New Achievement Unlocked: Pinteresting Lunch

More Pinterest stuff!

This time: The Geekling’s lunch for daycare tomorrow! I’m feeling really good that he’s going to love this one!

Pin One: Corn dog muffins! Geekling loves corn dogs. A whole bunch. He’s like the Kirby of corn dog bites. So, I thought I’d give this one a try. Some of the reviews I’d read about the recipe itself said that the hot dog portion of the muffin separated really easily from the cornbread part, so instead of putting big pieces of the hot dog, I did little bitty ones. Also…I only used one of those randomly huge hot dogs you get from the butcher’s and I didn’t add the honey…primarily because I didn’t bother to read the directions. I just followed the Jiffy directions and stirred in cut-up hot dog…

Corndog muffins–before baking

Then, obviously, I baked them.

Corndog muffins: Complete!

They were pretty tasty, I think. A bit dry. Anyone have any tips on how to prevent that? Was it the honey issue? I think next time, I’ll saute a little onion to go in with the hotdog…

;

Pin two: Zucchini Tots! I’ve really been trying to add more veggie variety to our diets here at the Geek household. Since the Geekling doesn’t mind broccoli (depending, of course, on a 2 year old’s ever-changing wants) I decided to try Zucchini. Now, granted, I have never tried zucchini before, but for some reason, my mind had it pegged as a cross between cucumber and broccoli. I’m not sure why. But there was some zucchini chilling out on the kitchen counter from the brother-in-law’s garden, so hey. Why not?

I was interested to note that a cup of grated zucchini is only really about half a small zucchini. I expected to have to grate a whole lot more than I did.

Also, wringing out the zucchini was a lot of fun.

Zucchini tots–before baking

I was pleased to note, this recipe did make EXACTLY 12 tots. That is a rarity for me. Somehow, when a recipe says it’ll make 24 cookies, I either wind up with 12 or something random like 58.

Crispy Zucchini Tots!

Next time, I shall be making a much, much bigger batch, because these are delicious!

/drool.

So, all in all, Little Geekling has a very tasty, homemade lunch for school tomorrow! I feel all proud of myself.

Really, I do. It’s all those Pinterest ladies with elaborate bento boxes for their kid every day…they make me and the peanut butter sandwich and carrots I normally send with him feel pretty inadequate.

Geekling lunch!

Until next time,

;

-AW

New Achievement Unlocked: Putting the Labor in Labor Day

Well, it’s Labor Day weekend. Everyone I know is having cook outs or hanging out at the waterfront somewhere.

Me? Nah, of course not.

This long weekend has been loooooooong and I’m exhausted.

It’s partially a good thing: I’ve been keeping busy and getting stuff done. Every single article of clothing in this house is clean, folded and put away (an achievement unto itself for me!), I’ve been cooking up a storm, cleaning, and my office area is completely organized (however short of a time that will last).

Go, me!

Mostly, I’ve just got this bee in my bonnet. It happens every now and again, where I don’t feel like I’m efficient enough, or that I’m really being the type of person I want to be. I sit down and make all kinds of lists, plans and outlines and it keeps me preoccupied for at least a couple of months.

What I’ve been up to:

1) We at the Geek household have eaten a LOT of chicken lately. Why? Because it’s so easy to make a billion chicken dishes at once!

Its something my Grandma used to do (though I think she mostly froze meals rather than eating chicken for a week straight…)! In a large stock pot, I boiled 2 medium-sized whole chickens until they’re, you know, cooked. Then you let it cool down because those chickens will melt the skin from your fingers! After that, you can separate all of the meat from the bones. You wind up with a huge bowl of shredded chicken. Bwahahahaha.

Don’t throw out the stock, instead throw in some sliced carrots, onion and celery and boil them off until they’re soft, then add egg noodles and some of the shredded chicken (I prefer to use the dark meat for this). You get a really flavorful, really hearty chicken noodle soup! I…got a little carried away and made way, way too much. But good news: It freezes well!

That’s meal number 1. I also made chicken fajitas, a double batch of creamy chicken enchiladas, chicken pot pie and some chicken salad. From those two chickens.

