29 November 2010

This and That

1. Matt and I did meal planning and grocery shopping tonight that should last us through December 17 or so (with one or two quick produce and dairy trips in there).  Of the thirteen dinners we have planned, only five are things we've made before, so be on the lookout for some new delicious (assuming, of course, that they are indeed delicious) recipes.
2. First up on that list was Martha Stewart's Chicken with Prosciutto and Sage.  Matt says that his additions of red pepper and garlic as a base to the sauce, and his decision to double the sauce (we almost always double the sauce) and serve it over pasta makes our version Matt's Famous Chicken Cutlets with Prosciutto and Sage.  We both agreed that it was a make again meal.  Mitch concurred.  Basically, anytime that a meal includes prosciutto, it becomes a make again meal.
    Martha's picture
    Our picture.  I couldn't get a good picture of this meal to save my life. 
    Plus, I was impatient and hungry, so I stopped caring about getting a good picture. 
3. I LOVE Nucky Thompson.  Is everyone watching Boardwalk Empire or what?  Is everyone else finding Nucky strangely attractive or what?  No?
4. Have you seen Baby June yet?  She's a cuteness.  That face!

5. Pretty sure the 'roid rage is gone.  Also, I think the 'roid rage had a lot to do with my being less than enthusiastic about returning to work today.

6. But today was pretty great.  I started reading The Great Gatsby with my eleventh graders and A Raisin in the Sun with my ninth graders, so that was nice.  A little bit of F. Scott is always good for the soul.

7. Oh, and just yesterday I heard this really cool radio program (what am I, 90?) about The Great Gatsby and its influence on American culture.  Great timing, NPR! (And you can listen below.)

8. An exchange (and evidence for why I will NOT be earning any teacher of the year awards anytime soon):

Me: . . .and there's a movie for the play, too.  It's got what's-his-name in it.  I don't know, what's he go by now?  Dude changes his name every year, it seems. . . 

Student: He's Diddy now.

Me: Changed his name again, Diddy?

9.  Matt says that a bowl full of leftover Butterfinger Halloween candy is not an appropriate snack.  I say Matt's not the boss of me.

10.  Why is Fletcher so cute?  That face!

Okay, well I'm off to either ellipt and then shower or to avoid ellipting and showering.  Or maybe I'll just eat some more Butterfingers and cuddle with the dogs on the couch.  Whatever happens, I'm sure it'll be awesome.  Happy day to you!

28 November 2010

Sneak Peek!

Well, I've been a cranky bitch today.  I think it's actually 'roid rage from the steroids I've been taking to get rid of this POISON IVY ON MY FACE!  (Seriously, I'm Poison Ivy Face, part of the next generation of Batman villains.) 

Anyway, I did want to show you something that I thought was kind of funny, which is an outtake from our Christmas card photo session (why is it so stressful to take a Christmas card photo?).  I think you'll understand pretty quickly why this one didn't quite make the cut.

But it still makes me laugh.

Anyway, if you need me, I'll be off pumping iron or hitting homeruns or spreading baby oil over my entire body.  RAWR!

27 November 2010

Well, I Didn't Know You Could Buy THAT at Target.

Today I got this Target holiday catalog/advertisement thing in the mail.  It contained a bunch of decent coupons (coupons I might need to use if I wasn't already done Christmas shopping!) and pretty pictures and such, so I was thumbing through it.  I got to this coupon for Legos, and I was all, "Hell yeah, Legos!  I love Legos!"

And then I looked a little more closely.

Wait a second.

A slave ship?  Really?  Couldn't have called it a "rocket cruiser" or something a little less startling?

Now, I will happily admit here that I am clueless about Star Wars.  I haven't seen the movies, and I don't want to ever see the movies.  But I'm guessing that there is some kind of slave ship in one of them?  I just question the marketing approach in neglecting to find a proper euphemism for the children's toy.  And maybe I'm just stuffy or a prude or a crazy liberal, but something about giving a kid a slave ship for Christmas just doesn't sit right with me.

"Hey, little Timmy.  What'd you get for Christmas?"
"A slave ship."

Maybe that's why it's $10 off?

Thanksgiving Recap

My, what a wonderful Thanksgiving we just had.  This year we decided to do a friends Thanksgiving, so we trekked up to Hugh and Cassie's house for the meal.  I was very excited about the trip because we hadn't seen Hugh since July, because I had hosted Thanksgiving for the last six years and was happy to have a break, and because Cassie is the best cook I know in real life.  This year--instead of hosting a bevy of family members--we were in charge of only two things: bringing booze and making pumpkin cheesecake ice cream.

And then I forgot to bring the ice cream maker.  Seriously.  It was the one thing that I was responsible for.  Fortunately, Cassie was making three desserts, so it's not like I ruined the only Thanksgiving dessert like my friend Rachel did that one time.

