Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Mistress of Normandy

This book was much easier to read than the last one. I finished reading "The Mistress of Normandy," by Susan Wiggs, in a few days.

The hero was consistent in his love for the heroine, but the heroine made many mistakes that were quite annoying, trying to use his love to fight for her beliefs. Kind of annoying.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Assateague Adventure

This morning was a busy one. We got up extra early to walk down the Boardwalk to the Inlet to get some sunrise pictures with the pier in the picture. I think some of them turned out well.

Afterwards, we took the Assateague Adventure cruise. It started with a ride to West Ocean City's harbor, where we saw many fishing vessels and heard about Ocean City's history. Next, we went to Assateague Island, where we disembarked in order to look at the wildlife.

We saw wild hermit crabs and little schools of fish. It was great! Then we traveled up the Inlet and saw the wild ponies on the ocean side of the island.

Then, back on the beach, I finally finished reading "The Templar Salvation" by Raymond Khoury!

I acquired it last year ago, after one of my knee surgeries, and didn't start reading it until July 5 of this year. It had a good story line, but it wasn't an easy read.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lima Beans

Jeff was on vacation last week, and his wife is a member of the co-op at Brad's Produce. He asked us to pick up their share of vegetables for the week, and one of Tom's decisions was lima beans. We fixed them tonight, loosely based on a recipe from Tricia Yearwood.

Lima Beans

  • 2 quarts fresh lima beans, shucked
  • 1/2 teaspoon, heaping, salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  1. Fill a large pot with water, add lima beans and salt. Boil 30 minutes, or until lima beans are tender.
  2. Drain lima beans, return to pot, add butter and pepper and stir.
Tom is a self-proclaimed lima bean expert (even though I have never seen him eat them in our twenty years of marriage), and he said they were the best lima beans he has ever eaten - but he wouldn't add more pepper. I, myself, am a lima bean virgin, and I thought they were good - with a little bit of added salt.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Ravens vs Redskins

Baltimore played the Washington Redskins in their final home preseason game for the season. In this "Battle of the Beltway," the Ravens were triumphant, defeating the Redskins 23-17. Once again, the band only performed a pregame show, but we were fabulous!

ALS IceBucketChallenge

After O.J. Brigance issued a statement about his support for the ALS IceBucketChallenge, the band's Facebook page went crazy trying to decide when, where and how to do it - and who to challenge. Then, after planning to do it Wednesday after practice, and rescheduling due to logistics, we were challenged by the Carolina Purrcussion! We ended up doing it before rehearsal today.
It wasn't nearly as bad as I expected, and it's great to have done something like that for a good cause. Check out the "official" video here!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Ravens Family Movie Night

There was a Pep Band gig tonight, playing for the people entering the stadium for Family Movie Night.

We sounded great, and had a really good crew on, a lot of veterans. We had considered playing some tunes that we hadn't touched in a while, but the guy playing 1st trumpet was new, so that idea was nixed about halfway through the gig.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Seafood Festival

It's been a long time since I've attended the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival, and last night, Tom and I decided to take some time this weekend to check it out.

We only allotted a few hours before I had to go to work, and now I wish I'd planned for more. We ended up getting seafood from Captain Dave's -

the fried seafood platter and lobster roll.

The atmosphere was pretty neat, and from what little we had time to see, there were some pretty cool craft vendors. We think we're going to visit next year, too.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ravens vs 49ers

The first pre-season game of the 2014 season was tonight! The Ravens gave the 49ers a butt-kicking, and won 23-3. The band was pretty fabulous, too. We only performed a pre-game show, but for not having a good field to practice on, our form looked "good."

It needs to look a bit more sleek, but it was recognizable - don't you think?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Turtle Shell Photo Prop

Mandy from Tidewater asked me to make a turtle shell for a girl friend who is pregnant, who loves turtles. I whipped out my crochet hook, and made this for her in a matter of days.

She loved it, and I hope her girl friend does, too. I used the same pattern that I used for Brit's turtle shell blanket.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Pretzels

For a week now, after seeing an episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," I've been wanting to try my hand at making stuffed pretzels from scratch. I finally found the time, and tried the recipe for Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Pretzels.

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Soft Pretzels

Serves: 8 Pretzels
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 10 cups water
  • scant ⅔ cup baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion and poppy seed for sprinkling
  1. In the bottom of a stand mixer, combine water, sugar and salt. Sprinkle yeast over. Let set for 5 minutes until foamy. Add in flour and melted butter. Using the dough hook, mix the dough until combined on a low speed, Increase the speed to medium and mix for five to seven minutes until dough becomes smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Rinse bowl off and then grease with canola oil. Place dough in the bottom and coat with oil. Cover with a towel and place in a warm, draft –free place. Let rise for one hour.
  3. While the dough rises make filling. In a food processor combine, 6 ounces cheese, cream cheese, jalapeños and garlic powder. Pulse until combined and jalapeños are chopped.
  4. Once the dough has risen, cut dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll dough into an 18 inch rope. Flatten rope with a rolling pin so that it becomes a very long rectangle. Spread one tablespoon of filling along the middle of the dough. Fold back over and pinch to seal, roll back into a rope. Shape into pretzels.
  5. Place pretzels in the freeze for five minutes to firm up the cheese filling.
  6. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large stock pot to a rolling boil. Add baking soda. Place pretzels one at a time in the water and baking soda mixture. Cook for 45 seconds, flipping halfway through.
  7. Transfer pretzels to a greased baking sheet. Whisk egg and water together in a small bowl. Brush pretzels with egg wash and then sprinkle with desired topping and remaining shredded cheese. Bake until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
They turned out better than I could have hoped for. I left one unstuffed, for Tom, and he really enjoyed it. I also thought they were very good, and can't wait to try another recipe - the next one in the queue is spinach and artichoke dip stuffed pretzels. I can't wait!