Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random Things and Some Blogger Linky Love


Happy Upcoming Thanksgiving  (The Turkey was made by Taylor.)

By the way, it snowed last Monday, but didn’t stick.  Many have expressed their jealousy.  It’s was kind of a rainy, snowy, blah kind of day, but it did snow some big, pretty flakes for a little while.  But it didn’t stick.

Sadness, folks.  I collected stuffed animals all my life.  I always thought it would be fun to save them and hand them down to my children.  Except I always had in mind that I’d have a girl or two who would really appreciate them.  Instead, as I’ve tried to display them in our downstairs family room, they have been used more as footballs or just as a place to stash toys that “couldn’t” be put away in their proper places.  I loved it when I’d go straighten them out into a little family all gathered together.  I guess I’m still a kid/girl at heart.

One of my favorite stuffed toys of my youth were SMURFS!  I loved them then and still think they are pretty cute and cool and well, smurfy.  Get this, in 7th grade, which would have been in about 1982, I wrote a short story for English class and my story was picked to go on to regional competition (for what, I don’t know or remember), anyway, the story I wrote was an episode of Smurfs.  I still have the story.  I’d have to dig through some stuff in the storage room, or I’d go find it and post it on here.  It was a good story line and if you have ever seen The Smurfs cartoon, you’d agree it would have been a great episode.  It was a play on The Boy Who Cried Wolf story, but the Smurfs all went camping and Jokey Smurf kept making everyone think a bear was out to get his tent then when one really did, do you think they believe him?  Anyway, it was a great story.  Why am I telling you all this? 

Well, we’ve recently had some rodent issues at our house.  Four BIG rats were caught up in the attic.  Kevin and I kept hearing quite the noises in the attic of our room at night.  Our pest control guy (a friend of ours) came down out of our attic (only accessible from the ceiling in the garage), and he was quite shocked at having seen and caught the biggest rats he’s ever seen.  (Yay for us. jk)  He even put two big T-rex traps up there, when we didn’t even know what was making all the noise and the next day when he checked, he found one (the big daddy) rat trapped (“sorry, rat, but not-in-my-house”, she says waving finger in a big N-O!—think like a sista here).  Anyway, he’d put two big traps up there.  Caught the one rat and get this, the other trap—is gone.  Missing.  Can’t find it.  No where to be found in the attic.  Still to this day after trapping three more rats.  That trap is gone.  Dah, dum, duhhhhh!

In the meantime, we think we’ve gotten all the rats, then low and behold a little mouse went scampering by in my living room late one night.  What did he think he was doing in my house?  I don’t think so.

LONG story short, we caught five mice, two upstairs and three downstairs.  We think we’ve gotten them all.  In our looking and finding the best spots for mouse traps, we found quite a lot of mouse droppings downstairs.  We had no idea they’d been having parties in our house while we slept.  They definitely weren’t too pooped to party!  Ahhaha

Kevin found dropping all around my stuffed animal kingdom!  Those mice were not invited to their party.  In between the sectional couch downstairs—droppings.  In the game closet—on the shelves!!!   Do I need to tell you the rest of this sad, sad story?  I decided to throw away my beloved stuffed animals!  Let me know when you’re done crying, wiping tears and sniffling……….

Done, okay.  So I reluctantly bagged up all my lifelong buddies in three big garbage bags and I put them out on the curb for the trash collectors who were coming that morning.  Then I went on my morning jog.  And do you think I could enjoy that jog?  Oh no.  I thought about my poor animals the whole time.  Most of all, I kept picturing Papa and Scruffy Smurf.  (You don’t remember Scruffy Smurf?  Well, I had him.)  You’ll see.  He was scruffy and floppy.  I switched between calling him Floppy Smurf and Scruffy Smurf.

I hurried my jog and cut it a little short because I felt like I need to pay one last respect to the friends who were there for me through the years.  I took some photos.


It just wasn’t right, I know.  I still feel a little verclempt when I see these photos and think about where my poor babies are.  Just a sec, I need a minute……….


I took that first photo for my mom.  She’d be proud to see that I got rid of them.  She tried to get me to do that while she was here de-junking last month.  I couldn’t do it.  I knew in my mind and heart that it needed to be done.  They were just taking up space and although I wouldn’t admit it, were kind of an eyesore.  (If the boys would have just left them neatly arranged!  Sigh.)  You really shouldn’t give stuffed animals to Good Will, especially when they are as old as mine were.  They are full of dust and germs.  Sigh.  I believe I got my Smurfs when I was about 10 years old.  Do you realize that means they were 30 years old!  (No, I never had Smurfette, she always kind of bugged me.) 

Are you as sick as I am writing this just reading about it?  Deep breath.  Then I did this for a photo op.


Look at them.  Just look how sweet and innocent.  And look at that cute, fluffy pig up there.  My sister always tried to tell me that was a bear.  Hello, Pig!  Bye, Pig.  Sigh.

And then I stuffed my Smurf-y Smurf Smurfin’ pals back in the trash bag and said goodbye.  The end.

