Friday, February 27, 2009

Yawning Can Be Dangerous

I firmly believe that when it is your time to die it will happen. There is no bargaining, no escaping, no putting it off for later. No matter what you do or where you go, when it is time the universe will make it happen. I joke and say that life is a terminal disease, have fun 'cause no one makes it out alive and by all means enjoy it while you got it 'cause you sure can't take it with you. This belief of mine is not morbid-really it's not. Unless you think finding stories of strange deaths morbid.
Okay, it's morbid-but it's a little funny too. Admit it, you chuckled just a bit. I think I'd rather end up swallowed by a hippo than lingering in a nursing home with my mind mostly gone, a body too frail to move and only habit keeping me here and breathing.
My great grandmother died in her bed at 103, her husband-my great-grandfather ended up strapped to a bed in a nursing home to keep him from wandering (he wanted to go home to his wife, I think it just took him awhile to figure out where she had gone and how to get there-he was 98[yes, she was older than him]). Both grandfathers gone, one -after surviving (and largely recovering from) a catastrophic aneurysm rupture that should have killed him 40 years ago, suffered a stroke and died of pneumonia in the hospital. The other chose to die of cancer and later, his wife, my grandmother chose to starve to death in a nursing home.
Most of these people as far as I know, LIVED. They didn't muck about much wondering why me or what now. My great grandparents planted their garden one year with zinnias because they wanted to see what a half acre of flowers would look like in bloom. My paternal grandparents traveled North America in a camper because they wanted to experience every moment of the journey and every place they went. My maternal grandfather never gave in to his disability and had more fun with his grandchildren than any other man of his generation I have known.
This stuff is on my mind because Big Daddy D's grandmother fell and broke her hip a couple of weeks ago now. She is 94. She won't heal. There is currently no cure for old age or alzheimers. I don't know her, her life. I don't know if she lived.
As we wait for her time to run out here on this earth I just know one thing.
I want to live and do it loud, experiencing every moment while it lasts and whether I end up in a nursing home or a hippos stomach...I know it will end when it's supposed to and I am not afraid of that.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

TMI Thursday

Be warned. I am about to divulge too much information. Skip to the end for the recipe(Banana Muffins) if you don't think you can handle it. No it isn't graphic. But it is funny.

Big Daddy D and I are mostly morning people when it comes to our intimate relations. And this morning was no exception. After some coffee and cyber jabs concerning some FB smart assedness last night(yes we are the people who IM when we are in the same room-some things you just can't say in front of your kids ;), Big Daddy D went to shower. After setting up Baby with snacks and a drink I followed him and locked the door behind me.

And then we broke the bed.
It is broken.
Involuntary position adjustment.
Groans and giggles.
Don't stop cause it's getting good.
Really good.
Lets check.
Yep, it's really broken.
Irreparable this time.
Yes, we have broken the bed before.
And the one before this one too.
And one in China.
Always the same way.
Maybe we should just put the mattress on the floor for good.
Save a little money.
Nah, where's the fun it that?
And let me just say that my moisturizer didn't work like I hoped it would on beard burn.

Banana Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In one bowl:

Mash 4-5 really ripe, all brown, but not quite gross yet, bananas


2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil(normally I would use butter but have found the muffins are more moist with oil-besides, I slather on the butter when I eat these anyway!)
1/2 cup chopped nuts(though in truth Big Girl does not like nuts so I leave them out, hence no "nut" in the title ;)

Stir like crazy til well combined(at least that is what Baby does and it seems to work)

In another bowl combine:

2 cups whole wheat flour-all purpose will be fine too
1 1/2 tsp baking powder(because I worry about it, I use the kind w/out aluminum)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt(it's the only kind I have aside from big grey salt-if you use fine salt cut to 1/4 tsp please)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg-if you don't have fresh DO NOT USE THE PREGROUND STUFF! I MEAN IT! It is so not the same. You can find whole nutmeg where the little plastic bags of herbs are sold-usually in produce and usually for less than $2 (on the spice aisle expect to pay double) And they will last-so just do it!

