Thanksgiving At My Parents’ New Home

Mom's New HouseI got to have my first look the new house my parents moved into in Temecula, California on Thanksgiving. I was a little sad to see the old house in the process of being packed up and ready to go last week when stopped by. (Click here to read about that visit.) But I was excited to see the new house even though it’s considerably further away from where I’m currently living.

My first look at the house wasn’t actually when I drove up, when I got the e-mail from my mother with the new address, I checked it out on Google’s maps using the street view feature. The photo was not unlike the one I took that’s shown above. The house is definitely bigger than the older house and as my mom tells me, it’s approximately 1000 square feet bigger than the old house, but because lacks the same level of storage space of the old house. Understandable considering the old house, my folks had “California Closets” installed in all the closets to maximize the closet spaces and a full set of storage cabinets inside the garage. The new house has just the bar to hang clothes in the closets and from what my folks told me, the garage wasn’t even drywalled when the bought the house. So eventually the closets will get transformed into California Closets and cabinets added to the garage, but it’s not a priority.

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Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar Factory In My Kitchen

Nanaimo Bar FactoryYesterday, I took on the daunting task of making four batches of Nanaimo Bars using the Sugar Free recipe I developed earlier this year. (For those new to my blog and unfamiliar with my adventures developing my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bar recipe, click here to see all my Nanaimo Bar entries. The recipe also appears below.) It was the first time I have made multiple batches in one day and it was certainly an interesting experience. As the dessert is a layered treat, I did all four sets of each layer before moving on to the next layer. It was definitely a big production and of course, I couldn’t do them all the same, so I did three batches as the regular version of the recipe and one batch in the peanut butter variation.

Part of the reason for doing so many batches at once is that I promised a batch to be a gift for a friend for his birthday, also I’m attending a couple of Thanksgiving events that I don’t want to arrive at empty handed. Also my roommates really liked the peanut butter variation when I first tried that variation of the recipe but I haven’t made a second batch of that one, until now.

I had to set up the kitchen into almost a factory setup with many little “stations” to handle the various preparation work. I had a food processor station, a mixer station, a boiler station, as well as a station to store the pans between batches. And I was jumping between the various stations often working on more than one batch at a time. In some cases I was putting butter into the double boiler to melt for the next batch while finishing the chopping and mixing for the previous batch. It definitely felt like quite like a factory production with various stations I set up in the kitchen to handle the specific preparations tasks. It definitely worked really well for getting the base layer made.

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Sugar Free Yellow Layer Cake With Sugar Free Mountain Berry Filling

Layered Yellow Cake WholeThis week is a holiday week with no class for Jorge Cruise’s 12 Week Belly Fat Cure coaching program due to the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Some of the folks in the 12 week coaching program have elected to use the “free” week as an opportunity to present a recipe exchange on our respective blogs and I was invited to participate in the exchange.

Rather than give my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bars recipe yet another time, I thought maybe I’ll take a crack at something new. Even though my Sugar Free Nanaimo Bars are arguably the most amazing dessert creation I’ve ever made, I’ve posted it several times here on my blog. And since I find desserts to be next to impossible to get Belly Fat Cure compliant versions in a store bought form, I will offer a dessert recipe. Sugar Free entrées and side dishes aren’t so difficult to find and since I don’t consider myself a cook, I usually just get store bought versions of those.

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Free Belly Fat Cure Audiobook Offer From Jorge Cruise Ends Tonight

Jorge CruiseIf you saw my blog entry on October 29th, 2009, then you saw Jorge Cruise is offering a free Audiobook download for his Belly Fat Cure book that will ultimately be coming out in stores right after Christmas. The offer was originally going just to people who pre-ordered three copies of his book, but he’s since extended the offer down to anyone who buys one copy of the book. All you have to do is pre-order it from any book store online or off, and e-mail a copy of the receipt to 3bfc@jorgecruise.com.

To sweeten the deal for people purchasing three copies of the book, Jorge is adding more bonuses to to thank them for their purchases. In addition, to getting the audio download, people who purchase three copies of the Belly Fat Cure book also get a PDF of Chapter 2 of the book (this is the chapter that explains the program) and a video on how emotional eating effects can sabotage your ability to maintain or lose weight. But you have to act fast because Jorge Cruise is closing the opportunity to get the bonuses tonight at midnight in San Diego time.

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New Product Yoli Hopes To Transform Beverage Market

Yoli - Blast Cap BottlesThe Internet has certainly made the world a more interesting place for people to connect with one another. Recently I was contacted by Kirsten Sherlock. Kirsten found me on YouTube through Jorge Cruise’s “Death By Sugar” video that showcases the sugar experiment I assisted Jorge with. (Click here to see the video on YouTube and click here to read more about the experiment.) I had left a comment on YouTube identifying myself as the Ryan in the video, and Kristen found the comment and got in touch with me.

Kristen is a distributor for a brand new product called Yoli. It’s a new beverage product that employs a brand new technology called “Blast Cap Technology.” This innovative technology is designed to counteract three problems with the current beverage industry. Those problems are heat pasteurization, plastic leaching, and loss of nutrient potency.

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Target’s Interesting Packaging For Star Trek DVD & Blu-Ray

Star Trek Target Blu RayAs retailers coerce manufacturers into getting exclusive versions of products to try and attract buyers without having to actually compete on price. In a way it’s kind of a dirty way to get fans to buy multiple products when exclusives are offered to multiple retailers and to extort the highest prices on the “Limited Edition” versions.

