Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For the Baker in Your Life

IMAG0123.jpg, originally uploaded by f_a_h.

My coworker gifted me this ornament today and it is TOO CUTE! What a perfect gift for a fellow baker. Plus I don't have to find a 2010 ornament this year!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ham Bone Soup

The great thing about the holidays is that you have so many left over pieces from the ham and the turkey to turn into soups and stock.

I made a soup last year with the ham bone that was good, but not great. I wanted more to it. I set out to find a new recipe and came across this one. I changed mine some so I'll list my directions below.


1 ham bone with some meat
1 onion, diced
14 oz diced tomatoes - I used fresh picked from the garden
8 oz dried navy beans
3 potatoes, cubed
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cubed
6 cups chicken broth

1.Place the ham bone, onion, tomatoes, kidney beans, potatoes, and green pepper into a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in water, and pour into the slow cooker.
2.Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.

I used navy beans since that's what I had on hand. I also used dried over canned since they hold up better in the slow cooker. Because I used dried I also upped the amount of liquid.

I don't have a picture of the finished product, but it's also one of those that doesn't photograph well. This soup turned out amazing though. I probably could have gone back for seconds. It had great flavor from the ham and was thick and hearty.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So we were at 2 No, 2 Rinse and Use Immediately, 1 Rinse and use Thursday.

You all voted and brought the totals to 5 No, 4 Rinse and Use Immediately and 5 Rinse and use Thursday.


What did I opt to do? I threw it out.

I opted to refer to the fish rule. If fish smells really fishy, it's probably not good.

To me, my turkey just smelled too much like turkey to me. You know when sandwich meat starts to verge on questionable and the smell gets stronger? That's what I thought of.

Oh I did go back and consider cooking it on Tuesday night. But after the 2nd round of smell tests I decided to play it safe and bought a new turkey.

I also meant to smell my new turkey and forgot. Now it's sitting in brine so I have no idea what a "fresh" turkey smells like. Guess I'll have to wait until Christmas.

The Turkey Debate

So, I had a little turkey dilemma last night and I would like to see what the internets has to say about it.

Here are the facts:

I bought a fully frozen turkey last Sunday, the 13th. Well over a week ago.

I put the turkey in the fridge meaning to make room for it in the freezer and forgot about it.

I didn’t realize I had done this until last night when I went to pull the ham from the freezer.

It’s a 10 pound turkey which usually takes about 3 days to defrost in my fridge.

The turkey was still packaged, wrapped in a grocery bag in the back of the fridge.

This fridge is the garage fridge and doesn’t get as much use as the main fridge.

On the advice of others I opened the turkey to smell it.

It smelled like turkey.

It wasn’t slimy.

It looked like a raw turkey aside from the top which was the part that was sitting in the juices. This part was slightly darker than the rest of the turkey which was still whitish pink.

The dogs seemed very interested in the turkey while it was sitting in the sink.

The turkey was still very cold, but not frozen.

I would be serving this turkey to my mother in law on Thanksgiving.

I got the turkey for free since I bought the ham. It was a special going on at the grocery store.

Now, I consulted many a people on what to do with this turkey:

Julie, my domestic goddess of a friend, said “yes! Use the turkey!” She has also given herself food poisoning twice, but would like me to mention the second time was very mild. She later started to question her answer after I opened the turkey and gave her more facts.

I then called my mother who asked my grandpa, the man who is always in charge of the turkey. Grandpa gave a big fat “Hell No.” Well, not the Hell part. I think it’d be pretty freaking awesome to have him say Hell No though. Or even a Hells to the No. That’d be even better.

Mom was unsure. When I asked her if she would come to my Thanksgiving and eat my turkey she refused to answer and said I should think of buying a turkey right then so it’d be defrosted in time.

The whole time I was debating about what to do with the turkey I thought, “what would John say?” He’d say, “Julie’s given herself food poisoning twice, don’t listen to her!” and his favorite, “when in doubt, throw it out.” When asked, John said none of these things and said to use the turkey.

I then pointed out that I was leaning towards the No side and that I thought he’d be happy that I was actually make the conscious decision to NOT poison his mother. He said, “Use the turkey.”

Julie later suggested that I cook the turkey immediately and see what happens.

Then I called my lovely sister in law who is also a domestic goddess. She also said to use the turkey. Rinse well and probably cook that night, have John cook it the next day, and either reheat or have a ton of leftovers in the case that I bought a second turkey. I reminded her that the turkey was going to be eaten by her mother and she said, “use the turkey, rinse well. You didn’t get a jump back ewww reaction when you smelled it so it’s ok. I’d cook it tonight or tomorrow though.”

I consulted Google. Google said to use within 1-2 days from defrosting (so like 5 days BEFORE I discovered a fully defrosted pushing two weeks old turkey in my fridge). I almost called the Butterball Hotline to see what’d they say but didn’t. That was also a suggestion from my mother.

I then texted my old coworker. She said, “Use it! Rinse well, season well, the USDA is a bunch of Nervous Nellies!”

