Monday, September 24, 2007

Jam update

Yea! My jars of jam properly sealed! And, I tasted some of the jam that I had leftover from filling the jars and not only did it properly solidify, it tastes pretty darn good!

Friday, September 21, 2007

My Grey's Anatomy Volume 2 CD

I figured since I posted about how my volume 2 CD of music from Grey's was better than the "real" one, I might as well post the songlist.

1. Everyday is a Holiday - Esthero & Sean Lennon
2. Feel So Free - Ivy
3. The City - Joe Purdy
4. Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall
5. Ramalama (Bang Bang) - Roisin Murphy
6. Infinity - Merrick
7. I Hear the Bells - Mike Doughty
8. Not Tonight - Tegan and Sara
9. back where i was - the hereafter
10. Today Has Been Okay - Emiliana Torrini
11. Miniature Disasters - KT Tunstall
12. In the Sun - Michael Stipe
13. World Spins Madly On - The Weepies
14. Breathe (2am) - Anna Nalick
15. Unlike Me - Kate Havnevik
16. Universe & Me - KT Tunstall
17. How We Operate - Gomez
18. Side 2 - Dressy Bessy
19. Colors - Amos Lee


Also, on a side note. I discovered while watching Dawson's Creek season 3 last week that Deb Talen, of the Weepies, has at least 3 songs featured in the background throughout the season. It's kind of crazy to think that I had actually heard Deb Talen's music long before I stumbled across her at a concert in college- I love, love, love her music - and definitely recommend it to all!

My first attempt at making JAM!

I just (hopefully successfully) made my first batch of jam today! I've been wanting to make jam for awhile now, but I had never done it before and was concerned it was going to be too much work. Turns out, it wasn't so hard, but just takes A LONG TIME! I think I actually worked on the jam (start to finish) for 3-4 hours! Here's the recipe in case any of you were interested in trying it out yourselves -

Peach Blackberry Jam

Makes 7-8 Half-Pint Jars

4 c. fresh or frozen blackberries (about 2 pints)
Large handful of fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1 c. water
4 pounds perfect peaches
6 c. sugar

Pick over the berries to remove stems and any soft berries. Combine the blackberries, sage leaves, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the blackberries are soft and falling apart, about 20 minutes.

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl, and pass the berry mixture through it, pressing to extract as much pulp and juice as possible. Discard the seeds and sage leaves.

Bring a 4-quart or larger pot of water to a boil. Working with 4 or 5 peaches at a a time, drop them into the boiling water and blanch for 40-50 seconds to loosen the skin (this did not work for me, I think I bough peaches that weren't ripe enough - I ended up just peeling them instead). Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water for another 30 seconds to cool them, and slip off the skin. Slice into eighths, discarding the pits.

Put the peach slices in a 6-quart or larger heavy-bottomed pot and mash them coarsely with a potato masher (I don't actually own a potato masher, so I used a small glass mug - not very classy, but still effective. Also, since my peaches were a little underripe, my jam ended up with some larger peach chunks!) Add the strained blackberry pulp and sugar to the peaches. Gently heat the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Then increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture reaches the jellying point (this is the part that took such a long time - to test for the jellying point, place a stack of glass saucers in the freezer - once the jam starts to thicken, place a small spoonful on one saucer - stick it back in the freezer for about a minute, then run your finger through it. If the jam wiggles a bit and stays separated - it's done!)

Ladle the hot jam into clean, hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace, seal, and process in a boiling water bath (large pot of boiling water, place towel on bottom so jars don't clink against anything - don't forget to wash the jars and lids first - also good to fill the jars with hot water while you're making the jam and to sterilize the lids by placing them in a small pot of boiling water, then turning the water off and letting them sit for 10 minutes) for 10 minutes for long-term storage.

Now I just have to wait for 12 hours and check to make sure the lids remain concave. Although the jam was pretty tasty while it was cooking, I will also need to check out the finished product once it's cooled down - maybe I'll try some over an English muffin tomorrow for breakfast - yum!

Recipe from "Food for Friends: Homemade Gifts for Every Season" by Sally Pasley Vargas.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fluoride toothpaste?

I went to the dentist the other day for a cleaning and exam - I haven't been having any problems, but I figure since I get two free cleanings a year I should probably make use of them! When the dentist was checking my x-rays, however, he kept telling the hygienist to "watch 5, watch 14" etc. Evidently I have not one, but multiple small cavities that he wants to keep an eye on. I was like "well that's awesome, but hey, at least I don't need any fillings this time!" Then he actually took a look at my teeth and, of course, one of the ones that needed to be watched actually needs a filling already. Whatever. Typical. The best part of my visit was when he told me he was prescribing me a fluoride toothpaste - just to try to keep those small cavities from getting larger so quickly. I thought, "okay, fluoride toothpaste sounds like something for a child, but I'll go with it." Then, I looked down at the prescription slip and realized he had already checked the box for the flavor of the toothpaste - spearmint. What was the other flavor option? Fruitastic. Awesome.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bad Beer Cheese Soup!

So David and I had big plans last Sunday. We were going to try out this new recipe from Rachael Ray for beer cheese soup, then watch the Vikings game on TV. Unfortunately both went bad. The Vikes lost in OT to Detroit and the beer cheese soup was HORRIBLE! What happened? It looked like it was going to be a GREAT recipe - sharp cheddar cheese, some chopped carrots, milk, and Sam Adam's Oktoberfest beer. But once it was all ready to go, the cheese didn't melt - it just stayed in the chunks I'd made when grating it and the soup didn't have very good flavor. I figured I'd post this in the hopes that one of the Wisconsinites has a better (hopefully fail-proof) recipe!

Friday, September 14, 2007

New Grey's CD!

For those of you that don't know, I'm a huge fan of the Grey's Anatomy soundtracks - whoever is in charge of picking out their music is a genius! This week, the third volume was released (along with the 3rd season DVD). I was slightly skeptical, mostly because I didn't like the 2nd volume as much as I had liked the first. I think this was mostly due to the fact I had already downloaded a bunch of songs and made my own CD of the music that was on Grey's at that time - mine was better. Not that I'm bias at all... :) But, back to the new 3rd volume - it's really good. There is a great mix of songs and styles - one of David's favorite artists, Mat Kearney, has a never-before-released song on there, and one of my favorite new artists, Ingrid Michaelson, does too! So...if you like new music, check out this CD!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Skyline Citizen - now playing on a college radio station near you??

My brother's band, Skyline Citizen, just sent out about 300 copies of their second CD, Anyone Else Just Isn't You, to local college radio stations across the country. But...in order for them to have a better chance of getting on the air, they need help requesting their songs! Check out your local college station and make a request for Skyline Citizen!

You can check out their songs online on myspace.

Those of you in the Minneapoland area can request songs online at either Radio K or The Current 89.3.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Weird pictures of me

So...I am just now realizing that I take some crazy weird pictures. And virtually NONE of them involve alcohol (or at least not super large amounts). I'm evidently just prone to making crazy faces once the camera starts flashing. As proof, I've compiled some prime examples...


Oh, and my personal favorite...This was one posted on my brother's facebook page - his caption reads:
"catching my bros game last winter...glad my sister made it.."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

I love the Salvation Army!


Woo-hoo! I went to the Salvation Army across from my house with my mother-in-law this weekend because she wanted to look for some things for her new house. When we got there, we found that all the clothing in the store was 50% off - normally I don't pay too much attention to the clothes (unless I'm looking for a costume), but I quickly came across the JACKET section and was completely overwhelmed! I think they had just recently put out all of their fall and winter jackets, so they had a ton! I found 2 new jackets and paid a grand total of $3.92!!! Crazy, huh? The jackets are pretty cool, too - one's a light green down jacket from Old Navy - it's short, with a cute faux-fur lined hood, and the other is a red wool peacoat from Target (Merona brand). Both are in good shape - all I had to do was wipe off the front of the down jacket and take a lint brush and some febreeze to the wool peacoat. Yea for new jackets and good deals!!

Oh, and I saw both a Green Bay Packers and a Wisconsin Badgers jacket on sale - evidently someone saw it fit to donate them instead of keeping them...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gopher Football

Well, the season is off to another fantastic start. After finding quite possibly the perfect tailgating lot (across from the Mill City Museum) and finally getting the charcoal lighted (kind of hard when the wind is swirling between the skyscrapers!) then eating brats, guac, and chocolate chip cookies, along with plenty of beer, we headed to the dome for the game. The atmosphere was great - an announced crowd of 49,253 - quite a lot for a preseason game! There was a new blow-up tunnel that the players ran through, and the Vikings fireworks were even going off as the players came out (granted, they were still purple and not maroon and gold, but oh well!). Then evidently the team decided to NOT play defense and let freakin' Bowling Green take the lead 21-0 by halftime. Ugh. Thankfully we didn't make total fools of ourselves and we were able to come back after the half and take the lead. All of this was blown, however, when we let them get the tie to put it into OT and then lost the game on a two-point conversion. What the hell? Here's to another season of mediocrity!

*Photo by Jim Gehrz, Star Tribune