Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Photo A Day - Week 4

Week 4 of Photo a Day inspired by Fat Mum Slim

Kitchen Sink

I feel like I could say a million things about this picture, but it's so precious it sorta speaks for itself.


Riley received this book for her birthday from her Uncle Richie, Auntie Susee, and her cousins. I wasn't sure how into it she would be, but she really likes it. She has a thing for the sun and the moon so I imagine that's what drew her in to begin with, but now she is even starting to identify the planets! Well, Mercury, at least, but it's a start.

An Animal

This is my cat, Lucy. She's not my favorite. I know, I know... I'm terrible for saying so, but it's the truth. Diablo, our other cat, is just better behaved... or less annoying. Depends on who you ask. I actually planned on taking a picture of Diablo or both of them, but decided on this instead. Lucy was locked in our home office so she'd let Diablo eat in peace so I sorta had her trapped. I do have to give Lucy a lot of credit as she's pretty good about letting Riley pet and kiss her. She also likes to give lots of love to us... of course, it's usually because she wants food, but it's better than doing bad stuff.


So by the time I checked the picture prompt for the day I had already eaten my breakfast. Like many mornings, I had a couple of Van's frozen gluten free waffles with real maple syrup. I was delighted to discover these waffles taste like normal frozen waffles... and not like pieces of cardboard as many gluten free items do. I don't eat completely gluten free as it's just so hard to do so, but cutting back on it where I can has made a difference in how I feel.

This toaster oven is possibly as old as I am and that 'continuous cleaning' listed on the front is a complete surprise to me. You might have noticed that it's not very clean unless you think clean is covered in crumbs with burnt food on the bottom.


I used to have a drawer full of spare keys until I realized things like "I don't own that car anymore" so I pretty much got rid of them all and organized the rest. I own a duplex that has a different key for every door and deadbolt. Makes it a little irritating when you need to remember what key to use, but now that they are organized I only get slightly irritated trying to figure out what key to use.

Your Name

Jo. Can you see it. Huh? Huh?


I've never been an under the sink garbage can kind of person, but here I am. My husband and I have actually been trying to find the perfect trash can for years. It wasn't until we remodeled our tiny kitchen that it became blaringly obvious that we couldn't have just any eyesore acting as our garbage. My husband found this nifty solution... and finally, we can sleep soundly at night.

See Photo a Day week 1, 2, 3, and 5

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spelling Time

Riley LOVES the alphabet and could repeat it over and over and over (as she has multiple times today). Occasionally, we work with Riley on spelling words too. There are a few words she recognizes in her books, but I'm sure that's more about story memory than word recognition. Regardless, we will spell out lots of words with her including her name. She has a place mat and a cup with her name on it so when those are out it seems like a prime opportunity to work with her on it.

Earlier this week she was playing with her cup when I pointed to it and said "R.I.L.E.Y. Riley". She intently listened to me while looking at the cup and when I was done she looked up at me and said "E.F.G.H.I.J. Mommy". Haha. So Cute... and so close, I might add. She gave me 6 letters and 'Mommy' is 6 letters. Brilliant.

Ok, so maybe it wasn't even close, but she'll get there. In the meantime I plan on singing the alphabet song with her as many times as she wants me to. And from now on you can just call me EFGHIJ.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Photo a Day - Week 3

Week 3 of Photo a Day inspired by Fat Mum Slim


This picture is why I like this photo a day challenge. I probably never would have taken this picture, but now I have and it's one of my favorites. I wanted to get a unique view of the car and took pictures from a number of angles, but in the end this one just stands out.


Ham bone still loves her sunglasses. She's even wearing her 'Rock Star' shirt here which seems quite fitting. I even introduced the sunglasses on the head concept this day and she loved it. When I took the sunglasses off her head she'd insistently say "sungasses head".


Living the lie. Grandma got Riley this "Hug Me I'm Irish" t-shirt, but none of us are Irish. Regardless, it was St. Patty's day so, of course, she was going to wear it. Thanks grandma! We went to Riley's music class in the morning where most parents and their kids where wearing green except for her party pooper dad who was in blue. She was pretty excited and pointed out "green... green... green".

A corner of your home

The first pictures I took captured the truth of our house. Kids. Toys. Everywhere. I then took pictures of my antique cameras that sit in a cabinet in the corner. Then I decided to take a picture of this monkey cookie jar. My husband convinced me that no one needed to be subjected to a picture of our messy living room and that I should be literal in the sense that a corner should be distinctly showing in the picture. So this is what you get.  Meh.


