Tuesday, March 23, 2010

it seems like years since it's been clear Here comes the sun

When I'm not cooking I'm either digging in the dirt or my fabric stash.

We moved into this house Sept last year and it had 5 built in flower beds, all sadly over grown with grass and weeds. Our move-in inspector was delighted when I asked if I could tear out the grass and put in flowers. Okinawans have an affinity for all things that grow, this island is an interesting mix of city, and jungle trying to reclaim the city while being helped by everyone's balcony or tiny yard gardens (manicured to varring degrees).

I of course had to un pack and get us settled in (during Typhoon season). And winter showed up (mild as they are here I still don't enjoy it). I tried to dig up the grass/weeds by hand, no dice. They had been in for so long (and the soil here so much like clay) that the only way that was happening was with a shovel or pick. I ended up hiring a yard guy to come and dig them up for me. He needed both a shovel and a pick.

Then I was left with 4 ditches running the length of my sidewalk up to my door, with piles of dirt and weeds in the grass in the lawn. I can't imagine how the "yard nazi's" passed up the opportunity to write us up for what I'm sure were several infractions. I can only think that since it looked (slow as it was) like something was happening. Toss in some sick kids and it took me nearly a month start to finish to get these flower beds planted. You can see before and afters (more than what I posted in this post) here (page 4-5 ish for the before of the yard)

I planted things that I already knew tolerated the climate well, and would fill in the beds nicely once established. They still look a little sparce, but it would cost a fortune to fill them in all the way, not to mention, I'd have to go and thin things out too soon.

I bought some flowers from local nurseries and dug others up from a friends yard (they were getting a little over grown at her place). It'll be nice to one day get to plant a garden and just maintain it and not have to worry about what the next person will do with it. Last time we lived here I landscaped (not just flowers, but shrubbery, and decorative grasses, and the like) the entire yard and the next ppl just pulled it all out. Guess they didn't want to be bothered.

For supper tonight we are having BBQ chicken legs A-La the crock pot, rice and steamed greens.

For the Chicken I didn't have any bottled sauce so I made my own
1 bottle of teriyaki sauce
1 can tomato paste
18 oz water (rinsed the bottle out a couple times)
big squeeze of honey
1 Tbs (ish) Gourmet burger seasoning

pour that over a bag of frozen legs in a crock pot, cook on high from 11 ish to 6ish.
rice in the rice cooker of course.
and greens in cast iron with ham flavor.

We like to eat the chicken on top of the rice, to give it some flavor, and the greens on the side. It's not pretty (or picture worthy) cause after all day in the crockpot it kinda just falls apart. and is orangy/red.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

So this long line of cars will never have an end

No fevers, hardly any coughing, and just trace amounts of snot! I almost threw a party!! Instead I spent the day outside, well mostly.

First I drove 41Km (round trip) to pick up my new (to me) table and chairs for outside (this trip took 3 hours, to give you and idea of how much traffic is here on Island). It's a LARGE table (with 2 leaves that fold up and into) and 6 large chairs (2 kids can easily sit in one of these things). The previous owner says it's Teak, but I'm not sure (nor do I care). The stain is starting to rub off, which leaves me with the dilemma of sanding and restaining, or pressure washing and painting. Neither fix is permanent here in the elements, too humid, hot, and sunny. I could also leave it as is (but it's brown, and well, my house is beige with brown accents, and so is every other building on the base) so I'd like to get some color involved. I can't wait to get to have meals on a table outside instead of on a blanket!

Then I did some gardening (I thought this was going to be a quick project, but with the rain and the sick kids it's really dragging out!). Now I'm beat!

SO, for supper tonight, I fed the kids leftover beefy soup. They were not thrilled, too bad. Had they eaten their lunches I'd have fixed them a more substantial supper, but their appetites are still not up, and with plugged noses I'm sure nothing tastes right, so soup it is. As it was they only ate half of what I gave them, and were practically falling asleep at the table. Poor kiddo's!

DH and I had (and really, I almost never fix separate meals for adults vs. children) Rib-eyes, new potatoes, and broccoli, cauliflower, carrots medley. I tossed the potatoes in my cast iorn pan with olive oil, salt, garlic and marjoram. Sprinkled the steaks with salt, pepper, garlic, and onion on one side and on the other a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce and a sprinkling of Gourmet Burger seasoning then grilled on my grill pan. The veg just got steamed in the microwave and then the pan drippings from the steak poured over once plated.

