Saturday, June 9, 2012

Luke & Vader's Adventures in Hawaii

Luke and Darth- Battle in Hawaii

Caiden gave us his Luke and Darth Vader figures, because he thought we needed toys to play with on vacation! So we sent him updates on what they were up to.

Before we even got off the plane they started battling!

We're supposed to be resting on the beach, but Luke & Darth had to battle it out on the lava rocks.

Taking their fight to the jungle.

 Stopping the battling for a quick snack.

 Resting after days of battling!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

AT-AT Bed Complete!

Mission Complete!

All Terrain Armored Transport installed!
6-1/2 weeks, about 60 hours of work.
  • 2X4 Framing, with 1/2" MDF top. CT was a huge helper
  • Basic Legs are 2X4 as well. Legs run all the way to the top of the side for stability
  • Basic Framing Complete
  • Notice the length of the neck, and shorter neck in next picture. Neck made it a little (4") too long
  • Detail work attached.
  • BODY:
  • 1/4" Masonite
  • 1/2" MDF & Plywood Circles
  • 1/2" MDF detailing
  • 1-1/2" PVC split down the middle
  • HEAD
  • 1X3 Framing, 1/4" Masonite skin
  • 1/2" Florist Foam Circles
  • Florist Foam Carving Details
  • PVC Cannons
Fully painted

Head Details

  • Entry/Exit Stairs, Including secret compartment for storing Jedi supplies
  • Built-In Shelving for storing Star Wars Legos

  • Window in front (next to head)
  • So we can check in on him without having to walk all the way around and climb up. 8-)
Installed in the room, ready for invasion of Hoth!
(Thanks to Isaac for the help installing!)
(Thanks to Jenn for the time & patience to let me finish)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Finish & Eat! Ribs Part 4!

After an hour of cooking with sauce, time for the final finish.
If the sauce is a little thin (happens sometimes if there's a lot of liquid still steaming), I add a little.
I just pull off the foil, turn the oven to broil, and broil each section of ribs for 4-5 minutes each, flip, then broil again.
This gives the rib a nice, hard coating with the sauce, so it's not mushy sauce.
We like it just a touch blackened. It doesn't have a burnt taste, it's from the Brown Sugar carmelizing, and adds extra sweetness.

Here's the final product. 5 ribs with a side of Collard Greens & Bacon, and a Garlic-Herb mashed potatoes and gravy.
Dinner time. Yum!
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Ribs: Part 3:

Now that you've softened the ribs up, time to finish them.
Here are the ribs after 8 hours. Just right, ready for the sauce.

I use a semi-homemade sauce, starting with Sweet Baby Ray's as a base, then build off of it.
Some of the other ingredients include lots of Brown Sugar, Mustard, Worcestire Sauce, Garlic & a dash of Liquid Smoke

Liberally sauce the ribs, and put back in the oven (foil top still on) for one more hour, and you're almost there.
Ribs ready for the last hour.
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Ribs: Part 3

All righty, now we're ready to cook the ribs!
Cooking is a 3 stage process.

First is LOW AND SLOW.

I pour one bottle of beer over the ribs, first meat side up, then inside up.
I like a hoppy beer, you want to pull the flavor of the hops and malt into the beer. Go for an I.P.A., or something from East Europe.
You want to pour it slowly, just so it adds a little flavor, you don't want to wash off the rub!
Leave the ribs bone side/inside of the rib up, so that each rib holds a little pool of beer.

Next to the bottom of the pan I add about 1/2 cup of orange juice, a cup of water and a teaspoon of liquid smoke.
This mixture keeps the ribs moist and sweet, by steaming the ribs. Steaming means we won't need to turn them as often, or baste until the very end.

Oh, it's important to note that the ribs aren't on the bottom of the pan, it's hard to see, but I crumple up enough aluminum foil, so the ribs are 1 to 1-1/2 inches from the bottom of the pan.

