Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crankiness, spaghetti and watching your mouth!

Everybody at my house was CRANKY Monday night.  Well, actually everybody but me.  I was just fine till everybody else started being cranky.

I mean I realize that Jenny had a biography to write and that she did all the research herself and had half the rough draft done and had not actually asked for any help but that was no reason for her to get snippy with me when I announced I was NOT doing that report for her.  No reason at all.

I realize that my husband had been fighting a cold for 3 days and had to go to a Boy Scout meeting and lead a patrol of boys even though his boy couldn't go.  I still don't think that was reason enough not to hang on every word I said as soon as he walked in the door.

I know that Will had had a combined total of about a million hours of play practice when he got home from school Monday night at 9:00.  I realize that he was still staring at a lot of homework and had to hand me a not so great math test grade.  But was that really enough reason to say, "Mom, please!" When I tried to explain that I did in fact know how felt to get a *!@ grade on a math test.  Yes I did and let me tell you a story.

I sent one to bed, one to the showers and Shane went to TRY to read a book.  And I cleaned the kitchen and stewed.  Yep I did.  You do it too.  You know you do.  Please tell me you do.  Clean the kitchen and think about all the things you do for these people.  Well, I stewed just long enough to walk into our bedroom and ask my husband and I quote:  "Why is it that as soon as I stop handing out chocolate chip cookies everybody around here turns on me?"  Ok.  So I might have been a little cranky too.  It took just long enough to get back to the kitchen to say that again in my head and turn right back around and apologize.  Lesson: Don't stew and watch your mouth!!

I did do one thing right Monday night though and that was time the spaghetti right.  Spaghetti is touchy sub ject around here!  My son, the one who doesn't like chocolate and peanut butter, also hates spaghetti.  So when he was diagnosed with celiac to sweeten the deal I promised he would never have to eat spaghetti again.   However, spaghetti is my crazy picky daughter's favorite food.  She eats plates full.  When she was diagnosed I promised to make sure she could still eat spaghetti.  We have a pretty strict eat whats made for you rule around here so every now and then poor Will stares a plate of spaghetti in the face and chokes it down.

But this week he had play practice every night so we ate spaghetti and he was none the wiser.  Just for you GF people out there this is our favorite GF spaghetti.

It's Hobson Mills and for some strange reason at my Kroger it is over in the diet section near the vitamins.  It keeps it shape well and doesn't turn to mush.  We like their macaroni too.  Just a tip though. It is kind of slimy when you first drain the water away so I run the tap really hot and then spray it off before adding to the sauce.  

Oh.  And here's another tip.  Watch your mouth and know who the cranky one really is!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Something's Fishy!

It's biodiversity week at my daughter's school.  Yeah.  I didn't know what that meant either.  Ok.  I'm still not sure what it means except they got to go fishing in the pond today!

I love our school.  Look at that little pond.  Did your elementary school have a pond?  Mine either!  Here is another picture.

She did pretty good too!  Look at this monster fish!

Squint!!  I promise it's there!!  
She would want me to tell you she caught 13 fish total.  All catch and release of course because there were 54 kids out there today and that's gonna happen again tomorrow and the next day.  Those poor little fish are gonna be tired by Friday.  It was almost as if they were trained.  All the kids caught a bunch.  The hooks were barely in their mouths.  They just let you unhook 'em and throw 'em back.  They were great sports about the whole thing which make me feel kind of bad about what we had for supper tonight.

Yep.  Fish.
Fried fish.  And it was good.  Even Jenny had seconds and that never happens.  Maybe she was feeling victorious.

This is one of those kind of made up recipes so measurements are approximate.

Started with 2 eggs and some lemon juice in a bowl and some flour (Pamela's), cornmeal and seasoning on a plate.  About 1/2 cup of cornmeal and 1 cup of flour and just seasoning to taste.  I used salt, pepper, season salt and garlic powder.
*****Be careful when buying cornmeal that it is straight up cornmeal and not a cornmeal/flor mix like Sunflower.  Mine was just plain old Kroger brand.

And of course you need fish.

Catfish nuggets.  These are bite size nuggets that I bought in a huge bag and keep in the freezer.  I rinsed them off really well and let them dry before frying.

Dip fish in egg and then dredge in the flour mixture.  I do all of them at once and line them up on a baking sheet.

Heat a few tablespoons of oil and when its hot fry a few pieces at a time for about 3 minutes on each side depending on how thick they are. 

Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with ketchup.  We weren't even polite.  They just picked them up with there fingers and dipped and ate.  

And just because I can here is one more picture of Jenny fishing!

Not  a bad way to spend the morning!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friends Rock

Friends are awesome.  They totally are.  As my 10 year would say, "They are the bomb diggety!"

Friends and food go together really great!  Here are some of my favorite friend and food memories.

*About a week after my daddy died I got a nasty stomach bug.  I remember being curled up on the floor of my brother's old room at my mom's house and thinking the world was probably coming to an end.  It all just hurt so bad.  And then I went home and my friend Jill had come to my house and plugged in her crockpot full of yummy roast and my house smelled like home.  It smelled like maybe the world wasn't going to end.  I still remember the way that roast smelled.

