Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Stuff Is Good Part 2

Around this time of year you're supposed to eat some black eyed peas in order to have luck and prosperity in the next year. So after letting a pound of black eyed peas soak overnight Tuesday, yesterday I put them in the slow cooker with an onion and a ham hock. Six hours later the peas were still not done, the ham hock looked absolutely disgusting and my husband was becoming very cranky. I ended up throwing everything out and fixing egg sandwiches for dinner. I hate it when new recipes don't work out.

Here's a few recipes from fellow bloggers that I've tried with great success.

Mama Loves Food!: Curry Mustard Sauce. When I came across April's recipe it was perfect timing. My husband had been spending most of his days at a local Thai place and I needed an easy and delicious curry sauce recipe to lure him back home. It worked! This is so good served over chicken and diced potatoes.

Evolving Mommy: Individual Mini-Meatloaf. I had never made meatloaf before. I had always thought it took forever in the oven. With Catherine's recipe it only takes about 30 minutes. And ketchup is never optional for me--it's a must when it comes to meatloaf, yum!

My Pretty Purse: Pretzel Peanut Bark. Angie's my sister and when she came up for Christmas last week she brought some of her homemade pretzel peanut bark. I gave a few pieces to our mom and then I took the whole tin back home with me. I love the saltiness of the pretzels with the chocolate. Thank you Angie--and thank you Paula Deen for the original recipe!

Here's Part 1 of more good stuff.

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas III


Merry Christmas!!

Luke 2:1-14

Caesar Augustus, the Roman Emperor, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the nation. Everyone was required to return to his ancestral home for this registration. And because Joseph was a member of the royal line, he had to go to Bethlehem, King David's ancient home--journeying there from the Galilean village of Nazareth. He took with him Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant by this time. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born; and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the village inn.

That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Saviour--a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger--has been born tonight in Bethlehem!"

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others--the armies of heaven--praising God: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!"

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Paging Dr. Morgan

My husband has to work on Christmas but he's had the past couple of days off. He's enjoyed spending time with the boys while they're on Christmas break. And although I'm grateful to have a full house during the holidays I've learned something about myself: 5, 7 and 33 year old males in the house at one time is more testosterone than I can handle. But with a little help from Dr. Morgan (or is it Captain Pepper?) I'm able to hang on to my sanity.

I not only want to thank Dr. Morgan this Christmas Eve, I also want to thank a couple of great bloggers for giving me awards!


Thank you to AmericanTribal for this lovely award! Be sure to check out her blog--especially on Saturdays;) Talk about eye candy for cupcake fanatics!

Thank you Dawna from A Kiss and a Peck for this award! Dawna has a contest going on right now and you could be the proud owner of some Lady Anti-Monkey Butt Powder! You know, if you have a problem with that sort of thing.

Thank you ladies and Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

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Monday, December 21, 2009

To: It, From: Me

Merry Christmas, my beloved 2002 Ford Windstar minivan. Enjoy your brand new intake manifold gasket (upper AND lower), your new fuel filter and your tri-monthly oil change. You know I love you but $448.16?! You're getting way too greedy in your old age. Knock it off. Please.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grammy's Chocolate Cookies

Last week I posted about finding the holy grail of sugar cookies and today I'm posting the holy grail of chocolate cookies. And while the former came from my husband's grammy (who was not a grammy at all, as she was called mamaw) this chocolate cookie recipe comes from the grammy of Anne Feldman, a grand prize winner of Martha Stewart's Cookie of the Week contest.

I just love how these cookies are so chewy and soft. They're definitely a good thing (sorry, I couldn't resist).

Grammy's Chocolate Cookies (from Martha Stewart.com)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1.Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

2.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour.

3.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


This is the original recipe but I did make a few changes. First, I like salted butter. A lot. So I used that instead of unsalted. Secondly, when you've got a hankerin' for cookies, chilling dough is torture so I skipped that step and the cookies still turned out great. Thirdly, Silpat? Nope. Fourthly (sorry Grammy), I used a cookie scoop and didn't bother rolling them in sugar.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

That's Strange Part II

Time to revisit the Strange Question Meme. Last month, I posted questions 1-10 so here's my answers for 11-20.



