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[Recipe] Cauliflower Cheese & Bacon

Do you ever watch those recipe videos on Facebook and get really hungry? Me too. Last night, one of my friends linked to a video for Loaded Cauliflower Casserole and it got me hungry and wanting to create this dish to be Slimming World friendly. So I went out shopping today and picked up a Cauliflower and we had this for Tea tonight.

You Will Need:

1 Head of Cauliflower (chopped into florets)
300g frozen mixed vegetables
200g bacon medallions
250g Quark
3 heaped spoonfuls Fromage Frais
1 TBS dried or fresh chives (or use spring onion if you have them. I forgot to buy some but had chives)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp mustard powder
45g reduced fat cheddar cheese

1. Boil or steam the cauliflower florets until tender and cook the frozen vegetables. Drain both.
2. Grill bacon. Chop bacon into bite sizes bits.
3. Combine quark, fromage frais, chives, pepper, and mustard.
4. Stir quark mixture into vegetables, add chopped bacon.
5. Spread into a casserole dish and top with 45g cheddar cheese
6. Bake at 200C 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is golden.

Syns per recipe: 6 (for the cheese).

This recipe is easy to adapt for vegetarians, just omit the bacon or use veggie bacon. If you are following a Low Carb High Fat diet, use full fat cream cheese and sour cream instead.

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DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

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Turkey Hill Orange Iced Tea Copy Cat for PA ExPats

orange-tea-iced-tea I am from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Well, sort of. In that Lancaster Co was the last place I lived before I moved to the UK. I actually grew up in NJ, and now my mom lives in York, PA (where she grew up), so I don’t really go back to visit Lancaster except to hit up tourist places with Tim, but one thing Tim and I both love about visiting is getting to have Turkey Hill Orange Iced Tea. Turkey Hill started out over 85 years ago as a side business for a local farmer to sell his excess milk. Soon, it turned into a business of his own and his children added ice cream to the business, and then iced tea, lemonade, and other fruit-based soft drinks. Turkey Hill used to only be available in Eastern PA, and it was always a favourite. Soon it spread out and now I think Turkey Hill (at least their ice cream) is available in many of the larger markets in the USA. However, they have no plans to expand internationally (I’ve asked!) and no plans on creating a powdered form of their tea or creating concentrated drops (again, I asked!).

When my husband (at the time, only my boyfriend) came to visit me in Lancaster County in 2009, I introduced him to drinking iced tea. He thought it was a bit odd, but he soon found it refreshing on a hot day, especially when I then introduced him to the flavoured teas of Turkey Hill! The last time I visited the US without Tim, I brought him home a small bottle, and when we were last in the US in May 2015, Tim asked me if I thought I could re-create the flavour. AFter all, I had made a pretty good stab at re-creating favourite restaurant meals, so why not give flavoured tea a go? I told him I would try after we got home, and then I forgot and it soon became too cold in the UK to want iced tea.

Enter the current heatwave. ABout a week beofre we went away on holiday, I decided to do an experiment. There isn’t room in our fridge for a proper pitcher (excuse me, jug) of tea, but I wanted to have cold tea and not left out on the counter room temperature tea. Spying the squash bottle, I got the idea to make a “tea concentrate” and then add a bit of it to a glass to top up with tap water. It worked, and then my brain kind of went into overdrive and I managed to create the exact same flavour of Turkey Hill Orange Tea.

You Will Need:

10 regular tea bags (I used Tetley)
10 sweetener tablets (optional. You also could probably use sugar or skip the sweetener)
500ml boiling water (kettle)
500ml cold water
100ml Orange squash (I used Robinsons not double concentrate)
A heat proof measuring jug at least able to hold 500ml
A 700ml (approximately. ours might be 750) water bottle

1. Place 10 tea bags into your heatproof jug and fill to the 500ml line with boiling water from the kettle. Add in your sweetener tablets and let the tea steep for about 10 minutes.
2. Remove tea bags after 10 minutes and allow the tea to cool before putting it into the fridge (I transferred it into a 500ml bottle from Lakeland).
3. Leave the tea concentrate to cool in the fridge for several hours.
4. using your 700ml water bottle, add 100ml of tea concentrate, 100ml of Orange squash, and top up with water, giving it a shake or stir.
5. Enjoy the sweet taste of Lancaster County.

