Tuesday, October 30, 2012

All Day Long

With another day off of work due to Hurricane Sandy, I finished another scarf. This one was the second one for Ellen, but I had to start it from scratch, so it took all day. It turned out well, and I can't wait to finish the last one.

Monday, October 29, 2012

On A Roll

Well, Hurricane Sandy was coming and both of my works were closed. I spent the day crocheting and finished three, count 'em, three, scarves! The first was yet another of the ever popular Frilly Crochet Scarves for Kayla in "Boogie." This will be a gift for her mother's birthday.

The second was the second and final scarf for Janet.

The third was a completely random scarf that I made because I liked the yarn. It's made from Red Heart Boutique Magical "Wizard." It's got green, red, purple, and gray colors, and several different textures, which is part of what made it so cool for me. The pattern is called Spectrum Scarf.

I'll put it on my shop and see what happens.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blackberry Cobbler

A co-worker at Huber gave me some tires, for free, and I asked him if I could take him out to lunch. He said no, so then I asked if I could make him a dessert, what did he like? He said anything, but after some thought said a cobbler, no particular fruit. So, with Wanda's advice, I got this recipe for Blackberry Cobbler from the Pioneer Woman blog.

Blackberry Cobbler #1

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1-1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Self-Rising Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 cups Blackberries (frozen Or Fresh)
Preparation Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a microwavable dish. Pour 1 cup of sugar and flour into a mixing bowl, whisking in milk. Mix well. Then, pour in melted butter and whisk it all well together. Butter a baking dish.
  2. Now rinse and pat dry the blackberries. Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle blackberries over the top of the batter; distributing evenly. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over the top.
  3. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or until golden and bubbly. If you desire, sprinkle an additional teaspoon of sugar over the cobbler 10 minutes before it’s done.
It was pretty delicious. The tartness of the blackberries offset the sweetness of the sugar that was sprinkled on top. Tom said this is one of his favorite things I've ever made.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rah-Rah Ruffles Scarf

This is the first scarf I've worked on that might not go to a particular person. Adrienne, from the restaurant, has a Secret Sister at her other job, and asked me to crochet a scarf for her. She thought her Secret Sister might like the Baltimore Orioles, or maybe the New York Yankees, but she wasn't sure. So, to get a jump on this particular project, I crocheted the Rah-Rah Ruffles Scarf out of Red Heart Team Spirit "Orange/Black."

If Adrienne's Secret Sister likes the Orioles, it's hers, but otherwise, I'll try to sell it to some other Orioles/Clemson/Harley Davidson fan.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Two More Scarves

I completed two more scarves today. The first was ordered by Ellen, a regular at the restaurant, at the Ashley Greene benefit. She liked the larger, purple and black Fun Fur scarf I had on display, but wanted three, and a foot longer! So I added another foot to the existing scarf, and Voila, it was done!

The second scarf was for Linda at Huber. She ordered two Frilly Crochett Scarves for two of her step-daughters, both in "Shuffle."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Two Scarves Done

Since I started crocheting scarves for the Ashley Greene benefit, I've had some co-workers and one regular customer "order" scarves from me. Today, I completed two. The first was for Janet. She ordered two for her daughters, so this means that half of her order is done.

The second was for Chris. He ordered a Frilly Crochet Scarf for his mother, in the color "Hip Hop," which are kind of Eagles colors (at least in fluorescent light).

Things are moving along pretty well.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Eggplant and Tenderloin

For dinner tonight, I decided to make an eggplant dish that I saw first on a blog called Cooking by Sight, but then found a less healthy version elsewhere, and a steak dish that I got from a Pillsbury e-newsletter.