11. What was the last thing you ate? Well, it's Monday and I think that frequent readers know that I go on and on AND ON about how I stop at McDonald's after I drop the boys off at school. It's my Monday morning pick me up and this morning I had a breakfast burrito and a latte.

12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week? Do shoes count? I bought a pair of gray flats at Walmart for 10 bucks.

13. The last sporting event you watched? My husband had the Saints game on yesterday and I pretended to care.

14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn? Good ol' butter flavored popcorn.

15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to? I sent a text to my brother telling him to get my son something Transformer related for Christmas. He texted me back wanting me to be more specific because, hello, am I aware of how many Transformers there are?

16. Ever go camping? Yep. A lot, but that was in my pre-children days. I've never even attempted to go camping since I've had the boys. As a matter of fact, the whole idea of having all 4 of us in one tent in the middle of the woods stresses me out.

17. Do you take vitamins daily? No. I give the boys Flintstones vitamins and occasionally I'll have one, too. I've always loved Flintstone vitamins. And baby aspirin. Yum.

18. Do you go to church every Sunday? Not every Sunday. We end up missing one per month--usually the Sundays when the boys don't have Catechism classes.

19. Do you have a tan? Nope. The whole skin cancer and premature aging thing scares me away from tanning beds. And I have yet to find the perfect self-tanner. Sigh.

20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza? No way. I like Chinese food-I love hot and sour soup--but I really have to be in the mood for it. Pizza I can have any time, any day of the week.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Open For Business

I love my dogs. All 3 of them. And even though they are forbidden to ever leave me, I know that sooner or later they will--I'm just hoping it's later. There's an area in the back of our property that I designated as the pet cemetery and I didn't expect to break ground in it for several more years. But last month, my sister called early one Saturday morning to tell me that her boyfriend's cat had died and they were about to pull in my driveway. I rolled out of bed, started the coffee maker, and went into the garage to search for a shovel. Studley was in a box along with the ashes of Billy's other cat, Nub. And they became the first occupants of the pet cemetery.

I've been bad about keeping up with Poetry Fridays but I wanted to share this poem by Sue Ellen Thompson. It's one of my favorites.

No Children, No Pets by Sue Ellen Thompson

I bring the cat’s body home from the vet’s
in a running-shoe box held shut
with elastic bands. Then I clean
the corners where she has eaten and
slept, scrubbing the hard bits of food
from the baseboard, dumping the litter
and blasting the pan with a hose. The plastic
dishes I hide in the basement, the pee-
soaked towel I put in the trash. I put
the catnip mouse in the box and I put
the box away, too, in a deep
dirt drawer in the earth...


(Click to read more)


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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sugar Cookies

When my husband's Grandma Freeda passed away a few months ago, I was fortunate enough to inherit one of her cookbooks. It's a first edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook. And like most cookbooks, she had several recipes tucked in between the pages--recipes cut out from newspapers and ones jotted down on paper. And the one she had written down for sugar cookies caught my eye.

My previous attempts at making sugar cookies haven't turned out that great. Okay? Sure, but not great. I was in search of a go-to sugar cookie recipe to add to my collection and after trying Grandma Freeda's, I have found it. Even my 7 year old, aka the pickiest eater in the world, will eat half a dozen of these in one sitting. I've seen him do it. And, ahem, he's not the only one.

Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp milk
3 2/3 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt


Cream together butter, sugar and eggs. Stir in vanilla and milk. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and add to sugar mixture. Roll out dough and cut into shapes. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A History Of Banners

In the 2 years and 4 months that I've been blogging, I've only had 3 different blog banners. My first one--and boy, can you tell it was my first--was extremely simple:



But I liked the simplicity...for awhile, anyway. Simple soon became boring so during holidays I would change the paw prints to hearts or shamrocks or something like that. But changing the banner every month became a chore so I settled on this:


It's Howard and Lexie! Aren't they cute? I thought so but this banner didn't last long at all. I just never really liked how the rest of the blog looked with it--the link colors, title colors--it lacked cohesion. And it was still a little too boring. So then I came up with this:



I loved this banner! Unfortunately, my sister hated it. I had a long flickr badge on each sidebar with a brown border and I'm sure she thought the whole thing looked like wood paneling. And I didn't want my blog to be the wood paneling of the blog design world so I changed it once again:





It's my current banner and I've had it the longest--probably over a year now. And I have no plans to change it. It's simple without being too boring and colorful without being too busy or distracting. And more than that, I love the picture. It's a girl, outside on a bench, with a dog and a book. I can totally relate.

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chicken Fajitas

A more accurate title for this would be Easy Chicken Fajitas. Nay, Super-Duper Easy Chicken Fajitas. And just like the last recipe for Taco Soup, there's lots of dumping into the crock pot involved. Whenever I encounter a recipe with the words "braised" or "caramelized" it makes me nervous. But "dumping" I'm good with.

And not only is it easy, but it's delicious, too. Especially with my 2 best friends, sour cream and cheese.

Chicken Fajitas

3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg fajita seasoning mix
1 onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 large can black beans, drained and rinsed
salt
pepper
tortillas
sour cream
shredded cheese

Place chicken in slow cooker and sprinkle with seasoning mix. Add onion, peppers and beans. Season veggies with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high 4-6 hours. When done, there's a lot of liquid in the pot so just transfer everything to a platter and shred the chicken with a couple forks. Serve on tortillas with sour cream and shredded cheese.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Pilgrim And An Indian

That's Little Pup. He's 5. And he's very good in the kitchen. On his "How To Cook a Turkey" paper at school he definitely showed off his cooking knowledge. He may have been off on the time but he knows that time is important and there's seasoning involved and that it's cooked in an oven and not on the stovetop. Give me another 15 years with this kid and he'll be a pro in the kitchen--not a bad quality for a man to have.

As for Big Pup, my 7 year old,...

...well, a sense of humor is important, too. Right?


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One More Trip Down Memory Lane


Yesterday's picture of my old jean jacket has put me in a nostalgic mood. So I got down the Presto Professional Deep Fryer box from the top shelf of my closet that holds all my old cassette tapes and found 5 cassettes that embody the whole decade of the '80s for me.

Poison--This was the first tape I ever bought. Every Rose Has Its Thorn? Awesome. Fallen Angel? Can't be beat. Nothin' but a Good Time? Best played with windows rolled down and volume turned up.

Whitney Houston--This may have been the second tape I ever bought. I love Didn't We Almost Have It All.

Indigo Girls--Who doesn't love Closer to Fine? It appeals to my folksy side.

Terence Trent D'Arby--I stayed up super late one night because a local radio station was going to play Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby in its entirety. I put a blank cassette in the HUGE stereo we had in the den and recorded the whole thing. And then I listened to it 1,185 times. Wishing Well is still my favorite. He's reinvented himself and goes by the name Sananda Francesco Maitreya these days.

John Mellencamp--My all time favorite artist. I've listened to The Lonesome Jubilee so much that the words on the cassette have been worn off. Nothing tops this album. I'm thinking that I need to have a third son just so I can name him Johnny Cougar. I don't think WD would go for that, though. Maybe Sananda Maitreya...

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

That's Strange

I'm stealing this meme from Robyn who stole it from Sunday Stealing who stole it from someone else who stole it from someone else who...you get the point. Feel free to steal it from me!

The Strange Question Meme: 1-10

1. What is the color of your toothbrush? Green. It's my favorite color. Even when I buy them in packs of 2 and the other brush is pink, I will still pick the green and WD gets the girlie color.

