Sunday, May 30, 2010

book and magazine whore

This is just the stack next to my recliner in the living room. Did you notice the variety of books? Too bad it's such a crap cell phone picture or you'd be able to see that the variety doesn't stop at the books, the magazines are as follows: Martha Stewart's Everyday Food, Mother Earth News, Urban Farm, Grit Magazine, Organic Gardening, a handful of RealSimple, Martha Stewart Living, and a single Country Living. I have subscriptions for most of these, the remainder a family member does and then passes them to me.

I have two other places where I "stack" my readables. I keep one or two stacks on my nightstand or next to it. I also have a stack on our bistro table. Those ones get moved about quite often and then they usually end next to my bed. I love books! I love magazines! I devour every page over and over again. I bathe in its information, and then once again after the water is dirty and cold.

Last freaky deaky weekend in May!

It's 5:30 a.m. on a sunday. I'd like to think I should be sleeping, but my body (and mind) have other plans. So, here I am writing a post about it. Nope, don't think so.

Quick update on the "farm" -we've got green stuff growing and for once, it's not mold. The rhubarb came back to life, I certainly thought that I had killed the bitch. But she's a strong one and had to show me one up. She actually likes 30 year old chicken shit in a tire.

Peas are producing! We've had a couple of yummy snow and snap peas, but just enough for snacking right off the vine. *note to self: next year plant, like, fifty of these. Twelve is definitely not enough for this family.

CUKES! They had seen the light in my mini cold frame and are thriving now that we transplanted them next to the trellis. *another note to self: next year plant, fifty of these. Again, twelve is NOT going to be enough. Good thing is, I started these from seed and still have plenty left. We'll get more started soon!

Potatoes were finally planted and nothing has spouted yet. These bastards are supposed to be one of the easiest to grow. Let's hope so, because my black thumb does not need a come back.

AND... that's all I've got. Sorry no pictures -I'm lame like that at 5:30 a.m.

We had a most excellent time with a new friend on Friday, and guess what I have a few pictures from it.

Yes, that's all I got out of our entire exciting day. I had the camera out for a brief moment and forgot about it. We were so wrapped up in laughing, sharing, and wondering how in the hell we hadn't met before! Carrie, I had so much fun on our first date, I hope we can meet up again soon. I truly think we were great friends in another life - there is just too much weird stuff that we have in common, and that we were destined to meet up again. Am I being stalkerish now?

Saturday we spent the day at the Juan de Fuca Festival and had so much fun and little tears. When we got home it was time for me to get domesticated again and start our new recipe for the week. Now, usually I'm not one to go all out on a new recipe, and I wasn't about to start it now. I just so happened to have all the right stuff in my freezer/fridge for this next recipe.

Now, have I a fantabulous recipe for you. You must go out and get this stuff right away -although 6 a.m. may or may not be the best time for this. I originally came across Old Bay seasoning in Martha's latest Everyday Food mag. The memories started flooding in about dinners at the Crab Pot on Seattle's waterfront and on Lake Bellevue. I HAD TO MAKE THIS!


find the website and original recipe here


4 quarts water (16 cups)

1 can (12 ounces) beer (optional)

1/2 cup OLD BAY® Seasoning

2 tablespoons salt

8 medium red potatoes, quartered

2 large onions, cut into wedges

2 pounds lean smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces

8 ears fresh corn, shucked and halved crosswise

4 pounds unpeeled jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 count)


Bring water, beer, OLD BAY Seasoning and salt to boil in 12-quart stockpot on high heat. Add potatoes and onions. Cook 8 minutes. Add smoked sausage. Cook 5 minutes. Add corn. Cook 7 minutes.

Stir in shrimp. Cook 4 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.

Drain cooking liquid. Pour contents of pot into large serving bowl or platter. Or, mound on paper-covered table. Sprinkle with additional OLD BAY Seasoning, if desired.

And now my pictures

aweful picture- but true to color on the stock, I forgot to whip out the camera early enough. In the above picture is the water, Old Bay seasoning, and onion. I also didn't get a pic of the potatoes. Note: yukon golds are not baby reds and they cook faster.

polska kielbasa
chop those sucka's up
toss 'em in
corn for the lazy -thank you costco
break them in half -hardly enough to feed my family
toss all that in
wrap your table in paper and get the kids wound up early
again cooked & peeled shrimp for the lazy
drain off liquid into an already dirty sink...don't look!
finished product! YUM!
we would have totally dumped it on the table, but I didn't put enough paper on the table and I think my kids would have freaked a bit.
Also, look! I made my special beans too. I'll share the secret recipe someday, I promise.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Just another manic Sunday

I'm rather enjoying my bit of work that I'm doing for my friend at her coffee shop, The Cracked Bean Coffee Company. About a month ago, I started working the "early" shift and even though it's only two-three hours it gives me that little break I need during the week. I actually look forward to getting up at 4:30 a.m. and I get home just as the little ones are starting to crawl about. I'm there when they wake, fully dressed, and with makeup to boot!

I'm not adding links to the recipes this week 'cause I'm so damned tired. One of these days I'll get them all in one spot so they are easily linked or searched. Dammit for being unorganized from the start. Also the pictures are sparse -tough.

Sunday, May 23: Crockpot Beef pot roast with Au Jus, smashed potatoes, & green beans

Monday, May 24: beef hot dogs and salad bar -baseball game

Tuesday, May 25: grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup

Wednesday, May 26: pad thai noodles with beef strips

Thursday, May 27: Spaghetti, salad, and french bread

Friday, May 28: homemade buttermilk pancakes or waffles

Saturday, May 29: leftovers/new recipe :thinking shrimp boil!

