Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween

Halloween has been good. The kids I work with got all dressed up in costumes (most of them) and trick-or-treated at school today. They were very very cute, even if the whole event was a bit stressful for the teachers!

We haven't had any trick-or-treaters here tonight, but we made a wonderful feast. We have a bit of a halloween tradition of having a special dinner and watching movies. It started because the first halloween I spent on the island was sad because I was used to having big bonfires and fireworks and caramel apples when living at my parents! So, Daryl and I started doing a special thing to make up for it :-).

So tonights dinner was:

Peppered wine salami.
A small round of brie baked with a wonderful blueberry jam that my sister in law made.
Roquefort blue cheese (SO good!)
A German white soft cheese (also good),
multigrain rice crackers and bread.

Just little bits of all of the above. Of course, all from Trader Joes, so all for about what we'd pay to eat at McDonalds together!

We also just found out that two of our dearest friends are probably coming to visit us for a WHOLE week for my holidays!! I have 9 days off starting this coming Friday, and P and B are coming Friday.

I can't possibly explain how happy this makes me. They are those types of friends with whom we have an ease that makes spending time with them so relaxing and enjoyable. They are in Ottowa, so it's about a days' drive for them to come visit.

Good dinner and the promise of time with dear friends. I'm so happy :-). So, it's a happy halloween. Off to watch movies and eat some "left -over" chocolate.

Monday, October 30, 2006

This is hard.

There are so many great things about being here. We do really like the area we're in, the east coast, and the New England surroundings. It's beautiful. We've just had the pleasure of experiencing a New England fall. We've seen so many things that we hadn't before. This upcoming week we're hoping to go into Boston, and New York.

We miss our friends though. We miss having friends to fill with food laughter and wine.

We miss our Church communities so much I can't even begin to explain it. We had no idea blessed we were with them. I look at pictures on All Saints, and Saint Herman's websites and blogs, of those people we love gathered together, and I almost can't look because I miss them so much it's painful.

It's just hard. That's all.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Outlet Stores Ho!

I rediscovered one of the wonders of the USA today - Outlet stores!! There is a whole group of them about half an hour from our place. We were headed to Providence, RI, but got side-tracked at these stores and never made it there!

My favorites by far were La Creuset, Williams-Sonoma , GAP, Banana republic, and Barney's. Very good. We are getting incredibly good at looking and not buying though. All we bought in about 2 hours of shopping was one pair of pants (for me, from GAP, that were only 12.00!!). Granted, there was a martini shaker and set at Williams-Sonoma we were going to go back for but forgot :-(. Next time! My mother-in-law mailed me the fabulous martini glasses she bought me for Christmas last year, so I need to pick up a shaker! They are currently in-use as decoration on our bookcase. There was much else to "go back" for throughout the day, but we managed to escape with out money intact :-).

Friday, October 27, 2006

The problem with black Lululemon yoga pants is

That they look almost exactly the same when you accidently put them on inside out. That is, until you try to put something in your pocket, and can't find it. But because the pants look identical inside out, in all other respects, you think you are losing your mind, and maybe these pants don't really have pockets, maybe you're just crazy. You paw at your hips, examining the waistline closely, pulling the pants out, stretching them, hoping to find the pockets.

Then you see the drawstring on the inside of the pants. Oh. Right.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


I passed Brian Iwata in the hallway at work. Functional analysis guru. One of "the" people in my field.

I think only one person who reads my blog will understand my excitement about that.

I'm a nerd.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Squash and Ginger scones

I had a half of a butternut squash left over from a previous nights dinner...and I thought "Hmm..you can make pumpkin scones..why not squash scones??" After a few different searches on google, I came up with this recipe:

Squash and Ginger Scones
Time: 30 minutes preparation, 30 minutes baking
Serves: 10+ (yields 24 extra-large scones)
Level: 3

6 cups hard flour
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp powdered ginger
1 Tbsp salt
3 Tbsp baking powder
2 sticks butter, cold, cubed
1 lb cooked pureed squash
1 qt half-and-half

Let's cook!
• Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the butter with a fork until it looks like breadcrumbs. Mix in squash and half-and-half. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut into circles.
• Bake at 400°F 15-20 minutes on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet. Eat while warm.

Editor's Note: The sugar, butter, and half-and-half make this recipe a true "treat"in the sense that it's not low-fat—something you eat once in a while (not every day)!
Recipe created by Westtown School Baker, Suzie Dudas

Here is the link for the recipe. You may ask what "Hard" flour is...I did another google search to find out if I could substitute regular flour. Sounds like it is fine and won't affect the quality of the scones too much.

