Saturday, February 28, 2009

Adventerous Eating Pt. 2

If you're looking for Pt. 1, it's titled "They're Creepy &They're Crawly". ^_^ Now, last night's adventerous ingredient was *drumroll*:

Turnips! Shown also with the cabbage and brats. ^_^ Okay, so I've kind of wondered about turnips for a while. It's one of those foods that seems like it should be good for you but maybe doesn't taste that good? So I was talking to my Irish dear, Barry, and he had the suggestion to do them like mashed potatoes. O.o I love mashed potatoes! Butter and salt. How bad could it be?

So I started off by peeling them. Shape, color, texture and smell have led me to the largely unfounded conclusion that turnips are the mutant offspring of radishes and cauliflower. Seriously, smell one sometime. It smells like radish and cauliflower. And the texture is reminiscent of cauliflower even though it looks like a radish. Anyway, from there I cut them up and dropped them into some boiling water. Now, this is the point at which I think something went wrong texturally. I either boiled them too long (yes, I admit it, I was only 1/2 paying attention to the food I was cooking) or didn't drain them enough before loading them with butter and mashing the hell out of 'em.

Looks good, though, right? Like less-fluffy mashed 'taters. Again, that may have been my fault. So then the taste test. Not bad. . . . . I can't say much more than that. Not as good as mashed potatoes, but not as bad as I would've expected. Kinda like mashed cauliflower with a hint of radish? lol Barry also recommends cooking up some carrots and mashing those in with the turnips. I think I'll try that next time. Should give it a little something.

So, my dad likes turnip, but I think he cooks it up like squash? I don't really remember how he said he likes them . . . . I'll have to ask. And I'm still getting errors on the "what you're ___" thing . . . c'mon myspace, get with the program!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Plague Monkey

My sincerest apologies to my dear friends who I have infected. But as you can see by the diagram below, it's not my fault. ^_^

Seriously, though, that's a cute monkey, right? Oh, and that's not plague, that's a picture of the flu virus.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fantastic News!

Thanks Sandy for this enlightening information. The lake will reopen! Oh happy days. (*rawrg* stupid 'tell us what you're' thingy is busted again! I keep getting errors . . . .)
By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald

TEMPLE – Days like Tuesday, with children playing on the beach at Temple's Lake Park, picking up shells and eating picnic lunches with their parents, but with bigger crowds, could be around the corner for most of parks alongside Belton and Stillhouse Hollow lakes.

"I come out here frequently," Sally Papaloannou, of Copperas Cove, said Tuesday staring across the landscape of picnic tables being erected on cement slabs throughout the grounds of Temple's Lake Park. "The lake and the beauty of the lake remind me of Greece."

Papaloannou, whose children were playing along the edge of the lapping water, has been coming to the park for about five years; the last time she walked in the park was November, she said.

There were trenches and hills from where workers were spreading out dirt then, she said.

Those trenches and hills were part of the rebuilding efforts the Army Corps of Engineers is currently managing for many of the parks alongside Belton and Stillhouse Hollow lakes.

Most of the parks were devastated after the 2007 summer rains, which flooded the lakes, said Daniel Thomasson, Belton and Stillhouse lakes park manager.

"What we had happen in a lot of cases, the buildings went completely under and stayed under ...," Thomasson said.

When the water went down, "I watched these buildings come apart in two to three days," he added.

Thomasson hopes that most of the parks will be fully opened by summer. This is more than likely a reality for every park except Dana Peak on Stillhouse Hollow Lake, he said.

Dana Peak, whose boat ramp is expected to open in a few months, will probably not be fully open until the end of summer, Thomasson said.

The park received the most damage from the floods and is taking the longest to fix, Thomasson said.

The Army Corps of Engineers decided to move the gate house for Dana Peak farther away from the lake and change some of the roadwork there, Thomasson.

The Corps has also gone with more flood-resistant structures, Thomasson said. For instance, the picnic area will have a cement slab and a metal two-column overhang.

Fifty-two of those types of picnic tables are going into Temple's Lake Park, and another 64 will be distributed between Stillhouse Park and Dana Peak, Thomasson said.

Most of the rebuilding has been completed at both lakes, Thomasson said. There are more than 100 contracts for task work.

About 70 percent of the park's water-dead tree and brush contract is complete, and about 75 percent to 85 percent of the parks' infrastructure has been fixed.

The parks are being rebuilt, but they won't look much different.

"We are restricted to putting back what was there," Thomasson said.

The facilities will, however, be new and more aesthetically pleasing, Thomasson said.

"Where there was a restroom that is 30 years old, you will see a restroom that is newer and nicer," Thommason said.

Belton Lake has about 2.5 million visitors each summer; Stillhouse Hollow Lake has about 900,000 visitors.

But due to the rains and damage, numbers have been down for the last two years.

"I think we will be close to those numbers," Thomasson said. "I really do."

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7554.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

More Like Gold

They say you can never go home again. Which is supposed to be symbolic of the way things change. So, sure, it's mostly true. Things change and people drift apart. Sometimes, though, you end up with really great friends. Things change, they change, you change; but not quite enough to come between you. And that's just fantastic.

Sandy, Brak and I had a sleepover at Brak's house. So we're all old now and didn't stay up all night giggling and braiding each other's hair. It was still fun! We went over to the big house for chicken dinner. I can't believe her dad remembered me. We watched Ringu and Kung Fu Hustle then slept. lol We did talk and giggle and laugh and reminisce. Cuz some things never do change.

