How To Enjoy a Beach Day With Kids In 39 Easy Steps

What summer vacation isn’t complete without a trip to the beach? If you’re fortunate enough to live close to the ocean, you can enjoy a beach day with the kids using these 39 easy steps.

#1. Pick a day where it’s not raining, there’s no chance of thunderstorms, the UV index is below 6, and the wind isn’t blowing fifty miles and hour.

#2. Throw your kids and their bathing suits in the car (don’t forget towels, a blanket, beach umbrella, baby powder to get the sand off of feet, chairs, sand toys, pop up tent for your kid that burns like a lobster, hair brush, hair ties, ear plugs for your kid that gets swimmer’s ear, boogie boards, sunblock, lunch, drinks, enough snacks to feed everyone in ten mile radius on the beach because one of your children will undoubtedly friend a family with eight kids and invite them to your blanket for snack time, and a book or magazine for yourself that you’re not going to be relaxing to read in a million years).

#3. Drive to beach.

#4. Unload all aforementioned items into your sand cart and beg your kids to carry the rest as you drag the cooler, push the cart, and try to walk with a wailing child who just got sand in their eye attached to your leg.

#5. Reach the beach after stopping ten times to adjust your load and once to remove splinters from the foot of the child who insisted that she didn’t need to wear her flip flops on the board walk.

#6. Dump items on the sand and pause to catch your breath and wipe the sweat that is dripping off your body.

#7. Try to set everything up while your kids ask you no less than 187 times if they can go in the water yet. Rescue beach umbrella as it blows down the beach.

#8. Tell your kids (nicely) to stop screaming and no they cannot go in the water until they get sunblock on. Fend off dirty looks from the annoyed twenty-somethings in thong bikinis that are sunbathing on a blanket nearby. Grab nearest child and begin rubbing sunblock into his or her skin. Don’t forget the tops of his or her feet, the ears, and every other place you would never imagine you could possibly get sunburn unless it’s happened to you and you’ve laid writhing in agony all night.

#9. Drop sunblock on the sand to run to the water’s edge to drag back the child who has ran down to water while you are trying to sunblock the first. Try to sunblock that now wet child. Listen to child scream about sand in the sunblock scraping up his or her skin. Resort to using the spray sunblock. Child runs off before you can rub in spray sunblock.

#10. Start to sunblock yourself.

#11. First child comes running back to you to announce that she has to go potty. Discretely tell child that she can pee in the ocean. Shush child as she yells “Pee in the ocean? Mommy that’s gross!” Ignore looks from twenty-somethings who have now removed their bikini tops and are face down on their blanket.

#12. Pull second child out of ocean to go back up to the bathroom to bring first child who is now wailing about having to go potty. Drag both kids to bathroom. Take child to stall and try to remove her now wet bathing suit from her bottom. Ignore her screams that are akin to you lighting her toenails on fire. Figure you might as well pee while you’re here. Pull down your own bathing suit and shush your child as she loudly asks why you have fur on your hooha.

#13. Return to beach with both kids.

#14. Sit on beach blanket or beach chair for 3.6 seconds before leaping to your feet because your youngest child is already in over her head.

#15. Save child. Shoot evil eyes at lifeguard who didn’t even move while you saved child.

#16. Drag waterlogged, sobbing child back to blanket. Yell at other child to stay close to shore. Get dirty look from both other child and sunbathing topless girls next to you.

#17. Calm sobbing child and try to get her to put her feet in the water while she clings to you like a window stick-um.

#18. Encourage older child to stay close to you and try to teach him how to use the boogie board without letting go of younger, stick-on child. Yell at him several times for going out too far. Have several heart attacks when wave knocks child over and you can’t see him for a few seconds. Sigh with relief when he announces “that was cool!” Try to enjoy the water.

#19. Give up when younger child repeatedly asks if it is time to eat. Wave in a reluctant older child to trudge back to blanket and check phone to discover it is 10:32 and you’ve only been at the beach for an hour.

#20. Let kids eat their sandwiches anyway. Try to pick the sand out of the sandwiches when the kids complain about it. Give up and tell them to just drink more water.

