Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ground beef and broccoli casserole

Got broccoli at bountiful baskets today along with some mushrooms. We had some ground beef so i set to work on dinner. Because i had fresh mushrooms and broccoli, i used them but you could certainly use canned mushrooms and frozen broccoli.

2 pounds ground beef
Onion, chopped
Few crowns of broccoli, chopped
Container of mushrooms, sliced
salt & pepper to taste

8 ounces cheese, shredded - we had that mexican blend, so clearly any type is fine
1/2 cup mayonnaise - i did not claim this was healthy
1/2 cup heavy cream - ditto

Brown the ground beef, onion and mushrooms. Drain and season with salt and pepper. Steam broccoli if fresh, thaw if frozen.  Drain the broccoli and stir in ground beef mixture. In a large enough bowl, place all of the sauce ingredients, microwave about 2 1/2 minutes, or until melted and smooth, stirring every minute. Add to the broccoli mixture and mix well; adjust the seasoning to taste. Bake at 350ยบ 20 minutes until hot and bubbly.  This turned out great. Next time I'll add more broccoli, but I used all I had so it couldn't be helped. Also, I think we'll brown the meat in more seasonings so it has more flavor than just "meat". Maybe one of those onion soup packets to be easy.  Overall though, we loved this. Great flavor and super filling!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cleaning out the pantry

We've had some difficulty using our Bountiful Basket in the last couple weeks. Halloween, soccer practice, soccer photos, birthdays, chi omega commitments, etc, etc, etc has all taken over our lives and we've ended up having Little Ceasars $5 hot and ready on more than one night. More than one night, a week. 

Today is Veteran's Day and I got to hang out with the boys today - more on that in another post.  It was great to take advantage of a brother-nap to do some cooking today.  I always do pot roast in the crock pot and have never, ever done it in the oven so this was new.  I just didn't have enough time to wait for the crock pot.  Anyway, I had apples, carrots, potatoes and celery to get through so my goal was to use them all for dinner/dessert.

Oven Pot Roast
3-4 lb pork roast, mine was boneless
1 can cream of whatever you have on hand soup
3 potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup water
12 oz soda, whatever you have on hand is fine...i obviously used diet coke because it's amazing
Put roast in baking dish and spread veggies around it.  Sprinkle S&P over meat. Combine soup, soda, and water and pour it over roast and veggies. Bake for 3 hours on 350 and you're done.
You can really use whatever veggies you have on hand but these are my go-to pot roast veggies and just happened to be the ones i had leftover from my baseket.


Baked Apples

6 small apples
2 cups of diet orange, lemon-lime, or similar soda

Core apples and cut in half.  Place apples, skin up in baking dish and pour soda over apples.  Bake for an hour at 350 and wait for the amazing smells.

Your house will smell amazing when you bake this, especially if you use a sweeter apple. I have no idea the exact type of apple I used but I think they may have been baking apples.  I've done this with tart apples as well and they always turn out great.  If you want them mushier, do them for an hour. If you want them more 'sliceable' stick to around 45 minutes.  I used diet sierra mist, but anything like diet orange or diet ginger ale would be great too.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Spicy Spaghetti Squash

1 medium to large spaghetti squash
1 lb ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
1 red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 can green chiles
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 cup cilantro, minced
3 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 Tbsp sea salt

Preheat to 325.  Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place cut sides down on a baking dish and cook for 50 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.  Use fork and scrape out strands of squash.

Brown the ground beef with taco seasoning and set aside.  Saute onions, green chilis and red pepper in a couple tsp of olive oil for 5 minutes. Add corn, beans, and chili powder and saute for another 3 minutes.  Add salt, lime, cilantro and strands of squash and saute another 3 minutes. Add meat to mixture and combine.

Scoop mixture into squash halves.

omg guys. this was so so yummy. jeffrey ate a TON of it and kept saying how amazing it was. thanks to the taco seasoning, chilis and chili powder there was some great heat so adjust that if you prefer less spice. i thought it was perfect!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

happy birthday bloggity blog blog

I seriously cannot believe that i've been doing this blog for 5 years. 
(full disclosure, i missed my blogs bday by a month. not surprising.)

I started it when Connor was a few months old and now he's in Kindergarten. Bear was negative 3 years old when I started it.

I've posted 575 blogs of self-indulgent, stream of consciousness nonsense.

I appreciate you all reading this and tolerating my bipolar blogging where some weeks I'll post several times and sometimes I'll forget that I have a blog for 6 months. Thanks for that. Sorry for that.

Those of you who have your own blogs thank you so much because it motivates/reminds me to blog.

Nearly Wordless Wednesday - Halloween Edition

Halloween throw-back edition today. The boys have had some cute costumes, until this year. This year we dropped the ball. I blame Disneyland. They will be trick-or-treating in soccer uniforms.

both boys on their first Halloween. Connor, left in 2007 and Noah, right in 2010.