Guess who forgot to take a picture till the food was too mangled to be pretty? Sorry, it was pretty too.

Just imagine the pics (and lighting) I'll get when we start eating outside!!! EEK I can hardly wait.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"The kids don't stand a chance"

I was the only one in the house in the mood for Mexican, so we had more soup. YAY *insert sarcastic look here*. On the bright side, only mild fevers from DS#1 and DD#2 and no vomit inducing coughing fits today!

I was tired of chicken soup so I made beef soup today (and will probably have to eat it for most of the weekend, because there's a pot full).

2 cans mushrooms (not drained)
1 can plain stewed tomatoes
1 can with green peppers stewed tomatoes
1 box beef stock
1lb grd beef 97% lean
1lb frozen broccoli florets (that have been thawed)
1lb lentils
2 cans full of water (rinsed out the tomato cans)
3/4 box full of water (rinsed out the stock container too)
2 packets Saz`on Goya (Coriander & annatto) found in the Hispanic section.
Salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder to taste.

Brown beef in pot, then add everything else, simmer till lentils are tender.
Bring yourself to eat another liquid supper, and promise yourself a nice juice hamburger for lunch tomorrow!

After all that griping it wasn't bad, had a nice beefy flavor, and had a nice balance between the lentils and tomatoes (both can be a bit overpowering in a soup), the mushrooms and broccoli added just enough variety.

On a WAY tangent, I found a new band, and I'm gonna pimp them so avert your eyes if you want.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

sometimes my tries, are outside the lines

Not cooking today, finishing off the soup from last night. Cause the kids gobbled it and there's lots. The orzzo soaked up more of the broth overnight so now it's more of a noodle dish with greens. Still yum tho.

The best thing about today, NO FEVERS!! Snot all round still, but it's an improvement, and I'll take it. The kids were felling so much better that I set up the shade tent in the yard, threw out some giant cushions, and lap size quilts and the basket of coloring supplies. While declaring "Stay in the tent, so you don't run around and cough and then puke on your friends." All the kids in the building (we live in a 6-plex) have the same plague as us so I don't feel bad about letting them all play together.

Probably something in the crock-pot tomorrow, I'm feeling Mexican-ish, and I've a ton of errands and that'll be easy.

My sitter took some pics I'll post one later.

edit***** Um yeah, had this all posted, and was feeling good. Then took DS#1's temp, cause he said he felt "funny" guess who's no longer the healthy kid? On the plus side, his big sis is feeling much better, but is there really any point in sending her to school on Fri when she's only been on Mon (and was sent home that day)? I guess she could collect her homework.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Who used a machedy to cut through red tape

Know when you microwave something and you reach in and pull it out but can only get it as far as the counter before setting it down while your hands to the "it's too hot to hold" shake-while you hop dance? That's what it was like getting the baby out of her bed this morning.

Yesterday I called the Dr and they were booked for same day/walk ins. So the nurse called back with "take meds for the fever and comfort for the rest" advise. CHECK, been doing that since Sat. wouldn't be calling you if that were working but whatever.

I get on the phone 5 min before the appointment line opens up so that I would be 1st in line to get an apt today!Good plan right?

Well 35 min later, I'm still listening to elevator music and the occasional recording of "please don't hang up, all of our operators are busy, your call will be answered in the order received". YEAH. As DS#1 (AKA the only healthy child) leaves the house for school I'm throwing clothes on the baby and taking her to the ER. Where I can get glared at for using the Navy as a walk-in clinic (we're Air Force).

It's not my bureaucracy that's messed up so this is not my fault, and really as long as they fix the sick baby, they can glare all they want.

An X-Ray, and WWF style breathing treatment later (she really wasn't digging that mask) along with an assortment of meds we find out she's on the verge of pneumonia. But she drank some apple juice and ate some lunch (first thing to go in her in 24 hrs, she wouldn't even nurse!!) then she slept starting at like 2(ish) pm till (well it's now 948 and she's still asleep). I sent DD#1 (who thankfully hasn't had a fever all day but has been coughing so hard her body aches) up to make sure she was breathing (lol, let the paranoia set in).

I'll be back there tomorrow with DS#2 cause it's a "training day" for my clinic (that never has an available appointment anyway). I'm really tired of the puke inducing cough.

