The Crazy Suburban Mom: 2009-04-19

Saturday, April 25, 2009

2(2) Teens + 1 bubble pizza ÷ by ice cream - an equation

What does 4 hungry teens + 1 really big bubble pizza =?


You get a boat load of yums and goods...


A sink full of plates, forks, cups and napkins ...

yeah, napkins in the sink.



But what does it =?

1 Giant Bubble Pizza + 4 hungry teens = 1/3 of a Giant Bubble Pizza + 4 happy, really full kids ...

That immediately go out to Coldstone Creamery for ice cream
after dinner. Okay, I don't get that. But, I'm good with it.

Peace out, guys... Peace out.


When all else fails...

Bubble Pizza will triumph!

I've had a couple of recipes this week that didn't go so well. I don't mind telling y' self-esteem is in the toilet. I feel like a pitcher that hasn't won a game in a while. I need a "W". I need a ride to the locker room on my families shoulders...

I want to hear the roar of the crowds... The glory. The National anthem....



That was an entirely different fantasy. That was my Olympic Gymnastic Gold Metal Sweep in the 1996 Honolulu Summer Games...

Back to the Bubble Pizza.

It's one of those 'been around forever' recipes and there are as many ways to make it as there are ways to order a pizza. I'm going to give the recipe for bubble pizza but please understand it's more a method than anything exacting... More art than science.

The basic things you need:

Canned buttermilk biscuits

That's the basics. Honest. Well, okay you need an oven too, if you want to get technical.

Today I'm making a larger amount than normal (Ma, all my friends want Bubble Pizza, too. I can't keep them away.) and using a bigger than 9 x 13 pan.

Okie dokie. Go ahead and preheat oven to 350 degrees and start bubbling!

I'm making a meat sauce which is just a pack of ground turkey cooked in a jar of Ragu Old World Style Sauce. (I started that first, it's cooking now). I've been using ground turkey in place of beef for over 2 years and the boy didn't know for over a year. His Aunt spilled the beans one year at a party when I served tacos.

"This is great," she said,"and this is the stuff you make with the turkey, right?"

She caught my bulging eyeballs right away and clammed up but it was too late. I looked at the boy who looked, frankly horrified.

This is turkey?


It's always been turkey?


My tacos are turkey?


He took a deep breath and than said, Well, they're really good, Ma.

Ah. Gotta love that kind of clarity in a kid!

Okay, back to bubbling.

1 to 2 - 2 cup sized package of shredded mozzarella. I'm using part skim.

2 packages of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits. I'm using the lower fat.

First, I sprayed my bigger than 9 x 13 pan with Pam. Next I opened my cans of buttermilk biscuits (that always scares me to death.... they way they pop out! It's like someone coming up behind me and popping a balloon.)

Cut or rip apart the biscuits into about 4 pieces each and throw them in the greased pan. When that's all done dump in about 3/4 of the bag of cheese. Toss around the ripped up biscuits and the cheese. The cheese will coat the biscuits, nicely.

When your sauce is done, if you're doing sauce, pour on enough to coat everything. If you're just using sauce from a jar (which is dandy too), pour that on now) You don't want to drown it or you will end up with a Bubble Sponge, not a bubble pizza.

Put it in the oven and cook about half an hour until the ripped apart biscuits are cooked and puffed. Cover with remaining cheese and put it back in the oven.

The bubble pizza is done when the cheese on top melts.

Now, that's only the basics. If you like more cheese. Double the cheese! If you want pepperoni...or meatballs...or peppers... you can add that at any time... and on top. The recipe is very forgiving.

Only do me one favor... If you add pineapple, don't tell me. I can't stomach pineapple on a pizza.

Will update with pictures later...

P.S. - If I was using the 9 x 13 pan I would only use one can of biscuits.


Egg McGinger

Every family has a language of their own. Terms and jokes that only make sense within the family unit.

I'm going to share one with you.

Ginger, the heat seeking mini-pain, loves little round dog beds she can snuggle in, burrow under, or crawl into. She's not interested in any other kind so she has several of a similar kind all over the house.

She moves from one to the other, following sun spots.

Because the beds are all sort of round and puffy they look like muffins (go with me here)...

... at least to our family, they do.

So, Ginger's dog beds are called Ginger's muffins.


