Thursday, July 23, 2009

Things I cooked today.

If you are a regular reader (and I sure hope you are, and if you are, thank you thank you thank you), you know that Mr. Smith and I have had a rough couple of years (legally speaking). My dirtbag mother-in-law is suing us and that has put a great deal of strain on us.

Don't get me wrong. Our marriage is fine, better than fine, actually. We are very happily married. Our children are wonderful, puzzling, maddening creatures, but our lives, except for one big, fat, glaring exception are pretty happy and basically good.

In an effort to make Mr. Smith's 42nd birthday happy, I decided to make him breakfast. He slept in, and I got breakfast started. I ended up making lunch (okay, it was frozen, but I still had to cook it!) and dinner. Oh yeah, and dessert.

Boy are my dogs TIRED!

1. Buttermilk pancakes (Trader Joe's has awesome pancake mix that was on sale for $1.99!)

2. Applewood bacon (As Mr. Smith says, "Bacon makes everything better).

3. Kind of gross Weight Watcher English Muffin Egg and Cheese Sandwich (for the 3 year old that ate one of everything today and refused to wear anything more than a diaper all day). These are gross because the microwave, in general, is not kind to any bread products. English Muffins, it turns out, are bread products. One side gets hard enough to drive penny nails and the other side is wet and soggy. Blech.

4. Scrambled eggs to appease the raging 3 year old who was not happy with the quantity of scrambled egg product contained in #3.

5. Trader Joe's Frozen Fettucini Alfredo (YUM!)

6. Trader Joe's Frozen Haricot Verts (you know, those little French green beans that are so great). Added to #5 with a little leftover #2 (bacon) thrown in for good measure.

Baby C's hands and face are regularly stained indigo. She is on an all freeze-dried fruit kick
(mostly blueberries, hence, the bluish cast to her hands and face).

Is 14 months too young to be described as an Emo kid?

7. That Graham Cracker Thing in celebration of Mr. Smith's 42nd birthday. If you have failed, for what ever reason, to make this recipe, shame on you!

8. Mr. Smith's Mythical Mystical Bundt Cake also in celebration of Mr. Smith's 42nd birthday. The whole sordid tale of this recipe is here. Apparently, when you are freshly 42 and can't make a decision about which cake you would like for your birthday, you get both of your choices. I tried to be a hard ass and insist on one, but I got guilted into making both by my mother and Aunt M. They both uttered the following, "After all, it is HIS birthday." So I did some more damn dishes and got to work.

9. Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.

10. More Trader Joe's Haricot Verts.

Pop Pop (aka The Monkey) and H clean up after my cooking frenzy.

I am not complaining. Obviously, I love cooking. I have a cooking blog for Pete's sake! I love to cook for this man, my wonderful, patient, loving, handsome husband. He is a self-proclaimed picky eater, but I know, if Mr. Smith likes it, it is culinary gold.

Our anniversary (4th) was yesterday. Yup, we got married the day before his birthday.

Anyway, before I pass out after all this cooking, I just want to let Mr. Smith know, you are the light of my life. Every single day that you are in my life is like Christmas, the best birthday, the best day ever.

You have given me everything I never thought I would have and for that, I will be forever in your debt.

Thank you for joining me on this crazy ride. I can't imagine what the next four, or forty years hold for us!

To wrap up this post, I wanted to include a quote from H. When asked what his hand smelled like, "Dog ball."

I think that kind of says it all doesn't it?

Post edit: I forgot that I also cooked Orzo (aka "Little Tiny Noodles") for H for lunch. That was after his absurdly huge breakfast and mid-morning snack.

Mr. Smith's Mythical Mystical Bundt Cake Recipe

The original cake of legend was baked by my errant mother-in-law (amazing since she is about as domestic as an angry cobra). For months, Mr. Smith waxed nostalgic about the virtues of this cake, how moist it was, how delicious, how desperate he was to have it again.

