Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Good Day Sunshine

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Woke up yesterday with a slight headache, but once I had lunch I felt fine. Spent the whole day outside with the family. Todd (finally) put up my Bulldog bird feeder. I moved Eddie Rabbit back to the edge of the treeline in the backyard, so that he will peek out at us on the patio. We cleaned the patio off, and I moved my new planters where I wanted them. We put out more birdfeed. Checked on the hydrangea I put in (it was one of my birthday gifts). Hung some wind chimes. Todd cleared out a huge section of our ivy and some ugly bushes (no idea what they are, but neither of us particularly like them). Talked about ideas for bed plantings in the future. Looked at bulbs starting to poke up through the ground. Oohed and aahhhed over the yellow crocus popping up around my Redbud. Picked up sticks. Poured pea gravel in the walk near the garage where we get a lot of runoff.

All the while, the kiddos ran around doing a “scavenger hunt” in the yard that I set up before we started. Then, Todd showered and we took the kids to St. Bede’s for some bike riding. One thing I hate about my house is that my street is a cut-through and jerks drive over the hill two houses up from me so fast that the kids wouldn’t have time to get out of the way of a car speeding. Our driveway is too steep to really ride. So, we take them to the park, or to the cul-de-sac up the street to ride. St. Bede’s is the best, though. A large, flat, shaded parking lot where the kids can ride in big sweeping circles. Rollie has gotten great at riding without the training wheels and Tiller is a daredevil with her training wheels. She almost flips that bike over three or four times whenever we take her out. It is gut-wrenching and thrilling to watch them.

Came back home, had a beer while grilling chicken and asparagus, and then ate that with scalloped potatoes. Yum.

Good day. My kids watched ZERO television yesterday. I LOVE warm weather.

Mardi Gras

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

I’m attending a community planning meeting this morning to help save programs at my child’s school. Then helping my parents move some stuff at the new house. Then? Then, Todd and I get to go to our friend Lucy’s Mardi Gras party. Lucy is a Mobile native and they have a party every year. This is our first chance to attend, so we are very excited. Anyone have a great Mardi Gras-themed appetizer or side dish recipe?

And in honor of Lucy’s Mobile Mardi Gras party, i thought I’d post a link to information on the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center’s website about Mardi Gras in Mobile.

I could seriously spend two weeks straight going through all the awesome stuff digitized at The Library of Congress’ site.

A Girl Can Dream

Saturday, January 30th, 2010

I’ve written about Bunco, already. I was skeptical at first about a bunch of suburban women sitting around throwing dice and drinking wine, visions of 1950s Bridge Clubs, cucumber sandwiches and petit-fours in my head, but I love my Bunco group.

We had Bunco last night. It is usually on a Thursday, but this month, we had it on Friday. I think we all knew that would be both a good and bad thing, in the vein of “it seemed like a good idea at the time to finish off the bottle.” There is something scary about 20 women getting together without husbands or kids for drinking on a Friday night, with few Saturday obligations. (Jenn and Megan, i am so sorry about those ill-timed birthday parties and Math Bowls!) It is even scarier when half of them are dressed in 1980s workout gear.

Tara wins for creativity. Quite a feat to show up pregnant with twins, unable to drink, but wearing a Lakers outfit with matching high-heeled Converse kicks. The Converse, found for $3.99 at Value Village, were the hit of the party, and I am not sure who they ended up going home with after we all tried them on, but somewhere in my neighborhood, there is a husband (or a Kathy, perhaps?) who last night probably thought, “Aw, yeah! What do we have here?” and then quickly found him or herself clutching the covers, sucking a thumb, wondering when, oh when, it would be over.

Our hostess, Stacy H., managed to dig her original 80s dance clothes out of her attic, including some crazy knit bodysuit, and even more amazingly fit into them. I would be terrified if anyone tried to fit me into something, anything, i wore in high school. Shiny headbands, leg warmers, and off-the-shoulder Flashdance sweatshirts were de rigueur.

