Friday, September 26, 2008

Headache Schmeadache

Do any of you suffer from chronic headaches? I swear it seems like I get one everyday. Migraines, sinus headaches, tension headaches, pms headaches. It's ALWAYS something. I used to live on Tylenol until it started upsetting my stomach (Excedrin Migraine was my FRIEND) and these days I gobble ibuprofen like it's pez. (A little shout out to my niece Josie there...PEZ Lover extraordinare!!! ;))

You can't get sudafed these days without offering the first born of your first born, 6 oz of plasma and the most sincere promise that you aren't building a meth lab.

Seriously? My 12 tablets of sudafed do not a meth lab make.

I never really realized HOW often I get headaches until I went to Florida recently and only got 1 (Brian says 2) headaches the entire week we were there. This says something to me. I don't consider my life "stressful" here but something must be different because HELLO I've been back 2 days and 2 headaches. What is up with that?

Today I'm making my comfort food. Do you have a comfort food? I'm going to share my recipe once it's done. Post your guesses of WHAT it is and of the CORRECT answers, I'll randomly select a WINNAH of something cool.

I don't know what yet, but it will be cool ;) I promise.

Until then...


Friday, September 12, 2008

Such a Pretty Fat...

Right now I'm feeling like such a pretty fat COW. Oh my let me tell you, today my friend Jess said to me and some others..."I could really go for some Olive Garden; a never ending pasta bowl and some breadsticks."

I live over an HOUR from the nearest Olive Garden but she had me thinking. Pasta Fagioli. Oh how sweet it sounds. I'm a blog hopper. I have half a billion marked in my google reader ranging to everything from politics to cooking. Of course I have my stamping blogs and a few that I find just plain hilarious.

A while back I stumbled onto Brown Eyed Baker. Chelle posts some freakin' AWESOME looking recipes and I went through them all. At that time I noted HER recipe for Pasta Fagioli and vowed to some day give it a shot.

My friends, that day is today. I gathered up MY children (not the imposters from yesterday) and we went to the store and gathered all the necessary ingredients for the soup as well as for a caesar salad and some yummy looking fresh baked garlic breadsticks from the bakery.

Here's what I ended up with (Pardon the pics, we were trying something new with the camera and didn't realize til the food was GONE that it hadn't worked out well.

The entire it was GREAT. Did I mention all three of my kiddos ATE the salad and didn't complain? In fact Bradan and Grace devoured it! I was THRILLED. We will be having a caesar more regularly now.

Here's my bowl, my, my, my it WAS as good as it looks. I'm definitely jotting this recipe down so I don't forget it.

Here's the recipe itself. I got it directly from HERE and I am noting my changes (which were very few)

Pasta Fagioli
(Adapted from Tricia’s Kitchen)

2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 package sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (**I used regular sausage and added my own italian herbs)
½ large (or 1 medium) onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, thinly sliced (**I grabbed the matchstick carrots from the store SUPER easy)
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
64 oz. beef broth
28 oz. can tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried parsley (I didn't measure any of the spices, just added to taste)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz. small dry pasta (I used ditalini)

1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat, and brown the sausage, crumbling it as it cooks. Once brown, remove sausage from pot with a slotted spoon and discard any grease that remains in the pot.

2. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pot, and add the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery, and saute over medium heat until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add sausage back to the pot, add the can of diced tomatoes (do not drain), stir briefly, and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Stir in the beans, and add the beef broth and tomato sauce. Add in all of the seasonings, stir well, turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it boils, turn down to low heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

4. Add the dry pasta and continue to simmer on low for another 30 minutes. Serve with your favorite bread or crackers.

THEN...Earlier this week my friend KIM guest posted a pie over at THE REAL PIE CLUB blog. Key Lime. My request. My favorite. While at the store today I got all I need to make it and Brian and I spent an HOUR (ok mostly Brian) juicing key limes. I don't own a juicer, extractor, etc. We did it by hand. I strained it using, well...I won't tell you what but it wasn't probably what a well stocked kitchen would have used!

I haven't cut into it yet, I need to digest a little of my yummy faux Olive Garden food first, but you can guarantee we will be cutting into it tonight.

Here's her recipe and a few pictures...just to prove we really DID juice all those key limes by hand.

Key Lime Pie
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, 2002 (here’s the link you can use:

Show: Emeril Live
Episode: Mr. Lou’s Desserts

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick butter) melted
2 (14-ounce) cans condensed milk
1 cup key lime or regular lime juice
2 whole eggs
Cool Whip
1 tablespoon lime zest

Preheat the oven to 375.

