Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mr. Draper call me a cab...

This is an open letter to all Colorado drivers.
Please stop crashing into my car.

As you may know I was in a car accident about six months ago. I was hit in an intersection by a young, inexperienced driver. I was less than a mile from my house. Because of some memory and attention problems the doctors put a medical hold on my liscense. I was not able to drive for six months. About a week ago the neurologist finally gave me the "go-ahead" to drive my kids to school, the grocery store, and with supervision perhaps to the mall.

I started driving about a week ago, and I have to say it was pretty scary. I was convinced someone was going to crash into me at every turn. Well it happened last night. I was yet again on the SAME STREET and was rear-ended less than a mile from my house. It sounds like a joke. But jokes are usually funny. This time my car was not totalled and I'm fine. My back bumper is currently residing in the back seat of my BRAND NEW car with hardly any miles on it.

For a week I was driving around waiting for the worst to happen. Well it did happen, but it turned out fine. You know how you dread the first scratch on your car, but then when it happens you can stop thinking about it? Well the person hit me, I'm fine, I got it over with, and now I can move on.

But please everyone, if you happen to see me on the road, pull over to the side and let me pass unharmed.

I have to go now, Mr. Draper has called me a cab.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

Turkey bacon and egg on whole wheat tortillas.

I make "grab and go" breakfast and lunch items to keep in the refrigerator and freezer so we can get out the door fast around here. I make turkey bacon and egg quesadillas, fruit kebabs, or slow-cooker oatmeal so it is ready when the boys get up.(One is in middle school and the other is in high school so they are on different schedules)

(peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat raisin bread panini and brown rice crispy treats)
I try to make a healthy breakfast and lunch that they will still enjoy. My younger son brings his lunch everyday so I make the "cookie of the week"(and hope they can last for a week without disappearing), and a couple of different panini choices that I make on Monday morning. He just has to grab one of each and throw them in a bag. (then my husband writes a different fictional name on his bag every morning, usually it is some obscure character from The Simpsons. ) We are very fortunate that our boys get up and get going on their own. Our mornings are pretty calm around here for a nice change.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Give a boy and sandwich...

and he will eat for a day. Give him a panini press and he can make his own sandwiches for a lifetime!

I would have cut that sandwich in half for two meals. But he's a boy and thinks a sandwich the size of your head is great for lunch.


Time is defined as: a nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future.


No wonder I don't get it. That may have confused you as well. I recently lost my perception of time. This can scare you at first, but in the scheme of life does it really matter that much? When my perception of time left, it was replaced with a nice gift. Calmness. I don't have that crazy, I'm running out of time! Someone needs a lunch packed NOW!! The uniforms need to be cleaned RIGHT NOW!!! It doesn't bother me because I just don't get the panic. I'm pretty lucky if you ask me. The lunches are packed and the uniforms are clean because I didn't get to leave the house unsupervised for SIX entire months. In that six months of no driving I gained a sense of calmness for lack of a better word. I'm not rushed inside of my brain. (Does that make sense) I'm not this happy housewife that needs everything perfect at all times, all unicorns and butterflies. I'm really not. BUT I gained the value of being at home, and enjoying every minute of it.

After the accident happened the doctor told me to call in some favors, "because I was going to need some help." He wanted me to say NO. No to the charities that I was working with, NO to driving my children here and there, NO to cooking unsupervised, NO to anyone and everything that was not of utmost importance. I had to call my parents in to take care of me and my family for a few weeks. They came right away and helped me......(fill in all of the blanks here) cooking, cleaning,...I don't really know what. Everything I guess is the right word. I realized that the boys got home from school, the charities ran without me, dinner got on the table, and everyone was taken care of.

I know that most people don't have the option to take six months off and say NO to everyone but those living inside your own house. It really changed my perception of being rushed. Rushed to do what?