And if you follow Slimming World, this drink has 0 syns!

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DISCLAIMER: I do not work for Slimming World, I am not affiliated with Slimming World beyond being a paying customer/member, I get no personal benefit from writing this post other than the joy of sharing.

Please note: Syn values are based on my exact ingredients using the online calculator. Your Syn value may vary based on your ingredients and the size of your baking containers and portions, so use this number as a guide only. Syn values also frequently change, but these values are correct at the time of publication.

Turkey Hill image at the top of this post copyright Turkey Hill.

The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, Networked Blogs, the RSS feed(s), or through an e-mail subscription, please notify me.

[LJ readers reading this on the LJ RSS feed: Please click on the link at the top of the entry to go directly to my blog to leave a comment, as comments left on the LJ RSS do not get seen by me. Facebook users reading this from my Networked Blogs link can either comment on facebook or on my blog. If you are reading this through an e-mail subscription, you might need to go directly to my blog to view videos and images.]

For full Copyright and Disclaimer, please read http://www.blog.beccajanestclair.com/copyright/

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[Recipe] Easter Traditions [Slimming World]

Once again, on my phone. Usual disclaimers apply….double check your syns and I’m not affiliated with Slimming World.

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For some reason, Easter makes me homesick more than Christmas.  This year, I decided to replicate some of my family’s favourite Easter staples, and managed to make it fit in with Slimming World!

First up, Heavenly Spuds.

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The original calls for lots of cheddar cheese, butter, a creamy based soup, and butter. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?  I don’t even want to think about the syns.

Here’s my version that comes in at 10.5 syns for the whole dish!

You will need:

3 large tins of potatoes(you could use raw potatoes, but you would want to boil them first)
1 tin of mushrooms (I used my chopper)
1 tub quark
1/2 tub fromage frais
50g mozzarella, shredded
35g Kellog’s corn flakes, crushed
Pepper
Fry light

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C. (200 if not fan assisted)
2. Drain and chop the potatoes  (I used my chopper attachment on the stick blender).
3. Drain and chop mushrooms  (ditto).
4. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, mushrooms, quark, fromage frais, and cheese.
5. Spray a casserole dish with frylight.
6. Spread potato mixture evenly in dish and top with crushed cornflakes.
7. Spray the top with butter flavoured fry light (if you have some, or use regular).
8. Bake 30-45 minutes or until bubbling.

The second food I missed was red beet eggs. This one is really easy.

You will need:
2 eggs per person
1 jar of sliced beets
Vinegar

1. Hard boil and peel eggs.
2. Place eggs in a large bowl.
3. Pour beets and juice over eggs.
4. Top with vinegar until eggs and beets are covered.
5. Cover bowl and refrigerate. The more time you have, the better tasting the eggs!

Happy Easter!

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A Taste of Philly – Recreating a Hoagie

I posted this photo to Facebook yesterday, and my friend’s husband said “That’s not a hoagie, that’s a sub”. He may be right, but for being 3,000 miles away from Philadelphia, it’s not too bad.

Serious Eats posted this top 10 list of Philadelphia hoagies in September and my only comment about it was that it made me hungry for a hoagie…but the closest we really get here in the UK is Subway.

I knew what basically went into a hoagie, so I started looking around Sainsbury’s for appropriate substitutions. The batons sold fresh in the bakery section are about a foot long and soft, making a great base for my hoagie. I haven’t yet found Provaolne cheese, but I picked a mild Edam instead. For meats, I went with ham and German salami. I wanted a third meat, but I couldn’t decide what would work well, so I kept it with the two.

