Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Nuggs!!

Today is my mother's birthday.

Happy Birthday Nuggsamillion!
Sorry about those carrots.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Cowboy's Favorite Thing That I Cook for Him. Besides Spaghetti. And Lasagna.

And homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. But this is definitely in the top 5. Whenever I ask him what he wants me to make him for dinner, he usually answers "Hebrew Meatballs". So I made them last night for him, and now I will share them with you.

I found this recipe in a magazine a couple of years ago. I'm fairly certain it was the Rachael Ray magazine, and I'm not trying to steal her recipe, so if you want to you can probably go look it up on her website. Also, never fear, I'm not going to talk like Rachael Ray for this blog post. I considered it, but even that would get on my last good nerve.

Anyway, the recipe was originally called "Hungarian Meatball Stew". In my house, it's Hebrew Meatballs. Why? Because one time the Cowboy couldn't remember Hungarian, so he called it Hebrew. And it stuck. A few months after that, I was looking for the recipe online, because I'd lost it, and I was typing in Hebrew Meatball Stew and cursing Rachael Ray and her entire family when I couldn't find it. And then I remembered that it was actually Hungarian Meatball Stew, and I laughed. Oh, how I laughed. Stupid Rachael Ray.

(PS - if you like Rachael Ray, or if you are Rachael Ray, then I am sorry for calling her/you stupid. I used to be a big fan myself, but now she's everywhere and I find her to be quite annoying. Thank you.)

Moving along....let's begin.

The Ingrediments: 1.5 lbs ground beef (I used ground round, you use whatever tickles your pickle), eggs, breadcrumbs (I used the Italian Seasoned, you use whatever floats your boat), carrots, celery, onion, flour, paprika, beef broth, egg noodles, olive oil, salt and pepper.

The How-To: First, pour yourself a glass of wine.

Drink. Ahhhhh. Now you can start cooking.

In a large bowl, combine the meat, 1 egg, 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.

Listen up people. I'm not one for measuring. Sometimes I have to add an extra egg, or more breadcrumbs to get the consistency I want. But you will know if it's too dry or too wet, and you can add more egg or breadcrumbs accordingly. Form into meatballs, a little smaller than a golf ball. Ping pong ball sized perhaps? Sure, there you go.. Also, remember to take your rings off when working with the meats. You don't want to get meats in your rings. See mine up there in the left hand corner?

This dog is my constant kitchen companion. That tongue is ready to catch any bits of meat that may go flying accidentally. She is always alert.

In a large skillet, drizzle a little bit of the EVOO (HA! Just kidding, just had to slip one in there). I mean, the Olive Oil, and I don't care if you use Extra Virgin or not. Use whatever gets your goose. But just drizzle a little bit, since the meats will give off some fat (unless you use the really lean stuff). Place the meatballs in and cook until no longer pink.

** Important Meatball Cooking Notes ** You don't have to cook the meatballs all the way through, you will get a chance to finish cooking them later. Also, you don't want to crowd the pan with the meatballs. See how they're nice and spaced out up there? That's what you want. Also, if you have a Cowboy at home, get him to help cook the meatballs. That's what they're there for.

While the Cowboy cooked the balls of meats, I chopped the veggies.

Mom? Are you reading this? Turn away from the computer. Turn away, I say. What you are about to see may disturb you greatly. You've been warned. Listen, when I was like 10, it just so happens that several times (probably like 3) I almost chopped my fingers off cutting up carrots. This was in the days before you could buy pre-shredded carrots, or baby carrots. You had to get them whole and peel them and chop them. After you got done walking to school uphill in the snow. Both ways. And so, I was cutting up some carrots and so what? I almost sliced off my fingers. So what, I had to go to the emergency room and get stitches. So what I still have a scar of my index finger that gets numb if it rains. So what I promised my mother I would never again chop up another carrot so long as I live.

So what. Chopped carrots are essential to this recipe, and The Cowboy was busy cooking the meats, so someone had to chop those carrots and Sam doesn't have opposable thumbs, so the task was left to me. I still have all ten digits.

So I used 3 carrots. And then I chopped up some celery. (Mom, you can look again, it's ok.)I like to use the inner celery stalks, the ones that are a little smaller, lighter and more tender. And they usually have some leaf action up there at the top. Those leaves...oh my goodness they have so much flavor. So I chopped up about the equivalent amount of celery to carrots. I told you, I'm not one for measuring. It was probably about 3-4 of those little ones. With the leaves. I'm telling you, those leaves are money.

And then cut up an onion and throw that into the mix too. I used a yellow onion, medium size.

It's a potpourri of veggies. This process usually doesn't take as long as cooking the meats, so this is the perfect opportunity to pour yourself another glass of wine.

Hey speaking of wine, check out these candles that The Cowboy's parents bought me for Christmas.

Do you think it's bad that even my probable future in-laws know I have a drinking problem? Something to think about over another glass, I say.

Lalala, Cowboy is still cooking those balls. I'm telling you, it takes a little while since you have to space them out and can't cook them all at once. I got a little bored waiting.

So I watched Brent play Rock Band for awhile. He's really good.