2. Name one person who made you smile today. My 7 year old. He was the first I woke up this morning and before he even opened his eyes he asked if it was cold outside. I said yes--in the 30s--and he said "I don't think I'm going out today." That made me smile.

3. What were you doing at 8 a.m. this morning? School starts at 8 so I was probably heading back home after dropping the boys off.

4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Looking at huskies at local shelters online and wishing I could adopt every one of them.

5. What is your favorite candy bar? The kind that's made with chocolate, ha! Snickers is my fave.

6. Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope.

7. What is the last thing you said aloud? "'Who's a gooood gurrrrrl? You're a pretty girl! Pretty gurrrrrllll!" I said, in an annoying, high pitched voice.

8. What is your favorite ice cream? Yarnell's Hog Wild for Cookie Dough. I like it so much, I wrote a post about it.

9. What was the last thing you had to drink? Coffee with milk. Four cups of it.

10. Do you like your wallet? Yes, I love my little cheapo wallet from Dollar General. It was originally my sister's but her Coach purse spit it out in disgust and so she gave it to me.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

"Pitchers"

I'm not a photographer. I wouldn't even call myself an amateur photographer. Furthermore, I'm even a little bit embarrassed to list "photography" as a hobby on online profile forms. I just like taking pictures with my simple point and shoot camera. That's all.


All of my pictures tend to be too yellow or too grainy--and I tend to get carried away with saturation and contrast during editing. I don't know anything about lighting, composition or apa apu aperture. But I do know one thing. A border and watermark can turn an okay picture into one that's not so bad.

Thank goodness for photoshop.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taco Soup

That's Taco Soup. It's delicious. And I'd love to share the recipe but it's a long road to get there, so hang with me.

When I was around 12 or 13 years old my mom joined a bowling league. Every Tuesday night she had to leave the house around 5 p.m. to head to the local bowling alley. She had to get dinner on the table for our family of 5, fast. So Tuesday nights became pizza night. As a result, Tuesday nights became my favorite night of the week. You have to understand that my family just did not do fast food back then. We went to Western Sizzlin' for mother's day but that was about it. This whole take out thing was new and exciting and Pizza Hut secured a place in my heart forever.

But back to bowling. Each year the ladies would have a party and everyone would bring food. One year, one of the other bowlers brought Taco Soup and my mom got the recipe. It's more like a chili than a soup. Thick, hearty, beany, delicious. It also has half a pound of Velveeta in it, which, coincidentally, has a permanent place in my heart, too.

Taco Soup (from the Tuesday Night Ladies Bowling league potluck)

2 lbs ground beef, browned
1 pkg ranch dressing mix
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can white hominy
1 can pinto beans
1 can southern ranch beans
2 cans kidney beans
1 can Rotel
8 oz Velveeta
Corn chips

Add everything to a slow cooker and set on high for 4 hours. Don't worry about draining and rinsing the beans, just dump everything in. Serve over corn chips.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sunny Day...

...Sweepin' the clouds away!

It's Sesame Street's 40th anniversary today. I love Sesame Street. Grover was my favorite. Remember the Pointer Sisters 1-12 song with the pinball machine? Classic. And what about the mahna mahna song? That one's gonna be stuck in my head all day. Oh, and remember the time Gonzo tried to sell his soul to Alice Cooper in exchange for fame and fortune? Wait...that was The Muppet Show. Another favorite.

Big pup has been carrying Elmo around with him for most of his 7 years. He has tons of stuffed animals--a monkey, a couple of teddy bears, all of the inhabitants of Hundred Acre Wood--but his favorite has always been Elmo. I can remember when they used to be the same size! Elmo still sleeps with Big pup at night, travels on vacations with us, and rides to school with us every morning. I even tucked him into my purse just in case my son needed him when he got his flu shots a couple of weeks ago (and he did).

But Elmo hasn't always been "Elmo." He first appeared as Little Monster in 1979 and his character wasn't really developed until 1984, the year Kevin Clash took over as puppeteer, er, muppeteer.