And then there were those of us who just showed up in our sweats and tees, there for the booze and the dice.

The wine was flowing freely (and I am thanking god today that I chose to bring beer last night), and we got started rolling late, so by the time we were done with three rounds, we were well in our cups. I know that everyone thinks i mean tipsy, but people who are a little tipsy don’t accidentally lock themselves in their neighbor’s bathroom, unable to get out. Twice. Wine glasses were smashed, and music was cranked up. Of course, I am kind of a music snob, and I had never heard half of the songs because I don’t listen to 95.5 The Beat (Lisa, you would be in your element, here), but it really doesn’t matter, because I am missing the dancing gene anyways. The one that makes women get tipsy and dance with each other? It just doesn’t come naturally to me. These girls? They got the gene.

So, instead, i enjoyed watching them do the Beyonce dances, while drinking beer with Lauren (she danced a bit, but evidently does not quite have the gene either) and Stacy’s husband Mike, who oddly enough, went to my high school. Mike had hit the mother lode, as he had a bunch of drunk women dancing for him in his living room. We ladies also may or may not have broken things and then made Mike clean them up, taking pictures of him when he bent over to sweep up the glass, but that part is a little fuzzy.

A good time was had by all, and i rolled into bed at almost 3.

Did i mention the food was great? Lots of great Weight Watcher’s choices. I managed to stay within my extra points for the week, which is a bit of a miracle. I just can’t eat anything else until Monday morning. But I will have no trouble abstaining, now that I know there is a chance I could really work hard and take care of my body, and do a lot of that “She’s a Maniac” dance step, and someday get a slot in the lineup of the Bunco Hos Solid Gold Dance Revue. . . someday.

A girl can dream.

Rainy Sunday, Good Times

Monday, January 25th, 2010

With all the rain over the weekend, we were about to go nuts at Chez Dogwood. We decided to get out for the day, weather be damned!

First, we went to Dim Sum at Canton House. One of the best parts of our new neighborhood is its proximity to really great, diverse, and cheap food on Buford Highway. Buford Highway is just an absolute festival of delights. Love it.

Dim Sum is great with the kiddos, because it’s a fun way to get them to try things they haven’t had before, what with all the choices and them being able to take a look at things before we order them, and carts. Carts are fun! Also, Canton House has crazy big chandeliers and there’s nothing that says “fancy” to kids like chandeliers. Rollie tried both clams and squid, which i had my doubts either of them would try. Couldn’t get Tiller to eat a clam, but she put away the squid like there was no tomorrow. Rollie is definitely the more adventurous eater, though, and he loved the dumplings and the tofu roll that we gave him.

After that, we headed back out into the rain and over to Plaza Fiesta for the indoor playground. PF is a mall frequented by the Hispanic population in Atlanta. It is AWESOME. I love going in a place and having it be like a completely different country. Everything in Spanish and English (but mostly Spanish). Churro stands. Tacos and Mexican bakery in their food court, even with Univision and Soccer on the TVs. Tiller loves all the dolls on display, the cheap and frilly cake toppers, and the Quinceanara dresses. She walked up to two on display and asked me “Which ones are they, Mama?” “Which what?” I said. “Princesses. Which Princesses are these?” I told her all the little girls get to be Princess for a day. Me? I like the creepy baby angels and Jesus statues. This is also the place to go for your cowboy wear. I love the older guys walking around in cowboy hats and boots and belt buckles, like it was the southwest. It even has an open tattoo parlor. (The reviews on Yelp say all of this much better than I ever could.)

After that, we headed over to Buford Highway Farmer’s Market. Love this place, as the people watching is stellar, it is clean, and they have an awesome selection. It makes me want to cook fresh yummy stuff. Which Todd did last night. We bought our hot tortillas for a buck, and made steak tacos with fresh pico de gallo and guacamole. So yummy. I even made up a tequila drink to go with it. (We were out of mixer and Triple Sec, so i used oranges, lime, and sugar, and dressed it with a slice of Starfruit. I named it the Lone Star.)