Rushed left. He is not missed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rabbi Steven Foster

There is a great article in the Denver Post today about our friend Rabbi Steven Foster. This will be his last Yom Kippur on the bimah (pulpit) for our synagogue. He made our family feel so welcome when we moved to Denver ten years ago. He really is the sweetest man, with a huge heart and respect for all faiths. (Throw in some MAJOR controvery as well, he LOVES to stir it up around here!) He is open to all religions and makes everyone feel at home in his prescence. He was battling Leukemia this summer, but thank G-d he is in remission. My extended family had the opportunity to meet him at my older son's Bar Mitzvah. I think they felt included and appreciated by him. I know they did. That says a lot about my family for their understanding, and Rabbi Foster for his.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Fall Project from Martha Stewart Living

I was looking through Martha Stewart Living (October) and I saw this beautiful urn with a fall arrangement. It is very "Autumnal" (it is too a word, look it up.) I thought Hey I could make that! And I did.

My walls are are not that color in real life I promise you. They are a cafe latte color. I know about lattes, take my word for it. I think I like mine better!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lola B

Kasey, the owner of Lola B is going to be giving away an Anthropology gift card worth $150 AND a Lola B's package valued at $100 soon- so make sure to visit her blog for more details!
This Laundry Sachet looks beautiful and it can't gunk up your dryer!


Product Review

I seriously love laundry. I'm not joking. I love to fold, to iron, a nice laundry room the whole thing. It may sound crazy to some of you. But that's just me. Moving on....As much as I love laundry, I have a very sensitive nose when it comes to laundry detergent and fabric softener. (My favorite commenter LeeLee can agree) I like a HINT of freshness not a Pacific Breeze of fake pineapple stench. So, I was so excited to see this Bounce Bar of delicious smelling clean laundry. AHHHhhhhhh.
And then I attached it to the dryer as instructed. My house smelled soo clean and delightful.

Fast forward three loads. What the heck was all over my black jeans? Hey is that an entire clump of dryer delicious freshness on my slipcover?

Out it came and got transferred to the wall of the mudroom closet. Now it can't undo all of my fabulous laundry skills. I do not endorse the Bounce Dryer bar unless you like gunked-up laundry that you have to re-wash. However it smells delicious and I plan on using it for the stinky mudroom closet. So all is not lost. Sorry Bounce. (clearly I was not paid for my opinion.)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Commenting 101......

Please try it and leave me a comment!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Whitney English

Our 2008 holiday family photo was chosen to be on the Whitney English Website. You can check it out here.

It's time to start thinking of your holiday cards this year. Ours is done already, but I bet you guessed that already.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Delicious and Easy Frosting

If you aren't careful Royal Icing can taste like paste, not good. It seems to me that powdered sugar has a shelf life of 27 minutes. If you don't use that entire bag the day you bought it, you are out of luck! ICK!
I found an easier way to ice sugar cookies with Almond Bark. Ladies, It's not Almond and it's not Bark. Discuss amongst yourselves.

You can melt a few squares at a time so it doesn't dry up before you are finished frosting your cookies. Make sure to use gel food coloring or it will seize up on ya!

One little drop will give you a light pink color. Can you see it?

I used an offset spatula for the letter cookies, but you can use a zip-lock bag snipped on the end also. You can add a little solid vegetable shortening to thin it if you need to. (I used the word vegetable in there so it would sound healthy)
Package those babies up and you have cute and yummy cookies!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Did I just think that?

So I'm trying to operate with a brain that isn't functioning well. I used to get upset and now I just have to laugh with the craziness of it all. Here is an example. The other day my husband said:

"How old is your dad?"

I said, "Well, my mom is 40, so my dad must be 44 or 45."

It took me a few minutes to realize that my math was a little off. I'm 41. On the bright side, my mother was thrilled that I thought she was 40!

Numbers and time still seem to allude me, but I'm working on it! I practice the date by writing it out every morning. The written way and then the numbers. That sounds so ridiculous, until you lose your ability to know what day it is. Crazy I know.


Whew, that post was up five minutes and my mom was bustin' out the Purell!

Here is my MIL's recipe for Chicken Soup

She's a nice Jewish Lady, so she doesn't measure. A stockpot full of Chicken Broth, two or three carrots sliced into coins, two parsnips sliced, a clove-studded onion, bay leaf, a bunch of dill and a few whole peppercorns. (I like to add celery and fennel also) Throw in a couple of bone in chicken breasts, (or a whole chicken) and simmer until the chicken is done. Remove the chicken and tear or cut into smaller pieces and set aside. ( To get the full effect, read this aloud in a strong Brooklyn accent.)

