Friday, April 30, 2010

Cook, Blog, Cook, Blog, Walk Dog, Cook, Sleep

Hef hangs out in the kitchen a lot. He gets lots of pets while waiting for water to boil or other such breaks in the kitchen. He also gets the occasional veggie or herb to nibble on. So the secret ingredient in my cooking is often bunny fur. Hef's hanging out with the vermouth here. That bun always finds the alcohol! Since I continue to either be at work, cooking, or sleeping, its a good spot for Hef to get the attention he deserves. Shadow hangs out in the kitchen a lot too, but I suspect its only to clean up what I drop on the floor.

On Sunday I had a craving for crab legs since our local supermarket was kind enough to put htem on sale and splash them across the front of the ad. Here they are with clarified butter! Surprisngly simple and we really liked them better then Red Lobster's. I steamed the crab legs for about 8 minutes, with a tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning and some lemon juice in the water. I'm pretty satisfied that I have removed the need to go to Red Lobster for seafood. I can cook lobster and crab legs to Hef's dad's satisfaction and I firmly believe in not going out to eat what I can cook at home. Add one more dish to my repitoire!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bun & Beurre Blanc

To me in this photo, Hef doesn't look real, haha! Hef was hanging out with his dad while I cooked. The other night I made beurre blanc, white butter sauce. Which contains two tablespoons and two sticks of butter! mmm butter! I loved it, Hef's dad said he liked green gaints butter sauce better, hmph! In other Julia news, did anyone see Mrs. Julia Child featured in the Beakman & Jax section of the sunday comics? It explained how to make butter, which I would have tried last night if my french bread hadn't gotten moldy in three days, not fair! Also if you looked at it closely around the bored it talked about the Julia Child Rose, and I promptly ordered one for our garden!
In other news, the downside to living on the island reared its ugly head yesterday. What is that? Well, we're an island so we require bridges to exit the island. So, if there is a problem, like an accident on the bridge, it makes it difficult for Hef's dad to go to work. It is "spring" so construction is starting and yesterday they started replacing the deck on one of our bridges. There are two bridges side by side as I've shown before. So they just make one bridge one line of traffic in each direction overnight. Most business people who live here commute to Buffalo to work downtown, like Hef's dad. Therefore the bridge is to reopen at 6am for the commute. Yesterday the bridge did not reopen until 5pm, and our regular on ramp/exit was closed until then. Fortunately I got a ride home from work but it took Hef's dad 2 hours to get to work, when it is normally 20 minutes. Then he had to hang around after work until traffic cleared up! Bad construction men!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So help me, we're going to grill at the park!

The weather report said that last Saturday was supposed to have a high of 69 degrees. So I was determined to pack a picnic, take Hef's dad and Shadow the Dog and enjoy the day. Our picnic was hot dogs, pasta salad, and a steak that we all shared. Upon arrival to the park there was an assortment of brder collies, australian shepherds and a golden retriever running around the playground. Their owners were nice enough as were the dogs, to let Shadow join in their games. It was so cute. All the dogs were going down the slides and through the tunnel. Then we went exploring the rest of the park and all the restrooms were locked! So we packed up and went to Fort Niagara in hopes of restrooms.
The park restrooms were also locked at Fort Niagara! However they have a vistors center to get to the old fort buildings. I decided I would keep walking with Shadow and Hef's dad went to get the car and meet us there. As I was walking I found a shortcut through the grass back to the parking lot, so I figured I would cut through and meet Hef's dad at the car. I started calling him but he didn't hear me and got in the car and took off! I ran after him, but Shadow kept stopping to sniff. Poor Hef's dad got to the visitor's center well before us, all worried, and I was all upset, but alas restrooms! Fort Niagara is on Lake Ontario and was too cold for grilling, back to the first park!
Finally, lunch is ready!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Yes, okay, he's an outside mouse, and thats fine. He's kinda cute isn't he? He seems to be living around our front porch. I take it as a good sign, safe mouse, no snakes.
So maybe he wanted a drink from the bunny lounge, or heard about my affinity for cheeses. Who knows, but he's welcome as long as he doesn't come inside the house.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beer-Cheese Soup

Yesterday, I was watching New in Town starring Renee Zwelleger and Harry Connick Jr. and they happened to mention beer cheese soup. It also happened to be grocery day. So I quickly looked up a recipe and picked up some nice NYS extra sharp cheddar and Guiness beer. I made my very first successful roux! It was so smooth and pretty I took a picture of it!

