Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sheldon A.K.A. Speedy Gonzales

It’s apparent that Sheldon is her father’s daughter. They both are addicted to the intoxicating high they get with the wind whipping through their hair when pressing the gas pedal to the limit. Sadly, her recent meet up with flashing blue lights were impervious to her blond cuteness and it added another 2 points to her growing count.

The first time she was pulled over was 1 month into her shiny new driving freedom pass. “Mom…..sniff, I just got a pulled over and got a ticket” she said in the high tight voice that only high strung Italian greyhound dogs can hear. “Dad is going to KILL me.” Oh honey child, when I first met your dear old daddy, his license was suspended for too many tickets. And so the circle of speed begins.

Last year was an avalanche of those pesky tickets. First, photo radar clocked her doing 47 mph in a 35mph zone. Off to traffic school you sweet you thing, no worries you can go once every two years and no troublesome points to rat to you out to the insurance company. A few weeks later I happened to be a hostage/passenger in her little Ford Focus. “My love, you seem to be driving a teeny tiny bit fast for Mommy’s liking, umm 78 in a 65 might get you pulled over.” Snarling as only an overly sensitive young adult can…..” its fine, I drive like this all the time.” Okie dokie Smokie, I just tightened my belt and checked that the airbag was poised to be activated. Not one week later a little someone got pulled over doing EIGHTY EIGHT in a SIXTY FIVE. Yes indeed, criminal speeding for our little drag racer. Fortunately, the judge took pity on her and reduced it to civil speeding and oops three points rather than shiny handcuffs.

Every conversation at her last trip inside the familiar courtroom started the same way. They all quizzically asked why she didn’t take the remedial driver’s class. In her mind she was traveling with the flow of traffic, not that she wasn’t eligible for an afternoon jail sentence. In the end, she lost, another two points to her pinball tally. This week’s gig will hopefully make her feel a little better.

Low Fat Bisquick Oven Fried Chicken
2 pounds meaty chicken pieces with skin
2/3 cup Bisquick reduced fat baking mix
1 ½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Place butter in 13x9 pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and place pan and butter in oven while it’s preheating. Combine bisquick, paprika, salt and pepper in a large resealable bag. Rinse chicken with water and place in bag one or two pieces at a time and shake to coat well. Place meat in pan, meat side down. Bake 35 minutes, turn pieces over and bake an additional 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her I was once pulled over by a cop skulking behind a tree when I was about her age. I told him he’d scared me hiding and I stepped on the gas instead of the brake. He laughed so hard he popped the button on his pants and told me to move along as he scurried back to his cruiser. Whew, dodged a bullet that time.

So on a side note, Mrs. Tuna has been have a pretty crappy month at work, so crappy she doesn’t even feel like blogging. So think good karma thoughts for improvement at the slave market, or she will have to rest her head on her keyboard since nothing funny will come out. However, getting more followers might perk me up.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Buzz the Birthday Boy

Next week will be my dear old daddy’s birthday. His parents nicknamed him Buzz for being an incessant chatterbox…..or perhaps because his real first name, Alsdorf, was a tad unique they felt compelled to provide an alias. But he fancies himself to be a Mister Fix It but let me tell you how life was through the eyes of a child. Buzz likes to say his greatest accomplishment was that he raised seven children and none of us ever went to jail, at least that he knows of.

With eleventy million children my parents opted for an oversized jailhouse to keep us little hellions contained from roaming the streets. But, Buzz’s solution to maintaining the prison gray color was to paint one side of the house every year as his summer project. He was positively gleeful on the years he got the “short end of the house. His daytime gig involved working as an executive for a company that produced roof shingles. His came up with a winning solution for creating a basketball court for the little thugs to burn off energy. He would take the roof scraps, spread them in the backyard and they would compact into a hard surface. Ah no, it was like dribbling a ball in wet sand.

His mad skills translated indoors as well. A small plaster crack in the staircase turned into a bit of a cluster. Buzz accidentally bought outdoor stucco but thought heck, how different could it be. Very different. When it adhered like concrete, he opted to create a textured swirling circle pattern up the entire stairwell. If you brushed up against it you could actually draw blood. Dad likes nice hearty meal so here’s this week’s gig.

Beef and Ravioli Soup
½ pound sirloin steak cubed
2 tablespoons butter
Olive oil
1 rib celery chopped
½ onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 clove garlic minced
½ teaspoon thyme
2 cans beef broth
28 ounce can whole tomatoes chopped
½ teaspoon salt
9 ounces tortellini or ravioli
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Flour steak and brown in olive oil and set aside. Melt butter in Dutch oven. Add celery, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme and slat and cook on medium for 5 minutes. Add broth, steak, tomatoes and bring to boil. Continue cooking on medium for 20 minutes. Add tortellini and cook for additional for 10 minutes. Ladle out a bit of hot broth and combine with cornstarch to make a paste. Return to mixture and stir until soup thickens.

We could talk about the time he decided to paint his aged faded Cadillac, himself. He decided to use his old college colors to honor his alma mater . The body was red, doors, trunk and hood black. With a paintbrush, leaving big giant streaks. He was so proud, we were horribly embarrassed. It was better to walk home in the rain at midnight then be subjected to that little humiliation. One time, when he went to fetch his lovely bride from the airport, a gang of hoodlums laughed so hard that my mom refused to acknowledge him and¬¬ called my brother to pick her up.

