Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Blog!

I've started a new blog - you can find it here:

I started my MomsLeap blog a few months ago when my good friend Lundy asked me about starting a website to be called It seems there was not a single decent resource website geared to Memphis moms. Life got in the way and months went by and neither of us was able to devote the time we needed to get this thing up and going. Of course, there's no such thing as an original idea, on the internet at least. So here we are and at least two moms' resource website franchises have launched blogs geared toward local moms. We've agreed that this is no longer the best use of our time, so are thinking about other possibilities for a new internet venture.

Since this blog has meandered around, away from the special interest blog we originally conceived, I've decided to start a new one and rename it with something more general.

I'll leave this blog up and will spend some time copying posts I think fit well into the new blog. I'm thinking I need to start a food blog, since that's a chunk of what I write about. The great thing about Blogger is that this is all free, so I might do separate blogs about food, day-trading, books, scrapbooking, my new consulting business, gardening or whatever else interests me.

I started my very first blog a couple of years ago, with family pictures (geared toward our relatives). I have another one for our extended family, one for my son's school baseball team, and of course MomsLeap and now Waffle Talk! Lots of blogs.

If you like what I've done, I promise you, you'll enjoy blogging. You'll get in the habit of taking pictures and actually uploading them to your computer! It's just a great creative outlet and fun to share with everyone you're close to. It's very easy to do, but give me a call if you need help getting started.

Waffle Talk

I know you're wondering about the picture of the Toucan. I didn't have any great pictures to share, so I lazily looked in the sample pictures that came on my computer and found this. It reminded me of my upcoming trip to Brazil. Sure enough, the Toucan is native to South America. I doubt we'll see any in the city, but we are taking a side trip to the Iguazu Falls. They are only surpassed by Victoria Falls in Southern Africa. I wonder why I've never heard of them before. We've been to Niagara Falls and that was truly amazing, so I'm excited to see these. I don't know if we'll see the Toucan, but I've been told we'll see lots of wildlife, including very friendly monkeys!

Speaking of Brazil - I'll be leaving two weeks from Monday. It's hard to believe it's almost here. I'm a little nervous about the travel - it's a brutal 24 hour trip. That'll be the farthest from home I've ever been if you don't count the trip back from Japan when I was only a year old (I was born there). My poor mother - I can't imagine traveling that far on a propeller plane (yes, I think it's before jets were commonly used, at least for lowly Air Force NCO families - I know, I'm getting old). She made the trip alone with three kids under the age of seven, including a one year old (but I'm sure I was a little angel). My daddy must have been otherwise occupied with Air Force business. I need to spend some time documenting their stories of Japan and other travels. I remember Puerto Rico well since we lived their while I was seven to ten years old. Those are the most exotic places we lived.

Ok, on to the business at hand. I cooked THE easiest and best thing in the world last night. I didn't take pictues because it doesn't look as pretty as it tastes. It's a recipe from the Memphis Junior League's Heart and Soul cookbook. It's called Criolla's Barbeque Shrimp. I think it's an old recipe and I'm sure I've had it before, but must have forgotten. All you do is melt a stick of butter and stir in 1 tablespoon each of water, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper and a pound of shrimp. Amazing. The recipe recommends dipping French bread in the sauce, but I made mashed potatoes and used the sauce like gravy (I'm still working on the 20 pounds of potatoes I bought on sale). I also dipped my broccoli in it. You cannot believe how incredible this tastes, and you can tell how easy it is. Try it soon - I promise you'll thank me.

If you don't have the Heart and Soul cookbook, your cookbook library is not complete. I've never made anything from it that's not delicious. I should warn you that everything in it is packed with calories and fat, which, of course, is why it's so wonderful. The surly teenager didn't rave, but he must've liked it because he ate it when he came in from school and for dinner again a little bit later. I wonder if it would be good with chicken.

I have a blissful day with nothing at all planned. Tonight's the big game, Memphis and UCLA in the Final Four. GO TIGERS!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Leah (aka Monkey Tooth)

I saw my sister and nieces this week. Leah is nine years old and in a major growth spurt. She ate like a field hand. She ate all the pizza pictured, plus an entree of pasta with grilled chicken and a root beer! Followed by some exotic coffee drink at Starbucks.

Monkey Tooth comes from the movie A Series of Unfortunate Events. Last time I visited them in Little Rock, we rented that movie. Monkey Tooth is the youngest character's nickname - well, you'll just have to watch it. Meryl Streep's character is hilarious. She's wonderful. Isn't she overdue for a movie?

We crammed a lot into one day and had lots of fun doing it. It will generate several posts, including Hannah (other amazing niece), Patio Redo, Ear Piercing and We Put the Fun in Dysfunction. Better get busy.