Dump the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir til just combined-it will be lumpy, stop stirring already!

Set your bowl aside and get your muffin tins ready by spraying them with cooking spray.
My tins are old inherited things and are definitely not the jumbo size. I also have a couple of mini muffin tins. This recipe makes either 12 regular size muffins and 12 mini muffins, or 24 mini muffins and 8 regular size muffins.

Your batter will be rested by now(yes, this important!) so...

Fill your muffin tins no more than 2/3s full and put in the oven.

The mini muffin tin goes on the bottom rack for just 12 minutes! Don't forget!
The 2 regular size tins go on the middle rack for 20-23 minutes(I like mine crispy and so go for the longer time but some people don't so...)

By the time you have eaten all the mini muffins the bigger ones will be done. Just take those out of the tin(s) and let cool on a cooling rack then bag 'em up and throw them in the freezer for later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ruby Rushed & Crispy Chicken

First I would like to thank the academy, whoops, wrong thank you speech.

Thanks to WanderingGirl and Spellbound for their offers of help with finding my preferred hair color. I am glad to report that after my second stop today(a total 6 of stops in all over the past week)I found a freshly stocked drugstore shelf with 3 boxes of Ruby Rush. I exercised a smidge of restraint and bought only 2 of them so as to not leave another woman desperately searching for her color. Hmmm, honestly I have not seen another woman in the area-or man for that matter-with the same shade of red hair. I might have to go back and get that other box after all. My first task upon returning home was to lock my self in the bathroom and TaDa! Hair once again gloriously red root to tip and I feel magnificent darlings!

Also I have a confession.

Last night I cooked for the first time since Big Daddy D left for San Fransisco Friday. I know, hard to believe, but true nonetheless. We survived "gasp"on frozen pizza, chips and some left overs. Sometimes ya just gotta take a break ya know? Of course I am thinking now about how assaulting my body with all the stuff in convenience food and chips was not a good idea and probably did not help my mood/stress levels at all. I'll have to keep that in mind for the future(Big Daddy D takes at least 4-and often more-business trips every year). What is so amusing about the junk food and not cooking thing is that he is not home to eat most nights anyway. I mean, he gets home a little before 9 every night and eats whatever we girls had for supper, but it's not like we eat meals together. What was the difference really? Ah well, of course I know the difference-it was fun and we got to "sneak" and eat in ways that he would never approve of(he does not dictate our diet, don't think that-he just doesn't think Cheetos make for a good supper or a bowl of chocolate ice cream, for that matter). Truthfully I don't sanction it either, but I love the thrill of being naughty. Even if it was only with a frozen pizza. Ah well. Next time I'll just check my bedside drawer for a bit of naughty fun while he is away. My mood would have been improved I am sure. No I did not just say what you think I said. OK, OK, I did. ; }

Crispy Chicken

In large bowl or gallon size freezer bag combine:

2 T dry sherry
4 t soy sauce
2 t kosher salt
2 t sugar
4 green onions chopped fine-white and green parts
4 cloves garlic chopped fine-or use your garlic press people(surely you have one)
3+ T grated ginger(I keep mine in the freezer and grate it skin and all as I need it)

Into your bag or bowl add

2-3 lbs chicken thighs(again skin on please)this is also excellent for legs and wings-just joint the wings first

Make sure the meat is coated with the marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to about 6 hours max, turning the meat occasionally to ensure even saturation

Heat your oven to 425 degrees

Place chicken skin side up on a rimmed sheet pan and bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes. For extra yumminess pour all the marinade in the pan and when the chicken is done, pour off some of the fat and deglaze the baking sheet for a wonderful pan sauce.

This is very good with rice and packs extremely well for lunches, tailgate parties and of course picnics.

