Friday, April 29, 2011
Over a week ago Blockette lost her first tooth. And when I say she lost her tooth, I mean I yanked it out. I didn't do this to be mean mom extraordinaire. It's genetic. My mom pulled out all but one of my loose teeth. (The only reason I pulled that one out was because I discovered it was loose when she wasn't home and wiggled it out in the course of an hour. I was determined!)Strangely, the first tooth lost was not the first loose tooth. The one next to it was lose several weeks before. It's still loose, but no where near ready to come out.
I think after a week the missing tooth has lost a bit of its novelty. She's no longer telling everyone she meets, just every other person.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
2. The cake I thought I ruined/overcooked turned out delicious.
3. I dropped the bowl on the wood floor as opposed to the brick tile so the bowl only chipped and cracked instead of shattering into a billion tiny fragments that would magically find their way into my bare feet no matter how many times I swept and vacuumed.
4. The bowl was empty.
5. My cat likes to be my lumbar support when I am sitting at the computer. (When he purrs it's like I have a vibrating massage chair.)
6. 31 cent scoop night at Baskin Robins.
7. I know how to type vs. the "hunt and peck" method.
8. I'm not the Moderator.
9. Blockette excitedly running downstairs after quiet time to tell me about the smile-y face crater on Mars.
10. Unprompted I love yous from Blockette.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Now while I have roasted chicken plenty of times, I don't think I've ever made a dish with bone in chicken. I know enough that you can't cook it quite the same way as a boneless chicken breast or quite like a roaster chicken. So...Ta Da!!! Interweb to the rescue!
My search resulted in this little gem called chicken breast w herb basting sauce from allrecipes. The recipe seemed easy and flavorful, and it totally was. Hooray for living up to my expectations.
The chicken breasts were enormous, so I doubled the herb sauce to have enough to baste the meat twice. That was the only change I made to the recipe! Even though I didn't alter the recipe, the herbs could easily be swapped out to suit personal tastes/what you have in your spice rack.
Whenever I try out a recipe on a recipe website, like allrecipes, I try to at least skim some of the comments. Some of the commenters complained that their chicken was dry. It seems like those people used a boneless chicken breast. I'm sure that the heat was just too high and there wasn't any skin to help retain the moisture in the chicken. I don't understand the science of cooking chicken enough to alter the temperature and cook times to make this recipe with a boneless chicken breast, so I'll stick to the bone in chicken in this case. I'm not sure when there will be another awesome deal on bone in chicken again, but if there is, I will no longer hesitate to buy it, knowing I have a tasty go-to recipe waiting for me at home.
Chicken with Herb Basting Sauce from Allrecipes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 bone-in chicken breast halves, with skin
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 425 F .In a bowl, prepare the basting sauce by combining olive oil, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram, salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.Turn chicken breasts in sauce to coat thoroughly. Place skin side up in a shallow baking dish. Cover. Roast at 425 F, basting occasionally with pan drippings, for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove to warm platter, spoon pan juices over, and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Mrblocko LOVED these. He was desperately trying to figure out how to get some cheese in there some place. (Cause then, dontcha know, it would be a perfect meal. ) I told him he was just gonna have to deal, because I couldn't figure out how to get cheese in there without making a huge mess in the cooking process.
Blockette, on the other had did not have any sort of love for Scotch eggs. This is because she hates cooked egg yolks. I can't say that I blame her. I don't particularly care for them either all by their onesies. They weren't too bad eating them with the meat and crescents though. Once I removed the offensive "yellow nasties" from the center, Blockette ate her meal without further complaint. Next time I make these I'll have to remember to do that at the beginning of the meal so we don't have to revisit the excessive drama.
We had a bit of leftovers with this recipe as it makes 8 eggs. Normally, with leftover Scotch eggs, you can just eat them cold, no problem. Since these babies were wrapped in crescent rolls I thought they might taste a bit odd cold. (Think soggy bread. Bleck!) I popped them in the oven at 375F and reheated them for 15 min and that did the trick.