I'm making them again! I also have rosemary potatoes roasting in the oven. Feeling very Rachel Ray-ish (she's the current Betty Crocker in my book - I know, the foodies don't approve - she's a cook, not a chef). I'm not sure the rosemary isn't competing with crabcake aroma. Since I bought a boatload (by the way, it is "boatload", not "buttload" for anyone who wants to know) of potatoes, I'll be fixing those a lot for the next few weeks. 20 pounds for $2.99 - too good to pass up. If anyone wants some, let me know!

Speaking of potatoes and butts, I pulled one out of the bag that looks like a butt. Don't you love that? I recently figured out that pototo eyes are called that because they look just like human eyes. I spend too much time gazing into potato eyes. They really are fascinating. Maybe I'll take some pictures and do a whole potato post. I really need to do a "The Virtues of Rosemary" post soon. It is an amazing thing.

Oops, almost burned crabcakes! We'll call them crisp. I promise I'll share my recipe soon. I've had requests, believe it or not. They really are good, and I think they're authentic Maryland, or at least as close as you can get with locally available crabmeat. I get a pound at Sam's for $16 or so (in the plastic container with metal flip top), but it makes a good bit and you could stretch it with bread crumbs. I used to use the tuna can kind, and they're not bad, but these are better. We can't go back.

I'll have to post my crabcake recipe at the same time as Renee K's amazing beef brisket. She's the Queen of Chocolate Chip Cookies - I've referred to her earlier. I've pushed this blog on my baseball mom friends - they're so kind and indulgent - I really should pay homage to them!

Ok, enough about crabcakes. I'm off to find potato recipes!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Knew It!

Just today I read about caffeinated soap - it's called Shower Shock and it has 200 mg per shower - they say caffeine CAN be absorbed through the skin. See, a while back, I noticed a burst in energy after grinding coffee beans, and began to wonder if one could absorb caffeine by smelling it. I searched online and even emailed a coffee expert (he has a whole website with copious amounts of information about coffee). The coffee guy didn't know, but I was pretty sure based on my empirical evidence. Lots of medicines are now available through nasal spray, so it makes perfect sense.

On to more coffee thoughts. This morning, I woke to find NO coffee (not even a little left in the bottom of the pot) and no Diet Cokes (I'm trying to give them up), so resorted to making iced tea. As soon as I was fit to drive, I went to Sam's and bought two big bags of Starbucks whole bean coffee. Since it's 6:00pm, I didn't grind any - just poured some into the jar for this picture, and feel a little pepped up just from that. I also bought a case of sugar free Red Bull - think of it as methodone for my Diet Coke addiction. One Red Bull in the morning - that's all. Actually, when I was training to walk the half-marathon a year and a half ago, I resorted to Red Bull or 5 Hour Energy to get me going on the long (6-8 miles) walks.

More about Starbucks. I'm kind of a reverse snob when it comes to paying $5 for a cup of coffee at SB, but I've found that I really do like making the SB whole bean freshly ground at home. It's more expensive than Folger's, I suppose, but WAY less expensive than buying it already made at SB. Especially at Sam's, right? Somehow, I spent $385 today, with no major appliance purchases. Seriously. I did spend the $30 something on the SF Red Bull, plus pricy lump crabmeat and a big piece of salmon, and so on. Oh, and $40 on the coffee. All the $6.88's add up, don't they?

Better get busy fixing the salmon with the bushel of lemons I bought!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day! and more...

When I went on an appointment today, I got out of my car to a bed of clover! I have to say, clovers are weeds, and my yard is weed-free, so no clovers in my yard. M took my camera to work today - not sure why - some sort of crazy corp team building exercise, I'm sure. Wish I had my camera for clover. I grabbed a bunch, but it was a sunny day and the clover totally wilted in my car seat while I was at my doctor's appointment, so no clover pic. Just the one I copied from on-line. Not a bad one, but I always feel more original if it's my own.

I wish I had time to look for a 4-leaf clover.

I so love Pioneer Woman - she has the most amazing site - it's probably the only one I know I'd pay to visit - don't tell her!

Made her great sandwich for kiddo tonight. Kitchen smells good, and I feel good to feed him something special.

Mother & Daddy aren't good - spent entire weekend seeing after them. That's a whole other post - maybe a blog of its own. They're better. That's all I'll say.

Gotta run - feel the need for something creative.

If you find the time to comment, I love the encouragement....

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite holidays. Green is my favorite color. Maybe that's why. I think I might be Irish. Or Welsh. Maybe that's why. There's a whole long post (several, many, maybe) about my heritage. The main thing is that my mom was adopted and her birth records are sealed, so I figure I can be whatever I want. It's kind of fun. All I know is that everyone in the family I know is amazing and unique and so very cool! Of course, that's another post. Several.