And I played with Aggie a little bit. I tell you what, if ever there was a human being who loved a dog more than I love this dog, well then,.....uh.....I don't know, but what I'm trying to say is, I love this dog, ok?

Whoops! How'd that get in here?

Oh good. The meatballs are done. Note that the Cowboy put them on a plate lined with several sheets of paper towels to drain them.

Now, toss the veggies in the same pan with all the leftover oil and browned bits.

Stir em around, make sure you coat them real good with all that fat. Let them cook for a couple-five minutes. Just to soften them a bit. Until that onion is good and translucent. Stir em up every so often.
To the vegetables add 2 tablespoons of flour, and 2 tablespoons of paprika. The flour thickens the sauce, and the paprika flavors it. You need equal amounts. Stir it up, coat the veggies and let it cook for a minute or so. Just so that the flour kind of cooks down and you don't have big clumps in there.

Then turn up the heat, and add some beef broth. You need about 2 - 2 and a quarter cups of liquid. I usually use 1 can of beef broth, which is just shy of 2 cups, and then stir it and see where I am. Once the sauce starts boiling, it will thicken up and if it's too thick, I throw in some water. Or more beef broth, if you have it. Or maybe even some wine. By this point, I'm throwing wine around everywhere anyway.

I'm just kidding. I wouldn't want to waste good wine by throwing it.

So yeah, wait for the sauce to thicken up and boil, and then add your balls back in.

And continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how much more you need to cook the meats. See all that splatter on my stove? Don't judge me! I cleaned it up after. There was a lot of sauce in that pan.

In the meantime, I cooked up a pot of egg noodles. Because that's what we like to serve it with, but I guess you could do rice or even potatoes. But let me tell you what, the egg noodles are wonderful. Mmmm.

I also serve it with one of The Cowboy's most favorite items: The Pillsbury Crescent Roll. I get the low fat kind, shhhhhhh. He can't tell the difference, and neither can I.

Hebrew Meatballs are gooooood. And they're even better the next day for lunch. Well, maybe not better, but definitely just as good. Make some! Your tummy will thank you, and then you can thank me. And in advance, I will say, You're Welcome!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Most Boring Blog Ever

Seriously, just stop reading right now, that is how boring my life has been this week. If you choose to proceed, consider yourself warned. This blog may cause drowsiness.

I have been totally uninspired to blog this week. Usually I'm always thinking of things to write about, and taking a ton of pictures. But this week....nothin'. I don't know what my problem is. I'm completely unmotivated, and it's extended into my knitting. How are my Ravelympics projects going?, you might be asking yourself. Well I am no Michael Phelps. I will not be taking home 8, or for that matter any, gold medals.

My Ravelympics projects (finishing the PSoD, and making another pair of socks) are completely stalled out. No, wait. Stalled out would imply that I had started them and then stopped mid-knit. That would be false. I didn't even start them. I knit perhaps 2 rounds on the PSoD, and didn't even bother to cast on for the other socks. However, in the meantime I have managed to knit up 2 more scarves and a bunch of coasters. And I will tell you why: those items are mindless. I can sit on the couch and garter stitch up a scarf or a coaster and not have to think about what I'm doing. I'm not a good enough knitter yet to do socks and have it not require thought. The thought of socks just makes me tired.

In the absence of any great, prolific blog posts or new pictures, I went ahead and was clearing out old pics on my camera, and have come across a few random gems that I will share with you now. Just because I can't stand to have a blog without pictures. It just ain't right, I say.

Here is Moose, or as I like to call her, Rupert Von Poppington Head, looking super cute. I don't know why I call her that. I am a weird crazy cat lady. Cut me some slack.

Here is Gus, or as I like to call him, Mister Sister. Or The Fat Man. Or Bubba. Or Bubs McGee. Gus has a lot of nicknames. I promise this is the last cat picture I will post for awhile. At least until tomorrow. No really, I don't take that many pictures of my cats. Really. I don't.

Here's Brent working on our floors in the kitchen/dining area. This is an OLD picture, probably from March or April. Those floors have been done for months. I am lazy.

These are some roses that we (and by we, of course I mean The Cowboy) grew in our garden this spring. The Cowboy picked them for me and put them in a vase. After I asked him to. Twice. Oh, the romance.

My feet. I have a weird thing about taking pictures of my feet. I don't know why.

Sydney, looking especially cute and Pebbles-like on her first birthday.

Lake Buchanan. Taken during our yearly camping trip. It's one of my favorite places to be.

Wes, or as I like to call him, Westicle. Piloting the boat during our camping trip. Nice hair, Westicle.

Oh dear. All I can say is don't be jealous of my mad skillz.

I was trying to get a cute shot of me and Sam but that damn dog won't sit still for 2 seconds.

You no likey, Mikey?

Clearly, this one was taken at the end of the night.

I need help.

"Whatchoo talkin' bout, Mr. D?"
Mess up their eyes early, I always say. It's worth it to get a cute picture like this.

This is the jackass, er, I mean man that I live with, y'all. God help me.

That's it for the random camera shots. There were like 5 other pictures of my feet on there, no joke, but I figure no one really wants to see those. I mean, I don't even really want to see them. I don't know why I take them. I don't know why I do half the crap I do.

