Friday, August 29, 2008

Foodie Friday: Tortilla Roll-Ups

It's Food Friday and we've got a classic easy entertaining recipe. We've got company rolling into town today from different directions and at different times. So, I whipped up some tortilla roll-ups that are now chilling in the fridge waiting to be cut up.
I started with a burrito sized tortilla and spread it with cream cheese. (I let the cream cheese sit out for a bit this morning to make it more spreadable. I should have let the tortillas sit out for a bit, but instead I gave them a quick zap in the micro.) I topped the cream cheese with chopped black olives, green olives, roasted red peppers, and pickled banana peppers in various combinations. I rolled the tortillas up into a log and wrapped them in cling wrap.
Once we are ready to serve, I will cut the logs into pieces and serve with salsa. (Maybe once I get to that point I will post a picture.) For now it is off to the liquor store for some beer and wine.
Have a great weekend!

Here are some photos. We ended up having them last night with supper. They were a little soggy by then, but still delicious.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Tarnished Arches

On my way home from a productive day of school prep work, I decided to treat myself to an iced coffee treat from Mickey D's. Just as I angled my car toward the drive-thru, three other cars appeared. Seeing as the parking lot was all but vacant, I decided that it would be quicker to just park and go in. Hind sight being 50/50, I now know that wasn't the best choice. And here is why:
I step inside to see one other customer at the counter. So far, so good. The helpful McDonalds' employee does her job and enters the order into the computer. As I step up to the register she calls out, "Who is going to ring if I am supposed to be in the back?" And by calls out, I really mean shouts in my face.
As she heads to "the back" a very nice and helpful young man steps into take her place. Until this point he is the only employee that I could see working. I am wondering why he had to come over when I could clearly see three other employees engaged in other non-work related activities. (i.e. looking at a teen friend's iPod, leaning against the counter and contemplating life, and standing still waiting for a cheeseburger from "the back.")
As I place my order the manager steps into sight. She is a middle-aged woman who--how to say this nicely?--is young at heart. I can only assume that her eyebrow piercing, tongue ring (which I saw later), and unnatural hair color are attempts at relating to her staff. Now that the manager is here, maybe some work will be done, I think to myself. Maybe I will get my coffee. Nope. First she starts bragging on her gaming skills to the teen with the iPod. Then she tells another teen to hide and jump out and surprise someone who is on their way in the door. (Kinda glad that someone wasn't me.)
It may be at this time that she notices there are actual customers in the restaurant. In order to show us that she is the manager and can run this fast food place she shouts to "the back" that she wants good work tonight with everyone getting along and no whining. (What is this--Hell's Kitchen?) To follow up that great display, she sees my order and quickly mixes up my drink and hands it over to me apologizing for the wait.
Yeah, I think that she has more than the wait to apologize for.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The DMV . . . What's Not to Love?

Why is it that no matter where you are, the Department of Motor Vehicles is never a fun place to be. Is it the long lines? Is it that no one really wants to take time out of their day to be there? Is it the rubbing of elbows with the Creme de la Creme of society?

We were privileged to spend a good chunk of our afternoon at our local DMV recently. We needed to get new plates for the cars and new driver's licences for ourselves. (This is what happens when you buy a home in a different state than the one you rented in.)

Before leaving, we gathered up almost all of the important documents that we would need. We almost cleared out the entire fire-proof safe. We would need to prove who we were, where we lived, that we owned our cars, that our cars are insured, that I am indeed married, and that we aren't martians. (Okay, we didn't have to prove the last one, but they may want to look into that one.) Of course we couldn't find our up-to-date insurance cards which meant a stop on the way to pick up new ones. Grrr.

We got to the DMV which is located in a part of town that I didn't even know existed and there was a line out the door. It got better once we got inside and realized there were two lines, one for plates and one for driver's licenses. We tackled the plates first as our old tabs expire at the end of the month.

