Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cake for my Cutie

This is what it looked like outside today-pretty much matched my mood. Neither one of us slept last night, so we played Parcheesi. No, not really. We watch HGTV and Food Network until he had to get up to leave at 5:30. We watched an episode of House Hunters International with a couple from here in Minnesota. The host lady-cracked me up. This couple lives in a very nice house on Lake Minnetonka. Here in MN we pronounce it "Min-a-tonka" (where Tonka trucks used to be made-cool factory). She pronounced it "Miny-tawnka". But in her defense, if you don't live here, you probably can't correctly pronounce Shakopee, Sogn Valley or Winona either. Two people looking for a 4 to 6 bedroom house with 3 or more bathrooms and deep water access. They ended up with a 10,000 square foot house-FOR TWO PEOPLE on an island by Honduras. So, maybe I'm a little jealous. So we bought lottery tickets for Wednesday! And some tulips to dull the rainy/snow mix we got today.

While shopping the other morning after work, I asked the Dude to maybe give me some ideas of what he wants to eat. If he tells me "I would like _______" I would totally make it for him. No, I'm not a Valley Girl, but yes, I have used the word 'totally' since 1981 and won't apologize for it-or stop using it since it is ingrained in me. Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, whatever he would ask for, I would gladly make. There wasn't much on the list-mainly dairy and veggies, but he headed to the baking aisle and said "I want cake". Meaning, he wants German Chocolate with Coconut Pecan frosting. Nope, nothing from scratch-he likes the box. Since I wanted him to have a treat after his surgery, I gladly put the mix in the cart and continued on our merry way.

I just followed the directions on the box

made the cake

and frosted it

It will go to work with us tomorrow.

I made dinner while he took Drama Queen driving. I'm in such a fog today that I took picture of me making the turkey meatballs-and nothing else. I uploaded my pictures and saw that I had no finished shots with the spaghetti sauce, noodles, garlic bread. Nothing. I wasn't sure how it would go over with turkey meatballs instead of beef, but I spiced them up really well and the Dude and I thought they were great. The girls opted for noodles and a little sauce. Now I have heartburn that is practically coming out of my ears, and am off to search for my Gas-X. Our cart at Target last night looked like we were 90. Gas-X, Icy Hot gel, an ice/heat pack, a pair of arch supports for Dude's work boots and, well, we won't even talk about the last thing :)

I just want to publicly thank everyone for your kind words about my Dude. All the sweet and kind things you said really made me feel better. I know it will be torture waiting for these next two weeks to pass before he can see the next doctor, but fretting about it won't make it come any sooner or change whatever the results are going to be. We are getting together with our best friends this weekend who have been going through hell for the last year. The man of the couple was in an accident and a person died-it has been a life changing year for them and not for the good, except that it made their marriage stronger. We are going to grill out, despite what the weather will be, drink beer, play cards, listen to music and hopefully laugh all night. It has been way too long and I think it will do all four of us good. I'll bring my camera and get pics of food. I'm bringing the Poppin Bacon bread, my 2 Corn Casserole (which I will post) and a dessert that I found that is full of chocolate-y goodness (also which I will post).
I really do appreciate all of you who take time out of your day to stop by and have a look and leave a comment-it brightens my day every time. Thank you so very much.

Monday, March 30, 2009

He's the love of my life

I haven't been posting much this last week, not only due to painting, cleaning and working, but also because the Dude is having a few health issues. Tomorrow he has to go get some cancer cut out of his ear. He burned it quite badly a few years ago while doing some welding and the burn turned cancerous. His old dermatologist cut it off a few times, but it kept coming back. We got a referral to a specialist and they do a different procedure. He has to stay all day and they cut out a little at a time and biopsy it until they get a clean read. I have every confidence that it will be taken care of this time.

We also visited the doctor tonight as the problem that I posted about right after Valentine's Day has reoccurred. The swelling isn't there, but a lot of pain and pressure. She referred him to a urologist (sp) but he isn't able to get in for 2 weeks. She didn't want to speculate on what it could be as she does general medicine and specializes in asthma (my problem). It could be a hernia, it could be something with his prostrate, it could be a host of things.

