Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ahh my intrepid readers

Good Sunday to you all.  (or Monday depending if you’re on the other side of the Date Line. )

I’m slacking.  Yeah.  I should be cleaning my house but I’m putting up another blog recipe/entry while having my morning coffee.

Here’s a cheap and easy dish that’s a staple around here:

Corned Beef Gravy.

Peel and cut and boil a few potatoes.

Then, get a can of corned beef (I use Hereford brand but whatever floats your boat) open it and dump it into a frying pan.  Turn on the element to around Med-High heat and start mashing it down with a fork while the potatoes are boiling.  while this is going on, mix up roughly 1/2 cup flour to 2 cups of water really well…like no lumps or anything.

When the potatoes are done, drain some of the water into the frying pan with the corned beef…add some seasonings if you want, garlic/onion powders, steak spice, pepper (no real need for salt.)

Now,  give your flour/water mixture a stir, and slowly pour in to the hot beef/water mixture while stirring constantly,  it should thicken up pretty well.

Serve over the hot potatoes (smash em on your plate a bit and put butter on them first if you want)  and with some bread and butter.

The gravy freezes/refrigerates  well so all you need to do is put it in individual containers.  So there you go a $2 can of corned beef can feed you for a bit.

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Pirogies!!

Here’s something for pretty much everyone.  Home made pirogies.

I know you all have probably bought the frozen variety, mostly due to convenience, but, if you have a bit of time on the weekends or something, you can make your own, and actually put what you want in them, instead of dealing with the store supplied fillings.

What you will need:

Dough:

2 cups flour
a tsp of salt
enough water to make it into a pliable dough

Now mix all these together…the water is subjective so just add a little at a time until it forms a dough.  Then knead this dough. and let rest

Filling:

1lb of potatoes, peeled and mashed.

Now what I like to put in it is a mixture of stuff

I take some bacon, cut it up and fry it until crisp with some minced onions so they caramalize.  Then I mix in with the already hot mashed potatoes, some garlic spread,  the bacon, the onions, a bit of grated sharp cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream and some minced chives.

Now,  Roll out the pirogie dough on a floured surface so it’s about 1/4-1/8″ thick..not too thick but not too thin.  Take a glass or a small plastic cup and cut out circles.  Put a tablespoon of your potato mixture in the middle of each of the circles, then take your finger, put it in some warm water and trace the outside of each circle before folding them in half and pinching the pirogies shut.

Cook in boiling water until they float.  If you want,  you can freeze them for later, or toss in butter/bacon/chives and serve with sour cream!

Moar foods

Here’s a recipe out of that nice cookbook my mom gave me, that I actually DID try, because no one in this house is allergic to tuna.

It’s cheap, it’s pretty awesome too.

It’s called

Tuna Fish Loaf.  *yeah similar to meat loaf but made with tuna instead*

2 cans of tuna packed in water (drained)
1 can of cream of mushroom soup.
1/2 cup of milk
2 1/2 cups of bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
and of course seasonings.  I used oinion powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder, a titch of cayenne and some dried parsley for color.

Soak your bread crumbs in the milk combine and mix thoroughly with soup and beaten eggs.  Bake in a GREASED loaf pan (this is important or the stuff won’t come out..or non stick..but even then if you grease it it’ll get all nice and crispy on the outside)  at 350 for about 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and it’s all set.

So there you have it, it’s cheap, it’s good.  No I don’t have pictures of it because I made it a while ago, I probably will make it again next week though.

Served it with some steamed carrots and home made rolls.

Well that was upsetting P

Someone on facebook decided to pretend to be the midwife that was present at my sons birth.  This person also tried to beg for money because they “got mugged at gunpoint in Malaysia”  Umm ok.  I asked a few questions before I even started to believe this person was my former midwife.  You know, questions based around my sons birth.  (No I won’t give them out here)  Anyway this person didn’t answer a single one of them correctly, and gave the name of a supposed social studies teacher, That I never ever had.  So yeah,  blocked and reported.

I also told the REAL midwife about the jerk that’s trying to pretend to be her.

Good try though,  I might have been born at night..wait no I wasn’t.  Anyway,  That scammer has learned that not everyone is a bloody gullible moron.  I also sent a message to those this fraudster friended saying that this wasn’t the real deal.

So yeah.  GG scammer GG.

Heh

I’m gonna try my hand at making scotch eggs tomorrow.  I’m boiling the eggs right now, so they can cool off in the fridge over night.  I have some sausage meat and some bread crumbs all ready.  I’ve heard some good things about these…figure trying *one* won’t hurt.  But will I be able to stop at one?  Bah if I can’t I’ll just give the rest to my daughter for her lunch or something.  She needs the calories.

BAH

My inlaws have a condo in Ottawa and they have one crazy view from there.  Almost penthouse.  I mean their view is phenomenal.

