Saturday, September 29, 2012

APG Oktoberfest Volksmarch

On Sunday, I was telling Tom about APG's Oktoberfest, and the activities that were planned for the event. When I mentioned the Volksmarch, he told me what it was, and talked about his prior experience participating in one. We thought it would be something fun to do together, so we registered for it.
I had a good time, despite some setbacks. Our day started by getting gas, then going to McDonald's for breakfast. We arrived on APG in time for the "safety briefing," and the start of the Volksmarch. Would you believe it, it was a 6 km course, and there were no port-o-potties along the course?
We started, and as we were walking down the first street, my left shoe started to give me a weird feeling. After a few minutes, I lifted up my boot (which was a steel-toe, over-the-ankle boot which I've had for maybe ten years), and noticed that the sole was falling off of the boot. I asked Tom to pull it off, and we continued to walk. After we crossed the street, my right shoe started to make the same squishy sounds and feelings, and after looking at the sole, it needed to be removed, too! After Tom pulled my second sole off, he offered for us to go back, but I said I would continue.
Our walk went well. Tom spent time talking to a medic and the Garrison Sergeant Major as they walked along with us. I can't tell you how much my feet hurt by the end of the walk, I could fell every stone I stepped on along the way. Now I know how the American Indians felt walking across the country in their mocassins!
At the end of the Volksmarch, we each received a pin with APG's Oktoberfest logo on it. I will wear it proudly, and if this event turns into a yearly one, I will gladly participate again.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ravens vs. Browns

Despite a lackluster performance by the Ravens, and a pretty decent effort from the Browns, the Ravens won this game, 16-23. After four games in seventeen days, I'm sure that the Ravens (and the fans) will appreciate the short break we will have before the next game. I'll need that time to dry out from the rain!
For halftime, the band formed a big 31 on the field for Jamal Lewis' induction to the Ring of Honor.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ravens vs. Patriots

Well, the big screen says it all. It was a hard fought battle, but the Ravens pulled out a win over the New England Patriots, 30-31, by scoring a field goal in the last two seconds of the game.

Seriously though, even though it was a win for the Ravens, the game did not appear to be well played.
Regardless, the band played well, even though we had a rough rehearsal where things didn't seem to mesh and there were problems keeping the tempo. We payed tribute to Latin American month by first playing Johnny's Mambo as our pregame tune, and playing Santana tunes for halftime: Smooth, Evil Ways, and Everybody's Everything.
On a completely different note, today was Kayla's (a hostess at the Tidewater) birthday, and yesterday, Mel put together this cake for her.

You may have seen it's inspiration on Facebook, but Mel added her own twist, Kayla's friend, Rachel, is holding her hair while she's puking! What are friends for?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hobbit Seed Cake

Some time last week, a friend posted on Facebook about Hobbit Second Breakfast.

I thought it'd be fun to participate, so I made this recipe that I found on the website.

Hobbit Seed Cake

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g soft butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tbsp caraway seeds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tbsp orange zest
  1. Turn the oven on to 180C / 350F
  2. Grease and line with greaseproof paper a 1LB loaf tin
  3. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, add the sugar and butter (soft) and cream together until they are a pale colour. Add in the eggs one at a time and add in the vanilla extract and orange zest ensuring it is mixed thoroughly
  5. Add in the dry ingredients a bit at a time and alternate adding in the milk until all the ingredients are added.
  6. Gently stir in the caraway seeds
  7. Using a spatula, spoon the mixture into the greased 1LB loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes or until cooked
  8. Once ready remove from the oven and leave in the tin for a further 10 minutes. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool
  9. Serve in slices and if desired spread with butter
Well, this cake was a bit dry (maybe because I let it sit out overnight, uncovered?), but the flavor was really good. It was sweet and orange-y, with just a hint of the caraway.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rosemary-Garlic Beef Roast

While glancing though some recipe books this weekend, I came across this recipe, which I had printed off of the Internet a while ago, with hopes of trying it out. I decided to give it a try today, so I'd have something cooked up to eat before band practice tonight.