I also made banana muffins last night. Would you like that recipe too?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm Famous!

Okay okay, I am not famous, but I am in a commercial. Okay that is not true either. But my name is in a commercial. It is. A Goldfish commercial. A cute white cheddar snack. Yep that's me!
On to slightly more serious matters.
I have apparently chosen the most hard to find color for my hair.
Um, yes I color my hair at home. It's fun and way less expensive than a salon and since I don't do highlights it is very doable. I like it and it does look good so I'll keep on doing it til I get bored or change my mind.
Anyway, this color(Ruby Rush by Feria/L'Oreal)is not well stocked in this area. I feel like I have been all over town trying to find my shade because it is time and so far no luck. Aack. My fear is that I have already purchased every box of Ruby Rush in town and will have no recourse but to make an online purchase. I will. I won't like it but I will do it. I love my hair color more than I don't like buying things online. I must be a seeing is believing kind of person and not a believing is seeing kind. Actually, I am more a gotta see it touch it taste it smell hear it kind of person.
That must be why I love to shop and cook so much.

Ah well, wish me luck.

It's free parking at the Arboretum and we are going for another walk.

After that the hair color search continues.

Monday, February 23, 2009

While Big Daddy D's away...

I won't whine. I hate whining. Absolutely hate hearing it and doing it myself. So I will merely say that I had a craptastic weekend. Parts were crappy, parts were fantastic.

For some reason every adult person that I interact with on a regular basis (in person) was unavailable for comment the whole weekend. 4 days with no one but kids to deal with leaves you looking for conversation in the strangest of places.

If any of you encounter a rather frazzled looking adult type person with children in tow and that person has a rather desperate smile and talks a bit too fast-be kind, be patient, be responsive, after all you might be the only grown up that person has talked to in days.

On the fantastic side I had a wonderful hours long discussion with my big girl about boundaries and healthy relationships, the wisdom of being a good friend and the time it takes to learn that it is impossible to fix people. It was a fantastic talk and I did not get bogged down in the in lecturish behavior that sometimes happens.

I also very fantastically purchased my favorite jeans of all time in my very favorite size of all time and yes, my ass is fantastic in them. A pair of Levi 501 blues in 30x30 since you asked so nicely. Shhh, Big Daddy D doesn't know I bought them.

I have also embarked on a rather ambitious though I admit rather silly project. 1000(+1) origami cranes to be folded and strung together for a wish granted and good luck. At my current rate of folding I am estimating a finish date sometime early spring 2010. That should give me plenty of time to figure out what I want to wish for-which I think is the whole idea anyway;)

To top it all off even though I have a teenage daughter and all that that implies she is fantastic too and helped me start off my morning today rather fantastically as you can see for yourself.
She can't spell for anything but I think I'll keep her. Good minions are hard to come by.
The smaller of the minions obligingly woke with a smile thereby ensuring that this morning is fantastic indeed.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

One strange week

I go to bed.
I can't unwind.
Can't fall asleep.
Listening to the light snores beside me-violence brews.
I get up instead.
The house gets one last straightening, the kitchen another wipe down.
It's midnight or later and sleep just will not come.
I flip channels.
I read.
I surf the web.
I go back to bed.
Lay for what seems like hours yet is probably only minutes.
Finally drift off.
A strange dream, and slowly waking to strange thoughts.
It's still dark.
I look at the clock.
I just want to sleep.
I lay there.
Too early to get up.
Too late to fall asleep again.
Finally drowse.
Drifting in that no mans land where monsters and angels dwell.
Light begins to sift through curtains.
Chasing away half dreamt lands.
I am up.
Stumbling through.
Bleary eyed good morning.
Must wait for it.
B out the door.
Coffee cradled in my hands.
Hot and black.
I sit.
I sip.
I wake.
The rest of the house sleeps on.

I savor it, this time of peace.
Is that the answer?
Do I need to experience the stillness?
And so wake while others dream?

