Sunday, June 28, 2009

A quick bite and a new family member

When I had posted the skillet sausage and pasta dish, I said I had seen somewhere (on the blogoshpere or on Food Network-I can't remember which) someone was talking about switching out part of their recipe for pierogis. I did that with this skillet version. I browned up mild sausage, added some butter and sauteed the pierogis, added sausage back in, added some spaghetti sauce and called it dinner. It was tasty, but I got killer heartburn from it!
I don't have a picture-it didn't transfer with my latest batch of photos. I do however have a photo of our latest family member-Tofu.

Our youngest got him from a friend whose cat just had kittens. The deal is he is suppose to be an outdoor cat as I am allergic to them. She has him in her room right now potty training him and keeping him away from me. I'm a little smitten, I must say. When we got our first cat, he was a year old, fully grown and a shyster. I loved him and miss him all the time. I also said I never wanted another pet because I didn't think my poor heart could take losing another pet. We'll see if he ever makes it outside.

And Drama Queen also signed up for a recruiter call from the Army. If I wasn't so hung over from the camping party at our friends house while watching the hicks do mud bogging in their field, I would go have a drink.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I don't want to turn on the TV

or my computer. 3 deaths in a week. I know the old saying that it happens in threes. I saw Dawn's little blurb on Facebook about Farrah right before I left for work, and turned to my husband and said "It happens in threes, who will be next?" On the way to work the news just said that MJ was brought to the hospital for cardiac arrest and he poked me and said "um, I bet he is number 3". I really didn't think so, but later on break we saw it on the Internet. Strange. It seems weird to me just because he was such an icon in the 80's when I was growing up. Thriller has to be one of the best albums from that era. Who didn't want to be Farrah with all that blond hair and beautiful face? I remember when I was finally old enough to understand the jokes on Johnny Carson. Goodbye Ed, Farrah and Michael. May you find peace and be free of pain on the other side. God Speed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Panini Love

I love gadgets and tools. My family always laughs at me. When my Mom says "have you seen......" my sister B will say "just wait, I'm sure Tami has bought it and will tell us all about it". They know me so well. I need to do some kind of Gadget Posts-using all the gadgets and tools I have bought over the years! I recently purchased a panini grill. I have been thinking about it for awhile. I kept thinking that I shouldn't-I could just use my stovetop grill with a brick. Well, that doesn't sound like fun, so while at Kohl's two weeks ago with Hermit Crab looking for college stuff, I saw a smaller one on sale, plus I had a 30 percent off coupon, so it was almost free! I broke it in tonight for myself. Dude is working, Hermit Crab is hot and crabby from working in the field and Drama Queen is at a friend's house to go to the midnight showing of Transformers. I have said it before and will say it again-I am a picky eater. I like plain, bland things and suffer from a lot of heartburn and other maladies of spicy/hot/different foods. I made my panini's with ham, turkey, cheese and a little butter and Miracle Whip. I picked up the cheese as it was said it was good for sandwiches. Nowhere does it really say WHAT kind of cheese it is, but looks to be some kind of Swiss. If Dude would have been here, I would have put onions and peppers and mustard on his, but I broke it in all by myself.
Yum, melty cheese. It was so good, I made another one! Well, I only had toast for breakfast, so I am sure I deserved two.

The garden is going crazy. My tomatoes have quadrupled in size in three weeks. The lettuce went so big it got a little bitter. I have cut it back to the ground to see if it will come back. The radishes are just about done and was thinking about planting more, but the zucchini and cukes are spreading to the area that the radishes were in. I picked some lettuce, onions and radishes and made a salad for Dude to bring to work today. The onions are so fragrent-I need to do something with them! Hopefully it will cool off a little tonight so I can bake. The bank thermometer said 100 degrees when I took Drama Queen to the dentist today-yuk! I much prefer it to be about 75 during the day and around 50 at night for sleeping. I need to move to that place.

