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It’s that time again!

Yes, that’s right! It’s Christmas in July. I can’t explain it…maybe it’s the Hallmark movie marathon withdrawal finally catching up to me, but this month I strangely watch Christmas movies. My kids think I’m crazy. We just watched Elf, and Hitched for the Holidays during dinner! LOL And the weather was a pleasant 97 degrees. Hehe.

I made baked cornflake chicken for dinner. It’s a fav around here. I let the chicken tenders soak in buttermilk, salt, pepper, and paprika for a few hours. Then I press crunched up cornflakes, onion powder, and garlic powder on them, bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, and viola! Happy campers. And they’re healthier than fried. Which is what we usually do. They don’t call my husband fry-daddy for nothing. Last night we ate fried green beans. They were yuuuummmmmy. He makes a beer batter and lathers them up in sesame seeds. Gracious, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

I somehow irritated my back last night while typing in bed. Today has been a challenge bending over for things. Am I that unable to sit crooked for an hour without downing Advil the next day and walking with a limp? Yikes. Call AARP for me, someone! No offense, Mom if you’re reading this. However, I feel about 18 years old in my head. Okay, maybe 30. I’ve had some kids escape these loins. That accounts for a couple years. Speaking of kids…I’m thinking of adopting. I’ve always wanted to. Why not now? If anyone has anything to weigh in on this, please let me know. I never shy away from hearing and learning from someone else’s experiences. My first reaction to really finding out more in depth what’s involved is the price. Holy schnikes! If those poor children only knew how many people couldn’t adopt based on that fact alone, it would depress the whole lot. Why should we make a profit for locating a forever home for children? I say yes, there has to be a home study, and yes, there has to be a fee for paperwork, but really? Thousands? These people need to consider how much money goes into raising a child.

Okay, slight turn in conversation. I wasn’t finished with my meal talk. I made a coconut cream cake for dessert tonight. Super duper easy. It was a poke cake. So I made a white cake, baked it for 30 minutes, got it out and poked it to death. Then I mixed coconut milk and sweet condensed milk and poured it on top. Oh, did I mention, I added coconut extract to white cake before baking–you know, to give it that taste. 🙂 Then I refrigerated said poked cake, with concoction soaking into it, and whipped some fresh cream. I only let the cake cool for a couple hours. You’re supposed to overnight…as if. Don’t they know I don’t read instructions until I get the cake batter poured in the pan, with this being the only thing for dessert…TONIGHT! Then I spread the whipped cream and sprinkled a little of the flakes on top. I must say, it was tasty. My youngest, handing me his empty plate, said “you know I don’t like coconut.” Funny boy. His empty plate. Okay.

I’m off now to continue writing my Sarah series. This is the last book, you know. Something pretty spectacular better come out of my brain tonight. After much deliberation, I’ve decided on my next male character….Drumroll please…

 

 

This guy shouldn’t be too difficult to write. It was either him or Richard Gere. I wanted a bit of flavor in the third book, so I chose Javier. He’s just moved to the small town of Calvert, where Sarah lives. Little does he know, life in a fish bowl is much more interesting than New York City!

Off to my imaginary world, folks! Have a great one. 🙂

 

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New Recipe Weekend

Half the battle is going to the store, buying the food, and carrying it inside once you get home. The other half…cleaning up. Baking and cooking, however, I have no problem with. As long as I’m in the mood. And I’m pretty sure I was in the mood this weekend. If I had planned to do a lot of cooking, I’d have dreaded it like a trip to the “lady” doctor, but I woke up wanting to experiment with something new. Not everything went as planned.

Saturday I did the deed and went to the store. Actually it gets hairy before the store. I actually have to have a plan, look for recipes, and commit. So I did all that, came home and began. I didn’t sit down until Sunday night, about now! At least that’s how it seemed. I digress…Saturday morning I made chocolate chip muffins. Nothing big, nothing new. It was there before I went to the store, so I popped them in the oven. For lunch I made tacos. But not like that. Not like the box kit. Nope, I was adventurous. I did up the spices, added some chili beans, and viola..it was a keeper. Of course my daughter does not eat these, so a hamburger is what she ate. Also the tacos had 1/2 beef, 1/2 turkey. I kept this to myself…my kids don’t do well with too many changes. The beans alone were enough to traumatize them.

For dinner came Penne pasta with creamy vodka sauce. Luckily I had a trial sized bottle of Absolute in my fridge. I used sweet Italian sausage for this, with sides of cheddar biscuits, salad, and fresh roasted asparagus. Beware of stinky pee! My youngest and I are the only one who will eat this. He stands at the oven and pulls them out by the handfuls and stuffs his face!

Sunday morning was pumpkin spice pancakes and oven-made bacon. Can I just stop the presses for a moment and proclaim that if you’ve never had bacon made in the oven, do it. Just do it. Trust me when I say, my eyes, along with my family’s eyes, rolled back in their heads. YUMMMMMMMY. And the pancakes were pretty spectacular, too. (I only take credit for following the recipe…meaning the recipe was a keeper). Very filling, and my 2nd son put a dollop of whipped cream on his. I didn’t see his eyes come back around after this trick was performed. 🙂 Lunch was Italian subs, stacked high with all the fixings.

