Monday, July 30, 2007

Nada

I took a break, and I'm still just not into it. Maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Another Cake Flop

The Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake flopped as well. Upon investigation, I found that my oven is not working properly and the temperature is about 25 degrees off. It's something that has just happened in the last couple of days somehow. I found the instruction book, and there is a way to adjust it. My brain isn't ready for that yet this morning, so I think I'll wait for Barnaby to get home from work before tackling that one.

I'm glad to know it wasn't me though. When I took the Bundt cake out of the oven, it was all puffed up and beautiful. I put it on a rack to cool a bit before removing it from the pan. In the meantime, I went back to my office and Barnaby walked in a few minutes later. He actually asked me if I had put a fake cake on the counter to make him think I had ruined the cake. I got a weird look on my face and hurried into the kitchen to look. There it sat, all sunken in and less than half the height it had been when I last saw it.

Needless to say, the poker boys didn't have any dessert last night. Barnaby wanted me to chop it up into pieces, put it in a bowl, and drizzle it with chocolate icing. I'm so sure. Guys are so weird, they'd have probably loved it.

I gotta go get cleaned up. I'm going to pick up the Espresso Machine I bought from Craig's List for $10.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

*Yawn*

The Red Velvet Cake From Hell

It might look okay in this picture, but this cake gave me fits. All three of the layers were raw in the middle, but of course I didn't realize that until I tried to remove them from the pans and all but the middle came out of each one. (@#$%!) I made the cake anyway and just scooped up the middles of each layer with a spatula and plunked them down to cover the hole before I iced it. When I got finished, there was a crater in the middle of the cake, but I just iced over it. It doesn't look good, but it tastes good if you take out the goopy part, which is only about two bites of each piece. That's why you didn't get a picture of the whole cake. I'm embarassed to say I made it. It looks like a first grader did it.

The icing turned out well, even though there wasn't enough to ice the entire cake. (Again, (@%#$!) Why doesn't anybody make an icing recipe that makes enough icing without having to scrimp? I swear, I'm never make another icing recipe without doubling it.

Anway, I didn't use the normal cream cheese icing that most people use on Red Velvet Cake. I used a new one I've never made before. I like it because it's not too sweet.

Whipped Cream Frosting

5 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Whisk flour into milk and cook on top of the stove until it's very thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Mix butter and sugar until creamy; add vanilla. Add cooled flour mixture to butter mixture and whip on high speed for 10 minutes. Voila! Remember to double this recipe or be prepared to be annoyed.

No word from Dr. Hamn or my insurance company about the surgery. I'm afraid to call so I'm just trying to be patient and wait.

My mom and sister are going out of town tomorrow morning. If work stays slow, I'm going to take my dad to the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma. He's been wanting to go, so this seems like a good time. We'll probably only stay an hour or so. He said he's never been in a casino in his life, and he's 73 years old so it's about time, wouldn't you say? I haven't told him of my plan yet. Guess I'll call him tonight and see if he wants to go.

I'm gonna take a nap. I wore myself out making another cake for Barnaby to take to his poker game tonight. It's just a boring Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake. I wish I could eat some before he takes it away. I guess I'll just settle for red goo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Idiot & More Food

IDIOT and Dead Girl Walking

This was dinner last night. I got the recipe watching The Dan Ho Show on the DiscoveryHealth Channel. He always has good, healthy, easy recipes. This one is not on the Website. (The toasted French bread with garlic, mozzarella & tomato is my own concoction and probably not so bad for you either.) It's just steak pounded thin with salt, pepper, cheese, and three different kinds of sliced up veggies inside, rolled up and secured with toothpicks, and browned in olive oil. I chose red pepper, green beans, and carrot. You can pick whatever you want. Mushrooms would be really good with the melted cheese, but since that's not one of Barnaby's favorites, I didn't do that this time.

