Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Leftover cookies?? Say what?!

As I was perusing other blogs, looking for new recipes, I stumbled upon something fabulous over at Pioneer Woman's blog. She had a guest blogger who had an awesome idea of what to do with any leftover Christmas cookies.
Stop laughing. No seriously, stop, you're creepin' me out.
I actually have a crap-ton of leftover cookies this year. Everyone brought me cookies! I have snickerdoodles, chocolate chip, chocolate chip oatmeal and I could go on, and on, and on.
Anyshway, the gist of her recipe was to take the old cookies and use them as a topping for a fruity dessert.
She used strawberries and chocolate chip cookies.
I had no strawberries. That's a lie, I do have strawberries, but they're frozen.
What I did have was fresh blueberries (Pickles LOVES blueberries).
I thought long and hard about which cookies to use.
Another lie.
It took me about 2.2 nano seconds for my brain to scream "SNICKERDOODLES!!"

My sister makes a mean snickerdoodle. She left a lot when she visited. Perfect use for them!
On with it...
Rinse the berries in cool water.
I only had about a cup of blueberries so I found a rather small baking pan. The more berries, obviously the bigger the pan/dish you'll need.
I sprinkled 1 Tablespoon of sugar on the berries, and tossed to coat.
Sugared berries so so purdy. Let's see them again.

Crumble your cookies over the top. Some coarsely, some more finely.
Drizzle 1 Tablespoon melted butter over your lovely dessert.
Pop it in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 10mins.
Ovens vary, so watch it. You want the cookies to turn a nice golden color.
As I pulled it out of the oven, I turned around and saw this:

I think she wanted some, what do you think?

Three little bowls for three little munchkins.
I dolloped some fresh whipped cream on top because let's face it, whipped cream should go on everything.
I set the bowls on the counter to cool while the kids ate supper. Their little eyes never left the bowls. I've never seen my children (with the exception of Pickles) eat so fast.
"I'm ready for my dessert!!!"
There was enough left over for The Dude and I to enjoy it too.
I have more snickerdoodles left. I may have to go out and get some more blueberries.
You know, for Pickles. Mwuahahahahaha!

My fabulous friend Ali gave me this little journal for Christmas. I love it. I love all the buttons and the ribbon. I've decided to fill it with all of our favorite recipes. That way, everything is together (The Dude hates how all of my recipes are scribbled on sheets of paper and shoved in a drawer) and ready to go should I need to bring them with me. Just getting ready for next hurricane season, ha ha.
I also hope that one day my children will fight over this little book. I can picture it now, at the reading of the will. There will be biting, hair pulling and baseball bats...all for my recipe book. Ok, maybe not.

ONE more thing before I go.

I lightened my hair a bit. You likey?? The Dude likey very much. Why is my hand up like that? I don't know.

Happy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stupid should hurt.

As I glide into the office (13 minutes late, but for me that's actually early) I spy a note on my desk. I can recognize that chicken scratch anywhere. It's from The Boss.

In case you need a translation, it says:

Check on call phone on clock.

Fro (an employee's nickname) said it says lo battery.

I must say, that is one of his better notes. There are minimal spelling and gramatical errors. Usually it takes a good ten minutes to decipher what he's written.

Anyway, the phone he's referring to is a cell phone. Now friends, what do you usually do when your cell phone's battery is low?

Simple fix eh? How is it that two grown men, both owners of (at least) one cell phone each, could not figure that out on their own? I mean really.
Can you understand my frustrations with my work life? Geezy-kreezy. Things like this happen on a daily basis. At first I thought I was being Punk'd or something of the sort. Sadly no. Ashton Kutcher will not be popping up in my office anytime soon. It's just plain ole' stupidty.
Here's your sign.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pneumonia, you suck

Dearest Pneumonia,
Why oh why did you have to pick this time of year to strike me down? Why, when I should be in full baking and cooking mode, was I laying on the couch in the playroom trying to muster up the strength to go potty (dude, I'm such a Mom, I just said potty). Pneumonia, that was probably the worst timing EVER.


As some of you may have noticed I have been absent from blogging. Now you know why. Not only did I have the pneumonia, but twin A and Pickles had bronchitis. Fun, fun, fun! Their pediatrician actually diagnosed me when I brought them in.

On top of all of that, my camera is brokey. Totally missed all the Christmas morning amazement photo ops. Oh well. Maybe I can catch a good after Christmas sale.

The only bright spot to my Christmas pneumonmia was that I got to spend a lot of extra time with my munchkins. It was kinda like a Christmas bonus for me. For a working Mom, having almost a full week with my kids was AMAZING. I cherished every second of it. Even with the pneumonia, I made the most of it. There were trips to the ice cream parlor, lots of outside play, lots of snuggles and cuddles and plain old Mommy time.

So anyway, I hope to be back in bloggy mode tomorrow, if not later today. I gotta catch up on some work that I missed.

Hearts, and belated Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fat ~N~ Happy

That title is a fairly accurate description of me after consuming my favorite meal of carne asada. Ooooh carne asada, how I love thee.
A few things: In southern California, when you say you're gonna BBQ, I expect you better grill up some carne. Carne asada means roasted beef, but the phrase has come to mean a social gathering, such as a BBQ.
In SoCal (I have that on the back of my Tahoe, ha ha), you can walk into any corner carniceria and order pre-marinated, ready to slap on the grill carne asada. Down here in the deep south, not so much.
It's actually easy to make the marinade. The secret is the rub for the meat. Chef Merito's Carne Asada seasoning.

