Wednesday, July 30, 2008

kung pao CHICKEN mongolian CHICKEN sweet and sour CHICKEN...do the moo shoo

I'm betting maybe three of you are singing along with the title today. Every time someone in the family mentions any type of Chinese food, someone else breaks out in to this Silly Song from the Ultimate Silly Song Count Down.

Last night I made Kung Pao Chicken, so everyone was singing. It's madness.

I have to give a shout out to Suzanne who blogs over at Creating Post it Notes for her awesome Kung Pao Chicken recipe.

My kids' have very unusual tastes in food and I was really hoping they wouldn't like the chicken. It was so delicious I wanted to save it all for myself (I planned to share with D, at least). But sadly, my kids loved it. They loved it so much, I barely got any at all. They left me with the peanuts and a few pieces of chicken. It was really not fair at all!

I suppose it's good my kids like a wide variety of foods, including spicy things. I almost think me telling the kids ahead of time they probably won't like it makes them want to like it.

I'm on the hunt for more delicious recipes to share with my readers. I've been so obsessed with food lately that I've neglected my other hobbies. This happens frequently with ADD. I start to hyper focus. On the plus side, I've been spending so much time looking at recipes that nothing actually sounds good to eat, so it really helped with the weight loss.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pie hopes

I'm a glutton for punishment. Today we had our pioneer day celebration at church and one activity was a pie contest. I don't really know what possessed me to attempt a pie. Stupidity? Denial? Momentary lapse of judgment?

I thought with the help of Alton Brown I could surely make a delicious pie. After all, every other recipe of his has been an absolute success.

But, I forgot that pies and I don't get along.

I can, and have, ruined every single pie I have participated in making. I've ruined them from scratch, ruined pre-packaged crusts, graham cracker crusts; it doesn't matter. Two Thanksgivings ago, I ruined the Mrs. Smith's pies we bought from the store! All I did was check on them in the oven. And somehow, they ended up burned.

It has been requested that I never attempt pie baking ever again.

But, this time I came armed with Alton Brown and an absolute no fail pie crust. I've managed to not screw up this particular pie crust recipe. Naturally, that means the filling for my pie was going to be a complete and utter failure. And, thanks to the humidity, my lemon meringue pie was pudding by the time we got to the church. It was beyond awful. We ended up throwing it away.

On the bright side, I also made Paula Dean's Coleslaw and it was an amazing success. I'm not a coleslaw person but I even liked this. The other coleslaws on the buffet table weren't touched til mine was gone! I changed the recipe up a bit by substituting zucchini for the carrot and red onion for the green.

And because I'm a complete glutton for punishment, I decided to try to make another pie to use of the rest of the pie crust dough. Rolling out pie crust in humidity is not fun. I do not know how southern bakers do it and keep a smile on their faces!

This time, I returned to allrecipes and picked the most highly rated apple pie I could find. Surely with nearly 1500 reviews all with five stars, even I could do it. I read the reviews and added 1/4 t cinnamon and 1 t vanilla to the syrup and used a crumb topping instead of lattice because I was out of crust. I cooked it at 425 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 30 minutes.

And...drumroll...it WORKED! I made a pie that was edible. To be truthful, it was more than just edible. It was absolutely the best apple pie I've *ever* had. The filling didn't ooze out. the crust was tender and flakey. And D asked for seconds. Heck, the kids asked for seconds, too!

I think with my small changes, I may just enter this pie in to the fair in October!

Friday, July 25, 2008

That's My Kid!

The school was running a program this week where for $5 you could send your kids to school from 8-11 to get a "jumpstart" on the new year. School actually starts on Aug 11.

Kari *really* wanted to go and for $5, it was totally worth it.

Today they had a program to show to the parents what they've been doing. The kindies stood on the stage and sang a song. One little girl looked like she was going to throw up, she was so scared. LOL

Next, the kids got a chance to tell what they liked best about school. At the beginning of the week, Kari declared school was boring because she already knew everything. She is very far ahead of the other kids, but we already knew that. The kids who did the program have the parents who are the most involved in school and the kids generally are the best prepared. Many students come in to the school not even knowing basics like colors. It's scary. But with this group of kids, the teachers decided to just start in on the reading program since they already had the basics.

Anyway, the kids are all saying they liked reading, math, shapes, etc. Two of the kids (including the girl with obvious stage fright) refused to say anything.

When it was Kari's turn, she marched across the stage in her little pigtails and said "My favorite part of school is snacks!"

ROFLMAO

The snacks at school were not typically what I allow my kids to eat, so I think this was why the snacks stood out the most to her. She said "But they were so delicious!" and she was so impressed at all the different kinds of chips they got to eat.

When we went to leave, I spoke with the teacher Ben had for kindie and she said "at least Kari's honest" heehee then she bent down and gave Kari a little kiss on the forehead and said "see you in two weeks!" and very quietly said that she just let us know our class assignment for the fall. YES! We LOVED this teacher and Kari would have been completely heartbroken not to have her.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

a bit of sewing

I have a new to me machine again. This time it's a circa 1965 Singer. It's an oldie but goodie. It's been very well cared for and in some respects is easier to use than my brand new brother that's currently broken. In fact, this Singer can sew through about 8 layers of heavy weight fabric without too much trouble!

