Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Delights

Today was good and frustrating all wrapped up into one day!


Todd got up at 3:15am to take his brother to the airport in Boston. He got back home around 7:45; just as Timmy and I were waking up to start our day. He was exhausted and crawled into bed. His brother now owes us a trip to the airport - we will make good on this in November when we fly home for Thanksgiving (my Calif home, that is).


Daddy was too tired, so we skipped church. Don't you know that today was probably a day when child care was available in the nursery. Timmy and I went to Wal-Mart for our weekly grocery shopping. Timmy was a cranky boy throughout the trip. I gave him goldfish pretzels. When he was finished with them, he dumped the bag on the floor - nice, huh??? We returned from our trip still cranky. What's going on? Why so cranky???? Todd was working on the building of our mantel, so Timmy just had to be in the same room - which meant, I had to be in the room too to keep Timmy out of the way. All of this, and trying to make lunch too. Challenging!


Nap time, finally!!! Sometimes, the 1:00-3:00 hours are the best 2 hours of my day. Timmy was so cranky all morning, that today was one of those days. During his nap, I decorated the train cake. Success!!!
Finally - I was able to make a cake without eggs that did not sink! Of all the things I have tried, the old Weight Watchers trick of using a can of diet soda mixed in with the cake mix was what worked! By the way, if you try this with diet soda, it is only 3 points per serving - 12 servings total. I used chocolate cake a cherry vanilla coke for this little experiment. They were the 2 things I had on hand, but not neccesarily what I will use for the actual birthday cake. I thought, because this wasn't the 3-D cake pan, it would be easier to frost - nope! It took me 2 hours, just like the other. My mom will be here for Timmy's actual party; she's an expert at cake decorating, so maybe with her help we can do it faster!
Just when I thought the crankiness couldn't get any worse - presto, it does! I couldn't believe how cranky Timmy actually was. It was like someone swooped in and exchanged my Timmy for a red-faced, fit throwing, cranky pants. It was awful! At one point, he slapped me across the face. I couldn't believe. I am not yet prepared on how to deal with such a thing. I'm pretty sure my voice was loud and harsh following the slap. I told him he could never hit mommy. What should I have done?

I calmed his cranks with gold fish and cheerios - this seemed to work for about 15 minutes. That was followed by a fit and a time out, then more cheerios. We followed that up with a play dough session, which ended in the throwing of the play dough and play dough accessories. Seriously, what happened to my child? Where did the sweet little boy go???? I fed him dinner, then got started on dinner while he was eating. He ate and watched me make prepartions. When we was done, he wanted our desk chair pulled up to the island so he could continue to watch and help me. Just when he was being more than I could handle, he makes up for it by doing something cute. He was helping me by opening the new package of mushrooms. Since he was doing that (and it was keeping him from the cranky monster), I pulled out a ziploc and had him transfer the mushrooms from their container to the bag. That was big fun. In the end, I tickled him with the leaves of a celery stalk (also big fun) and he gave a few mushrooms a lick and taste - nice! Grammy and Grandpa showed up for dinner towards the end of the prepartion. Timmy hopped off the chair and started playing with them - which was good, then I could really get down to the business of making dinner.
Dinner was good, and it was nice to have company. Of course, once Grammy and Grandpa left, Timmy went back into the crank monster mode. Arghhhh! We managed by watching the Lion King (his request). Bed time came at 7:30!!!! Yeah bed time!!!
Tonights dinner was courtesy of Rachel Ray. Last week I watched her make mini veal meatloafs - they looked delish, so I gave them a try tonight. They were awesome. I served it with her smashed potatoes and some asparagus. The recipe can be found on http://foodnetwork.com, but I also listed it below. May I just say, however, that I think you need to be an expert to do these dishes in 30 minutes. This is the second time I have done one of her 30 minute meals, and both have taken me just about an hour to complete. Hmmmm. Anyway, here is the recipe. Oh, wait - I substituted milk for the egg, just in case, by some miracle, Timmy would want to eat it.
3 large russet potatoes,
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds, peeled and chopped
Salt
1 1/2 pounds ground veal
1 large egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs,
a couple of handfuls 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 to 6 sprigs fresh sage, thinly sliced
Black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
10 to 12 cremini (baby portobello mushrooms), quartered
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, eyeball it
1/4 pound prosciutto di Parma, finely chopped (have the deli slice it as thick as bacon, rather than shave it)
1/4 to 1/3 pound Gorgonzola, depending on how cheesy you like it
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place potatoes in a pot, cover them with water, then bring water up to a boil; salt it and cook potatoes until fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes or so.
While the potatoes are working, combine veal with egg, bread crumbs, 1/2 cup cheese, sage, salt, and black pepper. Form 4 (1-inch thick) oval shaped meat loaves. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan. Brown meatloaves 2 to 3 minutes on each side then transfer to a nonstick baking sheet and finish in the oven, 6 to 8 minutes. Return skillet to heat, add another turn of extra-virgin olive oil to the pan and the mushrooms and the garlic. Cook mushrooms until dark and tender, 5 to 6 minutes, then add salt and pepper and 1 cup chicken stock to deglaze the pan.
While the mushrooms cook, melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepot. Add flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Reduce the sauce a few minutes to thicken a bit.
Drain potatoes and add them back to warm pot. Add half of the milk sauce to potatoes with prosciutto and remaining 1/2 cup cheese, a couple of handfuls. Smash the potatoes to desired consistency and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining milk sauce to the mushrooms, stir in Gorgonzola cheese to melt, then add the broth and combine. Serve the meatloaves with Gorgonzola-mushroom gravy over top and prosciutto potatoes alongside. Serve with green salad or wine steeped greens, recipe follows.

3 comments:

Super-Mommy said...

The cake looks great! I am going to do a test run of my son's first birthday construction cake tomorrow but I doubt if it will look half as good as yours.

Stacy said...

Chrissy!!!
Your cake looks fantastic!! I've tried (many) decorated cakes and not one turned out like that. There is a great home business for you. I'd pay $2?.?? for a homemade decorated cake-and for the people with food allergies? Where do they get their cakes? HMMMMM

Good Luck with "the crankies" and let me know if you find some advice that cures it:) LOL

Chrissy said...

Thanks for the compliments. I really do enjoy baking, so it was fun for me.
Stacy - just let me know if you want a cake. I'd be happy to make one for you.