So according to my trusted friends and family we’re at 2 Nos, 2 Rinse well and cook now and 1 rinse well cook day of.

What would you do with the turkey my dear blogger friends?

What Would You Do With the Turkey?

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I’ll let you know what I did/am doing tonight.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's card season

Oh yes, it's that time of year again. Time for Christmas cards. We do a photo card pretty much every year except the year that I gave in and did avatars of us. Hey, those were a huge hit! I've taken semi-decent pictures of the dogs, but this year, a good picture of John and I is causing the trouble. I have a lot of great pictures of me and a lot of John, but no great picture of the two of us together really.

Determined to find a cute card/layout to take away from a crap picture of the two of us, I checked out Shutterfly this year. Oh my do they have about 800 million Christmas card and Holiday card options to choose from. I don't ever remember having so many options! PLUS they also offer invitations which is something I never knew. Perfect for an upcoming Christmas or New Year party.

This is kind of my favorite one of the bunch. I can get all the dogs in here and a picture of the two of us.

These both allow for a few more pictures. 3 of the dogs, one good one of each of us and then an ok one of me and John together maybe? I kind of like the initial option in the first one as well.

These are both cute, but would require a good shot of John and I. (Can you tell I'm kind of digging the black and white photos this year?)

Finally, as a last resort, I may send out just pictures of the dogs and write cute little made up stories about each of them. Don't be surprised if you get a card with just pictures of my dogs on it. It may just happen.


It's supposed to get to 84 degrees today in San Antonio. Can you believe that? 84 degrees in November.

John and I had a lengthy discussion the other night about the best way to make a pee filled water balloon. I decided using a water gun would be a better option than a balloon.

Please don't ask how we got onto that topic.

Is anyone just slightly sad that Prince William is getting married? Not like any of us would have had the opportunity to meet him, make him fall in love with us and become an official princess and maybe then queen, but now it will never actually happen. Plus it doesn't help that Kate Middleton is so pretty and seems so nice it's really hard to be jealous of her.

Speaking of teenage girl wishes, who else is freaking excited about NKOTBSB? The 13 year old girl in me is dying to go see them. It will be awesome.

I still can't believe Thanksgiving is this week. John will attest to the ten thousand piles of crap that I need to get done around the house. It's completely overwhelming. I haven't even given Christmas a second thought aside from cursing all the people that have their lights up already. Freaking over achievers.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Conversations with Mom

I love my mom. Sometimes what I love most about her is how different we are and how easy it is to shock her. Like the time I told her I was going to get married in the gazebo out in Alamo Plaza, hire homeless people to stand around us holding roses and then walk over to Pat O'Brien's for our reception complete with a Hurricane Fountain. I seriously wondered if she was going to survive that suggestion.

So tonight we were talking about my SIL who decided to quit her job. She wants to spend more time with her family which is totally understandable and is thinking about doing some kind of at home sales/party type thing like make-up or Pampered Chef or something. I don't know.

Me: I think if I was ever going to sell something from home it would be sex toys.
Mom: What!? That's gross!
Me: No way. Do you know how much money you can make? We had one for Julie's bachelorette party and we probably spent close to $1,000 between all of us. I think the girl got 30% so that's $300 she just made for a few hours of work. PLUS it's kind of pyramidish so if you get other people to sell you get a portion of their sales too. There's a lady on my street that's sort of the sex toy madam and has a bunch of girls working for her. She probably rakes it in!
Mom: Don't you EVER sell that stuff. I'd be so embarrassed!
Me: I don't know why. You're not selling it. I think it'd be fun and hilarious.
Mom: I would. It's just gross.
Me: Yeah, but you can make a ton of money doing it.
Mom: I have to go. Our visiting teachers are here.
Me: *Dying Laughing* That's awesome! I just made you late for the Mormons talking to you about sex toys.

and then my mom gave me a very quick goodbye and promptly hung up on me. I half expect the missionaries to be on my doorstep tomorrow morning so they can pray for me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Air Show

Last weekend John and I headed the the Lackland Air Fest. I hadn't been to an air show since I was a kid. It was really cool going again.

The line to get in was insane, but we could see the show so we were at least entertained during the wait. There was stuff getting blown up


and then these three planes did some tricks.





There were also paratroopers




We walked around and looked at all the planes.




Hanging out in one of the big cargo planes


John thought the Beware of Blast was funny





I never got a good picture, but these guys scared me to death. The glider and the plane would get SO CLOSE to one another.


Finally it was time for the Grand Event - the Thunderbirds which are the equivalent of the Blue Angels that I always saw growing up.


Four of the planes did moves together and occasionally the other 2 would join in or do special tricks.








If you're really interested and want to see some of the tricks here are 3 very short videos. I'm still amazed by what they can do.

This one is cool because one of the planes is upside down flying over the other.

It was a fun way to spend a day together. Plus it was free! I also got some sun so I've got a little glow to help me out during the winter.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. What is your favorite breakfast pastry?
I'm actually not a big breakfast pastry person. Maybe a cream cheese croissant, but I rather have a pancake or bacon or an omelet for breakfast.

