Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Good News

It has been a very busy few days. Just to get everyone caught up here is what we have been doing.
Saturday when Papi got off work we all loaded up and went to Ft. Worth in hopes of getting the parts we needed to get our desktop fixed. It didn't work out and we ended up ordering them online anyway but the upside is we all had a nice time together and the Poo loved going to Fry's Electronics and seeing all the isles of stuff they have to temp little hands.
Sunday was my sisters birthday and low and behold she is still older than me! I made her a lemon poke cake with lemon glaze and she loved it. We also got her an edible arrangement since she has been asking for one for years now and we were already in a location we could pick one up. We had a very nice afternoon visiting her.
Monday the Poo and I loaded up and went to the grocery store and she got to pick her fruits and veggies for the next week or two. She had a great time and informed me that it was the best day ever to get to spend an hour in a large produce section of a grocery store. I hope she stays this easy to amuse.
Yesterday I found out that 2 of my best friends are getting married... to each other!!! I am so happy and excited for them that words just can not express the amount of joy and love in my heart. And if that was not enough I get to do a guest review next week...For a COOKBOOK! Can we all say OH YEAH! together now?
So it has been quite busy and hectic but mostly wonderful. I am still trying to get Valentine's pictures up so be patient and hopefully I will be able to get them done today or tomorrow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Still Awake

I haven't slept well for days and today it hit me. I have been so tired all day. Still getting things done, just a little more slowly. All day long I have been just waiting for bedtime. So excited that I may get to lay down and rest my traitorous body. So, now its bedtime and I can't sleep. Papi has been asleep since 8 pm. The Poo crashed out about an hour ago, and I have enjoyed watching her rest peacefully. It seems when I lay down I just keep hearing everything. All the ambient noises are driving me nuts. I am flat broke and seriously considering buying barking collars for my neighbors dogs since it sounds like they are UNDER MY BED! I just want to sleep. Hope you all have a great night and maybe just maybe exhaustion will take over and I will get some rest.

Monday, February 14, 2011

How was your Valentine's day?

Well I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day! We had a wonderful day here. The Poo got many gifts that she loved dearly including a real princess crown and a large soft caterpillar! Papi got chocolates and I made a chocolate cake for him from his moms recipe. He and Poo got me a cappacino and esspresso maker which we got to try out this evening. It was truly delicious. We took Poo to visit her sissy and grandma and deliver her valentines she had made for family there. All in all it was a great day with loved ones just as it should be.
Hug everyone you love and have a great night!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Food Porn Anyone?

As many of you know, I cook a lot. All the time it seems. I am always messing with recipes and making changes, adding flavors and changing textures. With the cold we have had I have been doing a LOT of baking. So much so that we have had plenty to share with friends.

During the last cold snap we were stuck at our house for 4 days. No fun at all. My dear friend Lynette was unable to share our cinnamon bread pudding, strawberry scones and pineapple upside down cake. So this time I decided to bake a day in advance. The bad weather is due tomorrow so today I have baked 3 delicious cheesecakes. We have almond amaretto, chocolate kahlua, and parrot bay coconut!

Did you notice a theme? Yes, they are all alcohol cheesecakes! I made them with Lynette's home made amaretto and kaluha and my own rum. What could be better to snuggle with on a cold wintry day? Is there anything more comforting that delicious food made with love from friends? No, I don't think so either. We often do shared meals where we all prepare what we have and combine it with what our friends have. It is a great way to use a little bit of groceries and have a feast for all. For anyone who may want it, the recipe for the basic cheesecake is as follows:
3 blocks cream cheese
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 T. lemon juice
1 t. vanilla extract
Mix all ingredients, pour into graham cracker crust and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool at least 4 hours before serving.

