April 30

Well.

I’m up.

I’m  showered.

I’m dressed.

And I have made friends with the Random Number Generator.

And my friend says that…

Lori Says:
Wednesday,April 29, 2009 at 11:42 am e

Springtime Collection! Love the pretty box! I have a See’s Store right around the corner from house so I could go spend that gift certificate lickety-split!

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Has won the gift certificate.

Congratulations.

Email me with your address so that See’s can mail you your gift certificate.

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April 29

Hey Internet!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching.

Fast.

And Internet, I’m here to help in the form of a give-a-way.

Wanna see what your playing for?

A $25 gift certificate to See’s Chocolates.

See’s is graciously giving away 1 $25 gift certificate to be shipped to your door, or your mother’s door, or any other (**waving her hands furiously…me! me! me!) door that you wish to have it shipped to just in time for Mother’s Day.

How do you enter?

Take a look —–> here at See’s Mother’s Day gift page or browse any of their other wonderful pages and come back and tell me what you would order for you, or your mother or any one ( **waving her hands furiously…me! me! me!) else you can think of.

One entry per person.

Contest will end at 8pm Pacific time.


Winner will be chosen 8am tomorrow morning after I have had a chance to get up, shower, dress, and make friends with the Random Number Generator.


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April 28

All email issues were resolved and the person for the contest was able to get a hold of me last night.

Tomorrow will be the contest.

Wanna know what your playin’ for?

(I’ve been watching way to much Survivor)

Come back tomorrow and find out.

You will be very glad you did.

$25 glad.

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Chocolate…how do I love thee.

Let me count the ways. **

No…wait.

I don’t think I can count that high.

What I can count on is Dorie taking chocolate to the next level and beyond.

You take a bit of chocolate, eggs, sugar, milk, corn starch, and a wee bit of hazelnut coffee creamer( ½ c.).

Add some butter….oh…Internet.

Even my chocolate tolerating Superman is enamored.

I know…I know…how in the world could a Chocolatechic like me marry a man who tolerates chocolate?

It is a secret diabolical plan.

muahahahahahah

He doesn’t bother my stash.

Then, if you put that silky custard into a fabulous chocolate tart crust…

You will be tempted to write sonnets about chocolate too.


Thank you Kim of Scrumptious Photography for picking out this fabulous Chocolate Cream Tart for me to make, and me to eat, and me to have to share with Superman….sigh…

I am going to have to rethink this diabolical plan if we keep having such fabulous chocolate recipes.

**My apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.   I seriously doubt she meant for her beloved poetry to be used in such a way.

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April 27

April 27?!?!?!?

Wasn’t just yesterday 2008?

Time?   Where have you gone???

Every Spring, I bring this outside with me when I sit on the front porch.

I do this to remind and warn all insects of the Pothole Treaty of 2002.

This treaty states that insects may fly about freely, however, if they invade my air space they will be immediately. shot. down.!

Chocolatechic~3.

Insects~0

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If you have come for the give away, well…about that.

The promoter hasn’t gotten back with me, so I can’t tell you what it is yet.

I am so sorry.   I was so excited and my fingers got ahead of my email.

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April 25

Oh, Internet.

It is important that you feel some pity for Superman today.

We are getting ready to do some major yard work/gardening today….and by we I mean Superman.

Pictures later…and by later, I mean not today.

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April 25

Hey Internet!

It is Friday, and I slept in again, and I am nosy!

I want to know the title of the current book you are reading.

If your not reading anything….why?

PS.   Monday I will be holding another sponsored give away.   Come back then and try to win.

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April 23

I can’t remember the first time that I first heard someone speaking French, but I do remember how enthralled I was at the beauty of the language.

Then in high school when I had to pick a foreign language, I didn’t hesitate a second and picked French.

Because Internet, I was deluded in thinking that men would drop at my feet when they heard me speaking French.

I’ll let you guess how that one worked out for me.

The French haven’t just given us a beautiful language to listen to.

They have given us perfume.

Fashion.

Art.

The Statue of Liberty.

And food.

What the French do to food is almost magical!

I mean they can take some homely veggies and turn it into a ratatouille or a cassoulet.

We Americans would just pop those veggies in the microwave and call it good.

We will smoosh some ham and cheese between two slices of bread, and call it lunch.

