Things I need to discuss

If there ever comes a day when you hear rumors that I’ve ended up in some sort of institution, there’s a good chance it will be directly linked to helping Caroline learn her spelling words for the week. I try, I TRY, to be so patient and understanding but when she starts in with the deep sighs and the “I KNOW HOW TO SPELL IT” yet continues to write “allreade” instead of “already” and insist that’s the way it’s supposed to be spelled? Let’s just say that I have to channel Frank Costanza and start telling myself “Serenity now, serenity now, SERENITY NOW”.

So I’m just going to do a quick rundown of a few things because I need to take a nerve pill and curl up in the fetal position.

1. Yesterday I made homemade salsa in the blender and was just about to pour it into the container when I accidentally hit the power button again. I’m sad to report that the lid was not on the blender at the time. Honestly, as I surveyed the salsa carnage, I thought it might be easier to just burn the whole kitchen to the ground and start over rather than attempt to clean it up.

And while we’re talking about my kitchen, it’s still not turquoise.

2. On Tuesday I burned my thumb while I was putting hot rollers in my hair. I’m not sure how I made such a rookie mistake considering I’ve hot rolled my hair at least three times a week for the last thirty years (with the exception of a few years in the late 80’s when I just rocked the spiral perm) but I think it was because I was experimenting with a new roller method where I roll the crown of my hair under and then use a curling iron on the bottom layers.

Anyway, I tweeted about my burn because I needed to share my pain and someone named Jenny tweeted back and said that I should put toothpaste on it and cover it with a band-aid for a few hours. I figured I had nothing to lose because it had to work as well as what I was currently using to try to ease the pain, which was a mixture of sticking ice on it, cursing the day hot rollers were created, and complaining about the pain to anyone who would listen.

And y’all. It totally worked. The blister went away and my thumb will live to see another day.

3. A few of you asked how I make my choffee. It’s a seriously complicated recipe that involves making half a cup of hot chocolate with Ghiradelli’s Double Chocolate hot chocolate mix with milk and then pouring it into a half cup of coffee. It’s usually just my winter time drink, but for some reason it has made the transition into spring with me this year.

4. I was going to save this for a future Fashion Friday, but I’m doing a whole thing on cover-ups and beach accessories tomorrow and I cannot wait another week to show you what I found.

Ollipop rings.

I’m in love with all of them, but I think that one is my favorite.

5. It seems like I had something else to tell you or another question I was going to answer, but I’m drawing a total blank. I guess it’s allreade time for me to call it a day.

But if you think of something I forgot to mention, feel free to leave it in the comments and I’ll add it to this list before the day is over.

Poultry is my kryptonite

I made an extensive grocery store list on Monday morning because I’d spent most of last week just trying to piecemeal some pantry items together and call it dinner. But the jig was finally up on Monday morning because P was out of Coffeemate and, while we can live on leftover Easter ham for a scandalous amount of time, we aren’t complete barbarians who drink our coffee black.

Of course I drink choffee (half hot chocolate, half coffee…patent pending) in the morning so it really makes no difference to me if we run out of Coffeemate, but it’s P’s lifeblood. As evidenced by the fact that he goes through a large bottle of it every other week.

As I made a list comprised of every household item or foodstuff imaginable, I decided to take a more organized approach and actually plan out some meals for the week as opposed to my usual method of getting home from the store, unpacking all my groceries and realizing that I have cupboards full of delicious snack items but dinner comprised of Cheetos and powdered Donettes does not a meal make. (Contrary to what I believed in college.)

One of my goals was to make the No Knead Bread that Sophie mentioned last week because, ever since I made Ree’s cinnamon rolls last fall, I’ve experienced some freedom from my fear of the yeast. But once I read through the bread recipe, I realized that I don’t own a proper Dutch oven. I didn’t feel like my current version of a Dutch oven with synthetic handles could handle the heat required to bake the bread, so I’ve had to shelf my dream until I can purchase some better cookware.

Honestly, I feel like the only thing standing between me and a career as a wildly successful food blogger is my lack of proper cookware. Well, that and the fact that everyone already knows how to make tacos from Old El Paso’s Taco Kit.

I’m just so glad that when P and I got married we received some lovely china that takes up vast amounts of cabinet space and has been used exactly two times, but yet I don’t own one pan that allows me to make homemade bread for my family. I’m sure I received a very nice Dutch oven and returned it so I could have store credit to go towards that expensive navy plaid Ralph Lauren comforter that now serves as the dogs’ bed in the winter time. People shouldn’t be allowed to register for nice things when they’re twenty-six years old and believe that marital bliss is ensured by the number of monogrammed silver frames they receive.

As God is my witness, I will get myself a Dutch oven and I will bake my bread.

