Category Archives: Potatoes

I Hate You Ham

Per my last post, I should have started the ham last week.  How can a 10 pound, spiral sliced, pre-cooked ham take over 4 hours to get to a safe temperature?  Why did it make me not only uncover, but take apart, spread out in the roasting pan, up the oven temp twice just so we could eat by 5.  IT WENT IN THE OVEN AT 12:30!!!

Ugh, stupid ham. So of course Guitar Boy had seconds.

But everything else was good. Went with the Spinach Artichoke Stuffing mentioned in the last post, Carrot Slaw from Once Upon a Chef, asparagus, lots of fruit, and the hit of the day, made by my mother, was Aunt Carol Wetter’s Cheez Whiz Scalloped Potatoes. Yep, you read that right. Cheez Whiz is the secret ingredient.

There was an epic egg hunt. Make them hard to find, they said. Challenge accepted.

And to answer your question, why yes, that is a Death Star bird feeder. #nerdfoiles

It was so hard to find these eggs that they couldn’t even take a group cousins picture without one half of all participants closing their eyes.  But we did get one with GG on her 103rd Easter!

Justifying my large light up bunny purchase at Homegoods were the table favors – white and gold bunnies!!

Guess which favor was Baby D’s?

When GG used to host Easter, she always bought you a ceramic bunny or egg and wrote the year on it, so my favors this year were an homage to GG.  Here’s some of the collection:

You may have seen on Instagram, but my sister sent me a picture of a “joke” centerpiece saying “you should do this”.  Additional challenge accepted!


So after all that Cheez Whiz goodness, we need to lighten it up tonight with grilled halibut with purchased pineapple salsa.  As a side, I made Skinnytaste’s Yellow Rice.  Perfect with the fish, I highly recommend it (minus cilantro of course because, blech).  Her cooking method made perfect fluffy rice and I made my own spice blend (minus coriander because CORIANDER IS CILANTRO!). And I didn’t have any.

We had beautiful weather for Easter weekend but not to worry, it will be 40 degrees again by Thursday. That doesn’t mean I didn’t just buy clearance garden markers at Target and started planning. And place cards for next Easter. And gold plastic cutlery. Stupid dollar section.

Have a great week everyone!

The I’ll Do it Someday Someday is Now!

Sure, some people might have days off between jobs and go away for a weekend.  A spa day perhaps?  Maybe just lounge about on the porch and read some of those eleven books stacked up on one’s nightstand?  Sure, one COULD do that. Or, presented with 10 days of no kids at home and a husband who can reach things in high places, one COULD also embark on the biggest organizing and cleaning spree since one moved in here eight years ago.  And it was done. So say we all. #Nerdfoiles.

First up, the most significant change was Drummer Boy’s room losing its nursery motif. Because he’s 9.  Yep, 9. I never said I moved with lightning speed.


And changing colors


To a sports/Minecraft/Art theme more suited to a boy of his maturity.

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Next up, our closet.  Before:




Yes, I know the tag is still on it. I’m gonna wear it this fall, I swear.

But oh, it gets worse. Don’t worry, we’re getting there.  Laundry room before:





photoOh dear, now we go down to THE BASEMENT. Actually, it’s been more cluttered. We recently unloaded the baby toys (like play kitchens, small vehicles) so there are lot less large items. I remember buying this house thinking, “Now we have a finished basement, so all the toys will be down there and I won’t have to stare at a mess all day”.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, woo, woo, oh.  Whew!

Anyway, the basement before:

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And after

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Behind the bar, before


Behind the bar, after.  Why yes, we do need more can koozies.  Thank you for asking.


And finally, the utility room. Now, by way of background for those that are new here, at the old house we had a scary, spider-filled, space between the stairs where someone could easily grab you type of basement. Thus, whenever I would accidentally go to Homegoods, I would purchase a festive red platter, enjoy it, and then send that festive red platter down to said basement. Then the next time I accidentally went to Homegoods, I’d think “Hey, I don’t have a red platter” because, you know, object permanence issues. And down to the scary Hell-mouth basement that one would go too. Tablecloths would suffer the same fate. Resulting, as some  might say, in an excess of housewares. Now, however, there is no excuse as our basement is lovely. No excuse for THIS!



Or this tablecloth tower of doooooom:


But, finally all is in order.  With napkins in drawers labeled by season, kitchen and hand towels bagged by holiday:

IMG_1300Tablecloths loaded into a dresser by size of the table:


Often used items put within handy reach:


And platters and assorted dishes organized by color. As any normal person does. Right? Normal people do that, right?!!

IMG_1283Note the number of red dishes. It was a real problem.

