Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Dinner

I cooked the entire Thanksgiving dinner this year (except for the pies--thanks, Marie Callendar). We had an extremely traditional menu: turkey, stuffed with carrots and onions; mashed potatoes and gravy; Awesome Sausage Stuffing (not as big a hit with my husband's family as it was with mine last year); green bean casserole; layered raspberry Jell-o; crescent rolls; corn; sweet potatoes (oops! should have had yams); cranberry sauce and creme brulee. Overall, it was a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pumpkin Cookies

Yesterday, I actually took one of the pumpkins off the front porch; cut it up; baked it; and then turned it into puree in the blender. I baked a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Yum.

Totally impressed with myself.

Sheets and Shoes

My six year old son threw up in his bed last night. This event is definitely one of the special joys for a mom. We seem to have had more than our share recently. This undesirable situation was made worse because the only twin size sheet that I could find at three in the morning was pink. My son completely freaked out at the prospect of sleeping on a pink sheet. It took me another ten minutes to calm him down and convince him that he could actually sleep for the rest of the night on a pink sheet. I'm not sure he was convinced. I think he gave up out of sheer exhaustion.

My son's tantrum about the sheet wasn't just because it was pink. (Although, what boy/man really wants to sleep on a pink sheet?) He was really upset because it was different. He's pretty particular about his bed. He's been sleeping with the same style of navy blue jersey sheet purchased only at JCPenney since he moved out of the crib and got a big boy bed. He found something that he liked--it was familiar--and he didn't want anyone to mess with it.

It's not exactly his fault. He comes by it honestly. Take his shoes, for example. When I bought him his first pair of shoes as a one year old, I got him a pair of blue/gray/orange Sketchers. They were comfortable, cute, versatile and they held up well to the messy play of a toddler. So, when he grew out of them, I bought him another pair in the next size. And when he grew out of those, I bought him another pair. A few years later, when the store informed me that that style was being discontinued, I bought three pairs in the next three sizes. (So glad to discover that they really didn't discontinue that style and my two year old son now wears the same ones.) Now, my son has out grown his shoes and it's time to go buy him new ones. He no longer fits into the little-boy shoe sizes. We're going to have to consider a different style. This makes me nervous. Because really, when you find a good thing, why change?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Smarty Pants

At dinner last night, we were discussing how smart our kids are. We talked about how our two year old is learning his letters and numbers and his colors and shapes. We mentioned how our four year old is learning to read.

My six year old son interrupted. "And I can already read and most six year olds are just learning to read. We are a smart family." He paused, then continued. "At least the kids are."

Um, thanks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Picky Eater Loves Chicken

My oldest son used to eat anything until he turned three. Since then, he has become the world's pickiest eater and keeps getting worse. Because our family eats dinner together at the table nearly every night I am always looking for meals that we all will eat and enjoy. Here is one of our favorite recipes. The results are better than any resteraunt style chicken fingers, with a little kick.

Fried Chicken Fingers

2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs (smashed)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
8-10 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 cup oil for frying, or as needed
1. In a shallow dish, mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate dish, whisk together the milk and egg.
2. Heat the oil in an electric skillet set to 350 degrees. Dip the chicken into the egg and milk, then dredge in the dry ingredients until evenly coated.
3. Fry chicken in the hot oil for about 5 minutes per side, or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Remove from the oil and serve.

My son eats the chicken fingers with ketchup. The rest of us enjoy them with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Chicken Milk Gravy

2 cups of milk
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
cayenne pepper to taste


1. Mix dry ingredients together in bowl.
2. Heat milk in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat and add chicken bouillon. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Heat to a near boil.
3. Whisk in dry ingredients to thicken gravy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Whiney Ears

This morning as I was fixing breakfast for my children, my four year old daughter's mouth was moving but I couldn't hear a word she was saying. I couldn't figure out what was wrong and then suddenly I remembered.

"I'm sorry, darling. I forgot to renew the subscription for my whiney ears. I can't hear any whiney voices any more," I told her. She looked at me like I was crazy. Her lips kept moving and her brow was furrowed but still I couldn't hear anything. It was lovely.

About five minutes later, she came to me and in a very pleasant voice asked "May I have some Frosted Flakes and milk please?" I heard every word.

"Wow! You used a really nice voice. I could actually hear and understand you. Thank you," I said.

My husband, observing the situation, thought this was wonderful. "Be careful," I told him, "my subscription for complaining ears runs out next week."