Monthly Archives: September 2005

New Foods!

Today was our last yoga class. I kept playing with Gil’s teething blanket because it had lots of colors and was pretty. After that, Mommy took me to lunch with Lauren, Danny, and Kyle’s mommies. Then we came home and Daddy gave me a brand new food: sweet potatoes. It was really yummy and I ate the whole thing!

My Perfect Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Oatmeal is said to increase a nursing mother’s milk supply. To that end, I’ve eaten a lot of oatmeal in bowl and cookie form over the past few months. After many, many attempts, I think I’ve found the perfect recipe for chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.

Much of the credit goes to Alton Brown. When it comes to all things cooking related, he is The Man. I have a shrine to him in my kitchen. Well, not really, but I’m considering putting one in. The ironic thing is I don’t even like to cook (but I do like to bake, go figure), yet I watch his show religiously. Any discussion of cooking with people outside my household begins with “Well Alton says…”

So I took the principles of his “chewy” cookie recipe from “Three Chips for Sister Marsha” and worked them into the standard oatmeal cookie recipe from the Quaker Oats can. The result is pure oatmeal cookie yumminess:


1/2 c unsalted butter (or margerine)
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla (I use Penzey’s Double Strength Pure Vanilla Extract)
3/4 c bread flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I use Penzey’s Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cassia)
1/4 tsp table salt (not optional like the canister says)
1 1/2 c old fashioned oats
1 c raisins


Melt butter over low heat. Beat together sugars and melted butter in a stand mixer with a flat beater (the one that’s sorta triangle shaped). Add egg and vanilla and beat well. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly pour flour mixture into mixer using low speed. Stir in oats and raisins; mix well.

Lay out parchment paper on cookie trays. Scoop dough onto the trays using an ice cream scoop. Place in refrigerator and chill for 1 hour. Bake in oven at 350° for 14-17 minutes. Makes 12 – 14 large cookies.

This Entry Is SOOOO Late

Okay, this three times a week thing isn’t going to work with a baby in the house. I literally have been trying to write this blog entry for three days. So much for turning the ‘Skins thing into a podcast. That just ain’t happening any time soon. So while it may be many days after the fact now, I have some stuff to say about last Monday night’s game:

Once again, Mark Brunell showed that he was a mediocre quarterback, getting sacked 5 times, throwing an interception, and failing to drive the Redskins to as much as a field goal. That is, for the first 56 minutes of Monday’s game against Dallas at Texas Stadium. Then, two extraordinary passes to Santana Moss and a narrow 14-13 win against our arch-rivals, and suddenly he’s the belle of the ball. There is nothing that man can do in this town right now that wouldn’t be looked upon with reverence and awe.

But I’m not ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet. There’s a long season left to go, and Brunell has to show more than two great passes in the closing minutes of a game to prove that he’s worthy of the price the Redskins paid for him. Sure, a win against Dallas on the road is great, but we’ve got to play them again this year, plus tough games against a seemingly improved Giants team and a still-great Eagles team. (It pains me to call the Eagles “great.”)

Wilbon is still in love with Brunell, for reasons I just don’t understand. I mean I get one thing, Patrick Ramsey is done in this town. But if Brunell is the Quarterback of the Present, well, I don’t think the 2-0 start is going to be indicative of the rest of the season. I just hope that Jason Campbell is worth all the draft picks we traded away to get him.

On other Redskins notes, Mike Wise has written a column last Saturday that I thought for sure would send this town into a rampage. Basically, he states that anyone who’s a Redskins fan and who isn’t screaming and hollaring to change the team’s name (or, specifically, dresses their children and babies in Redskins garb) is a racist against Native Americans. But I’ve heard nary a mention of this in the local media, either radio or TV. The article goes into details about how the term “redskin” came about (which I knew) and that the man for whom the Redskins were named lied about being Native American (which I didn’t know). He also seemed to suggest that the players were against the name as well. And most of the bloggers that linked to his article seemed to agree with Wise. He went onto suggest (like the NCAA feels) that any team named after Native Americans is guilty of some sort of insensitivity towards a population that European invaders razed over on their insatiable quest for the sea. I’m not going to argue that people from my culture basically destroyed Native American culture, but how does changing the names of sports teams begin to rectify past injustices? Why are Native American references suddenly taboo? Is ignoring that Native Americans are a part of our history (not to mention our present) really the solution to the problems that currently plague Native American tribes, such as poverty, alcoholism, and poor schools? I don’t think so. Can we stop arguing about sports teams’ names and maybe focus a little of that energy on doing positive things to improve the position of today’s Native Americans in modern American society?

