Monday, June 25, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - 6/25/07 edition

Last week went so well, I'm doing it again!

Sunday - Burgers & chips (I never said I was into health food)

Monday - BBQ chicken bake, microwave potatoes, green beans

Tuesday - Sonic night

Wednesday - Smorgasbord

Thursday - Beef & Broccoli Stir fry, steamed rice

Friday - Grilled pork chops, fried taters & onions, english peas

Saturday - Daddy's choice!

I hope everyone has a fantastic week - I'll be back tomorrow to share with everyone the joy of the so called Intex "easy setup pool."

Easy setup my rear area.......

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mysti's Pink Chicken

Wow - two comments and both of y'all wanting to know how to make my infamous Pink Chicken. I know - Pink Chicken just sounds wrong doesn't it? But honestly, it's one of those amazingly kid friendly dishes that I discovered totally by accident while on the South Beach Diet a couple of years ago.

And it's scary easy too.

Basically take about 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I've made them with either the breast from a bag o'chicken from WalMart or from just a regular package of chicken from wherever. The bag o'chicken cooks faster, but the size shrinks a bit as well. Put the frozen breasts into your skillet (all of mine are non-stick). Take about a cup or so of raspberry walnut vinagrette dressing and pour it over the the chicken. Then sprinkle about a teaspoon or two of worchestershire sauce over it. Sometimes I've also cut up a few cloves of fresh garlic over them as well - especially in summer when I'm trying to prevent being eaten alive by skeeters.

Now - cover the skillet and turn it on low - I mean really low. Like 2 or 3 low. Then go read a book or break up a fight between your kids, or watch House Hunters, or whatever it is you enjoy doing. Check back every now and then and turn your chicken so the sauce coats the chicken well. After about 45 minutes, I usually take a spatula and start breaking the chicken into smaller pieces, then stir it up so that even more chicken surface is covered with the raspberry walnut vinagrette goodness. The last 5 minutes (it rarely takes more than an hour to cook, but since you can go off and do other things, like change out of your work clothes, or fold that last loud of laundry, or read your new People magazine, it doesn't seem that long), I take the lid off the skillet, and let the chicken brown up a bit.

Serve over your favorite kind of rice, and voila! Pink Chicken. Too easy to even be called a recipe, but most kids will eat the tar outta it. Add a veggie or two and you've got a meal.

Now - if either of y'all try it, you have to promise and come back and tell me what you (and the kids) think, ya hear? Unless they hate it. Then you can just throw away the recipe and we'll just forget it ever happened.


(By the way - I noticed yesterday that my zinnias have sprouted! Yes - I'm a dork. No - I don't care - I just tickled that they came up!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I actually sat down yesterday and wrote out a menu plan for the week. I discovered pretty quickly not only how much smoother the week goes when we all know what is on the schedule, but also how much more *stressful* it is when I *don't* do it while going through this move.

So without further ado - my first Menu Plan Monday posting.

Monday - Pink Chicken, roasted broccoli, corn, saffron rice

Tuesday - Sonic night! We love those half priced burgers!

Wednesday - Spaghetti, salad

Thursday - Chicken Enchiladas, spanish rice, leftover corn, salad

Friday - Left over Smorsgabord!

Saturday - Grilled deer, potato, carrot & onion packets, salad

Of course - I have to convince the hubby to cook on the grill Saturday, but I'm pretty sure that he'll agree.

And the only thing I had to buy at the store for all this was the taters and milk for the kids. It's so nice to be stocked up.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Green Acres - HA!

No one tells you about landscaping when you plan to move a house out into the country. Or I suppose when you build one. No one mentions that when you try to plant those beautiful flowerbeds along your new front porch that the dirt there was originally part of the pad for the house - you know - the one they built up and levelled and PACKED SOLID so the house wouldn't slide down the property when you got 17 inches of rain since January.

