Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fall Day Menu

Chris & I had our "1st Hurst Fall Day" this weekend, capped on Sat night with the most delish dinner ever. We had punkin soup, feta-stuffed chicken breasts, and streusel apple pie (plus a Hurst Hot Toddy).

Click here for Chris' blog with pictures.  Following are the recipes I used:

Punkin Soup:
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
1-1.5 cans low-sodium chicken broth (depending upon how creamy you want it)
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg
pinch black pepper
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 c sauted chopped onion (optional)
pinch pumpkin pie spices (optional)

Combine broth, pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, butter; stir well.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 mins, stirring occasionally.  Stir in whipping cream and heat throughout, but DO NOT BOIL.  Serve immediately.

*We don't like onions, so I didn't use that.  Not sure how it would change the taste.  If you use onions, you would first combine 1/2 the broth, butter, and onion.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 mins.  Then, use mixer to mix it until smooth.  Follow rest of recipe.

Feta-stuffed Chicken Breasts:
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 c crumbled feta cheese
2 tbsp cream cheese
some shakes of parsley
some shakes of black pepper
olive oil to cook in

Using a sharp knife, butterfly (or cut a pocket horizontally from one side of the chicken to another without coming through on the other side) chicken.  In separate bowl, mix feta cheese, cream cheese, parsley, pepper; mix well with a spoon.  Spoon mixture into each breast.  Secure openings with 2-3 wooden toothpicks (optional).  Cook in non-stick skillet with hot olive oil over low-medium heat for 12-14 mins.  Flip halfway through.  If browning too quickly, reduce heat.  Chicken should be tender and not pink.

Streusel Apple Pie:
1 nine-inch pie shell
1 egg white, beaten
5 c apples (~3 lbs), cored, peeled, sliced; Golden Delicious or preference
2/3 c white sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp butter
3/4 c flour
1/2 c packed brown sugar
3/4 c oats
1/2 c butter

Brush beaten egg over unbaked pie crust.  Bake @ 425 for 5 minutes.  Place apples in large bowl.  In separate bowl, mix 2 tbsp flour, white sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nutmeg.  Mix well then toss until apples are evenly coated.  Place apple mixture into pie shell and dot with 2 tbsp chopped butter.  Lightly cover with sheet of aluminum foil but do not enclose.  Bake @ 425 for 10 minutes.  While baking, in separate bowl, mix 3/4 c flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, brown sugar, and oats.  Mix thoroughly then cut in 1/2 c butter until mixture is crumbly.  Remove filling from oven and cover with topping.  Return to oven, reduce heat to 375 and bake 30-35 mins (or until browned), loosely covered with aluminum foil.

Hurst Hot Toddy:
1 oz spiced rum
5 oz apple cider
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

warm all ingredients over stove.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

9 19 23 39 41

Found this list of observations via facebook.  Interesting...what are your top 5?  

1-I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

2-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

4-I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

5-Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the "people you may know" feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?

6-Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

7-There is a great need for a sarcasm font.

8-Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it.

9-I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

10-How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

11- I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

12- A recent study has shown that playing drinking games contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

13- Was learning cursive really necessary?

14- Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

15- I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

16- My brother's Municipal League baseball team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, "Cuz we beat you, and you hate us." Classy, bro.

17- Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

18- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

19- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a idiot from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

20-What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

21- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

22- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

23- Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

24- I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

25-Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

26- I would like to officially coin the phrase 'catching the swine flu' to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an ugly woman. Example: "Dave caught the swine flu last night."

27-I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

28- Bad decisions make good stories

29-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

30-You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

31-There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

32- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

33-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

34-Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles.. .

35- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

36-Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

37-It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

38-I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

39-Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

40-Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

41-I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

42-I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

43-I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

44-The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

my Word

Instead of the usual pleasantries of "I was busy" and "wow it's been forever," I am going to jump into what has been rolling around in my noggin as of late.  Thinking about it too much might make the urge to blog go away...

As I lay reading "Eat, Pray, Love" this afternoon, I came across a notion explained ingeniously by Elizabeth Gilbert (the author).  She explains that every city has its own word, a word that if you were to peek into the minds of its citizens, would be on the minds of most.  She lists SEX as Rome's word, POWER as the Vatican's, and SUCCEED as LA's.

Invariably, the conversation shifts from the words of cities to the words of people.  She wonders aloud about her journey and restlessly decides upon SEEK as her word.

Of course, this got me to thinking about my own word.  It couldn't be TEACH anymore, it couldn't be CHILDREN (lordy be, not yet), it couldn't even be SPORT.  My word is:


So much of my life is consumed by a thirst for knowledge.

I want to LEARN how to be a wife.
I want to LEARN how to live out-of-state for the first time.
I want to LEARN how to cook for two.
I want to LEARN what the Holocaust was about, what denotes a republic, and about the background of Jerry Jones (all of my Wikipedia searches from today).
I want to LEARN about my surroundings.
I want to LEARN why soldiers always nod at civilians.
I want to LEARN about educational philosophy and technology.
I want to LEARN about myself as a communicator.

