Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Sound Out

Austin is back to his usual goofball self, I think. On the way home from church today Austin said, out of the blue, "If I had three wishes, I'd wish for a paperclip and a pickle flavored milkshake and a tree with a family of blue gerbils living in it and they'd jump from branch to branch like monkeys."

I looked at him like I usually do - you know, like he's from another planet. I asked, skeptically, "If you had three wishes, you'd wish for a paperclip, a pickle milkshake and a tree filled with blue gerbils???"

He gave me a sideways smile and a knowing nod and said, "Monkey-like gerbils."

Yep, that's the son I know and love.

OK, now to answer viewer mail....

An idea for Austin's surprise cake: My sister-in-law made a
"kitty litter box" cake for my nephew's 14th birthday... easy and grossly realistic!

I made one of those for Austin's school Halloween party when he was in fifth grade. It was absolutely, disgustingly, realistically gross.

16 long years? Ouch. We've been married five so I'm not an expert, but when do you add the long descriptor? Is it at year 6 or 7?
It depends. If he doesn't know how to load the dishwasher, it may be added at 2 years.

Hi. Got a quick quesiton. How do you deal with plantar fasciitis? I recently found out that I have it and that I need to get more supportive shoes and such. Just wonderng. Thanks!
Here's my suggestion - don't get the "needle of death" shot of cortisone in your heel. It will hurt. You will want to kick your doctor. This is coming from a woman who gave birth 6 times without epidurals.

You know... this last time change gave you an extra hour of should be grateful.
This comment is clearly from someone who doesn't have little kids. Little kids don't wake up, look at the clock and say, "Yes! I get to go back to sleep for another hour." There is no such thing as getting an extra hour of sleep when you have little ones.

Hey there! Saw that you were at Woodfield. Do they have the tree up yet? Just wondering
They've had the tree up for a few weeks. Actually, they don't put up the same huge tree that they used to. Now they use a smaller one and surround it with large snowglobes.

Ooh ooh ooh! That SO had potential for a "clever title" contest!
Too bad I can't come up with anything catchier than "Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?"
(And now I have the tune in my head...)

And now, so do I thankyouverymuch. Here's some useless trivia for you - when I was in high school, I used to skip lunch and sneak off to the music practice room and play the piano. I had a book of Chicago songs that I played a lot back then. Most of the time, my friend, Jim, would hang out with me there. He did his German homework while I played. I had a crush on him, but he never knew it. And German is a very "spitty" language, by the way.

Oh, and ummm is that still the bag tag from FL on your stroller? That so sounds like me if so!
I don't know how you noticed that, but yes it is. It'll probably stay on there until June.

So is the little one in the video walking crooked and touching all the windows the one with adhd?
He's not the one who has been officially diagnosed with it, but yeah, he's kind of a spaz.

Ok for the uninitiated when you fry chicken isn't it always chicken fried chicken? Am I missing something here?
LOL! It's called chicken fried chicken to differentiate it from chicken fried steak. (It's a southern thing. Like Waffle Houses. And now that we have a Sonic here, I think I'll have to start lobbying for a Waffle House.)

Facebook really IS like crack. I have to check it every day, several times a day, to see what my friends are doing. Good thing I don't have very many. :-)
I love checking out everyone's updates, but I don't comment all that often. If I were to start doing that, I'd never sleep! Please don't be offended if I don't comment on anyone's updates!

Oh MY! I love your meemee. I wish Iw ould have thought of such creative answers. Now this will sound bad. I dont know what any of those drinks are. care to enlighten me? LOL
1. Coffee Mate Vanilla Chai Spice creamer with a little coffee - that's just coffee with flavored creamer
2. Sangria - this is wine flavored with fruit. I typically use a red table wine and add apples, limes, oranges and lemons, let it chill overnight, and add some 7Up before serving.
3. Mojitos - these are made with rum, mint and lime. They're refreshing.
4. Bellinis - these are made with sparkling white Italian wine (like champagne) and fresh peach puree. Yum!
I love Pina Coladas, Mai Tais, Bahama Mamas, pretty much anything froofy and fruity and served with a paper umbrella.

On your tv DO realize that the first three aren't on the air anymore, right? Well new ones anyway; I suppose they'll live a good long while on syndication.
I know, I know. I haven't seen a new tv show in years. I don't like what's on TV these days. I hate reality shows. What ever happened to good family shows with a normal family and a moral taught? The Cosby Show, Full House, Growing Pains, Little House on the Prairie... You just don't see good family shows anymore. I'd rather spend my time on my computer.

I laugh because I watched Wildcats too!
Here's some more pointless trivia for you. When I was in high school, I worked at a restaurant called Harry G's Crab House. (I can still smell the nasty fish/garlic smell that was embedded in my uniform.) Anyway, two of the waiters there were extras in the movie Wildcats. You could see them in the last football game. Aren't you glad I told you that?

