Monday, November 26, 2007

A Bunch of Crock

My new Crock-Pot is so hot. For real. I could take over the world with this thing.

For those of you who like using a slow cooker (which I have been using a ton lately) I have two handy things for you to check out: 

you have to try the Ginger Sherry Pork Roast - so good

My love for slow cooking re-started with the Low carb book which led me to asking for a larger slow cooker for my birthday. I was gifted the Giant Rival Crock-Pot and started using the cookbook that comes with that and mealtimes have been much nicer since then. I prepare dinner in the morning while Rito is happily playing alone and at the "witching hour" instead of trying to cook I can actually spend time with my family and look forward to a fresh hot meal. 


Today I had to finally take the GreenMachine (my car) to the body shop. I had an accident at the end of July and it finally got into the body shop this morning. I was pretty lucky, the other 3 cars involved were written off (including a brand new Honda Accord, a Saab and a Chevy Cavelier and I was the guy sandwiched in between all of them) yet my sturdy little VW Beetle had under $3000.00 damage and all that is obvious to the naked eye is scratches on the bumper. I guess that says a lot about how Safe Happens

Some people think I am nuts for driving a little VW Beetle while having a child ("my god, you will get killed in that little thing!" or "but it's so small!")  but this accident proved to me that not only is my small car safe but it is damn cute too. Right now I am driving a rental car (Dodge Caliber) which is OK, but I really expected it to have more room since it is so much bigger then my car. I guess space in a car is highly subjective because I can not get anymore items into this Dodge then I got into my little Beetle and the 4 doors are a real pain in the ass because they are so small. Getting Rito in and out is going to suck (there is a ton of room in a 2 door Beetle to maneuver a kid in and out because the seats fold forward and out of the way completely for access to the backseat) and I feel like I am driving a truck since the thing handles as well as a bulldozer. And the visibility is limited. The interior is cute though with some sweet red touches on the dashboard.

Anyways the GreenMachine will be out of commission for about a week, which is fine since I do have something to drive but I really want her back. :( 

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I am a lucky girl, a sick lucky girl......

It has been a shit couple weeks in the McSleepy house. Rito gave me his cold and I have had it for 2 (TWO) weeks now and although the end of it is in sight I still have a couple days of coughing left ahead of me (my gawd the coughing is killing me and my sleep). I feel so tired and crappy and yet I still have a little man to take care of (and the big one too), work to do and a job to go to (need I mention that yet again I got saddled with doing the Christmas Party for work?).

All that being said I have been a busy bee on my days off work. We have had three family birthdays to celebrate recently (my brother-in-law J-Roc, Uncle Merv and myself) with another family dinner this week to attend (yay! I don't have to cook!). I also have been on a re-organization kick and finally attacked my laundry room with a drill and some screws creating an additional 18 feet of shelving and a drop down drying rack for my sweaters. The best part of the renovation in the laundry closet is that I now have an empty hallway linen closet, which means I now have a little bit of space to store some books and hide my purse out of Rito's reach (seriously the kid loves my purse and shoes, Dad! seems to be a little concerned). Dad! also moved some stereo equipment to our basement, allowing me to move the main floor toy corner to a different spot and put my family room furniture back where it belongs. Ahhh... bliss. 

Next is a revamping of our main bathroom, where I am adding a towel rack (I took out the towel bar and replaced it with hooks already), a curved shower curtain holder, a rainshower shower head and possibly storage behind the door (which would totally clean up another closet).  I love cleaning up and creating more storage. Then there is the new closet in the basement where I need a hose hanger and 4 shelves for games and puzzles which will add a ton more storage space.  There is a lot of wasted space in this house to fix up. With the latest improvements we have added a ton (like 200-300 square feet) of storage and space to our home. I love making things more efficient and tidy. 

Dad! and I have had a lot of family time together lately which has been so good for Rito. We have had family dinners (Rito drinks out of a glass now, no straws or sippy cups or he gets mad) and gone swimming (what a blast). Rito has been fantabulous with minimal tantrums and some pretty damn good nights of sleep. We had a couple playdates (but missed playgroup due to the cold) and visited some little cousins for fun. 

