29 September, 2008

<3 Pumpkins, installment 1

Jack-o-lantern pictures will come later. Mine was a Portal Companion Pumpkin, and naturally I had to cut a heart out of it. Banik toasted the seeds; they're kind of like eating popcorn.

28 September, 2008

Wheat Yeast Doughnuts

*gasp* An actual recipe?! Yes, we're trying to get back into the game, peoples.

Banik made doughnuts a couple days ago based on Alton Brown's Yeast Doughnut recipe, but halved and with a few modifications:

3/4 cup milk
1 1/4 ounces vegetable shortening, approximately 1/6 cup
1 packages instant yeast
1/6 cup warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
1 egg, beaten
1/8 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup AP flour
1 1/2 - 2 cups Whole Wheat flour
2 Tablespoons gluten

Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying (1 to 1/2 gallons, depending on fryer)

[insert picture in the near future]

--- The milk and shortening go into a saucepan over medium heat until the shortening is just melted, and then this is set aside.
--- Pour the warm water into the mixer bowl and added the yeast; allow to bloom for 5 minutes. After it has cooled to lukewarm, add the milk and shortening mixture along with the eggs, sugar, salt, spices, and half of each of the flours. Use the paddle attachment at low speed until combined, and then beat at medium until well mixed. Add the remaining flour in the same manner. Switch to the dough hook and beat for at a medium speed until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bowl (about 3-4 minutes). Oil the bowl, cover with damp towel, and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
--- On a well-floured surface roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4" - 3/8". Use a pizza cutter to make strips about 1 1/2" wide and then section into rectangles not more than 4" long. Lay on a floured cookies sheet, recover with the damp towel, and let rise for another 30 minutes.
--- Preheat deep fryer to 365 and perforate doughnuts with a fork to get rid of any large air pockets. Gently add batches of 3-4 to the oil and cook for about 30 seconds a side. Transfer to a cooking rack laid on a newspaper-lined cookie sheet to wick off excess oil. Roll in cinnamon sugar after about 5 minutes or allow to cool 15-20 minutes before glazing.

26 September, 2008

Kitten Alarm Systems™

For those of you who don't have a Kitten Alarm System™ but are considering one, I'd like you to know that the system is very straightforward and easy to install. They don't come with instructions, but like everything else you can find them on the internet. Assuming you don't just disable the system, this is how your mornings will go...

Stage 1: You will be used as a lumpy jungle gym of sorts. If you move you will be tackled and/or clawed. If you don't you will be chewed on and/or clawed. Heavens forbid you attempt to roll over and go back to sleep.

Stage 2: The Kitten Alarm System™ model of your chosing will sit on your regular alarm clock to remind you of how late it's getting. Depending on contrariness (how much attention you have paid to it) it may also step/sit on buttons that turn on the radio or change the time.

The funny thing about this system is that unless hungry, Kitten Alarm Systems™ don't seem to care if you get out of bed. They certainly wake you up; they just don't care if you're productive afterward (by human standards). The only way to physically disable the systems is to place them outside the room and shut the door, but even this does not disable the audio. High-pitched meowing may take several minutes to subside, so I hope you have a soundproof pillow.

22 September, 2008

Synchronized Sleeping

they practice every day

every night

for endless hours

they are relentless in their training

in their quest for the SYNCHRONIZED SLEEPING gold

they are america's team

and they will see you in vancouver

ladies and gentlemen

I give you:

chewbacca & shade

17 September, 2008

more kittens!

These kittens are talented beyond words, and I'm not just saying that because I'm biased. We have photographic proof:

Chewie is mechanically adept, and he enjoys tinkering with malfunctioning appliances.

Shade is an accomplished sommelier- always willing to help you find the perfect compliment to your meal.

And of course both of them enjoy financial and legal advising- as a hobby, of course.

15 September, 2008

introducing: the fluffs

We're all moved up to CT (we hope), but we're still getting sorted out and settled into the apartment. We did go ahead and adopt our kittens yesterday. =D

(both of them asleep on my lap a few hours ago)

Chewie and Shade (left and right, respectively) are brothers, and they're currently busy getting into whatever they can. I'm sure we'll be posting lots of pictures- maybe even videos- in the future, but right now it's time for bed.

(both of them asleep on Banik last night after the commotion of moving in and exploring)