Saturday, December 22, 2007


This is pretty funny!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Pie and Pint

That's the latest name for my future pub, whose food offerings would be based around pie. Meat pies, quiche, shepherd's pie, etc., etc.

Last night I decided to attempt my first savory pie: Hamburger Pie. The idea is that it's like a hamburger you'd get at a "normal" bar, but in the form of a pie.

It contains ground beef, some spices, some tomato sauce (in place of ketchup), and some cheese.

I put it in my usual homemade pie crust, baked it, and voila.

Flaky crust with yummy hamburger filling (tomato slices on top to give it a slightly sophisticated touch!). Ketchup can be added if you like, though I found it just fine to eat all by itself.

Feel free to add suggestions for savory pies I should try in the future!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

smart cars

Eric and I are pretty excited that smart cars are soon to be available in the US! Not so much because we are in the market for one, as much as because we think they are super cool and wish that the US was as 'smart' about smaller, more fuel-efficient (smart cars get 42mpg; although I think they could do better) cars as Europe is. Plus, they are just so snazzy-looking!

Here's a photo of one we saw in Italy, plus other (older) cool cars and vehicles that we saw along the way (often I made Eric pose for scale which is a *little* unfair but funny).

Check out the color-coordinating wheels!

I'm pretty sure this is a Fiat 500, "cinqueceto" -- the number of people that can be squeezed in these is quite amazing!

I believe this is also a Fiat-- practically a station wagon!

These mini-mini-trucks, called Apes, are used in cities, in the country, in the mountains, any and everywhere! They only go about 35mph...which can be annoying on a mountain road!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Pug update

Lucy was jealous of all of the photos featuring Vasco and wants her loyal to remember that she's cute too!

Here she is squishing herself between two green cushions on the couch (she's not allowed on TOP of the cushions)...

Also, Lucy recently had her nails done! At the Pug-a-Dazzle (more photos below)...You can just barely see the silver polish...

Here are some other cute pug photos, all taken at the yearly Pug-a-Dazzle gathering that took place last weekend in downtown Minneapolis (yes, there was a costume contest!)...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Vasco Update

Vasco the kitty (full name: Vasco T. Kitty-Cat. The "T" stands for "travieso," which means "troublemaker") has been growing bigger and bigger, though he has managed to retain all of his kittenly cuteness. Among his new favorite things to do: sit on the (heated) floor in the kitchen, watching for mice. We have at least one uninvited new Menagerie member whom we occasionally hear scurrying about. I actually saw him one morning in the kitchen. Last night, Vasco caught him (we'll see if there are more), around 1 a.m., and brought him into the bedroom. Presumably he wanted to show off his hunting skill. He did not want to give the mouse up, but I eventually pried it from his jaws and threw it out of the house. When I went to check a few minutes later, the mouse was gone, apparently having survived his capture. Here's hoping he finds another house to settle in....

Anyway, here are a few Vasco pictures from recent weeks.

Does Halloween count as "recent weeks"? Ugh, it's been a while...

There's a lot of bed-stealing in our Menagerie: Moose loves to sleep in Lucy's bed upstairs, Lucy prefers Moose's downstairs bed, and Vasco likes all the dog beds. And neither Moose nor Lucy will do anything to roust him from their bed, except look sadly at us.... So here's Vasco occupying Lucy's bed.

And here he is in ultra-cute "why did you wake me up?" pose in Moose's bed.

And finally, taking a ride on Eric's shoulders. He enjoys climbing humans...

White Stuff and Mercury Falling

We got our first significant snowfall of the season on Saturday (12/1)-- a solid 6 inches! And as I write this (Tuesday 12/4) it's snowing again. We're expected to get 3-5 inches today, and since the temperature has barely gotten out of the teens in the past week or two (predicted lows this week: 11, 9, 12, -1, and a balmy 15), that will sit right on top of the previous 6 inches, giving us a nice blanket of snow.

It's very pretty. And Moose is very happy-- he just loves running around in the snow, tunneling down with his snout, digging and kicking up snow, etc. Lucy is not so happy-- she daintily steps out of the shoveled areas only when absolutely necessary and runs back into the house as quickly as she can.

We're not sure how Vasco feels about the snow. He definitely has not been trying as hard to sneak outside....

We're also not sure how the Foo Dogs

and the Buddha

feel about the snow. But we like it!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cranberry Pie, Oh My, Oh My

A new pie, inspired by the many (local) cranberries left over even after Thanksgiving-- during which season we made cranberry-apple pie, cranberry sauce, and cranberry-orange relish. All delicious. I had never had a cranberry pie, and I found few recipes that attempted what I was after. So I largely made it up myself.

The crust was the (new) usual: made with lard and butter.

For the filling, I took 4 cups of cranberries (might use another 1/2 cup or even 1 cup more next time) and boiled them with 1/2 cup of water. Once they come to a boil and start to pop (the cranberries I used had been frozen; I thawed them at least partially first), I added just over a cup of sugar, 5 tblsp flour, and a teaspoon of salt. Mix and cook over low heat till nice and thick. Let it cool a bit and then fill the pie. Bake for 30-40 minutes, till crust is golden brown.

It's delicious! Serve with vanilla ice cream if you like.

One benefit of cooking the filling is that you can adjust the sugar to your own taste. I personally like the tartness of the cranberries and don't want to make it too sweet. For many, though, more than 1 cup of sugar will be necessary.

Labels: ,