Friday, December 28, 2007

Cornish Game Hens with Garlic and Rosemary

I made this last night - it was my first experience with cornish game hens and it was wonderful!! Super easy - but it does take a bit of time so plan ahead. We only made two hens, but made the sauce the same - and I would double the sauce if making four hens because it was awesome! David and I added in a side of instant long grain and wild rice and garlic bread. Perfection.

INGREDIENTS
  • 4 Cornish game hens
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 24 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Rub hens with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season hens with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each hen. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around hens. Roast in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over hens. Continue roasting about 25 minutes longer, or until hens are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer hens to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent hens with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut hens in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around hens. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.
From allrecipes.com

Top Ten Baby Names of 2007

I always enjoy seeing the most popular baby names each year. It does make me laugh at how often TV and movies can influence the list - for example Emma had been number one since 2004 (the same year that Friends ended - only one season after Ross and Rachel named their daughter Emma!). And Aiden has reigned number one on the boys side of things ever since Sex and the City wrapped things up (Aiden was one of Carrie Bradshaw's infamous boyfriends). So here they are:

Top 10 Girl Names
  1. Sophia
  2. Isabella
  3. Emma
  4. Madison
  5. Ava
  6. Addison
  7. Hailey
  8. Emily
  9. Kaitlyn
  10. Olivia

Top 10 Boy Names

  1. Aiden
  2. Ethan
  3. Jacob
  4. Jayden
  5. Caleb
  6. Noah
  7. Jackson
  8. Jack
  9. Logan
  10. Matthew

The BabyCenter® Top Baby Names of 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Can't believe it's already here! I'm at home writing my first research article (yikes!) - a slow process, but at least I've got a start on it! Then David and I are headed back to T-town for a couple of days, then down to Iowa to visit his parents, then back up to T-town for Christmas Eve. It should be plenty busy! David also has to work Christmas Day (ugh, the joys of management!) and has to be on call Christmas Eve night, so he's coming back up to the cities Monday night. At least we'll both be back in town in time to see our friends from Colorado!!

Here's to a slightly-stress-free (because can it ever be entirely stress-free?) and joyous Christmas to all of you!

Holidazzle Parade

My hubby and I got to take my little brothers and their girlfriends (yes, they both have girlfriends now!) out on the town Saturday night. It was quite exciting. Since Daniel and his girlfriend are under 21 we took everyone to the Holidazzle Parade - it was probably one of the coldest nights of the year, too! We stood outside, freezing our butts off, watching all of the lighted floats go by. Luckily I had thought ahead to make some hot cocoa - and although that helped, it didn't last nearly long enough! After the parade we walked down to Pizza Luce' for some yummy beer and pizza (Fat Tire was on tap - a new treat here in Minneapoland!). It was a fun and low-key night out in downtown Mpls!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Because what T.O. says matters...


Courtesy of Comcast.net Sports:
{Asked Wednesday about the Simpson scenario, Owens playfully chimed in: "Right now, Jessica Simpson is not a fan favorite ��� in this locker room or in Texas Stadium."}

Not exactly what's up with the three questions marks, but he goes on to say,

{"With everything that has happened, obviously with the way Tony played and the comparison between her and Carrie Underwood, I think a lot of people feel she has taken his focus away," Owens said, echoing the chatter on sports-talk radio and blogs. "Other than that, she was high on my list until last week.

"Oh, I got a message for her when we make the playoffs. Just stay tuned."}

Just stay tuned? Oh, I will.

Photo by LM Otero.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Monday, December 17, 2007

Jessica Simpson as Bad Luck!

Gotta love this quote from FOX Sports about the Cowboys' loss to Philly last night...
"The Skinny: We can't help but be leery of the Jessica Simpson factor here. We know Tony Romo has some scrambling skills. Might be a good time to run for it."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Fun in Sunny Orlando

Just got back from a wonderful visit to sunny Orlando. My hubby and I took a long weekend and went down to visit his brother and his family. It was the first time we had traveled to visit them since they moved to Florida a couple of years ago. Even though it was such a short weekend, we squeezed in a birthday party (our nephew, Alex, turned 4!) - complete with a visit from Spiderman!, a 10-hour day at Disney (Magic Kingdom and Epcot - both of which were beautifully decorated for Christmas - and not that busy since it was between holidays!), a visit to nearby Celebration (a Disney-created town that was founded in 1994 - not nearly as creepy as we were anticipating, more like Wisteria Lane from Desperate Housewives - very pretty and clean!), and plenty of play time with the kids (it was our first time seeing our new niece, Emory!). We had a great time, but we wish they were all closer so that we could have even more fun times with them!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

OxiClean Miracle!

