Tuesday, January 21, 2014


In a couple weeks we'll attend an annual super bowl party at a friend's home.  They do a pot-luck styled gathering, where everyone brings something.  It's wonderful because the people hosting divide up the guests by last name and assign each group an item to bring and there is no switching or bringing extra. If your "group" draws a main dish and you make a lovely appetizer, too bad.    It's so they're not overwhelmed with 20 dips and two bags of chips.  

It makes perfect sense to mouse.  This year we were assigned to bring a dessert for the kids and a main dish for grownups.  The main dish for grownups will be easy for mouse.  Just need to decide between enchiladas or a pasta dish (like baked zitti).  Children's dessert required more thought.  Of course cupcakes could be a standard.  So, mouse decided to make Mud.  Not Dirt, but mud; there's nothing wrong with Dirt but mouse prefers mud.  Dirt is more crumbly while Mud is...Muddy?  

It couldn't be easier, a couple metal pie plates, some chocolate wafer cookies (mouse doesn't like to use Oreos for it, but you certainly can), some gummy worms and chocolate pudding.  Now you can go all out and make your pudding and even the cookies (Martha Stewart would add whipped cream so it resembles more of a trifle for kids).  But no....Just break up the wafers, add the pudding so that it's good and muddy looking and dump into a pie dish.  You scoop out the mud with a small spoon or hand shovel if you're really clever...drop into a plastic cup...Yes that bit should be done by an adult or older child.  

Some like to place the gummy worms on top like the image shown here, but mouse prefers to stick them under the mud.  Like when we were kids playing in mud, you'd reach your hand down into it and find worms.   

Now this should be clarified somewhat it's not a Mud Pie which is totally different.  Mud is eaten with a spoon never a fork.  

It's not the first time mouse made Mud, the first time she mentioned it to Daddy was when we attended a Halloween party and had to bring a dessert.  He was appalled at the idea, but mouse rather insisted and it was a huge hit.  He thought there wasn't an adult in the place that would touch it, but grownups were once children.  

Every party we've attended where there has been a kid's table full of kid foods, the grownups couldn't resist sneaking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a pig in a blanket.  It harkens back to a time when food was fun and not at all fussy.  Sure there are the parent types who bring a veggie platter or fruit salad, but when we do that aren't we saying this what we wish our kids preferred?  Sure, carrots and fruit are a staple here and part of a healthy diet, but even Princess given a clear choice isn't going for that, she'll snack down a pig-in-a-blanket over a carrot stick any day.  This isn't to suggest she won't grab a carrot stick..and mouse is always somewhat proud and completely surprised when it happens...

Of course, Daddy could play the "Master" card and overrule mouse's dessert choice but he won't because truth be told, he actually likes it too in all its wrong icky sweetness.  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Back to Basics

Doesn't everyone hate Monday? Well -- maybe not Monday exactly, whatever day is your default start of the week. Monday's around here, especially after vacations, holidays are especially rough. It's the whole slipping back into routine, which for us is a new routine. Monday began early -- pleasuring Daddy the way he enjoys, then getting the coffee started, and exercising. Finally, showering, getting laced up in pretty bondage (corset) and waking the kids, cooking breakfast and finally going over the daily agenda.

All the errands, deli, butcher shop, bakery, vegetable stand -- it really at times makes mouse miss going to the grocery store, except at the grocer we actually spent more for less quality -- go figure. Plus other stops like the post office, dry cleaner...oh getting gas too. But Daddy didn't send mouse unprepared; her tight corset made her feel contained and the smacks to her rear he applied that morning reminded mouse of him. Of course, there was also the frequent text messages to and from Daddy on her progress.

The cleaning schedule was light, so Babygirl and mouse went to the library for noon story time and crafts, where we made macaroni necklaces. While the baby napped, mouse cut up 4 chickens and tossing the backs (along with some others saved in the freezer) into a pot for stock and later soup, and wrapped most of the parts for the freezer.

Dinner consisted of some veal cutlets which mouse made into an Italian dish with capers, wine and mushrooms. Zucchini, onions, garlic and some heirloom tomato, and fresh basil. Dessert was a simple pear and Brie popover type of thing -- drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar -- Served later.

Believe it or not the meal took only 40 minutes to prepare.

Also did some prep for the next meals because why just cut up one onion when you can do more? Routinely mouse keeps bags of gut up veggies to throw into a soup or whatever she's planning on cooking.

Tonight's meal will be even more simple, a nice peice of fish pan cooked with some left-over Italian style veggies -- something Daddy will certainly enjoy might even toss in some olives as a surprise for him.

For Wednesday, mouse is doing a dry run, on a fancy meal she's planning for February, ossobucco, which is traditionally braised veal shank, with polenta If its a hit might repeat it for Passover (without the polenta since it MUST have cream, butter and all the goodness that's totally not kosher).

Thursday, we have dinner plans to eat out and a babysitter has been arranged.

Friday, Shabbat, a nice large roasted chicken, pan cooked new potatoes with fresh herbs, veggies and probably a gravy.

Saturday Shabbat, cold left-over chicken for lunch.

Saturday after Shabbat ends, pan seared fish with steamed veggies.

Sunday meal...well, mouse hasnt gotten that far yet.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Putting it Together

For Chanukah this year, Daddy bought a new treadmill for the family room, because the old one upstairs wasn't working well and there was no way we were carrying a new one up three flights of stairs. He's pragmatic like that. The old one was brought up by the movers and they had a difficult time.

He waited to put it together until all the celebrations were finished, which for us meant New Years Day. Since there's no TV in the sun room, he decided the family room was the best location. Close to the tv, relatively quiet and the kiddo can use it too.

We had a gym membership but this year, we aren't renewing it. There isn't any point anymore. The gym we used was clean, but small. Sure, it had all the equipment we needed for a good workout, but it was also almost always crowded. Many times he'd walk in, look around and all the equipment was in use, why pay to lift free weights we already own? Then, if he did get in to workout the showers were always full, or not working. This added an extra trip home to shower. And you'd think mouse would have better luck, but no. The gym offered Daycare for free, but it seemed it was always full. Machines mouse wanted to use were never available, and you can forget going to a class, because they were always filled and then we ran into the daycare problems.

Really, mouse is more a wake-up exercise kinds girl -- rather like Daddy, then we're done.

New Years Eve was spent moving furniture around the room. The area rug had to be shifted, and much of the room shifted around. Oddly, the new configuration seems to be nicer and the room flows better. It doesn't matter how many treadmill images mouse looks at, all make the thing look much smaller than they are! Daddy was very specific about its position, as he watches the news while he runs -- so having it hidden around a corner (which was mouse's first choice), simply wouldn't do for him. He said it could be moved into that hallway though for parties. That was until he actually began putting it together and pronounced it would NEVER EVER leave this spot. The carpet doesn't make it very easy to move. Too bad, if we ever move, it can stay in the house too. One thing old man dog refuses to go into the newly designed room. We haven't decided yet if that's good or bad.

This morning Daddy woke, exercised, watched the news and later drank coffee all before he showered! He said he really enjoyed it and said it felt almost luxurious. After we showered and dressed, mouse fixed a light breakfast for us and the kiddo. He's off the next few days, so we'll see how it works out on Monday morning.

The old treadmill was taken apart completely, which made it far easier to move around, Daddy even took a sawzall to it, making it even easier to truck down the flights of stairs. Although mouse did think he was a little crazy to do that, it ended up being much easier this way.

Here's hoping 2014 will be fantastic for everyone!