Posted by missjunebug on June 29, 2009
Plated and Ready to Serve! Smile, Baconface! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug made a wonderful discovery this weekend. Mr.JB requested bacon for breakfast and mjb could only groan. No, puhleeze, it’s such a mess! Ack X 10!
Then she remembered the cookmeister Ina G.’s recipe for cooking bacon in the oven. It is brilliant and super easy. Just line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top of the foil. Place the bacon side by side in one layer on the rack. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup on the bacon. Pop back into the over for about five minutes. It will crisp up beautifully and the maple syrup adds a sugary crunch to the divine saltiness of the bacon.
Oh. my. yes. It is delicious.
mjbTip: When you pull the pan out of the oven after the 20 or so minutes, watch out for the hot grease, now in the bottom of the baking sheet. Try mjb’s method of dabbing it up with paper towels before putting it back in the oven for the final post-syrup crisp-up. It helps make for a quick clean-up afterwards, too!
If you’re a fan ofÂ bacon (and not kosher!), try this awesome way for makin’ bac’n. You will love it.
So simple! So delicious! Photo by mjb2009
Posted by missjunebug on June 27, 2009
Hey Birdlets, check out this perfect day in paradise! Get it? Paradise! Photo by mjb2009
Perfect Day! Perfect Weather! Two Perfect reasons for missjunebug to postpone her post to tomorrow or maybe the next day.
Excuse her while she steps outside to do her Sun Salutations. Namaste.
mjbTip: Get out and enjoy your perfect weekend!
Posted by missjunebug on June 26, 2009
missjunebug is trying to do her part to improve the Dow Jones average.
Inspired by the shenanigans of the past contestants on Project Runaway and the current ones on Isaac Mizrahi‘s The Fashion Show she’s busted out her sewing machine and she’s raising the hemlines of her mid-calf length and longer dresses. A sometime-disputed economic theory suggests that hemline lengths mirror the rise and fall of the stock market with their own rising and falling. missjunebug thinks this theory makes at least as much sense as selling bundled derivatives and collaterized debt obligations to unsuspecting financial peeps to make piles of money.
Yes, she knows the maxi-dress is currently cool, but frankly, that hemline length is just not very flattering on her. She’s not really sure it ever was. She’s been through that fashion cycle before. (See above graph; maxi in full swing during this DJ period!)
missjunebug is hoping that she can reverse this current floor-length trend and get hemlines back up where they belong. And she hopes that the stock market will take a cue from her hemline hike and head back up where it belongs.
It’s worth a shot.
Posted by missjunebug on June 25, 2009
Good Enough to Eat! Oh yes! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug has been trying to watch her calories lately so naturally, all she thinks about is food. She’s got a cruise coming up so she needs to shed about 1o Defensive Pounds. That is, she needs to counteract the normal pound-a-day weight gain on a cruise by losing that amount in advance. It’s not really weight loss, of course, merely maintenance of the sorry status quo. Oh well.
So instead of eating over her allotted calories today, she decided to write about Great Past Meals. Actually not too far past. Mr.JB who hails from Chicagoland made his own special Father’s Day dinner: A fine facsimile of the world renowned Chicago Dog. In a quick shopping trip to the fab Smart and Final, missjunebug gathered all the prerequisites except she had to substitute Ball Park franks for Vienna Redhots. Mr.JB and she had tucked away in their frig the two secret ingredients acquired in their last trip to Chicago: neon-green Vienna Chicago-style relish and Soala’s Hot Mix Giardiniera, a super-heated pepper mix. Mr.JB lined up the ingredients and went to work, piling on the tomatoes, onions, cucumber slices, mustard, and finishing off with the relish, the peppers and a quick sprinkling of celery salt.
Yum x 10.
Posted by missjunebug on June 23, 2009
You Better Believe missjunebug Needs This Book! Photo by mjb2009
Tonight missjunebug just about had a heart attack when she thought she had completely lost her website.
She was scared, believe it! On her WordPress Dashboard a very insistent little icon kept coming up saying Update to 2.81. The problem was missjunebug didn’t know how to update. She was reminded of that old adage “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” when she worked her way through Filezilla to do the update manually (WordPress automatic update doesn’t work for her because she has a private webhost, the fab 1&1 Web Hosting.) When she completed the FTP (that’s File Transfer Protocal for you who are still learning computer lingo along with mjb!) she opened up her Dashboard and it looked pretty good but that little insistent icon saying Update was still there. Yeah, it was still there, but her missjunebug web page was GONE! And boy, did her little bug heart sink.
