Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Okay, everyone who knows me knows that my days can be a little hectic at times.  I am trying to be frugal with our budget and not make huge meals but have enough left over so that if Sarge wants to take a meal for lunch, or Ms. Daisy and I are home, we have something yummy to eat.  

Not my actual fridge, but close!!
We last night, as I was putting away our leftover pasta, I realized that I was just about out of our snappy storage bowls.  I looked in the fridge, and decided that either we need to get a bigger fridge or we are going to have to eat up all the leftovers.  And the sooner the better, before they start crawling out!!!

Today, I looked at my schedule and my meal plan and decided that it will be today for the leftovers.  Genealogy in Seguin until 3, pick up Thing One at 4 for a Eagle project meeting, drop him off by 4:30 (that's gonna be a trick to see if I can get out of the HS parking lot by 4:30), oh and pick up Thing Two from her after school activity.  Get everyone home and be out the door by 6:10 at the latest for a GS meeting.  Oh and since the Jeep is at the fix it shop, Sarge cannot really help, and Thing One has to rely on me to fetch him.

Not mine either!
Don't get me wrong, with the food we eat, I don't mind leftovers.  Of course, the really good stuff is usually gone quickly, but there will still be quite a buffet, and having leftovers now will allow me to clean out the fridge in anticipation of Super Bowl Sunday!!!

While my fridge may never actually look like this, I am hoping that we can get it looking cleaner and free up some space for our yummy treats!  Now if I can just keep our cat from trying to run behind the bottom opening freezer every time we open it, we will be set.  Last thing I need is a kittycicle!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Random Thoughts on Regional Food Oddities

Thing One is involved in the local High School Band, so of course as a former teacher and a musician, I was more than willing to get involved in the booster organization when he started high school.  I began by working in the concessions stand for our home varsity games, and placing the orders for Coke products.  Our concessions stand is probably pretty similar to ones all across America in our offerings.  Chicken sandwiches and Pizza (we purchase from local restaurants), Hot Dogs, Nachos, Popcorn, Soda, Candy etc.  The first couple of games of the season, we sell a LOT of water, but that is probably because of it being in the high 90's in the stands at the beginning of the game. :)

Frito Pie is something that I had not heard of before, but seems to not be just here.

As well, kids here will purchase whole pickles.  Nothing more odd to me than seeing a small child chewing away on a large (like 4 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter) pickle.  There again, not seen everywhere, but the tend is growing.

We started seeing two new things this year in the concessions stand.  The first was the request for Hot Fries/ Hot Cheetos with nacho cheese sauce on top.  Apparently on the south side of San Antonio, this is the new thing.  Our Concessions VP, never being one to shy away from the chance to make a buck, promptly ran out and purchased a couple of bags of Hot Cheetos and started serving them up.

The second thing, our Concessions VP saw at another concessions stand and thought, "what the heck".  Pickle juice pops!  As we sell quite a bit of pickles, we purchase them in the large pickle buckets.  So what do you do with all the extra juice at the bottom of the bucket?? You make pops with them.

She will spend the time to pour the juice into those little solo sauce containers with the lids and freeze them.  We sell them for a quarter a piece, and they seem to be all the rage.  Sarge was at one of the games and asked about them, so one of the boosters gave him one, and he bought 3 more.  He said they were not that bad!  Amazing lady to have seen that and thought to do it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Its all about timing...

As you read this post, you will understand the title has to do as much with my kids involvements as how I to put a decent meal on the table for the family to eat on a regular basis.  Sarge and I work really hard to make sure that as often as possible we sit down together as a family for dinner.  Sometimes it gets difficult with the chaos that is our lives, but we try.

Photo from Crockin' Girls site.
Tonight, while it is not cold her in Texas, it is 54 degrees today (not bad for the end of January), I am making Chicken & Dumplings in the crock pot.  Thing One has a mini retreat for the day to prep for their big ACTS retreat in a couple of weeks, and the Sarge is directing tonight's choir at church.  So I needed to fix something that would be ready when the kids (who have all opted to go to Mass tomorrow) can eat when they are ready, but will still be warm when Sarge and I get back from Mass.

I have found that my crock pot has started becoming a integral part of my weekly routine.  There are days when I am gone for the majority of the day running errands with my Mom (we'll call her Ms. Daisy) or driving her to Seguin so she can volunteer at the Family History Center there helping others with their genealogy.  And while Thing One drives, he may not always have a vehicle at his disposal, or be able to help with Thing Two pick ups (he does when I ask him to, though).  Yes, along with all those extra activities comes me driving for pick up.  It should be no wonder then how I put about 20K on my car every year.  

My family is a little overextended at times.  Okay, so maybe it is a lot over extended.  I look back at my childhood and growing up, my parents allowed my brother and I to be involved in activities as long as we maintained passing grades.  I remember trying out and participating in various activities growing up - softball, volleyball, tried gymnastics for maybe a month, tap dance until my instructor had a stroke, swim trips, ski trips, cross country, track and scouting.  And of course, music.  Sarge was the same way, to an extent.  He did participate in band and cross country in high school, and his family was big into hunting, so he learned how to fish and hunt with a bow at a young age.

So it was no surprise that we would allow our kids to become involved in extra curricular activities as they were getting bigger.  It started while we were in Germany with Thing One.  He started playing soccer in the fall and baseball in the spring, and became a cub scout.  Then Thing two started with t-ball shortly before we moved back to the states.

