Sunday, December 2, 2012

From My Kitchen: Garlic Soup

Garlic soup is a winter staple in our house. It's warm, tasty, and decadent. Pump up the level of garlic to 'nuclear' and it's also great for the immune system and clogged sinuses. Since my life of late has been consumed with moving and not blogging, I thought that I would take this 'recipe' that I just emailed to a friend with a sick kid and park it here. 

This is less recipe and more ingredients + loose process because I don't make garlic soup so much as wizard it into being. It's a simple set of ingredients, the process is pretty simple, but the results can vary a lot depending on little things - how dry the bread is, how fresh the garlic is. 

Four cloves of garlic is about my baseline for this soup. If I am trying to help knock out an infection or supporting my digestion post antibiotic, then I might jump that up to 6 to 7 or 10. (10 was for the year of continued illness in my household.)

If you are going nuclear, serve this with some bread or rice or something to help pad it in the system.

This is one of those dishes I make while I am doing something else in the kitchen because it ranks above mid-way on the labor-intensive scale. I would put it somewhere between potato salad and risotto for all the cutting, but less of the stirring. 

Shopping list: 

(1) loaf french bread, check the bakery section day-old area. If you can't find a day old one, buy a fresh one, as crusty as you can. You can use cuban bread as it tends to more crusty. If you are not making this on a whim, cut up the bread, place it on a tray or sheet and cover with with a tea towel, sit on your kitchen counter overnight. 

(4) heads of garlic, peeled and chopped small. (It's about 35 to 50 cloves) Don't use a press, but you can use a food processor and should if you have one. 

(64) oz. of veggie or chicken stock
Shredded parm, I usually get one of those containers from the deli, the smallest with shredded and it's enough.

Salt, Pepper and Cayenne to taste.
Water to thin down the soup. It will get stiffer as it cools.

Pre-heat oven to 325.

*Cut bread into 1" cubes and place in a large bowl. I have to do this in sections because I don't own a mixing bowl large enough for a whole loaf.

*Drizzle the bread cubes in olive oil or butter. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and put into your oven. Heat these until they are toasted on the outside and drier. You will need to flip them during this process. I just dump them back in a bowl and then put them back on the sheet.

While you are toasting bread: 

*Heat 2 tblsp of EVOO in a stock pot. Add the garlic to the oil on medium heat and sautee until it's translucent and begins to smell nice.
Add stock (or broth) to the garlic mixture and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a medium/low

*Take your croutons and add them to the broth slowly, allowing them to soften and fall apart. Continue doing this until the mixture is the about the consistency of a typical soup (think canned tomato soup). You can use an immersion/stick blender at this point to speed up the process. 

*Put a lid on it, turn the heat to low and let it cook for 20min.

*Add your seasoning (the cayenne is good for the sinuses) and just before you are ready to serve it, add the parm, stir it in until it melts. Keep in mind that you will add loads of salt to the soup with the cheese, so it should be under seasoned prior to the cheese addition. 

To finish it, make it smooth, like a bisque, use a stick blender or a regular blender and give it a whirl.

Don't leave it on the heat once the cheese is melted in. It tastes nasty when it burns.
If you are making this and have questions, ping me here and I will attempt to help. 

I top mine with sour cream and sometimes herbs, basil and parsley.

Happy Eating!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

App Review: Out of Milk

My love affair with lists is close to obsessive. Notepads full, word docs with bulletized lists, scribbles on the backs of envelopes. It's both a twitchy comfort and a safeguard for my shitty short-term memory. Going to the grocery without a list has resulted recently in remembering to buy hot dogs, but not the buns that go with them. Since I really try to only shop once a week or every two weeks- it makes for extra trips or wasted food. 

Google Play (I'm an Android / HTC OneX  girl) is heavy with task list apps, shopping list apps, to-do list apps, pantry management apps, time management apps. I'm not very fussy as a user. I like a clean UI and easy edit capabilities. I found after trying several to-do and shopping list apps that being able to update them online was my key to the best app. 

Out Of Milk has been the app that has stayed on my phone. My choice is not based on a specific set of test guidelines, nothing that scientific. I go and search the Google Play store, find a couple with decent reviews and that are free or have free trials and load them on the phone. After setting them up, playing around with them and then closing them, the winner ends up being decided by what app I come back to later when I really need to use the service. Out of Milk is that app. 