Jenny, the goofball above, hosted a wedding shower for her new sister-in-law, Diana (in the polka dots on the right). Diana recently married my nephew, Michael, in San Diego where they live and are having a reception this weekend in MN. Technically, I was a host of the shower too, but all I did was pitch in some money and show up late due to work. Yes, I'm lame like that. Jenny did a great job pulling the shower all together, had two happy hour glasses of wine waiting for me, and made silly faces. Little did she know that she'd be my picture of the day.

Before / After

I recently picked up the five book Frankenstein series by Dean Koontz from the bookshelf at work. These books aren't ones that I would normally read, but I didn't have a book to read home on the bus that day so I thought I would give it a try. I am almost done with book three, but wasn't sure I'd read anything after book two. They are a pretty easy read and you can see here, between my bus ride and about 15 minutes of my lunch, I went from chapter 19 to 31. Once I complete the series I plan to write more and give my full opinion of these books.


This is one of my favorite meals to pick up downtown when I haven't brought my own lunch, but this day I wasn't as excited as I usually am. Sadly there wasn't really anything that I could truly call 'delicious' today, but this came closest.  Too bad this day's photo prompt wasn't 'mediocre'.

See Photo a Day week 1, 2, 4, and 5.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Freezer Meals

I've been meaning to do a serious day of freezer meal preparation, but have put it off for some time. However, my friend, Josie, is due with her second child in April so it seemed like a good time to make us both some food. I had intended to do this for Josie during her first pregnancy, but I was mid pregnancy myself and I could barely cook for myself. Instead I bought her some groceries. This time I was determined to make her food. I reviewed my cookbooks, recipes I've found on blogs, Pinterest, and other sites and decided to make the following.

Chicken Spaghetti
Tortilla Soup
Sloppy Joe's
Heinz 57 Meatloaf
Barbecued Pulled Pork
Red Bean and Sausage Soup
Allspice Muffins
Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yes, I realize that list is a little long. It is a lot of food, but I had some extra days off recently so I thought I could tackle it. My only real obstacle was not having enough rice to make the jambalaya after going to the store twice. Jesse picked some up a couple days after I finished most of the cooking so I was finally able to complete that one as well.

Some of the above recipes I've made before, but the tortilla soup, pulled pork, and muffins were new recipes. It's hard deciding what to cook for others because apparently not everyone likes what I like. I know Josie is a meat and rice kind of gal (I lived with her for 9 years and she made rice with every meal) and she informed me that her husband, Rob, is a meat and potatoes kind of guy so that helped me decide on a few items.

Once I decided which meals to make I wrote down all the ingredients I needed to purchase and made sure to double them. I then organized them by category (meat, produce, dairy...) and listed them in the order they are stocked in the grocery story. This made the trip go so much faster especially since I was shopping with a 2 year old.

As I mentioned I had some extra time off to tackle this so overall the planning, shopping and cooking took place over 5 days (not all day long each day), but I certainly could have completed this over 2 days.

Day 1: Planned food and created grocery list
Day 2: Went grocery shopping and completed some cooking
Day 3 and 4: Cooked. Day three I spent the most time cooking
Day 5: Finally made the jambalaya

Chicken Spaghetti 
(print recipe)
I got this recipe off of It's All Happening, a blog written by a co-worker. She has some great information about meal planning and freezer meals that are certainly worth checking out. We've made this recipe a number of times and it has always been a hit for the entire family. I made a few alterations to the original recipe. For example, I just cooked up chicken breasts, and used chicken broth from a box. Also, I can't do onions so I eliminated that from mine, but included it in Josie's (which I did in most of these recipes). Also, we love mushrooms so we added that to the mix. The recipe as is has always been too much for us to eat so I typically divide it into two baking dishes and pop one in the freezer for later.

Tortilla Soup 
(print recipe)
So this one was pulled out of USA Weekend. I've actually been finding a number of good recipes there. As I mentioned earlier this was the first time I made this recipe... and the first time I've made tortilla soup ever. Besides not being able to find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce at the first grocery store I went to this was a pretty easy and fast dish to make. When I originally couldn't find the chipotle peppers I thought I might have to skip that ingredient, but that would have been a huge mistake as it gives the soup a nice smokey flavor... and quite a bit of heat. If I make it again I might cut down on the chipotle peppers a little though as it was a little too hot for me.

