Friday, February 29, 2008

A little bit of CRAZY goes a long way!

So as any readers of our blog know, we currently live in Craziville, MA. Since we moved here a mere 7 months ago it has seemed like non stop mayhem and hi jinks. Why? Because we live in Craziville! And apparently Craziville hates us! Why anyone lives in this town by choice is beyond me. Oh wait, because they are psycho and crazy, that's why. So we can add yet another tale to our long list of "we will look back and laugh in 10 years" events. Last week, Zack went out to our car (parked on the street) and was shoveling snow off it when he notices that our license plates were missing off of one our cars. The little protectors were lying on the ground, but the plates were gone. So he looked around and everyone Else's plates were there, just our car's were gone. Of course. So he came in and called the police, they said they would send someone over to file a report. So meanwhile we are thinking, "why our plates? Was it just random? Was it on purpose?" But we don't know anyone really, so who would be psycho enough to steal our plates on purpose? And why that of all things? Zack had a theory that it was one of the neighbors because someone always puts a chair out to save a parking spot on the street, but they never actually park there, so sometimes we would just park there. But again no one ever parked there, the chair just sat there and sat there day after day. Zack thought it was them "sending us a message." I thought he was crazy, because who would do that? Wouldn't you just put a note or something on some one's car? Or yell at them and threaten them from their apartment window and tell them to go back to where they came from? (That happened to us at our last apartment. She was crazy too, but that's a whole other story.) So I thought Zack had to be wrong, because again, who would do that? And if they did do it, how would you know that that was the message they were trying to get across. "Don't park in our spot that we never use!!!!" So we filed a report with an officer, and I had to go get new plates, which cost me $20 by the way, which is dumb, it's not our fault they got stolen. Anyway, Zack had to use the car and had put the plates up in the window because the person not only stole the license plates, but also the screws. So I had to go to the store and find some more. Anyway, Zack drives it with the plates in the back window for one day and gets pulled over by this total jerk of an officer on some power trip that is threatening him for who knows what....but luckily he didn't get a ticket or anything. So then I am talking to the land lady that lives downstairs and she said she saw the neighbor lady swiping the snow off our plates the other day. She said she probably stole them. Our land lady said in essence that she is a witch and very mean. Well thanks land lady, you could have stopped her or something, not just stood there and watched!! Anyway, so our neighbors stole our license plates. Welcome to the neighborhood little family from Utah! Zack was right. That's insane!! Like I said, a little bit of CRAZY goes a long way, and I think we have had our fill! Have I mentioned we hate you back Craziville!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Two Yummy Recipes

Here are two great recipes that I have tried and wanted to share. I tried to get the pictures for them, but it didn't work, I'm sure a more savvy blogger could do it, but alas, I tried. Anyway, the Gratin is just plain good and I don't even really like cauliflower, and the soup is excellent and healthy too!

Cauliflower and Ham Gratin

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced
8 ounces ham steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt and pepper
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
8 sprigs thyme

Heat oven to 400° F.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and light golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add the ham and cook, 2 minutes. Add the cream, milk, cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the cauliflower. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with the bread crumbs and thyme. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the cauliflower is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

Tip: Make this a vegetarian side dish by skipping the ham.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 593(74% from fat); FAT 49g (sat 29g); SUGAR 6g; PROTEIN 23g; CHOLESTEROL 182mg; SODIUM 1064mg; FIBER 49g; CARBOHYDRATE 17g

Bean and Sausage Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 13-ounce package chicken sausage links, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 19-ounce can white beans, drained
1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 bunch kale
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Crusty bread (optional)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, without stirring, until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn, add the garlic, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes and their juices. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.

Fold each kale leaf in half lengthwise and remove the stem by ripping or cutting it. Tear each leaf into large pieces. Add the kale to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with the salt and pepper and spoon into individual bowls. Serve with the bread (if using).

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 495(28% from fat); FAT 14g (sat 3g); SUGAR 11g; PROTEIN 36g; CHOLESTEROL 65mg; SODIUM 1,020mg; FIBER 9g; CARBOHYDRATE 43g

Friday, February 15, 2008

A little pre-church dancing

To Professor Zack

This is my tribute to Professor Zack, beloved husband and father! I missed making a birthday post and so I was going to make up for it by making a Valentines Day declaration of love, but Oliver is sick and so the day just sort of slipped away from me. But here, post birthday and Valentine's Day, but still in Birthday month- I will honor Professor Zack! I am choosing to call him Professor Zack because it is one of his newest titles. He has been Mr. Zack, husband Zack, student Zack, Daddy Zack, Brother Zack (to the Young Men), working man Zack... Now he adds Professor Zack to the ranks since he is teaching is very first and very own Psychology class at a College here in Massachusetts. Isn't that cool? Well it seems exciting to me, and probably to him too, if not a little scary. Anyway, as you can see, Zack has many roles he plays in his life and he does a great job at all of them! It's a tough time to be Professor Zack since he still has to do all the other Zack things while taking on Professor Zack status, but if anyone can do it, he can. He's an amazing husband and Dad, and smart as a whip! So three cheers for Zack! Oliver and I love him so much! Happy Birthday Month Professor Zack!

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Little Karoke Dancing!

Just a disclaimer for the video below: Admittedly the singing is seriously bad, but the dancers were excellent! So sit back and enjoy some classic Beach Boys songs getting slaughtered and Oliver and his cousin Gage dancing the night away!