Look at this garlic clove, thats one clove! Its huge! You know I have been silly buying the little package of two bulbs, instead of the bulk garlic. So I decided to grab the bulk because it is cheaper per lb. And I got this big bulb that I had to cut in half to put in my garlic press. We got the new stainless model, I don't expect Hef's dad to break this one.
This recipe called for 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, and it weirdly said chopped after that. So I crushed them in my mortar and pestle. I'm not one for hot spicy food, but it didn't sound like much to me so I added it. MISTAKE! After toasting up some french bread in the oven, I tucked in. SPICY! I gave Hef's dad a taste and he was surprised I was eating it was so spicy. Oh well. I plan to fix it with more cheese and beer.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Run Rabbit Run

Shadow the Dog and I went for our first "run/walk" in a long time, I figure 3-4 weeks. We managed to get 4:54 minutes of running out of our 20 minute walk, not bad. Don't worry Shadow has still been getting walks, but after a day of working on my feet, I can't run. My feet just won't do it.
In ICKY news on Sunday, Hef's dad joined us on our walk, (not the icky part!), Shadow the Dog found the first snake of the year! YUCK! ICK! BLECK! I was born with a big fear of snakes. As I found out AFTER we moved to Grand Island, its like known for having snakes, swell. Our walk was almost 4 miles though!
Wel'll be telling you more about this later but we are signed up for a walk/run! A coworker of mine invited me, and if allowed Shadow the Dog, to join her on a Juvinelle Diabetes Reasearch Foundation walk. It is 1 mile, but its our first walk. Maybe we can jog it! It's not until June 6th, but we hope some of our bunfriends will sponsor our walk, more on that later!
Hef is a pretty happy bun, last night we carried his whole cage, with him in it, out onto the lawn. Hef snuck out onto the lawn twice! while I had the door open to clean out the old hay, but Shadow the Dog herded him back inside! Hef also enjoyed some harness time, ate the grass, and cleaned himself under the tree. No pictures, dead batteries, darn it!
NOW! It's spring, go hop outside!

Friday, April 16, 2010

All I do is cook!

So this is how my m-f has gone for the past two weeks. I wake up at 7:30ish, put on work clothes, prepare and pack my breakfeast and lunch, along with breakfeast and lunch for Hef's dad. Brewe coffee and pack up my work things. Around 8am I am dropped off at the Wendy's/Tim Hortons. I sip my coffee, eat breakfeast and do internet things most days. However about 4 times between this week and last my boss has asked me or I have been scheduled to start at 8am. That means making salads and prepping until 10am. 10am is lunch break, which is stupid. If I didn't start early I start at 11am or 11:30. Then more work until 4. After work I sit in the "dining room", blogging, emailing and having a homemade salad with wendy's low fat ranch dressing, which is delicious. Then Hef's dad will pick me up between 5:30-6pm. Once home I take Shadow the Dog for a walk, usually 40 minutes or so. I have tried running a few times, it is not happening after work. Then when we get home we prep food for the grill or cook dinner. After dinner its tv time and I usually fall asleep by 10pm. Lots of cooking, not enough sleeping!
So what have we been cooking? This is London Broil, grilled, with grilled eggplant, which I should have peeled but didn't, Eggplant peels get chewy. I didn't want to have the cutting board in the picture, but Hef's dad liked it that way. It's not blood, its steak sauce marinade, so don't freak out. Thats what I love about London Broil, big slap of meat, put it in a ziploc, douse with steak sauce, set it and forget it.... well let it marinate overnight then broil or grill, slice thin, easy and yummy!
Another all star gourmet grill meal! Bay scallops and Haddock filet grilled on a wood plank, with grilled asparagus and Julia's hollandaise sauce. The hollandaise was an adventure! I felt like Julie Powell! What actually cause the problem was Hef's dad. Or precisely he didn't see the asparagus and just cooked the fish, so then we had to put it back on the grilling plank to keep warm while the asparagus cooked. Also this ment reheating my hollandaise, upon doing this it "curdled" or "seperated". Fortunately French Chef Masters Bertholle, Beck, & Child have offered up a rescue solution. Know what it is? Warm a mixing bowl with hot water, add a tablespoon lemon juice and a tablespoon sauce, whisk! then add 1/2 tablespoon at a time and whisk! Lots of whisking! I'm going to have Michelle Obama arms from all the whisking! But the sauce was saved and was delicious!
Last but certainly not least, was last nights dinner. It looks like steak but its not. Even though I asked Hef's dad did not put away the hollandaise sauce. So it had solidified. Mildly concerned about bacteria, I concocted a plan. Pan seared Porkchops with a Basalmic Hollandaise reduction. Hot hot skillet, season chops, pour on too much basalmic, whoops! sear! then scoop out "I can't believe its not Hollandaise" spread, (thats the consistency it had), throughly cook chops. Throw bag of steam rice and veggies in the microwave, more hollandaise spread in pan, deglaze and burn any fears of bacteria, serve and enjoy!
So those were the star meals of the week. Hope everyone is having nice weather to grill, and hope the weekend comes soon! On the Manager front, I have been learning sandwiches and enjoy it. No annoying customers, but I get a headset and can laugh at the silly drive thru people. It's more "cooking" sort of, so thats good! Just one more day then weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Audrey's moving on!

