Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sunday Dinner

April 29, 2012 1 comment

First of all, a brief explanation is in order. I find myself with this public blogging space that I haven’t been using. The one thing I do most consistently, aside from parenting, is cooking. I’m not going to call this a cooking blog exclusively, but I don’t want to be a mommy blogger either. Since this is what I know, this is what I’m going to do here for the time being. I’ve also been doing as much scratch cooking as I possibly can lately. The result is a better attitude, more energy, and a sense of satisfaction with myself. It’s not for everyone. Not everyone can cook. That’s fine. Not everyone wants to cook. That’s fine. Not everyone has time to cook from scratch. That’s also fine. I do.

Roasted Chicken

This one is pretty simple, actually. A whole chicken only looks intimidating.This is also how I cook a turkey, but that obviously takes less time.

1 whole chicken (fryer, roaster, whatever’s on sale)
1 stick of butter
Whole onion, peeled and quartered
Olive oil

Remove giblet packet from inside of chicken, if there is one. Pat skin dry. With clean hands, take roughly two tablespoons of your favorite seasoning combo (Mrs. Dash is good but anything is fine) and rub them on the flesh of the chicken, under the skin. Gently tear the center membrane of the skin as you work and try to get as much as you can to the legs. Cut the butter in to quarters and stuff it under the skin. Rub the top of the skin with olive oil and sprinkle more seasoning on it. Then place the quartered onion in the cavity where the giblet packet was.

Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, covered. Remove lid/foil and continue to cook another half hour. Then remove from oven and “tent” or recover and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. A half hour is ideal. This keeps the meat moist when you carve it and is more important than any other preparation above. (Well, aside from the cooking. That’s kind of important.)

Mashed potatoes
Steamed Broccoli

(I’m going to assume you can do both. If not, google is your friend. I cook mine from raw and do it all from scratch but do what works for you.)

Today we’re also having leftover cole slaw from yesterday (see previous post), but that’s only because it’s there. It’s not traditionally a part of this meal.

I’ve also determined Sunday to be dessert day. It’s the day when everyone, or almost everyone is home, and it’s the day I have more hands to help with the toddlers, so it seems like a good day for it. We don’t need the sugar and fats but everything in moderation, right? That dessert will vary, but this is what I chose this week:

Strawberry Shortcake

(Adapted from Betty Crocker)

1 quart strawberries, washed, stemmed, and quartered
1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup shortening
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk

whipping cream, redi whip, or cool whip topping

Toss the strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar. Refrigerate at least one hour.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees (unless your chicken is already cooking).

In medium bowl, cut shortening into flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt. Use pastry blender or two forks to mix until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add milk. Knead 7 or 8 times. Roll out to about 1/2 inch thickness and use large circular cutter, glass, or even a tuna can to cut circles in the dough. When you run out of room, place circles on ungreased cookie sheet, roll up and roll out dough, and repeat. Continue until you run out of dough. The Betty crocker recipe says it makes 12. I can get as many as 18.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until bottoms are browned but not burned. Remove from pan immediately and cool completely.

When you’re ready for dessert, split the cakes in half and fill/top with strawberries, then garnish with your choice of whipped topping. Cool whip is the only place I cheat here because I like the taste of it. Hey, I’m entitled to one thing!

Categories: Uncategorized

Pulled Pork Sliders from the slow cooker

April 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Pulled Pork

Pork roast (I’d go for about 3 pounds not counting bone. It doesn’t matter if it’s boneless, but it will take longer to cook)
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cook all of the above in the slow cooker on low for four hours. If the meat is boneless, it should tear apart easily at this point. If it isn’t, you can cut the bone away (Hey, use it for broth!) and continue to cook the meat another hour or so. It should shred at this point.

Cole Slaw

Meanwhile, you’ll want to make the cole slaw for the sliders. It will need at least an hour in the refrigerator for the flavors to combine.

Small head of cabbage, shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1 tbsp onion, minced
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
pinch of black pepper

Combine. Refrigerate, covered, for at least an hour.

Now you’ll want to start your barbecue sauce.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup cider or wine vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tbsp black pepper
1/4 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp soy sauce

Pour over shredded pork in slow cooker, cooking on high 30 minutes.

