Sunday, October 31, 2010

The ‘stumes

We love foxes. We also loved the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox. Foxes are clever and quick on their feet. I am neither of these, but it’s something to aspire to.




Thankee, Jess for the pictures.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Micah’s pumpkin



Happy Halloween! And remember, science can be scary too.

Our costumes are forthcoming, as soon as we can get the pictures.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The pumpkins.

Halloween is great for people like me who need the creative expression. So I take my pumpkin carvings a little seriously.



Stay tuned for Micah’s creation.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sometimes life is hard.

But there is always youtube.

Don’t mind the title.

Random things that make me happy 2.0

Jamba Juice.


My ipod and the cute owl bag I got to hold it (purchased at H&M…a store that makes me very happy)


Books, and this little guy I made out of felt (let this be a clue as to what we are going to be for Halloween - - no, we’re not going as books…)


Fall decor. Autumn in general.


My sewing machine. It’s just a pretty blue. It also works really well.


Cool macro shot.


Organizing with Hello Kitty.


Artichoke Bruschetta. So easy. In fact I’ll just give you the recipe right here, right now. BAM.


  • 1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped (I get the big jar from costco because we LOVE ourselves some artichokes!)
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 5 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 French baguette, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices


  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix marinated artichoke hearts, Romano cheese, red onion and mayonnaise. Top French baguette slices with equal amounts of the artichoke heart mixture. Arrange slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  3. Broil in the preheated oven 2 minutes, or until toppings are bubbly and lightly browned.

And I like to sprinkle some parsley on top. OH YUM.


Moving right along…..

Sipping tea out of this guy.


Ok, so you may laugh at this, but it’s really a miracle.


I read somewhere that barkeepers friend works well on stainless steel pots. I was desperate for any kind of help trying to save these precious pans given to us by Micah’s parents. See the before picture:


And see AFTER. WHOAAAAA!!! It really really worked. With some elbow grease, but it was SOOO worth it.


Look at that shine! It was like I had new pots and pans all over again. Makes me so happy. Don’t you love that forest green counter top. Yeah, Merry Christmas.


I went a little crazy with the stuff and did them all. Oh what a joy.IMG_7503

Makes cooking so much more satisfying:


Mmm. Meatballs.

Monday, October 18, 2010

You need this.

Ok so, I just wanted to let you all know that we like to try out A LOT of recipes. Many of them are delicious. But not all of them turn out that great. For example, last week we tried a really decadent looking recipe for French toast, and…well it was REALLY decadent. “Sugar casserole” as I called it. So, before you all go thinking that we are “good cooks” – there are plenty of times things don’t turn out so good.

But the things that turn out incredibly good end up on our blog. So that should motivate you to try out the things we’ve tried.

Like yesterdays dinner:


Ok, really bad picture (See, not even all the pictures I take get all the glory) but surely, surely, you must know what this is…

ok I’ll give you a hint.


I know some of you snobs out there have access to a restaurant nearby, but for us out here in the Midwest, we are forced to be creative. (Not that I mind living in Chicago where some of the best restaurants in the world reside). Ahem. Let me share with you how we made our very own HOME-MADE Cafe Rio Pork Salads!

PORK BARBACOA. This is pretty easy, but takes some time in the slow cooker. I have found several blogs who have figured out this recipe for me, but this one seems to be what works best for us:

2 pounds pork roast

12 oz. Dr. Pepper 
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced

adobo sauce  from 7 oz. can chipotle chilies

1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Place roast in crock-pot, cover half-way with water and cook on low for 8 hours.   After 8 hours, drain pork, then add remaining ingredients and cook on low for another few hours. Shred the pork once it's done.


Ok, now for the Tomatillo dressing! Do not skip this part, it is definitely the best part of the salad for me. We like to add a bit more lime, because we’re just like that.

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
3 tomatillos (remove papery skin), rough chop
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup (or more) cilantro, rough chop
3 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
juice from 1 lime

blend it all together in the blender until smooth. Super easy.



3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
1/2 sweet onion, minced
1 section of green pepper, minced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
about 1/3-1/2 cup vinegar (use your best judgement)
salt and pepper


CILANTRO-LIME RICE (Ok so I cheated again, and didn’t even make rice – I never usually order it in my salad anyways. Still, this is the real deal, so here’s the recipe for your convenience):
1 c. uncooked rice
1 tsp. butter or margarine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 oz) chicken broth
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp. sugar
3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
In a saucepan combine rice, butter, garlic, 1 tsp. lime, chicken broth and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low 15-20 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat. In a small bowl combine lime juice, sugar and cilantro. Pour over hot cooked rice and mix in as you fluff the rice.



