Friday, December 22, 2006

Not Much To Report

My cooking has not suffered since the bottles burned. As a matter of fact, I made the best chicken ever this week. It's my favorite so far. It was a lemon pepper chicken with a white wine sauce. I'm thinking it was the lime in the sauce that gave it the unique flavor, but it was oh so good. And then the next day I made teriyaki chicken with sesame seeds. That was nowhere near being my favorite but it was edible. Oh, and how could I forget the chocolate ganache I attempted! I should have taken a picture but I wasn't fast enough - hubby ate most of them, he loved them so much. I'm going to try again though and next time take pictures for sure, even though they taste much better than they look.

Sid was a trooper through the whole bottle-burning experience. His older brother took care of him, carrying him around since he didn't have any shoes on. When the firetruck came though he was too shy to go near it. He barely wanted to touch it even though he was in awe - he loves cars and trucks.

The bigs kids are away for Christmas. Their grandpa drove (yes, drove) them to TN to visit some cousins. My mother is still in Jamaica (til next Friday). So this weekend will be pretty quiet. Next weekend is a different story. In one week Mocha will be here (and we all know how rowdy she can be!) along with some other family. Shelby is being blessed next Saturday and I haven't even begun planning for the lunch afterwards. BdaB and his family will be coming down from Jacksonville. My sister will even be here.

Speaking of my sister, she has recently formed a corporation with three other young ladies. Together they make up Star* Power PR and Marketing. She's doing things and I'm happy for her. We'll see what the new year holds for her.

Here's part of my wishlist:
a massage (all of my stress goes directly to my neck and shoulders - a massage is way overdue)
a new bicycle (since the bike I had for the past 14 years was STOLEN thanks to someone who shall remain nameless but goes by the title 'hubby')
a creme brulee torch and ramekins (my absolute favorite dessert is creme brulee - if I learned to make it I would never have to buy it again)
some good cook books (I want the classics, the ones every real cook must have)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Call Me Phoenix

Edit: Post has been updated.

I nearly burned down my house Sunday night. How was your weekend?

Yeah, so, uh, I burned the baby's bottles.

There I was trying to be Wonder Woman, boiling bottles, washing clothes, and getting Sid ready for bed, when I lost track of all what I was doing and started doing a fourth task - installing my webcam so my mother could see her grandkids while she's on vacation in Jamaica (she left Friday morning and two days without seeing her poopy and booby is much too long). Me, hubby, and Shelb were all in my room when I turned on the big flourescent light for better exposure and Sid came in from out of his bed talking about what's that smell. As he said it we were smelling it too. I went to the light to smell it cause sometimes it smells like it's burning, but that time it wasn't the cause and the smell was getting stronger. Hubby jumped up and ran out and I followed. As I got to the landing I could see the kitchen was filled with smoke. I immediate ran to open the front and back doors so hubby wouldn't choke. He, by the way, had grabbed the flaming pot with an oven mitt and put it in the sink which, by the way, had a big aluminum pot in it filled with water. All I saw was one long flame across the width of the kitchen (about three feet) as he moved from the stove to the sink. I ran back upstairs, opened the window on the landing, continued up the stairs, yelled at everyone to get out (K Jr took Sid who had his hands over his ears cause by this time the fire alarm was going off as well as the house alarm), grabbed the baby and cell phones from off my bed, opened another window and ran back down the stairs and out the house. Hubby came out but went back in and took so long to come out I was beginning to get worried. What was his excuse? He was making sure the windows were opened and the fans were on! Come on! I was worried about smoke inhalation and him passing out and he's worried about smoke in the house!! I couldn't pull his big behind down the stairs by myself! He's at least twice my weight and then some. Well, He finally came out and we spoke to the alarm company who said they could send the fire truck out to help clear out the smoke, which we agreed was a great idea. If you've ever smelled burning plastic/silicone, it is one nasty smell. Anyway, the fire truck came. (Aside: When it got to my street the had to blow the horn to get people to move their parked cars which were illegally parked and I was so happy. What if my house really was burning down?? I live at the end of a cul-de-sac and jokers are always parking on both sides of the road leading to the cul-de-sac, barely leaving room for one vehicle to drive through much less and emergency vehicle. Oh yeah, it was about 10 pm. hehe.) So the firemen came and blew smoke out the house but even after they left we still couldn't stay. Hubby and I tooks turns going in and packing stuff (leaving the kids outside) and then we camped out at hubby's mother's house. We put the house alarm back on and left the upstairs windows open for the night to air the place out. Fortunately it's been cool and breezy these past few days. In the end I didn't get to sleep until 2:30 am (figured I may as well stay up to feed Shelb since her feeding schedule got thrown completely off) and then I was up again minutes to 7 am to take Jr to school. It didn't even end there cause when I got back to hubby we drove his mother downtown so she wouldn't have to fight to park. Needless to say when we finally got to our own house about 1 pm I was exhausted, but at least the smell was almost completely gone.

So, you see, the house nearly burned to the ground but my mind was reborn from the almost-ashes, like the Phoenix, and I will never, ever, ever, ever, boil bottles and attempt to install a webcam driver on a computer upstairs at the same time.

There must be a lesson in this. Hmm, I know, if you're using the stove, keep it within your line of vision and don't attempt to be a multi-tasking superheroine.

Btw, everyone was fine, no nausea or dizziness.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Boy and Food and Then Some

The Older Boy
@Shawn - No, we don't spend alone time together. Up until a year and a half ago we at least had car rides to and from school. We had some interesting discussions during those car rides. Now we hardly see each other unless he needs something.

