Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What I learned in Economics 101 and Gas Prices...

Everyone is reeling by the soaring costs of gas, and we should. Gas affects the cost of almost every product we buy which affects our bottom dollar! But I just received a forward from an acquaintance about a September 1st boycott on gas, to bring the prices down... and overall that works with the supply and demand theory proposed in Economics 101... but the demand is just going to go back up the next day or the day before and it may even be higher! So if no one buys gas on September 1st, as long as they drive their car like any normal day it really doesn't change the supply or the demand of gas over the next week or two!

If people are really that upset about the price of gas and want to help bring the price down, then the "demand" for gas needs to change over the long run, not just one single day... The easiest way is use different transportation that requires less gasoline... public transportation, car pooling, biking, walking, or trading in your 10 mpg SUV for a hybrid...

It sucks, but the only way without increasing our supply is to bring the demand down...

Sorry, had to get on my soapbox... I don't appreciate forwards like that too much, can you tell? Tomorrow's lesson... how to determine if an email is really worth forwarding to everyone you know?

Just a Vacation Please

The days leading up to vacation always seem to be so exhausting and so much work. Everything was normal until Sunday night when I woke up at 11:00 to Chad hurling in the bathroom down the hall. So I knew I was going to be up for an hour or two until it passed, but it didn't seem to be passing, so instead of letting him wait it out (which hasn't worked before) I took him to the ER (and he let me without much arguing at all). But we didn't get home until 4:30, of course he felt much better and probably is recovering much quicker if he hadn't gone. However that set me off for missing work yesterday morning, and now I will have to mow the lawn as he is "recovering" tonight, so all is not super perfect... But the good news... tomorrow we leave for Seattle. We don't return until Monday night. Yeah!! Cannot wait! A vacation!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Exercise Flashback

This morning I woke up wanting to exercise, but not wanting to just walk or run. So I dug out my rollerblades! I probably haven't rollerbladed since maybe the first year out of college? 6 maybe 7 years!

I walked over to the path, so I didn't have to cross the busy street. I did pretty well. Went around the pond 3 times and practiced stopping. There were some muscles I must have forgotten I had, because I could feel it right away. Hopefully they're the same muscles I would use for skiing this winter, now that we're so close to Buck Hill...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Back To School

I am officially enrolled in a course through UW-Platteville Distance Education programming. I am taking the first of three courses towards a Certificate in Project Management. I just ordered my books this morning and sent in my request to get the tuition reimbursed through Oracle. I'm excited. Something new, I guess :)

So tonight, Chad has a fantasy football draft, so I am going shopping for back to school clothes! Nicki and I are going to head up to Albertville. Hopefully the traffic doesn't suck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Aug 24, 2005

Sarah, You are still young!!

Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Shopping

So I wanted to lose weight so I'd fit into my clothes, including some I'd "outgrown". However, now I'm too small for many of them, which is a problem I thought I would never mind, except now with the changing seasons I need to find some new clothes. It stinks, because I have to start over buying basics instead of all the fun stuff. And even though my shoe size didn't change, I want new shoes to go with my new clothes!!

If you see any good deals, let me know!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Peanut Pork Kebabs

And the main dish last night was Peanut Pork Kebabs. These were awesome! Very filling as the marinade has a lot of protein too. You'll notice it recommends Natural Peanut Butter. I think this is because it tastes like peanuts as opposed to the processed brands. It's all we eat. Chad never realized peanut butter could taste like peanuts, but I grew up on Real Brand peanut butter (found in the refridgerator case at the grocery store). Although I thought my mom was mean, because I wanted Skippy or Jif. But of course, my mom knew what she was talking about! Here's the recipe...

Peanut Pork Kebabs
From
Diana Rattray,Your Guide to Southern U.S. Cuisine.

Pork tenderloin cubes are marinated in a peanut mixture and then grilled or broiled on skewers.

INGREDIENTS:
2 to 3 pounds pork tenderloin cut into 1-inch cubes
2 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. molasses
1 c. hot water
1 c. chunky peanut butter, natural if possible
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons

PREPARATION:
In a food processor, combine soy sauce, molasses, hot water, peanut butter, garlic, cayenne, and lemon juice. Put pork tenderloin cubes in nonmetallic dish (I love my
Tupperware Season-Serve® Container) and pour marinade over; turn cubes to coat pork on all sices. Cover and marinate in refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally. Thread pork on skewers and broil or grill over hot coals for about 15 to 20 minutes or until done. Serves 6 to 8.

Orange-Walnut Salad

I cooked last night! Yummy meal. Two recipes for you. This one is one I've made before but this time I took a cue from my sister-in-law and carmelized the walnuts. That was a nice touch! Very good Salad!

