Tuesday, April 27, 2010

HA! That'll Teach Him! (well, probably it wont...)

So, I've been nagging my husband to do a few things around the house for, well, for ever. Of course, home maintenance is somewhere down the list after "go for a walk" and possibly even after "back waxing"... suffice it to say, there is not a lot of hope that he'll ever get some of these things done.

This leaves me with three options; Pay someone else- I'm too cheap to do that, Coerce someone else- the other wives are starting to wonder why the menfolk are all over here fixing things instead of sitting at home NOT fixing things, OR I can do it my own, Elisheba, self. eeeeeek!

Ok, FINE, I will install my own coat hooks!

So here in the first picture, you can see I am using the very scientifically sound method of "eyeballing" it. I notice that the hooks are pretty much exactly as wide as the whatchamacallit in the door! How convenient!

Now that I'm pretty sure it's centered-ish, I'm gonna use some painter's tape to hold it up there while I go find the drill! Painters tape is GREAT, cause it comes off nicely when it's done :)

Found the drill, and got the first and second screw in without breaking anything OR hurting myself! YAY! But wait, the third screw is defective and the drill bit won't go into it far enough to turn it... Oh well.
TaDa! Now we can hang up our "wear them all the time" coats and the doggie stuff without having to worry about avalanching all the other stuff in my closet!
Oh yes, I am REALLY impressed with myself!
I just wanted YOU all to know how awesome it is to do it yourself (once in awhile)...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Not just for Fish&chips

Although, I prefer malt vinegar for my battered ocean goodies... Plain white vinegar is a wonderful thing to keep around the home.

Beyond your Nana using it to clean the windows with wads of newspaper, here are 3 good uses you might not have thought of...

  • Sprinkle or spray on pet messes after initial clean up, even after you can't smell the vinegar, your dog can and they won't want to use that spot again ( you may as well hose all your floors with the stuff and be done with it)
  • Replace buttermilk in recipes- add 1 tbsp to scant 1 cup of milk to "sour" it, this is standard for pastry, but you can do this for buttermilk biscuits and pancakes too.
  • "Fix" the dye in an over-dyed garment- when you're tired of that pretty red blouse turning everything pink, toss it a sink full of cold water and 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Gently agitate by hand and leave to soak overnight. After soaking, rinse garment well, and hand wash with gentle detergent. If it's still "bleeding" you can repeat the process.
There's a gazillion lists on the net for using vinegar to clean, so I won't repeat them all here, but these 3 didn't come up anywhere I looked! So there, you learned something new!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Marvelous Muffin Making Method Minus Muffin pans.

Oh, I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself :D

I noticed the other day that among other things, I have permanently misrelocated my muffin pans. I haven't seen them in AGES. So last week I made muffin batter and stuck it in a mini- loaf pan, and while it was tasty, it just wasn't the same.

Again today, I had an urge for muffins (banana pumpkin to be precise), and wondered whether I could make them like this (see pictures).

Any old baking pan will do but I opted for two of my straight sided small cake pans.
It's probably not such a good Idea to over fill them.
I guess there's no rule that muffin bottoms HAVE to be perfectly round! And if there were such a rule, I would laugh in the face of said rule, and say- FINE! I'm not sharing my gimpy banana pumpkin muffins with YOU!

bwaa haa haaaaa!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"What is that purple thing in the refrigerator? You aren't going to make me eat that are you?"

Well dear, it's an Eggplant, and it's actually a kind of berry, and no, I bought it so it could rot in there.

That was my grown husband, not my son.

I bought an eggplant last week because they were there, and I love fried eggplant and zucchini and polenta. The guys won't touch the stuff, and I wouldn't share it if they did. Unfortunately, the zombies at the store had never even heard of polenta, never mind knew where it might be, so me and my eggplant went home to stare at eachother until I could figure out how to do it in.

"Hubba Ghanouj"- this experiment turned out WAAAYY better than the Chikin Pancakes ;)

1 whole regular eggplant, unpeeled
5 cloves garlic (NO LESS)
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1/4 cup of olive oil

coat the bottom of your casserole with a generous amount of olive oil, chopped garlic, half the chopped spinach, salt and pepper. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and layer in the dish. Baste the topside of the slices liberally with remaining olive oil, more garlic, salt and pepper, and toss the rest of the spinach on top.

Bake in 450 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Let the whole lot cool down enough to handle it, dump it ALL into a large bowl (or your blender or your food processor), and murder it to death. You want to blend all of the ingredients into a puree.
Add 1 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream.

Cover and refrigerate. The longer it waits, the better the tastes will blend.

you can eat it with flatbread, or tortilla chips, and its ALL good for you!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Really Yummy

Say Hooraaaay! It's a FOOD post!

Sorry, nothing clever to talk about today, also, I had to change the template back- I just couldn't stand not having the dashboard link at the top. I'm wiped out, and the 2 kids I have today are proving to be more work than the 4.5 I had yesterday! Go figure! The weather is kinda crummy, I'm stiff from my workout last night, and all I can think of at the moment is food.

My cholesterol 'issue' has made eggs into a Big Bad No-No, but I loooove eggs, and now I'm craving eggs, and today Imma gonna EAT eggs!