Because if they had, I wouldn't have spent several hours with a hoe, hand tiller, shovel and mini rake trying to break it up enough so I could plant snap dragons, day lilies, marigolds and a plethora of verbena, zinnia and phlox seeds. I would have just put my foot down and said to my husband "I don't *care* that you bought a huge ole tractor, that won't help me with my flower beds, now you get thyself to Lowe's and BUY ME A ROTOTILLER!!!


But I must say - the flower beds do help with the house looking more like a home, and it will look even better once a few of those seeds sprout. I took some of the leftover brick from the house and created a border that is straight in spots, and wavy in others. That might have something to do with the unevenness of our yard. We've also had sod put down over about half the yard - so we have grass. Sure - it looks like it's gasping it's last breath before it dries out and turns to hay - but the landscape dude tells us that's just shock. I had no idea that grass was so sensitive. Apparently it has to adjust to its new home. At least the grass doesn't wake me up 4 times a night like my dog did the first week out here.

Tonight, we plant pinto beans in our garden. Not because I'm a big fan of plain ole pinto beans, or beans and rice, or beans and cornbread, although my husband loves them. Nope - I love me some green pintos. That's right - I pick 'em before they get all big and beany and I plan to can 'em just like my grandma did, and y'all - if you love home canned green beans, you will LOVE green pintos. Honestly. They are the ultimate. Cook 'em with some small new potatoes and I could just make a whole meal out of them. Which is why we are planting half an acre four rows of them.

We're also growing a ton of tomatoes, which I think I mentioned before. We had to re-plant due a hailstorm. And when we did that, I sure as shootin got some peppers to plant too. Both jalepenos and bell. Mmmm - hot sauce! M also decided to plant corn, cucumbers, watermelon and canteloupe in our "small garden." Now mind you - he didn't bother to pull any of the weeds that had come up since the garden area was plowed up. So guess what I get to do tonight? Along with my short young helpers otherwise known as my sons.

Last Tuesday, I took off work in the morning so that DishNetwork could come install their lovely two-room DVR tuner in my new house. I waited and waited, and planted lavender bushes by my porch steps. I then waited and waited and watched the landscape dude lay sod in my yard. After I planted my daylilies, I called the local phone service company to find out where the heck my Dish dude was and discovered that since the local phone service company couldn't install our land line for another month, they called Dish and canceled our appointment.

Without telling ME.

After a couple of hours of frustrating phone calls between said phone company and Dish and getting hung up on TWICE, I finally said pfft - called Dish directly and got it all set up for the Dish dude to do his thing tomorrow afternoon. I also expressed my extreme frustration with the phone company, and lo and behold, I get home the other day and there is some kind of trencher machinery out by our house and I'm thinking it may not be a month before we have a phone line after all. Heh.

Ah. The country life.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mom's, stove's and poo

I love my mom. I do. But I think she's getting tired of me calling her every single day asking "um - how do you get the Mr. Ice Tea oven stove coffee pot to work?" Because they left the fancy Mr. Ice Tea maker and coffee pot in the house, but not the manuals and now we are constantly calling her asking her dumb questions. Which is better than just buying a new oven because we thought the old one (which, by the way, is a Fridgedaire wall oven that was installed when the house was built in 1963) had died during the move. But no - apparently there is an extra dial you must turn to on and then it works like a charm.

I'm hoping I have more energy tonight to unpack the rest of the bathroom boxes and get the boys' rooms set up. I admit it - I come home, putter a bit, cook supper, then veg out because oh my WORD we still have a lot to do to settle in. And I'm nothing if not a champeen putter offer.

I sat out on my back porch the other night while the dog watered the new grass, and thanks to the eleventy billion inches of rain we've had this year, noted that there must be at least that many frogs out there. It certainly changed my idea of a peaceful, quiet country evening. Because frogs are noisy.