Ha!  Not.  I couldn’t do it okay.  I couldn’t let the two dadgum Smurfs go.  Mind you, I did throw a couple other Smurfs away.  But these two guys,  they are still here, made there way back into the house..  In fact, move over Kevin.  They now sleep in the bed.


Ready for dinner.


A bath.  Boy did they need a bath!


Okay, really.  Do you think I’m that crazy?  I’m not.  I assure you, they haven’t taken baths (they refuse, little stinkers), no dinner for them and No, they do not sleep in our bed!

BUT, I did keep them.  Just the two.  I’m still really sad when I think about the rest of the gang and where they are right now.  Let’s just pray they are safe in stuffed animal heaven! ;)  Moving on.


I’d like to start posting some blogging linky-love often as I do often find recipes of others that I make at home and love.  I’d like to do it about once a month.  Kevin thinks I should call it Kat’s Copycats.  We’ll see, right now I’m just going to call it Blogger Linky-Love.  Oh, there’s so many things and I’d hate to leave any out.  But for starters.  Donna, Donna, Donna.  A mom to four and a busy, busy, oh so busy firefighter’s wife to her firefighter husband.  I heart her blog, My Tasty Treasures.  She puts some darn good food on there.  My most favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Coffee Cake was found over at Donna’s blog.  This time I made some good ol’ Oatmeal Cookies I found on her blog.  I made them for my chocolate class that I did recently.  What?  There’s no chocolate in them?  You’re right. I thought it would only be appropriate and nice of me to have something there that didn’t have chocolate, you know, for those who couldn’t or didn’t want chocolate.  I know, SO nice of me. ;)  You can get the recipe on the link.


I made them again today.  But I doubled the recipe, added two teaspoons of cinnamon to the doubled recipe and about 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg.  And I added one cup of raisins.  I baked them in a 15x18 inch baking sheet.  Baked it for 20 minutes and look how big-a-cookie it made!  It’s 15x18 inches, in case you couldn’t figure it out.  I’m just good with math that way.


I now have a bunch of square cookies and I simply didn’t have to keep scooping individual round cookies.  I know, I’m always thinkin’ ahead.


These are a great go-to, basically perfect oatmeal cookie, if you’re lookin’ for one.  Thanks, Donna.


Then, way back in October, like a good month ago, ;), I made these really good, easy lemon cookies that I found over at Michelle’s blog, Brown Eyed Baker.  They looked good and I was feeling like not making something with chocolate at the time.  I know, shocker!  These were perfect, a little cakey, but slightly chewy and perfectly lemony.  I gave lots of these away.  I followed the recipe exactly as written.  (Another shocker.)  Michelle got the recipe from another awesome  blog, My Baking Addiction.



You might recall that for TWD we recently made Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies.  The cookies were delicious.  But years ago someone gave us a plate of holiday cookies with the best ginger cookies I’ve ever had on it.  What I really need to do is contact that acquaintance and try to get her to give the recipe.  It seems like I’d asked her back then and she told me it was top secret.  I might be making that part up, but it seems like something like that.  Anyway, in my quest for that cookie, I saw these Ginger Spice Cookies over at Eat me, delicious. and thought they looked like the ones I remembered loving so much.


I made them a few days ago.  They are really good.  Mine spread more than they did over at Eat me, delicious.  (Okay, I feel silly, but I don’t know her name.  Maybe she doesn’t want her name known.  Maybe I should just ask her what her name is.  She’s got a great blog and over the last two years, I’ve made quite a number of her recipes.)  Her cookies look like the ones I loved so long ago.  Mine were great cookies, but the texture is still not there.  I’m going to make them again.  She got the recipe from Bon Appetit, March 2000.  You can get the recipe on the link.   The only change I made was I cut the cloves from one teaspoon to a half.  (I don’t like too much clove flavor!)  I baked them for 9 minutes.  (The recipe says 12.)  I’m a rebel I tell ya.


And finally, since you know I’d rather have dessert first, I’ll end with a wonderful meal I made last night that I found the recipe for at Lisa Ann’s great blog, LA's In The Kitchen.  It was delicious!  Turkey meatloaf (I made them in muffin tins, she shaped them on a baking sheet.)  I used ground turkey breast.  These were really, really good.  Even Scott liked them.  I was going to say a couple of kids, but I think it was just Scott, but that’s because the others are just darn annoyingly picky.  For the roasted veggies, I did some potatoes, sweet potatoes (my favorite!) and some carrots. Go see Lisa’s.  I really stink at pictures of real food.  Give me a cookie, a slice of cake or a sundae and I think I take okay pictures.  But real food.  Not so much.  A lot of it has to do with when dinner is hot and ready, it needs to get served.  There isn’t time for photos.  Here’s my lame pictures anyway.


The recipe comes from the book, Cook Yourself Thin.


