Recently I added a couple small bristlenose pleco’s to the aquarium. They are small right now, not quite 2″ in length. Their maximum size is around 6″, which works nicely – I definitely didn’t want a common pleco, which can grow over a foot long!
They are very good at staying hidden, but this evening for the first time I saw both of them out for a little while at the same time 🙂
The current residents of the aquarium:
4 Denison barbs (or indian flasher barbs)
6 Siamese algae eaters
2 Bristlenose plecostomus
2 Salt and Pepper corydoras
6 Red Phantom tetras
6 Black neon tetras
6 Neon tetras
8 Head and Tail Light tetras
I also added a digital thermometer – much easier to read than the little plastic strip I had stuck on the front glass!
Have been negligent in posting updates on the side tables and coffee tables that Keith and I have been working on – Keith has been doing the lions share of the work – and I’ve been helping after I finish work when I can, and on the weekends.
I was experimenting with a staining technique that I saw on a recent episode of ‘Ellen’s Design Challenge’. A solution of iron acetate is brushed onto the wood, and it reacts with the tannins in oak, darkening the wood as the solution dries. The effect is quite dramatic!
These pieces of wood have been brushed with the solution. The shinier surface the oak is sitting on is my cedar desk, which was brushed with Minwax Ebony stain, and then a coat of semi-gloss varathane.
The solution is easily made simply by ripping up a couple pieces of clean 0000 steel wool and placing the pieces into a glass jar (I used a 1 litre mason jar). Fill the jar with household white vinegar. Fold a plastic straw in half and use the ends to push the steel wool down, so it’s completely submerged in vinegar. Seal the jar, and punch a few holes in the lid – this is important – otherwise you could end up with an explosion of glass & vinegar solution!
Here’s a side table all assembled, and waiting for stain.
Here are all three tables, stained and getting the first coat of a satin polyurethane. I’m second guessing myself as to the finish – I may end up adding a final coat of semi-gloss – but we’ll see how the satin finish looks once we get the tables set up in our living room!
Well, it has been a while since I’ve done some wheeling, and since we bought my wife’s Mitsubishi RVR, I think I’ve been jealous of the technology in the newest vehicles.
When we were initially looking at different vehicles for her, we had stopped in at one dealership to look at the Fiat 500x. The dealership also had Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk in the showroom that we were looking over. A number of months later, I returned to that dealership to have another look, and a few days later, we now have one in our driveway 🙂 .
Taylor wanted lasagna for her birthday dinner (21!) – and this one was probably the largest one I’ve ever made. Had to use a large roasting pan. I looked at a few different recipes, and kind of did a combination of a few of them.
Recipe Type: main course
Baked this Friday evening, and will reheat on Sunday – Lasagna always seems to taste best reheated, so why not bake it twice to begin with 🙂
2 pounds ground port
1.5 pounds ground sirloin
1 pound mild Italian sausage
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste
1 large white onion, diced fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 diced bell peppers (red, yellow and orange)
2 pkgs. frozen chopped spinach
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 pound provolone cheese, sliced
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Marsala
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 tbsp. dried basil
500g lasagna noodles
Brown pork, beef and sausage in a large stockpot, adding minced onion and garlic as meat starts to brown.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil, salt, pepper, marsala, balsamic vinegar, and mix thoroughly.
Let simmer for an hour, then add chopped peppers, and simmer for another hour.
While sauce is simmering, defrost frozen spinach
In an appropriately sized mixing bowl, mix thawed spinach, ricotta, eggs, and nutmeg.
Spray roasting pan with cooking spray
Spoon a thin layer of sauce into bottom of pan
Place 1 layer of uncooked lasagna noodles over sauce
Spoon another layer of sauce over noodles.
Spread 1/3 of ricotta mixture over sauce
Add another layer of noodles
Add layer of sauce
Add layer of provolone slices
Add layer of sauce
Add 1/3 ricotta mixture
Add layer of noodles
Add more sauce
Add last third of ricotta mixture
Add last layer of noodles
Add last layer of sauce
Evenly spread monterey jack and mozzarella
Sprinkle parmesan over top
Bake covered for 40 minutes at 375
Remove cover, and bake for another 30 minutes.
After initially cooking the lasagna on Friday night (finished at 1:30 AM), I let it cool down, then put it into the fridge Saturday morning at 9:00 AM. On Sunday, I reheated the lasagna (covered) for 3 hours at 250*F, then added a couple loaves of garlic bread to the oven, removed the lid from the lasagna, and increased the temperature to 375*F for 20 minutes. Everyone enjoyed it!