Of course it sucks when someone in downtown Ottawa gets a little trigger happy.

Driving connundrum

For all you people who are just tuning in.  I’m an (almost) 32yo stay at home mom.  I have had my learners permit for driving, for about a year now.  I have been taking defensive driving lessons since September,  give or take.  Now,  my instructor wants me to practice on my husbands car, since well it’s the only car we own right now, and it’s going to be the one I will be driving.  (Not rocket science)  Well, he is justifiably nervous.  I’m learning in a Honda Civic,  we own a 2000 Mercury Cougar.  V6 vs a 4 Cylinder. Both are Front wheel drive and automatic, so not much difference there, just a difference in horsepower and obviously handling.

How the heck can I get him to understand that I might be a driving noob, but I really do need the practice in the car so I can get used to it.  He refuses to call my instructor to get the “You know she’s really NOT that bad” speech.

Trust me, if I didn’t HAVE to get my license, I wouldn’t be.  I’m just sick of walking to take/get my kids from school, my husband’s job takes him away quite often, so I need to be able to get groceries.  Not to mention appointments and all that.

Trust me, I understand his reluctance.  It’s HIS car.  He bought it before we were married, it’s his first real car.  He’s justifiably attached to it.  I wish we could afford a second, not so nice car, like..a Dodge Aries K, or a Neon or something stupid like that, so if I do hit the ditch,  it won’t be such a nut punch to him.

No Food today.

Sorry.  Just made sweet and sour meatballs and steamed rice for supper.  Ground beef held together with egg and bread crumbs,  cooked up and tossed in some store bought sweet and sour sauce.  nothing too involved.  (You walk 12 miles and clean a 2400sq ft house from top to bottom and see how much you want to cook)

So I think I’ll post about City of Heroes/Villains today.

City of Heroes debuted around 7 years ago, the brain child of Jack “Statesman” Emmeret and Matt “Positron” Miller of Cryptic studios  After a bit NCsoft bought the IP and it’s taken off like mad.  It is a superhero based MMO with untold character customization, then about 2 or 3 years after,  it’s first real expansion, City of Villains, came out,  introducing the opposing faction, Supervillains, and just a few months ago they released their third paid expansion, Going Rogue,  which allows the player to drift from good to evil and back again.  (WITHOUT paying faction change surcharges, just do some dailies and pick the right option bam)

Anyway let’s get on to rolling a character shall we?  I’ll be including screen shots on the step by step process.

First step is to obviously select your server.  Pick whatever one you want.  Freedom is a high pop regular server, whereas Virtue is a high population “Roleplaying” server.  (If you’re into that kind of stuff)  Guardian is a mid population server.

Next:  Pick if you want to be Hero, Villain, or Praetorian.  This determines where you start, and what Archtypes you have access to.  Praetorians have access to all the archtypes, except for the epics, right off the bat.  Heroes only have access to the Heroic archtypes (Defender, Controller, Scrapper, Tanker, Defender and Blaster, Warshades and Peacebringers are the epics)  Villains have access to the villain archtypes (Brute, Stalker, Corruptor, Dominator, and Mastermind.  Arachnos Widow and Soldier are the epics)

I picked Praetorian for this blog

Now,  On to pick your archtype or “Class”  For this blog I picked a brute. 
Now origin doesn’t really matter except for what kind of Dual Origin/Single Origin enhancement you can use when you get to use them.
So after that you get to go pick your powers.

I picked Kinetic Melee for my primary and Stone Armor for my secondary.  Just for this demonstration anyway.  I have no real urge to play this one.
Now, on to picking your body type!  You have three choices,  Male, Female, and Huge.  I picked female to show you all the absolute super customization you can achieve with this game.  Yes my friends, you can give your character….HUGE TRACTS OF LAND!!!  Chest Slider Maximum ftw.
Now, comes the fun part.  The costume creator.  You have endless combinations as to what you want your character to look like.  I know people who spend hours upon hours trying to create the perfect look.  The best thing about this game honestly, and the “gear” aka Enhancements, do not mess with your look!  That’s right.  All sorts of Juicy gear that doesn’t mess with your looks.  It’s good!
anyway here’s a few screenies of the process.  I stayed with the bikini…just for this demonstration..(and I know you guys would like to see)