I want to LEARN.
I must LEARN to go forward.

What is your word?

Friday, April 3, 2009


i have mono.  zzzzz.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

at least it wasn't for patterson.

another one bites the dust.
keppy...we loved thee.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

para mi amor

if i was a poet, this would be my sonnet.  

i am thinking it's a sign
that the freckles in our eyes
are mirror images
and when we kiss they're perfectly aligned

and i have to speculate
that God himself did make
us into corresponding shapes
like puzzle pieces from the clay

and, true, it may seem like a stretch
but it's thoughts like this that catch
my troubled head when you're away
and i am missing you

when you're out there on the road
for several wks of shows
and when you scan the radio
i hope this song will guide you home

they will see us waving 
from such great heights
come down now
they'll say

everything looks perfect 
from far away 
come down now
but we'll stay


Big Bird Says brings me back

it reminds me of: my mom's voice. reading it before bed. the end "now YOU tell ME what to do".

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


so i was catching up on some things on my DVR tonight and i watched two episodes of jon&kate+8 back to back.  i found this show way back in the early days b/c i am one of those suckers that LOVES(D) to watch the stories of multiple birth families.

in the early days, i enjoyed watching the tribulations of caring for 6 infants day in and day out.  seeing all of the little things it took and how freaking adorable the kids were.  i loved figuring out their personalities from a wee age.

i am sad to say that this show has jumped the shark.  after watching the two episodes (one old and one new), i finally figured out what had been bothering me about this show of late.  it's the lack of interaction.  in the old episodes, the family would do things together, interact with people outside the immediate family, play.  jon and kate would giggle together about things the kids had done.  if you look at the most recent episodes, there is none of that.  no real interactions, no giggles.  just lots of eyerolling, screaming, and passive/aggressiveness.

i will NOT get up on a high-horse about the ethics of this family.  it's really none of my business.  but it is sad to see such a loving family become one that spends most days independent of each other.

could it be editing?  sure.

but i, for one, will only stick to old episodes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

take me out w/ the crowd

best quote ever 

what do gay bears and the world series have in common?

no cubs.

41 days til opening day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

takin' care of bizzzness

this article details what the arizona diamondbacks (baseball organization, ami) are doing to cope with the recession.  basically, they are going back to basics with increased customer service.  while this seems refreshing in today's times, i think customer service is the hallmark of any business.

some of the establishments which i love are the ones that make me feel important for spending the benjamins there.  it seems so novel that a business would actually go out of its way to figure out what its customers want.

here are my top 4 things to keep my business:
  1. don't charge too much for drinks -- alch or otherwise
  2. have staff on tap just to answer questions on the floor
  4. access ease (if i have to go to hamburg, i will probably be in a bad mood when i get there)
what are your rules to keep your business?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

as seen on tv


this is the funniest thing i have ever seen.

it looks like gumby.

how have i never heard of this before?

this is your [electorate]...

can you name this affable politician from his yearbook photo?
visit this site for more youngish pics of those in charge of the nation.
some of these people are unrecognizable!

ps-it's the current veep.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the era*

as many sports nuts and non-fans alike know, this weekend brought about one of the most surprising disclosures of the era*.  a. rodriguez, formerly of t-ball players' dreams, of latino players' fandom, and of the general savior label, admitted to steroid usage.  for at least three years.  

now, i am a baseball nut.  i watched the congres
sional hearings 4 years ago.  i read buster olney, peter gammons, and howard bryant on a regular basis.  (anyone else?  no?  just me...)

but this one caught me by surprise.  this one was a doozy.

here is my PED (performance-enhancing drug) manifesto:
  • you are a cheater
  • you are a liar
  • ALL of your records deserve to be wiped out
  • hank aaron should chew you out
  • you should be embarrassed of yourself because you hurt your family and you make every one else** look bad
  • you should NEVER ever get into the hall of fame
  • you are worse than corey patterson (yes, yes, i said it)
  • ALL names of positive tests should be released.  if not, it would be like the police searching random homes, having a list of drug dens, saying to the public "hey, we have this list of really crappy people", and then not releasing it.  as dave ramsey says, if you have a wound, don't let it fester.  don't do things to make it bigger.  take off the bandage, look at it, and start helping yourself feel better.
the worst part about a. rodriguez is that he stood idly by while people labeled him baseball's "savior" and was OKAY with deceiving everyone.  get a life, seriously.  what would your kindergarten teacher think?!

i will NOT call you a-fraud, a-roid, or a-rod.  as i tell my students at school, it's not cute OR funny.  so stop it.

you deserve small balls, a high voice, and a completely tarnished name forever.  cheat.

