Wednesday, March 31, 2010
So then Ray had been working on my computer - trying to get the fax to work and ran to Wal-Mart for a part - which they didn't have. So we never got that working. We made dinner and did some stuff outside. Then we came in to try to work inside. So I was working on paperwork/cleaning and was doing our phone rebates - WRONG FORM! AGH! So I've emailed our sales rep, who emailed back that I had the wrong form - hopefully I'll have a link tomorrow to fill out the RIGHT one.
So I finally got my paperwork caught up (checkbook tomorrow, such fun). Now I'm working on finishing the grading I PLANNED to do during Adam's nap. So much for plans.....
But hey, we did get two time consuming things done today - now I just need the right rebate forms!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Ray got new glasses today, but one pair (the regular ones, not the sunglasses, which would be much simpler!) seems off, so if that continues he'll have to go back and bug them about that.
I have to grade, so I'd better get my butt in gear.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Modified from Everyday with Rachael Ray
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup whole milk [I used 2%, which is what I had in the fridge]
1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella [I actually used my grocery store's Italian cheese blend here]
1 cup diced up pepperoni [okay, this used an actual pepperoni, I'm guessing....I had extra sliced from making pizza a week or so ago and used that....it wasn't quite enough so I chopped up (really small - I used my hand mincer thingie) onion and red pepper to fill it out.]
1/2 cup pizza sauce [just store bought stuff]
2 tbsp fresh basil, minced.
[sliced red pepper for dipping....I tried this, wasn't impressed....I liked it better IN the puff]
Preheat oven to 375. Great 24 cup mini muffin pan.
Whisk together the flour and baking powder. Then whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in mozzarella and pepperoni (and whatever else). Let sit for 10 minutes. Stir again and then divide batter into muffin pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Heat up pizza sauce and add 1 tbsp basil to it and stir. Sprinkle puffs with basil [not impressed here either, so will just do1 tbsp in the pizza sauce.]
Serves 4 [this is as a main dish...I didn't think this made it as an entree, so I"m going to use it as an appetizer from here on out, so it would serve more.]
***Freezer tip: Freeze puffs in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put in freezer bag once frozen. To reheat, bake frozen puffs for 8-10 minutes at 350 (a great a idea if you are planning a party as you can get them done ahead and reheat as needed).
We made these this week and they were a hit. Ray and I both liked them and Adam ate some of the meat out of them. I do think this will make a great "kid-friendly" meal for later (when Adan is older and out of the "everything must be separate" phase) as it is delicious, simple and very mild.
Modified from Taste of Home
1/4 cup all-purpose flour 4 cups water [see notes in instructions on this] 3 tbsp chili powder 1 tsp garlic salt 1/2 cup chopped onion 1 cup cooked rice [this original recipe used 1 cup refried beans, but I hate refried beans, hence I used rice, but if you like the beans, you might like it that way.] 8 flour tortillas ( 3 cups (
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups water [see notes in instructions on this]
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup cooked rice [this original recipe used 1 cup refried beans, but I hate refried beans, hence I used rice, but if you like the beans, you might like it that way.]
8 flour tortillas (
3 cups (
Optional toppings: [we actually didn't use any of these]
slicd ripe olives
In a large saucepan, melt better. Stir in flour until smooth, gradually add in water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Stir in chili powder and garlic salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. [Okay, this was too thin for me, even with boiling longer than they recommended, so I'll probably use less water next time.]
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, sausage and onion until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in rice (or beans); heat through.
Spread 1/4 cup sauce in a greased 13 by
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 18-22 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with optinoal toppings if desired.
Makes 8 servings.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Weather today, though, is gorgeous after two days of rain. I'm making cookies for Ray's students tonight. Spring Break is next week for them, they have to start regulations tomorrow and so are, no surprise, a bit spacey. So Ray is bribing them with cookies.
Adam is napping right now, hopefully he goest some good sleep as he REALLY needs it. He was up and down all last night and then up early this morning. While he was in a pretty good mood, you could tell he was tired -his method of dealing with being tired is to try to go faster (and then fall more).
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Now we always go to brunch after Mass. Well, fast food didn't sound good to me and we wanted fries for Adam so the "halfway" places - Quiznos/Subway - were out, so we went to Denny's. Now Denny's usually is pretty good, but they were SUPER slow today. I have no idea why either - they had plenty of wait staff and weren't overcrowded, but they were just s...l....o....w. Since Adam was hungry BEFORE we got there, this was an issue. So he's grumpy, which is making Daddy grumpy....yep, not good. He did practically dive into his food when it arrived!
