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The Misadventures of Mrs. B

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The Misadventures of Mrs. B: 2010-03-21

Cook. Writer. Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Klutz.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Divine Deviled Eggs

In my family, deviled eggs are sort of a big deal.

We love them.  Across the board.  Both immediate and extended family.

Rob of course doesn't like them.  More for us, I say!

With this in mind, let me tell you that being the family's Mistress of the Deviled Eggs is kind of a big deal.  One year my cousin Michael told me they were too dry and I moistened them with my tears.  THAT'S how seriously I take my job.

Over the years I have developed what I feel is a really good and fool-proof method for these babies. 

Let me show you.

First thing's first: Your eggs.

I know that many, many people attest to the method of placing the eggs in cold water and bringing the water to a boil.  I tell you it just ain't so!  After years of boiling more eggs than I really needed just because I knew so many of them would be ruined when it came time for peeling, something finally had to give.  I mean, no matter how long I let the eggs cool and no matter how careful I was, no matter how not-new the eggs were, I was tearing one after another apart.  And even when I didn't destroy the eggs, they were left looking pocked and unattractive.  Either way, I was distressed.

Here's the solution: I've found that carefully lowering the eggs into already-boiling water is the way to go! Seriously, I have never had another problem with peeling since I started doing it this way.  So I use a ladle and lower them one by one, and let them boil for a few minutes once all the eggs are underwater.  Then I cover the pot with a lid, remove it from the heat and let them sit for another 15 minutes or so.

Once the eggs are finished cooking, it's time to run them under cold water.  No hurrying here - make sure they're nice and cool before you start peeling! I also rinse and dry them in order to make sure that no sneaky little bits of shell have stuck to the egg - no one likes crunch deviled eggs.

Like I said, I take this seriously.

After you've peeled all the eggs, slice them lengthwise and remove the yolks.  I like to put the yolks in my food processor - no lumps here!

I add 1 to 2 tablespoons of spicy mustard for a dozen eggs.

Then it's all about playing it by ear.  I add mayo in stages and run the processor after each addition, scraping down the bowl before I do.  After that "they're too dry" incident, I make sure to add puh-lenty of mayo until the mixture is nice and creamy.  But as with so many things, this is all a matter of taste.

Also, salt is a good idea, but only if you feel you need it and of course if you're not adding some salty garnish like smoked salmon.

And then, because I don't particularly like the messiness of filling eggs, I would normally fill a freezer bag and snip the corner to "pipe" the yolks.  But now I have my super duper, handy dandy cake decorator!

Notice the shells in the sink.  You'd think I would have removed them prior to snapping this picture.  But I'm all about keeping it real here.  That's my excuse.

And here's how they looked when I was finished piping!

Aren't they pretty?

I think it was the brand of egg...but I had never, ever cut eggs open and actually left groove marks in the white.  Poll: Has this happened to anyone else? Either way I won't be using that brand of egg anymore.

Ideally you'd have various toppings or garnish - even if it's only paprika.  But I had no such things, so the eggs had to speak for themselves.

Good thing they were super tasty!


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Sumo's Sweet Stuff


Company Girl Coffee

Good morning, Company Girls and other friends! Pull up a chair and pour you some coffee! Today I'm indulging in a mocha from Dunkin Donuts. 

Because it's Friday. 

If it wasn't Friday, my excuse would be that it's NOT Friday and I need consolation.

Anyway, this has been a lengthy week. 

Monday I felt like death warmed over, with a migraine just about all day long.  However! I looked up a video on YouTube which showed a specific spot to press on the hand - around where the thumb joins the rest of the hand - and pressed with my thumb on top of my hand and my forefinger underneath.  Hard.  So hard, in fact, that there is still a faint mark on my left hand from my thumbnail digging in.  But you know what? It worked! I had never paid much creedence to acupressure but now I am definitely a believer.  So that was my revelation of the week.

Power of Attorney paperwork was finally signed, hooray! So now Rob can actually speak to the insurance company and other such important folks.  It was a real load off to get that completed.

My basil and parsley are sprouting! I took pictures and bellowed "ALIVE! ALIVE! THEY'RE ALIVE!" as I did so.  I will be posting them at another time.

It has been decided that we are hosting Easter! I'm really excited.  RD does so well around people and even though I'm sure we'll have to remind him a bunch of times, he was very receptive to the idea.  I don't want to do anything that will, you know, infringe upon his life or his household.  But he said the more people, the better.  So we'll hold him to that.

Lastly, tonight is Date Night! This should be a good one.  Rob is taking the train into town, where he'll meet up with me as I have a drink and catch up with a friend I haven't seen in a while.  He and I will have dinner.  And then we're going to see the Philly Pops perform a concert devoted to Big Band music.  So! Excited! I love that genre, I really do, and so does Rob.  We're both looking forward to it.

Too bad the temps dropped so much today! Oh well, spring should be coming back next week! :-)

I hope everyone has a terrific weekend and can't wait to catch up with all of my Company Girl friends today!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

J is for Jason

Jenny Matlock

I admit it: I started this post a week ago, because as soon as "I" was out of the way, I could hardly wait to get to "J".  J stands for, well, Jen of course.  But it also stands for Jason.

Jason is my brother.  He's two years younger than me.  For 9 years, he was my only sibling.  And it seems so strange that it was just us growing up together before the kids were born (I always refer to Steph and Stephen as 'the kids'.  They'll be 40 and 36 and I'll still be referring to them as 'the kids').

When we were little we shared a bedroom.  We definitely kept ourselves entertained up there.  We drove my mom crazy because he always wanted out of his crib and I was always helping him.  I remember watching him jump up and down on the bed - I always laughed at the way his curly hair bounced up and down.  We would "camp" under his crib - or was it a cave? I don't remember.  We would push the mattress away from the wall and sit behind it on the box spring and pretend we were news reporters and the mattress was our desk.

Of course this was always Jason's idea.  He's the one with all the imagination.

One time I got a little jewelry set - you know, plastic necklaces, fake earrings, the whole nine yards.  I can tell you that Dad was pretty upset when he saw that I dressed Jason up in it!

Of course as we grew up we started fighting, as all brothers and sisters do.  Except we made it a point to physically hurt each other as much as we possibly could.  Lord the fights we would have.  Scratching, clawing, pin-you-to-the-floor fights.  This went on for a couple of years.  Okay, several years.  But we grew out of it.

I think one of the biggest and probably one of the last physical fights we had was the one where he shoved me so hard I made a dent in the wall.  Granted, this was not a strong wall, obviously.  But I cannot tell you the terror in my heart when I saw what we did, hours later.  I called my best friend and had her bring over all the white paint she owned (she was and is an artist) and we patched it up as best we could while my dad was going for a run.  Seriously, it was terrifying! And like I said, I don't remember many such fights after that.  Maybe we learned our lesson, or maybe we just got tired.

Then we ended up going to the same college.  I started at one school and was very unhappy there so I dropped out and worked for a while.  He started at college and we went to visit him, and I decided that I wanted to go there too.  So that winter I enrolled.  We were even in the theatre department together.  It was nice to have someone I knew there with me.  Eventually we shared a house with several friends.  Again, I'm so glad we had that time together because it's something we'll always have to look back upon.

Now, years after the fights and the clawing and screaming and insulting each other, I can say without the slightest hesitation that Jason is one of my best friends in the world.  He makes me laugh like no one else can.

He is one of the very most talented people I've ever known.  A fantastic singer and self-taught pianist who blows everyone away when he performs, which is far too infrequently nowadays.  He has his own radio show in the town where we went to college (but it's not a college station or anything like that), and hopes to make a career out of radio or performing.  He's got the best personality!

 Singing Ave Maria at my wedding...not a dry eye in the house!

I love this picture, and will never forget that moment.  We were waiting in the lobby of the reception hall and getting pictures taken.  Suddenly, out of nowhere...let's just say that a rather scary-looking server dropped off a tray of hors d'ouvres.  I saw her and my jaw dropped.  Let's just say...and I'm really trying to be nice...that she forgot to take her makeup off prior to putting more makeup on.  For the last month or so.  It was shocking and perhaps a little scary.  Anyway, I thought I was the only person who saw her.  I looked around frantically, but everyone was milling around, chatting and stuffing their faces (we were starved of course).  But then here comes Jason, darting through the crowd with this excited look on his face, saying, "DID YOU SEE THAT???".  I was so happy that if anyone noticed it besides me, it was him.  And that moment has been forever captured.

Oh, and he used to eat cigarette butts and matches out of Mom's ashtray when he was very little.

True story.