Sloppy Joe's 
This was really as basic as you can get. Cook up a pound of ground beef; add can of sloppy joe mix. Done. And I might add, this one received the most excitement when I explained to Josie and Rob what I made for them.

Heinz 57 Meatloaf
(print recipe)
I came across this recipe so long ago that I can't remember where it came from. I turn to it whenever I want to make a tasty, easy meal like meatloaf. I often add mushrooms, and red or green peppers to get some more veggies in there as well. This is definitely my favorite meatloaf recipe.

Barbecued Pulled Pork 
(print recipe)
This was another new one, I think. I got this recipe out of a cookbook my mother in law gave me (Favorite Brand Name: One-Dish Cookbook, Slow Cooker Cookbook, Casseroles Cookbook). I made pulled pork once before, but was completely unsuccessful. To this day I have no idea what the problem was, but am so happy to have this turn out. The meat was tender and pretty much shredded without much assistance. I only made one batch of this as I was hesitant it would work out. All in all this was pretty good, but a little sweet for my taste. I'm not sure if it was the BBQ sauce I selected or if I would enjoy a different recipe without as much brown sugar. If you have a good recipe for this or a BBQ sauce suggestion I would love to hear it.

Red Bean Soup with Sausage
(print recipe)
I found this recipe in the same cookbook as the Barbecued Pulled Pork and have made it three different times. The actual recipe name is Red Bean Soup with Andouille Sausage, but each time I've made it with a different sausage. The first time I made it I asked my husband to get andouille sausage at the store, but he came home with something else (chorizo?). I wish I could remember what it was because it was my favorite version. The other times I made it with andouille and then with a beef smoked sausage. Both times were good, but just not as flavorful. I've also added rice to this soup to make it heartier. I'm not a huge soup fan as I never feel full after a bowl so this helped it act more as a meal for me. Oh, and I should admit that I totally cheat on this one and used canned red beans and have yet to add the ham hock. Maybe next time.

Allspice Muffins 
(print recipe)
I've tried a number of muffin recipes from Annie's Eats, but this one and the next listed were the ones I've made most recently. This one happened to be my hubby's favorite so it is likely to get made again.

Peanut butter and chocolate chip muffins
(print recipe)
I actually made this with soy nut butter. Good, but I was hoping they would be a little moister - not sure if it was because of the soy nut butter or what. Regardless, they were tasty and most were eaten so I had to make sure I set some aside for my friend.

(print recipe) 
My friend, Liza, suggested this recipe to me. She has 4 kids and a hubby, and all have some dietary restrictions. I figured this would be a hit as I only had to feed three people and only one of those has dietary issues. This is the second time I've made it and turns out it is a nice solid and yummy meal; although, I think I might add some of those chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to spice it up a little more next time.

Once completed I added all items to my freezer food chart (I actually created mine in Excel, but didn't know how to load it so I've now created it in Google docs to share).

I created the chart since food has been known to get lost in our little freezer in the past. Plus, I now don't have to move everything around in the freezer just to see what I have. I simply check the list posted on the side of the fridge and mark off items once removed from the fridge.

So there you have it. This was a little time consuming, but will save on time in the long run so it was certainly well worth it. So much so that I am tempted to buy a stand alone freezer so I can prep even more food.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes

We have our typical ritual for getting Riley ready for bed at night. Once upstairs, where her bedroom is, she runs to get her nukie and blankie. I then pick her up, place her on the changing table, change her diaper and put on her jammie jams. Lately, she’s started throwing her blankie on the ground while still up on the changing table. Deliberately throwing it. If I don’t pick it up immediately she freaks out. Since she’s not accidentally dropping it and because I am not her slave I don’t immediately pick it up. While she’s having a meltdown I explain that I will pick it up once I finish changing her diaper or putting on her jammie jams, but this does not appease her. There have been a couple of times she has even hit me. In those instances I have responded with a stern, yet calm “don’t hit me” sort of comment.

The other night was a pretty typical night. While on the changing table Riley threw her blankie on the floor, but instead of freaking out right away she turned to me and stated “don’t hit me”… and then hit me. This caused me to envision a yet to occur event where we are out in public where Riley has a tantrum and then exclaims in front of everyone “don’t hit me!”... followed by me dying of mortification as everyone looks at us thinking I beat my child. Context, people!

Look at that mouth. Could anything but  the sweetest things come out of it?

