Friday, September 14, 2012

7 Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 17)

 Watch this tear-jerking video of the wife of a police officer who was recently killed.  I'm so impressed by her courage, love, and faith.  I doubt I could handle myself with such grace if my husband had just died.

 I made my first-ever actual crockpot meal this week!  I guess I'm just old-fashioned and like to make things the hard way?  Well...not anymore!

We've had a big cut of beef sitting in the freezer for ages, bought right after we got our chest freezer (most useful appliance EVER, btw).  I've been avoiding it, because I just wasn't sure how to cook it.  Tom kept reminding me about the crockpot,and I finally just broke down and decided to use it. I don't know why it took me so long, because it's insanely easy and fool-proof.

 [The recipe I used was for "swiss steak", but it tasted basically like pot roast (is this what happens with all beef meals made in a crock pot? I worry that it might be).  I think I'll stick with making my swiss steak in a skillet.]

 So anyways, I decided that this Fall, I will try to do a crockpot meal or a soup (which I could make earlier in the day and reheat very quickly in the evening) every Wednesday, since that's our "late dinner" night.  It will be a great opportunity to try out new recipes.  And I'm excited to come home to a warm and delicious-smelling meal that's already cooked.  Also, that would probably mean I wouldn't have to cook anything on Thursday either, since such meals usually yield a lot of leftovers.  Score!

Also, I want to try out at least one other new recipe (for anything - it doesn't have to be an entree) every week.  [Okay, post-script and a day later here: I realize that this goal is totally unrealistic of me.  I can't even manage to do meal planning for more than a one-week stretch every three months or so!  Trying new recipes definitely needs to be planned ahead, since there's usually one or two ingredients you don't regularly keep in stock.  And I'm already going to be making a new crockpot/soup thing once a week?  Yeah, not happening.  Oh well, it was a nice thought.]

BUT I have a billion post-it note markers in all my cookbooks for things I will make "someday", and my recipe binder is getting too crammed with untried recipes ripped from magazines or printed off the computer!  Need to do something about this!

So many untried recipes!
My overflowing binder.  Notice some of the tabs: "cookies", brownies and bars", "pie', "cake", "cheesecake", "other desserts"'s clear what types of foods get priority!

I mentioned at the beginning of summer that I hoped to encourage morning glories to vine all up and around the porch.  Well, we were *sorta* successful.  The vines didn't spread laterally as much as I wanted.  But we finally have a few flowers now.

Our dinky and beat-up little "porch" with some dinky vines on it
But there's some beauty on it now!

Looking out at night, with our lanterns turned on

We've officially jumped on the Thomas Wooden Railway bandwagon - ahhhh

Sly's birthday gift from Nana

But I have to say, they're really well-made toys, and even fun for me to play with.

 Photographic evidence of my success at getting Stella to take a pacifier!!....for about 2 minutes.

This little girl has an insatiable need to suck.  Which usually means that Mommy has to offer herself as a human pacifier many times during the day (and night).  She will not accept substitutes!  Gahhhh

'Tis the season for REESE'S PUMPKINS!!  mmm....Tom knows he can pretty much make my day by bringing me home one of these as a gift.  I think it's pretty much as romantic as receiving flowers :-D

The pumpkins, in addition to the other seasonal Reese's varieties (trees, hearts, and eggs depending on the holiday) are so much better than regular Reese's cups, don't you think?  Not only do you get a higher ratio of peanut butter to chocolate, but the chocolate is thinner and softer (no pinched hard edges where it molded into the cupcake paper).

Quick Takes is hosted at Conversion Diary


  1. I think Thomas train tracks are really fun, too :)

    And I was so excited when I saw the first Reese's pumpkins. I was just having a discussion yesterday about how the special Reese's are out basically from September through April, and then we have to do without for 4 months!

  2. LOVE the morning glories!!! We love the Thomas tracks. And now I need some chocolate… excuse me. :)

  3. None of our kids have taken a pacifier. They usually find a thumb after a while.

    Crockpot chicken. Simple and delicious...many uses!