Crescent Roll Scotch Eggs from Big Oven
1 lb Sausage, pork
1/3 cupbread crumbs dry
1 eggs; Slightly beaten
8 Hard boiled eggs; peeled
8 ounce Crescent Rolls
Heat oven to 450F. In small bowl combine dry bread crumbs, egg, and sausage; mix well. Divide sausage mixture into 8 equal portions; shape into patties. Wrap sausage patty completely around each hard cooked egg. Place on ungreased 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan. Bake 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (Cool for 10 min for easier handling). Reduce oven to 375F. Separate dough into 8 triangles. Press each triangle to enlarge slightly. Place sausage wrapped egg on shortest end of triangle. Roll up starting at shortest end of triangle, gently wrapping dough around egg and rolling to opposite point. Pinch edges of dough to seal and completely cover egg. Placed on ungreased 15 x 10" jelly roll pan . Return to oven and bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges. Garnish as desired. Serve warm.
Monday, April 25, 2011
This soup really truly tastes like an egg roll. Now, I've had some really disgusting egg rolls and some scrumpdidilyumptious ones. A bad egg roll can be really bad. No worries here with this soup, it tastes awesome.
I thought that the soup made quite a bit. The leftovers froze well and tasted just as good reheated as they did the first time around.
I only made one minor change to the recipe. I made fried wonton strips instead of egg roll strips. The shorter strips were not only easier to fry, but a lot easier to pile onto the soup. Although, negatively, they were also a lot easier to burn in the frying process. Leave those strips unattended for a few extra seconds and you'll have yourself some burnt egg roll/wonton strips.
Egg Roll Soup from a Thousand Soups
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for frying
2 pounds boneless pork ribs - sliced thin (chicken is fine, too)
4 garlic cloves - minced
1 small head cabbage - shredded (about 6 cups)
2 small carrots - shredded (about 1 cup)
1 small bunch green onions - sliced (about 1/2 cup)
8 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce - plus more for serving
10 egg roll wrappers cut into thin strips
Heat oil in a large soup pot and saute pork until no longer pink. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Toss in remaining ingredients (except egg roll wrappers) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until vegetables are soft. Meanwhile, cook strips of egg roll wrapper in hot oil in small batches until browned and crisp. This only takes a minute or so per batch. Drain well on paper toweling. When soup is done, ladle into bowls and top with fried egg roll wrappers and extra soy sauce, if needed.
Friday, April 22, 2011
He did have the best of intentions.
For some reason IE9 was not very friendly with Blogger. It would NOT let me publish a post. Nope. No matter how hard I clicked on that orange button...nuthing.
So I went on my husband's lap top, to see if it I could publish from there. It worked just fine. And guess what? He doesn't have IE9 on there. Why put it on my computer if you don't have it on yours? GRR. (Yes, Mrblocko I did just growl at you. I'm gonna stick my tongue out at you as well. plbbbbt!)
Anyhow, he so very nicely uninstalled IE9 and things are working fine again. I wrote a post for today just to make sure. As an added bonus, the problem I was having with the code on Blogger fixed itself too. So double yay.
I also had a lot of confidence in this recipe because it came from the blog A Year of Slow Cooking. I've never had a recipe from there that I didn't absolutely love. Well...until now.
The dish looked OK. The little mandarin oranges look mighty cute sitting there don't they. Amazingly, it didn't make the house smell like fish. The house did smell like warm balsamic vinegar though, which, truth be told, is not any better than fish.
Blockette did not fail to comment on how stinky the kitchen was all throughout dinner. I finally had to tell her that I knew it didn't smell good and that if she kept bringing it up I was going to count her to a time out. After that I only had to count her to 2(3 gets you a time out)...sigh.
I was really hoping that the since the dish didn't smell fishy, it wouldn't taste fishy. Grilling fish on cedar planks has ruined me on fish that isn't covered in a mountain of cheese. (Cheese makes just about anything edible.) The fish tasted fishy, not citrusy like I expected. This is fine and dandy if you are a person who likes fish. Unfortunately, I am not that person.
