Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Sound of Pitter-Pattering Little Feet Usually Means Something Horrible is Happening

     My poor little blog was feeling so neglected, it logged me out of my account.  It was rather snooty too when I tried to log in.  It was all "Do you have a blog?"  Lately, the answer depends on the day I guess.  Oh well, I have a few spare minutes to try to squeeze in one more entry for this month.

     Besides running around trying to keep up with school, I've been chasing my little Monkey around.  I think I set myself up for failure by giving her that nickname.  It seems she's taken it as a personal challenge to live up to it in every way possible.  The night before last I put her to bed before heading off to shower.  It wasn't long before I heard those little feet going up and down the stairs.  I begrudgingly turned the shower off, got dressed and went to investigate.  I found Monkey standing next to her bed, wiping some kind of white powder off of her pajamas.  My mind immediately went to the Clorox I had been using to clean the bathrooms just a few hours before, but I reassured myself that I had put that way out of reach, hadn't I?  I rushed to the laundry room to check, taking Monkey with me to prevent her from licking the stuff off.  (You may laugh, but I wouldn't put it past her.)  On my way, I found a trail of the same white powder leading all the way down the stairs and into the laundry room/pantry.  I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that the Clorox was in its proper place on a high shelf.  The relief turned to frustration, though, when I saw the bag of flour half emptied onto the floor.  When I asked Monkey why she had gotten into the flour, she said she had wanted more cupcakes.  Confused, I just stared at her.  I had made cupcakes the day before, but those were in the kitchen, not the pantry.  That's when it clicked.  The flour bag had a picture of cupcakes on the side.  

     Sighing, I cleaned Monkey up, put her back in bed, and cleaned up the flour mess before putting myself to bed.   Yesterday, I went to school as usual, and when I got home I thought I'd help myself to one of those yummy cupcakes that were still sitting in the kitchen.  I was sorely disappointed, however, when I lifted the lid and saw there were none left.  Apparently Monkey had polished off the remaining four cupcakes before venturing into the pantry in search of more, and that's when she saw the bag of flour.  I was laughing too hard to even be frustrated.  The best part is that my child did all this and managed to get back to her room before I could even make it out of the bathroom.  The next 15 years are going to be interesting to say the least.

     I was going to insert a very funny eCard that was highly applicable to my awesome story, but I can't find it!  Oh well, here's a yummy recipe instead:

Pasta Salad

1 lb Tri-color Rotini
1 can sliced black olives, drained
1/4 red onion
1/2 cup diced Mozzarella chunks
1/2 cup sliced grape tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup peeled and quartered cucumber
1/2 cup Italian dressing (I usually add a little more at the end)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook Rotini according to package directions; drain and rinse with cold water.  Once cooled, mix with other ingredients in a serving bowl.  Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.  Enjoy!

     This is seriously one of my favorite side dishes for get togethers.  I'm not a big fan of pasta salad, but this is the perfect amount of some of my favorite veggies.  Monkey enjoys it too.

     Well I guess I need to get off of here and return to my studying.  Finals are in less than two weeks  O.O

Monday, November 5, 2012

I'm Thankful for Bacon

   On the way to school this morning Monkey was reciting her numbers for me, and I was enjoying listening to her prattle along.  Then something caught my attention.

Monkey:  "11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17..."

Me:  "Wait a second, what happened to 14?"

Monkey:  "He got stuck in the mud."

Me: .....

   I swear that child doesn't miss a beat.  She never passes up an opportunity to make me laugh.  She's pretty witty, and I'm so thankful to have her in my life.

   Speaking of being thankful, it is November, and I've notice quite a few people doing a daily "I'm thankful for..." status update of Facebook.  That gave me a cute idea.  Instead of a daily Facebook status, Monkey and I are doing a thankful tree.  Everyday we write one thing Monkey is thankful for on a leaf, and she adds it to the tree.  We'll keep this up until Thanksgiving when I'll post a picture of the finished product.  Here's a preview, though:

     I think we're off to a good start :-)  I also have an amazing recipe to share tonight for Honey Mustard Chicken.  Before I get to the recipe, let me just say, I had a go-to recipe for this dish.  Had.  This one is better, so that other one has officially been replaced.  Here it is:

Honey Mustard Mozzarella Chicken
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup mustard (I ran out of regular mustard, so I mixed 1/4 cup Dijon with 1/4 regular; it was perfect)
lemon pepper to taste
4 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375.  Place chicken breasts in 2-qrt baking dish.  Cover with mustard and honey.  Sprinkle with lemon pepper.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Add two bacon slices to each chicken breast.  Cover with mozzarella.  Return to oven and bake 10 more minutes, or until bacon is crispy and cheese is bubbly.  Enjoy!

     Well this is going to be a short post, because my child is jumping on my back as I type, hollering, "Pony! Pony!"  Y'all have a good night :-)

Update:  As promised, here's Monkey's finished tree:

Friday, November 2, 2012

Catching Up

     Only one post last month?  Geez I have some catching up to do!  Most of y'all know that I've been keeping my nose to the grindstone, trying to stay ahead of the curve at school.  I came up for air today and realized we only have 5 weeks until finals, and one of those is Thanksgiving week.  I feel like this semester has flown by, and I'm not sure I'm ready for it to end.
     Besides school, I've been keeping busy with my biggest sewing project yet.  Drumroll, please....

     Monkey requested to be Rapunzel this year for Halloween, and I was all too happy to oblige when I found this awesome free tutorial for making the dress yourself!  In case you didn't see the link to the wig on my previous post, here it is.  This outfit was a total success, and I even found a paper Pascal to put on Monkey's shoulder.

     She nixed the wig after about 5 minutes, but people still got the gist.  She should have gone as Flynn Rider, as sneaky as she was being with the candy.  She'd go up to someone, say "Trick-or-treat", receive her candy, wait until they looked at the next kid, and then she'd reach into the bowl and help herself to a few more pieces.  It took me a few times of watching for it to click that she really was doing that.  Oh well, more KitKats for Mommy ;-)
      Speaking of treats for Mommy, I am so excited that the latest Cooking with Paula Deen issue had a recipe for Kettle Corn, and y'all know I have to share it, because it's perfect for this time of year.

Kettle Corn
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Add a few kernels; cover until they pop.  Add sugar and remaining kernels, quickly stir and replace the lid.  Shake pan for 2-4 minutes or until popcorn is completely popped.  Transfer popcorn to a large bowl.  Remove unpopped kernels, and sprinkle with salt.  Enjoy :-)