I’m still alive. In case you were wondering.

Hello, neglected readers.  I am sorry that I have been away for so long.  As usual, I started a project (this and one other blog) and then got distracted and left them shivering and alone and utterly abandoned.

I have been working on another blogging project, however.  This one with a friend.  It was her idea.  And, it has been quite successful and rewarding.  I really hope that we are helping people.  That’s our goal anyway.  http://theinnerviewweb.wordpress.com, if you’re interested.  We are always looking for contributors, btw.  Please reach out to me if you have a story to tell.  Anonymously or not!

Also, The Hubs’s new work project has been picking up speed.  And, we’ve had a lot going on in the home front:  another garage sale, family visits, family reunions, fantasy football draft parties, visits to my grandma, craft projects, road trips, etc etc etc.  Time is flying by at an alarming rate.

Our 20th wedding anniversary, which has forever seemed in the distant future, is only a month away now!  Goodness!  I can’t even wrap my head around being married that long.  But, we have.  The Hubs and I took a selfie Saturday evening while out to dinner with friends.  I almost gasped when I saw it.  We look….**insert tense, dark music leading up to a horrific reveal here**….middle aged!  Surely we don’t actually look like that in normal, everyday life.  SURELY I would have noticed…..

A small portion of my out-of-state in-laws recently left after a two-week visit.  That is always an ordeal.  The Hubs’s family is just so friggin’ massive.  We hosted a retirement party for my mother-in-law.  It was mostly local family that attended, and I would guesstimate that there were 50-70 people there.  We decorated for two hours.  Cooked for two days.  Planned for two weeks.  It was exhausting.  But, she had a good time, and that’s all that matters.  My right eye has finally stopped twitching.  (I kid….I kid….)

Anywho.  So, that’s my excuse for not blogging recently.  And, I guess that my 100 Day Song Challenge is a gigantic failure.  I’ll never catch up on that.  Oh well…..

Hope you are happy and peaceful and enjoying life.

Song of the Day

Numb by Linkin Park.  This is in honor of Chester Bennington, who committed suicide last week.  So.  Sad.  Suicide is NEVER the answer.  It breaks my heart to hear of anyone doing it…….

Recipe of the Day

Strawberry Jam-Filled White Chocolate Mousse Mirror Glaze Cake via http://www.casuable.com.  The Hubs and I tried to make this for his mom’s party.  It.  Was.  A.  Disaster.  In the end, we served a bowl of “cake salad”.  It was hideous, but very very tasty.  Sigh….

Ingredients

White Chocolate Mousse

  • 8 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sugar
  •  cups heavy cream (for the eggs)
  •  cups white chocolate (over 30% cocoa butter)
  • 2 cups heavy cream chilled (for whipping)

Mirror Glaze

  • 300 milliliters water
  •  cups sugar
  • 1 14- ounce can sweeten condensed milk
  • 15 gelatin sheets
  • 26 ounces white chocolate chopped (over 30% cocoa butter)
  • Gel food coloring of choice

Mirror Glaze Cake

  • 1 recipe White Chocolate Mousse
  • 18 ounces strawberry jam seedless
  • 2 round vanilla cakes prepared with box instructions and trimmed to 1 cm thick
  • 1 recipe Mirror Glaze

Instructions

White Chocolate Mousse

  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer until frothy and airy, then mix in the sugar slowly. Beat until lemon-colored and fluffy.
  2. Heat the cream in a pot over medium heat until steaming but not boiling, then slowly mix in half of the cream with the eggs – being sure to not cook the eggs by pouring too much cream inside before it’s mixed.
  3. Pour the warm creamy egg mixture into the pot with the rest of the cream and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon without dripping off too much.
  4. Mix in the white chocolate until smooth, then transfer the mix to a bowl and press cling film into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill completely.
  5. Once the white chocolate mixture is set, beat the cold cream in a large bowl until stiff peaks. Be careful not to overmix, it’s safer to undermix than the over mix.
  6. Carefully fold in the white chocolate mixture into the cream, a little at a time, until folded in completely. Set aside for later use.

Mirror Glaze

  1. Boil the water, sugar, and condensed milk in a pot for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  2. Bloom the gelatin in 8 cups of cold water for 5 minutes, then wring the gelatin sheets of excess water and mix into the sugar mixture.
  3. Pour the liquid over the chocolate, letting it sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the chocolate to soften.
  4. Using an immersion blender, carefully blend the chocolate and the liquid, making sure that you are not blending in air bubbles by lifting up the blender too high. It’s okay to go slow, just make sure it’s all blended with as little bubbles as possible, which will show up in the final product.
  5. Sieve the mix into a large jug or vertical container to remove any excess bubbles. If there are still bubbles, continue to sieve back and forth. A trick to remove air bubbles from the surface is to manually pop them with a toothpick or to press cling film into the surface and remove the bubbles.
  6. Separate the glaze into different containers and color them to your desire. We used red and white for this cake. Blend the coloring with the glaze until the color is distributed evenly, then cover each container with the cling film, pressing the film into the glaze to ensure that there is no skin when you are ready to use the glaze.
  7. When you are ready to use the glaze, make sure each one is around 90-96°F, then pour the colored glazes back into one container. Swirl them if you’d like, then glaze your cake!

