Tuesday, January 31, 2012

There's not much more pitiful than a pet or kid who's got a boo-boo

       Took the Cooper boy to the vet today because he's been limping for the last two days and it's really messing with our walking schedule.  He wasn't putting any weight on his back foot at all and I noticed he had a red sore between his pads.  Seemed like the pain was disproportionate to the injury.  Always heard dogs were pretty tough especially with their feet.  It could just be the my Coopy is a sissy dog, but I thought I better have it checked out just make sure I wasn't missing anything obvious.  Like the time I let Zack cough for weeks when he was 3, until John guilted me into taking him to the doctor, and he had double pneumonia.  Or the time my brother was complaining, after a 4 wheeler accident, that his knee hurt and my mother told him he better toughen up because his school had stairs - and we found out after a trip to the doctor that his knee was broken!  It runs in the family... so better safe than sorry and off we tramped to the vet.
          It appears the Coopster has some sort of chemical burn on his foot between his pads and it was eating away at the pad.  Ahhh... YUCK!  The vet (who was wonderful) had to clean it and wrap it with honey!  And poor Cooper cried like a little girl dog the whole time.  :o(  So, now he's all limpy and pitiful and is raking in the treats at an alarming rate.  No walking and extra treats... hope he doesn't blow out his ACL next carrying around the extra weight.
          Yeah...about the honey...... apparently honey is great for burns, but I must say it makes keeping him from chewing on his bandage a little challenging since I'm sure it smells just yummy.  For the next 4 days I'm changing his Honey Wrap and feeding him pain pills and antibiotics.  And remembering to lock him in his crate every time I walk Zoey because he cries and howls until I'm sure the neighbors either want to shoot him or call the animal equivalent of child protective services on me. Plus, the bonehead will do whatever he can to escape the fence injured foot or no injured foot!  It's fun at the Hyzyhouse!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hey, you got another kid here...

      Sometimes I feel bad because it seems like Zack can get lost in the shuffle.  All Brenna's "firsts," New recipe nights etc... He just goes along all good-natured and even keeled and doesn't provide me with a lot of good blogging fodder.  Not that that's a bad thing...It's sort of like our photo albums, 95% of the time I am the one taking the pictures, so if someone didn't know us and was looking through the albums they might think John is a single parent! :o)  Not necessarily a bad thing, it just is what it is.  Zack, for the most part, is a sweet, good natured, easy going kid.  The only thing he's doing a lot of right now is growing and playing Xbox!  Like I said, not a lot of blogging fodder.
     Lately, we've been getting ready for high school (still makes me slightly nauseous to think about) planning his courses, sports choices and that sort of thing.  He's applying to a number of specialty programs...Project Lead the Way (engineering) and AP Scholars (honors program).  He had to write an essay to get into each program.  That always makes me laugh, because does any kid really want to get into these programs especially when it involves writing an essay.  Most of the time they probably just want to write "because my mother said I had to."  But he was very amenable and sat down and wrote his essay and I thought it was pretty darn good.

I want to be put into the AP Scholars Program because of all the benefits AP classes provide.  I also want to qualify for an advanced degree diploma.  I would like to have the opportunity to take normal classes and AP classes, instead of only being able to take classes that are easy.  I feel that AP classes will challenge me more than normal classes, and teach me more.  I also think that I would rather “hang out” with kids in AP classes than “average Joes.”  AP classes will help me prepare for college by teaching me good study skills, time management and make me pay attention to details.  These skills will also help me get farther in my life after college.  I don’t feel like middle school has presented me with many serious challenges and I am looking forward to seeing just what I can do when I really have to make an effort.   This will also teach me to strive to be the best that I can.  I don’t know which college I want to attend after high school, but the AP Scholars program will help me to be more competitive wherever I decide to apply.  Lastly, I’ve heard girls like smart guys!

The last line gets me every time, because it is so Zack with his funny sense of humor.  I've always told him when he's writing anything that a bunch of people are going to read, it's good to have something to make you stand out.  What he wanted to write was  "I heard chicks dig smart guys."
Geez, I love that kid.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New Recipe Night - Drunken Gummy Bears!

