around the roast.
    • Sprinkle soup mix over top of meat, carrots and potatoes and spread with cream of mushroom soup.

      "I don't look particularly tasty right now. Or in focus for that matter."
    • Fold foil over meat and seal securely.

      "I could be potentially more tasty, but are you willing to risk it?"
    • Cook in 275° oven 5-6 hours.

    Do it all right and you get a super tender, flavorful roast that the whole family enjoys. Enjoys so much in fact, that they forget to take a picture of it for the blog.

    Let me give you one piece of advice though. Make sure that the foil wrapping is really tight and well layered. If not you will get this lovely surprise:

    Stain-"I will never never never come off. Even after 24 hours soaking"