It’s been a good week around here, and it feels good to get back to normal after last week. It seems like every single
week day brings some kind of milestone lately. This week was no exception with someone’s 15 month check-up.
He was mobile as ever and all over the pediatrician’s office, but he also got super shy and buried his little face in my chest when she came in. It’s this new behavior he does a lot lately, and it really makes him seem older. How does he know to be shy around strangers? It’s evidence that the baby is drifting away and the toddler is here for sure. He’s almost 25 pounds and just over 32 inches which puts his weight right in the middle and his height at the 90th percentile. Next month also marks one whole year since we’ve visited the pediatrician for anything other than a well-visit! There hasn’t been an antibiotic in this house at all, and I know that is part luck, but he does love his green veggies and had mama’s milk for a long time, so I know that helps us, too. God knows we’ve passed various bugs around the house and he’s played with some sick playmates and cousins without getting anything, and I really hope this health streak continues through the cold months.
Another milestone? Guess who finished her first ever knitting project?
Luckily some patterns out there are super fast and hide newbie mistakes. All in all, I actually enjoyed it. A history of knitting and me: I taught myself from a book just as I was starting graduate school eight years ago. It probably wasn’t the best time to start something that requires patience, and I began with a scarf which took soooooooo long, so I decided I hated knitting. I wanted to give it another try though, so this year for Christmas, I have knitting classes as a gift. (First and foremost, it’s nice to be out of the house and on my own and learning something new.) As it turns out, I am liking it for other reasons, too. Sewing is abandoned lately since I have to banish myself to another room for it, but I love that I can sit next to Scott and knit away while still hanging out with my boys. Bonus: I think I will actually wear this cowl. I’m excited to try some other projects soon.
On the food front, I’ve tried some new things, too. I got a really great cookbook recently that I love. There’s a whole chapter on breakfast-for-dinner, and it suggested pairing garlicky swiss chard with eggs and grits. And y’all it is the perfect dinner with the husband is away and I am on my own.
This is sort of a crappy photo, but I couldn’t manage to try another one and wanted to dive in. It’s becoming a favorite of mine, and of course I add a dollop of heavy cream and a pat of butter to the grits because, I confess, I like my food as sinful as possible.
Speaking of confessions, I sort of like hamburger helper, too. I know it’s low-brow and out-of-fashion, but for real, I do. It’s done in one skillet, it’s inexpensive, and sometimes it just hits the spot. When we gave up all processed foods and packaged seasonings a year ago, I really started to want some quick comfort food back in my life, and I found a few beef and noodle skillet recipes online that were so-so, and I’ve adapted it over time.
Beef & Mushroom Noodles (“real food” Hamburger Helper)
1/2 pound ground beef (We use grass-fed ground sirloin, but you could use ground chuck or even ground turkey.)
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves of garlic (less if you are not as garlic-crazed as I am)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups of egg noodles
beef broth – I start with about 2 cups and add more as it needs it and the noodles are cooking. You can add a little water as well.
Brown the ground beef until done add onions and garlic and cook until the onions are done as well. Drain it, and set it aside. Using the already dirty pan, (less dishes, yay!) melt butter and add flour to stir until you have a roux. Now pour in the the beef broth and use a whisk to get rid of the lumps. Put the beef mixture back in the pan, and add mushrooms and noodles. Simmer until the noodles are done, and keep checking to see if you need to add more water / broth. It usually takes about 15 minutes to finish this up. Add salt and pepper as you want, and you’re done!
When it’s cold outside, it’s exactly what I want. I know someone else who likes it, too.
So that’s pretty much what I’ve been up to. A little crafting, a little cooking, and also a lot of reading. (Why am I so late to get on the train for Philippa Gregory?) I hope your week has been great, and you’re staying warm.