Weekend Nonevents

QUICKIE: Vincenzo, finding his stocking in the Christmas decorations: “But…do I have to fill it up?”
Sorry for those logging on eager to read all about what we did for K week.  Even the rigid School of Mom acknowledges Thanksgiving break.  If you are upset, get a life and check back next Monday.

Before I was married I used to worry that  Kevin and I would eventually run out of things to talk about.  Five years later I realize I never have to worry.  Why, just this weekend we spent a good ten minutes discussing where Kevin would move my boobs if they were detachable.  I suggested moving them to my eyes.  He said he’d rather stick them on my back so he could hold them when we dance (he’s such a romantic).  I thought he should stack them up to make one large boob.   He said he’d move them to the bottoms of my feet so I couldn’t run away from him.  And so on.

In other news, we’re halfway through the Costco box of garden burgers that K bought for the neighborhood BBQ that absolutely nobody ate.  At first, we tried eating them straight up but there was too much “garden” for our taste buds to handle.  The next time we tried them with aged applewood smoked cheddar, but the “garden” was too powerful for even a three-year-old cheese.  Tonight, though, we finally discovered the magic to eating garden burgers: bacon.  Lots and lots of bacon, with the grease on the side to dip our buns in.  Hamburger buns, that is.

Tonight’s winning ingredient was bacon; tomorrow’s may be foie gras.  Who knows where we’ll go next?  Maybe we’ll fry up an entire vegetarian!

Chicken Noodle Soup
Bacon Garden Burgers

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

QUICKIE: [outside the room where Kevin was sleeping] Me: “Vincenzo let’s whisper so Daddy doesn’t wake up.”  V: “Okay.”  Me: “Wanna go downstairs?”  V: “Yeah.  MOMMY WASN’T THAT FUNNY THAT WE WERE WHISPERING??!!”
I know not everyone is a green bean casserole fan but I am, and I am the proud member of a family that makes it for Thanksgiving every year.  The problem is that it’s only every once in a great while that we actually have Thanksgiving at the house of the green bean casserole.  But this was the year and I was sooooooooo excited to see the cans of cream-of-mushroom soup on the counter at my aunt’s house when we showed up.

We sat down to eat and as a side note, how did I get stuck at the kids’ table again?  Somewhere in my 20s I got promoted to the adult table but now that I have a toddler I have found myself once again relegated to the wobbly kids’ table that everyone bumps into when they walk by and no one ever passes the gravy to.  I was not going to complain though, as I took a teeny helping of potatoes and a teeny helping of turkey and a teeny bit of salad to save room for a great big gooey glob of green bean casserole. 

When finally the casserole was set in front of me, steaming its goodness into my unopened pores, I took the spoon and aimed it straight for the crispy onions on top.  And just as I did so, my aunt sitting next to me said, “I hope you save room for the beans I made tonight.  They’re a little overdone but unlike this casserole they have only 25 calories per serving.”  I looked at her and I looked at the casserole spoon and I looked at her again and she said, “I just hope someone eats them since I went to all that trouble…”  It took every ounce of self control I had to scoop out a teeny bit of green bean casserole and lay it next to my teeny bits of other food in order to leave room for a heaping mound of the 25 calorie, cream-of-nothing beans that had nary a wayward crispy onion.

Good grief, Charlie Brown!  Now I know how it feels every time Lucy snatched that football up just as you were about to punt.

Ah, well.  There’s always next year.

In-laws’ choice (and I’m hoping they choose green bean casserole!!)

You’re not the boss of me!

QUICKIE: Me: “Vincenzo, what holiday is tomorrow?”  Vincenzo: “Forgiving!”
Ever since Vincenzo could talk he has used most of his words to tell other people what to do and how to do it.  He’s definitely more of a foreman than a bricklayer–more pimp than whore.  He’s a three-year-old who is constantly being told to “stop micromanaging.”  If he tells me to sit on the middle couch cushion and meow like a cat I’ll sit on the far left cushion and bark like a seal.  I keep telling him he can control his own imagination but he can’t control others’ imaginations.  This has caused much wailing and rending of clothes but after three years solid of this, Vincenzo lets me do my own thing.  At least once a week, anyway.

