Defeat Garden

I’m not going to complain about the temperature outside – I got that all in yesterday🙂 My gripe today is with the temperature inside – specially at work.  I swear in the mornings it no more than 70 degrees at work.  I have a hard time with the back-and-forth when I go outside and then come in to work.  For example, this morning when I got out of hubby’s car at work, the outside temperature was about 81.  Then I walked to the office building where I work (about a block) and I walk in and am immediately cold.  It was probably 72 (and I might be being a bit generous with that estimate).

So it’s more the back-and-forth that aggravates me.  Also, I do work in a building where many of my coworkers are older women (many of them are going through the *ahem* change of life), and they all seem to be perfectly comfortable in the mornings…maybe I just need to hurry up and get to that point in my life🙂

Speaking of coworkers – one of mine upset me today, but then I talked to the man on the way home from work and he brought a little more perspective to me.  I work in an area where people call me and yell at me a lot – it’s kind of just part of the job.  This specific coworker didn’t exactly yell at me, but I was definitely reprimanded.  The man said “why is this is any different than how you would treat people on the phone who yell at you?”  That really made me think.  This is why I love this guy🙂

The boy is on a survival kick over the last few months – he loves the Man Vs. Wild shows with Bear Grylls.  I actually bought him Bear’s autobiography to read over vacation (yes – my 8 year old reads at that level – love that kid!) and he read a section where Bear ran up and down mountains in training.  His thing this week has been to run around the house 52 times every day “for the exercise.”  He’ll be great in football this fall🙂

Supper tonight is homemade hashbrowns (with peppers and onions for me and the man) and eggs.  I love those – and homemade hashbrowns are very easy to make! Bake a few potatoes (the best are the yellow ones) in the microwave, then cool them off in cold water.  Grate them with the large holes of a cheese grater and fry them in some butter, salt, and pepper.  As the man says, the secret ingredient is love.  Enjoy!

It is very hot today.  As I type (at 7:00 pm) it is still 100 degrees!  And while, yes, that kind of temperature is normal in my state during the summer, it’s normally not quite this hot until the end of July or into August.  That said, I’ll try not to complain too much more about the heat🙂

I didn’t really make a recipe today so much as cooked some food.  But, my family all liked it, so I thought I’d share it with you.

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It’s pork chops (cut in half) with mashed cauliflower and the reduced marinade.  Simple, really, and all doable on the stovetop.

My friend who’s been watching my kids for me for the last couple of weeks gave me a bunch of marinades that she had because her silly boyfriend doesn’t like to experiment with seasonings/spices/herbs.  So I’ve been taking advantage of the ready-made marinades.  I’ve decided that I should really do some of that on my own, because the man, the girl and the boy have really liked it both times so far that I’ve made them!

All I did was throw the marinade in a bag with some water and olive oil, then tossed the pork chops in for about 15 minutes.  Tonight it was a chipotle marinade, and last time it was a fajita seasoning.  I’m also looking forward to trying the tequila flavored one…🙂

While that was sitting, I chopped up a head of cauliflower and boiled it on the stove.

When I started cooking the pork chops, I put the rest of the marinade in a small saucepan and boiled it for about 10 minutes.  I drained the cauliflower and then mashed it with about 3 T of butter, some salt & pepper, and a little garlic powder (because I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to actually peel and chop the garlic).  Spoon some of the marinade on top of the cauliflower and some on top of your meat, and:

Voila!  Dinner is served!

So, not really a recipe, but a good, fairly quick, and healthy dinner.

Now to sit back and relax indoors in our lovely air conditioned house🙂

And check out this amazing idea for a sandwich that I found earlier today:

http://dannyskitchen.me/2012/06/17/a-non-traditional-triple-decker-created-by-a-crazy-man-in-the-kitchen/

Definitely a new blog for me to follow🙂

I’ve been so horrible about updating this blog.  I blame it on the fact that I normally make the same recipes over and over.  In fact, I just made one tonight that I posted waaay back at the beginning!  So I think I may try to re-vamp the blog into more of a weekly update rather than a recipe only blog.  Although it will probably still be mostly about food.  That is mostly what I think about every week! 

