Friday, June 29, 2012

Five Question Friday!! 6/29/12

Okay, I'm totally party poopin' out here. TIRED. With a capital T-IRED. So, in the interest of giving you an "on-time" 5QF linky, I'll post the questions/linky list and when I get home from work tonight, I'll post my answers!






Dealio?


M'kay, good. I'm glad we could agree on this.


Are you celebrating the 4th this weekend or next? All week? Wednesday only? You can be guaranteed that I'll get weepy over Lee Greenwood, like I always do. Man alive, does that song hit something in me.


Okay, let's get goin'!



Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are, well, nowhere to be found. At all. Anywhere. If found please call me.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, June 29th: (Special thanks to Erin (@emenchho1) from The Life and Times of E1Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, Gas Family (@gasfamily) from The Gas Family, Mama Phan (@MamaPhan) from Boy(n): A Noise with Dirt on it, and Cate (@RndmCrftyGAGrl) from Random Crafty GA Girl for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. What's your favorite childhood snack that you still eat as an adult?


2. What food will you not eat the low fat version of?


3. What's your favorite way to cool off during the summer?


4. What's your favorite summer read?


5. What are you doing to stay cool in this awful heat?



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1. What's your favorite childhood snack that you still eat as an adult?

Well, I cheated. I looked at Sandy's post first and have to agree with her answer of s'mores. See...Mr. Wonderful is the BEST s'more maker.

Seriously. You don't believe me, I can tell...I wish I could send you all one of his s'mores because OH EM GEE. I didn't even used to like s'mores, until I had one of his.

Funny...I'll bet while he was growing up, that he didn't even know he had these super s'more making skillz. He would've been the most popular dude in school.

In. CREDIBLE.

2. What food will you not eat the low fat version of?

Honestly, pretty much everything. But hands down, no fat-free/low fat salad dressing. When my mama was doing the Atkins diet she learned that the fat-free versions of food are LOADED with carbs to make them taste better.

Now, I love carbs...but in the form of potatoes or bread or pasta, so don't get me wrong, but...I'd rather take my chances with fat than carbs.

Wait. Does that even make any sense?!

Nevermind.

3. What's your favorite way to cool off during the summer?

At the lake.

My favorite thing in the whole world is to get super hot, then go out in the middle of a lake and jump in.

That second when your head goes under and your world is suddenly dark and quiet and cool? Awesome.

I get a little freaked about giant fish waiting to gobble me up, so I usually send one of my kids in first to scare away the giant fish for me.

What? You think I'm kidding?
4. What's your favorite summer read?

You know...nothing, really. I used to love a good Jodi Picoult book, but they all sort of became the same.

And I love Sofie Kinsella...but I've gotten away from reading...until the Hunger Games and Fifty Shades series and now, seriously, what on earth will I ever read that could top those?

Nothing.

So instead, I check Twitter. Hey, this is crazy...I just met you, here's my Twitter handle, so tweet me maybe? @5crookedhalos

Sorry. Cheesy, I know.
5. What are you doing to stay cool in this awful heat?


Don't laugh...


We don't have air conditioning. So, when it gets really awful, I head to the store with the kids and shop. Or the mall. Or my parents.


Usually the nights are cool enough that it isn't too unbearable except for a few times a year. 


And, whenever possible, I love to be near water. Preferable lake. But river or pool will do too!


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Phew! Finished just in time to head out! Adios!!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!!





Gah. What a day. Worked the day shift, back to pick up kids, long chat with daycare lady (aka "awesome friends"...acutally, it should be "awesome friend also known as 'daycare lady'!"), quick change into baseball stuff, rush to game, cheered on my boy, stop at Mr. Wonderful's office to look at new paint color, out to eat, back home at 9:15, kids prepped, prayed, and tucked it and now...PHEW. Quiet. 



Time to blog.


Get you your sneak peek for tomorrow's Five Question Friday. And then? Bed. Back to the grind tomorrow and a busy weekend ahead!


Okay, here we go...



Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are, well, nowhere to be found. At all. Anywhere. If found please call me.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, June 29th: (Special thanks to Erin (@emenchho1) from The Life and Times of E1Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, Gas Family (@gasfamily) from The Gas Family, Mama Phan (@MamaPhan) from Boy(n): A Noise with Dirt on it, and Cate (@RndmCrftyGAGrl) from Random Crafty GA Girl for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)



1. What's your favorite childhood snack that you still eat as an adult?


2. What food will you not eat the low fat version of?


3. What's your favorite way to cool off during the summer?


4. What's your favorite summer read?


5. What are you doing to stay cool in this awful heat?


--------------------------------


Have a wonderful night! Meetcha right back here in the am!



In the Kitchen with Gram...Egg Rolls!!

