Thursday, June 17, 2010

Ace is the Place

We moved here almost four years ago.
And one of the first shops Robert went to was Ace Hardware.
We dont' remember what it was he needed (keys copied, somethign for the lawn mower?)
Anyhoo for some reason the service was bad.
So we decided to boycott.
Well this week we needed some air filters and a drain auger and I just didn't
feel like Driving 15 miles to Baytown or 13 miles to Atascocita,(to the Lowes) so I stopped into
Ace Hardware.
Much to my suprise they were awesome and friendly and gave us a great deal on the air filters
(buy a box of 12 but only pay for 10)
So now that we can't remember why we were boycotting them, I'm now a fan.
Definatly had the "friendly hardware man"
Today the girls and I had lunch with Arcalee and then swam for about 3 hours at the pool with Kristen Nelson and Kaitlyn.
It was a fun fun day.
We first met Kristen and Kaitlyn 4 years ago at "cheer kingdom" the girls were just 3 and 4 and Alice didn't cheer the whole year, but I would ALWAYS run into Kristen in and around Crosby.
Then this spring I was at a Girl Scout Leader Meeting and there she was again and we camped with them at Lake Livginston and I'm glad to get to know her for real.
The girls had a blast and so did I.
Also since Kristen is "from crosby" she knows everyone or at least their brother and so its fun to learn about everyone she went to high school with and she also was one of my mother in law's students, "back in the day"
With the exception of the Ace hardware picture, I forgot to take any other photos- silly me.
Again I can't wait to see the boys tomorrow.
They called and had been on a pirate cruise, Life is good for the Mullens Boys.
Oh and I cooked a pork tenderloin tonight.
It was yummy and easy and well healthy too! (I seasoned it with Tony's and cooked it for 30 minutes ina 475 oven- a variation of a Rachel Ray recipe)
I also made this Giant Green Salad
I got the recipe from my friend Rebecca Jones Food Blog (you can find her on "keeping up with the Jones" ont he side of this blog- I digress)
I was real excited to make the salad, because it's her recipe that's printed in a Taste of Home issue, she's a food editor. But like most things I don't read the directions all the way through.
When I was cutting up the lettuces I thought, man this sure calls for a lot, then I read the directions for the dressing and I thought Holy COW- that's a lot of oil- and then I read the bottom- Serves 85!!! 85 Ay Caramba, and then I considered the title, "GIANT" green salad- so then I giggled and cut the recipe down to about 1/5- It made me think of the cookbook Adrienne, Heather, Jenny, Breezy and I put together one night for our old Memorial Park Ward, there was a recipe in it called Manwacos that served 106 --we giggled so much that night.
Anyhoo Alice and I loved the salad sooo much that we'll make it again and at my next Church Dinner we will make the whole recipe and serve 85 of our closest friends!
Have a great night.

More of Camp Alice and Joely

See how cute they can be?
We had Emily with us and then we picked up Anoi, Keegan and Mya to come see the
"Jack and the Beanstalk" play at the community center.
By just getting there 20 minutes early the kids got to sit on the front row- woo hoo. They were as good as GOLD during the performance. When we checked in the volunteer asked if I was a day care center. That just made me laugh, because the answer is no, but I did bring 6 kids with me.

This is Joely's favorite part, the refreshments.
For the craft they let the kids plant a bean sprout. Very cute. Another fun thing is it's run by the senior volunteers, and they always say how cute my kids are and that makes me want to go back. You always see some strange people, and I can't help but eavesdrop-- so naturally I have a good time too- LOL
Afterwards we went to the Pool and had fun, however we went a little late and around four o clock it was inundated with teens, scantilly clad, and a lot of parents so we have to get there early enough to leave by three, the kids don't like a crowd---where do they get that from?
Today will be fun too, Lunch with Miss Arcalee-FINALLY I dont' even remember the last time we got together.
And tomorrow the boys have their triumphant re-entry into Crosby.
They've been missed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More Summer Fun, starring Joely and Alice and featuring Emily

With the boys away, we thought it would be the perfect time for
a girls sleepover. This is Emily Skanks one of Alice's BFF's from Girl Scouts and Church.
She's super funny and the girls are very much alike.
In fact they even look quite a bit a like.
Mostly they are silly.
The boys have friends over a lot (of course not as much as they would like) but A LOT.
The difference is they are busy killing each other on Halo or Left for Dead 2, where as the girls
Did nails, played littlest pet shop, pretty ponies, barbies and their sweet Nintendo DS games. We also watched "Princess Diaries, Royal Engagement" and the girls laughed at me while I cried during the wedding scent.
Robert and I pulled out the futon couch so they could sleep unencumbered by the TV.
The boys sleep wherever they pass out, usually holding a controller in one hand.
It was a fun evening and today proves to be fun too, A play at the community center and swimming before we take Emily home tonight.
It also promises to be filled with Giggles and Silliness and quite possibly new nail polish, we'll see.

