Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kids & Food: Hiding good stuff in bad stuff.. or just ok stuff!

So, I wanted to post about a few things I do to get some "good stuff" into my picky girls. And maybe get some new ideas from fellow mommas... **hint hint** that means comment. :)

Donni will eat anything just about so this really doesn't apply to him lol.

First off I want to say my girls are the pickiest eaters babies they would eat everything and then all the sudden wouldn't eat anything (I am trying to avoid this with Donni by offering him a wide variety while he will eat it without a fight!) I mean Alana pracAdd Imagetically lives on pizza and mac n cheese most weeks. She has a variety of "snack" and "breakfast" type foods she eats but dinner is really limited. The big issues with my girls is meats and veggies shocker right?? lol. More shocking is that Alana is better with veggies then Kaila. But the only Meat Alana will touch is Pepperoni on her pizza..

Using a bribe and fibbing on what a food is...

I was very proud of Kaila Thurs night because she ate a boneless thin porkchop (it will be one of my Thursdays um in 2 weeks? lol) she said it looked like Mcd's hashbrowns when it was cooking (she was "helping" me) and actually wanted to try it! I almost fainted... lol. First she ate the outside hashbrown looking part first (breading) and liked it.. then I bribed her to eat more for an M&M.. and she decided she just loved it and ate the whole thing and asked us for more :-0.. OMG, is this my kid I wondered??

No way.. She even had multiple pieces in her mouth.. no nibbling she was going crazy.. she then proceeded to ask me to make it for dinner every night.. lol... But don't tell her that we lied when we told her it was chicken.. The only meat she would (knowingly) eat before then was turkey lunchmeat and chicken nuggets from McD's.. so I figured chicken might sound better then pork...I tried to bribe her to eat some veggies... nice try mom!

And then I bribed Alana with M&M's to try her veggies... she will eat green beans and corn normally but we had carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. I tried to bribe her to try the pork but was unsuccessful which is not shocking. But she did try her veggies.. she gagged but still ate it and got her M&M. It actually got quite comical because she wanted the M&M's so she would grab the tiny piece of veggie and shove it to the back of her throat trying to bypass the gagging... now thats dedication! She used to do this with green beans too but now eats them with no problem.

And Disguising/Hiding good food in bad food.. or just okay food...

One of my favorite tricks is adding 2 eggs to macaroni and cheese at the same time you add the cheese and add those in place of most the milk. I still add a tablespoon or so of milk. It makes it creamier and gets eggs into my girls that otherwise wouldn't touch an egg with a ten foot pole. Next time I think I am gonna try to add pureed carrots too!. anything orange :).

My next Thursdays post I did another secret (but forgot to take pics of the secret) I made a recipe that required spaghetti sauce.. I use one can of spaghetti sauce and one can of tomato sauce and add spices to make my spaghetti sauce.. I put the can of tomato sauce in the blender and added a about a cup total of frozen carrots and frozen peas, feel free to add more, even blend the meat in!. (I keep bags of frozen veggies just for this purpose. really no need to cook them before hand.) add spices and mix up. Sure its a little darker then normal but then you add that to the can of spaghetti sauce and you can't tell one bit.. also what I did and will share on Thursday lol.. I added eggs to the noodles before adding sauce so there is some more eggs they normally wouldn't eat otherwise.. you have to check thursday out for more information! :). You can also do this with pizza sauce.. this really only benefits Kaila because Alana won't touch spaghetti sauce only plain noodles.. which is why I want to start adding some to the mac n cheese next time!

My girls like a boxed chicken alfredo that includes chicken and all.. well they won't eat the chicken cubes in it.. shocker right? They just eat the noodles, so what I started doing is putting the sauce with the chicken in it, into the blender and mixing it all together.. they are none the wiser..

So Peanut Butter is great IMO but Alana won't touch it.. so I add it to some vanilla icecream therefore making peanut butter icecream... It's yummy. I also add a little milk to the mix so the icecream isn't to thick from the peanut butter. You can do this with bananas, all kinds of stuff if your kids won't eat it.

