Saturday, September 27, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
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Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
What Heidi Means
You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.
You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.
People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.
What I really want to know is ... how did they get my mother to write this for them?!?
It's Apple Dumpling Day!!!
According to tradition (ours), the first forey into an apple orchard each fall is followed by a breakfast of apple dumplings with vanilla milk.
So, since the kids had a day off of school today, and the Cortlands were in season ... we headed to Wasem's for apple picking and cider swilling. Not to mention the tasty pumpkin donuts!
In honor of Apple Dumpling Day, I'd like to share with you this time-tested recipe, passed down through at least three generations of my family. (And while you're eating them, check out EMN, where our guest poster "Pops" talks about another great American tradition ... military service, and what it's like to be the parent of a soldier.)
To make Heidi's Apple Dumplings, you will need...
8 fresh-picked apples (peeled, cored, and cut in quarters)
3 C flour
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbls baking powder
1C plus 2Tbls shortening
3/4 C milk
2 C sugar
2 C water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 C butter
a dozen little cinnamon candies (optional)
First, make the dumplings. Cut together flour, salt, bp, shortening together to course crumbs; add milk to make dough. Roll thin like pie crust (handling as little as possible to keep it tender). Place hand-sized (fingers spread) circle of dough in one hand, cupped slightly. Put apple quarters on top, then draw up dough around apples, squeezing with both hands so that dough covers entire apple. Place each "doughed" apple in baking dish, making sure there is space (at least an inch) between each apple. Continue with remaining apples.
Next, bring to boil the sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter. Stirring constantly, continue to boil, adding cinnamon candies (if used) in the last minute. Pour hot syrup over apples, making sure some of the juice gets on each one. Bake 375 for 35-40 minutes, until golden.
To make vanilla milk, take a pint of milk and add 2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tsp sugar. Pour over warm dumplings. Yum!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
The article gave the following recommendations on how to regulate sleep, so that you can get at least eight hours every single night:
In a 2006 study of about 40 women who experienced transformed migraines (chronic daily headaches), researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill asked half the group to make the following behavioral sleep modifications (BSMs):
- Go to bed at the same time every night to allow for eight hours of sleep.
- Eliminate TV watching, reading, or listening to the radio in bed.
- Use visualization techniques to shorten the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
- Eat dinner at least four hours before going to bed, and limit fluid intake within two hours of bedtime.
- Take no naps.
Now, it is counter-intuitive to eliminate naps when operating on a couple of hours of sleep ... or when actually fighting a migraine. And yet, this study shows that we need to "educate the body" to optimize the rest time we do receive ... so hang in there!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Yesterday was one of those days. I had to get a few essentials ... including the support variety. I had just been measured at Curves last week, so knew my exact size. Then I found this "Ultimate" line of Gillian & O'Malley for about $10, and was so excited about how soft they were I bought 2.
That's $20 I'll never get back. After only a day, I'm walking around with this welt on my ribcage, even though (a) it fit fine in the store and (2) it was precisely the same size as my other bras (which do not leave welts).
Soft, shmoft. I'm going back to Playtex!
I love the outdoors.
I am a Republican reformer.
I have taken on the Republican Party establishment.
I have many children.
have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office.
Have you ever heard of me before now? Scroll down to see . . .
I am Teddy Roosevelt. Sarah's in good company!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Seven years ago, my daughter had not yet opened her eyes upon the world.
Seven years ago, my son was still living with his birth family, hardly more than a baby himself.
Seven years ago, Craig and I had been married a little over two years, and had managed to iron out most of the wrinkles of newlywedded angst.
And then the planes erupted in a flash of smoke and fire.
And then the Towers disintegrated in piles of ash and regret.
And then, as the demons cheered, the rest of America wondered just where God was.
And the angels wept as they led those souls through the smoke and clouds to ... forever.
Wept for the children who would wait forever for Daddy to tuck them in.
Wept for the husbands who would wait forever for wives to tell them where the mittens and hats were stored, and what time was their daughter's dance class, and how to put the soap in the washing machine, and...
Wept for the wives who would have to figure out how to run the mower and find the life insurance and online bank accounts ... and how to sleep in the middle of the bed.
Wept for the parents who wished the last words they said to their grown children weren't, "If you do that, I'll never speak to you again."
Human beings, we're such a fragile lot. We spend so much time obsessing about things that a year from now or even a day from now will matter not a whit.
And the angels weep. And they lead us toward forever ... where there is mercy above all.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Two “secret ingredients” whipped into the egg whites and sugar of this classic dessert give it its marshmallow-y texture. The first is cornstarch – soft, powdery most often used in the kitchen to thicken and bind. The second is vinegar.
Cornstarch and vinegar make me think of the Blessed Mother. The soft, binding power of cornstarch makes things stick together … invisibly. And the vinegar reminds me of all the ways she endured great suffering during her lifetime, all for love of her Son, Jesus.
So … in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s birthday (September 8), why not whip up one of these cloud-like confections? This dessert is traditionally topped with fresh fruit, so pick a few raspberries. Not only is this berry now in season, but the raspberry is also related to the rose, Mary’s flower! (A mix with other berries will also make this a treat for the eyes as well as the palate).
To make your Pavlova, you will need …
4 large eggs, chilled
1-1/4 sugar (preferably fine castor sugar)
4 tsp cornstarch
4 Tbs boiling water
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp vinegar
1 pint heavy whipping cream, chilled
2 Tbs sugar
4 C fresh fruit (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, etc.)
Separate eggs; set aside yolks for another purpose. Allow the egg whites to come to room temperature (30 minutes or so). Meanwhile, form a 9-10” ring from waxed paper fastened with a paper clip. Put a 12” circle of waxed paper on a lightly greased cookie sheet, place the ring on top. (You could also use a spring form pan lined with parchment.) Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
Beat the egg whites, gradually adding sugar, cornstarch, water, salt, vanilla, and vinegar. Beat at least TEN MINUTES, until VERY stiff (this is the secret to a high, light dessert). Pour beaten whites into the wax paper mold, mounding high and smoothing top slightly.
Bake at 250 degrees 90 minutes, then turn off oven and leave door slightly ajar. Leave in oven overnight. The next morning, remove waxed paper and place pavlova on dessert plate. Beat cream and sugar until soft peaks form. Chill. Just before serving, decorate the pavlova with cream and fruit.
To serve, use two forks (inserted back-to-back) pulling in opposite directions to separate the pieces into serving sized portions. Enjoy with a good cup of tea!