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December 20th, 2010


02:22 pm - apple pie help
The in-laws are coming for Christmas this year. Bear says his dad would like an apple pie. I've made a lot of pies over the years, but never apple. And the one who usually makes the apple pie at holidays is my aunt, and hers is terrible. So: If you make apple pie, what recipe do you follow? How can I make a pie that is not dry or bland? Help please!

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November 8th, 2010


11:05 pm - icon help
The Livejournal icon maker I used no longer exists. I can't find another one. I can't get this one picture to be an icon that is not horribly fuzzy, no matter how much I sharpen the image before shrinking it. HELP!

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November 4th, 2010


12:45 pm - typos make me stabby
I'm browsing Etsy. So far I've discovered a woman who "homeschool's" her children and another who embroidered a blanket for a newly married couple with "The Wrenn's." Argh argh argh.

Also, a blanket personalized with "babies name."

Also, a bookmark with three "baloons" on it.

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August 28th, 2010


01:05 pm - bad news
My uncle's ex-wife died unexpectedly Thursday night, leaving my three youngest cousins (a college senior, a college freshman, and a high schooler) without their mom. If you pray, please, please pray for them.

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August 23rd, 2010


03:48 pm - clothes. blargh.
Where do you guys shop? For yourselves, not the little ones.

I own one swimsuit. Bought it on clearance at Bass Pro Shop (of all places) about four years ago. We're going to the beach for a week. I don't swim much, but Rowan loves to, so I probably need a second swimsuit (one to wear/one to let dry). The one I have is a tankini with a skirted bottom. In other words, you can't see my belly or thighs, yay.

But. I am cheap, and a common size, and it is August, and I can't find a swimsuit. Every place has them on clearance: good. No place has 8s in stock: bad. (I am an 8 or 10 on top and a 10 on the bottom. I think.) The only place I haven't been yet is Marshalls, and I think I'm going to leave Rowan with Bear and go tonight (no point in taking her with me because then I can't try stuff on, or at least not without fussing--she only likes the stroller if it's moving). I found one I like online, but I can't quite bring myself to spend $40 ($20 for the top and $20 for the bottoms). And nursing swimsuits? Are both ugly and expensive.

Also, at the moment, I have one skirt, two knit skorts, and a t-shirt dress that fit. The rest of my shorts--all the ones I bought when I got the job at St. Margaret's and suddenly needed lots of not-denim, modest shorts/skorts--are too big. (Yay breastfeeding.) So when we were at Penney's buying Bear some more pants for work, I looked at the shorts. They did not have one single pair of 8 petite shorts in the store. It's because all the summer clothes are on clearance, and like I said, 8 seems to be a common size. So. No shorts. Plus, apparently capris and cropped pants are in style right now, and they look awful on me, so I didn't bother with the many, many racks of them. They had corduroy pants on sale, but seriously? This is the south. I do not need corduroy pants for several more months.

I am feeling really, really frustrated about making do with just a few days' worth of clothes for so long now. Help!

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August 21st, 2010


02:24 pm - lots of pasta
Bear and I used to go to Buca di Beppo once in awhile. It's an Italian chain restaurant. There is one in Charlotte, but we haven't been there, so it's been more than two years since we've been there at all. We talked about going the other day, but discovered that our favorite dish is no longer on their menu (we looked online). So I made it instead: Buca Di Beppo Macaroni Rosa.

I doubled the mushrooms, peas, and broccoli and left out the chicken, which is how we used to order it at the restaurant, too. I started with uncooked pasta and broccoli, and just cooked the pasta while the sauce simmered, then added the broccoli about three minutes before the timer for the pasta went off. I thawed the peas by putting them in the colander in which I then drained the pasta/broccoli. Finally, if you use marinara sauce that isn't super-wonderful (organic Ragu, anyone?), be sure to taste the sauce; I had to add a sprinkle of sugar.

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August 14th, 2010


10:23 pm - dinner tonight
I made a casserole! Not from a recipe! And it was delicious!

I took a 2 lb. spaghetti squash, stabbed it, set it on a paper towel, and microwaved it on high. Joy of Cooking said 15 minutes; somewhere after 10 it split open and I stopped the microwave. I let it cool, then pulled the spaghetti-like strands out into a bowl and threw away the seeds.

