Tag Archives: Kitchen Wednesday

Whimsical Wednesday

 

nothatintoyou2

The Mister and I watched a couple movies recently. The one we rented reminded us why we’ve always loved seeing movies; the one we saw in the theatre reinforced our belief that Hollywood isn’t always rooted in reality.

We took the boys to see “He’s Just Not That Into You.” There were a few times that we were really glad that they don’t sit with us anymore (it was rated PG-13, but our version of that rating and Hollywood’s are worlds apart). When there are scenes that we think our 13-year-old shouldn’t see, we’re the ones whispering to one another, “Who are the bad parents who brought their young kid to see this movie?” Then we make sure we walk out after the movie, making no eye contact with our kids.

So what did we think of the movie? It earned our dreaded “rentable” rating, which means it wasn’t worth spending movie theatre prices on it. We went to the $5 show, but that still was too expensive for this film. It did have talented actors and was enjoyable to watch; it’s probably a good date flick. But it had those of us who have been married almost 19 years rolling our eyes at times.

greatdebatersContrast that to the movie we rented, “The Great Debaters,” which we should have seen in the theatre. Of course, any movie with Denzel Washington is bound to be good; he’s such a great actor. I think we’ve enjoyed every movie we’ve seen that he’s starred in. All the other actors also were terrific. Excellent movie, great story. Recommended!


CPS moments

gv-hoodyThere have been several times this year when the #2 son has been tempted to call Child Protective Services. The first one was when I made him wear, OMG, a hoody to school when it was cold. Gosh, it wasn’t like I made him put on jeans and a long-sleeved shirt!  I know better than that. The second? I put our home phone number on his school binders; he claims the other eighth-grade guys have teased him about it. Holy cow! CPS, put the cuffs on me; I’m guilty as charged.

Homely no longer

A quick update on that funny headline in our local newspaper, the one that claimed that “Fort Bend families at risk for homeliness.” The next week not only did a corrected headline read, “Homeless families in Fort Bend County need help,” but they also reprinted the entire letter to the editor. Still made me giggle a bit.

Get ’er dones

I need to fold laundry and participate in Kitchen Wednesday. #2 son has a track meet tonight. The good news (for him) is that he’s only triple jumping, so he’ll be done early; the bad news is that it’s supposed to rain. I probably won’t bring my camera equipment, but I will take the Flip Mino and see if there are any videoable moments. Videoable? I think I made that up!

Final thoughts

There’s no new “Lost” episode tonight. Makes me sad. Very sad.

It’s a Sign

 

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I made someone very sad awhile back . . . and I didn’t even know him.

I had gotten out of my car and was about to mosey on over to Chipotle, the greatest place on earth to eat, when I noticed that a crew was putting the finishing touches on an awning over Jimmy John’s sandwich shop next door. What I saw written on the awning stopped me in my tracks: “Gourmet Sanwiches.”

Suppressing a chuckle, I walked over to the guy supervising the two awning installers and said, “Did you misspell it on purpose?”

“What?” he asked.

“The word ‘sanwiches,'” I replied. “It should have a ‘d’ in it.”

You should have seen the look on his face. Titanic sadness visibly washed over him.

I continued on to Chipotle. After I finished eating the most-delicious food on earth (a veggie bowl of rice, black beans, peppers and onions, pico de gallo, corn relish, guacamole [the best part!], and lettuce), I walked to my car, got in, and stared through the raindrops at Jimmy John’s. This was what I saw:

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Yep, the awning was gone, and the installers were packing up to leave. I don’t think I made their day at all!

A few days later, all was right with Jimmy John’s and the awning:

cpd-final-jj-signAt least it’s finally correct. Unlike this sign at our local Nestle’s Toll House Café:

web-sandwitchSigh! Guess I need to stop in and make someone else’s day.

Ten-Minute Task

box_pse6_150x150It’s day 3 in the Search for the Photoshop Elements 3.0 Install Disc saga. I worked hard for 10 minutes during my TMT yesterday to no avail. Apparently, that disc grew legs and walked away from the clutter like so many other things have done over the years. So I explored my options and decided the best course of action was to order PSE 6 from Amazon.com. It should arrive tomorrow, and then the #1 son and I will have to figure it out; I know there are a lot of changes from version 3.0. There are manuals for $30 (yep, even on Amazon.com!) available, but I plan to check out Half-Price Books and see what they have. I don’t want to spend almost half the price of the software for a manual. Fortunately, there’s always lots of good information and tutorials online.

Get ’er dones

Today is that every-other-week very-important Kitchen Wednesday . . . the cleaning crew comes tomorrow, so I want to do as much in the kitchen as possible in terms of going through the mail and papers and shredding. Tonight is another track meet for the #2 son, who again will be running the 100 and 200 meters as well as triple jumping. Hopefully, he’ll be able to triple jump earlier, enabling me to get better photos. There won’t be a fence around the field event area, so I’m looking forward to roaming with my camera!

Tasty Tuesday’s Aftermath

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Wowzer! I’m thrilled to report that the chicken baked using the Dijon honey mustard Flavor Magic Portion Control Sheets was a huge hit with the boys! They said it was the best chicken I had ever made (and, believe it or not, they sometimes actually like the chicken I’ve cooked for them). The entire process was easy, peasy, lemon-squeezy. Here’s how it worked:

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First, you cut the chicken to size (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts, because I’m lazy, of course), dampen it, and lay it on one of the sheets (above left). Then you put plastic wrap over it and pop it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and cook for about 30 minutes. Then be prepared to bask in the praise and glory of your ever-indebted family who have crowned you the Cooking Queen . . . as if!

I especially liked that there was almost no mess with the sheets, so cleanup was a snap. I’ll keep using the Dijon honey mustard sheets, as well as the Rivieria tomato and basil sheets, with chicken, pork, and fish. I might even try the Rivieria sheet with tofu, since it’s vegan!

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Speaking of vegan

Double-wowzer! While the boys were scarfing down their chicken, I was enjoying my red pepper and spinach hashed browns. They were really good! The recipe was a natural for my limited cooking abilities: It didn’t have a lot of ingredients (red pepper, onion, garlic, potatoes, and spinach), it didn’t take long to prepare and cook, and it wasn’t too messy. I definitely would make it again.

5259-me-goggles1The only problem with the recipe was chopping the onions. I try to chop as fast as I can, but I can’t stand how much the little buggers sting my eyes. If I had only checked out the National Onion Association‘s website! Guess I should’ve figured that the little buggers would have their own site. The NOA recommends chilling the onion before cutting and trimming off the root end last for reducing the tears. Me? I reasoned if the irritant can’t get into my eyes, it wouldn’t affect me. So I grabbed some handy swim goggles . . . and it worked! And it made the #1 son laugh! I did learn that it’s pretty hard to take a quick photo of yourself, so this was the best I could do.

Tonight’s TV watch

bob-harperIt’s an embarrassment of riches on the tube tonight! There’s the second half of “The Biggest Loser” along with “American Idol” and “Lost.”  Whew!

Speaking of “TBL,” there was sooo much crying, especially by my third husband, trainer Bob, on last night’s show. You would’ve thought Bob’s former trainees were moving to Siberia! Man up, Bob!

Get ’er dones

I’ll be spending more time on the phone talking to Applecare. Yesterday they advised uninstalling and reinstalling iLife ’09 to try to solve the GarageBand ’09 problem of not opening GB ’08 songs, but that didn’t work. I remain suspicious of the install disc.

Of course, it’s Kitchen Wednesday, so I’ll at least open mail and shred. There’s always so much more to do with so little energy in the afternoon.

Finally, there will be dinner and TV. How did John Locke die? I think we finally get that question answered on “Lost.” One answer down, 533 more to go!

Squashing My Enthusiasm

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Was it hard to sleep last night, wondering how Tasty Tuesday turned out? The wait is finally over! Here’s the 411:

Possibly the hardest part of making the marinara squash was, no surprise, cutting the squash in half. That sucker was rock solid! I almost succumbed to running next door and pleading with JJ, the organizational wiz and accomplished chef, to help with the unyielding vegetable, but instead I just pierced its skin and microwaved it for a few minutes. That helped immensely. As is par for the course for me, I put the halves fleshy part down on the baking pan, popped it in the oven, and then read the rest of the instructions. Duh! Will I ever learn? So I had to pull the pan out of the oven, season the squash skin as instructed, and push it back in for 30 minutes.