SOOOO, all that to preface tonight's supper.
2 cans chicken broth (thanks to the neighbor, I didn't have time to get to the store, nor did I want to take the lil ones out to the store!!)
1 bag frozen chopped collard greens
1 medium minced yellow onion
1 box orzzo
some water and salt and garlic powder.

saute the onion till nice and golden, then add orzzo, saute till lightly golden, then add greens, and broth and water. season to taste.

Warm and soothing and light, and should puke up nicely later when they start coughing, cause last night's fancy rice and pork chops were tasty but a MESS!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Little Piggy Stayed Home

3 cups of Rice, 1 can of coconut milk and some water (enough to bring the liquid level up in the rice cooker) a light dash of salt when done.
1lb frozen green beans, 1 Tbs butter, 2 Tbs soy sauce, simmer
4 pork chops, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, curry, just sprinkle a lil on both sides of chops (they should end up with a nice coating of seasoning when you're done). Grill in grill pan

We had soup for lunch so I decided to do a real dinner, the sick kids just pushed it around their plates and didn't eat much. They did insist that it was yummy, they were just coughing so much that they couldn't eat. The one healthy kid ate his quickly.

Called the Dr this morning as soon as the appointment line was open, but they were already booked for the day (how does that happen?). They said the lil ones are too little for anything other than fever meds. So all I can do is try to keep them comfortable. I think perhaps I should bring the crying 1 yr old to their house and let her cry at them all day? DD#1 is staying home again because she is still feverish. I'm counting down till DS#1 gets this, and his teacher told me that 3 kids in his class have gone home due to "stomach bugs", I suppose I get to look forward to that next week?

Monday, March 15, 2010

sick and tired of (my kids) being sick and tired

The car is at the Garage getting things fixed, so that we can buy "Japanese Compulsory Insurance" (JCI) and our car inspected to make sure (well I'm not sure what the inspection is for, the car is like a 1992 so I can't imagine it meets any sort of safety/emissions standards of today). Well the car is OVER THERE, and the neighbor was nice enough to go and get DH and bring him home, just in time for the school nurse to call and let us know that DD#1 has a fever and that we have to come and get her from school.

Have I ever mentioned we're a ONE CAR family? NO?, well we are. So, that's gonna be a neat trick huh? Also, it's less than an hour before school lets out. I'll not point out the stupidity of this.

I call my friend, to see if DH can borrow her car and fetch DD#1 home. I'm not dressed, cause I've been handing out meds to the two little ones that the Snot Fairy visited over the weekend. Turns out she was back last night. I've got a plan for that lady should I ever catch her. It involves the pennies we're not allowed to spend on island, and the one tube sock the washing machine didn't eat. If I tell you more you'll be guilty of some sort of conspiracy.

OH YEAH this is a food blog, I'll not go into the fact that the sick kids are coughing too hard to enjoy the food isn't staying in them long. Let's just go with I cooked something bland so that should we be seeing it later it will be less traumatic.

We went with Fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms and green peas and a can of stewed tomatoes with basil and oregano. No meat tonight. The baby passed out (thankfully) before supper was finished cooking (she won't starve, have you seen those cheeks!?). Although, why she chose to do it in her chair at the table, I dunno (for those of you who don't know we eat at a Japanese style table and so her "high chair" is one that is supposed to be strapped into a dinning chair, but since we just sit on the floor, it's already the perfect height, and she can get in and out of it on her own, we just attach the tray when needed) ? DD#1 and DS#2 are both sick and so are mostly just picking at their food, but drinking Gatorade by the gallon, DS#1 scarfed his first bowl and went back for more.

P.S. Before I finished typing this up, and DS#1 finished his meal, DS#2 had a coughing fit; and sure enough, I'm thankful for bland food tonight! I'll be sending a bowl up to bed with him! How did that Snot Fairy know I just washed sheets?

The car is all fixed up, and has all the stickers it needs for the next 2 years. I think we might also be looking into buying a second car for while we are here (you can get them for under $1000 when ppl leave the island) and DH just wants one to drive back and forth to work so I can have the one full of car seats (how sweet! LOL).

P.S.S. Any tips out there for how to get my pics to turn out better? I mean I just have a basic camera (and have no desire to get anything else). They just always seem so washed out. I promise my food was not all white with green peas and bits of red! LOL and the lighting in the kitchen is not super bright, when I've tried to take pics w/o the flash it's WAY too dim. ok thanks in advance.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

If you go down in the woods today You'd better go in disguise.