After discovering the fishy taste, I ate enough of it to set a good example for Blockette. With all the complaining she did about the smell, she ate her dinner just fine. I sent the leftovers to work with Mrblocko the next day. It couldn't have been too horrible because he ate it all.
If you love fish and are looking for an easy way to make it, head on over to A Year of Slow Cooking to get the recipe for orange honey tilapia in the slow cooker.
4 tilapia filets (frozen is just fine)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 (10-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
salt and pepper to taste at the table
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Lay a length of foil on your countertop and place the fish directly in the middle. Dribble balsamic vinegar and honey over the top of each fillet, and place a handful of drained mandarin oranges on top (my kids like to drink the juice!). Fold over foil and crimp the edges to form a packet. Put the foil packet into your slow cooker, and put the lid on (if you'd prefer to have one fish fillet per packet for serving, divide the sauce and the oranges). Cook on high for two hours, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. If your fish was frozen, it may take another 30 minutes or so, but you should still check it after two hours. Season to taste with some salt and pepper at the table.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
2. Blockette was well behaved during my mom's visit.
3. Making the choice to not go to Blockette's soccer game in the cold and muddy wetness.
4. The first tulip opening up on a gloomy day.
5. The first visit from the tooth fairy.
6. Peanuts in the shell.
7. The possibility that my bleeding heart plant didn't die this summer.
8. Finding pictures for Relay.
9. Blockette is excited about her new workbooks.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I'm pretty sure that I didn't cook the oats for long enough. The recipe says to soak the oats overnight and then cook them for 5 min. They were still way too crunchy, almost as crunchy as if they had not been cooked at all.
The directions on the tin of oatmeal said they needed to cook for 30 min. Since the oats were soaked overnight I thought cooking them for 15 minutes would be sufficient. They were still too crunchy. Mrblocko did not like the texture or the flavor of the cardamom at all.
I thought that the texture would be softer the second day after having sat in the fridge for a whole day and with the additional cooking time needed to reheat it. It was slightly better, but I didn't like the tartness of the apple so I picked them out. I also added a bit more brown sugar. The oatmeal still had a very grainy chewy texture. I didn't mind it so much, but Mrblocko did, so I ate the rest of the oatmeal for the next bajillion years.
After a bajillion and one years, I tried this recipe from the Greenest Dollar. It bakes up in the crockpot. I put all the ingredients in before bed and let it cook overnight on low. I also put a non-terry cloth dish towel under the lid to catch the steamy stuff before it escaped. Surprisingly, the towel was totally wet by breakfast.
Some of the edges got a bit crusty. I picked the worst parts out and stirred the rest back into the oatmeal. They dissolved right back in and no one was the wiser. (Well, at least until now.)
The texture of these steal cut oats was closer to the "regular" rolled oats we normally eat. They had slightly more bite to them, but not enough to prevent Mrblocko from eating them and their leftovers.
While steal oats are supposed to be more nutritious, as they have not had all their goodness smashed out of them, I think the Blocko's prefer the old fashioned rolled oats. I guess I'm not surprised, often times the stuff that is good for you doesn't taste as good as the stuff that isn't so good for you. I don't plan on making more oatmeal out of the steal cut oats anytime in the near future. I did find this maple oatmeal bread from the Fresh Loaf that I think will be a great way to use up the rest of the steal cut oats.
Cooking Steel Cut Oats In A Crockpot from the Greenest Dollar
1 cup steel cut oats (DO NOT substitute old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats)
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons butter
Start by spraying your crock pot with cooking spray- This was a reader tip in the comments section, and it really helped cut the clean-up time the next morning because the oatmeal didn’t stick a bit! So, don’t forget to do this. Pour in the water, oats, salt, and butter. Cook on Low for 6-8 hrs.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
It's good people! Plus it has the added benefit of a sneaky vegetable...pureed pumpkin! And no it doesn't even taste like pumpkin so you really can be sneaky. The pumpkin gives the soup a creamy texture and slightly orange-y brown color.
