The W(h)ine Hour..

Every household has one…the whine hour. It’s those bewitching hours between approximately 5 and 8pm in the evening when the kids go crazy and moms across the world lose their minds completely. It doesn’t matter if you have babies, toddlers, kids, tweens, or teens; those hours of dinner/homework/bath time/ bedtime can just about do a momma in. What is a girl to do? It’s simple and brilliant actually, just slip in a little wine of your own! Now, I’m not suggesting anyone down a bottle of whiskey everyday between the hours of 5 and 8, in fact if you do that you will have a few whine hours of your own the next morning. Basically, a little wine during the whine hours will keep you out of the padded cell at the local cookoo house where people will walk by and peek in your little window and say things like “aww, poor mom has lost her marbles” and “hmmm, now that’s a crazy one right there, sits in there all day and hits herself over the head with a Barbie and a hotwheel”. Don’t smirk, it can happen.

So, enjoy the tales of my whine hour, and how I survive each and everyone of one of them with a sense of humor and a good bottle of wine! After all, the whine hour comes around every single day, a girl has to be prepared!


Monday, January 30, 2012

The mudroom and meatloaf

In our house we have what I like to call the mudroom.  It is actually a little hallway right inside the garage door.  It has backpack hooks and about a jillion coat hooks and baskets for shoes. A nice tidy little place for the children to store their things...yeah right.  Truth of the matter is that the children "store" their things wherever they cease to need them; causing me to have an unending instructional period on the advantages to the shoe baskets right inside the door.  I'm not sure why they cannot see the logic in the having shoes, coats and backpacks right there handy to grab on the way out the door, but the concept completely escapes them.  What they do like to store there for easy access is a bit different.  Only in the "mudroom" at our house would you find this.

Yes, that is what you think it athletic cup.  Why someone would think that is an appropriate place to store that particular item is beyond me.  No one wanted to fess up to this but I know who had baseball practice yesterday, so it's pretty obvious.  When confronted the reply was my own words thrown right back at me, "It's the perfect place to keep something you are going to need when walking out the door."  Um, ok well tell me this, how many times are you going to need an athletic cup when walking out the door?  And, he's done.  Score one for the mom. ;)

Tonight we are having meatloaf.  There are only two things that really gross me out, a used athletic cup and raw meat. So I have searched long and hard for a recipe that doesn't require me to knead the meat into a loaf.  Here is the recipe:

Non Meat Touching Meatlaoaf (That's what I have named this recipe)

1lb of browned ground turkey.  Use can use beef but I use turkey because if I ate as much meat as these boys there wouldn't be enough treadmills in the world to fix my "problem areas."
1 cup milk
1 cup bread crumbs.  They actually sell these crumbed up at the store, but you can always dry some bread out, put it in a ziplock and pound the crap out of it to make your own.  That can serve two purposes. ;)
2 tbls brown sugar
2 tbls mustard
1/3 cup ketchup

After the meat is browned and any grease drained, mix together all ingredients in a bowl.  You can use a spoon, therefore you don't even have to touch the cooked meat!  I love that.  Once mixed pour into an 8x8 lightly greased pan and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350.  I like to sprinkle a little extra brown sugar on the top before baking.
You can put anything with this to make a quick and easy meal, veggies, salad, some roles, or just cut up some apples and call it good.  I'm all about the quick and easy!

Hubby:  Excellent!
Big:  Great dinner mom!
Middle:  Best dinner every mom!
Little: (while pointing at the meatloaf) "What in the world is THAT?  GROSS!  It looks like that food the dogs eat that's in the fridge!"  Then after forcing one bite down, "Hey, that stuff's pretty good."  After the third and fourth bites, "This is realllly good mom."  After the plate is clean, "Can I have some more of that dog food stuff?"  Awesome.

When picking the wine to go with this meal I started with the reds, afterall a good meatloaf seems like a nice partner for a hearty red. Then I realized, this is actually turkey meatloaf and that would indicate a white.  So I looked at the side dishes...cornbread so maybe a light red; broccoli definitely feels like a white.  After about 10 minutes of this and the dog food getting cold ;) I decided to chuck it all and have a vodka soda.  It goes nicely with everything because it has very little taste and even less calories! HOLLA!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Balls, balls, balls and chicken

Weekends around here are filled to the brim with balls.  This weekend included multiple basketballs, tennis balls and we even threw in a little baseball.  When I have that many balls to deal with, I don't cook.  I can't even think about food during that sort of ball storm, so we eat out a lot on the weekends.  The upside to this?  Well, there are actually several bonuses not the least of which is the fact that restaurants serve wine. ;)