I remember the very first time I tried these egg rolls of my gram's. She had made them and my cousin Anne was eating one and raving about them and so I grabbed one for myself, then proceeded to pick out oodles of mushrooms and decide they were for the birds...too much work.


Then one glorious day, my gram said, "Well, M., we could just leave the mushrooms out!" and my life was complete. Egg rolls minus the mushroom picking outage? Where do I sign?!


And hence, the "Greatest Egg Rolls Known to Mankind" were born. (Hush you...yes YOU, who likes mushrooms and is gonna tell me, "These would be PERFECT with mushrooms!!". Mushrooms are evil. Mushrooms are bad. Mushrooms don't make me happy, they make me very sad.)


These aren't your ordinary cabbage laden egg rolls...these are a hearty Midwestern take on egg rolls whose main ingredient is...meat.


Let's get started...


Plop some ground pork...NOT PORK SAUSAGE (that has Italian seasoning in it...) into a pan whose bottom has been covered in peanut oil. (Note to those with peanut allergies...gram said vegetable oil would be a good sub for peanut oil. She just prefers the taste of peanut oil in this recipe.) Do NOT forget to season your pork. (Salt and pepper.)




While that is starting to brown, grab yourself a celery matchstick maker (not to be confused with a candlestick maker)...aka "Mama". Yes, indeed, I have the fabulous (i.e. "fabulous" = pain in the butt but worth it) job of matchsticking the celery. And slice your celery into matchsticks. about 2 inches long.




Toss an onion into a food processor and process it into a fine dice. Then toss it into your browning pork.




Then, squish your garlic cloves into the pork...you might wanna check on the "moisture" in the pork at this time. If you find it's a little dry, toss in some...guess? Yup, butter!!




Next up, grab your line up.




Drain the sprouts and the water chestnuts...then give the water chestnuts a rough chop. Like this here. (OMG. I'm dying. "Like this here..." Sorry, family joke.)




Next add in the celery, let it cook down for a bit (5 min?) then add in the sprouts and water chestnuts and you'll get something that looks like this:




Now, you're gonna take that pot and turn it into a glorious vat of egg roll innards.


Molasses:




My adorable aunt. I mean, THIS is my adorable aunt. Do not add my adorable aunt to your egg roll innards. I would miss her at family gatherings...we'd have no one to pick on then.




Hoisin sauce:




And again with the hand measuring...sugar this time. Yup, a lot. More than I ever really knew went into her meals! (Secret # 4,387 that I've learned thus far...)




And, all the rest of the stuff. BTW, ginger in a tube? Must. Get.




Mix it all up and you have just created a magical, miraculous dish of delicious yumminess that could be enjoyed over rice...but we're gonna stuff our egg roll wrappers with it...




Crack an egg and find the cutest little girl you know to help you beat it up.




Right about here, if I were a good food blogger, I would show you a photo of the process of egg roll wrapping. But, I'm flaky. And I was hungry. And those dang egg rolls just looked so good I plum forgot to take a photo of the wrapping process. I'll do my best to explain...


Lay wrapper at an angle, so you're looking at a diamond shape vs. the square shape. Take a heaping soup spoon full of the meat mixture and lay it in the middle, but slightly nearer the top. Starting with top point, pull wrapper over mixture, then pull in sides, and roll toward end point. Brush bottom point of wrapper with egg wash to help for a seal and prevent your glorious egg roll mixture from oozing out during frying.


While you're wrapping, fill up your skillet with oil (peanut again, unless you have allergies...then, duh.) and begin to heat it up.  It's the right temp when a drop (DROP) of water sizzles furiously when dropped into the oil.


Don't crowd your egg rolls, just nestle them nicely in their hot oil bath and turn them when they are golden brown on the first side.




Then, if you want the BEST sweet and sour sauce, drive yourself to Byerly's (Lund's?) and get this:




Oops, how'd SHE sneak in there?!


THIS is what you want. Not my baby. If you see my baby at Byerly's, please send her home.




Then, when you're egg rolls are nicely golden brown on both sides, set them on paper towels to drain and refrain from going all Cookie Monster, "ME WANT EGG ROLL!!!!!" on them, 'cuz these suckas are HOT right off the bat.




Not that my burned mouth is proof of that, or anything.


Then dig in and enjoy!!




Gram's Egg Rolls
Printable Recipe


2# ground pork
3 cloves garlic, ground
1 lg onion, finely diced
8 celery ribs, "matchsticked"
2 cans water chestnuts-drained and chopped
2 cans bean sprouts-drained
4-6 T molasses
1 T Hoisin sauce
4-6 T soy sauce
1 T pepper
Salt to taste (make sure to taste before adding salt, as the soy sauce contains a lot of salt)
1 T white sugar
4-6 T cornstarch (to thicken)
1/2-1 T minced ginger (or ginger in a tube...whatever floats your boat)
2 packages Egg Roll wrappers (check in the produce section)


Brown pork, garlic and onion in peanut oil. Add celery matchsticks and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add water chestnuts and bean sprouts and heat through. Add remaining ingredients (except egg roll wrappers, aduh.) and simmer until thick and bubbly and delicious. Begin heating peanut (or other) oil in skillet at this point, to about 350*F.


