Friday, 29 April 2011

Drive Baby Drive

A past Mama Kat prompt was about things you do that drive your spouse crazy.
While Mike and I are alike in many ways and for the most part gel fabulously we are also very different people.
If he sees a mess during the meal and he knows he has to clean it up, he won't enjoy dinner whereas I have selective seeing and can focus on my food and forget about the mess until after I've satisified my grumbling tummy.
Along the same token, I tend to kick my shoes off by our big super chair. They're in the same place everyday, but because they are not lined up by the coat closet it drives him nuts.
But if I had to pick just one thing...I couldn't do's a tie between these two:
1. When we go on long drives (he drives usually) I like to prop my feet on the dashboard. Unlike my mother, he doesn't mind that all all. What drives him bonkers is that I unconsciously cross my toes. Yeah....
2. I'm a forgetful person and I forget to turn the lights off quite often. I never leave the house with them on, but if I leave the bedroom to go downstairs I'll probably forget to turn the light off. I've also gotten into a habit of turning lights on as I walk. Going to the upstairs bathroom? I'll turn the light to the stairway on and the bathroom light and will probably leave both of them on. I don't like being without lights. It probably stems from my fear of the dark
What things do you do that drive your spouse batty?

Friday, 22 April 2011

Haircuts Make All The Difference

Today was a crummy day at work (grocery store, not the paper). I got yelled at by a customer for something that wasn't my fault and got scolded a few times by management for nonissues, but I'm not going to go into too much detail. I am going to tell one story though.

I worked the 6am-1pm shift, which I love, so everything was going great until I got this one customer. I asked him fir his store card. Without the card you don't get store sales or gas points and your coupons don't double. This man had a bunch of soft drinks and asked if he had to use his store card. I told him that he never had to use it but  that if didn't use the card he wouldn't recieve any of the benefits, such as gas discounts and sale prices. He tells me that the few dollars the soft drinioks he's buying aren't worth the card (Basically, he's too lazy to reach into his pocket and hand me the dang card). So I ring up his groceries, and he hands me a coupon, which I scan and he pays.

As he is walking away away he looks at his receipt and asks me why his coupon didn't double. I explain that coupons don't double without your store card.

He says to me "Well, why didn't you tell me that."

"Sir, I explained that you wouldn't get any benefits of the card without me scanning the card."

"Well I didn't know  that meant coupons wouldn't double. You should have asked me for my card."

"Sir, I did ask you for you card".

And then he snarled at me "You did not!" and stormed away to customer service, where after he left I was scolded for not repeatedly asking him for his card. Next time I'll stick my hand down his pocket and fish it out. See how he likes that.

Anyway, that was just the start of the day and I left the store fuming. I bought a chocolate chip cookie the size of my head and ate it in my car while the ran poured down around me. I felt like crying but had a hair appointment in less than half an hour and didn't want to go in smudge-faced.

I got my hair cut and eyebrows done for $25, which really made my day as I was expecting to pay close to $40. I usually pay $10 for my eyebrows alone.

I came home, took a nap, did some speed cleaning, changed into a hot outfit and did my makeup and then my husband and I went out to a hungarian restaurant and it was amazing. We were greeted with steaming bowls of cabbage and tomato soup and potato bread. We had perogis and I orderd chicken crepes that came with mashed potatoes and carrots with parsnips. And then I had a chocolate rum rasian cake, that was good but not as good as our wedding cake.

And now my hair is all ready for....get this....

MY JOB INTERVIEW on Monday! I've got an interview for the assistant event planner!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Random Thoughts

  1.   I just got super jittery when I sent my resume off for a super cool job as an event planner's assitant. I have no clue what the pay is but it seems like it'd be more enjoyable than being a cashier. I'm not sure what my chances are on it so I'm not saying much about it now, but if by some miracle I do get it I'll be sure to let ya'll know.
2. I have lots and lots of extra cream. Please send yummy recipes my way. But please, none that require to many fancy schmancy or unique ingredients. The idea here is to use up ingredients, not buy more. 3.  I'm getting my hair cut on Friday and I want it to look like this:

4.  I am traveling to SC for graduation and hopefully will get to have a baking session with Luisa. We are hoping to make  baklava (I love it! It was served at my wedding ,and I've had the best yet a few weekends ago). Any fool-proof recipes out there?

5. I may or may not be making bacon scones tonight. And caramels. Depends on my energy levels.














Sunday, 17 April 2011

Brilliant Mind Alert: Do Not Attempt to Melt an Entire Bag of 'Mallows In Your Micro

Umm. Yeah.

So Mike and I have been arguing lately: he likes to nap on Sunday afternoons and I like to bake on Sunday afternoons.

So what? And what's that have to do with melting marshmallows? Well hang on there little missy and I'll tell you.

He likes to nap in the superchair which is next to the entrance ot the kitchen. I am by no means a "whiz" in the kitchen and am in fact, quite the clumsy baker. So there tend to be a lot of knockin', bangin' whacking things around and of course a few "owies" coming from my corner of the kitchen. So  the two activites do not mesh up. So I tell him to nap upstairs. But the freebie mattress is to firm for napping comfortable and the air mattress, while the ideal balance of soft and firm, is not located near a television and he claims he can not nap properly without a television. But I say, its not like there's a stove in the guest bedroom. Maybe we should remodel. Wonder what our landlords would think.

Anyway, I decided to be a quiet baker today and make cereal bars. This way I would not have to lug out the mixer or any other noise making appliances.

So I look up this recipe. which calls for minimarshmallows, peanut butter, margarine and frosted flakes cereal. Perfect, I have marshmallows and cereal and of course the peanut butter and margarine.

Exactly. I have MARSHMALLOWs and FROSTED MINI WHEATS. And I failed to recognize that 4 cups of minimarshmallows and regular marshmallows are probably not the same, but no matter it'll work out and me marshmallow yummy. And 2 cups of marshmallows equal about half the bag so I dump the entrire bag of marshmallows into my pretty microwave safe bowl and melt away. They melt and fill up approx half the bowl. I follow the instructions and add the margarine. Before  putting the bowl in for an additional three minutes I top it with the splatter lid thingy my grandmother gave me to prevent an explosion.

No matter. The marshmallows lift the splatter lid off the bowl and ooze out from underneath it and splatter all over the microwave, which I just cleaned about a week and a half ago.

So I continue on and start to add the 7 cups of cereal, when it dawns on me that frosted min wheats are def not the same thing as frosted flakes and that my marshmallow coating will not possibly cover 7 cups of min wheats. So I stop after 2.5 cups and add them to the 13x9 pan. And it covers less than half of it. So much for cereal bars.

And then I go to clean up the microwave and notice that it was really gunky even though I just cleaned it. Apparently, Mike can never find the splatter lid, which has a "place" people. It is ALWAYS on top of the microwave, either to the left of or directly behing the red snack basket. Geez.

Anyway, I learned my lesson (s):
1. Never attempt to melt an entire bag of marshmallows at one time
2. I should learn to recognize my cereals.
3. My husband needs to be trained to clean the microwave.

What about you? Have you had any brillant baking moments lately.

PS: Mandy, if you're reading this I think I earned the loser cook awared!

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Book Review: We Be Big

I've recently stumbled across the booksneeze program that gets books to bloggers in exchange for two reviews. The first book I selected to review is We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids from Calhoun County, Alabama, Became Rick and Bubba. I picked this book because 1. I thought my dad would enjoy reading it once I reviewed it and 2. I remembered watching their tv radio show on Turner South as a kid and I remembered that they always made me laugh.I always struggle a bit with book reviews because I don't want to give away the plot but I think that the title pretty much serves as a plot summary as well. The book alternates  from Rick to Bubba's POV chapter by chapter. I really enjoyed that aspiect of the book. I liked being able to read about the same event from two different perspectives, especially in the early sections of the book before Rick and Bill were Rick and Bubba. When I first started reading the book I thought it was a bit dry but the more I read, the less I wanted to put the book down. It's a good book and I enjoyed reading it. After the first few chapters, it kept my interest and kept me intrigued. It has its funny moments and gets better and better as the book goes on. I didn't remember the Rick and Bubba show expressing their Christian beliefs as much as they do and say they do in the book, but I was a kid when I watched the show so I may hae just forgotten that part. So it was a pleasnt suprise to realize that Rick and Bubba are Chrisitians and do their best to out on a Chrisitan, family-friendly and funny show.I think that the Christian overtones and messages in the book were wonderfully done. The book didn't hit me over the head with the author's believes but I was able to understand their thoughts and beliefs. So if you're not a Christian please don't shy away from this wonderful read. Want to buy the book? Check out the links on the top-left side of the post.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

First Trip to the Steel City

Mike and I decided to go to Pittsburgh yesterday. We got stuck in an awful traffic jam on the way into the city, but that was the worst part of the trip, so after we got into the city things went smoothly.
We stopped off first thing for lunch. We had pizza at a place where you can watch them toss the dough. My half was bacon and pineapple, and his half was bacon and spicy peppers. My half was the perfect combination of salty and sweetm and it was fun to watch the pizzas being tossed. Next time though, I 'd like to stop at food stands for tacos, gyros or kebabs.
After lunch we stopped and I bought a piece of the most perfect chocolate baklava in the world, which I munched on throughout the day.

After stopping for the baklava we checked into a few oriental grocery stores so Mike could look for his Korean favorites. We eventually found a specifically Korean store, and overheard the cashier speaking Korean. Mike tried to speak a little Korean to her, but she just blew him off. When he asked her about a few specefic items, she looked at him like he was crazy and said "I don't even know what that is.", and went back to what she was doing. Regardless, we still ended up buying kimchi, mando, and some kind of wasabi peas that Mike likes to snack on.

We then went to the place I'd been excited to go to Mon Aimee Chocolate. It was wonderful to look at all of the different types of chocolates and chocolate products. Everything was quite expensive, as to be expected I suppouse at a speciality store in a city. But, I did walk out with a small bacon chocolate bar, which is on my list of 101 things to do. I'll let you know how it is.

Afterwards we walked around the city a bit.

And then we went to a Pirates baseball game! I'd been to the Greenville Drive games twice but this was my first *real* game, and I had a ball. (Pun intended)

Friday, 8 April 2011

Book Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This book was recommended to me several times by my mother, so it made it onto my list of books I want to read by 2013.
Its the first of a series, and one I plan to continue reading. However, I when I first began the book I thought it would take a lot for me to finish it.
It starts out slow, but by the time the book ended I was all "no way. that can't be the end. I need to go get the second book".  I think part of the reason that the book was so hard for me to get into at first was that because the book takes places in Scotland, the majority of the book is written in Scots or a strong scottish accent, I'm not sure if its technically Scots. But once you read enough of it and get into the story you're able to ignore it. Still, I think it was a major editing mistake to allow  so much of the book to be published in that style. You can get the feel of the place without having to struggle through unique spellings.
Now, about the story. I'm always nervous about this part because I don't want to give away to much of the good stuff but I do want to give you the gist.
So basically, the main character is finally able to honeymoon with her husband when she is suddenly transported back to to 17th cnetury Scotland. She's stuck in the midst of clan wars, and the planning for the Jacobite Revolution. She falls in love with a clansman and must decide whether to stay in Scotland or to try and make it back to her husband, who she also loves. While in the 17th centurty she also struggles with the descion to share her knowledge of future events to help or hurt certain causes.
Have you read Outlander? What do you think? What's on your must read list?

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The House That Built Me

We moved from our small two story yellow house between my kindergarten year and first grade year.

I cried and cried and cried.

I wanted to take my ballerina teddy bear pink and white striped wallpaper with me.

 I wanted my pretty white ceiling fan.

 I wanted to keep going to my supercool school that had twin yellow slides that my best friend Chassidy and I could ride while holding hands.

I wanted my yard and our 20 or so cats, one of which was named Mr. Barbie.

I had so many memories of playing in the yard, riding my dogs Sandy/Beau around like horses, riding my little red car around with a parade of cats behind me.
 I loved doing handstands in the corner of the stairwell. Even though I hated having to slide down the stairs on my "hiney", because I would start going too fast and be unable to stop until I had tumbled my way down to the bottom.I loved sitting at a desk, in front of a mirror and doing a talkshow about my "homework" I hated our realtor and was very bratty to her.

And then I fell in love with my big room, connected to my sister's.

I loved being able to whisper to her at night. My mother says she would come check on us because she heard us talking, only to find out we were both babbling in our sleep.

I  loved my new pink ceiling which was later painted white, so I could have a leopard/jungle themed room. (I loved the trunk my daddy built me and the bookcase. I loved my bench of a window seat and the cushion my mother sewed for it. )

I loved playing on my Barbie rug and swinging on the porch swing at night. And I loved helping change the flag on our flagpole.

I loved not having to slide down stairs. I loved that the yard was still big enough for my swing set, and a fort, and a garden!

I loved that my daddy had a garage that he would work in, and sometimes let me help.
I loved that there was a big magnolia tree to climb and play in, and rough up my knees on.
 I loved that we could still have cats, a dog and a bunny!

I loved finding treasures in the old house left from previous kids.

I loved my supercool remote controlled ceilingfan. (man I miss that thing!

I loved living in a neighboorhood. We lived in the perfect place- I had kids to play with my age, and lots of lovely older ladies, and couples that would always watch out for my sister and I, buy GS cookies from us  and make us special treats at Halloween 
What do you remember about your childhood home(s)?

This post was inspired by a mama kat prompt.


Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Bouchons Au Thon- It's What's for Dinner!

Who da what?

Thats what I thought when I first read the name of this recipe in Molly Wizenberg's   A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table. And then I saw that the recipe was for tuna. And I thought no matter who da what, no way. I don't like tuna. And then I remembered that Mike has been asking for tuna and had even stockpiled some in the cabinets. So, I thought what the hey...lets give it a try. And I'm glad I did because now I can say I like tuna. And I'm also now a big fan of Gruyere...which I'd been wanting to try for awhile.Ingredients:
6 oz can of tuna packed in water, drained
1 cup lightly packed finely shredded Gruyere
1/3 cup cream
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 large eggs
1/4 cup finely  (don't ignore the finely) chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons of basil (recipe calls for italian parsley)
1/4 teaspoon of salt...I left it out and didn't notice
1. Preheat to 325F. Grease 8 muffin cups.
2. Put the tuna in a medium bowl and mash it into small pieces. No chunks bigger than a dime.
3. Add the other ingredients, mashing and stirring as you go, until the mixture is a light orange-pink color.
4. Divide evenly between the eight muffin cups.
5. Bake for 25 minutes until they look set on top. Set on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a small thin knife around the edges toremove from tin. They cave in a bit as the cool.
I served these with fresh steamed green beans in a garlic butter sauce and a broccili/carrot/cauliflower mixture.
half eaten veggies, I couldn't wait for the picture
For the green bean sauce:
Cook 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 glove of mashed garlic until tender. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Toss with cooked green beans
And for dessert?
Instafondue! Strawberries, banana and marshmallows slathered drizzled in chocolate syrup. Mmmm!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Meal Planning Tuesday

I wnet grocery shopping on Saturday. Here's the upcoming menu:
Tu- Bouchons Au Thon
W Chicken and Dumpling (I can't wait)
Th Brats and Beans
F Penne Pasta (my moms recipe!)
Sa Leftovers
Su Leftovers
M  Mexican Manicotti
Tu Chicken Enchilidas
W Cowboy Beans
Th Corn Frittata
F Slow Cooker Spicky Chicken with Broccoli and Cheese
Sa Leftovers
Su Leftovers
M Chicken Chili
Tu Cheddar Chicken and Black eye peas
W Chile Relleno Casserole with Tortilla chips
Th Pasties with mac and cheese (my scottish favs!)
Upcoming baking:
Frosted Flakes cereal bars
Mounds Bar Cupcakes
And something from somewhere else...probably scones
I promise I haven't dissapeared and that I have more posts coming up soon