Kevin, however, just can’t stand up to Vincenzo.  He doesn’t want to make him mad and he thinks the bossing around is kind of cute.  I keep telling him he has to stand up for himself–Vincenzo has to learn to ride in the backseat once in awhile.  Just listen to their hatching game from last night:

V: Daddy stay there.  I’m going to get a blanket.  STAY THERE!
K: OK.
V: [returning] Which blanket is your favorite, Daddy?
K: The blue one.
V: No it’s not it’s this one.  Here.  Now get under it.  Pretend you’re a baby and you’re going to hatch.  No not like that, like this. [V demonstrates proper hatching technique.]
K: [hatching] Peep peep!  Peep!
V: No Daddy.  You’re a baby dog not a baby chick.
K: Bark!
V: No Daddy.  Say, “Woof.”
K: Woof!
V: Not like that, Dad.  Say, “WOOOOOF!”
Etc. etc. etc.

This kind of playing has earned Vincenzo nicknames such as “His Royal Highness” and “The Pharoah.”  But while I do not want to raise the next anarchist, it hit me last night:

If I keep telling Kevin to stand up to Vincenzo, Kevin might start getting notions and try standing up to me. 

What if he stops jumping every time I say, “Carry my purse.”  or “Stand behind me so the paparazzi can get a better shot of my profile.”  or “Stir the custard for a continual two hours.  Stir faster.  Not that fast.  Not that slow.  Not that circular.  Here just let me do it.”

So I guess I’ll let Vincenzo boss Kevin around because I won’t risk lumpy custard for the hopes of raising a well-adjusted, socially pleasant child.  Would you?

Peach Salsa Chicken Breast
Penne a la Vodka
Salad with Gorgonzola and Apples
Cherry Ricotta Tartlets

Martha’s Dick

QUICKIE: When my cousin was little someone asked him if he slept like a log last night.  He thought for a minute then answered, “No; I slept more like a rainbow.”
This weekend I hosted a Figgy Pudding Party, for which I made four different bread puddings (yet none of which were figgy).  I got three of the recipes from an old Martha Stewart: Sussex Pond, the Queen of Puddings and my favorite, Spotted Dick.  What is a Spotted Dick, you may ask?  The “spotted” comes from the currants and the “dick” is–well it’s not as much an ingredient as a mixing tool.  Let’s just say I needed Kevin’s help on this one.  Kevin’s help, and a very, very shallow bowl.

Kidding!  Wikipedia really clarifies it for us though: [Spotted Dick]…possibly conjugated originally from sticky pudding to dicky pudding to dicky to dick and finally spotted dick

Enough!  That’s enough, Wikipedia!  Sheesh.  Anyway, Martha is obviously embarrassed about her spotted dick, as I tried to find it on her website but came up with zilch.  It’s not that Martha hasn’t had any dicks on her show–Andy Dick, a Dick Blick Utility Knife, and Dick Gamble’s Nantucket Bucket to name a few–but spotted dick has been ctrl+z’d like the dirty little secret it is. 

Well Martha I know about your dick and I will not forget.  And neither will my 13 blog readers.

Here it is, le Spotted Dick!


The Sussex Pond pudding was fun to make but pretty gross to eat, as it was full of kumquats and lemons (skin and all).


The Queen was the crowd favorite–a layer of meringue atop a layer of currant jam atop a layer of bread pudding.  Plus now I own a set of individual lasagna boats!!


Here’s the whole set-up.  There was also a black and white pudding but it was ugly so I didn’t take pictures of it.


Kevin told me I really need to use the flash on my camera because all my pictures turn out blurry.   I took the following picture to prove him wrong, but it just made say that he’s right even louder and more obnoxiously.


Can someone please settle this age-old marital dispute for us?  One of these pictures deserves the Ugly Chant…which one is it?

Pear, gorgonzola, and caramelized onion pizza
Tomato and roasted pepper soup
Salad with smoked cheddar and apple
Spotted dick


QUICKIE: Vincenzo used them all up last week!
J week was a fun one.  We started with an art project that is probably way too complicated for any of you plebeians to understand but I will try my best to outline it in a few simple steps.

First I cut some sponges into jellybean shapes (okay, I know I just lost half my readers) and Vincenzo used them to paint jellybeans all over a paper.


The I cut some jellybeans out of construction paper and I cut a jellybean jar out of a plastic sheet protector.