We were planning to hit Wal-Mart on the way home, but we decided we had enough and just came home. Hopefully the day improves. I'm off to start dinner (trying to do somthing EARLY).
Oh, Adam is saying Ma now....but it comes out Ba! He's really good at "b" and not so much with "m"!
Saturday, March 20, 2010
In addition, I detest, abhor, hate Office 2007. Again, why move everything and make it impossible to find? I swear it is some evil plan to make us all incompetent. So I'm still using Office XP, except, due to Windows 7 being evil, I had to upgrade to Outlook 2007 to make it work (we actually bought this awhile ago....but as soon as I saw it, I about threw up). I know I should upgrade, but its so much work to learn how to use the new stuff! What I think I'm going to do (as both are currently installed in my laptop) is new the "new" programs when students send me things in them - kind of slowly do it. But again, I swear Microsoft has an evil plot to ruin us all!
Why is it so hard to make programs work alike, so make it easier on us? In addition, why do some of my programs (yes, yes, they are 15 years old, but that shouldn't matter!) not work now? Again, EVIL!!!!
Okay, I needed to vent - I do NOT like computer change!
Our biggest issue is that Andrew is going to be born during finals weeks - that kid can choose his dates (and yes, I realize, that really Ray and I are responisble for the date, not him....)! So both Ray and I will be trying to finish up spring grades at the same time, but once we get that done, we should both have a lot lighter schedule, which will help out with a newborn in the house! But Mom is coming for a month to help out, which is will be great. My father is coming for two weeks and then my grandparents for two weeks as well, so we'll have lots of company and help. All that company will also help Adam adjust to having a new little brother in the house.
We also got our last "big" piece of furniture we needed before Andrew arrives. We got a new stroller last week and we just bought a bassinet. When we moved the crib upstairs, we realized it won't fit through the doors, so Ray had to take it apart to move it. Rather than do that twice (once down and once up), we decided to get a bassinet that Andrew can use until we move him to his own room. Otherwise, we have everything we need for little Andrew's arrival. I'm going to slowly stock up on newborn diapers and we'll have a "get out all the stuff" day about two weeks before his arrival (so we have some leeway if he decides he's coming early).
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I got this an email forward. No idea if its "actual" like it says (I usually highly doubt anything like that), but still it made me laugh - so true!
Dear Mrs. Ms. Or Sir:
I'm in the process of renewing my passport and still cannot believe this.How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a cable TV from them in 1987 (22 years ago), and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date.
For Christ's sake, do you guys do this by hand? Ever heard of computers?
My birth date you have in my social security file.
It's on EVERY income tax form I've filed for the past 30 years.
It's on my Medicare health insurance card and my driver's license,
It's on the last eight damn passports I've had,
It's on every stupid customs declaration form I've had to fill out before being allowed off the plane for the last 30 years.
And it's on all those census forms that we have to do at election times
Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Maryanne, my father's name is Robert and I'm reasonably confident that neither name is likely to change between now and when I die.
Between you an' me, I've had enough of this bureaucratic bullshit!
You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my address.
What is going on?
You must have a gang of bureaucratic Neanderthal morons working there!
Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden?
And "No," I don't want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for shit sakes.
I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach.
And would someone please tell me, why would you give a damn whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days?
If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat,
Believe you me, I'd sure as hell not want to tell anyone!
Well, I have to go now because I have to go to the other end of the city and get another copy of my birth certificate - to the tune of $100.
Would it be so difficult to have all the services in the same area so I could get a new passport the same day?
Nooooo, that would require planning and organization. And it would be too logical for the government.
You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off.
Then, we have to find some asshole to confirm that it's really me on the damn picture - you know, the one where we're not allowed to smile.
Hey, you know why we can't smile?
We're totally pissed off!
- An Irate Citizen.
P.S. Remember what I wrote about getting someone to confirm that the picture is me?
Well, my family has been in the United States of America since 1776.
I have served in the military for something over 35 years and have had security clearances up the ying yang.
However, I have to get someone important to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN INDIA!
And you assholes want to run our health care system????