Anyway, we had to fire the mother-in-law, so we did not have access to the recipe. So I went spelunking in the recipe archives and came up with a worthy successor to the mythical bundt cake recipe. Every once in a while Mr. Smith campaigns for one. Well, The Mr. Smith is turned 42 today. His dilemma: the desire for two birthday desserts and an inability to choose between them. The solution: Mrs. Smith should make both!

Be warned, this recipe is not healthy, it has no redeeming nutritional qualities, it is pure indulgence!

Mitch’s Mythical Bundt Cake Recipe

4 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

1 cup sour cream

1 small box of chocolate pudding

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 bag chocolate chips

Whisk eggs, oil, water and sour cream together in a large bowl. Then add box of pudding. Whisk until smooth. Add cake mix and whisk until completely blended. Fold in 1 small bag of chocolate chips (or 1/2 peanut butter chips, 1/2 chocolate chips if you prefer).

Stir until blended, pour into bundt pan. Bake for 1 hour @ 350 degrees. Wait until it cools (that is the hardest part for Mr. Smith) and enjoy with a glass of milk.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Off the Road Again...Part 1

First off, let me ease everyone's mind, we are all fine. Things have been kind of nuts, in a good way for a change, around here. The cookie cake was wonderful. Here is a shot of a piece of it. I can't advise you strongly enough to make it a few days ahead, it makes a HUGE difference.

The Smith Family Players have been on the road, so the posting has been extremely light. Turns out traveling with two children under four can be time-consuming AND stressful! I do not recommend it.

This was our first trip with Baby C. She has actually proven to be a pretty good traveler, that is if you aren't really attached to the concept of a decent night's sleep. She and her brother are morning people, loud morning people.

I am not exactly sure what I did wrong in my last life, but I (not a morning person) have been thrust into a family of morning people. My "birth family" are all morning people and my husband is a morning person, and, heaven help me, my children are both morning people.

I, on the other hand, am an insomniac night owl. They torture me endlessly and I guzzle coffee. Such is life.

I can remember traveling with my parents and my brother on family vacations. Spending countless hours wedged into the back seat of a Pontiac Firebird (my father has a Jim Rockford complex to this day), getting more and more carsick. Luckily, I discovered Dramamine and was able to sleep through most of the later travels. That however, made sleeping at night difficult at best. My night owl tendencies did not make me popular with my family of morning people.

The next morning, I would be groggy and in a foul mood while the rest of my family was bouncing around, showering, going to breakfast and just generally being obnoxious. And so it went, until I could stop traveling with these people.

For years I traveled on my own. I kept a much more leisurely pace and was happy with it. I completely kicked my motion sickness issues and actually enjoyed travel. I would arrive early and end up waiting for my flights. I could get through security without creating a huge bottleneck at the metal detector. It was wonderful.

Now, I am married and have two children. Travel is much more difficult and daunting when you have small children.

I am THAT woman. That one with with the crazy hair, sweating profusely, using 850 bins to get all her belongings through the stupid scanner at the TSA check at the airport. Yup, that woman is now me. I see the rolling eyes. I feel the anguish of the people that are stuck behind us. Turns out you have to have your shoes scanned even if you are only 14 months old!

Yes, that was us being paged in LAX to report to the gate. Yes, we were exactly that late for our flight. We were the last people to board our flight (no small feat with a car seat, about 215,978,321 bags and two pissed off kids). We went through that airport at a dead run and barely made it.

By the way, Virgin America is fantastic. Love love love them. The food is awesome, love the whole, order-your-food-and-have-it-delivered-to-your-seat-concept. My ONLY complaint is the flight attendants on our return flight (the two women, actually one may have been a man in a skirt, there is no way to be 100% sure without embarrassing everyone) were total beyatches. You know who you are. You know, the one that called me "Sweetie" and told me that I could not change my son's diaper in my seat, despite the fact that there was a line 8 people deep for the stupid bathroom.

Otherwise, your little airline has my full support.

Here are a few shots of where we were headed.

It is a magical land called Waverly, New York. My aunt and uncle have a farm there and we all gathered for a family reunion.

I have not been back for over 9 years, so this was a pretty big deal. The last time I visited, I was single and childless. My goodness, so many changes in so little time!

But more about that later!