Confessions From My Mission to Marzipan
Sunday, 18 April 2010 12:58

So, I have been on a workout/eating plan since late November.  I wanted my back to be in better shape for dog events and I am also sick of being, well, fat. I lost a little more than 20 pounds and then two weeks ago, I fell off the wagon.  It was a hard drop.  We had people in town, and in getting ready for/having them here/recovering from them being here, I didn't go to the gym for almost two weeks. We ate like skinny people.  I drank copious amounts of margaritas. I gained a titch back, but it wasn't bad.  I got back to the gym this week after a bout of my low back issues, related, no doubt, to not being at the gym.  I was doing pretty okay until yesterday.  Then I met Mission to Marzipan:

mission_to_marzipan

I flippin' LOVE marzipan.  For those of you who don't know what it is, it is basically a sweet almond paste.  I could eat it plain, that's how much I love it.  I think it's a sickness.  I can usually avoid it, because marzipan isn't particularly common...though Taste of Denmark up the road from me, in addition to their AMAZING pastries and breads, has these marzipan logs that I actually dream about.  I did go in there the other day and just bought a loaf of whole wheat bread.  Nothing else.  I was so proud of myself.  Anyway, I digress.  A couple of days ago, I bought the newest Cook's Illustrated at Costco.  In it, they rate vanilla ice creams.  Ben & Jerry's Vanilla won, due to it's superior taste and low overrun (24% compared to Edy's, which is 92%). 

So, Friday night, I ran to the store for dog food, because I hadn't thawed enough.  I thought, oh, why don't I see if they have Ben & Jerry's Vanilla.  OMG.  Not only did they have that and a zillion other flavors, it was ON SALE. Oh, dear.  Then I saw "Mission to Marzipan".  The calories were outrageous.  But I justified it with the idea that with such a low overrun, I could just eat a tablespoon or two at a time.  If I was going to expend calories, it might as well be on the best, yummiest stuff, right? And so yes, I bought it.  Along with Vanilla. 

Now, here's the embarrassing part.  I ate about 1/4 of a cup on the way home. Without a spoon.  With my teeth.  Am I the only one out there who does this?  Argh.  I think I might need counseling. Then I put it in the freezer.  Yesterday, AFTER I sweated for an hour on the Precor 556, I ate a little more.  Then more.  You know when ice cream has chunks of goodies in it and in trying to get to the goodies, you sometimes have to eat more ice cream than you planned?  Well, I ate it all.  In less than 24 hours, I ate an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's.  Approximately 1040 calories. Beautiful.  Just beautiful. 

But on the postive side, the Vanilla is still in the freezer, plastic ring intact.  And I am on my way to the gym.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 April 2010 13:30
 
"Where am I?" or Dog Shows & Scrapbooking
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 19:45

This should really be titled: "How I Lost My Mind in 48 Hours". 

melissa_2010_wlcMy dear friend, Melissa Magerfleisch (who is THE BEST Creative Memories consultant, E-Ver!) wanted me to come with her to the World's Largest Crop at the Denver Merchandise Mart on April 10th.  Problem was, it was a weekend of the Terry-All dog show.  The show was just up the road from the Mart at the Adams County Fairgrounds (or, The Adams County Regional Park.  This will become important later).  I had committed to showing Axel, a boy I bred and another gal's wild standard wire child, Ruby.  Plus, I wanted to show Ryan to the two Dachshund breeders who were scheduled to judge that weekend.  And we can't forget little orphan Finney.  Luckily, wires showed first thing on Saturday, so I wasn't going to miss much of the crop.  I would just skip showing Finn, who wasn't scheduled until about 11am.  The plan was, I would go to the show, show the wires, and then Jody would come pick them up from me at the Fairgrounds and I would run over to the scrapbooking event.  There is a golf course right next to the show site that Jody has played at (is "played" what you do in golfing?) and we had, in the past, often talked about these two places being right next to each other.  Holly Jorgensen, bless her heart, wasn't showing that weekend, but agreed to drive all the way down from Evergreen both days to show Ryan if I needed her to.

So, I felt set, even though it was going to be a hectic weekend.  Jody knew where to be, Holly was going to be a huge help, and hopefully we would do a 'lil winnin'!!  LOL.  The best laid plans...I should have known when Jody, the night before, talked about meeting at the golf course at a little dirt area at a "T".  He talked about getting there via 120th.  I said, I always go I-76 to 85.  Neither of us knew how to go the other person's way.  There was DEFINITELY foreshadowing going on there, but I was too dumb/tired/busy to listen to my little voice, which said, "Alert.  ALERT.  Y'all should be going the SAME WAY."  I would like to fully disclose I am not the best when it comes to directions.  Neither is Jody, but he doesn't like to admit it.  He is, however, usually better than me.