Along the way a number of drawers were organized (nightstand, desk), supplies were created for the holiday gift I’m going to give the neighbors (SUSPENSE – it’s only September!) and Halloween Block Party planning/organizing has begun.

But for those who only come here for the food and not the OCD ramblings of a hoarder, what were some of the food highlights I made after seven days of seven straight hours of straight up straightening up?

Made this Shrimp with Spicy Garlic Sauce from Can You Stay for Dinner.  Didn’t have green beans so I used broccoli.  Also, only used half the chili garlic sauce and it was plenty spicy for me. Did I take a picture – no, because I was too tired from all the before and aftering.

Also grilled up some very simple chicken legs.  This is a very simple, fast way to grill chicken legs with lots of flavor.


And, the never fail Ina Garten’s Baked Potato Wedges


The leftovers of which became Two Peas and Their Pod’s Loaded Baked Potato Frittata (fri-ta-ta – that’s a fun word to say) for dinner the following night.



And for dessert during my unemployment period?

Kentucky Butter Cake cookies from Cookies and Cups.


Oh, I may have also watched two entire seasons of Orphan Black at City Cousin’s insistence. Which means I also didn’t sleep very much on certain evenings.

So, ultimately, over the last two weeks we donated/gave away/boxed up for Mom’s garage sale:

  • 13 Hefty bags total of clothing and shoes
  • 4 bags of toys
  • 3 boxes of books
  • 3 boxes of ancient financial records shredded
  • 3 boxes of housewares

Buuuuuuut, nonetheless, I accidentally went to Homegoods because I had something to return (it happens!), and may have bought a new fall pillow and blanket.


Which Skunk the Cat is totally fine with.


Now go get your weekend on. I know I will as I have to go to the new job on Monday. There may be pumpkin bread involved.  Just sayin’

Happy Fall y’all.

A Perfect Summer Sunday

Finally, a perfect summer day.  Hot but not too hot. No rain, no hail, no 50 degrees (hello, it’s July). Just a great day to play outside.  And The Block did just that.

But what to eat on this fine day? I subscribe to the Hatchery Box which sends a monthly box of various ingredients and sauces made by American businesses.  Here was July’s selection:


So tonight I used the 4 Rivers Smokehouse All Purpose Rub on grilled chicken  – delish, but spicy.


And made Cucumber Dill Potato Salad with the cucumber vinegar from Olivelle.


Cucumber Dill Potato Salad

3 lbs. small potatoes (either red or Yukon gold), scrubbed, cut in half or quarters depending on size
2 TBSP cucumber vinegar
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup thinly sliced, diced red onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 heaping cup of fresh chopped dill
1 tsp kosher salt
ground black pepper

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water 1 inch above potatoes. Bring potatoes to a boil and boil 9-12 minutes until potatoes can be pierce with a fork. Drain and rinse potatoes.

Whisk the remaining ingredients in bowl in which you intend to serve the salad. Add potatoes and toss gently with rubber spatula to distribute the dressing. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Back outside.  You know what is even better that neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use? Neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use when they put up a big, jumpy water slide.


And you know what is better than that?  Neighbors that became dear friends who have a huge side yard that they let us use when they put up a big, jumpy water slide and serve Bourbon Slush Punch from Smitten Kitchen.


Here are some of my other favorite things this week:

Pixi Endless Silky Glide on Eye Pen


I was in Target and as I was on my knees, sobbing and cursing almighty Odin that Neutrogena had discontinued my bronzer/powder (I’m fun to shop with!), a beauty consultant suggested the Pixi by Petra line as a similar type product.  She also offered me a free sample of their eye pencil which she said would not come off until I took it off.  Challenge accepted.

Pixi Pencil 1, me 0.  Seriously, put it on at 7:00 a.m. on an 85 degree/90% humidity day.  Power-shopped the Nordstrom anniversary sale, cleaned the kitchen, put together appetizers, went to my step-nephew’s going away to the Navy party, dealt with my mother’s definition of air-conditioning vs my definition of air-conditioning, sat outside in the rain, binge-watched Bloodline until 11 p.m (do it, DO IT!) and consarnit if I didn’t need to get out the make-up remover. Target beauty consultant, I  salute you.

You need to watch this video by Studio C right now. And you need to do so on either a TV or at least a computer (i.e., not your phone).  This has become required viewing at our house. If you walk in, even if only for 5 minutes after dropping your college car off on return from South Bend before you catch the train to the city,


you will be shown this video by one of the boys. It is made by BYU students and is pretty hilarious.  Who knew BYU had such a high production budget? Scott Sterling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a great week everyone.  I’m off to NY for meetings for a couple of days, so nothing cookin’ on the horizon.  So you’re on your own.  Unless you want pasta with jarred marinara, in which case, I will ask Kevin to guest post.