Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lilly For Christmas

In addition to my fabulous pink mixer, that I am currently referring to as Petunia the Pink Mixer, a few Lilly items made there way over to my crocodile claws! The Gloria cotton sweater is my very favorite sweater. It's cotton, always a plus with this allergy-ridden croc, cable knit and oh so comfie! The colors are fantastic (for Christmas dad bought me the vanilla color but I own it in three other colors too) and it washes well. I can wear it almost year-round. Love! Oh Gloria.... (is anyone else singing out loud too? No? OK well just me then I guess....)



And then there is the matter of this cutie little number. Oh how I love Lilly shift dresses. She has fantastic fall/winter prints but I cannot imagine being able to wear them up here. No, in these parts we wear many layers and ugly Ugg boots and we rarely wear shift dresses and TB flats. You would get frost bite just walking to your car. So I have to get all of my shifty-goodness in during the summer months. Or during my trips to Florida. Actually, this dress arrived in the wrong size (still unclear if Daddy ordered the wrong size or something happened on the sender's end...at this point it doesn't matter anyway) so the day after Christmas I called The Pink Door in a hot panic to see if they would be willing to swap it for the correct size. They were so sweet and it should arrive in a few days. Great customer service is such a pleasant surprise these days! Not that there is any rush.... we got 8 inches of snow today.... it will be a long while before I get to wear my pink and green giraffes. Thank goodness for Gloria, Gloria (No, still just me singing? Typical!).

Best Kid Present Ever


I mentioned a while back that I came up with a great idea for a kiddie Christmas (or anytime) gift this year. I was so right on. The kids in my family were over-the-moon to open this present. It was just too easy to put together that I know some of y'all will find a future use for this gift idea too.

Components:

*Bucket (mine came from the $2.50 section at Target)
*Bottles of soda (I used a combo of fun flavors including Jones Sodas and coke and other random brands.)
*Bottle koozie (You could omit this. I had big plans to monogram them for the kids but then I got super sick and never got around to it. No one noticed anything was missing.)
*Crinkle filler for the bottom of the bucket or basket
*Cellophane wrap and ribbon

In the end, I think the bottles of soda averaged about $1 each. Some were a bit more, some a bit less. It worked out perfectly number wise for the number of children needing gifts in my family. It was certainly one of the gift highlights of the day.





My family also does a Dirty Santa Game/Yankee Trade/Swap (we all seem to call it something different in my clan). The gift should be between $25-$30. I like to stick to a theme so I searched high and low for a beer store that would sell me individual bottles of fun flavored beer. You should note that I very rarely drink beer (like maybe once a year....maybe) so I have no idea what flavors are actually good. I'm all about funny flavors and pretty label art. I neglected to take a picture but I had close to a dozen cool bottles plus a bottle koozie in one of those Target $2.50 buckets and wrapped in cellophane. Then I hid it in this giant gift bag with tons of tissue to throw off participants. It too was a hit.



My father of course waited until Christmas Eve to even think about his Trade gift. Since we were running into the wine store anyway to get a few hostess gifts, I suggested he piggyback my theme and get a bunch of little nip bottles that I could wrap up in a small bucket for him (Target $1 of course....I buy them in bulk when I see them because they come in handy all the time.). This was actually one of the most traded items which surprised me. We are not an alcohol family. There is usually wine available at gatherings but never anything else. We're really more of a water and milk family to be honest. But I guess a chilly winter lends to adding a nip to coffee and cocoa because everyone loved that bucket!



Mostly I wanted to blog about this to remind myself the next time I am in need of a quick and fun gift. Oh and the kid gift could easily be fun chip flavors or candy or cookies instead of soda pop. Let me know if you end up using one of these ideas. They were all heavily raved about at Casa de Crocodile on Christmas day.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Family Tradition?

In my attempt to find super duper simple dishes to bring to Christmas with the family (because I was so sick, not because I am lazy....just wanted to be sure y'all don't think I am skimping on my family at holiday time), I came across a crockpot recipe for boiled peanuts. Growing up in South Florida, which is more of a suburb of Manhattan or Cuba than part of "the South," I never tasted boiled peanuts. I knew of them but I was in college at UGA before I had my first taste of this yummy treat. I knew my family would be full of questions but thought it might be fun anyway. Because gosh it was easy to make. They were incredibly tasty, they keep well in the fridge and freezer and heat up beautifully in the microwave for easy snacking.