I always thought this one was particualy English Muffiny.
Doesn't she look like an Egg McGinger in it?

And here's she's trying to get away from my camera

peeking ginger



We are having burned chunks with green specks for dinner

The story goes like this....

About 2 years ago 'What's for dinner?' was starting to depress me.

Innocently, I would answer the question, assuming it was just a, ya know, informational sort of thing.

On naive me! I would than be assaulted by any number of rude comments, creative noises or body contortions depicting pain and disgust.

....Or a combination, there of.

So I made this sign, laminated it, and put it up on the fridge.

What's for dinner?

Of course, I'm the only one who thinks it's funny.... but no one asks me whats for dinner anymore.... A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do.


Friday, April 24, 2009

You can pick your friends but you can't pick your family

What stinks?

That would be dinner?

No, that's couldn't be dinner,
it smells like farts.

You really need to stop now,
it really is dinner.

No way.

(Holding meatloaf under a disbelieving nose)

Oh my God.... I'm really sorry.

Than quit laughing.


Meatloaf for picky eaters update

This is an update on my earlier 'what's in my pantry today' post.

First, let me say, I liked it very much. It was a much softer, less dense and much tastier meatloaf than the last one I made. Did it remind me of an imaginary land of great luxury and ease?

Maybe if someone else cooked it and there was actually some imaginary luxury and ease involved.

But I digress.

It came out very pretty. Prettier than the other meatloaf.



It took a bit longer to cook than in the recipe. I used a smaller loaf pan (part of my new pyrex SCORE!) So it took...well, I'm not exactly sure but it reached 169 degrees plus somewhere between the and hour and 15 minutes and when I got the migraine aura and couldn't see anymore.


Oh no. I think I see a potential problem. Do you see it?

Look closer.


You see it now, don't you? I violated Picky Rule # 7
better known as
(No unidentifiable foods (What's that green thing)"

So, did the boy notice? Well, yes and no. I gave it to him on a sandwich.

The boy: Ma, this isn't very good.

Me: Oh? What's wrong.

The boy: It's mushy, tastes like goo and basil.

Me: Dill?

The boy: Dill.

Me: What do mean it tastes gooey?

He walked in and stuck his finger straight through the sandwich and said, See?

Me: Okay than, why don't you just throw it out.

The boy: You don't want me to keep it?

Me: Not with that finger tunnel through it.

The boy: Can I have a ham sandwich?

As far as this being a success? I'd have to say it's a mixed bag. I'm sure it would be for many families because it was really quite good.

And perhaps if I used less soup, more bread crumbs and no dill? But than it would be a whole other recipe, I suppose.


What's in my pantry today? Ground Beef for picky eaters..

I live in a world of picky eaters. There are many, many food rules and if I paid attention to them all everyone would eat Happy Meals, everyday. Which they probably wouldn't mind...but still....

I went to my 1973 copy of the Joy of cooking this morning to see what I had bookmarked. I like bookmarking recipes that have possibility.

For me 'possibility' means:

  1. I (most likely) have the ingredients in my pantry.
  2. It doesn't take a lot of prep.
  3. It doesn't have any obvious offenders.

The major offenders are:

  1. No hot tomato pieces ( the person I chose to spend my life with)
  2. Different foods shouldn't touch ( Both of them - They think it's a law of the Universe, like gravity.
  3. Not too vegetabley (The boy)
  4. Not too wheaty (The boy doesn't like whole wheaty tastes)
  5. Not too 'picy (the person I chose to spend the rest of my life with)
  6. Not too bland (the boy likes 'picy)
  7. No unidentifiable foods (What's that green thing?)
  8. No curry, hot peppers, Mexican, Indian, Thai, Tex-Mex (See #5)
There are more. But those are the basic 8. And if I bothered with them all... I'd have an ulcer.

But I digress...

I was looking in this today


And found this....


I'd tagged it as a possibilty and after last night's chicken fiasco I didn't want to make more chicken so I thought, What the heck? I know I have everything because last time I went to the A&P I bought the soup and the water chestnuts. I would have preferred olives personally but no hot olive peices in food is rule number 9.

