Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Week's Worth of Laundry

My husband came back from combined interview/consulting travel with a week's worth of dirty laundry in his suitcase.  I didn't realize that he'd left the case in the car until Sunday.  That's right.  He got in on Thursday and I didn't do anything about it until today.  Oops.  No, oops doesn't quite capture it.

I've been trying hard to do a load of laundry a day for at least the last three years.  What this means is that we don't have a lot of depth in the underwear drawer-- I can only go a little over a week without having to choose between a bathing suit bottom or going commando.  I've always kept the guys stocked with more underwear and socks, partly because of business travel, but also because laundry doesn't always make it into the hamper (I once found a load's worth of dirty clothes in the attic.  Yes, you read that right.  I have yet to understand the minds of small boys.  Or big boys for that matter.)

I digress.  A week's worth of laundry in a suitcase. More travel commencing today.  Panic!  Oh wait.  The guys have more pairs of tighty whities than I do.  Crisis averted.

Things I've learned from this last round of business travel:

  • Suitcases, like lunchboxes, should be opened immediately upon reentry.  If none is presented, ask.  (Lunchboxes? you ask. Ah, that is the subject of another blog post)
  • Mom should have less laundry than anyone else in the family.  It helps keep laundry predicaments at bay

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blueberry Boy Bait: It works!

A friend came over to borrow my kitchen and bake last night.  She made a delicious treat called Blueberry Boy Bait.  I also made some oh-so-good cheaters lasagna (ravioli instead of lasagna noodles, baked for 30 minutes in the sauce-yummy!)

We had a great time baking and eating and chatting, and somehow the kitchen cleaned itself up like magic between the laughter and conversation.  Just as she was headed home around 10:PM, the doorbell rang.  Strangely enough the dogs didn't even bark.  I was a little nervous as I peeked out.  Who should I see but my husband! He decided to come back a day early and surprise us all! 

Try this recipe - as boy bait, it works:  it called to my sweetheart across state lines and brought him home to me.

Blueberry Boy Bait
Adapted from Cook’s Country, which adapted it from the original
(as made by Meagan Rhoads who provided the link to the Smitten Kitchen)

Like any recipe with a great name, this also has a great story, which was that in 1954, a 15-year-old girl stole the show (but only won second prize) in the junior division of an early Pillbury Bake-Off with a variation of this recipe, named, she said, after the effect it had on boys.

Cook’s Country magazine dusted this recipe off from the Pillsbury Bake-Off Dessert Cookbook and made a few tweaks to bring it more deliciously into the modern age: butter was swapped for shortening, the quantity of blueberries was doubled and some plain sugar was replaced with brown sugar. The result? Let’s just say you don’t need to be a boy to be lured in.

Serves 12, generously
2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cake: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taco Casserole

I'm trying to clean out the pantry. This was today's attempt at using up lots of canned goods and frozen veggies:

Taco Casserole

1.5 pound lean ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 small bag frozen green peppers
1 can whole corn, rinsed and drained
2 cups salsa
1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, drained but not rinsed
3 cups tortilla chips, crushed
2 cups sour cream
1 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes, drained but not rinsed
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion and ground beef until beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease. Stir in the frozen green peppers, corn, and salsa, reduce heat, and simmer 20minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in beans, and heat through.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread crushed tortilla chips in dish, and then spoon beef mixture over chips. Spread sour cream over beef, and sprinkle olives, green onion, and tomato over the sour cream. Top with Cheddar cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

I'd love to post a pic, but there wasn't any left :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Starting the move folder

In the background you can see my 2008 move folder.  It was a zippered binder that had an attached file section.  I had the following inside:

  • Change of address letters
  • postage
  • envelopes
  • a phone log
  • maps
  • my move checklist
  • school information

Every move is different, and I'm taking a slightly different approach to this move. This binder has a space for a laptop. I'm also planning to use google voice to track all of my phone calls. I have two sets of dividers inside, one set to track details where we are now, and the other set to organize the details of our new location.

I'll update you on our move as we progress.