Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reality Check

    Tonight I had a much-needed mop night.  Not that my floors were all that dirty, but I truly needed the relaxation, and nothing else has been working.  As I was bent down sweeping a bit of dirt into a dust pan, my darling J walks up behind me and notices a few of the rashes that have been breaking out on my neck.  His question: "Do I really stress you out that bad?"  Growing up I was taught that honesty is the best policy, so my response? "Yeah; you do."  Bless his heart, he just nodded and accepted this.  Before long he headed upstairs to avoid my "craziness".

      I think there's something to be said for reality.  As one who loves to read and write, I have a hard time on occasion differentiating between fantasy and reality.  While J was deployed I would act out "real life" scenarios in my head.  Mop night was one of them.  I'd start piling things up on the couch to get them off of the floor, and he'd make a joke about a tornado coming through.  Laughing I'd hand him the broom while I got the Swifter, and we'd meet in the middle.  Then we'd each grab a mop and knock out the chore in record time.  I know it's so very corny, but I was really excited to try this with him.  Reality was nothing of the sort, of course.  Now that he's home on mop night I banish him and his dog to the upstairs half of the house and do everything on my own.   I think that maybe it's better that way.

   My husband and I are far past the can't-keep-my-hands-off-you, want-to-stay-up-and-watch-you-sleep type of love, but I think that in some ways, it's better that way.  As much as I love Beauty and the Beast, Gone with the Wind, and Pride and Prejudice, I know that that's not the real world.  Maybe love isn't being a prostitute who has a heart of gold and gets swept off her feet by a charming millionaire.  Maybe love is being a bit of a control freak and finding someone who accepts that, even if they don't always understand it.

    I guess I need to get off of the internet.  J is making sleep look a little too tempting.

    Well, what do you know?  I guess I still do like to watch him sleep.  :-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


OMG!!!!  It is SOOOO good to be back in the 21st century!  Blogging, how I've missed you!!!!!

   This past week has been too crazy to not have a blog to turn to!  Our internet problem has finally been solved, though, so I'll be back in full force; I promise.  No sighing; you know you're happy about it ;-)  So what has happened since my last post?

   Last Tuesday I started a new job as a secretary at a locally owned supply company here in Gulfport.  I'm basically answering phones, typing invoices, and managing the front door.  It's very easy, but I get paid, so I'm not complaining.  There are no women in our branch, just a few good ol' country boys, so although I'm a bit disappointed in the lack of gossip material, I am happy to be drama-free.  On the work end, at least.

   Home life has been nuts!  "Daddy's home" has meant everything I feared and more, but I think I'm handling it fantastically. Well....more or less.  At any rate, I haven't killed him.   Yet.

  Monkey has been doing great.  She is loving the fact that she has someone else in the house to terrorize, and she's been doing a good job of it.  Watching Monkey manipulate and trick her Daddy into letting her have her way has almost made up for the extra dishes, laundry and general cleaning.  We'll see how long it takes him to realize she can call up tears out of nowhere and stem their flow just as quickly.

  "The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same."  That's a part of a song, if I'm not mistaken.  Even if not, it's true.  Monkey and I still do our "weekly" letter, but I'm using the term "weekly" loosely because we haven't been able to make it to the library in about two weeks.  We're still on the letter "R", but that's okay.  Unlike "Q" there are quite a few "r" words out there.  Here "r" a few of our crafts:

    I believe I mentioned this in my last post, but here's the picture that I couldn't add last time.

   Monkey and I made ^this collage the other day.  She and I went through a magazine, finding anything red.  She had fun with this one.

   This one is probably my favorite.  It's a little robot that we made from stuff around the house.  The head is an empty spool from some ribbon I had bought, the hair is made of pipe cleaners, the arms and legs are paper towel tubes, and the body is a shoebox.  I wrapped everything in construction paper, and Monkey decorated each part.

Then, using a hot-glue gun, I put it all together for her.  She loves it, and has been playing with it ever since.

  I stumbled across this on pinterest the other day, and I decided I had to make it for Monkey.

