Archive - April 2010

1
What Legos Do At Night
2
I’m a Winner
3
Maple Sugar Candy
4
Update
5
Finis
6
Hello Again

What Legos Do At Night

No doubt you’ve seen Lego mini-movies all over the web, but I think this one is my all-time favorite.  If you’re a “Les Miz” fan, you’ve got to check this out.  It’s one of my favorite Les Miz songs to sing.  I usually sing the part of Enjolras (he’s the brunette in the video with the red shirt and big sword).  I know I’m a girl, but I’m also part French and I’ve got leadership issues. As in, I’m always trying to be the one in charge.  And people actually follow me.  Scary.  The Mac and Cheese Chronicles, coming to a barricade near you.

So, with no further silliness…

I’m a Winner

This is very cool.

Way back in 2007 I was planning our Disney Cruise.  There is so much Disney planning information out there, it’s just crazy.  I wanted this cruise to be the trip of a life time and trying to gather all the information together and make sense of it all was overwhelming.  Plus, given the choice between reading something on the computer or reading it in a book, I will choose the book every single time.

I don’t know how I stumbled upon PassPorters, but it was just what I was looking for.  I blogged all about them here: Just A Little “Dis”tracted.

In 2008 we planned our first ever trip to Disney World, this time toting along my cousin and his family.  Of course, I turned to PassPorter.

However, last year when we went to Disneyland, I didn’t get one.  Why?  Because I have been there more times than I can count.  (But I secretly wanted the Disneyland Passporter.)

And the point of this whole post?   Right before Easter I submitted a Disney tip to PassPorter folks and it was selected to be published in their email newsletter.  Cool.

But wait, there’s more! Because my tip was chosen to be published, I won a free PassPorter!!  I chose the Disney World one because I think they used one of my pictures in it.  (Also very cool.)

Now for some links.

Here is the link for the PassPorter News that has my tip.  The tips are along the left hand side, mine is the one about fireworks.  PassPorter News 4/9/10

Check out the book trailer for the Passporter.  You’ll get a glimpse of why I totally love them.  It’s almost as good as coming over to my house and letting me show you in person.  PassPorter’s Walt Disney World book trailer.

And now that you’ve watched the video and so totally want a PassPorter and a trip to Disney, here’s their website. PassPorter.com

Maple Sugar Candy

“It’s called a sugar snow, because a snow this time of year means that men can make more sugar.  You see, this little cold spell and the snow will hold back the leafing of the trees, and that makes a longer run of sap.”
-Pa Ingalls in Little House in the Big Woods

In mid-March, after a couple of days of near 70 degree weather, we got several inches of snow, followed by another warm up and even more snow.  We woke up one morning to this:

In anticipation of the sugar snows, I went out and bought some pure maple syrup to make maple sugar candy, just like in “Little House in the Big Woods”.  It’s surprisingly simple and quick to make and very, very yummy.

Here’s our syrup, bubbling its way up to 236 degrees F.
(Don’t you love the drip pans covered in foil?  Classy.  Goes so well with the granite countertops and hardwood floors.)

Pumpkin Girl stirs the slightly cooled syrup.

Thirty minutes later, the hardened and unmolded candy sits ready to be eaten!

Here’s the complete recipe:

Maple Sugar Candy

You will need:

8 1/2 oz pure maple syrup (regular pancake syrup won’t work)

candy thermometer

candy mold

Directions:

Lightly grease the rim of a heavy 1 quart sauce pan with butter to prevent maple syrup from boiling over.

Pour maple syrup into sauce pan.

Over medium heat, cook maple syrup until candy thermometer reads 236 degrees F (approximately 10-15 minutes).

While maple syrup is heating, put hot tap water into a two cup glass measuring cup.  When syrup is almost 236 degrees, pour out water and dry measuring cup completely.

Transfer syrup to the warm glass measuring cup with pour spout, using rubber spatula to remove as much syrup from sauce pan as possible.

Place candy thermometer in the maple syrup and cool syrup to 200 degrees.

Use a small wire whisk to stir the maple syrup in the measuring cup until it begins to thicken and turn cream.  This is only going to take a couple of minutes, so be ready.  Don’t allow syrup to get too thick.

