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Trusting the Internet: Should I really soak my feet in mouthwash?

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Well, I’m supposed to be cleaning the bathrooms right now, but honestly, I don’t feel like it, so, I decided that I’d check Facebook for a few minutes. Once I logged on, I was met by an image that has frequently popped up in my newsfeed lately. Perhaps this was a message from the universe! Perhaps I should be soaking my feet instead of soaking the toilets…

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This is the original image that keeps popping up in my newsfeed.

Before I go any further, let me state a few truths:

  • God did not grace me with skinny thighs or pretty feet, so getting a pedicure is a bit like putting lipstick on a pig. There is only so much I can do.
  • You can’t believe everything you see on the internet.
  • If you have all of the ingredients for a recipe, you have to make it.
  • Beauty treatments take precedent over cleaning your house.

Now, my curiosity was piqued, so I decided that I’d read the comments. That was only fuel to the fire. They were split 50/50. Some swore by the recipe, while others declared it false. Some questioned the measurements, while others claimed it turned their feet blue or green! After reading the back and forth, I appointed myself Internet Sleuth of the Day and went in search of all the necessities. I admit, I did make a few adjustments based on the comments that were posted, and here is what I found.

If you choose to continue reading, consider yourself warned. MY FEET ARE UGLY! I have included pictures as documentation, but I claim no responsibility for the negative effects of viewing this “footage” 😉

I declare this foot soak a total success! I even got better results than the last pedicure I paid for a few months ago! It’s simple to make, relatively cheap, and I had to sit for at least 15 minutes doing nothing! The result was flip flop worthy, soft, minty fresh feet that felt invigorated and relaxed. What more could a busy mom ask for? So, do yourself a favor and try it before you pay for another pedicure.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of mouthwash (I used my husband’s Target brand generic Listerine. It was green)
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • A large basin
  • A pumice stone or rough washcloth

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients into the basin. I used very warm water, and found it relaxing. I’m not sure how the lady in the original picture made hers look so gelatinous, but mine looked like light green water.IMG_1571
  2. Soak feet for at least 15 minutes. Try to hide from your husband or children so that they do not bug you. This is your 15 minutes of peace and quiet!!
  3. To be honest, after 15 minutes, my feet did appear blue, but then I realized that it was the dead skin that was blue. A soft scrub with the pumice stone revealed soft pink skin 🙂 I used the pumice stone to scrub my feet well, especially the really rough spots. I also noticed that it worked as an awesome cuticle remover!FullSizeRender
  4. Next, I washed my feet with soap and water. This is when I used the washcloth and really scrubbed my nails and toes.
  5. Then I dried them well and moisturized them with coconut oil.IMG_1570
  6. Finally, I noticed that my toenails were a bit green, but after a coat of nail polish, you would never know. If you are leaving your nails bare, I’d use a different color of mouthwash.

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    Please know I am just a mom shamelessly offering her feet. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never be a foot model.

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Pulling off Easter Dinner– A few tips to keep it simple.

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Hosting a large family dinner can be a daunting task, especially at a holiday. There are a few things you can do to ensure that the day goes smoothly and guarantee that you enjoy the day too. No one signs up to host a family meal saying, “Sure, I’d love to have you come over to a enjoy a stress-filled, resentful, exhausting nightmare together.” But, this is what these days are for some frazzled hosts.

This post was inspired by a hopeful co-worker who popped into my classroom this week to ask for help. She is hosting Easter dinner for her entire family for the first time ever. She was feeling intimidated, but hopeful that with a few suggestions, she could pull it off. I gave her some tips and a sold menu, and she left work on Friday feeling determined and optimistic. After seeing her relief, I thought it would be a good idea to share them with all of you.

1. The Menu

My co-worker had the challenge of incorporating traditional favorites, but accommodating a family member who is vegetarian and a family member who is vegan. Here is what we came up with:

Honey Glazed Spiral Ham— Don’t be afraid to go with a store-bought ham. They are very tasty and easy to make.

