Rent A Mom

This week I my youngest daughter had a school project due that involved food. For her 5th grade Social Studies class she had to find a dessert to make from a country that her ancestors came from.

We have basically become mutts over the years in my family. I am 25% Irish, 25% Danish, and 50% French and my husband is Polish, German and French as far as he knows. My daughter chose France as her country. We decided to make Eclairs for her project. They were actually very easy to make! 

Chocolate Eclairs

5th Grade Social Studies Project

Chocolate Éclairs

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant chocolate
pudding mix prepared to directions on box
 
Pastries:
1/2 cup butter (1 Stick)
1 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
 
Chocolate Icing:
2 tablespoons butter
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Prepare pudding according to instructions on box. Chill 1 hour in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease baking sheets.
3. In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter, water and salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Pour in flour all at once and stir vigorously until fully incorporated and mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined.
4. Drop dough into twelve equal mounds on baking sheets. Spread each mound into a 4×1/2 inch rectangle.
5. Bake in preheated oven 35 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and with a paring knife make a hole at one end of each éclair. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Return éclairs to oven for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Prepare icing while éclairs are cooling. Heat 2 tablespoons butter with chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until melted. Remove from heat and stir in confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla. Set aside.
7. To assemble: Using a pastry bag with a small tip, pipe the filling into each éclair. Frost with chocolate icing. Chill until serving.

 

Yesterday afternoon I went to pick my daughter up at school. As usual there are a few of us moms who buck the Car Line Rule and stand at the school’s front doors to pick up the kids. I know, we are such rebels! This way we can gossip talk about what is going on at school and such.

Well yesterday I asked one of the other moms what her daughter was making for the Social Studies project. I got a blank look from her at first and then the look of fear started to show! She had no idea that there was a project due the next day! She asked me what we were doing and I told her what we had picked. She offered me $30 to make her a batch of Eclairs for her daughter! I asked her if they were part French and she said “We will be for tomorrow if you can make them for us!” I took her up on her deal and we made an extra dozen Eclairs. I filled her Eclairs with vanilla pudding and used white chocolate for the frosting.

This little incident has got me to thinking… maybe I should start a new business. Rent A Mom! I could hire myself out to make desperately needed cookies and cupcakes. What, you can’t make little Timmy’s school play?! Have no fear Super Mom is here! For $50 an hour I will attend the play for you! Just e-mail me a recent photo of little Timmy and I will videotape and take pictures for you. But wait, there’s more! Act now and for just an extra $20 I will stand up a give your child the old “Way to go Timmy!” shoutout!

Hey, I’m just thinking out loud here!

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Baked Pork Chops In A Mushroom Sauce

Baked Pork Chops In A Mushroom Sauce

Mushroom Pork & Potato Bake 

Pork chops baked with potatoes in a creamy mushroom and onion sauce.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 pork chops
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • garlic powder to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large can of mushrooms or sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes (You can leave skin on or remove)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 2 quart baking dish.
  2. Rub pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat, add chops, and brown on both sides. Remove from skillet. Place onions and garlic in skillet, and cook until browned. Add mushrooms and cook until done. Pour in mushroom soup and milk; stir until blended. Remove from heat, and set aside.
  3. Arrange sliced potatoes evenly in prepared baking dish. Arrange chops on top of potatoes. Pour soup mixture over chops.
  4. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Uncover, and bake 30 minutes more, or until potatoes are tender.

Nutritional Information

Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 339
Total Fat: 15.1g
Cholesterol: 52mg
Sodium: 1145mg
Total Carbs: 32.2g
Dietary Fiber: 2.9g
Protein: 18.9g

Notes: I am going to try this recipe with chicken breasts next time. I added the mushrooms and the garlic to this recipe. I used sliced portabella mushrooms and it was great!

Video Of The Week

Pinky and the Brain

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: Do you read the Obituaries?

The above cartoon is perfect for me! Ever since I can remember on Sundays I always read the paper. When I was a kid my mom did the same. I used to make fun of her because she always read the obituaries! Well now the tables have turned on me. Last Sunday I was reading the newspaper and my oldest daughter looked over my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry mom you’re not in there this week!” Yep, you guessed it I was reading the obituaries! I have no clue when I started but I now read the darn obituaries!

