Monday, August 30, 2010

Last weeks goals, a luau, and a picture

The goals I made last week were not 100% met. I didn't even attempt to write out a business plan, I exhausted every effort to register for classes but was still unable to do so, but my cooking club idea is doing really well, we've got a lot of people interested and a bunch of people that I've never met are coming so the word is getting out there. I'm really excited about it and I hope it turns out well.

The school thing has left me feeling very defeated. I spent Monday - Thursday trying to get things sorted out, waiting for responses, calling random departments, etc and then once everything I needed to do had been done I found out that all classes were closed and completely full. So I can not go to school at UTEP this semester. I was really mad. But I am not just going to sit here for 5 months and twiddle my thumbs, I will literally lose my mind doing that. I guess I'm going to have to take a couple of classes at AMU this semester but I really need the advice of my crappy UTEP advisor to tell me which classes will transfer. I was truly disappointed to find that my environmental science class didn't transfer over. I loved that class but for some reason it didn't satisfy my natural sciences requirement. So because of that I need to speak with someone first about what classes to take. I'm starting to think that maybe I should just stay at AMU, stay a sociology major, and then later get a masters degree from a major university. I don't know. I love the idea of attending a well known school but I just don't know what to do. I will be calling my dad for advice on this one for sure. We're also having an education fair soon so I'll have to check that out.

In addition to running around like a chicken with it's head cut off for school I was planning a back to school luau for Haley and some of her classmates. It went really well and I was happy because I got to plan a menu and cook food. We made some grilled chicken and veggie kabobs, BBQ chicken legs, a no bake peach cheesecake, this really awesome caramel yogurt fruit dip, and some Hawaiian rice. I had such good intentions for that rice, I actually dreamt of it before making it. Unfortunately it was a little bland. I think it's because it was such a big batch. It had jalapeno, cayenne pepper, green onion, crushed pineapple, and coconut milk in it, plus a little garlic. I just can  not cook without cayenne pepper and garlic. I will definitely be trying it again, in a smaller batch. My good friend Vanessa brought her sweet potato fries which were amazing, I'll be making them soon.

Lastly, I had a studio session on Saturday evening and since that studio is such a pain to put up I always make the girls take pics when I have it up. Unfortunately Haley was at a friends house so she didn't get her picture taken but Miss Alice did and this is the result:
I think this weekend we might break out the tripod and head down to 29 Palms Inn and actually do some family photos. That is the plan but it has been the plan many times before and we ALWAYS blow it off.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Yum. These are pretty good, cheesy, spicy, crispy, yum. They aren't healthy though but they are almost as healthy as I could have made them. We used olives and red peppers but you can add any filling you would like. Here's the recipe:

1 can of reduced fat crescent rolls (8pk)
1 small can of plain tomato sauce
sliced black olives
roasted red peppers
pepperoni (we used regular but to save some calories and fat use turkey pepperoni)
3-4oz of part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.

Open the crescent rolls and do not separate them from each other, lay them out as one big sheet of dough and press the seams together, making it a whole. Using a pastry cutter or knife, slice it into four rectangles. Roll out each rectangle to make it just slightly larger, it should be as long as your hand when rolled out properly.

Spoon a little bit of tomato sauce onto the dough leaving about 3/4 of an inch of dough uncovered. Put some shredded cheese over the dough, add your olives, pepperoni and red peppers. Fold the dough over to make a triangle shape then using a fork press the dough together, creating a seam. Repeat with the last 3 dough rectangles.

Bake for about 10-15 minutes, until calzones are nice and golden brown.

Five Things

1. My morning glories are downright amazing. They make me not want to leave this place, which is saying a lot. Here they are, being awesome:

2. My baby is a goofball and when her hands are occupied she will not drop what she's doing to retrieve the snack I'm offering her. She will however open her mouth and lean her head forward as if to say "I'm a little busy, just put it in there for me, would ya?"

3. Correction: Both of my children are goofballs:

4. Yesterday I baked 70 whole wheat oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and I prepared and devoured this little slice of heaven:
It's a calzone filled with cheese, pepperoni, roasted red peppers and olives, and more calories and fat that I would typically consume at dinner. I will post the recipe later.

5. Nick is unaware that the cookies contain whole wheat flour, one of his hated foods. I plan on telling him tonight after he gets home from work and him and his co-workers have eaten every last cookie. He'll either be indifferent, say something like "I knew they tasted funny" (totally not true) or "Are you trying to poison me?"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Goals for 8-23-10

I figure if I post my weekly goals online people will see them and I'll have a better chance of accomplishing them, after all I don't want to come back at the end of the week and let everyone know that I've failed miserably.

