Archives for October 2008

I Thought Writing This Post Would Be So Simple

Ever since I’ve been home from Africa I’ve felt a little weird posting about clothes. It’s not that I don’t like clothes anymore, OH HEAVENS NO, but somehow I feel strange telling you that I spent $30 on a pair of cute pants when, HELLO, that $30 would almost cover the cost of child sponsorship for one month.

So I’ve felt a bit conflicted. Maybe that’s because balance has never been easy for me. I tend to operate in extremes (BUY MANY, MANY CLOTHES! WAIT! BUY NO CLOTHES AT ALL! CLOTHES ARE BAD! BUT I LOVE THEM AND WISH TO SPEND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS! CLOTHES ARE SO FUN! CLOTHES ARE EVIL!)

Bottom line: I’m trying to be more mindful about where things are made and who may have made them, thinking a lot about wants vs. needs, and reminding myself over and over again that God’s not particularly concerned with my comfort or my wardrobe.

He’s not even that concerned with whether or not I have fresh set of highlights or a good hair day, and if that doesn’t rock you to the core of your faith, people, then I don’t know what will.

And so, with that ENORMOUS – and lo, even exhausting – disclaimer, I want to tell y’all about some sweaters and jackets that I think are really cute because it’s getting cold and that makes me think of how to be warm and I’ve been looking at lots of sweaters and jackets on the interweb and there’s so much great-looking stuff and why do I feel the need to justify this, I’M A GIRL AND I LIKE CLOTHES, MY WORD.

(Suffice it to say that my brain has been a fairly exhausting place to hang out for the last eight or nine months.)

(WHAT WITH ALL THE CRAZY RUNNING AROUND IN THERE.)

(Except in our house we call it “carzy” because one time I was explaining to David that I thought a certain situation was crazy, but I didn’t want Alex to know what I was saying, so I thought I’d spell it out, and I said, “I’m telling you, I think we’re dealing with some serious C-A-R-Z-Y right there,” and then we got very tickled and have spoken fondly of the carzy ever since.)

(Two degrees in English. Can’t spell “crazy” out loud. Thank you. Thank you so much.)

Now. Who wants to see some cute clothes?

Good.

The one that’s sassy.

The one that I’ll be ordering as soon as I post this.

The one that’s perfect for jeans (I’m a huge fan of the short-sleeved sweater with a long-sleeved tshirt).

The one that’s oh-so-versatile.

The one that doesn’t require you to hold in your stomach.

The one that comes in great colors (Big Mama told me about it, though if I bought this coat I don’t think it would button on me if my life depended on it. But still. It’s fun to pretend.)

The one with the cute ruffle.

There. I got the clothes out of my system.

All better now.

Carry on.

Daily Interwebby Awesomeness 10.31.08

– Watching two different news channels at once? Downloading so many political podcasts that you have to take a road trip just to have time to listen to them all? Well, you may be an election addict.

– It’s not “awesomeness” because I wrote it, oh my lands no, but I do think it’s awesome to encourage our bloggy friends. Which exactly what I aim to do today over at allaccess.

– And Bee’s perspective on the election is a great reminder to us all. Like her, I’m a little sick of all the coverage – and for the last couple of days I’ve felt flat-out burdened by the whole thing. But I’m grateful to live in a country where my voice – and your voice – matters. Amen.

When The Hourglass Strikes Three, Then In The Room Whence Employees Confer

I thought this was a super-weird episode of The Office from the get-go. The pacing felt all wrong. There wasn’t much laugh-out-loud funny stuff at all – more like little bits of awkward humor that resulted from terribly strained situations. Because listen: as much as I love Dwight and Andy individually, watching them interact with each other in that interview was flat-out painful and, I might add, barely worthy of a giggle.

However, I did smile. And I laughed (mildly) a few times. But mostly I just winced and felt like I needed to look away from the TV because I had no business watching so much personal pain.

A few (mildly) entertaining moments:

1) Andy in the catsuit. OH ANDY.

2) “I said ‘first’ and then he said ‘first’ and then I said ‘jinx’… and then we haven’t talked about it again.”

3) “I meant that as a compliment to you, Phyllis, as well as a slight to Andy.”

4) The group sing of “Life Is A Highway.”

5) “Did Darrell touch you?”

6) “It’s pronounced ‘colonel.’ It’s the highest rank in the military.”

