Tag Archives: food

Daisy cooks, too.

30 May

Now, I know Violet has been the resident recipe poster, but I can get down with some cooking too. Violet asked me to share a few little tips and tricks that I’ve shared with her, so here you go..

I have great eaters. I really can’t complain, they will eat just about anything. Why? Not sure. Is it luck? Did I expose them to different foods when they were young, via my eating habits & breastmilk? Who knows. Maybe a good combo of both. Even with my great eaters, one of which (Diva) lists raw broccoli as one of her favorite foods, I still like to sneak in even MORE vegetables than they would normally eat.

Funny story, when Diva & Intuitive were about 2 or so, we were grocery shopping, strolling through the produce section, in fact. Diva begins a full on tantrum because she thought I didn’t put broccoli in the cart. Can you imagine this little pig-tailed girl, screaming her little brains out because she thought that mean old mommy DIDN’T get broccoli? The laughter coming from the other shoppers was pretty excellent when they realized that she was yelling for broccoli.

Anyways, “hiding” veggies in meals isn’t a new concept. There are cookbooks written on the subject. These are just some of the things that I’ve done.

Making spaghetti? Using jar sauce? Good shit, go for it. Whenever I make it, I will use a large grater and grate a few carrots, some squash, zucchini, finely cut spinach. Dump the jar of sauce in a big saucepan and dump the veggies in, simmer it all while your pasta is cooking. The veggies will cook down, and be completely unnoticed by even the pickiest eaters. My kids KNOW I do this, and couldn’t care less!

Tacos? Grate some of the same veggies into the meat while you’re cooking it. Same concept as the sauce, noone will notice.

Has your kiddo said no to baby food? Is she ready for the real stuff? Don’t worry. I’m sure you have 8 million extra jars of baby food sitting around, so USE them for your cooking. Dump a jar of carrots into your spaghetti sauce. Any veggie, really. Have some fruit ones? Make your kiddo some PLAIN oatmeal, and put some in the oatmeal.

Sneaking good stuff in is easy. It’s easy, and no one will ever know.

You’ll probably feel kinda bad ass for pulling a fast one on your family.

Any other ways you guys sneak some good stuff in? Let us know!

-Daisy

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The one where Daisy bows down to Violet.

5 Apr

Violet has been in the couponing game for quite awhile. She has also been attempting to school me in couponing for a while. Finally, I decided to give in and attend Violet’s Couponing for Dummies and Those With Short Attention Spansclass.

A few Sundays ago, I had Terry get me a newspaper. I sat down on the sofa with a pile of money saving papers in my lap. I called Violet.

“Ok, I have the coupons in my lap. Let’s get this shit started.”

In true teacher fashion, she ran our discussion like a lesson. She had questions, info, facts. Assignments. To be honest, I was a little frightened. We held our Coupon Sunday classes a couple of Sundays in a row, and finally, it was time for her to turn me loose in a grocery store with my new bright orange accordian file (ugh, it was the only color they had.).

Terry went with me on my first big couponing extravaganza. That was probably a mistake. I was a bit neurotic. I looked like those women in the extreme couponing shows. Before we embarked on the insanity, I sat in front of the computer with my grocery store’s website open. I went through their weekly deals and BOGO’s and compared with what coupons I had, and what I needed. This took me probably 45 minutes. I had a comprehensive list, marked with what items were BOGO or franken-BOGO, (refer to Violet’s couponing-basics post for that explanation) I listed which items I had coupons for, what quantities I needed for the specific coupons. I moved the coupons I was planning to use to a front pocket in my accordian. I was ready. It. Was. Intense.

We walked in, I situated my purse in the baby seat thing in the cart. Put my accoridan file on top, paper clipped my list to the cart, and got down to business.

Terry assumed that this would be like an ordinary shopping trip, grabbing what we needed in whatever order we found it. No. Not so much.

Sorry, honey.

I was militant. Organized. Totally type A. (I’m SO not type A. I so WISH I was type A.)

We made it through the entire grocery store, taking advantage of as many BOGO’s as we could. When we finally got to the check out line, after trying to unload our 2 carts of stuff as quickly as possible, I set up shop in front of the monitor to see my items and savings. I handed over my precious coupons and watched the price drop even more.

I did end up spending more than I usually would on 2 weeks worth of groceries, (but not by much) but I was able to stockpile a bunch of things. Things that we will inevitably USE. Cereal, beef/chicken stock, mac & cheese.