It really is an amazing time as Riley’s vocabulary grows in leaps and bounds, but this moment made me realize that nothing I say is off limits and without historical context… can be downright humiliating. Luckily, most of her comments aren't something that would make me blush in public and are usually moments of pride and joy. And even "don't hit me" can be taken that way too as she seems to be able to tie together the comment and the action. Sure, she still hit me after she made the comment, but we're working with baby steps here.

March Photo a Day - Week 2


I took a couple different pictures for this day' s challenge, but decided I liked this one best.for a couple reasons. This window is above my kitchen sink and after living in a couple houses that only had a wall to look at this window is greatly appreciated. It's probably the window I look out of most. Hopefully, my neighbors realize that I am washing dishes as I look out this window... otherwise I am probably known as the creepy neighbor who stands at her window. The other reason I like this window is that it's the perfect window to hang this crystal that my birthmom gave me. My last house did not have one window that allowed this crystal to show it's full spectrum of beauty.


Red is probably my favorite color. As noted in my last photo of the day post my house and my bedroom are red. So are a lot of my clothes. I seem to naturally navigate to red. So when deciding on what to capture for this day it would seem that I would perhaps take a picture of one of my beloved red items. Even now ( I right this several days later) I want to run outside and take a picture of my house, but I'll stick with the above picture.  "What is it" you might ask? It's a small decorative container my supervisor gave to each of us on my team when we made our recent move. Perhaps best used for pens, but I haven't decided on it's purpose yet. It just sits at my desk waiting to be used.


Riley provided me with many loud moments this day... at music class she was the loudest, and after her nap she had a complete breakdown that was mighty loud, but I didn't capture either of those moments. As the day wore on I tried to think how should I capture 'loud' and even tried to think of artsy fartsy ways to do so.  I even took a picture of rippling water when we were out on a windy (loud) walk. Later that day Riley and I were throwing a ball around when I asked if she could pretend to scream. She did and I got this picture. Way cuter than rippling water.

Someone you talked to today

I had to warn my husband that I would be taking a picture of him this day. He pretty much despises having his picture taken so I tried to ease his concerns by letting him know that I would take the picture from the back... which was apparently a lie because the first three pictures of him showed his face. And he didn't look happy in any of them. So instead of showing you my husband looking like a curmudgeon (when he's actually a rather awesome guy) I honored my word and took a picture of him from the back. You'll see he's wearing his headphones here which is a pretty common sight while he's at his computer. My desk sits to his right and I often have my back to him talking away when I realize he can't hear me because of his headphones. *sigh* I guess, even if he can't hear me, he's still someone I talked to.


My company made some cuts in the past year and one of the most abhorred is the change from a regular plastic fork to a spork. I haven't met one person who quite gets this change. I mean is a spork cheaper than a fork? Are we really saving that much? At any rate I couldn't successfully eat with these tools and decided to bring in my own silverware. I suppose this would have been the smart thing to do even before the big spork controversy, but better later than never. Right?

A Sign

I have three camera devices: My Nikon D80, my point and shoot Sony, and my cell phone. Obviously the D80 is my favorite to use, but it's large so my husband got me the Sony to always have in my purse for those moments I just needed to capture. Apparently, he was sick of the crappy pictures I was taking with my phone... and so was I. For this day I figured I would be using the Sony to take a picture of one of the signs at my office. I really didn't give this picture much thought. I wanted it to be something really awesome, but had resigned myself to it being a sign close to my cubicle. It was one of those days. So there I was at work at 7 pm realizing that I needed to take a picture before it was tool late when I realized that I left the Sony (and the Nikon) at home. So I present to you a picture with my phone. As far as the pictures I take on my phone this is a masterpiece. Usually most pictures are blurry. So 'thank you' phone for giving me a relatively clear picture.


So, yea, there were no clouds today. Not that I could find. Perhaps if I had gone outside at lunch time like every other employee at my company I might have seen them then, but for some reason I didn't. That might not seem so strange except we are having gorgeous weather for March and I should be taking full advantage of it. I figured I could get some outside time with my daughter when I got home, but that didn't exactly work out either. As I was riding home on the bus my husband even texted me to let me know they were still at the park. I was excited to meet up with them and saw Riley riding her trike towards me as I walked down the block. But my dreams were short lived as she headed right into the house and demanded to go into the dark basement. *sigh* Lucky for me (and all of us in MN) we are supposed to have quite a few of these days this week so there's still hope for me after all.

See Photo a Week 1, 34, and 5.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Minnie Jesse

Time to get caught up on what we've been doing. With all the hoopla about Riley's party a month ago I neglected to share her stats from her 2 year doctor appointment.

