Monday, July 28, 2008

Dinner party!

Did everyone have a good weekend? It was our last weekend without Bailey so Rominal and I took advantage of our time together. Saturday, we had Mom and Howard, and Donna and Mark over for dinner. Rominal was going to make beer butt chicken, but Saturday morning he came downstairs and said, why don’t you make this instead. He handed me a recipe for Buttermilk chicken. That was his way of saying, “I don’t feel like cooking today.” The recipe was from the PBS TV show Everyday Food. We happened to have the episode taped and we sat down and watched it. It looked easy enough (my qualifier for a good recipe) and so we decided to make that. It turned out really well.

I also made Erin’s French bread, which was fun to do too. I had a Lucile Ball moment while making the bread. I put the dough in a bowl and set it in aside to let it rise for an hour. After an hour, I punched it down and set it aside again to let it do the second rise. Since it was supposed to rise in a warm area, I put the bowl in the microwave, which was slightly warmer than my house. I went upstairs to take my shower and get ready. I came back downstairs and opened up the microwave to find that the dough had way more than doubled in size, and had busted out of the plastic wrap that was covering the bowl and was now oozing all over the microwave. It was similar to an old scary movie – something along the lines of attach of the bread dough.

We finished off our meal with a giant chocolate covered strawberry. Jae had sent me a box of them as a thank you for spending last weekend with us. She’s always doing thoughtful things like that. The strawberries were the perfect ending to an evening of good company, and if I do say so myself, pretty good food. Oh, speaking of Jae, the last time she came to visit us she sent me a set of really cool dishes, each one is a different color and has a different vegetable on it. We used those for the salad on Saturday night and I always get great compliments on them. They are fun to use.

So, Mom asked for copies of all of the recipes that I used. So, to make it easy for me, here’s the menu and recipes.
Buttermilk baked chicken with Spinach salad
French bread - side note here - I didn't have corn meal or wheat germ as Erin's recipe calls for, so I used (what else) parchment paper! It worked great!
Smashed Potatoes - mine never look like hers, but they are still darn good.
Watermelon (no recipe here, just slice up some fresh watermelon silly!)
Chocolate dipped strawberries (sorry, no recipe again)

Now, go do some cooking!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My weekend

My dear friend Jae came to visit me last weekend. We always have such a good time together. She’s so easy to talk to and we enjoyed many hours of talking. I am quite lucky to have her as one of the sides of my square (inside reference - sorry).

In her honor, I made a chocolate bar candy cake . I think it is similar to one that my mom used to make when I was younger, so I was hoping to recreate my memory. It turned out pretty good. My only complaint was the icing. I'm not a fan of cool whip and the icing was made with cool whip and cream cheese. If I make the cake again, I think I'll do a different icing - but still include the candy bars. Here’s a picture to make you jealous.
Saturday, we decided we wanted to cook some yummy stuff. So, we enlisted Rominal to smoke some ribs and chicken thighs for us. Here’s a picture of the ribs going on the grill.
And here’s Rominal cutting the finished product up. I love a man who cooks. How sexy is that! The ribs look good babe!I’ve mentioned my new love of parchment paper to my sister and I’ve been asked to explain it a bit further. Here’s why I love parchment paper. You take a nasty looking pan such as this. (And really - how embarrassing that I am showing you my nasty looking pan. Please tell me that everyone has pans, er, I mean a pan like this in their house. Please.)
And then you cover it up with parchment paper. Then add whatever you want to cook. We made my version of smashed potatoes and some veggies. The parchment paper makes everything come out crispy, and it doesn’t leave a mess. And it's easy clean-up! This picture is of the veggies, pre-cooking because the colors are prettier.
Parchment paper - get some!

I’ll finish this entry with a picture of Bailey on the morning that she left us. I'm putting this picture here because it was on my camera when I downloaded all of the other pictures I took this weekend. I’m so looking forward to seeing her next week!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hancock – Movie Review

Here’s my very un-professional review of the movie Hancock. First let me start off by saying that I typically don’t like movies that aren’t light and funny. And I certainly don’t like movies that have any gore in them either. So, if scary, gory movies are your thing, I might not be the movie reviewer for you.