Slow Cooker Rosemary-Garlic Beef Roast

  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 5- to 6-lb beef boneless sirloin tip roast
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup Progresso® beef flavored broth (from 32-oz carton)
  • 3 tablespoons chili sauce
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  1. In small bowl, mix oil and Worcestershire sauce; brush over beef roast. Rub roast evenly with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, add onion. Pour 1/4 cup of the broth over onion. Place beef roast on onion. Refrigerate remaining broth.
  2. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 8 to 9 hours.
  3. Remove beef from cooker; cover to keep warm. In small bowl, mix remaining 3/4 cup broth, the chili sauce and flour; stir into hot mixture in cooker. Increase heat setting to High. Cook uncovered 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened. Serve gravy with beef.
The only major changes I made were using a 3+ pound rump roast and pouring the entire 14.5 ounce can of beef broth into the crockpot while cooking (and of course, not using the chili sauce for the gravy, for Tom's sake). Despite the mixed reviews on the Pillsbury website, I thought it turned out well. The meat was tender, but didn't have too much of the rosemary/garlic flavor - the gravy is what had the extra flavor. Tom said the meat was delicious, and that he didn't mind that the gravy had onions in it, he'd work around it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Huber End-of-Summer Luau

How fun did this turn out to be?

Despite some drama about posting signs for the potluck at work (it could be considered solicitation), we had a really good turn out, with over half of the people present wearing their Hawaiian shirts. I brought pork, sweet potatoes, baked beans, and coleslaw, and they were all well-received. Thanks to Tom, who did some prep work last night while I was at band practice, I didn't have to stay up all night preparing all of these dishes. I can't wait for our next function, so I can try out some more new things!

Luau Pork

This is the fourth and final item that I chose to bring for the End-of-Summer Luau at Huber.


  • 3 lb. arm picnic roast
  • 1/4 c. pineapple juice
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1/4 c. dark corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 sm. clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Place pork roast in plastic bag or shallow baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients; pour on pork. Fasten bag securely or cover dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 8 hours but no longer than 24 hours. Place pork fat-side up on rack in shallow roasting pan or baking dish; reserve marinade. Insert meat thermometer so tip is in center of thickest part of pork and does not rest in fat. Roast uncovered in 325 degree oven, brushing occasionally with reserved marinade, until thermometer registers 170 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours.
This pork turned out well, especially when drizzled with the marinade. I couldn't find an arm picnic roast, so I used a loin roast, so the meat was sliced instead of shredded, but I'm still happy with how it turned out. The flavor was really good.

Luau Coleslaw

This is the third of four items I decided to bring to Huber's End-of-Summer Luau


  • 3/4 c. light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 qt. finely shredded cabbage (about 3 lb.)
  • 1 (11 oz.) can mandarin orange sections, drained
  • 1 (6 oz.) can chilled jellied cranberry sauce, cut in cubes
Combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Chill. Just before serving, add cabbage and orange sections. Toss until evenly coated. Add cubed cranberry sauce, toss lightly. Serves 6-8.
The coleslaw was good. It had a good balance between the creamy and the vinegary flavor, and wasn't too sweet. But, I think it tasted more like Thanksgiving coleslaw, because of the cranberry sauce.

Luau Sweet Potatoes

This is one of the four items I decided to make for our End-of-Summer Luau at Huber


  • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. coarsely chopped macadamia nuts or peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg or ginger
Combine. In a 12 x 7 1/2 x 2 inch baking dish arrange 5-6 sweet potatoes (2 pounds), cooked, peeled, and cut crosswise into thick pieces and one 8 1/4 ounce can pineapple chunks, well drained. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture on top. Dip with 1/4 cup butter. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.
This dish turned out well. A little nutty, not too sweet, good flavor.

Luau Baked Beans

This is one of the four items I decided to bring for the End-of-Summer Luau at Huber.


  • 4 c. canned pork and beans
  • 1 1/4 c. crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 c. chili sauce
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 1/2 c. onions, chopped
  • 1/4 lb. bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp. prepared mustard
Fry bacon and remove from pan. Lightly fry onions. Mix all ingredients in baking dish and crumble bacon on top. Cover and bake for 45 minutes in 350 degree oven. Uncover for last 30 minutes of baking.
It was pretty spicy - I used Sriracha for the chili sauce (but I did back it off to 1/4 c.). I think if I would have used another hot sauce, or maybe a Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, it wouldn't have been as spicy. People did enjoy it, though, so maybe I did okay.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ravens vs. Bengals

Oh what a game! Exciting right from the start and the Ravens played really well throughout the entire game. They beat Cincinnati, 13-44, in the biggest blowout I've seen a long time.