I'm making a Red Velvet Cake today, and then a chocolate chip Bundt cake tomorrow. Barnaby has his weekly poker night on Wednesday, and I volunteered to make the dessert.
I've gotta run. See ya later.
P.S. Oh, I bought an Espresso Machine on Craig's List for $10! I can't wait to get it. The girl I'm getting it from is supposed to call later in the week when I can pick it up.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This turned out great when I made it the other night. We both loved it. It was even good cold, straight out of the fridge the next day. I only made three breasts but made the same amount of gravy called for here. I also used chicken broth instead of wine and left out the bouillon cubes.

I don't remember where I got the recipe, but it was probably in some magazine.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
6 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices ham
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp paprika
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream

Pound chicken breasts flat so that they can be easily rolled up. Place a cheese and ham slice on each breat within 1/2 inch of the edges. Fold the edges of the chicken over the filling and secure with toothpicks. Mix the flour and paprika in a small bowl and coat the chicken rolls.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until browned on all sides. Add the wine and bouillon cubes (or chicken broth). Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Remove the toothpicks and transfer the breasts to a warm platter. Blend the cornstarch with the cream in a small bowl and whisk slowly into the skillet. Cook, stirring until thickened, and pour over chicken. Serve warm.
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I dyed my hair back to my natural brown color Friday. It's not dark enough though, so I'm going to do it again today. Every time I looked in the mirror when it was blond, I scared myself. It didn't look like me, and I'd do a doubletake every time. I guess my strawberry blond days are over. I'm just boring and brown. Bleh.
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I also cleaned house from 3:00 pm until 7:30 pm on Friday (Shocking!), but only because my housekeeper is visiting family in Mexico for six weeks. Now I know why I don't ever clean my own house. I suck at it. It took me four hours just to do the master bedroom, master bath, and my office. I kept getting distracted doing dumb stuff like organizing drawers and doing laundry. And every time I clean my house myself, I decide I have to rearrange the furniture right in the middle of it all. I love doing that. It's like a whole new room. So that's why I only got two rooms and a bathroom done. I sweated like a pig the entire time too. I cannot do ANYTHING without sweating. I'm sexy, huh?

I guess I'll try and tackle the living room today. The kitchen is always clean (except the floors), so that doesn't need to be done. I can vaccum those floors the same time I do the living room. And, as always, I'll be horrified at the amount of dog hair I clean up. My dogs should all be nekkid with as much hair as they lose. It never bothers me unless someone is coming over. I don't think I would ever have a long-haired dog. Oh, who am I kidding? That was just a lie.
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Okay, I'm outta here. I'm off to dye my hair boring brown, go to the grocery store, visit my mom & dad, and vacuum the living room and kitchen. You see how I left the fun thing for last? That's because I know I won't do it after I do all that other stuff. I may vacuum once before my housecleaner comes back. I'll just keep the lights off and curtains closed.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Yesterday's Food

I made Chicken Cordon Bleu for supper last night that was super-duper good. I'll post the recipe at the end of this entry. I also made Robyn's Oven-Fried Squash recipe, and it was really good too. I know it was good because I forced Barnaby to try it, and he went back and got a second helping. I also made some fresh salsa. It's the second batch I've made this week. I made the first batch out of fresh tomatoes from someone's garden that Barnaby works with. It was the best, but the store-bought tomatoes worked okay too. I think I'll plant some tomatoes next year. I wonder if it's too late to plant some this year? Does anybody know?

I'll have to finish this later. Work beckons. See ya.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rebel Yell!


I dyed my hair as blonde as I possibly could without using straight bleach a little while ago. It doesn't look so blonde in this picture, but in person it looks a lot like Billy Idol. I did my best Billy Idol impression for the camera, and then I couldn't find a picture with him doing that lip thing so now I just look dumb. I should have pouted instead, and maybe a black leather jacket would make it more believable.

(Rebel Yell is a Billy Idol album title and song from 1983 for all you squares out there. And, yes, it was an album, not a CD.)

