Thursday, December 29, 2011

NYE: Goals for 2012

SO... it's a new year.

As is the tradition with new years, there is a rush to figure out what's wrong with yourself and resolve to fix it. New year, new start, etc.

Which I get.

But there's also the running joke of how those new resolutions NEVER work out. Which makes one wonder if there's even a point...

A few years ago, an online friend (I forget which one, but obviously the person is pretty awesome) pointed out that they were going to try setting "goals" rather than "resolutions", as "goals" carried less emotional heft with it for them. It's a good point, and I've been doing it since 2009. Granted, my goals are fairly general, so they don't necessarily meet an endpoint, but at the same time I usually see progress on them so I feel like I done good.

But now I'm at a point where I actually kind of don't know what I want to work on. To be honest, there always feels like there's so MUCH I need to work on. But is that my own self-sabotage at work, or do I really need to improve?

Regardless, here's what I'm planning to work on for the next year:

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Holiday Trinity: Big ol' Wrap-up post


I feel like I should be sadder about the holidays being over, but TBH it was a lot of anticipation for a rather lackluster affair. It's not that my holiday was BAD, just... a little dull. Nicely dull! But still, a little dull. Plus having to drive around to see all our family for several days straight is pretty exhausting, which doesn't help. Most of my family gifts were of the gift card variety, but friends got me cute ornaments, pink stuff (!!!), and The Hubs got me this BEAUTIFUL opal pendant necklace - even better because it's similar to one he gave me for our first Xmas together that was later stolen when our apt. was robbed. I can't wear it yet, though, because we need a new chain for it - I have a big neck.

Even with the dusting of dullness, I still had a good holiday season. I've been either too busy or too depressed to celebrate with much enthusiasm in recent years, so having the holiday spirit was REALLY fun for me and made my holiday season great. (Plus I always have a tendency to blow things up to be bigger in my mind than reality could EVER live up to, so there's that.) Of course, now I have to figure out how I'm going to store all this holiday crap away, since our decorations (and ornaments) have doubled this year. Heh. Oops. I also have to restrain myself from running to Michael's with my Xmas present gift cards to stock up on discounted Xmas decorations. DON'T... NEED... MORE...

So now I've got New Year's Eve to look forward to, esp. because this is the second year in a row where we have PLANS! NYE used to always suck for me, no one ever seemed to want to do anything, or had plans with different friends we didn't know, and it was frustrating. This year is our friends' 15th wedding anniversary (they were practically fetuses when they got married), and they are celebrating it a little early by making it a joint NYE party. Bonus: They love having themed murder mystery dinners, so it's a costume party, too! The costumes? 80'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION, BABY! So awesome! The Hubs and I are a married couple named Joe and Natalie Nebraska - "Joe Nebraska" was the star quarterback and his now-wife "Natalie"was head cheerleader! Awesome. I have my outfit ready, I just need to get some accessories and we need to figure out The Hubs' costume, too. SO COOL! There WILL be pictures, I assure you. Because we will look awesome.

As I tend to do at the end of the year, I've been reflecting on how this year has gone and what I want from the next year (but then again, who doesn't do that at this time of year). Warning: There might be some navel-gazing posts up in here in the next few days. I'll try to keep it shortish and sweet, but I tend to have a lot of feelings and a desperate need to share them. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

Hope you got some rest from the craziness!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

THT Xmas: Easy "Extra Family" Gathering Hostess Tips!

So how many of you have divorced parents? *raises hand* I can legitimately claim going through 3 divorces before I was ever even married myself. (And one of them resulted in their getting back together 2 years later!) It's already frustrating to arrange to see your family when you're significantly other'd, add in multiple groupings of family and OH MAH GOD it is a pain in the hindquarters! One unfortunate side effect that has happened is that I rarely get to actually spend the holiday with my siblings, as we share a dad, but we grew up with our mothers. Our two mothers get along fine, but they have their own families they spend the holidays with, so getting us together on the actual holiday was a rare occurrence indeed. Same frustration for extended family from random sides of the family. Or hell, sometimes your families just suck all the fun out of the holidays and you'd RATHER spend the time with your friends, but your family would never let you get away with it. (This isn't the case for my family sitch, but sometimes I almost wish my friends didn't go to their families that stress them out and could just come hang out with us, y'know?)

