Friday, May 25, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes....

Brenna (commenting on it being Memorial Day Weekend):  "This would be a great weekend to visit the Tomb of the Undead Soldier!"

Hmmm.... guess I didn't realized we commemorated our Zombie soldiers as well this weekend.

She's so pretty! :o)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Recipe Night - Bacon-Tomato Cheese Toasts


John has been working hellacious hours lately and it makes it challenging to cook dinner.  Because given my history even the hint of people being absent for dinner gives me the perfect excuse to hang up my apron.  But if I don't cook occasionally, then there aren't any leftover and then even I don't have anything to eat.  So, I've been cooking and then just leaving it out and heating it up or remaking it when John gets home.  Can you say...Good Wife Award!  

Official version
Bacon - Tomato Cheese Toasts
2 ripe tomatoes
8 strips of bacon
4 slices of Texas toast or other thick sandwich bread
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup grated mozzarella
3/4 cup mayonnaise
5 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
fresh ground pepper

1.  Preheat over to 400.  Core the tomatoes and thinly slice.  Place in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt; let drain for at least 15 minutes.
My version
2.  Meanwhile, cook the bacon until crisp.  Pour off and reserve the drippings, leaving 1 Tbsp in the skillet; toast the bread on one side in the drippings until golden.  Do this in batches, adding more drippings as needed.  Place the bread, toasted side down on a baking sheet.
3.  Combine the cheese with the mayo, scallions and parsley in a bowl.  Spread the cheese miture on the toasts, reserving about 1/3 cup.  Crumble bacon on top.  Shake any excess liquid front he tomatoes; distribute the zucchini and tomatoes month the toasts.  Dot with the reserved cheese mixture and season with pepper.  Bake until golden brown, 15 minutes.  Serve warm.

I did not have Texas toast so I used bagels.  I also left the zucchini off because it sounded icky to me, but next time I might try it.  Used strips of bacon instead of chopping it - quicker and easier.

These were STUNNINGLY delicious!  I ate one the next day for breakfast and will probably eat them all week for breakfast.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm alive...We're all alive...technically...just poor!

It's okay we're all fine, it's just been a crazy, busy, weird week or so!

#1 - Brenna totalled her car!  I know right?  She was delivering flowers for a flower shop over Mother's Day weekend.  Sitting at a 4 way stop, looked down to check her GPS, because she thought she missed her turn and accelerated into the intersection.  It wasn't her turn, someone was turning left in front of her and **Bam*&! right into the passenger side door of the other car.  She was fine, the other lady told the police she was fine, but then complained to John that her shoulder hurt.  Whatever..people suck and she'll probably sue our asses off!  Anyway, USAA declared the car a total loss, so now we're waiting to see what comes next.  Hoping we get at least enough to pay off the loan on the totaled car.  Brenna is stuck at home with no car and no money and pretty unhappy with her summer thus far.  I feel bad for her, but not bad enough to let her drive my car!  2 accidents and one reckless driving/speeding ticket in 2 years... yeah not so much.  John has started looking for another car for her, but we're not in too big a hurry.  Think she needs to "feel the pain" a little to understand that she needs to be much more attentive and careful when she drives.

#2 - John racked up a $764 cell phone bill with his new job!  WTF???  My little Chatty Cathy!  Of course I called Verizon and they could give a rat's ass that it was an accident and we didn't realize it was happening.  But they were perfectly happy to help me "adjust" my calling plan so it didn't happen again and I could pay them an extra $100 a month to insure that.   F*****S!

#3 - I spent 3 days with the Crew team at the Stotesbury Regatta in Philly as Lead chaperone and had a FABULOUS time!  The team did awesome, the parents are great and it was tons of fun.  There is something to be said for attending sporting events when you don't have a kid participating.  I get nervous and anxious because I love all those kids, but it's a general anxiety.  It's not the gut-wrenching frantic-ness when it's your kid in the boat.  So, I'm looking forward and not looking forward to Zack rowing next year.   But by attending and "checking out" of my life for 3 days, my To Do list is now 2 pages long most of which needs to be done either "yesterday" or "tomorrow."  So I'm not sleeping and compulsively making and remaking lists, which doesn't seem to help my stress level.