I would like to report that due to 2 glasses of wine, a sufficient amount of reading, and some time alone(I locked myself in the bedroom-don't worry the big girl was on duty) I actually did manage to get relaxed enough to fall asleep and most importantly stay that way for 7 hours. That means I am currently behind on only about 12 hrs from the strange and sleepless week I have left behind.
I will work on cultivating moments of stillness throughout my day, find the quiet in myself.
And sleep, I hope.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Lack of sleep sucketh balls."
Thus sayeth the Brook.
"Will I sleepeth tonight?"
Pondereth the Brook.
"I doubteth it."
Sayeth the Brook.
"Oh god, please let me sleepeth."
Thus beggeth the Brook.

"Why hast thou forsaken me oh sleep?
This silliness becomes me not I fear,
and rest the only remedy
for punch drunk rhyme
and jollity."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We went to the North Carolina Arboretum for our walkies today.

Witch hazel in bloom is delicious

Spirit Glow Dogwood in bloom
Cryptic message from a woodpecker

Lovely blue skies-and not a flake of snow

38 degrees isn't so cold
and nearly 38 isn't so old!

The map reader-I can read upside down and backwards too.

Awwww, just too cute!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Waking Dreams

I am tired and I am bored and perhaps a bit blah. I read somewhere that being bored was something lazy people say. That there are things to do and boredom is the excuse to not do the things that must be done.
If I was folding the laundry right now I would still be bored. I know this because I have done it ad nauseum. Being busy does not equate to being engaged. Being completely in the moment is wonderful and I have been there, even in the laundry process.
Not today though.
Today I want calgon to whisk me away for an afternoon horse ride, a hike in the mountains, or a walk in the woods. I want to think about what I have read today and wonder about what I haven't.
I don't want to wonder if Baby has once again put a whole roll of toilet paper in the toilet thereby clogging it yet again. I don't want to think about how quiet it's gotten and if I am going to have to rescue some pet or other from Baby's house of beauty. I don't want to be thinking about what new and delightful food to prepare for supper or even pondering the possibility of busting out a tried and true family favorite.

I am tired.

Maybe I should sleep.
Dreams, take me where I want to be.
Or should I wake?
To live where my dreams are.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Paprika Chicken

Here is one of my favorite chicken dishes and it is more a method rather than a recipe.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Chicken pieces(I use legs and occasionally thighs-leave the skin on please)

Here's the method part:

liberally salt your chicken and completely cover it with paprika and ground black pepper(I use the cheap stuff and could not imagine how delicious it could be with really prime paprika-if you splurge let me know!)

Place your chicken in a lightly oiled oven proof skillet or two-do not crowd the chicken(I use both of my cast iron skillets for this)

Put the chicken in the oven

After 15 minutes turn your chicken over

Let cook another 20 minutes.

Your chicken is done and delicious.

I always serve this with caramelized onions( usually 4-5 medium), english peas or brussel sprouts from the freezer, and crusty bread from the bakery as I have not even come close to mastering breads.

Tips for working with onions:

Freeze your onions for 30 minutes or so before you start slicing-if you work fast you can have those suckers sliced with your SUPER SHARP KNIFE before they warm up enough to send those tear making snot inducing fumes up to your face!
Plus you can cut them thinner when they are partially frozen.
Oh and to get the smell off your hands super easy you can do one of three things-buy one of those silly stainless steel eggs(but why?), rub your soapy hands thoroughly on the divider in your stainless steel sink or lastly (if you don't have a stainless sink)rub a stainless steel spoon in your hands as you wash them.

Stainless Steel is the bomb!

I cut onions nearly every day and trust me, these tricks do work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

7 inches

The time for me to make you writhe with envy and possibly turn you against me forever has come. But these pictures are so worth it.

Let me show you what a little over 25 pounds translates to when you are a smidge over 5 feet tall.

