sunset at moms

sunset at moms

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Witsdom Wednesday #3

"You cannot fail God; that would mean He needed you in the first place." -Will Dole

Friday, August 12, 2016

Not Going Back #1

As I said in a blog or two ago, I'm trying to do a major grocery trip on payday and then not go back to the store at all in between paychecks. I manage to stay on budget-ish during the initial trip, but it's the 947 other ones that are my constant demise.
Darn you, avocados, for never being ripe the exact meal I need you!!!

What I've done is keep a record of all the meals I've made over these last two weeks to show you how I did it, though I will admit, I did have to make an emergency run because we had some lovely Mormons over for dinner and I figured they'd actually like to consume food. Sadly, I am no Pioneer Woman, therefore, you'll have to settle for pictures taken with my phone.
As you'll see, fast food did not happen. I also make pretty much everything from scratch and am working on eliminating gluten from all of our diets. Breakfasts and lunches are wing its/leftovers a lot of the time.
Without further adieu!
Last Saturday: I don't remember what Will had to do, but if he's gone I don't cooky cook, so I just made chicken breasts and fake mashed potatoes.
Last Sunday: We had a bigger lunch, so honestly, Will and the kids ate popcorn and ice cream for dinner (I had beans and mushrooms myself)
Last Monday: Sushi!!!

I love making sushi. It's labor intensive, but so impressive. This is just cucumber, cream cheese, avocado, obviously sushi rice and nori, and it's topped with eel sauce, sriracha mayo and a dab of straight sriracha. When we have company over I make sushi with tempura shrimp, crab and fry the rolls. Since this was just us though, I wasn't going to do all that. Before you cringe at eel sauce, it is merely called that because it is usually served with eel. I've found that it's the missing magic to any Asian food I make. This is the recipe I use.
Last Tuesday: Palak paneer, jeera (ish) rice and naan

Palak paneer is an Indian dish. No one sells paneer here in Whitey McWhitesville, and I didn't want to use up a lot of milk making it (though it is wildly simple), so I substituted tofu I had gotten at the health food store. And...ew. I had overlooked some ingredients and the flavor suffered. The tofu was punishment and my daggum naan sucked. I had intended to pick the tofu out and use the palak as a sort of pesto sauce for pizza, as it had an almost pesto-y kind of flavor, but alas, it never happened. This is the recipe I used. I totally did not do Manjula justice at all. Hers is, by far, my favorite cooking channel on YouTube and makes frequently-going-meatless an enjoyable experience. My jeera rice is a knock off of her: I just toast cumin seeds (jeera) and a few dried red chilies in a little oil and then add basmati rice, water, and either dried cilantro at the beginning or fresh at the end. It's not legit, but it is quick. Manjula's real recipe is here 

Last Wednesday: Thai chicken stir fry with bacon basmati
I got this recipe from How Jen Does It on YouTube and holy waa is it good. I had to make some tweaks as, yet again, I overlooked things. I added coconut milk and virgin coconut oil to the peanut sauce to try and make up for my oversites and it was just stinkin' delicious. Also, instead of peas I used green beans from our garden.The rice is my brother-in-law's fiance's family recipe, and is just cooked bacon tossed in with the rice (I used basmati again. It's my favorite) while it's cooking (use chicken broth instead of water) with sliced green onions stirred in when it's done. Dang delicious. Jen's channel is one I will be referring to a looooot in my cleaning posts. She's the bomb.

Last Thursday: Huckleberry bbq chicken sandwiches, broccoli salad, watermelon, and cupcakes.
Thursday is Will's day off, and we decided to go on a family hike. Rory kept telling people we were having "bread and bbq and watermelon and cake with strawberries on it!" so I indulged her in everything but the strawberries. I made homemade hamburger rolls and the chicken was a total brain-baby but it was awesome. My only regret is not writing down what all I put in it. The broccoli salad was Julianne Primer's recipe, but I don't think it's on her blog. She does have tons of other fabulous recipes posted though. I always have the urge to drink tea and wear skirts after reading something she's written; she inspires the inner femininity hibernating somewhere deep in my whiskey drenched heart cavity.
Hike: good. Food: good. And the cupcakes were a Pillsbury gluten free funfetti mix.

