Thursday, November 27, 2008
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 days...it 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
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
"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."
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
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 channel..my 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
#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?
"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.
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.
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
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
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.
"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
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
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.
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
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)
**That's not my grill, my picture just didn't show exactly what I wanted it to**
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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."
This is late August of 05. The day before hurricane Katrina hit actually. We painted the twin's room that day.
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.
They brought me Twin B 3 hrs later, but only for a few minutes.
Monday, November 10, 2008
We danced with Daddy.
We enjoyed cake. The girls each had their own individual princess cakes while the rest of us dined on the castle.
The biggest hit of the party was my caramel corn. I almost didn't make it. It was kinda a last minute addition to my list of treats. I used my Mom's recipe. The Dude swears I've never made it for him...he lies. Anyway, I thought I'd share it with ya.
Mamma Cat's Caramel Corn
Air popped popcorn or stove top popcorn (just don't use microwaved)
1 Cup butter
2 Cups brown sugar
1/2 Cup Karo Syrup
1 tsp. Salt
1 T vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
I honestly don't know the exact measurment of popcorn. I always just make enough to fill a roasting pan 3/4 of the way to the top. Pop your popcorn and pour into roasting pan. In medium saucepan, melt butter. Add Karo syrup, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low. Simmer 5 mins without stirring. Remove from heat. Add vanilla and baking soda. **When you add the baking soda, it's going to look like it's out of control, calm down, it's normal**. Pour mixture over popcorn, stir to coat. Place in pre heated 250 degree oven. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes. Stir every ten. Pour caramel corn out onto waxed paper or newspaper to cool. Enjoy!
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
P.S. Telling me "That's bullsh*t" and demanding I just give you the money doesn't really make me want to do you any favors.
This is the door and this is me saying, "Buh-bye!" Come see me again REAL soon....with a receipt.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Not quite able to skip naps without driving Mom nuts!
Yesterday I had a "free day" of sorts. The sitter had a family emergency so I took full advantage and got some stuff done. Baked, cooled and froze the birthday cake for Sunday's party, worked on the favor boxes, and made the roses that will go on said cake.
I have an unnatural fear of buttercream roses. Not eating them, but making them. I won't even attempt cuz I know I'll fail miserably.
With wee babes in the house, I'm pretty damn good with the playdough. Enter candy clay.
To make the clay: melt a 14 oz. bag of candy melts as per package directions. I always do a double boiler as microwaving is too risky. Nothing is sadder (more sad?) than burned chocolate/candy melts. Anyshway, remove from heat source and stir in 1/3 Cup of caro syrup. Pour out onto waxed paper and let set. Wilton says overnight, but with the cool temps mine was set in a few hours.
Continue making petals and wraping them around the flower. Bend and tweak the petals to resemble a real flower. The imperfections make it more lifelike, or at least that's what I tell myself.
I made a few different sizes, including leaving one as a bud. I had plenty of clay left over to do other things with. Should keep a few weeks in airtight container.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Here is where I made what some (Dude) may call a mistake:
Do you see that little medicine cup filled with syrup? The twins love to do things on their own. In all of my genius I figured it would be safer to fill a medicine cup with syrup versus letting them attempt to pour straight from the bottle. Twin A did great. Twin B, not so much. I'm not sure how the syrup ended up in my pocket, but it did.