Knockoff of Q’doba’s Mexican Gumbo

In CategoryCooking

Here’s the thing. I can’t face making dinner every. single. night. An hour of cooking and hour of cleaning is just not my idea of a good time. Eating out is not a good solution, because I am a tightwad. Also, I want to feed my family reasonably healthy meals. How do I avoid cooking whilst still providing home-cooked meals? (excellent question, pets!) I am a freezer cook. Every three months or so, I spend a week or two in a cooking frenzy and make a bunch of meals for the freezer. 

I have been cooking this way for so long, I don’t know what to do if there aren’t any meals in the freezer for dinner. I stare into the refrigerator in a stupor, as if something will leap into my arms. Maybe with a little sign on it saying Cook Me! 

I’m at this point right now as a matter of fact. We have been alternating between two kinds of soup and some chicken of indeterminate origin. And we just polished off the last of the soup. So I have resolved to get off my ass this week and cook. If I work hard enough now, then I can DO NOTHING over the long weekend, which, as you know, is an ongoing goal of mine. 

Yesterday I made my knockoff of Q’doba’s Mexican Gumbo (or Chicken Tortilla Soup as it’s known in other circles). I have been perfecting this recipe for about a year, and it’s pretty good. I had two crock-pots of it going all day, and last night I put 10 quarts of soup in the freezer. 

My recipe for Mexican Gumbo

Above Ingredients + Crock Pot =

Today I need to get our bread reserves back up, but tomorrow I am making meatballs and meatloaves. I have to. I have 20 pounds of hamburger in the refrigerator.

Organizing in the hizzouse*

In CategoryHome Schooling, Navel Gazing

The state of my office is not good. I have so much stuff in here – knitting stuff, home schooling stuff, craft stuff, stuff to occupy the kids for one freaking minute so I can check my email…it’s driving me nuts. I have been trying to organize it, but it feels like I am just shuttling stuff from one corner to another and then back again. However, I am a big believer that if I only had just the right basket, my house would magically transform itself into a clutter-free picture of organization…

So, in an effort to corral the all the crayons, markers, alphabet magnets, stickers, etc. that are all over the place around here, I surfed the internets until I found these

They are fantastic. AND they got here in less than twenty-four hours! I order a lot of stuff off the internet. A LOT. I might be single-handedly keeping Amazon afloat. I don’t think I have ever received something that quickly. 

Check the cuteness:

All lined up:

Could they BE cuter?

* This blog post title clearly a feeble attempt to communicate my hipness. Who even says “hip” anymore? I probably could have snapped my fingers and said “Groovy, Daddy-O” and gotten the same result. Which is that it is painfully obvious No One Hip Lives Here.

Myers-Briggs Can Suck It

In CategoryNavel Gazing

So I took some internet personality test the other day. I have taken these occasionally, as they filter around. It’s interesting. Sort of. I pretty much always get the same result – INTJ. Apparently, not very many people get that score. Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging

That seems to be code for You Are A Stubborn Reclusive Unromantic Judgey McJudgeyPants.  You spend too much time in your head and suck at social situations. That analysis is pretty much spot on, unfortunately. 

On the other hand, I tend to over analyze the questions, so maybe it’s not seeing the real me. Vague question phrasing irritates me. I don’t like not being able to answer every one decisively.

2) You like to be engaged in an active and fast-paced job 

Well, when I worked for money I did. It made the day go faster. But now that I am at home, I am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do every day and I spend a lot of time wishing I could just sit on my ass and watch teevee all day. I DON’T do that, but I WISH I could, so what is the answer – what I wish I could do or what I actually do? As soon as I get all my crap done, I am going to be the laziest person around. That is my personal goal. 

4) You feel involved when watching TV soaps 

What does that mean – involved? That I think I am in the show like a crazy person? No. On the other hand, I look forward to watching the Real Housewives of Anywhere with probably more glee than is entirely healthy. I went with NO, so the little man in the computer wouldn’t think I was nuts.

68) You get pleasure from solitary walks 

Um… ok, I like to be alone, if that’s what they are getting at. Not so much a fan of the walking. 

So, who knows. The analysis didn’t get to the part where being around me is so awesome and uplifting it makes people believe in unicorns, but they probably just ran out of room.

The Perils of Google

In CategoryNavel Gazing

Ok, so Big is all into Volcanoes, right? Last fall, this fellow home schooling friend of mine tells me that there is an actual volcano in New Mexico, right across the border at Raton. It’s a National Park and looks just like a volcano should, with the cone shape and the crater and everything.
Jim immediately wants to plan a trip to it. And I’m all, Really? because it’s a four hour drive. Little gets cranky driving to the grocery store and insufferable beyond that. But it seems like HOW can I really resist a trip to an actual VOLCANO for my precious baby who works things like “lava lake” and “pyroclastic flow” into his everyday vocabulary? So I go online and check it out. There’s this teeny-tiny little blurb that yes, you can walk down the trails into the crater, but it is Nature and everything, so there might be wildlife. Obviously, I instantly have visions of The Aggressive Rattle Snake lying in wait on the trail to nibble my poor baby girl’s toes while she is helplessly trapped in her stroller, with no one around to defend her because I have been taken down by the Marauding Bears.
I tell this to Jim, and he pooh-poohs me and my irrational(!) fear of snakes and Nature. I say, Lookit, it will be cold and all the snakes will be sunning themselves RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL. No, he says, snakes hibernate and will not give us any trouble. We leave it at that. But I know I am right.
Then! THAT VERY NIGHT! On the local news, a story about some jogger who got bitten by a rattlesnake that was sunning itself RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIL. I (naturally) say, I TOLD you so! And he’s all, Huh. I thought they would be hibernating by now. And then the whole thing starts back up again about whether snakes hibernate. Eventually, he says “let’s go online right now and I’ll prove that I’m right.”
Fine. His they are cold blooded creatures and frogs hibernate too arguments are convincing, but I play the odds. I mean, come on – how often is he right? Three, four times a year?
So he googles it. It turns out they DO hibernate for a few months. BUT they also sun themselves on rocks and trails in the fall while it is merely chilly. So I was also right, and more importantly, I was right FIRST. He just pulled something out of thin air to argue with me and it was a pure coincidence that he was also right.
Ok, so you got all that? Because here is the takeaway from this whole story: