Friday, October 31, 2008

Holy Happy HYPER Halloween, Batman!

Hey Moms and Dads everywhere! Now you can watch your children turn into certifiable crazy people from their Halloween loot, and not just from the sugar rush. No siree! Available in stores now, we can buy a funky little candy bar called a Snickers Charged. Hmmm. What's so different about the Snickers Charged and the good ol' regular Snickers? About 60 milligrams of caffeine. I'm just sayin'. I just absolutely know that every mother of an activie three-year-old is now jumping with joy at the thought of little Billy Bob hopped up on 60 mill of caffeine! Yeehaw! Let the good times roll . . .

By the way, 60 milligrams of caffeine is nothing to sneeze at:

1 - 8-ounce soft drink contains 20-40 milligrams
1 - 8-ounce regular coffee contains 65-120 milligrams
1 - 8-ounce energy drink contains 72-80 milligrams

If the Snickers Charged doesn't float your boat, then how about some of Ronald Reagan's old favs: Jelly Bellies. But these are even better than the oval office's stash! If you buy the Extreme Sport Beans with 50 milligrams of caffeine per 1 oz. portion, you can pretty much kiss any chance for sleep ga'bye. Please make sure you have your blood pressure cuff at the ready. Little Billy Bob is gonna be SMOKIN'!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Portent, Omen, Presage, Augury, Indication of November 4?

If this is any indication of what the results will be on Election Day, then you can say you read it here first:

According to David Bauder of the Associated Press, in the last two months, David Letterman and Jay Leno cracked 475 jokes about McCain-Palin and 69 about Obama-Biden. That's nearly a 7-to-1 ratio. During September, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert joked about McCain and Palin 211 times, versus 29 for Obama and Biden.

Take it however you want.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It's True! Great Minds Do Think Alike!

Since Ashley so sweetly and eloquantly blogged about my mom and wrote the exact same things on her blog that I was going to blog about, I have asked her to be my Guest Blogger for today's post. She graciously agreed. Thanks, darlin'! I couldn't have written it better myself. From Ashley:

Grandma Bea

After our little drive last weekend (see previous post), I just felt like writing a little post about my wonderful Grandma Bea. Here she is in her garden:

Isn't she beautiful? She's also quite a character. The other day I was at her house and my dad was on the roof fixing the swamp cooler. Well, grandma starts going up the ladder to the roof. With every step I keep telling her to come down! Finally she has nowhere else to go but the roof, and she gives me a look that says, "just try and stop me", and disappears over the rain gutter and out of sight. I couldn't believe it! Aunt Marian said, "she always worries me going up and down, but once she's up there, she's fine." You mean she's done this before?? It was an amazing sight to see my 90-year-old grandma (doesn't look it, does she?) strolling around on her roof with my dad.

And this is the same woman who rode "The Bat" and "Rattlesnake Rapids" at Lagoon last weekend(!!) and skiied up until 15 years ago or so. Grandma is always doing something wonderful to her huge and beautiful garden, creating gorgeous flower arrangements for her kitchen table, and always has a book open next to the lamp in her living room. She loves to bring up electricity, gravity, or any other science topic that just blows her away. She has a witty and somewhat dry sense of humor that cracks me up, and still has a spirit of spunk and tenacity that makes her always fun to be around. Jordan says that he feels that Grandma Bea is like his own grandma, and loves her just as much as if she were.

We love you Grandma!

That goes for me too, Mom!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And This is Why They Call Me Martha Stewart Behind My Back . . .

Hey all of you ADHD bakers! Here is a recipe even the most culinary-challenged among us can master (you know who you are and no, don't worry, I'm not going to name names, even if you hold me down and pour Godiva Chocolates down my throat. Hey, wait. Well, maybe I would for that. Let's see, Robin's pretty bad in the kitchen, and so is Katy--no, no. I'm not going to turn on my friends for some measley little chocolate.)

Psst! If you bring me a box of the 24 piece European Truffles, I'll spill my guts to you . . . rat out all of the bad cooks I know . . .

Pumpkin Cookies
1 box spice cake mix
1 15oz. canned pumpkin
1 cup mini chocolate chips or white chocolate chips, or both, yum!

Mix the cake mix with the pumpkin in a large bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be rather stiff. Drop from a tablespoon onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on pan one minute before removing to cooling rack. Drizzle with Lemon Glaze.

Lemon Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. milk

Stir to combine. Add more milk if needed to achieve drizzling consistency. Spoon onto cooled cookies.

Two members of the Cookie Possee (along with their boyfriend Fabio) came to help. They saw to it that we didn't mess up this complicated recipe too far beyond repair.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boo Radley is Having a Bad Hair Day

I have a little ghost, Boo Radley, who comes out to spread cheer to the neighborhood children during the entire month of October with his pumpkin full of treats. In a perfect world, the little kids passing by would just take one candy each on their way home from school or from their piano lesson or from spray painting the neighbor's cat. Unfortunately, in this less than perfect world, nearly every time Boo Radley's pumpkin gets filled with sugary goodness, some little kid (who it seems is rehearsing for their role as The Devil) (or maybe a grownup--who knows with today's economy???) dumps the entire stash into his or her pockets or backpack or wheelbarrow and hauls it away. I'm thinking of turning into Mrs. Kravitz from "Bewitched" and spending all of my waking hours peering out my window to see who is that deprived of high fructose corn syrup that they must stoop to stealing every last piece of candy from defenseless Boo Radley.