My bill would have been around $550

I paid about $360

The little box on the bottom said

Today you saved: $191

We are so set on non perishables now. I won’t have to do a MAJOR grocery shopping expedition for at least a month, probably more. Unfortunately, produce usually doesn’t have coupons, so a lot of my money went towards that. I was able to take advantage of some franken-BOGOS on produce though.

Planning and setting up my couponing was a bit involved. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Savings are savings. They are even better if you are saving on something you were going to buy REGARDLESS. I look forward to getting a Sunday paper and building up my stockpile of coupons and comparing weekly adds to see how to stetch my money.

I also wanted to share something sort of related to money saving tricks..

Pterodactyl’s birthday is coming up, and I was planning on buying her a cute little slide from Little Tikes. I actually was going to order it today. I found a nice coupon online from retailmenot.com, and the Little Tikes website had free shipping.

The slide was $89.99. I did find it for a little cheaper on other websites, but no one else offered free shipping. Shipping was around $30 on other sites. Anyway, I was out running errands (like one to get the First Husband some cases of diet coke at a great price thanks to coupons lol) and on my way home, I drove by a little thrift store near my house.

What was sitting outside?

The exact slide I was going to get Pterodactyl.

The. Exact. One.

I did a u-turn and parked. I sauntered (yeah right, I fucking ran) to the slide and quickly examined it. The thing had to be used, like, once. Whoever got to play with it before had stuck about 20 stickers to the slide. Other than that, it was perfect. I ran in and asked the lady inside for the price.

She looked over at the slide and said… Get ready..

TWELVE DOLLARS.

“I’ll take it.”

 

I somehow managed to shove the whole thing in one piece into my truck. Got that baby home, brought it inside, and started taking it apart. I laid the slide down on my coffee table, and liberally applied Goo-Gone. Five minutes later, all evidence of the previous owners’ stickers was GONE. I took the entire thing apart, and cleaned every inch of it with antibacterial multi-surface cleaner (so I’m a little crazy about having other people’s germs), and it looks like it just came out of the box.

Not only did I get an amazing deal; I mean, really, $12 as opposed to $89.99?! I also feel as though I did my part to be sort of “green”. Giving a gently used piece of indestructible kid stuff another life, while saving.. what? 85%?

I’m not that great at math, but I do know a good deal when I see one.

-Daisy

Celebrity Parents

30 Mar

Celebrity culture has always been somewhat of a twatwaffle to me. I don’t get into the drama; I don’t understand the hysteria. I don’t follow Perez Hilton’s blog. For all intents and purposes, I think celebrities are a bunch of middle class morons who happened to fall upon fame and wealth because they were either a) favored with big tits or b) can make themselves cry on cue. (Daisy and I are blessed with both of these attributes. Where are our millions?) At some point in their journey from mediocrity to internationally irrelevant, someone issued them all (collectively) a license for weirdness.

I didn’t used to mind the weirdness. Tom Cruise wants to put his money in a tax shelter and call it religion? Fine. Follow that up with a critique of psychology as a legitimate medicine practice? He’s an asshole, but I didn’t give him enough credit to care. Fergie wants to pee-pee in her pants without a Huggies, then shower in champagne to cover it up? Have fun! But then these weird-ass movie stars decided to tell the world how to parent. That’s when I became annoyed.

First, we had Mayim Bialik telling us that we need to breastfeed our kids until they’re five. (Anyone else think of the movie Grown Ups when you hear that?!)  January Jones, of Mad Men fame, wants you to eat your own placenta after you deliver your afterbirth. (And I know that in some less civilized cultures, that’s acceptable, but I’m a middle class American. We don’t cannibalize our extraneous organs.) Now, Alicia Silverstone wants us to feed our children like we’re pigeons by chewing our food and spitting it into the waiting infant’s mouth. Oh, hell no.

Here’s my problem: for one, parenting is a completely individualistic practice. No two mothers are alike, and no two children are alike. Prescribing any parenting practice is risky business (haha, Tom Cruise joke!) because methods that worked in one family may fail in another, and who will the failing family blame? The person who offered the advice in the first place. Not a wise idea if your income is based on your likability. My other problem with this celeb-mommy-culture is that too many people put these assholes on a pedestal. For these people, anything a favorite celebrity spews from her mouth is scripture. Cameron Diaz wants me to exfoliate with llama fetus eyeballs? Sounds great! Jack Black suggests I huff Dorito Cheese dust to make my hair grow longer? Yum! So when the Hollywood-types tell you that you should cover your kid in olive juice every day to prevent AIDS, some ignorant imbecile will take that to heart and buy a Costco-sized jar of olives.

