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March 31, 2009

Before and After...

This is before...note that when I take photos of myself I always somehow end up with "crazy eyes"....also note that I did NOT do my hair, it was still wet, whatevs...

My "after" is due in large part to Sweeny Todd's Salon. They did a great job.
More noteably, Ms Danielle Janke. The glasses are new too, but I credit my current happiness to a great hair dresser, who did just what I wanted, and knew well enough to talk me out of looking like Ronald McDonald...

Again with the creepy eyes...sorry...I tried...

March 30, 2009

5-1/2 Months...

Yes - he's a thumb sucker and no - he doesn't want you to know - that's why he's hiding it under the blanket...

Not quite sitting on his own - he's working on it though :) He can do a mean roll over...

The pictures are a little old, but Baby is getting older and I just had to share these...

Speaking of Brothers...

Just had to share a few others from last month...

Bah - Boo!

Monkey has been teaching Baby how to play peek-a-boo :
Notice that not just any blanket will do - it has to be BABY'S blanket...
...and he has to actually get it up onto the bed (note the alarmed look on Baby's face...) Can you almost hear him say "Watch this Baby!"
...the smothering ensues...for what seems like an unreasonably long time for a game of friendly peek-a-boo...

My New Favorite Book Store...

I'm plugging them today. They're completely awesome.
Check out their site and order up some books!

For example: Here's the shipping confirmation email I got from them....very clever :)

Hello Pink,

(Your book(s) asked to write you a personal note - it seemed unusual, but who are we to say no?)

Holy canasta! It's me... it's me! I can't believe it is actually me! You could have picked any of over 2 million books but you picked me! I've got to get packed! How is the weather where you live? Will I need a dust jacket? I can't believe I'm leaving Mishawaka, Indiana already - the friendly people, the Hummer plant, the Linebacker Lounge - so many memories. I don't have much time to say goodbye to everyone, but it's time to see the world!

I can't wait to meet you! You sound like such a well read person. Although, I have to say, it sure has taken you a while! I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but how would you like to spend five months sandwiched between Jane Eyre (drama queen)and Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (pyromaniac)? At least Jane was an upgrade from that stupid book on brewing beer. How many times did the ol' brewmaster have one too many and topple off our shelf at 2am?

I know the trip to meet you will be long and fraught with peril, but after the close calls I've had, I'm ready for anything (besides, some of my best friends are suspense novels). Just five months ago, I thought I was a goner. My owner was moving and couldn't take me with her. I was sure I was landfill bait until I ended up in a Better World Books book drive bin. Thanks to your socially conscious book shopping, I've found a new home. Even better, your book buying dollars are helping kids read from Brazil to Botswana.

But hey, enough about me, I've been asked to brief you on a few things:

You chose Standard shipping.
You can expect your order to arrive in 4-14 business days.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email my friends in Customer Care. If you could please include your order number that would be very helpful.

Eagerly awaiting our meeting,

The White Trash Mom Handbook: Embrace Your Inner Trailerpark, Forget Perfection, Resist Assimilation into the PTA, Stay Sane, and Keep Your Sense of Humor
Blackout Girl: Growing Up and Drying Out in America
Crazy Ladies: A Novel
The Year of Magical Thinking
The History of Love: A Novel
Belong to Me: A Novel
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition) (Vintage International)

The above books, by the way, are all on my book club list for the remainder of the year.
My total was about $50! (FREE SHIPPING ROCKS!!!)

March 16, 2009


Found a new easy mexican recipe - they're truthfully my fave...I found this one on elise.com a long time ago (think 2006), but just now made it. Oh, and I adapted, of course, because that's what I do :) The picture above is from her website.

The roasting makes the dish - all the crispy little bits...mmmmm....Pipps and I ate it right out of the pan...

Pork Carnitas:
  • 2.5 - 3 lbs boned pork shoulder, cut into large cubes (remove as much fat as possible)
    *I did not have pork shoulder - I had one of those 4 packs of giant pork chops, so whatever...but I actually think this would be better with the shoulder...*
  • 1 quart beef broth (I used Swansons beef stock)
  • 2 cups chunky tomato salsa, either prepared or homemade (I used pace - because my Mom brought me a gargantuan container of the stuff and we don't like it, but for this recipe, it's good)

1.In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine pork, broth, and salsa. Add enough water to completely cover the meat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 3 to 4 hours (or longer) until meat pulls apart easily. Add salt to taste if needed.

2.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove meat from liquid in pot (discard the liquid) and spread the meat out in a roasting pan. Break the meat into small chunks. Roast meat for 15 to 20 minutes until brown and crispy.

3. If you are using store-bought tortillas, heat the tortillas one-by-one either in a microwave or on a hot skillet. If you heat them on a skillet you may need to use a little butter or oil to help soften them. When air pockets form in the tortillas they are ready. To heat them in a microwave, place a paper towel on the floor of the microwave. Lay one or two tortillas on the paper towel (whatever will fit so there is only one layer). Microwave on high heat for 10 seconds per tortilla (some brands of tortillas require 20 seconds each). Keep warm tortillas wrapped in a clean cloth towel for serving.

To serve, double up the tortillas and place a few spoonfuls of the carnitas on them. Top with salsa. Serve with grated lettuce (that has been lightly salted and sprinkled with vinegar), beans, avocados, and/or grated cheese.

To eat, remove half of the carnitas from one tortilla to another. Take one tortilla at a time with the carnitas and salsa, fold it over and enjoy. Or, keep them doubled up. Your choice.

I served this with my homemade pico de gallo (recipe to follow), guac, cheese and shredded mixed greens that I had on hand. It was loved by all.

