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Showing posts from December, 2008

My outstanding dinner-- it can be yours, too!

Staying at the family cabin, I originally packed frozen corn dogs for dinner. But after perusing the randomly-stocked freezer and pantry, I came up with this fabulous meal. Really, even the husband liked it... (and it's dairy free!!) Still thinking of a title: 2 fattie boneless pork loin chops olive oil 1 medium sliced onion some dried rosemary and marjoram 1 15oz. can diced tomatoes 1-2 cloves garlic Sear the snot out of the porkchops in a big skillet in olive oil. Remove once they are mostly cooked and cover with foil. Then saute the onions in the remaining oil for a few minutes to give them a head start before adding the tomatoes, spices, and garlic. Cover and cook a few more minutes and then return the chops to the pan. Cover and heat through until the chops are done, but not over cooked. Pink ain't all bad. Served it with pasta smothered in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and dried parsley along with a salad. If anyone tries it, let me know! Or if you've got a clev

This is for you, GiGi...

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For this year's Wigilia dinner, the kids and I baked challah bread. (Jewish, Polish, tomatoes, toma-tohs...) This shot is for you, Grandma! We did you proud-- it's delicious! And I would have pushed the hair out of my face if the bread wasn't going to slide off the rack. Promise.

The inevitable holiday part 5: The Holiday Fever

‘Twas the night before Christmas And all through the dwelling, My poor back was aching And my ankles were swelling. Motherly duties are Never quite done. At this time of year We provide all the fun. Who does all the shopping? Who does all the baking? Who wraps the presents And keeps kiddies from shaking? Who hangs the stockings? Who strings all the lights? Who fills Advent calendars For twenty-four nights? Who decks the halls? Who keeps the tree wet? Who helps make the presents that The grandparents get? In our home, it’s me. The mother, the wife, Who runs herself ragged With holiday strife. And yet for the sweating And weariness, I fear I do the same thing Again every year. What keeps me returning To this disorderly place? It’s not the gray hairs Nor wrinkles on face. It’s not the fruitcake Or a great love of shopping, No, instead it’s something Else that keeps me hopping. It’s that little feeling That glows and that gleams. It’s the reason for Christmas And what it all means

Why our house looks like this for Christmas

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We were fortunate enough to travel for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately didn't have much time to decorate for the holidays. After the neighbors poked fun numerous time (in person and harassing via email) Ryan had enough. He promptly went downstairs and flung two wads of Christmas lights in our puny tree out front. Half of them twinkle, half of them don't. And we leave them on 24/7 so our neighbors can see them whenever they look out their windows, day or night. I've had other friends try to guess what the display is, if it is supposed to be snowflakes or stars hanging in the tree. "Nah, it's just a wad of lights" I tell them. Eat your heart out, Clark Griswold.

Our Christmas Poems

So I thought I'd put a bit of literature into our annual Christmas program. I had the kids, each separately, help me write a poem. They gave the ideas, I made them rhyme. Look out, Jack Prelutsky! My Sister Baked the Christmas Cookies By Mom and Toby, 2008 My sister baked the Christmas cookies When no one was around. My mom was downstairs wrapping presents And didn’t hear a sound. My sister got creative With her culinary skills, And when I think about what she made It just gives me the chills. First she took a giant bowl And filled it with orange juice And then added from the freezer Some ground up meaty moose. Then she found some snack mix In the pantry, way in back, The marshmallows were all crusty And the cereal all cracked. Then some flour and some sugar, And eggs that totaled twenty. I sure hope these tasted good, Because she was making plenty! Then she mixed it with a spoon With lots of song and lovin’ Then scooped it into tiny balls And put them in the

Merry Christmas from the McAllisters!

Instead of spending money on stamps, we thought we'd blow it on fruitcake and send out this neat video instead. Enjoy a look back at our 2008! Happy Holidays to all!

The Inevitable Holiday Part 4: A slice of heaven? (and the results are in!!!)