I did have to make a few substitutions. First, I didn't have "Johnny's Garlic Seasonings." The recipe calls for 2 T of that spice mix. We are big fans of garlic so I minced up 5 cloves garlic instead. I wasn't sure what Louisiana Seasoning was either, but I figured it was similar to Penzeys Cajun Style Seasoning, so I made that swap. I also used 4 c turkey stock instead of canned chicken broth because it was the stock I had hanging out in my freezer. I used 4 small russet potatoes instead of 2 large red potatoes. (I think the red would have been better, but I already had Russets in the house that needed to be used up.) Finally, I pureed 1/2 the can of beans in the blender as a thickener, in place of the cornstarch. I only did that because I like pureed beans more than I like them whole.
Even though I made quite a few alterations, the soup still had the same basic elements as the original. I give this a double thumbs up and I plan on making it again with next years batch of leftover turkey.
Tuscan Turkey Soup from Dunkin Cooking
1 C. - Chopped Onion
1 Tsp. - Minced Garlic
2 Tbs. - EVOO
2 (14.5 oz) - Cans Chicken Broth
2 C. - Cubed Turkey
1 Can (15 oz) - Solid Pack Pumpkin
1 Can (15 oz) - Cannellini Beans
½ Tsp. - Salt
½ Tsp. - Dried Basil
¼ Tsp. - Pepper
2 Tbs. - Johnny's Garlic Seasonings
½ Tbs. - Italian Seasonings
½ Tsp. - Louisiana Season or Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Large - Red Potatoes (cubed)
Wondra Flour or Corn Starch
Grated Parmesan Cheese
In a large soup pot sauté the onion and garlic in the EVOO until tender. Stir in the broth, turkey, pumpkin, beans, potatoes and all of the spices. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender and everything is heated. Thicken with some Wondra flour or corn starch to the desired thickness you like, then dish into bowls and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Monday, April 18, 2011
For the cookie portion I used cookie mix I got for Christmas. The mix was good, but saltier than the standard Tollhouse version. My cookies spread out a bit more than I would have liked. This was most likely due to the fact that I used half margarine and half butter. I was worried that the mix would not be up to snuff and I didn't want to waste all that butter on something mediocre.
As a result of the dough spreading you got some plain cookie and some Oreo enrobed cookie. I always saved my Oreo part for last since I thought it was like the dessert of my dessert. Yeah you know it's gonna be a good day when your dessert has dessert. Maybe these should actually be eaten for breakfast. Start your day of RIGHT!!!
Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies from Picky Palate
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Oreo Cookies, I used the double stuff :)
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined. Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie. Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Makes about 2 dozen VERY LARGE Cookies
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
So whether or not these are grits or polenta, I boiled my corn stuff for 15 min. The recipe called for 4 1/2 c of water, but I really think there should have only been 3 cups of water. The polenta-grits seemed a bit looser than I would have liked...even after it sat in the fridge for a day. The package directions say 3 c liquid to 1 c of grits, so I will follow that next time. I also used regular polenta grits (Bob's Red Mill Brand) and not the instant kind. Many of the reviews and comments on the website said that instant grits were nasty. Maybe the non instant kind requires less water? I don't know, never having made instant or the non instant varieties.
Creamy Grits with Chilies from Pioneer Woman
1 cup Grits (quick Or Regular)
4-1/2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
8 ounces, weight Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Cut Into Cubes
1/2 can Rotel (tomatoes And Chilies)
1 can (4 Ounces) Chopped Green Chilies
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Paprika
Black Pepper To Taste
1 whole Egg Beaten
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil water and add salt. Add grits and stir, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in Rotel, chilies, grated cheese, and cream cheese. Stir in spices and check for seasonings. Add salt if needed. Beat egg. Drizzle in a couple of tablespoons of hot grits to temper, stirring constantly. Dump it all back into the pot and stir. Pour into a buttered baking dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and golden on top. Allow pan to sit for fifteen minutes before serving! Grits will firm up slightly as they sit. Stir a bit in the pan if needed.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Monday, April 11, 2011
"Oh?" I replied. "And what is a meteorologist?"
