Thursday, December 29, 2011

It looked good in the picture...

There are some people who can look in their pantry, create a meal, and put it on the table with no exact measurements or instruction.  I am not one of those people.  But I am really good at following recipes, and have had much success coming up with new meals by using the direction of those who have tried it before me.  As long as everything goes according to plan.
I like to use the internet now to look for recipes.  I've learned that if I keep them in my email inbox with the intention of printing and keeping them, I end up deleting them a few weeks later.  If I print them and put them on the counter with the intention of putting them in a book, they end up being used as coloring pages.  So, I created a folder in my email creatively called "Recipes," email the link to myself and file it away.  When it's time to cook, I bring the laptop in the kitchen, and presto, the recipe is there for use.
To get new recipes, I don't have the patience to just browse and find something that looks good.  I search based on the ingredient I want to use, which in the case of tonight's dinner, was baked beans.  I found an easy recipe with a yummy-looking picture and was very excited to try it. The Deen Bros (of Food Network fame) Ground Beef and Baked Beans Casserole seemed to me to have a lot of promise. (pic to the left) Looks good, no?
It was easy to make, hard to screw up, but it turned out just ok.  The problem, I think, was the sauce.  The majority of the liquid that makes up the sauce comes from the baked beans.  When I opened the can of baked beans I used for this, I even thought to myself that the sauce was pretty watery, but didn't realize it would matter as much as it did.  The taste itself, I thought, was very good.  So I guess next time I have to use a fancy baked bean brand to make sure that the sauce is nice and thick like the picture.  I also have to move the oven rack down one before I put it under the broiler so the bacon gets more overall crispy instead of crunchy tips and just-cooked middles.  And I bet it would help the picture if I made it at 3 pm and put it on a pretty tablecloth as the sunshine beams in.  But alas, here is my version:
Thanks to my husband and brother-in-law for thanking me for the lovely meal, even if they didn't actually think it was so lovely.  If you'd like to try and make this even better than I did (please send pictures, I'd love to see it), here is the link:
Here's hoping my next blog, regardless of topic, isn't so watered down.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I think I want to write a blog

I am inspired.  I am surrounded by people who balance endless tasks and roles in their life, and yet they find time to do amazing things for themselves.  Exercise.  Write.  Create.  Volunteer.
When I get time to myself, I tend to all of the sudden discover that there is a "me" that has gone dormant during my day-to-day.  A "me" that isn't a mom, isn't a wife, isn't an employee, a "me" that is just, well, me. A "me" that isn't distracted and lost within the many, many tasks I try to cram into a day. And my brain tries to run though as many thoughts as possible while it has my full attention.
I sat today and worked on putting pictures into albums, and my mind wandered to how blogging might be fun, but thinking I didn't have a lot to share, pondered what I could write about. I thought it might be interesting to do a little write-up about any books I read or movies I watch during the year, and then look back as a reminder of what I had done.  But I seriously questioned whether I would actually have time to read books, or watch movies, let alone time to write about them.  And then I thought about all the things I want/wish/need to do.
I want to be the best mom and wife that I can be.  I need to pray more.  Need to read more scripture.  Want to bake more.  Want to cook more good meals.  Want to spend more time in the garden.  Want to read.  Need to exercise to be healthy.  Want to paint some walls.  Want to hang more pictures.  Want to see more amazing nature.  Want to take better pictures.  Need to keep in more constant touch with friends and family so every conversation isn't catching up over the last several months since we last talked.  Wish I could do it all.  And by my rough calculations, I have about 60 hours a week that I am not working or sleeping to accomplish it.
So that's what I'm going to write about.  My quest to find the time to be and do all those things.  And if I accomplish any of them, a little more about each one. Or to write about how I've failed.   But with a list like that, if I can accomplish at least a few of them, I'll consider it a success.