Matzo Balls (Say it with me...Mahtsah Bowwlz)

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

2 lg. eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 c. Maneschewitz matzo meal

1 tsp. salt, if desired

2 tbsp. soup stock
Blend oil and eggs together. Mix matzo meal and salt together. Add matzo meal and salt mixture to egg and oil mixture and blend well. Then add soup stock and mix until uniform. Cover mixing bowl and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes. (Do not skip this step!! The first time I made matzo balls I didn't refrigerate them first. I had oatmeal when I was done!!)

Remove from refrigerator, make balls, approximately 1 inch in diameter (I used a small ice-cream scoop) , you will need wet hands to form into balls. Place in boiling soup stock. Turn heat down and cover; simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Place broth into a bowl, add chicken back and a few Matzo Balls. That's all. It is better than penicillin!

This is the "Magic Tray". You get to use when when you're sick. We have gotten a lot of use of it in the last few weeks!

That Healthy New Year is off to a Slow Start!

Well, I got one guy semi-recovered from surgery and off to work today. So last night Thing 2 (my younger son) came down with a temp of 102.2, delirium (something about his anniversary party that started promptly at 9:33), aches, chills, the works. So I'm off to get those cute masks to hand to the rest of us so we don't get the dreaded H1N1. I'm off to make Matzo Ball soup. Oh sure I'll post pictures for you!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mad Men

If you haven't started watching Man Men yet, stop reading, order season one and two, and then return. I'll wait.........Okay, Now for the BIG NEWS!!

Set your TiVo, Mad Men is going to be on Oprah September 21!! I'm in love with Don Draper, I admit it, I love me some bad boys. Deelicious. Okay, but why is he such a good guy this season? One tiny little indescretion with that stewardess, come on is that all you got Don? Okay I do feel a little sorry for very pregnant Betty stuck at home, but seriously writers, kick it up this season!!

Annie Lebowitz took this photo for Vanita Fair. Maybe this wasn't what the 60's was really like, but I like to think it was. It makes me want to put on a dress and heels and do some ironing!! (I'm not kidding)

Mad Men

Tune in tonight on American Movie Classics to see what the fuss is about! You will have to get in line to become Mr. Draper's New Secretary. I'm first.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Happy 5770!

Friday night marked the first day of Rosh Hashana the Jewish New Year. This is a time of retrospection and finding our own role in conflicts that need to be amended. It is an excellent time to think back and ask for forgiveness for any harms that we have contributed to in the past year. (or longer for that matter)

We observe the New Year with traditional foods like apples and honey. The common saying is "Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!" If you are going to a dinner party for the holiday, I found a perfect recipe. (Kosher? I have no idea, the parts are all dairy I think)

I found a recipe in the October issue of Country Living and changed it slightly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 1/3 each chopped dried cranberries and apricots, 1/4 cup sliced almonds, 1/4 cup honey, a sprinkle of cinnamon and 2 cut up Granny Smith apples. Set aside.

Roll 1 thawed sheet frozen puff pastry dough into a 12 inch square. Trim top rind off an 8 ounce wheel of Brie and center the cheese on the pastry. Top with fruit mixture.

Beat 1 egg white and 1/2 tsp of salt in a small bowl. and brush some egg wash along pastry edges. Gather dough around Brie, twisting into a topknot. chill in the freezer for 15 minutes. Brush pastry lightly with egg wash and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes.

The Smitten Kitchen also has a great recipe for Jewish Apple Cake that looks great. I'm going to make them both for a dinner tonight that my friend Ellen is hosting.

Image from SmittenKitchen

It turned out nicely. Image by me.

My family used to make a delicious Apple Cake for the Christmas Holidays that we would bring to our neighbors and friends. I remember that it had a caramel glaze on top. My mom needs to email that recipe to me!!

Everyone Have a Happy and Healthy (New) Year!


The Cricut

I made this banner for my sweet baby-friend Rylee with a Cricut Machine. (Read about it here.) You could win yourself one! Check it out!

This is contest entry for those crazy folks at TodaysMama and Cricut. Be sure to check out Cricut's cool new cartridges and the chance at $30,000 in travel for you and your friends at the Great Gypsy Escape site!