Oven Baked Risotto— This is a crowd favorite, and if made with vegetable stock & a butter alternative, it will please both the vegetarian and vegan. Additionally, it’s a sophisticated alternative to potatoes.

Quiche– A quiche is a nice option for vegetarians, and it works for meals throughout the day. Go plain, or add variety with different vegetables.

Clementine Balsamic Glazed Carrots— Roasted whole carrots are a beautiful symbol of the spring season. Not to mention, the flavor is the perfect complement to the sweet ham.

Garlicky Green Beans— Toss some skinny fresh green beans with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh minced garlic. Saute until bright green and slightly tender. Remove from heat, and transfer to a serving bowl quickly so they don’t over cook.

Spinach and Strawberry Quinoa Salad— Adding cooked & cooled quinoa is a great way to add texture and update this classic salad.

2. Appetizers

My advice is to limit appetizers when hosting a large sit-down dinner. The first reason is practical. Since you are spending so much time, energy, and money on this meal, you don’t want your guests to fill up on snacks before dinner. The second reason is procedural. You will be far less stressed as a cook if you are not trying to prepare appetizers when you really need to be devoting your time and energy to the main course. I would suggest a simple cheese and cracker plate and some fresh fruit. Fruit is a great option because if hungry kids ruin their appetites with fruit, is that really such a bad thing?

3. Working Ahead 

The key to sanity and effective kitchen management is to do as much as you can ahead of time.

A few days before:

  • Set the table
  • Clean the house
  • Shop for groceries
  • Make the quiche and freeze
  • Lay out serving pieces and cookware needed
  • Clean the fridge, creating space for prepped ingredients and leftovers

The day before:

  • Wash the fruits & vegetables
  • Do all dishes and run the dishwasher. Be sure to unload it too!
  • Make quinoa and store in the fridge.
  • Pre-slice the cheese.
  • Defrost the quiche in the fridge.

The day of:

** Keep up with dishes and cleaning in the kitchen as you are cooking. Staying on top of things and keeping the kitchen clean as you cook will reduce your stress later.

  • Before guests arrive–
    • Prepare the salad (do not put the dressing on until you are ready to serve it)
    • Make the ham, slice it off the bone, and arrange on a platter.
    • Warm the quiche.
    • Assemble to fruit plate.
    • Measure and prep all ingredients for the green beans, carrots, and risotto.
    • Arrange the drink table. Add ice and cold beverages just prior to guests’ arrival time.
  • About an hour before dinner–
    • Make risotto & carrots.
    • Let guests know that you will be eating in an hour.
  • Fifteen Minutes before dinner–
    • Warm ham and quiche in the oven.
    • Toast rolls or bread.
    • Dress the salad.
    • Make green beans
  • Five minutes before dinner–
    • Put the food on the table.
    • Encourage guests to get a fresh drink
    • Start the dishwasher with any random dishes left over from the prep.
  • Dinner time–
    • LET IT ALL GO!!
    • This is what you have been planning for. Be sure to sit, enjoy dinner, and take time to have good conversation with those you love!
  • After dinner–
    • Let guests help to clear the table.
    • Put away clean prep dishes from the dishwasher.
    • Load the dishwasher with dinner dishes.
    • Sit and enjoy family and your dinner success!
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Lessons Learned from A Year of Sucky Loss

 

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I sat down to write this post at least 100 times, but while my heart was sure of what I wanted to say, my mind couldn’t find the right words. Well, today, a powerful woman helped me find my voice. I went to see Glennon Doyle Melton of Momastery speak at a little church, not far from my home, and while I knew what she was going to talk about, I had no idea that she would have the power to take the words from my heart and weave them together in my mind, so I could get them out in a coherent, meaningful way.

I will begin by telling you simply that this past year has sucked, massively! But as those words come out, I have to take them back, because amid all of the sucky loss and pain that have filled my world these past few months, God magically intertwined beauty and strength. So yes, I have experienced loss, anguish, and tragedy, but I have also been blessed with friendship, kindness, and a love that reaches deep into my heart.

