Sunday, June 28, 2009

a make your man happy meal

Can I just go ahead and admit that I love anything meaty and cheesy? Especially with great bread that is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, and a good amount of sauce. I don't really like meatball subs from restaurants, because I am extremely picky about red sauce. EX-TREMELY picky about red sauce. I only buy one brand of sauce and I soup it up to my exact specifications (more on this later.)

Anyway, my husband loves meatball subs, so I make them from time to time. Now, I don't always make my meatballs from scratch, because I find that the packaged ones are just fine. If you don't agree with eating pre-packaged meatballs, then by all means, go ahead and spend the time making your own, then follow these instructions. I promise you, your meat-eating husband will love you and take you into the bedroom, well, once his dinner has digested.

The ingredients:

  • 6 inch sub rolls of your choice
  • an onion, chopped
  • white mushrooms, sliced
  • mozarella cheese (or any Italian cheese blend)
  • frozen meatballs
  • Classico Cabernet Marinara me it has the best taste

1. Let's start in the saute pan. Chop those onions and slice the mushrooms, then get them into the pan with some olive oil over medium high heat. I let the mushrooms get a little brown before I salt and pepper them.

2. Frozen meatballs. Ahhhh. Place the number you want on a paper towel on a microwave safe plate and cook according to the package directions. Usually a plateful of meatballs takes about 3 minutes. I normally cook extra to eat straight off the plate.

3. Add both the sauce and the meatballs to the pan with the onions and mushrooms. I tend to also add a couple of tablespoons sugar to my sauce as well...don't like it bitter at all. Let the sauce bubble while you prepare the bread.

4. My sub rolls were actually a foot long, so I cut them in half. Then I open them up and lay them out flat, while I get my toaster oven warmed up.

5. Lay out the meatballs on the bread and spoon on a little extra sauce. My husband likes extra sauce. He doesn't like anything dry, so I add extra to his.

6. Sprinkle on the cheese. Yum. If I have Alfredo sauce, then I sometimes drizzle a little on before the cheese. It makes the cheese a little more creamy and delicious.

7. Broil. I lay mine out on my toaster oven size stoneware pan and slide them on in. Pay no attention to all the crumbs on the bottom of the oven. Now, I know my oven, but I don't know yours, so watch your sandwich carefully and remove at the desired cheesy melty-ness.

I like it when it looks like this. Add a side of chips and enjoy! You will thank me for this recipe, and I know that you will make it again and again! The sauce/meatball combo works well over pasta or poured over pasta and then baked with cheese on top. It has lots of possibilities.

Now I am hungry, so I have to go and make something to eat. Hmmm, I wonder if I have any more meatballs?

Friday, June 26, 2009

cause Kathie Lee is an expert...

Now, I didn't get up early this morning to see any real new programs and I have just really turned on my TV at 11am, to see the Later Today show, with Kathie Lee Gifford and some other woman. The two women are discussing Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, and their lives and fame.

Kathie Lee: I always knew Michael's life wouldn't end well. Not that I'm clairvoyant or anything, but I always saw red flags in his life.

Other Lady: Really? I always remember Farrah's hair.

Kathie Lee: Well, he probably confused attention with love. You know, he wasn't allowed to be a child when he was a child, so when he grew up he acted like a know, building Neverland and acting like Peter Pan. What we don't get as children, we search for as adults.

Other Lady: He died of a heart attack.

Kathie Lee: 50 year old people don't die. There must have been some health problems.

Other Lady: Well, he was certainly taking some medication.

Kathie Lee: You can't live your life so differently from other people and not expect trouble.

Other Lady: HMMM.

Kathie Lee: We're going to talk to Rabbi Shmooly (um, who?) who is vacationing in Iceland with his family, but certainly is an expert on this kind of situation.

Other Lady: Well, Akon is pulling his tour bus over to the side of the road to talk to us.

Akon: Yeah, I saw Michael about 6 months ago and he was excited to go on tour. (screen showing picture of Akon, evidently a very angry black rapper, as witnessed by his furrowed brow in the photo they have.)

Kathie Lee: Yeah, I really don't know Michael Jackson, even after all these years. (You mean, you and MJ weren't best buds?) We may never really know him.


Dawna somebody from London holding newpaper: London blamed for Jackson't death is the headline this morning.

Michael somebody from Encino: I'm outside this house, where the Jackson Family MAY be holed up. We think at some point yesterday all the siblings were here, but some have left, but the parents may still be here, and one sibling, but we're not sure. (shots of lots of people with sparkly gloves.)

Other Lady: You know, I watched that Farrah special about a month ago and it made me think about how hard cancer is on the people around the sick person.

Kevin Tibbles in Indiana: This is the two bedroom house where Michael was born. (shots of lots of people hanging around the house) Gary, Indiana has never forgotten Michael, even though the Jackson family never came back.

Some woman in Harlem: Michael was number one. People are gathered up around the Apollo and started selling t-shirts, like this one (hold up shirt with Jackson pictures) for $10. (No, I don't want to buy one, and I want to know how they got the shirts printed so fast.)

Kathie Lee: Thank you for those moving words. When we come back, we'll have a panel discussion about Michael and Farrah (yeah, you've talked a lot about Farrah.)


All right, now I was typing as they were talking, and while I did not get every word, this is really the kind of drivel they were spinning this morning. Wow. Kathie Lee spotted the red flags in MJ's life? Well, why didn't she call him up and tell him, then. Oh, you think that he had health problems? Do you? Maybe the fact that he died from a heart attack clued you in, huh? I have no idea who this other lady was, but Kathie Lee should stay off TV, or at least stop giving her opinion on TV. She is so not qualified to be anyone's life coach. Um, remember the child laborers in some third world country that you didn't know about? Um, remember how your husband cheated on you?

And now, I have to go google Rabbi Schmooly, whoever he is. I'll report back later.
Evidently, Rabbi Shmuley is America's Rabbi and has his own website and podcasts! Wow. I didn't know America had a rabbi. And I have to say that as I am still listening to this panel of experts, I cannot believe the crap that people say about a famous person who has died. Let him rest, people. I am going to pop in a DVD and get some work done. Remember MJ and Farrah however you would like.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Queen of the Indoors speaks again

I have called myself the Queen of the Indoors before, and it's not because I am so awesome decorator or design houses or anything like that. It's because my nature is more inside oriented, and I think it is because I just don't like to sweat (that really is a whole other post.) I love plants, but I don't really like to garden. I love manicured lawns and great landscaping, but I don't want to DO it. I want to want to do it, but it just isn't me.

And, our overgrown, looks like Vietnam in the backyard with all the bamboo growing, looks like a forest in the front with all the random trees, and has grass in some places and in others it is worn through to dirt from running dogs. We have years of work in front of us, but that really isn't the theme of this post.

This post is about what I like in my yard, and I like this.

And this.

The ivy picture I took on a day when we were washing our cars and the plants got wet. The water droplets just looked so inviting, that I ran inside and got my camera. The purple hosta flowers are sprouting up around our patio, in what I would have to say is one of the strangest places the previous owners could have planted plants. Right in a walkway. It's odd, but the flowers caught my eye and the camera came out again.
Isn't it great when we can find beauty in the middle of all the chaos? Our yard needs so much attention, and it really isn't my thing, but I can totally appreciate the small pockets of loveliness in my 1/4 acre of grass.
And, come on, this also makes me love my new camera even more.

Monday, June 22, 2009

oven fried chicken

When Bethany got married a couple of weeks ago, one of the gifts she received was a stack of recipe cards from this woman in our church who is a legendary cook. It was the best gift, I think, cause the recipes had been tried and tested and known to be yummy. Last Saturday while our men were playing poker, Bethany and I got together at her condo and tried a couple of them out.

One was Oven Fried Chicken. And it was so good. And easy.

We started with whole chicken breasts that we cut in half to make smaller pieces. I think we had four breasts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and whatever other spices you want. I highly recommend garlic and paprika, but do whatever feels good. We dipped in olive oil and then into crushed corn flakes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes and yum. So good.

See, it's easy? Go make some, I tell you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

hair trauma

I know you have missed me this week, but between packing up my classroom at school so they could clean, and living through some hair trauma, I am finally getting around to posting.

This is a recent picture of my "before" hair. This was taken in November, but my hair really hadn't changed that much since then. I'd had it cut and highlighted in April, but it pretty much looked like this. Okay, got it?

This was the cut I was going for, below. I'd had my hair cut last year before going to Florida for my brother's wedding and it was really cute. I remember thinking that it was SHORT, compared to what I had, but I really liked it, and I liked the highlights. Charlie really likes my hair with highlights because he says it gives it definition. I'm okay with them. I actually really like my boring brown hair color.

I askedy mom, who cut and highlighted my hair in April, to come and cut it again on Wednesday night, and things went horribly wrong. So wrong. The box said to start the highlights 1/4 of an inch from your scalp, since the heat from your head would make them blonder. That was not good advice. Also, the box included two different brushes, one that looked like a mascara wand, and another one. The mascara one is the one that got me, I think, because it coated such large chunks of hair. AS SOON as we washed it out, we knew it looked bad. It was so blond. And in such weird chunks, especially on my left side. And that quarter inch thing? Yeah, it gave me brown roots. Yup.

So I took a deep breath, and just told mom that I would die over it the next day with my friend Laura who was coming and has colored my hair before. Bad, brassy, chunky, looks like I'm trailer trash, highlight problem solved. So I showed my mom the picture of the hair cut I was going for and she starts cutting. And cutting. And cutting.

This is my hair on Thursday morning, after wetting it. It does not show the horrible highlights as horrible as they really were cause my hair was wet. In fact, I sent a photo on my phone to Laura, and she called back to say, "it's not that bad." And then when she showed up an hour later and it was dry, she said "holy ....." Get it? It was bad.

