Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm no Betty Crocker...

...and certainly don't claim to be, that's for sure. I struggle over dinner quite often. The use of a crock-pot seems so 1972, but I tell ya...it works. And is a life saver. Especially with a 12 month old that likes to be right under my feet in the kitchen. Oh, and have I mentioned we STILL DON'T HAVE CABINET LOCKS? That makes for a really fun game when your hands are germ soaked with raw meat and you need to drag your kiddo out of the chemicals cabinet.
(Husband, have I made my case yet??)

I checked out a recipe that I snagged from Pinterest. I didn't have high hopes because again, it was crock pot-ish and seemed far from my mom's original Beef Stroganoff recipe.

As embarrassing as it is, I have two of these big boys. Shhhhh, don't tell.

A little side story...the week after we got home from our honeymoon I was eager beaver to become Julia Childs. What could possibly be so hard about working a full-time job, traveling a good bit and making a delightful dinner to be served with candle light on all of our new dinnerware? Well, a lot actually. I make my trip to the store to whip-up momma love's Beef Stroganoff and serve with an appetizer, salad, dessert and wine. I don't think we ate dinner that night until about 10:30 pm, it wasn't worth a damn and it cost me somewhere around $100 and we didn't so much as get a half gallon of milk within the trip. I decided very quickly that my brother got the cooking knack and I should stick to something else...not sure what, but something.

Back to the crock potter.

Some of the ingredients...add from list below

Crock-Pot Beef Stroganoff
2 lbs. stew meat (salt and pepper it)
1-8oz. cream cheese
2 cans Golden Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup water (don't be so serious, just filled up a soup can 3/4 of the way full)
Garlic Powder (few dashes)
Worcestershire Sauce (Maybe 4-5 tablespoons. I'm not sure you could actually get too much.)
1 large yellow onion diced

Combine all ingredients minus the cream cheese and meat. Stir mixture together in the crock-pot and then add meat. Let cook on low for 6-7 hours (recipe I read said 8 hours, I assume so that if you're leaving for a day at the office it will be ready when you return. My meat was fork tender when I checked it at 5 hours. So make fitting to your schedule). Let cream cheese come to room temperature and cut into cubes and add to crock pot in the last 15 minutes.
Serve with egg noodles.

COST: $7.75 for main course.
We have at least another night's full dinner and probably then some. Add in a salad and/or side veggies and that's a meal under $10 for 2 nights.

My husband will eat anything. I don't think he's ever complained about a single, poorly produced meal I've put out there. But, speaking for myself...I'm a tough critic. My mom ruined me as a child. She's good, real good in the kitchen. I will say, this was pretty darn tasty. It was a legit comfort food meal that didn't cost a ton and didn't take a day of slaving in the kitchen. Check it out.

We even had time for this when dad got home. I would say that's success.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guess who turned ONE!

My little angel cake! We had a BIG day of celebrating! I only got a little weepy for a short time. Mainly, thinking about my dad not being here to see this little sweet pea grow-up. But moving on from depressing matters...as far as the actual event of my baby turning one, I was rather cheery about it. We celebrated! We made new traditions, and we felt accomplished. We were excited that we made it this far. There were days we could hardly keep our eyes open and hadn't showered or brushed our teeth in too long to admit. But, things are looking up! We have this deal down (most of the time!). The first six months were a blur, the last six months have been so much fun. And every day since has been even more so. Seeing Julia grow and her personality shine is the most beautiful thing.

Birthday Eve started with breakfast and ice cream!

And then it was onto the real show. The day began with balloons! Lots and lots of balloons! And throughout the day more and more bouquets of them arrived, along with cards, gifts, cookie bouquets...it was unlike any other day! It was lots of fun!!

And then we spied a new buggy! In the last 48 hours I have learned we will be taking LOTS of rides in the new car.

The amount of excitement here was beyond words...such a fun morning!

OBSESSED with the new wheels!

And then we ate pancakes!

All dolled up for the special day and visit to the aquarium!

I think there was a nightmare around 5:30 am about this guy!

Seeing this little girl standing up-right with shoes and a dress on never gets old. I can't believe she's so big!

Ready for some lunchies!

After dinner there was cake!

LOVE the cake!

And VERY sad when dad took it away.

But then mom came to the rescue.

And dad made it even better with a swim in the tub.

And after the tot went to bed that night mom and dad celebrated the year! What better night to pull out the china and reminisce? Do you spy the photobook I made? Clinton hadn't viewed it yet...he was waiting for her birthday. He's like that...doesn't want to spoil anything too early.

And the next day after school the buggy was STILL fun!!

What a day and what a year! Thank you all for walking this journey...I hope for many, many more fun and exciting years ahead.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vom. And a basket wall DIY

What a week! No, really...what a flipping week it has been. TGIF...leading into a HOLIDAY WEEKEND, baby!

Week's re-cap. Sunday something pounded this house like a hammer. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say everyone living and breathing here was sick. Very sick. And that continued through Wednesday. Finally things were looking up on Thursday. No school all week, which was sad, but everyone was feeling better and in much happier spirits. No whistling or skipping, but good enough. The coffee was tasting mighty fine, the sun was shining, and the Today Show was on in full view. We were going to make it! That is...until Little Bit was playing quietly behind the sofa. Too quietly is never good. I rounded the corner to see what she was up to and found her with dog poopie in her hand about to insert it into her mouth. (And yes, I was thinking the same thing..."When did I move to a trailer park and have dog poop in my living room?") So, there's the week. It's been as glamorous as it reads. Trust.

But no poopie was keepin us down! Dad grounded the dog, we cleaned up and rolled out.
To take this story to a place where you might find some interest...walk with me.

I've been sorta kinda watching Design Star. You, no? It's pretty lame, but better than most summer television. Last weekend I noticed a big basket that one chick picked up from West Elm. It sparked my attention and so what did I do? I got on the world wide web and looked it up. Actually, I never found it, but I did find these.

Hmmm, that's some texture for my kitchen I'm looking for.
Problem: price tag.
No way in hell was my other, wiser, more money savvy half going to be cool with dropping a bill on 3 baskets. I didn't even pretend to ask. So I got to thinking...how could I pull this off myself?

So when all else fails go rummage through the thrift store. And wouldn't you know it...it was HALF OFF BASKET DAY!!! B-I-N-G-O.

Doodle and I picked out a pretty pile and carried them up to the check-out. One was even 75% off...hot dog! I feel a little guilty when I take their junk and don't pay enough money. Then I get over it and move on.
So after all was tallied I spent a whole $6.05. And here's what it got me.

What do you think? Some are cooler than others. Some look a little cheap and not so much West Elm, but that's okay. I think the find and the price makes it even better. No?

Happy Labor Day, loves.