Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not for the Faint of Heart

First off, Happy Leap Day!

 So.....
Trust me, if you can't stomach this (what I'm about to show you), move on :)

Let me warn you....

If you can't stand it, don't proceed on.

Remember, just a while back I held a human brain.

It's kind of the same deal.....

But not really

But kind of :)

I wonder what my {step}daughter would have thought, especially after going to the vet with us on Saturday back in January.  Especially after she said she didn't want to be a vet b/c she didn't want to stick her hand up a horses/cows butt.

Sorry I'm trying to give you time to turn back.  Now I'm proceeding with pictures.

Consider yourself warned!

Monday night in A&P we dissected Cow Eyeballs.  Never in my wildest dreams did I really think I'd be dissecting any kind of an eyeball, little lone a cow eyeball, but I did it. (reminds me of the episode of Friends where Richard & Monica are squeezing tomatoes and he remarks they feel weird (or something) and she says you touch eyeballs all day and he says but we were trained not to squeeze them.) 

At first, I thought I might just sit back and watch, be the clean handed lab manual reader, but I couldn't resist.  I knew if I didn't feel it, it'd eat at me for a week like the brain/breast tumor did.  (still don't have any desire to touch the cat though!)

I was shocked that my phone would work with rubber gloves on.... And no I didn't touch this juicy stuff and then touch my phone.  I kept one hand clean :)  My {step}daughter accuses me of being a germ-a-phobe sometimes.

Here are 2 cow eyeballs.  Now obviously they've been treated, etc so they look a little blech, they weren't fresh out of the cow.

You slice in just behind the cornea.  When you do this, if you cut in fast, be prepared to be squirted with juice.  Slow and steady wins the race.

This is what you see when you immediately open it up.  Up by the black (her left hand) is the pupil, front of the eye, etc.  Down where the white ball is is toward the back of the eye.  The white ball is the lens.

Animals have this gorgeous blue that humans don't.  That's why if you shine a light in a cats eye, it gives you that glow back; This is what causes that glow.  And truthfully opening these eyes up and seeing the blue & the lens made us all think we were rooting in oysters for pearls, lol :).

This was the lens.  Holy cow it was hard.  It felt like a small pebble.  Isn't it limestone that you can scrape away with your fingernail?  Anyway, you could actually scrape at this, but it was hard as rock.

I have a test over this material, the brain & the nervous system on Wednesday (March 7th).  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

It Felt Like a First Date....

When I first started blogging, I didn't have a clue what a blog even was.  A guy I went to college with started one and posted it on good ole FB and I saw that and thought... hmmmm... so that morning I signed up for one myself.  Absolutely NO idea what a blog was, I jumped in head first.  (It was obvious by my first post!)

So jump forward a few months, maybe even half a year and I kind of "got my groove".  I still wasn't 100% sure what I was doing (heck, I still don't know) but I was introduced somehow to the Pioneer Woman.  One day I was reading through her post on one of her book signing trips to Portland and was compelled to go down through the commenter's comments.  If you've ever commented on her blog, you have a place where you can leave your blog.  If the names are blue, they have a blog attached.  So I started hitting the names of a few just to see if it might be someone I would be interested in following their blog.   

That's when I stumbled upon Stef's blog, Too Much To Do So Little Time.  And then I saw this post... I knew we'd be friends.  So we got to following each other emailing and eventually swapped phone numbers which lead to texts & a few phone calls.  Yeah we're cool like that :).

So jump forward to 2012... a few weeks ago Stef emailed me and told me that her step-momma wasn't doing very well.  Now Stef is from around these parts but she and her family now live up in the upper Northwest.  But her parents both still live in this here state I'm in :).  Then a few days later she emailed me to tell me that her step-momma passed away and she was headed "home" for the funeral.  While she was here, if we could arrange it, could we meet up?

So hubby and I talked about it, made sure we didn't have any prior plans or commitments (I'm horrible with commitments!) and then we decided to meet up with Stef and her daughter on Saturday in Springfield at Zio's.  What's better, good food, new friends, beautiful weather!

We made plans for meet up at 11:30 so we could avoid the lunchtime crowd.  Boy I'm glad we did!  Hubby & I got there a bit before them so we went ahead and got a table.

I told her to shoot me a message when they pulled into the parking lot and I'd meet them at the front door.  She (or possibly the Offspring, hopefully whoever wasn't driving!) sent me a text saying they were running about 20 minutes behind (so said the GPS) but they'd be there shortly.

I looked at hubby and laughed and said, Boy this feels like a first date.  He just giggled at me :).

Yummy bread! & dipping sauces with their seasoning & EVOO.

When they got there, they shot me a text and I walked up to the front.  I so need to steal a copy of the "first meeting" photo that The Offspring took of Stef and me.  I mean come on, it's true blogger style right, although I just took my point & shoot vs dragging taking my big camera.