I'm a pretty strong person. Whenever we have run into bad luck or when I have been the one with health issues, I just kind of dig my feet in and say 'okay, well it can only get better from here. What is our next step.' Now I'm not feeling too strong. Whenever I think of the things I want to do or try or places I want to go, I think as 'we' not 'me'. And while I'm sure the doctor will find nothing that can't be fixed or solved, there is that little annoying twitch in the back of my head that says 'what if?' What if it is something big? What if something happens and I'm left here alone? What happens with our plans of grand vacations when we are empty nesters and the smaller house in town we want to buy?

What happens isn't up to me and I have to have a little more faith, but right now-for this few minutes, I'm scared and feeling a little sorry for myself.

Thanks for indulging me and my little pity party.

I'll have food tomorrow. He'll be gone all day, the kids will be at school so it will be the perfect day to take out a little angst in the kitchen.

And on a lighter note, one of our friends fell in love with a stripper on his trip to Mexico last week. Oh honey-c'mon. I know a nice Lutheran girl who can save your life if you are in a car accident and keeps her clothes on for a good portion of the day!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

She Passed

7 questions wrong
Passport and Social Security card
Picture (but no smile-Homeland Security rules!!??)
Talked me into letting her drive home
2 rum and cokes under my belt (after pulling in the driveway)
Betty Ford-hold my spot, I'm sure I'll need it after the next six months of behind the wheel until she can get the license.

Way to go Booger-I'm proud of you.

Footnote-Boog was excited to see a post about her and that people commented on it. Thanks-you made her day. Also, as I look at yesterday's post and my grumbling about the teenage drama, please know that I totally am not one of those moms who say 'my kid never does anything wrong'. I know too many people like that and it has come back to bite them in the arss. If Boog had done something wrong, she would have been totally punished. She said she got everyone to apologize to each other (herself included) that there were misunderstandings between all of them. teenage girls who, sigh, are teenage girls keep giving me greys. I'll have a bald spot soon. Just keeping it real :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Casey's Guac

Here is Casey's recipe. Well, she says it is a guideline basically. Depending on how big the avocados are, etc. It turned out very well. I ate a couple tablespoonfuls with some chips. I then decided that I should eat something substantial. I steamed some potatoes and made a loaf of bread in the bread machine. I love bread, especially bread baking. Yum-I ate three thin slices along with the spuds. I had batch cooked some chicken earlier in the night and made some rice to go with the rice for the kids. I wasn't in the mood, so it was spuds and bread for me-a nice carb overload. And dealing with teenage drama. I am sooo tired of teenage drama. It involves my youngest, her BFF, some stupid videos they made in my daughter's room and other people talking about the videos, but basically lying about what is in them. My question? Watch the videos and see that they are teenage girls making up stupid stuff and laughing at themselves and that it isn't about your daughter. Ugh. How them dressing up in old prom dresses and talking about their favorite bands turned into 'they are picking on my daughter', I don't understand. Remember when I said we live in a small town and still are treated as outsiders? This is prime example. Apparently if your apple doesn't marry the apple from the next tree, you are non-essential in this town. I digress.

Guacamole-people love it or hate it. I happen to love it. Casey's version is very fresh and flavorful. It reminds me of the resort we stay at in Mazatlan, where they make it fresh all day long at the pool. Ahhh, after days of 60 we dipped back to about 35 today with a wintry mix. I could so use a Mai Tai, a ham and cheese and some guac!

Casey's Guac

2 avocados
half a lime
1 tsp minced garlic (Casey used jarred, so I used jarred)
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
half a teaspoon of cumin
salt and pepper
about half a tablespoon of cilantro, minced

Cut open avocados and scoop out flesh. I used my handy-dandy slicer the Dude gave me for Christmas.

Slightly mash in bowl.

Roll lime on counter to get juice flowing. Cut in half and squeeze half over the mashed flesh.

Finely chop the red onion and drop in bowl.

Dump in the garlic,

the cumin and a good pinch of salt and a couple twists of fresh ground pepper.

Top with the cilantro and use fork to stir together.

Take some plastic wrap and set right on top of the dip. Squish down so it covers the entire dip. This will help delay browning. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors mingle.

Serve with chips.

Use the other half of the lime to jazz up your rum and cola or float one in your Mexican beer!

I loved this bag of chips as it reminds me of Mazatlan. During happy hour, it is 2 for 1, but down there, they say it opposite of us-it is 'one for two?'. We always opt for '4 for 8' but that is just how we roll. It just made me laugh that it says "$2only" (all one word). It is the small things.

Man, I hope I don't have to go to the principals office tomorrow. Plus, she takes her Driver's Ed test and has been studying all night. Pass that wine......

