Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Don't Stop


Even Cooler:

Puppy!





Wednesday Dinner

Spaghetti With Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta

Jose Picayo
Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 25m Total Time: 25m

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces spaghetti (3/4 box)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce)
  • 1/3 cup ricotta

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1⁄2 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes, 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the shallots and rosemary and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Toss the pasta with the potato mixture, Parmesan, and the reserved cooking water. Dollop with the ricotta before serving.

Laurel made dinner last night-
This one was edible, Jay liked it, I couldn't even taste it b/c I'm still sick...Miah dumped hers and opted to go hungry. I can tell you that Dobby and Harley LOVED the sweet potatoes. It was pretty funny, them begging me for pieces.

Hopefully tonight will be better...

Tuesday Night Dinner

Roasted Pork With Brussels Sprouts and Apricots

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 20m
Total Time: 25m

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1 pork tenderloin (1 1/4 pounds)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons roasted unsalted almonds, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400º F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the skillet to oven and roast until the pork is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Let rest before slicing.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, apricots, almonds, 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper and cook, tossing, until the Brussels sprouts are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the pork.
*****************************
I was really disappointed with this meal! The pork came out perfectly. Juicy, and beautifully cooked, but the vegetable mix made me feel ill. The apricots were an odd addition, and I'm not entirely sure why they were there...
Next time we make this we will be making some sort of roasted potato, and rice pilaf. Like I said, the pork was perfect, and was so juicy that I could have made an awesome gravy for potatoes.
Tonight a new recipe, so I'll meet you back here tomorrow!

What's for dinner?

Spicy Orange-Glazed Drumsticks With Green Beans

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 15m

Total Time: 45m

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian section of the supermarket)
  • 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 corn bread muffins, warmed

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400º F. In a small bowl, mix the marmalade and chili-garlic sauce.
  2. Season the chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Roast on a foil-lined baking sheet until cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes, brushing with the marmalade mixture during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the green beans until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain and toss with the butter and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken and muffins.

*********************************

I'm pretty sick this week, so I couldn't actually taste this dinner...but the family all liked it. I don't do cornbread, so Jay picked up dinner rolls, and again, this just doesn't seem to be enough food, so twice the green beans will help out. Also, we used breasts instead of legs, because if you have the money, there just is no good reason to actually eat legs!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sorry!

For some reason I am unable to fix the giant text in the last post. I've tried several times, and it just won't do it. I hate it, but that's how it'll have to stay!

Friday Night Dinner

Last night Jay made dinner! He wants you to know that he doubled the amount of rice (we had leftovers) and tripled the sauce so that he could coat all the rice (I'm not big on plain rice). Jay and I loved it, Laurel liked all but the rice, and Miah concurred. Sadly, we voted to not keep this recipe because the kids weren't very enthusiastic. However, the next time Jay and I get a chance, we will be eating it alone! My only suggestion would be to chop the bok choy into smaller pieces because the end of the stalk can be a little much to chew, especially for little kids.

On another note, we talked the kids into trying a new puppy last night. I talked to the lady extensively before we even bothered to drive to her house. It turns out that she rescues pups that need extra care as a hobby. Miraculously, Dobby took a liking to Harley, just like she did to Ben, and after getting many kisses and ear nibbles, we decided that this one would fit in pretty well. She is completely crate trained, and behaved perfectly last night. Not a peep until 6:30 when she needed to go out. She is a Chocolate Lab/Weimaraner mix: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimaraner (she thinks, seeing as these were the type of dogs that were in the awful place she was rescued from.) Harley was infested with ants and fleas when she was rescued, and has some scars that should fade as time goes by. Despite her rough beginning, she is every bit as sweet as we could hope for, and by the way, is potty trained. Not a single accident! Thank goodness!