It's bath-time paint made out of shaving cream and food coloring.  I mixed it all up in an old egg carton, and let her go to town.  She loved being able to vandalize the bathroom wall with no repercussions.  Here are a few shots of her fun in the tub:

     I also got a chance to try a new recipe this week for Chicken Stroganoff.  It was a yummy and easy meal.  It's a good week-night go-to that I'll be making again in the near future, I'm sure.  Here's the recipe:

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more if needed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more if needed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup minced shallots
8 ounces sliced mushrooms 
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon, plus 6-8 sprigs for garnish
1/4 cup sour cream

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on each side. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven to finish cooking.

Meanwhile, to the same skillet, add 2 teaspoons oil and heat up until hot. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until they're a light golden color, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until slightly softened.

Turn heat to high and pour in Marsala, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add chicken stock, stir, and boil until the liquid begins to thicken to a syrup consistency, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat and whisk in the mustard and minced tarragon. Simmer for 3 minutes.

Turn off heat and whisk in sour cream, stirring until smooth. Turn heat to low, taste and salt/pepper more if necessary. 

Remove chicken from oven and add  it to the pan.

I served mine with mashed potatoes, and it was super yummy.

   I know this is pathetic, but I really think I was losing my sanity without this outlet.  I'm so glad for the modern convenience that allows me to air out all of my thoughts while simultaneously providing entertainment for all of you bored folks who read this.  I've really missed this, and I'm so glad to be back. :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chicken Noodle Soup for The-Worst-Pet-Owner-of-the-Year-Award-Winner's Soul

 Yes, if there was an award for the worst pet owner of the year, I’m fairly certain I would be the winner.  (Or at least the runner up.)  But we’ll get to that in a minute.
    As you are well aware, my darling husband, J, is home.  His birthday was Saturday, and as per his request we made a trip to our hometown so that he could celebrate with his family.  We left Friday evening after dinner, and we got home about an hour or so ago.  It was a very pleasant trip filled with too much food and just enough visiting.  It was fairly uneventful.  I do have to say though, I was surprised at how many jokes I found myself being the butt of due to my newly acquired accent.  Evidently I’ve been living in south Mississippi too long, because it’s starting to show.  I didn’t expect to get so many comments however, especially considering I moved from a town in south Louisiana that only two hours away from my new home.  I also found it funny that the main person making the jokes was my older sister.  She may be an English major, but she is also the one who pronounces ass, as if she can’t get enough of the “a”.  I can just hear her now, “Michael! Get off that four-wheeler!  Well, don’t come cryin’ to me if a snake jumps up and bites you on the aaaass!!!”
   I may be paraphrasing, but I promise it’s only slightly.  It’s all in good fun anyway.
   After a rather fun weekend, we came home today, and as soon as I opened the door I could tell something was off.  We had left our dog, Roux, with a friend, but we left VooDoo, our inside kitty, with enough food, water and litter to be okay on his own for the two days we were gone.  When I walked in, however, I didn’t smell anything from the litter box.  Upon closer inspection, I realized that there was nothing in there.  His food looked untouched as well.  Then I heard him.  His meow was so soft and pathetic I raced upstairs.  It was coming from the guest room, and the door was closed!  I yanked that door open to find my poor baby had been stuck in there ever since at least 3:00 pm on Friday afternoon.  
   I immediately brought him downstairs, and practically shoved him face-first into his food bowl.  After that, I put darling J to work cleaning up any messes.  (My only defense is I hardly ever go into that guest room, so someone else had to have shut him in there by mistake.)  Although VooDoo has not suffered any real damage, he is alternating between walking around the house howling miserably, rubbing up against my hand furiously as if he can’t get enough affection, or just sitting down in front of me, glaring and making a low pathetic meow as if to say, “Nice going, mom!”  Unfortunately he’s not buying the whole “It wasn’t me; it was your daddy” line.  (Even though it’s completely true.)  Here’s hoping he doesn’t decide to retaliate.  I mean, his name is “VooDoo” after all.   O.o
   On that note, I think it’s a comfort food type of night, so I’m going to share a recipe for one of my favorite comfort foods: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.  This is a Paula Deen recipe (of course).  Be warned, it makes a bunch of soup, so if J's gone, I usually cut it in half and still have enough to freeze.