My friend DeLee turned me on to Pinterest the other day.  I had heard about it sort of, but I lumped it into the "I really don't have the time or interest to learn how to do something else webby.  I can barely keep up with all the changes on Facebook" category, but for some reason that day I decided I'd take a quick peek... All sorts of foul curses on my friend, somehow that morning I lost an entire 45 minutes of my time.  Blink...it was gone...  Pinterest is a fascinating hodgepodge of inane, amazing, helpful, weird, beautiful, brilliant stuff that people have found on the web.  It is a complete website done by people who have too much time on their hands for people who have too much time on their hands and I was trapped!
One of the first things I saw was a recipe for Drunken Gummy Bears!  Tell me, who could resist that!
I knew I had a Girls Night Out coming up and I thought what better to bring to a Girls Night Out Game Night than... drunken gummy bears!

Right now they are in the refrigerator soaking and we'll see what happens. I plan to report back at the end of GNO with what I'm hoping is many humorous pictures of the girls enjoying the drunken gummies!
There's not really a "recipe" mainly directions, here's what I did...
Drunken Gummies
2 1/2 bags (8oz) gummy bears
1 1/2 cup Smirnoff Vodka
1 can frozen raspberry lemonade concentrate (flavor your choice)

Place gummies in a bowl and just cover with vodka.  Place in refrigerator for 3-4 days or until the vodka is absorbed.  Place fruit concentrate in a container and add 1/2 the recommended amount of water.  Add one cup of the fruit juice to gummy bears and allow to soak 3 more days.  Stirring occasionally.

Not all the recipes called for the addition of the fruit juice, but the one that did said it helped to cover the strong taste of Vodka.  Since neither I nor any of my friends are big drinkers I thought this sounded like a good idea.  Apparently you must keep the gummies in the refrigerator or the Vodka dissolves them into goo.  Can't wait to see how they turn out.  Check back for a report!

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Recipe Night - Shrimp with Lemon-Saffron Rice

I've lost count of my successes and I think that's a great place to be.  We had a real rough patch last year... a real dry spell... nothing terrible, I didn't kill anyone, but there weren't a lot of recipes added to the ole cookbook.  But it looks like 2012 and shaping up to be a red-letter year!  Last night Zack and I had Shrimp with Lemon-Saffron Rice.  Actually technically is was Shrimp and Kielbasa with Lemon Saffron Rice, because we love us some kielbasa in the Hyzy House.  And if you want to get even more technical, Zack actually had shrimp and kielbasa with a clementine or 18 on the side, but that's a whole other story.  He didn't want anything to do with the rice.  He prefers his carbs in the form of cereal or Eggo waffles.
It was very tasty.  I actually used Saffron Threads, so it better have been good, because those thing cost $19 for an amount that would fit on the head of a pin (maybe two pins).  I mean is the stuff made out of pure gold?  Why the hell does it cost so much, but even more importantly why did I pay for it when I could probably find a box of Uncle Ben's saffron rice for 99 cents???  I guess I was feeling wild and crazy and I had another recipe that also called for saffron threads so I figured "Why Not?"  Let's live life on the edge.  Little did I know that I probably won't have enough of my $19 saffron threads for both recipes.
So, here it is in all it's $19 saffron thread glory....
Shrimp with Lemon-Saffron Rice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1lb peeled and deveined large shrimp
2 cups uncooked instant rice
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crushed
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 (14oz) can low sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
2 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add oil, onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 min or until tender.  Add garlic; cook 30 secs.  Add shrimp to pan' cook 30 secs stirring frequently.  Add rice and next 7 ingredients - through broth.  Bring to a boil, cover pan.  Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until rice is done.  Remove from heat; stir in peas and lemon juice.

Like I said I made a few changes, I added kielbasa because it's one of the few proteins the Zackman will actually eat.  That boy likes the pork - hot dogs, bacon, kielbasa, pulled pork.  He likes the pig that's for sure.  I also left out the peas because frankly they make me gag.  I hate the way the "pop" in your mouth when your eating.  It's an unexpected "what the hell did I just bite into" moment for me.  I prefer my peas to stand alone so I know what I'm getting.  I also forgot to take a picture, so you'll only get the "publicity" shot.  But it was good, another addition to the pork section or fish section of the cookbook!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Recipe Night - Chicken Caprese

