Tuesday, January 30, 2007
How about a great animal story? Perhaps a dog story or cat rescue adventure where the animal saves you from a rolling boulder or avalanche? (Is this too much to ask?)
On other notes, Pip is snoozing, the rain is coming down, and I'm finally making some progress. Heaven!
I'm taking 3 hours to myself tomorrow and meeting my old tv partner. We're going to gossip, strategize, and stuff ourselves silly with tacos. I have a great movie... (here we go.. everyone in LA has a script... but I really do.) And it's just sitting here. And that's dumb. It's set in Texas. As it turns out, my sister's best friend is a big exec at CMT. Um... duh? Time to nepotize to materialize! Watch money appear before my eyes! Watch my thrift store purchases reach to the skies! Watch me celebrate with 1000 pies and get laser surgery for my eyes! Watch me get a personal trainer for my thighs and get animal cookies in every shape and size!
This wraps up our portion of Mama P poetry for the afternoon.
Send me your stories, people !!!!!!!!!!!!! Andrea.Paventi@gmail.com
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Tonight Mrs. V. confirmed Cecelia's agenda of Power to Mama P and signed up for a monthly Friday Mom's Who Drink night.
These are my two best friends.
These two women have never met.
Given both their Master degrees, iron will, organizational skills of Martha Beck and ability to shave down my bravado into the weak little pussy that it is really is, they never will. I would emerge from a girls' lunch unrecognizable, a woman with 90 hours a week to myself, trunk dividers and pressed under garments.
Like a kosher kitchen, these women shall never mix or may Yahwey smite me into Kibutz living without coffee.
(Love you gals!)
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Do any of you ever feel like you're doing so much that you're doing nothing? I am kind of there right now. Sure, I'm up in the morning writing, but has my article yet been published? Um, no. Have I gotten anything since? Um, no. Am I making a fortune ebaying? Um, no. And so on and so on and so on.
I often wonder: how much of this energy devoted to "being accomplished" is just internal drive and how much of it is society based: "If you don't make X amount, you suck." How much of it is insecurity? Or how much of it is just plain necessity that, as an intelligent woman with an interesting life before the routine of mothering, I require stimulation of the cranial kind here and there?
Not sure. Don't know. But I'm working on it.
Not a very exciting post to be sure. But I did buy these rainboots for Stink the other day. I like them. They say to the world: I'm an animal of a different color. I'm not afraid of a little water. I will smile. I will flirt with you. But don't fuck with me, cause I'll rip your head right off.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Just a few things that are going to kick me in the ass one day:
* Mommy doesn't really have a third eye in the back of her head that watches you all the time. Remember the time I extracted it "from my brain" for you to take to Show N Tell? It was really a plastic ball I stuck under my bed headed ponytail.
* A big fat man does not bring you gifts each year. That's your Mommy, who downed one too many animal cookies in the height of holiday stress.
* Scooby Doo will not ever solve the mystery of the missing purple bottle. I lobbied it into the garbage bin behind Target when you were fixated on a Dora book. Oh, and Scooby isn't real. But many of the ghosts that haunt him will most likely try to get you some day. Fight the good fight.
* You did not really pop out of my tummy. You were pushed through my lower extremities with more gas than our Taco Tuesday extravaganzas.
* I don't really know everything (but don't tell your father.) Speaking of...
* Your papa can't really fix everything. Especially things of the heart. As you get older, you'll realize you are loved, but we have to love ourselves just as much.
* Nemo is not alive in the ocean, but the fish you eat in your tuna sandwich once was.
When they process the concept about how things we don't see often aren't real, they'll inevitably press me for answers on why they're supposed to believe in God.
I suppose I'll cross that bridge when I come to it... the bridge that does not have a troll living under it asking you how to say "Open" in Spanish. FYI: It's "Abre" and "Help me" (because I'm gonna need it) is "Ayuda me!"
Friday, January 19, 2007
Did ya'll sing along with the Beauty and the Beast song for that?
I have this grand idea to put some of you to work as a "guest author" once/week to get not only your writing exposed but give my readers a break from the Mama P litany of cooking, writing and toilet training quests... as exciting as that is.
The theme is going to be "People we love." You get to post a photo of someone past or present, deceased or alive, and give us a short bio of how they touched your lives. It could make for some interesting insight, don't you think?
San Fran KD, you're up. If you're interested in posting something about Catherine, this might be a good chance for you. If not, and you want to post about someone else, great. If you don't want to do that, well... I will put a post in your place about how we climb the path to success with ladders of rejection - rung by rung. But I know you'll say yes.
On another note, I just heard back from a third magazine today. Nothing earth shattering, but they're going to consider a quiz pitch I had and get back to me. I am thrilled to hear that many of you are following through on your hobbies, too. (Cecelia, I expect a cake shaped like a computer sent to me pronto.)
I am off to check on my kids who are watching "The Muppet Show". Not sure if they like it or not. Man, it's good, but so much slower than today's shows. Half the guests I've never heard of. (But it's better than watching Paris Hilton do a strip tease with Miss Piggy.)
Happy weekend, people.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
For some of you it might be voiceovers, for others it's go back to school. For others, it's something small: organize those damn photos you have dating back to 1982.