The only downside was being sick! *groans* How did I get so sick?! I'm starting to feel better, though. Yay. Just a cough and some aches. Stay back! I may infect you too!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday & Saturday Pt. 2

Picture time again! ^_^ V-Day is still eVil Day, but Aaron's made it bearable for the past 9 years. And this year has been no different. As always I got my delicious Whitman's sampler heart:

MMMmmm. Whitman's is so good even their coconut and "creme" ones are worth eating. Every year I forget they have a marshmallow creme in the heart box and every year I'm pleasantly surprised all over again.
For my special surprise I got a really special surprise.

It's a dinner/dessert sushi plate! Complete with chopsticks. I have sushi, gummi noodles and gummi sharks. To complete the suhi theme. I love it! I also got Pocky sticks for dessert. MMMmmmm. He never ceases to amaze me.
Of course there are other V-Day activities in store, but y'all don't wanna hear about that. Tonight we'll be watching 'My Bloody Valentine'. The original. Man I hope they put the new one in 3D on the DVD, though.
Ah! Almost forgot. Here's what I got for him:

That man there knows how to flavor an ice cream.

Friday & Saturday Pt. 1

Good times had by all. We picked up Sandy before going on our weekly shopping excursion. First stop: Circuit City! They're going out of business you know. Just had to see if they had anything good at rock bottom prices. There was an interesting sort of epiphany. The reason they went out of business? No one wanted to pay their jacked up prices. Even at 40% off most of their stuff was still more expensive than, say, Walmart. The absolutely hilarious part is that they're liquidating everything! Display shelves, counters, rugs, signs . . . . . those anti-left scanners at the front of the store! $250 for the pair! HA! "Everything must go" really means "Everything must go".

When we finally got back home we made an interesting recipe I found in the back of a magazine. MMmmmMMmmm magazine food. *drools* We'll have to make it again one day cuz I kind of borked the recipe, but it was good. We went by the recipe, but the pasta we picked up was almost 3x what the recipe called for. *oops* So here, for your dining pleasure, is the amended version. (ingredients gotten at HEB, if you live far away your store may sell differently)

1 bag of bowtie pasta (we got 16oz of the colorful garden ones), 1 onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 bag of spinach, 2 portobello mushroom caps, olive oil. You can also add thyme or italian seasoning. Oh, and parmasan cheese. Just boil up the pasta, chop up all the other stuff (minus the oil, duh), drizzle some oil in another pan, lightly cook the rest of the ingredients (minus the cheese), drain the pasta, mix everything together (yes, that includes the cheese) and voila! Yummers. It's fancy and easy and cheapish. Lizzy's Tip: When you're buying the portobellos, make sure the produce guy isn't watching and snap off the stems before you weigh them. You're not gonna use 'em, don't bother paying for 'em. You can get 2 caps for about $2.

In honor of Friday the 13th we watched 'Friday the 13th Part 3' in 3D! It was awesome! Being all close to the screen there was some double vision issues, but it was still mind-blowing. ^_^ It was like the tv was a diarama box. Depth like you can't even get with HD. There were some cheesy parts that you could tell were put in just to display the wonderful (at the time :-p) 3D technology, but it was the best kind of cheese.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Camera Fun

Okay, so the other day when it rained really horendously I was outside for a bit. I was bored and had the camera so I took some pictures of the yard (hehehe "The yard") for y'all's visual pleasure.
This first one is kind of hard to see. If you look past the branches you'll see a white house. This house stand between us and a proper driveway (even though I like the one we have it comes to our technical back-door). It's abandoned and the garage (working garage, not regular car-garage) has been torn down. And the fence. I'll get more pics of it soon before someone moves in or it gets torn down.

This next one is just the first dandelions to sprout in the yard. I thought they looked lonely.

This one is funny. I was about to go inside and we've got some gnarly weeds at the South-West corner. I stuck the camera in the grass and shot this one to get the "Honey! I shrunk the kids!" perspective. If you look closely in the top-right corner you can probably see the van.

This one here is the tree in that South-West corner. Shot straight-up from underneath. I need to get this one at night before the leaves grow back. The street-light gives it an ethereal white glow.

Last but not least, your standard "sky before the storm". Middle of the back (front) yard with some trees in there for perspective.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Capturing Fog

Somewhere about mid-way through our no-comp time there was some crazy thick fog here. Silent Hill quality fog. There have only been a few times when I've been driving around and thought "I really don't know if I'm going to make it home" and that night was one of them. Anyway, I was also thinking "This just looks too awesome to pass up!" So I went inside and grabbed our camera. For all the good it did since the cable to pull the pictures off of it was in Lampasas, but I now have those pictures! Fog does not photograph very well at all. I think it's camera shy. ^_^ I tried with flash, without flash. It just doesn't photograph (at night anyway) the way that you see it. I did have the bright idea to take a picture of the 'streetlight' without the flash and I think that came closest. Well, you'll see. I didn't add the non-streetlight non-flash pictures because they were just black. (Maybe if I still had HP Image Zone I could have pulled something out of 'em, but that's a moot issue at this point)

So, there you have it. Pictures of fog. *shrugs* I thought they were interesting. XD

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

They're Creepy And They're Crawly

And not too bad tasting either. We were feeling adventurous yesterday. So while we were at HEB went hit up the fish guy. Got a pound and a half of crawfish. Pre-cooked, thank goodness. I dunno if I could have handled live ones.

Aaron cooked everything up. We had "mexicorn" which is just corn with red and green bell peppers cut up into it. That's what it said on the can. Mexicorn. We also had red beans and rice with sausage cut up into it. Figuring the crawfish wouldn't yield much meat.

He was right. Not much meat. I'm sure there's more if you're a big crawfish head-sucker but we weren't about to go there. That's just the tail meat. Wasteful, I know. It was pretty good, though. Kind of a mix of shrimp and crab tasting? It'll be a while before we do it again, though. Lots of work to get at that tiny bit of meat. Like if you get a whole bunch of little crab legs instead of springing for a couple of big ones. More meat, less shell. *nods*