Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Motherhood is not for weenies

If you think . . . .

you are a reasonably likeable person, with an adequate level of skills and talents. 

you have attracted some great people into your life because you are a good friend and enjoyable company.

you are logical and mature about life's problems, and have a good sense of what's worth a fight and what isn't.

you have reached a level of self-comfort and self-confidence in your place in the world

Then go ahead and raise some teenagers, because they'll let you know in no uncertain terms that you are completely wrong.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cookie Day 2014

Cookie Day today!

Making my Mocha Chewies, Peppermint Kisses, some rolled cinnamon bun cookies I found online, and cream cheese Spritz cookies - if I can find my cookie press that is.  It's not as much fun without MG - but schedules didn't align this year.

Not really feeling it this year - probably because I'm still suffering the effects of influenza a week later!  Nasty nasty bug going around and it just sucks all the energy right out of it's victim.  Like hanging around with Dick Cheney on your birthday.

The NY Italians are coming so I'll be feeding 13 adults in the world's smallest kitchen.  Shouldn't complain.  My Grandma fed 7 kids and a hard working husband with no indoor plumbing, a wood stove, and barely any money.  But she didn't work 30 minutes from home all day long either.  So maybe Gram and I are even.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Comfy Beans

Beans, beans, the musical fruit . . . .

Here's a great crock pot recipe for those cold nights.  Unless your kids don't like ham, and they remind you of that in that snotty 15-year-old way.  Or maybe that's just me.

1 lb dry white beans
1 ham hock
2 t. onion powder
Salt and Pepper
6 cups of water

Rinse & drain the beans.  Put the ham hock in the crock pot and dump everything else on top of it.  Add any extra seasoning that strikes your fancy.  Cover and cook on low for 8+ hours.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Winter . . . again

I must be getting old.  The years are just flying past me at the speed of a Republican voting to repeal the ACA.  I haven't yet recovered from Spring of 2013, when it snowed into MAY, then the miserable Winter of 2014 and the polar vortex of torture.  Summer seems to last about a week in my world.  And now Winter is back, with snow and cold and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  Today might top out at 21degrees - as cold as Joni Ernst's heart on her better days.

This week I'll make chili, ham & white beans, and beef stew to ease my shivering bones.

I truly love Minnesota, and MOST of winter.  But only between December 15th and February 28th.  Outside of that winter can bite me..... which it does . . often.

Mia Famiglia - when we won the 5K costume contest after Thanksgiving, by dressing as a blizzrd.

Monday, April 28, 2014

REAL Wedding Vows

After nearly 24 years of marriage, I've learned a lot.  
I've learned this is what people should be promising at their weddings . . 

I promise first of all to fully commit to this new family we are creating.  I promise to keep my vows and to view this promise as sacred.  I promise to look past all this fluff, flowers, and window dressing to realize I am promising that the rest of life will occur at your side.

I promise to watch out for the little problems, for they are what can wear us down.  I vow to watch for the magic of making you laugh.  I will marvel at the fact that you come home to me every night.  And when I find myself wallowing in the bills, the weather, the home repair, the groceries, I will take you into my arms and be thrilled that you are alive, and here to share this life.

I promise to realize that sadness, loneliness, anger, frustration and disillusion are a completely normal part of any adult life, and to not immediately assume it means our marriage is wrong.  I promise to look at my own behavior and attitudes for change, and not to blame all my negative feelings on you.  I also promise to remember that life changes frequently, and that our marriage can survive any storm if we decide it will.

I promise that our marriage will always be a priority - above my hobbies, my job, the car, and the house.  It will be more important than any material thing we own.  I will remember that keeping our marriage alive is the best gift we could give to any kids.

I promise to balance that priority with outside interests, because I also promise to HAVE outside interests.  I will keep my friendships strong and will work to cultivate my own world apart from you.  Because I will not expect you to fill my every need for companionship and entertainment.

I promise to defend you against my family, your family, or even our own kids.  I will tell the world that if you mess with one of us, you mess with both of us.  And when I can't defend you, I promise to let you know and why.  And together we will work it out.

I promise that when I'm ready to walk away, or have an affair, I will use that signal to enter counseling and take it seriously.  I will give our marriage every effort in world.  I promise to never destroy your dignity with infidelity.

As we age, I promise to watch our decline with loving eyes.  To remember that every winkle, every pound, every gray hair, is a symbol of our lives lived in the sun, raising children, laughing, smiling, and loving.

I promise to remember, day in-day out, all my life, that you have agreed to be my partner.  That you have put aside your freedom to stand at my side.  That you have chosen me.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Red beans and rice in the crock pot

"Oh Lordy, she's givin us another recipe.  Doesn't that woman have any actual THOUGHTS in her head anymore?"

Yes I do.  I think of all kinds of great posts while I'm in the shower or trying to get to sleep.  Don't judge me.

While you wait for my lazy butt to blog something of substance, how about eating something of substance?  And how about it's something easy to make in the crock pot? Even better, right?  Don't say I never give you anything.  This recipe was found on pinterest which led me here, because we should all give credit where credit is due.  My alterations are in red.

1 pound red beans - or more if you are going vegetarian.
7 cups water
1 green bell pepper, chopped - I used two because I'm a rebel.  And one of them was red.  I like to stick it to the man.
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped - I didn't have any.  We don't need no stinkin celery!
3 garlic cloves, chopped or minced - I used 5 because 3 is nothing in my world.
2 cans Campbell's chicken broth - I used Better Than Bouillon and 2 cups of water.  Bouillon is one of those words I always have to spell check.
1-1/2 pounds sausage  - I used Turkey sausage in the ring, cut in 1" slices.  You could totally skip this and make it vegetarian.  I would add more beans.
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning - this packs some wonderful heat. So take it to 1 tablespoon if you don't like spicy things
Hot cooked rice - for later.  I used brown rice.

Rinse the beans and pick out any stones.  And by the way, I've never ever found stones in my dried beans. Have any of you? Put them in the crock pot
Add everything else EXCEPT the rice.  Give it a good stir.  Cook all day on low.
Serve it in bowls, and let eaters add as much rice as they want.
TIME SAVER HINT - I cut up everything the night before and put it in a bowl in the frig.  Also the night before, I put all the water, seasoning, and Better Than Bouillon in the crock pot.  In the morning I gave the liquids a good stir, rinsed & added the beans, and added all the cut-up ingredients.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Microwave Polenta

Winter of 2014 has been one for the records.  Brutal cold, piles of snow, thick ice.  We need easy comfort food here in the Northwoods.  So tonight I made polenta, aka corn meal mush.   EASY polenta. Not the kind that has you standing at the stove stirring until your arm falls off.  Start warming up!

4 cups water
1 1/4 cups corn meal
2t. kosher salt
3 T. butter

In a 2 qt microwave safe bowl, stir the water, corn meal and salt.  Microwave on full power for 12 minutes, stirring well at the 6 minute mark.  When it's done, add the butter & pepper and stir.  You can eat it right away, or spoon it into a loaf pan, let it cool, slice it, let it dry a bit, then fry in butter or olive oil.

We like it mushy, right away, covered with a bit of marinara and parmesan cheese.
It would be great with any savory topping - chili, pesto, cheese alone, salsa, etc
It's also great fried as slices, then covered with maple syrup.  mmmmmmmmmmmmm