Would the boy eat it if he saw the ingredients? No. I don't think he's ever had mushrooms, let alone cream of mushroom soup. And I'm sure a water chestnut has never passed his lips but hey, they are sort of tasteless. More crunch than substance. If he asks me, What are those hard things? I'll just shrug and say, eggshells?

P.S. Don't know if you're wondering what the recipe title is all about. Meat Loaf Cockaigne. I was. I looked it up... Cockaigne means an imaginary land of great luxury and ease. So what does that have to do with meatloaf? Yeah, I couldn't figure it out either... Apparently the authors of Joy of Cooking cookbook named their country home "Cockaigne" and added the word to many of their "favorite" recipes in the cookbook.

I would tell the boy that story to let him know how special the recipe is.... but he would probably just say, "HAHAHA! Mommy said cock!" And than text that to all his friends....

I thought of alternate pronunciations but they all end up sounding like meatloaf cocaine... And if he texts that, I'll get arrested.


I love japanese craft books - Zakka Sewing

I love and adore certain things. My family, for sure but beyond them... Pyrex. Well, beyond that...

I love Japanese Craft books!


Most are in Japanese and I don't even care. The visual directions are so good that for so many books you don't even need to be able to read Japanese.


Publishers in the country seem to dumb down craft books. I can't tell you how many times I've purchased (Bought....paid for...With money.) craft books published in the U.S. because of a fabulous to-die-for project on the cover. Than I get the book and all the projects inside the books are dreadful. It's like buying a box of yummy delicious girl scout cookies... but when you rip the box open (yes, I do rip open boxes of girl scout cookies) there's nothing in there.


Not so with Japanese craft books. And more and more are even in English. This one is. It's called Zakka Sewing - 25 Japanese Projects for the Household. It was published in 2008 and it's a beautiful 152 page softcover with book jacket. And heavy colored pages.

Be still my heart.


The ISBN is 978-1-59479-634-3
I admit that mostly I read them and don't craft from them. It's sort of like my thing for cookbooks, you know? I have so many...more than I will ever cook from... but to me they are reading material.

Anyway.... If you haven't experienced the bliss that is Japanese craft books, do.


The projects go from cute (kawii, in Japanese) to elegant and the directions are spelled out clearly. I used to have a lot more of these books but I had to sell some of them. (sob). Life's like that some times.

I'm planning on posting some pictures of my very favorites.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

On no, Michele... Say it ain't so

Well I made today's chicken. Not a winner... not so bad I had to throw it down the disposal but no NOM! either. If I had to say thumbs up or thumbs down? I'd just say 'thumb'.

This is how it looked


Is it me, or does it look oddly uncooked?

I'm not sure what the exact problem was but my guesses are:

1. The chicken needed to cook longer in the pan. That two minutes until the skin 'stiffened slightly ( an odd turn of a phrase, I thought), not enough. And I sort of knew it while I was doing it because the chicken did not 'release' when I went to turn it over.

2. Not enough sauce. The directions were to reduce to half-cup but I don't think I had much more than that. And what there was of the sauce was...I don't know...kind of flat. I could taste the mustard...and it was sort of sweet but not in a good way. I didn't get any lemon and it needed lemon.

3. The chicken tasted flat. I thought about salting and peppering before sauteing but I was trying to follow the recipe. It was just blah...

4. The parsley? Oh, it needed something green alright...but something green with a flavor. all in all, not a success but not bad enough to feed the disposal either.

But I still love ya, Michele. I sure would have loved to love the chicken but just keeping it real...


Got popcorn feet?

I upload photos to a Flickr Account . Most of it is my artwork, artwork in progress... Paintings, photography... Random stuff, too. I'm Popcorn Feet there.

Every once in a while someone will ask me where that name came from. I've decided to show you...

See this?


That's Ginger my mini-pain.

Now, see these?


Those are popcorn feet.

I used to think I was the only one with a dog that had feet that smelled like popcorn... But every time I write about it someone always says, I have a dog with popcorn feet too!

I love those popcorn feet. When she's warm from hiding under a blanket... or towel ... or the shirt you're wearing... Her feet smell like popcorn. And at the risk of sounding odd (although, its most likely too late for that) they smell heavenly!


