Monday, April 30, 2007

Yogurt, yogurt, bo bogurt, bananafana, fo fogurt...

I have been wanting to do this for some time. although I never actually made it past the, "I want to do that" stage. Sure, I had entertained the idea of purchasing a maker, but I just knew there had to be a more cost efficient way to do it. Also, I just knew there had to be a way to do it where I didn't have to buy another small appliance.

So, my curiosity and excitement were at their peak when I came across this. Just what I had been looking for.

This weekend we put the technique to the test and our taste buds rejoiced at the wonderful yumminess. It was so easy and didn't take much time at all. The supplies are very easy to find, in fact, I had them all here at home. It makes your basic. plain variety leaving you endless ways to change it up. We happen to like vanilla. So, when it was all said and done, we added 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4C of sugar and it was really great. It was more tangy than what we have experienced with store bought yogurt, but I think it is because we added way less sugar. I just store it right in the glass jar in the fridge. And when I get to about half way thru the jar then I will make another batch.

You should try it. Let me know what you think.

Friday, April 27, 2007


My husband's co-worker went home to Korea last week and brought me these, upon my request.

Do you know what they are? C'mon...just a guess?

Toe socks. He actually got me three different styles, but this style happens to be my favorite out of the bunch.

I am so excited. I can not even begin to tell you how happy these make me. Each toe individually gift wrapped in warm, cozy fabric. Warm and toasty all the time. They do have these in some stores here in the U.S., but they are made much differently. They are usually very juvenile in design and very, very thick. The ones from Korea are plain colors so that you can wear them with anything and the fabric is still warm, but much thinner and more comfortable.

You have to know me to understand how cold I am all the time. Just cold. I use flannel sheets all year long. Along with 2 fleece blankets and a huge quilt. Oh, and my heated mattress pad. Yeah, so just imagine my joy and sheer elation when my husband brings them home to me.

I was actually on my way out to the soccer field with my son. So, I just took them with me! What better place to try them out than on a brisk evening with a huge breeze. Out on the flatlands of the soccer field in the flat, flat Midwest.

Ahhhhh...I just love them.

Thank you, Jong, for all of the toe socks. Thay make me very happy. Even if my daughter is trying to steal them from me!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Husbands say the darndest things

My sweet, loving husband made dinner last night while I was with my daughter at her soccer game. It was really good. A corn saute and some chicken fajitas with red peppers and sweet onions. A little fruit on the side.

I was commenting on how good it was and how I was so thankful. He went on to say that he had tried something a little different this time and when he was making the fajitas he basically pan fried the chicken with some olive oil and then used some red wine to get the "nice" from the bottom of the pan. Now mind you he was talking to me while doing other things and the kids were talking, too. You know, the average dinner time hour. Otherwise referred to as the "witching hour"...the kids go a little wacko, the baby needs everything done all at once. and you are trying to make dinner plus quiz the kids on their spelling words! So, it took a minute for what he said to sink in.

"The what", I ask? "The nice", he says. I'm thinking, huh? And then it hits me. And I laugh out loud. "You mean the fond?", I say. "Yeah, the fond. Nice, fond...I knew it was one of those nice words."

Too funny. It makes me smile just to think of it now.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I love my Menu Maker

I am so excited about my Menu Maker. I am, more so than probably the average person would be. But that is because my husband put his love and sweat into making it. Just for me! Well, prolly not too much sweat. I mean how much can one person sweat whilst sitting at the computer. Anyway, I am rambling. Let me tell you why I love it so much.

The purpose of the Menu Maker:

1. To make your life easier.

2. To help one budget more efficiently.

3. To hopefully eliminate impulse shopping while in the grocery store.

4. To stop the madness of the "What should I fix for dinner tonight?"

How it works:
1. You enter all your menu items, such as main courses, sides and desserts. There is now a seasonal option as well. So when you enter your dishes you can select what season you would like them to appear in. So, soups in winter and grilled things in summer. Or certain veggies in certain seasons. You get the picture.

2. While you are entering your items there is also a spot to enter the publication from which the item came. Like what cookbook, or from in your head, or a certain magazine, etc. This way you know right where to look when the item pops up on your menu.

3. Once you have entered all the items in the database you then can choose the dates that you would like the menu to encompass. So, like mine right now is from April 16th to May 16th. However, I print mine out for a month at a time so that I will get a larger variety of items that pop up. Then I break it up into weekly segments based on when I am going to the store.