Friendship is something that has come easily to me as an adult. I like to think that I collect friends along the way, and I cherish the people who have stayed with me, from kindergarten to college up through motherhood, because they have made my life richer. I live in a close-knit neighborhood, and over the past eight years, I have become friends with many of my neighbors. There are six of us that have developed a close bond that, through the events of the past year, has grown into a powerful core of support that I am eternally grateful for. In the past twelve months, one of us lost a husband to a battle with cancer, I lost my dad, another lost her grandfather, and another one battled a personal struggle with a great deal of hurt. It just seemed like we couldn’t get a break from the suffering. The common thread that bound us all this year was pain. Yet, somehow we managed, unconsciously, to use that pain to build something so beautiful, and I thank God for it every day.

What touched my heart today was Glennon’s perspective on pain. I sat in the front row, trying to be present and in the moment, but the nerdy teacher in me just had to take notes, because God forbid I forgot any of her brilliance! It started when she talked about crisis being like a sifter. At first, I thought she was crazy when she explained that crisis allows all of the “sand” to sift through, leaving all of the treasures behind and exposed. That was an epiphany for me. This year of suck has been a sifter for the six of us. It has forced us to discard all of the meaningless, and what was left was beauty, compassion, love, and true friendship. Those are the real treasures. Those are the blessings that can get so easily lost in the pain.

She also talked about how we desire to fix our friends’ pain because we love them. That is when I realized that we can’t take the pain away, and shield those we care about from the agony of loss or anguish of personal battles, but we can certainly walk beside them and cheer them on, whispering to stay strong. Our presence can simply be a reminder that the journey is not one of solitude, that there is a hand to provide stability or simply a soul to bear witness to the metamorphosis that a painful journey can bring.

So as I reflect on this really long year, with really hard battles, I am going to allow myself and my friends to feel pain, but I am also going to leave room for gratitude, for it is through these struggles, I have found five of the most beautiful treasures waiting at the bottom to love me, care for me, and walk with me, as I travel through my beautiful life.

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Parenting Inspiration From the White Haired Man Singing “Elmo”

So I’m having a very happy heart moment right now, but I’m struggling to not seem like a crazy stalker woman, luckily the mom next to me is in the same boat.

So, I’m sitting in the waiting room at my daughter’s physical therapy appointment, which is usually for me an hour of grading papers or reading, but tonight, I’m moved to tears by the love between a distinguished white haired gentleman & a sweet spunky little boy of about 2 years old.

While the rest of the adults were politely occupying themselves, this gentleman began singing to his little boy. The boys eyes lit up, he removed his pacifier and started to sing along. The love between them was obvious and endearing. I felt a little less stalkerish when the mom next to me whispered “I just can’t look away!” I replied, ” Neither can I!” It was just that sweet.

The first thing that struck me was the diversity. See, the man was a white man with stately white hair. He was dressed in khaki pants, a nicely pressed shirt, and an argyle sweater. The boy was the sweetest African American toddler with a truck pacifier and a great big smile. By appearance, you would expect this man to be the one politely occupying himself, and one of us yoga pant clad moms to be the one belting out the theme song to “Elmo’s World”. But that was not the case. He was the one in tune to his child. He was the one who didn’t care whether his singing voice was fit for public display. He was the one living in the moment.

So now, I, the mom politely occupying herself, want to be more present and engaged. I am making a resolution to try to emulate his engagement and not fall into the quiet mindlessness that surrounds me. I want to be this kind of parent. This will continue to make my heart happy. Now I just have to think of how I will do this, because I’m pretty sure my 9 year old does not want to hear me sing toddler show tunes for the whole drive home…

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8

Raising Different Daughters

Sometimes I like to take a break from cooking to write about my experience as a mom, so please indulge me once again. I have three daughters. Each one of my girls is distinctly different, and I find that pretty awesome. My oldest is creative and artistic. She is demanding and particular. She is brave and determined. My youngest is happy and loving. She is silly and smart. She is a compassionate friend and a typical little sister. I adore this picture because I believe that it is the perfect embodiment of their individual personalities.