Solution? Have a little pre-Xmas Xmas gathering! (Or pre-Holiday-You-Recognize, sorry! I celebrate Xmas, but I know people celebrate the other ones.) If you have agreeable people, you could even make it a "traditional" Festivus party! ;D

How we did it:
  • 2 weeks before, I texted the people who we wouldn't for-sure see on the actual holidays we celebrate to see if they'd be free either day of the weekend we wanted to try and arrange for gathering. Found out who was in, and who was out. Asked everyone to bring something to share, but we'd also provide basic beverages and foodstuffs as well, and agreed that this would be when we exchanged prezzies. 
  • Day before, wrapped all the gifts of people who were coming and pre-made any food that could be pre-made so it wouldn't drive me nuts the next day. Seriously, when I'm hosting, it's all about what can be made with as little attention paid to it the day of - crockpot, pre-made, or takes-5-minutes-to-make is how I do. As for decorating, well, the apartment's already decorated for the holidays so all I did was add a little decor for the table (pictured above). That was just carefully layering ornaments in my cylinder vases - man, for only paying a $1, I freakin' LOVE those things, man. So many uses!
  • Day of: Give the house a good once-over (we've been keeping it tidy regularly, so all we really needed to do was wipe down surfaces, dishes and garbage, and vacuum), and dolled myself up in the easiest way possible. Seriously, I have my own primping rules for being a presentable hostess while not stressing myself out (noticing a theme here? I totally overthink so much crap, I have to force compromises on myself so I enjoy the hosting instead of over-stressing it): slightly glammed-up basic face by adding a darker brown eyeshadow in the corner of the crease and slightly heavier mascara, the nicest hairstyle I can do that takes 10 minutes TOPS to style, and one of my go-to "hostess outfits" - nice elastic-waist black pants and one of several nice jersey tops, or a sweater dress over leggings. I always end up looking nice and feeling good without freaking out.
    We also dressed Daisy, but she wasn't into it. At least we left out the beard this year!
  • The Menu (that we provided, doesn't include what was brought):
    The Spread
    • Appetizers: Ham pinwheels (flour tortillas spread with flavored cream cheese, add lunchmeat ham and lettuce, roll up and wrap with plastic wrap, chill for at least 2 hours, then slice up); cream cheese with hot pepper jelly on top, served with wheat thins
      • My ex-stepmom D. made crockpot meatballs and they were DELISH - pre-made meatballs with Trader Joe's BBQ sauce and half a jar of orange marmalade. SO GOOD, they smelled fantastic, too. 
    • Main Meal: Slow-cooker Carnitas, refried beans and fixins' 
    • Dessert: Oreo Mint cookies (Hey, they taste good, amiright?)
    • Beverages: Water, Hot Cocoa Bar (Hot Cocoa and Liqueurs to mix in), Wine
  • Entertainment: Our favorite holiday cartoons ("Charlie Brown Christmas" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas") and movies, holiday music, and our own company! Seriously, my siblings and I have to watch those two cartoons together or it doesn't quite feel like Christmas, at least for me. (If we can't watch it together, I'll at least watch them on my own - they're my favorites!) We also exchanged gifts, which was awesome. Everyone liked their gifts from me, thank goodness!
 Of course, there's always the alternative of hosting an actual dinner party, but we don't have the space for that. My friends do, though, so we're having a potluck the day before Christmas Eve! I'm excited - we get to enjoy our friends for the holiday before we spend the holidays running around to our various family gatherings. =D Hope you find a way to celebrate with EVERYONE you love this holiday season!

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Giveaway WINNER!

    via SweatshopOfLove
    Or, you know, ONE. So congratulations to Laura! Email me at hotmesshw at gmail so I can email you the download code. And if you're Laura from my LJ days (your profile on Blogger is very non-descriptive), tell me what's been up with you, girl! =D

    I will simply assume that the problem was the prize and not the blog itself. =D I'll try to think of something more awesome to give away next time, I assure you.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    THT: Xmas Cards (and a My Memories Software GIVEAWAY!)

    So you know that review I did on My Memories, the software program? How at the bottom of it I showed off the prototype of the Xmas "card" I was going to send out this year?

    Well, I was waiting on the photos from the photo shoot my parents arranged (and let The Hubs and I have our own little mini-shoot so we could have good professional photos of just us), because I was hoping the photos would turn out good and look nice for the card.

    They did - and the card looks great, too!

