Well, Hello!

I keep thinking that I’m going to get a handle on this time thing.  That I’ll somehow be able to do all the things I set out to do in a given day.  Quite clearly, I am still delusional!  But, what a happy place this is.

So, how are you?  How was your Easter?  Did you do something fun?  I wish I could say that I did but I simply cannot remember!  I remember the people eating rather large chocolate bunnies but that’s simply because the littlest one thought that a chocolate bunny would be a fine breakfast indeed.  Um, no, so sorry, little man, but a proper breakfast must be had.  And so it was.  And then I made these:

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Yeah, so I had better photos but I chose this one so you could see the color I aim for.  These are Ricotta Fritters and they are divine.  Divine, I tell ya!  They taste like delicate little cake doughnuts and the last about five seconds in my house.  You’re forewarned these are not overly sweet.  I love that.  I’ve made them with both lemon and orange zest… oh, and vanilla sugar…..there are just so many possibilities!  They’re fast to make (ignore the crazy time on the recipe).  I put everything together while the oil was heating up.  The only tips I have for you are – don’t bother measuring your zest.  Complete waste of your time.  Just zest an entire lemon (maybe half of an orange, if you go that route).  It really doesn’t matter.  Secondly, you want a nice, darkish brown color just so it’s not gooey on the inside.  Oh, and let it cool a bit before sticking it right in your mouth or you’ll burn your mouth…..ow, ow, ow!  Sadly, that was me, not the small people.  I hear patience is a virtue but whatever!

I’ve read a couple of books, neither of which I would recommend.  Just so you don’t waste your time….

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I was tricked, I tell you.  I enjoyed the last book of his that I’d picked up.  This one?  LAME.  Lame plot, lame characters, too much suspension of reality.  No, no, no.  The end.

So, then I picked up this:

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I’ve read her stuff before.  I’ve enjoyed it.  This book has a crazy number of five-star reviews.  I figure these are from people who don’t read a lot.  Or that aren’t married.  Or people that just went through a really, really horrible divorce maybe.  I disliked this from the outset.  I know!  I should have set it down.  I always think things are going to get better.  I thought that until the very last page.  This was so much of what I do not like in a romancy kind of book with stereotypical characters, clichés and just meh kind of storylines.  It was readable.  Truly.  I went through it pretty quick and it’s not as though it was completely terrible, it’s just that I expected more.  I love characters that aren’t perfect.  But, completely flawed characters just bug me.  Everyone has good and bad to their personality, it’s what makes us interesting and fun and wacky and all that.  I’ll think hard about picking up another of this author’s books.  And that saddens me.

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How is it already Friday?

Not that I’m complaining, mind you, but where did the week go?  Why is it that when you’re on vacation the time RACES by?

I can’t say that we’ve done anything particularly exciting.  I did take the goalie to the concussion specialist on Tuesday.  Thankfully, he is healing, will be able to return to school Monday AND, best of all, he can do normal kid things.  No contact sports or hockey for a bit longer but, as he normally takes the Spring off, that’s cool.  We’ve also road tripped to see both Grandma’s so I’ve been able to wear my good mommy crown this week!  It’s the little things.  Personally, I think I should be able to wear a tiara for all occasions and do not understand having to rationalize this to everyone.

I’ve cooked nothing new, nothing exciting, this week.  I haven’t minded that.  M tells me this morning that when he gets home from work he’s making margaritas and do we have tequila.  Do we have tequila?  Has he forgotten he’s married to me?  Then, he asks if we have triple sec.  OMG!  It’s like he doesn’t even know me!

Now, today’s Good Friday and being Catholic I should be eating fish.  I should.  It’s possible that I’ll put together fish tacos.  Easy peasy, right?  What I want to make are these:

Chicken & Green Chile Enchiladas

These are the Chicken Enchiladas courtesy of the Pioneer Woman.  Of course I make changes…..it’d be boring not to, right?  I brine my chicken.  Because brining is magical, that’s why.  I also like to chop up some tomatoes, a bit of red onion, some cilantro and a chipotle pepper (from the can, in adobo sauce).  I mix all that together with a bit of red wine vinegar.  Top the enchiladas with that and a bit of fresh sliced avocado for a little bit of heaven.  Mmmmm.  I’m pretty sure this is calling me.  Maybe tomorrow.

I’ve been on a Nora Roberts and her alias, JD Robb, kick.  Because I needed some brain candy, I read both of these.

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This one was the third in a trilogy and it’s been on my kindle forever!  The whole paranormal thing just doesn’t do it for me.  Once I talk myself past that, I enjoy her stories, her characters and the scenery.  This one takes place in Ireland and just makes me want to hop a plane.

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If you’ve not yet read her In Death series, then what the heck are you still doing here?  Get thyself to a bookstore or amazon or wherever!  I love, love, love this series.  Love it.  The characters, the plotting, the future world she’s created.  So fun.  Don’t get me started on the hot, sexy Roarke.  What?  I said don’t get me started.  Brain candy!  Get you some!

Happy Friday!