We’ve all heard the one about the poor fruitcake who, while he had plenty of dates for the Christmas party, nobody loved him. He was just a little too nutty. Seems like fruitcakes have been getting a bad rap for ages. Literally. A bit of research shows us that the whole idea of preserving fruit with sugar and then baking it into a so-called “cake” dates back to ancient Eygpt and the Roman Empire. Some historians say that a form of fruitcake was considered an essential food for the afterlife (and many today may agree!) A bit later in history, the Crusaders were said to pack the sturdy little cakes in their saddle bags on their long and arduous journeys. Apparently there weren’t many other foods that could withstand that kind of travel, and beef jerky and Twinkies hadn’t been invented yet. Keep moving on in the history of this tasty holiday delight, and arrive in Victorian England, where those people just loved their fruitcake. They loved it so much that they started a custom that said i

The book...

I've got a handful of my books available if anyone is looking for a last minute Christmas present. Just shoot me an email.

The Inevitable Holiday part 3: Shopping spirit

Somehow, every year, I think I’ve got all of the time in the world to get my Christmas shopping done, and then, once the turkey digests, I find myself running frantic through the stores…with every other person within a three county radius. Shopping during the holidays, as I see it, can be approached in two very different ways. There are those who have the spirit, and those who smell like it. Let’s examine the first type, the Holiday Shopper: The Holiday Shopper lives for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving with all of the fabulous deals, and still sees the month of December as one big shopping extravaganza. She thinks of shopping as a hobby more than a job, and is also the person who wears the Santa hat while gleefully waltzing throughout the stores, wishing everyone a happy holiday season and the occasional outbreak of Jingle Bells. This person loves to shop. She usually checks many items over before deciding what to buy. She carefully holds up each item and thinks about the pers

Jingle Bells...WHO smells?

Shamefully enough, I had to google the lyrics to "Jingle Bells, Batman smells" today, only to find out there are a lot of different versions that I have never heard. Some nicer than not, but it stands to raise a question: Do we teach our kids these revolting rhymes? Does Batman really smell? And what about Deck the halls with gasoline??? (not to mention the ones that are unfit to post on the blog...) Thoughts, anyone?

The Double Whopper

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OK, for some reason Ryan is just so impressed that I ate an entire Double Whopper the other day. He told me I need to blog about it. So here it is, the whole greasy story... We stopped at a filthy and disgusting Burger King/gas station on the way home from Thanksgiving vacation because he had to pee even though the kids were quiet and the baby was sleeping. Between trips to the bathroom (aka. "small room of fecal coliform"), I had to quickly decide what to order. And because I am still the nazi breastfeeder and the babe has a milk allergy, I quickly scanned the photos of the food for something that didn't have cheese. And for whatever reason, and it could have just been my bad eyesight from playing Webkinz too much, I thought the #2 meal didn't have cheese. So that's what I told him to order for me. "Sure?" he said. "Yeah," I replied and took a deep breath and headed into the bathroom. When the food came, the kids asked why I ordered s

The Inevitable Holiday, Part 2: Your Leftover Personality

For most people, the one very guaranteed part of the holidays are large family gatherings. And if your family is anything like ours, there is a copious amount of food. I’m sure the first Thanksgiving was a feast, but I’m also pretty sure every aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent and otherwise had to bring their signature dish in large quantities. As if one family can eat that much green bean casserole… So as sure as the turkey starts hiding in early November, there will always be a heaping helping of leftovers after the Thanksgiving dinner. The question is then, what to do with these remaining bits of delicious food. The older I get, the more I realize that people attain their own Leftover Personality, and it subconsciously dictates what to do with the spare sweet potatoes and the surplus stuffing. Not sure what your Leftover Personality is? Take this handy quiz… 1. Do you bring a bag full of old Cool Whip containers and plastic baggies to the family gathering? If so, give yourself 2 poin