Friday, October 30, 2009

I Heart Fantasy Football

It's true. I totally love having a fantasy football team. It's kind of ridiculous! I guess after being married to Adam for nearly 9 years- I finally gave in and started to enjoy watching football. What I have never enjoyed, however, is watching football ALL DAY. I got really nervous when Adam told me that he wanted to get the NFL Ticket because I knew that's how we'd be spending the next 15 Sundays or so. By the way, I think the whole NFL Ticket thing is kind of a genius win for males. I'm convinced that the guy who came up with the NFL Ticket was a husband who's wife didn't want him watching so much football and this was his secret scheme to rationalize it. For example, the only reason we got it was because Adam couldn't get any Seahawks' games back here. I felt bad for him and suggested that he go ahead and get Directv. Little did I know, it's kind of expensive. And here is where the genius lies- now because he spent so much money on the damn thing, I want to make sure he gets his money's worth! It's a total win for him! I'll admit- this might be a bit far fetched.

Anyhow, when I was asked to take over a fantasy football team, I never expected it to be so fun! My team is doing really well too! I took over at 0-2. I am now 4-3. I'm in 4th place and am playing the 3rd place team this week. I have made a lot of adjustments since I last told you about my team. First of all, I guess the NY Giants were overrated. I still have Eli Manning but I've sat him on the bench the last few weeks in favor of Matt Schaub (Houston). I didn't even know who he was until I started playing fantasy football. That's why this is so fun- I actually have a vested interest in all these football games. Matt Schaub has been solid week after week- so I'm going to stick with him on Sunday. At running back- I have Thomas Jones from the NY Jets and Ray Rice from Baltimore. I have DeSean Jackson as WR - which should work out well for me this week because the Eagles are playing the NY Giants. The Giants haven't been great at defending the passing game- so hopefully that will work out. Speaking of which, I dumped the Giants Defense for Minnesota. I'm not sure about this choice since they are playing in Green Bay. However, maybe this rivalry will work in my favor. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Week with Old Friends

Last week our friends Chelea, Keith and Hannah came to visit. And, of course, they wanted the big east coast tour! We had a really good time exploring NYC, Boston, and Newport, RI. We had a busy week. Here's a quick recap of all the activity:
On Monday, we took the train down to New York. We headed over to Washington Square and watched the street musicians. Gavin really enjoyed this jazz band. Washington Square is near the NYU campus and it's filled with energy.

Keith and Adam didn't waste any time getting hot dogs from the street vendors. I'm sure Keith will appreciate this photo of him!
We then walked through Greenwich Village and Hannah decided to have her Carrie Bradshaw moment. (Sex in the City, for those who missed the reference) The streets have so much character, lined with brownstones.
We headed over to Central Park after having lunch in the village. Gavin had fun running around with Hannah.

What a memory, changing Gavin's diaper right in the middle of central park!
It's becoming increasingly more difficult to get a good family picture with this crazy kid!
We went to the Central Park Zoo- Gavin got very tired and decided to nap on the ground!
Chelea and Keith at the zoo. After we spent more time walking through Central Park, Gavin fell asleep and we were able to enjoy a nice meal before the deMars clan headed back up to Albany. Chelea, Keith, and Hannah stayed in the city that night so they could take in a Broadway Show and Time Square.
On Wednesday morning, we drove to Boston. We had fun walking the Freedom Trail and taking in all the sights. This was my third trip to Boston- I just love it. The city is gorgeously maintained and the energy is pretty mellow.
A few democrats sitting on a donkey. Or as Adam put it, a few asses sitting on another ass!