This morning, after I had let the dog out and J was nearly done with his morning waffles, I walked by the french doors and noticed a fairly short but thick twig on the floor. In the big town we just moved from, it wouldn't have phased me a bit, as we had decent sized trees in both our yard and the neighbors. But out in Hicksville, we just planted new trees and they aren't all that large. So - of course I had to go and poke it with my bare toe.

You know where I'm going with this, doncha?

It wasn't a twig. Nope - apparently sometime between when I let her in and I walked by the doors, my dog had left us a present. A new icky squishy present. I immediately did the "oh my heck my toe touched POOP! ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew ew get it off get it off get it OFF!!!" dance asked J quite calmly to run and grab me a wad of toilet paper from the bathroom, said ew only once and cleaned it up. A lovely way to start the morning, let me tell you.

And how was y'all's morning?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Home at Last

At last. We are moved.

Well - mostly moved. As mentioned here (my evil myspace blog), we moved what we four could because our helpers weren't able to help. So we still have to move our entertainment center, the big TV, the tall lamps, my washer & dryer, and the deep freeze. But that's ok. We're able to live in Hicksville now.

Of course, now begins the unpacking. I have my kitchen pretty much done, but it's hard to unpack a living room when you don't have an entertainment center. I think I'll work on our closet and bedroom tonight. And the boys' rooms. We still haven't set up E's bed. He's perfectly happy sleeping on his mattress on the floor, so it just hasn't been done. I'm hoping he and Dad will get it taken care of tonight, so he can unpack his stuff - I have two or three of his boxes in my living room, and I want them out !

We've had major storms the last week, so our garden is toast. I think we're going to attempt to re-plant this weekend. And I can start putting in flower beds and honeysuckle and lilac bushes and mexican broom and line the drive with iris' and....

What!? I can't help it if I like flowers. I can finish unpacking later. Those boxes aren't going anywhere, but if I don't plant soon, all I'll have is dirt around my new home. And that just won't do.

Last night I cooked my first meal in our new house. I was able to actually set the table (oh yeah - we still need to move my dining table and chairs - thank goodness the house has a built in kitchen table!) with real plates! And silverware! And I could fit the food on the table! Which my prompted this conversation:

"J: Why is there food on the table?

M: Because it's time for supper.

E: But we always just get our food from the stove.

M: That's because our table was always covered with junk. No more buster. From now on we eat like this. No more buffet style for you! We're going to eat like normal people!

J: This is just weird."

Bless their hearts - they thought people only ate like that on holidays. Just wait until they learn to set the table. And clear the table. And clean the table and the counters. Muahahahahahahahahahahahaha....

Even though we have propane in the propane tank, and a line run to the house, and regulators on those lines, and all has been checked out by the propane people, for some reason we still do not have the propane turned *on* - so I don't have hot water on the kitchen end of the house. Which also holds my bathroom. Needless to say, we're all using the shower in the kids' bathroom. It's much roomier than the itty bitty stall in *my* bathroom, so I'm not complaining *too* much - although it is kind of a pain to walk to the other end of the house with my contact stuff, towels, etc.

Speaking of walking - you never realize just how small your house is until you move into a bigger house and you have to walk all around it unpacking. If moving doesn't help me lose weight, I don't know what will. (Of course, it would help if I hadn't just started my fifth oatmeal raisin cookie this morning.)

When I sat down at the table for supper last night, I looked around in surprise at how we seated ourselves. I was sitting in my grandma's chair, my husband in my grandpa's chair, my kid's where either my mom and dad, or my uncle and his wife used to sit. And I marveled that we picked those seats. When visiting this house, while my grandparents lived there, I always sat on the other side of the table. The kid's side. Now I'm sitting on the adult's side. Like my grandma did. And I realized that I was content in this home. My home. And I was probably feeling the same way she did when they first moved into that house after they had it built.

Oddly enough - I think that I'm about the same age she was when she moved into that house. I just pray that Monty & I have as many happy years in this home as she & grandpa did. I hope that she checks us out every so often from heaven.

(And I hope she doesn't mind that I painted her paneling!)