Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cooking and Cleaning and a Little Baby Talk

This has been a good week, and I have gotten a little bit done this week.  I've gotten out of the house 3 times this week but still managed to accomplish some things.

I took Mama to Wal-Mart this morning.  This is the first time she's been there since before the trip, and she really seemed to enjoy taking her time and picking up some things she wanted.  This afternoon I am free to drink coffee and embroider and watch the Jodi Arias trial.  Can't help myself.

Almost finished with the birth announcement.

But why not add another project right in the middle.  The mystery bib.  The pink will turn into Easter bunnies and should be finished in time for any seasonal accidents.

I had very little to do with the following casserole except for buying the cookbook, picking out the recipe, and buying the ingredients.  Mike put it together and says it was easy to make.  But it is clearly one of the best dishes I've had.

The cookbook is Bobby Deen's From Mama's Table to Mine.   I never buy cookbooks because you can find almost anything you need on the internet, but I just saw this in Books-A-Million last week and bought it.  He takes his mother's recipes and makes them more healthy, and there are quite a few of Paula Deen's familiar recipes that he redid.

The first thing was a broccoli, mozzarella, and pasta salad.  That was pretty good but could have used a little tweaking, but this cheesburger casserole is worth making again and again.  Here's the recipe.

Cheeseburger Casserole
2 cups rotini pasta
2 tsp canola oil
1-1/2 cups finely chopped onions (used about half these)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 pound 95% lean ground beef
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly gound pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can (28 oz) low-sodium diced tomatoes
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cups grated low-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dill pickles (this makes the recipe, in our opinion)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking disk with cooking spray.
2.  Cook pasta according to package directions in boiling salted water and drain well.
3.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
4.  Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
5.   Stir in beef and cook until browned; season with salt and pepper.  (We drained it then).
6.  Stir in tomato paste, then add tomatoes and mustard.
7.  Let mixture bubble gently until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
8.  Toss the meat mixture with the pasta and spread it into the prepared dish.
9.  Top with cheddar and bake until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
10.  Sprinkle the chopped pickles over the top and serve.
Serves 12.
The fat count has been pared down from the original recipe from 27 g to 4 g and the calories from 490 to 193. 
All 3 of us have loved it and finished it up today.
I think we'll find a bunch of good things to eat here, and as long as Mike's cooking, I'm totally enjoying it.
My other recipe is for cleaning yellowed or stained baby clothes - or any clothes for that matter.  A few of the clothes I'm sending Graysen had stains or were yellowed with age, so I did some research and found a "recipe" that is supposed to be foolproof.  Equal parts Biz (which is almost impossible to find anymore - I did find some at Wal-Mart) and blue Dawn dishwasher detergent in hot water.  Soak for a couple of days.  I've got the solution in the pan and the clothes suberged.  We'll find out in a couple of days.  I hope it works because a couple of the little outfits that Emily wore would be so sweet on Graysen. 
A couple of pictures from this week (of course).  From this morning.  Emily says she's so happy in the mornings and coos and talks to herself and is so happy.  Can't wait to hear her.
Losing and re-finding her pacifier.

 Sweet moments with Mom.

Fully stomach, happy sleepy baby.
Graysen is going to get some extra loving starting tomorrow when her other grandparents go for a visit.  I wish her big cousins - all 6 of them - could see her too.  Maybe soon.
It's good to have a week of work behind me until Sunday.  After all the training and conference calls and changes we had to make on our computers, we had an email yesterday that pretty much said, "Never mind.  We're not going to change to the new process after all, at least right now."  I just go with the flow and enjoy having a little job to make some extra money. 
Stella/Molly is always strange, but she's been even stranger since we got back.  Here, she's sitting behind me watching me work.
I'm ready for spring and am trying to resist buying plants this year.  Do-not-have-time for gardening.  Maybe just a few for pots....

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