For me, it's magazine writing. Since I can't do the 60 hour tv weeks (nor am I that good of a schmoozer... hard to believe, but true) I love the concept of the article. 200, 500, 1000 words... To quote a friend, Toni, these quick bursts of writing go well with my "hummingbird brain." I can write, read and research within a reasonable time frame, make some money and start building a portfolio from the comfort (and sometimes insanity) of my own home.
Some of you might know that I landed my first national magazine gig a few months back and now am on my second rewrite. Am I nervous that they'll change their mind? Sure, but I'm going to keep going. This weekend I'm going to land myself a sitter and finish it. Um, Mom.....? Cecelia? Anyone got 4 hours to spare? (No, not you Mrs. V.... your man is coming back from business and you are going to SLEEP in on Sunday... no teaching, please!)
And the 5am thing has been working out, too. I finally heard back from another magazine this morning with a "we're not hiring now, but we like your stuff and we'll send it up to the senior editor". Yeah!
I tell you all this not to brag, but to say that it's possible. With the advent of the internet, we can research what we love and go for it. If we need to, we can get partners to support us. We can read inspirational stories. We can make ourselves something.
I have a lot to learn. I am grappling with the fantasy of what I thought life would be vs. what it really is. But I do know this: kids, spouses, family members, random lottery wins... it can all bring us joy. But often it's temporary as kids move out, spouses have their own lives, money is false satisfation if our minds aren't at peace. We women need to be our own best friends, and this means treating ourselves right.
Which for me, now, is bed. For all my talk about filling my soul, I'll be honest that it takes its toll physically. I'm exhausted. All I want is a hotel with white sheets and someone to serve me coffee in bed.
Oh, there's that fantasy talking now.
Reality? I'm going to change my own damn sheets and get the Yuban in the Mr. Coffee so the mister can flip it on for me on his way out the door at 5.am.
On the subject of sleeping, keep your dreams alive girls! And keep me posted.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
You can describe my general disposition today by merely looking at my car. I'd love to say my garage contains a sleek Porsche, shining like the top of the Chrysler building. But instead in my driveway sits a 2003 SUV. A very dirty SUV. With lots of fingerprints and monkey stickers taped to the window (because Stink "decided to try an experiment") and a handful of stale Goldfish stuck under the seat.
And while I wouldn't change it for a clean car and no life, today my car (which is me people... are you still with me on the analogy?) is tired. It ran around all day with preschool, shopping, errands, post office runs. It finally got a break and got a car wash, but even that took immense amounts of energy and concentration. When one has to beg for a shower and still ends up with crust in her crevices, it's not a good sign. (Okay, now I'm talking about the car. Sort of.)
I'm going to shut off the computer for the rest of the night. I'm going to make tacos. I'm going to stick the kids in bed by 6. And then, if I'm lucky, I'll watch a movie with Rex.
But most likely I'll pass out. I'm also PMSing, and unlike my car who got dried off under the rag, I'm soon to be on one.
And that's just ca-yukky for the energy.
Good night, ya'll.
Monday, January 15, 2007
If any of you were wondering where I've been the past few days, need I remind you that I have taken on the role of chief cook and bottle washer this month? Yes, true to my word, I have stuck to my theme of the week. Let's review, shall we?
Meat Monday (Pork Chops and apples - see earlier post)
Wacky Wednesday (Tamale Pie - see earlier post)
Tomato Thursday (Recipe to come later this week as I actually will cook the noodles. Aldente is one thing. "Dent your wall" is another.)
Frozen Friday (Fish sticks and peas)
Stew/Soup Sunday (Stella's lentil soup... recipe at the end of this entry.)
On random notes, we went hiking yesterday. While Stink insisted on climbing all the way to the waterfall (an additional .5 miles uphill from the .5 miles we already trudged) Pip was all too happy to have me flag down the park ranger's golf cart and eat peanuts on the grass while we waited for the troops. I was informed that she does not like the mountains. "I like the baby sidewalk." Fair enough.
Last week was a nesting one of organizing closets, putting away last minute ornaments, cleaning out kitchen cabinets, throwing a few shelves up around the house. It's been nice, because while I don't love the process of cooking, it has forced me to find clever and easy ways to get the tools I need. In the process of finding space for lids, I've found space in my brain for my personal needs (including a new bra from Nordstroms, and some new cosmetics, and some left over ebay items that paid for them!)
Ain't it funny that sometimes what starts out as a chore ends up being just what we need? Like I sing to my kids "You can't always get what you want... You can't always get what you want..." (You know the rest.)
Any of you have tedious situations in your life right now that you think you'll never get through? If so, feel free to post. I promise that you're not alone.
And now, I leave you with Stella's lentil soup - sure to warm your belly, keep you low cal, and keep the kitchen smelling like Italy. (When it's done, may I suggest ringing a tacky camp bell to tell the family that "dinner is served?" It's particularly helpful if the hubby is glued to the computer and the kids are knee deep in Dora. Since they can't concentrate on their activities with the clanging of the bell, they're forced to give up and eat. And the cooking, even if not their favorite, is always preferable to ding dong ding dong ding dooooooooooooooooooooong.)
