Thursday, July 1, 2010

DISH THE DIRT

Good morning everyone! How are you doing today this drizzly first day of July? I am rather soggy but excited… see the little boy named Lucas has come today to visit us for a few hours. Oh we are having such fun! I forgot how much fun babies can be! Today I can get into more detail about subjects I touched on yesterday so you know all of what is going on… so let’s dish some dirt!

Ok first, the newest kitten. We haven’t named it yet, and I am trying not to get attached. It is smaller than my bunny though… maybe 8 weeks if that. Definitely not weaned though… sadly enough. The 2 kittens, Gizmo and Miracle, want nothing to do with this baby. And the bigger cats want nothing to do with any of them. SOOO… if I can nurse this one to sustainable health, perhaps it may go back outside? See, we had a tree get 90% uprooted during Hurricane Ike in our back yard. Well the landlord never pulled it up and the roots hung to make a tunnel under the base. In this tunnel, one of the female outside cats recently had kittens. I saw them playing out there one day. Well, the lawn care man was out there today when I got back. He was cutting down the trees and weedeating around it. Well I have a feeling that this baby got scared of the noises and ran out of the hole and on the way out he inadvertently grazed the kitten with the weedeater, or kicked it, or something. Either he, or maybe one of the bigger cats or another animal. I am not sure. Somehow it got up near my porch for me to find, so someone knew it needed help. I think it’s a little girl and she is a light smoky gray color with white feet and bulging blue eyes… and smaller than the bunny! Cutest little thing you can imagine! But I got to get all these cats over hissing at each other. Even the kittens hissing and they are just so small still! It’s crazy!

Then we had a Hurricane Barreling down on the Gulf Coast. I have been watching non-stop coverage of Hurricane Alex and it made landfall not far from where my grandmother lives on South Padre Island late last night. Alex is the first early season/June hurricane since 1995 and the strongest one since Alma in 1966. We are all concerned about grandma, but she seemed in great spirits when I talked to her last. She was making biscuits LMAO! And she told Mom that people were kayaking down the main road which goes down the middle of the island… the main strip if you will. Just keep her in your thoughts please. Thanks!

Ok, Let’s get crafty! So, are you liking the “man” crafts? I figure most people have a man they would need to gift to for a special occasion. I am gonna give you another one. Lots of Dads, Fathers, Brothers… men in general… are football freaks! How about these cute ideas for a gift!



Craft Idea of the Day: Armchair Quarterback Survival Kit

Purchase a new empty gallon paint can from your local paint, hardware, or even craft store. Fill it with snacks that store well like pepperoni sticks, summer sausage, beef jerky, cheese, crackers, popcorn, candy, etc. Don't forget the Bad Call Brick! You could also add a pizza gift certificate or even the pizza sale coupons that come in the mail. And if you really want to jazz it up add the Tylenol and Tums. Decorate the can with football fabric or logos of your favorite team. Do a search on the web for your team. Add the Armchair Quarterback Survival Kit poem.



Additional Craft Idea of the Day: Bad Call Brick

During football season when shoes, cans, lamps, etc. go flying at the TV when a bad call is made, it is a good precaution to have a Bad Call Brick nearby!

A brick-sized sponge may be used as is or dip it in brickish-colored, watered down paint and squeeze.

If sponge is pre-moistened with sanitizer, rinse it good. Dry sponge in the dryer to make it more dense like a real brick. This also rounds the edges a bit like a real brick. Attach the poem.

Yummy yummy in my tummy time! Yes, another day, another Dollar Store Dining recipe! YUM! Today we are going to talk some baked goods and sweet treats! YUM! Ok now the book has a total of 28 mouthwatering recipes to satisfy the sweet tooth. I’m bringing you 2 of the ones ranking tops in my desires… although I will admit, I won’t turn away cakes, tarts, fruit, flambees, or brownies any day! LMAO! So Eat & Enjoy (and remember to rinse and floss afterwards LMAO!)!



Banana Bread Pudding with Dulce de Leche

Makes: 6-8 servings
Costs: about $3.99

This is by far the most amazing, delicious, affordable, simple (yet extravagant) crowd-pleaser EVER! I came up with the idea of serving this when I knew that making the Flambeed bananas for 20 would make me feel more like a short order cook than a hostess. This recipe doubles easily and it can be prepared hours in advance. Once cooked, it can be frozen and warmed up in a microwave. A perfect dessert for a big party, and so good for breakfast the next day! (You may omit the bananas or even add 1 ½ cups of any chopped chocolate, if you desire.)