Sunday, May 30: Keilbasa, eggs, and biscuits

Monday, May 31: veggie stir fry and rice -happy Memorial Day!

Tuesday, June 1: pulled pork sammies & cabbage slaw

Wednesday, June 2: tuna noodle casserole

Thursday, June 3: no bake lasagna -ala food magazine, thank you Martha!

Friday, June 4: pancakes or homemade pizza

Saturday, June 5: Leftovers/new recipe

I hate this fucking dog

Monday, May 17, 2010

Going no 'poo - not that poo silly

About a month ago, I finally decided to do it. I am ridding myself of commercial cleansers. I started it to see, first off, if it was for me and then slowly introduce the kids to it. The husband knows that I do it, but hasn't quite fell off the deep end yet. Secondly, I hate the smell of chemicals. Dropping fabric softener was something I did years ago, the chemical smell would drive me nuts, and really a little static I can deal with. I knew it was going to be hard to give up the frizz-free conditioner, bleach wipes, and facial toners, and I think every day we struggle, but I'm committed so we'll see how they do.

I had already started breaking in with the kitchen cleaners last year. We use a vinegar and water mixture, usually a 50/50 mix to clean the table, counters, and floors. I also use the same mix to wash windows and mirrors. I also like to use baking soda as a paste to scrub some things that are a little tougher to get up. I know some of the family still likes to grab for the clorox wipes or comet. I hate the smell and I can't wait until we run out. (WE RAN OUT!)

As I making this huge leap to using no commercial cleaners I also decided that I might as well go ahead and give OCM, Oil-cleansing method, a try to clean my face. I have pretty much been a plain jane face cleaning girl. Although I've been know to use clinique toners, Origins foaming wash, I really like Dove soap and water and for a toner I'd use witch hazel -never religiously, but whenever I had time or if I had a major breakout. You know, desperate times call for desperate measures.

There is some great information out there on OCM, I found mine here at Simple Mom. While I did research other blogs, I kept coming back to that site. In order to find the right combination for me, I start witht the the basic 1 part castor oil and 1 part EVOO(extra virgin olive oil). So far I love it. My skin is soft, not oily, and not dry. I tried doing to try this every day for the first week and then I cut it back to every other day and On the off days I'd wash with just water. I found that I was having some issues so I'm back to every day and haven't had any issues with it.

The next step was going no 'poo. Reducing shampoo use was going to be HUGE! I tried this a few years back. I cut shampoo out but still used conditioner. I found it to be liberating, but still wasn't sure about my choice, because I wasn't completely dropping the commercial stuff. About a year into it I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and returned to using shampoos that were medicated and I'm sure loaded with chemicals. I hated the way that my hair felt. Since being diagnosed my hair has changed, the hair falls out and new, brittle, dry, thin hair grows back and it's never the same texture, not to mention that other shampoos and conditioners didn't seem to work right and gave me a dry scalp. I did feel that one specially marketed shampoo/conditioner combo for my alopecia helped, but in the end it left me with empty pockets, and heavy build up which, I'm sorry, is never cool. I mean, my hair already falls out, I don't need flakes too.

So prepare a bottle of 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 cup water solution in a bottle that I stole from the hospital after I had Natalie. You know those ones that they give you after giving birth for "cleaning" up down there? Yep, I held on to it, and actually I found that I had two of them. yeah for repurposing! I'll use the baking soda/water as a replacement for shampoo. And to replace the conditioner I started using a tablespoon apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. I add a couple of drops of lavender oil to that, because one cannot get past the smell of vinegar. While it doesn't completely mask the vinegar, it does make it manageable and the smell does go away before I'm done in the shower. I only squirt the ends of my hair with the vinegar mix. Now I've managed to con the eldest daughter into trying it, but whenever she goes away she uses that other stuff and it takes her a couple of days for her hair to recoup.

This most certainly is going to be an adventure and it'll be one that I can definitely feel good about. Next will be tackling deoderant. I can't wait!

Monday, May 10, 2010

peace be with you or wif u

Well, I'm sorry. I abandoned my 9 followers for approximately 10 days. My sincerest apologies.

Now, moving on from the groveling crap. We've had a very productive couple of weeks here at the Cross Compound. We tore out more trees, we built our pea/bean trellis and prepped and planted the bed, we had a birthday party, put up trim in our living/sitting areas, and started laying the brick around the house. All the while, the camera was AWOL. Yep, sorry yet again, no pictures.

I did prepare our dinner menu through the Fourth of July and I will share a whole two weeks with you now.

Sunday, May 9 - Keilbasa with Macaroni & cheese and biscuits

Monday, May 10 - Veggie casserole

Tuesday, May 11 - grilled turkey & cheese paninis and tomato soup

Wednesday, May 12 - chicken tacos

Thursday, May 13 - Spaghetti & salad

Friday, May 14 - homemade pancakes

Saturday, May 15 - leftovers/new dish

Sunday, May 16 - crockpot beef pot roast & taters

Monday, May 17 - caesar salad

Tuesday, May 18th - crockpot minestrone soup & rolls

Wednesday, May 19th - beef teriyaki and white rice

Thursday, May 20th - taco casserole

Friday, May 21st - pizza

Saturday, May 22nd - going out to eat :)

There you have it! I'll be posting my yogurt recipe fail & tweaked with version soon! Also, be on the look out, I'll be posting about my adventures with "no poo" and using the OCM soon!