So, at the Saturday show, Axel and Ruby each got Reserve.  Ryan, however, goes Best of Variety and Holly agrees to stay and show her in Group that afternoon.  I had told Jody to be there around 9, but it could be later and that would be okay.  At 9:40, I decide to call him and make sure he is there...I did remind him to take his iPhone, which is equipped with GPS.  He *never* remembers his phone.

Me:  Hi Honey.  Where are you at?

Jody:  I'm at the golf course, but I don't think it's next to the Fairgrounds.

Me:  What?  I thought we've discussed this in the past...these two places are right next to each other.

Jody:  Well, I'm next to Adams County Regional Park.  I'm at 128th and Riverdale Road.  Where am I at? [I had NO idea where this was; in true Colorado fashion, the street sign on the road running next to the Fairgrounds said "Henderson Rd" but turns out it is ALSO E 124th Ave]

Me:  I have no idea where that is.  I'm on Henderson Road.

Jody: Well, I think I am at a different golf course than you were talking about.  I am near the Adams County Regional Park.

Me: How could you be at a DIFFERENT golf course??  We've talked about this!  I've always known this as the Adams County Fairgrounds, but...

Jody:  What golf course are you next to?

Me:  I don't know.  I've never driven past the golf course...I turn BEFORE the golf course.

Jody: Jesus.  Where am I, then?  I'm at 128th and Riverdale!  Where is that?

Me:  DUDE!  How in the world would I know where YOU are?  [If I KNEW where HE was, would we be having this conversation??]

Jody:  Well, I don't know what I am supposed to do.  I guess I could get off the phone and try to figure it out!  Christ! [Uh, yes, you do have GPS on your phone and it will tell you were you are, but just not in relation to me.]

Me: (looking at phone) ****, ****, ****, ****!!!!!!  ARGH!!!! [Holly is next to me, near the outside vending area, laughing her skinny little butt off]

So then, probably hearing by my four letter words that I was frustrated (I sort of totally forgot I was in a public place), a very nice older teenage boy walked up and gave me directions to get Jody over from the golf course.  Thank you tons, you sweet kid!

I was parked where I could watch the front entrance.  I saw the 4-Runner and Jody.  I called him.  He saw me.  I said, go behind that building between us and park in the back parking lot.  So, of course, he went about 1/2 mile too far to the left all the way to the barns, while griping that he would have known where I was if ONLY I HAD CALLED the place I was at by the PROPER NAME - the Adams County Regional Park, NOT the fairgrounds.  Oh, and if I know where he is, why don't I come get HIM.  Because even though he saw me, now he doesn't want to figure out how to get back to me.

OH.  MY.  GOD-IN-HEAVEN.   I mean, *seriously*??  "Where am I?"  ROTFLMAO!

So, Jody got the dog.  I made it to the scrapbooking event.  Had a great time with Melissa and the other ladies. Holly brought Ryan to me after Group. Everyone was shocked when I took her out of her softsided crate after she'd been there for quite awhile.  "She is so well-behaved!"  Yup, that's how she's supposed to be!  After all of this, I probably needed a beer, but I wasn't going to pay $10 for Coors Light.  LOL!

The next day, Axel won Winner's Dog, Ruby won a major going Winner's Bitch, Best of Winners and Best Opposite Sex.  Ryan didn't do nuthin', as I was in the ring with Axel at the same time and she is mommified.  She wasn't embarrassing, but didn't do her best.  Finney went Best Opposite over a male champion, so he got another single point.  A Maximus son, CH Tucker (Am/UKC/Intl CH Rumor's Leon's Last Wish v Ruger), won the breed on Sunday and went on to a Hound Group 2!!!  Yay, Tucker!

And, thank the Lord, I didn't have to try to meet up with anyone who didn't know where they were the rest of the weekend. 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 17 April 2010 11:44
 
Little Orphan Finney
Monday, 29 March 2010 21:14

Poor Finn.  Seriously.  Some great dog mom I am.  He is *positive* I have orphaned him not once, but twice in the last 8 days.  If he could dial the phone, he would be calling someone who felt sorry for him.  Possibly my mom.  Or maybe Katie's mom.  Anyones who CARES abouts hims!  This last sentence was out of Finn's own mouth.  No kidding.

