Friday, July 30, 2010

Fast Food Gods must hate me. . . .

. . . . or just love f-ing w/me.

Ever since we moved to the Big City almost 3 years ago about 80% of the time I go get Fast Food something goes wrong.  It's not one particular place, time, order,'s just me.  K can go and get stuff, and as long as I'm not there nothing ever goes wrong.  Oddly we never ever have a problem with having Pizza delivered - go figure.

I seriously never had this problem in Larryville or Smallsville.  Could it just be the Big City?  Does their service suck that bad?  There's a million ppl here and these places can't find decent help?!?!?

Now that I think about it I've had problems at regular resturants as well - slow service, out of shit, you name it.  Once again all in the Big City.

At this point I'm taking this as a sign that we no longer need fast food in our lives, and we've cut back to once - maybe twice a week.  I personally would love to take this as a sign that we need to move back to smallville - but that's not an option now.

Been doing pretty good and on the average we've been sticking to the 1-2 times per week.  I'm just hoping our checking account balance reflects this change in habit soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

UPDATE: My Coke Addition

Well the last time I tried to quit I didn't do too good.  Fell of the wagon and over-induldged myself.  Didn't help that Wally World has a 6-pack of 24 oz bottles on sale for $3.00 - yes, $ .50 per bottle!!!

The end of June we decided it was time to get serious about no fast food, and I was to give up my beloved Coke.  K gave up taking the kids to lunch at McD's, BK, etc during the week.  I have not had a regular coke since then....4 whole weeks.  Weeks 1, 2 and even 3 were no problem...however, this last weekend and continuing into this week I've been Jonesing for a Coke baaaaaaaadddddd.

So today I broke down, went to CVS, and bought myself a Diet Coke w/Lime.  This is only the 3rd carbinated beverage I've had since going cold turkey.  Needless to say I now have a headache, and am regretting my decision.

Then again it could just be sugar overload from the Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie!!  OMG those things are sooo good!!  Definitely better than my yogurt sitting in the fridge at work.

I'm hoping if I can channel my stuborn side to stick to the "no coke" rule, maybe - just maybe, I'll be able to stick to my diet and no fast food rule.

Strong-willed Child . . . . .

 . . . . my ass.

My dear sweet daughter is the most stubborn intelligent independent child I have ever met.  For those that know me yes, she's my daughter I know where she gets it - but still, my mother says I was never as awful as she.

Last night she threw a temper tantrum for 30 minutes.  She broke the rules and she was pissed.  She knows she needs to stay in bed - no talking, screaming, playing or jumping - or she loses her movie.  She lost her movie.

Since she wouldn't stay in bed after her initial punishment for getting out of bed I removed a toy everytime she got out of bed.  By the end of the night there were no toys left in her room and I had filled two laundry baskets.  I told her if she was quiet and stayed in bed for 5 minutes she could earn one toy back - her bear, but the rest she would get tomorrow.

All of this started at 8:45pm last night.  I think I finally got to give her her bear back around 9:20pm.

So this morning Daddy gets to be the hero and give her toys back......however, every time she throws a screaming crying fit he's to take a toy.  It'll probably take a week before we start to see any improvement - just hope we can hold out that long.

Apparently the universe has a very sick sense of humor....the "mother's curse" - I hope you have a child that's as bad as you - didn't quiet work.  My mother has told me more than once that I got the child that my brother should have.  Also, I now understand why my mother always said "if I had your brother first there would be no more".....lucky for me he's the youngest.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zucchini, zucchini and more zucchini

For the past 3wks we've been getting zucchini from CSA.  I'm not much of a squash fan, but we have grilled/broiled some and had it with spaghetti.  However I can only each so much.  So this lead me to the internet to start my quest for a zucchini bread recipe.  Luckily I'm smart and I went straight to Food Network and Paula Deen.  I was not disappointed - she did indeed have a Zucchini Bread Recipe.

