Monday, March 30, 2009

Oral Hygiene

This morning our six-year-old insisted on flossing all the disgusting pluck off his teeth.

Pluck is yuck. 
My Hero

My poor little computer died this weekend.  The thing shut down spontaneously and would not reboot.  When technology fails, it definitely pays to be married to a geek!

My knight in shining armor quickly diagnosed the problem and replaced my notebook's RAM (because he just happened to have extra lying around).  Voila!  Problem solved!  Not only that, my computer now boots much faster than before.

Many thanks to my buff and studly resident IT tech.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Very Merry Un-Birthday

Our daughter will turn pi on August 3, 2009.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Start Your Family

I've long enjoyed reading Steve and Candice Watters' articles on Boundless.  This morning I was blessed to stumble across their family blog.  I hope you enjoy it as well :-). 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Maybe you've noticed ... my blogging performance has been less-than-stellar lately.  I'm completely uninspired.  I've hit a major slump.  That big 1-0-0-0  posts thing has left me rather deflated.  What else is there to say?  I can only talk about menu planning and my crazy kids for so long before people (all ten of you) rebel against reading the random musings of my mundane life.

(I'm so ready for spring to arrive.)  

Fear not, I won't take drastic action any time soon.  I realize I've been sick and tired and grumpy and stressed the past while.  Life will likely settle out and all will be rosy once again.  New inspiration will strike eventually.  Right?

I think my love affair with blogging has grown cold for two key reasons:
  • I've changed my daily routine and am spending very little time on the computer.  (I actually see this as a healthy thing.)  These days I'd rather dash off a quick post than spend an hour crafting something witty and profound. 
  • I'm pretty sick of myself lately (but I don't mean to sound horribly self-deprecating).  I'm simply tired of coming across as prideful and "super-momish".  I don't want to boast about the cool things I've done / nifty projects I've made / profound books I've read.  I just want a rest.  
All that to say, ye olde Ink Spot is looking rather forlorn these days.  I guess this is my rough approximation of an apology and explanation.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Hey Mommy!  You know how to fall asleep?  All you do is close your eyes and wait for a while..."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
March 23, 2009

I'd just like to ask ... who ordered to snow?!?!


Here's my proposed menu plan for the upcoming week (if we ever end up digging ourselves out to go to the store):

Monday:  Leftover night
Tuesday:  Beef curry, allu gobi (cauliflower potato curry), coconut rice
Wednesday:  Encore performance
Thursday:  Veggie frittata, whole wheat toast, melon cubes
Friday:  No cooking (supper with my parents)
Saturday:  Homemade pizza
Sunday:  Spaghetti with meat sauce, green salad, garlic cheese biscuits 

Check out Menu Plan Monday each and every week over at Org Junkie!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I am seriously lacking motivation these days.  Seriously.  I've been running on fumes most of the week.  Blech!  

I think the root of my problem is a pesky cold that refuses to leave.  It's haunted my body for the past three weeks.  The darn thing has taken up permanent residence in my sinuses.  I'm not deathly ill, more under the weather, and haven't felt great for a long time.  It's time to be healthy already!

Enough complaining.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


A few friends have asked for some tasty bean recipes.  Here's a sampling from our family's bean-y repertoire.  Enjoy! 

(And don't say I didn't warn you ... Ben rightly calls these dishes "farty food".)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Word

My husband has decided to rename our bed.  (Not that the bed ever had a name in the first place).  He's now calling it "the Word".

It's a logical name, I suppose.  When Ben is too tired to get up in the morning, he can just spend some extra time in the Word.

How noble.

But it leads me to wonder ... can I rename our bathtub as well?

Surely, I need a great deal more time soaking in the Word.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
March 16, 2009

Here's our menu for the upcoming week:

Monday:  No cooking (supper with my parents)
Tuesday:  Corned beef and cabbage sandwiches, veggies with dip
Wednesday:  Lasagna, green salad
Thursday:  Best bean soup, homemade bread
Friday:  Homemade pizza
Saturday:  Leftover night
Sunday:  Bean burritos, corn, southwestern salad

Check out Menu Plan Monday each week on Org Junkie.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Preparing to Party

Well, today is officially my last day as a twenty-something.  Tomorrow I'll hit the big 3-0.  Yikes! I'm not completely sure I'm ready to take the leap into a new decade, but as my big birthday approaches I do feel very loved.

Yesterday Ben baked me a cake.  He baked me a cheesecake.  All by himself.  That would bring the number of things my husband has baked in his life to a grand total of ... one.  It was the first time he had ever baked anything.  I must say, that cheesecake looks mighty fine sitting there in the fridge.  It's taken a great deal of willpower for me to refrain from sneaking a teeny-tiny sample.

Earlier this week I casually mentioned I needed some new oven mitts. My six-year-old asked where someone might buy said oven mitts, and I suggested the loonie store.  Well, yesterday my son told his daddy they had to stop at the store.  With his own allowance (the kids earns only $2 per week) he chose a stylin' pair of oven mitts.  What a sweetheart! He brought his gift home as proud as could be.  You can be sure those mitts will be put to good use!  (In fact, I believe my husband might have used them for the first time last night!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Joke of the Day

Here's a kindergarten original:

Six-year-old:  Are there bananas in the Bible?

Daddy:  No.  I don't think bananas are specifically mentioned.

Six-year-old:  Then why is it called the FRUIT of the Spirit?
Quote of the Day

"Wow Mommy!  That toilet sure was thirsty!"

(Said by our precocious two-year-old in a public washroom.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Celebration!

Bake some cheesecake and pull up a chair.  We're having a party! Today The Ink Spot has reached a significant milestone.  (Or perhaps it's a mille-stone?)

This is officially my blog's 1000th post.

