Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Recipe Thursday (on Wednesday): Chocolate Chess Pie

I'm posting this a day early because I have a different post for tomorrow. :)
Okay, this is a huge crowd pleaser for the chocolate lover.  And best of all it's super dooper easy and consists of stuff you probably already have on hand.  I served it the other night at the dinner club party beside a Carvel ice cream cake.  And guess what?  All of my pie was eaten and the ice cream cake wasn't.  That says a lot!  So, here ya go:
1.5 cups of sugar
3.5 Tbsp of cocoa
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 stick of margarine or butter
1 small can Carnation milk (I never have this so I just use half of a cup of regular milk)
1 tsp vanilla
1 unbaked pie shell
Now just dump it all in a bowl and mix it up really well so there aren't any lumps.  For those of you who like to hand mix with a spoon, I would not recommend this.  It really needs to be mixed by an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to get all of the lumps out.
Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes.  DO NOT OVERBAKE!!!  And voila!  You have a really fantastic dessert!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Big Apple Day 4

Mark didn't have class Friday so we slept in and then went for breakfast. See these things below? Several bakeries had these and I was just dying to try one. So, Mark and I each ate one for breakfast. Yum, yum. It was cinnamon and butter wrapped in a million layers of phylo dough. It crumbled and went everywhere, but was worth the mess. And the calories.Then I demanded that he go in the Toys R Us and see just how cool it was. NYC structures made out of Legos.
A giant Transformer. And many, many other things.
And then my one request, for lunch was that we eat at the Russian Tea Room. I'd heard celebrities mention eating there and such and wanted to try it.
Who orders this stuff??!! Not me!
It was, as Mark says, a "Fu-fu place". haha. I ordered some Russian Ravioli stuffed with seafood. I don't think I've ever had hand made from scratch ravioli. Oh, my goodness. It was so thin and delicious.
Carnegie Hall was next door.
And then we grabbed a cab and headed back to Laguardia where we sat for an hour out on the runway.
Just a note: Mark is the photographer of the family and since he would not relinquish the camera, most of the photos have me in them. So, in my defense: I tried to get the camera away and get more photos of him.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Big Apple Day 3

I realized that Good Morning America was filming next door to where we were staying. It was pretty cool to see the test kitchen that they use. Their studio audience has to stand the entire time. That doesn't interest me in the least.
But I did get up early to try and get into The View studio audience (without success). There is a 2 year waiting period for tickets, so the best bet is to see if you can get in on stand by. I had to be outside the studio by 8 a.m. for tickets, and then they give you a pink paper with your number on it. (see below)
I was number 15. We had to go hang out at Starbucks until 9:30 when we would go back and find out if we were getting in. Around 10 a.m. they said that they already had a full studio audience with the regular ticket holders so absolutely NO stand by people got in. Bummer. But neat to see how it worked. Honestly, I don't think I'd bother doing it again.
Here's the intern in the blue coat that was responsible for getting people in and such. So, I walked over to Central Park and on the way I passed the building where Regis and Kelly are filmed (except they were in Vegas for the week). Then I hopped back on the subway and went to the hotel. I waited for Mark to get out so we could have lunch. Then I just took a nap and rested the rest of the afternoon. We were going to have a rather late night because we had tickets to a Broadway show: Jersey Boys.
We had dinner at Angus McIndoe, across from Phantom of the Opera. It was good. Our reservation was at 6 p.m. and we were all done by 6:35, LOL. We are rather fast eaters! We headed to a Starbucks and had some dessert and coffee and just hung out until 7:30 when we had to be at the theatre. Now, I know some of you reading this have seen Jersey Boys. Man, it was really good! Some profanity in it, but still REALLY good. We were on the way back to the hotel and I told Mark "Boy, I sure do feel sorry for Frankie Valli." Mark said "Yeah, I feel like he's just trying to pay his light bill." Hahaha. Of course, I had to go back and google how he's doing now. Apparently pretty good as he had a Manhattan apartment and a CA home. So, I stopped feeling so sorry for him.
I do remember about 15 years ago my parents taking me to see him at the Executive Inn in Paducah and he was REALLY good. I remember it well.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Big Apple Day 2

Day 2 started out with me sleeping in and Mark going to his CLE course. I just hung around the room and did some blogging. Completely unaware that Good Morning America was taping in their studio next door and I could have totally been on tv if I had gotten up at the crack of dawn to stand in line. (I wouldn't have done it even if I had known.) I kind of milled around the area walking down to Fifth Avenue and seeing all of the shops there. Then coming back in time for Mark to get out of class. We had a reservation at, get this: a bbq place in NY. We just had to try it as it got great reviews. And it was fantastic!! And our waiter was from Durham, NC.
When we got finished we did some walking and picture snapping. First we went to see Grand Central Station (below) and the Chrysler Building (above).
Then, of course, who could skip a visit to the Empire State Building?

And the original Macy's (their biggest store).
The ABC building behind me. And no, I can't not check my phone for email, FB updates, twitter, etc.
One of the things Mark LOVES in NY is the warm, honey roasted peanuts they sell on the street. And he got himself some.
Times Square, the center of the universe. (isn't that what they say?)

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Big Apple-Day 1

We have been in NYC this week but don't like to mention it on the blog while we're gone for security purposes. This has been a really really great trip.

