Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Well it FEELS like a Monday.

It was the Monday to end all Monday's. To start it was Tuesday. But it was still Monday in my book. Let's just say the world wasn't a calm pretty place over the weekend and I came back on duty to a VERY full plate, muddy dogs and a few fires to put out.

You've all had those days, where all you wanted to do when you get home is get a shower and something cold to drink.But in all the madness I had to make a sidetrack for Barkley as he'd been at a friend's house while the Realtor showed the house I owned prior to my recent marriage.

I'd come off a long week. I can't say I was a walking biohazard, but I definitely needed a shower after being out in the field. Now.So a simple request. Mind if I take a shower and change? I've been in the man's bathroom before. I can find what I need. I think. OK. . shampoo. Everyone has shampoo right. Oh there it is. It's utilitarian. It's efficient. It smells like someone just cut down a tree. With nothing but testosterone, a pocket knife and some muscles. Unfortunately it's the kind of shampoo made for guys that work really hard and have a military haircut. My hair is long, down my back and it's fine. There's a ton of it, but it's fine as frog's hair and shampoo like that will have it a snarled mess. Hmmm. Maybe there's something else under the sink, left by a girlfriend or something. Ah AH. There under the sink. A big girly looking white bottle that said "extra conditioning shampoo". It smells all tropical. Yes! So I ignored the "Lava Soap For Your Head" shampoo in the shower stall , grabbed it and showered up. It smelled wonderful, and my hair was really soft after. I even used the a blow drier to get all the curls out and make it all smooth. I'm all dressed and my friend walks though, laughing. "So", he says. Why did you use the dog shampoo??? That's right. Did I say it was a long day? I think, after that, it was time to just give up and make some comfort food.

Easy Baked Mac and Cheese. I love the "just like Mom made" stuff with ham and onions and homemade roux, recipes like I have on the sidebar from really good cooks. But some days you just need EASY. This one is. But is also delicious and unbelievably creamy. You can assemble it in 15 minutes, if you get out the ingredients ahead.
You start with some Cabot extra sharp cheddar, and (don't faint) a little bit of Velveeta to make it creamy and a can of Campbell's Cheese soup.

Toss in the rest (not pictured, some Penzey's Northwoods seasoning for the most subtle of bite).
Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle a little more cheddar on top and bake a bit more.
It's the perfect bowl of comfort food.
click on photos for the full effect
This really is intended as a side dish for ham or pork or meatloaf, other comfort foods, but on a plate, solo, it holds its own. As many of us do on those occasional "Mondays".


  1. I'll put the recipe up on the sidebar tomorrow folks. Time to unwind and sleep.

    From this month's Midwest Living Magazine, with a couple HOTR touches.

    4 cups macaroni (dry) cooked
    1/4 cup real butter, melt onto drained pasta

    Stir in a genrous 2 cups shredded Cabot's Cheddar (about 8 ounces)
    1 can cheddar cheese soup
    8 ounches processed cheese spread
    (all at room temperature)

    Stir until mostly melted.

    Add in 3 eggs whisked into 1 can evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon Penzey's Northwoods seasoning (or seasoning salt of your choice) and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper.

    Bake at 325 for 20 minutes covered with foil. Stir well and remove foil. Sprinkle on about 1/2 cup cheese and bake another 15-20 minutes, uncovered, until cheese on top is melted and starting to brown on the edges of the pan.


  2. Some day's you ride the bear. Other day's...
    I still remember when everyone was using "Hair and Main" shampoo because they thought it was the best shampoo anyone could use on their own hair...

  3. Needs Bacon :)

  4. Long day, indeed. Thanks for the laugh, though! And the recipe!

  5. Brigid,

    It could be far worse, have one of those days and the _dog_ needs the shower. After wrestling 110 pounds of Black Lab/Wolf mix (long story, but great dog) into the tub you discover that one of your daughters has made off with the Mane and Tail AGAIN!!! Poor dog ended up getting washed in V-8 Juice and Prell. And it wasn't his fault.

    Keith W

  6. New here, hope you don't mind me crashing the party. Hub found you because of the Dune quote on your sidebar and the reference to browncoats because we're diehard Firefly fans. Plus he's a gun nut. But he doesn't read blogs, that's my job. ;)

    I think dog shampoo was just the right choice under the circumstance. I know my MIL, when her hair was really long, used to get the extra-conditioning mane and tail horse shampoo and conditioners. Maybe I'm conditioned not to think it's weird? Anyway, hair looks lovely :) so it must have been right.

  7. LOL- Done that before too... too tired to see, and really too tired to care... Of course that was back when I HAD hair! Catch some down time, sounds like you need a night off.

