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Monday, March 19, 2012

Grilled Apple & Cheese Sandwich

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A grilled cheese is just a grilled cheese right? Yea, not so fast! 

Growing up, a grilled cheese sandwich was exactly that. Butter the bread, put the cheese in the middle, grill, voila! Bam! done! A grilled cheese was always just a grilled cheese. Except for maybe when Gram made them, cause hers were always better than the rest. Maybe it was because she put so much love into them...You could always count on a grilled cheese sandwich when you went to Gram's house. Thanks Gram for all the wonderful grilled cheese sandwiches and all the love over the years! 

Fast forward. When I met my husband, I knew he had some strange eating habits. For instance, he puts mayo, lunchmeat, and cheese inside his grilled cheese sandwiches. The first time I saw him do this, I thought I was going to puke. It was so weird. Alas, I tried it, and darn it he was right again. It's actually good. However, it's still not my preferred method of grilling cheese!

A few days ago I came across a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich that had sliced apples in it. Yep, apples. I thought to myself..."hmm. Okay, not too sure about that, but maybe!" In the last week I just so happened to pick up a bag of Granny Smith apples and some new Borden Sensations cheese slices (Provolone, Parmesan, & Asiago blend). After a long day at the zoo my kids were hungry and I was tired so I figured what the heck, lets give it a go! 

I'd like to apologize in advance for my super sucky picture:

I made this sandwich with the Borden Sensations and with regular American cheese and it was DELISH.  My kids gobbled it up, and my weird eater of a husband refused to try it. Whatever. The tart from the apples complimented the savory flavor of the melted cheese. Anyway, I wanted to share this with you and tell you how to do it so you can try it for yourself. I was pleasantly surprised! I also felt like this was a pretty decent meal for my kids. 

Grilled Cheese & Apple Sandwich

Granny Smith Apples 
(you could use any kind, but a firm apple is best)
Bread of your choice
Cheese Slices of your choice (2)

Peel and slice your apples. 
Butter one side of (2) slices of bread. 
Lay one slice of bread in a preheated (medium heat) skillet, butter side down.
Lay one slice of cheese on top of the bread and then cover with sliced apples. Add the other slice of cheese and top with the other piece of bread, butter side up. I found that it was easier to use two slices of cheese to keep the apples from sliding. By the time you get the cheese and apples laid down it will probably be time to flip. Just let the bread brown on both sides and you are done!
I know the picture looks kind of awful, but I swear to you, it's amazing!

I'd love to know if you try this & what you think!

I never would have thought I could write up a whole post about a darn grilled cheese sandwich!
©..And They Call Me Mommy,2012. 

World's Best Banana Bread

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I have been using this recipe for a long time and it is wonderful. It calls for 3-4 bananas but 2 will suffice. I always seem to have 2-3 bananas going bad that didn't get eaten throughout the week, so I use them in this recipe.  
Here is what you will need:

  • 3-4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3C melted butter (I like to use margarine, it keeps the bread moist)
  • 1C sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2C all purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 350*.  Mash bananas with a whisk and top with the melted butter; mix. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle salt and baking soda over the top of the mixture, then mix in. Add flour, and mix thoroughly.

 Now, you can choose to bake these in a few different ways. Today I chose to make a mini loaf and my daughter wanted to make mini muffins. If you bake it all in one big bread pan it will take about an hour to cook through. The mini loaf takes about half an hour and the mini muffins took about 15 minutes. Regular sized muffins typically take 30 minutes also.

 Aren't they cute?? Perfect for little (or big!) mouths! My kids gobbled them up before I knew what happened!
The bread is slightly crispy on the top and edges but perfectly moist on the inside. We like to enjoy it warm or toasted with butter on top.

©..And They Call Me Mommy,2012. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Interview with A Preschooler

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I was feeling courageous last night so I took a walk on the wild side. I decided to ask my daughter, Addison, where babies come from. 

We've had conversations similar to this one before but they tend to change a bit each time. 

Here's how it went:

Me: "Hey Addison, can Mommy interview you?"

Addison: "Uh Huh."

Me: "Do you know what interviewing is?"

Addison: "Nuh uh. I do not."

Little brother walks in

Addison: "This is none of your business James, this is girl private business!!"

Me: "So, Addison, where do babies come from?"

Addison: "The hospital. And out of mommy's & daddy's tummies. 

Me: "How do babies get in tummies?"

Addison: "When someone gets big, bones get inside their tummy. Mommies go to the hospital and get the tops of tummies off and doctors take the bones out and put them together  and take skin and put it on the bones and then the babies come alive."

Me: "Where do doctors get the skin for the babies?" (It's getting a little creepy at this point)

Addison: "From the walls."

Me: "Do only mommies get big with babies?"

Addison: "No, mommies & daddies. 

Me: "How do the doctors get the bones out of the mommy or the daddy?"

Addison: "They take a needle and cut the top of the tummy off and put it to the side. And then they take the bones out."

Me: "What do the bones look like when they come out?"

Addison: "White, like your paper."

Me: "Are the bones big or small?"

Addison: "Mine are big but Buddy's (baby brother's nick name) are small."

Me: "Okay, so how do the doctors make the babies come alive?"

Addison: She thinks about it for a minute, stares up at the ceiling fan, then looks back at me and says, "I think they use a fan. They put it over the skin and bones and babies come alive and then the babies go home with the mommies and daddies.

She is 4. She is an expert on everything. Just ask her, she'll tell you!

©..And They Call Me Mommy,2012.

It DIDN'T happen at Disney!

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I visited Disneyland when I was just 4 years old. I really don't remember it at all, just what I see in pictures. It looks like I had a really great time! 

I do however remember watching Disney movies all my life and I still do to this day. My kids even watch them with me, or uh, I mean I watch them with my kids!