Happy Dance

My consult with the surgeon yesterday could not have gone better. He's going to remove my Lap Band and do a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. He's writing my insurance company a letter to see how much he can get them to pay, and he's also going to talk to the hospital to see what kind of discount I can get since my insurance most likely won't pay all of it. He volunteered to do all of that. I didn't even have to beg him or anything. He said he had made up his mind before I even came in that he was going to help me because my letter to him was so nice. Isn't that sweet? I can hardly believe that there are still doctors out there like that who really love what they do, actually care about their patients, and will go the extra mile voluntarily just because. His name is Stephen V. Hamn, and I had heard he was a good doctor, but I had no idea. If I married him, my name would be Pam Hamn. Ha. Not that I would since I'm all happily married and stuff, but I'm just sayin' that it would be a really stupid name to have to live with.

Anyway, it's just hurry up and wait now. I'm thinking my surgery will probably be sometime in August. Barnaby is going to the Police Olympics in Las Vegas and will be out of town for nearly two weeks somewhere in there. My sister will also be out of the country beginning sometime around the 15th. I may just have to take care of myself if I want it done that month. I'm too miserable to wait. My mom will already be taking care of my Daddy because he's having hernia surgery sometime in there too. He doesn't have a date yet though.

So if any of my relatives out there feel sorry for me and would like to come take care of my dogs and listen to me whine, you are cordially invited to come to Texas and do all that and be my nurse. Doesn't that sound like tons of fun??? Don't all call at once now.

I shouldn't be in too bad a shape since he's making me stay in the hospital for two nights. Maybe the worst of it will be over by the time I get home. Except for the whining, of course. And I won't have to cook for myself because I won't be able to eat anything except sugar-free popcicles and liquids for days. Is that how you spell popcicles? It looks weird like it should have a "y" in there somewhere. Blogger doesn't have spell check.

I gotta go take a nap now and wait for your calls. See ya.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Just So We're Clear

People need to stop planning things that they want me to attend on Sundays. I will not be there if you do. Everyone that knows me well enough to invite me anywhere knows that I watch NASCAR on Sundays (or Saturday nights) and I don't like to miss it. I would not plan a Sunday breakfast and then invite people that always go to church on Sunday. That would just be stupid.

DO NOT INVITE ME AND MAKE ME FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT GOING, DAMN IT!!! The guilt part is my fault, but the inviting is not. You don't invite me, and I won't feel guilty for not going, and we'll all live happily ever after. Got it?

I really need to work on the guilt thing too. I've spent my whole life feeling guilty about one thing or another, and I'm really getting tired of it. I'm tired of constantly being afraid I'll hurt someone's feelings.

Now I'm feeling guilty for typing this and posting it! Gawd! I need a shrink. I'm posting it now before I change my mind and delete it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hamburger Buns

As promised...
Waiting for them to rise.
Waiting for them to cool.

Waiting to take a bite.
These turned out really well. I'll definitely make them again. Here is the recipe: Belle's Hamburger Buns

Friday the 13th

These garlic stuffed olives are so good!! I have to limit myself and have a little discipline or I'll eat the whole jar in one sitting. I never have, but I think I could. Each GIANT green olive is stuffed with an entire clove of garlic. You might think that's a bit much, but the brine mellows the garlic so that it's not overpowering. They're about $5-$6, depending on where you buy them. They're freakin' great!

Right now my buns are rising. My hamburger buns, that is. There was a recipe for them on the front page of All Recipes' Website today and I just had to try it. Today is a great day for baking bread. It's overcast and rainy. The dough required that I knead it for 10 minutes, and it sure felt good. Making bread is therapeutic for me, from making the yeast come alive to the smell that hangs in the air when it's done baking. The whole process is just relaxing and fun for me, and I like the fact that it takes half the day from start to finish. I'll let you know how they turn out and take a picture or two.

Y'all have a great weekend. I hope today wasn't unlucky for you. So far, it's been a good one for me.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adventures on Craig's List

I've never been on Craig's List in my life until a few days ago. If there was any doubt that I have OCD, there's not anymore.