Pss-look at this pheasant that was sprinting around my yard today. He was darting all over the place. I never got to get my zoom lens on the couple times I saw him (I was using my camera for other stuff too) so these are the best ones I got. He was big.

Poppin' Bacon Bread

I had mentioned the other day that I made an appetizer along with dessert for our girls movie night at my friend Casey's. Cathy at Noble Pig had a recipe from her contest for bacon pull apart bread, but it had peppers in it I think. I love the flavor of peppers, but not so much like to eat chunks of them. I found an old recipe that I had cut out of a Taste of Home magazine many years ago, and it made bacon bread with bread dough and ranch dressing. I pulled some parts out of each and came up with Poppin' Bacon Bread.

Poppin' Bacon Bread

1/2 pound bacon, cooked, cooled and chopped
2 cans Grands biscuits (I had the store brand on hand)
1/2 stick of butter, melted
2 TBSP dry ranch dressing mix
1 cup shredded cheddar (not shown)

mmmmm, bacon

Grease a 2 quart casserole dish. Open both cans of biscuits. Cut each biscuit into four pieces. Layer the biscuit pieces in the bottom of the dish, sprinkle with bacon pieces. Mix the dressing mix into the butter and stir well. Pour a little of the butter over the bread, then toss about a third of a cup of cheese over the top. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used. Cover top of dish with foil. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, removing foil the last 10.

My friends loved it and so did the Dude. My first attempt was good, however I did learn a few things. I only cooked my dish for 30 minutes uncovered. It got all golden and crispy on top, but once we ate the top layer, it was doughy in the middle. We popped it back in the oven and all was fine, but I would definitely do the foil and bake it longer. It may be that my dish was small in circumference, but pretty deep.

Oh, how do you know that you drive an old person kind of car? When the 80 year old 'cart boy' at the grocery store says "sweet ride!"

A) How does the 80 year old man even know "sweet ride"

B) Why does the 80 year old man have to push carts at his age, for goodness sake?

Thanks for flirting dude, but I'm married and I'm not giving up the Caddy~

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let them eat cake

It was another beautiful spring day here in southern MN. I didn't spend much time outside as I was baking, cooking and painting. I'm really tired of painting, but I still have to finish my laundry room-that no one will see. I painted the bathroom yellow also. The Dude is a little sick of my yellow obsession. He told me to buy a quart as our bathroom is pretty small, plus we have wainscoting on half of it. I didn't listen and bought a gallon. Yep over half left. Live and learn. Now I need to get a new shower curtain; I'm not digging the purple pansies right now. While pansies are still my favorite flower (planted, cut would be tulips), I'm needing a change.

I tried Donna's (My Tasty Treasures) StepGrandma's cake today. The recipe can be found http://mytastytreasures.blogspot.com/2009/01/stepgrandmas-4-layer-cake-omg.html. I did make a few changes, only because I'm not a fan of coconut unless it is Malibu rum and in my cocktail, and I didn't have time to split the two layers into 4 since I was painting up until 5 and our dinner party started at 5:30, so I barely got that sucker frosted. High praise Donna-they loved it. Megan thought the frosting was great as it was light and not too sweet, so it didn't detract from the cake flavor. It was moist and delectable. Here are some photos of the cake and of Casey giving Megan a lesson on making guacamole. It was so good. We just nibbled on appy's all night. I made a Poppin' Bacon bread, which I basically combined two different recipes into something that would work for me. I used a part of the Bacon Pull apart bread that Cathy at Noble Pig had as one of the finalists in her Superbowl giveaway, and part of a recipe I found in an old Taste of Home magazine. I will post that later this week.

Here is the cake

And here are Casey and Megan making some awesome guac!

Meg showing off her mad new knife skills!

