Friday, January 23, 2015

Fly on the Wall, It's All About the Food

Welcome to a monthly Fly on the Wall group post. Today 14 bloggers are inviting you to catch a glimpse of what you’d see if you were a fly on the wall of our homes. Come on in and buzz around my house. At the end of my post you’ll find links to this month’s other participants’ posts.

Fly on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

PurDude: Mom, how come every time you’re cooking in the kitchen these days I’m constantly hearing you yelp?
Me: The lower oven stopped working while you were away at school.
PurDude: Aaaaaand?
Me: I’m too short for the upper oven.
PurDude: OK, aaaaaand?
Me: Every time I open the door and try to reach in to grab the food I burn my boobs.
PurDude: {{blink,blink}}. {{eyeroll}}. Only MY Mom . . .

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

I had been reading in my “trending stories” on Facebook about a man arrested for beating his wife with a McChicken sandwich. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

But it had obviously been on my mind when this conversation occurred:
Me: I’m not going to keep doing your laundry if after I fold it you just throw it on the floor of your room.
College Boy: What do you care if they get wrinkled? I’m the one wearing them.
Me: You better watch how you talk to me or I’ll beat you with a McChicken sandwich.
College Boy: {{blink, blink}}.
Lesson learned:
If you beat someone with a McChicken sandwich you’ll get arrested.
If you threaten to beat someone with a McChicken sandwich, you may just shut them up!

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Proud parenting moment #7846: extortion:
PurDude: I have to go take a management class tomorrow for my job this summer. It costs $60 and I was wondering if you'd pay for it.
Me: you waited until the night before the class to ask me to pay for it?
PurDude: Will you? Please? I've got another semester of school and my spending money is getting tight.
Me: OK, I'll pay the $60 if you call me every day from school when you go back.
PurDude: I'll call you at least once this semester.
Me: I'll give you $1 towards your class.
PurDude: I'll call you once a month.
Me: I'll give you $5.
PurDude: You know I call you every time I do laundry, I'll keep doing that.
Me: You're still at $5.
Silence . . . 20 minutes later . . .
Me: So . . . what's the story with the class?
PurDude: I'll call you twice a week. Final offer.
Me: Sold.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

In the past month both boys were at school, College Boy was living at home and commuting for the semester. Finals time was stressful, but I think I was more nervous than the boys were. This was a conversation we had the night before the semester ended:
College Boy: I need to go out after dinner tonight to a play at the school. I have to write a paper on it.
Me: Really? When’s the paper due? The semester’s over already.
College Boy: We had the option of attending many events over the course of the semester and writing papers about it. I have one more paper I haven’t done yet so I have to go to this play.
Me: You’re really cutting it close with this last paper aren’t you?
College Boy: No, not at all, what do you mean, I’ve got 24 hours .  . .

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

It's not just core requirements and computer science that PurDude is learning in college. Apparently he's become an expert in "flattery will get you everywhere". 
PurDude: Mom, will you make me a Pumpkin Pie?
Me: You were just home for Thanksgiving 3 weeks ago and I made one then.
PurDude: But Mom, I love your Pumpkin Pie, I can never get enough. You make THE Best Pumpkin Pie. 
Guess what I made 3 weeks after Thanksgiving. . .

THE Best Pumpkin Pie | | #recipe #pie
THE Best Pumpkin Pie

I was making latkes one afternoon and Hubs came into the kitchen to make himself a sandwich. Before taking his sandwich down to the man-cave, he put it on a plate with a napkin over it and went to clean his knife. While he was at the sink, I snuck a latke onto his plate under the napkin.

He started to walk away and I angrily started yelling at him: “did you steal a latke? I’m making them for New Year’s Eve appetizers and I need them.”

He turned and looked at me, shocked: “no, I didn’t take any, look . . .” He took the napkin off of his sandwich, saw the latke and started to stutter: “I didn’t do it, I didn’t take it . . .”

It wasn’t till I started laughing that he stopped and thought about it: “you put that there and started yelling at me? Why would you do that? You had me reacting like a naughty kid.”

Gotta get your laughs where you can get them, folks.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

PurDude: Mom, can I borrow your car?
Me: Sure, I’m not going anywhere right now.
So PurDude leaves in my car and College Boy comes down the stairs.
College Boy: Mom, can I borrow your car?
Me: Your brother just left in it.
College Boy: You need another car.
Me: No I don’t, I don’t have anywhere I need to go right now.
College Boy: But I do. . .