Image thanks to the Google Play store
Getting a 4.5 out of 5, the reviews are pretty accurate. It's quick to get the hang of and easy to create lists. Not as intuitive when it comes to deleting, editing entries or deleting lists, but once you figure out how that happens, it's a snap. 

I've just started using the pricing and coupon functions. I'm honestly too lazy to scan all the bar codes in, adjust and correct pricing, but I am going to try to get a better handle on our food costs, so this should help me plan my grocery budget. More updates when I have tried that feature. 

I'm using it for all things move related and will be able to test out the sync, share and online edit features more thoroughly. 

Worth mentioning that the $1.99 Pro upgrade is well worth it. Fully featured, this app does everything useful for list organization without adding too much you just don't need. 

The First Load

The front porch of our new little house. 

The new house is a reality. Yesterday, I did the house inspection with the real estate agent and then sat on my new front porch and watched our Aussie, Kai, put on a show for the drivers sitting in traffic and sniff every plant and little nook in the fence.

Happy Dog!
I can't wait to put planters on the porch. It's the east facing side of the house, so the current likely spot to plant tomatoes. The drawback in this homestead plan being that we sit on a major road with lots of traffic pollution. Flowers for sure and lots of them. My tacky Christmas light addiction just found a main line. I'm going to need more C7 led lights. My excitement can almost not be contained, as might be evident in my hamster-like subject changes. Big plans all around.

We brought the first bits of stuff to the new house today when we came to measure some of the rooms for carpets. We borrowed plastic totes from a friend and to make best use of them we will bring down several loads in them when we come do things like detail clean. This trip, it was our bar ware, my Bacchus wall hanging, Robert's Lego ships and the framed mandala that my friend, Keith Prossick, made that is my most precious non-essential possession.

The photo with the odd stone animals in it sits just outside the privacy fence at the drive way. The nearly legless bull dog came with the house. The agent said, "you can just get rid of that thing." with a wrinkle in her nose, but I think it is perfect as a mate for my creepy cement cat. That cat was part of a set- it had maybe 3 little cement kittens that reminded me of fetal cats from biology class. When I was a kid, these cats lived in my great-grandmother's house, sat in the living room and I LOVED them. They were my pets, I would carry the concrete fetal kittens around. They had names, but I have long since buried that memory.

My mother gave me the momma cat several years ago and it's sat near the entrance to my home since then. It never fails to make me smile. I'm happy to have been able to give it a friend to keep it company. It;s interesting the things that make a new space feel like your space.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Plan Very Carefully To Freak Out : A Moving Story

We signed the lease on a little 1920's bungalow in the Reynoldstown  area of Atlanta today. When I moved to Atlanta as an adult in 2003 I wanted to live in Little 5 Points, but as a still mostly broke post-college student with a supremely uptight fiance, we had to settle for a cheap apartment north of the city.

What you can see of the house from the street. 
This move was focused mainly on getting closer to our kid and out of the suburbs. We have been looking for about 6 weeks, not happy with anything we had found and I was beginning to fret when I happened on a listing for this small little brick house just a mile from Little 5 Points and just a stone's throw away from Grant Park and East Atlanta. This is the kind of coincidence I don't usually find myself on the favorable end of and I jumped on it.

I'm jittery with excitement. To be not only back in the city, back into an area where I can walk out my front door and be somewhere interesting in 10 minutes, without getting in the car, but into a house that has feel I have been after for a long time.

In order to assure that we got the house, we had to take it about 2 weeks earlier than originally planned. Once I have the keys, I am not going to be able to stand myself, so waiting the extra weeks wasn't going to work. Now, I find myself with about 10 days until we plan to have movers at the old house and I have just started the most cursory of packing.

These days are all very carefully planned, but I can already start to feel the freak out building. The slight panic of HOLY SHIT EVERYTHING TO DO!! ALL THE LISTS!! ALL THE CHECKING!! ALL THE THINGS!! is just under the surface of desperately trying to keep it all together and stick with my careful plan.

