Monday, March 30, 2009

Instructions for a yummy dinner!

Ok, so I decided to experiment a wee bit in the kitchen tonight and I was rewarded! On the menu tonight was: Stuffed burgers with smashed potatoes. Because it was so freakishly fantastic, I shall share the recipe with you and maybe you, too, will be drawn into the depths of your kitchen. :)

Your shopping list:

--around 1 lb. of hamburger (I used 90/10 ground sirloin)
--1 sweet onion
--bacon (2 pieces)
--baby spinach (about 1-2 handfuls)
--4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
--about 1 lb. of red potatoes (or however much you think you'll need.. I was feeding two ... with healthy appetites)
--butter (or margarine)
--shredded cheese (whatever kind you like... I just used some leftover from the fridge)

Ok. Here we go. First, put a pot of water on the stove to boil (for the potatoes). I added some salt to help it along and for flavor. While that's warming, scrub the potatoes and cut them into halves or quarters. Try to get them to be about the same size. Set those to the side.
Cut your onion in half and dice it up. Set these to the side, too.
Get two pieces of bacon and cut those into small pieces. By this time, the water on the stove should be boiling. Put your potatoes in the water once it is. Also, you can go ahead and get a large-ish bowl and put your meat in.

In a small skillet, over medium heat, fry up your bacon. Set your fried pieces of bacon on a plate. You want to try to keep as much of your bacon fat in the skillet. Toss those onions into the bacon fat in the skillet. Saute these up until they're nice and brown (and yummy sweet).
Toss half of the onions into the bowl with your hamburger meat. The other half go on the plate with the bacon.

Now, turn the heat on your skillet to low. Toss in a couple handfuls of baby spinach. They will wilt down quickly and just put those on your cutting board. Just give the spinach a once over with your knife to cut them up a bit.

By this time, your potatoes should be nice and done. Stick a fork/knife/whatever in them to test their tenderness. When it seems like they want to fall apart, they're done. Toss them into a strainer to get rid of the water and then put them back in the pot. You'll come back to those.

Now for the burgers! In your meat bowl, you'll have half the onions you cut up and sauteed (a quarter of an onion). Toss in your spinach and as much goat cheese as you want (I saved a little for a salad at a later date, but used most of the container). Mix it all up (oooo... gooey!)!!! Divide the mixture into four burgers. Set those on your grill (or skillet). I have a George Forman, so it's super easy. Wash your hands.. you've got hamburger goop on them!!

Now back to the potatoes. Give them a splash or two of milk around the pot. Toss in a heaping spoonful of butter or margarine. Add the rest of your sauteed onion and the bacon. Toss in a handful or two of shredded cheese (whatever suits your fancy). Smash!! Heat back up to warm on the stove and add salt and pepper to taste, if you so desire.

When your burgers are done, your potatoes should be warm and VOILA! Stuffed burgers and smashed potatoes!!!!

Some extras you might try (I might, next time around)...
Add some Worcestershire sauce or some bbq sauce to the burger mix.

I hope you try, and if you do... let me know what you think!!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A little bit of feel good

I want to thank everyone who tried to cheer me up. :)

My husband said it best when he saw that I was upset. He's very astute in noticing these things. I opened the bedroom door after my shower and within 2 seconds, he asked me what was wrong. He said to me, "What do you have to be sad about? You have a beautiful little boy and a husband who loves you." Very true. And then he said, "Go out and buy something pretty."

So I took Thomas out and we went to visit Nanny. For those of you who don't know, this is my grandmother who basically raised me, whom I lived with from 13 yo. until I moved into my own apartment. He had a blast and seeing him running around like a loon made me feel a bit better. Then we went to Old Navy. I bought a cute little dress, some funky "antique" sunglasses, two tshirts, and a pair of jeans.

The jeans, here, are very important. I've been on this "diet." I use the term very loosely because, let's face it, I hate the word. But I've cut down on my sugar intake and I use splenda instead of sugar. Instead of regular pepsi, I drink the diet pepsi max. I stopped eating out for lunch and instead have been eating Lean Cuisine meals. Well, it seems to have paid off. I noticed a slight weight loss. A few pounds here and there. My new jeans... a size 8. Yes, that's 1 size less than I was before.

So... combined with my husband being observant and giving me a hug, my little boy being a silly little angel, going down a size in my jeans, getting support from my friends, and watching a fraking awesome series ending to Battlestar Galactica... my pity party is officially over. You may now cheer.

Now I'm going to go knit some sunglasses. ;) No, seriously, I have a sock to finish.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Damned if I do

So I'm sitting here today and I'm feeling uncharacteristically sorry for myself.

