Thursday, October 30, 2008
Should he dress up as a Hunter?
A Chainsaw Massacre-er?
Or a Yogi?
Hard to say.
In the end, he has decided to be a Devoted Husband for Halloween, and is taking me out of town for a mini-vacay this weekend.
My Mom and Dad are going to be Surrogate Parents for Halloween. If you see them at the Trunk-or-Treat or at the school costume parade, give them a high-five for me, will you? (And let them know their Parent costumes are very realistic!)
Hope your Halloween is Spook-tacular!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Strawberry Nutella Crepes.
Warm, gooey, fruity goodness.
Many moons ago, before my little sister Competitive Kate abandoned me, she and I used to treat ourselves and share a Strawberry Nutella Panini. They were really good. Until the stupid restaraunt decided to quit making them. In protest, we withdrew our endorsement of that place entirely (if you're a local, it rhymes with Poopas.) And then Kate moved and that was the end of that entirely. But if she were still here, I would have taken her with me for crepe-y goodness. (Wish you were here. :( Did you send my birthday present home with PB&J??)
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
But I almost disagreed when the Oldest Carrotstick and 5 boys walked over to my car.
Did you catch that?
Ok. At least she couldn't be in love with all of them. But what if they were all on her top five?? Then what????
Ok. So. The kids wanted to go to the local chinese all-you-can-eat buffet.
Our very noisy group went in, got our seats, and then went right for the buffet. But when we sat down to eat, it was dead SILENT except for the occasional gasp as the boys paused momentarily to come up for air. The Oldest Carrotstick and I were amazed at the sheer volume of food those boys pounded. I'm sure the proprietor shook his head when they walked in, knowing that his profits for the afternoon would be quickly eaten away.
Finally, a tower of dirty plates later, the ever-hopeful manager was distributing the "it's time for you to leave NOW" fortune cookies, and their growing boy/man-sized hunger was at last sated. But not before the memory of a little fortune cookie prank had snuck to my mind and I couldn't get rid of it.
Cue the flashback:
Several years ago, we went to visit my sister, Farm Girl, and her husband, Mr. Beaver Mtn. in Logan. One night we went to a local Chinese restaurant famed for their Tiny Spicy Chicken and a surprisingly large carp in a disgustingly dirty fishtank. After dinner, Farm Girl told us an ancient Chinese Secret: in order for the fortune in your fortune cookie to come true, after you break open the cookie, you must, without reading it, dip the paper in your drink and then plaster it onto your forehead. Everyone at the table must read it first, before you can take it off and read it yourself. Once you've read it, wad the fortune into a little tiny ball and swallow it. Then, and only then, will all your chinese fortune cookie dreams come true.
I couldn't resist. It was a little like the bridal shower I went to this spring. I couldn't help myself. I, an adult authority figure misused my powers to convinced these silly silly kids to eat paper. One by one, they broke open their cookies, pasted their fortunes on their foreheads, and then looking at me for reassurance -- which I gave them with a big thumbs up -- wadded them up in a ball and tossed 'em back with a swig of lemonade.
It was awesome.
And then they did it again.
I reassured them that the paper was just a bit of added fiber.
I know they appreciated the added bonus of a little extra regularity.
Even now I have to smile when I think about it. I wonder if their parents will ever let me take them anywhere again.
But, I promise I won't mislead you on this Good Food Friday.
This Good Food Friday, grab a bag of fortune cookies and whip up a batch of
Lettuce Wraps Will Keep You (on the) Straight and Narrow
8 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp dry sherry
2 tsp water
salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken
5 tbsp oil
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, minced
2 small dried chilies, (optional)
1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots, minced
1 (8 oz) can water chestnuts, minced
1 package cellophane Chinese rice noodles, prepared according to package
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp. cornstarch
Iceberg lettuce "cups" leaves (or Bibb or Romaine)
Cover mushrooms with boiling water, let stand 30 minutes then drain. Cut and discard woody stems. Mince mushrooms. Set aside. Mix all ingredients for cooking sauce in bowl, and set aside.
In medium bowl, combine cornstarch, sherry water, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and chicken. Stir to coat chicken thoroughly. Stir in 1 tsp. oil and let sit 15 minutes to marinate.
Heat wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add 3 TBSP oil, then add chicken and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
Add 2 TBSP oil to pan. Add ginger, garlic, chilies(if desired), and onion; stir fry about a minute or so. Add mushrooms, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts; stir fry an additional 2 minutes.
Return chicken to pan. Add mixed cooking sauce to pan. Cook until thickened and hot. Break cooked cellophane noodles into small pieces, and cover bottom of serving dish with them. Then pour chicken mixture on top of noodles. Spoon into lettuce leaf and roll.