Great Escape Meme
1. If you could escape to anywhere in the world where would it be? (Norway)
2. What song do you play when you are by yourself in the car? (Sherry by Frankie Valli)
3. If you had a night to yourself, and money was no object, what would you do? (hang out with the family and watch a movie I picked)
4. What is your guilty pleasure? (Horders on A&E I love those crazies!)
5. What is the farthest place you have traveled away from our home? (Greece)
6. Last book that you couldn't put down? (Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay)
7. When you want to escape into another time, what movie do you watch? (Howards End)
8. What is your favorite local escape? (Steamboat Springs)
9. How do you escape on a budget? (Stay-cation at the Bielat's home)
10.Best food you've ever had while on vacation. (San Francisco Sourdough)


Whole Wheat Pizza

Do you read NieNieDialogues ? You should. She is a sweet mom in Utah that was in a terrible plane crash a year ago, but is reocovering well at home. She has an amazing spirit that reminds you that everyday is a gift. I used the recipe from her site.

Whole Wheat Pizza

2-¾ whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-teaspoon salt
1 packet of yeast

Dissolve packet of yeast into 1-cup warm water with ¼ teaspoon sugar,(I used honey) let sit for 7 minutes (or until risen)
Mix flour, olive oil and yeast mixture with dough hook. For about 5 minutes.
Place in oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap in warm spot for about 1 hour (or desired risen state)
Roll out and add toppings. Cook for 17-18 minutes on 475 (those are my oven settings anyway) (You can also just throw them on a hot grill)

I made 4 individual pizzas with this recipe. I put together some toppings for the boys to make their own and then I put them on the grill for dinner.

This is what I usually hear on "Make Your Own Pizza Night" Do we have to make our own? Can't you do it? I'll be right back, will you make mine for me? Can we just call Anthony's and have them deliver next time? Is it because they are teen age boys? Give me a little girl who likes to cook please!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

When life gives you time......make dog biscuits!

So now that I have some extra time on my hands, I seem to be on a cooking, baking, and creating jag. Here's a little something I whipped up yesterday.

I found a recipe online and although I didn't taste one, The Mighty Casey seemed to enjoy them tremendously.

Here is the recipe if you would like to make them yourself:

Homemade Doggie Treats

3 1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. skim milk powder
1 tbs. dry yeast
3 1/2 c. lukewarm chicken or meat broth

1 egg beaten (for egg wash)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Grease cookie sheets.

Mix dry ingredients. Dissolve the yeast in the broth. Let yeast/broth mixture set for 10 minutes. Then stir the flour mixture into the broth until a soft dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky you can add more flour.

Roll dough out 1/4 thick (I cut the dough into 3 batches, and saved two for later) Cut dog biscuit shapes, and roll remaining dough scraps until all dough is used.

Brush biscuits with egg wash. Bake on greased cookie sheets at 300 for 45 minutes. Then turn off oven and leave in overnight to finish hardening.

Makes 60 medium dog treats.

(Who are they kidding...I had dinner to make.) Just throw the dog biscuits on the counter overnight. Just make sure Fido doesn't jump on the counter and eat them all.

Pack some up and share them with all of your doggie friends.

Don't worry, I made human treats too, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

After this photo session Casey never wants to see a cookie again!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The title says it all.....

September the March is a perfect title for me. I was in a car accident a few months ago that thankfully I walked away from physically unharmed. My car was totalled, and I just had a few bruises. Fast forward a few days, and my memory began to play tricks on me. I was forgetting little things and BIG things. The fun began when I brought my son over to his friends house, came home, and promptly asked my husband when he was going to take him. You really should remember where you have left your children. Sooooo guess what? The doctors said no driving. NONE. No Target, no Starbucks, no nothin'. You thought that no driving sounded good for a second didn't you? Admit it.

When the memory left, it took my sense of time with it. Is it March, November, August? The date? Pick a number between 1 and 30. At least I know it is 2009 now, in the beginning I thought it was 1996. It was a good year, so I just went with it.

Which leads me to the time on my hands. Food Network, HGTV, Party Blogs, Design Blogs, you get the picture. My doctor decided to let me drive a little, and he also suggested working my brain by reading more, and writing more. So I've decided to read lots of blogs and recipes, and blog them back to you. I know, right?! You can't wait to see what's next. Well, you are going to have to wait until tomorrow.

I got to go to the Targe today and lookie what I found!