Thanksgiving

dinnerrollsandsoda A coworker sent around a bunch of Thanksgiving cartoons today, and of course this was one of them. The reason it’s particularly humorous: this Thanksgiving I got tasked with bringing “dinner rolls and beer.” That’s right – the two things that you tell people to bring who usually mess things up, are what I got tasked with.

Let me back up a little. I usually spend Thanksgiving back east with my family in Connecticut. Because B and I never spend any holidays together (because I mainly use my holidays and subsequent days off of work to travel home), I decided to stay in the Cleve for Turkey Day this year. At B’s family’s Thanksgiving, everyone is in charge with bringing some part of the dinner, and B’s mom suggested we bring “rolls and beer.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love not having to be in charge of bringing anything, especially anything that could go wrong on my first Thanksgiving with B’s family. That being said, I was wondering, how can I get creative with beer…and rolls?

That’s where, as usual, my twitter-peeps came in. I tweeted, “Just found out I was tasked with bringing “Beer and Rolls” to Thanksgiving. Any ideas on how to make it creative/fun?”

The responses were great:

twitterbeer1

So, I took some advice and decided to attempt to make beer rolls! I found a ton of great recipes, coincidentally, in my November issue of my Cooking Light for beer bread, but crunched for time (7pm the night before Thanksgiving) I decided to improvise. Here’s what I decided to do:


Quick and Easy Beer Rolls

2  1/4 c Bisquick (told you it was easy!)

2 tbs. sugar

1 tsp. Kosher salt

6 oz (half bottle) dark beer (I used Sam Adam’s Winter Ale)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients
  3. Slowly add beer. If you’ve had time to let the beer sit at room temperature and flatten, that will work better, but I just added it in right from the fridge.
  4. Mix together thoroughly until there are no clumps. Batter should be paste-like, thick and moist.
  5. Fill greased muffin tins about 2/3-3/4 full.
  6. Bake in 425 degrees oven for about 18 minutes. Start to check muffins at 15 minutes so that they are not overdone or dried out.

Variation:

I decided to shred some colby jack cheese and put it in the batter of some of the rolls. I also sprinkled some on top of other rolls. I found that the cheesier the batter, the more beer-like the rolls tasted.

And that was it!  Capeesh? Here’s the final product:

cheesybeerrolls1

I hope everyone likes it tomorrow! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Running shoe experiment

I hate to admit it, but my running has gone down n the past few weeks. I haven’t been lazy (though with the icky winter weather I am definitely hitting the snooze more) or too busy- the weather has just been downright unfriendly for running!
I tried running outside last week, and didn’t make it more than .3 miles without slipping and nearly falling on my face. The sidewalks were all covered with ice and I’m clumsy enough as it is! (I’ve already fallen twice this past month without ice..just me kicking myself on the sidewalk)

I can’t stop running – I’ve gotten really in the groove of it and am even starting to almost enjoy racing (key word: almost). But how can I keep it up during the winter, without having to always hop on a treadmill?

I went to my local Second Sole to see what they thought. Our convo:

Me: How do you keep running in the winter?
Extremely Fit Young Man: I have been running for 15 years, so that’s 15 winters. What do you mean?
Me: Well, don’t you slip on ice and wet snow and leaves?
EFYM: No, you just learn how to run in it.

Boooo!

EFYM then showed me some shoes with little spikes in them, saying that they are good if you’re “not used to running in the winter.” They were similar to these and just as pricey.

I didn’t really feel like buying new running shoes, especially at that price and that style (Now if they were cute $120 running shoes, that’s another story!) so I returned from the store empty handed and asked around my office for some tips.

A coworker found this online and said if I supplied the shoes, she would be able to take care of the screws and labor. I some older shoes (about 400 miles on them) that I had just sitting in my desk, so I figured, why not?

screwy-shoes1

Well, here’s the end result! What do you think? How do you run in the winter?

I can’t wait to test them out and see how they work!

Some Thoughts About Email

Yesterday, I mentioned to a colleague that gmail had rolled out some new themes, and I was pretty excited that when it was sunny outside, my gmail showed a sunny landscape. If I chose the beach landscape, at night the sun would go down on my gmail. Pretty snazzy.

She was taken aback. “Gmail?” she asked. “Should I get that? I already use road runner and I’ve used it for years. I pay for my road runner service! Besides, don’t you get a lot of spam on free email accounts?”

Generational differences, I’m sure. I can’t imagine paying for an email address. And I hardly get any spam, thanks to Gmail’s great spam blocker. But in the early days of Hotmail and Yahoo, this wasn’t the case.

Today, I read that my alma mater, Boston College, is stopping issuing students BC email addresses (such as JaneDoe@bc.edu) because so many of the entering freshmen already have their own email accounts.BC Email

I know this is true – I started using Gmail while I was at BC and eventually started forwarding all my emails to my @bc.edu. I’m a big fan of Gmail. It’s really easy to check anywhere and you have unlimited storage so if you want, you can save every single email you ever received. My BC email account “expired” shortly after graduation and I lost any saved emails from that account. I can still receive emails sent to my @bc.edu address, I forwarded them to my Gmail. This means that technically I can still send emails from my @bc.edu email name, but via Gmail.

I see why BC is doing it. It prevents the hassle of students “forgetting” to read their BC email and missing an important assignment or schedule update. It saves BC money. But does everyone REALLY have an additional email address these days? What about professors – will they be given @bc.edu email addresses so students recognize the name? And what about the separation of our personal lives and our work/school lives? I started using my gmail account for all personal matters, but the lines are slowly blurring together. I’m curious to see how it works.

By the way, it’s cold and snowy in Cleveland today. I opened my gmail, and it shows a snowy landscape too. How cool is that?

A typical voting experience

I was one of the estimated 300,000 people in Cuyahoga County that voted early.

I voted yesterday…and waited 2.5 hours

I was pretty excited for my first time voting in a Presidential election as a resident of Ohio. Coming from NY, it wasn’t that I felt my vote didn’t count, but really, we all know what is going to happen there. I should have known I was up for a doomed experience when out of the blue (literally out of the blue skies) came a surge of unexpected thunder and lightning and rain storm. Have I ever told you I hate lightning? I do. A lot. It gives me chills. I’m petrified of it. But that’s another story.

So I met up with the boy and took the new Health Line (Very nice!) to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, where the line was wrapped around the side of the building. No big deal, I thought. The line was moving pretty fast, and I figured that once we got in the building we could vote.

My rendering of my wait to vote

My rendering of my wait to vote

I was wrong. Once we got in the building, there was a line wrapped around a large room. Once we were done with this line, they took us downstairs to the BASEMENT where there were two rooms with looong lines wrapped around the room (please see the visual to your right for further detail).

Finally, 2.5 hours of standing in line later, I had my ballot and I was able to vote, but the booth I walked to had no working pen. The next booth, the same thing. Booth #3, no working pen. Finally I found a booth with a pen that worked and was able to fill in the bubbles (old school scantron style, minus the #2 pencils), and drop my ballot in the infamous ballot box. 

Feet tired from standing (and legs tired from my 9 mile run the day before), I was exhausted but very happy to finally sit down to wait for the Health Line. Which didn’t come for more than 30 minutes. Then I had to wait for the rapid (15 minutes), and ride the rapid back next to a guy puking his brains out (15 more minutes).

Still damp from waiting to vote in the rain and still sore from standing, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to get into my car.

Next year I’m voting on election day. Or voting REALLY early. Hopefully I don’t have to remind you, but if you haven’t voted yet — GET OUT AND VOTE TODAY!!