It was nice spending a quiet night with friends. We sat around the kitchen table and talked about movies and kidded each other on what each other hasn't seen (Megan hasn't seen Top Gun!!)
We then watched "The Bucket List" and decided that the next movie night would be "Brokeback Mountain". Since my friends live in the city and get cable, they have DVR and can record movies. We on the other hand have a big 'ole satellite dish since we can't get cable out in the country and I don't even know if Tivo would work out here. Plus, if I had the ability to tape all my favorite shows and movies, I probably wouldn't have time to work or blog, so maybe that is a good thing!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Grill Night

It was such a beautiful day here today. We did a lot of work in the house, drank some wine, grilled dinner........I was asleep on the couch by 6:30! I woke up to a dark house, nobody was around and I thought it had to be at least midnight-nope, 9 PM. Hubby was in bed, Hermit Crab was at a movie and Drama Queen is spending the night at a friend's house. I thought that maybe I should start painting the bathroom, but quickly decided that given I had a headache (I'm sure it wasn't the wine) I would just stop by the computer instead. The painting can wait until tomorrow. Of course, I need to make dessert for tomorrow as we are doing appy's and dessert at my friend's house while watching "The Bucket List". The Dude and I saw it in the theater, but I enjoyed it more than I thought it would, so we thought a good tear jerker was on tap. Speaking of tear jerkers, I was up until 3 AM this morning catching up on Grey's and ER. Man, I just cried and cried. Poor Blow Hole guy, and it finally came out to all the group that Izzie is sick and only Derrick has the chance to save her so he has to come back to the hospital. Then Neela leaves County General to a place that wasn't really reveled until the end-even then I didn't put two and two together until she opened the door to the physical therapy room that she went to be with Ray. Oh yea!! I knew they would end up together.

Okay, like you came here for a play by play of my obsession. My daughter on the other hand, went to the Twilight release party last night. She is WAY more obsessed with Twilight than I am of my Must See TV!

I'm actually showing two different dinners tonight as I was helping the hubs work on the satellite dish and our burgers got a little 'blackened' and didn't look very appetizing, so I will show the steaks from the other night. The potatoes are the same, but I got better 'finished product' pictures tonight.

I believe I posted these potatoes before, but had made them in the oven. The flavor doesn't compare to doing them on the grill. I can't even explain the kind of heaven I'm in when sitting next to the grill, drinking my wine and smelling the onion and bacon cooking. It is that good. The onions kind of melt into the potatoes and the bacon doesn't get crispy but oh so chewy and good.

The steaks don't really have a recipe; rather, I sprinkled them with our favorite seasonings. I like the Chicago steak seasoning and Famous Dave's Steak and Burger seasoning.

The after looks a little blurry-sorry

The spuds are super easy:
Potatoes-peeled and cubed
5 slices bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 small onion, cut into narrow rings (although I think I chopped this one)
oil and butter (oil not shown)
shredded cheddar cheese

I made this small batch for Drama Queen and myself. Tonight I made a larger amount for the Dude and me since I wasn't sure if any kids would be here or not.

Toss the spuds, onions and bacon in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of oil (I used a canola blend) and top with a couple tablespoons of butter. I use 2 sheets of foil that I fold in half and lay one on top of the other, so there are 4 layers of foil. Fold the top down and then scrunch up the sides. The key to these is shaking them every 10 minutes so they don't burn. Shake and flip. I cooked mine about 40 minutes. I always take a fork with me as I swear they never cook in the same amount of time twice in a row! When potatoes are fork tender, open foil and sprinkle with desired amount of shredded cheese. I use about a cup for 8 spuds. Take foil pouch off heat and let sit to melt the cheese. When we camp, we just leave the spuds in the foil and serve from that. In the house, I normally put in a bowl as the foil can get greasy.

This is a bottle from our local winery in Cannon Falls, Minnesota (the only Cannon Falls in the USA). It is called Go-Go Red and is a light, slightly sweet red. Great with all grilled food. It doesn't compete with the good flavors, but is easy to drink. Hence, the headache. Or it could be the lack of sleep the last two days-about 7 hours total.

I took the most beautiful picture this morning while driving to pick up Drama Queen-the sun looked like it laying on the road-kind of like the sunset pictures on water-it looks so HUGE. I can't get it off my phone to post it though. Take my word-it was incredible.

Guess it is time to peruse some other blogs and hit the hay. The bathroom won't paint itself-unfortunately.

Tomorrow I am making a dessert from Donna at My Tasty Treasures-the chocolate and pudding cake. I can't wait-I hope it turns out as delicious as her pictures look!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Better to eat bars then end up behind them

Here are the bars I made while talking with my mother. Thankfully I didn't dive in head first into the pan after that conversation. These are super easy and so delicious (Heather) that I know you will love them. The pan was empty when we came home from work the next morning-and the only people here were the two sunshine filled bundles of joy I gave birth to (rolling my eyes and counting my grey hairs). They must have had them for dinner, snack and breakfast.

