Monday, June 28, 2010

Meet my Arch Enemy

It's laundry.  This is my laundry room right now, and it's scarey to my kids.  (Monsters live in unfolded laundry, you know.)
I'm trusting you to hold me accountable to folding this disaster!  I enjoy a good challenge, but it seems like the laundry is always presenting me with something new.  I cloth diapered the kids and learned a LOT about laundry, detergents, washers, line drying etc. before A&E were both potty trained.  And yet, the hardest thing to clean wasn't the dipes, but my husband's work clothes.  It's still that way.  Matt comes home from the field and I get this:

and this:

It's been living in the field for a week without a bath (the cammies and my hubs), and it's DIRTY.  And smells like a gym locker.  The dirt is easy enough to get out, but our wonderfully hard water makes it very challenging to get all of the SMELL out.  Bleach and anything harsh is verboten, as well as anything with optical brighteners.  Optical brighteners are nasty little additives that most laundry detergents have and they do just what their name indicates; make clothes look brighter.  That means build up on your clothes over time, and doesn't fly to well on tactical clothing.  It also means garments that get stinky retain their odor, yippy skippy.  My answer: Charlie's Soap.
     Charlie's soap is free from all the bad stuff; harsh chemicals, optical brighteners and is environmentally friendly.  It's better for babies than Dreft and biodegradable to boot.  One tablespoon of Charlie's and two tablespoons of water softner get the stink and dirt out of everything.  The nasty build up from commercial detergents washes out and Charlie's rinses clean.  Good stuff.
     So I may have a pile of laundry, but it's CLEAN.  No scary monsters lurking here!  I'll post another pic of my laundry room tomorrow, lol.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Eggs... It's What's for Dinner!

"Breakfast for dinner"  doesn't always fly in my house.  The kiddos don't mind it so much, but after a long day in the field or a forced 12 mile hike, the hubster's not always up for pancakes.  So what's a girl to do for a quick meal?  Not that there aren't thousands of tasty recipes for quick meals, but I invented my own this afternoon and I think it came out pretty well.  Let me know if I'm horribly off base!

Okay, it's needs a name still.

16 oz Acini de pepe pasta
a smidgen of butter
2 eggs, plus one for each serving
Grated Parmesan cheese
1 pint grape tomatoes

Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.  Return to cooking pot after draining, stir in butter until it's melted.  I used about 2 tablespoons of butter, but you can use more or less to taste.  Break the eggs into a separate bowl, beat them slightly, then add to pasta while stirring.  You want to egg to coat the pasta as the egg cooks to avoid large curds of egg in the tiny pasta.  Cook the remaining eggs over easy.  Portion out the pasta into individual bowls.  Top each with Parmesan cheese, one egg and as many halved grape tomatoes as you'd like and serve with your favorite light white wine.  Yumm-o.

You could adapt this easily and change the dish completely;  try adding steamed asparagus or a different type of cheese.  Toss in some crumbled bacon for a pasta carbonara feel.  Especially good if you have access to home grown tomatoes (like me).  Bon appetit!