Sunday, August 30, 2009

Umm, how's that again?

I read it three times before I saw it and started laughing ...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fresh Tomato Pie

Today I used the fresh tomatoes sent home with us from Iowa by Holly, to make a Tomato Pie. I used a recipe from my friend Susy, who got it from her friend Char who we lost to cancer last year. So tonight's meal was in memory of Char, and in honor of friends and family.

You start by layering shredded mozzarella and fresh basil in a double-layer of pie crust (I use Pillsbury refrigerated but homemade would be good, too, if you do that type of thing!)

Then you layer fresh, sliced tomatoes. The original recipe calls for Roma, but I used these (no idea what variety) from Holly - I just made sure I removed as much water (juice?) from the slices as possible so my pie wasn't soggy.

Then you place a layer of sliced pepper jack cheese, and cover with a second layer of tomato slices.

Finally, you cover the tomato layers with a spread of mayo, more mozzarella, fresh Parmesan, and fresh garlic. Then pop it in the oven for a half-hour.

When you take it out, the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly and hot. The smell is amazing, and everyone in the room will drool in anticipation!

We enjoyed it with a baguette and a Caesar salad .... and finished the meal with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. DEE-LISH!

Full Recipe:
2 Pillsbury pie crusts, layered in pie pan
Then layer:
Shredded mozzarella (about 3/4 - 1 cup)
Fresh basil leaves (to taste)
Sliced Roma tomatoes (maybe 4 small or 2-3 large?)
Sliced pepper jack cheese
Sliced Roma tomatoes (about same amount again)
Mix: 1/2 c mayo, 1/4 c fresh Parmesan, 4 cloves minced garlic (or more to taste - I use 5-6), 1 c shredded mozzarella. Spread on top.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let sit 5 min before slicing.

Monday, August 24, 2009


It would seem that Charlotte and her web are alive and well, comfortable and thriving on Jack & Holly's porch,
right there in beautiful Mitchellville, Iowa.

From Iowa with Love

Brian & I took a quick trip to Iowa this weekend. Drove down Saturday morning and back again Sunday evening. In those 36 hours or so, we went to the Iowa State Fair
(pretty close second to the Minnesota Fair! Not that I'm biased or anything ...), played too many card games (I was the designated loser, apparently), ate wonderful home-grown tomatoes, learned a ton about homing pigeons, drank a bottle of Iowa Wine (a first for me, thanks, Lonnie, for leaving it there for Holly & I to enjoy!), and had plenty of time to relax and visit and laugh.

This all started when Lonnie - Brian's cousin who lives in Norway - was pining for a deep-fried Snickers bar. I volunteered to eat one for her - that's just the kind of person I am - and we were planning on doing it here in Minnesota. But then we thought hey, let's really meet Lonnie's needs and eat it at the Iowa Fair - the place her memories were made - and the fact that this way I get to do it twice - there, and here - never entered my mind. Nope, sure didn't.
So off we went, and now, this coming weekend, we will go to the Minnesota Fair, and we will compare the deep-friend candy bars, the largest boars, pumpkins and bulls, the rides and the pizza, the displays and the crowds.
I think this may be the beginning of a beautiful tradition.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No moving for us this year

Well, today the decision was made. I am taking the townhouse off the market. After six+ months of trying, I am giving up on the idea that it is going to sell at a reasonable price (heck, I haven't even had any unreasonable offers. There's just been no interest at all.)

So that means we are not buying a house, it means the dogs will still need to be walked 3 times daily as opposed to being let out to run in the yard, and it means I will still have to drive the boys back and forth to school.

But it's not the end of the world, by any means, the townhouse is very comfortable and this means I don't have to move all our stuff, which certainly makes my fall less chaotic.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed, though.

Friday, August 14, 2009


So I went out for dinner tonight with 3 amazing women, and I admit it, I drank a little more wine than I might usually do - but I wasn't driving, and it was so good, and they had a 25% off special on the wine.

After returning home, I just sat in the glow of friendship - seriously, I sat here thinking about all the incredible women in my life, and how important they are to my well-being. I am tempted to start listing them with something specific I thank them for, but I know I would forget someone and I would hate to do that so I won't make the attempt.

But women - true friends - are so incredibly valuable in life. We get each other through relationships, parenting, loss, employment (or lack of it), weight gain or loss, relocation, and pretty much anything else you can think of. We support and love one another and offer unending and unconditional acceptance.

I couldn't survive without my girlfriends. And were it not for the wine, I would probably be able to go on for several more paragraphs and express myself far more eloquently. But for now I will just say it again - I couldn't survive without my girlfriends.


My son just created a Facebook account. He is 14. Right now he & I are FB Friends. But should we be?

Should I be seeing all he posts, and (perhaps more importantly), should he be seeing all I post?

What do you do - parents with teens with FB accounts? Looking for guidance here ...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Working again ...

Thank you all for your patience with me whenever I snap at you "DON'T ASK ME IF I HAVE A JOB YET."

I still don't have a job. But I am working today (well, would be if I was not here blogging. I am actually going to go away from my house to work for a while because self-discipline is not my strong suit.) (As evidenced by the blogging that I have convinced myself is necessary because I promised so many of you I would keep you up-to-date on the employment front, a promise I made to soften the rudeness of my snapping at you last time you asked.)

I contacted a former client, one I have worked for in the past but not for the past several months, asking (begging, really, if you need the whole truth - I need some income that badly) if there might be a project for me to work on. She said yes! So today I am working on a smallish writing project, maybe 10 hours total or a little less, and I just got an email from her saying she has a lot more work if I am interested as she gears up for the fall busy season (she caters to the educational world.)


So I am still sending out resumes and still being rejected regularly, but at least I will be generating a little income, and using my mind for something other than Sudoku and Scramble and blogging.

Thanks for caring :-)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Nature is cool, ya know?

Tonight we went to see the Awards Festival of the "Quiet on the Set" short film competition my nephew entered. His film won an audience choice award, but unfortunately you had to have the judges choose you - not the audience - to get a trophy or any cash. But we are all terrifically proud of him, anyway!

After the awards, we wandered through south Minneapolis to Minnehaha Falls. Ben swears he's never been there (he has) and Ty announced with authority that he was just there a few weeks ago on his final 6th grade field trip of the school year. Brian can't remember the last time he was there, and I ran around saying "this wasn't like this when I was a kid" until both kids were rolling their eyes at me.

It was getting dark, and the neon lights of Dairy Queen across the street were calling to us, so we didn't stay long, but it was still beautiful.