Well, after long thought (OK, 17 seconds) I've decided the Hinkelgruber family menu should be brought to the web. A couple of things for you to remember: no substitutions (Charlie's not a short-order cook, after all), and change is inevitable - Charlie may not feel like cooking kim chee on a Tuesday! Oh, and there is one request: if you're joining us for dinner, please either call or text the Scary Lady (you know the number - if you don't, you're really not invited).

Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like 2014...

So, lots has happened since I last posted:

  • We saw London, 
  • We saw France, 
  • We saw David with no underpants!
There's really no excuse other than no inspiration for the lack of blog posts, but in breaking with my "no New Year's Resolutions" belief, I've decided to resolve to post at least three times a month in 2014. (That gives me the opportunity to be out of town once a month and let off the hook!)

So, back to the top: we really did see those places, as well as Perugia (oh, the chocolate), Venice (oh, the mussels), Munich (oh, the beer), and Berlin and Stuttgart (oh, the Ritter Sport chocolate)! Honestly, we bought so much chocolate to bring home we had to buy another suit case! Imagine the look on the customs officer's face when I was asked what I had to declare and said, "Just chocolate!" 

The plan is to return to Florence (David's home) in three years. I'll be taking a suitcase with only six changes of underwear so I can bring back leather shoes, boots and purses. Florence is the leather capitol of Italy, perhaps all of Europe. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

It's really August?!?

So, it seems that not only did June fly by, but July as well! It's been a lovely summer, with Mr. Hinkelgruber and I visiting Alaska and Glacier Bay via a cruise ship (highly recommended!), several visits to local vineyards (also, highly recommended!) and awaiting a long planned trip to Italy this fall.

The boys are all awaiting football season which makes me lament that baseball season will come to an end. And, again, the Cubbies are breaking my heart (but, it's a rebuilding year....)...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Wow...June is flying by!

I'm stunned that it's the last week of June already. At this rate, October and our big trip to "the Continent" will be here sooner than I can believe!

Mr. Hinkelgruber and I will be cruising to Alaska at the end of July, then it's the 'dog-days' until 30-years of marriage. And, they said it wouldn't last! (Oh, no one said that, it just seems to be what everyone expects you to say.)

This will probably be the last week to bake for a while, since I refuse to turn the AC on just so I can bake in the summer.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

This is Rose Festival Season?!?

Six days of beautiful, sunny, summer like weather - really? During the first two weeks of June? Here? No time to complain! We had a raucous high-school graduation party, complete with piƱata and waaayyy too much food. We may be eating potato salad and cole slaw for the rest of the month!

It's the last week with our Australian pseudo-son - he will be missed. It's berry season - strawberries are fully ripe, and I'm certain raspberries are not far behind. Mr. Hinkelgruber has a new camera toy (a fancy flash do-hickie) and it must be challenging because he's studying the manual. Me? I was given some brown eggs, so that means I get to blow them out and make little choir children Christmas ornaments.

How I love summer!

Friday, May 31, 2013

June is here!

Ok, ok, ok...it's been since Mother's Day. But, June is here and that means that once Rose Festival is over, summer might actually rear its head. Oh, wait, once July 4, has past summer will arrive. (So, we really will have some summertime weather later this week, but I have to bitch about something!)

It's graduation season, and we have a high school graduate to honor (great-niece) and our Australian pseudo-son will graduate from Oregon State. What a great couple of weeks we have coming up. (Coupled with the sad realization that we will again be empty-nestors!)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

OK, so it's a made up holiday - but I'm a mom and I'll take it! The younger Hinkelgruber son came up to see me (and brought a gift: macaroni necklace - makes a mom proud!), we went to brunch (can't remember when we last went out to breakfast!) and so far, it's been a terrific day.

Yesterday, Mr. Hinkelgruber and I went to wine country to pick up three wine shipments and (this will be no surprise to anyone) came away with waaayyy more wine than we had originally planned!

The weather has been gloriously summer like for this time of year and this is something you will not hear me complaining about!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"Feelin' Thorny?"

Apparently, that's a marketing campaign that the new women's soccer team, Portland Thorns, is having to abandon - too sexually suggestive. Too bad. I like it. In fact, I'm feeling thorny enough to attend today's opening day game, courtesy of our newest "son," an intern for the Portland Timbers.

Spring returns this week with temperatures supposed to reach the high 70's - so you know what that means?!? Deck drinking begins! WOOHOO!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

It's the Easter Bunny...

For the first time in (oh, really, I can't even remember when) the weather on this Easter Sunday is bee-you-tee-ful! The entire weekend has been the stuff of legend.

To update you, the angel food cake last week - never happened. Well, let me fill you in...