For dinner…and this was the not-so-great moment of the weekend. Italian pot roast. It missed. Not that I did anything to destroy it. It baked for 9 hours, had fresh rosemary spread on top, and slits of fresh garlic wedged on both sides. It melted in your mouth, but the taste? Meh. Not a keeper. Luckily I served it with buttery mashed potatoes and the taste was masked if you mixed the both together. And of course, I forgot to mention, I made a fresh blueberry pound cake on Saturday. So this was a munched on treat for the weekend.

I’m stuffed just writing about this weekend’s plan of attack on our bellies. It’s over, and they’ll be doing good if they get frozen pizza and chicken nuggets for dinner this week. Just kidding, I’ll try my best. It’s not that easy to think of new things.

Peace out, and have a great week! 😉

 

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Thanksgiving Traditions

DAYI don’t really have a tradition; only that sometimes a turkey sits ON the table and other times it sits AT the table. We’ll find out which one will happen this year.

Since becoming an adult, dinner has been up for grabs at which house it will be at. Oh the days where all I had to do was show up with a plate and fork, eat, and then leave the scene. Now, there’s a slight possibility I’ll be hosting, and a super good chance I’ll be helping and/or cleaning it up. Forgive the scowl I might at times have on my face toward the little ones who inhale and flee.

This year I was asked to host the event at my house. And event is defined as thirty people attending, holding forks with mashed potato and gravy trances, and bellies growling so loudly that you’d think we lived near a train depot. Not a meal for ten, surely. But that’s what these feasts are for, right? I’m thankful to have a miniature fleet attending every year. Since when do we all get together at the same time and break bread? Once or twice a year to be exact. And there’s probably reasons for this. No, I’m just kidding. It’s fine we all eat together. Minus the children running and romping, it’s fun. Especially when my brother brings out the ol’gingerbread liquor concoction. Yum-o. And I don’t type that lightly. Double Yum-o. Isn’t it nice to have someone like something you make? You’d think, but when I’m asking for my fifth one…I get that look. I can’t help it. My taste buds look forward to it all year. The tiny bits of broken gingerbread, the lightly taupe colored elixir floating in the glass. I’m seeing tiny little gingerbread men dancing just thinking about it.

Anyway, over the years Thanksgiving has morphed into a couple different things. Of course it’s grown in number since I was young. Now everyone has someone and they have little someone’s, until it’s a line wrapped around the counter, where you’re hoping all the ham isn’t gone by the time you get there. And then there’s the couple of years that my sister made everyone go around the table and tell what we’re thankful for. Those were stressful. Yes it was a good idea; reflection is always a good thing. Thankfulness is always shined on well, but on the spot? And then to have everyone judge you for the one word you uttered? Obviously in order to play the game you had to be a philosopher.

The first year I could’ve sworn I broke out in a sweat. Thankful for? I don’t know. I didn’t want to sound lame and say family, or a warm house. Plus, everyone before me had already said something profound. I think that year I lowered my self underneath the table and crawled away. (I’m thankful for a bunch of stuff, I just don’t want to have it talked about and measured) The second year I was ready. I came rehearsed. My answer was also duplicated by the person sitting next to me. When it was my turn, I had nothing but to be thankful for the meal itself. Eye roll city! By the third year I told my mother to tell her not to do it anymore. It was making the children nervous:)

This year Thanksgiving was volleyed between my and my mother’s house. For a week solid it was thought to be at mine. I cleaned for hours, scrubbed my oven….then on the night before (last night to be exact) she called and said it would be at hers. I suppose that means Christmas is at mine. I have a few weeks till then. I’ll go easy on the dirtying up around here:)

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Quick Dinner

BraisedNoPeakSteakTips2So, I came home from a very busy work day yesterday, which began at 5 a.m. and I wanted something good to eat, but which required very little effort. I was tired, but not stop-by-McDonalds-to-eat-junk tired! Thinking back to some super easy meals, I remembered this No-Peek Beef dish. It takes minimal effort and the flavor is tasty. I thought I’d share it, in case, you’d forgotten about it or never heard of it. There are variations, I’m sure, but this is the one I was told about.

Quite simple:

I buy a large, 2 1/2 pound piece of chuck roast and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Place it in a Dutch oven. Then you mix together in a small bowl:

  • 1 1/4 cup of ginger ale
  • 1 envelope of Lipton onion soup (in a blue box)
  • 1 can of mushroom soup

Pour over meat, give it a quick stir, then cover and bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. I place a sheet of foil between my lid and the pot for extra coverage. Do NOT check it. The whole no-peek thing is for a reason. One I’m not too sure what it is, but I’m guessing there is one! At the end of the time, take it out and serve it with buttered noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes. It’s a super easy dish for a comfort taste. And, did I mention how effortless it was?

Today, I didn’t have to wake up so early. I’m at my other job, but of course, my internal body alarm woke me up anyway:(  Sweet and sour chicken is on the menu for this evening. Who else out there gets a little drug out trying to think of menus for the week? I think when there’s no more children in the house, I’ll just grab a bowl of cereal for dinner and eat it in bed while watching a movie. A romance flick, for sure:)