Life blogs

Scarytech..

If any of you are restaurant employees you might be familiar with this thing we call “scarytech” or steritech..this is almost just like a health inspection, just a little more detailed. I am recently promoted to shift leader, a non salaried manager. No, it is not the first time I held this position, just my first time in a full-serviced restaurant. Yes, I have held my servesafe certification for 8 years and am very familiar with food handling and safety (a certification sayin you know how to prevent cross contamination, food safety, how to handle sicknesses with food, etc). I have never been thru an inspection by myself as a manager..I have been there many of times durin the inspection as an employee. We recently had an inspection over a month ago and for really stupid things, we failed (not my shift, I wasn’t even in the building). Not anything to so with food handling and safety as much as it was our “housekeepin”. So needless to say with the winter season we are slow and every day we tear apart a different part of our restaurant to detail clean..we are by far the cleanest restaurant I’ve worked at in the past 10 years. So we got a chance to do an instructional walk thru inspection with a trainer who we were allowed to ask any questions we wanted (they get impatient with us askin durin a real inspection). I was able to be there during this training and retained a lot of unknown information. Not to mention that he said we have very good housekeepin, and if the hard to clean spots are cleaned, then were doin somethin right! My G.M, Hubby and I are all goin on 2 years at this restaurant and when we first got there, they had a problem with fruit flies, we (as a store) have come a long way with this problem and it no longer resides in our store! Whew..ok so these scarytech people always have a way of showin up when least expectin..Tuesday bein my last workin day of the pay period I have to watch my hours for overtime (I cost to much to get it, I get paid more than my General Manager when in OT) and was relayin the days worth of messages to my Assistant General Manager when my host ran back and trembled over her barely English speakin words “the man here, steritech he here, the man!” I said “no, no your joking?” she replied frantically “no yokin, he here the man!” So my A.G.M and I quickly started to lid everything and wipe down counters, etc.. Is it that easy?? No or I wouldn’t be writin this…All day I’ve had contractors in the buildin from fixing tiles, the plumber, and deliveries. So once we got the store “cleaned” I went out to the inspector to nicely stall him by explainin we have the tile man here fixin things please give my A.G.M. time to get him out so you have all of our attention (I have know this inspector all 10 years of me workin in the restaurant, he deals with the area we live in so I can’t get away from him lol). “Well can I come back to the office to set up?” was his reply. I quickly said “I’m only a shift leader, I don’t want to upset my A.G.M by allowin you to come back while she is with another person, please just another 5 more mins” in the mean time all of my servers are harrassin him askin him to just pass us and get it over with..were all sick of livin with the headache of when is he goin to show up. After a long 1 1/2 hours of nerve wreckin pain (me constantly thinkin did I miss anything out of date this morning, did I close all the boxes, are all the cracked dishes thrown away, etc) We had our sit down with the inspector and he told us how great the store looks, we’ve done a great job meeting his criteria in the past failed inspection! We got a 99.3%!!! What was wrong you ask? 2 dented cans..when we received them they were safe to use immediately, however with dents it allows bacteria in and havin them sit to use was not the correct way to go, a dented can cost us .7%, I am not more confident than ever to walk thru with the scarytech man!! I opened the store and our employees were countin on me to get us thru! And I did it, now where my raise?!?

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Our home <3

Heat mid winter..nah Ill pass said no mother ever..

So when we moved into this place it was October, therefor when cleanin and first dealin with the house is was the endin of summer with very warm temps boostin the house temp normally. Givin the false impression that the house is well insulated, we thought we could manage the heat durin the winter with some space heaters, fireplace (yes we know its not to keep the house warm, however it keeps a room warm), and dressin in layers. However, shortly into November we realized the house does not keep the heat, most of the windows feel windy, and hardwood floors are ice cold! So we decided to get a delivery of oil hoping to make it last all winter by regulatin the temp at a comfortable 64 F with long clothes on, slippers and a robe (or a blanket if you like to snuggle). About a month later I go to the basement to see how much oil we’ve used…hmm.. the fill gauge is on empty nah..it’s probably stuck, so I bang on the gauge..bang on the tank..doesn’t budge. The furnace is still runnin, the tank is obviously not empty. So we realized the gauge is broken and we have no idea when were going to run out of heating oil. In high hopes we think positively that the oil will last all winter, we are being conservative after all. Eh.. It lasted until January, not bad..hoped it was longer. So now we have the question to buy oil or not? Well being that it’s January, we haven’t had snow yet really, and winter has only 2 more months we thought we could manage stayin warm. The kids stay at my mothers on the weekends so we have to put the space heaters in their rooms during the week. After 2 weeks of testing this theory we realized this is not going to work either! Ok! Think Jazzy, you can figure this out…yeah get more heating oil! No your stubborn and realize you can do this, its not that bad plus it is teachin the kids that life isn’t always great, easy, and smooth..there are rough patches, hard times, and things are never easy! But if we come together as a family we will always get thru! So needless to say we have a quilt stapled to the upstairs doorway, we keep all the bedroom doors open, the boys have the heaters in their room (our room in the middle of theirs) and with slippers and a robe we can stay warm and the upstairs is maintainin about 64 F. Now the downstairs is a different story, it stays at 42 F…brr that’s fridge temp. So I hung a blanket on the entrance of the kitchen and exit of the dining room (all the rooms are connected in a circle, drives me nuts when I have to chase an animal or kid around it!) If I turn the oven on 450 F for 10 mins it heats both the rooms to about 68 F. Did I mentioned its the end of January and we just got about a foot of snow in the past day and it’s still coming down? Lol. But if you think about it, the Amish community doesn’t believe in using electric, so many of them are toughin it out as well! Why? You might ask. Because I think this is a great life lesson for the kids and its really not that bad. Stick around to see how long we make it.

