#AtoZChallenge: O is for Owning the Night (or at Least the Skillet)

photo credit: Week 1 PhotoChallenge2016 B&W Min 02 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Week 1 PhotoChallenge2016 B&W Min 02 via photopin (license)

A man can accomplish much in life with basic life gear.

OCover him with a ball cap from his beloved baseball team. Anoint him with a distinctive after shave. Place him behind the wheel of an automobile he’ll name, shine, neglect, restore, and trust to transport those he loves and carry him to buy corn tortillas and shin guards.

Arm him with a cast-iron skillet, and don’t be late for dinner.

Weekend cooking’s my thing. It’s easier on weekends free of soccer. Sunday night, I returned to my roots. Yes, those roots (enchiladas), but also the roots established in frontier days, when a guy’s essentials included a fast horse, a scruffy beard, a miner’s hat and a skillet.

(Harmonica optional.)

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: O is for Owning the Night (or at Least the Skillet)”

Our Legacies, in 6 Words

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc
photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

Do we get to choose our legacy?

Or does our legacy choose us?

Heavy for a late-August midweek though, no?

Our legacy is like that last roll of film in our camera that isn’t developed until well after we’re done on this earth. It’s the ultimate statement that sums up what we’ve done with our lives. Scary that it can be summed up at all.

Continue reading “Our Legacies, in 6 Words”

Guest post: Andrea of About 100 Percent, on a Shared Life

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

Andrea Mowery writes about life on her blog, About 100 Percent.

But sometimes, life needs a little boost. You know, a few extra degrees to the bitter cold in this soccer story. A few theatrical moments there to round out the story better. You might consider her tactics untrustworthy, and she acknowledges that in her FAQ page.

It’s the ultimate disclaimer.

Because if we’re going to tell a story, well, it ought to have a little extra hot sauce. Be served up on the good plates (those are the ones without Spongebob’s likeness). Have some of those fancy spices only Betty Crocker uses.

Continue reading “Guest post: Andrea of About 100 Percent, on a Shared Life”

Dad in the kitchen? Here’s 3 recipes even you can’t botch

photo credit: ....Tim via photopin cc
photo credit: ….Tim via photopin cc

I love food.

I know, Captain Obvious. Thing is, I also like to *make* food. The results are usually good. I have had two failures that come to mind: A Sprite cake that somehow galvanized into a bundt-shaped anvil, and awful salsa burgers that didn’t impress my three little part-Mexican jumping beans.

Otherwise, the kidlets tend to celebrate my creations.

Never mind that I always forget to put on a pot of vegetables when I cook, or that the kitchen looks like Badgdad when I’m finished.

Grace and I even put on a pretend cooking show.

I know it’d be a hit – a dad and baby in their pajamas, mucking up a kitchen until a pile of waffles or mountain of wings commences.

Grace one year even asked Santa for a chef’s hat.

Here’s a list of some of our greatest hits, as decided upon by the little three:


Not So Awful Waffles

breakfasts,food,waffles,butter,snacksWhat you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons white sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups warm milk

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

What you’ll do:

Heat waffle iron. Beat eggs with whisk in medium bowl, just until they’re fluffy (I tried really hard to word this another way). Beat in the rest of the ingredients, but just until smooth. Spoon batter into waffle iron (did you remember to heat it?), and bake about 5 minutes, or until you see steam billowing out of the sides. Careful pulling them out – burned fingers aren’t a side dish.

photo credit: Food Thinkers via photopin cc
photo credit: Food Thinkers via photopin cc


Baked Chicken Wings (Extra messy for Elise)

What you’ll need:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, pressed (don’t let the kids see you do this part)

1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

salt and ground pepper to taste

25 chicken wings

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 375. Mix olive oil, garlic, chili powder, garlic salt, salt, and pepper in large resealable bag. Seal and shake (the kids will fight over this job, unless the Wii is on, in which case it’s all yours). Add wings. Reseal, and shake it like your paycheck depends on it. Place wings on cookie sheet. Cook for 1 hour, or until they look crispy and sufficiently cooked.

Serve with “blue ranch,” as my kids call bleu cheese, and celery and carrots. Put three wings on their plate, and refuse to serve a fourth until the celery and carrots are also eaten. I’m not above using these tactics.


photo credit: 3liz4 via photopin cc
photo credit: 3liz4 via photopin cc

Crepes, for Creeps

What you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 pinches of salt (give or take)

Delicious fillers: chocolate chips, creme cheese, jelly. Nutritional value optional.

More delicious toppers: syrup, powdered sugar, strawberries, blueberries, and did we mention chocolate chips?

What you’ll do:

Whisk up the flour, milk, eggs and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Heat up a frying pan, and slide a bit of butter around it by tilting it around. (If you’re a child of the 80s, and you have a wok cluttering up your cabinets, I bet it would work really well for this. Not that I own a wok.)

Slap down about a hockey puck’s-worth of batter on the pan, and swish this around, too, to make it cover as much of the pan as possible. Use a circular motion, lest your crepes become the shape of Newfoundland and not the shape of a flattened-out hockey puck. It will take about 2 minutes for it to get about nearly as brown as your favorite blogger – then, it’s time to flip it, and get the white side right.

Keep it up until the batter’s gone. The French say you can freeze crepes by placing wax paper between them.

I don’t know about you, but there’s one term less likely to be uttered than “more broccoli, please” among my kids:

“What should we do with the leftover crepes, dad?”

This is America. Destroy your breakfast.

So, what recipes get rave reviews from your kidlets?