This is at Emily's house, (before the sleepover)they have the cool backyard pool, the way the picture is taken, Alice looks like a giant, but her and Emily are about the same height.

Emily has a cute little brother named Earl Jr. who is the same as little Joely, they had fun yesterday.

On the banks of the crystal clear San Jacinto River Beach.
If you are a dedicated follower, this lovely beach has been blogged about many times,
If this is your first time here, this is one of the amenities we get in our neighborhood for our
$40 a months homeowners fees.
I love the silly beach.
It's in the neighborhood, so if we get down there and I forget the cooler, it's not like anyone is going to die of starvation, we just have to cut the visit short.
Also if I feel like going to the beach but don't' want to invest a whole day, well then here we are.

Alice is a natural for the camera- I love this swimsuit. So many of the suits this year were hoochie mamaish, and this one is nice and modest and Alice loves it.

Again, crystal Clear.
So maybe it's not the spring fed Guadalupe, but it's in my own backyard and it is a great way to beat the heat on Mondays when the pool is closed.
And like David says, "BEST OF ALL, no lifeguards yelling, Adult Swim"

Monday, June 14, 2010


For the past three summers, Quentin and I

have been excited by the

"Next Food Network Star" Competition show.
It's inspired some delicious dishes.

We've laughed, We've Cried.

(We've kissed one hour of tv good bye)

But this week my little Q-Bone is on a vaction, so I was watching it alone last night.
Don't feel too bad, he was soo full from eating his weight in shrimp last night that he couldn't even talk to me- He and David are on South Padre Island with Rob's parents.

One of the challenges the contestants made a Lasagna and my stomach was growling, but it was midnight so I went to bed and just dreamt about it..

So today I searched for recipes for a veggie lasagna.
I used different sources and tweaked things here and there, so I proclaim the masterpiece,

Kareena's Lasagna.

(Per Chef Adrienne, if you make a recipe and change it enough it becomes yours. In fact I changed the Chicken Salad recipe enough that she even said that is mine, and I got it from her, the highest compliment she could give me)
You'll notice one side has a lot of cheese, that's for the lactose tolerant of the family.

Here is my recipe, one day I'll have my own show called,
"Cooking with Quentin and his mama"
but for now, enjoy my food photography and delighful comments.

Imagine, if you will, a 30 minute program where I make funny comments and cook delicious meals for anyone to recreate.

First the sauce

Sautee One Chopped Medium onion, 3 celery stalks chopped fine, and about a 1/2 cup chopped carrots (the holy trinity of vegetable seasonings) in about 2T of Olive Oil and 4T of minced Garlic
After about 5 minutes add two (28 ounce) cans of Diced Tomatoes.
Stir well
Kosher Salt, Pepper, Oregano and Thyme to taste
Add 4 Bay leaves and simmer for 30 minutes.
In the meantime in a heavy pan, sautee in olive oil
2 chopped zuchinis and
2 chopped yellow squash
After about 5 minutes add Spinach until it wilts.
Oh yeah, also cook the lasagna noodles before all this.
For the Cheesy part-
Mix one container of Ricotta with 2 eggs and a container of shredded parmesean cheese. Add Garlic Salt and stir real well.
Now just assemble your layers.
At this point I would have these awesome pictures but Blogger is not letting me add pictures the way I want so I'm giving up -wah wah wah-
Any hoo layer it, and then cook it uncovered at 350 for about 45 minutes, longer if you want the top cheese to be nice and crisp.
Make sure to end with Mozarella on top.
Sorry Rachel Ray, it took longer than 30 minutes but it was "delish"

What Summer Means to Me

My favorite thing about Summer is staying up late and sleeping way TOO LATE!!! Joely epitomized this today. Last night She stayed up way past midnight and this picture was taken today at noon. She rolled out of the rack in time for lunch. Now we are "fixin" to go to the River Beach in our neighborhood. For the record, I woke up at 9:30 which was AWESOME-- While I was at seminary graduation, President Banks mentioned how even though he no longer teaches seminary he still gets up at five am to study. I'm not delusional, I am not attempting that and I was glad he didn't pronounce it in terms of "divine inspiration" because frankly I'm not sure I could handle that edict, this summer- For now staying up late and sleeping late are summers' greatest joys and since all the camps are done with, we can all do both!

Shallow Day -TWILIGHT (what have you done to my wife?)

Holy Coupons Batman