I outlined the “jar” with double-sided tape and stuck it on the jellybean paper.  Vincenzo helped slide the paper jellybeans in.


I cut off the excess jellybean paper, taped the whole thing on green paper, and added a tinfoil lid.  It’s pretty cool IRL !


We also bought jellybeans and I put different amounts in a jar so Vincenzo could guess how many were in it.  He guessed 0 every time.  Coincidentally, that’s how many times he was correct.


And of course I didn’t want MY son eating all those jellybeans so we stuck them in cupcakes and sent them to work with Kevin.  Unfortunately, they all sank to the bottom of the cupcakes and stuck to the wrapper, but apparently no one seemed to mind looking like a homeless person sucking jellybeans off a cupcake wrapper as they were gone by the end of the day.


But there’s more to the week!  We went to Jump Planet (lucky for you I forgot my camera) and then to juggling practice with Vincenzo’s Poppy–a bone fide juggler!


It was held in a school gym that seemed adequate enough until we spotted this sign: (if the picture doesn’t show up for you, it reads “MAXIMUM CAPACITY: 5”)


But as you can see, the jugglers are a rebellious crowd who throw caution to the wind.  They filled the gym to three times its capacity!


During juggling practice, Vincenzo threw rings into everyone’s juggling circles while Kevin kept pretending to have just passed his entire body through a juggling ring while I (ever the straight A student) actually tried to learn to juggle rings until it was time to go.  And while all that juggling was fun, I have to say I can’t stop thinking about “U” week!!1!!1


Boys are on their own–I’ve got cooking class!!

The week in quickies

QUICKIE: See entire post
I didn’t post for a couple days and now I’m paranoid that all y’all have forgotten me.  I’m too lazy to compose anything wordsmithy, so here is the week in quickies:

Monday: Vincenzo [in the midst of a pretend-play episode]: “Mommy, pretend you’re an egg pretending to be a baby chick with a pretend egg in your tummy!”

Tuesday: Vincenzo to Kevin: “Let’s pretend we’re superhero cats wearing capes and go play X-Box!”

Wednesday: Me to Vincenzo: “Can you say ‘juh-juh-jay?'”  Vincenzo to me: “Mommy, are you trying to learn your ABCs?”

Thursday: Me to [naked] Vincenzo: “Let’s put some undies on you so you don’t rub your junk all over the house.”  Vincenzo to me: “What if I rub my junk all over YOU, Mommy?”

Friday: Vincenzo [while Kevin was showing him how to play Solitaire]: “This game is to hard for me.  How ’bout I just sit here and meow at the cards?  Meow…meow…”

Loaded baked potatoes
Roasted beans and red onion
Garden burger patties (that we’re trying desperately to get rid of)

If the Germans had invaded Vegas…

QUICKIE: Vincenzo: “I played sock skating at Grammy’s!” Me: “I used to do sock skating at Grammy’s, too!”  Vincenzo: “Was it when you were a little boy?”

More on Leavenworth.  I’m not sure how to describe the town to you–I guess it’s crazy like Vegas only without the sin and plus the chicken dance song being piped through the town on a loudspeaker.  And instead of Cher they have an accordion boy.  And instead of store after store of Vegas snow globes they have store after store of cuckoo clocks.

This one store was whacked out though.  I couldn’t believe what they were doing to this one jovial nut and his 200 jovial little friends.



See what was on the wall opposite them?



That’s right, nutcrackers.  Wooden-toothed, lipless, thematically dressed nutcrackers, hungry for PEANUTS.  Those jovial little peanuts were outnumbered and unarmed.  They must have been so frightened behind those brave peanutty smiles.  Frightened and tormented and–


WTF is that?  Don’t look it in the eyes!  You didn’t look it in the eyes did you?  You’re not doing it again, right?  Well don’t blame me if you start growing a beard and donkey ears.  I was the one who told you not to look.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Squash with Roasted Sage


The recipe title—not a typo.  Think about it. Vincenzo’s Halloween candy ain’t getting any younger so I started hiding it in cupcakes for the neighbors in a last-ditch ditching effort. Last week I compared this redistribution of Halloween candy as an arsonist watching his own fire burn, but now I think it’s more like feeding bacon to the pigs. (BTW, if you’re a neighbor and you’re reading this blog, you’re the one I’m not talking about.)

