Monday, November 24, 2008


I finally made my own background! I've tried several times but this time it finally turned out right. I have successfully wasted nearly my whole day but hey, at least I have something to show for it. Now I need to fold laundry lightening fast so I can pretend I actually accomplished something with my day. I hear Applebee's has carside-to-go so I can pretend I cooked all afternoon too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cooking your turkey

Do you buy the Butterball turkeys with the red pop-up thinger-majig so you don't have to actually monitor the temperature of your baking bird? If you find the Butterball turkeys are sold out and you can only buy a traditional, non-molested turkey with no red, plastic thinger-majig poking out of it like the outie belly-button of a 40 week pregnant lady, don't fret. I found a recipe for you today; it will take all the stress out of your turkey preparations.

Now I know it is something new, involving popcorn in the stuffing and all. But give it a try, I thought it was perfect for people who just are not sure how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out.

8 - 15 lb. Turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is Good.)
1 cup uncooked popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER'S LOW FAT)
Salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey well with melted butter salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven.

Listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey's ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room, it's done.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What can you do?

November is National Adoption Awareness Month.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

Thursday, November 13, 2008

No-Frill Chili

I've made many pots of chili in the years. None of them have been bad but once in awhile you get one that turns out really well. I never use a recipe and can never really recall what exactly makes the good pots of chili better than the rest, just chucked it up to luck or the barometric pressure. This time I had the brains to write it down and lucky for me, I still remembered what I put in it two days later. Since I like to spread the wealth, er, I mean knowledge you guys can have the recipe too.

1 pkg. ground beef (I used 1.6 lbs but would have bought up to 2 lbs. Just don't try making it with 3/4 of a pound; chili needs meat.)
Diced onions (You can be fancy and dice your own if you'd like, I'm lazy and buy the frozen variety)
1 pkg. Williams chili seasoning (seasons 2 lbs, hence the reason you need nearly 2 lbs of hamburger)
2 cans Bush's mild chili beans
1 can Bush's seasoned kidney beans
(I have no idea what they are seasoned with, the can looked good.)
1 can petite diced tomatoes (because I don't like chunky tomatoes, if you do get bigger chunks)
1 15oz. can tomato sauce
***These 2 cans need to be pureed in a food process or blender before adding***
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes

Brown your meat with the onions and then drain the fat. While the meat is cooking puree your tomatoes. I pureed one can completely and I pulsed the second can so it wasn't tomato juice. Pour into the pan along with the seasoning and other cans of beans and tomatoes. Make sure you throw your can graveyard into the recycle bin.

Here is where it gets tricky. We had a couple of errands to run and I knew if I left the pot of chili on the stove without stirring it would turn black on the bottom and we'd have black flakes of chili floating around (don't ask how I know this.) So I decided to try out the oven proof pans I've had for 7 years... in the oven! I turned it to 300° and placed the pot (with a lid) in the oven and left the house. I really didn't know what to expect when we returned; I've never baked chili after all. The solids sank to the bottom and the juice rose to the top but one quick stir and it looked like chili again! The oven somehow changed the consistency and made it really delicious; J said it was his favorite chili ever.
I only recommend baking your chili in oven proof pans (and lids). If you put a lid in the oven that has a plastic handle it will melt; this goes for crockpot lids as well; take my word for it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Bakery Outlet

For those of you that don't know me well, or don't know my buying habits at all: I do not buy Hostess snack cakes, or Little Debbie or anything else that is generally cake stuffed with some sort of white whipped sugar. In fact, my Mom had to introduce my children to the Ho-Ho and Twinkie during a visit last year. I secretly loved hearing my kids say "Nana, what is a Ho-Ho?!" Of course they loved the Ho-Ho's and twinkies; who doesn't? Thankfully they did not start begging for snack cakes on my next grocery store trip.

Last Friday, Jacob was home from school because he didn't feel well. He slept until noon and then woke up feeling recovered so we went out and got some soup for lunch and headed to a furniture store (one thing better than chocolate snack cakes is new furniture.) Right next to the furniture store was the Hostess bakery outlet. Mmmm...I love me some bakery outlet goodies. I used to buy all of our bread at the outlet and would occasionally pick up the bag of powdered donuts for the kids. Don't bother pointing out that powdered donuts are just as bad a white goo-filled snack cakes; I won't hear of it. So when we pulled into the outlet parking lot Jacob got excited and said "Mom, can we get some powdered donuts here too?"

Well, this bakery outlet was lined with an entire row of every Hostess snack cake made and I was having a particularly sweet tooth day. I stopped myself at 4 boxes and tried to make myself feel better by buying two things that were Lite or Low-fat. I only looked at the nutrition label once and that was on the low-fat crumb cakes; 90 calories per cake. I instantly felt better and stopped looking.Jacob and I shared an individual package of Ding-Dongs in the van before ever leaving the parking lot. I also had to pick up one of the fried fruit pies so the kids could try it; again they had no idea what it was. When J got home we talked about eating them as a kid and how delicious they were with the sugary glaze on the outside and the crunchy shell. Well, there is a reason that kids remember them fondly; it is the one thing that gets left for the kids because they taste nasty to adults!

To make this story even better we went back to the furniture store the next day so I could show J the table I want. He saw the bakery outlet and after hearing my stories of the towering snack cake pillars he needed to see too. We left with two more boxes of snack cakes and a gallon of milk. At least we came away from the bakery store with one healthy thing in two days. I am now soliciting all the neighborhood kids to have snacks at my house so I can clear the closet of these snack cakes injected with whipped high fructose corn syrup goo.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Love, Peace & Hair Grease

In addition to collecting the neighborhood's goodies I have collected their germs as well. The creative juices just don't flow when the sinuses are full; so instead I'll post our groovy pictures from Halloween. We also had cousins here for the weekend for an extra special treat.