Thursday, May 26, 2011

Servantless cooks

Last night at 6:05 p.m. I wanted manicotti
At 7:18 p.m. we were eating just that.

Start with a big pot of water, on 8, close to high (put a lid on it)
baking dish- ceramic is best because it is cute on the table

get all you ingredients out- it is the best way. Even if you aren't an organized person, be an organized cook, you'll thank me.

Big tub of ricotta
2 eggs
dried oregano
fresh oregano
mozz, shredded
manicotti noodles

Large can of whole tomatoes (no salt is best), pulse in food processor 
can of tomato sauce (straight, not marinara)
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
1 lb ground beef, sirloin or whatever
3 carrots, diced

Brown the beef in a big, high sided pan on med/ med high
toss in the carrots and onion when there is only a little pink left 
push everything to the side of the pan, tip it and take the fat out. Use a spoon or one of those gadgets they have, the one with the bulb... I don't have one. I only have tools that are multi-functional, it's my thang
2 t. dried thyme
put a lid on it and turn it down a bit

***this is a good time to put your noodles in the boiling water, lid off*****

about 5-8 minutes later add garlic, tomatoes and tom sauce
Simmer sauce for about 10 minutes or until you need it
Add fresh oregano if you have it or dried, start with 1/2 tsp

Preheat to 375*

put ricotta with 2 eggs, 1 cup shredded mozz cheese a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin (about 1/4 tsp), 1/2 thyme and 1/2 T fresh oregano.. stir together making sure eggs are incorporated,
you can whisk those with a fork first
Then take a large ziplock and open it and turn down the sides. Set it in a glass or bowl pointy side down (to keep it upright) and fill it with cheese mixture. Twist the bag around the cheese and zip it shut
Snip off the end (small hole is best)

Put enough sauce to cover the bottom of your baking pan
Fill each noodle with your handy little cheese tube-thingy
you can put them in a row or crowd them in the pan
cover them with sauce and foil 
bake for about 20 minutes 
then foil off, top with cheese and it's ready to serve in under 10 minutes
when bubbling and your house smells divine.

I served mine with steamed broccoli which is my favorite right now because it is cheap and versatile, even thought you wouldn't think so.
Once steamed (and not to mush) I whisk 1/2 a lemon with a pinch of salt, some dill with about 2-3 T of good olive oil
I drizzle that over the broccoli and put in about 1T of butter and before serving stir it in (you can omit the butter, but I cannot)

Guilt. It's what's for dinner.

I tried. I really did. I narrowly enjoy the days when I have a cold and feel it is best to lay in bed and hope to the benadryl gods that I will feel like my old self tomorrow, I guess because I get to. When my husband is gone, there is no getting sick, I know plenty of people know what I'm talking about- so ya, today, I gave it the ol' boating school try.
But... I still made dinner and did all the little things I could to help them out. I put post it notes on Q's homework and set the table for them to have a fantastic dinner, which I made before my much needed midday nap. When I woke up they were just leaving for Q's Little League game, which Eddie tried to keep me from feeling guilty for missing but I still do.
I sat out back with the dogs and washed Q's school clothes, I even did the dishes. I guess it is Mom guilt, I mean, I can't even lay in bed with a splitting headache, runny nose and plugged ears without feeling I missing something and mainly missing someone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Totally not fair

No matter how many times I wash my hands, use my elbow to push a door open, use my sleeve to turn a knob. No matter how often I wipe my kitchen counters, go to the gym and take my vitamins, it's all for not because I think I am getting sick.
I have had one child or another sniffling and coughing for the last 2 1/2 weeks, I fully thought I had dodged this one. But no.
I feel bad for my family, as I will most likely be in bed tomorrow. Not driving to school or making dinner. I'm not going to take my daughter to the gym or pick up fresh produce. I'm not going to make dinner or help our son with his homework or give the baby a bath. I probably won't take the dog for a walk and I am definitely not going to get to any of the laundry, the stuff that's in the dryer or the shit at the end of the bed.
So that's it, that's my plea for my family to do the right thing tomorrow. Don't make a mess, order take out and don't forget to walk the dog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

They call this literature?

I'm so uninspired when I ask those in the know about children's books. 
My son is 10, he can read better than I can. No really, he corrects my spelling (whatever, not my thing) and so it goes I walk into random book stores and libraries and ask "those people" about interesting children's books, but I tell them not for his grade, maybe one or two up (we could probably go up to 12th grade but I don't want to seem stuck up) and every time they walk me to the mystical dragon, warrior, vampire, ageless bat boy section. I'm pretty sure that's a section, it must be, THEY ALL HAVE IT.
Anyway, so I'm asking you, the people I am pretending to be friends with and probably would be if I had the time or energy for friends (kidding, I love my friends), what does one smart child read when he does not fancy the fantasy?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Home is where the heart is...

and my husband.
It is really hard to have my husband home for so long. I know I am silly for complaining, and I'm not really but he is gone a lot and when he is home for a couple few weeks, it is nice and everyone gets their fix and then he is gone again and things go back to "normal". Because in all seriousness my normal is being the man AND woman of the house. It's tricky sometimes when he is home.
Our roles gets tangled and I get all this time to myself that sometimes I don't know what to do with it. Or I do and I realize how I like to spend my time and I feel bad.
In the morning I will sometimes lay in bed and get served coffee and flip on a movie and stay there until after lunch! And sometimes I slip off to the movies midday, instead of going to the park with my husband and youngest child. In the evening, I will call the girls and see who's up for a cocktail, instead of staying home and making sure baths are had and bedtimes are met... when he is home for a week or so it isn't so obvious that I'm a bad mother/wife but now that we are talking about a month long (plus he is not going on tour until end of July...) downtime... I'm starting to wonder if I'm just a selfish bastard.

Monday, May 2, 2011

When you are annoyed with your husband and all the things he is doing wrong, rise to the top- just remember what he is good at and what he is trying to be good at.
I did that tonight. It worked.