Archives for August 2010

Where Are the Girls?

I’m in the kitchen doing dishes when I realize it’s absolutely silent. Silence, when you have three kids, is not good. I know Tater’s upstairs watching a cartoon. The girls are, or were, playing in the living room, which I can clearly see from the kitchen, except that they are nowhere to be seen. I  can see the tornado of toys that is also known as my living room, but no babies.

I see the TV is off, which is odd because it was on when I started the dishes.

I hear a weird rubbing/bumping sound…then giggling. I look at the space in between the TV and the wall and find this:

They have unplugged the TV and are taking turns eating the plug.

You Know You’re a Mom When…

  • You say things like “Get out from behind the TV”, “Don’t eat the plug”, and “Quit trying to poke your sister in the eye with the plug” and they don’t sound at all weird

  • Although you think your house is pretty well baby proofed, your year old twins will find and take delight in playing in the one area you never even thought needed to be baby proofed

  • Silence, when there are three kids in the house, is not necessarily golden

I am beyond excited to make this announcement: You Know You’re a Mom When-sDaze is now my meme! Arizona Mamma over at Our Daze in the Desert knows how much I love this meme. She asked me the other day if I would like to take it over…and of course I replied YES, YES, YES! So if your post describes the ways you know you’re a mom, please feel free to link up!

And, this is also for Wordless/Wordful Wednesday. Hope it made you crack a smile 🙂

And so it goes…

Some Like It Hot: What Is A Ghost Chili?

What is a ghost chili? Naga Jolokia…I’ll explain…
I love the show Man v. Food on the Travel Channel. The show, which stars Adam Richman, a self proclaimed food fanatic, travels across the country in search of eating challenges at restaurants big and small. Adam eats all kinds of crazy things in the challenges; a 6 lb. fritatta, a 10 lb. stuffed pizza, 180 oysters…you get the idea. Sometimes man wins the challenge; sometimes the food beats the man. It’s an awesome show and I love watching it. My favorite challenges are the ones in which he has to eat spicy things…usually chicken wings drenched in hotter-than-hell sauces with names like “Devil’s Blood”, Ludicrous Wings, Atomic Hot Wings, etc. Watching this show is what first made me ask the question: What is a ghost chili?
Anyways, I think I love those challenges so much because I love spicy things. I’m talking nose-running, eyes-tearing-up, need-to-drink-milk spicy things. Before I had the kids, I loved spicy hot salsas, spicy hot sauces, HOT, HOT, HOT! Extra jalapenos on nachos? Yes please! Tabasco on my pizza, popcorn, or eggs? Yep. Since having the kids, my mouth just can’t handle the heat the way it used to. Chili powder, cayenne pepper, and crushed red peppers are still staples in my cooking repertoire but I just don’t use as much. Except Tabasco. I still loves me some Tabasco.

If you know anything about peppers, then you know that the heat from the peppers is measured by the Scoville rating scale:

When some people think “Tabasco pepper” they think HOT. Like me and hubby, the majority of my family also likes spice, and regularly use Dave’s Insanity Sauce to heat things up. If you look on the chart above, Tabasco Sauce is rated at 2,500 – 5,000 Scoville units…a jalapeno pepper is just a bit spicier than that. You know where Dave’s Insanity Sauce ranks? At 180,000 Scoville units! Now that is HOT!!

What Is A Ghost Chili?

Why am I telling you all of this? Because on Man v. Food, we have been hearing a lot about the hottest pepper on the planet – the Naga Jolokia….also known as the ghost pepper, ghost chili, or cobra chili. Wanna know where it ranks? 1 Million Scoville Units! That is f-ing hot, right?!
So we got the brilliant idea that we should buy some seeds and plant them. Grow ghost chilis. Why? For the novelty? Maybe. To actually eat them? No way in hell. Not me anyways. My dad and hubby might give it a shot. But we just wanna see if we can grow them.
I ordered the seeds, which were about seven bucks for fifteen of them, through eBay. All of these types of seeds are shipped from Thailand. These little seeds, that look like crushed red peppers, came with warnings! Do not handle seeds without wearing protective gloves. Do not handle seeds and then touch your face. Do not put seeds in your mouth. Do not plant where children or animals can get them. Eating them can be harmful and can cause damage to your digestive system.
So I donned my gloves and planted them in small pots. They are now sitting in 3 little pots behind the shutters of a window in my kitchen. Above the sink. Where Tater doesn’t know they are. And where he couldn’t get to them if he tried. We’ll see if they grow. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.
Crazy? Yes. Stupid. Absolutely! But we want to see how hot these little peppers actually are. We figure if we cut just a tiny piece of one and pop it in some salsa, we’ll know!

