Wednesday, June 04, 2014

So Tell Me...

Am I the only one who did not know that this:

Can do this?

When the guy at the Apple Store suggested just buying that plug bit when we got to France instead of having to buy a whole set of plugs to get the appropriate converter, I was shocked.  Here this whole time I thought I had broken the dumb thing because that piece kept trying to pop off.


Monday, June 02, 2014

Bon Jour, Beezies!

Today I am greeting you, through the magic of scheduled posting, from Paris!

Hennie Haworth

My friend Suzy and I are working on our fat kid status as you read this.  Bread, cheese and macarons, baby!  Come to mama!

My husband, who is the BEST HUSBAND EVER, is currently at home with our chirrens, so don't go trying to Google me and rob my house.  He is there and so is the dog.  ;)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Preschool is OVER!

We made it!  Bubba got through his first year of school with no major incidents and only a few minor ones.  His teachers have been great and I wanted to send a little "Thank You" to them.  Same as with my Christmas gifts, I wanted to avoid food products and gift cards.  I've seen several different versions of this idea on Pinterest, but I put my own twist on this.  I wanted to keep it simple and good quality.  This is what I came up with:

I got a couple of mason jars (no shortage of those here!) and decided to fill it with orange paper shreds/gift filler.  The problem?  I couldn't find that stuff in orange ANYWHERE!  Finally I gave up searching and just bought orange gift tissue.  I took out two sheets, folded them back up, and cut them into thin slivers with my paper trimmer.  Then I took the pile of sliced tissue and just separated it with my fingertips.  Easy peasy, inexpensive, and I have most of the package leftover to use for something else.

In the jars I put a tube of L'Occitane Passionate Jasmine Shea Butter hand cream and a bottle of orange Essie nail polish. I cut a circle of patterned paper from the Doodlebug Happy Harvest 6" x 6" pad (the Fall Flowers double sided cardstock) for each jar and also two circles of orange cardstock in slightly different shades using a die cutter and wafer dies. (Um... when did QK become WRMK???  Totally out of the look here!!!) I used a ruler to draw the lines for the orange sections on the back of the darker shade and cut them out with my X-Acto knife.  I then glued it to the top of the other cardstock circle and used a blending tool to apply Distress Ink in Spiced Marmalade to the edges. I punched a few hearts using the Stampin' Up Owl punch (that my neighbor kindly loaned me - DANG I need one of these things!!!) from a third color of orange cardstock. I cut the hearts in half to make the seeds.

For the bird I used the smaller of the Spellbinders Mixed Media Birds One dies.  I cut them from a blue paper that coordinated with my patterned paper and inked the edges using a blending tool and Distress Ink in Salty Ocean.  I outlined the bird and its wing with a fine tipped black pen and also used that to draw its eye.  I added a tiny dot of white ink with a gel pen to give the eye dimension.

I typed up my sentiment in Photoshop and printed it on white cardstock.  I trimmed it, adding the little flag to one side.  I glued the bird to one side of the banner and adhered it to my orange slice with foam squares for dimension. A little ribbon to tie it to the jar ring and BOOM!  Done. I made one for his teacher and one for her aide.

Kindergarten in two months!!!  ACK!  Where has the time gone?

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

I know it's not the most photogenic food ever, but some of the best stuff just isn't, you know?

I've been craving biscuits and gravy for a while now.  It's not something we eat on a regular basis, for fairly obvious reasons.  I think we'll have it maybe once or twice a year.  Oh, but those days are very happy days for me!  I've always liked biscuits and gravy, ever since I was a kid. When we were very poor, my mom would buy those super cheap tubes of biscuits that were about a dollar and make gravy from shortening, flour, and soy sauce.  You heard me right - SOY SAUCE.  Bless her soul, the woman is not ever going to be on Master Chef, that's for certain.  Of course, we were kids and it was all we knew, so at the time we thought it was pretty good.

When I was a senior in high school, I lived with my best friend and her mom.  Now, her mom could throw down in the kitchen.  She made the absolute best sausage gravy I had ever tried.  Finally one day it occurred to me to ask her how she made it, and I've been making it the same way for the past twenty years.  It's really good, simple comfort food.  Don't let the "hot" sausage scare you.  I can't even eat salsa and this isn't particularly spicy to me. My kids ate it too.  The hot variety just adds a little more flavor to the finished gravy.

Sausage Gravy

1 lb Hot Jimmy Dean sausage
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp (about 75grams) All Purpose flour
3 cups milk (I use 1% or 2%, never skim)
salt and pepper to taste

Crumble and brown the sausage in a large skillet.  Once it's browned, evenly sprinkle the flour over the top.  Stir it into the sausage and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the milk.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently and making sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil one minute, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook until desired consistency.  Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Serve over your favorite biscuits.

Not gonna lie - I just make Pillsbury Grands. If you pop them into the oven right before you start to brown the sausage, it will all be done at about the same time.

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Monday, March 03, 2014

It's a Goodwill Miracle!

I started writing this LAST Monday, but then I got distracted and, um... well, I kind of forgot about it.  Whoops.

You all know how much I love me some Goodwill shopping.  I find cool stuff, I'm participating in a form of reusing/recycling, and I save money.  It's like a treasure hunt.  I never know what I'm going to find!

Well, last Saturday I came across an Emile Henry Butter Pot.  Initially I picked it up because it was a beautiful shade of green.  I thought it was just a lidded ceramic bowl.  Closer inspection yielded the brand stamp on the bottom, the butter "bell" inside, and a finish free from chips and cracks.  

Also, it was marked $2.99 AND it was 50% off Saturday.

Should have been a no-brainer, right?  

WRONG.  I.  Put.  It.  Back.

Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb!

I know it was a mere $1.50.  I know it was Emile Henry, which if you know, tends to be pretty pricey. I know it was one of my absolute favorite colors, a bright apple green. But, here's what I was thinking:  

"Do I really want to leave a dairy product out on the counter?"

I know it's perfectly safe.  I know this is what people used to do in the olden days. I know that the butter bell/pot type holder works even better than just keeping it in a plain butter dish.  However, believe it or not, I'm VERY picky about what I buy at the Goodwill.  I won't buy something just because it's cool, or cheap, or a name brand.  I put a lot of thought into most things.  I want to be sure it's something I am going to use and love.  I don't like a lot of random clutter and I don't like to waste money.  Sure, it's just a few dollars here and there, but it adds up over time.

So I left it.

Well, of course I thought about that stupid thing ALL DAY on Sunday.  Finally that night I decided I'd go back the next day and see if it was still there.  I mean, I know the Rule of Goodwill - If you want it, BUY IT, because odds are it will be gone tomorrow!

So I went back.  I crossed my fingers and prayed it would still be on that shelf.  I walked in, went straight to where I had seen it before, and -


I was so disappointed!  I told myself I knew the odds were that it would be gone, but still, it was a bummer.  I figured that while I was there I may as well see if there was anything else I wanted, so I turned to the other shelf behind me and - 


Someone had moved it to a different shelf!  I was so excited, I grabbed that thing, hugged it to my chest, and made a beeline for the registers (after making sure there was no Pyrex on the shelves.  I'm not crazy!).  I got home and triumphantly showed it to my husband, holding it up like a trophy.  Do you know what he said?

"Oh, I was wondering why you didn't just get that in the first place.  I like soft butter on my bread."

SMH.  He could have spoken up!

And yes, I realize I am super excited about a butter dish.  I am officially old.

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