24 lb 11.2 oz

2' 11.5"

Yup, she still has the face of her daddy and the body of her mommy. At least I can claim something, right? Although, if you look close you can see little hints of me in her face. Her nose has a slight square at the end and her lips seemed to be mine, but after examining the picture below I'm concerned that might not be so true anymore. It's a little hard to tell, but it appears that I can only claim the lower lip now. That's the one you really pout with anyhow. And I know her eyes look like mine in this picture comparison, but trust me... they are her dads. Whatever, she's cute and I know she's mine. It's kinda funny because once upon a time (before I met my birth-family) it would have been really important  for me to have a kid that looked more like me. Now I just look at her and think 'I made that'. How cool.

Ok. On to other things. Grandma and Grandpa came over last week? or was it two weeks ago now? Ugh, I might be a little more behind with these pictures than I thought. The point is they came over, we went on a walk, and took these pictures.

This is my attempt at getting us all in the picture as we were sitting on a swing. I took many, but this is the only one with all of us. Gotta love how most of us are smiling... and then there is my husband, apparently lost in some sort of contemplation.

So I have been thinking it might be time to get Riley into a swimming class as she has started to get on her belly in the tub and even dunk her face a little into the water. She even let me run the shower over her the other day which would have petrified her until recently. Seems like it might be a good time to take advantage of her growing trust of the water.

I added the black bar to spare her some of the embarrassment we've already inflicted on her as parents. I have tons of nuddie pics of myself as a baby, but my parents had the good sense not to put them on the internet. Never mind that it didn't exist at the time. My mom just made a 100 copies of every picture she took of me and sent to everyone and their cousin. Who knows how many strangers have pictures of me sitting in their basement...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Photo a day - week 1

I've liked the idea of doing a photo a day or photo a week series, but wasn't ready to make that sort of commitment. Well, I am going to kind of commit... to one month as inspired by this post by Fat Mum Slim.

At least I am going to give it a good try. My plan is to show my pictures of the day one week at a time...


When I saw this day was 'Up' I thought I knew the perfect picture - my ceiling at work. I'm in a new spot and the lights are uber irritating so it seemed appropriate to document this. Problem was I wasn't going to be at work this day since Riley didn't have daycare and I had to stay home with her. So I cheated and took a picture on the last day of February instead. You'll notice the irritating light on the right, but there is also one on the left above the makeshift fort I've created. But, because I am a rule follower I also took a picture on 3/1 to be fair. If only the 3/1 picture was my regular view at work. Perhaps I should blow it up and plaster it over the light.


Every day at work I have a container filled with cut pieces of Pink Lady apples. My favorite. Thanks to my friend, Tom, for teaching me the way of the Pink Lady apple. No apple compares. Not even the Honey Crisp. I know I've probably made some enemies with that comment, but I stand behind it fiercely. So I thought this would be the obvious picture until I realized my kid ate my last Pink Lady. I had to settle for a banana, but then discovered that I did have some apple left in the work fridge... and then realized that it didn't taste right and I threw it away. Ok, so not every Pink Lady can be a winner. Shut up. So, yay for the banana. By the time I got home from work my husband had replenished the apple supply, plus bought more bananas and a mango for my special mango, tomato, black bean, cilantro rice. Yay for my husband taking care of the grocery shopping!

Your Neighborhood

It was cold today. Colder than it has been lately. We left the house in the morning to take Riley to her music class, and I hoped we'd go outside to play in the afternoon, but it was a no go. That didn't mean that I couldn't go out and capture the neighborhood, but why should I when I can take a picture through my kitchen window. I mean, all the houses look the same anyway... just different colors.  Just imagine block after block of post World War II Cape Cod housing. You get the drift.


Like the outside of my house my bedroom is also red. I know it's not recommended to have a red bedroom. It's supposed to make you angry or something. Or hungry... as it's suggested for a dining room color only, I think. At any rate, I get migraines and sometimes need a nice dark place to sleep them off. Pair red walls with dark brown curtains and you've created such a chamber. However, my migraines haven't been as bad the last few years (knock on wood) so I am tinkering with the idea of painting the walls blue. It's sort of funny that there is a remote control on my night stand since I read way more than watch TV in my room. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I watched TV in there. Pre-child I watched TV every night before bedtime (House Hunters, oh how I miss you).

A Smile

Of course, I was going to capture my daughter's smile - that was a no brainer (note to self: wash your child's face before taking pictures). But then I turned the camera on myself and took a picture that I actually like. Plus it shows my crooked grin.

