Scarlett of Suburbia

Field Notes from The Motherhood


October 2011

On iPhone Games

The Mom: I can’t believe I just got schooled in Angry Birds by my 5 year old!
The 5 y.o.: Angry Birds is sooo last year, Mom. Next time we have to wait, you can give me your iphone so I can show you Doodle Jump.


I’m just overwhelmingly cute today, right Mom? Maybe next year for Halloween I can go as the Cute Fairy Princess with a HUGE letter C on my chest. And instead of a magic wand, I can hold an iPad that shows kitten videos from You Tube.

The 5 y.o. who is clearly gunning for an iPad for Christmas

The cake recipe calls for a 1/4 cup of butter. But we only have sticks of butter. How much is a stick of butter?

The 13 y.o.

Dad – can I just say that you shouldn’t be allowed to bake eggs if I have to wash the dishes. It’s always gritty and gross. You never squirt soap or anything into the pan, so it’s utterly revolting when I have to clean it.

Ditto for anything you BBQ in the oven. WE LIVE IN AMERICA! Use the grill like everyone else.

And why is there a sticky note on the cabinet that says “Clean Me”? Are we in Alice in Wonderland? Or have we time warped like Dr Who into the Elizabithian era where one bathed so infrequently that they needed little sticky note reminders?

The 13 y.o.

Lori’s Menu Plan for the Week of 10/24 – 10/30/11

Monday 10/24

b/ Poached Eggs, Toast w Marmite, OJ

l/ Leftovers

d/ Fishsticks, French Fries, Mixed Veg


Tuesday 10/25

b/ {Frozen} Bagels w Assorted Spreads, Sliced Fruit

l/ Hard-boiled Egg, Cheese Cube(s), Apple, Kettle Popcorn

d/ Killer Mac and Cheese, BBQ Chicken Wings,Tossed Green Salad


Wednesday 10/26

b/ Mango Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie

l/ Leftover Chicken Wings, Salad, Fruit, Brownie

d/ Meatball Sub Sandwiches w Carmelized Onions and Gruyere Cheese


Thursday 10/27

b/ Hot Cereal {steel-cut oatmeal or wheatabix}

l/ Leftover Meatball Sandwiches, Veg, Fruit, Kettle or Carmel Popcorn

d/ Cottage Cheese Chicken Enchiladas, Beans and Rice Salad


Friday 10/28

b/ Omelets w Whole Wheat Toast

l/ Pizza Day at School

d/ Chili con Carne w Cornbread For a Crowd and 12 Baked Potatoes {for Church Potluck}


Saturday 10/29

b/ Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bars, Carnation Instant Breakfast Drink  

l/ Out

d/ Roast Chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole, Haricot Vert


Sunday 10/30

b/ Poached Eggs, Biscuits and Gravy

l/ Ham and Cheese Sliders, Carrot Sticks

d/ Leftovers




Mango Yogurt Breakfast Smoothie

Mango Yogurt Smoothie
makes 2 kid-breakfast servings

1 large ripe mango, peeled and cut into a few chunks
1 ripe banana, peeled and cut in half
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 cup crushed ice (if fruit is already frozen, reduce to 1/2 cup)
Pinch of cardamom (optional)

Blend all ingredients except for the mint in a blender until very smooth and frothy. Taste and add honey to sweeten. Drink immediately while still very cold!


Chili w Cornbread for a Crowd




  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 onions, finely chopped
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried or crushed chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • 3 pounds 4 ounces ground beef
  • 7 cups canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 1/2 cups canned red kidney beans


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar
  • Guacamole, recipe follows

Serving suggestion:

  • 2 cups sour cream
  • Ground paprika, for dusting
  • 3 3/4 cups grated Cheddar
  • Special equipment: Very large pan


Heat the oil in a very large pan and fry the onion and garlic until it begins to soften. Add the chili,coriander, cumin, and crushed cardamom pods and stir well.


Add the peppers then break up the ground beef into the pan and, using a fork, keep turning it to separate it as the meat browns. Add the chopped tomatoes, ketchup, tomato puree, and water stirring to make a rich red sauce. When the chili starts to boil sprinkle over the cocoa and stir it in. Add the beans and simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours. At this point you can cool and freeze the chili, or just keep it in the refrigerator overnight.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.


Pour the chili into a large, wide dish or keep in the pan you cooked it in if it is ovenproof.


Combine the salt, cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk together thebuttermilk, eggs, honey, and oil in a jug, and then stir into the dry ingredients mixing to make a vivid yellow batter.


Pour the cornmeal topping over the chili con carne, or blob it over to cover the top as evenly as possible.


Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the cornbread and then bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cornbread topping is risen and golden and the chili underneath is bubbling. How long this takes depends on the how cold or hot the chili was when it went into the oven. Since it’s such a huge vat, you may find it easiest to reheat it on the stove in its pan first.


Let the chili stand for about 5 minutes once out of the oven before cutting the cornbread top into squares or slices to serve with a helping of chili underneath.

4 ripe avocados, peeled, stoned and chopped

4 scallions, finely chopped

2 limes, juiced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Mash the avocados with the scallions and add the juice of up to 2 limes, to taste. Stir in most of the cilantro and turn into 2 bowls, sprinkling each with the remaining cilantro.


Divide the sour cream into another 2 bowls, and dust with a little paprika and, into another pair of bowls add the grated Cheddar so that people can take clumps and add the tangy cheese to their plates of guacamole and sour cream splodged chili.


Funeral Potatoes


Funeral Potatoes are a Mormon tradition. It used to be a dish that was made for funerals (or to share with the grieving family). Now the joke goes if you eat like this every day, you will soon be at your own funeral because eating all this sodium will cause a major heart attack!


32 oz bag of frozen shredded hash browns
2 (10-3/4 oz) cans Cream of Chicken or Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups sour cream
1-1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped onion (sauteed)
2 cups finely crushed corn flakes
2 tablespoons butter or margarine (melted)


Grease 9×13″ baking dish and preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, combine soups, sour cream, cheese, onions and 1/2 cup of melted butter. Gently fold hash browns into the mixture. Pour mixture into pan. Combine crushed corn flakes and 2 tablespoons of melted butter then sprinkle on top of the potato mixture. Bake for 1 hour.

Food Storage Variation

Rehydrate 16 ounces of dehydrated potatoes.  To rehydrate, pour boiling water over dehydrated potatoes until covered, and let sit until hydrated. If you have dehydrated onions, hydrate at the same time as the potatoes.

Instead of sour cream, use 2/3 cup powdered milk, 3/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Mix well and refrigerate. Then use 8 ounces regular sour cream, or you can double the substitute.  






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