The thing that attracted me the most to the Big Tuna was how incredibly handy he was, the polar opposite of Buzz. Something incredibility sexy about a man with a hammer and his own air compressor. But Dad’s the man, compassionate, volunteering in his community to help others. The thing I remember loving the most was riding in the giant station wagon singing songs with his deep bass voice harmonizing with ours. So here’s wishing you a happy day from far away, Happy Birthday Dad.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The First Supper

Hard to believe I’ve reached the one year milestone. I had delusions of grandeur that I would faithfully post a shiny new blog post every week displaying my writing prowess, score an amazing book deal and quit my dumb job at the slave market. Well now I’ve falling a bit short of this lofty goal and I’ve even had a few reposts but crap, I’m doing the best I can for Pete’s sake. My first couple of posts only gleaned a few paltry comments, mostly from my family who felt only pity for my sad little project. But I feel since we’re all new BFF’s I would commemorate my one year anniversary with my very first post for you critique.

Hello blogger world! Welcome to my small corner of the universe. Why, even though we work all day, we are all faced with the age old question, "What's for Dinner" when we walk in the door. I suppose since I have never changed a flat tire, my spousal unit considers turn about fair play. The difference being I've only had about 5 flats my entire life and dinner is expected 365 days of the year. My goal is the same as many, to spend minimal time in the kitchen so I can spend my off time enjoying my life with the Big Tuna (same significant other).

My mom ran a catering business on the side, so my family members relegate me to peeling potatoes and washing dishes since they believe they are better around the stovetop then me. My friends however are the first to belly up to the table for seconds. I hope you find this blog helpful in pulling things together for a meal and make you a rock star with your family and friends without driving yourself over the cliff. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy the company and pour yourself a glass of wine before commencing. Let the games.

As we approach springtime in Arizona we are entering the calm before the inferno. Grilling now is perfect as opposed to July when you can just throw the food on the sidewalk and it basically cooks itself. I feel like the first official recipe should be a little fancier then the basic in and out of the kitchen. It will however follow the basic rule of minimizing my time in the least favorite room in the house.

Fancy Smanchy Salmon
Salmon fillet, no skin or bones. Typically, I buy a piece from Costco which will feed 8 main courses.
Dijon Mustard
3 Tablespoons capers 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced and browned
1 can artichoke hearts quartered 1 ruby red grapefruit
Place the salmon on a large piece of aluminum foil big enough to enclose all the ingredients. Heavily smear the top of the fish with Dijon mustard. Sprinkle the capers, mushrooms and artichokes over the top. Squeeze the juice from the grapefruit over the assembled dish. Roll the ends of the foil and enclose the fish in an aluminum pouch.
The joy of this particular dish is that you can cook it on the grill or in the oven depending on the weather and the crowd. Set the grill to medium high or the oven to 375 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. The way to tell if it’s done is to stick a fork in it and twist it. If the fish turns easily, you are good to go. A great side is grilled asparagus, just coat with olive oil and grill for 3 to 5 minutes.

And there you have it, my first attempt at public humor. During the year I’ve noticed the post that has had the most disturbing amount of page views is New Adventures of a Naughty Schoolgirl. Google search makes me feel a little bit dirty. Note to self, during the next year I will strive to pick post names that will raise me out of the gutter…….and perhaps score that book deal after all.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Punish the Wicked

Spinning so many plates is actually making me a little motion sick. I’m not thinking that Dramamine is going to fix me up. I’ve had one of those inferior weeks where no matter how many chains of four leafed clovers or lucky rabbit foots I carried I couldn’t catch a break. On a scale of 1 to10, this was a minus 47.

First, I’ve acquired a new little stalker at ASU. Being late to lectures causes me to get there psychotically early, so early in fact I can’t even get into the lecture hall because the previous class is still sleeping in there. A slightly creepy middle aged, shoulder height, chain smoker has started to sidle up to me to compare reading assignments. I don’t want to hear you whine about how going to school full time is so hard for you, ummm….I’m doing the same plus working full time bucko. Stop blowing smoke rings at me or I’ll spray you with Fabreeze. Just because we can both remember the 80’s doesn’t mean I’m in the market for a new study buddy.

Next, I met an old boss for lunch to pick up a letter of recommendation for a potential scholarship. A five minute drive turned into a Beat the Clock episode. I literally got ever f*cking light, a construction zone and a blinking railroad crossing. I’m trying to make a good impression for Pete’s sake. On the way back to the slave market it was smooth sailing. Of course I couldn’t read how amazing I am at stop lights and had to wait until I was back in my veal fattening pen.

I stopped at Circle K for gum and waited patiently behind a well-dressed 5oish man. We exchanged pleasant smiles and remarked on the lovely weather. “I’ll take 20 Mega Picks, 20 Powerball, and 10 Pick 5. Oh and Slutty Magazine with the free XXX disk. “ Ewwwww……. This week’s fare is easy except it causes you to dirty every dish in your kitchen.

Gringo Spanish Rice
3 cups cooked rice
1 pound ground beef
1 green pepper chopped fine
1 small onion also chopped fine
2-16 ounce cans tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese

Brown beef, onion and green pepper in a skillet. Combine beef mixture, rice, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with parmesan cheese. (Don’t ask it’s delicious.)

I pulled a loose thread from the cuff of my suit sleeve which led to an ugly unraveling and a droopy sleeve. It made me look like a sad neglected office gnome in need of some TLC. Thank goodness I had a stapler and knew how to use it. Hardly anyone noticed my sparkly ring of fasteners. At least it wasn’t as bad as the time I got into the mirrored elevator on the 30th floor and noticed my skirt tucked into my pantyhose, for WHO KNOWS HOW LONG. It was either April Fools or maybe the fates are just punishing the wicked this week. Hopefully you all fared better than me.