Buy it here.
You want to buy THIN cut beef (think a skirt steak or flanksteak). Thankfully there has been an influx of hispanics to my particular town and I can now find beef cut for milanzea, so it works perfectly. Now that we have our meat, sprinkle it, liberally with the carne seasoning.

Let's marinade!

In a ziplock bag, add the juice of two small limes, one lemon, two oranges, two cloves of garlic (minced), and one bunch of green onions, trimmed. Now for the secret ingredient....

Come close.



Too close!!

Ok. Drumroll please.

1/4 Cup of Sprite

A little old Mexican lady told me that secret once. I've made it with the Sprite and without the Sprite. Trust me, use the Sprite!

Alright, alright. Put all the meat in the bag, zip it shut and shake to coat. Put in the fridge and let it set for 8 hrs or overnight.

Fire up the grill! Medium-ish flame. These cook quickly, so stay close. Cook on both sides until well done. It works out to be a few minutes on each side.
This next part is also important. Serve it with tortillas, guac. and cheese. Not just any cheese my friends. Oh no no. Go to the specialty cheese section (unless you're in Cali, then it's with the regular cheeses) and find you some Cacique Queso Fresco. This mild, salty, creamy-dreamy, cheese crumbles so fabulously. The Dude and I have been known to finish off a round of this stuff just cuz we couldn't help ourselves.

Also important, if you're a sour cream fan, find Cacique's Crema Mexicana Agria. Holy moly is this stuff amazing. It's 10 times better than regular sour cream. Oh, it's just so rich and yummy. One thing of note, it's a lot thinner than sour cream you're probably used to.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pinky! Are you pondering what I'm pondering?!

I don't pre-flush. I feel it's a waste of water. I'm all about conserving. That's not entirely true, but I do what I can. Anyway, so I don't use the bathroom in the workshop here at work. It's nasty. Boys use it!! I use the bathroom in the co-owner's house (which is next door to the office). Her cleaning lady was on her way out the door. I waved and wished her Merry Christmas.
I'm sure I'm not alone in this, but I do some of my best thinking in the bathroom. I think it's the solitude and the serenity of this particular bathroom that does it for me.
As I'm sniffing all of her lovely scented items within reach of the commode, the overwhelming burning scent of bleach fills my nose.
I kinda freak out for a second. Crap! I'm peeing on bleach! Bleach and ammonia mixed together make no-no!
What to do? What to do???
I quickly pull up my trousers and run out like a crazy person.
Oh no! I forgot to flush! Back into the danger zone I head. I quickly flush and run out.
Whew, safe!
I get back to my desk and ask the only person I knew would know if this could have been a problem. My Shasty informs me that she actually knows of a similar case and the chick passed out! Gawd, glad I saved myself from that embarrassment.
So that was my little drama for the day. I totally almost DIED. Ok, perhaps that is an exaggeration.
I've been sitting here thinking hard about how that whole scenario could have played out WAY different.
I may blog again later. I'm making my absolutely favorite dinner. I would like to share it. Check back often, kids.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'll have mine shaken, not stirred

I was tagged by Rachael over at Scientific Nature of the Whammy. I must list ten random things about me. Stick with me kids, I'm a little casse'd (for all of you non-cajun folks, that means I'm drunk).
1. I can touch my tongue to my nose. Odd series of events led me to that discovery.
2. That same tongue is pierced. Yes, I'm an almost thirty-year-old mother of three, but I refuse to let go of that last little bit of my youth.
3. I am deathly afraid of clowns. You laugh, but I'm dead-ass serious. I once fell over a trashcan as I backed away from a clown at a parade...true story.
4. I am 100% unable to order a pizza over the phone. It's a totally weird phobia, but I can't do it. I can only do it online, or The Dude has to do it...drives him crazy.
5. I would have a dozen kids, if The Dude would let me.
6. Today, I used the phrase, "Cornflakes rock my world," and meant it.
7. 2 martinis is my limit (wish I had known that one martini and one shot ago)
8. I would give my left arm (perhaps even my right) to live close to my Shasty.
9. My life is a real life musical. I sing ALL the time. Like, it annoys me sometimes.
10. Being an adult, scares me to death.

I'm gonna tag Maricris over at Zen Ventures, hope I didn't kill any readers off with my post, eh?? ha ha hah
My Shasty over at Sassy Secrets of a True Blue Desperate Housewife. You will understand that I love her, and therefore YOU must love her.
I shall leave it at two, cuz, let's be honest, I've gotta go to bed. My eyes are crossing.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Romantical Night

Last night, The Dude and I had a little date. I know right? The kids stayed at the sitter and we headed downtown for a movie. They showed "It's A Wonderful Life," against an old building downtown. It was so friggen awesome! There are all kinds of couples bundled together watching. It was so sweet. Added bonus, they sold popcorn and drinks for a buck! So lets see, free movie and cheap concessions?! That's an awesome date night if you ask me. I'm a thrifty gal. Cheap and/or free is right up my alley. Alas, the tempting glow of one of our favorite restaurants was simply too much to ignore. The Dude placed an order to go and we munched down on some fabulous fare for the last part of the movie.
Remember this place. You'll be seeing it in an upcoming movie or two. Renee Zellweger and Forrest Whitaker were just in there not too long ago filming. Wait, how did I all of a sudden become a celeb blog?!
Sorry for the crappy picture quality. I took them with my cell phone.
I'm just noticing this, but the guy in the lower right corner, yeah, thats the mayor. Yes, we live in a SMALL town. "Uncle Charley" we call him. Nope, not related in any way. He's related to The Dude's best friend and so apparently he feels "ok "calling him uncle too. Odd little segue huh?
Sorry I haven't been around this week. I seem to have contracted The Black Lung. Must be all those years (not) spent in the coal mines.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas shopping on your lunch break = bad idea

I need you people. I need this blogging. I must calm my nerves some. I just encountered THE STUPIDEST people to occupy our fine planet. They were all on a mission to slow down my lunch break shopping experience. How annoying. Oh, did I not mention that The Dude was one such person. I swooped him up because he had told me he wanted to shop with me (Christmas shopping see, he was intereseted in the toys). The "I'm hungry" whining starts almost instantly. Seriously man, he's worse than the kids sometimes! I got through one stop before I couldn't stand it anymore and dropped him off at home. But I press on. I make two more stops, including the dreaded Walmart. Both places are chock-a-block full of crazy people.