BOILED PEANUTS

Ingredients

* 2 lbs plain peanuts in their shell
* 3/4 cup Kosher salt
* 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning (optional but mmmmm good!)
* water

Directions

Place peanuts, salt, seasoning in crockpot. Fill up pot with as much water as you can fit in there. Put the lid on and cook on low for 18 hours.


Yes- that says 18- I thought it sounded crazy too but after trying a few peanuts during various time intervals I realized that it was correct. So start this recipe the day before and re-set the timer before you go to bed. It's worth it, I promise. It's not like you have to stand there for 18 hours so really, no excuses not to give it a try (unless you are allergic...then you should stay away)!

I wish I had a camera handy to capture the bewildered expressions from my family members as I explained the peanuts. Hilarious for y'all southerners who grew up eating these on football Saturdays. But in the end I think I converted just about everyone in the Crocodile family. They were a HUGE hit with the kids- the group I figured would be the hardest to tempt. Who knew?! I think it will surely be a new family tradition, especially for our summer get-together.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Homemade Marshmallows



Wow, I had no idea so many of y'all would be interested in making your own marshmallows too! Of course I am happy to share my (er....her recipe). It was incredibly easy. Time consuming as it is done in two parts- you have to let the mallows sit overnight (or at least a few hours) before you cut them up and coat them in sugar. But easy. Oh, you will also need a candy thermometer. But if I was able to find one in the baking aisle of my never-has-fancy-pants-items local grocery store, y'all should be able to find one too. The recipe claims it makes 24 marshmallows but she must be cutting hers honkin' huge because I made about 2 large freezer bags full per batch. Certainly more than 24. Oh and I downloaded several recipes so the bits that I did differently from the big M, I have noted in parenthesis.


HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS

Ingredients

* Vegetable oil, for brushing (I used spray)
* 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin
* 3 cups granulated sugar
* 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (or other flavor extract)
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions

1. Brush a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish with oil (I didn't use glass- actually used a variety of dishes including mini muffin cups which made adorable little nibbles). Line with parchment (totally didn't do this either), allowing a 2-inch overhang on the long sides. Brush parchment with oil (I used cooking spray); set aside. (I dusted the pans with a mix of 2/3 confectioners' sugar and 1/3 corn starch because I like it a bit less sweet)

2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and 3/4 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, (yes, in the same paragraph she tells me to stir and not stir. Love me some confusing Martha! I didn't stir because it didn't appear to be overly clumpy.) until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 9 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup cold water into a bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften 5 minutes.

4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixture fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla (or other extract flavor). Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours (or overnight).

5. Sift 1 cup confectioners' sugar (again, I preferred a combo of sugar and cornstarch) onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners' sugar, remove parchment (I didn't use parchment but you know
my history with following directions when baking so this is likely not shocking to you.). Lightly brush a sharp knife (I used a pizza cutter that I spritzed with cooking oil spray) with oil, then cut marshmallow into 2-inch (that's huge people- mine are cut about 1/2-inch and that is big enough for my needs) squares. Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (again, I did a combo with cornstarch to cut the sweetness.) into a small bowl and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. (just keep coating until there is no stickiness) Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days. (Other recipes I found said they can be kept for a week or in the freezer for up to two months.)


I hope that I didn't make this more confusing for y'all. I swear it was easy as pie. But without the stand mixer your arm will fall off. I made my first batch using coconut extract and then I toasted coconut and coated them in that too. The second batch I made as it is listed above with the vanilla extract. Both are crazy good. Last night we had another family dinner and instead of adding any sugar to my coffee I added a marshmallow on top. Everyone thought I was nuts but seriously I don't see any difference in a cup of coffee vs. cocoa. Lots of recipes also called for egg whites - let me know if you make yours with whites- I'm curious to know the difference.

Happy marshmallow making!!

No Registry Needed, Thankyouverymuch!

