Thursday, May 26, 2011

Let's Pretend....

Let's pretend that June is almost here and that the weather is hot and summery.  Woah--wait--June is almost here but what's with the weather?!?!  Yuck.

I was born in southeastern Texas where it's hot and muggy and the bayou was only 1/2 a mile from my house.  (We saw 'gators, snapping turtles, and water moccasins on many occasions).  I lived there 'til I was 10 and I don't think I have ever acclimated to any other type of weather!  I am cold, here in Seattle, for 50 of the 52 weeks in a year.  When the weather hits over 90 I find it quite comfortable while most people around here call it miserable. 

So, I'm pretending it's summer.  I've been wearing my sandals a lot.  Even threw on a skirt last week and a pair of shorts the week before that.  I forbid myself to touch the long-sleeved shirts in my closet.  I broke down and wore a light jacket a couple of times, though.

Last night, I made a dinner that tasted so much like summer.  I'm going to keep on pretending it's summer.  If you have to imagine too, than you can cook this on the stove and in the oven.  For those of you who have the real summer deal, this meal is even better on the grill [you lucky devil, you]!

Patty Melts with Smothered Onions (from Betty Crocker with add-ins from me)
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Smothered onions (see recipe below)
4 slices Swiss or Gouda cheese
8 slices rye or pumpernickel bread

1. Heat coals or gas grill.  Mix first 7 ingredients together.  Shape mixture into 4 patties about 3/4 inch thick.  Prepare smothered onions; keep warm.

2. Cover and grill patties 4 to 5 inches from medium heat 12-15 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in the center.  Or, heat 1-2 Tbs. vegetable oil over medium heat on stovetop and cook patties or broil on low rack in oven--check for doneness. 

3. Top patties with cheese.  Cover and grill until cheese is melted (1-2 minutes). 

4. Add bread slices to side of grill for last 5 minutes of grilling, turning once, until lightly toasted or toast them in the toaster.

5. Place patties on bread and top with smothered onions.  Spread with mayonnaise first, if desired.

Smothered Onions

1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings (I prefer Walla Walla sweets or Vidalia)
1/8 tsp. salt
dash of pepper

Heat oil in 8 inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook onions in oil, stirring frequently until tender.  Stir in salt and pepper.

Sugar Snap Peas with Orange-Ginger Butter (not pictured)

3 cups fresh or frozen loose-pack sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
½ teaspoon cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon margarine or butter

1.Remove strings and tips from peas. Cook fresh peas, covered, in a small amount of boiling salted water, 2 to 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. (Or cook frozen peas according to package directions.) Drain well.

2.Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat and stir orange marmalade just till melted. Stir in vinegar, ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.

3.Pour sauce over hot cooked sugar snap peas. Add margarine or butter, tossing lightly to coat. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

And to think, I found it at Wal-mart!

While waiting in the checkout line, I did the usual glancing around at the candies and goodies there (I try to avoid the magazines).  Wal-mart has other interesting things in the checkout line, mini-lego packs, decks of playing cards, hand sanitizer....

To my left something caught my eye.  At first glance it looked like underwear.  "Oh my!" thought I, "Wal-mart is now selling underwear in the checkout line. Gross."  But, upon further staring, I saw that it was something called Cami-Secret.  Curious, I picked up a package and read.  

So, they are these cool little inserts that snap on to your bra and provide some cleavage cover-up.  Very cool idea--I hate having to wear an extra shirt underneath a shirt, but I want to be modest so I do it.  

And, I bought a Cami-Secret three-pack (colors: white, black, and nude) and have used them a lot lately.  I have really enjoyed not having to wear layers!!  You can buy them online on their website, or look for them on ebay or amazon.  I love them!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

New parent terminology

I have thought of some new terminology lately, related to my current state...

1. mombie - sleep-deprived mother of newborn; temporary condition that supposedly improves over time

2. disdressed - the situation a nursing mother finds herself in upon realizing that she cannot wear dresses for several months

3. second breakfast - a meal which hobbits, and newborns, are quite fond of

4. ambidextrimess - what happens when an individual is holding a baby in one arm and proceeding to feed her/his self with his/her non-dominant hand

5. gullaby - the naivete of a parent in thinking that a newborn is really asleep

6. stealth load - the surprising phenomenon that a baby has yet again filled his/her diaper in the 30 seconds since his/her last diaper change


My hubby and kids went for a nice little walk yesterday and came upon frogs and pollywogs and eggs.  Talking to my oldest this morning, I admitted I had never caught a frog in my life and that was just fine with me!  (In fact, the only time I've ever touched a frog was when I dissected one in 10th grade biology--and I always got A's in that class.  Strange....)  Anyway--

The irony is that they wanted to take some of the little critters home so they looked around for anything they could collect them in and they found several empty plastic water bottles lying all over.  I find it sad that they were out enjoying nature in spring and found enough litter that effortlessly.  Wasn't earth day just a couple of weeks ago?  C'mon people--how hard is it to find a garbage can?!  The frog life cycle is now in my kitchen window and I cringe almost every time I'm at the sink.  Also ironic, my second oldest is the COMPLETE opposite of me, with regards to animals.  She loves them all and never tires of them and their animals ways.  Ah well....