Me: "Ugh, tried to shop on my lunch. all the crazies were out."

Shasty: "Damn, don't they have jobs?"

Me: "Yes, they have the job of aggrivating me."

There should totally be someone checking IQs at the self check out line at Walmart. I mean really, the line is meant to speed up your trip right? Why is it that some people feel the need to check out an entire basket at that line? That's not what it's for!!! Lady, do you really think arguing with the line supervisor about purchasing alcohol through self check out will prove fruitful? The huge ass sign plainly states it's against the law to do so. Geez.

Ok, I'm more calm now. Crap, just realized I didn't eat lunch and I'm super hungry.

This won't help the hunger bit AT ALL, but here is a little treat I've made eleventy-billion of since last week.

These, my pets, are wonderful. They're pecan tassies. Nothing new or original, but yummy just the same.

3 oz cream cheese, softened

1/2 C butter, softened

1 C flour, sifted (lets just say it now, when baking, please, please, ALWAYS sift your flour. It's never a bad idea)

1 egg, beaten

1 T melted butter

3/4 C brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

2/3 C chopped pecans

powdered sugar, for dusting

For pastry: cream butter and cream cheese, stir in flour. Cover, refrigerate one hour. Roll into 1-inch balls (should make 24 balls). Press dough against sides and bottom of 1 3/4 inch mini muffin tins.

Filling: Mix everything except the powdered sugar together and spoon into tassies. I use about 1 tsp.

Bake @ 325 for 25 mins., or until pastry turns a slight golden brown. Cool completely. Spring with powdered sugar.

My Mom always makes these at Christmas time. Yums!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Little in the middle...

...but she got much back!
Woo-hoo! My Hawaiian counterpart The Rambler. Has bestowed upon me this bloggy award.
You flatter me much, my dearest. Me-thinks she's trying to butter me up so I show her how to ride the mechanical bull.
If you haven't done so already, ch-ch-ch,ch-ch-,ch-check her out. Her blog is chock-full of little "treasures."
Dude, I'm totally gonna be humming "Baby Got Back," in my sleep now. Awesome. The Dude is gonna be so confused. I take that back. He'll just see it as normal...don't ask.
I should like to bestow this award to others as well.
{fancy horns blow}
"In no particular order...
Sarah, at Thrifty Decor Chick let's be honest here folks, she can make a treasure out of anything!
Jesse, at We All Go Poopie , two reasons here: her blog title sends me into a fit of laughter every time I see it, and because her cooking makes me drool.
My Shasty, at Sassy Secrets of a True Blue Desperate Housewife , damn, why yo blog title gotta be so long?? My girl could use an award right about now. Your child requiring surgery is ridiculously stressful.
{more fancy horns and a flag. Do you have a flag??}

In all seriousness folks...

As promised yesterday, here is my little blog about Meaghan's project for the holiday season. Meaghan is a cancer survivor. You can read all about her story here. If you haven't done so already, click on the button on my blog that looks like this


Ok, ok, my point. Meaghan has an awesome project going right now. Everyone has some sort of talent. Some of you make fantastical crafts, you knit, you are an artist, you create, and yes, some of you are even gifted shoppers. Lets take those talents and put them to good use. Go here to read about it. The jist: use your talent to make something and send it as a gift to someone battling cancer or someone who is a survivor. Let's bring a bright spot to someone's day. You never know what the kindness of strangers can do for someone. Meaghan will match you up with somoene, or you can pick from any of the stories she has posted. Let's do this people.

When you're done reading all of those links and whatnot, head on over to Meaghan and her boyfriend's coffee site. Mmmmm, I'm drooling just thinking about all of the yummy coffee and tea flavors.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I can feel the love.

Seriously, all that comment love was so awesome! I feel all warm and fuzzy. Thank you ladies. I promise to make it to your blogs. I was mid-stride, checking blogs with a fury when I got the call that The Dude had injured himself and needed to go to the E.R. TOTALLY messed up my bloggy mojo. He's ok. Lots of pain, but he has drugs, he he he. *Note to self* buy The Dude steel toe boots for Christmas.

I subscribe to Family Fun magazine. I love it. It's got fun ideas for crafting, games and food, all geared at kids. In the latest issues they had these snowflake shirts that looked super cute and easy to make.

Get a plain, long sleeved t-shirt (Walmart, baby $3.50) and gather up this stuff

Tacky glue, and some fabric paint. I mixed a silvery glitter with a blue to come up with an "ice blue," and a sponge (sponge brush or clean dish sponge).

Place a piece of cardboard inside of the shirt (we don't want it to stick together). You can draw out a snowflake on a sheet of paper if you like, or just freehand one. Look some up on the internet for inspiration.