Chipotle logoWhen I looked at the baked spaghetti squash, I was naturally dismayed: There seemed to be a lot of work ahead. This is why I’m usually the simplest of vegans: I can live on salads, which are easy to make, and fruit. Or I can live at Chipotle and let them cook for me. Either way, I’m a happy camper.

But I digress . . . I sat down at the kitchen table to deseed the squash while watching “American Idol” (which we never did finish; got to catch up tonight). It was a long, torturous job, with many seeds hiding everywhere. After a long sigh, it was time to rake the spaghetti-like strands with a fork. Raking = gardening = too much work! But I really wanted to eat dinner, so rake away I did. I finally got a bowl full, added the marinara sauce, nixed the chives (too much added work), and sat down for a taste test while watching the lovefest on “The Biggest Loser.” 

The verdict: The best part probably was the marinara sauce. Otherwise, I think spaghetti squash is too bland for my tastes and much too much work for me to ever make it again. I’m glad I tried it, though; now I can cross it off my veggie bucket list. Oh, and #2 son’s comment was, “That doesn’t look at all like spaghetti.” Doesn’t taste like it either, son.

Ten-Minute Tasks

The NuShield is on the MacBook! It actually only took about five minutes to apply. You can see the edges of it, but it’s not too noticeable. The $64,000 question, though, is how does it handle the glare? Quite nicely, I’m happy to report. I think it cuts the glare a good 75-80 percent, making it a worthwhile acquisition for those glossy laptop screens. Recommended!

mac-mail-logo1The iMac’s TMT is stretching for much longer than 10 minutes, unfortunately. The good news was that the Apple store geniuses put the data back on the computer. But there have been some glitches: First, the system administrator password doesn’t work anymore, which means I can’t install new software or certain downloads. That has to be reset via the install disks (hassle!). Second, Mac Mail isn’t working properly. I can set up the boys’ mailboxes and mail comes in but doesn’t go out. Grrrr! Finally, not only did the so-called geniuses not install iLife ’09 like they said they would, they didn’t reinstall iLife ’08, which came with the iMac! Major grrrrr!!

So along with Kitchen Wednesday, today I will be solving the above iMac problems, hopefully, satisfactorily. Maybe I’ll also solve a few of the “Lost” mysteries in anticipation of tonight’s episode!

TMT? Need TNT!

family room clutter chair5111-post-tmt 

Here are the before and after photos from yesterday’s Ten-Minute Task (TMT) . . . almost hard to tell which one is which! Ten minutes isn’t a very long time, and I even went past that time when I forgot that the awful, loud, incessant beeping I was hearing was, indeed, the microwave’s timer. Thank you, #2 son, for gently pointing out that it was, indeed, the infernal timer beeping for everyone on the block and in outer space to hear (oh, and thanks for also pointing out that I was trying to lock your brother’s car with my car’s key after school; I appreciate that you didn’t laugh too loudly).

It’s fairly obvious that the family room clutter chair needs many TMT sessions, but at least I’ve made a start. Here’s hoping that the next 10 minutes I spend clearing its field is more fruitful. Looks like Lazy Mom Amanda did a better job than I did!

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Kitchen Wednesday

Hump Day means I’ll be spending at least a half-hour in the kitchen, going through the mail, shredding, and tackling a task. I’m going to prospect for gold in the clutter stacker (pictured on the left), a too-convenient place to put paperwork and various sundry items that I don’t feel like dealing with at that moment. I’m sure I’ll excavate some relics among the few treasures. I’m also going to figure out the product on the right. It contains a Cable Photo Holder that I ordered from Photojojo. This is supposed to be an easy way to display photos on the wall; I’ll let you know what I think once I have it up in my office. It has eight magnets for displaying photos, memos, and cards that attach to the thin steel cable.