So what are some of your tricks??

Friday, February 27, 2009

Alana and her ears..

We went to the doctor this morning and she ruptured her ear drum. Got antibiotics and drops and have to call her ENT on Monday to schedule an appt. Because the ped dr (not our normal one) didn't see the tube in her ear at all. So looks like we may be heading for a 3rd tube surgery. Joy.. Good thing is Alana is not acting sick at all, perfectly happy as a clam. She did have a minor anxiety attack the other day where she said her ear hurt but other then that she's been normal. No fever, nothing.
I am actually very proud of her today she let the dr look in her ears without a huge fight.. Alana generally likes going to the doctors, she loves having her blood pressure taken, her heart listened to etc..She even said AHHH so the dr could look in her mouth today! But usually stay far away from her ears lol... and whatever you do, do not bring a needle or catheter anywhere near her!

After her appt, we dropped off her prescription, got some Wendy's and met Kaila's bus at home. Then we went to Fred Meyer's to return the movies we rented (changeling and little cars) to the movie cube thingamajiggy.. And picked up a few things... including stamps so we could mail out her birthday invitations! So most of those are in the mail minus 2 I am still waiting for addresses on! Then we went and picked up the prescriptions and eventually found ourselves at home :).
So I am waiting for a call back from the doctor's office..
Because I got up to get Alana ready for school and found that she has a bloody ear..
Probably a ruptured ear drum from an infection and/or just fluid again...
And she has tubes.. twice might I add.
I did have a nice post planned today but that will now have to wait until tomorrow!
Because.. doctor will take all day and I have to work at 4.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Waitressing... Tipping, The good, the bad and the ugly


Seriously I swear it was just 9 and now it is 11:30.. wtf where does the time go?? Anyway...

Last night was not a fun night at work I had a reservation of 28people, half of them children... Some sort of kids sports team.

This normally would be fine but there was 2 women in this group that I seriously would like to punch and I am a lover not a fighter.. they were just the rudest women. I won't go into details because well that takes too long. Just take my word for it that if I didnt have my "work face" on these 2 women would have gotten a few choice words my opinions thats for sure! If my child plays on a sports team with parents like these 2 I seriously would NEVER sit at the same table as them group or not, I would not be going to any event that involved them.. One of them had their ex husband there and I wanted to tell that poor poor soul how sorry I was for him and completely understood why they are exes because I would seriously harm that woman if I was her husband.. I am a lover not a fighter... remember that.. lol, but these 2 women have no disregard for others, no manners and no control over themselves or their children.. and not just no disregard to me but others at their table as well.

Waitressing is mentally, emotionally and physically disabling challenging. If you have never waitressed thank your lucky stars and be nice to your servers because one day you may need to waitress and learn that its no easy task to wait on people hand and foot even if they are the rudest people on earth! And think they are the only people present in the restaurant and are the queens of the land.. One day you can have a customer hug you, the next day you can want to punch your customer.. talk about a mentally unstable job! Now I know why my mom is crazy.. She has waitressed/bartended for 25 years off and on... but sometimes she can be a type 2 (IMO of course see below for explanation) customer too even though she knows how it is.

I am always "excited" to wait on a fellow server.. there are 2 types of fellow servers when they come as a guest..

There is the first type of "server guest" is those who understand if you forget something, if you make a mistake now and then after all we are human not a computer, understands if the food is a little delayed in the kitchen when it's busy, Don't whine for minor issues, help you by moving plates to a pile at the end etc. that I feel is the type of "server guest" that I fit into.. I am a very calm and go with the flow person anyway..which most of these types are.

Then there is the second type of "server guest" is those who are arrogant and think they were/are the best server in the world, did/do everything perfect and expect everything to be absolutley perfect, timely, never forgotten, no mistakes. Whine and complain at the slightest thing (like you not talking to them enough when you are busy). That I feel is where my mom fits into quite of the few times I have went out to eat with her she exhibits some of these behaviors. Those types of "server guests" are generally very inpatient people, always with a sense of urgency, cocky and arrogant not just when they go out to eat but in life in general.