Halloween 2008 - Clark Kent


Halloween 2009 - Baseball Player. This was the first year we let him choose his costume

2010 - Tigger & Handy Manny

2011 - Charlie Brown & Buzz Lightyear

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Diet Coke Break(down)

First World Problem, White Girl Problem, White Whine, etc. 

Call it what you want, but I have a serious workplace grievance.  It's about our vending machine and I'm pretty upset about it.

We have the absolute worst vending machine ever. It pretty much fits in with the rest of the technology, furniture, decor and practices at my office. Outdated at best. Half the time broken, always old and sad. the woman who owns the vending company used to date someone here and that's how she got the gig. (yay nepotism) that person hasn't worked here in 5 years, but whatev she's horrible.

see how everything is a lovely shade of old & putty?
i hate it

Even though employees here want chocolate in the machine, she refuses to stock it because it gets hot outside. Every other time you try and buy something, it gets stuck. When the item does come down, it's expired.

But the real reason for this ridiculous post is this, dear readers:

I mean, come on.

What kind of crap-ass selection is this?  Who drinks regular coke?  No one.  Mountain Dew? Even less people.  And don't even get me started on the Gatorade.  At first there was one Gatorade and I was like, well that's odd, who would buy Gatorade?  Then they took out Dr Pepper and replaced it with another Gatorade and my mind was blown. Blown I tell you.  Who the shit drinks gatorade besides high school boys or someone with the stomach flu?  No one I tell you.

Initially, there was Coke, Diet Coke, Dr Pepper, Purple Gatorade, Diet Pepsi, and water (random...vending machine is literally directly next to the water cooler thingy). Pretty good assortment I think. What went wrong you ask?  Dear reader, I have no idea.  Bit by bit the good stuff was replaced with this crap and now this is the final result. 

I don't think i want to live in a world that doesn't consider Diet Coke a workday staple. It's zero calorie fizzy goodness is just enough to keep me coming here everyday. Clearly, now I have no reason to come into the office.

Why did I just devote 30 precious minutes to publicaly ranting about the vending machine options? I have no idea. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

I'd be lying if I said that a Disneyland post was in the works. i'm still recovering from the trip so i'm not at all ready to write about it. If we're friends on facebook, you've already been assaulted with over 200 photos of my family in the last week so for today I'll photo dump all the Instagram/Mobile pics from Disneypalooza 2012.
(also, these posted in reverse order and it's far too much work to move them. never claimed to be dedicated)

the boys had matching shirts each day. this was their woody/buzz day.
Noah refused to wear his ears - no shocker there. Always the golden child, connor was prepared to pose.
Jeff & Bear on hsi favorite ride - Winnie the Pooh. I think Noah rode this 6 or 7 times
We took this pic when we decided to add an extra day to our Disney tickets. I should have looked
closer at my children and changed my mind. (these are their day 4 shirts)
this is how we get Bear to wait in the long, long Disney lines. carbs. lots of carbs.
can anyone explain the cult-like obsession with Mr Toad's Wild Ride? I just dont get it.
this is my social-media shy SIL Steph and Bear.
nope, no thanks.
waiting for Cars ride - we waited for 2 hours for the Radiator Springs Racers
papa & tashi striking a pose on Disneyland Day 1. We had family photos taken at Disneyland this day.
(Day one shirts)
My MIL got the boys these adorb, matching jackets. They are adorable. Luckily day one was
cool enough to wear them for a few hours. The other days it was HOT, like AZ hot.
probably the best pic jeff and i have ever taken. i'll probably put it on a tote bag or some coasters
expect one for christmas on a mouse pad
our baggage
windmills on the way to California
Our one stop on the roadtrip there.
Quartzsite - thank you for your Burger King and filthy restrooms
another coaster-worthy photo though i'm clearly wearing far too much jewelry for Quartzsite, AZ
also, jeff somehow lost this hat at Disneyland. :(
the official start to our trip - filling up in AZ to avoid CA gas prices
Minnie Mouse Nails!! Let me tell you that they were a HUGE hit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

We participated in a walk supporting UMOM and the homeless families they assist. The walk was at the Phoenix Zoo.
Randomly the Dbacks support UMOM and so does Chi Omega here in Phoenix.  #DoubleDipping for charity :)
We had two birthday parties for friends of Connor in one day. Both were at pizza places. It was a bit much.
the dreaded prize counter at PPP - I hate this part.
they come home with so much random crap that took 45 minutes to select.
Our nephew Jalen plays football for Mountain Pointe. We go and see him play as much as we can.
The boys love it.
Connor and his Uncle Chuck
it was a great game. Jalen scored 4 touchdowns!! I think he's up to 16 scholarship offers. Amazing.
I heart casual friday
soccer practice has started again!
Noah found the drawer where we his his books & puzzles. Yes, we hid them because this is always the end result.
My sweet new owl my bro & sis in law gave me. It lights up and I love it.