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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hurry Up and Eat

Ems here:

Let's start with a large family funny comment of the week:

This one comes from the dental office, which is charmingly in walking distance from my home.  I took all the kids in last week for cleanings--5 out of 7 being old enough, and the other smaller two came along simply to make the trip more fun for me. Right away the kids make a beeline for the corner reading table and grab piles of books to read, scooching into the child-size wooden chairs or sharing the larger, adult chairs in the main area of the waiting room.  I sign them in, go take a seat myself, and we have only a minute wait before "Nate!" was called back by the super-charged friendly hygienist.  There is only one other person in the room, an older woman, who wore the typical expression of awed bemusement I am quite familiar with in folks observing my herd of little humans for the first time.  She didn't say anything as I read a couple books on tooth hygiene to Gabe and convinced Simona that the floor mat in front of the office door was not an appropriate place to lay spread-eagled.  After a couple more "mommy" interventions, it was like the light turned on in the woman's head:  "Oh!! You're their MOTHER!," she burst out suddenly.  I replied, a smiling, drawn out, "Yeees?" And she quickly explained, "I thought you were a daycare provider taking all the kids out for cleanings!"

Is that a usual daycare service? Who knew?  Well, my daycare obviously specializes in half-Asian children.

Anyway, sad news. Get ready.

Aldi is closed for the month because of renovations!!!

Oh, Lord, how will we eat?! There's only Kroger, WalMart, and Riesbecks nearby...!

Ok, we will be fine. But I am in sticker shock over the price of groceries in other stores. Aldi has truly spoiled me--the simplicity of the small store size and limited selections really helps me streamline my shopping experience. I literally spent 90 minutes roaming through the vast array that was Kroger, completely overwhelmed by the volume of choice, and ended up with a very random assortment of items in my cart. At least one of them was A&W cream soda.

What I didn't get was meat. Beef, even ground beef, was SO overpriced I literally couldn't put it in the cart because I was so aggravated, despite the fact that we have depleted most of the freezer. I'm holding out till May 22nd, and then I'm going back to Aldi, baby!  In the meantime, we will be eating more chicken and pasta and whatever other motley meals present themselves from my pantry scrounging and ineffective shopping.

I thought I would share two meals that are ideal for those times when variety is limited and time is of the essence (such as soccer season or any other time when dinner has to be on the table by 4 and finished by 4:30 and your kids won't be home till 9).

Biscuits with Turkey Gravy 

First off, I made two pans (9 inch rounds) of biscuits, courtesy of the Bisquick recipe on the box mix. If you don't want to do even this much, simply crack open a can of Hungry Jack's or whatever insta-biscuit is your favorite.

1. While the biscuits were cooking, I opened 1 lb of ground turkey and browned it, seasoning liberally with salt, pepper, thyme, celery seed (add whatever seasoning you like).

2. To the browned turkey, add 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, some milk, and a couple tablespoons of flour, and a chicken bouillon cube until you get the quantity and consistency of gravy that you like.

2. Ladle over biscuits and serve with beans and a smoothie :)

Yummy Mayo Chicken

This chicken recipe (or variations on the theme) is getting a fair amount of press recently; oddly enough, while I was actually making this meal, a radio ad for Hellman's mayonnaise came on suggesting the recipe!
I find it is a tasty solution when you have a bag of chicken breasts, a hungry family, and zero inspiration.

3 llbs chicken breast
1 cup mayonnaise (not low fat)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Italian bread crumbs
seasoned salt

1. Cover a large rimmed cookie sheet with foil and spray with Pam
2. Lay out chicken breasts and sprinkle with seasoned salt
3. Combine the mayo and Parmesan cheese in a bowl and then coat the chicken with the mixture. Use it all up and really blanket them!
4. Sprinkle Italian bread crumbs over the top
5. Bake for about 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven.

Obviously I am not a food photographer, but it tastes better than it looks!

Easy Rule #45123: Look into daycare. It's obviously a full service operation.

Easy Rule #22155: Theo just told me that this post is just a mini-rant that happens to include recipes. Josephine said the rule should be, "Eating is good." I hope you learned something here today.


  1. I should look into your Eurasian-children-only dentist. Funny story.

    Ditto on the Krogers sticker shock. I left with a motley cart full of the random stuff I could bear to pay for and realized on the way home that I didn't have all of the ingredients for a proper supper.

    BTW, Matt had such a great smile during the First Communion photo shoot. What a charmer! Or was it because of a brilliant dental cleaning?

    1. Have you seen the Aldi renovation?? It looks like a bomb went off there! Can't to see what the new store will look like! One of the checkout gals told me there was going to be all sorts of specials with the grand opening...can't wait! Thanks about Matt! Congrats to Max, too! And the singing?? Could your boy get any cuter?? My kids would rather be in front of a firing squad than sing in public, so color me impressed ;)

  2. Ems, this is Emily B from Bristol Knoll. Love you and Jules' blog, I have gotten so much from reading it! Have been meaning to learn how to leave a comment, and still don't quite get how to follow, but I will figure it out. Anyway, the reason that woman took you for a daycare worker is because you look about 25 :). Keep up the great work, I have really enjoyed reading!

  3. Hi Emily!! It's so great to hear from you! I hope you are doing well, and thanks for the kind words ;) God bless.