Weirdo celebrity parents: keep your strange-as-shit thoughts to yourself. If you want to name your kid Pilot Inspektor or Jermajesty, be my fucking guest. No skin off my back. But to promote your strange (and possibly harmful) parenting tactics to your unassuming, impressionable fan base is wrong. You’re fucking with a child’s well-being when you tell his parent to eat a lock of his hair every year on his birthday, or whatever unusual shit you do with your children. Just like with politics, Hollywood Freaks, keep your nose out of shit you don’t understand, and stick to acting/singing/slutting.

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It Tastes the Same

29 Mar

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(if you close your eyes.)

Crescent Roll Thingies

27 Mar

We’re not only splendiferous Mommies; we’re tigers in the kitchen, too!

I’m usually the last person to find out cool shit. When the word is spreading about some hip, new trend, I’m at the back of the line playing Words With Friends. Imagine my surprise when I (with the help of the creatively-inclined Daisy) learned about the concept of stuffing foods into Pillsbury Crescent Rolls. Holy cow! Think about it: it’s hand-held, which kids love. It’s changeable, so you can make it dinner-ish, breakfast-ish, kid-ish, dessert-ish, whatever! And for those of you with older kids, think about how much fun it would be to actually have a meal that the kids can help prepare! I have begun to experiment with this, and I have some ideas for future nom-noms that I want to try. Have you done this before? What combinations have you rolled up?

Some Brilliant Permutations:

  • Gorgonzola cheese, deli turkey, and asparagus
  • Sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and artichoke hearts
  • Pepperoni, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese
  • Scrambled eggs, bacon, American cheese (courtesy of Daisy)
  • Chocolate chips, diced strawberries (or any fruit, really.)

Directions:

  1. Unroll your crescent rolls from the little tube.
  2. Insert your stuffing permutation of choice.
  3. Roll it up according to the package directions.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes (the more stuffing you have, the more time you will need to ensure the dough is baked all the way through.)
  5. Enjoy like a fat kid.

[insert hash drug joke here]

27 Mar

My father, The Irreverent Reptile, is a whiz in the kitchen. He treats cooking like an art form, and will labor intensively over a dish all day to ensure it’s perfect.

I had some leftover steak lying around, and I knew that it was destined to become beef hash. My daddy has an amazing corned beef hash recipe (which really applies to any meat you want to use.) When I asked for his recipe, here’s the email response I received:

“As promised, corned beef hash. Read it all the way through, first:

Make corned beef for dinner. Just get a corned beef from Publix (it comes sealed, already spiced with pickling spices, and all one has to do is cook it, in water, simmering after it has boiled (and, covered) , with the spices and the rest of the stuff (cabbage, little potatoes, carrots, all that stuff that them Irish like) till it’s really tender; and it’s not an expensive cut of beef. A three or four pound cut will cost maybe six or eight bucks at most.). It wouldn’t hurt to by a bottle of pickling spices (in the spice section) and add just a little more; but, it isn’t necessary, and not too much. Eat dinner. Unless you want to use all of the corned beef for hash, in which event: fuck the cabbage, carrots, and potatoes, and just do the meat. Go to the next step.

While at Publix, in the cold potato section (usually, somewhere around dairy and milk and that stuff: it you can’t find it, ask) get a package of something called “Simply Potatoes,” but, there are three or four varieties. For this, one wants” “Cubed (maybe, “diced’) Potatoes with Onions.” Otherwise: take three baking potatoes (unless you like more potatoes in your hash, in which event, use another, or six, or thirteen, or however many you want); cut them into ½” to 1” cubes; and parboil them for 15 or so minutes (almost, but not quite, fork tender. Not quite).

Back to the meat: when it’s cool/cold (like, the next morning or day, or in a couple of days: it’s corned and boiled. It’ll keep for a while), using either a good, heavy knife or a processor, cut it into something between rough-cut cubes and a chop. Not a puree; not hamburger; something a little thicker, bigger. Cubes (did I say that?), but no too big. And not too small (did I say that?). Way smaller than the potatoes, but not way too much smaller.

