Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I grew up on beans and cornbread - it was a staple in my mom's kitchen repertoire and her childhood as well, which she imparted on us. I have fond memories of those pinto beans soaking for what seemed like days, and the salty, smoky hamhock falling to pieces once they were finally done. While my childhood cornbread usually came from a box (and, honestly, mine often still does), it was delicious with the meal and later with dark Karo syrup on top as a sweet treat.
PW's beans were great and easy and made a ton, so much that I still have a carton in my freezer. The skillet cornbread had a weird taste to me - I think it was the use of Crisco - so I didn't like it that much. My vote? Beans - yep. Cornbread - pass.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
But not yet. You see, I've been baking and broiling and beating for months now, and am just finally getting around to posting about some of the recipes. So beware, the rest of my posts for 2010 are likely to be a flurry of frantic kitchen tidbits about all the cooking that's bein' done up in here.
I made these muffins that are dipped in butter and rolled in sugar and cinnamon after baking them a while back, but they didn't last long. I've said it before, but PW sure knows her sweet stuff and I think baking is really her strong suit. These things are yummy and tasted a bit like donuts so, duh, um, I LOVE THEM. And you will, too.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
PW's Chicken Spaghetti is basically a creamy chicken casserole with spaghetti, a very yummy comfort food dish. While PW calls for boiling a whole chicken and cutting it up and using it, we used a store bought rotisserie chicken instead. (TIP: saving the carcass to boil down with some fresh herbs into chicken stock for soup is highly recommended!) Eric's conclusion: delish. Mine: just okay. Kinda reminds me of a casserole a church might provide for a funeral service.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Along with the change in seasons and weather comes the inside time after a long summer spent under the blue skies. I like that shift indoors, even though with it comes bigger messes and the occasional bouts of cabin fever. Luckily, we've got things we love to keep us busy this time of year - our overflowing bookshelves and my trusty Singer sewing machine. As always, I'm really big on recycling old things into new and love the challenge an overlooked object presents. Over the past few months I've discovered a really great way to use the girls tattered, torn, or stained clothes and make them into something new and usable.
I've been cutting out patterns or appliques from undamaged parts of their old t-shirts and making them into 'patches' to cover up small stains or tears on perfectly good wear. You can see here I covered the bum in a pair of Alice's blue shorts with a pink ballerina and cut some hearts from another tee for her little turtleneck. I've been using whatever fun color of thread is currently in my machine to add to the funkability factor of these patchwork items and I love the way cotton jersey rolls a little when you stitch it on.
Another great idea (which I stole from this blog) was to cut off the girls' pants into shorts when they still fit everywhere but the length. We did this all summer with jeans and 'jama pants and it's a great way to prolong the life of clothes, especially with wee ones that grow so fast. (We did the same with Alice's onesies, making them into little t-shirts.) I discovered that Alice's tiny pant legs, when cut off and turned upside down, looked like the perfect doll skirts, with the elastic waists already in place.
So one night Lucy cut out patches and picked cute stitches on my machine and we whipped up four skirts in no time flat! We could've cut some shorter for baby dolls like this one (or even added straps!) but thought it looked cute as a strapless dress, even though it's a wee bit inappropriate for a baby her age.
My friend Kristyn gave me this cute idea the other day for the month of October: gather all your Halloween books into a basket for a special seasonal reading nook. This is especially great for those parents, like me, who are a little too unorganized to put away holiday books and only pull them out once a year.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
All this self-centered talk makes me feel guilty, though. Especially since I'm trying to balance four jobs on top of being a radical homemaker and a stay-at-home-mom. And I feel like I'm not on the top of my game with any of them. There's dried up cat puke next to my bed that's been there for days and Alice has watched too much Sid the Science Kid this past week. Not to mention that I've missed several of those bedtime kisses because I've been out conducting interviews for stories or meeting with artists or at historic preservation hearings lately. I'm trying desperately to work on balance, on what my family needs and what I need and be able to do it all with a little less grouchiness and a little more fun. It's hard.
2. Go to the Oscars.
3. Walk a marathon.
4. Stomp on grapes to make wine.
5. Host a dressy, adults only dinner party.
6. Sew myself a garment that I would wear in public.
7. Take a train ride.
8. Milk a cow.
9. Learn to make pasta from scratch.
10. Raise backyard pet chickens.
11. Have my hands painted in henna.
12. Get another tattoo.
13. Visit Paris.
14. Eat poutine in Quebec.
15. Take my daughters shopping for a prom dress.
16. Take Eric to a Broadway show in New York City.
17. Visit Ellis Island.
18. Own a small cabin in the mountains.
19. Take ballroom dance lessons.
20. Be in a movie.
21. Own a convertible.
22. Complete a paint-by-numbers painting.
23. Be a contestant on Wheel of Fortune.
24. Take piano lessons (again).
25. Learn Spanish.
26. Snorkel in Hawaii.
27. Rent a house in Mexico.
28. Take a painting class.
29. Have a girls-only spa day.
30. Host an under the stars movie night in my backyard.
31. Learn astronomy.
32. Have a birthday party for my house.
33. Restore a vintage travel trailer.
34. Grill salmon on a cedar plank.
35. Build a tipi.
36. Wallpaper a room.
37. Stay at the Horizon Hotel in Palm Springs.
38. Visit Bisbee, AZ just to stay at The Shady Dell.
39. Take a roadtrip along historic route 66.
40. Teach a Jazzercise class.
41. Obtain literary recognition for something I wrote.
42. Go clamming.
43. Stand inside the Taj Mahal.
44. Throw a block party.
45. Catch up on our family scrapbooks.
46. Deep fry doughnuts.
47. Try 100 cheeses.
48. Host an Oscars cocktail party.
49. Create a Halloween haunted house.
50. Own a three-wheeled bicycle.
51. Help deliver a baby.
52. Drive a bus.
53. Own a hearse.
54. Make corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day.
55. See the Watts Towers.
56. Take a class from Richard Simmons at SLIMMONS Studio in LA.
57. Visit Graceland during Elvis Week in August.
58. Watch a twilight film at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
59. Take a week and shop the World’s Longest Garage Sale.
60. Make a parade float.
61. Go kayaking.
62. Take a hot air balloon ride.
63. Enter something to be judged in the fair.
64. Own a pearl necklace.
65. Mosaic a piece of furniture.
66. Attend a Broncos football game at Taco Bell Arena.
67. Have sleepovers with my grandbabies.
68. Cook through an entire cookbook.
69. Visit the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
70. Rent a house for a week in Vermont at Christmastime.
71. Learn to make really good jalapeno poppers from scratch.
72. Brew my own beer with my husband.
73. Take a dip in a new Idaho hot spring each year.
74. Re-learn how to be silly.
75. Start a ladies golf league.
64. Own a pearl necklace. I've been wanting a real one for several years now and my stepsister, Angie, caught wind of it. She gave me a long, natural, cream-colored strand hand-strung by an Oregon jeweler as a thank you gift for officiating her wedding in July. I wore it to the ceremony. It's lovely and precious.