Orange-Walnut Salad

from KraftFoods.com
Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 10 servings


1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. sugar (I used Splenda)
1 tsp. grated orange peel
8 cups torn mixed salad greens
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 cans (11 oz. each) mandarin orange segments, drained
1 cup Walnut Pieces*
1/4 cup green onion slices

BEAT orange juice, vinegar, oil, sugar and orange peel in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended. (Or shake in a Tupperware Quick Shake® Container) Set aside.
TOSS salad greens with cucumbers, oranges, walnuts and green onions in large salad bowl. Add orange juice mixture; mix lightly.
SERVE immediately.

KRAFT KITCHENS TIPS
Make-Ahead
Dressing can be prepared ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Special Extra
For extra flavor, toast walnuts before adding to salad. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread walnuts in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 5 to 7 min. or until lightly toasted.

*To carmelize or sugar the walnuts take a large nonstick skillet and add 1/2 to 3/4 Cup sugar and walnuts on medium high heat.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Vroom Vroom

It's Friday. We have plans with the Romes tonight. Dinner at our house and a movie. I will have new recipes for you this weekend, hopefully they will be good!

Other than that, not a lot planned. Would like to get to drive my car this weekend! Although not too far, as even though it has really excellent mileage, last night was the first time I paid $25 to fill up with gas in one of my cars!!

I am thinking about taking some online courses through UW-Platteville this coming semester. Have to decide by Monday, and then I have to get that approved by my managers. I'm only doing this if Oracle will pay for it. :)

Not much else to say... It's almost Friday afternoon... and then I'm outta here........

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Prizm to Corolla

Here's a picture of our New 2005 Corolla S.

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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake for Two

I think one of the first recipes I ever made as a child was Hot Fudge Sundae Cake which was straight out of the Betty Crocker cookbook. I probably even entered it in a 4H food review at some point. I liked it because it didn't take eggs, which I couldn't break by myself very well. That and it was soooo good!

I came across the recipe of the smaller microwave version last week and just made it tonight. Never had it with ice cream or bananas before. I was always in it for the chocolate, but now I appreciate the other parts too. Chad gives it 4 1/2 stars out of 5. I think I got a better consistency making the real cake in the oven, but this is quick and easy in the microwave!

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake for Two
From bettycrocker.com

1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons chopped nuts
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking cocoa
1/2 cup hot water
2 scoops ice cream
Sliced bananas, if desired
Additional chopped nuts, if desired
Maraschino cherry, if desired

1. Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 teaspoons cocoa, the baking powder and salt in 24-ounce microwavable casserole. Stir in milk, oil and vanilla until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons nuts. Sprinkle with brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cocoa.

2. Place water in 1-cup microwavable measure. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds or until boiling. Pour over batter.

3. Microwave uncovered on High 2 minutes 30 seconds to 3 minutes, rotating casserole 1/4 turn after 1 minute, until cake is set but still glossy. Serve warm topped with ice cream. Garnish with sliced bananas, additional nuts and cherries.

There is a slow cooker recipe for this too, which I may just have to try!

It's Football Season!

Tonight is the first pre-season game of the Packer's. They are winning right now. I'm not really into pre-season that much. Plus I think I have ADD right now, as I can't sit still. I just haven't had a ton of time to sit still lately, so I'm not very good at it. Karin knows what this is about as we could not sit through a 2 hour season finale of Party of 5 in college!

Chad and I went for a bike ride tonight. Found a path to a park really close to our house. That is nice. But Chad really needs a new bike as he is riding my old mountain bike that is made for people my size! :)

Can't believe it's Thursday already. So nice! This weekend is about getting the garage cleaned out and relaxing. Maybe going to look at a couple of cars. Might be time to upgrade the Prizm! Anyone interested in purchasing a 1999 Chevy Prizm 78K miles?

Did you know that a Chevy Prizm came off the same assembly line as a Toyota Corolla? Very reliable! Never had any problems with it, and gets good gas mileage around 34 on the highway! Can't complain about that. I just want to upgrade now, so we're not buying too cars next year when Chad's lease is up.

What else to tell you... not much. Time to go see if I can sit still for awhile.

Monday, August 08, 2005


The group of us at the Prom. Picture Courtesy of the Fluegels.