Audrey is all set to fly out tonight! She is headed to Washington DC to meet Glenna, Pink, Peaches, & Elvis. Hef and Audrey shared one last carrot top!
Hef gave Audrey a good luck kiss, checked her scarf was on right, and whispered some sweet bunny nothings into her ear.
Unfortunately now Hef is back to only having statues and curios to play with, oh and Hef says "Don't suggest the dog, because I am not playing with her!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I love you, teacup bunny!

Yes, I really love this little bun! We were shopping at TJ Maxx as we do most saturdays looking for wall art. I saw this frame poking out, it was very Raspberry Rabbits (Shell I've decided that your decorting is its own style and so thats what I'm calling it) so I pulled it out to see what the picture was. BUNNY! And as it happened we need a picture for the kitchen wall. It's perfect! They had a few different bunnies, they didn't have one that looked like Hef so I selected a black and white dutch since we have the black cabinets and white walls. I liked it so much I was going to buy it myself but Hef's dad bought it for me!
We also got some beautiful sepia toned pictures of Central Park NYC, one of the lane of benchs, and one with the bridge over the lake we rowboated in and they are gorgous too but didn't photograph well. They are very romantic and special since that was our big vacation!
Hoppy weekend everyone!

Brunch Review

First and formost, Hef wanted me to share with you that yesterday was Hugh Hefner's 84th birthday. It was also my sister's birthday, ironic huh? Hef says, "Yeah, ya know what Mama did to celebrate? Trim my nails! Hmph!"
Anyhow, as we mentioned we had a brunch party for easter! I made a whole ARMY OF OLIVE BUNNIES! Can you tell they are bunnies? It was super funny, some had long ears, some and really wide apart ears, it was cracking me up, they all looked like unique bunnies.
Here is the Ham and pineapples, my sister's breakfeast stromboli (Hef's dad loved it, now i have to make it!) Italian Potato Salad, which I made a ton off and have been taking to work as lunch. Then there is the olive bunny army, and pasta with a cream cheese tomato roasted red pepper sauce.
And this was the dessert table! From the left is the green stuff (pistachio pudding with pineapples whip cream and cherries) yeah in my family its just the green stuff, maybe it has a real name, if you know it tell me! My sister also made a chocolate mouse, because I was talking to her one day while watching Julia Child make it, isn't that nice of her? Behind that is the fruit salad my brother brought. I also made crescent rolls (with help from the pilsbury dough boy) and I, yes I, the non-baker, made fudge! It was yummery but it was kinda melty/sticky.
Not pictured: A Tuna Melt Frittata from a Rachael Ray recipe that no one liked, thanks rach! Also my aunt dropped off a cake the night before, a coconut lamb, my goodness its delicious. She says her bf made it but it's pretty close to store bought! yummy!
Hef says, "Also not pictured, ME! HMPH!"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Better Bunny Mom