Once we got through that line we learned that we would have to take a written test to get our licenses. (Never mind the fact that we both took driver's ed and got our first licenses in this state.) But wait--the written exam portion of the office closed at 3 and it is now 3:15. Sorry, you will have to come back and repeat the process. (Oh, and we only allow for that Wednesday through Friday from 12 noon until 3 p.m.)

No worries, though, I will have some good reading material in the mean time--the good old driver's manual.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

CYO Pillowcase

That's right folks, it's a Create-Your-Own day here on the old blog. This weekend I had laid some grand creative plans. (You do know what they say about the best laid plans? I woke up with a slight head cold, but decided to push on through.) I wanted to tackle the curtains that I have been planning for the bedrooms. I had been searching for just the right fabrics for a few weeks and ended up finding them right under my nose in my very own fabric stash. (Imagine that, liking what you already have?!!) I had also found some fun cowgirl fabric that I think I had bought to make myself a pillowcase. (Ever since I lived in Montana I have been a little bit obsessed with all things western. Jenny's grandpa even bestowed on me the nickname of Montana Molly.)
Anyway, I decided to start on the pillowcase as I would be making use of my new-to-me serger and wanted a test project. Well, I got the pillowcase done and then promptly decided that I needed to make use of it for the rest of the day. (That slight head cold had turned my nose into a non-stop faucet and had inflated my head to three times its normal size. At least I could be sick in style with my brand new pillowcase!!) I think that M is relieved that I am the one who makes use of this and not him. He was a bit concerened that it was going on our bed. :o)

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Husband (aka "The Ox")

With a title like that, you may think that I am getting ready to brag-up my husband. But one look at the pictures will show you otherwise. (Don't worry, I love my husband dearly and will proudly brag him up on many occasions.) And now for an explanation. When we bought our home, the final cost did not include grading the yard. Since M has landscaping experience, we figured we could do it ourselves and save some money. One day M was talking to a friend at church and the friend brought up the fact that he graded his own yard with a contraption made up of a couple of landscape timbers that were lashed together. Our friend would drag the timbers around his yard with a long rope attached to the front. The farm boy in M thought that this was a great idea. And so we went and picked up our friend's contraption and M began dragging it around the yard. I do have to admit that the yard is starting to look really good. I told M that it was his project and therefore he could do it whatever way he wanted to. I did warn him that he may forever be known as Ox-Boy in the neighborhood, though. If you look at the pictures you can see the neighbors and some of their friends at a recent party looking out at M. (You will have to determine what it is they are thinking.)
The engineer in M thought that a few modifications were in order. At first he looked at attaching rake heads to the timbers but settled for sinking some screws in. Later he found a scrap piece of wood the builders has left behind. You can see him attaching it in the pictures. As he was out working last night I heard one neighbor offer him the use of his riding mower to drag it, but M declined. He figures this way he is also getting a work out. :o)
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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wowie, Wow, Wow

If you are at all up on your children's literature, you know that I stole the title for today's post from none other than Junie B. Jones. If you have not yet made the acquaintance of this spunky little diva, I would highly recommend you run--don't walk--to your nearest book store and pick up one of her books. (They are short enough that you could grab one of those comfy chairs and a latte and read it right there in the store. Just be ready to stifle the giggles and laughs that are sure to surface.)

But I digress. The real reason for the title wasn't to introduce you to one of my favorite children's book characters, but the thank Emily over at Imperfect for the lovely recognition she recently passed on to me. She deemed my humble blog up to the standards of the Brillante Weblog Premio award.

Now it is my turn to pass this award along to seven other blogs out there.

