Mar 24, 2010


Today was my first day off in 7 days. Hooray! Not really fun since I know I have to go back tomorrow. Working at this job is making my brain feel atrophied. Ugh.....anyway. Yesterday my shift was switched from 6am-2pm to 4pm-8pm, which I guess it good but if I have to work I would rather it be for more than 4 hours especially since it takes me a half hour to get there. So I decided to make a cake. From the 1956 cookbook, I made the Kitchenette Cake with Butterscotch Glaze. Here is the mixer in action, note the mess everywhere:
The cake baking (and this picture makes me realize I need to clean my oven):
But I did get to use my cake stand again, yay!
The recipe called for a teaspoon of flavoring so I tried imitation rum extract. It smelled really "rum-y" when before I started baking it, but when I tired it the rum flavor was sort of lost and the cake was a little dense, but it tasted very good other wise! Maybe it was because I used all purpose flour instead of the cake flour it called for in the recipe. I have never used cake flour before. Maybe sometime in the future.

After a relaxing morning today and a nice warm walk, I found out that since one of my neighbors was putting in a fence that the whole neighborhood would be without water for a few hours. So my plans to clean dishes, clean gecko tanks, do laundry, and cook were nixed. The water was back by 5, but by then I was already in relax mode again so I just made my simple pasta sauce (don't forget the previous blog entry for the recipe!), pasta, and some drumstick shaped breaded chicken nuggets from Angel Food Ministries, and tada (actually nothing fancy so don't get excited):

I need to start planning for my father's visit next week! Hooray! Can't wait! In the mean time please enjoy this photo of a cute red tegu from when I used to work at Malone University:

Mar 22, 2010

Fed Up

I know this blog is supposed to be about my wonderful adventures in cooking, creating, and housemaking, but I am fed up (especially since I haven't been able to do any of those three things lately). I hate work. This job stinks. It's not the people by any means. My bosses and fellow employees are very nice and a pleasure to work with, but the actual job is what stinks. I thought I was only going to be working between 20-30 hours a week, but I am always scheduled for at least 35-40 hours (and that doesn't count the times I stay later or come in early). I am constantly sore and dependent on coffee (and with my over consumption the past month I have started getting those "withdrawal" headaches again). I always worry about the next day of work. Will I get to leave on time or will I be asked to stay late? Will I have to ring so many customers in a row at a dizzying speed that I can't see straight? How many more cuts, bruises, or scratches will I get that day? When I come home at night I don't feel like I get to relax, even if the following day I have off. There is always something that needs to be done at the house. I used to do all my major cleaning on one day a week. Then the rest of the week was spent doing other small jobs (like puppy baths or cleaning reptile cages) or sewing or cooking an amazingly spectacular meal (I guess they aren't always spectacular). I never really needed coffee, I always had energy even after my 3-4 mile walk.

I know I shouldn't be complaining. I should be happy I have a job at all. I am glad that I am making money to pay off my bills and help my family, but at what costs. Maybe once this new store settles down I will be able to focus on what really matters to me.

Sorry, but thanks for listening (I guess reading). I am now off to work to close tonight and then open (6am) tomorrow. Yay......not.

Mar 21, 2010

7 days in a row!

Of work that is. I just finished day 5. I also just realized its been almost a week since my last blog. I am so sorry! Mike's parents just left this morning and we did do some cooking while they were here but nothing too complex. I did try a new cookie recipe from the 1956 Betty Crocker cookbook (I gave my Mom back the 1961 book). They were butterscotch cookies with brown butter icing (pg 196). Finally, the mixed in action:
The cookies baking:
And then I forgot to take pictures of the brown butter icing or the cookies after icing. But I did finally get to use my cake stand so I took a picture of that:
And then I took the rest of the cookies to share with my fellow employees at work. They were excellent and very cake like. It sort of surprises you when you bite into them.

Well I hope this post will do for now. Until next time, please enjoy this photo of me from a few years ago during a herpetology trip to Kelley's Island in Ohio. I still had my "purple" hair and I am holding a blue racer:

Mar 15, 2010

4 days off? Un-heard of!

Today is day 3 of 4 days off. I highly doubt I will have this sort of time off again in quite a while. Anyway, my Aunt Lorri sent some gigantic lemons home with Mike last week and I made fresh lemonade yesterday with those beasts (note the size of the bananas next to the lemons!):

Last nights dinner had a Mexican theme. I have the Better Homes and Gardens Mexican Cook Book from 1977. I decided on Chueletas de Puerco Adobadas (Adobo Pork Chops) on pg 53 and Arroz con Tomate (Spanish Rice) on pg 72. As well as these lima beans with out the chorizo. The pork with the homemade adobo sauce:
Lima beans:
And the yummy rice:
It was all very good and I will for sure make it all again. Dessert was just a pre-made pumpkin pie from Angel Food. Tonight I think the plan is to grill up some steaks and I will make those spicy potato wedges again.