Moving To Do List (of DOOM)

  • Pack everything. Dust as you go. Consider what you are putting into the box and make sure that you really want to keep it- If you haven't touched it in 6 mo to 1 year you can probably live without it. Have a box or bag that is dedicated to donations and put it somewhere central to the house. Label each box clearly and on at least the top and one of the sides. Pack all the items that you use daily/weekly in each room in a single box marked "Open First". 
  • Change of Address. The USPS has made this stupidly easy. You have to have a credit/debit card to do the online change of address, but the $1 they charge is worth the trip to the post office. If you have to fill out and send in a card, check to see if your local library is closer, they typically have new resident / moving packets. Don't forget to change your address with all your magazines and catalogs, the USPS doesn't provide this service any longer. Start your forwarding 2 days prior to your actual move in date, it will help prevent you from lagging mail that arrives just at and after your move. 
  • Move utilities. Keep in mind that most providers will want to come out and install, change or otherwise try to justify a trip charge for your move. Cable/satellite providers also typically require that you have the electronics already at the house for testing purposes, but you don't want to be hassling with the movers and the cable guy at the same time. However, scheduling all your installations on the same day is a winner. 
  • Update insurance policies. Car, renters/homeowners, life insurance all have to be updated with the new address information and if not done in a timely manner can effect the policy payouts. If you are a renter like me and don't have renters insurance, you're an idiot and you should go and fix that right now
  • Update the DMV (or, DDS if you are in a state trying to get away from the DMV stigma). Again, most states have made this stupidly easy. In Georgia, you can do it online in a couple of minutes and it will update your voter registration at the same time. 
  • Empty the fridge. Stop going to the grocery, find reasons to use up condiments and dry goods. Eat what you have stored in the freezer. For the last week before any of my moves I end up eating crap, but it's for a short period of time and it's worth it not to have to throw everything away or risk spoiling it. 
  • Hire movers. The freak out about this is WAY closer to the surface. These people are going to be handling all my things and I don't like that at all, but I also don't want to schlep all my crap into this house. Packing for movers is more time consuming than packing when I know I am going to move it. They don't know what's in my boxes. Go with recommendations from friends, co-workers, do your homework with the BBB or Yelp or something.
I am surely forgetting something, but if I don't stop prattling on about moving and get into the list above, I may explode. Moving is a huge, stressful undertaking, but it's always been a great pleasure of mine to find, claim and set up a new space.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I'm a princess.

At the moment, I have bright pink hair. It should be red, like my profile photo, but it's faded so much and my hair is so damaged (read : too terrified of getting a hair cut) that the color fades quick and leaves just the pink base behind. Not really my favorite but between our impending move, work, family, etc. etc. etc. I haven't found a moment to do the whole hair color process.

It has been an interesting social experiment. Suburbia is not much for anything non-standard. For another week, I live in a suburb VERY not interested in anything non-standard.  I am a fat white woman, broad shoulders, wide hips - I'm physically hard to miss. My day-to-day attire matches my corporate casual day job, maybe with a little more flair. Pretty standard stuff, but I have bubble-gum pink hair.

People openly and actively stare. Children are my favorite as well as the folks who unabashedly stare and smile when I walk by. I try to make eye contact with everyone, return a genuine smile, answer their questions with bright enthusiasm. People ask all kinds of questions: "Did you do that on purpose?" " How did you get it that color?" "Do you have a job?" "What does your mom think?" Personal questions that mostly they would never think to ask a normal stranger, but something about acting like it's the most normal thing in the world and engaging them in that manner makes them bold. Some days, I really hate it, but I can put on a hat and become just another anonymous person doing the weekly shopping.

Not a princess. 
It challenges my self-esteem, because not everyone is nice, but thankfully they are usually pretty quiet and look away quickly when I make eye contact, but I do occasionally hear people making fun, see them rolling their eyes and I do take a specific kind of pleasure in making them so uncomfortable.

It's washed out in my memory by experiences like the one I had in the grocery store tonight. I was picking out produce, ear phones in, when I felt a tug on my shirt. It was a little girl, likely 7 or so. She very clearly asked, "Are you a princess?" Her mom was around the other side of the bin, not paying attention. When I answered in the negative, she said, "My mom said only princesses can have pink hair." I thought for a moment, what I would say to D'mitri if he made a similar statement. Leaned down, smiled and said, "Your mom's lying."

She furrowed her little eyebrows, turned around and said, loudly and whining, "MOM!!" and walked off.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No Excuses, Go Vote

I am a very political llama. It's a frustrating, passionate, occasionally abusive relationship, but I continue to vote because I believe in the process, in democracy. It's not an idealistic love affair. To quote a friend, "I am sick of voting for the lesser of two evils, but at least I still have a choice."

