food · through my camera lens

Cheeseburger “TOTchos”

I always menu plan the night before I go to the grocery store. I really don’t know how people shop without menu planning!

Well this week, we had one night that was unplanned. We just could not come up with something to have as one of our weekend meals. I looked when I went to the grocery store and we looked again yesterday when we were at Costco for something to get for dinner. We did buy pork chops and ground turkey. But, I just did not feel like pork chops tonight. So… I started to think and think  of something to make. I ended up making a recipe off the seat of my pants.

In the past I’ve made “TOTchos”, but I always made them Tex-Mex. I didn’t want that. I have been on an anit-taco meat kick lately. But the concept of TOTchos sounded like a perfect meal for tonight. So I created Cheeseburger TOTchos. (it tastes better than it photographs! )

Cheeseburger TOTchos

  • -ground turkey (or any ground meat you like)
  • -small onion-minced
  •  1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp steak sauce
  •  3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Steak seasoning (I use McCormick Montreal Blend)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like on your burgers)
  • -tater tots
  • -EVOO
  • -S&P
  1. Preheat oven and bake tater tots according to the package
  2. In a large cast iron pan (or frying pan of your choice) sauce the onions (seasoned with S&P) in some EVOO
  3. When the onions begin to brown add in ground turkey and cook it while breaking it down into chunks
  4. Add Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, steak seasoning, and ketchup to the meat and continue to stir
  5. I popped this into my second oven at 350 to continue to cook, but you can do it all on the stove top.
  6. When the tots are done, season the tots with S&P
  7. Put the cheese on top of the meat mixture
  8. Put the tots on top of the cheese and pop back in the oven for 3-5 min to melt the cheese

Serve with your favorite tot and burger toppings. I used ketchup, mustard and pickle slices, Colby used ketchup, Blake and Richard didn’t t add anything to theirs.

This was really good. Richard felt it needed a bit more seasoning. I think the tots needed to cook a bit more so they were super crisp. I think the next time I’ll cook them for the longer time on the bag instead of the shorter. I will certainly make it again.

 

Advertisements
family · life

Sunday rambles

Yesterday we spent time checking things off our list. It was nice that each of us were able to do some of the things that needed to get accomplished. It was a beautiful day outside, temps in the 60s all day.

I spent a good chunk of the day plowing through a bunch of the things I needed to get done for work. I wrote the monthly newsletter, created the snack calendar, and wrote my overall monthly plans (this covers the theme, sub-topics, as well as free choice area changes).

We struggled to get moving in the morning and I do think we finally got out of bed around 10am. It was nice to sleep in and enjoy the extra hours of rest. We had a really late breakfast and then just decided that we’d just have a snack and then an early dinner. We went back to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza for an early dinner. This time we tried their chicken wings. The manage suggested these to us the last time. The wings were really tasty. They were not hot wings, they were garlic wings with sliced onions on top. We also got another pot of meatballs. I did pretty good eating… I had wings and meatballs. I love the pizza there, but decided to pass on pizza last night.

The boys went through a stint of listening to Jeff Dunham’s autobiography. Then they were listening to audio versions of his shows, over and over and over again! We told them it was time to listen to something else. Now they are onto listening to podcasts. Ok this is fine, but they again are listening to the same ones, not meaning different episodes of the same podcast streaming, but the same episodes. They said this is because they have missed parts of the podcast. Ok you might have, but you left it on and I heard the whole thing and don’t want to listen to it again.

Well today is Sunday. time for hiking/biking. Time for football. Time for getting ready for Monday. But, we will enjoy the fall weather. We will enjoy time slow and quiet of a Sunday.

life · through my camera lens

Deck the halls with Ghosts and Pumpkins

We got up this morning with the plan to go out for breakfast. Richard had requested a few weeks ago to go to Kelly O’s for a cheat meal. Colby had asked for pancakes and bacon when we were creating our meal plan. So, this morning we went to Kelly O’s for breakfast. Colby had his chocolate chip pancakes, Blake had a ham and cheese omelette, Richard had an omelette with pretty much everything in it and I had a breakfast burrito.