OK so just about all of my girlfriends are married. Or at least in the "forever" stage of life. Everyone it seems, except me. Which is fine most of the time. I'm used to being single, going to events without a guest, not being invited to events with a guest (though did I tell y'all that I am now refusing to even entertain attending a wedding if I am not given the courtesy of a guest invite? I am. I'm 30. I'll probably, most likely, totally not bring a guest as to not use up your chicken dinner budget, plus I am never dating anyone anyway. But dammit, give me the courtesy of pretending I have the option of inviting a date. Let me tell you that I will be attending your event solo. Or I am just flat out not coming from here on out. I'm simply too old for that funny business.), and being the girl who instead of talking about her hubby or kiddos, talks about her dog and latest craft project. Honestly I don't dwell on being single often. I talk about it with a sense of humor 98% of the time. And the other 2% is usually saved for a vent session with Bestie. But there is one thing that bothers me. That teases me. That makes me green with envy. Williams Sonoma wedding registries!

You see, from the first moment I spotted the Breast Cancer Pink Kitchen Aid mixer, it was love at first sight! Oh how I have coveted her for many many years!! But I could never bring myself to justify spending that much on a kitchen tool that really won't be used all that often. I don't bake a lot. And so much of what I do bake is "old school" anyway. Like I make my pie crust by hand using only a hand-held pastry cutter. I usually cream butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. I mash potatoes with a 30+ year old potato masher that probably came from my parents' registry. I know, I bake as if I am living in the dark ages! My point is that I have had big, huge plans to register for this sweet pink girl the moment a ring finds its way to my finger. But um....no ring means no pink mixer. I'm so jealous of all the mixers that friends receive from their registries. It's not fair. I want a fancy stand mixer too!

A few weeks ago I decided I needed to make marshmallows. Don't ask me why. A bee in my bonnet I guess. So I asked my cousin if I could borrow her stand mixer as I didn't own one. Of course she said yes but then life got crazy. And I never went up to her house to borrow the mixer. Clearly not getting around to making my marshmallows either. Realizing that I didn't have this kitchen necessity, she called my dad and asked if he thought it would be fun to get this for me for Christmas. And would you believe that my dad actually remembered that I wanted the pink one? OMG this fact alone is the most amazing part of the story. My dad has total man brain when it comes to details about conversations and life. So my cousins and aunt all went in together to surprise me with my very own PINK Kitchen Aid mixer for Christmas. I had zero idea of what was under the wrapping paper and was in complete shock!! I do not enjoy being the center of attention but wow, they got me good with that surprise! I about fell out of my chair. We don't give big presents like that in my family usually. But never has a gift been more appreciated and loved! I have the best family ever!!



So after sleeping and lounging in best most of the day on Saturday, I finally got around to making marshmallows. I had a ball and never could have done it without the stand mixer. It was my first time making marshmallows (and using a stand mixer for that matter) but will certainly not be my last. Oh there is such a fabulous difference in a bag from the grocery store vs. homemade. The are light and fluffy and so tasty. I made a batch of vanilla and a batch of coconut coated in toasted coconut. I have no idea what I am going to do with two whole batches of marshmallows now but whatever.... She is the prettiest pink stand mixer ever! I'm in love!! And still totally single!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Quick Hello...


I'm alive....I promise I did not bid adieu to Blogville. But the last few weeks included an ice storm, a sorority house without power for a full week during finals, dealing with contractors breaking into and smoking in said sorority house, cleaning the sorority house as it was left in a hellish state after girls fled during the power outage, getting myself ready for Christmas, several major snow storms, and oh, I've been really sick for the past two weeks too. Overwhelmed is an understatement! I didn't do any of the baking that I had planned and plotted out over the previous month. Not a drop! I barely made it to my cousin's house for Christmas Eve dinner. But all of the dinners and gatherings are over for the year. I spent pretty much all of yesterday in bed. Just what I needed! Sadie Kate is completely tuckered out too from playing with all of her puppy and kiddie cousins. At the moment she can't even lift up her head. It takes a lot of energy to be the center of attention!

I promise to be back soon with pictures of presents, stories, etc. But until then, I'm wishing everyone a belated Merry Hanukkah or Christmas and a fabulous New Year!!

