Tuesday, May 30, 2006

We have butterflies, apparently the ridiculous temps awaken the butterflies from a very productive slumber. They are all perfectly formed and so far we have 4. There were 5 to start and one was such a slow poke I wondered if it would ever haul it's plump little butt up to the top of the cup to pack it's self into it's changing room. It did, finally, but far after the example set by the other 4. So it is still hanging out in there. Who knows, perhaps it will come out when it's damn good and ready. Boots can't understand why they can't be pets that we keep, like the puppies, or Hope our HUGE cat. We will let them go tomorrow, and when he gets to hold it and have it walk on his hand and THEN fly away, I think that he will get that is the right thing. I think that experience will far out weigh them leaving in his mind.

So I have caught the sewing bug. And I've got it bad!!!! I think it was brought on by not only a lot of really amazing patterns out there, but a tremendously difficult time finding a dress that I wouldn't be mortified to wear to a wedding that we recently attended. This was no ordinary wedding, it was a 300 person, suits for the guys, fillet mignons and seared sea bass, sit down dinner at the country club, exclusive cocktail dress and NO kids kind of wedding. Normally not my kind of scene. It used to be, but as of almost 8 years ago, it quickly became a different ball game.

Anyhow, you would not believe the time I had finding a dress that was appropriate, comfortable, stylish (I'm not a fit in with the crowd kind of girl). And I suppose while I am griping about this, you should know a few things. 1) I am average size, my chest however doesn't like those measurements and refuses to fit into anything even close to that neighborhood of average. I am ahem....... voluptuous. I have had two kids, and they have been working boobs. They just never realized that it was time to leave when the work was through. I know a lot of people that say they would like to have some more than what they do. To that I say, haul these around for a few days, see how your back treats ya, then come and talk to me.

Where was I? 2) I have a tattoo, on the left side of my chest, near the middle, over my heart, you would have to know me to understand, and yes there are others, although not as visible on a daily level. I got this tattoo for me and me alone. I have no problem with people seeing it, commenting on it or asking about it. However, there are times when I would prefer not to show it. Saturday was one of those times. Oh yes what a complete disaster shopping for a dress can be... so if you are built like me then you have two options, to dress like a slut or to dress like a grandma. I realize there are other clothing choices, but they are really difficult to come across. If I get some thing that fits me in the chest then I swim in the rest of it. It I get something that fits the rest of me, you can forget even getting it anywhere near zipped past my lower back. I have no idea why I did not turn to the do it yourself option of dress making before now. We have a busy year, lots of weddings, I suppose no time like the present to get my ass in gear and pony up to the machine.

I started looking for patterns a few days ago and was thrilled by what I found. There is a ton out there! Really fantastic ones like this...

Or this....

Or wait... THIS!

I LOVE these! And there are tons more. Now I just need to purchase a body form....,

Ahhhh to dream...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hi there! If you live in NY, you will understand when I say... Is is freakin' hot enough for ya??? What in the name of God is going on here? Earlier in the week it was like 50. Now it's 94. How ya like them apples? My children are loving this weather. They are in the pool and on the slip and slide and sitting under the big umbrella that covers our deck sipping their grape juice with apple juice ice-cubes savoring the sweat inducing weather. Meanwhile Mr. Fantastic and I are trying to keep the dogs cool, they LOVE ice cubes in their water by the way.

Not to keep things cold, oh no, that would be to much in favor of the point. But to play with, they work like hell to get them out of the water and play a little hockey with them out on the deck, and then cry this pitiful cry when they leave their prize possession long enough to bring their soaked faces and front paws through the kitchen to find us hoping we will follow so they can show us their amazing achievement, only to find a puddle of water where they left it. They then run around frantically searching, looking at us on occasion as if to say "I left it right here, did some one take it? I am certain I left it right here... See someone was here.... look at this water?!!!

Any how, it's not suppose to be getting any cooler for a few days so wish us luck, and maybe and extra thought to some cool evenings. By the end of the week it's suppose to be in the low 70's. I just don't get the weather!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hi there! Sorry for the break! Technical difficulties. I love technology, when it works. So I have been a busy little bee. I have been sewing like mad and in the down time finished some fun projects for my little niece and nephew who live in sunny California. I will post pics when I know that they have recieved the package and I won't be spoiling the surprise.

All of our caterpillars have now entered chrysalis, and soon we will have painted ladies! I guess we will watch them for a few days and then let them go. They are now in thier hanging habitat. It's my understanding that this company: Insect Lore, makes a number of interactive creature habitats, all of which seem very cool. I especaily like the Lady Bug Land .

Monday, May 22, 2006

The best day ever

So we are sitting in the car waiting for the bus ( Little P'S bus stop is down the street and here in NY it was COLD this morning). And she was talking about what a great day it is going to be. She has junior achievement today and library (her favorite), and thier 2nd grade buddies are doing a performance for her 1st grade class, and there is a mobile firehouse visiting today. So she was all smiles and sat there for a moment, then she added " And, I get BBQ potato chips with my lunch, it couldn't get any better..."