1. Get registered for classes.
This is a biggy, hence it being number 1 on the list. I'm bored, I desire an education, yet it's been weeks and I'm still not enrolled in classes. This is because I have a registration hold that says I need to take an assesment test. This is bs because I have already taken and passed classes for all the subjects I need to be assesed for yet I'm getting the run around when I try to fix this little roadblock.

2. Create a cooking club
Think book club but with food instead of books. This is something I have wanted to do for a really long time now. I'm thinking every month this club meets at the host's home (a different host each month) and brings a dish they've prepared. Everyone who attends will get to sample each dish and all recipes will be emailed to everyone who attends. I've also been thinking there needs to be a theme each month that the host chooses such as comfort foods, French cuisine, etc. If you're interested please let me know.

3.Create a business plan
This is something I really need to do. I have some ideas for expanding my business and I really just need to get it all on paper, write out the steps, and do it. Unfortunately all my laziness occurs the moment I begin thinking of doing this and when I try to open up word so I can type it all up something happens and my hand gets a mind of it's own, opens internet explorer and types into the address bar.

So that's it. Three things in addition to my normal work load. It shouldn't be hard. We'll see though.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Better than Spaghetti

This, like most of my recipes, is insanely easy and so very yummy, oh and healthy too. After making this you may never settle for regular spaghetti and meat sauce again.

Whole wheat penne pasta cooked
1 can diced tomatoes - drained
1/2 can tomato sauce
garlic powder
1/2 tbs Italian seasoning
1/4 cup onion
1 lbs ground turkey
a dash of cayenne pepper ( I would put this in chocolate cake if my family didn't complain)
a little bit of mozzarella, maybe a 1/2 tbs
parmesan cheese

Dice your onion and saute it with the ground turkey and seasonings. I am a garlic powder abuser but I've never had complaints so feel free to go a little crazy with it. As for the thyme, this is one of those rare occasions in life where you CAN have too much thyme on your hands. Get it? Time, thyme? Yeah, okay moving on. Just don't put too much thyme in there.

Once your turkey is cooked through add your tomatoes and sauce, mix together, add more seasoning if you feel the need, I usually do. Then add your mozzarella and let is simmer for a little bit, about 10-15 minutes.

Serve over whole wheat pasta and top it with parmesan cheese, grated and little chips of it. You can make the parmesan chips by using a vegetable peeler on your parmesan block, it makes it look prettier.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm Back

I rarely fly as a means of travel, we usually drive because it's more economical but Miss Alice prefers not to be restrained in a vehicle for 17 hours and boy does she let us know how she feels if we attempt that. Her daddy has strong opinions that he is not afraid to voice and I think she got that trait from him. So when I decided to take her to Texas I booked a plane. The flight down there was effortless, easy, made me wonder what the heck everyone was complaining about when they said flying with kids was a pain in the butt. Unfortunately I found out why that is on my trip back.

Haley had gone to Texas in early July and she was flying back with Alice and me. I was excited about that because I thought it would be great since she could help me out and I was looking forward to having someone to talk to on the plane. I'm still in awe over the way clouds look from above, how neat it is to see another plane passing by, and I still can't understand why anyone would dare to close the windows on the plane because of all the cool stuff to look at. I needed Haley on board with me so I could point out all this neat stuff.

Anyway, back to the story. Once we got to the airport things started going downhill. It was rediculously hot that day so I was sweating like crazy by the time I one handedly navigated a stroller while pulling a huge suitcase from the parking lot to the check in counter. I then stood in a relatively long line staring at people who refused to believe it was a self check in. Seriously, people were just standing there looking at these computers and even after someone said it was self check it they still stood there, seemingly in disbelief over the wonders of technology. Could a computer really do what was once a humans job? Yes people, yes it can and it does. Finally they got over the initial shock and most likely a brief twinge of fear that computers may one day rule the world and things began to move. Once it was my turn we discovered that my large suitcase was overweight by 5 lbs so I had to remove things from it and stuff those things into other suitcases. I did this while my mom held Alice who was now screaming and Haley stood there watching me struggle to lug a 50lb case to and from the scale twice.