5 PM

This one felt like a bit of a challenge since I am usually on the bus at 5:00 pm. I didn't want to be the crazy lady on the busy taking pictures (although I might have cemented that title when I did this). But then I realized this was a Tuesday and on Tuesday I work wonky hours (10:30 - 7:30) so I'd be at work at 5 PM. I then decided I would capture my new light blocking device that is making my new spot a little more bearable - the Ikea leaf canopy I found on Craigslist. See how nicely it blocks that garish light? And because I don't want to sound like I am constantly complaining about my new location I decided to walk down the hallway and take a picture out a window that does not look directly at a brick wall. It's a pretty nice view.

Something you Wore

Would someone just turn me into What Not to Wear already! I seriously need some new clothes and struggle every day with picking out what to wear. This day I was a little luckier as I was home again with Riley so I was looking forward to wearing my jammie jams much of the day, but then realized I had to leave the house twice. In the morning we went to visit my parents and in the afternoon I went to get my haircut. Since I had to be out in public I put on a pair of old jeans and one of my favorite tops. I am loving stripes right now and this shirt is as close to jammie jams as I can get. I usually wear a colorful sweater or scarf over the stripes, but decided to wear plain ol' grey on top of grey. Meh.

See Photo a day week 2, 34, and 5.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Book Review: Ghosty Men

I was almost done with the first Frankenstein book in Dean Koontz's series when I decided to take a little break and read something else. I recently started getting Amazon's daily book deal reminder when Ghosty Men: The Strange but True Story of the Collyer Brothers and My Uncle Arthur by Franz Lidz became available for 99 cents. (Lidz also wrote Unstrung Heroes about his four uncles which was made into a movie in 1995.)

Besides being lured by the price, I determined at 160 pages this would be a quick read. It was as I read it in one day. The book goes back and forth telling the story of the hoarding Collyer brothers who lived in Harlem in the early 1900's and the author's eccentric uncle Arthur who also liked to collect junk. The two Collyer brothers, Homer and Langley, rarely left the house (one of them didn't leave for 20 years), but still seemed to find time to collect items. A lot of items... as in piles many feet high with only paths through the house. In 1947 they were both found dead two weeks from each other which is when the outside world got to see the real scope of what their 12 room brownstone looked like. Uncle Arthur's story isn't so grim, but he clearly had his own struggles.

The book received a fair amount of positive reviews on Amazon noting that it had details that other books on the Collyer brothers did not. Since this is the first book I read about them I can't verify this or not, but if felt like he could have written a whole lot more about them or about hoarding.

A fair amount of people on Amazon were disappointed that this book was not just about the Collyer brothers, but to be fair the subtitle lets everyone know that it was also about uncle Arthur. However, it sort of felt like a stretch covering these two topics in the same book. Sure they lived somewhat close to each other and each had a hoarding habit, but that's it. The story often felt like it was missing something... like this was the beginning of a bigger book, but when the author didn't have the material he hoped to gather he pasted together this story.

As I was nearing the end of the book I decided to search online for some pictures of the house. This might have been a mistake as I also got to see Langley Collyer's month old dead body on a pile of rubbish right before I went to bed. I had such a hard time getting the image out of my head I actually went to bed with the light on. If you are easily disturbed like me I would suggest looking at images in the middle of the day instead... or skip it all together.

While this was a fascinating topic I feel like this book could have been so much more. Grade: C

Books read since the beginning of 2012:7

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Before our big move at work we decided to have a "Dip Off". Nothing better than filling your belly with a bunch of creamy, oily dips to soothe the sorrow you feel about moving. I'm not sure why it was called a "Dip Off" since I don't think it was a contest, but it's entirely possible that it was and no one told me who won because they wanted to spare my feelings that it wasn't me. I'm ok with that because pretty much everyone verbally told me that they loved my Reuben dip. It was the first time I made it, but probably not the last. Maybe next time I'll actually remember to take pictures. Since I didn't this time just click on the link above to salivate at Mehgan's pictures and of course, to get the recipe.

I also recently found a great little Reuben Bean burger recipe in USA Weekend. Since I had leftover Thousand Island dressing and sauerkraut I figured this would be a good way to finish them off. I had never made a bean burger before, but have to admit this was incredibly easy and tasty. I didn't make the sauce as listed in the recipe since I had the Thousand Island dressing and we decided to skip the bread. This meal paired with some rice and vegetables was quite filling. And a plus was that my kid liked it.