She had the presence of mind to log into her account at 1 & 1 Web Hosting and check her little blog directory. There was the heinous WordPress 2.81 update in the directory (she’d Filezilla’d that part successfully), but clearly something was not getting through to her little un-updated now-invisible blog! She called the great tech support people at 1&1 and they talked her through re-logging in because missjunebug realized she couldn’t even log back into her blank page website anymore! Which when you think about it, who wants to log into a blank page!!!! When her panic subsided and she tracked down her ridiculously long and complicated password, she got back to her dashboard while the tech lady in Mumbai put her on hold to the tune of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego! No, she is not making this up.
Then missjunebug did an inspired thing! She pressed the Update Automatically to 2.81 button just for giggles and grins. Nothing to lose now since all she had left was a blank white page for a website! And there before her little bug eyes, flashed in perfect sequence the protocols for updating her WordPress Blog and in five little seconds it was a fait accompli!!!
missjunebug cannot begin to express how happy she was to see that silly photo of the electric toothbrush on her Father’s Day post! All had been restored and her blog made right with the WordPress Update World. Did she learn anything? Hell, yeah! She has no idea what she’s doing! And she gets a second chance to do it some more…updated!
Posted by missjunebug on June 21, 2009
missjunebug is not a father but she knows a thing or two about two men who are: Mr.JB and her very own JBDad.
She’s written about the plight of her JBDad and his daily skirmishes with that most heinous of dis-eases: Alzheimer’s. To take his mind off his confusions for a little while she sent him a couple of gadgets to play with. First, a portable am/fm radio. Yes, he is woefully old school, and yes, the caregivers will probably listen to it more than he will, but oh well. She knows he will experience true delight as he opens up the box from that most ubiquitous of retailers, amazon.com.Â He will also find in another little box a new watch with easy to read numbers. Very thoughtful, Timex! missjunebug is sure he will enjoy that gadget, too. Although God only knows what his experience of time is these days. missjunebug read a book recently about Alzheimer’s called The Thirty-Six Hour Day. Yeah, that’s about right for the person suffering from mislocated memories and being unstuck in time like that Vonnegut character in Slaughterhouse Five. It must feel kind of like that, but JBDad won’t be meeting any Montana Wildhack anytime soon.
Still missjunebug remembers her dad this day with deep love. He was devoted to missjunebug’s mom, bless her heart and he worked hard to provide a better life for his family than he had.
As for Mr.JB, he asked for one very practical gift for Father’s Day which missjunebug was only too happy to supply: a new electric toothbrush! Mr.JB loves his gadgets, too! Almost as much as he loves his boys! But not quite. He gave his boys the gifts of his love, his intellect, his striving for perfection, his quirky sense of humor, and his love of gadgets (natch!). He also gave them impossible standards to meet. And what a gift that is, to expect the most from someone.
missjunebug is pretty sure ElderJB and TinyJB didn’t always see what a gift having high expectations is but it’s one that has kept on giving well into their young adulthood where they’ve proven beyond any doubt they have exceeded even Mr.JB’s highest expectations. Cue: Happy tears.
Good fathers have a real knack for bringing up good kids. missjunebug thinks there’s an mjbAxiom that sums it all up:
Mothers accept; fathers expect.
And that has made all the difference.
Posted by missjunebug on June 18, 2009
missjunebug knows the title to her post sounds serious, but it’s just by way of introduction to one of her favorite pastimes: reading personalized plates.
Here’s her latest find on a CNG Honda (Compressed Natural Gas, natch!). With the price of premium gasoline hovering around $3.25 or so a gallon, missjunebug couldn’t agree more with this very smart licensed opinion!
A Smart Car! Photo by mjb2009
Posted by missjunebug on June 17, 2009
missjunebug has some fine friends. Lately she’s realized just how valuable they are. These are not Bravo‘s Real Housewives-of-Dysfunctional-County types. These are real women with good ideas and big hearts who laugh easily and take their troubles in stride.
Over lunch missjunebug and her friends talk children (yes! they have jobs this summer!), parents (aging semi-gracefully within their self-circumscribed comfort zones), husbands (still pretty cheerful despite never-will-be-able to retire economic times), houses (too much maintenance, too much stuff in the closets, but they’d live nowhere else!), and life-at-large (CA is in big budget trouble, education is headed down hill, maybe it’s time they all joined the Peace Corps like one of missjunebug’s friend’s friend is doing…going to Kenya…amazing).
missjunebug and her fine friends finish up with a Chocolate Cone o’ Mousse and refreshing sorbet stacked like icy cannonballs in a martini glass, mango, raspberry, and luscious lemon. Sharing desserts is an integral part of their lunch-out ritual: one or two desserts, three spoons.
missjunebug wonders Does it get any better than this? No, she doesn’t think so.