So, originally the plan was that when Ryan came into season, Finn, who is a total PITA when there are girls in, would go to Katie's; Hazel's owner, for those of you who really cannot keep track of your own houses, let alone mine - that would be all of y'all, right?  But Melissa and her boys (owners of Chewie, Hallie and Mali) wanted to keep him, too, so we decided to split up Ryan's last two weeks of being in season between Katie and Melissa.  I took Finn up to Melissa's a week ago today and dropped him off.  He proceeded to cry piteously once I had left.  Not for ten minutes, not for an hour.  HE CRIED UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING.  Now, he did this as a pup, but while he's still puppy-ish, he is 15 months of age.  Well on his way to manhood on the dog timetable.  So, after the first (read: LONG) night, he was pretty okay.  Melissa had a lot of fun with him, and as with most attempts at doggy socialization, he was no worse for the wear.  It's good for him to be away from us and learn he doesn't die.  He had fun; here is the proof:

finn_snow

Finn whoops it up with his great uncle, FC Chewie

So today, it was Katie's turn to take Finn.  Katie is up in Lafayette, near Boulder.  We decided we would meet at Melissa's house and I would give Hazel her next vaccine and then Katie would take Finn home.  Finn was racin' around in the backyard, having a good 'ol time, playing with everyone.  Especially Hazel, who was his good bud at my house just a few weeks ago.  Now remember, FINN was LOVING playing with 15 week old Hazel!  LOVING IT!  Katie calls me tonight and Finn is, you guessed it, crying.  Piteously.  Non-stop.  Hazel is trying desperately, at this minute, to get him to play with her, but he's having NONE of it.  Katie sent a picture from her phone (pardon the poor quality) and this note: 

I know it's a little blurry but this photo totally captures the atmosphere right now on Corinth Circle-- Hazel 'viciously' attacking a very vulnerable, perhaps even suicidal, Finn. Lol!

finn_orphan

OMG.  I am so sads.  Plz send help.

Dude.  Tomorrow's a whole new day, little man.  Try to get some sleep.

Last Updated on Monday, 29 March 2010 22:04
 
The Fall and Rise of Cupcakes at Ruger
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 13:00

Why are cupcakes relevant to this site?  Well, we have new neighbors.  With a Labrador.  Who has jingly tags. (Oh, dearie.  Let the barking commence.)  So, hoping to start off on the right foot, I wanted to make some cupcakes to take over when I introduced myself.  And give them my phone numbers.  In case my hooligans start buggin' them.  I regularly sling baked goods to my neighbors, because, let's face it.  It can get loud over here, even when I have my thumb on the horde; which is always. I am not above bribery.

So, on Monday night, I decided to make PW's The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever. as cupcakes.  However, silly me didn't remember that when I made this sheet cake, it rose a little too fast.  And that which rises quickly tends to fall just as dramatically at high altitude.  We are officially at 5,480 feet.  Which means less air pressure.  Which means good luck with your formerly flawless baking.  And potatoes take about a zillion years to bake.  Argh.

So, here is the first attempt, using PW's recipe with no modifications:

cupcake _failure

Moon Craters. <sigh>

They bubbled up fast, looked like they might hold and then sunk like chickens in the La Brea tar pits. 

Incidentally, I don't think there were chickens in prehistoric times, but this just came to my mind.  I am turning into my father, evidently.  He has a penchant for making sayings up as he goes.  However, the 'sayings' here, be they made up or traditional, will remain clean, tho prolly not nearly as funny as my dad's.

They tasted good, but they were the UGLIEST THINGS I have ever made.  There was no way in Hades that I was going to give them to anyone and we certainly weren't going to eat all of them ourselves.  So with much guilt, I tossed them in the trash.  The little bits that where baked onto the muffin tins went to the dogs. 

Please, do not send me emails about the dangers of chocolate for dogs.  I know all about that.  There is no way even a whole chocolate cupcake split up amongst nine Dachshunds is going to give them enough theobromine to make their nervous systems shut down.  See?  Told you I understood.

And this was just bits, anyway.  Nowhere near a whole cupcake.

cupcake_failure_tania_wins

Tania goes to town on the leftover cupcake bits.  Don't "leftover bits" sound good?

So it was late.  And I was bummed.  I needed to think about what I was going to do to that recipe to fix it.  Because I had cupcakes to give away, dangit.  And I wasn't going to give up.  Grrrr.  So I slept on it and dreamed of pretty cupcakes.  And I came up with something that worked.  For my high altitude friends, I made the following modifications to PW's recipe above:

  • Flour: upped it to 2 1/2 cups, though I will try 2 1/4 next time.
  • Sugar: lowered it to 1 1/2 cups, though I will try 1 3/4 next time
  • Eggs & Buttermilk: brought to room temperature
  • Baking Soda: reduced to a little less than 3/4 tsp
  • Oven temp: raised it to 375 degrees
  • Cook time: exactly 15 minutes

And I had SUCCESS:

cupcake_success_1

ahhhhhh...

And post sanding sugar:

cupcake_success_2

ohhhhhh...

Cream cheese frosting.  YUM!  Very good!  The neighbors are super nice and we are looking forward to being their good neighbors.  Jody brought up the fact that both times I've baked successful cupcakes this month (remember the red velvets?), there was a monster snow storm.  So, for all of us here in Colorado, I am not planning on more cupcakes anytime soon.

cupcake_storm

Mother Nature's frosting; perfectly beautiful!

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 March 2010 07:43
 
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