So a couple of weeks ago David and I were sharing a bottle of red wine while watching a movie in our living room. After pouring his first glass, David accidentally knocked his cup over and onto the cream-colored carpet! It managed to not only tip over and make a big stain, but it also splattered all over. We tried to clean it up asap - using Resolve carpet cleaner, but the stain remained - so we had a large blue-purple mess in the middle of the living room! Luckily, my mom suggested using OxiClean to remove the stain - I was pretty skeptical, but I picked up a small container and tried it out today. IT WORKED!!! The stain is completely gone! And all I had to do was mix up the powder with some water, dump it on the stain, wait a few minutes, then use paper towels to blot it out. There wasn't much color coming up in the paper towels - so it was like the OxiClean actually dissolved the red wine in the carpet! After that, I had to rinse it with some water, blot again, and then let dry and vacuum. Wow! I can't believe it!!

Polka-dot trees

Here's a Christmas cookie recipe I tried out last weekend. These are cheater cookies (meaning they utilize store-bought sugar cookie dough), but they turn out super cute and pretty tasty!

1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tube (16.5 oz) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 1/2 tsp. mint extract
Green and red food coloring

1. Heat oven to 350deg.
2. On a well-floured surface, knead flour into the dough. Knead in the mint extract until completely incorporated.
3. Divide dough in half. Knead about 8 - 10 drops of red food coloring into one half. Knead about 8 drops of green food coloring into other half. Form into disks, cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
4. Roll each dish between 2 sheets of waxed paper to a 1/4-inch thickness. Slide onto baking sheets; refrigerate for 15 minutes.
5. Cut out tree shapes using a 4-inch cutter. Place on baking sheet. Form scraps into disks, cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
6. Cut dots out of cookies with a 3/4-inch round cookie cutter or the large opening of an icing decorating tip. Remove dots with spatula or toothpick. Place green dots in the red trees and red dots in the green trees.
7. Bake at 350deg for 10 minutes (I would try 6-8 minutes first because my first pan burnt!)l or until cookies are puffed and set. Let cool on baking sheet 1 minute. Remove cookies to wire rack and allow to cool completely. Remove remaining dough from refrigerator and repeat steps 4, 5, and 6.

Makes 16 cookies.

From Family Circle magazine, November 29th, 2007.

I made slightly smaller trees and then used a straw to make the dots - since most of them got stuck in the straw I had to blow them out (it felt a little like I was mouth-pipetting!)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Booze test

92%DRUNKARD

Laura alerted me to this online quiz - evidently I know too much about alcohol.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

All Decked Out for Christmas!

The hubby and I put up our Christmas lights last weekend (ooh...I just got myself a new digital camera - I'll attempt to take a picture tonight and post it later!). They look pretty darn good. I was mildly irritated to find that one of our strings from last year was no longer working properly - especially since these lights are $12 a string since they're fancy LED lights. Oh well. I picked up a few extra strings early in the season just in case (on sale for a whopping low price of $9.99!). Last night, however, we made the trek over to the tree lot that's less than a half a block away to pick out our Christmas tree, along with a wreath and some spruce tops. It was super cold out, so we basically picked out our items as quickly as possible and then we carried everything back home. Normally this involves me watching David carry the tree by himself back to the house, while I occasionally holler that a car is coming. This year was not much different, but at least I was carrying the wreath and the spruce tops. And there wasn't any snow to trudge through, and it was still light out, so really it was no big deal for him. ;) So the tree is officially up and decorated - but it's a little more irregular than usual. Evidently that's what we get for picking one out so quickly! At least it smells good!Oh! It's snowing out - we haven't had any snow accumulation yet, but we're supposed to get up to a foot of snow over the next 24 hours. I just saw my first snowplow of the season go by! I hope we get some good snow cover, but I really don't want to be snow-bound for the weekend!

Online pregnancy test

This is hilarious. Who knew you could predict pregnancy via "remote sensor technology" - try it and see!

Free Online Pregnancy Test

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gophers vs. WI

The Gophers finished off a pretty abysmal season last Saturday as they lost to WI. BUT - they looked a hell of a lot better than they have - so maybe there's hope for next season! The young QB has been breaking records, which only bodes well for the future of the team - however, it will be interesting to see what happens next year when the coach's son has another year under his belt (he's also a QB)... All in all, it was a pretty frustrating season, but at least we had fun tailgating! Our tiny football-shaped charcoal grill even made it through to the last game - but we left it in the tailgating lot after the game because the handle on the lid had completely fallen apart and the legs were starting to fall off. Looks like it's time for us to upgrade! ;) Lucky for us we were able to party with our WI neighbors in harmony - no major clashes in our mixed group, just some fun jeering and lots of things made out of foam (they gave out foam cheer sticks to the student section, which were promptly made into hats, axes - for the trophy of the game, Paul Bunyan's axe, long cords that ran the entire length of our section, etc.).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