First the belt. I bought it over a year ago and wore it on the third hole then. And then one day, I had to wear it on the last hole.

That was in about March.

Wow, nearly a year ago.

Anyway as you know I decided that that was just ridiculous.


I had made it back to the second hole in the belt (a little tight but hey-I could do it!)when the food poisoning struck back in June.

Since then I have had to tighten my belt past the actual holes and into the flower cutouts.

I was thrilled when I had to do it the first time and let me tell you, moving it to the second set of flower cuttouts a couple of weeks ago, I think I was dancing around the house!

I didn't think to wash that mirror(It's in baby's room) before I started snapping but the proof is there!

There is also proof that I have been pregnant more than once and l wear those marks gladly-proudly even.

And ignore the mess, I have better things to do than pick up after Baby every five minutes.

Like take pictures of my hot self!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Sometimes that extra glass of wine is worth the headache. And the sore thighs. And the serious whisker burns.
Being able to take a nap helps too.

MamaJama did a great job with our steaks, and the eggplant too. Still experimenting with which direction on the stove works best as she is big enough to to cover two side burners or two front burners. I'll just keep trading back and forth for awhile.

Oh, and I have this theory that the day you stop learning is the day you start dying. I learned today that while I might one day get a tattoo(I do want one) , I will never ever get nipple piercings. Not that I ever gave that much thought, mind you, but Reepacheep got me right square in the headlights this morning with his crazy kneading action and cleared up that issue forever. OUCH!

Now, on to the aspirin!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I love myself

Today I committed to writing one thing I love about myself.

Sorry Head Possum, I forgot to post the guidelines.

They go something like this.

I write something I love/like about myself.

And you, my readers do the same in the comments.

I in return will tell you what I like about you.

So here goes.

I love that I finally had to courage to take my body back from grief.

Being strong enough to be the person I want to be physically and emotionally is a constant challenge and I am glad to take on the task every day.

I love that I have the courage to sport my super red hair. It is so red, so vibrant and to me reflects my newfound bravery in first recognizing what I want and then being bold enough to go for it. Looking back and smiling at the people who are taken aback by the sheer redness of my hair does something for me.

I am not ashamed.

I am brave.

I love my body.

I love myself.

Your turn.

Friday, February 13, 2009

History Part One, or My Love of Scissors

The question was asked "How do you do it?" and "What inspires you?"

To answer the first I should explain a few things.

First scissors.

I love scissors, the way they look and the power they contain.

Such a simple tool(though not a simple machine) that enables the bearer to permanently alter the Universe.

Seems a bit melodramatic doesn't it?

Think about it though.

What scissors cut can never be the same again. Mended, re purposed perhaps but the very fabric of reality has changed-forever.

I had many paradigm moments in my early childhood. Realizing the power of scissors and through their use a bit of the nature of the universe and the laws of physics when I was four or so is still a vivid memory. I am not embellishing. A whole new way of thinking was opened up to me and I can't even begin to relate the many ways in which I consciously explored ideas of cause and effect, irrevocability, responsible use of power, and of course, the wonders of creativity.

Let's not forget the sounds of scissoring. I love the sounds produced as my scissors pass through paper and fabric. It is the sound of possibilities to me. If you concentrate you can feel the textures through the blades and almost sense the molecules of your material separate as you are cutting and your scissors break the laws of attraction.

We are talking serious power here people.

Scissors and their use have changed the world-not just my young life.

In an effort to keep me from destroying the house in my experiments my (step)mom provided me with material from her scrap bag and I cut with abandon. I would start with a largish piece of material and see how many times I could cut it in half-lessons on infinity there because I knew, I just knew that I could cut it to the point that I wouldn't be able to see what was left and my inability to see the tiny pieces were all that prevented me from cutting it even smaller.

I cut endless chains of paper dolls and hundreds perhaps thousands of snowflakes in my quest to find out how much of something I could take away without destroying it's integrity.