Chicken Noodle Soup
3 pounds skinless chicken breasts  (You want the bones for flavor.)
6 quarts chicken broth
4 bay leaves
3 cups diced carrot
3 cups diced celery
2 cups diced onion
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
8 oz egg noodles
Place chicken in a large stockpot or Dutch oven.  Add chicken broth and bay leaves.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 40 minutes.  Add carrot, celery, onion, seasonings, and return to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from soup.  Remove and discard bones.  Coarsely chop chicken and set aside.  Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat.  Add noodle.  Cook for 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Add chopped chicken; cook for 2 minutes or until heated through.  Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.   

The perfect trio: Chicken Noodle Soup, Ritz crackers, and Sweet Tea

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

He's Home

   It's a very wonderful thing that as I'm typing this, my husband is sleeping quietly next to me.  I've tried to start this several times, but I keep getting stuck on where to begin.  My head is still trying to wrap itself around "he's home" and everything that that entails.  Tess, whose husband also came home last night, told me that she still feels like she is in a dream.  For me it's more like every time I think it's real something else comes up to show me just how "real" it is.  I finally think "okay, now he's home" but then he starts unpacking or sits down at the table with us to eat, and it hits me all over again.

   So where to begin?

   I knew about a week ago that my husband would be coming home yesterday, but of course, I couldn’t share this with anyone.  (And fear of letting it slip is why I haven't been blogging much.)  On Monday I found out the time.  We were to be at the training hall on base at 8:00 pm, and the buses would arrive anywhere between 8:30 and 9:00 pm.  Keeping that in mind, Monday night I mopped which was the last “main chore” I felt needed to be finished before I could properly welcome my husband home.  So all day Tuesday I had little to do.  I went grocery shopping; I painted Monkey’s fingers and toes.  I painted my toes, and then realized that I had been chomping away at my fingernails.  8:00 just couldn’t come fast enough.  Finally, I made dinner, fed and bathed Monkey, and we dressed for Homecoming.  We were all dolled up and ready to leave at 7:30.  There was no way I was going to hold it together for thirty more minutes.  I think God must have realized that because just then my phone rang, and Tessua was telling me she needed help with her dress.  Before she even finished her sentence I was loading up the Monkey and heading out the door.  
   This is where things got interesting.
   As I’m backing out of the driveway, I happen to look across the street to see an amazing sight.  My cat, Gumbo, who has been missing for for three months was wandering around the other side of my subdivision.  I rolled my window down shouting "Here kitty, kitty, kitty!" and clucking at her.  She froze, looked me in the eye, and then kept walking.  I pulled my car to the street she was on, and opened the door to go get her, only to realize that I was barefoot.  (It has been brought to my attention that driving barefoot is illegal, but to anyone who has seen me try to walk in high heels, I think you'd understand why I was not willing to risk driving in them.)  This realization brought on a five minute battle to get my beautiful pink high-heels on before running out into the street like a crazy person.  As fate would have it, by this point Gumbo had already ran back across to my street.  The idea that it might not be legal and wise to leave my car parked, running, with the door wide open and my daughter in the back seat to chase after a mutt cat who had abandoned me three months ago never entered into this equation.  I just saw my kitty and ran after her.  Thankfully she finally realized who I was and rolled over onto her back, waiting for me to come to her and give her a belly rub.  I gathered her up, trying not to let her get too close to my dress (I don't know where she's been), and managed to throw her into the car before she started scratching.  I pulled the car back into my garage, threw her inside, and then realized "Oh shittake mushrooms!  I just locked two aggressive cats who have never seen each other in the same house".  At this point however, it was 7:45 and I had to go help Tess.  Sending up a prayer that I would not come home to a dead or seriously injured kitty, I left.

  Once we got to Tess' house, helped her with her dress, let Monkey potty, and had a few deep breaths, it was time to go.  We both headed towards the training hall.  When we got there, we met back up with Tess and another friend and fellow Navy wife who was there to take pictures for me.  Now there was nothing to do but wait.  Monkey didn't mind.  She was everywhere at once.  She was truly living up to her nickname with a few of her antics.  Finally, those pretty pink high heels had to come off again in order to keep up with her.  I remember my friend asking me at one point, "Did you give her a pixie stick or something before you came?"  