Dear 1989 Me

Dear 1989 Just A Mom:

Oops… I guess I let that cat out of the bag! This is 2009 Just A Mom and if you couldn’t figure it out from your new name you become a mom in the near future.

Let’s see your High School Class slogan is  Drugs are great, Sex is fine, We’re the Class of ’89! First thing I’m going to tell you is don’t drop out of school! You think you are sticking it to the teachers and the administration but the only one you are sticking it too is yourself!

Here are some other things you might be interested in:

Beauty: Stay away from the perm! Don’t do it now or ever! As for those glasses you hate wearing don’t worry too much you will get contacts sooner or later!

Men: Listen to your Grandmother! She will tell you, “Don’t get married just live with him!” Yes, YOUR Grammy tells you that! Listen to the women! If you don’t listen to her you will figure out she was right in 5 months. Not too much time wasted and you get a great daughter out of it.

As for the next round with men always take a dare and always follow your gut instincts. You will meet the man you are now married to through an on-line dating site your friend dares you to join. You will have to weed out a few jerks but it is worth it. Oh by the way you might want to get on a different birth control pill because the one you are on didn’t work the first time and guess what it doesn’t work the second time either! But your youngest daughter and your now husband will probably thank you one day!

Children: Like I already mentioned you end up with two daughters. They are seven years apart but they will still fight like cats and dogs with each other. Just walk away when they start in!

When you have your first daughter don’t be stupid, take the DRUGS! Make sure you listen to your mom about her name. You will have your heart set on naming her Gretchen but you’ll see when she is born it just doesn’t fit!

As for your youngest daughter, she will be a piece of cake! Just remember nobody has died from the 5 second rule!

Family: Your mom will always stay by your side. But you know that even back in 1989. Give her lots of hugs!

Your dad, well he is just your dad. You will get to use him in a few years down the road. It’s ok to use him, your Grammy, his mom, will tell you “to take what you can get when you can get it!” Again, that lady is one smart cookie! 

You lose quite a few of your close family members in the next twenty years but you also gain a few great ones as well!

Money: You make enough to cover the bills and have a little left over for some fun every now and then.   

Misc.: The winning lottery numbers for September 18, 2009 is: 18-27-31-36-52 with a Mega Ball Number 53.

One day you will get a bright idea to build a doll house with your girls. Buy lots of burn ointment!

I know I left out a bunch of information but you are pretty darn smart. You’ll figure it out!

 

Tag your it if ya wanna be! Write a letter to your own 1989 self!

I stole borrowed this from Jean over at Jean Has Been Shopping. Check her blog out, she has a great little site!

Momma Said There’d Be Days Like These

I can only wish for more days like these:

This past weekend my oldest daughter made her Confirmation in the Catholic church. I have to admit I had this strange feeling inside of me as I watched her during the ceremony. It took me awhile to figure out what that feeling was but I finally figured it out. That feeling was pure pride!

I was proud of all the hard work SHE put into this big event. I was proud of how mature SHE has become in the past year working towards this big day. I was proud of the dress SHE bought and I didn’t have to make her return because it was inappropriate!

Church

Then there is the flip side: (Isn’t there always!)

As I sat in the church pew watching my oldest daughter receive her Sacrament from the Bishop feeling all proud my youngest daughter turns to me and whispers in my ears: “Mom, have you ever noticed that you can see the nipples on Jesus up there on the cross?!”

Video Of The Week

Peter, Paul and Mary

The Marvelous Toy

Peter, Paul and Mary

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: When do you plan dinner?

I have a bad habit of waking up in the morning and just staring into my fridge hoping something will pop out at me and say “Cook ME for dinner!”

I am going to try and start actually planning my meals. I have two fears with meal planning. The first fear is that once I post a meal plan then I am committed to it. My second fear is that if I post my meal plan nobody will show up for dinner!

Imagination

My youngest daughter has always had a great imagination. She is one of those children that can entertain herself for hours upon hours. If you give her an empty box she will go to the moon or open up a veterinary hospital.