I still love my scissors. I have several pairs-do you know why scissors are a pair? Well, even if you do I can't see you nod your head so I will tell you. Scissors are a compound machine consisting of two levers-sharpened to wedges-whose fulcrum acts as the pivot point. So scissors are a pair of levers. Tah Dah! Isn't that fun? Still not sure about the pair of jeans though-I think it might be because way back when your pants actually consisted of two separate leggings that kind of crossed over each other and tied to your belt. Ladies just went commando under their skirts. Whoa, I digress.

Back to my scissors. And yes, all the scissors here are mine and I make them available to those who can tell me how they intend to use them and when I can expect them back. I don't censor their use beyond what my (step)mom did-making sure it's not the drapes or perhaps the doggies ear or a power cord in the sites of the tool user. I can think of many occasions with B where we sat down and just cut paper for ever to hear the sounds and see the little bits of change falling from our fingers.

My special scissors, the scissors I use in my art, are different. I don't think they have been touched by anyone but me since I bought them. In some strange alchemical way they have become an extension of self as I use them and so they have become too precious to be casually used by another.

And so ends Part One.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

It was inevitable.

I know it was.

Planning ahead.
Time spent thinking about what to do.
How to do it.
Convincing your partner.

Small fortune spent on supplies.
Everything has to be perfect.
Hours on your hands ands knees.
Screwing and plugging.

And then what?
Does it last?
Of course not,
The pleasure and satisfaction are fleeting.

Baby figured out the child-proof locks on the cabinets.

What did you think I was talking about?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This is me talking to you.

I snagged this from Lyvvie and just had to share it with you. I know it's long but it might be the best use of a quarter hour today!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Dolls

Here are some new dolls I made recently. I think they are sooo cute! They were inspired by a book I just had to buy. They are looking for new homes so if you know anyone who is looking for a new friend please spread the word.
This first guy is just too cool for his own darn self-especially considering he can't stand on his own two feet.

The little pink guy is a Maukie(Lucky Cat) in lucky colors. He is waving hello and beckoning good fortune with the sweetest smile on his little face.

Now this last little guy is a cat too- but I can't say reliably that he is beckoning good fortune your way(he is sporting skulls and bones after all) and his smile is more a smirk if you look at it real close.

Pork and Mushroom Marsala with Risotto... what we had for supper last night. And let me tell you it was delicious. It still is actually because we have some left for lunch.
So, I actually don't have a recipe for this-I made it after watching Lydia make it on PBS Sunday. I had everything but the mushrooms and Sunday is grocery day for me so I just added them to the list. Lydia didn't serve risotto with the pork but I thought it would be a good idea-and it was. I had gotten some "wafer thin" boneless pork chops and was going to do a pork and cabbage stir fry but the last minute change in plans was welcome.

Pork and Mushroom Marsala

1lb thin sliced pork chops (or if you can't get those just flatten your boneless chops with a small heavy skillet)
Season the pork with salt and pepper
lightly coat the pork with flour

Heat a large skillet(mine is 14") over medium high heat and when it is hot add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and come up the sides a little-maybe an eighth of an inch-I used a mix of olive and canola oils(heating the pan first will help keep the meat from sticking-I don't know why, but it does-especially when you are using so little oil)

When the oil is very hot gently lay your chops in and sear on both sides-don't overcook!-you will be reheating them later and no one likes a tough dried out pork chop.

Remove chops to a plate and set aside.

While the meat is cooking you will have gotten ready:

2 shallots diced small
1lb mushrooms sliced thin(I used a mix of white, baby bella and portabella from the bulk bins)

Add them to your hot pan and cook stirring constantly until shallots are transparent and mushrooms have a little color

1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
About a tablespoon or so of flour

Stir in:

1 cup dry Marsala
1 cup chicken broth

Deglaze your pan and bring liquid to a bubble, then lower the heat and let simmer a couple of minutes
as the sauce thickens return the chops to the pan and continue to simmer oh, 5 minutes or so(remember your super thin chops are done so you are mainly reheating them and allowing the thin flour coating to thicken the sauce even more).