Cheers!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On My Mind Today....

* Did anyone watch Real Housewives of OC last night? I rarely defend Vicky, but come on Jeana! I can't believe how mean she was to Vicky at lunch, defending V's ex-hub. I have no idea what that back story is, but to press the issue when her friend was clearly so upset was just mean and out of line. I'm sad Lorie left but totally predicted it would be the case. I hope she participates in the reunion show to update us on everything. I think Gretchen is my new favorite. She's adorable but seems to be the most realistic (or least unrealistic?) of the bunch. She is so sincere in loving and taking care of her fiance.

* I think I am the only person alive who is less than thrilled with the idea of Caroline Kennedy receiving Hillary Clinton's senate seat. Quite frankly, it ticks me off! Though I don't really like Andrew Cuomo any better for the position. First, she has made a career of staying out of the public eye. Something I admire and appreciate. But now when the job doesn't involve any of the nastiness and public scrutiny involved in actually running for an office, it's all she can talk about. Second, hello, she threw Clinton under the stinkin' bus just a few short months ago when she backed Obama. And now wants the woman's job? How is it that this is not a lead story? It's irony and gossipy and it annoys me to not end. I don't actually think her support or that of her family had a lick to do with the election outcome. Nor do I believe SNL skits or the Texas Ranger TV guy had a smidge of an impression. They were entertainment and possibly had a financial value but in the end I like to hope that Americans left all that mumbo jumbo out of it. Anyway, for no particular reason and every reason all at the same time, I hold a grudge to the idea of Caroline getting that position. But like so many things in life, she'll probably get it and stay in the senate for life. I'd like to send her a little note to remind her that there is a whole, great big, gigantic state just north of the island of Manhattan. NY politicians love to pretend the rest of the state doesn't exist. Hmph!!

* Six days ago we had an ice storm up here. Are you aware of that Caroline? Probably not. But anyway, we did. And it sucked. Something like 70% of the city lost power. Ice + no heat = rather cold. Thankfully my house never lost power or even cable. How I lucked out is beyond me but trust me, I am a very grateful crocodile!! The sorority house was about half full of girls who were still in town taking their final exams when they lost power. They all managed to find friends to stay with, but it has been a headache to say the least. The street actually did not lose power- just our house. And only because so many trees came down on the property and they power company had to turn it off for safety reasons. So the last five days have consisted of PPC and A (another local advisor) running over to the house several times a day to meet with contractors and electricians and sisters. We do have someone in charge of the house but she does not live close. Instead she barks out orders to A and me to do everything, is never polite and has yet to once ask or say please/thank you. It's getting old and fast! I really need someone local to take over that position. The girl in charge is a nice person, she is just not close and doesn't have the most charming communication skills. I am forever apologizing to her for things that are not my fault just to try to keep the peace and make her feel better. Cross your fingers that the house is powered back up by tomorrow as I will be there all day with contractors. One of these years I am just going to refuse to volunteer for anything to avoid getting myself into these pickles again.

* I had to go to the dark and abandoned sorority house at flippin' 11PM last night to meet a contractor to check the generator and pipes. Guess who sat there watching the snow fall for more than a half hour? Yeah, yours truly. Contractor man, who insisted that we had to meet at that very hour and no earlier, stinkin' stood me up! I was not a happy camper. He has yet to call me today!

* I woke up this morning with a throat tickle and a cough. I'm blaming my snowy excursion in the dark, middle of the night!

* In need of some cozy comfort food to cure my chest congestion and grumpy mood, I have a chicken pot pie in the oven. Mmmmm, it smells amazing! I love how something so ridiculously simple can be so incredibly good!

* I'm pretty sure a mug of hot buttered rum or cocoa is in my near future, too!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Swaptastic!!

My Holiday Swap partner was the fabulously adorable Hollie! And did she ever spoil me rotten!! It also did not sink in until a few days ago that she is also a sorority sister. How I missed that is beyond me, but at least I finally know it now. A swap buddy, a sorority sister and my very first bloggy Facebook friend!

This is what I sent to her....