So the new machine and I have been getting to know each other the last couple of days. I've managed to put together one dress for Lizzy and, in my piece for the environment, three reusable grocery bags. I even did some applique on the bags. They aren't very pretty as I'm still trying to work out the kinks in my design. So far, I'm liking french seams instead of a lining. It makes for a very durable bag.

Monday, July 21, 2008

My TV confession

I love iCarly. It cracks me up every time. I know it's for the kids, but i makes me giggle. The Pee On Carl episode called iWant More Viewers...best EVER. Check it out some time.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yumm-o!

We're addicted to the Food Network. We watch so many of the shows and it's become a "girl thing" for Leelee and I to watch The Next Food Network Star together. We did the same thing when Top Chef was on and are looking forward to Project Runway next week.

This past week, the contestants went on my favorite day time TV show, Rachael Ray. I know some people can't stand her, but I'm like her biggest fan. Her cooking really fits in to our family's life style.

One of the contestants, Adam, made this BBQ chicken packed pita that my kids were just salivating over. We didn't have all the ingredients, so naturally I made my own version with what we had on hand.

Our version looked like this:

ingredients:
2 bone in chicken thighs
2 T BBQ sauce
3 T olive oil
bag of mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic
6 flour tortillas
massive amount of fresh spinach, washed

Place 2 chicken thighs in a baking dish, drizzle with about 1 T of EVOO and salt and pepper. Bake in 350 degree oven til it's no longer pink.

Once the chicken is cooked, shred it up in a bowl. Mix in 2 T BBQ.

In a large skilled over medium heat, add 2 T EVOO and grate one clove of garlic in to it. Add the huge amount of fresh spinach. I think we used 4 big adult sized handfuls. Cook the spinach down. It really cooks down a lot, btw.

In a smaller skillet over medium heat place a flour tortilla, top half of it with a good handful of cheese and some chicken. Pile on the spinach. Fold in half and flip to brown the other side.

My pictures aren't pretty but i never claimed to be a food stylist. :)

testing 1 2 3

blogger seems to be having some hiccups today

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

brand new bag

The good news is I was able to create this bag/pattern before my sewing machine died. Yes, the sewing machine I just got back from the shop yesterday. The one I had to drive 100 miles to the nearest repair center to get fixed. He fixed the symptom and not the actual problem. Brother customer service is taking care of me, but I don't know how long they are going to have the machine. Meanwhile, I'm looking to beg off a machine from someone else.

without further ado ... my new bag

oh forgive the bit of a smudge on the lense. blasted humidity.


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lining fabric...once I get the beast back from the repair shop, I will be sewing in a button. I like buttons.



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the pocket. perfect size for my chocolate phone :D

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Friday, July 4, 2008

injury central

Thank goodness our insurance is now offering a nurse line so i can call when certain nine year olds drop kitchen appliances on their feet and the bleeding won't stop.

So we're doing some home treatment and hopefully the bleeding will stop as soon as she stops moving around LOL I know the dr would just dermabond, so we're going to see what we can do here first.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Four eyes :)


Ben got his new glasses today! We always said Ben couldn't find an elephant in the middle of an empty room...then we got his eyes checked and his vision was 20/70 and he has astigmatism. He was really excited to get his glasses but the novelty has already worn off. He's discovered that with big temp changes, the glasses fog up and if you have sticky fingers and touch your glasses, the lenses get mucky.

I know I'm biased, but I think he looks positively adorable in them.

Maybe he'll be better at picking up after himself now that he can see! A mom can dream, can't she?

This week has been the usual craziness, plus two. And we had an ER visit this week. We hadn't been since February, so we were due. Only two visits this year (well, that first one was a double visit, but it still only counts once). So overall, we've been very accident free.

Kari ended up taking a swing to the face and sliced open her nostril. The good news, after waiting a couple hours in the ER, was the giant gaping hole slowly closed up as the swelling went down. They cleaned her up and told us it was swelling and she didn't need stitches. I didn't quite believe the doctor, but decided to wait it out. This morning, her nose looked pretty normal. No gaps. The doctor took one look at my dirty from playing outside child who already, at age 4, has a file at the ER and the battle wounds to prove it, and declared that this would probably not be her last visit LOL I guess this is what happens when you send kids outside to play all day instead of keeping them cooped up indoors watching TV.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My clock says 8:02

My clock says it's after 9 a.m. eastern time. In fact, the TV shows that come on at 8 my time are on. So WHY is customer service not open yet??

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mama ain't happy

That means pretty much no one in my house is happy right now.

I'm babysitting this week for a friend and the extra kids in the house is raising the stress level. It was all fun and games the first two days...today...the honeymoon is over and they are all trying to kill each other. Saturday can't come soon enough when these kids can go HOME. I love the kids to death, they are the sweetest little ones, don't get me wrong. But the fighting. I can't handle the fighting. Heck, I can't handle my own kids fighting.

My one escape, my sewing, is gone from me. My new sewing machine broke. I have to send it away for servicing. I don't know how long it will be gone. I can't call until tomorrow.

I got two 4th of July outfits done. Two out of five. *sigh*