Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Band Photo Session, Take 2

A couple of months ago, my oldest son and his friend needed photos for their first CD cover and posters. We had fun doing ones like this and this. But now they have added a drummer and violinist to their band and needed new photos. What a fiasco! The subjects were unruly, the lighting was bad, and it was really to chilly to be wearing shorts or a prom dress…

We finally got one that was just okay. They are using it for the poster advertising their upcoming concert this weekend.

Trust me; it looks better poster-sized!

For more Wordless Wednesday photos, visit Wordless Wednesday and Five Minutes for Mom.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Memory: Easter Dresses

I wish I'd done what my sister-in-law did. She saved every one of her daughter's Easter dresses, and this past year, she made a quilt using material from all those dresses. It always seemed silly to me to save dresses when I could pass them on to friends, but now I'm regretting that I don't have a stack of sweet dresses and pretty white shoes. I loved the one she wore in the photo above, when she was about four.

At 12, my girl still loves picking out her Easter dress each year, except she's not so little anymore. Somehow she went from a little girl's size 10-12 last Easter to shopping in the Juniors department this year. Her dress is a size 3. Her shoes are a size 8, bigger than mine, and they're not cute little Mary Janes. No folded-over lacy socks or white hat for my girl either.

I'm glad she's growing up; I really am. But I wish I had a few more years for those sweet little dresses—and I wish I'd saved every one of them. What a sweet quilt that would have been.

On the Menu

With the warmer weather, I am suddenly completely tired of soups and casseroles and ready for anything on the grill and sandwiches. I like simplicity when warm weather hits, and the forecast shows a warm, sunny week ahead.

So on this week's menu, we'll be having a summer staple, hamburgers on the grill, and a few new, mostly Rachael Ray experiments:

Marinated Pork Chops with Pineapple Salsa (found on Susie's Homemade)
Three Vegetable Penne with Tarragon-Basil Pesto (Rachael Ray)
Smoked Mozzerella and Chicken Sandwiches (Rachael Ray)
Spicy Hot Pot with Noodles (Rachel Ray, found at I'm Running to Eat)

And that's what we'll be eating this week in SmallWorld, unless Things Come Up. One never knows. Easter's coming up this weekend. I don't know what we'll be fixing or who will be coming to our house, but I know I'm going to make this Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle. For more menu ideas, click on the On the Menu link above and visit Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie and Tasty Tuesdays at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Seventeen years ago I was still 4 hours away from delivering my firstborn child. Right about this time I was so hungry I could hardly stand it, and my mother-in-law brought Dr. H. and our friend Suzie lunch. Which they at in front of me, while I was laboring—and starving. Dumb ice chips.

Still, it was all worth it, for him.

Yep, I'd do it all over again. Today, he's 17. I love him because he's my son. I like him because he's smart, funny, and kind. And he has great taste in literature and music, which are very high on my list.

Next year, he'll be away at college on his birthday. He got a birthday postcard from the college where he'll be attending that read, "Happy Birthday! Hope you spend the next 4 birthdays with us." How cruel was that?

But today, it's cinnamon rolls for breakfast and sushi for dinner, after he gets home from work. And a really nice surprise, coming up later. He's a lucky kid. And I'm so blessed that he's mine.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Anniversary Weekend

A cabin on the river, excellent food, three full games of Trivial Pursuit (yes, we are nerds)…

and an 8-mile hike in our big backyard, the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. (You can read all about our hike at Randy's blog, 900 Miles.)

My calves are sore, my heart is happy. Tomorrow, it's 21 years.

Share your "Wordless" Wednesday at Wordless Wednesday or Five Minutes for Mom.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Memory: Rings

Our 21st anniversary is coming up in a few days, and for some reason I had this picture stuck in my head when I thought about a Monday Memory. Randy's holding my ring, and our rings, in their utter simplicity, are one of those things I love so much about us.

We decided to get married, 21 and 1/2 years ago. We needed wedding rings, but of course we didn't have any money. So we went to a local store called Brendle's, which is pretty much like Sears. A step up from Walmart, you might say. I wanted a simple gold band; he wanted a slender white-gold one. Our rings cost $19.99 each. And that was all there was to it.

It wasn't until much later that I learned that people—real people that I actually know—spend thousands of dollars on wedding rings. And that made me love my $20 ring even more.