This past weekend she found an old radio that no longer worked. She asked me if she could take the antenna off of it and of course I let her. So far I have found her using this antenna as a pointer while she was teaching her class of stuffed animals how to multiply, a microphone while performing on stage in our living room and as a bat as she hit a game winning homerun.

My favorite thing she used the antenna for was a magic wand. My husband and I were sitting in the living room and she came and tapped me on the head and said, “Abra Ca Dabra you are now a frog!” I replied “Sorry your magic wand must be broken.” She came up and whispered this in my ear, “Oh yeah?! Watch this… Abra Ca Dabra I turn Daddy into a stressed out old man! See it does to work!”

Damn kids and their imaginations!

Out With The Old…In With The Not So Old!

I just watched the garbage truck haul off our old furniture. This furniture has been with us for the past 10 years  since I got married and I think my husband had it for the 10 years prior to that! It was actually a little sad to see it go. This was the furniture I sat on when I told my now husband that I was pregnant…oops! This was the furniture that my now 10-year-old daughter learned how to walk-while-holding-on-to-something. This was the furniture that my now 17-year-old daughter sat on with her head in my lap and cried her eyes out because her first boyfriend dumped her.

A sad day indeed!

Old Furniture 1

Old Furniture 2

 

OK now that the old furniture is out of the way onto the new furniture! Actually it’s not really new as in brand new, but it’s new to us! A friend of ours had a buddy who just got married and they had double of everything. We were given the couch, love seat, chaise lounge chair, 2 end tables and the lamp. Yes you read that right, Given! We paid absolutely nothing!

Now we get to make new memories on our new furniture! The first memory I’m sure will be Who in the hell is going to spill something on the nice cream-colored furniture! I’m sure that this memory won’t take long and it will probably be me and involve coffee!

Here’s to new memories!

New Furniture 1

New Furniture 2

Video & Question Of The Week

The Beatles

Get Back

Questions of the week: Which member of The Beatles was your favorite? What is your favorite Beatles song?

Back To School Speech

This weekend we had an argument in my house as to whether or not our kids should watch the President give his Back to School speech.

Both of my daughters wanted a note so they wouldn’t have to watch it. They would rather have a free period! What kid wouldn’t want that! That should be reason enough to make the kids watch it, simply because they don’t want to!

I am a Conservative Republican and I did not vote for President Obama, but he is our elected President and he deserves the respect that should be given to anyone who holds that office. I made the point that the kids should watch the speech and take part in the classroom activities and then they should form their own opinions and come home and discuss them with us. I told my oldest daughter, who will be able to vote next year, that the real danger lies in her not watching what a President has to say. Even if you don’t like what the other side has to say you still need to listen to it so you can see what is going on.

My husband did not like the fact that the kids would be made to watch it. He views it as President Obama trying to brainwash our children. I told him they were not being made to watch it, that we had the option of writing them a note to opt out of it or we could just keep them home from school for the day. I of course told my husband that if he chose to keep the kids home for the day he would be the one to watch them not me!

Needless to say both of my daughters went to school today and both of them will be watching President Obama make his Back to School speech.

Video Of The Week

Mr. Magoo

Beer Commercial

Question Of The Week

Question of the week: Does your house say “Welcome Home, sit down and relax” or “Welcome to our Museum, we hope you enjoy the tour”?

 

My house definitely says “Welcome Home, sit down and relax!” My house is by no means messy but you can tell I have kids that is for sure!

I walked into a neighbor’s house the other day and I was afraid to move around! The house was absolutely perfect with everything in it’s place. Even if I didn’t have kids I don’t think I could live like that!

Artichoke Tomato Salad

Artichoke Tomato Salad

8 large tomatoes (about 2 pounds) cut into wedges
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 jar marinated quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 can sliced ripe olives, drained
2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

Arrange tomatoe wedges on a large serving platter; sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Spoon over tomatoes. Refrigerate the leftovers.

Nutritional Facts
Per serving: 3/4 cup
Calories: 74
Fat: 5 g (1 g sat)
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 241 mg
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 1 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetables, 1 fat
Serving Size: 8