7) Dane Cook. Jack Bauer. Eli Whitney.

8) “Maybe at Thanksgivng we should prank Tom for being bald.”

9) Michael and Darrell singing the blues.

10) Andy taking a bite out of the beet.

Did y’all think it was weird, too? Or am I the weird one?

It’s probably that last thing.

Did anything make you laugh out loud?

Souptacular Crockpotalooza

Souptacular08

Well, last year’s Souptacular was so nice that we’re gonna share recipes twice. And this year I added the Crockpotalooza part because 1) several of you suggested it and 2) I am wild about crockpot recipes.

Because, I mean, why do I want to take the time to, like, STIR THINGS when I could be sitting on my couch watching “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and eating Cheez-Its while the crockpot does all the work in the kitchen?

Oh, I kid.

And the fact of the matter is that my favorite snack option right now isn’t even Cheez-Its (I KNOW!) – it’s Fire Roasted Tomato Triscuits with The Laughing Cow swiss cheese, but that is another (controversial, no doubt) discussion for another day.

Anyway, I’m always on the lookout for good crockpot recipes, and this seemed like as good a time as any to round ’em up. Might as well hit the soup and crockpot birds with one proverbial bloggy stone.

So with all that being said, here are my contributions to this little fall festival-o-food.

Creole Onion Soup
from Louisiana Real & Rustic by Emeril Lagasse

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup flour
6 cups thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
4 bay leaves (I leave out the bay leaves)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups cubed French bread, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cups grated white medium-sharp cheddar
1/2 cup yellow medium-sharp cheddar
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the vegetable oil and flour. Stirring slowly and constantly for about 10 minutes, make a blond roux, the color of sandpaper.

Add the onions, salt, cayenne, bay leaves, thyme, oregano and basil. Stirring often, cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the broth and stir to blend well into the roux mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, stirring, for about 1 hour. Remove bay leaves.

In a bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil and your favorite seasonings (I use garlic powder, paprika, black pepper and a little salt).

When ready to serve, add the cheese, 1/2 cup at a time, to the soup, stirring to blend until completely melted.

Serve in bowls and top with croutons.

I’ve mentioned before that I have a hard time convincing my husband that soup is in fact a meal, but this next soup is a little more hearty (see: THREE kinds of meat).

Creamy Vegetable Beef Soup
from Something to Talk About by The Junior League of Lafayette, Louisiana

1 pound stew beef, cubed
3 slices bacon
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
4 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup water
2 or 3 potatoes, cubed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can green beans
1 15-ounce can yellow corn
1 11-ounce can white corn
1 15-ounce can peas
salt, pepper, and other favorite seasonings to taste
8 ounces Velveeta cheese, cubed

Brown the stew beef and bacon in a skillet. Add the ground beef and cook until crumbly; drain. Stire in the onion, garlic, carrots and water. Simmer for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Stir in the undrained canned vegetables. Simmer for 1 hour. Add the salt, pepper and seasonings to taste. Add the Velveeta. Cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Serves 6 to 8.

If you’d like to share your own soup and/or crockpot recipes with the interweb, just sign the Mr. Linky below. Make sure that you link to your SPECIFIC POST – not to your general blog URL.

Have fun, everybody – and thanks for playing!

Here’s The Button…

…for our Souptacular Crockpotalooza if you need it. This is a fairly impromptu deal, so you really don’t have to fool with the button thing if you don’t want to. Makes no difference to me.

Souptacular08

The button is sized for a post, not for a sidebar. Because I can’t imagine that you’d want one for your sidebar. But if you do, well, hey – whatever floats your soup-laden boat.

Here’s the code:

I’ll put up the Mr. Linky early in the morning so that we can start adding the recipe goodness. The only thing I ask is that you make sure to link to your specific post and not your general URL – it makes it so much easier for people to find your recipes if your info in Mr. Linky goes directly to those recipes.

Thanks, everybody!

Linky Interwebby Awesomeness 10.29.08

Jennifer’s post about The Two-Income Trap is excellent.

– Several of y’all have asked about my reactions to the marriage conference my hubby and I attended this past weekend. Well here you go.

– And here’s way more insight than you ever wanted or needed into my admittedly strange sense of humor: this SNL sketch has been making me laugh every single day for about three weeks.

I know. I know.