So today, it seems that somebody got a little miffed that the pumpkin from which all candy flows didn't get refilled because they left their calling card on top of Boo Radley's head. It's okay though. At least they didn't try to tackle him and make off with his spiffy tennis shoes. I'll still refill the pumpkin, and it will probably get looted, but I love the idea that maybe a few little kids get a thrill as they walk up to Boo Radley every day and find something there just for them. Hopefully, they will have some sweet memories of our house in their dottering old age.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"The District"

Yay! Sean sent us our first photo of him in the MTC! I now have proof positive that he is alive and kicking! Not that I really doubted his well-being, but it's just that I've heard some things about that MTC food, and well, you just never know . . . . Apparently, the pancakes there can bring on the need for the Heimlich Maneauver if one isn't especially vigilent about properly chewing one's pancake 30 times before swallowing. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, !Sean es tan chulo! (That means, "Sean is so tan!" Right? No? Okay, okay. It really means "Sean can certainly play that cello!" Sorry. It really says that "Sean is one cool dude!" )
Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Soul

My nesting instinct kicked in when the weather turned so cooooolllllllddddddddd. (Curses!) I had some left over rice in the fridge, so I decided to create my own soup recipe to use up the rice.

I hate throwing out leftovers. It must have something to do with that whole "children starving in China" phrase that got pounded into our little brains when we were extremely vulnerable and gullible. I always pictured my mom packaging up the leftover meatloaf into a paper bag and taking it, dripping with grease, to the local U.S. Post Office and handing it over to someone named LaVerne for overnight shipping to Peking. (It was Peking back in the day, don't ya know.)

Anyway, sometimes this method of creating something new from leftovers doesn't always pay off--the amount of leftovers I salvage does not always justify the additional ingredients that I have to contribute to the dish, and the whole thing ends up costing more than dinner for four at Ruth's Chris Steak House, for heaven's sake! But in a weird domestic-diva way, it gives me some small sense of satisfaction to recreate. This particular attempt turned out only so-so. But it was simple enough, and it seemed to suit this autumn day perfectly. If nothing else, it made my kitchen smell yummy nummy!

Carrots and onions are sauted in a bit of oil. As you can see, I let it get a little out of hand and the carrots and onions got the teeniest (a lot) too brown. So right from the start we were in for problems . . . .

I had some zucchini on hand so I added that to the overly-sauteed onions and carrots.

Next I added about four cups of chicken broth saved from cooking the chicken breasts which are added later. Then a couple of cans of evaporated milk go in making the soup really creamy without actually adding hip-enlarging and waist-expanding heavy cream.

So then comes the star of the show--two tablespoons of curry powder. (Either you love curry or you hate it, right? We happen to love it.)

Diced chicken breasts and that leftover smidgeon of rice go into the hot tub. I added a bit of salt and pepper to spice things up a bit, and there ya go! On day two (it made a ton of soup), Dave boiled up some cubed potatoes and added those in place of the slightly browned carrots (okay, okay already! They were burned. Are you happy now? And yes, he actually removed all of the carrots). The potatoes made it more like a chowder and were actually a brilliant addition.

I just couldn't serve this up for yet a third day to my long suffering family, so if anyone is interested, my freezer has no locks and the container is clearly marked, "Only So-So Chicken Curry Soup featuring Burned Onions and a Smidgeon of Leftover Rice." Help yourselves:)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My New Look for 2009!

As often occurs in times economic and political stress and uncertainty, we tend to look back and long for the "good old days." So what do ya'll think? Do you think my Annette Funicello look would do our topsy-turvy world some good? Maybe you would like to help our country's delicate state of mind by going a bit retro too. Try it at Any Doris Days or Bob Dylans out there blowin' in the wind?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I'm Considering a New Look

By this time tomorrow, you'll be able to see my new look. Be sure to check back! I think you're going to L-U-V it!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sigh . . .

Okay. So I think I can actually write this post now without running the risk of shorting out my keyboard with my tears--tears of longing, but also tears of tremendous joy. After four months of waiting after receiving his call, Sean is finally off on his adventure to serve in the Honduras Comayaguela Mission! Taking him to the MTC and saying goodbye was, to say the least, heart wrenching and yet joyous at the same time. Sean is so ready for this mission, so prepared, so eager, so committed. I sigh in awe of the young man he has become. I sigh with much more than just a little bit of longing for him. I sigh with the pride of a mother watching her son be so obedient. And I sigh with thankfulness that I have the privilege of being his oh-so-lucky mom.
Can I say it again? Just indulge me. I am so proud of Sean! I have and continue to learn so much from this boy. He is the embodiment of patience, tolerance, empathy, inclusion, good humor, concern and love for others. I truly sigh and weep at my blessing of being his, Ashley's and Christian's mother here on this earth. No one could be luckier than me.

Well, all of this sighing has brought to mind one of my favorite portions of one of my favorite movies. So now, I want you to do me a favor. Will you? Say yes. What? I can't hear you. Say yes. Say it out loud. Did you say it? Okay, so my favor is I want you to take a moment to watch the following video clip and sigh with me. Please enjoy.