Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear,

Dear Next Door Neighbor, Right now I have TWO sick kids, you don't know that, but I do. I try my best to be a courteous neighbor and I lock my dogs up by 8 (so they won't bark and wake your kids) and I don't let them out until at least 9 (so they won't bark and wake your kids) SO when you are whacking, slamming, banging on your truck until 11pm and then flipping a bookcase in your driveway end over end and dragging crap out of your house at 7:30AM, which causes my indoor dogs to bark, which then causes my 7mo old to wake up when he has only slept mere minutes...I hope you enjoy my present of letting my coonhound out so he can bark until his little heart is content. Dear Giveaway Gods, I know I was lucky enough to win an AWESOME giveaway this morning...but please, please, oh please...let me win the Scooby-Doo giveaway for Lil Miss. Dear Dish Network, I think it's total and complete CRAP that you are dropping Fox. It really pisses me off that I won't be able to watch Fridge OR Glee. *pouts* Dear House dogs, The point of the housetraining pads is for you to go to the bathroom ON them, not next to them. And really...you aren't puppies, it's stupid that you even do this. Dear Little Man, I know you don't know, but I thought I'd let you know that you save me. I can be on the edge of the cliff and I can nurse you or even just hold you close and the tension just melts away. I don't know how you do it, but I'm so thankful you do. And so thankful to my Heavenly Father for both you and your sweet sister. Alrighty kids...your turn!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chicken A La Bonne Femme

at least that's what it's called in the cookbook...but either way..it was good! I can't remember where I read it/heard it/whatevered it-but the other day it was asked "Do people READ cookbooks anymore?". Um...I do..all the time! Then again when I was a kid I liked flipping through the encyclopedia (I still do actually). When I'm out at the farm I snoop through my parent's kitchen cabinets-my Mom calls it shopping. They are bulk buyers and graciously take me along for the shopping trip (Friday-yay!!) AND give me free range of all their freezers (2 deep freeze), fridges (2 standard) and plentiful cabinets. When it's the end of the month and we're out of groceries..I shop at Mom and Dad's first! So when I was 'shopping' the other day I opened a cabinet and there were cookbooks staring back at me...a bright yellow one with a green binder seemed to pulsate and call out an eerie "yuuuuuuum" to me. I tenderly plucked it from it's hinding place and brought it home..I flipped through the first pages and had to put it down to go to the desk and get my highlighter. This cookbook is a Layfayette, LA cookbook..so it's all kinds of cajun and homecooked stuff...and there is a TON of stuff I want to try in it! However ALOT of the recipes say things like "will easy feed 47,000 people" so I had to cut the portions down ALOT. Is it healthy...Nooooooo, but was it tasty...Yes, I'll say it again...Yes. You need- 3 potatoes (peeled and cut in half-or leave the peels-but cut them in half) 2 chicken breasts 1/2 lb of bacon 1 onion (peeled and sliced-set aside) That's it. No really. That's it... Turn your oven on 350. Cook the bacon until crispy, then remove from pan. leave the grease. Season the chicken (I cut mine into chunks) with whatever you want to-I put cajun seasoning on mine. Brown seasoned chicken in bacon grease (again, NOT healthy)-remove from pan.. leave the grease. Brown potato halves in bacon grease/chicken drippins. 8x8 baking dish..let's layer! chicken potato onion bacon -repeat if you can..if not..no biggie. Bake covered with foil for about 30 minutes. The whole time it was baking I was thinking "where is the wet?" there is no cheese, no soup, no broth...so how is this going to stay moist? It's oven magic..that's all I know. Because this WAS moist. We inhaled it topped with salsa and it will come back to our dinner table soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A little bit of help, please

Two seconds..seriously...just click, click..done..and you can vote for Little Miss! Please oh please?? Also if you could ask everyone you know to vote too? That would be awesome! xo