I still have my ring, although for our 10th anniversary, Randy bought me an anniversary band. Just a tiny bit fancier, but still simple. Like us. And I wouldn't trade it for the biggest rock on earth.

Well, unless my fingers get too fat and I have to cut the ring off. It could happen.

So tell me: how much did you spend on your wedding ring? Just kidding! I really don't want to know. I just hope it looks as right on your finger on your 21st anniversary as mine does.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday Miscellany

* I'd like to think of something profound to blog about, but truthfully my brain feels so cluttered that I can't even think of a Facebook status. I don't want my brain to be cluttered. We're actually taking spring break this week, so my brain should be resting. But it's not.

* Why do the days always go so fast during a day off? I don't get that.

* Target has really cute sundresses. I went there today to help my daughter get a birthday gift for a party this weekend. But I didn't buy a cute sundress. I bought a shirt that looks horrid on me, and now I have to take it back. That makes my brain cluttered. I tremendously dislike returning merchandise.

* Tomorrow afternoon we leave for our anniversary getaway weekend in the mountains. That's another reason my brain is cluttered. I have to think about where the kids are all going, packing, getting lesson plans done so that I don't have to do them when I get back, etc. But as soon as we leave tomorrow, my brain will be instantly uncluttered.

* Decluttering is what the mountains do best. Breathing deeply of all that green—one can't help but be relaxed and renewed.

* Perhaps I'll even be profound when I return.

May you have an uncluttered weekend!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


The Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Beverly's Homeschooling Blog.

Of particular interest to me:
* Alasandra addresses that dumb AP article that's circulating wildly. Yeah. What she said.

* The Thinking Mother ruminates on the slacking teen. I hate to be thought of as dishonest, but I have to say that my teen is great, and I really mean that. But it occurs to me that some might define his sleeping until 11 a.m. as being a slacker. Perhaps I should go wake him up.

* I'm always interested in posts that deal with high schoolers, and this one is so utterly different than what's happening in our family that I had to read it twice. Mandatory marriage by 21 always surprises me, although I've heard families in our own support group embrace this philosophy. Not for us, but I do find people interesting.

I also contributed the latest WordSmithery lesson. I really do intend to publish the next one sooner.

There are a bunch of carnivals out there that interest me. I enjoy reading posts of all kinds whether I agree with the author or not, although I must admit I only scan if the grammar is atrocious or the layout cumbersome. Or if there are too many ads. I could read carnivals all day, but then I really would be a slacker.

Wordless Wednesday: St. Patrick's Dad

St. Patrick's Day was a big deal where I come from: parties, green hats, parades. Not so much where I live now. Fortunately, I have my Dad here with us, and we've always played up his Irishness tremendously. It's an annual affair to trace our Irish heritage with him while we eat our corned beef and cabbage. (And this year, I made it instead of my mom!) Andrew O'Riley and his brother came over in the 1860s from Ireland to escape the famine. Andrew dropped the "O" and begat James Welsh Riley, who married Aretha and had 10 children, of which my grandmother Gladys was the second to last. It's not too far of a stretch from Ireland to my Dad—just 3 generations. And a continent. And, hard to imagine, 150 years.

It's a long way from Clare to here.

Share your own photo, with or without words, at Wordless Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Memory: Honeymoon Cabin

This coming weekend, Dr. H. and I are going away for our anniversary to a little cabin in the mountains. We could go someplace fancier. We could fly somewhere or explore a new city or get a big room in a nice hotel. But that's just not us. We started this journey 21 years ago in a cabin in the mountains, and we're suckers for tradition.

A lot has changed since the day I snapped that picture of Dr. H. at Roan Mountain, TN, on our honeymoon 21 years ago. We look different. We think differently. We have kids, pets, furniture that isn't from the Salvation Army, a real dining room table. Two computers. Our own house. Shelves of books. A bunch of degrees. Twenty-one years ago we thought we had all the friends we'd ever need or want. We never imagined a world with new people who have added tremendous dimensions to our lives, who have filled in hollow places and smoothed out rough spots along the way.

Twenty-one years ago we thought about how we could buy groceries on $25/week and what band we would be going to see play in the upcoming week. We dreamed about having a family and picked out names. We took long, barefoot walks on the cracked sidewalks of the Tree Streets. We waited for our friends to pop in the front door of our big old house, which we rented for $175/month. When it rained, we pulled back the braided rug and put buckets under the drips.

