Valentines Day

So, yesterday was Valentines Day (or Singles Awareness Day, depending on your current "season"). Dave and I have yet to celebrate together - so far he has been on dates with Riley, on Saturday, and Caeley, on Sunday. I had to get in line, so tonight it's my turn. We are pretty low key - usually not extravagant with our gifts. In fact, I am giving Dave the usual "gift of nothing." That's what he appreciates, so that's what he gets for most occasions. I don't really appreciate the "gift of nothing," though, so who knows what he came up with.

I guess Valentines Day is really just another day, but I think it's fun to celebrate and remind people that they are loved; although, that should happen all the time.

We had V-Day dinner with the kids last night. I put a candle in the middle of the table with the Valentines from their grandparents around it. I made some heart decorations and hung them from the chandelier (a term I use loosely) above the kitchen table.

I also hand-made them Valentines - this is very unusual for me, you must know. But it was fun using scrapbook paper and scalloped scissors and glue - it was like kindergarten revisited. I should do that more often. Here's Corban's, on his plate

I even made one for Dave (I made one for myself, too, because if I hadn't someone would have fussed at Daddy for not making Mommy one...and he was innocent and didn't know I was doing all this, so I just cut that off at the pass). Dave's has a picture that Riley drew of our family a couple of days ago

I think I'm in there somewhere - probably the one off to the side, that kind of looks like she's laying down. Riley must know Mommy is tired.

For dinner we had the perfect special meal for my kids: chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream!! There were scrambled eggs, too, but who wants those when you've got chocolate and whipped cream for dinner (except Corban who does not like whipped cream - how is that possible)? Dave and I ate the chicken I cooked earlier in the day because I needed real food.

I did, however, eat one pancake for dessert...along with a couple of the free truffles from Earthfare...they are so good and they melt in your mouth. But that's not important right now ;) The kids were fascinated with the candle and they were left unattended briefly. They decided to blow it out, thankfully, because otherwise they may have been tempted to burn stuff. Instead of burning stuff, they decided to drop their leftover eggs in there, and the wax began to harden around said eggs. That's just gross - Dave dug them out, though, so now the candle looks jacked up. But, I'll take that over a fire breaking out.

All in all it was really the perfect way to celebrate the day, with all my loves, big and little. I am a blessed woman, in so many ways.

Now, I'm off to eat a truffle, for blessed is she who eats chocolate. I'm pretty sure that's in the Bible somewhere ;)


Chicken: The Recipe

Okay, the chicken turned out so good...it was tender and juicy - and so tasty, too. Sorry, flashback to Vitameatavegemin. Anyway, here is the recipe if you're interested. I will be making this again.

The Rub:
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 whole chicken (with pop-up timer if possible)

I didn't have any white pepper so I just added a dash more black. It's got a little kick to it, so you might want to use less cayenne if you're not a fan.

Pat the chicken dry and rub the above recipe all over it. I smashed four or five cloves of garlic and put them inside the cavity of the chicken.

Cook in a preheated oven at 500 (where is the degree symbol?) for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 450 and cook another 15 minutes. Baste with juices and reduce heat to 425. Cook for 30 minutes, or to an internal temp of 180. Let chicken rest for 15 minutes before serving (it will be very tired). Sorry, bad joke.

I don't know how to properly slice a chicken so I pretty much mangled mine, but it was yummy so who cares how it looked? I think I'm going to shred the leftovers for chicken tacos tomorrow. I've got a great recipe for that, too.

Good night and happy roasting!


One of my favorite places to grocery shop is Earthfare - and one of the things I love most is the freebies they give away. Last week I got a coupon for a free whole chicken, a bag of baby carrots and mashed potatoes. Yay...except I have never cooked a whole chicken in my life. I decided to go ahead and cook it for lunch today and I found what appears to be a good recipe for a rub.

I do not, I repeat, not, like handling raw meat of any kind. If you feel that way, too, then these are a must in your kitchen. I bought 1,000 of them at Sams for about $5.00, I think.

I put on my raw meat touching gloves and opened up the chicken. I have heard that you must remove any giblets from the inside, so I looked in and saw something really nasty. According to the label on the front, some of my giblet parts may be missing - bummer ;) Anyway, I had at least some spare parts, but I could not bring myself to reach in and touch them, so I held the chicken over the trash can and jiggled it.

Something that looks like a liver fell out, and just about did me in. Here it is - if you have a sensitive stomach, now would be a good time to scroll down...just sayin.

