Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fenced in.

Our fence has been in sad shape since we moved into the house.  At first we bought yellow paint, thinking that a fresh coat of paint would save the fence.  At closer inspection, we realized it wasn't worth the effort.  We've lost a few sections of the fence to snow and rain over the past few years.  I was shocked that the fence was still standing after this year's snow melted!


We decided this was the year for a new fence!  With unrepressed glee, Chris took a sledgehammer to the old fence.




And on Friday, we came home to the new one!  It's vinyl, which I wasn't sure about at first, but meant that we wouldn't be standing by a busy road painting the fence every other year.  I was sold.  Doesn't it look beautiful?!  We should have done this years ago.  Then again, had we replaced the fence before this winter, it might not be standing today!  :)



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Representin' the 504...in the 203

I know Fat Tuesday was a few weeks ago...but I'm just now getting around to writing about it.  Chris and I are both over the top busy with work.  I don't even think I even blogged about the last day of our St. John trip!  I'll add that to the ever growing to-do list.  But back to Fat Tuesday.

Even though we couldn't actually be in the 504, we still wanted to celebrate it New Orleans style!  So we made chicken delmonico with cheddar cheese grits.  Delicious.

Still, what's Mardi Gras without a king cake?  They don't sell them in the regular grocery stores here, no surprise, so I had to make my own!  Now don't laugh...


I stuck a Corningware dish in the middle of the cake pan and then poured the batter all around it.  Once it was baked (and cooled), I removed the dish and trimmed all the corners to make it look like a great big oval.  I didn't make quite enough frosting to cover the inside edges...note to self for next year.  But the funnest (most fun?) part of the cake was making the colored sugar to go on top.  I just took three plastic bags, put a little sugar and the appropriate food coloring in each, and then smashed the sugar around until the food coloring was evenly distributed.

It didn't taste as good as the king cakes from New Orleans, but it was fun!

Fat Tuesday always marks the beginning of Lent and this year, we gave up something we love...restaurants. We don't go out to eat every night or anything like that, but we enjoy going out once or sometimes even twice a week. It varies from pizza and beer at Carminucio's right here in town (BEST pizza EVER) to picking a fun restaurant in the city. Wherever we go and whatever we eat, we love catching up and spending time together over a great meal. But for Lent...we gave it up!

A couple at church (fellow DINKs) who are good friends go"Wait...does takeout count too? Tell me takeout doesn't count too!!" :) Yup, no takeout either. The only exceptions we made were that we could still go out for coffee and if we were ever running late and didn't have time to brownbag it, we could buy lunch.

It's no so bad.  I'm calling it "Operation Purge the Kitchen" and I'm using it as an excuse to eat all the food stockpiled in the freezer and pantry.  Tonight, for example, we used half a box of lasagna noodles and leftover spaghetti sauce from the freezer to make an awesome spinach lasagna.  Who needs restaurants, anyway?  :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Like Buddy the Elf says...

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and...
   
 
SYRUP!"

Like Buddy, Chris and I are also big fans of syrup.  So today we visited the Woodbury Sugar Shed to see how maple syrup is made!  Chris visited a sugar house once before when he was 10...and enjoyed it so much he tried to convince his parents to let him tap the maple trees in the yard.  :)
 
This is the big boiler where the sap is boiled down to syrup.
The whole room smells like burning wood and sugar...such a great combination.
 

219 degrees but boy, does it look delicious!


Pretty amazing that such a little shack can make 10-12 gallons of maple syrup an hour!
 
Now comes the tough question...do we make pancakes or waffles for breakfast?  :)