Change of Plans

Oak St Lot 26, Kingsland, TX 78639

Hubby is retiring in exactly one month.

It’s exciting.  It’s terrifying.  It’s overwhelming.

We are going through massive changes in our lives and I am not one to deal well with change.  But today, we made a decision that I feel good about.  It totally changes our plans.  No more log cabin.  Instead, we put in an offer on a lake front lot.  It will allow us to buy an RV and travel for a year or so.  This gives us a home base to come back home to.  So cross your fingers, your toes, say a prayer, send good vibes.  Whatever you do, hook a sister up.

Time to go get rid of approximately 90% of what we own.  No pressure.

 

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Cooking tamales in a pressure cooker

I did it.  I succumbed to the peer pressure.

I bought a pressure cooker.  We don’t do anything half assed, so we bought a giant 10 quart so we can feed our herd.

First, we used it to make the pork roast for our tamales.  Because it’s Christmas eve, and tamales.  It’s tradition and shit.

Once we had all the tamales rolled up and ready to steam, we realized that as usual, we went a little overboard and had more tamales than would fit in our two giant steamers.  So I pulled out the pressure cooker and tested a batch.

 

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We didn’t have enough to fill the giant 10 quart pot, so I stuffed some aluminum foil around the edges to keep them upright.  Then I added three cups of hot water to the bottom of the pot and cranked that puppy up.  I clicked pork and then adjusted the time to 22 minutes.  I honestly didn’t expect them to be done.  But they were.  I was wrong.  I can admit it.  It doesn’t happen often so it’s all good.

 

22 minutes later and I had perfectly steamed tamales.  Not dry, not undercooked, just right.  I was seriously impressed.  We had already invested a few hours into this, so any time savings is worth it.  So now we know.  Yes, you can steam tamales in a pressure cooker.  But seriously, what can this thing NOT do?

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Food in Mugs

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I hate baking.  And not just because my last name was Crocker.  That means I should love baking, right?

I also hate sweets.  Which should mean I weigh a whole heck of a lot less than I do.  But I don’t.

So when my kids ask for a dessert, I break out one of my mug recipes.  That way, they can get which ever dessert they want and I don’t have to hear any complaining about why they didn’t get to pick this time.  Mug recipes also prevent the lingering of desserts in the pantry.  And I know a whole lot of Moms who need to not have that sort of thing lingering around.

I got tired of telling my girls how to make their favorite mug recipe, so I put it on a mug for them so they always have the recipe handy.  All they do is mix in the ingredients on the mug and microwave for 75 seconds.  (where to buy a mug)

Now if only I could get them to clean up after themselves.

Here are a few of my favorite mug recipes

Chocolate Chip Mug Cookie

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Apple Pie Mug Cake

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Pumpkin Pie in a Mug

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Nutella Mug Cake

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Brownie In a Mug

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Salted Caramel Mug Cake

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Mac and Cheese in a Mug

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Peanut Butter Cookie Mug Cake

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Pizza in a Mug

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The best way to reheat leftover mac and cheese

mac-and-cheese-copyToday’s half assed mom tip is How to reheat leftover mac and cheese without ending up with a rubbery lump of crap no kid will eat.

The secret?  Milk.  Pour some milk in the bottom of the pan, warm it up and dump in your congealed lump of leftover mac and cheese.  As the milk warms up the mac and cheese, it will separate and return to it’s original state.  Voila!  Macaroni and Cheese that’s as good as they day you made it.

Don’t half ass this even more and try to do it in the microwave!  Yuck.  Just clean the damn pan.

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First trip to Disney

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I have a confession to make.  I have never been to Disney.  Not Disney World, Not Disney Land.  Nothing.  Until now.  I finally made the trip to see what all the hype was about. And to take the girls.  That too.

 

When I travel I like to be prepared.  Like Boy Scout prepared.  So I read every article I could find, I asked every Disneyphile I know.  Hell, I even asked the cashier at the grocery store for tips.  Nobody said the same thing.  So basically, we had to wing it.  We only did two of the parks on this trip and we had to decide which two, so we went with Disney Land and Epcot.  Mostly because they seemed like the obvious choices for a newbie.

