Friday, January 28, 2011

Day Off

I took the day off today, just because. Alex was off from school, so I thought we'd hang out. I started the day off making some blueberry muffins.

We headed over to Chili's for a fun lunch. I had a grilled chicken sandwich and Alex had the Chicken Crispers.

For dessert we shared this Molten Chocolate Cake... and yes, we were so full we could barely move!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Retro Chips

Look what I found at Wegmans yesterday! I used to love these!! Does anyone else remember them? I might have to buy a few bags of them, I hear they're only going to be around for a little while...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frigid Sunday

Brrr!! It's cold outside! (Ok, that thermometer is broken... but it's only 10 degrees off. So it's still cold!!)

It was a perfect morning for some nice warm cinnamon rolls.

This past week, I used 2 more cookbooks. I made some "Oven Fried Onion Rings" and a "Yankee Pot Roast". Both were delicious!

This week I'm using these 2 cookbooks. Tonight we're having Chicken Lasagna Roll-ups. This recipe is also online, it's here if you'd like to check it out. It looks delicious! I'll be making 2 versions, one with spinach, one without...

The other new recipe I'll be making is a Shepherd's Pie. There are tons of Shepherd's Pie recipes out there. Here is one that is pretty close to the one in this book if you're in the mood for some great comfort food for dinner!

* 4 more cookbooks done, 62 to go!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Favorite Author

My Nook and I have been very busy lately. I discovered a new favorite author. Debbie Macomber. I bought this book "Between Friends", it was in the "Cheap" section of the Barnes and Noble Nook store. Well, I absolutely loved it. So then of course I wanted to read more books by her.

So I found this book, "16 Lighthouse Road". The thing that got me excited about this book was that it was the first in a series, called the "Cedar Cove Series".

I'm now on my 2nd book in that series. "204 Rosewood Lane". I love when you can start a new book and you're already familiar with the characters. And I have at least 9 more books after this! I can't wait!!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Our summer vacation has been booked. This is a hint. Can anyone guess where we're going??

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Random Things

Yesterday for lunch, I made a delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup from this Betty Crocker cookbook. This is a great cookbook, there are SO many recipes I want to try. (4 cookbooks done, 66 to go!)

Here's the recipe, from the cookbook, with slight variations.

1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
3 cups milk or fat-free milk
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
3 cups bite-size fresh broccoli florets

In 3-quart saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Stir in onion, flour and salt. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until onion is soft. In small bowl, stir milk and flour with wire whisk until smooth. Gradually stir into onion mixture. Cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until thick and bubbly. Stir in cheese. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Stir in broccoli. Cook about 1 minute or until hot, stirring occasionally. Pour into bowls and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Enjoy!

Last night we also had night #2 of Travel Auc. Eric was asleep at the wheel. (He was just kidding...) He's working tonight again. I have the night off. I was supposed to go to a Track Meet but it was cancelled due to the insane amount of snow we were getting this morning. 10 minutes after they cancelled the meet, the clouds parted and the sun came out. Figures! (And apparently all the other schools went to the meet, looks like Liverpool was the only one that didn't show up...)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Travel Auc '11: Night 1

Here are some "behind the scenes" pictures from the 2011 Travel Auc. This was the first night. There are 5 total nights. Eric and I are each working ("volunteering") for 4 of those nights.

These monitors show the active auctions. There are 28 auctions going on at once, plus a "Great Escapes" auction, which are for more expensive trips.

These are the phone bank volunteers.

And this is Eric running a studio camera... feeling "blue"...

This was my work station. I got the fun job (not) of entering data. By the end of the night, I was cross-eyed.

But there was free food! All night long we had goodies of some sort. Dinner last night was from Tassone's Wine Garden. We had baked ziti and chicken riggies. Along with a nice salad and fresh bread. Then there were cookies and cheese & crackers later. I didn't get home until almost 1am. Zzzz.....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Going, Going, Gone!

It's that time of year... for the 2011 WCNY Travel Auction!

It starts tomorrow night. Eric and I both get to "volunteer" our time... maybe we'll get lucky and find a good deal we can bid on. We'll have to leave the building to bid though, no bidding on the premises!

I snuck up on Eric today and took a photo of him working... so you could all see one of the edit suites where he spends a lot of his time. A lot of fabulous work comes out of this room!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Safety First!

Eric had a shoot yesterday at Cornell University. He loved the Tyvek jumpsuit he got to wear.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baked Goods

I think it was Baking Day at the Hayden House today! I started the morning making Blueberry Muffins for breakfast.

Then we bought this 10 Grain Bread Mix at the grocery store this morning and made it in the bread maker. It turned out really well! I think I'm beginning to get a hang of the bread maker.

It's so simple, and it makes the house smell SO good while it's baking the bread.

I also made cookies this afternoon, from this cookbook. That's 3 cookbooks down, 67 to go!

They were "Soft Apple Cider Cookies." This was the finished product, they were really good! Here's the recipe:

Soft Apple Cider Cookies

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
1/2 cup apple cider
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 apples, peeled, diced
3/4 cup finely chopped almonds (I left this out)
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider

In a large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed, beat brown sugar and margarine until creamy. Add 1/2 cup cider and eggs; beat until smooth. Reduce to low speed, gradually blend in flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Stir in diced apples and chopped almonds. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto greased cookie sheets. Bake in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. To make Cider Glaze: In small bowl combine powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons apple cider until smooth. Remove cookies onto wire racks to cool. Drizzle with Cider Glaze while still warm.

