Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What's fer dinner, Grampaw?

Do you remember that skit on Hee Haw? 

 "What's fer dinner, Grampaw?" 

 "We got possum innerds, collard greens and fatback!"

Cracked me up when I was a little kid....

Yep, I'm feeling the mom's daily refrain......

"Crap, it's 2pm; gotta figure out what to make for dinner..." 

There are weeks when I make a meal plan for the following week...

This is not one of those weeks... 

It is, however, a clean-out-the-freezer/pantry kind of week.  Use up the food!  Don't spend money! 

Can we do it?  Yes we can!  (in the words of Bob the Builder....You moms with kids under the age of 4 know just what I'm talkin' about....) 

So, here it is.... 

Sweet & Savory Chicken,

Steamed Green Beans with a mustard vinagrette,

Fruit Cocktail

 and Crescent Rolls. 

Not fancy, but quick, kid friendly and CHEAP!  I might even go crazy and whip up instant pudding with chocolate chips, parfait style,

but don't hold me to it. 

Depends on time of day, how many times Jack pinches Kate and she screams and whether my headache gives up its grip. 

My vote is for puddin'.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Fell Here...

So school has been in session for 16 days and already the kids have a day off.  


Actually, Kate's Prek is in session, but Jack is foot loose and fancy free.  Lucky for me a play date materialized and I was awarded three precious hours to myself.  

Given the fact that I have about $10 until next Friday nixed any idea of a shopping excursion, although I did check out the Jayson Home & Garden French Flea Market  

The items were gorgeous and outrageously expensive and all sorts of pretty, hip and wealthy ladies who lunch were giving $5,000 couches serious thought.  

I cased the joint for some good ideas I could do on a dime and headed back home for some indulgent pursuits such as picking up my husband's socks, underwear and shoes from the floor, putting away truckloads of laundry only to start more loads of wash and finishing the morning dishes.  

The breeze is fabulous and getting crisper by the minute, so I opened all the windows to blow the stink out of this place.  

Then I tackled the "Fall" bin of decorations.  I feel like a schoolteacher getting out the classroom decorations, using them again this year.  I'd love to supplement with some fresh accessories, but it's not gonna happen.  

I took some fall decor pix last year, so if my arrangements look vaguely familiar, you know why.  

I had a highschool teacher, Betty Roseberg, who reused her classroom decorations so much that you could see dozens of pinholes where she tacked the faded paper apples, etc. to the corkboards year after year.  So much for shaking things up!  She was not a risk taker, believe me!  

Anyway, even though the fall decorations are not new and different, it feels a little comforting to see them little declaration that fall is here in the Herlihy house.....

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Time to make the doughnuts.....

Don't you love the October issue of most of the home and food magazines?  They get you in that cozy, comfort food state of mind. 

I want to pull out all the warm, loopy throws, stack wood next to the fireplace and make a chicken pot pie, from scratch....

Today is the first official day of Autumn and I am in a fall-ish mood. 

Only problem is that it is 90 degrees outside! 

So much for the turtlenecks, cords and short boots.... 

I knew that fall would arrive with a hot sizzle today, so I compensated by making a fall treat instead. 

Country Living's website has a recipe for Cider Doughnuts.  It didn't look too hard ( I haven't made doughnuts before...), so I put together the batter last night and stuck it in the fridge. 

I woke early this am to start doughnut production. 

Apparently a little rodent was up just a little sooner so he could have a feast of my trash bag on the porch.  He seems to be hanging from his post, checking out possible invaders.... 

Anyway, I tossed the batter onto a floured counter, rolled it out and cut the doughnuts. 

After the oil got to 370 degrees, in they went.  It's a little tricky to keep the temp right...too hot and they "sear" with a doughy interior.....too cool and they soak up the oil as they cook. 

After they came out of the oil, Kate was in charge of the cinnamon sugar shake.  She liked that! 

I brought these cider apple bad boys to work, hoping the guys would not find them inedible. They kind of look like oversalted bagels....

 Lucky for me, they tasted good. 

So, even though it's hot enough to hit the pool and pretend summer is still here,

Welcome Fall!  Let's get to it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Good Fake Day....

It is a good fake day....

One of those days when you throw together an outfit to get out the door, not sure what the weather is going to do, not sure if your footwear is going to work. 

