Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Save the Date!

Shark Week 2014 begins Sunday, 10 August!

Here, Chez Maeve, we will have a special week of sharky goodness – and NO, I’m not going to tell you what kind of goodness.

You’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, here’s the official Countdown Page.

Happy Monday!  🙂

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Sunday Sillies

Shark Attack Cookie Cutters

Photo Credit – Perpetual Kid

I should get these and make some cookies for Mack to thank him for hanging my blinds (Mack surfs).

I know what you’re thinking – “there’s something seriously wrong with you, Maevey!”

Well, maybe, but so what?

 

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Getting Ahead of the Craziness

 

Did you know next Friday is a holiday?  Yep – and that means that next week is going to be completely BSC from a work POV.  In addition to that, Her Nibs isn’t doing all that well and there’s every possibility we will have another emergency vet-run.  This morning I was motivated to get some basic things out of the way so that things would proceed slightly less chaotically – clean out the refrigerator, make a menu, get half the week’s shopping done (I’ve learned that once-a-week shopping is wasteful for my household).

Here’s the tentative plan because I already have a bunch of the stuff I need:

That should get me through Wednesday; then I’ll shop for the rest of the week and the weekend – nothing fancy – just stuff to throw on the grill – oh, and some Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles (if I can find the recipe – Le Sigh).

Happy Weekending!

 

This week’s menu inspiration came from Real Simple – Easy Delicious Home Cooking (one of my favorite sources) and Cooking Light – linked the recipe above.

[Edited to add – I’ve also linked those recipes which can be found on Real Simple’s websiteThe Jicama Slaw is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food – a favorite.]

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A Slice of Heaven

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Folly Beach, South Carolina – The Edge of America

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A Little Lesson in Social Etiquette – Apologies 101

“Insincerity is, in fact, tantamount to lying.”

I read that phrase a really long time ago (most likely in a romance novel, of all things- HA) and it’s always struck me as the absolute truth – particularly when it comes to apologies.

I propose that whenever one hears the word “IF” in conjunction with an apology, one ought to substitute “as long as”.

“I’m sorry IF you were offended by what I said” becomes “I’m sorry as long as you were offended – otherwise, I’m not.”

Slick, ain’t it?

By employing the conditional, “IF”, the apologizer neutralizes the apology and dismisses his/her own culpability for the egregious speech/actions.   It actually makes the apology conditional upon the response of the injured party.

When people apologize with an “IF” they’re not sorry and not regretful and that “IF” just indicated disdain for you.  It’s not an apology – it’s pandering – an attempt to weasel out of being caught.  It’s a verbal backhand to the face.  Don’t accept it.

So how does one tell if an apology is sincere?  Well how about this… “I’m very sorry FOR having hurt you with my unkind words.  Please accept my apology.”  Now, that’s an actual apology.  I take responsibility for my actions (you can tell because I used the word “FOR”); I don’t try to mitigate the situation.  I don’t try to lay any sort of responsibility on “you”.

Today’s lesson in social etiquette is now over.

Please resume your regularly scheduled fun for the day.

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It’s National Pecan Sandie Day

There really isn’t more for me to add.  Either you like them or  you don’t.  I used to LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE them.

Well,  they must have decided to change the recipe or something and go health, get rid of trans fats and anything else that makes food taste good… blah blah blah…, because now the taste buds tell me they’re sort of “meh” (and its the taste buds’ opinion  that really matters here).

I could probably make my own; there are tons of recipes on tons of sites, but I’m just not all that hyped up about them anymore.

Still, it’s not a bad idea to go out and buy a package just to see for yourself if they’re still as yummy, or if the pecan sandie ship has sailed for good.

Trademarked by Keebler and so is the packaging, etc.

Trademarked by Keebler and so is the packaging, etc.

 

 

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Sunday Sillies – Better Late Than Never Addition

INFLATABLE UNICORN HORN FOR CATS

Notice how the packaging assures you that “Cats Love It” – Suuuuure they do! (cat’s don’t actually love anything – except maybe torturing you) (Photo Credit – Perpetual Kid)

I know it’s Monday (believe me – I know), and I reeeeeeeeally tried to get this out last night.  It just wasn’t meant to be.

This morning is another matter.

Behold – I give you the Inflatable  Unicorn Horn for Cats

(I’m not really much of a cat person – they climb on kitchen counters and that sort of freaks me out – but I know many people looooooooove them, so this is sort of my helpful cat recommendation thingie – and if anyone buys it and puts in on their cat and the cat actually loves it, can you please tell me about it because I just don’t get it, myself)

 

 

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It’s International Picnic Day!