In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter with your
hands. Press the mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, and bake until
brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to
room temperature before filling.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

In a separate bowl, combine the condensed milk, lime juice, and eggs.
Whisk until well blended and place the filling in the cooled pie shell. Bake
in the oven for 15 minutes and allow to chill in the refrigerator for at least
2 hours.

Once chilled, top with Cool Whip and add a little key lime zest to the top
for presentation.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's been one of those days. One of those days when I will be SO GLAD when it's bedtime. I love being a mom, and I love being a stay at home mom but there are today. Days that I think it would just be easier to work 8-5 and come home to a meal prepared by my loving husband. Kiss the kids on the head, play with them for a few and then toss them in bed.

These days don't come regularly. Even on the worst days I don't usually feel this way but today...oh man today. Kenz and Bradan normally play well with each other. They don't normally fight, they share with one another, they can agree on what to watch during tv time. But ANTI Kenz and ANTI Bradan are hellians. Heathens, Satan's children sent to take over my children's bodies to punish me for all the sins I've ever committed on this earth.

They scream, cry and whine. They hit each other, they break things, they can't hear, they have no manners and they generally drive me NUTS. Today, they showed up on my doorstep. Around lunchtime I noticed that they had taken over my children's bodies and the last 7 hours have been unadulterated HELL.

Did I mention Brian didn't come home tonight? Work ran late and it's his last night of league so instead of coming home to change and say hello he went straight to the golf course. No break. Not even a 5 minute one. I'm feeling the need, the need for (a little captain in me) but I won't until the are safely tucked into their beds. But what I'm wondering is...6pm? Is that too early for bed?

I finally blew a gasket while making dinner. After the 845th time one of them came up and told me that the other hit them in the "I-am-the-whiniest-kid-in-the-universe" voice. I sent them to their bed in my "I-am-12-seconds-from-stringing-you-up-by-your-toenails-and-letting-the-dogs-lick-the -shit-out-of-you" voice. I told them to NOT come OUT until I said and NOT ONE SECOND before. I let them stew for about 15 minutes and then I told them they could come out.

I love how perceptive Bradan has become. Granted it only lasts about 15 minutes, maybe 20 but for that brief moment in time...he got it. He came into the kitchen where I was making dinner and asked me what he could do to help. It was ready so I didn't need any help and as soon as he started eating he told me how GOOD his hamburger was and how GOOD his tater tots were and DID HE MENTION HOW WONDERFUL THE GREEN BEANS WERE? oh and MOM WHERE DID YOU GET THIS MILK? IT'S GREAT!

Dinner at least was a peaceful meal, then the hellians returned and my moment of sanity vanished. I'm thinking baths and bed. Then I'm going to take a LONG HOT SHOWER and have a night cap.

5 minute Chocolate Cake

My friend Rachel sent me this recipe in email today and Chocolate Fanatic that I am, I had to make it. So once I finished my yummy chili for lunch. I set into trying out this quick and easy recipe.

The promise? Chocolate Cake in 5 minutes from my microwave. Now what PMS-ing chick wouldn't love to have that in her back pocket? Don't get me wrong *if* it's good, I'm sure it would work other times as well but seriously? Aunt Flo is PISSING you off and you don't want to wait 40 minutes for the prep and oven baking of brownies (my personal favorite) 5 minute chocolate cake.


Here's the recipe:


1 Coffee Mug
4 tablespoons flour(that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)

Here are the results

Straight from the microwave

On a plate

Damn the luck I'm out of frosting! And...I don't feel like making any, but I would recommend having some on hand. Also, watch the cake, I think I overcooked mine a bit. I nearly took it at 2:15 (my microwave is 1500 watts I think) but I didn't and it's a bit dense.

Also, I only had EVOO and I poured in more than a dash of vanilla. It's pretty decent cake as is, but it's not TO DIE FOR. I will be trying again with all the right ingredients and pulling it out a bit sooner. Cuz you know we all hate when we forget to pull out til it's too late!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Look Out!

I can't exactly say how long it's been since I stamped something that I enjoyed and was actually proud to say I've done. I've been in a FUNK lately and I haven't been able to get out and nothing I touched would turn out well.

I finally got my first order from the new SU! catalog Monday and I had ordered the Washington Apple paper on a whim. I wasn't even sure if I'd like it. Turns out, I LOVE IT.

I immediately made these cards and I liked them so well I decided we'd do them at stamp club this month.