Friday night Rominal, his brother Junior, his nephew Jamie-O and I went to see Hancock. Rominal normally goes to see movies without me, but since my sweetie Bailey is out of town, Rominal and I can enjoy some nights out together. Oh wait – this is supposed to be a movie review. Ok – the movie was light and funny and there were no gory parts. Actually, I really enjoyed it. I left the theater in a happy mood, and I hadn’t been required to think that much during the last hour and a half or however long the movie lasted. So, I’d give it two thumbs up while recognizing that my thumbs (at least in movie reviewing terms) don’t really mean that much.

Saturday, Rominal and I made home-made pizza for dinner. Rominal was skeptical that we could make pizza that tasted good, but I think we pulled it off. We had TIVO’d an America’s Test Kitchen show that was about pizza and we followed their recipe. I didn’t think to make pictures of our two deep dish pan pizza’s, so you will just have to trust me when I tell you that they looked wonderful and tasted even better. I never do any baking with yeast, so this was a first for me as well. I’m going to be looking for more recipes that use yeast, just because it was kinda fun. Oh wait – this is supposed to be a movie review – Oh yeah. Hancock – it was good, go see it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Did everyone have a wonderful July 4th weekend? We had a great weekend. My family came into town to celebrate my Grandfather's 90th birthday party. Our home came as close to being a hotel as a home could this last weekend. One couple would leave and another couple would move right into their place (I'd wash and change the sheets at least - geeez! What kind of a hotel do you think this is?). I love it when my house is filled with people laughing, eating, and enjoying each other's company. I don't bake goodies anymore (due to my diet) so I loved the opportunity to do some baking as well. The only disappointment the entire weekend was the sparklers that I had gotten for the kids to have on July 4th. They turned out to be duds. It's a sad day when you can't get 50 good sparklers for $.19 anymore! Anyway, thank you to everyone who came out and stayed with us (which is probably anyone who is reading this - I doubt anyone would be reading this unless your in the family). We had a fantastic weekend.

By Monday morning, everyone had left us, including Bailey. She has gone to spend time with her Grandparents in Colorado. She's been looking forward to this trip for a while now. It's great for us, because it means that she won't be sitting at home bored all day. It's also great for Bailey because she gets one-on-one time with her Grandparents. She will be creating wonderful memories that will last forever. I'm in debt to them for hosting her again this summer. Thank you!!

While Bailey is enjoying her time away - Rominal and I will be enjoying our time together and the silence in our house. During the month of July, I'm looking forward to some alone time with Rominal! We can have adult conversation throughout our entire dinner (doesn't mean we will though), we can take the parental controls off of the television for the month so that I can watch whatever bad show I'm trying to watch, I won't have to remind Bailey to take her medicine or brush her teeth (Bailey - you did take your medicine and you did brush your teeth, right?) and, I don't have to cut anyone's meat up (ok, honestly I haven't done that in years, but I was trying to find one more example of being an empty nester). For the month of July, here's what I get to look at each day. I can't think of a more handsome man. Lucky, lucky me.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Kiss That Frog

My brother David has stumbled (or perhaps figured out) why my blog is named Kiss That Frog. No, I do not like to kiss amphibians. No, Rominal is quite a good kisser (thankyouverymuch) and it was not about him. It's the name of a song. If I were to have to name my favorite song - it would have to be Kiss That Frog by Peter Gabriel. For those of you who are not familiar with this song - I feel you must hear it now.

The song just makes me happy - it's very upbeat and makes me smile. So, when I was trying to come up with a name for my blog, Rominal was giving me suggestions. He asked what my favorite song was and that's how the blog became this.

It's appropriate that David is the one who figured it out. I owe a lot of my music knowledge to him. He has introduced me to many artists that I would not normally have ever heard. Some of them are quite high up on my list of favorites - Xavier Rudd and Sonia DaDa, just to name a few.

I was thinking about posting the question to see who could figure out where the name came from, but David beat me to it. So - congrats David! You win the satisfaction of having solved the question before it was even asked. Sorry - no cash involved.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Worlds will collide

This weekend there will be an rare occurrence in my house. Both of my brothers and my sister will be here under the same roof at the same time. I’m trying to remember the last time this has happened – and I can’t think of it off of the top of my head. Hopefully we have outgrown the fighting over the remote control, the last dinner roll, or the telephone – we should be safe with the phone at least since we all have our own cell phones. I’m really looking forward to all of us being together. I wish we had more time, but this is going to be a whirlwind weekend, which will involve some musical beds at my house (we will have a total of 8 extra people here off and on, plus the 3 of us that usually live here). I promise to get some good pictures to mark this special event.