Category Archives: life at our dinner table

New Year’s Eve

After I got home from the bluegrass concert/CD release party, SuperDad heated up a pan of brandy, dropped in some raisins and almonds, and lit it on fire. Voilà!

The name of this victorian-era game is SNAPDRAGON. Technically, one should use raisins for the beginners and currants for a greater challenge.

I think I just blew the “normal family” status.

Friday 5: the college edition

Ladies and Gentlemen, the bird has flown the nest.

1. MusicMan has headed off to college… on the other side of the country.

2. The Onion has  tips on how to keep in touch.

3. Lucky for him, I do have a life, which means I don’t have time for stalking him.  (But go ahead and click the link above, it is classic Onion.)

4. Four minus one really does equal three.

5. There’s an empty spot at our dinner table. 😦

Garden goodness

I am thankful for the harvest from our garden — and SuperDad cooking it on the grill!

garden goodness

What are you thankful for today?

Friday 5-hundred

It’s been a quiet week in Lake Woebegon…
But I don’t live there.

1. I won! I won! It took patience and continued conservative bidding over at eBay, but I finally managed to get the winning bid on an iPod. Twice. Because I hadn’t been winning anything, so I was bidding on everything that looked decent. All at once.  (I’m giving my husband the spare one.) Now I can finally use the iTunes gift card that I won from Thom for being his 1,000th commenter in March.  If you give a mouse a cookie…

2. You are reading my 500th post! Okay, so that’s probably only half as exciting as 1,000th commenter, but…

3. I nearly had something exciting to add: SuperDad called me on Tuesday to discuss a job opportunity… beginning this summer… in Germany. A family discussion on Tuesday evening along with additional information on Wednesday made him decide to decline.

4. Multiple kids means multiple schools and multiple meetings. Welcome to my week.

5. As I write this, birds are singing outside my window, calling to the sleeping sun. I’m not a morning person, but I do love the peacefulness of the pre-dawn hour. And coffee.

What’s brewing over at your place?

My kids are going hungry this weekend…

…because many children throughout the world are going hungry every day.

Our youth group is participating in the 30-hour Famine this weekend to get a taste of what true hunger feels like and to raise money for help alleviate world hunger.


I’m putting my homemaker cap on more firmly for a few days…




Back in October, Melli blogged about a really cool trick with popcorn and I’ve been itching to try it ever since.   Tonight we were all finally available to gather around the microwave and watch an ear of Indian corn turn into this:

2009 November 009

Isn’t that Cool?

2009 November 008

It’s not exactly how the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to pop corn at the first Thanksgiving but it does make for an impressive show!


POTW   Post of the Week, from Hilary at The Smitten Image

In other eye-popping news, Hilary awarded this post as a runner up in her “Post of the Week” award.  I am very honored.

Who knew that pointing out toilet paper changing skills (or lack thereof) could earn awards?

I just want my menfolk to learn to do the right thing…


A while back (don’t ask me when, my brain doesn’t work that way), I signed up for General Mills’ Pssst… program. It’s been a busy couple of months and I sort of forgot all about it… but General Mills didn’t forget about me (which, when you think about it, is kind of nice of them).  In my mailbox last week was a package from those nice folks and inside the brown wrapper were TWO meals, each serving 4 people!  PLUS there were a handful of coupons to purchase more or pass on to friends.

So on Wednesday night, when 2 of the 4 kids were off doing other things, I made this meal:

Romano’s Macaroni Grill® Chicken Piccata

2009 November 002

2009 November 003

The green beans were my own addition.

I was asked to share my opinion with friends, so here it is:

+ I found the flavor to be pretty good and not too salty.
+ I doubled the chicken amount because I feed hungry boys, but we had plenty of leftovers, so I really didn’t need to do that.
+ It was truly ready in about 20 minutes, as promised by the advertising on the box.

– The sauce was a little too strong on cornstarch.  I understand the need to thicken a sauce, but it shouldn’t taste like you thickened it, KWIM?
– It was lacking in what I’ll term “improved healthy choices”… meaning, it could have been whole wheat pasta instead of pale white pasta.  I’m a whole wheat kind of gal.  But I suppose you could skip the angel hair pasta and use your own… that would certainly be easy enough to do.

Overall, it’s okay as a quick meal.  With some imagination, I could come up with this on my own, but for someone who needed to reach for a quick meal in a hurry, it serves its purpose.   I confess I’ve never eaten at a Macaroni Grill, so I can’t tell you how it compares.

I haven’t yet made the Wanchai Ferry® Orange Chicken.

2009 November 007

I’m waiting for another night when I am looking for a quick meal for 4 people.

You, too, can sign up for General Mills’ Pssst… program:  It’s easy, it’s free, and you get freebies! I’m having personal technical trouble giving you a direct link, but feel free to put in a quick search (google, bing, whatever) for “General Mills pssst” and you’ll get there. 😉

And, hey! Yesterday was my 365th post. Who’da’thunk it?

Confession Time

In this post, I made us all think I was going to be making homemade lentil soup and homemade cookies.  That plan bit the dust when I had to pick up H-J from the school nurse because he’d thrown up at school. 

Side note:  I am SO glad my kids all know to make it to the toilet before puking! I suspect many others are glad, too… if they only knew. I’m also glad to have Suburban Correspondent as a friend. She is a wise woman and well-versed on sick kids, and she writes about it here and here.  Heh…and she wonders why I pipe up, when asked what she blogs about, by saying, “She writes about Kids! And Vomit!”

Anyhoo….  My house rule? If anyone has a tender tummy, the entire family gets put on a modified BRAT* diet. We ate chicken noodle soup for supper because I really didn’t want to see a replay of lentils.  I also would not recommend serving spaghetti with marinara sauce in such a scenario. Yes, experience is an excellent teacher!  Well, that and I was sort of busy collecting a sick kid from school when I should have been making supper.

*BRAT diet = Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast
…all good foods for tender tummies

Keeping secrets

Someone has been keeping secrets, and this one is a double-whammy.  I’d suspect my husband, but this is one crazy day he’d approve of, so I’m not sure who to blame.

Do you KNOW what today is?

Not only is it World Vegetarian Day (and vegetarian awareness month or something like that), but more importantly it is …[drum roll please]Homemade Cookies Day!!!
I’m thinking lentil soup for supper with homemade cookies for dessert. 😛