[in regards to Austin's attitude on his birthday] There was probably something he did want, or he wanted you to make a big deal over him, or who knows what. But he can't TELL you, that would spoil everything! LOL... Don't you remember how stupid your parents were when you were 14?
I was a HORRIFIC teenager and if my kids act like I did, I will ship them off to school in another country. I'm sorry again, Mom and Dad!

Wow! My son is 3....not looking forward to the teenage years. Were you able to cheer him up by getting him a treat at the grocery store? Hope so.
Yep! Key lime pie did the trick. ;)

The way you describe Austin, he sounds like he is "Gifted and Talented". Is he, or any of your other children in a GT program?
Yes, he is. None of my other kids are (at least not yet.)

Wait a minute! You mean you still SEE your teenager? Mine is always in his room, and when he comes out I get grunts and nonsensical answers if I DARE talk to him... Ah the joys of the teens...
Yeah, I'm not complaining. My friend Gin has a son who is Austin's age. I think she's only heard 5 words from him in the past year and a half.

Dawn- SSO question- Which of your offspring is most like you were as a child?
Hmmm, I don't know. They all have some qualities that are/were like me. I think if I just had to pick one, it would probably be Austin (which is probably why he drives me nuts.)

Why haven't you blogged about your amazing lunch on Friday or shared with your viewers the totally cool shoes that Manic wore ESPECIALLY to impress you? But what about the shoes Dawn!?!? What about the shoes!?!?!?
Did you BUY any shoes THIS WEEKEND!?!!?
Manic, you're a dork. And I say that in the most loving way possible. To answer your question, no, I didn't buy any shoes, but I feel myself slipping over to the dark side. I think I have the potential to become a (gasp!) shoe person!

OK, here's the deal: I went out to lunch on Friday and met up with some Chicagoland bloggers. If you want the lowdown, you can read all about it HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. And yes, Manic had the totally cutest shoes on! Here they are:
Manic's shoes that I LOVE!

Manic with a popcorn ball down her shirt. (I don't ask anymore.)

It looks great [Austin's birthday cake] -- what did you do to make the grass (since you detailed everything else)?
I used a tip with several openings to make the grass.

Oh, and ummm can I (seriously) pay you to teach me to make spanikopita? It's one of my favorite foods and one of the few that I've never figured out. Give me ANYthing else, and I'm good but that one flummoxes me.
I have a really easy recipe:

1 10 oz. package frozen, chopped spinach
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 t. oregano
1 package phyllo dough, thawed
1/2 c.+ melted butter

Cook spinach, onion and garlic over low heat until heated through. Let cool a bit and drain excess water. Combine the spinach mixture with feta and oregano.

When working with phyllo dough, keep dough wrapped up and covered with a damp towel to prevent drying. Phyllo dough is tissue paper thin and dries out really quickly!

With pastry brush, brush one sheet of phyllo dough with melted butter, careful not to rip the dough. Place another sheet on top and brush with butter. Repeat with third sheet of dough and melted butter.

Cut dough stack into 4 strips lengthwise. Place a small tablespoonful of filling on one end of each strip. Fold dough at a 45 degree angle over filling. Keep folding in triangles (like a flag) down the length of the strip. Repeat with remaining filling and dough. As I finish each triangle, I place them on a baking sheet and brush with butter to prevent drying. You can make these ahead of time and store them in an airtight container.

To bake, preheat oven to 375. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm and toasty. Yum!

Hey, Dawn...did you happen to buy that birthday banner at a discount party store?
LOL! Ya think?

Do you make your own fondant or buy the tub at Michaels?
This time I bought the box of Wilton fondant. It's expensive and it tastes like glue, but I didn't have that much time so I just got the store bought stuff this time around. If you make your own fondant, it tastes SO much better.

Ok, so someone must ask (assuming it has already been asked but since it is saying "no comments yet" I'll take the plunge...Why the "A" instead of the "y" on Happy?
Because it was made in China?

That is one cool cake. You make the rest of us look bad. When will you be doing v-blog cake decorating class?
Is this something you guys would be interested in? Maybe I could do a monthly or bimonthly feature and teach you guys something about decorating? Let me know.

Oh, and what's fondant and spankonita? Sounds like stuff on Cinemax.
Spankonita??? That sounds somehow naughty. Spanakopita is a Greek dish made with spinach and feta cheese between layers of buttered phyllo dough.
Rolled fondant is a kind of taffy-like icing that you roll out and use to cover cakes and/or make decorations. It has a smooth, porcelain-like look to it.

How's the neck?
It's great!
As long as I don't turn my head.