Fudge Filled Bars

1 yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
2 TBSP softened butter
1 cup chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate)
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, eggs and the 1/2 cup melted butter. Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan that has been sprayed with no-stick spray. Melt the chocolate chips, 2 TBSP butter and sweetened condensed milk. Pour over crust.

Pinch off pieces of remaining dough and scatter over top of chocolate layer.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

These are really dense and very rich and oh so yummy. I highly recommend that you give them a try. Just don't make a pan while talking to your mom, or you may end up eating the entire pan.

Stop over at Donna's place at My Tasty Treasure's and enter her give away. You will also pick up some tips on, well, it involves a car wash and Stella getting her groove on. Here is the place you need to go Donna's giveaway

Have a great day everyone. I have a full weekend revolving around paint, cabinets, dinner out, drinks, dinner at a friend's with more drinks, and hopefully some food to post.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My Mother, A.K.A. Sylvia Buchman

I think my Mom is really Jewish and didn't tell me. Oh sure, she tells the stories of my great-grandparents coming on the boat from Sweden and Norway and how they learned English in school and taught their parents at night to help them communicate and find jobs. But I think my Mom was actually adopted from a Jewish family. No, this isn't a religious post or bashing. I am basing this on what has been portrayed on TV and in movies about the quintessential Jewish Mother. I can only base it on the media as I don't know one single Jewish person-isn't that odd? I grew up in a rather large city, but nope, never met a single one. I know I don't write humor like say Vodka Mom and Happy Hour Sue, but sometimes funny things (or my totally screwed up family) happens. One of my favorite shows was 'Mad about You". Even though the Dude and I have NOTHING in common with Jamie and Paul, there were many similarities to how we handled situations and how we would react to things. Paul was Jewish-and had a Jewish mother. Sylvia. Now, you know she loved her kids, but she passed out guilt like a Pez dispenser, and could knock you down with a brilliant flick of her tongue. One of my favorite episodes was when Paul's dad was in the hospital and all the kids came to see him (Paul had two sisters) and the three of them were standing next to each other by the other hospital bed and showing concern, and Mom walks in and starts on them. One by one they fall back onto the hospital bed like she is shooting out balloons in a carnival game. After she takes a shot at each of them and they fall to the bed, they look at each other and say "she didn't even have to stop to reload".

This is a few snippets of conversation with my Mother on Monday.

Hi Mom

Oh, hi. I haven't heard from you in forever. Thought you must have fallen off the planet

Nope, just busy at work and getting some house stuff done before graduation

Oh. I guess that is coming up. What things are you fixing

Just some painting and cleaning and finishing the laundry room

Why the laundry room? No one will see the laundry room, you should work on something people will see.

Well, the laundry room is for me since we have stuff in the den that needs to go back in the laundry room that can't until we finish walls, paint and do the cabinets

Have you talked to you siblings?

No, I emailed Sue about selling the house and how that was going

What did she say? Is it done? When is she moving? I don't think this is a good idea. What if she sells her house, moves in with that man and it doesn't work out? Then what? She'll be out on the street with her cat and her piano.

Well, since they have both been through a divorce and don't want the whole marriage thing, it is their choice. And she can't take the piano since he doesn't have room.

What?! She can't take the piano? Well, I hope he is worth giving up her dream piano

She then proceeds to complain about the people in her complex for the better part of half an hour

So, what is new at your place

Well, Booger is going to prom

She going with the Hastings boy?

No, her and JJ broke up. She is going to our prom with a boy in Hermit Crab's class.

Well, I see she rebounded quick. She better watch out with how many boys she dates. She will get a reputation and then where will she be?

Well, she has only dated two boys and she isn't putting out, so I'm sure her rep is just fine. Plus she is going with Tully as a friend.

Ahhh, I see, using him so she can go to prom

No, she agreed to go with him as a friend so he wouldn't miss his senior prom. He has a crush on her, but she made it clear that she didn't feel the same way and would only go with him if he understood.

He's a guy. He only has one thing on his mind. What about Hermit Crab?

Nope, she is going to the after party. Her BFF is going with the exchange student and she doesn't want to go alone and look like a loser

Well, who would blame her. How sad and pathetic is that, going to your senior prom alone. Hasn't she found another boyfriend yet?

No, Mom, her class is so small and she has known almost all of them since pre-school. It would be weird for her. Plus, she leaves in 5 months and will probably find someone with the same interests as her at college.