Monday, October 18, 2010

Dear,

I had so much fun doing my "Dear" post..I'm gonna make it a weekly thing? You mind? Hope not! Let's have fun with it!
It will have to be a mix of serious and silly, b/c that's what I am...let me start with the serious-
Dear Cancer,
I HATE you. I know hate is a strong word, but I really do. Last week I got the news that my friend Joanna lost her fight with you. Does it really make you feel good that she's leaving her 4 children (all under 10 btw), her sweet husband, and all her friends that loved her crazy personality? I know, I KNOW that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. I KNOW that when it's time for us to go home to him, we'll go. But in the meantime, you are making our brief earthly existence even more heartbreaking than it needs to be.
Dear Hayfever,
You suck. You make it impossible for me to enjoy this luscious fall weather we're having without the foggy, drug haze of an allergy pill so I can breathe in said fall air. You make it impossible for me to have the windows open unless I want to have the bottle of allergy eye drops attached to my face. And outdoor activites with the kids? Yeah..can't do it. Thanks for that. Again, you suck.
Dear Red Robin,
Are you REALLY that stupid to have a local high school football player be our server on a Sunday when the Chiefs are playing? Thanks to the fact that he was more interested than the game than our table, I sent you a scathing email about the crap service we got. Good thing the Mt. Olympus burger was awesome or I would have lost it right there to the manager in person.
Dear Jessica,
I love all your recipes, I love that you have a site for healthy kid's eating, and I LOVE that you are doing a Bake for the Cure week!
Dear Readers,
Please go to Jessica's site and leave her a comment on her Bake for the Cure recipes, she's in a contest and it's awesome, and since she's my buddy..I really hope she wins!
Dear Giveway Gods (I totally typed dogs first btw),
I really, really, REALLY have to win the Scooby Doo prize pack for Little Miss b/c she's obsessed with it. So please, please, PLEASE let it happen!
Dear Self,
The floor won't vacuum and shampoo itself. You have company coming over in about 2 hours and the house smells like dog piss. Get off the blogs and get to work.
How about you? Any "Dears" this week??

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A weighty matter...

I know it's not impressive to any of you....but it was a HUGE deal for me. UNDER 200. I know, right? You might have been thinking I was mortified to see that my weight had gotten to 199...no..I'm relieved..happy..thrilled..that it is DOWN. Do I still have about 60lbs to lose before I'm where I want to be? Yes. Did I make my birthday goal of losing 20lbs? No Did I lose about 11 by that time? Yes Do even my feet look fat? Yes..blech. Weight is a weird thing. There are lots of things for me to consider...so stick with me a sec- 1. BOTH of my parents are overweight-they have NEVER been critical of my weight..ever. My Mom is the first to offer to take me shopping when I need a bigger size. And my Dad will be the first to tell me when I've gained weight, but he would never tell me to lose it. 2. I purposefully didn't try to lose weight between pregnancies and I used being pregnant as a food excuse. BAD. 3. I constantly use the kids as an excuse to NOT exercise-but really..it's a pretty good excuse. I don't sleep b/c the kids sleep with us therefore I am tired ALL the time. I'd like to think the time I spend monitoring ='s chasing the kids daily counts for something. Even trying to write this post I've had to take multiple breaks to get Little Miss out from under the desk (between my legs) and let Little Man chew on my finger b/c he is teething. If I can't even write a blog how the F am I supposed to get on a treadmill? 4. I really dislike going out in public. Mainly b/c I'm afraid I'll run into someone that knew the 'old' (='s thin) me and judge me. I'm esp afraid of running into them at an eating establishment. So there's that. I found a blog this morning and a book review. Not only is the blog writer brilliant, but she really makes me want to read the book she reviewed. She's got an awesome weight loss/eating/happy story and I'm just enamored with her site now! And..she's giving away a copy of the book...from her description..I want it! Another blog favorite of mine goes over SO many good principles, but I don't have an answer to her question "What does it mean to you to eat intuitively?" I need to find that answer, and maybe the next 60 will be easier to get off.

Chile-Cheesy-Chini-Casserole

So the other day I was with my Dad and Little Miss at this roadside stand for pumpkins and I spied some zucchini...I love zucchini (Husby..not so much)-they were 3 for a buck and the PERFECT cooking size. You know what I mean right? Just like eh...and inch and a half in diameter and not gigantic but not tiny. And zucchini season is quickly ending. Sad. That and strawberries are my summer loves!
But what to do with them? I was at a loss for dinner the other night..so I played on Swagbucks a little while looking for zucchini recipes and found one at About.com (btw...both about and swag are awesome sights, just sayin').
However, I didn't have the recipe components that I needed...I had most of the them...but not all of them. AND I had my in-laws to feed too.
So what does Suzy do? IMPROVISE with what you have! And I did..and it was goooooood! 1 package Roasted Poblano turkey sausage
3 smallish-medium zucchinis-cut in half moons
Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
Pepper-Jack cheese (I had slices, but whatever works)
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs-divided
2T ap flour
1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
cajun seasoning (just stay with me folks)
2T butter-melted
Oven on 350
8x8 pan (greased)
take the sausage out of the casing and brown it
get some salted water boiling and put your zucchini in there for just about 5 minutes-don't get soggy but cook a bit..take them out and put them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the cajun seasoning
Mix together egg yolks, sour cream, and flour
In another bowl beat the egg whites until peaky, then fold into the yolk mix
Got your cheese out?
Time to layer!
Pan-1/2 of zucchinis + 1/2 of egg/sour cream mix + pepperjack cheese + ALL the turkey sausage
then repeat other 1/2 of zucchinis + other half of egg/sc mix + cheddar cheese
Mix your melted butter with the breadcrumbs, top it off and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Yuuuuuum. Really..it was. I loved it! I think you could easily sub potatoes if you aren't a fan of zucchini (or if the husband isn't a fan, like mine). Best part about this? Even though it had kind of a sour cream custard thing going on..it wasn't heavy, at all!
I can't stress it enough to NOT be afraid to experiment and improvise in the kitchen! I think that is the biggest thing that blogging has taught me! I see all these great recipes, but I don't always have the resources to go to the store and get EXACTLY what it calls for..so I make do, and I'm so glad that I do!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Great Green Pumpkin

Have you ever seen a wooly worm THAT tiny?!
Hades dread steeds...I'm in love! (If you didn't pick that up..it's a reference to PC Cast's Goddess of Spring)
Holy smackerelli...Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
the ONLY things I did differently was I subbed honey roasted peanut butter, didn't put in the peanut butter chips (b/c I didn't have them)-I used honey roasted peanuts..about 3/4 cup and the same amount of chocolate chips. Good right out of the oven, better the day after!
Gut-bomb...or Chili 5 way..and chili that I REALLY should have written down exactly what I put into it b/c it was AWESOME!
And..the Great Green Pumpkin Monster!
the pumpkin/greek yogurt mix from the parfait
two handfuls of baby spinach
a pumpkin spice coffee that I'd already added 2 sweeteners and some half and half to
1 frozen pumpkin
='s DEEEEEELISH!! I've been running back and forth to the farm this week helping out my parents. They've got a new set of triplet baby goats (AWWW), and the last storm we had knocked over the pear tree..didn't uproot it though! I hopped on Dad's tractor and we were able to pull it up and reinforce it. I also brought home 2 5 gallon buckets of pears...they are Kieffer and I really have NO idea what to do with them! Any suggestions?
I might just juice them all and drink myself into oblivion! I do love Pear Juice!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You know what else has layers?

Parfait. Errbody likes parfait. You ever met a person you say "hey let's go get some parfait" and they say, "Hell, no I don't like no parfait." I got the inspiration here. Pumpkin Quinoa Parfaits (very loosley adapted from the above link) 16oz vanilla greek yogurt 2/3 cup canned pumpkin 1t cinnamon 1/4 t ginger 1/4 t nutmeg 3 packets of sweetener cooked quinoa 'crumbly stuff' Layer and devour! Now...let's discuss the crumbly stuff for a second. The original recipe calls for graham cracker crumbs..then I thought that gingersnaps would be good...then I remember that I had a bag of oat/gingersnap/pretzel crumbs from a Strawberry Pie this summer (for the record the pie was AMAZING-but fugly. seriously..my Dad said it tasted great once he got past the fact that it looked like dog puke-thanks Dad.) So my crumbs at the bottom was oats, gingersnaps (for the life of me I keep trying to type gingerspans...geez), and pretzels that got zipped in the food pro. Yum. Ginger and salty pretzel....nom nom nom! And NOW let's discuss Greek yogurt. Um. I kept hearing all these GREAT things about Greek yogurt. Naturally no fat, protein is in there, tastes better than regular, etc. I have TWO glaring problems with yogurt-1)the consistency-I HAVE to mix it with something-the parfait idea TOTALLY works! 2)the TANG. That's why I like Yoplait so much, b/c their flavors overpower the tang. Just know if you haven't already had Greek yogurt (I might be the last person on the planet to try it) it is the epitomy of TANGY. *puckers* However...once you mix the pumpkin, spices, and sweetener in it..it really tones it down. Whew! I really enjoyed this parfait...in fact I'll have another for breakfast this morning! Parfait might just be the best damn thing on the planet.... bonus admiration points if you can name the movie I've been quoting in this post!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cat hate...

Soooo a couple weeks ago my cats (we have two) were acting like complete jerks. Typically they get a little food in the morning and a little food at night when they get put away downstairs (we put them up at night b/c my cat-Tapioca is a hellion at night and had a tendancy for breaking things at 1am). Well...again I say they started being jerks. When it came time for bedtime, they wouldn't go. They'd scoot under the bed, they'd avoid us at all costs...and when we could finally catch them they'd scratch and fight.. not typical behavior of them. So I nixed the a.m. feeding so that way they'd be ready to go to bed when it was time b/c bed would equal feeding time. However Trump-my husband's cat..continues to act like a douche. Example....grabbing random things off the counter and dragging them about the house. Today's victim? My half full bag of powdered sugar I didn't put up. Trail from the kitchen to the hallway..and that white thing? That's my daughter's socks..he carries them off and chews them up.
My counter and part of kitchen floor....
The Prick himself, apologizing later. Don't let that face fool you.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear,

Dear Body, I know I've put you through alot these past few years. I mean Hell, two babies in two years, it's not easy. However I don't really think it's fair for you to retaliate in the form of Stomach Flu, a Head Cold, a week off, then Stomach Flu again. I get that I need to sleep more, I get that I should take better care of you, but you aren't making it any easier. Dear Monday, You don't mean anything to me anymore really. We used to be enemies you and I...now I silently long for the daily work grind that I no longer have. Dear New Neighbors (x3), I really preferred living on this street before you moved in. Dear Kids, Mama is sick. So if there is any chance that you guys could be quiet and sleepy today I'd love it. Really. My body won't cut me a break...maybe you will? No, ok..just thought I'd ask. Dear Mother in Law, Thanks for the incoming drop off of Pepto....and handling a business call for me. Do you guys have any "Dears" for today?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mocha Tiramisu

Mocha just means 'chocolate', right? Mocha Frappe is alot more fun to say than Chocolate Frappe..or Latte or whatever-te. Husband-who could eat spaghetti 7 days a week mentioned he'd like that for dinner. *sigh* It's quickly becoming meatloaf to me. Meaning...my Mom made meatloaf ALOT when I was younger and now..I don't really like meatloaf...ie spaghetti='s meatloaf. So..since I knew I wasn't going to love the main course...I had to make sure I'd like dessert, right? I love me some tiramisu. And honestly..the last couple of times I've had it out at restaurants...I've been disappointed. So yesterday I took to the internet...searched out some recipes...tweaked them a bit and made my OWN. It's better that way anyway right? Chocolate Lady Fingers-the easy way (adapted from here) 2 eggs separated 1/3 cup white sugar 1/4 cup + 1T ap flour 2T dark cocoa powder 1/2 t baking powder Oven at 400 Parchment line (and spray with cooking spray) a baking sheet In one bowl beat the egg whites until they are at soft peaks, then add 2T of the sugar and beat them again until they are more peaky. In another bowl beat the yolks and the rest of the sugar until it's pale. In ANOTHER bowl sift the flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Add 1/2 the whites to the yolks-stir gently until incorporated add flour mix-stir gently until incorporated add remaining whites-fold/say it with me-stir gently until incorporated. Now...take this mix and pour it onto your greased parchment. Don't question..just do, ok? Spread it out a little..but not too much b/c it will spread as it bakes anyway. Bake it for 8 minutes. Take it out..let it cool..while you do the rest- Tiramisu (adapted from here) -the white layer 8oz cream cheese 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 1/3 cup sugar -the coffee layer 3/4 cup cold coffee 1/4 cup Kahlua 1/4 cup vanilla syrup Now that your chocolate cakey thing has cool...cut it into strips. Assemble! 8x8 pan, white on the bottom, dipped strips, white, dipped strips, top with white layer and shakey-shakey of cocoa powder-cover and fridge for at least 2 hours. It's an agonizing wait...but it's totally worth it!