Egg Salad on English Muffins- open faced

  • Boil 2-3 eggs for 5 or so minutes (really, I just guess when they're done. I have to get one of those thingys that you stick in the pot and it changes color when the eggs are ready)

  • Cool the eggs by leaving them under running water for a bit

  • peel the eggs

  • now, if you're trying to avoid cholesterol poisoning, you can actually take the yolk out! I left them in today

  • slice them into a bowl

  • add 2 tbsp mayo/miracle whip/"mayonnaise type dressing"

  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard

  • handful of chopped green onion

  • salt and lots of pepper

  • toast and butter english muffin

  • squish the eggs and stuff together

  • put it on the toast....

total prep time is only 10 minutes, though I really prefer COLD egg salad on hot buttered toast. Doing it all at once means the eggs are still warm, and you might not like that.

Also, it doesn't hurt to boil up 6 or so eggs and keep them in the fridge (good for about 5 days). You can add them to salad, send them in lunches or just snack on them with a little salt shaken on.

mmmmm eggs!

Oh, and keep the eggs covered in the fridge- or your whole fridge will smell like boiled eggs... they taste better than they smell.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Recipe for a Day with 4 Kids

No, this doesn't really have anything to do with food... suck it up

To successfully entertain 4 children between the ages of 4 and 7, you will need (at the very least) the following things. This is an elaborate recipe, though it seems that the more ingredients you add, the easier it is to make :)
Stage 1
4 kids
1 friendly (if a little weird) neighbour kid
Some washable paints (don't be cheap, buy crayola, you want to know that it WILL wash up!)
5 paint brushes
5 really big sheets of paper
10 small plastic containers
2-15 rags- depending
3-5 old t-shirts
As many crayons, markers and coloring things as you can find
1 large tile kitchen floor.

Send kids into the kitchen, hand out containers of paint and water, show them what the rags are for. Cover each kid from neck to elbows to knees in old t-shirts and set them loose.

While you await the screams of anguish (they are sure to come), or the exclamations of a finished masterpiece, do Farm Town.

Stage 2
You will need
1 reasonably nice day
1 reasonably dry yard
some bicycles and helmets
Sand toys or more old containers
Again, the strange neighbor kid makes a good addition
Clear and definite boundaries of play in ALL DIRECTIONS

Sit back, do some more farming, then make lunch...


First send neighbor kid home- her parents make good money, they can feed her.
Go over mental list of what each kid will and will not eat.
Make Mac and Cheese
While mac and cheese is cooking, cut up fruit and veggies and pour into trough ;)
Serve mac and cheese, with or without ketchup

after lunch, hold each kid individually under warm soapy water- don't worry, the more they thrash, the faster they get clean. Shake vigorously to dry.

Stage 3.
Believe it or not, by now they are probably ready to sit quietly for awhile!

Now, this part is important- ARBITRARILY decide what movie they are going to watch. Go for majority satisfaction, and make age appropriate for the youngest one in the group.
Turn movie on.

Spend the next 15-20 minutes shovelling out the trough, wiping the paint off the kitchen floor, unloading and reloading the dishwasher, shaking the dirt out of shoes, picking up toys and containers... and when you're done that, you might have just enough time to check your email before they are all bouncing around bored again! :)

How well this recipe turns out in the end depends on a variety of factors; almost none of which are under your control. You may make it once and it turns out beautifully, and the second time might blow up in your face. Be prepared to roll with it whatever happens, and maybe take a Xanax... :)

Have fun!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Minimize Mess and Mayhem, Maximize MMMMM

Brucie and the original Hillbilly Grill

My least favorite mess- ok, I certainly don't have a most favorite mess, but- is sticky pancake syrup. Whenever I make pancakes or waffles, the stuff is everywhere. counter, table, chairs, kids... icky icky sticky. SOO, I had a brilliant idea yesterday.

All in one syrup and butter for pancakes!

It goes like this...

In a bowl, add 1 cup of softened butter or marjarine, and 1/4 cup of your favorite syrup. Mix thoroughly, transfer to container with lid and stick it in the fridge til you need it again.

- um getting a little sidetracked here- Eva Longoria-Parker is on Sesame Street this morning, teaching Elmo what the word "exquisite" means. Evidently it means "very beautiful and very special". But she said it so many times that the word stopped making any sense, and now it's ruined. Exquisite, exquisite, exquisite, exquisite...

Another of my favorite ways to save time and mess is "pre marinating"meat. Works with anything you intend to freeze. You can buy stuff in the store like that, but I'm always paranoid about the quality of the meat they use. It's easy to "disguise" undesirable looking meat with a coating of marinade. So since that's not my aim, I'd rather use good stuff with my own favorite sauces.

So, using your favorite sauce store bought or using one of my ideas, all you do is add about 1/4 cup of sauce to a meduim size freezer bag and 4-6 servings of meat (chicken, steak, chops whatever). Seal the bag securely, and without extra air, mush the meat and sauce around in the bag to coat the meat, and toss it in the freezer. It marinates for you while it thaws!

Chikin Sauce

Blob honey
Blob garlic
2 Splooshes soy sauce
Blob plum sauce
salt, pepper

Steak Sauce

Blob ketchup
Blob brown sugar
2 splooshes Worc. sauce
Sploosh soy sauce
salt, pepper

Well, they've got a catchy counting song on Sesame Street and I'm losing focus. That's all for now folks!