Getting into the nitty-gritty of my political beliefs at this late a date would be futile, but if you are still undecided or frustrated or apathetic - suck it up, make a choice and go vote. Not exercising your right to have active participation in our democratic process makes room for those to seek power to take it away from you. Just by exercising your rights, you make them stronger.

If you haven't registered, go do that today instead.

If you haven't decided on who to vote for, check out the Google Voter Information area and click through some links.

If you have decided and have not yet voted today, go do it. Now. Right now.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My New Comfort Food

I can't write a blog post tonight. There is wit and snark aplenty, but nothing that seems better than just playing video games on our new PS3, laughing with Robert, drinking salted caramel hot chocolate for dessert after a comfort food meal: American-cheese grilled cheese and Campbell's Tomato soup, half whole milk and half water, paired with a giant glass of cherry Lambic. The Lambic just became a new part of our family comfort food pairings. Kid comforts, adult beverage. 

Put this in your ear holes instead of reading my words - Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Nerdist podcast
I will happily admit to being both a unabashed nerd and a bit of a Neil deGrasse Tyson fan-girl. This interview with Chris Hardwick did not disappoint! My DoggCatcher is full of Nerdist Industries podcasts because it's fun, relevant and only occasionally annoying.* 

*(Love ya, boys, but if I have to listen to any more sweet, cloying pratter between the king and his new queen, I'm going to fast-forward, and I mean it this time.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Once More Into November

It's November and every November since 2009 I have embarked on some sort of writing kick in the ass like NaNoWriMo and the only time I have succeeded was in 2009. The last couple of years my attempt has been at NaBloPoMo. Failing entirely at each attempt. This year - I have a plan.

Keeping it simple, I made time to write. My schedule is already pretty damn full. I work 40+ hours a week at a stuffy corporate job, I'm a parent, have pets, a house, a knitting habit. Writing hasn't been a priority for me since just after college. Online journals like Livejournal were my introduction into blogging, but also my first social media experience; I was on LJ because my friends were and it wasn't MySpace.  Then Facebook shows up and I migrated there because it was the new thing, then Twitter and Google+. Every new outlet less useful, but it had the feel like I was keeping up with my tribe, following the lives of those I cared about. Referencing "did you see what she posted on FaceBook" and "that comment thread on G+" as part of my normal in-person conversation.

About a week ago, on the heels of some poor communication within my social circle, I started to look at how I was communicating and interacting with my tribe and realized that I was using social media in place of actual investment in the people I cared for or was simply interested in. On the other side, people only knew me through the snipets posted to my wall.

I decided that I would break off my use of social media - FaceBook and Google+ primarily as I gave up Twitter some time ago. Uninstalled the apps from my phone, removed them from the browser history and made a pact with myself that when I wanted to go and scan those sites I would do something more creative. Work on bits of blog posts, write emails to friends, send a text message. Not as great as picking up the phone and calling or meeting for a beer, but it is a more personal, directed and chosen way to interact with technology. Or, I go read reddit or my blog feeds or anything that actually introduces me to new things outside the microcosm of my social circle.

Which loops me back to NaBloPoMo - it's my choice over social media. If people want to get to know me, this is a much better place. I want to use these next thirty days to find my voice again. Create something with words. Put myself out there with more than 100 words about my daily slog.

Welcome aboard. I'm glad you're here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Packing Up

Tonight, I started packing for our impending change of residence. A change which is going to be difficult if we don't find a new house pretty soon, but that is a freak-out of a different color. All practical planning aside, I started packing because I don't want this to turn into a move where shit gets shoved into partially planned boxes, occasionally but not completely labelled, and thrown on a truck because I waited until the last week to pack up all my shit.

The last major life-change move I made, I culled out a good bit of stuff and was pretty careful, but I still wasn't 100% packed when the truck showed up. That's my goal this time, we're hiring movers for the heavy lifting, but I want to be monitoring their progress, not hastily packing my last dregs of shit out of drawers. Rather, all that random crap that carries from house to house gets culled out leaving me with the useful things.

