Monday, September 24, 2007

Weekends are the pits... sometimes

Yeah, I know everyone looks forward to the weekend, but sometimes weekdays are better. I like my quiet Monday mornings, reading email, drinking coffee, Charlie in my lap. Creatures of habit, you have another member!
Saturday we went to Topeka to shop and goof off. Ate lunch at Red Lobster and NO, I didn't behave! You can't go there and not eat at least two CheddarBay Biscuits and have the Shrimp Alfredo when they have Endless Shrimp! Good stuff too... After lunch we went to the mall, walked off lunch, and I got some jeans from OldNavy- even after eating I still got 16s! Got Sam a camo coat for winter and bought some shirts for him too. All of their pants are so big around the waist! I have to switch the kiddo to 2% milk or something, he's so scrawny I can't buy him clothes. I know, better scrawny than pudgy...
I was much better Sunday with food, tho we did have dessert. I made mini Kahlua cheesecakes the other night- man were they good! For dinner last night I made something from my friend Laurie's cookbook, the Cauliflower and Ham Soup. I can't tell you how fabulous it was, and so quick and easy too! It smelled just like potato soup, and even tasted similar. Joe loved it as well, and he's not one for the idea of cauliflower-as-potato thing. Here's the recipe, with my minor adaptations for what I had on hand-

Cauliflower and Ham Soup

1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 carrots, diced
3 chicken cubes (had no veg broth, each makes 2 cups broth)
5 cups water
1 tsp savory (I was out of dill)
1 cup chopped ham
2 cups 2% milk
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (my addition, we like thicker soups)

Bring the cubes and water to a boil, drop in carrots and cauliflower. Boil for 20 minutes until veggies are tender, stir in savory. Using a potato masher, gently smash cauliflower into bite-sized bits. Stir in ham (add this towards the end so it doesn't get tough). In a bowl whisk milk and arrowroot together, then stir into soup. Bring to a simmer, remove from heat and eat!
I sliced sourdough bread into 3/4 inch thick slices and broiled them, topped with Havarti cheese, and broiled them again. Made killer croutons. This is one soup I will make again and again for sure! Later this week I am making Toscana Soup like they serve at Olive Garden. I will try to photo it! I forgot last night. :(
My friend Linda called me yesterday. The PTO here is doing a dinner before the home football game Friday, and she was told to make a pie. She doesn't MAKE pie, so she called me. I told her I'd make a pecan pie and one for her to cut and freeze so she can eat little slices whenever. Well, when Joe heard me say that he begged me to make HIM one too! I will do the same with his- bake it, slice it, freeze it. Maybe I can get Linda to have me make her stuff like this more often, eh? :)
My fantasy football team is 3-0 so far. I don't know how, since this week was really the one time they've played well. I guess I've just gotten luck so far. My opponents have not played well so that helps. I am at the top of my division and loving it! hahaha! GO Ballbusters!

Friday, September 21, 2007


So much for no grains! Sam's school pairs with a local (fabulous!) pizza place- Gambino's- once a month for School Fundraiser Night. The class that has the most 'attendance' wins a pizza party. Last night was the night, and since we were planning to have leftovers anyway... Sam wanted it, Joe wanted it, so we got it. My plan was to eat two slices, then have a salad. Yeah, well that didn't happen! I adore their pizza (it's not the place with the wheat crust, there would be no guilt from that), so I ate 4 slices of deluxe pizza and three small cinnamon dessert sticks. That was it tho, and I still weighed less this morning than yesterday! Not that this will encourage me to do it again. This was my once-before-Texoma thing. For the next week I will eat maybe one grain a day, lots of salad, and walkwalkwalk! At least lunch yesterday was a salad.
Today will be an experiment with Sam's lunch. He has been wanting to take chicken noodle soup to school, but the insulated container I bought leaked. Well yesterday I got him one ($15!!!) that doesn't leak, so he took soup today. It'll be interesting to see if it's still warm four hours later. It's a Thermos-brand, and says it's guaranteed to keep it hot for 5 hours. We'll see!!!
Going to Topeka tomorrow to shop and goof off. Hope we find some bargains!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hello again!