Not really in the mood to cook on Friday, so I made Spaghetti, and we had a carpet picnic.

Turns out that's not an ideal dish for carpet picnics when you have a 3 yr old and a 1 yr old. But they thought it was fun, and everyone ate their supper. The dog however, thought this plan was genius, cause she got to play the role of vacuum for the night.

I use a chunky garden style sauce (the more veggies the better for us) and added in 2 small cans of black olives and one large can of mushrooms. Brown the meat with a minced yellow onion and some "italian" herbs, put it all over angel hair pasta. I was out of "sprinkle cheese" and nearly had a mutiny on my hands, thus the carpet picnic.

Saturday we had an actual picnic outside (for lunch) but it was simple PB&J with kiwi slices and oranges, till it got windy and dark and chilly. Then we came inside and finished up in the foyer! DH took us out to our fav Sushi place for supper Sat night, happy tummies all around!

We had big plans Sunday for dinner with my friend and neighbor, potato salad and chicken wings. But that dang Snot Fairy came back to my house over the weekend and attacked my little ones, so I passed out Tylenol and wiped noses Sunday, and ended up exchanging bowls of potato salad for a bowl of chicken wings with the neighbor. During the exchange I ended up eyeballing her can of baked beans (an item I never buy) but was salivating over. Off to my house I went, and to my dismay all I had in my pantry to work with were black beans (normally I only have dry beans, so I was lucky to even have these gems!). Turns out, you can make a pretty tasty baked bean substitute with black beans, here's what I did.

2 cans black beans (and their "juice")
1/4 c brown sugar (I mix both light and dark in my bin, so it's your choice)
5ish drops of liquid smoke
dash ground ginger
2 dashes gourmet hamburger seasoning
GENEROUS squirt of ketchup
1 packet ham flavor

Simmer and reduce down, I didn't let mine reduce as much as I'd have liked because the monsters were getting restless, but it was still tasty.

DD#1 has been asking for queesh, so I'll prolly do that one day this week, and I've been craving pie for a couple weeks now. There are also some pork chops in the freezer whose days are numbered. Oh and it's raining again, so that's nice.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

It's my party and I'll cry if I want to

So a fellow blogger is having a party, and asked for some recipes, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to post some of my favorite ones here.

I like to serve finger food at my parties, but still hitting all the food groups. Fruit trays are always nice, but I like to make a dip, with Cottage cheese and honey (to taste) and just blender them together. Sounds simple, and it is, but not everyone likes heavy snacks. I sneak veggies in queesh, cause if you put enough cheese and/or bacon in they don't notice! I also like to wrap veggies in bacon and broil them. Surprisingly, I find that most people will eat the sweater (baby carrots, red and yellow bell peppers, sugar peas) veggies just raw, and usually with out any sort of dip.

Still on the light side is Black Bean Salsa, 2 cans of drained and rinsed black beans, 1 lb bag of thawed corn, 1 can green chilies, either 5 (ish) diced roma tomatoes or 2 cans diced stewed tomatoes (depending on season and price) salt and pepper to taste and a dash of cumin, 1/4 cup Cilantro (chopped) fresh or powdered garlic and onion (which ever you prefer) (if using fresh 1 small clove garlic minced, and 1/2 small onion minced) 1 Tbs Lime juice. I like this on a tortilla or that hard toasty bread (not so much for chips).

For something more substantial (and time consuming, but NOT hard) there's always my 4 layer dip. The bottom layer is Pinto beans (you can use canned beans if you like but I make my own (the day before) in my crock pot, I use 1 lb of beans, cover with water, check on them through out the day to make sure they stay covered, and then when soft I add 1 pk of Ham Flavor, and salt to taste, then mash with my potato masher). The next layer is "Mexican Rice" 1lb grd beef browned with 1/2 onion and garlic, salt and pepper and a dash of cumin, remove the meat from pan, add 2 tbs butter and the other half of minced onion, 1 small clove garlic and 3 cups of uncooked rice, saute till rice is slightly browned, replace meat to pan, along with 1 can of stewed tomatoes, 1 can of green chillies, 3 Tbs Chicken Bullion (not the little cubes, over in the Hispanic section they have this stuff LOOSE in jars!! it is easier to use, and tastes better, you can even get it with a tomato base!! who knew! it's a green jar with a yellow label by Knor of course!) Add water to cover. Cook covered, but with lid not on all the way, and keep adding water to cover till rice is tender. Third layer is shredded Colby Jack cheese, and the Fourth layer is either Salsa or Mexican flavored Stewed tomatoes (your choice, my family is not a huge fan of Salsa, as they like their tomatoes nice and chunky). You need a LARGE 13x9 pan to put this in and those restaurant style chips for dipping (I of course fry my own tortilla chips, but no pressure).

