Inside the Barricade

Little Boy likes to play a hiding game. One night he built a pillow barricade all around his bed and hid under the bed.

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What he didn’t realize is that he had company under there.

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A little background: Our cat is not what you’d call a “kid-friendly” animal. Like many cats, he barely tolerates the larger humans of the household because we feed him. He sees no use for the small humans whatsoever.

(If you’re interested in more stories about the cat click here.)

Long story short, the twins are terrified of the cat.

So you can imagine Little Boy’s reaction when he barricaded himself into the shadowy gloom under the bed, and then looked back to see a pair of yellow eyes shining at him through the dark.

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At least he has something to tell his therapist when he grows up.

Cookie dough to eat? YES thank you!

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I found a recipe on pinterest for cookie dough that is solely to EAT and not to bake.

It has no eggs, so there is no fear of salmonella.

Not that I’ve ever been particularly afraid of salmonella.

See my traditional stance on the eating of raw dough here.

But here’s the recipe:

Cookie Dough Fer Eatin’

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup choc chips

Mix it all up and eat it. The end.

Delicious!

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Test-Driving Pinterest

I’ve been looking at a lot of “beauty” ideas on pinterest. I thought I’d try a few out and post my results.

So first we have …

Sublime Foot Soak:

Original pin said: “This is crazy. Mix 1/4 c Listerine (any kind but I like the blue), 1/4 c vinegar and 1/2 c of warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes and when you take them out the dead skin will practically wipe off. Sublime.”

(pin source sublimedecor.com)

First of all, those measurements only yield a scant cup of foot soak. I don’t know about you, but my feet are a little bigger than that.

Even quadrupling the ingredients listed, I had this much solution:

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The sickly green color did not look a BIT like the lovely pic from the pin. And the smell?!

You can probably guess that the combination of vinegar and Listerine did not exactly equal a pleasant aroma.

And it stung my feet a little.

But the question is…. Did it make all the dead skin fall effortlessly off my feet?

Not exactly.

The dead skin on my heels was a little easier to scrape off with a metal file. (I know… ew, right?) 

But there was not much difference between the results from this vile brew and a comfortable foot soak of warm water and nicely-scented soap.

So, the verdict is: It’s not really worth the stench and the sting. 

Just skip this pin.

Why I Cook

I saw this advertisement that suggested all kinds of pretty-pretty reasons why a person would cook.

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  • To feed my creativity
  • To show love
  • Because my kitchen is my sanctuary
  • To feel like an artist
  • In order to promote world peace

Okay, I’m joking about the last one.

None of these are true for me.

Why do I cook?

So my kids won’t starve.

The end.

Halloween Decorations

We received an email for our neighborhood association about Halloween decor:

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“We encourage families to decorate their homes and yards for the upcoming Trick or Treat night; however, we also ask that your decorations be in good taste and not inappropriate (over-the- top gory and horrific). Remember we are a Family Neighborhood Community. Please decorate within the Resident Guide and please be tasteful and respectful of others that may be sensitive to horrific decorations.”

I read this out loud in a snotty voice to my teenage daughter GG.

She said, “Just for that, let’s put out an actual corpse.”

She gets her attitude from her father.

Gumbo!

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I made some awesome gumbo last week.

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And shh.. don’t tell anyone… I used a mix.

This came out really well and didn’t cost much because I used a leftover bratwurst from the night before and the tail meat from shrimp I cooked for another dish.

It was about 1 1/2 pounds of large frozen shrimp, and I just cut off the tails and saved them in a baggie in the freezer. Then to make the gumbo I peeled the tail shells off and used the little bits of meat inside.

This worked great because my kids hate taking the tails off their shrimp anyways. They always complain.

Wow, are we spoiled Americans or what?

So here’s the gumbo recipe:

  • Cooked bratwurst sausage, chopped up small
  • bits of shrimp meat
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • gumbo mix

In a big pot, melt the butter on medium and cook the shrimp pieces. Add the sausage bits until it’s all cooked together. Scoop out the meat and leave the butter and grease in the pot. Put the meat aside for later.

Put the water and gumbo mix in with the butter. Whisk it until the lumps are gone and increase the heat to high. Keep stirring until it boils. Turn the heat down to low.

Dump in the tomatoes and put the meat back into the gumbo. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with cooked rice.

Oh yeah, and hide the Zatarain’s box and tell people, “It’s my grandmother’s recipe. Takes ALL DAY!”

Brangelina

Have you seen this thing circulating on the internet?

It creeps me out.

Brad Pitt about his Lady:“My girl got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and children. She lost 30 pounds and weighted about 90 pounds. She got very skinny and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs. She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the mornings and got tired very quickly during the day. Our relationship was on the verge of a break up. Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role. I lost hope and thought that we’ll get separated soon… But then I decided to act. After all I’ve got the MOST Beautiful Woman on earth. She is the idol of more than half of men and women on earth, and I was the one allowed to fall asleep next to her and to hug her. I began to shower her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised and pleased her every minute. I gave her a lot of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends. You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became better. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and loved me even more than ever. I had no clue that she CAN love that much.And then I realized one thing: the woman is the reflection of her man.If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.”

Okay. First off, this is MESSED UP on so many levels.

Love her to the point of madness? So she’ll become WHAT exactly? Mad?

This is freaky. It’s like in Twilight, where Edward watched Bella sleep without her knowing; it’s supposed to be romantic, but it’s just crazy and disturbing.

(I’m not even mentioning the odd grammatical errors in this piece.)

And second off, BRAD PITT DIDN’T WRITE THIS.

I checked. (Look at snopes if you want.)

And I’m really glad to know it’s a fake.

Because if Angelina looks like she does AND gets showered with flowers kisses and compliments every day, getting surprised and pleased from a husband as hot as Brad Pitt…. AND HE WANTS HER TO GAIN WEIGHT!!!!

…I can’t live in a world that unfair. I just can’t.

Sausage Florentine Potpie

This recipe (modified from tasteofhome/simple) was delicious.

The best thing about it was that the big kids ate the leftovers the next day too. (Seriously!! Like they heated it up in the microwave and ate it after school!!)

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  • 1 lb sausage 
  • 1-2 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 3 tsp minced garlic from the jar
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese
  • 5 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
  • 4 tsp butter, melted

Cook the sausage with onion and garlic until browned over medium heat. Mix in soup, spinach, milk and cheeses, stir until cheeses is melted.

Transfer to a greased baking dish. Place a sheet of phyllo on top; brush with some melted butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo and butter.

Bake at 350 (uncovered) 25-30 minutes. Let it stand 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe came out well, especially considering I’ve never worked with phyllo before. The only thing is, the package of phyllo contained way more than 5 sheets, and once you’ve thawed the things you can’t refreeze them or even leave them out in the air too long.

Phyllo is a delicate dough, apparently.

Still though, the phyllo crust on top was super good and I wished it had more on it. Maybe in the future I can try layering it or something.

In this case, I made dessert cups with the remaining phyllo.

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The recipe I used involved spraying each sheet of phyllo with cooking spray and then sprinkling with sugar. Then you cut each stack of sheets into rectangles and press them into muffin cups. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes.

I put cream filling in them after they were cooled.

These were okay, but I think butter would have been better.

Click on the better picture below for a butter recipe:

Phyllo Cups

(recipe at yumly.com)