Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fruit Fly Eliminator

Since I mentioned fruit flies in my last post, I thought I'd share a great way to get rid of them. I know it's beginning to be really cool in most areas, but here in SoCal bugs never seem to really die.

Like most of my "ideas," I found this remedy online somewhere. Like most of my "ideas," I can never properly credit them.

Here's what I do to rid my kitchen of those annoying creatures:

I put a half an ounce or so of balsamic vinegar in a Pyrex custard dish, or any short, tiny bowl. I then cover it with plastic wrap and poke just a couple of really small holes in the top. The bugs are attracted to the acidity (I guess) and end up either drowning or being trapped inside the bowl and eventually dying in there. It's a win-win, really.
-->Don't make the holes too big or it'll be easy for them to get out. <--

I usually put it near the fruit bowl on the table or away from where I'm working in the kitchen. It works fairly quickly, too!

P.S. I've tried other acidic liquids (red wine, apple cider vinegar, etc.) and nothing has worked nearly as well as balsamic vinegar (or worked at all, really).

Something Smells Good in Here

I love to cook, but I especially love to bake. Except cookies. For some unknown reason, I cannot make good chocolate chip cookies to save my life. The dough tastes great (which is the real reason I make cookies) and the cookies usually taste fine, but somehow they always turn out really messed up. If being graded, I'd get an F on presentation.

Anyway, I get super excited when I find a recipe that is not only easy to follow but actually turns out well. I have not had much luck in this area lately. Let's just say that me and Rachel Ray's Everyday magazine aren't on speaking terms. I tried two recipes out of the latest issue, a soup and a pasta, and both tasted like onion. The pasta wasn't even the least bit edible. Since then, I've been been hesitant to try new recipes I've come across.

I apparently had bananas on my counter too long, as a new swarm of fruit flies threatened to overtake my kitchen, so I decided to toss the overripe fruit in the fridge until I decided what to do with them. Since fall has arrived, I've been in comfort food-mode and ended up making banana bread. I needed a recipe so I called my mom, who spent the next 30 minutes (while still on the phone) going through a pile of scrap pieces of paper with random recipes scrawled on them. I gave up. I turned to the Internet and was delighted at what I found.

Below is the recipe I used to make one of the most decadent banana breads I've ever had. I found it on Food Network's website. I had everything on hand and it was really simple to put together. I'm not a big nut-in-my-food person, but I did sprinkle some sliced almonds on top of the batter that ended up adding a nice, finishing flavor. But as it happened, they all ended up in the middle of the loaf, looking like a nut mohawk.

BTW--This bread smelled AWESOME as it was baking!!


Cook Time: 60-70 minutes Yield: 1 Loaf

1 cup granulated sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

So Good They Suck

This past Saturday proved to be the most disastrous showing in sports history. Yes, I said it.

Good thing I'm not the betting type. Although, $130 for a ticket wasn't exactly a sound investment. It's a good thing I love baseball games or it would have been a complete waste.

At the entrance gate they passed out Dodgers towels to wave in the air. We used them as napkins. However, by the 9th inning I was about ready to wave my towel in support of the team who actually showed up ready to play. But because I was decked out in a Cubs t-shirt and jersey, I refrained.

At least the Dodger Dogs were good!

(In all fairness, I would naturally root for the Dodgers had they not been playing the Cubs. I would like to see them go the distance this year, if possible. That is, if there are no goats in their history.)