I know, I know new recipe this, new recipe that... it's all I have to write about.  I could talk about Brenna taking her remedial driving class, I could talk about watching football all weekend or my trials and tribulations turning the cheese on at the high school, or working as cafeteria lady or the lengths I have to go to get Zack to write yet another essay about why he wants to be in the AP Scholars program in high school (I don't think it will reflect favorably if he says "because my mother is making me")...but really do we think those things would be more entertaining than New Recipe Night?  I'm not sure....
Homemade Hyzy version
Plus, we've been on a roll at the Hyzy house and we need to make the most of it.  Cooking is sort of feast or famine for me... I'll go for a spurt where I'll cook almost every night and then the dry spell will hit and it will be corn dogs, cereal and take out for quite some time... so let's make the most of it.
Tonight's feast....
Chicken Caprese
2 Tbsp Mrs Dash Tomato Basil Garlic Blend
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
4 tiny mozzarella balls, cut in half
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
Toss tomatoes and mozzarella balls with 1 Tbsp Mrs Dash seasoning.
Lightly flatten each breast.  Place tomatoes and mozzarella ball mixture on each chicken breast.  Roll up and secure with a toothpick.
Place breasts on baking tray.  Combine olive oil, vinegar and remaining 1 Tbsp Mrs Dash seasoning and brush on each chicken breast.
Bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
Official version

This was tasty, tasty, tasty and easy, easy, easy.  Of course Zack wouldn't touch it - he had the supremely tasty and fortifying, dinner of champions Ramen noodles for dinner.  The kid lives on ramen, cereal and waffles - it's like he's already in college!

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Recipe Night - John Hyzy style - otherwise known as Heaven on a Plate!

It's a Manly Grill
Last night, John took over New Recipe Night.  Background,  this is the 2nd year in a row that John has won his Fantasy Football Superbowl.  This is the 2nd year, I have NOT participated in Fantasy Football... I'm just saying...  Anyway, when he wins I make him use the money for something he wants that he would never buy normally.  Last year he bought himself an iPad and this year it was a new grill.  He researched and shopped around and found his dream grill.  It's a charcoal grill, but lights with propane and it's got all sorts of flimmity flams, whicker wockets and extra cool dippity dots.  He even got a wireless thermometer with alarms and bells and whistles.  He's been a grilling maniac.  We've had ribs and pork butt and burgers etc... But last night he OUTDID himself!  We had Grilled Salmon, but not just any grilled salmon.  This was sweet and salty and moist and luscious and honestly to die for!  He made it with potatoes, peppers and onions grilled in foil.  I didn't have to do a damn thing, except dishes!  Totally worth it and if he keeps cooking like this - I am turning in my pots and pans!
The recipe was called Grilled Salmon - but I am renaming it
Heaven on a Plate
1 1/2 lbs salmon fillets

lemon pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
salt to taste

1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
3 Tbsp honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder and salt.
In a bowl, stir together all the remaining ingredients until mixture is dissolved.  Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the marinade mixture, seal and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat grill to medium heat.  Cook salmon for 6-8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a  fork.
This was soooo good, "we" might just make it again this weekend!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Recipe Night - Crock Pot Carne Asada

Crock Pot Carne Asada
 3 lbs beef stew meat
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped onion
1 diced bell pepper
3 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup water

Place stew meat, 1/4 cup water, salt and pepper in crock pot.  Cook on high an let simmer for 1 1/2 hours.  Drain juice from tomatoes into measuring cup.  Add tomatoes, garlic, green pepper and onions to crock pot; stir and let simmer on high for 30 minutes.  Add cumin, oregano and chili powder to crock pot and stir.  Blend juice an enough water to equal 1 1/2 cups liquid and flour.  Stir into meat/veggie mixture.  Let cook on low for 3-4 hours until sauce is nice and thick.  (If you like runnier gravy, 3 hours is good)  Serve with rice and warm tortillas.

It was pretty good, I don't think I let it cook long enough.  It will probably be great tomorrow after the flavors meld a little more.  I also think I need to let it cook a little longer, because the meat was a little tough.  Lots of potential just a little tweaking needed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What have I become or not become