A few days ago, I decided that we needed to buy a recliner for the following reasons:
  1. I need to sleep sitting up because I have acid reflux so bad right now.
  2. Surgery is in my very near future, and I'll definitely need one then just because.
  3. Apparently we have to buy a recliner every couple of years and then get rid of it after about a year because we hate it.
  4. The chair Barnaby sits in is pathetic and needs to be replaced. Like any normal man, he's repaired it with duct tape several times and thinks it's fine. Yeah.
  5. There is no number five. (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

So I had the brilliant idea to look on Craig's List just to see what they had. And because I can't do anything without doing it to death, WE NOW HAVE THREE RECLINERS!! What is wrong with me?!

Let me try and explain myself. The first recliner I bought is this one:

It was $50 and is in perfect condition. It looks and works like it's brand new. The only drawback is that it's mauve, and nothing in The Queen of Brown's house is that color. I can live with that since it's perfect and cheap.

When Barnaby came home and saw it, he suddenly decided the duct tape on his chair was hideous and he needed a recliner too. So I struck out the next day on a hunt for another recliner. This is the one I bought for $30:

It was not so perfect-looking, but it only had a few tiny rips you could barely see, and for $30, it was great deal so I bought it and happily brought it home.
And then I sat in it.
What a dumbass. Why did I not sit in it before I bought it you ask? Uh, because, ur, um, hmm. I don't know. So when I sat in it, it was obvious that something was seriously wrong with it. It won't recline. You can kick the foot rest thingy out, but it never catches and the backrest part doesn't go back and stay back. You're kind of suspended in the air sort of floating. I know that doesn't make sense. Just suffice it to say it doesn't work right, and those people are lying liars with their pants on fire at this very minute.
So...I introduce you to Recliner #3, which I bought today:

It's perfect, and I actually sat in it BEFORE I bought it. I'm a quick learner like that. It was only $40!
The moral of this story is, if you're not a dumbass and properly check the stuff out before you buy it, Craig's List is a great place to get cheap, nice stuff.
I'm going to get my hair buzz-cut. See ya.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Band Update

The doctor I wrote the letter to last week has agreed to see me. Yea! That was a very quick response and a great sign. I prayed yesterday that when he read it he would be in a generous, sympathetic mood. I see him a week from tomorrow. Now the insurance company just needs to come through for me. I plan to appeal and push it to the limit if they deny me again. What other choice do I have?

Hopefully I'll be back later today with a real entry. Ta-ta.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

07-07-07

Purple Columbine (Side Garden)
Not Quite Open

Well, it's supposed to be a very lucky day today, but for one Plano Police Officer and his family it is not. He was killed while riding his motorcycle on duty today. Wes was just 32 years old, and his life was gone in an instant. Last I heard, they were still looking for his wife and toddler daughter and had not told her yet. I can't imagine what kind of night she's going to have.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Sheet Cake


I've never made a sheet cake in my life until now. This one turned out really good for a cake mix cake. It was quick and easy too. I was feeling lazy (surprise!) and didn't feel like making it from scratch. I used D Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix and baked it 16 minutes at 350. Here's the really easy icing recipe I used:

White Chocolate Icing

*1 large box instant white chocolate pudding mix
1 cup milk
1-8oz Cool Whip

Beat pudding mix and milk until well-combined and thick. Add more milk if it gets really thick and sticky. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread on cake and refrigerate.

*Next time I'll probably use plain old vanilla pudding mix. I don't really like the white chocolate flavor for some reason. It tastes a little weird to me.
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I went to the d-d-d-doctor yesterday. He wanted to see me before he would refill my prescriptions again. I'm not sure why because he didn't do anything except t-t-talk to me and take my blood pressure and heart rate, which were normal thanks to Toprol. He did say that I should press the issue of getting my band fixed with my insurance company because of the severe acid reflux I'm having. He said to go see a surgeon so he can make the diagnosis of a hiatal hernia, and then the surgery would be to correct that problem and not be related to weight loss. He thought they would cover it. So it wasn't a total waste of time.

