Sunday, February 26, 2012

F.R.I.D.A.Y. and Missing Mom


Our F.RI.D.A.Y. frolics and festivities weren't nearly as frolicky nor as festive this week as we were heartbreakingly missing my mom from our group.  Her high-energy wit and banter and relentless teasing of the waitstaff made these little afternoon tete-a-tetes something quite special, I'll tell ya.  But, I'll bet my bottom dollar that Mom is carrying on with her famous wisecracks and bon mots, dishing it out to some heavenly/angelic food server who is dressed in the standard-issue white flowing gown and halo, complete with name tag and armful of menus--roller skates optional.  And!!!  This I also know without a doubt:  Mom would somehow, somewhere, some way, find a Rexburg connection with said heavenly/angelic waitstaff, and that would thrill her 'til the cows came home!  She was proud of her roots!!!

Just look at these two handsome, handsome men!  
Good grief, could a mama be any luckier?
(Aldolpho is looking pretty spiffy too.  See him?)   







Ahhh.  This is harder than I thought . . .




A few things I have concluded during this time of my mom's passing:  

*Take advantage now of the time you have with those whom you most cherish  

*You will never regret being kind to them  

*Our own time is the most precious gift we can give to anyone 

*Listen with patience

*Learn from the wisdom

*Always express your love at each encounter--WITHOUT FAIL

Happily, I have generally followed my own above advice and have only a few regrets which now prick at me.  But only a few.  I was so blessed to have a mother who was patient enough with me to allow me to learn these truths.  I am so grateful for every day, every hour, every moment I have had with my mom.  


There is a lesson in that for each one of us, I would think. 







Our last F.R.I.D.A.Y. foolery.  {Yes, on a Thursday.  Again.}
That's my mom!
And, I love her so!!!




Thursday, February 23, 2012

"I Am Sorry, Will Robinson, I Am Afraid I Goofed"--Robot



It's fashion week in London.  I'm sure you already knew that because my readers stay on top of important and critical world events like fashion week in London.  You guys are so crazy well-read and informed!  Impressive!  


Aaaaaaaaanyway, one of the trending looks being shown during London's fashion week (you knew about London's fashion week, right?) is a new strategy for leather pants.  I'm sure you already knew about that too.  Cuz you're informed like that!  For those few of you who just might not be up to speed on the latest at London's fashion week, I'll fill you in on the hottest leather pants look:  Instead of the skintight Jim Morrison look, at least two design houses have been showing wide-legged, baggy leather pants.  Say whaaaa, now?  I just don't know.  Leather plus baggy screams worn-out Bessy the Cow to me,  which is just sad.  I just don't know.


On a brighter note, I adore Sarah Burton of the Alexander McQueen fashion house, who, by the way, designed this hardly-talked-about dress, and who gave us the adorable little number shown below during London's fashion week (which you knew about, right?).  We'll take this slow so we can savor the gorgeousness of this look:









Love the shoes!






Love the tea-length skirt!!





Love the Grace Kellyesque-ness of it all!!!




































Love the . . . whoa!  
"Danger, Will Robinson!!!!" 









































You guys!  What am I going to do?
I just don't know if I can do this; this is sooooo outside of my comfort zone!  I mean, WHAT! AM! I! GOING! TO! DO??? 
*Panic*

























I think the copious amounts of pomade used on these McQ male models' hair must have somehow oozed down to their mouths, causing them to look like they just ate a squirrel.  Merely a guess.  




Still mulling it all over but, I just don't know.
Your thoughts, Robot?



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pull Out Your Scissors, Kids!

Who is going through Downton Abbey delirium tremens now that Season 2 is a done deal?  Yeehaw, have I got a treat for you! 

