You’d need at least a dozen guys doing a combination of cons…Off the top of my head, I’d say you’re looking at a Boeski, a Jim Brown, a Miss Daisy, two Jethros and a Leon Spinks, not to mention the biggest Ella Fitzgerald ever. Brad Pitt as Rusty Ryan in Ocean’s Eleven
Last night, just as dinner was almost done cooking, we heard a loud bang. So loud, in fact, that it was heard upstairs by the children, even over the noise of them playing. And following the bang, we realized that the oven was dead. The electronics were gone, the stovetop wouldn’t turn on, nothing. Checked the fuse box, just to be safe, but no, that wasn’t the problem. Now, whether the storm we were having around that time had anything to do with the untimely demise of our stove, I don’t know. It seems like a reasonable explanation, though, and is more palatable than thinking that our five-and-half-year-old stove just up and died for no reason!
Once the shock wore off, the shopping began. Or the pre-shopping, anyway. We didn’t want to take a chance and go out last night, as there were still severe storms in the area, so we started by checking out websites, (how did people go appliance shopping before the internet?). Best Buy, Sears, Lowe’s, Home Depot–those were the stores we were interested in. We considered double ovens and convection ovens, but in the end, decided that sticking with a standard, single, conventional oven would be best.
Then we looked at brands. At Sears, brand choice is obvious–Kenmore. But we’ve heard good things about LG, so we looked at those, too. And our existing appliances are all Whirlpool, so we had to check those out. Throw in GE for good measure, and we had it narrowed down a bit further. We checked out reviews on the store and brand websites, plus Consumer Reports, to make sure we weren’t looking at any lemons.
Then there were other considerations, most importantly being, who had the best prices? And that was closely followed by who had the best financing? And there were cosmetic concerns, as well. Should we stick with black, as that’s the color of our other kitchen appliances, or branch out, and get stainless? And what about delivery? Some models would take as long as three weeks to get, and that clearly wouldn’t work…sometime in the next few days was a must!
Last night, I had it narrowed down to two Kenmores at Sears, and a GE, available at both Sears and Best Buy. And when I say last night, I really mean at about four in the morning, because when you’re up with a baby, and then can’t go back to sleep, you can get a lot of appliance shopping done. This is a good and bad thing, however, as the later it got, the more the details became fuzzy. But I left the tabs with my top choices open on the computer, so I could go over them once more in the morning.
Then, after church, my careful plans started to fall apart a bit. The sales prices that I was looking at on Sears website yesterday weren’t as good today. And the financing wasn’t as appealing, either. Back to the drawing board.
I decided to check out our one GE choice out on Best Buy’s website. Progress! It was on sale. But, it was a double oven, and we had decided, based on the reviews, that it might not work with our existing outlet in the kitchen. So, I tried to find that oven’s equivalent in a single oven, because I really liked the way it looked. Success again! On, sale, good financing, decent delivery date.
Off to the store we went. Of course, they didn’t have a floor model of the oven, and I really wanted to look at it, to make sure I really liked it, before we committed to it. Fortunately, Sears is right across the street, so we went over there, just to check it out. They did have it, and I did like, but it still wasn’t on sale there, so we went back to Best Buy, and placed our order.
In the end, it worked out really well. Free delivery, free haul-away of the old oven. 18 months of financing, not that we needed quite that long, but it’s nice to have a cushion. We even saved an extra 5% for using our Best Buy card, and that’s on top of the sale price! It’s stainless steel, which makes me feel like our kitchen is a little fancier. I can’t wait until it’s delivered on Thursday!
I have to say, I don’t particularly care for appliance shopping. In a lot of ways, it was worse than car shopping, probably because there are just so many more options from which to choose. I definitely felt like a grown-up though, choosing the stove I’ll be cooking on for (hopefully) many years to come!
It is played everywhere. In parks and playgrounds and prison yards. In back alleys and farmers’ fields. By small children and old men. Raw amateurs and millionaire professionals. It is a leisurely game that demands blinding speed. The only game in which the defense has the ball. It follows the seasons, beginning each year with the fond expectancy of springtime, and ending with the hard facts of autumn. It is a haunted game, in which every player is measured against the ghosts of all who have gone before. Most of all, it is about time and timelessness. Speed and grace. Failure and loss. Imperishable hope. And coming home. From the Ken Burns Documentary Baseball
I love how many Cardinals billboards have popped up around the St. Louis area.
Of course, Budweiser is a big sponsor…
And…Radio Disney? Who knew!
The Cardinals are also known for their charitable work…
My favorites, though, are a series of billboards that the Cards themselves have put up around town. I haven’t gotten pictures of all of them yet, but I’ve managed to get my favorites, (I saw the rest on the scoreboard at Busch Stadium).
Hopefully, Carp gets better and gets his encore…
This one is especially cool…
And this is one of my favorites…
But this one is my very favorite! Berkman!
I love the way St. Louis gets behind its baseball team!
From the Treasury of Daily Prayer:
St. Mark was the author of the second Gospel, which he composed, according to some Early Church Fathers, when the Christians in Rome asked him to write down the preaching of the apostle Peter. Mark, also known as John Mark, was originally from Jerusalem, where the house of his mother Mary was the center of the early Jerusalem Church (Acts 12:12). He was brought from Jerusalem by Paul and Barnabas to Antioch (Acts 12:25), and it was from this city that they set out on the first missionary journey. When Paul and Barnabas were preparing to go on the second missionary journey, Barnabas wanted to take Mark with them again, but Paul objected because Mark had left them during the first journey. Barnabas took Mark and went to Cyprus, while Paul took Silas as his new companion (Acts 15:37-40). Later, Paul reconciled with Mark and was working with him again (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11). Finally, Mark was found laboring with Peter in Rome (1 Peter 5:13). Tradition says that Mark was instrumental in founding the Church in Alexandria, becoming its first bishop, and also that he suffered a martyr’s death.
From the LCMS website:
Johann Walter (1496-1570) began service at the age of 21 as a composer and bass singer in the court chapel of Frederick the Wise. In 1524, he published a collection of hymns arranged according to the church year. It was well received and served as the model for numerous subsequent hymnals. In addition to serving for 30 years as kantor (church musician) in the cities of Torgau and Dresden, he also assisted Martin Luther in the preparation of the Deutsche Messe (1526). Walter is remembered as the first Lutheran kantor and composer of church music.
I know…I just shared a recipe for a chocolate Irish Cream cheesecake. But then I started thinking that I wanted to make a plain Irish Cream cheesecake. To be fair, I used the same chocolate crust and ganache as I did for the chocolate variety, but this cheesecake itself is pretty different. This recipe provided the best texture of any cheesecake, too!
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about 15 cookies)
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese
- 1½ cups white sugar
- ¾ cup Bailey’s Original Irish Cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, powdered’ sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pat into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Blend in Bailey’s Original Irish Cream, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth.
Pour filling onto prepared chocolate crust. Bake in preheated oven and check after one hour. Bake until center is jiggly, but not runny (at least one hour). With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove the rim of pan. Top with chocolate ganache while cheesecake is at room temperature, if desired. Chill before serving.
I think I’ve mastered the art of making a great-tasting cheesecake–now I just have to work on presentation. I’ve yet to bake any kind of cheesecake that hasn’t cracked at least a little, and some of them have cracked a lot! Then again, the more I practice, the more we get to eat the results!