Beer of the week

This is my favorite beer of all time.  Well, except for maybe Young’s Ram Rod, which I can’t seem to find, at least here in Texas, anymore.  Sad Face on that.

But this well-rounded British ale has excellent character and flavor that can’t be beat.  It’s a heavy duty ale, with a nice 6% alcohol, which is nothing for you rum and whiskey drinkers.  😛  However, when it comes to ales, any stronger and you’re moving into thick, rich double-bock territory.

I’ll just stay here.  😀  As with many British ales, cold is good, but not too cold.  It really tastes best around 78F, but in Texas if you’re outside, it will undoubtedly attain a warmer temperature than that.  I continue to hope this is less than body temp, but on some days in the sun it likely approaches 98 or 99F if you aren’t drinking it quickly enough!

A great stand by beer, if you like ales…not too hoppy, a bit nutty, not too bitter, not too sweet, and having a lovely amber shade with nice head.  I really DO consider this a middle-of-the-road kind of beer, and that’s not because I’m driving in that position after I’ve had a couple!  It’s quite smooth also, so several can disappear rather quickly.  As in…who drank all my beer out of the cooler? quickly.  And than you realize it was you.

Singles come in traditional pint size, but it is also available in 6-packs.  (I wish someone would invent a 6-pack of pints!)

Caturday

Yeah, I realize it’s actually Sunday, but we I needed some kittehs!  Funny kittehs.  Not necessarily mine.  😛

 

Just keep in mind that…

Ceiling Kat is watching.  Everything.

 

 

Because that’s how we roll around here.

 

And one last thought for all my political friends out there.

 

Now I will go clean up the blueberry pancakes that Rat Boy and Hubby requested for Sunday brunch, and maybe play some X-Box with Hubby.  Since it’s his last day off this week.  And yesterday we went shopping for a new couch.  Yay!

Milestones

Meet my childhood nemesis.  The hula hoop.

I dreaded my interactions with the hoop, as I could NOT hula!  I tried countless times, and failed.  😦  Oh, I could get it going around an arm or leg, but around my muscle-less middle, it was hopeless.  The craze passed, eventually, and I heaved a sigh of relief.

Like all things retro, the hoop is back.  Yesterday in my Pilates class, Luna, our awesome beacon of light and inspiration to all feminine strength (she is amazing on the pole as well), spoke the dreaded words, “Everybody grab a hoop”.  So I did.  Feelings of inferiority that I thought had passed at 12 resurfaced, baring nasty thought of EPIC FAIL IN PUBLIC!

Not being one to just give up, I thought, “Who knows?  Maybe my body has gained some inner knowledge in the passing years…” yeah, right.  😛

But I did it!  For the first time evah!  I am a hula hooping goddess!  Ok, so maybe not a goddess yet, but I was amazed!!!  My childhood fail was washed away, and I emerged victorious over the hoop.

This is the new generation of hula…fitness!  Watch out world, I think I’ve developed stomach muscles.  This is next!  😛

5 Second Rule

Hump day.  Meh.  Got Rat Boy enrolled in the K-12 online academy, mostly because I’m a math moron and am afraid I’ll be teaching him ass-backwards math.  So that’s one paperwork filled task down for the week.

Recycled today also.  And they’re doing roadwork right down the street from my house.  Meaning I basically have to go around the world to get anywhere.  😦

I need a laugh.  And maybe a hug from Copernicus, but I’ll put that off for a bit!  Don’t know about you, but around here, we follow the 5-second rule…if food hits the floor it can still be eaten, as long as it is retreived in 5 seconds or less.  (depending on what’s dropped, and how high the yum factor is)

I found a flow chart that may help.

Other than that, I got nuthin’.  I think I’ll just take a nap until it’s time to start dinner.

Going to check out the Pioneer Woman pasta with mushrooms from yesterday, and maybe tackle the raspberry buttermilk cake, but Hubby’s sleeping so I can’t run the mixer.  Additionally, it’s so hot outside that if I turn on the oven during the day, it’s impossible to keep the house cool enough for him to be able to sleep.  😦

Oh yeah…Satan called.  He wants his weather back.

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

Well, here it is.  The end to my 4-day diet plan!  Actually, I don’t think that a slice of this cake last night totally blew me off the scales, out through the roof, lodging helplessly in the neighbor’s tree with the kat.  It is scrumptious, and light, in a hot and summery sort of way!  A fun twist on the upside-down cake.