When I go out to eat if something is forgotten I simply ask again, it's really not a hard thing to do. Of course like everyone I don't want the server to forget something but I surely won't dock their tip or get a "tude" about it. UNLESS they repeatedly throughout dinner forget my soda, my dessert, my side of sauce etc.. The really only reason that I dock a servers tip is if I feel they were exceptionally rude to me (and that would be hard to do because I am so nice :). ) or instead of tending to what I needed they were chatting up their friends at another table (which I could care less about as long as I am tended to as well once I am content and don't need anything you can chat up all you want) or just not paying attention to me and or nowhere to be found my entire meal so I didnt get any thing I needed like drink refills, napkins, etc.. its not that they forgot anything its that I never even got to ask for it because they were MIA (aka in the back cleaning and or talking to co workers, reading a paper, eating, smoking, you name it I have seen it.) and even then I would NEVER give below a 10% tip (unless they used a derogatory term like the "R" word about me or my family in my presence or earshot).. Because servers have to pay taxes for tips based on their sales... that is their income, that is their rent.. Have you seen a servers hourly wage check?? Pffffffttt.. The tips are the main income and if I stiff or give a below 10% tip that is taking someones rent money etc.. and I cannot do that no matter how bad a server they may or may not have been because I don't know their situation at home, a family member may have died, they may have children to support, they may be brand new employee. If I feel it was the worst service I have ever gotten, or something so rude was said etc then I would talk to a manager about it so they can discipline the server or train them better, but I still would tip the server 10%.

Think of it this way, if you filed a report after deadline (aka delivered meal) because your were too busy or had to wait for you source (aka kitchen), at your job do you feel you should be docked a dollar an hour for that day?? Doesn't make any sense does it?? If you forget to edit a sentance (bring a refill or extra side) with one report out of the 25 you did that day (one table out of 25 you had that day) do you feel you should be docked 5$ of your pay for the day?? Think about it... if you feel you should be docked pay.. then by all means dock a servers tip/ and or stiff them, but if you dont feel that should cause docked pay since you are human and make mistakes then dont dock a servers tips below 10%.

I almost ALWAYS give a 20% tip.. its very very hard for a server to be so bad IMO that they would get a 10% tip from me (exception: I tip 10% for to go orders as everyone should IMO)..

And another thing if you are running low on $$ and that is your excuse not to tip a decent amount.. then you shouldn't be out eating in the first place. That is absolutely no excuse.

And do not tip based on the number of people in your party.. this is not the 90's.. that rule doesn't float anymore. Tip based on your sales... because we pay taxes for our tips based on those sales numbers.

If you drank 4 long island ice teas.. and made your bill go up 25$ in bar drinks then you tip with that INCLUDED not just your food... if you don't want to tip for bar drinks then don't order them.

Do not sit at a table by yourself and drink coffee for an hour.. and tip a quarter.. this might fly at a pancake house or cafe where there may be plenty of extra tables to sit at, at any given time. But not at most resturants. Yeah a quarter might be 20% of the cost of coffee but you took up that servers table for an hour when they could have had a family ordering dinner and be making a decent tip amount. Most restaurants each server has a set section of a few tables.. unlike a smaller restaurant where they arent as busy a server can seat you anywhere in the restaurant because they are the only server and they have plenty of tables where they can take on more people.

And last but not least if another worker besides your server brings you water or delivers your food or assists you in any way.. DO NOT dock your servers tip.. remember we servers have to tip out to those people out of the tip you give us and they are there to make the whole restaurant run more smoothly. At my restaurant we tip out the bussers, the food runners and the bartendars. We used to have to tip out the dish workers too!