I've made this twice and both times it's turned out fantastic.  Do need to point out some of the small modifications I made based upon the comments:
1.  Did not add the water as I did not thoroughly dry the shredded zucchini
2.  Reduced the total sugar to 2.5 cups with 1.5 cups being white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar
3.  Thoroughly spray your pan w/PAM or other non-stick spray
4.  I put in 3 cups of shredded zucchini
5.  Added 1/2-1 teaspoon of Baking Powder (in addition to the baking soda)
6.  Added 1/2-1 teaspoon of Ground Ginger
7.  Added a tablespoon of vanilla extract

Did want to point out that this is a very dense bread, and it should be about the consistancy of chocolate chip cookie dough.  If it's too runny add some flour.  Also, I did end up baking mine at 335 for 90 minutes the 2nd time around.  The first time I followed the recipe and the top did sink in a bit - not this last time.

I will say that before I even added the zucchini I kept thinking of all the things I could add instead - dried cranberries, dried apricots, etc.  Heck it would be good w/o anything added.  Definitely will keep this recipe around - especially since K actually ate some this last time and couldn't believe how good it was.  We shared two slices - one w/butter and one w/cream was a toss up which was better. 

Bonus:  this is what the kids had for breakfast this morning w/sausage and now one loaf is almost gone.  :D

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Aaaahhhh - 20yr HS Reunion

The class of 1990 at EHS always seems to do low key reunions.  Out of the 3 "events" schedule we only made it to one:  the Picnic.  Wasn't sure I wanted to go - I mean I haven't remaind in contact with anyone from HS.  So why should I go?

Because if I didn't go then I wouldn't be abiding by my own new rule:  be a better friend.  I decided about a month ago that I've been a pretty shitty friend to what friends I do have and I'm striving to be a better friend.  I may not physically get to see them, but I vowed I would send more e-mails and call more often.

Those that did make it to the Picnic it was great to see, chat, discuss laundry, our crazy kids, siblings, etc.

Did I rekindle any lasting friendships?  I doubt it.  But will I try to keep in touch more?  Definitely.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

My employer partnered with Good Natured Family Farms for a Community Supported Agriculture ( to provide organic meats, fruits, veggies, dairy, grains, and eggs delivered to work weekly at $21/wk.  (Payroll deduction of course.)  They started this the first week of June and runs through the end of September.

We save 5-30% each week - plus it's delivered.  I love the fact that everything is organic - even the meat.  Bonus is we're getting produce we wouldn't purposefully buy at the store:  yellow squash, zucchini, egg plant, swiss chard to name a few.  The unexpected bonus is we've added new meals to our rotation - and K and I have started to enjoy cooking/prepping dinner together.

What's even more amazing is the kids know when it's Tuesday - 'cause I bring home food.  If there's cheese we cut it up into cubes/sticks and start snacking.  This last Tues. we got peaches....we ate 1/2 of them that night.  I had forgotten how good fresh peaches are.  K even got T hooked on slice tomatoes with a little salt on them.

Now this is not a regional nor midwest thing - but it's federally sponsored.  Search Community Supported Agriculture and you'll get a ton of hits.  I strongly urge you to recommend this great opportunity to your employer as it's a great way to give back to your community, and do something good for yourself!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Life with out Cable....and basic TV

In an desperate attempt to find some extra $$ to support his R/C Car racing habit, K decided to turn off cable the end of April.  We spent $40 to hook up the Wii to the internet, and now only pay $10/mo for Netflix rather than $100 for cable (aka Dish Network).

We did end up buying 2 cheap DVD players for the kids so they could at least watch DVD's in their rooms.  (One for the boys since they share a room, and one for A.)  And eventually we'll purchase a high-def TV so we can receive the local channels free.