For me, what makes a hoagie is the dressing and the oregano. I sliced my tomatoes thinly and shredded the lettuce, putting both in a sealable container. I then tossed on top of the tomatoes and lettuce 6 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and one tablespoon Oregano, sealed up the container, and gave it a good shake.

I went against tradition and put a little bit of mayonnaise on the roll, topped it with the cheese and meat and then the coated lettuce and tomato.




As close to an authentic hoagie as I can get!

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Recipe: Fake Chef Boyardee Pizza

I was going to hold off on this post for a few weeks and get some older (well, a few weeks old) recipes posted, but Michelle’s post on The American Resident about homesickness and making comfort food prompted me to post this sooner.

I think most of us who grew up middle class in America know about Chef Boyardee. Those red cans (I swear, it used to be spelled Boy-R-De) were a familiar food growing up. My favourite was the ravioli, and I detested beefaroni. In addition to tins of pasta, Boyardee also made pizza kits, which became a household staple because it was easy to make, and we could put whatever toppings on it we wanted.

Even as an adult, I continued to buy the Boyardee pizza kits because they were inexpensive, and had everything I needed – crust mix, tomato sauce, and cheese. Of course, we started adding shredded cheese to the grated Parmesean by this point.

I love pizza and I love homemade pizza. Moving to the UK, I’ve struggled a bit in finding a crust mix that I like – a lot of the pre-made mixes don’t cook well or taste too sweet and I just don’t have the patience for making it from scratch. Originally, this recipe was just going to be “Easy Pizza”, but when I bit into it I was instantly reminded of the good old Chef Boyardee pizza mixes. I hope this can comfort another ex-pat the same way it comforted me!

You Will Need:
300g Bisquick mix (in the UK it’s called Bisquick Multi-Purpose Baking Mix and comes in the same size box as a cake mix)
200ml very hot water (I used water from the kettle)
Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
tomato sauce (plain passata)
Parmesean cheese
Oregano*
Basil*
Mozzarella cheese*
Toppings of your choice*

*optional ingredients. The main ingredients are essentially the items you need for a Chef Boyardee kit. Any direction involving optional ingredients will have an * in front of it.

Pre-heat the oven to 225C.
Grease or line a cookie sheet (or pizza tray).
Combine water and Bisquick and mix until it resembles dough. If there is still a lot of powdered mix, add a little more water.
Press dough onto cookie sheet and lightly cover with olive oil (a spray bottle is ideal).
Bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and top pizza with sauce and *sprinkle oregano and basil on sauce.
Sprinkle Parmesean cheese over sauce.
*Top with Mozzarella cheese and your chosen toppings
Return to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is crisp (it took 12 in my oven).

Enjoy!

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The contents of this post, including images are © Rebecca J Lockley and Tim Lockley unless otherwise stated and should not be reproduced without permission. If you are not reading this on http://blog.beccajanestclair.com, my facebook page, or the RSS feed(s), please notify me.

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Where the Food Comes From….

When you’re a kid, you don’t really think about where food comes from. An adult (usually a family member) puts a complete meal in front of you, and you eat it. Pretty simple. As you get older, you might even start helping to prepare those meals, doing small tasks like mixing or pouring. You still don’t really give much thought about where the food actually comes from, again, you just eat it when it’s placed in front of you. The same thing happens when you are away at college/university. A cafeteria worker puts food in front of you. You know that somewhere behind the buffet line there is a kitchen and staff who make things, but you hardly give it any thought.

Eventually, you might move away from your family, and into your own home. You’ve entered the “real world” and you’re probably spending too much time at work to really think about preparing food. Purchasing pre-made meals sounds like a good idea. You don’t know who made them, or how much work went into them, but they’re good.

So here I am, married, and for the first time cooking every single day. I don’t use pre-made meals and I try to make most things from “scratch”. Sometimes we buy a loaf of bread, but I most often put to use the bread machine we got as a wedding gift. I make things like spaghetti sauce and sweet & sour sauce from base ingredients. I don’t even buy pre-formed hamburger patties, preferring to mix my own mince and shape the patties by hand.

