Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sometimes Technology Stinks!

I am quite new to this digital camera thing.
I bought a point-and-shoot because as a beginner,
I felt it was better to start simply and easily and
get my feet wet first, so to speak, before plunging
head-first into the icy waters of multiple lenses, etc.

The problem was that since that first dive, I haven't bothered
to --ahem--read the manual. Admittedly, I brought this on myself.

There must be oceans of info about this particular camera
that I don't know yet. Like the fact that it stores pictures on its
own, built-in memory and not just on the little memory card-thingies.
I assume this to be true because of one thing:
I have lost some pictures. While I usually love a good mystery, this one is getting frustrating.
This made no sense to me at first, until I asked a friend who told
me about the aforementioned built-in storage.
At Christmas, I baked my brains out doing cookies, carefully taking pictures of
all my little lovelies so I could post about my holiday baking.

But...I can't find the pictures. It's the reason I haven't posted very often
since then. I'm still trying to find those shots. I know they're there somewhere.
In the meantime, I had to replace my laptop since my Acer (friends don't let friends buy Acers) bit The Big One. Got an HP, which is serving me well, by the way.
I had saved those pictures in Photobucket as well as on the
Canon software site. However, they're gone. I've scoured my memory card thingies too,
without success.

So I need to go back and read the manual, I guess. I hope to be reunited with my lost loved ones soon.
And when I am, I'll share them with you.

P.S. If anyone could help me with this problem, I would make grandiose
promises of supplying you with a batch of the above-mentioned cookies!

Pretty Is As Pretty Does.

That strikes me as singularly ridiculous. Have you stopped to really
think about that phrase? It makes absolutely no sense.
Yes, I understand the sentiment behind it, but the words themselves
grouped together must really baffle someone to whom English is a
second language. It's one of those phrases we mindlessly babble
without giving it a second thought. Weird, huh?

Looks do matter, though, especially in foodie circles.
What is our creed? "You taste with your eyes first."

Let me say this, and I know I've said it before as a disclaimer
before foisting some visually unappealing dish on you:

It ain't pretty. These muffins, that is.
Whether they are supposed to look the way they did, I know not.
I only know that when I made them...well...
I got some ugly moon-surfaced muffins here.

But that's okay, because we're all adults and are smart enough
to look beneath the surface and appreciate the beauty that lies there.
And the taste.

The best thing about these muffins is the filling. This recipe is
my first attempt at inserting a filling into anything, and this filling
is glorious: light, smooth, and slightly sweet.
You're gonna love 'em.

Peaches and Cream Muffins


2 cups canned peaches (29 oz. can), drained and diced
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
2 cups milk


1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon reserved peach juice
1 teaspoon almond extract


1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Dice drained peaches; set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, combine eggs and oil. Whisk in the milk.
Combine egg and flour mixtures just until combined: fold in peaches.

For filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, peach juice, and extract.

Fill greased muffin tins half full of batter. Drop 1 teaspoon of filling into the center of each muffin cup of the batter. Top with 1 1/2 Tablespoons more of the batter.

For topping, mix sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over muffins.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 20 minutes.

Serve warm. Makes 24 regular sized muffins or 12 jumbo sized ones.

When using jumbo muffin tins, bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until
muffins test done.

*I omitted the topping.

I got this recipe from Recipezaar, who cites Addie's Attic Bed and Breakfast.

Coney or Chili?

"I was born in Michigan,
And I wish and wish again
That I was back-
In the town where I was born."

The above is a very, very obscure reference to
the only song I know that mentions Michigan
(other than the state song) unless you count
Michigan J. Frog's ragtime ditty in the
Warner Bros. cartoons.

Actually, I really was born in Michigan, but
I don't need to do any wishing because I still live
here in The Mitten State.

The obscure reference mentioned above? I would give
an incredibly large prize to anyone who can
tell me what it's from.

Hint: Judy Garland sings it.

The thing that got me started on song lyrics was the
realization that I came to recently that not everyone
calls a hot dog with chili sauce on it
"a coney dog", presumably born in Coney
Island, but don't quote me on that. It's the only reason
I could come up with for naming a hot dog dressed
in specific condiments a Coney.

But apparently my insular upbringing limited
my knowledge. In other places, it's called simply
a chili dog: a simple, sensible name.

But here in Michigan, we're a little more colorful.
Unique, even.
Coneys they are, and shall remain.

"So it shall be written;
So it shall be done."
(cribbed from Pharoah himself in one of those
'cast of thousands' spectaculars of Cecil B. DeMille)

So this is a recipe for coney sauce, although
when I printed this off, I didn't immediately notice
that it's titled Chili Sauce. Ah, well.

I found this on Noble Pig's blog and it's the best thing I've
found there, and let me say, I've found a LOT of good
recipes on her website.

Off on another rabbit trail that will converge with my original topic, I promise:
my husband found himself travelling through
Ohio, and stopped for a meal at Tony Packo's in Toledo.
Anybody remember Klinger from M*A*S*H pining
for hot dogs from Tony Packo's in his hometown of Toledo?
It really exists, and they serve fabulous chili/coney dogs.
When my husband got home, he told me he thought their meat sauce tasted
amazingly like Noble Pig's
sauce that I had made the week before.
(See? And you thought I wouldn't be able to
connect the dots from coneys to M*A*S*H trivia, didn't you?)

Without further ado, I give you:

Noble Pig's Tantalizingly Tangy Chili-Cheese Dogs*


1# ground beef, 85-90% lean
1 bottle chili sauce (12 oz)
1 can kidney beans
1 pkt. chili seasoning (1.48 oz.)
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons buffalo wing sauce (I used Frank's Hot Sauce)
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I used bottled, worked fine)
1 teaspoon onion powder
8 beef hot dogs** and buns
Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
White onion, chopped (I used yellow one)


In a large skillet, using medium heat, brown the ground beef. Add chili sauce, kidney beans,chili seasoning, water, buffalo wing sauce, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, fresh lemon juice and onion powder. Bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

Cook hot dogs. Place each hot dog in its bun and smother with chili, onion, and cheese.

*This sauce is even better the second time it's heated, so you may want to make it the day before you intend to serve it. The various flavors have time to meld together and become one with each other and the universe at large.

**In these parts, we use Koegel hot dogs, made in Flint, Michigan, a twenty-five minute drive from where I live. They are very superior, especially the viennas.