Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mmmmm...Molten Cake!

A while ago we went out to eat at Chili's and since we were already there, splurged and also got dessert, which we shared. What we got was a white-chocolate molten cake, which we both agreed may be the BEST dessert we have ever had. Ever since then we have been wanting it again, and the other day, I decided to try and look up the recipe online. Well, what I found was a video of a guy on youtube that replicates restaurant recipes. He was showing how to make the regular chocolate version of this dessert, so I tried it and the results are below. Since I have now done this, I am going to experiment on my own to make the white chocolate version next. I'll let you know how that turns out.

Hershey's hot fudge is found in the ice cream toppings area of the grocery store.

Here is the cake after I took a bite, with the "lava" melting out in a fudge stream.

This recipe was incredibly easy, and all the ingredients are ones that I most always have in stock. To make it you only have to have a chocolate cake mix, Hershey's fudge, and ice cream. You mix the cake mix, and put it into a large cupcake pan (making 6 small cakes). From there you take the muffins out after cooling and cut off the muffin tops to make them sit evenly. Next, you cut a small hole in the bottom of the muffins and fill it with hot fudge (the muffins will be sitting upside down). Then you freeze them for 2 hours, warm up for 45 seconds and top with ice cream and drizzled hot fudge. I have kept them in the refrigerator after freezing, as I was not serving them immediately.

They are quite good, very easy, and make for a very sophisticated and complicated looking dessert for guests!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What do YOU think?

So, I am currently looking for some new glasses and have been looking online. With everything online, many sites now have a tool that allows you to upload your picture and therefore "try the glasses on" at their site. I have done this with some pairs and would greatly appreciate your opinion on which you think is best. :) I have listed a label for each pair under the picture. Please excuse the picture itself, it's not that great, but does the trick.

Pair A

Pair B (Red)

Pair B (Black)

Pair C (Ha, ha)

Pair D

Of course, if you think they all stink, feel free to say so. : ) My feelings won't be hurt, I promise. Thanks for your help! ; )

Monday, August 18, 2008

How in the world did they do that?

That is the question that always comes to mind when I see and think of Venice, Italy. How in the world did they build this whole city on the water? Better yet, why? According to my internet research, it is apparently build over many small islands (you see no land there), and also upon petrified wood foundations, which makes them literally rise out of the water. As for the why, I am not sure. I am sure it had something to do with maritime transport of goods and such. If you would like to learn more, just google it. :) I have a few more travel pictures here from Venice that fascinate me continually, and I thought I'd share.
Here is the hotel we stayed at. It's a little different from what we would see here in the U.S. It was located right a canal. Also, the walkway you see between this building and the one next to it resembles the width of many walkways around the city, not much room.

Here was a scene from the canal. You can see where people dock their boats, and a boat or two traveling in the canal. There are literally NO cars here.

The white boat you see in the water here is the "bus". It's the public transportation system here. I will admit, I had to ensure that I was ready to board it, as I do get seasick at times. You can see a crane in the background as they were doing some construction on the city. Don't ask me how. :)

The two above pictures are of St.Mark's Square. They are not the best, so I apologize for that. The top one shows the St. Mark's Basilica and Doge's Palace, which is just a fancy palace in which Doge (duke's of Venice) lived. The second just shows all the pigeons that reside there. I think that often if you see San Marco's square in movies, the pigeons are there as well.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Those Crazy Dogs

For those who do not know, we have two dogs, a yellow lab mix and a black lab mix. Since the Lord has not yet blessed us with children, these two dogs are the closest things to kids we have, and we love them to death. They are our playing and running companions, and make us laugh continually. Anyone without pets or not having had any may find the joy we take in them hard to understand, but if nothing else, maybe these videos will at least provide you with a chuckle or two. :) Our black lab is Missy and our yellow lab is Sarah. We were taking some video of them the other day and I thought a couple were so funny that I wanted to share them.

This first video is of Missy just learning how to roll over. It's pretty cute. She gets so excited about the whole prospect of rolling over and getting a treat that she just lays and squirms like a dying bug for a second before completing the roll.

This second video is of Missy and Sarah both running around excitedly, but is mainly showing Missy's excited run, which we call her "boot scoot". She pretty much runs in a scooting position. It looks like she is in the sit position, but she is running. It's a crack up.

These sweet, funny dogs bring us so much joy, I just wanted to share a little of it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Have You Ever Seen A Sky Like This?

Last week we went on a walk with the pups after supper, and this is the sky we saw.

I had to take a picture because I am obsessed with the sky and because I have NEVER seen this before. It looked like it was going to storm outside, with the whole world looking more yellow than normal, and a cool breeze. I am used to the yellow hue and the cool breeze before a storm, being from Illinois, where summer storms are frequent, but this upside-down-hill looking sky was a first.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Blog Design

Okay, okay, you all sucked me into the skin craze. :) I loved the skins, but was reluctant to give up my minima stretch space, but after trying on a few skins gave in. :) I am getting used to it, and find I still have quite a bit of room. Please let me know what you think, especially of the font it too hard to read? Thanks fellow bloggers! :)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Our First IDPA Competition

This weekend we went to our first International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA) competition. I have showed you pictures before of when we went to a local meet, which is where we practice with other local members. This weekend we went to a real competitive match with 100's of others. It was a great time, and we look forward to the next match we will be able to shoot. This time we took videos instead of pictures. They are more fun to watch and show you what it really looks like in action. For those who do not know about IDPA or shooting in general, this association and the matches it holds are for everyday people who enjoy shooting and want to learn how to be better at it, mainly for defensive purposes. The scenarios set up at these matches are to help individuals practice for possible real-life situations at which one's life or the life of loved ones may be in danger. It is all about self-defense. If you have any more questions or interests in IDPA, the website is The match was a great time, and the people we shoot with here locally all went, so it was like hanging out with some friends doing something you all really enjoy.

There were 15 stages to the whole competition, and each stage had a scenario that went with it, so different starting positions and objectives. Under each video, I have given you the stage scenario. You are timed during your shooting, and your total score is composed of your times and shot accuracy.

This is me shooting Stage 14: "No Rest For The Weary". The scenario is: You wake up in the middle of the night with an armed man standing over your bed, you hear more in the other room. Note that the cardboard person you see in front of 3 others with a black hand on it is an innocent bystander that you have to shoot around, not shoot. The movements seem so slow when you watch it, but in real life, you seem to be moving faster. Also, being new at this, I was taking my time trying to be accurate this time. All of the wise folk who have been doing this a while say time comes later, but that you "can't miss fast enough". : ) So, we try to use their wisdom for ourselves.

Here is Carl shooting Stage 1: "Nice Neighborhood". The scenario is: After walking up to the ATM, you are assaulted by three bad guys. You find after it's too late, they have friends.

The match was a great time, and many of the people we shoot with here locally went, so it was like hanging out with some friends doing something you all really enjoy, rooting each other on as you go.