  Needless to say none of this was doing anything to ease the stress I was beginning to feel.  All those earlier worries were beginning to creep back in.  What if he makes huge messes in the house and expects me to clean them?  What if he and Monkey don't click?  What if we've spent too much time apart?  Thankfully a voice broke into my musings to announce that the buses were coming through the main gate.

  I picked up Monkey and told her to look for the buses (or "big trucks") that would have her Daddy.  I explained that there were a bunch of people dressed up like Daddy, and we'd have to find him.  As the buses approached I can honestly say that those earlier fears seemed so silly.  He was coming home.  That's all that mattered.  I began to get emotional.  The buses parked along the street in front of us.  "Look for Daddy," I told Monkey.  I could feel the tears coming.  The doors opened.  I could hear Tess behind me, and I vaguely remember her saying something about seeing her husband.  I was semi aware of the camera flashing as Monkey and I waited, but mostly I was scanning faces.  Every face that was connected to a uniform.  None were familiar.  None were mine.

  Then out of nowhere I realize I'm being hugged, and fiercely.  I didn't even have to look to know that this one, this one is mine.  I lost all control and just sobbed into his shoulder.  I felt like there was nothing outside of that embrace.  Just me and him and Monkey.  

   Finally breaking away, but not letting go, I explained to Monkey (who was still scanning the crowds for her daddy) that this is him.  This is the one we've been waiting for.  It took her until we were in the car bringing him home to realize that yes, this was her daddy.  I heard her whisper, "My daddy." "Yes, baby, your daddy," I answered.  "He coming home with us," she whispered, and then she fell asleep.

   Last night I can say that I slept better than I have in months.  Just knowing that he's here, and he's safe and sound, means the world to me.  I'm not saying that life is going to be a rose garden or a picnic.  (I'm not *that* much of a hopeless romantic.)  All I know is, come what may, I'm grateful for the time we've been given together.

   Today marks our third anniversary.  They say that your first three years are the hardest, but that's just what I've read.  These haven't been easy years.  Not even before the military, but as cliche as it may seem, I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I *do* love my husband.

   "I love my husband; I love my husband; I love my husband; I love my husband O.o"

    ^ That was my cousin's Facebook status this morning, and I giggled at it for more than one reason.  First of all I was picturing her satirically witty husband following her around as she tries to get ready for work, poking her in the tummy just to bother her.  Then when she finally loses her temper, he says something like, "You need to quit this childish behavior; I'm getting so tired of being the only adult around here."   I also found it amusing, because I've had to remind myself of the same thing quite recently.

   Before I start let me just say that I do love my husband very much, so before anyone grabs their torches and pitchforks, shut up and listen.

   As I've mentioned before homecoming is right around the corner, but as the day draws closer, I find myself becoming more and more reluctant to have him home.  I've missed him like crazy, and I want him here with me and our daughter, but at the same time the thought petrifies me.  I have basically been on my own with our daughter since she was six months old.  He'd come visit whenever he could during training, which was usually one week every 3-4 months.  The longest we were ever in the same house was one month.  Now he's coming home for a year!  A whole year of his opinions, his point of view, his ideas, and his way of doing things. (All of which are the polar opposite of mine.)  I don't know if I'm ready for that.

  I want him here, but at the same time I don't know if I'm ready to relinquish the control over my life.  When I wake up, the bed gets made.  There are no dirty socks on my floor.  No one leaves cups half filled with juice all over the house (not even Monkey, because she does not waste good juice).  I mop every Monday.  I clean the bathrooms on Tuesday. I vacuum on Wednesday.  Thursday is dusting day, and on Friday I bathe the mutt.  If there is a mess, I clean it.  If there is a bill, I pay it.  It works for me, and I'm in total freak-out mode right now that it's all going to get shaken up.

  I do love my husband.  I do love my husband.  I do love my husband.  And he's not going to come in here a mess up my nicely and neatly ordered world.....I hope.