Actually, I try to plan my clothes the night before, so it is one less thing to stress about in the morning.  So, the stress is just shifted back eight hours or so. 

My closet is full of worn out, too short, not cool clothes.  I am just tired of everything and wish I could dump the entire contents into a donation catcher. 

I am sure you feel the same way from time to time.... 

I mean who has matching underwear sets, more than a few pairs of socks that have a mate and just the right handbag/belt/shoes for each outfit? 

I wish! 

 Nope, those days of looking put together ended after I left the coutured halls of St. John Knits, got married, was introduced to kids, spit up and general poverty. 

T$ and I sometime dream in bed about what nice things we might buy some day when we make some money.  First on the list is a new mattress. You can see tow trenches where our bodies repose....terrible! Somewhere down the list are some new, fresh duds. 

Poor T$ is looking pretty threadbare these days, too.  Thank goodness we have uniforms at the factory, so shirts are no longer an issue. 

So, back to that dream....

If I could go on a shopping spree I would conjure up the spirit of Audrey Hepburn and buy classic khakis, wool trousers, pencil skirts. 

I would have a couple of fabulous crisp shirts from Anne Fontaine (an investment, of course...), Sundance Catalog has some awesome boots, and Talbot's, of all places, offers great basic turtlenecks and blouses that don't look old lady.  To finish off this dream shopping spree, I'd swing by my fave Anthro for some eclectic skirts, sweaters and accessories. 

Oh yeah..... I have it all figured out and could execute my plan in a matter of minutes. 

Until our Sunfish-sized ship comes in, creative compromise is the game. 

Target provided a few cute pieces, in this khaki skirt and tee.  Necklace is vintage Grandma's and sandals are older than Kate, I think. 

Fakin' it and even got a compliment or two today.....

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just Still Married...

Last night my parents celebrated 50 years of wedded bliss with a gathering of family and close friends. 

My brother and I threw them a party to mark the occasion at a lovely winery near our hometown.

The winery had a great outdoor patio area that opened up to a huge lawn and a vineyard.  

The kids....13 of them ran their little kiesters all over the place, in and out of the rows of grapes, playing until long after dark.  

The coolest part was that most of the kids hadn't met before as they live in different parts of the country.  

Within five minutes they were running wild.....newly found second cousins! 

The grown-ups also really enjoyed getting caught up.

Why we don't get together more often is a good question.

We know the answer...we are busy, etc., but dang it was great to see everyone again.  

I really wanted to add those little details to make the party more fun, so I composed a sweet table, in the style of Amy Atlas Desserts, even with note cards describing each sweet.  

We blew up a great wedding photo of my folks and also made a retro poster, commemorating their wedding date back in 1960.  

Tom created a slide show of family photos and we uploaded 5 hours of my parents favorite songs.  

A dear friend of mine gave me a floral tutorial and I assembled the flowers and floating candles for the tables.  

Dinner was excellent as was the 3 tier wedding cake from Old Towne Bakery.  I applied sugar hydrangea petals to the cake, purchased from Etsy.  Hey, who's that swiping a fingerful of frosting??

My brother and his girlfriend created a fun and inviting craft table for the kids, which they loved. 

My bro also gave a sweet and emotional toast to our parents.  

Where does the time go?  Once we were little kids and now we are chasing after  our own little ones.  

Many times people joke about the stress and pain of family gatherings, but I have to say this party was pure joy.  

Happy golden anniversary, Mom & Dad!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Say Cheese...PLEASE!!!

It's annual family photo by the lake time.... a month late. 

And today, in my frazzled state these days, I was convinced this was the day our dear friend, Lindsey, was to take our family photo. 

It wasn't (supposed to be tomorrow), but heck, we were dressed in our usual whites, standing at the lake on a beautiful evening. 

Tom even pulled himself from work for this photo session, so we had to make it work, as Tim Gunn says. 

We got strangers to help shoot the shots. 

Kate, in her growing maturity, cooperates a little more each year.  She is a sucker for bribery..

For comparison, here are some past photos of the kiddies. 

By the time we have finished, and all promises for treats to get that perfect smile have been exhausted, we leave tired and hungry. 

It's a little painful to get the kids to pose, but to see their sweet smiles over the years is worth it....

Now, where is that glass of wine....?