They had never been to a Zio's so they asked what we recommended.  Well hubby & my favorite thing there is the Tomato Florentine Soup & Chicken Parmesan.  They went for that as well.  The servers were like now who got the Tomato Florentine?  And who got the Tomato Florentine.  It was funny, maybe one of those had to be there moments though :).  (Sorry, no pics, we all ate it way to fast!)

Then it was time for the Chicken Parm.  Stef and I both remembered to take pics this time.... but um... mine had this funky thing that I kept referring to as a Rooster Tail.  Come on, it stuck up and made for an ugly shot of my food.

So hubs saved the day and took a pic of his for me :)

After we were done eating, we all had to have to go boxes.  The waitress wrote "His" and "Hers" on our boxes.  We joked that we'd know which was mine because of the Rooster Tail.

We sat there and had a good chat for about 2 hours.  Hubs & Stef geeked out and left the Offspring and me a little puzzled at times, but hey, they found people who could talk on same terms, so it worked :).

And in true "mother" fashion, Stef tried to tell a few stories on the Offspring. ha!

And here's a group shot of the 4 of us :)

For my first "Blate" as I've seen them called, not to shabby :)  Hope you guys had a fabulous time with us Country Folk and my stories of shoveling horse poop & pulling baby lambs :). haha!  Also hope you had a great trip back to Oregon.





Monday, February 27, 2012

Smoked Salmon

If you hang around these parts any at all, you're fully aware of the fact I'm not crazy about fish.  But apparently when I was younger, my grandma would bring home Captain D's (we don't have one of those around here anymore, but it's like Long John Silvers) for dinner every once in a while.  Well both my parents worked, so I went to my grandparents house (my grandpa was retired) after school, and sometimes I would still be there when my grandma got home.

My grandpa swears (ok well he swore too (I've even been told I might get some of mine from him but shhhh), but this is more like promises... lol) that I used to eat all of mine (I guess grandma got me some to... I don't remember) and part of his.  So one day while I was over there and he heard me say I didn't like fish, he told me I was full of it.

Truth be told, I'm not real crazy about it, but anytime we're at a restaurant or even at home, if hubby orders it or makes it, I suck it up and try a piece.  Remember, our taste buds change every 7 years, so maybe, just maybe someday I'll love like it again.

All of that was said for this.... a fish recipe, courtesy of Hubby :).  Yes, I tried it.  No, I still don't like it.  Good thing my parents, my grandma & my mother in law were over to eat it so I didn't have to.  No offense sweetheart.  I loved the ribs you made me!!!!

Smoked Salmon

1.  Slice the salmon ever 3/4 of an inch down to the skin but not through the skin.

2.  Make the Brine consisting of

     2a. 1 Quart water

     2b. 1/3 cup brown sugar.

     2c. 1/3 cup Kosher Salt

     2d. 2 Cloves Garlic, minced.

     2e. Of course some black pepper.  About 1/4-1/2 tsp.

     2f.  Stir it all together

3.  Place fish in the brine and allow it to marinate for about 24 hours.


4.  Rinse the fish off (which we forgot this step so it was a bit salty.

5.  Once fish is rinsed off, place the fish skin side down on the smoking planks.

6.  Smoke the salmon at 250 degrees for 1 1/2-2 hrs or until the center of the meat is 137degrees F.

7.  Remove & enjoy (while I go eat some more smoked ribs... lol)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fall In Love with Your Microwave

via

I have a love hate relationship with my microwave.  It's so handy and convenient when it cooperates and works right, but when I pull food out of it that is still cold... I grumble, a lot.  Very seldom do I eat food that should be hot, cold.  I do make an exception for pizza.  I've always kind of had a thing for cold pizza, but as I get older I'm slowly outgrowing that.  But here are a few recipes to hopefully make you fall in love with your microwave all over again.  Enjoy :)


Mug in a Microwave: Easy Chocolate Cake

by Nicole
Cook Time: 3 Minutes
Keywords: Microwave snack dessert Cake Mix cake American
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbs. cake flour (for the record, we have used all purpose flour as a substitution and it works, however – the cake flour definitely makes it softer and more moist)
  • 4 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 Tbs. cocoa
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tbs. milk
  • 3 Tbs. oil
  • 1 lg. coffee mug
  • Topping of choice: homemade whipped cream, caramel sauce, fresh strawberries, cinnamon, powdered sugar, etc. (optional)
Instructions
Really easy directions. Grease the inside of the mug, just like you would grease a cake pan. You don’t have to do this, and not every recipe tells you to do this, but we found that if we grease the inside of the mug, it slides out easier and looks prettier. If you don’t care how it looks, skip that part.
Toss the flour, the sugar and the cocoa into the mug.
Mix them all up. Add an egg.
Stir it into the dry ingredients. Now, add the milk and oil, and mix really well.
Now put the mug into the microwave for 3 minutes. Yep. 3 minutes. Now, I won’t lie – sometimes this part can get a little messy. But then sometimes it works fine and it doesn’t go nuts. So, I’m just gonna say, the larger the mug, the better this will be (or less messy anyway).
Wait until it stops rising and sets in the mug and then using a towel or a pot holder, remove the HOT mug from the microwave and slide the contents out onto a plate. Top with homemade whipped cream or caramel sauce, or whatever you wish to serve it with. Enjoy!
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Uncle Bill’s microwave potato chips