I made these this morning, but modified the recipe slightly based on what I had. I used 2.5 cups of regular flour, and 2 cups of whole wheat flour, skim milk instead of half and half, and replaced the butter with part margarine and part olive oil.

It's a huge recipe - I cut everything in half and it still made about 18 large scones! They were pretty good, though I think could have used a bit more ginger, and maybe some nutmeg or other spice as well. Turned out fluffy and yummy, but much lighter than scones usually are -that was probably due to my substitutions though.

Anyhoo...thought this was a good way to use up left-over squash if you have it :-)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"That's your big boy"

I totally stole this stellar blog title from D.

Those of you who are Seinfeld fans...or fanatics, as some may judge you will have immediately, upon hearing that phrase, pictured Jerry sitting in a hospital, next to his comatose neighbor, looking admiringly at a Drake's Coffee cake. You'll remember that this phrase was part of his attempt to bribe Newman, using the Drake's coffee cake, in an attempt to keep him from telling the aforementioned comatose neighbor (CN) that Jerry had kissed CN's girlfriend right in front of him (in a romantic joining over the body of the comatose neighbor).

You may also picture Elaine ravenously shoving a Drake's coffee cake into her mouth, crumbly cinnamony topping flying every which way, after fasting for blood testing for two days. This of course occurred right as the CN woke up and attempted to strangle Jerry, with completely wonderful Seinfeldian pandemonium breaking out.

So, why all this talk about Drake's coffee cake?? You see, until two days ago, I had believed "The Drake" to be a made-for-TV invention. I have news from the East, fellow west-coast, Canadian Seinfeld fans - Drake's coffee cakes are a real, American, boxed pastry! As we wandered the grocery store the other day, we came upon them. In complete disbelief we turned the box over and over, looking at it from all angles. Eventually we had to believe - this was indeed THE Drake's coffee cake talked about on Seinfeld. And I have to say, after trying them, they are really pretty good.

Magnificent M - be aware, you may be receiving some Drake's in the mail for Christmas. I think you are the only person I know who would appreciate such a gesture enough (you know..the sending of cheap fatty bagged up pastries that are akin to twinkies via post).

Click here and select the "Concord trip" album to see the pictures of the Drake's coffee cakes. Blogger wouldn't let me post them :-(.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I can't believe I forgot!

To mention that we made our first visit to The Container Store. This is a store that I had read about in Real Simple, that is not as of yet in Canada. I have drooled and browsed online, and dreamed of one day going there. I realized very quickly that there was a Container store here in MA, and only about 45 min away from us. So, the other night we took a trip out there, just to browse. It was fabulous! It is the organizational mecca. I loved it!

Turns out, convieniently enough, it is located right next to Natick mall. This is one of the large, up scale malls here, very similar to the one I went to in Atlanta. Macy's, all the great shoe stores. That's a big difference here...all the brands you see in stores in Canada (or the West Coast at least) have their own stores here. So, that was pretty exciting...I'll have to head out another time and spend more time window shopping at the mall.

Anyhoo..I just felt so remiss in not blogging about visiting The Container Store!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Who needs sleep? Well your never gonna get it.

That's from a BNL song. Why can I never sleep on Saturday nights? It seems to be becoming a regular thing, that no matter when I go to bed on Saturday night, I usually don't get more than about 3 hours sleep if I'm lucky. I think I just get wound up and anxious about the start of my work week....and I get anxious about not sleeping because today (Sundays) is my 11 hour day at work. Anyhow... that's alright, I always make it through my day no matter how little sleep I get, and I can sleep in tomorrow, since I don't start work till 2pm.

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

We were going to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with our other Canadian friend here, but it came along much faster than I'd expected, so no turkey for us I think. It's actually a holiday in the US too, Columbus day. I work late-ish today and tomorrow though, so not really conducive to a dinner celebration. The good thing is we get a second chance at thanksgiving in November!

Friends and family...

I had two great conversations yesterday. I got to catch up with my friend Rach - it was so good to talk with her. She's one of those people who I always reconnect with in minutes despite not talking for a while. We always have such rejuvenating conversations.

I also talked with my cousin last night. We haven't talked on the phone in ages, but we managed to reconnect when D. and I visited her on our way down here, and have kept in contact since then. I'm so glad that we had the chance to visit and get reacquainted when we did.

That's all for today...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I just had my favorite breakfast ever.

Apple pie with ice cream.

Yes, I had apple pie with ice cream at 6:00 am in the morning.

Now I'm ready for the day.