This little cluster of items represents my family Holiday traditions. Baking pies and cut out cookies is a long standing Crocodile tradition. It's messy goodness at its finest. And calories don't count in the month of December, right?



This group is just because...


This is To: Janie, Love: Sadie Kate...



This stuff is made by me...



These are some holiday decorations for her. I made a second wreath for Hollie- I don't want you to think I took my first wreath off my door and shoved it in a box. No, no, it's a new wreath with several fun Lilly P fabrics in there for extra preppy goodness.



And from sweet Hollie to me...



To Sadie Kate, From Janie....


(Momma, I don't feel like posing for a picture!)


(OK, but take it quickly....my buddy Janie sent me a present!)


(What is it, momma?!)


(A super duper fun doggy toy! I LOVE it! I love to run through the house with it while Momma chases me!)


A beautiful ornament!




A great apron and matching oven mitt. Seriously, this is so fabu! The colors, style and fabric are just fantastic!! I love love LOVE this present!!




Thanks Hollie and Janie! This was a divine way to start off our holiday season!

Hugs,
KK and Sadie Kate



Friday, December 12, 2008

A Little Bit Of Facebook-itis

OK so it turns out Facebook is a ball. I'm sure my fascination will wear off shortly but at the moment I am getting a kick out of seeing what my childhood friends look like now. Who is married and who has kids and where people live....so fun!

One of my elementary school pals has our class pictures from K-5th grade on her page. Seriously adorable! One year I rocked the 80's side pony tail. Another year I was in my brownie uniform. Which seems odd to me- who wears that on class picture day? I'm sure I insisted on it. I was just as bossy back then as I am today. But the scary revelation came when I looked at my second grade class photo. I was wearing jeans (white washed of course!) and Keds and a polo shirt. Now I like to think that my style is up to date but the fact that I wear practically that same exact outfit at the age of 30 has me a bit worried. Did I dress like a 30-year-old back then or do I dress like a seven year old right now? Is this a chicken/egg issue maybe? Either my wardrobe is timeless or completely dated.

I also think it's funny to remember that I was obsessed with pants and shorts (remember I grew up in south Fla) for many years in elementary school. I only wore dresses to church and Cotillion. As an adult I would rather wear a dress than anything else. Well, in the summer that is. It is far too cold in the winter to even think about a dress unless I am going to a wedding or something crazy like that.

I am realizing that is post is pointless. But I will admit that FB is sort of really fun. For now. The novelty is sure to run out in the near future.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

As American As

Looky loo .... this baby just came out of my oven. It might not be the most beautiful apple pie in the world but trust me, it sure is the most delicious!! Crisco really does make the best crust. Mmmmm ... my house smells amazing right now!

Google Mislead You

Hehehe- someone in the UK googled "dirty words" and was lead to my last post. I think google mislead you, my naughty friend. I'm not sure what I find funnier....the fact that someone had to google to find dirty words or the fact that my preppy little blog was the result of their search. Either way, I'm giggling!! I mean, was this person sitting around typing an email and thinking, I need a meaner, dirtier word? Are they trying to be cutting edge with their potty mouth vocabulary? What an odd thing to google! So funny.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dirty Words

My weather man keeps saying the most terribly dirty words on TV. I can't believe they aren't bleeping him saying such crass things like "ice," "snow," and "wintry mix!!" Oh the nerve he has telling me to "buy salt" and "windshield spray!" SATC I will watch, but this sort of blasphemy is really just too much for my sensitive ears!!

To compensate my grumpy mood I am thinking of baking an apple pie tonight. We'll see if I am still motivated to make a crust and peel a zillion apples after dinner.

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Are You Saying I'm Not Natural?



Last week I got a hair cut and highlights. I wait as long as possible before I go because my hair grows so quickly. Not to mention, I have short hair. Which requires a great deal more maintenance than long hair. So I wait until it is just beyond pretending it doesn't look terrible. And whew...I now feel so much better with a cute cut and color!!