Last Friday: Leftovers.
Last Saturday: we were at a birthday grill out.
Last Sunday: we went to Ma's house, therefore me no cooky.
Monday: Greek-ish Poutine and corn. Poutine is a bar food, according to Buzzfeed, and can pretty much be defined as fries, gravy and cheese curds. After experiencing Greek food with my sister a few weeks ago, I wanted to try to recreate the oregano-y goodness, but alas, I had none ground. And apparently Greeks don't make gravy, cause I couldn't find jack for recipes. So it was pretty much just oregano spiked gravy over fries. Curds weren't happening, so I just boiled up some sweet corn a friend dropped by.
Tuesday: Roasted tomato pasta with breadsticks.
We have a beautiful abundance of cherry tomatoes right now and it was blooming hot. Will is not the biggest sauce or Italian fan, but this made him happy happy happy. I pretty much just took Laura in the Kitchen's recipe and Sarah Carey's recipe and made a pasta baby out of them. It was fabuloso.

Wednesday: We had the lovely mormons over dinner. I made pizza of various kinds: a pineapple, black olive and pepperoni, a junk (supreme) and another brain baby for something gluten free. I used Sorted Food's Brazilian Pao De Queijo as the base, though I totally fudged up the recipe. I topped it with artichoke, cherry tomatoes, pepperoni and jalapenos and barely any cheese on top. It was gooey because of my mistake, but could still be held up. I'd totally do it again to see what it'd be like un-fudged.

"Do Mormons have dental insurance?" I asked before I brought this out.
For desert we had another brain baby: (if you haven't noticed, I've taken to calling my original ideas and recipes brain babies. Be annoyed; I am.) Scotcheroo Pie. The base is the peanut butter rice crispy bottom of the bars, the guts is just homemade chocolate pudding, and then there's a layer of whipped cream and then the chocolate/butterscotch top. It was...meh. I probably won't ever make it again, but it did evoke much ooing and ahhing. 

Thursday: Omelettes and bbq beans.

I learned how to make omelettes when I worked at the Gateway in Idaho. This was just a five egger (though Will said 1 more egg mixed in would have been the perfect amount for him), onions, pepper, tomatoes and cheese. We split this betwixt the 4 of us and I threw together some bbq beans.

There you have it, the first Not Going Back. Obviously we eat very ethnically: Japanese, Indian, Thai, Canadian/Greekish Italian, Brazilian. While I respect normal American food, the diversity of spices and flavors in other cultures is way more interesting to me, plus the dishes are usually way cheaper and more real-foodie than American casserole processed canned garbage (she says as her kids eat ice cream and popcorn within the first few days)

This pay period will vastly differ, as we have company coming next weekend. But if anything outstanding is made, I'll be sure to post it!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The 960 sq ft Mansion

Growing up, most kids dream of going to Disneyland. Commercials enchant them with rides, princesses and fun. As a kid, I knew a place that was better than any amusement park: my cousin's house.
 In their first home there were alligators to be ridden, and big hairy monsters to run from. In the second, there was baseball, cats with mustaches and Ozark hills that made your stomach drop when sped over. And in their third, there was palatial rooms, Narnian closets and horses. Horses horses and more horses.
It's probably because of this that I've never desired to go to Disneyworld at all.
Somewhere amidst the whirlwind of play, my expectations of my own household were being formed. Once the glare of The Lion King and The Man From Snowy River had been shut down for the night, my mind processed and absorbed its environment. When we grew too old for toys and make believe, we turned to coffee, conversations, and luxurious comfort.
  I have come to nearly idolize the way my aunt Kelly has managed her houses. Each has been completely different, and each has been kept well. My aunt and uncle were faithful with little; God has given them much.

The atmosphere of my aunt Kelly's home is my ideal when it comes to hospitality: clean, comfortable, and inviting. Much of the appeal, I'm sure, is that we just lived completely different lives. But it's something I always dreamed of recreating when I had my own family, and it's what I'm attempting with my household now that that dream has become a reality.

Another housekeeper I admire is my grandma Karolyn. I'm not being disrespectful, just factual, but hers was a cold hospitality. She had a schedule, she had expectations, and those were to be kept. Her house, to this day, is kept meticulously. She has a cleaning schedule she keeps to and everything is orderly. I have a fondness for the smell of furniture polish because of her. Her house is not artificially scented; it just smells good. I can only hope that with enough faithful cleaning my home will smell as fresh as hers someday.

Yet another one that comes to mind is my Other-Mother, Sharon. My best's friend mom, Sharon homeschooled 3 kids and took care of a wheelchair bound son. And her house was always spotless. I figure if Sharon can keep her business in order with all of those hurdles, I have no excuse. Ever.

