Fish Out of Water

Tonight is Salmon Night!

Pretty exciting, considering the fish ban we’ve been on since hub started to suspect that maybe he was developing an allergy to it.

Recently he’s been on a kick to clean up our/his diet to improve our/his healthiness  (we go through these cycles occasionally).

Long story long, he heard a rumor that fish is healthy, so we’re giving it another go, on a trial basis.

Since I have a big salmon in my fridge, this morning I found a recipe:

Here’s Mel’s:  Maple Pecan Salmon

No doubt, mine’s going to look just like that.

Next, I watched the How To Portion (Cut) Salmon Filet  episode of The Savage Kitchen on youtube.

Sadly, the fish wrestling didn’t go quite as smoothly for me as it did for those guys:

eventually I did win, but it wasn’t pretty

I console myself by remembering that the people on youtube are professionals, who’ve had some practice and probably have better knives than I do.  Also, their fish probably isn’t from Wal Mart’s freezer.  I think my fish didn’t want to come apart easily, because he was bitter about ending up there.

All told, this part was just a bit vile and unwieldy.  I feel bad for Jonah.    Ewwwwwwww…

That salmon was cold, floppy, slippery and hard to handle.  Also, the skin was just so fish-like, which I found a little disconcerting.  It looked nothing like the Filet-o-Fish!

Now that its marinating in the fridge, I feel like it may be a good time to clean the kitchen… before it starts smelling like Long John Silver’s dumpster and maybe take a shower myself.



I do like to label stuff.  You never know when you’ll become distracted and the labels may help archaeologists of the future.

I had to do the pecan toasting twice because I had too much going on the first time around and I forgot to turn off the fire when they reached perfect toastiness… but didn’t realize until they hit cremation:(

Nevertheless, four and a half hours later  IMG_9672 we’re maple pecan crusted and headed to the oven…

and Voilà!


I’m totally calling this one a win, Hub didn’t get sick and both kids ate it!  Yea!



Breakfast on the Death Star

Thanks to a rare combination of insomnia, thoughtful gift giving and leftover buttermilk, I was able to kick breakfast up a notch this morning!

IMG_9545 Huh?

So, on the left, old man Fookwire: Image result for old man fookwire

On the right, a cartoon cat making a snow angel… or 1980’s car window Garfield! lg_15307.jpg Image result for garfield window suctionAnyway, my kids were thrilled!!

Pancake molds, not as easy as it looks.

The ones that I actually used…

Image result for bad pancake shapes Now do you see it?  Who guessed X-Wing and Millennium Falcon?  If you did get it, don’t get cocky.

If you didn’t, well, you have disappointed me for the last time!!


The directions don’t specify, but you need to use the force here.  There may be no try, but there’s definitely a learning curve.

check it out:IMG_9548 better, right?!

The freezer is stocked.  What’s that blue thing in the bin with the ice?


The Dark Side has Lemonade now.

Special Thanks to our family out in Salina.  It took us a while to break out the pancake molds, but they’re pretty fun!

The only downside,

this is what my kitchen looks like now:)



With One Step

The Van Meter Family Vacation this year was an incredible journey.  We settled on a trip that centered around backpacking in an amazing place,

For months now, Hub has been dehydrating foods and piecing together menus and recipes for us to test drive, with varied results.  He’s been busy assessing our gear, checking our permits, weighing EVERYTHING… to the gram, going over maps and updating spreadsheets.

We even backpacked to an ice cream shop 3 or 4 miles from the house so that the kids could experience hiking with a pack and going a little bit farther than a typical family walk.

It was a huge success!

Image result for mely's prairie village

I Heart Mely’s:)

School has wrapped up and vacation is finally here!

Saturday, the 30th day of May dawned with great excitement.  The van was all gassed up and ready to go.  We set out across The Flint Hills continuing along wide open and unending highway stretches beneath Colorado’s vast painted skies, making our way to Utah’s five National Parks and Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

Quick tangent; since we love us some National Parks, I’m going to break here to share our Sign Photos.  Just scroll on down if you want to skip, but I kind of love these…

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We spent the first night at a Rodeway Inn in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

While enjoying the tightest little continental breakfast in the Rockies, one of our children just threw up suddenly, for no reason.  This all too common occurrence is just one of the many endearing attributes that make our family special:)

After leaving our mark on one more state, we were geared up for a relatively short, three hour drive to Moab.

Hi! May I Host You?!

It’s a great season for entertaining and getting together with friends and family, so don’t be intimidated, just start inviting people!

I happen to be an impeccable hostess and will share all my secret tips to help you knock this out of the park.

For starters, when you see someone in your driveway, start making this…

If it’s after 2, you could do something else, but honestly, scones work for me all the time and that recipe is a good one for fall through Christmas.

Okay, whoever comes in, give them your vacuum, so that they can suck up cat hair before the cat allergic girl shows up, then get back to frantically throwing the baking together and don’t forget to smile.

If smiling isn’t your natural, default face, just think about warm beaches, your favorite babies or when you found a Target gift card in your stocking, while getting out Christmas stuff.

While your vacuum buddy reprograms your Pandora stations, look for that butter slicing thing that you don’t use often.

If it’s in a box with the play-doh fun factory, just use the mixer on slow.

If the mixer is smoking and/or making sad noises, check for that cute hockey puck that keeps brown sugar from clumping.

If that guy isn’t stuck in your beaters, the problem might just be brown sugar rocks… possibly resulting from never replacing your puck, the last time that you accidentally beatered it.

Okay, if it’s brown sugar rocks, turn it up, Dude!  Yeah, like freedom rock!

Next, put the dough in your floppy cake pan.

By now, you may have to wrestle it back from a friends surprisingly strong baby.

Luckily you’ve been working out.

10 minutes is better than no minutes.

You can cut the scones out easily w/floppy pancake flipper.

You might end up with a few frankenscones, but just remember that the people coming are your friends, and as such, they can’t be all that  discerning.

Now, while your frankenscones are over baking, check on your friends.  By this time, your cat has located the allergic friend and formed a scarf

Shove the unused vacuum in the coat closet and start making coffee.

Don’t look in the mirror, you look great…   you’re doing it!  Good Job!

Good…ish House Keeping

Halloween has come and gone, but this house is looking spookier than ever.

If this is the boat you’re in, Welcome Aboard!
Now, put the plastic pumpkin down, whatever you’re looking for has probably already been inhaled by tiny sugared up pillagers.

So, Post-Weekend/Halloween Home Re-Set…

First, put something in your crock pot.
Whatever you can reach. This is because later, when you need food, cooking will not be possible.
You need a meat product, some liquid and some spices.
Whatever comes out, you can serve over rice later.

Now that that’s going, you plugged it in, right? It’s time to open up a lil’ can of Let’s-Make-This-Dump-Shine-Like-The-Top-of-the-Chrysler-Building!
I like to start with an extra cup of coffee…
you can stir in a Fun Size Milky Way, it’s more fun that way.

Find yourself a timer. How long do you have to throw at this? 20 minutes works for good-ish, 10 minutes is just ish.
Also, I think a sound track helps. I have been using Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way for dishes, and upbeat Bob Dylan songs for laundry, but you can find what works for you.
You may need to get psyched up first with a classic, like Eye of the Tiger, (visualize your personal cleaning montage) or you could reword the lyrics to Lose Yourself, by Eminem

There are no M & M’s left! Stay with me!

Okay, During house reset, Do not get the phone, more likely than not it’s just Newt Gingrich anyway.
Let it go.

I think we’re ready now, awwyeah!

Grab a plastic Thank You bag. You can keep it on your wrist for unexpected candy wrappers and general refuse [ref-yoos], while you’re doing the run around, i.e. putting things where they go and restoring order to your home. This might take a few songs, so pump up the jam.

Then, get the dishes knocked out, hopefully one song.
Next, put dirty clothes in washer and sort clothes coming out of dryer into baskets dedicated to each member of your household.
Go get your vacuum and use it to pick up any rogue dust bunnies in your high traffic areas.dust_bunnies_02

Check your bathrooms for any unsightly yucky business and vacuum the dusty layer off the back of your toilet.
Finally, look at the awesome work you have done, and see that it is good.

If you’re working full time, are ill or have kids under five in the house with you, this plan can easily be modified;
when you see your husband’s car pull in, get out your vacuum.
Place it somewhere noticeable. This signals productivity, however imperceptible, and that calls for take out.