With the tacky glue, draw out your snowflake on the shirt. Try and center it up. Allow to dry for 10 minutes. Fix any bo-bos (bubbles, broken lines, you get the idea) and allow to dry completely. The glue will be clear when dry.
Sponge your fabric paint directly onto the snowflake pattern and fill in with color around it.

Allow to dry completely. I left it overnight. Soak the shirt in warm water till the glue softens (10mins) then peel it off!

Stay tuned. I'm gonna do a post about an awesome project Meaghan over at I Kicked Cancer's @ss is doing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Feliz Navi-SITS

That really doesn't work, does it?? Whatever. Spanglish dude, spanglish. SITS is having a fantabulous day today. Merry SITSmas!!!! Not only will you get tons of comment love, you can win awesome prizes!!! Weeeee! I'm going to ignore the fact that I can access the SITS site right this second (too many SITStas at once!) and blog on.

SITS has allowed me to feel some bloggy love and has introduced me to so many cool blogs that I otherwise wouldn't have ever found. I love that site!

I can log on in the morning and check in with my best friend at Sassy Secrets of a True Blue Desperate Housewife, then it's on to see what's a Ramblin. The Nanny Goats must be tended to and it's no secret, We All Go Poopie. How many of you don't want to go check out ALL of those blogs. You know you do. That is just a small sampling of the cool chicks you'll find at SITS.

One more thing. While I don't think she's hooked up with SITS yet, show this girl some bloggy love and get her hooked! She's an AWESOME photographer and awesome chick! Much love to Mandy over at MandyLens (blog)! Her website. Shameless plug, my kids are on her website, he he he.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Just under the wire

Whew, looks like I made it just in time to post this Thanksgiving blog. When I woke up this morning, I laid in bed thinking about the things I was thankful for. For starters I was awake, lying in my own bed and nobody else was awake! Anyway, anyway, I thought about all the standard things people are thankful for. Then I heard The Dude let out a loud snort and started snoring like he was trying to wake the dead. I realized something. I'm thankful to wake up and hear that snore. There was a time when I didn't know if I would ever hear him snore again. A lot of women's husbands didn't come home from the desert. Instead they got a visit from a chaplain and a folded up flag. So I am thankful to be able to listen to my husband snore.
I am thankful for the baby waking up at 3 am, because somewhere, someone's child did not wake up this morning.
I am thankful for the damage that is still evident to our home from hurricane Gustav. For starters we HAVE A HOME. Damaged or not, it's still ours. We still own it. Something I hope people don't take for granted in this time where so many people are losing their homes to foreclosure. Another reason I'm thankful for the damage is that it made me realize what's really important. My first thought upon returning home a week and a half after the storm and seeing all the damage was, "It's just stuff."
I'm thankful for all the extra crap I have to do at work these means the business is doing well, even in this crap economy. It means I still have a job when so many have lost theirs.
I guess my point is, even the stuff we think we hate and drives us nuts at times is really something to be thankful for.
Much love peeps.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crazy is my middle name.

Ok, so that's a lie. My middle name is actually Bob. But you can call me crazy. The Dude and I decided it's high time to lose the baby weight. We have started our own weight loss journey. Yes, we're absolutely friggen nuts to start this the week of Thanksgiving. Oh well.
Don't get me wrong, we aren't morbidly obese but we see a problem. I/we feel more tired (yes, I'm aware that having 3 toddlers could very well be the reason behind that but go with me here), and can't quite keep up with my little munchkins.
I used to be skinny. Stop laughing. I did. But I've always been the chunky monkey of all my siblings. They used to make up songs about it. Remember that song "Everlasting Love," well they changed the lyrics to "Everlasting Lunch," just for me.
Around the time I graduated high school I decided I was ready to make a change. I started working out with my sister. I also started taking herbalife. Don't freak out, this isn't a sales commercial. I'm just telling you what worked for me in the past. I got skinny. Don't believe me? Who would. Anyway, here are some old pics:
Halloween 2001

New Year's Eve 2001 (pictured with one of my sisters)

"Secret" elopement with The Dude . What's with the huge shirt he's wearing?! Oh yeah, I sent him to the store by himself....MISTAKE.

Me, this morning (ignore goofy face). No spanx on, but those are tummy control jeans. Gawd, did I just admit to wearing tummy control jeans?!??!?!? Oh. yeah. I did.

I am now a size 10/12. The previous pics, I was a 5. I have no aspirations of actually fitting into my size 5 pants. I'm a realist. A few things I would like to achieve are to have more energy, "the girls" to get smaller (sorry Dude), and to just feel comfortable in my own skin .

I am again turning to Herbalife. #1 reason being that I have found success with it before. #2 reason, The Dude bought a bunch of it from some guy over the phone (he's a total sucker for telemarketing). I plan on getting some exercising in there too. The Dude and I are trying to work out at lunch and/or alternate working out after work.

I'm also gonna try and cut portions. I love food. I love to cook. I love to bake. That ain't gonna change. We've started fixing our dinner plates using dessert sized plates versus dinner sized. I'm also ever on the hunt for TASTY and healthy foods. Tonight I'm trying out a recipe for Chicken Shawarma, it's a Lebanese meal. Had it at a restaurant and thought it was soooo yummy. I was certain it had to be unhealthy. Low and behold, it's pretter darn healthy. If it's any good, I'll post it tomorrow.

So here's the deal. I need to be held accountable. I need people to say, "Hey tubby. How is the weight loss going?" Mmm-kay?! Thanks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The B.I.