Dong... makes me giggle. Because, once again, I'm that immature.
Stella's Lentil Soup (works for pea soup also)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium carrots diced
1 bay leaf
1 ½ cups canned Italian plum tomatoes with juice finely chopped
2 medium onions diced
15 ounces lentils
4 medium celery stalks diced
1/8 tsp dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil then add onions and garlic. Let cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until golden. Add the lentils and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots and celery, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
Stir in tomatoes and juice, the bay leaf, basil, salt and pepper. Add another 1 to 2 cups of water, a little at a time, as needed. Cover and simmer 30 minutes more, stirring often. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve hot.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
I love all for putting up with me. Rant done.
2 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups (16 oz.) ORTEGA Enchilada Sauce
1 cup whole kernel corn
1 can (2.25 oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (4 oz.) ORTEGA Diced Green Chiles
1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream for the top
salsa for the top(or tomoatoes)
DirectionsFOR FILLING:COOK beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet until beef is browned; drain. Stir in enchilada sauce, corn, olives and salt. FOR CRUST:PREHEAT oven to 425° F. Grease a 12 x 8-inch baking dish. COMBINE corn meal, water, evaporated milk and salt in medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chiles. Reserve 2 cups corn meal mixture; cover with plastic wrap. Spread remaining corn meal mixture on bottom and up sides of prepared baking dish.BAKE for 10 minutes. Cool in dish on wire rack. Spoon beef filling into corn meal crust. Spread reserved corn meal mixture over beef filling.BAKE for 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for additional 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with jalapeños, if desired.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
4 pounds pork loin roast trimmed
Monday, January 08, 2007
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Ladies & Gentlemen, in an effort to stave off disease, I am going into kitchen detox this week before my major meal cooking. (I swear it's only my oven that looks that bad, but still... like a person... if the outside is pretty but the inside looks like crap, nothing is going to work.)
However, I present to you a meal plan for next week with the ingredients. Directions to follow on another post so you don't land face first with drool coming out of your mouth, your head permanently attached to the F10 key.
I am also thinking that, rather than being flaky, I am being creatively open to suggestions before I meal shop. Fire away with menus, tips and perhaps a joke here and there. But do it by Saturday, because by Sunday I might never enter a supermarket again.
Going along with my weekly theme, let me introduce:
Meat Monday – Hamburgers
Use either pre-sliced patties for total quick meal prep, or 1 pound of ground beef (or turkey… you can get it in the frozen section for 1.99)
I package of Lipton onion mix for flavoring
1 package of buns
Ingredients and prep together as I do it super simple
4 Roma tomatoes chopped
1 onion chopped
2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
1 avocado (stick in blender or with spoon mush it with a pinch of salt)
Left over meat from yesterday with taco seasoning added or salsa
1 pack of taco shells (or for fancier tacos, you can put some olive oil in a pan and grill some corn tortillas)
1 can refried beans (My tip: I stick them in the cusinart which makes them super fluffy, but not necessary)
I small can sliced olives
1 cup of salsa
If you choose to, put some rice on the side and half a can of corn.
Some sort of casserole involving turkey meat and noodles. Any suggestions?
Tomato Thursday – Meatballs Con Zoloft
(Originally penned by Stella as “My Mom’s Italian Meatballs – the best ever.” This can also be referred to as Testy Balls as the directions make me laugh. "Make sure the balls are firm, but not too hard." Yes, I really am that juvenile.
2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork (not sausage)
2 eggs, fork beaten
1 ½ pack of Saltine Crackers (they come 4 packs/box)
¾ cup evaporated milk
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh chopped parsley, finely cut
1 clove minced garlic or teaspoon garlic powder
½ tsp dried oregano
1 level tsp dried basil
1 can Ragu
Frozen Friday - Pizza (or anything you want to buy premade)
Cardboard with mozzarella? Works for the day, keeps the scurvy away… proceed.
Sandwich Saturday – Meatball sandwiches
(if you have any left… otherwise grilled cheese with leftover shredded mozzarella from Taco Tuesday)
Add sliced Roma tomatoes and cook up some frozen veggies of your choice
Stew or Soup Sunday – Stella’s Lentil soup.
If you hate lentil soup, then this week you get to use a can of whatever. Or post a soup you like. But I promise, this is the best lentil I have ever tried. And that’s with me cooking it. (Some people use a crock pot for lentils but I don’t have a recipe and am too lazy to search it. I like it this way.)
If your kids won’t go for it, make eggs and throw in some broccoli, or get some canned character soup and sneak in some carrots.
* I like the idea of breakfast for dinner one night a week, too. I forget who suggested it, but it's a good one. And since Stink can make his own eggs now, he'd dig that.
Well, I'm off to sleep. Not only did I bust my tail bone a few weeks back bumper bowling (apparently when the sign says "Do not cross dotted line" you're actually supposed to follow it) but today I stubbed my toe. This combined with getting up at 5am to write queries that seem to be landing in cyberspace black holes, I have a lot of rejections to prepare for.
Pleasant dreams. May the smells of zoloft meatballs bring you great joy.