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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Dinner done right!

You know it's gonna be rocky at mealtime when the 5 year old comes into the kitchen, sees you cooking, droops his head dramatically, and whines "I waaaaantedd piiizzzzaaaa".

Sigh. I was trying this Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken recipe I found on Pinterest, and some fried rice. After complaining that he was NOT in the mood for Chinese food, I was pretty sure this was not going to be our most pleasant dinner table experience.

After it was finished & the table was set, he came in announcing how wonderful it smelled.   The hubby & I were both shocked.   We asked him to say the prayer, and he said "Thank you God for this day, and for this food - I think I might like it...."   it was all I could do to keep from laughing during the prayer.   Not that this is the first time I have had to bite my tongue during the dinner prayer...  especially when Hunter is the one doing the praying!  Anyway, all that to say, it was a huge hit.   Hunter loved it, even though he didn't think he would, and AJ said he was going to be very upset if even one piece of that chicken ended up in the trash.

It really was good.  The only thing I am going to try different next time is I would like to try it without the breading & frying.  I know it won't be as traditional sweet & sour that way, but I just want to see how it turns out.  All in all, I would HIGHLY recommend this recipe.  And so would the boys.  

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

My kitchen is HOPPING today!!   I spent a couple of hours at school this morning, making copies & doing random odd jobs to help out the teachers, and now I am baking my little heart out!  Tomorrow is fall festival at our church, and I volunteered to make cookies.  I love baking.  Cooking is ok, but I really enjoy baking.   Of course, it is also much more fattening....   oh well!   Today I am making about 12 dozen chocolate chip cookies for the church festival, and figured I might as well make a few extra for the boys' teachers.   Hey, when you are making 12 dozen, what's an extra 3 or 4 dozen???  You lose count in there somewhere.

Every time I take these cookies to an event they disappear so fast I can't believe it.  I have been asked for the recipe dozens of times!! They are always nice & fluffy, never flat & runny. They are soft and wonderful.  If you like a crunchy cookie, bake them a couple minutes longer.  So, here ya go.   My nearly-famous magically-disappearing Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

ULTIMATE Chocolate Chip Cookies

3/4 cup butter flavor Crisco
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips**
1 cup chopped pecans**

Combine Crisco  sugar, milk & vanilla in a large bowl.   Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended.  Beat egg into creamed mixture.  Combine flour, salt, & soda.  Mix into creamed mixture just until blended.  Stir in chocolate chips & nuts.  Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes for soft chewy cookies, or 11-13 minutes for crispy crunchy cookies.  Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.  **If nuts are omitted, add another 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

The best.  By far.  Just ask my husband.  These cookies might be the whole reason he married me.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

paper pockets

today i ripped your name off the board. all the little paper pockets with so many names.  gone.  all of them in the trash.  and it hurt.  it was one more reminder that today is not yesterday.  i have never been one for living in the past, but today i wanted to.  i wanted everyone and everything to go away and leave me alone.  alone in the past.  where i was comfortable.  where i knew where i stood.  where i knew you were there.  yesterday, where it felt safer, friendlier, more comfortable.  today is unknown.  i don't like unknown.   

as i peeled off all those little paper pockets, some of them came off easily.  fine.  some of them were stubborn, and left little bits behind.   i can handle stubborn.  but some of them tore, and ripped, and left most of their paper attached to the board....  and i cried.  it hurt, ripping them off.  forcing them to leave the home they were so firmly attached to.  and i asked myself why for the hundredth millionth time.  the pain was so fresh again.  i was reminded, yet again, that we are not together anymore. ripped apart, just like those little paper pockets.  again i felt angry, hurt, sad, frustrated, betrayed...  and i hated each and every new paper pocket that i put in those places.  more and more and more unfamiliar unknowns. replacing the ones from before.  it's not fair.  i don't like change.

i don't want to move on.  i don't want to pretend like what we had didn't exist.  i feel like that is what they want me to do... but i won't.  i can't.  it was too wonderful.  you can't just ignore wonderful. but they didn't care.  don't cry because it is over, they say.  be thankful because you had it, they say.  easy for them to say.  they didn't have it.  they don't know what i'm missing

 i move on.  i go forward.  i will not live in the past.   but it is hard.  and it still hurts.