Sunday, March 28, 2010

Counting my blessings

It’s been kind of rough around here lately in the mechanical category. It all started about a month ago when our cutting edge (6 years ago), should last us a lifetime, HDTV blew its “on/off” switch which we found out, more or less totaled it. Since my husband loves this sort of stuff, we shopped every Costco, Best Buy and Walmart in the Denver metropolitan area until we found the giant 46” TV that now graces our family room. Then my dryer stopped heating. It got lukewarm and still tumbled, but if you wanted clean towels, you had to plan a couple of days ahead and leave them in there long enough to let the dryer beat the moisture out of them. Since my husband doesn’t like shopping for dryers, we set about repairing it instead of replacing it with a new one. Thank goodness he is a real handyman and it only took two different part shipments from goodness knows where and one month, but he got it fixed in the end. Shortly afterwards, our desktop computer “blew up” according to our son (funny, I never heard an explosion). Call me crazy, but I think that since we have two notebook computers, we really don’t need to replace it, but seeing that it means another trip to Best Buy, I will probably be overruled. Now, the final straw, we lost power several times during the big snow storm we had a few days ago, and I guess all the on and off and power surges killed my 2004 Pillsbury Bake Off, category winner, hot shot, big time GE Profile oven. At first I thought that it had defaulted to Sabbath mode but no such luck, it is graveyard dead. Good thing we are procrastinators (and hoarders) and never got around to selling the oven that came with our house. It’s not nearly as fancy, but it’s still out in our garage waiting for our return and hopefully still works. Oh sure, I know that it could be worse but, good grief, enough is enough.


Rest in peace old friend

My new blogger friend Jane from Midwest to Midlands sent me a happiness award the other day and little did I know when I received it how timely it would be. I was really touched and assured that the author of this beautiful blog is just as wonderful as her photos and writing portray her to be. If you have a few minutes and would like to see the heart of England through a midwesterner's eyes, please pay her a visit at http://midwesttomidlands.blogspot.com. Anyway, she asked that I not only share the gift of her award with some of my blogger friends but also ten things that make me happy. When I started writing my list I realized how many things I have to be thankful for. So thanks Jane, for helping me to slow down and smell the roses and realize how insignificant my recent run of bad luck has been in comparison to my overall great life. So here are the top 10 things that make me happy in no particular order.

1. Sharing a great meal with my family.

2. Having a coffee with my dear friend Karen, at her kitchen table in Nottingham, while reading through the Daily Mail.

3. Walking from Papplewick to Newstead Abby with my dear friend Susan.

4. Sharing a laugh with my husband.

5. A hot bath on a cold day.

6. Seeing my children smile (corny but true).

7. Maui.

8. My dog.

9. Good health.

10. Traveling anywhere.

Well, I know that’s a pretty simple list but as long as I have them, who needs a Profile oven anyway.

As it goes I am now supposed to pass this award on to some of my fellow bloggers so they can share it with some of their friends after sharing with us 10 things that make them happy. So my chosen blogger friends are as follows:

Carole at http://cybercookscookingcorner.blogspot.com

Allie at http://findinginspirationinfood.blogspot.com

Lisa at http://jerseygirlcooks.blogspot.com

Tracy at http://rahchachow.blogspot.com

Heather at http://heatherfeather-lavenderblue.blogspot.com

Shannon at http://www.themessyapron.com

Veronica at http://www.supermarketserenade.com

Velva at http://www.tomatoesonthevine-velva.blogspot.com

Laurie at http://laurielufkin.wordpress.com

Conor at http://holdthebeef.blogspot.com (I just found out that she had this award waiting for me at her blog too, so thanks Conor!)




Since my oven is no more, and baking or broiling anything is out of the question, I thought I’d cook up something in the microwave, which I found challenging to say the least. I finally thought about this simple recipe that everyone loves and is much easier than any old cookie recipe. This is a great recipe for beginning cooks or something fun to make with younger children.



Puppy Chow

12 ounces (340g) chocolate chips (either semi-sweet or milk)
1/2 cup (125ml) smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter
8 cups rice Chex or Shreddies
1 heaping cup powdered (icing) sugar

Place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl or double boiler if cooking on top of the stove. Microwave chocolate chips on high stirring after every 30 second interval until they are melted. Add the peanut butter and butter. Stir well until the mixture is smooth and the ingredients are combined.

Place cereal in a very large bowl and pour the chocolate mixture over the top. With a large spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir the cereal and chocolate until the cereal is coated with the chocolate.

Place 1/2 of the powdered sugar in the bottom of a paper or plastic bag. Pour 1/2 of the coated cereal into the bag, close the top and shake well to coat. Pour coated and dusted cereal onto a piece of waxed paper or cookie sheet to cool and set up. Repeat with the remaining sugar and cereal. At this point I like to place about 1/3 of the cereal at a time in a colander and shake a few times to remove the excess sugar. This step isn't necessary but I like the results.
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