I love her excitment, and only my kid would get the most excited about flavored chips!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Oven Fried Chicken

I know, two posts in one day. Now you think I have a ton of time on my hands don't you?
I mentioned this recipe the other day and I swear by it. I pound the chicken out flat and there for I need quite a few pans in the oven! It comes out golden brown and crispy, every thing you want in fried chicken with out the frying part. And it couldn't be easier, throw it in the oven, set your timer, come back in 15 minutes, flip, go do something else for another 15 minutes, Chicken's done!

3 tbsp butter
8 bonesless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup flour
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp oregano
2 eggs
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375, place a 13 x 9 baking dish
into oven.

In a shallow bowl combine flour,
cayenne, garlicsalt, and oregano. Wisk together
making sure to combine really well. Set aside.

In another shallow bowl, beat two eggs. Place bread
crumbs in a third shallow bowl. Dip the chicken in the
flour and lighly coat both sides, then dip the
chicken in the egg and finally dip the chicken in
the bread crumbs, place on a plate and repeat the
process until all of the chicken is done.

Place the butter in the hot pan in the oven, let
melt. Once the butter has melted place the chicken in
the dish, andturn to coat with butter. Bake for 30 to 35
minutes. Turn each piece over after 15 minutes.

I don't have a pic for this one, but I will be making it
tomorrow so I will post one then.

Breakfast and Butterflies

Breakfast is well loved at our house. It's just a fantastic time of day. When your kitchen smells like warmth, you know the smell. Hot coffee, bacon, toast. All of these things for me equal a certain peacefulness within the insanity. And I love the insanity, it's two very happy, well rested hungry kids running around asking what your making and how your doing it. It's adorable puppies begging for carrots ( my pomeranians love carrots, they will beg for them over dog treats any day!) It's getting little kisses on the cheek from your fantastic husband as you both try to work in one little corner, when you have the whole rest of the kitchen to use.

When the meal is all ready and eveyone has done their part, and you can sit back, enjoy and listen to that oh so happy sound of silence. You know that what ever you have made is really good if there is no talking for a few minutes. Our breakfasts last a while. We enjoy being around each other, and I am firm believer that there is no better way to have breakfast than at home. I think that belief came after I had Little P and Boots. Both of whom LOVE to eat and when they are done are really good at sitting and talking and being polite, but there is only a certain amount of that you can really expect from kids.

I think sometimes it is a lot more stressful to go out to eat than to hang in and make it yourself. Where ever you go there is almost always a little wait, if not a lot. You order and wait, and wait and wait, with little kids you take your chances with this one. Sometimes it's okay and some times you could put yourself in the looney bin before the food gets there. Then you spend a good chunk of your time cooling and cutting and wiping up all sorts of stuff before you even look at your plate. This event often makes the A Christmas Story quote run through my head, "My mother had not had a warm meal for herself in 15 years".... So if we can avoid it, we try not to put ourselves in this position.

I would love for this to happen more, but that fantastic husband is up and out of the house on week days before the children even think of waking up. This is an occurance that pretty much happens on weekends or on holidays. So this morning I went after that illusive egg dish, eggs benedict. Go ahead laugh, I am just learning the wonders of eggs. As you will remember from previous posts, they didn't use to be my thing. So after a couple of tries at poaching, (who knew THAT would be difficult) I finally got it right.

I was very happy with it. And so where Little P, who had 2, and Boots who wanted more Lemons! That is what he calls watermelon for some reason. The fantasitc hubby was freezing his buns off out on a boat fishing...so no eggs for him!

After breakfast everyday for the last few weeks we look at the Painted Lady caterpillers that we are currently nurturing into butterflies. This was a gift to Little P from the grand rents, they live in California, a huge 3000 mile hop skip and a jump from New York. This is the gift that she recieved in the mail.
After recieving this package, you fill out the enclosed post card and send it off to get your larva. Nasty I know, but really cool to watch. They arrive in the mail in a container and are really small, less than 1/2 inch each. You then put the container on the counter and forget about it for a while. They looked at it every morning and every night and watched the progress. In the bottom of this cup is all the food these 5 Caterpillers will ever need to mature in to butterflies. They get huge and then the head for the top of the cup. Getting ready for the chrysalis stage, only after they are safely encased in thier cocoons do you open the top of the jar, take off the disk and pin it to the inside of the butterfly enclosure. We are almost at that stage!

I have never actually watched something like this, so it's been really interesting. And they both love it! They do have the coolest grandparents ever, if I do say so myself!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I only have room for useful stuff

In my house I really only have room and patience for useful stuff. I really, really, really love dishes. Waaaaay more than I should. I love cake platters and glass bowls and stem ware. I love serving platters and butter dishes. I own way tooo much of all of this. But for me it's all useful, at one point. It is the stuff that clutters my home, that has no real purpose other than to make me dust more, that drives me crazy.

A lot of things for me serve double duty. My old enamel colander serves as a vintage fruit bowl as well as a colander. My glass pyrex pans see just as much cake and rolls as it does oven baked crispy chicken (Which by the way, I have the most fantastic recipe for, it's fool proof and it's baked, that was enough to sell me. We don't do fried). So in order to survive in this house you have got to serve a purpose and if possible, more than one.