Overall it really hasn't been much of an adjustment.  Alot of the shows the kids want to watch are available via NetFlix instant que that they watch through the Wii.  (You can do this with a Playstation as well.)  K & I don't watch many TV shows regularly, but those that we do we've been getting the full season delivered to our door.  So far we've gotten caught up on "House", and working our way through "Bones".  Next on the list is "Eureka" and "Stargate SG-1".  Also, got hooked on a BBC show "The Adventures of Merlin".  If there's any current episode we want to watch we can goto and they keep about 6 wks worth of episodes.  Also, many of the networks put episodes out on the web.

As for movies we mainly watch those directly on our computer via Netflix.  However, we occasionally toss one in the mix to be delivered to our door.

I must confess that I do miss watching junk on the boob-tube while folding laundry - which is probably why I have over a weeks worth of clean laundry to sort and fold.  {sigh}

**Did want to mention that if you need help with all the techie stuff a friend's husband has started a blog with everything you ever wanted to know.  :)  Bonus is he's dumbed it down for idiots like myself!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Not the game, nor the song, but T's imaginary friend.  Yes the name of his friend probably did come from the song since he and R had been singing it day's before.  However, that is neither here nor there....what matters is that my son took the top of an acorn put it on his finger and made a friend - literally.

Bingo was born at the S & T's school playground from one of the many acorns around from the huge Oak tree on a lovely Saturday afternoon.  Bingo survived T running around the playground and the grocery store.  We even bought ice cream since Bingo wanted some.  What kind of host would we have been had we not bought something our guest desired?!?!?

The original Bingo has disappeared.....but he has plenty of replacements in our front yard.

It's been 3wks since Bingo became my son's friend and he's around here and there....whenever T finds the top to an acorn.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Not that he reads this, but wanted to throw it out there.   He's 66....a young 66.

Jokingly told him "Happy 21st birthday" on last Friday when were down....and he said 66 sucks since he can't switch the numbers around to make himself younger like with 65 (aka 56).  My dad - a 66 yo smart ass.  

My quest for the perfect meatloaf. . .

. . . .for the last 1.5-2yrs I've been looking for a decent thick old fashioned traditional meatloaf.   I've been trying all sorts of concoctions - 90% losers, 10% winners.  I'm not saying the losers are inedible, they're just not something I'd make again.

Well, this last weekend K requested Shepard's Pie.  So not only did I get out 3lbs of hamburger to thaw, but he got out 3lbs.   Great....6lbs of meat, what is a girl to do?!?!?

Made Shepard's Pie - my version of it.  Browned 1lb w/onions to use later for taco/nacho meat.  Took the last 2lbs and decided to make Meatloaf.  Once again knowing the last throw together didn't go over well I looked to the internet to find the perfect meatloaf.

Lo' and behold I found Paul Deen's recipe:

Trust me....oatmeal in a meatloaf recipe???  Are you serious???  Yes, she is.  And yes it was awesome.  This recipe is sooooo simple and it's a good basic meatloaf - one that you can easily add, enhance, whatever. 

Of course I made this following the recipe to a T - just as my mother taught me.  However, here are my notes/thoughts on the final product:
1.  Note Paula's recipe is for only 1lb of hamburger - and only calls for a small can of diced tomatos.  If you use a 14-16oz can w/1lb it'll be mushy.
2.  I probably used a little too much green peper for my taste, and thinking I should toss in some red pepper next time.
3.  Thinking next time I need to add a little more salt & pepper, and add garlic powder
4.  80/20 hamburger is if you use a leaner meat you might need to cut back on the oatmeal.  Otherwise your meatloaf will be too dense.
5.  Added a little (1 Tbsp) Worchestershire sauce to the topping and a little more mustard than required since my boys love mustard.   (FWIW - the topping is awesome!!!)
6.  Definitely can submstitute a can of rotel for the regular diced tomatos
7.  I cooked my meatloaf in a 9x9 cake pan and it took about 1hr 15min.
8.  My kids actually liked this one - however, may have to make extra of the sauce/topping the next time.

So overall I was impressed and will be making this again.