Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Almost Here

So, tomorrow's the big day. Poor ol' Blake's gonna be a whopping 32 years old. *snort* Not that I feel bad for him or anything. I'M going to be 34 not long after. No sympathy...

We've managed to avoid the family so far, but that will change tomorrow without a doubt. It's really sad when you'd rather have your husband's ex-wife pick you up at the airport than his family. But, um, well, have you met his family?

Now, I guess I ought to sneak over to Dana's and wrap Daddy's presents for tomorrow.

~Ali, refusing to give in to those big blue eyes and tell him what he's getting

Monday, June 16, 2008

So, Why Did God Make Oklahoma Anyway?

Surely, just to torture me and wonder why oh why?

Blake’s mother has convinced him he needs to come home for his birthday this year. Oh yay. Just what I wanted to do. Pack up my 2 ½ year old son, my 5 month old daughter, and FLY to Oklahoma just so I can listen to her, her ex and his new wife and all the siblings whine about how my husband can’t ever make a smart choice.

Add to that the fact that SHE has a place just down the road from him and I’m screwed. This is so not going to be a vacation. I’m just thankful we got to have Father’s Day to ourselves, mostly. Blake lied (good boy) and told his mother we couldn’t get an earlier flight out, so we didn’t even arrive until early evening. Delayed us enough to have an early lunch as a family. He felt guilty, but it didn't seem to affect his appetite any.

We got time to ourselves. Just us. He’s not proud, but he’s happy. And you better believe I'm a gonna keep you updated...

~Ali, soon to be on a Rampage

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Chef for Hire

My brother, God love him, isn't the world's greatest cook. So, in an effort to surprise his very pregnant wife, he enlisted me, ME, mother to two (three if you count Blake and I usually do), tired and dragging, to help him out in his effort.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a good love story.

Something simple, he says, something tasty, he says. But nothing else. Huh? Um, help here pal…

So, what I decided on was this. Thank you, Rachael Ray.

You Won't Be Single For Long Vodka Cream Pasta Recipe (um, hellllooooo… he's already married… even if it was pretty shotgun-like…)

(Courtesy Rachael Ray)

This recipe will make enough for 2 couples. If you plan a romantic evening where more than two's a crowd, reserve half the sauce to freeze for another supper before the addition of basil, and only cook 1/2 to 2/3 pound of penne.

(It's obvious she's never had to feed either my brother OR my husband…)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, once around the pan in a slow stream

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, minced

1 cup vodka

1 cup chicken stock

1 can crushed tomatoes (32 ounces)

Coarse salt and pepper

16 ounces pasta, such as penne rigate

1/2 cup heavy cream

20 leaves fresh basil, shredded or torn

Crusty bread, for passing

Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Add oil, butter, garlic, and shallots. Gently saute shallots for 3 to 5 minutes to develop their sweetness. Add vodka to the pan, 3 turns around the pan in a steady stream will equal about 1 cup. Reduce vodka by half, this will take 2 or 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes. Bring sauce to a bubble and reduce heat to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

While sauce simmers, cook pasta in salted boiling water until cooked to al dente (with a bite to it). While pasta cooks, prepare your salad or other side dishes.

Stir cream into sauce. When sauce returns to a bubble, remove it from heat. Drain pasta. Toss hot pasta with sauce and basil leaves. Pass pasta with crusty bread.

Just don't forget the extra vodka needed to soothe your very frazzled nerves at the end of the cooking…

What's that, Blake? Oh, of course I'm still nursing. Nooooo, not me. I'd NEVER dream of drinking while nursing your child. *whispers to audience* I've always wondered if that was what happened to him…

Yes dear.

On my way, dear.


Can't live with 'em and you still can't shoot 'em…

~Ali (and her leftover farfalle with vodka sauce…)