So I talked to my boss this morning. Fortunately, it was a bit of a misunderstanding. The assistant manager was getting waaaaayyyy ahead of herself, no one has been promoted. I haven't had my interview yet because I need to learn to make sandwiches and operate the grill. My boss was concerned because I put on my facebook that I was upset. He didn't want me to quit! So I am still am in the running for the promotion. My boss said next week I will start learning sandwiches and grill. So everything's good for now. I really appreciate everyones comments and encouragement, it was a great confidence boost!
Hef says: "Mama says we're supposed to talk about our problems instead of just being angry. So here's the deal dog, rabbit pellets are for the rabbit, got it?"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Angry Bunny Mom

Yup, thats me! I am really annoyed or angry, or p.o'd or something. I was working today and everything was fine and it was good day until about 3 o clock when one of the co-managers came in and kept talking to two other co-workers about training them to open and close the store. I also heard two of them discussing doing paperwork and what not. Certianly sounds like some people aren't Hef's mom are getting promotions. Which is shocking, isn't it? Kinda though I was getting promoted, didn't you? Well I am feeling very decieved and mislead right now. I haven't talked to the head boss about it but the other manager is right below him. So its believable that she would know. I asked another manager and he played stupid. I am hearing two different stories and I don't like it.

Hef is coming to get you all!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It's Buffalo, we still have snow!

Not only was it about 85 when we were at Niagara Falls, but we didn't get much snow over the winter. So even as life-long western new yorkers Hef's Dad and I were very surprised to see all this! Usually that area that is all white is an observation deck and you can walk right within feet of the falls. Hef's dad and I did so a few years ago, now it was all snow :(
There seemed to be a confusion, we are on the american side in Niagara Falls, NY, so of course you can see Canada behind us. And RG this is for you! A sticky bun and I swear we didn't do it!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Audrey & I

Here is myself and Miss Audrey at Niagara Falls! We are on the American side (stupid passport laws) and you can see Canada behind us.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Not Real Not Chocolate Easter Bunny

Miss Audrey, Hef's Dad and I, took advantage of the low 80s weather(!) and headed to Niagara Falls and Lewiston NY. We took a lot of photos and would like to share them all with you....soon. Because tonight "The Ten Commandments" is on. Its a tradition in my family to watch it. My brother's middle name is even Charlton, after Mr. Heston. My mother insists that she did not have a crush on Charlton Heston... whatever, I like the shirtless egyptians. Anywho, Lewiston NY is a cute little town on the niagara river and they have cute little shops, and we bought this cute little bunny. He is very close in size to Hef, its too funny! And a bargain at 7 dollars, I think he is made of porcelian. We have a big easter party tomorrow, so we might not blog but we'll tell you about it soon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Hef! Get UP!

Easter is only two days away! And we are a day behind because I was called in thursday! I have to work today too, but Hef's dad is off so I don't have to sit. This afternoon is grocery shopping. Please let there be hams left! Also we will be trying capers for the first time, what the devil do they taste like? Good, I hope.
"Mama, its going to be 74 today, I think all my Easter work has to be outside today. Filling baskets on the porch, checking the grass, eating the grass!.... well you have to test it, ya know? You don't? Well its Easter Bunny stuff, I assure you,"
Ok Hef, whatever.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spring Fever

"Ma! There is nothing on and I'm bored, and we don't have animal planet!"
Poor Shadow. That's right we don't have cable. And I did take her out for a run last night. It was FINALLY warm enough to still go running after work. Of course I hadn't planned on running. I planned on having an easy evening. I took a hot bath, enjoyed a glass of wine, and I am currently reading "The Time Traveler's Wife". (I picked it up at the library tuesday evening and have read over 200 pages so far, its so good!). However Hef's dad decided he wanted to blast music. So Shadow the Dog and I fled the house and went running. Not the best idea after the wine but we did it. I did alright, 5:36 insted of 7, but it made me nervous about my coordination so I don't plan to try it again. On Saturday Hef's Dad, Audrey, and I will be venturing to Niagara Falls NY and cozy little Lewiston NY before she heads off. Can Elvis, Peaches, and Pink please contact me with travel info for Audrey?