Unfortunately, the band didn't perform as well. Our pregame show was fine, but during halftime, one of the songs fell apart about half way through. During "Swinging Doodle Dandy," a cut had been made in an awkward spot in the music, and I know that I was having trouble with the timing during rehearsal, but I thought I'd figured it out for performance. No such luck. Oh, well, how many people in the stadium actually pay attention to us, and would realize the mistake. Not many, I'm sure.

A couple of other neat things about this game: Michael Phelps was the honorary Captain of the Game (he ran out of the tunnel during introductions and participated in the coin toss), Maryland Olympians were honored, as well as the pilots and ground crew of the Warthogs for the flyover before the game, and about ten Orioles players were present in one of the club boxes (Cal Ripken, Jr and Matt Wieters being the only two names I remember).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chicken Broccoli Divan

Last week, I discovered this recipe in the Food section of the Baltimore Sun (yes, Wanda, I actually read part of a newspaper). It was one of those articles where someone is looking for a recipe that they'd seen in the past and didn't keep it or lost it.

Chicken Broccoli Divan

  • 4 cups cooked (about 1 pound raw) broccoli florets, drained
  • 2 cooked chicken breast (about 2 cups), chopped up
  • 1 (10¾-ounce) can reduced-fat condensed cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a 2-quart shallow baking dish, arrange the broccoli and chicken pieces. In a small bowl, mix soup, milk and pepper and pour over broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle cheese all over.
  3. Bake 15 minutes or until hot.
  4. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.
Once again, Tom said it was the best thing he'd ever eaten. Personally, I wonder how sincere he is when he says that, but it pleases me to no end that he actually enjoys some of the food that I'm cooking. His only comment was that when we make it again, and it'll probably be next week, he'd like to have twice the amount of sauce. We paired the dish with rice, and he would have liked to have more sauce to use as a gravy for his rice.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fremont Hall Catering Gig

Today, I helped out Martina with a wedding reception up in Newark, Delaware. It had a baseball theme, so the centerpiece we put together for the appetizer table had baseball gloves, baseballs, and beer coozies.

The centerpieces for each of the tables were these fun vases filled with what felt like bath beads and topped with a candle.

The cake was done in their colors - red for the Phillies and orange for the Orioles. The bride and groom on top are playing baseball.

It was great to get out and help out Martina, again. I haven't done a catering gig with her in a long time. Martina's parents were there, as well as Brenda (a former co-worker from the Tidewater), and Martina's usual girlfriends who assist with these gigs. I got to make some excellent ranch dip and dressing, as well as the salad. Good times, good food, good friends - that's what makes life grand.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rectangular Granny

The last couple of squares for the Granny Square Sampler Afghan are week 14's squares.

I love that they're a different shape, almost as much I love the one's that are dimensional. All that's left is blocking and assembling the afghan. Yeah!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Whirlygig

I'm working quickly! Week 13's assignment in the Granny Square Afghan Project is finished in one day!

They were easy to complete and look great!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Vacation in Ocean City

Can you believe it, my second vacation in one year?!? We haven't taken an extended vacation in Ocean City in several years, and we've been looking forward to it for months.

Not much went on, which is perfect for vacations. We spent our time walking on the boardwalk and/or beach or laying on the beach or beside the pool. We ate out, we ate in. One whole day was spent in the room, because it was so hot out, with no breeze.

I read a few books, which I don't do as much as I'd like, and I also crocheted a lot. I finished some squares for the Granny Square Afghan Project, and a bunch of flowers.

What do you think? The colors are so crazy that I love them. I'm not sure what I'll do with them, but they're done and there's an assortment.

Granny Square Spiral

Well, week 12's assignment in the Granny Square Afghan Project is complete.

I initially thought that it would be difficult working with four skeins of yarn at the same time, but it was easier than I expected. And I really like how they turned out.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Popcorn Flower Granny Square

Week 11's assignment for the Granny Square Afghan Project has been completed!

These squares turned out to be a lot easier to do than I had expected. I tried out a few new stitches (clusters and popcorns), and hope I did them right. Hopefully, they'll square up when I block them.