Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Funny Excerpt From Our New Community Newsletter

Straight from our Paako liason:

WILDLIFE SPOTTED LAST WEEK   Wednesday, five deer were seen crossing Paako Drive by Golf Course and earlier in the day, a mountain lion was seen chasing five deer across the 18th Green.  Thanksgiving Day a golfer encountered the mountain lion between the 13th Green and 14th Tee Box.  It was about 20 yards away and the golfer chose to wisely let the cat play through.


I think we're going to like our new home.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sharing is Caring: A Story in Photos

Lookin' good, Sexy Nerd!
(when I tell you to smile for the camera and instead you take a big bite of your sandwich, photos like this are going to happen.)



I can't decide whether Pica and Biscuit are exceptionally well-behaved dogs or really stupid for ignoring my sandwich on the table.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Santa Bear (aka Best Xmas Special Ever!)

The other day, I posted the following comment on The Spohrs Are Multipling:

My all-time favorite holiday special was Santa Bear, which is so sad because I can't find it ANYWHERE! I had it recorded onto a VHS tape when I was younger but the tape no longer plays. Seriously, does anyone else remember this Christmas special? Santa Bear and Bully Bear switched places (naked, they looked identical) but Santa and Santa Bear's airplane-flying female pal saved the day!

Every Christmas, I search online for Santa Bear and every year I'm out of luck.

Until now! Enjoy :)



What's the best part of all? This has the same 80s commercials as my old VHS recording! Ahh, simple times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homemade Pumpkin Ice Cream

Sexy Nerd and I are going to his family's house for Thanksgiving this year. We're a bit low on the Thanksgiving totem pole, which always makes it tricky to figure out what to bring. What will we be making this year? Oh, just a little homemade pumpkin ice cream! Yes, it is as delicious as it sounds. Here are a few photos from the last time I made this ice cream:

Technically, this ice cream is perfectly yummy without adding any chocolate syrup or almonds.

But where's the fun in that?

If I weren't so determined to get a good photo of this for my blog, I would probably have chowed down on this ice cream right from the mixer.

I had never made ice cream the "real" way before (with egg yolks) and was surprised at how easy it is. Here's the recipe, courtesy of Saveur.com. If you've never visited their site, you're missing out on some wonderful recipes!


Saveur's Pumpkin Ice Cream
Makes 2 Quarts
This article was first published in Saveur in Issue #30 

4 cups heavy cream (Diet conscious but want some ice cream anyway? I used 1/2 cream and 1/2 nonfat milk and it turned out fine!)
12 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/3 cup puréed cooked pumpkin
2 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Heat 2 2/3 cups of the cream in the top of a double boiler above gently boiling water over medium-high heat.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, corn syrup, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a metal mixing bowl. Gradually pour 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then whisk egg mixture into remaining cream in top of double boiler. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture is thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 15 minutes.


3. Pour custard through a sieve set over a clean bowl. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and remaining 1 1/3 cup of cream, and whisk until blended. Refrigerate custard until cold, about 4 hours.


4. Transfer custard to an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions.


 Mmmmmm, this ice cream is so good!

Kitchen Pig likes to enjoy his pumpkin ice cream sundae out on the patio.

*Gasp!*

Try not to judge him too harshly. His parents were pigs.


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Snowman Cookies "I'm melting! Melting..."

You know those adorable melting snowman cookies that have been popping up all across the blogosphere lately? The ones with the charming little scarves and glossy icing? These are not *quite* those cookies.


I wanted to make something that would knock the socks off of the girls at work for our cookie exchange. Problem #1? No eggs (and no energy to drive to the grocery store). Unfazed, I found a great shortbread recipe that used powdered sugar, flour, and butter to make an egg-free cookie. I mixed up the dough and started a load of dishes, mixer parts included, while it chilled.

Problem #2? My first 2 pans of cookies were severely undercooked! Why is it that you can't just put doughy cookies back into the oven and have them bake like they'd been undisturbed all along? Fearing that I'd invest the rest of my day decorating cookies that were inedible, I waited for the dishwasher to finish, then mixed up a brand new batch, complete with an additional hour of chilling time.

Problem #3 (nothing is easy, right)? I'd saved a trip to the store by finding an egg-free, powdered sugar-filled recipe. Ready to decorate, I realised that I'd used so much powdered sugar in the cookies that I didn't have enough left to make icing. Sexy Nerd found an old tub of frosting, one neither of us remembers buying, in the back of our pantry. It was incredibly thick, but he thought he could make it work.