For the extras I added :
3 T. cocoa
1/2 c. kaluha for the chocolate kaluha cheesecake

2 t. almond extract
1/2 c. amaretto
sliced almonds on top for the almond amaretto

1 cup shredded coconut soaked in 1/2 cup parrot bay coconut rum for 30 minutes for the coconut cheesecake

Hope everyone enjoys!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The dilema of a friend

OK, I know its sounds cliche but I have this friend who is having a problem. She chatted with me a good bit this morning about an issue she is having at work. Here is the story:
My friend doesn't want her name thrown out there so we will cal her Beth.
Beth works long hours and one of the ladies she works with has started making rude comments to her. Talking down about the quality of her work, making comments about her appearance, things like that. But she is doing this under the veil of friendship.
She will make a comment like "Oh you poor thing. You must have had a bad night, you look like you slept in those clothes and just jumped right out of bed to make it on time. Is there anything I can do to help?" She does this in front of other workers sometimes but in private as well, so Beth hears it more frequently than her co-workers do and when she mentions it they tell her she is over reacting.
Beth has tried to politely tell her she doesn't appreciate the comments but the lady acts as though Beth is hurting her feelings and rejecting her as a friend, as though she has done nothing wrong and Beth is the bad guy. The lady offers her assistance as in "Oh you are swamped, I can help you catch up." but if Beth accepts help then the lady goes and tells others how poor Beth just isn't cutting it and has to be bailed out and she put herself out there just to help a friend. But she is bad mouthing Beth the whole time. She even went so far as to invite herself over to Beth's house and then trash talked her home at work.
Beth doesn't want to cause problems at work and most people see this lady as a wonderful person but do not see the malice behind her actions. Beth is a good employee, she is never late and doesn't call in. She gets her work done in a timely manner and does a good job without complaining.
We all know or have known someone like this lady. What advice can I give my friend?The job market is tough and I understand she doesn't want to make waves at work so keep it polite please. Any advice would be helpful because all I could say was to avoid her as much as possible.
So if anyone has an idea please leave a comment and I will pass it along. Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Garden Dreams

Well, as I said earlier in the week I am posting photos of we what are going to try to put in the garden. We got a new layer of snow last night and early this morning but it is melting off now. Unfortunately during the thaw one of our water pipes busted so I had to go shut off the water. Won't Papi be surprised when he gets home.

Still, trying to look on the bright side... we never did lose water during all these days of extreme cold. I don't think one day will kill us and it is inside by the water heater so he won't even have to crawl under the house to fix it.

Back to the garden, thawing means possibly tilling if we can get the tiller going this weekend. In the hopes that I get to start tilling this month, the Poo and I have gone through all of our sale seeds and decided how the main garden will go. Mind you the most expensive seed pack we have bought cost us 10 cents. most we got on sale at 20 packs for a dollar, some were 10 packs for a dollar. Pretty cheap groceries. The last 2 years we have watered with city water which can get a little costly. the first year we had no rain and it raised our water bill by 50 dollars a month for 4 months. This year we are going to try to get a submersible pump and holding tank and see if we can use our well, since we are lucky enough to have one that is 135 feet deep even though they hit water at 30 feet.

We will also have a melon garden that is separate from the vegetables that will include cantaloupe, watermelon, canary melon, pumpkins, and acorn squash.
We have our salad mix of veggies that will be in the raised bed I am working on and the main garden that will host all of our staple veggies such as tomatoes, squash, corn, green beans, peas, cabbage, and beans( pinto, black eyed, lima, etc..).

Hopefully we are not taking on too much, but we have done nearly this much with me working 12 hour shifts and Papi working 6 days a week. I think with me being home full time we will be able to accomplish this. It is going to be a lot of work and a lot of fun. The Poo takes great pride in her gardening abilities and loves nothing more than to wander through the garden picking veggies and eating them right there! What can be better than fresh tomatoes still warm from the sun? Not much if you ask my girl.

We will have different varieties of the same vegetables as we do every year, however this year we have found three different types of cabbage we will grow. Last years cabbage were HUGE. We could quarter on head and cook the quarter and still have leftovers. That's a big cabbage. As always, we are going to plant enough to be able to share with our dear friends. Nothing says I love you like baskets of fresh veggies or a call saying" Come pick what you want! "
We will update with photos as we get progress made.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cuppa coffee anyone?

