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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Fast Food- The Horror

I typically don't eat fast food more than once a week, but I swear, 90% of the time the order I receive from one of those places is incorrect.  I'm not sure if I'm just a bad-service magnet, or if this is a problem everywhere.  I can't tell you how often I have to swing back to the drive-thru or call the restaurant manager once I get home and find out they flubbed my order.  I always try to check the bag before leaving the window, but that's not always enough.  Plus, I sometimes forget.  Sue me.
I thought this blog would be a good place to document my horror stories, as a way of sharing my pain and as a big "EFF YOU, you stupid bastards" for ruining my, (or worse, my kids'), meals.

So, last week I went to my local Taco Bell and ordered a few things.  After receiving my order, I checked the bag, and it appeared that everything was there, but when I got home realized that the ONE THING I really wanted was not in the bag.  So, as typical, I speed-dialed them and told the manager how, yet again, they screwed up my order.  Now they OWE ME a Crunchwrap Supreme, damn it, but it's going to be another month before I'm craving one again.

Then, over the weekend I took the kids to Dairy Queen for lunch.  They've been begging me to take them there for weeks, and I finally caved.  Since I had a sick child with me, we did the drive-thru thing.  Big Mistake.  The cashier took my money, then handed me my bags, which I carefully checked,  then she handed me my drink, which was over-full and spilled all over my car door, me, and the center console.  I tried to grab some napkins, only to fine NONE in the bags.  Seriously??  I ordered a greasy-assed lunch for three and you can't give me a stinkin' napkin?!  I had to knock on the window to get their attention and then thrust the cup through the window and told them it was overflowing.  If the drink is pooling on the top of the lid, it's TOO FULL, people.  After getting my drink back, I drove away, then pulled over a few minutes later in a parking lot to open my sandwich, only to find they'd put "cheese" on it. 
Now, I specifically asked for "NO 'cheese' " when I ordered, and the order-taker even repeated it back for me, but did they follow through?  Hell no.  I had to go back to the DQ drive-thru and tell them that they messed up my hamburger, and tell them I wasn't pleased with the lack of service they'd given me.  I watched the girl take my hamburger past SIX employees who were standing around, goofing off, and push the sandwich back to the cook, while explaining what happened.  I then saw the manager ask her what was wrong, and after she explained it to him, he said, "oh", and continued to stand there, leaning against the counter.  He couldn't be bothered with something so trivial as an unhappy customer.

I kinda hate to admit that once I finally got the correct hamburger, it was very tasty.  We won't be going back to DQ anytime soon, though. 

Just a heads-up:  I've been craving Arby's Jalapeno Bites lately, which might require a trip there later this week.  That's a sure bet to give me some fodder for the blog.

Posted at 08:26 am by ChefGrace
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Friday, March 13, 2009
Food Friday- Banana Bars

I've been inspired recently to blog more regularly. I have a few ideas for some features I'd like to bring to these pages, but in the meantime, I thought I'd return to my blog roots and post something food-centric today. It didn't take me long to decide what to post today, as I've had cookies on the brain lately.

I've spent many hours this last month trying to perfect a Girl Scout bake-off recipe for my daughter. She's only 9, so it needs to be an easy-to-make cookie, but should also be delicious and something more original that the standard chocolate chip or peanut butter varieties.

I'll share the recipe we decided to make after the competition is over next weekend, (can't have any of those other moms stealing my recipe!). In the meantime, I give you another amazing cookie recipe. Technically, it's a bar cookie, which is the easiest of all to make, since you put all the dough in one pan and bake it all at once. This one is frosted, which only adds to their appeal.(Hah!)

Try it and let me know what you think!

Sour Cream-Banana Bars with Browned Butter Frosting
Source: Modified from Betty Crocker's Best of Baking.
Makes 4 dozen bars

1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs
1 ½ cups (3 large) mashed bananas (go ahead and use up those black ones!)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 C. chocolate chips
Browned Butter Frosting (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour 9" X 13" pan.
Mix sugar, sour cream, margarine and eggs in large mixer howl on low speed, scraping howl occasionally, 1 minute. Beat in bananas and vanilla on low speed 30 seconds.

Beat in flour, salt and baking soda on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips. Spread dough in pan.

Bake until light brown approximately 25 minutes. Cool:

Frost with Browned Butter Frosting. Cut into bars, about 2x1 1/2 inches.

1/3 cup margarine or butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
About 2 tablespoons milk

Heat margarine over medium heat until delicate brown. Mix in powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla and milk until smooth and of spreading consistency.

The original recipe calls for 1/2 C. nuts. We like chocolate chips in them better, but you do whatever floats your boat.

Posted at 01:29 pm by ChefGrace
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009
First Grade is all about Image

Yesterday I wrote a note to send with Jacob to school, and as I was doing so, he told me he wished we had sticky notes that weren't butterfly-shaped. I asked him why and he said it was because they embarrassed him.


So, I pulled another butterfly-shaped sticky note out and wrote: "buy some manly sticky notes".

Posted at 11:22 am by ChefGrace
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Friday, February 20, 2009
Home Sweet Blog

It's been a while since I last posted, (what's new, right?), but I haven't completely forgotten this blog. 

Facebook has become my latest go-to for social networking and creative outlet.  Although, let's face it~ when you're mother to three young kids, being creative often isn't anything more than making sure their tater tots are browned evenly on all sides.

I do have some plans for this blog, and hope to begin my new project soon.  Meanwhile, here's something fun for you to do today instead of watching the clock at your desk.

Draw a House

Posted at 08:09 am by ChefGrace
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008
On Being One

Erin's 1st birthday was the 14th of December.  I anticipated the day, knowing she'd enjoy her cake, as she'd already shown a fondness for chocolate.  I also was excited to put her in the outfit I had prepared for her weeks in advance, (handmade tutu, embellished bodysuit, and legwarmers).  Mostly, I knew she would love the giant Elmo balloon I picked up that afternoon.  The day did not disappoint anyone.

Here she is, playing with the balloon:

She got some great presents, too, and we all had a great time celebrating with her.

As I was uploading the pictures from the party, it made me think back to the 1st birthdays my other kids had, so I thought I'd get out the pictures and compare them.  It's interesting that Jacob was the neatest of the three, and Alex was the biggest mess, (no surprise, though).  I'm posting the pictures of each kid with maximum cake/frosting on them.

Here's Erin, enjoying a homemade vanilla cake with milk chocolate frosting:

Here's Jacob, (a little over 6 years ago), eating chocolate cake from a bakery:

And here's Alex, (almost 8 1/2 years ago), wearing her cake:

Aren't birthdays great?!

Posted at 10:06 am by ChefGrace
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