Eggplant Roulade

  • 2 italian (or 2 small almost seedless american) eggplants
  • 1/3 cup oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour for rolling
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon walnut (optional)
Serving: 3
Or you can use: chopped fresh tomatoes, garlic, chopped cilantro, minced garlic
  1. Trim eggplants and cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Put slices in salted cold water for half an hour to remove bitterness and prevent excessive oil adsorption during frying.
  2. Remove the slices from water and dry them with paper towels. Roll the slices in flour until coated.
  3. Place the eggplant slices in a skillet of preheated oil. Fry until crisp and golden brown (big heat) on both sides. Check the tenderness of the slices with a fork.
  4. Remove from skillet and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. For filling: mix mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic and cilantro in a small bowl.
  6. Spread 1 teaspoon of filling on each eggplant slice and roll up the slice, enclosing the filling. Make the remaining roulades in the same way.
  7. Garnish with cilantro.
I think that this dish had a lot of potential, but, in my opinion, it needs more filling for each eggplant slice. It could be that I bought eggplants that were just too big, but they were the smallest ones available at the store early this morning. They had graffiti eggplants that were smaller, but I wasn't sure how the flavor would be affected.
Wrapped Tenderloin with Gorgonzola-Mushroom Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 beef tenderloin steaks, about 1 inch thick (4 oz each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
  • 4 Pillsbury® Grands!® frozen buttermilk biscuits (from 25-oz bag)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 jar (4.5 oz) Green Giant® sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. In 8-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Pat steaks dry with paper towel; sprinkle both sides with steak seasoning. Add steaks to skillet; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove steaks from skillet; place on plate.
  2. Place 2 biscuits on microwavable plate. Microwave on High 30 to 40 seconds, turning biscuits over halfway through microwave time, until soft enough to press into rounds. Repeat with remaining 2 biscuits.
  3. Spray cookie sheet or 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. On cookie sheet or in baking dish, roll or press 2 of the biscuits into 5- to 6-inch rounds. Place 1 steak on center of each flattened biscuit. Press remaining 2 biscuits into 5- to 6-inch rounds; place over steaks. Flute or crimp edges with fork to seal. In small bowl, beat egg yolk and water with fork until blended; brush over top biscuits. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, mix cheese, pepper, whipping cream and Worcestershire sauce. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted. Stir in mushrooms. Keep warm over low heat.
  5. Serve half of mushroom gravy over each wrapped steak; sprinkle with parsley.
This dish was really tasty, and Tom loved it. It was a version of Beef Wellington, which I've only ever had at the Tidewater off of the banquet buffets, and they aren't really fabulous. Tom liked the biscuit surrounding the beef much better than the phyllo dough that the Tidewater uses. I think the phyllo is the best part of the Tidewater's banquet Beef Wellington. The Gorgonzola-Mushroom Gravy was surprisingly good, too.

Ashley Greene Benefit

Tonight, the Tidewater is having a benefit for Ashley Greene, a local lady who has been diagnosed with Ciliary Body Melanoma. She has been accepted into a clinical trial in San Diego to study this disease. The proceeds from this benefit will assist her with the cost of airfare and hotels so that she can participate in this study.
As with Holly's and Lyn's benefits, $1 from the purchase of every drink in the bar was donated to the cause, and there were raffle and silent auction items in the banquet room. For my part, I crocheted some scarves, and put them up for sale, with everthing except for the cost of materials going to the charity.

Kristen, who organized the Lyn Comer benefit, did the same, but with football team themed wreaths. A couple of bands donated their time and talents, and the Tidewater donated some free hors d'oeuvres. Unfortunately, I had things to do, so I couldn't stick around for the actual event, but I did my part and purchased some raffle tickets.

Mocha Brownies

So, a couple of days ago, Linda (from Huber) sent me an e-mail with this recipe for Mocha Brownies. She says she had some of them at a cat show, and couldn't stop eating them, so, of course, I had to try them out. Luckily, Nicole's birthday was today, so I brought them in to Tidewater to help celebrate!

Mocha Brownies

    • 4 eggs beaten
    • 1 C sugar
    • 1 stick real butter
    • 1 t vanilla
    • 1/2 t salt
    • 1 C flour
    • 2 T instant espresso coffee ( more can be added)
    • 1-16 oz can Hershey's syrup
  1. Beat together butter and sugar till fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. Add salt and vanilla. Add flour and syrup and mix well. Pour into greased and floured 9x13 baking pan @ 350 for 20-25 min. Check at 20 min. Remove from oven and cool in pan.
    • 2 C powdered sugar
    • 1 stick real butter
    • 4 T Kahlua
  2. Mix butter and sugar and then add Kahlua. Mix well and spread over cooled brownies. Put in fridge to cool.
    • 6 oz chocolate chips
    • 6 T real butter
  3. Melt butter and chips in small saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and spread over brownies. Keep in fridge for easier cutting. May also be frozen.
  4. For mint brownies, delete espresso from brownie layer and replace Kahlua with creme de menthe.
They were super easy to make. I made the first and second layers last night (or early this morning), and stuck the pan in the refrigerator until I left for work this morning. I did the third layer at work, and put it in the refrigereator until Nicole got to work. They went over really well. I thought that they were a tad bit too sweet, but practically everyone else on the staff who tried them liked them.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Oppa Gangnam Style

Why do I only hear about these great things months after they happen? On Wednesday, one of the girls in band told me about this song, which I swear I hadn't heard before. I looked it up today, and I love it! This past Sunday, at the game, this song was played in the stadium, and several of the younger, more hip, band members were doing the dance that goes with it. I had no idea what they were doing, but they were fun to watch. I just have to share my newest fascination.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

MDIFT 2012

Tonight, after work, Tom drove me to the Maryland Institute of Food Technologies Annual Supplier's Night. This year's show was really nice. It was at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, and it was so much better than the usual sterile hotel convention environment.
Tom came in, too, and he really enjoyed the museum atmosphere. He even wants to go back to see the museum!
Afterwards, I took a few photos of the view.

We don't usually see the Inner Harbor from this angle.