How do you make the PERFECT cup of coffee? I honestly do not know because this is how I make coffee :
First, I open one eye half way and sound like I am breaking bones as I stand to stumble to the bathroom. Bump the kitchen table on my way with my hip (ouch)then have difficulty finding the bathroom doorknob as the eye I have half open is blurry. Then have a minor heart attack as I sit down, OMG that's cold. Stumble back to kitchen rubbing closed eye in hopes it will open too and voila! Both eyes open and somewhat focused...time for coffee.
Get a cup of filtered water and pour in with only minor spills. Add great coffee, turn on and wait. Stretch and yawn and finally I hear the final sputters of my one cup coffee pot. Yay!! Coffee is done. Grab cup...oops. Knock over cup onto hand. Shake hand vigorously to remove scalding coffee. Grab paper towels and throw them on huge mess in floor. Run for sink, rinse hand, pat dry. Grab burn spray and lightly coat. Go to get paper towels out of floor.
Chase the Poo's chihuahua puppy AKA the little prince while saying "DROP IT! DROP IT!" in the meanest voice you can muster while trying not to wake up the Poo. Finally get said paper towels from mischievious puppy just as he gets on the couch. Slip in the mess he has made dragging paper towels through house and wonder to yourself if it is just coffee or if you scared the pee out of the poor dog.
Go wash hands and feet in bathtub as now you are certain it is a coffee and pee mix. Get mop.
Here the pitter patter of little feet and know your whole morning is shot. No quiet time to reflect for you. "momma is that you? Why are you making so much noise? Prince didn't mean to be bad. He is just a puppy and he is still learning."
Mop up mess while feeling guilty about scaring the innocent puppy who seemed really guilty and wrong just moments before. Realize as you have mopped a strip about a foot wide and 30 feet long, just how bad that made the rest of the floor look. Stand and stare at really clean line going through the middle of your house and decide if you want to mop the rest of the floor or just make that part dirty again so it matches. Decide to mop tonight after everyone lays down so there are no footprints in the clean floor as it dries.
Go back to coffee pot and finish cleaning. Wash hands and add burn spray again.
At this point , do you try again or just all load up in jammies and snuggies and go to see Lynette who you know always has fresh coffee and currently a lot of liquor to go in it?
She practically invented mornings. Just ask her Dear Hubby. She goes outside at the buttcrack of dawn and tells it to hurry up, she has things to do and doesn't like doing them in the dark. Yes to Lynette's we will go. I know she will offer me a cup before I can ask if she has any fresh. Then as I tell her about my morning she may even offer to hold the alcohol jugs up for me so I can stand under the tap with my mouth open.
Bundled up we are and open the front door to see this.
Yuck. The roads have been driven on and re-frozen in a solid sheet of black ice. Back inside we go.
So if anyone knows how to get the perfect cuppa coffee please share one with me. I need this, desperately.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day

Well, after 75 degrees on Saturday we reached a high of 23 degrees here today! Woohoo! I know its colder other places but this just doesn't happen here. We have what looks like snow but upon closer inspection is really a sleet, ice and snow mix. Very crunchy and not fun to play in at all. I have to say when I got up this morning I very excitedly went to the door because I had heard it start last night. I am from a more northern place in Texas so I wanted to build a snowman and make snow angels. Unfortunately the Poo still has a nasty cough and I could not drag her out on 25 mile per hour winds to play(much to her dismay).
So instead we decided to have a snow day. What is a snow day you ask? Well, I will tell you. For us, we decided silly string would be great fun.

We even attempted to ambush the Papa when he came home from work but our string wouldn't spray. The can I left attached to the front door for him miraculously worked great. Talk about karma!
Our poor dogs could not find a good place to hide as we chased each other with silly string through the house. Neither of us were aiming at them but you could not have convinced them of that fact. Also, since our house is old and drafty(like the windows are wide open drafty) we decided to bake to keep the house warmer. The Poo loves to mix and add ingredients so that was lots of fun for her. We even put together a princess puzzle and wore our princess power rings.
Loads of fun for a little princess. We managed to make a large bread pudding with dulce de leche to put on top, a cinnamon swirl bread, chocolate chip cookies, and baked spaghetti with garlic bread.
Not a bad day at all. She had a good time and I got some cleaning done.
Most importantly we stayed WARM!!