#21. Take youngest child to bathroom again after she drinks all that water.

#22. Tell older child he needs to wait a half hour before going back in the water for some reason that you’ll never understand.

#23. Try to engage kids in building a sandcastle. End up building sandcastle yourself. Yell at kids for flinging sand at each other. Apologize to twenty-somethings who have tied their tops back on and are now moving because they got sand in their eyes from your kids.

#24. Coax younger child back in water while older child dashes far ahead of you despite yelling at him to stay where you can reach him.

#25. Drag both kids out of the water again when younger child poops in bathing suit.

#26. Discover older child has eaten all the snacks while you were in the bathroom.

#27. Calm younger child while she screams about sand in her heinie. Try to empty sand out of child’s bathing suit discretely.

#28. Let older child go back in the water with explicit instructions not to go farther in than knee deep. Panic when older child goes in waist deep.

#29. Reapply sunblock to younger child despite protests of pain. Make her sit underneath umbrella. Call older child in from the water when you see the tops of his shoulders getting red.

#30. Offer child a shriveled up nectarine when she tells you that’s she’s hungry because her sibling ate all the good snacks.

#31. Decide to pack it in when child gets sand in her eyes and won’t stop screaming.

#32. Carry all items back to the car in no less than four trips while holding the hand of a screaming child and a whiny protesting child.

#33. Shake baby powder on children’s feet to prevent sand from getting in your vehicle.

#34. Cringe when both children empty the sand out of their bathing suit bottoms onto the back seat.

#35. Get in hot car and immediately discover that you have sunburn on the entire lower half of your body because you never finished step #10—applying sunblock to yourself.

#36. Drive home. Stop several times because child has to pee.

#37. Dump all sandy items on your front lawn and vow to deal with them tomorrow.

#38. Open bottle of wine and drink.

#39. Decide to skip steps #1-37 next time.

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Crock Pot Cinnamon Rolls

I did it! I made a decent meal! Okay, so it was a slow cooker breakfast food, but still, I didn’t mess it up. You laugh, but don’t forget, last week I screwed up a cake made of pudding and whipped cream.

For Mother’s Day we had my mom, Hubby’s mom and my sister over for brunch. While Hubby doesn’t mind cooking for a houseful on Christmas Eve, I help him with that. It’s kind of difficult to cook for our crazy families (okay, it’s mostly my family that is crazy…) alone. On Mother’s Day I think I should get a small break, right? Hubby wanted to make a complicated egg and hashbrown dish—I wasn’t too interested in helping with that. Nor did I want to make anything else that would be equally complicated. I considered trying to make donuts in the air fryer, but then I thought about it and realized it would be too much work for Mother’s Day. I mean, I wanted to help Hubby out with cooking, but not with anything too strenuous. It was supposed to be my day, you know? (Mothers everywhere, insert sarcastic laughter here. )

But still, we couldn’t just have the egg hashbrown thing for brunch. Sure Hubby was making bacon, too, but if you’ve ever seen seagulls descend on beach-goers with sub sandwiches, you have an idea of what our kitchen looks like when bacon is made. We needed more to eat. Hence, the Crock Pot Cinnamon Rolls.

There are several recipes on Pinterest for Crock Pot Cinnamon Rolls, each with a different name like Monkey Bread, Crock Pot Cinnamon French Toast, or Cinnamon Roll Casserole. It’s all basically the same thing with various additional ingredients. You simply cut up Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in quarters, toss them in a mixture with brown sugar and butter, and pop them into the crock pot for a few hours. This recipe had some extras, like pecans and GREEK Yogurt. I’m kind of on a Greek yogurt kick so I really couldn’t resist. (Greek yogurt is healthy!)

The mixture is made up of 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt, 3/4 c. packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 1 TBSP of vanilla extract, and 1/2 c. chopped pecans. Toss the quartered cinnamon rolls in the mixture and pour the whole thing in the crock pot. You’re supposed to spray it with a non-stick spray before you do that, but I like to live dangerously and on the edge, so I didn’t bother and everything was fine. I had a mess to clean up anyway, so what’s a little sticky cinnamon roll leftovers from the crock pot? (Heaven forbid my kids clean up the dishes on Mother’s Day…)

It took about 3 1/2 hours to cook on low till the rolls were done—I then poured the icing that came with the cinnamon rolls over the top and let everyone shovel out what they wanted on their own plate. They were gooey and a perfect Sunday morning treat.

