April 23

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend on the phone, and we got on the topic of what we were going to fix for supper. She said that she just slaps something on the table and calls it good, and that her kids really don’t appreciate it anyway, so why should she make something nice? I don’t actually remember what I replied, but what she said after, has stuck with me. She said “but I’m not a foodie like you.”

I never considered myself a ‘foodie’, but as I began to think about it…I am. I am a foodie, but it is obvious that I am only a novice foodie. I read quite a few food blogs for inspiration, but I know that I have not reached full ‘foodie’ potential yet.

One of the blogs that I read, has a cupcake contest every month. The boy wanted to get in on it, so I said “sure, why not?” After all, I’m a foodie, raising foodie children. He should get involved.

This month the contest was for Earth Day. The rules are/were that you make cupcakes with Earth Day in mind. Make them green, make them organic, make them healthy, most of all, make them creative!!! Ingredients are up to you this month, as long as your cupcakes celebrate Earth Day.

I read the rules and let the boy have at it. He got 5 different cookbooks from the library. They didn’t inspire him much. I suggested something pistachio as it is green. He doesn’t like pistachio. Obviously I have failed in the ‘raising little foodies’ category. So I left him alone.

He made a basic chocolate cupcake with a basic butter cream icing, and decorated it thusly.

I think he did a super job.

Signed,

Wishing it was pistachio

April 22

Whenever I go into the bathroom/nursery, this is almost always how it looks. All 3 boys piled up on my girl.

She always tries to escape.

But they always seem to be right behind her.

Leave me alone.

Mama, he’s pickin’ on me.

Don’t let their innocent looks fool you. In about a week, I am going to be in some serious trouble.

April 21

So the other day, the boy and I were talking about food, and he said that he had been wanting to make Shrimp Scampi. Who am I to refuse???

When I think of Shrimp Scampi, it is the shrimp swimming in butter with crumbs on top like you get at Red Lobster. That is made the quick, assembly line way. The classic way gives it a much better flavor and texture.

First you need to get yourself a pound of shrimp. The boy purchased 35/40 shrimp, meaning that there are 35-40 shrimp to a pound. Don’t look for “jumbo” or “medium”. That is not standardized. It’s all about the numbers.

Peel them, de-tail them, and place them on a baking sheet.

Drizzle these little guys with olive oil.

Season them with salt, pepper, old bay, and minced garlic (of which we had none, and used garlic powder).

Broil for 2 minutes or until they turn pink.

Take them out, and pour over lemon juice. This recipe calls for ¼ cup, but that was waaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy to much lemon juice. I am thinking a tablespoon would have been perfect.

Sprinkle on parsley and ¼ cup Panko.

What is Panko you ask? It is a Japanese bread crumb. They are large, sharpish, bread crumbs that totally rock. These make whatever you are breading tons crispier than anything else I have ever used. I am almost out, and must get me some more. The only place I can find them is at King Arthur Flour. I totally love this stuff.

Toss to coat.

Broil again till bread crumbs are brown.

The fun thing about this recipe is that it is more of a basic application or guidelines. Can’t have salt, then don’t use any. Like more lemon juice, use a whole cup. Make it yours. Add more Old Bay, less parsley, or even add some onion powder. It is totally up to you.

Make it today, or tomorrow, or next week, but make it.

It is way better than any sea food restaurant.

April 20

The girl and I were at the Tea House, where the boy works, for our usual Saturday tea, and in walked my dad. The girl lit up like a Christmas tree. She sure loves her Gramps.

He came to check out the deck. Said it looks good and sturdy, but then began to ask the questions I should have been asking myself.

How are you going to move it? “uuuhhhhhh”

Your yard isn’t level, whatch’ gonna’ do about that? “uuuhhhhhhh”

How are you going to tear it apart? “uuuuuhhhhhhhh”

Who is going to do the work? “uuuuhhhhhhh”

Obviously, I had not planned beyond my men doing some manual labor and enjoying the end product. Unfortunately, Superman works 2 jobs, and the boy is looking for a second. I could do it myself, but that just isn’t going to happen. Maybe 5 years ago, but not today.

I could hire out, but parting me from my money is something that isn’t done easily. Some call me cheap, some call me frugal, and some just make fun.   But that is a story for a different day.

We tossed around some ideas, but it was the general consensus that we not take the deck.

I am bummed…..seriously bummed.

Now to tell the nice neighbor man.

I’m sending Superman to do my dirty work.

That’s what superheros are for, right???

Recipe tomorrow.

April 19

Thanks so much for all your ideas and suggestions.

As you can see, the backside of my house is UGLY. OH…and I took this picture around 10 till 8 this morning. Yes, laundry is still on the line. Yes, there is foil on the door. Our refrigerator sits in front of that door, and since the back of the house is south facing, it gets alllllllllll the sun. So, we are helping the fridge.

What we are going to do is move the stairs from the side of the deck to where that green watering can is. Run the stairs to the bottom of the hill and put the deck there. I really like the idea of the gazebo idea. I don’t necessarily see a full gazebo, but since there are no trees in our yard at. all. I would love to have it covered.

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Lastly, because I don’t want to leave you with my ugly house, a picture of my girl that I took 2 weeks ago. That ought to cleanse the mind.

April 18

It is Friday and I am nosy.

Today’s question is very important, but just a bit different. I need your ideas, opinions, and in general, tell me what to do.

Our next door neighbor is giving us this deck. What should we do with it? Where should we put it?

We could add it to our deck that is already out there, or put it out back and make a fire pit kind of thing, or we could add to the porch out front, or  ???

Do you have any ideas?

Do you see any problems with my suggestions?

Do you like one more than the other?

Dad, will you come help???