Here on the frontier, There are falling leaves, Although my neighbors are all barbarions…And you? You are a thousand miles away. There are always two cups on my table.

Posts tagged ‘budget’

What’s up With Toddler Birthday Parties

I should have known something was up when my sweetie Moonbeam daughter in law agreed that I should  take  granddaughter Starlite to Spencer Henry’s Birthday party.

I picked up a reluctant Starlite who is 2 1/2 years old.

“Don’t you want to go to Spencer Henry’s party?”


That was my first clue that this unexpected windfall of semi private time with Starlite was not going to be all that.

Apparently childrens parties are no longer held in said children’s homes. Now they are held in specialized amusement facilities. Complete with Cinderella castles, ball rooms, mini roller coasters and padded walls.

For $25 a head you get use of the gaming area, a party room with balloons, a sign, a completely set up room for the party and a number of numbed out young adults paid to make sure the young party goers don’t crack their tender skulls on any hard surface.

It’s a bargain.  I think.

So Starlite joined the melee and I joined the many parents and younger siblings and various other grandparents standing around in a stupefied group watching the youngsters go mad with excitement all of us thinking the same thing…

No, not what a ridiculous party for a 3 yr.  old.

We  were thinking, whose kid will vomit first

and will we have to clean it up???

I lucked out when Starkite needed a diaper change at cake time. (Thank you God).

I bypassed the changing room which only access was through an impressive gift shop and headed straight for the car.

I changed Starlite there and convinced her what an awesome party that was but  now we were going home.

Having a full social schedule, Starlite was aware of missing cake so we side stepped to a local bakery and bought a cupcake suitably decorated for a birthday.

That satisfied her.

Girl was tired and I was wondering. What’s the dealio with birthday parties and parents today. When my kids were growing up we sent cupcakes to school to share with classmates and that was it.

Maybe I’m behind the times.

What do you do for your kid’s birthday parties?

This is gmom and little Starlite wondering….what’s going on.

Make Your Own Mayonaise! In 5 Minutes.

Mayonaise is used in so many dishes.

Last night I was cooking for my troops and I ran out of mayonaise.

Luckily from our time living overseas when getting simple foods like mayonaise was a luxury I learned how to make it.

In my ” pampered” American life I haven’t bothered to make it in a while but last night I did.

I forgot how easy it is!

Even better how much money you save by making it on your own!

And!!!! It tastes really good!

All you need for one quart of mayo is:


5 Large egg yolks

– 6 teaspoons of lemon juice

– 3 1/2 cups of vegetable oil

– 2 tablespoons of sugar

– 1 tablespoon of salt

– 1 teaspoon of garlic or onion powder (or both)



In a food processor or a Kitchenaid put your egg yolks and lemon juice.

Mix for a few seconds and let sit for a minute.

(The acid will pickle any germ or bacteria in the egg yolk. Using raw eggs always carries a slight risk of bacteria, letting it pickle reducing this risk.)

Turn on the food processor and very slowly begin adding in the oil in a very thin stream.

When you have added in half the oil, pause to add in your sugar and spice.

Finish adding in the oil. Remember to continue to do so very slowly.

You did it!

Now transfer the mayonaise into a clean container and refrigerate.

It’s an easy way to save money and cut all the additives out of this kitchen staple.


This is gmom cooking up in the kitchen today wishing all you bloggers out there a happy day.

Peace out.

The Meateater’s Side Dish: Steak and Peas

For tonite’s dinner we are having moroccan chicken over basmati rice and steamed broccoli.


Bart walks in, you know Bart, he is my 23 year old son who works the biofuel business with his dad.

“Can’t we have some meat?”

I hate to dissapoint my boys, especially one like him who works so hard.

12-16 hour shifts driving one of the oil trucks through Maryland and DC sucking oil from restaurants during their dead night hours.

It’s dirty work and the boy works as hard as his dad does.

“Course there will be meat.”

I have a chuck steak, only about a pound in the freeze but I know a dish everyone loves.

Steak and Peas


You will need:

– 1 chuck steak cut into half inch pieces

– 1/2 cup chopped onion

– 1 bag frozen peas or the fresh equivalent

– 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock

– 2 teaspoons corn starch

– 1 teaspoon garlic powder

– 1 teaspoon seasonall or Lawry’s seasoning



– In a large skillet fry up the steak for 5-7 minutes.

– Add in the onion and continue frying for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.

– Sprinkle on the garlic and seasonall.

– Pour the peas into the skillet and stir. When peas are heated through pour in the chicken stock.Turn the heat to low.

– In a small cup mix corn starch with a small amount of water to form a thin paste.

– Add the corn starch to the skillet and stir keeping the pan on a low heat.

Serve warm.

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