Friday, September 27, 2013

Lazy Mama

Good Evening.
It's 8:46pm and I need to get some writing done, but first I figured I would share a variety of posts that I enjoyed this week with all of you.

Going Gently - Two of the best photo bomb pictures.

72 Hour Bag - Purpose

All Recipes - Cabbage Carrot Casserole. I made this and it was delicious and very economical.

Tartelette - Squid Ink Pasta with Stilton Blue and Fresh Figs is such an exotic sounding dish. I love people who cook like this at home.

Mother Earth News - If you are fortunate enough to have chickens then you are fortunate to have eggs. Well, here is a handy way to freeze the excess.

Hooked on Houses - I agree with the majority of comments in regards to this renovation done by the DIY Network to a cozy little dilapidated beach cottage. All charm is lost. Such a shame.

Prepared Housewives - Make Your Own Cloth Wipes

Enjoy your weekend!

Cheers!
MissFifi


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Just Rambling In My Head

Ever have one of those days where just a million things race through you and then you repeat? Today is that kind of day for me. I figured I would get some of it out here and share the darkness of my aging mind. (BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) Okay, it is not that funny.

For the life of me I will never understand why my fellow US citizens are so damn opposed to Universal Healthcare. Hospitals would not have to worry about being paid, urgent clinics would get paid, medical staff would get paid and no one would go bankrupt from needing an operation or life saving medicine. The attitude of "take care of your own" here really means just your own family. Not fellow citizens. I mean, you don't want the government to help with healthcare, but damn they better stop them gays from marrying!!! To have Representatives in Washington filibuster Obamacare when they themselves have coverage for a lifetime is beyond offensive. Sure it O-care not a perfect solution, but can't we work on it? And not for nothing, these Reps state that we should not chip in for each other, that it is a form of socialism. Who cares which -ism it is you asshats? Do the right thing. For the record, I hate Ted Cruz. Moron.
I really need to go clean the birdbath and give them clean water.
Why can't an elf live in my basement and do my laundry for me?
Tonight I do not feel like cooking. My son had a small "I am tired" meltdown at the same time my handicapped dog needed to go outside. I threw her, not really, into her wheels while he cried that he could not come with us outside. He had no shoes on and my lunch was ready so I had to hurry her. After I came in and turned off the stove, he screamed so loud that I believe the dead are now walking the street. I lifted him up, he hit me of course, then laughed as I brought him upstairs for an early nap.  I fetched his little bear he sleeps with from the wash and he settled down and finally fell asleep. I do expect him to be up in a little while, but good for him getting his rest on.
I still do not know if my story will get picked for publication and I am excited and disappointed all at once. Fun emotions to throw together. I am still thrilled I got it done to submit. Now, as for the novel version of it, we still need to get that out there.
I have had no time to work on my current novel which is frustrating but I try not to let it eat at me as it has done in the past. My husband knows I would love a month to just be able to write without interruption. Imagine being able to go all Walden?? Ahhhhh to dream. That will not be happening at the present time so I make do when I can. Hell, a full weekend would be choice. All this does not make me a martyr or special, but maybe it should. I would look great in one of those saint like poses, all pious and humble.
The last two nights I have fallen asleep on the couch before 9:30. For God's sake what am I, 80? Speaking of aging, my right hip is in constant burning pain. I believe I have a hip labral tear and will need to seek out an orthopedic surgeon to consult. I have no desire to have surgery or corticosteroid shots, but there is not much else one can do beside sucking down ibuprofen for 4 weeks to see if that helps. None of that really appeals so we shall see. According to an orthopedic website, exercise and walking seems to irritate the tear. How nice. So I am to become a feeble, fat broad so I can stop being in pain? Sometimes medicine amuses me to no end.
I do not crochet, have always wanted to learn and this cowl from Purl Bee may inspire me once and for all.
Our contractor for the bedroom is FINALLY supposed to come tonight and give us an estimate. Thank the baby Jesus. I want that room DONE already. I know contractors take on like 500 jobs at once, but man is it annoying. And because I am such a glutton for all sorts of punishment, I want to ask him about the upstairs bathroom as well. The man does fabulous work as I have been in his house. The good thing about the delay is it gives us some time to save up what little we can. The bad thing, we still have to lay out the money for it regardless.
I have decided my family should move to Scotland. I want a home like this one on Apartment Therapy in Edinburgh and I covet that AGA stove to no end. Damn lucky UK residents always seem to have an AGA or ESSE. I harbor immense jealousy over it and will not let it go. Seriously, I told my husband this morning I would sell his mother, a very nice lady, for an AGA stove. If my mom was alive, I would sell her and she would understand. It is the only expensive appliance I have ever wanted. I could have IKEA cabinets, a SMEG fridge and an AGA and life would be good. As you can tell, I am no fan of stainless, though it is nice in other people's homes. I LOVE YOU AGA!!