Besides, we can take this argument to absudum. For example, is it really appropriate for the University of Miami to keep its team named after a force of nature that just killed over 1,000 people along the Gulf Coast? What about the Chicago Bears? How do people who were mauled by bears or knew people killed by bears feel about having an NFL team named after such a dangers and viscious animal? We could go on and on with
So, Mr. Wise, I’m going to continue to dress my baby (and myself) in Redskin-logo’ed apparel, and I’ll keep going to Redskins games, and I will take pride in the fact that I’m a Redskins fan. And I’m going to stay okay with their name because it’s all a part of the team I love.

Grr. Got that off my chest for now.

I’m getting really good at rolling over. I can roll from my back onto my tummy and onto my back again! I don’t even get freaked when I’m on my tummy anymore. I want to crawl, but I just can’t seem to figure it out. Instead, I smash my head down and push myself backwards. That’s fun to do on Mommy and Daddy’s bed, but when I do it on the hard floor in our living room it gives me an owie!

SkinsBlog 9/14/05

My thrice-weekly commentary on the Washington Redskins…

Oh my god, Tony actually wrote a column. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

So let’s examine this quarterback situation for a moment, shall we? Ramsey nearly gets his head chopped off early in the second quarter, but even though he was cleared to reenter the game, Gibbs keeps him on the bench in favor of Brunell. Then came Monday’s oh-so-shocking announcement that Brunell would be starting in Dallas next week.

Raise your hand if any of this really surprises you. Didn’t think so. After all, Gibbs has never liked Ramsey from day one. This was evident when Gibbs paid an ungodly amount of money to hire Brunell during the ’04 offseason. This was as plain as could be as Brunell struggled from game to game all last year, and Gibbs stuck with him anyway. This was obvious to my (at the time) two week old son when, during the April draft, Gibbs traded something like ten future draft picks in order to draft Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell. (And let’s be honest here, had Cal’s Aaron Rodgers still been available for our first draft pick, Gibbs would’ve taken him, but I digress.) How is it not a warning sign when you draft your “quarterback of the future” when your “quarterback of the present” is only in his fourth year?

The answer is, because your “quarterback of the present” isn’t the guy you’ve professed up and down and sideways all spring and all summer is your starter. Ramsey to Gibbs is a non-person, an inconsequential name on a roster that he doesn’t quite know what to do with. He won’t cut him (although I don’t know why not), and he doesn’t seem to want to trade him either. So you’re leaving him in limbo, without any prospect of playing this year, and unable to go out and find a team that will let him play.

But what I really don’t get is Gibbs’ love affair with Mark Brunell. The man was a good enough quarterback in his prime, making it to two AFC championship games and at least one Pro Bowl. But the guy is not a Hall of Fame candidate and he never will be. He stunk up the joint last year, and Gibbs kept him in when every man, woman, child, cat and dog in the greater Capital area cried out for him to be benched.

On Monday, Len Pasquarelli wrote on, “[Gibbs] has never demonstrated any hesitancy about switching starting quarterbacks[.]” That certainly wasn’t true last year when he kept Brunell in for a miserable nine starts, giving us a record to that point of 3-6. Week after week fans endured an anemic offense with Brunell at the helm. It wasn’t like once Ramsey came in we turned into a Super Bowl caliber team, but we did win three of our last seven, certainly not any worse than Brunell’s record.

Yet this year, Ramsey got twenty minutes to prove his worth. Not nine games, like Brunell got; not even nine possessions. And what did he accomplish in those twenty minutes? He threw an interception, lost a fumble and was sacked twice. But he also went 6 for 11, threw for 105 yards and threw a touchdown (which was called back on TE Chris Cooley’s offensive pass interference). Compare this to Brunell’s numbers which were 8 for 14, threw for 70 yards and no touchdowns. He didn’t have any turnovers, but was sacked once. I can’t emphasize one stat enough: Ramsey passed for 105 yards in 20 minutes, and Brunell threw for 70 yards in twice the time.

Yet Brunell gets the starting job next Monday night in Dallas. I’d be pissed if I were in Ramsey’s shoes. There is nothing in the numbers to justify this switch. Coach Gibbs, if you don’t want Ramsey to play, just trade him already. Maybe we can get some of our picks back.


Tony read another of my emails today! This is like two in two weeks. I’m becoming a regular! Here’s the email:

Gibbs on Sports Talk 980 last night kept saying on and on how the 'Skins have two quarterbacks who could win games for them. I knew as he was saying it that he was talking about Brunell and Campbell. Why Gibbs hasn't cut Ramsey since he obviously hates him is completely beyond me.

It was read as an example of a lot of emails they got, expressing the same basic sentiment. More on this particular topic on tomorrow’s SkinsBlog.

This weekend Mommy took me to Grandma Lolo’s house in New Jersey. We went out to dinner (that took a very long time) and went swimming. The weather was really nice and we had lots of fun. I also got to see my Unkie Boo, and met Grandmommy’s friends from Sea Cadets.