Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Domino Falls

I like my ideas and inspirations short and sweet. Bite sized nuggets of greatness if you will. For this reason, among many, I heart magazines. I read easily a dozen decorating/women magazines a month. I tear out my favorite pages and save them in a binder. I reference it every few months as seasons change.

I am not a huge fan of Domino magazine, but since its yet another decor mag that is folding I am said for what this represents. Say Goodbye to Domino Magazine. Conde Nast is shuttering it soon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese- Perfect for a Cold, Winter Day

I heart macaroni and cheese. Especially this time of year-its the perfect food for a cold day. I have attempted making it from scratch in the past-to dubious results. I stumbled upon this low fat veggie version in my latest Real Simple magazine and decided it was worth another shot. THIS IS SO EASY AND GOOD. I substituted broccoli for the cauliflower, because I like it more. I also used stored bought bread crumbs since my food processor is on the fritz (note to self -ask for food processor for birthday.) It was too easy and so good that I have polished off the leftovers in record time.

Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower

Cooking with extra-sharp Cheddar lets you use less cheese without giving up flavor. Tender cauliflower adds fiber and vitamin C.

12 ounces multigrain elbow macaroni
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
4 slices multigrain bread, torn
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and pulse to combine; set aside.Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard.Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Hoover Dam-a Belated Ho, Ho, Ho post

Hi everyone. I realized that if my mom (who as you know rarely checks my blog) is asking after Christmas pics, then its probably time to get them up. Better late then never.

Over Christmas I went to Vegas to visit my parents new digs. We decided to visit the Hoover Dam since my brother and I have never seen it. If you are into history, architecture, or feets of human creation then I highly reccomend taking the 30 min drive from Vegas to see this. Its really impressive-more so because it was created in the 30's. Here are some pics from our adventure.

This is the view as you drive from Vegas to the Hoover Dam. We were all impressed with this...since its so different from flat Ohio.
So we stopped for the picture opp. Here I am with mom and my brother Shaun. Aside-I think I was having a stellar hair day here:)

And then just mom and I. Note with our height you get plenty of the view in the background.
And then Shaun and I-less view since he might be a giant.

Then you drive in and the first thing you see is the new access road they are building. They are creating a bypass basically which will keep people from driving right over the dam. Terrorism and such is a big concern. We learned that if the dam were to give something like 4 million ppl could be killed in 20 minutes. Scary. These are the cranes they had to erect to build the new road.
Shaun and I in front of the hoover dam sign. Note-this picture was taken by my mom after many failed attempts of pictures of traffic and such. I deleted those-but they were very comical.

Here is a shot of the supports being built out over the ravine for the new road. The picture does not do justice to how high these are. If you look closely you can see the beginning of the arch work that will support the new road-which will be on top of those two towers.
Here is the dam itself. Impressive.

This was interesting. The white mark at the bottom of the rock is where the water was just 10 years ago. Its down something like 60 feet? It might be 80?

More construction pics. These arched things coming from the side will be a full arch support under the new road. As you can see they have a ways to go.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away, Come Back Another Day!

Happy New Year everyone. I have pictures of Vegas to post but I wanted first to comment on our current weather conditions in Knoxville. I know-, the weather is kind of boring to blog about. However, its a hot (and VERY WET) topic of conversation here in East TN. We are experiencing rain...and not a little rain, day after day of POURING RAIN. Its been this way since before Thanksgiving. While I know we have not had much sun, I just read this and it really sunk in. I wanted to share.
  • A new daily rainfall record was set for Knoxville on Tuesday. As of 8:30 p.m., rainfall measured at 1.84 inches.
  • In the last 41 days since Thanksgiving, East Tennessee has seen only 12 days of full sunshine.
  • There have been 29 mostly cloudy days and 25 days with precipitation--rain, drizzle, or snow.
  • Three out of four days were cloudy and rainy from Thanksgiving to the end of November.
  • In December, 21 out of 31 days were mostly cloudy. Seventeen out of 31 days had precipitation.
  • Only 10 days in December had mostly sunny skies.
  • Five out the six days in January so far have been cloudy and rainy.

On the positive side, East Tennessee's moderate drought classification is steadily decreasing thanks to the recent rainfall. The total winter rainfall to date is 12.06 inches, which is more than 6.5 inches above average. Normal winter precipitation is 13.07 inches.

For every positive though, there is a negative. We are expecting more rain tonight and through the week.