Seven years ago today, I reluctantly accompanied my then best friend to the Brandin' Iron (more affectionately referred to as The B.I *must have strong southern twang when you say that) for her birthday.
"Seriously? That's where you want to go?! Why? All they have there are "cowboys" and Marines."
Friend, "Yep, that's where we're going."
Me: "Damn."
My other friend and I sat at our little table and scoured the place for any decent looking guys.
"That one, there. He's mine," I say.
"Fine, I'll take his friend," she concedes.
Total hottie. Blue sweater that hugged his ripped up body, blue eyes and a killer smile. I totally threw THE LOOK at him for what seemed like forever. He wasn't making a move. What the crap?!
So, I took matters into my own hands. Another friend was gonna ride the bull (yeah, it was THAT kind of place), which was directly behind The Dude's table. I "accidently" shoulder-checked The Dude as I walk by, flash a smile and a wink and perch myself in front of the mechanical bull.
A few minutes later he comes over and rattles off some lame pick up line...crickets...
"Good Morning Beautiful," by Steve Holy comes on. I LOVE that song. I told him I was going to dance and he could come too, if he wanted. So that is "our song" now.
At the end of the night he asked for my number. I gave it to him. You should have seen the looks on my friends faces. I didn't give out my number, ever. He was convinced it was a fake. I assured him it wasn't. He gave me the sweetest kiss on the cheek and the rest is history.

I love you Dude.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My own woo-sah

I sewed last night. I needed it. A bit of wooo-sah
I decided to make a hostess gift to bring to Thanksgiving. Yes, despite the rice incident {seriously?!?! Instant rice mix?!?!??!}, I wanted to bring something special. This may even prove that I am capable of handling things slightly more complicated than Uncle Ben's Long Grain Wild Rice.
I made some trivets. What is a trivet you ask? It's what you put your hot pots/dishes on. But this one is oh so special. When you put a hot item on it, wonderful scents of apples and cinnamon are released. It looks like this:
My super duper Aunt used to have a pretty nice home-based business making and selling these things. She has now gone on to other successes, but I have always liked this item. Shout out to my Aunt! Thank you for the instructions!!!!

These are our materials. You may also find a funnel useful, but it's not necessary.
1. Cut the fabric 9 x 22
2. Fold in half and sew 2 long sides together, right sides in
3. Turn right sides out and sew in 4 “channels”, 3 seams the long way
~Each trivet gets 1 pound of rice mixed with a couple of drops of scented oil. I guess you could use any scent you fancy, but she always used Apple Cinnamon. I suggest this sent, especially if you'll be gifting them during the holidays.
4. Fill each aunt used a large funnel, but if you’re just making a few you can make do with an empty toilet roll or something. Make sure you pack the rice tight enough so that you have about 2” left at the top for sewing it shut.
5. I folded the top twice, about ¼ inch, then fold again. Pin it shut and sew it shut. Be careful of your needle breaking on a piece of stray rice. My aunt used to wear protective glasses!I rolled it up and tied it with some gold ribbon-y stuff. Ya know, fancified it. I plan to make a little tag to attach too.

Another thing I remembered was my aunt stored them in ziplock bags before giving them out. Presumably this is to either A.) preserve the scent or 2.) keep the scent level to a minimum in your home if you're making a bunch. In either case, I did the same. Several will fit nicely into a gallon sized bag.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Show me them pearly whites.

I went to the denist today. I hate the dentist. Well, going to the dentist. I actually like my dentist, nice guy. I'll continue hating going to the dentist, mostly because of the dental hygenist.

I thought she looked nice enough...WRONG. As I'm looking around the room as she jabbers on about who knows what, I notice a bunch of pictures drawn by kids. Awe, how sweet...WHAT THE?!?!?!?!??! There is one picture that reads: "You may think you have a nice hygenist, but look out." The pictures accompanying this text are a gun firing a bullet at a duck and a huge foot stepping on a bug. These are the times I so wish a I had a camera phone.

#1, what did she DO to this poor kid?

B. Why would she put that picture up?

Pink. Why is this woman allowed around patients???

Is it part of the job description to make you feel like crap?
"Oh, mmmm, gee, are you sure you floss enough?"
Lady, I floss as much as I can. It isn't that high on my priority list. Yes, I know, bad me.
I think she was disappointed that she didn't find my mouth in such bad shape considering I hadn't had a cleaning in a year and a half. But oh, she kept lookin.

"And your wisdom teeth???" she chirped.

"Do I have wisdom teeth?" I wonder aloud.

"Oh, it's very rare to not have them.

"The Dude doesn't have any."

"We'll see about that when he comes in later," she said, almost in a rather condesending manner.

When I tell her they've never bothered me, she found that unbelievable.
"Well you'll have to have them out right away!!"
What the hell? She was just hell-bent on finding something that had to be fixed. She was also absolutely certain I had a cavity but when the dentist came in he said I didn't. She even argued with him until he got out this super-duper-hi-tech cavity finder thingy-ma-bob **actual, technical name**. She also swore up and down I had gingivitis due to my gums bleeding. Well duh lady. You just flossed my teeth with embroidery thread. You read that right. This stuff:

This stuff is easily 10Xs thicker than regular floss. No joke my gums bled. I brought up that I had recently quite nursing The Pickle and that (the hormones and such), coupled with the embroidery thread led the dentist to conclude no gingivitis.

Things we learned from this: dental hygenist chick needs to get off her power trip and that she doesn't know all she thinks she knows.
I think I need a recipe. Well, YOU need a recipe. This comes from my girl Katie...actually her mother in law. This is not a diet recipe AT ALL, which translates into yummy. This is the recipe EXACTLY as it came to me. My little changes will be noted at the bottom.