Beef and Bok Choy Stir-Fry:


Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 20m

Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, quartered
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

  1. Cook the rice according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season the steak with 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, turning often, until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate.
  2. Wipe out the skillet. Add the bok choy and 1⁄4 cup water and simmer, covered, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and sugar. Add to the bok choy in the skillet and bring to a boil. Add the steak and any accumulated juices and cook, tossing, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Happy Marriage: A Novel


A Happy Marriage: A Novel

My husband heard a radio interview of the author one morning and had a very strong reaction to the description of the book. I purchase the title on my Kindle and spent the next couple of days wishing I hadn't. The story is well written, but starts off a little slow. Once you get into the meat of the story, you realize that this book isn't going to end well at all. The main character's wife is dying of cancer, and this is his rehashing of thirty years of life with the same woman. At one point you hate him, the next crying because of the pain he is enduring to ensure that his wife leaves her life the best way possible. I read the book in it's entirety simply because I had paid for it, but had I known how drained and sad I would feel at the conclusion of the last page, I would have saved myself the grief.
This is a great book to read if you need an excuse to purge feelings and gush tears. Don't get me wrong, the reason I had such an issue with the content of the book is that it really makes you stop and think about your own marriage. All of the ups and downs, and how you would be looking at the experience after thirty years, and at the end. Who wants to think about the end? Certainly not me! The book will make you cry, it will make you hurt, and it will make you want to get to the end just to get the hurt over with!

Beyonce's new backup dancer!


This could easily have been my kids! It was too cute to not post.

A month of Recipes

One of my favorite magazines "Real Simple" did me a huge favor. Last month they listed a months worth of recipes for dinner, complete with shopping lists and in a specific order so that ingredients get used in a timely manner. I LOVE this! We tend to get into major ruts and eat our favorite recipes over and over...so we all agreed that we would be brave and try these out. Being the amateur chef, I did have to change it up and make it mine. For example, my kids won't eat olives, so we eliminated them. Also, two red peppers is too much, so I reduced that to one. Finally, my kids are big eaters, so this small plate wasn't going to be enough, so Jay made couscous with garlic and the leftover lime juice. I polled the family and the only complaint was that Miah actually wanted more fish. She at first didn't want any at all, so this is a great endorsement of the dish. We all agreed that this recipe is going into the favorites list. Tonight we are trying another one, and so on for the next four weeks, so tune in! You can visit www.realsimple.com for a ton of great recipes, and I recommend the magazine as well. There are always great tips, decorating ideas, recipes, and articles. I love them!!
Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 20m Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 6-ounce tilapia fillets
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped ( I used some from my garden)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a second large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the peppers and onion, stirring often, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the olives, parsley, lime juice, and 1⁄4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Serve with the fish.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Let's compare books

Hi all,

Let's connect on Goodreads so we can share book recommendations.

http://www.goodreads.com/friend/i?n=Post&e=la_forestgump.post@blogger.com&i=LTM2MDQzMzUyNTU6Mzcz &utm_medium=email&utm_source=invite

- Stacy





Goodreads is a community for book lovers. It's a great way to get book recommendations from your friends and others. You can keep a list of books to read, join book clubs, and even take the never-ending book trivia quiz.



Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Well, Shit

That's what today was.
I'm not going to say anything other than to preface Laurel and Miah's posts. They are very angry, and needed an outlet. They see me using my blog as a place to vent, and brag, so when Miah brought it up I knew it would be perfect. They get to write, and not only vent, but know that people care about the fact that they are hurting. That's one thing I can say about this, is that I have the best group of friends ever.
I know Laurel cussed (sort of) and I feel the need to explain that she NEVER does this. She didn't even type the words, but very strongly felt the need to use them. I gave them the freedom to say whatever they needed to in order to feel better, and I never go back on my word. Ever.
I have to question her vampire bunny threat though. WTF? She is 12.
These girls have survived a hell of a lot. They really deserve better treatment.
I sincerely hope that Ben will be loved and treated well.
There are a lot of things I'd like to say, but, you know, it wouldn't do any good. Jay and I have to look these girls in the tear-filled eye and tell them that even though this was extremely hard, we made the best decision we could. I'm going to be bothered by the fact that I may have given up too easily, but at least my girls have now a better understanding of humanity, and why I approach the world the way I do.

I really wish I could post my friends' emails. They show that not everyone sucks. I made sure to tell the girls what you guys said, so that they would learn that too.

