Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Yes, we're home. And yes, I have loads of pictures to post about the remaining couple of weeks in Florida, as well as the trip back. 


I have a new goal to become a culinary whiz (okay, so really I just want to be able to cook for my family without killing them.)

Here's the skinny:

I am experimenting with new recipes, playing with some of my favorites from my childhood, and as I find my favorites I am going to photograph them. 

Eventually I'm going to bind a book of my favorites, complete with delightful pictures.

The way I see it, I didn't come up with these recipes from my own noggin, so I'm going to share my new (and old) favorites here on the blog so that maybe--just maybe--some of y'all can benefit from them too!

Oh, and did I mention I'm going to be focusing on recipes that don't take forever and a day to prepare?


So here goes!

Fluffy French Toast

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 pink salt
3 eggs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp white sugar
8 thick slices of bread (I used Wonderbread's Texas Toast)

1. Measure flour into a large mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk in the salt, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and sugar until smooth.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat (I put our griddle at 350)
3. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. (If you use the Texas Toast bread, the milk and egg mixture might not make it to 8 slices if you let them get really saturated due to the extra thickness. We made four tonight and had maybe 1/3 of the stuff left over. Just an FYI.)
4. Cook bread on each side until golden brown. Serve hot with syrup, banana slices, powdered sugar, etc.

YIELDS: 8 (ish) slices.
(Again, this will vary depending on the thickness of the bread. The original recipe claimed 12 slices.)

What to y'all think of the picture? I haven't had a lot (okay, any) experience shooting food, but I really want to get into it. I love the colors and textures. I was thinking maybe I should shoot the french toast again next time and put some syrup on, too? What do you think? I wish we had more natural light down here. Maybe I should run the plate outside each time I want to photograph the meal?

Monday, August 16, 2010


I'm sitting in the bedroom while Emily naps, checking blogs, sifting through email, and trying not to jump out of my pants every time a massive thunder clap shakes our little house. 

Good grief.

I was in the middle of replying to an email when I caught a glimpse of something scurrying at the speed of light--across my hand, on to my track pad, and off the other side of my laptop.

I resisted the instinct to throw the laptop across the room and run around in circles screaming. I lifted the laptop, set it aside (with the speed of a ninja, of course), and saw the little bugger. All that went through my head was: 


So without further adieu, I proceeded to smack my thigh with my open palm. 

Over. And Over.
With all the frantic force I could muster.

Lauren : 1
Lighting-Fast Jerk of a Spider : 0

my leg hurts...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Insanity that Was :: Part VI--THE FINAL CHAPTER

Welcome to St. Augustine, Florida.

A place where walls are made out of seashells.

And ginger ale is uber fancy.
And delicious.

A place that is extra fascinating when viewed sideways...

And addles your brains a bit.
(Pssst! It's the heat and humidity...)

Or perhaps the addling had more to do with this...
I'll let you decide...

My mom and dad had super-human head protection.
(Emily loves the wind. Laughs her head off.)

So super, in fact, that they inspired me to get my own. Courtesy of St. Augustine.

Emily was a trooper.

Aunt Julia helped keep her happy. :)

After a hot, sweaty day at the fort we went to the beach. The lighting was fabulous. And since Emily wouldn't have anything to do with the water that night, I had plenty of time to play.

This is my "Sand is not Edible" progressive series...
Moral of the story? Don't eat sand.

I love my family...

"You set me DOOOOWWN!?"

Documentation of Zach's "Relief Society Arms"
The insanity has now ended. If you survived the onslaught of photographs, I commend your stamina.


Time to wash the day off. 
My hair is in my face. 

I step forward to better reach the hair clips in the bathroom cupboard.
Something is under my big toe.
Not unusual.
Our floors are old, and the sawdust junk in between the floorboards often comes up and gets tracked into the bathroom.
I look down at the floor to put it in the garbage.

Half of it is still moving.
But only half.
And it's not floor junk.