Not the French.

They will toast the bread and smear on some mustard.

Layer some  ham on top.

Some Gruyere or in my case poor man’s Gruyere swiss.

I would have stopped there,  plated it up and thought I’d have  done a miracle for the lowly ham and cheese.

But the French…oh no!

They add some cheesey white sauce.

And even more cheese.

And broil it.

Then they give it a fanch schmancy name.

Croque Monsieur.

Me??  I call it out of this world fabulous.

Superman!   Well, he just fell at my feet in gratefulness.

Finally!   After all these years.

Would you like to wow your man?  and only take about 20 minutes to do so?

Make him this lowly ham and cheese sandwich that Kathy picked for us BB’s to do today.

Croque Monsieur

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces Gruyere, grated (5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 16 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed
  • Dijon mustard
  • 8 ounces baked Virginia ham, sliced but not paper thin

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan and add the flour all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes. Slowly pour the hot milk into the butter–flour mixture and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thickened. Off the heat add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, 1/2 cup grated Gruyere, and the Parmesan and set aside.

To toast the bread, place the slices on 2 baking sheets and bake for 5 minutes. Turn each slice and bake for another 2 minutes, until toasted.

Lightly brush half the toasted breads with mustard, add a slice of ham to each, and sprinkle with half the remaining Gruyere. Top with another piece of toasted bread. Slather the tops with the cheese sauce, sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere, and bake the sandwiches for 5 minutes. Turn on the broiler and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve hot.

Strew pillows on the floor to catch your man.

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April 22

I want to talk about frugality today.

Boring, I realize, but since 70% of the the gene’s in my body scream frugality that is mostly who I am.

Frugal.

Boring.

We won’t talk about the other 30% of the genes that was born a Princess, and at times drowns out the frugality and makes me want large diamonds, a professional Viking stove, a Nikon 300D, and some new lens’s, pounds of fabulous Guittard, Valhrona, Scharfenburger, and Belcolade chocolates, expensive perfumes, a jacuzzi on my back deck, and a filled walk in closet the size of my bathroom.

Welcome to my kind of crazy.

Americans are spoiled.

I am spoiled.

I think of the pictures I saw Sunday of some Somalian refugees that live in wall less shacks, sleep on the ground and are eating boiled leaves because they have nothing else.

Just laying in my king size bed with 1 pillow and 4 blankets I am richer than they.

Yes, we are spoiled.

Frugality = effort and we as Americans don’t want to do ‘effort’ anymore.

Conserving water takes time and effort, but I save over 300 gallons of water a month just by flushing with gray water.   That 300 gallons saves us $20+  a month or $240+ a year.

Gardening takes time and effort, but it provides those wonderful ‘organic’ veggies for my girl and saves us $200+ a year.

Cooking supper takes time and effort, but in doing so, I don’t have to eat all those extra fast food calories, and it doesn’t take long if you plan…but the planning…it takes the effort.

Grocery shopping to find deals takes time and effort, but the money I save by doing this is so much cheaper than eating out…even on the dollar menu.   By shopping at Aldi, and using coupons at Stuffmart,  I spend on average $350-400  a month on groceries and household stuff.

Hanging laundry on the line takes time and effort, but by doing that I save $20+ a month  or $240 a year on my electric bill aaaannd my clothes don’t wear out as fast which = less clothes shopping, much to the dismay of the girl and my secret desire to convert my loo into a walk-in closet.

There are other things that I do that some (mom) might think is a bit radical but the savings…oh!   it adds up.

Just in these few ways I can save almost $1,000+ a year.

Could I do more?   of course I could, but these things that bring our home the biggest bang for our buck…and my Diva might overthrow my Frugal and upset the delicate balance in my brain.

What could you do with that extra money?

Is a $1,000+ a year worth a  little bit of effort?

I wonder how much chocolate $1,000+ could buy…

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April 21

When I was very little, the parents would take Sister and I to Duff’s Smorgasbord.

Duff’s was an all you can eat buffet in Springfield, Ohio.

Now the only place it exists is in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

I remember standing in front of the carousel waiting for the food to come around, wishing that it would go faster  so I could get my fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and rolls snarfed down so I could hurry up to the dessert bar.

‘Cause Internet, even at the tender age of 8, I knew where the good stuff was.

Sister was smarter than I.

She filled her plate with only one thing.

Baked beans.

That meant she stood in line for less time, and made it to the dessert bar much faster!

I remember dad going up with me to get dessert and me asking him what that ‘stuff’ was, because I wanted to make sure that I got all the best Duff’s had to offer.

“That’s bread pudding, honey”,  and with those words the back of my throat closed. off.

Bread pudding was instantly dead to me.

Ever since then whenever I have gone to a buffet, there is almost always bread pudding on the dessert bar, and it always looks the same.

Gloppy, gooey, and gross.

Then last year, I watched my BFF Paula Deen make a Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding with Butter Rum sauce and I wondered how in the world could you go wrong with donuts, butter and rum.

Then when Lauren of Upper East Side Chronicle picked Chocolate Bread Pudding I swallowed hard.

I thought maybe if I used donuts, and used lots of chocolate it might not be so bad.

It was reported that there was an excessive amount of liquid to bread ratio, so I halved the liquid portion but used the entire 6 oz. of chocolate.

I also didn’t add raisins, because the only way raisins should be eaten are by the handfuls mixed with peanuts and m&m’s!

It smelled heavenly baking.

After it cooled, I sampled a wee bite like my Paula does.

But Internet, the eyes…they did not cross in ecstasy…the mouth didn’t say “mmmm…so good!” and there was no going back for a second bite.

Maybe if I make a chocolate butter rum sauce…

If you heart bread pudding, then you will like this version.   Go check out Lauren’s blog.   She has the recipe.

Me?   I’ll be in the kitchen with some butter, some chocolate and some rum.

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April 20

Some Monday randomness.

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  • It is raining, and it is supposed to rain till Thursday.   I’ll be purchasing some Ark blueprints on Amazon soon.

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  • I just entered a contest to win a signed Paula Deen cookbook over on Bakerella’s blog.   I can’t decide whether or not to give you her link, as you all will be so disappointed when I win anyway….but if you go —> here, you can enter yourself.   Just remember, I’m gonna win.

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  • I need a hair cut.   My hair refuses to poof anymore.    It is a sad, sad, sad situation.

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  • This weekend, Superman mowed the yard much to the excitement of the entire neighborhood.   I was afraid I’d have to get a goat or something if he waited any longer.    I also pruned my Rose of Sharron hedges, much to the excitement of Superman.

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  • Superman also cleaned out underneath the back deck.   Now we only look  half way like the Beverly Hillbilly’s.

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  • Tonight the girl and I are going to watch the Amazing Race that I DVR’d.   I sure hope that Luke and Margie didn’t come in last.

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  • Lastly, I don’t want to do my mountain of laundry, but if I don’t do something soon, the only thing left we will have is our birthday suits.   Mine is getting a bit old and wrinkled….not to mention slightly stretched out of shape.   Yep…I probably ought to do some laundry.

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April 18

The cats.

They haven’t gotten much blog time, so today I am  going to remedying that.

This cat will lay anywhere on anything.

Sometimes she will even drag stuff around so that she can have a place to lay.

Mostly she just begs me to pick her up so she can lay on me.

See that outstretched paw?

How can I say no to that face?

The other cat… I’m not happy with her, so she doesn’t get any blog time.

So there!

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April 17

It’s Friday Internet, and I am nosy.

When you watcha  movie at home, do you snack?

If you do, what do you generally snack on?


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Now for our winners of Wednesday’s Country Bob’s give-a-way.

This means that kikkibibi and DLAOKC have won.

Please email me with your addresses and we will get them to you.

There is a little “email me” button over on the side.

Congratulations!

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April 15

When I married Superman over 17 years ago, I had no idea he had a secret obsession.

My first clue was about 6 months or so after we got married and he began to go to the grocery with me.

He would always go down the condiment isle and stand in front of the barbecue sauce, suggesting a new one, a different one, a ‘tastier’ one.

I would always say “Honey, we still have some at home.”

He would pout, and I would purchase sauce.

We have 11 different kinds of sauces in the fridge at the moment.   Mustard barbecue sauce, apple butter barbecue sauce, sweet sauce, hot sauce, steak sauce, Oh…and lets not forget the Sriracha sauce that only people that have already burnt off their taste buds could eat.