On a side note, they were MUCH better with the soft WHITE corn tortillas - not the yellow ones.

Pico De Gallo:

6-8 roma tomatos, seeded and chopped

2 med jalapenos, seeded and chopped (or less if you want something mild)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 med onion, chopped

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

1/2 tsp sea salt

Mix all together in food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed.

March 13, 2009

How B Sees His Mom...(that's me!)

My friend Kim did this with her kids and I thought it would be fun to do with Bobalu...

Ask your kids these questions and see what answers you come up with.
It's a very enlightening experience.Here's what Bobalu (8 ½) had to say about me:

1. What is something I always say to you? "I love you"

2. What makes me happy? "Me and my room clean"

3. What makes me cry? "When DB does bad stuff to you" (how true - and how sad that he knows his BioF is such a douche...)

4. How do I make you laugh? "Ummm....I don't know...Dad's the good tickler"

5. What do you think I was like as a child? "You were very nice"

6. How old am I? "You...are...30"

7. How tall am I? "How tall are you??? I dont know!!!"

8. What is my favorite thing to do? "Get away from the kids" (haha - that sounds nice)

9. What do I do when you're not around? "Something fun"

10. If I become famous, what will it be for? "Painting"

11. What am I really good at? "Painting - oh wait! oh wait! no!.....um....you are really good at being a parent, I mean a mother." (Ok, now I'm crying...and he totally redeemed himself for #8)

12. What am I not really good at? "I don't know - lifting weights?"

13. What is my job? "Your job is to be a parent! I mean a babysitter, and a parent"

14. What is my favorite food? "Pigs in a blanket" (nice try B - I think that's YOUR favorite food)

15. What makes you proud of me? "Just by being my Mom"

16. If I were a cartoon character who would I be? "Mew - from Pokemon -because she's a girl and because she's the strongest one, so you could defend yourself always"

17. What do you and I do together? "Go to Culvers (ummmm.....what? We've done that once...)"

18. How are we the same? "We both have sensitive skin"

19. How are we different? "You're an adult and I'm a kid"

20. Where is my favorite place to go? "I have no idea - why are you asking me this stuff?"

21. How do you know that I love you? "Because you take care of me"

Oh B - I love you...

March 10, 2009

For Pipps... Because She's a Foodie Just Like Me...

So today my daughter told me that she wants me to start writing down the things that I make...which is somewhat daunting because I don't have a regular repertoire and don't really use recipes. I love to go on different cooking sites - like this one & this one & my favorite...
(OK, so these are just the top 3 - I would have to post endless links here if I actually shared my "cooking" favorites folder.)

SO - I told her I would start blogging about what I make each night and tag it so that she can have access to what we eat around here in the off chance that I someday actually let her use my kitchen.

I know, I know, I should be letting her cook, having her help more, etc. but my kitchen is the one place in my house that I enjoy being domestic. I hate cleaning, I hate laundry, I'm not very good at decorating because I hate spending money...I don't know...I guess cooking is kind of my therapy - especially now that I rarely paint and don't have a piano since DB won't give it back to me. (which is, incidentally, only 1 of the MANY reasons we refer to him as such...)

I'll try and tag these and go back and tag other recipes I've posted here so they can all be accessed in one folder :) Enjoy!


I LOVE the turkey burger at the Uptown Diner in St Paul. It's wonderful.

Fresh ground turkey, peanuts, jalapenos, onion, garlic and curry seasonings blended together and topped with pepper jack cheese, poblano peanut pesto aioli and iceberg lettuce. Voted 'Best Turkey Burger in the Twin Cities.'

Tonight I wanted to recreate that, but didn't have all the ingredients on hand, so I improvised.
Here is roughly what I did:

1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp fish sauce
1/3 cup peanuts

In a food processor - while running - drop in all ingredients EXCEPT the turkey - it should make a paste not unlike a pesto.

Mix together with turkey in a bowl, form into patties (I made 3 small ones for the kids and 2 larger ones for the hubs and I) and either pan fry in a little olive oil, or grill, on medium, about 5 to 6 mn per side.

Normally I would've made these on buns with cheese and tried the poblano sauce, but I didn't have any of those things, SO - we had them in pita bread! And I made a Thai cucumber salad to go on top:

1/2 English cucumber, sliced thin
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup mixed green salad mix

1/4 c distilled white vinegar
1 tsp sugar in the raw
1 tsp kosher salt
couple shakes of hot red pepper flakes

Mix last 4 ingredients together until sugar dissolves and pour over salad mixture

We had them with roasted sweet potatoes and the entire meal was a hit!

So there you go Pipps! My first recipe post!

(FYI - I've been told that I do NOT need to post the "yucky" stuff that I make here :) Hahahaha)

March 5, 2009

Love Triangle, er, Square?!?!

So I was driving home from carpool yesterday afternoon and hear B in the back of the car talking to his friend...

"Do you know Ms H and Ms S? They're my Mom's friends from playgroup and they have THE MOST ADORABLE kids....especially Ms H."

He goes on to tell his friend:

"Her daughter Addison is SO cute. If I were older and she were older, I would probably marry her!"

Ms H and I had a good laugh about this last night because Addison is Monkeys best friend, but she has recently shown a great deal of interest in Baby - she loves to kiss him and hug him constantly when we all hang out together. Monkey doesn't really care unless he wants her attention and then he's trying to grab her hand and pull her over to what he wants her to do.

So now B is thrown into the mix as well...

Last night B was carrying Ms Addi all over the place and Monkey was SO jealous. He kept trying to grab her from B and then tried to carry her himself (that was impossible).

At this point, I'm just hoping for the best and that my boys remember that brothers are more important than girls - even if she is THE MOST ADORABLE :)

Case in point: