Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The First Ever Unexpected Housewife Contest!
Do you want to come for dinner with The Unexpected Housewife? Now is your chance. The lucky winner and a guest will be treated to a home cooked Housewife meal.  After the meal the guest will be asked to review the dishes and I will post the review right here for you to read. How narcissistic can I get!

How to enter:
Leave a comment telling me about your favorite foods and a food you would like to try.
The lucky winner will be chosen at random (out of a hat) and will be invited over for Dinner. 

Entries received from 3-18-09 until 4-06-09 will be eligible. All entries must be original. Participants must be 21 or over and be legal resident of the United States. Transportation will be the responsibility of the winner. Overnight accommodations will be provided upon request. 
By entering you are agreeing to allow your image to appear on the Unexpected Housewife blog. The winner will also be required to deliver a review of the meal within 48 hours of dining. No fat chicks please. 
Winners will be announced on this blog on 4-07-09.

One grand Prize winner will receive a 3 course meal prepared by The Unexpected Housewife. Meal will include beverages. (Value $178.45) Overnight accommodations available at winners request. (Value $129.00). Doggie bag of any leftover food. (Value $17.95).
3 runner up winners will receive a very special Unexpected Housewife gift in the mail. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Picky Timmy

One of the most difficult parts of being a good unexpected housewife is entertaining the in-laws. This task is made exceptionally hard if your father-in-law is the pickiest eater alive. We all know picky eaters, but Sean's Dad goes beyond anything I have experienced. He is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, as in he will only eat meat and potatoes with a side of corn. Keep in mind he will not eat all meat. He will consume beef and chicken. (NOTE: One treads on shaky ground putting anything besides orange season salt on the chicken)
You may think this is no big deal and that there are plenty of options still available for a nice dinner, but you would be wrong. You don't know the rules. The rules are complicated and binding. They have secret amendments and can be changed at any time, sort of like The Patriot Act. Here are the rules that I can identify:

1. NO GREEN - this includes any vegetable as well as herbs or spices that are not masked.
2. NO VEGETABLES- corn is the only veggie allowed. Do not garnish with one, do not stuff with one. The rule is no veggies ever.
3. NO SAUCE- The irrational fear of vegetables has lead to a ban on sauce because of the chance that they could be hidden within. One acceptation to this rule is pasta sauce, which he will eat on chicken. This leads us to rule #4
4. NO PASTA- Though it is his wife's favorite food, the man will not touch a noodle.

These rules make it difficult to have them over for dinner unless we're having steak or burgers and fries. I have tried to venture outside the box on occasion and end up feeling guilty because he leaves hungry.
I thought I was within the rules when I invited them over for corned beef and cabbage. I knew the cabbage was out but I also made potatoes so there should be more than enough to fill his picky belly. It was over as soon as we sat down. He grabbed for the potatoes and loaded his plate. I passed him the corned beef that I had brined for several days and lovingly cooked for hours. He ignored it. IT IS BEEF! I followed the rules. Corned Beef!! The name might lead one to believe that it is corn and beef, which would comprise 66% of the food that he will eat. He took a slice or two after his wife pointed out that he only had potatoes on his plate. He tried it and said "oh, this isn't too bad".
When I was cleaning the plates after they left I found shredded beef hidden under the potatoes. And to think, I let him eat dessert.

(not my actual corned beef. I was too nervous and flustered to remember to take a picture but this is close to what it looked like...)

Non-Approved Corned Beef and Cabbage

For the Brine
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons whole coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons peppercorns
1 teaspoon all spice
4 sprigs oregano
4 sprigs thyme 
2 bay leaves
3 lb. brisket

1. Mix all ingredients above (except brisket) in a large bowl or pot
2. Coat Brisket with spice  mix and add to large bowl
3. Add water to cover brisket add a plate on top if you need to weigh it down
4. take an egg and see if it floats in the brine...if not add more salt until it does.
5. cover and refrigerate for 2- 10 days...I did 5.