Thank you all for visiting my mind. Please come again.

Cheers!
MissFifi


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The other day

I was finishing up my lunch, and getting ready to go read to my son before his nap time, when I realized it was eerily quite in the playroom next to the kitchen. I went in and found our son like this.


As a friend said, "All hail the mighty iPad!"

That is some PBS Kids show that is on there and he is allowed to use the iPad after lunch for about 30 minutes. Yes, yes, American Academy of Pediatrics says not to before 2 years old, but bugger that. Our son is always doing, goes outside, loves to read so I figure Cat in the Hat is not going to corrupt his mind.
FYI - He stayed on the floor in that position for the full length of his nap. God Bless.

Last night I made this pizza using my own dough, but I would love to try her version with the gluten free almond flax crust at some point.

Caramelized Onion, Pear and Goat Cheese Pizza from Nutritionist in the Kitch.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mommy Needs A Gin and Tonic

We have a very rambunctious 21 month old boy. He loves to explore and read and be outside. We also teach him how to vacuum, throw out garbage and other necessary things that he can do himself.
On a whim last week I decided to take him to Mother Goose at the library. It is a half hour program for children 2 and under where the librarian reads a few poems and there are songs and books. She had said in the beginning that most children under 2 would most likely be up and running around the room which is a safe and interesting place for them and that it was to be expected of that age group.
Only our child runs around happy as can be. At first I felt embarrassed like I was a bad parent because all these other kids, mostly girls, would just sit with their Mommies and listen. Then I figured and accepted that my child is a spirited child and he is NOT going to sit in this unfamiliar place filled with new faces and someone reading. Today was no different except there were more parents there. And so off he went, running non-stop around the reading circle when I heard a little boy say to his Grandma, "He's running." Dear old Grandma made a face and gave my son a look like he was a little heathen.
All I thought was Bitch.
I wanted to say something to her, but I have realized there are people in life who expect/want ALL kids to just sit and not make noise. Hello, Queen Victoria. Seriously though, her youngest kept getting chided if her got "too loud". Sorry, unless he is yelling non-stop and interrupting the event, it is okay if he "roars".
I would love it if my little guy would just hang, but that is not who he is. He enjoys being around other people and is fascinated, much to my chagrin, with other women's and little girl's hair. He kept "petting" this young girl Sienna's ponytail. Yes I kept reminding him that we cannot invade people's space and I pull him away gently. As for going back to Mother Goose, I am reconsidering attending simply because I think the 10:30am-11:00am slot may be too close to lunch and snack time for him. I also do not want to become that parent with that child. God, it is frustrating how much we have stifled our kids to the point where if a toddler gets excited, get out the Ritalin. Yes American Health Care System I mean you.
Imagine if we gave out kid sugar??!!

The one bone of contention I have with my son is he is in a hitting phase and I am not handling that well. I am constantly researching about what to do for fear he is going to hit a child either at Mother Goose or the Messy Play we attend on Fridays. Most people understand that it is a phase, but my luck I would encounter one person who thinks my child is undisciplined and unruly. I guess it is okay, but no one ever likes to feel as if they have failed when their child is doing something you have been working on to stop. Don't worry, I shall buck up and try not to take too much personal. But in the age of over the top attachment and helicopter parenting and people thinking their kids are angels when clearly they are not, (See: Teenagers wreck an NFL player's home, tweet pictures as they do it, he calls them out on it and parents threaten to sue him!!!! NPR I weep for the future my dears.), one is always on guard.