Finally, tent the ribs, to keep the moist goodness in.
Here are the ribs, ready to go in!

Like I said, LOW and SLOW.
265 degrees for 6-8 hours for this phase, with a total of 8-10 hours.
Flipping the ribs over after 3-4 hours, then every hour and a half or so.

Back in 8 hours for step 2!
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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Rib Time- Part 2!

Now the rub and the rib are ready to get together!
I massage the rub onto each rib, cover in foil, and place in the fridge to soak overnight.

And here's happy Caiden, ready for Ribs!

To be continued tomorrow morning!
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Rib Time!

Well, Jenn is 9 months pregnant, and ready to give Austen the eviction notice. With Caiden my famous ribs worked- she went into labor just 4 hours after dinner... (We say they're soooo good they're labor inducing). So we're going to give it another shot, and i decided to let everyone in on how it's done. It's a 20 hour process, started tonight, and we'll finish tomorrow with some good Southern Sides.

We like to start with a nice Pork Loin Rib. Beef ribs don't stand a chance next to a well prepared pork. Pork Loin gives a bit more meat on each rib, and ends up extremely tender. We do 3 racks of ribs at once. We've found great ribs at Sam's Club, excellent price and excellent quality. Look for one with a good amount of marbling. You may have to cut off some extra fat chunks, but it's worth it.

Key is to remove the Silverskin off the inside part of the rib. The Silverskin gives the rib a watertight seal, and doesn't let the flavor soak in from the rub and sauce.

I also chop mine into 4 or 5 rib segments. Makes them easier to work with, and extra flavor!

Wet or Dry? I say Both!:
That's right, I do both, although i guess that technically makes me a wet-rib lover. So be it.
I start with a heavy rub, comprised of a whole lot of spices.

The base is a lot of Brown Sugar, Garlice and Paprika.
Some of the more unusual ingredients are Dry Mustard, Cinnamon, Parsley and a touch of Allspice.

Here's the final Rub, almost ready for application.

It's not technically a Dry Rub, I mix in a little bit of Orange Juice (to add sweetness) and enough Apple Cider Vinegar to make a thick paste.
The paste method gets more rub to stick to the meat, and allow it to soak.
The Vinegar raises the PH enough to let the spices soak in and through the meat.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Momma Jenn---Caiden's 1st Birthday

We had a wonderful celebration with our friends and family for Caiden's Birthday part 2. Nonnie and Poppa bought him a wagon, which he loves to ride to the park everyday!

My friend Jen and I worked all day on Caiden's Mickey Mouse cake. It was pretty tasty:)

Caiden also got to enjoy some blue cupcakes that I made for him on his actual Birthday, September 23rd.

So between Disneyland, parties, cupcakes and lots of presents it would be safe to say that he is one loved/spoiled little guy!!!

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In September for Caiden's 1st Birthday we went down to Disneyland for the weekend.
Derek's parents came from Oregon to help us celebrate and my parents came as well. We had an amazing time
watching the shows, the parades, riding rides, eating cake, opening presents, etc.

Caiden soaked up all the attention. He wore the Disney Birthday pin so that everyone knew it was his

At dinner we had a Birthday bucket delivered to our table...everyone watched with joy and laughter as Caiden
ate his first piece of cake ever. It got quite messy but worth the fun and memories!

Just like his Mommy, Disneyland might become his favorite place to celebrate his Birthday!

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Momma Jenn--Newport Beach Trip

At the end of July, we went to Newport Beach and stayed at my Mom and Dad's time share. We stayed for 5 days and enjoyed every second of it.

Caiden had fun being pulled around in his baby buggy float, making sand castles with Daddy, playing with Nonnie and Poppa, crawling around, playing games and soaking up the sun. We made smore's every night around the camp fire---by the end of the week I looked and felt like a toasted marshmallow!

It was a very nice getaway for us. We are already looking forward to next year's Newport trip:)

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