Photo Credit

And it’s not too late to organize a picnic dinner.

Well, it’s too late for me because I will be working until it’s almost tomorrow, but there’s no reason that you shouldn’t have fun.

Bake some brownies; make some lemonade; wash the strawberries; and pick up some fried chicken at your favorite chicken place (Publix has THE BEST and I’m sorry for you if you don’t live near one).

Some napkins, paper plates, a comfy blanket…and you’re on your way!

Whether you choose the beach, the park,  or your backyard, you know everything tastes better al fresco!

Happy Picnicking

 

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We Interrupt This Lovely Day for an Unpleasant Announcement

It’s National Eat Your Veggies Day.

I object to this.  It feels vey judgmental; as though everything else (hamburgers, cheesecake, chocolate fondue) are second class citizens.

Yes, I know they have their own holidays, but notice that they’re not “Eat Your Cheesecake Day” or “Make Sure You Get Enough Hamburgers Day” “Consume that Chocolate Fondue Now Or Else Day).

You see what’s going on here?  THE MAN is ORDERING YOU TO EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY.

I’ll tell you what I plan to do – Ribeye with baked potato lots of butter much red wine and cheesecake and espresso (like 4, probably) – I suggest you do the same.

(See, I SUGGESTED you eat something luscious, I DIDN’T TELL  you to- also I really hate being told what to do by people who are “just looking out for my best interests” and “only want what’s good for me”).

Um, I know what’s best for me and I’ll look out for my own interests.

$%#!*&^*@!     (I don’t need to translate that, do I?)

 

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For Crying Out Loud! It Can’t Be This Late Already!!!!

What to fix for dinner under these circumstances?

There are some people who never find themselves in that type of situation.  I am not one of those people.  Some of this is due to a low-level (SNORT…GASP…CHOKE) state of disorganization here Chez Maeve; but the bigger part is due to wildly fluctuating schedules of the people who live here.  Angharad’s summer classes are all at night and she works most days – so there’s that; Iseult has a rather active social life (as long as she has met her household obligations); and my workday can get extended several hours if my West Coast office needs support or we have a sudden data call.

Suffice it to say, I find myself in this rather frequently, so I have become rather adept at switching gears by stocking “emergency meal stuff” in the pantry.  Last night was one such evening.  We were going to have Tandoori Chicken Skewers with Peach Chutney, but a late afternoon situation squashed those plans.  A quick perusal of the pantry revealed a box of fettuccine, cans of whole plum tomatoes, and bread crumbs.  In the fridge we have parmesan cheese and eggs.  There’s fresh basil growing outside.  Hmmm…sounds like the perfect evening for…

Fettuccine Nests with Quick Marinara

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I recommend turning it out onto a cutting board; makes cutting so much easier

For the Fettuccine Nests:

  • 8oz dry fettuccine, cooked and chilled
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.  (I cooked the entire 16oz package of fettuccine and just refrigerated the rest.  I ran the hot pasta under cold water and let it drain a bit – worked fine).  Mix the fettuccine, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs and parsley in a bowl (or if you’re me, in the pot you cooked the pasta in).

Heat the olive oil in a skillet (I used a nonstick pan and I recommend the same); add the pasta mixture pressing down to cover the entire bottom of the pan, and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown and crispy – about 3 minutes; flip and cook another 3 minutes or so.  Slide it onto a paper-towel lined plate (to soak up some of the oil) and then cut into wedges.

For the Quick Marinara

    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp. minced/pressed garlic
    • 2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes
    • 10-12 leaves fresh basil (I don’t recommend using dried in this recipe)
    • ¼ – ½ tsp. dried red pepper flakes (optional)
    • Kosher salt
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I like to serve in a pasta bowl with the sauce on the bottom

Heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic and red pepper flakes.  Cook for a few minutes over medium heat.  Pour in the juice from the tomatoes then squish the tomatoes to beak them up (kids love doing this even when they’re nearly 15); Puree the tomatoes carefully with a wand blender (you could also do this in the can – way less messy – or use a regular blender ,but I don’t have one and it’s too much work anyway) until you get the level of smooth/chunky you like -we like ours relatively smooth.

Reduce the heat to low; add the basil, season with salt & pepper and heat through – say 10 minutes.

The recipe indicates enough for four people, but in reality if you’re feeding more than three, I recommend making two of these “nests” (after all, you  have enough pasta).  They cook up quickly enough and there’s plenty of sauce to accompany it; add a salad and you have a great meal on the table in about 30 minutes.

Recipe Adapted from Cuisine at Home, Issue No. 93 (May/June 2012) – Fettuccine Nest with Fresh Marinara

 

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