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MmM..my Cookin..

Bakin bread..

Whew..I’ve been tryin to bake the “perfect” loaf for 2 weeks, about every other day I would try again. Yeast is very tricky but well worth the end result! I have the texture I’m lookin for but can’t seem to get the color, I don’t know if I’m scared to leave it in that long after it’s finished or somethin I’m doin wrong. However, I’m pretty confident that every time I bake a loaf I get closer and closer to the “perfect” loaf. Join me as I take you on my journey of trial and error on bread bakin.

Here are the ingredients and tools required:

Non-stick spray, pans, TBSP, TSP, liquid measuring cup, pot holder, salt, sugar, yeast, flour, mixing device, mixing bowl, and lukewarm water.

Bread bakin necessities..

Don’t forget your daily dose of coffee 😀 and good music to help pass the time..

Coffee :-DGood tunes..

It is very important that you use warm liquid with bakin bread. Yeast is live, so if the water burns you..it will burn your yeast which will not allow your bread to rise. Same happens when usin too cold of water. Preferred temperature would be around 100 F. Just don’t drop your thermometer into the water and break it 😦

Oops..

Any ways.. I will be showin you how to make a double batch. Dependin on your shape and size depends on how much it will yield. I’m making a couple 9″ round loaves and some regular shaped 8″ bread pan. It can yield 6 nice sized loaves, or 3 french bread sized. I was off today and decided I would make 5 batches of bread. I got 21 loaves out of it and split it between my mom, sister-in-law & family, and my brother & family. I also played around a lil bit and make some sesame and cinnamon loaves.

Back on subject, add 4 cups of lukewarm water into mixing bowl. Add 4 tsp. and 1/2 tsp of yeast and stir until dissolved. Dependin on what kind of yeast you have (active, instant, live) depends on how you need to activate the yeast. The instant yeast I’m usin here you can add into your flour and mix with warm liquids to activate the yeast. I am used to activatin my yeast in the steps I am listin below. The sugar is what allows the yeast to become active.

lukewarm water is the trick..

Make sure to read what kind you have.

Make sure to read what kind you have.

Like so..

Add yeast and stir..stir until dissolved..

Add 2 tbsp. of salt and stir until dissolved. Next add 3 tbsp. of sugar and stir until dissolved. If you have instant yeast you can move on to addin flour, otherwise you will need to wait about 10 mins or until the mixture becomes foamy. (This step will not be pictured, next time I bake bread I will add one)

SaltSugar

Next, you will need to add 6-10 cups of all-purpose flour. Yes, you can substitute with whole wheat flours. You want the dough to remain in tack without crumblin apart. When you get enough flour in it to knead the dough you will want to spray your work area and your hands with non-stick spray and only use flour as needed in sticky situations, lol. Sometimes the middle isn’t getting enough flour when it’s still in the bowl so as your kneading the dough you will find sticky batches, add flour there. Continue to knead the dough for about 5 mins. Before you put the dough back in the mixin bowl you will need to spray the bowl. Put the dough back in the bowl and flip it so the now greased part is on the top.

. Add flourspray bowl

Cover it with a clean dish towel and let proof for about 1-1/2 hrs or until doubled in size. Make sure your room is at least 75 F for best proofin, I turn my oven on 350 F and set bowl on door. Now is when good music comes in handy, you can dance the time away..also helps you stay in shape. Don’t forget to spray your pans ahead of time.

cover in heated roomSpray your pans..