I don't think he reads this, so it was okay to tell you that.  Unless my sister tells him about it.

In which case there's a few things I can tell you about HER.

But that'll be my "S" post.

PS...Who made that beautiful bouquet? Oh, that's right - I did.  Wait, who was this post about again?


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Refreshing Cucumber Salad

Okay, don't be too surprised by this...

...but we're gonna talk about yet another "light" recipe today.  In honor of spring!

I know, I know.  How unlike me.

But I enjoy stretching my legs as little bit, as it were.  And it's not all about butter, is it?

Just humor me.

On Saturday, one of the dishes I made for our family barbecue was cucumber salad.  I had never attempted this simple dish before and I will probably play with it in the future.  But here's what happened this weekend:

I took two cucumbers...

...peeled them...

...and sliced them thin.

Here is an example of just how thin they were:

Now this is important.  I sprinkled a tablespoon of salt over the cucumbers, mixing them around while I did so, and left them in the fridge for well over an hour - maybe 90 minutes or so.  This really pulled the excess water out of the cukes, which I poured off.  Don't worry, the salt will not affect the taste of the dish - I could barely tell it was there.  I also pressed paper towels onto the slices to pick up any extra water.  This is all a very good thing, so your finished product isn't all watered down.

I then thinly sliced around a quarter of a large onion.  My crowd aren't huge onion fans so I went light on them - feel free to add more if you wish!

I then brought 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 teaspoons of dried dill mix to a boil...

...and poured it over the cucumbers and onions.  This sat covered in the fridge for a few hours.  When I took it out it looked like this!

This was such a refreshing treat! I think that I'll play with the vinegar/sugar ratio in the future, and perhaps leave it to sit longer before serving.  We had some leftovers the next day and the vinegar had definitely developed into a stronger flavor.  Rob didn't like it as much then, whereas I LOVED it.

So I'll leave that up to you!


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Side Dish Showdown Blogger Event

Sumo Sweet Stuff

Blessed with Grace

All the Small Stuff - Tuesdays at the Table
Balancing Beauty and Bedlam - Tasty Tuesday

The Trendy Treehouse


Monday, March 22, 2010

Friend Makin Monday

Well kids, it's Monday once again.  Well, I guess you can't get to Friday without Monday, right? RIGHT?

It's what I tell myself every week at this time.

Anyway, I'm joining Amber again this week and I'm loving all of the fun new people I'm meeting thru Friend Makin Monday - if you haven't, you should join in as well!

1. Favorite things about Spring:

I love the feeling of everything "waking up" again.  The sweet smell of flowers in the air.  The green haze that covers the trees as buds start to appear.  More fruits and veggies in the store and more excuses to use them.  The feeling of peace as I sit outside and take deep breaths of fresh air without a winter coat on. 
2. What I'm doing for Spring Break:

No such thing in my world, sadly.

3. Favorite Spring flower:

Hyacinth! Hands down.  They smell like Easter to me.

4. Do you have a garden?

I will! As soon as these frosty nights disappear I want to get planting!

5. If so, what do you grow.

I plan to grow tomatoes and various flowers to start.  I already have basil and parsley growing (I hope) in a container outside, which I've been moving indoors at night - should be sprouting in a few days, and I am very excited!

6. Do you do Spring cleaning?

I never plan to, but I always end up getting bitten by the bug.  This year should be interesting to say the least!

7. What is your weather *really* like right now?
We just came off of a stellar weekend, straight into rain.  Right now it's cloudy and humid outside.  Not my favorite weather.
8. Snapped any weather related photos lately? Share one with us!
I'll be adding these later, when I get home!

9. What's your favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon?

Just to be outside is the best.  Sometimes we go to Rita's and get water ice and watch people.  It's a favorite activity of ours and it never gets old.

10. Favorite TV show right now?


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Shenanigans

Yesterday was a good day!

We spent several hours with my family, just laughing and having a great time.

We laughed a lot.

And we ate our fair share of food, of course.

I made cucumber salad, potato salad and deviled eggs, all of which will be posted about!

Jason found a styrofoam glider which he immediately attempted to fly.

It went about 15 feet before it crashed and fell apart.  I just about died laughing.

And then we sat around, talking and enjoying the day.  Even RD enjoyed himself - he always seems to do well when there's people around, and lord knows he couldn't have had better entertainment than my family.

It was a really, really good day!