These are yummy. And they are good for you. I'm not lying. Seriously. And the cellophane noodles are cool to make -- they are the ones that puff up really fast when you put them in hot oil. But, the wraps are ok without them, if you don't want to mess with another step.
Really. Trust me! Would I ever mislead you?
chinese buffet picture by Midtown Lunch
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Apparently I lost most of you on my last post.
You probably clicked away from my blog, scratching your head and thinking "huh?"
Treat=Poet(ry)? Doesn't really make sense.
Reaching, my friends. That is what we call reaching, or even: grasping.
Yesterday the Oldest Carrotstick
(who is not seeing eye to eye with me much this week)
accused me of not being "real" on my blog.
So here it is
The Real Truth of it All:
Are you ready?
Sometimes I feel like my soul is being sucked out of me.
It's probably lodged in the vacuum with all the dog hair and dust bunnies.
I don't know for sure.
On the flip side, at times, the Oldest Carrotstick thinks I'm the Dementor to her Harry Potter. (Remember Killer of Joy?)
And sometimes the Oldest Carrotstick thinks I'm mean.
And sometimes I have to remind myself that the Oldest Carrotstick's brain is slowly being rewired during these trying teen-age years.
And that, my friends, is the real 4-1-1.
She is a good, darling girl.
I LOVE her.
I still love being a mom.
But motherhood can have it's moments, all the same.
That's when it's good, very good, to read this talk by Elder Ballard from April General Conference.
We will survive.
(but thank goodness PB&J -- the Great White Hunter-- is back.)
Just trying to keep it real.
fish picture originally downloaded by imapix
wire picture originally downloaded by Janet Leadbeater
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I have the highest regard for really good poets and poetry. I think this part of Tate's poem is genius:
"Then Dr. Bluespire leaned over his shoulder
and whispered into his ear:
"You look like a god sitting there.
Why don't you try writing something?"
Genius! I tell you!
And poetry seems to be a great way to express ideas difficult to convey in regular prose.
It's just that so often poetry doesn't go beyond the typical AA BB CC rhyme pattern --
Mary had a little lamb --
It was a girl, and not a ram.
It followed her to school one day
And there for 12 years had to stay.
And when 'twas time to grad-u-ate
Her love for learning did not sate
Lo, six more years did pass away
The lamb had earned her M.B.A.
See, it rhymes, but it's not great poetry by any means.
So, all poetry is not created equal. That little rhyme by no means compares to Shakespeare, or the artist commonly known as Shakespeare -- whoever he really was.
Once, a long long time ago, I had to take a class called "The Rhetoric of Shakespeare". It was taught by a man named Gideon. Not the Gideon of Gideon's Bible. But his name did bring to mind the youngest brother in 7 Brides for 7 Brothers. I longed to call him
just one time.
I waited, in vain, the entire semester for this Gideon to break out in song and dance on the rafters at a barn raising. It would have made class much more interesting. Especially since it was a night class, and those are incredibly long and somewhat mind numbing.
One thing Professor Gideon did do -- long may his tenure reign -- was make us write a Shakespearian type sonnet -- a fourteen line poem, in iambic pentameter. As an example, he wrote a lovely sonnet to Toast. I, myself, failed miserably in sonnet writing. I kept trying to force the meter, and he would not let me get away with it. I rewrote and rewrote and rewrote. I don't think I ever got it right. And I won't even tell you what my grade was.
All of that is just to say that I do admire and respect a good poet and his/her work.
So for this Trading Treats Tuesday, I am celebrating: Poetry, especially if it says what we ourselves can't find the words to say. And I'm also admiring -- poets who choose to write in iambic pentameter and do it right.
In parting, let me share one of my favorite works of performance art. Just a word of warning, the subject matter is definitely not G rated. Maybe more PG. It's Mike Meyers. What more can I say.Oh wait! Before we part ways, I must announce the winner of my giveaway! After an extremely random generation: Nanette wins! I'll send you your loot ASAP. As always, thanks for playing!
And, last but not least,
What's your treat for today?!
Monday, October 20, 2008
funny because the poet pokes snarky fun at poets in general -- who, as a group, seem to take themselves all too seriously -- why else do they wear all black, or tweed sportcoats with elbow patches and turtlenecks? or fedoras? or bowties? -- things that make no sense at all. A blatant stereotype, I know. But most stereotypes are based on some fact.
teaching the ape to write poems:
first they strapped him into the chair,
then tied the pencil around his hand
(the paper had already been nailed down).
Then Dr. Bluespire leaned over his shoulder
and whispered into his ear:
"You look like a god sitting there.
Why don't you try writing something?"
