Notes to Self and a Few Confessions

On the menu this week:  Poppyseed Chicken, Lasagna, Potato Soup, Eggplant Gratin, & Sherry's Aussie Chicken

But first, a few reminders from this week...some dinner related, some not:

Seems random?  We'll get to this in a moment...
Reminder #1:  Remember to rename foods that are "iffy."  This came into play with the Turkey Chili Taco Soup this week.  Any time I use the word "soup," my kids automatically get the most twisted, horrified looks on their faces...however, when I use the word "nachos" and serve the same soup with chips, cheese, and sour cream it automatically becomes a culinary delight in their little minds.

Reminder #2:  Do not try to follow your grandmother's recipes verbatim.  You will end up having to figure what a #3 can is, or asking yourself why in the world anyone would ever cook with MSG, or googling how big a "fryer" was 50 years ago and equating it to boneless, skinless chicken breasts...also, you will not realize that a bread recipe actually makes 3 loaves of bread rather than one, and your bread will explode and ooze all over your oven.  And, last point, it will take you two days to make a chicken and wild rice casserole rather than whipping it together in 5 minutes after the chicken is done.

Reminder #3:  Puff pastry is delicious...always...filled with anything.  A prime example was the quiche this week.  (It may have had something to do with the fact that there was a large amount of bacon and onions fried in bacon grease in the recipe?)  I really don't like eggs...no, really...I don't like eggs, but I LOVE this quiche.  I love that it is super fast to make.  I love it with no vegetables, I love it with broccoli, I love it with zucchini, I love it with anything...and I love it even more with puff pastry as the crust rather than pie crust.

Reminder #5:  Thursday night parties are FUN!  I had sort of forgotten this one because, let's be honest, I don't get out much on Thursday nights...and my morning starts at 6:30am no matter what I do the night before.  The Stella and Dot party that I threw on Thursday took a little planning for the menu and a lot of planning of how to execute getting the food prepared, the tables set up, and the decor arranged with 3 little ones under foot and ready to rip off a table cloth at any given second...and I had a blast doing all of it and even more fun hanging out with some friends...until midnight...on a school night ;)

Reminder #6:  I am not in my twenties anymore.  I know...it's hard for me to believe too ;)  I did, however, try to act like I was back in my college years this weekend with 6 of my very best friends in the entire world in town.  (We missed you, Woody!)  We had a BALL.  It is always good for my soul to laugh with these women who are more like my sisters than my friends.  We stayed up way too late...may have had just a smidge more wine/beer than we normally would at a tailgate ;)...and laughed harder than I think any of us have in a long time.  We even gorged ourselves on pizza like we did way back when. I am exhausted but would give anything to do it all again this coming weekend!!

Reminder #7:  My children are not perfect, and neither am I.  I tend to expect a lot out of everyone in my life...myself, my husband, my family, my friends, my children.  This lovely character flaw is sometimes  unfair, unrealistic, and drives those who love me crazy.  I am working hard on this, but it's a hard habit to break.  So, here goes...my children have been known to occasionally write their names on the walls in the basement.  We have had many talks about this, we have scrubbed walls multiple times, we have gone to our room to "think about" writing on walls.  Well, the other morning I was prepping for my dinner, and all was blissfully calm and happy in my home.  I went downstairs to bring the boys up for breakfast, and, to my horror, they had drawn a MURAL along the back wall of the playroom.  Well, I lost it.  I mean, I really lost it.  It was bad.  I am embarrassed.  I have not reacted so poorly in a long time.  While my kids were "thinking about what they had done in their rooms," I was angrily scrubbing the walls, so mad, so mad, so mad, scrubbing so hard, and then I saw the marks on the wall where my husband had recorded their heights.  I had just lost it on these two little boys who are not even three feet tall.  Well, that was enough to make me feel about three inches tall.  The boys came down, and one of them said, "Mom, we think we owe you an apology."  I almost fell over at that point from shock and from feeling even worse than I had before.  After many hugs and an apology on my end, I calmly told them that we were going to remedy the situation and remove the writing utensils from the craft nook in the basement...to which my five year old responded with tears, "But I won't be able to practice my math!"  GAH!  Be still my heart!  Anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE math!  We will now be practicing at the kitchen table, however.

Reminder #8:  My mama can still make everything better.  My husband left town for a week yesterday, and the cavalry arrived just a little over 3 hours later.  I am SO happy she is here.  All three of my children are now on antibiotics for various ailments, and she has been my lifeboat.  I love spending time with my mama...she not only helps to take care of my children, but she also takes care of me..she reminds me to slow down, to take a breath and relax, to sit and chat...to basically attempt to be more of a Mary than a Martha.  She has this down to an art, and I am trying very hard to learn from her amazing example.



Happy Cooking!

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