I'm sure everyone knows how to make Spinach dip, so I'll not bore you with that, what I will say is that if you add chicken to it and then use it as filling for these Puffs it's like tiny little sandwiches. The Puffs aren't that hard, but they are a tiny bit fiddly. 1 Cup water, 6 tbs butter, 1 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup flour 4 eggs. Bring the water and butter to a boil, and remove from heat, add flour (in pot) return to heat till it pulls from sides of pan. Remove from pot, but batter in bowl and beat till cool (er) add eggs one at a time, put batter in a zip top bag, cut off corner and pipe onto a baking pan (cookie sheet/stone) into blobs about 2-3 inches wide (wet your finger and smooch down the tips so they are nice and round). Bake at 400 for 15 min and at 350 for 30-35 min. They will puff up and be hallow, once cooled you can cut them open and they will be hallow and be ready for filling. These are the same puffs that they fill with creme, but if you do that make them smaller? (or not LOL). I made these for Christmas Eve and the kids gobbled them, so did the neighbors.

Crepes are simple, and you can fill them with lots of different things. 1 1/2 c flour 2 eggs 1/2 c milk 1/2 c water 1/4 tsp salt 2 Tbs melted butter. Combine eggs, flour and salt, add water, milk and butter. Batter should be thin and then cook like thin pancakes on a well oiled pan. They're good with whipped cream and fruit, or pie filling, the skies the limit here.

For a sweet but not too sweet dessert I like to do Banana Bread with Chocolate chips. 1/2 c shortening 1 c sugar 2 eggs 3/4 c mashed bannans 1 tsp Baking Soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/4 flour 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts) 1 c chocolate chips (I use semi sweet or dark) 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Combine all the wet ingredients and then fold in the dry. Put in a greased pan and bake at 350 till you can stick a tooth pick in it and pull it out dry (30-45 min?) I bake a lot so my nose knows ya know?

Also in my blog are my cheesy meat balls, strawberry fluff, plumberry buckle, scones, cookies of various kinds.

I think that's about it. This should also redeem me for the lack of posting this week! LOL, I am cooking all this week, but not getting too fancy (prolly).

Friday, March 12, 2010

I scream, you scream, we all scream, for soy beans and waffles?

1lb Kielbasa and about 3/4ish lb diced chicken breast, 1 large onion diced, sauteed till onion is caramelized. Add a bag of frozen soy beans, and broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spoon over rice. Simple.

No witty story to go with this supper, we were hungry, the kids like sausage and soy beans.

I forgot to mention that we had Breakfast for supper this week also, nothing fancy, just Waffles and bacon with Pineapple (from a can) on the side. Why is serving Breakfast food after the sun goes down such a novel idea no matter how often you do it? It's like magic, I swear there's no sort of magic syrup or special mix involved, but they act like it's spiked? And I'm not just talking about the children, DH who normally turns his nose up to breakfast is all about waffles at 630pm? And all the Pre-eating frenzy? Oh and just so you all know, if you get tired of the standard fare, you can (dare I say should) substitute your regular waffle mix with banana bread batter (thin it down some). It makes for some FANTASTIC pancakes too, and if you're in a pinch for dessert toss in some chocolate chips and you're "in like flint". And if you're feeling extra adventurous you can just blender some bananas and stir them in to your blueberry pancake/waffle mix (I use Krustease, if I'm using a mix or Alton Brown's recipe if I'm doing from scratch).

I swear I'll change my ways

This meal is why I don't buy the excuses of "I don't have time to cook". It took me all of 20-25 min from start to finish? (how ever long it takes to boil a large pot of water and then cook egg noodles in it).