 

Wanted: A Peaceful Week

I would tell you about last week.  I would.   Only you’d think I was making it all up.  Let me just say that if I ever decide to put pen to paper, look out!  The HIGHTLIGHT of the week was having a tire blowout.  No big deal, right?  Except it was my second of the week.  With brand spankin’ new tires.  That couldn’t be repaired.  Costing almost three hundred bucks apiece!  Michelin picked up the cost.   Thankfully, I didn’t get killed by an ax murderer while hanging out along an interesting stretch of interstate, so there is that.  This week’s going to be better, right?  Right?

Yes.  And do you know why?  Because I’ve got some lovely tea here next to me.  And one of these!

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This is one of my friend, Peter’s, favorite things to receive when he’s deployed.  Okay, so it’s the ONLY thing he requests when he’s deployed.  Typically, it’s the only time I make them.  Don’t let that stop you.  They’re super easy and tasty.  That last part is why I try not to make them too often.  😉

Peter’s Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats

  • I stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 bag of marshmallows (the 10oz) one
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Sel Gris
  • 6 c. Rice Crispies
  • Cooking spray for  your pan (I usually use anything from an 8×8 to a 9×12, depending on how thick I want them.  Because I can!)
Over medium to medium low heat brown your butter in a medium/medium large saucepan.  If you’ve never done this, it’s super easy.  Just allow it to melt and then give it a bit of a stir.  It’ll foam up and be hard to see through.  That’s normal. Just stir regularly, it’ll clear up then start to brown.  It goes from brown to burned fast so pay attention!  A nice golden brown to a medium brown with a nutty smell is what you’re going for, k?  When you’re there, I turn the heat ALL THE WAY DOWN.  I then quickly toss in the marshmallows and Sel Gris (start with a rounded 1/4tsp – I’ve just discovered I prefer a bit more so you’ve got some wiggle room there).  Stir until smooth then add in the marshmallows. Stir until well coated.  Transfer to your prepared pan and allow to cool.  Try not to eat them all.  Let me know if you need Peter’s address!
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Why yes, I am the last person to have read Wild.  I am, frankly, surprised that I read it.  I blame the gals over at Coffeeandtwigs.  I am not a hiker.  I am not a camper.  I love the outdoors don’t get me wrong.  But my idea of camping?  The Hilton!  Spending four to six months hiking any or all of the 2600 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail?  No, thank you.  2.6 miles might be more my speed.  This was a good, interesting read.  I almost set it down.  That’s been my thing lately, starting books only to set them down.  This time I had a reason.  The author starts off the book talking about some of the things that led up to her taking on the PCT.  One of those things was her mom being diagnosed with lung cancer.  What is up with everything I read and people I know having that in common?  It’s still too fresh a wound for me.  Still, I tried to just skim that part and RISE ABOVE.  I never felt a kinship with the author but I did enjoy her story.  Doesn’t make me want to turn into a hiker.  She’s not that good!  😉
Spring break is upon us and so the battle of the tiny human rages on!  Time to go referee.  Happy Monday, everyone.  I hope you had a good weekend. xo

 

The pressure that is Pi Day

It’s National Pi Day.  This is cause for celebration in my house.  Last year, Pi Day was conveniently scheduled on a Sunday.  I took everyone to a local pie restaurant and everyone was happy.  This year?  Yeah, it’s a work day/school day.  Very inconvenient.  This has caused a twenty minute torture discussion about what kind of pie we should have for dessert.  Apparently, some people are uncooperative and will NOT make five different pies today, you know, when we are supposed to be working in our offices.  The NERVE!

The decision was that we would have Chocolate Pie.  You’d think that would be easy, right?  No!  Do you know how many types of chocolate pie there are???  Then there’s me, who is really, really wants a Boston Crème Pie.  Me!  Who ran how many miles on the treadmill yesterday and wants to be able to wear the teeny bikini to the beach without people running and screaming in fear….  Why I was not born a six foot tall supermodel I will never understand.

Have I also mentioned that I’m too busy lazy to go to the store.  Or that the goalie is home still with the concussion.  Ugh!  This calls for EASY.

Chocolate Pie

Chocolate Pie , a la the Pioneer Woman.  It’s fast, it’s easy, I have all the ingredients.  I may live on the edge and do a graham cracker crust because well, Chicken Pot Pie!  Also because I’ve made this before and I think it needs a bit of crunchy goodness to go along with the chocolatey creaminess.  That’s a thing, right?  We shall see.

Anywhoo.

I seem to be on a lawyerly book kind of kick.  I don’t know why.  It’s just works that way.

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I have to admit that I like this series much more than his Harry Bosch series.  This is likely due to the fact that I hear Matthew McConaughey in my head as I’m reading.  There are much worse things to have in your head!  This one’s quick, good plotting and super fast.  And, there’s the Matthew McConaughey in your head thing, did I mention that?

John Grisham.  I LOVED his first couple of books.  Loved them.  Then, I kind of became disenchanted.  His plotting wasn’t as well thought out, his characters were much the same, his books, for me, didn’t have the same magic.  So, I was delighted to find that I really enjoyed this one.  It runs along the same lines as The Firm in terms of the story’s flow.  The characters are fun, quirky and flawed.  Well, that’s just so me!  Especially the quirky, flawed part.  I went through this one in about a day.  Lightning fast.  Watch out, Mr. Grisham, you might have just pulled me back in.