Gosh, that's a little bit scary.  Who knew this blogging experiment would last so long?  Thanks so much for tagging along for the ride. You've graciously endured my random musings, mundane blather and an embarrassing load of navel gazing.

You deserve a medal.

(Or at least a slice of cheesecake.)  

Monday, March 09, 2009


Like everyone else in the world, our family is watching our pennies these days.  I've had several friends ask for cheap and easy recipe ideas lately.  Budgeting is a common concern!  Since I plan to stre-t-c-h our leftovers this week, I thought I'd share a couple of simple, frugal recipes.

Spaghetti Pie

I make this dish when we have leftover spaghetti and meat sauce (an easy and economical meal in and of itself).  I always seem to make more spaghetti than we need but hate to let it go to waste.   This casserole freezes very well.

Cooked spaghetti (we like whole wheat)
Spaghetti sauce (with meat or without)
Small broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
Shredded cheese (we like low-fat cheddar)

Combine spaghetti and meat sauce.  If you'd like, add extra veggies such as shredded carrot, mushrooms or pureed squash.  Place in a large casserole dish and arrange broccoli on top.  (If you use fresh broccoli, steam it for a couple minutes first.)  Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, until heated through.

Chili and Cornbread Casserole

We often seem to have leftover chili in our house.  I can usually find a container or two in our freezer!  We enjoy both meatless or beefy chili, and this recipe works with whatever type you have on hand.  

1 C. cornmeal
3/4 C. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. milk (I usually mix up powdered milk to use in baking)
1/4 C. oil
1 egg
3/4 frozen kernel corn, thawed

Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl. Whisk together milk, oil and egg in another bowl.  Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Gently fold in corn.

Arrange chili in a casserole dish.  Spoon cornbread mixture on top and smooth flat.  Bake at 400F for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the cornbread comes out clean.  (Alternately, this recipe makes one dozen cornmeal muffins or one 9-inch square cornbread cake.)

My friend Sara has another delicious suggestion for using up leftover chili right here.

Have fun cooking at home, get creative with leftovers, and save a few pennies in the process!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
March 9, 2009

Last week's menu went over surprisingly well with our family.  The pierogis were a hit with the kids, the orange chicken recipe was delicious, and our homemade pizza turned out great.  (As requested, I will share the orange chicken recipe below.)  This week I am trying to get away with skipping my regular shopping trip, so I'll cobble together our menu with ingredients I already have on hand.

Monday:  No cooking (supper with my parents)
Tuesday:  Spaghetti pie, sliced apples
Wednesday:  Chili and cornbread casserole, green salad
Thursday:  Leftovers
Friday:  No cooking (Ben is in charge of my birthday supper!)
Saturday:  Applesauce barbecue chicken, roasted potatoes, steamed mixed veggies
Sunday:  No cooking (supper with friends)

The following chicken recipe is flavourful and easy.  The sauce is especially good with rice.  (I substituted whole grain rice and red peppers for our family.)

Orange Chicken with Vegetables

1 Tbsp. plus 1/3 C. cornstarch, divided
1 C. orange juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 C. chopped green pepper
1 1/2 C. sliced fresh carrots
1/2 C. chopped onion

Combine 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Place remaining cornstarch in a large resealable bag.  Add chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat.  In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in 2 Tbsp. oil for 7-9 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.  Remove and keep warm.

In the same skillet, saute carrots in remaining oil for 2 minutes.  Add green pepper and onion, saute 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender crisp.  Stir cornstarch mixture and add to the pan.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Add chicken and heat through.  Serve with hot cooked rice.

Yield:  4 servings


Thanks to Org Junkie for hosting Menu Plan Monday each and every week!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Phew, Mommy.  I sure am glad to be out of that infernal wind."

(said by the kid with the ears like sponges)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Lovin' It

Nothing beats those wet, slobbery, open-mouth kisses.

No ... not Ben's.

Nothing beats those wet, slobbery, open-mouth kisses from my baby boy.  He's unashamed to kiss his mommy in public.  (Or in private.  Or anywhere, really.)  

I'll gladly accept those sweet tokens of love for as long as he offers them up.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Google Rocks!

When I cook, I'm often stumped by American recipes.  What's the conversion from imperial to metric?  I can never keep all those measurements in ounces and grams and milliliters straight.  

Guess what I accidentally discovered?

If you type your conversion into the search bar Google will automatically calculate it!  My life is changed!

This morning I started making cookies.  The recipe called for 8 oz. of chocolate, but of course, the weight on my bag of chips was stated in grams.

I googled "8 ounces to grams". 

Know what 8 oz. translates to?  226 grams. 


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Momentous Day

Drum roll please...

Last night the timbit said his first official word!  (That is, his first recognizable word other than da-da-da and maaaaa.)  Clear as day, as Ben is my witness, our baby said:


He repeated the word several times and was, indeed, holding a toy cheese in his chubby little hand. 

I laughed right out loud because his declaration was surprising similar to that of a certain young red-haired friend.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hello and Good Night

I'm still here :-).  Just tired.  And valiantly fighting a cold war.  (That is, a war against a cold.)  I'm not sure which way the battle will turn.  

That's why I'm shutting off the computer and heading off to bed...

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Menu Plan Monday
March 2, 2009

Here's our menu plan for the upcoming week.  Yum, yum!

Monday:  No cooking!  (Supper with my parents)
Wednesday:  Pierogi beef skillet, green salad
Thursday:  Leftover night
Friday:  Homemade pizza
Saturday:  Bean burritos (from the freezer), apple slices
Sunday:  Clean out the fridge

Baking:  Oatmeal cookies with dried apricots and white chocolate (Martha Stewart's cookie of the month for March)

Org Junkie hosts Menu Plan Monday each and every week.