    Yes, I revamped it drastically from the prototype I originally posted... and I LOOOOVE it. All the embellishments are from a FREE DOWNLOAD My Memories offered on their website. They actually have a lot of free downloads, which is awesome, 'cuz I am a cheap-@$$ b-word, yo. They have several Xmas-themed ones, and I chose "Christmas Lace" because it looks really elegant to me. =D

    Now my only problem is figuring out how to print the stupid thing out so it looks as gorgeous printed as it does as-is, but can also be mailed with little-to-no mussing (or additional postage costs, haha). Any tips are more than welcome - "Hot Mess Housewife" is not merely a clever blog name, after all, it's an accurate descriptor of yours truly.

    I'm not SUCH a hot mess that I can't give away an early ChrismaHannaKwanzakkuh gift (a descriptor coined by The Hubs - we need to make merchandise, seriously), though! Intrigued by this My Memories software I keep hawking? Like the look of scrapbooking but don't feel like spending all the time, money, paper, and glue making one yourself? Love free stuff like me? GOOD! I have 1 My Memories software package to give away!

    This is my first giveaway, which is VERY exciting! As such, I'll be gentle on myself and make this easy. Here's how you enter:
    • Comment on this blog post. (Make sure to leave a valid email address in the appropriate box!) That's it! I prefer it's a friendly comment, naturally. 
    • BONUS ENTRIES: Share this post via Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ using the buttons at the bottom of the post (each Social Media share counts as a bonus entry):
    If your Twitter/FB/Google+ usernames are different from the name you  comment on this post with, please post a separate comment linking to your share or explaining the name difference. Four entries max per person! All entries will be assigned a number in the order they were received (as best as I can approximate), and I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner!

    This giveaway is open from Monday, Dec. 12th to Friday, Dec. 16th! Winner will be announced Monday, Dec. 19th! OMG YOU GUYS ENTER, I WANNA GIVE YOU FREE STUFF!

    The software I used, the Suite, is $39.97. For my readers (do I even have any?), My Memories has offered a $10-off coupon code as well. If you just want to buy it now rather than risk the giveaway, here's how:

    1. Go to 
    2. Click on Add to Cart.
    3. Enter the Promotional Code STMMMS56332 in the Promotional Code field on the shopping cart page
    4. Finish the checkout. To download the software, go to and click on the link to download the software. Your product key will also be displayed on that page (you'll need it for installation). Install, and have fun!

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    What Works for Me: Good Food FAST at home

    As crazy as I am for the holidays, I figured this blog could use a "palate cleanser" post; even I get tired of talking about decorations. (Not THAT tired, but tired enough to discuss something else for one post.)

    This'll be a short post, too ('cuz lord knows, I can TALK/WRITE for days). The inspiration last night was realizing that I have a small arsenal of recipes that I cook when I'm too tired to cook but also want something that's homemade-tasting and cheaper than take-out.

    I wanted to post them, as well as other resources/ideas for emergency meals, because a purpose for this blog is to share what helpful tips I've learned for others who might not be as good at the art of housewifery, like myself for the most part. I'm all about education, people, even on my blog.

    So here is a list of my quick-n-tasty meals that take literally 15 minutes to cook. Seriously!
    • Pesto Ravioli and Italian Sausage -  Frozen cheese ravioli, pre-made pesto, and turkey Italian sausage (we prefer the spicy version). The sausage takes 8 minutes on the Foreman grill, and I boil the water for the ravioli while the grill warms up. I'll also throw in some frozen veggies from Trader Joe's, like their cauliflower/romanesco combo that comes with a garlic butter sauce; I nuke my servings in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes, covered with some cling-wrap (but not touching the food). 
    • Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese - I use Trader Joe's carton of tomato soup, 'cuz we like it and it doesn't taste as ketchup-y as the condensed stuff. Sometimes we eat it as is, but I'll vary it up by adding in some drained canned cannelini beans, a single Italian sausage (meat taken out of the casing and browned), and fresh baby spinach at the end and some parmesan cheese. As the soup warms up over medium heat (when it starts to bubble, I switch to low), I do my grilled cheese mise en place (thanks, "Top Chef", for helping me make grilled cheese sound pretentious!). I butter the bread (I sprinkle garlic powder over the buttered bread and spread it a little with my butter knife) and pre-set the cheeses I'm using. If you like American cheese (which I do sometimes, for the melty factor), I suggest prepping the cheese leaving one side of the cheese wrapper attached, then alternating the unwrapped slices so they're easy to grab. I pre-prep the sandwiches because once the first sandwich is done, the other sandwiches grill SUPER-FAST.