So we went to lunch and Target and I bought a box of hair color called "Brown Sugar" to color over the highlights and Laura helped me. Now my hair is reddish brown, which is not my natural color, but is way better than the trailer trash highlights.

Um, and notice how short my hair is. Does that cut look like the one I was going for? Um, no. I am still getting used to it. Charlie likes it, he says, and people keep telling me it is cute, but I think it makes me look old.

I'm not used to my curls being quite so fluffy either, and not having hair that can be put in a ponytail. I think I will love it when it grows out about an inch longer, or so, and I guess having short hair in the summer isn't the worst thing in the world, right? It should be cooler, I guess.

So this is the story of my hair trauma...I hoped you got a good laugh. And I have to admit this isn't the worst thing that has ever happened to my hair. The very first time I got highlights, in a salon, no less, they were white zebra stripes in my hair, when I asked for caramel highlights. And I had to wait three days for the salon to fix them, because the girl who ruined them had to be the one to fix them. I asked them why they thought I would want that girl to EVER touch my hair again, but that was their policy, unless I wanted to pay someone to fix them. Uh, no. I felt like I should have been given a refund on that disaster, but she fixed it. Then, as they grew out, I had to keep coloring over them, cause I would have blond streaks starting at my chin. Lesson learned, dye washes out, but bleach has to be grown out and cut off.

Had enough, yet? I will leave you now and go and wash this hair that now only takes about a pea sized amount of shampoo. One bonus, I guess, is that I will save money on products. Yeah, lets look on the bright side, shall we?

Friday, June 12, 2009

the husband plays softball

Let me introduce you to my wonderful husband, Charlie. He plays church softball, and tonight they had a game that I actually went to...which is kind of a miracle, since I am Queen of the Indoors. He wanted me to come, so I caved and went. I was pretty proud!

Cause he hit it.

And kept running.

And came home.

Go Charlie!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

a blank canvas

I know I have been posting a lot about Phil and Bethany's wedding, but it really was a big event for us. After the adoption fell through, working on this project was a way for me to cope. This is the great room at our church, and it is used for many, many different functions. On Wednesdays it is used for Youth, thus the sound system and fancy lights in the ceiling. The corner painted black is a section of arcade games, and that lovely gray partition hides it from view the rest of the week. It is pretty much a blank canvas.

Now, after several hours of work, the room looked like this. I was pretty proud of the way it turned out and it looked even better when we turned off the ugly overhead lights and used halogen lamps all over the room and candles on each table. The room had a nice glow and was very intimate. The bride loved it.

One of the most unique things that the newlyweds did at the reception was rent a photobooth. It was a cloth room with a camera, and it printed out two sets of the pictures. One the guest got to keep and one was pasted into an album for the bride and groom and the guest could write a message. Everyone enjoyed it and many people took multiple turns, even after the bride and groom left, people were still lined up to get in there!

Friday is the last day of school and then I will be free for the summer. I am so completely and totally ready for this break. I need the renewal and the rest. I am ready.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

wedding helpers

The ring bearer, Ethan. Love the tongue.

One of the flower girls, Ayla. She totally enjoyed the whole experience of being a flower girl. She loved the dress, the shoes, and the flower petals.

The other flower girl, Olivia. I caught her in a rare moment of sitting down. The rest of the day she was sprinting around, her ribbons trailing behind her.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

indoors and outdoors

Some dogs prefer the bamboo shoots that grow in the backyard, ripping and tearing them down.

Tugging and pulling.

Breaking and chewing.

Some dogs prefer to lay under my legs and cuddle.

To each her own.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

oh, so much fun

One of the more ironic things about the whole adoption process and (and subsequent non-placement) is that Charlie bought me a present. A present that I have been wanting and drooling over and shopping for and wishing for and for which I have been saving up my pennies.

A new camera.

A Nikon DSLR. (I can almost hear the choir singing.)

It took me awhile to get around to using it, because it had tainted memory attached to it. It was supposed to be my Mommy Camera, but that is a whole other post. The other day I took it to school and shot pictures of the boys versus girls soccer match, and had so much fun. The camera has a sports setting, which is AWESOME. It allows me to take photos in rapid succession. And you know how with a regular digital camera, you have to push the shutter button almost three seconds before anything good happens, like you are some mind reader that can predict what will happen next? Don't have to worry about that anymore!

Exhibit A: this moment I captured.

This was during warm-ups and the goalie came out of the net to do something...I can't pretend I know the lingo for what he was doing. You should be impressed that I know he was the goalie. Enough said. I saw them about to hit and pressed the button. With a normal camera, I would have missed this moment, but I caught it at the right time and love that it almost defies gravity. The goalie ended up on his back.

I took it home, zoomed in and printed it out for the girl and her mom. They loved it! I loved it. I was so proud of me and my camera and how sharp everything turned out. I had so much fun testing it out and playing with the different settings. I do need a different lens if I want to get the pictures this close straight out of the camera.

Here's hoping the new camera will soon take pictures of a new baby.