Monday, June 30, 2014

Chocolate Microwave Cake

Finally...a microwave cake recipe I would make again. Believe me, I've searched and searched for a good one. On Saturday, my twitter feed had one from Food Network about an instant chocolate cake. I had all the ingredient so I went for it.

Instant Chocolate Cake
courtesy Food Network

Whisk 1/4 cup flour, 5 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons milk, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and a dash of vanilla extract and salt in a large mug until smooth. Microwave until puffed, about 2 minutes.

We made this in a cappucino mug because it was so much and I'm glad we did. It puffed up and would have overflowed in a regular mug. Whitney and I split it so this makes enough for two.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday fragments

Boy am I late writing this. It's almost 9pm. That is an indication of what my week has been like. Mrs. 4444 hosts this. I just have to figure out how to add HTML to a post I write on my iPad to get it all right.

Whitney got home yesterday. The trip home was I eventful except for the fact that security decided the cookie butter she bought was a "gel" and couldn't be carried on. So she had to go get her checked bag back so she could pack it.

But the big adventure was that her brand new iPhone was lost/stolen on Tuesday in Central Park. There was a very nice volunteer in the park who helped her out, the police were nice, but no luck finding the phone. They tracked it to Lexington and 50th and that's it. I suspended it and dealt with insurance for three days. Let me tell you, if you have insurance with your cell phone keep calling until you get your confirmation. I filed a claim and thought ever using was fine. Next day I called because I didn't get a tracking number and was told it was denied because the phone wasn't ever used. I got them straightened out on that (because really who wouldn't use a new phone after ten days). Then I was told it was submitted. Never got a tracking number. I call on day three and was told it shows open still and not approved. They had a "glitch" in their computer system so it didn't finish processing. By this time I'm pretty mad. It got submitted and I got an approved email but still no tracking number. We did finally get the phone today. But I will be contacting them to let them no my displeasure with the system.

She did see four broadway shows along with being in the crowd for Good Morning America. She got to go inside the studio for their new GMA web show and was super excited to meet Ben Savage from one of her favorite 90's shows.

Stupid criminal of the week was the guy who robbed a house but used the computer there to check Facebook and didn't log out. Pretty easy to catch.

Work has been super stressful and I actually had to take a mental health day Wednesday because of it. The next three months are going to be super busy.

But I've got all our plane tickets bought for our trip to Hawaii and reservations for Honolulu. I still need to make a decision on where to stay in Maui so if anyone has recommendations, send them my way.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Happy Summer Hodgepodge

Hodgepodge questions courtesy of Joyce. I think she's celebrating summer with all these questions!

1. What summer activity most takes you back to your own childhood?

Sparklers for the Fourth of July. I remember those on summer nights. Now of course they are illegal in the city so no sparklers for us.

2. What's your favorite summer smell?

BBQ chicken cooking on the grill.

3. It's beach season in the US of how do you feel about sand?

I'm not a huge fan of it unless it is perfect. Otherwise it always seems to hurt my feet.

4. Sun tea, SunChips, sunflower seeds, Capri Sun, Sunny Delight, Sun-Maid raisins, sun-dried tomatoes...your favorite food or beverage with sun in its name?

I haven't had sun tea on forever. I remember how excited I would get when I would make it as a child. Now I leave the tea making to my husband and he does it in the microwave.

5. What's your favorite way to cool off on a hot summer day?

Air conditioning. Thank goodness for Willis Carrier.

6. Share a favorite song with the word sun or sunshine in it's title.

Sunglasses At Night by Corey Hart
I'm an 80's girl.

7. Tell us about a time you had an exceedingly good or truly awful customer service experience. If it was awful, did you report it? Ever go back there again?

I think it is important to always report good customer service. People are always so willing to comment on negative that when someone reports a positive comment, it carries way more weight. I usually have good customer service from Lean Cuisine online when I have a problem with a meal. They always send me free coupons because they want a happy customer.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

How many elections do you have where the candidate touts the F rating from a group as a positive? It happened in Oklahoma. Someone running for Corporation Commission was bragging how he had a F from the Sierra Club and how that was good for Oklahoma. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Couscous with Tomato and Thyme

This summer I decided to grow rosemary and thyme along with my basil. I have no idea what to use it for. So I'm trying to be creative and come up with reasons to use fresh herbs. The thyme and rosemary are growing like crazy. Unfortunately my basil isn't doing as well.

So I made my own creation and I liked it.

Couscous with Tomato and Thyme

1/3 cup uncooked couscous
1/2 cup water
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
2 sprigs fresh thyme
10 cherry tomatoes-halved
1/2 lemon

Cook the couscous according to directions but add in the thyme leaves when cooking. After cooked, put in bowl along with cherry tomatoes and juice from the lemon. Add salt and pepper if needed. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on the couscous.

This can be served hot or cold.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Hodgepodge Is Back!

Joyce is back from an exciting trip to Portugal and hosting this week's questions again. How fun is that?

1. Since you weren't Hodgepodging last Wednesday, how did you pass the time?

Work, work, work. Nothing but work.

2. What's the first word that comes to mind when I say marriage? Yes, one word.


3. Summer officially arrives in the Northern hemishpere later this week. Does it feel like summer where you live? Describe your idea of the perfect summer day.