Tim got this brilliant idea that we should have a burger party sometime and make mini burgers out of all the types I make. Of course, mini burgers require mini buns, and I decided I might like to try my hand at making my own buns. I searched all over the internet, and most of the recipes seemed a bit too involved for a beginner. I don’t count my bread machine as experience at all, and the only other bread items I’ve made on my own have been things like banana bread and blueberry muffins. Nothing that involves kneading and punching and rising at any rate. I did finally stumble on a “no knead” roll recipe that I might like to try, but it involves 12 hours of rising! Which means that I either have to wake up really early in the morning to mix it together, or I need to stay up late at night to mix it together. Neither of which really appeals to me, but I still might give it a go one week when Tim’s on the overnight shift (since I never seem to sleep on those) and I need something to do.

A few days ago I was reading my Betty Crocker cookbook looking for ideas for meal planning and I stumbled on a recipe for regular dinner rolls. Now, this wouldn’t be interesting, except that there were directions for making cloverleaf dinner rolls, and as I looked at the picture in the cookbook I had one of those childhood epiphanies – this is where the Thanksgiving rolls my Aunt Beatie makes come from. Her rolls are slightly sweet, perfectly shaped, and pull apart into thirds giving you extra room for butter. She makes them ahead of time at her house in MD, and then heats them at Aunt Janie’s house before we eat.

Well, I just had to try this out for myself. Since I have a bread machine, I followed the directions for making the dough in the bread machine, and I even left the dough in the bread machine to rise (since it calls for a warm place!). Here’s the recipe. I copied it off of the Betty Crocker website, so it uses US measurements. I keep a handy chart inside my kitchen cabinet for easy converting, but I also keep a set of US measuring cups.

1 cup water [cookbook calls for room temperature]
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 egg
3 1/4 cups Gold Medal® Better for Bread™ flour [used regular bread flour]
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine or active dry yeast [The cookbook only calls for 2 1/4]
Butter or margarine, melted, if desired

1. Measure carefully, placing all ingredients except melted butter in bread machine pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Manual cycle. Do not use delay cycle.
2. Remove dough from pan, using lightly floured hands. Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface. [this step was not in my cookbook. Cookbook advised to let rise for 1 hour, then if you could poke it and not have the hole fill in, you punched it down, then did step 3]
3. Grease large cookie sheet with shortening. Divide dough into 15 equal pieces*. Shape each piece into a ball. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until double. (Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.)
4. Heat oven to 375°F. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter. Serve warm, or cool on wire rack.

For cloverleaf rolls, use a cupcake/muffin pan and divide roll into 45 pieces, then put three pieces in each cup.

Here’s what my rolls looked like:

Not quite as perfect as my aunt’s, but close enough!

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Recipes that Warm Your Heart

This reminds me of snow days and lazy Saturday’s….

1 can condensed tomato soup
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
4 slices of bread

1. Melt butter on stove, add flour and stir
2. Add soup
3. Heat over medium heat. Add Parmesan cheese and heat until it bubbles
4. Serve over toast

Note to UK cooks: You can make this with a can of uncondensed soup, just double the butter, flour, and cheese. (and you’ll also get enough for 6-7 slices of bread!)

This recipe originally came from my mom’s 1950s Girl Scout Handbook!

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Making a Recipe….

One of my favourite foods is homemade mac & cheese served with stewed tomatoes. I’m not sure if this is a regional thing (my family is from central PA) or just a family thing, but we always tend to serve them together. We generally buy a can of stewed tomatoes and just open it up and heat the tomatoes to put on top, but around here I haven’t been able to find any. So….I had to make my own.

Because I love the crock pot, and because it’s hard to coordinate cooking on Tim’s two-burner stove (that only can use one burner if you have the oven on), I decided to figure out how to make these in the crock pot. I looked at a few recipes online for both crock pot versions and stove-top versions and created my own.