I know, I said I was going to try keeping up with this blog, but man I seem to get busy and forget! Sorry...
I had been having a very hard time lately with eating any and every thing I am not to eat- chips (geesh, have you TRIED those jalapeno chips??? OMG!), cookies (when I enter a particular Subway there are always Franken-Oatmeal Raisin cookies with tons of raisins), and french fries galore. I decided this Monday to start typing in my meals again, tracking calories, and cutting out grains for a while. When I weighed Monday morning, I was sitting at 198! Yikes!!! As of this morning, my bod is working much smoother and I am back to 192.8. Part of my problem is with the bad foods I have not been feeling quite right, but I am "feeling much better now" (I miss Night Court, don't you?). I am doing better getting my water down- had a gallon yesterday! I didn't walk yesterday (working) and got rained on when I went Tuesday, but I will go today for sure!
We are going to Texoma this year. It's the first weekend in October. Sam is so excited he's going to see Joseph soon! It'll be a bit different than last year- Joe's dad won't be there- but it's still going to be nice to get away and have fun for the weekend. What's great is that Dad and Suzy are at the midpoint of the drive, so we'll head to their house that Thursday night after work. That way we only have another 3 hours drive Friday instead of doing all 6 and missing out on half the day! Plus this year I have a better idea of what to expect so I can plan better. I will make sure we stop at the grocery when we get there instead of making two trips back into town.
Scouts starts September 27th. There isn't school that day, so I have to get a key from the principal the day before. Man, as a kid I would have DIED to have a key to the school! ;)
We did do something a bit silly Saturday- we bought a new TV! I got a raise last week, and Joe has been wanting a flat screen, HD TV. Walmart had a 37" Sanyo for a really great price, so we did it! It fits perfectly into our armoire and looks great. We rented 300 that night- manoman was it fabulous! That will be our Christmas present to each other...
Nothing else is new really. I have been cooking up a storm lately with better foods- Chicken Dijonaise, Swiss Steak, and such. I will try to post my recipes more. This is the Chicken Dijonaise-

Chicken Dijonaise
1 roaster chicken (about 5-6 pounds), rinsed off and put in a large zipper bag
1/2 cup dry vermouth
1/4 cup lemon juice
several cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp Dijon mustard

Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken in bag. Marinate overnight at least!
Drain the chicken and either grill it or roast it. Last time I flattened and grilled it, this time I used my upright roaster and it worked just as well. Roast until the thighs are 170 degrees (about 2 hours at 375), then take it out and tent with foil for 20 minutes. I served it with sauteed asparagus and some carrots, very tasty! This is a very tender and juicy bird- highly recommended!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Long day ahead!

Well Sam got his glasses Monday after school, and MAN is he happy!!! He immediately turned around and said "Mom! I can read that sign allllll the way in the back of the store!". He is a bit paranoid about breaking them- and I'm sure that's our faults. We've been telling him the right way to set them down, not to take them off at school, to take them off when he brushes his teeth/takes off his shirt, etc. He woke up in the middle of the night Tuesday having a bad dream that they had been broken and he was afraid we'd be really mad! It's definitely going to take some time getting less uptight about them.
My MIL stopped by here last night and left a comment- Welcome Kate!! I know there haven't been many recipes lately, I will work on that.
Lots going on lately, most I can't mention here. I have been working a lot more, and with scout stuff have been very busy! There is a meeting I would have liked to attend tonight, but Sam is getting a cavity filled this afternoon and I think I'll stay home with him. We are planning our first meeting on the 27th, and then a big popcorn sale Blitz-thing that weekend. This month is going by soooo fast! We want to go to the family reunion thing at Lake Texoma this year, but aren't sure if we can make it now. It's the first weekend in October- in three weeks!! It seems so far away, yet it will be here before we know it.
Well I am off to the office to finish payroll and a bit more work, then it's to school for Grandparent's Day (standing in of course!). Have a great day!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Is it Friday yet???

Man, it seems like this week has draaagggggedddd on so long! Sam being out of school Monday and Tuesday couldn't have anything to do with that, could it?? ;)
I took the twerp to the eye doctor yesterday because he'd been complaining for a month or so that he couldn't see the board at school. Well, he gets his new glasses sometime next week! WallyWorld was having a 2fer sale, so we got him two pairs for $230. Not much, especially when they are supposed to be virtually indestructible and I bought the extended service agreement. Sam is very excited, freaking us both out a bit. We asked why he was thrilled- was it because he was getting glasses or what- and he said it was because now he'd be able to see better at school! I asked the doc, there really is no way for him to have fibbed his way thru the test, so he really does need them. It's just bizarre how his prescription is worse than MINE and he was pretty much 20/20 last year. Scary, eh? Let's hope it doesn't mean he's going to be changing 'scripts every six months... Next week- CAVITY!

