Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Everyweek with Rachael Ray

At home Mrs F has started on a "Cooking with Rachael Ray" on Wednesdays thing. I am not quite sure how we got on it but I think it has something to do with her sister using Rachael Ray recipes at a few parties we went to. Either way, these magazines started showing up at the house with all kinds of recipes.

The first thing we tried was something called French Twist. It is one of those things that sounds dirty but isn't. It was a variation on French Toast but with lots and lots of sugar and sugar based things like syrup.

I called it "Elf Breakfast". The only thing missing was candy canes. So we start in making elf breakfast and we ran across the step that says:

"Boil until the caramel is light brown in color and a candy thermometer reaches 240 degrees". Since we are not actually elves, we do not have a candy thermometer and we guess at what "light brown" in color means. Needless to say, we guessed wrong. The French Twist came out with a layer of sugary goo at the bottom of the pan.

Score: Rachael 1, US 0.

Next? Pulled Chicken. This one actually wasn't bad and didn't take fooorrrevvvver.

We even it up with Rachael as the score is now tied 1-1.

Last week we tried Sausages and Warm Potato Salad. Quite good and easy to make and didn't require a conduit bender or eye-of-newt. We pull ahead 2-1.

And then came tonight's dish. Baked Macaroni and Gouda.

First Mistake: Serves 8. We are 4 and Youngest son is at Medieval Sword Fighting Night (it's a long story for another blog).

Second Mistake: Not actually reading the directions before jumping in.

Third Mistake: prep time: 40 minutes and cooking time 1 hr. We start at 6:30.

We start in on frying the sausage after taking the sausage out of the casing because that is what the recipe called for and "caramelizing onions". Caramelizing onions has it's very own recipe on the page before. We should have stopped here and just made macaroni and cheese or something but we pressed on. We literally dirty every pot we own and still have over half of the steps to go. We boil pasta, we caramelize, we fry sausage, we grate Gouda and then came the killer step that we some how over looked: a cheese sauce.

The fatal mistake comes when I misread 6 tablespoons of flour for 6 cups of flour when making the sauce. We dump 1 full cup of flour into the melted 6 teaspoons of butter and immediately make butter flavored play-doh and then added another cup of flour. We have dried up mush so we add the milk. It's still not enough to make the play-doh into something edible. We toss the whole "sauce" mess into the trash.

Now we have a decision: continue on or toss the whole mess and order pizza? I head out for more milk and butter becasue we are making this if it kills me at this point. It's now 7:30 and we have nothing for dinner. Rachael Ray is laughing at us somewhere. She is wearing a cute red robe like in the pictures in the magazine.

I head out the stop-n-shop from hell and pick up milk and butter.

We make the cheese sauce slowly by adding in the 6 tablespoons of flour to the butter and whisking, whisking and more whisking. We put the whole thing together and baked it for 40 minutes. This had better be good. Or bad because we are never making this again.

At 8:30 oldest son came in and said "Are we eating soon?"

In the end the recipe was very good but was more complicated than a space mission to mars.

Rachael wins 10-2.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Money Pit.

I just couldn't bring myself to bring you another bathroom update. So here is another bathroom update.

After the tile guy fixed everything, he suggested that we get a new shower head which is great since I was just saying that I only replaced it oh, say twelve months ago and I'd like to change them monthly but I just can't find the time. Of course he picked a very expensive one that required that I not only replace the head itself but that little pipe that passes through the tiled wall and connects the head into the plumbing. I'm sure there is some fancy plumbing word for it but I don't want to look it up and I don't care. Let's call it a spanner-flexer for the sake of our discussion. A left handed spanner-flexer to be precise.

So I looked at the left handed spanner-flexer and gave it a ever so gentle turn just to see how tight it was on. It turns out it was on pretty tight. I guess this is to make sure that the water doesn't leak out because I think - and I don't know much about these things - if it were loose all the water would leak out on to my family room below.

I decided that a professional plumber needed to replace the left handed spanner-flexer.

Next Mrs F went up and took a shower.

Water leaked all over the family room rug downstairs. Apparently, my left handed spanner-flexer was leaking. Badly.

So for the third time in 2 months we were all using the one family shower while we waited for the plumber to replace the left handed spanner-flexer.

About a week later the plumber did stop by and of course put yet another hole in my wall. This is his third. It's getting be like Mouse Hunt.

This time he elected not to use the nice saw that creates all kinds of saw dust but makes straight holes and used the small sledge hammer to knock a messy, rough edged hole exposing the back side of the left handed spanner-flexer. Actually, now that we saw the other side we both agreed that it was in fact a right handed spanner-flexer and that it was the cause of leak all along.

It was not the tile even though I had a parade of tile men through our bathroom each claiming that they knew it was the tile causing the leak, nor did the plumber find the leak with his numerous holes and dust. It was me, attempting to unscrew the left (right) handed spanner-flexer so that my wife could have her new shower head.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that I had fixed the old shower head so that it now had a reasonable flow. The new shower head is back to the ridiculous 2.5 gallons per minute and at night it drips.

At least now I can use my shower again.

Anyone know a good drywall guy?

Monday, March 19, 2007

ITN In The News

Count Dracula was arrested in Brazil after being on the lam since 1981.

There is nothing funny about being Norwegian.

If you die in mid-air do you look down only to see a airplane heading off into the sunset? The best part? British Air says this happens 10 times a year?

A sure sign of the Apocalypse

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Lost live blog.

Who the heck was in a car wreck? OMG it's Claire.

Yeah yeah yeah guy with eye patch runs into electric fence - seen it in the previews. Remind me not to get on the CFL's bad side.

Claire has a plan and it sounds reasonable!

What's up with Desmond again?



Ben is not? Complete sentences please.

Hathaway Guy has a smirk. He knows what they are.
don't look at the map!
Wow that was dramatic. Hathaway guy is dead. or is he. Locke killed him.

Another connection. Claire and Jack's Dad. He's Claires dad?
I knew it. Why is he sober?

Is this the first episode with both "tribes" this year?

All men are pigs.

This is where a large rock falls from the sky and strikes charlie. and the bird.

We are getting no where.