Our Boys

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Colder than a witches'...

This morning while Brett was still sleeping, I crawled into bed to wake him up/ regain feeling in my appendages because it is so cold in our house.

Me: My feet are cold.

Brett: Where are the slippers I bought you? DO NOT put your feet on me or I will….I don’t know what I will do.

Me: Tell me what you will do so I can decide if it is worth putting my feet on you.

Brett: I will burn your hair.

Me: OK, I won’t put my feet on you.

*30 seconds go by and I put my feet on him*

Brett: Get me the matches.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happiness is a big cookie!

Favorite thing #1: The skookie pan

I can not take credit for the above quote (Charlies Brown actually said it) but oh how true. We ordered a skookie pan a while back and used it last night for the first time. Wow! A skookie pan is a cast iron pan, about 8 inches in diameter that you put directly into the oven with your favorite dough or batter, i.e. chocolate chip cookie dough, brownie batter, pizza dough, etc. and you make an 8 inch cookie, brownie, crust etc. Well we made chocolate chip cookies last night and ate them right out of the piping hot pan. I think I died and went to heaven and am reliving it as I sit here and eat the rest for lunch (no, neither of us could stomach eating the entire 8 inch cookie after a big delicious, cooked-by-me meal). If you have a cookie lover in the family, the skookie pan is the only way to go this holiday season. We purchased ours through LTD, but they are also available on the Internet and at Bed Bath and Beyond around Christmas.

And now, back to my big cookie!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Souper Sunday Week 8

Soup was an afterthought this weekend and Brett and I realized Sunday morning at the dog park (Side note: There is a male, long haired chihuahua that wants to throw down with Tucker. My $$$ is on Tuck; have you seen his fangs?) that we hadn’t grocery shopped or picked a soup for the day. So, we decided on French Onion, simple, but oh, so delicious. When we got home, Brett set about putting his new table for his office together (somehow when you have beautiful office furniture it look bad when your printer is on a folding chair) and I ran to the grocery for some basic ingredients. Really this soup is quite simple, but my only advice is to open all the windows before you start cutting onions because the tears will flow.

60 some oz. beef broth
5 LARGE onions (I prefer Vidalia)
3 bay leaves
1 ½ t. Worcestershire sauce
A sprinkling of beef bouillon or one cube
Butter/ margarine

Peel and slice onions (med. slices, if they are too thin they turn to nothing in the soup and too big, well you get the picture). Sauté in butter in batches depending on the size of your frying pan until translucent in color. Add broth, bay leaves, onions, bouillon, and Worcestershire sauce to crock pot. Cover and cook on low 5-7 hours. If you want to cut some time, turn it to high for a bit.

Serve with mozzarella or provolone cheese (you can lay the slice on top or use grated so you don’t choke) and croutons/bread.

On another culinary note, Brett and I had dinner with friends, Taco (his name is really Jeremy but Brett always calls him Taco and so I can’t break the habit either) and Ann on Saturday night at one of my favorite restaurants, Meson Sabika in Naperville. It is Tapas which I love but was a little hesitant to introduce Brett to because I didn’t know how he would feel about the idea of little plates of food and sharing. Turns out he loved it although didn’t go away with the same fulfilled satisfaction as steak and mashed potatoes might cause. The food was so good and the Sangria, as always, perfect! If you have never tried Tapas, I recommend it. It is a new dining experience, different from our American view of “supersize”; the emphasis is actually on quality not quantity!


Here we go Steelers, here we...don't go.

Hate. Ben. Roethlisberger.

OK, maybe I don’t completely hate him, but he is not and never has been my favorite Steeler. After last night, he is pretty far down on the list. In fact I may or may not have wished him another motorcycle accident on his way home from Heinz Field. Maybe I am being dramatic, but when you sit around in all your Steeler garb, you get your husband who is a Bears fan to put on a Steelers jersey and both of your dogs are wearing Steelers bandannas and using terrible towels for blankets…you sit and watch a whole game and are totally pumped that they might just win this game…and then, just like that, they lose. That hurts!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Reasons Brett should not travel for work and leave me home alone with the dogs...

  1. I drink too much so that I don’t hear noises in the house (actually, in my head). But really our house does make more noise when Brett is gone leading me to believe that I will be the next victim of a brutal home invasion. (it didn’t help that my mom decided to tell me a true story of a home invasion of a good friend of hers. Thanks mom!)
  2. Sleeping with a golf club is NEVER a good idea. However, if I were to fall victim of home invasion a golf club would be the most ideal weapon to ward off the invaders.
  3. I have no one to complain to when I very unfairly get a speeding ticket. Really? What police man drives a Dodge Charger? Only in Naperville!
  4. The dogs and I simply CAN NOT get out of bed without his encouragement.
  5. I am not a morning person, therefore I am inefficient in the morning. I have been late to work three days in a row. I need someone to monitor me.
  6. I miss him!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The New Mr. and Mrs. Gority!

Last weekend, Brett and I headed home for a whirlwind visit. We flew to Pittsburgh Friday morning and attended Ben’s football game that night (they won 20-17!). Early Saturday morning, Mom, Dad, Scott, Brett, and I packed into the mini van and drove through the PA mountains (beautiful fall leaves)to Altoona, PA (otherwise known as Toontown) to celebrate the wedding of Sarah Bilski to Sean Gority. My parents have been friends with the Bilskis’ since before all the kids were born, so I have basically known Sarah since the womb. The stories that can be told from us growing up together are mostly unfit for publication.

Whatever Scott tells you, we did not share our drinks with him!

Prom pic!

Doesn't Aunt Zoey look like she's having a good time?
Sarah looked stunning in a beautiful lace gown and Sean didn’t look to bad either. We danced the night away at the Jaffa Shrine and then enjoyed a lovely brunch in the morning. We were home in time to watch the Steelers crush Cincinnati and then it was off to the airport for a quick (after being delayed 40 minutes) flight home.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Souper Sunday Week 6

Souper Sunday Week 6 was very tasty.
We picked a recipe from the Taste of Home magazine (thanks mom), called "All Day Soup"... and, yes, it took all day. I am using the picture from the web site for obvious reasons (see Reuben pizza post). We ate it with Pillsbury garlic bread sticks...heaven in bread stick form!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Witty Women Writers

Toward the end of summer, Brett and I made a strong effort to read more. For him, this is difficult because much of his job revolves around reading (although not the enjoyable kind, unless you find laboring over medical records enjoyable) but for me it was easy. I have a never ending list of books that I will never get through in my life time (unless of course I could quit my job which has become the topic of much interior monologue lately, but that would be for an entirely different post). Anyway, he started with some crime fiction (The Appeal and The Innocent Man both by John Grisham) something that very much suits his fancy and I started with something that would provide a bit of an intellectual challenge (I finished East of Eden, Memoirs of A Geisha, and The Thornbirds in a few weeks which added up to over 1800 pages. Go me!). So more recently I felt my brain needed a break and I read the Glass Castle (Hysterical) and Bringing Home the Birkin (why can I not make a living shopping for and selling designer handbags on eBay…again the quitting my job thought). Brett then switched genres and has recently read Who Moved My Cheese (I really need to read it because now all of a sudden when we don’t work out, it’s not that big of a deal) and Why The World Is Flat (it seems interesting enough, but make Brett feel like he is back in college as a Poli-Sci major).

My friend Sam has turned me on to a new author, Jen Lancaster, author of Bitter is the New Black, Bright Lights Big Ass, and Such a Pretty Fat. I have only read the first one, but I am OBSESSED with Jen Lancaster. She has a way with words – “HATE Dave Matthews. He makes me want to kick puppies.” This one stuck out in my mind because I do not hate Dave Mathews. And, just as much as I loved her book, I LOVE her blog Jennsylvania. Well, Friday night, Sam and I attended Witty Women Writers at The Book Celllar in Chicago. So fun!!!! This book store is totally what I dream of owning some day. A touch eccentric, a touch trendy. Coffee shop. Bar with wine and beer! Love it!

Sam and I got meet Jen and I told her of our mild obsession with her – she verified the spelling of my name as she signed my book and told me it was just to make sure it was spelled correctly on the restraining order. Well isn’t that just “a bucket of suck”…

(Recent update: she has confirmed me as a facebook friend!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Berger Clancy Autumn Adventure

Last weekend Brett and I and our friends Adam and Liz went to Kuiper’s Family Farm. I can't tell you how fantastic this place is - so fun and the greatest apple cider donuts I have ever had (actually I had never had an apple cider donut before this but they were really yummy!). We purchased Combo tickets that included apple picking, a hayride into the pumpkin patch (a bit of a rip off though because you had to pay extra to actually take a pumpkin home with you), and the maize maze. All of these things would be fun under normal circumstances but throw in two flasks and apple sippers and man it’s a party!!! Afterward we came home and ate Team Clancy chili (sorry no recipe), Liz and I made apple pies, and then we watched the Cubs (nuf said).

Here were the Maize Maze Teams:

Picking out pumpkins...

Enjoying those apple sippers...

Monday, October 6, 2008

A first for Lucy and Tucker

A funny thing struck me as I scrolled through these posts...one of the central parts of our lives is very lacking in this blog-our dogs. Anyone who knows Brett and I, knows our dogs, Lucy and Tucker - they certainly run the show around here. We got Lucy literally days after moving in (May, '06, think boxes everywhere, no furniture, air conditioning broken) when she was 8 weeks old. She weighed only 4 lbs. when we got her and it was love at first sight. Tucker came a bit later, July of '07. We got him from a shelter that he had been in for over a year. His previous owner has developed cancer and moved to a nursing home..hence Tucker moved into ADOPT where not one person came to look at the little guy. He is now 8 years old and the cranky man of the house. Anyway, on Saturday morning, Brett yelled at Lucy and made her go outside. She showed us by refusing to come back in. She sat, literally in the middle of the back yard, with a look that basically said "F You!". Tuck went out and joined her (power in numbers) and I got the greatest picture of them ever. No seriously, even the professional photographer that was here last summer (Shut Up!!! I did not pay for them) couldn't get them in the same shot. Well, pat on the back for me because this is just too cute...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Dinner experiments this week

I tried two new recipes this week that I highly recommend (both from Rachel Ray's magazine). The first was Cheeseburger Meatloaf which I made on Tuesday along with mashed potatoes. Delicious. The second was Reuben Pizza which I made last night to eat while watching the game. It is more like a calzone instead of pizza as it has a top crust, but it did not turn out just right. I bought Pillsbury dough and found that the stuff is literally impossible to roll out. Therefore, I ended up with two crusts, neither of which were round, nor were they the same size or shape. While it was coking, Brett came downstairs with a puzzled look on his face and asked what was in the over. When it was done and i put it on the table, he got such a kick out of it, that he took a picture. It may not look pretty, but man was it good!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My first Cubs' playoff game!

Brett has always told me that being a Cub fan means getting your heart broken…I guess I am learning this the hard way. We went to Game 1 on Wednesday night and even being a baseball knowledge novice, I could tell they did not play very well. I went with so much excitement and enthusiasm and left feeling dejected. The Cubs lost to the Dodgers, 7-2. Don’t worry, we went to Bernie’s after the game and I quickly felt better…perhaps they’ll win tonight and then the next two on the road and it won’t even be an issue.

Let's Go Cubbies!!!
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