Monday, November 2, 2009

Look on the bright side

(Be warned, this post is FULL of  these ) ( because I think I must talk that way too.  So run away fast if you don't like them!)
Halloween was a warm night with the occasional mist of rain that luckily would disappear quickly. (Easy for me to say, I wasn't' out there!) I won't bore you with the pics of my kids (although I'd love to!) but if you are my FB friend, you've already seen them anyway. As I said in the previous post, Chili is our traditional meal on Halloween, we had the few extra people and everything was relatively uneventful. I was hoping to lay down after my afternoon of craziness but that didn't happen. The ONLY thing slightly out of the ordinary is that Cole didn't eat dinner. I figured he had sampled our own candy a bit too much 'cause as I've said before, that kid can EAT. Sunday morning he woke up and immediately we could tell he was feverish and his cough just came out of NO WHERE! Matt took him to the local Express Care and got there before they opened and was already 4th in line. Because having Cole get the H1N1 has been my biggest fear lately. Any of us for that matter, but Cole has asthma and latex allergies. I had tried many times to get him/them the shot to no avail. Luckily they've all already had the seasonal shot like every year since the twins were about 16-18 months. Because of the Latex issue, saying he's not easy to treat medically is a HUGE understatement. We'd been doing all the precautions: constant hand washing, gargling, drinking hot liquids (to send the virus to your stomach), using hand sanitizer, swabbing our nose holes with salt water. I've even
on occasion wiped mined out with a hand sanitizer wipe!

Needless to say, he has swine flu. He was prescribed Tamiflu and some guifenisin with codeine. He's doing very well. THANK YOU GOD. Really I am so happy that at least we caught it early and have the ability to get the medications we needed.

Okay, here's the part I'd love to post a poll about. Today, Cole wanted a crispy chicken bacon ranch salad from McD's. The kid's sick so yeah, you KNOW I'm going to go get it. I know my car needs gas so I grab the last 20 out of the cabinet (the perils of direct deposit leave us cash-less a lot. HECK the PERILS of my prescriptions, procedures, physical therapy etc. leave us cash-less a lot). I realize while I'm out and about that my face is going numb and I'm a bit light headed. I knew what the culprit was (your probably thinking, DUH Robyn, it's all those pain meds!) no, my fine friends, I hadn't taken my Thyroid pill since Friday when I took the last one. Call the pharmacy and of course I don't have any refills but when I mentioned the numb face, she assured me I could pick up a few! ;-) That was NICE of her. I then go to the gas station and while getting out the 20 I find a lovely but crumpled $1 in a pocket of my purse. Math genius that I am, I give the girl 21 dollars and ask for $6 in gas. I figured Cole's salad, large fries (does ANYONE go there without getting fries? I think it's now a law, right?) and a large diet Coke he was cravin' I'd be up to 8-9 dollars. As I'm pumping my tank chock FULL with my 6 dollars. A lady approaches me from the pump next to me. She's clean but disheveled (who the h*ll am I to judge I just took my pj bottoms off and put on running pants and tennis shoes to leave the house) and looks a bit shaken. She comments on how lovely Macy is. (Macy insists upon going EVERYWHERE NOW. Ever since we took her into Anthropologie and the MAC store in Richmond she thinks everything is now fair-game). Ms. Bit-disheveled then starts stammering over her words and apologizing and generally can't really get anything out. I assume she wants me to keep an eye on the little girl who was plowing through a happy meal, strapped into the backseat. Then she starts to cry and says her car is almost out of gas, and she wants to show me her purse (I'm assuming she means it's empty of money) and that the only way the little one got McD's was because she got a coupon for it while trick or treating (I'm taking my kids to THAT neighborhood next year). She cautiously and with much embarrassment asks if I can even give her a dollar for gas to get home. I pull the 5 out of my pocket and gladly hand it to her. She is GRACIOUS and blesses me. I blessed her of course because at this point, I'm just happy I HAD 6 dollars to put in the tank and some money to get Cole his lunch and buy his prescriptions yesterday and pay for the co-pay. Well, glad that my HUSBAND has a job and can pay for these everyday things that we could easily take for granted. So, do you think I did a random act of kindness or got scammed? All of this is on the heels of being in line in the express lane last week at the grocery while the man in front of me was TICKED OFF that he couldn't pay for his $25.00 worth of HOT CUSTOM ORDERED STEAM SHRIMP with his Independence Card (food stamp program). I know what my gut tells me about the lady, but what about YOU? WHAT DO YOU THINK?

This is turning into a novel!