The visit was delightful.  We talked and laughed and ate, and then we talked and laughed and ate and drank.  And then we drank some more and talked more loudly. 

The meal was the best Thanksgiving meal I'd ever had, and Hugh and Cassie introduced us to my new favorite beverage, the French 75.  (a.k.a. "Danger Drink")

Here's how sublime the visit was--the dogs even got along (which was a first).  They were basically BFFs.

Fletcher and Mitchell protecting the world from joggers and mailmen.

We spent the next day remembering the amazing meal, talking cameras (Hugh has recommended to me a dream camera), eating leftovers, and taking each others' Christmas card photo pictures (What a great time for me to get some kind of poison ivy rash ON MY FACE!  I will be sporting a hat in our pictures.)

Here are way more pictures from the visit than you probably want to see.

26 November 2010

Striking Resemblance

 I'll be back soon to recap our [absolutely incredible and perfect] Thanksgiving with the White Hot household.  Until then, I leave you with a question.

Is it just me, or does Reilly. . .

. . .look a lot like Dobby?

Also, why was that movie so good?  And how was your Thanksgiving?

23 November 2010


You know what I'm thankful for?
  1. Thanksgiving break.  Now that's meta.
  2. Dogs.  I really can't say enough about how cute they are.
  3. Matt.  I really can't say enough about how awesome he is. 
  4. Friends.  Oh man, I've got some good ones.  I don't have all that many, mostly because I kind of hate most people, but the ones I do have are dynamite.
  5. Family.  Well, some of them, at least.  (Not the cousin who stabbed a cop with a broken beer bottle--or the serial killer cousin--or--shoot!--I was supposed to save that stuff for the book!)
  6. Books.  I don't read enough of them, but boy are they fantastic. 
  7. Food.  Duh. 
  8. Wine.  Double duh. 
  9. Freedom.  And the right to vote.  Duh.
  10. The internet.  I am an addict.
  11. My mother and father-in-law.  I couldn't have asked for better ones.
  12. Having a job.  Yeah, even though, on occasion, it might make me want to pull out my own hair and scream and cry in a corner--I know I'm fortunate to have one.  And, you know, teenagers can be pretty funny sometimes.
  13. Down comforters.  Ahhh. . .heaven.
  14. Sunglasses.  How did people in olden times even live without these?  They must've had really bad wrinkles!
  15. TV.  And DVR.  I LOVE TV and I don't care who knows it!  I love good TV and I love crappy TV and I love watching the news and I love watching re-runs of Roseanne and The Golden Girls.  Judge away. 
  16. Teachers (specifically, my old ones).  It's on my worst days at work that I realize just how awesome they were and are.
  17. Burt's Bees.
  18. Martha Stewart.  See #4.
  19. Cell phones.  So what if I get brain cancer? 
  20. Friends.  Oh how I long to know what's come of my friend Ross.
What's at the top of your list?

22 November 2010

Michael Vick: A Post from Mitch

Hey, y'all.  It's me again, Mitch.  I just have something to say real quick about Michael Vick.

I hate him. Like hate him hate him.  And I always will, no matter how good he might be at throwing or running.

Just sayin'.

21 November 2010

P Cubed

Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas--or P Cubed as we've taken to calling it--has made its way onto every meal list we've made in the last few months. (Seriously--we've eaten it almost once a week.)  The original recipe is from Martha Stewart's Great Food Fast (an awesome cookbook I'd highly recommend), and it took us over a year to finally try it out, mostly because Matt doesn't like peas.  But guess what?  He loves them in this. 

And why wouldn't he?  They're mixed with fancy bacon, and cheese, and cream, and shallots, and lemon zest and juice, and pasta.  What's not to love?

This dish is just perfect--absolutely perfect.  We've made a few slight changes--including baking the prosciutto beforehand and adding crushed red pepper for a little heat.  Oh, and don't skip the lemon zest or juice; they really tie the room together.

And I'm pretty sure that when garlic and onion have a baby, it's called a shallot.  Why are they so good?

Matt loves following directions.

Mitch loves begging for treats.  He is not as obsessive about following directions.

Here's the recipe.

Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas (Adapted from Martha's recipe)

Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound angel hair (or whatever pasta you prefer)
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely chopped (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
8 slices prosciutto (about 4 ounces total), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, about 1 cup
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving (optional)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes


1.In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

2.  Spread prosciutto evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes at 350, until edges are slightly crispy.

3.Meanwhile, make sauce: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat; add shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add cream, peas, and prosciutto; bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer until peas are heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.

4.Stir in lemon zest and juice. Pour sauce over pasta; add Parmesan, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add enough reserved pasta water to thin sauce as desired. Serve immediately; top with additional Parmesan, if desired.