Chelea and Hannah on Newbury Street. We had fun shopping while the guys walked to Fenway Park.
Keith and Chelea - North End.
I love the architecture of the North End- I guess the locals find the neighborhood too touristy, but I love it anyhow!
Adam and Gavin walking to Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market... lucky little kid got a nice ride through the city!
After breakfast on Thursday, we headed down to Newport, RI. Unfortunately, it was pouring that day but the views were spectacular anyhow. There is a 3.5 mile cliff walk that goes past beautiful gilded mansions.
Gavin had an absolute blast running in the rain. Keith, on the other hand, kept asking, "why are we walking in the rain?"
I could definitely spend more time in Rhode Island. The town of Newport is really cute. We stopped for bowls of chowder at the White Horse Tavern, said to be the oldest continuously operating tavern in the country.
On the drive home, we stumbled upon Purgatory Chasm. It's a state park in Massachusetts. The chasm was formed by glacial movements near the end of the last ice age. The rock walls are as tall as 70 feet! It's a really cool spot- hopefully we'll get a chance to go do some hiking there next spring. It was actually snowing there on Thursday evening!

We had a great time with our friends. Next time they visit, I think we may go visit our friends in the north- Montreal, baby!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh no she didn't!

It took two recipes, one bag of flour, and four weeks- but I did it! I made sourdough bread- and it was delicious! I now have a strong starter and a method that works. The bread came out fantastic- chewy, yet airy. A perfect crust. I am basking in culinary glory. The end.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sourdough Debacle

Ok, so as I had warned- this had a possibility of failing. This was in fact, a bust! I attempted my first loaf of bread and it didn't rise. I think the starter is just too weak. Maybe I shouldn't have "dumped that hooch!"

So- we have two options: Try again or Visit the Bakery...

Well, those who know me well- I am not a quitter! So- I am starting all over with a new recipe that I found off of the King Arthur Flour website. They call for using a packet of yeast- which let's face it- I need all the help I can get. I will let you know when I actually get a loaf of sourdough bread. They also have a recipe for a grape sourdough starter but from what I can tell- you need wild grapes. I should have taken some when I visited the Finger Lakes!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Ok, so it has come to my attention that not all my readers are quite as enthralled in my sourdough bread-making. So I thought I'd share another project I am working on as of last Sunday.

Last Sunday, I received a call from my friends, Chelea and Keith Kent. They told me that they needed someone to take over a Fantasy Football team in their league because the previous manager had to drop out. The buy-in was just $15 but the bad news was that my team was in last place 0-2. I agreed to take over the team because Adam signed up for the DIRECTV NFL Ticket and all we do is watch football on Sundays. I might as well make it more interesting. Keith renamed my team Demarzzzzzarati! How sweet is that? I only wish I had come up with the name myself! Well, I didn't have time to make any adjustments to my team because I didn't take over until games had already started. But- my team did win and now I'm 1-2.

This will be the first week that I actually managed my team. I spent some time making changes and researching players. I think I have a strong chance of winning my next game. I have Eli Manning starting as quarterback- Adam says he's extremely overrated but I choose to ignore his commentary. After all, he is 0-3 in his own fantasy league. I will admit that I don't think Eli is as good as Peyton, but I just like those Manning boys- they're so nice! I chose the Bears defense because they are playing Detroit- they should do very well. I have Percy Harvin, wide receiver for Minnesota. My thought is that Brett Favre is going to go big against Green Bay and he'll turn to his WR. I won't go into all the other decisions I made- but I assure you that they are very well thought out. Anyhow, this should be a fun way to pass the fall as I enjoy some good smack-talking.

Now, what could be better- Football on Sundays, curled up on the couch with a bowl of chili and some freshly baked sourdough bread? Not much...

* I dedicate this post to Steve Davey. Steve was my manager for many years at Washington Mutual. There, I endured hours of lengthy fantasy football discussion (not all at once, but if you add up all the discussions together, it'd amount to hours and hours). I feel that this has prepared me better for taking on my own team. Particularly, when the biggest take away is- fantasy football is just an excuse to talk trash to your friends (and husband).

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Quick Sourdough Update

Ok, I looked at my sourdough starter this morning and there was a layer of water that had separated from the doughy section. I went and googled this and apparently it's not a big deal- some referred to it as "hooch." Hooch is where the yeast creates a sort of alcohol-like liquid. Some advised to pour that out and some advised to just stir it in. I decided to dump the hooch. Wow, never thought I'd write that sentence on this blog! I poured half the starter out and added more flour and water. I am making soup so I placed the starters next to the simmering pot- hopefully, we'll get some action soon.