"A person who studies terrible storms like tsunami's and hurricanes."
"Well honey, a meteorologist doesn't just study the terrible storms, they study all kinds of weather. And do you know the people who talk about the weather on the news? They are meteorologists too."
"Really? Yeah. That's what I'm gonna be."
Now fast forward to Sunday, on the way to church:
"Mommy, I've decided I'm going to be a scientist that studies dinosaurs when I grow up."
"A scientist that studies dinosaurs is called a Paleontologist. You want to be a Paleontologist when you grow up? Wait, what happened to wanting to be a meteorologist?"
"I'm going to be meteorologist right now while I'm a kid, but when I grow up I'm going to be a paleontologist. And I'm going to be the first scientist that proves that the Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was put there by God."
"Oh? Well that would be very cool!"
"Yes. But Mommy, I'm going to need my own computer to do that."
So I did some searching and found this recipe on Food.com. Perfect! I omitted the red pepper flakes because the original didn't have any heat to it. The only difference between the Italian Blend I made myself and the one from Penzeys is my own contains marjoram. I'd never used marjoram before. I still couldn't tell you what marjoram tastes like, but it does seem to amp up the flavors of the other herbs in the mix.
I've found that this recipe fits nicely in my 1/2 cup jar from Penzeys. So the new mix got dumped into the old jar. I even grabbed a sharpie and wrote the following recipe on the outside: Or, for those of you who don't read chicken scratch:
2 T Marjoram
1 T garlic powder
1 T Oregano
1 T Parsley
1 T Rosemary
(1T Crushed Red Pepper Flakes)
Now, when I run out again, I won't have to flip through any recipes. It's right there! Talk about instant gratification.
Friday, April 8, 2011
I was pretty impressed that she remembered that sentence all on her own and was curious if she could use the sentence to list all the planets in order.
She began listing them out: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uterus,
Wait, What?!!! Uterus?
I would like to state for the record that it is not a pleasant experience when you almost snort fried rice through your nose.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
2. The daffodils are blooming!
3. Helping out in Blockette's Class.
4. Realizing that we've been living in this house longer than we did in our previous house...and feeling good about it.
5.The stain from the black dry erase marker on my favorite pair of jeans gets a bit lighter every time I use the Tide pen on it.
6. Time spent telling silly, but dark stories to Blockette.
7. Finding time to read good enjoyable books.
8. Blockette seems to have turned the corner on schoolwork I give her at home. She seems excited to do it now and has gone from complaining it is too hard, to too easy.
9. When I set the spatula on fire, I was able to put it out before I set anything else aflame.
10. Mrblocko washed the dishes for me, even though I know he really didn't want to.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Blockette was not receptive to this idea because, c'mon, we were at Disney World and she was not going to sleep away any possible moments of fun time. We explained that if she wanted to not take a nap, that was OK, but we were NOT staying up late for fireworks. She very reluctantly agreed and we began our last day at Disney World.
We had reservations at The Grand Floridian for The Supercalifragalistic Brunch with Mary Poppins. The Grand Floridian is a swanky Victorian-Southern Hybrid themed hotel located in Magic Kingdom. One part of it looks like the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. When we were planning our vacation, for exactly 30 seconds I debated staying at the Grand Floridian, then I saw the prices and came to my senses. It was a cool hotel, but I'm glad we chose the Coronado Springs in the end. It was perfect for what we wanted and needed on our vacation.
Anyhow, back to the Breakfast... we saw Tigger, Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter and of course Mary Poppins herself. Blockette was terrified of the Mad Hatter. She did not want her picture taken with him. I was able to convince her to take a picture of me with him.
I'm not sure why she was so scared of him. She had not even seen Alice in Wonderland! Maybe she thought he was Mad, as in Angry. I explained that he was not Mad, meaning Angry, but Mad meaning crazy. This did not help one eentsy weensy bit. I did, however, get scolded by Mary Poppins. If you look carefully at the picture above, of just Blockette, you can see several gummy bears on her plate. It was then that Mary Poppins came to the table and commented on the fact that we were feeding our offspring candy for breakfast.