All in all a good day that ended not so great, when it became apparent that Rollie didn’t feel good. He felt warm and wanted to go to sleep before dinner. Woke up with a headache and a 102+ fever. Poor kid. And doesn’t it always figure that they get sick on your day off? Tiller has school Monday/Wednesday/Friday, so of course Rollie comes down sick Monday morning. Usually, I would get a couple hours to myself. Today, I have both the boys here. Guess I should just be thankful and give hugs and kisses to my Rolls and my Toddler.

Here are some pictures from our Sunday adventures.

Restaurant Suggestions

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

So, Todd wants to take me out for my birthday dinner. Suggestions? What are your favorite restaurants?

Yeah, i don’t get out much, i guess. Help a loser out.

John Maghetti

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I mentioned that we were having John Maghetti for dinner the other night when we were at the lake, and someone asked me what it was. It is one of those mythical Dunstan recipes that my Mom learned from her mom and my Aunt Dot. Which means that it’s easy, cheap, fattening comfort food. Much like the fabled No Peekie.

Ground beef
egg noodles
can of tomato soup
block of cheddar cheese

  1. Cube cheddar cheese.
  2. Cook noodles.
  3. Brown ground beef. (I supposed you could sub turkey for this.)
  4. Dump in a bowl together.
  5. Pour in a can of condensed tomato soup. (You can put two cans, depending on the amount of noodles and beef you prepare.)
  6. I top with some shredded cheese.
  7. Bake covered at 350 until hot (about 25 minutes). Then uncovered til cheese is gooey and melty on top.

Yum. And my kids like it! I love some stealth tomato trickeration.

Anxiety and Other Goings-On

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Things we’ve been up to. . .

Bad news first:
I think I am having anxiety problems. I have no idea what is causing it, other than that I haven’t been working out. This is a new one for me. I bet it will clear up when I get more exercise. Anyone else have this problem?

On to good stuff:

Seeing Santa at Joe’s Coffee Shop in East Atlanta, just like we have every year. Even though we don’t live there anymore, we still like to go back to our favorite coffee shop, and see people’s kids growing up and talk to old friends. And hey, where else can you go where you know Santa and the elves personally? It is a nice family tradition for us, even if Rollie was kind of an ass that day.

Mr. Grumpy face

Mr. Grumpy face

Tiller loves hot chocolate.

Tiller loves hot chocolate.

Mom and Dad might buy this house in the Atlanta area:

Keep your fingers crossed for them.

Keep your fingers crossed for them.

It would be nice to have them closer again.

We have elves. They showed up on the doorstep one morning with notes from Santa. They are full of mischief. As Rollie said the other day, “They did two mischievouses!” Or, as Tiller calls them: “Misfishes.”

The first night they were here they made a tower of presents and got into the wrapping ribbons!

The first night they were here they made a tower of presents and got into the wrapping ribbons!

The kids are wild for them. I am ready for them to go back to the North Pole.

Holiday Feast at Rollie’s school. We all went. They had turkey and dressing. Yes, school cafeteria turkey and dressing is just as terrible as you remember. THEY PUT MY ROLL SMACK DAB ON TOP OF MY TURKEY AND GRAVY; This is tantamount to holding me down and making me eat wet toilet paper.

Rollie and some classmates waiting in the lunchline.

Rollie and some classmates waiting in the lunchline.

It really captures the way that boys can’t stand still, and the kid with the shiner is really funny.

She is putting on a good face about the cafeteria lunch.

She is putting on a good face about the cafeteria lunch.

Rollie isn't bothering with putting a pretty face on it.

Rollie isn't bothering with putting a pretty face on it.

We made some Christmas cookies. I will never get the flour cleaned up. . . .

