Friday, July 26, 2013

Christmas Cards

It's a big year for me and I promise not to bore you with the details of it but I'm cleaning house because I'm too anal to let Slick hire a housekeeper.  He's tried for a couple of years but I don't work (outside the home) and I can't justify the expense since I'm here all the time but I suck at housekeeping so things are kinda always in limbo here and things are halfway clean with the rotation of getting clean instead of all the way clean on the housekeepers day and then gradually messy over the course of the next seven to 14 days.

Soooo I have a board meeting at my house in a week and I was doing pre-cleaning this morning- you may not have to do this at your super clean houses- the pick up that you have to do before the cleaning- the moving of the piles so you can dust under them.

This is when I finally threw out (in the recycle bin, thank you) the eight egg cartons we have been collecting to take back to the farmers market egg people and came across a stack of Christmas cards.

These are not ordinary cards, these are cards lovingly sent from our friends from 2012, that's right, I'm admitting to having cards accessible from 2012.  I then stopped everything I was doing that was productive and looked through them.

One by one.  

Reading the inscriptions and looking at how all of your kids have grown into bigger kids, how we have all even come to have kids!  We were just college kids when we met- or high schoolers even!  And some of us met as newlyweds and some of us in the last few years and yet we've all shared so many fun times and now we live hundreds of miles apart and just a few miles apart and I just wanted you each and every one to know- THANK YOU. 

Thank you for taking the time to capture your family on "film."  Thank you for spending the money to have the cards printed and taking the time to address them and spending the money to mail them.  It's not cheap.  I know.  I was in the stationery business for ten minutes.  My girl Penny Still is.  But is is so worth it.  For the time I spend at the holidays looking at the cards is wonderful, but the time I looked at them this morning was so heart warming.  

It made me feel so loved and happy that I had to stop all of the cleaning frenzy to tell you that I loved you too.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

39 and holding

Slick turns 40 this week.

Years ago when I thought about 40 it seemed like a big number.  40 was the age of the people for which I babysat.  40 wasn't MY age.  And yet as I''ve approached it year by year it's started to seem smaller and less significant until this year.  

As Slick turns the page on another decade this week I am reminded of so many birthdays we have shared together- 30 when we were in Flower Mound, Texas and went to dinner with our parents at Ocean Aire in Dallas and I was the designated driver since I was pregnant with the Peep.  When he turned 25 and we were planning our wedding and we had the first of what would be hundreds of dinner s with all of the in-laws.  26 when we were just the two of us in Augusta, Georgia and I cooked a whole duck for dinner while talking with Slick's mom on the phone almost the whole time.

We've had good birthdays and ok birthdays, good cakes and pies, funny cards and late presents- but what matters most is what we're having this year:  family.

I have another 6 months before I have to turn the page on another decade so I think I will just hold a while and savor it- like my Memaw would have reminded me to as she sang along to her 8-track- One Day at a Time.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Professional Combine

There's a phenomenon coming soon known as the NFL Scouting Combine.  Very roughly, it's the days in February when players form college who are hoping to get drafter get together and show off for scouts of professional teams in an arena and it's televised and I have to confess that the PaperGirl family has watched parts of it on many occasions.

We're football fans.

I thought that knowing this, you might find it funny that this morning, the Peep was giving an running commentary while I was drying her flowing locks of a combine- mostly of 100 yard dashes- she was calling them 100 yard touchdown runs- but that she was calling out current and past professional players names as the participants.  And using my Ironman watch to time them.
It was FREAKING adorable.

Congratulations to "Brees," "Johnston," "Romo," and TCU's "Pachall."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Fancy Chicken

We're having FANCY CHICKEN tonight and there's not a dang thing fancy about it.

Fancy is what the Peep named it several years ago when I first spotted the recipe on the side of the Bisquick box and started making it- and for lack of a nicer name- Fancy Chicken was born.

It was an actual request by my sweet daughter earlier this week when we were wandering the Von's on Sunday after a trip to my favorite breakfast burrito spot, El Burrito, Jr.

The Peeper spied a bottle of our regular BBQ sauce in the meat section while Slick was checking out bacon and asked then if I could make her "very favorite Fancy Chicken?"  Being such a wonderful momma up for Mother of the Year in so many categories, I let the daddy cook dinner on Sunday night, but here I am waiting for chicken to thaw so I can slice it up and toss it through the mix.

I thought I'd share the recipe with you since you may not have a box of Bisquick in your refrigerator in the garage like I do.  I mean, you should, but just in case you don't, the recipe is sometimes on it.

Here's what the Betty Crocker Website has to say about the recipe.  They're the makers of Bisquick and they know what they're doing.

2/3 cup Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.

Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes with pancake turner, until no longer pink in center.

Here's what I do a little differently:

I definitely use garlic salt instead of regular salt.  Why not get all of the yummy garlickyness to go with!?  And I never use margarine.  I don't know if I have purchased it in the 14 years Slick and I have been married.  So there now you know.  I am a butter fiend.

Remember to spray your foil with Pam or get the no stick foil- but be sure to put the foil on the pan slicky side up.

I don't like the messiness of the zip top bag, though - I know it is supposed to contain the mess.  I use two plates and dip in egg and then dip in mix.  Also- I can't get the hang of the pancake turner spatula to turn the chicken, so I use tongs.

There you have it.  Years and Years of trial and error summed up and ready for you to take and use.  You'll be an expert from the get go.

Oh- and while my chicken is Fancy, it doesn't really look like that chicken in the picture.

Though I will snap it's picture tonight.

EDIT:  I lied.  I didn't get a picture . We ate it too quickly.  I thought about getting a pic of the empty platter but that seemed cruel, even for me.

Note- If you're waiting on... say a husband to get home from work and you think you live in the 1950's and like to have dinner ready at just about the time he walks in the door... do NOT pre bread the chicken.  It will get gummy and soggy on the breading and that's NOT at all what you are going for.  You want crisp golden brown outside and smoking hot inside.   Just thought you'd want to learn form my experience.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Are you reading yet?

I am not kidding about this friends.  I hope you have taken my not so subtile advise and started reading.

If you aren't reading yet, you are going to be sad when the author, April White, of Marking Time is here talking about her book.

Like sad that you didn't get to meet that JK person the time she stopped by...

I confess... no one with initials has ever stopped by the blog that I know of, but I'm telling you, the Immortal Descendent series is awesome and I have only read book one because so far that's all there is.

According to her blog, Ms. White is working on book two.  And I say good thing because the characters in book one still have so many things to tell me!

Get on it.  Hurry.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happy Reading!

Time to break out the reading glasses, fuzzy blankets and hot chocolate because I have a book recommendation that you will LOVE and because when we meet here in February to talk about it the AUTHOR will be here with us!

Marking Time is the book and click on the name if you want to go directly to Amazon to get a copy and start reading,  Like right now is when I suggest you start.  Unless you have something to do within the next three days because that's how long it will take to read and you will not want to stop once you start.  I promise.

I have tweated with the author, April White, and she is lovely and she has agreed to stop by the blog for a lively discussion of the book.  While you are reading, send me any questions you think of and I will see about including them in the discussion.  Early February works for me and I  will get with Ms. White's agent to see what is a good day and let you know when you need to have read it by.  You will not want to miss the discussion and you will seriously want to have read about Saira and Archer and the rest of her friends by then.

Here is a review from another reader from Belgium and as strange as it may sound, it is as if I were writing the review myself!  As I read what she had to say about the characters and plot I decided to just link to her and skip reviewing myself because... well... I'd have been saying almost all of the exact same things!  Well said Majanka!

Now get to it and read away!!!