Then off for hair cuts we went. Richard, Blake and I got hair cuts. Colby didn’t since they really cut his short last time (2 months ago) and his bangs just grew to the length that he usually asks for them to be cut.

When we got home, Richard and I tackled the lawn work. When we were done we decided to put out the outside Halloween decorations. Now the house is done!

The boys headed to the park and I decided to camp out on the couch and catch up on some of my tv shows. I don’t often have time on my own to sit down and watch tv anymore. This is not a big thing, but it was nice to have that bit of time today.

 

life

Rain

TODAY

SEP 9

Rain
58°56°
100%
E 15 mph 92%
MON

SEP 10

Rain
71°58°
100%
S 9 mph 87%
TUE

SEP 11

Cloudy
72°59°
10%
W 5 mph 80%
WED

SEP 12

PM Showers
79°64°
50%
ENE 5 mph 80%
THU

SEP 13

Partly Cloudy
82°66°
20%
E 6 mph 76%
FRI

SEP 14

Partly Cloudy
82°65°
20%
E 7 mph 76%

Our weekend has been filled with rain! It was raining when we woke up yesterday and hasn’t stopped yet. We went from temps in the 90s, there were days this week where the boys couldn’t go outside for recess because of the real feel temps. Now we are in the swing back into cooler temperature. Not sure how long we will keep the fall temps, but we can hope!

We headed to Lowes yesterday and picked up more grass seed and a few other things. When we got home Richard and I put out the grass seed and the grass mat that we purchased in attempt to get our lawn to grow! There are a few places that I burnt out with fertilizer, it seems super sensitive to the amount of fertilizer put down in any given place. Oh well. learning experience.

Last night we originally had planned to have steaks for dinner, but I forgot to take them out, oh well that meant we didn’t’ have to grill in the rain.  Instead we had pretty much make your own chicken nugget meal during half time of the UCF football game. We were excited to see UCF win even if it was an ugly win. Oh well…  W is a W. Onto next week.

Today brings on laundry and school work for me. Richard is working in the garage and the boys have escaped to the basement to play on the PS4 until Football begins. Blake and Colby are stoked to have RedZone back.

I hope that this week I can find a new groove as far as time and planning. I need to get things done and then I need to make sure that I’m getting out of there and can do my things at home too. If I can figure that out, blogging will be back on the daily plans! Thank you for your patience and continuing to read my blog even when I’m in and out of posting during this transition time.

family · life · through my camera lens

Painting, yard work and working out

Life has been so busy lately.

Richard and I finished painting the basement! We painted the media area the dark green and then the stairwell the light area.

Saturday, Richard and I spend about 3 hours working outside. We seeded, fertalized and did a bit of other work on the yard. We replanted 3 plants that outgrew their pots. We also made 2 new spider plants out of my spider babies and a new pothos plant with clippings from Colby’s plant. Then we took on the way back. Richard got out the brush cutter and I took the large loppers and we went to work cleaning out lots and lots of brush. It’s crazy when you realize how much you cut, and then look at how much more needs to still be done back there. But hey, at least we made a dent.

We went on a bike ride/hike yesterday.  It was nice to get out on the trails after a long busy week. I ended up hiking just over 3 miles.

Today we started our FOURTH week of Liift4 on Beachbody. I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and am able to lift heavier weights. I won’t say that I’ve seen a ton of difference in my clothes or on the scale, but I feel a lot better getting up, working out and focusing on eating healthier. I am not following their food plan exactly. I am more focused on eating healthier instead of working on measuring out portions and counting the amount of each type of food I eat. I always feel that heath, fitness and nutrition need to be natural parts of your life not forced pieces if you are going to keep up the work. I know the fact that I’m lifting will burn calories. I know that the HIIT parts is the best way to get cardio. I also know that eating more veggies and lean protein will fuel my body in a healthy way.  Now I make all that knowledge work for me!

 

family · life · Must Have Monday

Weekend Update

Happy Monday Morning…. why does that always sound soooo wrong when you say that? So, I don’t think I even opened up my laptop this weekend, hence the lack of blogging. So let me catch you up on life!

Friday was the boy’s last day of theater camp and there production. They did Frozen Kids this time. Colby was Olaf and Blake was the Duke of Weselton. They had so much fun. I am totally impressed that these kids can learn a whole musical (lines, scores, blocking, dances etc) in one week.  Well it isn’t even a week. On Monday they have auditions. Then they practice T, W, Th at the studio and then on Friday they have their dress rehearsal and the show.  (pictures taken after the show– Colby was hot in his Olaf costume and Blake’s wig was driving him crazy. so they aren’t the best pics, but they had fun)

Saturday we slept in! I think that was the thing Richard and I were looking forward to the most for the weekend. Getting up at 5:30am everyday to workout is good… and bad! But, worth it. Saturday and Sunday are rests days in this program so we didn’t have to get up and get moving. I took Saturday as my cheat day too. This meant I finally got to try the PB&J cookies. They were really good I think the ratio of peanut butter to jelly was off. I almost would prefer them as a thumbprint cookie instead. We ran a bunch of errands including going and researching getting a full rack of dumbbells for working out. Then went out for Tex-Mex for dinner.

When we lived in FL we had a few different Tex-Mex places that we went to on a pretty regular basis. I guess Tex-Mex isn’t as popular here, or it at least doesn’t live up to our standards.  We keep trying different places, but haven’t found that OMG this is good Tex-Mex just yet. The one we went to on Sat. was the closest we’ve tried. We would at least go back to this one again opposed to the others that were one and done places.

Sunday found us with beautiful weather and motivation to hit the trails. I dropped Richard and the boys off for a bike ride and went for a hike. I found it a lot easier to walk trails that I’ve walked before. I wasn’t having to stop to catch my breath after climbing the hills and increased my pace. I hiked just a bit under 2 miles. The guys rode just under 5 miles. The rest of the day found us doing relaxing things at home.

I finished 2 of the books I got at the library this week and the third books I read two chapter of and then gave up because it didn’t peek my interest enough. I also deleted the book I was reading on my kindle, that one started to get too smutty. I’m now reading a book on my kindle about Hemingway until I get back to the library.

Ok that is my weekend in a nutshell. Hope you had a good weekend too

 

family · life · through my camera lens

The Point and North Park

Friday we went into the city. The boys and I met Richard at his job and from there we went to an art’s festival by “The Point”. Point State Park is the location of Fort Duquesne which was part of the start of the French Indian War. (I’d have to have Blake do a blog post to tell you more about it) The Point is also the location where three rivers (the Allegheny, Monogahela and the Ohio) converge.

 

The art festival was… ok. But, we had a good time walking around and just being. I was also able to get a few decent pictures of some of the bridges as well as the incline.

Saturday we got up and headed to North Park. The boys took Richard on another trail that they rode with their mountain bike class. This trail travels across the park so I dropped them off and then moved my car. When the finished they wanted to ride more so they took off on a new trail. This trail also ended in a second spot so I moved the car again. I hiked on two new trails for me too. We were all tired when this was done.

 

While I was hiking I came across this little deer having a snack. I decided to stop and watch. While I was there, the boys and Richard actually made it to where I hiked (we were going in opposite directions). We then headed back to the car.

Last night Colby had two friends over for a late birthday sleep over. They had a blast playing video games, watching a movie and we even went out for ice cream. We are all tired today, but it was a fun weekend.

family · food · life · through my camera lens

Baking and Tile Work… all in two days

Ok I guess I am continuing on the oops I didn’t post mode of late. Friday I went into full baking/cooking mode. I started the day by making homemade vanilla ice cream. I haven’t made ice cream since before started packing to move to PA.

When the ice cream was done, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies.P1080247

Then, I realized we didn’t have bread to use to have sandwiches, so I baked a batch of rolls.P1080250

While the cookies were cooling and the bread was rising, I started applesauce in the crock pot to go with the pork tenderloin we were having for dinner.

We then had lunch. After lunch I took the cooled cookies and the homemade ice cream and turned them into ice cream sandwiches. P1080253

Saturday was busy in a different way. We started the day with Richard and I heading to Lowes and the grocery store. We picked up lunch from the grocery store so that we could get to work on the back splash.

