Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Announcing Roger's Dog Blog!

Roger now has his own blog! Sure, I'll be doing the posting since he can't type, but it will be Roger's blog nonetheless. Now, I know I haven't exactly been keeping my own blog current (forget what I said in my last post about forming a better blogging habit), so is it really a good idea to get bogged down by yet another blog, and a dog blog at that? Well, I've said it before, I'm an eternal optimist (or maybe just a slow learner), so I'm going for it. Maybe it will inspire me to do more here. Time will tell...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Pressure is Off!

When I first stumbled upon NaBloWriMo it sounded like a fun challenge and I was quick to jump on the bandwagon. Sometimes I tend to be a bit impulsive that way. Fun it was, but it proved to be even more challenging than I expected. Despite falling short of 31 posts, I still feel like I've achieved a certain degree of success. After all, 22 posts this month exceeds the total of my posts for the previous 15 months combined! Hopefully the end of NaBloWriMo '09 will also be the beginning of a better blogging habit. Time will tell.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Only 3 more days and NaBloWriMo will be over, however serious posting will have to wait because in only 4 1/2 hours I will be getting up to go to work! Good night!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back to Blogging

So much for daily posting. First its a missed day, then a missed week. Unfortunately, NaBloWriMo had to take a back seat to the events of the past week.

Sadly, my brother-in-law passed away last Thursday. Although his death was not entirely unexpected, it was rather sudden. He had been living with multiple myeloma for 11 years...lots of chemo, good days and bad days, declining mobility...it had become an accepted way of life. Then on Monday he was diagnosed with leukemia and hospice was called in. He was at home when he passed, his family was with him, and now he is in a better place.

I've also discovered ancestry.com and have been spending hours researching my family tree as well as my husband's. One thing leads to another, then another, and another, and its all fascinating. The discoveries I've made will be good future blog material!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

More cookies

A couple of days ago I made some ginger snaps. I couldn't find my regular recipe (which, by the way, earned me a Best in Show ribbon and $25 in our fair several years ago) so I tried a similar one. The main difference between the two is that that my regular recipe uses vegetable oil while the other one uses shortening and butter. The new recipe also calls for white pepper, and some ground ginger mixed in with the sugar that the dough balls are rolled in. They turned out OK, but they left me wanting to make some using my regular recipe.

Today I found my regular recipe and made some more. I did like the addition of the white pepper and the extra ground ginger, so I incorporated them to my regular recipe.

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In a large bowl mix oil and 1 cup of sugar. Add egg, beat well. Stir in molasses. Add flour, baking soda and spices and mix well. If necessary, add more flour to make a firm dough.
Combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger. Shape dough into 1 1/4 inch balls and roll in sugar/ginger mixture. Place 3 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 7 to 8 minutes for chewy, longer for crispy. Remove from baking sheet and cool on rack.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Queensland Blue

Here's a picture of the green (blue) pumpkin I bought yesterday. I was instantly attracted to it because of its appearance. When I checked out, I found out that it is a Queensland Blue and can be used for culinary purposes as well as for decorating.

I did a little research a today and found out that they are an Australian heirloom variety and they have a deep orange flesh with good flavor. I think I will try making pumpkin soup after Halloween, and I think I will even try to grow some of my own next year. I will report on both!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Poodles at Play

Long, fun-filled day today. Up at 5:45 to make a 3 hour drive Tilden Regional Park, picking up my BFF Debbie along the way. We met up with fellow members of a group I belong to called "Poodles at Play." The group holds monthly off-leash hikes at various parks within the East Bay Regional Park District. Since I live so far away I don't make it to very many of the hikes, but today I made a special effort because Tilden is one of my favorite parks...Debbie and I had some good times there in our teenage years. We hiked for about 2 hours. Here's a group shot with 13 of the 16 dogs...I didn't count the people.

Here's Roger and his friend Louis Vuitton. Roger and Louis met for the first time last month in Truckee and really hit it off. I think they remember each other.
This is 4 month old Nani. It was her first outing with Poodles at Play. She's a good girl and absolutely adorable.
After the hike, most of the group rode the miniature steam train at the park.

Then several of us went for lunch at Pizza Antica in Lafayette. They have outside seating so the poodles could join us. Food was delicious...I should have taken a picture!

Next, Debbie took me to Orchard Nursery, also in Lafayette. What a great place! Its all done up for fall/Halloween and they even had live music. I got some Dutch iris bulbs, some daffodil bulbs, a couple of six-packs of pansies for my daughter, and a green pumpkin. Debbie got some broccoli plants, some winter vegetable seeds, and some tulip bulbs.
Then, sadly, I dropped Debbie off and Roger and I were on our way. We made it home by 7:30.