      A sandwich variation I like for feeling fancy is to make a butter compound with parmesan cheese and garlic powder for the outside, then fill the middle with proscuitto and mozzarella. Mmmm. 
    • COUSCOUS! Couscous is the wonder side dish. You literally have to just boil water! For flavor, I boil the couscous in chicken or vegetable broth, and mix in butter and a garlic seasoning mix from McCormick. I'll either mix in chopped pre-cooked chicken if I have it, or turkey Italian Sausage or chicken apple sausage (which The Hubs loves). 
      • The reason I use sausage so much, aside from it's freakin' delicious, is that it works well for me as an emergency protein. The Hubs is a devout meat-eater, and he likes sausage, plus if I forget to take meat out from the freezer the night before for dinner, it only takes about a half-hour to defrost in a cold water bath, which makes it SO convenient.
    • "Wonton" Soup - I put "wontons" in quotation marks because it's not authentic wontons; I use frozen potstickers (the chicken ones from Trader Joe's - why yes, I AM obsessed with that store!). It's SO GOOD, though, seriously. Bring 32 oz. of chicken broth to a boil, then turn it down to medium-low; add the potstickers and Asian-style veggies to your liking (I use frozen shelled edamame, chopped baby bok choy, water chestnuts, and carrots shreds), and some frozen shrimp. Watch the shrimp - you don't want them overcooking, and they'll defrost & cook FAST in the hot broth. I also add soy sauce, minced garlic, ground ginger (go easy if you're not a ginger fan - I only add about 1/4 tsp.) and a little hot pepper flakes and sesame oil to the broth, sorry, forgot to mention that! (Go slow with the soy sauce - you can always add more later, you don't want it TOO salty!)
    Some other helpful links:  YourNutritionista has 3 easy microwave meals (and other recipes, if you check out her "Easy Dinners" section); The Noodle Soup Oracle (which has some damned randomly fabulous-sounding ideas, mmmm); My Fridge Food lets you enter what you have on hand, then provides recipes!

    Hopefully these are some helpful, easy recipes! I like them because they use pre-made stuff which saves times, but they come together to create what feels like a full meal. Plus it lets me be lazy, and if I'm being honest, I'm ALWAYS going to choose the lazy route, but it saves us money and The Hubs still thinks I'm cooking. ;p

    If you have any similar "quick and easy" meals like these, let me know! I love getting new recipes!

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    The Holiday Trinity: Xmas Decorations, Including an Easy Xmas Wreath Tutorial!

    So, I love Christmas. Like, love love LOOOOOVE it. I wanna make out with it. I wanna gay-marry it in NYC, that's how much I love it. Not for religious reasons, though I do love that it's all about showering loved ones with gifts and celebrating the end of the year with your family and loved ones. Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men, baby.

    What adds to this year's excitement is also the fact that this is the first year in a while where I've really wanted to decorate. Previous years have been either because I was too busy working as a teacher to give a crap (and by the time you're on vacation and CAN ACTUALLY CARE, it's the week before Xmas so what's the point if it's only going to be up for a week), or I was too depressed because I was unemployed to give a crap. Weird cycle, I know.

    Well, this year I'm unemployed but REFUSING to be depressed about it (and I'm mostly successful in this refusal, I'm proud to say), so I had the time and energy to devote to it. This is probably the most decked-out I've had ye olde apartment, and since I'm doing it on a restricted budget, I'm ok with that.

    We actually talked about getting a REAL tree this year, which would be either of our first time's having one on our own (i.e., without our parents doing all the work), and while you can get them for a reasonable price at the supermarket, I saw a fake 6" at Big Lots with pre-installed lights for the same price as the supermarket trees - and figured since we'd still need all the crap for the real one, let's just get the fake one that doesn't require a tree stand and constant watering. We bought some cheap ornaments while there, and got out all of our other Xmas stuff (which has now accumulated to a point where I needed a bigger container for all the decorations [with some of my Fall stuff thrown in] and a separate one just for gift wrapping stuff) and Xmas-bombed the apartment.

    I only forced The Hubs to humor me for the actual tree piecing-together/decoration; we put on Christmas music and got to work. The best moment is when we plugged in the tree to make sure we'd put it together correctly, and the lights came on; my face broke out in the hugest grin because as a kid, we always used the multi-colored lights and it was so amazing to see them for some reason, that little bit of magic came back for just that millisecond. I happened to glance at The Hubs right after, and he had this sweet smile he gets on his face when he sees I'm delighted. It was a special moment for me.

    For this year's tree, I stuck to red, silver, gold, and green sphere ornaments, with some gold-edged (fake) crystal ones put near lights for extra sparkle; I also put up special-meaning ornaments I have, like the ones my ex-stepmom makes for gifts most years (she takes clear ones and decorates them with glitter and ribbon each year, and usually that fake-glitter snow inside - they're really gorgeous!) and my "baby ornaments" that my mom gave to me when she decided she didn't want to put up trees anymore.

    The blue china ornament is from our honeymoon; the green w/ white decoration is my baby ornament, the gold angel is also from when I was little, and I bought the pearl M at Michael's a while ago ('cuz our last name starts with M)
    Other decorations include a little pastiche of ornaments near the front door (my mom painted the 3-piecers!) that didn't fit in the tree's "theme" this year; some cute tealight lamps and another ornament that's too heavy to be on the tree on the bookshelf; and a welcome mat and wreath for the door.
    The "pastiche" - the Snowman ornament actually has a music box that plays "Frosty the Snowman"!

    The tealight lamps and the too heavy ornament with a secret...

    ... it's also a music box! I love the little skating scene inside. It plays "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"
    The front door wreath!
    That wreath, btw? I "made" that. "Made" meaning bought a wreath and added ornaments to it as I saw fit. (STILL COUNTS.) The best part is that I did it in such a way that I'll be able to keep using the base wreath but change up the colors/ornaments every year! It was easy, took me an hour, and I took pictures so you can do it, too! Click the "Read More" link to find out how...

    The Holiday Trinity: Xmas! My Gift-giving Philosophy


    Out of personal preference to not get TOO consumer-obsessed with it, I wait until Dec. 1st to indulge in anything Xmas-related, at least "officially". I mean, I'll casually think about it, but it's not ON until the 1st. SO IT'S TOTALLY ON RIGHT NOW, YO.

    I don't know why I love Xmas so much, but I do. It's by far my favorite holiday, other than my birthday. (YES, a birthday counts as a holiday, dammit!) I think it's the spirit of GIVING - I don't even think about what I want for Xmas (anymore, at least - as a kid, naturally, I had a mile-long list of goodies), I just love coming up with gift ideas. My goal with each gift is that it's something they can enjoy as well as actually use - but I'll err on the side of enjoy more than use most of the time. I tend to mentally file friends or family with 2-3 things that I know they really enjoy (a trait I picked up from my mom) - for example, my friend D is an old-school gamer, and equally music/bacon-obsessed. (Seriously, he had tray passes of bacon slices at his wedding as part of the appetizers - which is why we're friends. ;D)
    Unfortunately, due to the unemployment issue, I can't afford the types of gifts I'd REALLY like to buy my friends sometimes. If I had no financial limit, I could probably easily spend $50-$100 per person (if not more!). LUCKILY for The Hub's sanity, there IS a financial limit so I have to be reigned in. Oddly enough, I like that challenge, though! What can I find for my loved ones that is unique, interesting/fun, and reasonably priced? I do a lot of brain-storming and internet-searching (GOD BLESS the internet for this reason), and then I make a list in Word of who I need to buy for, what I want to spend in parentheses, and what I plan to buy for those people - and I strike the items out as I buy them, esp. if it's a gift that's made up of multiple parts... which it often is.

    It depends on my mood that year, but usually I'm fine buying one quality gift versus a quantity of gifts, but if I can't find the quality, then I'll spend the equivalent amount in quantity and getting those little fun things instead. It depends on the person, also - some people just want one good thing, others just like getting stuff. (And honestly, who doesn't like getting stuff? Well, 'cept for my friend J.)

