- Turkey – baked breast-side down as usual to keep the white meat more moist, rubbed down with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Yum! Boiling the carcass has generated several gallons of broth for future meals.
- Stuffing – I cooked a half roll of Italian sausage, then sautéed a skillet full of onions, mushrooms, garlic, chopped carrots, celery, yellow squash, and zucchini. I added all this to a bag of Pepperidge Farm bread chunks. There was enough moisture from the veggies that I did not need to add any moisturizing broth or water. I have never added sausage before, and was surprised how just that little bit really added a lot of flavor.
- Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries – the sugar and raspberry balsamic vinegar hardened into tooth-breaking crystalline texture (like the red shell of a candied apple), which promptly melted and ran all over the place when added to the sprouts. The result was okay, but I do not expect to make it again.
- Green beans with mushrooms – I had an idea in mind, and this recipe is fairly close to what I envisioned. I was less than enthused about my results. They were edible, but not exciting.
- Sweet potatoes – I cut out half the butter and sugar and didn’t miss it at all. Even Alex liked them, and getting him to eat sweet potatoes is usually a challenge.
- Mashed potatoes – The bag from Costco suggested cooking them in the crock pot. I set the timer to cook them overnight. I doubt I will do that again. The potatoes turned yellow and smelled funny in the morning. I creamed them, added sautéed garlic, and baked to reheat just before serving. They turned out pretty tasty, but the color was still a bit dingy.
- Mac & Cheese – I used this recipe as a base as usual but added additional seasonings and used a healthy dose of pepper jack for some extra seasoning.
- Cranberry sauce – I doubled the recipe, reduced the sugar by 1/3, added a grated apple, and included the zest from the orange I juiced. The apple was not grated as much as I thought and I didn’t like the visual appeal when it was done, so I used the immersion blender to puree it. I also made it the day before and then served it chilled. I liked it last year, but I thought it probably the best part of the meal this year. Alex did not share this opinion.
- Pumpkin pie – I bought a frozen pre-made one months ago when they were on sale but it’s just been occupying freezer space since so I baked and served it. It was good, but I like the seasoning combo from homemade a little better.
- Death by Chocolate – I bought the ingredients, but Alex made every bit of it himself. It is layers of double chocolate brownies, chocolate pudding, devil’s food cake, and whipped cream. He found some snack-sized Butterfinger bars left over from Halloween, and he shredded them for a garnish on the top. Isn’t it pretty?
Friday, November 23, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
From Alex's network teacher, sent to school management:
He is the first student to sit for the CompTIA Network + Exam at GHS. Not only did he work hard for the privilege to sit for the exam, he PASSED with flying colors!!!! Please congratulate him when you see him!
I didn't realize he was the first student from his school to ever take this test. He now has 10 certifications earned as a result of being in this IT program at school. I got a little behind in posting his successes, but here is what he ended up with:
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Since Alex was 14, I’ve been harassing him about getting his learner’s permit. He put it off, and put it off, and put it off. He didn’t see the need, he didn’t want one, etc. For Christmas this year, I bought him a wallet. I included a few gift cards to some of his favorite places (2 for food, 2 for desserts), but the place for the driver license is front and center. Still no interest. Grrr.
Florida used to allow the learner’s test to be taken online. In January, they discontinued it. I got him to take that drug and alcohol education class online a few months ago, but we had to go to the DMV for the test. Finally, last night, he went to the site to get his certificate completion number for testing reference. We were surprised to discover that apparently right after he took the class, Florida reinstated the online test. I paid for it, he sat down, and took the test. Finally! In addition, I was happy to discover that the rule stating you must have the learner's permit for 12 months before you may test for the full license only applies to those under 18. That means I will not have to still be driving with him when he goes to post-graduate classes next year. Assuming we can afford whatever an 18-year old male driver does to insurance rates, of course!
There are two parts to the test: road signs and road rules. There are 20 questions in each part, and you must get 15 right to pass. You are not told how many you get right/wrong, only if you pass. Which he did. We expected the signs test to be easy. I’ve been pointing them out and explaining them since he was little, and most of them are pretty self-explanatory anyway. We did not expect the rules test to be so simplistic. I read those questions while he did it (no, I did not tell him the answers), and I just have to say that we both now understand why people drive like they do!
An hour at the office today for paperwork and processing, and now we finally have the license. Merry Christmas to me!