Other then the cold I am such a lucky girl. 

next post: Rito's ridiculous vocabulary and I got a new crockpot...... oh my lord it is SO HOT.

I wanted to add some photos but I am totally bloggers bitch today, which means the photo thingy ain't working again!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

So Easy: Butternut Squash Soup.

We had a Mom group get together at my place today. It was a lot of fun for all of us, but MY GOD that many toddlers in one place just creates chaos. Anyways, Bri-girl needed a Butternut Squash Soup recipe, and since she has tried mine before I promised to get her the recipe before she left. Needless to say in the mist of the gong-show it never happened. 

Now first a word about choosing a Butternut Squash. Butternut Squash is the one that looks like a penis. OK? Got that?  Now if you remember this perverted idea you should always get a good squash at the grocery store: the size of the balls don't matter but you need a big penis. Get a big penis, you get a good amount of usable squash.

Now you want to use the part of the squash that less perverted people call "the neck" (or the "penis" as Bri-girl pointed out one day) and not the "nuts" where all the seeds are (see? it is a fitting analogy). You can either use a sharp ass knife and cut the skin off (the skin is thin but woody in texture, and yet again the penis analogy works....) to get at the meat or you can cut the whole thing in half, score it in a crisscross pattern pour a bit of olive oil on it and roast it for 45 minutes at 350 degrees to soften it up to get the actual squash out. I find the roasting yields a it more usable squash. I usually use 2 large squash for this recipe; that will get you 5 or 6 cups of diced squash, you don't have to dice it small either big chunks will do fine.

The Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 5 1/2 (five and a half) cups chicken stock
  • 5 cups peeled, diced butternut squash 
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp curry powder (I usually put more in like 1 1/4 tsp)
  • 6 drops Tabasco sauce 
  • 1 cup whipping cream 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

The Method:

In a big ass dutch oven (which is a big ass pot to the unfamiliar cooks out there):
  • Melt butter, add onion and cook until transparent (10 minutes or so) 
  • Add flour and stir for 3 minutes
  • Add chicken stock and bring to boil, stir constantly (no clumps then)
  • Add squash, wine, bay leaves, curry powder and Tabasco sauce 
  • Cook until squash is tender
  • Remove bay leaves
  • Puree mixture (a hand blender will do fine if you have it) 
  • Stir in cream
  • Season with salt and pepper 
**** remember NOT to add the cream if you are going to freeze it, you can always add this when you warm it up later 

Serving suggestions: 
  • Add a couple handful's of raw shrimp to a pot and saute them in a bit of soup, then add soup over top and warm up to serve. 
  • Extra hot sauce dashed on top of the soup is good.... real good.

The Results: 

edited to add the photo. 

Friday, November 02, 2007

Vintage! If you were born in 1976 that is.....

I get off work this morning at 8am-ish (after a painful 12 hour shift), and decide to go for groceries on the way home (without a screaming, squirming toddler on my hands). The grocery store for once was blissfully quiet, and I could get through the aisles without waiting for some ass-hat to move their cart that is parked in the middle of an aisle while they peruse the pickles. For once I could hear the music that plays on the intercom and was quite amused by the play list

  • 99 Luftbaloons (or 99 Red Balloon's) - Nena 
  • Every Breath You Take - The Police (Dad! swears Sting music follows him around, I think the bugger is stalking me too....) 
  • Whip It - Divo 
  • Puttin' on the Ritz - Taco (ironically playing while I was in the cracker aisle)
  • Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson
  • Hangin' Tough - NKOTB 
  • Land of Confusion - Genesis (again ironically playing while I was attempting to find the Fig Newtons - which for some reason were in health food since they have figs in it and NOT in the cookie aisle) 
  • Red Red Wine - UB40 
  • Baby Don't Forget My Number - "Milli Vanilli
  • Little Red Corvette - Prince (as I was leaving to go to my little green VW in the parking lot). 

I really only went to the grocery store for a few vegetables and some juice and yet I walked out with 5 bags and 80$ poorer. 

Dad! has always said that if you are at a wedding or party that sucks, put on the eighties tunes and people will dance and make asses out of themselves. For me I think the vintage music makes me spend money on groceries (and I will dance like an ass-hat for a glass of wine or less, so the eighties music isn't necessary).

Conspiracy maybe?