I'm a little worried because it appears that this blog is turning into nothing but a chronicle of New Recipe nights.  I don't know if I should be happy because that means I'm actually cooking... a lot... for me at least. We haven't gone out to dinner in quite sometime and "fend for yourself/I don't care what you eat" nights have not been near as common as usual.  On the other hand, I'm a little worried that we have so little going on in our lives that all I have to blog about is cooking.  Which if you know me well is just...WIERD!
It seems as though all we really do is work, eat, sleep etc....  But again sadly or not sadly... I'm okay with that.  I love my house, I love puttering around my house, l love not having lots of places I have to be or commitments I need to fulfill.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still doing all my volunteer duties but during the winter it seems as though things slow down just a little bit.  I'm not complaining - I certainly don't want any drama.  Zack is doing just fine at school, a few minor blips here and there but nothing critical.  Brenna seems to be settling back in at Radford. It has not been a totally easy transition.  Still no sign of a roommate and I think she's a little bit lonely, but there are other opportunities that are cropping up.  She's been leaving her dorm room door open and since most people know she doesn't have a roommate- lots of new people are stopping by and checking on her and talking to her.  She even mentioned how surprised she was that people were being so nice to her.  I'm convinced when you start college already with a roommate and a boyfriend in place you really limit the amount of new people and new experiences you open yourself up to.  Although it's been a little bit sad and lonely for her, I am convinced this may be the best thing that's happened to her.
John is working his ass off at work, long hours and a wretched commute - with sadly no end in sight.  Times like these... huge mortgage, saving for 2 kids in college etc... that make me really glad I'm not a man with all the responsibility to provide for his family.   We are so lucky and he does a magnificent job.  I only hope that in 5-6 years when we only have one in college that he'll be able to quit his rat race and do something he really wants to.
But, I'm happy... I love my house, I love my family and I don't need much.  I'm convinced I could have been a pioneer woman.  That is a pioneer woman with high speed internet, TiVo, Fed Ex delivery and a Target nearby.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Recipe Night... Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage

My version, no "official pic" available
With Brenna gone, it's only John to serve as my guinea pig since only RARELY will Zack even join us at the table on New Recipe Night.  So, tonight it was Lentil soup - I originally planned to make this recipe with my sweet Vegetarian Godson Cameron was here, but we never got around to eating this one - since Cameron is not here and I had a little Italian Sausage hanging around the freezer, I went free style and threw it in the mix.

Lentil Soup w/Italian Sausage
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, diced
l large onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups lentils
8 cups of water
1 28oz can tomatoes (crushed, diced, or stewed) broken up
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
*** 1/4-1/2 lb of Italian Sausage broken up and cooked ***
Cook Italian Sausage with olive oil and garlic.  Add vegetables and sauté until lightly softened.  Add water and lentils.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a slow boil.  Add tomatoes and spices.  Continue to cook, covered, over low to medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Adjust consistency, if too thick, add a bit more water.

Verdict - it's a keeper.  Tasty, I think with or without the Italian Sausage.  Right now I'm on a roll, 3 for 3 New Recipe nights!  Yeah!

To Watch or not to Watch

Geez, I just realized that American Idol starts tonight... the internal debate will rage all day... do I let myself get sucked in and watch again? Or do I stand firm on my morals and convictions and ignore it and watch something worthwhile like Hoarders or Pawn Stars?  The problem is I do love me some Steven Tyler....
But if I let myself watch even one minute of those stupid audition shows, then I get sucked in and I am stuck, trapped and regretting it all season long.  Like when I hide in the basement and eat an entire package of rice crispy treats so that I don't have to share with anyone... regret!  American Idol is like my TV show crack... I can't stop myself, I don't enjoy it and it's not even remotely good for me.
I just don't know what to do... the incessant commercials and ads are tempting and luring me in... I guess we'll just have to see how strong I am tonight at 8pm on channel 5!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

So this is me still worrying...

I guess it never gets any easier.  Brenna got back to Radford just fine yesterday, but no sign of a roommate; she says her room is empty and lonely.  Now, I'm awake worrying... She doesn't have a class until 2pm today... who is she going to eat breakfast with, who is she going to eat lunch with, what's she going to do all day?  Is she going to be sad and lonely and hate college?  I know deep down, she's going to be just fine - a small bump in the road that we won't even remember in a few weeks.  But, that doesn't stop me worrying and fretting and projecting all my  "military brat/always the new girl" fears on her.  It just never ends, first with the pacifiers, then the potty training, then the first day of Kindergarten, the hellish middle school years, first day of HS, graduation and grades, premarital sex and STD's, and now college social life... the worrying just never ends.  Seems as though no matter how smooth things are really going, I can find something to worry and stress over, maybe I should be worrying about my worrying and stressing!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

All good things must come to an end.

         Our girl heads back to Radford tomorrow.  She's been home for a month and I must say I was a tad worried about the transition from "on your own, no rules college student" to "back at home do what we say daughter," but it went just fine.  There were no issues besides the fact that poor Zack was never allowed in his own bathroom.  But he took that in stride.  She even came and subbed with me a couple days, worked a couple shifts at Padrinos to make some extra money and dyed a strip in my hair pink since I'm the "hippest mom ever!"