Pasta and Sausage skillet, and my Mom

I made a simple dinner based on a recipe on the back of the sausage package. I like sausage a little, but it normally gives me really bad heartburn. I choose a sweet sausage to use, hoping that would not affect me as much. I boiled up a short pasta to al dente. While that was boiling I cooked the sausage in a little water in the cast iron pan. I added some cut up onion, a little garlic and a green onion-funny how you don't really see them in the photos though. Hmmmm. I added half a jar of spaghetti sauce that I had in the fridge, stirred in the cooked pasta, and let it simmer about 5 minutes to meld the flavors.

Dude loved it as evidenced by the photo! He ate the rest the next day for lunch.

I'm also including a picture of my Mom. I found my old neighbor on Facebook and he has checked out my blog-hi Damon! I had a picture of my Dad and Step-mom earlier, so I said I would post one of Mom too. He hasn't seen her in years. Well, he hasn't seen me in 25, so it has been longer since he has seen her I'm sure!

Hope to be back to a little more normal coming up this week. More cooking and baking. Of course, it is suppose to be really hot here in Minnesota this week, so we'll see about the baking! I was either watching TV or trolling blogs, but somewhere I saw someone doing something with pierogis and sausage. I bought some of each today and am going to try combining those. I also have the last of my rhubarb I want to do something with. I borrowed some cookbooks from the library and have found some yummy stuff in there too. Many plans, many plans.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Relaxing with Dad and Sue

With the hectic pace of the graduation party, we didn't have time to spend with any of our guests. My Dad and step-mom Sue came up from Florida to celebrate Ally's graduation with us and to visit with both of their families and friends. We were able to meet them for dinner tonight along with a friend of theirs. We went to a spaghetti place in a strip mall-next to the Lamplighter, which is, ahem, a strip club. It was wonderful! They had mostly pasta dishes, but our oldest got a steak sandwich that was seriously over a foot long and had french fries that about an inch thick! Dude had lasagna and the rest of us had spaghetti, but some had meatballs and some had Italian sausage. I loved it that the sauce was smooth and not overly spiced as I sometimes will get quite sick from overly spiced tomato sauces. I told you that I have that Scandinavian stomach-bland, white foods treat me best!

My plate

Drama Queen enjoying her food
Hermit Crab and her HUGE sandwich
Family shot
When we got home, we enjoyed a beer on the golf cart, and then I came in to add recipes to my computer program on my laptop. I made myself a little cocktail to sip while typing out recipes. I had just seen this product in the liquor store last week so picked it up. It is a lemon vodka with limencello. On the back it suggested serving it over ice, or on ice topped with a little club soda. I opted for topping it with the club soda, just to give it a little sparkle.

Tuscan Lemonade and Club Soda-Yum!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We survived the party

but have WAY too much food left. When the place that catered it was packing up to go they asked if we had roasters or crock pots to put the left overs in-we had about double the meat we needed. I took notes on how many plates we went through, napkins, cupcakes. When Drama Queen graduates, I will whip out that notebook and order half the tacos and nachos. Blew my budget on so many things that I realized a little too late that were unnecessary. Live and learn. Dude yelled at me on numerous occasions that I was carrying around my camera taking photos-he said that she was done, she didn't need anymore pages in her scrapbook. But my niece helped me out by taking about 500 photos and will send to me next week! It was a long day, but went so fast. I don't remember half the people that were here-feels like my wedding day! Here are some shots of the day.

Hermit Crab and her cake

Family Shot

My friend JoAnn carved a basket

One of HC's scrapbook pages-the dreaded 14 hour crop!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Are you cooking anything tonight?

This has been a question I have heard a lot in the last couple weeks. With everything going on, there hasn't been much cooking going on in our kitchen, other than quick meals that I have already posted. While shopping last week, we saw these Popcorn potatoes. I thought they would be fun to try. Hmmm, basically they were Tater Tots. A little disappointed. Last night Drama Queen wanted some stir fry. I'm so not proficient in this type of cooking, but I winged it with some chicken breasts, green and red peppers, shallots, green top onions and some ginger. I stirred in a little sweet and sour sauce and some plum sauce. We served it with some rice and I have to say it wasn't half bad! I forgot to take a photo until after we ate, and the light in my kitchen is no longer working, so the lighting on it is pretty bad. Dude thinks it is just okay to jiggle the light switch like a ba-jillion times to get it to work. Not working. Exasperated sigh.
I'm still working on Hermit Crab's scrapbook-nothing like last minute! I finished her posters today since she received some awards and scholarships and wanted to included those along with pictures of graduation night. She is a tired girl already as she started working back at the seed company today plus working weekends at the taco shop. She needs to save that money for school :)
Back to the scrapbook.......