In Kentucky, we allowed them be become involved in sports and scouting again and as they got older they added alter serving to their routines.  This slowly creeped up on us, and soon we had three kids in sports and scouts and one serving, as well as Thing One adding the equivalent of academic bowl to his activities.

Upon moving to Texas, we went back to soccer, added scouting and then added band with Thing One.  Thing Two found that while she was to young for band, that she could add show choir and Orff ensemble.  You can see the snowball starting, right?

As they got older, Thing Three was the first to break away from soccer (which she had been doing since she before was 4 both fall and spring) at age 7 started  gymnastics.  Then she went back to soccer and kept gymnastics.  That lasted for a season or two before soccer was done for her.  I think there was actually a spring where she was doing soccer, gymnastics and swimming for a month.

Things Two and Three added district honor choir for two years, and while they loved the performances (they got to be munchkins in the HS performance of Wizard of Oz), when Thing Two aged out of it, Thing Three decided not to continue.  Thing Two also added band during this time, and Thing One had added Academic Bowl again.  Snowball rolling....

Now, we have Thing One in Band, involved in the youth group and teen ACTS at Church as well as alter serving, still in Boy Scouts (come on Eagle!!!) and Academic bowl.  Thing Two is also in Band and Jazz Band, Girl Scouts, Academic bowl, and is involved in the Church (helps with children's liturgy, as well as the pre-k class, JH youth group, and singing with the choir when she is not alter serving).  And Thing Three is in Band, Girl Scouts, Gymnastics and alter serves at Church.   Individually it would not be too much, but together it becomes a bit overwhelming at times.  Snowball has now slammed me into a cement wall!!!

If you are looking for a great crock pot cooking site, you should check out  I have been using recipes from there for over a year, and while you can definitely see a Texas theme with some of them they do have a variety.  Sorry, just a little plug..  Happy cooking!!!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pork Marsala

Well, the Cuban sandwiches from the other night were truly a hit with the kids.  Thing One actually wanted to know why we had never had them before.  I guess that is staying on our rotation as a meal plan.   So now after we have pork tenderloin I will be saving some of the leftovers (if there are any) for Cuban sandwiches.

I think we are truly blessed in this household.  Besides all of the everyday things that we are blessed with, happiness, good fortune, love and good health.  The Sarge is a wonderful cook.  He has a knack for fixing meals that are just amazing.  What is even more amazing is that he didn't really start cooking until he was out of college.  I am not sure if he was ever in the kitchen growing up, other than to fix some fried zucchini when his mom was gone.

So since college he has developed some great skills.  Some recipes like the pork marsala he starts with a recipe and tweeks from there, and others like is Pork Tarragon he just starts with a cut of meat and a flavor in his head.

We we first were married, I think he did not think I knew how to cook.  Silly me for breaking that misconception!  My cooking tends to be more utilitarian. This is apparent with the meals that we had since the Cuban sandwiches - beef stroganoff and baked chicken.  I try and get something on the table to fill the bellies and send them on their way, but with Sarge, it tends to be more of a culinary experience.  

I have realized that over the course of the past almost 20 years of marriage that as much as I love the Sarge's cooking, that I cannot eat as much of it as I would like.  I have been doing better with that, but it is always a challenge to change old habits. :)

So tonight I will do the running of Things Two and Three, and Sarge will fix a yummy dinner for us.  Tomorrow will probably be back to utilitarian, but that is okay too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A New Direction

Hello there blog!  Been a long time since I have been here.  My original intention was to write about the good, the bad, and the ugly of dealing with My Hubby's tour in Korea.  Well, life kind of got in the way, and I was too busy to stop and blog.  Long story short, he went to Korea, came home for leave in the middle, went back again, and then came home the following fall.  I think it was more difficult to say goodbye the second time than it was the first.  But, he came back, and we have spent the past year and a half doing what all parents do...being busy.

So now, I need to revise my blog and make it more current.  I am still a mom of 3 wonderful kiddos, spread out between high school, junior high, and intermediate school.  All of them very active, doing their own things, which is keeping me on my toes.  My oldest (Thing One) is driving now, so that is a help to me as long as my hubby (lets call him, Sarge) is riding his Harley.  

I am not sure where I am headed with this blog now, but thought I would start with food.  We are always cooking in this house, and I am always out for a new recipe to try.  While we love food, we also try to be practical about it.  Feeding a family of six can get quite costly if I am not careful.  Last night we had pork tenderloin, so today I am using the leftovers to make Cuban Sandwiches.  I baked Cuban bread this morning to make the sandwiches with tonight.  

Later today, we will assemble the sandwiches, and as it is a go day, will probably be eating in shifts.  The Cuban sandwich has pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard.  These look like they will be awesome, but I think next time I will try and make individual loafs and go from there. 

Everyone, except for my mother is in and then out the door this evening.  Sarge directs our church choir, and Thing Two sings in it.  Thing One has Boy Scouts (almost has his Eagle!!!) and Thing Three is off to the gym for a 3.5 hour practice.  I stay at the gym, so I stay and work.  I also sing with the choir, but as Thing Three needs me in another town, I don't see it being frugal to drop her off, drive back for rehearsal, and return to pick her up.  Thank goodness I have an in with the director. 

So, I guess that is a start...I will try and visit my dear blog on a more regular basis, and you can see what's cooking in our abode.