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

Me: That stupid cell phone company has started sending me an email towards the end of every month saying I’ve used 75% of my data plan and should buy a larger plan.
PurDude: How much data are you using?
Me: Almost none, I’m mostly home so I’m using our wifi.
PurDude grabs my phone, looks at it, rolls his eyes, presses a button: No, NOW you’re using our wifi.
Me: And this is why you can’t go back to school.
PurDude: Why, so I can make sure you’re always hooked up to our wifi?
Me: No, so I can make sure you’ve always got someone to roll your eyes at.
. . . and PurDude rolls his eyes yet again.

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

For years now, since the boys started driving, I've been having the same conversation almost every time I climbed into my car to go somewhere.
Me (angrily): OK, who left my car with no gas in it?
College Boy: Not me.
PurDude: Not me.
But this was the conversation I had this past month:
Me (angrily): OK, who filled my car with gas?
College Boy: Not me.
PurDude: I did. I was out last night and it was running low.
Me: Oh, honey, I didn't want you to spend your money filling my gas tank while you're here on vacation.
College Boy hums the theme song to "Night Gallery" then narrates in a deep voice: You have entered a parallel universe . . . nothing is as it seems . . .

Flies on the Wall | | #MyGraphics

As you can tell from the stories included today, we flew PurDude home for winter break. It was great having him here.

Before he left, I had a talk with him about keeping in touch. I try really hard not to bother him, to let him initiate communication when he has the time and has something to say.
But sometimes, when I book his flights home, for instance, I need to get in touch with him. It’s easier for him if I text or email, so that’s what I do.

He, though, doesn’t always respond. Often there’s something I’ve told him that he needs to do (like print a boarding pass) and I need to know that he got my text and did what I asked. I told him that whenever he hears from me, to respond, even if it’s just an “OK” so I know he got the message.

PurDude went back to school and I texted him about some furniture we were looking at for his room. I was hoping to get his opinion.

Weeks before, when he was finishing up his first semester, he had texted me about something inconsequential and I had responded to him at the time. I texted him a second time to add to my response. So when I texted about the furniture, there were 3 texts from me in a row, the two from a month ago and then the current one about the furniture. To which he responded:
immediately followed by a second text:
and then a third:

Smart-Ass kid.

Now click on the links below for a peek into some other homes:

Baking In A Tornado | | #MyGraphics

THE Best Pumpkin Pie
Printable Recipe
1 3/4 cups gingersnap crumbs (gingersnap cookies put through the food processor)
1 1/2 TBSP melted margarine
2 TBSP sugar

1 16 oz can pumpkin 
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup eggnog  NOTE: If you can't find eggnog, you can use heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix

1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP flour
2 TBSP cold butter

1 cup heavy cream
2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10 inch pie dish with non-stick spray.
*Combine the crust ingredients until moist and press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish.
**Whisk together the next 11 ingredients and pour into crust. Bake for 25 minutes.
*While the pie is baking, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and flour. Cut in the butter until it starts to form small balls. Sprinkle over the pie and immediately return the pie to the oven. Bake for another 40 to 50 minutes until the center is just set.
*Cool completely. Store in the refrigerator.
*When ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in the sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
*Serve with whipped cream.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Lessons Learned When School’s Out

School was out for almost 3 weeks but learning didn’t end. As the boys settled into some well deserved free time; no classes, not even a book was opened, I was getting schooled.

This was my virgin winter break with both boys in college, so I was definitely a newbie. It turns out you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. I learned many:

Lessons Learned When School's Out | | #MyGraphics

1. If you can’t beat them (and you can’t) you may as well join them. Since they sleep till noon, breakfast was at 1 pm, lunch at 5 pm, and dinner at 9 pm, if they’re home for it. More than likely Mom and Dad will be eating dinner alone at a time they never wanted to be eating. Oh, and snack time is any time. Really more like all the time. 2 am is not out of the question.

2. Sleep is for moms of babies. You will not make it through a full night and I’m not talking about bathroom trips. Fall asleep and the garage door goes up. Fall back asleep and it goes up a second time. Start to fall asleep and you realize you never heard it go down after the last time it went up . . .

3. When changing the sheets on the beds, roll them up inside themselves, head straight out to the freezing cold, then unwrap them so you can shake all the food out.

4. Don’t think you’re so smart shaking the food out of the sheets outdoors. The rest of the crumbs from all the missing food can be found in your car. You can’t turn that inside out and shake it.

5. Math lesson: adding one person back to the household doubles the grocery bill. At least. And when they leave it’ll stay doubled until the pantry gets restocked.