Etsy Featured seller - The Clay Muse

In my post I Want to Feature You Here and on the forums I asked sellers to show me products that were cute, fun, and under $10. Of all the great products I looked at (and still have some in my cart) I picked Christina's shop, The Clay Muse. Chistina says, "I'm always up for custom orders! Everything I make can be done in any color you can dream up and I just love making color combo's I didn't think of!"

This is the one I picked:


The description was this:

The color and pattern on these barrettes perks me up every time I look at them. They have a kinda of retro feel to me. I'm in love with the bright green to orange contrast going on here!

These are 3in French Style metal barrettes covered in polymer clay. The covering was made by slicing a flower cane and placing the slices between sheets of wax paper, the sheets were then rolled through the pasta machine until one thin continuous patterned sheet is achieved. I then took the clay sheet and wrapped it around the top of the barrettes and heat cured them.
Due to the initial varying thickness and placement of the cane slices to create the sheets even two barrettes of the same cane do not look exactly alike!

Christina is right. The color is fun and retro and perks me up too! And its not easy to find bigger barrettes. I have a lot of hair.



It was great dealing with you, Christina! You shipped it so fast and it came in perfect condition. I love the barrette and I love the retro style, too. I'm a sucker for retro.


What in my pantry today? Frozen chicken thighs!

I really like Michele Urvater's cookbooks. I have three of them and they are all based on the theme of Monday to Friday cooking. This recipe came from Monday to Friday Chicken. She used to have a television show on the Food Network called (I think) Monday to Friday cooking and I wish they would bring it back. Occasionally I still watch the Food Network but I've found I don't enjoy it anymore. For me, the beginning of the end was when they aired the show Dweezil and Lisa. It started a long downward spiral into the Food Network becoming the culinary equivilant of the National Enquirer.

And what's with all the cosmetic surgery on that channel? Do they require it? For some people on that network every new season brings a new theme and a new face to go with i
t. What's up with that? I find it distracting. I find it disturbing. I find it odd. And I also find I can figure out the year the show was produced by figuring .... Is that this year's face? Or last years? Oh. Wait. No, it's the 2001 face.

Oh. I'm way off track here.

Back to Michele (who all the time I watched her show had the same face. I miss that.) I was looking through my cook books this morning for a pantry recipe ( You know every time I type that I type panty recipe. I'm going to not correct it one day so please if I've posted a recipe for panties.... comment and let me know before 1000 people see it. Thank you.)

I've scanned the recipe and if you click
on it, it will be bigger and readable. It's for Meltingly Marvelous Chicken. I could't resist making it... I have every ingredient!

So that is the plan for later. At the moment I'm just cold water thawing the chicken in the sink.



Will it work? Will it be good? You really never know, do you? I try a lot of new recipes some work out well ("Oh wow! Can we have this again?) and some dont work out so well... If
this one doesn't work out well you will not see a beautiful and juicy picture of chicken. You will see...



Maybe I should start a rating system. Good recipes get lovely pictures .... Bad, bad, naughty recipes are rated in garbage disposals. From 1 to 3.

Maybe Noms! for the good ones!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I only buy gross, disgusting food - A story in pictures

Ma, I wanna order pizza.

We have tons of stuff right here.


Check that big, white box in the kitchen.


But we never have anything good.

Just look, please.


I don't see anything.

I didn't hear the door open.


There's nothing in there.
It's all gross. Why don't we
ever have anything good? I STILL
wanna order pizza, Ma.


Step away from the junk drawer - A horror story in pictures

It started innocently enough.


It was 6 a.m. and I needed a scissors.


That's how these stories always start, isn't it?


Yeah. You know what's coming, don't you?


The horror.


Not a scissor to be found.


The really weird thing? I know if I cleaned out the
drawer I'd find 5 scissors.


But at 6 a.m.?


No. Not now. Not at 6 a.m.

Step away from the junk drawer, Tracy.

All day I'm going to be thinking of that song by the Clash ...
I fought law and the law won. Except in my head
I'm going to be singing... I fought the
drawer and the drawer won.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What ever happened to the compound butter anyway?

The other day I made a compound butter. It was fresh and yummy tasting! I put it in the fridge while waiting for the salmon to thaw.

And waited.

Today was the day!

My recipe for Broiled salmon with dill butter is the easiest thing.

Foil a pan to broil the salmon (for easy clean-up) and lightly grease it (very very lightly).