Makes 48 cookies.

Races and Recipes

Yesterdays Track Meet was at Colgate University, in Hamilton, NY. (aka the middle of nowhere...)

It was a beautiful campus. It felt a lot like I stepped into a small town in New England. But it definitely felt like it was the middle of nowhere. I didn't even have cell phone service...

I feel like I've been on a Central New York tour of Field Houses this winter! This Field House was very nice.

It was very bright and yellowish though! Today was the CNY League Championship meet. And Alex ran two races. Which was a first for him. The first race was the 1600 meter. He placed 7th in his division. The coach is impressed with Alex's hard work and enthusiasm and really wants him to succeed. He's giving him a lot of opportunities, which is really nice for a freshman.

Here he is running the 4x800 meter relay. They placed 3rd overall. (The guy who usually runs the last leg ran (and won) 3 individual events instead... otherwise I'm sure they would have won!) Liverpool as a team won the overall meet. There were patches for everyone on the team and ribbons for everyone who placed. Which made Alex very happy!

Tonight I'm going to make a recipe from Rachael Ray's Comfort Foods Cookbook. It's called "Pork Chops and Applesauce". Not your ordinary pork chops and applesauce though. Here is a variation of the recipe:


  • 4 Golden Delicious apples, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 cups all natural apple juice or cider, plus a splash for pan sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 4 (1-inch) thick center cut boneless pork loin chops, 6 to 8 ounces each
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter


Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium pot placed over medium high heat and cook until a chunky sauce forms, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once apples are soft and sauce forms, remove it from the heat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the pan. Season chops on 1 side with salt and pepper. Using a pair of tongs, add chops to hot skillet seasoned side down. Season the opposite side of the chops with salt and pepper. Brown and caramelize the chops 2 minutes on each side, then reduce heat to medium and cook another 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until juices run clear. Remove chops from heat and let them rest a couple of minutes for juice to redistribute. Deglaze the pan with a splash of apple juice and 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour pan
sauce over chops. Top chops with generous portions of warm golden apple sauce.


I'm also going to make some fresh homemade bread to go with it. Sounds perfect for a cold, snowy day like today!

Monday, January 3, 2011

I Love My Nook!

I really don't like this picture, but it's the best I could do without a full lighting set-up. Help from my photographer husband would have been helpful... but I think he was busy playing with his new toys that he got for Christmas!

Anyway... this shows how great my new Nook Color is. I downloaded a Betty Crocker cookbook and propped it up as I made this new recipe. It's a fun potato bake. Simple really, you use mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese and those yummy fried onions. And just bake it for about 20 minutes in the oven. They were really good!

And back to the Nook. It's wonderful. It's basically a tablet. There's internet surfing, books to read and apps to play with. And it's in full color (unlike the Kindle). I think one of my favorite things to read are the magazines. The color is amazing. You can pull out the articles and just read those. It's a great device!

Jenny Has a Blog!

Yes, it's true. She was begging for a blog, so I decided to make one for her. You can check out all her Corgi-cuteness here... And this won't be a private blog, so it'll show up in your Reader.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

So far, so good!

Yesterday a sweet young cashier at Wegmans asked me how my New Years was. Was? It just started! I said that it was good so far. And it is. We've literally done next to nothing. Except eat, relax, watch tv. So yeah, it's been pretty good so far!

We did get the house back to "normal" and took down the Christmas decorations.

Usually it feels like the room is so empty, but I kind of like the fresh, clean look. Jenny of course had to get her face in the photo...

Eric mentioned that we could use some new curtains for the front window. Ones with some sort of insulation. So I looked online, found these at Ordered them. A few hours later I picked them up at the store, came home and hung them up. I'd say that's pretty productive! Oh and I love the ordering online and doing the store pick-up option. It saves so much time!

While cleaning out the living room, I also decided to clean out the bookcase that holds all of my cookbooks. Then I thought, I really ought to use these more often! So my goal (not a resolution, those don't work for me...) is to use all 70 of my cookbooks this year. At least one recipe from each one. And this will be good, I have lots of baking cookbooks, as well as specialty cookbooks. So there will be a wide variety to choose from.

I got help from Alex with the first choice. The Star Wars Cookbook. I will admit, I have made the Wookiee Cookies in the past and they are fantastic!

But this go-around, Alex chose a Burrito. So Tuesday we are having Greedo's Burritos.

They're pretty basic. Alex & I will follow the recipe exactly, and Eric will create his own "special" burrito for himself... without all the olives, black beans, tomatoes and lettuce!

Another thing I did this weekend was fix the beautiful centerpiece my mom gave me for my birthday. It was filled with real flowers when she gave it to me, but they had all dried up and were kind of making a mess. So I took out all the dead foliage, went over to Hobby Lobby and bought some nice silk roses and greenery and now it's good as new! (It looks better in person, it was hard to get a good picture.)

And one other thing we have been doing this weekend... is trying to decide what to do for our annual vacation this year! The above photo may or may not be a hint...