Friday, August 28, 2009


This year for the "Welcome Fall" feast--we are going to try something different! PAELLA! Paella is a traditional Spanish dish prepared by simmering together chicken, seafood, rice, vegetables, and saffron and other seasonings. Not generally something you think of around this time--but warm and hearty for those cool Autumn/Winter nights!! I can hardly wait to sink my teeth into it!!

Serves 6-8

1 1/4 lb chicken, cubed
1/2 lb lean pork, cubed
3/8 c olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1/2 clove of garlic
1 tbs minced parsley
1 pimento, chopped
1/2 med onion minced
1/2 tsp saffron (the good stuff)
2 tsp salt
1 quart real chicken broth
2 cups rice
6 large or 12 small stuffed olives, minced
2 7oz lobster tails, cut in pieces
1/2 lb large shrimp, cut in pieces
1T dry sherry
1/2 c cooked green peas

In dutch oven best for this) brown chicken and pork in 1/4 c of
olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika and add garlic and a little of
the onion while cooking. Remove chicken and pork from pan. To the
pan add the rest of the oil and onion with the parsley. Cook until
the onion is soft. Add the rice and glaze the rice (if you haven't
done this is is a process of sort of stir frying the rice before
you cook it -- similar to what you do with bulgar -- it usually
takes about 5 minutes at medium heat).

Return chicken and pork to the pot. Add the chicken broth, saffron
and salt (ground together with mortar and pestle) and olives. Heat
until boiling. Cover and place in the oven at 350. This will take
30 min to 45 min to cook depending on the kind of rice that you
use and how well your dutch oven makes use of heat.

Steam the shrimp and the lobster. When rice is done add the lobster,
shrimp, sherry and peas. Bake and additional 5-10 minutes.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Did I mention I've given up couponing? I know, I shouldn't. I've saved a ton of money using them. I mean who else walks out of the grocery store with a basket full of food and $1.18 out of my pocket??? The problem is, the grocery store that I go to regularly has changed their barcode scanner and it beeps after every coupon.

Every single one of them the service lady has to come over and look at, and then manually send them through. I go into this store with a STACK of coupons. By the last one, she's usually tired of me, and sends me off with a grunt. One time she actually huffed and puffed her way over to me and in a not quite so polite tone let me know that she didn't have time to babysit me! Excuse me??? Yeah--I wrote a note to her manager! And ya know what...they sent me a 25% off coupon for my next visit!

The Bills

For the past few months our mortgage payments are getting later and later. It's not that we mail them late, in fact, they are mailed the same day of the month every month. But they seem to be getting lost at the fulfillment center somewhere between the mail room and the payment processing desk.

I will admit---this is probably my fault. You know those little slips that they send you every month and you rip off the bottom portion of the letter and return it with your payment in the enclosed envelope??? Well, our mortgage company is super cheap and won't provide the "enclosed envelope". So I figure I get to be stingy with my time and not return the coupon with my payment!

Not to worry...the account number is written clearly on the check---and luckily it's stamped the day it reaches the fulfillment center--so there have been no late fees charged that haven't been removed. Still----my husband has threatened to take away my bill paying privileges if I don't get myself back in line and do as I'm told!

And he thinks he married a golden retriever???? ;)

Getting Fit

My husband has decided to go on some weight losss supplements. He's not fat. Maybe a little round--but nothing compared to most of America. But he's gotten it into his head that he will be more successful in business if he were thinner. The man is a GM at a huge, multi-national hotel chain. What is he going for? World Domination??

I do have to admire him though. He started this little 'health' regimen last week and every morning he is up early enough to walk on the treadmill and pack a healthy lunch. Good job sweetie!

Now my project for this some big, burly guys to come move the treadmill out of my bedroom. There is just no sane reason for me to be up this early!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

School Supplies

I love shopping for school supplies! I only have three kids starting school in a weeks time, but let me tell you, I have enough pencils in my house to send them each to school with a new one every day until college!! Yes, I'm addicted!

The funny thing that I do love to collect, and they are so totally lame---3 subject notebooks. Yeah, I haven't got much to put in them---but I have a dozen of them. Most of the pages are blank in each one--but collect them I must! I brought three new ones home today--but they are hiding under my bed. Just not up to explaining the "fix" to my husband!

Monday, August 10, 2009

They Aren't Coming

My older brother and his family were supposed to be heading here for Thanksgiving. Usually they are on one of their orlando vacations, but this year they were going to come here instead. But now it turns out, that my sister in law's mother has booked them a week in her time share in Hawaii. I wanna go!

Now normally I would be thrilled for them, but these people and their children have been to Hawaii, Mexico and Orlando every year since their oldest kids were born...they've NEVER been to Chicago! But, we do understand and wish them the best.

They will miss out on the great trip we had planned!!

I've Been A Redo Fool!

I came home from vacation with the sudden urge to finish up every household project that I've been putting off for 2 years. I've pulled down all of the wallpaper in the kitchen, spack'ed, sanded and primed all of the kitchen walls. This week--the new color goes on. I've got fabric to sew all of the window hangings and to recover all of the bar stools. I'm even ready to head outside and hang my own shutters. They've been sitting in the garage for over a year!

The only thing I wasn't planning on shopping! Well, maybe a couple of new couches but now I have to add a tv stand to the list. We have a huge, heavy TV. It's always sat on this sturdy (or so I thought) stand. But today my four year old was climbing on the glass shelf (under the TV) to reach the turtle food---and it came a crashing down. The shelf...not the TV--THANK HEAVENS!! But it's the shelf that holds the DVD player and the Dish box---so that will be another job added to my list!

Who Knew!

I have never been on the cusp of the Technological revolution! In fact, I'm usually the one clinging to my trusty old standbys longer than anyone I know. Turntable? Still got one--and it works great! In fact, the 8 track tape controls are connected to it--and that works too! Yeah, I'm slow--and probably the last person to ever look at ipods--but I'm tellin' ya...I MUST have one! I have the cute little "computer" one that sits in the side bar of my Facebook page--which is where I learned the true and absolute joy that comes with a random selection of every song I've ever loved at my finger tips!

Yep...I'm SOLD!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sick Again

I was excited to get to go to the zoo today with my sister and her kids. Unfortunately, as is ALWAYS the case with us--whenever it's something I want to do-one of the kids got sick! Nothing to serious, just a little fever, some vomit--you know, the fun stuff!

I felt bad, because it would have been fun for the kids to get to run around together, and looking at some of her pictures in her photobucket--they had a good time. Hopefully when Katie is feeling better we'll head to the zoo, and even see if Rob and her kids would like to join us!