Put salmon, skin side down on foiled pan.

Lightly rub some of the oil on the salmon. You don't need to grease up the fish... It's the lightest of coatings. Give it a dusting of oil, if one could dust with oil, that is.

Salt it.

Pepper it.

Squeeze on a few squirts of citrus. (Whatever you have...lemons, limes, grapefruits... I used a plastic lime.)

That's it.

Put the salmon under the broiler - close but not the closest - and broil it till done. 'Done' is up to you. I had a large piece, it was thick and still pretty cold. It took almost 20 minutes. That would probably be longer than it would take most people by a lot.

After the salmon is cooked to your liking; get out your dill butter. Drop small bits of the dill butter all over your salmon. Put it back in the oven for a minute to soften the butter if you have too... You don't want to cook the dill, just melt the butter.

This is what I got. It's so pretty. I love dill with a passion.


I had to with a salad. Romaine, English cucumbers, vidalia
onions and ahhh!vocados! (I took the pic before adding
the ahhh!vocados)


Don't you just hate that?

Some days you just walk up to your car...


open the door, get in...


And than it happens...


I hate that light.


Book give-a-way!

I've been doing The No S Diet for about a week now. The rules? Easy-peasy...

There are just three rules and one exception:

  • No Snacks
  • No Sweets
  • No Seconds

Except (sometimes) on days that start with "S"

According the website you don't need any more than that but I did buy the book because I did have questions. Like:

What about White chocolate coconut coffee creamer in my coffee?

What about wine?

What if it's a good snack; not cheese doodles?

Is fruit a sweet?

And it went on. I'm inquisitive that way. So I bought the book.

I've been really happy with No S'ing and in fact I got on the scale today and I'm down 5 pounds! Could have knocked me over with a Cheeto.

So I've decided to have a give-a-way! If there is any interest, that is!

If you want a copy of this book (I'm going to buy a second one from Amazon) just leave me a comment. I'm going to take the total number of people who comment and stick the number in an online random number generator... and let the random number generator generate a number, er winner!

Winner (or Loser depending on if you actually lose weight once you get the book, right?) Will be picked Monday 4/27/09 after Noon. Eastern Time.


A bag of skin...

The three hardest jobs I ever had were:

1. Camp counselor
2. Maid in a motel
2. Cashier

The camp gig was my first job and I was thrilled with my $9.33 paycheck every two weeks. The promise of 'tips' loomed large but never happened. I worked 1-5 everyday but Monday... for a whole summer.

And never once did the parents in my group tip. It wasn't that we werent' good, or kind to their kids... I think they just felt that they were paying enough for the camp...and maybe they were.
The camp used the "they get meals free" loophole and so the Dixie cups we ate with the kids at snack time was salary. I suppose. I've never been able to look at another Dixie cup without cringing. I understand woman are better tippers than men. I'm sure it's from being scarred early by Dixie Cups.

Best thing about that job:
1. Flip-flop attire

The maid job. What can I say? You think your son has bad aim in the bathroom? People who stay at motels don't even attempt to aim. I once told someone I thought they should take out the entire bathroom and replace it with a room-sized porcelain bowl and the flush thingy. And leave off the pesky bathroom door. People did seem to have remarkably good aim as far as the door was concerned. Or they were attempting to hit the bowl from the bed. In either scenario the door is pain in the neck to someone.

Another job that should have netted me a tip here or there. All I can say is very few. Very few indeed. Since that place had a restaurant they also used the 'they get meals free' thing as a way to keep salaries down. Meals was the soup d'jour. Better known as yesterday's stuff cut up much smaller than it was yesterday.

Best thing about that job:
A TV in every room. I developed an addiction to All My Children and General Hospital that lasted for years.

Third job? Cashier. This is one I did more than once and no free meals at those places. They paid me top hourly dollar! Minimum wage.

Boy, I hated that job. I still start to twitch when I'm in a check-out line and the person in front of me asks for a bag for their pack of gum.

As bad as the other two were, you're not on display. You can sit down...or hide. Perkiness is generally not required. But as a cashier, you are front and center. The face of the store. And the lowliest of it's employees.

Best thing about that job:
Employee discount (Much more helpful at some stores than others... I don't think I ever used it at the Lumber place but I bought a crap-load of discounted ...Well, crap from Quik-Chek.