Place the candy mold on a cool surface and carefully and quickly fill each candy cavity to just full with thickened syrup.

Let the maple candy cool in the mold at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Gently push on the bottom of each cavity to loosen each maple candy and carefully remove pieces, one by one.

Remove any rough edges that remain on the candy (and eat them).

Update

If you are using Firefox or IE, my blog looks great.  Tis a thing of beauty.  (Though mysteriously, in IE, there is a small smiley face next to my picture in the side bar. It’s not there in Firefox.)

However, if you’re using Safari, the posts are messed up.  Being the secret mad CSS coder that I am, I know exactly what the problem is and how to fix it.  I’m missing a slash or a semicolon somewhere…it’s just the “where” that is the problem.

Never fear, you crazy Mac users, I’m about to run my code through a validator and see where the error is.  Hopefully that’ll be fixed by today.

Updated update: It’s fixed.  Some browsers can just be so picky about having perfectly valid code.

Finis

Well, sort of.  I’ve got an updated blog code, but I’ve still got some CSS code to tweak.  Which means, if you have a gravatar, it’ll now show up when you leave a comment.  If you don’t have one, the code gnomes will generate a silly monster for you.  I’m hoping that whatever quirk was not letting my centered pictures  be centered is fixed. I also need to update my favicon (it’s that little graphic next to my URL).  Plus,I don’t know why my calendar in my sidebar doesn’t fit, or has little squares around the days of the week and I don’t know how to fix it.  Maybe I can figure it out, but as my friend JennG would say, “Not today, Zurg.”  (I wonder if her secret identity is Buzz Lightyear?)

What I would really, really like to know is how to get graphics in my sidebar to replace the text headings.  It can be done on other platforms,  like Blogger but since I own my domain name and use WordPress, I’m on my own in figuring these things out.

But since my head is swimming in code and I really  need some lunch, it’ll have to be good enough for now.

But that chocolate bunny in the grass is back in my header!

Hello Again

I have returned.

When I said I had a lot to do before Easter, I didn’t mention that those plans included a road trip to Tucson. Philip and I sponsored one more person in the Church at the Easter Vigil this year.  We’re getting very good at this.  We might have to start charging for our services.

Just kidding!

I do enjoy the Easter Vigil. I don’t mind how long it is, I just wish it wasn’t so late at night.  Though this year mass started at a very awkward time.  We had to be there at 5 PM for the 3 hour mass that started at 6 PM.  Hello?  Just when were we supposed to eat dinner? We ended up having an early first lunch then a later second lunch and all was well.

OK, so other than food issues, the mass was beautiful.  I love coming in to a dark church and sitting there, listening to the readings chronicling man’s history without salvation.  In the dark.  Like us, during Lent. Then we get to the Gloria, the lights come on and we’re all standing and singing “Glory to God in the Highest…” It’s an awesome moment.  Boo glanced over to me and said, “We made it!”  It’d been a long, dark Lent and we were glad it was over.  Glad to be living in the light.

Then…the best Gospel of the year – earthquakes and angels and empty tombs.  He has Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia.

And onward to the baptisms and confirmations.  This church does full immersion baptisms, which just so totally rocks. A good time was had by all.

On Monday, we headed home.  The drive out to Tucson was fun, as we all looked forward to seeing our cousins and there were lots of new sights to see along the way.  The ride home was painful.  The scenery was exactly the same as it was 2 days earlier, the kids were getting on each other’s nerves and John Denver’s lyrics “It’s a long way from this place to Denver” kept running through my head.  The wind was absolutely wicked on the way home, and on the last day we saw 2 semis that had tipped over in the wind.  We came up on the first one after the sheriff did, but before all the other first responders. The driver was walking away with the help of the sheriff, thank God.  Made us very nervous about passing semis for the rest of the trip. But we made it home safely.

The next day it snowed.  School closing and late openings, soccer practice cancelled.  Good to be home.

And now, I have some work to do on my blog. I need to upload a newer version of my template, then change the code to be what I want.  Bottom line – my blog will be sporting  coffee theme for a little bit while I work behind the scenes.  Then it’ll be back to its usual Easter theme.

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