This was another long process. We had to go through and make sure that there wasn’t too much mastic between the tiles. This involved using a utility knife to cut out the extra mastic and there are a LOT of seams in this tile work. Then we sealed the tiles for a second time. When the seal was drying we went around and removed the tape and paper we had put up originally and re-protected the marble the best we could while still having the bottom of the tiles available for the grout to get into the seams.

Then we began grouting. This means mixing the grout. Wait 10 minutes. Apply the grout, which takes a while since you have to go over it over and over with the float to make sure you get it into all the groves, there are no air pockets and then make sure you take off enough so that it isn’t a pain to clean up in the next two steps.  Ok now wait 15-30 minutes for the grout to dry.

Next, you take a damp sponge and wipe off the excess grout. This was easy on the glass tiles, but the stone pieces… not so much! Both Richard and I were working on this and our arms were screaming when we finishes.

Then you wait! This time you give it an hour and you wipe everything down again with a clean damp rag.

Today we are going to have to go back and add the matching caulk to the bottom and edge of the tiles. Then we need to put the plates back onto the outlets and switches. We are planning on sealing the granite counters too since the ones under the tile are already empty.

Today, well we don’t yet know what else we are doing today. There is rain in the forecast so that will play a role in whatever plans we make.

Hope you are enjoying your weekend so far!

 

family · life · through my camera lens

A long weekend means working in the house

I can’t believe that this is the first time I’ve picked up my laptop since Saturday, when I wrote my last blog post. We decided to take on the project of putting up the back splash in our kitchen this weekend.

Saturday Colby was at a sleepover. Richard, Blake and I went out for dinner at Burgatory. All three of us got milkshakes as a treat. I had their Fluffer nutter butter Shake (vanilla ice cream, nutter butter cookies, peanut butter and fluff mixed together into a delicious concoction!)

We then headed to Lowes to pick up a few things we needed. I decided to pick up new drawer organizers for my silverware and cooking tool drawers. I love the new bamboo dividers we purchased. (I actually purchased another one on Monday). I now have enough to organize 3 drawers in my kitchen.

We decided to let Blake stay up and watch a movie. Richard suggested Happy Gilmore since Blake keeps talking about wanting to see it, and Colby has shown no interest in it. Blake ended up not feeling well part way through the movie so we never did finish it. Oh well… another time.

Sunday we had already decided to have a quiet morning. It rained over night and was gray and overcast for the beginning of the day. Perfect day for working inside. So Sunday and part of Monday we worked on getting the back splash up. Other than working around the outlets/light switches, it wasn’t too painful.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We got all the tiles laid out so we could put the sealant on them before putting them up on the wall. Richard set his new wet saw up in the garage and we got to work.

I really like how it is turning out. We did not get around to putting up the grout yet, but all the tile is on the walls now!

The boys are off to school today for their last Tuesday. They have a full day today and tomorrow and a half day on Thursday and then they are off for the summer. It’s been a crazy busy year, but it was all good. Hope you enjoyed your long weekend.

family · life

It’s Saturday

It’s Saturday. It’s the weekend. It’s a long weekend.

This means biking in North Park, yard work, and family time. Richard helped Colby make his car for school. Colby needed to make a car to protect an egg in a “car crash”. He made the car out of foam insulation and they worked together to shape it into the car in Colby’s mind-eye.

Tonight Colby is going to a friend’s house for a sleep over. Last year on this day Colby was having his two best friends from FL spend the night over to celebrate his birthday. This was their last hurrah together before our move. Tonight he is going to be at a friend in the neighborhood’s house. They became friends over the course of the school year and while it took time for the friendship to foster, it works now. He misses his Florida friends, but he has found a new group that makes him happy here too.

In 8 days Colby will have his tenth birthday. It’s hard to believe he will be in double digits. I’ll talk more about Colby and his birthday on his birthday post, but I was thinking about it today as the pictures from his sleep over popped up in my Facebook feed.

I hope you are enjoying your weekend and are able to get out and enjoy the unofficial start of summer.