Steaks with Bacon Bourbon Sauce: A Date Night Recipe

This is one of Jason’s favorite meals. It’s also one of the first recipes I made when we started dating and I made him dinner. It’s rich and hearty, and is beyond-describable-good! It’s steaks with bacon bourbon sauce. And mushrooms. and wine. I don’t know where the original recipe came from, but I’ve been making this for more than 10 years now, and the recipe has been tweaked to suit our tastes.

It does take some time to make, which is different from most recipes that I share. It’s not a difficult recipe to make, yet there are lots of steps. It will take close to an hour to make it, but trust me when I say that it’s worth it. Make it a date night by opening a bottle of wine and chatting while you’re putting it all together!

Steaks with Bacon Bourbon Sauce

This recipe for steaks with bacon bourbon sauce is perfect for date nights or a special meal. It takes awhile to make, but is worth the effort and time!

Steaks with Bacon Bourbon Sauce
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Recipe Image


  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine - use good wine that you would drink, not cheap stuff! Make sure to drink the same wine with dinner for the "wow" factor!
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-3/4 cups canned beef broth
  • 1-1/4 cups canned chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig or a pinch of dried thyme (that's what I use)
  • 8 ounces bacon (or more!), cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 package sliced button mushrooms
  • 4 1-inch-thick beef tenderloin steaks
  • 1 tablespoon good bourbon


  1. Boil wine and garlic in heavy medium saucepan until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Add next 5 ingredients; boil until reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Set sauce aside. (This sauce can be made 1 day ahead. If you do make it in advance, let it come to room temperature, then cover and chill.)
  2. Cook bacon in a heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Pour off all but 1-2 tablespoons drippings from skillet. Add flour to drippings in skillet; whisk to blend. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Gradually whisk in sauce; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in another heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until brown. Remove mushrooms and keep warm.
  4. Add the rest of the butter. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to plates.
  5. Mix bacon, mushrooms, and bourbon into sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over steaks.

Enjoy these steaks with bacon bourbon sauce and hot spinach salad recipe or loaded mashed potatoes, along with a bottle of Petite Syrah – it makes a fantastic, romantic dinner for two! Sound too heavy? This recipe definitely packs a bunch and would be delicious with a green salad or a side of veggies and a crusty French bread. Bon Appetit! No room for a sweet dessert? This adults only coffee would be the perfect finish.

I love sharing recipes that use wine as an ingredient because it adds so much flavor to the dishes. As a bonus, it also adds moisture to food so it’s perfect to use when you’re using a crock pot. This Changeling Chicken recipe is a perfect example (and super tasty, too!) You’ll find more recipes with wine as an ingredient here.

Looking for more dinner ideas? I’ve got lots of them and so much more on Pinterest!
Visit Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s profile on Pinterest.

The Fine Art of Vacuuming

People, trying to vacuum with two now-totally-walking girls chasing me around, followed by their 3 year old brother, leaves a lot to be desired. A lot. A simple chore has turned into a challenge that I’m not sure I can win. First, I get the vacuum cleaner out of the closet. Then, I go pick up toys, bottles, blankets, and clothes scattered across the floor…complaining all the while about the mess – but nobody listens or seems to care. The picture above is what I come back to; the vacuum pulled over and Ms. L and Ms. M fighting over who gets to flick the little lid that opens up on the handle.

Sometimes vacuuming has to wait so that the girls can check out the vacuum as shown in the pictures below. And they feel the need to check it out every time I pull it out of the closet. Ms. M goes straight for the attachments while Ms. L tries to take the vacuum apart. She has figured out how to push the button to get the canister off.