Rollie got a little on his face. And in his hair. And on the walls.

Rollie got a little on his face. And in his hair. And on the walls.

See that little container? She is about to take the whole container of sprinkles and dump it on one damn cookie.

See that little container? She is about to take the whole container of sprinkles and dump it on one damn cookie.

Not as much fun to clean up. That is a ton of flour. It gets in the cracks of the table and turns hard and grody.

Not as much fun to clean up. That is a ton of flour. It gets in the cracks of the table and turns hard and grody.

That’s about where I am. Stressed out about apparently nothing. Not feeling good. I have never really had problems with anxiety before. No clue what to do about it. Terrible feeling.

File Under PIFH

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

You know . . . Parenting is fucking hard.

One of the hardest parts of parenting for me is when the kids get in trouble, and I have to revoke a privilege that was to beneficial to me. Example A:

I am working on a work project AND the school newsletter today. Todd is working late all week, and so it seemed a perfect evening for us to attend the elementary school Spirit Night at a local pizza place. The kids love it, because they get to see their friends. Parents love it because they don’t have to cook. Restaurant gets free publicity, and the school makes money off the whole gig. A win-win-win-win, if you will.

Except that while i am trying to wrap up my work, Tiller figures out how to turn on the damn singing dog.

He sings that “City Sidewalks” song . . . “Silver Bells,” I think. He sings it in a really annoying St. Bernard voice, and there is barking in the background. My mama loves these things, and thought it would be funny to give us one.

Yeah, mom, hysterical.

So, the kids push his little paw, and he barks and sings Silver Bells. The kids love it. They love it a LOT. They love it every time they push the button, which is approximately four times a minute. Over and over.

And the gift that keeps on giving is that they then proceed to fight over who gets to push the button, who gets to hold the dog, etc. So, i am trying to finish my work downstairs in the office, and the kids are upstairs trying to kill each other over a battery-operated St. Bernard that sings (and woofs!) Silver Bells. I hear the mocking tone in Rollie’s voice. I am sure he has Silver Bells dog overhead and tiller is below, jumping to reach it. I hear the thumping on the hardwoods. I hear the shriek. Nope, not pain. The shriek of anger. Pure, unadulterated four year old ire. It is blood-curdling. I fear for Rollie’s life. Then i hear the all-too-familiar sound of tinkling glass.

I run upstairs to lift them, both in their socks, out of the wreckage of two glass ornaments they have knocked off the tree. Except that they didn’t get knocked off. Upon further questioning, it seems that Tiller, in her little temper tantrum, punched two of the Christmas ornaments.

I have to hide a smile at this. I get tickled at the thought of little Tiller – wearing a red polka dot dress with pastel-striped tights and pink dora shoes that light up, a ponytail on top of her head, and enough makeup from our earlier dressup session to work at a whorehouse – throwing a fit and then punching the Christmas tree. I manage to hold it together.

I had told them to stop fighting. I had warned them that children who fight and are mean to each other don’t get to go to Spirit Night. And now i have to put my money where my mouth is. UGH. Terrible parenting feeling. It is the same feeling i get when I have to leave a restaurant with a kid who is being a jerk. Or the grocery store when I have a full cart.

Rollie, upon hearing that they lost the privilege of going to Spirit Night, went up to his room and pitched his own fit, throwing his bobble head Braves guy (Hudson, i think) against the door so hard that it broke. He wailed even harder when I went in calmly, picked up the pieces, and tossed the whole thing in the trash. I guess he thought that if he threw his stuff, mama would whip out the Krazy Glue and fix it up again. WRONG.

So, here I sit, with two kids in their rooms, sobbing their guts out, tearing their rooms up, and me downstairs working until i have to cook them dinner. All because I have to keep my word and be consistent.