Then, Superman found a sauce that  I was interested in.

Country Bob’s.

I fell in love with this sauce, and in the 15 years since, our fridge has never been without it.

This stuff is fantastic!   It isn’t sticky sweet, it isn’t overpoweringly bold, and it isn’t understated either.

It is perfect!

But you know what is the best thing for me about this is?

About 2 years after I had been gobbling up this wonderful stuff, I finally read the label, and saw this little gem.   It made this sauce even better for me.

So, when Country Bob’s got a hold of me and asked if I’d be willing to make something with their sauce, I jumped at the chance, ’cause Internet, they sent me 2…TWO… bottles of this deliciousness.

I have put this stuff in everything.   Even soup.

Let me show you what I did this time.

First I took a pound of smoked sausage and chopped it into wee slices.

Then I took about ¾ a cup of Country Bobs.

And about ¾ a cup of maple syrup.

Pour it all into a skillet over medium high heat, and bring to a boil.

Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sausage is heated through.

This made a lot of sauce, so you could put 2 pounds of sausage into the pot, and still have plenty of sauce.

You can also make this in the crock pot.   Just dump it all in there and heat for about 2 hours.

This would make a great appetizer, or you could serve this over rice, noodles, or mashed potatoes…or you could just eat it with a spoon.

Now for what Applie has been waiting for.

The contest.

Country Bob’s is  graciously allowing me to give away 2, 2 bottle prizes.

To enter, leave a comment letting me know how you would use this sauce if you had it in your fridge right now.

You have till Thursday at 8pm Eastern time to enter.   One entry per person please.

Winners will be announced Friday morning after the nosy question.

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April 14

Today’s TWD recipe that Holly from Phe/MOM/enon picked is a 15-minute Magic: Chocolate Amaretti Torte.

Chocolate.

15 minutes.

Magic.

What could go wrong?

Well…..

First I went to stores trying to find Amaretti cookies.

Amaretti cookies are a specialty item don’tcha’ know, and Pothole doesn’t carry ‘specialty items’.

Harumph!

So I read the Q&A’s on this cookie, and interestingly there are other parts of the country that don’t carry ‘specialty items’, or they are just so ‘special’ that they cost an arm AND a leg, so a recipe was found for these wonderful cookies.

I read the recipe and saw that I needed almond paste.

I don’t have any almond paste in my pantry.

So I went to speak to The Budget.

I asked The Budget if I could please… please… Pretty Please get me some almond paste for these wonderful cookies so that I could make this fabulous CHOCOLATE torte.

Obviously I haven’t had to use my sad, sorry, pouty face… that I perfected in my teen years… in quite some time, because  The Budget laughed in my face and said “Chickypoo!  Haven’t you heard of The E. con. O. meeee?

I admitted that I had, but it was just one wee little bit of almond paste.

The Budget firmly shook its head no, and I stomped my foot.

That, Internet,  is why I wasn’t able to make a fabulous 15-minute Chocolate Ameretti Torte.

Darn that old budget.

Darn the  e. con. o. mee!

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PS.  Don’t forget that I am having a give-a-way tomorrow.   An actual sponsored give-a-way.  Come back tomorrow to enter.

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April 13

When I was a little girl, way back in the dark ages according to the chips,  Grams would buy Sister and I Easter outfits.

I  don’t remember what my outfits looked like, but I do remember is the brand new patent leather Mary Janes.   I remember wearing them out of the store, and prancing around in them thinking that absolutely everyone that looked at me could just tell that I had on new shoes, and those shoes made me look like a Princess.

I loved hearing them clip clop on the mall’s tiled floor and thinking that I sounded just like  mom when she wore her high heels and OH! MY! didn’t I sound all grown up!

This year, like most every year, mom purchased the most adorable dress for the girl.

So in time honored tradition, I drug the girl outside, made her stand beside a vehicle so I could take her picture.

Superman…poor guy….no, he isn’t on drugs, and yes! he needs a hair cut.

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April 11

Hey Internet!

Today is Superman and my Anniversary.

We are going to celebrate by going over to the parents and having Easter dinner, because tomorrow on actual Easter the family will be scattered to the four winds.

Hope you have a great day.

I certainly will.

I’ll be eating ham and some sort of potato, and you just can’t go wrong with pig and potato.

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