Ingredients:

1 to 2 cans of Star sweetened condensed milk, for the dulce de leche
3 to 4 packed cups of cubed bread made from 1 loaf of Premium white bread
2 very ripe Dole bananas
3 Country eggs
3 cups Springfresh Milk or milk substitute (coconut milk is very good to substitute)
1/3 cup Spreckels sugar
½ teaspoon McCormick Salt
2 teaspoons Spice Classic vanilla extract

Directions:

1. There are two ways to prepare dulce de leche. The safer way is to pierce two holes in the top of the can of milk, place in a saucepan with enough water to come three quarters of the way up the can, bring to a boil, and continue to boil on medium high heat for 1 to 2 hours for a runnier sauce or 3 to 4 hours for a more solid form.

2. The way I was brought up to do it as follows: Fill a large saucepan and place the unopened can of sweetened condensed milk in the cool water, making sure that the water comes high enough to cover. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer about 3 hours. Add water occasionally so that the can is always covered, and make sure to keep the flame very low to avoid an explosion. Remove from heat and cool can thoroughly before opening.

(**Recently, Nestle and other companies have now began offering a can of ready to use Dulce de Leche, making the process of actually making the dulce obsolete. You can simply substitute canned Dulce for the Sweetened Condensed Milk if your local Dollar Store offers them.**)

3. In the meantime, spread the cubed bread on the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish and slice the bananas evenly, nestling them in the bread.

4. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Pour this custard over the bread.

5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until firm, but not dry.

6. Serve either on individual plates, drizzling the Dulce de Leche on top, or set out so your guests can serve themselves with sauce on the side.

(***Helpful Hint***) Attaching the inside banana skin to a nasty bruise will draw out the internal bleeding.)



Delicious Toffee Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes: about 3 dozen cookies
Cost: about $4.99

Ingredients:

1 cup Imperial Margarine
1 cup Spreckels Sugar
1 cup Lucky golden brown sugar
2 country eggs
2 tablespoons Springfresh milk
1 ½ cups Best yet all purpose flour or 1 cup Manischewitz cake meal
½ teaspoon Spice supreme salt
1 teaspoon Arm & Hammer baking soda
2 cups Good & Hearty quick rolled oats
1 (8oz.) Zachary solid Milk chocolate Easter bunny, chopped (or any milk chocolate bars available at that time)
1 (4oz.) can Star Snacks toffee almonds, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugars, ½ cup at a time. Beat in eggs and milk.

3. Add flour, salt, and baking soda and beat well.

4. Add oats, chocolate chunks, and finally the almonds. Blend well.

5. Drop in rounded teaspoonfuls two inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove and let cool.

(***HELPFUL HINT***) For perfectly round cookies, pack the cookie dough inside a clean food can and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove the bottom of the can with an opener and use the disc to push the dough out. Stop at your desired thickness and slice. Use the can as a guide.

Ok gang… now that I have saturated your sweet tooth, I am gonna get off of here and get busy with today’s chores. Gotta try to call my Grandmother who is in South Padre right now, dealing with this whole Hurricane Alex thing. Ah… Kids and kittens and babies everywhere! I feel like the Wizard of Oz… Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My! LMAO. Ok well ya’ll be safe wherever you are and I will see you tomorrow! HUGS!

1 comment:

  1. Debbie "MOM"July 1, 2010 at 10:39 AM

    You definitely have a houseful of babies now! Thats one way to fill up your summer schedule, and your fall and winter! LOL
    That football gift is a very good gift idea. I dont think any man I know would turn down that can full of hunks of smoked and cured meats and chips and treats. They definitely do like the football season, dont they? My husband isn't into football so I lucked out in that respect. I have to endure hunting and fishing things though, and I just love that!! NOT!!
    OK, I'm loving this Dollar Store menu week. There are lots of items in a Dollar Store to work with if you have a good imagination...or a good cookbook! LOL The desserts are my favorite. Are you going to put a soup or salad in this week using the Dollar Store items?
    OK. Got to head to Physical Therapy today. Its supposed to be my last one unless the doctor approves some more, which I'm hoping he does. They are helping me but its still hard to move like I should so I could use some more sessions. It just amazes me how the insurance company has the final word on it....over the doctors orders believe it or not. Isn't that something? I guess they know better than the doctors what I need.....or maybe they don't want to shell out the costs. What do you think the right answer is?
    We will never know. Til next time.......

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