*you do not even deserve an asterisk
**i love you sean casey and all other clean people***
***please let griffey be clean.  i don't know it i could take it.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


i am a grammar, spelling, and punctuation stickler.  i cannot stand it when people use your & you're wrong...or its & it's.  

one of my favorite blogs is the "The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks" because the blogger highlights how important proper procedure is.  if you are a stickler, another great  (grate?) find is the book Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

I stumbled upon the online test linked below.  Suffice it to say, I was branded an "English Genius."

How about you?
How important are spelling, grammar, and punctuation to you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

finish this sentence...

there is nothing better than....

*listening to UK basketball & reds baseball on the radio
*looking down at my finger and realizing i'm getting married (it hits me really hard sometimes)
*tomato soup with milk
*sitting in a warm house with your family
*the "light bulb" moment from kids while i am teaching
*electric blankets
*being in a long-distance w/ all this technology

Monday, January 5, 2009

complete this sentence

in 2009, i want to...

(thanks to nicoleantoinette for the blog topic)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

sunny days, keeping the clouds away.

when i was little, the people on sesame street were my friends.  i seriously loved mr. hooper, herry monster, guy smiley, and ernie.  my favorite, though, was big bird.  he just seemed like such a nice friend to have.  plus, i knew he could put the (scary huge) snuffy in his place.

eric and i used to play the sesame street game for the original nintendo ALL THE TIME.

i found this video while trolling them internets.  it is called "ernie gets crunk."  lol.

ok, ok. here is a real clip from the show. i LOVED watching these two.  i remember thinking linoleum was the coolest word ever.  how do i still remember the words to this song after 20 years?!

as an educator, this is one of the few shows that i would allow my students to watch.  it actually uses proven methods for literacy aquisition.  how else would you ever get a kid interested in the word linoleum.  long live sesame street (minus elmo).

Thursday, January 1, 2009

the year

best things about 08:
  • early jan: adopting lilah the cat
  • feb 16: getting engaged to my best friend
  • august: the olympics
  • late august: moving downtown
  • dec 24: new computer
  • may: not getting pink-slipped (even though i was low man on the totem pole)
  • fall: BLC started
  • november: campaign season finally over
  • july: seeing jack johnson in concert (one of the things on my life's to-do list)
  • june: riding the updated "it's a small world" @ disney world

i'm sure i will think of more things.  and yes, i realize this list isn't in chronological order and it's driving me crazy.  but i'm trying to not let it bother me....much.

7 things

i was tagged by my pal, jen, to do a "7 things" blog that tells 7 things people might not know about me.  
  1. i love making lists.  of everything.  seriously, look back through my blog and see how many bulleted lists i made.  i also really need to have the items in a list in ABC order.

  2. i have an order for grocery shopping, which includes an order for how things go up on the conveyor belt.  it actually makes my life easier.  (eg: all cold things go first, so they will have more time in the bag so they won't spoil)
  3. i have gone to my church for its entire life.  i know many people who have gone to the same church for their whole life, but not many who have gone to a church for the church's whole life.
  4. i think the world's greatest invention is the internet.
  5. i actually like ryan seacrest (not romantically, but the work that he does).
  6. i own no orange clothes.
  7. 97% of the music i listen to is from male artists.
i tag the following people:

"08" (2008 in quotes)

here is espn's absurd sports quotes from 08.  a few of my favorites:

25. "Then why are you covering the [Washington] Nationals?"

Speaker: Presidential candidate Ralph Nader
Context: Nader to The Washington Post, after the paper decided not to cover his presidential bid because he had no chance of winning.
Absurd because: Come to think of it, this quote makes perfect sense.
Numerical score: 0

(blogger's note: agreed.  and the nationals are actually just made up of the reds' sloppy 2nds)

6. "I think they do it to look good in the lobby in their three-piece suit."

Speaker: Roger Clemens
Context: The Rocket explaining why athletes use performance-enhancing drugs in the first place.
Absurd because: Clemens wore a two-piece suit to subsequent Capitol Hill steroids hearings ... thereby proving his innocence!
Numerical score: 90

(blogger's note: you are a ridiculous person.  my kindergarteners have more common sense than you do.  you are a disgrace to baseball...not only b/c you broke the rules, but b/c you thought you were ABOVE the rules.  i wish you would get pulled over for speeding and land in jail.  plus, you are greasy.  that is all.)

baseball 08--strange but true

here is a column from one of my favorite baseball writers (jayson stark).  he writes about all of the strange things that happened during the 08 baseball season.  this includes a game that took 4 months to play.

the most interesting detail involves ken griffey jr.  on april 28th, he was still with the reds.  also on that day, the white sox (his future and current team) started a game that wasn't finished for several months (due to weather and scheduling).  griffey was traded during the 4 month lull.  he ended up playing for the white sox to finish out the game, but since the game had started on april 28th, it went in the books as an april 28th game.  therefore, according to the stats, he played games for two different teams on the same day.  

check out what espn had to do to make the computer accept this.

95 days til opening day :)