Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Weather and Birthdays and Voting - Oh My!

First of all, FUCK YEAH, AMERICA!  Yesterday the country said, "I think actually we will have a little equality, thank you."  It's safe to be a vagina-having person again.  Racism died a little.  We move forward.  Halleje-frikkin-ulla!

All that said, it's safe to say I was panicking just a smidge when polls closed and no numbers were in.  My coping mechanism:

 Things went good quickly, though.  I didn't have to polish it off.

Other things have been good too.  We survived Sandy without too many problems.  Lost our power for a little over a day, need to replace part of the fence, and lost the apple tree from our backyard.  It could have been much worse.  
(It could have been this - our next-door neighbor's house)

But the kids still got to do Halloween, as power was back on in the neighborhood and Framingham didn't postpone.  

 yum.  Pumpkin guts.

I think that my carvings stayed very true to the artists' intentions.

Although we didn't eat this on Halloween, we totally should have, because the kids said it looked like a plate of bloody hair.  Okay, that doesn't make it sound so appetizing, but it was really, really good.  

It's epicurious's Farro Spaghetti, Beets and Brown Butter recipe, but with the following tweaks:
I used regular pasta.  I skipped the poppy seeds.  I served with the beet greens that were sauteed in butter.  If you're a beet fan, I highly recommend it.  (And it's fun to look at, to boot!)

So after Halloween was Jax's birthday party.  So much fun.  

We played "Pin the Nose on the Witch"

 Birthday boy goes first!

Some were more successful than others.

There was a remarkably durable pinata

 It was a costume party (he's not always dressed like batman)

Of course, when all the kids had had a turn, and there was still no candy, Uncle Fred had to step up.

 And still, no candy.  So Pete took one for the team.  
I swear that thing was made of specially reinforced cardboard.

And we had a fantastic balloon fight (boys v. girls)

The girls ended up winning, even though the boys got some extra help 

Of course, Pete had to jump in too

Then there was cake

 They weren't sideways when we ate them. 

 All in all, a remarkably successful party, if I do say so myself. 

So when you factor all that in, plus the insanity that is work, and the stupid <grumble grumble, grr> CFP, we've been doing a lot of easy dinners.  There's been good stuff though.  Like

Stuffed French Toast and Cooked Apples
(french toast)
1 loaf sliced cinnamon raisin bread
cream cheese
6 eggs
1.5 cups milk
butter (for cooking)

4 large apples
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp apple pie spice mix (or just cinnamon)

To make the french toast:
Spread a slice of bread with a generous layer of cream cheese, and top with another slice of bread to make a sandwich.  Repeat until you've used up the loaf of bread.  
Beat the eggs and milk together until uniform in color throughout.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the butter.
Dip the sandwiches in the egg mix and soak until the bread is saturated, but not falling apart.  
Cook each sandwich over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side, or until nicely browned and cooked through.  Keep warm in a 200 degree oven.

To make the apples:
Slice the apples in about 1/4 inch slices, leaving the skins on.  Heat the butter over medium heat, and then add the apples to the pan.  Add the sugar and spice and reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are soft, but not mushy (about 15 minutes).  

Finally, tonight we had

Stacked Enchiladas
16 corn tortillas
1/2 can refried beans
1 red pepper
1 medium red onion
2 cups cooked shredded chicken (leftover rotisserie?), tossed with about 1 tbsp taco seasoning
3 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, "mexican blend," whatever)
enchilada sauce or salsa

First, prep the pepper and onion: slice each into 1/4 inch thick slices, and saute over medium high heat until soft, about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
Grease a large baking dish (4 tortillas should be able to lay flat across the bottom without overlapping - you might need two dishes).
Spread one tortilla with about 3 tbsp of refried beans.  Top with another corn tortilla.  Sprinkle a little bit of cheese, then place 1/4 of the pepper and onion mix.  Sprinkle a little more cheese, and top with another tortilla.  Place a little more cheese, top with 1/4 the chicken, and top with a little more cheese.  Place the last tortilla.  Repeat until you have 4 stacks.
Top each stack with a generous coating of enchilada sauce (or salsa) and top with a little more cheese.
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, serve hot.  

So there.  In the past two weeks, we've hosted parties, survived a hurricane, and made some really really good political choices.  

Oh, and I tried my hand at making bread.  Not bad, if I say so myself.

Tomorrow, more work, more food, no political ads, good politicians.  Should be alright.

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