Side note: I got up at 6 am to prep them and then I went back to bed, but you can even prep them the night before and stick them in the fridge till the morning. I guess you would have to get up anyway to turn the Crock Pot on. Or do they have slow cookers that you can use a timer on?  I don’t even know…I must go investigate this. But first, let me go clean up my kitchen. 😒😒😒

strawberry icebox cake

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Alabama (Part 2)—IceBox Cake

Part 2 of our Alabama meal was dessert and it was a DISASTER. I was scrolling on Pinterest as I often do, and I came across this Strawberry Icebox cake recipe. I watched “Sweet Home Alabama” a billion times and I remember the part where the mom says she has a bologna cake in the icebox. I figured this strawberry icebox cake looked a heck of a lot more appetizing than a bologna cake. Plus, every year my husband’s mom makes him this “Boop Cake” for his birthday with really similar ingredients so I figured he would like it.

Who Names a Cake “Boop Cake”?

In case you are wondering, my mother in law got this recipe from my husband’s 5th grade teacher who’s last name was “Boop”—she’s made it for him every year since. I hate this cake with a burning passion. To me it is a gross combo of ingredients—crushed Ritz crackers and vanilla pudding? Yuck.  He loves it though. The strawberry icebox cake seemed a little more my speed with graham crackers and cheesecake pudding instead. I was dreaming that he would love it so much that he would request that instead of the Boop Cake for his birthday…fat chance. That didn’t happen because I messed it up.

How can you Screw up An Icebox Cake?

So this cake was one of the simplest recipes you can imagine. There were only 5 ingredients and it was NO BAKE (that was the most tantalizing aspect of this recipe to me if I’m going to be honest).

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I was really disappointed that I couldn’t find cheesecake pudding so I had to use yucky vanilla instead. I don’t think that was the biggest problem with the cake, though. The problem was that the directions were not super clear. The list of necessary ingredients also varied from the actual ingredients used (I found this to be the problem with the Alabama White BBQ sauce as well—could this be an Alabama problem?).  And I could not get a clear answer from Google on how much Cool Whip constituted 3 1/2 cups. We got answers ranging from 8 oz to 32 oz. We ended up buying $15 worth of Cool Whip and only ended up using half.

Plus, I pin too many versions of recipes. I think the ingredient lists get all muddled up in my head and I’m not sure where I read what.

Could That Be Where The Mistake Lies?

Maybe. Who knows. The directions on how to make the pudding were a bit fuzzy as well. First it said to follow the package directions (using milk). Then it said that I could use 8 oz. cream cheese to make the pudding if I was using vanilla pudding, but omit the milk. Um, how the heck can you do that???? How do you boil cream cheese on the stove in lieu of milk???? That sounded like a fire call waiting to happen.

It also said to let the pudding sit for five minutes and then fold the Cool Whip into it. It was still runny and I didn’t know if putting more Cool Whip would make it worse. Also, I didn’t have a 8 X 8 dish, so I needed to improvise. with that as well. I poured my first layer and boy was it liquid-y.

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When I added the graham crackers on top, they sort of oozed into the pudding mixture.

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Still, I continued to layer it with pudding, strawberries, and graham crackers keeping my fingers crossed. I figured that since it needed to set overnight, that would fix all the problems.

News Flash—-It Didn’t

My nephews came over the next day and it was my middle nephew’s birthday. He was complaining he didn’t get a cake (he got taken to dinner at Benihana and he got ice cream and they sang to him but apparently that wasn’t enough…) I realized Wait! I have a cake! An icebox cake! I stuck some candles in it and viola! Instant birthday cake!

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While the cake looked pretty nice on the outside:

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Once I cut it, it was an instant Pinterest fail:

This is what it was SUPPOSED to look like.       This is what it ACTUALLY looked like.