The Strategy:
 Mix with water.
(Remember my Dogs Wearing Earmuffs post? We keep our house a little chilly.)

Microwave.

 Spread onto cookie.

Yeah...not quite what I was going for!

Luckily, I was able to improve on Sexy Nerd's frosting technique with my stand mixer. A melty marshmallow, a sprinkle nose, and some black gel icing later, and I was in business.

Ta da!

Gel icing, by the way, is a pain. And I won't go into details about the joy that is pressing minuscule sprinkles into tough Dollar Store marshmallows.

Repeat 35 times.




He's abominable.

The fella on the lower right is E.T.
 Behind him is Mr. Hat Head

Senor Marshallito

I ran out of black gel icing toward the end. Sacrifices had to be made.

Santa Mallow

Can you spot Pedophile Mallow?
(Christmasy, right?)

"Adios!"

So, which cookie is your favorite?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photos from California

For our vacation, I bought 2 San Francisco Go Cards, which included a Red and White Fleet Golden Gate Bay Cruise. I don't think it would have been worth the cost if purchased on it's own (about $30 each, I believe) but without any extra expense, we really enjoyed it.

Cruising beneath the Golden Gate Bridge provides some great photo opportunities!












I think someone enjoyed our Golden Gate Bridge cruise.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hot Apple Cider Crock Pot Recipe

This is a wonderful cold weather drink, especially in our house, which I keep at a brisk 60F during the winter (Sexy Nerd loves 60 degrees - our agreement used to be 50!) I make this every time Sexy Nerd puts up our Christmas lights.

He's starting early this year. It seems a bit unfair to Thanksgiving, but here we are.

Our $5 Crock Pot is working hard!

LambAround's Best Hot Apple Cider (approximately 8 servings)
  1. Make a simple syrup by bringing 1/8 C water and a 1/4 C sugar to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and add 1/8 tsp each of allspice, cinnamon, and ginger. Whisk well and let simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat.
  2. In a separate pan, bring the following to a boil: 2 C water, 1 can frozen apple juice, 1 cinnamon stick, 9 allspice berries, 9 whole cloves, 1 sliced apple, and the zest of 1 small orange. Add 1/2 of your simple syrup and whisk well.
  3. Transfer your mixture from step #2 to a 2.5 quart slow cooker set to low heat. Fill to the top with hot water. I usually let everything sit in the slow cooker for an hour or so to let the flavor develop more, but it's ready to drink right away as well.
You'll want to add more syrup and/or water based on your own preference. Sexy Nerd likes the recipe exactly as written, but I like to fill my mug with 1/2 apple cider and 1/2 hot water because it's a little strong for my taste. When serving, I pour through a little strainer so that no one ends up with a mouthful of cloves or allspice berries!

Friday, November 11, 2011

San Francisco Trip Photos

A week has passed and I'm still sick, now with bronchitis! Bah humbug and cough, cough, cough!

Also, we've been back from our travels for quite some time but there are still no photos from San Francisco here on LambAround. Let's fix that.

We flew into Oakland and took the BART into San Francisco. The station has a nifty view of the Raiders stadium.
(boo!)

 Sexy Nerd, looking absolutely thrilled to hold my bag while I take his photo.

Yes, the other husbands may laugh when they see him, but holding your wife's bag is a necessary part in the life of the modern man.

Eventually, Sexy Nerd accepted it. You can't argue with an awesome bag!

Before our vacation, I joined the Boudin email club and received a $3 off coupon, good at their Fisherman's Wharf location. Note to anyone thinking of using this handy travel tip: Learn from my mistake and print more than just 1 of these coupons. About a dozen, registered to multiple email addresses, would have been great.

We shared a Sourdough pizza.

Mmmmmm.

Us small town New Mexicans couldn't believe our eyes. A real life Occupy San Francisco shantytown! It's right across from where a group of teens smokes pot and stands around with their bikes. No matter when we passed this area, the teens were always there, always smoking and always lounging about.
A lot of San Francisco smells funny. The back entrance of Trader Joe's smelled especially funny.

Did you know there's a group that swims in the frigid San Francisco water by choice? Brrr!

 Other than this cold we both caught, we loved our vacation!
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