In the meantime, I had to come up with some other dinner options. I’m fairly certain P had an allergic reaction to HEB’s rotisserie chicken (I can’t even go down that road right now.) so I decided to overcome my fear of dealing with raw poultry and bought a couple of packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to bake and use in various recipes throughout the week.

I unwrapped the chicken, placed it on a baking sheet, seasoned it and baked it at 350 degrees until it was thoroughly cooked. And then I took a Silkwood shower.

But it has been totally worth it because I made a big batch of homemade chicken salad for us to all eat for lunch this week and I cooked chicken cakes for dinner last night. However, we have no homemade bread to go with everything because I believe I may have mentioned my lack of a Dutch oven.

A few weeks ago, I talked about Gulley’s chicken salad and several of you asked for the recipe. Or maybe I just made that up in my head. It’s possible. But I’ll share it anyway because it is delicious and not too mayonnaise-y and that’s my primary criteria for any type of luncheon salad.

Gulley’s Chicken Salad (adapted from Southern Living)

4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
3 green onions, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 tablespoons toasted pecans, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

It’s up to you how fine you chop the ingredients and you are certainly welcome to add more mayonnaise if you feel the need. Stir everything together and chill. (The chicken salad. Although you are certainly welcome to kick back and relax.)

Best of all, it doesn’t require a Dutch oven. But if you’re feeling fancy you can serve it on that china that you never use.

Oh my aching feet

I don’t know why I was incapable of recapping our weekend yesterday, but I just didn’t have the strength. And that makes it sound like we did all sorts of exciting things when the truth is the most interesting detail is that I willingly went to an Art Fair and walked around for two hours wearing wedge heels. Somewhere there is a podiatrist who is going to get a new house at the lake because of my shoe bravado.

Seriously. My foot is charlie horsing as I’m typing this and my toes may never be the same.

It was all innocent enough. Some friends met us at church and after it was over suggested that we go downtown to the Southwest Craft Center for this art show. It’s one of the official Fiesta events and I felt like it was our duty to attend at least one Fiesta event since we try to avoid the others due to my issues with having beer spilled down my back or being involved in some kind of knife fight. That whole coronation crowd is rough.

(That’s totally a lame San Antonio joke. The coronation is actually a high society event where girls wear dresses that cost more than my car and people celebrate fake royalty. However, Fiesta does provide plenty of other events that increase your odds of smelling like Miller Lite for the rest of the day or getting stabbed.)

(They should totally add that last sentence to our official tourist brochures.)

Anyway, I was wearing my chocolate brown wedge heels because I thought the sum total of my walking would be from the church parking lot to inside the building and back again. Then we decided to head straight to the Art Fair and I thought about asking if we could stop by the house so I could put on my flip-flops, but who wants to be the person who’s all “Mamaw needs to stop and put on some proper footwear with cushioned insoles?”

As it turns out, I will now be that person for the rest of my life.

In other news from the weekend, our soccer game was rained out on Saturday morning. I have no doubt that the Cheetah Girls were poised to get their first victory of the season (No one officially keeps score since we don’t even use goalies, but I keep score in my head because that’s who I am.) but P woke me up at 7:15 a.m. to inform me that it was pouring down rain. However, the official soccer website didn’t officially cancel the game until 8:02 a.m. which isn’t really convenient when you’re supposed to play at 8:30 a.m. And so even though I knew from P’s updated radar reports every four minutes between 7:15 and 8:02 that we most likely wouldn’t be playing our game, I couldn’t really relax and go back to sleep until it was official.

The good news is that once the game was called I found the strength to crawl back into bed and sleep until 10:30 to the sound of the rain. It may go down as one of the best Saturday mornings ever. Oh, and the only reason I was able to sleep was because Caroline had spent the night at Mimi and Bops’s house. Otherwise I would have been up and playing UNO with a questionable set of rules by 7:00 a.m.

Caroline came home around noon and we spent most of the day cleaning out her playroom. She is always reluctant to get rid of anything which is why I normally just throw stuff out while she’s gone, but I decided it was time for her to make her own decisions about what she can live without. It helped move things along once I announced that she needed to get rid of at least TEN things before any more toys came into this house. EVER.

Later in the day, we headed over to Gulley’s house because it’s time for the making of the Fiesta Shoebox Float. If you’ve been reading here for any amount of time, then you know all about the blood, sweat and hot glue gun burns that go into making a shoebox float. Will had decided to make a pirate ship for his float and so I offered my vast experience in the proper mechanics of making a sail on a shoebox. It’s a little skill I learned last year when I (I mean Caroline) had to make a replica of the Santa Maria.

Sadly, Caroline is past the days of making shoebox floats. Which is probably just as well considering that my wedge heels caused me enough pain this weekend without adding in some hot glue gun burns and a stiff back from bending over and gluing eighteen Happy Meal figurines on a shoe box.

Viva Fiesta.