Put about six tbsps. butter (Smart Balance; ICBINB) into a large skillet for which you have something that will cover it (large plate, platter are best but not for the cooking process: for actual cooking, a lid from something else, flat snake, sleeping fat person, whatever . . .). Meanwhile (actually, before you start with the non-butter), rough-chop one big (pretty big) or two medium (medium is medium ) yellow (not red, not sweet/Vidalia) onions. Rough chop like, say, if you were going to use them in a dip or spread. Not runny, soup chopped. Rough but not-too-big chop. Onions go in, even if you’ve found the “Simply Potatoes” with onions. By the way: do not use the so-called “southwestern-style” version. Just, don’t.

When the butter has melted, bring it to medium-low heat. Onions in, for about 5 or so minutes, till they begin to soften. Then, potatoes in with the onion, stirred/tossed. Bring the heat to medium-medium high depending on how hot your stovetop is. Salt it all a little.

Cover the potato-onion combination, turning the potatoes every four to six or eight to nine minutes (to keep them from burning or getting too terribly brown but just a little browned) for about nine or ten or twelve minutes or something. Then, when they begin to brown add the meat and mix it all well. (Sometime in advance of that, probably while you’re still at the onion stage, if you like a little green or red pepper with your hash, do the same thing to one red pepper or one green pepper or something less than one of each (like, maybe, a half, or three quarters of each), after cutting them in halves and taking out the seeds and the veins or internal ribs or whatever the fuck they’re called) and mix them with the onion, so that when you’re sautéing the onion you’re also doing the peppers.)

Turn the heat up a little and cook for another three or five minutes (careful) till the bottom side is down, kinda. Then, take the big platter, cover the skillet with the serving side of the platter down, as a lid (duh!), and with pot-holders or mits or Buddy’s hands (just kidding), quickly flip it over till the food’s on the plate (the skillet would be upside down, no?); then, slide the hash (yes! By now, it’s hash!) back into the skillet, with the brown side up (I knew you’d gotten there without me). Cook over medium-high heat, un-covered, till it’s as brown on the bottom as you want (or, as brown on the bottom as it is on the top, unless it’s not very brown on the top (which used to be the bottom), in which event go back a few steps and make it a little browner).

Poach an egg or two per person. For “How to poach killer eggs, the right way,” see, “Eggs, poached, killer,” or query here and I’ll give you a response that’s as quick and as sensible as this recipe. If you dare.

Uhm – – eat, eat already.

Here are some cook’s notes:

Remember, the meat’s already cooked, so you don’t have to worry about cooking it this time.

Take what’s left over and seal it in individual-sized thingies of Saran wrap (or any other clear plastic sticky wrap you use: the brand’s not important here. It’s more a generic term by now) or sandwich-sized Zip-lock or self-sealing (see note above about brand names) bags, and freeze. It makes a great breakfast over and over again. Better still with poached eggs . . .”

A Salute to the Chubsters at My Gym

19 Mar

This morning, while running on the elliptical machine at my gym, I was sandwiched between two rather large women. They were both working up a huge sweat, and after a little nosy snooping, I noticed that they were running on higher inclines and higher resistance levels than I was. It took every ounce of class in me not to lean over and give them each a high five. Here’s why:

If there’s anything America has an excess of, it’s victims and fatties. Often, these two characteristics are found within the same person. We love our McDonalds, our frozen dinners filled to the brim with preservatives, and our Lays potato chips. Americans live to eat, as opposed to many other people groups, who eat to live. We’re also a bunch of victims. We whine when our own decisions render us in bad circumstances and seek to blame everyone else for our misfortunes. How did we become so sue-happy? Because some asshole with no hand-eye coordination spilled some McDonalds (See? There it is again!) coffee on her lap. We’re the nation that reminds people that our overactive thyroid/bum knee/whatever prevents us from exercising and making healthy food choices. I loathe these people. My daddy, The Irreverent Reptile, and I, even have a game where we make fun of the Victimology of America.

But those plump women in the gym? They’re doing something about it. They’re not in line for the passive yoga class; they’re pumping iron in the free-weight section. They’re running like the cops are chasing ‘em on the treadmills. They’re taking control of their lives and opposing the victim culture so many people embrace.

You go, Chubby Chicks. You kick ass in kickboxing, and show me what’s up at the bench press. You continue defying stereotypes. Get rid of that fat, and show the world that you’re not just another statistic.

High fucking five!

(Oh, and I want to give a little shout out to the massively pregnant woman I saw there, too. I quit the gym at the beginning of my third trimester, but this bitch was running at full-speed with her tight little baby bump bouncing in rhythm to the music on her iPod. Rock on, Mommy!)


© Daisy and Violet 2012. All Rights Reserved.

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