Well, let's hope she finds an education. If she spends all that time there, better do something other than find boys.

Off on another tangent about who knows what-I was blogging

The car is making a funny clunking sound. I think the tires are falling off. No one will ride with me. I told you sister about it and she yelled at me that I was crazy again and I told her to just drive the car and she would know I'm not crazy. Mike (the local service shop) said he thought it was a bent axle because apparently the person you bought the car hit something. Didn't the Dude hear the sound? Was the muffler so bad before he changed it that he couldn't hear it? I can't afford an axle or someone to put it in. Your brother said it didn't have axles as it was front wheel drive. I don't think it is front wheel drive. It doesn't drive like any FW drive car I had. He doesn't know cars like Dude

Mom, the tires are new. Nothing is falling off. I will check with the Dude, but when he drove it, it was fine. It was suppose to be able to get you to the doctor, the grocery store and Target. For $800 we got something that ran. The person we got it from owns a service station-he wouldn't let his kids drive it if it wasn't safe.

Well, maybe there were problems he couldn't fix. Maybe he was pawning it off on you. Have you lost any more weight? (Just that quick, she turns on ME)

Well, I don't know. I don't weigh myself ever.

How do you know you lost the 20 pounds then?

When I went to the doctor for my annual touchy-feely exam, they noted that I was 20 pounds lighter than last year.

Oh, well, you looked nice at the party. I was just wondering if you planned on losing some more.

Bing, bing, bing

Oh, Mom, I have to go. The bars are done and I need to get them out and get ready to photograph them.

Still doing that computer thing?

Yep, oh, these look good. I can't wait to cut them for the picture and eat one.

For God's sake, if you just lost 20 pounds, why would you eat a bar?

A few more pleasantries and I signed off-1 hour, 50 minutes and 38 seconds. Yes, I looked at the time on my cell. And I didn't have one cocktail while on the phone with her. Normally I put away a better part of a bottle of wine.

Oh, and just so you know-I had 3 bars! And Jewish Mothers have nothing on Norwegian Grandmothers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I have nothing green to offer-sorry. I am closer to being the Queen of England than I am of being Irish. Although, with my love of spuds, I find it hard to believe there isn't a tiny bit of Irish, but both parents confirm-none. We are still having some mild temps here, and almost all of the snow has melted, leaving lakes and streams in my yard. Since it is March in Minnesota, you know we will be hit with at least one more snowstorm before the month is through-historically speaking, at least. With warm temps and most of the snow already gone, we know it won't last at least.

I was trying to create something again with no recipe. My soup turned out pretty good-the Dude said he enjoyed it. I had purchase a slew of chicken on sale last week and wanted to make something different with it. I love chicken, it is versatile, but sometimes boring. I remembered a post on Katherine's site for Buffalo Chicken. I picked up a jar of Buffalo sauce (mild-I'm a wimp and suffer from a lot of indigestion), and set out to create something good. It didn't turn out too bad. The hubs had a training class until 7 and was fed pizza, so said he would like to take some for leftovers the next day and would like noodles with Alfredo. I'm not a big Alfredo fan as it is too rich for me and I always feel sick, so to cheat (and because the kids like them and will make it for themselves) I usually have Knorr sides on hand and there was an Alfredo package in the pantry. He left and I sat there and stared into space, into cupboards, into the pantry.........waiting for inspiration. Nothing. Grunt. The voice in my head said "just take some stuff out and get going!". That damn voice is awful bossy. But I like it when it tells me to have one more glass of wine or to nibble the end off the hubby's cookie, so it can stay.

Here is my take on the Buffalo Chicken:

First, make yourself a cocktail
Next, I took a shallot and a clove of garlic, peeled and gently gave them a good crack and put them in a saute pan with a little oil to flavor it. After letting it simmer for about 15 minutes and getting fragrant, I removed the shallot and garlic.
While sauteing the shallot and garlic, I took three chicken breast, generously sprinkled both sides with a salt free spice blend from Penzey's. I cut each breast in half lengthwise, then each half into about 1 inch thick pieces. After removing the shallot and garlic, I put the medallions of chicken in, browning on both sides.
After the chicken was fully cooked, I added about 3 TBSP of the wing sauce and cooked for about 3 to 4 minutes so the flavor was incorporated.
Here is the daughter's plate. I was concerned she wouldn't like it as she is not a big fan of spicy, but she scarfed it right down and said she really liked it. I served mine with some baked beans and a salad, but I was so hungry, I just sat down and ate mine.
I will hopefully get to a place soon that I can go to the cupboard and just go "oh, the tomatoes with the onion and the garlic and these noodles will go great with the pepper on the counter and the beef in the fridge" without totally freaking out that there isn't a printed recipe in front of me.
Baby steps.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring is here, at least for a few days