2. Were you ever in a Thanksgiving or Christmas play?
I don't think so. Although I did date a guy in college and found out we were in the same kindergarten class and he was in the Christmas play. He was an elf and my mom sewed all the elf costumes. Small world huh?

3. What is your favorite clothing accessory?
Shoes or a Handbag.

4. What is your favorite item of clothing?
My fat pants. I love em.

5. What is your favorite color and why?
Blue. Because I like it.

6. What is your favorite type of Christmas cookie?
Tough one. I always do cookies exchanges now because there are so many. Probably anything mint flavored.

7. What is your favorite scent (food, perfume/lotion)
I don't know that I have one. Reese's head smells like a corn tortilla though.

8. What is your favorite household cleaner?

9. When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you actually grow up to be?
I wanted to be a veterinarian, but then decided that I couldn't handle blood or dying animals.

10. What is the last song or album you bought?
I don't even know. I'm a radio person. John updates my zune for me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's Growing

The garden is still going strong.


I've got a ton of green (and a few red) tomatoes



The bell peppers have kind of tapered off, but the jalapenos are still going strong.


I have a feeling I'll have another batch of jalapeno jelly soon.

I think I may have finally been successful with the cucumbers.


I've got several squash


but no zucchini.


Hopefully I'll have a lot of carrots.


The green beans are what I'm most excited about.


I've got a ton of little green beans growing.


Wouldn't it be great to have fresh picked green beans for Thanksgiving?

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Somewhere in my office building someone is playing an electric guitar. It didn't bother me until the singing started.

Knitting helps me clear my mind.

I'm knitting with wooden needles for the first time and I really like it. I may have to buy more.

I really want a new stove. One with two large burners instead of one. One that self cleans, has a timer and doesn't require turning knobs to turn it on or off.

A new stove would really help me with all the cooking I have do this time of year.

We're hosting my family for Christmas this year.

We may host Thanksgiving for my family and John's.

Does hosting two big events like that make us crazy? Especially when my stove only has one large burner?

For the past six weeks I've been working with a group of college students. It's all over next week and I cannot wait. Next week is gong to be insane but it will all be over on Sunday. I'm going to crawl into bed and stay under my covers for a week to celebrate.

I've been kind of antisocial the past few months and it's been really nice. Not that I don't still love all my friends but I've really needed the me time.

I have several squash growing in my garden and tomatoes and green beans. Still no cucumbers.

I work in HR and am really involved in social media in my personal life. The recent news story about the woman that was fired for talking poorly about her boss on Facebook has really intrigued me. You hear about that sort thing all time, but I think that the NLRB makes a good point on this one. The fact that she was discussing work and other coworkers were commenting back would make it a covered activity under the NLRB. However I've read that she was also making comments about other coworkers and that was one of several reasons why she terminated. She may lose her case because of that but it will be interesting to see if anything else comes out of it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bits and Pieces

IMAG0112, originally uploaded by f_a_h.

I'm currently knitting this scarf. Yes, another scarf. Scarves are the one thing you can wear in Texas until January and it really can keep you warm when paired with a sweater. I think I love the yarn the most. It's called Bamboo Ewe and the color is Mermaid. The color is a little greener in person than in the picture.

Next week is going to be an INSANE week. I think I have something to do every single night and the weekend will also be nuts.

I started a Biggest Loser thing with my coworker in September and I think I've actually gained weight. Blah.

With that I did work out Saturday, yesterday during lunch, tonight and plan on doing another day this week.

I'm also going to sign up for 2 night a week during Pilates Reformer. I'm really enjoying my Intro class that I'm currently in. The next round is only 4 weeks long so I figure I can manage 2 nights a week for 4 weeks.

The only thing I didn't like about Pilates is that last week we were doing an arm workout and with all the mirrors in the room I discovered I have "wings."

You know, "wings."


Life is so not fair. I looked like I could have flapped myself right off the Reformer bed and flown myself out of class. I couldn't help but wonder "when in the hell did I get these?"

And how come men don't ever seem to develop arm fat like this? You hardly ever see men about to flap away. How is that fair?

Needless to say, someone is going to be working on their arms in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Remember the scarf I started last month?


Well it is now a completed scarf!


I like the detailing of it. The pattern I used is a way to create a faux lace look.


I used a thinner yarn, but kept the 11 gauge needle. I also started and ended with 4 rows of garter stitch rather than starting and ending in pattern.

Monday, November 08, 2010


Saturday I ended up at Wurstfest.


Poor John had to work which is sad because he really does love all food on a stick.

Wurstfest is a 10 Day Salute to Sausage.

So what is so great about about Wurstfest? Beer.


Pitchers of beer.



(Yes I drank from the pitcher all night. It's easier to manage when flying solo)

You collect your pitchers (and sometimes other people's) to carry around as a badge almost.


Then there is sausage (and other foods on a stick)


Followed by people in lederhosen



Finally you have the people in hats.




I haven't figured out the hats yet. People meet up and sing songs together when they have matching hats. This was my third year and I still haven't figured it out. I guess I'll have to keep going until I do!

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