Friday, October 23, 2009

A Day at Home with Sickie

Emily came home last night with a drippy nose and a slight cough. Normally, I wouldn't be too concerned because we had just spent Sunday evening outdoors at a cookout and it IS starting to be cold season. However, we've had the flu running rampant in our county and surrounding counties and most doctors are calling it H1N1 since it's supposedly too early for your typical seasonal flu. A few people I know have been diagnosed with H1N1 so I felt it was probably wise to err on the side of safety. Em was supposed to go to speech therapy this morning, then to the sitters (who was going to take her along to a MOPS meeting this morning where there would be a bunch of other kids) and then I was going to pick her up in the afternoon and take her to physical therapy. (How's that for a run-on sentence?) I decided it might be a smart call to stay home until we know what's really going on.

So, what did we do today?

We did what every good mom would do with her sick kid... We read books, drank homemade hot chocolate, made homemade playdough, knitted a few hats and wrote letters on recycled homemade paper to all of our friends and family. Seriously? Are you buying any of that because I just might have some swamp land in Florida to sell ya!

We (Emily) got to have a Disney movie marathon complete with Snow White, Mary Poppins and a dash of Beauty and the Beast. We also threw in a few PBS kids shows for a sprinkling of educational value. I did make a pretty yummy lunch for her and made sure she drank lots of fluids. In conjunction with the fluids, we also kept working on potty training throughout the day. (Would love to hear any great ideas for potty training! It's been dragging on for over 6 mos. now and almost seems to be getting worse instead of better....)

While Emily was watching the boobtube, I did a little tech work, tech support and tech professional development. While I was taking a few tech calls, Em decided to mock me and even spent a good deal of time repeating EVERYTHING I was saying.

Here's a picture of her phone:

I know -- it looks like a giant wooden spoon (it is),
or a golf club but it gets great reception!
Due to her great imagination, mere seconds later
it became a shovel/pick ax like the Seven Dwarfs use.

During the course of the day, I also did some laundry, some dishes and some cooking. I enjoy reading blogs that feature recipes. The people that write these blogs tend to call themselves "foodies". Sounds a little cheesy to me. Today, I'm going to be a food blogger. Today, I'm a flogger!

Or not....

Our church was supposed to take treats to a local nursing home this Sunday but have decided to postpone it until everyone is feeling better. I wanted to try making some new recipes for rice krispy treats (using a crock pot!) and popcorn balls. The results are in!

I love using Fruity Pebbles in Rice Krispy Treat recipes. So... fruity! And... chewy! And... just plain yummy. I read online recently where a lady slowly melted the marshmallows and butter in a crockpot while she was making supper and then mixed everything together for some great treats. What a brilliant idea! No constant stirring the stuff on the stove. Simply melt, stir and mix it all together. -- Or so she said. It took quite a while for my stuff to get its melt on. It finally did and I was very hopeful that my yummy, fruity, sticky mess would turn out scrumptious. It glopped out of the crock just like I thought it should have. And, it spread onto my cookie sheet like I thought it should have.

After about 15 minutes it had cooled down to room temp and I found a knife to cut my yummy, fruity treat. Unfortunately, it required a little more pressure than I remembered. As a matter of fact, it took a LOT of pressure to cut through it. And, when it did cut through, it pretty much shattered into a bunch of shrapnel. Seriously. It hit me in the face! I deemed this particular attempt worthy of roofing shingles and unfit for senior citizens. I'm blaming it on stale marshmallows and not on crock pot user error. I decided it wasn't worth messing with and it quickly found its way to the trash can.

UPDATE 10/24/09 - I took a 2nd whack at making Rice Krispy Treats today and they turned out great! Nice and soft and chewy and the recipe came straight from the Kellogg's website. Yummers!

I've been itching to try a Caramel Apple Bar mix and finally got my chance this afternoon. We picked a mix up while we were on vacation in Tennessee that simply required adding an egg, apples, and some melted butter. I know my husband loves apple stuff and I've been anxious to make this. I added a few (optional) chocolate chips. The verdict isn't in on this one yet. I sure looks yummy but we're still stuffed from supper and haven't cut into it yet.

UPDATE 10/24/09 - We tried this one after Em went to bed last night. It was okay. I was really surprised that with all the apples, caramel nuggets and chocolate chips that I put in that it was actually rather bland. I melted some butterscotch chips this afternoon and drizzled them over the top. Maybe that will make them a little bit sweeter. Or, warm them up and load 'em up with vanilla ice cream and caramel ice cream topping!

I hear the folks at the nursing home surprisingly really like popcorn balls. I wasn't quite ready to spend a lot of time on popcorn balls so I decided to try a recipe called Honey Krunch Popcorn. It's basically caramel corn but made with a combination of honey and brown sugar. I read through the recipe and it sounded like it would work pretty easily. The only thing I was wondering was whether it was going to end up being a crunchy or a soft and chewy snack.

I started with 6 cups of popped popcorn.

In a saucepan, I melted 1/4 cup of honey with
1/4 cup of brown sugar and brought it to a boil.

I drizzled it over my popcorn, mixed it all together
and then poured it out on a cookie sheet lined with
parchment paper. I then baked it for 15 minutes
in a 300° oven, stirred it and baked it for 15 more minutes.

The results:

...another fine product for the trash can to sample!

The popcorn didn't really burn, but ended up having that almost burnt popcorn taste.
It was actually just starting to smolder when it was time to take it out of the oven!
The flavor wasn't that bad, but it wasn't that great either.

I'm thinking this just isn't a good week to try new recipes. Earlier this week, I made baked chicken breasts that turned out pretty good and planned on making scalloped corn to accompany them but I was missing some eggs. I found another corn recipe that involved corn (obviously -- or maybe not with the way my luck has been going!), cream cheese, butter and milk. I plated the food (Isn't that what they call it on the Food Network?) ...and served it up. My sweet, lovable husband knows I always want his honest opinion on the stuff I make because I want to know whether I should ever bother making again. Part way through the meal he says, "The chicken is good, but I don't understand the corn." I had to laugh... I didn't understand it either. Food improv just isn't my thing this week.

Enough confessions. Now you all know that contrary to popular belief I'm not Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray. Flogger out!


Michelle and Laura said...

Better stick to your standby this week - mac & cheese!

Anonymous said...

The best potty training advice I heard (and it worked): If you are using pull ups, STOP! They are diapers for big kids. They need to know they are wet and uncomforable and have to change (and clean up after) themselves. Put her in undies all day and make her change herself when she wets. These ideas all came from the book: Toilet Training in Less than a Day by Nathan Azrin. It works, our kid still empties the potty herself! This woman created a business based on this book! Good luck! Ann S.

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