Happy Anniversary, Sesame Street!

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Monday, November 9, 2009

I Hope They Remember

I hope they remember having blueberry muffins every Friday morning.
And spending Friday nights with their grandparents who are willing to take them to McDonalds every single Friday.
I hope they remember how I put their clothes in the dryer on cold mornings so they'll be warm when they get dressed for school.
Baking cookies and watching holiday cartoons is one of my favorite memories from my childhood. I hope it will become one of their favorite memories, too.
I hope they remember carefree summers full of fun activities like playing in the pool and going to movies. I'm sure they'll forget the trips to the library.
I hope they remember making s'mores and carving pumpkins for Halloween. I never did that growing up--why didn't someone tell me that it's so much fun?
I hope they remember the happy times playing with Indie and the Huskies. There's no better friend than a dog and I hope they'll always be able to experience that friendship.

I hope they remember that above all else, they are brothers. And they'll always be able to count on each other. Because--to borrow a quote from Antisthenes--when brothers agree, no fortress is so strong as their common life.

I really hope they remember that.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Web Surfing Part 3

I'm drawing a blank on a blog post today. I asked WD what I should write about and he suggested I drum up support for Obama's healthcare plan so he can get out of the National Guard without having to worry about health insurance.

But I think I'd rather talk about makeup. You know, FUN stuff.

Makeup Alley is my favorite place on the web for makeup tips and reviews. You do have to login to use it but it's not a hassle. Want to know if NARS lipgloss is really worth the big bucks? Want to know if the kabuki brush that comes with Maybelline's mineral powder foundation holds up after cleaning? I can spend hours on this site.

I love watching Michelle Phan's makeup tutorials on youtube. She makes putting on makeup look so easy. I'm always making mistakes with my mascara wand and getting my blush uneven.

More fun stuff on the web: Hulu. During the week my tv is tuned to Spongebob, CNN, video games, and sports. So on Fridays, I park myself in front of the computer and get caught up on my favorite shows--The Office, Glee, 30 Rock, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, etc. And there's usually chocolate involved, as well. It's a good day.

And speaking of tv, I love reading the recaps on Television Without Pity. A lot of times, the recaps are even funnier than the shows.

Just in case you missed it, here's Web Surfing Part 1 and Part 2. Happy Surfing!

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sopaipillas

When I was in college, I waited tables at a Mexican restaurant. After two years, I gathered up what little self-respect and dignity I had left and quit. There's nothing that will make you lose your faith in humanity more than being a waiter/waitress. Small tips, rude commands and being on your feet for long hours--wait, I'm I still talking about being a waitress or being a mom?

One of the most popular items on the menu were the sopaipillas. Okay, so maybe they were popular because they were free with a paid meal, but still, customers would request 2 or 3 baskets extra. I came across a recipe for them in an old Taste of Home magazine and thought my boys would love them. My 5 year old loved making them with me and watching them puff up like little pillows. And although you can eat them savory by filling them up with meat, beans and salsa, I like to bite a corner off and fill it with honey. Yum!

Sopaipillas (original recipe from Taste of Home)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBS shortening
1/3 cup warm water
cooking oil for deep frying
honey (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

In a bowl, combing flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Gradually add water, stirring with a fork. The dough will be crumbly. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 3 minutes or until smooth. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out into a 12 in. x 10 in. rectangle. Cut into 12 squares. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer and fry sopapillas for 1-2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels; keep hot in a warm oven. Serve with honey or dust with powdered sugar.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Miscellaneous Indeed

I reentered the world of Twitter a couple of months ago. When did this whole "RT" thing begin? It took me forever to learn that it meant retweet. And even longer to learn why anyone would want to RT in the first place. Anywho, I'm liking Twitter this time around. I use it mainly as a companion to my blog, posting short little brain blurbs. You can follow me here, if you'd like.