I did bake a second one. Egg whites whipped perfectly (at least I'm pretty sure they were - they looked just like the picture), but again, the cake fell out of the pan and onto the wine bottle I had set it over. So, no angel food cake. Thank goodness for frozen pies - and they were delicious.

This week it's meringue nests with Peeps chicks and jelly bean eggs. All sugar, all the time.

It's clear from Mr. Hinkelgruber's menu, he's been sucked into the belief that summer is fast approaching. I'll remind him and everyone else: April's coming and there's a reason for "April showers bring May flowers!" You know the rain's a-coming.

Oh, and no April Foolin' - April 1 is the start of baseball season! WOOHOO! Batter up!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring screams, "Angel food cake!"

I've made angel food cakes before - not as light as what you see in stores, but passable, so I decided the weather was so gorgeous (and, I had a dozen egg whites left over from some desserts I had made for a dinner party we went to) that an angel food cake was in order. This time I learned some things:

  • Stiffly beaten egg whites are beautiful in the mixing bowl and make for a lovely presentation at first in the oven, but...
    • fall after 30-minutes
      • fall further after an additional 30-minutes
  • Those folks that tell you, "turn the baked cake, in its pan, over a narrow necked bottle - don't worry, it won't fall out," are lying. Not only did my cake fall out, it glued itself to the counter top pretty solidly. Well, to be honest, I've never had one fall out before, so I'm chalking this one up to the over beaten eggs, also. 
  • Oh, and then it falls even more and is soggy, soggy, soggy. (6-1/2 inches to 1-1/2 inches in just under 90 minutes!)
The lesson? Don't over beat the egg whites! Soft peaks, means soft peaks - no matter how beautiful a stiff peak is! Make meringues if you want to stiffly beat egg whites!

But, not to be defeated, another angel food cake is in the oven, seemingly baking just fine. Fingers crossed. 

This week, I'll be making a second attempt at madeleine cookies. That's one of the recipes for my online baking group. I made a batch Thursday, and was not impressed, so have to try again. Will fill the 'madeleine forms' less full and bake them fewer minutes - we'll see if I'm happier with the fact I spent the money on the pans. 

Menu looks like Mr. Hinkelgruber went old school this week and there's nothing wrong with that!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

As promised...

There's only one thing I don't like about the weather getting better...I feel guilty staying indoors in front of the television. Lucky for me, today was not one of those days!

Trashy rom-com movies, Harry Potter, and past episodes of formulaic television police dramas - what could be better? Oh, and I got to knit all day long, too!

Finally, Happy St. Paddy's Day! Don't forget to wear your green!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Apparently, it's been a while...

So, I've neglected the family blog...I'll try to do better in the coming weeks. (Oh, as a special treat, you'll get one today...and tomorrow!)

The Cubs played a spring training game today - and both split squads won...WOOHOO! And, they play again tomorrow!

Spring's coming, the daffodils are daffing and the weather's getting better and better!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Superbowl Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!!!

The paper this week had recipes for three different guacamoles, so that's how today's menu began - "Let's have guac, on Sunday!" (By-the-way - Costco had Hass avocados 5 for $3.99 and they were beautiful! Only one of the fifteen I bought was even remotely bad, and even it had just a couple little brown spots.)

I just watched "Puppy Bowl IX" on Animal Planet, and man-oh-man, are those little guys cute. There were at least six of them I'd love to own. (Is owning dogs like cats - any more than three makes you a crazy dog lady?)

Mr. Hinkelgruber and I made it through the longest month of the year: January! That means we're one month closer to spring and summer. WOOHOO! It's almost drinking on the deck time!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Here she is...

I promised you all a photo - and here she is. I'm very happy with her and now it's time to begin another!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Back in the saddle again...

So, it's been a while.

I've gone to the beach with my "Hip Chick" friends - five days and seven women... What that really means is lots of talking, laughing, snacking, drinking. Now it's time to come back to the real world. I must say, the thing I missed most was Mr. Hinkelgruber's cooking. They all cook well, but not as well as he does!

I finished a lace shawl - once I get it blocked, I'll post a photo of it. It is beautiful, if I do say so myself.

Time to head to the gym - yea, I didn't really miss that at the beach!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Oh, yeah...I know...some of you got an advance copy of the menu and Monday's item was different from what is showing on this week's post. That's because my baking group is supposed to make the pizza for Tuesday, and Mr. Hinkelgruber had forgotten. So....

This past week saw a visit from the elder Hinkelgruber son's friend from Chicago and the younger Hinkelgruber son acting as wedding photographer to one of his high school friend's wedding. We've had lots of visitors.

And, finally, it's official: the Hinkelgrubers are going to Italy! Next October we're heading for the European Chocolate Festival - I can hardly wait! I think I may have to make a concerted study of different chocolate recipes - a dirty job, but someone has to do it.