And, so you know, November is Prematurity Awareness Month. In order to help prevent premature births, Johnson's has partnered with the March of Dimes to launch the "Prevent Prematurity Campaign," in which Johnson's will donate ten cents to the March of Dimes for every Johnson's Baby product purchased during the months of November and December, up to $100,000. So go stock up on all those great-smelling Johnson's baby products this month and help a great cause at the same time!

And finally, the Larsons got some sad news about Coleman's scans. The cancer has spread quite a bit this past month. He won't be able to receive chemo or this other protocol they were thinking he'd be able to get. :( Instead, he qualifies for a new trial that they'll be starting soon. Please pray for Coleman, his twin brother, parents, and doctors.


Anonymous said...

Ooo oooo, I'd definately be interested in your v-blog cake decorating class!!!! I took a class many years ago with my mom and some of our neighbors. We had a total blast and carried on so much that we were the class clowns. I'd love to learn some pointers on how you make your wonderful cakes.

For the record, my daughter saw the pictures of Austin's cake and thought the hat was actually a real hat! You did an awesome job!!

Donna in PA :)

Michelle said...

Dawn - thanks so much for the recipe. I'm definitely making that soon. It always seems so much harder, and I've never gotten a good recipe for it. That and a Greek friend of mine scared me from her descriptions of it. :)

And actually, a pickle-flavored milkshake is something I could actually try.

I need to google chicken fried steak because I'm afraid you'll laugh at me if I ask how you make that, but at least I know it's southern!

If I have to rearrange everything IN the dishwasher after the husband has loaded it, does that count as him not knowing (I seriously thought of doing a before and after post on it at some point).

I am starting to think that even if I do take a class at Harper, I don't have the patience to decorate cakes. I was expecting you to say that you threw something died green onto the "ground" for the grass... not that you piped it. And yet I'm constantly fascinated by Ace of Cakes (and yes, I know you are, too).

And YES totally interested in the teaching about decorating. Two more years until both wee ones are in kindergarten and three until full day school!

You know... you should really go see a chiropractor about your neck ;)

Jennifer said...

I would love a blog on your decorating skills! I am too cheap to take the class at the Party Store here! LOL
Also, can you share your fondant recipe?

dhaynes said...

Dawn, I so would love to have decorating classes or ideas. You make the most awesome cakes and I'd love to be able to impress my grandkids with something, ANYTHING!! Sign me up for sure!


Sarah said...

Hi .... (waving!) I am having a moment, and can't remember if I already stopped by to say it was nice meeting you on Friday (I am coming down with a cold, and my brain is not functioning so well these days it seems) anyway - if I'm repeating myself....

OH! And - really - the Sox? I thought you were COOL! :) Just kidding. I'm a HUGE Cubs fan, and I'm married to a Sox fan, so I have to be nice. I do really like the Happa Birthday banner, too. My son is having a baseball (Cubs) themed birthday next month. Can I borrow it? I wonder if any of the party-goers would even notice?!

Dawn said...

Sarah, it was great meeting you and Melissa and Melisa too! I'M a Cubs fan because I'm cool like that. Jackson and Lexi are Cubs fans too. Joe, Austin and Savannah, bless their hears, are Sox fans though. The poor dears.
And sure, you can borrow the Happa Birthday sign!

Dawn said...

"Bless their hears"??? @@ I need to learn to proofread.

BoufMom9 said...

What the heck is up with childhood cancer?!? I am beyond devestated that there are so many families out there dealing with little ones with cancer. One of my close friends has a little girl, Tuesday, whom is a twin, who has stage 4 Neuroblastoma. We also have nother family friend with a 3 yr old who also has Neuroblastoma. And then poor little Coleman.
I just want to cry :(

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I am praying for Coleman.

I'm also praying that Manic gets that popcorn ball removed.

Anonymous said...

OK, where did she get those adorable shoes? I love them.

Prayers going out to Coleman & Family. My goodness, this is a tough one. One of the times in our lives when we wonder what God's plans are, when a child, a mother, a father, go through this.

There is power in prayer !!!!


Anonymous said...

Hey! I'm a Chicago blogger and you didn't invite me! I'm hurt.

Melissa said...

OMG, I was wondering why I got 42 hits on a Sunday! Thanks for the shout out!!

And cortisone shots in the foot...major ouch! Even my orthopaedic surgeon says that's the most painful shot out there....and that's saying something!!

Kelly said...

I had to laugh at the Daylught Savings comment. The only thing the time change got me was kids who get up an hour earlier! LOL

Alicia From Delaware said...

I would Love it if you did a Decorating Blog, that would be soo Awesome, you do such wonderful cakes, I Have been thinking alot lately of taking a cake decorating class.