Anyway, I’m not much of a cupcake person myself but these cupcakes turn out almost like cookies.  So stop scratching your butt and go make a batch.  But please, wash your hands first.



1-1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
½ cup peanut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
6 Reeses PB Cups, each cut into fourths

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners; set aside. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

2. Cream the butter with the 2 sugars, then mix in peanut butter and vanilla.

3. Add eggs one at a time.

4. Add flour in 2 batches, alternating with the milk.

5. Put ¼ cup batter in each muffin cup; then add 2 pieces of the chopped PB cups; cover the PB cups with more batter

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick spontaneously combusts when inserted into each cupcupcake.

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cupcakes—I eliminated chocolate chunks, added PB, added PB cups, and used this batch for 12 instead of 24 cupcakes)


QUICKIE: Me to Vincenzo: “Next week is J Week!  We’re going to do a lot of jumping and juggling!” Vincenzo: “Okay.  I will do all the jumping and you will do all the juggling.”

Kevin and I escaped to a small German town in the mountains called Leavenworth for the weekend, sans spawn.  The six hours we spent in the car was worth every gallon of gas, as I am finally caught up on all the latest summer fashions from my July Glamour magazine.  We arrived at 11ish and went to check into our hotel, “right in the heart of Leavenworth!”  I’m going to play a little game of “Fortunately/Unfortunately” with you to walk you through the rest of the weekend.

Fortunately, we found the address right away.

Unfortunately, the address was for a truffle shop that was closed, and unfortunately there didn’t appear to be any truffle beds with truffle nightstands and complimentary truffle toiletries inside.

Fortunately, just when we were beginning to think we had been Internet scammed, we saw it.  The sign for our Alps Romance Suites!


(No; it’s not one of those easily sightable signs you’re probably looking at.  Here, let me walk so that I’m standing at just the right angle and the sun is peeking through a keyhole from the Bratwurst kiosk across the street at 1PM EST on November 15, 2008.  There.)


Unfortunately, it turns out the suites weren’t in this building at all, but we had to DRIVE ACROSS THE FREEWAY to get to our “in the heart of Leavenworth” location.  Also unfortunately, this is someone’s idea of a “romance suite.”


Fortunately, I knew I could photoshop some romance into it.


Unfortunately, once inside we felt like we were visiting some cheap-ass college kid’s room.

Fortunately, we remembered there were hot tubs in each room!

Unfortunately, they weren’t actually in each room.

Fortunately they were romantically landscaped!

Unfortunately, I’m just kidding.  They were surrounded by a trench and a muddy yard.  (It was VERY hard for me to look sexy in these circumstances, but I think I managed.  I at least did better than Kevin in the duplex pictures, no?)


Fortunately, back in our cheap-ass college kid’s duplex room, the blankets were heated!

Unfortunately, the next morning I noticed an unmistakable poo mark on the sheet, and unfortunately Kevin said he noticed it the night before but decided not to say anything.


Fortunately, it was on his side of the bed!  Just when I had begun to think chivalry was dead.

And fortunately, we didn’t spend much time in the romance suites but rather strolling and shopping and laughing and eating rich food, and fortunately we both said we’d do it the same way in a heartbeat.  Because fortunately we share the same sick, warped sense of humor and we don’t mind a little sh** in the bed.


Chili @ Friend’s

Oh man you must be SO jealous!

QUICKIE: Kevin, looking at my blog stats: “Those look a lot like the Microsoft stock price this week.”
You know how Pamela Anderson got discovered out of a crowd of 10,000 at a football game when a camera randomly put her up on the big screen?  Okay, her GIGANTIC BREASTS might have caused a slight shift in the gravitational field, pulling the camera lens in their direction and making her discovery not 100% random, but who cares?  My DDDs got noticed this weekend too!  I got featured on a really cool site!  Good Mom/Bad Mom linked to me in a VERY prominent place, 3/4 of the way down the page, at the all-important “belly button” of the post.  Now I get to add this badge to my trophy case! 


I’m going to have to buy more varnish.

Anyway, I’m honored to be featured on the site that introduced me to human heads hidden on a broccoli package.  This shout-out will probably kickstart my sexy career as a Playboy model with a sex tape.  But I’ve GOT to remember to schedule that Hepatitis C vaccination…

Pear/Gorgonzola Pizza
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes