Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Minions, Attack!

Happy All Hallows Eve, Y'all!

Today I am sitting at my work dressed up as a minion- yep, the animated version.  I really enjoy dressing up for Halloween!  I think a good sense of humor and imagination are the perfect combination for an original costume!  This year my friend and I decided to dress up as something fun instead of something slutty- that's original!  HA! 
Look at our awesome pumpkin!!

Don't get me wrong, there are some super cute "sexier" costumes but normally, they just make you look trashy and easy ladies.  #sorryi'mnotsorry! Don't worry, you can knock me off this soap box at any time since I have been an offending member of the teenie weenie costume club!  Some of my best: Sexy Jane (Tarzan), Naughty Red Riding Hood (complete with wearwolf) and my personal favorite sexy devil!  I'll spare you the pics but I will share other random costume pics!

Julia Child or 50's House Wife?

Modge podge of awesomeness!

This year we decided a cute and funny costume was the way to go!  I mean, points for originality people- these were home made!  Wait, are they still homemade if I didn't actually make anything but I did color coordinate?  I think so! I give you MINIONS!!!  

Isn't D such a good sport?!  He's our GRU!

Every Minion needs a lobster!

Our costumes were a huge hit!  Cute, creative and covering?  The 3 C's have it!  

What are you dressing up as?  Want a be a Minion, there's room for more!

Until next time...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Brownies+Cookies+Oreos= Oh my!

I've seen these little gems ALL over Pinterest and on other blogs I follow.  They were always something that spoke to me.  Forever a fat kid, when the stars aligned during my 30th birthday week and calories didn't count, I decided to make them!  Of course, because it was my birthday week I decided to take the semi-homeade route because I was way too busy to slave over a hot stove all day!  Right.

I've seen these dubbed Crownies and crack but I prefer to call them "Fantasy's".  Why you ask?  Well, it's probably not what you're thinking.  There is no handsome man in a fireman's uniform behind these beauties.  These are what I would consider a Pinterest fail.  Duh duh ddduuuhhhhhhhhh... say it isn't so!  'Tis so.  I'll still share the recipe because they were fun to make and turned out ok, if you like that sort of thing!  To me, these took 3 of my favorite things and instead of combining their ingredients Captain Planet style, they tasted like a sugary overload.  D and I had two bites and decided they were going to the boat.  You're welcome Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore!

Brownie Mix (plus all required ingredients)
Tollhouse pre-cut chocolate chip cookies

Assemble like so....

Add brownie goodness on top...
Bake all @350 for 20-25min...

Ta dah!!

Grab a giant glass of milk and prepare for your sugar high!  Enjoy! 

Until next time on Semi-homemade with Annalee :)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Purge.

I just had way too much rant for one Friday...
*Begin rant- or skip ahead for non crazy talk after the next starry thingy*

You know what I hate?!  I hate when people treat me like a CHILD.  I am NOT a child and I do not appreciate being treated as such.  I am 30 freaking years old and just because I don't have wrinkles, self loathing, I don't take myself so seriously I have forgotten how to have fun, have a positive attitude and sense of humor does not mean you get to treat me like I'm a tween.  Oh hey, Taylor Swift called.  She's not my BFF and just for clarification if she was, we could go drinking because she's 23.  Looks can be deceiving and just because your kids love us, doesn't mean we are 5.  Mind. blown.  For that matter, did you ever stop to wonder if your so called "kids behavior" would turn around if you gave them respect, responsibility and positive reinforcement?!  Novel idea don't you think?  Heaven help them if you speak to them in the manner, or worse, than you speak to me.

I'm very to the point.  Shocker, I know.  I don't really do "chit chat" and especially when you need something from me or have a problem.  Yes, we can talk about your feelings if you need to.  No, I do not need a 15min reason of why you're chewing me out especially when you are not my boss.  Rip off the band aid people and let's have a constructive conversation!  I am a productive member of this society, no different than you.  I have bills, am married, own a dog, have a family to take care of and hold down a job.  Please enlighten me as to why you feel it's appropriate to look down on me and treat me differently?  Please save your Huns, Honey, Sweetie and Sweetheart pet names for your animals or significant other.  You better thank my Mamma that I was raised to be more polite than my brain keeps screaming at me to be.  If I was not in a work environment you better believe you would have received a polite but effective earful.  Right now I'm imagining every stereotypical gay man yelling at you, snapping his fingers in a "Z" and giving you multiple "oh honey you better recognize"s.  It's lightening my mood... and saving you ps. 

Hello, My name is Annalee and I'm the patron saint of second chances and silent rants.
Story of my life people.

*End rant.*

On another note.  D and I watched an interesting movie last night.  Have you seen The Purge?  The concept is quite intriguing and being so into the inner workings of the brain, I found it quite compelling.  One night a year, all crime is legal.  Crazy concept, huh?

People are supposed to act a specific way all the time.  Think of all of the times people make you angry.  Think of all the times you *wish* you had said something but didn't because it wasn't professional or polite.  Think of all the times you really just got so upset you were on the verge of a child's tantrum... but didn't act.

I think there is some validity to the concept when you think about it.  Some people choose not to follow societies norms and they are considered "weird" or worse.  Saying this does not exactly mean that I condone a night where all crime is legal but I've thought about the movie, and entertain the ideas it displayed, minus the actual killing part.  Before you make a lynch mob for me, riddle me this Batman, have you ever wanted to lose control?  Wanted, not did?  One night to release for everything you have to keep inside.  One night to look forward to, to put up ALL of your pent up aggressions in, to store your stress and then... just... release.  Think about how unhealthy people become from not talking about issues, harboring feelings and never releasing!  

Think about all of the stress studies and techniques we have and the billions of dollars spent on the idea of relaxation.  What if you didn't have to use those techniques, spend that money or feel those feelings because you knew that you could put all of those emotions in a pretty little box and on (insert date here) you could release the beast.  You could release any sort of anything living, growing or eating you up inside.   I’m pretty sure I’d be outside reeking havoc on some cars, bonfires or other things of a destructive nature- but not jumping on the murderas bandwagon.  I think I’ll stay away from that aspect.    

In case you're worried, no... I'm not going to do anything.  In fact, I was the bigger person in the previous conversation and actually quite diplomatic.  Did I want to, h-e-double hockey sticks, no.  But I did.  It's always fun to imagine though.  I think I'll grab a glass bottle of wine and a chick flick and pray to the purge gods that the beast stays in check.

Until next time...

Frank Saturdays!?
Life, Laughs and Ladds: Frank Fridays

Friday, October 25, 2013

Frank Fridays: Honey, I'm home!

Great news!  My Husband's boat is back in the 'ol US of A.  Ok, they never really left but it felt like they could have.  That was a long two weeks after being spoiled this summer and having them around a lot more.  Such is the life of a CG Cutterman's wife!

*Side note-  I woke up today with a positive attitude and excitement for the day to come.  Well, specifically excitement for 4:30 when I get off work.  Cheers to the freakin weekend people.  We lived to relax another day!  Hopefully I'll have some awesome shenanigans to tell you about next week!*  

Anywho, another season is upon us up here in Cordova, Alaska.  It's the widely praised start of the HS Basketball season... aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh *and the crowd roars*!  Since my hunky husband is a super referee on the side and I am the reigning varsity cheer coach, this season also means another thing: crock pot dinners!  Yes, consessions food is also available!  I can't wait for the over processed and yellow dye #4 cheese nachos, said no one ever.  In a dire situation those little nuggets of imitation Velveeta can taste like gold but in the spirit of trying to lose weight and not preserve myself from the inside out, I think I'll pass! 

In the coming weeks months you will be able to see a wide variety of crock pot goodies grace the pages of this lovely blog.  I'll tell you the good, the bad and the just plain awful (those will be nacho nights) as I navigate through this basketball season.

Beef Stroganoff or Balsamic Roast will be the first thing on the list!  I've been craving both for a while.  After a quick trip to Juneau last week with the Student Council I found an awesome selection of brown rice noodles and such in their grocery store.  So, I did what ever rational woman would do- I bought TONS of organic, gluten free and other healthy stuff and crammed it in my suitcase for the short 2hr plane ride home.  Welcome to Alaska life.

Wish me luck in the months ahead that my husband and I get fed and my crock lives through it!  Please pass on any amazing recipes you have- lord knows I'll need the help!

Happy Hunger Games Crock Pot Days!  Enjoy your Friday and don't forget to be Frank!

Life, Laughs and Ladds: Frank Fridays

Better than what cake?!

SEX.  I said it.  This cake is, well it's not really but this is a PG blog, better than sex cake!  My friends ask for this cake by name and I'm here to share it with you.  I'm sure this recipe like many other popular ones are called by many names but I prefer:  Better than SEX cake!

You will need:
1 pkg Chocolate Devil's Food Cake + required ingredients
Cool Whip (get the big one!  I also use the sugar free/light one- shhhhh!)
1/2 can Condensed Milk
6 oz Carmel Ice Cream Topping (sf works too!)
4-5 Heath Bars 


Bake cake according to package directions for a 9x13 inch pan; cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly pour the warm topping mixture over the top of the warm cake, letting it sink into the slits;

Crush the candy!  *Tip* use a plastic bag for easier clean up!

(Hint: I crush my candy bars into small chunks as opposed to crumbs - I like to have pieces I can chew on!)

Sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm.

Um... better than what?  YUM!
Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with some more chocolate toffee bar chunks and swirls of caramel topping. Refrigerate and serve right from the pan!

Better Than Sex Cake II Recipe
You will fall in love with this cake, but don't let the name fool you- it can't handle ALL your needs!  

Try these awesome variations:

Better than Christmas cake: Add a dabble, yes that's how I measure, of peppermint extract to caramel sauce (use less caramel, more condensed milk) and replace heath bars with candy canes or chocolate peppermint bark!

Better than Fall cake: Use yellow cake, candied apple slices instead of the candy bars and add 1tbs vanilla to cool whip.  Yum!

Better then Pumpkin cake: Use yellow cake with 3 tbs pumpkin pie spice added to mix, add canned pumpkin/2tbs (or more!) pumpkin pie spice to cool whip and top with pecans!

Those were just off the top of my head!  Booyah!  I may be a cooking savant.  We shall seeee!  Unless they're bad, then I had nothing to do with it.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 24, 2013

What the Pho?

I love a great soup as much as the next person, but I think I love an easy soup even more!

This soup is a little bit of chopping, some boiling and voila you have pho!  Pronounced (Fuh?) You actually have to add the question mark to say it right.  In Vietnamese when you say pho you end it like you're super confused/questioning.  Try it with me, oh and don't forget to make the Ron Burgandy questioning face!  Pho (Fuh?)!  You got it!  Don't worry, this comes easy for me because I fully believe I was of Asian decent in another life.  It's completely unnatural how much I love all things Asian!

Now, for all your linguistic hard work, you shall be rewarded with food... you're welcome! 

You'll need:
Green Onions
Thai Basil
Bean Sprouts
Lime Wedges
Meat (We use lean steak cut into thin slices, it cooks in bowl when broth is added)
Rice Noodles
Pho Broth- ok, so I cheat a little
Seriously large bowls- like HUGE.  We use mixing bowls :)

Chop these:

Boil these as directed:
Boil about 8 minutes just in case the directions aren't in English!

Rinse noodles in lukewarm water to prevent stickage

Layer your goodies:  Start with meat on the bottom so it cooks in the boiling broth!

Add broth:  Make sure you ladle it out while still boiling to ensure proper cooking of the meat.

Add these to taste:
Please disregard the meal replacement shakes in the background, they are NOT part of this.  However, yeay 24 day challenge!

Add a cute sous chef and you're done!

Voila- PHO!  This is such a great dinner and can seriously clear the sinuses if done correctly.  Once you make this soup, you'll crave it!  Hey, maybe you were Asian in a past life too?!  Sister!!! 

Until next time....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Frank Friday: Glee Club

I'm sitting at table during my first Student Council conference having a completely new experience.  Have you ever seen Glee?  Well, right now I feel like I'm smack dab in the middle of an episode gone wrong, about to be slushied.  If I haven't told you yet, I work at a school but I'm not a Teacher.  I do, however, Coach and really love being involved with students- hence taking the student council advisor job.  So this is new... All of this is new and I'm trying to act like I know what I'm doing... But I have faith in my ability to be a responsible adult.

Currently we're at this really great conference that helps students meet others from around the state, grow as leaders and learn/participate in student government.  As the bright eyed and bushy tailed new advisor I am, I came here hoping for advisor boot camp and really looking to get skills to help mold these young adults into the leaders I know they can be.  I've gone around and been the energetic friendly person and introduced myself to fellow advisors and really thought I was making headway and then they ask this:  what do you teach?  Oh, erm, well, I don't teach.  Insert blank look of what the fbomb are you doing here.  So I carry on the conversation explaining that I work for the District and Coach Varsity Cheerleading and blah blah blah hoping to win them over with my personality and charm... Epic.  Fail.  I always thought when I left HS that, I did just that-left- but it seems that I was wrong.  

I'm not going to lie and say I was the most popular at my HS but I will say that at one point I was captain of my cheer squad and first chair in a pretty rockin jazz band and life was good.  I was accepted and floated comfortably between different groups and different social standings.  I mean my positivity is infectious and refreshing! come on!  It wasn't until I came to this conference that I have really felt like a Glee club member, but unfortunately there isn't a misfit army to back me up right now.  Nope, I am the sole resident on the island of misfit toys.  You know what?  I don't care.  I am fun, silly, energetic and not too cool to participate.  I will cheer with the kids and I will own the title of coolest advisor because to me that really means, I don't think I'm better than the students and isn't that the message we should really be sending Educators?  

So be it resolved, I will continue to greet every student, keep a positive attitude, flash my big toothy grin and lead by real example of how someone should act.  I will not discriminate on you because you do teach, but continue to turn a blind eye as you slushie me with your looks and shunning.  Bring it on geriatric Cheerios because my slushie will always prevail and my songs will always be the coolest.

Rock on Glee Club, your newest member is ready to sing!  And as always, don't forget to be Frank!

Until next time...

Life, Laughs and Ladds: Frank Fridays

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

When is a vacation not a vacation?

So I took this little "vacation" to see my parents two weeks ago.  I got to thinking "this doesn't really feel like vacation", which led into "if I'm off work, why doesn't this feel like a vacation"?  Here are some possible reasons why and of course super cute pics of what I did while I was away from you!

1.  When you have more things to fit in a week and no time-turner available because Hermione borrowed it and never gave it back! 

Not a HP fan?  google it.  Ok, so every time I leave this "paradise" as people call it, I've got a MILLION things that I have on my "to-do" list.  If you've ever read my Cordovaisms Vol. 1 or Vol. 2 you can see that there isn't any shopping here and we are a very secluded little town.  Lovely?  Yes.  Control my shopping?  Yes.  Me likey?  NO.  Naturally, when my parents offered to fly me down for my birthday present I was ecstatic to see them and to do a million things I don't get to do up here.  Enter not feeling like a vacation.  We were running around like crazy people going from store to store trying to buy the entire world the things I needed.  These things included but were by no means limited to: candles (to last until Spring flavors are needed), fall/winter outfits, fun work shoes (Cordova likes to EAT shoes- I'll expand later.) and decorations.  It was like a gun went off the first morning I was there and the race didn't end until the morning I left.  Exhausting.

2.  When you stay with family.

I love you... like a lot.  But there is just something about going back to your hotel room with a freshly turned down bed and hearing- wait for it- nothing.  Also, my dear Mother LOVES to wake me up.  I'm pretty sure it's one of her favorite things, ever.

3.  When said family gets a new puppy.

It's like staying with a person who just had a newborn... super cute, tons of work.  I, myself, had my baby fever checked after staying with the newest member of the family.  Holy biting, needy, peeing, crazy excited little monster.  Did I already say I'm pretty sure my Mom is trying to replace me with a puppy?  Yeah, that happened.  Oh, and regarding the above wake up calls, a 30lb 4mo old bulldog puppy jumping on your head and biting your hair- is not making my favorites list.  Being with this puppy made me A) appreciate my almost 7yr old pug and B)gave me a serious reality check on the ticking clock in my uterus.  tmi?  Nah!

4.  When you constantly eat out.

Hold the phone.  You're telling me that eating out doesn't make you feel like you're on vacation?  Why yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  While eating out is an integral part of vacation, trying to cram every single food that you don't get in your tiny Alaskan town in your face in 8 days is not enjoyable in hindsight.  Please refer to number one.  I had... pizza, thai (no, I actually never got thai, damn!), sushi, Luna (awesome restaurant), Fro you like 16 times, P.F. Changs, breakfast restaurants, Five Guys Burgers, sandwich shop goodies, Starbucks- duh and the list goes on and on...  Needless to say I came back with 5lbs of lovin.  Totally worth it. 

However, can we talk about the day I DID feel total bliss?  My Mom surprised me with a massage and facial at the Coeur D'alene Spa & Resort.  I have never had a facial before and let me tell you, just between you and me, it's heaven.  You should go get one.  Like now.  We spent 4 hours at the spa and then had an amazing dinner at the resort restaurant.  It was so peaceful, relaxing and later indulgent with the ice cream sundae that it felt like my birthday all over again.  That was exactly what I had wanted.

Here are some of the super fun pics I took on with my family.  Love these people!!

I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting old and "going home" has a different feel or if it's the adult in me feeling weird, but something was different.  I love my family and am SO excited that I was able to see them (last time was for wedding festivities a year ago).  I can't wait to be closer to them but I won't be shocked at these new feelings I have next time.  Next time, I'll be ready for the grown up Annalee's needs and make sure to plan accordingly!  Maybe a Husband in tow would've helped too!  We'll see!

As you get older does "going home" mean something different to you?    

Until next time...