Tucker Tree Lighting

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I took a few photos on Tuesday when we attended the Tucker tree lighting. Todd was working late, so the kids and I hit Matthews Cafeteria. It was great and if you haven’t had it, you should check it out. Old school southern cooking, kid-friendly, and very time-warpy. We know I love a good time warp.

Todd met us and ate the kids leftover dinners (Too much excitement! Christmas Trees! Other kids from School! Santa! Can’t eat anything, but will suck down a lemonade like nobody’s business!) and then we headed up main street, across the railroad tracks, and into the roped off section of downtown Tucker. Kids were running around willy nilly in the glow of Christmas lights. Shop owners were giving out hot chocolate and coffee and candy canes, and the Tucker Lodge (Masons, i guess?) had a tent and fires set up for roasting marshmallows. The Tucker tree was beautiful and lit in colored lights.

The kids roasted their marshmallows and went back to have smores made, and then we ate them across the street on the curb and people-watched. I ran into the new consignment furniture store run by the Tucker Arts Guild, Regroup Furniture. Pretty good selection. I came back out and the kids were running in circles, chasing each other and generally looking wild-eyed, while Todd was talking to our old East Atlanta neighbor, Howard, who is a cop and his beat is our new neighborhood. We see him at least every couple of months, which is nice.

We sat and looked at the tree lights, and then Tiller had a meltdown and we headed back for home, skipping the Santa they had set up in the frame shop. The kids didn’t even notice, thank goodness, as we would never have gotten home.

It was fun to see my friends and neighbors, and for the kids to know people walking down the street. I love that small-town community feel that we get here. The whole thing reminded me very much of the Christmas Tree they had in downtown Alpharetta when I was a little girl, all magical to my little eyes.

I just wish that Tucker had some carolers and maybe, just maybe, a bar. Or at least a liquor license. Or a glass of wine with my din din. It’s like the worst of both worlds – No Christmas Carols, no nativity scene, no menorah, and no booze. Bah humbug, Tucker, but i love ya, anyway.

Thanksgiving Followup

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

So, Todd didn’t cry after the game. I know I promised Iron Bowl, Part II, but I am all out of witty comments. Here is the abridged version:

We left the game, and “borrowed” a couple of cokes. We hitched a ride back to our car with Ned’s mom, Gwen. We parked at Todd’s old Jr. High and I got a good laugh out of him on his old stomping grounds. We went to Iain and Noelle’s to watch the second half. We went home and pigged out on Thanksgiving dinner and went to bed REALLY early. We got up the next day and went to the park with Todd’s dad, Todd’s brother, Wade, and our niece, Luci. We played. We left and went bowling. Todd won. The Auburn bowling alley is pretty darn good people-watching, too.

We went back over to Iain and Noelle’s to watch the Georgia/Georgia Tech game, and I came close to killing Matt, because he kept on switching over to LSU/Arkansas. There were eight people there, and ten dogs. yes, I said TEN. Quint came too. He was nervous, what with all the butts to sniff and nudge, and the fact that Iain was cooking ribs, and a couple of the dogs got into the grease under the grill, so they smelled like ribs, and a little bitch named Lela didn’t like him one bit, and kept growling at him. There was Lela and her brother, who was well-behaved and so i can’t remember his name, and T’s puppy, Coden, and the four of them finally settled down on the couch with Lela’s Daddy Matt and me. A brown dog love fest. There was also Casey, Sammers, and Ginger, along with Bodhi (spelling?) and Omar. Wait. Maybe that’s nine. Or I’m forgetting a dog. Oh, Butters from next door! Ten!

They all slept around and begged ribs, and at one point, I thought they were gonna eat T and Matt for sure.

All in all, v. fun. Then we got home and slept late, and there were no kids there when i got up, because they went to Sunday School with my in-laws. Then we ate Cracker Barrel after church (which we didn’t go to, but we met the kids and in-laws after) and then we sat in Thanksgiving traffic on the way back to Atlanta.

(Mouse over a photo for the caption.)