My Top 10 Scariest Creatures/People

So I thought I would share with you what I consider my top when it comes to scary movie characters or creatures. I do not care so much for the gore and blood, although a few characters that embodied this did make the cut. But when a character gets in your head, then that is a true success! So with no further ado…

10 – Creature from the Black Lagoon. This is why I stopped swimming for one whole summer in lakes and open water.

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Creature from the Black Lagoon

9 – Wolfman – his transformation alone looks so incredibly painful. Who would want all their bones rearranged every month?!

OU OU OU OU OUOOOOO!!

OU OU OU OU OUOOOOO!!

8 – Dracula – the perpetual man of the night. We all think immortality would be pretty cool. And that may be. But think about never seeing the sun again or walking on a beach. Not to mention to never taste food again. Oh how I would miss my burgers.

You...cannot...resist me.

You…cannot…resist me.

7 – Mike Myers – The mask that gives him the appearance of a total unfeeling or caring person as he slashes his way thru you. And who can forget that theme song (Although I do believe it’s a knock off of my number one pick)

Mr. Creepy!

Mr. Creepy!

6 – The Blob. No body, no bones, no eyes, no mouth – (It’s amazing how much I still enjoy jello shooters since watching this movie)

Beware of the Blob!

Beware of the Blob!

Beware of the blob, it creeps 
And leaps and glides and slides 
Across the floor 
Right through the door 
And all around the wall 
A splotch, a blotch 
Be careful of the blob

I’m not sure if this theme song invokes fear or an incredible urge to head to the beach and make martini’s.

5 – Frankenstein – You have body that is bits and pieces of other people. Don’t pull that…it’s not a string…it’s holding my arm on!

The Monster

The Monster

4 – Vincent Price – This man can lift one eyebrow and you know you’re about to be axed. The Pit and the Pendulum, House of Wax, Theatre of Blood just to name a few. He is also the only true person that made this list.

The  Man who Represents Horror

The Man who Represents Horror

3 – Giant Ants – it was a movie THEM! And it all starts with a little girls screaming Them!! It tapped into a fear of “what can go wrong using atomic energy?” Well a lot it seems! Giant ants! Does anyone remember my carpenter ant fiasco?!

Them!

Them!

2 – Pinhead – Oh yeah..we all remember the Lament Configuration. “Unbearable, isn’t it? The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends. There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.”

Terror has a face.

Terror has a face.

1 – Reagan from Exorcist – having a little voice in your head is one thing, but having the devil take over your body – Freaky! Best theme music EVER!

Hello Reagan or should I say - Satan!

Hello Reagan or should I say – Satan!

Old Friends – New Memories

So this weekend we had just a wonderful visit with our old neighbors Jack and Eileen from down in S. Calif. They made the 18 hour drive to come up and stay for a few days and what a treat!

Jack and Eileen

Jack and Eileen

Not to mention the wonderful treats they brought. Eileen is such a wonderful baker and brought us containers filled with biscotti, pralines, brittle and wonderful bottles of wine. My tummy is very happy I can tell you. I cannot believe I didn’t get a picture of all the goodies, but darn if Derek and I didn’t tear into the biscotti like the kids in the movie ‘A Christmas Story’!

Presents!!

Presents!!

Then Jack, who is very talented with wood working made Derek and I a set of pens. These pens are gorgeous and I must say write very smoothly. I’m very proud to pull one out and sign things. These are truly elegant.

Beautiful Wood Pens

Beautiful Wood Pens

We explored Eugene did some shopping, indulged in fried chicken at Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen, and enjoyed a leisurely lunch at King’s Estate Winery and just had a wonderful visit! So I must say, if you have friends you haven’t seen in a while, do go visit them. If they are far away then pick up the phone and call. No no, don’t text message them, or Facebook them actually talk to them. I think you’ll be surprised how you just may make their day. I know Jack and Eileen made our weekend just wonderful.

Derek tending bar.

