Monday, April 13, 2009

Flip Flops, Raw Chicken, and Balls of Noodles- Oh My!

Saturday April 4th was Emma's Birthday. It has always been our tradition that the girls can get their favorite meal for their Birthday or go to the restaurant of their choice. Emma took it to the next level this year by adding a request for a specific cake. First she wanted a "purse" cake like her cousin Megan. Then she wanted an "Olivia" the pig cake that she found on line. Then she wanted a flip flop cake that she found on So I told her that I would make the flip flop cake and we were not going to CHANGE OUR MINDS AGAIN.

Then came the dinner part. She at first wanted Logans, then Olive Garden, then Outback, then Logans, then Red Robin, then Olive Garden. Finally she said I want you to cook at home. She wanted me to make fettuccine Alfredo that a friend of ours Shannon makes- and the breaded heavenly chicken that goes with it. Now let me preface this by saying this is now the day before her birthday. I told her that I would email Shannon for the recipe and that we would go from there.

Shannon sent me the recipe so we went very late to get all of the ingredients. She was beyond excited. I baked the cake on Friday Night and we cut it out and frosted it on Saturday. Part one of meal complete without too much hassle we now had a cake. I still wish I would have gone back to the store for the third time that day and gotten some graham crackers and crushed them to look like the flip flops were in sand but whatever- it is done~

Now onto the meal. John's family was coming over for dinner so I knew I had to make this new recipe for guest as well- no pressure right? Wrong.

I bought the par-boiled noodles. The ones that are in the cooler section, I put three containers of those in to boil in a huge pot. Just having that pot on the stove made me feel Italian. I considered cooking the rest of the meal with a great accent but after the horror started I scrapped that idea.

I started the Alfredo sauce. The first batch turned out perfect- but turned out to not be enough. I now knew that the time of the chicken was approaching. The chicken had to be dipped in a wet mixture and then dry and then be cooked in a pan with little oil. I have never fried anything in oil- and I thought if a little is good -a lot must be better. (Note to self- this is not always true) So I had my oil in the frying pan at 350. It was too hot. The chicken was too big and was burning on the outside and raw on the inside. I had four pieces in already. I then began looking for the the smaller flatter pieces. By this time my hands were so full full of egg, bread crumbs and Parmesan I really should have deep fried them and called it a meal.

By this time the noodles are done and boiling out of the pan (three containers is a lot). I call John in to strain the noodles for me-as I am still burning raw chicken and need another set of hands. He couldn't find the larger strainer and started (I am not kidding now okay) pulling out noodles with one spoon and pouring them to another spoon and then putting them in another pot. I was like what are you doing? He said straining noodles. I was so frustrated I was like please leave the kitchen now.

I then pour the noodles into a small strainer and focus back on the burned raw chicken. My frying pan now starts going in and out. It has a short in it. I was like John you are going to have to go to KFC and get chicken they are going to be here any minute now. I then take matters more fully into my hands by yelling at the girls that the next birthday we are all going out (quite loudly). My panic level was now at a 10. I still had about 10 pieces of chicken to ruin before they got there.

John says - what do I get at KFC? I am like John- they serve CHICKEN. How many pieces of chicken? Do you want sides? What do you need? I quickly yelled- you are an engineer- figure it out. (I think my fruit of the spirit had fled the building at that point). I could hear Seanna snickering in the background. I quickly melted into tears as I heard the car approach. The in-laws had arrived.

I put the burned chicken and some of the raw chicken down the disposal. I then dried my eyes with the egg-battered filled dish towel and greeted my guest. They stood at the kitchen bar staring at my while I tried to now concentrate on the Alfredo sauce. The chicken had it's proper burial and I was on to bigger and better things.

Since I was in a hurry- I heated the butter- but did not pour in my half and half slowly (point to know) and then added too much cheese (another good point to know). The noodles now embarrassed were sitting naked and cold waiting for sauce to warm them. I finally had enough Alfredo sauce and poured the concoction onto the fettuccine. A little Parmesan goes a long way. The sauce started to thicken. I really could have pulled out pasta balls and hit the ceiling at this point.

John quickly steals the show as he arrives with the chicken. I had already made corn and green beans and garlic bread. John bought biscuits, mac and cheese, coleslaw and chicken.

We prayed for the meal and I then excused myself to run to the bathroom. I tried to remain calm as I looked down to see my teal shirt covered in white splotches from the sauce. I looked like a bag of flour- and I didn't even use flour in any of my ingredients. I dried my eyes again and prayed for the night to end.

The dinner was complete. The KFC meal was inhaled. My pasta, garlic bread, corn, and green beans sat dejectedly on the side, ignored and forgotten.

Emma opened up her gifts. She got new Bitty twins- Sam and Sophie and lots of new outfits for them. That night as I tucked her in bed. She looked at me- sat up and gave me a huge hug and said thanks for the best Birthday ever Mom. Your fettuccine Alfredo rocked. Maybe you can quit MK Ministries and start making flip flop cakes- everybody liked that. I hugged her back and told her thanks.

Firm resolve number 497- don't let an 8 year old talk you into new recipes. Greater love hath no Mom than to lay down her pride for a toothless grin. I love you Emma!


Girly Muse said...

oh my goodness, you're the best mom EVER. for tons of reasons. that you were willing to do what she wanted for her birthday tops the list.

but that flip flop cake!!! ADORABLE! could not be ANY cuter!

so sorry about the chicken part. but you still worked it out!!! way to go.

emma. what a little beauty. she will never forget that birthday.

Paula said...

Okay, I'll write a proper comment when I have stopped laughing and can see through the tears.

I am so sorry, girl, but that is just hilarious!!! And you KNOW you laughed about it while writing that. I could just see the whole scene playing out in my mind -- ahh, makes me laugh again.

Oh boy. I needed that.

You are a better pick-me-upper than a super-size Take 5 candy bar and a cup of mocha.

Love you, girl! The flip-flop cake was ADORABLE and Emma enjoyed her day, and that is what matters. :O)

Paula said...

Cake mix: $5

Chicken for frying: $15

Garbage disposal for disposing of burnt chicken: $200

A toothless grin from a happy birthday girl: priceless.

There are some things that money can't buy... for everything else, there's Mastercard.

Well done, my friend! :)

Vicki said...

you are absolutely the best mom ever and you get the biggest award ever given. Glad you got through all of that now, what was for Easter dinner? Love ya!

Cylinda Nickel said...

See that is why I have friends. They know I am this way and they STILL love me :)

Thanks Lori, Paula, and Vicki - wanna come over for dinner :P

Girly Muse said...

i think i might could make it JUST in time for supper, if i put the pedal to the medal!!!

Kathy McElhaney said...

Happy belated birthday to Miss Emma! The cake is adorable!

Okay, again you win Mother of the Year Award (and bravest for trying a new recipe). With Mother's Day so close, I hope John and the girls are planning something grand... maybe some KFC or something...

I don't know if I would have opened the door! Company would have been standing on the porch while I tried to find another recipe.