19 November 2010

An Oldie but a Goodie

Stumbled across this old episode of The Cosby Show, and couldn't help but to watch the whole thing.

And, shut the front door! Does Claire Huxtable really have THREE Le Creuset dutch ovens?

And, a quick survey. Who is your favorite Cosby kid?

Gonna Have Some Fun, Show You How It's Done. . .

I was going to title this post "Happy Friday" or "TGIF" or something like that, but last week I did a "Happy Friday" post and Matt said that was a lame name and I was all "Whatev!" and then he just rolled his eyes at me and shook his head shrugged his shoulders in that way that lets me know that he may or may not be second guessing his decision to marry someone who says things like "Whatev!"

Last Friday was a very happy Friday, and this one is, too.  Here's why today is awesome.
  1. I went to bed super early last night (11:00) without doing several of the items on my to-do list, and I don't even care.  I mean, if I really want to walk through the house without my feet turning black, I can just wear flip-flops.  And I'd rather be well-rested than clean anyway.
  2. I am wearing my favorite black sweater.
  3. My hair has been really cooperative today.
  4. I read about this awesome owl calendar generator.  I kind of want to make one for everyone I know.
  5. Every one of my eleventh graders that took the graduation writing test passed!  Today's class was fun (but not terribly productive, what with all of the whooping and hollering).  Even more fun was the game I played with each of them as I passed back the scores, looking sad and disheartened, telling them that I hated to have to be the one to tell them this, letting out long, sad sighs.  They'd be all, "I failed?" and I'd be all "Well, look at the score."  And then they would, and they'd jump and scream.  It was a good day to be a teacher.
  6. Found a recipe for Butterbeer.  Does anyone know where I can find butter extract?
  7. As of 10:28 this morning, Iris and Opal have a new sister! (Whose name has yet to be determined)
  8. Only two more school days until Thanksgivpalooza.  Thanklicious.  Thankseat-a-thon.  I'm pumped.  Time to do some stretching.  (Let me explain to you how the human body works.) 
  9. Matt just brought me a bean burrito from Taco Bell.
  10. There's a box of wine in the refrigerator.

18 November 2010

This post is really a waste of my time and yours. Except for the chicken recipe.

This is how I am spending my time when I'm supposed to be doing laundry and vacuuming and ellipting and cleaning the kitchen and doing lesson plans.  Because, here's the thing: I really don't feel like doing laundry or ellipting or cleaning the kitchen or doing lesson plans. 

I should do those things, though, so that tomorrow when I get home from school I can revel in the fact that I had such a productive Thursday night, and I can walk around the house barefoot (without my feet getting Wal-Mart feet dirty), and I can rub my hands up and down on my stomach and be proud that I'm not as much of a fatty as I was the day before. 

What's to blame for this lack of productivity?  Well, it could be that the time change is turning me into a bear.  Matt insists that I have SAD, but I argue that I do not have SAD; instead I am a bear (Kind of like Yogi.).  I like to eat a lot and then hibernate.  (Granted, I also like to do those things in the summer, so maybe the explanation is more that I'm a lazy bump on a log.)

We could also blame my lack of productivity on the cinnamon glazed almonds that I made yesterday.  See, I let them cool on the baking sheet for too long, and when I went back to get them the almonds were all stuck to the sheet.  So I had to use spatulas and my hands to pry them off, and in doing so, I cut my finger on some jagged hardened sugar.  I would show you the cut, except that it would be really hard to take a picture of it because it's on my right hand.  Also, I don't want to show you the cut because it's so tiny and inconsequential that you would think that I was a big whining baby.  Anyway, I think the cut might be infected, and it's very likely that I have developed some sort of brown sugar poisoning.  I'll probably be dead by morning.

Oh, and this is completely unrelated, but if I'd be remiss if I didn't promote this one chicken recipe before this certain death.  I've posted about it before, but kind of just in passing, and it's just so good.  We've actually had it twice in the last week (gas grill decided that it didn't want to live any longer; I'm pretty sure it was dying of brown sugar poisoning).  It's Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken from The Bitten Word, and it's absolutely delicious.  It's a little bit time consuming since the chicken has to marinate for an hour and then cook for almost as long, but it's sooooooooooooooo good.  So make it in honor of me.  You know, after I die from the the sugar wound and subsequent poisoning.

I get the purple plate and pour the remaining marinade on mine.  Mmmmmmmmm.

That was probably enough rambling.  I think I'm going to race myself now to see how quickly I can accomplish everything on my current to-do list. 

Ready. . .set. . . go!

A Day in the Life: A Post from Mitch

Oh, hey y'all.  It's me, Mitch.  Well, this is just a crazy time of year, isn't it?  I don't know about you, but this time change thing has really thrown off my schedule, and I've felt so behind in my work lately!  (I've been wearing the tie collar a lot, which means that I've been doing reports, crunching numbers, you know, the usual.) 

