Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm falling behind

Lots to write about and I promise it's coming soon, but since is Tuesday Trade day and I've been instructed to focus on a crock-pot meal, here's something to fill bellies until I can fill y'all with my genius writing about our fabulous adventures.

Crockpot Enchiladas

• 1 lb. ground beef, cooked
• 1 medium onion, sauteed
• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. pepper
• 4 flour tortillas
• 1 14 oz can corn, drained
• 1 10 oz can enchilada sauce
• 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
• 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
• sour cream, salsa, guacamole

In a bowl, combine ground beef, onion, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

In another bowl, mix the Rotel and enchilada sauce.

Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of the slow cooker.

Place half of the following in layers over the tortillas: meat, corn, sauce mixture, and cheese. Repeat layers.

Cook on low 5-6 hours. Use the sour cream, salsa, and guac as garnishes if you like.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday trade for Ms. Should-be-in-Texas-by-now

Since you posted a Paula dish, I'm posting one too. Also because I made it this week and everyone and their pets asked for the recipe. Two birds, one stone.

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons sugar, plus 3/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (8-ounce) container whipped topping
2 (3-ounce) packages strawberry gelatin dessert mix
2 cups boiling water
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen strawberries
1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
For the crust, mix the pretzels, butter, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Press this mixture into a 9 by 13-inch pan and bake for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 3/4 cup of sugar. Fold in
the whipped topping, and spread over the cooled crust. Refrigerate until well

In a small bowl, dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, and allow to cool
slightly. Add the strawberries and pineapple, and pour over the cream cheese
mixture. Refrigerate until serving time.

The Neutering - Yes, it does sound like a horror movie.

I've meant to tell a little funny story about Jon Stewart and his snip-snip trip for a while. He got through it just fine, unlike his life companion Stephen Colbert's spaying. (Yes, I have the gender/operation correct. Boy Name + Female dog = You're caught up.) Stephen managed to chew her stitches out on Thanksgiving day, bleed all over my MIL's carpet, and cost $1000 in emergency (holiday) vet bills.

Why is it that boy dogs take 4 days to recover and the girls take 2 weeks? Even in animal recovery the female gets the bum deal. Well, the boys don't have it so hot either.....

Anyway, Buzzkill thankfully did not have reservations about Jon getting snip-snipped. I remembered my mother having to wait until my father was on a business trip to sneak the male cat to the vet for his, ummm, procedure. I don't think my father knows even now that the cat died "gender-neutral."

Jon was dropped off early morning and picked up late afternoon. While I was checking him out, the office assistant asked me if I wanted to spend an extra $8 for pain meds for him. She misconstrued the confused look on my face as an aversion for spending extra and assured me they weren't necessary. My confused look was because I didn't know I hadn't already asked for them. My response to her was, "We SURE DO want them. It's a firm rule in our house. If your testicles get removed, you get pain medication!"

When I told Buzzkill about the above exchange, he wavered between relief that I understood the importance of limiting male genital pain and fear that there was some reason for us to keep it an official "house rule."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Remodeling Bug

I've caught the bug. When we bought our house a couple of years ago, we knew eventually we'd pour a bucketful of money into this place in flooring, kitchen, and master bath. But we had a live-with-what's-here-but-paint policy for 4 to 5 years.

The Punkinhead pregnancy interrupted the completion of some rooms being painted and up until now I could live with it. Unfortunately, two things have happened this summer. One, our neighbors sold their house and I saw the upgrades they put in just before. Two, a playgroup mom and her husband have done AMAZING things to a house in our neighborhood and I got to see them when I took them a post-new baby meal.

These visitations have infected me and there is no cure other than.....REMODEL NOW!

Clearly, the budget still isn't ready for a flooring, full kitchen, or full master bath gutting. But I CAN paint. And maybe a little more.