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But I have another daughter, my middle. She has the sweetest soul. She cares deeply, and takes things to heart. She wounds easily, yet heals quickly, and forgives completely. I am frequently in awe of her compassion. So, it comes as no surprise that she caught my attention this week with her concern for those around her. Monday was Martin Luther King Day. Her teacher has been educating the class this week about the work of Dr. King and the struggles that many Americans face. My middle, of course, took this to heart. She came to me right away, knowing that I teach a civil rights unit. She wanted to know more. She wanted to understand and see what strife others faced. Tonight she won my heart, yet again, when she settled in with my work computer to watch a Discovery Channel documentary that I use in my own teaching. She was mesmerized. She asked questions and marked chapters that she wanted her class to see and understand.

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As a mom, I felt so proud, and it occurred to me that I need to be deliberate in how I cultivate these personality traits in my children, to ensure that they continue into adulthood. I need to remind myself what really matters when I measure my daughters. It’s not the quantity of accolades, but, to quote Dr. King, it’s “the content of their character”. I once read a parenting book that warned parents to be careful of the traits they break down in their children, because they are usually the traits we want them to have as adults. I plan to really take inventory of my daughters and look for the traits that will empower them. My oldest may drive me crazy with her determination, but that is exactly what she is going to need to persevere when the path is rough. My little may be silly, but that sense of humor is what will keep her balanced when the path is rigorous and dull. My middle may be sensitive, but that is what she will need to spread kindness and compassion when the path is dark.

I have no doubt that my girls will find success in life, and it sure is fun to watch them learn and evolve into their own kind of person. I think it is cool that they can grow up in the same house, with the same parents, yet become such unique individuals. I am reminded to cherish what really matters in life, raising good people. That is my job as a mom. I will try my hardest everyday to teach them and encourage them to be true to themselves and kind to others.

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The Blessing of 3

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I have always wanted three kids, but my husband was set on two. I remember bringing my second daughter home from the hospital, and in the car, I told my husband, “You know, we are not done. I just have this feeling that this is not the last time we will do this.”

His response was, “Can we just get THIS ONE home before we even think about more?”

Well, a few years later,  the day came that I found out that a third little one was on the way (a little sooner than imagined, and by surprise), and a strange anxiety set in. I was thrilled with the blessing, and certainly excited that fate had decided just how many kids we would have, but I was flooded with questions, so I did what any girl would do, I called my one of my best friends, Steph, and she was there for me when I needed her. I was happy to return the favor a few years later.

So, when Steph posted a picture on Facebook the other day, I was reminded of where we were just a few years ago, unknowingly on the cusp of something great. For some reason, that simple picture was a small funny moment in her life, but to me, it was such a symbol of our friendship and the journey we have taken together. The picture popped up in my news feed again today, and after standing at the sink in my kitchen, thinking about how it touched me, I decided to write her a letter.

 

Dear Steph,

Do you remember when I called you and told you I was pregnant, again, for the third time?

Do you remember when I was nervous, and scared because I had just moved into a new house, the bills were bigger, the budget was tight, and I wasn’t sure how I could take an unpaid leave from work?

Do you remember when I was stressed because I feared that I couldn’t juggle three kids, my oldest starting school, my middle being the worst sleeper on the planet, and juggling a full-time teaching job with a new principal?

Do you remember how I relied on you to keep me calm?

And a few years later, do you remember when you called me, as I was driving home from work, to tell me that you were miraculously and surprisingly pregnant with your third?

Do you remember that you were nervous, and scared because you had just moved into a new house, the bills were bigger, the budget was tight, and you weren’t sure how you were going to do it?

Do you remember how you asked me all kinds of questions about being a mom of three?

Do you remember that I told you I wouldn’t trade it for anything?

