Armadillo Potatoes recipe.

Armadillo Potatoes.

Need an easy and delicious potato recipe? Make an Armadillo Potato. You can grill them or bake them.

Last night, inspired by this pin, I took plain ol' potatoes and made them pretty. The bonus turned out to be more than just reduced cooking time. These easy delicious potatoes were crispy on the edges, easy to eat with fingers one slice at a time (eating with fingers = more appetizing to 6-yr-olds), and amazing dipped in a mixture of sour cream and queso.

I named them Armadillo Potatoes, because, well, look at them, aren't they cute? And I live in Texas so armadillos are cool. I can see these being one of my Superbowl party food items, can't you? With queso and sour cream on the side. Kinda looks like a football come to think of it. Check out my ever growing Superbowl Food pinterest board here

Armadillo Potatoes
Seasoned Salt
Olive Oil
Spray Butter or Margarine (like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray)

Wash your potatoes, one per person. Slice the potatoes carefully almost to the bottom, but don't cut all the way thru.

Drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and seasoned salt all over them, trying to get it in between each slice if possible.

If you like butter like me, use your Spray Butter and give it a spray on top and in between layers to your desired buttery goodness. (I even sprayed again about halfway thru the cooking time.)

Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour. Or, if you're grilling meat, just wrap these in foil and throw them on the grill for an hour.

Serve alongside your meat main dish as is, or with sour cream/queso dip either on the side or drizzled all over. The family has already asked me to make this again. And I feel like a creative genius. Win win.

Subscribe to Mommy's Wish List and see what other creative stuff my family eats like Spanikopita for Thanksgiving.


New Year's Revolutions

New Year's Resolutions. We make them. We break them. And I am not surprised.

I've always thought "resolution" sounded a lot like another word for "rule". And why would one on-purpose impose more stupid rules upon oneself? Don't others already do that for us, thank you very much?

Also? Resolutions seem to be things we work toward a little bit at a time. Doing something a little it at a time doesn't work for me. It feels non-commital. Passive. And easily given-up on.

This year instead I will have New Year's Revolutions.

Revolution: a sudden, complete or marked change in something.

"Revolution" sounds like the opposite of rules. It sounds like freedom from rules. It sounds like difference-making, and different-thinking. A state-of-mind. All-or-nothing. It sounds more like what we think of when we think "I'm going to make this year different", doesn't it?

And while I continue to struggle with tangible goals like getting a job, revolutions are not necessarily about tangible goals. Revolutions are about changing perspective, living ideals, and fighting for something. A revolution is bigger than a goal. It screams. It refuses to give up. It is so big it is a force to be reckoned with.

I'm going to fight for myself this year.
My New Year's Revolution then begins like this:
Do more happy things.
Go somewhere. A lot.
See the world thru other people's eyes.
Be around people who add rather than subtract.
Be brave.
Be present.
Be communal not competitive.
Do something that surprises yourself and others.
Don't follow rules that don't make sense.
It's a one-letter difference from everyone else: Revolution not resolution.

And sometimes one letter different is enough.


How to carve a Halloween pumpkin the easy way.

I watch Martha Stewart frost cookies, swirl ribbon, and carve magnificent jack-o-lanterns and I think WHY NOT ME? She's so cool. And I drool. In the past, I've left pumpkin carving to the manly man in my house, the one with the big knife. Daddy. I must be a big ol' wimp because I have always had the hardest time, physically, carving a pumpkin. BUT, yesterday I took a stand and decided not to let the pumpkin beat me. I learned from the carving pro Matthew McIntosh a few simple steps that made pumpkin carving as easy as Martha Stewart makes it look. Really. And these pictures? Yes, I actually carved this pumpkin.

My Martha Stewart Pumpkin Carving Tricks
First, remember that when you cut the top of your pumpkin off to make a lid, cut at an angle so that the lid does not fall into the pumpkin. Stop laughing, this was not a no-brainer to me. Then, seriously, invest in a Pumpkin Masters Pumpkin Carving Kit. This pumpkin tool box makes all the difference. I will never go back to using spoons and sharp knives.

Scrape out the inside of the pumpkin. Since I just carving a design into the skin of my pumpkin, not cutting it all the way thru, I want to scrape the inside of the pumpkin on the side the design will be on, down to about 1/2 inch thick. (That way when I put a light inside, my design will glow where there is no outer skin.) The scraping spatula makes this waaaaay easier than using a spoon.

Find a Halloween stencil or template that you'd like to become the design on your pumpkin, print it out,  and tape it to the outside of the pumpkin. (The Pumpkin Masters Kit comes with pages and pages of stencils by the way)

Take the sharp pointy tool from your kit, (or something like a toothpick or icepick) and poke tiny holes along the design. This will transfer the pattern to cut onto your pumpkin skin. Then take off your stencil.

Rub white flour into the surface of the pumpkin. You will see the flour will fill the tiny holes and illuminate them, making your stencil pattern look like a connect-the-dots pattern. Feelin' like Martha yet? I sure was at this point.

Use the sharp edge of a knife or the X-Acto looking tool to basically connect the dots, cutting a line from dot-to-dot to cut out your picture. Then, use the pointed, chiseled, X-Acto knife in the tool kit to scrape off the dark orange pumpkin skin in the negative areas on the pattern a bit at a time, revealing the light pumpkin flesh underneath. (One of those wood carving curved scooper tools works ok for this too. I remember using that in art school. Then I remember going to the emergency room.)

Now, mix up a little cup of bleach-water and paint it on to all the revealed surfaces of pumpkin flesh. This will kill the bacteria that causes your pumpkin to mold so fast. And finally, rub Vaseline onto all the exposed surfaces as this will lock in the moisture that prevents your pumpkin from drying up and shriveling so fast. Doing both of these steps will net you another 3-5 days of perfect pumpkin after carving. Are those Martha tricks or what?

Finally, put a Sylvania LED DOT-it Light inside the pumpkin to light it. Then, you don't have to worry about catching your pumpkin on fire (did it) or turning it black with candle smoke (also did it). There, don't you feel all superior now? Take that, Martha Stewart.


How to celebrate the 4th of July in the 70s.

We were so patriotic, we even lived in a house that started with a "76"

Can I just say that man, I wish I had even one dress as cool as the one my mother wore on the Fourth of July in 1970? Of course, I'm not lookin' too shabby with my matchy-matchy shoes and purse.

As we pause to celebrate our nation's birthday next week at either Kaboom Town in Addison, or Fair Park Fourth downtown, I am reminded of my childhood patriotism. My neighborhood knew how to celebrate a nation's birthday, I'll tell you what.

Top Five Ways to Celebrate the 4th of July in the 70s.
1. Play Reveille on your front porch at 6am. What. Your mother didn't do this?

2. Shoot off a real cannon. After the reveille. Duh.

3. Roast an entire pig in your backyard. What. You mean your ex-marine neighbor across the street didn't roast an entire pig in his smoker, after shooting off the cannon in sync with your mother's reveille, for the whole block to eat on the 4th of July, scaring all the little kids half to death by chasing them around with a pig's head?

4. Blow up tennis balls. And soda cans. And Matchbox cars. And Barbies. One word: M80.

5. Play Poker. The great American past-time, at least from my perspective. I learned how to play 21 and Between the Sheets when I was five. For money. While eating a roasted pig, yo.

All those Fourth of July Pinterest Boards seem so passive. However, they do seem a tad safer than your little brother seeing if he can hit your head with a Roman Candle from up the block. (And, yes, he can.)

Subscribe to Mommy's Wish List if you want. I'll keep writing it anyway.