Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Great Dinner When the Family is Hungry & Kids Are Losing Patience

I tried this recipe for the first time last night and it passed the Hubby-Test. Not only was it delicious but also super-quick and easy to prepare. For us this is an ideal dinner entree when Lucas is losing his patience, Maddie is dying of starvation, the dogs are mooching at my feet, and I'm flying solo because Todd is at work. The recipe is from here.

Acini de Pepe With Spinach and Feta

1/2 lb acini di pepe - or orzo (I used orzo)
2 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. dried hot red pepper flakes
3 scallions - chopped
10 oz chopped frozen spinach (thawed & squeezed dry)
1/2 C crumbled feta

*I added:
shredded chicken for protein (An all inclusive meal is better for those crazy evenings) and a little bit of bacon bits (real bacon, not that fake stuff) for extra flavor. The chicken came from Trader Joe's. It was pre-cooked and cut into strips. All I had to do was heat it in the microwave and shred with a chopper.

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and transfer to a covered bowl.
Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and scallions. Saute until garlic is golden brown (about 2 minutes). Add spinach and cook, stirring, until heated through (about 4 minutes).

Toss pasta with feta, chicken and bacon.

Serve warm and enjoy!

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Difference Between Men & Women

As we all know, men and women are different in a variety of ways. We communicate differently, we prioritize differently, and as witnessed at our dinner table Easter Sunday, we value table linens differently. That last part comes as no big shock to any wife. But my husband's blatant disregard for linens left me momentarliy speechless at our Easter feast.
After serving all of our guests their dinner entrees I sat down just as Todd finished pouring the last glass of wine (red wine). And then, without a second thought, my darling husband took his white Williams Sonoma napkin and proceeded to wipe the dripping egde of the wine bottle. My mouth dropped open as I gasped loud enough to send the windows rattling. Our friend Darin, seated across from me, burst into laughter as everyone else whipped their heads around to get a glimpse of all the commotion. According to Darin the look on my face was "priceless".
At this point Todd turns to look at me and blandly states, "What?" He has no clue why I could possibly be disturbed by this."You. Wiped. Off. The. Red. Wine. With. My. White. Williams. Sonoma. Napkin."
Still no clue...

"Uhh... Todd, red wine stains. And that is a white napkin. A white Williams Sonoma napkin. Not a $1.99 napkin from Target."
Still didn't get it.

There is quite a streak of irony in this tale. Three hours earlier as I gleefully set the table Todd questioned my use of white napkins because "well, they're white. White stains."

How soon they forget....

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Finally! A Completed Task!

The majority of tasks never really seem to be 100% complete in this house. And. It. Drives. Me. Nuts! Something else always seems to pop up. Kids making messes, everyday chores, a new and urgent project, Todd's work schedule, you name it. This is something I am slowly attempting to change. But here this a project that I had been trying to get completed for some time now (probably a year. How sad is that?!) It was an antique mirror I purchased over ten years ago when I was at Chico State. A fabulous $5 bargain at a thrift store. The mirror had an old patina to it (which I loved) and an art deco frame. My grandpa and I fixed the aging frame. I then painted it white and hung it in my apartment.
After I moved home it was stored in the garage with countless other possessions I had no room for. A few years ago the mirror was broken. I couldn't bear to part with it. I loved the frame and it was a restoration project my grandpa and I worked on together before he passed away. I guess you could say it had some emotional baggage attached.
Fast forward to 2010. The mirrorless frame, now falling apart, was sat in the garage driving Todd nuts. To him it was junk taking up valuable space. To me, it was a memory and a future project.
Finally this project's time had come. I was in dire need of a bigger bulletin board over the desk. And voila! The antique frame was transformed into a bulletin board.

Step 1: Applied wood glue to the sides that were coming apart and clamped them overnight.

Step 2: Used sandpaper (I think 50) to rough up the frame a little

Step 3: Painted the frame green (which we already had in the garage)

Step 4: Attached cork to frame back (found a 2'x4' roll of cork at Office Max or Office Depot for $13) with a staple gun

Step 5: Attached toile fabric that I purchased on sale for less than $8 (for 2 yards) at an interior decorating fabric outlet
One project down, countless others to be completed!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Great Poop Caper

Scene of the Crime: Kids’ bathroom, in the bath tub
Date of the Crime: Tuesday, March 30 at 6:30pm
Perpetrator: Luke
Victim: Mom and the bath tub

I am sure lots of parents have been subjected to this crime. But Tuesday was my first. I made it seven and a half years without falling prey to the” bath tub poopie” (BTP for short.) Luke was happily splashing around in the tub, content to give the surrounding areas with a good soaking. I was settled down on the floor in the no-splash zone mindlessly flipping through a magazine when I heard it. The pre-emptive poop groan. The one that tells you your sweet little angel is about to present you with a big, odorous gift. In one swift move I threw the magazine aside, leapt to my feet and yanked him out of the bath. Too late. There it was: the BTP! UGH!!! GROSS!!! Of coarse these types of situations only occur when Todd is not home. I am never blessed with reinforcements.
Damage control began. I swear, Moms should be in charge of FEMA. We can swiftly assess the damage, then create, prioritize, and execute a plan of action. Dry off baby, begin draining tub, stop baby from throwing more toys into tub of fecal water, pull bath seat out of tub, dispose of offending poopie, grab Chlorox wipes, grab all toys and dump into sink, wash hands vigorously with TONS of soap, wrestle naked baby back into the bathroom after gleefully running away, de-cootie-fy tub and toys with Chlorox wipes, remove plunger from baby’s firm grasp just before he puts the handle in his mouth, pray that I don’t lose sanity, rinse tub, re-fill tub with clean bathwater, put baby in tub, fantasize about how great a glass of wine would be right about now, call husband to bitch about BTP, pray this never happens again.