Monday, October 31, 2011

Two Rats, a Quiche, and a two Green Tomato Cakes

In September, my big brother, my sweet sister-in-law, and a rat came to visit. 

We were sitting around, watching the cartoon bird movie "Rio," when we heard a grinding metal noise coming from behind the oven. 

Over the years, my family has had well over a dozen hamsters. When, I went into the kitchen to investigate the noise, it reminded me of the distinct sound of a hamster chewing on its metal cage bars.

Sure enough, a couple of evenings later, after my brother and sister headed back to Denver, I got home from school, ambled into the kitchen to grab something to eat, and saw a partially eaten pear in the fruit basket. As I was asking Michael why he had taken a couple of bites out of a pear without putting it in the fridge, I noticed that there was pear stem shrapnel under the fruit basket and realized that a rodent had gotten to my fruit.

For a girl who usually isn't bothered by bugs and dirt, I was surprisingly disgusted by the presence of this animal in our home.

We declared war.

We set out mouse traps with peanut butter. The rodent responded by eating more of our fruit.

So, the next night, we set out mouse traps with fruit.

As I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a snap (I feel like I am going to get sued by PETA). I sent Michael to deal with the carnage. But where we were expecting carnage, the cutest little rat (and believe me, it actually was cute) was standing next to the sprung trap looking quite dazed and confused. We somehow got it into a bucket and got rid of it.

So what does this have to do with quiche and cake? Check this out:

The animal's cousins had gotten into our tomato plants. They were eating the juicy insides of our tomatoes, leaving tomato skins and poop on our fence ledge!

We ripped out our big tomato plant. And by big I really mean, gigantic. Due to the lack of sun in our backyard, the poor tomato vines had reached and stretched to over twelve feet long in pursuit of more sunshine. No wonder rats were trying to nest in that messy tangle...

All of the tomatoes were transformed into a tomato and goat cheese quiche...

And two green tomato cakes.

Green tomato cakes are BOMB! Super moist, with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg, and cream cheese frosting. It tasted like a fabulous carrot cake.

I think we shared three pieces with my in-laws and my elderly neighbor, but other than that, Michael and I baked and ate two of these cakes in two weeks. My pants got noticeably tighter. Yum yum!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Cute, Little Cup

I really like hand-painted cups. Especially when they are painted on the inside as well as the outside. This cute, little cup that I found at Marshalls even has a little hand painting on the bottom. 

The bottom-of-the-cup painting is like a little surprise waiting for me every time I finish my tea, or my Mexican hot chocolate, or my soup, or my strawberry Jello... I have already consumed all of those from my cup!

Sometimes the simple things make me so happy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Planet Earth

I love BBC's Planet Earth!

On our weekly date night, my husband and I often work through little projects.

Some we never complete, including creating our own card game (too hard) and reading the Chronicles of Narnia out loud to each other (too boring, no offense Clive Staples Lewis).

We complete some of our little projects, like reading the Harry Potter series out load to each other and watching the entire extended Lord of the Rings trilogy and appendices. Yes, we can be quite nerdy.

Although we're five years late in discovering it, our current date night project is watching BBC's nature documentary, Planet Earth. I've never seen anything quite like it. In case you've never seen it or want to see pieces of it again, here are three stand out moments from the eleven hours of footage.

1. The neon blue and black face-like thing in this photo is a bird of paradise trying to attract the little, brown female in front of him. He looks like something out of horror movie.

2. This footage is simply stunning. (If you don't have two minutes to spare, start it at 1:20.)

3. In case the shark attack scared you, here is some absolutely adorable footage of a polar bear mama and her two cubs that should cheer you right back up. When I first saw it, I felt like my heart was going to explode with the cuteness.

There are so many jaw-dropping scenes in this documentary, including footage of animals, plants, and places that I didn't even know existed. I highly recommend buying it. (Or checking it out from your public library if you're cheap like us!)
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