The other night I felt like making something homey and delicious, plus I needed to use up broccoli we had received in our CSA. Once again, after a search, the BBC Good Food website proved to have the best recipe. I made a terrific Broccoli and Goat Cheese Tart. That being said, paying attention to the measurements and ingredients are key. I Googled measurement conversions and I am not ashamed to admit that. I also did not pay attention to one of the main ingredients. That would be double pot cream and no we do not have that here in the US. So I used regular milk and melted butter to thicken it up. Honestly the recipe is like a heart attack in a pan, but it is oh so good.


Cheers!
MissFifi






Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sweet tooth? These work

On Thursday I went to look in on our friend's dogs as they had asked because one of them was travelling. They have Italian Greyounds and the one named Rosie LOVES my little boy. Vito is more of a lie in the grass and sun oneself type of dog, but he is still sweet.
When we got there my travelling friend was home already thanks to an offsite ending early. This was nice because we were able to catch up a little and my son got to play with the dogs. As we conversed,  someone became ravenous. Not me, it was the 20 month old. My friend asked and I okayed the offering of a fig newton.
You would have thought he had not eaten for weeks.
The good thing about this is I am always trying to figure out what things I can keep on me at all times that he can have in case he gets hungry. I assume most parents become a mini mart for their toddler so this is not foreign territory to most.
Now, a neighbor had dropped off some fresh figs the other day and I was giddy. My husband is not much of a fan, but he, like his progeny, loves fig newtons too. This sent me on a quest to find a baking recipe requiring fresh figs. I found one and yes, it rocks.


I added cinnamon and ground up pecans and for instead of sugar I used honey. My son, my husband and my neighbors who gave us the figs loved this recipe and I think you will too.

I have sent the men to Trader Joe's while I have an early lunch and catch up on stuff that needs to get done. Have a beautiful day!

Cheers!
MissFifi




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Biscuits, Jalapenos and More

Thanks to our CSA I have had more corn and peaches than I would ever want in a lifetime. That being said, I am about to roast some corn in the husk along with my three beets. No one but me eats beets and I figured why not roast them together and then, when done, I can eat them as is or mix them up in a salad.
One of the few things that did well in my garden this year was my jalapeno plant. Go figure. I have five of them sitting in front of me and so a search was on for a recipe. First one I found was a great sounding pickling recipe on Simply Scratch, but my lack of the necessary 15 jalapenos lead me to search for something else. I am going to be making a lentil soup tonight for dinner, fall is officially here in NJ, and when I saw a cheddar jalapeno biscuit recipe on Simply Recipes and was sold. I do not have cream so I am going to add butter in its place, there were some notes in the comments, and honey instead of sugar. Let us hope it comes out delish!

Survival Life blog has what seems like a pretty interesting antiseptic ointment and best part is it is DIY.

Purl Bee has this pretty Laura's Loop: Color Tipped Scarf pattern.

On Gardenista I read this about this natural remedy for cold and flu season and quite frankly, I think it could kill anything, including Satan himself.

Cheers!
MissFifi



Monday, September 16, 2013

A Change in Gardening

After a poor growing season this year, I looked at my husband yesterday while I was weeding and doing fall cleanup and said, "Since we belong to a CSA, I would like to just grow all types of flowers next year. "
He responded, "I am fine with that and think it is a good idea."
Hooray!!
While I have loved having a vegetable garden, I have not had the opportunity to care for the small patch the way I did before I had our son. When I do get free time, read that as when he naps, I try and write or do laundry or cook or watch Orange is the New Black (LOVE THAT SHOW!!!!), so something has to be put to the side. For us, it will be the vegetable garden. Not that flowers don't need care, but they need a lot less work than cultivating tomatoes or cabbage. If I was growing roses I would think a little differently, but I am not attempting those just yet. One idea I had was to maybe intersperse the flowers with Swiss Chard and Kale. The two vegetables, besides leeks, that grow well. 
I know this goes against all the frugal/simple living norms, but for us, this works out well. By the time our son is three, I can restart a full blown vegetable garden and he can help. Or if I want to keep the flowers, maybe we can expand the garden a few feet and incorporate both. For now though, it will only be flowers and I cannot wait to choose native plants to grow.
Once everything is pulled out, I am going to pretty much empty our composter into the dirt and let it feed the soil all winter. Then when I go to plant, may do a mix of seeds and seedlings, hopefully what gets sowed does well due to the healthy, balanced soil. 
I would love to walk out and see something like this everyday.