Sunday, October 19, 2008
And look, a picture of that cute little Ellie Mae.
Kind of a grumpy old gal, isn't she?
½ c reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tblsp Asian sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 Tblsp sugar
4 Tblsp season riced vinegar
2 Tblsp plus 1 Tsp minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ lbs beef skirt steak
1 c long-grain white rice
½ small head Napa cabbage (about 8 oz) thinly sliced (4 c)
1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into matchstick-thin strips
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick-thin strips
3 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally
1 Tblsp sesame seeds, toasted
Did I hear a "yes, ma'am"?
That's what I thought.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
and then BYU lost.
trust fall picture originally downloaded by wellohorld
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I really do.
But that's not my Treat for today. Oh no. Even though one of my favorite talks was by President Uchtdorf. (The Oldest Carrotstick really likes President Uchtdorf -- mostly because she thinks he has great hair.)
In his talk from the Relief Society Broadcast he talked about being creative and compassionate. It was good. You can read it here, if you missed it.Now, even though my procreative powers haven't turned out to be very strong, I do like to make things. At one point, in a former life, I was even guilty of excessive scrapbooking. I know, it's hard to believe because I don't have a single scrapbook in my house. Actually, that's not true. I have two empty binders. But somewhere, floating around in my craft room, is a collection of finished random scrapbook pages. With that fact haunting my past, I do still regularly exchange "paper crafts" with some friends.
This last exchange did not go well -- for me. Everyone else's projects were cute and darling. But even after much weeping, wailing, and teeth gnashing, mine ended up being, well, just dumb. And ugly. And stupid. I felt guilty about even giving them to my friends. But something was expected, so I had to hand them over. I felt compelled to wear sunglasses and trenchcoat to the exchange, so no one would recognize me. Not really. But I thought about it.
The whole experience was very demoralizing. I was about ready to sell all my scrapbooking crap on eBay.
But President Uchtdorf's talk convinced me to try, try again. And then, our ward hosted a fun Super Saturday this last weekend where I became addicted to making these:
(They are silk flower clips. They are cute -- in case you couldn't tell. And I know why people sell these -- because they are so fun to make that they just can't stop, even though they don't need anymore themselves. I made them because they were there, but the Oldest Carrotstick is in love with them and has coordinated all her outfits this week to match the flower clips. She is wearing a yellow one today, clipped to a headband. She wore the purple center clip yesterday and said she even had a couple of boys compliment her on it. She thinks it's weird when boys notice those sorts of things. Wow!! I am really feeling chatty today. It's like I haven't talked to an adult in a month! I'm almost finished, I promise.)
So, long story short, the flower clips reaffirmed President Uchtdorf's talk -- creating is good. And, enjoying the good karma from the clips, I decided to remake my Halloween paper crafting projects. And they turned out so much better this time!
And guess what?
I made extras! So, if you want to leave me a little comment on this post -- and you have till the next Trading Treats Tuesday to comment -- I will enter all the comments into a bowl or Random Generator and pick a winner. And then next Tuesday, a little ghost might deliver the following collection of Halloween goodies on your doorstop, or mailbox.
There. I'm finally done.
My Treat: successful creativity.
Your Treat: tell me, and you might win these: Cards.
Maybe if you really twist my arm, I'll make you a flower clip.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
He should be very, very scared.
Monday, October 6, 2008
As you know, General Conference was last weekend.
And you know how we like to commemorate conference -- listening to it on the radio as we camp in the mountains.
I was going to gloat about how beautiful the mountains were, and tell you how much fun we were going to have, and list all the yummy food we were going to make and eat, and in general, really rub it in, since you are so far away and wouldn't be able to join us this year. Just so I could make you jealous. (Aren't I a nice big sister?)
Unfortunately, due to inclement weather, we were unable to celebrate conference in the traditional way. Conference was wonderful, as usual. We really enjoyed it. But it would have been fun to be in the mountains.
And since my evil plan to make you jealous won't work, I'm going to have to settle for trying to make you homesick.
So, dear family, while you are far, far away, this is what your homeland looks like:
Enjoy our autumnal splendor!
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Have a good look at their glare grease. Rainbows. Not very intimidating, is it?
Not like this guy:
And, in fact, I would have to question the rainbows effectiveness at reducing glare.
Perhaps they should change their team name to the Rainbow Bright Warriors.
But don't let it fool you. Though the Oldest Carrotstick spent an inordinant amount of time hair fixin',
She's did even more butt kickin'. In fact, she is frequently in danger of getting a yellow card.
The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? With soccer season now officially over, the Oldest Carrotstick's team finished first in their league.
Hurray for the Rainbow Bright Warriors!