Having de-gibleted the chicken carcass, I rubbed it liberally with the rub I made and plopped it into the disposable pan I found shoved way back in the dead space of a cabinet. Thank God because I hate washing pans that have meat stuff stuck on them. I usually use aluminum foil to cover the pans, but I had a feeling that foil would not hold the juice of this bad boy...or girl...I guess chickens are girls, right?

Before I put it in the oven I smashed 4 cloves of garlic with my mallet and placed them gingerly into the "cavity" of the chicken. Here's what she looked like all fixed up

Into the oven she went. It smells good, but we shall see how it comes out. I will let you know.


It's a Vitameatavegemin Kind of Day

Are you tired? Run down? Listless? Do you poop out at parties? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. ;)

I can tell it's going to be one of "those" days. If only they still made this kind of stuff. Haha...I'm kidding. Clearly, from this clip (below), it would NOT actually help me get through my day, at least not functionally. It might help me take a great nap, though, and I feel like I could use one.

We started off pretty well. Caeley and Riley got off to school, and when the boys and I got back home, Christopher was ready for his morning nap. So I put him down and made Corban some popcorn to eat while he watched Kipper. My only instructions were to sit on the blanket on the floor and don't get any popcorn on the floor. He said, "Okay," in the cute, perky way that he does.

I decided to make another batch of muffins. I found a healthier whole wheat recipe a couple of weeks ago and I actually thought they weren't too bad. Lightly sweet, but sweet enough. They were blueberry and the kids didn't love them, so this time I decided to be a super fabulous mommy and make them using peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. A compromise, right?

If you care here's the recipe...it's a good base to add whatever you want, and you can adjust the sweetness to your liking.

1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 C honey
1/4 C veg oil
1/3 C milk
1 egg
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 1/2 C blueberries (or whatever you like)

Mix dry and wet ingredients separately. Then make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet, and mix just til blended, gradually stirring in blueberries (or whatever you decide to use). Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Makes 12.

I got them into the oven, and cleaned up my mess, and about that time Corban came into the kitchen wanting some pita chips. I went into the living room to put a few in his popcorn bowl, and lo and behold, there was popcorn everywhere!

This is but one small corner of the mess. He had himself a quiet little popcorn throwing party...similar to the baby powder throwing party he had a few nights ago. What the heck? Did I not say stay on the blanket and don't get popcorn on the floor. He must have heard, cover the floor with a blanket of popcorn. God, give him the gift of interpretation, so that when I speak he understands what it is that I say!

MUFFIN UPDATE: Do not overcook these muffins, like I did...as I was sitting here writing this post. They are hard as a rock. So I will make more, and tweak the recipe this time. I'm thinking a mixture of sugar and honey would be good...the batter was very thick, so I will add a bit more milk...in case you care ;)

Anyway, it was about this time that I wished I had some Vitameatavegemin. Here's a clip of that episode of I Love Lucy...it's one of my favorites. If you could use a laugh, watch it.


Longest Day Ever Photo Recap...

This has truly been the longest day. I don't know why, but it has dragged on and on. For starters we have been covered up by this big green patch for days, it seems

Baby Alfalfa, here, is teething (bless his heart) and he's about to chew his fist off. Also, he decided he couldn't take a nap, due to his discomfort

But who could be mad at him? He's so dang cute.

I decided it would be fun to try and make some of Bakerella's cake pops, spur of the moment, so I made a run to Walmart, in the big green patch, to get the stuff I needed. It was cold and wet and took forever, because, while I chose the shortest line ever, and the customer in front of me only purchased two items, the cashier (a female) wanted to talk football. So she went on and on about how Auburn won't have anyone that can play against Julio Jones next year, so they are done. I really could care less. But, that's how it goes...once again, if you see me out, don't get in my line. It's always the slow one. I really wasn't upset about it, it just added to the longness of the trip.

Making the cake pops was really fun. It also takes a looooong time, though, because there are several steps, and times they just have to sit and firm up. It was the most creative thing I've done in a while, and although they didn't come out as well as I would have liked, I'm glad I spent the time. I kind of needed a mindless activity. Here they are...they were supposed to all be smiley faces, but something went awry with the second batch of melting candy and it was gloppy - so I turned to the sprinkles...they cover a multitude of sins

I finally got those all done and we almost had the kids totally ready for bed. I headed to their bathroom to brush their teeth, and found them in their room having a party with a container of baby powder. Oh.My.Gosh. There was the biggest dust cloud you have ever seen - I hope I recover soon. Corban thought it was awesome

I feel like I'm leaving out some major event - but, oh well. I'm going to bed - I have to get up and start all over again in the morning. Good night!