Crock Pot Stewed Tomatoes

Ingredients:
14 small tomatoes
basil
oregano
bay leaves
salt
sugar

1. Peel tomatoes. I read on a few websites in order to peel tomatoes you put them in boiling water and immediately put them into cold water. That didn’t work for me. What did work was cutting a small slit in the tomato, then putting it into the boiling water for about 5 minutes or until the split started to grow. The skin should at that point just peel right off, but watch out because it will be super hot after being in boiling water!
2. Cut tomatoes into quarters and cut out the seeds/membrane. I didn’t remove all the seeds, just the ones that were attached to the core.
3. Place tomatoes in crock pot, and cover with about 1 cup water. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, and pepper. Add 1 tsp sugar and 3 bay leaves.
4. cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or LOW for 6-8.

My tomatoes aren’t as tomato-y as they are out of the can, so I think if I make them again I’ll be adding some tomato juice to flavor them. Either that, or the tomatoes I had weren’t ripe enough and didn’t have that full tomato flavour I was looking for.

[note to LJ feed readers: please click on the link at the top of this entry on LJ to leave comments, as I do not see comments left on LJ!]

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An American Evening in Lincoln

The other evening we did a typical American thing. We went to Wal-Mart (ASDA) and then for pizza.

Tim’s mum actually suggested we head to ASDA, as I really wanted to get a dressing gown (US: Robe) and the ones we were finding in town were a bit on the pricey side. ASDA would also give us the chance to pick up a few items Tim needed around the house as well.

ASDA is owned by the Wal-Mart corporation, something they are quite proud to tell you right on the sign outside the store. Surprisingly, the store was laid out pretty similar to a Wal-Mart, with the exception being there was more on the food side than the non-food side, and at least three aisles of booze!

After, we went for dinner at Frankie and Bennie’s, a New York style Italian restaurant that doesn’t exist in the US. We went there because I was in the mood for Pizza. The pizza was excellent. Not 100% up to my standards, but at least 95%. They lost a few points for having a too-thin thin crust and for not piling on the cheese (and no Parmesan to sprinkle!), but it was excellent.



half plain (for me), half bbq chicken (for Tim)

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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

I really love the old classic comedy movie “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles”, but I was beginning to feel yesterday like I was a part of the film….minus the sharing hotels with strangers and setting things on fire, of course.

Part of this entry I wrote yesterday while waiting in Winnipeg, the rest I wrote this morning.

12:07CST
I’ve made it as far as the “holding pen” for US bound persons. There’s wireless, but neither Captain Jack nor Gwen can seem to gain access to it. Jack will connect, but never bring up the access page, and Gwen brings up an access page that wants me to log in with my Telus account….something I don’t have. 🙁 Ah well.

My day started out on a VERY bad note. Actually, let me backtrack to last night. I’m not sure if I’ve spoken of my immense arachnophobia on this blog yet, but suffice it to say – I have it in the worst possible way. Anything other than daddy long legs completely freak me out to the point where I sometimes even cry.

Last night I went to carry up the dirty litter and got the bag stuck on a loose nail, so after I got the bag out of the house, I decided to grab the swiffer to sweep all the litter into the basement, where I planned on then using their basement vacuum to get it all up. Except that while I was sweeping off the steps…TWO large black spiders (the size of a US nickel including legs) popped out of a hole and terrified me to the point where I lost my balance and fell down the steps. Not a good thing when I still had some cleaning to do. I emailed Sarah and Joe to let them know what happened, and Sarah told me not to worry about cleaning the rest up.

Anyway, so cue this morning.

My flight out of Dauphin (on a 12-seater prop plane!) was at 7:50. The airline confirmation said to arrive an hour ahead, which made it 6:50, and I decided I was going to call for a cab around 6, figuring on it arriving to pick me up at 6:15 and I’d get to the airport between 6:30 and 6:50.