    Anyway, to make this post a little less Christmas-themed navel-gazing, here's some (IMHO) great theme gifts I've done in the past that you are free to crib for your own gift-giving needs:
    • Movie Night Out/In: Buy a g.c. for either the equivalent of a full-price movie ticket(s) or a month's subscription to Netflix/Blockbuster (whichever you prefer), and buy a cheap basket, movie-size candy boxes, and microwave popcorn (if it's "night in" themed) - and maybe a mini-bottle of wine if the recipients are into that. 
    • Keeping Cozy Kit: Buy a cute mug, fill it with individual servings of tea/coffee/hot cocoa (the giftee's preferred poison) (and some candy if so inclined, 'cuz who doesn't like candy?), a bookmark (I usually make mine), and a g.c. to a bookstore! I've also added slipper socks or homemade things like crocheted fingerless gloves or reheatable pocket-warmers for my loved ones who live in colder states than I do.
      • "Proper English Tea" variation: Fill the mug with individual "English Breakfast" tea servings, and mini-sizes of "tea time" foods from Cost Plus - and the other stuff mentioned above.
    • Girly Fun Time: Buy all those little cute girly things in those bins at Target and/or Wal-Mart (whichever store you prefer) that only cost, like $1-3 a pop. Lip gloss, nail polish, eye shadow, glitter gel pens in their favorite colors, etc. Throw in some samples of beauty products for hair or face (My local beauty supply store gives literally 5 samples for every 1 product you buy, it's AWESOME - I have a HUGE stash of the things, hahaha). Pony up for one nice item that you know your friend will love, like decent jewelry, a digital photo keychain, or a nice scarf, and a nice bath product, like a bath bomb from Lush or shower gel from Bath & Body Works. If your girlfriends drink, a cute mini-bottle of pre-made cocktails (like Cocktails by Jenn) is a nice little finishing touch! (This is basically how I did my bridesmaids gifts, btw - which were a BIG hit with my girls!)
    Anyway, if I think of more "theme gift kits", I'll add them. I know I've done more before in the past, but I can't think of them right now, annoyingly. These are some ideas to get you going, though!

    Next gift-related post will be easy stuff you can make (and links to them), but the next Xmas post will be my Xmas decorations, including my tree! WHEEEEE, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    The Holiday Trinity: Turkey Day Wrap-Up!

    I have so much to say, and yet it feels like any more discussion of a holiday that was over half a week ago is unnecessary for everyone else while still relevant for ME, since MY version of the holiday just happened last night.

    So rather than do a long recap (which is only interesting to ME, let's face it), let's just do a list. Who doesn't like a list!

    • Despite falling a half-hour behind my self-made schedule, the food was on the table and (mostly) warm at the "scheduled" time. 
    • Turkey skin was brown AND the meat stayed juicy! 
    • The Hubs was on FI-YAH; Once all the cooking was done, I poured myself a "ghetto pour" glass of wine and relaxed; he was on the dishes like white on rice, we have barely anything to clean up! Such a great guy. 
    • Everyone said the food was great (or were at least nice enough to lie).
    • My centerpiece was gorgeous and we had a lovely table setting. Of course, I'm so caught up in hosting that I never end up taking a proper picture, but I took a pic of the centerpiece during the "aftermath":
    Et Voila.

    • My first time making gravy was a big fat fail. Well, there was a brownish liquid that looked kind of like gravy and tasted kind of like gravy, but it was bland and watery. Going to have to find an easier recipe for next time. 
    • My mashed potatoes tasted delicious, but my biggest pot could only hold half of the potatoes at a time, so the first batch of boiled potatoes kind of refused to truly "mash", so they were REALLY lumpy. Cooked through, but the starch just wouldn't let me break them down completely. (They still tasted great, but they just taste BETTER when they're smooth.)
    • The corn-casserole-in-the-crockpot burned all around the edges. Luckily, the middle was delicious and the exact texture I wanted, but it kind of halved the final output. Still, I put it in a separate dish and no one knew, so it only bugged me. 
    • I made way too much food, as usual. But that's ok, 'cuz there's LEFTOVERS!
    Using that last "fail" as a brilliant segue, here's what I'm doing with my LEFTOVERS!
    ~ Making THE ULTIMATE LEFTOVER SAMMICH.It turned out REALLY good, and it's REALLY rich. I loved it on the biscuits - and you'd think the cranberry sauce would be weird, but it's actually a perfect touch of sweet (if you spread it on thin). BTW, that's MY article I'm linking to.
    ~ leftover cranberry sauce was mixed with chili sauce (found near the cocktail sauce) and a good-sized spoonful of garlic-chili paste and poured over frozen meatballs for one of The Hubs' fave dinner/snacks for dinner tonight.

    Plus I just eat the leftovers as is. I've come to realize that I actually CAN keep eating the same meal if I find it to be really tasty and I have a "palate cleanser" meal in-between; e.g., if I had Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner, I'll be happy to eat some for lunch or dinner again as long as I had something different in between the last time I had leftovers. I know, I'm weird.

    I know this is WAY late, but I just got out of a depression episode (nothing major, just couldn't fight off the "Mean Reds" for a week), and now I'm in the thick of Christmas prep, which will be posted VERY soon! YAY THE HOLIDAYS!


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...