Saturday, April 26, 2008

Vacuum Cleaner Heaven

Our Kenmore vacuum cleaner, who served us faithfully for over six years, was taken to the garage last night and put to sleep. She'll now serve as a shop vac (which is vacuum cleaner heaven) sucking up sawdust, plain dust and dirty air.

She's gone to a better place. (Can I get a hallelujah!)

No longer will she be forced to choke down chunks of
dried up Little Caesars pizza crust. No longer will she suffocate on size three Thomas the Tank Engine training pants that languished in the dusty behind of the boys' dresser. She'll finally be spared breathing itsy-bitsy shreds of junk mail that went through our "shredders" (child #1, child #2, and child #3). And no more Christmas wrapping paper.

She had the heart of a fighter and the soul of a tornado. We will miss her.

So, this Thursday, May 1st, I will drive down to Sears, pick out a new model, and drive her home.

Here are my priorities:
1. Has to be upright (because canisters aren't powerful enough)
2. Has to be bagged (because bagless vacuums are dirty, dirty, dirty)
3. Has to be a Kenmore (because I trust the brand)
4. Has to have suction to the edge (otherwise the edge of the room doesn't get clean)
5. Has to be a normal color (sunflower yellow doesn't do it for me)
6. Has to have a couple attachments and a hose (because I like to vacuum out my car and van)
7. Has to have a dirt sucking meter (so I can watch the light to see if I sucked all the dirt out)

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Sister Knows Alfredo

I love calling my sister for dinner inspiration. She's always on a different page of the cookbook (so to speak), so she's a great one to turn to for some fresh ideas.

The other night I called her, begging for her Alfredo recipe that she frequently turns to on nights where she's too poor to eat out. Bless her soul, she gave it to me. Alfredo. Simple, yet oh so satisfying.

I know that this is not authentic. Who cares?

Here it is, ladies. (And for heaven's sake, don't use pre-minced bottled garlic.)

Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour (white or wheat)
2 cloves garlic (pressed with a garlic press)
2 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded asiago or Romano cheese (shredded from a hunka, hunka cheese)

First, take that green cylinder of grated Parmesan sawdust that you were thinking of using in place of the asiago, and throw it in the trash.

Next make a roux from the butter and flour. Add the garlic. Add the milk and whisk. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the shredded cheese. Add more than the recipe calls for, if your heart so desires.

Eat it with pasta and maybe some chicken or broccoli. Serves 4 adults (probably).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Your Breakfast (A Sassy Little Blueberry Bran Muffin)

There she sits, with eleven of her sassy friends. The world's most perfect Blueberry Bran Muffin. Never mind that she's low-fat. It doesn't matter--you'd never dream of eating her without a healthy smear of salted butter on both halves. She's loaded with plump, steaming blueberries, and surrounded by sweet, ever-lovin' bran and wearing a darling little pleated skirt. You're tempted to reach for the most perfect muffin in the world, but instead reach for one of her friends nearby.

So, there she sits, now with ten sassy (but a wee nervous) friends.

I invite you to make a batch of these muffins today. They are sweet, light, moist, and everything a muffin should be. Better yet, double this recipe and give some Low-Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins to someone you love.

Low-Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together bran, milk, applesauce, egg and brown sugar. Mix the dry ingredients and add to wet ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Scoop into muffin tin that has been lined with paper muffin liners. (For extra precaution, you may wish to spray muffin liners with non-stick spray--still, some goodness may stick to the liner.)

Bake for 20 minutes. While still warm, spread a healthy dose of butter on each half.

Makes 12.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Modern American Housewife

What ever happened to the Modern American Housewife?

Here I the dream, sans the high heels, pressed frock and coiffed hair. Here I am, baking fresh cookies, doing laundry, scrubbing toilets, and keeping the peace. And not necessarily in that order.

I am a rare breed. Though somewhat isolated and a teeny bit crazy, I enjoy what I do and take the art of homemaking seriously. I believe that happiness is a warm bun, that cleanliness is next to impossible. I believe that by small
means the Lord can bring about great things. I believe that the hand that rocks the cradle needs a little rock 'n' roll once in a while.

Being a full-time homemaker brings opportunities to expand talents and abilities. As one of my friends asks, "What's your thing this week, Heather?" And I promise, every time she asks, I'm doing something new. The purpose of my blog is to chronicle those daily discoveries and share them with other homemakers.

So, what ever did happened to the Modern American Housewife? She doth not slumber, neither doth she sleep. She's is alive and kickin'! And up to her elbows in cookie dough, soggy diapers, laundry soap and toilet bowl cleaner. (Am I right, ladies?)

And not necessarily in that order.