Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stunned, I tell you

I've been a pretty good girl lately, so I treated myself to a Baking Day today.

This is Pina Colada. It starts with a yellow cake mix . . then a little crushed pineapple . . . then frost with whipped cream and top with coconut. If only there was a little steel drum music in the background it would all be perfect.

I've been summoning up my courage for a long time to try this one out. It is a French Toast cupcake. Seriously. And it tastes exactly like french toast. The frosting is a maple buttercream concoction that is a perfect compliment to the cupcake and makes it taste exactly like french toast. It's a little bit freaky. Topped with crisp bacon crumbles - how can you go wrong? It's another keeper.

I finally made time to try out my new pasta machine. Pasta dough is super, super easy and then after kneading you just divide the dough into four balls and roll each one through the machine. Each ball takes 7 times through the pasta machine - starting first on a thick setting and working down to paper thin. After it's at it final thin-ness, it goes through the cutting mechanism. Although it is really a 2 person job, it was so totally easy. The pasta was so delightfully thin it dried super fast and is now in the fridge awaiting next week's chicken noodle soup dinner. I paid about $40 for this genius machine (totally worth it) and I got it from If you were thinking of getting a pasta machine, think no more my friend. Get one. Get one now. Or come over and play with mine. You will be stunned at how easy fresh pasta can be.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I need more

I have 10 pairs of pajamas. Is that a lot?

I would wear pajamas 24/7 if I could get away with it. I change into my jammies as soon as I know I'm in for the day. I love pajamas and if I know myself at all, and I like to think that I do, I will get even more pajamas. For instance, I only have 2 pairs of red pajamas and I really don't think that's enough.

I also have 10 watches, but I think that's enough for now. Especially since only 2 of them are working. I do have room for 1 more watch if, and only if, I can find a Monopoly faced watch like I had in 1987. Unfortunately, since I am now . . . um . . . slightly older than I was in 1987, and since Armitron no longer makes that watch, it has become a (gulp) "vintage collectors item" (ouch) when I look it up on Ebay or Amazon and costs more than I am willing to pay. It's a very insulting and painful thing when items when your youth become "vintage" and/or "collector" items.

I also don't have enough shoes, but what woman does? I have a picture of a pair of really great red pumps in my head, and as yet I've been unable to find them. Probably because I'm looking for them at the ever-elusive free shoe store (coincidentally located next to the also elusive free couch store, free computer store, and recently added free dining room table store). In addition to the red pumps, I also need a pair of brown slip on flats/loafers, black espidrilles (well, espedrilles in any color really - how can you go wrong), and a pair of silver something-or-other would probably be fun. All I know for sure is that I simply don't have enough shoes. Gotta get more.

There is also a slight possibility I may have a few too many lipsticks. Doesn't matter. Must get more.

I also think I need more dishes. I do not need more mugs. Why must all dinnerware sets come with mugs? Just wondering.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

227 Days to Paradise

I'm cruising in 227 days.

Do you have any idea how important it is to have something sun shiny and beachy to look forward to when each new day only brings various shades of gray?

January is the very worst month of the year. No question about it. There's the post-holiday blues, which is about the only thing blue during the month, and the endless gray weather. Snow can only stay pretty around here for a short time before it is all uglied-up by car exhaust and other nasty pollutants. Then since birthdays are no fun anymore, I have that to dread all month too.

I shouldn't say dread. I'm not THAT person. I don't dread my birthday. I don't really mind getting older, although I must say 40 was hard to swallow. I just wish that there were a few more viable birthday activities than are available in January.

So back to happier thoughts - did I mention I was cruising in 227 days? We are thankfully going back to Miami this time. I heart South Beach!! I even branched out and booked us on one of the bigger ships. All the times we have gone we've gone on a different ship, but always the same class/size of ship, which certainly has its benefits. On Boarding Day, while everyone else is wandering around with their little maps and confused expressions, we know exactly where everything is since the layout of the ships we have been on is practically idential. It's nice to not have to waste 2 days figuring out where the elevator is.

We are stopping at Grand Turk (Turks & Caicos) and then have 2 different stops at the Bahamas. We've never had 3 stops before, and we've never been to these islands either. New ship, new stops . . . It should be a great cruise.

We have a party of 13 this time. We are taking our kids and some of Lane's family is coming as well.

I even found me a screaming deal on airfare. I don't usually book air this far out, but I do love me a screaming deal and I couldn't pass it up.

The mouse who has invaded our house is still at large. He comes out once in a while to taunt us, then quickly scurries away, nimbly missing all the traps we have carefully placed. I hate mice. And I certainly don't remember inviting him in.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

But I Don't Wanna

Since it turns out I can't spend my earthly days doing only things I want to do, I have resolved to do one thing every day that fits into the "But I don't wanna" category. Yesterday I mopped. I don't like to mop. I really, really, don't like to mop. Almost as much as I don't like to do laundry. Almost, but not quite. Laundry still wins. Today I washed dishes by hand. My kids have a terrible habit of leaving piles of dishes that won't fit into the dishwasher piled on the counter. And the dishes we have that can't go in the dishwasher - like my stoneware pans, baking mats, and baggies (yes, I wash baggies) - yeah, they leave those too. So rather than having my usual screaming rant, I just washed the dishes. Strangely, there is a good deal of satisfaction that comes with accomplishing something from the "But I Don't Wanna" category, once you get past the "But I Don't Wanna" argument with yourself. I waste far too much time every day having that argument with myself - from the time the alarm goes off in the morning (and I hit snooze 3 times as part of the argument) to when I go to bed knowing I should read my scriptures - and sometimes I actually do. If this old dog could just learn some new tricks, I would probably find surplus hours in my day from not having that argument.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just When You Thought We Couldn't Get Any White-Trashier

I was privileged to enjoy one last day of Holiday Pay today thanks to a perfect alignment in the Universe of New Years Day falling on a weekend. And I embraced it, baby, I embraced it. I got lots done. Lots of those little annoying things that just sit around . . . day after day . . . not getting done. And some of those things that I still do every week but wish they would just go away. Like laundry. But in honor of my last day of Holiday Pay for a little while, I cooked/baked. What a delightful break from the hurriedness of the holidays and the different-but-still-hurried hurriedness of normal days.

I decided this morning that chicken noodle soup sounded good since it's been so darn cold. Then, I realized that since I had ALL DAY LONG I could also bake some bread or rolls for a change. THEN I realized that if I was making soup anyway, why not bread bowls? And since I had ALL DAY LONG, why not make noodles?

Noodles aren't hard to make. Hard to roll out, sure - but not hard to make. My shoulders and arms were sore after rolling out a double batch of noodles, and Lane conveniently showed up to help me after I was done rolling it. He did help me with the cutting though. As a delicately lay the noodles down on my baking racks to dry, I realized that a double batch was far too much to fit on the racks. Hence, the birth of "Hillbillly Pasta Racks:"

Oh yeah. 3 coat hangers full. It was white-trashiness at it's finest. But, hey, it worked, Perfectly in fact. Hmmm. Pay $10+ for an authentic pasta rack or pay $0 for a coat hanger. Well, I think we all know how that decision is going to come out.

My bread bowls turned out quite perfectly. If anything, they were a little shallow, but for me they were great. Nothing beats warm, homemade bread on a cold day.