Slack said...

A big yes to the cake decorating! Thank you.

Rick said...

You bloggies girls in Chicago getting together for a little shoe fun. I'm a jealous little Oregon boy. When I come to Chicago can I party with all the girls?

P.S. I now feel honored to have had the comments from you on Facebook - even if it did deal with my use of the "dirty" word.

Lydia said...

Not sure why it's called spanikopita over there as it's made from spanahi/spanaki (based on which part you'd come from Greece/Cyprus), so at the very least, spanakopita would be the correct term? Definitely not spankonita ;) I burst out laughing this morning, you are right it does sound naughty ;P

Amber Narae said...

*Insert applause here* Yay, another mommy who doesn't do epidurals. But I have to ask... did you get the same look I always do when you tell people? You know... the "Are you effing CRAZY?" look?

Nancy McElroy said...

Hi Dawn, I am reminded of the immortal words of Peter De Vries, "There are times when parenthood seems nothing more than feeding the hand that bites you." Then of course, Samuel Clements recommended that when children turn 13 you put them into a barrel and when they turn 16 you plug the hole in the barrel! Some days raising wolverines has more appeal than raising teenagers.

Nicole from Houston said...

The cake blog sounds wonderful!
I just had the shot in the knee and it wasn't bad at all but I could only imagine in the heel OUCH!

Jenn said...

Thank you for clearing up the drink thing. you know some of those look like they tast WONDERFUL. but I think it might leave a few months worth of work on my hips. *G* But I still might have to try the mint one.

I would lvoe to take a V class on decorating. I decorate all my kids cakes but I have never used Fondont. T'WOULD be fun! So if this is were we sign up.....

Jenn in Alaska

Jkhb said...

Pickle flavored milkshake..hmmm he sounds very interesting.

Karisa said...

I love your blog, but please change your new format back to the old! The grey background it hard on the eyes and it now takes forever to load! Keep it simple!
Always a fan, anyway!

Dawn said...

Sorry, but no way am I changing my blog. I love the new design. The background is such a light gray it looks white on my computer and it loads instantly. I'm sorry you're having problems getting it to load on your computer.

Cheryl said...

Ha ha! Too funny about the birthday banner coming from a discount store. I bought wrapping paper for my daughter's baby shower gift at the dollar store. As I was wrapping it, I realized it said "Baby Gil". Then I looked closer and realized it said "Bay Gil". I don't think she noticed. :-)

Sarah said...

re plantar faciitis: my chiropractor offered to "adjust" my feet when he learned I was suffering from this. Silly me, I thought they were all about spinal stuff. First treatment - 5-6 days completely painfree. Oh and the adjustment didn't hurt and felt pretty good actually (though I'm not real ticklish, so maybe it could be worse for others). I've had some pain in the next two weeks but much less than before. Treatment 2 is tomorrow, so we'll see what happens!

Shan said...

I'd love to see your blogs on cakes! And, speaking of which, I think before you left for Florida someone asked you for your fondant recipe, which I'd love to have. If you have time, (you know, between like 1 and 2 am) could you send that out, too?

Oh, and by the way, I'm totally addicted to Facebook, too!

RefreshMom said...

Whoa! I nearly got whiplash from the childhood flashback on this post!

Are "pickle-flavored milkshakes" a Great Lakes States thing, or what? Seeing Austin's comment reminded me of my mom making pickle-shakes (vanilla ice cream and pickle relish). I think she was the only one that drank those--I know I didn't! I'm now also wondering if she only did that when she was pregnant (that would be the epitome of 'pickles and ice cream' wouldn't it)? And if she was pregnant, then those bizarre shakes might be my earliest memory since I was under 3 when my sister was born.

And sorry Austin, I just gotta say it, "Ewwwwww!"

Anonymous said...

This is so funny! The misspelling of Spanakopita to spankonita! My name is Anita. I was sitting here by myself reading this. It took me a minute to pronounce the misspelled word. I started laughing so hard my husband had to come and take a look. He started laughing too. Then asked me if I needed to be spanked!!! LOL!!

I hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings but that was an awesome laugh! I truly needed it! Thank you!!!

Anita in Indiana

Anonymous said...

Oooh Oooh Oooo, sign me up for the v-cake decorating tips. Great idea

Anonymous said...

loove the cake blog idea! also the shoes. love the shoes.

Anonymous said...

I would love a feature on cake decorating!

Chawksgirl4ever said...

hello you porobably already got this answered.but anyway here goes.i have plantar fescitis and you are supposed to wear the brand new balance shoes, flip the shoe up and look at it somewhere near the heel you should hopefully see the word abzorb. well anyway it makes the pain go away if you have it. good luck! Jasmine in Ca

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