And finally, I saw this great looking couscous salad over at Kevin’s amazingly photographed, delicious blog, Closet Cooking.  I’m almost embarrassed to show you my picture.  The only thing I didn’t have when I just saw this on his blog yesterday and decided to make it because I pretty much had everything was pomegranate molasses.  So for the vinaigrette, in place of the pomegranate molasses, I just used some POM juice.  I loved this salad.  Thanks, Kevin. 


Pomegranate and Pistachio Couscous

Such good food, thanks blogging buddies!  There’s more love comin’ soon!  Now, go hug your teddy bear!


Unplanned Cooking said...

Oh, that is just sad! We had a mice infestation in our last house, and were disgusted by the mess. Your poor smurfs. I loved the smurfs when I was a child.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry about your stuffed animals! I have mine in plastic tubs in the attic because our dog would eat them if I had them out. But I feel bad that they're sealed up in tubs!

I saw that turkey meatloaf on LA's in the Kitchen and bookmarked it. It's great to see another good review of it!

Deb said...

Okay so I totally thought that when you were showing pictures of the bags of garbage and then the two smurfs, that I would see a mouse crawling out of one of them like they had made a nest inside them. And then you took them back in the house with you AHHHH, and put them on your bed AHHHHH and sat them where you eat and shower AHHHH. Sorry I loved the smurfs too but not that much. I can't get that out of my head. I hope you wash them with bleach. Sorry, I have a very active imagination. ;0)

Donna-FFW said...

Oh you are a sweetie, thank you so much for your linky love. I am so happy you liked my plain jane oatmeal cookies:) and I loved the sheet pan idea.

Smurfs.. we must be around the same age, I used to collect them too but the mini ones, I had over 200 and just recently sold them all on eBay, some fetching over $75.00 EACH, depending how rare. I even had smurf christmas ornaments.. great minds, huh..

PS.. I heart your blog big time too!

Megan said...

I'll say a little prayer for your stuffed animal buddies. That must have been absolutely devastating for you to throw them away. It's hard to part with things that you've had for such a long time. I still have my brother's teddy bear from when we were kids. And he's missing an eye.

I know, I'm pathetic.

Anyways, great recipes - I'm off to check some of them out!

Mimi said...

Great rescue of the Smurfs! Thanks for the great recipe round up.

Amanda said...

Aww! So sorry about your animals. Just toss them in the washing machine :) They'll be fine! :-D And yes I totally remember the Smurfs, used to watch them all the time when I was a kid.

Love the recipes, everything looks great. You have been a very busy bee!

The Sugar Fiend said...

I adored the smurfs! I used to watch then every Saturday. Gargamel and Azriel (spelling?) were my favorites--and re: Smurfette, do you remember the episode when she was the 'bad' brunette smurf and got made 'good' by the magic of Papa Smurf, and turned mysteriously Barbie-blonde with long hair to show her new-found goodness?

I also have had rodent problems.I was cleaning out my entire kitchen AFTER the exterminator came and in that 'one shelf' (y'know, the one with the hurricane candles and mismatched cups--there was a strange mousey ODOR and PILES of cherry pits. They're wily little suckers, aren't they?

noble pig said...

OMG, that is the worst! I remember when some mice made a winter home in my Christmas stuff and I had to throw it all away. Killed me.

But what a meal you had...yum-o!

CindyD said...

Aww, I feel bad about your stuffed animals. When our daughter was two she fell in loved with an Easter bunny that was almost as big as she was. When we moved from Ohio to Arizona she decided to take him to college with her. He came home with all her stuff (she's been in Australia for three months) and he's VERY dirty. I think if she wants to keep him we'll have to try put-it-a-pillowcase-and-wash-on-delicate- and see if he survives.

Maria said...

You are always cooking/baking up a storm. I love it. And I love Smurfs:)

test it comm said...

I like the sound of doing the meatloaf in the muffin pan!

Your couscous looks nice and moist and good. I just posted about making your own pomegranate molasses.

Kerstin said...

Awww, poor stuffed animals.

I don't know where to start with all these goodies, they all look great!

And, happy belated birthday!!!

Emily said...

You are one busy woman!

I want some of those cookies.

RIP Smurf stuffed animals.

Unknown said...

The two smurfs look so adorable together! I've never seen them, unfortunately! And ALL those cookies!! yum!!

eatme_delicious said...

Wow so much yummy stuff! That's really sad about the stuffed animals. I kept all of mine for a long time but recently gave some away and kept the more precious ones. They're just sitting in my closet now though. Thanks for the kind words about my blog. =) Too bad the ginger cookies weren't the ones you were looking for. I wonder why yours didn't rise as much - maybe the amount of flour we used? And my name is Ashley. I think when I first started my blog I didn't want to put my real name out there and now it's been so long that I don't want to confuse people by changing it.

Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} said...

I love the smurfs!!! Great roundup of yummy recipes, thanks for including my lemon cookies, I'm glad you liked them! :)

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

This post tugged at my heartstrings. I guess we all have a special place in our hearts for stuffed animals and we all have to let go, some time, along the way.