Mushroom Stuffed Buttermilk Biscuits | | #recipe #appetizers
Mushroom Stuffed Buttermilk Biscuits

6. Apparently, no matter what your kids are learning at college, there’s also a loss of valuable information going on too. First is knowing how to put dishes into the dishwasher and how to wipe off the counter.

7. Current events: dinner conversation will never be the same. You now know every reason (rational and otherwise) why marijuana should be legal in every state.

8. Logic (or lack thereof): the front door will never be locked. No matter how many times you walk by and lock it, the next time you walk by it’ll be unlocked.

9. If you ask them to remember to do something (like sit down with you to order their books for next semester), here’s your language lesson:
“I’ll never remember” means “I’ll never remember”.
“I’ll try to remember” means “I’ll never remember”.
“OK, I’ll remember” means “I’ll never remember”.

10. Time will fly. One day you’re picking him up at the airport and the next you’re watching him walk back towards that plane. There will be tears. Lots and lots of tears.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Mushroom Stuffed Buttermilk Biscuits
Printable Recipe
2 cans of jr sized buttermilk biscuits
1 TBSP butter
1/2 # mushrooms
2 green onions
1 clove minced garlic
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 TBSP flour
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
*Open the cans of biscuits. Peel the top off of each biscuit and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on the baking sheet.
*Clean and slice the mushrooms. Clean and chop the green onions.
*Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, green onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the mushrooms are soft and completely cooked. 
*Turn the heat down one notch, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
*Turn the heat down to warm and add the cream cheese. Cook and stir until the cream cheese is completely melted.
*Place about ¾ of a tsp of the mushroom filling into the center of each biscuit bottom on the baking sheet. Top with the biscuit tops you’d set aside.
*Place in oven and bake for 11 minutes.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Use Your Words, the Grumpy Cat edition

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist: no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words | | #MyGraphics

At the the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I’m using: game show ~ money ~ genius ~ Grumpy Cat
They were submitted by: Stacy Sews and Schools

It’s funny, when I first look at the words I’ve been assigned, something always pops into my head. A tiny little idea inspired by one of the words that can lead me in a direction for the post.

With these words, two somethings popped into my head. I read game show, money and genius and went immediately to the only game show I watch: Jeopardy.

Then I saw grumpy cat and another word popped into my head: Oy.

Really, Stacy? I was doing so well. I could have given birth to a post faster than any anesthesiologist could insert an epidural . . . BUT NOOOO, you had to add grumpy cat. Oy.

I think you have me stumped. I wrote a whole post about Grumpy Cat competing on a game show. First I tried to write a round of Jeopardy, but Grumpy Cat answered “tuna” to every question. Scratch that idea.

Then I tried to write about Grumpy Cat playing a few rounds of Family Feud. But again Grumpy Cat answered “tuna” to every category. He’s no genius, that Grumpy Cat. Maybe that’s why he’s so grumpy.

Seems there’s not much incentive for a cat to win money since obviously they can’t spend it. Maybe we need a game show that pays in tuna?

Coincidentally, as I sit here wrestling with this post, there’s a game show on TV. It’s late afternoon and I have Jeopardy on. I’m semi paying attention.

I head off to the kitchen to start making the Individual Delmonica Dinner Stacks for tonight. PurDude has been home from College and I look up as I hear his voice. He’s in the den, sitting on the couch and has just answered Final Jeopardy correctly.

Cancel all the Grumpy Cat playing for tuna stuff. Jeopardy for money is the way to go. I’m signing PurDude up. I’m sure he won’t mind.


 Individual Delmonico Dinner Stacks | | #recipe #dinner
Individual Delmonico Dinner Stacks

Links to the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Individual Delmonico Dinner Stacks
Printable Recipe
Ingredients (per person):
1 – 2 new potatoes (depending on size)
salt and pepper
2 TBSP melted butter
½ cup shredded cheddar, divided
1 slice bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ cup cooked chicken, turkey or ham (can be a breaded chicken if desired)
½ cup cooked broccoli
4 tsp olive oil
1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp dried tarragon
*Grease a cookie sheet well. Be sure to use a cookie sheet with a rim. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
*Slice the new potatoes into approximately ¼ inch rounds. Toss with melted butter. Arrange on the cookie sheet (should be able to get about 3 stacks to a sheet) by forming about a 6 inch circle with overlapping potato slices and filling in the center with the rest of the slices. Try not to leave any of the cookie sheet within that circle showing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
*Bake the potato slices for 30 minutes.
*Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Top the potato rounds with half of the cheddar, then bacon, then chicken, broccoli, and the rest of the cheddar. Return to oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until all the components are hot.
*While the stacks cook, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and tarragon together.
*Serve with the lemon sauce drizzled over the stacks.