Oh Mary Poppins, if you only knew. We had been having the hardest time getting her to eat through the entire trip. Due to our nap and late brunch reservations, we weren't planning on having lunch until 2:00. If we couldn't get Blockette to eat something for breakfast she was going to wake up at nap time VERY hungry. And then no one would get a nap.
So yes. I bribed my child with gummy bears to eat her breakfast. Why else would they have gummy bears at a breakfast buffet. I can't think of any other reason! Can you?
After brunch and wandering around the Grand Floridian for a while, we headed back to the hotel to go SWIMMING! Blockette was pleased as punch. She had only been begging to do this since we arrived in Florida.
Doesn't the pool area have a neat play ground next to it? I wondered why there were no kids playing on it. Then I remembered, duh, we are at Disney World. Why would a kid want to play there when they could go to the park and do fun stuff there! As you can see, there was hardly anyone at the pool. It was a warm day, but windy so it didn't feel as hot as it had the previous days. Whether this was the reason for the lack of people at the pool, or duh, they were all at Disney World, I'm not sure. Either way it was nice to not have to deal with lots of splashy kids.
The pool was so empty that there was a mamma and her ducklings swimming in it. (See above photo, bottom left.) One little baby could not get out so one of the grown ups in the pool quickly scooped him out. He got severe scolding from the mamma duck AND from a human mamma at the pool who went on this rampage about how you are not supposed to touch wild animals. Yeah, but I think with all that chlorine from the pool there was little chance that the man's human scent would have lingered on that little duckling.
After our swim we were ready for lunch and grabbed the most enormous plate of nachos and quesadillas at the food court in the hotel. With full bellies we went back to the room for a nap. Blockette claimed she was NOT tired, but she was so not tired that she was the first one to fall asleep.
After a nice long nap we headed back to Magic Kingdom where we went on lots of fun rides. Blockette wanted to ride "it's a small world" over and over, but Mrblocko and I could only stomach going on it once without going into convulsions. After lots of rides and snacks we went to the area in front of the Castle to get a good view for the light parade, and fireworks. I couldn't get any good pictures of the light parade but it was very cool. My camera takes good night pictures, but the picture has to be still and so do I. Since the parade was moving, that meant no good pictures for me.
As we were waiting for the parade to start, the castle kept changing colors. I told Blockette it was her job to let me know when the castle changed. It gave her something to do, and kept her less bored waiting for the excitement to begin. After the parade, there was a 15 minute or so interval before the castle show began. We made a mad dash for the potty, and luckily, we were able to find a good spot in front of the castle again. The castle show was like a movie projected onto the castle itself. I don't know how else to explain it, but it was awesome. Unfortunately, since it was moving, I couldn't get any good pictures of that either.
Then came the fireworks. The fireworks start out with Tinkerbell flying from the top of the castle. Talk about neato. This was not a light show or other special effect, but someone on a zip line zooming through the air. I don't think I could be brave enough to do that, but I guess it's less scary if you are wearing a lit up Tinkerbell costume.
The fireworks were some of the best ones I have ever seen. I tried to take a picture or two but gave up and decided I would have more fun if I just sat back and enjoyed the display. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried more than a little during the show. I looked over at Blockette at one point, sitting on her daddy's shoulders, totally exhausted but happy as she could be, and I knew this was the best possible end to our first family vacation!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Luckily we made it to our dinner reservations at the Akershus Castle, in the Norway section of Epcot, right on time. This dinner wasn't as fancy as the one in Cinderella's castle, but we got to meet plenty of princesses and Mary Poppins too. I'm not sure why she was there, but hey, Blockette was happy to see her.