  One thing I am looking forward to, however, is having someone to cook for again.  And, yes, that brings me to a recipe. (Am I becoming predictable?)  I made these last night, and I didn't take any pictures, so go check these out on the original poster's page.  Oh, and once again, I got these from Taste and Tell.

Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
1/3 cup (3 oz) cream cheese
1/4 green salsa
1 TBS fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 TBS chopped cilantro
2 TBS sliced green onions
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
10-12 (6 inch) tortillas
2 TBS vegetable oil
non-stick cooking spray
kosher salt

Heat oven to 425F.  Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it lightly with cooking spray.  Heat cream cheese in microwave 20-30 seconds so it's soft and easy to stir.  Add salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Stir to combine.  Add cilantro, green onions, chicken and pepper jack cheese.  Wrap 3-4 tortillas in damp paper towels and microwave for 20-30 seconds so they are soft and pliable.  Place 2-3 TBS of chicken mix on the lower third of each tortilla, then roll. Place seam-side down on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Brush tops with oil, sprinkle salt over the tops.   Place the pan in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp, and the ends start to turn golden brown.

Creamy Cilantro- Lime Ranch Dressing
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup of green salsa
1 lime, juiced
1 pkg dry Ranch dressing mix
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
hot sauce to taste

Combine mayo, milk, lime juice, and Ranch mix in a blender or food processor.  Add garlic, cilantro, and green salsa, and blend until thoroughly mixed.  Season with hot sauce.  Refrigerate for several hours to allow it to thicken.

*I couldn't find green salsa, so I used regular salsa, and it was still yummy.*

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


  Yes, I need help.  Yes, I'm well aware of that. Yes, I'm writing another blog about the letter "Q"....

  ...but I promise it'll be a short one :-D

  I just had to share these, because they came out so cute!  I found the idea here.  They're supposed to be name cards, but I think they're cute just sitting on Monkey's dresser.  Are you ready for this?

Q-tip Lambs!
   They were so much fun that I had to try one too.  ^ That one's mine, and here's Ryleigh's:

   They were fairly simple too.  Cut an oval shape for the body out of white card stock.  It'll probably work better if it's not as big as mine.  Those q-tips got pretty heavy.  Then cut a small circle for the head. You'll need two clothespins for the legs, and a ton of q-tips.  Cut the cotton part off, leaving about 1/4 inch of the stem on there.  And don't forget the Elmer's glue.

   For Ryleigh's I just rubbed the glue all over the body and let her go to town placing the q-tips however she wanted.
She's formulating her plan of attack.

"All done!"

   While hers was drying, she painted with q-tips a bit more, and I set to work on mine.  Basically, you have to line the q-tips up in a semi-circle, working from the back to the front.

Then you layer one semi-circle on top of the next.

   Once you've finished, and they've had time to dry, glue three little tips onto the forehead to give the little lamb bangs.  Then glue two longer tips to each side of the lambs head to form ears.  Draw a  little face.  I used a hot-glue gun to glue the faces on and to glue the clothespins to the back of the card stock to form the legs.

   Voila!  Q-tips lambs.

   Oh, and because we had leftovers tonight, I'm going to share a favorite breakfast recipe.  These are French Breakfast Muffins, and because I'm being lazy and my internet is annoying me again this evening you actually have to click the link to get the recipe.   That's right, no copying and pasting for y'all tonight :-P  Oh, and although I love these muffins, they are not all that the original poster makes them out to be.  So enjoy them because they are yummy, but don't expect to have some sort of food revelation because of them.

Monkey approved

Q is for....

   My internet has been being difficult the past few nights, so I apologize for the absence.  As you all know by now on Thursdays we switch to a new letter.  Well, we're on "Q", you know, that letter everyone gets stuck on when they're in the car playing the "ABC game" to pass the time on a long road trip.  It's only slightly better than "X", which my family skips altogether.  That being said, I've been racking my brains for something to do with "Q".  Go figure, it was Monkey who inspired me.  When I was giving Roux her weekly "mange bath", Monkey was "bathing" her stuffed puppy.  This held her attention for about two minutes.  Then she began de-cluttering the contents of my bathroom cabinet.  That's when I saw them: Q-tips!!!  I was so excited!  Possibly too excited, but what can I say?  I have no life :-P  I have a few q-tip-related crafts lined up that we'll probably do today and tomorrow.  For now, I've been letting Monkey paint with Q-tips.