        When she heads back tomorrow, she's one of only a few of her friends who is going back.  Biggest shock... her roommate will not be returning and neither will her boyfriend!  Both, sadly, were academically suspended for the semester and can reapply for admission next fall if they choose.  It was quite a shock, so poor Brenna heads back not knowing when or if she'll get a new roommate and without her boyfriend.  Of course the first thing John and I said when we heard the news was, "you're hanging out with the wrong crowd!" but that being said she managed her time and her grades very well.  John and I were both very proud of the effort and the grades she brought home her first semester.  I am also very proud of the way she's handled this little bump in the road.  She was bummed for a couple days, but now is moving forward.  Of course it helps that we took her out yesterday and pretty much emptied our bank account for her.  Sadly, when you lose a roommate, you don't just lose a roommate you also lose... the tv, the bathroom organizer, the desk lamp, apparently the cleaning supplies, the fan...etc...  so, John and I pretty much spent until we thought our bank account would spontaneously combust and then spent some more.  She also needed a new car battery, fancy hiking boots for her trip to the Virgin Islands and so much food that I was concerned maybe Radford has stopped feeding them!  As she said, "It's just like Christmas!"  I think that helped her mood.

      It will be hard to let her go, I've enjoyed having her back around.  What I won't miss... her "borrowing" my makeup, my clothes etc... Although I guess the fact that she takes clothes out of my closet says one of two things... either I am totally hip and have all the coolest clothes or that I'm a 45 year old woman who dresses like a 18 year old kid.  Considering the fact that my closet is divided into "dressy sweats and hoodies" and "everyday sweats and hoodies"  it seems that maybe I'm not dressing my age.  I always said I wanted to be on What Not to Wear, but I know they would throw away my vast collection of Hoodies and I love me a good hoodie!  But I digress...

      I am excited for her and the upcoming semester.  I'm convinced that the Tropical Biology class she's taking along with the study abroad trip to the Virgin Islands is going to give her some great opportunities.  I envision her finding lots of new BFF's, after all  they will be working together all semester and then heading to the Virgin Islands together.  I'm convinced this is the "right group" for her to be hanging around with.  We've also elected for her to drop Chemistry this semester, she passed but has decided she wants to retake it sophomore year, so she's taking mainly electives and her 2 Biology classes - 17 credit hours.  I think this will be a good chance for her to concentrate on Biology and enjoy the semester a little more.  We'll see.

     I'm very sad to see her go back, because I will miss her muchly, but at the same time so excited and maybe a little envious.  I think that's just the way it should be.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Recipe Night...otherwise known as MIRACLE NIGHT!

Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets

Official version
My version

A full-fledged, no shit MIRACLE happened tonight.... Zack Hyzy... our Zack Hyzy...not only ate dinner with us and by that I mean ate the SAME dinner we ate... but he... wait for it...wait for it.. HAD FREAKIN' SECONDS!  You heard me... seconds of real food, not seconds of waffles or cereal or Kit-Kat bars.  Seconds of Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets.  I almost choked on my own fish fillet when I looked up and he'd eaten all his and was getting up for more.  For a brief minute I thought maybe we'd taken the wrong kid home after school!

So, all in all... I think Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets is a keeper!  The key... they are crusted with salt and vinegar chips!
Chip Crusted Fish Fillets
4 (6oz) cod fillets - or other firm white fish
2 tsps canola mayo
1/8 tsp salt
1 (2oz) package salt and vinegar chips, crushed
1/2 cup light ranch dressing

Preheat oven to 400.  Arrange fillets on baking sheet and brush 1/2 tsp of mayo over top of each one.  Sprinkle even with salt.  Gently press about 2 Tbsp crushed chips on top of each fillet.  Cook fish for 10 minutes or until it flakes even with a fork.  Serve with ranch dressing.
** try broiling last 2 minutes to brown up the top**  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy 2012 and New Recipe Night... all in one!

I know it's not really Happy New Year, but this is the first post of the new year for me.  Tree is down, decorations are put away, Zack is back to school, Cameron is visiting and all is well in the Hyzy house.  It's nice to be back in a routine, but at the same time it sure was nice for that routine to involve PJ's, sleeping in and no responsibilities!  I successfully blog all last year and I printed off that blog so that I could include it in the 2011 scrapbook that I haven't finished  yet.  I'm getting there... be patient.  Anyway, I thought it was a cool idea to have a visual and then a written reminder of each year.