1. My first recipient is the Crockpot Lady over at A Year of Crockpot Cooking. What this woman can't do with a Crockpot! She is indeed brillante.
2. Anna Maria Horner is a fabulous and brillante fabric designer with a fun filled blog.
3. And another fabric designer turned brillante blogger, Heather Bailey, at HELLO My Name Is Heather.
4. The creator behind Not Eating Out in New York will be my forth brillante choice for the award.
5. If you too want to throw brillante parties (or like me, just enjoy dreaming about them,) then you have to check out the Hostess with the Mostess blog. (And the other great sections on this webpage.)
6. If you are at all into the blogging world, the next nominee needs no introduction. The MckMama craze has been sweeping blogs for the last month as she brillante-ly and gracefully (with a sense of humor still intact) blogged about her unborn son Stellan and his struggle to live. You have to check this woman out at her My Charming Kids blog.
7. And last, but certainly not least, my BFF and sister-in-law's blog, Smith Family Fun. With many entrees made to her own brillante kids (I can't help but brag about my nephews and niece on here.) I love you Jenny!
While I am relatively a newbie to this blogging world, it seems that we will get along just fine, thank you.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Foodie Friday

I decided that every Friday I will try to come up with some sort of food post. We shall see how it goes on future Fridays, but I have one all ready for today.

This is a snack/small meal that was born out of necessity. #1) I was hungry. #2) We had left the tomoato mix left over. #3) We needed to use the pitas that had been in the fridge (for an undisclosed amount of time.) And viola, a yummy treat was born.

As I said, the tomato mix was left over. I had made up a BLT pizza (I will post that one another time) and didn't quite use all of the tomatoes. In the tomato mix you start with tomatoes (brilliant, I know). I used cherry tomatoes (only fitting for this blog, wouldn't you say?) that I had quartered. I then added a bunch of sliced green onions, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. This mix had been sitting in the fridge for a few days so the flavors were melded together nicely. (Good word, melded, huh?)

I quartered pitas into triangles, split them into two halves, sprayed them with olive oil (isn't spray olive oil the best?), sprinkled them with salt, and baked them in the toaster oven until they were slightly brown and hardened.

This was so good I didn't even wait for M to come up stairs before eating. When he came up he was wondering were the pita chips were that I had made. At least there were a few left for him. Maybe I will have to make it again and share next time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Off

I am going to start my day with a trip to Office Max for free stuff. You gotta love being a teacher and getting free office supplies!! Then I will be heading to Kohls to return the entryway shoe bench that I ordered online. I thought it would be the perfect solution for the foyer. It is small enough that it won't block the flow. It has a spot for holding shoes so that they aren't always on the rug. And we can sit on it to take shoes off and put shoes on. That is after all what benches are for, right. Wrong! Not this one apparently. I got it all assembled and then thoroughly read the directions. (Isn't that the right way to assemble furniture?) Here is what I read: "Not intended to be used as a seat. Each shelf holds 100 pounds evenly distributed." What? To me a bench is something to sit on. Guess that I have been wrong all of these years. Needless to say, it is going back. Then I will be going in to school see if I can actually get some work done today. Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?!!

Something that we hadn't totally bargained for when we purchased a new construction home--construction. All around us, new homes are going in. We are woken each morning not by the idyllic sound of birds, but the clang of hammers and the screech of trucks backing up. Right now they are building the twin home right next to ours. I can literally hear the construction workers' radio right now. (Hey, at least it saves on electricity for us. I can just listen to theirs and not bother powering up ours.) I am thinking that it will be nice when the walls are up and the workers are inside. A great advantage is that we get to see how our home was built as this is the exact same builder and model.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

With Cream

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I love coffee. I will take it in any form, but I have really developed a taste for good, strong coffee with a slosh of cream. This means that I often will stop at Starbucks, Dunn Bros., or Caribou in the morning. Nothing makes for a better morning than a cup of steaming coffee in the hand. Lately I have had a bit of a problem getting my ultimate order across at the drive-thru. I don't know if it is my enunciation, the speaker, or the background noise, but I can't seem to get the cream included in my order. The other day the barista thought that I said I wanted a venti half-caf with green tea. (I had said "Venti half-caf with cream, please.") Luckily she questioned such an odd order and we got it all straightened out. On the next trip through I got whipped cream on top instead of regular cream mixed in. Now, I like my whipped cream just as much as the next gal, but not on top of a regular coffee. In order to get it correct today, I went into the Starbucks. That way I could just say, "Please leave room for cream," directly without interference from anyone or anything.
Any suggestions for getting the point across without having to go in?