Holy Moly, where did the week go?

If I had to title this past dinner I would call it “Happy Birthday Mollie, Take 2,” as she was in a much better mood this week.  Actually, it should have been Russel’s birthday dinner, but he wasn’t there so…

There were two types of fish, baked cod, and baked salmon.  There was a mustard cream sauce that was deemed to compliment both.  We also had oven fried potatoes with the skins on, bread and I honestly can’t remember what the veggie was!

We had 11 adults,  1 tweenager, and three toddlers.  We arrived a little early since my husband gets home much earlier from his new job, and we are trying to get new flooring put into our house, and needed Dad’s table saw.  So as people were filing in, he was busily cutting floorboards in the basement.

Since my oldest has been busy after school trying to get her horse (and herself) in shape for show season, she was busily doing homework as people arrived.

This left the three little cousins rampaging around the living room.  The smallest two taking turns screaming and crying as Grandma unfairly would pick one up and not the other, or one found a pretzel on the floor… the competition is intense between those two!  Meanwhile, my middle girl and the puppy, who are soul mates were tearing back and forth and wrestling like the feral critters they can be.

We talked about how hard it is to find people that want to work in dependent care, both daycare type and older children and dependent adults.  Even scarier some of those working in the system that are neglectful at best and dangerous at worst.

We talked about composting, and the fate of the worms from last year.  They were set free to discover the wide backyard since they weren’t doing well in their in-house home.  We discussed some conventional methods and some that were a little different.  Like an old family friend (who grew THE BEST raspberries) and composted simply by putting all his scraps into a paper bag and burying it in the garden.  Then, of course, we have to mention the large manure compost piles that a prone to catching on fire.

The not so great rose wine could possibly make a decent soap as it really wasn’t worth drinking.

In an attempt to fight Michigans third or fourth winter this year (I am not sure which one we are on) mom made an Angel Food Cake with fresh berries and peaches soaked in blackcurrant syrup.

And then, my littlest had her moment.  Standing on a chair as everyone finished their dessert, she started clapping.  And soon a few people started clapping with her.  Then EVERYONE was clapping along Simon-Says style with her.  Then it evolved to touching her nose or cheeks as everyone mimicked her.  That little girl held her audience captive for at least 10 minutes!  Once she was assured her cult following was solid she went on to other business, such as dethroning her older sister who so often declares her self Queen.

Coffee soap was requested, and mentions of a possible new cow were quietly mentioned.

We had to usher off our kiddos to bed, but the party continued after we left, there was still a little wine left over after all!

Happy Birthday Mollie!

This week we celebrated my youngest’s 2nd birthday!  She isn’t much of a talker but we all know that noodles are her favorite.

For dinner, we had Crispy Baked Chicken, Neighbor Chef’s Mac and Cheese (can we say bacon and smoked gouda!), homemade bread and sauteed broccoli (which the birthday girl doesn’t eat but her dad was thrilled).  For dessert, we had Blueberry Cream cheese Coffee Cake and Nutella Coffee Cake.

Partying with Mollie were 11 adults, her two big sisters, and two little cousins.

We talked about babysitting CPR classes (hard to believe my oldest is that age already!)

And goose eggs, as my geese think that its spring…

Get down from there and Don’t push her!

Where are you sitting and I have to go potty!

How’s school going?

Does the kid you watch do any athletics? My group is doing a presentation on the Paralympics.

And then roll out the Chuck Norris jokes.

“Chuck Norris made a mistake once when he thought he was wrong.”

You do know she doesn’t even really know who Chuck Norris is right?

That makes it all the more funny!

So, how do you make this Mac and Cheese?

Well first you use Cavatappi (I am indeed looking at the box to spell that correctly).  Then to make your rue you add butter and bacon grease, then equal parts half and half and cream.  So there are your calories for the day.  Then a little whole milk.

To thin it out?


Who’s ready for dessert?

Is that a Nutella cake?

It is, figured it would be worth a try since the girls like it so much.

That they do!

Ready Mollie (as she fights to escape)

Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Mollie, Happy birthday to you!

YAY!! (Tries to eat the candles)

Two of my three left the party asleep 🙂


Happy Birthday Beth!

This birthday dinner featured a few tried and true family favorites, Lasagna and Chocolate Cake most notably.  We also had Caesar Salad (with homemade dressing complete with anchovy paste) and homemade bread.

Between three certain young men, there was concern one pan of lasagna would not be enough, but rest assured, this “one” pan of pasta I am sure weighed at least 10 pounds.  There were even a few pieces left.  The smallest of those sitting at the table feasted on mini-meatballs and peas also.

In all, there were 10 adults, 1 tweenager and 3 toddlers enjoying this birthday meal.

Would you like to say a short prayer?

Me? Sure, why not.

I do mean short now!

As our plates got passed down to be filled with lasanga, the other bowls and plates made their way around the table.

There were a few residual hokey jokes that carried over from last weeks joke fest.

We talked about how to make re-useable “plastic” wrap from cotton cloth and bee’s wax and catching up about the people we’ve seen recently and the places we have been.

And then my mom remembered she had done my oldest daughter’s DNA testing through Ancestry.com and the results had finally come in!  While the results were slightly surprising, they did make sense and resulted in a great conversation about where different countries are located and where families originated from.  It was fun for my daughter to compare her results against her grandparents too!

Which lead to a discussion about genetics and how they work and what DNA looks like and all sorts of fun nerdy things.  No one has come up with Neanderthal DNA that we know of so far.

And then the birthday came out!  Perfectly chocolate, and my three year old who was devastated it wasn’t her birthday cake, happily sang Happy Birthday to her friend Beth (although when we got to the Dear “insert name here”, it got a little muddled between the names!)

So Happy Birthday Beth! And thanks for a great dinner menu!