All ready for winter

Today we had a fairly long list of things to do around the house and yard - in order to get everything in order for winter. Even though I didn't think we were going to get through it, we did! We managed to fertilize the trees and bushes, put a cover on our chimney (and my hubby had to check out the roof while he was up there while I watched from below), rake some leaves (although we do have to actually bag and haul them this week), and clean out and re-organize the garage. This last part was crazy because we've been meaning to re-organize our garage for the past two years (essentially since we moved into our house!). During the move-in everything got shoved into random places so we spent a couple of hours cleaning things out, wiping down the shelves, storing some stuff in the attic (yes, our garage has an attic!), and sweeping it out. Then we put up a make-shift barricade to separate Jonas's side of the garage from the car's (my car's) side of the garage. This barricade is ingeniously made of 1) our old storm door, 2) the box from our new storm door, 3) Jonas's travel kennel, and 4) the basketball backboard that we have yet to hang up. So it looks a little crazy, but it is functional. And temporary, maybe. I don't really care because now I can actually park my car in the garage - which means no more scraping my windows and digging my car out of the snow all winter long! But even better, all we have to do before winter comes is to finish raking and bagging the leaves and to hang our Christmas lights! That's completely manageable.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Michael Birawer

This artist pretty much rocks. I fell in love with his paintings a few years ago and have wanted to find a place in my house for some of the prints. Since we finally finished our hallway, and now have a fairly large blank wall, I'm looking forward to picking some out and getting them hung soon! Check out his website and you can see even more fun city scenes!






Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I love Amazon!

Just updated an old wish list of mine on Amazon.com. I don't actually let too many people know about this list, but I think I consider it more a running tally of all of the fun books and DVDs I'd like to eventually get. However, my mom has been asking for my Christmas wish list (already!), so I let her know about it. And...while I was making my list, I started looking for Christmas cookie cookbooks - and found a used Joy of Cooking Christmas Cookie Book for $2.98 - so I ordered it and with shipping, I'll be getting it for less than $7! Just in time to start planning my Christmas baking! So...what all made it onto my wish list you may ask? For DVDs I had to include the remaining seasons of Friends (we have only a few and watch them quite often!), a bunch of Disney classics (all that advertising for the Jungle Book has put me in the mood for Disney!), a bunch of romantic comedies, most of which I already have on VHS, but that I'd like to transfer over to DVD, and Old School, simply because we can't seem to find our copy! For books, there's a few SARK faves on there, a bunch of Alice in Wonderland ones (of course!), and cookbooks (but really just Christmas cookie books and cocktail books!).

Skyline Citizen on Radio K

My little brother informed me yesterday that his band's music has been played on our local college station - Radio K. I've been requesting them all morning long, and listening to the live stream online, but haven't heard them yet. Hopefully soon though...

Sunday, November 04, 2007

296!!

Adrian Peterson broke the NFL single game rushing record today as the Vikes blew away the San Diego Chargers! He rushed for 296 yards - he'd been taken out of the game with under a minute left to play when the TV announcers said he was 2 yards short of the record. Luckily Childress put him back in and he ran for 3 more yards to break the record - and then the Vikings took a knee to end the game. This kid is the only reason to keep watching the Vikes in what is, once again, a pretty disappointing season!

Photo by Tom Oldsheid, espn.com

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

BOO Chipotle!

A couple of the labs just got together and got all dressed up in tinfoil and headed down to Chipotle only to find that they weren't giving our their free "Boo-rritos" until after 5pm! BOO!! We left. They weren't getting our money after all of that.

Happy Halloween!

Yeah for Halloween! Most of the lab is dressed up and we're listening to Halloween music all day long! It's also Dress-Like-A-Burrito Day at Chipotle - so we're all wrapping ourselves in lab tinfoil and heading down to Chipotle to get free burritos! My hubby and I are also going to Chipotle for supper (since they just opened one in our mall) - that's a lot of Chipotle, but since it's free, I'm all for it! Then we're heading home and carving pumpkins and watching Saw II and maybe Saw III (if we can stay up for both!). Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

John's Cocktail Party: "Heroes & Villians"

I almost forgot to post about my friend John's cocktail party! Every year he and his friend, Frenchy, host a kick-ass cocktail party. Every year it has a different theme, with themed cocktails, yummy food, and everyone is responsible for bringing an assigned bottle of liquor or mixers. Last year's theme was Saturday Night Live, and it was fun, however I'm not a huge SNL fan so I was pretty lost when it came to identifying others' costumes! This year's theme was AWESOME - "Heroes and Villians!" I've included a bunch of pictures below because the lab's costumes pretty much kicked ass! :) Laura, Elena, and Gabe went as the Three Amigos (heroes), Kristi and Tony went as The Incredibles (also heroes), Evan went as Professor Chaos from South Park (villian), David went as James Bond (hero), and I went as Cruella De Vil (villianess!). Oh, and John and Frenchy were Austin Powers (hero) and Dr. Evil (villian), respectively! I think my favorite drink was the Gandolf (hero), which was vodka, peach schapps, and cranberry juice (if I remember correctly). YUM!