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My backyard smells like a brownie...

No, I haven't been smoking anything, although given my current state of freaked-outness, it might be a good idea. Nah. We have been doing a lot of work outside in the yard getting ready for the big party next week. We planted shrubs, put in some retaining walls and pavers, planted flowers. We also put a lot of mulch around the gardens. I didn't get enough so when I went back to the store they were all out of brown mulch. Many expletives came out of my mouth. The best I could find was cocoa shells that were brown. Ohmygravy, does it smell good out there! Just some random pictures from today. Hermit Crab had the senior class day at Valley Fair today (it is our amusement park here in MN) and now is out the door to a class party down the road at a neighbor's house. We grilled some steaks, weeded some gardens, started PT, purchased clothes for the grad ceremony and dropped off 5 bags of clothes at the local charity. Busy day. Off all next week so hope to get some good cleaning/baking/glue sniffing done. I'm kidding-who cleans?

Here are the photos from today:

Cocoa shells-yummy!

Current state of garden
My yellow begonia's-beautiful

Summer Shandy-yum! Don't tell Dude I
put it on the street rod!
The street rod-'48 Pontiac Silver Streak

Marinated steak in Lawry's Steak and
Chop marinade-holy cow, awesome

Drama Queen got her braces off!

Sunburned from the amusement park

I decorated her windows today

As I sat here and waited for the pictures to upload, I was reading through Hermit Crab's college orientation material. They take either a 5 day or 12 day trip to get to know people one on one. She is doing the 5 day trip. It is either canoeing, kayaking, backpacking, or sleeping in trees. Um, please tell me that the bear we almost hit last fall on our way up for the college visit is NOT going to eat my child while she back packs through the woods! One more worry to add to my plate......

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

How did we get here?

I knew the day was coming; it had to. You look at them and they are so tiny and you wonder to yourself "what do I do". First teeth, crawling, pre-school, the big yellow school bus, homework, boys, sports, jobs, ACT tests and college applications. All came down to today. Her last day at high school. And yes, I'm a big snotty mess as I am typing this. Hermit Crab is just that-she would rather read a book, listen to music or watch movies than hang out with a bunch of people. She has her BFF Jesse. Her class is only 34, so she has known a large portion of the kids since they were 3 and started in pre-school; some have come in and out of their lives at school. She knows everyone. While I have had issues with several girls in her class (how dare you exclude my daughter from your sleepover/birthday party/bonfire) she took it in stride and said whatever. She never let it get her down or detract her from her goal. I read her yearbook signatures and almost everyone told her how they wouldn't have made it through math/science/English/history without her help. Wow, that made me prouder than I could have ever imagined. She came home with her sister and her sister's BFF and got suits and went to beach to celebrate (her poor sister has 4 more days left). She brought in her contents of her locker, her yearbook and her 8 awards she received at their ceremony practice today. She also got her copy of the Senior Letters. Everyone wrote a letter to the class and then every senior got a copy. They also vote on "Most Likely to" and their wills (what they are leaving to the underclassmen) and the "Prophecies". Apparently my daughter will her ability to over-achieve to a Junior (she knew it would be wasted on her younger sister), she is most likely to be an author and her prophecy was "will go to school to be the next Sven Sundgarrd, but will drop out to be a 'Twilight' groupie". Sven is a popular meteorologist here in the Twin Cities. It was fun to see her through the eyes of other people.

Here is our Hermit Crab

I don't know how I will make it through her ceremony on Saturday. Anyone have any ideas?