I was ready to go by 5:45 and had everything packed including my laptop, so I decided to just start giving the cats some good-bye love (which Quincy ignored, Casper was indifferent to and meowed, and Hobbes climbed onto my shoulder), and call the cab company. Sarah told me to use Parkland Taxi, as they were on the other side of the highway. I called around 5:50 and got a recorded message that told me the hours were 6AM til whatever time at night. Wow, glad I didn’t need a ride earlier after all. So, I chatted with my mom on Skype for a bit and tried again at 6 on the nose. Same message. I tried at least three more times and STILL got the recorded message. I was sort of starting to panic. Fortunately, I was able to load the dauphin website on Captain Jack and got the number for Dauphin Taxi. Located a bit into town from Sarah and Joe’s, but they answered the phone and I had a cab by 6:20. My taxi ride was $13 though, so I’m not sure if I had to pay for him to come GET me too or what as the airport wasn’t that far away!

Anyway, we arrived at the airport before the counter person was even there to unlock the door. I think the cab driver wanted me to stay in the cab and let the meter run, but I saw a picnic bench so I told the driver I’d wait there for it to open. As I was paying the driver, the person with the keys pulled up, so I didn’t have to wait outside after all.

While waiting for the flight to leave, I met someone who is some type of Government person. He was pleasant, and we had a nice chat. Soon, it was time to barod the plane and about a half hour later we were landing in Winnipeg.

Two other women on the flight with me who needed to go to the International part of the airport offered to share a cab with me, which was really nice. One of the women was headed to South Africa to visit her family and it was going to take her 2 days and an 11 hour layover in London to get there! (and I complained about my 18 hours?)

Before I continue, I want to add in my little rant about this airport business in Winnipeg. The airport we flew into and the International airport are in the same compound yet if I had taken a cab alone, I’d have had to have shelled out $10-12 for a cab plus tip/baggage handling. To essentially GO AROUND THE BLOCK. Why don’t they offer a free shuttle between the two? Or even a shuttle for a $5 fee or something like that? All they’d need is a 15-passenger van or something. Just seemed ridiculous. In the end I only paid $5 anyway because of sharing the cab (he got $5 from me because I wanted to give him $4 and hold onto my loonie, but I accidentally handed him a toonie and a loonie and didn’t want to grab the loonie back out of his hand, but wanted to give him more than $3 for my share).

Anyway, back to my travel story.

NWA wouldn’t let me check in. Well, she said she could, but then I’d have had to have gone though to the Customs screening right away and been forced to wait in the “pen” all morning where there isn’t alot of food options…but yet if I didn’t check-in, I was able to go upstairs to the main airport….I didn’t quite understand why I couldn’t have checked in for the flight, gone upstairs and then come back downstairs to go through customs, but whatever. I had to drag my suitcase around with me upstairs. I went into a small souvenir shop and picked up a thimble for my neighbour and a few other items (and a really cute purse/bag for me that had pockets on the front the perfect size for my LG9900 and N810).

Then, I went back downstairs to check-in, and the people ahead of me were being a pain. THEIR flight wasn’t until 4, but they were checking guns (eek!) and obviously couldn’t carry those around the airport. So, the counter person had to spend some time trying to get them onto the earlier flight that I was on. (oh joy!)

Surprisingly, it was very easy to get through everything. Checked my bag, got through customs with a grand total of ONE question (“What did you buy in Canada?” “a bathing suit, some gifts for family, and some candy”), and even security was a breeze.

I’m typing this from the lounge though becuse I needed to make sure TSA didn’t do anything to FUBAR my laptop…they ran a freaky wand over the top, bottom, and then opened it to run it along the inside. I asked the woman what it was for and she explained it was to check for any chemical residue. I asked her if she needed me to power it on, and she said no. So, laptop owners can be re-assured that TSA is not out to get us with taking laptops internationally.