A lot has changed. We loved each other a little then, in the whole scheme of things, although we thought it was a lot. How could we possibly have known how immeasurably, wildly strong our love would grow in 21 years?

We are here, in the place we always wanted to be. And returning to the simplicity of a quiet cabin in the mountains is the perfect way to remember, appreciate, and celebrate.

(But I sure do miss Dr. H's mullet.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

On the Menu

Last week, alas, I did not have a menu. Normally this would through me into a tailspin, but Dr. H. was on spring break and did the grocery shopping and some of the cooking, so we managed. And he cooked three times, which was exquisite.

Saturday night Dr. H. made this fantastic meal that we'd had once at his brother's house: Vicki’s Favorite Chicken with Grapes, Couscous and Roasted Asparagus. It was very yummy, although it definitely didn't compare to his chicken piccata.

But this week we're back to me cooking, slaving away in the kitchen day after day while Dr. H. plays games on Facebook while ostensibly "working." Whatever. When do I get a spring break, anyway?

So this week we'll be having a first for me: corned beef and cabbage. My mother used to make it every St. Patrick's Day, although she used canned corned beef. I thought I'd give it a whirl this year for my sweet Irish Dad. Bought my first corned beef brisket ever. My day is kind of crazy on Tuesday when I'm making this, so I might use this crock pot recipe instead. We'll see how the day goes. Other menu items are Greek Shrimp with Everything Orzo and Grilled Chicken with Cornell Sauce.

Oh, and I really do have spring break coming up this week. Dr. H. and I are going away for our anniversary. Yep, just the two of us in a little cabin in the woods with a hot tub, an 8-mile hike, and Steak with Burgundy Mushroom Sauce. Bliss, purely.

But wait! I have a recipe for you. Tonight I made a family favorite, calzones. This takes preparation, so plan these for a day when you remember to make the dough ahead of time. The great thing about calzones is that each person can choose his/her own ingredients, and no one has to eat cereal.


Step 1: The Dough
(This makes enough for 3 medium and 2 small calzones)
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Add oil, salt and sugar and stir with fork. Add half of the flour, and then add in enough of the remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour when dough gets sticky, until dough is smooth and elastic. Put a spoonful of olive oil into a new bowl, add the dough and turned over so that greased side is up. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes. For this I put the dough into an oven that's been heated and then turned off. If you aren't making this within a couple of hours, you'll probably need to punch the dough down once or twice.

Step 2: Assembly
You just need whatever you like to go inside a pizza. Tonight we went with the basics: pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, and mushrooms. But even more delicious is to add things like artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and fresh basil. If you happen to have such things around.

First, divide the dough into separate blobs according to how many you need and how big your people are. I make smaller ones for the younger two kids. Press out the first blob into a sort of circle.

Now layer your ingredients according to each person's preferences, starting with sauce and ending with lots of cheese. Keep sauce well away from the edges.

Fold each one over as you finish, press edges with a fork, and put a few slices on top so that the steam can escape. It's always a good idea to put each person's initials in his/her calzone. We wouldn't want the children to accidentally get a mushroom, would we?

Bake at 425 for about 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Serve with extra pizza sauce for dipping. As always, side dishes are optional. Better yet, just consider extra pizza sauce as your sidedish.

Looking for more food ideas? Check out Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.

This Is Home

This is the view from my front door.And I don't ever get tired of being right where I am.

This is home. What's yours?

Linked up with Glimpses of Home on Chatting at the Sky.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

We Are Here

I don't ever get tired of being right where I am because it's exactly where I want to be.

It's always this time of year that I remember that unbelievable day eleven years ago when Randy got the call, the job offer, the dream fulfilled. Ten years—ten years!—we'd been working toward that moment. Finishing college, master's degree, PhD, two kids and eight years in exile in the midwest, and at last, at last we were heading back to Tennessee. To the mountains and far, far away from the endless rows of corn and soybeans. Pigs and silos and big, big tractors.

A lot has changed since I wrote this poem over a decade ago as part of my master's thesis. We lived in Iowa then and would drive the 17 hours to Tennessee once or twice each year. We were always reaching across the miles, missing the mountains like a vital organ. A deep breath. Someday really did come true, except we live at the foot of the Smoky Mountains and we don't really have a front porch. But the big thing—the breathing—just gets deeper every year.

