Sunday, February 28, 2010

Diablo Chicken

Attractive picture, isn't it? I always say, butter makes everything better.

All kidding aside, I didn't put up the picture of the chicken because it's not super pretty, and I didn't want to scare anyone off. I promise you though, it's dang yummy. And easy.

All you need to make it are chicken (or fish or pork chops), butter, honey, cheap yellow mustard (like French's), salt, and curry powder. The magical ingredients are the butter (duh) and the curry powder. Try it, and I promise you'll love it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And a Tornado of Destruction Befell the Land . . .

Meet our new tornado. Our tornado in the form of a six-month old puppy. And he's an abandoned puppy, so of course he has issues.

How appropriate.

We were never going to get a puppy. Ever. Puppies eat furniture. Puppies eat shoes. Puppies poop in the house. Puppies . . . oh never mind. Let's just sum it up by saying that puppies are little tornados. Little furry, stinky, slobbery tornadoes.

It's all Peanut Head's fault. Big surprise, I know. 

We were going to wait until summer, or spring at the very least, to get a dog. A full-grown dog from the shelter. Not. A. Puppy.

Then Peanut Head e-mailed this picture to me and he included a little sob story about how Mr. Puppito was abandoned and he needed a home blah, blah, blah. He's such a marshmallow.

And then he had to go and show the picture to this one.

And then this one. Then I caved. I was a goner.

Well what would you have done?

So now we have a puppy, and it's all because Peanut Head didn't stick to the plan.

Did I mention it's a boy? I think I heard Peanut Head saying something about how he was outnumbered in this house, or something like that. Whatever. Do you see the indelicate way Mr. Puppito is lounging? It makes me want to get the carpet cleaner out, pronto.

I had to settle for a trip to the vet. Mr. Puppito came home on a Sunday, we got his shots on Monday, and by the end of the week he was neutered. Oh yeah, we took care of that mess straight away.
Once the shots and the boy bits were dealt with, we moved on to naming Mr. Puppito. Let me just say this again, Peanut Head is a ginormous dork. This is his white board, where he insisted that each of us keep a running list of names that we wanted for the pup. Frankly, the girls' names were just horrid. I'm sorry. I feel terrible about that, but really, they were. And this list you see is the edited list, so you're not even getting the true flavor of the horridness.

Plus, I couldn't seem to steer Peanut Head away from names that described food. I kept asking him if he was hungry, and he was not amused. He was actually pretty grouchy about it.

To make matters worse, Peanut Head scoured the internet for days, looking for the perfect puppy name. I am not kidding you. You would have thought he was a new daddy and this was his first born. I had no idea there were so many internet sites to help you name your dog. Seriously.

We mulled the name thing over for at least two weeks and we were getting nowhere. Nobody could agree. I couldn't understand why no one else liked GUStov Eduardo Clementine. Now that's a name you can holler down the street at night. GUStov EDUARDO Clementine, get back here this instant you naughty little doggie!

They just weren't feelin' it though. Dashed again. 

Then out of the blue, a mental fart raced through my brain and straight out my mouth without my knowledge, and I blurted out "Gunny!"

No lie. It came from nowhere.

Let me explain. Gunny is short for Gunnery Sergeant. And Peanut Head was in the Marine Corps. Mind you I didn't think any of this. It just spewed out from some secret part of my brain that I wasn't even aware existed. Imagine what nuggets of wisdom must be stored there.

And Peanut Head liked the name! Can you believe that?

So immediately he became Gunny. And correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't he look a little bit like a draft dodger? I think it's those shifty, no-eye-contact eyes.

Lucinda Gooseberry does not like him one little bit. She thinks he stinks and his mama dresses him funny.

And she's right. Gunny Man has a serious flatulence problem. His toots can peel the paint off walls.

And there are other undesireables as well. Of course.

The biggest problem we had was where to put this little package of giddy destruction while we were at work and school. We decided we needed to minimize the potential damage as much as possible, and that meant corralling the tornado in the hallway during the day. The worst he could do is eat a door jamb, right?

Did I mention Lucinda hates his guts?

As I was saying, minimize the destruction . . . what a joke. This is the door to Stinkerbell's room, right at the end of the hallway. All the doors are closed during the day, right? And that should suffice for someone with no opposable thumbs, right?

Apparently not. He managed to not only get Stinkerbell's door open, but then he one upped it and locked himself in the room. No lie. He is definitely Peanut Head's child.

And look what he did! Sittin' there with his no-eye-contact look, amid the destruction. How ironic that the Time Out bench is right behind him. He's going to need it.

Puppies eat shoes. And yes, thankfully this one was a hideously ugly, Dora the Explorer sandal, but still.

Puppies eat boots. They don't discriminate and just eat the hideous shoes. They go for the good stuff too. [Sniff].

And if that weren't enough, "Hey! Someone's been sleeping in my bed!"

