gag-gle noun \ˈga-gəl\ : a group, aggregation, or cluster lacking organization, which is exactly how I feel about my family every day.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


This year I tried to start making costumes early so I wouldn't be doing last minutes stuff.  It sort of worked.  The kids got costumes, but not with all the detail that I had planned.

At least we got pumpkins carved a week before the big day!

We looked at images online to carve, but in the end both kids just wanted to do a face.  They each picked out a pumpkin that they were excited about.  Reese loved the odd-tall pumpkin and Liam was excited to pick out a pumpkin small enough for him to carry around all by himself.

We've given up on real candles, and this year's dollar store electric tea lights change color!

Now for costumes.  

Reese wanted to be Link from the video game Zelda because she has watched her aunt Kenzie play the games and loves them because she knows Kenzie loves them.  I was going to be Zelda to go with her costume, but if you've seen Zelda, you know making a costume for her would be no easy task.  So I hopped on the Star Wars band wagon with Liam.
Reese:  Link (Zelda video games)

Liam was torn between Obi-Wan Kenobi or a storm trooper.  Costco had storm trooper costumes, which would have saved me some time, but in the end he picked the Jedi.  

Liam: Obi-wan Kenobi

After rejecting Zelda, I chose to be Han Solo (relatively easy costume) and Will then decided he would be Princess Leia to match. 

Anna: Han Solo

 I started making Will's costume, but then worried about embarassing the kids, so we switched him to Darth Sidious, the bad guy who shoots lighting from his hands. 

Will: Darth Sidious

Will and I were able to go to an adult party the day before Halloween this year, which I thought was fun.  Then we did trunk-or-treating.  We handed out some pencils, tops, balloons, and stickers as participation in the Teal Pumpkin Project (#tealpumpkinproject), which is a movement to be inclusive of kids who have food allergies and therefore have a hard time with Halloween festivities.

 Will took the kids around the block for a little trick-or-treating on the way home, and then the kids filled up their treat boxes and I got to keep the rest!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Sneak Peak

I finishes sewing the major components of the kid's Halloween costumes.  

Also, Peach found a turtle in our yard.  We kept it around for a few days while we tried to locate the owner, but then ended up having to take him to the animal shelter.  But it was fun while it lasted.

Oven Fried Chicken

I planned on making oven fried chicken today, but when I went to my Pinterest board I found out that my favorite recipe pin had been removed!  What to do?  I looked up some other recipes, but they called for corn flakes or breadcrumbs or something that I didn't already have on hand, so I made up my own!  And you betcha I'll be pining it so when I forget that my old recipe is gone I'll find my own in its place! And, btw, it was DELISH.

This recipe is enough to make 10-12 pieces of bone-in, skin-on chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs).  I made 5 thighs and 5 drumsticks.  Plan ahead!  You need to bake for 1 1/2 hours.

But aside from the long baking time, this recipe is pretty easy:

Soak your chicken

Wipe your baking sheet with shortening

Mix your seasonings

Coat your chicken pieces and pop into the oven

Drizzle dry spots with cooking oil

Continue cooking until you have crunchy skinned, moist chicken

Chicken Mix:
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt (or regular table salt)
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
Other stuff:
3 1/2 lbs, or about 10-12 pieces of chicken thighs/drumsticks (bone in, skin on)
1/4- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup buttermilk*
Cooking oil for drizzling

*(I never have buttermilk on hand, so I use 1 cup milk mixed with 1 Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, and let sit for about 10 minutes)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place buttermilk in a large mixing bowl and add chicken.  Mix chicken until every piece has been dipped completely in the buttermilk.  Let sit while you prepare the pan and mix.

Line a large baking sheet (preferably one with a rim) with aluminum foil.  Using a paper towel, scoop about 1/4-1/2 cup shortening and rub the foil to coat.  Rub it on fairly thick.

Add all of the Chicken Mix ingredients in a gallon size zip-top bag.  Seal and shake to mix.  Add the chicken pieces, 2-3 at a time, to the bag.  Seal with a lot of air in the bag and shake to coat the chicken.  Remove chicken from bag and place the pieces on the shortening-coated baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces until all pieces have been coated.  Discard remaining chicken mix and buttermilk.

Bake in oven for 1 1/2 hours until golden brown and crispy.  After 30 minutes of baking, check chicken and drizzle oil (I use a canola/olive blend) on any dry white spots.

Serve with napkins because this is finger-licking good!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Today is Agents of SHIELD day for me (the season started last week but since I'm too cheap to pay for the program I have to wait a week after each episode airs to watch it)  and I'm super excited, and I don't know anyone else who is excited so I will watch it by myself and not have anyone to talk to about it.  That's why I'm posting it here.  I just needed to tell someone, even if that someone is just the empty interwebs.