I took a shitload of mundane photos today in order to participate in this Flickr pool, which I was thinking would be kind of a nice distraction — a LARK! — and really, I mostly just ended up getting my camera wet, and then it took forever to resize and process the images, and THEN after submitting some of the photos to the Flickr thing I got an auto-rejection because the camera’s date was wrong, so I had to manually reset the date on everything, and jesus, anyway, here’s some BORING PHOTOS OF MY THRILLING DAY.

Waking up this morning. Another snow day! Hey, this stopped being exciting about, oh, 48 hours ago.

I remember when breakfast was really quiet and involved reading the whole paper. I guess I prefer the new version, though.

Ohhh. Mmm. Mmmmmm. What? Ufffffff, god, it’s not even right how much I love coffee these days.

Okay! *brisk clap* Time to tidy up around here. Dylan, you put away the knives.

Riley, you pick up your room. Dylan, you can help by trying your damnedest to locate any of the small, choking-hazard type toys.

I’ll pick up some of the many books cluttering my nightstand. Yes, that IS Gossip Girl, shut up, at least there’s some zombie stuff in there too.

All right, time to leave the house before we all kill each other! Here I am performing the Last Minute Um I Think the Baby Might Be Hungry maneuver.

Very glad JB put studded tires on the truck a couple weeks ago before his trip to Bend.

“Mom! Moommm! Take a picture of my BURRITO BLANKIE.”

Dude. This poor girl needs a burrito blankie of her own.

Now this guy? Just kind of a jackass. No sympathies for your likely discomfort, sir.

We went to Fred Meyer’s and it was nearly empty, which was profoundly eerie. That place is NEVER empty, and this weekend would normally be a complete madhouse. The tinkling, echoey holiday music made me think of post-apocalyptic movie scenes where corpses would be lining the aisles and the heroes would tiptoe gingerly around them in their search for non-perishable food items. (To be clear: no corpses today! Just poinsettias for 50% off!)

Obligatory Self Portrait in Truck Window.

We ate lunch at Ivar’s for the second day in a row. I know, fast food, blecch, but it’s close by and kind of loud and Dylan likes the clam chowder.

Also, there are crayons.

Frozen Lake Sammamish, taken in a nearby Fancypants We Have a Killer View and You Don’t neighborhood.

On our way home we saw a car stuck in a parking lot and JB stopped to talk with the driver. He offered to give him a tow, but dude was driving a lowered PT Cruiser (too low for tire chains) with a custom lowered bumper, so the tow chain couldn’t be hooked on. How you like your goofy too-low-for-speed-bumps ride NOW, hipster?

After naptime, it started snowing again. And snowing. And snowing. My god, I have never seen anything like this in the Northwest.

What to do but bake some more? Tonight I made a variation of this fantastic recipe without the chocolate and adding clove, cinnamon, nuts, and cranberries. Both versions are wonderful, but the original is the one you want to do for Christmas. SO GOOD OH MY GOD.

Dylan likes to hang out in the kitchen while we’re in there, gnawing on everything except teething toys.

Pre-bedtime snuggles.

Hee. Cuteness.

After we put the kids to bed, JB and I tromped outside a bit, and took this picture of our house. The snowbound saga continues, but we’re managing to stay pretty happy.

The problem with snow and Seattle is that it’s a hilly-ass city and there’s, like, one plow.

(Call Mr. Plow
That’s my name
That name again
Is Mr. Plow!)

The streets are a mess and since we’re all a bunch of Starbucks-sucking, socks-with-sandals-wearing Pacific Northwesterners who don’t know what to do in freezing weather you see a lot of this:


Which, dude, sucks to be you, driving your car into a damn tree and all, but it could be worse — how’d you like to be the bus drivers who surely filled their pants in unison as this happened?

(Photo credit: Seattle Times)

The weather is predicted to get worse: tomorrow we’re supposed to experience some unholy combination of more snow, gale-force winds, and freezing rain, so JB’s been scurrying around stocking up on emergency supplies and reminding me it was TOO a good idea to get a generator. My tactic for dealing with being mostly housebound is to eat pretty much constantly, because what the hell, if we lose power at least I’ll have some extra blubber for warmth.

This brings me to the Big Easy, which my family just sent us as a holiday gift. I’d heard of this product because my aunt’s client manufactures it, but I had no idea how awesome it really was until we set it up yesterday. It’s an oilless turkey fryer which cooks via infrared (I have no idea how it works, really, there could be tiny grilling elves crammed in its innards for all I know), and we gave it a test-run with a chicken.

Here’s what it looks like. Like my aunt says, it sort of resembles R2-D2.


I seasoned a chicken (sorry, I know: gross raw dead thing, SORRY) and we stuck it in the rack with a meat thermometer.


You put the rack in the grill . . .


And that’s IT. You just LEAVE IT THERE.


When the thermometer said it was up to temperature (about an hour or so), we pulled it out. HELLO MY ROASTED MEATY FRIEND.


And it was, no lie, the best chicken I have ever eaten in my entire life. No shit. It was super juicy and the skin was crispy and delicious.


Very very cool product, we are going to use it a ton. Especially if the power goes out this weekend.

Oh, and since I’m already blathering away about food, please enjoy this recipe for chocolate chip cookies:

3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp  salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
Preheat oven 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake  for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown (pull ’em out when they’re still a little doughy).  Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

I know, I know, you’re thinking, I already have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies. All I can say is, there is a chocolate chip cookie and there is something that’s like an edible, involuntary pelvic muscle spasm, and this recipe produces the latter.


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