Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cooking with Gigi

So GiGi has been gracious enough to start coming up on Sundays with food in hand to help pass along some of her amazing cooking talents.  So far, we've had ginger glazed salmon, pork tenderloin, and ribs along with various interesting sides and desserts including her chocolate birthday cake with 7 minute frosting.  Today's menu was just as delicious.  (Forgive me for the details but this blog will be serving as a repository of things learned from my fabulous Momma.)

It actually started with a mini-party for Sissy as her 3rd birthday is next week. Let's just say her new light-up purple cowgirl hat was a hit.

Then, for the food....we had a butterflied chicken (cut down the spine and splayed awkwardly belly up) with a paste of grated fresh ginger, salt / pepper, and butter paste up under his skin baked at 400 for about an hour.  We threw in a few sweet and russet potatoes as a starch.  Since we had yummy veggie-healthy salads for lunch, we opted for a side of fried okra.  She taught me to throw in some cut up potatoes when frying up the okra to keep them from gumming up (which Sam loves as hashbrowns).  The okra was tossed with a little bisquick to bread them and then fried slowly in hot oil for approx 30min.

Did someone say chicken?!?

For dessert, Jack and Gigi made Lime Pie with a crushed white oreo cookie crust (baked for about 10min with a little butter) filled with 1 can sweetened condensed milk, juice of 2 limes and zest of one, 1 tub of cool whip, and 1 package of unsweetened lemon-lime koolaid.  Froze it for 4 hours and then just pulled it out to sit on the counter while we ate dinner.  It was fairly sweet for my blood, although Jackson devoured it.  

GiGi is also a whizz-bang gardener so we're pulling her expertise into our yard.  Last week we planted beets, lettuce, tomato plants, and rosemary in pots around the back patio since apparently they will grow and last until first frost (and maybe longer if we can protect them from the elements).  

We also added some lettuce, carrots, and beets to our little garden that houses some frustratingly prolific strawberries.  We have yet to harvest a single delicious berry because just as the green ones turn pink, a family of bunnies plucks them delicately from the plant (or that is at least our running theory).

 With GiGi's encouragement, we trucked off to the hardware store and came home with enough wire, wood, and staples to enclose a small country.  Since Matilda is down to 50% in the upper extremity department, I was in charge of most of the manual labor including hammering, stapling, wire cutting, and also *gasp* using the circular saw.

Three hours, $40, and a good blister and shoulder sunburn later and we had success.

I'm starting to see why men get so addicted to power tools.  After my day in the sun sawing wood, I tackled hanging the blinds in the den / playroom and the last of the kids art-display frames.

All in all, a wonderful and highly productive day with GiGi.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Current common phrases in the Shaw household as of late

"Mah!!" That's Sam's code for "more." 

"I have a lot of ______ at my office. You can come see it.  If you want to."

"Even when we are bad, you still love us."  (This usually follows up a stint in time out.)

"We never, ever, ever run away. Because the monsters and the strangers and the bears will get us."  

"When Dean-o runs away, we're going to get a kitty."

"I don't like bats."