Derek tending bar.

Well aren't we just a cute pair!

Well aren’t we just a cute pair!

Artisan Cheese Plate

Artisan Cheese Plate

House Made Fettucini

House Made Fettucini

Brioche French Toast

Brioche French Toast

 

Burger Project 2013 – It’s the Noodle Dream!

Ok so the title is a reference to Kung Fu Panda for my husband. But the burger does have noodles!

My daughter, as you may or may not know, lives in Sweden and is studying for her Master’s Degree.  After a failed Skype attempt today, we opted for a phone call. It was during this call she informs me what they are having for dinner. A Ramen Burger…a what?! You guessed it ‘Top Ramen’ noodles make up the bun. I was so intrigued and knew I simply must incorporate this into my burger project. So from over 5,000 miles away I start receiving pictures of this Burger Project by proxy…or rather Laura!

Forming the noodles into a 'patty'

Forming the noodles into a ‘patty’

All pressed and ready to cook up

All pressed and ready to cook up

Beautifully cooked and ready to assemble

Beautifully cooked and ready to assemble

Perfect size!

Perfect size!

And let's eat!

And let’s eat!

Well done Laura and Joakim! I think you have successfully made us all curious and hungry!

1 package ramen noodles
2 eggs, divided
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/2 tablespoon sriracha
1 beef burger patty
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
1 slice American cheese
1 scallion, thinly sliced on the bias
1/2 cup arugula

  1. Cook the ramen according to the directions on the package (including the seasoning add half to the noodles and the other half into the burger meat itself), then drain off the liquid. Let cool to room temperature. In a small mixing bowl, whisk 1 egg until no streaks of yolk remain. Add the ramen, tossing thoroughly to coat with the egg. Divide the egg-dressed ramen into two portions, and place each half into a ramekin.
  2. Cover the ramen with plastic wrap, and weigh it down with a can of soup to compress it into a bun shape. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Add the oil to a skillet, and set over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, unmold the ramen buns into the pan, and cook until the bottom is a dark golden brown. Flip both of the patties, and cook until a dark golden brown on both sides.
  4. Whisk together the sriracha and ketchup in a small bowl. If you don’t have Sriracha you can use red chili paste.
  5. Season the hamburger patty with salt, pepper, a splash of soy sauce, and sesame oil. Wipe out the skillet, and cook the burger over medium-high heat until medium rare, or to your preferred degree of doneness. Finish with a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil. Top with a slice of cheese.
  6. Wipe out the skillet, and lower the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan, and fry 1 egg sunny side up.
  7. Assemble the burger in this order: ramen bun, arugula, ketchup, burger patty (cheese side up), fried egg, scallions, and the second ramen bun. Wrap in wax paper for easier eating, and serve hot.

Have Mug, Dessert will Follow

Ok I was a huge skeptic to the dessert in a mug thing. But damn if it doesn’t work! The only thing I changed in this recipe was in the streusel. I added quick oats instead of flour. But what a tasty and easy dessert. And there are a lot of others I plan on trying now! Thanks to the folks at No. 2 Pencil for giving a list of 30 different desserts to try!

Quick Easy Dessert in a Mug

Quick Easy Dessert in a Mug

Snack Time! The Good For You and the other OMG one.

I love snacks. I love snacking. The problem with snacking though is when to stop. Portion control is very important so I’ve learned that with my snacks I pour, slice, dole out a measured portion and put it in a bowl or on a plate an then put the remainder away so I don’t keep eating.

A good snack my sister recently turned me on to were homemade protein bars. (Thanks Shannon!) These little tidbits are packed with protein, gooeyness, and just down right tasty. She’s a fitness trainer, I’m a fitness newbie so getting the right nutrition can be tricky at first.

While this recipe calls for peanut butter, I opted to use fresh ground almond butter as hubby is allergic to peanuts. My grocery store has one of those dispensers for fresh ground peanut butter, and another for almonds. So be sure to look for that in your store.