Just look at it. Grilled (on my grill pan) Chicken strips (just hit them with some, garlic, onion ,marjoram, and salt and pepper), Corn and Spinach (DS#2's invention, fiber anyone?) cooked in a large cast iron skillet with 2 packs of my favorite ham seasoning, and Egg Noodles, with butter, and Parmesean cheese, parsley, garlic.

Earlier in the day (about 5 min before I started cooking) I was gardening, muddy, and tired, got in a big kerfluffle with DH and was in a horrid mood. He was all for take out, but I'd had enough of that, for the week (had been gardening all week and running errands, so just grabbing and going, or eating fast things at the house, I was ready for a MEAL).

Most of the rest of the week was spent eating salads and cleaning out the fridge of various foodstuffs.

I'll try to post more often, Spring just gets me out doors more often, and sewing more for people that move on Island. I'll also post some of my favorite recipes that I make for parties for my friend over on another blog. Hope all ya'll enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

And I do my little turn on the catwalk

So after posting the birthday party, and the cake, I felt bad. Cause really I Can make cake, I promise. SEE.

My dad got married last summer. I packed all 4 kids in the car, and drove from ID to FL in 3 days (with my mom, we'll not talk about that part, no really, on the return drive I was solo, nuff said). I made my dad's wedding cake.

Now if you were nosy and looked through my entire flicker page you might have spotted this. But I'm posting it here anyway. I bought the sugar flowers because I didn't have time to make them (the last time my dad got married I made fondant flowers on the cake too, but I lived in the same town back then) Dh's mom supervised, cause she's got more experience at this than me, and I get nervous on wedding cakes, and it's fun to do things with DH's mom (cause she's awesome and loving and supportive nice and I love her, and well the kids were there and she's Granny). It was fun making my dad's wedding cake because I got to know his wife to be more too. Now it's not like my dad's some serial groom, he's been married 3 times, my mom (didn't work out) and his second wife that died, and now his third.

SO, now you know more about me than you ever wanted, but you also know that I can do more than slightly smooched monkey head and bunny head (from a pan) cupcakes, which was the point.

"Happy, Happy Birthday"

Sunday (a week or so later than I had planned, do to the Snot Fairy's untimely visit) we had DD#2's first Birthday Party!! It was low key, with just the neighbors invited over for cake and snacks.

I did a veggie tray, a fruit tray (with dip, Cottage cheese blended with honey, to taste, till smooth), my cheesy meat balls (recipe below) and cake, my friend and neighbor Amy did the chicken wings (she said she'd teach me how to make them, and I have an extra bag of wings in the freezer waiting for her), there were some crackers and Kool Aid too.

It was perfect, the weather held, there was just enough snacks, and the kids ran around in the yard(s). Between the 4 houses there were 14 kids under 10!! (most of them being from just 3 houses where there are 4 kids each) I'm also including a link to my flicker page so you can see the rest of the pics from the party. I'll just include the pic of the meatballs on this page tho.

Cheesy Meatballs
Normally this is a 3 ingredient list
1 lb 93% lean ground beef
1/2 cup grated/shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

If you are out of Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs (like I was on Sunday) you can use
1 (ish ere on the more side of ish) cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
2 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbs Basil
1 tsp Oregano
1 Tbs Sage
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Moosh the meat together and then roll into ping pong sized balls and bake at 350 till brown.
normally they are crisp looking, if you used the mozzarella they will be gooey, but still tasty. Turns out when you add the extra gooey meat balls to the not so meaty leftover soup it's divine!

The cakes were from boxes (gasp, I know, but hey, I'm not super woman here) and I found how to make the monkey by doing a Google search and Martha Stewart has a video that explains it far better than I could ever dream of doing . The bunny head cupcakes were from a pan I picked up on an after Easter clearance a few years back in Homage to DH's mom (she gave me 2 3-D pans, a bunny and a duck) and when I saw the cup cake pan I had to have it too.

So I called Her Spanish Eyes

DH had an "Early Out" on Fri, and took us out to eat Italian. Yakisoba Saturday, Birthday party Sunday (will blog about party food later I suppose) Monday we had left over Yakisoba and today, the kids wanted Mac and cheese with chicken, tomatoes, and green chilies tonight. Not pretty, or actual cooking for that matter. But there you have it, tasty, filling, and best of all the kids clean their plates without any prompting.

Big plans tomorrow for some "Mexican" (learned it from my actual Mexican neighbors in ID) tomorrow. And some gardening (if the weather lets me). Cross your fingers!