   She seemed to be enjoying herself, but then she went Rambo on me...

I think that's her battle cry.
   We also didn't make it to story time last week, which means we didn't check out "My Little Q Book", so we're making our own.  It's not finished, but here are a few shots of what we have so far:

Making the Q pretty.
Monkey dresses our main character, Quinton.

She's having trouble with Queen Elizabeth's hair.
She finally got it with a little help.

Decorating the quicksand.

"I'm done now Mommy."

   Her attention span gave out, so we'll come back to this later.

   Last night I got to do one of my favorite things, cook for a friend.  I love cooking for people.  It's one of those things that just make me feel good.  I made a Cheddar Chicken Broccoli Braid.  I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult than it was.  This actually would make a perfect weeknight meal.  Here we go:

Cheddar Chicken Broccoli Braid

2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cooked, chopped broccoli
1/2 cup light mayo
2 cans of crescent rolls
1 egg yolk
fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 375.  On parchment paper lined cookie sheet, spread crescent rolls length wise to form a long rectangle.  Press each of the seams to form a single layer of dough. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cheese, broccoli and mayonnaise.  Spread mixture over the center of the croissant dough evenly to create a log.  Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal strips 1 inch apart down each side of the crescent dough.  Fold the dough strips over the top of the chicken mixture, alternating left and right to create a braid.  Brush the top of the braid with a beaten egg yolk and sprinkle fresh rosemary on top.  Bake for 28 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

I'll definitely be adding this to my "make again" list.  I hope y'all enjoy it too :-)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Season of the Witch

and I'm not talking about the Nicholas Cage movie.

     It really seems to be a hot topic lately, but you had to assume it would come up at some point.  I mean, I am a woman writing a blog while my husband's deployed, and I'm emotional on a good day.  So yeah, it was bound to happen, and here it is.....a blog about PMS.

   No, guys it's too late to turn back.  Besides, you younger ones may learn something.  And y'all older, wiser men, well y'all may well get a kick out of my husband's folly.

   Yesterday half of our battalion came home.  You know, the half that didn't include my husband.  Needless to say, I was already in for a cry at some point, but it came a little earlier than I expected.  After breakfast I was sitting on the couch on the phone with my husband and this is along the lines of what was said:

Me:  "Man, I want chocolate (because every hormonal, PMSing, crazy, fire-breathing, bitch-dragon wants chocolate).  Ooooo, I made brownies, and I have a few left.  Ah, but they're all the way in the fridge.
Darling Husband:  "Ha! You don't need to eat a brownie."
Me:  "OMG, did you really just say that?"
Darling Husband: "No, I just meant if you're too lazy to get off the couch to get one, then no, you don't need one."

Cue the tears.

   A note to all you clueless guys out there, when back-peddling, try not to trip over yourself.  Also don't follow up a comment like ^that with one like this:

Darling Husband:  "Oh, you're PMSing?"
Me: "Yeah."
Darling Husband:  "I don't get why that automatically gives women the right to go crazy and be total witches."
Me:  "For the same reason men having a certain member automatically makes them dumb asses!"

Maybe I just need to go drink some milk!

    On another note, I did actually watch The Season of the Witch tonight.  Well, to be honest, I plugged it in and scanned pinterest for cute shoes.  I don't know why, but I just couldn't get into it.  Part of me was worried that if I got sucked into it and it turned out creepy I wouldn't be able to sleep tonight.  Another part of me could not get into a movie where men hanged women and then drowned them simply because they were women, and they were caught petting a black kitty.

   Perhaps I should attempt to watch it when I'm feeling a little more forgiving towards the opposite sex.  Either way I think I'm safe from nightmares.  The effects were totally cheesy, but it is a Nicholas Cage film.  Also, I caught myself giggling inappropriately because there's a priest named "De Balzak".  Hmmm....I wonder what that's French for......

