Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

Where Is My Daughter And Who Left The Changeling In Her Place?

I send the child who has lived with me her entire life (all 16 years) to go pick up the Halloween candy.

One honking hour later (did she travel to outer Mongolia?) she comes back with 4 ginormous bags of candy.  Not a single Reese’s PBC in the entire lot!  Not one.

“Whose child are you?” I ask.

“What’s the problem, Mama?”

“Do you see any Reese’s here?”

“Um that bag has the Pieces, so like, yeah.”

“I repeat – whose child are you?  No child of mine would think those loathsome things have any remote connection to a PBC!”

“Like, I’m totally helping you out, Mama.  This way you can, like, enjoy Halloween without temptation.  You should, like, be thanking me.”

I swear, it’s a freakin’ miracle that child still has breath in her body.


Reality-Based Menu – Third Edition

My humble offerings this week….

  • Monday – Pan Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Pearl Onions
  • Tuesday – Girls at their Dad’s house (I have plenty of options)
  • Wednesday – Garlicy Shrimp & Pasta; Salad
  • Thursday – Beef Stew (because chuck roast was on sale)
  • Friday – DIY Pizza (if they’re home)
  • Saturday – Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup (its Halloween and my neighborhood gets about a million kids, so need something easy)
  • Sunday – Not quite sure yet – maybe I’ll cook something in the crock pot (gasp!)

Once again I made myself miserable by going to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon, thereby casting a miserable pall on what had otherwise been a great day.  This week would be the time to shift my shopping day and get it all done and over with on Wednesday or Thursday.  Problem is, well, work.  Work interferes with much of my life.  Actually, it’s my lovely blog-pal, Mrs. C who has me rethinking the weekend shopping.  Confession time:  this is actually going to be extremely difficult for me.  I’m super linear in (some of) my way(s) of thinking and this one of those.  I think it’s because I associate M – F with WORK and the weekends with Household.  I just can seem to fit the shopping into my routine in an organic way – it’s always an interruption of some sort.  It’s worth trying to change my habit (and possibly my attitude) though.  Will report on this next week.

Made continued progress on my house project over the weekend.  I emptied two more storage boxes of crap (no, there isn’t a better word for it) so now have a greatly improved garage.  Moved a storage cupboard from my office to the garage and got rid of some really dilapidated shelves.  The office looks so much better.  Then, because my project has largely kept me from regular housework, I did a major cleaning of the living room, which included cleaning the floors (and indulged my Inner Martyr by cleaning them the old fashioned way – with a bucket and rag).

You’re probably wondering what part the minions play in all of this.  Well, besides working and tons of homework, they have project assigned to them.  I’ve also kept Iseult busy running to the thrift store with donations (now that she has her license I’m putting it to good use).

Progress really is a series of baby steps.  I’ve stopped worrying about the size/number of steps themselves and focus on momentum.  (Also, when I think I haven’t accomplished anything, I take a quick trip out to the trash/recycling bins and observe how they’re full.)

Well, that’s where we are at my house.  What’s cooking at your place?



Having Cake and Eating It Too

At some point it was brought to my attention (no, I can’t remember by whom or under what circumstances) that there are levels of Heaven.

I know – it’s surprising to me, too.  Here I thought that if you got there, you were, you know, THERE.

Not so.  If you are exceptionally awesome here on Earth then you get to Penthouse Heaven (no – not THAT penthouse (Sheesh!) – the super-swanky-high-rise-residence kind – the claret and foie gras kind).

It’s quite likely that, providing I make it (the jury’s still out I think), I’m going to end up in Basement Heaven.  This is actually rather OK with me because I’m pretty sure that that’s where plenty of interesting people who also managed to squeak past Hell are.  And since His Son rather made a point of hanging out with the fring-y sort, He probably comes to visit quite a bit as well.

Is this entirely too sacrilegious for a Friday?

Have I entirely lost all sense of acceptable boundaries?

Is this one of those posts you delete shortly after publishing and blame it on lack of sleep and not enough caffeine?



Reality-based Menu – Week Deux

Last week went fairly well.  We had some successes and some not-so successes.  C’est la Vie!

This week I’m also going for a reality-based, what’s in the freezer that can be cooked menu as well.

Here’s where I am so far:

  • Monday – Spaghetti and salad.  I already have the meat sauce (made it last week) so that’s good for a Monday (mine are always hectic)
  • Tuesday – Chicken Caesar Salad (I know it doesn’t feel like a fall dish, but we love it.
  • Wednesday – Slow Cooker brown sugar glazed pork tenderloin.  This is truly delicious – I made it the week before last and we loved it.  I still have plenty of glaze, so that’s an extra bonus.
  • Thursday – Steak Kebabs (I’m never quite sure of the correct spelling) & salad (arugula, cucumber, scallion, lemon vinaigrette); roasted cauliflower
  • Friday – DIY dinner

I’ve given in to the reality that I (and the offspring) are exhausted come evening.  We’ve been going hard all day since 0600 and the thought of engaging in complex meal preparation, not to mention a seemingly interminable clean-up afterwards, just doesn’t sit well.

I’m actually going to the grocery store this afternoon – the list is fairly small (most of it involves stuff for lunches) and I have the refrigerator pretty well cleaned out.  Have also been going through the freezer and using the contents as the basis of this week’s menu.  It amazes me how one can forget about the content’s of one’s freezer; particularly when the top level is butter and ice cream and waffles.  Once you start to dig, well, there’s all sorts of hidden treasure.