This week I’ve also made GM’s favorite open-faced sandwiches (Garlic bread + Roasted red peppers + turkey + spinach + provolone cheese), potato soup, and omelets with red bell peppers (from my very own plant! /proud!), spinach and asiago cheese.

All-in-all, a pretty successful culinary week. I have the next two weeks mapped out, too. I’ll try to take pictures and do the recipes for y’all. Next time I do the chicken thing, I’ll try to do pictures too.

2) I tried out a couple of things from Pinterest!

Keeping Up With The Joneses have a recipe for Banana Oatmeal muffins. The recipe looked so simple and so healthy that I just had to give it a try.

Well…with modifications. Some intentional, some not. The recipe calls for Old-Fashioned Oats, not quick oats, and in my “Lalalalala” approach to life, I did not bother to read the label before grinding up my oatmeal. Hey, at least I didn’t use those little packets, right? Anyway, I also wound up putting a bit more of the Greek yogurt than it called for, because it looked a little…off. Now, my super intentional modifications came in the form of making the batter.

I don’t know about any of you, but I’m a big fan of Alton Brown. He’s the science geek-god of cooking shows. Anyway, he teaches something on Good Eats called the Muffin Method. That’s what I did. I mushed up the bananas with the sugar (sugar is a wet ingredient, weirdly, and it helped the mushing.), added the egg and then mixed it with the ground-up oats and baking soda/powder.

They smelled delicious while they were baking, and they were awesome once they were done. The texture is really great, very hearty. Since I added that second banana and that extra yogurt, I had 12 big muffins and then 8 mini muffins (for Geekling snacking pleasure).

I know how freakishly excited I am about these muffins, but really, they are perfect for my family. Two of Geekling’s favorite foods are bananas and oatmeal, so it works out really well for him when he’s being picky. They’re a very good on-the-go food.  I also dig how healthy they are. They have whole grain, calcium, potassium, protein, the whole package.

I’m very much looking forward to playing around with the recipe. I know I’m going to try blueberries, maybe some dried fruit (like strawberries), some walnuts, chocolate chips. I especially think I’ll try using brown sugar instead of white sugar for a different flavor. Or maybe I’ll see how much mushed-up lemon is cup-wise and try this with pumpkin instead! The possibilities here are endless. And I’m a nerd, because I just typed about muffins for a ridiculous amount of time. Anyway, try the muffins!
The other thing I tried from Pinterest was one of those nifty little tips that you always run across. This one said that if you clean your dry erase board with Fabreeze, it will take the set-in marker off the board…you know, that faint red writing that stubbornly refuses to erase, just to irritate you? Yeah. That. So, I tried it. Pinterest lied! Not only did it NOT completely erase my dry erase board, it made it filmy and gross and I had to clean it before I could use it again. Lame!

3) Writing fanfiction.

Yep. I’m that lame. But, I am a firm believer that writing fanfiction can help you a whole bunch if you are interested in writing your own original fiction. It gives you practice at writing scenes, dialogue, plots, characterization. The whole deal. And it’s basically an instant feedback loop, because people are able to review it.

I’ve got two fanfictions going on currently: One that was meant to be a one-shot, but I kept getting comments about how I “just couldn’t leave it that way” so I am continuing it. It’ll be 9 chapters (very short ones, only about 400-500 words apiece) and is 1/3 of the way finished–but completely outlined. The other, however, I consider to be my main project. Its going to be one of those suuuuuuuper long fics. It’s only outlined through chapter 26, but 11 1500-2000+ word chapters are already posted.

They’re Harry Potter fanfiction (with Severus Snape and Hermione Granger, my OTP).

4) Homework. It refuses to do itself.

5) Hanging out with Mr. Geekling, who has been both completely adorable and completely horrible in turns. We’re in this terrible-twos hitting phase that will eventually be the death of me. x.x

6) Starting Doctor Who.

I have a fondness for British TV these days. It started with Sherlock, which may be the best TV show in history. Then I got into Merlin, but I’ve watched all that Netflix has to offer. Damn them. So, now I’m scouring the internet for Series 4 of Merlin (Thank you, Youtube!) and I’ve started watching Doctor Who. I asked around about a good place to start and the unanimous answer has been the 9th Doctor, which *is* on Netflix, so maybe I won’t damn them so hard.

So far, I really like it.

Until next time,

-AW