Serve pork with cole slaw topping on your favorite rolls. I like King’s Hawaiian. (I really do. They haven’t endorsed this. Yum!)

Categories: Food, Uncategorized

Garden 2012

Today was my first day getting into my yard this year and prepping for the growing season.

Once I got everything raked and weeded, I trimmed back my raspberry bushes. I attempted to transplant some of the canes but we’ll see how it goes.

In my raised bed, I planted basil, dill, oregano, spearmint, radishes, and green beans. Then in my three large planter pots, I planted miniature bell peppers. I have another spot by the garage that I can get about 2 rows of garden out of. I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini.

We’ll see how it goes. I know it’s a little early in the year to plant things in my zone but with such a warm spring so far, I hope I’m able to get some more time out of the growing season. By the time the seeds poke their little heads out of the dirt, we should be well past the last frost. I think we are already, but in other years I wouldn’t even attempt to plant anything until May 1st.

So if we do manage to get everything to come up and produce, it was $8 for the seeds for enough vegetables to feed us all summer, aside from lettuce, potatoes, and onions, which I didn’t bother with, but they’re all cheap enough that it seemed like it wasn’t worth the trouble to plant them in a space where I could plant something else.

Categories: Uncategorized


March 28, 2012 1 comment

I wrestle with what to say as I begin to write this. I am afraid I won’t give the entry the attention it deserves but I refuse to remain silent. Silence means you accept a situation for what it is. I don’t.

I don’t know what it is like to be a young, black male by any means. I do know what it is like to be a mother, and I do understand discrimination as the mother of a disabled child, as the mother of partially Hispanic children, and as a woman, so I hope I can draw from that and approach this fairly without seeming as if I am speaking for people of color.

I was a teenager once. I did many of the things that Trayvon has been accused of by the media, and then some. Should I have died as an unarmed person because of it? I often wear hoodies. It doesn’t make me a criminal.

The comments on various news stories make me ashamed to be a part of the white community.

Yes, if a black male shot a white teenager without reasonable cause, he would be charged with murder. That is how it should have been. When you murder, you deserve to be arrested, period.

Yes, the black community is outraged. They should be. All the kid did in that moment was walk in the rain with a hoodie on. Everyone should be outraged.

Even if (and I don’t buy it) he attacked Zimmerman as he got into his vehicle, fists are no match for a gun.

As a mother, especially one of teenagers, I am disgusted. This was a 17 year old child. He was unarmed. He had skittles and tea. He was shot and left for dead. Nobody attempted to use his cell phone to identify him and he was left as a John doe for 3 long days while his parents worried and wondered where he was. Nobody of any skin color deserves that and especially due to their skin color alone.

If I walked down the same street with a hoodie in the rain, I would not have been given a second glance.

This is not Trayvon’s fault. He did not have a gun. He. Had. Skittles.

Skittles for his baby brother, at that.

We should all be angry. We should all demand justice. Somehow you relate to this story. Perhaps as a parent. Perhaps as a friend of someone meeting his description. Perhaps as yourself. Be angry. Insist something is done, before it happens again.


Rest in peace, young man.

Categories: Uncategorized

What do I say to that?

March 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Kid 5 was pushing a truck around the kitchen earlier. He was trying to stand and ended up using the truck as a means to walk along. (It’s a big truck.) he told me “I think my feet are broke.”

He knows. He is so, so smart for a two year old but not old enough to have it all explained. All he knows is that he is different. He wants to have fully functioning legs like the rest of us.

How do you explain a hole in a brain to a two-year-old? How do you tell them that with ridiculous amounts of work, they will walk?

I think, in this moment, that his cognitive levels are a curse. He has to deal with this and can’t even be blissfully ignorant.

I knew he would want answers someday. I just didn’t know it would be now.

Categories: Uncategorized

Cake 4: St. Patrick’s Day birthday

March 17, 2012 Leave a comment

The hat is devils food with chocolate filling and the base is devils food with mint chocolate cream cheese filling. All is covered with vanilla icing and marshmallow fondant.

They absolutely loved the cake (outside anyway) when I dropped it off and it saved me having to run to a store for a gift so all in all, it was a success.

I am exhausted and I still have corned beef to eat and a kid to retrieve from the birthday party so I am going to rest. I just wanted to update after yesterday’s mention of the cake.