Anyhow, I came across this awhile back and it REALLY got me thinking...

 It's funny right? It's also kind of true! If you really sit back and think about the things you did learn or could have learned from Disney movies, it's scary! Google "Disney Confessions" or "I blame Disney," go ahead, I'll wait!

Women tend to have such high expectations of love and relationships, not that we should have low expectations, but sometimes they are unrealistic. Where do these expectations come from? LOTS of people blame movies, celebrities, media, etc.

I participate in a weekly writer's workshop and this week one of the topics was "It happened at Disney." Like I said before, I don't have many memories of Disney, so I'm going to leave you with what DIDN'T happen at Disney. High expectations that have gone unmet. 

1) I did not have breakfast/lunch/dinner with the Princesses.

2) I did not have tea with the Mad Hatter, Alice, nor the Queen. 

3) I did not get engaged on Main Street USA while watching the fireworks.

4) I did not get married in Cinderella's castle. 

5) I did not meet the man of my dreams singing a love ballad to the birds. 

I did, however, meet Mickey Mouse, (See above), and in that very moment I"m sure that all my little girl dreams came true.

Editor's note: The aforementioned "expectations" are not real expectations that I held as a child, teenager, nor as an adult. However, had I stopped long enough to think about those things, they might have been.

©..And They Call Me Mommy,2012. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today's PSA: Don't Be A Crappy Neighbor

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I like to consider myself a helpful kinda gal. Friends call or write asking for advice. I listen and try to give them some perspective and honest opinions. 

So today, I'm going to give you some advice. A public service announcement (PSA). Heed my advice!! Your neighbors will thank me, er, you.I just wish the people this advice is actually intended for would have a chance in hell at reading this post! (My  neighbors).

TODAY'S PSA: Don't Be A Crappy Neighbor!

First, a little background information.

I live on a quiet street, in a cul-de-sac. There are 5 houses in my cul-de-sac so I consider myself to have 4 immediate neighbors, three on the right and one on the left. I've got other neighbors (both great & crappy) across the street and down the road, but today we're focusing on crappy neighbors in the cul-de-sac. 

I've only got one crappy neighbor in the cul-de-sac so 3 outta 4 good neighbors ain't bad. One bad one is enough though!


This my front yard. Yes, I know, the lawn needs to be mowed, now hush! Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Let me help you out. The back tire (the tire that is ALWAYS flat) of that truck there, it's in MY yard. The front tire of that van there, it's in MY yard. There are 4 cars in this driveway. Typically there is an additional car parked in the cul-de-sac right in FRONT of my yard. All 5 cars belong to the 3 adults that live in this house. Now, it's important to mention that according to HOA regulations for my neighborhood, all homes are to be inhabited by SINGLE FAMILIES. Honey, this is NOT a single family residence. I really don't think it is any of my business how many people are squished into that house. However, when you have a miniature car lot in your driveway that is overflowing into my yard and blocking my house, making it look like I HAVE A CAR LOT, there is a problem!

My 2nd issue is that the car that is typically parked in front of my house blocks the back end of my mailbox. The lovely postal worker who delivers mail in my area refuses to remove himself from the mail truck to put my mail in my mail box. If he can't drive right up to it, he just passes right on by. I get that he feels as though he shouldn't have to get out. HE should get that it isn't MY DAMN CAR blocking my mail box. Anyhow, Monday & Tuesday of this week I didn't get any mail. I KNEW why I wasn't getting any mail and Tuesday afternoon I let my neighbor know too!! Here is what I found in my mailbox when I finally got mail on Wednesday:


 So, here are my tips on how to NOT be a crappy neighbor:

1) Don't keep a miniature car lot in your driveway.
2) Don't park cars in your own yard.
3) Don't park in your neighbors grass, even if it is just one tire, and subsequently break their water meter  cover.
4) Don't block your neighbor's mail box.
5) Don't block your neighbor's mail box and then act completely surprised when he/she is pissed off at you for it. 
6) Don't block your neighbor's mail box, act surprised that he/she is pissed at you for it, then invite said neighbor over for a birthday party that weekend.

Bonus Tip: The pissed off next door neighbors are NOT coming to your damn birthday party!!

©..And They Call Me Mommy,2012. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Desperate Measures

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Like so many others, I depend on coffee to get me going in the morning, to get me through lunch time, and to keep me awake all hours of the night. I'm not biased, I like coffee all the time

Awhile back I broke my carafe. 
Dropped it. Shattered it. Cursed it. 
I've had the same darn coffee maker since I got married in 2007. We were friends. It was special to me!

I've been putting off purchasing a new carafe because I'm cheap. I've substituted my fresh brewed cups of yummy coffee with that single serving instant yucky stuff, soda and tea. Yesterday, I decided I had finally had enough! This girl needed coffee, STAT

I took my rear end straight to Wal-Mart to purchase a new one. Guess what? When I got there, my coffee deprived brain failed me!! 

I couldn't remember what brand of coffee maker I own, what size it was, NOTHING! I could have bought a "universal" carafe, but I wasn't so sure about that option. I could have bought the brand that I thought it was (good thing I didn't because I would have been wrong) or I could have just bought a whole new coffee maker. I did none of the above.  
I just left the store with no carafe.

Fast forward a few hours...I stay up very late doing blog-y things, surfing the internet, and generally just screwing off because I don't feel like going to bed. 5 hours later my lovely children wake up and I'm a grumpfish from lack of sleep. The only thing that is going to help this situation is COFFEE. 

So.... I did what I had to do.

 Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Warning: I'm not entirely sure that it is safe to brew coffee in a glass measuring cup. The glass is thicker than my carafe was so I figured what the heck!

 ©..And They Call Me Mommy,2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to ..And They Call Me Mommy with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.