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Today was back to school day here at Casa Brillig. For those who remember my diary two weeks ago, yes K1 got her summer work done. I couldn't be more proud of her, although how she did it without caffeine mystifies me and is a skill I wish I had :-)). Everyone appeared to have a good day. And so the 2014-2015 school year is in play, which in our household can be translated loosely as "holy crap it was busy today what are we going to eat?!" The answer (unless I've remembered to use the crockpot) has to involve some variant of "Fast Food"... but before you start pointing me at news about Burger King, follow me below the orange croissant after a word from our sponsor...

Here at Top Comments we strive to nourish community by rounding up some of the site's best, funniest, most mojo'd & most informative commentary, and we depend on your help!! If you see a comment by another Kossack that deserves wider recognition, please send it either to topcomments at gmail or to the Top Comments group mailbox by 9:30pm Eastern. Please please please include a few words about why you sent it in as well as your user name (even if you think we know it already :-)), so we can credit you with the find!  

We'd love to be one of those families who eats dinner at a sane hour. Really. A bonus is to combine it with Actual Family Time, ie all four of us eating together. What does the schedule say about that?

K1 has daily swim team practice into November and isn't home until ~ 5:45. Several days each week I am the 'From' carpool driver, meaning none of us are home until 6ish. Once a week there's a meet, making everything run later.

K2 has soccer practice Mondays & Wednesdays 5-6pm.

Both kids have significantly more homework than previous years, and K2 still needs supervision with his.

Mr. Brillig gets home around 7pm each night.

K2 gets ready for bed at 8:30.

See, isn't this fun?! Wednesdays I have a yoga class and it's become Pizza Night for the rest of the family; Mr. Brillig runs point on Pizza Night, and even when I don't have yoga we keep up the tradition. The rest of the weekdays, we have the problem that there's a narrow window in which to prep and cook. On days when I use the crockpot, it's easy to have a hot meal ready when we are. The other days, I need something that is (1) easy; (2) fast (under 1 hour start to finish), and (3) my family stands a snowball's chance in hell of all four of us eating. In general that means it should contain, wheat, cheese, or preferably both; it can't be heavily spiced or sauced; and shouldn't contain lettuce as a main ingredient. Here are some of our go-to fast meals that don't require advance prep:
Macaroni and cheese, made from scratch. It takes me less than an hour and it's WAY better than the powdered-cheese variety.

Frozen Ravioli with sauce and some sort of non-peas/corn vegetable, and garlic bread.

Morningstar Farms veggie chicken nuggets (both plain and buffalo-spiced to appeal to both kids) and Trader Joe's "Harvest Grains" made with chicken broth instead of water.

Taco/Burrito Night. I can go from a frozen block of ground beef to taco fixins in under an hour while helping with homework.

Chili mac, which is essentially a non-mexican version of taco filling. Brown ground meat, add pasta sauce until it's a thick slightly saucy mix, mix in corn, and serve over some sort of small pasta.

Salmon Chowder, although without dill and with double the salmon (Trader Joe's sells a boneless skinless can that actually is, saving pick-out-the-icky-bits time). Fun fact - I beta tested this recipe for the cookbook as one of the authors is a friend.

Those are a few of Casa Brillig's Fast-Food options. Much like actual fast food, it's not always nutritionally balanced, but we hope over the course of a day or two we're covering all the bases. What are your go-to fast meals when time is of the essence and you've not gotten anything ready in advance. My family eagerly awaits new options :).

On to tonight's Tops, formatted fast by BeninSC!

Brillig's ObDisclaimer: The decision to publish each nomination lies with the evening's Diarist and/or Comment Formatter. My evenings at the helm, I try reeeeallllyy hard to publish everything without regard to content. I really do, even when I disagree personally with any given nomination. "TopCommentness" lies in the eyes of the nominator and of you, the reader - I leave the decision to you. I do not publish self-nominations (ie your own comments) and if I ruled the world, we'd all build community, supporting and uplifting instead of tearing our fellow Kossacks down.

From nancyjones:
I nominate this comment from reflectionsv37, because it accurately represents the very real thought processes of tens of millions of Americans.  It's going to take a WHOLE LOT of work to establish trust and part of that work is exposing and eliminating corruption.  The Moral Monday movement is one that is striving to do that difficult work. If you don't know much about it I urge you to check it out.  No justice, no peace... with justice comes peace.

In this diary, by  justiceputnam.

From ontheleftcoast:
From Kossack this just in comes this excellent play on words that blows away the "job creators" myth by telling us what they really are.
From dconrad:
I'd like to nominate this comment by joy221 for top comments. (Terrific insight into the dangers of nursing in an ER environment!)
From Puddytat:
I thoroughly enjoyed the way Mogolori channeled George W. Bush in responding to Burger King's lame denial that they were NOT "moving" to Canada to avoid taxes.
From cai:
I nominate this great comment by Pluto because it sums up the things people don't seem to understand about "estate recovery" -- how it includes medical care, and insurance costs, not just long term care; how it only affects people aged 55-64; how it only affects those too poor to receive an ACA subsidy.
From Yours Truly, brillig:
This comment by TomP clearly states the white-black differential. Make sure to read his followup, too. From Laura Clawson's Poll: White people a lot more likely than black people to think police treat racial groups equally.

In Leslie Salzillo's The Time Megyn Kelly Baited A Pastor To Slam Al Sharpton & Got Punked (VIDEO) comes dougymi's setup and Calvino Partigiani's slam dunk.

Top Mojo for yesterday, August 25th, first comments and tip jars excluded. Thank you mik for the mojo magic! For those of you interested in How Top Mojo Works, please see his diary FAQing Top Mojo.
  1) Ferguson cops are funded by heavy-handedness by dharmafarmer — 149
  2) it appears to be by ctexrep — 132
  3) Here is how I would view it by Charlie Grapski — 118
  4) PEF has endorsed Teachout as well by xaxnar — 118
  5) Yep, Cromartie is not an angel, is he? by JoanMar — 116
  6) Just donated again to Teachout. by poco — 114
  7) cops protecting property and not people by entlord — 110
  8) Ah, so we have yet another Republican by Witgren — 110
  9) Folks need to stop being so shocked. by xxdr zombiexx — 105
10) I see it the other way . by indycam — 102
11) There was excitement for Teachout @NYC meetup by ericlewis0 — 98
12) nothing like being treated like a criminal by rexymeteorite — 89
13) Thank GOD Mr Belk wasn't running... by Jasonhouse — 88
14) It's not racism. It's human husbandry, by hannah — 87
15) Sounds like Section 8 Housing by Dburn — 87
16) Might have to root for the by TomP — 86
17) Well They Were Using Tear Gas and Buckshot by Gooserock — 85
18) racial profiling creates oppression and poverty by MartyM — 83
19) I'm with you. by howabout — 81
20) Run Liz, Run! by mosesfreeman — 79
21) Governor 1% is oblivious to the toxic nature his by Tool — 77
22) I'm still unclear on whether Wilson could by jpmassar — 77
23) I know you're being facetious by kos — 75
24) That is what I find most disturbing about all of by voracious — 75
25) My teenage son is 6'5" and over 300lbs. by ontheleftcoast — 74
26) Yep by mbayrob — 74
27) Sue! n/t by JeffW — 73
28) Been watching and reading about this by Empty Vessel — 71
29) Just dropped them this note: by Radiowalla — 70
30) Depredation. by Yellow Canary — 66
31) What writes itself? by JoanMar — 66
32) It is quite an interesting interview. by poco — 66
2014-08-26 Top Comments with Pictures, courtesy of jotter!
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