Tuesday, October 14, 2014

String [cheese] Theory

I love pasta. If I had to pick my favorite pasta dish it would be this one. It has all of my favorite things; creamy sauce, shrimp, tomatoes, onion, garlic…

Or it might be this one, creamy orzo. When I make it, I add smoked sausage. Oh yum! The peas put it over the top.

Maybe I should categorize my list of pasta favorites.

Lasagna: from Paula Deen. Although my version is from Shannon and we've both modified it.

Fresh Rollatini: I had this once at a restaurant (and had no idea what it was before that), came home and googled it. I found this recipe which was pretty close to what I remembered from the restaurant.

Alfredo: This one is so simple and pure. I have other alfredo recipes that are thick and filling and delicious.

Then there's this next one, also a pasta dish that I had no idea what it was until I saw it made on tv. Capellini al Forno. It's like a pasta pie. Don't make it for just two people though. Make it for a group of four or six.

Okay, so what do all of these pasta dishes have in common? If you're lactose intolerant, it's your enemy.


Cheesy Mozzarella, cheesy Parmesan, cheesy Romano, cheesy cheese.

Cheese which turns into a gooey mess the instant you put it into a sink full of hot, soapy water.

That's not actually my theory. It's fact.

But I love cheese, so I'm going to keep making pasta. And I'll keep washing dishes. And I'll keep having gooey messes.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

birds of a feather

Two weeks ago, we went to a soccer game for one of our college students. As we were leaving, a large bird landed on a light pole. Bill and I guessed it was some kind of hawk. We looked it up when we got home and here's what we found.

I'm just now getting around to writing about it.

It was very large, but very pretty.

I was concerned it was checking us out. It was probably attracted to the silver aluminum pan that I had made krispy rice treats in and had given to Maria. It flew off without attacking us or the treats.

I don't think Atticus could have caught this bird. I think it would have been the other way around.

While I'm talking about animals, that's been the suggestion for our house name, Animal House. We live on College, the movie was about college. Atticus brings home animals (or like the opossum, they wander into our yard/onto our deck), the movie is named for "animals". I happen to like Animal from the Muppets, so it fits there too.

There was only one vote and it was for the name. I guess we'll name our house Animal House. We should start using frequently. We'll see if it catches on!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall at the Gardens

I went to Meijer Gardens yesterday. I haven't been there since August and wanted some good autumn photos. What better place to take them?!

Here's a sneak peek at the Japanese Garden, set to open June 2015.

 Inside and out they are showcasing mums. However, outside they haven't fully bloomed, so here's a good photo of the indoor display.

 Here's the Michigan farm.

 This statue is by the farmhouse. 

 I like the palette of colors and the reflection in the pond.

 That's the statue of Eve by Rodin. I like how she's framed by the trees.

 This is inside the gallery, the showcase for ArtPrize at the Gardens. This piece is part of the wall.

 Here's a different angle to help you understand it. 

These bricks are made from clothes, pressed into the shape of a brick. They were then stacked to look like a house that had been damaged. You can read the artist's statement here. I hope you'll take time to read it, she makes a fascinating statement.

I hope you enjoyed my visit. (And photos! I know, I'm shocked too!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

In A Nutshell

Have you ever thought about the nuts we eat and the nuts we don't? I thought of this on a recent walk as squirrels ran across my path. One of the squirrels happened to have an acorn in its mouth.

I thought, they eat acorns, why don't we?

We eat pecans and walnuts. Then there are hazelnuts and chestnuts. Both are good over an open fire, only one has a song about it.

We don't eat actual Buckeyes because they're poisonous, but we make candy to look like them.

There are macadamia nuts, making the perfect mate to white chocolate chips. Macadamias also make the most expensive cookie to bake.

There's the exotic Brazil nut.

We can't just limit the list, we must include the nut of cashew.

I could keep going but not without cheating because I'm running out of nuts.

According to Wikipedia, there are forty-two.

No, they are not all for human consumption. It is a very fascinating list. If you're a nerd. Or someone who's blogging ridiculous amounts and needs a good topic and when a squirrel runs in front of them it gives them the idea of writing about nuts.

I'm glad I got that off my chest… nut.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Odyssey

Homer's Odyssey is epic.

We don't really come across a journey like that in our everyday lives, and if you happen to come across Medusa it would probably be all over the media.

Our move from NJ to GR was somewhat of an odyssey, it certainly was epic.

Then there was my trip to the credit union Monday.

Let me premise this story by stating for the record that Bill does not have direct deposit.

I know, I know.

Let's move on or we'll get stuck in the twentieth century.

This means one of us has to take a physical paycheck to the credit union. It is usually me. This is not a big deal until I point out that our nearest credit union location (the c.u. that we belong to anyway) is in Holland. Which is a solid forty minute drive from our home.

Fortunately, credit unions have co-ops. We can make a deposit into one of several ATMs of another credit union and the money goes into our account fee free.

The closest co-op ATM is blocks from our house.

Except that for some reason, the last two times I have tried depositing at that one, it won't take it. That's okay, there's another one about two miles away. However, that ATM is frequently down (as in every time Bill and I stop there, it's not working). But again, it's okay because there are other choices.

Let me also say they are building a new branch of our credit union in GR.

I cannot wait.

Especially after Monday.

First, I went to broken ATM credit union. Guess what? The ATM was down.

I didn't even bother with ATM that stopped taking our deposits. Why waste the gas?

I looked up another one of the myriad of ATMs and found one in close proximity to our house. As I drove toward it in the pouring rain, it became clear I was headed into a sketchy area.

I arrived at said ATM only to discover there were no envelopes. I was flustered, it was raining hard, and a car pulled up behind me.

Forget it. I drove to Holland.

Did I mention every time a person pulled out in front of me, they would go slow. Of course the closest car behind me was nowhere to be seen so these people could have waited. But they didn't.

Then, on my way out to Holland, traffic inbound was backing up because of construction. I took the back roads home. I drove through parts of our fair state where I could have come across some interesting characters (like in the Odyssey).

I made it. And I found out that we can use the mobile app to deposit checks. I'm going to try that out next time, instead of driving all the way to Holland. Of course the new branch will be open in December.