Friday, November 30, 2012

Kitchen and Other Adventures

My little helper chopping the onions for the stuffing

I was busy last week with family and Thanksgiving and didn't get around to blogging my 52 Weeks of New update.  So this week's blog is a two-fer.  You'll notice that a lot of my new experiences revolve around food.  Can you tell what I have on my mind?

For Thanksgiving my mother-in-law asked me to make stuffing.  I have made stuffing out of a box, but have never attempted to replicate the real thing.  I asked my mom for any magical words of wisdom and plowed forward.  I cut up the celery and onions, dumped the bread crumbs into a bowl, sauteed the veggies in butter, mixed in chicken broth and seasonings and threw it all together.  My stuffing turned out...not so good.  Apparently I do not have the knack for stuffing.  I think MIL will probably ask someone else to make the stuffing next year.

My next cooking experience involved trying to makeover a family favorite dinner into a healthier version.  My kids requested pancakes.  So I searched online for a recipe that used whole wheat to healthify the pancakes a bit.  I used this recipe, substituting the eggs with Ener-G egg replacer due to David's egg allergy.  They were really good--my family declared them the best pancakes I've ever made and declared the recipe a keeper.  David apparently liked them so much that he ate seven.

I also wanted to healthify our standard tater tots and sausage or bacon sides.  I found an eggless hash brown and sausage recipe and gave it a try.  I only used half a package of hash browns which officially was five servings, and one pound of leaner ground breakfast sausage.  I browned the hash browns in the sausage grease (what little there was), and topped it all off with only a quarter cup of cheese.  While not exactly healthy, it was healthier than what we usually eat, so I was pleased.  And it was delicious!  I was so happy that there was just enough leftovers to throw in a pan with an egg for my breakfast the next day.

My biggest accomplishment this week is that today marks the end of my first month of dinner menu planning. I only made a few changes over the entire month but stuck to the menu almost entirely.  It made dinner preparations so much more peaceful and I always knew what to buy at the store so it streamlined my shopping even more than before.  I already have my menu for December written out, I just need to type it up and then post it on my fridge.

And now two silly things that I did for the first time this week.

I slid down a mattress slide on the stairs.  My kids took our old twin mattress and put it on the basement stairs so that it made a slide.  I had to go downstairs for some reason and rather than walk down the mattress, I sat down and slid.  The kids thought that was hilarious.

The last thing I did is that I learned how to use a smart phone.  Mostly.  I can check my email, facebook, search websites, make calls, text, and play games on there.  I know that's just the tip of the iceberg, but I'm getting better at it every day.

This has been week 13 and 14 in the series of 52 Weeks of New

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