Subway does the halftime fun during football games every year. The last few years we've done a punt, pass, and kick competition for a party sub. This year Joe wanted to do something different, so we've been brainstorming. I am so excited about what we came up with! We bought one of those huge (22 inch) inflatable soccer balls from WallyWorld and I am getting some exercise bands from the Rec Center. We'll have two teams of five players- one goalie each and two pairs, tied-up three-legged-race-style. The first team to score wins! I think it'll be a hoot! It's going to be harder for them, but they should be able to do it. The original plan was to buy snowshoes or swimfins, but those are super expensive. This will be easier for us, and I think just as funny!

Scouts and work are keeping me very busy. The four leaders who can are meeting Sunday to plan out the first couple of months for scouts. We also have popcorn sales to do starting September 29th, so that will keep me VERY busy! We're going to try to make it to Lake Texoma this year again to see Joe's family. That is the first weekend in October. Seems we've driven a million miles this year already...

Oh, here is the fabulous meal I made the other night! We love a good Sausage and Peppers Pasta, so I made a big batch of sauce for us to eat on a couple times this week-

Sausage & Peppers Sauce

1# Italian sausage (I used JimmyDean in the tube), browned and drained if needed
1 large white onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1/2 a zucchini, diced
8 huge shrooms, chopped
2 tbsp chopped garlic
28oz can diced tomatoes
Italian seasoning to taste
Fresh chopped parsley

After the sausage is browned, add in the chopped veggies and cook 10 minutes or until they are softened and liquid is evaporated. Add in the garlic and spices and cook another 3 minutes, then add the can of tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning, and simmer another 15 minutes covered. I top mine with the chopped parsley right before serving.

That's it! I served mine over 'fried' polenta slices, and Joe had his with WW spaghetti. Good stuff maynard! We're having the rest tonight...

Off to do a food order before heading in for work! TGTIF- Thank Goodness TOMORROW Is Friday!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I know, I know...

Yeah, been gone awhile. Things have been a bit crazed around here for a couple of weeks.
My Uncle Dave passed away August 22nd after a very short fight with a particularly vicious form of cancer. He was always a very healthy and fun person, and the cancer was quite a shock. He had been getting treatment in St. Louis for a few weeks when he just became so tired and weak from the treatments. He was a wonderful man, great dad, rabid Cardinals fan,and all-around happy person and will be missed terribly. We love you, Uncle Dave!
Since school started I have been very busy with CubScouting stuff. Being the Assistant Cubmaster and the only one of us three 'helpers' with any real time, I have taken on a lot of responsibility. I became the "Unit Kernel" for our upcoming popcorn sale, organized the Race To Join Scouting Night with my GirlScout counterpart, and spent all day Friday running around Emporia getting boys signed up (in our packet for Race night they only gave us 6 new boy packets- we had 26 show up!). As of Friday, our pack has grown from 9-11 boys last year to around 20 this year along with two new adult volunteers! I still have a few new boys to get signed up, too. With so many boys and so many schedules to accommodate, we will be having meetings on two different nights this year- Wednesday and Thursday. Melissa and newbie Mickey will head up the group on Wednesday while newbie Dan and I will do the Thursday group. We'll have to have a full pack meeting once a month, but that can be arranged. Cubmaster Mike is working in Emporia, Kansas City, and two other states right now so he will work on getting to as many meetings as he can!
I have also been keeping busy with Subway work. Joe had me get business cards last week. I told him he needed to come up with a title for me since I couldn't very well put "Joe's slave-girl" on them! I am now titled the Human Resources and Promotions person. Cheap-o cards, but fun all the same. Plus, now maybe people will call me first instead of hoping Joe gets me the message!!!
Sam is doing better in school. He had two somewhat bad days this week- talking of course- but otherwise has done well so far this year. He's not really putting forth the extra effort on assignments, but that's no surprise when you look at who is parents are! ;) He's very happy scouts are starting back up as well. His friend Blake moved away today, so that will be an adjustment but he's got a new girl in his class that he loves to hang around with. We also discovered his 'cousin' goes to his school. Joe's cousin Carrie and hubby Bruce have two daughters- Kelsey and Olivia. Kelsey is in kindergarten this year and they transferred her to the same school as Sam. They see each other everyday, and everyday when they get out she comes over and hugs me too! It's great for both of them- Kelsey has a 'big brother'-type person to watch our for her and Sam has actual family with him and someone to look out for. It's cute, after school if she hasn't come by yet he will go looking for her to say good-bye!
Well that's it for now. Some fun stuff in the future I hope!