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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cheese Tastees...a tasty treat

Growing up we would have tastees either made at home or from our little hometown family owned drive in, Bethel Dipper.  If you don't know what a tastee is the explanation/description I find most often is a loose meat sandwich.  It is similar to sloppy joes but sooooo much better.  Apparently the original is from the Tastee In and Out originating in Iowa and these sandwiches are known mostly in the midwest.

photo courtesy of Ann-Margaret McIntosh

My favorite items from Bethel Dipper were their tastees as well as their ice cream sandwiches. I haven't eaten there in years but crave tastees now and then.  So yesterday I decided to make a half batch of them.

I got the recipe from my Dad years ago and jotted it on a piece of scrap paper.  And that's how it remains and tucked into a pocket in my recipe book.


The 3 tablespoons of salt is a little much and probably should be cut in half or down to 1 tablespoon as I show adjusted below. These sandwiches in my opinion should also be served with a slice of cheese.  Some also put pickles on them which is good too.

Tastees
  • 5lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 T Salt
  • 3 T Yellow mustard
  • 3 T Horseradish
  • 3 T Worstershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup water
Brown ground beef and onions. Drain.  Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer for 3 to 4 hours.  Serve on hamburger buns and enjoy!!!

Holidays are the best time...at least this year was

The year is winding down and another Christmas in the books.  We had a very nice calm holiday over all.  This past weekend we went out to one of our friend's grandparents lakehouse.  It was what we called Misfit Christmas.  I learned how to shoot my shotgun that the husband had bought me a couple months back.  We enjoyed a fire as the nights were chilly.  Pooh Bear made an appearance dancing.  Destroyed a pinata, played football and enjoyed some drinks (some had a few too many), food and good company.


Christmas Eve we stayed home, just the husband and I.  I made surf and turf for dinner.  It was my first time cooking scallops.  They can be tricky I've heard cause if you cook them too long they become rubbery and tough.  I cooked the steak in a cast iron skillet on the stove and finished in the oven.  The potato was Paula Deen's recipe, Twice-Baked Shrimp Stuffed Potatoes.  The whole dinner was amazing and in my opinion could have been easily ordered at a high end restaurant   Yes I realize I made it all but it was that good.  I was pretty impressed with myself.


The green stuff on the steak was a compound butter that I made with butter, garlic, fresh parsley and thyme.  I put it on the steak the last minute of cooking.  The steaks were also cooked in butter and olive oil...not the most healthy meal but worth it.

Christmas Day we spent with friends and their families.  It was a nice day again with great food and even better company.

So now we look forward to New Year's Eve but first tomorrow a little Girls Happy Hour where I just learned we will also be celebrating another engagement. Congrats Michelle and Brandon!!

Photo courtesy of Sarah Prescott



Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Tears




When I briefly heard of the tragedy in Connecticut last week, I steered cleared of any news. I saw all sorts of info on Facebook so I had a vague idea of the events and then I finally turned the news on for the first time Monday evening. My head doesn't understand it, my heart hurts for those families and I just cry. Events like these pull down another layer of my optimism for the human race and destroys my naive trusting in systems, safe places, good people and pushes me towards fear. Fear for my safety in my daily life, fear of even thinking of bringing a child into the world, just plain fear. But that's not a great state to live in...cautious and smart, yes. So as I struggle to understand it all, I also learn to embrace life just a little more with a positive, more loving, caring spirit. I mourn with the families affected and can only hope that they can find some peace in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.





Monday, December 17, 2012

It's Christmas ya'll

I've never been one to get overly excited about Christmas and all that comes with it. However, I do decorate to add a little festiveness to our apartment.  The husband gripes about it but I think he secretly likes it.  When I began to think about pulling out the decorations this year I thought "man I'm so tired of my decorations.  I wish I could afford to go and buy everything new." Obviously that isn't realistic and so my solution was to use decorations in a different spot or way.  I added a few things and in the end I really have liked and enjoyed our decorations this year.

The wreath had been on the door but I put it over the fireplace this year and added the poinsettias.  I also added the greenery, ornaments and ribbon to the tall vase beside fireplace which I had never done before.  I got new stockings holders for Jarad and I's stocking.  Petey's stocking in the middle I hung with a small clear command hook.


 When I went looking for something to put on the door I went to probably 5+ stores and everything I saw was either too expensive, ugly, wrong colors...just not right.  So I made my own with a piece of wood from JoAnn's, paint, and a jigsaw.  Up close it has it's flaws.  I need to get sandpaper to smooth the edges, paint the edges and a clear gloss coat over it all.  Maybe that will be done next year because it's been on the door for a couple weeks and Christmas is a week away.


Petey of course needs his Christmas things too and was in need of a new bone.  While at Target I ran across this bone.   Sure there was a smaller one but what's the fun in that.  

One night I was watching one of the many Christmas specials and as Rod Stewart sang Santa Claus is coming to town Petey went over to the fireplace and looked up it as if he was really looking for Santa.