Gee, that sounds familiar.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

I hope everyone is having a nice Valentine's Day. It was a pretty low-key day here.  I've been watching a lot of the Olympics, and I've seen that Dairy Queen Valentine cake commercial one time too many. Which is why I now have a half-eaten Dairy Queen Valentine cake. [Burp]

And because you shouldn't eat dessert first, we readied ourselves with a greasy heart shaped pizza. Not that you can tell that it's heart shaped. The only heart I can see is the heart attack I may have from all the grease on it. It sure was yummy though. I'd say we celebrated Valentine's Day in style. Ooh boy!

I had grand plans for Valentine's Day this year too. I had crafts I wanted to do, goodies I wanted to make, and cutesie Valentine sewing projects I wanted to complete. Then I got sick.

I had it coming too. Like a bonehead, I went and boasted, "I haven't been sick once this school year, blah, blah, blah." Then a lightning bolt promptly shot down from the sky and I was stricken with the Black Death.

At which point all my motivation and give a ding-dang heck departed. And nothing got done. And I didn't ding-dang care. At all.

I did recover though, and at practically the last minute, I did manage to put some treat bags together for the girls to take to school. Thankfully I already had the treat toppers in a kit, so all I had to do was drag and drop the pictures into them. The girls put them together, with much bossing from me.

I made some for my class too, except minus the picture. That would have been CUH-reepy. Sixth graders do not want a picture of their teacher. Ick.

As I was saying, we had a low-key day. Here are the girlies, scrapbooking. It's a scary, scary thing. Santa gave them scrapbooking kits awhile back and they looooooooove to scrapbook.

I can't watch.

I'm too anal and their non-symmetrical pages and haphazard placement of uncoordinating bling and hoo hah make me crazy. C-C-C-C-C-RAZY.

This is what my basement looks like today. Who am I kidding, the whole house looks like this right now. I tried to get a Valentine sewing project done for today, but I didn't make it. I got it part way done and I made a ginormous mess. And I don't feel like cleaning it up.

So I'm not gonna.

But I have tomorrow off, so it's okay. I'm pretty giddy about it too. Poor, poor Peanut Head has to go to work tomorrow. What about you? Do you have tomorrow off?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Menu Planning for a Month

As promised, today I'm going to tell you how I menu plan for a month. It's really no different than planning for a week, except that you need more space. Space in the form of a calendar, to be exact.

Like this. Just click on it before you save it to your desktop, and you'll get the best resolution possible. You could print it on card stock or photo paper and then laminate it so you can reuse it with a washable marker, or you can just print out a new one each month. I designed it as an 8-1/2" x 11" calendar, so you will get the best results if you print it that size as well.

I think I've shared with you before that I loathe menu planning. Would rather dust kind of loathe. Yep, that much. But we need to eat to survive, and I'm pretty sure I can continue living amongst the mountains of dust, so I'm forced to menu plan.

Dang it.

Well, I finally figured out that if I sit down and menu plan for a month at a time, I don't have to do it as often. How cool is that? I love it. Well, I don't love it, but I hate it less.

I sit down with my recipe box and just start filling things in on my calendar. In pencil.

The nice thing about doing it for a month at a time is that if I'm in the mood for chicken and I can't decide on a recipe, I can put a different recipe down for each week. It's also a way to make sure we're eating that cow we have in our freezer.

I usually only plan on cooking full on meals three or four times a week. That way we have at least one day to eat leftovers, there's a day to eat unhealthy crap from the freezer, and sometimes we even go out to eat. Since I went back to work we've been going out to eat about once a week. I know, so bad, but I've gotten good at rationalizing it because I'm working now, and I'm dang tired.

As you can see from my menu above, I've sketched out which days we'll eat what, but really, it's not etched in stone. It's in pencil. I'm pretty much only limited by what groceries we might have in the house at any given time. Grocery shopping is a crap shoot these days. We keep a running grocery list and when we run out of something that we cannot live without (chocolate), somebody makes a list and goes. Peanut Head even grocery shops. By himself. [Gasp] I know. He's a man of many talents.

As I was saying, sometimes I cook what it says for a given day on my menu, and other times I'll jump around and pick something out of order. More than anything, the menu plan takes the guesswork out of  "What am I going to make for dinner?" These here are my choices, pick one and get on with it. I'm big on no brainers like that.

One of my snoopy readers (Ter) wanted me to actually share with you what was on my menu for a month, so here's what we're eating, in no particular order:
The items with links are recipes that I've made recipe cards for. And speaking of recipe cards, I have a little surprise for you.

Remember these recipe card dividers I gave you awhile back? Well, I made tabs for them, just for you.

Click on them before saving to your desktop, then print them out as 5x7s and you're in business.

If you thought this was fun, you should go check out The Organizing Junkie. She does a Menu Plan Monday round-up every Monday, and you can see how other people menu plan.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Boy (Valentine?) Magnetic Bookmarks

Okay all you whiners out there, I have boyish bookmarks for you now. Just kidding about the whiner part. A reader, Jana, suggested it, very nicely I might add, and I thought it was a great idea. I don't have much boy stuff though, like none, so I had to buy a kit to make these. Had to. That's what I'm telling Peanut Head. Back me up here, will ya?

Anyway, here they are. Just make sure you click on them before you save them to your desktop.

Happy V-Day Peeps!