It doesn't help that John is virtually a ghost in the house with this new job.  He's working hellish, stressful hours and not enjoying it very much.  I think (and so does he) if he can just survive until July 4th it will settle down and all will be better.
Zack has totally checked out of school (haven't we all!).  Brought home a decent report card but got a U - unsatisfactory in behavior!?  He went from a O-outstanding to a U-unsatifactory in a few weeks.  No contact from the teacher...WTF???
And Brenna is mopey...see #1 and still totally on college time.  She went out at 1100pm last night and got home about 230am.  And frankly, I'm too tired and worn down to even care!  :o)

Otherwise Mrs. Lincoln...How did you like the play?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Recipe Night.. Moroccan-Styled Stuffed Peppers

OUT OF THE BOX!  Stuffed cooking stuffed peppers...This must be some kind of Superman Bizarre-O world if I'm making stuffed peppers.  But it's not and I did!
Moroccan-Style Stuffed Peppers
1 8 to 10 oz bag microwavable brown rice
4 medium bell peppers, tops cut off and seeded
1 lb lean ground beef
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup currants (I left out)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable juice, divided
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tsp grated orange zest
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

1. Heat rice accordin and g to directions.
2. Place pepper upside-down in a microwavable safe casserole dish just large enough to fit them.  Add 1/2 inch water to the dish and cover with a lid or inverted dinner plate.  Microwave on high until the pepper re tender but still hold their shape, 3 to 6 minutes.  Drain the water and turn the pepper right side up.
3. Meanwhile, cook beef and garlic in a large skillet, breaking up until no longer pink inside.  Stir in currants, cumin and cinnamon, cook for 1 minute. Stir in the rice and cook for 30 secs more.  Remove from the heat and stir in 1/2 cup vegetable juice, mint, orange zest, salt pepper.
4.  Spoon the beef mixture into the peppers.  Pour the remaining 2 cups of vegetable juice into the dish and cover.  Microwave on high until the juice and filling are hot, 2-3 minutes.  Serve the peppers with the sauce and garnish with mint.

We thought these were good, but not great.  The filling needed a little more spice and the sauce just tasted like vegetable juice.  I think we'll certainly have stuffed peppers again, but I might look for a spicer, taster filling.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Recipe Night.... Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps

Hello...New Recipe Night... it's been a long time... how have you been??  It's been awhile since we did  New Recipe Night... if we're being honest, it's been a while since I actually cooked.  John started his new job 2 weeks ago and he's been working looonnnnggg, crazy, late hours, Zack doesn't eat real food and Brenna doesn't even get up until 2pm so what's the point in cooking!  But one can only eat cheese and crackers, Lean Cuisine and popcorn for dinner for so long.  So..... back to cooking!
Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps
1 cup cooked rice ( I used yellow rice)
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 green onion, diced
1/2 green or red pepper, diced **optional
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 cup shredded cheese ( I used cheddar)
sour cream
6 burrito-sized tortillas
Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt.  Add remaining ingredients except for cheese and sour cream.  Sprinkle cheese over tortillas, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, then arrange chicken and rice mixture down the center of each tortilla.  Can add a dollop of sour cream if desired.  Roll stuffed tortillas, leaving edges open.  Spray the tortillas all over with cooking spray.  
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute.  Arrange wraps seam-side down and cook until golden brown and crisp about 2-3 minutes per side.

This was definitely a keeper.  John said it was like eating at a restaurant, although since he hadn't eaten anything home cooked in almost 2 weeks, I'm not sure how accurate his review is, but I'll take it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day, better late than never...

        Being sick for Mother's Day....BLOWS!  The only thing good about being sick on Mother's Day is it allowed me to stay in bed all day with little to no guilt.  I did manage to get 3 loads of laundry done, but for the most part I napped all day long.  Despite being sick I did have a very nice day.
My family took good care of me and besides the laundry I didn't do anything else.  When I got up I found sticky notes from Brenna all over the kitchen.  Everywhere I turned there was a sweet little note waiting for me.  It was such a sweet gesture that it made me very happy.  Then I got the traditional homemade cards.  That's all I ever want.  The best Mother's Day for me is homemade cards and someone else to do my chores!  Check. Check.

But they killed it with gifts this year as well.  I got a Doggie Buddha - that is THE. CUTEST. THING. EVER.  I could hardly bear to put him outside, but he looks marvelous in the Hippo Habitat.  The next thing was a Zen rock tower.  Again looks perfect under our new weeping Japanese Maple.  Score on all fronts!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Don't want to jinx myself...

I was cleaning off bookshelves this week making room and purging because I like to do that.  For some reason, throwing things away makes me happy!  Most people like to fill up shelves with "stuff" for me I'm  happiest with a clean, empty shelf...weird I know, but it is what it is.
Cleaning off this shelf really brought me back to a time I had almost forgotten about.  Here is a small list of the books I've relegated to the Goodwill bin...