survivor-tocantins

Surviving While Lost

Today and tomorrow might be the greatest two nights in the history of television: “Lost” is tonight, and “Survivor” begins its new season tomorrow night. We are huge “Survivor” fans, having watched every episode (this is the 18th season). We truly enjoy seeing the different personalities in this reality show disguised as a social experiment. We rate the challenges, try to pick who will be voted out each week, and try to say the Jeff Probstisms at the same time he says them (as in, “Wanna know what you’re playing for?” “Immunity is back up for grabs.” “I’ll tally the votes.” “The tribe has spoken.”). Gosh, I’m getting goosebumps in anticipation! We’re sure “Survivor: Tocantins—The Brazilian Highlands” won’t disappoint.

subway_logo_largeLast night we disagreed with some of the “American Idol” picks, of course; seems like the show just has to choose some obvious looneys to ensure the show has enough drama. Maybe they’ll be booted tonight! As for “The Biggest Loser,” I have only one question: Did Subway pay for the entire episode?!? That had to be the biggest product-placement ploy yet! Well, at least my third husband, trainer Bob Harper, looked gorgeous during the entire show; made it all worthwhile! It’s nice that this season’s “TBL” features contestants who are much nicer than last season’s. It was a veritable lovefest last night when big Blaine was voted off (which he asked everyone to do). I’m sure at some point it might become cutthroat ($250,000 will do that to people), but I don’t think there will be any of the animosity of last season.

Pain in the neck

homedics-shiatsuBefore I could type today, I spent 15 minutes in therapy with our HoMedics Shiatsu pillow. The Mister had bought this over the holidays, because we all seem to have neck pain. Mine is brought about by two things: Working at the computer and stress. This time, I think the culprit  was stress. I felt that familiar stab of pain the other day in Walmart . . . when I walked past Jackson Hewitt’s tax preparation booth. I could swear I heard someone whispering, “Finish looking through those receipts for Romeo!”

Time-Traveling Thursday

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I just had to add that “Time” to Traveling Thursday in honor of “Lost.” I just hope I don’t get a nosebleed while I’m typing (cue the haunting music!).

I’ve traveled to our local library to type this blog post. This is the first time I’ve been back to the main branch in months; it’s been closed since mid-September when Hurricane Ike snatched away parts of its roof and flooded the building. Many books gave their lives that day, unfortunately. But now all the books are back, and there are plenty of tables or cubicles for laptop use, and it’s relatively quiet. And it was easy to tap into the free wifi. Yay!

the-little-princeLast night’s “Lost” episode was called “The Little Prince.” It was in reference both to Aaron, Claire’s son who is being raised off the island by Kate, and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book that I and so many other French students read in high school (in the native French, bien sûr!). There are many parallels between the book and the episode; the best places to explore those are on ew.com (“Entertainment Weekly’s” website) and Nik at Nite. They deal with the minutiae of “Lost” much better than I do.

My next-door neighbor JJ e-mailed me when the episode started and said to stick a fork in her, she was done with “Lost.” And her son was the one who got us hooked on the show just in time for season 3! The time-travel part of the show (or “time-travel crap,” as she so eloquently put it) bothers her so much that she’s throwing in the time-traveling towel (yep, I did that just for the alliterative effect). 

Science fiction just ain’t for everyone. I’m not the biggest sci-fi fan, but I do get hooked on character development. “Lost” has presented us with some very fascinating characters! Our family still feels we have an investment in the show, especially given that it has a concrete end next year, so we plan to soldier on and continue to be captivated every Wednesday evening.

A few “Lost” thoughts

• I’m thinking that Miles definitely is Dr. Chang’s son. He had to have been on the island before in order to have gotten the dreaded (cue haunting music) time-travel nosebleed. He doesn’t remember having been on the island, so he must have left when he was fairly young.

• Sayid is one bad dude . . . loved the move he made when the “doctor” shot the tranquilizer darts at him!

• This would’ve been my reaction if I had opened the box that Sun received: Oooh, are any of those chocolates vegan?? Sun didn’t even pause to think that life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get (she probably never watched “Forrest Gump” while in Korea). And what she was going to get was some heat! Who sent the gun to Sun? Was it Widmore, who is anxious to be rid of Ben?

• When Locke turned over the canister on the beach and said, “Anybody know French?,” I figured it just had to be Rousseau and the other French scientists! And, no, my long-ago, rusty high school French did not enable me to translate what they were saying.

• How exciting was it to see Jin alive (I never really thought he had died) and to see the young Rousseau pregnant with Alex!