  8. The cat's shampoo is lavender and jasmine...if it wasn't for the added pesticide I might be tempted to try it...then again, there are days when the pesticide body wash might come in handy.

    I'm learning to keep cans of evaporated milk on hand...it's popping up in a number of recipes these days.

  9. Well, I guess it could of been worse... Look on the bright side, the fleas and ticks will probably leave you alone for a while.

  10. My cousin recommends tail and mane shampoo, she swears it's great.
    Me, I don't know.

  11. Maybe I'm weird, but using dog shampoo doesn't carry much stigma for me. If it works, it works. In this case, it worked well.

  12. Time to bust out the Boomtown Rats.

    That's a soul food mac and cheese right there. Bad for you, but good for the soul. Would be good with some fried okra, some black eyed peas and some cornbread. That always puts my soul in the happy place.

    w.v. haphow: Wha' hap... How... oh, nevermind.

  13. Sometimes, subterfuge is good. However, A few pics of some delicious looking mac 'n cheese is NOT going to divert attention away from the fact that you and Barkley smell remarkably similar. Woof! Woof! In Labrador that's "nice hairdo."

  14. I am not feeling hunger but I think your post will make me to feel hunger. Thanks for sharing with us.

  15. I used to work in the surfactant industry as an analytical chemist and know a thing or two about shampoo. Most shampoo you see on the aisle is full of unneeded ingredients (the silicones are the worst). Most people only need a good "stripper" and a simple conditioner. From what I can tell by looking at dog shampoos, they are simpler and have better ingredients. Milder, better cleaning, less residue issues, and no silicones. I wouldn't think twice about using my dog's oatmeal shampoo if I was out of my own. In fact, I just might start using it anyway.

  16. Somehow, I hear the Allman Brothers Band rendition of "Stormy Monday", in my head.


  17. Dog shampoo, that hilarious. My wife used to use electric dog clippers to cut my hair, so I'm not pointing any fingers.

    That recipe looks awesome - you do a great job of photography.

  18. Something to brighten your day -- Bruce Campbell news!


  19. "Well it FEELS like a Monday".

    I've had Tuesdays like that; I always referred to them as "A long Monday that never ended".

  20. :rotfl: too funny...but hey, your hair looked nice :D

  21. If it worked, it worked. And your hair does look really nice and shiny, like an otter's pelt... What brand was it--I might look for some myself?? Now you need to kick back and get some rest!

  22. I think there's some kind of ironic planet alignment in Barkley's world right now.

    Barkley: "Hey mom...you smell like...ME - after a bath!"

    Have a great week back at the Office!

    H the IH

  23. you can't argue with success. Judging from the pic, you might want to consider buying yourself a bottle of that particular shampoo.

    If I had known about Mane-&-Tail, I'd still have hair below my shoulder blades. I went from dred-locked hippy to skinhead in 2 hours. I have big thick coarse brown hair, and when I went to have it professionally tended, women would walk up to me, and stroke my hair with awe and envy.

    I used to joke that if I could play guitar, I'd die happily of the right kind of exhaustion.

  24. How perfect that mac & cheese was to soothe an overworked soul. Your words have become just as comforting and inspiring to me over the last week; how I look forward to seeing what you have to say each day. The shampoo story...priceless.

  25. Well, I guess it's all good as long as you don't start wearing a flea collar.

    Great post as usual, try to get some Brigid time, sounds like life is running you over from both directions.

  26. I'll drive my car real slow.

    Not really fond of mac and cheese, but might try yours.

    See Ya.

  27. I feel for you. Have a bottle of good red wine and call it a night. I know that's my plan after 12+ hours in the truck in the last 36 hours.

  28. Nice hair! Hey I used to shave The Boy's head with the dog trimmer - it's all good.

  29. Judging by the results, I'd say that shampoo is (at least) ok for you.

    This is not to say that I didn't have quite a laugh at the story. :)


  30. I was going to say the mac and cheese needed bacon, but somebody beat me to it.
    So, all I can thing to say now is: Woof!

  31. I've washed my hair in dog and horse shampoo before now. It's perfectly OK, as you've discovered. And doesn't smell girly either. Hair for horse tails works perfectly for my three feet of hair!

  32. Tail and Mane. Good stuff. They sell it at Southern States here in Virginia. My wife tries every new type of shampoo that comes out, and bought a bottle of T&M shampoo and another of T&M conditioner. Used it once or twice, and I used the rest of it. Felt good, smelled good and did a good job on the hair. Couldn't ask for anything more.

    Only problem was every time I tried to laugh a whinny would come out. She never bought any more of the stuff.


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