Oh well. You win some, you lose some. Try it at home and let me know if it’s just me or you’re icebox cake comes out crappy too. I’ve included the directions below.

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Alabama (Part 2)

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 c. Cool Whip
  • 3.4 oz package of cheesecake or vanilla pudding (2 c. cold milk to make the pudding)
  • 12 graham crackers
  • 2 c. of sliced strawberries

Instructions

  1. Make pudding according to package directions. Allow to thicken.
  2. Fold in 3 c. Cool Whip.
  3. Spread a thin layer of cream mixture to bottom of 8x8 pan.
  4. Cover with graham crackers (you can break them up to fit them).
  5. Spread another layer of the cream mixture on top of graham crackers.
  6. Layer with strawberries.
  7. Repeat.
  8. Top the final layer with the rest of the Cool Whip. Top with a few strawberries.
  9. Chill in fridge overnight.
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Alabama Smokehouse burger with white BBQ sauce

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Alabama (Part 1)

Alabama is going to be a two part blog because I got cocky and decided to make a meal AND a dessert. Both the Smokehouse burgers with Alabama white BBQ sauce and the Strawberry Icebox cake I looked at seemed simple. I didn’t think I could mess it up. Apparently I don’t know myself very well.

Anyway, the first part—the successful part…

Smokehouse Burgers with Alabama White BBQ Sauce

As you might remember, when we started this state challenge, I tried several times to make our first meal. We originally were going to do this in alphabetical order, but I met a lot resistance to the fried catfish that I planned for Alabama. I actually ended up throwing out the catfish I bought. That’s when we decided to pull each state out of the hat.

Needless to say that when Alabama got picked (they had to realize at some point it would happen…) there were faces made. So instead of putting them through the “catfish” ordeal again, I searched Pinterest for some new ideas. That’s where I discovered Smokehouse burgers made with ground pork instead of beef. We often have burgers at our house, but we’ve never had pork burgers, so I decided to try those.

The Alabama White BBQ Sauce

The Alabama white BBQ sauce included in the Smokehouse burger recipe didn’t sound as awesome as some of the other recipes for White BBQ sauce that I pinned. Being the rebel that I am, I COMBINED the Smokehouse burger recipe with a different Alabama white BBQ sauce recipe. Yeah, you read that correctly. I. Went. Rogue.

The White BBQ sauce seems to be an iconic staple in Alabama—everywhere I turned there were recipes for a different version. The one I used had mayo and Greek yogurt along with apple cider vinegar, honey, hot sauce, lemon juice, garlic and dijon mustard.

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All those flavors mixed together? The result is crazy good.

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It’s got a tangy ranch sauce kind of vibe going on…difficult to describe, but worth trying. Even after we were done with our burgers I was dreaming of all the other foods I could drizzle this sauce on…like wings. Mmmmm.

While I worked on the sauce, Hubby made the burgers. He wouldn’t let me make them because he is picky when it comes to burgers. I used to just buy the frozen Costco packages of burgers—he nearly had a heart attack when he discovered that. So ever since then, the only burgers we have are made lovingly from scratch:

These burgers had ground pork, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. We served them on kaiser rolls with smoked Gouda and strips of bacon. (I wanted to have them on potato rolls but Mr. Chef of the Year would never dream of varying from the recipe…he’s not a rebel like me…) The result?

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Very nice flavors married together into a delicious burger. My only complaint is that it was drier than I’m used to—next time I think we will mix in some ground beef or use meatloaf mix. Anyhoo, I’d highly recommend this recipe and the Alabama White BBQ sauce. I’ve got some leftover…I wonder how it would taste on Fried Catfish? 😏

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Alabama (Part 1)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 burgers

Ingredients

  • For the White BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • Either 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar or 1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar and 1 TBSP of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (or more if you like spice)
  • salt & pepper as needed
  • For the burger
  • 1.5 lbs ground pork (or meatloaf mix)
  • 1 TBSP smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 slices of Bacon
  • 4 slices of smoked Gouda
  • lettuce
  • 4 kaiser rolls

