Sunday, April 20, 2008

Nooks and Crannies

I recently painted my daughter, A.'s, room a lovely shade of pink. One would think that painting one 10x10 room would be quick and simple. One might think that but one would be wrong. For you see, I have orange peel textured walls which makes painting (something which I have done many times and actually enjoyed) an arduous task. "Curse you, villainous textured wall!" say I with clenched fist held aloft and being shaken with indignation. In the interest of efficiency I have compiled a list of why hell will freeze over before I buy another house with orange peel walls. It is as follows:
  1. It is virtually impossible to achieve a nice straight line where the wall meets the ceiling. I have yet to master a tape applying technique that results in said tape adhering to every nook and cranny. The result is paint on the ceiling. Not pretty.
  2. Imagine applying a thin layer of peanut butter to and english muffin. Now you know the first layer is not going to result in all the nooks and crannies being filled. No, it will take a couple of applications and some pressure to obtain full coverage. The same can be said for orange peel textured walls(I think it should be renamed english muffin textured walls, it suits).
  3. Lastly, you must inspect the wall from every possible angle to see if everything is covered and no little white specks are left bare. Regardless of how closely you scrutinize your work you will inevitably discover defects for as many years as that paint is on your walls.
So it is with no small amount of relief that I find my project completed and A. delighted with the results. Of course her sisters are now petitioning to have their room repainted. Hmmm.... maybe in a few months.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Open Mouth, Insert Cookie

I have a good excuse for making cookies again so soon. No really, I do. We were late for Sunday school which meant the girls received NO TREATS! in the reception area before going to class. As you can imagine, this was a very serious situation. To prevent E. from having a complete meltdown (not an unheard of event when she is hungry) I assured her that I would make special treats for them that afternoon. Be glad because these cookies and yummy tasty. I decided to make snickerdoodles for three reasons: they are delectable, I had all the ingredients, and they are fun to say. Go on say it. Snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle, snickerdoodle. You may remember these cookies from your junior high home/ec class (M). I ran out of white sugar for the cinnamon/sugar coating and had to use brown sugar, but my grandma and I decided they were much improved for the substitution. They had a very crisp exterior while maintaining a light and airy interior. You may remember from my beans & cornbread entry that this is a texture combo that brings joy to my heart. Here is the recipe I used: Coming soon: D vs orange peel textured walls.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Beans, Beans The Musical Fruit

Let me preface this post by saying that I have never been what you might call a fan of beans or cornbread. Cornbread was almost always too dry and bland. Beans were squishy and smelled weird. My husband and kids, however, love beans and all but N love cornbread so I decided to try this recipe from Pioneer Woman: Wow! WOW! I hope the use of all caps, bold, italics, and red letters properly convey just how shocked I was at just how good these beans and cornbread were. The beans were not too mushy or squishy and didn't smell weird. They smelled like bacon which, of course, is a good thing. I substituted butter for the shortening in the cornbread recipe which imparted a lovely buttery flavor. It was wonderfully crisp and crunchy on the outside while moist and fluffy on the inside. Completely divine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Marinara Magnifica

This recipe is from Cooking Light and is phenomenal. It makes a truckload so typically I divide it into ziplocks and freeze for later. You will never want to buy jarred sauce again. Now, go forth and make marinara.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I don't actually have anything to say about this photo that I took at the library, but I thought it was pretty so here it is.

If you stop back by tomorrow night I will have a recipe for the yummiest marinara!

Friday, April 4, 2008

This Is What I Did Today

I woke up this morning to a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing through the palm trees, and I knew there was no way around it, we had to go to the beach. We stumbled upon a little tidal pool, which was perfect for the girls. The waves were a bit strong today, so we stuck close to shore. We found some lovely shells that we brought home for art projects, and I found an itty bitty shark's tooth. We had a great time, and 3 little girls and their mommy will be sleeping well tonight.

Yes, We Have Alligators At The Library

This week at the library we spotted two juvenile alligators about 1 1/2 feet long. The above gator was on the same side of the pond as we were. Naturally, this was taken with zoom because I am not an idiot. I also included the only ugly photograph of a heron known to man. You will truly appreciate just how difficult it was to take a bad shot of these ordinarily graceful creatures when you see the photo below.

Now, this is what a heron really looks like. The smaller white bird in this pic is a white ibis. The next pic is the second juvenile alligator from the opposite bank after it entered the water and began swimming toward us. This is the point where I ushered my children back to the car posthaste. Here is a bit of info about gators: typically they go the opposite direction of humans. The exception to this would be mothers guarding a nest or her young and males during mating season, both of which can be very aggressive. This young gator swam toward me because it is used to being fed and sees me as a food source. I really couldn't be less interested in being a food source for a gator. In no way do I want to be associated with food in their little reptilian brains. With all this in mind, I asked the library staff why the alligators haven't been moved to another location. The response was that they wouldn't stand a chance because the bigger gators would likely kill them. Hmmm....gee that is a sad prospect. It is definitely a much better idea to allow hand-fed gators to get big and strong in the library pond which is heavily frequented by children. Riiiight. So, Aunt J., you in the market some alligator pumps this year?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Zeke, Australian Cattle Dog Extraordinaire

This is Zeke, the Australian Cattle Dog who joined our family just two months ago. Now, don't be fooled by the first photo into thinking this dog actually herds cattle or does anything remotely resembling work. The photo of him nestled in my husband's arms is a more accurate portrayal of how Sir Zeke-A-Lot (that's what the girls call him) spends his days.

Zeke is a wonderful dog 99% of the time. There are, however, 3 things this dog cannot be trusted around. Two of them he will eat, and one he can't resist peeing on. This dog will go to great lengths to get his paws on socks/slippers and marshmallows. He doesn't just chew the socks, he eats them. My husband, L., caught him sneaking one of the girl's socks out of the laundry and hiding in his mouth. L. had to pry Zeke's mouth open, and there it was sitting on his tongue. As you can imagine, socks are not easily digested; and unpleasantness, which I will not chronicle here, inevitably ensues.

When it comes to silk plants, he just can't pass up an opportunity to mark them as his own. An incident involving a beautiful display at my neighbor's garage sale is the reason I made the wonderfully delicious cookies highlighted in an earlier post. He didn't get any.

Of course, all is forgiven when he looks at me with those eyes, tailing wagging in a circle so hard he can barely walk. *sigh*...dogs.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

le concombre avec dinde et craquelin de goldfish a la E.

Chef E.

"Mommy, I'm staaaaarrrrvvving. My tummy wants food now, please make lunch for us, please!" The situation was looking grim, three starving girls getting pretty darn cranky. I need lunch, and I need it STAT. I open my fridge to survey the contents for a suitable meal, and it is slim pickins. By this time 2 of the 3 are clutching their stomachs and moaning in anguish (I would like to mention that I had, in fact, fed these children a large breakfast 3 hours ago). This was clearly an emergency, so I threw some turkey, cucumber slices and a hefty pile of goldfish crackers on their plates and announced that lunch was served...and the people rejoiced. Once seated, E.(one of my 5 yr old twins and the most vehement in her demand for food) apparently decided she was dissatisfied with the lackluster presentation of her meal and arranged her food into the lovely presentation in the above photo. Once all the elements were in place and met her rigorous standards, she turned to me with a, "Mommy look at this, Voila!" and demanded I take a picture. We, umm, watch a lot of cooking shows around here. E. tells me that her favorite chefs are Paula Deen, Alton Brown, and the animated rat from Ratatouille. She then proceeds to regale us all with her description of how the flavors of each individual ingredient combine to create something "Magnifique!". That's my girl. Bon Appetit!