I think what makes this recipe so easy is the fact you don’t have to cook anything! Just heat the almond/peanut butter in the micro and add your ingredients. Line a 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper. I used a pyrex baking dish so I even lined the sides.

16 oz Almond or Peanut Butter (Folks your ‘butter should only have 2 ingredients – nuts and sea salt nothing else)
12 oz Honey (I like using honey local from my area. This also helps with allergies)
3 cups rolled oats
2 Scoops Whey Protein Powder – Chocolate Flavor

This is the basic ingredients. You can add dark chocolate chips, almond slivers for some crunch or maybe some shredded coconut. The possibilities are endless.

Microwave the ‘butter for about 90 seconds to 2 minutes. Add the honey and blend well. Next add the whey powder and mix well. Slowly incorporate the oats. If you’re adding chocolate chips now is the time. Once it’s all thoroughly mixed put into a pan and press it to fill the pan. Top with coconut or even granola. Put in the fridge for about an hour or so and cut into 2″ squares. I store mine in a plastic tub lined with parchment paper to make layers. They will last quite a while, unless you gobble them all up too fast.

Wonderful Snack!

Wonderful Snack!

The OMG snack – Bacon Brittle! Yep forget that peanut stuff you’re used to. Now you get to have the wholesome goodness that is bacon and sweet crunch that is brittle. I do recommend making a double batch because it is that good. (Recipe at the end)

It all starts with bacon. Heck probably all you really need…but lets continue. You want your bacon crispy. I bake mine in the oven because I don’t want to stand at the stove cooking a pound of it in batches. Preheat oven to 400. Line your pans with foil and lay out the bacon. I turned the pans once during the process which takes about 25 minutes. But do check it after 15. Some ovens run hot.

Yep a whole pound of bacon!

Yep a whole pound of bacon!

Perfectly Crisp

Perfectly Crisp

Crumble in bigger pieces

Crumble in bigger pieces

Before you start the brittle make sure your pan is ready, bacon is crumbled and the last 2 ingredients are ready to go. Once that sugar starts to get close to temp things start happening really fast.

Get everything ready ahead of time saves frustrations later.

Get everything ready ahead of time saves frustrations later.

Next we start the brittle. A simple mixture of sugar, water and light corn syrup. You must have patience as you need to melt the sugar and get it to the soft ball stage which is 238 degrees. I highly recommend a thermometer! If you don’t have one you can find instructions here for how to determine the temp.

Stage 1

Stage 1

As you can see the difference between stage one and two is dramatic. And also very HOT! Stir gently, you do not want this to splash on your hand.

Stage 2

Stage 2

Cooking Tip for today – Did you know the handles on most pots have a hole at the end. I love to be able to hang my pots up and keep them out of drawers so I have more storage space. But, did you also know they are great for holding cooking utensils? Believe me when working with sugar when you stir and put that spoon down the minute that sugar cools it will be like mortar. Oh sure you can get that piece of wax paper to use but you’ll still have to pull it off. Instead utilize the pan.

Pan handles allow for them to be hung up or used as spoon handles.

Pan handles allow for them to be hung up or used as spoon handles.

Bacon joins the bubbling mass.

Stage 3

Stage 3

Cook it till it’s a nice amber color. You remove from the heat, add your baking soda and vanilla. Baking soda? Why? Well because this is what adds those nice fluffy air holes that makes brittle ‘bitable’. Otherwise it’s like biting thru glass. Now this stuff starts to cool and set up rather quickly. This is why it’s important to have the pan ready to spread it out.

Not real pretty yet.

Not real pretty yet.

It might not look like much now but wait about an hour. Mine is a bit dark, mainly because the minute you look away for more than 30 seconds, like I said things will happen. What happened to me was I was taking pictures for you all. But it was worth it.

Break it up into pieces and you have something well worth your time!

Such a great treat!

Such a great treat!