We were hot!
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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Movin' Out

Last Night Chad and I went to Movin' Out. It was playing at the Orpheum in Minneapolis. (Yes it was Theatre weekend for us)

We had great seats last night 4th row. We were so close, we could see the sweat flying off some when they were dancing. The whole show was very impressive. If you are a Billy Joel fan, you must see. The way they were able to use all his songs in this story was fantastic. All the songs were sang by one man. Of course he also played the piano. The band and he played above the stage, so you could see them the whole time and the other actors, basically just acted it out below in dance. The dancing was amazing. In other shows I've seen (Rent and Miss Saigon) the actors sing and dance, but in Movin' Out, they just danced, so it was amazing. I highly recommend if you can get out to see it!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Awesome 80s Prom

Last night we went to the Awesome 80s Prom with the Fluegels and the Romes. Very Fun! I highly recommend it! Even getting ready was fun! I had to think... How did I do my hair in the 80s. Well... start with some hair spray. Spray your bangs and then take the curling iron to them... SPPPSSssss... nice! Now RAT your hair out... very fun. I just wish I had time to get a perm! And Chad wishes he had more time to grow a mullet! We also had jelly bracelets which Sarah forgot how to wear twisted together, but she figured it out fast enough!

I got to dance with Dickey. He was up for Prom Queen, and I told him I had to vote for the best dancer. But the girl with the head gear and the cabbage patch doll and huge glasses won the Queen title.

We even came up with a story. Since you see Chad's shirt was more 1982 than it was 1989, we told everyone that he graduated in 1982, and he worked for the city. He drives the snow plow and made $8 an hour, so he had bought me a cubic zirconia necklace... good times, good times! If only he had bought me some nicer shoes. My $10 ballet flats from Payless gave me some nasty blisters :)


Prom Night 1989 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Kelly



So I bought Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway Album, and I am really really enjoying it. She is still by far my favorite from any of the Idol season's. I like Clay a lot too, but he's just so adult-like! :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Wednesday

I am much more inspired to clean my new house than I ever was my old house. But give it a few months and the inspiration may whither :)

We went to National Night Out last night. Met most of our nearby neighbors. Many are the original owners of their homes. The next newest couple in the cul de sac has been here for 13 years, so we are big news!

Started looking around online at cars. Don't know what I want... Like everything from the new Corolla to a used Audi! Right now I think I am liking the Saturn Vue with a V6... but we'll see what kind of deal I could get on one.

I'm off to bed. Gonna get up and walk tomorrow. Good Night!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

New Family in the Neighborhood

Yesterday morning I was waiting for the bus, and I turned around not quite a block down, came a family of raccoons. It looked like 4 babies and their momma. They were walking along the curb, and then crawled right into the sewer grate. Just a little surprised to see them in the daylight.

In other news... not much. I think we maybe finally have a lead on an entertainment center which means Chad will get his new TV in time for football season.

This last weekend, we ordered new chairs from Room and Board for our living room. They were actually cheaper than ordering similar ones from HOM (which would have been customized), but soooo much nicer! Now we have to wait for those so we can get a rug and match up some tables... then drapes. It sure is a process!

Tonight is National Night Out and our neighbors have actually planned a picnic. In Columbia Heights, we spent the night in our basement watching the news showing people who cared about their neighborhoods having picnics. :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I made these BBQ chicken sandwiches the other night when we had some friends over. I actually tripled the batch, and had leftovers to freeze which is not a bad thing at all!

It was super easy. The recipe called for chicken thighs, but I used breasts as they are leaner, however thighs would be cheaper and more moist.

Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

1 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
Cracked black pepper, to taste
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

Place onion and bell peppers in crockpot and top with chicken. Pour chicken broth over chicken. Season with cracked black pepper and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
At the end of cooking time, drain liquid from pot and shred chicken. Return chicken to the crockpot and mix in barbecue sauce. Cook another 30 minutes. Spoon mixture into split dinner rolls and top with shredded Monterey jack cheese.

I used John Hardy's BBQ sauce, which is not real thick, but good, so it looked a little like salmon, because it wasn't real red! Next time I will use a thicker sauce like Famous Dave's or something... Still good and easy, especially to feed a group!

Strawberry Lemonade

Here's a great recipe for Strawberry Lemonade.

The original recipe called for Equal. I used Splenda, but you could use regular lemonade as well. I mixed up the strawberries, lime juice, and sweetener in advance. I even froze one for later to mix with water later. Since it uses real strawberries, you will see seeds in your drink, but it's good!

Strawberry Lemonade

1 cup fresh lime juice or bottled lime juice
1-1 1/2 cup quartered strawberries

4 cups water
1 1/2 cup sugar or Splenda (or 36 packets Equal)
ice cubes
6 lime wedges or strawberries (garnish)


Process lime juice and strawberries in blender or food processor until smooth.
Mix lime mixture, water and sweetener in pitcher.
Pour over ice cubes in tall glasses; garnish with fruit.


Makes 6 servings.