This weekend I asked my dad if he noticed the difference in my hair. Of course he said no. Men never notice important stuff like that, especially dads! When I asked how he could not notice the color as my roots were half way down my head before (OK not really that bad but they were noticeable for sure), he said that he liked the streaks!! STREAKS!! What?! My hair looks streaky? OMG OMG OMG!! He said "or whatever you call it. One of the secretaries in my office has streaks of color like that and it looks nice." I about fell over! I have visions of 1985 punk rockers with blue streaked hair. I think he meant highlights but now I obsess about my hair every morning in the mirror. A serious complex is being developed here all because of some secretary in my father's office!

Then on Sunday, two different woman complimented my hair color. Um....I pay good money for this color to look au natural. I am beginning to think I look like a two bit hooker!!

My hair used to be blonde. So blonde that until I was three you couldn't even tell I had any hair. Then in junior high it started to turn golden blonde. Then dark blonde. I think I can still call it blonde....ish, but it is getting darker by the day. It's a very sad state of affairs, friends! I would love to dye my whole head at home but am too nervous that I will end up looking like Orphan Annie. So until I work up the nerve to do it myself, I am stuck paying for "streaks" and hoping that I fool people that they are totally natural. Which apparently....they are not at all fooled by my little hair scam. Drats!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Baking Gone Bad

This weekend is my monthly chapter meeting for sorority and I had big plans two months ago to order cute squirrel cookies from Laura. But I never actually told her the date that I needed them so hopefully this will serve as a reminder to myself to order them for our January meeting. I wanted to bring a little something for my girls though. This is our changing of the guard meeting. The last meeting for old officers and first meeting for new officers. So a full house. I also made them move the meeting from Sunday to Saturday to accommodate my own personal plans so a little sugar seems the least I can do, right? I decided (at like 7PM mind you) that I would make whoopee pies. I've been wanting an excuse to make them for a few years now and this is finally it. If you, a bright blogger, decided to make something new, would you go online to search for exact directions? You would, wouldn't you? Yeah, well, I am not you. No, no, no. I instead figured, I'll just use cake mix from a box (remember I don't actually like cake so I don't have any strong feelings towards boxed cake mix). So I ran to the market and bought two boxes of cake mix and four tubs of frosting. First I made the carrot cake according to the directions. I didn't change a thing. I started by scooping two tablespoons and then shifted to single tablespoons and I still don't know which I prefer. They did puff up nicely but none of them are the desired circle shape. I have the same issue when I make pancakes twice a year. Next I mixed up the lemon cake mix according to the directions. Actually I left out about 1/5 of the water but everything else was the same. They flattened out like pancakes. No matter how many tablespoons or how far apart I separated them....little yellow pancakes. But by now it was around 10PM (I really know how to rock the house on a Friday night!) and I just wanted to make it work. So I got busy adding frosting between two similar shaped blobs. A few of the carrot cake pies look good. None look like I had envisioned. Because I was experimenting, they are all different sizes. Like some of the carrot are the size of my hand and some of the lemon are the size of a large coin. Whatever, I wrapped them up anyway. I'm pretty sure they will still eat them. I sure as heck don't want them.







So the next time I make a batch of whoopee pies (or anything else new to me for that matter), I will be sure to seek out some actual directions. Oh and despite the small size of those frosting tubs, you really do only need one per box of cake mix. Thus I have two left over from this experiment gone awry. Many lessons were learned!

Oh and after my baking disaster was cleaned up and ready for to go, I finally made myself a Facebook page. I am not at all convinced this is something I care about but good golly people have been nagging me so I signed up. So far I think it is more confusing and less fun than my Myspace page and um....I never check that darn thing....so I cannot imagine this will bring me any great excitement. We shall see...

Friday, December 5, 2008

So Odd...

OK I have to quickly share this odd story with y'all. I just called this company to order a component of my Christmas gifts to my cousins (actually the children of my cousins but y'all probably don't care about those details). I've never ordered from this company before but now that I have my fancy pants (and so far not that frequently used ....mostly because it scares me a little bit....but I'm working through my issues....I think!) embroidery capable sewing machine, I thought this would be a fun gift component when a monogram is added. (Sorry to be so cryptic- I promise to reveal my uber creative and totally fabulous gift idea in the coming week or so.)

Back to my phone call.....which is the point of this post.