1. Parenting with Love and Logic
2. How to Behave so your Children will too!
3.  She's Gonna Blow!  Real help for mom's dealing with anger.
4. When We're in Public Pretend You Don't Know Me.
5.  "Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me!"  The Solution to Sibling Rivalry.
6.  Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive Cheryl and me to the Mall?
7.  The Big Book of Simple Solutions - Training Your Dog.
8. The Everything Dog Training and Tricks Book.

It seems so long ago since these books were my bibles.  I hardly remember the despair and frustration.  Without jinxing myself, it seems like we've navigated those troubled waters pretty well.  Brenna has turned into a (mostly) amazing, thoughtful, funny young woman.  And Zack is giving us sooooo many fewer "issues" than Brenna did at the same age.  He seems to just coast, calmly through life, doesn't fight us on much of anything, whereas Brenna fought us on everything!  Boys vs. Girls I guess?  Although, I was a good girl until I turned 16 and then it all went to hell!  So, I guess I'm not out of the woods completely yet.  But for now, I'm so proud of my peewees... I'd like to attribute it to great parenting and obviously my reading material, but I think it's got to be mostly luck!  Either way, I hope these books go on to inspire some other poor schmuck who thinks their kids are going to grow up to be sociopaths or serial killers!  Hang in there... you come out the other side of the despair tunnel and it turns into a happy story!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rest in Peace, Sweet Millie

Brenna's love affair with hamsters started when she was about 9 and we got her one for Christmas.  First there was Hagrid and then Otto and most recently Millie.  She's had a hamster pretty much most of her life.  She got Millie when she went off to college. Millie kept her company all through her freshman year; a little bit of family when she was lonely.  Sadly, very unexpectedly Millie died last night.  She was fine, Brenna went off to buy her a new fancy cage and when she got home, poor little Millie was limp and cold.  We Googled it... thank god for Google, and tried everything suggested.  We tried to warm her up on a heating pad, gave her a gentle massage, tried to tempt her with sugar water...poor John even did mini chest compressions and gave her tiny hamster mouth-to-mouth!  I see a Best Dad of the Year Award in his future.  And for a few minutes it looked like she was making a comeback.  She started breathing a little more strongly and twitching, but then she had what looked like a seizure and she was gone.

Brenna handled it better than I did, but I think she was pretty devastated.  We Hyzy's invest a lot in our pets, they are more like family than pets.
She was a good, sweet, loving hamster and she will be missed.  I hope she's found Hagrid and Otto and they are frolicking in Pet Heaven!

Zombie Apocalypse....Bring IT!

I am so happy to have all my chicks back under one roof.  Mainly because now if the Zombie Apocalypse  starts we'll all be together and I won't have to worry about somehow meeting up with Brenna!

Bring it on Zombie Apocalypse...We're ready!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's over, it's done, it's finished

      The room is clean, the car is loaded, the books are sold back and last assignment was just emailed in.  We are crashed in the hotel room, it's 730pm and she's already asleep.  We are just a little bit pooped.  It's all over except the waiting for the grades.  I cannot believe her first year of college is over and done.  It seems like this semester just flew by.  She has had a great year and I was almost offended by how sad she was to leave the campus and especially the dorms.  She loved the dorm and her room and her friends.  I'm not sure we could have wished for a more successful introduction to college.

     Tomorrow on our way out we'll stop by and look at the apartment she'll be renting next year.  I'm not real excited about that, but I'm sure she'll be fine.  Although on the way out this afternoon she was telling me how much she loved the dorms and how a bunch of her friends were living on Moffet Quad and she would have liked that.... SAY WHAT???!!!!  What happened to she's "die if she couldn't move into the apartment with her friends" "nobody stays in the dorms 2nd year"??? Now she says if we'd said No to the apartment she would have been fine with it???!!!  Even after 19 years I guess I still don't have it figured out.

       Back home tomorrow and the reintegration of "college student" into "living at home daughter" will begin.  I'm a little nervous about that, but again I'm sure it will all work out.  It's going to take a little bit of time for her to get back on a "real life" schedule, cause staying up until 3am and sleeping until 2pm, is not going to be near as much fun when we all go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6am.  She's going to have to find a job or she's going to go bonkers crazy.

But for now, Momma is just happy to have all her chicks back under the same roof!

Today's the day!

Today's the day... going down to pick up the baby girl from Radford!  One more final and she has finished her first year of college!  I can't believe it!  Kill that Biology final girl!