*My friend Trina makes a killer buttermilk pound cake and at Christmas she makes it in little loaves so you don't feel so bad when you eat the whole thing and tell your family you're sorry that Mrs. Trina was too busy to make pound cake this year.
I got my favorite dressing recipe ever from her also and I'm determined to make it GF this year.

*When I had my first baby I was in labor for like 6 years and when it was all over I was so hungry and my sister in law (who is also my friend) brought me a bacon spud from McAllisters and it was the best thing I ever ate!!!  Truly.

*I was a newlywed during my last year at Samford.  There was only one other girl in my classes that was married and we bonded that year while trying to make homemade gingerbread houses to make out little humble homes perfect for Christmas.  They really weren't edible and they were less than perfect but we loved being domestic together and it is a sweet memory.

*My friend Stacey sent me a link to this recipe awhile back and it has become a favorite.  Gluten free rolls that are soft and yummy and actually good!  Yea for Stacey!  She's the bomb diggety!!!

Brazillian Cheese Rolls
courtesy of Our Best Bites (great food blog)  

Here is what you need

Tapioca flour is the only wierd thing in this recipe.  You can find it in GF section of your grocery store.  It's not hard to find and as far as GF things go not too expensive.  

The hardest part of this recipe is this.

Yep.  It's that easy.  I had pregrated cheddar and I totally used it!

Into the blender, yes the blender, put 
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup Tapioca flour

I put the flour in last to keep it from getting all stuck on the bottom.  Pulse this all together and then add 1/4 cup of each kind of cheese.  I used parmesan and cheddar.  Whatever you like works.  Pulse just a couple of times to get the cheese all mixed in.  You end up with this.

Yea.  Looks gross but keep going.  Here is the most important thing about this recipe.  Grease the mini muffin pan and grease it good.  Spray your heart out with non stick spray.  It'll break your heart if you don't.  Once sprayed, pour the mixture into the muffin pan.  It comes out nicely to 24 mini muffins.  Don't fill them too much.  these things grow!

These are a little too full.  
Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.  You don't want them brown just golden.  Wait till you see this!!

I told you they grow!!  The are kind of hollow and chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside.  This is not a modified recipe, it actually uses the tapioca flour so it turns out right every time which is so nice. They are truly delicious!!!  They are also addictive.  I wasn't going to even eat one because I can't stop after one, but I did.  And then I ate 5 more.  Yep.  Five.

So thanks Stacey for the recipe.  You are the bomb-diggety.  Whatever that is.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Funnel cakes, Cotton Candy and Weight Watchers

Guess where I went this week?
I'll give you hint.

Ready to ride!
This is my daughter Jenny and her best friend Isabelle

Isabelle came home with this!

Jenny came home with this and for the record I paid $5.00 for her to play the game to win this little animal that I would have overpaid for at the Dollar Tree.

They served these.

and we stood in a long line to buy these.

Yep!  We went to the Mississippi State Fair.  My 13 year old was with me too and he had a friend with him as well.  I don't have any pictures of them because once I bought that arm band and handed him $20.00 I didn't actually see him again for a few hours.  He did hug me though and say thanks.  Totally worth it!

Anyway.  Not only do they serve Fried Oreos, they serve these:

These were the cause of many frowny faces at past state fairs.  How stinky to watch everyone walking around eating funnel cakes, and fried oreos and twinkies and chicken on a stick and all you can eat is the roasted corn.  Now I love the roasted corn but you know when your 10 years old-not so much.
It's a funnel cake you want.  So it's a funnel cake you get.  At home at least.

This was a simple recipe.
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cup flour (Pamela's)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Beat the egg and milk.  Mix dry ingrediants in a seperate bowl and slowly add to milk/egg mixture.

I put the mixture into a squeeze bottle.  I actually cut the nozzle down to get a bigger hole to squeeze the dough through.

This is not a pourable batter.  Defiantely a squeeze out of the bottle batter.  No way it would flow through a funnel so I went this route.

Heat a couple of inches of oil in a skillet and then squeeze the batter into the oil.

That's a weird picture, but trust me it's yummy!  They don't take long to get golden brown.  Lift out of the oil onto a paper towel covered plate and cover with powdered sugar.

I turned around to get some more out of the oil and when I turned back around I found this:

So....Success.  No frowny faces, lots of love.  Life is good.

And just so you know I actually looked up how many Weight Watchers points Cotton Candy is.  It is 5 points.  Ate it anyway.  Totally worth it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ridiculous Groceries

So I went to the grocery store this evening and bought a ridiculous amount of groceries.  Totally ridiculous.  Seriously it was the kind of trip where people are staring at you while they try to look like they are not staring at you.  Where single guys with beer and pretzels in their carts openly stare in wonder that people need that much food.  Where 6 people start to get in line behind you but then do the slow back out while scanning for any open register.  Where the 25 year old who finally ends up in line behind you and has sushi, a bag of apples and mineral water in her cart openly stares in disdain at the cheetos and fruit roll ups on the belt and you know she's thinking how glad she is that she will never be like you.  Whatever sweetheart.  Here's my number.  Call me in 10 years.