Okay lastly.. If you are getting multiple different people assisting you in a large restaurant, your intended server may be the "key" for that night.. they may be getting the strange person who just brought you a refill some change out of the till for their table. Its an even exchange.. Your server is not ignoring you, in fact they are making sure you get your refill in a timely fashion by having the person that needs the change bring it to you while they get the change from the till. They could just as well make you wait for your refill until after they are done getting change for the other server.. but that neither helps you get your refill timely or helps them with the "work" exchange with the other server.

Same goes for the "closer" of the night who assigns duties to servers that must be completed and verified before each server leaves for the night. Which mostly entails cleaning the back kitchen area, rolling silverware, prepping items for the next day (scopping butters, sides, salads etc. depending on restaurants). Your server may be the "closer" and follows the above just the like the "key" they may be checking/verifying that the "duty" was done by the strange person who just brought you your dessert.. again an even exchange while your intended server is verifying that the "duty" was indeed done the person they are verifying is bringing you what you need in a timely fashion. Would you rather they make you wait and bring it to you after they okay the other server to leave for the night?? or would you rather it be brought quickly by the server getting ready to leave?

With that said.. I will shut up about the restaurant business.. until further notice... which well could be tomorrow you never know.

Yummy Tummy Thursday ~ Is it Lasagna or a Burrito?

Mexican Twists Installment #3 and the last for awhile is:

Mexican Lasagna

The link is the base I started with and like most (read all the great comments/ratings on it!) I made it my own through some of the ideas.. I make this often its easy and have tried it a few different ways (with corn, with spanish rice (good as a side with it too), enchilada sauce etc.) the following is the way that I like it best but you can change it to what you want, there is tons of possibilities!

1lb Ground Beef
6 Taco Size Flour Tortillas
2 Cans Refried Beans
(if you aren't a beany family lol nice term right? one can is okay)
1 Can Diced Tomatoes (with juices)
(I prefer petite diced, even more preffered is rotel which for non cooking people is small diced tomatoes with peppers, some prefer to use salsa.)
1 Packet Taco Seasoning
Green Onions
(I put them in the meat mixture but they also can be a garnish on top)
8oz Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
8oz Monterey Jack Cheese (shredded)
1 Regular Size Tub Sour Cream
(I use fat free, because it is smoother/creamier and spreads much easier and its healthier of course but I just like it better then regular yes I know I am weird.)
2 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion (chopped)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
In large skillet over medium heat, cook beef with green onion and yellow onion until browned. Drain. Combine with taco seasoning (and water indicated on seasoning packet ONLY IF USING 2 CANS OF BEANS), refried beans and canned diced tomatoes. Lay down 2 tortillas in 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with a layer of the meat mixture, trimming if necessary, and top with cheese. Start a new layer with 2 tortillas. I use 3 layers, depending on modifications you make etc (especially if you remove beans) you might just want 2 layers.
Bake 20 to 30 minutes until heated through and cheese is bubbly. Top with a layer of sour cream, lettuce and tomatoes. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. (I don't let it cool because I am not patient enough and do not care if the hot cheese etc just looks like a blob on my plate lol but if you want it to look beautiful let it cool!)

Sorry for it looking like a blob I didn't let it cool because I was starving lol.. if you want it to be pretty let it cool lol!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I am so happy and overjoyed to announce that the smell culprit has been found!!


The smell has been identified! That was just an awful 2 weeks let me tell you, window open, tarts burning, carpet shampooing, new mattress buying (which needed to be done anyway, this time I left the plastic on..), smell was worse when the heater was on...

All because of this

Don't mean to gross anyone out, okay maybe I do...

If you cannot tell what that rancid thing that is, it would be a large pack of honey turkey lunchmeat that my so darling daughter Kaila loves to eat out of the package and left it in the room and it got under a dresser (it was stuck in a barely visible spot in the corner and was elusive until now).. and I finally found it!

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Whats up surfer dude?? Just what have you been doing??

Monday, February 23, 2009

Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

So since I didn't do this last week I am going to cheat a little and use a few of those because they are too good not to share :-D.