We are enjoying some mild temps-around 60-here in southeast Minnesota today. I'm so digging out the BBQ grill and firing that bad boy up tonight. I have a bottle of wine chilling, bought some nice steaks at the butcher and making my grilled potatoes. Of course, my family all seems to be leaving for work and play, so I may be eating the whole thing by myself. Hmmmm, not a bad idea!

However, this post is the about Heather's Lemon-Blueberry Bars. You can find the recipe here.

Just let me say that everyone at work raved about these bars, and my hubby was upset that he only got to have two. These will definitely be brought in again.

Here are my photos

These totally rocked. I wonder if raspberries and lemon would work together?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Okay, maybe that is stretching it. Oh, and since I'm at work I can't blog about food, as all my photos are on my home 'puter. But last night, after a long day of cleaning out the laundry room, putting up the first shelf, disposing of the mummified baby mouse and making dinner, I was able to catch my two favorite shows-Grey's Anatomy and ER. Finally we are coming to a head with Izzy and the prognosis isn't good. Finally we are getting back to some good story lines.

But the true and utter joy came as I watched ER, languishing on my clean, fluffy bed linens, when a Heavenly Creature made his presence across my digital screen. Doctor Doug Ross! I literally screamed-at the Dude (while I had to keep shushing him) "What the *french toast*!!?" I kept hoping, longing for a return visit from Doug, with his slightly silver'ing short hair and a little scratchy facial hair, but never thought I would see him in scrubs again. Alas, he is still with that Carol Hathaway (Ross) person, and yeah, she's all beautiful and smart and everything, but Doug-remember me? I spent every Thursday in front of my TV, agreeing with everything you said and every diagnosis you made. I booed those that turned on you after experimental treatments were tried on sick children, and yes, I cried when Carol got on that plane to Seattle to let you know that it was you and only you (since you wouldn't come to Minnesota to meet and fall in love with me). For one hour, all (most) all those people I fell in love with oh so many years ago during that first season were there. You, Carol, John and Peter. Thank you ER for some how getting Doctor Ross back to let me feast my eyes on again, if only for a short while. And it was an excellent storyline how it tied all those 4 people back together.

Wiping drool. Poor hubby-must have been yelling Doug in my sleep all night :)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bringing spring to me

It is almost the middle of March and it was below zero for lows the past two nights. I soooo want to be outside, plotting where the new garden is going, watching all the flowers and trees start to bud, bringing out the deck furniture.

I bought myself flowers because they looked like spring. I'm not a big rose fan-if the Dude is going to bring me cut flowers, I would much rather have tulips, daffodils or lilys. These just said 'take me home' so I did!

The Dude made me some breakfast

and then we started cleaning out the rest of the laundry room so we can finish painting and putting some cabinets in there so all the mess can be contained behind doors. I'm tired of junk everywhere. He about died when I started pulling things of shelves and throwing them in the trash. I save everything. The older I get, the less stuff I want around-who'da thunk it? Since we have Hermit Crab's grad party in almost exactly 3 months, we thought we should get all those small things done. I'm not redoing the house-I know several people who actually remodeled their homes before grad parties. I'm painting the bathroom, mainly because it has to be done. It has been 8 years and it needs to be done. I'll clean the carpets and pick up the hairballs off the floor, but that is about it. I'm not out to impress anyone-if you don't feel comfortable with my 15 year old furniture and my crabgrassed lawn, I can show you a newly remodeled number down the road. But they don't have as much fun as we do, so I'd stay here and grab some chow, a beer, a chair by the fire and talk to fun people.

My food posts will be moved out a few days since we are busy with sanding, painting and installing. He just doesn't get that I may have more important things to do, like hang out here. Jeez.

Everyone have a great weekend. I have Heather's blueberry lemon bars on tap as I found some decent looking berries finally.

Oh, and the one I forgot at school yesterday? Went and got a date to prom. Time to contact friends with older daughters and see if we can borrow a dress. She agreed to go if he realizes it is only 'just friends'. I still think they look at me and see ATM on my forehead :)