Then I put the bowl in the fridge for a few days, while we ate frozen pizza, refrigerated ravioli, and other last-minute things. Hello, I only post the successes (and occasional funny failures) here, the everyday "I don't WANNA cook I WANNA eat ice cream for dinner" I try to spare you.

So tonight, because we are not eating at restaurants/fast food restaurants/convenience stores this month but we still have to eat, I made a casserole.

From the bottom up:
Thin layer of sauce (it was a jar from the fridge, half Organic Ragu and half cheap jarred vodka sauce that really sucked, but the combo is awesome--makes good pizza sauce, too)
Half of the spaghetti squash strands
Salt and pepper
Half of 8 oz. of mushrooms, sliced and cooked in a skillet with a pinch of salt till they are very soft
Sauce to cover the squash/mushrooms
A sprinkle of Parmesan
Repeat
Cover the top with shredded mozzarella or Italian-blend cheese

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until bubbly. Rowan and I ate this with buttered toast.

Rowan LOVED this. In fact, you'd think I was starving the child, but I swear she had breakfast, lunch, dinner, and boobies today! Lots of boobies. In fact, Bear got her to sleep (he puts her in her crib and sings to her--it's amazing, she actually goes to sleep like that!), and when she woke up I nursed her and then he got her back to sleep.

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August 11th, 2010


05:02 pm - it is easier to write about food than family
Last week I made wonderful, wonderful Chicken Makhani in the crockpot. It's from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, and this recipe is worth the price of the book, I swear. :) (You can look on the author's website, but the recipe isn't on there in the same form as in the book.) Rowan loved, loved, LOVED it, which is the reason I had to buy stain remover yesterday--I'm trying to salvage the outfits she wore the two nights we had this for dinner. (My usual Oxiclean soak just didn't cut it this time.) Yes, she wore a bib, but she's a very...enthusiastic...eater.

Tomorrow I'm planning to make this Indian curry in the crockpot, which does look to be the same as in the book.

While the in-laws were here we ate five pounds of ground beef, which is probably more than Bear and I had bought in the month before that. :p

On Friday night we had hamburgers, Rotel dip (Rotel + Velveeta), tortilla chips, and baked beans.

On Saturday night we had Pasta e Fagioli, which was much better than I expected (I don't like the one at Olive Garden) and Parmesan herb biscuits.

On Sunday night we had Sloppy Joes, Sweet Potato Fries, baked beans, and coleslaw. The coleslaw recipe is one I tore out of an issue of Cook's Country magazine--it calls for sour cream along with mayonnaise. I love (good, homemade) coleslaw.

Tonight we're having spaghetti and spaghetti squash (because I could only get one squash at the farmer's market) with spaghetti sauce (from a jar) and sauteed mushrooms. Except I don't want that because it's freakin' hot and I want ice cream for dinner. :p

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August 4th, 2010


10:33 am
Note to self: If your hands still smell like garlic after you wash them, there is enough garlic left on your hands to REALLY REALLY hurt your eyes when you put your contacts in.

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July 22nd, 2010


11:22 am - corn chowder for babycatcher33
Corn Chowder

1 onion or whatever needs to be used up
a couple stalks of celery
2-3 carrots
1/2-1 red bell pepper
olive oil

Peel the onion, wash the celery and carrots, seed the bell pepper, and chop it all up. Heat the Dutch oven, add olive oil and swirl it around, add the veggies and saute till the onion is soft. Add:

6-8 cups of water or chicken or vegetable broth
leftover cooked or fresh raw corn, cut off the cob, 1 ear per person or whatever needs to be used up

Season with:
1 bay leaf
thyme
Old Bay seasoning
salt if you need it (Old Bay is salty, too)
black pepper (which I never measure, I just use the pepper grinder)
1/2 teaspoon sugar if your corn isn't very sweet

Bring to a boil and add potatoes, scrubbed or peeled and chopped, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. I used 1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered; in the past I've used a couple of big russet potatoes, peeled and diced. Once the potatoes are soft, add heavy cream to taste, and taste and adjust the seasoning.
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