Sunday, December 12, 2010

MPM # 31 - To Grandmother's House We Went!

Since the late 90's, my sister and I have made the trek out to our Mother's for an "Annual" Bake-a-thon. Usually, we do it in late November or early December and at various times through the years, others have joined us, but more often than not, it's just the two of us with Mom baking up a storm. My sister is in charge of chocolate making - a craft we started doing waaaaay back in the early 80's. My sister has carried on the tradition as although she's probably one of the most impatient people I know, she's the only one with enough patience to hand paint chocolate inside the molds. I usually take one too many things on and get frustrated and a headache and my Mom always, always makes butter tarts. My sister and I have added our own little helpers to the mix and our nephews have participated a couple of times too.

I usually cook up a Christmas craft for us to do and we always find time for a game of Scrabble.

This year, however, my sister and I aren't baking at all and the butter tarts aren't getting made. Don't worry - Mom is still alive - none of us have the motivation or bother to bake. We all work too much and don't get enough time to spend together. So Grammy is baking up a storm with two of her grandkids (TroubleMaker and my niece, TroubleInventor - who are actually now sitting in the living room reading a book together) - although all the baked goods are prepackaged cookies and squares, they are still having fun.

I'm sitting at Mom's kitchen table writing on my laptop

and my sister, bless her new found patience, is HAND writing one of her stories.

Mom is cursing her 30 year old oven that only seems to be problematic when we're home visiting and the "Helpers" are sitting in the living room reading stories.

I think Santa (and our husbands) will forgive us this once...

Here is my Menu Plan for the week... It's been a bit troublesome putting it together - no idea what I feel like making (I'm a little overdosed on cookies)... A few of the recipes I'm going to make up as I go along so I'll come back and post them (update to this post) once we've eaten them.

December 13 to December 19

Monday Hamburger Rice ScrambleHamburger Hash
Tuesday Egg Salad Sandwiches
Wednesday Chicken breasts w/ Twice Cooked Garlic Potatoes
Thursday Crock Pot Stew
Friday Tacos/taco salad
Saturday ???
Sunday Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

Cereal, toast, bagels, muffins, Pancakes, Bacon & Eggs

For more great menu planning ideas and resources, check out the Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!

Hamburger Hash
1 lb lean ground beef (frozen or thawed)
1 rib celery, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
1 can mushrooms
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1-2 gloved garlic, mined
1/4 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup sour cream
2 tbsp flour
1 cup beef bouillon (or water)
salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, paprika

-In a large frying pan, cook ground beef. If frozen, add 1 cup of water or beef broth, cover and cook until broken apart and nearly done. Do NOT drain
-Add all vegetables (including canned tomatoes & their juices) and a good sprinkling of salt & pepper. Add 1 to 2 tsp parsley, 1 tsp oregano and about 1 tsp of paprika.
-Simmer until carrots are tender.
-Combine sour cream and flour in a bowl until well combined. Add several tablespoons of 'sauce' from frying pan to sour cream mixture. Then dump all back into frying pan, lower heat and simmer until thickened.
-Serve with rice or egg noodles.
Note: this was very tasty for a 'toss together' dish. My Husband thought it would be better suited served with egg noodles. TroubleMaker and his friend (who was over for dinner) ate very well and said it was "REAL GOOOOD!" You could add more onions but I cut way back because it was our dog's birthday and he got a good helping of it on his kibble (and onions are BAD for dogs). Enjoy!

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