Recipes, Swimming, and Ruminations all bundled up together:
So I'm feeling guilty for my last post. It was pretty gloomy. Thankfully a little time, a few cookies, and a morning swim have pulled me through. Plus the sun is shining. That makes me happy. I am planning on being outside this entire day. No housework (except a little laundry), no cooking (oh, dang, we still have to eat. Hmm, cereal, anyone?) no nuttin' but enjoying the sun. Oh, please, please, please don't let my grand plans of doing nothing be thwarted by my compulsion to always be doing something! :)
Today is going to be a wonderful day.
Yesterday, however, was another story. Sundays are always a little tricky, and are both great and dreadful. Jeff spends Sunday mornings rounding at the hospital and going to choir practice. I'm okay with that. But it also means that I spend Sunday mornings getting our kids up, breakfasted, bathed, dressed, and occupied (well, the boys mostly take care of themselves but I'm still Sole Supervisor). I feel pretty good when everyone is washed and dried, has their church clothes on (and especially if they keep them on and keep them clean), everyone has eaten (and the food isn't on the church clothes), nobody is fighting (anymore), and all shoes are matching and on (doesn't matter if shoes are on the right feet). I feel REALLY good when the kids then play quietly together. We've had some pretty good magic shows, music shows, and lego creations the past few Sundays.
No matter how well things go, though, the last ten minutes before we leave for Church everything falls apart. It makes me laugh, sort of. "Mom, I'm hungry!" (we just ate!), "Where's my other shoe, Mom?" (where'd you leave it?), "Oops, I spilled, Mom." (ugh), "Mom, he's yelling at me!" (DON'T YELL!!!).
Yesterday it was especially bad because my sweet, five-year-old little Eleanor - who looked lovely with her hair finally grown out of her last unfortunate own haircut - walked into the kitchen just before church started with a big chunk of hair cut from her bangs. Again. I was not happy. Now I laugh, but I didn't laugh yesterday!
We made it through, got to church on time, and managed the "Sit still" and "Be quiet" pretty well. After church, everyone was starving. I opened the fridge and, oops, there wasn't anything made to feed the fam.
Time to work a miracle. In five minutes I had dinner on the table. While not gourmet at least it was good and healthy!
In 8x8 pan, combine in order:
2 cans chili
2 cups shredded cheese
(warm chili & cheese in microwave until cheese is melted)
Serve with salsa and chips. We had a bottle of peaches with it to complete the meal.
I know, nothing fancy. But it worked. I did make the following tasty (not-good-for-you) cake Sunday morning, so I figured that fulfilled my cooking duties for the day.
When we first moved into this home, our sweet neighbor brought us this coffee cake/cinnamon cobbler. It was so good that we devoured the whole thing, then called her for the recipe and made another right away. They call it Mickey Cake in honor of Mickey from Maurice Sendak's rather odd book, "In the Night Kitchen."
1 ½ c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
Mix together the above ingredients in a mixing bowl. Put one egg in a one cup measuring cup and lightly beat. Fill the measuring cup with milk to 1 cup line. Stir into dry ingredients and then add 3 tbls. melted butter. Stir until blended. Pour into a greased and floured 7½ x13 baking dish. Sprinkle over the top a mixture of ½ c. brown sugar and 1 to 2 tsp. cinnamon. Put in oven for 25 to 30 minute at 350. When cake is removed from oven pour 2 tbls. melted butter over the top. Serve warm.
I had to top off the day with cookies, of course. While Jeff had the kids occupied, I made myself very happy yesterday by making these. If I can't run, at least I can still bake! (I wonder if there are any zero calorie cookie recipes for cookie monsters, like myself, who can't run off the cookie...? Hmm, I may have to change my eating habits!)
Chocolate Pudding Cookies
1 1/2 C. butter/margarine (you can use shortening to substitute for up to half of the butter/margarine)
1 C. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 large or 2 small pkgs instant pudding (pick a flavor - for these cookies pictured above I used chocolate; pistachio is really good, or vanilla, or mix vanilla w/pistachio. )
1 1 /2 tsp. vanilla (or use other flavoring of choice - about 1/4- 1/2 tsp. mint or cherry or whatever)
3 1/3 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 pkg (12 oz) chips (or mix flavors - I used white & semi-sweet chips; use mint chips or peanut butter chips for different flavors)
1 1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional.
Cream butter, sugar and pudding mix. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and soda. Stir in chips (and nuts). Bake at 350 about 8 minutes or until just barely brown (you can't tell if they're brown when using chocolate pudding).
I'm so glad Saturday is over, and Sunday eased me out of my gloom, and that today is a good day. Not running my race Saturday was the pits, and my dad knew it. My dad is my hero. He is the kindest, gentlest, most considerate dad in the world. He brought me this rose and card Saturday afternoon. He knew how disappointed I was with missing the marathon and how frustrated I am with my back injury. Somehow running, although still up on my list of favorite things, doesn't seem so globally important anymore. Not when I have a dad's love like I do. Thanks, Dad.