We’ve been working on our garage for the last week or so.  OK, I admit it, it’s mostly been the man working on the garage.

However, I have been helping a bit.  And running all over town picking up supplies and such.  So I am helping :)  I even lifted (part of) a full siding box!  (I am nowhere near strong enough to lift a full one – those suckers are heavy!)

This is the best before picture I have:

And here is how it looks tonight (we’re so close to being done, I can almost…um…taste it!):

So I haven’t really been cooking much.  Although I did make a side of asparagus on Wednesday evening that my Dad (who was helping with said garage) was pretty impressed with.  I thought that was funny, because I was just being lazy with it…just an onion sauteed in butter with chopped up asparagus.

I am going to try a new asparagus recipe this week, though.  I was at Trader Joe’s and saw a mixture of asparagus, red onion, and mushrooms.  I was going to buy it, but then realized that I could probably get twice a much for the same price if I just bought the ingredients and made it myself.  And besides, I’m kind of getting tired of takeout.  So I’m going to make that some night this week.  Then I’ll try to post it on here!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a picture of the girl’s breakfast earlier this week.  She said it was too pretty not to take a picture of:

Classic peanut butter and banana tortilla roll-up – with a 10-year-old twist🙂

Yum.  That is all I have to say right now!  We just finished supper, and it was delicious!

Interested?  Read on, my friends!

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Wow, this was delicious!  I was in the mood to make a new dish this week, and even though I didn’t really feel like cooking tonight, I pulled this one together pretty quickly.

I’m not really sure where I got the recipe from, but I think it was from an old Rachel Ray magazine.  I cut out recipes when I see something that looks good, but then forget to mark where I got them from!  I’ll give you the recipe I have and put my changes in parenthesis.

4 large fennel bulbs – quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced (I used 2 rather large fennel bulbs, but I had to go out of my way to get them – the fennel at the store I went to this weekend were small and rather sickly looking…)

2 cups dried cranberries (I did not use this much!  Maybe 3/4 or 1 cup)

2 cups pecan pieces, toasted (I only used about 3/4 cup, and I didn’t take the time to toast them)

1 bunch parsley leaves (I cheated and used dried!)

1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/4 cup white wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

1 T dijon mustard

1/4 cup plus 2 T olive oil

salt and pepper

4 pieces sweet Italian sausage (except I had hot Italian sausage…whoops!)

*Combine the first five ingredients in a big bowl.  I got to use the slicer that my lovely sister bought me for a Christmas gift to do this.  Those things scare me!  The first time I ever had one, I was washing it before I used it, and I dropped it.  Silly me, I caught it…on my hand…and sliced myself pretty good.  I then threw it away and haven’t used one since!  But I managed, and it was actually pretty nice.  I was just very very careful🙂

*Combine the vinegar, mustard, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a smaller bowl with salt & pepper to taste.

It looks kind of silly like this.  This is a pretty basic salad dressing, so if you ever want a nice light salad dressing, you can do this!

Cook the Italian sausage in a pan with the rest of the olive oil.  Cook it until it’s nice and browned on the sides.  I think that the next time I do this, I will slice the sausage before I cook it – it sure is easier to slice when it’s cold!

Once your sausage is cooked, combine the veggies with your dressing.

The boy helped me with this part – I told him to smile, and this is what I got:

I can’t decide if he was scared or just being silly🙂

You can toss the sausage into the salad if you want, but we had ours on the side tonight.

Enjoy!  It’s got a nice light flavor that I think would be great for summer picnics.  Too bad it’s February!

Another delicious meal.  Although I can never seem to get it to turn out as well as my Grandmother’s roast.  There was just something about it!

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