now, even more customization, you can choose what your powers will look like/animate as.  Seriously  the customization in this game is phenomenal.
On to the big question.  What will you name your character?  Pick carefully because a rename token costs $10.  Try not to go for copywrited names/costumes either, that will get you genericized and possibly banned from the game.  See once upon a time when this game first came out, Marvel decided to sue Cryptic/NCSoft for IP infringement.  The suit was settled when Cryptic agreed to enforce the “No Comic book ripoff” rule.  So, if you make a Claws/Regen Scrapper named..”Badgerine” That’s gonna get you hit with the Generic stick
After all this,  you can click “Enter Praetoria/Rogue Isles/Paragon City”  And you’ll be given the option to do the tutorial or not.  For new players I strongly suggest it.  Heck even for veteran players it’s an easy level up.
and Into the game we go!
Now you can see I included my UI.  Down at the bottom right is your power tray.  They correspond to the numbers 1-9 on your keyboard, and you have 9 of them.  You can expand/detach organize this however you want.  above it is inspiration tray,  somewhat like potions. Then at the bottom left, is your chat box.  You can customize this as well.  Upper left,  Target,  it’s what you’re currently targeting to either attack or talk to. Upper left is your menu, Hitpoint, stamina, experience, and in the case of brutes and dominators,  fury and domination.  it’s a pretty tight UI and it’s pretty easy to use.
Anyway I figure I bored you guys enough already and I’ll let you get back to your blogging/surfing.  Hopefully things will start clicking here in my life again.  Life has been pretty hectic these past few days so when it’s time for things to click in to place…it’s tough.  Don’t worry though.  I’m sure everything will get back into the swing of things soon.  I’m still viewing the ol screen though. Don’t worry about that.

Hey Pig…Yeah you…hey piggypiggypigpig

Yup.  Pig night tonight.  Picked up a pork picnic shoulder on sale the other day while grocery shopping.  $6 for a decent sized roast, which will be turned into about 3 meals or so.  Tonight, I’m just roasting it while following this recipe:

I DID make some adjustments.  I didn’t have any sherry or chicken stock so I used beef stock and beer instead.  I left out the carrots because no one here likes cooked carrots. It is smelling REALLY good right now.  The left over meat will be used to make pulled pork sammies and pulled pork enchiladas.  Nothing too special there.

Anyway I got my recipe from this website here: Pork Shoulder Roast  Enjoy!!!

Ingredients

  • 1  bone-in, skin-on fresh pork picnic shoulder (6 to 7 lb.)
  • 1  head garlic (2 1/2 oz.)
  • 1  tablespoon  coarse salt
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon  dried thyme
  • 1/2  teaspoon  fresh-ground pepper
  • 1  onion (10 oz.), peeled and sliced
  • 1  carrot (4 oz.), rinsed and sliced
  • 1/2  cup  oloroso or cream sherry
  • 4  cups  fat-skimmed chicken broth
  • 1/4  teaspoon  dried hot chile flakes
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Preparation

1. Rinse pork and pat dry. Score skin in a crisscross diamond pattern, making 1/8-inch-deep cuts about 1 inch apart. Separate and peel garlic cloves. In a mortar and pestle, crush garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, and pepper into a coarse paste (or mince garlic, then mix with salt, herbs, and pepper). Rub garlic paste all over roast. Set roast, skin side up, on a rack in an oiled 9- by 13-inch roasting pan.
2. Roast in a 450° oven (see notes) until deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.
3. Remove pan from oven and scatter onion and carrot slices around pork. Pour 1/4 cup sherry and 2 cups broth into pan. Add chile flakes. Baste pork with some of the pan juices. Reduce oven temperature to 225° and bake until a thermometer inserted through the center of thickest part at bone reads 170° to 175°, 8 to 9 hours (do not insert thermometer before the last hour of roasting). If pork is done before you’re ready to serve, reduce oven temperature to 160° and hold in oven up to 4 hours.
4. About 30 minutes before serving, transfer pork to a carving board. (For extra-crisp pork skin cracklings, see notes.) Cover pork loosely and set in a warm place. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup sherry and 2 cups broth into the roasting pan (drippings will be dark) and set on a burner over high heat. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan. Boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by about half, 7 to 10 minutes. Pour through a wire strainer set over a bowl, pressing on vegetables (discard vegetables); you should have 1 to 1 1/3 cups drippings. Skim off and discard fat. Stir in vinegar.
5. Lift skin off pork and cut it into bite-size chunks or strips; pile on a platter. Slice meat across the grain and arrange on platter. Drizzle about a fourth of the pan juices over meat; serve remaining to add to taste.
NOTES: You may need to order the pork from your meat market in advance. Monitor oven temperature with a thermometer before starting, and adjust temperature as needed. If you hold the roast in the oven after it is done, check to see if oven is still on after 12 hours of continuous use; some ovens turn off automatically. A convection oven is not recommended. For extra-crisp cracklings, pull skin off cooked pork, separate into bite-size pieces, and place in a shallow pan. Bake in a 400° oven until crisp and puffy, about 10 minutes.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
521 (66% from fat)
Protein:
37g
Fat:
38g (sat 14)
Carbohydrate:
4.6g
Fiber:
0.3g
Sodium:
578mg
Cholesterol:
138mg

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