All work and no play…boring!  It takes a little bit of fun to keep those creative juices flowing. This is how we do it.

The “Punny” Side of Life

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was excellent.

A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm and says: “A beer please, and one for the road.”

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?”

“Doc, I can’t stop singing ‘The Green, Green Grass of Home.'” “That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome.” “Is it common?” Well, “It’s Not Unusual.”

A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident. He shouted, “Doctor, doctor, I can’t feel my legs!” The doctor replied, “I know you can’t – I’ve cut off your arms!”

I went to a seafood disco last week…and pulled a mussel.

Two people sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.

A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse. “But why?,” they asked, as they moved off. “Because”, he said, “I can’t stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer.”

Recipes

Steve’s Pleasingly Palatable Pork Ribs

The following works well for all ribs but is best on short ribs.

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-1 rack of ribs, cut in half to fit in pressure cooker. Place in pressure cooker (15 pounds)

-Add 1/2 can of beer (Heineken, Guinness or Corona works well.) Consume the rest.

Cook at pressure for 10 minutes (baby back) or 15 minutes for standard ribs – the goal is to get them started so they don’t dry out on the grill. If you’re really in a hurry, leave them in the pressure cooker longer. At 20 minutes under pressure   a rack of baby back ribs are usually coming off the bone.

Let the ribs cool in pressure cooker (under pressure.) Remove as soon as seal will allow and pat dry on glass or plastic tray (not metal.)

Slather with prepared mustard and cover with rib rub (see below.) Let set overnight in refrigerator.

Before grilling: Bring ribs to room temperature. Re-apply rib rub if desired. In the case of a rib emergency I have been know to skip the fridge and go from the pressure cooker right to the grill.

Get grill hot. For one to three racks, I use a gas grill. I have a Weber with three burners.

After the grill is hot, I turn the front and back to low and the center to off. Close the lid and let them cook.

In about an hour or so the meat should be almost pulling off the bone. Remove from heat, wrap in foil, place in insulated box for 15 to 20 minutes. An empty cooler works well for this.

Enjoy with all the fixin’s. Cooking time varies with number of racks and the consumption of adult beverages.

Rib Rub

1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup taco mix (McCormick)
1/8 cup onion powder
1/8 cup black pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dry mustard

Mix ingredients together. Store in an airtight container. Adjust the ratios to your family’s tastes. Someone in our household can’t eat really spicy food….

A good source of pepper is Gordon Peppers. He has three flavors: Spiced Pepper, Texas Blend Pepper and Dragon Flakes. Get the sampler pack and find the one you like the best. Gordon helped me develop the lighting section of ICIA’s design school when he was at AMX.

Lisa’s Mom’s 7-Layer Salad

1 medium head lettuce, shred fine
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
2 packages (10 oz each) frozen peas, break up
1 pint Miracle Whip salad dressing
1t sugar
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
6 hard boiled eggs, crumbled fine
bacon, cooked and crumbled fine or use store bought bacon bits
tomato wedges, for garnish, optional
olives, for garnish, optional

In a 9×12 glass baking dish layer lettuce, onions, celery. Spread frozen peas over top. Spread miracle whip over peas, be sure to get all the way to the edges of the dish (if you use Mayonnaise, stir in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice before spreading over peas). Sprinkle sugar evenly over top of Miracle Whip.

Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of sugar. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese next. Cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Spread eggs over top on cheese. Spread bacon bits on top of eggs. Garnish with tomato wedges and olives. Serves 12.

Lisa’s “Don’t Heat Up the House” Boiled Cookies

½ cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal
2 cups sugar
½ cup milk
½ cup butter
3TB cocoa

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Boil sugar, milk and butter for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add old fashioned oatmeal and peanut butter. Drop by teaspoon on wax paper. Let cool. Makes about 2 dozen.
Variations: replace cocoa with 3 tablespoons vanilla extract; add 2 cups of loosely packed coconut after stirring in oatmeal and peanut butter.

Replace cocoa with 1TB vanilla extract, and total of 3-1/2 to 4 cups oatmeal Mixture should not be runny. Wait 1 minute after stirring in oatmeal and peanut butter then gently fold in 1 bag (11 oz.) butterscotch chips (Try to keep them from melting completely.)

Make sure butter or margarine is solid/stick (not whipped, otherwise cookies won’t set up.) The butter/sugar mixture should come to a “full boil” then boil 2 minutes. Use old-fashioned oatmeal not instant for chewier/healthier cookies.

Nan’s Fancy Jello Salad

Nanette Franceschini adds a slight twist and offers some variations on a classic.

6 oz. package orange gelatin (Jell-O, etc.) (leave dry – don’t mix with water)
2 cans of Mandarin oranges, drained
16 oz. cottage cheese (small curd is better)
12 oz. topping (Cool Whip, or whatever brand)

Thoroughly mix the cottage cheese and gelatin together. Gently stir in Mandarin oranges. Gently blend in topping until thoroughly mixed. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 6 hours for everything to set.

For a smaller amount, use 3 oz. of gelatin, 1 can of Mandarin oranges, 8 oz. cottage cheese, 8 oz. Topping.

Variations:
Stir in one can of chunked pineapple.
Use a different flavored gelatin, e.g. raspberry, cranberry, cran-raspberry, etc.
Add some raspberries.

Nacatala

This is a traditional holiday cookie with Italian origins that CAD Manager Lee likes to make. The deep-fry method of cooking makes it especially Southern.

6 eggs
2-3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1/2 pound butter, room temperature or melted
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
honey

Combine all the ingredients and mix to form a dough that you will start to knead. Pinch enough dough to roll into 2 inch logs about 1/2 inch wide. Next tie the log into a knot by looping the log at one end and wrapping the excess dough slightly below the loop twice around. It almost looks like one of the loops on a shoelace. Deep-fry the dough in the hot oil until cooked to a deep golden brown color. Place the fried dough on a paper towel to remove as much oil as possible. The dough should be very hard (not soft). Dip in warm honey. Serve at room temperature.