What you will need –

9×13″ Baking Sheet
Room Temp Butter, just to coat the Baking Sheet
1 1/2 cups Sugar
1/2 cup Light Corn Syrup
3/4 cup cold Water
Pinch of Salt
1 lb Crispy and Crumbled Bacon
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Baking Soda

Brush a 9×13″ Baking Sheet with butter and set aside. I lined mine with parchment paper and buttered the paper.

Combine the Sugar, Corn Syrup, Water and Salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Cook, swirling occasionally, until mixture reaches the softball stage on a candy thermometer (238 degrees). Stir in the crispy and crumbled Bacon, continue to cook, stirring often so the Bacon doesn’t burn, until the mixture is amber in color. Remove from the heat.

Carefully stir in the Vanilla and Baking Soda. The mixture will foam up in the pan.

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and quickly spread it evenly. Set aside until it’s completely cool. You can lift up one side and it will start to break in chunks. Now go enjoy your work, sit on the roof of your house yelling out “Neener, Neener!! I have bacon brittle you don’t!” Of course you could always make a batch to hand out to your neighbors for the holidays.

So…what scares you?

It’s October! One of the best months ever! Not only are the trees changing, the temperatures cooling, but it’s Halloween!!!!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

So I must ask – what are your favorite scary stories or movies that make you scream?

The best story I ever heard was told by my dad. Edgar Allen Poe’s A Tell-Tale Heart. OMG this story was just dripping with everything I love about scary stories – intrigue, suspense and at the end the splattering of gore.

Master of Horror!

Master of Horror!

My favorite movie that embraces the Halloween macabre is The Exorcist. I adore this movie and watch it any time it comes on 🙂 Yes I am one sick gal lol!

Hello Reagan or should I say - Satan!

Hello Reagan or should I say – Satan!

So now you…what makes your heart race, the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, or hands cold and clammy?

Burger Project – Breakfast Burger

Well Burger Project 2013 is taking a twist tonight.

I don’t know about you, but there are times I love breakfast for dinner. And for breakfast I often times indulge in dinner leftovers. Who doesn’t love cold pizza for breakfast? Or leftover Chinese tossed into a frittata? So with that in mind…I love bacon and eggs, with a side of biscuits and gravy. Oh my stars but that is a luscious breakfast to me. And on the dinner flip side, give me a great burger and I can have all the things I love on one plate.

This dinner has simple ingredients, but requires timing. First up, the ingredients.

Breakfast Dinner!

Breakfast Dinner!

So a pound of ground round, some breakfast sausage seasoning, eggs, bacon and yes a package of country gravy mix. (But I do make mine with milk and not water)

Before you start preheat your oven to 150 degrees. This is going to be your warming area. Mix the hamburger with 1 Tbs of the sausage seasoning. Form into 4 equal patties and let rest so the flavors can develop in the meat.  In a cast iron skillet fry up your bacon so it’s crispy. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel lined plate and place in oven to keep warm.  Next in the bacon drippings fry your burgers on a medium heat for about 3 minutes on one side, flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and place on warming plate and place in oven. Next cook up your gravy and keep warm. Using the same pan as the hamburgers were cooked in brown the hamburger buns cut side down and remove to plate.  In a non-stick skillet add 1-2 Tbs of butter and gently fry your eggs just till set. The yolks should be bright yellow and still liquid. As soon as they are done, take one burger, dunk into the gravy and place on toasted bun. Next add 2 pieces of crispy bacon and top with cooked egg.

And you will be eating a luscious, creamy with a salty crunch burger. When the egg yolk breaks over the burger it adds such a wonderful flavor and richness.

Burger1 Burger2

Now go forth and create the goodness!

Breast Cancer Awareness

Today is October 1st which marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month. About 10 years ago I wrote a blog about my first mammogram. I am sharing it here again because it’s important.

Fight for the Cure

Fight for the Cure

Ok so I go to my OB/GYN for my annual visit. No biggie everything goes as normal…well that was until he dropped the bomb on me.