Mexi-veeta Spaghetti

1 rotisserie chicken- de-boned and shredded
1 lb. spaghetti
1 stick butter
1 pk. McCormick mild chili powder
1 onion- chopped
1 cup celery- chopped
1 bell pepper- chopped
½ can mild Rotel tomatoes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 lb. Velveeta cheese
1 box chicken stock/broth
1 ½ cup half-n-half

1. De-bone and shred chicken. Set aside.
2. Boil spaghetti in half salted water/half chicken stock. Don’t drain spaghetti.
3. Chop onions, bell pepper, and celery.
4. In a skillet, melt stick of butter; add onions, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add soup, chili mix, and cheese until melted.
5. In a large casserole, mix noodles and water, skillet mix, chicken, and half-n-half. Stir together.
6. Bake covered at 300°F for 45 minutes.

Mamma Ducky changes: I cut the butter to 1/4 cup, didn't use bell peppers (was out), and I used 2 % Velveeta. Another thing is The Dude HATES spaghetti noodles so I used penne. I felt they held up better to cooking. Also, I didn't realize that the recipe was calling for McCormick chili MIX until I was already elbow deep in this recipe. So I just added some chili powder, cumin and black pepper.

This really makes TON of food. Divide it in half before baking and slap some in the freezer for another meal. That is, unless you're feeding an army, not the small kind either.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Boobies beware!

I decided that it was time to wean Pickles completely. He had already self-weaned during the daytime so nighttime feedings were the obvious next step. He's 15 months old. I must say, I lasted longer than I thought. I thought I'd make it to a year (maybe) and end it. But I couldn't. I loved that little special time with him. I didn't have him during the day, so him waking up at night and being with him was our time. But alas, all good things must come to an end. Yes, I'm talking about you, boobies.
Let's just start with the fact that I was never small busted to begin with. I got the lion's share in my family. Trust me, I would have totally preferred them to have been more evenly distributed. I have even been known to receive the awkward "nice wrack" (or is it rack??)comment from other people's hubbies (bahahaha! S, would it SOOO make him blush if he knew I'm bringing that up on my blog?!?!).
With pregnancies and subsequent nursing, they have increased in size. Their actual size is now, "ginormous." You know it's bad when they girl at Victoria's Secret whispers to you, "Honey, we don't make them that big." Oooooo-kay. Anyway, I'm actually looking forward to them shrinking some (sorry Dude). They are an absolute pain in the neck back. Finding clothing to fit properly is a nightmare. I know I know, you itty-bitty-titty-committee girls are boo-hooing me. Hush, this is my blog.
I'm hoping, lets all cross our fingers, that they don't wind up at my knees. That would be sad, and lets face it, disgusting.
To celebrate this momentous occasion, I bought some sassy NON nursing bras. Woo! Watch out! I think people noticed. Went to lunch today with one of my bosses/The Dude's aunt, and a group of hot young lawyers totally cat-called me. Maybe it was the new pair of spanx/new bra combo. We'll never know. I DO know that I have an email in my inbox that says "someone is searching for you." Inappropriate, lawyer dudes, I'm happily married.

Edited to add: I'm such an arse. I almost forgot to add this part! I was gifted with my very first blog award by the fabulous Jamie over at stampinmom. It's the "Snazzy Blog Award."

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

Aww! She's such a sweetie and makes such cute stuff! Check out her Etsy shop.

I need a bit of time to pick my eight, mmm-kay?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Day insults.

As requested by Mrs. de Miranda, here is a fantabulous recipe. This is what I'll be bringing to the family Thanksgiving, despite being told we'll have "too many desserts." Is that even possible? I think not. You know what you can have too much of though? Dried out re-heated turkey on Thanksgiving day *blech*.
I could never figure out why The Dude hated turkey so much until my very first Thanksgiving with the family in New Orleans. Come back with me on this walk down memory lane...
**Picture Wayne and Garth doing their "doo-do-do-do-loot. Doo-do-do-do-loot" as we fade to a dream sequence...**
The Dude and I were newly married and stationed in HELL 29 Palms, CA. His family wanted to meet me (I had only met his Dad at this point) and I thought it sounded great! Silly me. We caught the Red Eye out of The Vegas and got into New Orleans around 7:30am on Thanksgiving Day.
The inlaws met us at the airport and shuttled us to a hotel across the street so we could freshen up and rest a bit. By 10am, they were ready for bloody Mary's. I know what you're thinking, virgin right? WRONG. Welcome to south Louisiana people. They drink, A LOT.
By this time, I'm totally starving and can't wait till the turkey is served. We get to The Dude's great uncle's home (amazingly huge old house in a historic part of New Orleans) and I notice something. Well actually a lack of something. I didn't smell turkey.
More drinks...bloody Mary's, white wine, mimosas...cripes. It's getting hot in here. When are we gonna eat?!?!
Dinner is served. Yeah, we totally had to sit at the kiddy table. Whatever, I'm hungry. I make my plate. Hmmm, no Thanksgiving staples. No mashed potatoes, no green bean casserole, no cranberry sauce, not even a pumpkin pie. At least there is turkey!!!! *Bite* Thoughts are racing through my head...Why does this taste like two day old turkey?? Why is this gravy tasteless??
As I'm helping clean up I discover the problem. They didn't cook this turkey! They bought a fully cooked turkey in advance and just re-heated it! *Light bulb* This is why The Dude hates turkey. He's never had a real, fresh cooked turkey. Of course I have since cooked him a proper Thanksgiving meal. I do it every year now, about a week after Thanksgiving since we always go to the family Thanksgiving in New Orleans.
This is my first year being allowed to bring something to Thanksgiving. The hostess (The Dude's great aunt) always tells me not to worry about it, since I have "all those babies." I was adament this year. I just got my dinner assignment. Insult of insults. "Can you handle some Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice? Two boxes, thanks doll!" Gag. Whatever. I'm still making my dessert. People will eat it and they will love it. Uncle Ben's rice, please.

Pumpkin-Gingersnap Tiramisu
3 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin (appr. 1 1/2 envelopes)
2 T water
6 large egg yolks
1/4 C plus 2 T cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C plus 1 T sugar
1 quart whole milk
15 oz can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
1 T pure vanilla extract
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1lb mascarpone (2 cups)
3 T Calvadoes or other apple brandy
1 1/4 lbs gingersnaps
*1/4 lb finely crushed

1. In small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand 5 mins. In large bowl, whisk yolks, cornstarch, sald and 1 1/2 C sugar until sugar is moistened. In large saucepan, heat the milk until just steaming. Now we temper the egg yolk mixture. We don't want to cook the eggs so we pour about a cup of the milk and whisk. Now you've tempered your yolks, yay! Pour the egg mixture into the milk saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until boiling and thick (5 mins). Whisk in the pumpkin puree and cook, whisking for 1 min. Remove from heat, whisk in the gelatin, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk in the mascarpone. Apparently I love to *whisk!*
2. In small bowl, microwave the apple brandy with remaining 1 T sugar for 10 seconds, or just until the sugar dissolves.
3. Arrange one third of whole gingersnaps in a 9 x 13 x 2 1/2 inch baking dish. Lightly brush with some of the apple brandy syrup and top with 1/3 of pumpking custard. Repeat twice. Sprinkle half of the crushed gingersnaps on top and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Freeze overnight.
4. Let the tiramisu stand at room temp. for 6 hrs, until thawed (or overnight in fridge). Sprinkle with remaining crushed gingersnaps.

BONUS: it can be made up to a week in advance!

Monday, November 17, 2008


My inner Texan emerged this weekend. I was a grillin' machine. The weather was friggen awesome so we took advantage and spent the weekend outside playing and cooking.

Now, my Dad would probably have a heart attack if he knew I "smoked" a brisket on a gas grill *gasp!* But that's all I have so I made the most of it. I'll give you my instructions for doing a brisket on a gas grill, followed by my Dad's own humorous rendition of smoking a brisket authentically. BONUS: you'll be gifted with my Dad's recipe for BBQ sauce. The best sauce you'll ever taste. Waaay different and better than any of that store bought crap.

Gas grill smoked brisket

~A brisket (dur!) my Dad says to never attempt anything smaller than a 10lb-er. So in addition to cooking my brisket on a grill, I also used a 4 lb-er.

~1-3 Cups BBQ sauce (recipe to follow)

~Adolph's meat tenderizer (or similar brand using papain)

~lots of heavy duty foil

~aromatic wood chips (mesquite, hickory, pecan, you get the jist)

Pat your brisket dry. Trim off any weird hangy fat, but for the most part you want to leave it all on there. Hey, nobody said this was diet brisket! Turn brisket fat side up, score lines 1/2 " to 3/4" apart through the fat, down to the meat. Here's my own little tip ** score the lines against the grain, as this is how you'll want to cut it once cooked. Sometimes it's hard to tell which way the grain runs after all is said and done. Generously rub BBQ sauce all over that puppy, both sides. Place in large baking dish/roaster/disposable foil pan. Cover in plastic wrap and put in fridge to marinate overnight.

In the morning, wipe off the excess sauce and keep for later marinating. Sprinkle meat with tenderizer and poke the sun of a gun all over with a fork. Now we cook.

You need at least a dual burner gas grill for this. Light the left side ONLY. We want a medium lowish setting (180-225 degrees is optimum). You have a couple of options for the wood chips. Make a packet out of aluminum foil and puncture it with a fork, or pour some wood chips into disposable aluminum foil pan. Place your chips on the left side (over flames). Wait until they start to smoke. Place your brisket on the right side. Options: use heavy duty foil on grill or place your brisket in disposable aluminum foil pan.
**That's not my grill, my picture just didn't show exactly what I wanted it to**
Close the lid! No peeking! Find something to do for 2 hrs.
I worked on my chip shot for a while...(note to The Dude: you probably thought getting me interested in golf was "cool." Mistake. I am now bound and determined to whoop your booty all over the golf course, ~Hearts!!)
then, when the kids woke up from nap, I rolled on the floor and the 2 hrs passed quite quickly!
Open lid, slather that baby with some sauce. Close lid again. Check it about every 45mins, slathering it down each time. At around the three hour mark, you may need to change your wood chips.

For a small-ish sized brisket, you're looking at 6+ hrs of smoking. The time may go up to 20hrs for a biggin'. You want it to be fork tender.

Once removed from the grill, leave it be for about 45mins. Don't skip this step. The juices need to redistribute.

Serve with coleslaw, some mac-n-cheese, potato salad, beans white or corn bread slathered in some honey butter (add about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of honey to my butter recipe), and some tea. Mmmm, I'm drooling now.

You're in for a laugh now. My Dad's recipes are hilarious.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Twinkie Story

Today, my twinkies turn 3. Hard to believe it. I will warn you now, this post has A LOT of pictures and words. So if that's not your bag, quit looking. This is their little story.
The Dude had just gotten back from his second tour in Iraq. We knew we wanted to work on a little family right away, and we did....right away! According to the dates, we conceived the girls about 4 days after he got home. Yeah, I need one of those, "My husband went to war and all I got were these babies" t-shirts.
I couldn't believe that I could possibly be preggers, so my friend Krista demanded I take a test, as she was leaving soon and needed to know before she was gone.
The Dude was out golfing and refused to come home, despite my pleas. He later explained that he knew I was testing and didn't want to be broken hearted if the news was negative (we tried a lot between deployments).
Since I couldn't tell him, I called my bestie and told her. She was also pregnant at the time. We couldn't have planned it better.
The Dude finally made it home. I took him to the kitchen and asked if we could make the 1 1/2 hr. drive to my Mom's.
"Why?" he asked.
"So we can tell her in person."

I think he was happy, lol.
We took the token "before" picture. Damnit if I don't wish I still had THAT body.

Here we are outside my sister's house, about to tell her the news. Aw, we're so young looking...and well rested.

We were transitioning out of the Marine Corps at the time. We moved back to his home town. My new doc wanted to do an ultrasound to ensure everything was alright and to get a baseline since I was a new patient.
This is what we saw:

Myself, The Dude, and the doc all noticed at the same time. The Dude repeated "You're kidding me!" while grinning like a little school girl, I burst into tears and the doc said, "Hold on, let's look for more."
Uh, what?! No stop!!! There were just the two, lol.
Here I am at almost 4 months. Man, my belly is bigger than that NOW. I kidd, I kidd.

This is late August of 05. The day before hurricane Katrina hit actually. We painted the twin's room that day.

Five months:

It just gets ugly from there on, so we'll skip to baby pics.
I made it to 35 wks 3 days. I was scheduled for an induction at 36 wks, so I did pretty well considering.
I did the whole bedrest thing for what seems like forever. Two bouts of premature labor, stopped with meds, thankfully.
It was Saturday morning and I had had all I could take of bedrest. I already had a round of steroids, so I knew the girl's lungs were more than likely mature. I begged hubby to let me go out for an hour. He took me to the town's fall festival. I ate a chili dog and went home.
The Dude went back to the festival to watch the LSU vs. Alabama game. An hour later, it was time to go.
The doctor, The Dude, and father in law stood in front of the tv in my room watching the game. Yeah, more than a little pissed.
The Dude and the father in law then took to watching the contraction monitor and keeping score on how big they were. "Oh, that one wasn't too big." Come HERE and say that!!!
The doc sent everyone home (except me of course) saying the twins probably wouldn't make their appearance till the next day at the earliest.
No less than a half hour after everyone left, one or both of my waters broke.
Oh crap, this really hurts now!!
No, like REALLY hurts. In addition to the labor pains, ya gotta understand, one baby is pushing on the other baby, pushing into...well, I'll stop there.
Drugs! Drugs!! I need drugs!!! It seemed like it went zero to sixty in a minute, but I actually labored for 7 1/2 hrs before the drugs.
When the anesthesiologist walks in and a nurse whispers, "Who is that?" run. Run very fast.
Run even faster when said mystery doc looks at instrument tray and says,
"Hmm, I've never used this type of set. I'll make it work."
I get into the position, leaning on The Dude's shoulder. Mother in law (a former L & D nurse) is next to the anesthesiologist.
"Why does it feel like there is something hot dripping down my back?"
"Pull it out!!" yells the mother in law.
Random nurse says, "Man, I haven't seen that in a long time."
"Um, let's try to sit her up."
Oh god! Oh god! The pain!! My eyes roll back into my head and they quickly turn my bed head down.
Crap! Now I've got blinding pain AND I can't breathe.
I start freaking out.
The shit has officially hit the fan.
Nurses are running and yelling into phones.
I hear, "Emergency section. Call everyone in."
The doc isn't there. They decide they'll start without him.
Twin A is having decels. I can't breathe. The pain in my head is so bad I can't see.
They whisk me out of the room, leaving The Dude scared and confused.
On the way out the door, The Dude's mom (who has now kinda taken over the situation) tells him to get bring the anesthesiologist, who was apparently oblivious to the fact that they'd need him int he O.R.
I'm told the doctor ran in without scrubbing and was about to cut when they told him Twin A's heart rate was ok now and he could scrub.
I don't remember the girl's birth. If I was conscious, my brain has blocked it out.
I woke up later in this heater kinda thing in a dark room, alone.
They brought me Twin B 3 hrs later, but only for a few minutes.
I didn't see Twin A until about 12 hrs later, and I couldn't hold her, just look
But, they got better. I got better. I had had a "wet tap." Essentially, the anesthesiologist pushed the needle a little too far in and punctured the dura, leaking out a significant amount of my spinal fluid. Your brain floats in the stuff. Let your imagination run with that one. It happens about
1 % of the time. Yay for me.
Mine was so severe, they did a blood patch, which is injecting my own blood into the spinal space to block the hole and aide in recovery. I had the headache for a few days. But oh, it was worth it.
So teeny!! 4lbs 1oz and 4lbs 6ozs at birth. Look at me, so puffy, ick.

Five day stay for all of us. The girls went home on apnea/bradycardia monitors, weighing in at a whopping 3lbs 14oz and 4lbs 1oz!

2nd week home.

Contrary to my thoughts (are they ever gonna grow?!) they grew.

And grew.

They made our lives wonderful.
They made us laugh, A LOT.

At 22 months old, they became some awesome big sisters!

"Mamma, are you bringing that home?!"

First cotton candy.

Happy Birthday my girls!!