Friday, August 27, 2010

Clean, Play, Cook

1.  Operation Clean House is still in full effect here.  We just cleaned out the top shelves in the closet, which consisted of: unwearable old clothes, clothes with tags still on them, framed pictures that hung on the wall of our old apartment (yes, about 3.5 years ago).   Oh, and three bottles of colognes---different ones.  So we sprayed all of them to see if any smelled good (FYI, not the best idea to spray 3 bottles of men's cologne in an unventilated closet). 

2.  Here's a taste of our morning:  Maya, Parker & I hit the playground for a bit.  It's getting easier to manage both of them on my own at the playground, now that Parker is older and more obedient.  We have to adjust ( or avoid) depending on how crowded it is, but today he just hung out on the side while Maya climbed around.  He'll watch birds, and kids running by, without moving at all---but when people approach him or talk directly to him he'll get up to say hi---we're working on that.

3.  We finally got some ground beef---for the first time in months.  This ground beef is fresh (well, frozen, but whatever) from Lewis Waite Farm, a local farm that raises grass fed, grass finished beef.  It's certainly pricier than regular ground beef, but it looks better and smells better (like a LOT better) and is better for us.  And supports local (and responsible) agriculture, cuts down on fuel for transporting food cross country, etc. etc.  (If you're into food stuff/local stuff, some good reads are Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, or anything by Michael Pollan.  Or you could take the easier route and watch Food, Inc.  Everyone who buys or eats food should really check out that movie.)

Anyway, the ground beef pictured above was turned into meatloaves, which were cooked & frozen in slices.  (And although I find the name "meatloaf" kind of digusting, I swear it's really good.)  That's a whole bunch of easy lunches/dinners.  And I have a great meatloaf recipe----I think it came from Gourmet magazine . . . but I cheated with a few things (we don't need ground veal, so I just do ground beef for the full meat amount), so it's "Almost Gourmet" Meatloaf:

2 lbs ground beef (or whatever meat or blend of meats you want)
1/4 cup minced green pepper
3/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tbl horseradish
1 tsp dijon mustard (or whatever mustard you have)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (or whatever breadcrumbs you have in a can)
2.5 tsp salt
4 slices bacon (uncooked.  I like to chop up a few more slices of bacon and add them into the mixture, too)

Instructions: Combine everything except for the bacon slices.  Knead it all together.  Put it into a greased loaf pan and lay the bacon slices on top.  Then coat the top with a thin layer of ketchup (on top of the bacon and the whole thing).  Bake at 400 for 50 minutes, let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Freezing: After it's totally cooled off (like in the refrigerator for a few hours), slice into, well, slices.  I freeze the slices flat, then load them into a gallon sized ziploc bag after they're frozen. 

Eating: A dinner would be 1 slice of meatloaf, plus potatoes and 2 types of vegetables---so one meatloaf can really last for a lot of meals.  It makes an easy lunch too.

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