But tonight is Sunday night.  A school night.  A night to catch up on homework, get everyone scrubbed up and get to bed early.  I am a huge fan of early bedtimes as bed is my favorite time of day. ;)  I have found the best way to get everyone in bed on time is to eat at home and start the whole process early, like say maybe about noon.  ;)  So Sunday's I don my chef hat and hit the kitchen.  Tonight we had the added bonus of some 60 degree weather which makes grilling the best possible option.  The hubby is quite the grill master and has three little grill masters in training so that part of the meal is off my plate. ;)  I like to prepare the chicken with a marinade ahead of's called Kraft bbq sauce. ;)  I have found the best way to marinade chicken is by dumping all the chickens in a zip lock bag and then emptying the entire bottle of bbq sauce on top of it.  You can use the gallon size bag unless you are feeding bottomless and his brother pit and his other brother pit and then you might want to grab the 2 gallon size. ;)  The nice thing about this method is that you dump the chickens right on the grill and toss the nasty salmonella bag right in the trash!  I mean is there anything grosser than raw chicken slime?  Uhhh, I'm actually not going to answer that.  Blech Blach blea...sorry, that whole topic made my gagger go. Gross.  Once the chicken is cooked fully on the grill, it is fantastic and tastes a little bit like summer. :)  I also threw together a nice pasta salad to accompany the hubby's bbq masterpiece.  The salad is super easy and you probably have the ingredients in your pantry/fridge.  I use the multi colored cork screw pasta because I like the way it looks, but all pasta tastes the same, you could use spaghetti noodles if that's what you have.  Then I throw in some cheese cubes, cut up cucumber and tomato!  No dressing necessary or you can throw whatever you have in your fridge on there and mix it up!  So yummy and so easy.  Those are my two most favorite things in any recipe. ;)

There is absolutely not a morsel of food left.  Enough said. :)

I would definitely suggest a chardonnay with this meal.  I chose the Fat Bastard Chardonnay because that is what was in the wine fridge, and it was delicious.  I am now listening to the middle practice for a violin test tomorrow, so I probably need another glass or some earplugs...or maybe both. ;)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Time For A Change

Not to state the obvious, but I'm not to great at sitting down to write the funny happenings around this wine hour.  Finding time in between driving, grocery shopping, laundry, homework and just spending good fun time with the boys is becoming harder and harder.  I'm also finding that when dealing with a teenager, pre-teen and a 9 year old who thinks he is a teenager, life isn't always funny.  Sometimes it's heart breaking, sometimes frustrating and sometimes just plain boring.  Ok, it's never really boring around here, but boring in the sense that there are no funny stories coming out of the moment.  So I've decided to make a change on the blog.  I'm going to starting writing about things that are easy and fun and are always happening.  And, there are two things that happen at this house every single day....they eat and I drink. ;)  

In an effort to keep the monotony out of planning, shopping, cooking and eating at least 5 dinners a week at home I am trying out some new recipes!  This is exciting!  And a little scary, and sometimes it's just plain gross. ;)  I'll be sharing what works and what doesn't and what goes in the trash when the pizza delivery guy is called.  Of course, each meal will include a wine selection, all of the finest eateries do.  There may even be a few funny stories involved, that aren't about my cooking. ;)

Tonights dinner was suggested to me by a dear friend who is also trying to find interesting ways to keep a family with 3 boys full every day.  Chicken Nachos!  Nothing says easy and yummy like the word nacho, right?  Well, the chicken part is easy, dump 5 chicken breasts in the crock pot and pour 2 cans of mild enchilada sauce over them, turn on crock pot.  It smells divine while it's cooking which is shear torture for the stay at home mom..just a warning.  I also whipped up some queso, pronounced in this house quay-so.  Velvetta and rotel in the other crock pot.  I don't normally use both crock pots at once so this is feeling like a real adventure.  Of course, that adventure isn't really going to begin until it's time to clean up said crock pots. ;)  Now here is the tricky part of the two cans of black beans and warm them on the stove. Yikes!  I just jumped a foot in your seat. ;)  Also, not too difficult til the clean up round of the evening begins.  I also made fresh salsa to go with the nachos tonight (this is actually the most difficult part and it's still not going all Julia Child or anything.)  Grind up fresh tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeno in your food processor, stir together and add some garlic salt, pepper, minced onion and lawry's seasoned salt. I think some fresh quac would be yummy too, but no time for that today so I sliced a couple of avocado's to go on top. A Mexican fiesta is served!

Now for the review...
The hubby loved it!  I loved it!  The big kid ate two plates full (although he would eat two plates of dog food if I put it out there...the kid can seriously put away some food right now. He's also grown 1/2 inch a week for the past 3 months).  The middle kid liked it but was a not go on the beans or avocado.  The little one had a wig fit when he saw "red things" in the quay-so.  All in all I'd say this meal is a huge family success and will be made again (as soon as I can get the burnt cheese out of the crock pot ;)

Wine for tonight's Mexican fiesta chicken nachos is a good margarita.  Come on, everyone knows wine doesn't go with Mexican food and anyway Jose Cuervo is a good friend of mine. ;)  I would suggest the pre-made light Jose Cuervo, the Skinny Girl Margarita's are good too so whichever suits you best!  But definitely pour yourself a margarita of some kind so when one of your kids starts chanting "beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot.  The more you toot the better you feel so eat more beans at every meal!" you won't feel the need to slap them upside the head. ;)

Happy Thursday!