And now the holidays are upon us!  Goodness gracious, where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday that I was sunning myself on the dock at my grandparents' lake house, trying to keep Fletcher from punching me in the face, and now here we are just a few days from celebrating Thanksgiving with my Aunt Cassie and Uncle Hugh, where I will, among other things, try to keep Fletcher from punching me in the face.

Wouldn't you agree that there's just so much to be grateful for, too?  I mean, there's collars, and jingle, and bones, and couches, and pillows, and ropes.  There's plates full of meat juice and bacon and yogurt-covered pretzels and Kongs.  And there are mom and dads and Reillys and dirt spots.  I mean, what more could a dog want?  (A lake.  That's what.  Hear that, Mom and Dad?)

Well, the real reason that I've decided to take time out of my busy schedule to blog is because I've been reading some really neat posts about people's everyday schedules.  "Day in the Life" posts, I think people call them.  Call me a voyeur, but I just adore hearing about what people do in their seemingly boring, everyday lives.  I'd thought I'd give you a little treat today, y'all, and fill you in on what I do on the average day. 

Okay, so first I have to wake up.  I hate waking up.  I mean, the big bed is so soft and cuddly, and I love lying in between my mom and dad.  But after Mama's alarm goes off for ONE WHOLE HOUR, we get up, and I go outside.  I didn't take any pictures of me doin' my business, because I'm a Southern gentledog.

After that, I stretch.

And I beg for some breakfast.

After that, my mom goes to work, and I go get back in the big bed with my dad.  If there's one thing you should know about our family, it's that we love to sleep.  I mean, we like REALLY REALLY love to sleep.

Well, after Dad goes to work, I usually move out to the living room, where I look out the window and hold the fort down.  I bark at any passersby, and I bark at all cats, and I make sure that nobody disturbs our house.  I especially look out for burglars.  I mean, do you know how many toys I have?  Yeah, they're insured, but still. . .

That goes on for a few hours until Mama comes home, at which point I jump on her and give her lots of kisses.  I tell her about what an asshole the mailman is and ask her if I can please--pretty please--bite him and then she says no and then I go outside.  While outside, I look out for rabid squirrels and birds.

I mean, you have to look out for woodland creatures who have rabies, because if you don't, they'll give you rabies, and then this guy Atticus will have to come and shoot you.  It's true; I read it in a book.

Well, after I know that the coast is clear and there are no rabid attack animals anywhere around, and Mama is  home to guard the house, I can finally relax in my dirt spot. 

I mean, I can lie in my dirt spot for hours.  Sometimes I do, too.  Especially when Dad is watching football.  He yells and claps and stomps and really scares me (maybe Dad has rabies?), so I prefer to spend large chunks of my Saturdays and Sundays out here.  Sometimes the moles come up from underneath and tickle my dog belly.  That's my favorite part.

Now, if it's too hot or too cold or raining or just too wet from rain, I'll relax in the house in my second-favorite spot, the couch.  My Grandma Sue got me this couch.  She's so nice. 

Usually after I've relaxed, I'll try to convince my mom to bake something for me.  I love it when she makes homemade dog treats, but I really really love it when she makes vanilla bean cupcakes.

(Oh man, this one time my mom made those cupcakes for my dad's birthday, and I ate like six of them and buried one in the big bed.  She was SO mad.)

Anyway, then I go back to the couch.

And then I go look out the window to see if my dad is home yet.

And then he gets home!  Oh man, I'm always so happy when my dad gets home.  He makes everything more exciting (because usually at that point my mom is already napping and she's nice and cuddly when she naps, but she's not terribly exciting). 

Then I go show off in the back yard by jumping around like a damned fool and barking at sticks.  My mom and dad eat it up.

And then I go inside and kiss my dad as much as I possibly can.

And then I'm usually pretty tired, so I go take another nap.  This time I might switch it up and lie on the floor.

When my mom and dad make dinner, I try to help them out by begging for cheese or other tasty bites.

After we eat I go back to the couch.

And then we all relax and watch TV and movies and stuff (I usually lobby to get us to watch any one of the movies from the Air Bud franchise).  I like to joke around with my dad while we watch stuff.  It kind of annoys him.  Sometimes we argue about politics.  My mom and dad are democrats, and I'm a member of the Tea Party.  (Go Glen Bark!)

Sometimes we all go outside to the carport and talk, and I will get my dad to hold me.  I know I'm a big dog, but big dogs love to be held, too.

And after that, I wait outside the bathroom door while my mom takes a shower, and then it's right back to the big bed for night night. 

So that's my daily routine.  What's yours?


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