 

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Things I love

 

  1. They let you bring in a backpack with food and drinks.  I have one with food allergies so bringing our own snacks is incredibly helpful.  I don’t have to worry about cross contamination and her getting sick while shaking MIckey’s hand.  Plus, it saves money.  LOTS of money.  We took snacks that won’t get yucky in the heat or smashed in the bottom of the bag.  I grabbed some of the mickey shaped snack packs with apples and pretzels.  My daughter felt like she was getting Disney snacks and I saved a few bucks.  We brought nuts, pretzels, apple slices, beef sticks, etc.  It’s amazing how many foods you can find with Disney characters on them.  Even the beef jerkey sticks had Elsa and Anna on them.
  2. The park is clean.  Very very clean.  Disney obviously spends a great deal of time on park maintenance.  People mentioned this to me but I didn’t think it would be a big deal until I saw it for myself.  
  3. The Disney characters rock.  Like for real.  They stay in character the whole time.  My youngest went in costume and they treated her like a princess.  Even the non costumed staff called her princess.  It totally made her day. Her week, hell, it made her year.  She still tells everyone she got mistaken for a real princess at Disney.

 

Things I hate

 

  1. It’s crowded.  We went on a weekday in April.  How crowded can it really be?  Really.  Really.  It’s not just crowded, it’s packed with strollers and motorized carts.  My toes got run over by some crazy old lady bound and determined to beat us to space mountain.  Too bad we already had it on fast pass, you crazy old bat.  And what the hell is up with all the strollers?  Why can your six year old not walk around the park?  If your kid is old enough to push the stroller, don’t jam up the walkways with your massive double stroller for him and his stuffed animal.  Did I mention it was crowded?
  2. Sucky rides.  I get it.  Disney is for kids.  Even my kids said the rides were lame.  If I had to sit in one more shell and listen to songs while plastic characters popped up from behind rocks I was gonna scream.  Even better, all this excitement was after standing in line for an hour.

 

Thanks I suggest

  1. Wear comfortable shoes.  I don’t care how cute your new sandals are.  Don’t do it.  Wear shoes with good arch support and that fit well.  You don’t want blisters or achy feet at the end of the day.  
  2. Bring an autograph book.  It has become my daughter’s most cherished possession.  I am going to take pictures of each autograph and send it in with photos we took and turn it into a book for Christmas this year.
  3. Sunscreen.  And advil.  
  4. A light jacket.  Even when it’s hot during the day, it gets cool at night.  We took light weight jackets and rolled them up and put them in the bottom of the back pack.  I was glad we did.  It’s late, getting chilly, your kid is tired and whiny.  You can stuff the jacket in thier mouth.  Kidding.  It’s just one less thing for them to bitch about.
  5. Fast Pass.  We loved getting to fast pass the rides with longer lines.  We also fast passed a couple of character meet and greets.  Those lines are super long and it makes your kid feel special to go to the front of the line.  
  6. Bracelets.  We did not stay at one of the disney parks, so we had to buy them.  My girls still wear them because they picked which ones they wanted.  We didn’t have to worry about pulling out your card every time you got to your fast pass time.  We just waved our wrist over the scanner and in we went.
  7. Disney Ap.  Download it.  Now.  For real, you must have it.  It keeps your schedule, tells you where you are in the park and even how long the lines are.  
  8. Restaurant reservations.  You have to book them in advance.  Some times months in advance.  You can not get into any of the big restaurants without reservations.  Period.
  9. Be flexible.  It’s about the kids.  Keep telling yourself that.  Sometimes, again, and again, and again.  If you spent days planning your schedule and little Johnny decides he doesn’t want to ride the ride you fast passed, skip it.  At the end of the day, he will be exhausted and sleep hard.  You can reward yourself with a glass of wine or four.  

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To see more pictures of our trips, follow me on instagram @austinmomof7

 

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