Well sister, we did it, didn’t we? Deep down inside, we both saw this as a gift and found great joy in the blessing of 3! I couldn’t imagine life without our littles.

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“Things found in the dishwasher when the 2 year old helps do the dishes.”

 

When I saw this picture the other day, I was flooded with a whole new set of realizations:

Someday, they will be grown.

Someday, our houses will be clean, and will stay clean for more than 20 minutes.

Someday, we will drink a whole cup of coffee while it is still warm, and finish a margarita while it’s still cold!

Someday, our phone conversations will be seamless without sporadic interruptions, correcting our children, assisting with homework, or the start of car line.

Someday, they will be too big to carry off to bed, while sound asleep, wrapped around us like little monkeys with their tiny breath ticking our necks.

There will not be fingerprints on our sliding glass doors, crumbs on our floor, or pink shovels in our dishwasher, and we will be the tiniest bit sad.

While this journey started with nervousness and apprehension, we are better as a result.

I want to say thank you for posting that picture. It reminded me of the journey we are on, and the importance of living in the moment. Our littles will grow up way too fast, and someday we will look back and smile, for the gifts we have been given, and we will ask ourselves, “Do you remember when…?”

Thank you for being on this journey with me and the reminder to cherish our blessings!

Love,

Kelly

As parents, it’s important to keep our perspective. So, What do you consider your blessings? Is there anything that you will miss when they’re grown? Post a comment and let us know what you think. Perhaps it will help us keep a firmer grip on what really matters.

 

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Caramel Haze Martini

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Sadly, summer is over, and it’s time to pack away the flip flops and margaritas. The end of summer is usually a period of mourning in my house, until I realize just how much I love my favorite, broken-in jeans and Uggs. Pair those with a blazing fire and a nice, belly warming cocktail, and I’m a happy girl again.

While I am absolutely in love with summer, I secretly have a crush on fall. Seriously, the weather is perfect, the wardrobe is comforting, and the great foods are bountiful. It is as if fall is a flavor in itself, and if I had to pick a liqueur that was the perfect embodiment of the taste of fall, I would choose Rum Chata. If you haven’t had it, you are missing out. Plus, it’s really fun to say. It’s a creamy bath of sweet, spicy, exotic rum, the perfect pair for fall flavors. Now, imagine this exotic goodness, paired with hazelnut and salted caramel. Are you imagining this? Your next drink, needs to be this martini!

Caramel Haze Martini

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Ingredients:

3 oz. Rum Chata

1 oz. Smirnoff Caramel Vodka

1 oz. Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur

Caramel syrup

A pinch of sea salt

 

Preparation:

Pour ingredients into a shaker, and shake until blended.

Prepare a martini glass by drizzling caramel syrup in a spiral inside the glass. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

drizzle

Carefully pour the martini into the glass, and serve immediately.

Toast to fall and all things cozy, then enjoy!

 

BUT THATS NOT ALL!!

My foodie friend Colleen, from Souffle Bombay gathered a group of us together for a fun post about the flavors of Fall PLUS hold on to your hats!! We are giving away a GORGEOUS Kitchen Aid 5QT Professional Stand Mixer! Who’s feelin’ lucky?

Get ready for some serious deliciousness coming your way! Things like DIY Maple & Apple Breakfast Sausage, a colorful Layered Potato Gratin, hearty Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup, delicious Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese, super-fun & seasonal Apple Cider Jello Shots , Mini Cheesecakes with Mini Caramel Apple Pops and so much more!