The boy's a cashier now. I guess it's an early job for a lot of people. But it's not the perfect job for him. He's got food issues. He doesn't like a lot of stuff so working as a cashier in a grocery store is a horrifying thing.

Ma. You should see the stuff that people eat.

Oh? Like what... (Trying to hide my Sushi dinner from him)

Ma. This stuff... it was .... It was awful.


It was a bag of... I don't know...liquid. And things. Pieces.

Can you be more specific?

It looked like a bag of skin, Ma. I almost threw up on the register.

I put down my sushi and we went to work trying to figure out what a bag of skin could be. It took a while but we nailed it.

I've not been able to eat the stuff since and I realize the boy shouldn't work with the public. Or food.


So how come I'm still worried?

Ma. There's no hot water.

Give it 5. I was running the dishwasher...


Sounds innocent enough, right? I thought so and immediately went to blissful, unknowing sleep.

When I woke up this morning and tried to wash my hair, there's still no hot water. Now, that is a problem of gargantuan proportion on several fronts:

1. I didn't shower yesterday thinking, "I'll do it in the morning." Oh. Silly, silly me.
2. I'm guessing the boy didn't shower either. An all to common occurrence. (Ma, what does my hair smells dusty mean exactly? I smell better than all my friends. Ask them. He's got me there... Smelling 'dusty' is the least of the smells.)
3. I'm thinking my appliance-karma just took a dive.
4. How much does a new water heater cost, anyway?

I hurried, quick like a bunny, and called PSEG's worry-free department and I guess no hot water is a huge deal to them too because my appointment is (Now, say this with a mechanical robotic voice) Today, Tuesday, April 21st, between 8 am and 12pm.

I know it's called worry-free...
So how come I'm still worried?


There it is. Sitting there between the heating system
and the washing machine. More a place holder now. Not
really an appliance anymore. More of a comma.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Last of the new Pyrex...

.pyrex addiction

The new bowls are the ones with the handles. I've since learned they are called Cinderella bowls, in Verde.

Apparently Pyrex called all the green bowls without patterns, verde.


What the heck's a compound butter?

That's an easy one. It's just butter plus something else.

Garlic butter for garlic bread? Compound butter....

Butter mixed with sugar and cinnamon for cinnamon toast? Compound butter...

Butter mixed with dill? Compound butter.

And that's the one I made this morning.


I went to costco yesterday and bought more Steelhead Salmon because I was running out. But now that I bought more I need to use the stuff I got last time.

The salmon is in the fridge, thawing, for tomorrow's:


Stay tuned for this recipe tomorrow. It's all pantry and it's got 6 ingredients. And I'm including the salmon, salt and pepper. How much easier could it get?


Another one bites the dust

Ma, is that hail?

It's rain.

Ma. It's bouncing.

Objects in my rear view ....

And that was the beginning of the end of the boy's driving test this morning.

He's a nervous kid. I kept moving the test farther down the calender hoping for good weather.

For months.

It never occurred to me that my son, who I never let drive in the rain, ( Huge mom-stake) would be in a line at motor vehicles listening to hail hit the car while biting his nails and waiting to take the test for his license.

I'm sure the hail had little to do with his hitting the cone during parallel parking. Or forgetting to signal... But he didn't need that one more thing to occupy his mind.

The test started uneventfully. It seemed to be going well. And than it was over. Silly me. I was all caught up in thinking how much quicker it was than when I took the test.

The, very nice, young, bubbly, blond and friendly driving instructor got out of the car and informed me quite cheerfully "Once he hit the cone we stop testing. You can reschedule in 2 weeks."

The boy is not happy. In fact, he's down-right foul. I didn't even drive him to school after that... I told him he was going to parallel park the rest of them day until he doesn't hit anything.

But at the moment?

He's napping off the experience.

Vote for my post Another one bites the dust... on Mom Blog Network


What in my pantry today?

Guess what this is... don't peek....
What's in my pantry?

Did you guess?

Do you know?

It's brussel sprouts!

I like mine shredded, finely. Sautee in a non-stick pan with a little oil and a little butter for flavor. Add salt and pepper and if you're feeling frisky - tarragon!

Nom Nom!


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