About Me

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ranch Dressing

As most everyone knows, I don't eat any dairy.  I am allergic to casein and lactose-intolerant.  It's really not too bad doing without most things and substitutes are readily available (for a ridiculous price, usually, but that's another post).  I hadn't tried to re-create ranch dressing because it's not a favorite of mine, but I did miss dipping veggies in it, so I made some for Christmas dinner and it is amazingly easy and scrumptious! 

I searched for recipes and tried to boil five or six versions into one basic template.  It's amazing how many "from scratch" recipes included Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch mix as an ingredient.  I mean, really!  How far removed from scratch cooking are we when adding mayo makes it from scratch!  LOL 

I made some more tonight and I think this is just about perfect, but as with all things I cook, I didn't measure precisely so it might require some fiddling.  Of course, this would also be delicious in the dairy version and significantly cheaper if you use dairy sour cream.  I had a stroke of genius that you might have already figured out, but I felt pretty darn smart.  Most recipes called for garlic and onion powder.  I don't keep them on hand because I'm a purist and just don't think they are ever as good as the real thing and I always have onions and garlic in the house anyway.  The problem was that I didn't want any chunks in my dressing and wasn't sure how to add onion and have it still be smooth, then - genius struck!  I stuck the onion in the garlic press and - voila! - smooth onion!  So, here's the recipe:

Kolbi's Ranch

1/2 C mayo
1/2 C sour cream (real or dairy-free)
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 piece onion (the size of a medium garlic clove), pressed
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
sprinkle MSG (but if anyone asks I will deny, deny, deny using this) ;-)

Mix and dip - super easy!

From Doug

I think he loves me. :-)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A reminder

We Believe...

... that with intelligent inquiry, access to education, and utilization of informed choice and disclosure statements, parents are the sole best decision-makers about their own maternity care, for no one mode or place of birth suits all families.

I was just on the Friends of Missouri Midwives website and read this simple statement for at least the thousandth time, but it really struck me tonight.  It is the statement that I have had to fight to have the legal right to practice.  And so many others have fought so much harder and given up so much more, all to give Missouri families the simple privilege of doing what is best in their situation.  That this idea would be able to cause so much heartache is a sure sign of a broken system, that those with money and influence can remove a parent's right to utilize a profession proven by scientific study and time.  It is a travesty of the way the legislative process should work.  I hope that common sense is able to seep back into the legislature with each new class of legislators as we purge some of those who listen with their greed instead of their mind.

It's almost PIRATE time! And random updates...

Today was my last Saturday at Chili's for the summer!  Next week I start back at the Pirate and I'm SOOOOO excited!  I just love it there and we have had some perfect Lake weather.  I took out all my summer clothes this week and found my apron and server book and all my Jolly Roger shirts, it felt like Christmas! 

Chili's has been a bit better lately, I don't know how much is my attitude, knowing I'm almost free, and how much is the restaurant actually improving, but it's been easier to like going there the last week or so. 

I did have a bit of a surprise when I tried on some of my summer stuff and found it all too small, as it turns out, I'm getting a bit chubby. :-)  I found some great stuff at the thrift stores this week, though so I don't have to squeeze into my clothes from last summer.  I will probably slim down once I start the Pirate, but I'm certainly not going to exercise or quit eating so much, I'll just keep buying bigger clothes (Doug likes me a bit curvier, anyway). :-)  I have some days where my mom's voice slips in saying, "you can never be too rich or too thin" but I usually don't believe it.  I feel healthy and content, so being a little soft around the middle is probably okay.

It's Tracy's weekend, but he brought the kids in to eat at Chili's tonight with the Schollmeyers.  It was such a nice surprise!  I miss them when they're not here. :-(

They start baseball and softball this week and I'm going to miss a lot of games and practices because of work, but going to work supplies the money to allow them to play, so, what's a girl to do?  At least this year Doug will be able to be the representative from my household some days so I don't feel like only their dad is participating.

We have a plan this year to save for vacation to make sure nothing sneaks up on me that would make us have to cancel.  Every day Levi is in charge of collecting $9 from me and putting it in our Destin fund.  I work nearly every day all summer at either the Pirate or Chili's (the plan is Chili's on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Pirate the rest of the time, unless it's raining and then I can pick up a shift at Chili's) and so if I save $9 a day from May 1 to August 31 I will have $1107 for vacation.  The goal is $1000, but we figured a little buffer would be good.  I would love to be able to save enough to also go see Kara for a couple of days at least, but that involves plane tickets and I just don't know if we can swing it, maybe Doug will get a big raise this summer and can treat us. :-)

When I came home last night I found this on my stove:
A new stockpot (which I've had on my wish list for quite some time) and even better -FULL of Peeps!  I have a ridiculous addiction to Peeps (hmm, wonder why my clothes don't fit - I mean, they're fat free... hee hee).  This is definitely one of those times when I am reminded how lucky I am, not everyone would have squealed and giggled over kitchen ware and clearance marshmallow, but Doug really knows me.  He is amazing and thoughtful and - I'm not entirely sure why - completely in love with me.

I think that's all for the updates, we are all happy and healthy and without any drama, so I can't ask for more.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pics of kidlets

Kara is on my case about not keeping kidlet pics updated, so here are some recent ones:
Levi and Missy

Doug beating Levi up after a snowball battle (trust me, they are both enjoying this)

Our front yard makes for great sledding/rolling/falling
Paige's favorite is to have someone push her "penguin style"
How adorable is this?!  We babysit Kain a couple days a week and she begs to carry him in the sling!