Okay, back to work I go.  Because, I have to finish up so I can make pie!

Come on over.  I have extra forks.

What day is it?

Why yes, it has been a while since I logged on.  Because I’ve been doing the “we” things along with my job and keeping up with the family/friends.  “We” have gotten the old mailbox rubbish cleared, had the giant concrete slab dug out and gotten a new fancy shmancy mailbox….which has already had to be repaired.  Don’t ask.  “We” then dealt with the squirrel invasion in the attic.  Thankfully, it looks like it was just one squirrel that’s been taken off to a new wooded playground.  Those things don’t have GPS do they?  I’ve heard stories.

There’s been more fun and adventure but what’s really kept me busy is that the boy goalie suffered a concussion.  Yes, exactly – good times!  Not!  Concussion protocols.  His coach seemed not to have attended that class so it made things harder and more dramatic than need be.  Yours truly is still pretty unhappy so I’m taking a moment or a week or two to gather myself.  One thing I know for sure, is that we all have to look after the kids on the team as if they were our own.  That “it takes a village” quote?  Well, I hate that although I will agree a thousand times over that we are all the better if we both remember it and act accordingly.

Thankfully, my goalie will be fine in time.  As always, it could have been so much worse.  I have to give myself a pat on the back for being a neurotic freak smart enough to have had a baseline neuro test done before the season started.  If you know someone that plays a contact sport or has a child that does, encourage them to have this done.  It was offered, free of charge, by his house league…..brilliant.

So, how have you guys been? Cooked up anything good?  I’ve had a few disasters…..not inedible, mind you, but not good enough to share.  The experiments continue!  ::insert evil laughter::

For now, the family seems to be on a fettuccine alfredo kick.  Probably because it’s lent and makes a fish entrée seem a bit more decadent.  Not that butter, cream and cheese are decadent at all!

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Fettuccine Alfredo, adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 1 pkg fresh fettuccine pasta, cooked according to pkg directions
  • 1 c heavy cream
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 4tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 grated fresh Parmesan (not the green container one!)

In a large skillet or chefs pan, whisk together the heavy cream and lemon juice over medium-low heat.  Bring to simmer and add the lemon zest and nutmeg.  Add the butter and whisk a bit until melted.  Add the cooked pasta, white pepper and Parmesan and stir until combined.  Turn the heat to low and allow it all to thicken up a bit, stirring occasionally…..about five minutes or so.  Serve.

My changes, are a bit less decadent, or calorie laden, than the original recipe without sacrificing the flavor.  I love the lemon juice and zest in this recipe because it just makes it seem less heavy.  Perfect as a side for fish.  It is also good on its own or with the addition of chicken or a blackened bit of whatever.  Go ahead, try it!

Books, books, books!  I’ve gone through a few.  One I set down which was a huge disappointment.  I really wanted to like it since I adore the actress.

maggie smith

I read about three quarters of this before finally giving in to the boredom.  For the love of all that is holy, please someone, tell me that her life is a wee bit more exciting than the author would have me believe.  Please!  In other news, Downton Abbey is over and I shall miss her snarky humor.  Love her.

the art of memoir

 

There are a few of you writer people out there.  This is for you.  Pick this up.  I’ve no intention of ever writing a memoir and I still feel like I benefitted from reading this.  I can not do it justice with a description, I know that.  I also know that I enjoy a well written memoir but they are not all well written.  They are definitely not all enjoyable.  This book will help you with concrete steps, ideas and suggestions if writing a memoir is on your bucket list.  Even if it’s not, it’s an interesting, easy read.

Oh, the boy goalie is moving about so I’d best go check on him.  I so hope you are doing well and that you’ve a bit less drama in your lives.  Much love, peeps!

 

 

What’s so super about it Tuesday?

I have been BURIED!  Buried, I tell you.  Clearly, it’s my fault.  I’ve done something and my staff have lives.  They do all sorts of crazy things like go on vacation, spend time with their family and friends…..madness!  So apologies.  It’s not that I’m ignoring you.  I’m trying to do my part.  If I’m going to encourage this having of a life, I’ve got to pitch in.

Today’s conversation in the restaurant centered around voting today.  Have you done that yet?  Normally, I’m there first thing.  Right now, I’m still sitting here reading, contemplating my choices – or lack thereof, in my case.  For the first time, EVER, I’m am contemplating not voting.  I find this completely disturbing.  I’m someone that has a hard time every election.  I just do not fit into a category.  I’d be independent, but, where I live, that would mean only being able to vote in general elections.  So I have to choose.  I’m fiscally conservative, female, socially liberal, a small business owner, a mom, daughter of a naturalized citizen and a second generation immigrant.  I am also someone that believes that if more people thought of others before themselves we would all benefit as a society.  So, yeah, sucks for me!

I wonder if they allow tequila at the polling places?

Until tomorrow….