In the case of the latest Star Trek film, here in the US, Paramount Pictures, authorized several exclusives options. One set of retailers, FYE, Coconuts, & Suncoast, (all owned by the same parent company) offered the film in a collectible steelbox shell, Hollywood Video is offering a chance to win an autographed poster with a purchase or rental of the movie, Best Buy is offering a set of four pins to cover the various departmental delta shields seen on the uniforms in the movie. CVS Pharmacies are offering the chance to buy the movie for a discounted rate with the purchase of an iTunes gift card. Allegedly Wal-Mart is or was offering a Blu-Ray set that included the standard DVD as well, but I’ve not been able to confirm that one. And both Amazon and Target are offering Enterprise models as their exclusives. The Amazon one is certainly the higher ticket one, made of solid metal with chrome, textured steel and pewter finishes as well as being limited to only 5,000 pieces but at $100 a pop, a little too pricey in my book, albeit very nice looking.

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Last Visit Of The Vista Home I Grew Up In

Vista HouseIt seems as time goes on, the only constant in the universe is that things change. My parents have finally sold the home in Vista, California that they’ve owned since 1988 and yesterday, I stopped by the house to take a final look and hand over my key and garage door opener. I wanted to make sure I got a chance to take one last look at it before it was completely empty and handed over to the new owners this Friday.

When I got there, the movers were there doing the final packing of everything into boxes. They were hard at work packing away the contents of the kitchen when I arrived. Yesterday was just the last day of packing so that it would be all ready for today to make the move to their new home in Temecula, California. I stayed for a little while to visit my mom who was supervising the packing. She showed me pictures of the new home and all the work they’ve done to it in the last couple of months since they bought it. They had done some serious renovations including the removal of some half-walls, completely replacing all the flooring and carpeting as well as giving the kitchen a much needed makeover. I’m sure I’ll see it soon enough with Thanksgiving being next week.

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Lucille Ball Is Enjoyable As “Mame”

Lucille Ball Mame As MameLast week when I was introduced to Rosalind Russell’s “Auntie Mame” film from 1958, one of the hosts of the screening referred to the Lucille Ball lead musical version simply called “Mame” from 1974 as an abomination. Naturally, I felt obligated to see for myself how allegedly terrible this version is. And I didn’t find it horrible at all, in fact I quite enjoyed it.

To preface seeing both films, I should admit, I was actually introduced to the Original Broadway Cast recording by my Australian friend, Graeme Read, who is a big fan of the song “Open A New Window” and as a result of his introducing me to the song, I’ve actually had the cast album for a number of years now. I knew of Angela Landsbury through the “Murder She Wrote” series and Bea Arthur through both “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.” Also my grandmother looked a lot like Bea Arthur, I’ve always felt like anything Bea did was a larger than life version of my grandma. So anytime I see Bea Arthur on “The Golden Girls” or play a song from “Mame” I am always reminded of my grandma.

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Alcazar’s Unecessary Remake Of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”

AlcazarAlcazar is one of Sweden’s pop bands that have carved an interesting niche for themselves. They are a European dance music act that over the years since their debut have an interesting career that’s been pretty hard to define. Some of what they’ve done is breathe new life into older songs such as their 1998 cover of the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me.” In other cases they’ve borrowed old melodies and given them new lyrics such as “Crying At The Discotheque” uses the melody from “Spacer” from Sheila & B. Devotion, and have even taken the lyrics from one song and set them to the melody of another such as “This Is The World We Live In” which sets the lyrics from Genesis’ “Land Of Confusion” to the melody of Diana Ross’ “Upside Down.” And they’ve even had a few songs written especially for them to perform.

Every album released to date has seen a change in the lineup from the previous album, but one of the consistent features of the group has been the lead vocals being performed primarily by Andreas Lundstedt. I was very impressed by his amazing voice since the first time I heard their debut album. In fact, I truly hated the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” song because I thought the original had such horrible sounding vocals until Andreas’ much better vocals convinced me the song was a lot better than I gave it credit. Andreas’ voice has been wonderfully supported by Tess Merkel, Annikafiore Kjaergaard, and later joined by Magnus Carlson and then later by Lina Hedlund. And together they’ve produced some really fun pop dance music to keep the first decade of the 21st century interesting.

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Trying Out The First Five Guys Burger Shop In San Diego

Five Guys NAS CoranadoThe big news in town this week with a lot of my friends, especially the ones from the Midwest and East Coast, is that a Five Guys Burger And Fries shop has opened in San Diego. It apparently opened about three weeks ago, but the reason why it was not really discovered until this week with my friends is because this first location in San Diego is tucked away in the food court of Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado. They aren’t advertising to the public because it’s on a military base and as a member of the general public you can’t just go on to a military base just because you want to try their new burger joint. You need someone with a Department of Defense sticker on their vehicle to get access to the base.

I wasn’t originally planning on heading out yesterday, but needed to head down to the county courthouse for some information and saw that one of my local friends, Dan Baggett, was planning on going and was looking to see if anyone wanted to join him. He said his friend Jack was going to join him and I decided I would meet up with them so that we could ride over to the base and check it out. It definitely sounded like a must try event since my other friend Joe Gray has posted to his Facebook account that he’s already been there twice in less than 48 hours and that in June when he was in Tennessee he went to a Five Guys three days in a row for lunch. So with that kind of recommendation, I had to check it out.

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