The Insanity that Was :: Part V

FINALLY--the post that all you fellow Harry Potter nerds have been long awaiting! Here is your peek into
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
(cue theme music...)

When we got to Universal Orlando, we had to go the long way around to get to HP World due to crowd control--and yes, we waited in a giant line for an hour and a half just to ENTER that part of the park. Turns out that everyone else in the whole park wanted to be there, too. (You know, as though it had just opened two weeks earlier, or something... Sheesh.) Luckily, there was plenty to look at along the way!

Once we finally got into the park, we were greeted by the Hogwarts Express!
For those who are wondering, it did expel plenty of steam! 

Welcome to Hogsmeade.

Honeydukes was right next door to Zonko's Joke Shop, and was absolutely fabulous. Chocolate frogs, Berty Bott's Every Flavor Beans... My favorite part was the homemade fudge, though. Yeah, I know. So un-wizardly of me. But hey--you indulge in some of their chocolate cheesecake fudge and I think you'll understand! :) This tornado is made of cotton candy!

We drank Butterbeer...
Kind of like extra foamy cream soda with butterscotch syrup mixed in. Very rich. Very sweet.

And Pumpkin Juice...
Sort of like chilled wassail... Yum.

I love this shot of my mom...

They had a frog choir. Or rather, an a capella group with frogs singing bass. :) Check it out!

Of course, we went to Ollivander's. We had heard that you got to be "picked" by a wand. How cool is that? 

Ok. Turns out it wasn't that cool. Totally not worth the hour and a half we waiting in the mid afternoon sun. Even if we did get to see a real live Quidditch set!
There was a snitch flitting around in there, too, but you can't see it in the video, sorry! I tried--that's why at the end the camera is a bit wonky!

Turns out only one person in a group of 30-40 got to actually get "picked." And it was some little kid. Weird. Can you believe they picked a KID for that!? ;) Glad we did it, even though it was lame. It would have been worse to wonder. The inside of the shop was really cool though--there were boxes and boxes of wands all the way up to the ceiling and in every nook and cranny!

We ate lunch at the Three Broomsticks.
I had my first Shepherd's Pie!

Here's an inside view...
Sort of... Of the cool rafters, at least!

Emily was SOOO good. I had to sneak into the Hog's Head (the pub adjoining the Three Broomsticks. Ironic, really) to feed her multiple times throughout the day, but the staff was so kind about it and it was so nice and COOL in there! :)

Eventually we decided to brave the line for the ride inside of Hogwarts Castle.
(Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey)

The line wound through the entire castle, so we got to see a ton of cool stuff! Emily was particularly excited to enter...

A dragon skeleton in the room where we got snowed on! So cool.

The statue in front of the entrance to Dumbledore's office.

The pensieve...

And Dumbledore's office!
If you look close you can actually see Dumbledore up on the balcony (he's a projection, so it's a little hard to see...)

The line also meandered through the Greenhouse, where we saw Mandrakes...

Back in the castle again...

And the House Points...

There were portraits all over the walls that moved and talked to each other. We got to see the Fat Lady. In fact, there was a problem with the ride just as we reached the Fat Lady, so we got to converse with her over. and over. again. :)

This ride was pretty cool. It was a combination of us moving through the actual castle, and part movie thing where we were right up in front of a screen and moving so it felt like we were flying on a broomstick and stuff. Now that was an eloquent sentence! :) We got chased by dragons, attacked by the basilisk, you name it. We did it. 

And a couple more pictures. Cause I know you hadn't seen enough already. :)

I've been trying to be more on top of getting pictures of me and Kirby together. And me in general. I'm usually behind the camera--I'll have a month's worth of pictures and only have one or two with me in them. So I took the opportunity during the eternally long line to get into the park to snap a quick picture of me and Kirby!

My mom and dad found a nice little ledge to sit on.

The Monster Book of Monsters!

Playing with Daddy...

Emily loves her Grandpa Blackham!

Phew! I finally did it. And so did you. Congratulations. :)

©2009 DAV.I.SON. | by TNB