Thanks, ladies. A fine time was had by all.
mjbTip: Find time to keep in touch with friends. missjunebugPromise: It is time well spent.
Posted by missjunebug on June 16, 2009
A Jarful of Wholesome Homemade Graham Crackers! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug put her knitting down long enough to whip up some homemade graham crackers based on the excellent Smitten Kitchen recipe based on the excellent Nancy Silverton’s Pastries from the La Brea Bakery and 101 Cookbooks recipe. No way to go wrong with that pedigree!
mjb did make a few changes to the SK recipe, substituting King Arthur white whole wheat flour for a cup of the white flour and using white sugar sprinkles instead of cinnamon sugar. missjunebug thinks cinnamon sugar belongs mostly on cinnamon toast. This recipe is totally do-able but it does take some time.
Here’s missjunebug’s Homemade Graham Cracker Recipe (adapted from Smitten Kitchen et al.):
1 and 1/2 cups plus 2 T. unbleached all-purpose King Arthur flour
1 cup King Arthur white whole wheat flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4Â teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
7Â tablespoons unsalted butter, well chilled/frozen, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup clover honey
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons white sugar sprinkles
Follow the pictures:
Combine vanilla, honey, and milk. Photo by mjb2009
Stir together until smooth. Photo by mjb2009
Combine brown sugar, kosher salt, baking soda, and both flours. Photo by mjb2009
Combine thoroughly in your mixer. Look at it go! Photo by mjb2009
Add the chunks of butter and give them a good paddling! Photo by mjb2009
Add the wet ingredients! Looks like a fumarole! Photo by mjb2009
Mix until the dough comes together. Photo by mjb2009
Pat the dough out on plastic wrap, wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Photo by mjb2009
Roll out to 1/8 inch thick, using plenty of flour to prevent sticking. Photo by mjb2009
Cut into squares! Photo by mjb2009
Place squares on parchment-lined baking sheet, sprinkle with sugar, and use knitting needle to make graham crackery markings!! Photo by mjb2009
The perfect graham crackery markings! Photo by mjb2009
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven.
Oops! missjunebug couldn't wait! Delicious!
Posted by missjunebug on June 15, 2009
Two Cats to Go! Photo by mjb2009
missjunebug did the annual trek to the vet today with her furry entourage. Her million-year old cat Whisper did just fine except for the incessant howling meows.
Her fab Australian labradoodle Spoon did just fine except for the staccato stress barks. They started when missjunebug brought out the cat carriers. That dog of hers gets it. She knew they were on the way to boarding or poking and prodding. Neither of these makes her Top Ten List of Fun Doggie Things to Do on a Monday.
Lefty, missjunebug’s half-blind, semi-brain-damaged kitty (she only circles to the right; hence, the clever name Lefty assigned by Mr. Irony, TinyJB) did not do just fine. In fact, she did just the opposite of just fine: just awful.
By the time she arrived at the vet, missjunebug knew that Lefty had pooped her little kitty pants. This happens everytime. And everytime missjunebug thinks this will be the time Lefty makes it to the vet with a clean carrier. Alas, it was not to be. Once again. Thankfully, the vet techs. were super helpful and got little Lefty cleaned up, and shot up with her feline vaccines in no time.
Whisper was next with a quick temperature check, eyeball look-see, and samples for a little blood and urine work since she’s advanced in age. Her teeth have the lasting admiration of her vet. They are still strong and clean at 17+ years old. missjunebug attributes it to the diet of crunchy cat food Whisper has had her entire life.
Spoon had a quick weight check and rattlesnake vaccination since she dwells in rattlesnake country. missjunebug wishes she were holding her weight as well as her svelte Spoon is! Maybe missjunebug needs to just eat one snack and one meal a day. Hey! That’s a great idea for a new diet!
missjunebug thought she was home free after paying the $$$ vet bill. But Lefty finished off the trip home in true Lefty-style by throwing up!
mjb looks forward to the next trip to the vet. Fun times with fun pets!
Come Out Whisper! That Vet Won't Bite! Photo by mjb2009
Spoon Checks on Lefty! (Note bag o'soiled towel on top) Photo by mjb2009
GET ME OUT OF HERE! says disgruntled Lefty Photo by mjb2009