November 20, 2010

Photography Workshop

For my birthday, my mom gave me the perfect gift!  She paid for the two of us to attend this photography workshop.  It was super fun, I learned a ton, I got to have lunch at House of Tricks (yum!) and I got to spend the whole day with my mom!  See?  Perfect.

I got this great camera for Christmas (my mom has the same one), but I didn't really know how to use it (neither did my mom).... until now!  I said so-long to the "green box" and now I'm shooting in full manual mode!  It's a total blast.  I'm still not very good, but I'm learning more all the time. 

Here are some photos that I took on the "photo safari" with the teacher....

Thank you mom!!!!!


November 18, 2010

I swear I'm not getting paid for this....

I am in love with Lodge cast iron cookware.   But I haven't always been.  I used to think it was junk.  Growing up I watched my mom cook with these old "junky looking" pans and swore I never would. As an immature teenager I guess I equated looks with function.  Go figure.  (How did I not realize that everything my mom cooked tasted good?) 

When I got married, I got a nice set of Hard Anodized Calphalon.  It looks great and has served me well, but I have never "loved" it.  A few years ago I noticed that "Le Creuset" was all the rage.  I started to believe that maybe cast iron was functional after all, but that it was necessary to cover up that ugly exterior with colorful enamel.  I thought I was sold on it, but alas, it's expensive.  Holy cow, it's outrageous!  Definitely out of my price range. 

Last year, on a whim, I bought a 12" Lodge cast iron skillet.... at Wal-Mart.... because it was 18 bucks!  At that price, I figured I could afford to dump it if it was junk.  Oh my.  I cooked with it once and I was hooked!  It never leaves my stove top (except to get washed).... I don't bother putting it away because it's the pan I use the most.  It cooks everything beautifully, on the stove or in the oven, and cleans up in a snap!  (And it literally last forever!)  Plus, it seems like everything tastes better when it's cooked in cast iron.  Who needs enamel?

Now my skillet has a friend, who also lives on my stove top.  For my birthday, Jay my kids got me this dutch oven with a lid that doubles as a smaller skillet.  My other pots and pans are feeling rather neglected, but I don't care.

And you know what?  I LOVE how it looks.... bare-naked cast iron.  Beauty.


November 09, 2010


The internet is very interesting..... and extremely handy.  You can find out just about anything you want to know.

For example.....

You can find a recipe for any dish ever created, or instructions on how to roast garlic, which you can (and will) use in a ton of recipes.

Your husband can find instructions for how to install a better horn in the car he bought recently, which came with a really goofy, wimpy-sounding horn.

You can purchase a replacement utensil basket for your dishwasher when the original one that came with your 13-year-old dishwasher begins to sport holes in the bottom through which your daring silverware escape during the wash cycle.

Your husband can learn to play a tricky guitar solo by watching an instructional video on YouTube, so he can serenade you on your birthday.

You can pause a DVD so you can go find out what other movies one of the actors has been in, because it's driving you crazy that he/she looks familiar and you know you have seen he/she in something before, and your husband doesn't believe you but thinks it's someone else, like Marcia Brady (and it's not) because he is terrible with names....and faces.

Yeah, it's really handy.

Recently we were watching this movie with our kids.  (It's not nearly as good as the first one, but it was entertaining.  Besides, I'll watch anything with Tim and Don.)  The kids kept saying that one of the characters looked like "the guy from The Princess Diaries 2," (whose name I could not think of) which was crazy because he probably wasn't even born when the movie we were watching was made.  However, I did think that the actor looked familiar, but I figured he was just one of those "Disney-contracted actors" from the 70's who appeared in lots of their smaller films (actually, I think he appeared at least once in every television series aired between 1965 and 1995).  

When the movie was over, I watched the credits to see if the name of the actor was familiar.  It wasn't, but something about his name clicked in my head, since we had recently watched this movie.  So, I looked him up and sure enough.... though it wasn't the actor my kids thought it was, it turned out to be HIS SON.  Crazy.  How did they know?

Do you see the resemblance?

IMDb is the coolest site ever.