Let mixture cool a bit (the wrappers get soft and can "rupture" if the mixture is too hot for this step), then wrap in wrappers as follows:
Lay wrapper at an angle, so you're looking at a diamond shape vs. the square shape. Take a heaping soup spoon full of the meat mixture and lay it in the middle, but slightly nearer the top. Starting with top point, pull wrapper over mixure, then pull in sides, and roll toward end point. Brush bottom point of wrapper with egg wash to help for a seal and prevent your glorious egg roll mixture from oozing out during frying.
When you have enough egg rolls for a "batch" in the skillet, begin to fry them, flipping once when golden brown and continue to fry on flip side until golden brown all around.

Drain on paper towels, enjoy when not "melt layers off your mouth" hot! Don't forget the sweet and sour sauce!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Randomness

Story goes that I try to post my "In the Kitchen with Gram" posts on Tuesday, which was my intention this week, then my Internet mooned me and ran away laughing, leaving me unable to upload more than a couple photos.


So, I figured I'd try again the next evening...and then I discovered that my Internet was giving me the finger and refusing to play nice with Blogger. Actually, I can't be certain that BOTH my internet AND Blogger weren't giving me the finger.


Now that I think about it, I think they both were...and sticking their thumbs in their ears whilst waggling their fingers at me.


Jerks.


Anyway, here's some randomness for your Wednesday evening...


Turns out Potter Barn liked this photo I took...they pinned it and then I discovered that they pinned it and then I pooped my pants. I'm sorry if I stunk it all up in here.


Worked today (and tomorrow and Friday) in our brand spankin' new unit that we just moved into! Gorgeous.


It feels like it's eleventy billion degrees outside. And double that INside. But (c'mon MinneSOOOOtans, say it with me...) it's not the heat, it's the humidity! Seriously. It's only in the 80's but the humidity is sitting somewhere around 4,000%. It's true, even ask Sven Sundgaard.


In other news, I am beyond thrilled to be looking toward a weekend of fun in the sun with my best bud, Dr. J.! 


So, that about wraps up my randomness...I think I want a DQ. Oh, wait! I guess I had one last bit of randomness left in me! But now that's it. For real.


Tomorrow...I PROMISE Gram's Egg Rolls will be posted!!








Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Brave"...My Take.

Word on the street is that "Brave" is getting some criticism...so let's talk, you and I. Let's grab a cup of coffee and chat about this, is that okay?


(Courtesy Google Image)

I've seen it twice already...yes, yes, I know it just came out on Friday...what can I say? I'm smitten. Head strong princess/heroine, with flowing locks of unruly red and adorable triplet brothers, sets out to change the age old tradition of betrothal. Along the way she makes a mighty mistake, but fear not (this is a Disney movie, afterall) all is righted in the end.


(Courtesy Google Image)

The "critics" of this movie? They speak of violence, frightening scenes, and nudity.


Let's break these down, shall we?


Violence...


If you are in the camp of the Three Stooges, Wile E. Coyote, and Tom and Jerry being "violent", then yeah, you'll probably think this contains violence. Me? I think that stuff is crazy hilarious!


Cartoon characters walloping each other? "Slap stick" humor? THAT is not violence to me. A shirtless, painted "Lord" getting a "titty twister" by someone in a throne room brawl? Hee-FREAKING-larious!


Frightening Scenes...


Yup, there are a few scary scenes in "Brave" involving one wayward bear and a scene near the end that involves fighting between bears and a coupla dudes thrown around. My kids? Didn't faze them.


Perhaps that says something about my parenting style...take it as you will, but I prefer to look at it as my children are aware that what they are watching is fictitious. All kids are different, even within families, so a more timid kiddo might be fearful of those scenes, but trust me when I say if you cover their ears/eyes they will LOVE the rest of the scenes...which BY FAR make up for it!


My four year old even did well...but since she makes grown men weep with her stubbornness and strong will, she might not be the best to base your judgement of fearful cartoon scenes on.


Nudity...


Folks, we're talking about some bare butts. Let me rephrase that...we're talking about some bare CARTOON butts. Dudes, this movie is based in Scotland!! They don't wear underwear there!!


I'll lay it out for you...a brief scene when one Lord "moons" (you don't see a darn thing except him lifting his kilt to the guys behind him) the other Lords. Laugh out loud funny to me...if you looked up "LOL" in the dictionary, it would have that scene as the definition.


Then a brief (less than 5 seconds?) scene in which a group of Scottish men, having just used their kilts to escape from a tower, are walking away, back toward the castle, and you see their bare naked CARTOON butts.