“Well let’s see you’re over 40…hhmm I think it’s time for your mammogram.”

*thud*

As I’m leaving the doctors office the nurse is very pleasant –

Nurse – Ok, lets see he wants you to have a mammogram. Ok..well where would you like that done?

Me – How about my feet?

Nurse – *confused look on her face* (obviously not a big sense of humor).

Me – *nodding* Well you asked where..

Nurse – No I meant Lab X or Lab Y.

Me – I’ve never had one done…how would I know which one to choose?

Nurse – Oh it’s your first one?

Me – Yes..as the chart you have in your hand indicates.

Needless to say we get it scheduled. The doctor comes out from another room and walks up to the nurses station. I decide to lay it out there. I’m not a busty woman….lets say Victoria Secrets is my friend. I calmly explain to the doctor that while I realize things should be checked…I really don’t see how this test is going to help me. Hell Doc…lets go to Home Depot..get one those big Mag flashlights…why I just know if you turn that thing on and hold it up to the side of my breast you could see clean through it…

He didn’t buy it..laughed a lot but didn’t buy it.

The day of the exam arrives. Now I must say this was one of the more interesting appointments I’ve ever had. You walk in and pass several chairs in a waiting room. But before you get to the nurses desk where one would think you sign in; there is a mat on the floor that says STOP and WAIT HERE. It actually has 2 foot prints on it so in case you didn’t know exactly where to stop they’ll help and give you proper foot placement. Next is a little stop sign. I mean a full on replica of a standard stop sign.

Not being intimidated I stop and await the call up to the desk. “Next”. Yay it’s my turn…so up to the desk I go and meet Ben. This does not bode well for the exam. Ben is wearing some really cute scrubs…with bugs on them. I am really hoping that in his spare time he isn’t trying out for Fear Factor. He asks for a picture ID. Being nervous I of course pop off with “I hope my drivers license will do because I don’t have a photo ID of my breasts on me…” All he does is blink and then tells me he also needs a copy of my insurance card. Well ok ‘Ben’ here you go. He gives me this form to fill out….let’s see age? Ever have children? Did you nurse? Seems pretty standard. The only thing that really draws your eyes to the form, and everyone else in the waiting room, are the drawings of very large breasts on the bottom. Nice that everyone in this room knows why I am here.

They call out my name and then ‘Window 5’. I’m like wth? Ok…so I get up and see that indeed there are other windows so off to #5 I go. She takes my form and looks it over. I of course feel the need to tell her those drawings are not of me…but I did add jewelry to them. She has me sign and initial some other forms..all pretty standard. I asked her for a valium and she said “a what?” Then she sends me back to the waiting room. Wow they weren’t kidding when they said get there at least 30 minutes before you appointment. Ding! It’s my turn to go in…

So into a white sterile room I go with Helga. Very nice woman I might add. Considering I almost threw up on her blouse the minute I saw the ‘beast’. Helga informs me that all is well with the world and tells me to imagine myself in a “dance” in which I am Ginger Rogers and she is Fred Astaire, because she has to lead. Position 1 – Right breast in – Holy Mother of God her hands are COLD! Turn my head to the left, chin slightly up…some more molding of my breast, I actually think she should of bought me dinner first…and here comes some pressure…ok not so bad….and some more pressure….ok..bad but not dying…and yet more pressure…god almighty it’s got to be paper thin by now! Now she tells me “hold your breath”, like I could breathe right now if I had to, and walks back to snap the shot and then blessed relief. That’s 1 shot….only 3 more to go!

All in all it wasn’t that bad. As I left the room and went back to the waiting room a small child, I’d say he was all of 6 looks up as I’m walking by and asks me if my boobies are ok. All I could do was smile and say I sure hope so.

I guess the alternative is a lot worse. So the Moral of this story is….get your exams…find a way to laugh through it and you’ll be fine. It is not near as bad as you think!