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients for white BBQ sauce together and chill in fridge.
  2. Cook bacon in skillet and reserve the bacon grease.
  3. Combine meat and spices.
  4. Add bacon grease into mixture.
  5. Form 4 patties.
  6. Heat grill (med-high)
  7. Cook, turning only once until internal temp is 160. (you may want to add the cheese directly to the burger on the grill to melt it a bit)
  8. Toast rolls on grill.
  9. Assemble the burgers on the roll with white BBQ sauce, lettuce, 2 slices of bacon (and cheese if you have not already added it)
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pan-seared scallops and risotto

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Risotto & Scallops

So this week was a momentous week for our family. It’s only Thursday and we managed to cook not one, not two, but three kick-ass meals this week. (We got take-out one day.) What?!?! You mean you didn’t go out to eat this week? Well, due to hubby’s annual bout with poison ivy, we have opted to stay in. Poor guy…every year he gets all motivated to clean up the yard and do some gardening and within days his face and arms are covered in poison ivy. He didn’t want to be seen in public in case he sent children screaming in fear. (I can’t really blame him—he does resemble Quasimodo a bit…) 😵 Hence, our home-cooked meals this week. We had nothing prepared for dinner tonight. Hubby was supposed to be at work, but once again, due to the swollen eyelids from the poison ivy, he was home. I had been planning to grab some more take-out. Then I realized that I could buy some scallops and we could quickly and easily whip up some pan-seared scallops and risotto.

What? You must be joking!

Yes, you read that correctly. And no, I’m not joking. It’s a quick and EASY weeknight recipe that I discovered about a year ago and have made several times since. It’s well received by the children and adults in the household alike. And the best part is…I haven’t screwed it up yet. Even though it’s risotto, and risotto is supposed to be complicated, this one isn’t. If you don’t think you can make it, I am here to assure you that YOU CAN DO IT!

Okay, so the first time I made it, I was sweating buckets. Hubby was supposed to make dinner that night and he got called to work right before he started dinner. I was left holding the pan…literally. He had been planning to make the scallops and some complicated risotto, but I have watched him make risotto before and it scared the bejezus out of me. Plus pan-seared scallops? Soooooo many ways I could screw that up. There was no way I was attempting to cook two things that I had never cooked before. So instead of marching blindly toward certain failure, I searched trusty old Pinterest for the easiest risotto recipe I could find. And boy, I was NOT disappointed.

So how do you make this magic risotto?

Start off by melting 4 TBSP of butter in a pot over medium heat:

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Add the cup of risotto and toast it up for about 3-4 minutes:

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Add one cup of chicken stock and stir. Let that simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is almost completely absorbed:

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Add another cup of stock, repeating the process:

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Finally add a third cup of stock and allow to simmer until almost all liquid is gone. The rice should be the right consistency at this point—not crunchy, but not too mushy either. Remove pot from heat. Stir in 2 cups of cooked chopped broccoli. (You could probably use asparagus or green bean if broccoli isn’t your thing.) Then stir in approximately 2 cups of shredded cheese until it is as cheesy as you like. I used cheddar, but next time I plan to use asiago:

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I added some black pepper and smoked paprika for some extra flavor, but this is totally optional.

While I was doing this, Hubby was making the scallops. You CAN do it all at once with only one person—I’ve done it. But he gets so excited when he has the opportunity to use his new cast-iron skillet, so I let him make the scallops. Big of me, right?

He started off by sauteing garlic in the skillet. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was fun for him.

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He then pan-seared the scallops to a nice golden brown color:

And that was it. His big contribution. 🙄 I guess I need to go easy on him since he’s “injured” and all that.