On another note,  I don't like to cook, but I recognize the necessity of eating.  So, while I don't like to cook, what I hate even more is to cook the same thing over and over again.  Don't get me wrong we have our tried and true favorites that we're never going to give up.  Mimi's spagetti,  Brenna's mexican casserole and John's venison stew, but about a year ago I instituted New Recipe Night.  Because while I don't like to cook, I LOVE looking through cooking magazines and cutting out recipes.  New Recipe Night was born.  Brenna and John jumped on the bandwagon with both feet... Zack not so much.  But when your entire repertoire of food choices is Eggo Waffles, cereal and ramen soup, there wasn't much surprise that he was not much interested in participating.

New Recipe Night rules... no rules... I make no promises, it might be good, it might be awful but we try.  Honest opinions are valued and if you don't like it you are always welcome hightail it to the peanut butter and jelly.  For the most part, it's been a big success.  Not many recipes are keepers, but that's really not the point.. the point is something new.

I thought it would be fun if I kept track of all the New Recipe Nights we have and what the final verdict is...and so it begins tonight...  In honor of vegetarian Cameron... we had

Pappardelle with Baby Spinach, Herbs and Ricotta
8 oz uncooked pappardelle
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup whole milk ricotta
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
3 Tbsp pecorino Romano cheese
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Cook pasta with 1 Tbsp salt according to package directions. Drain, saving 1 cup cooking liquid.  Combine 1/2 cup hot cooking liquid and ricotta cheese in blender and process until well combined.  Combine hot pasta, cheese mixture, spinach and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat. Add additional cooking liquid to moisten if needed.

Final Verdict....KEEPER!  Brenna and Cameron ate like there was no tomorrow and for the pasta there wasn't.  John and I thought it was good but not fantastic and Zack wouldn't even look at the picture.
For future posts I will post the "official" picture and then a picture of what my version looked like.  I would have done that tonight, but they ate it before I could get my camera!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Buffalo Recap

I think maybe I should just title this whole blog year as the "recap" year since I don't seem able to blog in any sort of "real time."

Two days after our wonderful Christmas we loaded up for our post Christmas pilgrimage to Buffalo.  I like visiting Buffalo... I HATE the drive with an all consuming passion.  The only way to navigate it is Valium, ear plugs and my iPod.  I find it quite irritating to be trapped in the car for 9 hours with anyone, especially during the winter when the sniffing, throat-clearing, coughing and sneezing is non-stop and makes me want to poke my eyes out and drive an ice-pick through my ear drums!  All though it would seem smarter to poke everyone else! :o)
            We had a very nice visit with everyone...spent time with all the cousins, went bowling, saw Uncle Gary and his Speedy Parker Blues Band play a "gig."
The only thing I hate about going to Buffalo is THE BED!  My In-laws have the worst, hardest, most awful bed I've ever slept in.  I might almost rather sleep in the woods.  You can't sleep for more than an hour in any one position with out starting to ache all over.  So John and I spend the whole night tossing and turning and waking each other up.  I'm old.... this doesn't work for me.  I need my sleep.  I need my sleep uninterrupted... it's why I stopped having babies!  Sleep, I love my sleep.  The last night we were there Brenna slept over at the cousins, so after everyone went to bed... John and I snuck into the other guest room with the two double beds and slept!  Boy did we sleep.  It's probably one of the first times in my life that actually snuck into a bedroom to sleep! :o)
I also find the older I get, the less I like being away from my own house and my pups and all my stuff.  I now that's bad, most people enjoy the excitement, the variety, the new experiences, the change of pace.  Not me,  I love my stuff, I love my rou live tine - being out of my comfort zone make me itchy.  It's stressful for me.  It's funny, once in 4th grade I had to write a poem.  I can't remember it all, but it went something like this...

I will be a hermit when I grow up,
and never ever, ever have to clean up.
I'll in a shack with an old towel rack,
eating hard bread in my old, old bed.
I'll never do math or take a bath.
I'll grow my own food and to the neighbors be rude.

Sadly, that's all of my poetic genius that I can remember, but rather prophetic if I don't say so myself.
We had a very quiet New Year's in Rochester.  Watched movies, gorged on bacon wrapped venison tenderloins and MaryBeth's apple pie.  It doesn't get much better than that!  Here's looking forward to 2012 I hope it's will be as great as 2011 was!