10-12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
Kosher salt

Cut tortillas into strips using a pizza cutter. You can cut 2-3 at a time pretty easily. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Place strips into hot oil and fry until they become crispy. When nice and crispy, remove from oil and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt after each batch.


Order of assembly!

1. Tortilla – with perhaps some melted cheese – I buy refrigerated uncooked tortillas at costco, and prepare as instructed.  (You can be all over-achiever like and make them on your own. If you’re like me, you’ll want as many good cheats as you can find.)

2. Beans – Straight from a can – black or pinto. I just zap them in the microwave with some garlic powder and chopped cilantro and green tobasco.

3. Rice – if you want.

4. Pork – so delicious.

5. Lettuce – thinly shredded Romaine, you want small enough pieces to get a little of everything on your fork

6. Pico de gallo – a big ole spoonful.

7. Guacamole – they scoop in on like ice-cream at the restaurant.

8. Tortilla  strips – These are the best!

9. Creamy Tomatillo Dressing – I like to keep mine on the side so my lettuce doesn’t get too slobbery.



At the zoo


Whoo!! Have you guys been to Epic Burger? It was pretty epic, as the name implies. Thank you Groupon!

We went to Lincoln Park Zoo last saturday, and I wonder why we waited so long.


Me and the Rhino!




These monkeys white cheeked gibbons were putting on quite the show.


Can you find the sleepy lions?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dream talk

So, some of you out there may or may not know that I talk in my sleep. And some of you have even been there to witness it. My personal favorite happens to be the time my roomie in college caught me saying, and I kid you not,





Pretty impressive? Maybe. But it gets weirder. A few nights ago, Micah finally was able to catch a glimpse of my subconscious  (I was fearing that I was past sleep talking). He seems to recall me expressing the following (mind you, he was really tired, but I was loud enough for him to wake up)

Me: { laughing} “But that doesn’t rhyme with _____(some word that Micah can’t remember)

Micah: “hah, what doesn’t rhyme with ___ Betsy?”

Me: “I dunno…”


And that’s it. I am open to interpretations on what this could all possibly mean. Why do I care so much about rhyming? And rainbows? When will they invent the rainbow magic rhyming machine? The world may never know.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall has….flung?

Trying to think of a fancy way to say that “Fall has arrived”….when weather-wise….it hasn’t.  At least this weekend. It has been scorching hot (for October, 88 degrees is scorching hot) and it’s really hard to tell that summer has ended.

Yesterday we went out with friends to an apple orchard to get our seasonal fruits. Only, most of those trees were picked clean! Interestingly, this did not put a damper in our visit, nor did I come with the expectation of coming home with a bushel of apples. I think I was more interested in getting a good old fashioned tractor ride, and to be even more honest, pumpkin doughnuts. (In my defense, they were really good, and well worth the trip. Also, is it possible to go wrong with donuts?…oh. NEVER.)

I think, for Micah, maybe it was all about the tree climbing.



Taking pictures of spiders…


dramatic poses…


And all this on like, two hours of sleep? Well somebody’s gotta stay up with the sickos in the emergency room. (Is the term “sicko” disrespectful? I may have just lost a few friends over that..)


For Barbie, maybe it was all about those precious moments spent on her husbands’ shoulders…


(I’ll leave you to blog about that, Barbie…:-)


No children were harmed in the process of this apple picking.


In the end, I was just there to look good.

{{{{{{{BETSY GET OVER YOURSELF}}}}}} photo taken by Micah who delights in taking way too many pictures of me

This blog post was brought to you by the Twilight-lovers fanclub of death.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dreams do come true.

When I was really young I had frequent dreams of meeting Kermit the frog and Miss Piggy – they would come to my house and be just as funny as they were on T.V. Well, I must say life has a funny way of making my dreams come as close as they can to reality…….

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Yes, that is me and Kermit the Frog. My old pal.

The Museum of Science and industry is currently showing an exhibit called “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World”. Trying to take pictures was tricky indeed; the security was TIGHT! But I managed to get some sneaky ones on my phone:

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Original artworks by Jim Henson.

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Don Music!!

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storyboard for “King of 8” segment on Sesame Street

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Micah and Miss Piggy.

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Bert and Ernie! And the original Rubber Duckie.

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Me and the Mahna Mahna guy – we now have the official spelling.

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Kira’s dress from “The Dark Crystal”

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ye olde Muppets.