Seventeen Hours, Give or Take (Driving South)

We count on someday,
coffee on the front porch,
Buffalo Mountain still

in its own black shadow.
We live now
for the next vacation
and the next, driving southeast
and then south and east,
these strange selves

as the farms turn to forests,
corn to tobacco.
Two hours to go
and we are easy again
as if some lethal spell
has been lifted. We unzip

our stiff suits
at the state line
and toss them out the window.
Our skin beneath is warm

and smells greenly of wood.
We can't stop breathing.
(By Sarah Small. Published in Breathing the Same Air, copyright 2001)

Nope. I don't ever get tired of being right where I am.

Friday, March 12, 2010

SmallWorld's WordSmithery: Lesson 9: Poetry Collage

SmallWorld's WordSmithery

Welcome back to the WordSmithery! If you are brand new here, I recommend that you go back and start at the beginning. My goal with the WordSmithery is to make creative writing exciting for writers of all ages. Here's what we've covered so far:
I apologize that many of the PDF files can't be downloaded. I don't know what's up with this, but I'll try to go back and fix them when I remember (which will be challenging). In the meantime, you can always cut and past the lessons into your own Word file.

This lesson will be a bit different from the regular ones. I'm not really a huge fan of form poetry, but I think it deserves more than just one lesson. Also, I think form poetry is a great way to get kids writing. There is something satisfying about counting out 17 syllables or finding all the words that rhyme with "banana."

So in this lesson we'll continue to explore various types of form poetry but with an artistic twist. You'll need a construction paper, markers or crayons, scissors, and glue or tape for this lesson. To begin with, go back to Lesson 8 and review various types of Form Poetry. Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of Lesson 8 to read some fun poems. Giggle Poetry has an especially good selection.

Now, pick a theme. I think it is the most fun to do one collage together and then have each child (and you, parent) do a separate collage. When I teach this in a class, I divide students up into groups of about four and have them pick a theme. Some ideas: the current season, an upcoming holiday, any sort of animal, food—the possibilities are endless. After you pick your theme, compose several different poems in a variety of forms. Be creative! Use lots of colors, paper, etc.

My nine-year-old did the poem collage below. He picked his favorite topic, candy. (Yes, I know that "candy's" should be "candies" but we don't worry about spelling errors at this point in the game, remember?) His forms include an acrostic, a haiku, an ode, and a simple ABAB rhyme scheme.

The next two were done in my creative writing classes. The first is a series of haiku done by mostly nine-year-old girls…

And this group chose "nature" as its theme:

You will, of course, want to frame these when they are done and treasure them forever.

So that's it for Lesson 9! Get out the paper, scissors and glue and have fun! Journal writings are included below. As always, do them alone or do them together, but keep writing!

Lesson 9 Journal Writings: Just Imagine

Day 1: Imagine you owned your own store. What would you call it and what would you sell?

Day 2: Imagine you had a round trip ticket to anywhere in the world. Where would you go? How long would you stay? Why did you choose this place?

Day 3: Imagine you won a $1000 shopping spree to any store. Which store would it be and what would you buy?

Day 4: Imagine you are accidentally locked in the library at night. What will you do?

Day 5: Imagine you are a cat or a dog. What would you look like and what kind of cat/dog would you be?

One more thing: if you are enjoying SmallWorld's WordSmithery, help me spread the word by copying the button below and putting it on your own blog post or your sidebar! Thanks!

SmallWorld's WordSmithery

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Woodpecker

I love having woodpeckers come to our bird feeder, though it's rare. We gets all sorts of other birds, but somehow this guy—I think it's a red-bellied, but please correct me if I'm wrong—never fails to thrill me. I think it is an excitement that has carried over from my childhood. We had a bird feeder right outside our kitchen window, and I can remember my mother calling us in excitedly. "It's a woodpecker!"

Share your own photo at Wordless Wednesday or 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Miscellany

* I really miss doing my Monday Memory posts, but truthfully, my brains are utter mush on Mondays after a day at co-op. Last week I had to look through dozens and dozens of photos in search of the perfect 15 pictures for Jesse's senior slide show, and I had such an urge to write about so many of the photos. But there's that mush-brain problem.

* It's hard for me to understand how I once had a 40-hour/week job. Why does teaching co-op classes for 3 hours completely wipe me out? It's absurd.

* Dr. H. is on spring break this week, and he's already been on two hikes. Check them out at his hiking blog, 900 Miles. I so wish that we had spring break at the same time!

* In less than two weeks, we're going away for our anniversary to a little cabin in the Smokies. Last year our anniversary hike was the arduous but exhilarating Chimney Tops trail. I wonder what Dr. H. has planned for this year? I'm already looking forward to the hot tub at the end of a long day of hiking.

* Actually, I'd like to soak in a hot tub at the end of every day. Should we take money out of Jesse's college fund and install a hot tub instead? What would Dave Ramsey say about that?

* I did not plan a menu this week. I am already feeling lost and anxious, even though Dr. H. is at home to take care of the cooking this week. (Did I just say that?) I'll be back on the menu plan bandwagon next week, for sure.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Weekly Wrap-Up

* Co-op. I had a sore throat but persevered. My essay classes read their fantastic persuasive essays, and our literature circle class began its poster presentations on a famous African-American. Today we had Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bessie Harvey, a world-renown artist whose granddaughter just happens to be in our class. Actually, her mom and I co-teach the class. It was awesome to have Clea talk about this famous artist and then tell the class that Bessie was her grandmother. History touches the present--always an awesome moment.

* Awesome free download from Curr-Click today: another human body unit study freebie, which is perfect for continuing study of the human body.

* Celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday by reading The Lorax and playing the Dr. Seuss Trivia game. This was a gift to us years ago from a sweet friend, and it was a perfect way to celebrate. I'm always amazed, when we play this game, at how many Dr. Seuss books I've never encountered.

My new friend Amber, who is in my homeschooling group but whom I first met through blogging, did really awesome stuff for Dr. Seuss week that makes me look really lame-o. Seriously, this Horton Breakfast is too fantastic, and that's just one of the Seussian posts!
* Dance and drama for Laurel in the afternoon; Duncan goes to my parents' house for games and walks and all kinds of good stuff.
* Pinewood Derby in the evening!

* We worked a lot on our human body lapbooks today. That's all I remember. I ate a lot of cough drops.

* Regular stuff, plus flute lessons and preparing for Homeschooling 101.

* Nearly finished two read-alouds. Laurel did lots of ALEKs math today. We're still on a trial subscription, and she really warmed up to it this time around. I may actually consider buying another month's subscription if that's possible.
* We discussed the first two acts of Much Ado About Nothing in my world lit class and then watched those same two acts in the 1993 Kenneth Branagh movie. The class absolutely loved it and begged to watch the rest, but I stuck to my guns and am making them read the rest before we finish watching it.

* We had our annual Homeschooling 101 through our support group. I've been sick all week and was happy to feel well enough to do this event. I posted a few years ago about how we run our Homeschooling 101. If your support group doesn't provide something like that, please start one! This is an incredibly valuable resource for new and potential homeschoolers. And here's Amber's musings on Homeschooling 101. (I swear I'm not stalking her!)

And that's the week, wrapped up. I know I forgot about 80% of what we did this week, but hopefully the kids didn't. I'm feeling much, much better and looking forward to feeling more like myself next week. Wrap up your own week at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers' Weekly Wrap-Up.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Disaster, Tamed

I was inspired because of the 28-Day Organizing Challenge to clean our bedroom during the month of February. I know it is pathetic to take an entire month to clean a room, but cleaning the bedroom is always at the bottom of my cleaning priority list. (OK, actually, the playroom is at the bottom, but that's because it's out of sight and I forget that it's even a part of our house.)

So I didn't even finish in the allotted 28 days, but I did finish! There are still lots of things I'd like to do, like paint the ugly dresser, paint a mirror and hang it, and make pillows, but I did get the room completely clean, dusted, and reorganized—and it's stayed that way for 4 whole days.

This post shows a small taste of what the room looked like a month ago. Piles of laundry to put away and shirts to be ironed, and just piles of papers. The bedroom has always been a catch-all. But I got really serious.

I spent most of the month throwing stuff away. I threw away about 2 full bags of trash and filled two entire recycling bins with papers. I filled an entire box with mementos (and soon that box will make it out of the hallway and into storage, really).

Those shelves by the ugly wicker chair (which has been "temporary" for the past two years) were completely stuffed with junk. They still look full, I know, but they are actually completely organized. I'm working on getting a few more canvas totes to put in them.

I got a new comforter cover for our old but very comfortable down comforter and got these really cute birdies for my necklaces, which used to lay tangled on my dresser.