4. Here is an example of the finished product.

Now this is where you can use the edit feature. You will notice that some of the side dishes appear more than once. That happens because I do not happen to have very many in my database yet, so they can only be randomized so much. But, if it does happen you can use the edit feature and go in and move things around or input something new for that particular day. If you know you are having guests on a particular day you can edit the menu to reflect that. If you would like to have "no side" on a certain day just choose the "no side" button. If you know you would like to have a "leftover" night just make sure you enter that as one of your menu items and then you can edit it in when you want to use it.

Once you have it all edited and just the way you want it then you print it. And hang it on your fridge. And when the time of day rolls around for you to be thinking of dinner...just look to the menu. It will tell you all you need to know. And you will have all the groceries you need! With only one trip to the store. No more dragging the kids there on a whim because you forgot something you needed. Because you will have looked over the menu and made a grocery list based on the menu items. So, when dinner rolls around you will be all set to go! Just pull it all out and get to cookin!

I am in love with this thing. I really am. It is right up there with my sacred calendar that runs my life. You know, the one that hangs in your kitchen where you write down your every move so that you won't forget to do something. Oh, that's just me? Okay, well, moving along then...

Oh, and if you think that you can't live without it either, just drop me a note. I love to barter...marceeh at gmail dot com

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Put a sock in it

"Your" things are never "yours" when you have kids at home.

Imagine my surprise when I open the drawer to find this:

I was looking all over for this last night when it was time to go up and give him his bath...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm a big girl now

My kids have recently joined a soccer team here in town. In doing so, they have made some new friends. Along with new kid friends came new adult friends! I love it when that happens.

The kids got together after a soccer game one Saturday afternoon and went swimming and then played at our homes. The mom of the new friends took the kids back to her house so the kids could play and also, much to my delight, to give them a cooking lesson. The new friends happen to be Korean. So, the kids got to experience Korean food up close and personal.

Now, I have to admit that I am not a huge seafood fan. I really dunno why. Part of it is the smell, I think. And then there is the texture...yeah, not always so good for me. So, when the kids came home with a doggy bag, I was excited and apprehensive all at the same time. They were so excited because they had made us some food and it was so fun and they had tried it, too, when they were over there. In the meantime, the mom is getting out her camera and showing me picture by picture details on how the food was prepa
red. I mean, every step. I wish I had it here so I could show you. She is listing off the ingredients as she is scrolling thru the pictures. "This is what we start with and then we add this and this and a spoonful of that." As she is going thru them I see something that makes me question..."What is that?" I ask. "What, oh, that orange stuff?" "Yeah." "That is fish eggs." "Oh...ummm...yeah...I dunno about that." And here I thought I was doing good by not saying anything about the big ol' piece of crab meat on there. Fish eggs? Are you kidding me? FISH EGGS. the mom leaves and my husband and I take the goodies out of the bag and look them over.

This is some kind of energy drink. It is loaded with vitamins, but also tons of high fructose corn syrup. This hasn't been tasted yet.

After all the inspection is over we shared one of the rolls and tried some of the crackers. The crackers. Yeah, I tried one and quickly stated that they had fish in them as well. How do I know that? Well, taste for one. There is also the fact that they look like little crabs. Look!

After it is all said and done I have to say that I am a big girl now. I can now say that I have tried fish eggs. And they weren't even awful. The hardest part for me was the seaweed wrapper. I really think the smell made it hard for me to enjoy the experience fully. The best part for me? The fact that my kids tried it and liked it. The fact that my kids had this great experience with their friends and amidst it all learned something really great. How to enjoy and embrace a totally different culture. Just fantastic.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hmmmpph...Scaredy Cat.

Once upon a time, long, long ago...I was like 11 or 12. (I know you are just chompin at the bit to hear the rest of this story). I was at a good friend's house, well, she was more like my surrogate mother. Anyway, she was eating some olives and I was gagging(like a12 yr old girl would do). She proceeded to say that if I tried the olive that she would give me a buck. Well, that changed things entirely. I really needed that buck. So, I accepted the challenge. I looked at it and turned it all around and then did the whole smell test ( I can tell ya the smell was not winning me over). So, I bit into it. No, I didn't pop the whole thing in my mouth. I am not a risk taker like that. I ate half of it and pretty much on the spot decided that it was pretty gross. I should have gone with my instincts. I did not, however, spit it out. Long story short...she only gave me 50 cents. I said that was so totally unfair and she said, "Eat half, get half". Whatever.