One of my favorite additions is this Fisherman nutcracker that I found at Target. I liked that it has the year on it and who knows he may get a brother/sister next year and the year after and the year after. It was missing the fish which I made out of wood myself.  The missing fish got me a discount on an already on sale item.  Score!!


So we've really enjoyed our decorations this year and will for probably about another week or two. Celebrate the holiday season for what it is to you.  






Sunday, December 16, 2012

What's for dinner?

Easy dinner tonight. Parmesan panko crusted chicken with broccoli and Alfredo. It was semi homemade in that I used a light Alfredo sauce from a jar. Steamable frozen broccoli made it even easier. It was quick to put together but tasted yummy. Now to convince the husband to do the dishes which would be a Christmas miracle if he actually did do them.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thought to ponder

How come I feel like pink nail polish should only be worn in the summer? I bought a Sally Hansen complete salon manicure color in pink but can't make myself use because it's not 100 degrees outside. It will be back to those temperatures in short time and so I'll save it. For now I'm content with greys, reds, maroons, whites, etc.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nails are just better painted

I love, love, love having my nails painted. I think a woman just looks more put together with her nails painted, which for some ladies may be an optical illusion but that's a discussion for another day. If I could afford it I would have it done by a salon whenever it was needed but that's just not in the budget. It could be in the budget but I would be eating ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner. However, then I would be on blood pressure medicine for high sodium intake and the cost of medicine would take the salon money. I obviously need to rethink my budget saving methods. So back to my nails...because I can't afford the salon I try doing it myself. I would find tips, products, suggestions in blogs, on Pinterest, from friends but nothing ever worked for me. I would get so frustrated on how much time I would spend for it to chip or smudge less than an hour later. That was until I bought a bottle of Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure. No need for a base coat or top coat. Two coats is all the bottle calls for. The brush is large too which I like. Covers the nail with one swipe. I had a friend ask how long it lasted. For me because I'm messing with carpet samples, in warehouses, just plain using my hands all the time it lasts 2-3 days. But that doesn't bother me at all because the process is so fast to repaint. I have 4 colors right now, a pale pink, nude color, reddish maroon (I just bought for the holidays but haven't used yet) and the color below. I had a customer ask me if I was depressed because my nail color choice was a sign of depression and being authoritative. I said "well it is called commander in chic and no I'm not depressed". He responded, "are you sure?". Really dude?!?!? The things my customers say or do. I could write a book. So anyways if you're looking for a great nail product I recommend the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. And if Santa wants to fill my stocking with more colors I would be one happy lady Christmas morning....happier than I already am cause again no I'm not depressed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Does It Really Matter - Real Housewife In Practice

Today's Does It Really Matter is going to be centered around one topic...I watch every version of the Real Housewife empire. It took me awhile to get into Atlanta but yes I watch that one too. I am continually trying to come up with my tag line if I was on the Real Housewives of Houston. At this point and where I am now, this "season's" tagline for me would be "I may not always say or do the right thing but my heart is in the right place. My family and friends are my world."  They change their tag lines each season and so I'm already trying to think of my next one.  And I would totally be on the cast for the RHOH.  It would be epic...ok maybe not.  The only part I would have is if one of them were redoing their floors, they went to one of my stores and I happened to be in there that day.  There has been rumor that a Houston show is being cast, filmed but not necessarily part of the Real Housewives franchise.  I hope that this is true and now I must go back to practicing being a Real Housewife...wine being poured.

Go get some

I know you have been out there searching high and low for the perfect teriyaki sauce.  Well call of the hounds and search no more and just head to your nearest Trader Joe's.  I know this California based grocery chain is not everywhere.  We just got our first one in Houston this summer, a second a little while later and a third (11 MILES FROM MY APARTMENT!!!!!) by end of year.  But if you aren't near one and happen across one in travels I would stock up on what they call Soyaki.


I made a chicken stir-fry last night and had to make myself stop eating.  I did a simple chicken, asparagus tips (frozen), red pepper and mushrooms.  I folded in quinoa at the very end instead of rice or noodles.  Of course I added a little dash of Sriracha to my individual bowl because everything is better with a little spice.  I made alot which makes me happy cause I will eat on it for a couple more days.

I did a quick google search and saw where people added peanut butter to this sauce to make a twist on a peanut sauce.  May have to try that next time.  They also have an island version that is sweeter and with pineapple sauce or so the label says.  I love coming across great finds that are inexpensive (if I remember correctly I paid $2.99 for the bottle and it's huge) and taste amazing.  If you have ideas on recipes please share cause I want to use this sauce in everything.

Salad Love

WalMart has a Southwestern chopped salad that in my opnion is amazeballs.  Has just the right mixture of things that gives you a "little kick".  Chipotle Ranch dressing is so good and you can buy it in the bottle as well.




I ate it for dinner all last week.  But like any prepackaged item I can't leave well enough alone.  So I added tomatoes, avoacado, black beans and corn.  For dinner last week, I also added crockpot salsa chicken.  I am having it for lunch this week minus any meat.




If your WalMart carrys this salad I urge you to buy it.  I'm not getting paid for this post but if WalMart wants to give me some $$$ I'll take it.