Mirror Glaze Cake

  1. Spread the jam evenly into the bottom of a round 8-inch cake pan, then place one of the cake rounds on top. Freeze completely.
  2. In a 9-inch by 3-inch silicone round cake mold, pour ⅔ of the chocolate mousse then tap the mold on the table to release any air bubbles.
  3. Place the frozen cake & jam disc on top of the mousse, jam-side down. Press the cake down slightly, then cover it with the rest of the mousse. Place the 2nd cake round on top, pressing down until the mousse rises to the level of the cake. Carefully transfer to a freezer and freeze overnight. It is vital that the cake is 100% frozen through.
  4. Place a can on top of a baking sheet, then carefully unmold the cake onto the can. Make sure to work quickly and that the glaze is already prepared.

Book of the Day

Image result for a painted house john grisham

A Painted House by John Grisham.  I just finished this one today.  I love books set in the ’50s.  I think it’s because my parents were born in the ’50s.  Life seemed so much simpler back then.  It definitely was harder, but there was no social media.  People lived slower.  They seemed to have more values and treat people kinder.  This book tells the story of 7-year-old Luke and his family, who are cotton farmers in rural Arkansas.  I really enjoyed it.

100 Day Song Challenge (061-065)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 061  I think this is the most famous song by a band/artist I like.  Stressed Out by Twenty One Pilots.   (I want an adult Big Wheel….)

Day 062  Out of all the Christmas songs, I like this one the most.  Hands down Christmas Eve/Sarajevo by Trans Siberian Orchestra.

Day 063  You have to listen to this song.  It’s wicked.  High Enough by K. Flay.  I crank it up every time it comes on the radio.

Day 064  A song that you think hardly anyone on this page has heard.  I was thinking that few people have probably heard New Soul by Yael Naim, but the video has over 5 million views, so I guess I’m wrong about that….

Day 065  A song you want played at your funeral.  Good Riddance by Green Day.

 

 

100 Day Song Challenge (056-060)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.  (I’m making up for lost time….)

Day 056  A song from The Rolling Stone Greatest Guitarists list.  This was difficult.  So, I wrote down some of my favorites from the list and then went eenie meenie miney mo.  #72 John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Here is Under the Bridge.  Let me just say that I was disappointed to find James Hetfield ranked at #87.  Man….  How is he that low on the list?

Day 057  Best song out of the last 10 songs posted on this pageDirty Diana by Michael Jackson.

Day 058  If I had to do karaoke, this would be the song I’d choose.  Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.  And hopefully with a bunch of other people….

Day 059  For a laugh, I’d like to see someone choose this song for karaoke.  Baby, One More Time by Britney Spears.  And hopefully it would be a big burly dude doing the singing.  Ha!

Day 060  A song that has a dance that goes with it.  The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground.  I hate this song, just for the record.

100 Day Song Challenge (051-055)

A very belated continuation of my 100 Day Song Challege.

Day 51  A good summertime song.  Say Hey by Michael Franti & Spearhead.  This song just brings up summery images.  Don’t ya think?

Day 52  The worst Christmas number one ever.  White Christmas by Bing Crosby.  This song makes me cringe every time I hear it.

Day 53  A feel good song.  Home by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros.

Day 54  A song from an artist/band you’d love to see live (even if they are no more).  Good Bye Blue Sky by Pink Floyd.  I would have loved to see their Wall tour.  Pure genius.

Day 55  A song from the last artist/band you did see live.  Thunderstruck by 2Cellos.  I don’t go to many concerts sadly.  But these guys were awesome!!

100 Day Song Challenge (046-50)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 046:  A good song from the 2000s.  Sleeping Sickness by City and Colour.

Day 047:  The worst song by one of your favorite artists/bands. On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons.  Imagine Dragons aren’t really my favorite, but I do like a lot of their songs.  Not this one….

Day 048:  A song you can remember from an advert.  What is the advert? Starry Eyed Surprise by Paul Oakenfold from that Diet Coke commercial.

Day 049:  A song you think an artist can cover.  Who should cover it? I really have no idea.  I do like the few remakes I’ve heard when someone sings a rap song.  And, the ones I’ve liked best of those were females singing rap songs.  So……Adele or Florence Welch singing……I dunno??  Fantastic Voyage by Coolio??  Ha!

Day 050:  A song you think everyone has forgotten.  I haven’t heard this one in a while.  Fire Water Burn by The Bloodhound Gang.

My Most Common Topic: Randomness

Hi.  🙂  How is everyone?  I’m good.  I’m kicked back in the living room listening to The Hubs yell at the Texas Rangers game on TV.  Apparently Sam Dyson is the source of much suffering for Rangers fans.  (The Hubs takes his Texas sports seriously.)