Tomorrow we're going to Schlitterbahn and for those of you not familiar with Schlitterbahn, you are missing out. I realize it's another water park and I'm really taking a gamble and rolling the dice on the whole staph infection situation, but I like to live on the edge. And this time if I get one, I'll have no one to blame but myself. It's all about personal responsibility.

Here's hoping for everyone's sake that my weekend is more exciting....hope yours is also!

Monday, August 18, 2008


My Monday is officially off to a crappy start. I was running late this morning, forgot to grab my gym bag (which I'm not really all that sad about anyway), and I didn't have time to stop and grab something to eat. Not good. To top it off, on my way to work I saw a deer get hit by a car. Oh, my.

Now, I live in Texas, which for those of you who don't know, is the Official Road Kill Capitol of the World. Honestly, it is. And before that, I lived in Michigan which is a close second. I see road kill of all manner every single day. Road kill itself doesn't bother me. Except when it's 104 outside and the smell of rotting, decomposing animal flesh infests my nose and stays with me for 3 hours. Then I get a little annoyed. But just the sight of roadkill? Meh, no big deal. Unless of course it's a cat or a dog, and then watch out because I will start crying.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the deer. Well I could see it start to walk across the street, and the car in front of me stopped to let it go. The car coming in the opposite direction slowed down, and I believe was attempting to stop, but couldn't quite get there in time, and her bumper caught the deer's rear legs. The deer flipped over, stumbled, tried to stand up, stumbled some more, and then got up and walked away. I saw all off this whilst peeking out from behind my hands as I watched in horror and repeated "Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no" to myself. It looked like the lady who hit the deer was pretty much doing the same thing in her car. I feel terrible for her. If I had been the one who hit a deer, I'm pretty sure I'd have driven that car right off a bridge after that.

It looked like the deer was ok, but really, how can you know for sure? He could have gone into the woods, curled up and died somewhere. The Cowboy, bless his heart, tried to reassure me by saying that more often than not, if they can get up and walk away, they will be fine. So that made me feel a little better, but I tell you what, I started crying and only just a little while ago was I able to pull myself together.
So, wild deer, wherever you are, I hope you are OK. I'm sorry that I ate your cousin a few weeks ago when we were camping and really enjoyed it. Please don't die.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Tale of Two Babies

Last night was Taco Night, and I realize that I promised last week that there would be a blog with Taco Night details forthcoming this week. So I lied. Listen, our regular Taco Night restaurant was closed for maintenance, so we had to go to another location, and it wasn't the same, and Marcelino, our comical waiter, wasn't there, and I just can't be expected to blog about something that didn't, in fact, take place as usual last night.

Never one to disappoint, though, I do have a little something for you today. The 2 newest members of our Taco Night crew were there last night.

Baby Stinky Pants

and The Cuteness

Get a load of that baby.

Let's do a little comparison, shall we? (although, I'd like to add a small disclaimer here, to the parents of both babies, your children are perfect, beautiful and wonderful and there really is no reason for comparison, other than sheer comedy, thank you)

Let's take a look at The Cuteness' hair.
As one friend put it, it looks like she has "Lego hair" - you know, that plastic hair that you can pop on and off the little Lego figurines? And according to The Cuteness' own mother, people have said she looks like she's wearing a toupee. I briefly considered changing her name to Baby Toupee, but that's just cruel.

Now let's examine BSP's hair. She's got what I like to call "Grandpa Hair".

Many babies have the Grandpa Hair. It's nothing to be ashamed of. But when you stick her next to ol' Lego Head up there, a kid could develop a complex.

Back to The Cuteness.

This kid isn't missing any meals. I got to feed her while we waited for our table, and I'm looking forward to regaining the use of my left arm in 2-4 days. Kid's a load. Just sayin'.

(did anyone else notice that I wore this shirt last week to Taco Night? Apparently my turquoise Old Navy tee shirt is my official Taco Night uniform)

Baby Stinky Pants, on the other hand, has been aptly named "Feather" by The Cuteness' mother. BSP is so quiet and little that sometimes you might not realize she's there. That is, until she ripens up one of her diapers, and then there's no forgetting.

A little side by side action.

I can't decide if The Cuteness is thinking "Stick with me kid, I'll show ya the ropes." or "What the hell? This kid doesn't have any hair."

No question here. Baby Stinky Pants is thinking, "Please don't let her eat me, daddy!"

It's worth noting that they are 6 weeks apart, and I think it's pretty awesome that they were born so close together. All comments on this blog are made in jest because in reality, I think these two babies are pretty damn awesome and I love getting to see them and hold them and, oh ok, smell them all the time.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I have been in a major funk for the past 24 hours or so. I have a feeling I know the main cause of said funk.

And this funk is causing me to a very negative-thinking person. I need positive energy. Please leave me some.

This made me smile, though. A little, anyway.

My friend Wonder is holding a blog contest. Head on over to her page and enter if you like. I know she'll appreciate it.

I'm going to go listen to The Cure.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hey France?


PS - totally have a crush on Cullen Jones.