Wow, Its ready! Serve with whatever you like, rice, risotto, noodles, or even mashed potatoes might be good.

Now on to the risotto. I actually don't use arborio rice because I buy sushi rice in 20 lb bags and I think (though a purist might argue) that they can be used interchangeably. Yes I have rice cooker and use it several times a week. On my wish list is one with fuzzy logic so I can fresh hot rice in the mornings for breakfast and to put in lunches. Whoops I got distracted-I love rice. Anyway...


In a heavy bottom medium size pot over medium heat:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup rice

When rice is translucent and fragrant stir in:

1/4 cup chicken stock
stir til absorbed
1/4 cup chicken broth
stir til absorbed
add 1/2 cup chicken stock
stir til absorbed
say fuck it and add the other cup of stock making sure your flame is as low as it will go
stir in a half tsp of thyme
stir another minute or so
turn off the burner but leave pot on hot stove
In about 10 minutes your risotto will be ready
Add a little more liquid if you want it creamier
and right before serving stir in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup parmesan

Now B did not go for the strong flavor of the chicken stock so next time I will go half stock half water-of course I would have used a bit of white wine if I had had any. Alas we drank it all. Not yesterday, but a few days ago, and forgot all about it at the store what with my green bag situation. Next time perhaps.
Toodles! I'm off to second breakfast which this morning is toast with nutella. Yummy!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Griddle

This griddle is one heavy piece of equipment-16 pounds of cast iron!
I love it.
1/2 lb of bacon
12 pancakes
20 minutes.
My pancake breakfast cooking time has been cut by more than half! If I had done the bacon in a separate pan or in the oven I could have cooked all the pancakes at once and been done in 10 minutes. Bacon takes longer than that though, so it worked out FABULOUSLY!
And keeping in mind the lessons I learned from the cook at the ranch I worked at in Arizona, cleanup was a breeze.
There are a few minor issues with even cooking but that will work itself out as I use the griddle more and figure out what flame MamaJama likes best.
Yep, she has a name, such a huge presence deserves one.
My big MamaJama.
I love her.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Beauty tip # 5,071

If you are such a one as would pluck one's eyebrows to transform them from woolly caterpillars stuck on ones forehead to lovely arches that accentuate one's lovely mien, then I must share the ideal location for your next beauty endeavor.

The driver's seat of your vehicle is perfectly situated for use during this activity. The driver's seat is the most well designed, comfortable seat- as well as being highly adjustable- and the use of the lighted mirror so wonderfully provided by your vehicle manufacturer is eminently convenient as it flips down into close proximity to one's desired area of beauty modification.

Additionally one should do this during daylight hours as of course that is when the best light is available.

Gone now the days of leaning over counters or imitating a contortionist perched in your bathroom sink, oh beauty mavens!

One caveat, my dears, before you embark on your next beauty endeavor!

The parking lot at Target might not be the best place to try out your new found beauty station.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I have a short list of recipes that I allow myself to prepare only once or twice a year. And those darn sticky buns have been added to it. They join the ranks of cheddar biscuits, snow day truffles, Christmas cocoa, brown sugar bacon, and pastry encrusted, horseradish slathered, baked brie.
Enough about too tempting recipes.
Today I am excited because I finally found a two burner griddle that will fit on my stove! Not that I have spent oodles of time searching but I have been quietly looking since I got my "new" stove a couple of years ago now. Most of the griddles I looked at were a bit too small and a few were just too expensive. And of course the one I ended up purchasing is easily found and relatively inexpensive. The Lodge Pro Grid Iron Griddle has found a place in my cupbord. Ah, I am excited with the possibilities of this piece of kitchen equipment. The large cooking surface is enough to send me into a veritable tizzy as I ponder what to prepare first.
Blueberry pancakes?
Corn cakes?
Salmon patties?
Potato cakes?
Or ooh ooh, a full on griddled english breakfast?