So the plan:

1. Repaint all the mismatched trim throughout the house as this bothers me every where I go in the house.

2. Repaint the kitchen.

3. Do a cosmetic update on the master bath including: rent a steamer to get the border off the walls, repaint the walls, paint the cabinets, replace faucets and fixtures, maybe replace the mirrors, and hire someone to lay down the tile left in the garage by the previous owner so that the shower room matches the rest of the bathroom Here's an inspiration room:

It's probably going to take me a full year to do all this since I'll be a DIY queen. I'm going to budget for a tile guy 'cause I KNOW that's not something I want to learn in the tiny, awkward shower room, but I think the rest is totally within my capabilities and I know it will make me happier at home.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MDO Prep

The Punkinhead is starting Mother's Day Out (MDO) next month and I've spent a big portion of the day calculating what she needs to be prepared. You know, enough play clothes, the right size bag, something for her lunch/snacks/etc. to be carried in. It's her back-to-school list.

I'm so overwhelmed to realize that she ALREADY HAS nearly everything she needs because of all the generous first birthday gifts from friends and family!!!!!!

These wonderful items include, an adorable insulated lunch box monogrammed with her name from our neighbors from the Roswell days, a perfectly sized NAME BRAND backpack monogrammed with her name from close friends from our high school days, and a butt load of cute clothes from cousins, aunts, friends.

As much as I love, oh no, wait....HATE to shop, it's such a relief to have these things all done. We have the best friends and family EVER!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Co-opting the Breakfast Club

I've noticed and listened to a lot of discussion about JCPenney's ad features the teen models/actors in scenes reminiscent of the 80's classic John Hughes movie The Breakfast Club lately.

The comment mostly commonly made is that teens today aren't going to "get" the connection to the movie or find it cool.

Of course they won't! I mean, maybe some of them HAVE seen the movie, but they're still not going to make the leap that JCPenney is cool from that commercial. Want to know why?

They ARE NOT the target audience of this commercial. Parents that were teens when the movie came out in theaters are!

The line of clothes featured in the ad is geared towards an age group of teens that still has their parents shop with them and purchase their clothes. If JCPenney can convince the PARENTS that their store and these clothes are cool, then the parents will shop there for the teens. So the commercial is supposed to appeal to the older folks' (yes, we are now) memory of cool. Trigger it and you trigger the credit card.

I admit I squealed a little inside at the blob-like sculpture Judd T. climbed so many years ago and the Pixie Sticks on a Capt'n Crunch sammie. If this commercial was for toddler clothes, I'd be willing to go check out those clothes. But I'm very impressionable.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Inspiration Post

Ms. Longing-for-Texas posted about her recent easy and delish recipe , so I thought I'd share the quick-bake mock cobbler (mockler? mobbler?) that I wooed Buzzkill with last night. Keep in mind I substitute Splenda for sugar since I'm diabetic.

2 1/2 cups berries (we used Blackberry)
1 cup sugar divided
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine berries with half of the sugar. Kinda smush it together so it's juicy enough to dissolve the sugar but still has clumps of berry.

In another bowl, combine the other half of the sugar, milk, and flour. Mix in melted butter.

In a greased 8 inch pan, pour the batter. Spoon the berry mix as evenly as possible on top of the batter.

Bake for 40-60 minutes (depending on how hot your oven can get, 350 is REALLY hot in mine). Just check on it after 40 minutes to see if the crust on top is golden - then it's done.

I served it with whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream is good to. Or if you don't like topping, have a big glass of cold milk. Or soy milk or whatever.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer of Punkinhead-Cousin Fun

The Punkinhead has a sweet cousin. He's one of her only boy playmates and man, you can tell already that they're going to get into some trouble together!

Hat drama from a swimming Sunday at Grandma's:

Friday lunch and playdate fun:

And for fun, yoga meditation. Ohmmm.....

Thanks to her Auntie S. for the pics!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I was denied membership

to my regional Freecycle. Who knew a group that I want to offer stuff free to is so picky about its members?

Apparently, you have to join a neighborhood (your city) Freecycle before you can join the regional. But there isn't a Freecycle for my particular city, so what's a girl with stuff she doesn't need to do? Another yard sale? But this time just put up a sign that says, "if you can haul or carry it out of my yard, have at it?"