Today, I was a The Americana at Brand’s Lost and Found trying to get Spane’s scooter that he may have left there. I was really surprised that the base-boards, door jams, and kick plates were so dirty. I told the security guard it was disgusting and told him about the Secret Formula.
A while back I had a plastic spray bottle on the counter, and when my friend asked me what it was, I said “It’s my secret formula”. It became a joke among my friends because they were always surprised at how well it worked, and when they found out what it was, were amazed at how cost-effective it was as well.
The Secret Formula is very inexpensive to make, about $0.25 per bottle, compared with paying $3-$4 for another spray. It kills germs on contact, and it leaves a fresh, just cleaned scent. I’ve been using it for years, and it’s never failed me.
I told the guard what the Secret Formula is, so I guess I should share it with you, too.
Well, the good folks at Ascencia have asked me to make Mother’s Day breakfast – for 40. Of those 40, there are several mothers, and I’m going to make this breakfast special for them. Of course, I have to have the breakfast ready at 6:00am, and that is going to be eye-opening, to say the least.
Update – Thanks to my friend, Shem of Kobelin by Shem for taking great photos of the food. She even made me look good!
I love Teacher Appreciation Week. I love it because it honors the most important people in the world, the people who teach our children. Teachers are underpaid, and have to put up with increasingly larger class sizes. These dedicated men and women well deserve our appreciation. Last year, 2012, when Spane was in third grade, the PTA had a special luncheon in the newly created Teachers’ Garden, and I made a Lemon Wafer Cake that everyone thought was art, and not edible. The year before that, 2011, I made Star Party Sandwiches, because Spane had written about them in a second grade paper and his teacher really wanted to taste them. When Spane was in first grade, in 2010, I made Quick Meatless Enchiladas. I don’t think I knew about Teacher Appreciation Week when Spane was in Kinder, but if I did, I probably made something then, too.
Originally, I was going to make napkin rings for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, but then realized it is not a sit down type of affair, it’s a buffet featuring dishes prepared by parents (and they are ALL good cooks). So, I decided to make them just for his teacher. Part of appreciation week involves the kids bringing their teacher a present of some sort – Spane said that his teacher only wanted a card, and then when I presented him with these, he was happy.
These are very, very simple to make. You can probably find the apples in a craft store, although you might have a take them out of something else. The ones I found were loose and had been on some kind of spray. I was only charged one dollar for them – your mileage may vary.
Two weeks ago, I was asked if I would cook for Ascencia again, and I said yes, what day? The date was the same as my birthday, February 16, 2013, and also the same day as the Golden Dragon Parade in downtown Los Angeles. What a perfect thing! Birthday, Parade and Cooking – all in one day!
Since I was going to the parade, I thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the Chinese New Year by making Asian food for the folks at Ascencia. I knew there were two large pork roasts and a mess of chicken wings already in the freezer, and lots of rice. No problem, all I needed was the stuff to make fried rice, and an Asian coleslaw to go with it.
The secret to good fried rice is that the rice has to be a day old. Why? Because freshly cooked rice is already full of moisture and will not absorb the flavored oil in which it is fried. What can you do if you don’t have day old rice, and you’re just going to die if you don’t have fried rice? Well, you can get a package of precooked rice that you would heat up the microwave, and use that instead. It’s not quite the same, but will do in a pinch.
Again, just as on the 1st of the New Year, when I made Ascencia Salad, there was no guest chef, and The Good Plate again came to the rescue. When I looked for what was on hand, there was still a lot of pasta in the pantry, so I made my list to make Pasta Carbonara. I wanted everyone to have a well balanced meal, so the green choice was brocolli instead of salad.
Luckily, there were two large bags of French rolls, perfect for my Garlic Cheese Rolls. We also had a wonderful salad of peas, pepper jack and celery made by guest chef Jerome. A good and healthy time was had by all.
You never know what life is going to give you, and tonight, the very first night of the New Year, I received something that made my heart leap with joy. I got to cook dinner for 40 people!
When the guest chef did not arrive, I asked if I could cook dinner, and my friend said, “Yes”. First I looked in the pantry, and was amazed to not find any of the things I usually have in my pantry, like onions, or potatoes. There was a lot of pasta, and a lot of spaghetti sauce, frozen turkey sausage, frozen garlic bread, many cans of tuna, two cans of kidney beans, one can of pinto beans, and a can of chopped tomatoes. No problem! The Good Plate to the rescue.