Weekly recap

Hey gang. Sorry I bailed on ya this week. I needed a respite. I’ve been busy planning an awesome birthday celebration for El Jefe. Which was yesterday. Which included a video montage of happy birthday messages from several of his out-of-state friends, a message from the boys…where they killed a hooker and she turned into a zombie and then they died. A message from da Godfodda and Laura, and finally my message…where I made him a bacon sandwich.

And he woke up yesterday, and there was a bacon sandwich waiting for him. With a light saber candle…

I also made a Bacon Apple Pie which was delicious, but I have figured out how to improve it and will remake it and when it is perfected, I will post pics and a recipe.

Here’s a picture of last night’s pie:

We had a great time with our friends. It was very needed.

Booty Camp is going great. My booty is definitely looking better. Though the weight is hanging on like static cling. That’s okay. It’ll come off…eventually. It better or else.

Okay, that’s about it. Y’all have a great weekend and I’ll do better next week, I promise.

Dear Friday. Thank you for getting here. Love Melf.

Seriously. I’m so ready for this damn week to be over. And I apologize for all the kevetching I’ve done this week. It’s not like me, I know. Usually I’m all sunshine and butterflies (and sparkles, OH MY!) but I just haven’t had it in me all week long. I’m Mrs. CrabbyPants. Or Mrs. CrankyPants. Or Mrs. BitchyPants. Whatever. *grumblehissgrumblehiss*

I baked my first pie in my lovely gas oven last night. Baking is an art and usually I create beautifully baked art. And last night’s pie…looked beautiful. And it tasted wonderful. BUT the bottom crust didn’t cook all the way through and my apple filling was runnier than usual. It was an off night for the pie queen.

But I look really cute in an apron, don’t you think?

Okay, so next week will be better. I will do my best to take my bitchy britches off and burn them. I don’t like it when I feel cranky all the time. It’s just not natural to me! I like being fun, flirty, and full of sparkle. So you better put on your shades next week cuz I’m bringing sparkle back…

I’m late. Deal with it.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this has been a craptastic week, overflowing with craptastic goodies. BUT things are changing. Yep. They’re coming around to the good side again, I can feel it.

First of all, my darling Mac isn’t dead. Fishdog worked his Apple Magic on her, and she seems to be in fine working order again. I was afeared we had a fried hard drive, but according to all the tests, she seems to be A OKay. Must’ve been a corrupted file just messing with her goodness.

Secondly, I snuck in a drink last night with my BFF Jenn Christman. We only had 1 hour but we took full advantage of that hour with a margarita and lots of gossip. She got hair extensions and looks 10 years younger and now I’m thinking that maybe I need to invest in some of those…

THEN I hung out with the eldest last night. Was fun. He’s a hoot. Makes me laugh and we shared Double Stuf Oreos. And you know if Double Stuf Oreos are involved, it’s a good time.

Today I had lunch with my pal Laura at Cheers in the Heights. Adolfo took very good care of us, as usual.

And tonight…I’m making apple pie. I’m also planning on sparkling while I wear my flamingo apron. Maybe I’ll conjure up Matt Damon while I’m at it…

See? All is well.

What you guys got going on? Anything fun or exciting?

Jr Chef

My youngest son has always enjoyed helping out in the kitchen. I first noticed it a few Thanksgivings ago, when he was curious about how I make pies: specifically the pumpkin pie which is is favorite. Since then, I’ve been encouraging him to help out when he can.

He’s 11 now and so yesterday I decided it was time for him to learn to cook. We’re going to do a new recipe once a week over the summer. We’re going to shop for the ingredients, discuss any adjustments we’d like to make, and then cook.

For our first lesson, we started out with this recipe from the Whole Foods website: Cheesy Lasagna Rolls

We hit the grocery store, bought the ingredients. Once we got home, we set out everything we were going to need and got started. We decided to add a couple of more cheeses to the stuffing and make it a 3-cheese stuffed roll, decided against adding a meat this time, but think bacon or sausage would be fantastic in this. I’m also pretty sure I would love to add artichokes and may try that next time.

The basic ingredients are spinach, marinara sauce, and ricotta cheese (we added mozzarella and parmesan into the ricotta mixture) And of course lasagna noodles. We used 7.

Rader is adding sea salt to the water to boil our noodles.

When your noodles are al dente, you lay them flat, spread cheese, marinara, and layer some spinach on the noodle.
Then you roll up the noodle

And place it upright in the pan

Once you’ve placed all the rolls in the pan, spoon remaining marinara over each roll, sprinkle with mozzarella (and Parmesan) and bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown

They were DELICIOUS! and so easy.

Cheesy Stuffed Lasagna Rolls from Wholefoods.com

1/2 pound (8 to 10) uncooked lasagna noodles
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

We added Mozzarella and Parmesan into the Ricotta as well, and made them 3-cheese rolls


Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and gently transfer to a clean work surface.

Grease a small roasting pan or casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. Working with one noodle at a time, spread with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of the marinara then top with spinach. Starting at one end, roll up noodle snugly then arrange in pan either seam-side down or with the rolls close enough together to hold each other closed. Pour remaining marinara over assembled rolls then sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.

fog and food

It was foggy outside today. But not in my head! I believe I have beaten this stupid cold into submission. I may even go running again today for the first time in a week. Whoot!

Last night, Fishdog and I were chatting away while watching Top Chef (3 cheers for Tom Colicchio!) Fishdog thinks it would be a great idea if we prepared a new dish from a different country each week to expand our palates and our cooking skills.

You know, in theory, this is a great damn idea. In reality, I am not Louisa Edwards. She and Stinger are chef-like entities. I’m closer to Ronald McDonald to their Gordon Ramsay.

Don’t get me wrong, I can cook. I enjoy baking pies and roasting turkeys, and cooking big meals for dinner parties. Hell, I volunteer to host Thanksgiving every year. You don’t do that if you can’t cook. I have the skill, but it’s not a bone-deep love like it is for Louisa and I’m not sure if I’m dedicated enough to trying something new every week because frankly, it just sounds like work. Cooking relaxes Louisa…but it wears me the hell out.

I also enjoy trying new things–especially if I’m the one who prepared the food (that way I know what I’m trying.) But if I’m going to go through the effort of fixing some new cuisine, I want everyone in the family to eat it. And where Rader is pretty much willing to try anything–Nemo? Meat and potatoes. Bacon and eggs. Spaghetti and meatballs. <–see a pattern? So I feel like my effort would be wasted because I have a kid who really won't give anything unknown a chance.

What do you think? Should I throw caution to the wind and start trying out simple dishes from other countries for something new? Or should I save that for special occasions and dinner parties? What do you suggest we try first?

ETA: stop by FatChicksRunning! today. I’m talking about how Size Does Matter


Last night, Rader and I made three batches of brownies. We’re mailing two batches to the lads in Nebraska and we kept one for ourselves.

He was very excited about cooking. He read the directions on the back of the box and gathered the ingredients.

Rader: 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of oil and 1 egg.
Me: Very good. Now, if we’re making three boxes how much oil and water do we need.
Rader: Three thirds.
Me: Right. But, is that really a measurement we use? What does three thirds cups equal.

He thought about it for a second then smiled.

Rader: That’s one cup!
Me: Excellent!

He was proud he figured that out…as he should be. Then he got to the most important part of baking…

Rader: Mom? Can I wear an apron?

Of course you can!

I tried to get Ian involved. Hell, it was his idea to cook the lads brownies in the first place…but he was too busy on the computer chatting with his girlfriend. I guess he has his priorities…