Yes, I'm still cooking and experimenting I just can't remember what all I cooked last week! I know Friday evening I made "gourmet" chicken sandwiches and carrot soup. The key ingredients for the special sandwich was the ciabatta bread and the spread - a mix of dijon mustard, mayo, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and anchovy paste (which I don't think it really needs). The carrot soup was made in a VitaMix - it had carrots, celery, spicy tomato paste, vegetable bouillon cubes, salt, pepper, onion, and, of course, water. For dessert I made more whipped cream and we had that with fresh strawberries and some diabetic chocolate pudding/cake that hubby made.
Today for lunch we had baked chicken (courtesy of hubby), broccoli and bowtie pasta with lemon, mozzarella and tomato, and leftover ciabatta bread. The tomato and cheese salad didn't look like when it's ordered from a restaurant but it's the taste that matters!

Then Some
It was nice to see my friends from Jacksonville who were in the area today. Their kids have grown so much. It's too bad they came over so late in the day and we didn't get to sit and talk at all. Let me put these people on blast and tell you that I was expecting them around noon but they didn't show up until minutes to 4:00 pm! lol They are lucky that I like them so much. I miss having them nearby. I didn't get to take any pix but BdaB, if you're reading this, I want those pix that you took in my email asap!

Went to my company Christmas party last night. They rented a tent so that we could watch the boat parade. We had a decent time. At least the DJ did a pretty good job. The food was not good at all, very blah. The desserts didn't make up for the bad food but I ate enough to fill the void. Will my hips tell on me? We'll see. Anyway, I got to talk to my cooking buddy. We love to swap stories about what we've cooked, what worked or didn't, and what we've seen that we want to make. I told her how to make the whipped cream and she told me how to make meringue, and we both have plans to make chocolate truffles. Mmmm! And I have a creme brulee set on my wishlist for this year because I absolutely have to learn to make my favorite dessert. (So far, I think the best creme brulee I've had was at Ruth's Chris, and I've had a lot of creme brulee.) Once I get the kit you know you'll see pix of me flaming that sugar.

The latest pix of Sid and Shelb are up.

Monday, December 11, 2006

You Guys Are Just So Helpful!

Due to the overwhelming response to my last post (lol) I've decided to not make the door-closing an issue. My boss always said to chose your battles and this one is probably not worth fighting considering what you all have told me (and emailed me).

Back to the food
What else have I concocted lately, you ask? I made my very own sweetened whipped cream and I bought fresh blueberries and strawberries to eat with it (and my mother brought over sweet potato pudding). I also made rosemary chicken. Sid ate all of his and wanted mine too! Out of everyone he liked it the best. Tonight I don't know what I'm going to make but I'm excited about the little 3-cup Cuis.inart food processor that hubby bought for me. I just got it this morning and I already used it to chop garlic and parsley! :)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Edit: I have been rightfully chastised for only showing stepson in a 'bad' light. My blog is not the news channel - there should be some good news sprinkled in there somewhere. So, let me preface this post with the following statements. Stepson is by no means a bad kid. He's actually a pretty good kid. He does well in school, is a quick learner, (as far as I know) doesn't do drugs and isn't a bully. He's a regular kid with regular kid tendencies. With that said, let's get on with the post...."

After the zucchini pancake disaster I still had zucchini left over. What to do with it, I wondered. Well, the next day I made herbed rice (really good) and zucchini fries (not bad although Sid has now decided that zucchini is nasty). Yesterday I made more of the berry muffins. Today I want to make a baked garlic cheddar chicken (recipe from the net). I really wanted to make the caesar chicken sandwich on ciabatta bread that I found in my cookbook but I have yet to prepare the chicken - but I did buy all of the necessary ingredients so I had better use them.
Edit: I did make the garlic cheddar chicken and everybody liked it.

On a different note... If your child is living in your house is it acceptable for that child to act like he is living at a bed-and-breakfast? He comes home, goes in his room, closes the door, and basically only comes out to eat. Is this normal 16 yr-old behavior?? I know I could never have done that in my mother's house. Keeping the door closed alone is a sign of disrespect. To me it's a way of saying this is my life here and you all are out there and the twain don't meet unless I want it to. This, of course, is wrong, because as long as we are responsible for him his life is not off-limits to us. Am I reading too much into this? I don't want to hear about privacy. He may think he needs privacy but to do what? Every day all day??

I don't like it and I've told him to keep his door open. What does he do now? The door is not closed anymore but is only open a half inch or so. His father doesn't like it but doesn't say anything. He's quickly developing his own attitude to this situation (and others). I'm the stepmother which makes it difficult to say anything. I know that if it was Sid this would not be going on. I would have put a full stop to it a long time ago. Having stepkids is hard. The biological parent can easily get defensive when something is done/said to their children. Hubby has never done this. Regardless, I'm well aware that there is a line and I try to stay far away from it, so 99 times out of a 100 I talk to hubby and he is the enforcer. There is that 1% though and it's a fine balancing act. One wrong move could set a lot of negative actions in motion. And I certainly don't want to make things worse than they are. But a kid has to learn respect.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Today's Fare

Apparently hubby has been motivated by my ambition. This morning he made an oatmeal special which turned out really good (no pix of that though). This evening he let me know that he wanted me to make the muffins I had been talking about so I did. Those are them in the pix. Notice also that I had a helper - Sid. I had another helper (Sid's older sister) who I must mention because she did a good job of helping me get all the ingredients measured and ready.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am the furthest thing from a cook and that this past week is a big deal for me. I'm almost proud of myself *pat on the back*. :) That's not to say I never used to cook, but I have been pretty averse to going into the kitchen.