Get your work area ready again by sprayin it with non-stick spray in advance.

Seperate dough..

Time to check the dough. And it has doubled in size…Now its time to take our anger out..spray them hands and punch that dough down!

Doubled..Punch your dough..

Let’s split the dough, be creative..if you want french bread make a 6″ log and make 3 cuts in it, to make dinner rolls make 1″ balls, if you want to make bagels just accidentally put extra flour in the dough and simply cut out 3″ circles and a 1″ middle. However, I tried out sesame seeds on top. Just lay out the seeds on a plate and place dough of top of seeds to coat the dough and place that side up in pan. Otherwise flip the dough to the greased size up again. One more waitin period for the last proofin stage. Only a short 30-60 mins or until doubled in size.

Split the dough..Last proof..

Bake breads at 400 F for about 20-30 mins dependin on size. Rotate breads around in the oven about half way thru cookin time. I rotate mine every 10 mins to try to equal out the cookin.

Bakin bread..

Flip the bread out of the hot pans immediately after removin them from the oven, the bottoms will get soggy. Let cool at least 5 mins before you cut into them, bread is definitely best when hot and smothered in butter..mMmM..

Finish product.. Cinnamon bread..

I tried out somethin new. My Hubby had an amazin idea with cinnamon bread. When shapin the bread I simply pressed the dough out and sprinkled 1/8 cup of cinnamon sugar on the dough. Gave the dough a quick knead to spread the cinnamon in the dough. It was sooo goood!! Gonna try it with some icin drizzled over top heated.

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DIY Projects

Boys bookshelves..

There isn’t much closet space in either of the boys rooms, especially Henry. Hunter’s room is a lil more spacious for dressers, toy box, shelves. So we decided to make a tall bookshelf, while were at it might as well make one for each. I’m a fair kind of Mom. So we get together our resources: 2 bar chairs, a circular saw (craigslist $10), some 3″ nails, a yard stick, hammer, and some 2′ X 6′ wood we had layin around.

The wood my Hubby will be helpin me cut.

wood for shelves

We used the chairs to help hold the wood while usin the saw to cut it.

chairs to hold the wood while cuttin

We made a few measurements for the shelves 1′ long and placed them 1′ apart. Placed 3 nails in each level on each side.

Cuttin and nailin the pieces together

After we got all the shelves and nails in I stood them up and painted each one according to their bedroom schemes.

Book shelf

Book shelf

Finished Projects

Both book shelves

Hope you got a few ideas on how to start your own shelving. It’s not limited to books, our boys use them for xbox games, movies, to display figurines!

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Life blogs

Our new home..

We moved into our home October 1, 2014. Agreed to do the cleanin and some paintin in exchange for the security deposit..what’s the point of cleanin the house twice? When we move in I would of cleaned it top to bottom anyways. It has been a fight since the moment we agreed to move in. Ha, ha, not necessarily a bad fight, yanno…you have to fight for what you want! The house is beautiful after a good few weeks of scrubbin it down and a fresh coat of paint. Some hurdles to cross here and there. But at the end of the day it is great! The boys both have their own rooms (I can separate them when fightin lol), they have a yard to play in (to yell outside without givin me a headache lol), we have a beautiful sun room and kitchen, and plenty of room for our zoo. This house comes with great life lessons and life morals for the boys, they can live and experience things they normally wouldn’t with our supervision and help.

Our home

1929-Conventional style house

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Life blogs

Hello world..

Welcome to whilehewasgamin! My name is Jazzy, I’m a happily married 28 yr. old mother of 2 boys (10&7). I work a f/t job in a restaurant with my Hubby. I also volunteer at the school doing various things from coaching sports to copying papers. I absolutely love my family, providing things for them, and finding cool and exciting things to keep us busy. Please stay around to enjoy everyday life with our family as we grow together!

Goin for a hike on a hot summer day.

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MmM..my Cookin..

My style of cookin..

I love to cook different food and try new techniques in the kitchen. I will continue to cook that item until I perfect it in my families eyes. Right now I am stuck on bread. What better than fresh, warm, fluffy, flaky, crusty bread. The creations are endless!! You can make a sandwich, dip in soup, eat with a spread, and on and on.. I don’t usually follow a recipe’s ingredients list, my kids are pretty picky, as much as I do the procedures to create the dish. This is the fun and creativity in a kitchen. My down side.. baking.. you have to follow measurements to the ‘T’. If you don’t your bread wont rise. Patience and measuring is the key to the perfect cake. Join me as I share my families favorite dishes, my childhood favorites, and my own creations.

Dinner is served

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