One day recently I did not catch Kaila wearing a diaper over her panties because it was not peeking out of her pants when she was getting in the van... apparently being a baby is fun.

I did not get my big a$$ into a go-kart with Kaila at my nephew's birthday party and it was not a blast from the past!

My niece did not get into a go-kart with Alana.. for if she did I surely wouldn't be able to show you these:

Kaila did not want a temporary tattoo on her arm and I was not too lazy to go get water so instead I did not activate it by licking it. That would be disgusting and I would never dream of being so gross.

I did not remove Donni's diaper because we were getting in the bath only to realize after he had tracked "presents" across the floor that the diaper wasn't (really) just wet :-X.

Alana's room does not have a mysterious smell, we have not shampooed the carpets and bought the new bunk bed mattresses to try to get rid of it. The smell is not only mildly better the before. Good thing I have some new tarts! Thanks Tricia!

The girls did not finally go back to school today after a full week off. I was not getting ready to go insane.

Donni is not sick once again.. I hate snot.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Alana's Bday Invite!

This is Alana's bday invite, they are being printed and shipped to me and were designed by this lovely lady!
Thanks Again!
I will be handing them out to the invitees soon! Sorry I can't invite everyone I wish I could though, there is a cap on the number of kids! (the blacked out areas are my address and phone # which of course I don't want all over the net.. lol click to view larger).

Remember the Nintendo Wii Giveaway?? Well now there is a IPOD Touch Giveaway!

Go donate to help bring Jacob home here via paypal Chip in and be entered to win!

From her blog:

The specifics are this -- It is an iPod Touch -- 16gb -- 2nd Generation. These retail for about $300. I don't have one, but have been told they are just like the iPhone without the phone part. If you want to know more information about these, you can visit this site for details!!
We are very excited! Just like for the Wii.... every $10 that is donated towards Jacob's adoption, your name put in for the final gift drawing. For everyone that donates AND posts about this on their blog, linking back to our fundraiser (please leave me a comment with the link that you have done so), will get an additional entry OR if you donate AND send an email to 10 of your friends (me being the 11th) you can get an additional entry. Does that all make sense?? Josie will be drawing a name on Friday, March 20th at 7:00 p.m. CST so get your donations in before that!!

Want tacos but don't have tortillas? try this! Yummy Tummy Thursday


& Baked Mashed Potatoes with a very little "kick".

Mexican Twists Installment #2

Why use tortillas when you can use potatos?? I don't know about you but I love potatos and I love tacos too!

I changed mine up just a bit from the inspiration linked above mostly just using fresh tomatoes on top versus canned in the meat mixture..


(Taco Potato Shells)
3 large baking potatoes (I used 6 regular/medium size russets)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1 pound ground beef
Cilantro (optional)
1 roma tomato (diced)
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream
2 green onions, sliced

(Baked Mashed Potatos)
The pulp from the baked potatos
Dash of Chili powder
Dash of Paprika
3/4 stick butter
4 slices crumbled bacon (I use Turkey Bacon yumm!)
1/2- 1cup or so Sour Cream
1/4- 1/2 cup or so Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup hot Milk give or take to consistency desired


(Taco Potato Shells)
1. Scrub and pierce potatoes. Bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour or until tender. When cool enough to handle, cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell (refrigerate pulp for another use or make the baked mashed potato side dish!). Brush inside and outside of potato shells with butter. Place cut side up on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef over medium heat (optional adding cilantro) until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning and water indicated on seasoning packet (if you are using canned tomatoes instead of fresh on top add those here w/o any extra water). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
3. Spoon into potato shells; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream, tomatoes and onions.

(Baked Mashed Potatos)
1. While Potatos are baking cook Bacon (I microwave) & crumble into large bowl, add all ingredients besides milk and potatos and butter (I add my milk because I know the consistency I like, but you may want to add it after the potatos!) When potatos are finished add the removed pulp to the bowl, along with the butter.
2. Mix and Mash adding milk if needed to the consistency desired.

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