I called. Someone answered- I think this someone was a male- but towards the end of the conversation I was questioning that initial assumption. The person mumbled and I could barely hear him and definitely could not understand him. So I questioned if I had dialed the correct number. He (or she....still unsure) said yes. I told him what I wanted to order and he asked what extension I needed. I scrolled online and answered. I was totally confused but went with it. So then it got really really weird. Because he was sort of mumbling to himself- sounded as if he started Friday Happy Hour a wee bit early at his desk- and humming. Like pretending to connect me to another number but he never left the phone. This went on for a minute or two but of course felt like forever. So finally he stopped mumbling and humming pretend elevator music and asked what I would like to order. I was at this point beyond baffled and asked if this was a joke. He (now sounding a bit more like a she) said no (as if I was crazy for asking as much) that it was the end of the day and he was a bit punchy. I was too weirded out. So I calmly said that this was odd and that I would just call another company instead.

Dude, have you turned on the news lately? Business is falling apart right and left. And instead of selling me a box of your products, you chose to completely creep me out and force me to buy my box-o-product elsewhere.

But no fear, creepy man-woman! I googled and found a company I like so much better. A company with the capabilities for me to order online. A company with a greater variety of products. A company that, as far as I can tell, refrains from making customers get the heeby-jeebies. Isn't that just so odd? Maybe it's a "had to be there" story but trust me, it was bizarre!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

An Unnamed Dish

I hope everyone had an awesome Turkey Day last week! Mine was fantastic. Nothing fancy or extra special- just me and 12 other family members sharing a meal and some laughs up in the mountains. Sadie had THE BEST time with two of her puppy cousins. The three of them ran and ran and ran around the fenced-in and snow-filled back yard for hours on end. All three needed several days of rest after all of that puppy fun!

I do not participate in Black Friday. First of all, that name makes me think of war or death or something scary and bad. Which actually is how I feel about super crowded malls so perhaps the name is more fitting that I first realized. I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping actually. So I have not met my goal to be finished by Dec. 01 but perhaps by the weekend I can be finished. Actually my most difficult challenge right now is making my own wish list for my father. I always circle items in catalogs and make a list of things I want with links to the items online for his easy purchase. Honestly, the only thing on my list so far is a bread machine. This is a first for me. Not that I am remotely greedy but in my family this is the only major gift giving holiday. My birthday is a token small gift. So Christmas is it. I usually have plenty of things that I need/want. I must be getting very old because my list is now limited to one quirky kitchen appliance. I need to come up with something though or Daddy will find things himself. And as much as I love and appreciate his efforts, its just better for all involved if I give him a set shopping list.

So my crockpot turkey breast was a big success. I ate way too many sammys last weekend. But I am sort of over it now. And left with two containers of turkey meat. So this week is all about creative ways to make turkey left-overs taste yummy and new. Tonight, I made Enchlittoitas. That's a combo of enchiladas, burritos and fajitas. I am not sure what it is that I made but it was amazingly good and easy. Dad asked what I was calling the dish and I answered Enchiladas. He said that it looked like a burrito. I said that I am calling it an enchilada because I used enchilada sauce but I have no idea the difference between and enchilada and a burrito. But to increase the confusion, the insides were very fajita like. If you would like to make this unnamed dish, let me know what you think it should be called. It's quick, tasty, filling and rather low fat too!

Ingredients:

* flour tortillas
* re-fried beans (I used fat free)
* crushed pineapple
* onion
* red pepper
* 2 cloves garlic
* shredded cheese (I used a Mexican mix)
* cooked meat (I used left over turkey but anything would work)
* 1 can enchilada sauce

Directions:

Slice onion and pepper. Mince garlic. Saute all three until caramelizing begins. Remove from heat.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of re-fried beans down center of flour tortilla. Add some meat down center on top of beans. Add some onion and pepper mix. Add 1 tablespoon crushed pineapple. Add 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Continue until dish is filled. Top with enchilada sauce. Sprinkle cheese on top of that (in the end I used about 1/2 of a bag of cheese).

Bake 25 minutes at 350 degrees. I topped mine with sour cream but it's not necessary. I was also going to add spinach to the insides too but forgot about it until after it went in the oven. Next time I guess. It was still mighty delish!

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