And of course, the famous Domino's Sugar sign. Overall, a very pleasant evening.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ravens vs. Cowboys

What a crazy game we had against the Cowboys today. The very end was a nail-biter, with a failed two-point conversion, on-side kick, and failed field goal attempt which resulted in a Ravens win, 29-31.

It was, of course, our breast cancer awareness game, and the band wore pink ribbons and pink plumes.

For pregame, we performed Immigrant Song and Jump, and for our halftime show, a Queen Medley. We were joined by Josh Spiegel from 98 Rock. I, for one, was quite disappointed by the experience. I thought that he would be a little bit more active with the band, but I only saw him once during the game, right before halftime. I would also liked to have seen him address the band with some real feeling, not like he's just doing his job.

When I got home, I made dinner with some items I got from Tastefully Simple, the potato cheddar soup and the parmesan cheddar biscuits.

They were super easy to make, but I didn't think the flavor was as good as everyone raved. Don't get me wrong, we ate all of it, but I don't think I'd go out of my way to purchase either of them again.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Huber 60th Anniversary

Back in August, Huber reached a benchmark, the 60th anniversary of the first shipment out of the Havre de Grace plant. Today, we celebrated it. Current employees, retirees, and families were invited to join us for plant tours and demonstrations. Kathie, my boss, asked me to take part in the demonstrations, and I agreed to do it. Kathie did sand art, someone else made toothpaste, and I demonstrated carriers, anti-caking/free-flow, defoamers, and oil filtration.

It all went pretty well in my opinion. Time seemed to go pretty fast, and the people seemed to enjoy the demonstrations. There was even a railcar on display.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Frilly Crochet Scarf

Back on Saturday, Mel told me about a scarf she saw at a shop called Pizazz in downtown Havre de Grace. She said it was being sold for $18, and when she saw it, she thought, "Woo can make that." When I went to Wal-Mart on Sunday, I picked up some "yarn" and finished the scarf with one ball a few days ago.

Mel thought it should be a little longer than the three feet it ended up being, so I finished making it four feet long tonight, and gave it to Mel. She loved it, and wore it most of the night. She thinks I should make more, and sell them. Julia, another bartender at the Tidewater, even put an order in for the next one!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Spiegel Plays Triangle

Big news with the band, this Sunday we will have a guest performer. Spiegel, from Mickey, Amelia, and Spiegel on 98 Rock.

He plans on playing triangle, something he's new to. 98 Rock has been great supporters of the band, and we're really excited to have him perform with us.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Karate Tournament

Today I experienced the shortest Pep Band gig in the history of the band. There was a Karate Tournament at the Downtown Hilton in Baltimore, and we were booked to play the Star Spangled Banner for their opening ceremonies. No concert, nothing else, just the Star Spangled Banner. Quick and easy.
Tom wanted to come with me, so that we could spend time together, and then go to Wal-Mart afterwards. On the way to Wal-Mart, we stopped at Friendly's, hopefully for breakfast, but ultimately for lunch. I got the soup and salad combo, New England Clam Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl with Caesar salad.

It was tasty, but I like my clam chowder much better.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chicken and Mermaids

Tonight, I got to work at the restuarant 15 minutes early, and threw this recipe together.
Bleu Cheese and Apple Stuffed Chicken Breasts

  • 2 (6-oz) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 oz (1/4 cup) crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup Finely chopped apple
  • 1 tsp Chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp Salt
  • Dash pepper
  • Dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup Apple cider or apple juice
  • 1/3 cup Chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup Uncooked instant white rice
  • 1 tbsp Chopped green onions
  • 6 Thin apple slices
  • 1 tbsp Chopped pecans (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350. With sharp knife, cut 3-inch slit in meaty side of each chicken breast half to form pocket.
  2. In a small bowl, combine cheese, chopped apple, and 1 tsp green onions; mix well. Gently spoon half of filling into each chicken pocket. Close with toothpick or small skewer. Place in ungreased 10x6 inch baking dish. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and paprika. Pour cider (or apple juice) and broth over chicken.
  3. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until chicken is fork tender and juices run clear.
  4. Remove from oven. Remove chicken from baking dish; place on serving platter. Cover to keep warm. Add rice and 1 Tbsp chopped green onions to juices in baking dish; mix well. Place apple slices over rice.
  5. Cover; return to oven. Bake an additonal 2 to 4 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Serve rice with chicken. Sprinkle each serving with chopped pecans, if desired.
I only made the chicken part, and it turned out really well. Surprisingly, the bleu cheese flavor wasn't as overpowering as I anticipated, and almost all of the people who tried it liked it. The people who didn't try it said they didn't like bleu cheese - their loss.
And, while at work, I received a long awaited text/picture message - Jamie C's new baby in the mermaid outfit what I crocheted for her.

As you know, I was really concerned about the size, but from this picture, it looks a little big.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Marching Ravens Slideshow

I just found out about this slideshow, posted on the Ravnes website on September 14, and I'm in it! Just in case the link doesn't work, here's the photo.