Step 2 Ingredients
3 tbsp. olive oil
6 carrots chopped
1 head of celery (including leaves) chopped
1 head of garlic cut in half to expose cloves
handful of oregano (fresh is you got it)
2 bay leaves
1 head of cabbage cut into 6 pieces

6. Heat oven to 300 degrees
7. Heat a large oven proof pot or dutch over (hahahah) over medium high heat and add olive oil
8. Throw in onion, carrots, celery, oregano and bay leaves and cook abotu 10 minutes
9. Remove the meat from the brine and rinse well
10. Lay meet on top of veggies and add water just to cover the meat
11. Boil and skim any foam
12. reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes
13. Add the cabbage and throw in the oven for 3 hours.
14. Remove the meat and cover with foil for 20 minutes. Then remove fat, slice against the grain and throw it on a plate with some cabbage and potatoes (cooked during that 3 hour window).
15. Serve to people who are not babies.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

Once again, my day seems to be filled with sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Unfortunately, it has not been ringing much since January so it is possible this cushy job may be in danger. I need to take full advantage of it while I can. So today, in one more nod to St. Patrick I whipped up some Irish Soda Bread.  This bread is so easy and delicious!

5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg beaten
(2 cups raisins optional)

Oven at 350

1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda
2. cut butter into small cubes and cut into flour mixture until grainy
3. Stir in seeds and raisins if using
4. Add buttermilk and egg to flour mix and stir until well moistened.
5. Shape into 2 loaves and place in well buttered pans (I used one pan and on baking sheet to try a round loaf..)
6. Bake for an hour, cool in pans for 5 min then move to rack
7. Eat lots of this to soak up all the booze you will be drinking.

Saint Patricks Day

Saint Patrick's Day is upon us once again. Tomorrow, normally respectable human beings will set their alarm clocks to make sure they wake up early enough on Saturday to be piss-your-green-pants drunk before the parade. These people will flood Market Square adorned with plastic leprechaun hats and carrying yards of green Miller Light. The discussion will begin with surprise and mirth at how early they are drinking and slowly meld into the rich topic of how long they've been drinking. Eventually they will fall into the Sisyphean pattern of waiting in line for beer, carrying your beer to the bathroom line and then directly back to the beer line. After this pattern is identified they will retreat to a nearby bar or Station Square. There, they will slowly sip from the plastic yard cup that has been cutting the edges of their lips all day. Eventually defeat will be admitted and the Irish mob will head home for a "nap" only to wake up at 11pm wondering if calling it a night will mean they are pussies.

So, what time are we meeting, pussies?

I'll bring the cookies.

Soft Shamrock Sugar Cookies
2/3 cup butter flavored shortening
2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar/ icing for decoration

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream together butter, shortening and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into creamed mixture until dough comes together.
3. Put half the dough in the refrigerator. Using the other half roll into buckeye size balls and press into sugar. Place on cookie sheet with parchment or silpat about 2 inches apart.
4. bake for 10 to 12 minutes, cool on wire racks.
5. Remove dough from fridge and roll out. Cut shapes and place on baking sheet.
6. bake for 10-12 minutes (timing will vary based on shape and size)
7. cool on wire racks. ice when cool.

HardDrive Failure

I know the blogs have been few and far between lately. My harddrive failed on my computer thus forcing me to share a laptop with Sean for a week. Thankfully I got it back late last night, just before we filed the divorce papers. 

So here we go...back at it..

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sweet Potato Pi

Monday, March 2, 2009

How Much Do You Love Your Dog?

I attended the Detroit Kennel Club dog show this weekend and checked out some of the on-site vendors. By far, the most amazing one was Ash Embedded Memorials (www.gretchenscreations.com).
Yes, you read it right. She will take your pet's ashes and make a portrait of said pet with them. This loon will spend days, if not weeks and months, mixing your dog's remains into paint and smearing it across canvass. You will then display this artwork in your home, perhaps on the mantel, and point it out to house guests. This will show them that you loved your dog more than they love theirs.

Gretchen's Creations LLC
"A Touching Way To Remember"
What your furry companion leaves behind is a legacy of unconditional love. Deciding how to pay tribute to your pet's life can be overwhelming. We offer an unmatched memorial that combines the respectable option of an urn with the accentuated beauty of an original, distinguished plaster portrait. Once your photograph and style of portrait has been chosen, Gretchen will consult with you and explain the dignified process of acquiring the ashes for the memorial portrait. Your pet's ashes are mixed into the plaster allowing the final resting place to be as unique as the love you shared.

(this dog is dead)