In the mean time, please enjoy this photo I snapped yesterday of a green anole in our backyard:
This photo is so exciting because green anoles are very rare down here since thye have been pushed northward by the invasive brown anole. I am very happy to have one make their home in our backyard!

Mar 13, 2010

It's been too long.......a quick update

As you may recall, March is supposed to be my busy month and boy has it been. After my Mother left, Mike's sister and her family were here for a few days and then my best friend and her fiance were here from last Sunday until yesterday. I did do some cooking, but I didn't take any pictures :( And of course work as been kicking my ass on top of it all. After three 6am to 1pm shifts this week and cleaning all day today in preparation for Mike's parents tomorrow, I "forced" Mike to cook. As I type he is using our electric wok to stir fry some chicken, veggies, and ramen. I hope it turns out good! I am planning on cooking tomorrow night for Mike's parents so I will try and remember to take pictures!

As for this past week, we got to experience some awesome sights and tastes of Tampa Bay. First was Honeymoon Island state park. Not only dose it have beaches but nature trails too! It was the perfect place to spend the day because I can get bored with beaches. The wildlife was also totally awesome. We were able to get within inches of bumbling armadillos (of course I forgot my camera) and saw ospreys and bald eagles both in and out of their nests! And we were always on the look out for rattlesnakes since they are believed to inhabit the island. Next was Terra Mar Brazillian Steakhouse which was excellent. I have never been to a Brazilian steakhouse before and it was a totally awesome experience. And finally the Florida Aquarium which is also a must see. I hate to say it, but it's better than Mote Marine Aquarium in terms of displays and animals. We also tried a local sushi bar and my friends discovered a taco place and a Cuban sandwich place too. Quite an eventful week with work and all.

Well until next time, please enjoy this photo of my Grandpa Lopez, my younger brother Chris, and me at a pool in Disneyworld back in 1993:

Mar 5, 2010

Too tired to blog.....I know it's sad

Work is still taking alot out of me but I think that it's the fact that I have to get up at 4:30am and then when I get home at around 3 I can't stay awake long enough to do anything productive. Anyway, Wednesday night was an amazing dinner at Grandma's (like always) and then for Thursday most of my menu came from my 3 and 4 ingredient cook book and the dessert was from the 1961 cookbook. Dinner was grilled steak and chicken with warm tomato salsa (pg 175), spicy potatoes wedges (pg 284), and panini all' olio (pg 421). Unfortunately I only took pictures of the bread (you know what grilled meats and potato wedges look like). I was trying out different shapes. I like the flower looking ones the best:
 And for dessert, minute strawberry pie from the 1961 cook book (pg 356):
I wanted to use graham cracker crust, but I dropped it in the sink and shattered it. Tear. Anyway it came out a little sweet for my liking (and I also forgot to get whipped cream). I am just glad that everything was edible and no one got sick. 
I work tomorrow and my friends arrive on Sunday morning and I haven't had time to plan any meals yet. Oh well. I guess I will just fly by the seat of my pants. But until then, please enjoy this photo my Mom took last night of me, Mike, and one of our baby snakes, Canti:

Mar 2, 2010

Wait...... it's already March?!?

Time flies even when you aren't having that much fun! Oh well. I was supposed to work today, but I traded with someone so I could clean and cook.....hooray! I hope the house will stay semi-clean for my upcoming guests because I will be working alot!

After picking out a meal to serve to my Mom during her visit this coming Thursday, I decided to try my hand again at making a custard pie (if you remember the last time I tried I scrambled alot of the eggs). This recipe was from the 1961 cookbook but I forgot to write down the page number and I really don't feel like getting up to find it (sorry, I did enough work today!). I finally got to use my mixer which had been sitting lonely in the corner. Some egg and sugar mixing:
And even though I used skim milk it came out perfect! 
It set up so well that even after I removed pieces the custard stayed in place and didn't ooze out all over the place. The only thing I forgot was to cover the edge of the crust with foil before baking. Oops!
Tonight's dinner was semi-homemade (just like that show on Food Network). I made my homemade pasta sauce but with mushrooms this time:
And I topped the rest of the fall shaped pasta and breaded chicken patties with it:
Don't worry, I didn't eat 2 chicken patties, this was Mike's plate :)
Tomorrow after work and after Mike's class we are headed down to Sarasota for dinner. Can't wait! Until next time (probably Thursday night), please enjoy this photo of one the little dull day geckos I used to work with back at Akron: