Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Haters Gonna Hate WIAW

Alright, so I know a lot of peeps who show up for the What I Ate Wednesday soiree are really into healthy eating and their blogs reflect their amazingness, so this is just a little disclaimer for this week. Don't judge mah noms! My week has been filled with school insanity and lots of meetings and paperwork (yadda yadda) and so it's not that I was too busy to eat healthfully, it's that I wanted comfort food. :) Besides, the week was also filled with some pretty mundane salads, oldie but goody recipes and just plain "meh", but I figured you guys really didn't care to see that. Also, I had to share my food-related injury and since all this vampire literature/movie/TV series insanity has made it cool to be pale-- don't hate on my skim milk skin, k? Let's get to the good stuff!
My dog, thwarting my efforts to do crunches. "What are you doing, Mom? Can I help?"

We had to take a mini road trip to sell my husband's truck (now he can finish up his Shelby!) so we treated the kiddos to doughnuts. I'm not a huge doughnut fan (much rather bagels) but hey, we go with the flow 'round here.
Jalapeno popper grilled cheese I stole from pinterest . Seriously, if you have hours to waste, check out this site Jenn from P&C turned me on to-- completely addicting. 
My daughter, her lost tooth and P.F. Chang's copycat Orange Peel Chicken I swiped from Razzle Dazzle Recipes

...oh yeah, and some vegetables and jasmine rice. But for real-- this tastes just like P.F. Changs (which, surprisingly, we don't have up here [drips with sarcasm]).
Triple fudge layer cake with chocolate drizzle. When my husband said he was craving sweets, I delivered. I don't play around. ;)
(Oh yeah-- I had just finished dinner so don't judge my kitchen dirtiness, 'neither.) So, as I was cutting up chicken for my orange peel deliciousness, my knife sprang from my hand (or maybe I knocked it off as I walked away, not sure) and it went, in slow motion, right for my foot. Having been a server for many years, I instinctively do what my husband and I call, "the server save", meaning, when a kitchen item starts to crash to the floor, we immediately stick our foot out to cushion the blow. If your foot is between the dish and floor, most of the time it won't break. This doesn't work quite the same way with knives. Good thing this knife fell in slow motion so I had time to think it through. "This is my sharpest, heaviest knife. I'm gonna cut my toe off and my husband is on the phone with my mother-in-law. He'll find me hours later in a pool of my own toe-blood. Shit. My luck." I winced and tried to get out of the way. I looked down and all limbs were intact. 'Tis but a scratch! Thank GAWD!
 What's your best food-related injury story?
What's your favorite comfort food?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Charlie Brown Day

I've had a Charlie Brown Day. You know what I mean? I don't feel particularly sorry for myself, it's just nothing has really gone right. I've had the drop-sies. I've managed to take a bath and shave my legs and....that's about it. I lied to a door-to-door salesman. "'Scuse me ma' you all eat chicken or steak?" "Nope!" "No?" "Nope! Have a great day!" . . . and I went back inside and finished my baked spaghetti bolgonese. I stayed on most of the day (I'm so not kidding-- I seriously have a problem bordering on obsession). I did stray long enough to google shin splints and ballet since I've been doing the Bar Method DVDs this week and my shin splints are getting WORSE. Turns out shin splints are a common ailment for runners and (drumroll) dancers! F.M.L. So, won't be doing that anymore. In other (GOOD) news, we found out yesterday that my husband matched to our hometown for the next two years of med school!! Meaning, in May, he starts at a regional campus back home! So, starting Monday I'll be looking for a job back home. Great big fingers crossed, you guys!  And, in other stellar news, my daughter lost her very first tooth! She's very proud. :) We don't do the whole tooth fairy ordeal, but we did give her some loot for being so brave and yanking her chomper out.  So, hopefully tomorrow will be more productive and brighter, but for now, it's time to get the kids in bed.
We all have "those" days-- what do you do to work out of the funk?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

This is why...

Today, apparently, there is a coupon for B1G1 floating about the internet for Tijuana Flats. My heart started to race. Text the husband for a impromptu meet-up? Then I look down. I am dressed exactly like the dance instructor from FAME. Black, floor-length maxi skirt, grey cowl-neck blouse with 3/4 length sleeves and a side-swept bun. All I'm missing is that stick she carried. I scowl and forget taquitos and sweet chili sauce and start thinking about "paying in sweat" and whatnot and the feeling is just gone. Gone. Damn you, fictitious dance instructors and your unneeded walking sticks!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Birfcake Noms

While reading my friend Laura's blog, Sprint 2 the Table (if you haven't already, check it out), I came across one of her family favorites: grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I'm ashamed to say what crossed my mind: "Wow, what great hangover food!" But seriously, whether it's the morning after or no, as I sat munching on this salty/sweet crunchy/gooey amazingness, it got me thinking... my birthday is coming up. Every year on my birthday, my mother would make us our meal of choice. My sisters meal, every year, looked like this:
Mine, however, changed every year. Usually it centered on the Italian. "Kati, I am not making stuffed shells. We'll go to Olive Garden." Last year, our friends E&E were gracious enough to throw myself and my friend Katie (weird, huh?) a Pirate themed party (we're born on Talk Like a Pirate Day-- extra weird, huh?) with plenty of Rum Runners to drink and...well, the rest didn't matter after that. :)
Joe and I giving our best pirate face. Hey-- I have an eye patch, I can smile.
So, here's the dilemma. My birthday is quickly approaching and I haven't figured out a menu yet. GASP! (For shame.) E&E are coming next weekend (a bit early, but that's totally cool with me) and I need to plan!

What was your birthday/special meal growing up?

I didn't sign up for this...

credit where credit is due
I still remember my first brush with acrophobia. I was probably about four and I was at my first county fair. I climbed into that rickety bucket on the ferris wheel. All was well until my mother and I got about half way up.

Oh.     Shiz.

(Think Jimmy Stewart in Hitchcock's Vertigo level of panic.)


There was no doubt I had made a mistake and I wanted everyone within a 5 mile radius to know it. The carny's cigarette nearly fell from his mouth as he clamored to decide if it was best to reverse the wheel, or let me go around the horn. (Do those things even go in reverse?) Finally, white knuckled, I made it to good ole' terra firma, and haven't attempted the ferris wheel again--- 'til I had children (metaphorically, at least). 

Having children (especially special needs children), much like my ferris wheel ride, often does not go as planned. I was acutely reminded of that the first day of school. Whenever my son is thrust into a new situation, like all of us, he freaks out-- but his freak-outs go to 11. In situations like this, I try to remember the British-- 
But then I remember I'm not English, I'm effing Irish. (Especially when "that" lady takes it upon herself to inform me I'm in the wrong carpool lane at my child's school and I want to punch her in her Cheshire Cat mug and say something like, "Thanks for the signage, Bitch!")
But instead I just sip this:

...and try to do this:

...and dream about these days:

...and focus on later:

...or perhaps:

....NOT this:

...and then I remind myself to stop thinking in pinterest:

...which also reminds me that my birthday is coming up, and I need to make a birthday folder on pinterest:

(more on this later)
What are your phobias?
What does your dream KEEP CALM poster say?




I have never made any laments over my love for pasta-- nor my love for Sophia Loren. Any diva/celebrity that says something like, "All that you see, I owe to spaghetti," is alright in my book. (Celebrities don't recommend food enough these days.) Which is why I'll have a WWSE WIAW (What Would Sophia Eat What I Ate Wednesday). buon appetito!
Coffee and gingerbread biscotti (this was also my afternoon pick-me-up- that's why there's two biscotti pictured)

Tomato and cucumber salad and a Greek yogurt. I was wishin' I had some feta for that salad, but it was good anyway. :)
Water. LOTS of water. It's hot as, well, Sophia Loren circa 1962, outside.
I don't care what anyone says-- spaghetti squash may look similar to spaghetti, but it doesn't taste like it. I tried it (again) tonight and no dice. I'd rather pour sauce over a little bit o' noodles bolstered with wilted greens for bulk than do the spaghetti squash thing again.

Who's your favorite celebrity? What do you think they'd eat?
What's your favorite pasta?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jonesin' for Autumn

So, yesterday was back to school for my kids and it's still a milliondy degrees outside. Such is life in Florida. The search for school clothes was an interesting one this year. Apparently retailers are run by cooperate offices that are NOT on the equator, like we are, and so do not manufacture shorts after June. Greeeat. So, it's either send my kids to school in summer clothes (which are too short, and I'm not raising a hooch) or in jeans, which they'll pass out in. Instead, I scoured the stores to find shorts and light-weight pants to get us through. Super Mom! Yesterday also happened to be McDonald's Day!
I got this, because the amazing heat made me really really thirsty. It tasted like cough medicine, but it was zero calories, sweetened with stevia and non-caffeinated, so I dealt.

The kids, of course, got the usual. ;)

Including "Gutsy" Smurf. I LOVE that Gusty wears a kilt. Let's be real-- it takes (ahem) guts to wear a kilt.

Second day duds-- Twinkle Toes and all. That sweater was crumpled at the bottom of her backpack when I picked her up. "Did you bring me some juice?! I'm really hot!"

Pirate Polo doing his safari puzzle. We all pitched in to finish it so we could get to school on time. :)

How did your first day go?
What do you do when you get caught behind a school bus?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sausage and Peppers Melts

The meal started as spaghetti with sausage and peppers (one of my favorites) and descended into different sandwiches fit to each of our picky tastes. I initially revved up the stove for my son, who usually has ne'er a vegetable pass his lips--except spaghetti sauce (you can hide a LOT of vegetables in there. NOTE: Spinach looks just like basil. Muhaha.). But, as I started the water boiling, my son insisted on asked for chicken nuggets instead. The cogs in my brain started to turn, "Joe doesn't like red sauce. I don't have to have noodles. What ELSE can I do with all this? Subs would be nice. Don't have rolls. AH! An open-faced sandwich!" So, here is my necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention (fantastic) sandwich.
Red sauce (don't judge-- Hunt's has no HFC and it's cheap)
Can o' beer (don't hate on my crappy beer-- it's just for cooking)
Bread of choice (I used sourdough) or Noodles
Mozzarella cheese (or provolone would work nicely, as well)

the sausages in beer. I suppose you could do this in water or broth but my husband's German and I'm Irish, so beer is inevitable.

all the ingredients into bite-sized pieces (nothing worse than getting a long, slimy pepper slapping you in the face)

them all 'til they start to brown a bit

bread and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet

sausage mixture on toasted bread (the middle one's for my daughter, who probably wouldn't dig peppers and onions)

some sauce on there (if you so desire. My husband, who's a freak, doesn't like red sauce too much.)

in cheese. (Need I say more?)

'til golden brown

Melissa's version--
Sausage "pizza" toast points

Joe's version--
Sausage, peppers n cheese sandwich (no sauce)

MY version--
sausage, pepper and onions, sauce-y open-faced cheesy goodness with peperoncini's. Noms.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grandma's Poppyseed Bread

My mom and grandma at a random department store. They were demonstrating the "new" Polaroid cameras. :) I love this picture 'cause my grandma looks kinda fierce (ferosh, faboosh), though I now know she's just pissed they cut in on her shopping.
If I may say so, my grandma was completely awesome. Not your stereotypical grandma (round and saccharine sweet), she was tall and thin, yet she ate like a field hand (probably because she spent a lot of her life as one). The two things that come to my mind when I think of my grandma are accessories (she always had the purse/shoes/scarf/jewelry to match everything--even her night dress was matched with her slippers and "house coat") and her voice (a smoker from Oklahoma, she could make any one syllable word into a slightly raspy 12 syllable word). Oh yeah, and besides all this awesomeness: she loved her family and she was always proud of what we did, like, to the point of tears. I thought about her a lot while I was making this poppyseed bread to bribe give to my kids' new teachers at open house today and remembered what a great lady she was. Miss ya, Grandma. :)


3 cups unsifted flour
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
3 Eggs
1 1/8 cooking oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp butter extract (not to be confused with butter-- buy this next to the almond extract)
2 1/2 TBSP Poppy seeds

1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp butter extract
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

all dry ingredients in a bowl.
a "well" in the middle and then dump all wet ingredients in there. (These are technical terms, btw.)

loaf pans or mini bunt pans, or even mini loaf pans. (These make fantastic gifts.)

all the ingredients together. Mixture can still be a bit lumpy, 'cause it's quick bread, and quick bread is cool like that.

loaf pans. I doubled the recipe and it filled all this! (For real-- people will want this once they've tasted it, so make lots.)
at 350 for one hour if using loaf pans. Mini-bunts or mini loafs go about 30 minutes.

those beauties are baking, mix up your glaze (ingredients above).

bread for 10 minutes, then glaze. 

completely (and let all that glaze-y deliciousness soak in) and then pop them out and into saran wrap or ziploc bags

For quality assurance. :)