If you are looking for more awesome fall flavors, check out these awesome recipes here:

Breakfast

Maple & Apple Pork Breakfast Sausage Patties from Courtney’s Sweets

Roasted Pumpkin, Gruyère and Spinach Quiche from Afropolitan Mom

 

Soups

Black Bean & Pumpkin Soup from Giggles Gobbles & Gulps

Farm Fresh Broccoli & Cheese Soup from How Does Your Garden Grow

Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup from O’ Boy Organic

Squash Soup in Pumpkin Bowls from A Day In Our Shoes

Roasted Root Vegetable & Apple Soup from Momma Lew

 

Entrees

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese from The Good Mama

Vegan Portobello Pizzas from Busy Bee Kate

 

Sides

Layered Potato Gratin from Girl Gone Mom

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Roasted Vegetables & Bacon from The Vintage Mom

 

Desserts

Cinnamon Swirl Cake from A Grande Life

Mini Cheesecakes with Mini Caramel Apple Pops from Souffle Bombay

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Pie from Mom Blog

 

Cocktails

Caramel Haze Martini from The Fabulous Fairy

Apple Cider Gelatin Shots from Can’t Google Everything

Salted Caramel Appletini from How I Pinch A Penny

Join us for #Food4Fall and who knows YOU may be the proud new owner of an apple-red Kitchen Aid! Good Luck!

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Click Here To Enter The Rafflecopter Giveaway

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How to Brew Coffee in a Power Outage: A Critical Survival Skill

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This morning we woke up to an icy wonderland, and while I snuggled back into the cozy covers, accepting the fact that summer vacation will be another day shorter, I realized that no power meant no coffee! AHHHHH!!! This mama needs coffee to survive another snow day at home with my kids!

Not to worry, as my husband laughed, knowing that he had to go to work, where coffee could be found, my MacGuyver brain kicked in. I could do this! I could figure out a way to make coffee on the stove without power!

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Here is what you need:

  • Gas stove
  • Lighter or matches
  • Standard coffee maker
  • Ground Coffee
  • Coffee Filter
  • Water

The Process:

  1. Fill the glass pot from your coffee maker with the desired amount of water.
  2. Pour the water into a pot for the stovetop.
  3. Use a lighter to manually light a burner of your gas stove. (Be cautious and follow the instructions in the owner’s manual)
  4. Boil the water.
  5. Meanwhile, set up your standard coffee maker with a clean filter & fresh coffee grounds.
  6. Once the water is boiling, use a ladle or measuring cup to carefully pour the water into the filter basket over the coffee.
  7. Pour slowly, allowing the coffee to trickle into the glass pot below.
  8. Sit back, snuggle in a blanket, and sip your caffeine goodness!

*** If the coffee gets cold, put it back in the metal pan & re-heat it on the stove.
***you can also boil water with a crockpot, fondue pot, chafing dish, or on your grill outside.

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** Note that after I went to all of this trouble “surviving”, my husband walked in from the garage, where he started the generator, plugged in the Keurig, and brewed his own cup, but I don’t care. I won. In a primal, pioneer, survivalist way, my coffee tasted WAY better!

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Now, I will plug in the wifi, charge my phone, and pray for spring and flip flops!

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Thanksgiving: Traditional or Trapped?

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I had a great idea for Thanksgiving this year. I usually cook for about 26 people, but this year I am only cooking for 19. With the smaller number, I thought I’d change it up a bit. I sat down yesterday to draft a menu and update some of the side dishes. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with the old favorites, they have been made for years for a reason, but I just thought we’d add variety.

I casually mentioned the changes to my husband, who balked. He wanted to keep the traditional offering, but I have to admit I was annoyed by his response. This is the man that insists that I make his mothers “traditional” stuffing, and when I say traditional, I mean boring. He has also been known to profess that “Turkey is turkey!”

Ummm. No, it’s not!

Whatever! I did what I normally do when I don’t like his response, I called my sister. Can you believe she sided with him? And to make things worse, my niece piped in her dissent!

Et tu, Brute? 😦

My sister had me on Bluetooth, so it went more like a conference call.

Me: “I was just calling to ask if corn casserole is a necessity, or if I can make a corn & quinoa salad instead.”

My Sister: “Wait, you can’t change Thanksgiving! It’s a tradition.”

My Niece:  “Is she asking if she has to make corn casserole???”

Me: “I just thought I’d update the menu a bit. Simplify it a little.”

My Niece: “I wait 364 days to have corn casserole. You have to make it!”

