Friday, February 29, 2008

Virginia State Capitol

Andy and I were both born and raised in Virgina, and yet neither one of us had ever toured our state capitol. I suppose it did take me until 8th grade to visit our nation's capitol, and considering I grew up about 40 minutes away, I certainly seem to have a track record of "capitol apathy." Fortunately, this past weekend we finally made it to the heart of Richmond and got to walk the steps of our state capitol.

Not only did we get to cross one more place off our "to see before we die" list, but we also got to visit with our friends Chris and Aimee and their adorable and energetic dog, Morgan.

Liddy and Morgan have become rather good friends over the past year, and have even spent weekends together at Lake Anna and the beach. The "girls" pretty much spend their time chasing after one another which works out well for the "adults" as we get to chat and enjoy having someone (or rather some dog) entertain ours for awhile.

All in all it was a great weekend filled with sight seeing, exhausted dogs, great food, good wine, and of course, awesome friends.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

National Chili Day (or so I'm told)

I know I heard it somewhere, however after lots of googling and wikipediaing (two words which I know are not real), I just can't find an official "National Chili Day" website. Perhaps by this time next year, Hallmark will have come out with a card for this day, but for now, we decided to just honor it by making our own pot of chili.

We spent this past weekend with our friends Chris & Aimee down at their home in Richmond, VA. Chris is an avid hunter, and while he loves to hunt deer, he doesn't especially care much for the taste of it. This of course works out just fine with us, as we LOVE deer meat and are always happy to take it off his hands.

Everytime we get meat from him, we always make at least one batch of "Bambi Burgers" (yes, I realize that sounds awful, but really, can you think of a better name?), so we had those the other night.

We then used the left over meat that we had ground to make "Bambi Chili" (again, I'm all up for new name ideas.) This was the first time we'd used the deer meat to make chili, but really enjoyed how sweet it was. It was a nice change from ground beef or turkey that we usually use.

So thanks to Chris for snagging a few deer for us this past hunting season (even if you did have to take a bullett in your efforts) and here's hoping everyone has a very happy and tasty Chili Day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Fun with angel food cake

Over the past few weeks I've really started to notice that the sun is coming up a lot earlier and staying up a lot later. Definitely a sign that spring is on the way, which is fantastic! There is nothing worse than leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark, it really just makes you feel that your day was consumed by the office.

Of course longer days and the beginnings of spring are also an indicator that we will soon be exchanging our sweaters and sweatshirts for shorts and dare I say, bathing suits! As scary as that sounds, it is also good motivation to get moving and to get some healthier items on the Gribble Menu. So I decided to do some experimenting with angel food cake and cool whip the other night.

First up were Pineapple Crush Angel Cakes (still working on the title, perhaps someone has a better suggestion)-

I took the easy route, (because, while Martha is my gal, I also enjoy Sandra Lee and her "semi-homemade" ways) and used an angel food cake mix. The box didn't have instructions for cupcakes, but I figured it had to be possible, so I fiddled with the cooking time and everything worked out just fine.

Then I took a can of crushed pineapple, drained it a little before pouring into a bowl and then added a packed of instant sugar free vanilla pudding mix. I mixed that together and then started adding in fat free Cool Whip until I had the consistancy that I wanted.

Then I just used my pineapple topping as if it were icing. Yummy and very few calories (a big plus!)

After I made the cupcakes (I just made a dozen) I still had a ton of batter leftover, so I decided to make a bundt cake out of the rest. I don't have a tube pan, so had to use an intricate bundt pan which concerned me as I've yet to get a cake to come out nice and clean from it, but I figured I'd give it a try. The cake actually looked pretty good coming out, but it was still a bear to clean up (Andy has hidden said pan from me as he is tired of having to clean it! ha)

I wasn't sure what to top this with so I simply took some raspberry preserves (Andy's favorite!) and mixed it in with the rest of the cool whip.

I then drizzled it on top. Both desserts turned out to be pretty tasty, pretty healthy, and well, pretty!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Liddy Cakes

Welcome to my first blog! It seems that just about everyone is on the blog train and so figured it was about time to hop on. I suppose my goals for this blog are to keep a living journal of the goings on in the Gribble family as well as to keep those who want to be in the loop, well, in the loop!

I'm sure this will end up evolving into one of two things. Either it will be barren of posts as my laziness kicks in, or it will become an obsession. I see ups and downs to both sides. On the one side, I'll be wasting less time on the computer and spending more of it with Andy and Liddy. However, on the other side, I'll have a pretty great historical file of the trips we've taken, the parties we've thrown, day to day observations (like the fact that this is the 41st morning that we've both gone to work without stopping at Starbucks first...that's a savings of $168!!), and most importantly the various creations that will come out of our kitchen.

Here goes nothing...