Maybe I'll flip it over and use the grill side.
Brined pork chops
Stone fruit

Hmmmm, where to start?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I may have to rethink a few things...

I know I recently said I wanted Baby to feel comfortable in the kitchen.
That whole idea may indeed be wrong.

4 yr olds do not need to cook an egg on a gas stove, or feel so comfy in the kitchen that they try

Fortunately I am still feeling the sugar/caffeine high from this morning.


Otherwise someone might be feeling the burn-and I am not talking from the stove!

Snow day

I love snow, a holdover from my childhood I am sure.
I love snow days too.
Snow days equal deliciousness at our house. Deliciousness with a clean-up crew!
Today's repast featured sticky buns, thick cut bacon and fresh strawberry banana salad.
Thank god I only made 6 sticky buns.
We have been known to do other fun cooking projects on snow days(B and I).
"Snow Day Truffles" for the neighborhood.
Super rich and creamy hot chocolate.
Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.
Coffee cakes.
Quick breads.
I seem to save my sweet endeavors for these days of forced inactivity.
That snow days are few and far between here is perhaps a good thing after all.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

slowly waking up
surrounded by him and golden sunlight
skin sliding
sighs become moans
later he leans over "coffee?"
curled soft snug in warm sheets
entranced by loving
and dreams unfurling

Monday, February 2, 2009

In which butter is a mystery

I am sooo bummed.
My team lost.
The game was so exciting, there was yelling, dancing, and -up til the last oh, 50 seconds- big shit eating grins.
Ok, just one of those.
Then disbelief.
Abject despair.
Queasy stomach from the adrenaline crash.
Baby learned some new curse words.

* Note to self-there is now a rather large girl shaped parrot in the house-tone down the cussing!*

I discovered this morning that I had shouted my throat raw.
I sound like I swallowed a bucket of gravel.

This morning Baby decided to make toast.
Here is her idea of toast:
Notice that the butter is in chunk format and not spread on the bread.
Just 2 tablespoons, maybe 3 of butter plopped on her "toast".
Which is not toasted.
She does not like her bread burned after all.
She made herself a couple of pieces of butter toast last night too.
Exactly like this one.
And now this is what my kitchen looks like:
Yep, you are looking at 4 sticks of butter.
Each one shy 2-3 tablespoons of being a full stick.
Why did she get a fresh stick of butter each time?
And what am I going to do with all that softened butter?
Oh well.
At least I have something else to think about.
I believe I shall have a nice cup of tea and ponder.
And maybe some toast.
Only mine will be burned.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I love football. Like really love it.

More than Big Daddy D even.

The only person who watches football the same way that I do is my father-in-law. Now there is a man that I can watch a game with. The yelling, the throwing, the cursing, the high fives, the armchair quarterbacking. It's the only time we really get along-if we're rooting for the same team that is. It is still a heck of a lot of fun even when we're not.

He and I will not be watching the Big Game together today and contrary to what I just wrote, that might be a good thing.

Cause I am going for the Cardinals.

And he is Steelers all the way.

He was at Three River Stadium for every home game back in the day. He dragged his way pregnant wife to games. Big Daddy D was present(10 days before his birth)for the famous Immaculate Reception.

So I'll watch the game with Big Daddy D and we will yell and throw things and talk about the plays and eat our Super Bowl ham and have a few beers. It won't be the same as watching with my father-in-law but at least we will be able to talk to each other without steam coming out of his ears.

It would happen. I know because I was for the Seahawks when they played the Steelers a few years back and the only reason we can be in the same room together is because my team lost.

I am only exaggerating the teetiniest bit. Seriously.

Whoops, I gotta go check the ham!