While tapping your foot waiting for Season 3 to ramp up, have a go at these stellar Downton Abbey paper dolls which can be printed out here.  I especially appreciate the wide variety of facial expressions available for the Dowager Countess.  And, don't overlook Mr. Pamuk.  What a bonus!  These paper dolls should provide hours and hours of fun while you watch and re-watch (and re-watch) each episode from Seasons 1 and 2.  Don't deny it.  You know it'll come to that at some point.  That is, unless you're into The Bachelor.  If that's the case, I ask you, could anyone be more despised in the USofA than Courtney?  Honestly.  She's either cuckoo for Coco Puffs or she is extremely media savvy.  I'm convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt it's the latter.  Hey, Ben?  Halllooooo!  Jeepers, man.  Get. a. grip.  (Er, not that I actually watch The Bachelor or anything.  Alright.  I have been watching it on On Demand when I'm getting ready for the day, but this is the first season I've ever watched it {hand to heart that this is true}, and I've only been watching because of  Courtney the Conniver.  And also to see how more and more *interesting*  Ben's hair gets with each passing week.  And you know what?  This show is a crock.  Amen and amen.)   

Anywho, happy snipping!




Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mom





























My beautiful mother with me on my wedding day


If you've been reading my blog over the years, you know how much I adore my mom.  I hope those past posts speak for themselves, because I haven't the heart to write much about her quite yet.  I would like to say that I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing me with the most wonderful mom a girl could ever, ever, ever ask for.  I have been blessed beyond comprehension to have had my mom in my life.


I would also like to say that I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for granting my mom her last wishes:  She was able to remain in her own home until the day she died; she passed away in her own bed with her son by her side; she held on to her fiercely protected independence until the very moment of her passing (she had been up walking about her house only moments prior to lying down for the last time); and, she left us without any pain as she simply slipped into sleep as it were.  If that isn't a heaven-sent blessing for all of her loved ones to cherish, I don't know what would be.   


As my heart is still tender and aching, I'll simply share the following video for now.  A world of thanks to my nephew, Bryan, who managed to capture a few precious moments for us to savor and to help fill that big gaping chasm left in our loving hearts.


Oh, how I love my mom.  



I love her.



Click here for the video.



Wednesday, February 08, 2012

A Rootin' Tootin' Good Time!

Sean helped me make the following recipe of Baked Buffalo Chicken Taquitos for that "big day" of watching awesome television commercials which were, unfortunately, interrupted by that pesky Super Bowl game thingy.  Sheesh, must they do that EVERY year?


When Dave asked me last week who I was favoring to win the Super Bowl, I told him the Saints--not that I particularly like the Saints, its just that I thought they were one of the teams playing in the big game, and I wanted to sound like I was hip with it all.  Dave paused, blinked, then gently said, "Wellllll, that's too bad.  The game is between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants."  Oh.  See?  I'm only in this thing for the commercials and to possibly heckle the lame-o half-time show.  (As if I could do any better myself.)  (Oh. And, what did you think of that "salute" from MIA, btw?  Hellohhhh!)  


As it turns out, I ended up rooting for the New York Giants because that's who the rest of the gang was rooting for, and a family that roots together loots together.  No!  That's not right.  It's a family that roots together hoots together.  Right?  Aw, gee.  What is it?  A family that roots together toots together.  Oh, bother.  Our team won, and that means we're champions cuz, well, our team won! Am I right, you super-intense armchair quarterbacks who did absolutely nothing to help your team win, but will now brag for the next 365 days about your team winning?


Anywho!  The taquitos turned out great!  Try these.  Right away.



BAKED BUFFALO CHICKEN TAQUITOS
TasteandTellBlog.com


Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/8 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/8 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 can (12.5-ounce) Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained
  • 8 8-inch flour tortillas*
  • coarse Kosher salt
Instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and buffalo sauce. Mix well. Stir in the Monterey jack cheese, blue cheese crumbles and chicken; mix well.
  • Place 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture down the center of each tortilla and roll up. If needed, microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds to make them soft and pliable enough to roll. Place on a baking sheet. Spray the taquitos with cooking spray, then sprinkle with coarse salt.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 17-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with blue cheese dressing for dipping, if desired.
*If possible, use uncooked flour tortillas.  Just throw the raw tortillas in a hot, dry skillet for about ten seconds on each side to cook them up before filling them.  (You'll feel like you're working at Cafe Rio and might even picture yourself basking in the warm sun south of the border. ¿QuĂ© pasa, dude?)  Sean and I used both kinds, and the raw tortillas, as always, were so much, much, much better than regular flour tortillas.  Try these.  Right away.