All this is to say that cleanliness has always been important to me. Rarely ever executed, but in the back of my mind the desire for it was there. I did not grow up in a household where much importance was placed on it, other than when company was coming. I definitely carried that over when I got married and was suddenly in charge of the Loveshack. I didn't have a clue how to keep a house and used the excuse "It's been a crazy week!" when someone stopped by unannounced far too many times for it to actually be believable.
It's probably only been about a year since I've started getting the hang of this homemaking thing. Years of Pinterest and observing tidy people's houses suddenly clicked and magical things started happening. This homemaking series is about the things I've learned, absorbed through osmosis, and am currently learning. It's becoming one of my favorite topics as I unapologetically embrace the role of stay-at-home mother/housewife. These ladies' houses have always been the ones I regard as cleanest, so most of my references will probably come from them.

I may never have a big glamorous house, but when I keep the Casa de Dole in order, I have a 960 square foot mansion. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Witsdom Wednesday #2

"We're all legendary after we die; before that we're just dipshits."
-Mark Molzen

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Witsdom Wednesday #1

"Never pass up the opportunity to keep your mouth shut." Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Couple Things

Several things have been tumbling about the drum of my dryer brain lately. To put it all in one blog would be mind numbingly long, so I'm proposing to start a couple of different series. My husband has had a Commonplace Monday for months now and I enjoy it immensely, hence the first will be quotes, sayings, or chunks of wisdom I love. Some are a little crusty, but to censor them would do a disservice to the individuals and, in the words of John Piper, "DON'T change the words!'s not nice." That is the only disclaimer and sorry-not-sorry I'll ever give on that.
The next will be the things I'm learning about during my adventures in Housewifering, delving into unconventional femininity, hospitality, and raising little bundles of sin.
The next, which I'm quite looking forward to, is Homemade Psychology. This will pretty much just be my observations of life, people, and the ridiculosities that make us us. 
There will also be a bi-monthly post on Not Going Back; going to the grocery store once a pay day and being creative in between.

Here's to what appears to be a whole lot of writing deadlines!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Talking Doritos

    Welcome to midnight and Andie's homemade psychology. I've never read any kind of outright psychology books, but I watched a lot of Dr Phil and Oprah growing up, so you know, I'm legit.

    Minutes ago I was laying in bed, rehashing my day. I went to a Plexus shindig (Yes, I've fallen victim to an MLM, and I'm loving it) tonight and was talking with a fellow ambassador about how we both felt, eh,  I don't know if ashamed is the correct word, but basically like we're not doing so well promoting a product called Slim...when we aren't so slim. We've both had other victories with the products, but slimming down is not one of them. 
    So, sponsored by a late afternoon cup of coffee, I lay in bed, frustrated with myself. I have, once again, flopped to the fat side of the scale, a slow but steady climb since last August. From February to August  I got into/was in the absolute best shape of my life thanks to THM and Les Mills COMBAT and was flying high...and then I got tired. I got tired of saying no and sweating buckets and hitting plateaus. I was repulsed by my stretched, sagging, crepe paper skin and the fact that even though I got down to a size 6, I still had so far to go. And so the weight crept back on.
    I don't consider myself a binge eater. I always pictured bingers as puking when they're done, and why on earth would I waste good food? I'm certainly a serial over-eater though. It doesn't have to be an absurd amount of food consumption to count as over-eating. It's as simple as an extra glop of ranch, an unnecessary handful of grapes, anything over what you know you actually need.
    I know from all my Oprah/Dr Phil watching that people eat to hide emotions. Over the years I've stuffed my face so I didn't have to talk about my issues; it's rude to talk with food in your mouth, after all. So these last couple of days I've start to wonder what it is I'm not saying. I'm on these wonderful Plexus products that I know work splendidly for me, and my appetite is decreased, yet I'm still forcing myself to eat the same amount, when half of what I put on my plate would satisfy me just fine.
    Thus, in my homemade psych session, I asked myself what phrase I think when going back for seconds. Thus, I answered.

    "I didn't get enough."


     Food is the way I make sure I'm rewarded. I get justice for myself when I eat past full. I'm thanked and appreciated as elaborately as I think I should when I don't turn down dessert. In my heart I hold a grudge against God for the things I think He didn't give me enough of: time with Grandpa, opportunities, supportive people, friends, etc. The times I felt He dealt me an unkind hand, I record and spite Him with my portions. "You didn't give me enough, so I'll make sure I get enough!"
    Who knew a handful of Doritos could say so much.

    So I will confess my sin. My unbelief. My self-righteousness. I'll allow myself to let Enough be stuck in my head, though I tend to despise modern worship music and its floofiness. And I will start all over again.
    I've had enough.