Weekends continue to be a challenge.  You’d think I’d be more motivated; have more time; get a bit more creative, wouldn’t you?  Well you’d be wrong.  I’m just as busy, but with other things.  Nevertheless, this business of not hammering myself over meals has taken a huge load off of me.  So, you’re thinking, why not have the minions do some of the cooking?  Well, they do.  But often they’re bogged down with homework and Angharad often gets home so late we’d be eating at 8 – and at that point, my finger’s on the phone to the local pizza joint.

One thing I’m planning to do (which I haven’t done in a long time) is get a couple rotisserie chickens from the grocery store and freeze the meat.  I used to do this all the time as a shortcut for chicken tacos or enchiladas or chicken soup.  It is a huge timesaver and works well for emergencies.  I might also cook up some ground beef and freeze that as well, also as a time saver.  We’ll see – I’m a bit reluctant to start projecting all sorts of great plans and then not executing them and getting down on myself.

I’ll post a mid-week update (just to keep me honest 🙂   ).

Anyway, what’s cooking Chez Vous this week?


Menu Update

Well things have been going surprisingly well.

On Tuesday night I made the chicken dish and it was fabulous!  There are still herbs in my pots, so was able to take advantage of that; also some lonely pearl onions made their way into the dish.  I can see me making this really often – easy and super tasty.  As I mentioned in my earlier post, I had drumsticks, so that’s what I used, but next time might go for boneless, skinless chicken thighs and see how they do.

Wednesday night we had the “chuck tender medallions”; I seared them for about 3 minutes on each side then popped them in a 400-degree oven for about 4 minutes; we  had them with roasted gnocchi and green beans.  (Wait – roasted gnocchi? What’s that? Heh!  Let me tell you about roasted gnocchi – one of the more delish sides you can make.  I get a package of gnocchi (not the refrigerated kind) and dump them on a baking sheet that I’ve sprayed with cooking spray; drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt; then into a 400-degree oven for 35 – 45 minutes; I shake the pan periodically to roll them around.  So Good.  You could season them up with pretty much anything – sometimes I used garlic oil; but once you have them, you’ll be hooked).

Tonight – still not sure.  Maybe spaghetti.  Maybe grilled chicken Caesar salad.  Haven’t quite decided yet, but there’s time.

(Besides, I always keep emergency cans of chicken noodle soup in the cabinet.  Nobody will starve.  And I could have one of the minions cook – if they’re home).


Reality-based Menu for a Change

This week’s menu is not particularly inspiriting, but there is a good 75% chance that I’ll actually cook it.

Let’s start with yesterday – we were going to have tacos, until Iseult declared that it should be pancakes instead.  I told her, “have at it sweetcakes”.  So she made pancakes (I though they were rather sucktastic myself, but then I’m not a huge fan of pancakes – particularly when they’re chock full of chocolate chips).

Today (Tuesday) – wasn’t sure what I was going to make, but then this tasty one-pot chicken recipe showed up this morning in my FB Feed and I’m going to do a variation of it with chicken drumsticks and baby gold potatoes and leftover pearl onions.  It sounds tasty and I’m kind of busy today, so this fits our needs rather well.  Plus I have all the ingredients.

Wednesday – Seared chuck tender steak medallions (OK, I’m really no exactly sure what cut of meat they are, but that’s what they’re called at my local Publix and they’re waaay less expensive than tenderloin and super tasty); PB-coated sweet potato fries, green beans.

Thursday – Something with ground beef – maybe spaghetti and meatballs. And salad.  Or maybe soup of some kind.  It depends.  I saw a recipe for a white bean soup with dark greens that sounds pretty yum so might try that.

Friday – I have plans and they  have plans.

Well, that’s where we are.  What’s cooking at your place?


Bon Jour

Well now, that was a nice long tantrum, wouldn’t you say?

No, there isn’t much here now, but I’m going back to menu planning – but differently; and by that I mean more reality-based.  See, my menus tended to be somewhat pie-in-the-sky; then when inevitably my actual life conflicted with my highfalutin menus, well, I’d get all angsty.  Even worse – I got jealous of my dear friends who posted lovely menus and actually cooked them.  You see how horrible I really am?  I’m jealous that people I like are cooking nice meals for their families.

For shame, Maevey!  For Shame!.

But I’m thinking things are a bit better now. Fall is here (kind of sad I crapped away Summer, but oh well…) and I’m feeling somewhat newly energized. I’ve been doing some hard-core reevaluations of life Chez Maeve et Filles and am making great strides on creating the life I actually want.  You know, put up or shut up kind of thing.

Basically, I want to get back to talking about the things I like – food, books, family craziness, etc.

And with that note, on the book front, for the last month have been catching up on the adventures of Mr. Harry Dresden, Wizard Extraordinaire; I’m up to Changes.  Anyway, yesterday some anticipatory anxiety began setting in:  what shall you read once you’re done with Skin Game?  Well, can you believe I’ve not read any of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan novels?  I can’t either.  What gives?  So they’re next.  Ok, they’re next after I catch up on Thomas Sniegoski’s Remy Chandler novels – newest one is out, A Deafening Silence in Heaven.  Plus I’m also hankering to read Susanna Kearsley’s Mariana.  (I read Splendour Falls last month and it was just wonderful, now I’m her newest fangurl.  Le Sigh).

OK, that’s all.