Yup. 90's which is actually quite a pleasant change from normal summer temps here. We've lucked out and the electric bill hasn't killed us yet.

4. "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability."(Sam Keen) Is laziness ever respectable? Do you have a lazy summer planned, or something semi-ambitious?

There is a point to laziness when on vacation. The do-nothing approach is recharging the batteries.

5. Past or present, who's your favorite television dad? Why is he a favorite? Is he anything like your own dad?

Bill Cosby on The Cosby Show. He was always loving to his kids.

6. June 18th is International Picnic Day...share a favorite picnic memory.

Not a big picnic person. Maybe I need to fix that.

7. The travel site Trip Advisor lists the top five islands in the world for 2014 as-Ambergris Caye in Belize Cayes, Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Marco Island Florida, and Lewis and Harris in The Outer Hebrides (Scotland). Have you been to any of these? Of those listed (and if price were not a factor) which would you most like to book for a holiday?

I haven't been to any of these. I would choose Bora Bora because it sounds so exotic.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of islands, I just bought plane tickets to go to Hawaii at the end of September. I have a work meeting in Honolulu and then we are going to go to Maui for a few days. I've never been and am looking forward to spending some time enjoying a difference kind of beauty.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Weekend I Moved Into the 21st Century

The big news this weekend...I got an iphone. Whitney needed a new phone before her trip and both hers and mine were eligible for upgrades. And now there is a new program that Dan could upgrade if we did a different program. We got a shared data plan and hopefully we won't (meaning me) go crazy and go over our limit.

Now to figure out how to use it. Thank goodness I already have an ipad and it is similar. I need to get a case for it. What an adventure since my old phone didn't need one. There are so many choices.

Guess it is time for me to learn some new tricks.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Fragments - Look Two Posts From Me This Week

Slowly I'm getting back to normal which means I can blog. Thankfully Friday means Mrs. 4444 hosts fragments and I can just freestyle. She had a nifty summer button on her website this week but I couldn't figure out the html for it so I stuck with the winter one.

Half-Past Kissin' Time

I went to a bridal shower last month for our volunteer coordinator at church. I didn't expect to get a wedding invitation which came this week. Do I have to buy another gift? I don't get invited to many weddings so not sure of the protocol.

Whitney is gearing up for her trip to New York City next week. Her roommate already got tickets for them to see Newsies but she's got her list of all the other shows she wants to try and see. There is something called student rush where students can go early in the morning and try and get discounted tickets. So she has planned to try and do that.

We tried two new recipes this week and both were failures. We made whole wheat blueberry pancakes and they just were too wheat tasting. And the other failure was a flatbread pizza that just didn't work. Makes me worried to try the other new recipe that we picked out.

We had some of the most beautiful flower arrangements for my boss's memorial service. So our office has smelled like a florist shop for a week. Sadly the flowers are gone. But the huge peace lily that was given to us sits in the front office and looks great.

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. Hope your day is great.

Monday, June 9, 2014

My Crazy Dog

We rescued our dog Abby from a shelter when she was probably about a year old. Since then, she is the best dog we've ever had. But she is getting old and really starting to act strange.

She's never liked water or to be near water. But lately when I am in the bathroom and the tub is filling up, she wants to come in and lay down.

A few months ago she decided I must not have paid attention to her so she needed to do something new. My chair is next to our fireplace. So she jumped onto the bricks and came up along side me. Scared me to death. No one was there to see it. But she did it a couple of weeks ago and I took pictures. And then she did something even stranger. She decided to lay on the hard bricks next to me.

I'm not sure what is going on in that mind of hers but she has turned strange.

Still love her no matter what though.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Hodgepodge-I Must Blog

Best way to get back to blogging is to answer Joyce's questions. 

1. I've read several posts and status updates recently describing end of year school field trips. Do you remember taking school field trips as a kid? Where did you go and do you recall a favorite? For any parents responding today, have you ever chaperoned a school field trip, and if so where?

The only end of year field trip I remember was in 5th grade when the safety patrol kids got to go to Wisconsin Dells overnight. I really didn't like that trip.

2. What's something you're tired of seeing online?

Ads that pop up and start playing videos and not being able how to turn off the sound. I really don't like that.

3. June is the month for roses. Which of the following expressions would you say has most recently applied to your life-'everything's coming up roses', 'there's no rose without a thorn', 'came out smelling like a rose', or 'wearing rose-colored glasses'?

Came out smelling like a rose because our office is heavily perfumed with rose smells right now. I'm going literal translation on that one.

4. When grilling outdoors do you prefer gas or charcoal? Who does the grilling at your house? What's the last thing you ate that was cooked on a grill?

We use the smoker more than the grill outside. I'm not sure the grill even works anymore. But we use gas. Last thing cooked outside was hamburgers and hot dogs for our spur-of-the-moment neighborhood cookout for Memorial Day.

5. Are you afraid of the dark?

No I'm not afraid of the dark.

6. Share a favorite song with a number in it's title.

Prince - 1999. I remember when the new century was starting, a local radio station played it for 24 hours straight.

7. "Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves."(C.G. Jung). Do you agree? Why or why not?

This question is way too deep for me to even comprehend today.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Whitney cooked dinner last night all by herself (after Dan cut up the chicken). She did an excellent job even with trying something new. One last summer to get her all the skills she will need to survive in an apartment on her own.