It's a lightening process for me, but it's also a walk down memory lane. Pure, self-absorbed, unabashed melancholy. Tcshotskes aren't my thing, I fail at dusting. My personal space is dotted with little piles, throw-back to my pagan ritual habits maybe? I was making little 'altars' well before that. Small items, bits of past experiences: my bottle of playa from my first Burning Man trip, a player from a foosball table that my partner, Robert, gave me ages ago, the melted glass from the neon effigy year at Alchemy, medallions from the pagan festival I ran 10 years ago. Keepsakes, memory triggers. I don't often dust them, often it will have been months between picking them up and making those memory connections. I get a little sad, smile, remember things I haven't triggered to in years and it makes me happy and sad and sated in a way nothing else does.

I listen to music that I rarely make the effort to remember and seek out, but my memory triggers come with a sound track. One happy memory makes me hum a tune and it's off to rdio to search for some song I have forgotten I know all the words to. Tonight was rapid fire between songs as I inevitably remember my melancholy is for a single song, maybe a whole album, but rarely a collection. "Mary Mac" by Carbon Leaf  and then "Killing and Arab" * by The Cure to a country ballad that I refuse to admit on the internet that I know all the words to. It's a happy way to compete a task that otherwise I would rather not do.

If I had to point out my feelings on a chart my dismembered teddy bear head would be in the "melancholy" pocket more often than not these last couple of months. Lots of massive change, culminating in this move. Going through old photos and keepsakes, accompanied by familiar packing music and remembering where I was during those moves and makes me feel whole.

My birthday was yesterday, 34, and every year I act like it doesn't phase me, but it's interesting how many moves or planning-to-move coincide with my passing a solar revolution.

First box I packed, wishing I could have been listening to The Cure on vinyl. 

* Editors Note: It saddens me to say that I hestiated a moment before typing "Killing an arab" into my favorite search engine. The lingering PC part of me momentarily feared what the results would be, the stoner conspiracy theorist in me momentarily feared that it would put me on some list. A fine example of when you know it's time to go to bed. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

12 Days In The Woods

6 years ago I got involved with some insanity called Alchemy: the Georgia Burn. Based on the Burning Man project in Nevada, Alchemy is 5 days of art, music, expression and general debauchery in the North Georgia mountains that I have been devoting myself to since the beginning.

For the last several years, I have been working with the organizational side of the event in Public Works. Our motto, "Alchemy Public Works : We Make Shit Go." We show up on site early and are some of the last to leave. It's hard work, but it's my gift to my community and it's a hell of a lot of fun. 

It's also been quite the weight loss program in the past, the really unhealthy kind. Not only am I working a lot, spending a week tent camping, drinking too much, not drinking enough water, sleeping very little, I am eating most things that are handily available from my cooler or the box of non-perishables. Beef jerky, endless cheese/meat rolls, granola bars. All sustenance, very little of it quality calories. This all mostly due to a lack of pre-planning, getting more involved in the event planning than my own personal camping planning.

This year, building on my growing compulsion with bulk cooking for home I decided that I was going to make an effort to feed myself and my partner, Robert, in some way other than from a box or a paper bag for 12 days. We will have access to a source of electricity, so my beloved crock pot and a my old dependable Oster blender will be packed away with the rest of my camp kitchen.

On the menu:

  • Breakfast Cupcakes - biscuit dough, eggs, sausage, cheese baked in a muffin tin. 
  • Mason Jar Smoothies - fruit and almond milk frozen in a plastic bag for later mason jar use
  • Chili - Made in bulk, frozen in gallon bags
  • Vegetarian Corn and Potato Chowder - base pre-cooked and canned to be frozen and watered down later in the crock pot. 
  • Chicken and Noodles - my ultimate in comfort food
  • Ham and Beans - simple crock pot food with happy pig meat
This is my no means enough food for two people for 12 days, but it will help keep the diet of dried meat and cheese crackers to the busiest times. 

Mason Jar Smoothies 

This might not be typical camping food, it requires a blender. But, I plan to continue to do this at home for quick breakfast that is way cheaper than the commercially offered single serving smoothies you can get at your local grocery chain. 

- Frozen or fresh fruit or peanut butter (anything you would put in a smoothie)
- Bananas 
- Almond milk (or soy or rice)

Other equipment: 
- Pint freezer bags

Fruit Smoothie - Per serving is (1) cup fruit, (1/2) cup milk variety of your choice and (1) small banana (or half a really big one) 

Peanut butter and chocolate - (2) Tablespoons peanut butter, (2) Tablespoons chocolate sauce, (1/2) cup liquid of your choice. 