Or this.


I wish my whole yard could be like this, but thanks to deer, ain't happening.

Today's recipe comes from Food Loves Writing - Spicy Roasted Vegetable Bisque.

Cheers!
MissFiFi

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Knitting

Fall is coming and with that comes knitting. I love knitting. Of course I prefer to have warm weather last a bit longer and today it is going to be low 90's here in NJ!
Anyway, I am thinking of making the three little girls some homemade gifts as opposed to sending them off to tea like I had originally proposed. It would cost me over $100 to do such a nice outing and I think that is something for when they are a little older and can really enjoy and remember it.
I am always on the look out for interesting patterns and I have a few that may come in handy for yourself as well. I know the little ladies like dress up clothes so I figured I could make fun stuff, like fuzzy boas and mini purses, and something they can wear when it gets cold. According to Farmer's Almanac  we are to have a very cold winter this year so wool will be necessary.

Angie of Little Inspiration created this fantastic looking Bow Scarf. You pull the bow through the button hole which I think is a neat idea. You also could add a button to the back of the bow and just button scarf that way, but no matter what you choose, this is a great gift idea.

Better Home and Gardens featured a scarf with slit which I think works well with kids too.

I am officially OBSESSED with Heidi May. Her knitting patterns are just swoon worthy. I want to make ALL of them. Seriously, these are just gorgeous. There may be crochet patterns available too for all I know.

The Ruston Cowl

The Lakota Hood


The Nadilynn Slouchy

I have never wanted to purchase so many patterns at once LOL.

Well, I am off to the yarn store, better known as Michael's around here, to get what I need to make the Bow Scarf. Have a wonderful day!

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to Bang One's Head Against the Wall

Sometimes I find myself disgusted by the behaviors of the elected officials in this country so much that I want to leave my citizenship behind and flee. Drastic? Yes. But I believe the latest article on Poverty and Food Stamps in the NY Times will make you understand why.

On the Edge of Poverty, at the Center of a Debate on Food Stamps.

This specific excerpt did me in.


Surrounded by corn and soybean farms — including one owned by the local Republican congressman, Representative Stephen Fincher — Dyersburg, about 75 miles north of Memphis, provides an eye-opening view into Washington’s food stamp debate. Mr. Fincher, who was elected in 2010 on a Tea Party wave and collected nearly $3.5 million in farm subsidies from the government from 1999 to 2012, recently voted for a farm bill that omitted food stamps.
“The role of citizens, of Christianity, of humanity, is to take care of each other, not for Washington to steal from those in the country and give to others in the country,” Mr. Fincher, whose office did not respond to interview requests, said after his vote in May. In response to a Democrat who invoked the Bible during the food stamp debate in Congress, Mr. Fincher cited his own biblical phrase. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat,” he said.
I want to know how in the hell a government official who claims to be a "Tea Party" member is entitled to government subsidies? The Tea Party is all about less government so I would say that conflicts with your party's beliefs there buddy.  Better yet,  how about I say it you working in government and getting a subsidy is a "conflict of interest"? How about I tell him to shove his bible where the sun does not shine? Amazing how those with so much believe those without just haven't worked "hard enough". What in God's names causes people to lose any ounce of empathy? Not everyone abuses the social systems set in place so stop acting like that is the problem. I believe Mr. Fincher getting subsidies is the problem. Him and all his uppity cronies acting as if they were way better than the common man. You sir, are a disgrace.
One commenter from Louisiana said it best, "Let me get this straight, when it comes to abortion or birth control, these people want the government to enforce Christian principles. But when it comes to the Christian principle of taking care of the poor, they tell government to back off?"

That is as succinct as it gets. I do not care if you practice religion or not. I do not care if you are a survivalist or a Koch brother. We are all entitled to live how we choose, but there may come a time, in any of our lives, where we may need assistance. Yes SNAP and many other programs need a rehaul, cutting funding is NOT the right answer.
When will people wake up and stop voting by political party? When will people wake up and stop voting against their best interests?? Stop putting these sadists in office thinking they will help this Nation or help you reach the "1%" and start voting for people who actually give a shit. IF they even exist.

Man, it is exhausting to get this angry. I do not mean to be a downer, but I can't help but feel as if we have moved backward instead of forward as a Nation and I hate it. I really, really do. Big fat sigh.

Today's Recipe is from Annie's Eats - Jalapeno Popper Dip

Cheers!
MissFifi

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Multitude of Thoughts

All this talk of going to war has been a bit overwhelming and aggravating. For the record, I feel we (America) have no business in Syria. I get that they did something awful to their people, but not for nothing, Darfur and Mali and many other places have been self imploding, but you do not see us getting in everyone's business there. I am well aware that this is a complicated matter and I really, really hope we keep our nose out of it, but I fear that won't happen. This of course has moved me into prepper mode. I feel like I need all this extra bottled water and emergency kits and food because once the SHTF, it is on. I am doing my best to be rational too, but I cannot deny this all makes me nervous. I mean, I never watch the news, but the gym I go to has huge flat screens on their walls so while I listen to music I watch and read the captions. If you are a main stream media news junkie, I can see why all you want to do is hate on people and live in fear and think celebrities/reality tv folks are the bees knees. Ahhh yeah, nothing like good ol' induced paranoia to get everyone crazy. To hell with it.

Okay, let's be a touch more upbeat here shall we?

I should take a better picture, but for now this will do. This is our mailbox that my husband and brother remodeled.  My husband repainted the post and the two of them chose the tile (shades of grey, black and clear) and cut and grouted and did all the good stuff to make it look as choice as it does now. You can also see our awesome new walkway and stairs. The landscaping will get done in the spring due to cash flow which is fine by me. That big plant on the left next to the house is my beloved baptisia. I need to cull the seeds off the plant and put them in the ground and hope I get some new ones next year in other parts of the yard.



There is an interesting how-to on The Kitchn about making butter. That is something I would like to try, but most likely never will. But if I do, you will be the first to know.

I have also been looking into homemade shampoo recipes because my husband refuses to let any shampoos/conditioners in the house with cocamide DEA. Read about it here. I wish I had the money to buy all organic cosmetics and hair products, but the damn things are so overpriced it offends me.  Here is a neat homemade shampoos recipe from Wellness Mama that I bet smells lovely.

Our friends have three daughters turning three. God Bless. I want to make them some dress up stuff. I was going to do ponchos but I doubt I would have them ready in time for the party. So I was considering headbands and I found a few cool patterns. There is this one from Craft Snob which I may eventually make for myself as well. Then there is this fun, funky chunky one from A Stash Addict. I have not decided which one to do yet and I need to buy the yarn this weekend. I am also making the little ladies boas/scarves to have fun with as well and may do little purses, but it all depends on time. I have to admit I am excited to get back into knitting. Fall does that to me.

Thank you Coal Point Seafood Company for the delicious Baked Salmon Loaf recipe. I wanted to make something other than salmon cakes and this was just yummy. I used cumin and sage since I did not have parsley or dill. We paired it up with a nice bok choy and crunchy ramen salad and it was a wonderful dinner.

Cheers!
MissFifi

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Golden Peach Muffins

Since I still have a glut of peaches I decided to make peach muffins especially as a nice snack for the little one to have. I even ate an overripe peach while I stirred the batter.
Juicy.
Anyway, I found a good recipe that did not need a lot of unnecessary additives or heaping amounts of sugar. This one requires one cup of sugar and since I am no longer using regular sugar  I just used honey. Maybe that is where I went wrong but I pulled them out of the oven and lo and behold I have teeny muffins. Seems I used baking powder instead of baking soda. Yeah, let's hope they are tasty or I am so screwed. I hate wasting flour. Weird quirk, but if they suck, I am going to be so mad at myself. Of course I will just give them to the birds if they are not good.

Here is what they look like. All that foamy looking stuff is butter from greasing the pan.


Do yourself a favor and try the recipe for Golden Peach Muffins off of TasteofHome.com and make sure you do not commit my faux pas. 

*UPDATE - They may not have risen, but they are pretty good. I will attempt them again using the right ingredients this time.

Cheers!
MissFifi