So, if you are offended by bare naked cartoon butts, then yeah, perhaps this isn't the movie for you. (But really, CARTOON butts? That offends you? And yes, it did need to be in it...nakedness under kilts DEFINES Scotland. Duh.) 


I, for one, LOVED the story of the headstrong princess set on forging her own path and not needing to be rescued from the highest window of the tallest tower...and, a few naked cartoon butts make me laugh.


To each his own, I guess! 


(Pssst...go see it. Just cover your eyes if the bare naked butts offend you...but life is so much more enjoyable if you just don't take it so dang seriously...trust me on this.)



Friday, June 22, 2012

Five Question Friday!! 6/22/12

Sooooooo looking forward to this weekend. Taking the kids to "Brave", a nephew's birthday party, and a whole lotta "not much else" going on!






Had a cabinet maker come out and look at our (never-ending) bathroom project to give us a bid and excited about making some forward progress! (While I had him I may or may not have picked his brain about our kitchen/mudroom/livingroom/staircase remodel.)


After that visit, I see a Home Depot or Menards trip in our (very, very...like "this weekend") near future! I'll keep you posted...and prolly call on you for suggestions for some things (counters, lighting, stain color) that I'm not so skilled at. Sound good? 'Kay thanks, I'm glad we could discuss this.


Anyway, let's get going with 5QF!



Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are too busy to help you get a post written.

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP!

Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!

Questions for Friday, June 22nd: (Special thanks to Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, Stephanie (@Stephanielex) from On My Mind, Lovely Lici (@Lovely_Lici), Dawn (@BoyOhBoyOhBoys) from Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!, and little ol' me ['cuz I'm curious] for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. What do you keep a stock pile of?


2. If Ben & Jerry asked you to invent an ice cream, what would it be?


3. How do you blow off steam?


4. What would you do if you had an hour to yourself anywhere within a ten mile radius of your home...no kids, no hubby, just you?


5. When you were 16, what was your curfew in the summertime?



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1. What do you keep a stock pile of?

There is one thing that I can NOT live without. And so, we always (always, always, always), without fail, have it on hand.

I buy it at Sam's Club...if I maybe think we're getting low, I'll pick more up, so sometimes, we have SEVERAL in our pantry.

Yes, we run out of toilet paper, milk, and bread, but never my "MUST HAVE".

Any guesses?

...

...

...

Okay, I'll just spill it. It's Heinz Ketchup. Can NOT live without it. A1 is close behind, be we frequently run out of that and then I cry over my perfectly grilled (by the hubs) steak while I mourn the absence of A1 at our meal.

But never. EVER. Will I allow us to run out of ketchup.

EVER.

Amen.

2. If Ben & Jerry asked you to invent an ice cream, what would it be?

Easy, peasy.

Coffee, pecan and caramel. And I'd call it "Mama Mia!" cuz MAMA MIA!!! is it good!

This is my standard "order" at Cold Stone...(have you ever had their coffee ice cream? To. Die. For.) a "Like It" (with 2 spoons) with the aforementioned ingredients. Coffee, a little salt, and some sweet.

*groan*

Is Cold Stone open this early in the morning? 'Cuz I want some now.

I see, in my very near future, a visit to Cold Stone after our Home Depot/Menards visit.

Are we there yet?

3. How do you blow off steam?

Well, my favorite way is to spend money. Maurices has been my therapist of late. (Have you SEEN their clothes in the past several months? SUPER cute stuff!)

I really wish my "steam release" was something productive. Like cleaning. Or running.

As it turns out, I hate cleaning. And running. But I love shopping.

I just wish our checkbook loved it.

4. What would you do if you had an hour to yourself anywhere within a ten mile radius of your home...no kids, no hubby, just you?

See above. Maurices. Without shushing kids, or constantly redirecting, and not having to cram us all into a dressing room whilst wrestling kids and dragging them back under the door all while I'm either half dressed or half undressed.

I wish we had a coffee shop in my town. I'd totally hang out there too, if I could. 

5. When you were 16, what was your curfew in the summertime?

So, this is my "selfish" question. The Mr. and I don't see eye-to-eye on this subject, and I'm just wondering what the general consensus was.

When I was 16, my curfew was 11-11:30, but never (never, ever, ever, never, ever, ever, ever) after midnight, 'cuz that's when the drunks start leaving the bar.

My stance: 11-11:30 during the summer. Earlier if needing to get going early the next morning. 10 during the school year.

Hubby's stance: 10 is plenty late on a weekday if he's just going to his girlfriend's house to watch a movie, later if they're out on a date or if he's at a friend's house.

What say you?

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And now you're in the know! ;) Have a fabulous weekend...I have a fun giveaway coming up this week, nothing terribly exciting, but something anyone could probably use! Stay tuned!





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