   On that note I don't have a recipe for you.  Or a craft.  I'm sorry if you feel like I've wasted your time, but hey, it made me feel better.

   Oh wait, no.  That was the ice cream.

   Because it's made with milk!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Good Food

   Last night I hosted another Girls' Game Night, which would explain my absence from the blogging universe yesterday.  It was a well-needed get-together with a group of hilarious ladies that I truly enjoy spending time with.  These gatherings remind me that I'm not alone in this crazy military lifestyle.  And I must say, there's nothing like a night full of turkey basters and corn dogs sitting in Santa's soggy lap to make you feel like you're not alone ;-)

   On that note, perhaps I should move on to what I know you all came here for:  recipes!  Yes, I've guessed your true motives at last! Muahahahaha!!!!

  Sorry, sometimes I can't control the voices.

  As I said, recipes!  I have two for y'all tonight. 

  The first is Buffalo Chicken Wraps. 

  I found these babies on that same blog I seem to be obsessed with lately, Taste and Tell.  They were super yummy, and very easy to make.  Although, next time I'll have to double everything because I was only able to make 8 of these wraps, even though I swear I followed her recipe to a T.

   Well here it is (unaltered):

egg roll wrappers

1/2 – 2/3 cup hot sauce

1 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 cup cole slaw (dry)

1 cup cooked, shredded chicken

Preheat the oven to 400F.
In a bowl, mix together the chicken and the hot sauce.
Lay one egg roll wrapper on your work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the slaw on a diagonal at the bottom right of the egg roll wrapper. Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken on, followed by 1 tablespoon of blue cheese.

To fold: Fold the bottom corner over the filling. Fold in the bottom left, followed by the right, so it now looks like an envelope. Roll the wrap, but leave the top corner open. Dip your fingers in a small bowl of water and wet the edges of the open corner. Fold the corner over the eggroll. The water will help to seal the eggroll wrapper to itself.
Repeat with the remaining rolls. Place the rolls on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Spray the rolls with non-stick cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
These were so very good and filling too.  We had them with a side of cole slaw and ranch for dipping.  Monkey approved.

   As good as these were, they weren't hitting the spot.  You see, I've been having a craving for La Madeline's tomato basil soup.  I remember many days just hanging out with my high school bffs, eating a half chicken salad sandwich with a cup of their soup.  Those were good times.  Since I have yet to find a La Madeline's around this area, I decided to skim foodgawker to see if I could find a recipe.  To this day I haven't been let down by that sight, so here it is, the recipe that is so simple and yummy it's going to replace noodles as my go-to comfort food.  (It's probably better for me too.)
Mine's a bit different from the original because I was improvising with what I had.
1 can (400 g) diced tomatoes
1 can water (use empty tomato can)
1 large onion, chopped
3 TBS minced garlic
2 tsp dark brown sugar
2 TBS heavy cream
A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
basil leaves (I didn't have fresh ones, so I used dried)
Saute onions until soft and translucent. 

Add garlic and fry until fragrant. Pour in canned tomaotes, water, sugar and bring to boil. 

Leave this to simmer for about 10 mins. Then blend...

 until smooth 

Stir in Worcestershire sauce and cream. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Lastly, stir in basil leaves.


   Have you ever seen Ratatouille?   If not I'm about to ruin the ending for you.  There's a part at the end where this big-time critic is about to taste the chef's food, and it's the moment of truth.  He takes that first bite, and everything around him disappears.  He's rushed back to childhood, and the smell from his mother's version of the same recipe come rushing towards him.  That's how this was.  I took a bite of that soup, and I was 17 again, hanging out with my best friends, laughing and cutting up.  I remembered taking my boyfriend (now husband) there before combing the bookstore conveniently placed next door.  La Madeline's soon became "our place".  We'd go there every chance we got.  I can't wait until he comes home again so I can make this for him. 
   Perhaps that's why I love food so much.  Just like a song can take you back 10 years to a simpler time, so can the taste of really good food.  "Good food brings people together from all walks of life, and it puts little smiles on their faces and warms them up inside."

Why, yes, I did just quote a Disney movie.  

And it was epic :-P