Finally, the two components of the meal came together for this Instagram worthy photo:

img_0873 Sooooooooooo good. There was not a bite leftover…much to the dog’s dismay. It didn’t stop him from trying, though:

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The Bad Mommy Cooks—Risotto & Pan-Seared Scallops

Ingredients

  • 4 TBSP butter
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. Arborio rice
  • 2 c. chopped broccoli
  • 2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • pepper
  • smoked paprika
  • 1 lb sea scallops

Instructions

  1. Cook broccoli and set aside.
  2. Heat butter over medium heat in a pot.
  3. Add Arborio rice and toast for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add 1 c. of chicken stock. Allow rice and stock to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. When liquid is almost dissolved, add another cup of stock, repeating the process.
  6. Add the last cup of stock and stir.
  7. Simmer until liquid is almost completely absorbed. Remove from heat.
  8. Add broccoli to pot and stir.
  9. Add cheese to pot and stir.
  10. For the scallops, rinse and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  11. Melt butter in skillet.
  12. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, taking care not to burn them or flip too soon.
  13. Plate scallops over risotto and ENJOY!
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Mother's Day

What Mom Wants for Mother’s Day

Wondering what to get your mother for the big holiday coming up this Sunday? I’ve decided to put my dislike for this day aside (see Mother’s Day Misery) and help you all out in your gift giving enthusiasm. Here are a few simple rules to follow in order to make this Mother’s Day the best for your mom.

The Rules:

#1. Don’t cook your mother a meal…unless you plan on cleaning up the ENTIRE meal.  This means scrubbing the waffle iron clean and running the dishwasher. This includes the knives you use and the mugs she drinks out of. It also mean you need to clean up the milk you spill on the floor and the flour that ends up on the ceiling fan. Not willing to do that? Then no breakfast in bed and no elaborate French dinners. Mom does NOT want to clean up your mess. She also does NOT want to go out to eat with a million other moms. So what to eat? Order take out or make burgers on the grill (and don’t forget—it’s YOUR job to clean it up). Some moms are partial to Sangria, chips and guacamole for lunch on Mother’s Day…hint, hint, mi familia. 

#2. Don’t spend a lot of money on a gift. I’m not kidding. Mom doesn’t want an expensive gift. Spending money doesn’t show you care. What means more than an expensive gift? Get her something she’s mentioned over the last few months—tickets for a movie she wants to see, a book she wants to read, gardening tools for her garden, a gift card to get a pedicure…Prove to her that what she says really DOESN’T go in one ear and out the other.

#3. DON’T get her something that “typical” moms like, if you know it’s not her thing. Some moms really don’t like flowers, chocolate, or jewelry—don’t get those things for your mother if you’ve never seen her wear a piece of jewelry, she’s on a diet, and flowers make her break out into hives. Also, don’t get her a gift that YOU want for yourself. No mom wants to hear, “Oh you don’t like video games? I guess I’ll have it then.” (She probably WOULD like a bottle of wine though…I mean, only if it’s her thing. 😉)

#4. She does not want to chauffeur you around on Mother’s Day. Don’t make plans if you don’t drive. (She also doesn’t want to entertain your friends on Mother’s Day, either. Don’t ask if they can come over.)

#5. She does not want to be the ones to make plans for Mother’s Day. Do not wake up on Sunday and ask her “what are we doing today?”. DEFINITELY do not ask her “What’s for dinner?”.

#6. She doesn’t want to do any of her “normal” chores on Mother’s Day—so the best present you could give her actually doesn’t cost a cent. Vacuum, clean the bathrooms, do the laundry, dust, iron, wash the windows, weed the garden, wash the dishes, and go to the grocery store. Sounds like a lot? Yeah, moms do a lot every day.

#7. She really doesn’t want anything homemade—if you’re over the age of 10. Put the crayon down.

#8. She want you to get along with your siblings…for just one damn day. It’s really NOT that hard…just don’t touch them. Or look at them. Or breathe on them. Or be in the same room as them.

#9. Give her a hug and kiss. I bet she wouldn’t mind hearing that she is loved and appreciated. (Don’t kick your brother while he is giving your mother a hug, either.)

#10. You know what mom wants the MOST? Let her sit and relax. Bring her a drink. Don’t annoy her or pepper her with demands. She gave up her body for you for 9 months and pushed your big head out. GIVE HER SOME PEACE AND QUIET. She deserves it.

shrimp po'boy

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Shrimp Po’Boy

In our quest to find a meal for Louisiana a few weeks ago, I pinned quite a few other recipes, including one for Shrimp Po’Boy. These are so delicious, but we have had them in restaurants so we wanted to try something new. Hence the Gumbo. Anyway, I came across the recipe again the other day while searching for something to make for dinner. The following is a conversation between me and hubby in the car on the way home:

Me: “Look at this shrimp po’boy. Doesn’t it look great?”