Fast forward to now. About 20 yrs later. We had my husband's cousin here last nite and we had dinner and visited and it was great. It came to be dessert time and I had made some really great Blueberry bars that she was digging into. My husband was having his famous homemade chocolate
ice cream. I brought out the cheese curds. My neighbor had just returned home from Wisconsin and so kindly brought us some fresh dairy items. I pulled one out and his cousin asked what it was. I told her and then asked if she wanted one. No Way. That was the answer she gave. "Have you ever tried them?," I say. She says, "No." "Well go ahead, try one." "Ummm...I dont think so." "Okay, how about if I eat half and then you eat half?" "Okay." she says. Then out of nowhere she decided that she didn't just say that she would try it. "I didn't say I would try it." she said. "Yes you did." my husband and I declare.

This is what happened after that:

You see the white thing over her face? That is a paper towel. She is blocking her mouth with a paper towel so that I can't shove the cheese curd in there. Me? I am in the green. I am trying to take her down so that I can make her try this cheese. It is kinda hard to tell in this picture, but I am pretty sure that she has like 4 or 5 inches on me in the height department. I am hanging on to the counter top so that she can't like body slam me onto my kitchen floor. Needless to say, I lost. But in my defense, she is taller than me and like 12 yrs my junior, and in really great shape, and okay, I can be honest. She won.

Just wait till next time. I am not gonna let you win next time!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Yummy yums of goodness

I have just recently found these:

Here is what they really look like in real life:

I am surprised that I was able to get a picture of them. I get them and then I turn around and they are all gone. The kids love them. We, the parents, love them. No, they are not organic. I know, I know, but it is pretty difficult to get organic citrus here in the rural Midwest. At any rate, they are magnificent. They are a little smaller than a clementine, but have the added bonus of being seedless. They are a little harder to peel. The rind seems to be thinner and more adhered to the actual fruit. The size of them, however, is perfect for the kids to throw in the lunch bag or for myself to toss in the diaper bag if I am out running errands.

Beware, tho, they are super juicy. Make sure you have a napkin handy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

It is Spring...Well, it was last week anyway.

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"You stand up for what you believe in, even if it gets in the way of what other people think. You are proud of yourself and your accomplishments and you enjoy letting people know that."

What is everyone else?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

The sun will come out, tomorrow

Today was one of those days where you just wanna climb right back in the bed and get all cozy under the covers and just stay there....for a long time.

I have been feeling under the weather for a few days and finally decided after 3 days of fever and sore throat that I would go to see the dr. I am sure my being sick has everything to do with the fact that all 3 of my kids have been sick over their 3 week spring break. So, I call in to the dr. this morn and get the earliest appt. they have open. In the meantime, I have to get the kids fed, shower, change the baby, and then eat some breakfast myself. Oh, and call Grammy to see if she can sit with the kids so I can go.

As I am eating my bowl of oatmeal I see outside that it is getting pretty dark and nasty. The wind is beginning to pick up and the lightning and thunder is beginning to roll in. Great. It is gonna pour down rain right when I have to leave. And yes, does it ever. Rain and rain and rain. I pull into the clinic and it is just coming down in sheets. I sit there a minute, you know you do too, thinking that it will slow down just for me so that I can get out of the car. A minute turned into more like 5 and I finally talked myself into getting out. I have an umbrella and still get soaking wet because it is so windy. Get all checked in and am sitting there waiting for my turn...what is that noise, I think to myself? I guess everyone else was thinking that too. Because we all get up and go look outside. It is hailing. Nice, marble sized hails...all over the pretty cars in the parking lot...lotsa hail...about 15 minutes of hail. The lady next to me and myself pretty much look at each other and say,"I'm gonna go sit down. Not anything I can do about it. Let's just not watch." Good plan.

Get in for my appt and have to sit thru pretty much the equivalent of 2 appts because there was a medical student who came in first and had to do everything the actual dr was going to do so he could report all his findings to her. Just so she could come in and do them all over and they could talk about it. I have strep throat. They both came to that conclusion. There was a consensus. Especially since I went in with the assumption that that's what it was. Great. Lovely.

Get home, eat some lunch...more soup. Yummm...Take my meds. So, I have to say that my throat feels a lot better. However, in order for my throat to feel better I have to have a pretty nasty stomach ache. But, you gotta love antibiotics, right. makes one thing feel better and then makes something else not so good.

The sun will come out, tomorrow. Even if it is going to be 25 degrees cooler than it has been.