That kind of grocery trip.  The cashier asked me how long that much food would last.  A month? She asked.  I didn't have the heart to tell her I'd see her same time, same place, next week.

I started to take a picture but my phone had died and it's probably a good thing.  It was embarassing.  The poor bagger couldn't keep up.  The cashier was already to 2 people behind me and he was still bagging my groceries while I stood there telling him "No 2 liters with the chips please."  He reached for a second cart and I said,  "Oh, no way I'm getting two carts.  We are making those groceries fit!"  I will not be a 2 cart girl.

There are a couple of reasons for the massive amount of groceries this week.
1) I bought a whole lot of 2 liter drinks.  I normally don't buy any 2 liters, but these were nearly free with the coupons I had and party season is quickly approaching and I figured having extra drinks on hand was a good thing.

2) There was no food in this house. I mean the cupboard was seriously bare.  I usually shop on Mondays, but this is a super crazy week and it just had not happened.  I went to pack Jenny's lunch this morning and I was out of the thing she likes for lunch-pepperonis.  I sent her on to school and made a swing through the Kroger later and took them to the school in bag.  Here is the really bad part.  I walked into the office and put on my best mom face and said, "Here is part of Jenny's lunch she forgot."  Why did I do that.  Cause they need to think I'm super mom-that's why.

3) And lastly I hit a deal!!!  A super deal!!!
Udi's is a great GF brand.  My kids love their cookies.  Some people swear by their bread.  My kids like it OK.  The pizza crusts are pretty good too.  Not like homemade but good in a pinch.  I found all of this on the "Oops we made too much" stand.  My Kroger has it kind of hidden over by the milk case but I know it's there and every now and then you can find Udi's stuff on it and boy did I tonight!  Look at the regular price on the cookies.

Are they serious!!  There are about 8 cookies in that tub!!  Not happening!!  Everything Udi's was regularly $5.99.  Now for exciting part!
That I can do!!!  I got 5 Tubs of cookies!!!  I also got pizza crusts for $1.50 and that loaf of six dollar bread???

Not even kidding!!  My GF bread was cheaper than the loaf of regular bread I bought for my husband!!
Exciting stuff at the Kroger this evening!!

So my ridiculous trip to the grocery store was worth it and everyone is so happy there is food in the cupboard and I can pack full lunches tomorrow, and that's good because I can't go back in the office and fib about her lunch again.  The Shame!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Soup and Shoes

I am icing my leg while I write this.  Why you ask.  Because it hurts.  It hurts because I have started running again.  I ran a half marathon last year.  You can read all about the weeping and knashing of teeth that it involved here.  At the camp we went to last weekend there was a 2 mile race/walk/ stroll/careful not to spill your coffee while you chat thing.  A friend looked at me at the starting line and said, " You're a runner, this should be a piece of cake for you.  Didn't you run a big race this year?" "Yes!"  I replied, but had to add, "I think you have to keep running after the race to be considered a runner." 

I started back running last week, but shin splints were getting the best of me.  Man! Those things are for real!!  But $120.00 (GAG!) later I have new shoes and they actually do help. I made it farther today than I have since starting back.  So somebody please ask me if I'm a runner!  Because today the answer is YES!!  

Anyway.  What does that have to do with food?  Well, I'm not sure why this happens to me every year.  I get the loose some weight, exercise bug every year about this time.  The time of year when I don't want to eat fruit and grilled chicken or drink water.  I want to eat chili, and cream soup and drink hot chocolate.  I want to eat this.

Taco Soup!

There are absolutely 100 ways to make this soup.  Whatever suits you works.  We are pretty plain jane over here so I keep it pretty simple.  And really if you look under the massive pile of cheese and sour cream the soup itself is not too bad calorie wise.  Here is how we make it at our house.  And by we I mean me.

1 lb. (or so) of ground beef, browned and drained.  (You can also use shredded chicken-yummy)
1 can rotel
1can chili hot beans (IMPORTANT!  This is the only really tricky ingrediant.  Check your can because some do have wheat.  For example:  The name brand is fine, Kroger brand is NOT)
1 pkg taco seasoning.  (McCormick is fine)
Corn- I use can creamed or fresh frozen or whatever I happen to have.

Put it in the pot and let it simmer.  The crock pot works great for this.  My husband is putty in my hands if he walkes in and smells this cooking.  It might be how I got away with $120 running shoes.

This is one of those great meals that you can cook and serve to guests and no one will think twice about it being GF.  Unfortunately because of the beans I wouldn't eat it at anyone else's house unless you knew exactly what brands were used. 

I happened to be the one who piled on the cheese and sour cream in the picture above.  I might have added fritos to the top when no one was looking.  So if you will excuse me I need to go run another mile in my cute new shoes.