I just thought I’d log in and ramble about a few random things.

Last night I was reading my Bible study, which included Psalm 37.  This is very relevant to my life right now.  If you’ve read many of my previous posts, you may know that I am a disgruntled employee.  Most of my disgruntledness (is that a word?) stems from the wrongful firing of The Hubs by my boss.  I have been making a true effort recently to let it all go and not hold any ill will toward my boss or any of the other involved cast of characters.  I have been mostly succeeding at this.  I have been able to just smile and shake my head and move on from things that would normally have me up in arms.  It is VERY freeing.

Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.

This may sound like I am wishing bad things on these people.  I am not.  I swear.  Basically, the message is that I should not let their deeds bother me.  I need to worry about my own life and not let bitterness toward anyone eat me up.  I kinda felt that having that as part of my daily devotional was God telling me to keep it up.  I will continue to try!  I hope that you are able to do the same if you have poisonous people in your life.

A few posts ago, I mentioned having an MRI.  Well, the results of that came in, and they weren’t what I had hoped.  But, that’s okay.  I was diagnosed with MS 16 years ago, and I have been much healthier during that time than I deserve or could have ever asked for.  The disappointing part is that my neurologist (who I love, love, love) wants me to start taking medication again.  Boo!  Hiss!  I stopped taking all medications several years ago, and I have not missed any of it for a second.  The thought of getting back into all of that has been dragging on me.  I am yet to call him back and make the necessary arrangements.  Why do label side effects have to be so awful???

I love watching #LivePD.  I just wanted to throw that in there.

I also love Carpool Karaoke.

Two more days and that wonderful, awesome, three-word phrase that office workers around the globe rejoice in will be here!

THREE DAY WEEKEND!

Can I get a woot woot?  Do you have any fabulous plans?  I am going to go see my grandma and aunt.  I cherish every visit that I get with my grandma.  We live close enough to each other that I get to see her fairly regularly, but far enough apart that I can’t just pop in whenever I want to check on her or take her out to lunch or invite her over for dinner.  I don’t know what I’ll do with the rest of my time off, but I would bet good money that I won’t be spending too much time being a responsible adult and doing chores!  😉

May you and yours have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.  Much love to you all.

Song of the Day

When you are doing a 100 Day Song Challenge, it is downright difficult to pick a song of the day.  I’m just saying….  I think everyone needs to tap their toes to something.  Why not tap them to Square Dance Rap by Sir Mix-a-Lot?

Recipe of the Day

Beer Cheese Soup via http://www.foodnetwork.com.  (I have used this for the recipe of the day before, but I’m posting it again to add an important note.)  I made this for the second time last night.  The first time, I used a Coors Light.  Last night, I used some funky IPA that The Hubs had in the fridge.  Let me just say that beer choice matters…..

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 bottle pale ale, such as Pabst Blue Ribbon
2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
1 cup shredded gruyere
1/2 cup half-and-half

Directions

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepot over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, onions, mustard powder, cayenne and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables until tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Pour in the stock, mustard and Worcestershire and simmer until the veggies are very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the ale, simmer, about 5 minutes, and then puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the Cheddar, gruyere and half-and-half and stir until melted through and smooth. Adjust the seasoning.  Enjoy with a 30-pack of your favorite cheap beer.

Book of the Day

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.  Every book I have read by Hannah has been an absolute tear-jerker, and this one is promising to be no different.  I have a thing for books set during WWII for some reason.  I have no idea why.  They are so heart-wrenching.  I cannot imagine how people managed to survive the things they did.  I cannot imagine having to rely of food rations or having people take over my home and confiscate all of my belongings.  I cannot wrap my head around a whole group of people being denied the basics of life.  I would like to think that I would have the courage to lay my life on the line to stand for what is right, but I have not had that tested yet.  I am about 1/3 of the way through this book, and I am enraptured by it.

 

100 Day Song Challenge (041-045)

A continuation of my 100 Day Song Challenge.

Day 041:  A song you can remember from when you were in school.  Self Esteem by The Offspring.  We only listened to this one about 10559 times…..

Day 042:  A  song people wouldn’t think you’d like, but you do.  It is no secret that I am NOT a country music fan.  So, here’s a country song that I do actually like.  Time Marches On by Tracy Lawrence.  (It was a coin toss between this one and Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox by Joe Diffie.)

Day 043:  A song that was number one from any of your birthdays.  Happy 2nd birthday to me!  (Uh oh….giving away my age here….)  Centerfold by the J. Geils Band.

Day 044:  If you were to release an album, this song would be on it.  I’d like to think that if I released an album, all of the tracks would be originals, but we’re playing “what if” here.  And, let’s face it.  “What if” is the closest I’ll ever get to releasing an album.  🙂  How about Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin?

Day 045:  A song by the Beatles.  Gotta go with Eleanor Rigby.