Friday, March 5, 2021

Pimiento Cheese Stuffed Soft Pretzels

These pretzels are roll-your-eyes-and-sigh good and simple to make because Chef Elaine used her favorite store-bought pimiento cheese dip instead of making it per the recipe.  She rolled out a tube of pizza dough and cut it into four pieces, spread the centers with pimiento cheese, made ropes with the help of some egg wash to keep it together then twisted them into a pretzel shape.   The baking soda bath and baking directions are included in the recipe at this link.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Brain Fart

This game is perfectly named, as you'll see why in a moment.  The game is played by first rolling the nine cubes, just like dice, getting a new set of categories.  The person going first, which starts with the youngest player at the table, taps the magenta brain which starts a timer that randomly selects a time between 30 and 45 seconds, and displays a letter on an LED screen.  The player has to select a cube (and keep it) then shoutout an answer that starts with the displayed letter and goes with the cube's category.  For example, I might take the "Sports Teams" category and if the answer must start with a "C", I would shoutout "Cleveland Browns".  The game continues with the next player until all the cubes are used or the brain "farts".  If all cubes are used, the player that used the last cube gets to give a token to any other player, but if the brain "farts", the player that's currently in their turn gets a token from the "bank".  When all the tokens have left the "bank" the game is over and the person holding the fewest tokens is the winner.

The brain "fart" noise is only part of the reason the game is aptly named.  There are times, usually when only a few cubes remain, but at times with all nine available, that a player will just not be able to think of any answer to any of the cube's categories, in other words, that player has a "brain fart".

Big shout out to Grace for showing us this game!

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Paint Can Lips

Home Depot was giving away these little yellow plastic paint can lips (for the lack of a better term) and it does a nice job of keeping most of the mess away when pouring paint.  The bottom has a grove that fits over the inside rim of the paint can to keep it in place.   I just have to remember to make sure it's securely in place to avoid a bigger cleanup.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Alexa Suggestions

It really bugs me when I ask Alexa for the temperature and after "she" does that, starts to give me suggestions on what else I can ask "her" to do.  There is a setting in the Alexa app to turn that off, as shown below.  You will find this in the Alexa app at More ... Settings ... Notifications ... Things to Try.  It's not the only place to turn off annoying notifications as this article articulates.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Last Friday's blog was about roasting leftover raw vegetables.  If you have leftovers from that, they make an awesome frittata.  Whip up four eggs with a little half-n-half, place the vegetables in a glass pie plate (or any oven-proof casserole dish), pour in the whipped eggs, then twirl to get an even distribution.  Bake at 350 degrees until the eggs are firm, about 15 minutes.

In the frittata shown, Chef Elaine used leftover roasted carrots, red peppers, broccoli, potatoes, and onions to make us a fantastic brunch.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Peyton's Places and Ball State

An episode of season 2 of Peyton's Places on ESPN+ featured Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, host Peyton Manning and arguably Ball State's most famous alumni, David Letterman.  The majority of the show featured proposed NFL rule changes concocted by David, such as making the football field 1/4-mile long, raising the goal posts five extra feet each quarter, and having the entire offense and defense on the field for one play per game.  After discussing the merits of the proposals, David and Peyton get the Ball State Cardinal football team on the field, where they participate in live demonstrations of each change.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021


The can ceiling lights in the basement needed a 6-inch circular cutout in the ceiling tile and somehow my brain remembered that I owned a protractor, which turned out to be exactly 6 inches wide.  I drew a couple semi-circles in pencil and cut the perfect-sized opening with a razor-blade knife.  Easy and peasy! 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Great American Rail-Trail

Being able to ride, run, or walk for over 3,700 continuous miles, from Washington D.C. to Washington State, is the vision of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.  You can see the envisioned path at the link below and for Ohioans most of that path is already in place.  Locally, the route between Columbus, Ohio to the western edge of Montgomery County includes sections of Ohio to Erie Trail, Creekside Trail, Mad River Trail, Great Miami River Trail, and Wolf Creek Trail, with the only gap being five miles between west Dayton and Trotwood.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Sheet Pan Vegetables

When you have leftover raw vegetables, a little of this, a little of that, cut them into bite-sized pieces, stick them in a plastic bag and add a little oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spices you like.  Place a cookie sheet in the oven, set it to 400 degrees then wait until it finishes preheating.  Take the cookie sheet out of the oven,  dump the vegetables on it and return to the oven, baking them for 20 minutes at the same 400 degrees.  Chef Elaine used red bell pepper, onion, broccoli, carrots, and butternut squash to make the masterpiece shown below.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Miter Box

I bought this miter box and hand saw combo a forgotten number of years ago but somehow remembered I had it as I needed to cut some casings and wanted to avoid using my table saw that's out in a very cold garage.  It has grooves for cutting at 22.5, 45, and 90 degrees and makes a much smoother cut than a circular saw.  Ignore the shag carpeting on the floor.  It's going to the dump soon.