Friday, December 31, 2010

Corn Syrup Free Pecan Pie!

After watching Food, Inc. and learning that subsidized corn is a big contributor to our nation's food problems I decided to make a corn free pecan pie. I secured what turned out to be an excellent recipe at

Here's the finished product:

The pie didn't last long...after two days it had been devoured.

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients:1 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of white sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, stir in melted butter.
then stir in the sugar and flour and mix well. Add milk, vanilla and continue mixing. Finally hand mix in the nuts.
3. Pour into an unbaked 9-inch pie shell. Optionally you may add additional pecan halves on the top to make the pie prettier. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 more minutes.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Canine Christmas Gift

I've owned and been around dogs my whole life, from the cocker spaniel Penny in the mid-forties to the Boston terrier Jake who appears at the heading of this blog and is well-known to our readers. Most years, these dogs have received a package or two under the Christmas tree but have shown no understanding of the happy season.

Jake seemed to be no exception this year, receiving a couple of chew-toys and a package of little meat-filled leather bones called Dingos. These are about two inches long and come seven to the package. When I unwrapped this package on Christmas day, Jake knew right away who it was for and got very excited. I opened the pack and gave him a single little rawhide bone. He happily carried it to his favorite spot under the dining-room table where he worked on it for almost half an hour, completely consuming it. During this period, he totally ignored the hubbub of the other activities in the room.

The next day, after everyone had gone home, I gave him another one of the little bones, which he just left on the floor. A little later, I was sitting in my favorite spot when Jake came over, as he often does, to sit on the floor near my chair in order to get his ears and neck scratched. He then sauntered off and came back with his little leather bone, completely unchewed, and ceremoniously deposited it at my feet. A Christmas gift from the dog! I picked it up, and later laid it on the floor where he could get it. But Jake just ignored the bone, knowing it was no longer his. This was my first Christmas gift ever from a pet. Jake and I wish everyone a merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A few Elle snaps....

Jack's Message to Santa...

has been loud and clear for over a month! He wants a garbage truck, a wallet and a stamp.

We'll report out tomorrow if Santa comes through...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Best Christmas Gift Ever

Sometimes you'll hear people ask what your favorite or most memorable Christmas gift of all time was. For me, that's easy. It was Omnibot. I had seen Omnibot in the Sears (of was it JC Penny?) Christmas catalog and had built it up in my mind as the most desirable object in the entire world. I still have vivid memories of waking up that Christmas morning and finding that Santa had come through for me. Omnibot was sitting by the fireplace, out of his box, fully charged, and ready to roll.

Here's an accurate general description from Wikipedia:
The Omnibot is a toy robot originally manufactured by Tomy in the mid 1980s. Omnibot had a cassette tape player built into the chest area of the robot, which slid out like a drawer to reveal the cassette and could record and playback sequences of commands, as well as regular audio recordings. The built in digital clock with timers and alarms allowed the playback of movement recordings at specified times, such as moving into the bedroom in the morning. Omnibot was able to broadcast speech from the remote control handset through a speaker on the robot, and was shipped with a cardboard "home" base which was suggested to be taped to the floor and used as a reference point for programming. Omnibot carried a specially made tray which slotted into its claws.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Sad Future of Biscuits and Gravy?

There is perhaps no tastier breakfast food than a good freshly baked biscuit and some quality gravy to go on top. But leave it to modern convenience store technology to offend this grand Southern breakfast institution. I saw the setup you see in the picture below in a Lincoln convenience store. You pull a cold baked biscuit packaged in a plastic bowl out of the dispenser on the right, microwave it for a bit, then push the gravy button for a portion of gravy to squirt out of a heated chub like toothpaste from a tube. According to the pictures on the dispensers, you need not bother splitting your biscuit in half. I did not have a chance to try this for myself, as I came upon it at 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon and was not in the mood for breakfast.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Tune of The Week

Comes to us from the eels...courtesy of the recent How the Grinch Stole Christmas soundtrack. Christmas is Going to the Dogs.

Give it a short sample listen on iTunes.

Estelle Claire Tangeman - Rev. 0

We've all made it home! Here are few pictures over the last few days...more to come as there are a few cameras involved...including my new Nikon D90.

Steph is ready!

The official weigh-in!

Ready to go home!

Mom and baby!

Dad and baby!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Huskers Shucked

After their loss in the Big 12 Championship the Huskers were screwed when it comes to bowl games...heading back to the Holiday to face Washington... here's the write-up. Heck - even the Georgia Tech - Air Force match up in the Independence Bowl is more interesting. Please note that it is no longer the Poulan Weed-eater Independence Bowl... but rather the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl (Yes...I'm serious...more on bowls in a different post though...)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Duped by Hershey's

Nearly two years ago, I posted a positive review of a Hershey's candy bar called "Thingamajig". I ended up buying another one of these things recently, and upon further inspection, I have discovered that Hershey's has fooled me again. In the earlier "jig" review, I told blog readers that they could trust the candy bar because it was made with real chocolate. That's only partially true.

The first six ingredients in the bar are: sugar, crisp rice, vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, nonfat milk, and finally, chocolate. Hershey's scam is that they put a miniscule amount of real chocolate in the bar so they can tout the word chocolate on the wrapper, but the stuff that everyone thinks is chocolate is actually brown sweet partially hydrogenated palm oil. I gotta give Hershey's props for clever deception of the consumer, but my faith in the company is eroded further. Buyer beware.

Friday, December 03, 2010


The rainy season makes for more clouds and some treats when it comes to sunrises and sunsets... The sunrises tend to last for only a minute or two before the sun emerges from the Sierras.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Great Sugar Cookie Recipe...for Christmas Cookies

I bought a three pack of Christmas cookie cutters last year at Wal-Mart and on the box was a recipe called "Traditional Sugar Cookies" It didn't seem that traditional to Steph or I but we whipped up a batch to decorate with Jack having fairly low expectations. The cookies turned out to be really good and easy to make so we plan to keep making them. The cookies are lighter and moister than many I've had.

Here's the recipe:

2 Cups Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Butter (cow-style)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Sour Cream (clearly this is the secret ingredient)

Combine the flour, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Cream the butter and sugar. Blend in the sour cream and then the dry ingredients. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Roll out the dough 'til it is ~1/2" thick on a sugar and floured smooth surface. Cut with cookie cutter and place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for ~8-10 minutes.

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