And now, here are a few of my favorite Super Bowl commercials.  Please enjoy:


























Which Super Bowl commercials float your boat, darlin'?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Extra! Extra! Harry Fix! Get Your Harry Fix Right Here!












And, for my fellow lovers of Jane Austen, here's a fix especially for you:

Lucky you, there's more!  Click here for Firth of Forth!


Friday, February 03, 2012

Cookie Monster In the Raw!

Don't look now, but Sesame Street's Cookie Monster just went commando!  And, nobody got arrested!  And, people actually liked it!  See for yourself in the recipe below which calls for raw cookie dough (get it now?) which graces the top of a pan of fudgy, chewy, chocolatey brownies.  


I think the only obstacle you might encounter is hefting  these awesomer-than-awesome brownies into the fridge  for setting up and also for safe keeping. Ahem--you know who you are.  Well, flex those biceps and heft away, because this mess-o-goodness/badness is about as heavy as that nearly 14 lb. baby born in Iowa just the other day! Didya hear about that?  And, the mom went all natural!  That's just plain cray cray!


The only change I made to this recipe is I didn't use the 4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped.  Or the 1 cup butter, at room temperature.  Or the 2 cups light brown sugar, packed.  Or the . . . oh, alright!  I used a brownie mix for the brownie part.  Other than that, I stuck to the plan, Stan.  The cookie dough (egg free!) which goes on top of the brownies was a cinch.


You should make these.  Right away.  (Who am I semi-quoting here?)  Whether you are red or blue, you should make these.  Right away.

chocolate chip cookie dough brownies
Yield: 32 brownies
Prep Time: 30 min + cooling time
Cook Time: 25 min
These brownies are a major treat for cookie dough lovers...

Ingredients:

BROWNIE:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
COOKIE DOUGH (EGG FREE!):
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup semisweet chips + 1 teaspoon shortening for drizzle, optional

Directions:

1. Prepare the brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray. In a medium glass bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave in short bursts of 30 seconds; stir after each burst and remove from microwave when melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Mix in melted chocolate. Blend in flour and mix just until combined (don't over-mix). Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes. Watch closely and remove from oven when toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.
2. Prepare the cookie dough: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to combine butter, brown sugar and white sugar. Mix in milk and vanilla. Mix in flour just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Spread cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is quite firm. It's okay to speed up the process and place it in the freezer too. The firmer the dough, the easier it will be to cut into neat squares. Use a sharp knife to cut the brownies. You may need to wipe the knife off with a paper towel in between cuts since the fudgy brownies and cookie dough will tend to stick to the knife a bit. These brownies are best to serve placed inside cupcake papers and served with a fork.
4. If you'd like to add chocolate drizzle on top, melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of shortening in the microwave; stir until smooth. Scoop the melted chocolate into a zip baggie and snip off the corner. Squeeze the bag to drizzle the chocolate on top of each brownie. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top, if desired.
Source: RecipeGirl.com

Were you paying attention just now?  Yup.  You caught me.  I am guilty as sin of trying to curry the favor of my kids by unloading a dump truck load of these brownies onto them and their roommates.  So, uh, yeaaaaah.  I'm one to always think that it never hurts to stay on the good side of the people who may have to spoon feed me one day.  Okay, okay!  I'll spill the truth:  I am an adoring fan of my kids.  There.  Are we all happy now?  I know I am.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Forewarned Is Forearmed, I Always Say
























Boom, goes the dynamite.