Okay, my second leg of my trip starts in about 20 minutes, so I’m going to save this and shut down. Perhaps Minneapoilis will have free wi-fi I can grab…at the very least, I know Philadelphia does!

***

I got so sick on that flight. I was seated at the back of the plane right next to the turbine (I think that’s what it’s called),and I guess the back of the plane is like the back of the bus and I got airsick for the first time in my life. When we got to Minneaplolis, I booked it over to the connecting gate and explained to the guy at the counter that I wasn’t feeling well, could he move me closer to the front of the plane. He said “If I have it, you got it” and moved me to row 5. Then, I spent about 20 minutes walking all over Minneapolis to try to find PLAIN bread/bagels to eat to try to calm my stomach, and finally settled on tea from Caribu Coffee.

The flight wasn’t bad. Row 5 happened to be the first row after first class, and I guess the counter person put a note that I was ill because I got lots of attention from the flight attendant. She brought me ginger ale while we were waiting to take off, and when they were serving first class their meal, brought me a dinner roll. She also told me if I wasn’t feeling well I could use the first class bathroom and could get up even if the seatbelt sign was on.

At Philadelphia, it was a mad dash to get my baggage and try to not have to wait for the R1. Fortunately, our bags came out in record time and I managed to make it onto the 8:39 R1….and then I had problems. See, apparently the Zone 5 ticket I purchased 2 months ago was no good on the R1 line because it didn’t say “CCP” on it, and the conductor wanted me to buy another ticket from her at $7. The problem was, I only had $4 in US Currency. The people who had been with me on the plane and made the mad dash with me didn’t even offer to make up the difference, which I thought was kind of rude, but typical for Philadelphia. Anyway, I explained to the conductor that I only had $4 and asked if I could give her my bad ticket AND the $4. She told me no, and said that she would take my not good ticket “this time”.

I had to wait at 30th street for about 2 hours for my Amtrak train. There were loads of creepy people around at that time of night, but the Cosi offered free wi-fi, so I was chatting to a few friends. Finally, we were able to board the train and I was headed home!

We arrived slightly early, and I think I walked in the door at home at exactly midnight. Mom and I stayed up until 3 in the morning talking!

I shouldn’t be awake right now, I sort of feel like a zombie. I have a lot to do today though. Will was acting a bit weird around my suitcase, so I want to empty it out and febreeze the whole thing because I’m sure he smells strange kitty.

I was going to add some photos from yesterday, but my camera is in the living room, so I will do a separate photo post later in the day.

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14 and Raining (or 57 and Raining)

It’s a chilly, raining day today. Which is a nice change from the overly hot made-me-feel-like-I-was-down-South weather we had been having here. I was planning on walking down to the library, but not with this weather! Fortunately, I received my care package from my mom yesterday, so on this chilly day I can have Ramen soup mixed with some veggies and a nice cup of Swiss Miss.



Inspected by customs


My loot – iced tea bags, lemonade mix, ramen noodles, coffee singles, the Sunday paper, and two bottles of bodywash (not pictured)

The only thing missing today is my big U-M sweatshirt to snuggle up in, but since I didn’t pack it, I’m sort of out of luck with that.

Oh, and because this was cute:


Quincy, stretched out on the newspaper, with Lolly to the side.

he pulled Lolly over across him, though i did reposition her so she was face side up!

This afternoon I’m headed to the farmer’s market with C, so expect lots of photos later!

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You Can Take the Girl out of Lancaster County…

…but you can’t take Lancaster County out of the girl!

I wanted snack food. For the past few days I’d be watching TV or something around 10PM and just wish I had a handful of pretzels or chips to munch on, so today I decided to go get something to munch on in the evenings. There’s no Gibbles, no Utz, no Hanover….not even Snyder! The only pretzels I could find looked…not very good, so I settled for some salt and vinegar chips…and I bought the brand closest-sounding to home:


Old Dutch.

Oh, and how cool is it that the potato chips are in a box?

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