This first photo and also the second were taken at one of my favorite places to shoot (when I was really capable of the photography for WHIMAGES.COM). YOU MUST click on these photos to see them bigger, they are so much prettier.  Plus you can sorta see the house through the tree's .  It's called Tudor Hall and it's owned by our local county and it's property butts up to my neighborhood. Read about it here:  and here  It has such cool history! JOHN WILKES BOOTH was born there! The architect for the house was THE SAME architect who designed FORD THEATER where President Abraham Lincoln was shot! Sorta freaky fraky coincidence, huh? The pond is almost one of the first things you see when you pull into the property and the house lies beyond that tall pine in the distance. This doggie photo is of my friend Melanie's Great Dane, Jolie going after a ball. She's a beauty!

There is no way I can properly go from Swine Flu to my mean math skills, to whether or not I was scammed to lovely photos that show off
LIGHT to John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln's assassination to a delish
Cheesy Mexican Melt Bake  with any literary skill is there? Well I guess I just did! HA!

Because I can't stand in the kitchen too long and the evenings seem to be worse for me pain wise (although I hope that gets better soon), I've had to change the way I cook and meal plan. Heck I NEVER meal planned before. Now I try to think of things that may have similar ingredients and do a lot of my prep work in little batches a head of time. HOLY COW, why didn't I think of this YEARS AGO. Can you say, TIMESAVER? I'm going to talk about that a little here and in the next post which will feature: Citrus Salad with Bacon and Red Onion (I love Red ONION), Catalina Cranberry Chicken and Yummy loaded golden mashed potatoes.

Because I knew I was making Chili, when I saw this recipe I just stopped. I thought, "SELF, you are already making most of that for the Chili, why don't you buy double the ingredients and get two meals out of it?" Then I said, "SELF, you are a GENIUS! Then you can freeze the Chili for a later date!" Sometimes, I really am proud of myself!

This recipe is LOOOSELY based on Kraft recipes from Food and Family Magazine. (so is the cranberry chicken and the salad...shhhh).

I'm really BAD about measuring when I cook so just kinda keep that in mind and follow your own tastes.

1to 1 1/2 lb extra-lean ground beef (I always buy 93/7)
1 onion chopped (size depends on how much meat you have)
1 green pepper chopped (size depends on how much meat you have)
1 tall jar of Taco Bell Thick and Chunky Salsa but use what you like...I do!
chili powder, salt and pepper
1 10oz bag of frozen yellow corn
4-6 big soft tortillas
1/2 -1 cup sour cream (you're gonna need the cup) I hope you have more for later as a garnish
3/4 cup shredded cheese (calls for sharp cheddar but I use the Mexican and I NEVER measure cheese so mine has MORE fo' sure!)
Green onions
Here's some other things I would suggest: Add 1 little can of green chili's, black beans, chili beans, dark red kidneys, light red kidneys, whatever 'cause they are GOOD for you. Plus you know that rhyme: Beans Beans they're good for.... nevermind. Hey, you are going to want to drain those beans, btw.

Heat oven to 375
Brown meat with onions and peppers on medium high skillet. If you are making chili too and you used way more meat and onions and green pepper, seperate whatever amount of meat you want for your chili now in a separate pot and make it while your cooking this. The hard part for BOTH dinners is now done! Okay, in the pan you are making the meat mixture for this bake in, add the salsa and corn, mix well and simmer 5-6 minutes. If you want to add any beans or chilis add them now as well, but DRAIN THEM.
SPREAD some meat mixture on the bottom of a 9 x 9 dish or a nice round dish or any dish that this will sorta fit in. Top that with one tortilla. Spread some more meat mixture, top with little dollops of sour cream (kind spread that around only on surface a bit), cheese then start over again with another tortilla. Top layer is just meat and cheese on top. Bake about 25 30 minutes. Top each square with a dollop (fun word) of sour cream and sprinkle the onions. ENJOY!

Come back tomorrow or the next day for those other recipes. Plus I hope to show you pics of my cabinets

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The ShabbyVilla said...

Hi Robyn...just checking out your blog...I'm trying that recipe this weekend...looks yummy! Thanks for visiting us at the ShabbyVilla...take care, Kerry

Libby Murphy said...

Your boxer is precious. The food looks and sounds delicious - I cook to may own tastes too. And you story was amusing- juggling it all. It always comes back when we help someone, even if they are taking advantage of us.
Thanks for following along with us at TwirlandTaste.
Happy Twirls

Lori said...

Hello Robyn!
I have been incosistent in checking out your blog lately...shame on me...but every time I do I always get a good giggle and smile from your posts!
Oh...I saw the picture of the inside shot of the sheep under the tree and at first glance...(this is true!) I thought on earth did all those sheep walk in that door and pose so cute for a picture! Yes...I was fooled but I am sure that wasn't your were just taking a beautiful photograph! HaHaHa!...