• Loved it when Sawyer said, “Thank you, Lord!” after the flash got the people who were shooting at the Left Behinders out of the picture, quickly followed by “I take that back!” when they time -traveled into a monsoon.

• Kate obviously really loves Aaron and considers herself to be his mother. Remember when Kate marveled at Claire’s natural ability to mother Aaron, saying that she could never do that? Yes, Kate, you can!

MacBook review

I had read many reviews about the MacBook’s glossy screen, more of them con than pro. I didn’t think it would bother me, because I’m used to the iMac’s glossy screen. And it’s not a problem at home most of the time. However, now that I’m typing in an environment with overhead fluorescent lighting, the glare is almost too much to take. I could never Photoshop photos here, that’s for sure. When I’m done here and have published this post, I’m hightailing it over to the Apple store a few minutes away and buying antiglare film. Apple really should reconsider its decision to not produce its MacBook screens with a matte finish; it’s much better in all kinds of light (our Powerbook has a matte screen).

iPod Touch update

fingerprint_definitionStill connected to the iMac with nary a fingerprint from the #1 son upon it. He reports that he’s up to the “J’s” in iTunes, as he methodically makes sure that every one of the several thousand songs he owns has accurate information as far as date, artist, and genre. He thinks he’ll be able to put the Touch into operation tomorrow. Stay tuned (pun intended)!

Gotta love the kitchen chair!

Kitchen Wednesday was successful! The chair looks like . . . an empty chair (albeit dusty . . . good thing the cleaning crew is coming!). Can we keep it clutterfree? Anyone taking odds?

Get ’er dones

Not much on the menu today. I easily got ready for the cleaning crew, thanks to Kitchen Wednesday. I’m going to take my final middle school boys’ basketball photos today (mostly of the eighth-grade A team). I’ll see if I can be good and actually cull and upload the photos to my external hard drive tonight. I need to do a DVD backup of my photos once these are Photoshopped, so I can delete pics from my memory cards.

Time to travel on to the Apple store!

“Lost” on Kitchen Wednesday

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Wednesdays are starting to join Fridays as favorite days of the week. I’m appreciating the added structure of the day due to it being labeled “Kitchen Wednesday.” Sometimes all I need is to give something a “catchy” name for me to buy into the activity!

The kitchen is looking like it usually does before the cleaning crew comes, even with the advent of Kitchen Wednesday (it might help to institute other kitchen days, I suppose, but that would, unfortunately, take the sparkle and shine off hump day). One thing that has virtually looked the same, though, well before this blog came into being, is the venerable kitchen chair (pictured above). This is an extra chair for our kitchen table, so, of course, it has become a depository for all kinds of clutter. The tower has continued to grow and will soon topple if I don’t excavate and eliminate. So that’s definitely on Kitchen Wednesday’s get ’er done menu. As is clearing off the kitchen table, going through the mail, and shredding. I also have the screen protector and protective case for #1 son’s new iPod Touch in the kitchen, waiting to be put on the Touch. That’s also on the menu, as is putting our new cordless phone system (pictured) into operation. 

apple-ipod-shuffleSpeaking of the iPod Touch, need you ask if #1 son has been playing it nonstop since it finished charging? Nope, it’s been tethered to his iMac the entire time while he clings to his trusty iPod video. His old iPod syncs to the Powerbook. That iTunes library has been moved over to the iMac so the Touch can sync there. But, alas, there are some mistakes in the library, like typos from iTunes and missing genres and artists. God forbid he syncs a song to the Touch that’s missing its artist or has an erroneous genre! Sometimes I wonder who his real parents are! His room is fairly neat, and he actually can find things in it. And he’s fussy about his iPods! The Mister and I are content with his-and-her Shuffles, which don’t have a screen. So we can’t see if the genre is even listed.

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The #1 son did have a wonderful birthday. One of the gifts he asked for was an ocarina. I bought two, so his best friend (who is in the high school band) can harmonize with him. I also got the Mel Bay instruction book for the ocarina, mostly because I thought it was pretty funny that good, old Mel Bay has books for obscure instruments as well as for the guitar. I learned to play guitar when I about 12 years old using a Mel Bay guide! Knowing me, I probably still have it somewhere. Maybe I’ll find it in the kitchen today!