Happiness. Short-term, stupid, self-interest.

Jacko & D.C.

Meet Jacko and D.C.

From New Kittens

These two kittens came home with us from the local shelter in early September at about 2 months old, though Jacko is a bit older. Both are male and not related to each other, but they get along fine. Great, actually. They even love Angel, who still hangs out in her chair (and recently, accidentally, in the toilet); but Angel is taking a wait and see approach to the strangers. She is tolerant of them as long they are not too friendly; we have even seen them lick each other.

Jacko gets his name from Jack-o-lantern and his color coordinated friend gets his name from Dark Chocolate. Or, originally Dark Cat, but officially Dark Chocolate, and in reality… Dumb Cat. Well, he isn’t that dumb, but does seem to be a bit slow on the up take. Perhaps he is just learning how to play.

D.C. can actually stand for anything you want, just about all names are acceptable and appropriate. Drama Cat. Dozing Cat. Drenched Cat. DC is not all black, either. If you look closely, he has a striping that may become more prominent as he gets older.

They are already growing and soon we will be fighting them off the kitchen counter in addition to being attacked as you walk by the couch or move while sleeping. The whole family is already adding first hand cat stories to the many we love to tell. A matter of fact, DC is already down to 8 lives, and we caught it on video. Enjoy…


October 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment

Cake Season 2008 – The Lake Cake

The Lake Cake is my second cake of the season (I’ll show you the first when the time is right). This was for my mother-in-law who has been staying with us recently.

Each cake season gets easier, as my assistant continues to grow up and become more helpful and skillful. We make a good team. Maybe someday she will host her own show on the Food TV Network.

I had a plan in my head for this cake. I started off with two 13×9 sheet cakes. One of them, I forgot to grease the bottom of the pan.

I was so upset… but my wife said, “there are your mountains.”

I got over it and rolled with the punches. I think it actually turned out better this way.

My assistant…

We both took a shot at making a loon with royal icing. I couldn’t find any instructions or tips on piping a duck, so we both winged it. (ha ha) I think next time I would try to make it out of fondant.

And done.

May 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving, with a history lesson

thanksgiving-rockwell.jpgHappy Thanksgiving! I enjoy this holiday both for what it stands for and also for the festivities of the day. After all, the festivities pretty much consist of eating, drinking, and watching football – some of my most favorite things to do.

I was inspired to write this by one of my TV superstar heroes… Alton Brown. In case you’re not in the know, Alton is mind behind Good Eats, on the FoodTV Network. Yep, you read it right, FoodTV. (and I don’t even have cable!)

OK, truly, I don’t have any TV superstar heroes, but this guy puts together a great show. And, yes, it does happen to be about food; specifically, the science behind the cooking. He typically focuses on just one thing. For instance, an entire episode on brewing coffee, or making a baked potato. He also will come up with practical, though sometimes seemingly strange, ways to best accomplish a cooking technique, such as roasting beef in a clay pottery flower pot, or smoking salmon in a cardboard box. But, you can really learn from him, as now I can make that perfect baked spud and I’ve mastered gravy and other emulsions. – I even sound smart 😉

Recently, my lovely sister-in-law recorded for me the Good Eats: Romancing the Bird episode, which started off with a brief history lesson. You see, while almost all of us think of a great big turkey (like the one in the Norman Rockwell painting above), it didn’t start out that way.

The Pilgrims set apart a day to celebrate at Plymouth immediately after their first harvest, in 1621. At the time, this was not regarded as a Thanksgiving observance; harvest festivals were existing parts of English and Wampanoag tradition alike. It became an annual one-day observance later in the 1600’s, depending on the locale. The celebration was to give thanks to God at the close of the harvest season. *

But the food that was served at the time was food that was to be found in abundance. There were wild turkeys to be had, but more common was venison and fish, like cod or lobster. Also, do you think the pilgrims and indians had wine with Thanksgiving dinner…? No, beer was the beverage.

The Good Eats epsiode goes on anout brining a turkey before cooking. Basting is bad. It offers nothing to the flavor, and the constantly opening oven door slows cooking. No, the right answer is brine, and with the help of food scientist Shirley Corriher and her “Mystery Food Science Theatre 3000” slideshow, Alton explains how brine works. It’s all about osmosis.

Inside-the-bird stuffing is the next to fall to Alton’s debunking skills. It can dry the bird and provide a place for bacteria to grow. The right things for that cavity are aromatics like rosemary, apples, and onions. ** I’m convinced it is worth a try, so that’s what I’m doing right now… putting my turkey into brine. Read the whole recipe for yourself.

So, I will wake up early, start a fire in the fireplace, put on the parade for the kids, keep cooking, enjoy a wonderful meal, share my beer, watch some football, and just hang out with the family. Once, again, Happy Thanksgiving.

*via Wiki, ** via tv.com

November 23, 2006 Posted by | Family, Food & Drink, Life in general, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rutgers Perfect 9-0

Rutgers Scarlet Knights are 9-0 for the first time in 30 years, recently beating 3rd ranked Louisville. Being a Jersey boy, I just think that’s pretty cool. They face Cincinnati this Saturday, Nov 18th, at 7:45 PM.


November 14, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


There is nothing satisfying about watching the Dallas Cowboys play like a bunch of high school kids and getting utterly destroyed by the New York Giants; except maybe this…

New York Giants
Player Pos. Date Notes Status Injury
Osi Umenyiora DE 10/24/2006 is questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay Questionable hip
Matt Lentz OG 08/30/2006 is on the injured list IR elbow
LaVar Arrington LB 10/24/2006 is expected to miss the remainder of the season Out leg
Jason Bell S 10/24/2006 is questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay Questionable concussion
Carlos Emmons LB 10/24/2006 is questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay Questionable pectoral
Sinorice Moss WR 10/24/2006 is questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay Questionable quadricep
Derrick Ward RB 10/24/2006 is questionable for Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay Questionable foot
Junior Ioane DT 08/30/2006 is on the reserve/did not report list IR undisclosed
Lewis Kelly OG 08/07/2006 is on the physically unable to perform list PUP foot
Matt Lentz OG 08/30/2006 is on the injured list IR elbow
Ryan Grant RB 08/30/2006 is on the injured list IR hand/wrist
E.J. Underwood CB 08/30/2006 is on the injured list IR shoulder

October 25, 2006 Posted by | Sports, Uncategorized | 3 Comments