We left Tuesday morning on Delta (no problems) and flew into Laguardia. Took a cab to Broadway where we were 20 yards from the center of Times Square with all of the tvs etc. Very cool to be in the middle of it all. We did come to NYC a few years ago but were on a tight schedule and didn't get to see all we wanted to. We also stayed a good ways away from everything which meant a lot of time going to and from. So, I will recommend that if you do come, pay the extra money and stay in the heart of it all. You'll be glad you did.
So, once we got to the hotel we went back out immediately and bought a day pass on the subway. We ate lunch at Ruby Tuesdays and I must say their prices are quite inflated. We then went to the 9-1-1 memorial site. They are doing construction there and you really can't see much of anything. Our pictures aren't great either. There are fences everywhere with tarps covering the fences and police all over the place telling you to "move along". So, we did.

We moved along back onto the subway and over to Wall Street. Saw the NYSE (stock exchange) and other well known places there. We didn't go in because we hadn't researched how to do so, and the security was worse than going through the airport it seemed.Then back onto the subway and to Central Park. We had been to the southern part of Central Park before and it was really nice, but never to the northern part. So that's where we went. Yeah, we got off looked around and got right back on the subway. Not so nice. Made us a little nervous. So, we got off at 72nd street and walked through the park and over to Tavern on the Green, where I had wanted to eat. But hello! They went bankrupt and are closed down. Just my luck. Took a few pics and then kept walking. We decided to walk back to the hotel instead of ride, for the scenery.
We were walking by the Late Show with David Letterman and guess who walks out right at that time? Ben Stiller!!! He had finished taping and was leaving. The paparazzi clicked away at him and he waved a little and then got into his car. It was fast. So fast in fact that by the time I had realized it all we hadn't gotten our iPhones out to take pics. Ugh.

We walked to the Broadway area and found an excellent pizza place that served fantastic NY pizza. Yum, yum. And I'm not much of a pizza fan.

That pretty much ended our first day there.

All of these photos were taken on the iPhone so they're not the greatest quality.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Recipe Thursday: My Favorite Recipe Book

I have decided to make Thursdays a recipe day. This is motivation for me to try new recipes, my friends. I am getting tired of the same things over and over: meatloaf, spaghetti, hamburgers, blah bitty blah. Getting bored with what you cook can lead to more eating out right? And that leads to more calories consumed and more money spent. So, even though I'm not posting an actual recipe today, (I will reveal my reason tomorrow), I wanted to share my most favorite entertaining recipe book. My mom got this for me for Christmas. I was a little hesitant at first because I figured "Oh, it's just going to be another cookbook that wants you to pull out your almond paste and Israeli couscous from the cabinet which NOBODY has got in their cabinet." Stuff you can't even ask your neighbors to borrow. But my peeps, this cookbook gets an A plus from me. Just like my mom said, it's stuff you HAVE on hand or can easily acquire at any run of the mill grocery store. The only thing I have found that it talks about a lot in the bread section is using rapid rise yeast which I have never done. But I bought some and I'll show you step by step, photo by photo my trial with it--haven't done it yet, but will!

So, starting next Thursday, we'll start cooking/baking!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Our Babies. And they know it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A little facelift for the house

We decided that it was high time to do something about the green shutters and door on our house. Nothing at all wrong with green, it just looked a little dated on the house. So, we chose black. Mark did it all himself!! I really really like it.
Finished Product:
The side of the house: We are going to put shutters on those two windows too. Not sure why that was never on there before, but since we live on a corner, it really does need to be done.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yawn.....Monday has rolled around again.

Coffee. How does anybody make it without coffee?! I have been in a blogging slump lately for a few reasons: my computer died, so I finally got a new laptop. A MAC!! And I LUV it! It's totally different from using a PC, but in a good way. The other reason is that I have just been doing so much overtime at work. They finally have hired more practitioners and now I will just work 30-35 hours a week, hopefully though the summer. I was getting a tad burned out. To where when a patient began telling me their symptoms/problems I just felt like putting my head down on the desk. Yeah, that's not a good thing. The vacation/cruise helped a little but I worked right up until the day we left and went right back the morning after we got back so spending lots of time traveling on both ends....heck, you need like a day to recooperate! And most of the week all Mark and I felt like doing was just trying to catch up on sleep! By Friday on the trip we looked at each other and said "I FINALLY feel rested".

So, I am off again this week (thankfully) and have GOT to get this house back in shape today. And guess what else? I promise to have a blog post up every. single. day. this week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Row, Row, Row your boat

See what we went and bought this morning? Two kayaks. That's right. Something I thought I'd never do, turned out to be pretty fun when we went sea kayaking in Haiti. Since we live about 10 mins from a good size lake, this would be something fun that Mark and I can do on the weekends---that sort of involves exercise. It took about 15 minutes to get them all strapped up on the car and maybe we'll get a little quicker with it.
Our neighbors are thinking of buying some kayaks as well and they came over right away to check them out. Little Simon especially liked the kayaks.....being pulled around the yard in them.
Will let you know as soon as we try them out!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Random trip photos

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Labadee, Haiti

Monday, March 15, 2010

Tortola, British Virgin Islands

We went to an island I had never even heard of: Tortola. It was a very neat place. Very small, and there really wasn't much to do there. So, we didn't spend much time off the ship. Shopping in Tortola:
A man with his donkey wanting to charge for pictures with his donkey.
Mark with the ship in the background:
Next up: Labadee, Haiti