I'm thinking about joining Unknown Mami's Sundays In My City photo meme. It sounds like a great way to document life in my city. And I use the term "city" very loosely here. The population is just over 500 and there's not a whole lot to look at. I may only get about 20 Sundays under my belt and run out of stuff to shoot.

I broke my treadmill. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Recently, I mentioned my favorite ice cream in a blog post and the next thing I know Blue Bunny is offering me a free coupon to try out another flavor. I didn't take them up on their offer though because nothing can top their discontinued White Fudge Almond Divinity.

On a related note, I have 3 dogs to feed and they love PEDIGREE! I love buying PEDIGREE! I would buy PEDIGREE every day if I could. I would even eat PEDIGREE myself if it was socially acceptable! Yum! (Hint, hint)

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Party Pupcakes

I always try and do a little something for my dogs whenever they have a birthday. And despite Lexie's showdowns with snakes, cats, possums, skunks and a nasty infection that left her unable to see out her right eye, she made it to her 10 birthday this month. To celebrate I whipped up a batch of Party Pupcakes. They're made with apple, oatmeal, cheddar and yogurt and all the dogs loved them. Even my youngest son--he had 2 of them!

Party Pupcakes (original recipe from Bullwrinkle.com)

1 large apple (minced)
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1/4 cup oatmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Frosting:
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons flour
bacon, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix flour, oatmeal, baking powder and baking soda together. Set aside.
Mix yogurt, water, oil, honey and eggs. Stir in apple and cheese.
Add flour mixture and stir together.
Spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners.
Bake 20 min.
Allow to cool, then top with frosting and crumbled bacon.






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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Night In The Life

Soooo....I went to bed last night but decided against sleeping in my own bed. It was cluttered with a few of my husband's clothes and I was no longer in maid mode. Principles, people. He can hang up his own jacket, right? So I headed off to my oldest son's room and snuggled with him, eventually falling asleep. My husband woke me up a short time later--he apparently was in no mood to hang up his jacket either--and was going to sleep in Big pup's bed. After finding me there he went to our youngest son's room to sleep. Around 4 o'clock I woke up to find Little pup calling for me from my room. He had woken up and went to look for me. He didn't want to hang up daddy's jacket either so we both went back to his room and I told him a story about Santa Claus driving a big truck so he could go back to sleep. The story woke up my husband who decided that we were being too loud for him so he grabbed his pillow and stumbled his way to Big pup's room. And that's were we all stayed until it was time to get up and ready for school.

I haven't decided if having 3 bedrooms is not enough or if it's too many.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

High/Low


Mondays don't get a whole of respect compared to the rest of the days of the week but I kind of like them. It's usually a busy day--I tend to pack a lot of household chores into this day. I go grocery shopping for the week, do a couple loads of laundry and clean the bathrooms. I enjoy getting the house back into a more recognizable state after a weekend of taking it easy.

My favorite part of the day, though, is what happens after I drop the boys off at school. I head to McDonald's, pick up a cappuccino, make my way to Walmart and spend a few minutes in the parking lot putting together a grocery list while listening to NPR. It's nice. The morning sun coming through the windows, the smell of coffee, going through coupons with talk radio in the background...very nice. It's my high for the day.

My low? Realizing that the highlight of my day is sitting in a parking lot trying to figure out what to fix for dinner.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Green Stuff

I think the correct name of this popular dish is called Green Jello Cottage Cheese Pineapple Salad. My family has always called it green stuff. It's one of those recipes where the ingredient list leaves you questioning if it's going to be edible. And it is. Trust me, it's delicious. My mom and grandma eat it as a side dish, my sister saves it for dessert and I think I could it eat as the main meal.

1 lb cottage cheese
1 3 oz pkg lime jello
1 6 oz can crushed pineapple
1 8 oz container whipped topping

Mix cottage cheese and jello together. Add pineapple and stir. Fold in whipped topping and store in fridge.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just Don't Drop Them!