I had already written a letter to a doctor in Plano asking (begging really) him to take me as his patient and do my revision surgery. He normally doesn't take revision patients that were originally banded by another doctor. I thought I'd give it a shot and ask him to please help me. He's supposed to be a really good doctor and has done 1100 of the vertical gastrectomy surgeries. The only other doctors I could find around here had done less than FIVE. Yikes! I asked him to at least allow me a consultation, and then if he didn't want to treat me, I'd respect his wishes and go away. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
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Barnaby and I played in a poker tournament on the 4th of July at Winstar Casino in Oklahoma. Neither of us won, but we had a great time and both feel like we played well. At least I didn't bust out with Aces this time.
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Bye.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Waffles-a-Plenty

Yep, the unhealthy waffles were fabulous. All I can say is Wow. Here's the recipe I used.

Light Crisp Waffles

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg yolk
1 egg white
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your waffle iron. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Combine the milk, buttermilk and oil in a measuring cup. Whisk in the egg yolk with a fork, and set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg white with an electric mixer until almost soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar, while continuing to whip until thick and glossy. Stir in vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients, and whisk just until blended. Fold in the egg white using a spatula. Pour batter onto the hot waffle iron in the recommended amount for your iron. Cook until browned.

I bought a small waffle iron at Wal-Mart for $18 that makes 2 waffles at a time. I'm sure I'll now be seeking out all kinds of waffle recipes to try. What's for dinner, honey? Pecan Waffles! What's for lunch, honey? Banana Waffles!

I'm gonna go play on the Internet. See ya.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Let's See Now...

I have writer's block.



hmmm...



uh...



Gawd!...



I can think of stuff to bitch about, and I'd hate to subject you to THAT...

I bought a waffle maker! I bought it because I wanted to make these healthy protein waffles. So I made them. And they sucked. And I had already made a ton of them and froze them so we could just pop them in the toaster in the mornings. And, did I mention, they sucked? They are not fit for my dogs to eat. They are so dry, I could use them to exfoliate my feet. Eww, feet!

Now I guess I'll just make unhealthy waffles. I'm sure those will be fantasticly delicious. I could probably throw them on the floor and stomp on them, freeze them, thaw them out by boiling them in water, and they'd still taste great. That's just the way it is with unhealthy food. At least I try!

I just deleted a big long paragraph of bitching. I started doing it even though I said I wasn't going to subject you to that. You're welcome.

What else? Work is slow because my biggest client is on vacation for two weeks. Yea! I'm very happy to have some down time.

Oh, and I had some family over to watch the 4th of July fireworks, but it was too boring to even talk about. Seriously. It was b-o-r-i-n-g. The fireworks weren't any good either. The live entertainment, which was the Commadores this year, was cancelled due to storms earlier in the day, so there wasn't any music. Is that how you spell Commadores? I'm too lazy to look it up. You'll just have to deal if it bugs you.

I'm going to start searching for THE RECIPE I'm going to enter in the Texas State Fair this year. They just published the rules & dates for entries. I still have 2-3 months. I want to enter a cake or a pie. Or maybe both or two or three of both.

I'm also going to start a new project. I'm going to paint my guest bedroom. Guess what color?....PURPLE! That's right. I hear you groaning. I'll post before and after pictures so you can see the hideousness. I think I'll like it though. I already bought a white flocked bedspread. Is that what you call it? It looks like THIS, except that's not exactly it. I also bought some purple (technically "amethest") chenille pillows and a throw. I'm going to get white curtains, too. The room will be mostly white with purple accents. Can you call all of the walls "accents?" Well, I'm going to.

That is all.

I'm so wild and crazy, I'm not even going to proof this. I'm just going to publish it without even reading it. I'm SO DARING! That's right. I'm living on the edge.

Are you asleep yet? Hello?