Then I got my Urban Garden paper last night which has been on backorder and made these cards and low and behold I luffed them too! So again, stamp club. WOOOHOOO!!

I agreed in the spring to do a Christian Women's Retreat at Camp Lakeview a local Christian camp. (Hey I bet you coulda figured that part out without me actually pointing it out couldn't ya?) Anyway it's getting CLOSE and I've been trying to decide what I should do. Cards? Alterables? Then the other night it hit me. It's a Christian Women's Retreat. How cool would it be to make altered prayer journals? Then I decided we also needed to make bookmarks, and I'm hoping to throw in a few cards. (I'm waiting on a glorious friend to send me the set I want to was INCREDIBLY nice of her to offer to send it to me since she doesn't use it :):):))

So today I sat down and started working on it. I decided I'll just use whatever random designer papers I have laying around and while each persons cards/bookmark and journal will all coordinate they won't all be the same papers that way I don't have to spend money buying all the same kind of paper. Here is the example I made today, that I'll probably keep for myself!

Friday, September 5, 2008

A chip off the old block


What am I going to do with this girl? The one who insists that she will never wear shorts or panties. Brian is having an old world chastity belt constructed for when she reaches puberty. He's afraid she won't outgrow it.

Anyway, that wasn't my point. Today we are in the car and we've been running a million errands. We stopped at McDonalds and I got us some food to go and my favorite a LARGE SWEET TEA. Delish.

I gave Kenz a drink or two but I didn't want her peeing her pants so I cut her off, we still had errands to run!

So she's whining and pouting. And finally she says...


I said...Kenz I do not think that word means what you think it means (name that movie)

she says...It does too Mommy, you are making me SO NERVOUS!

me...What does it mean then???

and she tells me....IT MEANS YOU'RE PISSING ME OFF!

Where do these kids learn these things? The BAD news is, she doesn't know what NERVOUS actually means. The GOOD news is she says she's nervous rather than that other thing...which I swear I don't say. Really, this one, it's not me. I'm not sure who it is, but it's not me. For real this time.

Not now Aunt Roovie.

My big guy is in preschool. This is his last year before he starts kindergarten. He attends a local preschool that is ran by a church and I love sending him there. He has such a great time and they are wonderful with the kids.

This morning we ran into my aunt Ruth Ann, she was pulling in at the same time we were on some church business and we stopped to say hello. Kenzie was of course throwing a fit because she doesn't start preschool for another month and she wanted to get out too!

Aunt Roovie, as Bradan calls her; asked if he was ready to go play golf (we have a "date" with her and my uncle tonight for dinner and golf)

Bradan, as serious as his little face could possibly be looked at her and said:

Not now Aunt Roovie, I've got to go and learn something!

Bless his little heart. I'm so glad he loves his preschool and knows why he is there. Of course he wasn't serious for long. Today was our day to bring snacks, as soon as we walked through the door he ran to his room and announced loudly


Thursday, September 4, 2008

I want a new TV...

Brian has had our television since 1993. It's one of the old school projection big screens. For its age its still got a GREAT picture and there is nothing like playing Wii on a 56" screen...but lately there is something weird going on with the sound.

We'll be watching and all of the sudden it will go completely silent yet no one is anywhere near a remote. Or it will turn up SOOOO LOUD that it makes you want to rip your ears off because you can feel your eardrums shattering in slow motion.

We've been dealing with it, we don't watch a ton of TV in this room so it's not a terribly big deal. However, today I think I may have scarred my children for life. See we just found The Spiderwick Chronicles game for Wii at Circuit City in their bargain bin. Have you seen the movie? If not I'll give you a brief rundown. It's about this kid who moves into his uncles spooky old mansion unearths his journal and discovers the existence of goblins and fairies and such. We loved the movie, so theoretcially speaking the game should be fun.

It is, for me. It's a lot of "seek and find" before moving on to the next task. So the kids love to watch me play it, but they can't play it themselves very well. Tonight we are playing and let me tell you, these goblins they sound scary when they are creeping up on you outside. Sound is out on the TV and right as one of those sonsabitches attacks me the sound turns up loud enough that I'm certain my hard of hearing father in Florida probably heard the attack. Yeah, it was that loud. Bradan and Kenzie immediately start looking behind the couches and freaking out screaming and crying because for a goblin to be THAT loud they MUST be in the room with us.


So much for getting them to finally sleep in their OWN beds. Now I'll be doing random Goblin checks and still end up with 4 in our queen sized bed. Who's stupid idea was it to buy this game anyway?

Shit. That was me.

I shouldn't be aloud to think. It never turns out well.