I don't, however, feel that way about salt and pepper shakers. I know, I know, it doesn't make any sence. But they are a vice for me, and I love them. All sizes and shapes.

I was moving some stuff around in my laundry room, wiping down some shelves and look what I found tucked safely away on the back of the shelf.

Are they not just the cutest things you have ever seen? I have no idea what possessed me to put them there in the first place, but it was an exciting discovery. It's killing Boots that he can't play with them. Try explaining that to a three year old. Little P just wants to salt and pepper everything, whether you should or not!

Do you have any interesting salt and pepper shakers hanging around your place?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Birthdays and Cake, the perfect pair

You know how some times in life things just go the way they should? It's not always the up hill battle that you often prepare yourself for. That was how we became friends with Jill and Dan. They are amazing and funny and they love our children. They are the kind of friends that when they come in the door they take off thier shoes, hug everyone, including the dogs (that vie for thier attention so bad it's not even funny), and get right down on the floor, ready and excited to play. Out come the super hero figures and the buckets of dinosaurs and the pads of paper and the endless rainbows of markers. There is a lot of "Hey look at this!" and " Watch this, do I have it right?". And there is not a thing that goes unlooked at, there is not a question that gets ignored. We are amazingly lucky, and we know it.

Last week it was Jill's Birthday, but she was out of town. So last night, I made a little cake, stitched a few gifts and enjoyed the time with them.

White Chocolate Pound Cake (ours is topped with strawberry whip)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 8 oz. white chocolate ((baking squares)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
(if you are going to top it with chocolate the following is needed)
  • 1 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 4 oz. white chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C). Grease one 10 inch bundt pan. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of white sugar in the bundt pan.

Chop four squares of the white chocolate, set aside. Melt the remaining four. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and 2 cups of the sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in extracts and the melted white chocolate.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream. Beat just until combined.

Pour 1/3 of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with 1/2 of the chopped white chocolate. Repeat. Pour remaining batter on top.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. If you are topping the cake with chocolate follow the next step: Melt chocolate in the top of two double boilers or in bowls in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack completely.

Strawberry Whip -

1 Cup chopped strawberries
1 Cup sugar
1 egg white

Place all ingredients in bowl and mix on high until forms stiff peaks.

As for the fun gifts, she recived a few random things, much like herself! And I could kick myself for not taking pics of most of them. Among those things were these:

It's a Mop Top, a benders version of a British Punk Rocker, gotta love it!

And she is big fan of Superheros. So a custom cape was in order:

It was so much fun making this! My poor sewing machine, it's getting a serious workout lately! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Grandmama's Famous Dunkin' Eggs

Did you know that my children have a great grandma whom they call Grandmama? And she is famous, she invented the three minute egg, or at leat that is what they think. Guess what else? It's not called a three minute egg, or even a soft boiled egg. Nope, you have been lied to all these years. It's called Grandmama's Famous Dunkin' Eggs.

My daughter, Little P came home from a sleep over at her cousins house and declaired that Aunt Mary made her the best breakfast ever. After such rave reviews I needed to find out what exactly it was that she ate. So after calling Mary I found out that she had made the girls three minute eggs. Now I have never been a fan of eggs in general so I wasn't sure what the fuss was all about . Apparently there is a certain way to consume said eggs. They must be placed in an egg cup, they must be served with plenty of crunchy buttered toast cut into thin strips, and you need to have a spoon that will fit inside of the egg. Salt and pepper to your hearts content and enjoy!

You would be suprised at how difficult it is to find egg cups in a store. So I hopped on line, and with in seconds found and ordered eight of the cutest egg cups I have ever seen! They come with little spoons, just the right size to fit in the tops of the eggs.And I also found this adorable egg timer, I couldn't resisit.

When it is all said and done there are two very happy children with full bellies. Who sing the praises to.... Grandmama. Life is good.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I have been reading other people's blogs for so long now, I can't even remember when I started. Today I decided that it was time for my own. I love the idea's and the stories and the things that are out there. So welcome to the little window of my life.

My son Boots has attached himself to a picture found in this book.

He loves, and I mean loves this book! It has all of these insane questions that are perfect for a 3 year old to ask. The pictures in this book are all taken from this perspective. So they all look like they have huge heads, and little bitty bodies. There is this picture of a Chihuahua that is looking off to the side, by the way he looks like he only has two legs.

Boots wants this Chihuahua so bad he can't stand it. In fact he named this creamsicle colored puppy, Fantastic. Where the hell am I going to find a two legged, creamsicle colored Chihuahua puppy named Fantastic? Trust me folks, I couldn't make this stuff up. In fact here he is, and here is Fantastic

Aside from trying to explain that we already have three dogs, yeah, I said three... I realize this seems crazy. I will leave that story for another day.

So aside from that, I am trying to finish sewing the new pillows for the living room. That will free up time to make a removable cover for the window seat in the kitchen, and some really sweet pillows to go with that as well.

See you tomorrow. Thanks for reading!