You’ll need a 9-10″ springform pan.  And some other stuff…you probably have all of it on hand!

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Butter the pan, and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, then butter the parchment also.  Mmmmm.  Butter.  😀  Actually, I think I went a bit overboard with the butter!  If it’s possible to go overboard with butter…

Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

Arrange berries in a single layer in the bottom of the pan, and evenly sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar.  I used frozen berries, 😦  (because I had bought them to make this cake a couple of weeks ago, and then didn’t, so I threw the blackberries into a zip-lock and into the freezer).  Fresh berries would be better I think.  Next time I’m trying raspberries!


Sift 2 1/3 cups cake flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking soda, then set aside.  Use an electric mixer to cream together 3/4 cup butter and 1 1/3 cups sugar at medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy.  Scrape down the sides a couple of times during this process so it’s evenly blended!

Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.  Add 2tsp vanilla extract and 1 1/2 tsp orange zest.  The batter will look almost like it’s separating, but it’s fine.  Slowly mix in the flour mixture, and the 1 cup buttermilk, alternating to begin and end with flour.

Pour the batter, which will be thick and creamy (yum) over the berries in the pan, smoothing out the top.  You’ll be able to see tiny flecks of the orange zest.

Bake until golden, about 1 hour, 25 minutes.  cool on a wire rack about 15 minutes, then slide a thin, sharp knife around the edges.  I have a non-stick springform pan, so I used the little plastic scraper that came with my tiny food processor so I wouldn’t scratch the pan.  It worked great!

Remove the pan sides.

Invert the cake onto a plate, peeling off the parchment gently.

Dust with powered sugar, and allow to finish cooling.

Eat!  A nice, big piece…because it’s too good for a tiny sliver.

Oh the goodness!!!  And it’s pretty, too.  😀  Kitchen Kat was helping, as usual.  From his vantage point in the middle of the floor.  He wonders why I step on him constantly…

Caturday Follies

Another week gone.  How does it go so fast?  I had planned to start cutting back a bit (quantity, not quality), and trying to select healthier food choices, and was determined to exercise every day this week, until Mum and Rat Boy showed up with Freebirds for lunch.  That was yesterday.

Today we had lunch out at the ‘everything on the menu is fried’ southern cooking joint, but was totally awesome, of course!  My resolve melted into a puddle of iced coffee on the floor as soon as I smelled the fried zucchini and mushrooms.  So much for healthy eating!  😛

On the other hand, I still have kats to show me the way to true enlightenment.  They’re not concerned with getting into that special occasion collar.    They ARE concerned with me keeping plenty of food available, so the bottom of the bowl is never seen again.

And lollygagging in various places. I love that word! 🙂



But occasionally, they have close encounters of the wilder kind…and an urge to feed themselves.  And share.

MMMMMMMM…squirrrel!  And, yes, that’s really my kat.  At least the squirrel is not in the closet.  Yet.

Yes, that’s a squirrel behind the blinds.  Alive.  Living in the woods is SO great sometimes.

And they think our human concerns to be so bizarre.  Like shoes, my personal raison d’etre!  Hello,

B A D G L E Y  M I S C H K A

I just wish I had prettier feet to go with the beauty which is…SHOE.

Taking Root

Having crossed our great state of Texas 6 times in the past 3 weeks, I’m feeling a bit beat up.  Maybe it’s residual motion sickness.  Whatever.

A few things have kept me going, besides the awesomness of my family and friends.  One of them is Bloggess.  Because I feel a bit like Copernicus looks.  And I need hugs, too.

Since I’m really not up to actually murdering anyone today, I’ll also share with you all the end of the Basil rooting experiment.  It’s still alive and looking good, by the way.  Go me!  😛

The water is that interesting shade of brown due to the seaweed solution which I had dumped into the plain tap water.  Seaweed stimulates cell growth, so I was trying to be kind to the little rootlet before manhandling it.  And then the dirty work!

Looks happy, right?  Especially with a dish of yummy pasta with meat sauce sneaking into the photo!  Life is a juggling act…on one foot when you have a tiny kitchen.  😀

I’ll try really hard to have something more foody tomorrow.  Honestly, I just couldn’t find the motivation to visit the kitchen today, other than to make coffee this morning!  Maybe it was that yoga class last night.

After missing so many classes from being out of town, I could barely walk to the kitchen this morning.  😦

I struggled on…the coffee was worth it!

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