I have a small collection of Barbie dolls that I acquired before I had children. Back then, I always imagined that one day I would walk into my room and find that my daughters had torn open all the boxes. Scarlett O'Hara would be wearing the leopard fur hat from Winter in Montreal while Scully and Mulder interrogate the lovely Mademoiselle Isabelle.

But then I had children. BOY children. My Barbie dolls were safe.

My collection of 1:64 scale diecast Elliott Sadler cars, on the other hand, were not.



Oh, well. Can't win 'em all.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

Ummm...Can I Get That In Paperback?

The big news in Nobel Prize winning today is that President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.

BUT the literary world is all hot and bothered over yesterday's announcement that the Nobel Prize for Literature went to the German writer Herta Muller. Some say the committee is too Euro-centric, some say the winners are too obscure, some say what about Stephanie Meyer, hmmm? But I'm okay with their choice. The 56 year old, Romanian born Muller sounds like a great choice. Her tales mostly deal with oppression and suffering under Communist dictatorship. Actually, I'm kind of in to that now that I just finished reading Jung Chang's account of living in Mao's Communist China. Heavy stuff but very interesting.

I'm not quite sure how to get a hold of one her books, though, as Barnes and Noble is currently sold out of her novels. However, they are offering a used hardcover copy of one of her most well known works The Land of Green Plums, for $599, in case you're interested.

And I'm interested. But not $599 interested.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

June Revisted

When Little pup brought home his "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" paper from school all he had written was: We went to two museums and it caught on fire from cigarettes in seven minutes.

I don't blame him for having that stick out in his mind because that presentation at the Fire Museum was scary, even for me. But we did so much more while we were in Memphis! I'm finally getting around to posting vacation pics from Mud Island, the Speedway, The Children's Museum and the traumatizing Fire Museum.

See the pictures on the upper left and lower left? That was a kid-sized grocery store and the boys were in there for an hour! I'm surprised that Little pup didn't list this on his school paper because it was their favorite activity by far. So much more fun than watching someone's living room go up in flames, that's for sure.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

10/2/79. EIGHTEEN Seventy Nine, That Is.

Nope, it's not snowing here yet. It's a beautiful, breezy 70 degrees here today. I just thought I would post this old picture of my boys and their snowman after I learned that it's Wallace Stevens' birthday. One of the late poet's most famous poems is called The Snow Man and I think that this picture represents the poem perfectly.

There's Big Pup, on the left, taking a human perspective of snow: cold, miserable, unhappy, pessimistic, negative, etc. Little Pup, on the right, views the snow from nature's perspective: comfortable,beautiful, happy, optimistic, positive, etc. He is the snowman. He is nature regarding humanity as nothing while the "listener," the "human," regards nature as nothing. We are all nothing. And nothing is all.

Or something like that.

The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.






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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pesto!

My first experience with growing my own basil was a success! Since the weather is starting to change and temperatures are beginning to drop, I plan on bringing it indoors so I can make pesto year 'round. Man, I love pesto. I think I could eat it with a spoon. Scratch that, I know I could eat with a spoon. I have. Some people say that it's not pesto without pine nuts but I never have any pine nuts around. I do have basil, parmesan and olive oil, though, and that's enough to make a yummy and simple pesto.

Pesto

1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, if you have any, and I never do
1 clove garlic, if you have any, and sometimes I do

Put everything in a blender--minus the oil. Mix everything together while drizzling the oil into the blender. And that's it!

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

He's Back! For One Day Only

When Little Pup, my 5 year old son, started Kindergarten this year, I wasn't sure how I was going to cope. He's my little helper. My right hand man. How was I going to make it through the day? He drove me to the grocery store, did all the dishes and took care of all the laundry for me...



He was the head of the kitchen rolling out dough, mixing sangria and quality checking cake batters...




This past month I've learned to do without him for those 7 hours during the day. But now he has a cold and gets to stay home with mommy for today. It's just too bad that he's all achey and stuffy. But as soon as his fever breaks I'm putting him to work unloading the dishwasher. Just like old times.

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