This time we were seated in a section that the princesses came to first so Blockette actually ate her dinner! Ariel was my favorite again. She was so funny and kept twirling her hair like she does in the movies. She also asked Blockette if she had electric eels since they lit up when she walked. After dinner was over we asked Blockette what she would like to do. Her reply was "Take the walk around the world!" Um OK. So we walked through the different "countries" represented there and I took pictures of all the neat topiaries. I think The Lady and the Tramp was my favorite, although the Peter Pan and Hook one was pretty neat too. Japan was by far Blockette's favorite country. She wanted to buy something from her allowance there and went totally ga-ga over a miniature Japanese flag. Even more exciting was that it came with it's own stand. WOW! (Really. You'd think the lady gave her a free pony.) Blockette also freaked out when she saw this belly dancer (above left) in Morocco. She thought she was another princess from some movie she had not yet seen. She even got her to sign her character autograph book.
Finally, she about blew a gasket when she saw the fence (above right)as we passed through Canada. "Mommmmm! LOOK! That fence has the Canada leaf thingie on it!" she gasped as she inhaled all the air left on the planet. I still have no idea why that was so exciting to her. (What's that all a-boot? eh?) She was enjoying herself so that's all that matters.
Yet again we had intended on seeing the firework show, this time at Epcot. We were all so tired and it had been a long hot day at Universal Studios that we decided to call it a night. Before we left I spied the Fairy Garden. We could not pass that one up. All the Neverland fairies done up in topiaries!! I took pictures of all of the fairies, but the light was fading so not all of them turned out as well as I would have liked. If you've seen "Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue" you'll recognize the photo (above, bottom right) of Lizzie's fairy house. Blockette was pleased as punch for me to snap a quick pick of her inside it before we left for the night. It wasn't quite as cool as fireworks, but pretty high up there in Blockette's book.
Monday, April 4, 2011
If we thought Magic Kingdom was busy on the first day we were out there, that was nuthing. I had wanted to get to Universal right as the park opened, but our shuttle didn't get there until the park has been open for about 45 minutes. The lines for almost everything in "Harry Potterland" were at least an hour long. In talking with one of the park workers we found out it was a "slow" day. Most days the wait to get into that part of Universal is THREE HOURS and the line to the attractions are about TWO HOURS! Yikes!
Clockwise from the top left (Photo below): Gate into Hogsmead, Hogwarts Train, Olivander's wand shop with it's hour wait to get into the store, The Owlry that you could only get into by going through Olivanders.(We passed on this as by the time we got to this part Blockette was very angry with us. More on that later.) Clockwise from the top left(photo below): Hogwarts.(The castle had a ride inside it but Blockette was too short to go on it.), More of the Owlry/Owl post, Gladrags and Potages. (both these places were false storefronts, but the windows had moving displays which were neat.) Now, here comes the part where we got Blockette VERY VERY angry with us. Harry Potterland has a grand total of three rides. Blockette was only tall enough to ride one of them, and by gosh we were going to ride that ride. The Flight of the Hippogriff. Look at that nice happy picture of her (below) as we are standing in line. Do NOT let that fool you.
As you wait in line you see Hagrid's Hut and the Hippogriff nest. You also see the roller coaster zooming above your head. This was not a crazy loop-de-loop upside down and inside out kind of ride. Just a basic roller coaster, but it was fast. We were in line for less than 20 minutes, but in that time Blockette saw that coaster go by one too many times and she started freaking out.
She did NOT want anything to do with this ride. Oh but the mean parents we were, we were bound and determined to go on this one ride with her. Once she was on it surely she would think it was fun? Yeah. right. So we took our screaming child and forced her on the ride. Right before the ride started she stood up and almost made it out of the car. Good thing Mrblocko was quick and grabbed her back in just in time.
The ride was fast. I am a wimp so I was a bit scared myself. I had to sit by myself though since it was a 2 person side by side ride. Rides alone are always much more scary. At least to me they are.
Once it was all over we asked Blockette if she enjoyed the ride, and she stated that she did not and never ever wanted to go on it again. EVER. She was soooo angry with us.