Categories: Uncategorized

Cake 3: hello kitty

March 16, 2012 Leave a comment

The cake stuff is coming along just fine. Yesterday I had my first request, though it wasn’t anything specific, so I made a hello kitty cake out of devil’s food cake and iced it with a piping bag and star tip. She was thrilled. She just got out of the hospital and it really lifted her spirits.

Tonight I am doing a St. Patrick’s Day themed sixteenth birthday cake for a friend of kid #1’s. She waited until tonight to ask and it’s the guy’s 16th, so how do I say no? I am not pleased that she sat on this request for 2 weeks, though. He needs it by 4 p.m. tomorrow. I’ll do it and wish him a happy day but grumble, grumble. I hoped I could sleep tonight. Oh well.

In other news, kid 5 has really been trying hard to walk and has taken steps many times. He can walk with a flimsy dollar store shopping cart so it’s mostly a confidence issue, but he’s getting there.

He also used a fork successfully last night to eat steak. This is such a huge weight lifted because I have been so worried about how he’d feed himself. He still needs a lot of work but what a huge leap!

I finally have sleeping toddlers and a kitchen I can work in so off I go. I will try to attach a photo of the last cake from my iPod.


Categories: Uncategorized

That’s laughable.

March 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Those that have followed me from livejournal know the saga of my mother- and sister-in-law and those that didn’t have picked up on small mentions of it.

I manage to get along with them by ignoring most of what they say. If I take it to heart, I just get angry. Today they had me trying not to laugh out loud, though.

Sister-in-law went to some new cupcake place that charges $2.50 for a cupcake. She brought them to my mother-in-law’s and had everyone try them. I didn’t eat any because I’m sick of cake, but hubby said it was overrated.

In the course of this, they kept trying to talk me in to opening a cupcake business. MIL’s bright idea was that they could help out and my mom could help out and we would all get rich.

I don’t want a cupcake business. I don’t really care about the inside of the cake. I want it to taste appetizing and make people happy but it isn’t what drives me. I like taking a cake as a base and using edible clay to make art. You can’t do the same thing with cupcakes. Not like that anyway.

It doesn’t interest me. It isn’t the point of what I am trying to accomplish. I can’t see myself spending 30 years or more squirting dollops of frosting on cupcakes all day and all night. That may be another person’s ideal career but not mine.

In my state, selling food is hard. There are so many rules. I doubt anyone will arrest you for selling a cake here and there but there are big fines for anyone that sells prepared food without various building codes (like a triple sink) and a sanitation license. I live in a rental. I would need a building away from my home.

I don’t have credit, collateral, a business model, or anything else. I don’t need it because I don’t want to sacrifice my time with my family to make cupcakes around the clock.

What? So we can get rich? You won’t. Period.

MIL can’t stand long enough to bake a roast because her weight is so hard on her knees. How is she going to help?

SIL can’t cook.

My mom has numerous health problems, would never take orders from me, and can’t work even if she could handle it (she can’t) because she is on social security.

So I would be left holding the bag on a business I didn’t want, working day and night, and not taking care of my family.

SIL said something like “that’s what having a job is.” If I am going to start a business, it isn’t going to be something that is thankless and boring and takes years to turn a profit. I’ll do something I like.

I swear, this is why I don’t listen to them. They hear what they want to hear and nothing more and then they don’t let up, ever.

I will continue to make cakes until I am good enough to sell them and then I will do a few at a time. I don’t need to get rich, hire help, or lock myself in to something I don’t care about this way.

On with the cake!! You want to sell cupcakes, then get baking!

Categories: Uncategorized

Cake 2: my little pony

March 11, 2012 Leave a comment


I was so proud of this one! I kept looking in the fridge to check it out.

The cakes are chocolate with raspberry chocolate cream cheese filling (6 inch) and lemon with lemon mint cream cheese filling (10 inch). They’re frosted with vanilla buttercream and then covered in fondant. The decorations are mostly vanilla buttercream, except for a fondant rainbow and plastic pony. Go toybox!

Categories: Uncategorized

Cake 1: honeymoon in Belize


I am pretty proud of this one! Thanks to Cara for the idea, and happy anniversary!

Categories: Uncategorized