I dusted the bookshelf by Randy's side of the bed for the first time in serious six months. It was hideous. Since I started taming this disaster area, I've been really good about putting laundry away soon after it's folded, and I've also been ironing for an hour each week. I'm keeping up with the ironing, but I still have a lot of stuff that's waiting its turn from the past few months. Life was so much easier back when we were in graduate school and Dr. H. wore t-shirts every day. (Well, except for the part about having no money and living in an itty-bitty apartment in Iowa.)

I'm not completely done, and I didn't finish the challenge in time, but it feels really, really good to have a clean and organized bedroom. Next up: the bedroom at our guest apartment…

Check out other clean spaces at the 28 Day Challenge and other happy things at Finer Things Friday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Pinewood Derby

Last night was Pinewood Derby night for our Cub Scouts. If I've calculated right, it's our eighth one between the two boys, and Randy's been the Cubmaster for six of them. This was by far the easiest and fastest. This year our county's fire department, in an effort to reach out to the community more, invited all Cub Scout packs in our district to come to the fire station for their derbies. The fire department invested in state-of-the-art aluminum track, software and all the bells-and-whistles (like a recorded screeching car sound) that our pack could never have dreamed of buying. It was fantastic. With 35 cars racing, the race took about 45 minutes instead of the usual 2 hours or more. The winners were quickly calculated, and the top three racers got to race against the Fire Chief!

It was an awesome night. I can remember years ago when we had to actually time the cars with hand-timers and write out the winners on paper, calculate winners' brackets, and have do-overs. Invariably, a few parents and kids were unhappy because something didn't seem to be calculated right or the track was lopsided or a race was so close that it was hard to tell who really won. It was very stressful, especially for the Cubmaster. Through the years, many of those variables were eliminated with a better track and better technology, but the fire station's set-up was absolutely fantastic.

And in case you were wondering, not that winning matters (whatever), Duncan's car took 10th place, and he was very happy for his friend Caleb who came in 2nd.

That was a very wordy Wordless Wednesday. For less wordful ones, check out Wordless Wednesday and Five Minutes for Mom.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blog Hopping

I love finding new blogs. I probably find way too many of them when I really should be washing dishes or cleaning out the litter box.


Here's a fun one for homeschoolers: The Homeschool Hop, hosted by Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom. You can sign up to hop around if you need to avoid menial household tasks, like sweeping the floor, putting laundry away, or wiping off the table. Blogging is so much more fun.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, March 1, 2010

On the Menu

It's a repeat week. Not a single new recipe on the horizon. But tonight we had macaroni and cheese, and I have to say: I make awesome mac and cheese. My kids will not eat Kraft unless they are at a friend's house. So here's the recipe.

Macaroni and Cheese

Boil about 8 oz of macaroni.
Melt in microwave: 2 TB butter.
Add 3 TBS flour and 1 tsp. salt. Mix until creamy. Add 1 cup milk.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave 2 minutes more. Stir. If it's thickened, add 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and stir until melted. If not, microwave another 2 minutes and then add the cheese.
Drain pasta when done. Add to cheesy mixture.
Microwave on medium-high power for 7 minutes.

I know. It's so easy. I could eat the whole darn bowl of it.

Here's what else we're having this week:
* Leftover Taco Soup. (Shh. Don't tell Dr. H. we're having leftovers or he'll stop for a burger on the way home.)
* Crunchy Potato Tilapia (recipe below)
* Enchiladas (recipe below)
* Chicken with 40 Garlic Cloves and mashed potatoes

Crunchy Potato Tilapia

2 ounce envelope instant mashed potatoes
2 TB sesame seeds
1 egg
1 T lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 package frozen tilapia or other fish

Combine potatoes and sesame seeds in bowl. Combine egg and next 5 ingredients. Dip fish in egg then dredge in potato mixture.
Heat 2 TBS oil or butter in skillet. Fry fish in oil 4 min. on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Lame-O Enchiladas

I make the lamest enchiladas, but they really are good. My peeps like them better than fancy recipe-style enchiladas. And they have discerning palates.

Get some flour tortillas. My people eat about 1 each. Maybe 2 but not often. Put a big wad of refried beans in each one. Add 2 spoons of enchilada sauce. Add grated cheese. Roll up. Line them up in a pan. Pour more enchilada sauce over the whole thing. Add more cheese. Bake at 350 until the cheese looks just right. Eat with sour cream, chips, and rice.

That's our week in food! How's yours? More recipes at Menu Plan Monday and Tasty Tuesdays.