I thought maybe eating lunch might lift her spirits so we headed over to the Three Broomsticks and the Hogs Head. Some food, Pumpkin Juice (like drinking liquid pumpkin pie) and Frozen Butterbeer (which tastes like a very rich and creamy version of cream soda and butterscotch) did improve her spirits slightly. It wasn't until we went to Zonko's that we saw a real change in attitude. I picked up a Chocolate Frog (My Wizard card was Salazar Slytherin, drat...I wanted Dumbledore!) and some Tongueburners Toothsplintering Strong Mints. Then she saw them... the Pygmy Puffs. She was in love. I was about to tell her no when I heard the nice British fellow behind the counter shouting out that someone had bought their very first Pygmy Puff. Well for some reason I thought that was super cool so I caved.
Blockette named her Rose, which oddly enough happened to be the name of the British fellow's Mum. The man was just tickled. Apparently he had not heard anyone name their Puff Rose. I find that odd. I mean it's pink. Doesn't Rose seem like a logical name?
As a side note, the night before we left on our vacation I watched "The Half-Blood Prince." At one point in the movie Luna Lovegood tells Ginny Weasley, who happens to have a pygmy puff on her shoulder, that pygmy puffs "were known to sing on Boxing Day." I casually mentioned this to Blockette, who after asking me what in the world Boxing Day was, repeated this factoid to everyone she met in the park. With a smile on the kiddo's face, we decided that we had experienced all we could of Harry Potter's World. We had some time to kill before our shuttle would pick us up. So we went on some Dr Seuss rides.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Guess what happened as soon as I plugged the darn thing up again? Same wonky noise that I know is the fan going.
So Mrblocko lugged the darn thing back to the store and had them look at it. GUESS WHAT? The fan on the power supply died. YEAH. Duh. Why couldn't they have figured that out the first time and saved my husband another trip.
Luckily, the computer is under warranty so they fix it for free and I get a brand spanky new loaner. Except they have to send in for the part because it is a "brand" part for the warranty and it could take 6-8 weeks. Say what?
April Fools number 2. You will note that on Thursday I posted that I was thankful for the Free antibiotics at Meijers and that Blockette only had an ear infection. Well Thursday night she spikes a fever. So bright and shiny early in the morning we trek back on over to the Dr for some new really expensive antibiotics that aren't free at Meijers or even in the el cheapo program at Walmart. Keep your fingers crossed that these do the trick.
There is a funny story to come out of all this. When Mrblocko came home from work yesterday we were all hanging out in the kitchen as I prepared dinner. I told him that the Dr. also prescribed Blockette a steroid to help with her cough.
Blockette pipes up, "My medicine is from outer space? That's what killed all the Dinosaurs!!!"
Mrblocko and I looked at each other and I got the case of the giggles. I could not stop laughing. He had to explain to her that she was thinking of Asteroids not steroids.
Friday, April 1, 2011
I think I caught all the weird posts but please leave a comment if you see another post that looks like it is formatted weird.
Thanks for putting up with the craziness.
1. Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan: I checked this book out of the library because in the Food Blogger world, it seems like Dorie cannot be praised highly enough. I figured I'd see what the fuss was all about. The thing is, I do not like French cooking, aside from pastries and other bakery goods, so this book was a bit of a let down. I guess if you are keen on French Cuisine I could see how this little cook book would make your day.
2. Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen: When I checked this book out from the library, the librarian who was checking my books out commented that they had all been drooling over the recipes in the book. I can see why. Everything looked delicious and it is hard to make crock pot food look appealing. Or maybe that is just me. I copied down more than a few recipes to test out later once I get through all those leftovers in my freezer. Hmm by that time it will warm enough that Mrblocko will want to grill out every night. I'll get to those recipes eventually though and write about them on here when I do.
3. High Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond: I checked this book out Wed. (the 30th)right before dinner. Blockette was at choir and Mrblocko was out with a friend. I finished the book at about 10 pm. Mrblocko had called me to tell me he was on his way home and I told him I had to call him back as I only had 8 pages left to read. Keep in mind I've been trying to get through Pillars of the Earth since the beginning of February. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. The book is by one of my favorite bloggers, The Pioneer Woman, and it is the story of how she met her husband and their first year of marriage. If you like a good love story, sans the smut, you'll find it as hard to put down as I did.