-If you are in any way offended by what my girls said, feel free to take it up with them, and they can show you how to be an adult.

Bentley Brownies

Brownies. The good ol' comfort food. Unfortunately, brownies don't help the fact that our puppy, Bentley, just basically got stolen. Yes, stolen. That no good, son of a b**** that gave Bentley to us, just had to have her precious dog back. After three days, The previous owner of Bentley decided that giving him away was a bad idea. After my mom dropped me off at school, she checked her E-Mail. Sitting in her inbox was an E-Mail from Bentley's old owner asking to have him back. WHY THE HECK WOULD SOMEONE GIVE TWO LITTLE GIRLS A PUPPY THEN TAKE HIM AWAY AND NOT EXPECT A BLOG POST OR LITTLE VAMPIRE BUNNIES TO GET THEM IN THE NIGHT? I mean seriously! The logical thing to do is decide whether you want the dog or not BEFORE you give him away.

You also do not say that you will slit your wrists or commit suicide if you do not have your dog. You're not fifteen, and the dog is not a boy/girl that told you they loved you. No offense, but uh, if you do, you're as nutty as the brownies I made.
I understand the previous owners situation, but she seemed to never consider the fact that she was taking a dog away from a nine and twelve year old, not to mention another dog, whom he got along with fine. She seemed to never consider the fact that this was our first dog since the death of our black lab over a year ago, and that my sister had been in love with Bentley since my mom said we were going to meet him.

Thanks you mother freaking son of a b****!!!!

-Bayleaf97

From Miah

We almost had Ben, then we got an email and it said
Will you give us Ben back? We will understand if you say no.
But she did not keep it. We said no and she emailed us back and it said that she just had to have him back and would do anything to get him back. Then daddy called her and said we will not be able to take him back. She even threatened her self. Then we finally took him back then we stopped and got soda and cried and talked. And I said she should have stayed with what she said. Mom did give her a chance to talk and say
No do not take Ben back!
The End and that's what I think. You can talk to me here if you want to talk about the story or disagree. I was pretty sad. (But you can still comment.)


P.S. I loved Ben. He was my best friend. He was perfect and nice.
Miah

Monday, September 21, 2009

"He went to Jared"

Jay surprised me with a weekend in a cabin....on the lake.








Then he surprised me with a box. When I opened it...I smiled and yelled, "He went to Jared!" I've been waiting to say those words...
Laurel made "Anniversary brownies" Yummo!

Part of Jay's present was a cribbage board, which is a reasonable copy of a board he used to play on with his grandfather...we played for hours.
While Jay and Miah played on the picnic table, Laurel and I took a walk:

















A view of the "cabin".

Just a few feet past the back door.
The view from the window.








Jay and Miah caught up with us after the game.

Water!

I didn't get any good pictures, but Dobby did go swimming with us, spending most of the time standing on Jay's shoulders.



Beautiful view...
Dobby cuddling with her family...she was tuckered out.

On the way home...we drove over a loooong bridge. I hate being on bridges, but love the way they look.
This was the best weekend in a long time. Laurel and I got lightly sunburned, but it was worth it. Not a person in sight, and it was all peace and quiet. Jay promises that next time we'll be in a tent instead of a cabin, because that is really my idea of heaven. I can't wait!

Laurel's first football game Sept 9th 2009







video video

I just want to point out the irony of the CHEERLEADERS doing a routine to Taylor Swift's "You belong with me". The people you hear laughing hysterically are my husband and Miah. Jay is nearly 30 and even HE knows that this is not a pro cheerleader song. It's just way too funny!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Official


Dobby and Ben are playing. I'd be shooting video right now, but the girls are watching "Edward Scissorhands" in the dark. Dob and Ben are dancing around the room, and trampling Laurel (who is on the floor) Ben has the funniest bark! I think the two of them are going to be friends. How lucky is this? The only two dogs she has ever liked were Chet and my mom's dog Petie. Meant to be, I guess! Jay is on his way back from today's funeral, so I need to get into the kitchen and make dinner. Tomorrow Jay gets to bond with the new pup. Pictures later...