Hubby: “Yeah. We should make that tonight. But instead of the remoulade sauce, we should use the Bang Bang shrimp sauce we make for Christmas Eve.”

Me: “We can do that?”

Hubby: “We can do anything we want. It’s our meal.”

Me: “Okay, sounds good.”

We get home—hubby goes downstairs to take a nap, leaving me to make dinner by myself. 😡

No worries, who needs him anyway? I’ve got this. Plus, I was excited to use my air fryer to fry the shrimp. Like I said, we usually make Bang Bang Shrimp for Christmas Eve—it’s a very labor intensive process that usually takes hours. I was thinking that by using the air fryer I would shave lots of time off of the process.

I started off with making the Bang Bang sauce while the shrimp defrosted. It’s so simple, with only 4 ingredients—1/2 c. mayo, 4 TBSP of sweet chili sauce, 2 TBSP honey, and a few dashes of hot sauce. You whisk them together and stick the sauce in the fridge to chill.

 

 

(In case you’re wondering how this differs from a remoulade sauce, a remoulade sauce generally has a mayo/egg base and some have hot sauce, but it has garlic, capers, vinegar and mustard.)

Then I made the batter to dip the shrimp in. I mixed the 1 c. buttermilk, 3/4 c. flour, 1/2 c. cornstarch, egg, and TBSP of hot sauce together. The result is a thick batter:

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The next step is to dredge the shrimp in this batter so that the Panko breadcrumbs will stick. This is the part of this recipe I despise. No matter how I do this it’s a mess. I’ve tried using my fingers, using a fork, using a Ziploc baggie. The result is always clumping breadcrumbs stuck to me, the table, the fork, the walls… If anyone has any suggestions for a clean way to dip shrimp in batter and then coat with Panko, PLEASE let me know.

 

 

This part ended up taking just as long as it always does and I didn’t even have the assistant that I usually have on Christmas Eve—he was still off in dreamland. But I still had high hopes for the frying portion to be a breeze. The air fryer did not disappoint like it did the other day for The Salmon Calamity. The shrimp came nice and crispy—about 5 minutes on one side and then I flipped then to crisp up the other side. The best part about it? No grease to deal with!

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The result of my efforts was a big fat Shrimp Po’Boy sandwich. Or maybe just a shrimp sandwich. Apparently, what sets a Po’Boy apart from a regular sub sandwich is not the Remoulade like I originally thought—it’s the bread. A Po’Boy is on a baguette with a crispy outside and soft center. We didn’t have any baguettes at our grocery store so we used Portuguese rolls which are sort of crispier on the outside and soft in the center:

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All right, all right! Maybe it’s not an authentic Shrimp Po’Boy, but it was still pretty damn good. And the best part? Everyone ate their sandwich and wanted more. No matter what you call it, that’s a win in my book.

The Bad Mommy Cooks—Shrimp Po’Boys

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of shrimp
  • shredded lettuce
  • tomato, sliced for sandwiches
  • baguette rolls
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • For the Batter:
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/2 c. cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP of hot sauce together
  • For the Bang Bang Sauce:
  • 1/2 c. mayo
  • 4 TBSP sweet chili sauce
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce

Instructions

  1. For the Bang Bang sauce:
  2. Mix mayo, sweet chili sauce, honey and hot sauce together.
  3. Refrigerate while preparing the shrimp.
  4. For the batter:
  5. Mix the buttermilk, flour, cornstarch, egg, and hot sauce together. The result is a thick batter
  6. Dip the shrimp in batter.
  7. Coat shrimp with Panko bread crumbs.
  8. Air fryer or deep fry shrimp until golden brown
  9. Add sauce, shrimp, lettuce, and tomato to baguettes.
  10. Enjoy!
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