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
- If you have a little bit of something you only use in small amounts left over (for me, tomato paste...like in that mole chili I just made), you can use an ice cube tray and freeze it in tbsp (or tsp) size portions. Once its frozen, just pop them out (I "pammed" (vegetable cooking spray...I don't actually buy Pam, the store brand is cheaper) them first to make this easier) and store them in one ziploc baggie. Then you can just take out as many tablespoons as you need at any given time.
- If you don't use buttermilk, don't buy it. You can make it yourself with 1 tbsp of lemon juice in each cup of regular milk. I just made molasses cookies, which is what reminded me.
- If you are measuring something sticky (like molasses or honey), "pam" the measuring cup first and it will come out easier.
Okay, those are my tips for the day!:)
Andrew is doing fine, as of today. Everything is one schedule. We are working to set a date for the c-section and hopefully will have that by the end of the week (mid-May). Andrew, of course, may choose NOT to cooperate with OUR schedule, so we'll see how that goes.
Otherwise, we've been very busy here. I'm on spring break from one of my schools and trying to get changed over to a new laptop and do some prep work. We've had Jason visiting from GF - he's been working with some Kent State people and so came to do a little face-to-face meeting. Ray's spring break is the last week in March and we have plans for that week as well.
Weather has been gorgeous here although we have some rain. The rain got rid of most of our snow though. Adam is really enjoying being able to really play outside again.
I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but his butt is covered in sand! I just stripped him once he got inside.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
- Canadian Curler Pregnant - I really thought this was pretty cool!
- King Tut's Diseases - this is a cool article that discusses all the various diseases King Tut had!
- 100 year old whiskey? - so a group of explorers were rescued in their attempt to reach the South Pole and left behind whiskey 100 years ago. The whiskey was recently refound and they are going to try to recover it. I guess the blend's recipe has been lost and they are hoping to be able to recreate it from these bottles.
We got a new stroller today. We knew we needed one as we pretty much destroyed our last one from overuse. We wanted a double stroller so we had room for both Adam and Andrew. We actually hadn't seen many in "person," so we were figuring on going to Babies'r'Us over Ray's spring break, but we came across this one at Kmart today for a great price, so we got it! Adam "helped" Daddy put it together!
Prepping the stroller for Daddy!
Adam and Pat helping with the tires
Helping with the tires with the BIG hammer
Testing it out!
Collapsed - isn't much bigger than our old single one!
Then the best part - the empty box!
Olga approved of the box as well!
We found this airplane for Adam - you take it apart and put it back together with that little power tool. Adam is AWESOME at taking it apart and just needs a little help getting to back together - he needs help getting the pieces in the right order and then he'll do all the screw for you. He takes it apart about 10 times a day!
Friday, March 12, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Modified from Rachael Ray's 30 Minutes Meals
3 tbsp ancho chili powder [okay, she originally used stemmed and seeded ancho chilis - if you can find them great...I couldn't, so I substituted 1 tbsp of ancho chili powder for each ancho chiles....so if you used chiles and did the full recipe, you'd need three ancho chiles.]
1 quart beef stock [cheapo me used beef bullion cubes and water....1 quart is 4 cups in case you didn't know]
1 tbsp oil
4 slices of bacon, chopped [I just used what I had in my freezer rather than her recommendation of lean, smoky bacon...all bacon is smoky!...anyway, I used an extra bit since mine seemed scrawny]
2 pounds ground hamburger [she used sirloin, which would be healthier...I had hamburger in the freezer]
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste [this is just a tiny bit and I buy cans...I'm planning on freezing my extra in tablespoonful size portions for recipes like this and easy use]
1 (15-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes [and I did actually buy fire roasted tomatoes]
2 tbsp smoked sweet paprika [if you want a spicier chili, you can use more chili powder - just regular - here...I didn't, so I used the smoked paprika...you could also probably get away with cumin]
1 tablespoon coriander
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder [I used Hershey's - that's what was in my pantry]
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt, if necessary [wasn't for me]
shredded cheddar, for topping [we liked this]
finely diced red onion, for topping [we liked this as well]
Now if you are going to use the ancho chiles, you will need to reconstitute them:
Put the chiles in a pot with the stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Then lower heat to a simmer until softened, about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, add the anchos with the stock to a food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
I didn't, so what I did was take the beef broth and then just mix in my ancho chili powder and set it aside for later.
