Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Puppy Chow

We have a soft spot for animals in our house. We have seventy acres. We have a fenced-in backyard. This makes us an easy target for people with spare animals.

Two weeks ago, we had below zero temperatures. A fellow teacher saw two puppies running around her neighborhood. After calling around, no one claimed them, so she went and brought them in for the night, which turned into a weekend. But with three other dogs in her house, there wasn't room for the little boogers.
Guess who had room?
Like a good puppy mom, I bought them puppy chow, treats, and chew toys.
Guess what they've been eating....

They have a thing for hands.
I'm sorry to say that there are no pictures of Fairy Barbie. She lost her hands and had to be hidden in the outgoing trash. There are no pictures of my favorite cheapo Target sandals that lost their beading. It made me too sad to take a picture.

Frick and Frack have taken over the names. This is Sally.

This is That Guy Dog. (We're still working on that.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's in the Bag.

In an effort to help the environment, I purchased a few reusable shopping bags from Wal-Mart. It's a disaster. The cashiers seemed peeved about the inconvenience. My clerk the other day packed my things in plastic bags and then put them in the sacks. Going green has not hit Podunk, West Virginia yet.

Remember the old days, when the question was "Paper or plastic?" And either way, there were bad and good to whatever choice.

So what has happened to paper? Bad choice or not, you can make a paper vest with the kids, you can wrap a present with it, you can bake a pie with it.

Bake a pie with it? Of course.

I don't know the reasoning behind it, but when you put that apple pie in that bag, that crust is flaky, that top is buttery. Your kitchen smells toasty. (The toasty smell is that paper bag - is it releasing harmful toxins into your kitchen? Probably, but it is totally worth it.)

Now, for all you worry-warts out there that share the same line of thought as Farmer Brown, I know you are wondering if the paper will catch on fire. But as a past high school English teacher, I taught Fahrenheit 451. As you recall, if you were forced to read that book, you remember that the title comes from......? (I'm not going to tell you. If you want to know, you can Google it. Even better, you could read the book. That makes the English teacher in me, very happy to know that people may be out there reading some of the classics.)

Superb Apple Pie

Crust: 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
2 Tbs. cold milk

Combine all the ingredients and pat into the bottom and sides of a deep dish pie pan. No rolling! (I mix all the ingredients in the pie pan, and then just press it in.)
Filling: 4 c. sliced apples (I used Golden Delicious - they originated in WV!)
2 Tb. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Toss together and put into crust. Sprinkle with topping.


1/2 c. flour

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. sugar

Crumble together.

Place in a paper bag and fold to seal. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. No Peeking!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The 96er.

The Great Outdoors (1988) - For more of the funniest videos, click here.

Remember that scene in that great movie The Great Outdoors? Remember that we just got a freezer full of beef?

The meat in our freezer is wrapped in white butcher paper. The outside is stamped with what is inside. Most of the time it is like a crap-shoot with what will be in the package. For example, package that is stamped with "Sirloin Steak", I expect there to be some sirloin steaks.

This is what I got:

Yes, that is a 9 x 13 pan I have that bad boy defrosting in. There are two of them at that size. Maybe that is a regular piece of meat, but it is definitely not something I see in the Mart meat section.

I wasn't sure how to tackle that big boy. I chose grillin' as my method of destruction. I happened to pick a dark evening when the temperature was in the single digits. Here is my setup:

This was the finished product. It hung over the plate. It reminded my of the 96er. I didn't make Farmer Brown eat the fat and gristle. That went to Honey Dog.

(I'm such a ding-dong - I tried searching for the "69er" on Google to find the John Candy video. I didn't get anything close to what I was looking for.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Housewife with Little Time

On Wednesday's night's episode of Top Chef, the Quick Fire Challenge required the chefs to use prepackaged and canned food. Regular old stuff from the grocery store. The chefs were stunned.

My favorite comment came from Radhika who said the ingredients were "something a housewife with little time would use." It was a condescending comment that rubbed me the wrong way.

In her fifteen minutes, Radhika ended up making a bean dip with toast.

Here's what I can whip up in fifteen minutes, Radhika. (Okay, I need a little time to bake, but mine is more appetizing than bean dip.) Look at that cast of characters!

Chicken Enchiladas
4 - 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used the leftover roasted chicken)

2 cans of cheddar cheese soup

1 small can of green chilies

1 medium jar of salsa

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 pkgs. small flour tortillas


1 can of cream of mushroom soup

1 can enchilada sauce

1/2 c. milk

Boil chicken until done. Shred chicken. Mix with the cheese soup (I sometimes only use one can of soup because it gets a little too soupy), chilies, and salsa. Fill the tortillas and roll up. Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish. (I usually have two baking dishes filled with tortillas.) Mix the sauce and pour over top. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over top. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

*We really like these better the next day. They also freeze well.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Staying Up with Tom

To be bearable at work, I need to go to bed by 10:00 pm. The only exception is for Tom.

I am a big fan of Top Chef. The drama is over the top. The exotic food thrills me. You get to see delicious dishes like this

and like this

and like this
Men who know their way around a kitchen.....makes me weak in the knees. I am not even sure that Fabio on this season can really cook. I think they are keeping him around for his accent. His accent makes me weak in the knees, also.

And you get to watch Padma eat and eat and eat and eat and still look good.

There is no way that this is reality T.V.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Holy Cow.

"Imagine if we had to cook with an entire cow?" - Pearl

Actual comment made by Pearl from Pearls of Wisdom in the Hairy Chicken Butt post.
Since Farmer Brown is a beef farmer and we don't have beef in our freezer and I am paying mucho dollars for beef from the Walmart, I have been complaining. So Farmer Brown took a steer to the butcher. Today, the call came in.
"We have your cow ready. How would you like that cut up?"
Apparently, responding with "in packages" was not the response they were expecting. I guess I am to tell the butcher what cuts of meat I would like. And I guess, you really don't get 351 pounds of beef all in ground hamburger and steaks. I mean, I guess you can get 351 pounds of ground beef if you want it, but there are lots of other exciting pieces of meat waiting for me.
I told the butcher to surprise me.
Not really. I called my mother-in-law who took matters into her hands and placed the order. We pick it up tomorrow. The deep freezer is ready and waiting.
As a side note, our beef grew up in the pasture two miles down the road. It was fed grass and a little grain. This is the way that Farmer Brown has always raised his beef. When I told him that we would now be feeding the children "organic" beef, he snorted. Farmer Brown doesn't think much of all this "eco-friendly stuff" simply because Farmer Brown was "green" before it was fashionable.
***I have posted this three times, editing the paragraphs. Blogger is not accepting paragraphs today. It is driving me nuts.

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