Ms. L getting ready to take the canister off the vacuum as Ms. M watches and eats an attachment
Success! The canister is off.
Ms. L trying to eat the canister, Ms. M munching on the attachment, and the dog investigating.

And if that scenario isn’t taking place, I might actually be vacuuming…like this: Ms. L loves the vacuum cleaner and tries to ride it – as I vacuum. Ms. M hates the vacuum cleaner, and tries to ride my leg…I’m guessing so that the vacuum won’t eat her. Since Ms. L is on or right in front of the vacuum, Tater decides that he wants to play with her. So now I’ve got two kids right in front of the vacuum fighting playing, and one kid sitting on my foot crying.


Ms. L is trying to pull all the attachments off the vacuum as I’m trying to vacuum…or she stands right in front of it…or helps push it. So I’m watching baby toes instead of where I’m supposed to vacuum. Meanwhile, Ms. M is trying to rip the plug out of the wall so that it turns off. I go over to plug it back in and distract Ms. M by putting her somewhere else with a toy to play with, while Ms. L is trying to “eat” the attachments. I go back to put the attachments back on and make sure there’s no debris in her mouth, while Ms. M is already back over at the plug. Now Tater is fighting to get the attachments away from Ms. L, and she’s crying. And now Ms. M is also crying because I won’t let her eat the cord. And Tater is chasing the dogs around screaming and the dogs are barking.


Why, you may ask, do I not just vacuum while they nap? I don’t know. That would just be too easy, I guess.

And so it goes…

Word Up, YO! Week 12

This week is a big week for the family. The Dons of the family have never before trusted any Made Man to be involved in our decision making process. This week though, we allowed Amy from The Adventures of JAMC to select the WOW! for week 12. Not only did she step up and participate in the Word Up, YO! scavenger hunt of Week 10, she found more words than any other Associate and is now a Made Man. She has been a loyal member of the family from the start, and we see her continuing to move up the ranks.

But before we announce the next WOW!, there’s some business we need to take care of. All of our Associates really stepped up this week and there weren’t any mediocre Word Up, YO! posts that we came across. There were several that stood out to us, but there can only be one winner.

While Anne at AJD + Three is happy being mediocre, her post was anything but. She caught our attention and was one of the top contenders for this week’s win.

We laughed and jumped up and down (yes, we know it’s very un-Don like, but this is the Nerd Mafia, right?) as we read how Mom of the Perpetually Grounded describes her mediocrity.
Move Over Mary Poppins wrote a haiku that was far from mediocre. She was also a contender this week for the win.

But without a doubt, one of the best posts that we read this week, also just happened to be a Word Up, YO! Associate. Congratulations to The Great Mama Experiment!

In the eyes of the Nerd Mafia, you are now a Made Man.

Please contact one of the Dons to received your code for the official Nerd Mafia button.

word up yo,vocabulary meme,nerd mafia
Good luck to all! And maybe next week, you’ll be “made”, too!

Throw your pocket protector in the ring this week by following the rules below.

* Use the Word of the Week (WOW!) in a post as many times as you legitimately can.
* Use the WOW! correctly in your post, we’ve included a definition to guide you on this journey
* Include the Word Up, Yo! button somewhere in your post
* Write a post with the WOW! and link it up anytime during the week the linky is open (Sunday-Friday)
* Link up below to your relevant post, not your blog home page please

That’s it! No mandatory follows, no mandatory comments. Visit as many other linked blogs as you can.

At the end of the week, the Nerd Mafia will decide on a “winning” post. We’ll feature the winning posts with the new word. A new Word of the Week and featured post will be published every Sunday.

Now, without further ado the Word of the Week, as chosen by Amy from The Adventures of JAMC is:

That cannot be doubted; patently evident or certain; unquestionable.
The indubitable fact is that there are no more woolly mammoths or saber-toothed tigers around.
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You can also play at my partners-in-crimes’ sites, the other two members of the Nerd Mafia:

Liz from a belle, a bean and a chicago dog

Kristin from Taming Insanity

And so it goes…