My Brother-In-Law: “Ugh! Is she going all Food Fairy on us?”

Me: “Can I at least make carrots with parsnips?”

My Sister: “What are parsnips, and who would eat them? I am completely content with all yellow, brown, and white food on my Thanksgiving plate!”

Me: “Well, I thought some of it could be healthy, I know we have all been working hard to eat well.”

OVERWHELMING CHOURS: “NO ONE CARES ABOUT HEALTHY ON THANKSGIVING!”

So there you have it, the menu will stay the same. I tried to explain my disappointment to my husband, after the phone call ended. I shared my desire to update, simplify, and add new variety. I vented that my sisters get to change up Christmas and Easter. Why can’t I change Thanksgiving? To that, he explained how Thanksgiving is about tradition. Unfortunately, I chose a holiday where no one wants change. They DO wait 364 days to indulge in family food traditions and dishes that are reserved for this special feast. How can I argue with that?

This year, then menu will be the same, with minimal innovation, and I think I am okay with it.

Thanksgiving 2012

The menu:

Brined & Roasted Turkey

Simple Sausage Stuffing

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Corn Casserole

Garlic Tossed Green Beans

Escalloped Apples & Cranberries

Cranberry Sauce

Roasted Carrots & Parsnips

Meme’s Green Jello (AKA “The Green Sh#*%”)

Sweet Potato Gratin –(which my other sister makes her own & brings it anyway)

Garlic Roasted Cauliflower

Apple Cider Doughnut Bread Pudding

…and most importantly, fall sangria!

Happy Thanksgiving,

Kelly

4

Sucking in the Kitchen: Episode 2

The question I am most often asked is “How do you do it?”

People marvel at the fact that I am a working mother of three and I cook most nights of the week.

Well people, here is my secret…I SUCK at most things easy in the kitchen. I’m not exaggerating. While I can whip up a creamy corn chowder from scratch, or a melt in your mouth meatloaf, I am incapable of making a simple pot of coffee. In fact, I have been asked at work not to touch the coffee maker, and my awesome teammate, Mike, pre-loads the coffee maker for me if he knows he is not going to be at work the next day. It’s pathetic, and I am so very thankful for my Keurig at home. I burn garlic bread EVERY TIME I put it under the broiler, and no, you can’t just scrape the burnt parts off. Frozen waffles can prove to be a challenge when I am distracted. (You can read Sucking in the Kitchen: Episode 1 here) And finally, tonight’s moment of greatness, I ruined a frozen chicken pot pie. Apparently microwaving a basic frozen entrée is outside of my skill set.

Now, I sincerely hope my doctor is not reading this right now, because frozen chicken pot pie is numero uno on the list of worst foods to never put into your body, and I’m supposed to be eating super healthy, low fat meals, but I had one of those days where the first chance I got to eat my breakfast was on the way home from work this afternoon, compounded with dance carpool, homework, and a paper due for a grad class, frozen pot pie was the only thing I thought I could manage.

I felt guilt as I ripped open the box, read the instructions, and carefully placed it into the microwave, ensuring that the potpie was centered under the little gray crispy plastic film. I should have listened to the little voice inside my head telling me to abort the mission and make a better choice. Well, I shoved that inner voice out of the way and opened the microwave, only to be faced with the reality that I suck at making frozen dinners.

The last minute of cooking sounded like a tornado. Then, when I opened the door, what I found was nothing short of disgusting. It had collapsed in the center, oozed over the sides, sprayed the back wall, and laminated the inside of the cardboard box.

When I extracted the potpie, only half of the crust was baked; the other half was still raw! Then the guts had exploded and run down the sides, burning in the process. It was just plain awful. Who would eat this?

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So, I will settle for a banana and some oatmeal. It’s relatively safe, and it will feed me for the week. I plan to officially retire from frozen entrees and go back to the real cooking which results in dinners that are actually edible.

Until next time, feel free to share with me, your cooking disasters and kitchen downfalls ❤