Once that was over we made our way to security which wouldn't have been so bad but I had made Haley wear tennis shoes which made the process a little lengthy, no big deal though. On a side note while I was waiting for Haley I watched TSA personnel try and figure out why a very well dressed little girl with down syndrome had been abondoned at the security check point. It was sad, she had been standing there longer than I had and when they asked her where her mommy was she didn't know.

By the time that was taken care of we were hungry and there were many options, Dunkin Doughnuts, Las Palapas, Raising Cane Chicken, and a really trendy looking croisant sandwich place. After a lot of deliberation we settled on the croisant place which seriously sucked. I paid $20 for flavorless, could have made it myself, sandwhiches that neither of us liked. I was annoyed. You all should know I love food but you may not know that I don't care to go out to dinner unless it's to eat something I can't make at home. I was downright pissed off. I could have made the same thing for $1.50 at home, but much tastier.

So after that fiasco my mom, who had come to help, bought me a chocolate chip cookie in an effort to make me feel a little better. I needed to take Alice in for a diaper change first though and of course there was a long line at the bathroom. Alice was exhausted and hungry but I felt she needed to be changed first because it was 6:15 by this time and our flight would soon be boarding. Once I got her to the changing table she started to freak out, I can understand since it was really loud and strange to her. She was throwing a fit, kicking and screaming, making it nearly impossible for me to change her diaper. Then an angel, or maybe it was a custodian, came over and talked to her, instantly calming her enough for me to finish my job. Thank you custodian! I washed my hands and looked forward to that wonderful cookie that was so close to being devoured.

Unfortunately once I exited the bathroom Haley asked me where her purse was. "I'm sure it's in the stroller with Grandma" I told her. It was not in the stroller though, she had left it somewhere. Her phone, her money, and her books were in there so she and my mom went looking for it while I fed Alice who should have fallen asleep eating but did not. Instead she went into her weird, overly tired, but insanely hyper mode. It's this state where she is incredibly fussy, incredibly alert, and very hyper. While this was going on I discovered that my plane was delayed 45 minutes. I know it could have been worse but it still sucked.

Luckily Haley and my mom returned, purse in hand, and for a brief moment everything was ok and I ate my cookie in peace.

Then Haley developed a very strong fear of flying. This girl was terrified, crying hysterically,  freaking out, exclaiming that she just knew something bad was going to happen. People had been staring at us the whole time since Alice was so crazy and hyper but they had turned away when I had met their gazes, now the staring intensified and they just kept looking even when I made eye contact. And I could not console Haley, I was so frazzled by this whole airport experience that all I could come up with was "it's going to be fine" accompanied by a weak pat on her leg. Thank God for grandmas though, my mom was able to console her and after 10 minutes of crying she calmed down.

Finally after all the chaos we began to board the plane but not before Alice fell, hitting herself on the cheek in the process which caused more hysterical crying and more stares from passengers. I briefly considered yelling " hey, could you guys quit it with the judgemental staring?! It's not helping" but I didn't want to become the lady with the crying kids who then freaked out on her fellow passengers. I was content with being just the lady with the crying kids.

Once we got to the gate Haley started freaking out again, crying, not wanting to leave my mom but I gently shoved her along and through very loud, intense sobbing she repeatedly yelled "I already miss her so much!". Finally we settled in the last row of seats, Alice nursed herself to sleep, the plane took off and Haley was fine. Everything seemed to be going ok until turbulence woke Alice up. Then I got motion sickness. I had purchased these accupressure bracelets designed to help with that but I apparently lost one of them and Alice kept trying to snatch the remaining one out of my hand as I tried to put it on. I really thought I was going to be sick. I would close my eyes every now and then and Alice would stay still long enough for me to get a little relief but then she'd move and I'd have to try and wrangle her back to me and I'd feel sick again. It was torture.

Once we landed in Phoenix we found our gate, settled in, and then found out that plane had been delayed an hour. So we spent our time riding the flat escalator things over and over. I actually enjoyed this part. Unfortunately the Phoenix airport smelled terrible so my motion sickness didn't get better and to make matters worse I tried this lotion on at an airport shop and it smelled terrible so every time I put my hand near my face and got a whiff of that I wanted to get sick.

Once we boarded the plane Alice nursed herself to sleep again and I was able to close my eyes and keep my head facing the front of the plane which helped keep me from getting sick. We finally landed and when I saw my wonderful husband everything felt ok. We got in the car, headed home, and I had the most peaceful sleep of my life. I was so glad to be home.