by Nicole
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 6 Minutes
Keywords: microwave snack potatoes American
Ingredients
  • Large potatoes (russet, yellow gold, white or red potatoes)
  • Your choice spices (granulated garlic powder, seasoning salt, cayenne pepper, dried dill weed, granulated garlic powder)
  • Vegetable oil
Instructions
If potatoes are old, peel and slice paper thin. If potatoes are new or good skins, do not peel. Scrub well then slice paper thin. Place potato slices in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, if desired, cover with cold water and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove in small batches to paper towels and pat dry. For microwave bacon tray, rub the tray with vegetable oil then place sliced potatoes flat on tray in a single layer. Sprinkle with your choice of herbs or spices or just leave plain. Cover tray with microwavable, heavy plastic cover. Microwave on high for 5 to 5 1/2 minutes or until they curl slightly and are very light brown in color. Reduce cooking time to 4 to 4 1/2 minutes after first batch. For microwave safe casserole dish, rub inside of dish with olive oil for the first batch only. For parchment paper, spray or rub paper with vegetable oil, place sliced potatoes flat in a single layer then cover with another layer of parchment paper. Microwave 5 to 6 minutes.
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Microwave Coffee Cup Scramble
prep time: 1 minute
Cook time: 45-60 seconds
Makes: 1 serving

What you need:
2 Eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp shredded Cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper

Here's How:
1.  Coat 12 oz microwave-safe coffee mug with cooking spray.  Add eggs and milk; beat until blended.
2.  Microwave on High 45 seconds; stir.  Mircorwave until eggs are almost set, 30-45 seconds longer.
3.  Top with cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Found in Good Housekeeping, February 2012 edition, page 52.








Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • A splash of Vanilla (I never measure, probably 1-1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Place vanilla & vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done. 
And definitely eat them hot out of the oven!  Definitely to die for.  Ok maybe not die for but they're super  yummy!
Yes, my Instagram photo doesn't do it justice!



Blueberry Muffins

by Nicole
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: bake bread breakfast snack dessert a/p flour blueberries
Ingredients (12 Muffins)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • A splash of Vanilla (I never measure, probably 1-1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Instructions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, baking powder and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Place vanilla & vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.
And definitely eat them hot out of the oven! Definitely to die for. Ok maybe not die for but they're super yummy!
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Friday, February 24, 2012

American Bird

When I was a little kid, I couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old, my dad and I were driving down the road in his '89 Red Chevy S-10.  We were driving out by the house I grew up in that my parents sold when I was around 10 or 11, that's kind of how I get a rough idea of how old I was.  It was a cloudy day.  My dad and I looked out of the window of the truck and saw a Bald Eagle.  I had never seen an eagle in my life, and he said they weren't all that common around here.  Unfortunately we didn't have a camera with us and no one we told seemed to believe us, but we knew!

Jump forward 20something years and a few weeks ago my dad, husband and {step}daughter were riding horses through my grandparents property.  They came back telling me about the bald Eagle they'd seen (eating a dead animal but you really didn't need to know that).  Not going to lie, I might have been a smidge jealous because I would have liked to have seen that :).  (Not the dead animal part, but the eagle part.)  A couple weeks later when the {step}daughter was over again, we went horse back riding again.  Unfortunately, no bald Eagle this time but Tbug sure pointed out where they saw the last one, multiple times.  I think she was bragging She wanted me to know where she saw it.

She wound up staying at my parents house that afternoon while we headed home to go study for a fun A&P test.  Yes they're fun, didn't you know that?  We got about two miles from the house down in the bottoms and hubs and I both looked out the window at the same time and caught a glimpse of a bird.  Upon closer examination, it was in fact a Bald Eagle.

I yelled at hubby to stop about the same time he decided to.  Luckily no one was following us :).  Oddly enough I actually had my long range lens on my camera from earlier in the morning so I pulled it out of the bag just in time for the bird to fly from the field on my side of the road over to hubbys side.  So I gave him the camera and he snapped away.





















Unfortunately he she it was flying away from us most of the time so we didn't get a clear, concise picture of it, but heck, this is better than when I was 5-6 :)

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