Take one of your pint freezer bags, add to it all the ingredients, squeeze out as much air as possible and put in the freezer. 

Left - Tropical fruit  Center - Peanut, chocolate and banana  Right - Strawberry banana
Don't make the mistake I did and forget to label the bags. These were taken out of the freezer just a couple hours after I put them in because I forgot to take photos for this post. Now, days later, it's really hard to tell the tropical fruit from the strawberry banana. You can tell the chocolate peanut butter because it looks awful in the bag. 

Taking them from bags of frozen stuff to yummy slurpable stuff requires a little more equipment. I have an old Oster blender circa the 80s whose blender blades perfectly screw on to a regular mason jar. Not all blenders will, so test the seal with some water before you make a giant sticky mess. Or, skip the mason jar altogether and just dump the contents of the bag into a blender. 

But, if your mason jar fits snugly, allow the frozen mixture to melt down until you can squish it and do just that out of the bag and into the mason jar. The mixture alone when blended will be thick. I liked it, but after the first one, I added a little orange juice (or more milk or apple juice or water) to the mixture before I blended it. I also plan to buy a bag of spinach, which I have found performs most excellent in a cooler if you put it in a watertight bag, and put a handful in the mason jar to pump up the nutrient value a little.  Enjoy! 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Where my stitches at?

I have this beautiful ball of malabrigo, shades of the lightest lavender to the deepest royal purple. Malabrigo is my knitting crack, my china white of wool. The only thing that stands between me and the lovely slide of wool between my fingers is a provisional cast on that I have frogged twice.
Look at its loveliness... On the morrow, you will bend to my will.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tales from the Crock: Uncle Alton's Overnight Oatmeal

I am not a fussy eater. I love food, all kinds of food. I love good food and I love it more when it's easy. This, and my new found addiction to Pinterest has lead to my current obsession with all things slow cooker.

My life doesn't lend itself well to spending hours every day making tasty chow, but I don't like processed food; the slow cooker means making food while I am doing something else - multitasking for the win.

In this instance, I made oatmeal while I slept.

Alton Brown is my cooking hero. I have tried to work through his cookbooks from cover to cover, so when I found his recipe for Overnight Oatmeal I tried it. My first attempt was gross. Doing this for the second time I caught my original error. Steel cut oats. There is always a container of old fashioned oatmeal in the pantry, I love oatmeal, but you can't skip the steel cut oats for this recipe. Anything else and you end up with an unattractive crock pot of mush.

It is oatmeal, so it's still a crock pot of mush, but it smells like an oatmeal cookie and has the consistency of bread pudding (my favorite).

Tasty morning chow.

Uncle Alton's Altered Overnight Oatmeal 

1c. steel cut oats (not kidding, don't use anything else)
4 1/4c. water
1/2c. half and half 
1c. dried cranberries
1c. chopped, dried apples 
Pinch salt
Pinch cinnamon
Top-full vanilla*
3 pinches brown sugar

Toss it all in the crock pot, set to low and go take a nap. In about 8 hours, you will have warm sweet oatmeal and a kitchen that smells like oatmeal cookies. Not a bad way to wake up.  

I overslept by about 45min the morning that I made this. The total cook time was closer to 9 hours and there was some burning on the edges. To keep from having to eat the burned parts, I let the oatmeal cool and then spooned it out while it was a little more gelatin-like leaving the burned edges behind. 

Happy accident that turned out to be. I covered the first bowl in milk and stuck it in the microwave and then stirred it together. Tasted like a porridge of steel cut oats. If you are not familiar with steel cut, the consistency is different, not like instant oatmeal, much thicker and heartier. It's going to be great on cold mornings and it left me feeling full. 

I got home from work and decided that I would try some of it cold. Winner! Cold right out of the fridge, with cold milk it was oatmeal bead pudding with bits of fruit and warm vanilla. 

*"Top-full" is my own measurement. It's the amount of vanilla extract that fits in the top of the bottle. I know I am not the only baker out there who measures like this. 

Next up on Tales from the Crock.... Teriyaki Chicken and Pork

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nerd? Llama?

I'm not a llama. I am a nerd.

I am the kind of nerd who would like to have a llama farm one day so I can spend my days farming llama, making yarn and taking photos of llamas for reddit memes.

I'm a nerd like John Green sees nerds.