It's the first day of Spring (which I love) and it's downright chilly outside. I'd like nothing better than to throw on some jeans and a tshirt and run around outside with Thomas. Alas, we would have to bundle up and it's just no fun playing outside when your nose is running. And my garden is no where near being started.

Although Kenny and I are doing better financially than we were a few years ago, we're still no closer to any of the goals we have. The main one? Buying a house. This is the absolute best time to buy a house and we just can't. We've been paying off the debt from the stupid mistakes of our childhood, but they seem to be never ending. It will take forever for our credit to be at a decent point for us to look into purchasing a home. And by then, the market will be back up and it'll be damn near impossible to find soemthing we can afford. I'm tired of renting and living next to a constant stream of neighbors, most of which are a pain in the ass... slamming doors at all hours of the night with me constantly worried that it will wake Thomas.

I got in trouble at work on Wednesday and now I feel like everyone thinks I don't do a good job, even though I work my butt off. On Wednesday, all I wanted to do was sit on the couch, curl up and cry. But I couldn't. Kenny didn't feel good and I had to take care of Thomas and put him to bed. I just wanted to be held and comforted but Kenny was in no position to do so. He started running a terribly high fever and I had to take care of him, too. It turns out my poor husband has the flu!

So maybe why I'm feeling bad for myself now is that I finally have some time to actually do it. Both the boys are taking naps and I'm sitting here in the quiet. *sigh* I usually try to avoid feeling sorry for myself because it doesn't lead anywhere... it doesn't solve any of your problems... but sometimes I just can't help it.

Everyday that goes by, I love my little boy more and more. He fills my days with joy and I feel such a huge satisfaction in watching him grow and learn. But sometimes, when I look at him, I just want to cry with the pain of knowing that my dad never got to see him. Never got to look at his beautiful face or hear his wonderful laughter.

And then I think of how I would love to have a sibling for Thomas. But, it was so hard for those first few months on both Kenny and myself. For me, it was trying to deal with all the dissatisfaction of how my labor turned out, the physical pain of dealing with the c-section, the guilt over only breast feeding for 3 weeks, the stubborness of wanting to do everything that I just couldn't. For Kenny, it was having to reimagine how our life was. He wasn't fully prepared for the challenges that a baby brings... and not knowing how to fix a problem that someone can't tell you about.

Of course, all of those thing were worth having Thomas in our lives. I'd love to see a little girl running after him. But in addition to trying to convince Kenny (a huge hurdle, let me tell you), we would also have to move. There's enough space for the three of us, but adding another would just be impossible. And then I have to consider all the daycare issues. *sigh* It's just not possible. At least, not for the near future.

So, I'm sitting here feeling sorry for myself... for all the things I want and can't have, even though I work hard at trying to get them. Eventually I will realize all the blessings I have and refuse to think about the negatives. But for today, I'm just too tired to push those negative thoughts away.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Busy busy bee!

So, I've been a down and out knitting FOOL this past week. I finished one sock and started the mate. I finished little William's blankie. I finished the preemie hat for little Gillian. I've started Gillian's blankie. I finished a pink knit hat. *takes a deep breath* AND I've worked on a lace shawl. Whew! That's a lot! But maybe it's because I have a small amount of ADD. Who knows. Anyway, I have to have two or three projects that I switch to and from so that I don't get bored. I would type more but I have this super cute boy in my lap gabbing away at me (I just wish I could understand what he says!!!), so I'll just post some pictures and say, "I'm awesome!"

The preemie hat...

William's baby blanket...

The pink knit hat...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

yarn = crack

zomg. I'm SO excited. I just bought some yarn on knitpicks and now I can't WAIT for it to get here!!! I just got a promotion last week... so it's sort of a present to myself. I bought 4 balls of the Essential Kettle-Dyed yarn in Wine. I bought 2 balls each of the Imagination Hand Painted Yarn in Frog Prince and Mermaid Lagoon. I bought 2 balls of the Essential yarn in Glacial. AND I bought a set of harmony dpns in a size 7 (to make preemie hats for William and Gillian). EEK! Oh yes, and all that yarn is sock yarn. I'm becoming a sock making fool.

The Kettle-Dyed yarn has been designated for this super sexy knee-high sock pattern called Clessidra (see picture below). I can't wait to try my hand at cables. It'll be my first time. I'm a cable virgin. hehe. I have no idea what I plan to do with the other sock yarn, but I know I'll find something.

On another note... it's become apparent to me that guilt seems to inspire me. I was so guilty about finishing my last sock and NOT finishing Will's baby blanket, that I did nothing after but work on his blanket. It seems to have paid off, because now it's finished! I haven't taken pictures yet but I'll be sure to post them. Now I just have to start Gillian's blanket. *deep sigh*

Oh well, I have yarn on the way!!!