Meanwhile, heat the oil, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat in a large pot. When the oil smokes, add the bacon and cook until crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the meat, raise the heat to high and brown for 8 minutes. Lower the heat a bit, add the onions and garlic and cook for 5 to 6 minutes to soften. Season the meat and onions with black pepper, to taste, (hold off on the salt until the chili is completed due to the addition of the bacon and the stock).
Add the tomato paste to the meat mixture, stir 1 minute, then pour in the ancho stock. Stir in the tomatoes, spices, cocoa and cinnamon. Simmer for a few minutes, adjust the seasoning and add a touch of salt, if needed. [I didn't need to adjust or add salt]
Serves 6 [Rachael's portions are always HUGE...I halved it and we still have plenty of leftovers...so I'd say this serves more than 6....it does depend on how big of eater you are, of course.]
Serve the chili topped with cheese and raw red onions.
I served this with cornbread - delicious or as Rachael would say "Yum-o!"
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Monday, March 08, 2010
Gorgeous here today - I even opened up the windows for awhile to help clear out stale air and all those sicky germs we've had all winter! Ray had the house open on Saturday as well, so hopefully they are all gone. Plus it just feels good to have the house opened up!
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Friday, March 05, 2010
Thursday, March 04, 2010
It drives me nuts, in general, that Food Network stars (Rachael Ray in this case) are always saying how "easy" it is find items and so is NOT. It seems I often have to work very hard to find these items or pay a lot for them (which I don't). So I end up substituting a fair bit. In general, though, I think these chefs need to get a reality check. We all don't live in New York where even the normal grocery stores carry a wide variety of items.
I tried my local grocery store for ancho chiles, then I tried a more "speciality" grocery store in Hudson (we were in Hudson anyway). I also called four natural foods stores. NONE of them carried these and most didn't even carry dried peppers at all. Now I'm sure if I was willing to drive to Akron or Cleveland, I could find them, but I won't drive too far for what amounts to grrocery items. I also won't buy grocery items online. Just my rule on cooking. If I can't it in a reasonable distance, I'll gave to substitute or give up on the recipe.
What I did end up finding was ancho chili powder and I'll just modify to make that work. I am glad I was able to find something as RR was definitely making ancho chiles sound good - sweet and mild - and now I can't find them!
As a note, Ray and I were discussing why we can fish, but not other mean, on Lenten Fridays (and while this is a requirement in Lent, the Church actually recommends all Fridays be meatless), so I looked it up. St. Thomas Aquinas answered this question in this Summa Theologica. Pretty much, the gist is that "flesh meat" give more pleasure (in general) than fish, so that's why we can eat fish - its less pleasurable. You can see his entire piece on this topic if you follow the link.
Otherwise, we are just trying to keep up with stuff. I had one class end last week and another ending this week. But I only gained one new class, so I'm actually going down by one class, which is nice.
Our car today decided that FOUR warning lights needed to come on! So we have an appointment on Monday for it, but it should still be under warranty, so hopefully that won't cost anything.
We've lost a lot of snow, but still have some on the ground.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
His talking is getting much better. He's really starting to use more words and make his needs known, which is helpful when trying to figure out what he needs.
Today he didn't nap well, so hopefully he'll sleep well tonight. I have another dentist appointment tomorrow so it could be a very long and hard day if he doesn't.
Oh, and Adam's achievement today - locking himself in the bathroom! Scared his mother good! I managed to get it open and when I talked to Ray later, it turns out ANY key will open it as it is just the pressure it needs. We have a key ring of random keys that go to SOMETHING in the house (no idea what though) and I was going through those (toothpick hadn't worked) and the first one worked because of this. Good to know it works all the time, though. Adam never even realized he was locked in - he was having a good old time!
Monday, March 01, 2010
But I am very excited to try the apple turnover recipe - looks delicious! I adore Fluke's recipes - they are always easy to make and usually incredibly good.
Now, on other things, we took down all but one baby gate (we left the one to the basement, which is our "dangerous" staircase, plus I wouldn't want him in the basement unsupervised) and we put away the high chair (well, I'm working on scrubbing it good). Now if we can just get him out of the crib! That's mainly because without it, he wouldn't STAY in bed when we put him to bed for the night. He's pretty good at going to sleep on his own after we sit with him, etc., but we're not sure how'd he react to freedom. We'll probably try it here soon as he's definitely okay to sleep in a toddler bed (which we have), but it is just an issue of getting him to stay in it.